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CURRENT NEWS IN FULL


23 April 2014

NEXT OPPONENTS LOOK FOR A GOOD RESULT

News of Altrincham's next opponents comes from the Cambridge News, to the effect that manager "Brian Page admits he is in the dark over what comes next after Histon’s relegation from Skrill North was confirmed... It was another campaign in which circumstances conspired against the club, with the recent financial crisis seeing 10 players leave and boss Page have to field a side made up of those who decided to stay, loan signings and scholars.

Although those off-the-field problems now appear to have been sorted, Page is still none the wiser about where they go from here and is seeking clarification sooner rather than later to enable planning for next season to go ahead.

'I honestly don’t know where we go from here', said Page. 'I was made assurances that, once certain issues were sorted out, we would be able to move on. As far as I know they have been sorted but I still don’t know what is happening. I’ve been told there is a shareholders meeting on May 22, but that’s another month away and by then any (transfer) targets I want to go in for will have probably been snapped up by other clubs.

I need to know things like whether they want me to stay on and whether I can progress the scholarship in the way I want to. At the moment I’m having to wait, but how long can a person wait before it doesn’t become worth it?'.

Page also revealed the side had not trained for the past eight weeks, due to not being able to afford venue hire costs, and believes they could have stayed up had it not been for the latest money problems.

'We were five points and two places above the relegation zone, and had some winnable games coming up', said Page. 'I was made certain assurances at the start of the season, but those assurances disappeared eight weeks ago and it’s frustrating. But the loan signings, the players who have stayed and the lads who stepped up have been brilliant and I’m proud to be their manager'.

Had Histon managed to get a win at Gainsborough, they would have taken the fight for survival to the last game at home to Altrincham this Saturday,... Said Page, 'It’s the same story as it has been all season. They’ve punished us and we haven’t punished them. We’ve got one game to go, we started the season with a good result and we’ll look to at least finish it with one'".

Details of the supporters' travel arrangements to Histon are here.

THANK YOU

Monday's "Bucket Collection" at the game against Vauxhall Motors raised £165.72 for the Community Sports Hall project, for which the Club thanks all donors and collectors, alike.

£4,200 JACKPOT

The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee winning code last week was 4580. WIth that code, unissued, the jackpot rises to £4,200. However, three members won £50 each for winning trebles.

MONDAY'S GAME

Above: Mike Ripley's fine image captures a flying Shaun Densmore as his header just misses the target on Monday against Vauxhall Motors. For more of Mike's images, visit his website.

Vauxhall Motors report that "Altrincham guaranteed themselves a play-off position after they beat Vauxhalls 5-1 at Moss Lane... Motors started brightly with several chances in the first ten minutes. Tames escaped from his defender on the right-hand-side and fired the ball across the six yard box. The cross only needed a touch and it would have gone in.

Shortly afterwards, the Robins' defence gave Lloyd Ellams too much space as he skipped past two defenders only to see his shot tipped round the post from outside the area.

The match could have had a completely different outcome had Motors' scored one of those early chances. However, it was Altrincham who opened the scoring against the run of play... Tames's consolation goal came in the final minutes. The striker picked the ball up on the corner of the box, turned and fired the ball towards the substitute goalkeeper, Russell Saunders. The ball bounced right in-front of him and went straight through his hands."

OLD BOY

According to NL Pitchero, "Tony Sullivan is looking for a new challenge after leaving his role as manager of Cammell Laird, who have resigned from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North, following Easter Monday's final game. Sullivan said, 'I leave with a heavy heart, but understand why the club had taken the decision to reform at a lower level and wish them the best of luck for the future'.

Chairman Frank Games was full of praise for Sullivan. 'I know how hard Tony has worked for this club during my time as chairman and he is an ambitious guy who is more than capable of continuing his managerial career at this level or higher, and all the Lairds family wish him well'. Sullivan took Lairds to league runners-up last season and also won three manager of the month awards, whilst this season he achieved a mid-table finish, despite limited resources".

LADIES' WIN

Above: Alty Ladies scored a 1-0 win over AFC Stockport Ladies on Sunday at the J. Davidson Stadium. Here Mike Ripley captures the competitiveness of the match.

BARRY'S ARTICLE

Barry Pikesley's article from Monday's "Robins Review" is here.

SKRILL NORTH NEWS

Workington say that Workington "Reds' manager Ian McDonald has informed the club that he will step down after Saturday’s game at Stalybridge Celtic. He had a lengthy chat with Chairman Glenn Heathcote after Monday’s game against Guiseley, with his decision announced shortly after on BBC Radio Cumbria in an interview with John Walsh.

Ian, who succeeded Darren Edmondson as boss in December, made his mind up after the recent home game v. Worcester City, opting to resign as team manager... In charge for twenty three Conference North games, Ian inherited problems on and off the pitch and was unable to prevent the slide towards the Evo-Stik League... He has guided the team to three wins and six draws, to date, but has been hampered by the unavailability of players on a regular basis".

The site adds that "Ian McDonald’s imminent departure overshadowed a stirring performance from relegated Reds" in securing a draw against Guiseley. "They came so close to obtaining a shock victory... Joe Jackson, had withdrawn from the game through illness and his absence presented Jonny Murray with an unexpected place in the line up. The seventeen year old had a debut to be proud of causing numerous problems to Guiseley’s established back four... He came within inches of scoring a last minute winner when a goal-bound shot span away and shaved the outside of the post. Had that gone in, Guiseley could not have complained at the outcome after experiencing an uncomfortable afternoon on a ground where they usually excel...

A dignified McDonald said, 'I apologised to the Chairman for taking the club down'”.

In the local News & Star reminds us that "When McDonald replaced Darren Edmondson in December, he said, 'I am aiming to make it impossible for the board not to offer me another contract'. That hasn’t happened as he has only managed a 12.5 per cent win rate, with Workington losing 15 times, and failing to score in 10.

McDonald, who played for Reds in the 1970s, has led Workington to just three victories from his 24 games in charge. His recent comments regarding players’ loyalty and insisting Workington’s squad lacked quality has led to rifts within the dressing room. His lowest point was the 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Altrincham earlier this month, equalling a 19-year low. And many supporters are pleased he will be replaced when his short-term deal expires...

Heathcote said, 'We need to tap into the Cumbrian talent, and whoever takes over will ideally have good knowledge and experience of the Northern Premier League'... Director Keith Nelson, who played a big role in McDonald coming to the club, has also stood down... but would not say why he has quit".

We read in the Hull Daily Mail that "North Ferriby United boss Billy Heath admitted his side's 2-0 defeat at Boston United was 'disappointing'... They now sit second in the Conference North table and one point behind the leaders...

