an unofficial website

December, 2011

31 December 2011


Right: An excellent photo from Gavin Rathbone shows the celebrations after Alty's first goal against Droylsden in 2008. Pictured, (l. to r.), are Liam King, Robbie Lawton, Ryan Toulson and Chris Senior. Gavin has dozens more excellent Alty images on his GR Photography website.

Altrincham's last visit to the Butcher's Arms came on 9 February 2008 when both clubs were in the national division of the Conference; Alty won 2-0. A Robbie Lawton goal, just after half-time set Altrincham on the way and they sealed the game in the 72nd minute when Jennings's freekick, from the right by-line, found Colin Little totally unmarked at the back post and he headed home.


Altrincham FC thanks the collectors and donors who contributed towards a half-time bucket collection of £61.37 on Boxing Day.


Joint Altrincham FC Press Officer, Brian Flynn, writes:

Radio Reporter Needed!

We are looking for an Altrincham fan who can provide match reports for Salford City Radio on their Sportzone programme which is aired each Saturday between 3 and 5pm. Coverage will include a couple of match updates during each half as well as half-hime and full-time match reports.

If you can attend most Saturday games and are interested in doing this role, please call Brian Flynn on 07860 561011 or e-mail him.

Salford City Radio is a non-profit Community Radio Station which broadcasts on 94.4FM. Reception is generally good in Altrincham, Timperley and Sale. You can listen online and find out more about the station on their website. The first match that will be covered is the home game against Colwyn Bay on Saturday January 7th.


Rob Williams completed a 93-day loan spell with Altrincham before Christmas, and the former Robins' employee returned to his parent club, where AFC Telford United now report that "AFC Telford United defender Robbie Williams has joined Lincoln City on loan until the end of the season. The centre-half, who has yet to feature in a competitive fixture for the Bucks since signing in the summer, completed his loan move in time to link up with the Imps ahead of their New Year's Day fixture".

At Guiseley it is reported that "On-loan Striker Chris Senior will meet with manager Steve Kittrick and chairman Phil Rogerson on Sunday in order to see what can be done in the way of extending his current deal. Senior’s last game of his current loan deal will be against Harrogate Town on Sunday and all parties are keen on an extension of the loan deal until the end of the season. There are still some issues which need ironing out however and, all things being well, these will be sorted out at the meeting.

Rogerson said, 'We all want Chris to stay as he’s done really well for us. Hopefully we can come to an agreement on Sunday and Chris can keep on playing for us'. Senior is on loan from Alfreton Town and scored twice in his last outing against Harrogate Town on Boxing Day".


The Football Conference tells us that "Droylsden have signed defender David Thompson from rivals Colwyn Bay. Thompson originally joined Bay in the summer of 2010 after being released by Bury, but decided to sign for Northwich Victoria at the start of that season’s campaign. He came through Bury`s youth system and was handed a six-month contract over the summer of 2009 in order to prove himself to the management at the club. However, the decision was taken not to extend the contract and he left the club in January 2010 without making a first-team appearance, although he did make the bench on three occasions.

Thompson made twenty-four appearances for Northwich last season before signing for Marine in March 2011. He only recently rejoined Bay but failed to attend any training sessions with the Seagulls and player-manager Jon Newby expressed his disappointment at the full-back's failure to make his squad after the Bloods made their intentions clear to sign him after he had said that he couldn't get transport to travel to Colwyn Bay from his Cheshire home".

Blue Square North report that "New Blyth Spartans manager Tommy Cassidy has started to mould his team by securing the services of three new players.

Cassidy has snapped up Bury midfielder Max Harrop on a one-month loan deal, which will make him available for the club until 29 January. Joining the youngster at Croft Park is Sam Hodgson, an ex-Whitby Town midfielder, and ex-Hartlepool United defender Jordon Mellish.

Harrop started out as a youth player at Liverpool before moving to Bury, while 20-year-old Hodgson joins from Cassidy's former club Whitby Town. Mellish is a tall and powerful defender who played for Hartlepool against the Spartans in a pre-season friendly.

Cassidy told the Spartans' official website, 'I have spoken to Richie Barker (manager at Bury) and Max comes highly rated, he is a left-footed midfield player with bags of energy and is a good footballer. With Jordon and Sam, the two lads will come to training and we'll take it from there. Whilst I know Sam well from my time at Whitby Town, I don't know a great deal about Jordon, although he comes with good pedigree and the people that I have spoken to about him confirm that he's a good solid defender'".

However, the Times & Star reports that "Tommy Cassidy has failed in an audacious attempt to take Workington Reds' assistant manager Tony Elliott. The newly-appointed Blyth boss spoke with his former No.2 on the pitch after goals from Gareth Arnison and Phil McLuckie sank Spartans in the Northern Irishman’s first match in charge.

Elliott, who spent a decade as Cassidy’s assistant, turned down the offer and pledged his support to Darren Edmondson. A source close to the club said, 'Tommy spoke with Tony after 2-0 defeat and asked if he would be interested in re-joining him... but Tony made it clear he’s not tempted with a switch to Croft Park'.

Workington have picked up maximum points from their two festive matches, and a win over Blyth on Monday could see them move seven points clear of the drop zone. He said, 'I have seen what Blyth offer and I know we have the ability to go there and beat them. Tommy won’t have been happy with what he saw from his players on Saturday, but I was delighted with what we produced...“It was nice to see Tommy, and we spoke briefly, but again, my focus is on beating him and making sure it’s Workington faces smiling at the end... I want to beat Blyth, then our attention turns to Nuneaton and Altrincham".

Alty's next guests at Moss Lane (7 January) are Colwyn Bay and BSB North reports that "Colwyn Bay striker Danny Lloyd has agreed personal terms to join Lincoln City in January. Lloyd netted a hat-trick against Droylsden at the start of December and impressd Lincoln when Colwyn bay played them in the FA Trophy a fortnight later.

Seagulls player-boss Jon Newby said, 'It is a huge blow to lose Danny, but it is a chance of full-time football for him and we couldn't stand in his way'. Meanwhile, Newby is set to bring himself back into the starting line-up as he tries to end a four-match losing run in the New Year's Day home game against Vauxhall Motors. He also hopes to bring in two experienced Conference forwards on loan next week".

Meanwhile, "Danny Mitchley and a mystery loan striker could be surprise names in the Nuneaton Town squad for the New Year’s Day visit of rivals Hinckley United. Mansfield Town striker Mitchley sees his loan expire 24 hours before Sunday’s game but, after missing the last 10 games with a 'quad' injury, he was set to train with the team last night with a view to extending his stay for the rest of the season...

Manager Kevin Wilkin said, 'We need to see whether we can make it happen but the wheels are in motion... We’ve had him for three months so if we are going to extend the loan the rules say it must be for the rest of the season... I’d like to keep him. He’s looked bright when he’s played'.

Meanwhile, Wilkin says he is pursuing a striker on loan... 'I’m working to get someone in but can’t say for sure if it will happen in time. I’ve been pleased with Wes York and Danny Glover up there but I would like to have alternatives should we need them', he said. Signings would be welcome as left-back Aaron James and forward Ben Pugh look likely to have played their last games for the club. The Boro boss confirmed James is still yet to decide on a move to Bedford Town, while Pugh is a target for Evesham United, although Wilkin says they still have not made a formal approach for the 22-year-old" reports the Nuneaton News.

From Pitchero Non-League, we learn that "Corby Town have won the race to sign much-sought after young striker Mark Jones from ChromaSport Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side Deeping Rangers. The prolific hitman, who has already scored twenty-five goals in all competitions this season, was on the radar of Crewe Alexandra. Jones, 22, lined up for them in a reserve friendly against Wolves and also courted interest from higher up the non-League ladder, with Corby and Cambridge City both announcing their interest. Jones turned out for Blackstones and Peterborough Northern Star in the UCL before joining Deeping in February 2011".

According to This is Nottingham "The return of ever-popular goalkeeper Ian Deakin to Eastwood Town's ranks will act as a 'massive boost' going into the New Year. That's the view of manager John Ramshaw, who has brought in the shot-stopper from Staveley after allowing loanee James Severn to return to Derby County.

Deakin was part of the Eastwood squad that won promotion to the Blue Square Bet North... 'Deaks is Eastwood through and through and knows what the club is all about', said Ramshaw. 'He has played at this level before and I believe he will do a good job for us... I don't think he has ever actually de-registered with us'.

Ramshaw has been busy over the Christmas period reshaping his squad, adding Francis Green to his frontline, from Hucknall. He made an immediate impression, scoring twice to put the Badgers 2-0 up in their Boxing Day game at Boston. The Pilgrims hit back to win that match 4-2...

Ramshaw said: "Francis gives us a bit of experience... He showed what he can do against Boston with two great finishes. Together with Knoxy they could form quite a decent front two... We are still conceding way too many goals at the back – and sloppy goals at that... I think the biggest problem we have is in the full-back areas and if we can sort that then I don't think we will be a million miles away. There is a chance of getting a right-back in before the Boston game but with the budget restrictions as they are, I might have to wait until someone has been moved on before moving for a left-back'".

30 December 2011


The Non-League section of Radio Manchester's 'Manchester Sports' programme tonight will focus on the four Blue Square Bet North clubs in Greater Manchester. A fan from each of the four clubs has been invited to take part in this section of the programme, which will be broadcast between 6.45-7.45pm.

The four fans involved are Luke Edwards (Hyde), Keith Trudgeon (Stalybridge Celtic), Gary Owen (Droylsden) and Brian Flynn (Altrincham). The Non-League section of the programme is fronted by Ian Burke with Jack Dearden being the main programme presenter.

You can listen to Radio Manchester on 95.1FM or online here.


There have now been 48 entries for the Altrincham FC Prediction Competition, which starts on New Year's Day, so please help to take the figure well over the fifty mark!

Why not join them and give yourself a chance win a cash prize whilst helping the club? It costs just £5 to enter...

Here are the rules:-

  • Pick a team from the BSB National or North to win their game on 1 January, 2012
  • If your team draws or loses on that day, you are knocked out of the game
  • If your team wins, you progress to the next round where you pick another team to win the following Saturday. You are only allowed to pick any team once during the competition.
  • The last person standing wins a jackpot of £100. If all the surviving teams lose on the same date, each person concerned will win a share of the prize fund.
  • Only Saturday fixtures will be used

    The fixtures set for 1 January 2012 are as follows:

  • Braintree Town v Cambridge United
  • Darlington v Gateshead
  • Forest Green Rovers v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Grimsby Town v Lincoln City
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd v Ebbsfleet United
  • Kettering Town v Luton Town
  • Southport v Fleetwood Town
  • Stockport County v Barrow
  • Tamworth v Alfreton Town
  • Wrexham v AFC Telford Utd
  • York City v Mansfield Town
  • Blyth Spartans v Workington
  • Colwyn Bay v Vauxhall Motors
  • Droylsden v Altrincham
  • Eastwood Town v Boston United
  • FC Halifax Town v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Gloucester City v Worcester City
  • Guiseley v Harrogate Town
  • Histon v Bishop's Stortford
  • Nuneaton Town v Hinckley United
  • Solihull Moors v Corby Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Hyde FC

    To enter the competition, please pay your cash or cheque (payable to Altrincham FC) to the Club offices at Moss Lane and nominate your team. If you require further details please contact the club on 0161 928-1045 or by e-mail.

    Below is a pro forma which you may cut and paste and print off, if you wish...

    I wish to enter the online prediction competition and enclose by £5 entry fee.


    My email address is:-

    You will be contacted prior to the January 1st fixtures to choose your team for the first day’s fixtures.


    The Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers game will be shown live in the bar at Moss Lane this Saturday, (31 December). Kick off is 12.45pm but the bar opens at 12.15pm. Everyone is welcome.


    Right: Damian Reeves and James Lawrie celebrate as they turn to acknowledge the provider of Alty's first goal against Droylsden, Nicky Clee. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

    Droylsden now have a very fair match report by Gary Owen on their site. "Droylsden had their stuffing a day later than most, with the score line from Moss Lane telling no lies. The Robin's lively attack caused problems for the Bloods defence all afternoon... Droylsden's best spell of the game was confined to five minutes before the break, when Stuart Coburn tipped over a curling effort from Danny Rowe at full stretch, before getting a good hand to a low effort from Paul Marshall. The home stopper than held onto a near post flick from Dale Johnson, and on 62 minutes it was Coburn's legs that saved the hosts as he prevented Steve Hall from pulling a goal back..

    Ciaran Kilheeney lifted Domaine Rouse's pass over Coburn for a consolation in the dying minutes, but there can be no detraction from the inconsistency in Droylsden's season, and there can be few complaints about this Moss Lane mauling".

    Andy Mitten's article on our visit to Droylsden in 2008 will recall some memories for those who were there.


    The Football Conference reports that "Bishop`s Stortford have signed young midfielder or striker Arron Wickham on 'work experience' from Peterborough United. A hardworking player, the 18-year-old has just returned to London Road after a similar arrangement with Ryman League Division One North outfit Soham Town Rangers, for whom he made four appearances. Wickham, who is a member of Posh's youth team, has also appeared for the club's reserve side."

    NL Pitchero confirms that Hucknall Town have "lost both Francis Green and Kallum Keane to neighbours Eastwood Town".

    According to the Times & Star, "Workington Reds boss Darren Edmondson is holding crunch talks with Hartlepool United over the future of Paul Johnson. The defender has starred on loan at Borough Park this season and Edmondson is keen to keep the towering centre half for at least another month...

    Edmondson is confident a deal can be struck, despite signing Johnson from Mick Wadsworth, who was sacked earlier this month. The 40-year-old said, 'Paul has worked wonders since he joined us and we’re keen for him to stay. He’s been a pillar at the back for us and definitely strengthened our defence. His physical style and height have put off a number of strikers in this league and we know he can continue to develop with us...

    I have talked with Paul and he wants to stay. He’s learning all the time about what it takes to be a footballer here... I hope to be able to announce the deal later this week but time is running out, as we need Paul signed on before his deal ends on Saturday'".

    "Luke Ashworth answered the call when Neil Aspin, manager of FC Halifax Town, had something of a defensive crisis" reports Non-League Pitchero. "He arrived with Liam Hogan and Scott McManus suspended and Aaron Hardy injured. Now the 22-year-old former Rotherham United and Leyton Orient player - who has been more accustomed to playing as a centre back - is hoping he can persuade Aspin to make his stay at The Shay a little longer.

    With Ryan Toulson suspended and Hardy still not completely recovered from an ankle injury, Ashworth made his first start for the Shaymen in the Boxing Day win at Gainsborough...

    'I have played right back a couple of times and enjoy it. It is a little different to being in the middle of the defence but I can play anywhere across the back four really'. Ashworth’s arrival was a bit hurried after he was told he was no longer required by the club’s league rivals Harrogate Town.. He admitted, 'On the Tuesday I was released by Harrogate so I spoke to my agent and got a call back to say I was training with Halifax on the Thursday. It is a great opportunity for me'".

    The Solihull News says that "Moors boss Marcus Bignot wants his club to threaten the top half of the Blue Square North and build on the team he’s built at Damson Park. Moors have been stuck in the lower half of the league for the first part of the season but the club progressed to the first round proper of the FA Trophy for the first time in its history, despite an injury crisis and two players missing for the birth of their children.

    Bignot said, 'It’s just shown the strength in depth we’ve got in the squad and shows the direction I want to be going ahead with. The squad is getting stronger and stronger and we are at the half way mark and in many ways we haven’t been able to field our strongest squad yet... I want to position this club in the other half of the table'".

    At Gloucester City the "Football Club are delighted to announce that following a meeting, our plans for a new stadium in the City have been validated by the Council Planning Officers. This comes after protracted discussions with the Environment Agency and the Council... The plans will now enter the 13 week consultation phase before going before councillors for consideration".

    From, the Coventry Telegraph, we learn that "Nuneaton Town’s ever-dwindling squad has been diminished by the departure of Aaron James to Bedford Town while striker Ben Pugh is the target of Evesham United and the odds are stacked in favour of him joining the Evo-Stik Premier Division outfit early in the New Year.

    Manager Kevin Wilkin confirmed left wing-back James had left Boro and signed for the Eagles, also from the Evo-Stik top flight, although he needed the permission of Rugby Town where he’s been out on loan for the past couple of months... As regards Pugh, who has netted seven goals since coming to the Triton Arena in September from Gloucester City, he’s been unsettled and though Wilkin is loathe to see him part company, the possibility is that he could be leaving after the New Year’s Day home clash with Hinckley United".

    Me4anwhile, in the Nuneaton News we read that "Town manager Kevin Wilkin admits he was disappointed not to collect the three points he expected from the 1-1 draw with Hinckley United on Boxing Day... Wilkin said, 'In the end I suppose you are accepting of a point but we came here expecting three. We’ve been in good form in the league for a while so before the game we expected to win... It was a fair result at the end of the day... When we scored we looked far more likely to go and win it, but the last 10 minutes were open and could have gone either way. You wouldn’t have known who the home side was. They were very direct and they were effective in the tactics they used'". Alty travel to Hinckley on 9 January.

    In the Tameside Advertsier comes confirmation that "Stalybridge Celtic have turned down an offer from Scunthorpe United for their 20-year-old England C international striker Connor Jennings... But Bower Fold chiefs are understood to be preparing for further approaches for Jennings, who has hit 19 goals so far this term, including one on his international debut against Gibraltar last month...

    [Chairman, Rob] Gorski said, 'We expect a six-figure fee for Connor and have had a number of clubs showing an interest... There were eight scouts watching our two recent FA Trophy ties with Stockport County, in which Connor scored three times, and we’ll wait and see how things unfold over the next week or two'...

    He has scored 50 times in 78 starts for the Celts... But Jennings, whose elder brother, James, plays for Cambridge United, wasn’t on target for once as Celtic failed to cut Hyde’s eight-point lead at the top of Blue Square Bet North in a 1-1 draw at Ewen Fields on Boxing Day".

    29 December 2011


    Altrincham and Droylsden, who meet again on New Year's Day, are the division's most entertaining clubs in terms of goals scored in matches involving them. In Droylsden's 21 league games this season, eighty goals have been seen. Whilst in one fewer game, Altrincham have been involved in matches in which 79 have been netted. Curiously three other clubs' supporters will have seen 79 goals, too - Hyde FC in 24 games, FC Halifax Town in 22 and, at the other end of the table, Eastwood Town, also in 22. So in terms of goals per match it is Altrincham who come out top in the entertaining games stakes!


    The extent of the rebuilding job undertaken by Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson becomes apparent when it is realised that no fewer than seventeen players appearing in Altrincham league line-ups this season had not previously played in a league game for the club. And the seventeen exclude an 18th arrival in mid-season, loanee Rob Williams who, of course, had previously been at Moss Lane.

    So, taking into account Robbie Lawton and Anthony Danylyk's recent departures, as well as the injury-induced absence of Shaun Densmore, the game on Boxing Day against Droylsden featured just three players in Alty's starting eleven who were at the club last season - Stuart Coburn, Nicky Clee and Damian Reeves.

    And Stuart Coburn's total of 531 starts for Altrincham is now, by a margin of 65 games, more than the rest of the remaining squad's starts combined! Alty's keeper showed why he has kept his place whilst so much has changed around him with another magnificent performance against Droylsden.


    "Jason Lee insists he is not tempted to try and bring Franny Green back to Boston United despite the striker's Boxing Day heroics against his former club" reports This is Lincs. "Green netted twice in the opening 12 minutes on his Eastwood debut on Monday. The Pilgrims rallied to run out 4-2 winners with goals from Danny Sleath, Tom Ward, Marc Newsham and Lee himself. However, United have found goals hard to come by in Blue Square Bet North this season.

    But Lee says he has full faith in the likes of Newsham and new signing Leon Constantine. 'Franny Green is an enigma. He's someone I've known since he was a kid', said Lee. 'I know what he is capable of and we knew he would be mad for this game. He would have wanted to prove to me and Lee (Canoville) that he could come back here and play. I know where he is, I know he's always available. I knew he'd left Brackley and gone to Hucknall before signing for Eastwood. But he just wasn't in my thoughts. I believe we've got players who can do just as good a job, if not better, than Franny Green... You judge players over the course of a season, not over one game. We can all have a great game, but can you be consistent?'"

    The Coventry Telegraph tells us that "Nuneaton Town must improve in the New Year if they are going to continue their fine record of reaching the play-off places. Boxing Day’s 1-1 draw and two dropped points at third-bottom Hinckley United failed to dislodge Kevin Wilkin’s men from fourth position but the Boro boss is in no doubt his team need to progress more if their promotion ambitions are to be fulfilled.

    'We are capable of much better than we produced against Hinckley', said Wilkin, who has led the club to three consecutive play-offs and believes he has the necessary quality within his small squad to make it a four-timer. 'It was not the way I wanted to end 2011. We went there looking to win the game and, in the end, a draw was probably the fairest result. Now we need to step up to the plate starting this weekend with the return against Hinckley on Sunday. I accept the weather conditions on Monday were not conducive to good football but I expected more from us and now we need to shake ourselves down and get 2012 off to a winning start'".

