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NEXT MATCH
MAIDENHEAD UNITED (Home)
Saturday, 24 February, 2024, at 3pm
Vanarama National League match


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24 February 2024

TODAY: MAIDENHEAD UNITED

Following two successive away defeats, Altrincham have a home match today (Saturday) against Maidenhead United.

Although United have played three more games then Altrincham, they lie thirteen points and nine places worse off than their hosts in 17th place.

Maidenhead lost in midweek at home to Southend United when their line-up, with only four named on the bench, comprised:

Maidenhead United have lost their last four fixtures:

THROUGH THE YEARS: 24 February

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's data remind us that Altrincham's last game on Saturday's date, when Maidenhead United are scheduled to visit Moss Lane, was in 2018.

On that date, six years ago, Alty visited Hurst Cross to face Ashton United in the EvoStik Premier League.

The sides had previously played each other twice that season with goals aplenty. In the Integro Cup Alty had won a penalty shoot out after a 3-3 draw, whilst in the league, Alty had let a 3-0 lead slip to end up only narrow 3-2 victors.

And this league game kept up the scoring, ending in a 3-3 draw at Hurst Cross.

However, it was three defensive lapses that cost Altrincham two points. In 2018 they had then conceded 11 goals in seven league matches having only conceded ten in their previous 19 league games (and five of those ten were in one game at Workington, where they were reduced to ten men).

Altrincham started the game on a bobbly pitch at Ashton well but did not get the breakthrough till the 32nd minute when Johnston converted a penalty after a foul on Poole. But they fell asleep from the restart and Pritchard equalised a minute later.

Above: John Johnston nets a penalty to open he scoring at Hurst Cross in 2018.

After a lacklustre start to the second half, two goals in a five-minute spell around the hour mark seemed to have secured an away victory. A superb counter-attack was finished off by Johnston to make it 2-1 then a Jones header span into the net to make it 3-1 (62 mins).

But, five minutes later, a foul by Moult gave Ashton a freekick from the front edge of the box which Pritchard curled home and in the 89th minute Hampson failed to make a clearance. Posssession was lost, Ashton struck the bar and Chadwick nodded in the loose ball.

Just 546 spectators watched this relatively local derby.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Tom PEERS, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Mason WALSH, 16. Tom HANNIGAN, 17. Josh AMIS

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reports on Friday night, from the Scottish Championship where, "having played only 8 minutes for Livingston since he was injured on November 5th, MILES WELCH-HAYES (right) has gone on loan to Dunfermline Athletic.

In their match at Partick Thistle he came off the bench for his debut in the 80th minute, and his new team fortuitously won 1-3 in a match most notable for a number of decisions from the officials that could be best described as questionable - including two Partick goals being disallowed for offside.

Had there been VAR the result would quite likely have been different.

And in the Irish Premier Division, with nobody having won both of their opening fixtures, Waterford sit top of the league after winning 1-4 at Drogheda. BARRY BAGGLEY, who was again captain, was credited with the assist for their third goal. Derry City could go top with a 100% record if they win at Sligo Rovers on Saturday evening".

Hanley Town "have turned to former Altrincham captain JAKE MOULT (left)in their bid to ease relegation fears from the Pitching In NPL West Division. Moult achieved cult hero status at Alty, making over 450 appearances in total...

He decided to leave the club at the end of the 2021/22 season when they moved to a full-time playing model, subsequently joining Buxton...

Most recently, he was part of a Stafford Rangers squad fighting to avoid relegation from the Northern Premier League. However, it was announced earlier this month that Moult had been released."

Moult's new player/manager is another Alty Old Boy, RYAN SHOTTON.

News of a former non-playing Alty Old Boy comes from Macclesfield FC, who report that former Altrincham FC scout MICHAEL CLEGG has been appointed as "the club’s new First Team Manager.

Clegg joins us from fellow Northern Premier League side Warrington Rylands where he has seen success during his time with The Blues taking them into play off contention...

Clegg has had spells at Ashton United and Atherton Collieries before joining Rylands in February 2023...

Director of Football Robbie Savage said, 'Firstly, I would like to wish [ex-manager] Alex Bruce, Phil Bardsley and all his staff all the best. I would like to wish Alex success in his new role at Salford City and whilst we are disappointed at the timing of the decision, we wish him well in his future coaching career'.

Left: Dean Furman has been placed in caretaker charge at Warrington Rylands, in succssion to Michael Clegg.

'We are delighted to appoint Michael Clegg and his backroom staff... Michael has many years of experience having managed nearly 500 games at this level of football.

'We believe that this is the right time to offer Michael the chance to manage at one of the biggest clubs in Non League with the objectives being clear in trying to get out of the league and a potential trip to Wembley...

'Michael has signed an 18 month contract at the club'".

Footnote: Clegg was appointed chief scout at Altrincham in January 2023. Weeks later, he moved on to manage Warington Rylands on a two-year contract.

An ex-Alty player DEAN FURMAN (above, left) has been appointed caretaker manager at Rylands, whose rise up the non-League pyramid has been funded by football agent Paul Stretford, whose clients have included Wayne Rooney and Harry Maguire.

ALTY OLD FOES

The BBC confirms that "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson has left his role after the club announced it had gone into administration...

He led them to the 2019 National League South title and helped the Gulls reach the National League promotion final in 2021, when they missed out on promotion to League Two on penalties.

The Gulls were relegated back to the sixth tier in May and went into administration on Thursday.

'After discussions today with the football club, we have mutually agreed that I should leave Torquay United with immediate effect,' Johnson said...

One win in 12 matches, including five successive defeats, had left the Gulls in 11th place in the table and seven points off the play-off places.

Going into administration will see the club docked 10 points and drop to 18th place, four points above the relegation zone...

Owner Clarke Osborne brought in administrators and said he did not have the finances to continue to fund the club".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES

Saturday, 24 February 2024

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

OLdham Athletic report that "With all home tickets sold for Saturday’s home fixture against Kidderminster, the attendance is set to be in excess of 11,700... as we welcome back chairman Frank Rothwell from his incredible achievement of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Frank returned from his 3,000-mile row earlier this week, after breaking another world record and raising over £300,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK...

The crowd for this game is lower than the capacity of the stadium due to segregation and ongoing maintenance in some areas.

Frank will address the crowd at 2.45pm".

It has been busy at Aggborough where Kidderminster Harriers confirm that "Kobe Hall will spend the rest of the season out on loan, getting crucial match experience with Coleshill Town.

Young striker Kobe, a graduate of our Academy, has been involved in several first team squads this season, making two Harriers appearances.

He’s also spent a valuable spell out on loan at Bromsgrove Sporting, and links up with Coleshill ahead of their match at Rugby Town on Saturday".

And Kidderminster Harriers also announce that "Phil Brown has landed another new recruit in the shape of experienced striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The former England U19 International, who counts Arsenal, Ipswich and Bristol City amongst his previous clubs, has been training with the squad for the last few weeks.

The 33-year-old brings with him a wealth of EFL experience...

Phil Brown said 'Jay is someone I have been trying to get a hold off for probably four or five years... His presence is enormous, he’s a character, he’s got personality, and all of those things, he needs to bring to the party.

'We’ve really been putting some miles into him over the last couple of weeks [and] hopefully he’ll play some part in the games over the coming week. It’s a bit early to make any statements at the moment'".

And another arrival at Kidderminster Harriers is "striker Seb Thompson.

Young front man Thompson, 21, is local to the area and spent time in the Aston Villa Academy as a youth, before spells at Liverpool and Derby.

He’s also featured for Leicester and most, recently, Burnley. He left the Turf Moor outfit after a busy 2022-23 season of Academy football, and spent time with Macclesfield earlier this campaign to maintain his readiness.

Seb has been training with Harriers for the last month or so while he’s recovered from injury".

From York City we learn of "the signing Alex Hunt on loan from League Two side Grimsby Town.

The 23-year-old central midfielder joins the Minstermen until the end of the season from the North East Lincolnshire-based side.

Hunt initially joined The Mariners on loan during their 2021/22 National League season... A product of the youth setup at Sheffield Wednesday from the age of seven, the midfielder made 17 appearances for his hometown club...

Upon his return from the loan spell at Grimsby, he would sign a new 18-month contract with The Owls, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2023.

A League Two loan spell with Oldham Athletic shortly followed, picking up 13 appearances for Latics...

Following Grimsby Town’s return to the Football League... the midfielder was picked up for an undisclosed fee on deadline day.

Hunt has so far made over 60 appearances during his spells at Blundell Park, with 15 picked up so far this season".

The National League "is proud to be participating in the national campaign ‘Unite for Access’ – a celebration of accessibility and inclusion for disabled football fans. Over the years, the annual Level Playing Field campaign has seen hundreds of sports clubs, associations, organisations, and supporters, celebrate good access and inclusion throughout live sport...

23% of disabled fans feel they are unable to attend certain sports or sporting venues because they are inaccessible.

The campaign will kick off for the National League on the weekend of 24 February, with all clubs encouraged to get involved and deliver meaningful change for disabled sports fans.

National League General Manager Mark Ives said... 'We are committed to ensuring accessibility for all and commit to working with our clubs to improve.

'We know many disabled fans avoid watching their favourite sports team live because of the barriers they face in and around the ground. That’s why I encourage all supporters to engage with this important campaign but also with your club to ensure access and inclusion is on the agenda and at the heart of everything we do'".

Woking "confirm that Assistant Manager Ian Dyer has been relieved of his duties.

The Board of Directors would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Ian for his nearly-six years of service to the Club as Assistant Manager and, on two occasions, Caretaker Manager...

No further comment will be made today".

Dyer arrived with previous manager Darren Sarll who was sacked before Christmas.


23 February 2024

"AL" IS LATEST VOLUNTEER TO BE HONOURED

Altrincham FC reports that "Former first-team physio Alan Ainsley (right) remains a popular as well as familiar figure at Altrincham, and the club are delighted to announce that he is the latest winner of our Blanchflower-backed Volunteer of the Month prize.

Most Alty fans will remember Alan's invaluable input as physio from 2012 to 2017 but might not realise he had another role at the club, putting his expertise at the disposal of the wider community.

The experienced and widely-respected sports therapist marked the opening of the Community Sports Hall at The J.Davidson Stadium by launching a senior citizens fitness club, and it is still going to this day...

Well done, Alan, a deserving recipient of our £30 monthly voucher, kindly donated by Blanchflower and to be spent at their ever-popular town centre bakery and kitchen, renowned for its exceptional cuisine."

NEW DATE FOR WEALDSTONE

Altrincham FC announces that "Altrincham's twice-postponed Vanarama National League home fixture with Wealdstone... will now be played on a Tuesday night next month.

Wealdstone's Isuzu FA Trophy commitments led to their league game with Alty being postponed on Saturday February 10th and again on Tuesday the 13th.

Agreement has now been reached for another new date, and the match will take place at the third attempt on Tuesday March 26th at The J.Davidson Stadium, kicking off at 7.45pm".

THROUGH THE YEARS: 24 February

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years shows us the outcome of all previous Alty games on next Saturday's date, when Maidenhead United visit the J. Davidson Stadium.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Kidderminster Harriers report on their "2-0 defeat to a clinical play-off chasing Gateshead side at Aggborough Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Reds were sharp from the off and quickly set about trying to ask questions of a talented visiting side by allowing them little time to settle on the ball...

It was Gateshead who stole ahead on 30 minutes. Marcus Dinanga was played in, and while Aaron Harper-Bailey did well to get in a block of his effort, the ball skewed off him and towards the target where an opportunistic Whelan was there to finish...

Frustratingly, the second visitors' goal came... [when] Jobe [was] given too much space to dash and meet a corner with a well directed header that clipped the woodwork before finding the top corner.

A personal battle between Dinanga and Dibble then ensued, with Dibble coming out on top in at least that regard, twice pulling off point-blank saves to stop the ex-Harriers loanee from finding the net".


22 February 2024

HARTLEPOOL HIGHLIGHTS

Altrincham FC has highlights from Tuesday's match at Hartlepool.

NEXT: MAIDENHEAD UNITED

After dropping five regulars to play Kevin Phillip's unbeaten Hartlepool on Tuesday, Altrincham will presumably reinstate some, if not all of them, when struggling Maidenhead United visit the JDS on Saturday - weather permitting.

Like Alty, Maidenhead also lost on Tuesday.

The Maidenhead Advertiser reports on "A damaging defeat to Southend [which] leaves Maidenhead United one point above drop zone...

The Magpies, who were forced into a playing Casey Pettit out of position at right back due to injuries and suspension, never really looked like getting anything out of the game against a Shrimpers side who were in poor form themselves coming into the contest.

It's now four defeats on the spin in the league for Alan Devonshire's men, who briefly rekindled hopes of a play-off charge earlier this month... Since then, missed chances and misfortune have afflicted the team at a crucial juncture of the season, with the side losing a game they should have handsomely won at Boreham Wood before going down to a 2-1 defeat in the 98th minute at FC Halifax Town last week.

Saturday's 3-1 loss to Oldham Athletic and last night's 2-1 loss to Southend United were much more disappointing performances and few could argue they deserved anything from either contest.

United briefly came to life towards the end of the first half, when Kevin Lokko rose well to head home Sam Barratt's free kick to make it 1-1, but generally, they were second best to a Shrimpers side who started the night four points below them in the National League table....

Devonshire's men hav[e] failed to score more than one goal in all but one of their last 12 matches, now 13. It means that whenever they fall behind, there's a general unease about whether they have the firepower to get back into a game"

CHESHIRE NEWS

The BBC reports that "Macclesfield boss Alex Bruce has left the non-league club to take up a position at a Football League side.

The 39-year-old former Hull City defender took over at the Northern Premier League side in October last year for his first role in management...

Bruce leaves with the Silkmen in fifth place in the seventh tier."

It was later announced that Bruce had taken up a coaching role at Salford City.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Aldershot Town send "Congratulations to the Gaffer who has been named as Vanarama’s National League Manager of the Week!

A 2-0 win over Altrincham on Saturday evening in front of the TNT Sports cameras and a 1-0 win last night against Barnet ensured the title came Tommy Widdrington’s way!"

Oldham Athletic "had to settle for a point in Yorkshire as they played out a 1-1 draw with York City.

The hosts started the better of two sides, but couldn’t make it count, and it was Latics who took the lead after making their way into the game.

That advantage didn’t last, however, and York equalised through Will Davies nine minutes later, seeing Oldham take a point home...

Oldham definitely stepped it up a gear after the break, and looked in a much better position to open the scoring...

