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25 November 2015


Tickets for the Colchester United cup tie on 6th December and for the TASC supporters' coaches are on sale from the Club at the J Davidson Stadium on weekdays (10am to 5pm). For details, see the dedicated webpage for the Colchester game, which is here and there is a mobile version too.


Altrincham are away at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, 28 November. Details of the TASC supporters' transport are here. To book your seats please ring the club during normal office hours on weekdays on 0161 928-1045.

This is the reverse fixture of the opening game of the season which FGR won 1-0 thanks to a headed goal by Jon Parkin after 74 minutes. As the picture above shows, only five of Alty's line-up for that game started the match against Boreham Wood last Saturday - they were, left to right, Jordan Sinnott, Josh O'Keefe, Damian Reeves, Jake Moult and Adam Griffin.

Mike Garnett reminds us of the history of games betweeen the two clubs:

  • At Altrincham: p8-w3-d4-l2-f14-a15
  • At FGR: p8-w1-d3-l4-f11-a18
  • All: p16-w4-d7-l6-f25-a33


On Saturday when Altrincham are away at The New Lawn, Forest Green Rovers announce that "For this game we will be opening the North Stand (standing) for away supporters, which can hold up to 825 supporters. For those supporters that prefer to sit or could struggle to stand for the whole game, there are 100 seats available to purchase – please note that you will be located in Block A of our Main Stand, which is adjacent to the North Stand.

Please note that the seating tickets are strictly limited and are expected to sell out; as such, if you would like or need a seat for this game, please buy your ticket in advance. Once these tickets are sold out, there will be no more available.

All away supporters (standing and seating) will gain access to the stadium via the North Stand turnstiles (7&8) and will be using the North Stand facilities (catering, toilets). This means that any away supporters with a seating ticket, will need to walk back into the North stand to use the facilities.

We have a limited number of wheelchair accessible seating in our main East stand and limited numbers of disabled parking for both home and away supporters. These are booked over the phone via the FGR Reception (01453 834 860). Please note that these are sold out for most games, so we recommend all supporters book in advance to avoid disappointment.

How to Buy Your Tickets:

We recommend supporters purchase their tickets in advance, by downloading to your smart phone, having it posted out to you or they can be collected on the day from our Ticket Office (right in front of the stadium as you arrive). Tickets will be available to purchase on the day, but to save time and avoid the queues, we are recommending that all supporters purchase their tickets in advance:

  • Via our website online (link)
  • Over the Phone: via Reception (01453 834 860), from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult £15 standing or £17 seated
  • Senior (65+) £11 or £13
  • Young Adult (16-21) £7 or £9
  • Junior (U16) £4 or £6
  • Kids (U10) Free (with an adult)

Parking: There are over 450 parking spaces available onsite at £4 (cash only), with very limited parking in the local area. It can get very busy on a Matchday, so we would recommend supporters to travel down in plenty of time. For any supporters that choose to park in the local residential area, we would request you please park with consideration for our neighbours and adhere to local parking enforcement.

Food/Drink: In terms of catering, our Green Man pub will be open to both home and away fans from 12pm, serving a great range of hot food, with a fully stocked bar (real ale, cider, lager) and hot drinks to boot. The North Stand also has a catering outlet serving a good range of hot food and cold & hot drinks.

How to find us? We are located near Nailsworth on the A46, 9 miles from Junction 13 of the M5 or 16 miles from Junction 18 of the M4. Some older Sat Nav’s will struggle to recognise our new postcode (GL6 0FG), so we recommend you use our old post code GL6 0ET."


On Tuesday night, Altrincham's FA Cup opponents Colchester United let a 2-0 lead slip to lose 2-3 at home to League One's bottom club Crewe Alexandra. The "U"s have now lost seven of their last nine league fixtures, winning once and drawing one in that sequence. Before they meet Alty on 6 December, they travel to third-place Burton Albion on Saturday.

And, after their weekend game, news came from Essex's Green 'Un. "The 'U's were sunk without a trace at the Den, well beaten 4-1 to cement their tag as having the worst defensive record in the Football League.

Humes lost both centre-half Frankie Kent and left-back Matt Briggs to illness, on the morning of the match, which caused a reshuffle to the back four. George Elokobi came in at centre-half, but endured a torrid afternoon, while Tosin Olufemi was recalled at left-back. He too struggled to keep the Lions at bay. Added to this Tom Eastman, who has not missed a league match for more than two years, served up possibly his poorest performance in a 'U's' shirt, although the centre-back could still have been feeling the effects of a calf injury picked up in the previous weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Coventry.

'My desire to strengthen the team is that much greater, absolutely,' insisted Humes, after witnessing his side’s fourth away league defeat on the bounce. 'You look at that display and we’ve got a long, hard week in which to see what we can do to bring support in, because it’s clear that it is not happening... I have to look at myself as well, with what’s going on defensively. It’s my responsibility to put the team out there, albeit we had two late call-offs today.

'Two defenders called off, and we have six defenders injured at the football club, but that’s the same as other teams, so I’m not making any excuses in that respect... They do it in the week, but they don’t do it on a Saturday. I’m not passing the buck, and listen, it’s my responsibility, first and foremost'".

Meanwhile Colchester United themselves announced that they had "signed front man Femi Akinwande to join up with the club's development squad. Femi, who was previously with Millwall, had spent two games on trial with the 'U's earlier in November after impressing with Maldon & Tiptree so far this season... He has now signed a contract to stay with the U's until the end of this season and he will be looking to get his first goal for the club soon."


The BBC reports on Sunderland's win, on Monday, at Selhurst Park. "Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has compared the emergence of team-mate Duncan Watmore to that of Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. Forward Watmore, 21, signed a new four-year deal earlier this week and has made six appearances this season. Defoe previously played alongside Wales international Bale, 26, at Spurs.

'In a funny way he reminds me of Gareth. When he came on the scene at Tottenham, he used to just get the ball and glide,' the 33-year-old said. 'He's such a nice boy, I don't think he's bothered about signing new contracts and stuff, all he wants to do is play football and do well for the club. If he can go on to do what Gareth has done then he'll be fantastic. He's the future of this club'".


