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15 October 2018

POST-MATCH VIEWS

Alty TV has Phil Parkinson's post-match interview, with John Edwards, after the victory over Alfreton Town. And John's match report is here.

And the official Altrincham FC site has a brief summary of the above.

JJ RIVALS TT

Before Saturday's match Alty winger John Johnston (JJ) showed how he has joined Elliot Wynne as a rival for the goalkeeping gloves of Tony Thompson (TT). Pictured, right, JJ saves a fierce effort as Simon Dow, Community Development Officer at Altrincham FC looks on with amusement.

COMPARING GATES

In Saturday's ten matches in the Vanarama National League North, six grounds witnessed more than 1,000 spectators, with Stockport County v Hereford FC attracting 3,646. That gate was bigger than all but one match (Leyton Orient v Hartlepool) played on Saturday in the National League's national division. The Edgeley Park gate was also bigger than the attendance at two matches in League Two and, more remarkably, larger than four gates in League One.

Gates at the ten National North matches attracted 12,928 spectators, averaging 1,293 per game.

In the South division, four of the ten matches had gates which exceeded 1,000 spectators, whilst Truro City v Hemel Hempstead (at Torquay) attracted just 86 paying customers. The aggregate attendance in the south division was 8,824 or 882 per game.

In the national division of the National League, eleven games attracted 24,744 spectators or 2,249 per game.

A "LUCKY" DATE?

Altrincham travel to Stockport County next Saturday, 20 October, in the Emirates FA Cup. Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records indicate that, if you believe in such things, 20 October is a "lucky" one for Altrincham. In nineteen previous games on that date Altrincham have lost just three times and, as there has never been a drawn game on October 20, they have won all the other sixteen matches.

By coincidence, the last outing on that date was, like this Saturday's impending encounter, a match in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round. On that occasion, in 2012, Altrincham were looking to extend an eight-game unbeaten run and travelled to Boston United where they won 3-1 in an eventful match.

In that 2012 encounter Alty trailed at the interval, despite playing against ten men for more than half an hour of the first half. Jones had put Boston ahead in the 12th minute when he got a fortunate rebound from a defensive block. But, moments later, an awful challenge on Matt Doughty by Fairclough saw the Pilgrims' man dismissed.

Above: 20 October 2012 at Boston; Danny Hall goes for the ball as Duncan Watmore and Luca Havern look on, with James Lawrie in the background.

However, James Lawrie levelled after 58 minutes after good work by Nicky Clee. Then, a minute later, Weir-Daley saw a straight red after laying out Jake Moult. So Alty faced nine men for the final half hour. And it was Jake Moult who fired Alty ahead from 20 yards or more. Altrincham then played a passing game but Clee finally got a third goal (89 mins).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Duncan WATMORE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Patrick LACEY, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 17. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Jamie GREYGOOSE.

CLASH OF ALTY'S NEXT TWO HOSTS

Following next Saturday's FA Cup trip to Stockport, the next scheduled away trip in the league is at Edgar Street, against Hereford FC. County and the Bulls met last Saturday.

Stockport County reported that "The Hatters returned to National League North action at Edgeley Park for the first time in five weeks, and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to as many games but will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points in a match they largely dominated.

Instead, they had to settle for a share of the spoils against the visiting ‘Bulls’ from Hereford and, even then, could have finished the contest empty-handed but for Frank Mulhern’s equalising penalty 10 minutes before the end.

County took to the field on a blustery, autumnal afternoon in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and showing two changes from the FA Cup starting line-up against Corby a week previously. Both goal-scorers in the Corby tie, namely, Mulhern and Matty Warburton, were handed starts, replacing Jordan Keane, who was still suffering from a hamstring injury sustained in that match, and [ex-Alty trialist] Nyal Bell...

The Hatters started off with plenty of brightness about them... Hereford, deploying five in defence, offered relatively little in attack...

Just six minutes later, the visitors, without an attempt on goal to their name, made a set-piece count. And Dinsley again played his part, heading in Eliot Richards’ delivery from the left to give Hereford the lead.

The visitors proceeded to defend in even greater numbers, as much of the remainder of play was concentrated in their half. But, for all County’s possession, a cutting-edge was still needed in the final third...

With 80 minutes played, the Hatters were thrown a lifeline courtesy of another dead-ball situation – after Stephenson’s cross from the left was handled by Billy Murphy, and Referee Aaron Jackson pointed to the spot. Mulhern stepped up, slotted his kick down the middle as Yates dived right, and a County penalty was successfully converted for the first time in nearly nine months.

More importantly, it had drawn the Hatters level. But try as they might to take the game by the horns in the closing stages, they were unable to hit the Bulls-eye for a second time.

Team: Hinchliffe, Cowan (Minihan, 76), Duxbury, Osborne, Palmer (Capt.), Stott, Thomas, Walker, Mulhern, Warburton (Bell, 55), Stephenson (Dimaio, 82). Unused Subs: Smalley, Ormson.

From the other side. Bulls' News tells us that "Hereford came away from Edgeley Park today with a hard earned and well deserved point. Despite Stockport having 70-80% of the possession, and most of the game being played in Hereford’s half, the Bulls managed to score with their only serious attempt on goal and defended well, if sometimes desperately, throughout the game...

This week’s loan signings definitely made a difference. Yates is one of the smallest goalkeepers I’ve seen for quite a while, but he looked composed and confident... The other Derby County youngster, Ethan Wassall also looked impressive. .. Wassall played as part of a back three along with Smith and Green, with the full-backs pushed up a bit. This seemed to work fairly well... Dinsley and Murphy played in the middle with White and the other new boy, George Lloyd up front. Richards played in behind the front two, a bit more advanced role than previously.

Stockport dominated possession throughout the first half and the Bulls were constantly pressed back. They kept their shape and worked hard... After the chaotic display against Chester it was good to see a team that seemed to understand their roles and were doing the basic things right. If only they could muster an attack...

The second half was more of the same, although Hereford did seem to get forward a bit more, and Stockport, although keeping the pressure up, didn’t get any shots on target. Then something remarkable happened. The Bulls took the lead. A fairly soft foul on White resulted in a free kick out on the left. Richards produced a great delivery which was met by a thumping header from Harvey Smith into the net.

From that point on it was backs to the wall defending as Stockport came forward in waves... Eventually Stockport were awarded a penalty following handball by Green. There wasn’t much protest from Hereford, and Mulhern scored from the spot rolling the ball into the net as the keeper went the wrong way. After that it was ten minutes of last ditch defending... It was an infinitely better performance than the last league game against Chester. If there is to be a recovery it has to be built on sound defending, good organisation and hard work. If that sounds a bit dour, then so be it. It’s hard to know what to think about the new manager, but you have say that he got the tactics right today...

Hereford FC: Yates, Thomas, Wassall, Green, Smith(c), Greenslade, Dinsley, Murphy, White(Jackson), Lloyd, Richards(Liburd). Subs (not used): Bird, Lam, Franklin

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Lancashire Evening Post informs us that "Chorley were denied at the death in horrible conditions in their trip to New Buck's Head. Telford’s injury-time substitute Henry Cowans struck from outside the box to cancel out Josh Wilson’s 83rd-minute header.

'It feels like a loss,' said Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio after the final whistle. 'But we have to take the positives from the game. We’ve produced a superb goal and our unbeaten run is now at 14 games.'

The result was a fair one for a game spoiled in large parts by a swirling gale and a bog of a pitch that seemed intent on sabotaging any quality football. For 70-odd minutes this was the case, with concentration etched on the players’ faces over even the most simple of tasks... The Magpies were slightly fortunate to keep 11 men on the field after Matt Challoner stopped United’s top scorer Daniel Udoh from getting in on goal.

