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16 April 2021

BEFORE THE MATCH WITH SUTTON UNITED

Altrincham host Sutton United tomorrow (Saturday) in a match that kicks off at 4.30pm.

The last time Altrincham and Sutton United met at Moss Lane both clubs were about to be relegated at the end of the 1999-2000 season. However, there are several other parallels between the two clubs, each located in the southern suburbs of a major city.

One such similarity is that, like Alty, Sutton have been down to Step Three since that 2000 relegation but are now enjoying their highest place in the Pyramid once again. And, again like Alty, Sutton were simultaneously at Step Two for five years, albeit in different regional Divisions.

Sutton United had first been elevated to the Football Conference in 1986 but, after four very respectable finishes (between 7th and 12th place), they were relegated in 1991, after a season in which Alty narrowly missed out on promotion to the Football League.

Left: First-half action from the Altrincham v Sutton United match on 4 March, 2000. Digital cameras were in their infancy then!

Eight seasons (1991-99) in the Isthmian Premier/Conference South followed for the Surrey club before they were promoted back as champions. But just like Alty, who had correspondingly won the Northern Premier League that 1998/99 season, they lasted for just a single campaign (1999-2000) back at the highest level before both clubs suffered another relegation to Step Two.

Like Altrincham, The "U"s also went down a further step in the pyramid, in their case that was after eight seasons at Step Two, in 2008. Three seasons back in the Isthmian Premier at Step 3 ended in a return to Conference South level in 2011 precisely as Altrincham endured another relegation from the Conference to which they had returned in 2005. So 2011 saw both clubs resuming life at Step Two in Conference South and North respectively.

Sutton remained in the Conference South for five years (2011-16) before regaining top-flight status via the play-offs, rejoining the top rung of the non-League ladder just as Alty suffered another relegation from that level after a two-year stay (2015-16). Since then, Sutton have finished six times in the top ten and four further times between 12th and 15th places, whilst Alty sank to Step Three (2017) before regaining their top-level status in 2020.

On their previous clashes at Altrincham the results have been:

The Altrincham FC official site has an Altrincham injury update from the club's Sports Therapist Tommy Uda and its Sports Scientist and Therapist, Ryan Murray.

YOUTHS HIT NINE

In what has now been renamed the George Heslop & Neil Thomason Memorial Cup, Altrincham overhwhelmed Prescot Cables 9-1 in the NWYA under-18s' cup competition last Sunday. The newly named competition brings together the names of Altrincham's former youth team manager George Heslop and his former coach Neil Thomason. Until now the trophy had been played solely named in Neil's memory and had a knockout format.

The competition this season initially involves groups of four teams playing each other, home and away.

The starting line up for Sunday's game at Manchester Health Academy comprised: Ryan Forde, Matthew Plested, Alfie Johnston, Dionicio Bohe, Maxwell Thoms, Joshua Jordan, Lewis Waller, Oran McGowan, Alex Goulden, Lewis Billingsley and Matthew Sumner. The subs comprised Joel Jennings, Scott Johnston, Ali Khral and Rayan Radi.

Two Alty players (Lewis Billingsley and Alex Goulden) hit hat-tricks whilst Matt Sumner, Maxwell Thoms and Ali Khral completed the scoring.

Next Sunday, in the same cup competition, Altrincham are away to AFC Fylde before a home tie against Stockport County on 25 April.

The return tie at Prescot Cables follows on 2 May followed by the home tie against AFC Fylde on 9 May. Then, on 16 May, Alty are away to Stockport County.

SATURDAY FIXTURES

Saturday, 17 April 2021: NB all matches moved to 12.30pm kick off to avoid clash with the funeral of Prince Philip. except where shown otherwise below.

ON THIS DAY: 16 April

Two years ago today, Altrincham lost 1-2 at home to Brackley Town in a Vanarama National League North match played on a Tuesday night. This was a clash between third and fifth in the league and was a game rearranged after a March postponement caused by bad weather

Above: Tom Hannigan rises to deal with a Brackley cross.

What started as a promising evening when Max Harrop's 38th minute deflected freekick gave Altrincham a 1-0 interval lead, ended in huge disappointment when Tony Thompson's air-kick allowed Tom Hannigan's back-pass to roll into the net in the 94th minute.

Brackley had deservedly equalized in the 70th minute of a second half in which Altrincham created few openings. Ndlovu netted the equalizer from close range after Ceesay had allowed a Brackley player to get behind him and cross from the right.

The defeat left Altrincham fifth when a win would have lifted them into third. And, to add to their woes, they lost two defenders to injury during the game; James Jones had to be replaced after 21 minutes and Connor Hampson succumbed in the 85th minute.

Andy White was suspended for this game but Connor Hampson came back after injury to play at left-back. Josh Hancock returned, but only on the bench, where Ben Harrison joined him after returning from his loan spell at Witton.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. James Poole, 14. Josh Hancock, 15. Matt Chadwick, 16. Simon Richman, 17. Ben Harrison.

ALTY OLD BOY

Following the news of the death of ex-Alty player Ron Phoenix, we also learn of the death of Eddie Moss on 27th December 2020. Although Eddie only played three games for Altrincham, he was a legend at Runcorn in the 1960s.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

According to the Eastern Daily Press King's Lynn manager "Ian Culverhouse says a fellow National League manager pointed him back in the right direction after he 'lost his way' at King's Lynn Town earlier this season.

The Linnets boss has had to steer his team through rough waters this season as they got their first taste of a higher league and then faced huge player cuts because of financial problems at The Walks.

Culverhouse has seen old faces go or be placed on furlough, and new players come in, mostly for free, but has refused to budge from his footballing philosophies. But admits he lost his way midway through the season.

'It's been the longest season ever,' he said. 'It has always been one step forwards two steps back here. Even at the start of the season we lost our two centre-forwards (Adam Marriott and Michael Gash) through injury and once you miss a pre-season then it is so, so hard to get that back in your legs again. Then we had players leaving at certain times. "And I lost my way as well halfway through the season where I got a little bit clouded in what I wanted to do and to be fair, I haven't made it public before, but I had a text from a certain manager in the league and he said "Don't lose your way... keep to your style"...

'That because that just put me back into place. I spoke to the players about it and they were in agreement, they wanted the identity to stay, I was a little bit muddled. It has been a great season for me because I have made mistakes, massive mistakes, in the way I was going and to come back on line again and restructure it has been a massive learning curve for all of us, it really has, and it has been a really tough time'".

The Hartlepool Mail says that "At least a dozen teams are still fighting for a top seven spot and a chance at promotion to the Football League via the play-offs...

When will the National League play-offs take place?

  • Eliminator round matches: fourth v seventh and fifth v sixth. The first round of play-off matches will see the sides finishing fourth to seventh compete with the highest ranked team playing at home in front of a limited crowd. These matches will take place the weekend of Saturday, June 5 with both matches being shown live on BT Sport. The fixture dates remain flexible based on the logistics of the BT Sport schedule. Specific times and dates will be ratified once the teams competing have been confirmed.
  • Semi-final matches: second v winner of fifth v sixth eliminator round match and third v winner of fourth v seventh eliminator round match. The semi-final matches will introduce the sides finishing second and third as they host the winners of the eliminator round matches...

    These fixtures are set to take place on the weekend of Saturday, June 12 and will be broadcast live on BT Sport. As with the previous round, fixtures remain flexible based on the BT Sport schedule.

  • Final match: Semi-final winner v Semi-final winner. The National League play-off final is set to take place on the weekend of Saturday, June 19 according to the National League.

    The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport with the winners going on the secure a place in the EFL for the 2021-22 season...

    The venue for the play-off final is yet to be confirmed. The usual venue of Wembley Stadium cannot be guaranteed due to the stadium hosting Euro 2020 matches for England on June 13, June 18 and June 22.

    A number of potential venues have been mooted, including unconfirmed reports of Leicester City’s King Power Stadium. Fans are set to be allowed back into all sports stadiums from May 17 with Wembley due to welcome 21,000 fans for the FA Cup final on May 15. There has been no clarification regarding how many supporters, if any, will be allowed to attend the play-off final this season".

    The Hartlepool Mail confirms that "Hartlepool United goalkeeper Ben Killip has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season following further specialist assessment... after he was forced off early in the 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood on Easter Monday with an elbow injury...

    And manager Dave Challinor has confirmed that Killip will now be out for the remainder of the season with Derby County loanee Henrich Ravas set to retain his place in between the sticks for the time being...

    'He’s looking at 12 weeks out,' Challinor said. 'He hasn't ruptured his medial ligament [in his elbow] but he’s had a right good stretch. It’s still intact but it’s torn some fibres in there and on the opposite side as a result, he’s got a tiny fracture in the head of his radius... What will keep him out is the medial ligament. That’s going to be 12 weeks and that's him done for the season.'

    With Killip out of contract in the summer, Ravas on loan until the end of the season and 18-year-old goalkeeper Brad Young subject to interest from Premier League side Leicester City, Challinor is left assessing his options...

    Added the Pools boss... 'It reinforces the fact that we’re looking to bring a goalkeeper, just to give us cover moving forward and that all eventualities are covered.'

    Elsewhere in Pools’ squad, Joe Grey remains sidelined for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his back while Ryan Johnson is still recovering from a hyper-extended knee injury.

    But Oates, who missed last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Notts County with a thigh strain, is set to return".

    On the positive siade, Hartlepool United "announce the signing of Danny Elliott. The forward joins us on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

    Elliott, 25, most recently played for Chester FC but the National League North side confirmed... that he had left the club, stating 'The 25-year-old leaves with our best wishes, taking the opportunity to play regular football for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign'.

    Elliott joined Chester in the summer of 2019 and has most recently spent time on loan at Alfreton Town...

    Elliott joined National League North club Chester FC on a one-year deal in July 2019... He moved on loan to league rivals Alfreton Town in January 2020. He scored a hat-trick on his debut for the “Reds”... and was put back into the first-team following his return to the Deva Stadium. He scored three goals in 21 appearances for Chester in the 2019-2020 season.

    Dave Challinor spoke ... 'Delighted to get Danny in with us to give us extra options at the top end of the pitch... To have Danny in permanent and not as one of our loan allocation was essential in making this happen... We had been looking for pace in the attacking third to complement what we already have and he’ll certainly provide us with that'">

    In the Leader Live, Wrexham boss "DEan Keates hailed Jordan Davies's goalscoring feat but says the midfielder has contributed much more to Wrexham's cause than his stunning hat-trick.

    Davies, who came through the youth ranks at The Racecourse, rejoined his home-town spell in the summer following a spell with Brighton under 23... Davies lined up in midfield against Halifax on Tuesday and he bagged a first-half treble in the 4-0 victory...

    Keates feels... 'It has been a journey for Jordan. There's been ups and downs, he's played left-sided centre-back for me, left wing-back, box in the midfield three, left of the midfield two and he has also done a shift up top for us...

    He takes on the information and that is why he has played in different positions. The quality is there, he is showing the nastiness, the edge and the aggression he showed as a kid and what was part of his make-up coming through. He probably lost that little bit of edge when he came back, under 23s football is very tippy-tappy; you have possession, we have possession...

    'He is doing well and the hat-trick is amazing for the lad, I am absolutely over the moon for him'".

    News of an ex-Alty loanee also comes from the Leader Live which informs us that "Chris Sang thought his season was over so the striker is eager to make the most of his unexpected opportunity with Wrexham.

    The 21-year-old has been without a club since he was released by Barnsley at the end of the 2019-20 campaign... The free agent was approached by Reds’ boss Dean Keates who was short of attacking options due to leading scorer Kwame Thomas rupturing an Achilles’ and facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and Jordan Ponticelli also missing through injury.

    Sang, whose last competitive action came during a loan spell with Guiseley last season, jumped at the chance to join Wrexham on non-contract terms.

    'I have been at Tranmere for the last few months training with the first team just to keep myself fit,' said Sang. 'I last played a few games when I was at a few clubs in pre-season so I am just happy to be here and involved with Wrexham...

    'I thought the season was over for me and I was just looking forward to next season, and getting myself ready for it. Then I got the call that Wrexham needed a striker so I was excited to get in... There are nine games to show everyone what I have got so hopefully I can help the team first'".

    At Barnet "After his Man of the Match performance on his debut against Maidenhead United, we caught up with Sam Beard ahead...

    . On Joining the Bees [he said] 'I'm really pleased to be playing full-time football and to be at the Club... The boss had us well drilled on the Thursday and Friday. He made sure we were solid. To come in and get the Man of the Match and into the Team of the Week, I was really happy...

    'We need to build on the clean sheet we got on Saturday and progress from there I think...

    'I was with Dorking for five years, it's a really good set up and the boys were quality. They are a Club that is on the rise and I wouldn't be surprised to see them in The National League in the next couple of years...

    'It was obviously nice to join [Barnet] on the same day as a new boy (Sam Skeffington), obviously the boss had just come in, so it was a pretty good time to join'".

    The Derbyshire Times confirms that Chesterfield "have added goalkeeper James Montgomery to their ranks.

    The 26 year-old has joined on a short-term permanent deal from National League North side Gateshead.

    He said 'I’m delighted. The club has had a good run of results so it’s a good place to come to'...

    The Sunderland-born stopper began his career at Middlesbrough and, as well as having two spells at Gateshead, he has also been at AFC Telford United, Forest Green Rovers and AFC Fylde. Earlier this season in March he went to Southend United on an emergency loan deal.

    Montgomery will compete with Grant Smith for the number one spot. It is thought Adam Przybek has returned to Ipswich Town after a short loan stint at the Blues, making three starts".


    15 April 2021

    SUTTON KICK-OFF MOVED AGAIN

    Saturday's match at the J Davidson Stadium against Sutton United will now kick off at 4.30pm.

    Originally the game was set to be a 3pm kick-off before the National League decreed that all matches should move to 12.30pm starts to avoid clashing with the funeral of Prince Philip. However, as Sutton had already made arrangements to travel for a 3pm kick off, it has been agreed that the match will now be played from 4.30pm.

    The fixture has had a convoluited history as, originally, this Saturday should have witnessed the away game between Sutton United and Alty at Gander Green Lane. However, concerns about bad weather and its effect on the Moss Lane pitch prompted the switching of the original home fixture on 9 January to Surrey, where the game ended 2-2.

    TWO FUNERALS TODAY

    There will be a sombre mood at Altrincham FC today as two funerals pause outside the J. Davidson Stadium to allow friends and colleagues to pay their respects to two well-known figures at the club who both died recently.

