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NEXT MATCH: Monday, 26 August, 2019, 3pm
Away v. BOSTON UNITED
Vanarama National League North


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26 August 2019

NEXT: BOSTON UNITED

Altrincham's historical record against Boston United is provided by Mike Garnett...

Boston United report that they " will complete their Bank Holiday weekend double-header when they play host to Altrincham on Monday. The Pilgrims lost their unbeaten record on Saturday after being beaten 3-0 at Gloucester City while 10-man Altrincham were drawing 1-1 with Darlington.

Both sides have only won once apiece ahead of Monday's showdown at The Jakemans Stadium but Craig Elliott's side will be aiming to build upon their unbeaten home record to date. Striker Shaun Tuton (groin) could return to the fray, while Lincoln City loanee Jordan Adebayo-Smith could make his first start after a debut from the bench at Gloucester on Saturday. Jay Rollins, Jordan Thewlis (both suspended) and Jake Wright (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Alty, beaten in last season's play-offs, have ex-United favourite Ashley Hemmings within their ranks. Last season's corresponding fixture ended 2-1 to Altrincham. Monday's match referee is Jon Kenny".

As previously mentioned, Altrincham will again be without Jake Moult and now also Steven Drench, who has reportedly torn his Achilles, whilst Josh Hancock and Tom Hannigan must also be major doubts.

BOSTON UNITED, THE LAST TIME

Right: January 2019, at Boston, Jake Moult wins a header in the Alty midfield.

Altrincham's last visit to York Street was for a Vanarama National League North match on Saturday, 5 January 2019, which the visitors won 2-1. The previous league visit, on 11 March 2017, also resulted in an Altrincham win, 1-0, thanks to Elliot Newby's goal.

For today's match, Altrincham again arrive in Lincolnshire in indifferent form, looking for a second win of the season after the previous six matches have gleaned just six points. In the last encounter with Boston, in January of this year, "Altrincham put an end to a run of five games in all competitions without a win with a deserved victory at the Jakemans Stadium".

For last season's game, "With Elliot Wynne going on loan at Trafford, Alty had no goalkeeper on a substitutes' bench, which was further depleted when Chris Sang reported ill on the eve of the match and Ben Harrison suffered sickness on the coach en route to the game. This gave youth striker Ben Elliott the opportunity to be named in his first league game squad for the first team. Otherwise, Max Harrop replaced loanee Kallum Mantack on the left wing.

Boston also had to make a late change as Rollins did not survive the warm-up and was replaced on the home bench by goalkeeper Seb Malkowski. The Pilgrims' new loan signing from Alfreton, Callum Chettle, started for the hosts.

After an undistinguished start to the game, Altrincham began to apply some pressure and they got their reward with a 24th-minute goal. This was scored by Josh Hancock, with a low shot from the edge of the box after good work by Max Harrop on the left. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 to the visitors when John Johnston's cross from the right was met by Jordan Hulme's glancing header into the far corner of the net.

However, Alty did not build on their interval lead and spent much of the second half in their own half. But, despite seeing plenty of the ball, Boston lacked the bite to break through the Alty lines until they won an 80th-minute penalty, conceded by a foul challenge by Jake Moult. Davies just about got the spot-kick past Thompson's dive to his right to set up a potentially nervy ending. But Altrincham rode out the closing stages, as well as five added minutes, without any really serious alarms.

The three points lifted Altrincham up to sixth place. With Ben Harrison taken ill on the team coach en route to Lincolnshire and loanee Chris Sant also missing this match through illness, Alty were boosted by the reappearance of James Poole as a late substitute in this game, following his long injury lay-off".

Altrincham likewise go into the match this Bank Holiday with injury concerns. Jake Moult remains sidelined, Steven Drench looks certain to miss the game with the ankle injury sustained on Saturday, whilst Tom Hannigan must also be very doubtful after being stretchered off on Saturday. Josh Hancock's calf injury caused him to miss the game against Darlington so he, too, must be a doubt.

The line-ups for the January fixture were: BOSTON UNITED: 1. George Willis (c), 2. Ben Davies, 3. Ashley Jackson, 4. Andi Thanoj, 5. Lewis Gibbens, 6. Ryan Qualter, 7. Max Wright, 8. Brad Abbott, 9. Gavin Allott, 10. Callum Chettle, 11. Nicky Walker. Subs: 12. Tai-Reece Chisholm, 14. Spencer Harris, 15. Jonathan Wafula, 16. Jordan Slew, 17. Seb Malkowski (gk).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. Kallum Mantack, 14. Sean Williams, 15. James Poole, 16. Shaun Densmore, 17. Ben Elliott.

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY FIXTURES

Monday, 26 August 2019, Vanarama National League North

ALTRINCHAM 1-1 DARLINGTON

Match report here.

Right: Having laid on the Alty goal, man of the match John Johnston ended Saturday's match against Boston in goal, after injury forced Steven Drench off the pitch on a stretcher.

The Northern Echo says that "How Darlington fare on Monday will dictate how favourably they look back a Saturday draw that felt like a victory when Adam Campbell equalised in injury time. Four points over the Bank Holiday weekend would be a good haul and maintain the progress and sense of momentum that has steadily built since pre-season.

Anything less than victory, however, at home to winless Bradford Park Avenue, would be viewed as failure following the mixed emotions at full-time on Saturday at Altrincham.

The fixture fell firmly into the ‘would’ve taken a point before the game’ category, playing a club that were in the play-offs last season and with Quakers having lost both of their previous away matches. Yet circumstances altered so drastically during the course of the afternoon that it left one wondering what might have been.

Altrincham played more than half of the game with less than 11 men, and by the closing stages had only nine players and were without a recognised goalkeeper.

Alun Armstrong said 'You look at your fixtures at the start of the season, especially your Bank Holiday fixtures, and if you can get four points from the weekend that would be great. But then circumstances changed with their lad getting sent off. If we’d not got anything from that we’d have had to pick the lads up off the floor ready to go on Monday. As it stands it feels like a win because of the way the goal was scored, but it was no more than these lads deserved.

'Hopefully the fans could see that they worked extremely hard in unbelievable heat. We passed the ball really well at times. We needed a bit more desire and a bit more awareness, we needed to gamble a bit more across the front and back post, but you’ve got to give Altrincham credit.'

Altrincham will be pleased with the outcome having lost a defender to a red card in the latter stages of an uninspiring first half, one that sprang to life when Tom Hannigan was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Jarrett Rivers. Hannigan could equally have been dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity, and Armstrong said 'They would probably say they had cover but I thought Adam Campbell was through one on one, but the referee didn’t continue to play to see if we would score. He stopped play for it being a high tackle, and it was quite high so I don’t think he can have any arguments. The ref should’ve let the game run to see if we would’ve scored, but he said the severity of the challenge meant he had to stop play.'