Heath isn't giving up on his side's promotion hopes just yet, even if it means doing it the hard way through the top-five play-offs. 'It was a massively disappointing result', he said. 'Up to Boston's second goal it always looked likely that we would get a point. However, we will re-group and go in to the game against Brackley knowing that a win will guarantee either the title or second place'...

Boston took the lead after 70 minutes when Junior Konadu's low cross caused confusion in the six-yard box before the ball fell to McGhee, who hammered home. Nine minutes later, things got worse for Ferriby as the referee brushed aside Boston's pleas for a penalty after a clash between Hone and Miller. With the ball still in play, Hone bent down to remonstrate with Miller and pushed him down as the striker attempted to get up. The referee was left with no choice but to award a penalty and send off Hone for violent conduct. Miller sent Nicklin the wrong way with the penalty".

From the other side, the Boston Standard adds that ex-Alty loanee defender "Carl Piergianni believes that the Skrill North’s promotion hopefuls are praying that Boston United don’t force their way in to the play-off spots, because they’re scared to face the Pilgrims...

The result gives Boston, who stretched their unbeaten run to a fantastic nine matches, an outside chance of squeezing into the top five at the expense of Guiseley...

'We can do nothing but win our game', admitted defender Piergianni, after helping his side to another clean sheet... 'It’s a tough ask for Guiseley to slip up but, if we get into the play-offs, then teams will be worrried. We’re nine unbeaten and nobody will want to play us... That was one of the most memorable games of my career so far... The crowd, I could hear them all game, and they literally spurred us on. They’ve made this place a fortress'".

As regards the league leaders, the Shropshire Star says that "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson vowed his players won’t blow it after their fate in the title race was again placed in their own hands... Victory at home to Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday will make them champions...

Watson said, 'We just wanted that one more chance and we can’t and won’t let it slip now, Easter Monday has always been a special day to me in title challenges and, hopefully, this is no different. The ideal scenario was that we were above our main rivals rival in the league, with a game to play, and that’s where we are. We have got all we wished for, now we need to see the job through...

If the fans can get behind us again on Saturday, it could make all the difference... We should be higher up the pyramid, we know that and everyone else does, and we have had some turnaround from what we went through with relegation from the Conference Premier last season... Whatever happens, I think we got some credibility back'".

CONFERENCE ON TV

The Football Conference tells us that "BT Sport have chosen Chester FC versus Salisbury City as their final live offering of the Skrill Premier campaign. Chester need at least a point, maybe three - to assure survival in their first season at the top of the non-League Pyramid. Steve Burr`s side currently occupy fifth-bottom spot after a tremendous win at second-placed Cambridge City on Easter Monday and lead fourth-bottom Hereford United by two points, with a one goal advantage over the Bulls, who face Aldershot Town on the same day.

All matches on the final day of the season kick-off at 5.30pm. BT Sport will, of course, be covering the Promotion Play-Off Final at Wembley on May 18th".


22 April 2014

ALTRINCHAM 5 VAUXHALL MOTORS 1

Match report here.

Above, Gianluca Havern nets one of Alty's goals on Monday against Vauxhall Motors.

SCOTT SWEEPS THE BOARD

Altrincham's 21 year-old central defender, Scott Leather, swept the board at Saturday evening's End of Season Awards event, held after the match against Vauxhall Motors.

Right: After today's game, Scott Leather walked away with three awards at the Player of the Season event. Here he is seen with captain Shaun Densmore receiving one of his trophies.

  • Young Player of the Season: Scott Leather
  • Club Person of the Season: Karen Rowley
  • Players' Award: John Skelhorn and Luke Pickering (kitmen)
  • Players' Player of the Season: Scott Leather
  • Goal of the Season 1st, Nicky Clee (v. Colwyn Bay), 2nd, Damian Reeves (v. BPA), 3rd, James Walshaw (v. Brackley)
  • Supporters' Player of the Season 1st, Scott Leather, 2nd, Nicky Clee, 3rd Joint, James Walshaw amd Gianluca Havern
  • Tom Earley Clubman of the Season George Heslop.

Scott thanked his team-mates for all their help during the season and expressed the hope that his development as a player would continue next season.

George, Alty's youth team manager and Matchday Secretary thanked the Earley family and described his award was "the most treasured possession he has gained in football".

TASC SUPPORTERS' COACH TRAVEL TO HISTON

Mark Eckersall writes that...

"As it's the last league game of the season, we are going to get down to Histon earlier than normal to enjoy a drink at the Railway Vue pub, opposite to where the coach parks, as there is only a small social club at the ground. We aim to arrive around 12.45 to 1pm.

The coach departure times are as follows...

  • The Vine, Sale, at 9am.
  • The Hare & Hounds, Timperley, at 09.10am.
  • Opposite Altrincham Leisure Centre at 9.15am.
  • The J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, at 9.20am.

Prices:

  • Adults - £22
  • Concessionaries - £20
  • Full-time students - £13

For the benefit of anyone not used to travelling on the supporters' coach, Mark reminds us that...

  • There is strictly NO alcohol permitted on TASC coaches.
  • The coach is expected to arrive at 12.45 to 1pm at the Railway Vue Pub, opposite the ground.
  • The coach stops for 30 minutes at Norton Caines services on the M6 Toll Road, roughly half-way into the journey.
  • Please only book if you are 100% sure of taking up your seat, as you could prevent others from travelling.

Thank you for your support of the coaches this season".

Bookings must be made in advance. This can be done by ringing the Club on 0161 928-1045 during normal weekday office hours.

The above details are also to be found throughout the week on the Away Travel page.

CROSSBAR CHALLENGE

Neil Tolson won Monday's "Crossbar Challenge" 3-1 against Ian Senior, closing the margin of Ian's lead to 25-23.

MONDAY GATES

Monday's attendances were:
  • Altrincham v Vauxhall Motors 831
  • Boston United v North Ferriby United 1,567
  • Brackley Town v Oxford City 430
  • Bradford Park Avenue v Stalybridge Celtic 369
  • Colwyn Bay v Stockport County 1,031
  • Gainsborough Trinity v Histon 363
  • Gloucester City v Leamington 527
  • Harrogate Town v Barrow 582
  • Hednesford Town v Worcester City 668
  • Solihull Moors v AFC Telford United 834
  • Workington v Guiseley 357

FINAL DAY'S FIXTURES

Saturday 26th April 2014
  • AFC Telford United v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Barrow v Hednesford Town
  • Guiseley v Gloucester City
  • Histon v Altrincham
  • Leamington v Colwyn Bay
  • North Ferriby United v Brackley Town
  • Oxford City v Bradford Park Avenue
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Workington
  • Stockport County v Harrogate Town
  • Vauxhall Motors v Solihull Moors
  • Worcester City v Boston United

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations go to Altrincham FC official photographer Gavin Rathbone, and his wife Rebecca, who had their second child on Sunday. The new addition to the family is a boy, called Thomas James.
21 April 2014

ALTRINCHAM 5-1 VAUXHALL MOTORS

After a fairly quiet start to the game, Alty scored twice in a five-minute spell...