But once Vermiglio released Louis Almond and Alex Newby from the bench midway through the second half the tide turned... And when Almond held off the attentions of Theo Streete to cross superb for Wilson to glance home with seven minutes remaining, it looked like the visitors had done enough for league win number 10. That was until the third minute of stoppage when Cowans was allowed space 20 yards out to fire through a crowd, past Matt Urwin, to earn the hosts a share of the points."

From the Telegraph & Argus we learn that "Bradford (Park Avenue) were downed by two flashes of individual brilliance inside the last eight minutes from Kidderminster Harriers’ Ed Williams, whose side won 2-1 at Horsfall Stadium.

It was third hosting second in the National League North and, after 61 minutes of the contest on Non-League Day, Avenue had leapfrogged their visitors in the table. But Williams is rumoured to be being tracked by Aston Villa and Leeds United and he showed why as his two strikes saw Mark Bower's men slip to sixth place, while Kidderminster remain in second...

Park Avenue boss Bower was visibly disappointed after the game and said, 'I thought we played really, really well for large spells and against a very good side that I think will be up there. We didn’t just match them, I thought we were the better side and created more chances. We were a little unlucky in the second half with some of the chances. We’ve hit the post and been close another couple of times and if we had gone 2-0 up then it’s a different game. But in the last 10 minutes, their full-time fitness probably told to be honest and Ed Williams, the lad has been doing it all season, and at times you’ve just got to acknowledge the individual quality of a player.

'His first one was a brilliant goal and he’s got himself into position for the second but that one got a big deflection and that’s happened a lot to us recently. Deflected shots seem to go in at our end but not at the other when we’re attacking. I felt if anyone had done enough to win it was us but a draw would probably have been a fairer result. We didn’t get the draw, we’ve been beaten but there are enough positives to take from it.'

Avenue suffered a blow days before the game when Nicky Clee and Ben McKenna both picked up injuries in Thursday’s training session. Bower was already aware that Chris Dawson had not recovered from the hamstring strain that forced him off in the previous weekend’s FA Cup exit at Altrincham. Despite being depleted, Avenue had an attacking line-up".

Still in Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus adds that "A wind-assisted late winner from assistant player-manager Paul Clayton took the Lions [Guiseley] to within one point of their opponents, who were one of the title favourites in pre-season... The home side took an early lead with a well-worked goal but Brackley... were level soon after.

A good move by the Lions saw Kayode Odejayi in a good position and his final ball picked out Kingsley James, who fired a superb shot past Saints’ keeper Danny Lewis... [A Brackley] corner kick, delivered by Luke Fairlamb swung in on the wind and ended in the net. Guiseley were rocking, in the breeze and from the onslaught by the Saints... Clayton was the home side’s third substitute, replacing Odejayi in the 70th minute, but he made his mark. An 88th-minute free-kick was caught by the wind which wrong-footed the Brackley defence and outfoxed Lewis.

The stopper could not gather it and Clayton pounced to bundle the ball home. Guiseley joint manager Marcus Bignot said 'The wind was awful and it’s obviously played a massive part in two of the goals, their equaliser and our winner, and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s evened out. It’s a big win for us and I’m delighted... Brackley are a good side with some serial winners in their team... So it’s a good gauge as to where we’re at. With the players we have coming back from injury and the players still out, it bodes well".

GREATER MANCHESTER NEWS

According to the Daily Star, "Manchester United manager José Mourinho fears Salford City owner Peter Lim is trying to force him out of Old Trafford. The Portuguese boss feels he is being chased out of the club and recently hit out at the 'manhunt' against him after the 3-2 win at Newcastle. And Mourinho's close friend Eládio Parames has now explained why the United boss fears for his job.

In his column for the Portuguese newspaper Record, the United boss's confidant claims Peter Lim wants to buy the Red Devils but feels he would land the club easier if Mourinho was not in charge. 'It is the money-man from Singapore who is managing, controlling and supporting this campaign trying to discredit the man from Setúbal and then buy the club,' Parames wrote. As well as owning 50 per cent of Salford City, Lim also owns Valencia".


14 October 2018

ALTRINCHAM 3-1 ALFRETON TOWN

After some impressive play had got Altrincham 3-0 ahead inside 24 minutes, the second half was a far less entertaining spectacle as the visitors attempted to get back into the game.

Alty had not scored a first-half goal at home in the league in five previous attempts this season but in this match they were 2-0 up inside nine minutes.

As the game went into its fourth minute Jordan Hulme looked anxiously to the linesman as he latched onto a pass and, with no flag raised, he advanced and put in a low cross from right of goal which loanee Owen Dale converted at the back post to make it 1-0. (Owen's goal is pictured above, whilst Josh Gowling's reaction is shown below, right, as Alty celebrate in the background).

Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Dale found Harrop who scored from the edge of the box.

With the visitors offering nothing in the way of an attacking threat, the score became 3-0 when Dale and Harrop combined to prompt a shot from Hulme which found the back of the net from the edge of the box.

The second half was a disjointed affair with numerous petty fouls and bookings. Somehow Alty picked up four of them, most of them questionable. Alfreton got a goal back after 61 minutes when Peniket got the better of substitute Goulding as they chased a through ball, before beating Thompson with a low shot into the far corner.

Alty defended well after that and emerged deserved winners.

FA YOUTH CUP

When Altrincham FC Youth meet Tadcaster Albion in the FA Youth Cup, the prize will be a place in the First Round Proper at home to Oldham Athletic.

WELCOME BACK!

It was good to see former Altrincham captain and joint manager, Robbie Lawton, at Saturday's game against Alfreton Town. Robbie is still keeping fit, but nowadays concentrates on cycling whilst doing well in his lecturing role.

And congratulations go to Altrincham FC's long-term volunteer and former commercial director, Barry Pond, who celebrated his eightieth birthday recently and who sponsored Saturday's game.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE GATES

EMIRATES FA CUP FIXTURES

Saturday 20 October 2018

The northern-section ties are:

Prize money for winners in this round is £25,000.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES

Saturday 20 October 2018

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Bulls' News reports that "Bristol City loanee Harvey Smith was made captain for this afternoon's 1-1 draw at Stockport County, but apparently only found out just before today's game. He's a leader according to Head Coach Mark Richards, and stepped up to the role as Jordan Cullinane-Liburd was dropped to the bench. He also scored the goal for Hereford, initially incorrectly reported as Calvin Dinsley."

According to York Press "York City boss Sam Collins admitted he has rejected approaches from clubs for Tom Allan after using the defender for the first time in his nine-game tenure.

Allan was introduced as a 32nd-minute substitute during the Minstermen’s 2-1 victory at Southport, despite not even making the seven-strong bench for the previous weekend’s FA Cup win against St Ives Town. In fact, the 23-year-old centre back, who netted nine times for Alfreton last term, had only made one of Collins’s last seven matchday squads, prior to the Merseyside trip.

But the former Huntington Secondary School pupil helped shore up a City defence side that had fallen behind to an eighth-minute Dion Charles penalty, as the team switched from a back three to a four-man defence and subsequently claimed maximum points following Jordan Burrow and Simon Heslop efforts.

On Allan’s return from the cold, Collins enthused, 'He was outstanding and it’s really difficult for defenders to come into games. They’ve got to get used to the speed of the game and we weren’t playing very well either when he came on. He’s had to bide his time and we’ve had quite a bit of interest in him from clubs, but I think there’s a player in there, because he’s still young, he’s 6ft 5in, has good pace and is left-sided, so what I’ve told him is that I will batter[?] him in terms of defensive work, as I think I can turn him into a player.'

Wing-back David Ferguson was sacrificed in the first-half reshuffle, but Collins also praised the former England C international for his reaction to that decision. It’s not nice when that happens to you and Dave has done really well for me so far, but we had to do it because, if we hadn’t, we could have been in for a really tough day as we didn’t look organised,' Collins reasoned. 'I spoke to Dave at the end of the game and he said "It didn’t matter, because we won the game," which is exactly what I wanted him to say.'