From the Football Conference we learn that "Kidderminster Harriers have announced that Jake Green has left Aggborough after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. Green joined Harriers after time at Mansfield Town, Weymouth and Bristol Rovers. He made twenty-three appearances in his first season in Worcestershire, but has made just three starts for the club this season, and a total of thirty-five appearances since first arriving in the summer of 2014."

Chester FC "confirm that Burnley defender Alex Whitmore has joined the Blues on a one-month youth loan... Whitmore, 20, is a central defender and is an academy graduate of Sean Dyche’s team. The youngster is a regular in the Turf Moor development side, having signed a new deal back in April." And on the same day, Chester also acquired Port Vale central midfielder Ryan Lloyd on loan.


Tuesday 24 Nov.
  • Chester FC 1-1 Dover Athletic (att. 1,479)
  • Woking 4-1 Tranmere Rovers (att. 1,477)

Wednesday 25 Nov.

  • Boreham Wood v Lincoln City

24 November 2015


Altrincham is sorry to hear of the death on 11 November of goalkeeper Bill Marshall, who played for the club in the 1950s. Bill was 83 and also played for Buxton, Shrewsbury Town, Buxton, Winsford United and Rhyl.

The funeral will be at St. Michael's Church, Perranporth, Cornwall on 27th November at 11 am. Condolences go to Bill's family and friends from all at Altrincham FC.


In Sunday's NL Paper, Stuart Coburn speaks about his Achilles Heel injury. "When I did this, back in August, I heard a pop in my leg and, when the specialist told me it was my Achilles. Straightaway I thought, 'I'm done, that's me; it's over'.

"Gradually as the weeks went on, my mood improved and so did the opinion of our physio. While I can't sit here and say I'll ever play again, I'm determined not to bow out limping off the pitch down in Dover.

"When I go out, I want it to be on my terms. The way I see it panning out is that I announce one season will be my last. I play my final game at Moss Lane, pull off some great saves, wave to the crowd as I leave the pitch for the last time then we all bowl into the bar for some drinks!...

"I would also like to pass the 700 [appearances] mark for Alty but I have also counted up the total number of matches, games from clubs I was at before, like Trafford and Leigh RMI. I'm at around 970 now; how good would it be to get to 1,000?

"I miss playing so much. The away games are the worst. I don't travel so I don't get to see the boys....

"The chairman has invited me down with him to the Colchester FA Cup tie. I asked the wife and she had That tone in her voice... 'Well, you can go if you really want to'. I may just go to the game and deal with the consequences later!"


Our next opponents Forest Green Rovers "confirm that Stevenage striker Brett Williams has joined the club on a loan deal that will run until the start of January. The former Reading striker is set to bolster the attacking options at The New Lawn...

Snapped up by League Two Stevenage at the end of last season following a prolific two-season spell in the fifth tier with Aldershot Town, Williams has featured 17 times for Stevenage this year, with his last goal coming in a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth in front of 15,000 spectators last month. He hit the back of the net 15 times for Aldershot last season [including against Alty], while the previous 2013-14 campaign saw him notch 24 times in the league.

The 27-year-old started his career in non-league circles at Eastleigh, and after successful goal scoring stints for the Spitfires, as well as AFC Totton and Winchester City, he joined Reading in a five figure move in January 2011. He’s since spent time on loan in the Football League at Rotherham United and Northampton, as well as time again in the fifth tier at Woking... He could make his first league appearance for FGR on Saturday when Altrincham are the visitors".


It was noticeable at the Moss Rose recently when Alty played there that there were more stewards policing the home fans in front of the stand than watching the visiting fans and now Macclesfield Town report that they "are aware of a number of instances over the past few games, both home and away, where our own fans have been breaking ground regulations and not up keeping the general standards of behaviour expected from our supporters.

This is a minority of fans who spoil the enjoyment of the majority, and The Club have to take action before it becomes a wider problem. The Club would urge all supporters to abide by the ground regulations set out, and inform the nearest steward if you think anyone is breaking these rules.

The Football Club strive to ensure that the Moss Rose is a pleasant place to watch football and encourage families and our local community to come to a game in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. As a consequence of some fans behaviour there ha[ve] already been temporary football bans to individuals put in place, with potentially more to follow. This is intended to send out the message that there will be zero tolerance to misbehaviour, to ensure that the Club does not suffer any penalty from the National League, the FA or from unnecessary Policing bills.

Thank you to the majority of our loyal fan base who continue to support our team in a positive way".

NL Pitchero reports that "Barrow AFC have appointed former Mansfield Town and Torquay United boss Paul Cox as their new manager. Cox, 43, led Mansfield to the Conference title in 2012 and had a short spell at Torquay earlier this season.

Barrow CEO Austin Straker said, 'After a few detailed and constructive meetings Barrow AFC are pleased to announce that Paul Cox has agreed to be the new manager. Confirmation on the length of the deal will follow with his appointment beginning today. Paul Cox will meet the squad and support staff tomorrow, guiding the training for the rest of the week leading up to our next home game against Woking on Saturday'".

Following the departure of previous manager Darren Edmondson, the NW Evening Mail quoted Barrow AFC owner, Paul Casson as saying, "Darren has taken us to the point that we're at, for which we are obviously grateful, before I took the club over he took the club from the bottom of the Conference North to the midpoint and then got us promoted last year. And now, in my opinion, it's just time to pass the baton on and to go forward...

'I just don't think we've got the best out of the players that we acquired in the summer. The Fylde game was the pivotal event but that's not the reason (for Edmondson's departure)... We acquired a number of new players, we went full-time and so I was looking for a progression. When I look at the games that I can best sort of make a direct correlation, so that would be teams like (National League newcomers) Guiseley and Bromley and certainly the part-time teams that are in the National League and Fylde in the Cup and what I see is not a great difference.

'In fact, we haven't done very well against a lot of those teams. What I would have looked for is a marked difference (between Barrow and the type of teams highlighted) because we've acquired some, not well-known players, but players with pretty strong CVs and we've gone full-time. And so I would expect us to then differentiate ourselves between teams from the Conference North, particularly those that remained part-time and the other part-time teams in the National League. And I haven't seen that".