    28 December 2011


    Alty TV has its usual excellent coverage of the main action and goals from the Alty v Droylsden game on Boxing Day.


    Alty's next opponents at Moss Lane are Colwyn Bay and the North Wales Weekly News, "Bay look likely to lose utility defender David Thompson before he has even kicked a ball for the Seagulls. Droylsden have put in seven days for him and he looks likely to join them. Player-manager Jon Newby expressed his disappointment. 'Tomo was struggling to get a club after his injury problems and I said we would take him on as a non-contract player and fully involve him in the squad once he was match fit but he hasn't attended a training session or come to one match since he signed. He says he can't get transport to travel to Colwyn Bay and now Droyslden have come in for him he is likely to go there'".

    The North Wales Weekly News also reports that "A goal in added time at the end of the game condemned Colwyn Bay to their fourth defeat in the row with a 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Vauxhall Motors. That is only the Motormen's third win in 11 home games and the first clean sheet they have kept all season as Jon Newby's attacking woes continues.

    In those four straight defeats and six hours off football, the Seagulls' only goal has been a Fraser McLachlan penalty against Lincoln... Newby admitted 'We looked great going forward against Droylsden, but since then, apart from the first half against Worcester, we just haven't looked like scoring and that is very frustrating... All in all the performance wasn't good enough in a poor quality game in which we seemed to lack energy all over the pitch. We needed a spark from someone to make something happen, and for me there were a few too many waiting for other people to provide it. That is not good enough and the players know it is not good enough'...

    Once again Newby left himself on the bench and surely the time has come when he has to give it a go himself. Apart from Danny Lloyd on the left, Colwyn Bay posed little or no attacking threat with Dan Parkinson having another disappointing game for a player of his supposed ability before being substituted early in the second half. He was knocked off the ball or lost possession too easily...

    'If you can't see out a game in the last three minutes of added time away from home then you don't deserve anything', groaned Newby, who must find an answer quickly to his side's current damaging run of defeats. Colwyn Bay: Cudworth, Denson, Lea, Meadowcroft, Hughes, McKenna, Evans, McLachlan, Hopley, Parkinson, Noon 52mins), Lloyd. Subs: Davey, King and Benson."

    "Boss John Ramshaw insists he and his assistant Richard Cooper are in it for the long haul at Blue Square Bet North club Eastwood Town" reports This is Nottingham. "The duo have been criticised by some supporters after struggling to make an impact at Coronation Park since taking charge in November...

    'I think the best way to describe how things have gone is that the club is battered and bruised, but is now on the mend', said Ramshaw. 'The club has taken a good hiding in the last six months, what with one thing and another. It is a massive job and a massive challenge for all those involved to now pick up the pieces. But when you care about something as Coops, myself and some fantastic people at the club do, then you tackle it head on. I know we have received some criticism already from the way we have done things, but that does not mean we are going to walk away, far from it. We are here for the long-term and we will turn things around. It is probably an even bigger job than I envisaged. There is another problem to deal with every day and though nine times out of ten it is not football related, it can still have an impact on the team. But we will get on with it and hopefully come the end of the season we will have cause to celebrate after staying up'".

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Graham Drury angrily labelled Corby Town’s 3-0 home defeat by Solihull Moors as 'one of the worst performances he had ever seen since he had been at the club'... as the Moors recorded their fifth straight win over Corby in the Blue Square Bet North...

    'I can honestly say that was one of the worst performances I’ve seen as Corby manager', he fumed. 'I remember being beaten by six or seven at Solihull last season, well they should have had six or seven again. It was absolutely abysmal and not one Corby player can hold their head up and say they played well. I can only apologise to the fans and if I could, I would repay them all their money.

    But why should I do that, it’s the players who should be doing that and I tore strips off the walls in the dressing room afterwards because I’m just gobsmacked by how bad they were'. Corby were injury-hit... But he refused to blame that as a reason for the defeat.

    'That is no excuse, we have players who should be able to cope with that and it is still 11 against 11 out there', he continued... 'We did not create anything, we were not inventive and defended poorly. The start of the second half, we tried to change things to get back into it and then we conceded a goal straight away and the plan went out of the window... It was a lack of desire to find space, a lack of commitment and a complete lack of passing ability and it was simply abysmal'".

    There is yet another new face at Ewen Fields as Hyde FC announce that "Striker James Ellison, released by Burton Albion last week, has signed for the Tigers. James started his career at Liverpool, coming through their youth system, before leaving in July 2010 in search of first team football. During his time there, he went on loan to Alfreton Town and Chester amongst others".

    The Chronicle Live states that "New Blyth Spartans boss Tommy Cassidy was given an indication of the task he faces in the New Year after his side lost their relegation six-pointer at Workington... The defeat will see Blyth start 2012 at the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier and the only side still looking for an away win...

    Cassidy said, 'The rematch with Workington is a massive game for the club. We cannot afford not to get something from the game. We are not at the bottom of the league with just two wins for no reason and I was very disappointed at what I saw in Cumbria. We have to do better as this is not good enough... We only had 14 fit players so we need to address that situation'".

    In the Worcester News we learn that "Plans for a stadium to be the new home of Worcester City Football Club have been backed by council planners. The scheme includes a new stadium with car parking along with a hotel, offices, a pub/ restaurant and car and motorcycle showrooms on land east of Nunnery Way, Worcester. If plans go ahead, the stadium would be up to 11 metres high with four 22.5m floodlights on a site of 2.4 hectares. The stadium would be on the south eastern quarter of the whole site adjacent to the A44 and M5.

    Offices would be built adjacent to Nunnery Way... Alan Coleman, the council’s development services manager, recommended the planning committee grant planning permission... However, the report also read, 'Whether the club can afford to relocate to and remain at the proposed stadium remains unknown at this stage'. The scheme must be referred to the Secretary of State before permission can be granted.

    Colin Layland, the club’s vice- chairman, said, 'We need to find somewhere to move into in the next 18 months... It isn’t going to happen overnight'".


    According to Football Economy "Times have been desperate at Conference club Kettering Town. They owe about £250,000 to various creditors including Crawley Town which means they have been placed under a transfer embargo. They are down to just ten contracted players and no coach could be provided to take the players to yesterday's 5-0 defeat at Luton...

    However, better times may be on the horizon. Current owner Imraan Ladak has run out of money to bankroll the club. A takeover bid is imminent which would still see a role for Ladak. It involves controversial ex-Weymouth and Cambridge United chairman George Rolls and former Rushden backer Colin Hill. Hill is the Poppies' landlord at Nene Park, Irthlingborough, the former home of Rushden and Diamonds".

    27 December 2011


    Above: Alty defend in numbers during the first half against Droylsden. Left to right, we see Adam Flynn, James Lawrie, Adie Hawes, Adam Dodd, Liam Tomsett, Stuart Coburn, Matt Flynn and Chris Lynch.

  • Match report.


    Altrincham FC captain Shaun Densmore may be out of action on the pitch, with injury, but he still managed to write another excellent "Captain's Chat" column in yesterday's Robins' Review...

    "Our last game against Corby seems an age ago, but there are lessons from that hugely frustrating 1-1 draw that are still fresh in all our minds.

    The manager was bitterly disappointed with the way we let our standards drop, and he wasn’t the only one. Every single player felt exactly the same.

    Inconsistency has been killing us this season, and it was there for all to see, as we went from the heights of one of our best away performances of the season, against Halifax, to the depths of playing second fiddle to Corby at home a few days later.

    Certainly, the win at The Shay was up there alongside the 6-1 rout of Colwyn Bay as an example of what we are capable of when everything comes together. Unfortunately, the performance against Corby showed what can happen when it doesn’t.

    You look at those games and wonder how there could be such a contrast. I wish I could put my finger on it, but I can’t. All I can say is that whereas Halifax had a go, and we relished pitting our attacking skills against theirs, Corby were well organised and well drilled.

    They made it difficult for us, and I just sensed we allowed ourselves, not for the first time, to be sucked into their tactical approach, rather than looking to dictate the pace and impose our way of playing.

    We had what looked like the perfect start with an early goal, though I do sometimes wonder whether you can score too early. Of course, you want things to go your way from the first whistle, but if you go in front in the opening minutes, there can occasionally be a danger of sub-consciously taking your foot off the gas a little bit.

    Whether or not that contributed, we certainly struggled to cope with their direct style and ability to hit us on the break, and the only redeeming feature was that we came away with a point. They pretty much dominated, from our goal onwards, and it was a disappointing evening all round.

    As the manager was quick to point out, we can’t afford many more, if we want to finish in one of the play-off places. That has to be our minimum aim, and we need to start stringing together performances and results on a consistent basis to achieve it. The good thing is, we are still within touching distance.

    Realistically, we have to concede that automatic promotion is out of reach. It looks like being a straight shoot-out between Hyde and Stalybridge, and my money is on the latter.

    We have faced them both this season, both away, and while we were outplayed by Stalybridge, I thought we were a match for Hyde in all but the final score. It was a good, evenly-fought game, between two sides who liked to pass the ball, and the only difference was the finishing of Scott Spencer.

    I shouldn’t have been too surprised by that, considering Everton signed Scott from Oldham when I was still on the books at Goodison Park. I think it proved just a step too far for him at the time, but goals like those two against us showed why Everton thought he was worth a try.

    On to this afternoon, and a warm welcome back to Moss Lane to Dale Johnson and Warren Peyton. I know Dale’s laidback approach used to test the patience of previous managers here – and team-mates! It was like you had to prod him to make him angry, because when he had the bit between his teeth, he could be unplayable.

    I’ll never forget an early-season game at Barrow a couple of years back. He was on his own up front, but they just couldn’t cope with him. It was one of the best centre-forward displays I’ve seen and showed he has as much natural ability as a lot of lads I used to see at Everton. That’s how good he can be, and we will have to be on our guard today.

    I’ll be sitting the game out, unfortunately, after finding myself on the wrong end of a block tackle in training by the angriest man in the team, Chris Lynch. No blame attached to Lynchie, though there may just have been traces of a guilty conscience a couple of days later, when he brought a knee brace in for me!

    Finally, a quick word about the players’ Christmas party. We went into Manchester a couple of Saturdays ago, after training, and had a great night, despite Danny Fishwick (above, left) being denied entry at two of the bars we visited. I’m surprised it was only two. He was wearing the worst pair of jeans you’ve seen in your life.



    Ex-Altrincham players who scored on Boxing Day included Chris Senior, who netted twice for Guiseley, where he is on loan from Alfreton Town. Kevin Holsgrove scored a last-minute winner for Vauxhall Motors, a feat emulated by former Alty loanee, James Dean, for FC Halifax Town. As well as scoring his side's goal at Northwich, Chester's Wes Baynes was sent off for the visitos. All three Salford City goals came from players who have featured for Alty's Reserves or first team; Scott Metcalfe, Danny Heffernan and Kayne Handley.


    Yesterday's game at Moss Lane was watched by 846 people, Alty's biggest gate of the league season to date. Other attendances were:
  • Bishop's Stortford v Histon, 629
  • Boston United v Eastwood Town, 1,247
  • Corby Town v Solihull Moors, 588
  • Gainsborough Trinity v FC Halifax Town, 1,201
  • Harrogate Town v Guiseley, 661
  • Hinckley United v Nuneaton Town, 1,334
  • Hyde v Stalybridge Celtic, 1,868
  • Vauxhall Motors v Colwyn Bay, 343
  • Worcester City v Gloucester City, 1,501
  • Workington v Blyth Spartans, 590
    26 December 2011


    Following the game, the following have been updated:
  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.


    A hat-trick from Damian Reeves, bringing his total to 16 goals in the last 11 games, helped Altrincham to an ultimately comfortable win...

  • Match report.

    Right: James Lawrie receives congratulations for his goal from Jack Redshaw, Nicky Clee and Damian Reeves.


    Monday, 26 December
  • Altrincham 5 Droylsden 1
  • Bishop's Stortford 0 Histon 2
  • Boston United 4 Eastwood Town 2
  • Corby Town 0 Solihull Moors 3
  • Gainsborough Trinity 0 FC Halifax Town 1
  • Harrogate Town 0 Guiseley 4
  • Hinckley United 1 Nuneaton Town 1
  • Hyde FC 1 Stalybridge Celtic 1
  • Vauxhall Motors 1 Colwyn Bay 0
  • Worcester City 2 Gloucester City 1
  • Workington 2 Blyth Spartans 0


    As Altrincham prepare for their last game in 2011 at home to Droylsden on Boxing Day, the adjacent picture serves as a reminder of the changes at Moss Lane during the current calendar year. The image shows Alty's game on New Year's Day 2011, a goalless draw at home to Wrexham. Not one of the players pictured will start today's game; indeed, Stuart Coburn, Michael Twiss and Damian Reeves are the only squad members from that match who can be involved tomorrow, given Shaun Densmore's injury. The line up that day, less than a year ago, was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH (capt), 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 25. Matt SOMNER, 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 7. Robbie LAWTON, 21. James COATES, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 20. Sam HEWSON, 8. Damian REEVES.

    25 December 2011


    Altrincham Football Club extends its best wishes to all supporters for a happy Christmas and New Year. The Club would also like to thank everyone who has supported the Club during the past twelve months and hopes that they will continue to do so throughout 2012.


    After a three-week lay-off, Altrincham are set to play Droylsden at Moss Lane, this Monday (Boxing Day), kick-off is at 3pm. If you cannot make it to the game, Radio Robins, sponsored by will be broadcasting a full internet commentary. Brian Flynn announces that "The match commentary is sponsored by SK Kits. SK Kits are suppliers of quality sport kits throughout the UK and are owned by Altrincham's goalkeeping coach, Ian Senior. You can find out more about SK Kits on their website.

    The commentators on Monday are Paul Salt and Brian Flynn, with match summaries by Rod Thornley. There will be a pre-match interview repeated on a loop from 2.15pm with match commentary from 2.50pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

    For those who are unable to tune it during the game, there will be text Matchday Updates here on the website.


    A good friend of Altrincham FC, brother of Josh, and well-known for his work with the Manchester United fanzine "United We Stand" and as a football journalist, Andy Mitten has written a piece concerning an ex-Altrincham player in the National, a United Arab Emirates publication. It concerns Andrew Pearson (left), who was signed by Altrincham on 30 August 2009 but was released in late January 2010 after making 1(+5) appearances.

    Andy Mitten writes, "Some see it coming, others never forget the rejection, these talented young footballers with genuine hopes of reaching the top. They grow up as the best footballers in their street, their school, their area. Everyone talks about them. They are spotted by a English Premier League club and progress through the youth ranks. Contracts are signed and football becomes their full-time job. Everyone tells them how great they are, how lucky they are. They cannot help but think that stardom is imminent. And then they get called to see the manager.

    'Steve Bruce told me that he couldn't see me breaking into the first team', says Andrew Pearson, who had been at Wigan Athletic on a professional contract. 'He said that I wouldn't be getting a new deal... I'd been with Bolton since 14 and then Wigan, where I was captain of the reserves', Pearson says. 'I trained with the first team. Then I was 21 without a club and without a clue what to do next. It was awful... I thought other Football League clubs would be interested', he says, 'but the phone didn't ring... I drifted into non-league football. I didn't enjoy it'.

    Pearson got a job in an air-conditioning company. Then he ended up at Hyde FC".


    The Football Conference tells us that "Boston United have signed one of the most-travelled players currently around in striker Leon Constantine. The 33-year-old joins the Pilgrims after a short spell in Sussex with Lewes, having started this season with Braintree Town. He started out with Edgware Town before embarking on his professional career with Millwall in August 2000.

    He had loan stints at Leyton Orient and Partick Thistle whilst with the Lions, but managed only one appearances for his parent club before moving to Brentford in 2002. He has since moved at regular intervals, taking in stops of varying length at Southend, Peterborough, Torquay, Port Vale, Leeds, Northampton, Hereford and York City, as well as loan periods with Oldham Athletic and Cheltenham.

    United co-boss Lee Canoville was delighted to see Constantine put pen-to-paper to complete his switch to The Jakemans' Stadium. 'Leon is a big presence and a proven goalscorer throughout his career. It has taken some time to get him onboard, but we are delighted that he has agreed to join us. His experience will be invaluable in and around the younger lads at the top end of the pitch and we look forward to working with him'.

    "The latest issue of our free online monthly magazine,, is now freely available, and it's a Christmas special! [It] is available to read online for free right now at - check it out now!"

    The Worcester News says that "Worcester City are targeting a crowd of 1,500 for the home clash against Gloucester City – potentially the last ever Boxing Day game at St George’s Lane. On-song City want their largest gate of 2011 as they bid to round off the year in style in front of their own fans.

    Carl Heeley’s team are flying high in Blue Square Bet North, just three points off the play-off positions following last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Colwyn Bay, and have not lost on home soil in the league since September... The club are set to break the four-figure attendance barrier for the first time this season... With City due to have vacated their century-old ground in 18 months so Carey's New Homes can build on it, the eagerly-anticipated local derby is the last guaranteed Boxing Day fixture at the Lane.

    'I don’t think 1,500 is out of the question', director Rich Widdowson said. 'With how well we are playing, that’s what we have got to be looking for. That’s what we are targeting. We are getting 800 at the moment but Boxing Day is a traditional football occasion. We have one of the most entertaining sides for many a year so we are calling for people to come down to the Lane'".

    And Worcester City announce that "The planning application for Nunnery Way will be heard on Thursday, 5th January, 2012. Full details can be found here.

    "FC Halifax Town manager Neil Aspin has confirmed that winger Scott Hogan will be leaving the Club just a day after the news that defender Gregg Anderson has joined North Ferriby United on a permanent deal. Hogan is expected to join Stocksbridge Park Steels".

    Meanwhile, Eastwood Town report that "In light of pending re-negotiations with Derby County over the extension of the loan agreement of James Severn, John Ramshaw has secured the services of experienced goalkeeper Kyle Clancy as cover if needed. The initial loan period of James runs out on 31st December. Despite a substantial offer from Coalville Town (Evostik South) Sam Wood is staying loyal to Eastwood Town. John Ramshaw has said, 'I am delighted that Sam is staying despite him being offered a lot more money than we can afford to pay him'".

    24 December 2011


    TASC announce that "Tickets will be on sale for the Altrincham Football Club 2012 Draw at the home game against Droylsden on Boxing Day.

    In the last three years, the holding of the draw around the Christmas/New Year period has been hampered by matches being postponed due to the severe recent winters. This year, therefore, we have decided to launch at Christmas time, with the draw taking place on Saturday, March 10th, after the home game with Bishop's Stortford. (5.30pm in The Noel White Suite).

    The main prizes this year are as follows:-

  • Android Tablet PC
  • 22" TV/DVD Combo
  • £100 Portrait Photography Voucher at GR Photography
  • Four-Ball Round of Golf at Heyrose Golf Club, Tabley, Knutsford
  • Altrincham F.C. Home and Away Shirts plus match hospitality for two people at a home game.
  • PLUS MANY MORE!!!!!!!!

    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) would like to thank the following for their support in donating/organising these prizes:-

  • Robert O'Neill
  • The TASC Committee
  • Gavin Rathbone
  • Paul Salt
  • Ian Senior
  • Grahame Rowley

    Tickets are priced at £1 each or £5 for a book of five. As ever, we need ticket sellers, for the Boxing Day game against Droylsden. If you can help, please e-mail Steve Foster or ring him on 07876 767284".

    The annual Draw is a vital fundraiser for the Club so please buy and sell as many tickets as you can.


    This is Staffs tells us how "Leek Town have welcomed back former favourite Anthony Danylyk, from Altrincham... The return of midfielder Danylyk will excite Leek management, fans and players alike. The 29-year-old, from Lightwood, made 219 appearances and scored 21 goals in six years with Blues before stepping up to the Blue Square Premier League with Altrincham.

    Danylyk made 130 starts in three-and-a-half years with Alty, where he was club captain. But he is now out of contract, prompting Leek's move. Blues head of management, Lee Casswell, said 'I put in a call to him and Ant was keen enough to return that I followed up with official notice of approach. In fairness to Altrincham, their manager, Lee Sinnott, was good enough to waive the seven days' notice, so Ant will make his debut at New Mills on Boxing Day. Ant plays with a lot of enthusiasm and will bring a lot of energy to the side. He wants to play for the club and will give us a bit of a push. He will give the place a lift'".

    The NWCFL confirms that former Alty youth and reserve player, Aaron Hevingham has moved from Flixton to Bacup Borough.

    Pictured right from the archives; Alty leave the field after their Peter Swales Shield victory over Stalybridge in 1999. Stuart Coburn (right) leads them off with (l. to r.) Keith Russell, Danny Adams, Gary Talbot and Keith Ellison close behind. In the background are Simeon Hodson, Andy Lovelock, George Shepherd, Stuart Walker and Dickie Landon.