    At 10.30am the cortege for Claire Allan will stop briefly on Moss Lane, followed at 2.45pm by Jim Vince's funeral procession.

    All those who knew Claire and Jim are invited to pay their respects at the above times whilst, of course, respecting social distancing requirements.

    NEXT: SUTTON UNITED

    Altrincham welcome Sutton United to Moss Lane next Saturday and, although the Surrey club had been enjoying life at the top of the table until last weekend, they arrive at the JDS with no better a record over the past five games than fourteenth-placed Altrincham. Both clubs has taken just six points from their last five games.

    After Tuesday's fixtures, Sutton United reported that their "unbeaten fourteen game run was ended in this top of the table clash as a goal by Torquay captain Asa Hall nine minutes from time enabled the Devon side, who were recording their fourth successive win, to move level on points with U’s, one point behind leaders Hartlepool.

    It was a tight game that always looked likely to be decided by one goal, and that strike came when Hall dived to head in Adam Randell’s cross, and although U’s put pressure on the visitors in the time that remained, they were unable to find the equaliser.

    Both sides had chances during the evening, with Dean Bouzanis in fine form for U’s until Hall’s header proved too well placed, while U’s accuracy in finishing let them down when several good opportunities arose. ...

    U’s made a change at half time, Joash Nembhard making way for debutant Junior Tiensia, with Harry Beautyman, making his 250th Sutton appearance, moving in to the centre of midfield, but Bouzanis remained the central figure, with a good save from Lemonheigh-Evans...

    With nine minutes to go the deadlock was broken as Hall’s diving header proved too accurate for Bouzanis. U’s reaction was to being on Donovan Wilson, Tiensia making way, and for the last ten minutes they pressed for an equaliser".

    The Sutton line up was 1. Dean Bouzanis, 2. Jonathan Barden, 5. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 7. David Ajiboye, 9. Omar Bugiel, 10. Harry Beautyman, 15. Craig Eastmond (c), 20. Joash Nembhard, 24. Robert Milsom, 25. Isaac Olaofe. Subs not used: 12. Coby Rowe, 17. Tobi Sho-Silva, 22. Junior Tiensia, 26. Aaron Simpson, 28. Donovan Wilson

    ALTY OLD BOY

    Wrexham "confirm attacking midfielder Elliott Durrell [right] has left the club.

    Durrell, 31, has been released from his contract early by mutual agreement, following discussions with manager Dean Keates.

    Durrell rejoined the club for a second spell at The Racecourse Ground in the summer, and scored two goals in 28 appearances this season".

    ON THIS DAY: 15 April

    Fifteen years ago today, Altrincham entertained Hereford United but lost 1-0 at Moss Lane.

    Pictured right, Man of the Match, Gary Talbot, receives his award from an Alty hero from the past, Derek Halliwell, who was the match sponsor.

    It was a Nationwide Conference Game played on a Saturday afternoon in 2006. With the Conference hearing regarding James Robinson's eligibilty hanging over them, Alty had edged towards Conference safety with a fine 4-2 win at Dagenham the previous Tuesday, to end a run of eight games without a win. For their part second-place Hereford were going through a slightly disappointing period but were still looking for points to confirm their play-off place.

    Mark Maddox continued his suspension whilst Val Owen was out with a broken bone in his foot, injured for the third successive game. Chris Adams was only fit to be on the bench so Gary Scott continued at left-back. Alty's starting line-up was therefore the same as that which had done so well at Dagenham in midweek.

    In the match, Altrincham went down to a narrow defeat against an impressive Hereford side and had cinsequently not won at home in their last six games.

    Having done well to contain the Bulls' passing game for an hour, Altrincham were disappointed at the manner of the winning goal which came as a gap appeared up the middle and, despite Scott's attempt to cut the ball out, Fleetwood got behind him to poke the ball past the advancing Coburn (64 mins).

    Alty then made a double substitution, moving Peter Band up front at the same time, and for the last 20 minutes Alty began to cause Hereford some problems with Norton showing some good touches on the left.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 11. Gary SCOTT, 7. Colin POTTS, 37. Ged MURPHY, 12. Warren PEYTON, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 3. Chris ADAMS, 17. Karl MUNROE, 18. Blake NORTON, 21. Kieran LUGSDEN, 28. Pat McFADDEN.

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    Stockport County report that "The Hatters’ inaugural meeting with King’s Lynn Town saw them notch up a second successive victory, as well as a hat-trick of clean sheets in eight days, to remain fourth.

    Leading scorer Alex Reid put County ahead at Edgeley Park early on, before a goal following the break by John Rooney who, minutes earlier, had seen his penalty saved,– and a brace from Paddy Madden yielded a first National League four-goal haul of the season for the Hatters...

    Simon Rusk fielded an unaltered line-up from that which had started at Wrexham three days earlier. There was one change on the County bench with Jordan Williams featuring in the match-day squad for the first time in just under two months... in Lois Maynard’s stead.

    The visitors’ starting line-up, for its part, included recently-arrived midfielder Ethan Coleman, who had played for the Hatters as a trialist during the 2020 close season...

    Reid instinctively flicked on, and over Richardson, a Madden volley from the edge of the box, before finishing off the job with a header home for his third goal in two games... but Lynn, playing freely on the counter-attack beyond the half-hour, began to cause County some concern at the other end...

    Just ahead of the hour, Southam-Hales was brought down by Coleman to win a penalty for the Hatters but Rooney, who had scored from the spot at Wrexham, saw his kick kept out on this occasion by the legs of Richardson...

    Five minutes later, he [Roopney] picked up the ball from Richardson, and took a touch before letting rip with an unstoppable thunderbolt to double County’s advantage.

    Within another half a dozen, it was three as Madden powered in a header from a corner by James Jennings on the right. And Madden bagged his second, and the Hatters’ fourth, courtesy of another header that he put away from close range after connecting with Walker’s deep cross from the opposite flank".

    The Derbyshire Times reports that "A deal for Chesterfield to sign Curzon Ashton goalkeeper Cameron Mason has fallen through, we understand.

    The 25-year-old, who has had a previous spell at the Spireites, had been training with the club and was set to sign on loan from the National League North side until the end of the season. It is believed the original terms for the loan deal was for Town to cover Mason’s wages but then Curzon apparently also wanted a loan fee which the Blues refused to pay.

    The Nash today announced that he will be released when his contract expires at the end of the season. The deal now looks unlikely to happen...

    Mason was part of Town’s youth system in 2013 before joining Curzon seven years ago".

    From the Leader Live we learn that "Wrexham went into their clash against Halifax on the back of three successive defeats and down to eighth position..

    The Shaymen were one place above Dean Keates' side following a good run but the Reds turned the form book around by running out 4-0 winners... All the damage was done in a scintillating first half where Wrexham, who couldn't really afford to lose and let their opponents go six points ahead of them, ran riot.

    On top from the start, Wrexham scored four times in the opening 45 minutes with Jordan Davies bagging a hat-trick and Dior Angus getting back on the scoresheet.

    It was a lead that the Reds thoroughly deserved and they saw the game out in the second half to pick up a much needed victory...

    Keates made three changes from the side that started the 3-0 defeat against Stockport three days earlier.

    Captain Shaun Pearson returned to the heart of the defence in place of Reece Hall-Johnson after he was named among the substitutes for the previous two games, meaning Tyler French switched from centre-half to the right wing-back role. Paul Rutherford took over from Dan Jarvis in the hole behind the two frontmen where there was a first start for Gold Omotayo alongside Dior Angus.

    Omotayo appeared as a substitute at the weekend and he replaced Keanu Marsh-Brown... Left-back Cameron Green, who signed for Wrexham on a similar deal earlier in the week following a successful trial, did not make the squad while midfielder Jay Harris was still suspended.

    Despite their awful form this month, the Reds have made a bright start to games and it was no different at the Shay... Wrexham took a fourth minute lead as Davies turned the ball home from close range... Wrexham made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute. A stooping Omotayo did well to nod the ball down for Angus who fired past Johnson.

    It got even better for Wrexham who scored a third goal after 32 minutes. Nathan Clarke was dispossessed by Davies who went around Johnson and coolly found the back of the net...and they made it 4-0 four minutes later.

    The ball dropped to Davies outside the area and he took a touch before unleashing a stunning drive that found the top corner...

    [An ex-Alty loanee] Striker Chris Sang also came on for his Reds' debut in place of Omotayo and the visitors celebrated a welcome win".

    And there was good news off the pitch for the Red Dragons too as Wrexham report that the club "has had a £100,000 grant from Welsh Government, after a period of confusion on if pandemic support should originate from UK Government or Welsh Government...

    Wrexham Football Club was the only club out of 66 other league members not eligible for an avenue of UK Government pandemic support, apparently due to being a Welsh club in and English league system.

    In late January the Welsh Government announced a £17.7m grant based fund to support spectator sports in Wales, with football allocated £1.5m of the total pot, however Wrexham was also not included in that tranche...

    Club co-owner Rob McElhenney has previously commented on the matter saying 'We don’t need their money.'

    Today the Welsh Government have confirmed a grant of £100,000 has been made, with the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS saying 'Following an exchange of correspondence with the club, they were invited to submit an application to the Spectator Sports Survival Fund 2020-21.. “The application was deemed eligible for support and Wrexham AFC were offered a Funding Award grant in the amount of up to £100,000, which was accepted and paid in one instalment...

    Lesley Griffiths MS... said 'After the takeover, Wrexham AFC is fortunately in a much more secure position financially, but it was the principle of the matter that was important to me. I didn’t want to see Wrexham AFC missing out on something it is perfectly entitled to just because the club is located in Wales'".

    Bromley "made the short trip to Kingfield to take on Woking, with the Ravens looking to keep in touching distance of the playoffs.

    And it would be Bromley who would make a blistering start to the game. Just three minutes in, excellent play from Charlie Wakefield saw him dart in and out of challenges on the right, and as he was fouled, he managed to find Jack Bridge with a pinpoint pass. Bridge then did the rest, as he drove into the box and found the bottom corner with his left foot to give his side the lead.

    However, just 13 minutes later, the hosts would level. Moussa Diarra won a header inside the Bromley penalty area after reaching a Charlie Cooper free kick, and as the ball fell back to him, he prodded home from close range.

    On 20 minutes, Woking would take the lead. Another Cooper free kick was misjudged by the Ravens, and with Mark Cousins stranded, Jack Cook bundled home over the line, despite the best efforts of Chris Bush...

    Neither side would see another clear cut opportunity before the break...

    The second half would prove to be quite the dramatic affair. Early on, it was the hosts who shaded things...

    With just 11 minutes remaining, came the moment that truly sparked the game into life. Excellent work from Courtney Duffus saw him hold the ball up and lay it off for Cheek, who in true clinical fashion, curled a first time effort beyond Craig Ross.

    Less than two minutes later, the hosts would take the lead once again. A slick counter attack ended... but Dalby was on hand to turn home the rebound and score his side’s third.

    Just two minutes after that, from absolutely nothing, Bromley substitute James Alabi took aim from over 25 yards and scored one of the goals of the season... With just two minutes of the 90 left to play, Bromley scored a decisive fourth goal, and what would prove to be the winner. A wonderful, crossfield ball from Chris Bush found the feet of another substitute, Liam Vincent, and he took a touch before delivering a cross into the six yard box, where the unfortunate Cook diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper, meaning he had scored for both teams".

    The Niottingham Post tells us that Notts County "were beaten at Damson Park despite dominating the game for large spells as they suffered back to back defeats...

    Ian Burchnall wants Notts County to be more ruthless at defending set-pieces as the head coach insisted they must learn 'big lessons' from their defeat to Solihull.

    The Magpies were beaten 2-1 at Damson Park on Tuesday following a second-half fightback by Mark Yates’s side after Jimmy Knowles had put the visitors in front.

    But James Ball [scored?] midway through the second half before Kyle Hudlin poked home from close range after Notts had failed to deal with a set-piece...

    'We’ve got to learn very big lessons,' he said. 'We have to be ruthless in both boxes. We have to take our chances and we have got to protect much better especially on set-pieces. Every team we are playing against is launching long throws and any free-kick in our half, the big centre-backs go up...

    'We have to be more ruthless to get the first contact. For the first goal, the set-piece hadn’t finished and we didn’t defend the second phase well enough'...

    But the head coach was encouraged by the quality of their opening goal which highlighted how he wants his side to attack after taking over from Neal Ardley last month...

    'It was a really well-worked goal. We had four or five really good chances but we have to finish them... We kind of started getting dragged into being too long. We’ve got to be braver to keep playing because when we did do it, we can cut teams open'".

    Devon Live reports that "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson said he was ‘very proud’ of his players after they won the big game in the National League on Tuesday night... The Gulls remain third, but are now level on points with second-placed Sutton United after beating their big rivals 1-0...

    It was the captain Asa Hall who scored the only goal there, in the 81st minute, with a swooping header after an excellent cross by Adam Randell. But it was the whole team performance that really pleased the manager, who said 'My thoughts are that we definitely deserved to win the game, that’s what I’m very pleased with... We were the ones with the intent to go and win the game and score a goal...

    There was one change to the team that beat Weymouth 2-1 on Saturday, with Dean Moxey coming in at left back for Ryan Law...

    Torquay don’t have a game on Saturday because it was their Macclesfield Town date".

    FC Halifax Town manager Pete Wild spoke after the heevy defeat at home to Wrexham, saying "Make no mistake, that was the toughest first half of football we have had all season. It was uncharacteristic of us. We made silly mistakes that we have not been making all season as well as unforced errors. They have capitalised on every error. If you look at it, they have not even played that well and they are 4-0 up.

    But we have to own that. We can only apologise as staff and players, that was not good enough. But you look at the second half and we are back to dominant best. But it is easy to play when you are 4-0 down. It is a very frustrating evening, uncharacteristic, and it is a real wake up call for us all...

    We’ve got a lot to put right on Saturday,” Wild concluded.

    Woking felt that they "lost out harshly 4-3 to play-off chasing Bromley in an all-action seven-goal thriller at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, extending their winless league run to four games after the visitors came back from 3-2 with eight minutes left to play to nick the three points.

    Dowse made three changes to the starting side that drew 0-0 with Eastleigh on Saturday, with Josh Casey coming in at left-back and captaining the team, Charlie Cooper into central midfield and 18-year-old Zach Robinson started up front, the day that he signed on loan from AFC Wimbledon.

    The Cards made the worst possible start, as lively Bromley took the lead in the 3rd minute... Out of nowhere the Cards were level in the 17th minute with their first effort on goal and Diarra’s 4th of the season..

    Woking then took the lead in the 21st minute...