NL Pitchero reports that "Following the departures of manager Malcolm Crosby and assistant-manager Gary Owers, Gateshead have confirmed that skipper Ben Clark and reserve team boss Micky Cummins have been installed as joint-caretaker-managers. The duo will lead training in the days ahead and take charge of the side for Saturday’s clash with Chester FC, assuming the vacant managerial position has not been filled.

Managing Director Brian Waites said, 'There is nobody closer to the players as a group than the two of them. It was a natural choice. The players have returned to training this morning, and they are highly motivated to get their season back on track'".


The Football League is not always the Holy Grail that some National League clubs imagine as the Stoke Sentinel tells us that "Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite has made clear he wasn't planning to sack manager Rob Page if the Valiants had lost their FA Cup first round replay at Maidenhead last week...

The manager revealed his players paid for their own hotel rooms on Thursday night so they could stay in Maidenhead and prepare better to play two games inside 48 hours. The chairman, who subsidised coach travel for supporters to the game, said he is putting between £80,000 and £100,000 a month into the club... He added, 'An offer to put all concerned in my hotel in Crewe Thursday night was rejected'...

Reflecting on that game, the chairman said, 'My anger after the FA Cup home game was noted and anything other than a resounding win on the replay was articulated to all. I understood we are in a results business'".


CSC Preliminary Round Monday, 23 November.
  • Hyde United 1 Stockport Town 0

23 November 2015


Altrincham FC is fortunate to have two excellent match photographers and here we see images from each of them.

Above, Gavin Rathbone captures Nicky Clee's goal against Boreham Wood, whilst below, Mike Ripley shows Nicky's celebrations and he has more images here

Match report here

Alty TV has match highlights here and a post-match interview with Alty goalkeeping coach, Ian Senior. LEE INTERVIEWED AFTER SATURDAY'S GAME Jack Wylie, who is assisting Brian Flynn and John Edwards on media reporting, interviewed Lee Sinnott following Saturday's match.

How do you assess the game today?

We were very fortunate to win today. We know that, we’re an honest bunch. Over the course of a season every manager will say that and I will have said at Southport and Macclesfield when we’ve lost them both 3-0 and afterwards you think how did that happen. I can fully appreciate Boreham Wood thinking why they’ve not taken anything out of the game. That’s just the way football works. I think we were a little bit leggy today to be honest. Maybe having 3 demanding games in a week against Barnsley, Macclesfield and Bromley caught up with us a little bit. But, in saying that, in the dressing room afterwards I said to the players that they were magnificent because they played absolutely below par but they’ve won.

We had to ride our luck a bit but they’ve had to drag themselves over the line. They know it, they’re an honest bunch. They know what’s coming at half time. Maybe they didn’t expect what was coming at full time but they know they can play a lot better than that.

You started the game with a 4-1-3-1-1 formation but quickly felt the need to switch things up...

It was the same formation as we started against Bromley last week. Same personnel at 4-2-3-1. But I had to change it after 15 minutes because it was giving us a problem. We changed to a 4-1-4-1, which was minimal improvement. And that tells me it’s the players. You can’t get away from it. You make a system change you’d expect a better improvement but it was minimal. We were off the pace today. We’ve got to be honest. I think if you’re honest with yourself you can adjust the problems. If you just think everything’s all right, no that’s not the case. But they’ve had a demanding week with Barnsley, Macclesfield and Bromley and I think those 3 demanding games caught up with us.

You seemed to get a bit more in the game in the second half?

Yeah a bit more. It wouldn’t take much to be more in the game though would it?

I sent them back there, gave them the riot act and challenged them. I sent the same personnel out with the same system, but I knew that substitutions would be made. I had to do a bit of thinking to be honest because we had four players who could easily be on the pitch and I can only pick three of them. And then the game’s evolving and you thinking well what am I going to do?

What am I going to need or do I just be a little brave and see if we can sneak one?

So we went down that route and one substitution led to another which led to another. It panned out well in that case.

When you brought James Lawrie on he had a little spell upfront. What was the thinking behind that?

I wanted to have about 15 minutes with Ryan Crowther and Nicky Clee in the wide areas, seeing if we could attack on a dual front because they can both run with the ball and cause problems. I thought we might have to bring Ryan off. I started Jimmy up there. The next progression and the next substitution was to bring Jimmy out to the right, push Nicky to the left and put Michael upfront. It nicely panned out that way, but it took a little bit of thinking really because you are second guessing. I wanted to try to get something so Nicky was the first sub. But then I knew that I may have to replace Ryan. So then it comes down to Luca and Michael.

And Michael...more or less his first involvement, he causes the goal so the change worked out well in that aspect, but I’m not going to sit here and say we’ve fully deserved to win. We were below par.

And I guess you can claim a bit of credit in the end as you’ve made the two changes and they’ve combined for the goal?

Well it was the only good bit of offensive play in the game for us to be honest, but you do get games like that. Everybody gets games like that where you’re poor with the ball. There’s not many in a season. But then we pop up and something changes and it was a great finish from Nicky on the swivel. But Michael made a lot of that and I thought he looked a handful when he came on which is good to see because we’ve been nursing Michael for the last 3 weeks with his hamstring but I saw him over the far side in front of the supporters; he opened up and you could tell he had full confidence, so that was good. And Nicky Clee as well, when he came on was very bright.

That’s what you get from Nicky. He came on as a sub a few weeks ago and just killed the game for about 3 or 4 minutes in injury time. He will look after the ball, he will draw little fouls. Nicky’s had a groin problem that has never really gone away; we’re still trying to manage it. But full credit to Nicky, it’s been frustrating for him this season because of that niggling injury.

And I guess with a performance like that, it was always going to take something spectacular to get you on top and it was a great goal.

It was a great goal. It’s one of them where you think has the opportunity passed because the ball flashes across; we have a touch and a shot that’s blocked. Then it comes out and Nicky had to turn and shoot with the ball at quite an awkward height and yet he managed to find the top corner, so it was an excellent finish.

When Boreham Wood were hitting the woodwork and having chances cleared off the line, were you thinking this could be your day?

