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11 November 2019

FA CUP DRAW

In Monday's FA Cup second Round draw, Altrincham were assigned a tie at Harrogate or Portsmouth.

The full draw comprised:

FA TROPHY: AWAY AT YORK AGAIN!

The draw for the Third Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy was made today and includes the following "northern" ties. Ties are on 23 November.

For Altrincham, this is a repeat of last Saturday's FA Cup tie and is the sixth successive away cup draw this season after four in the FA Cup and one in the Cheshire Senior Cup. It also comes after last season's double-double-header in the FA Cup and FA Trophy when Altrincham met both Bradford (Park Avenue) and Stockport County in both of the competitions!

YORK CITY 0-1 ALTRINCHAM

A goal eight minutes from the end of normal time by Tom Peers secured Altrincham's place in Round Two of the FA Cup and condemned York City to their first defeat of the season.

Above: Alty salute their supporters after the final whistle at York.

Alty had started the game well before York settled and the first half ended goalless.

Maguire's theatrical fall over Tony Thompson convinced referee Bell to award a penalty, which was probably a correct decision. But Thompson saved Bond's spot kick and a follow-up hit the bar (57 mins). Despite losing Ceesay to injury soon afterwards Altrincham raised their game in the final stages.

Peers fired home Hulme's feed from about 15 yards to put Alty ahead before they saw out the closing stages fairly comfortably despite the home keeper going up for three corners.

Match report here

FA CUP REWARDS

With four away draws in the Emirates FA Cup this season, Altrincham have nevertheless advanced through four rounds of the competition. Victories over Chester FC (after a replay), Halesowen Town, Southport and York City, have earned the club £72,750 so far, with a further £54,000 on offer for winning a Second Round tie, for which the draw will be made tonight at 7pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

Altrincham have been assigned ball no.9 in the draw and the games take place over the weekend of 30 November.

TV coverage via the red button for the Halesowen tie and the appearance on the highlights show against York will have added further modest amounts to Alty's prize kitty.

Alty last reached the Second Round Proper in 2015-16 season, when they were unlucky to lose to a very late goal at Colchester United.

OPPOSITION VIEWS

From the opposition, York City report that "Tom Peers scored late in the second half for Altrincham to knock City out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first round stage. Tony Thompson also saved an Andy Bond penalty with the scores level.

Altrincham came into this game in good form, having not lost in their last six games in all competitions. York won 3-1 when the sides met on the opening day of the season.

Steve Watson made one change to the side that drew with Kidderminster Harriers last time out; Kieran Green coming in for Jordan Burrow. Altrincham also made one change to their side with Jordan Hulme dropping to the bench in place of Yusifu Ceesay.

The first 20 minutes of the game was scrappy, with no side having a clear cut chance...

Sean Newton then smashed the crossbar from a free kick on the edge of the box. His thunderous left footed strike had beaten Tony Thompson in goal but rebounded back out off the bar and Green smashed the follow up over... as City began to grow into the game...

City tried to break down a very well organised Altrincham side before the break but the away side stood firm, as the two sides went in at the break level.

The second half started similarly to the first, with neither side dominating... City were awarded a penalty ten minutes into the second half. Dan Maguire was taken down by goalkeeper Thompson inside the area and the referee took his time before awarding the penalty. Thompson then made amends, saving Bond’s penalty. A goalmouth scramble then followed, with City smashing the bar in the process before the away side eventually got the ball away.

With ten minutes to go, Altrincham took the lead. Hulme played in Peers who curled one into the corner from just inside the area, leaving Jameson with no chance in the City goal".

York Press reports that "City suffered their first defeat in 27 games as they were beaten 1-0 by Altrincham in the first round of the FA Cup...

It was an entertaining enough first half, but clear-cut chances were few and far between, and composure lacking in a few forward areas. On balance, goalless at the break was a fair reflection of the game.

The composure in front of goal did not make much of an appearance in the second period, Bond's penalty a case in point. Soft and low, Thompson saved relatively comfortably, and Bond could not bury the rebound.

Peers's was the clearest of the sides' chances - and he buried it with aplomb...

In goal was Tony Thompson, who has kept three clean sheets this term, two of which have come in the Cup. James Jones, who scored at both ends in City’s 3-1 season-opener at Moss Lane, started alongside Everton Academy product Shaun Densmore, who is the longest-serving player on Alty’s books.

Steve Watson was able again to name a strong starting 11, to which his only change from the Kidderminster Harriers draw was Kieran Green in place of Jordan Burrow. Andy Bond and Dan Maguire both recovered from minor niggles.

Altrincham looked up for the tie and were at City from the off, looking lively on their incursions into the attacking third...

Peter Jameson had to make a brave early block at the feet of Tom Peers, who had beaten the offside trap to get beyond McNulty...

As the half wore on, Altrincham’s pure attacking verve faded and York began to look more in control, though the visitors still posed a threat. Densmore was causing trouble down City’s left...

York went the closest yet midway through the half. Jones was cautioned for a tackle on Kempster on the edge of the area. Sean Newton rattled the crossbar with a powerful left-footed free kick and Green fired over from the follow-up...

York hearts were in mouths eight minutes after the restart when a Tom Peers header grazed the crossbar with Jameson beaten – only for the offside flag to be raised.

Straight up the other end, Maguire won a penalty when, moving away from goal, Thompson foolishly tripped him. The keeper made amends by saving Andy Bond’s spot kick, before Bond then struck the crossbar with the follow-up and a Green overhead kick was blocked.

The travelling fans were certainly galvanised by this, and it briefly translated onto the pitch...

Altrincham took the lead with eight minutes remaining through Peers. A York counter-attack was broken down on the halfway line and the ball was played out to Hulme on the left. With the York centre-backs in disarray and space between McNulty and the backtracking Newton, Peers was able to drive home.

Jameson went up for late corners as City, roared on by the home support, pushed for the equaliser."

And the Yorkshire Post adds that "York City ended a club record undefeated run of 21 games by crashing out of the FA Cup to Altrincham.

In the competition’s final tie to be held at the Minstermen’s Bootham Crescent ground... Tom Peers’ 82nd-minute goal settled an underwhelming first-round contest.

York had their chances to extend their interest in this season’s tournament with Andy Bond seeing a penalty saved and Sean Newton rattling the crossbar.

But, despite sending keeper Pete Jameson upfield for three late corners, all attempts to give the 87-year-old venue a fitting Cup farewell fell flat.

Alty were unlikely spoilers, having failed to win in the league on their travels during a season that sees them sitting 17 places below Steve Watson’s National League North leaders.

York were bidding to make the second round for the first time since 2010, but it was the visitors who made a more confident start...

A disappointed [manager, Steve] Watson admitted the team’s first loss since Good Friday should now serve as a reality check, insisting 'If anybody felt this season was going to be easy, then this should serve as the proverbial kick up the backside.'"

FA CUP ON SUNDAY AND MONDAY

Sunday, 10 November, k.o. 12.45pm unless stated otherwise

Monday, 10 November, k.o. 7.45pm

RESERVES HIT SIX

Altrincham FC Reserves defeated Crewe FC 6-2 on Saturday. Next Saturday they are away to Billinge FC.

LADIES' WIN

On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies beat Wythenshawe Amateurs (Juniors) Women 4-2.

Next Sunday, 17 November, they are away to Burscough Dynamo, who lie eleventh in the table. Altrincham lie eighth but have only played three league games compared with some others who have completed as many as eight or nine fixtures.

YOUTH TEAM

Altrincham FC Youth had no league fixture on Saturday. Next Saturday (17th) they are away to Atherton Town in the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup, a competition named after the former coach of Altrincham FC Youth under George Heslop's managership.

FROM DEBT TO STABILITY

Grahame Rowley's announcement yesterday that he will step down as chairman at Altrincham FC by the end of the 2019-20 season means that he will complete ten eventful years as chairman of Altrincham FC. However, his service on the Club's board dates back to a brief spell in 2001 followed by an unbroken period as a Director of the Club from September 2002.

However, his involvement with the Club goes well beyond that, having been brought up in the town and, with his brother Terry, he has edited the Robins' Review matchday programme at Moss Lane for more than twenty years and continues to do so.

Having been relegated from the national level of non-League football in 2000, Altrincham had finished respectably seventh in the UniBond Northern Premier League at the end of 2000-01 season and ninth in 2001-02. But by May 2002, off the field, Altrincham FC was in a mess. Historical overspending had come home home to roost as the then Board issued a press statement stating that,

It is with regret that we need to announce that we have now received the final demand for payment of our Inland Revenue liabilities of £43,000 with immediate effect, the result of non-payment in the near future will result in a winding-up order being issued without prior notification... We told all present that the club needed £50,000 to survive within the next few months. This time period has now expired and the predicted outcome is now upon us.