Dismissed Hannigan left the pitch on a stretcher having injured himself, but referee Sam Mulhall caused confusion by not clearly displaying the red card, perhaps taking pity on the player, a situation lacking clarity and exacerbated by Altrincham making a substitution while the stretcher was carried down the tunnel. Nonetheless, Alty were down to ten in stifling heat, but Armstrong’s side struggled to break down a side that got men behind the ball, Quakers’ passing not quick or precise enough to create scoring opportunities.

Darlington’s manager said 'They set their shape up at half-time to let us have the ball in front of them, which is what you would do when you’ve got ten men, to try and nick a point and counter-attack. Once they got their noses in front I didn’t think it was going to be our day, but some of the football we played was really good.'

Altrincham went ahead with a goal from a John Johnston corner that saw Darlington’s Jordan Watson lose track of Jordan Hulme, who headed powerfully past Chris Elliott.

'It was a poor from a set-piece, Jordan held his hands up, he knew he had made a mistake,' admitted Armstrong, who made three substitutions as he sought to manufacture a positive outcome... Substitute Justin Donawa made an impact, doing his chance of starting against Bradford no harm with his direct running causing problems, succeeding where Quakers’ patient passing had failed.

The recalled Stephen Thompson had a couple of efforts blocked and Tyrone O’Neill had a shot on the turn saved, but it was not until injury time that Quakers finally struck after Alty goalkeeper Steven Drench had been stretchered off. Given the misfortune Darlington have had with injuries perhaps another team suffering in such a manner felt like justice, and the equaliser was certainly fair on the balance of play. Drench’s exit led to winger Johnston donning the gloves, so when Donawa was fouled near the corner of the penalty area Campbell made sure to curl the ball into the top corner out of the stand-in’s reach.

'“These lads dug in, they kept playing the way we want to play,' said Armstrong. 'I changed it at the end when I put Josh Heaton up top to give them another problem and it was all hands to the pump. The lads thoroughly deserved it and I’m delighted with their work ethic. We had to start testing them and getting some shots on goal. Cams has got that quality, I’ve seen him do that many a time, he’s whipped it right into the top bin.'”

THROUGH THE YEARS

Today's date, 26 August, has witnessed an Altrincham win on the last four occasions that the Robins have played on that day. Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's record of previous matches on that calendar date are in the Through the Years date.

FORTY YEARS ON

2019 is the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Football Alliance, the forerunner to The Football Conference and the National League. The third part of Mike Garnett's "Forty Years On"appeared in the Robins' Review on Saturday and is reproduced here, courtesy of the author. This instalment addresses the changes to the stadium at Moss Lane since 1979.

If you missed the earlier instalments, they can be found here:

FIRST-TEAMERS HELP RESERVES

On Tuesday night Altrincham Reserves, now under the management of players Joel Swift and Ryan Barry, secured a 6-1 win at Knutsford. The match included starts for first-teamers Shaun Densmore, Toby Mullarkey, Tony Thompson, Tom Peers and Lewis Walters.

Walters grabbed a hat-trick whilst Peers netted a brace. The other goal was scored by Rhain Davis. The Alty squad comprised, Thompson, Densmore, Davis, Gabidon, Miller, Mullarkey, O'Hara, Peers, Ryan, Taylor, Thompson, Walters with the bench comprising Elliott, Graham and Lewis.

Without the first-team involvement, the Reserves lost 1-2 at home to Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's on Saturday.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Bulls' News reports that "Hereford Head of Football Tim Harris, who is currently interim manager following Marc Richards' departure - says he is assisting the board in finding a new manager/head coach, but has ruled himself out of contention. Harris has overseen three matches since Richards' sacking and is currently unbeaten.

'I am part of a process and my role is not to be manager of Hereford or head coach of Hereford; my role is to assist the board in making decisions and I will be part of that,' said Harris, who was not prepared to say if or when a shortlist of candidates had been drawn up

'My role, and what I feel I am good at, is on the recruitment and contract side and supporting and managing a manager or head coach, whoever that may be.'

Harris was speaking following the 1-1 draw between Hereford and Brackley... He was left frustrated with the way Brackley scored their goal, but admitted that the penalty awarded to his side for handball was fortuitous".

Blyth Spartans "squandered several late chances to snatch all three points away to Bradford Park Avenue. Lee Clark’s men started brightly in the first and second half but could not get their first win of the season...

Despite dominating possession and getting into some good attacking positions, the home side failed to capitalise in the first half. Spartans had the ball in the back of the net after half an hour through Scott Fenwick, but he came back from an offside position to tuck the ball away.

Spartans started the brighter of the two sides in the second half putting the home side under pressure from the off and pressing high up the pitch. Fenwick should have scored his first goal for the club when Wrightson picked him out unmarked after 74 minutes, but the striker could only glance his header narrowly wide of the goal.

Bradford PA had a chance to win it five minutes from time as Joseph Chidyausiku had a shot from six-yards out but Olly Scott slid in to make a magnificent block on the line, which would have been a certain goal.

Into added time and Robbie Dale latched onto a through ball before cutting back onto his left but his effort was saved by Taylor and then Dale could not direct his header into the empty from three-yards out. Dale played upfront for the last 10 minutes and caused problems with Fenwick upfront which almost gifted Spartans all three points".

After Saturday's game, Darlington reported that "Our fundraisers were hard at work on the supporters bus to Altrincham on Saturday. The raffle raised £80 (including generous £13 donations), making a total of £235 for the season so far, for which all participants are thanked".

Gateshead inform us that "Nelson admits Heed 'got what we deserved' in Farsley Celtic loss. The Gateshead player-coach did not look to sugar coat his side's defeat on Saturday afternoon

The Heed came into their sixth game of the season unbeaten, whereas the visitors managed to pick up their second win of the season on the weekend. After a strong Gateshead display in the first half, second half goals from Jimmy Spencer, Luke Parkin and Tyler Walton saw the Celt Army take all three points back to The Citadel and hand the Heed their first defeat of the season.

Player-coach Michael Nelson was disappointed following the 3-0 defeat, 'It was poor. In the first half we were good and started the game well, we got in some good positions and put some crosses into the box but never really tested the keeper... Overall, in the first half, I think we were the better team though. In the second half we got what we deserved.'

Nelson, who played over 250 games for Hartlepool United, admitted that he felt Jimmy Spencer’s opening goal changed the game 'Goals change games and the first goal is massive in so many ways. I think you could see as soon as they scored, we went into pieces a little bit and never really recovered.'

The loss also ends a five game unbeaten run for the Heed, during which the 39-year-old played in two games... 'We’ve had a few draws and managed to get our first win last week and we were looking to bounce on from that this weekend,' Nelson added."

According to the Telegraph & Argus "Bradford (Park Avenue) remain in the relegation places but a 0-0 draw at home to Blyth Spartans in their sixth game earned them a second point of the season and it lifted them up one place.

