4 March 2015
Tuesday, 3 March
- Aldershot Town 3-1 Dover Athletic
- Braintree Town 0-1 Macclesfield Town
- Dartford 1-3 Woking
- Gateshead 3-1 Wrexham
- Southport 1-0 FC Halifax Town
- It was confirmed that all staff will be paid their outstanding monthly wages by the end of the week
- Benefactors Ernie and Kath Lane will continue to cover staff wages until the end of the season and the club would like to place on record their thanks for their contribution
- Another fans’ forum to include the chairman and board of directors is to be arranged before the end of the season - more details will follow in due course
- The squad is to remain full-time next season with the playing budget to be reduced
There was a good turnout at the AGM and Kidderminster Harriers would like to thank those who attended, as well as the shareholders present for donating a total of £360 to the club by way of a collection".
More on this comes from the BBC< which says that "Despite last season's two big financial windfalls generated by a run to the fourth round of the FA Cup and the six-figure sale of young striker Joe Lolley to Huddersfield Town, there have been concerns over Harriers' finances since chairman Mark Serrell resigned just over a year ago.
Over the past 12 months, many of the Harriers team that came close to winning promotion back to the Football League under Steve Burr and Gary Whild just two years ago have left Aggborough. The autumn departures of Nathan Blissett (Bristol Rovers) and Chey Dunkley (Oxford United) followed moves last summer for Micky Demetriou (Shrewsbury Town) and Lee Vaughan (Cheltenham Town), who both stepped up a level to the Football League.
Michael Gash's early New Year exit to join Barnet was then followed by the departure of former captain Kyle Storer to Wrexham and winger Marvin Johnson to Motherwell. Joe Lolley's departure was the second six-figure sale in a year following Jamille Matt's club-record exit to Fleetwood, which surpassed the £200,000 West Bromwich Albion paid for Lee Hughes in 1997.
When Whild, now Harriers' boss, was allowed to rebuild during the January transfer window by bringing in Lee Hughes from Forest Green, Danny Wright from Gateshead and Dominic Knowles on loan from Burton Albion, it was assumed that there were sufficient funds to strengthen for their play-off push. But an untimely run of just one goal in a winless five-game run has seen them slip 10 points adrift of the play-off places, with only 10 games left.
The club's board say that falling gates at Aggborough, where they have not won in six games since 20 December, [are] a contributory factor to the cash flow problem. 'Money is always tight at clubs our size,' added Ruffinato. 'When you're chasing promotion, you do try to stretch yourselves, and you hope you get the support to go with it. Had we won more games, we'd have got a few more in the crowd and there would not be an issue at all. You either put the money in, you play well and get bigger crowds or you sell somebody'"... or you have financial problems.
And the Kidderminster Shuttle adds that "Harriers' players and back room staff at the cash-strapped football club are now being paid, fans have been told... Mr Rae told the club's annual meeting that the board was trying to attract new directors. The present board contribute £10,000 each.
The directors' report and financial statement for the year ended May 31, 2014, which showed a loss of £263,601, was accepted without comment. The annual meeting was over in seven minutes but Mr Rae took part in a question-and-answer session for more than an hour.
He was questioned about the Harriers' profit from their FA Cup run which ended at Sunderland. He said that policing costs of £40,000 and stewarding of £30,000 had reduced the Harriers' return to a disappointing £60,000. Mr Rae was unable to reveal the financial details of the transfers of Chey Dunkley (Oxford United), Nathan Blissett (Bristol Rovers) and Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) because of confidentiality clauses.
Numbers at the annual meeting were limited because it was wrongly stated on the club's website that shareholders had to produce certificates to gain entry. It was a generally good-natured meeting and, at one stage, there was a round of applause for manager Gary Whild for maintaining the play-offs bid despite losing major players. Mr Rae said it was hoped to sign a new ground-share agreement with Worcester City and improvements were planned for the pitch. Stewarding cost £2,000 a game if all the stands were open. He estimated that it cost £1.6m a year to run the club. 'We are not going bust next week,' he said."
According to the Football Conference, "Defender Anthony Charles has left Nuneaton Town. Charles is an experienced a former Aldershot Town double player of the year winner. He had been playing for Dunstable Town... after leaving Luton Town at the end of the 2013/14 season before joining Boro. His other previous clubs include Crewe Alexandra, Hayes, Farnborough, Barnet, Northampton Town and Plymouth Argyle. The player was on a non-contract deal, and has left after failing to hold down a first-team place."