Match report here.

UPS AND DOWNS

Following Monday's games, Histon have been relegated, along with Workington. At the other end of the table, AFC Telford United remain in the battle for the title, whilst Altrincham amd Hednesford are definitely in the play-offs. The final play-off place is between Guiseley and Boston United.

As previously reported, the play off semi finals are as follows.

  • Semi-Final, 1st leg, Wednesday 30 April 2014: 5th v 2nd and 4th v 3rd
  • Semi-Final, 2nd leg, Saturday 3 May 2014: 2nd v 5th and 3rd v 4th
  • Final, Saturday 10 May 2014 at the home of the higher-placed finalist

Monday 21st April

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts.
  • Altrincham 5-1 Vauxhall Motors
  • Boston United 2-0 North Ferriby United
  • Brackley Town 2-1 Oxford City
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Colwyn Bay 0-0 Stockport County
  • Gainsborough Trinity 3-1 Histon
  • Gloucester City 3-3 Leamington
  • Harrogate Town 3-1 Barrow
  • Hednesford Town 4-0 Worcester City
  • Solihull Moors 2-2 AFC Telford United
  • Workington 1-1 Guiseley

ALTRINCHAM v VAUXHALL MOTORS: MATCHDAY COVERAGE

Brian Flynn advises us that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Easter Monday's Skrill North game at The J.Davidson Stadium. The match commentary sponsor is 'E-Cignature' a locally based company supplying a full range of high quality E-Cigarettes & E-Liquids. 'E-Cignature' have a fantastic offer just for Alty fans. Get the NEW 'Radio Robins' Offer Pack which includes:-

Ego T 900mAh Battery, 1 x Clear GSH2 Clear. This is normally priced at £49.96 (excluding the gift vouchers) but Alty fans can get it now for just £20 by using the promo code "ROBINS". It's a cracking deal! To take advantage of this fantastic offer go to the 'E-Cignature' website here.

Click on the 'Offers' page from the main menu, look for the NEW 'Radio Robins' offer and submit your order using the Promo Code "ROBINS".

The commentators are Brian Flynn and Joe Barry with match summaries from Ryan Daly. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at www.radiorobins.com.

Dan Whitelegg will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time and full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC)

As usual, this website will also be providing its live matchday updates.

 radiorobins
.

ALTRINCHAM v VAUXHALL MOTORS: BEFORE THE GAME

Our next opponents, Vauxhall Motors "motored to a 2-1 victory at Rivacre Park and in the process sealed Workington's fate as the Cumbrian side have had their relegation from Skrill North confirmed...

The opening goal of the game came on 32 minutes. A throughball split the Workington defence and Steven Tames broke clear and slid the ball past goalkeeper Daniel Nizic to net his 10th goal of the season for the Motormen. Workington fought their way back level just before the break...

On the hour mark, Vauxhall retook the lead. The ball was played in to Andy Nicholas who was brought down just outside the penalty area. Up stepped Karl Clair who struck the ball low and powerfully past Nizic into the bottom corner of the net".

MONDAY FIXTURES

Right, are the opening times for the Altrincham FC Beer Festival.

EASTER MONDAY'S BUCKET COLLECTION

Neil Faulkner reports that "The collection for the last League home game of the season against Vauxhall Motors will be for the Community Sports Hall Project. If every fan attending the game donated a pound each just, think that we could possible raise in the region of £1,000 on the day. What a great boost that would be to our fund raising.

Can I say, as a fan of Altrincham for over 14 years, that our support at Stockport County on Good Friday was one of the best that I have witnessed in all those years and a great credit to the Club. Thank you for your great support and I hope for a big crowd against Vauxhall Motors, who we sadly won't be playing next season due to their request to be playing football at a lower level. Thanks for your support, Neil Faulkner",

SUPPORT THE DISCO NIGHT!

Neil Faulkner writes that "We are having another great Disco Night at the Club on Friday, 9th May. Please support this if you can. It will be the third great fund raiser for the Community Hall, with over £1,300 raised from the first two events. I want to push this over the £2,000 mark for the three events.

We are also looking for a few raffle prizes, if anybody could kindly donate something. I would love to see more Alty fans and their partners at this night. This is particularly aimed at the poor, long-suffering partners of our great fans as this is a Strictly no Football event, with no auctions, and will be a night of dance and fun. Once again, the evening will be hosted by Pat and Tony Savage of the Topaz Dance School and there will be fantastic music from the 60s to the 80s and you can learn a few new dance moves as well!"

WORLD CUP PREDICTION COMPETITION

TASC's Paul Salt writes that "The Third Annual Altrincham FC Beer Festival this weekend sees the launch of the TASC 2014 World Cup Prediction Competition. You are invited to predict the result and score of each of the 48 qualifying group matches as well as the Winners, Runners Up, 3rd and 4th placed teams.

There will be one point each awarded for predicting the correct home team score, away team score and the correct match result.

The entry fee is £5 and the winner, with the most points scored, wins 20% of the total prize pot, the runner up wins 15% and third place wins 10% of the total prize pot, the remainder going to TASC/Altrincham Football Club.

Regular updates will be provided throughout the qualifying rounds on both the Fans' Forum and Club website.

The closing date for entries is 11th June before the first match kicks off on 12th June.

The entry form is here.

JOIN THE BUPA GREAT FUN RUN FOR ALTY

Neil Faulkner advises us that he "is looking make up a team to join our Chairman Grahame Rowley, Club Physio Alan Ainsley and myself in the Great BUPA 10K run on Sunday, 18th May, in a bid to raise money for our Community Sports Hall. Please e-mail me if you wish to join us. The more the merrier! All we ask is for you to pay for your own entrance fee and get as many sponsors as you can. We will be setting up a Just Giving site in the next few days for people to donate on; your support is appreciated".

LADIES' WIN

Altrincham FC Ladies beat AFC Stockport Ladies 1-0 at the J. Davidson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

COUNTY GAME REVIEWED

Stockport County have match highlights of their game against Altrincham last Friday.

Vital County has a detailed match report on the game against Altrincham. ""County made it six games, last night, without so much as one goal to show for all the effort expended during the 540 + minutes. It therefore seems ridiculous to say it, but County were probably happy with last night's 0-0 draw, as indeed they may well be with the previous two. Both these had been against promotion contenders , and Altrincham were the latest ,and the third of that ilk to contest the points with the Hatters, so blue pleasure can perhaps be understood.

