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Sat. 31 October 2020, 3pm
Vanarama National League



29 October 2020


Following the draw at Hartlepool, Altrincham FC has press and media officer Brian Flynn's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson.


Experienced midfielder Darren Potter, whose arrival at Altrincham was announced on 22 October has already left the club, as was confirmed by manager Phil Parkinson after Tuesday's game at Hartlepool.

Potter's only game for Altrincham was against AFC Fylde last Sunday in the FA Cup. He was substituted after 67 minutes of that Cup tie. Parkinson explained the midfielder's departure saying that he had found it difficult to adapt to the part-time game.

His departure follows the departure three days ago of Max Clayton after he, too, had made just one appearance. In his case, it was as a substitute, following his arrival at the club in August.

The duo are probably the only players in Alty history to have appeared for the club but who were never seen in action by Altrincham supporters thanks to the Covid-19 restrictions on the attendance of crowds at football matches.


Hartlepool United could not beat Altrincham and they cannot spell it either, in a report which omits a number of key details! "United remain unbeaten this season, but dropped two points in a 1-1 home draw with Altringham [sic]. Pools took the lead through David Parkhouse, but conceded an 85th minute leveller.

And in injury time, Pools’ keeper Ben Killip was the hero, saving a penalty to keep Pools’ record intact. Pools started on the front foot from the off, as the[y] pressed and probed around the visitors penalty area...

Pools took the lead on 31 minutes, as David Parkhouse netted... David Ferguson’s low ball to the near post was turned in by the on-loan striker...

Timi Odusina showed his turn of pace to track back and deny the advancing Fisayo Adarabioyo, but the defender was booked a minute later as the pair collided midway into the Pools half... Odusina was given a stern warning by referee Andrew Miller on the hour mark after a collision [sic] with Adarabioyo.

Pools then made their first change, as Molyneux was replaced by Claudio Ofosu. The visitors also altered their side, off went Hancock [no, it was Mullarkey] and on came Sutton. After a delay in play following an injury to the visitors Richman, Pools replaced goalscorer Parkhouse with Mason Bloomfield. [Richman had to be stretchered off after being fouled]...

Pools’ keeper Ben Killip was booked, as the ball bounced up onto his arm when he came out of the area to clear [and also took out Adarabioyo].

The leveller came on 85 minutes. A corner was cleared, but the ball was returned wide, and crossed into the area, when Peers [the scorer was actually Sutton] headed in from a packed penalty area.

Keeper Killip was Pools’ hero in injury time as he saved a penalty. Ofosu felled Senior in the area. Matthew Kosylo struck the spotkick firmly to the keeper’s right and Killip dived to push it away".

The Hartlepool Mail adds that "Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor has backed Claudio Ofosu to learn from his mistake during last night’s 1-1 draw with Altrincham.

The 22 year-old almost cost his side a point in injury time when he went to clear the ball from inside the penalty area but instead brought Joel Senior to the ground.

Thankfully for Ofosu and for Pools, Ben Killip was on hand to save Matty Kosylo’s spot-kick and preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

All in all, it proved to be a tough night for the former Stevenage youngster after coming on as a substitute but Challinor believes he will learn from it.

'That’ll be a good learning curve for Claudio,' Challinor said. 'He’s a young lad who is really, really keen to learn. He did great in pre-season but this is a completely different level... We lost our composure a bit through the frustration; there could be arguments to say Timi (Odusina) could have got a second yellow card, Ben Killip could have been sent off for a handball, not that I think it was.

'Claudio, unfortunately, lost his composure in the penalty area and conceded a penalty... but he’ll learn from that, he has to.'

Another one of Challinor’s summer signings also had an impact on the game. David Parkhouse, on loan from Sheffield United, netted his first league goal of the campaign from yet another David Ferguson assist.

He added 'It was probably the first time Fergy had got round the back of him[?] to put a ball in and Parky’s a goalscorer. It was a good goal; the best bit of play we produced in the first-half. 'In fairness to Altrincham, they made it difficult for us but we’ve then got to adapt to what we do. Players need to learn to play the game, not just how we played it last week. Every game is a different game.'"


Alty travel to Dover for a game on Saturday. On Tuesday, Dover Athletic reported that "A late winner from Ade Azeez stopped Whites’ run of defeats as Dover won their first game since the opening day.

Athletic went behind early on through Tyrone Barnett, but were 2-1 up at the break thanks to goals from Sam Wood and Louis Collins.

Dan Smith levelled for the Spitfires in the second half, however Azeez was able to poke home a counter attack late on as Whites took all three points.

Barnett had his side off to the perfect start as the visitors went ahead inside the first 10 minutes... Later, Whites were level through Wood.

The defender rose highest to meet Jack Munn’s swirling cross to the back post to score his second of the season.

Andy Hessenthaler’s men then took the lead on the half hour mark through Collins third goal in two matches, with the diminutive striker firing Azeez’s cutback into the corner of the net.

Kurtis Cumberbatch then almost put Whites further ahead on the stroke of half time, but his effort from outside the area flew just wide... Eastleigh continued to push in the second half and were level on the hour mark after a scramble in the box...

But the away side were caught cold as Whites retook the lead with 10 minutes of normal time left. Substitute Ahkeem Rose sprinted onto fellow sub and debutant Omar Mussa’s through ball and found Azeez to fire home the winner into the far bottom corner.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler made three changes from the penalty shootout defeat to Yeovil in the FA Cup, with Wood, Steve Rigg and Azeez replacing Marshall Wratten, Bilel Hinchiri and Rose.

Dover next host Altrincham in the National League on Saturday 31st October".

The Dover squad comprised... 24 Tom Smith, 2 Josh Passley, 22 Bayli Spencer-Adams, 20 Marvel Ekpiteta, 3 Sam Wood, 8 Kurtis Cumberbatch, 14 TJ Bramble, 11 Jack Munns, 10 Steven Rigg, 7 Louis Collins, 19 Ade Azeez. Subs: 1 Yusuf Mersin, 5 Paul Rooney, 9 Ahkeem Rose, 16 Marshall Wratten, 23 Omar Mussa.


|Saturday, 31 October 2020

ON THIS DAY: 29 October

Four years ago today, Altrincham lost 3-0 in a Vanarama National League North match, played at Bromsgrove, against Worcester City.

On the eve of the match Altrincham had signed experienced defender and former Worcester City man, Wayne Thomas [right], on loan from Kidderminster. He became the 34th player to be named that season in an Altrincham first-team squad. Reeves moved to the bench as Marsh started as a lone striker and Thomas replaced Cyrus at the back.

After a fairly bright start from Altrincham they found themselves not only a goal down but alos playing with ten men from the 11th minute. First, Sam Patterson failed to sell a dummy to an opponent, lost the ball, and from the resulting cross from the left veteran ex-WBA striker Lee Hughes headed home, unmarked (9 mins). And, soon afterwards, Patterson missed a ball played up Worcester's inside-left channel and Hughes ran towards goal. Just outside the box, the retreating Goodall brought the striker down and Altrincham's captain was sent off.

Keane made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a low shot from 25 yards. In the second half, the ten men rallied slightly with the introduction of substitutes Reeves, Heathcote and Cain but, against the run of play at that stage, Alty made another mistake at the back as Hall and McWilliams got in each other's way, allowing Nelson-Addy an easy conversion from close range (76 mins).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Wayne THOMAS, 5. Danny HALL, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Phil MARSH, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Greg WILKINSON, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Sam HEATHCOTE, 16. Harry CAIN, 20. Andrew DAWBER.


Following Tuesday night's fixtures, the National League reported that "It was a night of fast and frantic action... The goals flowed and we have new leaders after Torquay tore into Aldershot Town.

Danny Wright got two and contributions from Ben Wynter and Ben Whitfield made in a memorable night for Gary Johnson’s men. The 4-1 win took them ahead of Stockport County, who fired blanks in a stalemate with Solihull Moors.

Sutton United have enjoyed a great start; they won for the fourth time this season in the delayed kick-off at Yeovil. Harry Beautyman’s double lifted the London club to third as the midfielder showed he could have another great return from the middle of the park.

Wealdstone hold a play-off place and they have Danny Parish to thank for it. He fired a fantastic hat-trick as the Stones eventually held firm to win at King’s Lynn, who twice battled back to draw level...

Bromley beat Weymouth 3-2 in an exciting clash... while speed merchant Ade Azeez got what turned out to be the winner as Dover edged a classic with Eastleigh.

Altrincham came so close to a famous win at Hartlepool but keeper Ben Killip saved a late penalty from Matty Kosylo to deny them all three points, 1-1 it ended.

Dagenham’s poor start continued but Maidenhead are really making moves up the table... with a third straight win.

Boreham Wood are getting things together, they beat Woking 1-0... Wrexham and Barnet both wouldn’t be beaten and it ended goalless".


The Derbyshire Times tells us that "A number of National League clubs have raised concerns at the way a £10m government support package has been shared out. The funding is to help clubs cope without any matchday income as games continue to be played behind closed doors without any fans.

The amount each club will receive has been decided based on last season’s average attendance but some clubs in the National League have received more money than others in the National League North and South divisions despite having much lower crowds.

For example, the likes of York City, Hereford and Chester in the National League North all averaged more than 2,000 fans for home games but will only receive £36,000 per month in funding compared to Boreham Wood, of the National League, who will get £84,000 despite getting just 700 supporters.

Chesterfield is one of seven National League clubs which will receive £95,000 per month for the next three months. The other 16 clubs will each get £84,000".

Yeovil Town "fell to a disappointing defeat on Tuesday evening as Sutton United were the 2-1 victors at Huish Park.

After the visitors took [had taken] an early lead through Harry Beautyman, a late first-half goal from Joe Quigley offered hope for Town after a lacklustre opening 45 minutes.

Beautyman was a consistent danger to the Glovers, firing a second from the penalty spot, securing all three points returned to South London.

With Luke Wilkinson returning from his suspension, Carl Dickinson was the casualty in the Glovers backline as Albi Skendi and Josh Staunton retained their spaces. Dan Leadbitter and Gabby Rogers started on the flanks, with Lawson D’Ath, Charlie Lee and Matt Warburton in the middle. After their goalscoring performances on Saturday, Joe Quigley and Rhys Murphy began up top.

Despite a similar side to Saturday, the Glovers began the game in polarising [?opposite] fashion. Sutton began the game well on top, with Yeovil struggling to find any sort of out ball...

After a poor start, Darren Sarll would have felt nothing was going his way as Josh Staunton fell awkwardly leading to him being replaced by Carl Dickinson in Yeovil’s back three....

Sutton must have felt hard-done-by to be behind at the break [it was actually 1-1 at HT], and Matt Gray’s side came out for the second half with a vengeance.

That fire in the Sutton belly soon forced a penalty as Wilkinson was adjudged to have fouled as Sutton broke away. The always bright Beautyman stepped up and comfortably dispatched [it]...

With referee’s [referees] a constant talking point, this man in the middle did little to keep himself out of the Glovers’ supporters’ mouths, denying two vocal penalty shouts from Yeovil".

From Weymouth we learn that the Terras "somehow emerged beaten at Hayes Lane as Bromley took a 3-2 win... Most of the first-half attacking came from Weymouth as Josh Wakefield thudded [a shot] home in the 23rd minute to establish a merited lead.