    "New Blues' boss Rod Stringer has hailed his quest to turn around the club's ailing fortunes as 'the toughest job' of his career" reports the Herts & Essex Observer. "Bishop's Stortford chief Stringer, who replaced Ian Walker 10 days ago, took Braintree Town up to the Conference last term, but believes keeping Blues' Blue Square Bet North status is a bigger quest - and has urged fans to turn out in force and support the club in their darkest hour...

    He said, 'When I came in at Braintree, a lot of players left but I had the pre-season to bring in new players. I don't have that luxury here. I've had to hit the ground running. The club is massively under-achieving. I haven't got a magic wand or a crystal ball. This is the toughest job in my history of being a manager'. Stringer has ruled out an instant influx of new players, as he wants to give the club's present players a fair chance, but many will not move regardless because they are getting more money play[ing] for teams one or even two divisions lower.

    'It's a very, very tough job because of that', confessed Stringer. The Blues' boss knows the only way to increase the budget is to attract more fans through the gate. He said, 'I want the supporters to come back. This is one of the hardest times in Stortford's history'...

    Playing in Conference North is like fumbling around during a power cut for 44-year-old Stringer. 'I can't do my homework. I don't know the [northern] players, the teams, the shapes. But we've got to make Woodside Park like a fortress. People are saying Stortford is a shambles. It's a nice place, nice set-up, but we've got to try and put things right'. Stortford face a huge double header against fellow Blue Square Bet North strugglers Histon over the festive period...

    On-loan Spurs and Scotland U-21 keeper Jordan Archer will play in these games. His loan ends on December 31, but Stringer hopes to extend this deal. Stringer has made his first signing by bringing in ex-Harlow Town stopper Adam Rafis from Redbridge in case Archer snubs another loan deal. He is the nephew of ex-Arsenal defender Tony Adams".

    According to the NL Paper, "Stalybridge Celtic have rejected an offer from Scunthorpe United for striker Connor Jennings. The 19-year-old has bagged 18 goals for the Celts so far this season, [which] prompted the Iron to make an undisclosed bid to secure his services. However, chairman ...Rob Gorski says it will take a larger offer than the one made be Scunthorpe to take the teenager away from Bower Fold... Gorski said, 'We expect a six-figure fee for Connor and we have had eight clubs showing an interest. We will not stand in his way but this offer grossly undervalues his worth. We've never had a player like him, he is hugely talented'".

    The Worcester News tells us that "Manager Carl Heeley insists any additions at Worcester City would have to improve the existing squad. With right-back Martyn Naylor suspended for the back-to-back local derbies against Gloucester City and holding midfielder Rob Elvins still on his way back from shoulder ligament damage, City have been scouring the market for cover...

    However, Heeley is not about to recruit purely to make up the numbers and, with his side challenging for the Blue Square Bet North play-offs... he said, 'We have irons in the fire but it has to be on our terms and they have to be better players than we have got. If nothing happens, we are happy with what we have got'... City are currently operating with a squad of 18, although striker Luke Corbett is currently on a one-month loan at Leamington".

    This is Lincs tells us that "Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham has thrown his support behind Darryn Stamp following the striker's outburst during a goal celebration at Histon. The Trinity striker is believed to have hit out at his critics after he netted the Blues' equaliser in the 1-1 draw...

    'Some of the fans give a lot of stick to Darryn Stamp', said Housham... 'He's not an out and out centre forward. He's a different sort of player who brings others into the game, but he does score goals too'.

    Stamp was not the only Blues player who aired his frustration against the Stutes. After being substituted, Leon Mettam kicked the water bottles next to the dugouts. 'Leon was frustrated by his own performance. He knows he let his standards drop, he was not frustrated with the fans', said Housham... 'Both him and Stamp are passionate and determined... They could walk off the pitch and not care, but they are not like that. They are passionate and they want to win football games. It is good to see they care'....

    'These next few games are the ones you relish the chance to play in', said Housham. 'We don't want to drop out of the play-offs, that goes without saying... [Playing Halifax], It is a massive challenge. On paper, Halifax are the biggest club in the league, but we are just as big... 'I hope to have Ryan Kendall back in contention because we have missed him', said Housham... 'Kendall is the leading goalscorer for the club and that makes him a big miss'".


    Two of our previous opponents in the Conference Premier have contrasting futures; a club which was relegated with Alty last season has ambitious plans, whilst a club which was promoted back to the national level is, once again, in financial trouble...

    The Eastbourne Herald reports that "Eastbourne Borough unveiled ambitious plans this week to improve facilities at Priory Lane... Vice chairman of the CIC group Paul Maynard went through the proposed changes. The main focus of the development will be on the North Stand where the club plan to install a number of executive boxes and also add new changing rooms and a players' entrance and tunnel.

    The East Stand is due to have 16 tiers of terracing to improve the atmosphere while the south stand is planned to be extended to provide additional seating with youth team changing rooms built along the back of the stand facing a new pitch for the youth team. New turnstiles will be placed on the north-east corner of the ground. An indoor archery area is on the plan and in the future they hope to have on site health and fitness facilities.

    The committee are looking at the possibility of acquiring land to develop a floodlit 3G football pitch to improve training facilities... Maynard reiterated the ambition to compete as a full-time club within three to five years and their commitment to the youth development centre... Chairman Smith said, 'We hope to submit the final plans to the council in March or April 2012. It is a costly exercise and it will be funded by a combination of grants, investment and by the club'".

    And the BBC says that "Ebbsfleet United have admitted they need to find £50,000 by the end of the season or risk going out of business. The Fleet are 16th in the Blue Square Bet Premier and have the seventh-lowest average attendance in the division.

    'Our gates are down, mainly because of the amount of home matches that have been scheduled for a Tuesday evening', said club director Jessica McQueen. 'Solutions need to be found to provide £50,000 between now and the end of the season. It's going to be a tall order. Our advertising and promotions are also below the line we had hoped for and I can tell you it is not for the want of trying'".


    Altrincham FC is offering Half-Season Tickets valid from Boxing Day till the end of the season. These are good value at:
  • Seated: £135 (£65 for concessionaries)
  • Standing: £115 (£60 for concessionaries)

    You can get yours from the club offices up to 2pm today (Friday). You can contact the club on 0161 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    Leek Town have confirmed that Stoke-based Anthony Danylyk, who asked to be released from Altrincham this week, has - as expected - rejoined the Stafforshire club.


    The Football Conference reports that "Vauxhall Motors have brought midfielder Scott Phelan 'home' on loan for a month. Liverpool-born Phelan, 23, joins Motors from Kidderminster Harriers. He penned a one-year deal with Harriers in June 2011 having begun his career in the youth system at Everton where he rose through the ranks to captain their under-18s and reserve sides. Following his release from Goodison Park he joined Bradford City in the summer of 2007, making a gradual breakthrough into the first-team. He made sixteen appearances at Valley Parade before being released after one season. From there he linked up with phoenix club FC Halifax Town... [and] racked up more than 100 games for the club".

    According to the Eastwood Advertiser, "Midfielder Ross Gardner has returned to the club from Shildon... whilst negotiations are ongoing with regard to bringing goalkeeper Ian Deakin back from Staveley and left-back Chris Shaw from Hednesford. Young striker Greg Simmons, 17, has also been given a deal after impressing for the reserves.

    Ramshaw added, 'Ross has been fantastic in that all he is asking for is expenses to cover travelling from the north-east, so we won’t be paying him a playing wage. He just wanted to come back and help us out. We’ve put in seven days’ notice for Deaks and Chris Shaw... with James Severn returning to Derby next week and the quality we know Shawy has, both would be great signings".

    In the North Wales Weekly News, we learn that "Jon Newby heads into his first Christmas in football management on the back of three successive defeats but is more eager than ever to cement a long-term future in charge at Colwyn Bay.

    'I hope I can do a good enough job to stay at Colwyn Bay for years to come because it is absolutely what I want', he said this week... 'I have found it a lot more hard work than I thought I would, particularly all the paperwork and juggling the team to fit a tight budget. Also, from being team-mates with everyone I am suddenly their manager and having to make decisions that can upset people you regard as friends... I still feel I have goals in me, but I have found it hard to concentrate on my own game when I am trying to watch and analyse what everyone else is doing', he said.

    'I have spoken to Stu (assistant manager Stuart Barlow) at length about it and maybe a solution is to let him do all the managing and team-talks at half-time while I think about what I'm doing... I have certainly found it is a job where you go from one emotion to another very quickly. After we scored six goals against Droylsden the other week I was getting loads of phone calls from people saying how well I was doing, and now suddenly we have lost three games on the bounce and I am under scrutiny... As a player I have always tended to dwell on a defeat for days, but I've got to learn not to do that because as manager I have to lift and inspire the players for the next game'".


    The FA has details of how "England C will kick-off their 2013 International Challenge Trophy (ICT) campaign against Italy at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium on 28 February 2012... Admission for the game will be free and Fairclough commented, 'I am delighted that we’ll open up our ICT campaign in the North-West of the country...

    Fleetwood Town Chairman, Andy Pilley, said, 'We are absolutely delighted with the recognition of the great facilities we now have at Highbury and I’m sure we’ll be excellent hosts on the evening. It’s not just about the facilities but our outstanding pitch which is easiest the best in the Football Conference thanks to our groundsman Dale Frith".

    22 December 2011


    Altrincham entertain Droylsden at Moss Lane on Boxing Day (3pm).

    Mike Garnett's statistics reveal the following about previous games between these two sides...

  • At Moss Lane: P14-W12-D2-L0-F46-A14
  • At Droylsden: P12-W4-D1-L7-F17-A20
  • Overall: P26-W16-D3-L7-F63-A34

    Curiously, three players who have captained Altrincham this season are not available for the game on Sunday - Robbie Lawton and Anthony Danylyk have both recently left the club, whilst Shaun Densmore injured his knee in training. So, excluding four loanees (Dodd, Hawes, Matt Flynn and Tomsett) and four current youth team players (Coombs, Watmore, Fearon, Reid), Altrincham have just eleven other first-team players available as they go into this match against their neighbours.

    Right: Shaun Densmore in action against Gloucester, as captured by the camera of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

    At Droylsden there are several ex-Robins including Dale Johnson and Warren Peyton, as well as former trialist defender, Nat Kerr.


    Altrincham FC held a successful carol service on Tuesday night at Moss Lane. Led by Alty club chaplain, Rev. Andy Barclay-Watts from LifeChurch Sale, the guest speaker was a member of that church, Onosa'i Auva'a, a 26 year-old Samoan flanker, who plays for Sale Sharks. He described his first ever encounter with snow last week, which led to him sending his father photos of the snow at training before he realised it was only 2am back home. He was so excited it took him 10 minutes to realise he was very cold!

    The event was a mixture of readings and carols and for the "Twelve Days of Christmas", volunteers helped with the actions. None other than Alty matchday secretary and youth team manager George Heslop interpreted the verse concerning "Nine Ladies Dancing", which left an indelible impression on those who saw it!


    TASC chairman, Brian Flynn, writes...

    "The winners of the latest TASC Monthly Draw Prizes are as follows:-

  • Match hospitality for two people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge - Linda Pickles
  • Supporters' coach travel for two people to an away game - Arnold Rogerson
  • Framed picture with favourite Altrincham player - Dan Eadie

    Congratulations to Linda, Arnold and Dan".


    Coventry City Mad says that "Former Coventry City youngster Adam Walker feels that Nuneaton Town are heading for a place in the Conference. Walker, who had eleven years at City coming through the club's ranks to make his first team debut versus Sheffield Wednesday in 2009, plays along side former City Reserve teamer and current Academy coach Mark Noon in the heart of Nuneaton's midfield and told the CT's Derek Brown, 'There’s no argument about, I reckon we’re going up... Since we went to a 4-4-2 we’ve clicked and the league table doesn’t lie'".

    According to the Halifax Courier, "Jamie Rainford is thinking no further than the festive double header with Gainsborough Trinity despite the growing clamour from Town fans for boss Neil Aspin to make his move from Chester permanent... The former Marine hitman took his tally for the Shaymen to five in seven games... at the weekend...

    He said, 'This loan deal is up on January 2. When that is up, it is between the two clubs... I am happy here, enjoying it and playing, which is the main thing for me'".

    From Pitchero Non-League comes news that "Vauxhall Motors must start defending better as a team or risk being dragged into a relegation scrap. That is the verdict of manager Carl Macauley as he prepares his side for the big festive double-header with Colwyn Bay. No team in the bottom half of the table has scored more goals than Motors – thirty-two in twenty-one matches – but their inability to keep a clean sheet – it is now twenty-five league games since they last shut out the opposition – means they sit just six points above the drop spots...

    Macauley said, 'We are a couple of wins away from mid-table but what we’ve got to do is make sure we’re not dragged into the relegation places... With the likes of Leighton McGivern and Josh Wilson in the team we will always score goals. I think Leighton is up to fourteen league goals now and that’s just five or six behind the top scorers in the league, who all play for teams up there near the top. That speaks volumes for Leighton. What we’ve got to do is improve at the other end of the field, start keeping clean sheets and defending better. Not just the back four, but as a team'”.

    Meanwhile, the Motors' next opponents are also the subject of a managerial exhortation as the North Wales Pioneer which tells us that "Bay boss Jon Newby has called for his side to tighten up at both ends of the pitch after losing their third straight game to Worcester City. The Royals took home a 2-0 win from the Red Lion Foods Stadium as the Seagulls again failed to convert their chances.

    Newby said that he was disappointed with the result after his side’s decent performance, and called for more ruthlessness in front of goal... He said, 'It was the same old story in football, if you don’t take your chances you don’t win games. We’re probably not being clinical enough at both ends, we’re not taking our chances going foward and we look too easy to score against at the moment'".


    This is Sussex reports that "Crawley Town co-owner Susan Carter has warned Reds' fans the club may have to sell players in the January transfer window to help balance the books at the Broadfield Stadium. The Town chief admits she is 'disappointed' attendances have not grown this season as much as the club's board had hoped, and says unless the Reds can start to increase their match day revenue, cuts will need to be made to meet Football League rules.

    She said, 'We have to be sensible and if offers come in then we will need to sit down and consider them. We could have some very difficult decisions to make. I would hate for us to have to sell a player for financial reasons, and we don't want to lose any of our best players as we are well placed in the league but, if the right price comes along, I think every club is a selling club... We run a very tight ship'...

    'In League Two we have something called the Salary Cost Management Protocol', explained Carter. 'It means we can't spend more than 55 per cent of our income on players' wages in a season. At the moment we aren't hitting that so if fans want us to be able to retain our best players then they have to back us now. I think for a lot of fans this is an inconvenient truth but of course it will have a bearing on what we can do in the transfer window'.

    Attendances at the Broadfield this season have increased; although Carter says... 'We are disappointed with the amount gates have gone up this season as I think in all honesty we were expecting them to rise more', she added. 'This is probably the most prudently run club in the division and on the field we are the most successful we have ever been in our history... I'm disappointed we are still only averaging 3,000 in league games and in all honesty I don't know what else we can do. If we are to sustain and build on what we have achieved we need to be getting it up to 4,500 as a minimum... We have a new stand going up and I'm challenging the fans to pack it out and create a rocking atmosphere at the Broadfield for the rest of the season. We need to get more people through the door if we want to progress'.

    Carter says it is her ambition to see Crawley become totally self-sufficient and not reliant upon any wealthy individuals to bankroll them... 'There could be a time in the future when the owners don't want to or can't afford to subsidise the club... The owners could never be expected to risk their own businesses by keep investing in the football club when they have staff they pay who are dependent on them... We had a comedy night last month and only 52 people turned up. People can't expect the club to be able to go out and buy top players if they don't do their bit by supporting us'".

    Broadfield's capacity is currently 4,996 and gates are typically around 3,000. The club has 30+ players on its books.


    Bullsnews recently poublished a useful reminder of the rules relating to suspension; these also apply to our division...
  • If a player accumulates five cautions in first team competitive matches between the opening day of the season and 31 December, he will be suspended for one match.
  • If a player accumulates five cautions in first team competitive matches between the opening day of the season and the last day of the season he will be warned as to his future conduct - no suspension.
  • If a player accumulates ten cautions in first team competitive matches between the opening day of the season and the second Sunday of April he will be suspended for two matches.
  • If a player accumulates ten cautions in first team competitive matches between the opening day of the season and the last day of the season he will be severely censured - no suspension.
  • If a player accumulates 15 cautions in first team competitive matches between the opening day of the season and the last day of the season he will be suspended for three matches".

    Emergency loans do not apply in the BSB North but they do in the BSB Premier. Bullsnews also reports that "FIFA are set to bring in new rules for emergency and youth loans which would mean that less players are likely to move to smaller clubs for short periods. During the last six years 2,400 players have moved under the system, the world governing body has ruled that emergency loans breach rules governing transfer windows and will be banned from 2014...

    According to the Daily Telegraph, a letter to all 72 Football League Clubs from chief officer Andy Williamson explained what's happened. 'I have to advise you that, despite direct representations from both the Football Association and ourselves, FIFA have concluded that our domestic Emergency Loans (and Youth Loans) are contrary to the international statutes covering the Status and Transfer of Players. The effect of this ruling is that short-term loans will not be allowed during the 'closed’ periods between transfer windows, starting from season 2014/15'...

    In summary the new rules will not stop loans but they will have to be agreed before the end of August or during January transfer window".

    21 December 2011


    The rearranged date for Altrincham's trip to Blyth Spartans is Tuesday, 24 January, k.o. 7.45pm.


    Altrincham FC have signed on a one-month loan, Liam Tomsett, d.o.b. 27/10/92. He is a central midfielder who, after 6 years at Bloomfield Road, signed with Blackpool's youth department in May, 2009. Liam made his first-team debut in the third round of the 2010–11 FA Cup in January, 2011 and signed a professional contract this summer. He was allocated Charlie Adam's former no.26 shirt at Blackpool.


    Although it is not broadcast by Sky or ESPN, tonight's Fulham v Manchester United game will be shown live tonight in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The bar opens at 7.30pm for an 8pm kick off; everyone welcome.


    TASC is running supporters' travel to Droylsden on New Year's Day; details are on the Away Travel page. A flat fare of £10 applies for this journey.


    This is Glos reports that "David Livermore, manager of Histon, is looking to bring in a defender on loan following Remy Clerima’s injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Gainsborough Trinity. Frenchman Clerima limped off with a hamstring injury moments before half time, and player/boss Livermore fears the centre-back could be out for several weeks.

    With Dallas Moore and Zak Mills already sidelined, the Stutes are down to the bare bones at the back... Said Livermore of Clerima’s setback, 'We’re a little bit short back there as it is, so we might have to see if we can do something'... Youngster Harri Hawkins came on as a substitute for Clerima on Saturday and gave an impressive display at left-back. 'I’m not worried about putting him in because I know he can go out there and perform for us', said Livermore" to Cambridge News.

    According to the Football Conference, "Bishop`s Stortford have signed goalkeeper Adam Rafis from Ryman League Division One North side Redbridge. Rafis, 27, is an experienced non-League goalkeeper with previous spells with the likes of Aveley, Romford and Harlow Town. But his performances for Redbridge during their remarkable FA Cup run this season brought him national exposure. Higher league clubs had expressed an interest in him and Redbridge boss Terry Spillane decided to bring in Joe Wright from league rivals Cheshunt as a replacement. 'Higher clubs had come in for Adam over the last few weeks, and he believes he can test himself higher', Spillane said at the time".

    NL Daily says that "Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker has praised tenants Gloucester City for their professionalism after the clubs agreed a one-year extension to their groundshare arrangement. The Tigers will remain at the Abbey Business Stadium for a third season as they continue to put together plans for a new home in Gloucester.

    'We are delighted to have renegotiated the deal with Gloucester and they have been very professional to deal with', Baker said. 'I have a good relationship with their chairman Nigel Hughes and a lot of affection for the club as a whole because it is very well run and we have nothing but praise for them. It provides important revenue for us and it's a no brainer'.

    Gloucester's use of the stadium has bumped up income from sponsorship and advertising boards, while the Robins have even been able to negotiate an improved deal with their catering and beer suppliers".

    In the Coventry Telegraph we read that "Nuneaton Town’s newest recruit Alex Dean made a successful home debut in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Harrogate Town and was delighted to renew his non-league playing career at Boro on such a high. Dean, twin brother to the side’s centre-back Gareth, came in at right back to replace the injured Graham Ward as Boro stretched their unbeaten run to eight games and strengthened their top-four place.

    And after a tentative and breathless start, Dean showed enough to suggest he’s going to be a big asset as Boro go for a fourth play-off season on the spin. 'It was a bit fast early on', he said, 'I was gasping for the first quarter of a hour. Not playing for a month left me short on match fitness but once I got my second breath I really enjoyed the game and was more than happy to start my second spell at the club on a winning note'.

    The 21-year-old had been at Boro, alongside Gareth, through the youth team ranks before playing with Nuneaton Griff and then moving to Bedworth United at the start of the present campaign along with manager Steve Farmer".

    20 December 2011


    It is with regret that Altrincham FC announces that, following a request from the player, Anthony Danylyk (right) has been released by the Club. It is believed he is returning to Leek Town, the club at which he began his career. We wish Anthony all the best in his future career and thank him for his three and a half years' service at Moss Lane.