Elsewhere, "Young midfielder James McQuilkin has earned a full contract with Torquay United until the end of the season after impressing manager Chris Hargreaves over the last three months. Formerly with Hereford United and Walsall, McQuilkin originally moved to the Launa Windows Stadium in a non-contract deal back in November following the sad demise of the Bulls... His versatility in playing a number of different positions, including as an emergency right-back, has been a significant bonus to the Gulls".
NL Pitchero says that "Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South club Romulus have taken the drastic step of releasing no less than TWENTY-ONE players... The list of players [includes]... Courtney Baker-Richardson, who is currently on dual registration terms with Nuneaton Town".
the Western Morning News, we learn that "The new Premier League television deal makes any prolonged absence from the Football League dangerous to Torquay United, according to Supporters’ Trust vice-chairman Robin Causley. Domestic television rights for three seasons from 2016 were sold for more than £5 billion in the latest round of bidding. And that is without adding in the lucrative overseas rights which the Premier League is also expected to cash in on.
That figure was a 70 per cent increase on the existing deal, and Football League chairmen were quick to nail down their share... It provides the first contracted link between the broadcasting revenues of the two domestic professional leagues since the formation of the Premier League in 1992.
However, Torquay United Supporters’ Trust vice-chairman Causley said that for clubs outside the Football League, such as the Gulls, this would widen the financial gap even further. 'I think there’s a real groundswell of opinion that the TV money is going to go down to grass-roots level, and the lower leagues certainly, and I think there will be some decent money there in future and we need to take advantage of that', he said. 'We lose the parachute payment next year and it’s going to be a big blow. There’s a question whether the youth scheme can be sustained but we see it as a priority. The longer we’re down in this division the harder it’s going to get. We hoped to have a push this season but it’s going to be difficult now'.
New Torquay executive chairman Kelvin Thomas has already sat down with TUST for one meeting, gaining their seal of approval. Causley said there was a clear need for someone such as the former Oxford United chairman to take the club by the scruff of the neck in order to climb back up the football pyramid. 'Clearly we hope that there will be positive benefits to the club, but the problem is that it’s been two relegations now, and I wouldn’t say fans are angry as such, but there’s disillusionment', he added. 'It’s not just the fans but the admin staff and the volunteers, and some of the directors as well.
They’ve been through it once, worked really hard to get us back up, and I remember going to a meeting and a director saying "We can’t let this happen again", but it has. It’s going to be hard to get back into the League, but we’ve got to have that aspiration'".Saturday Yankee for just £1 a week. Details of last week's winners, who also included three winners of £50 each for "trebles", and this week's races are here. Non-League Pitchero confirms that "Stockport Sports have been expelled from the North West Counties League, following a vote by member clubs at an Extraordinary General Meeting on Monday night.
The meeting was arranged after the club breached several league rules, including failing to fulfil fixtures on three separate occasions, and failing to comply with Management Committee instructions regarding confirmed notification of venues for their remaining home fixtures. The club also has considerable outstanding debt owing to the league.
At the meeting, the member clubs voted in favour of Stockport Sports being removed from the competition. The playing record of Stockport Sports for season 2014/15 will now be expunged, and all league tables, statistics and records will be adjusted accordingly. The club, previously known as Woodley Sports, were members of the league from 1997 to 2004, at which point they were promoted to the Northern Premier League.
They re-joined the North West Counties League in season 2012/13 under the new name of Stockport Sports."
3 March 2015 Welling United Fans' Forum announced on Monday evening that "This is a short statement from Welling United Football club. Welling have relieved manager Jody Brown of his duties with immediate effect. After a run of nine matches which has seen the club take just one point, the board felt that they had to act immediately in the best interests of the club's short-term aim of avoiding relegation. As a result, long-serving defender Loui Fazakerley will head a caretaker management team for the foreseeable future.
The club's board has urged supporters to get behind Faza and the playing squad, starting with Sunday's televised fixture at home to Altrincham (1pm). The board would like to place on record their thanks to Jody and his coaching staff for their efforts in the past two months".
‘There was a certain amount of annoyance about Barnet’s early penalty, but it was more at my players than anything. They were briefed before they went out about just such a situation. If you get too tight and get turned by an alehouse ball that is just a lump up the pitch, you are in problems, because Akinde is a strong lad.
So I’m annoyed about that. I mentioned it at half-time as well, because Scott Leather could have got done after getting on the wrong side of him when the ball was right down in the Barnet half and was hoofed forward. For me, that is just switching off. It is a position I know very well after playing there most of my career. You are at your weakest when you think you are at your safest. For one long, direct ball to bounce behind you is lack of concentration, and it annoyed me to see it.
