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- 21 Aug 2018 : ALTY'S HOME DRAW IN CSC... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : SUPPORTERS' TRAVEL TO DARLINGTON... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : LAST TIME AT DARLINGTON... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : ALTY MATCHING MANCHESTER CITY!... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : TEAM OF THE WEEK... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : BLYTH INJURY CRISIS... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : YORK APPOINT CARETAKERS... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : ALFRETON ADDRESS DEFENSIVE LAPSES... More
- 21 Aug 2018 : KIDDY BOSS HAILS RESPONSE... More
21 August 2018
- Alsager Town v Barnton
- Runcorn Linnets v Vauxhall Motors
- ALTRINCHAM v Congleton Town
- Warrington Town v Stockport County
- Northwich Victoria v Tranmere Rovers
- Crewe Alexandra v Cheadle Town
- Camell Laird v Hyde United
- Macclesfield Town v Linotype Cheadle NH
- Chester FC v Witton Albion
The clubs receiving byes to the last sixteen (First Round) are Sandbach, 1874 Northwich, Runcorn Town, Winsford United, Nantwich Town, Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport Town.Away Travel page. You can book your seat in the Community Sports at this Saturday's match with Boston United or by visiting or ringing the Club offices during weekday office hours.
Above: On their only previous visit to Blackwell Meadows, a ground shared with Darlington RUFC as the signage shows, Alty line up before kick off in March 2017.
Alty last played at Darlington after a Wednesday evening trip to the North East on 1 March 2017 and they were beaten 3-1 in Vanarama National League North. Coincidentally, given his sacking this weekend by York City, the Quakers' manager for the 2017 game was Martin Gray.
Altrincham went into the game in 2017 with eight players already out, injured, and they ended the evening with ten men sidelined, after goalkeeper Tim Deasy and midfielder Kyle Brownhill were both injured during the second half.
Darlington dominated the early stages and took a third minute lead when Falkingham got the ball off Chris Lynch (who played for FCUM against Alty last Tuesday) and John Cyrus had to slice the ball out for a corner. From the right-wing corner, Brown headed the ball forward and Beck netted from close range. The second goal arrived in the 29th minute when Cartman outpaced Lynch and scored with a well-struck, low shot past Tim Deasy.
However, Altrincham got back into the game five minutes later. Clee, deployed at left-back, got forward and fed Lawrie, whose blocked shot fell to loanee Elliot Newby, who netted for the second successive match.
Seven minutes after the break Tim Deasy had to go off and Andrew Jones came on for his league debut in goal. Then Kyle Brownhill was clattered and had to be chaired off the pitch. But the game was settled when Simon Richman was judged by the referee to have tripped an opponent and Galbraith netted the resulting penalty (80 mins). After that, despite Nicky Clee being moved forward and Cyrus being deployed up front, there was no way back.
Alty's line up for the match was 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. John CYRUS 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Micah EVANS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Sam PATTERSON, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Darius PALMA, 16. Andy McWILLIAMS, 17. Andrew JONES.National League's "North Team of the Weekend is:
- Goalkeeper: Steven Drench (Bradford PA)
- Defenders: Jonathan Hunt (Curzon Ashton), Ben Middleton (Boston United), Matt Challonor (Chorley)
- Midfielders: Dion Charles (Southport), Alex Newby (Chorley), Jimmy Armson (Brackley), Declan Weeks (Kidderminster)
- Strikers: Tom Denton (Alfreton), Jack Sampson (Southport), Daniel Udoh (AFC Telford)
- Substitutes: Sam Minihan (Stockport County), Martin Horsell (Hereford), Nathan Arnold (Boston United), Lee Ndlovu (Brackley Town), Joe Ironside (Kidderminster)
- Manager of the Weekend: Liam Watson (Southport) He’s unlikely to admit it, but defeat from their first four games would have shocked the Southport boss, who has promotion ambitious. But a 4-1 win at Nuneaton could signal a change of fortune" says the League.
According to York Press "Youth-team manager Sam Collins has been confirmed as York City's caretaker chief following the departure of Martin Gray. He will be assisted by City's strength and conditioning coach, Stuart Parnaby.
Collins, 41, played nearly 600 senior games as a defender for clubs including Huddersfield Town, Bury, Port Vale, Hull City, and Hartlepool. He arrived at Bootham Crescent in the summer after previously working as professional development coach at League One outfit Bradford City. Previously, Collins has stood in as caretaker-manager at Hartlepool on three occasions. Former England under-21 international defender Parnaby, 36, played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough and Birmingham City before joined City this summer.
The pair accepted the roles this morning and are now prepar[ing] the players for the Bank Holiday weekend fixtures against Brackley Town and Blyth Spartans".
The Chester Chronicle adds that "The Minstermen sit eighth in the table with two wins, one draw and two defeats from the opening five games and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Curzon Ashton on Saturday. But that result was unable to convince the Bootham Crescent hierarchy that former Darlington manager Gray was the man to lead them forward and they parted company with him over the weekend...
There are already a number of names in the frame for the vacancy, with former Chester FC manager Jon McCarthy among them. McCarthy, sacked as Chester boss in September last year, is currently number two to Liam Watson at Southport and remains a hugely popular figure at Bootham Crescent owing to his stint there as a player in the 1990s. He is at 33/1 with bookmakers BetVictor. Among the front runners are former Doncaster Rovers boss Dave Penney (8/1), Paul Dickov (16/1), ex-Blackburn Rovers boss Owen Coyle (25/1) and one-time Chester City manager Keith Curle (25/1).
Adam Murray, who made the shortlist for the Chester job in the summer, and Liverpool Ladies boss Neil Redfearn, who had been offered the Blues post before turning it down, have both been linked with the post at York."
Meanwhile, at Blyth Spartans "Alun Armstrong was left ruing 'the worst injury list' he’s ever seen after Aaron Cunningham suffered an ankle injury in Saturday 3-1 defeat at Alfreton Town. The Hartlepool United loanee... was forced off... forcing a re-jig of the side.
'It’s looks like he’s rolled his ankle,' suggested Armstrong in his post-match interview, 'I’d expect him to miss a few weeks at least.' He’s not the first centre-back to go down with injury this season, Sam Brotherton suffered an injury in the season opener against Hereford and only now has the full extent of the injury been disclosed. 'Sam had a scan earlier in the week and it looks like he’ll be out for at least two months. He’s suffered some ligament damage... I’ve never known such an injury list at any club I’ve been at as a player or a manager. We’ve got four central defenders out.'
Cunningham and Brotherton join Ryan Hutchinson in the treatment room, with Jordan Watson still returning from an ACL injury with a loan spell at Northern League side Sunderland RCA. With Nathan Buddle the only recognised fit central defender on the books, like he was during the summer, Armstrong discussed the possibility of bringing someone else in. 'It’s all about the money,' Armstrong stated with [an] exasperated expression on his face, 'We simply don’t have it, I could bring in a central defender rather easily, but would they be capable of playing at this level? Not a chance? The defenders I wanted in the summer had a price on their head. We simply couldn’t afford to bring those players in and I was left to bring in loans. We are now back to square one.'"
