Next Match:
TAMWORTH
Sat. 29.4.2017
Away 3pm

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CURRENT NEWS IN FULL



ALTY HEADLINES
  • 28 April 2017: BOOK YOUR SEAT FOR TAMWORTH...More
  • 28 April 2017: FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL...More
  • 28 April 2017: GOALESS DRAW FOR YOUTH TEAM ...More

OTHER HEADLINES

  • 28 April 2017: NEXT OPPONENTS: TAMWORTH...More
  • 28 April 2017: VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH LEAGUE FIXTURES...More
  • 28 April 2017: EVO-STIK PLAY-OFF FIXTURES...More

28 April 2017

FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL GETS UNDER WAY

Above: Altrincham FC official caterer, Richie Bentley prepares his wide range of pizzas for the Food and Drink Festival which started at the J Davidson Stadium on Thursday evening. You can even design your own Margherita!

The Altrincham FC Food and Drink Festival got under way on Thursday evening and runs over the weekend till Monday. To supplement the excellent food and drink, there is a full list of Festival events below

SUPPORTERS' TRANSPORT TO TAMWORTH

TASC will be operating supporters' transport to Altrincham's final game of the season. This is away at Tamworth on Saturday, 29 April (3pm). Details of fares and times are on the Away Travel page. You can book your seat by ringing the Club during weekday office hours on (0161) 928-1045.

GOALLESS DRAW FOR YOUTH TEAM

Altrincham Youth drew 0-0 at home To Chorley on Tuesday evening. Next Sunday they travel to Chester FC for their next league fixture.

NEXT OPPONENTS

Altrincham are away at Tamworth on Saturday. According to the Tamworth Herald, "Tamworth FC boss Andy Morrell says it was vital the Lambs got the 'monkey off their back' after recording an emphatic 4-0 win at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday. Victory was Tamworth's first on the road in 2017, coming courtesy of a hat-trick from Danny Newton and one from Ben Fox.

'Looking back over the season, that away form is where we have fallen short,' said Morrell. 'We stressed to the lads it was vital we got the monkey off our backs before the end of the season. We didn't want to be going into August with no away win this year. You don't want that kind of thing to be playing on your mind so I was delighted to get the result.'

Morrell felt his side had been impressive in their victory over Stalybridge, who were relegated from the National League North as a result. 'It was a hard pitch but the lads showed a great attitude,' said Morrell. 'They had a right go. It obviously helps to score a couple of early goals but... we defended well when we needed to as well. It was a great win.'

Morrell admitted that striker Newton's hat-trick will again have caught the attention of clubs looking for a new striker over the summer. 'He's not going under the radar is he!?' said Morrell, who expects to sign a new Lambs' deal shortly. 'He was fantastic to be fair. It was the perfect hat-trick. Every time the ball goes into the box at the moment, Danny is threatening to score. He is on fire. He has got 12 goals in ten, or something like that, which is phenomenal.

'He's unlucky that this season Danny Rowe has scored 40 plus goals. In any other year, 28 would put him in line for the Golden Boot'.

Whether Newton remains with the club next season remains to be seen as the striker prepares for Jamie Vardy's V9 Academy. 'We just have to wish him all the best and have our fingers crossed that, if things don't work out in terms of the academy, we can bring him back,' said Morrell".

Meanwhile, "Jack Lane has expressed his desire to remain with Tamworth next season and continue his developing defensive partnership with Luke Jones. Ex-Mansfield Town defender Jones is already signed up for the 2017-18 campaign. And ex-Nuneaton Town defender Lane admits he would like to follow suit.

'I have really enjoyed my time at the club,' Lane said. 'There's a great set-up here and I get on with Mike (Fowler) and the gaffer (Andy Morrell). It's near to my home, so it's ideal and I think we have done okay this season. We have tried to play the right way and, although we are disappointed not to make the play-offs, we have challenged towards the top. So I would like to be a part of things next season and see if we can push on further.

'The National League North is a very competitive league and is constantly improving. Each year now, I'd say there are ten teams who have ambitions of the play-offs. I'd like to think next year, Tamworth could be in that top five... I missed a couple of games midway through which gave me a kick up the backside because you can get comfortable. But I got back into the team, got in the right frame of mind and I feel I have done well.

'It's been good working alongside Jonah (Luke Jones). As a defender, it's nice to have someone alongside you who is a steadying influence. You know what you are going to get with him and I think, the more we have played, we have started to get to know each other and understand what we are both going to do. It gets to a point where you can become almost telepathic and I'd like us to build on that'.

'We have won a lot of games this season,' he said. 'I think the key for us is to try and turn some of the last-minute defeats into draws. You look at some of the games recently, FC United of Manchester, Stockport and Kidderminster. We lost those games late on and, had we picked up draws, it could have been different'".

OLD BOY MAKES GOOD IN MUSIC WORLD

Altrincham FC youth graduate Jake Barnabas, a team-mate of Duncan Watmore's at Alty, is now making good in the music world. He tells us that "I played under George Heslop in the youth team and came through to the first team at the same time as Duncan Watmore, playing under Lee Sinnott. I injured my knee which forced me to retire at 19. I'm in a band now called the Luka State. Our song 'Bring this all together' was played on the Europa League highlight show and has been named Radio X 'track of the week'".

Above we see Jake, far left, in the first-team match in July 2011 against a Manchester City XI which included Craig Bellamy and Michael Johnson. With Jake are, left to righ, James Smart, Astley Mulholland and Sam Langford making up the wall against a Manchester City freekick, which is being lined up by Kieran Trippier.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH FIXTURES

Sat. 29 April
  • AFC Fylde v Worcester City
  • AFC Telford Utd v Harrogate Town
  • Alfreton Town v Nuneaton Town
  • Brackley Town v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Chorley v FC Halifax Town
  • Curzon Ashton v Boston United
  • FC United of Manchester v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Bradford Park Avenue
  • Salford City v Darlington 1883
  • Stockport County v Gloucester City
  • Tamworth v Altrincham

EVO-STIK LEAGUE NEWS

The following matches all take place at 3pm on Saturday 29 April.

Premier Division Promotion Play-Off Final

  • Spennymoor Town v Stourbridge

First Division North Promotion Play-Off Final

  • Farsley Celtic v Ossett Town

First Division South Promotion Play-Off Final

  • Witton Albion v Spalding United


27 April 2017

ALTY TRAINING AND THE MANCHESTER DERBY TONIGHT!

As previously announced the Premier League "derby" between Manchester City and Manchester United is being screened "live" in the Community Sports Hall at the J Davidson Stadium tonight. Kick off at The Etihad is at 8pm.