Ex-Hull and Huddersfield defender Collins went on to confess his team were not at their best against the Haig Avenue strugglers... 'We produced our only two really moments of quality for the goals. But it was a great result to dig out and the biggest thing was we won the game by just hanging in there'...

Heslop’s 84th-minute winning goal, meanwhile, was the kind of spectacular strike that Collins declared is his trademark in training... The result saw Collins’ reign as a permanent successor to Martin Gray get off to a winning start...

'The players played a massive part in me getting the job and it was a very difficult period for them as everything was up in the air,' he pointed out".

Elsewhere, Blyth Spartans "suffered their ‘worst performance’ under the stewardship of Alun Armstrong in a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Boston United. Coming into the fixture on the back of three straight wins, confidence was high in the Spartans' ranks, but it would be fair to say all that confidence will be gone after a display that mustered just three attempts on goal, none of those testing Willis in the Pilgrims' goal.

Gregg Smith gave the hosts the lead on 13 minutes, with the hosts adding three more in the second half thanks to Nicky Walker, Gavin Allott and Brad Abbott.

Spartans now sit just one point and one place outside the relegation zone and now must prepare for an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against York City next Saturday.

Blyth looked to pick up their first away victory of the season in the National League North on the back of three straight wins in all competitions, naming an unchanged lineup for the third successive game. But it was the hosts – who hadn’t scored at home in four straight games, losing them all 2-0, who dominated from start to finish...

An appalling performance from Spartans".

On the other hand the Boston Standard tells us that "Craig Elliott was full of praise for his Pilgrims as Boston United ended their home hoodoo...

'There were two objectives today; one was to score a goal at home and the other was to win the game,' he said. 'We did both. It was important we worked and improved today, a lot of pressure but the players handled it... We’ve had a half decent start,' Elliott added. 'As much as I’d like us to have more points, we have a decent points total and it’s another win. I’ve always targeted 20 wins for the season, so we’re getting closer to that.'”

In the Shropshire Star manager "Gavin Cowan insisted his Bucks won't be getting too excited after more than matching unbeaten leaders Chorley in today's 1-1 draw.

Despite Telford arguably having the better of the play, former striker Josh Wilson headed home in the 83rd minute and it looked as if the leaders would take the spoils back to Lancashire. However Henry Cowans fired home from the edge of the box in injury time to rescue a point.

Boss Cowan heaped praise on his side... He said, 'Pro clubs would struggle to match our work in the week and the result was for the lads they deserve that. We've gone up against what is the best team in the league and more than matched them. We had a game plan and had to stick to it, but we don't get too excited when we do well and don't get too down when we don't.'

The Bucks converted their formation today, switching to a back three with young Zak Lilly slotting in on the left side. Daryl Knights and John McAtee played behind Daniel Udoh, and Cowan admitted he may look at the system again in the coming weeks.

He said, 'We wanted to match them up and get Daniel spinning in behind. I've been looking at it for a couple of weeks, and we played two tens and told them to drive and dribble and they did but the final ball evaded us in the first half'".

The Stoke Sentinel informs us that "Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite has explained his role in Nuneaton Borough amid fears the non-league club could fold.

Smurthwaite bought Nuneaton Borough's Liberty Way ground in the summer, but the FA, EFL and National League rules restrict the involvement he can have in the running of the club because he is already owner and chairman of the Valiants. He has spelled out the possibility of Borough closing, says he believes the next week to ten days is the most critical time the club has ever faced and has appealed to the Nuneaton community for help as the football club looks for investment.

Nuneaton club captain Cameron Belford has spoken out about the club's problems this week, saying there has been no training kit, no training facilities and no hot water. He also says he understands there is no money for staff or players' wages at the end of the month.

Now Smurthwaite has spoken about the situation in a statement to the Nuneaton Borough Supporters Co-Operative... Smurthwaite said 'In the absence of anyone being able to or choosing to I thought it appropriate that I clarify the position of both myself and the football. I was originally approached in April this year by Lee Thorn to see if I would consider buying the stadium, as an option to save the football club to stay within the Conference North competition.

'The other two interested parties at the time were Nuneaton Rugby Club and The Nuneaton Borough Co-Op. I was approached again just before the National League AGM that those two options could not or would not be completed within the timescales. I then agreed to and purchased Borough Stadium Limited, with the sole intention of enabling Nuneaton Town, as was, to continue to play their fixtures at that venue.

'I also agreed with Lee Thorn that I would endeavour to act as a facilitator to try to bring together a new body to acquire Borough Leisure Limited, the holding company of the football club, in order that Lee could extract himself from his involvement. At that time we agreed that all directors’ loans would be cancelled. He also requested and gave me authority to approach and negotiate with the existing unpaid creditors of Nuneaton Town which has been a work a progress since that time.

'Lee Thorn was and is the 100% beneficial shareholder of Borough Leisure Limited. Due to undertakings provided by myself to the EFL with regard to purchasing Borough Stadium Limited and the stringent rules laid down by the EFL, National League and the FA regarding dual ownership, I could not and will not be able to have any shareholding in any existing or new business or provide any financial support to such a business.

'However, it was agreed and understood that I can help and use my experience gained over the past six years of owning an EFL member football club as long as I do not breach any rules or regulations laid down by any of the aforementioned bodies.

'One of the biggest challenges I encountered in dealing with the above was the non-desire of the obvious key business parties within Nuneaton, with the true interests of the club at heart, who would not engage with Lee Thorn, even with me acting as an intermediary, in order to satisfactorily conclude the transfer of ownership to a new entity.

'As time went by Lee decided that things were not progressing quickly enough for him and he ultimately resigned as a director and severed all contacts with the regulatory bodies, creditors and the football club. This resulted in the Club being unable to access the bank account, operate the payroll and other obvious legal requirements of running a limited company which resulted in the National League placing an embargo on Nuneaton Borough FC on the 3rd October 2018.

'I have had several meetings and numerous discussions with the National League and latterly with the FA... The rules of both bodies allow certain changes to enable the transferring of the membership of the National League to a new company or body, subject to meeting all the necessary rules and requirements laid down. This enables new parties to now become involved, create a board and produce the necessary financial budgets to take the Club forward. Sadly over the last few days the appetite for this has become splintered amongst several of the people who were to become involved.

'The amount owed to existing creditors is quite small, which is unusual in this situation and, in fact, the biggest creditor is Borough Stadium as no rent has been paid, but this would be waived in the current circumstances. The current monthly payroll of the players is circa £25,000 per month but with the gates as they are the monthly shortfall of the Club is between £17,000-£19,000 per month. Here lies the major operational issue of Nuneaton Borough in whatever guise going forward.

'Having now established a process to save the football club the new board was to be interviewed by the National League next week, pass the appropriate fit and proper tests and be in situ, having met all necessary requirements before the 1st November being the next board meeting of the National League. On leaving the meeting on Monday I was confident that this timescale was achievable but, at the time of writing this statement, I am far from confident that this will now be the case.

'For my part, I purchased the stadium to give a lifeline to the football club in an area to which I have a personal affinity. I have had very healthy dialogue with the Chair of Nuneaton Rugby Club and, although a ground share agreement was not taken up by them, we have tried to work as neighbours as best as possible in the circumstances. I am still pursuing the legal process of obtaining the appropriate access within the stadium currently being denied by the rugby club and this will become clear in due course.

'As you are no doubt aware there is a skeleton staff employed at the football club who have done an unbelievable and admirable job to try and deal with both the administration of running a football club and the challenges which appear to be raised to deflect that on a daily basis. Understandably the players are concerned regarding their livelihood but the contractual position is that they remain players registered until Nuneaton Borough FC defaults on its contractual obligations, i.e. not meeting the payroll; 14 days after such a breach they are free to terminate their contract.