I said something to Neil...I said during the game everything’s going for them but nothing’s going for them. We were not good in the first half. Little ricochets were going their way and decisions were going their way, but then you come down to hitting the’re a centimetre away from scoring. It could’ve been one of those times where they could’ve been here till midnight and still not scored.

I know you’ve spoken earlier on in the season about seeing out games and keeping clean sheets. You managed to do that, just about, today

Well it’s interesting. You’re 1-0 up and into injury time. What does anybody do in that situation?

They throw bodies up, they throw caution to the wind, they’re playing four up top, the keeper’s come up, they’ve put a centre half on at the end, so everyone’s come up. So what do you do, put two up front?<

Well if you’re 1-0 down you’re still going to punt that ball into the box and hope you can get an equaliser. You won’t go to mark the two at the back, so you’re in a dilemma as a manager, with one man up or bringing everybody back for corners. In an ideal world, I think against Barnsley, Jordan at right back hit a long diagonal out for a throw in, which is the perfect thing to do in a way because they’ve got to trot back, get their formation all the way back to then come back at you. But you’ve got to deal with it. You’ve got to concentrate.

I’ll be honest with you, even in the last two minutes of extra time, I saw a couple of things that could’ve cost us. As a centre half I’m seeing that we’ve got 8 or 9 bodies out there and against maybe only 5 or 6, but they’re staring at the ball and it could’ve easily dropped to one of them, and that’s the difference. That’s how you see things out. But we got there in the end.

Obviously a difficult day for the team but the midfield three of Richman, O’Keefe and Moult really stepped up in the second half.

They did better in the second half. When we made the formation change we simply detailed who they were up against and they didn’t do that in the first half. So they had most words fired at them at half time. I have never known a team in the world in the history of football who can play without a midfield and be successful. So I had a dig at them and to be fair they responded. It was a challenge to them because it’s hard at half time to turn yourself round. But full credit to them, they made an improvement and enough of an improvement to help us get a win. I challenged them at half time, which was also challenging the rest of the team.

I said I’m watching you two and if you do things that displease me then you’re off. But then to the rest of the team that’s a challenge to the rest of them because if they’re worse they’ll be off instead. We got enough of an improvement to maybe stake a claim for a draw in the second half. We didn’t do enough at all in the first half. But we’ll take the three points gladly and move on.

And that’s your second win in a row and you go to Forest Green building momentum and against a team at the top end of the table. You have been kind of guilty of playing better against those top sides than the ones around you.

This has been labelled at us for two seasons. The curious consistency.And you’ve got the FA Cup the week after. I guess it’s important to stay focused on the league game rather than thinking ahead. Games look after themselves. If you get ahead of yourselves, you’re a bit of a space cadet. It’s three points at stake. We lost the first game of the season to Forest Green through a Premiership header from Jon Parkin – a great finish. But apart from that there was nothing in it. I know they’ve had an excellent start and I know they’re riding high but there’s no reason why we can’t go and ask them questions.

We never approach any game differently to another. Well I don’t. You’d love consistency over four to six games but it never happens because of fatigue, people in form, everything comes in the whole equation. But we’ll look forward to that, to go down to Forest Green and deal with that. That’s the only thing in my focus because that’s the way it has to be.

And at least now with this win you’ve stretched out more of a gap from the sides below you. Does that enable you to think further up the table rather than looking over your shoulder at the relegation battle?

Every game as it comes. The table looks after itself. We feel that we shouldn’t be in this position. Nobody likes a sob story but we’ve had a lot of injuries. But we are where we are. You just get on with it. There’s no reason why we can’t finish higher. We’re a small squad together, but there’s no reason why we can’t finish higher, but it’s up to the players to prove it. It’s up to the 11 going out there that want to stay in the team. Not taking anything for granted and I think we’ve got that. Although the squad is quite small, there’s options where we can place people around which is perfect for us".


Boreham Wood report that they "fell to a 1-0 defeat for the second time this season to the Robins courtesy of a classic smash and grab raid. Having dominated proceedings for an opening hour, in which they were denied by the woodwork twice, two off-the-line clearances and a fine acrobatic save, Alty substitute Nicky Clee came up trumps with a 76th minute strike that opens up a six-point gap between the two sides.

Luke Garrard demanded a response after limping out of the FA Cup in midweek and it was duly delivered in what was a fine performance. Conor Clifford returned from suspension, with Charlie MacDonald, Luke Howell and Ricky Shakes promoted from Monday night’s bench. There was only one side in contention for a share of the points in a totally one sided first half. Wood were keener, sharper and dominant in a contest between two sides who had just increased their chances of survival with wins on the road against Bromley.

The Robins would have been thankful that BT Sport had chosen last Saturday to showcase their fixture at Hayes Lane, given their first half display. Anthony Jeffrey who gave Adam Griffin a torrid time all afternoon, got beyond the left back after just three minutes, his cross coming back off a defender for MacDonald who guided an effort beyond Tim Deasy only to be denied by the post. Wood won the first of their twelve corners from which Clifford picked out Luke Howell who blasted just over the bar...

With Luke Garrard barking out instructions from his technical area, the application to detail was carried out to the letter on the field of play... For all Wood’s endeavour the teams emerged after the interval still even. There was no sign of improvement from the home side until Alty manager Lee Sinnott introduced Nicky Clee after 59 minutes in an attempt to freshen up his sides hitherto absent attacking options...

Slowly the Robins played themselves back into the game... Clee then won a header that set Jordan Sinnott through on goal down the left and he registered his sides first shot on target after 66 minutes... Clee, who has made just three starts for the Robins this season, started to influence things around the Wood penalty area shooting just over after capitalising on Doe’s half clearance.

Michael Rankine was sent on for Alty with fifteen minutes remaining and his impact was immediate. Introduced by Sinnott Senior whilst son Jordan was about to take a throw in on the right, the giant striker was picked out at the near post. His strength in possession allowed a cross from the right picking out Clee, who saw his first shot blocked by a defender, before crashing home the rebound definitively beyond Russell...