Being caught out like that after only four minutes had a massive bearing on the game. No, I will rephrase that. It had THE bearing on the game. If you have to play with 10 men for 20 minutes, maybe half-an- hour, it can be manageable, but 90 minutes, if you include the four added on at the end, is too much.
So far, I’ve only seen the penalty incident in real time. We haven’t got loads of camera angles and someone said there may have been a question of offside, but, from what I saw in real time, Tom (right) deserved to walk. Straightaway, I feared the worst, and I would have expected the same outcome at the other end. Certainly, we would have been screaming for a pen in their area.
Could we have had a pen ourselves, apart from the one that was given? Well, maybe there is a case for saying Damian Reeves was too honest and stayed on his feet when he could have gone down. Maybe there is also a case for saying Akinde slowed down a little bit for their pen and invited the contact, I don’t know. But, really, all three of their goals annoyed me.
The second was from a free-kick out on the left touchline. It came in at a low height and should have been dealt with, so that was poor. For the third, we have to attack the cross, so you have to consider that poor as well. We have given away three poor goals, yet we have missed a penalty and gone close twice through Reevesie near the end, so you have to say, all in all, it was a bizarre game.
Maybe things conspired against us a bit, when you look at all that happened. To have got back to 2-1 just before half-time, with the penalty we missed, would have been nice. We still managed to get back to 2-1 early in the second half, but then went and shot ourselves in the foot by conceding a third. There’s no doubt we made our task a little bit harder than it needed to be by contributing to the degree of difficulty we faced.
Their results have not been what they would have wanted, just lately, and I was thinking, after half-an-hour or so, that if we could pull a goal back, it would be interesting to see how they reacted. Maybe N’ Gala could have gone when he conceded the penalty, but to be absolutely honest, I would have been a bit disappointed if one of my players had picked up a second yellow for that. It was a clumsy challenge, though, and on another day, we could have been 10 v 10 for the entire second half.
It’s no consolation, really, that we put up such a good show, and kept at it so long, because the game went away from us with the sending-off, and that is hugely disappointing. It didn’t have a structure to it after that. We changed systems two or three times, to try and shake things up a bit, and we went more direct in the second half, but really the third goal was a killer. It took the wind out of our sails, because we were thinking, at 2-1, we could possibly take something out of the game.
We had to make a substitution after losing Tom to a straight red, and I just thought it would be a signal of intent to keep both strikers on. It meant we could keep occupying their defenders and try and readdress the numerical advantage they had. If we had taken off Reevesie or Kyle Perry, the one left on would have been dogging between their two centre- backs and getting nowhere. We kept some solidity in the centre of the park, but had maybe less of a presence in wider areas, though we were able to compensate for that by getting the two full-backs on the gallop whenever possible. It was a big ask for the three in midfield, but they showed they were up to it.
Looking at the game overall, I thought it worked OK, and we made the most of a difficult situation. There is always a danger of being caught out every now and again, but at least we gave it a go. Let’s be fair, playing 90 minutes with 10 men is a massive ask.
Any analysis will inevitably keep going back to that first goal and the fact that we needed to show more nous. It was my position, central defence, and that’s why I warned them beforehand. There is always someone bigger, stronger and faster than you are, and it’s up to you to think your way round the problem. Mr.Akinde is a big, strong man with pace and mobility, so you think your way round how to counter that.
You don’t get involved in an arm-wrestling match with him, because he will simply roll you. He wants to feel the centre-half all the time, so you play cat and mouse with him a bit which, unfortunately, we didn’t do for the penalty. You can’t get too tight, because he will read that and be away. The players were briefed about that before the game, and he did exactly what they were briefed about. That’s what is so annoying.
You can’t fault the players’ commitment, though, or the way they went about their business and kept trying to knock the door down. We created clear chances late on and had a real go at them, which should stand us in good stead. It’s just a pity the game tilted massively in Barnet’s favour so early on. That is the big regret.’"
Right, is Brian Flynn's post-match interview with Lee Sinnott for Alty TV, which also has excellent highlights of the game against Barnet, here.Non League Review website has created a time-lapse video of Saturday's game. He has condensed some three hours of the match-day at the J. Davidson Stadium into just over five minutes. You can watch it here. Independent Schools' F.A. reports on its under-18 team which won 3-1 away to an older team of Cambridge University students on Sunday, with Aaron Goldman of Altrincham FC youth scoring one of the ISFA goals. "The ISFA boys pressed their opponents hard from the off and, fluent in possession throughout, a win was rarely in doubt after Jacob Merrick cut inside his full-back, worked the byline and cut the ball back for the Aaron Goldman to slip it between the legs of the advancing Cambridge keeper five minutes before half-time... Considerable ISFA pressure was eventually rewarded with two goals from the increasingly influential Lawrence Wyke. In between his two successful strikes, Cambridge scored a consolation goal straight from a free-kick". Barnet report on what they claim was "a convincing win against Altrincham. Martin Allen... reflected on a hard-earned win against the Robins...