    Anthony, who has captained the side several times this season, made 130+21 appearances for the club, scoring three goals. He joined Leek Town in March 2002 and joined Altrincham on 8 June 2008. He started his career at Stoke City before being released and signing for Stone Dominoes. Anthony made his Alty league debut as a used substitute on 9 August 2008 and soon made a good impression as a ball-winning central midfielder. This season he has started every league game, except one for which he was suspended.


    Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies, writes...

    "Training night at BTH... Just to let you all know that training this Thursday 22/12 is off due to BTH closing for Christmas, we return back to training on the 5th January 7pm till 8pm as usual with a league cup game (AWAY) v AFC Stockport on the Sunday (8/01), 2pm kick off. May I also take this opportunity to wish all players and coaches with the Ladies team as well as all the staff and players and supporters who have followed us all year at Altrincham FC a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, here's to a prosperous 2012....UP THE ALTY.!"


    Tuesday, 20 December, is the date for the annual Altrincham FC Christmas Carol evening at Moss Lane. The event, which takes place in the Noel White Suite (bar), will be led by Club Chaplain, Andy Barclay-Watts and it starts at 8pm. Everyone is welcome and all attendees can enjoy a mince pie!


    Each year Altrincham FC remembers those of its supporters and their families who have died in the preceding twelve months in the annual roll call of remembrance, led by Rev. Andy Barclay-Watts. This year the roll call will be made on Boxing Day at the match against Droylsden. If you would like to have a name mentioned in the roll call, please let the club know as soon as possible, either by e-mail or phone (0161 928-1045).


    Over the festive season, the Altrincham FC offices will be open as follows:
  • Tuesday / Wednesday (20/21 Dec.) open 0900-1730
  • Thursday / Friday (22/23 Dec.) open 0900-1400
  • Closed from Saturday (24 Dec.) to Thursday (29th) inclusive
  • Friday (30 Dec.) open 0900-1400
  • Closed Saturday (31 Dec.) to Monday (2 Jan.) inclusive. Re-open from Tuesday 3 January 2012.


    Altrincham FC Youth's remaining league fixtures are here.


    The Chronicle Live states that "New Blyth Spartans boss Tommy Cassidy was left kicking his heels after Saturday’s game against Altrincham was one of only two Blue Square Bet North games postponed. Croft Park failed an early- morning pitch inspection, leaving Cassidy to take the squad for an indoor training session in North Shields...

    Cassidy said, 'I had a great time at Workington and should never have left them to take over at Newcastle Blue Star... He added, 'Blyth have only picked up 12 points from a possible 60 and are in a difficult position, but I will have a real go at it and hopefully we will get out of trouble'... Cassidy, still to complete the second of a two-match touchline ban picked up at previous club Whitby Town, has been assured he can strengthen his squad. The former Newcastle midfielder said, 'I will be looking to bring two or three new faces in. We need a defensive midfielder who can add a bit of bite and two other areas need addressing'".

    According to the a href="">Football Conference "Boston United have parted company with experienced defender Alan White. The veteran centre half has opted to join rivals Harrogate Town after the Yorkshire club submitted a written seven-day notice of approach for the non-contract player. White, who has been making the long commute to Lincolnshire from his home in Darlington, was left out of the Pilgrims’ squad at Guiseley on Saturday having stated his intention to join Harrogate ahead of the Christmas and New Year period".

    And "Corby Town have signed former Norwich City defender Pat Bexfield from King`s Lynn. Bexfield, who joined Lynn in August 2010, is a right-back or midfielder who progressed through Cambridge United youth squads and then joined Norwich's under-16 squad for the 2004/05 season and went on to play for the Canaries` reserves, making a few appearances on the first-team bench at the end of the 2006/07 season. He was released by the Canaries in May 2008 and had a trial with Cambridge United but subsequently signed for Wisbech Town in August 2008... he joined Needham Market and then onto Cambridge City in August 2009, making twenty-four starts and a further fifteen substitute appearances in a period which also saw a month's loan at Biggleswade Town. Bexfield made seventy-eight appearances for Lynn before asking to be released last week in order to try and play at a higher level".

    We learn from This is Nottingham that "Eastwood Town boss John Ramshaw is hopeful an influx of new signings will help the club turn a corner after Workington inflicted their fifth straight league defeat with a 3-0 scoreline. Ramshaw, without a win since rejoining the Badgers in early November, has now seen them ship 21 goals in those five games but believes his new-look squad is more than capable of dragging the side clear of relegation trouble...

    Ramshaw said, 'We need to keep teams on the back foot for longer though and I'm hoping the signing of Peter Knox will aid that as he is a very good presence up front who can hold the ball up'. Moves have also been made to bring former Badger, Ross Gardner, back to Coronation Park from his home-town north-east side Shildon, with the midfielder likely to move in the next few days.

    But having conceded 52 goals in only 21 games, the worst record in the Blue Square North, Ramshaw has highlighted his defence as an area of weakness and has moved fast to bring in former Chesterfield full-back Cameron Fearon. 'These signings will hopefully help us be more resilient and give us more of a chance', he added... Ramshaw has also moved four players on, with recent signing Emeka Nwadike joining Mickleover Sports on loan to regain some match sharpness. Defender Aaron Mitchell has left for Hucknall Town, midfielder Tom Manship has signed for Loughborough Dynamo and Liam Francis has left to play in the West Midlands".


    The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Kettering Town Football Club has been locked out of its former ground by baliffs acting on behalf of the site owners. This morning, youth coaching staff, supporters’ trust members and an employee of the club’s social club turned up at Rockingham Road to find notices of foreiture pinned up around the ground. The notice states bailiffs Howes Percival LLP, on behalf of owner Ben Pickering Ltd, have entered the premises and no person should now enter without consent from the firm. Although the club’s playing team no longer plays at the ground, the social club still operates and club stock, such as balls and kit, are stored there".
    19 December 2011 <


    Pitchero Non-League reports that in the game on Saturday which ended Marine 1 Chester 2,"experienced midfielder, Robbie Lawton, was substituted following an accidental collision that left him with a bloody, broken nose". We wish him a speedy recovery. Wes Baynes netted the first of Chester's goals.

    Kieran Lugsden netted the winner as Buxton won 4-3 at Whitby Town. In midweek, Chris Denham hit two for Chorley in their Lancashire FA Trophy game at Bamber Bridge, and Astley Mulholland scored for FCUM in the Doodson Sport Cup.

    Danny Heffernan scored the first for Salford City as they beat Mossley 4-1.


    The Football Conference says that "Boston United have completed the 'work experience' loan signing of striker Jacob Joyce from Peterborough United. The 17-year-old... has recently spent a successful loan spell with Hinckley United."

    And "Hyde FC have brought in young striker Reece Gray from Rochdale. The 19-year-old is a young striker who made his debut for 'Dale as a substitute against Burton Albion in the final home game of the 2009/10 campaign. He also appeared off the bench in the match at Barnet a week later and to date has made four senior appearances".

    Harrogate Town have confirmed that "Liam Darville and Luke Ashworth have left the club. Darville, a right back, and Ashworth, a centre back, joined Town on 9 September 2011. Darville made a total of 16 appearances while Ashworth made 10 appearances and scored against Eastwood Town".

    One of them has soon found new employers as PItchero Non-League confirms that "FC Halifax Town have signed 6'3” central defender Luke Ashworth from league rivals Harrogate Town. Starting off at Wigan Athletic, Ashworth enjoyed a loan spell at Leyton Orient where he made his first-team debut against Southend United in the Carling Cup. After he was released from Wigan, he had little hesitation in joining Orient permanently. At the end of the 2009/10 season he left on a free transfer and joined Rotherham United, where he made five more appearances".

    "Dean Thomas, manager of Hinckley United... has drafted in Loughborough Dynamo striker Matt Langham and he could join goalkeeper Denham Hinds in the starting line-up. The Knitters' boss said, 'Matt has scored goals for Loughborough and he was keen to come here. We need to be giving players like him a chance. He’s big and strong so he should be a good target man. Denham will play in goal. I’ve been really impressed with him and he deserves his chance to start and keep the shirt if he does well'. Goalkeeper Dave Bevan, who was signed to replace Hinds, has been loaned to Sutton Coldfield Town. Veteran Richard Lavery is back in the squad after illness, while midfielder Lloyd Kerry serves a one-match ban" reports the Nuneaton News.

    Blyth Spartans say that "On Saturday Blyth Spartans new manager Tommy Cassidy didn’t know if he was coming or going. He’d been down to be a Guest of Honour at Newcastle United’s home tie with Swansea but having been appointed by Blyth late in the previous week he had to rearrange things as the Spartans were due to take on Altrincham on the same afternoon. But in the morning the game at Croft Park was called off due to a frozen pitch and the 61 year-old Northern Ireland international then needed to make tracks to a hastily arranged training session.

    Nevertheless, the former Newcastle and Burnley midfielder was only concerned about his new side’s postponed fixture. 'I was dreading the game being off', he said. 'I really wanted it on so I could take a good look at the players. I need time to assess them. Some may say they are not good enough but I want to give them a chance'... The Irishman managed Workington for six successful seasons then Blue Star and latterly, until earlier this season, Whitby.

    He intends to use his contacts in the game in his new role. 'I know John Carver at Newcastle well and I used to play with Martin O’Neill for Northern Ireland', he said. He is clear about his overriding aim.

    'It’s to stay in this league' he commented. '12 points out of 60 to date is not good enough. It will be a really hard job to escape relegation but I’ve come to Blyth to give it a go. From what I’ve seen, after two training sessions, we may have the players here to do what we need to do. I’ve noticed a lot of good points but I know, from experience, that some players can be brilliant during the week in training but the opposite on match days. The reverse can also be true – take Malcolm McDonald in my days at St. James’ Park, for example, he was rubbish Monday to Friday and then go out and score hatricks!... I’ve pulled five or six of the more senior players to one side and asked them for their opinions on why the club is doing so badly. It’s been a useful exercise and has given me some pointers'...

    A self deprecating Cassidy commented, 'I couldn’t run as a player but I do believe it is important to pass the ball and play good football. While I’m no fan of the Stoke City approach, what we need now are points and if we have to play what some might call "rubbish football" to get those points then so be it... The Spartans are a big name and I know that if we were in the top six of the Blue Square North, never mind a league above, then we would be getting gates of around 1000'...

    'I still have a lot of friends at Workington', he continued. 'Leaving them to join Blue Star was the worst decision I ever made. So I’m looking forward to Boxing Day and will be hoping to secure a win for Blyth'...

    In the meantime, Cassidy is moving to bring through further changes; the Croft Park pitch which he describes as "terrible", and needing significant work doing being one while he also believes that the time spent on the training ground needs to be longer. 'Two hours a week is not enough', he said. 'We need more like three or four hours and we need to work more outdoors. Training is obviously important and I like to make sessions varied and enjoyable. I don’t want players shrugging their shoulders and rolling their eyes after training. They need to look forward to it and a good session helps team spirit'.

    Cassidy intends to work with the club’s Sports Scientist Anna Wilkie this week on fitness monitoring. Coach Gavin Fell and goalkeeping coach Carl King are still at the club after Cuggy’s departure".

    Meanwhile, Workington tell us that "Very few shareholders attended the Annual General Meeting but those present heard chairman Humphrey Dobie’s honest appraisal of the current situation at Borough Park. He admitted he was concerned about the team’s current standing in Blue Square Bet North but then issued a defiant vote of confidence for manager Darren Edmondson.

    He touched on the construction of the new bridge and the impact it was having on the ground perimeter. He also informed those present of the path they were taking regarding the long awaited new stand, stressing the importance of a long term lease being crucial to future progress. The chairman reported that the club was in a healthy situation financially but informed everyone that the proposed takeover bid by Baron Bloom a few months ago was not a viable proposition".

    18 December 2011


    Three games today are to be shown live on TV in the bar at Moss Lane; everybody welcome!
  • 12 noon - QPR v Man. United
  • 2pm - Aston Villa v Liverpool
  • 4pm - Man. City v Arsenal


    The postponement of today's Altrincham FC Ladies' match at home to Delta Colts FC completes a trio of called-off games for Altrincham's first, youth and ladies' teams this weekend.
    17 December 2011


    Saturday 17 Dec.
  • Through the Years for 17 December, by Howard Watts.
  • Blyth Spartans v Altrincham POSTPONED
  • Colwyn Bay 0 Worcester City 2
  • Droylsden v Corby Town FC POSTPONED
  • Eastwood Town 0 Workington 3
  • FC Halifax Town 6 Hinckley United 1
  • Gloucester City 0 Bishops Stortford 1
  • Guiseley 2 Boston United 1
  • Histon 1 Gainsborough Trinity 1
  • Hyde FC 4 Vauxhall Motors 2
  • Nuneaton Town 2 Harrogate Town 0
  • Solihull Moors 1 Stalybridge Celtic
  • League table


    For the Boxing Day game at Moss Lane against our local rivals, Droylsden, Altrincham FC is offering matchday hospitality in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge at discounted rates. For Altrincham FC season tickets, the price is just £20, whilst for for non-season ticket holders it is only £29.50. The price includes admission, a hot pre-match meal prepared by club caterer Richie Bentley, a complimentary drink and matchday programme, and a match preview fromn Alty manager, Lee Sinnott - what's more, Christmas crackers are included! At half-time there is tea or coffee and light refreshments.

    To book your places, ring 0161 928-1045 or e-mail the club.


    Today's match at Blyth has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. Alty's next game is now on Boxing Day, at home to Droylsden (3pm).


    On the eve of their match against Altrincham "Blyth Spartans can confirm that Tommy Cassidy has accepted the position as Manager of the Club. Final details have been agreed and a contract will be signed before tomorrow’s home game against Altrincham".

    Back on 25 October 2011, Get Noticed reported that "Former Workington Reds boss Tommy Cassidy has quit Whitby Town after what he called an 'embarrassing' FA Trophy exit at the hands of Woodley Sports, from the league below, on Saturday... They are currently third bottom of the Evo Stik Premier Division".

    the BBC Newcastle adds that "As a player Cassidy represented Northern Ireland at the 1982 World Cup and won 24 caps, as well as Burnley and Newcastle United".


    As well as the injured Shaun Densmore, Alty will also be without defender Rob Williams, whose loan period from Telford has now ended. He made 12(+1) appearances this season. Having previously spent two seasons at Moss Lane, Rob's total appearances for the club now total 106(+8) in which he scored nine times. Altrincham FC would like to thank him for his services and wishes him well for the future.


    "Harrogate Town can confirm that they have signed experienced midfielder Michael Brough. Michael has played for Forest Green Rovers, Darlington and Mansfield to name but a few".

    Meanwhile "Vauxhall Motors have re-signed teenager Pat Lacey until March 15th", according to Pitchero Non-League. "Central midfielder Lacey returns to Motors from Bradford City. Bradford signed Lacey from Sheffield Wednesday in July 2011. The 18-year-old, who came through the ranks at Hillsborough, was released by the Owls in the summer and signed a one-year-deal at Valley Parade. He spent a month at Rivacre Road earlier this season".


    Colin Peake, PR & Media Board Director of The Football Conference has notified clubs that "Premier Sports will again cover their next Blue Square Bet Premier LIVE match - York City v Kidderminster - in the unique, fan-friendly way, of inter-action with the commentators/presenters whilst the match is in progress. After a world-first for televised football, when viewers were able to join in via Twitter, Facebook and email during the recent screened match between Wrexham and Darlington, Steve Bower and Ian Snodin are looking for even greater inter-action, with the experinment proving very successful.

    Selected messages are shown on-screen and responded to whilst the game is being played. 'We were blown away by the quantity, quality and variety of messages and tweets we got to @steveandsnods during the recent Wrexham game', said Premier Sports Richard Webb. 'The real strength of it was how quickly we were able to respond to fans' views, for example on Wrexham's controversial winning goal, ‘added commentator Steve Bower. 'The fans were magnificent and we want more of the same next Monday. But this time we want all those players and managers on twitter to follow us and get in touch too!'

    York City v Kidderminster Harriers is live on Premier Sports at 7:30pm next Monday night with a kick off time of 7:45pm.

    You can get in touch with the show in-game on:

  • Twitter - @steveandsnods
  • Facebook -
  • Email -"
    16 December 2011


    Following training on Thursday night, Alty manager Lee Sinnott reported that his captain, midfielder Shaun Densmore (right), would be out for three or four weeks after "tweaking his knee in a tackle in training". Otherwise the squad is fit, although Stuart Coburn did not train as he has been under the weather. But the Alty keeper fully expects to be fine for the game at Blyth on Saturday. With three more games needed to take him to a total of 150 appearances for the Robins, Shaun's absence this Saturday leaves Stuart Coburn and Damian Reeves as the club's only two players to have started every league game this season.

    Lee is obviously aware that Blyth have parted company with their manager, (see below), but he stressed that what is most important on Saturday is how Altrincham themselves perform, not what is going on at the opposition club. With more or less a full week between each game over Christmas and New Year, the Alty boss acknowledges that it is an important period but one which does not deviate too much from the normal calendar of games.


    NL Daily tells us that Matt Fearon made a successful debut for Clitheroe where the Alty Youth team defender is gaining some first-team experience. The adds that Clitheore "are now unbeaten in three following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Mossley". Manager Carl Garner said, “The conditions were truly awful, and made it extremely difficult to play any kind of football. We defended really well the entire game though, and that was good to see... and Matty Fearon had a really good debut".


    The manager of our next opponents has departed, as
    Blyth Spartans announce that "Steve Cuggy has departed his post as manager, with immediate effect. An amicable agreement was made between Cuggy and the board, leading to his departure".

    The Journal Live adds that "Spartans last night parted company with manager Steve Cuggy after a run of two wins from 20 games had left the club rooted to the bottom of Blue Square Bet North... Cuggy revealed his disappointment at his departure, citing a catalogue of misfortune – mainly injuries – as the reason behind the Northumberland outfit’s run of poor form... The former Whitley Bay assistant boss thanked the club for the opportunity and wished them well for the future.

    Cuggy said 'I had high hopes but different things transpired against us. I know every club has injury problems but I don’t feel like I had a break from the footballing gods. Everything which could go wrong did go wrong. You could not make up what has gone against us in the last six months. We have had unbelievable bad fortune, but I understand why the club were looking for a change, and the agreement for me to stand down has been very amicable. The club needs a change of face and a new voice...

    The club has been great with me in lots of ways and I will always be grateful for having been given the opportunity'... Having helped Whitley to an unprecedented three successive FA Vase victories as Ian Chandler’s right-hand man, Cuggy made his first step into full management replacing Mick Tait in May. He signed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months. After adding 14 new faces to his squad during the summer, a promising pre-season was followed by a solid start to the league campaign, taking four points from their first three games.

    However, injuries to Shaun Vipond, Graeme Armstrong, Glen Taylor, Phil Bannister and Carl Jones prevented Cuggy from establishing a settled side and just one victory from the next 17 league fixtures followed, a run exacerbated by exits from the FA Cup – albeit after negotiating three rounds – FA Trophy and Sage Northumberland Senior Cup. With attendances on the slide and a vital double-header against fourth-bottom Workington to come, the club’s board decided to act. Blyth host Altrincham on Saturday, and it remains to be seen whether Cuggy’s assistant Gavin Fell and goalkeeping coach Carl King will stay on".

    And the Chronicle Live reports that "Former Newcastle United star Tommy Cassidy is believed to be in the frame for the vacant manager’s role at Blyth Spartans... Cassidy has previously managed Gateshead, Workington and Whitby Town".

    As the manager of the BS North's most northerly club leaves, so too does the boss of its most southerly club. The Herts & Essex Observer tells us that "Boss Ian Walker has left Bishop's Stortford Football Club by mutual consent. The 40-year-old former Spurs and England keeper's departure comes after Blues' shocking 5-0 defeat at Ryman League premier division club Carshalton Athletic in the first round of the FA Trophy last Saturday. First-team coach Fraser Skimming has taken over the reins on a caretaker basis...

    Walker was appointed manager after previous boss Mark Simpson was sacked in March... Walker struggled to recruit experienced players willing to do the extra travelling and his inexperienced team has struggled.

    Blues chief executive Franco Del Basso said: "I would like to place on record my thanks to Ian for his endeavours for the club".

    As for a successor, "Rod Stringer is relishing the challenge of turning around Bishop’s Stortford’s sinking season. Stringer, who guided Braintree Town to the Blue Square Bet South title last season, was appointed as Blues manager on Monday. Stortford had approached him on Sunday after Ian Walker left the club by mutual consent... Stringer, 44, is under no illusions about the massive task facing him...

    He said, 'I did a great job at Braintree and aim to get Bishop’s Stortford right. They were good enough to ring me and they wanted me. It’s a tough division'...

    Stringer is aware it will not be easy to attract new players, but knows some of the existing squad. He is familiar with the likes of defender Sean Francis, winger Junior Dadson and midfielder Mitch Hahn from his time as Aveley boss. Stringer, who had a short-term coaching role helping Danny Cowley at Concord Rangers this term, also worked with midfielder Scott Shulton at Braintree last season.