Five frantic minutes of additional time featured an all out assault on the Robins penalty area. David Stephens shot deflected just past a post off a defender before Doe’s header was tipped over the bar, Wood’s 17th attempt on goal on an afternoon when it would just not go right.

Luke Garrard responded to his theory that 'You can put everything right in football in the next 90 minutes', quoting, 'I spoke with the management team from Altrincham and they were astounded how we did not get something from the game. They were as astounded as I was. We could and should have been out of sight by half time. Then, the way we responded to going a goal down was superb. The goal that won the contest was a well hit effort and that was something we did not have in our locker today.

We were denied by the woodwork twice and our inability to hit the target. We were camped out in their half for 45 minutes and, performance wise, if we play like that for the rest of the season the goals surely must come. That said I would be contented having played poorly and earned the three points on this occasion!'".


Sunderland confirm that "England Under-21 international Duncan Watmore has put pen to paper in a new four-year deal with Sunderland AFC. He is now set to remain at the Stadium of Light until the summer of 2020. The forward broke into the first team earlier this season after impressing in the club’s Under-21 side, where he was crowned Barclays U21 Premier League Player of the Season for the 2014-15 campaign.

Speaking about Watmore, manager Sam Allardyce said, 'Duncan is an exciting prospect and the kind of talent you want to see coming through at your club. He is a bright young man, he has a sensible head on his shoulders and, if he continues to make the kind of progress we have seen this season, I am sure that he has a great future ahead of him.'

Duncan said, 'I’m delighted to sign my new deal and commit my future to Sunderland. I’ve had a great few years here developing my game and now I hope to push on further, with the help of the staff, my team-mates and the supporters, who have all been fantastic with me.'

Lee Congerton, SAFC’s sporting director, added, 'Every club is searching for young, talented English players, so for us to be able to agree a long-term contract with Duncan is fantastic for Sunderland. Through his own hard work and diligence, and by seizing the opportunities given to him, he has progressed from the youth team through to the first team, which is exactly what we want to see from our young players.'

Watmore made his England U20 debut in the summer before breaking through into Gareth Southgate’s Under 21s squad at the start of the season. His most recent performance for the Three Lions against Switzerland earned him the Man of the Match award, scoring once and setting up two goals in less than 20 minutes in a 3-1 victory."


Two National League managers left their jobs last week, Paul Carden at Southport and Darren Kelly at FC Halifax Town, and now two more northern clubs have parted ways with their bosses.

On Tyneside, Gateshead have announced that "Following a run of poor performances and results, Gateshead have terminated the contracts of manager Malcolm Crosby and assistant manager Gary Owers. Chairman Richard Bennett wishes to thank both Malcolm and Gary for their time and effort at Gateshead".

And on the West coast, Barrow state that "Barrow have parted company with manager Darren Edmondson via mutual consent. Darren joined the club in December 2013, with Barrow in the relegation zone in the Conference North. A run of good form saw Barrow rise up the table, to the fringes of the playoffs... eventually leading the club to a mid-table finish.

Darren then led Barrow to the Conference North title the following season,... Barrow then started the newly named ‘National League’ season with a 2-1 victory over Dover Athletic, but with recent results not going in Barrow’s favour, both parties agreed that parting company would be in their best interests. We would like to thank Darren for all his efforts whilst at club over the past two years".

The Halifax Courier says that "The search for FC Halifax Town’s third manager of the season is underway, with Town chairman David Bosomworth starting the interview process today (Sunday). Interviews will also take place early next week with around six or seven candidates in total, but Bosomworth doesn’t expect there to be a second interview stage as there was before the appointment of Darren Kelly, who was sacked on Tuesday.

That could speed up any announcement, although the Town chairman doesn’t know if there will be an appointment in place for next Saturday’s home game with Dover. The club have received nearly 100 applicants, but Bosomworth says the new boss has to be an experienced manager after the appointment of Kelly, who had only been in charge of nine games with Oldham in his only previous management job before his stint at The Shay.

Bosomworth is expecting current caretaker-boss Jim Harvey, who has stated his interest in the job, to be in the running, but admits the pressure is on the Town board to get the appointment right. He said, 'We had to get through this week. A decision had to be made and Jim offered to carry on as caretaker...

'We’ve had one or two particularly good applicants. I’m sure Jim (Harvey) will be wanting to put his hat into the ring as well'...

Bosomworth was delighted with Halifax’s performance in their 4-1 win at Gateshead on Saturday... 'I thought we were absolutely outstanding', he added. 'I know Gateshead aren’t having a particularly good time at the moment but we’re certainly not either. When you’re bottom of the table and you’ve come away from home, lost your keeper when you’re leading 1-0 and concede an equaliser, to go and score three goals with 10-men is an outstanding achievement'".

At another club which recently changed its manager, the Western Morning News says that "At least two more of Torquay United’s injury and suspension-hit squad are out of action in the wake of the 3-1 defeat by Lincoln City which drops the Gulls even deeper into National League relegation trouble.

On-loan French centre-forward Achille Campion is likely to be out for a fortnight with the broken nose he sustained early in the second half at Plainmoor. Midfielder Courtney Richards is now suspended for next Saturday’s trip to play-off chasing Braintree Town after picking up his fifth booking of the season. Talks are also expected to resume this week on the future of 18-year-old United goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe... after reportedly impressing during a four-day trial with Championship club Bolton Wanderers last week...

United may be carrying a large squad at 26-strong, but Nicholson was already without seven players for various reasons going into the Lincoln game. That result racked up their dreadful home record to seven defeats and only five points from ten games this season. After winning two of their first three matches, United have enjoyed only one victory in 19 league and cup games.

Lincoln’s third goal (73 minutes) on Saturday, on a plate for City defender Luke Waterfall after a mix-up between debutant Ben Gerring and Lavercombe, was the 45th that the Gulls have conceded in 21 league matches. Waterfall had helped himself to an unmarked header to give the Imps a 16th-minute lead. Then, trying to rescue his beaten defence, Lavercombe mistimed a charge off his line when Liam Hearn made it 2-0 before half-time.

By the interval Lincoln, who also beat Torquay 2-0 at Sincil Bank in September, had scored twice, had hit the woodwork three times and had two more goals disallowed for offside...