'I now turn to the fans and the wider Nuneaton community. The next week to ten days is the most critical time I believe this club has ever faced. I feel that the club needs to engage you all in trying to avert the sad closure of the football club's doors. As I now do not believe that the parties who originally expressed an interest in wishing to create a new board and take the club forward on their own, there are both the operational issues of still creating a new vehicle and trying to find funding to meet the club's financial obligations.

'If the town wishes to keep the heritage and the football club alive it now needs your immediate assistance. I will endeavour to help within the constraints the regulatory bodies have imposed upon me and hope that a solution can be found to what are some serious challenges in front of the Club and the town as a whole'...

Since Smurthwaite bought Nuneaton's ground, the Valiants have played a friendly there and loaned the National League North club midfielder Mike Calveley and striker Dior Angus".

In the EvoStik League, the following players have recently moved out of the Vanarama North...


13 October 2018

SATURDAY FIXTURES

Saturday 13 October 2018, Vanarama National League North

BEFORE THE GAME: ALFRETON TOWN

Alfreton Town arrive at the J. Davidson Stadium four points ahead of Altrincham but having lost their last three league fixtures. For their part, Altrincham are looking not only for their first home league win of the season but their first first-half goal at the J. Davidson Stadium in this season's Vanarama National League North campaign.

Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in previous matches against Alfreton Town, the outcomes have been as follow. Strangely, not only do both teams have a better record on their opponent's ground when playing against each other but both Alfreton and Altrincham have better records this season when playing in the league away from home.

The visitors, Alfreton Town, report that they "travel to the J Davidson Stadium to face Altrincham... on Non League Day.

It's been another successful week in the FA Cup for the Reds who banked another £15,000 following progression past Mickleover Sports last Saturday. The Reds led 2-0 at half time thanks to goals from Jordan Sinnott and Richard Peniket, a late Sports penalty set up a tense final ten or so minutes, but Alfreton defended well and progressed into the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

Attention turns back to the league where the Reds will be looking for an upturn in form. After three straight league defeats (Bradford PA, Chorley, Guiseley), Alfreton head to Altrincham looking to change their recent league fortunes and avoid that number becoming four. The Reds away form in the league has seen us win three of the last four away league games and, including the FA Cup away trips, the Reds have tasted defeat just once (Chorley) in their last six away outings in all competitions.

Although all three defeats have seen fine margins, where a lack of goalscoring touch failed to see off Guiseley, mistakes cost us at Chorley and one laspe in concentration also proved vital against Bradford, the Reds will be looking to iron out mistakes and get back on the winning trail in the league.

Alty also progressed last weekend in the FA Cup after a 4-2 home win over Bradford (Park Avenue). League form has seen just one win in the last five league games although form at the J Davidson Stadium has been mixed with the hosts yet to register three points in the league at home, the two home fixtures in the FA Cup have seen two wins however."

Twitter has an interview with Reds' manager, Billy Heath.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Coventry Telegraph tells us , "No kit, no hot water, no training facilities, player reveals situation at Nuneaton Borough Football Club. Club captain Cameron Belford has lifted the lid on what it is like at troubled Nuneaton Borough Football Club...

It follows the announcement that the club, which has been in the town since the 1930s, is on the verge of folding. Much has been played out on social media but, in a post on Twitter, the Nuneaton-born player has explained how the team fear not being paid at the end of the month and how they have been advised to look for other clubs.

It reads, 'I've had a few people message me and seen many more fans asking on social media what is going on at the club so I feel it's only right to let them know what I know from a players point of view. From what we understand, there is no money for staff and players wages at the end of the month or the foreseeable future, so effectively we are continuing to give our all for this club with the uncertainty of not being paid for it. For everyone, it's been difficult from day one and the signs have always been there!...

'There has been no training kit, no training facilities, no hot water and constant talk of the money situation. The playing squad have also been told that it would be in their best interests to seek employment elsewhere for the good of themselves, their families and their long term future due to there being zero security from the club. We feel that we are building something special on the pitch, the lads and the staff have been in this together from the start and will continue to do so until the day comes when we are told otherwise.

'I have fond memories and a stronger connection than most with this club having been born and raised in the town and I certainly don't want this club to die! It's at a critical stage now and I hope somebody or even better a group of people can be found who can help save the club and the community as this town without football is a travesty. Football is more than just a game, it's people's lives and passions'...

He is not a lone voice from the club, assistant manager Lee Fowler has claimed in a tweet that the club is under a transfer embargo... He says 'Another embargo again when it rains it pours'...

Even former players have joined the call to save the club, including [Jake's brother] Louis Moult. The Preston North End striker tweeted 'Hope Nuneaton Borough can pull through, a great club that helped me get my career started'...

A campaign has been mounted to try and save the club by the Nuneaton Borough Supporters Co-operative".

Boston United "made their second attacking acquisition of the day with the capture of versatile performer Josh Hine. The 27-year-old, who has been a regular against the Pilgrims over the years, has linked up with Craig Elliott's side following stints with Chorley and Marine.

He has also appeared for the likes of Salford City and Southport".

And "Boston United have completed the signing of former Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Slew. The 26-year-old, who commanded a £1.1 million transfer fee in 2011, has linked up with Craig Elliott's side following a successful trial spell at the club. Slew has other Football League experience with the likes of Chesterfield, Cambridge United, Plymouth Argyle and Rochdale".

In addition, "Boston United manager Craig Elliott hopes to have playmaker Andi Thanoj back in contention for the visit of Blyth Spartans on Saturday afternoon... as they chase a first home victory since August 14 against Nuneaton Borough. Thanoj's anticipated availability will be a major boost for Elliott who has three gaps in the matchday squad on duty at Curzon Ashton a fortnight ago following the departures of substitutes Ahkeem Rose, Jordan Gough and Adam Marriott.

All eyes will be on who fills the other slots with Nathan Arnold and Yusifu Ceesay also on the move since the Curzon clash. Jay Rollins remains United's only definite absentee with adductor and hip issues. "

Elsewhere, Hereford FC "have strengthened the squad ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Edgeley Park... We’re delighted to confirm that goalkeeper Matt Yates and defender Ethan Wassall have both arrived on loan from Derby County... on initial one-month loan deals.

Yates, formerly on loan at Gloucester City this season, is the son of former Derby County defender Dean Yates. The 19-year-old ‘keeper joined The Rams Academy at the age of nine, and has progressed through to the U23 squad. Matt has been a regular starter for the County Academy sides up until his loan spell with The Tigers at the start of this season.

Wassall, a 20-year-old central defender previously captained the Derby County U18s before progressing into the U23 squad. Ethan is the son of former Hereford United loanee Darren Wassell who made six appearances for The Bulls in 1987."

Over at Bradford (Park Avenue) "The owners of two of Bradford’s iconic professional sporting clubs have today announced an innovative strategic partnership. Gareth Roberts, owner of Bradford Park Avenue, and Andrew Chalmers, owner of Betfred Championship Rugby League Club The Bradford Bulls were excited to announce the Partnership:

'We’ve been in positive dialogue for a number of months regarding our respective clubs and how best to serve our supporters and the community in future,' said Gareth Roberts who has provided substantial financial support to Bradford Park Avenue over the past few years. He continued, 'Our management team and players have done a tremendous job to reach deep into the playoffs last season and have begun the 2018/2019 season strongly again. Like many National League clubs, however, we have required constant underwriting financially to fund our endeavours and that is not a sustainable model in perpetuity. By utilising the expertise of the Bulls management we can get a best practice evaluation of our off-field and front office operations and access their wider resources and experience in raising our game commercially and operationally'.

Andrew Chalmers added 'There is a wonderful synergy in returning to a partnership which was in place from 1863 to 1907. Our two clubs are traditionally family, and with both on a strong growth and performance trajectory there is so much common sense in sharing our services and resources to reduce costs and improve performance'. In 1863 Bradford Football Club was formed and in 1907 the club split when the Bradford Northern was formed in order to continue playing Rugby League whilst the slight majority of members chose to pursue Association Football forming Bradford Park Avenue AFC...