On the hour mark, Athletic took the lead, with the move starting from skipper, Liam Hogan’s long ball [which]... caused Sykes-Kenworthy to emerge from his goal but Mikey [Fondop] beat him to it, heading the ball over him, before it bounced into the goal.

The advantage didn’t last though, with Davies making final contact with Will Smith’s header to divert it past Hudson.

That blew the game wide open, in a match where both sides wanted, and needed to win, and that was reflected in how they traded spells in possession in the final third, but no real chances of note came".

Despite three postponements forcing them to play their FA Trophy tie on their opponents' ground, Wealdstone "confirmed their place in the quarter finals of the FA Trophy with a 4-0 win over Hendon...

Goals from Alex Dyer, two from Tarryn Allarakhia and an Aaron Henry free-kick secured the win against local rivals.

Skipper Jack Cook made his way back into the starting eleven following suspension, alongside Dyer who made his first start back from injury. Max Kretzschmar also returned from injury onto the bench...

Dyer pick[ed] up the ball outside the box and plac[ed] it into the back of the net after only six minutes...

A mistake from Hendon's 'keeper let Corie Andrews square the ball to Allarakhia who expertly weaved his way through the Hendon defence and slotted it in to double the advantage...

Allarakhia found his second goal 61 minutes into the game...

Only two minutes later, an expertly placed free-kick taken by Aaron Henry slotted perfectly into the top corner of the goal to make it 4-0 to the 'home' side".


21 February 2024

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 3-2 ALTRINCHAM

Altrincham's much-changed side dominated first-half posession and deservedly led at the interval. The goal came when Pools cleared the ball directly to Matty Kosylo who netted with a low shot from 20 yards (32 mins).

Goalkeeper Dixon probably should have done better than divert the shot into the roof of the net.

Earlier a Dior Angus (left) header had hit the bar following a corner. The same player also had a great chance to make it 2-0 when he beat a defender and got into the goalmouth only to miscue his shot weakly to Dixon's hands.

But the Pools were much improved in the second half and netted twice in the first eight minutes after the break.

Firstly, as Roscoe attempted to get the ball to him, Gould came out to his right but then retreated, allowing the ball to be played for Dieseruvwe to convert easily.

Four minutes later Gould was deemed to have brought down Grey. Dieseruvwe sent Gould the wrong way from the spot to give his side a lead they had not deserved at that stage (53 mins).

Alty then saw plenty of the ball without creating a clear chance and, when substitute Linney lost possession, the ball was played in from the right to Grey whose low cross was held up by Dieseruvwe, allowing Ferguson to sweep in a third goal (69 mins).

Alty got a consolation goal in added time when substitute Conn-Clarke found Angus from the left and his low shot went through Dixon's legs to make the final score 3-2 (90-+1 mins).

Results elsewhere saw Altrincham drop out of the play-off places into eighth place.

Match report here.

PARKINSON POST-MATCH

After the match, Phil Parkinson was interviewed by Brian Flynn on the Altrincham FC website.

POOLS' VIEW

Hartlepool United reported that "A birthday brace from Mani Dieseruvwe and a David Ferguson goal sent Pools on the way to three points in a 3-2 victory over Altrincham...

Altrincham started the game strongly...

The deadlock was broken after 33 minutes though, after a failed Pools clearance fell to Matty Kosylo who struck from range...

Pools started the second half much stronger and got their reward when Dieseruvwe turned the ball home from a Joe Grey cut back just four minutes after the interval.

That goal made Dieseruvwe the first Pools player to score 20 or more goals in a single season since Joel Porter in the 2008/09 season.

Just minutes later, Grey found himself through on goal again only for Altrincham keeper Matthew Gould to recklessly bring him down in the area, forcing the referee to point to the spot.

Dieseruvwe would cooly dispatch the chance to grab his second of the game..

With 20 minutes left, Pools doubled their advantage with Dieseruvwe turning provider on this occasion. The forward neatly laid the ball off to the edge of the box where Ferguson was on hand to stroke into the far corner, making it 3-1.

Altrincham forward Dior Agnus grabbed a late consolation goal for the visitors, but Pools ultimately saw the game out to make it five games unbeaten for Phillips since his arrival".

NEXT: MAIDENHEAD UNITED

Weather permitting, Altrincham entertain Maidenhead United on Saturday.

Their last visit was on Tuesday, 17 January 2023 when Alty won 3-2 despite having conceded the opening goal. Alty had signed Chesterfield winger Michael Gyasi on a season-long loan, a move announced on the eve of this match, but he was not in the squad for this game. However, there was a surprise new name in the squad in the form of Manchester United loanee midfield teenager, Maxi Oyedele.

The victory made it ten games unbeaten in all competitions as Altrincham moved up to tenth in the National League.

Maidenhead took the lead against the run of play when Alty headed a visitors' freekick out to Reece Smith. He fired an unstoppable shot past Byrne from outside the box (18 mins).

But Conn-Clarke levelled seven minutes later, direct from a freekick (25 mins). Then, from a Conn-Clarke cross, Kaja got a touch towards goal before Dinanga finished it off to give Alty the lead (33 mins).

Having largely dominated the first half, Alty's occasional defensive sloppiness gave Maidenhead an equaliser in the first added minute of the half. A long ball got McCoulsky in behind James Jones and he volleyed home to make it 2-2 at the interval.

Another wonderful freekick by Conn-Clarke, after he had been fouled, deservedly made it 3-2 and Alty looked set to secure a comfortable win (64 mins). But after taking the lead, they took their foot off the gas and sloppy defending gave Maidenhead occasional openings. But the Robins got to the end with the three points intact.

Just four of Alty's starters in last year's match also started the Robins' most recent game.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Oliver Byrne, 5. Toby Mullarkey, 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 8. Josh Lundstram, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 30. Marcus Dinanga, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 33. Egli Kaja. Subs: 18. Ben Pringle, 10. Elliot Osborne, 32. Zak Goodson, 35. Connor Jennings, 28. Maxi Oyedele.

ALTY OLD BOYS

From Phil Jordan comes news of how former Altrincham players and loanees performed on Tuesday night.

League One : OWEN DALE was substituted after 71 minutes by Oxford United, as they were held 2-2 at home by Northampton Town.

League Two : Although JOEL SENIOR put in a full shift, Morecambe slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Walsall

National League : Having already been booked, DANNY WHITEHEAD was withdrawn by AFC Fylde after 61 minutes. For the second home game in a row they conceded a two-goal lead, although, unlike Barnet on Saturday, Solihull Moors didn't complete the turnaround and drew 2-2.

MARCUS DINANGA was substituted after 79 minutes, as Gateshead won 0-2 at Kidderminster Harriers. ASHLEY HEMMINGS put in a full shift for the hosts.

Oldham Athletic again left JOSH LUNDSTRAM on their bench as they drew 1-1 at York City.

National North : KENNEDY DIGIE (above right) scored the clincher as Alfreton Town beat visitors Banbury United 2-0.

Although Southport earned a 0-1 win at Scarborough Athletic, LUKE BURGESS was sent off late in the game.

Southern Central : MONTEL GIBSON scored the only goal of the game as AFC Telford won at Stamford.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

According to the BBC, "Rochdale need new investment by the end of March otherwise the National League club could face the prospect of liquidation, chairman Simon Gauge has warned.

Dale were relegated from the EFL last season after 102 years but have faced major financial problems.

Gauge has put in £566,000 in the past few months to keep Dale going, but has reached his credit limit.

They now need an investor to put in £2m to gain 90% of the club.

Rochdale are 12th in the National League and 10 points off the play-off places after four successive defeats.

Dale became a fan-owned club in August 2022, but have had to undertake serious cost-cutting measures this season after dropping out of the EFL.

An Extraordinary General Meeting has now been called for Thursday, 7 March to try to agree to proposals, including the creation of nine million new shares, which would change the conditions for investment in the club.

In a statement, Gauge, who has been involved with Rochdale since June 2021, described the club as 'asset-rich and cash-poor' and that he and his family can put no further money into the club to keep it going...

He said, 'The threat of liquidation at the end of March is very real. The passing of this resolution [at the EGM] does not guarantee saving the club, but it will certainly give it a fighting chance. To be clear, the existence of Rochdale AFC is at stake'".

He came on as a substitute against Altrincham recently but nowSolihull Moors report that "Tyler Bruck has joined Bromsgrove Sporting on a 28-day loan.

Another product of the Solihull Moors Elite Academy, Tyler Bruck signed YPP terms last summer, before joining Studley on loan, where he got invaluable minutes in men's football whilst scoring a few goals for the Bees.

Since returning from Studley, the forward has featured under Andy Whing on two occasions, scoring against Nantwich Town in the Isuzu FA Trophy before making his Vanarama National League debut against Maidenhead United.

Bruck links up with Finn Howell, who also recently joined the Worcestershire outfit".

Two new faces arrived at Oxford City. The first was "the signing of centre-half Brooklyn Kabongolo on a contract that runs until the end of the season.

The young defender links up with the Hoops after leaving fellow Vanarama National League side Southend United earlier this month... The talented 6ft 6in central defender bolsters the Hoops’ backline after a number of injuries to the squad...

Kabongolo said... 'I look forward to helping the team out for the rest of the season. I like the style of play that the team play here and I think that suits me. I enjoy defending....

'I’m up for any battle and I feel I can help the team get out of the situation we’re in'...

Kabongolo rose through the youth ranks with Championship side Ipswich Town before joining Isthmian League side Billericay Town in September of this season... and was released by the Essex club so he could sign at Southend.

He went on to make thirteen appearances at Roots Hall, and was also used as a makeshift striker in some matches".

The second arrival at Oxford City is "highly-rated goalkeeper Tom Watson on-loan from Sky Bet League One side Wigan Athletic.

The 20-year-old Goalkeeper has been with the Latics since the age of seven, and now joins City on a rolling loan deal... The 6ft 2in shot-stopper... said 'When I heard about the move I couldn’t turn it down. The opportunity to get games in at this level will be massive for me!...

'I like to play out and that’s something that’s been ingrained in me since coming through at Wigan. I like to play with the ball at my feet but I’m also confident in my shot stopping ability as well.'

Watson is a product of the pre-academy at Wigan and signed for the club at just nine-years-old...

He joined NPL North West side Mossley on loan last season, and again impressed".

York City reveal that "Midfielder Olly Dyson will stay at Vanarama National League North side Scarborough Athletic on loan until the end of the season, after initially joining on a one month loan deal in January.

The 24-year-old midfielder has made four appearances on loan with Scarborough Athletic, playing a part in two National League North victories for the Seadogs.

Following injury, Dyson had returned to the Minstermen in order to receive treatment, but will now spend the remainder of the campaign with Scarborough".


20 February 2024

FIVE CHANGES BY ALTY

For tonight's game at Hartlepool, Phil Parkinson startled many supporters by making five changes to the team which, before its visit to Aldershot last Saturday, had been on an unbeaten run.

Out went regulars Baines, Linney, Conn-Clarke, Amaluzor, and Newby who are also the club's five leading scorers this season with 42 league goal to their collective names. They are swapped for the five players who populated the subs' bench last weekend.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Matt Gould, 2. Lewis Banks, 15. Jake Cooper, 3. Eddie Jones, 8. Isaac Marriott (c), 6. Elliot Osborne, 16. Sam Roscoe, 7. Matty Kosylo, 14. Dior Angus, 19. George Wilson, 44. Dan Mooney. Subs: 4. Lewis Baines, 10. Chris Conn-Clarke, 30. Alex Newby, 11. Justin Amaluzor, 9. Regan Linney.

Hartlepool were unchanged...

HARTLEPOOL UNITED: 1. Joel Dixon, 3. David Ferguson, 10. Callum Cooke, 12. Joe Grey, 20. Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, 22. Tom Crawford, 27. Luke Hendrie, 29. Tom Parkes, 35. Nicky Featherstone, 38. Brennan Dickenson, 42. Luke Waterfall. Subs: 13. Peter Jameson, 23. Manny Onariase, 32. Louis Stephenson, 6. Kieran Wallace, 41. Chay Cooper.

TUESDAY FIXTURES

Tuesday 28 February 2024

Vanarama National League

Isuzu FA Trophy Fifth Round

The sixth round (quarter-final) ties take place on 9 March and the draw is as follows...

JOEY JONES'S INJURY

Midfielder Joey Jones (right) made only his fourth start for Altrincham at Maidenhead on 26 September 2023 but was injured shortly before the hour mark and has not played since. It was subsequently intimated that he had suffered a foot injury and many supporters assumed that his lengthy absence was part of a recuperation process.

However, on X (formerly twitter), Altrincham FC unexpectedly stated on Monday, "We would like to send our best wishes to Joey Jones after the midfielder had surgery earlier on today on an ankle injury".

It would seem highly unlikely therefore that he will play again for Altrincham this season.

Before his injury, Joey's game time this season amounted to a little over the equivalent of four 90-minute matches. That comprised 4(+5) appearances.

Joey joined Altrincham last summer after being released by Solihull Moors. Earlier in his career he had joined Woking, initially on loan, from Yeovil Town in 2014 before signing on for the Cards. Next, he moved on to Eastleigh in 2018. In 2019 he moved into the EFL with Salford City

Next, he signed for Dagenham & Redbridge from where he went on loan to Grimsby Town before he joined the Moors, making 19 league appearances for them in 2022-23. An injury cost him the latter part of pre-season before his injury at Maidenhead.

PHILLIPS'S UNBEATEN POOLS FACE ALTY

On the eve of tonight's match between Hartlepool UnSited and Altrincham, the hosts reminded us that "Kevin Phillips's side play their second home game inside four days on Tuesday night.

Pools are unbeaten in four with Phillips in the dugout, recording an emphatic victory over Boreham Wood last time out. Despite going behind within the first minute, Pools responded with goals from Joe Grey, Mani Dieseruvwe and Luke Waterfall as they jumped to 10th in the table...

Phil Parkinson's outfit, which includes former Hartlepool loanees Jake Cooper (left) and Eddy Jones, remain fifth and in the play-off positions.

The sides have met just four times before, with Altrincham remaining unbeaten. In the reverse fixture this season, Pools rescued a point late on through a Joe Grey equaliser.

In the 2020/21 campaign, the sides played out two 1-1 draws, while the Robins also won 2-0 in an FA Cup clash back in 1973.

Otis Khan, Josh Umerah, Anthony Mancini and Dan Dodds all remain sidelined. Courtney Duffus is also expected to miss out after suffering a setback on his recovery trail.

Courtney Senior will be assessed ahead of the fixture, while Alex Lacey continues to build his fitness after returning to full training last week".

TONIGHT: HARTLEPOOL UNITED

When Altrincham travel to Hartlepool today, it will be their second succesive away game and also the second in a sequence of five games of which four are on the road.