But captain Josh McQuoid gave away a cheap penalty from which Michael Cheek equalised as Bromley gained the upper hand.

A fabulous counter led to Nassim L’Ghoul sweeping home in the 47th minute before Ben Williamson’s arcing drive eluded away keeper Jack Bycroft for 3-1.

Tom Whelan’s penalty three minutes from time set up a grandstand finish as Weymouth created late chances but could not find what would have been a deserved leveller.

Searching for a second league win in succession, Weymouth boss Brian Stock made four changes to the side that began Saturday’s 3-2 FA Cup loss to Oxford City. In came Wakefield, McQuoid, Josh Leslie-Smith and Calvin Brooks at the expense of Alefe Santos, Jake McCarthy, Myles Anderson and Ollie Harfield. Of the omitted quartet, only Harfield and McCarthy retained a place in the matchday squad.

Striker Ben Thomson was due to come in and replace Cody Cooke, only to fall ill before the game...

Weymouth were doing all the attacking in the opening portion of the game... Taking a justified lead, Weymouth allowed Bromley to creep back into the game".

Wealdstone report that "Danny Parish shone brightest in the battle of the National League North and South champions, netting an impressive hat-trick on his full debut against King’s Lynn Town.

The Linnets scored two goals after half-time courtesy of debutant Kairo Mitchell but the National League’s top scorers took all three points back to West London.

Stones Manager Dean Brennan made six changes from the side that were eliminated from the FA Cup last Saturday, including a full debut for Parish and returns for Harry Isted, Jack Cawley, Michael Phillips, Danny Green and Ross Lafayette.

It was a flying start for the travelling Stones who broke the deadlock after six minutes when Parish scored his first for the club...

It was a quick start to the second half as Mitchell headed in three minutes after the restart to eliminate any hope of earning first clean sheet of the season. King’s Lynn were on top in the second half until Parish found his second, heading in his second goal of the game from Green’s corner.

The tables swung again three minutes later as Mitchell netted his second goal of the game for the hosts, a decent move from King’s Lynn ended in a chip by Mitchell over Isted.

Wealdstone have become accustom to crazy games already this season, this was another as Lafayette was taken down in the box three minutes after the host’s equaliser. Parish stepped up and Archie Mair made a great save down to his right to deny the striker before Parish latched onto the rebound to secure his first Wealdstone hat-trick.

The Stones held on and now sit comfortably in 6th place in the National League after three impressive league wins in a row".

At Torquay United "Gary Johnson was a happy manager after a sublime second-half showing was enough to see his side emerge as 4-1 winners at Aldershot, a result that saw his side climb to the top of the National League standings.

'Fantastic result, especially from where we were in the first half', began Johnson. 'I apologise to all our supporters for the first half performance, but Aldershot decided to go long, very long, and they had runners. We didn’t cope with the long ball in behind us, and the runners, and we couldn’t seem to play out. Everything we hit was short, and they put us under a little bit of pressure.

'We got a bit of luck from a poor cross, and the goalie fumbled it into his goal. That at least kept us in the game, and it was just a matter of having a little word in their ear at half-time, and changing their mentality, as well as changing the shape, and personnel. I made one change and from that moment on, we had a better shape, a better mentality, and played some great stuff in the second half, and that’s what we can do...

'It [the interval talk] was one of my better ones I think! We had to change a few things. A few people were feeling sorry for themselves, and if you give a little livener, the lads know you’re doing it for the right reasons. Also our change of shape helped, but the mentality was vital. They had to stop feeling sorry for themselves, and go out and win the game, and that is exactly what they did.

'It’s a good run of five wins, including one FA Cup game, and I wanted to get over only scoring two goals in every game, so today getting four was probably what we deserved in other games. I’ve been saying we’ve been creating enough chances to score three or four goals'"

Sutton United tells us that "Harry Beautyman scored twice, and brought up his half century of Sutton goals, as U’s moved made it four wins out of five in the National League and moved up to third place in the table. After a delayed kick off due to floodlight issues Sutton produced arguably their best 45 minutes of the season so far in the first half".

Solihull Moors "announce the capture of towering centre forward Kyle Hudlin.

Hudlin has joined Moors after a spell with Midland League Division Two side Solihull United and has put pen to paper on a two-year deal...

The 20 year-old has been a non-league hot-shot for a few years, most noticeably catching the eye at former side Boldmere Sports and Social Falcons.

During the last campaign, the 6ft 9inch striker notched 25 times in just 22 games for the Falcons before signing for United in March... A new challenge now awaits Hudlin as he makes the jump from playing in step seven of English football to the National League.

Hudlin revealed The Training Room Sporting Complex, where the first-team now train, blew him away and made him realise he was taking his career to the next level.

'My mind was made up after the first training session,' he said. The lads are a really friendly bunch, great quality and I honestly don’t think there is a better move for me.

'The set-up is ridiculously good, as you can see you have everything here, the pitch is like a carpet and there really is nothing better... At 6ft 9, I am a unique presence. I don’t believe there is anyone else like me,' he said. 'My tall frame is one of my main advantages because people disregard how technical I am. Being underestimated as soon as I step out on the pitch, I like to surprise people, I like being an underdog...

'I started from the bottom really, Sunday league football,' he said. 'I haven’t had academy training, I have got here through hard work, determination and belief... I have come from step seven but I believe I deserve this move'...

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'You look at Kyle’s physical presence straight away, but he’s got really good control and a really good eye for goal'".

Also from Solihull Moors we learn of the "signing of Bermuda international Justin Donawa.

The 24-year-old attacker signs from Darlington for an undisclosed fee, on a contract until May 2022. Donawa has quite the background, having grown up as a cricket player and triple jumper where he won three medals in regional competitions; he also competed at the 2013 World Youth Championships in Athletics.

However, Donawa found success in football after moving to the United States to attend the Berkshire School and then Dartmouth College. He won three Ivy League championships with the Big Green, appeared during school breaks with Somerset Trojans, and spent time with Black Rock FC.

He was drafted by Columbus Crew in the third round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft but was not signed by the club.

Donawa moved to England last summer after impressing during pre-season with Darlington, which bagged him a contract with the Quakers. He went on to play 37 times throughout the 2019/20 season, scoring nine goals. This season, Donawa has made a further four appearances and netted twice...

After representing Bermuda at under-20 level, Donawa has since progressed to accumulate 20 senior caps for his nation, scoring three goals.

On signing for the Moors, Donawa said 'I’m glad I’ve been able to catch the attention of Solihull... It’s a great project and I want to make an impact in whatever way I can.'

Manager Jimmy Shan said 'Justin’s a player that’s very very quick. If we were to change shape, then he could play as a wide player and I think it was important for us to get somebody who could operate in that territory of the pitch. He’s very quick, very direct and I think he’ll cause people problems and defenders nightmares with his pace'">

Stockport County report that "The Hatters returned to National League action at Edgeley Park, and extended their unbeaten run to five matches, albeit without notching up a fifth successive victory, as their contest under the lights in SK3 against fellow high-fliers Solihull Moors ended goalless.

Heavy daytime showers had given way to calmer evening weather, as County took to the field showing two changes from the side that had started in the FA Cup-tie against Chesterfield three days previously. Ryan Croasdale was handed his full County debut, while Connor Jennings was recalled, replacing Ash Palmer, who was unwell, and the injured Lois Maynard."

After starting the season well, King's Lynn Town "suffered their 4th defeat in a row following a 3-2 defeat at home to Wealdstone on Tuesday evening, despite an improved performance especially in the second half.

Recent signings Danny Lupato and Kairo Mitchell were both handed full debuts with Rory McAuley (suspension), Michael Gash (illness) and Cameron King (injury) all missing.

It was the visitors who took an early lead on 6 minutes... Although having plenty of the ball Lynn created very little until 10 minutes before half time when captain Michael Clunan’s shot went just over the bar...

Whatever manager Ian Culverhouse said at half-time worked as within 5 minutes Lynn were level when Sonny Carey’s cross was met by the head of Mitchell for his first goal in Lynn colours... Despite Lynn’s improvement it was Wealdstone who regained the lead on 67 minutes... Within 3 minutes Lynn were again level...

Another 4 minutes later and.... despite Mair saving Parish’s penalty he was quickest to the rebound to net his hat trick."

At Eastleigh "The Spitfires’ unbeaten start to the season ends [ended] at The Crabble Stadium, finishing 3-2 in a disappointing display.

Strike-partners Tyrone Barnett and then Dan Smith both made the scoresheet but a goal from Sam Wood and a Louis Collins double downed [sic] the Spitfires in Dover.

Eastleigh got off to the perfect start after just six minutes, when target-man Barnett bundled in Sam Smart’s cross... The Spitfires were then punished with Sam Wood’s header converting a deep cross fired into the back-post, beyond the onrushing Joe McDonnell.

The misery was then added after a wicked ball across our box was buried via the left boot of the marauding Louis Collins. Shortly after the break... the equaliser was eventually found... However, with just ten minutes to play Collins once again scored to take the lead, after being set up a sitter across the box."

Dagenham & Redbridge report how "Maidenhead United came from behind to beat the Daggers 2-1 at York Road on Tuesday evening.

Sam Deering opened the scoring with a superb finish on the volley, before goals from Nathan Blissett and Josh Coley secured a comeback for the Magpies.

The Daggers named an unchanged starting XI for the trip to Berkshire... The Daggers continued to show their superiority, limiting the home side to very little in the opening 45 minutes and got what they deserved just before the break. Will Wright switched the ball over to Deering, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net with incredible technique.

Maidenhead came out for the second half wanting to improve on a poor opening 45, and on 55 minutes, Blissett tapped into the net from close range after the Daggers failed to clear a corner... The Daggers [went] behind. Josh Coley raced onto a loose ball as Elliot Justham came rushing out. The Magpies man then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and Abu Ogogo was unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line".

28 October 2020


Altrincham made five changes as Potter, Kosylo, Densmore, Hampson and Sutton were replaced in the starting eleven by Senior, Richman, Hannigan, White and debutant Adarabioyo.

Hartlepool started brightly and kept Alty on the back foot for opening ten minutes before the visitors began to get into the game. Ceesay looked Alty's brightest attacking hope, on the left, with striker Adarabioyo seeing little of the ball.

Alty suffered a double blow around the half-hour mark. Firstly, Mullarkey injured himself in making a challenge and had to be helped off, to be replaced by Sutton at centre-back. Moments later Hartlepool worked the ball across field to former York man Ferguson and his low cross was turned in at the near post by a stretching Parkhouse.

Pools continued to dominate but Alty got to the interval just a goal behind.

Alty suffered another injury blow midway through the second half when Simon Richman was fouled and had to be stretchered off. But Altrincham finished the game well and levelled the score after 86 minutes when Jake Moult's cross was headed firmly home at the back post by substitute centre-back Ritchie Sutton [pictured, right].

With seven added minutes being played, Alty then had a great chance to win the game when Senior burst into the box and was brought down. Kosylo took the resulting penalty but Killip, clearly moving off his line before the kick, saved to his right (90+3 mins). So the game ended level with Altrincham's second-half performance in adversity bringing the deserved reward of a draw at one of the title favourites.