Before that televised game, Altrincham's first team will be training on the pitch so why not come along for the opening of the Food & Drink Festival (7pm) and enjoy a drink and some food whilst the lads prepare for the fixture at Tamworth on Saturday?

During the Food & Drink Festival there will be matches on the pitch at Moss Lane including...

  • Altrincham Ladies will play a friendly against an Altrincham & Hale XI at 7.30pm on Friday evening.
  • An Independent Schools' international match between England and Scotland kicks off at 2pm on Sunday.
  • Monday sees the Juniors' annual football tournament involving sixty teams (8.45am to 6.30pm). Ten of the teams are Altrincham FC Juniors' teams, in U9/U10/U11 age groups, and the games are aranged in three sessions kicking off at 8:45am, 12 noon and 3:15 pm.

FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL STARTS

"This weekend, Altrincham FC is holding its annual 'Food & Drink Festival' at the J.Davidson Stadium, from Thursday, 27th April to Monday, 1st May.

We have arranged for some children's entertainment to take part in the Community Sports Hall on Saturday 29th April, between 12.00 and 4.00pm. This includes local entertainer, Spikey Mike, along with various characters from children's TV and films (Spiderman, Else & Anna - Frozen, Marshall - Paw Patrol).

THIS SEASON'S SPONSORED SHIRTS

Altrincham FC thanks everyone who sponsored one or more players' shirts this season. The shirts will be available for collection from the Club from next Tuesday. By then both the home and away shirts will have been signed by the players concerned.

If you need the shirt(s) posting to you, please contact Karen Rowley at the Club (0161 928-1045), or via e-mail, to arrange this.

FROM THE J. DAVIDSON STADIUM TO WEMBLEY

Probably the first match that Altrincham supporter and Premiership referee, Anthony Taylor, refereed this season was the Altrincham v Manchester United XI friendly at the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane on 22 July, 2016 (pictured above). And the last of his season may well be the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea, on 27 May, which the Altrincham-based referee has been selected to referee.

All at Altrincham FC send their congratulations to Anthony who for a number of years has refereed friendly games at his local club Moss Lane as well as supporting other events at the Football Club.

NEXT OPPONENTS: TAMWORTH

Alty's hosts on Saturday, Tamworth report that the "The 2016/17 season will end this Saturday, as we prepare to welcome Altrincham to The GST Gas Services Stadium at The Lamb. Players from our U7 to U21 age groups are all invited to the game, so we are hoping for a large crowd, and a positive result to end on.

The Lambs have collected seven points from the last nine available, after securing a first away win of 2017 against Stalybridge Celtic last time out. The reverse fixture back in December was in fact the last away victory before the recent Stalybridge game, as Louis Briscoe's first half double was enough to secure a 2-1 win at Moss Lane.

Boss Andy Morrell has a fully fit squad to choose from as it stands and, with contracts still up for grabs ahead of next season, competition for places is likely to be fierce.

As always, tickets start from as little as £12 for adults, £7 for concessions, and just £2 for juniors. We need as much support as possible to help us try and secure the victory, and end 2016/17 in style!"

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The National League reports that "At a hearing of an FA Board of Appeal held today (26th April), appeals lodged by the following clubs against exclusion by The National League to participate in 'End of Season Play Offs' were rejected.
  • Darlington 1883
  • Hungerford Town
  • Poole Town
  • Wealdstone"

This means that in our division, Chorley, in fifth place, now occupy a play-off place ahead of the final round of fixtures on Saturday.

The National League also confirms that "The final day of the Vanarama National League regular season draws to a conclusion this coming Saturday (29th April), with all [national level] matches kicking off at 12.15pm. With the championship trophy already safely lifted by Lincoln City, there is still much to play for, particularly at the bottom of the table.

The BT Sport cameras will be arriving at Bootham Crescent for relegation-threatened York City's all-important clash with Forest Green Rovers. The Minstermen, who will be looking to avoid back-to-back relegations, are one of six sides who could potentially join Southport and North Ferriby United out of the Vanarama National League. Manager Gary Mills must encourage players and fans to rise to the challenge facing them as York City currently occupy one of the two remaining places in the relegation zone with Braintree Town, and sit just one point behind Guiseley and Torquay United.

There is also plenty at stake for visiting Forest Green Rovers. A win for Mark Cooper's men would confirm third spot, which secures a home second leg in the play-off semi-finals. It is going to be a tough afternoon for the losing sides in the battle to avoid the drop, so make sure you join Matt Smith and the rest of his team from 11.45am on BT Sport 1. They will also provide goal updates from the other key matches on what promises to be a nail-biting afternoon."

Also from the National League we read that "There wasn't much riding on Tuesday night's Vanarama National League North encounter between Stalybridge Celtic and Harrogate Town at Bower Fold. However, despite the fact that Celtic have already been confirmed as plying their trade back in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League next season and that Town are to finish in mid-table after flirting with the top five for long periods of the season, this was an entertaining match.

The visitors took the lead after 11 minutes through Danny Ellis's powerful header. But Stalybridge were level just past the half-hour mark as Luke Shiels diverted the ball into his own net. Twenty minutes from time, the hosts went ahead as Gary Gee finished at the far post. Nine minutes later, sub Dominic Knowles equalised when he took advantage of keeper Grant Shenton’s poor clearance to head into an empty net. Knowles then made it 3-2 with just 3 minutes to go as he ran clear of the defence and rounded Shenton to score. Simon Ainge made it 4-2 with a header 3 minutes into stoppage time to earn Simon Weaver`s side a first win in seven games."


26 April 2017

RESERVES' REPORT

There is a report on Altrincham FC Reserves' win over Congleton Vale on Monday night, here.

BUCKET COLLECTION

The Club's thanks go to those who gave £38.61 to the half-time bucket collection on Saturday and thanks are also due to the collectors.

TUESDAY VANARAMA NATIONAL NORTH SCORE

In the Vanarama National League North... Stalybridge Celtic 2-4 Brackley Town

EVO-STIK PLAY-OFFS

On Monday night, Stourbridge beat Workington 3-2 to reach the EvoStik Premier promotion play-off final, for a place in the Vanarama National League North. Should they be unsuccessful, they will be one of Altrincham's opponents in 2017-18. They share their three-sided ground with Stourbridge Cricket Club who have the primary rights, which means that the Football Club do not have home games on Saturdays until late September.

From the other side, the Cumbrian News & Star tells us that Workington "Boss Dave Hewson pays tribute to Reds squad after play-off defeat...

'It was just really hard to take, and the dressing room is hurting at the moment,' said Hewson.... 'I just don’t think we deserved that. We’ve dug in and come back so many times and never stopped believing... But we can take credit from the fact that we have come down here and put on such a good show..