'I thought that it was a good performance. This is a difficult place to come and play at the moment as they are in good form. They were very unlucky last week away at Bristol Rovers. They have got some good players and a good manager and are near the top at the moment on current form so it was always going to be a difficult game. It wasn’t always pretty today, let’s be honest, but they stuck to their jobs and we cut out the silly errors today.
We were very competitive when we needed to be, we were very calm and controlled when we needed to be and it is a big relief for everybody to get those three points on the board. It was a hard-working, disciplined, well-organised win'.
Martin also explained some of the thinking behind the four changes that he made to the starting line-up from last weekend’s loss to Grimsby as he looked to both combat injuries and try a new approach... 'I just thought that we needed to freshen it up... Yiadom got injured in training on Thursday so he couldn’t play and Togwell failed a fitness test on Friday so he couldn’t play. I thought that Lee Cook and Charlie MacDonald needed to be rested. They have played just about every game for us and run themselves into the ground so I just thought that we needed to freshen it up with some fresh legs. Sometimes these things work when you do them and it has done today.
Mauro [Vilhete] has come in and done a really good job, Mugs [Muggleton] has done a great job over at left-back and Elliott did really well stepping on ahead of him. Gash has come in and scored two goals and it was great to have John Akinde back... They are a really good group of lads – they are very professional, very honest and very humble... [Goalkeeper] Graham Stack, on the way in from the warm-up before the game, slipped on the step going into the dressing room and the door handle has gone halfway into his arm believe it or not. That happened at ten to three. We had to go and see the referee and ask if Sam Cowler could play. If you’d seen him, he was crashed out on the floor just before kick-off so how he came out and did what he did today was quite unbelievable'.
Martin was also joined on the bench by coach Kevin Blackwell, and revealed that having had some time to reflect he has decided to call upon the former Barnet goalkeeper’s expertise for the rest of the season. 'I needed to make a change. I have been doing all of this on my own now for god knows how long. I had Gary Waddock in to help me for a month before he went away to work for another club. I know I have been off for most of the week but I decided whilst I was away that I needed some help.
Stacky and Nurse do a good job but I thought that I need a bit more experience and somebody with another forthright opinion to help me... He has got a great deal of experience and he’s got belief in what he does. He’s here now to help me until the end of the season... and I have got to be grateful to the Chairman for helping me get him in'".BBC, as "Torquay United goalkeeper Jordan Seabright has quit football to become a car salesman in his home town of Poole. The 20-year-old has played six Conference games this season since joining from Dagenham in the summer, his latest on 17 January at Altrincham.
'If I'm honest, I fell out of love with the game, I didn't really enjoy it any more', he told BBC Sport. 'I didn't see myself going anywhere and I want to have a career and be successful. It wasn't a lack of ambition in football, but it was a good opportunity for me come home and work in a good environment'.
Seabright began his career at Poole Town before being picked up by AFC Bournemouth in 2011... He was released and joined Dagenham and Redbridge, for whom he made 11 appearances in two seasons, before moving to Torquay...
'I want to be successful and I didn't see myself doing that in football,' he said. 'I didn't see myself being a Championship 'keeper or Premier League goalkeeper or League One to be honest. It wasn't a lack of confidence, I was being realistic. I didn't really enjoy it so I thought now was the right time, I had to be honest with Torquay'...
'It's a really brave decision,' Torquay manager Chris Hargreaves told BBC Sport. 'It's a decision that I don't think is necessarily the wrong decision, but the bigger factor is it disappoints me that he's lost that dream. It's unusual, but with someone like Jordan, who's a bright lad and very switched on, he knows what he wants to do, he knows he wants security. He's due to get married and I can see why he's done it.'
Hargreaves added, 'It was with a heavy heart that I accepted his resignation, but we wish him all the best. He's a lovely lad, he's good company, a good person to work with, but he lost the appetite for football, and in any walk of life, if you've lost the appetite for your profession it's a big worry'.
So what was the moment when Seabright finally realised that it was time to put away his gloves and opt for a career which involves working alternate Saturdays trying to sell Audis to the people of Poole? 'It was when I got dropped after the Altrincham game,' he said. 'I thought I was going to make something of myself and then that happened. I didn't like the highs and lows and thought that now was the time to get out... I'm still going to train locally just in case, in six months time, I do choose to go back into it', he added...