Right: Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw, October 2002

On 18 June, 2002 the official website reported that "A new Board of Directors were elected for Altrincham Football Club at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders held last night (Monday 17th). The new Board comprises Grahame Rowley, Geoffrey Goodwin and Andrew Shaw". As well as the financial turmoil, things also started to go wrong on the pitch and, by early October 2002, the club lay twentieth in the NPL which, at that time, was step two in the non-league pyramid. Manager Bernard Taylor was replaced in that role by Graham Heathcote in mid-October, 2002 and he went on to steer the club to a fourteenth-placed finish.

Aided by the Council's sale of the Club car-park for the Chequers building development, Messrs Goodwin, Rowley and Shaw implemented a regime of living within the club's means and, with Graham Heathcote's canny managership, Altrincham returned to the top-flight of non-League football in 2005. Despite being part-time side with limited resources, Alty remained in the top flight for six seasons as other less well-run clubs went into financial meltdown, underlining how important Alty's financial self-restraint had been.

The Nationwide Conference in 2005-06 included Hereford United, Grays Athletic, Halifax Town, Canvey Island and Scarborough to name just some of the clubs that subsequently hit the financial buffers. Subsequent seasons saw other clubs at the same level as Altrincham finding themselves in financial turmoil, such as Weymouth, Rushden & Diamonds, Northwich Victoria, Histon, Farsley Celtic, Nuneaton Borough, Salisbury City, Kettering Town and Chester City, to name but a few.

After five battling seasons in the top flight of non-League football, including three reprieves from relegation through other clubs' mismanagement, the 2010-11 season saw Alty gain just a single point from their opening nine games. And, off the field, chairman Geoff Goodwin resigned on 13 September 2010. With the club rooted to the bottom of the league, Grahame Rowley took on the chairman's role, having previously been vice-chairman.

Left: The Community Sports Hall under construction, July 2014

Ken McKenna managed the club till the end of that season but, despite an upturn in form, a disastrous final-day home defeat to bottom club Eastbourne Borough saw Altrincham relegated to the North division.

Off the field, things were looking better as the Board agreed a significant deal with local metal processing company, J Davidson, and that company has remained major sponsors of the club to date. From 23 May 2011, Lee Sinnott was appointed as team manager. Under his guidance Altrincham regained their national status in 2014 but, following his departure in the spring 2016, his assistant Neil Tolson was unable to prevent the club being relegated at the end of that season.

Away from the first-team, important developments took place at the Club with the creation and growth of the Altrincham FC Juniors which has attracted hundreds of local youngsters to play for the clubs' numerous age-group teams. A thriving Ladies' team and development squad have also been set up and a youth education programme has operated successfully for a number of years, based at the J. Davidson Stadium.

At Moss Lane 2015 saw the opening of the impressive Community Sports Hall at the football ground, a facility which has enhanced the Club's standing and relevance to its local community and proved to be an important source of income. Allied to this, Ritchie Bentley's enhanced catering provision around the stadium has added positively to the matchday experience.

Back on the field, in summer 2016, the Club appointed Neil Young as manager. He had previously enjoyed managerial success at Colwyn Bay (with whom he won prompotion to the NPL), Chester FC (where he enjoyed three promotions, including reaching the Football Conference) and had a brief, less happy spell at Stockport County. After three draws at the start of the 2016-17 season, Altrincham lost the next three fixtures disappointingly and on 28 August 2016 Neil Young resigned.

Just over a week later, the appointment of the experienced Jim Harvey offered hope of a revival, given his legendary work at Morecambe and, more recently, with Halifax Town whom he had saved from seemingly certain relegation the previous season. But Alty's poor form continued and, before the end of 2016, Harvey's assistant and former Alty player Matt Doughty took caretaker charge and was joined by former club captain Robbie Lawton. But the die was cast and they were unable to prevent a second successive relegation.

The fall-out from the relegations was a difficult time for the Chairman, his family and the Board, and the appointment of a new manager in summer 2017 was to be a crucial decision.

Despite the outcome of Neil Young's appointment, the Club again looked to a locally successful manager and appointed Nantwich Town manager Phil Parkinson to lead the team for 2017-18.

Phil and his assistant Neil Sorvel followed up on promotion with an impressive 2018-19 campaign which got them as far as the promotion play-off semi-final.

So Grahame Rowley's chairmanship and directorship at Altrincham has been an eventful and, at times, very stressful time not only for Grahame but also for his wife, Karen. She, along with their children Chris and Sarah, has given years of unpaid service to the Club.

As Grahame prepares to step down from the helm, he can reflect that despite the ups and downs of the club's promotions and relegations and its financial difficulties, the Club is now financially sound, unlike a large number of its previous rivals. Whilst the period since 2002 has included the hugely disappointing drop into in Step 3 in 2017, it has also witnessed eight seasons competing at Step 1 under Graham Heathcote and Lee Sinnott. Moreover, today the Club has a popular and successful manager and a team that plays an attractive brand of football, as well as possessing an extensive Juniors' and Ladies' set-up and a well-used Community Sports Hall.

FA CUP WEEKEND

The National League reports that the League's "clubs are still going strong in the FA Cup after an exciting weekend of action...

Dover produced one of the shocks of the round by beating Southend on Sunday afternoon...

Bromley showed their mettle... after falling behind with little over ten minutes left, Chris Bush pounced on a goalkeeper howler to level it up five minutes later.

Also in the hat are Wrexham who held League One Rochdale to a goalless draw at the Racecourse.

Altrincham are safely through after inflicting a first defeat in all competitions on York City, Tom Peers with the crucial goal seven minutes from time.

It wasn't such a great day for Chippenham, Barnet and Gateshead, however. The Heed's Liam Agnew equalised in the second-half against Oldham but Jonny Smith's strike for the visitors halted their cup run...

Boston United... won at Carshalton to storm into the second round. They did it in style too, winning 4-1 in south west London with Andi Thanoj at the double for the Pilgrims.

Ryan Croasdale was AFC Fylde’s hero - they survived a scare to win 1-0 at Nantwich Town.

Darlington fans won’t know what to make of their afternoon. Leading 1-0 against ten men with four minutes to go, they seemed to have thrown it away as Walsall made it 2-1 late on.

But after losing a man themselves, the Quakers found a second wind and FA Cup specialists Jarrett Rivers made it 2-2 seven minutes into time added on...

There was no luck for Chorley, they went down 1-0 at Mansfield "

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Boston Standard tells us that "After four away victories in this season's FA Cup, the Pilgrims boss would love to see the stadium host one final game in the competition before the club move out this summer.

'The point of this run is to create a big memory back at York Street,' he said. 'We all know what this means to the club and I think it'll be fitting now to have a big occasion at home. The fans were unbelievable today. I was a bit emotional at the end with people telling me about the big occasions and moments at Boston.'

Elliott added 'It's a long journey home and I'm really happy. They're amazing, the fans. My team talk was based around that. I knew they'd give us everything and we had to give them everything back. This is why we do it, they're the heartbeat of the club. Now they've got the excitement of waking up Monday morning and looking forward to an FA Cup draw.'"

Meanwhile, Gateshead inform us that "The Heed couldn't prevent an Emirates FA Cup exit despite a valiant performance on Sunday. Gateshead were knocked out of the FA Cup First Round by League Two Oldham Athletic at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Gateshead dominated the first half but were behind at half time with Felipe Morais scoring a rare Oldham chance. The Heed continued to dominate after the break and were deservedly level in the 52nd minute thanks to a Liam Agnew strike.

Gateshead had plenty of chances to take the lead after that but chance after chance went begging and Oldham again went ahead with a Jonny Smith effort...

Oldham scored with their first chance of the game. A Tom Hamer long throw was headed on to the far post where it was met by Filipe Morais, who headed home... Oldham came close to doubling their lead five minutes after the break...

Gateshead’s first chance of the half came on 52 minutes when Olley’s shot from 20 yards was tipped wide by De La Paz. A minute later the Heed were level. Deverdics saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box but the ball fell perfectly for Agnew to rifle home from 25 yards...

Oldham then again took the lead against the run of play when Smith picked up the ball on the right-hand side, cut inside and curled an effort in at the far post".