    Cheek scored the equaliser in the 79th minute with his 20th goal of the season... Suddenly it was Bromley dictating the play but within two minutes the determined Cards broke well and Ferdinand calmly squared it to Robinson, who after going past the keeper had an effort well saved but Dalby was on hand to tuck it away from close range with his left-foot to make it 3-2 and score his first goal for the Cards.

    Woking’s joy was short-lived though, as it was 3-3 a minute later, when substitute Alabi scored a worldy... The three points was [sic] anyone’s now in a frenetic finish with both teams throwing everything at each other, but the visitors took the three points in the 88th minute when a cross by Vincent bounced off Cook and past Ross for an own goal, making it 4-3 to Bromley...

    Despite going down to defeat, the Cards were the better side for much of the game".


    14 April 2021

    JIM VINCE R.I.P.

    The delayed funeral of former Altrincham FC and local football volunteer Jim Vince has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Thursday 15 April. The funeral cortege will pause outside Altrincham FC on Moss Lane at 2.45pm and all of Jim's former colleagues and friends are invited to pay their respects at that time, whilst respecting social distancing advice.

    CLAIRE ALLAN R.I.P.

    Altrincham FC advises that longstanding supporter "Claire Allan's funeral will take place at Altrincham Crematorium on Thursday 15 April 2021 at 11:00am and the cortège will be passing the Football Ground at 10:30am.

    It will be family flowers only. Donations will be for our wonderful NHS. All cheques to be made payable to Wythenshawe Hospital Charity and sent to Arthur Kershaw Funeral Service Limited, 168-170 Washway Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6RH".

    RON PHOENIX R.I.P.

    We have just learned that former Altrincham player Ron Phoenix passed away on 9 March 2021, at the age of 91. Terry Rowley, who in addition to his expertise as a historian of Altrincham FC, happened to live next door to Ron many years ago, has kindly updated the profile of Ron which he first wrote some years ago for the Alty Legends section of the Altrincham FC website.

    The profile can be read here.

    NEXT OPPONENTS: SUTTON UNITED

    Altrincham's next opponents, Sutton United, lost at home to Torquay last night so go into their trip to Moss Lane with the same recent record as their hosts; six points from their last five matches.

    Torquay United reported that "Captain Asa Hall’s late header won the day, as Torquay produced a performance and result that firmly blew open the National League title race.

    Manager Gary Johnson made a single change to the side that came from behind to beat Weymouth 2-1 on Saturday, where Dean Moxey swapped places with Ryan Law...

    Having dominated the opening period, Johnson’s side came within inches of breaking gaining the advantage just before the interval... Jake Andrews [sent] in a fearsome volley from eight yards which rattled the crossbar, with the home ‘keeper well beaten...

    The majority of the action continued to take place in Sutton’s half... Sutton finally created a chance of merit in the 67th minute, as Olaofe used his strength to hold off Sherring on the right-hand side, before feeding the ball to Omar Bugiel by the penalty spot, however the chance wasn’t taken, with a scuffed shot bobbling wide of the far post.

    Then, with nine minutes remaining, Johnson’s men got the goal they craved. With... Randell, the Plymouth Argyle loanee, sending in a cross into the box which Hall met with a diving header that finally beat the Sutton glovesman".

    Sutton's line-up comprised 1. Dean Bouzanis, 2. Jonathan Barden, 5. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 7. David Ajiboye, 9. Omar Bugiel (17. Tobi Sho-Silva, 90′), 10. Harry Beautyman, 15. Craig Eastmond (c), 20. Joash Nembhard (22. Junior Tiensia, HT, (28. Donovan Wilson, 81′)), 24. Robert Milsom, 25. Isaac Olaofe. Subs not used: 12. Coby Rowe, 26. Aaron Simpson.

    Before Tuesday's defeat to Torquay Sutton United reported that "Randall is one definite absentee with a hamstring injury, while Kenny Davis (groin) is also still sidelined, but Matt Gray added Millwall’s Junior Tiensia to the squad on Monday, on loan until the end of the season, and he could be included in the squad tomorrow, while Coby Rowe played a full 90 minutes in the friendly game against Ebbsfleet on Friday. Harry Beautyman is scheduled to play his 250th game for U’s."

    ALTY AND RAMADAN

    During half-time of last Saturday's streamed match against FC Halifax Town, Alty TV broadcast Yusifu Ceesay [right] and Yoan Zouma discussing how Ramadan impacts on their playing at National League level. The video can be seen on the Altrincham FC website.

    TUESDAY FIXTURES

    Tuesday, 13 April 2021, 7.45pm unless stated:
    • Barnet P-P Dover Athletic [Dover players furloughed]
    • Chesterfield 0-0 Boreham Wood
    • Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 Eastleigh 7pm
    • FC Halifax Town 0-4 Wrexham 7pm
    • Solihull Moors 2-1 Notts County 7pm
    • Stockport County 4-0 King's Lynn Town 7pm
    • Sutton United 0-1 Torquay United 7pm
    • Weymouth 0-3 Aldershot Town
    • Woking 3-4 Bromley
    • Yeovil Town P-P Maidenhead United [Postponed at Yeovils's request]

    ON THIS DAY: 14 April

    Four years ago today, on Good Friday in 2017 in a Vanarama National League North match, Altrincham scored an added-time goal to win 3-2 at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton.

    Goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson was in the warm-up but not in the squad after recently deputising for Tim Deasy. Given the latter's injury problems this season, it was surprising that on Tim's return, Tomlinson was not named on the bench. Once again, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Alan Goodall and John Cyrus all missed this game through injury, whilst Gary Jones also sat out this fixture.

    Clayton McDonald, signed just before Jim Harvey's departure in December, made his full league debut alongside Jake Moult at centre-back, whilst Kyle Brownhill returned from injury in midfield.

    Earlier in the match, all of Alty's efforts seemed to have been denied by the controversial award of a Curzon equalizer, when Tim Deasy was deemed, by an assistant referee, to have collected the ball after it had crossed his own goal-line following a corner.

    In the first half, Altrincham were the better side but fell behind after 42 minutes from a counter-attack, after Lynch had lost possession in the Curzon half. Guest broke forward and Warburton netted despite a last-ditch tackle from the retreating Laurence Taylor. But Alty equalized in the 45th minute when a push gave the visitors a spot kick which Jake Moult converted confidently.

    Above: Jake Moult celebrates with team-mates after putting Alty 2-1 ahead.

    Alty then took the lead with another penalty from Moult after James Lawrie had been brought down as he jinked across the penalty area (62 mins). But then came the controversial equalizer, awarded to Curzon's Hunt, fourteen minutes from time.

    However, the hard-working Robins had the final say as Simon Richman bundled the ball home after good work on the left from Clee and Evans, in the first added minute at the end of the ninety.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim Deasy 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Clayton McDonald, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Micah Evans, 10. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Shaun Densmore, 14. Sam Patterson, 15. Damian Reeves, 16. Sam Heathcote, 17. Darius Palma

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    The Derbyshire Times alerts us to the fact that "Chesterfield have signed midfielder Manny Oyeleke from Port Vale on a two-year deal.

    The 28-year-old, who was set to be out of contract in the summer, has joined on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

    The Blues have paid a small fee for him now to help with their promotion push this season rather than wait until the summer for him to become a free agent.

    The Spireites’ chief scout, Paul Lemon, watched Oyeleke start Vale’s match against Morecambe last Saturday. The central midfielder has worked with boss James Rowe before at Aldershot Town when he was assistant manager at the Shots...

    Oyeleke said 'I enjoyed two good years with him. I know all that he’s about and the type of football he wants to play. When I heard that he was interested, it was a big, big factor... The club is really ambitious and I want to be part of that'...

    The Nigerian is a popular figure with the Vale fans but has suffered with some injuries during his time at the club. He has made 23 appearances for the Valiants this season, scoring two goals...

    Oyeleke was at Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers as a kid and then came through the Brentford academy. He has had loan spells at Northampton Town, Woking and Canvey Island during his career. Before joining Port Vale in 2019 on a two-year deal he had been at Exeter City.

    He is Chesterfield’s second signing in just a few days after striker Kairo Mitchell, 23, made the move from King’s Lynn Town.

    National League clubs have until Thursday, April 22 to register new players for this season".

    In the Hartlepool Mail, we learn that "Gavan Holohan is targeting double figures on the goal front after netting his seventh of the season in the win over Notts County.

    The Pools midfielder and on-loan Stockport County striker Richie Bennett scored as Dave Challinor’s side climbed to the top of the National League...

    Holohan said 'My target was probably 15 before the start of the season and I should probably be on that now to be honest with the chances I’ve had. If I can get double figures then I won’t turn my nose up at that... If we’re winning games it doesn’t really matter who is scoring as long as we keep getting three points'...

    Meanwhile, Holohan has also praised the impact made by Mark Shelton this season. The former Salford City midfielder, 24, is always among the Pools players to cover the most ground and that is appreciated by Holohan, who has enjoyed playing alongside him.

    Holohan added 'He’s a funny guy. Shelts does a lot of work that goes unnoticed where he covers 12.5km every game getting about the pitch... It gives us license to get forward and run around like maniacs. It’s a good partnership which just seems to work'". Before Tuesday's matches, in the Leader Live, "Keanu Marsh-Brown says anything is possible as Wrexham AFC aim to get play-off bid back on track

    Wrexham's promotion challenge is fading but new signing Keanu Marsh-Brown believes a much needed victory... can put the Reds back on track.

    Saturday's 3-0 loss at home to Stockport was Wrexham's third defeat in a row and leaves the eighth placed Reds three points behind the Shaymen, who occupy the final play-off place.

    Dean Keates's side face[d] Halifax in a crunch clash for both sides at The Shay [on Tuesday] evening and Marsh-Brown, who has won promotion from the National League with Barnet and Forest Green Rovers, remains upbeat about Wrexham's chances of finishing in the top seven with 10 games to go.

    'We need to stick together as a squad,' said the winger... 'If we can get a few results on the bounce, anything is possible in this league'".


    13 April 2021

    NEXT: SUTTON UNITED

    As announced yesterday, Saturday's match against Sutton United at the J. Davidson Stadium will kick off at 12.30pm.

    In advance of the game, Millwall announced on Monday that "Millwall Under 23s' left-back Junior Tiensia has joined Sutton United on a 28-day youth loan.

    The 20 year-old, who is a regular for Kevin Nugent's side, is yet to make a competitive first-team appearance, but has been named on the bench multiple times.

    Tiensia will slot straight in to the Vanarama National League side's squad for Tuesday night's visit of Torquay United to Gander Green Lane".

    ALTY OLD BOYS

    Former Altrincham midfielder, David Lynch, nowadays manager of Clitheroe, has signed Sefton Gonzales, who arrived at Moss Lane in 2017, soon after Phil Parkinson's appointment as manager, but he moved elsewhere before the season had started.

    Left: Callum Jones. Right: Matt Cooke

    Two graduates of the Altrincham youth and reserve systems, Matt Cooke and Callum Jones have moved from Northwich Victoria to rejoin their former manager Chris Rowley at West Didsbury and Chorlton FC.

    Callum also made 6(+2) appearances for the Alty first team, whilst Matt was a Cheshire Senior Cup used substitute.

    ON THIS DAY: 13 APRIL

    Twelve years ago today, on Easter Monday in 2009, Altrincham beat Wrexham 1-0 at The Racecourse Grounbd in a Blue Square Premier match. Before the match Altrincham were still in need of a few more points to ensure survival but had won just once in their last 15 games. But Wrexham were just one place above them in the form guide over the last six matches after falling short of their aim to reach the play-offs.

    Right: Greg Young battles it out with Wrexham's Wes Baynes as Chris Lane looks on.

    With their sixth away win of the season, Altrincham secured the three points which helped to ensure their place in the BSP for the following season. Alty had a few scares with Johnson clearing off the line in the first half and Smith doing so in the second half but overall Wrexham were disappointing going forward.

    Young led the Altrincham defence superbly whilst Doughty was always looking to get forward up the left. The goal arrived after 52 minutes when a Lane freekick from near halfway was headed into his own net by Collin, the Wrexham centre-back.

    Assoumani was deservedly sent off late in the game for an off the ball headbutt against Denham. Altrincham's away support, numbering 306, gave great support throughout and the celebrations at the final whistle were as if Alty had won the league!

    For the game, midfielder Anthony Danylyk returned after suspension but Robbie Lawton was playing his last game before his two-match ban started. Dale Johnson returned to the starting line up, with Mark McGregor and the injured Shaun Densmore (hamstring) dropping out. The former was on the bench, however, against his former club.

    Winger Wes Baynes, later to play for Altrincham, and striker Obi Anoruo were the new players in the Wrexham starting line-up.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 22. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG, 18. Michael WELCH, 2.Chris LANE; 17. Ben WILKINSON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. SUBS: 4. Mark McGREGOR, 10. Chris DENHAM, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 23. Richard ACTON, 26. Rod THORNLEY.

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    Wrexham "confirm the signing of left-back Cameron Green on non-contract terms following a successful trial with the club.

    Green, 21, started his career with the Met Police before progressing through the Reading academy.

    He moved to Watford Under-23s last season, and enjoyed a loan spell with Braintree Town before the National League South season was curtailed...

    'I've been here a week now and already feel part of the team. I've been keeping fit, training with a few Championship clubs, but there is nothing like game time and I'm looking forward to playing my part.

    'Of course I hope this leads to something longer-term in future... and there's no reason I can't earn a longer stay at the club.'"

    According to the Eastern Daily Press King's Lynn Town have received a further cash boost from the Blue and Gold Supporters Trust to improve facilities at The Walks.

    The Linnets have received a cheque for £3,635.08 to ensure The Walks is in accordance with ground grading requirements. The monies were made available to the club from donations made to the trust's Ground Development Fund (GDF).

    This is the second occasion that the Trust have assisted the club via the GDF scheme following the donation of £4,200 which helped the football club with the purchase of new turnstiles following its promotion to the National League North from the Southern Central Division nearly two years ago.

    The latest monies donated have assisted the Linnets with the purchase of a First Aid Unit, which has been installed at the Hospital End of the stadium, close to the entrance to the club room".

    King’s Lynn Town are set "to visit Edgeley Park to face Stockport County.

    In a run that has seen Lynn face four of the promotion contenders in their last seven games, Stockport County will only add to this list..

    Last time out, The Linnets took a first half lead but were only pegged back due to a lapse in concentration, having been punished by a clinical, well-organised Chesterfield side. In the last seven games, Lynn have given every reason to prove that they can compete with the top clubs in the division. Despite being without key players as of late, Lynn have recorded remarkable wins against Eastleigh and Altrincham, whilst also picking up a valuable point against current league leaders Hartlepool United.

