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21 March 2019

SATURDAY ACTION

With no Altrincham first-team game this weekend, here are a number of local options for non-League football action on Saturday...

National League North

EvoStik Premier

NEXT OPPONENTS: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

With no game this weekend, Altrincham next kick a ball in anger on Saturday 30 March, when Kidderminster Harriers visit the club.

Kidderminster Harriers report that "Goalkeeper Brandon Hall knows that solidity will be the foundation for a strong finish to the season for Harriers. The Reds sit outside the play-off places in National League North and are chasing a big finish.

With challenging trips to Brackley and Altrincham to come, the task in front of the Reds is mighty.

Hall knows that to stand any chance of succeeding, Harriers must stay solid and show more of what helped them see out recent wins against Ashton and Spennymoor.

'We want to be as high as we can towards the end of the season,' said Hall. 'We need as many points as we can from these last two games [and] need to be as solid as possible. There will be testing pitches and rain and wind will make it difficult, but we have to be solid and work from there. All we can do is get as many points as we can and see where that takes us'".

BEN MAKES HIS MARK

Witton Albion report that on Tuesday night Witton Albion drew 1-1 at home to Stafford Rangers.

"It was a valiant display by Witton Albion who were seconds away from an improbable but well deserved victory. Hit by a hosts of injuries, both before and during the game, Albion took the lead at the end of the first half through returning Ben Harrison on his second debut until a 93rd equaliser by Paul Bignot wrestled away a home win.

Above: Ben Harrison in action against FC United's Kurt Willoughby in the league game at Broadhurst Park.

Harrison came straight into the side at the heart of the Albs defence following his loan move from Altrincham this week, partnering Josh Wardle. Missing from the squad were Anthony Gardner, River Humphreys, Luke Offord, Will Booth and Chris Noone while the injury list grew bigger before kick-off when Danny McKenna was withdrawn during the warm up, leaving the hosts with only one player on the substitutes' bench.

Albion started the game brightly with [Alty youth graduate] Osebi Abadaki causing problems down the right-hand side, putting in a number of dangerous crosses into the box which were well dealt with by the Stafford Rangers defence...

A couple of minutes before the half time interval, Witton broke the deadlock from a set piece of their own. A free kick was played into the penalty area, flicked on by Will Jones and Josh Wardle’s low driven cross was side-footed home by Harrison for a goal on his return to the club...

[Manager] Carl Macauley’s injury problems worsened midway through the second half with full-back Matty Devine picking up a shoulder injury and having to be replaced by Academy player Owen Wynne to make his senior first team debut... With no more subs available, things went from bad to worse with Abadaki over-stretching to make a clearance. He stayed on but was a passenger for the remaining 20 minutes with his movement severely restricted...

Three minutes into injury time, Rangers got themselves an equaliser. The ball was pinballing around the Albion penalty area before Paul Bignot stuck his foot through the ball and slammed home from 15 yards. It was harsh on the home team who fought bravely against the odds and were on course for their third home win in a row...

Witton Albion: Hall, Lingouba, Devine (Wynne 67’), Wardle, Harrison, Smart, Abadaki, Owens, Hopley, Jones, Foley.

Stafford Rangers: Siviter, Bignot, Hill, L. Jones, Burns, Sherratt (Williams 63’), Bailey-Jones, Thorley, Charles, A. Jones (Cuff 56’), Haworth (Mills 56’). Subs not used: Thandi, Briscoe."

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The National League reports that "Jason Ainsley feels his Spennymoor Town side have to stop the rot but insists their recent form is 'just a blip'. The Moors suffered their third defeat in four games on Tuesday night, going down 2-0 to Bradford (Park Avenue).

The result puts the two sides level on points in the National League North...

'I thought they [Bradford (Park Avenue)] were worthy winners. I thought first-half we looked a threat but second-half we were devoid of ideas and we gave the ball away cheaply. We just look flat, but I think that’s a confidence thing when you haven’t won for a couple of games. Usually we’re a fit side but we look leggy at the moment and we need to snap out of that because we’ve got a big eight games coming.

'It was only four weeks ago we were talking about the title, now we need to make sure we stay in the play-off race. The table doesn’t lie, we’ve put ourselves in a good position because of the form that we showed. Every team has a blip, but we need to snap out of that.'

From the opposition side, the Telegraph & Argus claims that "Bradford (Park Avenue) strengthened their promotion credentials with a spirited away victory on a sloped pitch. Spennymoor Town's ground is well-known for its vertical challenge, but Avenue will have been just happy the game was on after being postponed twice previously.

Mark Bower said before the match he wouldn't let the slope deter Avenue and they duly delivered with a 2-0 win... The match was tense to begin... The breakthrough came in the 24th minute, and it went Avenue's way. Conor Branson managed to strike from close range after a dangerous free-kick was cleared to his feet in the box.

The game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the match, with a real tempo between the two promotion rivals.

It took until the 76th minute for the next momentous moment to occur, when Spennymoor's Scott Harrison was sent off for a professional foul on Beesley. The in-form Avenue striker made no mistake in punishing Spennymoor's lack of discipline, putting the finishing touches on a fine performance just under 10 minutes later with a goal of his own.

Avenue are now unbeaten in six and sit seven points clear of dropping out the play-off zone.

More optimistically, Bower's men are now only outside the advantageous second and third spots, which leads to an automatic place in the play-off semis, by virtue of goal difference. A win in their game-in-hand on first-placed Chorley will see Avenue creep as close as seven points off the division's current run-away leaders.

But, they still have to navigate a tough three games in quick succession, which includes a tough tie at home to AFC Telford."

According to the Coventry Telegraph "A consortium is ready to step in to try and help save Nuneaton Borough Football Club. Much to his delight, Jimmy Ginnelly, acting chairman and first team manager, said he hopes that some of the huge bills that have weighed down the troubled club should be paid off this week.

This is largely down to investors coming forward to get behind the momentum he is building at Liberty Way to drag the club out of the mire...

'We are hoping to pay the HMRC bill this week,' he said. 'This will stop the winding up order. That is a big step forward. We are also working with our other football creditors.'

Speaking about the consortium of investors, he said 'We are hoping this will see us until the end of the season and they we can put our business plans into place. I want to stress I was always confident we could do this, for a while it was a case that people didn't want to get involved with the club, now they do, they have got on board and got behind me and the club. This is the most positive I have felt since I came in. There is a feel good factor around the place now that we haven't had in a long time.'

That was encapsulated during a legends game at Liberty Way on Sunday. Former Boro legends took on a Ginnelly all-star team and it proved to be a great day for all involved. Several thousand pounds was raised...'It was a great day and I would like to thank everyone who took part as well as the fans who came along to support the legends' day' [said Ginnelly].

On the field, with just eight games to go, it is certain the team will be relegated from the Vanarama National League North. but Ginnelly says it gives them chance to re-group.

'Dale and I knew when we came in that we were on hiding to nothing for the next three months,' he said. 'But, to be fair, we have been really competitive in all of the games, we haven't been hammered plus now we have the [County] cup final, which is great for the lads and for the fans, they deserve it. Once the season is over, we will re-group and prepare for next season.'