10 November, 2019

ALTY'S SPECIAL KIT

Altrincham will be wearing a unique yellow kit for Sunday's game at York. It is essentially a yellow version of the grey away kit previously worn this season, with the special addition of a Remembrance Day poppy motif. For details see the Altrincham FC site.

TONY THOMPSON TALKS

Altrincham goalkeeper Tony Thompson [right] has been interviewed by press and media officer, Brian Flynn, and this can be heard via the Altrincham FC site. Tony speaks about last week's game at King's Lynn in which he was named as one of the Team of the Week by the National League.

He goes on to discuss the York match which takes place today.

NEXT OPPONENTS: YORK CITY

The Yorkshire Post says that "Steve Watson is looking to write another chapter in Minstermen’s rich Cup history. A reminder of of York City’s proud and glorious cup pedigree greets Steve Watson whenever he walks through the doors into Bootham Crescent’s Main Stand.

Iconic images from an ecstatic League Cup night at Old Trafford in 1995, when the Minstermen registered a scarcely believable 3-0 victory en route to an aggregate success over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, instantly catch the eye and they have clearly touched the soul of Watson in the process...

Watson said 'I am a bit of a football traditionalist and I like the FA Cup. It is ‘the’ quintessentially English knock-out tournament and the one that you were all wanting to watch and I remember FA Cup finals... I have loads of memories of the FA Cup, although I don’t have fantastic ones as a player. So I am hoping that my memories as a manager are a lot better.

'I have been involved in two cup finals and not won a trophy. So to get to the third round with York would be my biggest FA Cup achievement.'

Stories of the Minstermen’s prowess in both the FA Cup and League Cup are legion among York supporters,... 1954-55 season saw Spurs famously beaten at Bootham Crescent, with their North London foes Arsenal gloriously downed in front of the Match of the Day cameras on a raw day in January 1985...

Watson added 'I have read about the cup history and see a lot of it on the walls... The plan is to add to that history. In an ideal world, it (FA Cup run) will take us into January. With the exception of a few League One clubs, that is the realistic dream. Although you do not even think about going any further. Getting a third-round tie is our dream and we are two games away from that.

'With this game being at home, it will certainly give us an edge with it being an FA Cup game with the atmosphere.'

With the TV cameras in attendance, Sunday’s game against opponents with a historic penchant for giant-killing themselves in Alty will showcase York to a wider audience... York, befitting of a city which has had a long-standing association with the railway industry, are getting back on track, with Watson’s side yet to see their colours lowered so far this season in 19 league and FA Cup matches...

Watson said: “There was enough negativity when I started here and it was enough for a lifetime. From my point of view, I want as much positivity going forward as possible. I have days where I have been disappointed with what I have heard from behind me in the stand and I was sometimes outspoken about it at the time.

'Only because since I have came [sic] in, I have tried to be on the front foot and tried not just to lift the players, but everything. I have tried to lift the profile and the fans’ mentality as what has gone, has gone. I cannot do anything about that. I can only affect the future...

'It has been a fantastic run, who knows where it can take us. Nobody wants to think about it ending.'”

YORK MATCH ARRANGEMENTS

York City state that "Away fans enter Bootham Crescent through turnstiles 14 to 23 in Grosvenor Road, with visiting supporters housed predominantly in an uncovered terracing which is situated behind one goal. It can hold 1,785 spectators.

There are an additional 332 covered seats available to away fans in section U of the Popular Stand, immediately to the left of the Grosvenor Road End and running along the side of the pitch... Cash sales are only accepted at the turnstile. A programme seller will usually sell the matchday magazine inside the ground at the top of the stairs leading up from the turnstile. Each programme costs £2.50.

There is a food kiosk inside the away section of the ground selling a selection of hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks, including burgers, pies and hot dogs.

There is no access to the away end for supporters in wheelchairs. Away supporters in wheelchairs will be able to use the dedicated wheelchair enclosure used by home supporters. Access to this covered enclosure is via turnstile 13, located near the food kiosk just inside the entrance of the car park.

There is no car parking available inside Bootham Crescent and limited on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium".

York City are apparently reducing admission prices on Sunday and these will now be £10 for adults and £5 for concessionaries.

MIXED FORTUNES FOR ALTY MEN

Saturday's match at Shawe View saw Trafford secure an unconvincing 1-0 win against Ossett United. Lewis Salmon, on dual registration with Altrincham and Trafford, was sent off midway through the second half for a second yellow-card offence; one of ten or so cards in the match.

But ten-man Trafford then took the lead, against the run of play against the lowly visitors. The scorer was Alty youth graduate Darius Palma, with a deflected shot. Former Alty midfielder Laurence Taylor was a second-half substitute for the hosts.

A much-changed Ossett side, following a managerial change, did not include former Alty ace, Damian Reeves, who appears to have moved on.

MIDWEEK LEAGUE FIXTURES

Tuesday 12th November

SATURDAY LEAGUE FIXTURES

Saturday 16 November

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Shropshire Star says that "On their last visit to Curzon Ashton, a defensive calamity led to a scrambled, close range winner for the hosts, and it was to be the case again this season.

A winner deep into injury time from Andy Halls, after an expensive error from keeper Matt Yates, condemned the Bucks to defeat on a ground where they have collected just one point in five seasons.

To rub salt into the wound, this was Curzon Ashton’s first victory since August, an opening sequence of four games without defeat being followed by eleven games without a win.

Set against that backdrop, it shouldn’t be a surprise that for some fans, their faith in manager Gavin Cowan is being tested, and the Bucks boss has been in football for long enough to understand how it works.

For all that the Bucks were the better footballing side in the second half, their inability to convert their own chances and failure to manage the game to its conclusion scripted a scenario that too often ends in the same way, and so it proved...

The first half was a scrappy affair, with Curzon seeking to turn the Bucks defensively by getting the ball to their forwards as quickly as possible, then seeking to pick up the pieces.

Their up-and-at ‘em style meant the Bucks were guilty of conceding free-kicks that gave the hosts another avenue from which they sought to put the Bucks under pressure. Cowan’s side were in a metaphorical street-fight, and it took them a while to adjust to the reality of the situation.

Brendon Daniels and Ryan Barnett, the latter having returned for a second loan spell from Shrewsbury Town only this week, looked the Bucks most likely avenue of success... On 27 minutes, Daniels was again involved down the left and when Darryl Knights put the ball across goal towards Stenson it appeared to take a final touch of Curzon defender Mo Ali before it passed keeper Cam Mason...

Curzon weren’t to be behind for long. A ball played to the back of the penalty area from the left was touched back to the busy Rob Evans, and when the midfielder stepped inside a challenge he went down, referee Jonny Urwin awarding a penalty. Curzon’s top scorer Sean Miller despatched the spot-kick past Yates and the Bucks were back to square one...

The second half was closer to resembling a football match than the first, as Telford sought to impose their own style... Daniels had to give way to Arlen Birch on 65 minutes, with what looked like a hamstring injury...

After spending much of the half penned in their own half, the hosts burst down the left and Ross White was forced to concede a corner. The initial kick resulted in some panicky defending and an almighty scramble, and from a second corner time seemed to stand still as Yates claimed and then lost the ball, Halls tapping in.

Curzon celebrated wildly, and the Bucks barely had time to restart before the referee brought down the curtain".

Another travelling team to emerge pointless was Southport who tell us that "It was a disappointing day in County Durham as the Port fell to a 1-0 loss against a strong Spennymoor Town side.

Southport had the first big chance... It took until the 39th minute for another major chance in a fairly even first half...

After an even first half, the second period seemed to be going the same way until the 65th minute. A mix up at the back meant Port failed to clear their lines and Glen Taylor snuck in to steal the ball away before sliding it into the bottom corner out of the reach of Charlie Albinson...

Southport had one last chance to level the score in the 84th minute as substitute Connor Woods swung in a great cross from the right wing onto the head of Zehn Mohammed but the defender’s header went into the hands of Matt Gould."

From the Boston Standard we learn "First things first: Boston United are into the FA Cup's second round.

For the first time under the Chestnuts. For the first since 2005. For the first time as a non-league club in 23 long, frustrating, agonising years, the Pilgrims find themselves in the hat for a round two draw.

Andi Thanoj, Luke Shiels and Jake Wright scored the all-important goals as Craig Elliott's squad ended Carshalton Athletic's impressive 10-game unbeaten run at the War Memorial Ground.

Christie Pattisson gave the hosts hope and Boston a nervy final few minutes, but Boston held firm with Thanoj grabbing his second of the day in stoppage time...