Match report here


Tuesday 27 October 2020

ON THIS DAY: 28 October

Three years ago today, on Saturday, 28 October 2017, in a Buildbase FA Trophy First Qualifying Round match, Altrincham overcame their Lancastrian opposition Clitheroe 3-0 at Moss Lane.

Once again Altrincham were without the injured Disney, Taylor, Hannigan, Amis, Miller, Sheridan and Short, whilst Jones had been added to the list following a midweek game. But Amis and Taylor were able to take a part in the warm-up. So Phil Parkinson deployed as strong a side as he had available, with reserve Callum Jones coming in at right-back and Bembo-Leta moving to centre-back.

Right: John Johnston and Tom Peers received the plaudits aginst Clitheroe in 2017.

In fact, they overcame both the adverse weather conditions and a hardworking Clitheroe side at a wind- and rain-swept J. Davidson Stadium. But the afternoon was marred by the red card shown to captain Jake Moult for comments that displeased the referee, Kristian Silcock.

Playing into the wind and rain in the first half, Altrincham reached the interval goalless. Nine minutes after the break a Johnston shot went through keeper Thompson's hands to give the hosts the lead. Eight minutes later the referee stopped play and flashed a red card at Moult after he had complained about an elbow in his face.

However, the ten men went on to score twice more through substitute Tom Peers. His first came nine minutes from time when he headed home a Poole freekick. And the third goal arrived in added time as excellent work from Harrop got Johnston up the right and his low cross was turned in by Peers.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Callum JONES, 3. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Mason WALSH, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Sean MILLER 16. Tom PEERS, 20. Tim DEASY


Before Tuesday's game, Aldershot Town reported that "After picking up four points in back-to-back Vanarama National League away fixtures before being knocked out of the FA Cup by local rival Woking, the Shots have a quick turnaround back to league action as they host Torquay United on Tuesday evening.

Following a fast start and a strong opening half-an-hour to the game, things were looking promising for Aldershot in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round match. However, after Woking equalised before taking the lead in the second half with Max Kretzschmar taking advantage of a Mitch Walker slip, it was another disappointing day for the Shots at the EBB...

Connor Laing previews the game, saying 'With the exception of Lewis Kinsella’s MCL injury, which will keep him side-lined until Spring 2021, all of Danny Searle’s injuries appear to be minor ones. Harry Panayiotou, who picked up an knock against Eastleigh, is still a doubt, but will be assessed before the game. As will Alex Finney and Ross McCormack, who picked up a slight knock in the first half against Woking.'"

On Tuesday, Barnet reported that "The Bees make the long trip to North Wales as they take on Wrexham...

The hosts have had a mixed start to the 2020/21 campaign, having won two of their opening five league matches so far. The Red Dragons won two of their opening three fixtures, starting with an impressive opening day victory over Boreham Wood on home soil before a defeat to Solihull Moors followed the following Tuesday. They won their third match of the season and surprised a few by securing all three points against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.

However, since then the Welsh side have seen a downturn in results and performances to boot, they lost at home to Maidenhead United in front of the BT Sport cameras, before conceding four goals to newly-promoted Wealdstone as they lost 4-3 to the Stones.

The pressure is mounting on tomorrow's opponents following a heavy defeat to Solihull Moors in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend. They have now conceded eight goals in their last two matches and the Bees will feel confident that they could take advantage of what look's to be a shaky Wrexham backline. With the pressure firmly set on our hosts to stop the rot in form, the Bees will want to set the tempo early on and take the game to their Welsh counterparts.

The mood in the camp will be electric following Saturday's Emirates FA Cup victory over Leiston, as the Bees beat the odds with a severely depleted squad to progress into the First Round Proper. However, attention now turns to National League action as we return to league football for the first time in two weeks...

However, the Bees will still be without several First Team players following the news last week that many squad players are currently self-isolating following positive COVID-19 tests. Peter Beadle also remains out of the dugout as he continues to self isolate because of his positive test result.

After a busy summer with several new players coming in, you get the sense that things are slowly coming together for the Bees, as they look to make it three wins on the spin in all competitions. Saturday's performance showed that this group that has been assembled over the summer have amazing togetherness and spirit".

At Dover Athletic "After Saturday’s penalty shootout loss to Yeovil in the FA Cup, Andy Hessenthaler’s men turn their focus back to the National League...

Ben Strevens’ Spitfires [Eastleigh] are currently unbeaten after their first four league games. Following up their 5-1 thrashing of Barnet on the opening day of the campaign with another win and two draws...

Manager Strevens has brought in six players over the summer, including Abdulai Bell-Baggie from a Weymouth side promoted from the National South last season.

Prior to playing over 100 games for the Terriers, Bell-Baggie also played for Stockport County and Poole Town...

Joe McDonnell and Pierce Bird have also been brought in from fellow National League side Notts County. McDonnell has previous non-league experience with Basingstoke Town, Hendon, Hampton and Richmond and Harrow Borough, as well as experience in League One and League Two with AFC Wimbledon. Pierce meanwhile, started his career in the East Midlands Counties League with Dunkirk, before moves to Leek Town, Alfreton Town, Grantham Town and Boston United.

Another of their signings, Joe Tomlinson, was chosen as the 2019/20 National League South Young Player of the Season as captain of Hungerford Town.

Finally, centre-forwards Dan Smith and Ben House also joined the club from Bognor Regis Town and Reading respectively."

And Eastleigh themselves report that they are "delighted to announce the signing of attacker Ryan Hill from Hampton and Richmond Borough FC.

The winger joins on a long term deal after spending two seasons at the London club, where he scored eight goals and got 14 assists in 2019/20.

After coming through the ranks at Beaconsfield FC, he moved to the Stoke City academy, spending a season with the U23 squad before moving to the Beavers...

Manager Ben Strevens said, 'Ryan has that energy and ability to beat people in the final third. He’s young, and got that hunger to get better... This gives us another really good attacking option in the final third'".

Also from Hampshire, Non-League Daily reports that "Eastleigh have announced a new contract for Sam Smart.

The 22-year-old attacking player has agreed a one-year extension with Ben Strevens’s side.

Smart joined the Spitfires from Basingstoke Town last summer.

He has had trials with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland in the past couple of years."

At Solihull Moors, before their midweek game, we learnt that "The Moors are back on their travels as they head to Stockport County...

Stockport currently sit top of the National League table on goal difference, having won four of their opening five games. Like the Moors, they lost their opening fixture away from home but have since won all of their league games.

The Moors are on a four-game winning run in all competitions without conceding a single goal and sit three points behind their hosts, having played a game less.

On the weekend, County bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup after losing 6-5 on penalties to Chesterfield. The Moors sealed their passage to the first round proper with a comfortable 4-0 win over Wrexham".

27 October 2020


Altrincham travel to the north-east for tonight's league match against Hartlepool United in the Vanarama National League. The hosts lie third in the table with a game in hand after winning three of their four league fixtures to date and drawing the other game. Alty start the match in bottom place, a position that came about after having had two recent matches postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests.

Tonight's match is being streamed by Hartlepool United at a cost of £9.99 per ticket.

This will be Altrincham's first visit to Hartlepool though Alty did meet Pools in the FA Cup in 1973/4 season, when Alty won 2-0 at Moss Lane in Round One of the FA Cup. Altrincham went out in the Second Round that season, in a replay against Blackburn Rovers.

Last Saturday Hartlepool won 6-0 at Ilkeston Town in the FA Cup Fourth qualifying Round.

Before the game, Hartlepool United reported that "Pools take on Altrincham at The Vic tonight as they look to continue the unbeaten start to the season.

It has been quite the opposite for the Greater Manchester side after finding themselves bottom of the National League having played out three draws and one defeat in this season's openers. [Actually it's two draws and a defeat.]

Last season ended with a sixth-place finish [actually they finished fifth], resulting in another play-off campaign. After defeating Chester 3–2 and York City 2–0, the club beat Boston United 1–0 in the final, earning promotion to the National League.

After being promoted, manager Phil Parkinson brought in six new summer signings through the door and most recently former Manchester City striker Fisayo Adarabioyo.

Their most recent game came just two days ago as they were beaten 2-1 by Fylde in the FA Cup as the Robins continue to look for their first victory of the season.

Pools look to push on from their impressive 6-0 victory at Ilkeston on Saturday. Dave Challinor has no injury concerns going into tonight's game".


Tom Peers scored at Fylde in Sunday's FA Cup tie and, assuming he plays tonight at Hartlepool, it will be the Altrincham striker's one hundreth appearance for the club.

Whilst he will be hoping to start the game once more to bring up his century of appearances, in terms of symmetry the ideal would be to come on from the bench so that his century comprises exactly fifty starts and fifty substitute appearances! And if Tom scores at Hartlepool he could end the evening with another neat mathematical total of 50 starts, 50 sub appearances and 25 goals!

Right: The last time most Alty fans saw Tom was in the final game before lockdown last season, when Alty beat Spennymoor 4-1 on 7 March 2020. Tom is seen here during that game.

Tom, who was 25 last week, was born in Warrington and came through the Chester FC youth system (2013-16) where he made 3(+21) first-team appearances under manager Neil Young. Tom then went on loan to 1874 Northwich FC and, in January 2015, he started a month's loan at Marine.

In December 2015 he went on another month's loan to Salford City, with a similar loan stay at Hednesford Town following that. In 2016 he briefly joined Hednesford before a summer 2016 move to AFC Telford United. However, he soon moved on to Warrington Town (Sept. 2016) and then Droylsden (Dec. 2016 to Feb. 2017). At that point he joined Nantwich Town and followed manager Phil Parkinson to Altrincham in summer 2017.

Although his Altrincham appearances in 2017 were more often from the bench than from kick-off, by mid-November 2017 he had participated in more Altrincham games than any other member of the squad and had weighed in with some important goals. 2018-19 also saw him primarily deployed as a substitute and on 1 November it was announced that he had opted to move to FC United in the hope of more consistent game time. Ironically he left Moss Lane whilst top of the chart for goals scored per minutes played in 2018/19 season!

Tom ended the season at FCUM but rejoined Altrincham in late May 2019.


Altrincham FC announce that "Former England under-19 striker Max Clayton has left Altrincham by mutual consent after making just one Vanarama National League appearance for the club.

After signing shortly before the start of the pre-season programme, the 26 year-old frontrunner underlined his determination to recapture his old form and fitness, following a couple of injury setbacks that seriously curtailed his progress during his time at Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers. He featured in the pre-season games and made a brief appearance as substitute towards the end of Alty's opening National League fixture against Weymouth at The J.Davidson Stadium.

But opportunities have since proved elusive, and it was felt it would be in the best interests of both parties to cancel his contract and allow him to seek a fresh start elsewhere".

After his brief 83rd minute debut from the bench in the opening match of the league season, Clayton was not named in Alty's squqad for their only other two subsequent league fixtures, to date.


The National League reports that "Jim Bentley believes five-from-five AFC Fylde will only get stronger now, even though the manager won’t be around to see it.

The Coasters boss is to undergo heart bypass surgery after falling ill over the summer. His operation is over a week away but he goes with the National League North club firing following six points from a possible six and three FA Cup wins.

The latest came on Saturday against Altrincham...

'I go into a period of self-isolation now before the operation at the start of November. I’ve got full trust in the staff here but they have got big boots to fill! I’ll only be at the end of the phone. I’ll still be watching the games during my recovery and I’ll still be speaking to the players, dropping them text messages here and there. But I have to do this right. There’s no better way to bow out for a while than after five straight wins', he said.