Those were the positives from a goalless draw at home against Lee Clarke’s Spartans. The former Huddersfield Town boss is in a similar position to Bradford’s interim manager Marcus Law with an inexperienced squad. Blyth were the only club below Avenue at the start of the day so the ‘Avey Army’, the core of the home supporters, had begun to believe they would see their side get their first win of the campaign.

There were four new signings leading up to the game; Marcus Wood (former Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers development player who was with Southport last term), Riccardo Calder (former Aston Villa academy player), Myron Gibbons (on loan from Doncaster) and Joseph Chidyausiku (who played at Havant & Waterlooville last season). The first three of them started while Chidyausiku was on the bench.

In the first half the Avenue defence looked much stronger than it had in recent weeks. There were also some promising attacking build-ups that led to some excellent crosses into the area, but despite that, it was Blyth who looked more likely to break the deadlock.

The second half was also low key with Avenue keeper, captain Rhys Taylor, making just one save while his opposite number, Spartans’ stopper Nathan Harker, was even more under-worked.

Law was pleased with the improvement but realises that his squad is still very much a work in progress. The interim boss said 'I thought there was an improvement and in that first half we had most of the chances, I would certainly say we had the better ones. I was very impressed with Marcus (Wood). In there as the defensive midfielder in front of the back line, he protected the central defenders and he distributed the ball well.

'I thought Riccardo Calder also had a great start, they couldn’t cope with him, especially in that first half. He kept getting around their defence and his delivery was good. The rest of the lads did what they always do and worked hard, we can’t ever question their effort. So it was a very positive first half but, the longer the game goes on, it becomes a difficult one. You are wondering, do we sit back a bit and protect the clean sheet and get another point or do we go and look to go for all three but risk losing. The clean sheet is massive for the confidence of these players after the start they had before we arrived.

'We had a late chance which could have seen us nick three points but then so did they, so a draw was probably a fair reflection of the game as a whole.'"

Farsley Celtic "face another tough test on Bank Holiday Monday, as fellow newly promoted side King’s Lynn Town visit The Citadel.

Adam Lakeland’s side will be hoping they can make it three wins in a row... The Celt Army have won back-to-back games for the first time in the new season, with victories over Spennymoor Town (1-0) and Gateshead (3-0) moving Farsley on to 10 points and up to seventh.

King’s Lynn Town, Step Three super play-off winners have adapted to National League North life superbly, and sit in second place six games into the new season. After losing the first game of the season 3-0 to Guiseley, the Linnets are unbeaten in their last five games after beating Kettering Town (2-1), Hereford (3-1), AFC Telford United (3-1) and Curzon Ashton (4-1), whilst drawing with Brackley Town (1-1).

Farsley Celtic's Danny Ellis is unlikely to feature after missing Saturday’s victory over Gateshead, whilst Adam Clayton has returned to fitness having played the full 90 minutes on Saturday. Lewis Turner and Nathan Turner remain sidelined.

King’s Lynn Town's Ross Barrows has returned to fitness after playing a reserves game in midweek, and was an unused sub in Saturday’s victory over Curzon Ashton. Therefore, Linnets Manager Ian Culverhouse should have a full squad to select from.

The gaffer’s thoughts 'The players have got to go and look after themselves and recover right, which our lads are generally pretty good at... They’re a good side so we expect a difficult game'...

The original King’s Lynn side were wound up in 2009, and like Farsley Celtic, King’s Lynn Town reformed ahead of the 2010/11 season. Last time out the Linnets finished second, 14 points behind league winners Kettering Town, in the Southern League Premier Division Central. After initially seeing off Stratford Town and Alvechurch, King’s Lynn defeated Warrington Town 3-2 after extra-time in the super play-off final to earn their spot in the National League North


25 August 2019

ALTRINCHAM 1-1 DARLINGTON

Above: Jordan Hulme, right, and Max Harrop celebrate Alty's goal.

It isn't every Saturday that a game has a total of fourteen minutes added time; witnesses two players stretchered off, with one of them shown a red card as he was carried to the dressing room; and ends with one team playing with nine men and their smallest outfield player pressed into service as an emergency goalkeeper, who was beaten by a ninety-third minute equalizer.

But that is what happened to Altrincham at the J. Davidson Stadium...

Match report here.

Brian Flynn's post-match interview with Jordan Hulme and John Johnston is on Alty TV.

SATURDAY RESULTS AND GATES

Vanarama National League North

QUAKERS' VIEWS

The Northern Echo reports that "Darlington took their first away point of the season after Adam Campbell scored a late leveller, but it came in circumstances leaving them wondering how they did not secure a win at Altrincham.

Against a team that finished in the play-offs last season, before the match a draw would have been seen to be a good result, but Alty played most of the game with ten men and finished the fixture with nine and an outfield player in goal.

They had a defender sent off before the break, giving Quakers an advantage in the second 45 minutes in sweltering conditions, but each team got a goal with Campbell netting an equaliser deep into added time...

Thompson was one of two changes to Quakers’ starting XI, the forward back in the side after returning from a holiday, while David Atkinson slotted in at right-back for his first start of the season...

Harrop scythed down Thompson, but escaped a yellow card. It was poor refereeing from Mulhall, but he then made the correct decision when red-carding Altrincham’s Tom Hannigan.

The defender left the field on a stretcher after managing to injure himself while fouling Rivers, who was about to intercept a poor pass and would have been bearing down on goal until he was upended recklessly by Hannigan.

After a lengthy delay while Hannigan was treated, which led to eight minutes of stoppage time, play resumed with the ten-man hosts finishing more strongly...

Darlington were looking to grind down Altrincham, but they had an escape when Altrincham broke at pace down their right... Quakers were chipping away without getting a goal against ten-man Altrincham, and without really coming to close...

Altrincham took the lead on 64 minutes from a corner with poor defending a contributing factor. The ball was swung into a crowded penalty area where Jordan Hulme rose highest, above Jordan Watson, to head in...

The lack of Darlington creativity had been disappointing, particularly since the opposition went down to ten men... Donawa cut inside from the left and fired in a shot that Drench pushed away, his first real save of note, before Armstrong threw the kitchen sink at Altrincham by sending on Josh Heaton in the 84th minute to play up front, but nothing dropped for Darlington until Alty lost their goalkeeper.

Altrincham, having already made all three of their subs, ended the game with nine men and with left-winger Johnston in goal as Drench left the pitch on a stretcher, handing Quakers a lifeline...

Taken from near the corner of the penalty area after Donawa was felled, Campbell floated the ball high into the net over the stand-in goalkeeper to rescue a point."

ALTRINCHAM MANAGEMENT CHANGES

According to Saturday's "Robins' Review", the manager of Altrincham Reserves, in succession to Chris Rowley, is now Joel Swift, with fellow player Ryan Barry as his assistant.

The same source also confirms this season's changes to the Youth Education team, with Steve Mort now in charge, succeeding Ritchie Semple.

And the Ladies' team, following last season's departure of manager Keith Edleston, is now managed by Wayne Goodison and Mark Molyneux, both at one time on the managerial staff at our neighbours Trafford FC.