Thanoj proved that lightning does strike twice as the Pilgrims midfielder opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Having waited 76 appearances to get his name on the United scoresheet in the previous round at Hednesford Town, Thanoj found the net with yet another well-placed free kick...

Luke Shiels made it 2-0 four minutes later... netting after Tom Platt had guided Martyn Woolford's corner back across goal.

Things became nervy for Boston when they conceded their first goal of this season's cup run... But Thanoj struck again with a left-footer in stoppage time after connecting with Wright's pass.

The scoreline looked all the more comfortable as Wright added to the tally seconds later, rounding the keeper to slot home."

Extra Time reports that "English non-league side Blyth Spartans have unveiled the signing of former Longford Town winger Dylan McGlade.

McGlade makes the return to Blyth Spartans after stints with Longford and Bray Wanderers, where he had a short spell at the club during the 2017-18 campaign. After impressing for the Seagulls this year, the 24-year-old moved to England... Formerly of Middlesbrough, McGlade has played for the Republic of Ireland at under-17,18 and 19 level.

After returning home initially, the Dubliner played for Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic before joining Longford. McGlade then departed Longford halfway through the 2017 season, before signing up for Blyth. He then returned to Longford at the start of the 2018 campaign.

'It’s great to be back at Croft Park,' McGlade told his Blyth Spartan’s media team. 'I have a lot of ties in the North East and it feels good to be back'...

Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark added 'As you can see with Callum Robbie and Wrighty, I like my wide players to be exciting, positive, taking people on, scoring and making goals. Dylan fits that bill, so we have good options in the wide areas with those four players.'"


9 November, 2019

SATURDAY LEAGUE GAMES

Saturday, 9 November

FA CUP ON SATURDAYD

Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper

Saturday, 9 November, 3pm unless stated otherwise

GRAHAME ROWLEY TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN

Altrincham FC has reported that "At the Altrincham FC Annual General Meeting on Friday November 8th, Grahame Rowley (right) announced that he will be stepping down as Chairman by the end of the season, but he will continue in role as a board member. The board will be working closely with Grahame over the balance of this season to ensure a smooth transition to the new structure. The board will announce the new Chairman in due course

The board would like to thank Grahame for his dedication to the club and his selfless service as Chairman. Grahame assumed the mantle of Chairman in September 2010, replacing Geoff Goodwin; having joined the board in 2002. His hands-on style, firstly as Director and subsequently as Chairman was essential in saving Altrincham FC in 2002, keeping the club afloat and ensuring we honoured all our debts as we got back on our feet.

Recognising that the club needed to evolve in recent years, Grahame has put in place a revised board structure and overseen the implementation of a five-year strategy to drive the club forward.

That strategy is reaping dividends as Altrincham FC are on the way back, with progress, both on and off the field. Having secured the service of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel for another three seasons, we are optimistic about our future on the field of play.

The club continues to seek individuals who can help us drive our off the field activities; providing additional investment, bandwidth and capability. This board change gives a great opportunity for such individuals to get involved and we would encourage interested parties to contact the club to discuss further".

There will be more on this news on the Alty Files website over the weekend.

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Grahame Rowley announced his resignation as an item of "Any Other Business" at the end of the Club's AGM.

He said, "Although the AGM concerns matters of the 2018-19 season, a decision that I have made at the beginning of this season will mean significant changes at the Football Club come next season.

Right: During Grahame Rowley's chairmanship, Sir Alex Ferguson opened the Community Sports Hall at Altrincham FC in 2015. Here he is seen with the former Manchester United manager and Alty club "legend", Stuart Coburn.

On August 16th I informed the Board of Directors of my intention to stand down as Chairman by the end of this season. This will be my 18th year on the Board, for the last 9 of which I have been Chairman and I am immensely proud of my time spent here.

I came on the Board in 2002, after a short spell in 2001, with the club in a critical condition and between myself, Andrew Shaw and Geoff Goodwin worked tirelessly to eradicate the £650k debts we were faced with. As reported earlier the club now finds itself in the best condition it has been in for many a decade with a very healthy cash balance in the bank.

In 2013, along with Ian Watmore and Peter Foster I oversaw one of the biggest developments at this Football Club with the submission and subsequent building of our Community Sports Hall in which we sit tonight. A legacy from the Olympics that were held in London in 2012.

This development has transformed the future earnings potential of the Football Club and many thanks need to be given to our highly successful Community Programme which has recently been awarded level 5 by the Premier League-led Primary Stars initiative. We are one of a few non-league clubs that have been awarded that level. Again a big “Thank You” to Simon Dow and Sara Newton who lead our Community and Sports Hall initiatives.

As stated I’m happy to remain as Chairman until the end of the present season, if my fellow Directors wish, and will then continue to support the Football Club in any way that I can.

Once again, my thanks to all the volunteers at the club who have made Altrincham Football Club what it is – a leader in Non-League football – something we should all be proud of".

CHAIRMAN'S REVIEW OF 2018-19

Before he announced that he was standing down as Chairman of Altrincham FC, Grahame Rowley reported on the club's performance in the financial year to 31 May 2019. He said...

"The 2018 -19 season was another successful year.

Following promotion in the previous year, after a slow start we got into the play-off positions at the start of 2019 and remained there for the rest of the season, eventually losing out to Chorley in the play-off semi final with an amazing 1350 supporters travelling to support Altrincham.

Above: Tony Thompson saves Chorley's first penalty in the play-off semi-final at Chorley, May 2019, in front of a packed away end at Victory Park.

Gate income doubled as attendances significantly increased, partly due to having a successful side and partly, I believe, to the fantastic job which our Community Section do in promoting the club. Big thanks go to Peter Foster, Simon Dow and Sara Newton for the various initiatives which have attracted many new supporters through the turnstiles.

The combined matchday income accounted for 50% of turnover which fell just short of £600k for the year and produced a record profit of £58k.

Notable achievements in the year included our world famous LGBT shirt which we wore against BPA in February and the subsequent sales raised shop sales to another record of £13.8k. Special thanks to Ian Senior and Karen Rowley who did so much unseen work behind the scenes ensuring that all the shirts were produced and posted out.

Catering also made record profits of £22k and again massive thanks must go to Richie Bentley, Stuart Buchan, Dawn Abbott and their merry crew of helpers who put in a phenomenal amount of work on behalf of the Football Club.

We, as a club, are so blessed with numerous volunteers who take on various roles throughout the club, allowing us to achieve our ambitions. With that in mind a volunteers evening will be announced shortly when the Board of Directors will show their appreciation for all your efforts.

All in all it was a very successful season for the Football Club brought about by an amazing amount of work from a fantastic team of volunteers. I would like to say a massive “Thank You” to each and every one of you, you are a credit to this Football Club.

Thank you, Grahame Rowley".

BLANK SATURDAYS

Today marks nine weeks since Altrincham's last Saturday home game, on 7 September against Leamington. It is also the third blank Saturday home and away for the club in just the past six weeks, following the weather-induced postponements of the home league games with Gateshead (28 September) and AFC Telford United (26 October) and the switch of the FA Cup tie at York from today to tomorrow to accommodate television requirements.

Those looking for local action could consider a trip to Trafford where a number of current/former Altrincham players should be on view as they face Ossett United, the West Yorkshire club formed in 2018 from a merger of Ossett Town and Ossett Albion. As well as recent Alty signing Lewis Salmon, Trafford have Laurence Taylor, Dontai Gabidon, Darius Palma and Harry Sheridan on their books this season.

The most local games on Saturday afternoon in the National League North are:

YORK CITY'S NEW STADIUM

Altrincham travel to Bootham Crescent to take on York City in the FA Cup on Sunday lunchtime in what could be the last ever FA Cup tie at the historic ground. Altrincham's league fixture at York takes place in March 2020 and it is still unclear whether that game will also be played at Bootham or at their new stadium.

However, York City have now provided a further update on their new stadium.

"In light of recent fixtures announced at the York Community Stadium we would like to reiterate that there can be no specific move-in date or confirmed fixtures at the new stadium for the football club as it stands.

As stated previously the latest from City of York Council is that we expect the handover will occur early 2020, with test events then due to take place thereafter in order to receive certification, from a health and safety point of view, in order to allow spectator occupation of the stadium.

We cannot confirm a specific fixture or move-in date until this process is complete, with any potential date inaccurate at this point. York City Football Club, like all sports clubs, have a commitment to their regulatory body to play their fixtures at a licensed stadium. Until the Community Stadium is a fully licensed venue, the club cannot consider a move from Bootham Crescent.