Eight months ago Altrincham, with Walshaw and Reeves running the show, had given County a thorough lesson , and indeed for long periods last night County were very much second best, against an Alty side that looked sharp, incisive, well drilled and full of ideas, in short promotion material!

There was however altogether more heart in County`s performance in response this time... but, apart from 2 saves that veteran keeper Stuart Coburn made before the break, there was little fire power up front from County.

Altrincham by way of contrast had Walshaw and Reeves and they were terrific; mobile and energetic all over the front line, and with Nicky Clee also in prime form, and Jake Moult attack prompter in chief, County were frequently stretched to near breaking point. Add a constant flow of dangerous crosses from ex-Hatter Adam Griffin into the mix, and it was plain to see why County's preoccupation was over-long concerned with matters defensive!...

When Reeves went down under pressure from Moses, I thought that we had trouble because it was in a decent position for a pot on goal. In the event the kick emphasised one weakness in Alty`s make up, namely the set pieces, and this one had Row R ducking hurriedly as it whistled past my left ear...

With Reeves, Walshaw and Clee on song and urged on by Moult, Altrincham looked every bit as useful as in August... Walshaw slipped clear bringing an excellent saving tackle from Lees that prevented County shipping that vital first goal! As before Alty wasted the corner...

Altrincham were getting loads of possession now with the last 5 minutes beckoning... Altrincham piled into the attack, and crosses fizzed across the face of the County goal with no takers still as the minutes ticked away".

GATES

Saturday's attendances were well short of the 3,770 who saw Stockport County versus Altrincham on Friday night.

  • 2084 AFC Telford U. v Gloucester City
  • 733 Barrow v Bradford Park Avenue
  • 620 Guiseley v Colwyn Bay
  • 307 Histon v Solihull Moors
  • 792 Leamington v Boston United
  • 663 North Ferriby United v Harrogate Town
  • 335 Oxford City v Hednesford Town
  • 446 Stalybridge Celtic v Gainsborough Trinity
  • 166 Vauxhall Motors v Workington
  • 568 Worcester City v Brackley Town

PROMOTION RUN-IN

The run-in for the current top six on Skrill North is as follows.

1. NORTH FERRIBY UNITED P40 W24 D9 L7 F79 A48 GD+31 PTS81

  • 19th Apr H Harrogate Town
  • 21st Apr A Boston United
  • 26th Apr H Brackley Town

2. AFC TELFORD UNITED P40 W24 D9 L7 F77 A51 GD+26 PTS81

  • 19th Apr H Gloucester City
  • 21st Apr A Solihull Moors
  • 26th Apr H Gainsborough Trinity

3. ALTRINCHAM P40 W22 D9 L9 F85 A50 GD+35 PTS74

  • 18th Apr A Stockport County
  • 21st Apr H Vauxhall Motors
  • 26th Apr A Histon

4. HEDNESFORD TOWN P40 W23 D6 L11 F83 A63 GD+19 PTS72

  • 19th Apr A Oxford City
  • 21st Apr H Worcester City
  • 26th Apr A Barrow

5. GUISELEY P40 W22 D8 L10 F74 A54 GD+20 PTS74

  • 19th Apr H Colwyn Bay
  • 21st Apr A Workington
  • 26th Apr H Gloucester City

6. BOSTON UNITED P40 W19 D12 L9 F83 A57 GD+26 PTS69

  • 19th Apr A Leamington
  • 21st Apr H North Ferriby United
  • 26th Apr A Worcester City

OLD BOY'S "GAME OF THRONES"

Are you sitting comfortably? Altrincham fans should have been prepared for what was to come in the excellent Stockport County matchday programme last Friday night. As early as page one of the "County Life" programme there was a heading of "Evacuation Procedures". Worse was to follow, on the back page, at the very bottom.

In physio Rodger Wylde's lurid account of football dressing room toilet protocol, we almost got bogged down in the first few paragraphs, which detailed the varied habits of various County players' in the Club's smallest room. But worse was to come as Rodger went on to destroy, in just a few lines, the longstanding respect in which former Alty sub Richard Landon is held by the Moss Lane faithful, who recall his goalscoring feats for the Club in the 1999-2000 season.

"Dickie" Landon, no longer in the full flush of youth, is now the kitman in County's chain of command. According to Rodger, "Stockport County's little toilet idiosyncrasy is that kit-man, Richard Landon, never puts any toilet rolls in the loos until the opposition asks for them, usually when a player is in desperate need... What do you do in these situations? Richard usually shouts to them 'We've got none, use your hand'. Before handing them a few rolls".

Hopefully, for the benefit of Richard's reputation amongst Alty fans, Mr Wylde's story is just a tissue of lies.

On a more savoury note, Saturday's Trafford v Stafford Rangers match was a feast for spotters of ex-Alty players. Trafford included former Altrincham left-back Andrew Smart and ex-Moss Lane trialist, Tom Schofield. The programme notes added that former Alty Youth captain, Oliver Riley, is also now at Shawe View.

The visitors, Stafford Rangers, are now managed by two Alty legends in Graham Heathcote and Chirs Adams, whilst the squad deployed for the game included ex-youth keeper, Andrew Jones, former midfielder (now centre-back) Lewis Chalmers, midfielder Ian Craney (pictured right, on loan for Stockport County), former striker (now midfielder), James McCarthy, and ex-Alty striker, Matt Berkeley. Other Stafford players listed in the pen pictures included former youth players Ryan Barry and Sam Heathcote. Relegated Rangers won 2-1.

The NL Paper has an interview with Ian Craney. In it, Ian says, "Graham was my first-ever manager back at Altrincham and he's the one who got my career going".

He continued, "If they [the young players] all stick around and the team is strengthened in the summer, the club should be a force next season. Graham knows non-League like the back of his hand, which is a big positive. As a club, they've got to do everything in their power to keep hold of him... If Graham wanted me to stay at Stafford, I would like to".


20 April 2014

WALKING TO STOCKPORT FOR ALTY

Pictured, above, are the gallant Altrincham supporters before and after they undertook the nine-mile walk to Edgeley Park in advance of Friday night's match. It's not too late to sponsor any of the particpants; please either contact them directly or contact the club here.

BEER FESTIVAL

The Altrincham FC Beer Festival continues over the weekend (Sunday and Monday) at the J. Davidson Stadium. Above we see a selection of the beers available to purchase, as well as the winner of the competition to taste all of the brews, pictured with Steve Foster. (The images, courtesy of Grahame Rowley, are enlargeable by clicking on them).