In the meantime, a fund-raising appeal continues to head towards its £10,000 target. Fans set up a justgiving page and that smashed its £5,000 target in less than three weeks and it continues to attract donations not just from Nuneaton but further afield".

The Bucks may still be in the FA Trophy but Shrewsbury Town report on The Shrews' "thrilling 4-3 win on penalties against AFC Telford United. Town brought the Shropshire Senior Cup back to Shrewsbury after a 1-1 draw required a thrilling penalty shoot-out which ended 4-3 to Shrewsbury. Archie Elmore scored the first goal of the game in the 10th minute before Marcus Dinanga pulled one back for Telford in the 25th minute.

Town's captain James Rowland spoke... 'We had to battle throughout the game but in the end it paid off with the penalty shootout... They had some older players as well. But we battled hard and got the win in the end. We went out with a point to prove, we haven't got many wins recently, so tonight we proved everyone wrong that said we can't win'".

Meanwhile the Shropshire Star reports that "Boss Gavin Cowan says defender Dom Smith's return to the AFC Telford United fold 'has given everyone a lift'. The former Shrewsbury Town centre-half is back with the Bucks after a spell on loan at rivals Alfreton Town.

He impressed off the bench in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg at Leyton Orient on Saturday, which Telford lost 1-0, and is likely to play a part in the return leg this weekend having not been risked in the Shropshire Senior Cup final last night.

On sending Smith out on loan, and then bringing him back, Cowan said 'Dom was not playing and suffered from being suspended for the first three games of the season, and the lads have done well. We wanted to keep him fresh and send him out to get his legs going, and now he comes back match fit. Alfreton had won four games in a row and Dom has been playing ever so well.

'He is our player and he has hit seamlessly back into the side, and I don’t sign anyone if I am not going to play them. He is an unbelievable character, a real man's man that suits me down to the ground and it has given everyone a lift. There's been no sulking from him, at all. He's all about the team.'

Smith joined the Bucks at the back end of last season following his release from Shrewsbury, where he was part of the 2014/15 side which finished as runners-up in League Two."

ENGLAND "C"

The National League informs us that "Paul Fairclough said his England C side were a joy to watch as they were held by Wales C at Salford City on Tuesday night.

The hosts were pegged back twice by a stubborn Welsh side having first led through a Nathan Peate own goal and then again through a sublime Kurt Willoughby free-kick. The FC United of Manchester man was one of three National League North players on show with Ed Williams and Luke Trotman also on the field for the Three Lions.

England took the lead after Nathan Peate deflected in Trotman's driven low cross before Kayne McLaggon levelled for the away side.

Willoughby gave just over 700 fans something to remember with his free-kick from range to restore the hosts' lead.

Substitute Adam Roscow made it 2-2, hammering home past Ben Killip to set-up a nervy finish for Fairclough's men..

'I’m not unhappy about a draw', boss Fairclough told Salford City's video service. 'You’ve got a group of young lions against a group of really experienced Welsh players. I love watching the young players shift the ball about. There are players out there that brought people to the edge of the seats'".

CHESHIRE NEWS

The Hallmark Security League reports that "Former Cheadle Town Chairman Chris Davies has written a book, featuring stories of the overseas tours that the club undertook during his time at the helm.

Chris’s book, which is entitled 'The World Was My Oyster', takes a chronological look at the tours he organised, and tells some fascinating tales of the experiences along the way. Among his various travelling companions down the years was broadcaster, author and former footballer Fred Eyre, who Chris credits with giving him the idea of writing the book, when the two were sharing a tent together in a safari park in East Africa...

Chris formed the club now known as Cheadle Town under the name of Grasmere Rovers in 1961, and remained at the club continuously until 2017. During his time in charge, he arranged numerous overseas tours that were undertaken in the close season, which saw them play 96 matches in 30 different countries, including games in the Giants' Stadium in New York and the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Along the way, they met various well known names, including Alfredo di Stefano, Jairzinho, Sir Bobby Charlton, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and even Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs during a trip to Rio de Janeiro.

Chris organised every tour, and the book explains in detail the way in which a club from humble beginnings in the Burnage area of Manchester became footballing ambassadors around the globe... On one occasion in Lloret de Mar in Spain, Chris agreed that the team would play some games under the name of Manchester AFC to make the name a bit more recognisable. The team arrived to find posters all over the resort advertising a challenge match with 'Manchester United', which led to Chris having to make various threats to the local officials before the posters were replaced with the correct name...

One of the more impressive tales involves the Brazilian World Cup star of the 1970s, Jairzinho. When Cheadle Town travelled over to Rio in the 80s, Chris contacted the Brazilian FA for assistance when they arrived, and was shocked to find that they offered Jairzinho as the tour guide. The association led to Chris inviting him over to England the following year, where Jairzinho hosted a soccer school at Park Road and played in a charity game...

'The World Was My Oyster', a footballing memoir by Chris Davies, is priced at £9.99, and is available online or direct from the author by e-mailing chrisdaviesctfc@outlook.com".


20 March 2019

RESERVES' WAITING GAME

On Tuesday night, at the J.Davidson Stadium, Altrincham Reserves ended their league season with a 4-0 win against Greenalls Padgate St. Oswald's. The result left them awaiting the outcome of Pilkington FC's remaining fixtures to determine who will be the Cheshire League Premier Division champions. The second-placed side needs to win its three remaining fixtures to match Alty's points tally. If they do so, goal difference would determine the destination of the championship.

After a goalless first half against Greenalls, four Altrincham goals in a ten-minute spell in the second half settled the encounter. Reece Colley broke the deadlock in the 54th minute with Callum Dolan (right) doubling the advantage barely a minute later. Dolan made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute before Shaun Densmore completed the scoring.

As Alty await their rival's results, Pilkington's next game is away this Saturday to Greenalls Padgate St. Oswald's.

Altrincham's side tonight included four first-team squad members. Shaun Densmore, Simon Richman, Max Harrop and loanee Callum Dolan were all in a starting eleven, which also included trialist left-winger Kieran Holsgrove (18) who came through the West Bromwich youth system before joining Watford.

BEN SCORES

On loan from Altrincham, centre-back Ben Harrison looked to have secured three points for Witton Albion when he put the Cheshire side ahead on Tuesday night against Stafford Rangers. But the visitors equalised deep into added time to leave the final result 1-1.

TUESDAY GAME

Tuesday 19 March 2019

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Before Tuesday's match, the National League reports that manager "Mark Bower feels just being able to compete with opponents Spennymoor is something which should give his club pride. Bradford PA faced the Moors [on Tuesday] evening in the only game in the National League North.

Jason Ainsley’s aids[?] are third and going for the title while Avenue are well placed in fifth. Bower told the Telegraph & Argus 'They’re a really good side. They’re well backed and they’ve signed some really good players. They took our top scorer in the summer and paid a decent fee for him and he’s barely played in their team so it just shows how strong they are; not just the starting 11 but the strength that they’ve got in depth.