The Club would like to place on record that we are pleased with the recent developments regarding the construction of the Community Stadium and look forward to a state-of-the-art facility for the city of York...

Here are some FAQs regarding the new stadium...

What is on offer in the fanzone?

We envisage the fanzone to be a meeting point before the game and an enjoyable experience for all ages. We are currently discussing pre-match entertainment options which may include bands, face painting for our younger fans and various other activities.

Will the club have any control over the pricing of pints/food?

As we are only tenants in the ground, we have no jurisdiction over the prices of food and drink. We will ensure that the provider is commercially aware of the current pricing at Bootham Crescent, but ultimately the price of any service they provide is their own decision".

ALTY OLD BOYS

The NW Counties Football League reports that after Brian Pritchard "left his first-team management role at Congleton Town, The Bears have just announced that Anthony Griffith [right] and Phil Hadland are to take charge at the club.

A statement from Congleton's Senior Football Director Chris Rowley says... 'We are now in a position to disclose the new management structure. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Anthony Griffith and Phil Hadland will take on the role of joint first-team managers. Anthony should by now be well known to you all, both as a player and more recently as assistant manager. A UEFA B licensed coach he is currently studying towards his A licence and also coaches at Port Vale.

'Anthony is relishing the opportunity to lead the club he has grown to love so much. Phil Hadland... managed Colwyn Bay working with Anthony who joined him as assistant manager".

The Halifax Courier tells us that former Alty striker "Jack Redshaw has got some lost time to make up for. The 28-year-old striker made his first appearance since April 21, 2018 when he came off the bench in Halifax’s 4-2 defeat to Torquay at The Shay on Saturday.

'It was unbelievable,' he said of his return to action. 'A bit strange getting ready for a game actually!... It was a great feeling to get on. I got about half-an-hour, which was a bit of a bonus'...

Prior to his Town debut, Redshaw had been plagued by injury set-backs that deprived him of a whole season of his career. 'My injury at Salford was misdiagnosed for a while,' he said. 'They thought it was a groin tear at first and then I ended up having a knee operation, and then I found out I needed hip surgery. It was a nightmare that it got left for so long, but I got there in the end, and I’m finally coming back from it now...

'It’s not nice being injured. Mentally it is tough, you feel like you’re not part of the team, you’re just stuck in the gym, stuck in the treatment room. I felt more like a bodybuilder than a football to be honest! When you come out of the other side, like I have now, you feel mentally so much stronger'... Redshaw started at Manchester City, signing as a professional, before dropping down the league with Rochdale.

'We’d filter in and out of the training sessions with the first-team,' said Redshaw of his time at City. 'They’d be on the next pitch. Then the takeover happened and you’d see all these big names flying in, like Robinho and Adebayor. It was interesting to be around, but you felt a million miles away from ever getting a chance. It’s a different world, everything’s done for you, everything you need is there. You literally just have to put your boots on and go and play or train.

'Then I joined Rochdale in League One, and it was a bit of a shock to be honest... It did massively take me by surprise'...

He spent three-and-a-half seasons at Morecambe before joining Blackpool, where he stayed for two seasons, including a loan spell back at Rochdale. He then joined Salford, staying there for two seasons, the first of which saw him score 17 league goals as The Ammies won the National League North...

'When I signed for Blackpool I was struggling,' he said. 'We did a lot of pre-season on the beach, on the sand dunes, and I ended up getting really bad shin splints. I played with it for the whole of my first season. Then I had six or seven weeks off that summer and I thought it would have gone, but it flared up again first training session back. It was a bit of a nightmare, I ended up missing the whole of the second season at Blackpool. I had to have surgery on both shins.'

Redshaw says he likes to 'Get on the ball, get on the half-turn and drive at players... Because I’ve missed a lot of time everybody was asking to see me for a week to prove I was fit', he said. 'I played a friendly for Halifax the week before, and spoke to the gaffer, and he said he wanted to sign me. I was made up... As a striker, if you can nick three or four goals everyone knows who you are again...

'I’m confident I’ll get back to being the same player'".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The NL Paper reports that "October’s winners of the MANarama National League North monthly manager, player and volunteer awards have been handed out [?named]!

Darlington’s Alun Armstrong collected the managerial accolade at midday on Friday while Southport’s David Morgan was unveiled as October’s top player. Farsley Celtic’s Don Holmes was crowned volunteer of the month. Some may have wondered why Alun Armstrong left Blyth after three fantastic years this summer... It soon became clear why Darlington moved heaven and earth to get their man.

The Quakers boss didn’t make the immediate impact he wanted to with four defeats in August but good things come to those who wait. A flawless October saw Darlo record four wins from four. Now ambitions have changed...

MANarama National League North Player of the Month – David Morgan, Southport... At this point last season, the Port were all at sea. Rock bottom of the National League North table with just one win, and eight points from their opening 14 games, five points adrift of safety. Nowadays it’s a different story entirely. Fourth in the table and having won all but one of their games [against Altrincham] through October, it couldn’t be going any better.

Captain fantastic David Morgan has been at the forefront of the action for the highfliers... The ruthless skipper looks determined to take the game to anyone who stands in his team’s way.

MANarama National League North Volunteer of the Month – Don Holmes, Farsley Celtic... Don has been associated with the Club for 30 years, currently occupying the role of vice-president. He visits The Citadel every day of the week to help clean and maintain the facilities of the stadium. As well as carrying out day-to-day tasks he is often seen repairing and improving all aspects of the site to improve the matchday experience for all attendees".

The Northern Echo adds that "Tyrone O'Neill's surprise exit has reopened the door to Darlington’s team for Stephen Thompson and manager Alun Armstrong thinks the forward could be a secret weapon at Walsall.

Thompson has been on the bench in recent weeks after sustaining a muscle injury, and in the meantime Quakers put together a run of seven unbeaten matches. Six of those were successive wins, with Walsall conducting their spying missions at recent matches when Armstrong’s front-three were O’Neill, Jarrett Rivers and Adam Campell.

However, injury-hit Middlesbrough sprung a surprise by recalling 20-year-old O’Neill to bolster their ranks for Saturday’s trip to QPR, but Armstrong has no worries about recalling Quakers’ longest-serving player.

'The replacement is Thommo and it’s not a bad one!' said the manager... 'The flip side of Ty going is that I’ve got someone there with 98 goals for the club. If Boro had recalled Tyrone a month ago when Thommo wasn’t fit that would’ve been a much worse scenario, because we would not have reached this stage of the competition. They’ll not have seen Thommo play as he’s not started for a good month and I thought he was red hot when he came on against Hereford and looked back to his old self.'

Although frustrated to lose O’Neill, a player who scored seven times in Quakers colours, he has no qualms with Middlesbrough... 'They’ve got massive injury problems, we had them at the start of the season, it happens and you’ve got to do what’s best for your football club,' said Darlington’s manager... 'But the timing is absolutely awful. January I would’ve accepted, this month is a right kick in the balls. Of course we’re gutted, but we cannot point the finger at blame at Boro. He’s their player and they already did us a favour by letting us have him in the first place.

'This is the main reason I don’t like loans. Loans are not the way forward if you want to progress, they’re a quick fix'...

Goalkeeper Aynsley Pears made his league debut for Boro recently 18 months after a loan spell with Quakers, while Armstrong has a track record for helping developing talent. He said 'I worked with my son Luke at Blyth and he’s at Salford now, Dan Maguire as well and he got a move to full-time football at York. What we do as a management team has worked with the forwards, other clubs might take notice of that and it should bode well for us.'

On O’Neill's sudden elevation to Jonathan Woodgate’s first-team ranks, Armstrong added 'I’m chuffed to bits for the kid. We’ve seen how much he’s come on since he’s been working with us... I’ve known the lad since he was 13 and even though he’s skinny, I knew he was ruthless and nasty and would mix it in this league no problem. To see his development has been great'".

"John Pemberton admits Kidderminster Harriers are heading into an unwelcome empty weekend following the defeat to King’s Lynn. There’s no action for the Reds on Saturday, their scheduled home game against Gateshead postponed several weeks ago due to the Heed’s involvement in the FA Cup.

The gap between matches was prolonged further with the news that the trip to Guiseley a week later was to also be postponed due to a series of international call-ups. All told, it makes for a frustrating time for the manager, who was left to stew on the 4-2 Aggborough defeat to the Linnets.