'You should play for the love of the game, not because you're going to earn so much money. Do it because you want to do it'. For now, Seabright's departure means Martin Rice is the only goalkeeper on Torquay's books with any first-team experience...
'I need to have a chat with the club and see where we're at financially to see what type of keeper we can bring in', he said. 'We have a youth keeper, Dan Lavercombe, who we rate, he's a fantastic young goalkeeper who we think has a very bright future. But is he ready to go and play week in, week out? I'm not sure'".
According to the Football Conference, "Jamie Richards is to extend his loan spell with Dartford from Plymouth Argyle until the end of the season. The 20-year-old defender has played three games for the Darts so far since joining them a month ago, and is yet to be on the losing side".
The Daily Post tells us that "Wrexham FC boss Kevin Wilkin believes there's still plenty to play for in the league. Kevin Wilkin admits his players must come back down to Earth quickly after earning a return to Wembley in the FA Trophy final as they turn their attention to the league and a trip to Gateshead on Tuesday night...
Wrexham are 20 points off fifth placed Forest Green Rovers and a possible play-off berth, but have played the least number of league games of anyone and have six games in hand over Rovers... Wilkin said, 'We will have enjoyed Saturday night and there is a bit of a buzz about the place, yesterday I had lots of phone calls from people and well wishers which is fantastic and much appreciated, but now we have to focus on the league...
Between now and the final people will be playing for places and opportunities... It is about getting yourself back down and understanding what our bread and butter is and it is the league campaign'...
Wilkin added, 'Like I have said I don’t think we can have any kind of slip ups, we need to string several results together before we can really consider ourselves as play-off candidates again... We have got no room for error if we are to make it. We have the Trophy to look forward to as well, and there will be a lot going on in people’s minds. It is important we focus on one game at a time'...
He was busy in the January transfer window bolstering his squad, and has the chance to make changes... Said the Dragons chief, 'We do have a bit of depth about us, and whether that has coincided with our form picking up would be debatable, but we have got options and got good options there... Mark (Carrington) was injured (and missed the game at Torquay), he might return for the end of the week, but we will have a look at him and see how he gets on in the next couple of days. Dan (Bachmann) I think will be probably middle to later part of the week, they have had him scanned again and there is a little bit of an issue and they want to make sure he is sorted out before he comes back, so I think you are looking at the middle to later part of next week'".
2 March 2015 Through the Years data remind us of previous games on that date and Mike Garnett furnishes us with our record against "The Wings".
- At Home: P13-W6-D3-L4-F17-A12
- Away: P13-W3-D7-L3-F13-A14
- All: P26-W9-D10-L7-F30-A26
The reverse fixture in 2014 was the low point of Alty's season, as the visitors won 4-0. That result left Altrincham 23rd in the table with eight points from 12 games. Since then Alty have risen to 15th and now face a Welling side lying 20th, thirteen points behind the Robins but with a game in hand. Following a run of four games against top-five teams, from which one point has been gleaned, Altrincham's ten remaining games include six long away trips, all against sides lying tenth or lower in the table. The four remaining home games include three against teams in the bottom eight.
If you cannot get to the match on Sunday, it is being broadcast live on BT Sport and will be shown in the Community Sports Hall at the JD Stadium. So, please come along and enjoy the match in the company of fellow supporters; everyone is welcome. Richie Bentley will be serving breakfasts from 11.30am and the bar will be open.table on Sunday. They are eight points behind Chester but have two games in hand. In foul weather, Altrincham overcame Skelmersdale United at Clay Lane, winning 3-0, thanks to goals from Shaun Arrowsmith, a Sam Heathcote penalty and a second-half goal from Rhain Davies. Next Sunday they are away to Morecambe.
Above: Sam Heathcote's penalty against Skelmersdale had enough power to get through the hands of the visitors' goalkeeper. Sam is just out of the picture.
On Saturday, Sam Heathcote scored the winning penalty in a shoot out between Cheshire FA Youth and Liverpool after the score was 1-1 at full-time and after extra time. Cheshire meet Middlesex in the final of the County competition, at a venue to be announced on Saturday, 11 April. Heathcote was a late substitute in the game against Liverpool. The Cheshire squad also included Alty's James Campion, James Clancy and Harry Cain.NW Counties Football League reports on the FA Vase Quarter Final match which ended Shaw Lane Aquaforce 2 Glossop NE 2 (AET). It says, "Glossop North End face a replay in the quarter final of the FA Vase after drawing 2-2 with Shaw Lane Aquaforce of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
In a game moved to Sandy Lane in Worksop, scene of the Hillmen's fourth round win over Worksop Town, Glossop twice went behind after conceding penalties, but goals from brothers Kelvin and Kieran Lugsden earned them a replay at Surrey Street this coming Saturday.