Bulls' News reports that "The average attendance across the matches on Saturday dropped below 1000 for the first time this season, with the largest crowd (2192) at York, and just over 1500 at both Chorley and Kidderminster. The only other gate over 1000 was at the J Davidson, [Altrincham]. The NLN lowest crowd of the season so far was the 180 at Ashton United for the Brackley game".
20 August 2018 official website.
The National League has highlights of Altrincham v Boston United.
The National League has highlights of the Quakers' game last Saturday, a 5-2 defeat by Kidderminster.
From the Northern Echo comes news that "After a mixed week in which his Darlington team displayed its good, bad and ugly characteristics, Tommy Wright’s post-match analysis sought to keep things in perspective.
'We weren’t a bad team last week and we weren’t a bad team on Wednesday so, three days later, we aren’t a bad team,' he said, after seeing his team lose 5-2 at Kidderminster Harriers... 'We’ll move on quickly from it,' he said. Clinical finishing was the difference when beating Brackley Town 4-2 a week ago, and their attacking instincts were abundantly evident in midweek against Blyth Spartans.
Those matches brought out the best in a Darlington side living up to Wright’s commitment to forward-thinking football, his desire to excite fans coming to the fore, particularly against Blyth when his team deserved to win comfortably despite drawing 1-1. Yet, they also conceded cheap goals in both fixtures, the one against Blyth being particularly poor; a long pass through the middle catching out a flat-footed defence...
Darlington could have done without making life difficult for themselves. Joe Wheatley did just that, however, the young midfielder shown a red card after an ugly lunge in the 17th minute on Declan Weeks... The first goal was a penalty by Joe Ironside after half an hour, conceded when Dom Collins pushed Fraser Horsfall, and 2-0 when Ironside was given space to head in...
Quakers were on the back-foot before Wheatley’s red, and after the second goal Wright replaced Collins with Ben O’Hanlon, Terry Galbraith moving to the centre.
'You could dissect every goal and somebody will be at fault,' said the manager... 'But the first two goals we’ve really handed them on a plate. We’ve made it hard for ourselves. To leave their big No. 9, who will score 20-25 goals for them, free at the far post for a tap-in is where the frustration comes in for me.'
Replacing Collins was Wright’s second change of the half having already sent on Liam Hughes for Alex Henshall when Wheatley saw red. It was a bold move as it meant both strikers, Reece Styche and Simon Ainge, stayed on, with Darlington switching to 4-4-1, Styche going wide left.
Wright added 'I’ve been on the receiving end when a team-mate has been sent off early and I’ve been subbed. Alex will be gutted that his game has been cut short through no fault of his own. You end up losing two players from a system that has been working for three games on the spin, so you have to think on the spot, but ultimately that’s my job.'
Quakers rallied, showing spirit to remain in the contest and twice had the ball in the net during a second half in which the teams traded five goals...
Wright added... Individuals have probably let us down a little bit and let themselves down more importantly... There’s not going to be a dressing down as such and a case of dissecting it too much detail... We need to get back on the training pitch quickly and get smiles back on faces. I don’t want the lads to lose heart after everything they’ve done so far.'"NL Daily which says that "Chesterfield boss Martin Allen has not put a time frame on how long injured Sam Wedgbury faces on the sidelines, reports the Sheffield Star. Wedgbury sustained a knee injury and was stretchered off during the Spireites’ 3-2 defeat at Barrow on Tuesday night. And Allen, who saw up close the pain the midfielder was in, admitted 'It’ll be a long time' before he returns to action... 'He’ll be out for a long time... I’ve never been on the pitch to see a player before but it wasn’t far from me and I could see the pain he was in.'" York City Football Club "has parted company with manager Martin Gray. The club has informed Martin that his contract will not be renewed and he has now left his post with immediate effect...
The Board of Directors provided Martin with all the necessary financial support to rebuild his squad this summer after the team had missed out on last season's promotion play-offs. Regrettably, it is felt that a change is now needed.
Assistant-manager Sean Gregan is also leaving with immediate effect".
The National League reports that "Jamie Vermiglio says nobody could’ve believed the start his Chorley have made after a fifth straight win saw the Magpies move clear at the top. Vermiglio’s side have secured maximum points so far this season and overcame a Hereford side who themselves had started impressively.
The National League’s Oli Osborn caught up with the Magpies boss after the game...
'I’m made up, not just with the victories, but the manner of the victories as well,' he said. 'We’ve gone to some tough places and played some good teams and today, Hereford are a good side and they will certainly be up there come the end of the season. We had to keep going today to get that goal and we finally got it and overall, I think we just shaded it but to get that goal in the last few minutes, what a feeling. I’m absolutely made up'.
He continued, 'When I first joined here, we were playing in front of 156 supporters and now it’s 1500 at home against ex-league times like Hereford, York, Guiseley. This is amazing for this club and we just want to keep riding the quest [crest] of the wave and by the time it comes to the end of the season, hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts.
'I look at the table all the time. I don’t know if I would if we were getting beat but generally I think you’ve got to look at the table and see where you are. It makes happy reading at the moment for me, the players, the staff and most of all, the supporters.'”
Alty travel to Croft Park on 1 September, from where Blyth Spartans report that "boss Alun Armstrong is baffled by the ‘longest injury list he’s ever seen after Spartans lost a fourth centre-half of the season in side’s 3-1 defeat to Alfreton Town.
Hartlepool United loanee Aaron Cunningham, who put in a man of the match performance on Wednesday evening at Darlington, suffered an ankle injury early in the second half with Spartans level with The Reds... Ryan Hutchinson is a long term absentee, with Sam Brotherton now out for two months due to ligament damage, Jordan Watson still recovering from an ACL injury and Damen Mullen recovering from a pre-season injury.
Armstrong was forced to move midfielder Sean Reid into the centre-back role, and he believes that was the catalyst for Spartans' downfall... 'Moving Reidy cost us the game, no doubt about that,' exclaimed Armstrong moments after the final whistle. 'Aaron rolled his ankle which meant I had to move Reidy into centre-half, that killed our midfield, which is no disrespect to those who came off the bench, but the three in the middle were playing some great football, it was a joy to watch'...
'In the second half I’m not sure where the commitment was, and when Aaron went off, heads seemed to drop for some reason, I can’t explain why. To be fair the lads put in a hell of an effort on Wednesday, we have a few tired legs out there'...
Giant striker Tom Denton netted twice from headers... 'He’s a problem,' Armstrong stated, 'a six-foot-seven problem.... It’s all about the second ball and other than the goal and a stunning save from Pete Jameson, they didn’t create much. But we aren’t learning from basic errors, defenders in this league kick the ball out of play when they are in trouble, we for some reason try and hook it and that’s how they take the lead, simple stuff'...