Reliable assistant manager Nick Chadwick will take charge...

Bentley added 'I do still think we have got more in the tank. What we are looking strong is with our defensive shape and limited a good Altrincham from a league above side to only a few chances...

'It’s five wins on the spin for the side, and three FA Cup victories; it’s been a really pleasing start', he added. 'We knew Altrincham are a very good side so it’s a really pleasing win for us'"


Andy Owens scored twice for Radcliffe as they beat Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday whilst Jonny Margetts also netted a brace for Frickley Athletic.

ON THIS DAY: 27 October

Two years ago today, on 27 October 2018, Altrincham entertained Ashton United at the JDS and emerged 3-0 winners in a Vanarama National League North match.

Above: John Johnston (left) nets the opening goal against Ashton United asthe late Mike Garnett leads the celebrations behind the goal net.

Altrincham started this game lying fifteenth in the table, two points and two places ahead of Ashton, who arrived at Moss Lane with the highest conceding defence in the division. Sean Williams's metatarsal injury sidelined him, and Owen Dale moved to the bench as Josh Hancock came into the starting eleven.

Of the cohort of ex-Alty men on Ashton's books, only Sam Sheridan and Liam Tomsett started whilst Mark Lees was on the bench.

The match became an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win for Alty over their Tameside opponents at a cold but sunny J. Davidson Stadium. Although the visitors saw plenty of the ball, they rarely troubled the home defence.

Altrincham went ahead in the 13th minute when John Johnston netted after Andy White's effort had been blocked. After losing James Poole to injury on his first start of the season, Altrincham doubled their lead. A foul on Harrop, led to Johnston's freekick, which was deflected into his own net by an Ashton player to make it 2-0 after 53 minutes.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Max Harrop, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. James Poole, 11. Josh Hancock. Subs: 12. Owen Dale, 14. Tom Peers, 15. Simon Richman, 16. Shaun Densmore, 20. Elliot Wynne.


Notts County recently reported that "It’s been a challenging couple of weeks at Meadow Lane following a number of our players testing positive for COVID-19. This led us to make the incredibly hard but correct decision yesterday to cease training and playing for a short time to create a ‘firebreak’ process at the club.

Withdrawing from this season’s Emirates FA Cup was a particularly difficult call but, with so many players unavailable and the possibility of further cases evolving despite good infection prevention and control measures within the club, it would have been negligent and irresponsible of us to travel to King’s Lynn, and subsequently to Halifax and Aldershot next week for our National League fixtures... We’re hopeful of catching up quite quickly.

While a few players who tested positive are still experiencing symptoms, I’m pleased to report that they are all looking forward to returning to training when the time is right. Thankfully, some are already symptom free and raring to go...

This disruption to our season, particularly following such a strong start, is hugely disappointing. We are, nevertheless, proud of the proactive approach we have taken which has led us to identify the cases within our camp. Testing is by no means a cheap exercise, nor is it mandatory, but our owners Chris and Alex Reedtz have generously funded a regular programme and will continue to do so in the interests of protecting the health of our employees and public health...

The FA’s Chief Medical Officer, who I was in close dialogue with earlier this week, was very complimentary about our approach throughout the pandemic... We’re planning to... commence preparations for our currently scheduled return to action on Wednesday 11 November, when we host Stockport County in front of the BT Sport cameras...

We had hoped that our share of the well-publicised £10 million funding package kindly made available by the National Lottery would have gone a long way to making up the shortfall.

But, while we appreciate the Government, FA and National League’s efforts in securing this funding, the allocation of the monies does not accord with the criteria set out earlier this month, when Government made it clear it should be used to subsidise clubs for their lost gate revenue.

How can it be right, therefore, that we receive only £11,000 [£95K v £84K pcm] per month more than the likes of Boreham Wood, Wealdstone and Weymouth despite our average attendances being more than five times theirs? They and a host of other clubs are now actually in a stronger financial position than they would have been if crowds were permitted at matches and, as a result, have gained an unfair competitive advantage over clubs like ours who have been left significantly worse off. The allocation is profoundly flawed to the extent that it seriously and adversely impacts the very integrity of the competition.

All clubs were asked to provide the league with financial information at the end of September and to specifically detail their estimated lost gate revenue. While we understand these figures are merely indicative, alongside average attendances over say a two-year period they should have provided enough information to enable the league to work out a sensible banding of teams rather than adopting this purely arbitrary system.

If the funds were distributed in an optimal way, it is conceivable that all clubs could have received close to their lost gate receipts for the first three months of the season, with further potential to replace other lost revenue streams with live streaming and creative sponsorship and marketing initiatives.

In a letter to the league I have offered to provide a number of options for a more considered and structured distribution based on various scenarios using the above information. I am yet to receive a response!"

Barnet confirm that their Tuesday fixture "away to Wrexham will now kick off at the earlier time of 19:00, following an agreement between both Clubs".

This follows a precedent set by Altrincham in agreeing to a 7pm kick off when Bromley visit Altrincham for a midweek game in the near future. The purpose is to facilitate travel home for a team, travelling a long distance for a midweek fixture.

Barnet are expected to be much weakened by the absence of players who are self-isolating.

At Weymouth, "Disappointed boss Brian Stock admitted two 'gifted' goals to Oxford City gave the Terras an 'uphill battle' in their 3-2 FA Cup loss at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Weymouth have not reached the main draw for 13 seasons and fell at the final qualifying hurdle for the sixth time in that period with defeat to the Hoops.

In a wretched first-half display, a poor tackle from Myles Anderson gave away a penalty from which James Roberts made it 1-0 with a venomous conversion.

City had two goals in two minutes when Jake McCarthy’s sloppy backpass handed Josh Ashby an unmissable chance for 2-0.

Weymouth did not have a shot at goal in the first half but improved in the second thanks to the introduction of skipper Josh McQuoid. The former Northern Ireland international’s impact spurred Weymouth on and Ollie Harfield’s cross was sliced into his own net by Luis Fernandez in the 54th minute.

Weymouth were suddenly creating chances at will and a clinical first-time finish from Andy Robinson restored parity eight minutes later.

But City regrouped and deservedly won it at the death, Louis Hall volleying home Nana Owusu’s cross.

Post-match, Stock...said 'We didn’t even get going until the second half. When you look at the two goals that we gifted Oxford it was two mistakes that you can never legislate for. We gifted them a 2-0 lead and it was an uphill battle from there on...

'The team performance as a whole in the first half was unacceptable. I’m learning more about the squad every week and I learnt a lot first half... My substitutions were quite positive in order to try and nick a winner.

'Again, the word naivety comes into play in terms of how we conceded the third goal'".

Maidenhead United "announce that teenager Reece Smith has signed a contract with the club. The 18 year-old winger is a product of the MUFC Academy...

Smith made a MUFC First Team debut against Binfield in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup last December and was handed a first start in the following round against Marlow. Reece has since been named in the XVI selected by Alan Devonshire at Sutton United on the first day of this current National League season."


Had Altrincham won their FA Cup tie at Fylde on Sunday, they would have faced an away trip to Exeter City in Round One of the Emirates FA Cup, which was drawn by Grant Holt on Monday evening.

The ties that involved National League teams were:

Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper

26 October 2020


On Sunday afternoon Altrincham went out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle. In a match which never set the pulse racing, Alty fell behind to a dreadful goal. Thompson played out a goalkick to debutant Darren Potter who was just inside the penalty area. He dwelt on the ball and was dispossessed by Philliskirk with the ball breaking towards goal for former Alty man Jordan Hulme to score straightforwardly past the exposed Thompson (43 mins).

Early in the game Hulme had hit the post after turning smartly past his marker but neither side otherwise troubled their opponents' keeper in the first half.

More poor defending cost Alty a second goal in the 54th minute when Burke's low ball into the box allowed Tollitt to collect and drift across his marker to score.

For Alty, Kosylo was the brightest spark but it was Ceesay and Hampson who combined to create Altrincham's goal on the hour mark, with Peers scoring from close range. However, Altrincham barely laid a glove on Fylde in the remainder of the game and must now concentrate on getting their league campaign up and running as they seek a first win at Hartlepool on Tuesday night.

Match report here

Altrincham FC has John Edwards's match report.

ON THIS DAY: 26 October

Covid has wrought chaos to the 2020-21 season but a year ago today Altrincham were also experiencing a disrupted fixture list for different reasons.

The planned fixture for 26 October 2019, at home to AFC Telford United, had been postponed after relentless rain in the preceding 24 hours, which meant that more than an inch of rain had fallen in the Borough of Trafford in that period. This was the second successive Saturday home match at Altrincham to fall victim to rain after the fixture with Gateshead had had to be called off on 28 September, also due to a waterlogged pitch.

By this date in 2019-20 season Altrincham had already had to rearrange five fixtures. In addition to the Telford match and the Gateshead clash, the league games away at Kettering Town and at home to Blyth Spartans had had to be postponed owing to Alty's continuing FA Cup involvement. Also, the following Tuesday's planned visit to Stalybridge Celtic, for a Cheshire Senior Cup tie, had had to be called off as Celtic were having to reschedule their FA Vase match against South Shields to that Tuesday evening owing to the postponement of the original fixture.

The postponement on 26 October 2019 at the J. Davidson Stadium contributed to a ten-week period of league inactivity for Altrincham as regards home games. The next home league fixture for Alty to be played was not until 16 November against Hereford FC; the previous home league game had been on 7 September, versus Leamington. (A Cup replay against Chester was played at Moss Lane on 24 September).

Recent signing Lewis Archer (above, right) was cursed. His arrival at Moss Lane had been announced on 21 September, 2019, but he had yet to step on the pitch for Altrincham and was fated never to do so.


Stockport County have "post-match reaction from a frustrated Jim Gannon, as County bowed out of the FA Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Chesterfield at Edgeley Park.

Jim was quick to praise the performance of the opposition, believing their game plan was executed extremely well, but was disappointed with an ‘underwhelming’ performance from his side.

Although the manager was pleased with the improvement in performance in the second-half, he was frustrated that we didn’t take our chances to kill the game, and that we were unable to maintain our tempo until the end.

There was also an update on injuries, with mixed news for the likes of Mark Kitching and James Jennings, who both missed the game with knocks picked up during the week.

Despite the disappointment of defeat, Jim emphasised the importance of focusing on Tuesday night’s game against Solihull in the league, describing it as a ‘cup final’ for the side, against a team he expects to be challenging for promotion this season."

A happier manager's reaction comes from Solihull Moors from whence "Solihull Moors manager Jimmy Shan provides his assessment to Saturday's progression into the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup.

'I think we could've been two goals to the good in the first 10 minutes. It was a very good first half performance. In saying that, with my high standards and high demands I wanted a little bit more. I wanted 10/15% with and without the ball.

'I wanted to move the ball quicker and get the ball back in play because I thought we were dominant. We probably could've pressed with a bit more purpose and intensity, but I'm obviously delighted with the result and overall performance of course.

'That's four on the spin now (clean sheets) and we've had to endure all kinds of different waves of attacks and different styles over those four games. I've been pleased. We've handled teams that want to play through us and try and penetrate us. We've handled directness, so it just shows the organisation and the structure, as well as their character to want to keep that clean sheet.'"