'I just thought in the second half we were on top, once we settled we started to believe in ourselves'...

Goals from Dave Symington and Dan Wordsworth brought Reds level twice and forced extra-time. But, despite a superb showing, they could not get past a battling Stourbridge. Hewson said they would be back to fight again next season and use this experience as motivation".

In Tuesday night's First Division play-offs, the results were...

  • First Division North Promotion Play Off Semi-Final, Farsley Celtic 4-0 Colne
  • First Division North Promotion Play Off Semi-Final Scarborough Athletic 1-3 Ossett Town
  • First Division South Promotion Play Off Semi-Final, Spalding United 3-2 Stocksbridge Park Steels
  • First Division South Promotion Play Off Semi-Final, Witton Albion 1-0 AFC Rushden and Diamonds - Hopley goal after 58 minutes; Rushden reduced to ten men by a red card shortly afterwards
  • Premier Division Promotion Play Off Semi-Final, Spennymoor Town 2-0 Nantwich Town - Spennymoor meet Stourbridge in final; Nantwich play in same division as Altrincham next season

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The National League reports that "Boston United manager Adam Murray has started shaping his squad for next season by informing four players that they will not be offered new contracts.

Goalkeeper Michael Emery, wingers Marcus Marshall and Jason St Juste and striker Waide Fairhurst are all free to find new clubs. Emery has made only four first-team appearances since joining his home-town club last summer following spells with Heanor Town, Skegness Town and Gainsborough Trinity. The experienced former Blackburn, Rotherham, Bury and Grimsby Town man Marshall has made thirty-one appearances but only managed one goal.

St Kitts & Nevis international St Juste leaves the Jakemans Stadium after appearing twenty-four times this season, also scoring just the once, having arrived in June 2016 following spells with AFC Fylde and North Ferriby United. Fairhurst arrived as the Pilgrims' star summer signing after spells with Torquay United and FC Halifax Town. But he managed just eighteen games for Boston, scoring once, and had a spell out on loan with Frickley Athletic in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division".

The Worcester News tells us that "Chairman Anthony Hampson praised caretaker manager John Snape and his players for 'putting the pride back' into Worcester City. Hampson admitted Snape stepped up to take temporary charge of the Vanarama National League North strugglers in a 'very difficult situation' following Carl Heeley’s decision to end his seven-year reign as manager.

Shortly after Heeley’s departure in late January all the players were put up for transfer as part of the club’s bid to 'protect the remaining funds'.

Leading scorer Lee Hughes left for AFC Telford United before striker Colby Bishop, winger Connor Hughes, forward Micah Evans [now at Alty] and experienced frontman Steven Craig followed him through the exit door. Worcester have struggled for results, registering only one win in more than five months, and dropped into the bottom three following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Salford City.

But Hampson, speaking at the club’s end-of-season awards, insists... 'We call him Snapper. He has motivated the team back from a very difficult situation and I am very grateful to the players for the work they have done to put the pride back into Worcester City'...

Snape said it had been a 'pleasure' managing his crop of players and insisted he was determined to finish what he described as a 'horrible season' on a high. City are one point adrift of safety and need to better Gainsborough Trinity’s result at FC United of Manchester on Saturday to stay up. 'When I came in, I think there were a lot more outgoings than incomings which probably didn’t help but had to happen', Snape said.

'I have had the pleasure of being the caretaker manager of this football club. It was lonely and still is lonely as I do miss Carl. But, after a rocky couple of weeks, every player has given their all, never given up and I would like to thank them all for that. It has been a tough, horrible season but I want the supporters and the players to realise that together we can go to Fylde and get something'.

Snape also hailed the work of... captain and caretaker assistant boss Danny Jackman... 'It has been frustrating for him as he wants to play all the time and I keep leaving him out. But, on and off the pitch, he has always been positive and gives his lot'".

At the other end of the table, the Daily Mail confirms that "Leicester City have looked to non-league for talent once again by giving a trial to Kidderminster Harriers' striker Andre Brown [who scored against Alty recently]. The 20-year-old started for Leicester's U23 side at Reading on Monday night, but failed to score in their 2-2 draw.

Brown, who hails from Walsall, started his career with Crewe Alexandra but was released a year ago. He has now returned to Kidderminster ahead of their weekend game against Bradford Park Avenue."

NW NEWS

In the Hallmark Security League, (NW Counties), "Atherton Collieries clinched the Premier Division title with a 1-0 win over Abbey Hey at the Kensite Stadium.

Founder members of our League in 1982, Colls have experieced some tough times over the years and only won promotion back to the Premier Division two years ago after a six year spell in Division One, but now they can look forward to competing in the Evo-Stik League Division One North next season.

Before the game began, Colls knew that they needed two points from their last two games to top the table, and in the end they picked up the trophy with one game to spare.

In front of an expectant crowd of 545 spectators, Colls had to work for their victory against a stubborn and determined Abbey Hey side, who proved to be tough opponents...

Colls' manager Michael Clegg said, 'In pre-season we set out to have the best defence in the league, we really worked on that, and that is what has seen us through... A lot of people have compared us to Jono and Bernard's Rammy (Ramsbottom United, who won the League title in 2012). They did similar to what we did in terms of team spirit and people who want to play for you, and that's the great thing about this team. I've got a group of lads who I believe in, and they believe in me, and our fans are like our family. We are all in this together, and we all want to play for one another'...

Colls' captain Brad Cooke, 'To get to 100 points is brilliant. Fair play to Bootle, Joe Doran is a top manager, they've got some great lads and they have pushed us all the way...

Colls' Secretary Emil Anderson added, 'I'm gobsmacked, I don't know what to say. What a three years it's been... a crowd of over 500 here to watch Atherton Collieries win the league, it's unbelievable'".

Elsewhere, "1874 Northwich are looking to end the season on a high by capturing some silverware, as they prepare to face Northwich Victoria in the final of the Mid-Cheshire Cup at the St Luke's Barton Stadium on Tuesday night. The Greens are the present holders of the trophy, winning it for the first time last season with a memorable 3-0 win over Witton Albion at Wincham Park... Now, they have the chance to retain the trophy at the expense of their old rivals, having already struck a psychological blow earlier in the season when they beat Vics 2-0 in the Cheshire Senior Cup, [ex-Alty youth and reserve] Tom Bailey scoring both goals".


25 April 2017

ALTY RESERVES 3 CONGLETON VALE 0

Above: Alty line-up before kick-off against Congleton Vale.