CIDER WITH FOZZY

Steve Foster is "pleased to announce the following ciders will be available at the Beer Festival, which are kindly sponsored by The Bricklayers' Arms:-
  • 5.5% ABV Gwynt y Ddraig Farmhouse Scrumpy. This Cider is a 'Golden medium cider with a refreshing apple aroma. Smooth balanced flavour that has a fresh, crisp sharpness'.
  • 7.2% ABV Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon Cider. This Cider is 'Matured in oak barrels to produce a cider rich in colour, body and flavour with a fresh fruity aroma'.
  • 4% ABV Snailsbank's Tumbledown Summer Fruit. This Cider is 'A smooth, flavoursome, easy drinking fruity cider'.
  • 4% ABV Sandford Orchards' Bumbleberry Summer Fruit. Sandford Orchards describe this cider as follows, 'When our apple cart fell into Ma' Frobisher's fruit cage there was hell to pay. Pa' Frobisher took two weeks to repair the damage, the tipsy wagon driver got a lesson from the law and a serious quantity of apples had to be picked up for a second time. But as is the way here in Devon the story has a happy ending. The berries squashed in the accident ended up in bumbling farmer Butterfield's best cider ever. Apples, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and blackberries - marvellous fruit cider'.
  • 4% ABV Sandford Orchards' Fanny's Bramble - Blackberry. Sandford Orchards describe this cider as 'A gentle amble out of Sandford towards Shaky Bridge threads along Fanny’s Lane. In the autumn the blackberries from its hedges join local apples in many pies and crumbles. We pluck a few away to add to our own special recipe. We think this is a uniquely fruity and refreshing cider'".

OXFORD VIDEO

The Oxford City v Alty full match video is available on YouTube; if you just want see the goals they are as follows:

COUNTY VIEW

Stockport County report that "Altrincham held County to a nil-nil draw in a match that could easily have gone either way with both teams having a number of chances...

County started the game well with Kristian Dennis going down the left crossed across goal to Milligan who volley[ed] first time towards goal... At the other end, County keeper Ian Ormson was in electric form with some pivotal saves throughout the game...

The second half was a lot less entertaining than the first half most of possession being found in the middle of the park, however, the best chance of the game fell to County when the ever present Milligan took a low shot from 30 yards out, which skimmed past the post underneath Coburn's legs which on another day could have put County ahead.

County will be happy that they were able to dent Alty's promotion hopes. However, they will feel they did more than enough to get something out of the game".

From Brian Flynn we learn that the Radio Robins's commentary for the Stockport game is now available.

CROSSBAR CHALLENGE

Ian Senior's lead in the Crossbar Challenge has been cut again after Neil Tolson beat him 2-0 in the latest round of the charity competition on Friday evening. Ian says it is now "Down to the wire", as he only leads 25-22, with a potential five more games to play. "It's Neil's turn to apply the pressure", he added.

SKRILL NORTH NEWS

Before Saturday's heavy home defeat, the Cambridge News told us that manager "Brian Page believes having control of their own destiny gives his Histon team a significant boost going into the final three games of the season... They travel to Gainsborough on Easter Monday, before finishing off their fixtures at home to Altrincham next week.

'The season is now definitely in our hands' said Page [before the 0-3 defeat on Saturday]... 'Hopefully by Monday evening we might be able to go into the last game a little more relaxed. It’s massively important. Mentally, for our players we can simply just focus on what we’re doing and not worry about anyone else. If we take three points on Saturday we can’t be caught. If we take another three points on Monday we still can’t be caught'...

Page admitted he is disappointed to be in a relegation dogfight again – Histon stayed up last year on goal difference at the expense of Corby Town thanks to a goalless draw at Bradford Park Avenue on the final day of the season but believes the experience last year will serve his team well.

'We’ve been in this position before, we know the pressures that are on us', he said... 'You don’t really want to experience it often but the elation of staying up last year was a heck of a feeling. We’ve got to try to recreate that and hopefully we can do it before the last game'...

And having seen his playing budget disappear last month, when the club revealed further financial difficulties, he has been pleased to see his team still in with a good chance of staying up. 'I’m a little disappointed we’re in this position', he said. 'A lot of performances prior to everything that happened were good and we should have taken more points and been safe anyway. It is a poor situation and we’ve dealt really well with it'".

NW NEWS

It's been a bad season for Wirral non-League sides, with Vauxhall's voluntary relegation and as the EvoStik League reports, "Following a meeting of the NPL board on Sunday 13th April a letter from Cammell Laird Football Club requesting that they be relegated to Step 6 of the NLS at the end of the 2013-2014 season was accepted.

A letter from Wakefield FC requesting that they be relegated to Step 5 of the NLS at the end of season 2013-2014 season was also accepted. The League would treat both clubs as filling the two relegation places (21st and 22nd) in the NPL Division One North at the end of season 2013-2014 in accordance with FA regulations".


19 April 2014

FRIDAY & SATURDAY GAMES

Friday 18th April

Saturday 19th April

  • AFC Telford United 2-1 Gloucester City
  • Barrow 0-1 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Guiseley 2-1 Colwyn Bay
  • Histon 0-3 Solihull Moors
  • Leamington 0-0 Boston United
  • North Ferriby United 3-2 Harrogate Town
  • Oxford City 1-2 Hednesford Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic 3-2 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Vauxhall Motors 2-1 Workington
  • Worcester City 0-0 Brackley Town

League table here. Barring two heavy defeats, Altrincham should be in the play offs, as they are now six points ahead of Boston with two games left and a nine-goal lead on goal difference.

STOCKPORT COUNTY 0 ALTRINCHAM 0

Altrincham had the better of an entertaining but goalless game at Edgeley Park.

Match report here

Above: Stuart Coburn organizes his defence before the lights came on at Edgeley Park.

SPORTS HALL FUNDRAISING

Peter Foster, PR & Promotions Manager at Altrincham FC, writes that "Following the news with regard to the Main Sponsorship of the Community Sports Hall by local company Sky Wheels, we can also provide an update with regard to other contributions the Community Sports Hall project has received, on top of the various grants awarded:

The Share Purchase scheme: 27 supporters have received shares which have generated £1,700 towards the fund.

Donations:

  • 8 Giantkillers have pledged or donated £31,500 in total
  • 2 Champions have pledged or donated £500 in total
  • 7 Supporters have pledged or donated £500 in total

Sponsors : 6 Business Champions have pledged or donated £40,500

Supporters have contributed £4,343.08 via fund-raisers, including football cards, fundraising events, auctions, etc

How to contribute:

If you would like to add your support to the project, any contribution is worthwhile and will be gratefully received, whether it be £1 for a team on a football card or one of the options below. Please note that as the Community Company is a Registered Charity, we can claim Gift Aid. We are in the process of setting up a Just Giving page, and will let you know when that’s complete.