"Following FC Halifax Town’s disappointing defeat away to South Shields in the FA Cup, Pete Wild spoke to Shaymen TV to give his thoughts on the game, a slow start, the two goals, and looking ahead to Wealdstone

'I want to apologise,' Wild said. '“In my 18 months at the football club that was worst display I’ve had. I came up on Tuesday night to watch them and I told the players it would be [?difficult]. We didn’t match their intensity and desire. My teams are full of energy and desire, they should be hard to beat and play against. There was none of that today and that hurts more than anything.

'You can sometimes carry one or two having an off day, but you can’t do that with six or seven not being on it. For as good as we have been for the first five league games, we were miles off it today. That really hurts and I take full responsibility for that, I’ll take it on the chin. It is my fault.'

The Shaymen didn’t get off to a quick start with South Shields dominating the ball in the early stages. The manager was extremely disappointed with the start the team made.

'We looked nervous out on the pitch... and we didn’t impose ourselves on them. We spoke all week about being more imposing, and we just didn’t do that at all. That’s why we got beat[en]. Full credit to them, they were decent, and they could’ve scored more. We haven’t really troubled them all after[noon] and we just weren’t good enough at all...

'We just didn’t get high enough, we didn’t press enough. They won too many headers, too many tackles. All the basics of football, they were better than us. That’s what hurts me the most...

'I’ve got to think about my selection really hard. Fans will be wondering why I didn’t select Luke Summerfield. He hasn’t trained all week; he has sore groins and I felt it would have been to his detriment for him to play. I’ve got another week to work with the lads, another week for Jake Hyde, and get some others back fully fit. I’ve got to be very careful with who I pick, I’ve got to make sure I get it right'".

At Chesterfield "Following the Spireites’ epic 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Stockport County in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, assistant manager John Dungworth said... 'I thought we played really well, and the organisation was really good. If we had not got something out of the game, it would have been a travesty... It was a great team performance and tactically the gaffer got it spot on...

'Throughout the team, everybody has contributed, from the front to the back'...

Milan Butterfield scored his first goal for Chesterfield and also scored the winning penalty at Edgeley Park. Dungworth was pleased with what he saw from the 22-year-old.

'Milan has been doing really well in training, he earnt the right to start in the game. Tactically he has done really well'...

Dungworth talked about what the FA Cup means to Chesterfield, 'The only thing missing today is the supporters... There probably would have been seven or eight thousand here today I’m sure'".

Altrincham travel to Dover Atheltic next Saturday and from there the manager Andy Hessenthaler gave a video reaction to his side's defeat on penalties last Saturday at Yeovil

From Boreham Wood we read that "A thoroughly entertaining Emirates FA Cup tie at Meadow Park between Boreham Wood and their Southern League Premier South opponents Wimborne Town ended with what turned out to be a routine 2-0 victory for the Wood... If it wasn’t for an outstanding man of the match display by 17-year-old Wimborne goalkeeper Billy Terrell, it would have been a very different score line. The young goalkeeper, on loan from Bournemouth, showed his credentials..

The introduction of Sorba Thomas, who replaced the injured Francis-Angol in the 35th minute, added some fire to the dominant Boreham Wood side, the recent Charlton Athletic target was outstanding on his return to the pitch. ...

Boreham Wood’s dominance continued in the second half but a hardworking and resilient Wimborne side were always in the game. Coulthirst then hit the post with a header after 52 minutes before Jamal Fyfield finally gave Boreham Wood the lead on the hour mark. ...

In the final few minutes, Tshimanga hit the crossbar and Thomas shot wide when well placed, before Tshimanga finally secured his deserved goal which sealed Boreham Wood’s win with a goal in the 90th minute".

25 October, 2020


On a very wet Saturday afternoon, Altrincham FC Reserves won their local derby at Broadheath Central's Salisbury Road playing fields, 2-1.

In their previous outing, a 3-3 home draw against Daten FC, Alty's starters (alphabetically) were Liam Blackburn (gk), Sam Corbishley, Madison Davis, Daniel Gavaghan, Callum Graham, Joe Haggerty, George Howarth, Raheem Mercurius, Sam Moser, Dre Taylor, Max Fitzpatrick. The scorers were Howarth, Taylor and Fitzpatrick.

The substitutes were Niall Butchart, Joel Edwards, Reiss Hughes, Alfie Johnston and Joseph Lewis.

ON THIS DAY: 25 October

On today's date in 2014, Altrincham made their first ever visit to Barwell, for an FA Cup Fourth Qualifying round tie, which they won 3-0

Right: Kyle Perry is congratulated on his goal.

Adam Griffin was serving the second match of his three-game ban. Reserves player Joel Swift joined Alty's squad today as additional subs are allowed in the FA Cup; Alty named six. Ryan Crowther remained sidelined with a rib injury.

After a disappointing first-half showing, James Lawrie gave Alty the lead in added time before the interval. Sub Kyle Perry hit a long-range second early in the second half before Reeves scored following good work by Leather and Perry.

ALTRINCHAM: 1 Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern 16. Tom Marshall, 6. Scott Leather; 4. Jake Moult; 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 11. Nicky Clee, 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves Subs: 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 17. Dave Parton 18. Sean Williams. 20. Joel Swift


The Isthmian League report that "We have three (so far) in the First Round of the FA Cup- and Cray Valley head the roll of honour after defeating National League Maidenhead United...

Cray Valley PM had what looked like a difficult trip to take on National League side Maidenhead United, and so it appeared as the hosts went two up after half an hour, but Ade Yusuff got one back in the thirty first minute and then Connor Dymond drew the Millers level just before the break. Right at the end the side from Step Four entered dreamland, as a goal from Francis Babalola sent them through to the First Round!

Yeovil Town were "involved in an enthralling FA Cup tie at Huish Park drawing 3-3 with Dover in normal time.

The Glovers were able to triumph from the spot after Adam Smith made the decisive stop following thirteen penalties between the two sides.

Prior to the shootout, the 90 minutes beforehand were just as hectic with Rhys Murphy netting a double in the first half and Joe Quigley heading home his first Yeovil goal in the second.

Darren Sarll opted to continue with his 3-5-2 system which produced improved performances in the National League. With Luke Wilkinson suspended and Lee Collins injured, Albi Skendi, Josh Staunton and Carl Dickinson lined up as a back three.

After a number of bright performances, Gabby Rogers began at left wing back, Dan Leadbitter began on the right. Returning from injury, Lawson D’Ath began in the middle of the park alongside Charlie Lee and Matt Warburton.

Yeovil Town’s goalscorers combined up top as Murphy and Quigley led the line.

The manic cup tie began with Town on top pressing the Whites shaky defence deep. As Yeovil enjoyed a lot of the ball, Dover began sitting more and more deep[ly].

Finding space to run in abundance, Murphy capitalised, driving to the edge of the box and firing home on his left foot claiming an early lead for Town on nine minutes... Yeovil claimed a thoroughly deserved second on 31 minutes, after a corner caused chaos in the Dover box, Murphy pounced and tucked home his second of the afternoon...

Ultimately, the visitors would find a way back into the game, with two goals in quick succession. Summer signing Louis Collins struck twice for the East Kent side, both in similar fashion. Drifting towards the backpost Collins tucked home Josh Passley’s cross on 40 minutes to make a game of it.

Not learning from their earlier mistake, Collins stung the green and whites again, turning the ball home... with the half time whistle looming...

Yeovil began the second with real intent... A sublime cross from Leadbitter was met by Quigley to head home his first goal for the Glovers on his home debut...

Dover’s counter-attack game plan worked to perfecting [sic] on 63 minutes, as T.J. Bramble poked home to level the tie once again... The lottery of penalty shootout was to decide the FA Cup tie.

Despite T.Smith being the star of the show for the visitors, it was his namesake in the Yeovil goal who was the match-winner. The former Leicester City man denied Wratten from the spot and secured Yeovil’s name would be in Monday’s draw.".

The Leader Live tells us that "Wrexham crashed out of the FA Cup after losing 4-0 against Solihull Moors... It was the Reds' third successive defeat...

Dean Keates's side are leaking goals at an alarming rate and have now conceded eight times in the last two defeats, and they created very little against Moors.

The starting XI showed three changes from the side that lost 4-3 at Wealdstone the previous weekend. Keates [had] named the same back four for the opening five games but he decided to make a switch to his back four with James Horsfield coming in for his first start of the campaign at right-back in place of Reece Hall-Johnson who dropped to the bench.

The other two changes saw Jordan Davies and Dan Jarvis, also starting for the first time this season, replace Paul Rutherford, who missed out through injury, and Kwame Thomas as Wrexham switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation... Keates was only able to name four substitutes because of injury and unable to call-up up any youth team players due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Wrexham made a bright start and Elliott Durrell shot wide... Moors took the lead in the 39th minute. Cameron Coxe's pull back fell into the path of Joe Sbarra whose deflected shot beat Lainton... and Moors extended their lead on 59 minutes.

Durrell made a clumsy challenge on Mitch Hancox in the area and Rooney despatched the penalty. Just three minutes later and Moors made it 3-0. Substitute Cameron Archer, who had only just come, raced onto a through ball and slotted past Lainton...

Wrexham conceded a fourth goal after 76 minutes. The Reds gave the ball away and Callum Mayock fed James Ball who was allowed to cross to Sbarra and the midfielder converted his second goal of the game.

Moors had a late goal disallowed and only a superb Lainton save from Archer stopped Moors from making it 5-0."

Aldershot Town suffered "a 2-1 loss at home to Woking...

It was the Shots who got the advantage early in the game through Mo Bettamer’s sliding effort before Josh Davison grabbed the equaliser just before the interval.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Max Kretzschmar fired the visitors in front to book Woking’s place into the first round of the FA Cup.

Looking to improve from Saturday’s entertaining 2-2 draw against Eastleigh, Danny Searle made one change as Harrison Panayiotou made way for Ross McCormack who made his first full debut. Academy graduates Joe Rabbetts and Reece Wylie made the bench.

The game was very even but Aldershot Town were the ones that were rewarded with a perfect start just seven minutes in... Woking were struggling to create anything as they were limited to half-chances and long-distance efforts...

Just before the interval, Woking grabbed an equaliser when Davison was played through on goal before he kept his composure and slotted home for the visitors to score on his debut...

Aldershot’s missed chances were rued when substitute Kretzschmar broke free of Ogie and raced clear on goal to slot past the onrushing Walker and give Woking the lead for the first in the game with just over 10 minutes to go."

Chesterfield "booked their place in the FA Cup first found proper with a 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Stockport County after a 1-1 draw in normal time at Edgeley Park.

John Pemberton made five changes to the side that lost to Wealdstone in mid-week. Josef Yarney, Laurence Maguire, David Buchanan, Milan Butterfield and Alex Kiwomya returned to the starting XI.

Jamie Sharman, Haydn Hollis, Tyler Denton, Jonathan Smith and Liam Mandeville were the players to make way. Nathan Tyson recovered from his dead leg to start the FA Cup tie...

The game failed to see anything in the way of chances until after the half hour mark... Pemberton’s side finished the half on top and were unlucky not be in front...