Shaw Lane went ahead in the 10th minute, when Kelvin Lugsden was penalised for a challenge in the penalty box, and Lee Morris converted the resultant spot kick. The lead lasted only 12 minutes however, with Kieran Lugsden (left, in Alty colours in 2006) getting on the end of a through ball and lobbing the keeper for a well taken equaliser.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Kelvin Lugsden was penalised again, this time for a handball offence, and once more Morris made a good job of the spot kick to put Shaw Lane ahead once more.
But twelve minutes from the end of normal time, Lugsden made amends when he rounded off an eventful afternoon to fire home an equaliser from a corner kick. With a couple of minutes remaining, Kieran Lugsden was helped off with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Sam Grimshaw, who almost won the game with virtually his first touch of the ball, only to be denied by a great save from the keeper.
With no further scoring in the 30 minutes of extra time, both teams go into the hat for the semi final draw which will be made live on Talksport on Monday morning, and the eventual winner of the tie will be determined in the replay at Surrey Street on Saturday, kick off 3 pm."here. Nuneaton Town tell us that "George Maris and Elliott Whitehouse have both had their loans extended by a month. Our thanks go to both players parent clubs, Barnsley and Notts County, who have agreed the deals.
George and Elliott have been well received by Boro fans as Liam Daish continues in his quest to turn around the season and escape relegation. Boro have taken seven points from the last three games to see the team move above Dartford. A resurgent Boro travel to Causeway United on Tuesday evening in the Birmingham Senior Cup Quarter Final before facing Southport away next Saturday in another crucial league fixture".
Saturday, 7 March
- Wrexham v Chester FC (k.o. 1pm)
- Alfreton Town v Kidderminster Harriers
- Barnet v Forest Green Rovers
- Braintree Town v Gateshead
- Bristol Rovers v Eastleigh
- Dover Athletic v Lincoln City
- FC Halifax Town v Dartford
- Macclesfield Town v Aldershot Town
- Southport v Nuneaton Town
- Torquay United v AFC Telford Utd
- Woking v Grimsby Town
Sunday, 8 March
- Welling United v Altrincham (k.o. 1pm)
1 March 2015
Right: Damian Reeves in action against Barnet. Image courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
Just as in the reverse fixture at The Hive, Altrincham conceded an early goal to Barnet...
Match report here
Manchester Evening News reported that "Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn has no intention of hanging his gloves up just yet. The Robins veteran is set to break the Conference Premier club’s all-time appearance record and turns 39 this May.
But he has sought an illustrious ally as he bids to extend his stay at Moss Lane – Sir Alex Ferguson. The former United boss opened the club’s new community sports hall earlier this month and Alty chairman Grahame Rowley invited Coburn to the ceremony.
A big Red, he got the chance to meet his idol and Sir Alex had some words of encouragement for the long-serving keeper. 'I don’t normally get nervous meeting people but when Grahame called me over to introduce me I was like a kid,' Coburn admitted. 'Grahame told him I was about to break the record, that I’m a keeper and I’m nearly 39, and Sir Alex said ‘"Oh, you’ve got years left in you!"
'So I said, "Can you tell our manager that?" It was good to have a laugh with him. I wanted to ask him loads of questions too but couldn’t get the words out. When you think of what he’s achieved, I was just in awe of the man. I must have looked a right idiot!'...
After making his Alty debut in 1998, Coburn has gone on to spend 16 years with the club, either side of a spell with Leigh RMI between May 2002 and October 2003...
'I’ve not signed a contract the last few years,' he said. 'Lads say to me, "Well, what happens if you get injured?" But whenever I’ve got injured in the past I’ve always been paid, it’s not an issue. At the start of the season they shake your hand and that’s good enough for me; that’s how it’s always been here. The club’s run the right way and you get looked after. A few years ago I injured my knee and within a week they got it operated on.
] It’s a great club to be at and play for. That’s why I’ve been here so long. Being non-contract, there’s always a danger they could release you but it’s never really crossed my mind. At the end of each season I’m probably one of the last lads that they ring and say "Do you want to stay next year?" And I just say "Yeah, go on then"'...
Coburn hopes to get the call again from manager Lee Sinnott this summer, but he’s also got his eyes on another prize. 'They’re looking for someone to sponsor the community hall', he explained. 'I said "With all the games I’ve played, shouldn’t it be the Stuart Coburn Community Hall?" But they’re not biting on it at all!'