Share Purchase: The Share Purchase opportunity is still open as Geoff Goodwin and Grahame Rowley have kindly donated further shares in support of the project. Minimum purchase is 5 @ £5 each, but feel free to purchase more than that!

Donations: Every donation brings the project a little closer to reality and is really appreciated. Whether you are a supporter of the football club, a resident, local business or a sportsperson aware of the shortage of suitable facilities in the area, this is an opportunity to contribute to a lasting facility for the community and, from the Club’s perspective, one that will introduce many local people to the Football Club.

If you would like to donate, there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Donate £1,000 or more to the project and be recognised as a “GIANTKILLER’ on our glass honours board
  • Donate £250 towards the project and be recognised as a ‘CHAMPION’ on our glass honours board.
  • Donate £50 or more and be recognised as a ‘SUPPORTER’ on our glass honours board

Sponsorship: Whereas the Main Sponsorship has now been taken up by Sky Wheels, there is the opportunity for a business to become a 'Business Champion’ for £5,000 – second tier sponsors who will have significant internal exposure within the complex, or a 'Business Supporter’ for £250, who will have their logo displayed within the Community Sports Hall (30 x 15 inches per donation).

If you are interested in any of these options, e-mail.

Peter Foster".

SKRILL NORTH NEWS

Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter tells us that "Paddy Lacey talks to the Mail in Tuesday's edition, and as well as discussing his suspension for the last game of the season, tells us, 'Our little aim in the changing room is to finish in the top-ten this year, it's definitely achievable. Edmo has been fantastic, he has turned it all around. If the League had started at Christmas I think we would be in play-offs. It shows how well we have done. All the lads are just enjoying their football now and they can't wait for the next game whereas at Christmas we were really low'".

According to the Football Conference, "Gloucester City defender Jack Harris has signed a two year contract to remain at the club. The 24-year-old has been a standout performer since joining the Tigers in 2008 and recently notched up his 200th appearance for City...

'After sitting down with [manager] Tim {Harris] and having a long talk about various things I was excited to listen to what he had to say about the type of club Gloucester City can be and what it aspires to be', explained the centre-back. 'I’ve been at the club for six years and, personally, I haven’t really seen the real Gloucester due to us not having our own ground in the city.

I use the new ground as a positive factor and it is definitely something that I am looking forward to being part of in the future. On the pitch, I feel Tim has come in under extreme pressure and, along with the other staff, but they have done a great job in getting the lads together and securing our position in the league for next year.

The passion he shows for the club and the professionalism he brings with him is what you want to play under, he wants the team to be positive and most of all enjoy the game so as a player that’s all you can ask for'...

Harris said, 'He has been a tremendous asset on and off the field. Jack is a firm fan’s favourite and an integral part of the playing squad for my future plans'".

The NW Evening Mail says that "The prospect of rival teams tapping up Barrow AFC’s contract targets does not concern boss Darren Edmondson, who is also poised to turn predator in the transfer market...

'It always goes on, let’s not cloud ourselves with that, I’m sure that one or two have been talking to our players', said Edmondson. 'Ultimately, I think our players trust the dressing room.... If people choose to go elsewhere for money or whatever it might be, there’s nothing you can do about that...We’ve got other targets as well as the ones who are here, and we’ve been trying to quietly make some inroads into one or two of those'.

With the deadline for Bluebirds members to vote on Paul Casson’s takeover deal expiring at the end of this month, Edmondson reiterated his desire to discover what his players’ budget, for 2014/15, will be at the earliest opportunity. 'We need to find out what’s happening very quickly with the vote and get that sorted out, and then we can definitely see which board of directors we’ll be working with, etc, and we’ll know what we can do financially', added Edmondson...

Edmondson has already revealed that right-back Andy Burns is one of the players who could seal a new deal for next season at the weekend... Meanwhile, combative midfielder Paddy Lacey has indicated that he could secure his Holker Street future by the end of next week...

Edmondson said, 'They’re the types you want to build your squad around, but there are another 10 or 12 who have done exceptionally well since I came in, and right through the whole squad you can name names. But down the spine we’ve got to make sure that we’re really solid next year and that we can compete up front'. Edmondson has expressed his desire to keep hold of Sam Sheridan, while telling fellow midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey that he is on his wanted list...

'Our midfielders have been excellent', added Edmondson. 'Digger’s (Davies) had a dip in form, had a few injuries but he’s another excellent player. When our midfield is on their game I pretty much think there isn’t a better midfield in the league... We’ve got to make sure that we tie up the nucleus of the squad'".

North Ferriby United "entertain Harrogate Town on Saturday... Harrogate’s midweek defeat at Guiseley ended their play-off hopes. However, the pressure is now off them and they will be playing for pride as they play-out their season. It is certain to be a testing game for Ferriby who were beaten 5-0 at Harrogate at the beginning of the season...

Ferriby probably need to win their final three games if they are to take the Skrill North title but it will be far from easy. Monday’s opponents, Boston United, are still chasing a play-off spot and will be hard to beat on their own ground, Brackley Town will be Ferriby’s final opponents of the regular season. They have been chasing a play-off spot but will almost certainly be out of contention come a week on Saturday...

Ferriby will be hoping for a good crowd on Saturday with hull city’s game against Arsenal having been put back to Sunday. A lot of City fans follow Ferriby’s fortunes and quite a number regularly watch games at the Eon Visual Media Stadium.

Following Tuesday’s game, Manager Billy Heath commented, 'The players deserve credit for the character and determination they showed this evening. We responded well after going behind with just over 20 minutes to go... Harrogate now have no pressure on them and can come and enjoy the game on Saturday. They are a good footballing side and it is going to take a good performance to beat them. It is going to be a tense and tough eight days but we will take it one game at a time and see what happens'".

In the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson today told his players not to slip up if they are granted 'one last chance' of claiming the Skrill Conference North title...

Telford now welcome bottom-half visitors Gloucester City to the New Bucks Head tomorrow... on Easter Monday, Watson’s side travelling to Solihull Moors... Telford will be looking to win their seventh home game in a row tomorrow...

Watson said, 'What we have done is try to play them as if they are cup finals. We have put everything into it and the run of consecutive wins at home has been an amazing achievement. We have got to make sure we turn up tomorrow and I am sure we will. Gloucester City have got a few injuries but their manager Tim Harris is a good football man, so it could be difficult... I just want one last chance of having it in our hands and, if we do that, we can’t let it slip'.

Watson expects to shuffle his pack over the two games with Chris Lever back from injury and another full-back, James Smith, standing by. Midfielder Russell Benjamin and winger Robbie Booth didn’t make the squad for last weekend’s 1-0 success at Colwyn Bay, so are also fit and ready for selection".