Altrincham Reserves, including six players from the first-team squad (Andrew Jones, Sam Heathcote, Laurence Taylor, Harry Cain, Darius Palma and Andy Owens) defeated Congleton Vale 3-0 at the J Davidson Stadium on Monday evening. Trailing 0-1 to a fine Sam Heathcote freekick, the visitors' left-back was shown a straight red card just after the hour mark to leave them with ten men. Harry Cain netted the second Alty goal after Callum Jones's excellent long-range shot had come back off the post and Heathcote completed the scoring with another impressive freekick in the closing stages.

Brief match report to follow...

ALFRETON VIEW

After Saturday's draw at Altrincham, Alfreton Town report that "Everyone at Alfreton Town FC breathed a collective sigh of relief at the final whistle after drawing 1-1 with already relegated Altrincham on Saturday and, although the draw in itself wasn't enough to guarantee National League North survival, the failure of both Gainsborough Trinity and Worcester City to win certainly was.

Furthermore the awful run of defeats, amidst an ever increasing injury list, ground to a halt and the Reds can now look forward to another season at step two of the Pyramid, which will be their tenth at that level including that memorable four year adventure in the Conference National.

The game itself shoud have been wrapped up by Alfreton, who had taken a 39th minute lead through Andy Monkhouse after a concerted spell of pressure, typified by amassing five corners in the opening thirteen minutes...

Altrincham's first corner on 30 minutes led to former Alfreton midfielder Jake Moult's effort being saved by Fabian Spiess. Another ex-Red Damian Reeves shot tamely at Spiess before heading over from a left wing cross...

Four minutes later Altrincham failed twice to clear a Westcarr corner, allowing Callum McFadzean to return the ball to Westcarr with his subsequent cross headed home firmly by Monkhouse six yards out at the near post...

The second half began... [and] the hosts made notable inroads into contention. However they were gifted a 59th minute equaliser when sub Shaun Densmore sent an innocuous curling cross towards goal from 25 yards that Spiess fumbled and allowed to squirm through his legs, once again cancelling out all the good work that he had done in much the same way that he had at Tamworth five days earlier.

With the wind in their sails Altrincham threatened to score again, but Clee wasted a great run with an overhit cross, Laurence Taylor's header was held by Spiess and Micah Evans blazed over when a goal looked inevitable".

LADIES' NEXT MATCH

Altrincham Ladies' next fixture is on Thursday, 27 April, away to Merseyrail Bootle at the Delta Taxis Stadium of Bootle FC.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Darlington 1883 confirm that "Darlington FC Supporters' Group (DFCSG) have launched their fundraising drive to upgrade the Blackwell Meadows facilities to enable promotion to the National League when the opportunity should arise.

The plans include the installation of 224 covered seats adjacent to the existing seated stand which will raise the overall seated capacity to over 500 together with a brand new pitch and drainage. Both of these works were intended to have taken place during the initial move to Blackwell Meadows but weren’t viable due to the increased cost of the move home.

The total cost needed to push forward with the developments stands at £193,000 and is structured into four phases:

  • 1) Pitch and drainage: £42,000 by 15th May 2017.
  • 2) 224 additional covered seats: £150,000...

The above timelines, if met, will allow the Club to have the infrastructure in place to fit the criteria for promotion. In the event of promotion the Club would then have until 31st March in the year after promotion to bring the ground up to Category A which would mean additional demands in order to raise the capacity to 4,000 from the current 3,299. It is envisaged a terrace built part way across the West End would achieve this although design and planning are not yet finalised...

The fundraising will be targeted using the previously successful Community Share scheme which allows supporters of the Club and local community to invest into the project by way of a long-term loan. Community Shares can be cashed out provided funds are available from year 5 onwards and also attract a small investment payment. The first Community Share offer which raised £100,000 towards the move back to Darlington is currently being accrued for at £5,000 per year — year one funds are in place.

In addition to upgrading Blackwell Meadows the Group have launched a 'Boost The Budget' scheme designed to allow manager Martin Gray to retain the squad which has performed well this season... as income for the 2016/17 season has fallen short of the required amount to sustain the playing budget set unless there is additional non-operational revenue... 500 fans committing to £3 a week would raise £75,000 over the course of the season and ensure that Martin could be given a similar budget to this season".

From the Brighouse Echo, we learn that "‘Sickening’ violence at FC Halifax Town matches must stop before someone is killed, said the club’s chairman in a desperate plea to fans.

David Bosomworth’s comments follow an incident at the Shaymen’s home defeat to AFC Fylde on Good Friday when a brick and bottle smashed the windows of an away supporters’ coach and minibus... Mr Bosomworth said, 'Words cannot describe the frustration and disbelief that anyone or a group of people associated with Halifax can be so less caring towards other people. We have some mindless souls who think that it is acceptable to come to a football match and use a game hosted by FC Halifax Town to be their focus for causing serious vandalism and not least damage to property but, worse still, risking serious injury to adults, children, ladies, elderly or disabled. This cannot be right.

'Throwing items at people or transport is mindless thuggery and creating such a risk, which is just not on. It has got to be stopped before someone loses an eye, is seriously hurt or even killed by such action'...

He said the recent violence, which also included an attack on an away supporters’ coach at Town’s home game against Gloucester and a brawl at the away match at Bradford Park Avenue, was damaging the reputation of the club and discouraging away supporters from coming to games at The Shay...

He reiterated a comment made last month that home fans could be kept behind after matches if the behaviour continues... Two Town fans have been issued with banning orders and several more are currently under investigation".

In the Gainsborough Standard, we read that "Nathan Jarman’s goals could be enough to keep Gainsborough Trinity in National League North. His finish on Saturday earned a point against Kidderminster Harriers to take Trinity out of the bottom three. On Good Friday he hit the only goal as Trinity won their first match under manager Dave Frecklington.

The boss said after the Kidderminster draw... 'When everything you have worked on in the week comes to fruition it pleases you even more. Nathan is sharper as the training we do is quite intense. He has been brilliant for us and the reason he has played in the last couple of games is because he can bring quality out of nowhere...

'Since the Chorley game (a 4-0 defeat on 1st April) these boys have worked tirelessly on shape out of possession. We needed to be better in possession today and we were, we were superb'”.

From fellow relegation contenders, the Worcester News tells us that "Veteran defender James Chambers has been ruled out of Worcester City’s final day survival showdown with AFC Fylde at Mill Farm... The former Leicester City, Watford and West Brom star was forced off with a hamstring injury in Worcester’s 2-1 defeat to Salford City at the weekend.

Caretaker assistant boss Danny Jackman said it was a 'big blow' to lose the 36-year-old... Chambers has struggled with injuries since coming out of retirement to play for City this season...