No wonder Nicholson said, 'We gave away three awful goals; schoolboy stuff really. Lincoln are a good side, but they haven’t had to earn their goals. They’ve been given them... I thought Shepherd Murombedzi did quite well and, until the third goal went in, we were on top of them,' said Nicholson".

22 November 2015


Above: Alty were on the back foot for much of the first half; here all eleven men defend a Boreham Wood freekick.

Boreham Wood will count themselves unfortunate not to have taken something from a game in which the BBC statistics show they won the corner count 12-3 and the shots tally by 15 to 6...

Match report here.


The BBC reports that "Darren Carter rescued a point for Forest Green Rovers at Gloucestershire rivals Cheltenham Town in the National League's top of the table match.

Harry Pell put league leaders Cheltenham in front with a free-kick which went under the jumping wall. Rovers were given a penalty after Rob Dickie fouled Kurtis Guthrie in the box, but Jon Parkin fired over the bar. However Carter tapped in from close range to make sure the gap between the two sides remains just one point.

Cheltenham Town boss Gary Johnson told BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 'We can play better than that, but there's a spirit not to get beaten'...

Ady Pennock told BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 'I'm just very pleased with the character we showed coming back, to miss that penalty, heads do go down, but I thought we played very well today. Cheltenham are very strong on set plays... We are on a very good run at the moment, and I'm pleased with the football we are playing and I am very pleased with the character of the lads'".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "A crowd of 5,449 saw the newly-titled `El Glosico` between Vanarama National League leaders Cheltenham Town and second-placed Forest Green Rovers finish honours` even... at the World of Smile Stadium...

Grimsby Town leap-frogged Eastleigh into third place in the table after a crucial 1-0 win at the Silverlake Stadium...

Dover Athletic got themselves back on track and into fourth place in the table after a 3-1 win at Crabble against Barrow AFC, who finished the game with ten-men... Barrow were reduced to ten-men in the 69th minute when Niall Cowperthwaite was shown a straight red card for a bad foul on Sam Magri...

Lincoln City moved into the play-off spots with two goals from Luke Waterfall helping his side to a 3-1 win away at Torquay United... Wrexham made it four successive league wins as they beat ten-man Aldershot Town 1-0 at The Recreation Ground...

Macclesfield Town are three points adrift of the top five after Paul Lewis and Kristian Dennis scored in a 2-0 win against Bromley to make it three successive wins for the Silkmen... Tranmere Rovers came back from a goal down to win 2-1 against Guiseley AFC at Prenton Park...

Chester FC suffered a miserable home defeat against Woking, who hadn’t won in six games prior to their visit to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium...

Result of the day, however, was at the International Stadium where ten-man FC Halifax Town recorded only their third league win of the season with a stunning 4-1 victory against Gateshead. In an action-packed opening 45 minutes, Shaymen `keeper Russell Griffiths was sent-off with Town in-front thanks to a 22nd minute Martin Smith own-goal on his debut after signing on loan from Sunderland yesterday.

Ryan Bowman equalised from the resulting penalty after Griffiths’ dismissal in the 38th minute. But Halifax raced into a precious half-time lead through Kingsley James on 40 minutes and then Shaun Tuton in the 44th minute.

Then on 79 minutes, Tuton scored his fourth in two games and Halifax’s fourth of the afternoon to leave the hosts stunned...

Managerless teams are often dangerous opponents as Welling United found to their cost on Saturday as they suffered a 1-0 Park View Road defeat to struggling Southport... With new boss Dino Maamria watching, Southport moved closer to the safety-mark after a 74th minute goal from Michael Phenix".


John Canning won the Altrincham FC online bid for the Remembrance Day captain's armband for the benefit of the Royal British Legion, with a bid of £100. Altrincham FC thanks everyone for their support of this venture, which is much appreciated. John is seen, right, making his donation to a Poppy Appeal representative.


Sat 21st November
  • Att: 1483 Aldershot Town v Wrexham
  • Att: 1002 Altrincham v Boreham Wood
  • Att: 5449 Cheltenham Town v Forest Green Rovers
  • Att: 1837 Chester FC v Woking
  • Att: 847 Dover Athletic v Barrow
  • Att: 2057 Eastleigh v Grimsby Town
  • Att: 853 Gateshead v FC Halifax Town
  • Att: 1632 Macclesfield Town v Bromley
  • Att: 603 Welling United v Southport
  • Att: 1752 Torquay United v Lincoln City
  • Att: 4352 Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley


News of Alty's FA Cup opponents comes from Colchester United who report that "The U's lost 4-1 at Millwall on a tough afternoon in East London for Tony Humes' men. First half goals from Lee Gregory and Shane Ferguson gave the hosts a two goal lead at the break.

Half time sub Chris Porter pulled one back, but Millwall added further goals through Ferguson and Byron Webster. Boss Humes made three changes to his starting eleven, two of which were enforced.

Matt Briggs and Frankie Kent were too ill to take their places in the U’s defence, with George Elokobi and Tosin Olufemi coming in. The other change came further up the pitch, with Gavin Massey coming in for Tom Lapslie...

Defensive mistakes had cost the U’s but the reaction will have to come quickly though, with [bottom placed] Crewe visiting north Essex on Tuesday night".


Saturday 28 Nov.
  • Aldershot Town v Cheltenham Town
  • Barrow v Woking
  • Boreham Wood v Tranmere Rovers
  • Braintree Town v Torquay United
  • Eastleigh v Southport 12.30pm BT Sport
  • FC Halifax Town v Dover Athletic
  • Forest Green Rovers v Altrincham
  • Gateshead v Chester FC
  • Grimsby Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Guiseley v Bromley
  • Lincoln City v Welling United
  • Wrexham v Macclesfield Town

21 November 2015


Saturday 21 November
  • Aldershot Town 0-1 Wrexham
  • Altrincham 1-0 Boreham Wood
  • Braintree Town P-P Kidderminster Harriers
  • Cheltenham Town 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
  • Chester FC 1-2 Woking
  • Dover Athletic 3-1 Barrow
  • Eastleigh 0-1 Grimsby Town
  • Gateshead 1-4 FC Halifax Town
  • Macclesfield Town 2-0 Bromley
  • Torquay United 1-3 Lincoln City
  • Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Guiseley
  • Welling United 0-1 Southport


You can follow this fixture via this website's minute by minute text updates by clicking on the icon below. Alternatively, Radio Robins' coverage of the game is outlined below as well.