Asked if the break was a good opportunity for rest, Pemberton said 'Not really, I didn’t want the break, especially on the back of a loss. We’d want another game to get it out of our system. I’d like another game tomorrow if I could, to get that one out of the way, because the second half [on Tuesday] I didn’t enjoy at all.'

With just one win in the last seven, and five victories in 18 games in all competitions this term, there’s little doubt that a lack of consistency is proving costly.

That was a fact not lost on the boss, who added 'That’s us; it keeps raising its head. We think we’ve half cracked it, and then you can see the frailties in the team... We can be very good but, as you’ve seen in the second half, we can be very poor. I’ve got to try and get that balance right.'"

Bradford (Park Avenue) "are back in league action at the Horsfall Stadium this Saturday as they host high-flyers King’s Lynn Town.

Avenue ended their three-match goal drought at Harrogate in the County Cup on Monday, and will now be hoping they can turn that into a victory as they return to league action at the weekend. Aston Villa loanee Isiah Bazeley found the net as Bradford were defeated by two goals to one against their higher-level opponents, and manager Mark Bower has delved into the loan market once more this week to strengthen his midfield.

Telford midfielder Jonathan Royle has arrived on a temporary deal, initially until the 1st of January, looking to change the fortunes of a side who are now on a four-match losing streak. And for the second weekend in a row, they face opposition recently promoted to the National League North, though King’s Lynn have fared much better than last Saturday’s victors Kettering...

The Linnets have however drawn their last three league matches at home 2-2 but, after a winless run dating back to the 3rd of September, they ran out 4-2 winners at Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday. Avenue will assess injuries to both Germaine Agustien, who hobbled out of the warm up at Kettering, and Josh Heaton, who was replaced in the second half."

According to the Northants Telegraph, "Paul Cox has challenged the Kettering Town players to lay down another marker when they head to Guiseley (Saturday).

Cox’s reign as Poppies boss got off to a perfect start last weekend as they thrashed fellow strugglers Bradford (Park Avenue) 4-0... But... they have, so far, failed to win on the road since gaining promotion...

The Poppies boss said... 'The club’s record away from home is not good so this is another challenge for us at the weekend. I think last Saturday the challenge was to lay down a marker by winning the first home game under a new regime. Now we have to see if we can go away from home, be a bit more resolute while also asking some questions of Guiseley. It’s another game where I will hopefully learn even more about this group.

'One game is nothing, it can be a flash in the pan sometimes and maybe cover up some of the cracks... I am really looking forward to the game. It will give me an idea of whether we are still heading in the right direction or not because, in any league, you have to be capable of picking up points and wins away from home..

Tomorrow's game will see Cox returning to Guiseley where he had a five-month stint as manager before being sacked... 'I think it’s irrelevant to be honest. Possibly, in hindsight, it was a job I shouldn’t have taken on but I did and did so when I probably needed a break from the game... I think we just tried to do too much in a short space of time...

'It was the first job I got sacked from, in fact I think it was the first time I had been sacked from anything, and it hurt... People will look at that time as being a negative but I see it as a positive now. It gave me the chance to have the break and re-educate myself about the game'", concluded Cox.

Blyth Spartans "confirm Joe Robson has left the club by mutual consent.

The 21-year-old became one of Lee Clark’s first summer signings after making the switch from Northern League Division One side Newcastle Benfield. In his 13 appearances at Spartans, Robson showed his vital versatility, featuring at centre-back, right-back and central midfield.

His last outing for the club came in the 4-2 FA Cup defeat at Hednesford Town in early October."

Lynn News reports how "King’s Lynn Town produced their own display of midweek fireworks at Kidderminster Harriers to move up to second in the National League North standings.

Ian Culverhouse’s side twice fell behind in Worcestershire before dominating the second half to take all three points... The Bonfire Night clash got off to an explosive start with four goals in the opening 35 minutes.

Harriers took the lead through a well-worked and a crisp finish from Ashley Hemmings, before the visitors swiftly levelled through Chris Henderson’s close-range header in the opening ten minutes. A rollercoaster first period continued to flow when Harriers re-took the lead on 24 minutes following a fantastic strike by Richard Peniket which went in off the post.

Home midfielder Dec Weeks then hit the post, but the Linnets were again were level around ten minutes later when Rory McAuley was gifted a headed goal from a Michael Clunan corner. Full-time Harriers, who boast a number of international players, produced little in front of goal after the restart and Lynn took full control.

Culverhouse’s side weathered an early spell of home pressure at the start of the second period but after that it was one-way traffic. Five minutes into the second period the impressive Adam Marriott slotted home from the edge of the area for his 16th goal in all competitions this season.

Sixteen minutes later, midfielder Ryan Jarvis pounced for his first goal of the campaign as Kidderminster were made to pay a heavy price for twice allowing their lead to slip. It it hadn’t been for a string of decent saves from home goalkeeper Cameron Gregory, the Linnets could have easily been out of sight come the final whistle...

With Lynn finding themselves second in the table, it was hard to believe that this was their first league win for two months, while Marriott now has scored five goals in his last three games".

As previously reported but now confirmed by Lynn News "Defender Tom Ward has returned to The Walks to bolster King's Lynn Town's threadbare defensive resources. The popular defender has put pen-to-paper for the Linnets from Grantham... where he also played under Culverhouse...

It is believed that Grantham Town reluctantly agreed to release Ward to pursue his career higher... Gingerbreads joint-manager Russ Cousins said 'OOf course we wanted him to stay but we also understand a player’s desire to play at a higher level'...

In his first spell at Lynn, the popular Ward made 62 appearances for the club (54 starts), scoring six goals, after signing from St Neot's towards the end of 2016. The centre-half was offered the chance to return to the Walks in the summer of 2018, but declined the offer."

AFC Telford United's "Adam Walker insists that the Bucks need to put right their wrongdoings..

Walker, 28, says that the club set up is of a sufficient quality and that his time so far with the Bucks has been an enjoyable one. Walker has scored twice for club since arriving from Brackley Town in the summer...

'It`s a great club to be at but we want to be higher up the table and, until that happens, I can’t completely enjoy myself. I love the set-up and everything’s great. We have had a few ups and downs, and Saturday was all right but, at the end of the day, I am more focused about the team. I have played in teams in the past where some people have said that we were poor sides, but we have won leagues. It just shows you that you have got to get that momentum and winning games in a knack of doing that, it’s up to us to start doing that.

'We’ve got a one-nil lead [v. Boston] at half time and we have got to do better than that, we needed to be a bit more solid and come out with three points. It’s disappointing, because we have had two good performances and we’ve kind of let ourselves down by losing at home... The game plans have been great, we’ve stuck in there and we’ve done well against some really tough sides, at the end of the day it’s fine margins. Even on Saturday we had done well at times...

'We want to be in and around the playoffs, we are not far off it. So if we can get ourselves on a run then there is no reason why we shouldn’t... Curzon are a good side and they have always done quite well at home, we need to win the game, bounce back and win the game'".

More comes from the Shropshire Star which tells us that "Focused boss Gavin Cowan has warned AFC Telford United not to underestimate struggling Curzon Ashton... Mark Bradshaw’s outfit are one off the bottom of the table and this looks the perfect fixture for the Bucks to get back on track... as they bid to put the home defeat by Boston United behind them.

'They have not had a great run and find themselves down there, but any team could be down there in this league,' he insisted... 'We can’t take our foot off the gas in this league. We can’t just expect to go anywhere and just turn up, that’s not going to happen...

'They are very hard working and play with lots of endeavour. (Former Shrewsbury midfielder) Nicky Wroe is their captain in midfield and brings a lot of experience. We’re not playing any mugs, we have to be right at it'...

Shrewsbury midfielder Ryan Barnett is likely to make his Bucks debut after rejoining on loan. Curzon include the sons of Trevor Sinclair (Isaac) and Dean Saunders (Callum) in their squad."


8 November 2019

PHIL'S VERDICT

The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer John Edwards's report that "Phil Parkinson saluted Altrincham’s marathon men after they shrugged off the effects of a four-hour coach journey to snatch a 96th-minute point-saver at King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Right: Jordan Hulme and John Johnston wait for any mistake from the King's Lynn keeper as he smothers Tom Peers's low cross, last Saturday.

Skipper Jake Moult scrambled home Alty’s second equaliser of the game in the sixth and final minute of stoppage time to force a 2-2 draw...

'We more than deserved to come away with something after the effort we put in, on the back of such a long journey,' said the Alty boss. 'Maybe we need to look at the geography involved in this league and consider the occasional overnight, because when you are cooped up on a bus for four hours, it is going to have an adverse effect. I’m sure that had something to do with us starting sluggishly, but we kept going to the bitter end.