    The new Blues boss said, 'I do not want players that ask for a fortune. I want players that will put in a shift for me. If they buy into what I want, the world is their oyster... I need to start work and need to get two or three in as quickly as I can'...

    Stringer will be assisted by experienced coach Colin Reid... Stringer said, 'I have known Colin for a long time and he is one of the best coaches around. He worked with Mark Stimson at Stevenage'".

    Meanwhile, "Midfielder Paco Craig is out for at least three weeks with a broken toe. Defender Phil Anderson (foot) is doubtful for Saturday’s trip to Gloucester City".

    The Daily Mirrir claims that "Former England goalkeeper Ian Walker has left his job as manager of a non-League club after an alleged foul-mouthed rant at his own fans. The 40-year-old had only been in charge of Bishop’s Stortford since March...

    During a furious row with supporters during the game, Walker is alleged to have called them 'uneducated c***s'. He is also alleged to have told some to 'f*** off'... A source said, 'Some fans were having a go at him because they were frustrated and disappointed by how the team were playing. But for him to respond like that is totally out of order'... Bishops Stortford have more on their new boss on their website. However, the BBC reported last summer that "Rod Stringer has resigned as Braintree Town manager just weeks after winning the Blue Square Bet South title... Stringer says talks fell down because he was not guaranteed a reliable car for travelling to rivals' grounds. 'You have to get around to watch these games, they wanted to offer me a car that was not going to do that', he explained... 'As far as I'm concerned that's all it was at the death, we had agreed on the rest of the terms'".

    NL Daily reports that "Goole AFC have announced that striker Gavin Allott has returned to the club. Allott, who originally signed for Goole AFC in September 2009, scored over 50 goals in two seasons with the club but moved on in the summer to Blue Square Bet North side Guiseley".

    Hyde FC say that "Midfielders Harry Winter, released by Halifax today, and Ashley Kelly, most recently with Chester, have both signed for the Tigers. The news comes as Gary Lowe looks to bolster his squad before Dave Birch and Chris Worsley’s forthcoming suspensions following their red cards at Worcester City.

    Harry, who signed for Halifax from Northwich Victoria in 2010 having impressed during a loan spell for the Shaymen, missed most of last season with a serious knee injury, but is clearly back on his way up after signing for Hyde where he is looking for regular first team football. He has also previously played for Trafford.

    Ashley Kelly started his career at Oldham Athletic but left the club in 2008 after making just one first team appearance. He has since had spells with Salford City, Curzon Ashton and Chester, and has further non-league experience after being loaned to Leigh RMI and Barrow during his time with the Latics."

    This month’s issue of Football Focus magazine has an article on Hyde's transformation in recent years.

    And BSB North confirms that "Hyde FC have signed midfielders Harry Winter and Ashley Kelly following the departure of three players earlier in the week... after defender Mike Aspin, loan striker Tom Fisher and goalkeeper Will Jones departed Ewen Field... Aspin has departed Ewen Fields after making 10 first-team appearances since his switch from Chester in September. Fisher has returned to parent club Macclesfield Town following the completion of his loan spell, while Jones has signed for Colwyn Bay".

    Elsewhere, "Nuneaton Town's winger Eddie Nisevic is set to complete a loan switch to Brackley Town... for a month initially", reports the Nuneaton News

    From the BBC, we learn that "Harrogate Town chairman Irving Weaver says he will keep the club at their current Wetherby Road home for the time being at least... Weaver told BBC Radio York, 'We'll develop Wetherby Road'...

    The club has been looking for new facilities for a number of years in an effort to expand... Weaver added, 'I think we've got to build a football club, as well as a football team and that's capital intensive. But if it all went into the team and you don't develop a solid base, then you punch above your weight. One day that's going to be out of balance. I also want to go to a nice place. I want it to look smart. I want people to be able to turn up and say this is OK. I'm relaxed. If there's a move that suits and it suits the council, then that's when we can do a deal together and that's fine, but I'm not banging their door down'".

    According to the Eastwood Advertiser "Town boss John Ramshaw is calling for his side to be more resilient as they prepare to host Workington this weekend... He said, 'I think Workington are in a bit of a false position at the moment as they’ve been edged out by the odd goal on a number of occasions and have a very good squad of players that hasn’t changed much over recent years when they’ve been battling for promotion...

    Ramshaw has seen his side capitulate in several of the matches so far and they have now conceded more goals than anyone else in the Blue Square Bet North...'We need to keep teams on the back foot for longer and I’m hoping the signing of Peter Knox will aid that as he is a very good presence up front who can hold the ball much better', he said. 'I’ve also brought in right-back Cameron Fearon, who has played for Chesterfield, Matlock and most recently Rainworth Miners Welfare and who I think will fill a position which has been a bit of a problem for us so far'".

    Meanwhile, "Defender Aaron Mitchell has left for Hucknall Town and midfielder Tom Manship has signed for Loughborough Dynamo as the Badgers’ squad continues to evolve, whilst recent acquisition Emeka Nwadike has gone to Mickleover Sports on loan to build up his match fitness. Liam Francis has also left the club to play nearer his West Midlands home. Meanwhile, enquiries have been made with regard to bringing midfielder Ross Gardner back to Coronation Park. Ramshaw said, 'Aaron was offered a contract by Hucknall which he felt was better for him so we wish him well, and the same goes for Tom Manship who I couldn’t guarantee a regular starting spot'".

    The Visitor advises us that "Young Morecambe forward Dan Parkinson is set to join Colwyn Bay on a month’s loan. The 19-year-old will link up with former Shrimps striker Jon Newby, who is the manager of the Seagulls. Parkinson has been a regular in the reserves this season and Shrimps boss Jim Bentley believes the youngster will benefit from more first-team experience".

    15 December 2011


    Strong away support helped Alty to a fine win at Halifax last time they travelled. So, please don't forget to book your place on the TASC supporters' coach to Blyth this Saturday (tel. 928-1045). Details of the trip are on the Away Travel page.


    Altrincham FC is offering Half-Season Tickets valid from Boxing Day till the end of the season. These are good value at:
  • Seated: £135 (£65 for concessionaries)
  • Standing: £115 (£60 for concessionaries)

    To order yours, please contact the club on 0161 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    The Non-League Paper and The Football League Paper have now launched postal subscriptions. The Paper writes, "With Christmas just around the corner a subscription to one of the above titles could make for an excellent present for the football lover in your life! Please see adjacent form for more details. Merry Christmas, The Football Paper Ltd".


    Tuesday 13 Dec.
  • Boston United 1 Corby Town 1


    Tuesday 12 Dec.
  • Kidderminster H. 2 Vauxhall M. 0
  • Solihull M. 0 York C. 3
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Stockport C. 1
    12 December 2011


    Altrincham visit Croft Park for their first league match at Blyth since a 2-2 draw in a UniBond League Premier Division Match, played on a Wednesday night, 14 April, 2004. Two-nil down after an hour, Alty looked to be on the way to a fifth successive defeat but, revitalised by substitutions, they dominated the closing half hour. Blyth had gone ahead after 39 minutes when Whitehouse's mis-hit shot somehow beat Coburn and they doubled their lead when Joyce scored from a seemingly offside position (57 mins). Substitute Matt Bailey got Alty back in the game, converting a rebound from the keeper after his first shot had been parried (70 mins). Four minutes later Leeson headed Aspinall's free-kick past his own keeper to level the scores. Barry Shuttleworth was sent off in added time.

    Right: A topless Matt Bailey leaves the pitch at Blyth in 2004 with Stephen Rose, in pullover, and Marcus Hallows at the end of the game, along with Ged Kielty and physio Gary Thompson.

    More recently, Alty crashed out of the FA Trophy at Blyth, 2-1, last season. Just five of the starting line-up and two of the bench that day, 15 January 2011, remain at Moss Lane. Alty's side was 1. Stuart COBURN (capt), 2. James SMITH, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 15. Ryan BROWN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Damian REEVES, 17. Wes BAYNES Subs: 21. James COATES, 20. Sam HEWSON, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Michael TWISS.

    Mike Garnett summarises our games against the Northumbrians as follows:

  • At Moss Lane: P6 W4 D1 L1 F12 A6
  • At Croft Park: P8 W2 D4 L2 F12 A10
  • Overall: P14 W6 D5 L3 F24 A16


    Howard Watts has located another US obituary of former Alty manager Roy Rees, who died recently. It comes from Soccer America.
    11 December 2011


    The Chelsea v Manchester City game in the Premiership will be shown live in the bar at Moss Lane on Monday night (k.o. 8pm). The bar opens at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.


    Former Alty striker and graduate from the Youth team, Steve Lunt, captained Knutsford to a 2-0 win over Lostock Gralam on Saturday.


    BSB North confirms that "Eastwood Town manager John Ramshaw has brought in one new player this week, whilst allowing a further two to depart Coronation Park. Striker Peter Knox returns to the club from Frickley Athletic. Defender Aaron Mitchell has parted ways with the Badgers after agreeing a deal with Hucknall Town. A statement on the club's official website read, 'He (Mitchell) has been offered better terms as well as a contract'...

    Meanwhile, midfielder Emeka Nwadike has joined Mickleover Sports on a loan agreement... which will allow them to recall the 33-year-old at any given time".

    News of Saturday's FA Trophy comes from Wales Online which tells us of "Wrexham 1 - 2 Hinckley United... Andy Morrell's second string did little to impress him after crashing out of the FA Trophy to Hinckley. They were taken apart by lone frontman André Gray who set up the first for Sam Belcher and netted a second-half winner, sandwiching a Glenn Little equaliser. 'They defended well and turned us quite often', said Morrell. 'The lad upfront did great for them, he worked the channels and ran everything down. But for me, we shouldn’t be getting beat by the likes of them. The players I’ve left out have played a lot of games and I wanted to give some a rest. My priority is to get this team promoted'".

    Another ex-League team dumped out of the Trophy is the subject of a report from The Chad, which says that "Mansfield Town became the latest cup giantkilling victims of valiant Conference North side Droylsden as a Dale Johnson double knocked last year’s finalists out of the FA Trophy 2-1 at the first round stage at the Butcher's Arms...

    Furious boss Paul Cox described it as the worst performance of the season, apologised to travelling fans and vowed to have his players in running tomorrow morning. The Bloods were good value for their victory at a ground where the home side have taken several notable scalps in recent years in cup competitions. Heavy rain left the pitch sopping wet and more fell during the half with Droylsden looking more comfortable on it and playing some excellent football in the first half and then, with Stags pressing hard near the end, defended magnificently...

    The Stags side showed two changes with Kelly making a debut at left back in place of Freeman, who was rested with a slight hamstring strain, and Verma returning from illness in midfield at the expense of Bolland".

    In Saturday's only BSB North league fixture, FC Halifax Town report that "It was only a matter of time before Town began their recovery from home sickness. Not many Shaymen followers would have predicted their side winning only a third of their first twelve games in their own backyard... Recent results against Altrincham, Colwyn Bay and Solihull had left a lot to be desired...

    A visit from bottom-side Blyth appeared to be the ideal opportunity to cure Halifax's recent ills... and so it proved against a team that worked hard but ultimately lacked the requisite composure in key areas to engineer a scalp at The Shay... The re-jigged front-three of Rainford, Dean and James Walshaw were proving to be a potent threat, combining pace, power, and as Walshaw was to prove, positioning". Blyth are Alty's next opponents and their line-up was Knight, Slaughter, Pearson, Groves, Jones (Briggs 63), Buchanan, Cave (Emms 78), Hooks (c), Taylor, Mole (Armstrong 52), Phillips. Subs Not Used: Mason, Hunter.

    10 December 2011


    Saturday, 10th
  • FC Halifax Town 3 Blyth Spartans 0


    Saturday, 10th, BSBN Clubs Only

  • Barrow 3 Harrogate Town 2
  • Boston United 2 Hyde FC 1
  • Carshalton Athletic 5 Bishop's Stortford 0
  • Colwyn Bay 1 Lincoln City 3 - Fraser McLachlan's penalty was the Bay's goal.
  • Droylsden 2 Mansfield Town 1 - Dale Johnson netted both Bloods' goals.
  • Guiseley 2 FC United Of Manchester 0
  • Stockport County 2 Stalybridge Celtic 2
  • Vauxhall Motors 4 Kidderminster Harriers 4
  • Wrexham 1 Hinckley United 2
  • York City 2 Solihull Moors 2

    Sunday 11th

  • Nuneaton Town v AFC Telford Utd


    Sunday's NWYA Premier Division match between Altrincham FC Youth and Curzon Ashton Youth has been postponed, due to a waterlogged pitch. It is the second week running that the team has had no fixture. The next match is away at FC United on Sunday, 18th December.


    Altrincham FC is sad to report the death of former manager Roy Rees, in the USA. In his "Altrincham A to Z", Terry Rowley wrote that Roy Rees was the Altrincham FC "manager, who was appointed in January 1972 and remained in the post until resigning in March 1975. Rees also brought to Moss Lane Tony Sanders, as his assistant, a man who would subsequently lead Altrincham to greater things. Rees, though, was the man who gave the likes of Graham Heathcote and John Davison their chance with the club and brought future Altrincham ‘legends’ like John Owens, Gerry Casey, Joey Pritchard and Mickey Brooke to the club. He went on to manage Bangor City and then to coach in the USA".

    A former lecturer, Rees also oversaw the British Universities' team.

    From Houston, the Texans' Soccer Club reports that "The Texan Family is sad to report that Roy Rees, the first club director of the Texans, has died.

    Rees was partly responsible for the huge growth of soccer in Houston in the mid 1980s. In 1987, he co-founded the Texans Soccer Club in Houston along with current Texans East Director, JR Lee. Rees was also an influential part of starting the Dallas Texans Soccer Club in the early 1990s..

    Rees had a long career as a professional soccer player in the English Football League before becoming a full-time soccer coach. He has coached soccer at the youth, college, professional, and World Cup levels. From 1961 to 1982 Roy worked as an English Football Association staff coach at various national coaching schools in England. He also served as coach of the British Universities' All-Star team, which played annually against Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, and Ireland.

    While coaching in England, Roy led the Skelmersdale United team to F.A. Amateur championships in 1967 and 1971. During his years as head coach in Altrincham (1971 to 1977) the team won the Vauxhall Conference championship twice and the F.A. trophy once. Roy also coached the national teams in Iraq, Iceland, Sudan, and Algeria, and was coach of the British team in the 1978 World University Games. From 1986 to 1993 he coached the U.S. national team (under 17 age group).

    Roy authored the best-selling book, Manual of Soccer Coaching. [This book is available via Amazon and other suppliers].

    The Texans pass on their condolences to the Rees Family".


    Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies advises that this Sunday's scheduled game against Sandbach United at Ridgeway Road has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The Ladies' next game (weather permitting) will again be at Ridgeway Road on Sunday 18th December, kick off 2pm, versus Delta Colts FC from Wallasey.


    Nantwich Town confirm that they "have extend the loan of Altrincham midfielder Brian Summerskill for a further month. 'We have a busy period coming up with some important games said Dabbers' boss Jimmy Quinn and Brian will strengthen our Midfield options and whilst he hasn’t yet featured heavily in the team, he is enjoying his time here and we hope he will make a good contribution during the coming month”.


    The Football Conference says that "Blyth Spartans have confirmed that goalkeeper David Knight has signed for the club on a permanent basis following his release from Histon. The 24-year-old spent three months on loan at Blyth earlier in the season, making eighteen first-team appearances. Tyne & Wear born, Knight played for Middlesbrough and Darlington before moving to Histon in February 2010. He spent the whole of 2010/11 on loan at York City".

    Another player returning to a former club is the subject of a report that " Colwyn Bay have brought defender David Thompson back to Llanellian Road. Thompson originally joined Bay in the summer of 2010 after being released by Bury. During his time at Gigg Lane, Thompson failed to make an appearance but did make the first-team bench on three occasions. After leaving Bay, Thompson made twenty-four appearances for Northwich Victoria last season before signing for Marine in March 2011."

    And "Hinckley United have signed the latest player to jump ship from troubled Kettering Town. Former Aston Villa reserve player Ellis Deeney arrives at the Greene King Stadium having only joined the Poppies on November 14th. The 20-year-old left-back captained Villa in the 2009/10 FA Youth Cup final defeat by Chelsea, but was released this summer. He failed to make a senior appearance for the Premier League club... He made just three appearances during his time at Nene Park."

    Further south, "Bishop`s Stortford have brought in two new midfielders in Sam Ives and Merrick James-Lewis. Ives joins after a short spell with Cambridge City, whom he signed for towards the end of November following his release by Corby Town... Ives was a member of City's youth set-up between the ages of 12 and 15 before the entire scheme moved to Cambridge United. A talented, attacking midfielder who has an eye for goal, he signed for the Steelmen in July... Nineteen-year-old James-Lewis joins the Blues on loan from Southend United... James-Lewis had a spell on loan with Braintree Town from March 2011 until the end of that season".

    The Hinckley Times tells us that Knitters' manager "Dean Thomas admits he is struggling to put his finger on exactly how his side threw away a 2-0 lead twice in the space of three days. The boss looked on in disbelief as Hinckley United were pegged back on Saturday by Gloucester City for a two-all draw and then must have been cursing his luck as Worcester came from two down to snatch a 3-2 win at the Greene King Stadium on Monday night.

    The one point from a very possible six leaves the Knitters 18th in the Blue Square North table and the manager scratching his head looking for answers. Thomas said, 'It is frustrating that we set our stall out at the start of the game with a good tempo, get early goals and then took our foot off the pedal and allowed teams to come at us. We are lacking that little bit of experience but I am looking at the older lads like Richard Lavery, Andy Gooding and David Bevan to help out the younger lads. We’ve got to learn how to win games of football and stop leaking so many goals. We are getting in these strong positions and then we have to be more organised.

    We keep changing things around at the moment as we are trying to find the right formula. In an attacking sense there are no problems but it’s the defensive side of our game that needs looking at. We don’t always want to be changing things but sometimes that’s the way it has to be. The players seem to lack in confidence in getting a lead and then holding on to it, which does sound strange but we have got to get that quickly. We have thrown away great opportunities against Tamworth, Blyth, Gloucester and Worcester, so that is a lot of points that could see us in a better position in the league'". Meanhwile, "Hinckley defender Craig McAughtrie has joined Mickleover on loan as he continues to get back to fitness following a calf injury".

    Another unhappy manager is the focus of This is Nottingham from which we learn that "John Ramshaw insists there is no easy solution to Eastwood Town's problems after a disastrous last three outings. The Badgers were hammered 7-0 at Guiseley in the FA Trophy, lost 5-0 at home to Nuneaton in their return to league action last Saturday and then went down 4-1 at league leaders Hyde United on Monday night.

    Ramshaw pulls no punches is his assessment of where Eastwood are at, but says he will not give up on resurrecting the club's fortunes. 'We are leaking goals at one end and not scoring them at the other, which is a recipe for disaster', he said. 'Three of the goals we conceded at Hyde were from schoolboy errors and we conceded three in the last seven minutes against Nuneaton. That gave the scoreline a totally false look because of bad defending. At the same time we are not converting good chances...

    The club has lost some good players both before and since I came here, which has made things difficult. Jake Sheridan has gone from our midfield, Craig Armstrong brought us experience at the back and Lee Morris was getting a few goals up front... A lot of the lads we have left are youngsters and their confidence is being affected by what's happened'...

    One of the brightest notes has been the form of new signing Liam Francis following his arrival until the end of the season from Tamworth. The ex-Coventry defender is the kind of player Ramshaw wants to see more of at Coronation Park. He said:... 'He's been a shining light and we're looking to bring in more like him, but it's tough. There are players sitting on contracts who don't want to move despite our problems because they know they can't get the same money anywhere else. That hamstrings [?hampers] what I can do severely and I've had to turn down three players in the last week or so who I think will improve us but we can't afford to bring them in unless others go out first'"

    Later, Eastwood Town reported that "John Ramshaw has confirmed the signing of Peter Knox from Frickley. Peter returns for another spell at Coronation Park with the view to hopefully quash the barren spell the team are going through at the moment."

    9 December 2011


    The excellent Alty TV video of Alty's draw with Corby reveals that the scorer of the visitors' goal was, in fact, Alty defender Matt Flynn and not Corby's Sam Mullarkey as was announced at the time.

    Right: Right-back Matt Flynn has settled in well on loan from Fleetwood but unfortunately he scored at the wrong end on Tuesday.


    TASC chairman, Brian Flynn, writes:

    Pensioners' Christmas Lunch Raises £391!

    The Annual Christmas Lunch for Pensioners was held on Wednesday and raised £391 profit for Altrincham Football Club.

    Many thanks to Dave Johnson, who did a brilliant job as Chef and to his willing band of serving helpers, including Geoff Morris, Terry Surridge, John Skelhorn, Karen Rowley, Peter Foster, Jenny Heslop, Grahame Rowley and Brian Flynn.