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Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game at The J.Davidson Stadium. The match commentary sponsor is zFast, a UK web hosting company. As well as web hosting, zFast offer a wide range of online services, including streaming, reseller hosting, powerful virtual private servers, domains & SSL certificates.

Radio Robins broadcasts using a SHOUTcast Hosting Server located in Manchester and you can find out all about zFast's high quality services at their website.

The commentators are Simon Ellis and Brian Flynn and the match summariser is Jack Wylie. Coverage starts at 2.55pm & you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at

Above: Michael Rankine's penalty settled the reverse fixture at Boreham Wood on 26 September.


Brian Flynn has provided the Radio Robins' commentary from last Saturday at Bromley:


Brian Flynn's post-match interview with Neil Tolson after the Bromley game is here.


From the BBC we learn that "Eastleigh have signed Notts County defender Wes Atkinson on a month-long emergency loan deal. The former West Bromwich Albion trainee joins the National League club with a view to a possible extension.

'He's a good player who's athletic, full of energy and hungry,' manager Chris Todd told BBC Radio Solent. Atkinson, 21, has made one appearance for County this season in the Football League Trophy and spent two months on loan at Cambridge United last season. As well as right-back, Atkinson can also play centre-back and in midfield... Todd added, 'He'll be a good addition, an extra bonus to the squad and one I've had my eye on for a while'".

At the other end of the country, "Gateshead have signed defender Liam Gibson on loan from Newcastle until 19 December and Sunderland midfielder Martin Smith until 2 January. Gibson, 18, has played for Newcastle's under-21 side but is yet to make the step up to the first team. Under-21 regular Smith, 20, is yet to make his first-team debut at Sunderland but has been an unused substitute.

'Newcastle and Sunderland have been great in allowing us to take players on loan', boss Malcolm Crosby said. Gibson added, 'The step up from under-21 football is massive, I just want to help the team get a few wins under their belt. I've come in to play centre-half but I can also play left-back'. The Tynesiders have already taken Sunderland midfielder George Honeyman on a loan basis - an influence on Smith's move...

Smith told BBC Newcastle, 'I had a chat with George, he loves it here and it's helped him a lot. I didn't see any harm in coming here'".

In the Principality, the Daily Post says that "Javan Vidal hopes to be back in contention within two weeks after pulling up in the warm-up ahead of last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Gateshead. Right-back Vidal felt something in his groin ahead of the visit of the Heed and was replaced in the starting XI by Blaine Hudson with Manny Smith moving across from centre-half to cover on the right.

It is the second time Vidal will be forced to have a prolonged stint on the sidelines, a hamstring strain sustained in the draw at Lincoln City previously ruling him out... Said Vidal, 'I think it is going to be another 10-14 days I will be out, and then I’ll take it from there... It is not an impact injury and it is one of them things that you just have to get on with'".

Still at The Racecourse, the Leader reports that "A Wrexham AFC player has been banned from driving for nearly two years after he was caught by police on his way to training while nearly three times over the drink-drive limit. James Gray, 23, a striker for the club, pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates' Court to driving his Mercedes C220 while over the limit.

Gray was stopped on the A55 by Cheshire Police on October 29 after reports of a Mercedes being driven 'erratically' on the M56 and M53... Police tried to stop Gray’s car at 8.45am...the vehicle slowed down but did not stop and went down the junction 35 slip road towards Dobshill before police moved alongside the car and Gray pulled over... Gray was “clearly intoxicated with slow movements and slurred speech”.

Gray, of Rossendale, Lancashire, failed a roadside breath test which showed he had 102 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. Robert Shaw, defending... said the offence occurred because Gray had an argument with his fiancee the night before which had led them to split up...

Mr Shaw said that being banned from driving would have a significant impact on Gray’s life as he was living in Lancashire and travelled regularly to see his family in Middlesbrough... Mr Shaw said Gray would probably have to sell his house in Lancashire and move to the Wrexham area if he wanted to continue to play for the club, which he said was a very serious impact. Magistrates ordered Gray to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and disqualified him from driving for 23 months...

After the hearing Gray released the following statement through his solicitors Carson & Kaye which read... 'I wish to apologise to my family, teammates and supporters of Wrexham AFC'".

20 November 2015


Following the postponement of the home Vanarama National League fixture with Wrexham, scheduled for 5 December, due to Altrincham's continued involvement in the Emirates FA Cup, the game has now been rearranged for Tuesday, 12 January 2016 at 7.45pm.


Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Challenge Cup match away at Crewe Alexandra has been fixed for Tuesday 19th January 2016 (k.o. 7.45pm). Admission prices at Gresty Road will be £5 for adults and £1 for concessionaries.


For this Saturday's match at home to Boreham Wood, only two of the five players to miss Altrincham's match at Bromley last Saturday will conceivably be involved. Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore and Tom Marshall are still some way from fitness but Luca Havern and James Lawrie could be in contention, though this is by no means certain.


The referee on Saturday for Alty v Boreham Wood is Mr Oliver Yates of Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire. Earlier this season he reffed our 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City. He also ran our pre-season game at Trafford which ended 2-2. Longer ago, he was the referee at Eastwood Town when Alty won 6-1 in a Blue Square Bet North match played on Saturday, 21 April, 2012.


Altrincham's average home gate for National league matches this season, to date, is 1,229. Last season's average was 1,246.


Altrincham's youth education (EDP) team had another high-scoring match on Wednesday. At home to Farsley Celtic they lost 4-6! This follows a 7-5 reverse in the cup at Peterborough last week.


As part of a National League initiative to raise funds for the Royal British Legion, every team's commemorative captain's armband worn during the matches around Remembrance Day, is being auctioned. Pictured, right, is the Altrincham armband, worn by Jake Moult. Currently £20 has been bid for the armband; please place your bid to beat this offer by e-mailing the football club, here.