'We left everything out there on the pitch, and I’m delighted for ourselves and the fans who made the trip that we ended up with something to show for it. Our fans, particularly those who travel, are absolutely out of this world, and I’m so glad we gave them something to feel good about.'

Alty, who have signed Trafford's top scorer Lewis Salmon on a contract, will be out to dazzle the BBC cameras when they face York City in the FA Cup first round at Bootham Crescent on Sunday.

'It is really exciting, and I'm glad we can put some money in the club's coffers and give the fans something back for all the support they give us,' added Parkinson... 'We face a colossal task at York. They are a club with a phenomenal budget, and they are top of the league for a reason... but I know we can do it.'"

SUPPORTERS' TRAVEL TO YORK

Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator, writes that...

"We will be providing coach travel to York on Sunday 10th November (12:45 kick off) to back the boys in the FA Cup as we look to build on the great result at Southport in the last round.

As ever the coach will be family-friendly and we welcome travellers of all ages. Alcohol is not permitted on the trip without exception. Please help our volunteers by continuing to comply and maintain the welcoming atmosphere we are proud of. We'll have a 30 minute stop on the way and 15 mins on the way back for refreshment.

For this York trip we have managed to keep the prices the same as they were in 2010 so there is no reason to stay at home watching bits on the TV, come and join us for the trip if you can.

Seats can be booked by calling the club on 0161 928 1045 from 10am each day and we look forward to seeing you on board.

Details of timings and fares are here."

NEXT MATCH: YORK CITY

With Altrincham's new signing Lewis Salmon remaining at Trafford on dual registration, there is unlikely to be much change, if any, in the Altrincham squad that faces York City on Sunday, compared with the team which drew at King's Lynn last weekend. Having only come on as a substitute at The Walks, after injury, Blackpool loanee Yusifu Ceesay may be fit to start at Bootham Crescent and it is to be hoped that left-back Connor Hampson may also have regained full fitness by Sunday.

York City state that "Away fans enter Bootham Crescent through turnstiles 14 to 23 in Grosvenor Road, with visiting supporters housed predominantly in an uncovered terracing which is situated behind one goal. It can hold 1,785 spectators.

There are an additional 332 covered seats available to away fans in section U of the Popular Stand, immediately to the left of the Grosvenor Road End and running along the side of the pitch... Cash sales are only accepted at the turnstile. A programme seller will usually sell the matchday magazine inside the ground at the top of the stairs leading up from the turnstile. Each programme costs £2.50.

There is a food kiosk inside the away section of the ground selling a selection of hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks, including burgers, pies and hot dogs.

There is no access to the away end for supporters in wheelchairs. Away supporters in wheelchairs will be able to use the dedicated wheelchair enclosure used by home supporters. Access to this covered enclosure is via turnstile 13, located near the food kiosk just inside the entrance of the car park.

There is no car parking available inside Bootham Crescent and limited on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium".

York City are apparently reducing admission prices on Sunday and these will now be £10 for adults and £5 for concessionaries.

One player who won't be facing Altrincham on Sunday is the subject of a report from York Press which informs us that "York City striker Kyle McFarlane has gone out on a one-month loan to Stratford Town.

The 22-year-old striker scored on his debut as a substitute at Irlam in the FA Cup, before playing the first half at Buxton, but has since found his opportunities limited at Bootham Crescent.

His appearance off the bench against Kidderminster Harriers was his first outing in five York matches.

McFarlane is the third York player to go out to get experience and game time elsewhere, following Tom Allan's move to Farsley Celtic and Wes York's to Brackley Town, both of which extend to January".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Eastern Daily Press, "Tom Ward has returned to The Walks to bolster King's Lynn Town's meagre defensive resources.

Lynn have been struggling with just one recognised centre-half, Rory McAuley, following injuries to Ryan Fryatt and Chris Smith.

Fryatt is due to have an MRI scan next week while Smith still has a cast protecting a damaged elbow and is likely to be out for another month."

AFC Telford United "announce the loan signing of Ryan Barnett from Shrewsbury Town.

The 19 year-old joins the Bucks on loan until the end of the season and will join up with the rest of the squad at Lilleshall Sports Centre for training ahead of Saturday’s fixture away at Curzon Ashton. Barnett spoke to the club website this morning once the paperwork was completed ahead of his return back to the New Buck's Head.

‘It feels good to be back. I’ve kept in contact with some of the boys and watched a few games this year and I’m buzzing to get back, in amongst it with the lads and playing regular games again and enjoying winning football matches.'

Obviously, on a personal level I hope I can emulate the performances I put in last year for the club but, more importantly, try to go one step further than we did last year and aim even higher up the table. It’s an opportunity for me, again to show not only to Shrewsbury but everyone what I know [what] I am capable of and have a positive second half to the season.

'Last year I felt I had a good connection with the supporters and all of the staff, and I shared their disappointment when we couldn’t end the season with the promotion that we deserved. I always felt wanted by them and appreciated so this was a major factor in my decision to come back here when I was presented with all of the options of where to go.’

Boss Gavin Cowan was thrilled to get Ryan back for the season. 'It’s great to have Barney back especially as we both feel there is unfinished business to be dealt with. He will be another key element to our rebuilding process'".

Fromthe Shropshire Star we learn that "Shrewsbury have recalled goalkeeper Cameron Gregory from his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers.

The 19-year-old has come back to Montgomery Waters Meadow as cover with Max O’Leary sidelined with an injury. Gregory has made 13 appearances for National North outfit Harriers.

He is expected to be on the bench against Bradford in the FA Cup on Saturday with Joe Murphy between the sticks. Scan results on O’Leary’s ankle injury resulted in ‘nothing too major’ and the young Irishman, on loan from Bristol City, is not expected to be out for a lengthy period".

We learn from Cheshire Live that "Chester FC bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are keen to strengthen their side...

The managers have identified one player in the past seven days from a higher division club that they feel would help improve them moving forward, although no deal is thought to be imminent and the talks at a very early stage.

'We're always looking to improve, as that's what you do as a manager'... said Johnson. 'Whether that is extra work with some of the players that you have or whether it is bringing someone else in and possibly losing someone, it's the nature of the beast.

'We're only interested in bringing new players in if they can improve us. Look at George Glendon. When the chance presents itself to get someone like him in, with the pedigree he has, then you have to try and make it work.

'We've been able to get a few lads out on loan so we have some room for manoeuvre but it may be that we have to make more changes depending on how things go. You can't be reactive if you want to be successful in this division, you have to look to improve while things are going well, not wait for things to go wrong and start making big changes.

'There are lads that me and Bernard have identified that we think could make a difference. You are at that time of the season now where teams higher up are starting to make changes of their own and lads who you thought you couldn't get a few months ago suddenly become available on loan.

'But we've no need to rush anything and the squad we put together we are happy with. But you can't stand still, if something crops up that you think could be the difference between finishing top or finishing fifth then you have to look at it.'

At present Chester have Iwan Murray, Theo Roberts, Cain Noble, Lloyd Marsh-Hughes and Matty Thomson out on loan".

The Northants Telegraph reports that "John Ramshaw was back in the Kettering Town dugout alongside new manager Paul Cox last weekend. The experienced Ramshaw returned to the club as Cox’s assistant at the end of last week and the pair oversaw a much-needed victory as the Poppies thrashed fellow strugglers Bradford Park Avenue 4-0 at Latimer Park to lift themselves out of the relegation zone...

And Ramshaw, who had a previous stint at Kettering as assistant-manager alongside Marcus Law before leaving in May 2018, was pleased with the encouraging start to Cox’s reign.

'The boys did exactly what they were asked to do,' he said. 'They stuck to the game plan brilliantly and the outcome was tremendous. It’s given everybody a lift; supporters, staff, players and directors.'

Ramshaw was clearly pleased to be back at the club and conceded it was the travelling in the Southern League that ultimately led to his departure last year.

'Returning to the club is lovely, it’s a club that’s very dear to me, I had a great time last time I was here, and I really enjoyed it,' he said. 'The travelling in the southern section got a little bit too much, but now we’re back up in God’s country, north of Leicester, so the travelling’s going to be easier.

'It’s great to be back and Saturday was like Christmas, it doesn’t get any better.'

Ramshaw and Cox are no strangers to each other having worked together many times previously...