    Linnet fans will be watching the game with interest after new signing Alex Babos put in a Man of the Match performance against Chesterfield, looking to see if the young midfielder can put in a display to replicate that of Saturday. Babos built a noticeable partnership with Cameron King in the middle of the park...

    < After Kairo Mitchell and Adam Marriott both departed the club, options in the attacking positions were limited. However, there is reason to remain positive, as Michael Gyasi, Simeon Jackson and Michael Gash (despite having to cover at centre back after the injury to Callan-McFadden) all deserved high praise after the weekend clash...

    Kyle Callan-McFadden left the action against Chesterfield with a suspected cheek bone break but is suspected to have been given the ‘all clear’ during his visit to the hospital. His return will likely mean that Michael Gash can return to his favoured attacking position... Michael Clunan is nearing a return to first team action but is still unlikely to be involved... A potential return is on the cards for Elkan Baggott who impressed during his last appearance for the club on Easter Monday against Altrincham".

    The Halifax Courier reports that "Town manager Pete Wild says his side knows the importance of Tuesday night’s clash with fellow play-off chasers Wrexham at The Shay.

    Halifax are seventh in the National League, three points above Wrexham with a game in hand...

    'Big game isn’t it, big game for both teams and we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing,' said Wild.

    'We know the importance of Tuesday night, we don’t want anybody to come to The Shay and turn us over... What a game, what a time of the year to be still involved in the right end of the table. One of the lads’ aims this season was to get to 50 points, we’ve achieved that, so that’s complete.

    'We now need to push on with the rest of what they want to achieve.'

    Wild said midfielder Luke Summerfield, who came off the bench in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Altrincham, could be fit enough to start if selected against Wrexham, his former club.

    Backup keeper Harrison Davison-Hale is expected to return to the squad on Tuesday night, with loanee Chris Renshaw having returned to parent club Witton Albion".

    From the Nottingham Post we learn that "Ian Burchnall has said it is unlikely that Notts County will dip into the transfer market to bolster their attack in the wake of Callum Roberts's injury.

    The Magpies' winger looks set for a spell on the sidelines again... Roberts is set to undergo a scan to determine the extent of his injury...

    But his absence has left Notts short of authentic wide players although Burchnall says signing a player to help fill the void left by the 23 year-old remain unlikel... The head coach said... 'If players are playing every week then they're probably not available. So most of the players that you take aren't maybe necessarily playing week in, week out... Unless it was a special situation where we felt someone will come in and make a huge impact I think we need to trust the players we've got'".


    12 April 2021

    NEXT: SUTTON UNITED

    The kick-off time of Saturday's match against Sutton United has been brought forward from 3pm to 12.30pm to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, which is taking place at 3pm.. All matches in the National League on Saturday will now kick off at 12.30pm.

    Altrincham welcome Sutton United to the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday for a match which should have taken place on 9 January. But that fixture was switched to Sutton's ground because of bad weather and concerns about the Moss Lane pitch. Conversely, this Saturday's match should have been the away trip to Sutton for Altrincham.

    In the match in Surrey, Alty emerged with a creditable 2-2 draw, thanks to a 94th equalizer from left-back Connor Hampson.

    At the time, Sutton were in third-place but it was Altrincham who went ahead in the 16th minute, albeit with Sutton claiming for the goal to be disallowed for an alleged foul on a defender by Alty's Ritchie Sutton.

    It was Ritchie Sutton's defensive partner Toby Mullarkey who headed Alty ahead, the goal coming after a corner had been half-cleared and then redirected into the Sutton box from the left.

    Above: Joe Piggott has started the last six games up front for Alty, whilst full-backs Connor Hampson (centre) and Andy White (right) did not play last Saturday. White is likely to be out for the rest of the season.

    However, the hosts hit back with two goals in a seven-minute spell. From Randall's deep cross from the left Ajiboye headed in at the back post in the 33rd minute.

    Sutton went ahead in the 40th minute when a corner was not cleared and the ball seemed to come off an Alty player and fall for Olaofe to ram into the net, with Thompson booked in the aftermath for protesting that he had been held.

    Altrincham dominated the second half against a very unadventurous Sutton side who paid the price by conceding an equalizer in the fourth and last added minute. The goal was superbly struck from 25 yards by Connor Hampson to make it a very much deserved 2-2.

    Alty moved up to fifth after that result but on PPG would have been in mid-table with their record at the time of six wins, six draws and six defeats.

    For Alty, Matty Kosylo had returned from suspension and Toby Mullarkey had replaced Tom Hannigan at the back in the starting eleven. There was no place for Shaun Densmore on the bench as Byron Harrison made his first appearance in a matchday squad, having been injured since he had been signed on a short contract before Christmas.

    The Altrincham starters at Sutton included just seven of the players who started for the club this Saturday against FC Halifax Town, the four absentees being Hampson, Kosylo, Sutton and Smith.

    Sutton had no game on Saturday last but they have drawn their last three fixtures, which were all away games, at FC Halifax Town, Boreham Wood and Solihull Moors. Before they visit Altrincham, on Tuesday, they face a crucial home match against title rivals Torquay United, whilst Altrincham have no midweek match.

    For Sutton's most recent draw, in The Midlands, their squad showed two changes from the starting eleven against Alty, as Kenny Davis and Will Randall were missing. The squad for Sutton's last game comprised 1. Dean Bouzanis, 2. Jon Barden, 24. Rob Milsom, 15. Craig Eastmond, 5. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 7. David Ajiboye, 20. Joash Nembhard, 9. Omar Bugiel, 10. Harry Beautyman, 25. Isaac Olaofe. Substitutes: 3. Ben Wyatt, 17. Tobi Sho-Silva, 21. Callum Kealy, 26. Aaron Simpson, 28. Donovan Wilson.

    POST-MATCH INTERVIEW

    Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson who felt that "his side absolutely dominated the game on Saturday" against FC Halifax Town.

    "But we've got to start taking our chances" he added.

    ON THIS DAY: 12 April

    Seven years ago today Altrincham entertained North Ferriby United in a Skrill North match which ended one apiece. It was North Ferriby United's first visit to Altrincham and the game kicked off at 3.07pm, in keeping with other leagues whose games have been put back in memory of the "Hillsborough 96".

    For Altrincham, Damian Reeves and Simon Richman were not fit but Damian was able to warm up on the pitch with the recovering Mike Williams. Youth midfielder Jeff King, John King's nephew, who coincidentally played against Altrincham yeterday for FC Halifax Town, was on the bench for the first time in a league match.

    Nicky Clee received his Player of the Month award before the game from Bill King, chairman of the Football Conference and a former chairman at Altrincham.

    Altrincham played poorly in the first half as NFU looked much the stronger side and were able to find their men better than the hosts. Alty fell behind when a freekick for offside, taken by the NFU keeper deep in his own half, was not dealt with by Altrincham and it resulted in Havern seeming to hook the ball over Coburn, who was near the six-yard line. However, Kendall was credited with the goal (15 mins).

    Referee Mr Oldham then became the third official to fail to complete an Altrincham game this season when he found himself unable to continue through injury in the 27th minute. After a 12 minute delay, a qualified linesman took over on the line and assistant referee Mr Mulhall took charge of the match. Ironically, Premiership ref Anthony Taylor was at the game but not allowed to take over as he had a match scheduled for the next day.

    Above: Lee Sinnott takes advantage of the break for referee Scott Oldham's injury to convey his tactics to his team.

    Having brought on Tom Marshall and moved to a back three at the interval, Alty improved in the second half, without threatening a goal till Perry headed over a good cross from Walshaw after 74 minutes. Then, soon after coming on, Wilkinson equalised after Marshall had won a header from a freekick (79 mins). A spirited second-half showing had earned Altrincham a deserved point.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Jake Moult, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. James Walshaw, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Tom Marshall, 14. Matt Doughty, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 16. Jeff King, 18. Russ Saunders

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    The Nottingham Post reports that "Notts County slumped to a 2-0 defeat at promotion rivals Hartlepool on a night when star winger Callum Roberts suffered a fresh injury setback.

    Kyle Wootton missed a glorious chance to put the Magpies ahead midway through the first half before Gavin Holohan gave Pools the lead in a first half which Dave Challinor's side dominated.

    Notts improved after the break but struggled to create clear-cut chances which led to the arrival of Roberts from the substitutes' bench. But he only lasted a matter of minutes before he disappeared down the tunnel due to injury and, with Notts having made three substitutes, meant Ian Burchnall's side were down to 10 men.

    Richie Bennett then made sure Pools took advantage when the on-loan Stockport forward crashed home after Notts failed to deal with a corner.

    Leigh Curtis [added]... 'Callum Roberts had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes... He slumped to the ground, pulled his hands over his face before he punched the turf knowing that another attempt at a comeback was over... You could not help but feel overwhelming sadness for a tremendously gifted player who has endured a nightmarish season in terms of injuries...

    We should get a clearer picture of what the future holds for Roberts next week as head coach Burchnall refused to be drawn on whether that would be the last we see of him this term... The 23-year-old... is held in such high regard that he has carved out a reputation as being the best player in the National League... He is a humble boy blessed with incredible talent...

    Last year, Enzio Boldewijn won a place in the National League team of the year for being one of the most feared wingers in the division... But at present, we are having to watch this wonderful talent plod on at right wingback for the good of the team despite it not being his natural position...

    Outside of Roberts, the Dutchman is the most creative player in the squad when it comes to one v one domination but his talents are being wasted... The time has come to move him back to a position where he can hurt teams...

    Regan Griffiths, the on-loan Crewe midfielder, looked shocked at the decision to substitute him after 36 minutes given he had just created a golden opportunity for Kyle Wootton. But Notts needed to act to halt Hartlepool’s dominance in possession... Burchnall changed it to put three strikers v three defenders which helped stem the flow of the attacks and it did allow Notts more of a foothold in the game...

    Hartlepool’s 2-0 victory moved them to the top of the table although you suspect their lead at the top will be short-lived. {Altrincham's next visitors] Sutton, who are now in second, have four games in hand and are a point behind them while Torquay are three points off the pace with three games in hand... [Notts County] have five games in hand on the new leaders".

    Devon Live says that a "Late winner sets up Torquay United for the big game with Sutton United".

    At half time, "'I said I would give them 15 minutes to get the first goal and it was good because it gave them a bit of momentum; to say "Right, we are going to have to push for this", and we did', Gary Johnson told his players... as Torquay United were set the task of coming from behind to beat Weymouth on Saturday.

    In the end, goals from Jake Andrews with a wonderful strike from outside the area in the 59th minute, and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans with a header in the 85th minute, won the game to set up a mouthwatering top of the National League table clash at Sutton United on Tuesday night.

    It was a much better performance from the Gulls in the second half after they went behind to an Andrew Dallas penalty in the 42nd minute and it means they go to Sutton... just three points behind their opponents in third place.

    'At half time we had a word and it was important we came out all guns blazing,' said Johnson. "We had to play the percentages... The lads put in a real shift today because it's difficult to play a team that has a goalie that can kick it from one end to the other and that's what they were doing. There was no midfield play or anything'...

    Johnson made one change... Andrews coming into the side for Sunderland loan striker Benji Kimpioka, who left the field at the Racecourse Ground with a hamstring injury. That change meant that Andrews returned to the left side of midfield with Lemonheigh-Evans moving into the space behind Danny Wright up front".


    11 April, 2021

    AFTER THE GAME

    Following Saturday's home defeat by FC Halifax Town, assistant manager Neil Sorvel told the NL Paper, "Goals win games. We dominated possession for long periods and had the best chances.

    "But we're struggling to put the ball in the net". Just nine goals scored in the last twelve fixtures underline the point.

    The NL Paper also quotes manager Phil Parkinson on his and Neil Sorvel's appointments as full-time employees of the football club. "It feels great to be able to call myself a full-time manager but it comes with a weight of expectation... but I am relishing the challenge".

    ALTRINCHAM 0-1 FC HALIFAX TOWN

    In a poor first half, Alty almost took an early lead as Josh Hancock's shot was tipped onto the bar by Johnson (8 mins). Three minutes later Alty stood off Jack Earing, allowing him a couple of touches, before he fired a left-footed shot past Thompson from the edge of the box to give the Shaymen the lead (11 mins).

    After that there was little to get the pulse racing before half-time which was reached with Alty still a goal behind.

    Altrincham were a little better in the second half and shots from Ceesay and Colclough forced Johnson to push the ball over the bar but overall the Shaymen were comfortable with their lead and Altrincham could have no real complaints at the outcome.

    Match report here.

    WILD ABOUT HALIFAX WIN

    The Halifax Courier reports that FC Halifax Town "boss Pete Wild said he was 'over the moon' after his side won 1-0 at Altrincham.

    Jack Earing's first-half goal was enough to seal the victory for Town and hand them a crucial three points...

    'I thought we started really well, on the front foot, pressing them, kept nicking the ball off them, kept going towards goal, got our goal,' Wild said. 'They're really good at what they do to try and stretch you, to play through the spaces that you leave, and we thought when we got the goal, we'd drop off them a little bit, let them have the first pass, and I thought until half-time we frustrated them, they never looked like threatening.

    'When it's 0-0 they had a really good chance, but once we went 1-0 up and dropped off them a bit to let them have the ball, I'd seen King's Lynn had done that to them on Monday and we thought if we needed to do that, we could do, and I thought it really frustrated them until half-time.

    'We knew they'd come out second-half and have a real go, and we just didn't keep hold of the ball well enough second-half. They just kept coming back at us. When we did have good passages of play to get in their half, our final ball was rubbish.

    'That could have hurt us on another day but, at this time of the year, it's how you grind out three points and we've certainly ground it out today against a really, really good Altrincham side. They've caused us problems and I think they're one of the most entertaining teams in the league.

    'I'm over the moon to get three points... It's just when we got higher up the pitch, we just didn't keep hold of it enough... which is why later on we went to 3-5-2 to try and keep it up there.... but it's the time of the year where you've just got to grind out three points'...

    Wild praised the performance of goalkeeper Sam Johnson... 'Two really good saves, one in each half,' said the Town boss".

    DEFEAT FOR RESERVES

    In Saturday's J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup match at Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds, Altrincham Reserves lost 3-2.

    NEXT: SUTTON UNITED

    With no game on Saturday, Sutton United were knocked off top spot by Hartlepool United but the London club has four games in hand on their North-East rivals.