The concept of multi-sport shared management and services models, and the associated cost and efficiency benefits it brings is something that both Club Chairmen are interested in exploring further. The Partnership will see Damian Irvine from The Bulls take on the wider remit of overseeing the day to day operational and strategic management of Bradford Park Avenue. Irvine, who is a vastly experienced Football and Rugby Chief Executive, led the financial turnaround of top-tier Cronulla Sharks in his native Australia before delivering commercial success and award-winning engagement and marketing campaigns at EFL clubs Notts County and Wycombe Wanderers".

The Shropshire Star informs us that "With their confidence knocked from back-to-back defeats, AFC Telford United are in for a huge test tomorrow. National League North leaders Chorley are visiting the New Buck's Head and, given how things have gone for Gavin Cowan’s charges recently, it would be fair to state the clash has come at a bad time...though, it could be a blessing in disguise for the Bucks.

Inflicting a first loss of the term on the Magpies would make up for the previous couple of games... Chorley have won nine and drawn two so the vast majority expect them to bag the win... Bucks' keeper Max Bramley insists that...'There is pressure on them, of course, but I’d say that most of the pressure is on us as we’re the ones at home... We just haven’t been quick out of the gate. The mood among the squad, naturally, hasn’t been as good as it was when we were winning but it’s nothing negative'...

The big positive for the Bucks ahead of the encounter is that they are unbeaten at home... And they have everybody fit and available. Top scorer Daniel Udoh should lead the line after taking his tally to 11 in all competitions last time out. But it is a toss-up as to who will partner him in attack. Amari Morgan-Smith, Andre Brown and Matthew Barnes-Homer have all had game time up top as of late, but none have managed to get on the scoresheet.

Cowan may be inclined to hand Shrewsbury loanee John McAtee a start as a second striker, to support Udoh when Telford have possession and help out the midfield when off it in an attempt to stifle the dominant Magpies.

Chorley have a few former Bucks players in their ranks. Winger [and ex-Alty loanee] Elliot Newby joined them from Telford in the summer for an undisclosed fee while Josh Wilson, who was the under Rob Smith two seasons ago, and shot-stopper Matt Urwin have been a regular starters for Jamie Vermiglio, another ex-Buck."

Huddersfield Town "Academy has formed a new working relationship with Southport FC. The clubs have come together over the last few months to exchange ideas on best practice and to discuss how the development of Town’s promising young players could potentially work in tandem moving forward.

Huddersfield Town fan Phil Hodgkinson is the link between the Town Academy and The Sandgrounders. Phil is Chief Executive Officer of the Academy... and is also a Director at the highly ambitious non-league club... A delegation led by Southport Chief Executive Natalie Atkinson recently visited the John Smith’s Stadium to meet with their Town counterparts to learn about Premier League operations and take lessons back to their Club.

That process will continue, whilst Southport’s football staff will meet regularly with Town Academy Manager Leigh Bromby to discuss best practice and the potential for Town’s promising young talents to move to the Merseyrail Community Stadium to experience senior men’s football...

Southport Director and CEO of PURE Business Group Phil Hodgkinson commented... 'We have huge ambition at Southport FC and to be able to share the knowledge of a Premier League club like Huddersfield Town in all areas with their incredible staff will help to accelerate our own journey up the football pyramid... I am incredibly proud to have been able to put together with Sean, Leigh and the team what I believe is a ‘non-league first’ and to be able to do this with a Premier League club of Huddersfield Town’s stature demonstrates both our ambition for Southport FC, but also Town’s belief and trust, in our ambition and methods.'"

From the Lancashire Evening Post we learn that "Neil Reynolds is determined to push all the off-field distractions to one side this weekend when Bamber Bridge travel to face top-of-the-table Scarborough Athletic. The Brig boss has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the past week after news broke that FC United of Manchester had made him their No.1 target to become the new manager at Broadhurst Park.

The Red Rebels’ approach for Reynolds was rejected by the Brig board, who are determined to hang on to him. Reynolds has admitted he is extremely flattered by FC United’s interest in him, but will not break the three-year contract he signed in May. It remains to be seen whether FC United return with a new and improved offer to tempt Brig into parting with Reynolds...

'To be mentioned in the same breath as FC United is a huge compliment to me,' said Reynolds. 'But I am Bamber Bridge’s property and that is what it is. I am contracted and I have a job to do'".


12 October 2018

TWO GO TO WINSFORD

Two of Altrincham's recent signings, Joe Thompson (right) and Callum Harris, have joined Winsford United on a dual registration arrangement. For more on this see the official Altrincham FC website.

BERNARD'S FUNERAL

A sizable congregation attended St Vincent's RC Church in Altrincham on Thursday for the funeral service for former Altrincham FC manager Bernard Taylor, who died on 26 September, aged 78.

Tributes, which included several humorous recollections of episodes in Bernard's life, were delivered by Vic Green, a great friend of Bernard and a former Alty kitman, by Bernard's nephew, Dean Grayson, and by former Altrincham FC chairman, Mark Harris, currently the chairman of Witton Albion.

The coffin was borne by members of the extended Taylor family, all wearing replica shirts of Bernard's other footballing love, Manchester City. On its way to the Church, the funeral cortege paused outside the J. Davidson Stadium in Moss Lane. Amongst the mourners were former Altrincham manager, John King, and the club's record appearance-maker, Stuart Coburn.

COUNTY ARRANGEMENTS

Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park a week on Saturday for their FA Fourth Qualifying Round match. Stockport County have advised that "Visiting supporters will be accommodated in our all-seated, covered Vernon (South) Stand. Due to the conditions of our Safety Certificate, supporters will be segregated. No transfers will be permitted once inside the ground. Cash-only turnstiles.

Admission via Railway End (East) Stand Turnstiles (3 & 4, Hardcastle Road)

Anyone requesting disabled tickets must contact the ticket office prior to the game on 0161 266 2700 Ext 251

Supporters should be informed that there will be no parking at the ground and they can use nearby ‘Booth Street’ car park (SK3 9DF) for which a charge of £4.00 is payable. This is a secure car park which will be staffed throughout the match from noon to 7pm".

JAKE'S 300

The official Altrincham FC site has John Edwards's piece on Jake Moult's recent 300th appearance for the club.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

York Press tells us that "Sam Collins has been confirmed as York City’s new permanent manager. The Minstermen have moved to install Collins as the club’s full-time successor to Martin Gray following seven weeks in temporary charge, during which time he has overseen four victories, three draws and one defeat.

City have spoken to other 'high-quality' interested candidates during the last ten days but have decided to promote the former youth-team coach, who has also been caretaker boss of Hartlepool three times in the past. Collins, 41, has been at the Bootham Crescent helm since mid-August following Gray’s dismissal five games into the National League North season. During that period, he has won four home matches out of five, while drawing all three of his fixtures on the road....

A 3-0 reverse to Kidderminster has proven the biggest disappointment under Collins...

A statement from City’s board of directors read, 'We are delighted to appoint Sam Collins as first team manager of York City Football Club. Over the past few weeks, Sam has displayed the ability to take the club forward and fully warrants the opportunity.... This important decision was reached after conducting a lengthy interview process. There has been significant interest in our vacancy and the board has interviewed some high-quality candidates. Sam Collins has impressed with his organisational skills and work-ethic, his tactical flexibility, and his ability to implement an attractive style of play.

'He has also shown a willingness to promote youth and has galvanised the club's playing staff. We firmly believe that Sam has all the necessary attributes to develop into a top young manager and the board will support his efforts in every way possible as he strives to lead the club to success this season.'

Former Middlesbrough defender Stuart Parnaby, who has been acting as Collins’ assistant during his temporary tenure, has also been unveiled as the full-time number two."

Unconfirmed reports say that Nuneaton Town have advised all of their players that they are free to look for other clubs.