The hosts took the lead just before the hour mark through Hogan. Letheren’s punch from a corner fell to the defender who just tapped home into an empty net... In the 86th minute, Chesterfield finally found a leveller. Tom Denton knocked the ball down to Butterfield, who smashed the ball home at the near post. The score stayed at 1-1 and the tie went to penalties.

After the first two penalties, the score was 1-1. John Rooney and Yarney had their efforts saved by Letheren and Hinchliffe respectively.

Every subsequent penalty was dispatched by the taker until the seventh round of penalties. Sam Minihan blazed his spot-kick over the bar before Butterfield coolly rolled his penalty into the back of the net. The Spireites won 7-6 on penalties".

The Kilburn Times tells us that "Wealdstone crashed out of the FA Cup as Hayes & Yeading United pulled off a shock upset as they sealed a 2-0 victory.

Goals from Francis Amartey and substitute Omar Rowe secured progress into the first round for Southern League Premier South side against 10 men Stones at Grosvenor Vale.

The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when Amartey latched onto a long ball with Stones playing a high line. His initial effort was parried by debutant Grant Smith in the Stones goal but he latched onto the rebound from a tight angle to slot into an empty net.

A difficult task was increased on 48 minutes for the Stones when Charlie Wakefield was sent off for an off the ball clash with Jack Williams.

United doubled their lead after 62 minutes when keeper Smith’s clearance fell straight to Karl Cunningham on the edge of the area, he squared it to Omar Rowe who swerved [it] into the top corner.

Sutton United report that "For the second season running Sutton’s FA Cup hopes ended at the 4th qualifying round stage when Michael Cheek’s penalty ten minutes before half time settled a scrappy game badly affected by the wind and rain that blew in throughout the afternoon.

Well below their best in the first half, Sutton were a better side after the break and might have taken the game to penalties, particularly after the introduction of Isaac Olaofe with twenty minutes to go, but Bromley held out for the win and survived the late dismissal of captain Byron Webster, which came too late for U’s to take advantage.

U’s were able to welcome back Ben Goodliffe for his first competitive outing of the season, Craig Eastmond missing with a hamstring injury, and a poor first half saw both sides struggle with the conditions."

Another of the ten National League sides to exit the FA Cup on Saturday was Halifax Town who suffered a 2-0 defeat away at South Shields.

A Darius Osei header and Robert Briggs strike were the difference between the two sides... Town started on front foot...

[But] the home side did take the lead on 38 minutes... The ball was kept in at the corner flag and from the resulting cross, a header from Osei was a deserved opening goal...

Wild made no changes at the break... South Shields were not to be denied a second on 71 minutes... A throw on the near side [came] to Briggs and he fired past Johnson into the bottom corner.

From the Dorset Echo we learn that Torquay United "made it through to the FA Cup first round proper for the third successive season, following victory at Sholing FC.

Asa Hall’s penalty on the stroke of half-time gave his side the lead, before Josh Umerah’s second-half clincher secured the club’s place in the first round draw.

Manager Gary Johnson took the opportunity to make a number of changes to his side for the trip to Hampshire, with Shaun MacDonald, Gary Warren, Jake Andrews, Asa Hall and Josh Umerah taking the places of Dover starters Lucas Covolan, Dean Moxey, Aaron Nemane, Danny Wright and Louis Britton.

Relishing their role as underdogs, the hosts started the game well... Just when it looked as though the sides would be entering the changing rooms all-square, The Gulls were awarded a penalty.

With barely a minute of the first period remaining, a typically rampaging run from Ben Wynter ended with the right-back upended illegally, with the referee immediately reacting by pointing to the spot. Hall took on the penalty duties for the first time in a Torquay shirt, however there was not a glimmer of any nerves on show, as United’s skipper fired the ball low into the bottom corner to give his side the advantage ahead of the change of ends.

As the game got back underway amid torrential rain, Johnson’s men continued to stamp their authority on proceedings... A mistake eventually led to United’s lead being doubled. In the 75th minute, Gosney made his way out of goal to tidy up a loose ball, however after being dispossessed by Umerah, the frontman showed admirable poise to calmly usher the ball into the net, to score [his] first goal for the club."

Hartlepool United "eased their way into the first round proper of the FA Cup, thanks to a comfortable and professional win at Ilkeston Town.

There are three divisions between the teams and six goals separated them on a wet and windy afternoon in Derbyshire. Goals from Luke Molyneux, Joe Gray, Tom Crawford, Mason Bloomfield, David Parkhouse and Gavan Holohan saw Pools ease into Monday’s draw.

Six minutes in and Pools took the lead with a goal for Molyneux on his return to the side... And Pools kept up the pressure with a swift second goal. This time it was Gray with the finish...

And it was soon 3-0 to the rampant visitors as Crawford netted his first Pools goal from close range... Pools went in at the break in complete command.

On came Timi Odusina for Johnson at the start of the second half... Bloomfield made it four on 68 minutes, sweeping home his first goal for the club from ten yards.. On came David Parkhouse, celebrating his birthday, replacing impressive Grey. And he was celebrating a goal on 82 minutes... The rout was completed with two minutes to go with a deserved goal by Holohan".

Eastleigh secured "a thrilling home victory against Weston-Super-Mare.

Three second half goals from Dan Smith, Ben House and Tom Bearwish were enough to steal the spoils despite a late consolation from Chris Knowles.

The victory continues Ben Strevens’s side’s unbeaten start to the season... After an initial slow start from both teams, Eastleigh found control and maintained the majority of possession...

With half an hour left in the game, the Spitfires took the lead from a Dan Smith penalty after Smart was poorly taken down in the box...

House rifled the ball from the edge of the penalty area passed [past] Purnell in the Seagulls goal to double the lead with just 20 minutes remaining.

Tom Bearwish was played into tremendous space after a thrilling pass from midfield to slot the ball into the corner for his first goal of the season.

The visitors managed to scrape one back after a well headed effort by Chris Knowles sailed past the keeper from a corner".

Dagenham & Redbridge "progressed to the 1st Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in three seasons with a 1-0 victory over Hartley Wintney on a mild afternoon in East London.

Daryl McMahon made four changes to the side that faced Yeovil Town with fans favourite Abu Ogogo making his first start upon his return to the Club and fellow new signing Scott Wilson starting the match for his full debut in place of Charlee Adams and Darren McQueen respectively.

Will Wright and George Saunders were the other changes with Andy Eleftheriou and Kai Brown dropping to the bench, Bailey Clements was also making his first appearance in the matchday squad for the home side...

The Essex side were awarded a penalty in the thirteenth minute, Tom Bird was penalised for handball. Mitch Brundle stepping up to fire past Williams into the middle of the goal with the goalkeeper diving to his right, the midfielder’s first goal of the season...

Daggers 1-0 Hartley Wintney".

Barnet "showed spirit, determination and character to come from behind to beat Leiston...

It was the Southern League Premier side who opened the scoring on the ninth minute as Will Davies turned home a good low cross...

We responded on 15 minutes as Michael Petrasso scored on debut after he turned in the rebound following a good save from a Hooper strike from the edge of the box. But the hosts then restored their advantage immediately as a corner was unfortunately turned into his own net by defender Jack Connors.

The Bees huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half and got their reward just a minute before the break as Hooper slotted home from the spot after a handball in the penalty area...

As time ticked on and penalties loomed the Bees scored a dramatic winner just six minutes from time, as Petrasso doubled his tally as he scrambled home after a dangerous corner into the Leiston six-yard box."


Chester FC report that "Marine upset the Blues with an excellent performance at the Deva Stadium to advance into the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

James Barrigan’s penalty nine minutes from time saw ex-Chester [and Alty] boss Neil Young steer his side through the Fourth Qualifying Round.

Marine impressed, particularly in the opening 45, as they were solid at the back and also created one or two chances...

Neil Young side would score the deciding goal with nine to play via a penalty. An awkward bounce just inside the area struck Danny Livesey on the arm and Ed Duckworth was quick to point to the spot.

James Barrigan stepped up and drilled the spot kick down the middle with Louis Gray diving to the left.

Chester mounted a fightback and had some big chances to equalise, but couldn’t find the goal to take it to penalties".

Ex-Alty man John Johnston was subbed after 64 minutes.

24 October 2020


Fourth Qualifying Round ties involving northern clubs and National League sides

The prize money for the Fourth Qualifying Round is £9,375 for the winners, with the losers receiving £3,125.

As previously reported the Hartlepool United tie can be watched, live, via the BBC red button. The Pools are Altrincham's next league opponents, hosting Alty in the North East next Tuesday

The Fourth Qualifying Round Southern draw [National League sides only]:


Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger that "A testing fourth qualifying round tie at AFC Fylde pitches Alty against the renowned goalscoring talents of Jordan Hulme [right], barely a fortnight after they reluctantly sold him to the Coasters for a substantial but undisclosed fee.

The Robins... are determined to carry on where they left off at Fylde three weeks ago, when two second-half goals salvaged a 2-2 pre-season friendly draw.

'The lads love the FA Cup and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of last year’s competition despite the heartbreak of going out in the very last minute at Portsmouth,' said Director of Football, Rob Esteva.

'Fylde were unfortunate to get relegated the way they did last season, and they certainly have the resources of a National League side. We enjoyed an entertaining friendly with them just before the start of the season and we know all about them, especially one familiar face!'...

There will be no replay or extra-time, and if the scores are level at 90 minutes, it will go straight to a penalty shoot-out.

Alty have moved swiftly to bolster their attacking resources, following Hulme’s departure, by snapping up 25 year-old striker Fisayo Adarabioyo...

Said manager Phil Parkinson, 'He’s a player that I think will be suited to our style of play.'”


The Blackpool Gazette reports that "AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley has tried to keep preparations for Sunday’s big match against Altrincham in the FA Cup as normal as possible.

Left: Both James Jones and Jordan Hulme have left Altrincham this summer.

Bentley’s Coasters won four games in the first 11 days of the season but have since been forced into an 11-day break before this weekend’s Fourth Qualifying Round tie at Mill Farm.

The wait between matches can’t have helped Fylde’s early-season momentum but Bentley told The Gazette they are fully prepared and motivated to face the team who replaced them in the National League...

The Fylde boss said 'The preparations this week have been slightly different because we’re not used to playing on a Sunday but it’s the FA Cup so there will be no problems getting up for the game. We played Altrincham only recently (a 2-2 draw in Fylde’s final pre-season game a month ago). We respect them and we know they are a good side but we want to progress and that’s our plan.

'We’ve used the time well. We gave the players a couple of days off but also did some good work and some analysis work, so we’re all geared up to try to win the game. We’ve been preparing not just for this game but for a batch of games coming up. We’ve won four out of four and it’s always about improving and getting your thoughts into the players. They are showing really good signs of taking information on board.'

The tie has been pushed back to Sunday (1pm kick-off) to allow all staff at Altrincham to complete a 14-day isolation period under coronavirus guidelines...

Bentley added 'I approach an FA Cup game just the same as a league game really. Obviously when you are playing a team from a higher division you will prepare a little bit differently and work on your defensive play, but we are happy that we can perform to the best of our ability and we’re looking forward to it.

'One player who will be extra-motivated is (Fylde’s new striker) Jordan Hulme. He won promotion with Altrincham last season and was still playing for them until a few weeks ago. He is settling in and showing really good signs.'

Another player who could be involved on Sunday is Reagan Ogle, the Australian full-back newly arrived from Accrington Stanley.