    TASC are also hugely grateful to The Cresta Court Hotel for providing the food and to Marks & Spencer, Altrincham, who also donated a number of items".


    Robbie Lawton's "Captain's Log" column in the Robins' Review were a difficult act to follow for his successor at Moss Lane but new captain, Shaun Densmore did a great job in his debut column last Tuesday. The article, "Captain's Chat" is reproduced below, courtesy of the Robins' Review...

    "I feel proud and privileged to have been handed the captain’s armband, though I know I’ve got a lot to live up to, following in the footsteps of Robbie Lawton. Robbie set standards that are going to take some matching, from the way he put his points across in this column to the leadership qualities he showed throughout his time as Altrincham skipper.

    Above, Shaun (no.8) carries out his captain's duties against FC Halifax Town last week.

    Captain’s Log has always been required reading in our dressing room. For me, it has been the best thing in the programme on a consistent basis. If that is going to make him a hard act to follow, then so are the other attributes that made him such a revered figure.

    Robbie always had a way of making you feel part of things, and that was probably best summed up by one of the first texts I received after the news first broke that he had left Moss Lane. It was from James Lawrie, asking me to send his regards and thanks to Robbie for making a point of looking out for him and making him feel welcome. That said everything about Robbie’s influence and illustrated how being captain involves more than just leading the lads out and shouting heads or tails. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a club as a newcomer and not knowing anyone, but Robbie always guarded against that and made sure it never happened to anyone in our squad.

    I was gutted to see him go, though he does seem to be tackling a challenge at Marine that should be right up his street. He was telling me that they’ve got some young lads coming through who are still just a bit raw. Sounds like they need an old head to steer them in the right direction. Who could be better?

    Robbie knows the manager there as well, and might get the chance to do some coaching, so I’m happy for him that he’s going to be playing and also possibly branching out into something that clearly appeals to him.

    I’ve been an Alty player a good few years myself – I think Stu Coburn and Anthony Danylyk are the only ones left from when I signed – and I have come to appreciate what makes this such a special club, from the supporters who turn up and get behind the team to the people who ensure it continues to be run on a sound financial footing.

    I have loved every minute, and the responsibility of captaincy is something I certainly won’t be taking lightly.

    On a broader note, it was important we bounced back from some recent disappointments at FC Halifax on Saturday, and I thought we did it in style.

    There were so many positives, not least further evidence that when the mood takes him, Nicky Clee is virtually unplayable. Halifax’s right-back would vouch for that. He had the thankless task of trying to keep him in check, and it soon became clear he just didn’t know how to cope. When Nicky is in that groove, there’s not much you can do, as we’ve all discovered often enough in training. You just can’t get the ball off him.

    The four goals were shared by the two lads up front, and I thought they were right on song, too. Damian Reeves isn’t overly fond of putting too much running in, as Robbie has pointed out on this page previously, but when you’ve got someone sticking openings away like he does, you’re always in with a chance.

    To be fair to Damian, it wasn’t just his goals this time. I thought his all-round display - the way he worked the line - was the best I’ve seen from him since he joined us. Jack Redshaw continues to impress, but none of us who witnessed his first training session is the least bit surprised by that. He just kept cutting in and curling the ball into the top corner, and while big Stu was far from happy, the rest of us were thinking: ‘What have we got here?’

    He’s just gone from strength to strength, and there’s such a sharpness about him that if he gets it anywhere near the area, you’ve a shrewd idea where it’s going to end up. Nine times out of 10, he hits the target.

    The three new lads had every right to feel pleased with their contribution after only joining us days before the game. Matt Flynn showed great energy and had a particularly good first-half, Adie Hawes settled in really well as the game wore on and Adam Dodd looked sharp and strong when he came on.

    A good day all round, then, but we all know it’s vital we build on it, starting against Corby tonight. Shaun".


    The following is an extended version of the article in this week's Sale & Altrincham Messenger, supplied by Alty's joint Press Officer, John Edwards...

    "Lee Sinnott tore into his Altrincham players and warned that futures were on the line after a disappointing home draw with Corby Town on Tuesday night.

    Alty came crashing down from the heights of Saturday’s 4-2 win at FC Halifax and were fortunate to escape with a point after being outfought and outplayed by their promotion rivals.

    Sinnott pulled no punches, as he fumed: ‘I’m livid, which is the strongest language I have used after a game since I took over. There were two plastic chairs behind me, near the dug-out, and there were a couple of times where I felt like putting my foot right through them.

    ‘I have been very supportive of my players, but this has to stop right now. You can’t go through a season putting in a great performance on a Saturday, then a totally inept one three days later.

    ‘Corby’s goal could have been prevented, but you could see It coming. They deserved to win, without a shadow of a doubt, because we never got out of first gear. There was no drive, no momentum, and that was quite baffling. It was also completely unacceptable.

    ‘Four points out of six may sound a reasonable return, but Tuesday night was an opportunity we failed to grasp, and that was incredibly frustrating. I will take whatever flak is flying around, but the players have to stand up and be counted as well. Once they cross the line, the destiny of the game is in their hands, and I think everyone had a right to expect more. We were like a boxer on the ropes.

    ‘I had a long discussion with the players afterwards, and a few home truths were told. A few more will be said on the training pitch, as well, because this sort of inconsistency cannot continue. As good as we were on Saturday, we were every bit as poor on Tuesday, and that is not going to get us anywhere.

    ‘If consistency is going to be that much of a problem, then perhaps some players may have to find a level where they can play consistently. They need to look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they can do it at this level. I can’t wait any longer for an answer.

    ‘It’s one thing getting plaudits after sticking four past Halifax, or scoring six at Colwyn Bay, but that ain’t going to get you promoted if you are so far below par in your next game. And we were a long way below par against Corby. It summed up our season so far, and I feel very frustrated for the directors and supporters. Especially the supporters, because there would be no club without them.

    ‘The bottom line is consistency, and each individual has to ask himself why he has performed so well in one game and so poorly in the next. Stuart Coburn has been our best player in both games by a country mile. You expect him to make saves, because that is what he is there for, just as a striker is in the team to stick the ball in the net. Even so, some of his saves were of the highest order and won us points in those two games, so that tells you the Achilles heel is still there.

    ‘It has gone on long enough, and I’m not going to stand by for ever and wait for things to change. The team is a work in progress, but you have to face up to the reality that no-one is safe. I’m not safe as manager, because I’m here to deliver results, and it is the same for the players. They are judged by what they do on the pitch - and up one week, down the next is not good enough.’

    Midfielder Steve Connors (above right) is in talks with Alty and will train with them this week.

    ‘We will be training on Saturday, as well as Thursday, as we are without a game this weekend,’ added Sinnott. ‘Steve has had this ongoing issue with Cambridge United, but we have kept in touch with him. He is training with us on Thursday, and we will have a chat with him to see what his thoughts are. He has had a bit of a fractured season, but we are interested to speak to him and see what he thinks. We’ll take it from there'".


    Alty's physio, Danny Fishwick, wrote in Tuesday's matchday programme...

    "It has been a couple of weeks since our last home game and, from being quiet in the treatment room, we have had a few visitors over this period. I will start with an update on Chris Lynch (left). He opened up his groin towards the end of our last home game (against Gloucester) and was substituted accordingly. He had a small strain to his adductor and I have been treating him throughout and introducing him slowly into training sessions. He took a full part in training on Thursday but, having had a slight reaction from this on Friday, I took the decision to have him rested and treated on Saturday to give him more time to prepare for tonight's game.

    I would like to take a moment welcome the new guys to the squad. One of the new guys, Adam Dodd, joined us on Tuesday and trained with the squad. He had a bit of muscle soreness to his groin following this session, therefore I worked with him and in combination with the Blackpool medical staff he was treated up to Saturday morning, prior to the game, and was declared fit following a fitness test on Saturday. Following the game on Saturday at Halifax, Simon Richman complained of tightness in his hamstring, I started treatment immediately following the game and this will be monitored until the last minute to give him every chance of playing in tonight's game.

    Apart from the above, we have just had the usual knocks to ankles and muscle stiffness which are managed throughout the week and treated whenever I see the players".


    BSB Football confirms that "[A]FC Telford United have confirmed the departures of striker James Lawrie (right) and winger Jordan Johnson to Altrincham and Northwich Victoria respectively. Northern Ireland international Lawrie joined the Robins on loan in September and has now made his stay at Moss Lane a permanent one. The Bucks have not requested a transfer fee but have instead included a sell-on fee in the deal. The 20-year-old joined Telford in the summer of 2010 following his release by Port Vale and went on to make 23 appearances, scoring four goals in the process".


    From Pitchero Non-League, we learn that "Kevin Gee, manager of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South club Rainworth Miners Welfare, has... parted company with veteran defender Chris Timons... explaining his departure... 'I had along chat with Chris last weekend about various things within the club and it was decided mutually and amicably after consideration from both sides that Chris would leave the club. However, being the true professional he is, he helped us out at Romulus on Monday due to injuries and put in a terrific performance. I’m sure Chris will move into the management side of the game over the next couple of years and I’m sure he will make his mark there too'".

    Chris, now 37, was captain of Alty's championship winning side in 1999 and is seen, right, with manager Bernard Taylor, at Guiseley at the end of the 1998-99 campaign.


    When Alty meet Droylsden over Christmas, the respective managers will have a lot in common as regards their teams' inconsistency, as the Tameside Advertiser tells us that "Droylsden boss Dave Pace has admitted he has no idea which Bloods team will turn up for this weekend's big FA Trophy first-round showdown with full-timers Mansfield Town at the Butcher's Arms.

    The Market Street outfit have been inconsistent since the start of the season and especially so in recent weeks, when they've combined encouraging victories with depressing defeats typified by the 6-3 hiding they suffered at Colwyn Bay on Saturday. Droylsden will at least be boosted by the return from suspension against Mansfield of goalkeeper Paul Phillips and midfielder Steve Hall, whose combined absence in North Wales hardly helped matters.

    But Pace nevertheless remains perplexed by the Jekyll and Hyde nature of his team's performances and concedes he doesn't know what to expect from his players as they prepare to square up to last season's beaten Trophy finalists. The Bloods chief said. 'The trouble with us at the moment is you just don't know what you're going to get. It's like choosing from a box of chocolates and not knowing whether you're going to bite into a caramel or a strawberry cream. I have no qualms about the ability of my players, it's their attitude and workrate which I have to question. I'm sure they'll be up for it on Saturday and it honestly would not surprise me if we were to beat Mansfield convincingly. But, play like we did against Colwyn Bay and we'll honestly get murdered".

    Pitchero Non-League reports that "Colwyn Bay have taken young goalkeeper Jack Cudworth on a month`s loan from Macclesfield Town. Bay were forced to look for an alternative keeper following a nightmare debut for Will Jones against Harrogate Town on Tuesday night. The 20-year-old's first touch of the ball was to pick it out of the net inside 2 minutes of the start, after Harrogate broke quickly from a Colwyn Bay free-kick to force a corner, and things didn't get any better for him as he went on to concede three more.

    Player-manager Jon Newby admitted he had a big decision to make for Saturday's FA Trophy tie against Lincoln City, and he decided to move for Cudworth, who has experience at this level with AFC Telford United. Cudworth signed for the Silkmen prior to the start of the 2010/11 campaign as back up to first choice keeper José Veiga.

    The former Preston North End trainee had spent last season playing in the Welsh Premier League for Rhyl after his release from Deepdale. The form of Veiga kept him out of first-team action, but his form for the Silkmen reserve team was enough to earn him a further contract".

    8 December 2011


    Altrincham FC is re-launching the "All Change for Alty" scheme under which supporters can pick up a collection tin from the office and save their small change (or pound coins!!!) for Alty. The scheme, to date, has raised in excess of £2,500 so has been a great success. You can get your collecting tin by visiting the club offices during normal weekday hours or by ringing (0161 928-1045) or e-mailing the club to arrange this.

    Another important fundraiser is the half-time bucket collection, organised by TASC, for which the Club is also very grateful as it,too, raises a four-figure sum over the year. Tuesday night's collection totalled £55.32.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Lee Sinnott tore into his Altrincham players and warned that futures were on the line after a disappointing home draw with Corby Town on Tuesday night.

    Alty came crashing down from the heights of Saturday’s 4-2 win at FC Halifax and were fortunate to escape with a point after being outfought and outplayed by their promotion rivals. Sinnott pulled no punches, as he fumed, 'I’m livid, which is the strongest language I have used after a game since I took over. There were two plastic chairs behind me, near the dug-out, and there were a couple of times where I felt like putting my foot right through them.

    ‘I have been very supportive of my players, but this has to stop right now. You can’t go through a season putting in a great performance on a Saturday, then a totally inept one three days later.

    Corby’s goal could have been prevented, but you could see it coming. They deserved to win, without a shadow of a doubt, because we never got out of first gear. There was no drive, no momentum, and that was quite baffling. It was also completely unacceptable. It’s one thing getting plaudits after sticking four past Halifax, or scoring six at Colwyn Bay, but that ain’t going to get you promoted if you are so far below par in your next game.

    The bottom line is consistency, and each individual has to ask himself why he has performed so well in one game and so poorly in the next. Stuart Coburn (right) has been our best player in both games by a country mile, so that tells you the Achilles heel is still there.

    I’m not going to stand by for ever and wait for things to change. No-one is safe. I’m not safe as manager, because I’m here to deliver results, and it is the same for the players. They are judged by what they do on the pitch - and up one week, down the next is not good enough'.

    Midfielder Steve Connors is in talks with Alty and will train with them this week".


    After Tuesday's game, Corby Town state that "Corby Town secured a point at Moss Lane against Altrincham, thanks to a goal from Sam Mullarkey... Corby Town dominated much of the match and will feel unlucky not to be returning to Steel Park with all three points".


    Brian Flynn's always entertaining "Flynnzine" appeared in Tuesday's "Robins' Review"...

    Punching Our Weight? Life is certainly not dull for anyone following the fortunes of our team this season. It’s probably fair to say that many of us went to The Shay Stadium with greater hope than expectation, but the travelling faithful were rewarded with an end to end, good old fashioned spectacle, that had an excellent crowd of over fourteen hundred on the edge of their seats throughout.

    Two teams with similar strengths and weaknesses produced a mesmerising first half, before a seventy-first minute wonder strike from Jack Redshaw finally sealed all three points for us. The term 'rollercoaster' is a common description of a team’s season, but it certainly fits Altrincham like a glove at present. We haven’t drawn a competitive game in over three months since a 1-1 scoreline at Cheltenham against Gloucester City on the first Saturday in September. That’s a total of fourteen games that has seen us exit all three cup competitions at hurdle one and bounce around the Blue Square Bet North league table on a weekly basis.

    Even by our own low standards in the last ten years, our cup record this season has been deplorable, but that’s consigned to history and nothing can be done about that now. What about the league?

    The statistical facts are that, as we approach the midpoint of the season, we are in eighth position, six points off the play-offs with a game in hand. Many people have the view that this is a serious underperformance and compared with some people’s expectations it is. Yet, in my view, if this was a round of golf, we would be returning a par score after eight holes.

    We have started the season with a new management team in a new league and it is a matter of statistical fact, that the majority of teams that are relegated do not bounce back at the first attempt, just look at any league, in any country, for confirmation of this. I am not sure that history or tradition count for much these days and often can go against teams like Altrincham as the opposition often pulls out the stops to raise their performance against a perceived ‘former giant’.

    We have had excellent support home and away, but there is no indication that that is helping results, as there has been such a surprising disparity between our performances at Moss Lane, compared with when we have gone on our travels... By the way, there are much more extreme examples of this than here at Alty... Palermo in Serie A in Italy are missing out on a Europa League place on goal difference at present, despite not having scored an away goal all season, but having won all their home games!!

    There are lots of factors that determine a team’s league ranking, but the most reliable is probably the playing budget. I do not have knowledge of the detail of the specific team budgets in this league, but I think that I can confidently state that ours is not in the top five, but is in the top ten. This would mean that our budget is somewhere between the sixth and tenth largest in Blue Square Bet North, therefore eighth position, at this point, confirms that our playing achievements are roughly in line with our financial standing.

    One thing, for sure, is that the three remaining games of 2011 are very important, as they will determine, whether we move into 2012 in a strong position to take our season into May, or are struggling to keep the top five within range. It may even be that inconsistency can be our friend as two wins and a defeat would be hugely preferable to three draws!

    It’s all good fun being an Alty fan, isn’t it?

    Brian Flynn".


    Our next league opponents, Blyth Spartans report on Tuesday's defeat against Guiseley. "In a game that summed up Blyth Spartans’ season so far, Glen Taylor failed to convert a last minute penalty that would have earned his side a precious point against Blue Square Bet North high flyers Guiseley... Defeat leaves Steve Cuggy’s side at the foot of the table, and without a win in 10 league games.

    The hero for the visitors was their goalkeeper Steve Drench, who not only saved Taylor’s spot-kick but also denied Neal Hooks – who looked certain to score with the rebound... Blyth Spartans - Birdsall, Slaughter, Cave (Briggs), Groves Pearson, Buchanan, Emms, Hooks, Taylor, Mole, Mason (Anzevui)"

    7 December 2011


    For the ninth time in ten league matches Damian Reeves scored Altrincham's first goal of the match. He fed Redshaw, whose effort was blocked, but Reeves nodded the loose rebound into the net after 13 minutes. Even at that stage Altrincham looked second best and that was a pattern which continued for much of the game, particularly in the second half. Corby won most of the aerial balls in their own half and midfield and kept the ball better than Alty, who continually gave it away. But the visitors' weakness was their finishing. Mullarkey was the game's best player but he should have scored on more than one occasion whilst Hall skied a good opening miles over the bar. The far post header which levelled the scores nine minutes from time came from the head of Alty's Matt Flynn after the Robins failed to react to freekick against Chris Lynch for handball. At the final whistle it was Alty who were more grateful for the point than Corby. Alty dropped to ninth. Match report here

    Apologies for the failure of the Update service at half-time; this was due to technical problems.

    Tuesday, 6th

  • Through the Years.
  • Altrincham 1 Corby Town 1 (att 649)
  • Blyth Spartans 1 Guiseley 2 (301)
  • Gainsborough Trinity 3 Stalybridge Celtic 1 (438)
  • Gloucester City 1 Nuneaton Town 2 (302)
  • Harrogate Town 4 Colwyn Bay 0 (180)
  • Histon 3 Solihull Moors 0 (203)
  • Workington 1 FC Halifax Town 2 (410)

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


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee's winning code of 2367 was unissued, so the £5,000 jackpot remains to be won. The reserve jackpot now stands at £3,400.


    Christmas orders from the Robins' Shop should be made by December 13th at the very latest, please.


    Pitchero Non-League reports that "Clitheroe were languishing in nineteenth place, but recent results – a 2-2 draw with Skelmersdale United and the 5-1 thumping of basement side Cammell Laird – have seen them climb to sixteenth... Altrincham’s Matt Fearon is set to join the club on loan this week".


    A week on Saturday (17th), Altrincham travel to Blyth, where the Journal reported on Tuesday that manager "Steve Cuggy insists Blyth Spartans can still climb out of the relegation zone, but the Croft Park club boss admits his side face a potentially "daunting prospect" against Guiseley tonight. The Spartans were 'marmalised' 5-0 at Nethermoor Park in August, when Cuggy acknowledges the first 'wake-up call' of a difficult season outlined clearly to him how clinical opposition teams can be in Blue Square Bet North...

    He said, 'The lads are still quite upbeat. Everybody knew the season was going to be difficult, we took a little while to get going and unfortunately it has been more difficult than we all expected. Certain things have gone against us at certain times, but that is just one of those things... I hope we can get out of this situation and I still believe we can... Guiseley could be a daunting prospect, or it might not be. Football is such a fickle game... The game against Guiseley earlier in the season was the first real wake-up call we had. We had just beaten Bishop’s Stortford on the Saturday before... They marmalised us in the second half... I take a bit of heart from the first half an hour, and the way Guiseley moved the ball, they will struggle to do that on our pitch'".

    6 December 2011


    The 90th Annual General Meeting of Altrincham Association Football Club Ltd was held at Moss Lane on Monday night. This confirmed that in the last financial year (2010-11) the Club made a loss for the first time in several years, the deficit being almost £62,000. This outcome was largely due to unbudgeted funds being expended on loan players last season as we fought relegation, as well as a drop in income, and a number of one-off items such as the purchase of pitch covers and a new pitch mower.

    However, Grahame Rowley reported that in 2011-12, to date, the club was on budget and should break even at year-end. However, as always, he stressed that it is essential that home attendances hold up as they impact on many other areas of income such as catering and bar takings.

    The chairman paid tribute to the supporters who had ensured that gates this season had been good, despite relegation last season. He also praised the club's commercial operations which had held up well in very difficult financial times. He confirmed that no cup competition income had been included in the budget so our premature exits from the FA Cup and Trophy had not impacted, other than in the sense that lack of such revenue limits the club's development this season.