FIRST-TEAMERS HELP RESERVES

On Tuesday night Altrincham Reserves, under the new management of players Joel Swift and Ryan Barry, secured a 6-1 win at Knutsford. The match included starts for first-teamers Shaun Densmore, Toby Mullarkey, Tony Thompson, Tom Peers and Lewis Walters.

Walters grabbed a hat-trick whilst Peers netted a brace. The other goal was scored by Rhain Davis. The Alty squad comprised, Thompson, Densmore, Davis, Gabidon, Miller, Mullarkey, O'Hara, Peers, Ryan, Taylor, Thompson, Walters with the bench comprising Elliott, Graham and Lewis.

Without the first-team involvement, the Reserves lost 1-2 at home to Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's on Saturday.

ALTRINCHAM OLD BOYS

Former Alty left-back, Andy Williams is now listed as a Skelmersdale player and his latest new team-mate, as the NW Counties FL reports is pantomime villain Richard Brodie, who scored against Litherland REMYCA in midweek.

And the Bet Victor NPL reports that Alexander Meechan's registration has moved from Barrow to Stafford Rangers.

Former Alty left-back Lewis Short has moved from Newtown (Wales) to Leek Town whilst Jordan Sinnott has moved from Alfreton Town to Matlock Town.

NEXT OPPONENTS: BOSTON UNITED

On Monday, Altrincham are away to Boston United who report that "Boston United lost their unbeaten record after suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Gloucester City on Saturday afternoon.

The Pilgrims started brightly at Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium but fell behind to Joe Parker’s 11th minute strike. They fell further adrift when Joe Hanks converted a dubious penalty 12 minutes later and wrapped up all three points when Parker bagged his second nine minutes from time.

It was not a result which appeared to be on the cards when a United side showing five changes to their last outing made a blistering start.

Dominic Knowles converted Ben Middleton’s low cross in the second minute but was adjudged offside before Nicky Walker burst a way from Vinny Harper to drag an effort across goal and wide three minutes later...

Boston (4-4-2): Peter Crook; Ben Middleton, Luke Shiels, Simon Ainge, Alex Whittle (George Green 46); Nicky Walker, Tom Platt (Brad Abbott 46), Andi Thanoj, Ashley Jackson; Tom Clare (Jordan Adebayo-Smith 46), Dominic Knowles. Subs (not used): Karl Byrne, George Willis (gk)."

The Boston Standard reports that Craig Elliott was left in ‘shock’ at how poorly his Boston United side performed at Gloucester City... in a game the Pilgrims will want to forget.

'The first half performance kills the game, I didn’t see it coming,' said Elliott. 'I’m in shock in terms of we’ve looked so solid (previously). We’ve had a difficult week but that’s just excuses, they’re just excuses. The starting XI should be putting in a better performance'...

United were without Jay Rollins, Jordan Thewlis, Shaun Tuton, Jake Wright and Jonathan Wafula, while Simon Ainge and Tom Platt played despite illness...

'At half time I could have taken eight-nine players off, it was that bad. So many things going wrong,' he added... 'You get beaten by a better team fair enough, but this was really poor. We looked shaky defensively, and as a back four and a keeper they never gave us a platform to go on and win the game.

'In the final third we were wasteful, both boxes quite poor.'

United now go back to the drawing board ahead of Monday’s arrival of Altrincham.

Elliott continued, 'My biggest concern is we’re not scoring goals and I thought it’d come... Players need to step up. We play a better team on Monday, no disrespect to them (Gloucester), we have to do better.'"

Boston United announce that "The Bank Holiday Monday edition of 'The Pilgrim' features a nod towards one of the club's five Football League campaigns... Copies of the programme will be on sale from all entrances to the stadium from 1.00pm on Monday (priced £3 per copy).

Inside... [includes] "Matchday Centre featuring Altrincham, "Scene Setter v Altrincham, From the Archives v Altrincham".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The National League says "There were more thrills and spills in the National League North as the Bank Holiday heatwave arrived in style.

York City extended their lead at the summit after putting Spennymoor to the sword at Brewery Field. Sean Newton and Kallum Griffiths scored either side of an own goal before Adrian Moke rounded things off late on.

King's Lynn aren't far behind Steve Watson's men after a rampant win over Curzon Ashton. A goal in either half for Michael Gash and Adam Marriott saw the Linnets make it three from three at home.

Farsley claimed back-to-back wins with a second-half super show. Jimmy Spencer, Nathan Cartman and Jack Higgins all notched to inflict a first defeat of the season on Gateshead.

Chester are up to third, Matty Hughes scoring the only goal of the game at Kidderminster...

Alfreton Town are up to fifth after a 4-2 win at Guiseley... Hereford remain unbeaten under caretaker boss Tim Harris but surrendered their early lead against Brackley".

Cheshire Live reports that "Chester FC banished the painful memories of Aggborough with their first win at Kidderminster Harriers since 2005.

Matty Hughes's strike on 26 minutes brought Chester the spoils, and while Harriers contrived to miss an open goal with minutes left, it was three points that were deserved and three points that maintain an unbeaten start to the season, the Blues up to third.

Chester hadn't won at Aggborough for some 14 years coming into the contest... some five games winless since then...

It was Chester who had reason to be hopeful coming into the contest, boasting an unbeaten start to the season before the game and sitting fifth in the table following a solid start that raised a notch last weekend with a resounding, and thoroughly convincing, 4-0 home win over Gloucester City.

Kidderminster had seen an indifferent start...

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley kept faith with the same XI that dismantled Gloucester so comfortably at the Deva last Saturday, Matty Hughes once again handing a starting berth while for Joel Taylor, George Waring and substitute Akwasi Asante it was a return to their old stomping ground."

Farsley Celtic "made it back-to-back wins with a superb 3-0 victory away to the previously unbeaten Gateshead.

Second-half strikes from Jimmy Spencer, Luke Parkin and Tyler Walton saw the Celt Army earn a terrific three points, and make it 10 points from six games to start the season.

Farsley Celtic Manager Adam Lakeland was delighted with his side’s performance, as he said 'I thought we thoroughly deserved it (the win) to be honest. I think the first 10, 15 minutes, we allowed them out to get out too easily which we anticipated to an extent because of the way I’d set us up today, but I felt the longer the first-half went on we kind of grew into the game.'

Lakeland was also extremely pleased with the impact Luke Parkin had, as he added... 'I felt it was the right time to put him in with the way we set the team up, and I thought he was outstanding'...

Six minutes after the interval Farsley took the lead with a devastating break, resulting in Nathan Cartman threading the ball through to Jimmy Spencer who slammed home from inside the box...

Farsley then doubled their lead thanks to great work from Nathan Cartman once more, the diminutive forward holding the ball up on the edge of the box and squaring for Luke Parkin to drive home, with what proved to be Parkin's final touch before being replaced by Tyler Walton.