Bentley said 'Reagan can play on either side of the field and he knows the National League with Southport'".

ON THIS DAY: 24 October

Three years ago today, on Tuesday, 24 October 2017, Altrincham renewed their acquaintance with Lancaster City in an EvoStik Premier League match, which they won 4-0.

Right: Jake Moult congratulates James Poole at the end of the game under the JDS floodlights.

Without Disney, Taylor, Hannigan, Amis, Short and Sheridan, Altrincham had made one change to the starting eleven as Densmore replaced Short at left-back. After a fairly tight first half in which Altrincham did not get ahead till the 36th minute, when James Poole's well-struck effort from outside the box gave them the lead, the second half witnessed an improved performance from the hosts.

Three goals in the final 16 minutes of a wet second half left Altrincham comfortable winners by the final whistle. Hulme headed in a Johnston cross from the left to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute. Substitute Peers played in Richman, who had earlier picked up a fifth yellow card and a suspension, to score his side's third goal. And, finally, keeper Powell made a hash of a Johnston freekick, from well right of the goal, to concede the fourth in the 87th minute.

With this result, Altrincham went three points clear at the top of the league table, but Shaw Lane had two games in hand and stil presented a threat to Alty's title aspirations.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Tom PEERS, 15 Sean MILLER 16. Callum JONES 20. Tim DEASY.


The Edinburgh News reports that "Despite playing only four competitive Hearts games so far, [former Alty loanee,] Josh Ginnelly, is already contemplating a longer stay at Tynecastle Park.

The winger is on loan from Preston North End until next summer and would be interested in a permanent move north if offered one.

His repertoire of tricks, pace and goalscoring have impressed the Hearts manager Robbie Neilson and supporters during three Betfred Cup ties and one league outing to date.... His contract at Deepdale expires at the same time as the season-long loan agreement, rendering him a free agent. Hearts could offer him a contract before then.

'I don’t know what will happen yet. I love it here so we will see what comes maybe in January or after that. My main focus is just to do well for now,' said Ginnelly... A burgeoning relationship with Neilson is a central factor in helping the Englishman feel so welcome in Edinburgh. 'When I came up, even before I’d signed, I could see that he’s an honest gaffer,' said Ginnelly.

'For players like me, you need that. You don’t need someone telling you you’re doing all the right things but you aren’t playing. Robbie was straightforward with me and he has my utmost respect. I just want to put the performances in for him and the boys... I’ve had a bad two years where I haven’t really played or fulfilled my potential. I don’t know the reason to be honest but it’s gone now. My focus now is on Hearts, winning the league and getting better with every game...

'It’s a Premiership club in stature, definitely. Everyone within the club knows that themselves and we just have to get the club back to where it should be... Playing on the right side suits me. The gaffer wants crosses put into the box and that’s my job'".

Sadly, in Friday's match at Arbroath, Josh had to go off injured, early in the first half, with what appeared to be some kind of thigh strain.

Josh was signed by Altrincham, on loan from Burnley, on 8 January 2016. He made 20(+1) appearances that season and scored 5 goals for The Robins.

News of a former Alty manager comes from the Northern Premier League, which tells us that "Marine attacking midfielder Josh Hmami has said a place in the FA Cup First Round Proper would be a dream come true, as his side prepare for their Fourth Qualifying Round clash against Chester.

Neil Young’s side bid for a FA Cup First Round Proper appearance for the first time in 25 years since playing Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow in 1995, but face tough opponents in National League North side Chester, in [for] which Young managed to three promotions as manager".


King's Lynn Town report that "Winger Ryan Hawkins will be leaving The Walks after agreeing to have his contract cancelled by the Linnets.

Hawkins penned a new deal with the club in the summer after first joining Lynn in November 2016 from St Neot's Town. The former Norwich City Academy player Joined Dereham Town in 2014... Hawkins then moved to St Neot's in June 2015... In his time with The Linnets Ryan found the back of the 25 times from 137 appearances...

Speaking after the confirmation of Hawkins departure Lynn’s director of football Rob Back said 'Ryan has been a good servant to the football club in his time here... There aren’t too many players who are able to say they have been part of a team that has achieved back to back promotions but Ryan is one player who can do that. He has always given the club full commitment and effort in his time here'".

Earlier, KIng's Lynn Town confirmed that "The club have been informed that due to an outbreak of COVID-19, Notts County have withdrawn from this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

We will now be awarded the tie and the prize money of £9,375".

Yeovil Town manager "Darren Sarll discussed a number of topics during his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup clash with Dover Athletic...

'The more we’ve gone this season we’ve looked like a new side in terms of the structure and signings we’ve made. We are striving each week to be the best team possible. We’ve just carried on plodding away and we have certainly worked really hard this week...

'I love the romance of the competition, the drama and everything else that comes with the magic of the Cup...

'Any side that is managed by Andy Hessenthaler is going to see life a certain way and they will be very competitive as they always are... Hopefully with the right care, focus and intensity we will be good enough to beat most teams not just Dover. I’ll take the same attitude into Saturday whether that would be against Dover or Stockport at the other end of the league'">

Wrexham report that "You couldn't ask for a more testing way to kick off an FA Cup campaign than a trip to Solihull. Two and a half weeks ago they beat us 1-0 in the league, a third consecutive defeat we've suffered on their patch.

That victory kick-started their season, and they've won both their subsequent matches, with King's Lynn on the wrong end of a 5-0 spanking. With a perfect home record of three wins with three clean sheets, the end of season wobble which saw them pick up just three wins from their last 18 games and slide out of the play-off places looks to have been put firmly behind them. ..

It's clear that the team has regained its rhythm and will be challengers again this season. Their performance in their last match was particularly impressive. We know how tricky Boreham Wood can be after they made us work hard for our opening day victory; Solihull had the added problem of having to play against them with ten men for 70 minutes after Darren Carter received a second yellow card. However, they dug in and pulled off an impressive 1-0 win.

Their boldness was the most impressive aspect of the victory: rather than retreat into their shell, James Shan instructed his side to continue to be bold, switching from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3 and allowing his front three to remain in advanced positions..

Injuries and suspensions could force Solihull into a reluctant change of shape: they've started every game this season with a back three, but Carter's suspension, while Alex Gudger hasn't played since he went off against Wrexham earlier this month. Jimmy Ball, the scorer in that match, and Stephen Gleeson also went off last Saturday, so a reshuffle could be on the cards...

Adam Rooney is a proven striker at higher levels than the National League... Wrexham would prefer to assign Fiacre Kelleher to pick him up, as his strength and aerial power mean he would hope to dominate him physically. However, Rooney is a canny customer and, like Nathan Blissett, the towering Maidenhead striker, will look to isolate Theo Vassell... His battle with Rooney could be vital".

From the other side, Solihull Moors "are all set to host Wrexham... Jimmy Shan's men are gearing up to play their fourth home fixture on the spin. The last three have ended up in Moors victories, with the team not conceding a single goal...

Visitors Wrexham have had an indifferent start to the campaign, winning two and losing three of their opening five matches".

Weymouth "will look to create history by reaching the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in 13 seasons... Brian Stock’s men tackle Oxford City at the Bob Lucas Stadium...

City have made a fast start to their Vanarama National League South campaign, sitting third, while Weymouth occupy 18th in the league above.

'A league separates us but I don’t think there’s much difference in terms of where we’re both at,' Stock said...

He said 'Performance-wise I know we can be better'...

Terras’ captain Josh McQuoid, striker Ben Thomson, midfielder Jordan Ngalo and defender Ade Olumuyiwa all return after self-isolation. Shamir Mullings (hamstring) and Jack Dickson miss out, while Cameron Murray (knee) will be assessed."

Meanwhile Torquay United advise us that "Gary Johnson’s side travel to Sholing FC in the Emirates FA Cup 4th round qualifying tomorrow, with a place in the first round proper at stake.

United have made an excellent start to their National League campaign, having won four of their opening five fixtures, however their one-off cup tie against the side from Hampshire offers a completely different challenge altogether...

'We won’t underestimate them, and we will need to be professional to come away with a result. They have got several players who have played for the club for many seasons, so I am sure they will have a great team spirit and know each other’s games. There’s a couple of sets of brothers!'" said Johnson.

"Victory in Hampshire on Saturday would see United take their place in the first round draw for the third successive season, having failed to progress past the qualifying rounds during the previous four campaigns".

FC Halifax Town "make the trip north to take on South Shields...

Town sit 9th in the table at the present time and are awaiting our first away win of the season following a 2-1 defeat at Stockport County and two 0-0 draws against Boreham Wood and Woking

South Shields beat Southport 4-1 in the last round to get through to the last qualifying round.

They drew 0-0 in midweek against Morpeth at home in the league and sit 11th in the Northern Premier League"

Dagenham & Redbridge "announce the signing of Scott Wilson. The forward joins the Daggers after a short period at Notts County, where he departed in the summer.

The 27-year-old has 54 appearances in League Two and has played 69 times in the Vanarama National League for the likes of Macclesfield Town, Eastleigh, and Oldham. Wilson was the top scorer for Macclesfield in both of his seasons with the Silkmen...

The Bristol native began his career with Bristol City before working his way up the non-league pyramid. He had an impressive spell with Weston-super-Mare in 2015 which saw him score 23 in 39 matches, which earned him a move to National League side Eastleigh. From the south coast, Wilson joined Macclesfield Town where he hit 24 goals over a 2-year spell in Cheshire.

He then joined Oldham Athletic, playing 26 times before moving to Notts County".

Barnet "confirm a further six players / staff have presented positive COVID test results. These additional results follow the earlier tests carried out for the entire First Team players and backroom staff.

Close contact tracing has also resulted in an additional player being required to self-isolate for the full 14-day period, in spite of testing negative.

Overall, ten playing members of our First Team have been affected over the last two weeks. With one of these players ending his isolation period ahead of Saturday, there will be nine out of action for our FA Cup tie against Leiston.

Manager Peter Beadle has also returned a positive test and will not be able to lead the team for the mandated self-isolation period. Beadle is currently asymptomatic and doing well."

Better news for The Bees is that Barnet have announced "the signing of full back Jack Connors... following a successful trial period with the Club.

The former Ebbsfleet full-back has trained with Beadle's side throughout the latter parts of the summer... Connors joins the Bees with plenty of experience at non-league level and boosts Peter Beadle's defensive options even further, following the summer signings of full-backs Dwight Pascal, Alexander McQueen and Jerome Binnom-Williams.

The 25-year-old rose through the ranks as a youth prospect at Dagenham and Redbridge before making 49 appearances in all competitions for the Daggers in the early part of his career... [At] Ebbsfleet United he was an instrumental part of the Fleet side who achieved promotion to the National League in 2017. He went onto to make a further 24 appearances for the Fleet in their first season back in the National League, before joining Dover Athletic in 2018".

23 October 2020


On Thursday evening, Notts County reported that "Two more of our players have tested positive for Covid-19 and, as a result, we have withdrawn from the Emirates FA Cup and postponed our upcoming Vanarama National League matches away to FC Halifax Town and Aldershot Town.

After four members of our squad tested positive for the virus last week, we scheduled another round of testing this Wednesday to identify any further infections.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in two more positive results and, following consultation with the FA and National League’s medical officers, we have taken the difficult but responsible decision not to travel to King’s Lynn Town on Saturday and to temporarily halt our league campaign.