    Grahame also paid tribute to Graham Heathcote, who was at the meeting, for all his many years of service to the football club. Also in attendance was former chairman of Altrincham and Liverpool, Noel White.


    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) is running a coach for supporters to watch Altrincham play Blyth Spartans on Saturday, 17th December. Details are on the Away Travel page. Remember, two of Alty's best performances this season have been on the road (Colwyn Bay and Halifax), so don't miss out on this one!


    Peter Foster of TASC announces that "We hope to have copies of the Altrincham FC Calendar for 2012 available in the Robins' Shop for Tuesday night's match with Corby Town. As last year, the calendar is available in two formats. A4 size costs £8 whilst A3 format is £10. The images of Altrincham in action are of the usual high quality from Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, the club's official photographer, to whom the club is very grateful.

    A sample image is shown, right.


    As usual, Radio Robins, sponsored by will be broadcasting a full internet commentary of this game.

    The commentator is Brian Flynn with match summaries by Jonny Keen.

    We are also introducing a new feature tonight with a pre-match interview, which will be broadcast on a loop from 7.15pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet.

    Alternatively, you can follow the live text updates on the website's Matchday Updates page.

    Monday, 5th

  • Hinckley United 2 Worcester City 3
  • Hyde FC 4 Eastwood Town 1
  • League table


    Altrincham's first-team has no match this coming weekend but this Sunday there are two club fixtures:
  • Youth Team: v. CURZON ASHTON (Home, @ Clay Lane) in the NWYA Premier, k.o. 2pm
  • Ladies' Team: v. SANDBACH UNITED (Home @Ridgeway Road), k.o. 2pm


    The fall-out from Saturday's game is the subject of the Halifax Courier which tells us that "Town’s worst defensive display of the season cost them any chance of beating Altrincham at the Shay on Saturday. That was the view of boss Neil Aspin...

    'You can cope with having one of your back four struggling but when it is maybe three out of four you are going to concede goals', he said. 'Every time they attacked they looked like scoring, every time we attacked we looked like we could score. But the defending was just not good enough and it is hard to take... I am not going to single anyone out, but they know themselves and everyone who watched knows. But certain players have probably played the worst game I have seen them play'...

    The fans let their feelings be known at the final whistle and Aspin admitted he understood their frustration... 'I must say that the crowd were good because I had to watch what they had to watch and it was poor at times... It is blatantly obvious that with the suspension to Danny Lowe and the injury to Aaron Hardy that we didn’t have enough options defensively. The players who play have to be good enough and if they can’t play at this level, they have to go'.

    Rainford, on loan from Chester, has extended his stay at the Shay by another month... 'He has come from a club in the league below us and has stepped up no problem', he said. 'I thought he was excellent on Saturday, especially in the first half. He was the bright spot from the game'".

    The Courier also reports that "It was another Shay shocker as Town crashed to defeat at the hands of an Altrincham side they would consider to be rivals for the play offs... The visitors took full advantage of some woeful defending to collect only their second away win of the season... Unlike Altrincham, they failed to make the most of the opportunities that came their way"


    The North Wales Weekly News tells us that "Colwyn Bay have signed up 6ft 3ins keeper Will Jones from Hyde United as replacement for injured Chris Sanna. The young keeper, who has also been with FC United of Manchester, Stalybridge Celtic and Corby, is set to maker his debut at Harrogate Town on Tuesday night (international clearance permitting)... Chris Sanna, who injured his shoulder when falling badly in last Saturday's win over Droylsden, was due to have the injury assessed by a specialist today...'It looks as though he will still be out for a few weeks', reported player-boss Jon Newby".

    According to the News Post Leader "When Blyth Spartans visited Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday they had a fantastic opportunity with seconds to go to pick up three vital league points only to see two of them snatched away... The visitors went two goals down only to come back to lead 3-2 and then to suffer the late arrival which was Bishop’s Stortford’s equaliser.

    Blyth manager Steve Cuggy... said, 'At 2-0 down I would have taken a draw, but the equaliser after we’d come back really well was a sickener. The first half was about two teams both lacking belief, although I thought we edged it on possession'. Indeed the first period was characterised by the teams seeming to try and outdo each other by how often, and how easily, they could give the ball away.

    Blyth lost captain Graeme Armstrong after only 13 minutes when following a tough challenge he was caught on the hip by a flailing boot. A cut to his stomach meant he was unable to carry on and Glen Taylor replaced him in attack... Chris Emms’ pace and direct approach was threatening the Bishop’s Stortford defence but Blyth were knocked back when the home side extended their lead... Blyth withdrew Cave and Emms and brought on Lee Mason and Rob Briggs...

    A delighted Cuggy said, 'We’ve been working on getting Neal [Hooks] forward a bit more because we know he’s a good finisher. And Glen [Taylor] thoroughly deserved his goal. He’s been pushing for a place in our starting line-up and the way he played on Saturday you could see why'... Birdsall had a sound debut and the Keighley born Irish international was confident when facing the first half penalty".


    Pitchero Non-League says that "Jim Rushe, owner and chairman of Northwich Victoria, will tell the Football Association next week that a points deduction for picking an ineligible player is too tough a penalty. The Northern Premier League has charged Vics for including Tom Field in their team during a 2-0 win against Kendal Town earlier this season.

    'We think we’ve been treated harshly', said Rushe. 'It’s not a simple open and shut case; why would the manager select a player if he knew that individual could not play?' An FA disciplinary panel will listen to the club’s appeal next Monday, December 12th. Northwich introduced Field, who they recruited from Vauxhall Motors, for the final quarter hour of their success against the Cumbrians on Tuesday, September 20th.

    It is only later – after they originally cleared Field to feature – that league officials spotted discrepancies between information on two different registration forms completed by the player. They subsequently accused Vics of filing falsified paperwork, resulting in the 26-year-old being ineligible for the match in which he had played... Rushe has asked Stoke-based Carney Solicitors to fight Vics’ case. He added, 'We think we’ve got a good chance of prevailing'".

    FA CUP

    The Football Conference reports that "Chelmsford City will make their live TV debut on ESPN when they take on Macclesfield Town in their FA Cup Second Round replay at Moss Rose on... Wednesday, 14th December... The club will pocket £36,000 for the appearance".

    Apparently, Yeovil Town v Fleetwood Town, on Tuesday 13 December, is also being televised on ESPN; the original game was also televised live.


    Bulls News says that "Nene Park could be seeing its second club fold within six months with Kettering seemingly set to follow Rushden into the abyss. The Poppies were hammered 7-0 at the weekend, and were able to raise just 13 players due to injuries and departures. Manager Mark Stimson had only seven in training on Friday ahead of the game with one non-contract player walking out and another opting to take paid work in Scotland to earn some money.

    Stimson expects the wage bill, due today, to go unpaid and reckons more players will walk, telling the Northampton Chronicle, 'I think we will lose a couple of players this week, we have had two clubs putting in seven day notices for Ellis Deeney so I think he will be gone and Nathan Koo-Boothe de-registered on Friday. And come this afternoon, they probably won’t have been paid and that means more may be missing tomorrow. There is only so much a manager and his staff can do. It is going to be very tricky to raise a team for tomorrow'. Kettering are expected to face Darlington on Tuesday night, with the bookies rating them at high as 9/1 to record a home win".

    5 December 2011


    Our next opponents, Corby Town report that their "boss Graham Drury has revealed that he’s considering making changes to his side for the Steelmen’s next league encounter with Altrincham on Tuesday. Speaking after Corby’s defeat against Gainsborough on Saturday, the Steelmen manager admitted that his side are struggling to find form in front of goal and he may have to ring in the changes.

    He told, 'A couple of our players weren’t at their best today, we had a fair few chances and we just didn’t take them. In all honesty, I can’t believe we’ve lost that game of football today, we had 28 chances in all, but only worked the ‘keeper four times. That’s not good enough. I didn’t think we played particularly badly as a unit to be fair, I thought the back four were excellent today. Unfortunately we gave away three sloppy goals that could have easily been stopped. There may be a few changes needed to be made, but I won’t be making any snap decisions. I need to go away, analyse the game, analyse my game and make a decision based on that'.

    Stunned by two quick-fire goals either side of half-time, Drury made three quick substitutions on Saturday in an effort to turn the game around and was pleased with the way his side responded. 'We had to change the way we played a little bit, sometimes when we’ve got Rheady up there I think we see it as an easy option just to lump it up to him. But you can see that we’re not that one dimensional and when we’ve got pace up front we can use it. But take nothing away from Rheady at all; he’s got 13 goals this season so far and no-one’s even close to him. He’s an important part of the plan and the way we play'.

    Corby now find themselves on the back of an unwanted four-match winless streak, with three defeats and a draw".

    The website adds that "pressing for an equaliser, Corby were victim to a speedy counter-attack in the dying minutes at Steel Park, with former striker Leon Mettam breaking away to steal Trinity’s third of the afternoon... Piling on the pressure, Corby dominated the closing stages... With most of the Corby players in attack, Trinity sub Leon Mettam broke away from midfield and nipped the ball past Mackenzie to seal a Gainsborough victory.

    Corby: Mackenzie; Gordon, Gulliver, Malone, Mayo; Beeson (sub Spruce, 59 mins), Ozmen, Towers, Hall; Rhead (sub Smith, 68 mins), Marna (sub Mullarkey, 54 mins). Subs not used: Reynolds, Hibbert".


  • Match report here.

    FC Halifax Town say that "Neil Aspin could offer no case for his defence as FC Halifax Town were beaten 4-2 at home to Altrincham... The Town manager was left fuming at his side's sloppy display at the back... He said, 'The fact that we could have scored quite a few goals ourselves is not really any consolation because we could have conceded more than we did as well... It's like a lot of games this season, we've started well, should've gone in front, didn't and then the first time the opposition attack, they score through bad defending...

    It's happened too many times but you can't just wave a magic wand, you can't just change the whole team around... We've got suspensions coming up, we've got injuries, so it is a difficult time at the moment'"...

    "Town have now lost two successive home games in all competitions and have failed to win in the last four. Halifax player Jamie Rainford doesn't think the pressure of a home crowd has much to do with the blip in form... This week, Rainford signed a month long extension to his original loan deal at Halifax Town and is delighted to stay until January".

    Meanwhile Halifax's Anton Foster said "It's fair to say the home side would have been out of reach at half-time had they took their chances, with Neil Aspin's ultra-attacking side causing havoc in the Altrincham defence on many occasions... I couldn't see too much wrong with the performance. Yeah we were a bit shaky at the back but we've got a few injuries and that's probably why."


    Chris Denham was sent off for two cautionable offences on Saturday, playing for Chorley. Josh Ollerenshaw needed seven minutes of treatement as he played in goal for Curzon Ashton at AFC Fylde. Chris Senior, on loan at Guiseley, scored for the Yorkshiremen.


    The BBC reports that "A non-league football club in Gloucestershire is fitting solar panels to its stadium roof. The initiative by Forest Green Rovers is part of the Sustainability in Sport scheme set up by chairman Dale Vince. Mr Vince, who also runs energy firm Ecotricity, said it was former Manchester United player Gary Neville's idea to launch the project. The club said the 180 panels would generate about 10% of electricity used by the stadium.

    The Blue Square Bet Premier club, based in Nailsworth, already spreads cow manure on its grass to create an organic pitch, and red meat was banned from the menu earlier this year. Mr Vince said it was now looking at installing low energy LED floodlights, an electric robotic lawn mower and possibly an electric minibus for the team".

    4 December 2011


  • Match report here.

    After Saturday's win at Halifax, Alty manager Lee Sinnott said, "The score could've ended up 8-5! But we're pleased... I felt that we looked dangerous for large parts of the game today. The front two looked very sharp and they were making life uncomfortable for Halifax's defence".

    FC Halifax Town have audio interviews with their manager, and two players. In its match report, the Halifax official site says "The Town manager saw plenty to delight and dismay him in equal measure but The Shaymen were often their own worst enemy, conceding as many gilt-edged chances as they created in 'one of those matches' that seemed to have everything... The two sides probably realised early on that attack was their best form of defence... The second-half didn't quite live up to its mile-a-minute predecessor as both sides stopped their back doors from swinging open so frequently".

    According to the Halifax Courier, "Town suffered yet another home horror... as Altrincham returned across the Pennines with the points".

    Left: The joy of scoring - Jack Redshaw is mobbed by his team-mates after running to the Altrincham supporters, following his second and Alty's fourth goal at The Shay.


    Right: Damian Reeves scored Alty's second goal but, following it, it was Jack Redshaw who ended up at the bottom of the celebratory pile at Halifax.
    As well as Damian (no.10), Simon Richman, Matt Flynn (no.2) and Anthony Danylyk (no.4) are on the scene.


    The attendance at The Shay yesterday was comfortably the highest of the day in the BSBN. The gates at Saturday's matches were:
  • Bishop's Stortford v Blyth Spartans 297
  • Colwyn Bay v Droylsden 272
  • Corby Town v Gainsborough Trinity 553
  • Eastwood Town v Nuneaton Town 415
  • FC Halifax Town v Altrincham 1414
  • Gloucester City v Hinckley United 325
  • Guiseley v Workington 384
  • Solihull Moors v Harrogate Town 209
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Boston United 506
  • Vauxhall Motors v Histon 177
  • Worcester City v Hyde 782

    In the game at Worcester, two Hyde players plus their manager and coach all received straight red cards, and City also had a player dismissed.


    Alty "old boy" Marc Joseph scored at each end as his Kendal Town side won 2-1 at Stafford Rangers.
    3 December 2011


    James Lawrie was absent from the Altrincham squad today but he is set to remain an Altrincham player. The AFC Telford loanee has been released by the Shropshire club and, after negotiations, he has agreed terms with Altrincham. However, the necessary formalities could not be completed in time for him to figure in today's game.


    A fine team performance from Altrincham saw them deservedly record only their second away win of the season. Match report here.

    Right: After his second goal, Damian Reeves receives the plaudits from Nicky Clee, Simon Richman and Adie Hawes

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


    Altrincham FC will be showing Aston Villa v Manchester Utd (k.o. 5.30pm) in the bar at Moss Lane this Saturday (3rd). So, if you can't get to The Shay for Alty's game , or can get back quickly after the match, please come along and watch.


    FC Halifax Town announce that their "Manager Neil Aspin has extended the loan deal of striker Jamie Rainford for another month. The former Marine frontman joined Town on loan at the start of November from Chester FC and has impressed in his time so far for The Shaymen".

    The club adds that "FC Halifax Town return to league action on Saturday after a two-week break in much the same position they were a fortnight ago. Penalties still remain a problem after Lee Gregory and James Walshaw both failed to score from 12 yards over the two FA Trophy games against Colwyn Bay. As does Town's home form after they lost the second of those two matches in still barely believable circumstances on Tuesday night.

    But, Neil Aspin's men have a chance to put that right at the weekend when they host Altrincham. Their fortunes seemed to have picked up at The Shay after they recorded three consecutive wins over Tadcaster Albion, Eastwood Town and Hyde to recover from the 5-1 loss to Vauxhall Motors. The three games since then suggest otherwise though, losing two and drawing one, although their form on the road has compensated for that.

    All previous league meetings between the two have taken place in the Conference National, with the previous clash ending in a 3-3 draw in March 2008 after a brace from Jon Shaw and one for Andy Campbell. The fact that this is the first match league between the two teams to take place below the fifth tier serves as a reminder of the financial challenges that have seen both clubs drop down the pyramid, but they are currently within striking distance of the play-offs.

    It's mainly due to the goalscoring prowess of former Leeds youngster Damian Reeves that Lee Sinnott's side are the third highest scorers in the Blue Square North, with the ex-Northwich striker currently leading the division's top scorers list with 17. He has bagged 12 in The Robins' last ten outings, including a hat-trick in their 6-1 win over Boston. A repeat performance for the visitors would see them move above Town in the table while a victory for Halifax could see them rise to within one point of the top five."

    Although this is not Alty's first visit to The Shay, it is their first game against FC Halifax Town. Mike Garnett's records show that against the predecessor club, Halifax Town, Alty's record was:

  • At Moss Lane P8-W4-D2-L2-F13-A12
  • At Halifax P9-W1-D6-L2-F8-A11
  • Overall: P17-W5-D8-L4-F21-A23

    Anr Alty Mad has a statistical preview of the game. It concludes "FootyMad see this game edging towards a narrow win for the Shaymen, as the Robins have been none too clever on the road in recent matches. Home win".


    Saturday 3 December:
  • Bishop's Stortford 3 Blyth Spartans 3
  • Colwyn Bay 6 Droylsden 2
  • Corby Town 1 Gainsborough Trinity 3
  • Eastwood Town 0 Nuneaton Town 5
  • FC Halifax Town 2 Altrincham 4
  • Gloucester City 2 Hinckley United 2
  • Guiseley 2 Workington 1
  • Solihull Moors 5 Harrogate Town 1
  • Stalybridge Celtic 3 Boston United 0
  • Vauxhall Motors 1 Histon 1
  • Worcester City 2 Hyde FC 2


    News of an Alty old boy comes from Guiseley who "are delighted to announce the signing of Chris Senior (right) on a one-month loan from Alfreton. Chris, 30, is an experienced striker and was scorer of the winning goal for Darlington in last year’s FA Trophy final. The Huddersfield-born marksman, who has previously played for Darlington, Halifax and Scarborough [and Altrincham!], should be available for selection for tomorrow’s game against Workington."

    Meanwhile, confirmation comes from Alfreton Town that "Striker Chris Senior and central defender Adie Hawes have been allowed to go out on loan to Guiseley and Altrincham respectively. Hawes has joined Altrincham until January 7th, 2012 inclusive, whilst Senior has moved to Guiseley until January 2nd, 2012 inclusive".

    And player movement is also the subject of BSB North which tells us that "Colwyn Bay have suffered a blow ahead of Saturday's home game against Droylsden with central defender Rod McDonald moving to Nantwich Town. Although McDonald has struggled to get into the side recently, he had an outstanding game in the FA Trophy win at Halifax on Tuesday night and had every chance of keeping his place in the team against Droylsden.

    'That makes his decision all the more disappointing but he has a very good relationship with Nantwich manager Jimmy Quinn and believes he will have a better chance of regular football there', reported Seagulls player-boss Jon Newby... Skipper Danny Meadowcroft will be suspended for the FA Trophy tie against Lincoln City on December 10 after picking up his fifth booking of the season... Fortunately Colwyn Bay will now have Matty Hughes available for another month after Fleetwood Town this week agreed to further extend the 20-year-old's loan period until January 7th".

    And "Gainsborough Trinity have received a welcome boost with news that goalkeeper Kenny Arthur has extended his loan from Grimsby Town by a further month. The 32-year-old joined Trinity on a one-month deal near the start of November but his stay was cut short after he suffered a hamstring injury. He returned to the Northolme after recovering from injury and played in their 1-0 defeat to Hinckley United last week. Gainsborough boss Steve Housham has secured his services until the start of January 2012".

    But "Darren Edmondson, manager of Workington, is still looking to bring in a striker on loan before today’s deadline in time to face Guiseley tomorrow. Edmondson is desperate to bring in a striker after Jonny Wright was ruled out for a significant period of time with an ankle injury after twisting it... Edmondson said, 'onny came away from the game on Saturday on crutches. 'He hasn’t broken it but he has suffered severe ligament damage but we won’t know the extremity of it until the swelling goes down'..

    Mark Boyd is facing a race against time to be fit for the Guiseley game with a hamstring problem while Lee Andrews is suspended. However, Edmondson confirmed that he has re-signed Paul Johnson and Steve Snaith both on month long deals" reports the News & Star.

    More on this comes from Pitchero Non-League which reports that "Jonny Wright could be out for up to five weeks with an ankle injury... However, despite the inability to finish chances off Edmondson has been pleased with the performances of the team. Edmondson said, 'If you go back and look at the last four away games, we have started them all brilliantly and had chances to go ahead... but our finishing has been the issue for the past five to six weeks'".

    Elsewhere, "Defender Liam Francis has joined Eastwood Town from Tamworth. The 24-year-old defender has previously been at Coventry City and Hednesford Town. He joined The Lambs at the beginning of this season."

    From the Nuneaton News we learn that "Ian Neale insists Nuneaton Town are financially sound despite a lack of home games and FA Cup elimination costing them a £40,000 windfall. However, the Boro chairman admits cash flow is ‘really tight’ after the team lost to Nantwich Town and missed out on a trip to MK Dons in the first round.

    Couple that with a difficult economic situation nationally, just one home game since late October and only two more before the end of the year and Neale says times are tough. He said, 'You won’t find us under a transfer embargo. We are fine. Cash is really tight though. We’ve been a bit over budget all season and the defeat at Nantwich probably cost about £40,000 when you consider gate receipts at MK Dons and other spin-offs. It’s not rocket science to see we’ve not had a lot of home games recently so income is dramatically reduced.

    People will say we should have money saved from all the home games early in the season but I don’t think it works like that. Gates have been low everywhere. Nuneaton is one of the poorer areas in the region and we live in very challenging times so people don’t have the money to go to game after game... It’s a results industry and the team have been doing well. We’ve not got many home games left this year so we are hoping people will come out and back the team at the matches...

