- 10 December 2016: BLYTH SPARTANS v ALTRINCHAM: LIVE COVERAGE... More
- 10 December 2016: NEW FIXTURE DATES... More
- 10 December 2016: LAST TUESDAY'S GAME ON RADIO ROBINS... More
- 10 December 2016: BUILDBASE FA TROPHY FIXTURES... More
- 10 December 2016: STRATEGIC REVIEW... More
- 10 December 2016: PENSIONERS' CHRISTMAS LUNCH.. More
10 December 2016
Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full, live commentary of Saturday's game.
The commentators are Mark Simpson and Niall Flynn and the match summariser is John Edwards.
Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at www.radiorobins.com".here.
Third Qualifying Round Replay
- Blyth Spartans v Altrincham
- AFC Fylde v Brackley Town
- AFC Sudbury v Gosport Borough
- Alfreton Town v North Ferriby United
- Boreham Wood v Maidstone United
- Braintree Town v Torquay United
- Bromley v Leiston
- Chelmsford City v Hitchen Town
- Dartford v Dover Athletic
- East Thurrock United v Aldershot Town
- Ebbsfleet United v Woking
- Forest Green Rovers v Truro City
- Gateshead v King's Lynn Town
- Harlow Town v Eastleigh
- Kidderminster Harriers v AFC Telford United
- Shaw Lane Association v Lincoln City
- Solihull Moors v Matlock Town
- Stockport County v Marine
- Sutton United v Bath City
- Witton Albion v Chester FC
- Farsley Celtic v Southport
- Chorley v Guiseley
- Harrogate Town v Barrow
- Wealdstone v Wingate & Finchley
- Welling United v Hythe Town
- Whitehawk v Weymouth
- Wrexham v Tranmere Rovers (extra time & penalties agreed, no replay)
- York City v Worcester City
Tuesday 20 December 2016
- Altrincham or Blyth Spartans v Macclesfield Town
The 35-year-old has assumed control at The Jakemans Stadium with immediate effect following a successful spell in charge of Mansfield Town. United chairman David Newton said: "We went through a thorough process to find the right person for the job and we are delighted to unveil Adam as our new first team manager.
'Adam was the outstanding candidate and certainly impressed during the interview process. Despite being relatively young in managerial terms, Adam has impressed at Mansfield Town and we are extremely pleased to have him on board.
'He will get started straight away in a bid to engineer a climb up the table and we will give him every support possible'.
Meanwhile, "The Vanarama National League North manager of the month for November is John Flanagan of Curzon Ashton" and "The Vanarama National League North player of the month for November goes to Brackley Town`s James Armson."
"As supporters may be aware, the Club has commissioned a strategic review. This is being conducted by Nicky Watmore as a consultant to the Board, with Pete Foster providing day to day contact with the rest of the Club.
The objective of the review is to identify all the opportunities that could enable the Club to reach its potential over the next five years and to make sure the Club is structured and equipped to take advantage of these opportunities.
In order to do this, we need as many opinions of the Club as possible and so would like to invite all supporters to fill out this questionnaire.
Hardcopy versions can be picked up from the Club. Please send all completed questionnaires here, or to the Club (J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP) marked for the attention of Nicky Watmore. Questionnaires must be received by the Club by December 18th, please."
For those supporters who do not have the appropriate software to read MS Word documents, the questionnaire is here in plain text format.
Peter Foster adds that "Although all responses are confidential, we ask you to leave your name and email (or other contact info.) so that we may get in touch with you if any of your thoughts are particularly novel. As a rough guide, up to five points for each question will suffice, but feel free to put as many or as few as you like".
9 December 2016
Former Warrington Town midfielder Lenighan, 22, arrived a month ago, as did 22-year old centre-back Morrison-Derbyshire, following a spell with Greenwich Borough, while 30-year old ex-Bala Town striker Marsh was signed in September and made his debut the following month, after his international clearance came through. The club thanks them for their services and wishes them all the best in their future careers".
Footnote: player appearances...