Gateshead were given a lifeline with just over five minutes to go, substitute Dom Tear going down in the box and winning his side a spot-kick. However, substitute Paul Blackett blasted the penalty high and wide, with Elliot Wynne maintaining his clean sheet.

Farsley wrapped up the three points deep into added time with another well worked goal, Jack Higgins heading Chris Atkinson’s clever ball across for Tyler Walton to roll home from close range".

Southport report that "Andre Brown’s second-half penalty saw Southport slip to their second successive defeat.

Brown delivered the game’s decisive moment 11 minutes after half-time after he was judged to have been tripped in the area by Ryan Astles.

It was a contentious decision by referee James Westage, but the Telford striker made the most of it, sliding the spot-kick to the left of goalkeeper Dan Hanford, who was unable to stop the strike despite diving the right way.

Southport had cause to feel hard done by, having controlled the lion’s share of the play but they were unable to translate their possession into anything tangible...

Having fallen behind, Southport tried to respond but struggled for clear chances".

A player leaving the Vanarama North is Declan Bacon, moving from Alfreton Town to Mickleover Sports on loan.


24 August 2019

TODAY'S OPPONENTS: DARLINGTON

When he arrives at Moss Lane today, Darlington boss Alun Armstrong can be forgiven for wondering what might have been. On his last visit to the J. Davidson Stadium he was manager of Blyth Spartans in their play-off match against the Robins.

Right: When Darlington visited Alty in August 2010, the game was drawn 2-2. Here we see Alty's Chris Denham and Darlington's Paul Terry, John Terry's brother, during that match. Chris Senior was also in the Quakers' side that day.

As Alty fans will well remember the game was decided by a high-quality penalty shoot out, with the hosts winning 7-6.

Since then, Armstrong has moved on to Darlington and has raided the Spartans to bring several players from Northumberland to the Quakers. They include Michael Liddle, David Atkinson, Jamie Holmes, Louis Laing and Jarrett Rivers. All five played for Blyth in the play-off at Moss Lane last season.

Darlington have stated that they "are looking for our first points away from home when we go to Altrincham on Saturday. While our home form has yielded seven points out of nine, we have suffered setbacks at Farsley and Curzon Ashton...

Darlington's current league position is ninth whilst Alty are seventeenth. Last Saturday The Quakers beat Southport 2-0, with goals from O’Neill and Campbell. Their team for that match comprised Elliott, Liddle (sub Heaton 43), Watson, Bascome, (Holness 80) Laing, Galbraith, Rivers, Hatfield, Campbell, Donawa (sub Wheatley 87), O’Neill. Unused subs: Bell, Atkinson.

On the road, Darlington have twice lost 1-3, at Curzon Ashton and at Farsley Celtic.

Darlington add that "Right back Luke Trotman is ruled out for the season with an achilles problem, while striker Jamie Holmes is out with a cruciate injury. Also, defender Michael Liddle is out for at least a fortnight with a ligament injury, but striker Stephen Thompson returns after missing last week’s game".

Bermuda's Royal Gazette tells us that "Justin Donawa, the Darlington forward, demonstrated his versatility in his team’s previous outing... The Bermuda player started in attack, but switched to a defensive role after right back Michael Liddle went off with an injury just before half-time in the 2-0 home win over Southport last weekend.

'We came into a problem early on and the gaffer [Alun Armstrong] asked me to play more of wingback role on the opposite side,' Donawa said. 'I would have liked to be in attack throughout the game, but I was still able to get forward and help out defensively. The gaffer has been telling me to just get the ball and go, use what I’ve got, which is pace. I get behind and around guys and I was trying to do that early on and even later in the game. I was getting a little tired, but I was still able to get balls in the attack'...

Donawa... was substituted in the 87th minute... 'I’m pleased to get some more minutes and then even more pleased for the win and a clean sheet, which is something we have been struggling with lately,' Donawa added... 'As much as I’m pleased with my own performance, I’m really pleased with the team performance and for us to get a win in front of all of the fans that came out. They have stuck by us through the tough times recently.'

Donawa’s Bermuda team-mate Osagi Bascome also started the match for Darlington before coming off in the 80th minute".

And the Northern Echo adds that "Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa have earned the praise of Darlington manager Alun Armstrong, who says both Bermudans have been a surprise package during the early stages of the season. Bascome has taken his opportunity to impress in the centre of midfield, while Donawa has largely been used as a substitute in the first five matches during which time he too has made an impact...

Bascome and Donawa will be unavailable for two matches in September due to being selected for Bermuda’s doubleheader with Panama... Said Armstrong, 'It’s a blow because I think they have surprised a lot of people with how they’ve adapted and what I like about them is that they’ve taken on instructions really well. Osagi was already here from last season and people didn’t really know what he was like. I needed to have a look at him in training and he was really good, but it was a case of getting him to play the way we want in matches.

'He has taken that on board. It has taken him time to adapt to not playing at a slow pace, and he enjoys keeping the ball but all I ask him to do is to try and move it forward instead of backwards, and I mean passing it, not lumping it. He’s been a nice little link between the back-four and the midfield and surprised quite a few people'...

Donawa is likely to return to the substitutes bench when Darlington play at Altrincham as Stephen Thompson returns to the starting XI.

Armstrong added 'I knew what Justin had when he came, he had raw pace and he is improving all the time in training. It’s the end product we’re working on, you cannot buy or teach that pace he has, it’s about getting him to use it as often as he can.'”

Perhaps the best-known player to move from Altrincham to Darlington was Chris Senior, who made the move in 2010 and helped the Quakers to an FA Trophy triumph. Another player to have worn both clubs' shirts is James Walshaw who was at Darlington in 2011-12 before joining Alty in 2013.

And much further back in time, Terry Rowley's Alty Legends remind us that in 1937 John Clacher moved, via Burnley, to Darlington where he made 36 Football League appearances. In 1934 he had been part of the first Altrincham team to reach the FA Cup Third Round.

Mike Garnett provides the historical record of matches between Darlington and Altrincham. Alty have yet to beat the reformed Quakers at Moss Lane...

SUPPORTERS' TRAVEL

Travel Coordinator Mark Eckersall confirms that "TASC will be running a coach to Boston United on Bank Holiday Monday and we hope you can join us. Many thanks to those who have supported us for the previous two long trips, we know it's an expense when fixtures fall like this.

We really do need people to support the coaches if we're to continue to run them to every game and break even. Anyone who travels will tell you we have a nice relaxed atmosphere on there and all ages are welcome. We'll have a 30 minute stop on the way down and a 15 minute toilet/drink stop on the way back.

We have set out a little earlier than usual due to unpredictable Bank Holiday traffic but, if we are a little early, then we are always made welcome in the social club at Boston.

Hope you can join us; please book by calling the club on 0161 928 1045 during weekday office hours from 10 am or in the Community Sports Hall at the Darlington game on Saturday.