'Their expectation with the squad that they’ve got should be promotion, maybe ours should be slightly different to that. So for us to be up there challenging with them is something that we’re very proud of. Hopefully we can show that again when we compete with them and hopefully we can get a result.'"

We learn from the Lancashire Evening Post that "Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio now believes it is a two-horse race for the National League North title between the Magpies and Stockport County.

Spennymoor have lost two of their last three games, after a seven-game winning run propelled them into contention. But the Magpies celebrated a National League North club record 21st win of the term by beating Boston United 2-0 on Saturday to move 10 points clear of Spennymoor. They have played two games less than Vermiglio’s men with County also four points adrift with a game in hand after their FA Trophy run.

Now, as leaders Chorley prepare to host Leamington on Saturday, while Stockport host Fylde in the Trophy semi-final second leg, Vermiglio knows that should either side win all of their remaining games, they will win the league.

'I’m just as confident about winning the league as the other teams,' he said. 'Spennymoor have had a difficult run over the last three games but they will still feel like they are in contention, especially because they have to play us. But they have got to go a long way, realistically. It probably is between us and Stockport at this moment. If they win all of their games, they win the league. If we win all our games we win the league, simple as that.

'Stockport have the FA Trophy second leg at home, they have a great chance of winning that. If they do, it will be great for them and the league and probably a bit advantageous for us just in terms of the amount of minutes that they will play. At the same time it could bring confidence.'

The Magpies have picked up the most points in the division at home. And with 38 points from their previous 17 games at home Vermiglio sees 12 more from their Victory Park games, including a Stockport visit, as key to their title bid. 'There’s seven games to go,' he said. 'There’s four at home and three away and we are just looking to get maximum points from each, starting with Leamington on Saturday. It will be tough, when we played Ashton at home and lost 1-0 people had it down as an automatic three points.

'It just does not happen like that. Any team can get a goal at one moment in football. After Leamington we have Stockport, Bradford and Telford at home. They are all difficult but if we can pick up maximum points at home and scrape a few away then we will be very close. That means Stockport have to maintain their good run of form. Hopefully they will slip-up but the way that it is going I think it will go right to the wire.'

Alex Newby faces a three-match ban having been sent off at Boston United."

According to NL Daily, "Nuneaton Borough have confirmed the departure of James Baxendale, who leaves to join Mickleover Sports. The midfielder appeared for the Boro’ eight times, contributing two assists, including for the winning goal at Stourbridge last week. Baxendale joins Sports as they fight relegation from the Northern Premier League".

Nuneaton Borough also "have confirmed the departure of Aaron Birch. The midfielder appeared for the Boro' four times and departs to join former Nuneaton Assistant Manager Steve Hinks at the Yeltz [Halesowen Town]".

We learn from the Shropshire Star that "AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan has told Leyton Orient the pressure is on them as the sides do battle for a place at Wembley. Orient hold a 1-0 advantage after Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final first leg at Brisbane Road.

Now the National League leaders will make the trip to Shropshire this Saturday with more than 3,000 tickets already sold for the second leg...

'There was no fear going into it and ultimately there is no pressure on us,' said Cowan. 'The expectation is on Orient and there is nothing for us to lose. We wanted the tie to still be alive and it is. We are excited to bring them back to our place and I trust my players to perform when needed and bring things over the line'".


19 March 2019

RESERVES AT THE JDS

Tonight, (Tuesday, 19th), Altrincham FC Reserves host Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds for a Cheshire Premier Division match at the J. Davidson Stadium (7.45pm). A number of first-team squad members are expected to be involved in the game.

Pictured right, we see goalkeeper Andrew Jones as he leads the Reserves out for their last match at the JDS, a 5-3 league victory over Egerton, on 26 February.

NEXT OPPONENTS: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

The next visitors to Altrincham, on 30 March, are Kidderminster Harriers who report that "Mark Yates was pleased with how his side 'stood firm' to see out the weekend win over Spennymoor Town at Aggborough. A goal in each half ultimately settled the tie as Harriers picked up three crucial points.

But in a firm, fierce wind and a driving rain made for a tough afternoon for both teams... 'If one thing spoils football matches, it’s wind,' he commented. 'But I thought, for the supporters, it was exciting with lots of goal-mouth action from both teams. We had to play the conditions; we had to be brave and hold a good line in the second half. They were literally throwing everything forward and were desperately trying to get something out of the game.

'But we stood firm and headed everything. If we didn’t head it, we were right in there competing. That’s what it is about sometimes.'

Spennymoor felt aggrieved at the final whistle after having a goal disallowed for a foul as Glen Taylor nodded home. 'For me, it’s a clear foul on Johnno at the back stick,' added Yates. 'The referee rightly spotted [it] but I thought we stood up manfully. They’re a really good side with some really good players. We produced moments of quality to win the game and defended for our lives'".

ALTY OLD BOYS

The EvoStik League reports that "A late winner from Alex Simmons gave Gainsborough Trinity a crucial three points in the race for the play-offs. He struck the winner at Basford United to secure a 1-0 win, Trinity’s fourth straight win under the stewardship of interim boss [ex-Alty loanee] Liam King.

That win has given them a four point cushion in fifth place in the table... [Ex-Alty striker] James Walshaw had given the Seadogs a first half lead, but Celtic turned it around with two goals in the last three minutes from Scott Bakkor and Josh Solomon-Davies, a result that ultimately cost Scarborough boss Steve Kittrick his job. He was sacked on Saturday night, along with assistant Chris Bolder".

Former Alty loanee, Owen Dale, scored for Crewe Alexandra on Saturday as they thrashed Crawley Town 6-1.

BEN GOES ON LOAN

Witton Albion "have confirmed that central defender Ben Harrison [right] has rejoined the club on a month's loan from Altrincham".

NL Daily adds that "The 28-year-old defender links up with the club on a one-month deal. It returns Harrison to familiar surroundings, having made over 200 appearances for the club. He signed for Alty from Nantwich Town in May 2017".

Injuries have meant that Ben has been limited to 3(+3) appearances for Altrincham this season.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

At Hereford FC "20-year-old right-back Jak Hickman has joined The Bulls on an initial month-long loan deal from Coventry City. Head of Football Tim Harris said, 'With Jimmy Oates having returned to Exeter, and Keiran Thomas being suspended for the next two games, we clearly needed to bring in some cover in that position.

'We know Jak pretty well as he came along to training with Kyle Finn when we first looked at Finny. Myself and Marc also saw him play for Coventry U23s against Crystal Palace U23s recently and he did well in that game too. As soon as we knew we’d need some cover at right-back we made the move to bring him in and we’re delighted to have him'... Hickman will be available for Tuesday’s trip to Alfreton".

The EvoStik League confirms that "Title-chasing Atherton Collieries have been boosted by the news that winger Connor Hughes will remain at the club for the rest of the season. Hughes, 25, arrived on a short-term loan from Curzon Ashton recently and was man of the match in the recent win over Leek Town where he scored his first goal for the club.