- Simon Lenighan 3 appearances
- Luis Morrison-Derbyshire 1 appearance
- Phil Marsh 2(+7) appearances
These departures bring to 24 the number of players or management to have both joined Altrincham and left the club since the summer. They comprise, 21 players (including 5 loanees), 2 managers and 1 assistant manager.
After signing on Thursday, the 39-year old from Birkenhead joined his new team-mates for training a few hours later, ahead of Alty's FA Trophy replay at Blyth Spartans on Saturday.
Though he is ineligible for that, he is lined up to make his debut against Stockport County a week later and could be joined by then by another significant new arrival.
Explaining his reasons for making an immediate move for Jones, who has made 11 league appearances for Southport this season, Doughty dismissed any misgivings about the veteran central midfielder's ability to last the course, and said: 'The minute I was asked to look after the team, my first port of call was to Jonah to ask him about his fitness,' he said. 'He told me he had just played against Bury under-23s, done the full 90 minutes and scored two goals, so that tells you something.
'He is a very fit lad who keeps himself in shape and takes pride in what he does out on the pitch. Southport are going down a youthful route at the moment and were prepared to sanction the loan, so that is our gain.
'For me, we need men to get us out of the mess we are in. We need men, leaders and fighters, and Jonah is all three. He was my captain for two years at Rochdale, before he got a great move to Barnsley, and I know what he is about. He's got all that experience, and he's a leader. If someone isn't following instructions, he'll get hold of them and say "Hang on, what have you been told to do? Get it done."
'He will drive players on, and we need that because it's clear to me, standing on the touchline, that we are a quiet team. That's why I did not hesitate to make Jonah my first signing as interim manager.
'There'll be another coming in next week who also fits into the same three categories as Jonah, because in our situation, we need men who are going to give us that drive and organisation off the ball, as well as on it. We need leaders like Jonah and Shaun Densmore, who is coming back to full fitness and gave us so much when he went on as substitute against Blyth on Tuesday night.
'Hopefully there will be more to come of the same ilk, because we need character in this team. It's a one-month deal to start with for Jonah, and hopefully we can progress it from there. Put it this way, as long as I'm at the club, Jonah will be. That's how highly I rate him as a player and character. He was man of the match when we played Southport at The J.Davidson not so long ago, so he won't have lost it in that short time.'"
Two Altrincham FC Reserve team players, Laurence Taylor (20) and Will Foster (19), were in the squad for Tuesday's FA Trophy clash with Blyth Spartans, which was their first involvement with the first team this season. Central midfielder Laurence, left, played most of the game whilst centre-back Will (right) was an unused sub. Both players had previously played for Alty's first team in the CSC match against Crewe last season. They started out together in George Heslop's Altrincham FC Youth team, for whom Laurence was captain.
Our Christmas Chef is Richie Bentley and the menu is as follows:-
- Cream of Fresh Vegetable Soup
- Roast Cheshire Turkey (Chipolata Sausages/Chestnut Stuffing) with Sprouts, Parsnips & Roast Potatoes
- Christmas Pudding & Cream
- Traditional Mince Pies
- Tea or Coffee
Red or White wine and soft drinks will be served with the meal.
All this for a remarkable pre-Brexit price of just £10!
TASC is very grateful to Richie Bentley Catering and to Bidvest Foodservice who are sponsoring the costs of putting on this event, therefore all funds raised will be donated directly by TASC to Altrincham Football Club.
To reserve your place at this festive culinary extravaganza simply pick up the phone and call the Football Club on 0161 928 1045 or send an e-mail".
Tamworth report that "Influential centre back Luke Jones has joined Ellis Deeney in committing his future to The Lambs until the end of the 2017/18 season. The defenders arrival has coincided with a promising run of National League North form, with just one defeat in nine games since since Luke debuted in September's home clash with FC United, including a run of five consecutive wins.
Commenting on Jones's contract extension, Andy Morrell said 'He's been great for us so far this season and done exactly as we expected. He's a leader and a communicator, but most importantly an out and out defender. His fitness is improving week on week too. He had a few options on the table, but has bought in to what we are trying to achieve here, and we are delighted to have him.'"NL Pitchero, "Northwich Victoria has been handed over to its supporters by long-serving chairman Martin Rushe and his family. Rushe issued the following statement on behalf of the family.