Details of the fares and timings for the trip to Boston are to be found on the Away Travel page.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford United have bolstered their attack with the signing of Lewis Reilly on a one-month loan from Crewe.

The 20 year-old joins after scoring eight goals in 16 games on loan at... Curzon Ashton last season. Reilly has also netted a couple of times for Crewe in the EFL Trophy.

Telford have only scored four times in their opening five league games."

Crewe Vital Football adds that "The Bucks will be hoping that he’ll have the same impact as their top scorer from last season, former Alex striker Daniel Udoh who left the club to join Shrewsbury Town in the summer (who scored for the Shrews on his debut on Tuesday night).

Reilly, 20, has been a regular in Alex Morris’ Under-23 side over the past couple of seasons but has struggled to get game time at first-team level despite getting plenty for the development side. He has had spells on loan at Halesowen Town and Curzon Ashton last season...

Lewis is a tall striker who is a good finisher inside the penalty area, as his time with the Under-23s and his loan spells have proved, and he uses good positioning rather than a quick burst of pace to find space in the penalty area. He will benefit from playing regular first-team football and I’d imagine that he will spend the majority of this season out on loan, whether that is with Telford or at a National League club."

At Leamington "Paul Holleran has moved to boost his squad to help cover for suspensions by bringing in George Carline on a month's loan from our National League neighbours Solihull Moors.

The 26 year-old midfielder will be familiar to Brakes' fans having spent time at Redditch United under Liam McDonald, who signed George for Hednesford Town and later Solihull, after he began his career at Birmingham based Cadbury Athletic. George has also represented England 'C' while with the Moors...

Holleran said 'George is a player I have tried to sign on a number of occasions, but he has had some very good offers elsewhere. He is a versatile player and can operate in a number of positions which will benefit us as a squad while we are without players due to suspension. He has good experience in the National League over the past two seasons or so'".

Farsley Celtic "announce a new Academy Director and Head of Development Football at Farsley Celtic. [Ex-Alty striker] Lutel James will head up the Academy with Eray Altinoluk filling the vacant role of Development Football Head.

Lutel adds a wealth of experience to the club having been heavily involved in Academy football in the City over a great number of years. He has been working hard over the last few weeks to put together an exciting squad of players for the upcoming season at both Under 19 and Under 23 level. Lutel will be assisted by current coaches James Knowles and Glenn Thornton, as well as additional coaching staff."

From Gloucestershire Live we learn that "Gloucester City will consider going full-time once they return home. The Tigers currently have been playing in the sixth tier of English football for the last 10 years despite not having their own ground and playing outside the city since 2007.

They are competing against clubs with much bigger budgets and resources than them in the National League North with former Football League teams... Gloucester are currently 14th in the table after five games and were beaten 4-0 at Chester last weekend, four days after an impressive 3-2 win at Kidderminster, and co-chairman Alex Petheram believes they would have to look at recruiting players full-time if they are going to move forward.

He said 'For us to really progress and even entertain going into the National League, even through winning the play-offs, we have to take either the full-time model that Kidderminster and Chester have done or do hybrid model which is becoming more and more popular. That would give us three days a week training plus the Saturday match. Currently we train for a maximum of three hours a week, unless of course we’ve got a midweek game.

'If we’ve got a Tuesday night match, we’ve got to try and recover the team and train the team in a one-hour-and-a-half training session.'

Gloucester currently ground-share with Evesham United but have been granted planning permission to build a new ground at their old Meadow Park site and hope to return in 2020...

'Returning to Meadow Park remains both my and the club’s number one off-the-field task,' said Petheram. 'For us to progress it (going full-time) is something we need to look at when we are back at Meadow Park. Otherwise we’re constantly doing what we’ve been doing for the last 10 years, which is always to stave off relegation and find some magic at the end. That approach is just not sustainable long-term.

'This season we’ve started to put in place the first parts of the jigsaw with players such as Fabien (Robert), Marlon (Jackson) and Jenno (Jennison Myrie-Williams) joining the club. We need to start looking up as a club, rather than worrying about what’s below.'"

In the Telegraph & Argus we read that "Bradford (Park Avenue) may be struggling at the wrong end of the table at the moment but ambitious owner Gareth Roberts still hopes a return to the Football League could be possible in the future.

Off-field improvements remain a priority at Horsfall but the Avenue chief also said there is a hope playing budgets are to increase over the coming seasons. Former Bradford City winger Garry Thompson was sacked as manager after just two games... and was replaced by Marcus Law as interim boss. Law is still in the early process of stamping his imprint on the team...

But Roberts believes Avenue who host the only club below them, Blyth Spartans... can ride the early storm and still has ambitious plans for the club. He said 'We are trying to build for the future and the hope is we can get by this year with a modest budget and keep our deficit to a minimum. But we hope, over the next two or three years, to be able to increase our playing budget, to become very competitive.

'But we need to get things that are off the field sorted out and build up the club so that we can afford a better team on the field. With the improvements that we’re talking about, we’d be ready to be promoted. It’s definitely a possibility and likely would be a goal more quickly than people would think.'

Roberts has spoken at length about making Avenue self-sustaining, and first on the list of priorities for achieving that is securing a 35-year lease for Horsfall Stadium, something which is close to being sealed. Then, he believes the Football League could be on the horizon.

Roberts said, 'Why not? We don’t have any limits on what we can do. It does depend really on how Horsfall gets developed, to become a proper little stadium that could handle Football League games. It could well. It can’t right now, but in the future there’s no telling that it might do.'

The Bradford-born multi-millionaire has money at his disposal, but doesn't think the 'Salford City model' of pumping vast amounts of money is the way for them to go. He said 'Well I don’t think we want to go into it quite that hard. We’ve got to build up our support, we’ve got to become a bigger part of the community than we currently are and get a lot more participation and crowds... There’s no sense in going up to the Football League if you’ve got 350 fans.'

Roberts knows there's a lot to do on that front, admitting the club has been running very large deficits due to disappointing revenues. That is the main reason budgets have had to be slashed for the current campaign, but the owner is looking to rectify that. He said 'We haven’t had big crowds and part of that is due to the fact that Horsfall is not a very inviting place in February and we need to make it a bit better. We need to have better quality offerings for families and our youth teams. We want to get our youth teams to start attending games and so on. We have to do a better job of that and that’s why the lease is a priority and that's why the stadium improvements are a priority.'"


23 August 2019

SATURDAY'S OPPONENTS: DARLINGTON

Darlington visit Altrincham on Saturday having ended Southport's unbeaten run last Saturday and also having become the first team to breach the Sandgrounders' defemce.

The Quakers started the campaign disappointingly with a 3-1 defeat at promoted Farsley Celtic. A home draw, 1-1, with Gateshead followed before Darlo won their first game, 3-0, against Kettering Town. But a second 1-3 reverse of the season followed at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton before the win at Southport last time out.