The former Oldham man has also played for Hyde, Halifax, Worcester City, Warrington Town and Stalybridge Celtic."

Darlington report that they have "completed the loan signing of left-sided player Ben Jackson from Huddersfield Town. Ben, 18, signed for the Terriers in 2015 at Under 15 level, and has steadily progressed through the age groups. He has also been impressive for the Terriers at Under 19 level, and this season has been an ever-present for them, playing 32 matches. He can play left-back, or as a wing-back on either side.

Ben will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s home game with Chester... With our other signing, Kit Elliott, we will now have six loan players, but we can only name five on the official teamsheet".

Meanwhile, at Leamington "Brakes host a youthful Aston Villa team at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium in the Birmingham Senior Cup Semi Final on Wednesday night. The Brakes look to advance to their second final in three years...

This is the first season back in the competition for Villa, the most successful team in the competition having lifted the trophy of the oldest county cup competition and third oldest association football competition, 19 times.

Leamington come into this fixture after a 1-0 win against Southport, Colby Bishop netting the game’s only goal early on...

Brakes route to the final has consisted of winning a first round penalty shoot out away to Sutton Coldfield. In the second they hosted Lye Town and despite going down to an early goal, scored 5 to qualify for the quarter finals. West Brom travelled to the Phillips 66 for the quarter final but, despite current Brakes midfielder Sam Wilding captaining them that night, fell to a 4-1 defeat that sent Leamington into the semi final...

In the other semi final, Stourbridge hosted Nuneaton Borough and it was the National League North outfit who secured their place in the final; and with room to spare as they missed a penalty in the first half! Borough will await the winner of this tie in the final".

The Grimsby Telegraph informs us that "Max Wright has impressed while on loan at Boston United this season but he may yet still represent Grimsby Town in 2018/2019.

The 20-year-old signed a Youth loan with the Pilgrims back in September, and has since clocked up 25 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals. However, due to the terms of his agreement, and with the National League North campaign set to finish on April 27, there may yet be scope for the Youth graduate to make his EFL debut this term... The winger will return to Blundell Park on March 30, shortly before his 21st birthday as per the terms of a Youth loan... He would then be available for the final six League Two fixtures.

Grimsby Town boss Michael Jolley told Grimsby Live, 'Max has been making a really good contribution there. I know their manager is happy with him and the way he is progressing... Boston’s season finishes before ours does, so of course it’s something that we can look at in terms of perhaps getting Max involved in the last part of our season'...

Having progressed through the Academy at Blundell Park, alongside Harry Clifton, Wright signed a two-year deal with his hometown club in the summer... Wright in an interview with the Boston Standard, said 'I definitely hope (I’m being noticed), I train all week with them and Thursdays with Boston'".

ENGLAND "C" v WALES AT SALFORD

The Welsh Premier League confirms that "Wales C travel to Salford City on Tuesday 19th of March to face off against England C in the second annual fixture for Mark Jones and his squad...

Jones said 'I’m so proud of our system in Wales. Managing Wales is absolutely the highlight of my career, and to get a win against England would just cap it all off'...

'We know it is going to be a tough ask once more, their squad is full of National League players, mostly full-time professionals we’re playing against,– but we just want to put on a good show for the JD Welsh Premier League to show how much our league has improved'...

With 10 of Wales’ domestic clubs represented in the present Wales ‘C’ squad, Jones’ side showcases the best of the players who compete in the Welsh system every week, and the manager argues that the standard of the squad shows just how much the domestic game in Wales has grown'".

Also in Wales, Cheshire Live reports on former rivals of Altrincham, Bangor City, where a fans' group is considering starting a new club after the turmoil endured under the club's current ownership by the Vaughan family.

"Demoted from the Welsh Premier League at the end of last season after failing to obtain the necessary tier one licence and subsequently placed in the Huws Gray Alliance, Bangor's woes haven't abated this season and they have been faced with financial issues that has seen bills and playing staff go unpaid, the club's auditors resign and debts of around £100,000 accrue.

Owned by Vaughan Sports Management (VSM), Bangor saw former Chester City midfielder Stephen Vaughan Jnr, son of disgraced former Chester chairman Stephen Vaugnan Snr, return to the club as chairman last month".


18 March 2019

NEXT FOR THE LADIES

Second-placed Curzon Ashton FC (Tameside) Women's team host sixth-placed Altrincham FC Ladies next Sunday.

YOUTHS WIN SHOOT-OUT AT CURZON

Like the Ladies, Altrincham FC Youth were away to Curzon Ashton this weekend. In an NWYA Open Cup match on Saturday, the tie ended 1-1 before Altrinchm won the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

Curzon are the current Premier Division leaders, five points ahead of fourth-placed Altrincham who have a game in hand. On 31 March, Alty Youth are at home to AFC Fylde at Manchester Health Academy, M23 9BP

THROUGH THE YEARS: 30 MARCH

Altrincham's next scheduled game is not until Saturday, 30 March, when they entertain Kidderminster Harriers. Going back to 1991, 30 March is also the anniversary of the memorable 4-1 win by Altrincham against Barnet.

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years also reveal that it is 17 years since Altrincham's most recent match on 30 March. That game was at home to Burscough in the UniBond (Northern) Premier League, when Alty lost 0-3

Right: Alty captain Mark Sertori.

Both sides were in much need of a win after poor recent runs. Before the match Altrincham had held a meeting about the Club's parlous financial state which had underlined the threat to the existing set-up both on and off the field and indicated that there would be a substantial cut in the players' wage bill for next season. For their part, Burscough were coming to terms with a new managerial regime following the shock departure, after seven years, of manager John Davison, a former Moss Lane favourite in his playing days.

Despite lying sixth in the league table, Alty were without a win in eight games at kick off. Now they played out a lacklustre and goal-less first half against a Burscough side who were themselves without a win in six matches. But things immediately got worse after the break when an error by Ryan let in Lee Furlong for a straightforward goal, a minute after the re-start. Altrincham played their best football after this but rarely looked like levelling against a Burscough side fielding five of their Youth team. Knowles knocked in number two when a throw-in was not cleared (75 mins).

Alty were poor from then onwards and, when Coburn missed a corner ball, Mason headed home after his first effort had come back to him off the upright (89 mins). This was Alty's heaviest home league defeat for five seasons.

Rod Thornley returned to the side after masseur-duty for England in midweek, joining a squad which had been beaten by Hyde in midweek. Gareth Strange, on loan from Accrington, replaced Lee Poland in the starting line-up and Keith Mairs's place on the bench went to Vernum Rowland, who was celebrating his 17th birthday.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Neil RYAN, 3. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Mark SERTORI (capt.), 6. Steve HAWES, 7. Kevin HULME, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Dave SWANICK, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Gareth STRANGE. Subs: 12. Lee POLAND, 14. Marc WHITEMAN, 15. Vernum ROWLAND.