The reverse fixture this season ended in a 2-2 draw at the J. Davidson Stadium with both sides letting a lead slip during the Tuesday evening match on 19 September, 2023.

The result was the sixth draw in ten outings for the Robins and was the least an injury-ravaged Altrincham side deserved against their visitors from the North-East.

Right: Lewis Baines (facing camera, right) is congratulated on his goal in the reverse fixture, last September.

Alty were without six injured first teamers in the shape of Ollie Crankshaw, Regan Linney, George Wilson, James Jones, Liam Brockbank and Matty Kosylo. There was a surprise in that Amaluzor and Donawa both moved to the bench as Joey Jones and Sam Roscoe started, giving the side a more defensive aspect.

At the back, Jake Cooper and Eddy Jones both started, the two also having been loanees at Hartlepool in 2021/22.

Altrincham fell behind against the run of play when Finney was played in behind the Altrincham defence and, as Ross raced out to meet him, he looped an excellent finish over the keeper and into the net (15 mins).

In swirling rain Alty levelled after 23 minutes. The goal arrived after Conn-Clarke, for the second time in the game, found himself behind the Pools' defence. He played the ball inside and it ricocheted into the path of Marriott who stabbed the ball home.

Alty took the lead in the fourth added minute of the first half. A freekick from the left arrived in the path of Baines, to the right of centre, who hooked the ball home impressively at the second attempt. Amaluzor and Donawa were introduced in the final quarter of the game with the former's electric pace causing the Pools' defence problems.

But Hartlepool netted an equaliser after 77 minutes when Grey was played in and he finished coolly past the advancing Ross. Ross made a couple of important saves in the closing stages whilst substitute Amaluzor also went close at the other end.

ALTRINCHAM: 29. Ethan Ross, 2. Lewis Banks, 3. Eddy Jones, 4. Lewis Baines, 16. Sam Roscoe, 22. Joey Jones, 6. Elliot Osborne, 8. Isaac Marriott (c), 14. Dior Angus, 10. Chris Conn-Clarke, 15. Jake Cooper. Subs: 11. Justin Amaluzor, 17. Justin Donawa, 20. Tom Jones, 21. Matt Gould, 32. George Burroughs

Just six of the above Altrincham line-up also started the club's most recent fixture at Aldershot, last Saturday, (Banks, Eddy Jones, Osborne, Marriott, Conn-Clarke and Cooper).

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

. Altrincham's next home game, this coming Saturday, is against Maidenhead United who, last Saturday, lost 1-2 at home to Oldham Athletic.

Having gained one win in their last six games, Maidenhead are just four points ahead of 21st-placed Ebbsfleet United in the relegation zone and they have completed more fixtures than all the other clubs occupying the six places currently below them.

With 34 goals from 34 matches, they are the joint lowest scorers per game in the division, with Kidderminster alone the only club with a worse strike rate. At the back they are better, with 13 other clubs having let in more goals this season.

Since reaching the National League level in 2017, they have twice flirted with relegation but, under Alan Devonshire's experienced leadership, the part-timers have now reached seven successive seasons in non-League's top flight.

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Richard Hill left 15th-placed Eastleigh, who are winless in 11, by ‘mutual consent’ at the weekend. His last game was a 3-0 defeat away to Ebbsfleet United.

But the Spitfires have reacted quickly and appointed ex-Southampton keeper, Kelvin Davis, 47, who made 600 appearances during his playing career, as their new boss.

His experience includes being first-team coach at Southampton and MK Dons and assistant manager at Macclesfield".

The East Anglian Daily Times adds of Davis that "He has appointed Danny Butterfield has his assistant manager, who most recently worked under former Town player Mark Kennedy at Lincoln City.

Davis retired from football at the age of 39 in 2016 and subsequently served as both caretaker boss and first team coach at Southampton before leaving the club at the end of the 2021/22 season".

According to London's Standard "Barnet have announced plans to leave The Hive and build a new stadium, ending what chairman Tony Kleanthous has described as a “ten-year exile in Harrow”.

Underhill Stadium was Barnet’s home for more than a century, before the club relocated in 2013 amid lease disputes with the council.

The Bees have played at The Hive, [which was iriginally planned for Wealdstone FC], since then...

Underhill has been demolished, but the process of moving the club back to Barnet is set to begin, with plans for a new stadium with a capacity of up to 8,000. WSP Planning Consultancy have been instructed to commence the pre-application process.

A statement from Kleanthous read 'During the long months of Covid, I busied myself with trying to find a way to bring the club back home and met with Barnet Council to ask for their support in locating a suitable site on which I could build a new stadium.

'I undertook to fund the full cost of construction so that we could progress without any funding delays.

'After months of searching, it became clear that the best site was the one we originally identified at South Underhill and so we asked our architect to revisit these proposals. This new scheme is a redesigned slimmed down version of our original planning application at the South Underhill site'.

Barnet have pledged to put a school in the area 'at the forefront of the project', with a drop-off zone for pupils included in plans to help address rush hour traffic problems. There will also be two Multi Use Game Areas, as well as a training pitch next to the new stadium'".

York City "announce the capture of highly rated attacker Charlie Allen on loan from Championship side Leeds United.

The 20-year-old Northern Ireland youth international joins the Minstermen on an initial one-month loan.

Allen joined the Whites Academy back in August 2020, after moving from Northern Irish outfit Linfield for an undisclosed fee, where he was their youngest ever debutant at the age of 15...

After quickly showing his talent throughout both the Under-18s and Under-23s sides at Leeds United, the initial deal signed in 2020 was extended in the summer of 2023 to run for a further year.

Last season, Allen played 24 matches, stretching across the U18 Premier League, Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy, scoring three times.

Making seven appearances so far this season in Premier League 2, the midfield attacker has picked up two goals and an assist".


19 February 2024

NEXT: HARTLEPOOL UNITED

Altrincham visit Hartlepool United on Tuesday. The Pools were early leaders of the National League this season before experiencing a protracted slump.

But their recovery, latterly under Kevin Phillips, has seen them go into tomorrow's clash with a better recent record than Altrncham. Pools have won four and drawn one of their last six games.

Neverthless they only lie tenth, eight points behind Alty despite having played three more games.

Their most recent opponents, Boreham Wood reported that "Wood succumbed to their second defeat on the road in four days when they have taken the lead. Kabs Tshimanga’s early opener gave Wood the lead before Joe Grey equalised on the stroke of half time and two late goals from Manny Dieseruvwe and Luke Waterfall sealed the points for the Hartlepool.

Boreham Wood got off to a flying start when Kabs Tshimanga scored in the first fourteen seconds for his first goal since his return to the club..

The hosts got a deserved equaliser just before the break when Joe Grey scored with a decisive finish following an excellent through ball by Tom Crawford. In truth, it was no more than Pools deserved.

Boreham Wood came out for the second half, a much-improved side... Hartlepool, who had been so quiet in the second half, gave a sign of things to come when Chay Cooper shot narrowly wid... With five minutes of normal time left, it looked like Boreham Wood would come away with a point (or more), but the hosts took the lead. David Ferguson’s cross was nodded in by Dieservwe... and the hosts were able to add a third goal on ninety minutes when Luke Waterfall finished well following a good Pools move...

Hartlepool United: Dixon, Ferguson, Cooke (Stephenson 82), Grey (Wallace 88), Dieseruvwe, Crawford, Hendire, Parkes, Featherstone, Dickenson (Cooper 67), Waterfall. Subs not used: Jameson, Onariase".

ALTY OLD BOYS

Alty's midweek opponents Hartlepool United have an interview with their centre-back LUKE WATERFALL, who was a former Altrincham loanee.

THROUGH THE YEARS: 20 February 2024

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years statistics show that Tuesday's date, 20 February, has not seen Altrincham emerge defeated in its last seven occurrences as a matchday, the most recent defeat being back in 1993 at home to Darlington.

The most recent game on 20 February was a 1-1 home draw against Guiseley in 2016.

Back then, with just one win in their last eleven league matches Altrincham remained nineteenth after a hard-fought draw with Guiseley. The game was played in rain throughout, on a pitch made heavy by recent wet weather, but referee Derek Eaton passed it fit following a 2pm inspection.

Above: Altrincham FC groundsman, Neil Brown, thanked everyone who helped to get the 2016 game played at the J Davidson Stadium. That included those who helped with the pitch covers (above) and the forking at half-time. He is also very grateful to Manchester United for verti-draining the pitch on the eve of the game, as without it the game could not have been played.

Guiseley had the better of the first half but fell behind in the 43rd minute when substitute Scott Leather fed Michael Rankine. He made space well before blasting a shot past young Guiseley keeper Atkinson from outside the box. The Lions equalised in the 56th minute when Rob Atkinson netted with a free header following a freekick

ALTRINCHAM : 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 10. Damian REEVES, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE.

EARLY POSTPONEMENT AT ROCHDALE

More than 24 hours before kick-off, Tuesday's match at Rochdale "at home to Boreham Wood has been postponed.

After the rainfall over the weekend, including during Saturday’s match against Solihull Moors, an independent match official has deemed the playing surface as being in an unplayable condition.

Although the pitch is gradually improving in today's dry conditions, there is further heavy rainfall forecast before the scheduled kick-off time tomorrow. Taking this and the current condition of the pitch into account, and with Dale and Boreham Wood mindful to call an inspection in good time for the benefit of both teams and sets of supporters, the match has been called off".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Fourteenth-placed Maidenhead United report that manager "Alan Devonshire made two changes to the side who lost 2-1 to FC Halifax Town in midweek with Will De Havilland and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson coming in for Sam Barratt and Remy Clerima.

Maidenhead started the game strong[ly] with two half chances created via Reece Smith and Tobi Sho-Silva but neither challenged Oldham keeper Matthew Hudson.

Oldham had the ball in the back of the net inside the opening ten minutes through Liam Hogan before the linesman raised his flag for offside.

The visitors grew into the game and forced Maidenhead into their own half for long periods during the first half and despite looking lively failed to threaten Craig Ross in goal.

The constant pressure from Oldham paid off in the 15th minute when... Joe Garner slotted the ball past Ross. ..

Oldham doubled their advantage just before the hour mark after a scramble in the box following a corner fell to Fondop who struck the ball into the roof of the net...

Oldham added their third in stoppage [time]... Maidenhead did get one back in stoppage time when a scramble in the box fell to Sam Beckwith".


18 February 2024

"WE DIDN'T TURN UP" SAYS PARKINSON

Following the disappointing defeat at Aldershot on Saturday, manager Phil Parkinson told Radio Robins' Laurence Howarth, "We didn't turn up" and he mused whether "We were a little bit over-confident" after the recent unbeaten run.

He explained the substitution of three forward players admitting we "didn't want itto be more than 2-0 so we cut our attacking threat a little bit" in the latter stages of the game.

More of the onterview is available via Alty TV. .

ALDERSHOT TOWN 2-0 ALTRINCHAM

A very poor performance from Altrincham saw Aldershot, who had lost their previous home game 0-5, deservedly take the points.

After a tight first half in which the hosts were arguably the better of two less than impressive sides, Alty conceded two goals immediately before the interval.

The first goal arrived when Alty half cleared a cross from the Aldershot left only for Frost to react to the situation more quickly than Eddy Jones and he drove the ball home (45 mins).

In the fourth added minute before the break Alty lost possession upfield and Barham advanced on the right. His shot was saved but not held by Matt Gould and Tolaj netted the rebound to make it 2-0 (45+4 mins).

Sadly, Altrincham never looked like retrieving the game in a second half during which three attacking players (Amaluzor, Newby and Linney) were substituted, none of them having seriously threatened the Aldershot goal. The Shots were well worth the points.

Match report here

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan's review of the weekend action for former Altrincham players and loanees starts in the...

Championship : Relegation threatened Sheffield Wednesday were 0-2 up at the break at Millwall, and that was the final score. DUNCAN WATMORE was introduced on the hour.

League One : CARL PIERGIANNI played the full game as his Stevenage side lost to the only goal at Derby County.

Fleetwood brought JUNIOR QUITIRNA off the bench after 75 minutes, but visitors Barnsley had already completed the scoring in a 1-2 victory by that time.

Burton Albion came from behind to win 1-2 at Leyton Orient, and left JOE HUGILL on their bench. Oxford United did the same to OWEN DALE in their goalless draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

League Two : JOEL SENIOR put in a full shift as Morecambe earned a 1-1 draw at AFC WIMBLEDON, as did ALISTAIR SMITH for Colchester United, who also drew 1-1 with visitors Accrington Stanley.

TOBY MULLARKEY wasn't in Grimsby Town's squad - they were thrashed 1-5 by visitors Doncaster Rovers.

Right: Jack Redshaw.

By the time Barrow brought ELLIOT NEWBY off the bench at Salford City they were already 4-2 down, and the game finished 5-3.

CONNOR JENNINGS scored the final goal as Tranmere Rovers beat his old club Stockport County 4-0 at Prenton Park.

National League : AFC Fylde restored DANNY WHITEHEAD to their starting line-up, but visitors Barnet won 2-4.

Whether it was the absence of all three of their former Robins from the squad at Bromley that led to Chesterfield going down 4-3 is something we can merely guess at.

BILLY SASS-DAVIES played the full game for Boreham Wood at Hartlepool, but the hosts won 3-1. LUKE WATERFALL scored the clincher, having been booked earlier.

Despite leaving JOSH LUNDSTRAM on the bench, Oldham Athletic won 1-3 at Maidenhead United.

Rochdale left KYLE FERGUSON out of their squad for the home game against Solihull Moors, while the visitors had already completed the scoring in their 1-2 win by the time TYRESE SINCLAIR came off the bench in the 74th minute.

MARCUS DINANGA scored Gateshead's third in a 2-4 win at Wealdstone.

National North : CONNOR KIRBY put Buxton 2-0 up from the spot, and added another as they won 3-1 at home to Banbury United.

National South : DANNY CASHMAN put Worthing ahead early at Weymouth, and despite playing some 80 minutes with ten men (and finishing with only nine!) they won 1-4.

NPL : JACK REDSHAW (above, right) rescued a point for Hyde, as they came from behind at home to draw 1-1 with visitors Stafford Rangers.

JORDAN HULME scored Radcliffe's second in a 3-2 home win over NEIL YOUNG's Marine.

Southern Central : Although ANDY DALES scored for them, Mickleover lost 4-1 at Royston Town.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

In just two sentences and with no expression of gratitude, Eastleigh announced that "Eastleigh Football Club can announce that Richard Hill has left the club by mutual consent with immediate effect.

We will provide updates of a new manager in due course".