'Since 2007 it has been a great honour to be involved with the ownership of Northwich Victoria FC. During our tenure at this great football club, we have had some fantastic footballing highs in the league and FA Cup and some unfortunate lows but, at all times, we have strived to be the best we can. My family’s enthusiasm and efforts have been unstinting in driving this club forward. However in increasingly challenging times, we no longer have the resources to financially support the club.
'It is with great sadness that I must inform you that we can no longer carry the club forward in the direction we would wish. Therefore, we have decided that it must be handed over to the supporters, in the name of Northwich Victoria Supporters' Association, and under the capable supervision of Brian Turner and Dave Thomas, both life-long club supporters.
'We have been working tirelessly with our advisors in the last few months to ensure a smooth and solvent transition and hand over of ownership to the fans association, keeping this great club in existence. I am happy to announce that we have reached agreement with Brian and Dave who we feel are best placed to take the club forward. I know the new owners will do our family proud and continue the investment made by my father and the family these last nine years, I am satisfied that whilst we would have loved to have continued our ownership, the new Board and supporters' association will follow our dreams and achieve great success in the future.
'I would urge all Northwich Victoria Fans to get behind the new owners and come down to support the club in the remainder of the season. With your help and the new structure put in place I know the club will grow and have success in the future. Finally, a big thank you to all the supporters and players over the last nine years who have shared our dream, as a family, the club will always be in our hearts and strive to be the best, and maybe one day achieve League Status".
8 December 2016
Mark Eckersall as soon as possible so that numbers can be gauged. A decision will be made late on Wednesday night so please get in touch as soon as possible"
Right: Courtesy of Mike Ripley comes the adjacent image of Jake Moult after he head given Alty an early lead on Tuesday night against Blyth Spartans.
"For the second in our series of Q&As with chairman Grahame Rowley, we have received one question from long-standing supporter David Gale about facilities on the Popular Side at The J.Davidson Stadium.
I put David's question to the chairman first, then added a few of my own to try and broaden the interview and expand on what David was asking. Don't forget, this is your opportunity to have anything that's on your mind answered by the chairman of your club. Just email your question here. and you will get a
Q: Having stood on the Popular Side for almost 50 years, I do think facilities there are continuously forgotten and I know this view is shared by many of the supporters standing in this area. We lost not only our toilet block, when it was demolished several years ago, but also our tea hut and the middle address system speaker, which was removed when the cantilever stand was built.
Although you can hear the speaker in an empty ground, it is impossible to hear what is said in this position on match days. The cantilever stand was of course a good step forward when built, but the view and capacity has been completely ruined by television gantries, protective nets, etc, which are now permanently in place.
The new Community Hall was an excellent move forward, and, as someone who likes a drink before the match, I particularly appreciate this improvement. I know its other activities must be hugely benefiting to the club and community, but please consider the facilities for the poor folk on the far side of the ground, who never fail to turn up.
A: I have great sympathy with David and others who make the same points about standing on the Popular Side. Many years ago, when I first started watching Alty, that is where I stood. My first memories of being an Alty fan are of standing on the halfway line on the Pop Side, right up against the barriers, so I do appreciate where you are coming from, David, when you talk about having a favourite spot for watching the games.
With regard to the toilets, they were built years and years ago, and we found out that the actual drains from them didn't lead into the main drain, as they should, but instead went into some sort of cesspit. In the end it became some sort of environmental issue, and really it was in the best interests of everyone concerned with the football club that we got rid of them.
We did look into replacing them at the time, but the nearest actual main drain was in the middle of Golf Road, and when we looked at it, the cost was quite excessive. Improving facilities on that side of the ground is one of the projects we need to put on our list, though. There are so many things round the ground we would ideally like to do.
Away fans may well say the toilet and catering facilities at their end are insufficient, and they may have a point. They could do with improving, but the interests of our supporters come first, and I do take on board the need to make improvements on the Popular Side as and when we can.