NEXT OPPONENTS: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

Kidderminster Harriers visit Altrincham on 30 March. Last Saturday, Kidderminster Harriers produced a "Report from Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Spennymoor Town.

Harriers netted a goal in each half to see off the challenge of title-chasing Spennymoor Town at Aggborough. The Reds were ahead at half time thanks to Ashley Chambers' 12th goal of the season. Spennymoor equalised four minutes after the restart through Glen Taylor, only for Chambers to immediately net again with what would turn out to be the winner.

The visitors rallied late but couldn't find a way past the home rearguard, Rob Ramshaw shown a red card after the final whistle after protests from a disallowed goal for the Moors boiled over. The game was played in challenging conditions throughout, with a fierce wind later joined by driving rain...

After a quarter-hour, McAlinden showed quick feet to play in Daniels who directed a shot off target, the same provider giving Chambers the ammunition for the first goal of the day on 21 minutes, a perfect pass for the striker to ease past Gould and into the net...

After the break... it would be the visitors celebrating soon after. Flowers had inadvertently forced Hall into a save as an attempted clearing header found the target, the hosts switching off on the re-worked cross that Taylor was left unmarked to nod home. If the start to half had infuriated Mark Yates, the Harriers boss was mightily cheered by the response; just 12 seconds between the kick-off and the second home goal [with] Chambers tidying away another McAlinden cross to leave Town shocked...

Spennymoor, with the wind in their favour, kept Harriers alert defensively... It wasn't totally one-way traffic. Harriers did go close... Spennymoor had thought they'd equalised as we went into four minutes of added time, but Taylor's header was chalked off for a foul, the marksman adjudged to have fouled Johnson as he climbed to meet a cross.

The referee's whistle brought the game to an end, but perceived injustice at that late call remained within the visitors who remonstrated a little too forcefully; Ramshaw given a straight red for his part in the aftermath".

From the other side, Spennymoor Town added that "Moors were denied a clear goal as the game entered injury time when Taylor was adjudged to have climbed on the back of Ryan Johnson before heading past Brandon Hall. Rob Ramshaw was shown a red card after the final whistle as Moors lost ground on Chorley after their victory at Boston United.

Twelve days after a 1-1 draw against Southport Jason Ainsley made one change, bringing in Shaun Tuton for the injured Andrew Johnson... Moors, who were playing against the swirling wind in the first half, posed a much greater threat in a frantic and action packed second half".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Chorley FC "confirm match arrangements for the fixture against Stockport County on Saturday, April 20 at Victory Park. Following discussions with local authorities, Chorley Council and our visitors, the game will be all-ticket and kick off two hours earlier than originally advertised at 1pm. The decision has been taken following confirmation of anticipated travelling numbers from Stockport and consultation with Lancashire Police...

The maximum allocation for away supporters at Victory Park is 1,260 and County fans are advised to purchase their tickets in advance from Edgeley Park before travelling... For non-season ticket holders, due to the increased costs of staging the fixture, ticket prices have risen slightly to Adults: £15 (seated)/£13 (standing)".

The Lancashire Evening Post adds that on Saturday, "Chorley forged four points clear at the top of National North with a fully committed performance in very testing conditions. While the exchanges were often very scrappy at the windswept Jakeman’s Stadium, there were moments of high drama as both teams played the second half with 10 men.

The Magpies were full value for their victory, readily containing the spasmodic threat of a Boston side strangely short on the battling spirit the situation demanded. One up at the break, Chorley could even afford a penalty miss before sealing victory with a fine goal 12 minutes from time... The Magpies went ahead with a smartly-constructed goal in the 34th minute. Elliot Newby slipped a delightful ball through for Marcus Carver to run on to, calmly round keeper George Willis and angle his shot into the empty net.

The match erupted on the stroke of half-time. Boston centre-back Ben Middleton conceded a penalty for a foul on Carver but Willis saved Adam Blakeman’s spot-kick. A melee promptly developed and Alex Newby was sent off after tangling with Middleton. The Boston player was also dismissed, receiving a second yellow card within 30 seconds of his first for the penalty incident.

Chorley managed the second half playing against the wind with commendable composure, Matt Urwin in goal having relatively little to do. The Magpies’ second goal formally wrapped up proceedings. This time the roles of Carver and Newby were reversed, the former playing in the latter who slid a measured finish into the corner of the net, giving Willis no chance.

'We were very solid, very resolute today and in fact I thought we should have put the game to bed by half-time,' said Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio".

According to the Boston Standard "Ben Middleton’s red card will speed up Boston United’s defensive recruitment. Manager Craig Elliott says the Pilgrims have been in discussions with ‘a couple’ of centre backs in recent weeks...

Middleton’s second red of the season means he will miss the next two matches... 'I was in talks with a couple of centre backs already because that’s an area we needed to improve,' he told The Standard. 'One of them’s for a permanent move, with a view to next year as well. Somebody we want to bring in. We’ll see what happens but we’ll escalate that now. We were a defender short and we need to get him in as soon as possible.'

Elliott was frustrated to again lose Middleton, whose campaign has been plagued by injury.

'It’s disappointing for Ben. he’s had a scratchy season and I feel sorry for him,' Elliott added.... 'He’s a good player, one of my key signings this summer and we’ve not had him for long periods. We’ll miss him again now. He’s one of the few aggressive, experienced players we’ve got.'

If no deal is done before Saturday, United look set to bring Spencer Harris back in to partner Ryan Qualter, who the manager believes needs to work with a regular partner. 'Ryan’s been flogged a bit,' Elliott added. 'He’s been the mainstay. He’s not missed training, he’s not missed many minutes... He’s sometimes keeping us together. Ideally he could do with a long term partner.'”

The National League adds that "Craig Elliott accepts Boston United aren’t quite up to the play-offs, but he’s determined to eventually take them there... Defeat at home to Chorley means they have a six point gap to now make up...

'I’m fed up. I think one thing it has done is put a nail in it, we’re not good enough for the play-offs,' Elliott said. 'I’m sick of saying it at home. I think we have played well. I don’t think we’ve been bad. We’ve just not had enough. We’re a classic mid-table team. We’ve been fantastic away from home and I just think at home we go missing. I expect more from them and I think we go hiding a bit. It’s happened too many times at home. We lack leaders and I need to sort that. I need the right players in. I’ll go get them.

'I’ve learned a lot this year. We’ve got too many flimsy players, similar personalities where they just accept things around them.'"

Also, from the Boston Standard comes news that "Ashley Jackson is expected to return to training with Boston United this week. The left back has been a mainstay for the majority of the season, starting 35 games since his summer move. With the exception of the final few minutes against Nuneaton, where he was sent off, and the ensuing three games where he was suspended, Jackson had featured in every minute for the Pilgrims this season.

But illness led to him being sidelined this week, with Chesterfield loanee George Smith replacing him in the 2-0 defeat to Chorley; Boston having lost every game Jackson hasn’t started this season.