A little more detail comes from the Southern Daily Echo whic tells us that "Richard Hill has departed the club with the Spitfires 15th in the National League.

The decision... comes following a 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Ebbsfleet United.

Eastleigh are without a win in 11 matches in all competitions...

Hill was appointed for his second spell as boss at the Silverlake Stadium in September 2023, replacing the sacked Lee Bradbury.

He had been operating as club director since March the same year, before taking on the management job again.

Hill won promotion to the National League with the Spitfires during his first spell as manager, between 2012-15".

AFC Fylde report that "Owen Evans has completed a loan move to National League North side, Brackley Town.

Owen, spent several years with Swansea City and graduated from their academy, where he featured for the U18s.

From Swansea to Salford, Evans joined the Ammies’ U21s side in 2019 before a switch to Merthyr Town after two years at the Peninsula Stadium.

After one season back home in Wales with Merthyr, Gloucester sealed the signature of the 22-year-old and utilised him in 43 National League North fixtures, including one meeting against the Coasters at Mill Farm in March.

Owen has agreed to link up with Chris Beech’s side for the 2023/24 campaign".


17 February 2024

SATURDAY FIXTURES

Saturday, 17 February 2024

DONAWA JOINS MAGPIES ON LOAN

In a surprise but understandable move, Chorley announce the "loan signing of Justin Donawa, who joins the club from Altrincham FC.

The 27-year old brings a wealth of National League & National League North experience to the table, with over 100 competitive appearances in total.

Justin (right) has played 13* times for Alty this campaign, scoring three times in the process. His opportunities with the club have been limited through injury, though he is now fit, firing and ready to go again...

Justin joins the Magpies on a deal that is initially set to run through to the 15th of March".

Chorley boss Andy Preece explained that "We are really pleased to get Justin over the line. We have had to be patient and thanks to Phil for allowing him to come to us.

Justin is an exciting player with pace and ability to create and score goals".

*Footnote: Donawa has actually played 14 times for Alty this season, comprising 9(+4) league appearances plus a start in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

JUSTIN AMALUZOR INTERVIEW

Altrincham FC has an interview by Brian Flynn with Justin Amaluzor following his goal against Rochdale last week.

Justin also discusses his former club, Aldershot Town, who entertain Altrincham today.

Right: Justin Amaluzor during the win over Rochdale last week.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Courtesy of Phil Jordan, we learn that in the Australian NPL Victoria, although CONNOR HAMPSON gave Oakleigh Cannons a 16th minute lead, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Heidelberg.

A bit closer to home, Phil adds news from the Irish Premier Division where, between 1965-6 and 1972-3 Waterford were the Irish champions 6 times in 8 seasons.

They've been less successful of late, but, following their playoff victory over Cork City, they returned to the top flight this evening under the captaincy of BARRY BAGGLEY.

They led visitors Shelbourne after only 3 minutes, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw, despite their opponents going down to 10 men after 84 minutes.

OPPONENTS AIM TO PUT "BLIP" BEHIND THEM

In a pre-match interview on Shots TV, Aldershot Town manager Tommy Widdrington was not specifically asked about Altrincham but did explain what went wrong in midweek when they lost 0-5 at home to AFC Fylde. He described that result as "a blip".

The manager did state, however, that "The next game is always the toughest, because it is the next game" and he believed that "on a one-off basis we can beat every team" in the National League.

He said that three key players had to come off the pitch on Tuesday night, in addition to losing Cian Harries to a red card.

The "knocks" picked up on Tuesday night, included Josh Barrett, Theo Widdrington and striker Lorent Tolaj, who all of whom had to be substituted, two of them not even making it into the second half.

In addition, Tyler Frost had missed that game as he was ill but Widdrington believed that he "should not be out for too long".

In other news, Aldershot Town announced today that "Club Secretary Matt Wigman... will be moving on to a Championship club in the near future!

Matt joined Aldershot Town in 2018 as a Ticket and Merchandise Officer, before stepping up to the role of Club Secretary at the end of the 21/22 season...

Club Chairman Shahid Azeem said... 'Matt will be the second young and upcoming talent we’ve seen move to the Championship recently and it’s a great sign of the good work going on both on and off the pitch at the club.'”

That comment referenced player Josh Stokes, who has signed for Bristol City but has been loaned back to complete the season at Aldershot and can be expected to face Altrincham this evening.

TODAY: ALDERSHOT TOWN

Aldershot Town report that "Tommy Widdrington’s Shots welcome Altrincham and the TNT Sports cameras as they continue their pursuit of a top seven finish.

With a later kick off time of 5:30 the Shots will be looking to return to form following Tuesday’s game against Fylde, and face a tough test as high flying Altrincham come to the EBB Stadium...

Altrincham were founded in 1891, and will be making a 200+ mile trip down from their 7,000+ seater[!] stadium Moss Lane. Also know as “the Robins”, Altrincham finished just above the Shots in 17th last season...

The Shots were defeated on the road at Moss Lane earlier in the season by Altrincham, but more than held their own in the game...

Altrincham have won... four in their last five against Barnet, Eastleigh, Solihull Moors and Rochdale".

PARKY AIMS TO BOOST ATTENDANCES

Altrincham FC reproduces an article by Phil Parkinson in Altrincham Today.

It includes the following comments by the Altrincham manager.

In the National League, he says, "the finishing line represents a golden opportunity to turn a memorable season into the greatest in the entire history of Altrincham FC...

A promotion unprecedented in the club's 130-year existence can no longer be dismissed as a pipedream. It is an aspiration driven by an ambitious, forward-thinking board, along with myself and Neil Sorvel, and it has gathered momentum and credibility on a weekly basis...

I'm fully aware there is a huge challenge ahead and work still to be done, but there is a strategy in place, and it includes a role for a fan base that stretches across the Altrincham area and beyond...

The fans can be our 12th man. The sight of Alty supporters packing the stadium and the sound of loud, sustained vocal backing from the first minute to the last is like having a 12th player out on the pitch.

So, with that in mind, my message to fans throughout the region is I want more of you here, because you can help us achieve something special. It's brilliant that more are coming through the gate, but I want to see even greater numbers filling the ground and making plenty of noise at every home game between now and the end of the season...

If you can't enjoy watching Alty at the moment, you never will.

We want to be a Football League team, and one of the requirements for that is building support, so get along and make this place a fortress, because it really does make a difference..

The good times are rolling, a fitting reward for a board of directors who had the vision and self-assurance to take the club into the challenging environment of full-time professional football 18 months ago...

So, whether you are from Altrincham, Hale, Bowdon, Sale, Timperley, Wythenshawe or further afield, get yourself along to The J.Davidson Stadium and be part of what we are all hoping will prove an historic end to the 2023-24 season".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Like Altrincham, Wealdstone have some serious issues with waterlogging at Grosvenor Vale.

"The pitch issues at The Vale, which have led to a number of matches to be postponed are a huge frustration and draw concern from all corners of the club.

The complexity of the situation, and the intricate balance between finding a durable solution and managing the financial implications of extensive pitch remediation given club's current short-term lease arrangement at Grosvenor Vale, requires detailed analysis of any major capital expenditure on the ground. Clearly the current situation cannot continue, but this constraint makes it imperative we are confident that any investment addresses the issues.

The Board of Directors in partnership with the expert ground staff at Turfdoctor is committed to solving the problem by undertaking comprehensive drainage work and removing the organic matter affecting the pitch condition.

Quotes have been received from three specialist firms, with work scheduled to commence once this season ends. This initiative is expected to restore the pitch to optimal condition by the start of the new season...

Works were planned to take place last summer, however our contractor was delayed getting on site due to issues with their equipment. This meant the works would not be completed in time for the new season and unfortunately the work had to be cancelled".

Woking are already planning their end of season festivities.

For the May Bank Holiday Weekend "we host our first Woking Weekender, an epic three-day celebration of sport, community, music, food, drink and much more!

Early Bird Weekend passes are only £25.00 for adults and £20.00 for children, providing access to the entire weekend! Individual day tickets will be on sale once the Early Bird offer has ended on Sunday 17th March....

At Southend United "Kevin Maher says Blues have to stick to their beliefs as we attempt to pick up a first win in four games at Oxford City on Saturday.

Two narrow defeats have left the Shrimpers 20th in the National League table...

'We’ve just come out on the wrong side of moments in games. We need to turn that around, but there’s a lot of good stuff that we do within the game...

'We’ve got to remain consistent in the work we do and not get too high or too low... The hardest thing is to keep the confidence there...

'We’ve trained on 3G today [Thursday] to get ourselves ready for it [at Oxford], but they come in different types, so it’s hard to replicate'".

Bromley "confirm that striker Adam Marriott has joined National League North side Boston United on a one-month loan, subject to final FA approval.

Marriott’s season has been hampered by injury with the forward only making three National League appearances this campaign.

During his time at Bromley so far, he has netted 11 goals in 32 league appearances after joining in the summer of 2022".

The Daily Mail reports that "Oldham owner Frank Rothwell says he cannot wait go get back to Boundary Park for ‘a big concert’ after breaking his own world record to become, once again, the oldest man to row across an ocean.

The 73-year-old completed a gruelling, 64-day and 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic on Thursday night... Rothwell, who capsized four times and was only saved by a tether which kept him attached to his boat, is closing in on raising £300,000 for Alzheimer’s UK.

And he told Mail Sport that he cannot wait for his homecoming at National League Oldham’s clash with Kidderminster next Saturday, which is a 12,000-sell-out. ‘I hope everyone who has bought a ticket knows it’s going to be a concert and not a football match!’ the crooning grandfather joked...

Existing on a diet of powdered food, he listened to music from the likes of Cole Porter, Cilla Black and Oldham-born composer Sir William Walton.

Rothwell, who lost 15 kilos during his solo effort, struggled with changing currents which worked against him".

Colchester United confirm that "Chay Cooper has joined Hartlepool United on loan.

The twenty-two-year-old will be in the North East on a short-term deal, hoping to get some much-needed competitive match time...

Cooper made his debut for the U's in the EFL Trophy against West Ham in September 2021, before showcasing his ability with a stunning goal at Hartlepool on the last day of the 2021/22 campaign.

Competition for places in the attacking midfiled areas has been fierce at the U's this season, but Chay has made fifteen appearances".


16 February 2024

NEXT: ALDERSHOT TOWN

Altrincham's match at Aldershot's' EBB Stadium, a.k.a The Recreation Ground is being played in front of the TNT cameras with a 5.30pm kick-off. Hopefully, unlike Altrincham's recent planned home match on TNT againt Rochdale it will nott get postponed.

Last season, too, the corresponding fixture was moved from 3pm to a 5.30pm kick-off. That was because it was the last match of the season and the National League decreed that all games should kick off at the same time, as TV coverage again dictated.

But those plans were thwarted when Altrincham's coach broke down en route to Hampshire, at Oxford Services on the M40, and the game did not actually start till 6.15pm after Alty's players had hired a fleet of taxis to complete the journey!

That fixture, on 29 April 2023, ended after 8pm in a 1-1 draw, thanks to a late equaliser by Eddy Jones.

In terms of the matchday squad this Saturday, it is assumed that Matt Gould (above) will continue in goal as there has been no indication that first-choice keeper Ethan Ross has yet returned to match fitness.

Whether Sonny Aljofree, who arrived a fortnight ago on loan from Manchester United, will make his first ever appearance in an Altrincham matchday squad remains to be seen.

Justin Donawa is now fit again and will be hoping to break back into the matchday squad.

For Aldershot Town, "Ryan Glover... was voted as The Aldershot Town Supporters Club’s Player of the Month for January!

Glover was an ever-present in the side throughout the month, starting every game except our New Year’s Day win over Woking; in which he came off the bench".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Ebbsfleet United "confirm that Danny Searle has been appointed as the club’s new permanent manager following his period as interim head coach.

With previous experience in the National League, the League of Ireland, at Premier League academy level and abroad, the UEFA Pro-licensed coach is fully up to speed with the Fleet squad and has already made great strides at the Kuflink Stadium as the team head into the final third of the league season. Working alongside Danny will be Anwar Uddin as assistant manager...

The strong performances against Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield are an excellent platform to take into the remaining fixtures this season".

Altrincham travel to County Durham next Tuesday. From Hartlepool United we learn that "Matty Dolan has left the Club via mutual consent following the termination of his contract.

During his three spells at the Suit Direct Stadium, Dolan accumulated 42 appearances for Pools, including six games this season".

Dolan was subsequently reported to have joined Spennymoor Town.

Lincoln City's fan site, The Stacey West spoke to Solihull Moors CEO Mark Palmer about Jay Benn, who "joined the Moors on loan at the start of this season and started the season strongly...

Injuries began to limit his game time, causing him to miss the whole of October. The former Halifax man then scored a goal immediately upon his return in November... . Another injury then came, with the right-back only picking up a handful of minutes from the start of December, but is now coming back into the fray...

The CEO could not praise the [Lincoln City] club enough. 'We’ve been really impressed with the support the player has received because with the injuries he has had, they’ve really helped out with the medical side of that,' he explained... Not every club does it. We would hope that there would be a further relationship with Lincoln...

It’s often said that Lincoln have a reputation for doing things right, yet it is uncommon to hear exactly how. Or in what areas, but another club’s CEO giving us praise when he didn’t have to says a lot".

FC Halifax Town "have confirmed that defender Festus Arthur’s loan spell at Southport has been extended by a further month.

Arthur has spent the last month on loan at the National League North side".

AFC Fylde's "captain Harry Davis says the Coasters' togetherness has been a key factor in the winning run which has seen them win six out of their last seven Vanarama National League games...

Three consecutive away wins at Dorking Wanderers, Eastleigh and Aldershot have seen the Coasters climb the table ahead of Saturday’s visit of third-placed Barnet to Mill Farm.

Fylde’s home form has been excellent as well, having secured recent Mill Farm victories over Rochdale, Hartlepool United and Bromley...

Davis said... 'We’re looking like a real good side after three away games and three great away wins... At the start of the season, we were on the wrong end of some results, we’re a young team...

'We’ve got a great group here, really honest bunch of lads, and the togetherness has really grown since Beechy [mamager Chris Beech] has come in'".

At Gateshead, wing-back Jordan Hunter has rejoined South Shields on loan for the remainder of the season. Hehas made 27 appearances for Gateshead this season.

Also at Gateshead, Luke Hannant explains how playing for Team Northumbria, the university side which competes against men's teams in the Northern League, led to his being signed by The Heed in 2017.

Via Port Vale, Colchester United and Dundee he returned to the International Stadium.

Bottom club Oxford City tells us that Ross Jenkins, "The City gaffer has confirmed that "Harry (Birtwistle) picking up an injury on Saturday isn’t great and now he’s back at Wolves and getting treatment...