    Right: The Golf Road turnstiles; 1230pm on 4th March 2000

    Next Saturday's visit to Altrincham will be more then twenty years since the "U"s last frequented WA14. That was in 1999-2000, a season in which both clubs were relegated from the Conference. In contrast, in 2021, Sutton arrive second in the league table with the highest PPG.

    Having lost 3-0 at Gander Green Lane early that season, Alty gained revenge with their own 3-0 win in the return fixture at Moss Lane on 4 March 2000

    The match was played before a disappointingly small crowd of 889 people. Altrincham started in twelfth place after having garnered seven points from their previous three games and having been defeated only twice in their previous 19 League games. Sutton arrived at Moss Lane occupying bottom spot.

    Danny Adams had returned to the side for this match with Sutton after a one-match ban for bookings, a ban which had terminated his run of 97 consecutive first-team outings. Other team news included the return of leading scorer, Kevin Ellison after five matches out with a leg injury. Suspensions to Leroy Chambers, Steve Hawes and Phil Power ruled them out of consideration.

    Altrincham were also still lacking numerous players through injury (i.e. two goalkeepers, Coburn and Greygoose; striker Gavin Price, midfielders Burke and Crowe and centre-back Maddox). A rare (eighth) start was given to Richard Landon, who, nevertheless, had found the net 9 times in the Conference despite his restricted opportunities.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Key; 2. Hodson, 3. Adams, 4. Timons (capt), 5. Talbot; 6. Goodwin, 7. Gallagher, 8. Russell, 9. Morrell, 10. Landon, 11. Ellison. Subs: 12. Lovelock, 13. Senior, 14. Kielty, 15. Hulston, 16. Skelton

    In the match, Altrincham equalled their biggest winning margin with a 3-0 triumph over Sutton, though that outcome had seemed unlikely after a lacklustre first half. However, their joy was tinged with disappointment at the sending off of captain, Chris Timons, a few minutes before the end for the second of two fairly innocuous bookings. The win lifted them to their highest league position of the season but, ironically, this was to be their last win with eleven matches remaining of the season and relegation was to follow.

    Altrincham restored Hodson to his normal right-back position as Adams returned at left-back. Landon replaced Chambers, whilst Ellison returned to replace the suspended Hawes in midfield, with Russell moving inside to accommodate him. Lovelock dropped back to the subs' bench.

    After a goalless first half, in the 46th minute, an overhit cross from the right by Hodson was needlessly headed out for a corner on the left by Riley. Russell's fine corner found the Altrincham captain, Chris Timons, unmarked and his firm header opened the scoring from six yards.

    Two minutes later, Goodwin, moving forward into the box was brought down and after receiving treatment, Ellison took the free kick from the edge of the box. His firm, but not rocket-powered, shot passed the end of the wall and beat keeper Howells entering the net inside his left-hand post. In the excitement, Altrincham full-back Danny Adams's father, seated in the stand, spilled his coffee down himself!

    Nine minutes from time third goal arrived when Russell broke through in the inside-left position, drew the keeper and nonchalantly flicked the ball past Howells's left hand with his right foot in a manner reminiscent of his performances in 1997/98 when he played up front. The ball entered the net just inside the keeper's left-hand post to make the score 3-0.

    What should have been unadulterated pleasure for Altrincham, turned doubly sour as, firstly, Adams strode through the defence only to be pulled up by the ref's whistle. Not only was offside given but Adams was harshly booked for playing on after the whistle. Worse was to come. As a Sutton player routinely broke down their left-wing, Timons fouled him and was shown the red card on 85 minutes. He left the field (as shown left) to acclaim from the Altrincham fans and manager Bernard Taylor instantly put on debut-making Wayne Hulston for Morrell. Hodson moved to centre-back to replace Timons.

    This win moved Altrincham to their highest position of the season, tenth, whilst Sutton remained bottom. Sutton, like Altrincham, lacked the resources in 2000 to compete with the top Conference sides.

    The referee, Mr Penn gave a generally good performance but his booking of Danny Adams and sending off of Chris Timons, though strictly correct, had mitigating circumstances. Altrincham had had no one sent off between August and 4 December when Simeon Hodson had been given his marching orders in controversial circumstances at Dover. Then Jason Gallagher walked for a late tackle at Northwich; Talbot was rightly sent off at Stevenage for a last-man foul; Maddox bizarrely and Power quite justifiably were red-carded in the Macmillan Trophy against Telford (8 February) and now Timons went for two fairly trivial fouls against Sutton.

    So, only Adams of the regular defensive unit remained to suffer the indignity of the early bath.

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    Wrexham "confirm attacking trio Gold Omotayo, Chris Sang and Keanu Marsh-Brown have all joined the club on non-contract terms. All three have been training with the club this week and, after impressing manager Dean Keates, have been added to the first-team squad.

    Swiss striker Omotayo and Guyanan winger Marsh-Brown were both with Gloucester City most recently, while Sang last played for Barnsley.

    Tall forward Omotayo, 27, has also enjoyed a short stint with FC Halifax Town this season, having previously played for Yeovil Town in the National League in 2019-20...

    Omotayo said...'I’m here to impress, we all know what the goal is and I’m here to get the job done'...

    Marsh-Brown, meanwhile, is well-known to National League supporters having helped Forest Green Rovers to promotion in 2017. Prior to his brief spell with Gloucester City this season, the 28-year-old winger... played in America’s USL Championship for Memphis 901...

    Marsh-Brown said 'I feel fully fit. I was away with the national team and before that I was training full-time so my fitness is up to scratch. I feel I can add experience, especially at this time of the season and going into the play-offs. I’ve got a lot of experience going into these games and I know how to win them'.

    Sang, 21, came through Wigan’s youth academy and made his senior debut for Bury in 2017. He was most recently with Barnsley Under-23s, and spent time on loan with Guiseley too.

    The young striker said upon signing... 'It’s a big opportunity, going for the play-offs. I want to stay here, I want to prove myself, so I’m happy to be here. I like to run in behind, I like the ball to feet too, hopefully I can get a few goals as well'".

    Footnote: Chris Sang was an Alty loanee from Bury who joined on the eve of Alty's fixture on 22 December 2018, for which he was an unused substitute. Whilst at Bury he had a loan spell with Southport in 2017-18 and, in 2018-19, with Marine FC. Before joining Alty he had made two appearances for Bury and nine apiece for both Southport and Marine. After just one start and barely another hour of action spread over four substitute appearances, Chris returned to Bury in late January 2019. Altrincham appearances: 1(+4), 0 goals.

    The signings did not help the Red Dragons as they lost 0-3 to Stockport County. Wrexham report that "Ex-Wrexham striker Alex Reid came back to haunt his former side as his first-half double helped Stockport to victory at the Racecourse.

    Reid supplied two close-range finishes and another former Red, John Rooney, scored from the spot as Wrexham suffered a heavy home defeat... with Guyanan international Keanu Marsh-Brown slotting straight into the starting line-up.

    With Jay Harris suspended, Marsh-Brown partnered Dior Angus up front, while Dan Jarvis retained his spot in attacking midfield. Gold Omotayo and Chris Sang, Wrexham’s other two new attacking reinforcements, were named on the bench but Rob Lainton, Jordan Ponticelli and Theo Vassell remained sidelined with Kwame Thomas.

    After a cautious start, Wrexham were actually first to try their luck at goal... Disaster struck just moments later, however, Tyler French failed to deal with a long ball forward and Reid nicked in between the defender and Christian Dibble to prod in. It was Stockport’s first attempt at goal...

    Stockport doubled their lead on 26 minutes though, Reid tapping in at the back post, after Harry Cardwell flicked Tom Walker's cross on at the near post.

    Shell-shocked Wrexham responded by pushing right wing-back Reece Hall-Johnson further forward...

    After a quiet start to the second-half, Wrexham introduced one new signing for another as Omotayo replaced Marsh-Brown on 57 minutes...

    Stockport ended any hope of a Wrexham comeback when Rooney scored from the spot on 70 minutes, after Reece Hall-Johnson fouled Southam-Hales. The goal actually came from Wrexham’s own corner...

    Stockport did not settle at three either – Cardwell’s shot was blocked by Kelleher on 73 minutes and Reid, seeking his hat-trick, curled just wide moments later. James Jennings then curled a 20-yard free-kick just wide in the 87th minute ...

    Stockport could not add to their lead, however".

    Fresh from scoring a race against Altrincham... the Derbyshire Times reports that Chesterfield's "New signing Kairo Mitchell has ‘potential’ and will bring ‘goals’, says manager James Rowe.

    The 23 year-old striker has joined Chesterfield, subject to National League and Football Association, from King’s Lynn Town, who they beat on Saturday. We are led to believe Town have paid £25,000, with £10,000 in potential add-ons, for the Grenada international.

    Mitchell, who watched on from the stands as his new team beat his former club, has scored eight goals in 22 games this season.

    Rowe said 'We were trying to get it done yesterday (Friday) but we could not quite get it over the line. I have watched him intently, the recruitment team have flagged him up to me so I have studied his game. He will add hunger to an already hungry group, pace, hold-up play, potential and goals and that is not a bad combination for a centre-forward'...

    Mitchell came through Leicester City’s academy before signing for Nuneaton and then Coalville Town. He joined the Linnets last October".

    He is the second King's Lynn forward to leave the club this week following the move of Adam Marriott to Eastleigh.

    After Saturday's game, the Derbyshire Times told us of a "dramatic comeback win against King's Lynn Town.

    Boss James Rowe said Chesterfield got their ‘just rewards’... Two goals in a minute in the second-half from substitutes Nathan Tyson and Tom Whelan flipped the game around after Sonny Carey’s free-kick gave the LInnets the lead.

    The victory is the Spireites’ fifth in a row...

    'Second-half I thought we upped the intensity again and we fully deserved the win,' Rowe said... 'It is win at all costs at this stage and we certainly did that... Over the course of the 90 minutes we played with a real intensity...

    'Wow, five wins on the bounce, we have got to be happy with that'.

    Tyson scored his first goal of the season when he swivelled and finished high into the net with 15 minutes to go after Goerge Carline’s cross found him in space in the box.

    And 60 seconds later another Carline cross reached Whelan who fired in for his fifth goal in a Blues shirt.

    'In the first 15 minutes I thought it was the best intensity we have had,' Rowe said on the first-half performance... 'But it was not good enough in the final bit, the final pass. They changed to a diamond formation after the substitute and we did not get to grips with it in the first five minutes and they scored. We left two v two at the back, (Curtis) Weston was not close enough, so small details like that matter'".

    Meanwhile, Lynn News opined that "Two goals in a minute broke King's Lynn Town hearts...

    On the day the Linnets pocketed an undisclosed fee for Kairo Mitchell from their league rivals, they showed great resilience for the first 70 minutes after Sonny Carey had given them them a half-time advantage...

    Lynn hardly touched the ball in the opening ten minutes and... Chesterfield dominated long periods of the first half with Lynn content to hit their visitors on the break with the pace of Michael Gyasi.

    Ian Culverhouse's side stunned the promotion-chasers by becoming the first team to score against them in more than seven-an-a-half-hours of football.

    Simeon Jackson, who'd only been on the field for a matter of minutes, was brought down by Gunning and Carey stepped up to drill home the resulting free-kick...

    The visitors remained on top and... The Spireites levelled matters when substitute Nathan Tyson fired home on the turn.

    Less than a minute later they took the lead after Carline provided a cross for Whelan to produce another clinical finish. Lynn missed a golden chance to level the scores in injury time after former Spireite Alex Kiwomya shot into grateful arms of Grant Smith".

    The Dorset Echo tells us that "Weymouth were left to lick their wounds after Torquay United came back from 1-0 down to record a priceless 2-1 victory at Plainmoor...

    The Gulls’ defence looked shaky in the first half as keeper Lucas Covolan tripped Andy Dallas for a penalty. The Scottish striker converted for his eighth goal of the season inn the 42nd minute, but Torquay dominated the second half.

    Joe Lewis and Asa Hall both struck the bar before a Jake Andrews sizzler levelled the score.

    Weymouth clung on until the 85th minute when Connor Lemonheigh-Evans rose highest to bury a header and score his second winner against the Terras this season.

    Given the half-time scenario this loss will sting for Weymouth boss Brian Stock, who made two changes... Ben Thomson came in for Josh Wakefield who dropped to the bench, along with Cameron Murray.

    New centre-back Ben Morgan, signed for a small fee from Gloucester City, came straight in for his debut as part of a flexible 5-3-2 formation. Joan Luque took Josh Leslie-Smith’s place on the bench in the only other switch.

    Torquay... made a commanding start at Plainmoor, dominating possession... But Torquay’s defence, including ex-Weymouth centre-back Sam Sherring, looked lacklustre... At the other end, Gary Johnson’s men were potent... as Torquay held out for a comeback win, doing the double over their Dorset opponents".

    We learn from the Maidenhead Advertiser that "Despite dominating possession and creating the game’s better chances, Maidenhead United failed to breakdown a resilient and hard-working Barnet side at York Road.

    Ahead of kick-off the Bees sat bottom of the National League table with only 13 points to their name, but they chased, harried, and hassled the Magpies all afternoon to earn their first clean sheet since December 5... It’s the Magpies fourth league game without a victory...

    Unsurprisingly, Maidenhead had the better of the game’s few chances, and it’s likely this would have been a much more comfortable afternoon for them had they been able to get their noses in front...

    The game became even scrappier after the interval... Maidenhead’s players grew increasingly irritated by their inability to turn possession into chances, but they were spared a fourth-straight defeat thanks to Taye Ashby-Hammond’s smothering save from Hooper, who was played through by Ephron Mason-Clark in the 86th minute.

    The hosts piled forward in the closing stages to little avail as the Bees put bodies on the line to preserve their point.

    Blissett also picked up a nasty looking injury late on, clattering into the hoardings behind the goal...

    The Magpies came into this game off the back of three successive defeats, but this doesn’t feel like a solid step in the right direction, despite keeping a first clean sheet in five matches. They remain 14th...

    Following discussions between both clubs Maidenhead’s trip to Yeovil Town this Tuesday has been postponed. They’ll return to action at Stockport on Saturday.

    Barnet’s first team coach Simon Bassey said afterwards 'A lot of questions have been asked of the group, but you can’t fault their character today... You’ve seen a team out there who worked hard, who were committed, who played for the badge, and a team that were together'...

    Magpies boss Alan Devonshire added 'We lacked the quality going forward... But we’ve had a clean sheet and you’ve got to give credit to Barnet, they’ve had their new coaches come in, a couple of new players. They did all right, but we’ve not been good enough and we’ve got to get better.”