The club are planning a commemorative programme to mark Stuart’s achievement and welcome any anecdotes/ photographs about his time with Alty. Please email Barry Pikesley here".
Villa's freekick from wide left drifts into the Alty net, with Gash (#40) claiming a touch, to make it 2-0. Barnet report that they "returned to winning ways on Saturday, defeating Altrincham 3-1 at Moss Lane to keep their destiny in their own hands...
As hinted earlier in the week, Martin Allen shuffled his pack following last weekend’s defeat against Grimsby by making four changes to the starting line-up. Injuries to Andy Yiadom and Sam Togwell saw Mauro Vilhete and Conor Clifford come into the side, with Sam Muggleton lining up at left-back as Elliott Johnson pushed forward into midfield in place of Lee Cook.
Meanwhile, John Akinde returned up front alongside Michael Gash having served his one-match suspension, as Charlie MacDonald dropped to the bench with Curtis Weston taking over the armband...
John Akinde did not take long to make an impression on his return, bustling onto the ball in the penalty area before being shoved over by Tom Marshall as he steadied himself to shoot, a foul for which the centre-half saw red as the last man. Akinde then picked himself up to calmly roll the ball to the left [right] of Stuart Coburn and into the net to give the Bees a deserved early lead.
With a man advantage Barnet were able to command proceedings... Their dominance was rewarded with a second goal on the half-hour mark when Luisma Villa swung in a free-kick from the left of the penalty area, as the ball crept through a crowd of bodies for Michael Gash to touch into the far corner...
The referee awarded the hosts a penalty after adjudging Bondz N’Gala to have bundled over Damian Reeves in the box. However, Nicky Clee was unable to take advantage as he sent the ball high over the crossbar from the spot just as the half-time whistle sounded. With N’Gala already on a yellow card before conceding the penalty, Martin Allen decided to make a change at the break by bringing Jack Saville on in his place.
The hosts did not have to wait much longer for their goal however, pulling one back just three minutes after the break when Reeves snuck in behind the Barnet defence to claim a high bouncing ball before firing low across goal into the corner of the net...
Conor Clifford played a free kick short to the unmarked Elliott Johnson to clip a diagonal pass into the box onto the head of Michael Gash who claimed his second of the afternoon... They were forced to play the final ten minutes with ten men themselves after Charlie MacDonald was forced off with a knee injury sustained in a mid-air collision...
David Stephens was forced to intervene with a goal line clearance to deny Reeves after he had been forced wide by Graham Stack as Altrincham mounted a late push during four minutes of stoppage time".Welling United "Announce that admission prices for the live BT Sport match at home to Altrincham on Sunday March 8th will be reduced. Adults will gain entry for just £10, all concessions will get in for just £5, Under 12s will be allowed in free of charge with an adult.
There are two seated grandstands at Park View Road, spaces in the new stand on the cricket side may be limited due to BT Sport requiring space for television gantries".
On Friday, Welling announced that "Jody Brown has bolstered the squad's attacking options with the signing of Samuel Akinde, younger brother of Barnet striker Jon. Sam, also a striker, has signed non-contract forms".
Alty Youth manager George Heslop also advises us that four of his youth team are in the Cheshire FA side which played this weekend. They are Sam Heathcote, James Campion, Harry Cain and James Clancy. And the youth team's Aaron Goldman plays for the Independent Schools FA on Sunday at Cambridge.EvoStik League confirms that Joseph Mwasile has moved from Workington to Burscough. The same source adds that current Alty Reserve, Sam Heathcote has signed forms for his father's team Trafford FC. Football Conference says that "The 2015 FA Trophy Final at Wembley will be between Wrexham and North Ferriby United. The 2013 winners Wrexham beat league rivals Torquay United 5-1 on aggregate... Wrexham triumphed 3-0 at Plainmoor...
Dean Keates` free-kick was headed past Martin Rice by Louis Moult. But Wrexham scored a second on the day to make it virtually game over 10 minutes later Kieron Morris converting from close range. And Morris was again on target just a minute later...
It wasn`t to be for Conference South side Bath City, who drew 2-2 in the first leg at Twerton Park last Saturday. Nick McCootie gave Bath a 3-2 aggregate lead inside the opening couple of minutes... But the home side pulled the tie back to 3-3 on the hour-mark when big striker Tom Denton was pulled back by Phil Walsh and Liam King equalised from the resulting penalty...
It would be spot-kicks to determine the road to Wembley. And Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin proved the hero with two saves as the Humbersiders triumphed 4-2... North Ferriby played under the old twin towers in the 1997 FA Vase Final when they lost 3-0 to Whitby Town."