'We know it’s going to be tough with the amount of players we have unavailable, but the lads have just got to put in a shift.'"
Also from Blyth Spartans goalkeeper "Peter Jameson admitted Blyth Spartans cannot keep making mistakes or they will get punished... Blyth should have gone 2-1 up as Dan Maguire witnessed his effort hit the post from inside the area.
Another factor was the injury to Aaron Cunningham in the 53rd minute. With Nathan Buddle now the only fit centre-half at the club, Blyth lost the attacking threat of Sean Reid as he dropped into the heart of the defence...
Jameson said, 'It was a poor start going 1-0 down then I thought the lads did really well, we got ourselves back into it. The majority of the first-half, I thought we were the much better team but in second-half, that changed... I honestly thought we’d come out in the second-half and really kick on but we give away two mistakes which resulted in two goals for them'...
Perhaps it was one game too much for the Spartans defence, who had to contend with two tall and physical strikers for the second time in four days. Having battled superbly against Darlington’s Simon Ainge and Reece Styche, Blyth failed to stop Denton and former Gateshead player Richard Peniket from dictating the play".
The Chester Standard reports that "Chester FC's players will have to wait two weeks to right the wrongs of their 8-1 hammering at the hands of Blyth Spartans...
An update from the Blues read 'Specialist examination is currently being undertaken to estimate repairs required and the timeline needed for the stadium to be safely opened to meet forthcoming fixtures.' The postponements mean that Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's men will next be in action on Saturday as they visit AFC Telford United."
'The most important thing today was to get the three points. It was the result we needed. We applied ourselves in the right way, we created opportunities and we took them when they came along...
'Lee Ndlovu has done very well in the four games as a lone striker. We try to get Shep and Jimmy higher up the pitch in support but Lee has shown he can do that role for us. Connor Hall and Luke [Fairlamb] have come in. They are terrific guys and have shown me enough to know that they can compete at this level and on this stage. But with all due respect they’ve come from a different level where you might get away with a lapse but this is an intense league. At this level if you switch off for one moment you will be punished. They will continue to learn and to progress I have no doubt but at the same time we have to be still winning games. I have no doubt that over the coming months they will progress and play at that good and consistent level but we need to be mindful that we need to be achieving results now.
'We have had a difficult start to the season with some uncharacteristic individual errors that have cost us. We eradicated them today so it is no surprise we came out with a quite convincing victory. It’s the poorest start to a season I have had as a manager...
'We have not found the cohesion we had last season yet. It is not down to losing a couple of big players. That happens to teams every season. It is about getting on with it...
'So it has been a frustrating start. There is good reason to believe we could be six or more points better off than we are at this time. We have not been out-passed by any team. Doing the job in both penalty areas is something we need to do better... I need everyone to take a step back and to appreciate how hard it is to win a game and pick up three points...
It might be the case that we need to bring in some new players to the fold to strengthen what we are. I am still looking for other players. We have to progress the squad and continue to find players who can make the difference'".
From the other side of Saturday's game, Ashton United report that "Last season’s losing play off finalists inflicted Ashton’s second home defeat of the week with a convincing performance at Hurst Cross. The first period was a tight affair... The visitors were gifted the opening goal on 16 minutes as Aaron Chalmers miscued a clearance and then both he and Matty Hill tried to clear the resulting ball leaving James Armson time to slot the opener...
After the interval... Armson almost got his second ten minutes into the half as he picked up Matt Lowe’s pass and hit the left hand post but the reprieve was short lived as Lee Ndluvo hit a shot across goal which Hill could only help into his own net...
Ex-Alty man Craig Hobson just missed the near post from Bakare’s cross but with 16 minutes left Armson reached the by line and delayed his cross long enough for Glenn Walker to arrive and volley it home and 5 minutes later Town won a penalty as Mathias Bakare brought down Murombedzi with Ndluvo converting. With time running down sub Gregg Smith headed home Shane Byrne’s free kick at the far post and the Robins got a consolation as Hobson did similarly with [ex-Alty midfielder] Sam Sheridan’s delivery".
19 August 2018
Altrincham's attempts to build from the back were frustrated by Boston but it was not till the 88th minute that the Pilgrims sealed the game. Moult was dispossessed in midfield and substitute Westcarr fed Arnold. From left of goal, the former Lincoln and Grimsby man's rising shot beat Thompson.
Right: Second-half action against Boston.
The Altrincham FC official site has a report on the game from Press & Media Officer, John Edwards.
Altrincham are now thirteenth in the table in advance of their trip to Darlington on Saturday.Boston United report that "Adam Marriott and Nathan Arnold scored the all-important goals as Boston United chalked up a second successive away victory on Saturday afternoon.
The former Lincoln City duo were on target at different ends of the second half as the Pilgrims made it three wins from three in the last week with victory at Altrincham.
Marriott's 49th minute opener was supplemented by Arnold's 89th minute strike as United bossed proceedings at the J Davidson Stadium.
Chances were at a premium in the first half... Walker had been handed a start, while Toby Lees was included in the starting XI for the first time with Ryan Qualter missing through injury.
United took the lead four minutes after half-time when MARRIOTT crashed home a low 20-yarder after working himself some space outside of the Altrincham area...
Altrincham remained in the contest and Daniels sent another drive narrowly wide from 20 yards. United did not need to be too concerned though and sealed the points with a minute to play when substitute Craig Westcarr slipped ARNOLD into the clear and he beat Tony Thompson in the Robins’ net."
- Alfreton Town 3 1 Blyth Spartans att.465
- Altrincham 0 2 Boston United att. 1067
- Ashton United 1 5 Brackley Town att. 180
- Bradford Park Avenue 1 1 Stockport County att. 825
- Chester P P FC United Of Manchester
- Chorley 1 0 Hereford att. 1542
- Kidderminster Harriers 5 2 Darlington att. 1522
- Leamington 2 2 Guiseley att. 485
- Nuneaton Borough 1 4 Southport att. 459
- Spennymoor Town 2 3 AFC Telford United att. 600
- York City 1 1 Curzon Ashton att. 2192
Vanarama National League North
- AFC Telford United v Chester
- Blyth Spartans v Chorley
- Boston United v Spennymoor Town
- Brackley Town v York City
- Curzon Ashton v Kidderminster Harriers
- Darlington v Altrincham
- FC United of Manchester v Leamington
- Guiseley v Nuneaton Borough
- Hereford v Bradford Park Avenue
- Southport v Ashton United
- Stockport County v Alfreton Town
They had been looking to build on last week’s impressive 4-2 win at Brackley, which was followed by an encouraging performance in midweek. But they conceded five at Kidderminster, who were well worth their win.
Joe Wheatley was red-carded on 17 minutes for a lunge on Declan Weeks in the middle of Kidderminster’s half, and thereafter the hosts were on top, finishing the first half 2-0 ahead...