'He’s got seven days of medication so I’m hoping, Thursday, he’ll be back training and okay,' Elliott said of Jackson. 'There was no need to risk him. He’s had a bit of pneumonia and problems with his lungs so hopefully he’s okay. I’m harsh as a manager. If it’s a bad ankle or hamstring strain I’d throw him in there. But something like that you ned to be careful. The lad wanted to play but you’ve got to be careful.'"

The Yorkshire Evening Post informs us that "Guiseley co-manager Marcus Bignot insists that he remains very confident that the Lions will stave off the National League North drop and avoid a second successive relegation.

It has been another testing campaign for the Lions, afforded kudos by way of some FA Cup highs, but some sobering reality at league level. Guiseley’s current plight is by no means as thankless and desperate as events last season when their relegation from the National League had a strong air of inevitability about it for much of 2017-18...

As it stands, the fourth-from-bottom Lions are winless in 12 matches since New Year’s Day and have not picked up three points on home soil since October 13. They do have a three-point buffer and a game in hand over the two sides just above them in FC United of Manchester and Ashton United, who they welcome in a potential pivotal ‘six-pointer’ on April 13. And Bignot remains confident... 'We have no doubt about this group; they are all in it together. Whether it is the starting 11 on the pitch or in the stands. We have all got our common cause and the motivation is to make sure that we are a National League North club at the end of the season. I have no doubt that we will manage to do that. The boys are giving everything but the results have not gone the way we wanted of late.'

A quick turnaround sees Guiseley face Curzon, their last opponents, for the second time in under a fortnight. Despite a narrow 1-0 defeat across the Pennines, Bignot was delighted with the performance levels of the Lions and is seeking a replication on home soil tomorrow".


17 March 2019

NEXT OPPONENTS: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

Kidderminster are Altrincham's next opponents, on 30 March. News from their match on Saturday comes from the Worcester News which says that "Harriers picked up a major win in their quest to crash into the National League North play-offs, a 2-1 victory over Spennymoor Town.

Boss Mark Yates made a bold call before the game in dropping skipper Fraser Horsfall in handing a start and debut to new arrival, Harry Flowers, who'd joined from Solihull Moors the day before. Also back in the starting line-up was Milan Butterfield, who was favoured over Russ Penn.

The home side began well with Ironside, Chambers and McAlinden all seeing sight of the Spennymoor goal, before the opener arrived on 21 minutes; Harriers with a fine move that belied the blustery conditions, McAlinden driving at the Moors defence before playing in Chambers who slotted home...

Early goals in the second half of matches has [sic] proved to be a regular occurrence for Harriers this season and there was another here, just four minutes having elapsed after the break when Spennymoor pulled level. Hall had pulled off a save to keep out an effort from one of his own players – no one watching Taylor on the follow-up as he nodded in a recycled cross at the far post.

Harriers weren’t deflated, though, and they quickly re-established their lead. McAlinden was, yet again, the provider as his ball was taken down by Chambers and planted beyond Gould for 2-1...

Spennymoor had thought they’d equalised in injury time, but Taylor’s header was ruled out after the referee spotted a foul on a Harriers defender, the relief soon joined by the final whistle".

Their line up comprised Hall, Austin (Horsfall 78), Taylor, Butterfield (Penn 90), Flowers, Johnson, McAlinden, Daniels, Ironside (Thomas 78), Chambers, Williams. Subs not used: Palmer, Richards.

NEXT SATURDAY'S FIXTURES

Saturday 23 March 2019

SATURDAY GATES

Vanarama National League North

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

York Press reports that "York City boss Steve Watson believes his team’s postponed National League North clash at FC United of Manchester should have gone ahead.

The Broadhurst Park playing surface passed two inspections at 10.15am and 1pm, but referee Amy Fearn deemed it 'unsafe' an hour before kick-off as a dropped ball failed to bounce in several areas of the pitch and also stopp[ed] sharply when kicked along the ground.

But Watson argued that the ground would have improved with players running on it and declared that he had played Premier League games in worse conditions. 'Both managers wanted the game to be played and, personally, I didn’t think it was that bad,' the City boss claimed. 'But the referee didn’t ask for our opinion; she just explained the reasons and we wouldn’t have been able to change her mind.

'I’ve played in conditions that have been a lot worse, but it boils down to opinions and the only one that matters is the referee’s and you have to respect it. She deemed it unsafe, but there is danger in any game with the ball stopping and somebody getting hurt; that’s the sport.

'I know the rain was relentless and non-stop for three hours but, once the players are on the pitch, the stud marks can help drain the water as well.'

Watson went on to argue that he was disappointed that an earlier decision could not have made to spare City’s supporters making the journey across the M62. Nearby National League North contests at Altrincham and Guiseley were both postponed before 10am, as were fixtures at FC United’s League Two neighbours Bury and Oldham...

Watson admitted, 'It was the worst-case scenario to get everybody here and have the fans standing out in the rain waiting to hear if it was on. They might have got half-priced pies (an away kiosk was actually handing out free burgers following the announcement), but everyone travelled and prepared for the game only for it to be called off an hour before kick-off.

'It’s not really a problem schedule wise for us, because we have no other midweek games, but I feel for the supporters. I don’t think it was right to take it up until an hour before the game when everybody had got here. Probably the best time to call it off would have been at 10.30am.'

A first inspection, arranged for 9.30am, was delayed by 45 minutes when a locally-based Football League referee was stuck in traffic. Matchday official Fearn conducted the next two and, defending her eventual call and the decision to stage three separate inspections, she said, 'The ball was not bouncing in significant areas and that would have compromised player safety...

'When I arrived at 12, the ball was bouncing fine, but the playing surface just deteriorated in the hour between 1pm and 2pm.'”

According to the Boston Standard "Boston United’s outside chances of making the National League North play-offs took a hammerblow as they were beaten 2-0 by league leaders Chorley.

In a game of two red cards and a penalty save, the Magpies moved four points clear of Stockport as they took their chances and the Pilgrims failed to really create any, ending the game without a shot on target to trouble Matt Urwin.

The first half ended in controversial fashion with Alex Newby and Ben Middleton both receiving straight reds for their part in a tussle following George Willis’s penalty save.

Middleton, already booked for dissent, made a thunderous clearing tackle but some afters with the Magpies man saw him pick up his second yellow. Newby handed a straight red for kicking out at the United defender.

Willis guessed right to push away Adam Blakeman’s spot kick after Middleton had upended Carver in the box, Chorley awarded a penalty at the second time of asking after a cross has slapped against the arm of Jonathan Wafula.

Prior to that all-action end, the first half had been relatively even in the blustery conditions, Carver’s 33rd-minute goal the difference.

Having latched onto Elliot Newby’s through ball he rounded Willis and, from the tightest of angles, squeezed his strike between the post and the backtracking Ryan Qualter...

The second half struggled to get going with Chorley protecting their lead and Boston huffing and puffing but failing to break down a resolute defence...

It had been a quiet half for the United keeper until Elliot Newby doubled the advantage in the 78th-minute, slotting home with a cool finish from a tight angle. There was time for United to give a debut to striker Tom Clare, the 46th player to feature for Boston this season".