11 October 2018

NON-LEAGUE DAY AT THE JDS

Saturday, when Altrincham entertain Alfreton Town, is Non-League Day, and Altrincham FC is marking the event by offering discounted entry to the J Davidson Stadium and a free drink for three categories of spectator. See the official site for details.

BERNARD'S FUNERAL TODAY

Altrincham supporters are reminded that the funeral for Bernard will be held today (Thursday 11th October) at 1.45pm at St Vincent's Church, Bentinck Road, Altrincham WA14 2BP, followed by cremation at Altrincham Crematorium at 3pm. The funeral reception will take place at the Masonic Hall, Clay Lane, Timperley WA15 7AB. The Taylor family has indicated that all friends and acquaintances of Bernard will be welcome at all three parts of the afternoon and they would be delighted to see as many people as possible attending on the day.

The funeral cortege will pause for a minute at the J. Davidson Stadium at 1.30pm, on its way to St Vincent's Church.

Above: Bernard and his team enjoy an open-top bus parade through Altrincham with the many trophies won during the 1998-1999 season. And, of course, Kenny Palin had a front-row place on the bus, too!

REDS RENEW ACQUAINTANCES

When Alfreton Town play at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday it will be eighteen months since their last visit. That was for the penultimate game of Altrincham's disastrous 2016-17 campaign.

Right: Former team-mates Jake Moult and Craig Hobson warm up before Alty's game with Alfreton in April 2017. They will oppose each other on Saturday.

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

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

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

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

The line ups were:

ALTRINCHAM 1. Tim Deasy 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Micah Evans, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 14. James Lawrie, 12. Shaun Densmore, 15. Clayton McDonald, 17. Craig Hobson, 16. Sam Patterson.

ALFRETON TOWN 1. Fabian Spiess, 2. Jordan Richards, 3. Ryan Wilson, 4. Niall Heaton, 5. Callum McFadzean, 6. Paul Marshall, 7. Mark Shelton, 8. Wesley Atkinson, 9. Adam Priestley, 10. Craig Westcarr, 11. Andy Monkhouse (capt). Subs: 12. Liam Hearn, 14. Jordan Wright 15. Ellis Evans, 16. Oliver Cox, 17. Thomas Allan.

This time around Altrincham go into the game lying 15th whilst the Reds are five places and four points ahead of their hosts.

As previously reported, ex-Alty players likely to figure for Alfreton on Saturday are striker Craig Hobson, for whom the match would be his club debut, and midfielder Jordan Sinnott.

Alfreton will also renew acquaintance with two of their former players. One of these is Alty captain Jake Moult. Jake was signed from Alfreton by Altrincham by Jordan's father Lee Sinnott, initially on a 93-day loan in late August 2012. The other Alty man who has turned out for Alfreton Town is John Johnston who had a loan spell there, from Crewe Alexandra, in late 2014 before he signed for the Derbyshire club in January 2015.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC chairman David Harrington-Wright hopes that the vision for how businessman Stuart Murphy's generous £1 million donation to the football club will be spent will be revealed by February 'at the latest'.

Murphy, founder of Chester-based business rates firm Exacta Plc, approached the Blues earlier this year, following the news of their financial trouble in January, and pledged £1m over a three-year period to be invested into the club's infrastructure. With the club so heavily reliant on match days for income Murphy wants to help the fan-owned club be sustainable and avoid financial situations such as those that arose in at the start of the year when the club was brought to its knees before fans rallied around to raise the necessary funds.

When Murphy, who splits his time between Majorca and the UK, spoke to the Chester Chronicle earlier this year he stated that the donation could even surpass the £1m pledged depending on what the projects were, and the businessman has been presented with ideas from the club as well as working on his own vision, with the plans hopefully unveiled to fans in the coming months.

Said Harrington-Wright 'We have an infrastructure working group as we wanted to sit down with Stuart and give him some ideas of what we think about the business case for the club and developing additional income. His mantra is that for every pound invested there should be a return of £2 to £3 back to the club in sustainable income. Obviously things like resurfacing the car park have been mentioned but that is a big job and it's not going to generate us money in the short term.

'We need to look a whole range of things, from redeveloping parts of the ground, possibly filling in some of the corners of the stadium to redeveloping the Blues Bar, the Legends Lounge and the shop. We're well underway with that and some plans were presented to Stuart earlier this week which he has gone away to look at. He has got his own team coming up with his vision. They are big capital expenditure and build[ing] programmes and he is wanting to get on with that as we are already six months on from when we first started to talk to him.

'He was talking about a three-year timescale so, if there is planning to be done and building work to be done, an ideal time to do that is during the close season or towards the end of the season, but how quickly can these things be done to start generating an income? We are also looking at what other uses are there for the land around the stadium. Yes there was Stagecoach once upon a time that was talked about that never went very far and we were approached by another company that probably isn't going to go anywhere because of the amount of work required on the car park for something like that.

'Is there an opportunity to put some buildings on the car park that could be rented out? I don't know but these are all in the mix with Stuart to look at to generate income for the club... I would hope... that we would be in a position by January/February at the latest to be saying to the fans this is the blueprint and what we are going to do first, second and third and that we are underway, we're going to planning and come down and have a look and we'll do a presentation on it so that everyone can see and have their say and get behind us'...

One blueprint that has stood out is that of AFC Fylde, whose Mill Farm complex and the additional revenue streams they have available give the Coasters a sustainable model despite their limited crowds. Fylde's home came about thanks to heavy investment from their owner, David Haythornthwaite, and cost several million to come to fruition. And while imitating that model will be beyond the resources Chester have available there are elements of what they have at Mill Farm that could be implemented at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Harrington-Wright said, 'Stuart has looked at AFC Fylde himself along with us and it is a brilliant model. £1m is fantastic but when you start building it doesn't go as far as you'd think and then you start looking at £2m, £3m or £4m. If we are looking for a return of £2 for every £1 spent then where would we generate £8m to £10 from in a five-year period? How are we going to get people here? It's not for the 25 match-days a season, this is a massive piece of estate here and we have to have the facilities so that the bar and the lounge is used away from matches so that we aren't relying on them so that we can generate £100,000-£200,000 a year that doesn't rely on football.

'If you go to other stadiums like the Britannia Stadium (Stoke City) or Bolton Wanderers then those stadiums are used for conferences. We have a great venue here for that and we have a big car park, a massive resource with the estate around us but we could offer something completely different on that side of things'".

Meanwhile, on the playing side, Cheshire Live adds that "In-form Chester FC winger Dan Mooney has been recalled by parent club Fleetwood Town. The 19-year-old has been excellent for Chester in recent weeks and netted a brace in the FA Cup third qualifying round loss to Dunston UTS on Saturday to take his total five goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.

Since joining on loan during the summer, initially until January, Mooney has established himself as a key part of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's starting XI and impressed with his direct approach in the final third. He has been recalled by parent club Fleetwood, but it's anticipated that his return to Highbury will be a short one. Fleetwood had a Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Rochdale last night and wanted Mooney involved as they have one eye on an important home clash with Shrewsbury Town on Saturday... But he is set to resume his loan spell at Chester on the agreed terms of the original deal following the last night's game and will be available for the Blues, who are without a game for the next two Saturdays, when they get back to National League North action at home to Alfreton Town... Mooney's loan deal at Chester is set to run until January with the option of an extension."

According to the Shropshire Star "Boss Gavin Cowan has told out-of-luck AFC Telford United striker Andre Brown to back himself as he bids to solve his goal woes. The speedy 22-year-old, signed from Kidderminster, has gone five matches without finding the net... The Bucks were beaten 2-1 at Warrington Town in the FA Cup on Saturday.

'He’s got to find a way,' said Cowan. 'On Saturday, as a team, we needed to find a way to win but we didn’t. With Andre, we can’t do that bit for him. We’ve given him all the tools, like all the players, to go out there and do it. It’s up to them when they cross that white line. It’s very difficult to control that (as a manager). You can tweak it but it’s up to them at the end of the day. It’s the same with Andre. He’s got to find it within himself to get that goa'...