After the second goal Tommy Wright replaced Collins with Ben O’Hanlon, his second change before half-time having sent on Liam Hughes for Alex Henshall after Wheatley’s dismissal, when Quakers switched to 4-4-1.
Quakers had hope soon after the restart when Simon Ainge pulled one back. He scored a close-range header, his third goal of the season, after a Stephen Thompson corner was headed back across by Terry Galbraith on 52 minutes.
But it was 3-1 when on 63 minutes... It was not long, however, before sub Jordan Nicholson gave ten-man Quakers a glimmer of hope when he executed a calm finish on 68 minutes, keeping his cool to score after being played in by Reece Styche, skipping past a defender and shooting beyond Brandon Hall to score his first goal for Darlington.
But the sixth goal of the day finally finished off Quakers on 73 minutes, Fraser Horsfall with a header after a free-kicked was pumped into Darlington’s penalty area by Weeks. Weeks had just been named as the sponsors’ man of the match when he completed Quakers’ misery with the fifth goal."
Darlington (4-4-2): Maddison, Trotman, Collins (O’Hanlon 40), Burn, Galbraith; Thompson, Elliott, Wheatley, Henshall (Hughes 19); Styche (Nicholson 64), Ainge. Subs (not used): Saunders, Syers"
The Northern Echo adds that "Quakers can have no qualms with Joe Wheatley’s red card today at Kidderminster Harriers, says boss Tommy Wright, though he pointed out there was no malice in the challenge...
The ball had run loose after Reece Styche had been tackled, Wheatley looking to immediately win back possession. But his 17th minute tackle was deemed dangerous by referee Barry Lamb, who showed the youngster the first red card of his career. Wright watched the incident back after the match, and said... 'I don’t think there was any intent to harm, it’s not like he’s reckless and tried to hurt somebody. He’s gone to win a tackle and he has hurt the lad... He’s devastated by that and we’ve lost a player that has been on fire for three games.'
Wheatley will miss the home game with Altrincham on Saturday, the Bank Holiday trip to Ashton United and the contest at home to Alfreton on September 1."
Vanarama National League North
- Alfreton Town v Southport
- Altrincham v Guiseley
- Ashton United v Darlington
- Bradford Park Avenue v Boston United
- Chester v Hereford
- Chorley v Curzon Ashton
- Kidderminster Harriers v Stockport County
- Leamington v AFC Telford United
- Nuneaton Borough v Brackley Town
- Spennymoor Town v FC United Of Manchester
- York City v Blyth Spartans
Stockport supporters travelled in their numbers and were treated to a first-half display full of attacking intent from their side. This didn’t faze Bradford, who did excellently to nullify the threat of the visitors’ attacking contingent...
Bradford did have opportunites of their own but didn’t trouble Ben Hinchliffe and failed to register a shot on target in the entirety of the first-half... Nicky Clee felled Kirby inside the 18-yard box to give Warburton the chance to convert from 12-yards, but Drench dived to his left and held the tame effort...
Defensive lynchpin Luca Havern did excellently to thwart Minihan after the break, steering his cross behind for a corner as Sam Walker lurked...
With twelve minutes remaining, the Hatters took the lead as Warburton found the top corner with a sensational strike from distance.
Bradford responded by piling bodies forward, and deployed the towering Adam Nowakowski as a makeshift striker. The decision was rewarded when Nowakowski put the hosts back on level terms, steering home after meeting a Beesley delivery from the left".
According to York Press "York City boss Martin Gray would welcome a switch to Friday-night football but admits that any change might have to wait until the move to Monks Cross.
Members of the Bootham Crescent faithful reacted with great regret and sadness on learning that the 1-0 midweek victory over Stockport last week is currently scheduled as the final evening contest to be staged at the much-cherished 86-year-old ground.
That, of course, could change given potential postponements or cup replays but Gray feels the club will not be in a position to rearrange any Saturday afternoon fixtures by choice, as a means of creating more matches under the lights before the gates are closed for a final time this summer.
Over the last three-and-a-bit seasons, when the club have sunk to their lowest ebb in the football pyramid, midweek home matches have delivered a respectable win rate of 50 per cent, as opposed to the significantly less successful 37 per cent figure that can be attributed to 3pm kick-offs on Saturday afternoons.
The game against ex-Football League foes Stockport was played out amid a cauldron of noise that all involved agreed served as a 12th man for the hosts, but the club’s board have stressed that Friday night games are not under consideration and Gray does not believe National League North rivals would be in favour of such a move.
Promotion into the largely full-time division above would, seemingly, present the best chance of changing to Gray’s preferred kick-off time when the next challenge would be to recreate that unique Bootham night-time atmosphere at the new community stadium.
'I love the night games here and, as a player or manager, it’s just a different atmosphere and seems better,' Gray said. 'I’d love to play on Friday nights, because you’d have everybody coming in looking forward to the weekend and I think it would be brilliant.
'We’d probably also get a lot of floating fans – maybe 200 or 300 – who might watch their football somewhere else on a Saturday. We’d need the agreement of other clubs to do it, so I don’t think it will happen this season, because part-time clubs would regard it as giving us an advantage if they’re coming over from Lancashire after a day’s work but, going forward, it would be great to play on Friday nights at the new stadium.'
Macaulay Langstaff’s opening goal during Tuesday night’s 2-0 triumph at Ashton United, meanwhile, ended a club drought on the road that had equalled the worst sequence for 42 years. The Minstermen had failed to net during five successive contests at Nuneaton (0-1), Gainsborough (0-1), FC United of Manchester (0-1), Brackley (0-2) and Chorley (0-1).
Another barren scoresheet would have seen City match the six away games without a goal that Wilf McGuinness’ 1975/76 side suffered from September to November during the club’s second division relegation campaign, although Chelsea and Southampton were among the host teams during that sequence...
City’s class of 2018/19 also avoided the worst run of away defeats on the trot since Jackie McNamara oversaw the club’s second relegation from the Football League in 2016, returning from eight trips without any reward... Summer signing Joe Tait heads both The Press Player of the Month and Year contests four fixtures into the new campaign".
The Shropshire Star reports that at Spennymoor Town "A Daniel Udoh double across three second-half minutes laid the foundation for a terrific Bucks away win, but only after harsh words from manager Gavin Cowan at half-time.
The Bucks made three changes to the team that defeated Brackley Town in midweek; goalkeeper Max Bramley returned in place of Sheridan Martinez, whilst Jonathan Royle and Amari Morgan- Smith replaced Henry Cowans and Andrew Brown.
With Spennymoor presenting a more robust physical challenge on a sloping playing surface, the thought was that Royle and Morgan-Smith would add a little more muscle.
Mark Anderson put the home side ahead on the half-hour, as his team started to find their rhythm...
Manager Cowan admitted that his half-time team talk was probably his most animated so far this season, but it worked, and his side looked far sharper in the second half, aided by kicking down the slope...