The strategic plan for the club is well underway, and facilities on that side of the ground, including catering, should be on the list of things to do. We will see what we can do about it. We have got enough volunteers at the moment to run the various catering outlets round the ground, and I would hope more would come forward and offer their services if we were able to build more.
Q: So if finances permitted, it would be high on the list?
A: I think so, yes. I can fully understand why people would not be enamoured with the idea of walking round the ground for a pie or whatever, queuing up to be served and then walking all the way back again, so it would be a win-win situation, because it would be appreciated by Pop Side patrons and encourage them to buy food and drink, which, in turn, would enhance the club's takings.
Q: The scaffolding for Alty TV has caused some consternation, but it is a very popular service. There's no easy answer, really, is there?
A: There isn't, unfortunately, when you consider Manchester United under-18s play here and MUTV cover the games. They have all got their safety regulations, which have got to be adhered to. People ask why don't we hang the gantry from the roof, but it comes down to cost.
The way we are operating at the moment is the most cost-effective way to do it. I do understand what people mean when they say they have stood in the same place for 20 or 30 years and don't appreciate having to move to get a better, clearer view, but sometimes a compromise has to be reached when there is no easy solution that suits everyone.
I would say, as well, we've got a great facility there, with Radio Robins and Alty TV. Unfortunately, it has meant a few people being inconvenienced over their preferred vantage point, and I am sorry that has happened.
Q: To be fair to Alty TV, the coverage is appreciated by people who are at the game, anyway, isn't it, not just those who can't make it?
A: Absolutely. It's amazing, really. I sit in the main stand, and it's funny, because when I watch the highlights later, provided by a camera on the opposite side of the ground, I suddenly realise something happened because of such-and-such a tackle or pass or mistake. It's a real eye-opener and so interesting, because it's like a different dimension.
It gives you a different perspective on the game. When I was standing on the Popular Side all those years ago, I never imagined the day would dawn when I could watch an Alty game on TV, which effectively it is. I think Mark Bennett and his team do an absolutely superb job to make it available to everyone, including exiles who are not able to get to games. That's great, because it helps spread the word.
Q: Apart from the cost element of suspending the gantry, would the roof be strong enough to take the weight, anyway?
A: I'm not sure about that. I would have to ask the people involved in putting the structure up. I'm not sure the actual main bar across the top would be sufficient to hang the gantry from. You would probably need some sort of structural survey done to see if it could bear the weight, and that would probably be expensive in itself.
Q: Money is tight, and you are in agreement with everyone else that the team is the priority, but better facilities are at least being given consideration, then?
A: Yes, you are always looking at ways of improving things. For every plus, there's always a minus, unfortunately, and when you think of how the TV coverage is a massive plus for the club, you then realise it comes at a cost to some, and I would very much like to be able to address that at some point.
If we could minimise those minuses, or even better extinguish them altogether, I would be delighted. That is certainly the aim, provided it is practical".
"Here is a report and picture from our Manx reporter Paul Hatton who came over for the weekend (and also attended the first-team's Tamworth game)...
'Lady Robins secure all three points in the Cheshire Derby
A Brogan Walsh second half strike was enough for Altrincham FC women’s team to secure maximum points against Stockport County Blues, securing a 1-0 victory in the North West Regional Division One South at Mersey Valley, thus consolidating fifth place.
Although the visitors turned up with the bare starting XI, they did frustrate the Robins. The hosts dominated for large periods but could not convert that possession into a more comprehensive score-line.
With the match just over a minute old, Alty had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Laura Kelly crossed from the left, picking out an unmarked Megan Wright at the far post, but she steered an easy chance wide.
The Robins continued to force the issue, Wright and Walsh had chances off target whilst, just before the interval, Kelly had an effort cleared off the line.
After the break, Alty kept up the pressure. Two handball appeals were turned down in the penalty area, Laura Dodds fired a free-kick straight at the goalkeeper and Kelly drove a low shot narrowly wide.