18 April 2014

STOCKPORT COUNTY v ALTRINCHAM: BEFORE THE GAME

Friday's Manchester Evening News says that "Manager Lee Sinnott believes the Edgeley Park atmosphere will help Altrincham keep the pressure on at the top of the Skrill North.... 'We had a good reaction to win at Oxford City on Tuesday so we're still niggling away and at the back of people's minds' said Sinnott.

'If we can get a positive result at Stockport we'll see if the teams above us slip up because they have two games in three days. The players have been applying themselves well lately and I'm sure they'll be up for this one.

It's a local derby, Stockport are an ex-League club and it's a wonderful ground. Maybe that works against them because teams raise their game here and, hopefully, that's what we can do, because we're all looking forward to it. Stockport don't want to be in this league, far from it', Sinnott added.

'They've had a season of acclimitisation but they put a decent run together earlier in the year and have forwards that can hurt you'.

Prolific striker Damian Reeves is fit again for Alty, while Sinnott hopes to welcome back Simon Richman (left) and Tom Marshall (right)".

Meanwhile, Non-League Review interviews County boss Alan Lord. "Alan was Ian Bogie’s number 2 when the two teams met earlier in the season and as we were talking, Alan recall’s how flat Stockport were that day and the supporters had every right to give them some grief. ‘We just didn’t turn up, the performance was flat‘ Walshaw and Reeves bagged the 3 goals between them that condemned County to a 3-0 defeat.

‘In them two they have one of the best strike forces in the league’ said Lord, but he also believes he’s seen enough of Altrincham in recent weeks to get something out of the game. Despite a run of 12 games without a win and 5 games without a goal there’s still positives to be taken. Clean sheets against Brackley, Worcester and North Ferriby proves the defence is more than capable, he just thinks his strike force is lacking that cutting edge and are low on confidence. Hopefully a few changes he has up his sleeve for tonight can change this around.

Planning for next season, Alan has been spotted out and about in recent weeks as he looks to recruit for the next campaign. He told us there’s a few deals ready to be done and he wants to get his business done early in the summer, he’s got players lined up with a physical presence, power, pace and a real cutting edge, something he thinks they’ve lacked slightly this season, ‘If these deals come off people’s heads will turn, these are players with real experience in this league, players who have won this league so they know what’s required’"

BEER FESTIVAL

Steve Foster writes, "We are pleased to announce the last two beers for this weekend's beer festival. The first is the 4.1% ABV Wainwrights' from Thwaites Brewery which is kindly sponsored by Paul Daine's Premium Collections. The beer is described as 'A refreshing straw-coloured beer with soft fruit flavours and a hint of sweetness from the fine malt'.

The second beer is the 4.4% ABV Contraband from Bootleg Brewery which is kindly sponsored by Phil Hoskins. The beer is described as "A crisp, dry pale ale, very hoppy with a hint of citrus'.

We have to announce one change to the previously announced beers; Cheshire IPA will be replacing Deer Beer (both from Dunham Brewery). Cheshire IPA is 4.7% and is described as 'A good old fashioned English Ale, light and hoppy'. The beer is sponsored by Gavin Rathbone's GR Photography. The ciders and lagers that will be available as part of the beer festival will be announced before the start of the festival".

LADIES' MATCH REPORT

Phil Taylor had a major task on his hands in recording all fifteen goals in the Altrincham FC Ladies' recent win (13-2) over Heswall. His report is here. Pictures from the game can be seen on Mike Ripley's website. The next match for the Ladies is a home fixture v AFC Stockport, next Sunday, April 20th. This game is being played at Moss Lane as part of the Beer Festival and kick-off is at the later time than usual of 3pm.

NFU GAME REVISITED

Above: Gavin Rathbone's excellent image not only captures the delight of Greg Wilkinson on scoring the equalizer against North Ferriby United last Saturday but also the various expressions of despair of the opposition.

The Radio Robins commentary from the game is now available, here.

SKRILL NORTH NEWS

NL Pitchero tells us that "Stephen Hindmarch has quit Workington for a new life in Canada. The combative midfielder has been a star name under Ian McDonald in recent weeks, but the Keswick native has opted to heap further pressure on his now former club...

Hindmarch joins Conor Tinnion, who he played with during a spell in New Zealand, in leaving Borough Park in the last month. Tinnion was frustrated with a lack of game time under the new regime but Hindmarch has played a pivotal role. Workington face a bumper Bank Holiday with a trip to Vauxhall Motors on Saturday before hosting play-off chasing Guiseley AFC on Easter Monday.

Wins could move them out of the relegation zone for the first time in months, but defeats would condemn Reds to life in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. McDonald is expected to have captain Kyle May and Dan Wordsworth back for both matches... [They] missed Tuesday’s draw at Gloucester City due to work commitments."

The Halesowen News reports that "Proposals for a new football stadium in Worcester have been handed to the city council, bringing the supporters' dream one step closer. A formal planning application has now been submitted to build a new 4,100 capacity ground at Perdiswell.

The plans, by the Worcester City's Supporters' Trust, will now lead to a public consultation, kicking off over the summer. The application includes one main 500-seater stand, a standing terrace, 3G pitch, three full-size grass pitches, two nine-a-side fields, conference and classroom facilities. Rob Crean, from the Supporters'Trust said... 'If we don't get it right it will be chucked out'...

The Supporters' Trust is determined to bring the club home and says it aims to secure grants and fundraising donations towards the £2.1 million it is likely to need to build it. Nearby residents have already launched a petition calling for it to be rejected amid fears of congestion and a loss of green space".


17 April 2014

SHAUN'S IMMINENT LANDMARK

Having recently made his 250th appearance for Altrincham, skipper Shaun Densmore should make his 250th start for the Club at Stockport on Good Friday. On that day, Shaun should reach a total of 256 appearances, including matches played from the start and appearances from off the bench. His season by season record is as follows:
  • 2008-09: 40 starts
  • 2009-10: 47(+1)
  • 2010-11: 35(+2)
  • 2011-12: 40(+1)
  • 2012-13: 48
  • 2013-14: 39(+2)
  • Total: 249(+6)

Shaun has also scored 24 goals, a total only beaten in the current squad by attacking players, namely Damian Reeves (121), James Walshaw (29), Nicky Clee (27) and James Lawrie (25).

Right: Shaun, wearing the captain's armband, leads the team out on his 250th appearance for Alty, at Colwyn Bay.

WEDNESDAY GAME

  • Stalybridge C. 2 North Ferriby Utd 3, att. 303

MARK'S BLOG

Following his completion of two London Marathons and sixteen miles of this year's event, Mark Maddox has set a marvellously positive example of how to respond to serious illness. Mark has a blog to enable his supporters to keep up with his thoughts and actions.