According to the Football Conference "Bristol Rovers maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference table after a 1-0 win at the International Stadium against Gateshead... Rovers` victory was marred, however, by a serious-looking injury to midfielder Stuart Sinclair, who had to leave the pitch on a stretcher during a goalless opening period...
Grimsby Town moved up to third after a 1-0 win at Blundell Park against Braintree Town... The visitors were later reduced to ten-men. Chez Isaac was sent-off 5 minutes from time for two bookable offences.
BT Sport`s lunchtime offering was a decent affair between a now fourth-placed Macclesfield Town and sixth-placed Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium. The Spitfires took the lead after 12 minutes when Harry Pell's header flew in off the shoulder of Silkmen`s French defender Thierry Audel.
The second half was entertaining and saw James Constable double the home side`s lead 9 minutes in... Reason curled in the third on the hour-mark from the edge of the box. And the experienced Deon Burton, on as a 66th minute substitute, added a fourth from close range 12 minutes later...
Forest Green Rovers sandwich Macclesfield and Eastleigh in the table after edging out struggling Southport 5-3 at the New Lawn. Southport raced out of the traps and had a penalty awarded to them after just 3 minutes when Charlie Clough fouled Richard Brodie. But Brodie saw his spot-kick saved by Rovers` keeper Steve Arnold. But just a minute later David Fitzpatrick scored directly from a corner to put Port ahead.
Jon Parkin’s spot-kick pulled Rovers back on level terms in the 15th minute and further goals by Aarran Racine on 34 minutes, Kurtis Guthrie a minute before the break, Marcus Kelly on 55 minutes and Clovis Kamdjo on 61 minutes stretched Forest Green`s lead to 5-1.
Luke Foster after 62 minutes and sub Connor McCarthy 8 minutes from time reduced the deficit to two, but the home side held out.
FC Halifax Town were able to come away from Aggborough with a point following a 0-0 draw with Kidderminster Harriers... Woking maintained their outside play-off hopes after a 2-0 victory at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City...
AFC Telford United lost a crucial `six-pointer` against fellow strugglers Alfreton Town at the New Bucks Head and are now ten points adrift of the safety-mark. Luke Graham's 57th minute header eventually proved enough to hand the Reds all three points in a poor game.
Dartford are five points better off than the Bucks after sharing a 1-1 draw at the Electrical Services Stadium against an Aldershot Town side now seven points clear of the bottom four... Another massive game involving the bottom four took place at Liberty Way and saw Nuneaton Town earn a vital 1-0 win against fifth-bottom Welling United. Andy Walker banged in the game's only goal from the edge of the box 5 minutes into the second half.
Welling have now lost their last seven league games, while Nuneaton are unbeaten in their last three."
According to Bulls' News "Just prior to Saturday afternoon's match at Aggborough, it was revealed that Kidderminster's staff and players had received only a third of their expected wages. Payments were due in full yesterday but the short payment led the Harriers players and coaching staff to refuse to speak to the press after their goalless draw with Halifax.
The Aggborough outfit announced a loss for the 2013/14 season of £120,000 earlier in the week."
Kidderminster Harriers report that "In the absence of post-match interviews from the Harriers' management staff and players, Club Director Gino Ruffinato stepped forward to field questions from the press, namely Steve Miller of BBC Hereford & Worcester and Pete McKinney of the Kidderminster Shuttle". It can be heard here.
More comes from the Kidderminster Shuttle which states that "Harriers' players and management formed a wall of silence in protest after it emerged that staff at the club had only been partially paid for the month. Gary Whild's coaching team and players refused to talk to press after their clash against play-off rivals Halifax.
Employees at the Aggborough outfit had only been paid a third of the wages for February on Friday. The self-imposed media gagging by the playing staff is another worrying chapter in Kidderminster's on going financial troubles. The Carpetmen have relied on the generosity of benefactors Kath and Ernie Lane to pay wages the shortfall each month.
But this latest development throws the club's money worries into sharp light".
- Att: 1561 AFC Telford Utd v Alfreton Town
- Att: 1787 Aldershot Town v Dartford
- Att: 1450 Altrincham v Barnet
- Att: 4126 Eastleigh v Macclesfield Town
- Att: 1222 Forest Green Rovers v Southport
- Att: 1668 Gateshead v Bristol Rovers
- Att: 3339 Grimsby Town v Braintree Town
- Att: 1766 Kidderminster Harriers v FC Halifax Town
- Att: 2347 Lincoln City v Woking
- Att: 763 Nuneaton Town v Welling United