A cross from the right was met by the head of Amari Morgan-Smith, forcing a full-length save from Moors keeper Matt Gould; unfortunately for Gould he parried it straight to Daniel Udoh, who tapped into an unguarded net. Amazingly, within two minutes of that the Bucks led. It was again a duel between Udoh and Gould, the former put through on goal, and the keeper saved the forward’s effort but saw it rebound off Udoh and run into the net.
The Bucks were now in control, and the Moors were rocked back on their heels by the quick one-two they’d been hit with. Things got worse for them on 77 minutes, when the Bucks established a two-goal lead...
That should have been it for the Bucks, but on 81 minutes Ryan Sears, who had just been fouled by Glen Taylor, delayed the restart of the game and was shown a second yellow card. Cowan sacrificed Morgan-Smith up front to bring on Dom Smith at right back, but the Moors sensed just a hint of a chance...
On 89 minutes home substitute David Foley lashed home from six yards after Max Bramley couldn’t hold a Moors effort... [before] the referee ended the agony for the 40 Bucks fans in attendance".
18 August 2018
- Alfreton Town 3-1 Blyth Spartans
- Altrincham 0-2 Boston United
- Ashton United 1-5 Brackley Town
- Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Stockport County
- Chester P-P FC United of Manchester
- Chorley 1-0 Hereford
- Kidderminster Harriers 5-2 Darlington
- Leamington 2-2 Guiseley
- Nuneaton Borough 1-4 Southport
- Spennymoor Town 2-3 AFC Telford United
- York City 1-1 Curzon Ashton
Boston United announce that they "travel to Altrincham on Saturday afternoon as the new National League North campaign reaches the five-game mark. The Pilgrims, who are currently third with nine points to their credit, travel to an Altrincham side beaten for the first time in midweek (by FC United of Manchester)...
United manager Craig Elliott is expected to select from a similar squad to the one on duty for Tuesday evening's victory over Nuneaton Borough. Full-back Ashley Jackson is eligible to play as his three-match suspension [for a midweek red card] will not kick in until August 25...
Saturday's match referee is Matt Corlett."
Mr Corlett has previously refereed Altrincham. He was in charge of the 1-1 draw with Buxton at the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday, 4 November 2017. More recently, he sent off Southport's Billy Priestley in their match against Stockport County last weekend.
Above: When Mr Corlett last officiated at Moss Lane, James Poole was the Alty captain, as shown above. Jake Moult and Simon Richman were both suspended for that game.
As well as the referee, a number of the Pilgrims' players have been to the JDS before as the Boston Standard tells us that "Ryan Qualter is heading to Altrincham looking for revenge. The Boston United defender was on the losing side twice when he faced the Robins with former club, Shaw Lane, last season.
'I lost twice. So let’s hope it’s better on Saturday,' said Qualter, who didn’t have the best of times against the eventual Northern Premier League champions. 'They were a good side last year. They’re a close-knit side with lots of quality going forward. They concede a lot of goals but they’re very dangerous going forward, so that’s something we’re going to have to be aware of'...
He added, 'It’s obviously a long season but... if you stay up the right end of the table all season you’re going to be there or thereabouts. You don’t want to be dropping down. There are big teams in this league and tough tests to come.'"
The visitors' line-up for their most recent match this season was: (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton, Ryan Qualter, Spencer Harris, Ashley Jackson; Nathan Arnold (Toby Lees 84), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Jonathan Wafula; Adam Marriott (Craig Westcarr 76), Andre Johnson (Nicky Walker 46). Subs (not used): Jonny Margetts, Grant Roberts.
Boston's unused subs last Tuesday included Jonny Margetts who had a brief loan spell at Altrincham in 2015-16 season. The 24 year-old came to Alty on loan from Tranmere Rovers on 22 January 2016. He had started out at Hull City from where he had loan spells with Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town and Cambridge United before moving on to Tranmere Rovers in summer 2015. A spell on loan at Stockport County followed before he joined The Robins. In his month at the club Jonny scored twice in his six starts for Altrincham.
He then had spells at Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United from where he signed for Boston this summer.
The Boston Standard adds that "Boston United sit third in the National League North, but Craig Elliott admits his squad are still a long way off delivering the performances he wants. The Pilgrims boss believes that his team’s defensive robustness so far this season has been a necessity because the side aren’t doing enough in the final third.
'At the moment we’re lacking creative spark,' he said. 'So you have to go from the other angle and work on the defence and grind results out. Further down the line we need to find a different way of playing, be it a bit more creative or other people upping their game. You have to play to your strengths and we’ve got a lot of determination not to lose a game of football'.
Elliott wants more from his impressive roster of attackers. Jonny Margetts [seen right, in his Alty days], who has suffered injury problems the previous two seasons, hasn’t featured in the past two matches while his replacement Andre Johnson was subbed off for winger Nicky Walker at half time during Tuesday’s win over Nuneaton Borough. New signing Craig Westcarr has made two late arrivals from the bench and Adam Marriott is yet to get off the mark...
'I think they’ve all got their own back story, there’s different reasons but there needs to be more to come for them,' added Elliott... 'But it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. It is a marathon and it’s about gradually geting better. Your best team doesn’t always start that first month of the season.'"National League says that "It doesn’t matter if you are four games in or 40, there’s something in the air when it comes to a first vs second match up. It’s only August of course but there’s no doubt all eyes will be on Victory Park to see which fast-starter gathers even more momentum.
Chorley have shocked everyone by beginning like an express train with four straight wins and, while many suggested Hereford should be able to adapt to the National League North, their ten-point haul represents a better than expected start.
Another side who have got off to a flier is Boston United, but Craig Elliott’s side are sure to be put to the test at Altrincham who are still smarting from derby defeat to FC United on Tuesday.
Three wins from four is Bradford Park Avenue’s impressive form - they have an intriguing home game with Stockport County. Kidderminster Harriers have drawn all three of their games and will be well-rested after a midweek break. They need to take full advantage, especially as Darlington played on Wednesday night. Will fresh legs win through?
York City’s morale boosting win at Ashton United has them looking up but they need to follow that up with a home win over Curzon Ashton. Alfreton’s late hammer blow against them in midweek means victory at home to Blyth Spartans is needed to lift the mood. Two teams who badly need spirits raised meet at Liberty Way. Not a win between them so far has Nuneaton Borough and Southport wondering when fortunes will turn.
Spennymoor Town manager Jason Ainsley says their first three points [are] coming. He will be hoping it appears in their fifth game, at home to AFC Telford United. Ashton United haven’t looked out of place so far and if they can get past Brackley Town boss Jody Banim will classify it as a very promising start".NL Daily tells us that "FC Halifax Town have released the following statement after the signing of Simon Lenighan, who pleaded guilty to assaulting three women on a night out in Harrogate in 2015.
'Following some public comment this week, the club feels it’s only appropriate to give an honest account around the decision-making process into the short-term signing of Simon Lenighan and provide some clarity over the move to bring him back to FC Halifax Town. We fully understand and appreciate the feedback and comments that have been shared with us by our supporters. We’ve sometimes been accused of a lack of communication but feel this situation deserves an explanation of our decision so that we can be as open and frank as possible.