    The Kilburn Times says that "Wealdstone crashed to a late 3-1 defeat away to Boreham Wood as they fail to build on their victory over Barnet.

    A brace from Kabongo Tshimanga stole the show for Wood at Meadow Park after Stones Jacob Mendy cancelled out Jamal Fyfield’s opener.

    First test for new signing George Shelvey in the Stones goal, who was brought in on loan from Nottingham Forest, [was as] he parried a Mafuta free-kick... Tyrone Marsh had the ball in the back of the net shortly after but he was flagged for offside after a strong start from the hosts...

    The hosts continued to put pressure on as Femi Ilesanmi had a spectacular effort from 30 yards which Shelvey tipped onto the bar...

    Boreham Wood finally broke the deadlock in the 74th minute as they were awarded a free-kick which was whipped into Jamal Fyfield who nodded in unopposed from close range.

    Dennon Lewis made a brilliant run past Mark Ricketts and cut it back to Mendy on the edge of the box but he swerved it over in the 80th minute.

    Two minutes later Lewis did the exact same thing but Mendy made no mistake this time and tucked the ball home to level the score at 1-1.

    The hosts restored their lead in the 84th minute as the ball was played into Tshimanga and he smashed into the roof of the net... In the 90th minute Stones Craig Fasanmade was given a red card for what looked like an altercation with Tom Champion.

    Tshimanga rounded new loan signing George Shelvey and slotted into an empty net in the 94th minute to make it 3-1".

    At Eastleigh, "The Spitfires failed to take advantage of ten men Woking as it ended in a goalless draw at the Silverlake Stadium.

    It was a quiet start for Eastleigh as they struggled to find their feet in the cold conditions... A well whipped ball into the box by Joe Tomlinson... was almost turned into the net by Woking defender, Moussa Diarra...

    The best chance of the half came in the 36th minute. A Jack Payne corner eventually landed on the foot of Andrew Boyce, but the centre-back’s effort was blasted high over the bar.

    The last chance of a dreary first half went to the visitors...

    It was the travelling side that started the second half best, but their luck would soon turn. A darting run forward by Baggie was halted as Tommy Block took down the Eastleigh winger on the touchline. The result was a second yellow as Woking were reduced to ten men.

    This opportunity gave the Spitfires the fight they needed, as they saw endless goal scoring chances fall their way... But despite having plenty of chances, the game finished with Woking salvaging a point".


    10 April 2021

    SATURDAY RESULTS

    Saturday, 10 April, 3pm unless stated
  • Aldershot Town P-P Yeovil Town [Postponed following death of Yeovil captain, as is Tuesday's game between Maidenhead United and Yeovil Town]
  • Altrincham 0-1 FC Halifax Town
  • Boreham Wood 3-1 Wealdstone
  • Bromley 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Dover Athletic P-P Sutton United [Dover players furloughed]
  • Eastleigh 0-0 Woking
  • Hartlepool United v Notts County k.o. 5.20pm
  • King's Lynn Town 1-2 Chesterfield
  • Maidenhead United 0-0 Barnet
  • Torquay United 2-1 Weymouth
  • Wrexham 0-3 Stockport County
  • NEXT OPPONENTS: FC HALIFAX TOWN

    As usual at the J. Davidson Stadium, Saturday's game against FC Halifax Town will be live-streamed by Alty TV.

    Discover how to gain access to the stream here.

    PHIL & NEIL STAY TILL 2024

    Altrincham FC has announced that manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant, Neil Sorvel, have signed a contract to stay at the club till the end of the 2023-24 season. Appointed in late April 2017, that would take their tenure to seven years.

    In a Friday night YouTube presentation to Altrincham FC season-ticket holders, during which press officers Brian Flynn and John Edwards posed the questions, co-chairman Bill Waterson made the above announcement, whilst also indicating that the club plans to go full-time from 2021-22 season, finances permitting. Phil and Neil then gave their reactions and answered questions from Messrs Flynn and Edwards.

    The YouTube event will be available at 2.15pm to those subscribing to today's stream of the match against FC Halifax Town. It will later be released to the wider world.

    CLAIRE ALLAN R.I.P

    Altrincham FC advises that longstanding supporter "Claire Allan's funeral will take place at Altrincham Crematorium on Thursday 15 April 2021 at 11:00am and the cortège will be passing the Football Ground at 10:30am.

    It will be family flowers only. Donations will be for our wonderful NHS. All cheques to be made payable to Wythenshawe Hospital Charity and sent to Arthur Kershaw Funeral Service Limited, 168-170 Washway Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6RH".

    THE ALTY STRIKE RATE

    This week Phil Parkinson has publicly called on his forwards to be more effective in front of goal and the following table indicates the squad's current strike rate in the National League.

    Including the now voided game against Dover Athletic, Alty have scored 38 goals in the league this season to date. On average they net a goal roughly every 80 minutes.

    Discounting the five penalties netted by Josh Hancock, that leaves 33 goals from open play in 34 games. These have been scored by the following players...

    Those who have played 400+ minutes but have not scored at all in the league are the following:

    ALTY OLD BOY

    Terry Rowley has kindly provided some information on former Altrincham player George Hudson who died on 28 December 2020.

    He was a Mancunian, born on 14th March 1937. He played for Blackburn Rovers (1958-60), Accrington Stanley (1960/61) before a £10,000 fee took him to Peterborough United in October 1961, where he stayed till 1963.

    A £21,000 transfer to Coventry City came in April 1961, a club record at the time. He scored a hat trick on debut in the Sky Blues' Division 3 North promotion season. He hit 25 goals the following season in Division 2, then 25 the again in the next season. Regardded as a legend at Coventry, in all he struck 75 times in 129 games before joining Northampton Town, then in Division One, for £22,000 in 1966.

    Following a spell with Tranmere Rovers he joined Altrincham, having played pre-season games in 1969. He made his debut as an inside-right before having two unused subs appearances. He was employed in Manchester on the Daily Mirror newspaper.

    ALTY WOMEN'S FRIENDLY

    Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's report that "Altrincham FC Women returned to training on the last day of March and were straight into action at the weekend with a behind closed doors friendly against Chester FC Women on Easter Sunday.

    Honours were even in a 6 goal thriller at Chester's impressive 1885 Arena.

    The Robins led 1-0 & 2-1 but were pegged back on each occasion and it looked as if the home side woukld be the victors when they went into the lead for the first time to make it 3-2 but a last gasp equaliser secured a result for new manager, Nick Pearce, who was taking charge of his first game since being appointed in January.

    Altrincham's goalscorers were Jade Hesketh, Megan Rowley and Casey Beamon.

    The Women are next in action on Sunday in a behind closed doors fixture against Northwich Vixens at Egerton FC, Knutsford, which will be Altrincham FC Women's home venue this season".

    Footnote: The team now seems to have been renamed Altrincham FC Women, although their twitter account is called Altrincham Women FC and the Cheshire League website still has them as Altrincham FC Ladies!

    ON THIS DAY: 10 April

    Today's date, 10 April, has not been a popular date for Altrincham matches. There have been just two such games this millennium. And, to make matters worse, on the seven occasions that Alty have played on 10 March since 1976, Altrincham have not won once!

    The first match of the current millennium on this date was against Burscough in 2004 and it ended in a 3-1 defeat in Lancashire in a UniBond League Premier Division match.

    Above Right: Mark Maddox advances into the Burscough half, as Ged Kielty looks on.

    The corresponding fixture the previous season had been Graham Heathcote's first as manager of Altrincham and had witnessed a fine performance and 3-0 win for the visitors. Today, Altrincham arrived having stalled in the league and having taken only one point from their last three games, following a run of three successive wins.

    Injuries had played a major role in the reverse in Alty's fortunes in recent games. Indeed, the Robins arrived at Burscough with seven regulars missing; Adams, Aspinall, Scott, Rose, Thornley, Wright and Hardy, not to mention Murphy and Smith who had not kicked a ball this season through injury. Wright had been the latest victim, having succumbed to tonsilitis during last week.

    Replacing the injured Stephen Rose, Ryan Hutchinson came in for his third start since arriving from Stoke City but it was only his first start in six Alty games. A newcomer, on the bench, was Jamie Almond, a former Manchester City youngster, who arrived at Moss Lane via Woodley Sports and Mossley.

    Though wearing no.2, Peter Band paired up with Gary Talbot in central defence, whilst Mark Maddox moved across to right-back, to replace the injured Aspinall who had failed a fitness test before the game.

    Burscough, managed by ex-Alty player Derek Goulding, had just climbed out of the bottom three.

    The Linnets were deserved winners against an Alty side lacking seven first-team regulars at kick-off and losing a eighth (Talbot) before the interval.

    The Linnets took the lead after 33 minutes through Bell but they also squandered three other good chances in the first half. Any hope of recovery disappeared for Alty when Connell made it 2-0, a minute after the break. The same player added a third, though Shuttleworth appeared to be bundled over in the build-up (68 mins).

    Hallows got a consolation for Alty two minutes later after good work by substitute and debutant Jamie Almond. Ged Kielty was one of few players to emerge with credit in a disappointing overall performance by Altrincham, which saw them concede three goals away from home for the first time this season.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Peter BAND, 3. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Ged KIELTY, 7. Ryan HUTCHINSON, 8. Ian CRANEY (capt.), 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Matt BAILEY, 11. Jamie BAGULEY. Subs: 12. Stephen LUNT, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Jamie ALMOND.

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    Eastleigh Football Club "announce the signing of forward Adam Marriott from King’s Lynn Town FC.

    The 29 year-old striker joins the Spitfires on a permanent transfer for the remainder of the season.

    Marriott boasts an impressive goal tally for King’s Lynn, scoring 65 times in 99 games, six of those coming this season in The National League.

    Beginning his youth career at Norwich, Marriott has had a successful time at the likes of Cambridge United, Cambridge City, and Lincoln City before joining the Linnets.

    Upon signing, Adam Marriott said 'I’m absolutely buzzing. Eastleigh have given me the opportunity to play some games and hopefully do well for the club, I’m excited to get started.'.

    Lynn News adds that he had "scored 65 times in 99 appearances for the Linnets.

    The 29 year-old has been a talisman in Lynn's remarkable rise to the elite of non-league football since joining from Boston United three years ago. His current deal was due to expire in the summer".

    Footnote: King's Lynn Town had put Marriott on furlough so he has not played from some time.

    Barnet "Chairman, Tony Kleanthous, has penned an open letter to supporters", which includes the following explanation that his previous comments on the club's supporters included "criticism [only of those who] claim to be supporters but offer no support whatsoever. It was never my intention to attack any of the vast majority of our fans who have stuck with me and the Club through thick and thin and I can only apologise if anyone felt this was the case.

    It is unfortunate that nowadays all clubs have a small minority who seem to feel it is acceptable to use social media as a tool to abuse players and staff at every opportunity. Whilst we have come under rightful criticism this season, there is a fine line to overstepping the mark and becoming unacceptably abusive. As I say, this is a tiny minority, but we need to take a stance against this type of behaviour...

    I would like to start here and now and reach out to you by offering an unreserved apology to anyone who feels I have let them down in any way whatsoever in the nearly thirty years I have been at Barnet Football Club. I have always strived to do everything with the Club's best interests at heart and I will continue to do everything I can to give our Supporters the success they deserve.

    'We need to heal our wounds and at the time of reply I was annoyed that anyone would question my passion but on reflection, I can understand why this season’s debacle would raise such concerns. I can assure you that I am as committed now as I ever was and I will put this right. I hope we can together draw a line under this terrible season, show a united front for our new coaching team and truly support our great Club once again.

    'We are rebuilding; taking our time to carefully consider future appointments and putting in place the right team for the right job'".

    Meanwhile, Millwall report that "Under 23s' midfielder Sam Skeffington has joined Barnet on a 28-day youth loan.

    The 20 year-old, a regular in the heart of the midfield for Kevin Nugent's side, will now be able to combine Professional Development League football with appearances for the Vanarama National League side".

    According to the Plymouth Herald, "Plymouth Argyle [are] considering what next for Ryan Law and his Torquay United loan spell.

    The 21 year-old left-back has made five starts and one substitute appearance for the Gulls over the past four weeks

    A decision on whether to extend Ryan Law’s loan... will be taken in the next few days... Law was signed by Gulls’ boss Gary Johnson after an injury to former Exeter City left-back Dean Moxey...

    He has started the five games since then and Torquay have won four of them, keeping clean sheets in all of them, while also losing 1-0 at Dagenham Redbridge.

    Moxey replaced Law as a second half substitute at Dagenham and Redbridge but has been unused on the bench for the two matches since then...

    Argyle manager Ryan Lowe said... 'I know he (Law) went in as cover for Dean Moxey, who is back fit now... Would we like to bring him back and give him an opportunity? Possibly, yeah. Again, that will be down to the kid and us, and see what we want and what is best for him and us'".

    The revolving door continues at The Walks, as players go on the State's furlough scheme whilst new faces are taken on as KIng's Lynn Town "announce the signing of Alex Babos until the end of the season.

    The attacking midfielder was most recently at Alfreton Town. Babos started his youth career through Derby County, having also played for Real Unión in Spain on loan. Other clubs Babos has played for include FC United of Manchester.

    Babos has also appeared for Wales at Under 21 level".

    The Derbyshire Times Confirms that "Chesterfield have suffered a massive injury blow with news that Haydn Hollis has ruptured his achilles and will play no further part in this season.

    The centre-back hobbled off after half an hour in the win against Eastleigh on Good Friday...

    'It is a rupture so it is a serious one,' Spireites' manager James Rowe said... When asked if that was Hollis’ season over, Rowe replied 'And some'".

    Solihull Moors "have further strengthened the first team squad with the addition of Cheltenham Town winger Alex Addai.

    The 27 year-old joins on a short-term loan until 5th May, becoming Mark Yates’s second signing since his return to the club.

    Addai, who started his career at Tottenham Hotspur, joined the Robins in 2018 after a two-year spell at Merstham. The London-born attacker started as a youngster at Spurs before joining Blackpool as a trainee. He has had previous spells at Carshalton Athletic, Whitehawk and Kingstonian. Addai said... 'The facilities are second-to-none and all of the staff and players have made me feel really welcome. I’m quick, direct and I love to create things. That’s what you can expect from me'.

    In the Maidenhead Advertiser we learn that "Maidenhead United boss Alan Devonshire will hope to have James Comley and Rohan Ince back in contention for Saturday’s visit of Barnet after both Montserrat internationals missed Monday’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Eastleigh at York Road.