'Nya (Kirby) had a sore knee and that kept him out of training, Andre (Burley) had a swollen foot, so that stopped them from starting against Dagenham. Levi (Lumeka) got onto the bench after some injury issues himself, so he wasn’t really fully-fit to come on or start. Josh Parker had some fatigue so wasn’t involved in general.

'Canice Carroll has a groin strain and Zac McEachran has a problem with his ankle. Tafari Moore had a little setback, but we’ve had more clarity on his injury which is nice. It is what it is. It’s never nice and it’s never a reason to refer back to the injury situation when we lose.

'We have to stay positive ...

'The National League is like League Three. You look at some of the clubs in the division, some of the budgets, some of the managers, facilities, infrastructures, training programmes and the wages to go with it, you have to really appreciate the level'....

It may look bleak at the bottom, but City shouldn’t lose sight of how far they’ve come in the last year. Already, the Hoops have a better points total than one of last season’s relegated teams (Maidstone) with thirteen games to play... Jenkins admits that statistic shows how difficult this year’s division is proving to be...

'It’s really competitive. It’s been an eye-opener to see where we are as a club. We’re learning all the time from behind the scenes and on the pitch... We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re still part-time, but it can be difficult to match those full-time sides... Positivity is a must and we keep going!'”


15 February 2024

JUSTIN DONAWA INTERVIEW

Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer Brian Flynn interviewed Justin Donawa (right) for Alty TV.

The Bermudan has had a disjointed season due to injuries and his international commitments with his native country.

He has managed just 5(+9) appearances for the Robins since joining Altrincham last summer. However, he has scored an impressive three goals in those games.

His most recent injury was a calf problem which flared up before the FA Trophy game at Halifax

Since regaining fitness, the team's good form has made it difficult to force his way back into the atarting eleven.

TRAVEL IMBALANCE FOR ALTY

Yesterday's confirmation that Altrincham would play their much rearranged home game against Dorking on 5 March means that after 4 of the next 5 games for The Robins (and their supporters) being away from home, involving 1,560 miles of travel over a fortnight, Altrincham then have three successive home games in an eight-day period!

The travel imbalance is detailed below...

ALTY OLD BOYS

From Phil Jordan we learn that on Wednesday evening, in the Championship, "With Millwall three goals down at home to Ipswich Town by half time, their introduction of DUNCAN WATMORE from the bench after 71 minutes was unlikely to effect a major upturn in their fortunes - and indeed the Tractor Boys added a 4th goal in added time at the end of the game."

TOPS AND TAILS

This season is remarkable so far for the significant leads accrued by the table-toppers in the three National League divisions. And at the bottom, the clubs in last place have a lot to do to reach safety.

In the National League proper the leaders, Chesterfield, are 23 points clear of second-placed Bromley.

In National North the leaders, Tamworth, are eight points ahead of Scunthorpe United, having played an additional game

In National South the leaders, Yeovil Town, are ten points ahead of Worthing, with a game in hand.

All three of those leaders are clubs who have extensive experience at a higher level.

At the bottom:

In the National League proper the bottom club, Oxford City, are 7 points adrift of the fifth bottom who have played four fewer fixtures.

In National North the bottom club, Bishop's Stortford, are 17 points adrift of the fifth bottom.

In National South the bottom club, Dover Athletic, are 12 points adrift of the fifth bottom and have played three more games than that club.

Whilst looking forward to the end of the season, Altrincham currently have 50 points from 30 games, an average of 1.67 points per game which, if it continues, produces an end of season total of 76.67 points.

If that is achieved it would be the club's highest points total at the national level since 1991 when 82 points left Altrincham third in the league table but in that campaign they only played 42 games compared with this season's projected 46 fixtures.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The Daily Star reports that "Dorking boss Marc White delivers 'greatest first line of an interview ever' after York win.

A valuable win in the race against National League relegation saw Dorking Wanderers founder and manager Marc White produce 'possibly the greatest first line of a post-match interview'...

The midweek result took Wanderers three points clear of the bottom four and level on points with the Minstermen.

And White celebrated the occasion in trademark fashion while conducting his post-match interview with DWTV. It wouldn't be fair to call the manager a man of few words, but it was his first ones that drew a reaction from viewers.

Asked to sum up the game after Tom Blair's 85th-minute winner up north, the chairman and manager chuckled into the microphone as he replied 'How d'you like them apples, motherf*****s, yeah? That's what I'm saying. That's what I'm saying, James, yeah?

'One thing you should learn about a team that's come as far as us is you should never write us off. Never write us off.'"

Kidderminster Harriers "confirm that Joe Leesley has left the club by mutual consent.

Joe joined Harriers in late 2022 and made a big impression on Harriers fans with his playing style and character...

He’s been out of action for the last number of months as he continues to work through injury and departs Harriers having made a total of 32 to appearances, scoring twice.

Boss Phil Brown said 'I know Joe has been a very popular player here at Aggborough and it has been a disappointment for me that I have just caught him at the wrong time... Had I come to the right club at the right time, he would have been part and parcel of my playing staff, and I’d have looked forward to working with him because I know he’s a footballer who plays with a smile on his face'".


14 February 2024

FIFTH ATTEMPT AT DORKING FIXTURE

For the fifth time, Altrincham will attempt to play Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday, 5 March at 7.45pm, a date announced by the National League.

The history of the fixture is as follows.

Sadly Dorking have already travelled to ALtrincham for two of the above games so, hopefully, the weather will not intervene yet again and cause another fruitless journey for them.

NEXT: ALDERSHOT TOWN

Altrincham's opponents on Saturday are Aldershot Town who, last night (Tuesday), were "back in action at the EBB Stadium for their first home game in 17 days" as they entertained AFC Fylde.

Already two goals down to AFC Fylde, they had Harries sent off in the first half with the Coasters finally winning 5-0. Harries will now miss the clash with Alty.

The Shots now lie seventh, four points behind Altrincham but having played two additional fixtures.

Whilst they have lost six of their last twelve fixtures, two of those defeats were heavy losses in cup competitions. They went out of the Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round, losing 4-1 at The Hawthorns against WBA.

Six days later they lost 6-1 at Bishop's Stortford in the FA Trophy.

In the League their last ten fixtures have produced three victories, away at Woking, Rochdale and FC Halifax Town, and three draws; two at home to Bromley and Woking and one away at Wealdstone. The other four matches in this sequence were defeats, at home to Eastleigh and AFC Fylde, and away at Chesterfield and Kidderminster Harriers.

At home they are usually formidable, having lost just twice there all season in the National League before Tuesday's defeat and they were four league games unbeaten before that loss.

Aldershot supporters who have seen every one of their side's league matches will have witnessed 118 goals this season, which is the highest aggregate total of any club in the Division.

But with 62 of those goals being scored against them, The Shots have the worst defence of any club apart from 15th placed Eastleigh and bottom outfit Oxford City.

Their 56 goals at the other end of the pitch are just one short of Alty's total, but from two more games than the Robins have played.

SHOTS OFF TARGET

After their defeat by Fylde, Aldershot Town reported that "In form Fylde got the better of Aldershot at the EBB Stadium, as Shots being reduced to ten in the first half giving Tommy Widdrington’s side too much to do as Fylde ran riot to pick up all the points on a rainy Tuesday night.

The Shots... [made] three changes, as Tyler Frost, Rollin Menayese and Josh Stokes were rested, and Haji Mnoga, Theo Widdrington and Josh Barrett came into the team in their places. Academy product Ashley Akpan was on the bench...

Fylde had been in excellent form coming into this fixture and, on 28 minutes they took the lead... From close range Ustabasi poked home through a crowd of bodies...

There was a huge element of controversy around Josh Kay’s goal as he doubled Fylde’s lead, as Cian Harries seemed to be quite obviously shoved out of the way by a Fylde attacker, however the referee played on, and Josh Kay raced through and finished well beyond Jordi Van Stappershoef to make it 2-0 to Fylde.

In the heat of the moment Cian Harries sprinted at the referee, but the referee decided dissent was a red card offence, and gave Harries his marching orders and reduced the Shots to ten men.

It went from bad to worse for the ten man Shots moments later, as Nick Haughton did well to control a ball in from the left and took it past Coby Rowe to finish past Jordi Van Stappershoef to make it 3-0 to the visitors...

Tommy Widdrington decided it was all or nothing for the second half, taking off Theo Widdrington for Kwame Thomas at half time..

Despite [this]... the Shots found themselves conceding again.

Mansfield [Fylde] got themselves a fifth in the 88th minute, as... Joe Westey... poked home from on the line...

Team: Jordi Van Stappershoef, 2. Haji Mnoga, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries, 5. Coby Rowe, 6. Theo Widdrington (39. Kwame Thomas, 46′), 7. Stuart O’Keefe (C), 9. Lorent Tolaj (26. James Daly, 69′), 11. Ryan Glover, 20. Josh Barrett (10. Josh Stokes, 25′) , 22. Jack Barham. Unused subs: 13. Ashley Akpan, 25. Rollin Menayese

WEALDSTONE GAME

Altrincham should have played Wealdstone last night in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday.

But with Wealdstone's FA Trophy game last Saturday being postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, Altrincham's league match against the Stones had to be postponed to allow the Trophy tie to be played on Tuesday.

Ironically, Wealdstone reported that "Tuesday night's rearranged FA Trophy game at home to Hendon has been postponed [again] due to a waterlogged pitch at Grosvenor Vale.

The pitch failed a Tuesday afternoon pitch inspection following rain Tuesday morning. And with further forecasted [sic] rain this evening the surface was deemed unplayable".

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reviews Tuesday night's games...

League One: JUNIOR QUITIRNA (right) was a 72nd minute substitute for Fleetwood with the game goalless, but visitors Reading took the lead within two minutes. Fleetwood salvaged a 1-1 draw in the fifth minute of added time. HARRISON HOLGATE was left on the bench.

OWEN DALE was booked in the first half, and substituted by Oxford United at the break. They went on to beat visitors Wigan Athletic 4-2.

Stevenage, skippered as usual by CARL PIERGIANNI, were 2-0 midway through the first half, but visitors Bristol Rovers recovered to win 2-3.

League Two : Although ELLIOT NEWBY played the whole game, Barrow fell to a shock 1-2 defeat against struggling visitors Forest Green Rovers, who again left MAXI OYEDELE on their bench.

CONNOR JENNINGS scored from the spot to give Tranmere Rovers a 2-0 lead after only 10 minutes, but visitors Morecambe, for whom JOEL SENIOR put in a full shift, recovered to win 2-3.

National League : AFC Fylde left DANNY WHITEHEAD (right)on the bench at Aldershot as they continued their recent revival with an impressive 0-5 victory. Cian Harries was sent off for Shots and will miss the visit of Altrincham on Saturday.

After trailing to an early goal, Oldham Athletic equalised just after the hour at Boundary Park, and withdrew JOSH LUNDSTRAM after 76 minutes. Soon after they scored again to see off Boreham Wood, who had BILLY SASS-DAVIES booked, 2-1.

NPL: There was a shock on the cards at Radcliffe, where visitors Atherton Collieries led 0-2 with only two minutes of normal time remaining but then JORDAN HULME reduced the arrears and, inthe thirteenth added minute BRAD JACKSON equalised.

TUESDAY RESULTS

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Vanarama National League

Isuzu FA Trophy Fifth Round

The sixth round (quarter-final) ties take place on 9 March. There are only five survivors from the National League in the competition and four of them have, subject to a replay, been drawn against each other.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

At Oldham Athletic, before last night's game, manager "Micky Mellon said he has looked to use the last ten days productively, as his Latics side embark on a busy run of fixtures.

[Tuesday] night's home game against Boreham Wood marked the start of six fixtures in the space of three weeks...

'I’ve looked to use the break as productively as possible, trying to use the time right to get the lads recharged, but also keep working on things we want to work on,' Mellon said...

'We’ve been looking at keeping the team moving forward, building relationships between players, because a few new lads have come in'...

One aspect of preparation has been the playing of a behind-closed-doors fixture against Manchester United U21s at Carrington at the weekend.

Latics played two different sides in each half... Oldham came out on top in that game, running out 3-1 winners...

Among those who featured in that game were Youth Team players Alfie Atherton and Mo Doro...

'We were able to try some different things. Playing people in different positions, and things like that... The players got a 45-minute test each, which was good for them, and we’ve come out of it without any real injuries... Both Alfie and Mo gave really good accounts of themselves...

'I’m still learning a lot about the football club and I’ve learned that we’ve got two really good young players there...

'The forthcoming fixtures are why it was so important for all of them to get 45 minutes during that bounce game', Mellon added...

Mellon also provided an injury update on striker James Norwood... 'James has a hamstring injury and is going to be out for the next few games,' he said.".

Also at Oldham Athletic "After returning to the side three months ago, Charlie Raglan has enjoyed being back out on the pitch, having cemented his place at the back for Oldham Athletic...

'It was great to get back into the team. For the first few games I was just finding my feet again, but it soon became the norm...

'We’re probably blessed at centre-back for depth and quality, so certainly I’m not going to be relaxing'...

Charlie’s generally partnered Liam Hogan and Shaun Hobson, in defence when Latics have played a back three'...

Following the January signings of Andrew Dallas and Joe Garner, there’s an abundance of attacking talent at Boundary Park.

'It’s clear that we’ve got some good options now, especially at the top end of the pitch, and in my position too'".

Eastleigh "confirm the departure of Seung-woo Yang after having been released from his contract.

The South Korean-born midfielder moved to the United Kingdom as a child, growing up in Bournemouth before he joined Southampton FC’s academy at just 6 years old.

Yang went on to carry out his scholarship at Forest Green Rovers, before joining Eastleigh’s EDS programme.

‘Seuny’ [featured]... twice in total during the 2021/22 season. He then signed his first professional contract in May 2022 before making three professional appearances for the club".

Eastleigh also report that "Concerts are coming to the Silverlake Stadium, the home of Eastleigh Football Club...

The music from two global household names, Queen and ABBA, will be performed live on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2024.

Stars from London’s West End, including former cast from the smash hit musicals ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ will take to the stage set up on the Silverlake Stadium pitch in front of the new South Stand seating area".


13 February 2024

NEXT: ALDERSHOT TOWN

When Alty travel to play Aldershot Town next Saturday, in front of the TNT cameras, they will face the current Vanarama National League Player of the Month, Lorent Tolaj. Aldershot Town explain that "The Swiss striker scored four goals in the five Vanarama National League games The Shots were involved in during January and also scored in our FA Trophy defeat".