The breakthrough arrived on 62 minutes. Dodd’s corner was aimed at the far post, Louise Edleston pushed the ball onto Walsh’s path for her to steer home from close range.
Chances still came Alty’s way. Wright embarked on a weaving run, but drove the resulting shot straight at the keeper whilst Bliss Molyneaux lifted an effort over the crossbar following a corner but Alty could not add to their score-line.
Last Sunday also saw Megan Rowley make her senior debut for the team, replacing Walsh as soon as she scored. Rowley has came through the junior ranks. Manager Keith Edleston is keen to promote a pathway from the junior set-up through to the seniors.
Players' Player of the Match went to Heather Scott, Management Player went to Louise Edleston".
Above, right: Louise Edleston brings the ball out of defence. Image courtesy of Keith Edleston. .Blyth Spartans report that, on Saturday, "Spartans will now play Altrincham at Croft Park in a replay of their Buildbase FA Trophy tie. Kick off is 3pm"
Spartans also eport that they "twice came from behind to force a replay in a compelling FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round tie as they held Vanarama National League North side Altrincham to a 2-2 draw...
Both sides went close to securing a home tie against Macclesfield Town in the second half, but the pair will have contest a replay... Blyth were forced into three changes... as captain Robert Dale, Stephen Turnbull and on-loan David Atkinson weren’t available for selection. That meant Jarrett Rivers, Matthew Wade and Andrew Cartwright returned to a Spartans' side wearing their yellow change kit for the first time this season.
Altrincham appeared to be desperate to put their disastrous league form to one side... and came straight out of the blocks early...
Maguire scored two goals against Alty in the 4-1 Emirates FA Cup First Round between the two sides back in 2014 and he looked to be a handful for the home side once again as he had a good shout for a penalty when he was brought down in the box two minutes later...
Blyth’s attacking spell really warranted an equaliser and it came on 23 minutes...
Spartans continued to push forward and another error from Deasy nearly gave them the lead with 33 minutes gone. His parry from Pattison’s shot bounced off Armstrong and looked to be going in, but Deasy was able to atone for his mistake by finally gathering the ball on the line.
Unfortunately for the visitors, they literally handed the initiative to their opponents with six minutes of the half remaining after Michael Liddle was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Moult stepped up and smashed in his second straight down the middle of the goal, which went in off the underside of the bar.
With time running out before the break, Blyth were able to reply instantly with a second equaliser on 42 minutes. Armstrong’s header from Rivers’ cross forced another spill from Deasy and Reid was able to burst the net with a ferocious strike on the rebound from two yards...
With 15 minutes to go... the Robins could, and probably should, have been ahead once more. Woolston dived to tip substitute Sean Miller’s curled shot onto the crossbar, which presented Harry Cain with a simple header to retake the lead. Showing a lot less composure than his England-playing namesake though, he headed the ball straight at the keeper".Daily Mirror reports that "Managerless Altrincham FC forced to ban applications based on Football Manager achievements. Several hopeful gaffers have tried to secure real-life jobs thanks to simulation success in the past, but the non-league side aren't having it
Managerless Altrincham FC have dashed the hopes of thousands of prospective gaffers by banning applications for their vacancy [which are] based solely on Football Manager achievements.
The Vanarama National League North side, no doubt a popular port of call for those who start the game unemployed [?], have taken the move to root out timewasters as they seek a new gaffer for the second time this season.
Jim Harvey was sacked as first team manager on Tuesday... but the Robins are in no mood to sift through the applications of people who've never sat in a dugout before".
ESPN adds that following its announcement on social media ...
'Please note, CVs for the vacant manager role must not be based on FM or CM achievements. Altrincham FC (@altrinchamfc) December 6, 2016'
You'd think that having to include caveats such as these was largely unnecessary but this is a truly bizarre world in which we live. After all, it's not like actual professional football clubs hiring new staff on the basis of their computer game wizardry is entirely unprecedented."
Colin Peake, Media & Partnership Support Director of The National League announces that "We are pleased to announce that tickets for the VNLPF 2017 will be available at preferred terms from 10am on Monday 12th December via the standard 'Early Bird Offer'. This will allow fans to have an opportunity to buy tickets for Christmas presents or that special occasion. Note the offer will end on 28th February and general ticket sales will not be available again until the actual finalists are known. Once purchased there is no refund".