'Paul and I started off together when I was manager of Hucknall Town, and we went to Leek Town, Eastwood Town and Mansfield Town together,' he explained. 'We’ve worked together extensively, we’ve been successful, and I think that’s because we understand each other so much. Hopefully we can repeat the success we’ve had for this great football club.'"

CHESHIRE SENIOR CUP

Altrincham do not play their First Round match at Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup until 3 December, but they already know that the winners of that tie will earn a home fixture against Vauxhall Motors in the Second Round, on a date to be determined in January 2020.

The full draw for the Second Round is:

First Round results so far are:

NORTH-WEST NEWS

The BBC reports that "Macclesfield Town are due to take on seventh-tier side Kingstonian on Sunday in what is the non-league club's first appearance in the FA Cup first round proper since 2000-01

Macclesfield players have gone on strike over unpaid wages, putting the club's place in the the FA Cup both this season and in 2020-21 at risk.

Going on strike and putting the club's place in the Cup in jeopardy is the latest move taken by players against the Moss Rose club. Macclesfield have previously been taken to court by players over unpaid wages and in May, under then manager Sol Campbell, they considered boycotting the final match of last season for similar reasons. Money earned in the competition has previously helped League Two side Macclesfield survive... Getting through to round two is worth £36,000 in prize money."


7 November 2019

PHIL'S POST-MATCH INTERVIEW

On Tuesday, Brian Flynn, press and media officer at Altrincham FC, interviewed manager Phil Parkinson about the game at King's Lynn last Saturday. He also discusses the signing of Lewis Salmon whom he describes as "The next Jordan Hulme", (see below).

The interview can be heard here.

SALMON LEAPS AT CHANCE TO JOIN ALTY

Altrincham FC has confirmed the signing of teenage striker Lewis Salmon [right] on an 18-month contract.

Lewis, (d.o.b. 2 November 2001), spent his early years with Manchester United and Port Vale. Next, he joined Leek Town and, then, Hanley Town. Lewis played for Alty in pre-season and, during the summer, he joined Trafford on dual registration with Altrincham.

He played in Alty's pre-season games against the club's youth team and at Whitchurch Alport, on 6 July. Indeed, Lewis scored in the match against the Altrincham youth team and would probably also have scored against Alport had not Conor Branson slid in first to convert the chance.

Lewis was also named on the bench for the friendlies against Crewe Alexandra and Stockport County but did not take part in either of those matches. However, he did play against Altrincham in the pre-season match against Trafford.

At Trafford this season he has already netted ten times and he will continue to play for them, probably for the remainder of this season. Based in the Stoke area, his coach at college was Alty's John Johnston.

Brian Flynn, press and media correspondent at Altrincham FC, conducted an interview with Lewis, which can be heard here.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Darlington report that "Darlington’s on-loan striker Tyrone O’Neill has been recalled by his parent club Middlesbrough.

Tyrone has scored 7 goals for us since he signed on loan at the start of the season, and has played a big role in getting us through to the first round of the FA Cup.

However, Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has activated a recall clause in the loan agreement, and has included Tyrone in the Boro squad for the Championship away game at QPR on Saturday.

Darlington manager Alun Armstrong said 'I'm delighted for the lad. Hopefully, he gets the opportunity to show how much he's come on while he's been with us'".

According to the Eastern Daily Press, "King's Lynn Town produced their own fireworks to move back to second in the table after a 4-2 win at Kidderminster Harriers.

The Linnets had to come from behind twice, but after the break they took control.

Lynn were behind after six minutes when [ex-Alty loanee] Ashley Hemmings volleyed into the top corner but, just four minutes later, Chris Henderson equalised, putting the finishing touches to a whipped-in cross from Aaron Jones.

Kidderminster led for a second time on 22 minutes through Richard Peniket, but again Lynn hit back, with central defender Rory McAuley left with an easy finish after home keeper Gregory missed a corner.

Within five minutes of the restart Lynn went ahead for the first time, hot shot Adam Marriott drilling the ball home for his 16th goal in all competitions this season before Ryan Jarvis scored his first of the season on 66 minutes."

From the other side, Harriers Online summarise their Bonfire Night match as "Shooting Stars first half. Damp Squib in the second.

Typical of Bonfire Night the Harriers turned in a display that was all oohs and aahs in the first half as we matched the injury-hit, part-timers Kings Lynn Town man for man and goal for goal but the second half was just a total damp squib as the rocket that should have been put up their bums never happened.

With an unchanged side from the one that drew admirably at York City, and continued a good run of form, the Harriers were expected to beat a King's Lynn side that had been suffering from a weakened team for the past few weeks. Included in their team was the former Harriers favourite Michael Gash looking a little slimmer that he did in his time with us.

In the first half we raced into an early lead through Ashley Hemmings... Lynn had come to Aggborough intent on giving us a game and within four minutes they’d drawn level... and it was end to end stuff that was keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. We took the lead again on twenty two minutes when Richard Peniket sent in a rocket of a shot from the right side of the area that rebounded off the inside of the far post, skidded along the line then turned towards the back of the net...

Then we fell asleep again at the back and allowed Lynn to draw level once again...

Oh dear. What happened at halftime to change the Harriers from a team working hard to win to one that struggled to put two passes together? Had someone thrown water on the bonfire?

The Lynn manager, Ian Culverhouse, had done the right thing for his side in nullifying the threat down the wings from us and Sam Austin and Correy Davidson rarely saw the ball again. They pressed us more in midfield and stopped our forwards from getting forward. It’s hard to remember a single shot on goal for us in the second half.

King’s Lynn took the lead for the first time on fifty minutes when more poor defending saw the ball come out to Adam Marriott on the edge of the area...

There should have been another goal for the visitors three minutes later but Gregory saved well to keep out Michael Gash... Kings Lynn sealed the three points soon after when Ryan Jarvis tapped the ball home from close range following more poor defensive work and that’s when the substitutes came on in an effort to save the day. Oliver Shenton and Alex Prosser were almost invisible while Brandon Diau fell over a lot.

The part time, injury hit team carried on in search of more goals and could easily have added at least a fifth".

Curzon Ashton report that "The Nash’s disastrous run-of-form continued at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Mark Bradshaw’s side suffered a 3-0 defeat to the North-East side after conceding a sloppy first goal from JJ O’Donnell two minutes into the game, following poor defending from a corner.

As the game continued the quality only got worse as both teams decided to play a lot of long balls back and forth to each other, which may have been due to the wet and almost waterlogged pitch conditions.

However, 15 minutes in and Curzon were finding joy down the right side as Baillie was able to deliver a cross perfectly creating a heading opportunity for Miller, who unfortunately had his effort cleared off the line.

Gateshead were the better team of the half... having a goal disallowed for offside...

Dom Tear doubled their lead a short while later, after Jordan Preston's shot was saved by Curzon’s keeper Cameron Mason, who despite conceding three goals had a good game and made vital saves to keep the score down throughout the game.

Despite the colourful and attractive fireworks for bonfire night, nothing would brighten this game up as the second half was even worse than the first. An array of sloppy passes and hopeful long balls had the few hundred fans at The Heed watching the fireworks at Bowes Railway next door rather than the football.

Gateshead were happy to sit back and defend their lead against a Curzon with 'a mentality not strong enough to compete at the moment' according to manager Mark Bradshaw.

Another collection of ‘hit-and-hope’ long balls lead to a second half lacking in quality from both sides, as it seemed Curzon were only playing for the final whistle.

A late 25 yard strike from Oliver proved to be the only bit of quality, in a horrendous second half of football at The Heed, putting the home side 3-0 up in the last five minutes of the game.

The defeat means Curzon are now 14 games without a win and are seemingly in danger of an ever growing gap at the lower end of the table which could put The Nash in a tough relegation battle for the remainder of the season if results do not start improving soon."

Meanwhile Gateshead add that they secured their "seventh win in eight home games... [as] Mike Williamson made two changes from the side that lost to Guiseley on Saturday with Connor Oliver and Jordan Preston replacing Liam Agnew and Josh Kayode.

Gateshead made an explosive start to the game... Curzon Ashton should have been level in the 16th minute when Sean Miller headed down James Baillie’s cross, but Michael Nelson was there to clear it off the line...

Five minutes before half time Gateshead did double the lead...

The second half started at a slower tempo than the first, but Gateshead kept threatening to spark the game back into life... Chances were few and far between with Gateshead looking comfortable at 2-0, but flair player Olley was proving a constant threat for Curzon...

With four minutes to play a rocket from Oliver from 25 yards found the bottom left corner to make it 3-0 and seal the win".



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Alty Files Website Index

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

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