But one Shots player who won't be facing the Robins is Zain Walker, as the Shots confirm that "Walker has rejoined Bishop’s Stortford on loan until the end of the season.

The midfielder played 21 times for The Blues in a loan spell during the first half of the season and will link back up with them for the remainder of this campaign".

Off the field The Shots have a well-known Ukrainian as a supporter. Aldershot Town explain that they were "delighted to receive images of Mayor of Kyiv and former Heavyweight Champion of the World Vitali Klitschko donning the red and blue of Aldershot Town!

Thanks to Andy Drury of our Club Partners RLD Builders for supplying Vitali with the shirt and arranging the pictures!"

Aldershot have a midweek National League home match against AFC Fylde tonight.

THROUGH THE YEARS: 17 FEBRUARY

On Saturday when Altrincham are playing in Hampshire, it will be six years to the day since Altrincham entertained Sutton Coldfield Town at Moss Lane in the Northern Premier League, as confirmed by Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records.

The match was the Royals' first ever visit to Moss Lane. Alty had won the reverse fixture 4-0 at Coles Lane but the Midlanders had made sweeping changes to their personnel since then and they came into this match with seven points from their previous four games.

Indeed, Sutton Coldfield belied their bottom of the table position to make Altrincham work hard for the three points. The home side started poorly and had Hawley got in a better shot the hosts could have been behind inside forty seconds. Indeed, it was the Royals who took the lead, in the 13th minute, when Alty stood off Hawley and allowed the former Stafford man to feed the overlapping Lyttle. From right of goal he drove a fine, low shot past Thompson.

Altrincham slowly improved and they levelled the score eight minutes later. A superb 22 yard shot from Harrop gave keeper Brown no chance.

Above: Max Harrop is engulfed by his team-mates after scoring his equalising goal.

On a soft surface Altrincham found it hard to create clear openings and it took a penalty, ten minutes from time, to decide the outcome. Hancock got to a ball just inside the box fractionally ahead of a defender who tripped him to concede the spot-kick. Johnston coolly converted the penalty, having come on as a substitute during the second half after an injury lay-off.

The action was not over as Sutton Coldfield substitute Dell lasted just four minutes before punching Harrop in reaction to a foul by the Alty man and being shown a red card in the 89th minute.

905 spectators watched the match, which left Altrincham top and their visitors bottom of the table.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. John JOHNSTON, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Mason WALSH, 17. Josh AMIS.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

A week today, Altrincham travel to Hartlepool United who report that last Saturday "United were denied an away victory in front of the TV cameras through a last-minute Woking equaliser.

Kevin Phillips named an unchanged team from last weekend’s win at Bromley... Pools enjoyed a great period of a possession, resulting in David Ferguson hooking a low cross into Joe Grey to tap home at the front post...

With 33 on the clock, Pools thought they made it two. Tom Crawford met a ball from the right and his header crossed the line, but it was ruled out for a foul...

Woking pushed forward in the second half but Dixon wasn’t tested until the 91st minute. The Pools keeper made a tremendous save initially, but the visitors failed to clear their lines and Lewis Walker fired home from close-range...

Pools: Dixon, Hendrie, Waterfall, Parkes, Ferguson, Featherstone, Crawford, Senior (Dickenson 68), Cooke, Grey, Dieseruvwe. Subs (not used) Jameson, Onariase, Burton, Wallace".

Next week's match should see former Alty loanee Luke Waterfall in action for the Pools.

Kidderminster Harriers "confirm the signing of former Crewe Alexandra midfielder Regan Griffiths.

The 23-year-old is a product of the Crewe youth system and... he went on to make in excess of 50 first team appearances in the EFL and cups.

Regan’s other experiences include loan spells in non-league with Notts County and, earlier this season, Boreham Wood in the National League.

Harriers boss Phil Brown said 'He’s a good, technically gifted player in central midfield... and has a range of passing that we don’t have in midfield'".

Dorking Wandreres' "First Team Head Coach Ross McNeilly has departed the club to move on to pastures new.

Ross, who joined the club following previous coach Mark Beard’s prompt appointment at Eastbourne Borough, has been an extremely popular figure with everyone at the club and brought a great deal of professional standards to Dorking during his stay.

He has been instrumental in the club’s transition to daytime training.

Manager Marc White commented 'Ross is a fantastic, talented guy who has given the club his full commitment during his stay'...

Ross will now move on to further his managerial career having made the move into Management during last season at Aldershot Town FC".



12 February 2024

CLEAN SHEETS

Following the 3-0 victory over Rochdale, goalkeeper Matt Gould and his defence have now recorded three successive clean-sheets in the Vanarama National League.

Right: Pictured on Saturday is Matt Gould, who has kept three successive clean sheets. For the Alty goalkeeper, football really does "run in the family", as the Golf Road End banner suggests; his father is goalkeeper Jonathan Gould (ex-Glasgow Celtic) and he is the grandson of prolific striker and manager of Wimbledon's "Crazy Gang", Bobby Gould.

  1. Game 28: Sat.27.1.24 H EASTLEIGH, won 4-0
  2. Game 29: Sat.3.2.24 A Solihull Moors, won 1-0
  3. Game 30: Sat.10.2.24 H ROCHDALE, won 3-0

The current clean-sheet treble is the first for Altrincham in the league since 2022, when they recorded four shut-outs in a row and six clean sheets out of seven matches.

In a curious parallel with 2024, the 2022 sequence also included the loss of the first-team keeper to injury when one might have expected a more porous defence in his absence.

However, the cause in 2022 was significantly helped by five of the six "goalless" games being played at Moss Lane.

  1. Game 30 goalkeeper Thompson Sat. 26.2.22 H DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE won 3-0
  2. Game 31 goalkeeper Drench Sat. 5.3.22 A Maidenhead United drew 0-0
  3. Game 32 goalkeeper Drench Tue. 8.3.22 H WEYMOUTH won 5-0
  4. Game 33 goalkeeper Drench Sat. 12.3.22 H EASTLEIGH won 4-0
  5. Game 34 goalkeeper Thompson Sat. 19.3.22 A Southend United lost 0-2
  6. Game 35 goalkeeper Thompson Tue. 22.3.22 H CHESTERFIELD won 1-0
  7. Game 36 goalkeeper Thompson Sat. 26.3.22 H ALDERSHOT TOWNwon 1-0

NEWBY CORNERED BY POLICE

There was an unaccustomed sight at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday as His Majesty's constabulary were out in force for the visit of Rochdale. Normally stewards are the only form of policing at the ground.

Pictured, right, four officers make sure that Alex Newby places the ball in the corner flag quadrant at the end where the Rochdale fans were housed.

A dozen or more other police officers were outside the ground, with their vehicles also in attendance.

So far as was visible from the main stand, the nearly 900 away fans were well behaved throughout the game. Presumably, the show of force was based on police intelligence.

ROCHDALE: NOT THE FIRST TIME!

Terry Rowley advises that Saturday's visit of Rochdale to Altrincham for a league match was not, in fact, Dale's first such fixture.

Rochdale joined the Manchester League for the 1907/08 season and they met Altrincham twice in the league that season.

Altrincham won at home 4-1 and drew 2-2 at Rochdale.

Those metings were not repeated as, at the end of 1907-08, Rochdale moved to the Lancashire Combination for the 1908/09 campaign.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reports that on Sunday in the Championship, "Millwall were leading when they withdrew DUNCAN WATMORE after 62 minutes at Coventry City. Just eight minutes later they'd gone behind and went on to lose 2-1. Perhaps they should have left him on..."

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Following their 3-0 defeat at Altrincham, Rochdale reported that "Jimmy McNulty felt Dale performed better than the score line suggested on Saturday...

'I think Altrincham deserved to win,' said McNulty. 'We’ve shared two 3-0 score lines with them now. Truthfully, I don’t think we deserved to beat them 3-0 at our place, I thought they deserved to score on the night. I remember Phil [Parkinson] saying the same after that game, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t say similar after today.

'Altrincham were more clinical than us, but I would say that’s all they were. We were in the game, we got around their goal a lot and had loads of opportunities and shots..

'If I was taking my Rochdale hat off and watched the game as a neutral, I would just say the team in red had quality when they were in the box, and the team in blue didn’t. But I know my guys have got quality and, on another day, we score.'".


11 February 2024

ALTY HIGHLIGHTS

Extended highlights of the Altrincham win over Rochdale are available via Alty TV.

ALTRINCHAM 3-0 ROCHDALE

It was an ultimately comfortable win for Altrincham as they reversed the 3-0 defeat that they had suffered at Spotland earlier this season.

On a pitch heavily sanded in several places, Rochdale started well before Altrincham began to assert themselves after the opening quarter of an hour. The hosts took the lead in the 44th minute when a fine shot from the left by Eddy Jones was pushed onto the post by the keeper, only for Amaluzor to net the rebound.

Above: Justin Amaluzor pounces to net the opening goal.

Rochdale were still well in the game with Gilmour pulling the strings in midfield but two goals in as many minutes settled the outcome.

Isaac Marriott won the ball in midfield and, via Conn-Clarke, the ball reached Linney, right of goal, from where he scored smartly (66 mins).

Just two minutes later Marriott was again involved as he set up Conn-Clarke to score his 17th league goal of the season. But the home defence played with assurance and despite plenty of the ball, Dale could not get a consolation goal.

Match report here.

PHIL PARKINSON'S VERDICT

In his post-match interview, the Alty boss was pleased with how his team controlled the game "in and out of possession". The interview can be seen on Alty TV.

ROCHDALE BOSS'S FAIR ASSESSMENT

Rochdale boss Jimmy McNulty gave a fair post-match assessemnt of his side's defeat at Altrincham on Saturday.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan's survey of former Altrincham players and loanees' exploits on Saturday is below.

League One : Having been a goal up at Lincoln, Fleetwood were reduced to 10 men in added time at the end of the first half. HARRISON HOLGATE came off the bench at the start of the second half, and he was joined after 61 minutes by JUNIOR QUITIRNA, but Lincoln made their man advantage pay, going on to win 2-1.

CARL PIERGIANNI was one of seven bookings, as Stevenage conceded a 98th minute goal at Port Vale to draw 2-2.

League Two : Barrow were two goals down after 26 minutes at AFC Wimbledon. Despite the best efforts of ELLIOT NEWBY and his colleagues there was no further score.

CONNOR JENNINGS was booked as Tranmere Rovers lost by the odd goal in three at Doncaster.

Despite being hammered 0-4 at home by Mansfield Town, Forest Green Rovers saw no need to bring MAXI OYEDELE off the bench. Similarly, Grimsby Town left TOBY MULLARKEY to collect splinters as they fell 1-3 to visitors Stockport County.

One ex Robin who did put in a full shift was ALISTAIR SMITH, but he couldn't prevent Colchester United from falling to the only goal at Harrogate Town.

JOEL SENIOR was credited with the assist as Morecambe struck after just 4 minutes at home to Sutton United. It turned out to be the only goal of the match.

National League : Chesterfield were surprisingly held 2-2 at home by Ebbsfleet United. JEFF KING played the whole game and was booked, while JAMES BERRY was a 74th minute substitute.

DANNY WHITEHEAD put in a full shift as AFC FYLDE won 1-2 at Eastleigh.

It was still goalless when Southend United withdrew MARCUS DACKERS after 82 minutes, but the evergreen Lenell John-Lewis popped up seven minutes later to give visitors York City a 0-1 win.

Hartlepool United's LUKE WATERFALL was disappointed as Woking scored an added -time equaliser in the televised National League game.

National North : TOM PEERS rounded off the scoring in the 94th minute as Chester won 3-0 at home to Scarborough Athletic.

Alfreton Town's starting line-up at Darlington included KENNEDY DIGIE, HARRY PERRITT (who was booked), and LEWIS SALMON. Digie was fouled early in the second half, and Alfreton went ahead from the resulting penalty. Despite a late red card "Ofton", as they describe themselves on their Twitter feed, added another goal in the 90th minute to win 0-2 for the first time at Blackwell Meadows since 2019. LEWIS SALMON was substituted in the closing minutes.

National South : DANNY CASHMAN was involved in a goalfest as Worthing beat visitors Dover Athletic 6-4.

NPL : JOSH HANCOCK gave Radcliffe an early lead at Worksop Town, but the home team fought back to draw 1-1.

Southern Central : MONTEL GIBSON scored twice as AFC Telford despatched visitors Kettering 4-0.

FA Trophy : SAM HEATHCOTE scored the clincher as Macclesfield won 0-2 at Hampton & Richmond, while MARCUS DINANGA scored the only goal for Gateshead at Hereford.

ASHLEY HEMMINGS and Kidderminster Harriers won't be going to Wembley this season, as 37 year old Michael Gash scored the only goal of the game for hosts Peterborough Sports.

FIVE POSTPONEMENTS IN 21 DAYS

Planning ahead for football clubs and their supporters can be difficult as the following fixture changes demonstarte.

Three weeks ago, Altrincham's fixture list looked like this

Now it looks like this...

And on top of that the match next Saturday had its kick-off time changed to 5.30pm in January to accommodate the TNT Sport cameras.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

10 February 2024

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE RESULTS

Saturday, 10 February 2024

ISUZU FA TROPHY FIXTURES

Saturday, 10 February 2024

Fifth Round

ONE MATCH ON, ANOTHER OFF

Following a pitch inspection this morning, today's home fixture against Rochdale is going ahead.

But Altrincham FC announces that "Looking ahead to Tuesday,unfortunately, our home Vanarama National League game on Tuesday evening against Wealdstone is OFF, due to the postponement today of their Isuzu FA Trophy tie with Hendon, of which the rearranged fixture takes precedence over our game next week".

So the next Altrincham match after today is currently an away game at Aldershot Town on 17 February.

"WE NOW THEIR STRENGTHS AND WAKNESSES"

Rochdale's "Harvey Gilmour says seeing team-mates return to the Dale squad gives everyone a huge lift...

Gilmour believes that with players such as Kairo Mitchell and Cian Hayes returning, along with the likes of Adam Clayton, Devante Rodney and George Nevett to come back, Dale can have a positive end to the season...

Commented the 25-year-old... 'We’ve also signed Hayesy [Cian Hayes] again who will be a great addition to the team – he was class a couple of months ago. We’ve definitely got a stronger squad now'...

Dale suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season last weekend...

'“It’s not nice to go two defeats on the spin but with it being the first it’s happened this season, it shows how much we’ve improved'...

Dale travel to Altrincham this weekend, an opponent we ran out 3-0 winners over back in November... 'They played very well on the day but we I thought we controlled large parts of the game, especially in the first half. We got our press and regains right.

'We know their strengths and their weaknesses. They’re good in the transitions and they have match winners'" concluded the midfielder.