Details of the Vanarama Big Day Out are here
In a delayed Third Qualifying Round tie, National League North club Boston United surrendered an early two-goal lead against Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South side Witton Albion...
Witton`s league rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels pulled off a terrific 3-2 win at Bower Fold against another Nation[al] League North outfit, Stalybridge Celtic...
Boston`s league rivals Darlington 1883’s hopes of a good run in the Trophy were dashed by a disputed stoppage time penalty at the Marine Travel Arena against Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Marine AFC in their replay.
The Quakers were two-up through Liam Hardy and Nathan Cartman, and even though Marine pulled a goal back through Obi Anorou, they still seemed in control until [ex-Alty man] Danny Mitchley fired the equaliser from 25 yards... And in a frantic 6 minutes of stoppage time, Marine were awarded a penalty for a foul by Darlington defender Chris Hunter on James Foley and Mitchley buried the spot-kick...
FC United of Manchester suffered a 5-1 home defeat to National League North rivals Nuneaton Town in an original Third Qualifying Round tie, bringing an abrupt end to a recent run of four consecutive victories.
Ironically, the two teams met in the league just over two weeks ago, with FC running out 3-0 winners...
Chorley ensured they weren`t victims of an upset when they edged past two-times former Trophy winners, Stafford Rangers, at Victory Park...
The all-National League North replay between Salford City and Harrogate Town emphatically went the way of the visitors at Moor Lane".
- Att: 276: Altrincham 2 v 2 Blyth Spartans AFC
- Att: 466 Chorley 1 v 0 Stafford Rangers
- Att: 262 Eastbourne Borough 2 v 2 Leiston (Leiston won 5-3 on penalties AET)
- Att: 736 FC United Of Manchester 1 v 5 Nuneaton Town
- Att: 198 Royston Town 2 v 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough
- Att: 290 Salford City 0 v 3 Harrogate Town
- Att: 140 Stalybridge Celtic 2 v 3 Stocksbridge Park Steels
- Att: 194 Witton Albion 4 v 2 Boston United
- Att: 308 Marine 3 v 2 Darlington 1883
- Manchester United v Reading
- Preston North End v Arsenal
- West Ham United v Manchester City
- Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon
- Barrow v Rochdale
The following Second Round replays will also be shown:
- Peterborough v Notts Co
- Newport County v Plymouth Argyle
7 December 2016
Alty fielded an unfamiliar line-up on Tuesday night. Here we see (l. to r.) Goodall, Deasy, Taylor, Cain, Lawrie, Hannigan, Richman, Hobson, Reeves, Moult, McWilliams.
On the day they parted company with manager Jim Harvey, Altrincham had to field a much weakened side with six players out, either through injury or ineligibility, (Cyrus, Lenighan, McDonald, Morrison-Derbyshire, Patterson, Wilkinson). And they lost Tom Hannigan before half time as well...
Match report here
- Altrincham 2-2 Blyth Spartans
- Chorley 1-0 Stafford Rangers
- Eastbourne Borough 2-2 Leiston
- FC United of Manchester 1-5 Nuneaton Town
- Marine 3-2 Darlington 1883
- Royston Town 2-1 Hampton & Richmond Borough
- Salford City 0-3 Harrogate Town
- Stalybridge Celtic 2-3 Stocksbridge Park Steels
- Witton Albion 4-2 Boston United
Watmore was forced off on a stretcher and a scan on Monday revealed the extent of the damage, keeping him out for the remainder of the campaign. It is a blow for the England Under-21 star, who is also likely to miss next summer's European Championships...
The collision with Fuchs left Watmore in pain and he couldn't get up from the ground. [Sunderland boss, David] Moyes admitted to Sky Sports before Monday that Watmore's injury 'Doesn't look good for him... Duncan has been a big part of the first team and it would be a big blow'".