King’s Lynn will be awarded a bye to the first round and our trips to Halifax and Aldershot will be rearranged for later in the season. We would like to thank each club for their cooperation and understanding.

Our chief executive Jason Turner said 'Our thoughts are with the players affected by the virus, who are all receiving the best possible care and support to ensure they return to us safe and well.

'Naturally, we are incredibly disappointed to withdraw from the FA Cup, a competition, as past winners, we have a wonderful association with but, with only 14 available players and several positions we’re now unable to cover, on top of the clear risk of more infections coming to light in the coming days, it is only right that we take decisive action to cease training and playing for the time being.

'I am hugely proud of the way the club has conducted itself throughout the pandemic and would once again like to pay tribute to our owners, Chris and Alex Reedtz, for continuing to fund regular testing despite this not being mandatory, thus ensuring we are doing all we can to protect our players, staff and the wider public... With some of our infected players not displaying symptoms, our efforts have probably prevented us from unknowingly and irresponsibly spreading the virus to any of our aforementioned opponents...

Our manager, Neal Ardley, added 'While I’m devastated that I won’t have the opportunity to put together a cup run for the club this season, the safety of my players, staff, the opposition and their families have to be the priority at this terrible time'".


Despite being second best for much of the game, Altrincham FC Youth staged a dramatic late comeback to take their FA Youth Cup qualifying match to a penalty shoot-out, which they won 4-2.

Playing again behind closed doors, but watched by more than two hundred on the Alty TV streaming service and with more than a hundred also tuning in on Radio Robins, Altrincham had taken an eleventh-minute lead from the penalty spot.

Lively striker Matthew Sumner won the ball near halfway, played a one-two with a team-mate, and then broke forward, up the middle-left towards goal. Inside the box, Shields' keeper Dobson dived at his feet and was adjudged to have conceded a penalty. Sumner got up to score from the spot, despite the keeper almost keeping his effort out.

After a first half of few other chances at either end, Alty retained their lead till just after half-time when Shields' substitute McLeod, who had only joined the game at the interval, converted a corner with a low tap-in after being left unmarked.

Above: More than 220 supporters watched Matthew Sumner net the winning penalty on the excellent Alty TV streaming service on Thursday night.

Shields went on the dominate much of the second half and, deservedly, they went ahead in the 68th minute when McLeod scored an impressive solo goal, running some forty yards up the left before netting with a low shot.

Alty rode out plenty of South Shields' pressure before raising their game in the closing stages. A freekick from deep on the right was glanced home by the head of Alty substitute Goulden in the 89th minute. FIve minutes of added time were played before a penalty shootout became necessary with the tie locked at 2-2.

The visitors netted the first spot-kick but saw their second hit the bar and their third saved. Alty netted all of their first three kicks, before Shields made it 2-3 and Sumner stepped up to seal the victory 4-2 in the shootout.

For Alty this was a notable scalp against a Tyneside team with a full-time Academy and a youth set-up which reached the Third Round Proper in last year's FA Youth Cup.

In the First Round Proper of this year's competition, Altrincham now travel to Eccleshill United. The side, from near Bradford, overcame Gateshead in the last round, earlier this week.

Match report here.


Altrincham FC announce that they have signed former "Republic of Ireland international Darren Potter on a short-term deal.

The 35 year-old one-time Liverpool midfielder... is eligible for Sunday's Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against AFC Fylde at Mill Farm.

It is a timely addition to a key area, with Sean Williams nursing an ankle injury".

Potter (born 21 December 1984) made 10 first-team appearances for Liverpool before loans to Southampton, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday added more than 200 further first-team outings to his CV.

But it was at MK Dons that he spent his longest stay (2011-17) and he made more than 200 appearances for them. A spell at Rotherham United was then followed by spending 2019-20 at Tranmere Rovers.

His arrival at Altrincham sees him moving into non-League for the first time in his career

ON THIS DAY: 23 October

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date was a BSB North Match played on Tuesday, 23 October 2012, at Moss Lane, against Workington. This was their first home game after a sequence of seven away matches in their previous eight fixtures.

Right: Altrincham and Workington take to the field under the Moss Lane floodlights for a Tuesday-night match in 2010

Altrincham lost this game in the first half when they were very much second best to a pacey and hardworking Workington, for whom right-winger Joe Mwasile [later an Alty player] was outstanding. After Altrincham had survived three early strikes on their goal, they fell behind after 24 minutes when a sliced attempted clearance from Scott Leather allowed Mwasile to get behind him. Although Coburn made a great stop from the wide man's shot from right of goal, Mwasile converted the rebound.

Alty looked as if they might get to the interval just a goal adrift but then Luca Havern brought down Arnison, who converted the resulting penalty as the match went into first-half added time.

It was a different game in the second half as Alty went at the visitors. They finally got a goal after 69 minutes when substitute Duncan Watmore's shot from 20 plus yards, which was heading off target, fell to the alert Reeves who scored from close range. Alty kept attacking but, as the game wore on, Workington came back into things with two fearsome shots from Mwasile striking the bar, one of them tipped there by Coburn.

So, Alty's nine-game unbeaten run was ended; and Danny Hall picked up a fifth card so faced a suspension. Alty had started this game with Leather and Lacey replacing the unfit Rodgers and Doughty, whilst Richman had replaced Watmore in the starting eleven.


Torquay United report that "Olaf Koszela and Louie Slough have both joined Southern League side Dorchester Town on loan.

With both players having shown up well during United’s pre-season fixtures at Plainmoor, manager Gary Johnson believes the time is now right for both youngsters to gain experience of regular first team football, with a temporary spell at the Avenue Stadium...

'First of all, Louie missed a lot of last year due to a back problem. He’s fit now, but I couldn’t foresee him getting into the first-team anytime soon, because he missed half the season last year, so we decided it would be a good idea to get him some games, at least for this month.

'It’s the same really with Olaf, in that he’s so close to the first-team but not in the first-team at this moment in time. Because the team are playing well at the moment, it’s very difficult to take him as a substitute all over the country for a few minutes in a game. We decided he needed some minutes in games at this stage, so he can hopefully get a few goals for Dorchester. He’s travelled down with Louie, so they are both together.

'I’ve spoken to both players, and they are both happy. I’m not moving them out, I like them both and I think they are both going to be very good footballers in time. At this time, they need to be playing 90 minute games, and that’s hopefully what they will be doing at Dorchester.

'I’ve got high hopes for both of them, and we’ll reassess it at the end of the month.'”

At Chesterfield "John Pemberton has dismissed any suggestion that Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Stockport County is a welcome distraction from the league.

Pemberton insists that the Spireites will be looking to bounce back following the midweek defeat at Wealdstone and won’t place any lesser importance on the match because it is in the Cup... Pemberton said 'We want to win every football match, whether it’s the FA Cup, the league or whatever.

'The FA Cup is an important competition to us, especially for myself as I really enjoyed playing in it as a player but it’s important to everyone.'

Nathan Tyson was forced to go off early on in the Wealdstone match after suffering a dead leg and Pemberton is hoping that the experienced forward will be able to return on Saturday".

And the Derbyshire Times adds that "The job of turning around the Spireites’ fortunes is as tough as what John Pemberton thought it was going to be. Chesterfield have lost four of their opening five games and are third bottom of the National League.

When asked by the DT if the job is bigger than what he initially thought, Pemberton said 'No, it is exactly what I thought it would be'.

So what can Pemberton do to get Town moving up the table? 'Be better when we have got possession of the ball, be better in 1 v 1 situations, be better with crosses where we have got to pick up, and don’t shortcut anything...

'The frustration is... coming from the whole situation that we have encountered from the start. You try to put things in place but it is almost like there is always something that seems to be a little barrier, or catch us out, or trips us up, but I don’t want to make any excuses about it. The pre-season is gone now, we are now five games into the season.

'Against Wealdstone we had a three-minute spell where we conceded two goals and then, after that, I thought we were all right. The wonder strike was one of those things, it can go anywhere and it goes in the top corner. That’s what happens when things aren’t quite going for you'".

According to the Leader Live, "It's unheard of for Shaun Pearson to miss so many matches through injury but the frustrated Wrexham captain is supporting his team-mates from the stands and the comfort of his own home. Pearson has undergone surgery on his foot, the centre-back finally going under the knife to get to the bottom of a long-standing problem.

Having the operation has kept Pearson out of the opening five matches of Wrexham’s 13th season in non-league and the 31-year-old has never missed that many games in a row because of injury during his career...

'I don’t think I have ever missed three games in a row, four at a push, through injury,' said Pearson... 'But it is something that needed doing in the end... I had to get the injury sorted which was a bit gutting but I am just glad to have got it done. I am looking forward to hopefully a quick recovery'... with the aim of returning within a five week timeframe forecast by manager Dean Keates.

'I am quite pleased with how it feels but you are never 100 per cent sure until you get the all clear from the hospital. Then it is just a case of working my way back fit and ready to go hopefully in four or five weeks like the gaffer said.'

Wrexham have won two of their opening five matches, losing the other three games including back-to-back defeats against Maidenhead United and Wealdstone who were both bottom of the National League at the start of play...

'I have watched every game,' said Pearson. 'I bought the streams at home for the ones I have not been allowed to go to... It has not been the best of starts that we were looking for but it has been one goal in every game and it is just fine margins...

'It is just fine-tuning things like defending set-plays. If we can eradicate things like that, I am sure we will be on the right track. Hopefully I can add a little bit more to what we have already got and along with a couple of other players coming back from injury, we will be able to turn those fine margins into better results....

'With squads generally being smaller, there is more quality throughout the whole of the division so in my opinion, it will just make it a tighter division than ever before,' he added.

And the Leader Live also reports that "The FA Cup still hasn’t lost any of its magic in Dean Keates’s eyes... The Reds visit Solihull Moors for Saturday’s fourth qualifying round tie...

'It is a massive game for us and we want to get back to winning ways, and make sure we are in the next round,' said Keates. 'The FA Cup is a good distraction, it can give you a lot of positivity and another avenue of getting the club’s profile out there... We need to make sure we get a reaction and do ourselves justice for this football club'...

'There is a vast history for the football club regarding the FA Cup,' said Keates... 'Solihull are our next opponents and we have got to get past them'...

The teams met in the league just over a fortnight ago, Wrexham squandering numerous chances before Solihull scored the only goal from a set-piece... 'They have had a good little run since our game and had some positive results,' said Keates... 'We know what they are about, we want to go there and put our game onto them and I have no doubt it will be a good game again.'”

The Hartlepool Mail advises us that "Not many people would have expected Ryan Johnson to be leading Hartlepool United’s scoring charts inside the opening month of the season.

But here we are and the centre-back, who was signed on a short term deal as cover ahead of the new season, has two goals in his first three appearances for Pools.

Johnson’s current deal at Victoria Park is set to expire come the New Year, but manager Dave Challinor is hoping to extend the 24-year-old’s stay. 'Hopefully he’ll be here at least for the full season... We've liked what we’ve seen. He’s left-sided and is comfortable with how we play. He’s physical, can defend and he can play in a three or a four and, at a push, could do a job for us at left-back.

'We lacked balance down that left side so it’s an opportunity for him and he’s slotted in well' concluded Challinor.

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