'The club is aware of Simon Lenighan’s past and a decision to give him a short-term contract was fully discussed by all parties. The decision was based on a number of more recent factors including, Simon clearly and sincerely being extremely remorseful for his previous mistake. The incident happened three years ago, and he understands the severity of the mistake he made, but he’s now trying very hard to turn his life around, avoiding any further misdemeanours and he’s now settled with a partner and young son.
'In the past our Club has supported numerous players, both reported and unreported, who have found themselves in similar difficult situations. Those players proved to themselves, their families and our supporters that they were able to turn their lives around through being given another opportunity. Some in very spectacular ways. The club does not endorse or condone this previous behaviour in any way. However, we believe that Simon Lenighan is deserving of another chance, as other clubs have given him. We hope and trust his football will be what is judged upon going forward.
'So our plea to our supporters is to continue to support the team and the manager and not let this issue derail what has been a really positive start to the season, so that we can continue to build on the momentum we’ve already established'".
Simon (24, pictured above right), joined Altrincham on 4 November 2016 from Warrington Town. He started out with Leeds United (2012-15). From Elland Road he had loan spells with FC Halifax Town (February -June 2014) and Alfreton Town (February to April 2015). He then joined Rotherham United on a free transfer. Simon made his Alty debut on 5 November in the FA Cup at Lincoln City but he was released on 8 December 2016 after making three appearances.
National League reports that "Following the postponement on Saturday’s fixture between Chester and FC United, the National League can confirm the decision has been taken to also re-arrange Tuesday’s match with Kidderminster. Severe storm damage has left the Swansway Stadium damaged, and after pushing the Harriers game back a week it has been decided following an inspection that the ground needs more time before football can return".
The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan fears nobody as he believes his side can win anywhere in National League North this season. The Bucks are unbeaten after the first four games of the campaign and head to Spennymoor Town tomorrow.
Cowan... said 'We go to win every game. That’s what I believe in. With the greatest respect to what we had last year, we felt as if we needed to go to places and try to get a draw. But with all due respect to the other teams in this league, because I’m sure they’re feeling the same, I have a real belief in my group that we can just go and win. “People were looking at those first seven games and I’d like to think these last three teams are looking at us thinking "Bloody hell, I’m not looking forward to playing them".
'I’m always that positive person, I think a little outside the box. Some might be thinking "I’d love to get a point there" but that’s the minimum we’re expecting. We’re expecting to go and win the game and we’ll be set up to do so. These lads know what their expectation us, they’ve set themselves a target for the month, and they’re on track for that at the moment so it’s good.'
Telford finished 14th last term, 17th in 2016/17 and 18th in 2015/16. They were relegated from the National League in 2014/15. Cowan wants to be in the top half after around 10-15 games...
'You’re going to see a split in the table,' he said. 'At the moment it’s very tight but you will see a split at some point. I just want us to be in the top half of that split, initially. We not going to go unbeaten for the whole season but for the here and now, the aim is to stay unbeaten.'
Cowan, who won promotion from the division with the Bucks as a player, added 'We’re going to Spennymoor and we want to get a result; three points as opposed to a point. We’ll prepare right, the lads are meticulous in their preparation. I force them to be, really'".
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post "Guiseley may have scored just twice in four league outings so far and remain without a win, but the bigger picture is in full view for co-manager Marcus Bignot. The Lions changed their shape in the tough midweek trip to Stockport County and were rewarded by virtue of a bright attacking performance, led by veteran targetman Kayode Odejayi, who was well supported by scorer Kaine Felix and Curtis Morrison in an encouraging 1-1 draw.
Given a difficult start to the season in terms of selection issues and opponents faced, allied to the fact that a new-look Guiseley side have taken the field, the midweek performance at Edgeley Park, especially going forward, represented an upgrade and augurs well for the weeks ahead. Bignot, whose side visit Leamington tomorrow, said 'What gives us real encouragement is that you have got Rowan Liburd, Reece Thompson and Paul Clayton as well. Teams are judged by their top end and it makes a lot of difference. It is good to have the options and we were able to go and set up differently (at Stockport) and get those outcomes. Now, it is about consistently doing what we did on Tuesday on a regular basis.'
A long trip to the South Midlands to face seventh-placed Leamington represents a continuation of the Lions’ demanding start to the campaign. It has been made all the more problematic by the sight of midfielder Will Hatfield coming off with a hamstring issue at Stockport, putting his participation in doubt tomorrow. Louis Swain, Terry Kennedy, Will Thornton and Scott Smith will miss out once again.
Bignot added, 'Yes, it is disappointing to lose Will. Hopefully, he will be okay for Saturday... Coming to Stockport on a Tuesday under the lights with a point is something to build on. We are a work in progress. We want to get them to play in a certain way and that is going to take time... We are going to be one of those teams who are only going to get better, get fitter and stronger. Tactically, we are going to get better in the weeks and months to come...
'It is two games unbeaten for us. Our performances are getting better and there is a greater understanding between the players'".
From the Chester Standard we learn that "Chester bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will keep faith with their tactical approach despite their side's defensive horror show at Blyth Spartans. Operating with a three-man defence with wing-backs to good effect in their opening two league games, Chester's side looked settled in the managers' preferred formation...
Johnson said, 'We have tried to impose a shape on the team that can get us playing how we want to play. As with any shape there are ways the opposition can beat you and exploit you. Blyth exploited us in a massive way, they tore us to pieces and that's because some of our play was suicidal at times... we weren't doing our jobs properly and it just became catastrophe.
'But when the system we've implemented here is executed properly it can be a success. It's worked for us at the start of the season and this week has been isolating where things went wrong and eradicating those mistakes quickly... Of course it hurts and it will do for a while, but we want to see a response from the players, and a quick one too', said Johnson.
'After a pasting like that we've had to lick our wounds a bit this week, but what we don't want is for the players to clam up on the back of that kind of result... There have been a few harsh words spoken since the game and we've shown the players various clips from that game and highlighted all the weaknesses we've found. To be fair, Bernard and myself are hyper-critical of the players even when we've won games... It's the same process win or lose as far as we're concerned, because there is always room to improve and the players know that...
'We need to prove to the fans that last weekend was a one-off and play like a team they can be proud of again. Now we're looking for leaders and characters out there on the pitch. Players who can pull some of the younger lads through and show the qualities we're asking for'.
Chester will be without Shaun Tuton... with the forward set for a move to league rivals Spennymoor Town. Earlier this week the north east club provided the Blues with seven days notice as they attempt to lure the 26-year-old former Barnsley striker."
From Hereford FC we learn that "The Hereford FC Board of Directors have a responsibility to ensure that behaviour both on and off the pitch meets an acceptable standard laid down by the Football Association and by the Club. Andrew Graham, Director for Community Engagement & the Hereford FC FA Respect Director gives a briefing on what is required from the club and fans...