'I think it is a bad hamstring injury,' Jackman said. 'He may have torn it so that’s a big blow for us as he is a big player... Injuries are mounting up, but that’s the way it goes when you are down there'.

Tom Sharpe is expected to replace Chambers at right-back... The experienced Junior English’s right leg was heavily strapped for the game against Salford as he continues to 'nurse' a hamstring problem... Attacking midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy also has an issue with his knee... But Jackman insists it is case of 'patching people up' as they aim to make one final effort to avoid relegation.

Worcester are third from bottom, one point behind Gainsborough Trinity who travel to FC United".

EVO-STIK LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS

  • Monday 24 April, Premier Division Promotion Play Off Semi-Final, 7.45pm Stourbridge 3-2 Workington after extra time, so Workington will be one of Alty's opponents next season..

24 April 2017

ALTY 1 ALFRETON TOWN 1

Above: Nicky Clee in action against Alfreton, courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography.

MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD ABOUT MATT AND ROBBIE

Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes...

"After due consideration, the Board of Altrincham Football Club have concluded a fresh start is required for next season and decided, therefore, not to retain Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton as manager and assistant-manager.

Both Matt and Robbie have been made aware of the decision, and the club thanks them for their efforts after they were appointed in exceptionally difficult circumstances, initially in a caretaker capacity at the start of December, then for the rest of the season at the turn of the year.

While performances showed a marked improvement, results unfortunately failed to keep pace, and it was felt the prudent course of action would be to seek a more experienced manager to provide stability and know-how for what will be one of the most critical seasons in the club's history.

It was a decision that was not taken lightly, given the way Matt and Robbie replicated the same drive and determination they always showed as Altrincham players, but there was general consent among the board that next season was too important for anything to be left to chance and that a candidate with a record of success was needed to spearhead a push for promotion.

The process of identifying and installing that candidate is well advanced, and the club hope to be in a position to announce an appointment in the next few days. In the meantime, everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium wishes Matt and Robbie all the very best in their future careers".

YOUTHS' FIGHTBACK IN VAIN

Pictured, right, Alty's Joe Mather holds off a challenge from a Prescot Cables player.

Altrincham Youth lost 5-2 on Sunday, at home to Prescot Cables. Having fought back from 4-0 down to get the score to 4-2, an injury-time Prescot goal settled the encounter. Next Tuesday the youth team is at home (at the former home of Flixton FC) at 6.30pm against Chorley.

A match report on Sunday's game is here.

TASC GOAL RUSH DRAWS

TASC's Paul Slat reports that "Saturday's match v Alfreton Town saw Altrincham reach a total of 60 goals for the current season with just one league game to play.

As this was the last home game of the season, draws were conducted after the match for the 60-goal benchmark and the two additional end of season draws for a signed shirt and signed match ball for the participants in the TASC Goal Rush scheme.

The lucky winners were

  • 60 Goal Draw - No 32 - Theo Langveld
  • Signed Shirt - No 11 - Bob & Clare Allen
  • Signed Match Ball - No 22 - Steve Foster

Thank you to everyone who has taken part this season, and we hope to run the scheme again next season. All current participants will be contacted after next week's final game away at Tamworth, once the final goal total for the season is known".

FELLOW SUFFERERS

Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic are not the only ex-Conference (national) teams to suffer relegation this month. Northwich Victoria have finished bottom of EvoStik 1 South, Grays Athletic are bottom of the Ryman Premier, with Canvey Island also relegated from that division. Elsewhere, Frickley Athletic have been relegated from the EvoStik NPL Premier and Hayes & Yeading have gone down from the Southern League Premier. In addition, Histon finished bottom of the Southern League Division One Central.

OLD BOYS

In Saturday's remarkable EvoStik Premier match which ended Marine 5 Buxton 5, Jamie Menagh and Danny Mitchley scored for the Crosby-based side. And in the NL Paper we learn that for last week's game at Skelmersdale, Marine staff and players funded ten seats on their supporters' coach. And Jamie Menagh (right) stepped in to fund all 39 remaining places on the coach at a cost of more than £300!

Alty's recent loanee from Barrow, Elliot Newby, came on as an injury-time substitute for his parent club on Saturday.

Former Alty winger, Kevin Ellison, scored a goal that is contender for League Two goal of the season for Morecambe on Saturday.

EVO-STIK NPL NEWS

In the EvoStik League "There was plenty to play for at the top end of the Northern Premier League First Division North table on Saturday – not least the title itself, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

The scenario was that Lancaster City needed to better Farsley Celtic's result to claim the championship but the Dolly Blues had a tough test at Glossop North End... Despite a flawless performance from Farsley as they defeated Kendal Town 5-0, it wasn’t enough to earn promotion as Lancaster lifted the trophy after a 5-2 success.

City blew the Hillmen away in the opening 45 minutes when they scored all of their goals, including a Jordan Connerton hat-trick...

The Celts will have to battle their way through the play-offs now and will take on Colne... Ossett will travel to Queensgate to play Scarborough Athletic in the semi-finals after they finished above their Yorkshire rivals on goal difference...

The relegation situation was sorted over Easter, with Goole AFC joining Burscough back into Step 5".


23 April 2017

ALTRINCHAM 1-1 ALFRETON TOWN

Match report here.

WELL-EARNED BREAK FOR BARRY

When Altrincham FC Associate Director, Barry Pond, took early retirement from his full-time job with oil company, Esso, little did he realise that 21 years later he would still be working hard... as Associate Director responsible for commercial initiatives at Altrincham F.C.

But on Saturday, at the last home game of the season, Barry was honoured in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge as he oversaw his final match in his leading role at the Football Club. To mark the occasion, Neil Dawson, who himself has volunteered as a hospitality officer in the Sponsors' Lounge for 13 years, gave a brief speech thanking Barry for his tremendous service to the Football Club.

Barry's success in raising funds through sponsorship, advertising hoardings and other important commercial initiatives has been outstanding and all at the J Davidson Stadium thank him sincerely for his dedication.

Despite stepping down from his role as the club's director of commercial affairs, Barry will continue to work for Altrincham FC and his experience, knowledge and contacts will be vital in assisting whoever is named as his successor.

To mark the occasion, Club caterer Ritchie Bentley baked a special cake (pictured) to Barry's favourite recipe!

ALAN GOODALL RETIRES

Saturday's Robins' Review confirmed that Alan Goodall has decided to retire after being diagnosed with a long-term injury from which it would take him a year to recover.