TODAY: ROCHDALE

Altrincham are set to face Altrincham today at the J. Davidson Stadium (3pm).

Rochdale report that "Altrincham have confirmed that the match is now all ticket. Tickets will be on sale online until 2pm on Saturday, with no pay on the day available...

Altrincham are enjoying a fine campaign so far, sitting fifth in the National League table. They have lost just twice at home in the league... It is Dale's first visit there in 41 years.

Saturday’s game will be only the fourth meeting between the two clubs.

The match earlier in the season, when Dale ran out 3-0 winners at home to the Robins, was the first meeting in league action.

Prior to that, the previous games came in the FA Cup, with Altrincham running out winners on both occasions. They won 3-1 in the 1965/66 second round, and 2-1 in the first round of the 1982/83 competition".

ALTY'S SQUAD

Above: Central defender Lewis Baines has been one of Alty's most dependable players this season and he has also chipped in with three league goals.

Following the news, yesterday, of Jake Cooper's contract extension, Altrincham currently have 23 contracted players who have actually made league appearances this season. Three of those are now long-term injured (James Jones, Joey Jones and Ollie Crankshaw) and one other (George Burroughs) is out on loan.

The 23 are 2. Lewis BANKS, 3. Eddy JONES, 4. Lewis BAINES, 5. James JONES (long-term injured), 6. Elliot OSBORNE, 7. Matty KOSYLO, 8. Isaac MARRIOTT, 9. Regan LINNEY, 10. Chris CONN-CLARKE, 11. Justin AMALUZOR, 12. Liam BROCKBANK, 14. Dior ANGUS, 15. Jake COOPER, 16. Sam ROSCOE, 17. Justin DONAWA, 19. George WILSON, 21. Matthew GOULD, 22. Joey JONES (long-term injured), 27. Oliver CRANKSHAW (long-term injured), 29. Ethan ROSS, 30. Alex NEWBY, 32. George BURROUGHS (on loan at Stafford Rangers), 44. Dan MOONEY.

More recently goalkeeper Ethan Ross has been out injured as well, reducing the squad to 18. Of those, Liam Brockbank and Justin Donawa have not been in recent squads, reducing the "regulars" to 16, plus goalkeeper Ollie Byrne, who has not been in a league squad since returning from loan at Cork City before Christmas.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan knows no limits in his pursuit of Alty "old boys" and he reports today that in the NPL Victoria, Australia, "The season began for Oakleigh Cannons on Friday morning (0930 our time), and CONNOR HAMPSON wore the number 3 shirt in their 3-0 win against newly promoted Manningham United Blues. Interestingly, he is listed on the club site as a midfield player".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The National League monthly awards have gone to Chesterfield's Paul Cook as Manager of the Month for January and the Player of the Month is Aldershot Town's Lorent Tolaj.

The citation for Paul Cook reminds us that the Spireites "widened the gap to sixteen points by the end of January, defeating Solihull Moors, Gateshead, Altrincham, Woking and Southend United.

They scored 14 times in January, an average of 2.8 goals a game, while only two sides conceded less than the leaders last month".

As for Lorent Tolaj, "He shone last month with four goals and an assist, playing every minute to keep his club in the mix for the top seven. That after fuelling their FA Cup adventure.

The 22-year-old Swiss was swashbuckling as he inspired his team from the front, netting in games against Woking, Bromley, Rochdale before a beauty at Wealdstone".

Southend United "confirm that Mauro Vilhete has left the Club.

Vilhete's dual registration contract has been cancelled and as a result he has departed Roots Hall.

The forward joined Blues in September 2023 and [made] 13 appearances in the National League".

Also at Southend United "Kevin Maher gave some insight into the process which led to Brooklyn Kabongolo leaving the club this week.

He said 'We were in talks with him and his advisors for the last three weeks. We have a contract that we give to young players with extra incentives if they play. We’ve done it with Collin and Oli Coker, but Brooklyn’s advisors wanted guarantees that we wouldn’t give.

'I feel for the lad – he’s a real nice kid and we felt he had potential, but it became too difficult in the end. We can’t guarantee anyone a certain amount of games but we wish him all the best',

The Head Coach provided an update on Harry Taylor’s injury after the centre-back felt his hamstring go last time out against Gateshead.

'He hasn’t trained this week and it looks like he’ll be out for two or three weeks... It’s disappointing for him but certain players are quick healers and I think he’s one of them.'”

Oldham Athletic report that "Midfielder Ben Tollitt has joined Chester on loan for the rest of the season.

Ben joined Latics after a successful trial in the summer of 2022, and was Latics’ top scorer in the first half of the campaign.

The 29-year-old has featured five times for Oldham in the league this season, netting once".

Meanwhile, Barnet "announce the loan signing of Oxford United striker, Gatlin O’Donkor for the remainder of the season.

The 19-year-old joined National League South side Oxford City on an initial one-month loan... He returned to his parent club and made his league debut for Oxford United...

He signed his first professional contract with the club in August 2022. His first... League start [came]... on 3 September 2022".

The local Witney Gazette adds that "The 19-year-old striker has struggled for starts this season with Oxford United, having been mainly used as a substitute, and as second choice centre forward...

Despite making 26 appearances across all competitions for the U’s this campaign, only three of them came as starts, with none of those in Sky Bet League One though."


9 February 2024

JAKE EXTENDS HIS CONTRACT

On Alty TV, Brian Flynn has interviewed central defender Jake Cooper following news of his contract extensio at Altrincham FC.

Earlier Altrincham FC had reported that "Jake Cooper [h]as signed a contract extension with the Robins.

A product of the Rotherham United academy, the 23-year-old has been an important part of Alty's success since committing to the club on a permanent basis at the start of the 2022-23 season...

'Alty is a great place to be at the moment. The club is really going places and I'm really happy to be part of it. The gaffer, the lads, the fans, everyone is pulling in the right direction and it's great to be involved'", said Jake.

Footnote: Jake had made 49(+4) appearances for Altrincham to date.

Only turning 23 years of age in January, he was a forward in the Sheffield United youth system before converting to a defensive role.

Before joining Alty, Jake had previous non-League experience, having had two loan spells at Gateshead in 2019-20 and 2020-21, making 29 appearances for The Heed before he also made two appearances for Hartlepool United in 2021.

In 2021-22 season, he made eleven appearances and scored three goals when on loan at National North club Darlington before he returned to Rotherham a fortnight ahead of his arrival at Altrincham, where he made his debut at centre-back on 5 February 2022.

Jake was sidelined by a tendon injury in early November 2022 and on 24 February 2023 it was announced that he was again going on loan to Darlington in National League North. On 23 March it was confirmed that the loan had been extended till the end of the National North season.

In 2023-24 he has established a good partnership with Lewis Baines at the heart of the defence.

DORKING THANKS

Despite a fourth postponement of the fixture on Tuesday, two of which were due to adverse weather, Dorking Wanderers stated that "After the match officials pitch inspection, tonight’s game against Altrincham has been cancelled.

We would like to send our thanks Altrincham FC for their ongoing efforts to make this go ahead, but the weather forecast has unfortunately gone against us this afternoon".

NEXT: ROCHDALE

On Saturday, Altrincham will be hoping to gain revenge for their joint-worst defeat of the season, so far, a 3-0 loss at Rochdale.

Another wet day (Thursday) will not have helped the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium to dry out but, hopefully things will improve before matchday.

Since December, Rochdale have had some mixed results, losing three of their last four league outings.

ALTY OLD BOYS

The BBC reports that "Morecambe assistant manager JOHN McMAHON has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association in relation to betting.

It is alleged that McMahon breached FA Rule E1(b) by betting on football matches a total of 251 times.

The FA added that the bets were said to have been placed between 30 November 2019 and 14 October 2023.

McMahon, who stayed as assistant to Ged Brennan after Derek Adams' exit in November, has until Thursday to reply".

Footnote: John McMahon was a regular in Everton’s Central League side before moving to Southport and South Liverpool. He first joined Altrincham in October 1985 and made 19 appearances (one goal) before joining Witton Albion in the summer of 1986. He then moved on to Runcorn from where he rejoined Altrincham in the close season of 1988.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

FC Halifax Town took on 6th placed Solihull Moors at home [on Tuesday]. Both teams were looking to bounce back with a win after losses over the weekend. Chris Milington was watching from the stands this evening after a third yellow card in the game against Aldershot.

The Shaymen started the game on the front foot, with some decent efforts going forward. It was the visitors who opened scoring however, with a looping Whitmore header... after an inswinging corner in the 24th. Capello also saw yellow that minute after bringing down Jay Benn...

Solihull scored a second in the 28th, with Maycock putting the ball in the net...

Town made their first substitution in the 38th minute, with Capello being replaced by new signing Jack Jenkins for his second Shaymen appearence.. Going into the second half, Town made another substitution, bringing on Evans to replace Hunter...

Town were beginning to put pressure on Solihull early in the second half, but conceded a penalty in the 58th however, with Stevens placing the ball into the bottom left corner, to put Solihull 3-0 up." And that is how it ended with the Moors swapping fourth and fifth places with Altrincham.

Things are looking up at Woking wher the Cards are ending "a week of three consecutive home games with the visit of Hartlepool United in front of the TNT Sports cameras.

Tuesday night’s home win against Oxford City ended a barren run of no home win in the league for the Cards since August, and saw two of Michael Doyle’s new signings in Lewis Walker and Jayden Luker both scoring their first goals since joining.

It was also Woking’s fourth clean sheet under Doyle, and another big positive was the return of Manny Oyeleke, who got some minutes near the end, as well as a first start for Curtis Edwards. Doyle will hope that the likes of Jim Kellermann and Rhys Browne are not too far away as well".

York City "announce the capture of left-back Danny Amos on loan from League Two side Grimsby Town.

The 24-year-old defender will stay with the Minstermen for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

A Northern Ireland international at youth level, Danny... signed a one-year deal [at Grimsby]

Sheffield-born Amos came through at Doncaster Rovers initially, making fourteen league appearances for them...

Seven National League appearances were also clocked up at Hartlepool United in 2019 when Amos went out on loan... A short-term stint followed at Port Vale in 2021..

Switching to Grimsby Town in January 2022, he has gone on to make 66 appearances".

Swindon Town confirm that "Tyrese Shade has joined National League side Solihull Moors on loan for the remainder of the 23/24 season...

The 23-year-old joined the club back in June 2022 and after several seasons with Town, now heads to The Moors ...

The former Leicester City player started his career with Solihull Moors back in 2016 and after spells with the Foxes, Walsall (on loan) and currently Swindon, now re-joins the club after making 71 appearances for Town since joining almost two years ago."

From Oldham Athletic we learn that "After 63 days and countless challenges, chairman Frank Rothwell is just over 300 nautical miles from finishing his row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Having started his journey from the Canary Islands on 13th December, so far he has travelled over 2,500 nautical miles...

His total raised for Alzheimer's Research is rapidly approaching the £250,000 mark.

Just a few days into his journey he capsized and was thrown out of the boat, after conditions deteriorated massively.

Thankfully, Frank was wearing his harness and was able to return to his vessel...

'The winds are in my favour now, however, and I’ve got about a week to go'">


8 February 2024

PITCH UPDATE

Following the latest weather-induced postponement at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham FC's Interim CEO, Sam MacKenzie has explained that on Tuesday "the reality is we were faced with a very unfortunate sequence of events with the weather.

We sincerely apologise to the Dorking fans who had already set off, with some who had made it as far as Altrincham. And while we did offer free food to all the Wanderers fans who got as far as the stadium, we would like to refund all Dorking fans for their matchday tickets and offer those away fans who had already bought tickets free entry to the rearranged game.

I also want to pay tribute to the officials and staff at Dorking...

Above: Parts of the pitch at the JDS were already showing signs of wear in early December 2023

An initial check from a respected local referee at 11am yesterday confirmed that the pitch was playable at that time. Although rain was forecast no referee would call off a game simply on the prospect of future rain, and we therefore arranged for the match referee to carry out an inspection at 5pm.

In addition, we had extensively Verti-drained the pitch the day before and applied a couple of specialist treatments that had certainly contributed to the pitch being playable at the morning inspection. However, continuous rain through the day meant that when the match referee arrived to carry out a pitch inspection at 5pm, water had not sufficiently drained from all parts of the pitch, leaving some parts unplayable, and the referee therefore called the game off.

I had been in continuous contact with Marc White, the Dorking Wanderers Chief Executive over the last 24 hours and he appreciated that we had been proactive and done everything we could. Marc added 'this morning this was an innocuous situation where everything pointed to the game being on, but the unprecedented weather saw an unexpected postponement. All we can ask from the host club is clear and unambiguous dialogue and Altrincham certainly gave us that.' The match referee also praised the way we had tried to manage the situation...

We apologise we weren’t able to confirm the call-off earlier, but this was a situation not dissimilar to the Bromley postponement last season: a playable pitch made unplayable but continuous rain in the hours before kick-off".

Sam goes on to discuss the ongoing situation with the state of the pitch and the action being planned to mitigate and then remedy the problem.

NEXT: ROCHDALE

As Alty prepare to entertain them on Saturday, Rochdale report that "Jimmy McNulty confirmed that George Nevett, Adam Clayton and Devante Rodney are all close to returning to action.

The trio have all been absent in 2024, but the Head Coach hopes to have them back in contention in the next fortnight.

'They’re big players and every time we see one of them return, it’s a good feeling,' he commented. 'It means we’re not playing as many players out of position...

'George [Nevett] we hope will training next week. Training in time for the next game though doesn’t mean he will be necessarily ready to start.

'Adam Clayton, we think will train the week after. Devante Rodney, we think will train the week after. So, they’re sort of Solihull time [Saturday 17th February].

'Cian Hayes, we hope will train with us next week. BK [Brad Kelly] is a long-term one.'

Saturday also saw the return of Kairo Mitchell, who had been missing since November with an ankle injury... 'It was an innocuous injury in training, which breaks your heart really. He had just got to ten goals so early and he’s massive for the team...

'His selfless work from the front was so evident in the first part of the season'".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

At Southend United "Harry Taylor, who is your Player of the Month for January!

The centre-back, who signed a new two-and-a-half year contract at the weekend, received 43% of the vote.

He played the maximum 270 minutes in January as he continued to impress in a defensive role, looking composed at all times and coming up with some vital tackles and interceptions...

Gus Scott-Morriss was second with 29%, and Collin Andeng Ndi was third with 6%".

Less happily, Southend United "confirm that defender Brooklyn Kabongolo has departed the Club.

Kabongolo joined Southend United on a non-contract basis in September 2023 and made 13 appearances for Blues during his short spell.