    The influential pair, who’ve formed a settled midfield trio with the hard-working Ryan Upward, have missed the last few games while on international duty in the Caribbean.

    Comley was able to return for Friday’s 2-1 defeat to Weymouth, but Devonshire admitted afterwards he probably wasn’t fully fit after flying back from representing the Emerald Boys in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers only days before..

    It’s no coincidence that performance levels have dropped off since the pair, and Dan Sparkes, who has also missed recent matches through injury, have been missing from the squad. Sparkes was fit enough to return against Eastleigh and Devonshire will want to have all three players fit and firing for the visit of second bottom Barnet, who have collected just 13 points all season.

    'We found a nice little set up in the middle with Rohan, Coms and Uppy,' added [winger, Sam] Barratt, 'There was a good balance in there and it’s been disrupted a bit... I’ve found that, even though I didn’t think I’d been out for that long, just four or five weeks'".

    It is not just Altrincham ectending their managers' contracts as Woking announce that "Alan Dowson, Ian Dyer, Martin Tyler and Matt Winter have signed new deals.

    The Management Team have agreed contracts that tie the four to the Club until 2023.

    Since arriving at the Club from Hampton & Richmond Borough in the summer of 2018, Dowse, Dyer and Tyler have had much success with the Cards. In 2018/19 they masterminded the Emirates FA Cup run to the Third Round...Promotion back to the National League was secured through the play-offs...

    In 2019/20, the Cards exceeded expectations and finished 10th, just three points outside the play-offs before the season’s early curtailment...

    Dowse and his team are looking to build a full-time side for next season that will look to compete in the top half of the table.

    Winter has been involved with the Club since 2015, initially taking up a Goalkeeper Coaching role with the Academy...

    Dowse commented, 'We are already building for full-time football.'

    Assistant Manager, Ian Dyer also said... 'We are fully focused and committed as we move towards full time training'...

    Kelvin Reay, Football Liaison Director added... 'I am excited to see what comes over the next two years'...

    John Katz, Director concluded, 'Dowse, Ian, Martin and Matt are the obvious choices to lead the club moving forward. With full-time football and a playing budget built to compete with the top clubs in the Conference heading into next season, we have the perfect gaffer and backroom staff to restore our Club’s proud heritage'".


    9 April 2021

    ALTY v YEOVIL TOWN: REARRANGED

    The Altrincham v Yeovil Town game, postponed last Monday because of the untimely death of the Glovers' captain, Lee Collins, has now been rearranged for Saturday, 22 May.

    By a fortunate coincidence Altrincham were scheduled to play the now defunct Macclesfield Town on 22 May whilst Yeovil were expecting to meet Dover Athletic, who are no longer playing their fixtures. So Yeovil have been spared a long midweek trip and Altrincham will be hoping that, by then, regulations may allow some spectators to be admitted to the J. Davidson Stadium.

    BEFORE THE MATCH WITH FC HALIFAX TOWN

    Altrincham entertain FC Halifax Town on Saturday in the first of seven home games in their final nine fixtures of the season.

    Last time out, on Monday, Altrincham had eight players not in the matchday squad who had been enduring injury-related absences. They were:

    Hopefully, one or more may return on Saturday against FC Halifax Town at the J. Davidson Stadium.

    From the other side, the Halifax Courier reports on midfielder Jamie Allen, who recently was on international duty and "proud to be playing his part with Montserrat".

    From Allen's cross, an "89th minute equaliser by Nottingham Forest striker and Montserrat captain Lyle Taylor secured a draw against El Salvador, a nation who have featured at two World Cups and sit 113 places above them. It was the second of two World Cup qualifiers for Montserrat, who are managed by former Man City and Scotland defender Willie Donachie...

    Four days earlier, on March 24, Montserrat had only managed a disappointing 2-2 draw with Antigua and Barbuda...

    'It was good to get away and be involved in both games',said Allen, who now has four caps for Montserrat... 'Against El Salvador we put in a fantastic performance, nobody expected us to win or get anything from that game but we managed to get a point and probably could have won it at the end. El Salvador’s the big team in the group'...

    Allen played on the wing in a 4-3-3 in the first game, but the team changed to a 4-4-2 against El Salvador... Closer to home, Allen is pleased with how Halifax have performed this season.

    'Obviously we’re doing well as a team and personally, doing well,' he said... 'We can do better but we’ll keep kicking on... If we don’t finish in the play-offs it’ll be a disappointing season for us'...

    Allen has scored five goals in 22 league games this season for Town having signed a new two-year contract last summer....

    'Every day I’m learning new things... and in the last few games I’ve been dropping into the right wing-back role. They’re developing a new position for me, which I’ve never done before... We had a chat about it and they said when we need an outlet, I can be that outlet being more attacking, when we’re on the front foot we can get a lot of joy down the sides, like we do with Jeff (King) and on the other side with Danny Williams and Jack Senior'">

    ON THIS DAY: 9 April

    Two years ago, on 9 April 2019, Altrincham drew 1-1 at AFC Telford United.

    It was a Vanarama National League North match, played on a Tuesday night. Altrincham made an enforced change as Connor Hampson had limped off the previous Saturday. So, Andy White moved across to left-back with Shaun Densmore stepping in at right-back for only his second league start of 2019. On the bench, despite three Alty keepers (Wynne and Drench as well as Thompson) being involved in the warm-up, no substitute goalie was named as Billy Sass-Davies came into the squad for Steven Drench.

    Right: Alty line up before kick-off at Telford.

    Altrincham only just failed to emerge from the New Buck's Head with all three points as they surrendered an injury-time equalizer from a penalty. It was the second time in three days that the hosts had salvaged a point through a late spot-kick.

    Earlier, Altrincham had taken an eleventh-minute lead with a well-worked goal. Johnston advanced on the right to feed Ceesay in the centre; he laid the ball off for Hulme to fire a fierce shot from the right past the Telford keeper. Alty were the better side for the remainder of the first half, deservedly reaching the interval with their lead intact.

    As Telford began to build some second-half momentum, manager Phil Parkinson signalled his intentions, in the 64th minute, by withdrawing two forwards, Hancock and Johnston, in favour of defenders Sass-Davies and Richman. When Andy White brought down an opponent on their right flank, he saw a second yellow card and the inevitable red, leaving the remaining ten men to try to retain their lead through the final seventeen minutes, plus added time. A further change of personnel saw the booked Hulme also substituted meaning that Alty had withdrawn all of their three leading scorers in a ten-minute spell.

    The ten men survived a mounting tally of Telford corners, which eventually totalled sixteen, before Densmore was drawn into a 90th-minute foul on Udoh which meant a penalty kick. Andre Brown's stoppage-time spotkick was stopped by Tony Thompson's dive but the ball dribbled over the line to level the score.

    Altrincham ended up with six yellow cards, two of which were shown to White, and one to the already substituted John Johnston on the bench. That was their highest number of cards in any league game that season and outdid, in just ninety minutes, the cumulative total of cards accrued across their previous nine matches. The referee, Robert Massey-Ellis, did not emerge with much credit from this game.

    The result left Altrincham in fifth place, one point behind Spennymoor Town but with a game in hand

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Andy White, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. James Poole, 14. Max Harrop, 15. Matt Chadwick, 16. Simon Richman, 20. Billy Sass-Davies.

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    In a very brief statement Weymouth state that "The Weymouth Football Club board of directors can confirm that they have reluctantly accepted the resignation of Vice Chairman and Financial Director Rob Bowman.

    The board of directors wishes to thank Rob for his efforts and for everything he has done during his time with the club".

    According to the BBC, "Wrexham are hoping to sign a striker before Saturday's match with fellow promotion chasers Stockport County.

    Last week, top scorer Kwame Thomas was ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Fellow striker Jordan Ponticelli limped off in their Good Friday loss to Notts County, so manager Dean Keates has had two free agents in training this week...

    Said manager Dean Keates, 'Obviously I have to be mindful the players coming in are not going to be up to match speed and it may be too much to ask of them to go straight into the starting 11'...

    Goalkeeper Rob Lainton looks unlikely to face Stockport after pulling out of Monday's 1-0 home defeat against Torquay with a groin problem. Defender Theo Vassell also missed Monday's loss, with a facial injury, and is again a doubt.

    Easter defeats against Notts County and Torquay have left Wrexham just outside the play-off places on goal difference".

    The BBC confiorms that "Yeovil Town's National League game at Aldershot Town on Saturday 10 April has been postponed.

    The Glovers have not played since captain Lee Collins died last week at the age of 32.

    An inquest into his death on Wednesday heard how the central defender had been found in his hotel room after not attending training on 31 March.

    Yeovil's game with Altrincham on Good Friday was also postponed in the wake of Collins' death".

    According to the Hartlepool Mail, "Hartlepool United passed the 60-point mark for the first time in a season since 2007 over the Easter weekend.

    And Pools boss Dave Challinor, who hasn’t given up on the automatic promotion slot just yet, believes it will take another eight points to secure a play-off spot... ahead of Saturday’s huge clash with play-off rivals Notts County...

    Reflecting on passing the 60-point mark, Challinor said 'I’d rather be at 70 points but it’s ticking another win off for us and getting us closer to where I think we need to be and it does it in a space of time where we’ve still got a number of games left to affect the table.

    'I’ve said, 68, 69 points would be enough to make sure you’re in the play-offs this season. It’s probably going to need at least 75 to finish second or third and in terms of winning the league, it’s probably going to take 84 which would mean virtually winning every game for us.

    'It’s still doable and that’s our aim but our short term aim is winning our next game and keeping the momentum building,' added the Pools chief.

    On Monday, goals from Gavan Holohan and Richie Bennett saw Pools come from behind twice to secure a point at Meadow Park despite playing the majority of the game with forward Rhys Oates in goal. Pools trailed 2-1 when Ben Killip was forced off due to an elbow injury...

    Challinor is set to provide an injury update on Killip on Friday".

    Meanwhile, opponents Notts County manager "Ian Burchnall has provided an update on a number of players...

    Michael Doyle: 'He trained with the physios today (Thursday) and they’re hopeful he can join the squad for some training next week... You need people like him in your group; they set high standards'...

    Cal Roberts and Alex Lacey: 'Cal had a full session today and trained really well, as did Alex Lacey. It was Alex’s first session back... but I’m certainly positive about Cal for the weekend.'

    Richard Brindley and Damien McCrory: 'Richard’s taking a step forward each day. He’s not trained with the full squad yet but I’m hopeful he’s making good progress... but he’s not close to starting at the moment. It’s the same with Damien, he’s still in the progressive rehab stage. Again, he’s making progress, but he’s not someone I’d consider being in contention in the next few weeks.'

    Stand-in skipper Jake Reeves: 'We have a lot of natural leaders like Connell Rawlinson, Mark Ellis and other experienced players, but it was important for me to have someone who can carry the way we want to play on to the pitch while Michael is out. Jake plays in a position where you can dictate many things on the pitch. He sees a lot of pictures from the deeper midfield role and I think he’s a good communicator who understands the game and what we want.

    'We’ve been asking him to be a bit more disciplined, to run a bit less into wide areas, enabling him to pick up more balls in midfield. He’s a smart player.'" Notts County’s top scorer Kyle Wootton has vowed he will not change the way he plays as he spoke out against the treatment he suffers at the hands of referees.

    And in the Nottingham Post top-scorer Kyle Wootton... will be available for the Magpies this weekend after he served a one-match ban for being sent off against Wrexham on Good Friday... having picked up a second yellow card following an aerial challenge with Theo Vassell.

    The defender suffered a head wound and needed to be carried off on a stretcher following the 50/50 tussle with replays showing Notts’ striker had cleanly won the ball.

    The referee did not even award a free-kick to Wrexham at the time and pundits felt Wootton had been harshly done by...

    'I don’t know if it’s just something against me or what, I don’t know. Defenders seem to get the benefit of the doubt over me. The referees say I’m holding the opponent, but I say to them ‘well if they’re holding me, how am I meant to get them off me to get the ball?’

    'I said if you’re not going to give a foul for them holding me then what do they want me to do? Stand there and not compete for the ball? I’m not going to do that... I’m just going to get on with it, not let it get to me and keep doing what I do for the team'...

    The 12-goal forward had started to look tired following a gruelling schedule of fixtures but says the break [suspension] has done him the power of good as he prepares to return to face Hartlepool this weekend... Against Wrexham my hamstring was getting really tight. Even though I didn’t want the red card to happen, I think it has come at a good time for me'".


    8 April 2021

    MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE

    The BBC has a list of managers in the top five levels of English football. Their list for the National League is here re-ordered according to the date of appointment of the current incumbent of the managerial seat.

    In that ranking, Phil Parkinson (right) is the third longest-serving manager, albeit not the longest in terms of working in the National League's top flight. Having said that, there are already nine managers with shorter or the same current tenure in the National League as the Altrincham manager.

    The BBC gives the date of appointment followed by the name of the previous incumbent, excluding acting or interim managers.

    1. Maidenhead United: Alan Devonshire 5 May 2015 Johnson Hippolyte
    2. Boreham Wood: Luke Garrard 14 Oct 2015 Ian Allinson
    3. Altrincham: Phil Parkinson 28 Apr 2017 Jim Harvey
    4. Woking: Alan Dowson 16 May 2018 Anthony Limbrick
    5. Torquay United: Gary Johnson 13 Sep 2018 Gary Owers
    6. Dover Athletic: Andy Hessenthaler 8 Oct 2018 Chris Kinnear
    7. King's Lynn Town: Ian Culverhouse 1 Nov 2018 Neil Fryatt & Robbie Back
    8. Eastleigh: Ben Strevens 5 Nov 2018 Andy Hessenthaler
    9. Sutton United: Matt Gray 1 May 2019 Paul Doswell
    10. Aldershot Town: Danny Searle 20 May 2019 Gary Waddock
    11. Yeovil Town: Darren Sarll 19 Jun 2019 Darren Way
    12. FC Halifax Town: Pete Wild 25 Jul 2019 Jamie Fullarton
    13. Wrexham: Dean Keates 6 Oct 2019 Bryan Hughes
    14. Hartlepool United: Dave Challinor 11 Nov 2019 Craig Hignett
    15. Dagenham & Redbridge: Daryl McMahon 3 Jan 2020 Peter Taylor
    16. Weymouth: Brian Stock 4 Sep 2020 Mark Molesley
    17. Chesterfield: James Rowe 26 Nov 2020 John Pemberton
    18. Stockport County: Simon Rusk 27 Jan 2021 Jim Gannon
    19. Solihull Moors: Mark Yates 11 Mar 2021 Jimmy Shan
    20. Wealdstone: Stuart Maynard 11 Mar 2021 Dean Brennan
    21. Notts County: Ian Burchnall 25 Mar 2021 Neal Ardley
    22. Bromley: Andy Woodman 29 Mar 2021 Neil Smith
    23. Barnet: Simon Bassey 7 Apr 2021 Tim Flowers

    PARKINSON ANNOYED WITH HIS FORWARDS

    Writing in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, press and media officer John Edwards states that Altrincham manager "Phil Parkinson (left) fired a warning to an out-of-sorts Altrincham frontline after they drew a disappointing blank against King’s Lynn Town...