Brown joined Telford from National League North rivals Kidderminster Harriers in the summer, having turned down fresh terms at Aggborough, and has scored twice for the Bucks. Daniel Udoh has been the main man up front for Cowan and is the top scorer having struck 11 times across all competitions. Brown, Amari Morgan-Smith and Matthew Barnes-Homer have been battling it out for a starting spot alongside Udoh. All three have had game time in recent weeks but have not netted.

Brown’s last goal was at Leamington on August 27. Morgan-Smith’s one and only strike came in the season-opening 1-0 win against Southport. Barnes-Homer is goalless. Brown has now made seven starts and five appearances as a substitute, and Cowan added 'Initially, you’ve got to find the courage, haven’t you? It’s the courage to keep getting in positions when it’s not quite coming off. Obviously we really want that for him, but he’s got to go and earn it.'

Brown was released by Crewe Alexandra, where he played alongside Udoh, a couple of years ago and has also had spells at Worcester City and Rushall Olympic. He had a trial at Premier League outfit Leicester City a couple of campaigns ago as well."

Boston United "have completed the signing of experienced striker Gavin Allott. The 32-year-old has arrived at The Jakemans Stadium from Frickley Athletic, having previously played under United manager Craig Elliott at Shaw Lane. Fellow striker Adam Marriott, meanwhile, has linked up with King's Lynn Town on a permanent basis. The 27-year-old scored once in nine outings for the Pilgrims".

KIng's Lynn News adds that "The capture of Marriott on a two-year deal represents a real coup for the Linnets... The 27-year-old has been snapped up hot on the heels of Chris Henderson's arrival from Lowestoft Town after having his contract cancelled by the Pilgrims."

Bradford (Park Avenue) "take on fellow high flyers Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday... The club are confident that with the game coinciding with Non-League Day, and with the absence of any Premier League or Championship fixtures, they will be able to double their average attendance on the day. To encourage attendance on the day supporters who present a season ticket at the turnstile – regardless of club or sport – will get in for just £5.

Chief Executive, Rob Stanley, said 'Hopefully we will have around 800 people here cheering the team on, as Kidderminster look like one of the teams to beat this year.'

In a further boost, Bradfordian Gareth Roberts, the club’s owner who now lives in Texas, will be flying over for the game at Horsfall Stadium. The club would also like to announce that after the game in clubhouse there will be an open fans' forum with club owner Gareth Roberts and Chief Executive Robert Stanley."

On Tuesday night Guiseley "were made to fight for the right to host Stourbridge in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup by a resilient Cleethorpes Town side at Nethermoor this evening with a Will Hatfield penalty and a Kayode Odejayi header cancelling out Jon Oglesby’s stunning equalizer.

The Guiseley management kept faith with the eleven that had started on Saturday but with the addition of Kaine Felix and Tabish Hussain on the bench. Belying their bottom of the table position two divisions below Guiseley Cleethorpes, having learnt from Saturday’s encounter, chased and harried the home side to try and disrupt their flow and for the first twenty-five minutes it worked as the Lions struggled to sustain any rhythm and produce a final killer ball.

During this spell Town forced a series of corners that culminated in Paul Walker’s shot being cleared off the line and Brody Robertson struck the base of the post with Joe Green beaten before the ball went behind for a goal kick.

As the Lions finally found some momentum... Curtis Morrison replaced Kingsley James on the restart... The home side's pressure finally paid dividends just before the hour as the lively Scott Smith was felled in the area and Hatfield stepped up to take the resulting spot kick which Parkin parried only for the midfielder to follow up and tuck the loose ball home... The home side suffered a setback on 72 minutes when Ogelsby conjured an equalizer out of thin air, firing home with a low shot from the apex of the penalty area that gave Green no chance.

However, the lead [?parity] lasted all of four minutes as Morrison, marauding down the left delivered a pinpoint cross for Odejayi to power a header past Parkin and restore the Lions' advantage. The visitors were then reduced to ten men as Oli Donald was shown a second yellow card... Stourbridge now stand in the way of the Lions and a place in the First Round Proper for the second successive season".

ALTY OLD BOY

According to the NW Evening Mail, manager "Ian Evatt is hoping Astley Mulholland can kick on with Barrow AFC after the midfielder finally made his debut for the Bluebirds against Sutton last weekend.

Mulholland returned at the beginning of last week from a one-month loan spell with Hyde United, where he picked up some much-needed game time after struggling for that at Holker Street, following his summer arrival from Colwyn Bay. Now back in the fold, he was given his bow by Barrow boss Evatt when he replaced Tyler Smith in the 88th minute of the 2-1 victory over the U’s.

Evatt said, 'We’re a tight group, small squad and with injuries, suspensions and illnesses, etc. throughout the season, people are going to get chances. It’s down to those players to take the chances because there’s no God-given right to wear the shirt. You have to earn the right to play for that badge... Astley came on and did OK on Saturday and it’s good to have him back involved; it’ll give him a boost and hopefully he can kick on now'".

FA CUP

Wednesday 10 October 2018, FAC3Q Replay:

"Gateshead will feature live in the FA Cup later this month, and it’s a very important tie financially. Their 4th Qualifying Round match away to Dunston UTS of the Northern League is the BBC’s feature[d] game. The game will be broadcast on the BBC Sport website and via the red button.

While this is the Heed’s first game in the famous competition this year, the Step 5 club have already come through four rounds... They beat Chester 4-3 last weekend... Fourth Qualifying Round winners now get to bank a cheque for £25,000."


10 October 2018

TONY JUMPS TO IT

Goalkeeper Tony Thompson's impressive standing-jump grabs the attention of one of the mascots before kick-off last Saturday at the J. Davidson Stadium.

ALTY TAKE PART IN FANS FOR DIVERSITY TOURNAMENT

The Altrincham FC official site has a report from Jordan Tyms, (Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator at Altrincham FC), on how the club's supporters joined forces with Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association to take part in a Fans for Diversity tournament held at Curzon Ashton FC on Sunday.

Pictured, right, is the Altrincham team which participated in the tournament.

EMIRATES FA CUP REPLAYS

Third Round Qualifying replays in the northern section of the draw are listed below.

Tuesday 9 October 2018:

ALTY OLD BOYS

NL Daily tells us that "Hyde United have added... two midfielders to the first team, James Georgaklis and [Alty youth graduate] Osebi Abadaki. Abadaki has joined from Stafford Rangers. He has previously had spells at local rivals Stalybridge, Mossley and Ashton United, as well as FC Halifax Town and Salford City".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Lincolnshire Live reports that "Ex Lincoln City and Grimsby Town winger Nathan Arnold lifts the lid on surprise Boston United departure...

Nathan Arnold claims broken promises are the reason his time at Boston United has come to an end. The Pilgrims announced on Friday, October 5, that the 31-year-old had agreed to leave the club by mutual consent, a little over four months after he joined the club...

He said 'I have enjoyed my time at Boston – obviously things haven’t worked out the way I would have liked. In the summer I was told I would be the assistant manager, but that hasn’t proved to be the case. 'I am not the type of player to make the manager’s or the club’s life difficult. I am an honest and respectful person who wears his heart on his sleeve. I thought it was beginning to have an impact on me playing well so I thought this was the best thing to do.'

After arriving in the summer on a free transfer from Lincoln City, Arnold went on to score three goals in ten appearances for the Pilgrims. The team as a whole has struggled for consistency... And while Craig Elliot has questioned the performances of some of his players, including Arnold, the wide-man says he holds nothing against the club.

'When I signed, I was looking forward to the challenge,' he said. 'It is what it is. There are a lot of good people at the club. I was the joint-top goal scorer upon leaving. I don’t feel I have to justify myself to anyone as I have had a fantastic career and there is more underneath the surface.'