Following several weeks of negotiations to reward Brooklyn's efforts with a longer-term contract, the club were notified yesterday of the defender’s decision to move on".

At Wealdstone "defender Brandon Mason has committed his future to the Stones by signing a new 18-month contract.

Brandon Mason, whose career began in the youth ranks of Watford, made his professional debut in 2016 in the Premier League. Following his tenure at Watford, Brandon continued to hone his craft with stints at Coventry City... and later with loans to St Mirren and MK Dons, among other clubs...

His defensive qualities, combined with his ability to support the attack, make him an invaluable asset to the squad. Brandon's leadership on and off the field has also been instrumental in fostering a strong, cohesive spirit amongst the squad.

The club is excited about the future and believes that securing Brandon's services for the next 18 months is a testament to our ambition...

Brandon Mason shared his excitement about the new contract, saying... 'Since joining the club, I've felt right at home. The fans have been incredible'".

"Goals either side of the break consigned Oxford City to defeat away at Woking...

A thunderbolt in the first-half from Jayden Luker and a Lewis Walker penalty was [sic] enough for the Cardinals on a wet & windy night at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, where the Hoops couldn’t seem to find their rhythm.

Ross Jenkins made two changes from Saturday’s defeat at Kidderminster Harriers. Harry Birtwistle was handed his senior debut and Alfie Potter also got the nod from the start.

Renny Smith & Aaron Williams-Bushell were the unlucky two who dropped to the bench.

City had to weather an early storm, in both senses of the phrase. The pouring rain and howling winds didn’t make for ideal conditions in Surrey... Marcin Brzozowski made a number of impressive saves to keep the score goalless... until Luker’s opener five minutes from the interval...

A tough night was made even tougher at the interval when Ross Jenkins was forced to shuffle the pack a lot earlier than he would’ve liked. Carroll was replaced with Giles Phillips at the break, as the centre-half couldn’t shake off an earlier injury. Alfie Potter was then replaced by Renny Smith five minutes into the second-half...

However, they were met with a hammer blow just before the hour mark, after Woking were awarded a penalty in controversial circumstances... Referee Ryan Atkin initially let play continue. Atkin did eventually point to the spot, after the game continued for a considerable amount of time, to the confusion of the City players.

Nevertheless, Walker was the coolest man in the stadium, stepping up to the spot, to send Brzozowski the wrong way and bury the penalty... to double Woking’s lead".


7 February 2024

TUESDAY'S POSTPONEMENTS

The BBC reports that "Three of Tuesday's English Football League and National League games [were] postponed because of waterlogged pitches.

In League One, the basement battle between Burton in 18th and Cheltenham... was called off.

After consistent heavy rainfall in the region on Tuesday, the playing surface at the Pirelli Stadium was deemed unplayable when the match officials arrived just before 18:00 GMT.

In League Two, Walsall's mid-table match at home to Morecambe was also called off just an hour before kick-off, with the visitors having completed the first leg of a 250-mile round-trip.

There was an even longer journey in the National League as struggling Dorking's game at promotion-chasing Altrincham was postponed.

Their 420-mile round-trip was in vain as the game was called off after an inspection shortly after 17:00 GMT".

Footnote: Tuesday's postponement was the eighth affecting Altrincham's league matches this season.

ALTY DROP A PLACE

Altrincham dropped to fifth following Solihull's win on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 6 February

ACADEMY UPDATE

Since our last update, Altrincham's Academy side has played nine National League Under-19 North Division and cup games and has won five and lost four of them.

All the most recent matches, listed below, were in the league except where stated. Alty lie sixth in the league table.

NEXT: ROCHDALE

Alty are due to entertain Rochdale on Saturday.

Before that, Rochdale "had the great pleasure of welcoming Azhar Ali OBE, Labour candidate in the upcoming Rochdale by-election, to the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday, for our match against Dagenham & Redbridge...

On Sunday, Chairman Simon Gauge held positive talks with Mr Ali and his team, along with Rochdale Borough Council Leader Neil Emmott.

Mr Gauge used the opportunity to highlight the fantastic contribution that the Football Club makes to the local community and economy, but also to warn of the severe financial difficulties the Club face in the short and long-term.

We were very encouraged by the positive atmosphere that the meeting was conducted in, with a general willingness from all parties to look at finding ways in which the Club can survive sustainably in the long-term.

There were also positive discussions about how the Crown Oil Arena can be a home to both the Football Club and Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club for many years to come, as well as being a hub at the centre of the community.

It was agreed that urgent talks will continue between the Club and the Council."

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan informs us that on Tuesday in League One : Though JUNIOR QUITIRNA was left on the bench, HARRISON HOLGATE came on in the 89th minute for Fleetwood as they won 0-2 at Bristol Rovers.

CARL PIERGIANNI put in a full shift for Stevenage, but they lost by the only goal of the game to visitors Reading.

National League : JAMES BERRY scored for the third game in succession to give Chesterfield the lead at Dagenham, but was substituted after 79 minutes. The hosts had earlier equalised, but the Spireites regained the lead just before the substitution and held on to win 1-2. JEFF KING was left on the bench.

MARCUS DINANGA played the whole game as Gateshead were held 1-1 at home by Eastleigh.

NPL : A late JORDAN HULME goal enabled Radcliffe to win 0-1 at FC United.


6 February 2024

MATCH POSTPONED

This evening's match has been postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch. There has been approaching half an inch of rain in the Altrincham area since this morning.

It is the fourth time that this fixture has been postponed and, unfortunately, Dorking have twice travelled in vain.

The history of the fixture is as follows.

However, this fixture has some way to go to match the eight dates needed to determine an FA Trophy tie and replay in 2015/16.

After an initial postponement at Moss Lane, Altrincham drew the First Round tie, necessitating a replay.

That replay was postponed five times before being played with Altrincham and their supporters travelling twice to Warwickshire to be met by very late postponements.

Right: The Leamington pitch on Tuesday, 5 January 2016.

  1. Sat. 12.12.15 FAT1 Altrincham v Leamington postponed
  2. Tue. 15.12.15 FAT1 Altrincham 1-1 Leamington
  3. 22.12.25 FAT1R Leamington v Altrincham, postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch
  4. Tue. 5.1.16 FAT1R Leamington v Altrincham, postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch
  5. Wed. 6.1.16 FAT1R Leamington v Altrincham, postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch
  6. Tue. 12.1.16 FAT1R Leamington v Altrincham, postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch
  7. Thu. 14.1.16 FAT1R Leamington v Altrincham, postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch
  8. Sat. 16.1.16 FAT1R Leamington 1-2 Altrincham after extra time

With the team having travelled three times (twice abortively) to Leamington in the above sequence, it was perhaps no surprise that they lost the Second Round tie at Bognor Regis, a 500-mile round-trip away, which had to be played just three days after the Leamington replay.

That was the celebrated match where Bognor used a number of cars with their engines running, parked on the pitch, to melt frozen parts of the playing surface. At least that tie got played at the first attempt!

ACADEMY SIDE UPDATE

Since our last update, Altrincham's Academy side has played nine National League Under-19 North Division and cup games and, unfortunately, has lost seven of them.

All the most recent matches, listed below, were in the league except where stated. Alty lie sixth in the league table.

DORKING MATCH: TEAM NEWS

Dorking Wanderers report that "Marc White’s men... face the long journey to Lancashire [!!] on Tuesday evening....

Altrincham... have emerged victorious in five of their last six home games.

Dorking, on the other hand, have fallen victim to inconsistency with 3 wins and 3 losses since the turn of the year...

Niall McManus, Tony Craig and Seb Bowerman all missed out at the weekend, with the latter still recovering from a hamstring problem, thus unavailable. TC and McManus’ status’ are still yet to be determined.

Barry Fuller remains sidelined, along with James McShane.

Luke Moore has served his four game suspension, following his red card at Macclesfield in mid-January, and will be available for selection.

Left: Matt Gould could start a fourth successive league game tonight for the first time in his Alty career which is now half way through its fourth season.

Alfie Rutherford, who went off in the first half against Fylde, is unavailable for the trip to Altrincham...

After winning eight of their last ten league games, Altrincham will pose a significant threat to Dorking’s defence having already netted 54 times this campaign"

For their part, Altrincham remain without Joey Jones and James Jones who are seemingly out for the rest of the season. Goalkeeper Ollie Byrne made his first appearance of the season last week in the Cheshire Senior Cup but Matt Gould can probably expect to remain in goal tonight, assuming that first-choice Ethan Ross remains sidelined by the injury that has caused him to miss the last three league outings.

If Matt does play, it will be the first time in his three and a half years at Moss Lane that the former Spennymoor keeper will have started four successive league matches.

Alty signed centre-back Sonny Aljofree on loan from Manchester United recently but he has yet to figure in a matchday squad.

BEFORE: DORKING WANDERERS

Altrincham host Dorking Wanderers tonight (Tuesday) as the clubs attempt to complete the fixture after three previous postponements.

In a fascinating and very honest interview, Dorking manager Marc White spoke after his team had lost 1-3 to AFC Fylde at the weekend.

Despite defeat, he thought that his players "won their duels all over the pitch" and that "we were so dominant". He referred to Fylde's win as a "smash and grab" raid.

He was not afraid to name those of his players who made mistakes during the game, referring to "terrible decision making" of specific players.

He added that "Our home form is abysmal" yet, away from home, he felt they were better. (In fact, their home and away records are identical insofar as they have won five and drawn two of their fixtures both at home and away with identical goal differences of minus seven at both venues).

Referring to tonight's game at Alty, the manager said that his side would have to travel "up and down on the day because we are part-time". Whilst he conceded that most people would think Alty are favourites to win, he insisted that Dorking could beat any side in the league on their day.

Last season, Alty won the match at home to Dorking Wanderers 4-1.

Above: In the match last season, Ryan Colclough's freekick from the left went into the net off the underside of the bar to give Alty the lead in first-half injury time.

Altrincham's side in the October 2022 clash with Dorking included seven players who have since either left the club or have not played a league game this season. On the bench were five players, four of whom have left and one (James Jones) who is out injured. So just four of last year's matchday squad of sixteen are likely to start tonight's game; they are Cooper, Eddy Jones, Osborne and Conn-Clarke.

Last season's line-up: 1. Oliver Byrne, 22. Ross Barrows, 5. Toby Mullarkey (c), 23. Jake Cooper, 2. Eddy Jones, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 17. Brad Jackson, 11. Ryan Colclough, 30. Marcus Dinanga. Subs: 9. Jordan Hulme, 26. James Jones, 18. Ben Pringle, 27. Aaron Bennett, 31. Dan Malone.

ALTRINCHAM RESERVES UPDATE

Since our last update, Altrincham have played half a dozen fixtures in the league and cup competitions, winning twice.

Altrincham lie fourth in the Cheshire League but have played more games than any other team, with other teams having up to eight games in hand.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Barnet "confirm that several individuals involved in Saturday’s appalling incident have been identified and charged by the police and will be banned indefinitely from the Club.

The Club strongly condemns the actions of the Wealdstone fans involved at the closing stages of yesterday’s match and the thousands of pounds worth of damage once again caused to The Hive Stadium.

Unfortunately, this is an ongoing and escalating problem with various groups of Wealdstone fans involved in multiple criminal acts – including assault, entering the field of play, throwing flares and missiles, and causing criminal damage. While we have expressed our serious concerns in the past, we hope that the support we have been asking for over the past few seasons in relation to this fixture will now be forthcoming from both the League and Wealdstone FC.

We will continue to work closely with the relevant regulatory bodies and Metropolitan Police throughout the remainder of their investigations.

We can confirm that no serious harm was suffered by the steward attacked, and we thank all those involved with ensuring the safety of all fans and staff on the day".

For their part, Wealdstone state that "The Board of Directors at Wealdstone Football Club unequivocally condemn the actions of the individual who invaded the pitch during our National League fixture at Barnet FC yesterday, following our equalising goal and assaulted a match day steward. Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and goes against the values that our club stands for...

We will be working closely with Barnet Football Club and the Metropolitan Police to identify and take appropriate action against any supporters who entered the pitch and those directly involved in this incident. All culprits identified will face the full consequences of their actions.

It is with deep regret that the reprehensible behaviour of a few has overshadowed what was a moment of celebration for our team and the vast majority of our supporters, who behaved impeccably and adhered to the ground regulations throughout the match. We are very disappointed that the actions of these few individuals have cast a shadow over our club and our dedicated fans.

The club wishes to express its sincere apologies to the match day steward affected by this incident, and we will ensure they receive our full support".

By way of background to the clubs' rivalry, Wikipedia reminds us that Wealdstone "attempted to redevelop the local disused Prince Edward Playing Fields at Canons Park, owned by the London Borough of Harrow, into a new home ground. Construction of the new stadium started in 2003 but, when over 30% completed, building work was suddenly halted in April 2004 when the private company who were co-financing the project in partnership with the club went into insolvency.

Unable to afford to complete the new stadium on their own, Wealdstone were forced to leave the site unfinished for two years, until Harrow Council, frustrated that the site was still unused and falling into disrepair, eventually sold the site lease to Barnet F.C.".

On the eve of last Saturday's match, Bromley announced "the permanent signing of defender Deji Elerewe from Charlton Athletic.

The 20-year-old made 18 league appearances over two loan spells at Hayes Lane, netting on four occasions.

Elerewe first joined the club back in March 2023... The defender... returned for a second loan spell in October...

He represented the Addicks five times in League One. During his time at the Valley, he also spent time on loan at Wealdstone... [in] 2022/23".

Altrincham entertain Rochdale on Saturday.

Dale report that "16-year-old Mateus Mane made the First Team matchday squad against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday...

'Mane deserves a mention, a 16-year-old making the bench,' commented Dale’s Head Coach. 'He’s been fantastic for the Youth Team. He trained with the First Team on an occasion last week and he showed real talent, for such a young boy.

'As we’ve shown all season, we want to realign this club with what has been an amazing element of this club, the Academy. What’s at stake for that moving forward I truthfully don’t know, because we’re in different financial territory than we ever have been before. I'm the Head Coach, I don't run the Club operationally, so I don't know.

'But I believe in falling in line with the brave coaches that have been here before in showcasing those players, putting them in the front line'...

Mane... is the most recent Youth Team player to be part of a First Team squad. He follows the likes of Isaac Burgess, Corey Edwards and Luke Mann, who have all made their professional bows this season.

17-year-old George Nevett, who had begun the second year of his scholarship before signing a professional contract in the summer, has made 23 appearances for the First Team so far this season. He has been missing since the turn of the year but McNulty is hopeful of him returning soon".



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Alty Files Website Index

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