The National League says that it "has received a number of enquiries in relation to the specially produced armbands which member clubs have auctioned off with the monies raised going to their local branch of the Royal British Legion. Due to these being auctioned, a small number of fans have been left disappointed and have asked is there anyway any others may be available. The RBL has supplied a few extra to The National League for ceremonial use so we have made 6 armbands now available for further auction.

If anyone wishes to make a further bid for one of these remaining armbands then they can make a bid directly to The National League and the top six bids will be successful. To make a bid please send your name and telephone number on an email here. All such bids must be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 27th November.

The six highest bids will be notified and arrangements made for payment, which again will go to the local branch of the RBL of the bidders club, with the armbands following soon after to the successful bidders"


Saturday 21 November
  • Aldershot Town v Wrexham
  • Altrincham v Boreham Wood
  • Braintree Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Cheltenham Town v Forest Green Rovers
  • Chester FC v Woking
  • Dover Athletic v Barrow
  • Eastleigh v Grimsby Town
  • Gateshead v FC Halifax Town
  • Macclesfield Town v Bromley
  • Torquay United v Lincoln City
  • Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
  • Welling United v Southport


The BBC confirms that "National League strugglers Southport have made Dino Maamria their seventh manager in two and a half years. The Tunisian, a former striker at the club, replaces Paul Carden, who left by mutual consent on Monday.

Maamria, 44, kept Northwich Victoria in the fifth tier as manager in 2008... Southport are 22nd in the league and have won only once in their past six games. Maamria said his short-term aim is to 'get to know the players'.

'I am aiming to build the club in the longer term and to take it to a better place,' he told the club website. 'I want everyone to enjoy it and let's set off on an exciting journey. This club has tremendous potentia. It is great to be back'". The Lancashire Evening Post adds that "The 44-year-old Tunisian has signed a two-and-a-half year deal. Southport chairman Charlie Clapham said, 'I have known Dino a long time, our supporters know about Dino’s strengths and the excellent career he has had as player, coach, assistant-manager and manager. Dino is a very ambitious young manager with a wealth of experience. He has real belief that he can and will take the club forward'.

Maamria had three spells as a player with Southport. He was on Graham Westley’s coaching staff at Stevenage and Preston, leaving Deepdale in 2013 when Westley was sacked". He has been given a two and a half-year contract by chairman Charlie Clapham.

He was in goal when Jake Moult's thunderbolt secured a point for Altrincham and, now, according to the BBC, "Torquay United goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe is set to move to Championship side Bolton on loan, with a view to a permanent transfer. The 19-year-old, who has made nine appearances for the National League club, has been on trial at Bolton this week.

'If it happens, the deal has to suit both clubs and suit Dan', Torquay boss Kevin Nicholson said. 'He's a young man with a fantastic future ahead of him'. Lavercombe was one of the final players to come through the Gulls' now defunct youth academy and made his debut in April... 'The reports I've had is that he's done very well up there. They're very keen on him so we'll wait and see,' added Nicholson.

'He's attracted interest off one or two clubs and Bolton have got first go at it if they want. He's got the build, he's got the physique, he's still developing physically. But the most impressive thing for me is his character, how calm he is'".

Another player exiting Plainmoor is the subject of another HL Paper report which says that "Guiseley have signed Torquay United's James Hurst on loan until January. The 23-year-old was suspended by the Gulls last week following an alleged incident in a nightclub in Torquay. He can play in either defence or midfield and is Torquay's leading scorer this season, with seven goals.

'He has plenty of experience and knowhow at this level and higher up, so I'm sure he'll be a real asset for us', Guiseley boss Mark Bower told the club website. Hurst, who began his career at West Bromwich Albion, signed a one-year deal.

However, the Western Morning News tells us that "Player-manager Kevin Nicholson has declined to go into any detail about the departure of Torquay United's leading scorer James Hurst to National League rivals Guiseley, apart from saying, 'It was 100% my decision'. Seven-goal Hurst has joined Guiseley on loan until January, when a permanent move would seem to be a likely conclusion.

The former England Under-20, West Bromwich Albion, Crawley and Hednesford Town right-back had been suspended by the Gulls... Nicholson said, 'I don't want to talk about James Hurst now, because he's not my player'".

Meanwhile the Kidderminster Shuttle says that "Kiddemrinster Harriers will remain full-time even if they are relegated, revealed chairman Rod Brown...

Brown emphasised they will not be relying on gate receipts alone to fund the club from the 2016-17 campaign, with revenue coming in from the youth academy, higher education programmes and futsal scheme. Harriers are also hoping to set-up 'affinity schemes' with other businesses in order to generate funds.

'Whatever happens the club will be staying full-time', confirmed Brown. 'That's because we have plans in place to make sure we have stronger ties to the community and extra revenue streams. We will be generating funds through the youth academy as well as the higher education and futsal programmes. Those revenue streams will generate the main bulk of money the club needs and all the funds we make through the commercial side will be the icing on the cake.

'We have got to get away from relying on season ticket sales and benefactors and become more forward thinking and we've got plans in place to do that... It doesn't matter what division we are in next season because the budget will be smaller than this year but we'll have good young players coming through. We'll be developing players and sell them and there's nothing wrong with that; we want to copy the success of Crewe and Bournemouth'...

The Harriers have "a testing run of games, which will see them play all of the top five teams in the next seven weeks. In a boost, on-loan Walsall forward Jordan Murphy has extended his stay until January, while Calvin Dinsley looks set to join Gloucester City. Adam Dawson will return from his spell at Tranmere Rovers on December 12, as he recovers from a groin injury, with the possibility he will go on loan again in New Year.

With the deadline for emergency loans November 25, the club may well look to reshape the squad and bring in new faces. Harriers are hoping to obtain international clearance for French forward Arthur Gnahoua, who was previously at Macclesfield, and extend Kyle Howkins's stay from West Brom...

Despite a season of struggle, attendances have remained impressive with 1,790 fans watching the win over Aldershot".


Maidenhead United 1 Port Vale 3. Winners play Exeter City, away.

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