6 December 2016
"Altrincham have terminated the contract of manager Jim Harvey with immediate effect, exactly three months after he was appointed successor to Neil Young.
The decision was relayed to the experienced former Morecambe, Forest Green Rovers, Chester City, Stalybridge Celtic and FC Halifax manager by chairman Grahame Rowley today, following a board meeting to discuss the club's perilous position at the foot of the Vanarama National League North.
Assistant-manager Matt Doughty, a firm favourite with Alty fans from his days as a fiercely committed left-back, will take the reins for tonight's FA Trophy tie against Blyth Spartans at The J.Davidson Stadium and continue in interim charge while the club carefully consider their next move.
Explaining the decision to dispense with Harvey's services, with the team 12 points from safety at the foot of the table after only one league win all season, Rowley said 'In common with most people, we felt we had the right person with the right pedigree to take us forward when we appointed Jim as manager at the beginning of September. From coaching at international level with Northern Ireland, as number two to Sammy McIlroy, to managing in non-League, he had a reputation for getting the best out of teams and players.
'Last season at Halifax, all seemed lost when he got the job, yet he took them to Wembley in the FA Trophy and almost pulled off the great escape in the league, so he seemed the perfect fit for turning round our fortunes.
'Unfortunately, it hasn't happened, and something had to be done. I accept he took on a very difficult task, but the plain fact is, three months down the line, there is no sign of progress, no sign we are at least heading in the right direction.
'Jim was very disappointed when I told him the news but, when action is needed, it has to be taken. We have been waiting for things to improve, and desperately hoping they might, but there is nothing to suggest our fortunes are about to take a turn for the better.
'There are no green shoots of recovery, which is the least you need to persevere with things as they are and give the manager more time. It hurts to say it, but we are drifting, and, as a board, we simply can't sit by and allow that to happen.
'This club has a great tradition, with a fighting spirit at the very heart of it, and we want to get that back. That's why the next appointment is so important. We want to make sure it is the right one, rather than a rushed one. It will be a thorough process, to try and ensure we find someone who can put that fighting spirit out on the pitch.'"
Footnote: After taking over following the 2-2 draw against Chorley, Jim Harvey presided over 10 league matches and four cup games. One league match was won and nine were lost whilst, in cup competitions, Altrincham won three and lost one tie.
Admission prices to all parts of the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, WA15 8AP...
- Adult admission: £10
- Concessionaries: £5
- Under-12s £2
Mike Garnett's records reveal the previous record between Altrincham and Blyth Spartans...
- Home P7 W5 D1 L1 F14 A7
- Away P10 W2 D5 L3 F14 A15
- Overall P17 W7 D6 L4 F28 A22
Howard Watts's records list previous Altrincham matches on today's date, in Through the Years.
Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full, live commentary of Tuesday night's game at The J.Davidson Stadium.
The commentators are Alex Sarwar and Ian Wilkinson and the match summariser is Dave Stringer.
Coverage starts at 7.40pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at http://www.radiorobins.com/
His daughter, Liz, told the Club "I had been bringing him to home games over the last few years, and he was still coming to matches this season, although we'd had to sit down in the stand this season rather than stand in our usual spot behind the goal. It's a pity results haven't been going so well this season but at least he got to see us win a couple of games in the FA Cup! He was thrilled to have got back in touch with one of his old schoolfriends with your help through the club and, although they never managed to meet up again, they corresponded quite often".
Liz is continuing Brian's membership of the Altrincham FC Patrons' Club in memory of her father.
"Alun Armstrong had hoped to claim all three points before Blyth Spartans' important Evo-Stik Premier League promotion “six-pointer” against Buxton before kick-off, but he was 'happy' to settle for a point given how the game turned out.
Spartans had dominated much of the first half, but the momentum shifted to their Derbyshire-based visitors when Damen Mullen received his marching orders six minutes before the break, after receiving his second yellow card from referee Rebecca Welch.
That setback didn’t prevent Spartans from competing in the second half and they nearly snatched a hard-fought victory... And while Armstrong had hoped to see off Blyth’s promotion rivals prior to the start of the game, he admitted that he was glad that his side had still been able to pick up a draw in difficult circumstances.