BUILDBASE FA TROPHY

The Shropshire Star tells us that "Gavin Cowan insisted his AFC Telford United players have completed part one of their mission after a narrow defeat to non-league big boys Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy.

Macauley Bonne's second half close range finish was all that separated the sides in a tight affair in swirling east London wind at Brisbane Road.

Both sides had chances, and Orient could have taken the game away from Telford had their finishing been more on point.

But equally the Bucks had chances of their own...

Cowan... said, 'It was disappointing to concede in the manner we did, but the lads showed courage and defended resolutely. Ultimately it is mission accomplished as phase one was to stay in the tie.

'The lads enjoyed the pressure but I think they need to trust themselves more in the mid phase and shorten their game. They need to have more courage on the ball as we tried to go too early too often. There was just some more composure needed.

'We have come to a magnificent club and I thought the lads approached it really professionally... Today the message was a lead or stay in the tie. We are in the tie so we have achieved that. We can take them back to our place now and put them under pressure and get our fans to help us bring it home.

'I can't imagine they will be reserved coming to us, we will be going all guns blazing'".

In the other tie, the Blackpool Gazette says that "AFC Fylde rued late missed chances as they drew 0-0 with Stockport County in the first leg of their FA Trophy semi-final at Mill Farm. The first half wasn’t a brilliant one for the Coasters, as the visitors started brightly and without fear.

The explosive pace of Darren Stephenson was on show within the opening exchanges... The weather made for a heavy pitch and a game where both sides struggled for fluency but it was Stockport who made the most of it and found joy down the right-hand side through Adam Thomas and Sam Minihan...

The second half continued in much the same fashion with the rain beginning to lash down ferociously... The Hatters continued to ask questions as Jordan Keane found himself played through on goal, only to blaze over. Twenty minutes from time, Nyal Bell raced through on goal and found himself one-on-one with Lynch but rushed his effort and the keeper held firm.

At the other end, Danny Rowe, who had been limited throughout the game, sent a speculative shot wide from 30 yards, which summed up a tough afternoon for him. The idea that Fylde could yet win the game seemed unlikely until the arrivals of Alex Reid and Danny Philliskirk...

Matty Warburton’s introduction gave life to the County frontline as he fired an effort at Lynch from distance, but it was again kept out...

All will be settled at Edgeley Park next weekend."


16 March 2019

MATCH POSTPONED

Today's match at home to Brackley Town has been postponed, following a pitch inspection. It has poured with rain overnight and it is forecast to continue to do so till at least this evening.

ALL QUIET THEN ALL ACTION

As a result of today's postponement, Altrincham will have endured a three-week spell without a game before their next fixture, if nothing is rearranged in the interim. Alty last played on 9 March at York and the next scheduled match is on 30 March, at home to Kidderminster Harriers. Saturday, 23 March is already blank for Altrincham, owing to the planned opponents, AFC Telford United, being involved in the FA Trophy semi-final second leg on that date.

Including the postponed match against Brackley Town, Alty will now face eight league matches in 28 days to the end of the normal season or 11 matches in 43 days should they reach the play-off final!

SATURDAY'S FIXTURES

Saturday 16 March 2019

Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Finals, First Leg

END OF SEASON AWARDS

Altrincham FC has announced that the annual End of Season Awards event will be held on Saturday, April 27th at around 7pm. For further details, please follow the above link.

LOCAL NEWS

The EvoSTik League announces that "The 2019 Integro League Cup final between Farsley Celtic and Trafford will be played at Broadhurst Park, home of FC United. It will take place on Tuesday April 16, 7.45pm kick-off.

There will be no extra time played and penalties will decide the winner in the event of the scores being level after 90 minutes. Premier Division side Farsley Celtic have won the competition once before, and beat Belper Town 3-1 on Tuesday night to book their place in the final. It's the first time in the final for Trafford, who caused an upset in beating Buxton 1-0 in the last four."

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Kidderminster Harriers announce that "Mark Yates has landed a double addition to his Harriers squad with the capture of a striker and defender on loan. The boss has raided former club Solihull Moors for towering defender Harry Flowers and forward Kwame Thomas. The pair have signed on loan at Aggborough until the end of the current season.

22-year-old Flowers has plenty of non-league experience; he was snapped up by Burnley while playing for Brocton... Guiseley paid a fee for Flowers’ services after a successful loan spell there, before moving to Solihull...

Thomas, meanwhile, is another big arrival at 6ft 2, a 23-year-old who is a former England U20 international. Thomas came through the ranks at Derby County and has EFL experience [at] Notts County, Blackpool and Coventry City. He joined Sutton United on loan before a similar spell with Moors was made permanent in 2018".

In the Telegraph & Argus we read that "Bradford (Park Avenue) are hoping new signing Lewis Rathbone can follow in the footsteps of team-mates Lewis Knight and Conor Branson. Midfielder Rathbone joined the club last week and is the latest addition to have come through the American University system.

Branson, who has recently signed a contract extension at Horsfall, and Knight, who penned a deal until 2020 in November after joining from Marshall University in the States, have both impressed. Now Avenue hope Rathbone, who hails from Manchester and was a member of the Manchester City Academy as a youngster, can make a similar impact.

Rathbone, who is training with the squad while awaiting his international clearance from the FA, enjoyed a successful scholar period with Concordia University of Nebraska where he captained the university's squad and was named a Scholar All American in 2017.

In 2018 supporters of The Nebraska Bugeaters, who compete in the United Premier League, voted Rathbone the club's most valuable player. Bugeaters chairman Jonathan Collura, who is a director at Avenue, said 'I am excited to see Lewis join Bradford. His commitment and competitive attitude last season was evident both on and off of the pitch'.

Avenue CEO Damian Irvine added 'Bradford have signed three ex-pats out of the US university system this season. We are finding that there is a lot of quality talent that is available and we are well placed to build on this as a conduit back to the English game'".

And Bradford (Park Avenue) add that "Rathbone follows the US University pathway to Horsfall that Conor Branson and also Lewis Knight have so successfully taken. In August of 2018 Knight was signed after a successful trial period having completed his studies at Marshall University in the States and committed his future to The Club in November by penning an extension until 2020".

Meanwhile, the Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Mark Bower says winning the Bradford Sports Awards 'Club of the Year' is testament to his side's penchant for overachieving...

Bower said 'It's really nice to be recognised. It's nice for everyone at the club, not just on the pitch, but off it. It's a team effort to ensure that we're in a position to compete and do well. We've not had a bad start to this year either I guess now, looking at it'...

Avenue were tipped for relegation from the National League North for the previous two seasons, but Bower steered them towards a surprise play-off semi-final last year... On why he thinks they received the award he said 'I guess punching above your weight and overachieving out on the pitch, which was something that was contributed to by everybody, not just the players and staff'...

Bower added...'It's nice to be recognised in such a great city where there's so many talented sports clubs and people doing such good work'...