'This season, we already see Hereford FC on report at The FA with a reminder that further disorder/behaviour incidents could result in severe sanctions for the club... I would like to place on record our thanks to the vast majority of our supporters who attend matches and behave impeccably and a particular thank you to those supporters who ensure that their friends or others do not bring this fantastically supported Club into disrepute....
'Occasionally, Directors are engaged in matters where we are called upon to explain or defend our supporters' actions. When this takes place, we are scrutinised by The FA, the Police, our Community and the media. The time taken to respond and protect us from damage is significant and could quite simply be put to more productive use.
'For the avoidance of confusion I will publish the below requirements that the FA have of me:
- To report to the Club Board without due delay any incidents or conduct which may bring discredit upon the Club, to any individual or generally to bring the game into disrepute, whereby financial penalty may be imposed or suspension could be imposed from the game or any football activity.
- Ensure any use of flares or pyrotechnics is reported to the League Office after a match, Home or Away.
- To oversee how supporters or anyone at a match behave and where this falls below the standards set by the Club, to deal robustly with such actions, using the Club Safety Officer, Police Liaison Officer or any other nominated person in the club; and to apply action in compliance with Ground Safety Regulations.
I am appealing to all supporters to play their part and ensure that they, and their friends continue to represent HFC positively".
At Bradford (Park Avenue) "Goalkeeper Steven Drench has claimed that he and his team-mates are relishing the prospect of another tough game ahead of Stockport County’s visit. The experienced stopper has kept clean sheets in both of the club’s home wins so far...
'We came unstuck against Leamington on Saturday, so we wanted to put in a performance against Spennymoor and we have done,' explained the goalkeeper. 'We started the season by playing against sides that we’d like to think will be up there at the end of the season, but Leamington was a tough place to go as well. People assume, because of where they finished last season, that we had a right to go there and win but no team does. Anyone can beat anybody in this league and some of the results have showed that. With the exception of Chorley, no team has set the world alight and it just shows how tight the league will be this season.
'It’s still early days and a lot of teams are still sussing out their best eleven. It’s a case of feeling each other out, but we’ve won three of our first four games and we’d have taken that if it was offered to us at the start of the season'".
Nuneaton Town's "rebranding of its social media platforms has now been completed thanks to the support of the Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Co-operative. The premium website domain name NuneatonBoroughFC.com was made available to the club recently by the Co-op.
Club Secretary Adam Etheridge said 'we’re extremely grateful to the Co-op for their generous donation, and for the massive help that they’ve given the Club in what has been a very difficult period. We look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks, months and years as we continue to rebuild our relationship with the Boro’ faithful.' Speaking on behalf of the Co-op, interim chairman Mark Axon said “ the Co-op are glad to be able to assist the club with this new website domain name... The Co-op will be working with the Club to bring all areas of the website up to date over the coming days.'"
17 August 2018 National League reports that on Tuesday "Tommy Wright believes Darlington did enough against Blyth Spartans last night to win five matches! The night’s only National League North game ended all square as the 1-1 draw frustrated the Quakers.
Manager Wright, the club’s former striker, could only watch on as Darlo spurned chance after chance. 'We said the game would have goals and the only reason it didn’t have more is because we have not taken the numerous chances we have created,” he told the club’s video service. "I lost track of the number of opportunities we had. It’s really disappointing that we have failed to take all three points. We did more than enough to win five games. What they did to Chester at the weekend we have just done to them but the difference is they have escaped here with a 1-1 draw and Chester didn’t.
There’s no point having all the attacking talent we have and then sitting back to defend. The players have been clapped off by the supporters because they know they have seen a real performance'".
Darlington: Maddison, Trotman, Galbraith, Elliott, Burn, Collins, Henshall (Syers, 75), Wheatley, Styche, Ainge, Thompson. Subs not used: O’Hanlon, Nicholson, Hughes, Saunders.Through the Years data remind us that the last time Altrincham played a game on this Saturday's date, 18 August, was in 2015 when Alty hosted Grimsby Town on a Tuesday night at Moss Lane.
Alty went into the game pointless whilst Grimsby arrived as top scorers in the new season. But it was Alty who emerged victorious, thanks to goals by Michael Rankine and George Bowerman in front of a crowd of 1,680.
A packed away end watches the match against Grimsby Town in 2015
However, the match was overshadowed by a bad injury to Altrincham centre-back Tom Marshall who suffered a fracture to his right leg. Tom is nowadays back in action, playing for Stafford Rangers. Ten minutes of added time were announced which were actually extended into the thirteenth added minute, due to a late knock to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn.
ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 17. Tim DEASY, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE.Boston United have "Video highlights of Tuesday's victory over Nuneaton Borough", last Tuesday. "Check out the action here with Nathan Arnold and Jonathan Wafula firing the Pilgrims to three points, despite Ashley Jackson's red card and Enoch Andoh's reply for Boro." NL Daily we learn that "Chorley Councillor Danny Gee has clarified some points in his letter about football supporters visiting his town. Originally Gee wrote that ‘travelling away fans will no longer be welcome in Chorley Town Centre’.
However he told Phil Williams on Five Live last night that he didn’t want coach loads of travelling supporters coming into the town because they tended to spill out of pubs onto the pavement. Instead he suggested any coach with supporters should find a pub well away from the town centre instead.
'We’re not banning any football supporters from coming into Chorley, we welcome football supporters. What we are concerned about is coaches.'
Takings in the town centre drop when coachloads of football supporters are about said the councillor. Williams then asked if he turned up with ten of his friends in a mini-bus would they be okay? 'Yes as long as you went in the pub and stopped in the pub.' Read more on Bulls' News.
Above, on their last league visit to Chorley, the Alty players greet their counterparts before kick off at Victory Park.
The BBC adds that "Chorley Council has reversed its position on football fans not being welcome in the town and apologised for any offence caused to supporters. The Lancashire town's local authority sent a letter to local clubs stating supporters were "intimidating" when coaches stopped in the town... But Chorley Council now says it does 'welcome football fans' and that the 'vast majority' boost local business.
'What we can't have, and which is what triggered the concerns from traders, is a situation where large groups of fans are gathering in pubs, spilling out on to the streets and intimidating, or being seen to be intimidating other people using the town centre,' a council statement read. 'In the letter it stated that travelling away fans would not be welcome in Chorley; this is not the case we do welcome football fans and we apologise for this comment and any offence this may have caused.'
In reacting to the council's initial letter, local resident Craig Riding said he had 'never been more embarrassed as a Chorley resident and as a football fan'... The town is a regular stop-off for fans on their way to games at Bolton, Blackburn, Preston, Burnley and Wigan. Local Parish councillor Malcolm Allen... told BBC Sport fans are 'dumped' on the town as they are unable to easily access alcohol "'near the ground they are going to'".
The National League confirms that "Chester’s National League North match with FC United of Manchester on Saturday has been postponed... Severe storm damage has left the Swansway Stadium damaged and on Tuesday the club’s match with Kidderminster Harrier was also called off.