So it's been an up and down start for the Quakers, who go into the game with Alty lying tenth in the league with seven points, whilst Alty are down in 17th with just five points.

As Mike Garnett's data show, Alty have yet to beat the reformed Quakers at Moss Lane...

On Darlington's last visit to Altrincham, on Saturday, 22 December 2018, spectators were treated to a 3-3 draw.

TWO OUT FOR BOSTON AGAINST ALTY

Altrincham travel to York Street on Monday, a stadium which Boston United announced last Easter would possibly be seeing its last season of use in 2019-20. Whether that will be the case remains to be seen but details of the new stadium are here.

In advance of Altrincham's Bank Holiday game, the Boston Standard reports that "Jordan Thewlis will use his three-match ban to do some homework and shrug off injury. Boston United’s leading scorer and teammate Jay Rollins will both sit out Saturday’s trip to Gloucester City as they begin suspensions picked up for their part in the melee against Leamington. {So, they will also miss the game against Altrincham].

But Thewlis is keen to use his time in the stands wisely, resting a niggling groin problem and studying his side.

'I’ve been struggling with my groin since Stamford, just before the start of the season,' the 26-year-old said. 'I’ve been missing training and playing games, which isn’t great. You want to be training, staying sharp... The only plus I can take out of being banned is to get my groin right and hopefully come back scoring goals'...

After suffering injury with Harrogate Town he arrived at Boston in December on loan, looking for game time to help him get back to full fitness. But less than 20 minutes into his debut at Chorley a wild challenge saw him suffer ankle ligament damage, ruling him out until the final few games of the campaign.

'I spent enough time watching last season, but I think it’ll be good to see things from a different perspective,' he said. 'We’ve not quite been clicking. From the sideline I can see where I can maybe affect things. I’ve not played too many games as a winger, mostly as a striker. So I’m still learning that position in a new team. Maybe the three games will do me good in seeing where I can help the team?

'Last year was near-renough a complete write-off. I want to forget last season.'

Thewlis is currently United’s leading scorer, having netted three times in the National League North so far. And with Jake Wright sidelined with a hamstring problem, Boston travel to Gloucester with a squad where nobody has yet registered a league goal.

'It’s strange one as obviously I should be happy to be scoring goals,' Thewlis added. 'But I’m not happy with performances, individually and as a team. It puts a bit of a dampener on it'".

Altrincham, for their part, are again expected to be without captain Jake Moult as he recovers from his summer operation. Nathan Arnold's departure from Altrincham this week means he won't have a reunion with the club for whom he played last season.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Hereford FC "return to home soil on Saturday... with the visit of Brackley Town. We go into the game on the back of consecutive 1-0 victories over AFC Telford United and at Blyth Spartans last weekend to make it three wins from our opening five League games.

There has been plenty of energy and endeavour from the team in our last two performances, epitomised by summer recruit, Brad Ash, who has come into the starting line-up for the last two games and looked lively.

'I’ve really enjoyed the last two games,' said Ash. 'I’m playing with plenty of confidence and can’t wait for the next match to come around... I feel as though I have been able to positively affect the last two games and the main thing for me is always to help the team get the three points, which we have done. There is a great vibe around the squad. We all believe that we can do something special this season and it’s about working hard for each other...

'It’s been a busy start to the season and now we have two games in quick succession... so we’ll focus on Saturday’s game against Brackley Town first and then be ready to go again on Monday at Chester.

'They are two tricky games but they all are in this League. It’s a competitive level where you need to be at it every week and keep doing the right things.'"

At AFC Telford United "The Bucks begin the bank holiday weekend with a trip to Merseyside to take on Southport... The Sandgrounders finished 14th last season and will be looking to improve on that this time around, and Liam Watson’s men have made a positive start to the new campaign. The Yellows currently sit 7th in the table after going were undefeated in their first four games of the season, all without conceding a single goal in that time. But the Merseysiders did then fall to defeat at Darlington last weekend.

While Southport have been impressive at the back this season, things have been slightly slower going at the other end of the pitch. However, after goalless draws against Gateshead and Curzon Ashton, Port then thumped both Guiseley and Farsley Celtic 3-0. And while last season’s top scorer, Dion Charles, departed for Accrington last week, Jack Sampson (13 league goals last season) still offers the Sandgrounders plenty of punch up front.

The Bucks shut out Southport twice last season though, winning 1-0 at the New Buck's Head before storming to a 4-0 win at a rain-soaked Haig Avenue in January.

Gavin Cowan’s men opened the current campaign season with two clean sheets from the opening three games as well. Two defeats have, of course, followed since but, if the Bucks can shut out the Sandgrounders once again, Telford could well be returning from Merseyside with all three points again this season".

And the Shropshire Star adds that "New-boy Chris Lait is determined to help ‘top-drawer’ AFC Telford United to a first away win of the season this weekend.

The 26-year-old winger has been loving life at the New Buck's Head after arriving from Tamworth in the summer but now wants things to pick up on the pitch. Gavin Cowan’s side have lost their last two games, against Hereford and King’s Lynn.

However, Saturday’s National North trip to Southport offers the chance to get back on track, and Lait said 'I’ve really enjoyed being here so far. Everything has been top-drawer; training, and the way we approach everything, but the frustrating thing has been not getting the results. I haven’t been to Southport before but the onus is on getting that first away win in the bag.

'The gaffer does not have to tell us that either. It’s on all our minds.'

Lait did not start the disappointing 3-1 loss to King’s Lynn Town last weekend because of a slight back issue but should be fine for the Haig Avenue encounter. He is yet to score for Telford. He netted 21 times for Tamworth last season, though, and has impressed in his early Bucks showings".

Farsley Celtic "will be looking to make it back-to-back wins against Gateshead on Saturday...

The clubs last met in the 2008/09 Blue Square North season in which Gateshead did the double over the Celt Army on their way to promotion via the playoffs".

The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Marcus Bignot says he will have a better idea of how Guiseley's season is shaping up after his side's Bank Holiday weekend double header. The Lions joint-manager says he breaks down his side's season into seven-game blocks, meaning this first period of the new Vanarama National League North campaign will be completed after the Lions entertain Alfreton Town on Saturday, followed by a trip to Blyth Spartans 48 hours later.

Alfreton are eighth, three points behind Guiseley, while Blyth, led by former Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark, are bottom with four defeats from their first four games. Clark has been busy re-shaping his squad this week as he looks to kickstart a change in fortunes for his side. Dale Pearson, Craig Spooner and Jack Butler have all left the club by mutual consent.

After a frantic first three weeks involving five league games, Guiseley have enjoyed a week-long break from action since they grabbed a 1-1 draw at Boston United last weekend. Bignot admits it was good for both himself, fellow joint-manager Russ O'Neill and their squad to get a break from matches and instead concentrate on training.

Bignot said 'It has been pretty full-on from the start of the season. Every manager wanted this break as it gives them an opportunity to recover and do some much-needed work. We now have Saturday-Monday, two games in three days. There is no rest between them. We have been working them hard in training.