Avenue came away from strugglers Ashton United with a pleasing 2-0 win, solidifying their play-off berth and putting them on a run of five games without defeat. Bower said, 'We adapted well to the conditions. I think we looked fit. It was really windy, the pitch was horrendous, it was like a gluepot pitch and players could hardly keep their footing and struggled to kick a ball properly it was that bad. We've just started to get a little bit more of what we deserved from the performances that we've put in.

'I kept saying it, you keep your level of performance, there's always going to be ups and downs along the way but, over an extended period of time, the points will follow and that's what's happened over the last few weeks'... [BPA are] not playing this coming Saturday. Bower said 'It's a little bit strange not playing on Saturday at this time of year really, but that's football and we've rearranged the Spennymoor one for the Tuesday, so it's not a massive gap we've had without any games'".

At Guiseley, The Lions "are delighted to announce that Josh Langley’s loan has been extended again. The 26 year-old centre back has signed a loan agreement until the end of season from Southport. Langley has played in six games so far". Josh did not appear in any Altrincham games during his loan spell at Moss Lane.

An Alty "old boy" has again left the National League North as Matlock Town confirm that the club's "striking options have been increased by the return of Jonny Margetts for a second loan spell from Boston United and the acquisition of winger Nathan Morley from Burton Albion.

Margetts (25) returned to the Pilgrims after Matlock’s last fixture, the home win over North Ferriby United a fortnight ago, when his 28th minute header secured the points. In his first month on loan, Margetts netted four times in five appearances. Matlock boss Dave Frecklington is delighted... 'Jonny was great for us in his first loan spell, four goals in five games is a great return, he’s a natural goalscorer and a real fox in the box. He came to us, got his goals and we won a couple of games. When he went back to Boston we said to him that if things didn’t work out, you know where we are and we’re absolutely delighted that he’s back with us for the rest of the season.'

Margetts had earlier in the season had a loan spell at Gainsborough Trinity... After going back to Boston from Matlock, he made a brief substitutes appearance for the Pilgrims in their home defeat to Stockport County but did not feature in their win at Southport last weekend and Boston have since brought in another forward, Sam Clare on loan from Bradford City. In his initial loan spell at Matlock he was named by fans as their player of the month for February".

And Chesterfield confirm that "George Smith has joined Boston United on loan until the end of the season. The 22-year-old made two appearances for the Spireites at the beginning of the campaign before heading to Dover Athletic on loan. Smith made seven appearances during his spell at The Whites and the left-back will now head to Boston for the remainder of the season."

The Boston Standard reports that "Craig Elliott believes the pressure is firmly on Chorley as the title-chasers prepare to arrive at the Jakemans Stadium...

'They’re a good team, but obviously they’ve had a little wobble of late and I think there’s a pressure on them now,' the manager said. 'They know they can’t have any errors now and we can play into that really. They’re going for the league title and they’ve got a lot to lose. We’re at home and we’ve got to go for it again.'

Chorley have picked up seven points from their past three fixtures, but lost three of their four contests prior to that. The Pilgrims will be looking to build on Saturday’s win at Southport... Elliott believes Chorley arrive in Lincolnshire at a time when Boston are able to boast a squad depth they have lacked at times this campaign...

He added... 'We’ve got strength now. Young Max (Wright) and Nicky (Walker) are outstanding players and probably our best attacking threats, so it’s hard to put them on the bench. But they’re a good Plan B and we’ve not had that all season. We’ve had a good Plan A and when people have defended well against that I’ve looked to the bench and there’s not been anything there.'”

Coventry City announce that their "defender Jak Hickman has joined Hereford FC on loan. The full-back has agreed a one-month loan deal at Edgar Street, expiring on 13th April 2019. Hickman made his first appearance for the Sky Blues in the Checkatrade Trophy against Forest Green earlier this season, also appearing from the bench in the away game at Cheltenham in the same competition."

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford's goalkeeper Josef Bursik has been called up for the U19 England squad for a trio of U19 Championship Elite Round matches later this month.

Bursik, who is currently on loan from Stoke City, has been performing well for Bucks... The 18 year old stopper will link up with Keith Downing's squad next week...

Unfortunately for Gavin Cowan's men, Bursik is cup-tied for the away clash at Leyton Orient tomorrow afternoon in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg. Meanwhile, ex Shrewsbury defender Dom Smith is available for tomorrow's match, following his recall from Alfreton Town earlier this week."

ANOTHER OLD FOE BITES THE DUST

The number of former opponents of Altrincham FC who have gone bust is a lengthy one and now there is a further addition as we read in the Hull Daily Mail that Humberside club "North Ferriby United has thanked its "friendliest fans in the league" after the club was liquidated. The club was placed in indefinite exile on Friday over unpaid debts of less than £8,000 to a company which had turfed and provided drainage to its pitch at The Chadwick Stadium in the 2016/17 season.

Hull County Court heard the semi-pro club, who play in the Northern Premier League, said they could only pay a proportion of the outstanding £7,645.25 to Chappelow Sports Turf Limited.

A judge ordered the club had to be wound up over the lack of payment...

Above, Alty take to the field at North Ferriby in 2013.

A club statement said 'Our biggest thank you's are to the supporters who have helped to make this club, arguably, the friendliest in non-league'...

Speaking prior to the hearing at Hull County Court, North Ferriby chairman Carl Chadwick said... 'When I took on the club I was under the impression it was debt free and we just had to survive from sales. The debt has come from before I came to the club and we managed to stay afloat with sponsorship and season ticket sales until five weeks ago when that money ran out. The club simply cannot pay it and we will ask today if we can pay it in installments but if not then it will look like we will be liquidated.'

Mr Chadwick said he had managed to lower the wage bill for a semi-pro team from £8,000-a-week to £1,200-a-week 'by using local lads'.

On this subject, Gainsborough Trinity South Shields are the biggest beneficiaries having had their 0-3 away embarrassment expunged from the history books. Thus they leapfrog Warrington who have lost 6 points and nine goals from the goal difference.

Nantwich were the only top 5 side not to have played Ferriby twice and will now miss out on a home banker by their standards. Buxton leapfrog Scarborough having drawn at home but again they will miss out on another potential three point opportunity at the business end of the season.

Scarborough lose 6 points but remain five points above Hyde, the biggest gainers. United jump two places to eighth but now have no game on the final day...

The North Ferriby United Youth Development, which is a separate company, will continue despite the main club's winding up order" It stated, "The youth section is not affiliated with the club and [they] are separate limited companies. Until a new owner arrives or a club is formed we shall hold the fort and carry on."

The first team "were 19 points adrift at the bottom of the table with only two wins all season... North Ferriby played in the National League as recently as 2016-17. In 2015, they beat Wrexham 5-4 on penalties in the FA Trophy final at Wembley after the game finished 3-3 after extra time".



Click here for EARLIER NEWS


Alty Files Website Index

The following pages, which initially replicate those pages with the same web addresses which formed part of the official Club website, will be re-branded from 2018 as part of this new unofficial Alty Files site.

A/Z Site Index to The Alty Files at www.altrinchamfc.co.uk