    There is a buzz about the team, especially since Wes York came in and injected some excitement. Meanwhile, in a wide ranging interview, Neale says he did not consider sacking manager Kevin Wilkin after defeat at Nantwich... We manage the club carefully and we won’t put it at risk'".


    The Chorley News says that "Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft has issued a heartfelt plea to supporters and local businesses to support the Magpies amid reports of a financial plight at Victory Park... The Guardian reported last month that directors and business tycoon Trevor Hemmings had pumped £15,000 into the club...

    'It has been well documented that the club has had some major financial problems over the last few months and there is a limit to what I can say on that because of an ongoing police investigation. However the reality is the club has been plunged into a major crisis... There is a big hole in the budget and we are facing a major battle to fill the void. Last week we couldn’t afford to pay the players in full because the club faced a major demand from the Inland Revenue. We are facing a similar scenario this week because we also have another outstanding tax bill to pay. The situation is as serious as it gets and we urgently need some help to overcome the problems we are facing'...

    Flitcroft added... 'I’ve already had to release some players because of the situation we find ourselves in. Over the last few months Chris Haworth, Nathan Fairhurst and Lee McEvilly have all left the club and more could follow... We have a fantastic chance of winning promotion again this season if I can keep the squad together'. In September the club’s accountant Philip Haslam was arrested by police on suspicion of theft and false accounting".

    2 December 2011


    The Non-League Paper announces:

    "The Non-League Paper are giving Altrincham's trip to FC Halifax Town their Blue Square Bet North feature game treatment this weekend. That means an extended 450-word report, the best pictures from the game and plenty of post-match reaction.

    The Robins currently lie 11th in the Conference North, two points and two places behind the Shaymen.

    They will be hoping to leapfrog their opponents with a victory in West Yorkshire but the Shaymen will a stern test having gone three league matches unbeaten.

    It promises to be a hard-fought and tight encounter and The Non-League Paper will bringing the best of the action to you on Sunday morning.

    So, for great coverage of the Robin's trip to the Shay, make sure you pick up a copy from your nearest stockist!"


    Due to a mix-up at the NWYA, Altrincham Youth's match at home to Marine has had to be postponed this Sunday (4th).


    Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott (right) has confirmed that all of his squad have come through Thursday night's training session without major concerns. The only slight problem was with new loan-signing, defender Adam Dodd from Blackpool, who has a slight niggle but he should be fine for Saturday. Chris Lynch, who missed last Sunday's match with a groin problem, completed mid-week training without any problems. This week's two other loan-arrivals at Moss Lane, defenders Adie Hawes and Matt Flynn (from Alfreton and Fleetwood respectively), will join Adam in the squad which is available for selection for Saturday's game at Halifax.

    James Lawrie's loan from AFC Telford United is set to end after Saturday's game but talks are ongoing as regards his future. The loan to Altrincham of his Telford team-mate, Robbie Williams, currently runs till a week later.

    Lee is delighted that the Club is able to offer Altrincham's travelling supporters the chance to travel to The Shay this weekend on a GoGoodwins coach with passengers' payment being on the basis of voluntary donations. The manager underlined how appreciative he is of the excellent support for the team from Alty fans, particularly from those who travel to the away games, where performances this season have often been "frustrating" to manager and supporters alike. But Lee is convinced that the team's form will improve, "It will turn for the better, I am sure", he said.


    The Fair Play table of the Non-League Paper places Altrincham sixth.


    Alty play at Halifax on Saturday, 3 December. Howard Watts's Through the Years records show that the last time we won on that date was over a club now in the Premiership - Wigan Athletic in 1994, who Alty beat in the FA Cup.

    As usual, Radio Robins, sponsored by will be broadcasting a full internet commentary of this game. The commentators will be Paul Salt and Brian Flynn with match summaries by George Heslop. Commentary will start at 2.50pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet.

    Alternatively, you can follow the live text updates on the website's Matchday Updates page.

    Admission prices at The Shay (HX1 2YS) are:

  • Adults £12.50
  • Concessions £9.50
  • 16 and Under £7.50
  • Under 12s £5.00
  • Under 7s £2.00

    The Skircoat stand is all seater down the Skircoat Road side of the Shay and when open is for away supporters.

    According to the Halifax Courier "Town boss Neil Aspin and his Brighouse counterpart Paul Quinn were both smiling after last night’s County Cup clash at St Giles Road. The Shaymen emerged 3-2 winners having given good runouts to the likes of Liam Needham, Jamie Rainford, Anton Foster and Harry Winter...

    “'In the past I have not been a big fan of this competition, but we needed last night’s game', said Aspin. 'It completed James Dean’s suspension and knocked another off Danny Lowe’s. And also there were a number of players who got game time they needed'".

    One of the more bizarre rulings about suspensions is that County Cup matches for Conference National sides do NOT count as first-team games so far as serving suspensions is concerned - as Altrincham discovered in recent seasons. But for Conference North/South clubs, County Cup matches DO count as first-team games for the purposes of serving suspensions. Hence, James Dean is now free to play against Altrincham.

    The Courier continues, "Needham played in an unaccustomed central defensive position alongside Gregg Anderson who was doubling up having played 90 minutes against Colwyn Bay on Tuesday. 'If I am honest we didn’t have any centre backs to play last night', said Aspin. 'It was tough on Gregg to play two games in two nights and with having a few midfield players one had to play with him. I felt Liam was best suited to play there'...

    The goal that proved to be the winner was scored by Reece Richards, one of four youngsters - Scott Eastwood, Jordan Coduri and Matty Thompson were the others - included in Aspin’s squad. 'The lads who have come in have done really well because they don’t train with us and they don’t know the other lads that well', said Aspin".


    Altrincham FC will not have a game on Saturday, 10 December, when the FA Trophy Round 1 takes place.


    News of Alty's former captain comes from the Crosby Herald, which says that "Marine boss Kevin Lynch believes new signing Robbie Lawton’s experience will prove vital as his side look to kick-start their challenge for promotion. The midfielder arrived at the Arriva Stadium last week from Altrincham, and made his debut in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at former club Vauxhall Motors in the FA Trophy.

    And Lynch, a former team-mate of Lawton at Vauxhall, along with Marine assistants Peter Cumiskey and Phil Brazier, believes the 32-year-old’s leadership skills will be key if his side are to break into the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off places this season...

    'I know Robbie very well', said Lynch. 'He brings experience and leadership on the pitch, which is massively important. Sometimes it can be hard to get your message across just shouting from the sidelines but Robbie is very vocal on the field, and that will be important for us. And if his performance on Saturday is anything to go by, then he will be a big influence in other areas as well. I’m pleased we have signed him'.

    Ryan Shotton played 90 minutes for Stoke on Thursday night in the Europa League.


    The Harrogate Advertiser reports that "Harrogate Town will go full-time next season according to boss Simon Weaver as he plots a long-term strategy to move them into the Football Conference. The Wetherby Roaders will join other Blue Square North clubs who have decided to make the giant leap.

    Using the example of Stalybridge, who have been impressive this season, Weaver said the decision was taking [?taken] and will start as of next season. 'We’re looking forward to it', he said. 'Other clubs have tried it, like Stalybridge. We’ve looked at their model and it seems to work'”.

    The monthly Blue Square Bet leagues' Manager of the Month awards include:

  • Blue Square Bet North GARY LOWE from Hyde FC

    As for Players of the Month...

  • Blue Square Bet North DANNY ROWE from Droylsden. The citation reads "Rowe found the net an incredible seven times during the month and also contributed a number of assists for the Bloods".

    According to the Hinckley Times. "A number of new faces have been welcomed to Hinckley United as Dean Thomas... Goalkeeper David Bevan has been drafted in to compete with young Denham Hinds for the number one shirt. The 22-year-old Irishman, who has represented his country at Under-15, 16, 17 and 19 level, was on the books at Walsall last season.

    Thomas has pulled in Danny Bragoli from Rushall Olympic to add to his midfield options and has also bagged two youngsters from the Glenn Hoddle Academy in the form of Joe Cobb and George Thomson, as they look to make their way up the footballing ladder.

    The new faces have meant players going in the opposite direction with defender Ben Richards-Everton going out on loan to Romulus, while Stuart Hendrie’s loan spell at Daventry looks likely to be extended.

    Thomas said, 'We are adding confidence and competition to the squad, although we are having to move people out as well. Hopefully the decisions we are making are the right ones. We are in bit of a relegation battle at the moment due to the games that we are behind because of the cup run, so we have got to rally together and get ourselves out of this precarious position'... As well as the new signings, Thomas could also have defensive duo Craig McAughtrie and Paul Lister back from injury".

    The BBC tells us that "Gainsborough Trinity have signed striker Paul Connor, 32, after he left Mansfield Town to go part-time. Connor joined the Stags in July 2010 and scored 15 goals in 55 appearances for the Blue Square Bet Premier side.

    He told Mansfield's website:, 'I've got one eye on various possibilities after football and I want to be playing more matches at my age'... [He] joined Mansfield after fans' group the 12th Stag donated part of his wages".

    Acording to the Herts & Essex Observer "Every single point is vital for Blues as they seek to stave off relegation from Blue Square Bet North – but their home game against bottom club Blyth Spartans this Saturday is critical. It seems a long time ago since Blyth beat Bishop’s Stortford 3-1 when the two teams met at Croft Park in the third game of the league campaign back in August...

    However, since then the Northumberland side have picked up only seven points and are in desperate trouble... Third-from-bottom Stortford are four points ahead of Blyth...

    Blues boss Ian Walker said, 'We want to win games against teams in the bottom half of the table... We need to turn draws into wins... There are a few teams of good quality and the rest can beat each other', he said. Walker will have keeper Jordan Archer available as his loan from Spurs has been extended by a month... Blues are eyeing a central midfielder from rivals Corby Town and another who has been playing in Finland. They could also bring in a striker, but have snubbed a winger from a Ryman Premier club".

    1 December 2011


    Altrincham FC welcomes two loan signings to the club. They will both be at Moss Lane till at least 7 January 2012.
  • Matthew Flynn joins from Fleetwood Town, for whom he has made 2(+2) BSB appearances this season. A six-foot tall full-back, Preston-born Matty started out at Warrington Town and joined Macclesfield Town in May, 2007 and made 23(+5) appearances for The Silkmen. After various loan spells, one of which led to his signing for Rochdale where he made 7(+4) appearances, he joined Fleetwood in August 2011. He was born on 10 May, 1989 and began the 2011-12 season in the Fleetwood starting line-up.
  • Adrian Hawes is a 6ft 3inch central-defender, who arrives at Altrincham from Alfreton Town. Born on 23 November 1987, his career has taken him from Nottinghamshire club Heanor, via Hucknall Town (Feb. 2009), trials with Motherwell and Dagenham & Redbridge (2009), to Eastwood Town (May, 2010), and a loan at Frickley, before he signed for Alfreton in July of 2011. In 2010-11 he made 26(+1) appearances and scored six goals for Eastwood.


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards writes...

    "Lee Sinnott has begun the task of reviving Altrincham’s fortunes by completing one new signing and closing in on others, ahead of Saturday’s return to Conference North action at FC Halifax.

    With a play-off place Alty’s only target, after a 2-1 FA Trophy defeat away to FC United, Sinnott has moved to strengthen his defence by landing 19-year old Adam Dodd on a month’s loan from Blackpool.

    Though the Fylde-born prospect, who signed his first professional contract at Bloomfield Road last May, can play on the left of midfield or defence, Sinnott significantly described him as ‘predominantly a left-back.’

    Determined to implement the changes needed to rekindle promotion hopes, the Alty boss added, ‘Adam is not scared of a tackle, as he showed in training last night (Tuesday). He comes with a decent pedigree, and he will give us extra options on the left hand side.

    ‘Hopefully he won’t be the last. I’m hoping that over the next couple of days there may be something else, maybe a couple of more. It is an ongoing process, and we are working at it. We know we’re not the finished article but, if we can freshen things up a bit with a few new faces, it can perk everyone up and have a beneficial effect all round.’

    Sunday’s Trophy defeat was meant to be James Lawrie’s farewell appearance, but Sinnott has not given up hope of keeping the on-loan midfielder. The Alty manager explained his stance over Lawrie (left) and delivered his verdict on a tie that was in the balance, prior to FC United’s late winner.

    ‘James trained with us last night, and we are trying to contact Telford to see just where we stand with him,’ he said. ‘It’s just a case of seeing if there are any options we can explore.

    ‘Going out of three cup competitions at the first hurdle is hard to take, but I’ve told the players the important thing is to knuckle down and work their way through it. That is the only answer because, if you are going to have a long career in the game, you are going to have periods like this.

    ‘People see different things in games, but I thought we looked more secure than we have done previously on our travels. You have to be respectful of the opposition, even if they were from a division below us. They have a big following that spurs them on, and they have a decent cup tradition, so it was always going to be a tricky test, which it turned out to be.

    ‘They had a fair bit of possession in the first half, but Stuart Coburn wasn’t exactly overworked, and I thought we looked secure, until a wonder goal hit us, right on the stroke of half-time.

    ‘We then dominated for half-an-hour, and to lose out to a late goal against the run of play was a huge disappointment. It can affect confidence, when things go against you, but it’s essential now that we get our heads down and work our way through it. That’s the only answer, to view each game coming up, starting with FC Halifax, as an opportunity to get a win under our belts and start moving up the table again.

    ‘The substitutions in the second half were all made for a reason. I brought Nicky Clee (right) off for James Lawrie, because I just felt the full-back seemed to have the measure of Nicky. For once, Nicky wasn’t getting round him like he normally does, so I looked to try something else.

    ‘When I sent Michael Twiss on for Jack Redshaw, it wasn’t exactly like introducing a novice to the attack. Twiss and Damian Reeves have been banging the goals in all season, and I explained my thinking to Jack at training. I just felt he has started to look a bit leggy, which was not surprising after stepping up three divisions. There has perhaps been a bit of levelling off with him, but that’s not a problem – he will push on again.

    ‘Finally, Robbie Williams was withdrawn, because we were going all out for an equaliser, and FC United’s only thought was keeping us at bay. We just didn’t need that many defenders out there.

    ‘I don’t enjoy losing, especially when it means another early cup exit, but you have to look at things logically and philosophically, just as you have to address problems and put them right. We are doing all that.’

    Chris Lynch is likely to be missing again with a groin injury, but could be fit for Tuesday’s home game with Corby".


    Lee Sinnott has also spoken to the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser which reports that "Lee Sinnott is convinced the only thing stopping Altrincham mounting a push for promotion is a bout of travel sickness. Altrincham were dumped out of the FA Trophy by Evo-Stik Premier FC United on Sunday, prompting chairman Grahame Rowley to issue a plea to supporters not to criticise Sinnott and his players.

    The Robins have picked up just five points on their Conference North travels this season compared to six wins from nine games at Moss Lane. And despite the disappointment at seeing the road to Wembley blocked by FC United, Sinnott believes a change of fortune on the road could see Altrincham challenge the league leaders in the new year.

    'We’ve been together for five months and we’re looking to build something', said Sinnott, who replaced Ken McKenna in the summer. 'It takes time and it’s an on-going process. We’ve got 25 points in the league and we’re six points off the play-offs with a game in hand. Our away form just needs rectifying. You get the sense that people think there’s a little bit of doom and gloom. Form in this league can change very, very quickly. We know where we need to improve and things are going on behind the scenes to bring new people to the club.

    I’ve said to the players, we’ve just got to keep our heads down and work our way through it. It’ll make them better players for later in their careers. In the meantime, we’ve just got to keep our heads down and graft'.

    Sinnott was adamant Altrincham didn’t deserve to lose after watching FC United progress into the first round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win at Gigg Lane... 'If you look at the balance of play, of course we should still be in the hat. But this is cup football and sometimes you don’t get what you deserve'".


    TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes:

    "At a pivotal stage of the season, the board of Altrincham Football Club have stepped in to support the retention of the magnificent travelling support that the team have been given this season and, at the same time, potentially solve a financial conundrum for The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC).

    The club are laying on a FREE 42-seater GoGoodwins coach for supporters to travel in to The Shay Stadium on Saturday and, as far as TASC Travel Co-ordinator Tom Jacobs is concerned, the timing couldn’t be better. 'Despite really good support for the coach travel service this season, we have made some significant losses on a number of trips and we couldn’t risk that happening again at Halifax, therefore our plan was to run a minibus. We are hugely grateful to the directors for helping us out. The timing couldn’t be better. We will be asking for donations from supporters using the coach service but the great thing is that we should be taking a full coach to a really important fixture and, hopefully, that will help to produce a positive team performance and result'".

    Chairman, Grahame Rowley said 'As everyone is aware, we have had a bad run recently and at Tuesday’s board meeting, we felt that this was the best way of showing our support for the management, players and supporters at this time'".

    The pick up times remain as published on the Away Travel page, but if you want to reserve your place on Saturday’s coach, please call the club on 0161 928 1045. Do it NOW!!!"

    Those who had already booked for the smaller capacity transport have had their names transferred to the 42-seater list.


    The Hale, Altrincham and Sale Independent reports that at Moss Lane, "Altrincham Football Club has a new banner in front of the Carole Nash Family Terrace – The Hale, Altrincham and Sale Independent - with the paper now providing in-depth reports for the Robins each month, Pictured [by Gavin Rathbone] in front of the new banner are Paul Mirage, Sales Director of The Independent and Graham Rowley, the club chairman".


    NL Daily reports that "Ashton United and Marcus Hallows have reached a resolution in respect of the outstanding matters arising from the judgement made in Mr Hallows's favour in February 2010.

    Ashton United acknowledge and appreciate the concessions made by Mr Hallows and his lawyers George Davies Solicitors LLP and Gary Mabbut to ensure that Marcus Hallows received full compensation for his injury".

    Pitchero Non-League reports on Chester FC, where the manager states that "our club scout, Alex Hay, went up to Kendal on Saturday to watch their game against Mickleover Sports". Alex spent a lon gloan period at Alty from Tranmere in our UniBond League days.

    Meanwhile, former Alty Reserve Scott Metcalfe netted for his new club, Salford City this week.


    At Blyth Spartans, "The club can confirm that Huddersfield Town have agreed to extend the loan period for central defender Greg Pearson. The new loan arrangement will expire on January 3rd 2012".

    From the North Wales Pioneer, we read that "Chris Sanna was a penalty-saving hero for Colwyn Bay at the weekend... in an FA Trophy clash with Halifax... and boss Jon Newby said he was pleased with his keeper’s contribution to an otherwise uneventful match". But in the replay, Halifax report that manager "Neil Aspin admitted his side's 2-1 defeat to Colwyn Bay was another frustrating example of Halifax's home form. The Town manager was left cursing two preventable goals from the opposition as The Shaymen were knocked out of the FA Trophy.

    He said, 'It's been a disappointing night; another disappointing game at home... We've not played well at home this season... We've gifted them two goals and all the games we've struggled in at home have coincided with giving goals away'...

    Halifax missed a penalty through James Walshaw while Colwyn scored one thanks to Fraser McLachlan'".

    And FC Halifax add that former Alty Reserve and Halifax "Captain Tom Baker has spoke[n] to Joseph Speckman about FC Halifax's crash out of the FA Trophy...

    'It was a poor result. After Saturday's game we have brought them here to a great pitch and you hope to get the job done and get through to the next round... A Rob Hopley penalty and a freak Gregg Anderson own goal cost Town the win... 'We made our own mistakes and we missed chances ourselves so we need to be more clinical. We gave a sloppy penalty away, something we have done way too much this season... We scored and then I like to think we could have went on and won the game so, to concede a goal'.

    James Walshaw missed from the penalty spot in the first half to add to the list of penalty misses this season. So far, Town have missed five penalty kicks this season and Baker, who has missed two of them himself... 'I don't know what will happen from now on but I fancy myself to get back on them now, unless Simon Eastwood or the gaffer fancies a chance, but we didn't lose tonight because of a penalty miss, we lost because we missed other chances and we defended poorly'.

    Town can now concentrate on pushing up the Blue Square North table and get back to winning ways, starting with a home game against Altrincham this Saturday. Baker thinks Saturday's game is huge.

    'We have had a good run in the league. We haven't lost since the Droylsden game, which we shouldn't have lost anyway to be honest. But now we need to concentrate on the league again and we did want to do well in the FA Trophy and get as far as we could but the Altrincham game is now a massive one and they are a decent side so we need to respond with three points'...

    Aaron Hardy left the field with an ankle injury mid-way through the first half to be replaced by [ex-Trafford FC man] Harry Winter. Baker has taken the time to praise both players he has partnered in the centre of midfield. 'It's disappointing because he's been doing well, we have had a nice combination going between Aaron, Simon Garner and myself and it's been working well. Harry came on and did well so the place is up for grabs now but I'm gutted for Aaron because he has been great but it's time for someone else to step up. It's also great to see Gregg Anderson back in the squad after an injury and with Danny Lowe being suspended, it's an ideal opportunity for him'".