The 35 year-old has had an eventful season at the J Davidson Stadium, after joining the club from Morecambe at the start of the 2016-17 campaign. He was immediately installed as captain by manager Neil Young and, later, with Shaun Densmore and Jake Moult he also experienced a brief spell as joint caretaker-manager before the appointment of Jim Harvey.

Formerly a midfielder, Alan moved to play regularly at centre-back before a sending off, away to Worcester City in game 16 of the season, followed by injuries, meant that he was only to start one more league match, at Stockport.

The second half of the league season saw him make only four league appearances, all from the bench. In all he made 21(+5) appearances for Altrincham and the Club wishes him success in whichever direction his career may now take him.

NEXT SEASON'S OPPONENTS

With the EvoStik League completing its regular season on Saturday, we now have a better idea of who will face us next season in the 24-club Northern Premier League in 2017-18.

We will definitely play 15 teams who remain in the NPL for 2017-18, namely Whitby Town, Buxton, Grantham Town, Matlock Town, Warrington Town, Ashton United, Rushall Olympic, Stafford Rangers, Barwell, Hednesford Town, Mickleover Sports, Coalville Town, Marine, Halesowen Town, Sutton Coldfield Town.

We will also play fellow relegated teams Stalybridge Celtic and either Worcester City or Gainsborough Trinity

We will face two promoted teams, Lancaster City promoted from EvoStik 1N and Shaw Lane Association from EvoStik 1S.

In addition, we will face three of the following four current NPL clubs who are in promotion play-offs: Spennymoor Town, Stourbridge, Workington, Nantwich Town.

As for clubs who might be promoted from divisions 1N and 1S, we will play one of Farsley Celtic, Scarborough Athletic, Ossett Town or Colne, who are in 1N playoffs, and one of Witton Albion, Spalding United, Stocksbridge Park Steels and AFC Rushden & Diamonds, who are from 1S.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The National League reports that "AFC Fylde are the Vanarama National League North champions following their 3-0 victory over Boston United at the Jakemans Stadium on Saturday... This was a fifth straight defeat for United at their expense...

Harriers' chances of taking the title race to the final weekend disappeared when they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Northolme by relegation battlers Gainsborough Trinity... It was Gainsborough who took the lead through Nathan Jarman after 19 minutes. Within 5 minutes of the break Harriers were level through Andre Brown...

Third-placed FC Halifax Town secured their play-off place by beating mid-table Curzon Ashton 3-0 at The Shay...

AFC Telford United have secured safety, despite a 1-0 defeat against Darlington 1883 at Blackwell Meadows... The Bucks sealed survival due to Worcester losing 2-1 to Salford City.

The Ammies took a 37th minute lead at the Victoria Ground when Mike Phenix volleyed home following a long ball into the box. However, the visitors were reduced to ten-men right on the stroke of half-time when Jamie Poole received a second yellow card for time-wasting as he kicked the ball away... City drew level on the hour-mark when Jordan Murphy headed in... but 5 minutes from time, Salford won a crucial three points when Nick Haughton slotted the ball past Nathan Vaughan.

Chorley and Stockport County are the other two sides in top five contention, with the Magpies holding a two-point advantage in sixth. They shared a 2-2 draw with tenth-placed Gloucester City at Whaddon Road, but had to play the whole second half with ten-men... After 34 minutes Jack Sampson was red-carded for an alleged elbow incident. However, right on the stroke of half-time, Matt Jansen`s side equalised...

That became even more important after news of Stockport`s 2-0 win at the Horsfall Stadium against Bradford Park Avenue filtered through...

Harrogate Town couldn`t end their home campaign on a high as Brackley Town recorded a fourth straight away victory...

Stalybridge Celtic, who are also down, lost 4-0 at Bower Fold to Tamworth. It was all over bar the shouting by the 17th minute with the Lambs leading 3-0 through Dan Newton`s quickfire brace in the 5th and 7th minutes and an effort from youngster Ben Fox. Newton eventually completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute.

And Nuneaton Town ended their home campaign disappointingly, losing 4-1 to FC United of Manchester".

GATES

  • Att: 801 Altrincham 1 v 1 Alfreton Town
  • Att: 1255 Boston United 0 v 3 AFC Fylde
  • Att: 1280 Bradford Park Avenue 0 v 2 Stockport County
  • Att: 1800 Darlington 1883 1 v 0 AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 1818 FC Halifax Town 3 v 0 Curzon Ashton
  • Att: 902 Gainsborough Trinity 1 v 1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att: 526 Gloucester City 2 v 2 Chorley
  • Att: 660 Harrogate Town 1 v 2 Brackley Town
  • Att: 777 Nuneaton Town 1 v 4 FC United of Manchester
  • Att: 388 Stalybridge Celtic 0 v 4 Tamworth
  • Att: 743 Worcester City 1 v 2 Salford City

RESERVES AT THE JDS

On Monday night (24th) at 7.45pm, the Reserves play Congleton Vale at the J Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, and entry is free of charge. The Reserves drew 3-3 at home to Malpas on Saturday.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS

The dates and kick-off times for the Vanarama National League play-offs are as follows:
  • Wednesday 3 May, 7pm - Aldershot Town/Dover Athletic v Tranmere Rovers
  • Thursday 4 May - Forest Green Rovers v Dagenham and Redbridge (or vice versa depending on results)
  • Saturday 6 May, 12:15pm - Tranmere Rovers v Aldershot Town/Dover Athletic
  • Sunday 7 May - Dagenham and Redbridge v Forest Green Rovers (or vice versa depending on results)

The promotion final is at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14 May, 3pm.


22 April 2017

ALTRINCHAM 1-1 ALFRETON TOWN

Above: Tim Deasy deals with a corner in the first half against Alfreton Town.

A draw was ultimately a fair outcome in this battle between the division's two most porous defences. The visitors had the better of the first half against an Alty side wich had recurrent difficulty in clearing its defensive lines. Alfreton took a deserved lead in the 39th minute when Westcarr's cross was met by Monkhouse's header past Deasy.

The goal had arrived just minutes after Altrincham had made a tactical change, replacing left-back McWilliams with Shaun Densmore. Densmore initially slotted into a left-sided midfield position but, after the break, he assumed a central role and he was a significant factor in the improved second-half performance by the hosts.

But, although Densmore was instrumental in scoring the 56th minute equalizer, the goal might well be credited to Alfreton keeper Spiess. The keeper fumbled the Alty midfielder's whipped-in cross from the left and, in attempting to retrieve the situation, only succeeded in carrying the ball over the goal-line.

Until the closing stages, when Alfreton got forward again, it was Altrincham who had the better of the second half but the final whistle left the hosts with just one home win in their league campaign this season.

Match report here.