With no improvement in the situation, the decision has been made to re-arrange this weekend’s league fixture with FC United...
A statement read, 'Chester have acted on the advice to fully close the East Stand Admin block until a full and thorough assessment can be made to the state of the electrical system, which can only be completed once the drying out process is complete... Commercial driers are due on site today to assist the drying out process.
Following the completion of this a full assessment of the electrical system will be made with appropriate repairs made to restore power before an assessment can be made on any additional damage caused to the Public Address and CCTV system.
Whilst the playing surface remains in excellent condition, CCTV, Public Address System and Turnstile monitoring systems (which are all contained within the Control Room and other areas impacted by the water damage) are an essential requirement of the Club's Safety Certificate which is a requirement for us to host games".
Blyth Spartans "drew for only the third time this year, throwing their bodies on the line to deny Darlington a second-half winner and earn a point their commitment merited.
There was perhaps an element of luck to Alun Armstrong’s side dogged performance as the second period saw both Stephen Thompson and Reece Styche hit the woodwork. However, no one could fault the visitors as they dug deep to withstand Quakers’ pressure...
The Quakers finished the opening 45 minutes strongly, as Styche, who witnessed a goal disallowed in both halves, equalised a few minutes before the break as the two sides shared the spoils.
Armstrong was forced into two changes from the side that beat Chester 8-1 on Saturday. Robbie Dale and Michael Liddle, were replaced by Ian Watson and Connor Oliver. And in place of the injured Dale, Maguire captained Blyth at Blackwell Meadows, and led by example – opening the scoring early on...
A PROPER team performance by Spartans".
After travelling to Darlington a week on Saturday, Alty travel to Blyth seven days' later. Their squad comprised: Jameson, Nicholson, I. Watson, Green, Buddle, Cunningham, Rivers (Wrightson 45), Reid (Horner, 70), Maguire (Ardelean, 80), Holmes, Oliver. Subs not used: Butler, Horner
NL Daily tells us that "Spennymoor Town’s Craig Ellison and Lewis King, who recently signed contracts with the first team, have been loaned out to Shildon and Ashington respectively. Both players, along with Cieran Jackson, have been involved with Jason Ainsley’s squad this season...
Manager Jason Ainsley [said]... 'Lewis and Craig going out for a month will take them to the next step of their development'".
NL Daily also tells us that "After a trial with the club, forward Andrei-Vasile Ardelean has joined Blyth Spartans from Team Northumbria. The young forward has impressed Spartans boss Alun Armstrong in training... Ardelean came on for the last ten minutes of last night’s 1-1 draw away at Darlington."
We read in the Telegraph & Argus that "A 26th-minute strike from Ben McKenna was enough to earn PA a 1-0 victory over Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night; their third win in four games. This result puts Bower's men up to fourth on nine points ahead of the visit of Stockport County...
Bower said, 'I thought we were good tonight, coming up against a side who will be right up there at the end of the season. They have quality and the players they have signed, shows how ambitious they are... We were comfortable for the last 25 minutes, when we dominated the game. We were playing with a lot of composure and quality. We made so many good decisions...
'We knew a lot of Spennymoor's players. The experience in our team helps us... We are pleased with our start'...
Bower added he was pleased with striker Lewis Knight's debut against Spenny moor, but frustrated with the delays as the red tape was sorted out... Following his exit from Leeds United's academy, the forward moved to the USA to study at Marshall University and was prolific for the University’s football team in the Conference USA league...
Bower added... 'He makes excellent work-rate and had had to wait for the ridiculous international clearance to come through, so he could play for us'".
York Press says that "York City boss Martin Gray is backing goal-less strikers Jordan Burrow and Jake Wright to hit the back of the net sooner rather than later. Wright netted three times in pre-season when Burrow also converted a penalty, but the pair are still waiting to get their names on the scoresheet after starting the first four fixtures of the National League North campaign with the latter having another spot kick saved during the 1-0 win against Stockport.
But City boss Gray has praised the duo’s industry during the opening fortnight, as well as Wright’s willingness to sacrifice his attacking instincts for the team after he filled in on the left side of midfield during Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Ashton United...
Gray said, 'Jake Wright’s a centre forward, but he put a shift in for the team on Tuesday night. He stopped their full-back from playing by working hard and that was important'...
Sean Newton and Alex Kempster could both be back in contention for Saturday’s home match against Curzon Ashton after their respective knee injuries kept them sidelined in midweek, meaning Wright could be restored to an attack, where two-goal Maculay Langstaff, Burrow and Jon Parkin are also vying for a starting place.
Midfielders Russ Penn and Adriano Moke have recovered, meanwhile, from the problems that saw them replaced in Greater Manchester, although Simon Heslop (ribs) is still believed to be doubtful.
Having won Tuesday night’s game with goals from a throw-in and a free kick, Gray has called on his team to continue capitalising on their dead-ball threat, reasoning: 'I don’t want to be an ugly team and we will pass the ball when we can, but we’ve got to be relentless in what we do. We’ve got five big players in the box for set-plays in Tom Allan, Joe Tait, Hamza Bencherif, Jordan Burrow and Jon Parkin, as well as a long throw and, at Darlington, I won leagues by getting 15 free kicks a game and scoring two goals from them, so you have to maximise what you’ve got.'
Having suffered last season’s biggest defeat at Curzon when City were humbled 4-1 and been knocked out of the FA Cup by the same opponents the previous campaign, Gray went on to insist it was time for the club to set the record straight...
He added, 'They are a good, footballing team who look to pass the ball and, if you sit off them and let them play, they’re as good as anybody in this league. They have done ever so well during the last few years and the manager has done a great job without a massive budget'...
Gray added that Tom Allan, who made his second debut for City against Ashton at left back, will be in contention for two positions in the back four. 'He did that at Alfreton and he’s very dominant as a centre half,' Gray explained. 'He has goals in him at set-plays as well, because he’s very strong in the air, as you’d expect and it’s great to see a local boy out there'".National League on Thursday, "History will be made this afternoon when English sides Boreham Wood and Sutton United discover who they will be facing in the Scottish IRN-BRU Cup. For the first time ever, clubs south and north of the border will be joined in a domestic competition...
Sutton United manager Paul Doswell says being in the IRN-BRU Cup offers so many advantages having qualified alongside Wood as the teams finishing the highest last term having not earned promotion...
'It’s going to test us in terms on the competitions we are in but the players prefer to play and not train! It’s something we’re delighted to be involved in... It will be a team bonding exercise as well but we want to go as far as we can.'"
It later emerged that "Wood have been drawn at home to Dunfermline Athletic in round two. Sutton... will visit Airdieonians".
The following pages, which initially replicate those pages with the same web addresses which formed part of the official Club website, will be re-branded from 2018 as part of this new unofficial Alty Files site.
A/Z Site Index to The Alty Files at www.altrinchamfc.co.uk