    After forcing the pace for much of the first half and hitting the bar through Ryan Colclough, Alty looked set for a quick-fire league double over the Linnets... But two goals in the last 10 minutes turned the tables...and sealed a 2-0 scoreline that left Parkinson distinctly unimpressed.

    'I was massively disappointed and didn’t hide from telling the players that after the game,’ said the Alty manager. 'I thought in the first half we played it perfectly, creating opportunities and actually controlling the game more than we did at our place. It was really disappointing not to score in that period, but I still felt we were the only ones who looked like going on to get a positive result.

    'If they showed no real desire to come at us, it was because we were so much in control, but then the second half was such a contrast in terms of the quality we showed. It was so disappointing, and I let the players know afterwards that a performance level of that kind will not be tolerated at this club.

    He added 'We still had opportunities at the end, but for whatever reason, we couldn’t finish on the day. It has been an issue this season. We are a goalscoring side, but we have needed too many opportunities this season. The forwards have to step up to the mark and show more efficiency with their finishing. It has to improve.'

    The Alty boss already has one eye on next season, saying 'Neil Sorvel and I know exactly what is needed, and it’s something we are looking at now. We have shown we can compete at this level, but we know next season will be a lot tougher, because teams won’t be underestimating us, so we’ve got to make sure we are as strong as possible.'”

    The video interview with Phil Parkinson by Brian Flynn, on which the above is based, is on Alty TV.

    NEXT: FC HALIFAX TOWN

    Altrincham welcome FC Halifax Town to Moss Lane next Saturday, with the Shaymen intheplay-off places (seventh) with six more points than Alty from three games fewer.

    In the reverse fixture on 28 December, Alty lost 3-2 at The Shay.

    Both clubs were relegated from the national level in 2016 by Halifax regained their status the next season whilst Altrincham departed the other way, dwon to the EvoStik Premier.

    So their last visit to the J. Davidson Stadium was on Saturday, 4 February 2017, when a scrappy game was won by a scrappy goal as ex-Alty loanee Liam King's deflected effort beat Tim Deasy with just nine minutes remaining of a dour encounter, in which the gap between bottom-placed Altrincham and play-off hopefuls FC Halifax Town was barely discernible for long periods.

    Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson were all still missing through injury whilst Alan Goodall was regaining fitness with the reserves. Tom Hannigan was out with a recurrence of his hip injury. However, Damian Reeves had recovered from illness to be available once more.

    Altrincham faced former Robins' players David Lynch who started, as did former loanee Liam King, whilst Jordan Sinnott was on the bench.

    And, of course, the winner just had to be scored by one of Halifax's three ex-Alty players, Liam King, who spent a loan period from Rotherham United at Moss Lane in 2008.

    Alty again deployed midfielder Jake Moult at centre-back with Heathcote at right-back in place of Patterson and McWilliams deployed on the left of the back four.

    The winner came just as Altrincham were beginning to show a bit of spark going forward but, in truth, they scarcely troubled visiting keeper, apart from in the eighth minute of the game, when Jake Moult blasted a penalty straight at the Halifax keeper, who beat the ball away. The spot kick had been won by Andy Owens, following good work from Nicky Clee.

    There was further first-half woe for Alty as striker Andy Owens went off injured with only 20 minutes on the clock.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Kyle BROWNHILL, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (c), 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Sam PATTERSON, 15. Damian REEVES, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 20. Andrew JONES.

    ON THIS DAY: 8 April

    Four years ago today, Altrincham, bottom in the National League North, suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Brackley Town.

    Shaun Densmore and Clayton McDonald both returned to the squad after several months' absence, the former through injury and the latter mainly due to his loan to Droylsden. Chris Lynch was unavailable following the death of his father on Friday. Alan Goodall, John Cyrus, Kyle Brownhill, Tom Hannigan, John Cyrus and Sean Miller all remained on the injured list so, yet again, it was a weakened Alty side which took to the field. On the positive side, youth teamer Darius Palma made his first league start, following his substitute appearance away at Darlington, the previous month.

    Right: Shaun Densmore made a welcome return to action after his long injury lay-off.

    In the match, Brackley secured an ultimately comfortable victory in the Altrincham sunshine. But the home side, with six out injured and Chris Lynch unavailable following his father's death, started quite promisingly, with their best effort being a rasping Clee shot, which Laurie Walker tipped round the post for a corner in the 24th minute.

    But, just after the half-hour mark, when McWilliams was stranded in the opposition half, Glenn Walker got free on the right. His low cross was easily converted from close range by Diggin. Altrincham almost levelled six minutes later when a fine move ended as Lawrie played in Reeves but keeper Walker made a superb one-handed save.

    The second half was a disappointing affair for Altrincham. Twelve minutes from time, Evans misheaded a Tomlinson kick and the ball ran free for unmarked substitute Hempenstall who beat Tomlinson with a well-judged lob from left of goal. In added time Ndlovu drove a 20-yarder past Tomlinson to make it 3-0 before Evans netted a consolation goal in the third added minute. He tapped in when Owens relayed a McWilliams cross to him from the left.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Tomlinson, 2. Sam Patterson, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. James Lawrie, 9. Darius Palma, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee Subs: 12. Andy Owens, 14. Shaun Densmore, 15. Clayton McDonald, 16. Micah Evans,20. Tim Deasy

    BARWICK'S FAREWELL

    Following the news, reported yesterday, that the League chairman had announced his departure, The National League has issued the folowing statement...

    Barwick, 66, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, spanning over 40 years, with senior roles in both major sports broadcasting organisations and high-profile sports governing bodies.

    In December, the former Football Association chief executive was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for services to sport and broadcasting.

    The Chairman stated, 'After careful consideration I formally told the National League Board in February that I intended to step down at the end of the 2020/21 season. I think it is the right time to relinquish the role and give somebody else the great privilege of leading the organisation.

    'Since 2015, I believe the competition has continued to grow in stature and profile, sent strong clubs up into the EFL and built up a formidable and loyal set of commercial and broadcast partnerships. Our 66 clubs remain the life-blood of our competition and a vital part of their local communities, and that’s what makes our League so special.

    'I also acknowledge just how tough it has been for many of our clubs over the past twelve months facing the unprecedented challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic. In closing, I would like to thank my National League Board colleagues, the League’s executive, our commercial partners, the wider football family and, most importantly, our member clubs for their warm welcomes and support over the past six years.

    'I will continue to commit myself to the well-being of the National League until the end of the season. And, of course, I wish my successor as Chair and everybody connected with the National League my very best wishes for a brilliant future.'”

    VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

    Stockport County "announce that Sam Minihan and Jordan Keane have both agreed to sign two-year contract extensions at the Club in the Summer, keeping them at Edgeley Park until 2023.

    Full-back Sam originally joined the Club in 2016 from Worcester City, making over 150 appearances for the Club since then... ordan signed for County from Boston United in 2018, and made his 100th appearance for the Club earlier this season...

    Manager Simon Rusk said 'I am delighted the club have agreed extensions with Sam and Jordan and see both players continue on their upward journey with County'".

    But there are also two departures from Edgeley Park as NL Daily reports that "Two of Stockport County’s loan contingent have been recalled by their parent clubs.

    Forward Jack Stretton has been recalled by Derby County... following injuries to Martyn Waghorn and Lee Gregory.

    In addition, winger Nathan Shaw has been recalled by Blackpool".

    The Blackpool Gazette adds that "Blackpool have recalled Nathan Shaw from his unsuccessful loan spell with National League side Stockport County.

    The winger made the move to Edgeley Park on a one-month loan deal at the start of March. But the 20-year-old... made just two appearances for Stockport and saw just 56 minutes of action".

    At Barnet, "The Club are delighted to welcome both Simon Bassey and Dave Anderson to Barnet Football Club. Both have joined as the first two parts of the backroom rebuild at the Club.

    Bassey, who spent 17 years with now EFL League One side, AFC Wimbledon, joins the Club as First Team Coach and will lead the Bees in the immediate future, starting with Saturday's National League trip to Maidenhead United, whilst the Club continue to rebuild the backroom staff ahead of the next campaign.

    Anderson, who has previously managed the Dons as well, has extensive knowledge of the local non-league scene and has come into support Bassey as an assistant coach, he will also work with the Club's goalkeepers.

    Simon Bassey... stepped into the coaching side at the Dons, where he spent 14 years as firstly Reserve Team Manager before taking on the role of First Team Coach, playing an instrumental part in the Dons meteoric rise through the leagues before they established themselves within the English Football League...

    Dave Anderson is best known to have managed AFC Wimbledon during a three-year spell between 2004 and 2007... Since then Anderson has enjoyed a coaching career, of varying roles, within the local Non-League scene and has extensive knowledge of non-league football and the players within it".

    NL Daily adds that "chairman Tony Kleanthous says the club have brought in...Simon Bassey. The news was shared on the club’s website as part of responses to ‘the most frequently asked questions and topics’ to the Bees' chairman...

    Kleanthous confirmed Bassey’s appointment as part of his fifth response to the questions, adding that he will be assisted by former AFC Wimbledon boss... Dave Anderson. It is unclear, though, whether Bassey is a permanent or interim boss.

    Kleanthous said 'I have decided to rebuild the whole backroom team, which is why the process is taking a while longer than usual. We don’t want to hire a manager bringing his own staff, because if they do well, then they will all leave together for a bigger club, or if they do badly, they will all leave together because they did badly. Either way, the club is left with no succession or stability.

    'I therefore want to take my time and find a team of people who can be part of the longer-term vision for Barnet FC, where we are not always having to start from scratch. This means I need the right people to join Gary Anderson, our head of performance, Ollie Galloway, our physio, and Ricky Bartlett, who is joining us in July to handle football operations and logistics.

    'In this respect, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Simon Bassey, who was formerly at Wimbledon, has agreed to join us, and I am delighted to welcome him to the team. Simon will be coaching the first team going forwards... He is joined by Dave Anderson, who has enjoyed his own successful career as a goalkeeper with Northern Ireland and in non-league football management, and will be Simon’s assistant and goalkeeping coach.'"

    According to The Leader, "Dean Keates is running the rule over two strikers and the Wrexham boss is 'optimistic' he will have added to his attacking options before Saturday's clash with Stockport County at The Racecourse.

    Dior Angus was the only recognised striker available for Monday's 1-0 defeat to Torquay... Top scorer Kwame Thomas has ruptured an Achilles and is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Jordan Ponticelli is currently out of action with another hamstring injury and Jake Bickerstaff is on loan at Caernarfon and cannot be recalled.

    Only able to sign free agents because Wrexham is a Welsh club, Keates will take a look at two frontmen...

    Said Keates..'Two are coming in and we will see how they develop over the course of the next few days. Fortunately enough they have played in the league so there are a couple of games I can look back at... You are asking a lot for them to come in and see if they can go straight away for 90 minutes... One has been offered who is right at the end of their [sic] career and they have not done anything for a long time.

    'One ruled himself out who I reached out to. He said he wouldn't do himself justice and he wouldn't do the football club justice so you appreciate the honesty on that. One or two others have not played for a long time and last season when they were playing, were quite injury prone. On the other side, you have got 19-20 year-olds who have been released from under 23s.'"

    According to Devon Live "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson wanted to be in a position where the Gulls could take back the top spot from Sutton United when they met and a win against Weymouth at the weekend could set up exactly that chance.

    Torquay go to Sutton next Tuesday night after Weymouth visit Plainmoor on Saturday. Because Sutton were supposed to be playing Dover Athletic this coming weekend, they are now without a game and, after Torquay completed an Easter double at Wrexham on Monday, the Gulls are now just six points below the leaders, with the same amount of games played.

    To be fair, Hartlepool United could scupper Johnson’s plans to go back to the top, but Hartlepool have played three more games than Torquay...

    Torquay started the Easter weekend with a 1-0 win at home against Woking... And they finished their Easter celebrations on Monday when they won 1-0 at Wrexham...

    If it wasn’t for injuries to Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Benji Kimbioka at Wrexham, it would have been the perfect Easter for the Gulls.

    Asked if he enjoyed his Easter, Johnson said 'Yes, I enjoyed the points and I enjoyed the wins. Obviously, it was a good Easter for us'...

    Johnson said 'It has been a tough schedule with not a big squad to choose from'...

    Johnson also reported on the injuries suffered by key midfielder Lemonheigh-Evans and loan striker Kimpioka, saying the influential Lemonheigh-Evans hurt his knee in a challenge but it was an impact injury and hopefully not as bad as first feared. For Kimpioka, there will have to be checks on how bad his hamstring is after the Sunderland loanee limped off".

    In the Hartlepool Mail we learn Dave Challinor's "verdict on the National League play-off picture...

    Hartlepool United are well positioned... At this stage it is likely Pools... will be competing in the play-offs and the competition is intense.

    Pools have played 34 games and that is at least three more games than all of their play-off rivals... Challinor said 'It’s going to be interesting especially with the teams involved. All big clubs, ex-Football League teams with big fan bases... We've given ourselves a run of games where we can achieve what we want to,' added the Pools boss".

    Meanwhile, Sutton United "announce that Manager, Matt Gray, and his Assistant, Jason Goodliffe, have both signed new contract extensions at Sutton United.

    Club Chairman, Bruce Elliott, enthused 'We often remarked how taking over from Paul Doswell after eleven years of progress at this club was going to be one of the hardest jobs in Non-League football. After several years’ experience as an Assistant Manager at EFL and National League clubs, we are Matt’s first club as a 'number one' and we could not be more thrilled with the job he has done in his first two seasons in the role.

    He understands what Sutton United is all about, has an extraordinary knowledge of the game and a tremendous work ethic; his superb squad of players and his partnership with Jason and the rest of his Management team have brought results and a brand of football which we can all be very proud of. Long may it continue!'

    Matt was equally happy to commit himself to the club 'I couldn’t be happier at Sutton United. This is a special Football Club full of excellent people. It is a real pleasure working closely with Bruce, AB, Tim and every Board Director and club official, whose hard work and passion for the club is there for all to see'".



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