SATURDAY'S FIXTURES

Sat. 22 April

Stalybridge Celtic are relegated; AFC Fylde are promoted as champions.

  • Altrincham 1-1 Alfreton Town
  • Boston United 0-3 AFC Fylde
  • Bradford Park Avenue 0-2 Stockport County
  • Darlington 1883 1-0 AFC Telford Utd
  • FC Halifax Town 3-0 Curzon Ashton
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Gloucester City 2-2 Chorley
  • Harrogate Town 1-2 Brackley Town
  • Nuneaton Town 1-4 FC United Of Manchester
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-4 Tamworth
  • Worcester City 1-2 Salford City

ALTRINCHAM v ALFRETON TOWN: LIVE MATCH COVERAGE

You can follow this fixture via this website's minute by minute text updates by clicking on the icon below. Alternatively, Radio Robins' coverage of the game is outlined below as well.

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game. The match commentary sponsor is Chris Furlong.

The commentary team is Tim Ainsworth and Aiden Beswick with match summaries from Dave Stringer. Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at http://www.radiorobins.com/

NICKY CLEE INTERVIEWED

Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, Brian Flynn, has forwarded the following interview with Nicky Clee by Aiden Beswick. Brian informs us that "Aiden is studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) and is getting involved with our media team. He conducted the Alty TV interview with Robbie Lawton on Easter Monday and he makes his Radio Robins debut on Saturday".

With relegation confirmed to the Evo-Stik Premier Division after defeat to promotion-chasers Salford City FC earlier this month, the Robins are now certain to finish bottom of the Conference North table. With emotions from fans, board members and players still fresh in their minds, I spoke to one of the Altrincham’s longest-serving players and fan-favourite Nicky Clee, about the club’s future, his future and more.

AB=Aiden Beswick, NC=Nicky Clee

AB: How do you feel now relegation has been confirmed and are you one of the players who, with this confirmation, is going to be here next season?

Left: Nicky Clee

NC: It’s disappointing, obviously. When I re-joined in December, we were a good way adrift, so it was looking like we were going to go down then. But now its confirmed, I think it’s finally like a nail in the coffin that’s been shut all season. I only left for four months, I’ve been here for about 7/8-years, so this club is part of me. Who knows what’s going to happen next year, or what the management situation is, so who knows on that aspect of things?

AB: When you originally joined Altrincham, did you see the potential for this club to make it to the Football League or did you see the National League as the level for this club?

NC: It’s hard, like you said, I joined when the club were in the Conference National and, at that point, it’s the same now, as a part-time team in the Conference, you’re struggling to get out of the bottom 8 or 9. If you look at the top 15 teams in the Conference, a handful of them might be part-time, the rest of them will be full-time, and that’s the way it is in that league now. It’s like a 5th division.

The club needs to bounce back from a double-relegation. When we do get back into the Conference, it will happen eventually, we just need a bit of time to turn this blip around. When we do get back up there, it possibly might be full-time, but then you’d look at investment for full-time wages and that’s a different question. But, the club’s there, the ground’s there, and it just needs a bit more investment, to get the club into full-time and look at league football.

AB: How much of a factor are the Alty fans on the team’s overall performance and are they really one of the main factors to push you on, in order to progress back up the leagues?

NC: They’re really important. What’s a football club without its fans? It’s probably the main reason I came back, the fans here are brilliant, they get behind you. Looking at the last 2-years they’ve had, it has been horrible, about 18months of football has been ‘disgusting’, and they’re still coming. I was there when we played the Guiseley game, with four and a half thousand here. I played a[gains]t Brackley at home in the play-off semi-final, when there was a flare that was lit off once Moulty scored the last-minute winner.

Things like that, you want to see back and hopefully, next year, we are under no illusions it’s going to be hard but hopefully, we can build on the last 10 games. We’ve played well but just not got our rewards. Hopefully we can build on that and go straight back up.

AB: Is it going to be the team’s main goal, to go straight back up?

NC: It’s got to be your aim to try and bounce back up, but that’s what we said last year. The aim was to go straight back up. I was released anyway so it didn’t affect me at the start of the season. But you can’t just say let’s go straight back up, its tougher than that, it takes hard work, it takes team spirit, you’ve got to be together, and I’m under no illusions, that it’s going to be hard, but this club, this team can bounce back up. It just needs the correct manager, it needs the fans' support and, hopefully, the fans will come back with a few wins and, hopefully next year, we can give them that and give them something to smile about again.

AB: What is your preferred position on the pitch?

NC: I don’t care, I just want to play, hence why I moved on a couple of times this year because, I just want to play football. I’ve played left-back one week, then right-wing the next, I don’t think there is many people who would probably do that. I’m comfortable at left-back and I’m comfortable on the wing, but I also like playing in little pockets.

When you’re playing the number 10 role, you can get really directly involved, whereas, on the left sometimes the ball has 10 minutes on the right side, you’re just isolated a bit. But I’ve enjoyed it, against Salford I played up there as well and I thought I did well. I enjoy playing up there, working hard and trying to create chances.

AB: As a senior member of the squad, does your experience rub off on the younger players coming through, such as Darius Palma [right]?

NC: I don’t know, he’s a young lad, I remember being his age coming through, and you’ve got no fear, you do what you do playing with your mates and he looks like me 15-years ago to be fair. When I saw him get the ball he turned his full-back and he drove. I said to him, just drive, drive, drive, get the ball in and past your man.

I’ll always talk to the young lads, I’ll always try and help them out and, like you said, I’m one of the ‘old boys’ now. He’s done well, it’s difficult coming into that sort of football because, I know they play [for the] reserves but the tempo difference, between the reserves and first-team is massive, and if you ask Laurence (Taylor), he came in and is doing really well in that position he plays. He’s come straight in from the reserves and, after half-time, he is blowing. They do need a bit of guidance, and I’ll give them that, I’ll always talk to them, especially the attacking players because, I know more about attacking than defending.

AB: Do you think that you might go into coaching or management when you have finished playing?

I don’t think it’s for me to be honest, I’ve done coming on 15 seasons of playing and god knows how many games, but I don’t know, who knows? Because, I’ve never come through a YTS or anything like that, I’ve got no coaching badges. I’ve only done bits of coaching, I’ve picked up things from experience really, so I could. I know what I’m doing and I know what to talk about, I could coach people but, on paper, I don’t have a badge or anything like that to look at. I’ve got three young kids as well and I’m sure they’ll want me to coach their junior side, so I don’t know.

I still enjoy playing and as soon as that moment comes, where I don’t enjoy playing then I’ll think about that. But missing the majority of last year, has probably done me the world of good because, it’s given me a new lease of life. I’ve probably lost a half a yard of pace from having operations, but I’ve not had enough of football and I still want to play.