SKRILL NORTH NEWS

After Tuesday's game, the Oxford Mail said that there was "No justice as Oxford City fall to promotion-chasers.

Oxford City felt hard done by as they went down 2-1 to Altrincham at Marsh Lane last night... The home side made much of the early running before Altrincham began to get into the game, taking the lead on 16 minutes through James Walshaw.

There was little to choose between the two sides as City battled back before the break... Altrincham grabbed their second goal in the 82nd minute when a speculative effort from range by Moult left Scott with no chance.

Mike Ford’s men refused to throw in the towel and substitute Kayden Jackson saw his goalbound shot blocked by Adam Griffin at the expense of a corner. Their determination was rewarded in stoppage time. Jackson worked his way into the box before unleashing a powerful drive that the Altrincham keeper could only watch as it crashed into the back of the net, but it came too late as time ran out on City".

Alty's next opponents, Stockport County report that "Hatters' boss Alan Lord has announced a major review of the playing structure at Edgeley Park in order to give the club a better chance of promotion next season.

He will introduce a new development squad which will support the first team by providing competitive football for trialists, fringe players and younger players. Lord said, 'I am desperate for a radical overhaul of the substructure below the first team. At present, if a player is recommended to us we can only see them in training, so we don’t know how fit they are or how capable they are in a match situation.

Secondly, we have had players this season who have dropped out of the first team either through injury or loss of form but, when we bring them back, we are unrealistic in our expectations about how they will perform. And, thirdly, we have a number of young, developing players that we need to look at in a match environment. At present we’ve got the first team and nothing else, so players have been going for weeks on end without a competitive game'.

Lord plans to introduce a Development Squad that will be open age and therefore geared up for all three of these phases. He added, 'The secondary benefit is that it gives us the opportunity to play development games against pro clubs, perhaps behind closed doors, and we can then have a look at that club’s fringe players, which might open doors for us to exploit the loan market more effectively'.

Lord wants to bring a competitive edge to these games, so County will enter an appropriate league which is suitable for developing players. The cost implications are negligible and the plan does not require a larger permanent pool of players, as trialists will be able to sign on the day in order to take part in these games. Lord said, 'It will be a much more effective way of examining players during a trial as they can train with us on a Tuesday, play a game on Thursday, and then we can make a better value judgement based on their performance during competitive game time.

I believe the lack of a development side has hampered the club this season. We need a structure underneath the first team where we can look at players, develop players and prevent any costly mistakes being made'. Lord points to the examples of Matthew Todd and Sanchez Payne. Todd has been an unused substitute recently, whilst Payne made his debut off the bench at Brackley on Saturday. He said 'They have both been training with us for a few weeks now but they’ve had no games. Under the structure which I plan to introduce, they would’ve been able to get two of three competitive matches under their belts. It’s better for the player and better for the club'".

The Wetherby News reports that "The final nail in the coffin was hammered down for Harrogate Town’s play-off ambitions, as Guiseley won the Yorkshire derby 2-0 at Nethermoor Park on Tuesday evening. Two first-half headers ensured Guiseley maintained their late push for a top five Skrill North spot and more importantly, ended Town’s...

Simon Weaver’s men have picked up just [four] points out of a possibly [18] in their last [six] games, [since beating Altrincham!]... The Sulphurites are 11 points adrift of where they set their seasonal targets... Former Chelsea man Woods looked rusty in his link-up play with lone forward Ashley Worsfold, while Liam Hardy was often a forlorn figure cast out on the right wing.

Several niggly fouls were committed throughout the Town team and frustration etched across faces when passes went, too often, awry... Disgusted with his side’s half, Weaver made two tactical changes at the break, with Woods and Nelthorpe surrendered and replaced by Anton Brown and Dom Rowe... Young Alex Metcalfe was handed five minutes to shine. The talent, who has played most of the season with Harrogate Railway, gave a late positive for boss Weaver...

And afterwards, Weaver condemned the injuries that had ruined his end of season plans. He said, 'Two balls in the box and two headers that we didn’t deal with. It’s really disappointing not to come away with anything in that second-half. We changed it to 4-4-2 from 4-3-3 and we had a lot of possession but we couldn’t hurt them. We lack height. With the absentees, we got out-muscled in the box a few times and that was the difference between the two teams...

We beat Altrincham, Hednesford, Solihull and Ferriby. We know we can beat the top teams. I genuinely think we would be still up there if we hadn’t had the heart of it ripped out. I’m not naming the settled team that I was before. We are not at the same level as we were... We played three in the middle and we didn’t get anywhere near their two. We didn’t cause any problems, we didn’t drive at them. We were playing pretty artistic players but we were not hurting the opposition.. We were as good, if not better, than Guiseley in the second-half. It didn’t turn into many chances but I can’t remember them having many chances in the 90 minutes either.”

In the Hull Daily Mail, before Wednesday's game, Stalybridge Celtic v North Ferriby United, we read that "North Ferriby United manager Billy Heath has urged his players to go the extra mile at Stalybridge tonight and take pole position for the Conference North title.

This is the first of four games in 11 days for Heath's side who are three points behind leaders AFC Telford with a game in hand. Ferriby's goal difference is five better than Telford... Heath has told his players to leave nothing in the tank for the next four matches. 'To win anything you have to go the extra mile', Heath told the Mail. 'It's much harder to win a title than staying up. It's about how strong we are mentally but every game takes it out of you. We know we have the ability and we have to put everything into the final four games...

Stalybridge need to win to stay up. It promises to be an open but close game, just as it was when they played up here a couple of weeks' ago. We are in better shape now than we were that night when we won 2-0 and Adam Nicklin saved a penalty'.

Heath feels his side need to win all four of their remaining matches to win their second successive title. And he hopes the spirit of football is evident with teams who have nothing to play for in their remaining matches. 'Hopefully Telford will have three games of football to play, not just two', Heath said. 'In the spirit of the game, I hope all teams that have nothing to play for turn up for their final matches with the right attitude... We can't rely on anyone else to do us any favours between now and the end of the season. We just have to look after number one'.

Heath has Anthony Wilson back from suspension... Heath said, 'We can't chop and change our team too much because our next game is the most important... The players are disappointed after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Altrincham but we've no time to be disappointed'".

According to Buckingham Today, "Brackley Town’s season continues to peter out following a lacklustre goalless draw with Stockport County at St James’ Park on Saturday. In a season that promised so much, Saints now find themselves well adrift of the play-off places and stuck down in seventh in the Conference North...

The match was a lacklustre affair with an end-of-season feel as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances. Dominic Langdon received a straight red card in the 39th minute after a clash with Iain Howard, reducing Brackley to ten men, but Stockport failed to make their advantage count with Billy Turley tested only once throughout the entire match... Brackley were the more poised after the break but lacked fluency".



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