'The busy Bank Holiday is the same for everyone. They are a young group. They look good physically at the moment. I'm happy where we are. Saturday is a good opportunity as we are in good form.'

Guiseley's great start to the season, three wins from their opening five games, has propelled them into second place in the table, three points behind leaders York City. The Lions are also proving free-scoring with 12 goals so far, while only conceded five.

Bignot added 'Once we get over the Bank Holiday weekend, we are into the rigours of the season so far. If we come out from the first seven games with a good points return I will be really happy. That's when we will be able to judge our season.'"


22 August 2019

NATHAN ARNOLD LEAVES

After two starts and one appearance from the bench, Nathan Arnold's stay at Altrincham has ended. The Altrincham FC website announces his departure, with manager Phil Parkinson saying "We believe that it's best for both the player and the club to go our separate ways at this point".

In an impressive parting statement, Nathan said "It’s rare in football both parties are amicable in moments like these and remain dignified!"

Nathan's arrival at Altrincham was announced on 9 June, 2019 and came after he had spent several months out of the game, following a spell at Boston United, ironically our next away opponents on Bank Holiday Monday.

He had begun his career at Mansfield Town where he made more than a hundred appearances between 2005 and 2009. After a season with Hyde United he racked up another century of appearances for Alfreton Town (2010-13). Next, he joined Cambridge United and, from there, he had a loan spell at Grimsby Town, a club he subsequently joined in 2015/16 season.

After that he joined Lincoln City and after a brief loan at Salford City he played for Boston United in the early part of 2018-19.

THROUGH THE YEARS

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records remind us that the last time we played on Saturday's date, 24 August, we beat last season's bogey-club, Stockport County, 3-0, back in 2013 in the Skrill North as the league was then described. That match was the clubs' first-ever league meeting at first-team level.

In that 2013-14 campaign Altrincham started the season with seven unbeaten games of which the County match was the third in a sequence of four successive wins from the start of the season. Alty went on to be promoted via the play-offs that season.

James Walshaw steered home a 42nd minute goal. Unforced errors cost County as Reeves headed a second goal from Densmore's cross in the 50th minute. Then Walshaw put Reeves clear and he finished well to make it 3-0 after 70 minutes.

Despite having won their opening two fixtures, Altrincham nevertheless made four changes to their starting line up as Leather, Richman, Walshaw and Clee all came in for Doughty, Rodgers, Lawrie and Smikle. Former Altrincham midfielder Ian Craney was in County's team whilst ex-County men Luca Havern and Danny Boshell started for Altrincham.

Above: Manager Lee Sinnott speaks to his team after the win over Stockport County on 24 August 2013.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Mike WILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Brian SMIKLE

STOCKPORT COUNTY: 1. Ian Ormson, 2. Kyle Jacobs, 3. Stephen O'Halloran, 4. Aman Verma, 5. Jordan Fagbola, 6. Kieran Charnock, 7. Jamie Hand, 8. Ian Craney, 9. Phil Jevons 10. Kristian Dennis, 11. Iain Howard. Subs: 12. Rhys Turner, 13. Lewis King, 14. James Tunnicliffe, 15. Brandon Windsor, 16. Adriano Moke

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Shropshire Star reports that "Chris Lait has recognised AFC Telford United’s need to be ruthless to get back to winning ways in National League North.

New-boy Lait and his Bucks' team-mates have not had the best of starts, winning just one of their first five games and are now three without a victory. But he is remaining positive as they have been creating opportunities, albeit without putting them away.

When asked if things will turn around soon, Lait said 'Definitely. In those performances, there have been some promising signs. The last two games have not been as good, the losses to Hereford and King’s Lynn, but there are definitely positives. If you’re conceding and not scoring when you have the chances, it is always going to be difficult. But there have been spells where we have been really good in games. We have just got to be more ruthless.'

Lait was snapped up in the close season from Tamworth after netting more than 20 goals for the Lambs in the Southern Premier Central last campaign. He is yet to score for Telford... Lait did not start the 3-1 defeat to King’s Lynn last weekend because of a slight back issue.

'King’s Lynn wasn’t acceptable but, apart from that, we have created chances. We battered Gateshead and should’ve seen it through at Kettering. The good thing is that we are creating chances.'"

Cheshire Live informs us that "Several Chester FC players were in action elsewhere at the weekend as part of their loan deals away from the club.

Goalkeeper Theo Roberts, who last week joined Atherton Collieries on an initial month’s loan, made his debut on Saturday in a 2-2 draw at Ashton United. And he started between the sticks once more on Tuesday as the Colls fell to their first defeat of the season, going down 4-2 at home to Warrington Town, managed by ex-Chester City ace Paul Carden.

Cain Noble was in the starting line up for Hyde United, playing 90 minutes in a fine 2-1 win for the Tigers away at FC United of Manchester".

A player leaving Edgar Street is the subject of a report fromNL Daily which says that "Merthyr Town have announced the re-signing of Eliot Richards, subject to international clearance. The 28-year-old made 52 appearances for the Martyrs, scoring 10 goals in his spell at The Met Coaches Stadium before departing for Hereford FC in 2017. Since then he has made 29 appearances for The Bulls, scoring four goals".

From the Chronicle Live we learn that "Gateshead FC fans... were asked to suggest songs for the Heed to use was walk-on music this season and a final poll saw them snub a football cliche... Think 'Z Cars' for Everton, The Beautiful South's 'Rotterdam' at Luton Town, or Sunderland's former synonymy with Republica's 'Ready To Go', which a popular club message board takes its name from. Others are so over-used they have become a cliché.

Gateshead fans chose to snub the obvious and select something a little different when their club asked them what they'd like to hear as the Heed run out onto the International Stadium pitch this season. Suggestions led to an eight-song short list, which became two after further rounds of voting on social media.

In the 'Final', supporters had two contrasting options. The first was The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army', a song widely used by football clubs and supporters across the world. However good the song is, you could be anywhere when you hear it. The second option was Nakatomi's late 90s' happy hardcore anthem, 'Children of the Night'. A tune [which was] blasted out of tinny Sony Ericsson mobile speakers throughout the Nexus transport network in the early 2000s.

If you're not familiar with Nakatomi's work, Children of the Night is a quick-tempo number, with high pitched vocals declaring 'We are the children of the night. We fight for the future of our nation. Let's come together and unite. Nothing's gonna stop us now.'"

ALTY OLD BOYS

A number of ex-Altrincham players were on the mark for their current clubs in the Bet Victor Northern Premier on Tueday night. They included Craig Hobson and Kallum Mantack who both netted for Stalybridge Celtic in their 5 - 1 win over Scarborough Athletic. Hobson scored twice and Mantack once. And at Atherton Collieries, Warrington Town got back to winning form with a 4-2 win with their last goal being scored by Matthew Chadwick.


Click here for EARLIER NEWS


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