AB: How much of an impact do your specially made boot insoles have on your game?

NC: I got them from one of my good friends. He is a podiatrist and in my first season, when I was about 19, I had chronic hip pains, I couldn’t run properly at all. He was at Uni doing podiatry. I went to see the physio and no one could understand what it was. I went in front of him and walked, my knees go in when I walk which puts pressure on my ankles, knees and my hips. He made me some insoles at Uni, I put them in my boots and after a few weeks of getting used to them I could run again. Ever since then, I’ve used them. They last a while but if he gets a new batch, he lets me know and I trial them. Its proper stuff, I go there and he moulds them to my feet, it’s not like going to a shop and buying a pair. They’re good and I’d recommend them to anyone who’s having trouble with the issues in question.

AB: Who do you feel is the right man to take the manager’s hot seat next season?

NC: It’s difficult, you don’t know who’s applied for the job so you don’t know who wants it. We’ve been in every game bar the Stockport one, we’ve been better defensively, the record isn’t great, I don’t think we’ve done enough as players for Matt and Robbie to get them the job but chop and changing the manager hasn’t worked. We’ve done it three or four times and it hasn’t worked, getting loads of players in hasn’t worked, so I don’t know. I suppose that’s up to the board and that’s what they do. That the difficult part of running a football club.

AB: Have the board ever come to the players and asked what effect Matt and Robbie have had on you?

NC: No but it’s a good idea, I’ve not spoken to anyone about it. I’ve got a good relationship with the Chairman, I’ve been here as long as he’s done the job. It’s a tough one, they want to do the right thing, but what is the right thing? In hindsight, the last three appointments before Matt, weren’t the right thing. I’m just glad I’m not making the decision.

Left: Simon Richman

AB: Which players have impressed you most since returning to the club?

NC: The last few weeks, Laurence Taylor has come in and he’s done every job that has been asked of him from Matt and Rob. He might not be the most attractive footballer in the world, but he can do a job and he’ll stick to someone like glue. Simon Richman’s energy is unreal and without him in the team, we look a different team. It was the same when we were in the Conference, his energy won us games sometimes. There are some decent lads in that dressing room and although we’ve not been tearing up trees this year, there is now a positive dressing room.

We don’t go in thinking not football again, we want to win, we listen, we take stuff on board, everyone gets on. I don’t know what it was like before, there’s been 50-odd players in the dressing room, so I can’t comment on who’s been in and out but in the group, they’re all good lads and the biggest disappointment for me is that I haven’t had the chance to play with Sean Miller, as soon as I came, he got injured. He’s a similar player to me and hopefully, we are both here next year.

AB: Who’s the best player you have played against so far in your career?

NC: I’ve played against a lot. I remember playing against Manchester City reserves in a friendly here at Alty, it was when they just got all the money. It was when they went on tour abroad and whoever they didn’t want, they kept in England, I think Craig Bellamy was up front, Onuoha was centre-half and Kieran Trippier at right-back. Although I megged him and I told him about it, he was decent, he was something else. His energy up and down that pitch was unreal, he was on another level. The toughest payer I’ve probably played against is Chris Lynch, his manager at the time literally told him to boot me all game and he did. Lynchy doesn’t shy away from anything.

AB: Who is your favourite player that you have played alongside?

When I was at Hyde, we had Dale Johnson and Gareth Seddon up front. Dale ended up coming here and on his day, he is unreal, he’s a big, strong lad who was a unit. Seds though used to score for fun, he was class.

Here, there is Reeves, when Reeves was on form for those three or four years, everything he touched, he scored. It was mad because, you knew if he had the chance, that was it. All he needed was a chance. We just know, it hasn’t quite clicked this year. I know he’s had a hard time since I’ve come back but the last few games he’s had some chances and I suppose if you don’t have the chances as a forward, you start to worry. But he’s not really played that much since I’ve come back but with chances, he’ll get there. He has told me he has some new boots, so hopefully that will work. I’m a bit like that, if I have a good game, I won’t wash my boots.”

NW NEWS

Southport have issued a Club Statement, which says...

"At yesterday’s Board Meeting the first item on the agenda was the future position of the Club going forward. It was confirmed by Charlie Clapham that Sam Shrouder, Haydn Preece and David Barron would stand down as Directors at the end of the Club's Financial year end, the 30th June 2017.

As Chairman I confirmed that I would step down with immediate effect (21st April 2017) Sam Shrouder will also step down with immediate effect. Whilst both Sam and I have personal reasons for resigning our positions, the recent attacks that have appeared on social media and in the press and media following the open meeting of the Trust in Yellow and supporters has meant our position is untenable. Therefore we take our decisions with heavy hearts but in the best interests of Southport Football Club in the short and, hopefully, long term.

Haydn Preece shares the same views in regards to the vitriol and ridicule that has been aimed at the club and himself personally; David Barron has been shocked by a section of the supporters, by the behaviour towards myself and the Board.

Nigel Allen and Liam Watson are considering their positions. Nigel has agreed to act as Interim Chairman until the 30th June 2017 during which time the Board will seek a meeting with the Trust in Yellow Board to establish their views for the future as the call for change has come from them following the Open Meeting.

The Board will urgently seek to establish any level of interest in bringing in investors who may wish to take a controlling interest in the ownership of the Club.

I would like to place on record my thanks to Sam, Haydn and David and my family for their support towards me over the many years they have worked with me. I would also like to thank Ken Hilton along with all volunteers and supporters who over the last 35 years have treated me with respect.

The Board will work diligently over the coming weeks to find an outcome that will ensure the security and sustainability of your football club.

On behalf of the Board, Charlie Clapham MBE"

NL Pitchero adds that "Charlie Clapham has resigned as chairman of Southport with immediate effect after 35 years along with three other directors due to supporter unrest.

The already relegated Sandgrounders have had four managers during their season of turmoil and some fans were due to be holding a protest against the board at their final home game against Lincoln City in a week’s time".

EVO-STIK LEAGUE NEWS

From the Evo-Stik League we learn that "Tommy Lawson will lead Marine into the 2017-18 Northern Premier League season after securing the club's top flight status. The former Skelmersdale United boss, appointed in February as the successor to Sean Hessey with the Mariners facing the real threat of losing their top flight status in the EVO-STIK NPL for the first time in their history, was rewarded on Thursday for quickly turning around the club's fortunes.

Lawson, who earned legendary status guiding Skem for nearly a decade before leaving in January, was rewarded with a new deal after his side took 14 points from the last 21 on offer to climb clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table."



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