The 41-year-old admitted, 'Before the game, I’d have said a draw at home would be two points dropped. However, you look at how the game panned out and, with Damo getting sent off, you’ve got to be happy with a point. I was chuffed to bits with the lads and their work ethic, as everyone worked for each other. If I’m being honest, I think we deserved to win the game.
'You wouldn’t have thought that we had ten men in that game. It would have been an unbelievable three points if we’d ended up winning, but the most important thing was not to lose the game and they did that fantastically. The lads took everything on board that I said to them at the break and they all worked hard. Although it was one of those days and we couldn’t nick it in the end, I’m still happy with a point'.
While Armstrong picked out midfield maestro Stephen Turnbull for special praise for his performance on Saturday, he was also delighted with all of his players and their ability to record a clean sheet despite playing with ten men for 50 minutes. Armstrong added, 'I thought Twinny [Turnbull] was outstanding and it’s the best game I’ve seen him play since I arrived. Patta [Matty Pattison] tucked into midfield and did really well'...
Mullen was shown his second yellow card for a mis-timed tackle on Alastair Taylor. However, Armstrong thought Welch should also have reduced Buxton down to ten men as well. Armstrong added, 'The biggest problem I had was that she gave out yellow cards out to our lot, but she wasn’t giving them to Buxton for the same kind of tackles. There was no difference in the tackles, but she was just speaking to them. That’s what I was trying to get across to her, but she wasn’t listening. Everyone could see that, though, it wasn’t just me. Everyone in the ground could see that she wasn’t doing the same for both sides and, if she had, then they probably would have been down to ten men as well in the second half...
After a confidence-boosting performance saw Spartans extend their unbeaten league run to nine games, Blyth now travel down to Vanarama National League North side Altrincham on Tuesday, as they set their sights on an appearance in the Buildbase FA Trophy First Round for the first time in six years. And after being impressed with what he saw at the weekend, the Blyth boss appeared to throw down the gauntlet to his players.
He revealed, 'That result is a massive confidence boost for the lads. As I’ve already said to them that if we can get a clean sheet with ten men, then why can’t we do it with 11? We’ll also score goals when we’re attacking with 11 men. I’m quite confident that we’ll score goals against Altrincham and, if the lads can defend like that again on Tuesday, then I’ll be more than happy.'
The winners of the tie will host Vanarama National League side Macclesfield Town on Saturday December 10 and, while he is very much focused on Altrincham, Armstrong revealed that he would love to test his players against the side from two leagues above. Armstrong said, 'I watched Macclesfield in the FA Cup on TV on Friday night and it was a really good game. I’d love to put our lads up against them, but we have to get past Altrincham first. They’re in the league above and, yes, they may be struggling, but they’re there for a reason. It’s going to be a really tough game, but the lads are really looking forward to it.
Hopefully, we’ll get the result we want and it’ll be nice to get Macclesfield here'".
Macclesfield Town manager John Askey "is delighted to see the Silkmen in the draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup, after Friday’s Second Round tie with Oxford ended in a goalless draw... Askey said, 'It’s great to see our name in the draw, and it keeps the buzz around the town for a bit longer so hopefully we can cause an upset away from home'...
He was also thrilled with the atmosphere around the Moss Rose on Friday night, and is hopeful that the turnout for Friday’s game will continue for the replay and the rest of the season. 'We haven’t had a crowd like that for years, and tonight has been a special night for the fans. I think this year people have got behind the club more than they have done over previous years. It’s terrific, and nights like this encourage more people to come... It was a bonus to have it on the telly as I thought it was a good spectacle. It might have finished 0-0 but it was a very entertaining game”.NL PItchero, "Young midfielder Kieran Dunbar has joined Stalybridge Celtic on a month's loan from Fleetwood Town. Dunbar came through the youth ranks at Birmingham City before joining the Cod Army, where he was handed a first-team deal last year. Dunbar joins the National League North side until January 2nd 2017 and was an unused substitute in Saturday`s draw against Boston United."