The player is currently enjoying visiting schools to give talks and run workshops on topics such as mental health...

'I have got an agent and have had a few offers, but I want to take my time. I don’t want to go club-to-club; I want to be in control. I don’t want to go somewhere where I am doing myself, football and the club a disservice'. He added 'In the last few years or so in football a few people from the outside looking in have wondered whether my heart is still in it. I am completely happy with where I am in my life and the career I have had. I want to re-evaluate myself and weigh up my options, but right now I am enjoying investing in myself.'”

NORTH-WEST NEWS

The Hallmark Security League, formerly the NW Counties League, has started a series of articles on member clubs' emblems. "Many were derived as works teams from organisations both large and small across the country, and the name of Vauxhall Motors tells you all you need to know in this context. But the purpose of these short articles is to look at the emblems of member clubs and here there is quite a story to tell".

The series starts with Vauxhall Motors, a club which "not surprisingly adopted the Vauxhall badge as their emblem". The story however covers the legendary Fulk's griffin, a cross between a lion and an eagle, and explains how "Fulk's Hall, became corrupted over time to “Vauxhall”.


9 October 2018

COUNTY IN THE CUP

Edgeley Park may be only ten miles from the J. Davidson Stadium and both clubs are well over a century old but they had never previously been paired in the FA Cup until today's Fourth Qualifying Round draw.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the historical record in other competitions since County's CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) in 2009:

Altrincham have not scored at Edgeley Park since County's post-CVA reformation, having drawn there 0-0 in April 2014 and lost 0-3 in December 2016.

One of the familiar faces at County this season is 21 year-old striker Nyal Bell (right), who joined Altrincham on a month's loan from Gateshead on 19 August 2016. A 6ft 2in. forward, Bell had earlier in summer 2016 joined Gateshead from Rochdale and penned a two-year contract with The Heed. He had made three appearances for Rochdale's first team but was also loaned to Droylsden and Chester FC in 2015-16. He made three appearances for Chester, just as he did for Altrincham.

Another player to have worn both County and Alty shirts is midfielder Paul Turnbull (29), who turned out six times for Altrincham whilst on loan from County. He is pictured, left, in Alty colours in 2008. He had joined County at the age of 11 and had made his first-team debut for County as a 16 year-old near the end of the 2004-05 season. He was thus the youngest player ever to appear for the club's first team in a league match. He made his Altrincham debut in central midfield against Torquay United on 29 March 2008.

The sides last met in a pre-season friendly played under the floodlights at Moss Lane on 11 July 2017, when County won 2-1. In that match James Jones made his home debut as an Alty trialist, whilst playing against his former club were Alty striker Josh Amis, now at Warrington Town, and midfielder Sam Sheridan.

Alty's squad for that friendly comprised: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. John DISNEY, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Chris LYNCH, 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Josh AMIS, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Lewis SHORT, 14. James JONES, 15. Laurence TAYLOR, 16. Jerome WRIGHT, 17. Shaun DENSMORE (second-half captain), 18. Joel BEMBO-LITA, 19. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 20. Tony THOMPSON (gk).

HOBSON TO FACE ALTY?

Former Altrincham striker Craig Hobson (right) has left Ashton United and signed for Altrincham's next opponents, Alfreton Town. Following the Reds' recent loss of tall striker Tom Denton to Chesterfield, the six-feet-two-inch Hobson would appear to be a replacement.

Alfreton Town add that they "are pleased to confirm the signing of forward Craig Hobson...for the rest of the 2018/19 campaign. Hobson has had spells at Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport County in 2012 where Craig made 26 appearances for the Hatters, scoring six times.

A brief spell at Guiseley followed in 2014 before making the move to Chester where Craig remained until 2016 and the expiry of his contract. Hobson scored 14 times in 82 games in all competitions for Chester. Further spells at Altrincham and Aberystwyth Town came in 2017 before Craig moved to Ashton United ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and has featured throughout the Robins start to the National League North season.

Manager Billy Heath said 'Craig is an experienced striker who has been at a wide variety of clubs all at a high level, he is a good age for the role we have and he gives us a focal point and excellent competition for places. Craig comes in to strengthen our forward line and he is a great character to have at the club, he’s the right kind of player for us; he works hard and will fit straight into the group. He is an honest individual who will work hard and strengthen our attack".

Craig (30), joined Altrincham in early June 2016, from Chester, a club he had joined in March 2014 from Guiseley two years previously. Before that he had been with Lincoln City and Stockport County in 2012-13. He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington but missed much of the season through a broken foot so made only nine starts and a further eight appearances from the bench. He scored just one goal but racked up seven yellow cards and was released at the end of the season.

Also likely to be facing Alty next Saturday is Jordan Sinnott who joined Alfreton this season from Chesterfield.

THE CAMERA DOES NOT LIE

Alty TV has highlights from last Saturday's FA Cup win over Bradford (Park Avenue). Whilst criticising the referee after the match, BPA manager Mark Bower failed to mention the penalty scored by his team when their on-loan Salford City striker Jake Beesley threw himself to the ground - as the video highlights clearly show.

ALTY'S SPONSORS TO SUPPORT MNDA

Business Manchester newspaper reports that "Following Footy Accumulators' recent sponsorship of Altrincham FC's main stand, at the J. Davidson Stadium, Footy Accumulators has also joined the club in a mission to support Motor Neurone Disease [charity]. Former Robins' captain, Mark Maddox, was told at the age of 37 that he was diagnosed with the disease but that hasn't stopped him going and achieving incredible things. He ran the London Marathon on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) back in 2013, raising an incredible £5,000.

Now Footy Accumulators, together with Altrincham Football Club want to help the MND Association in their battle against the illness with a current Robins' hero.

Altrincham director Lawrence Looney, who was a key player in setting up the sponsorship deal, said, 'This innovative collaboration is the first of its type for Altrincham Football Club and represents a very real opportunity to create, develop and grow commercial opportunities for both partners'.

For every goal that Jordan Hulme scores this season, Footy Accumulators will donate £50 to the MND Association via their official JustGiving page".

Footnote: Pictured, right, Mark Maddox featured in an MNDA campaign to draw attention to the disease.

MORE ON OUR NEXT OPPONENTS: ALFRETON TOWN

Alty's guests this Saturday, Alfreton Town won 2-1 away at Mickleover Sports in a tempestuous match in the FA Cup on Saturday.

First half goals from Jordan Sinnott and Richard Peniket proved enough, as Alfreton Town navigated the challenge of local rivals... Billy Heath made just the one change from the previous weekend's defeat to Bradford PA in the league, James Clifton came in with Declan Bacon dropping to the bench.

With a brilliant atmosphere at the Don Amott and FA Cup fever in the air, the hosts started with expected brightness and both Josh Gowling and Luke Shiels had to be alert to deny ex-Red Garnett through on goal... With the local derby descending into congestion in midfield, the Reds were looking to utilise the flanks... There were some tasty tackles coming in with Shiels fouling Cribley on the touchline before Bobby Johnson was bundled down in the centre of the park.

Sinnott tested King from range but the effort was saved well by the Sports goalkeeper... With 24 minutes gone, the Reds were given a penalty as Curtis Bateson was tripped in the box. Johnson stepped up but a fantastic save from King denied the Reds midfielder before the Mickleover keeper denied the follow up shot also.

But with 32 minutes gone, a second penalty came the way of the Reds when Peniket appeared to have been tripped on. Although the striker didn't go to ground, contact was made following Peniket's movement on the ball and the Referee gave the penalty. Sinnott stepped up this time and sent King the wrong way.

The game soon reached boiling point with Ramsbottom denying Garnett in the box before Peniket went down under an apparent elbow, the Mickleover players were furious and protested to the officials which included pushing and shoving with Reds players.

With the arguments subsiding and the first half entering the last seconds, Alfreton extended the lead when a short corner from Bobby Johnson found Sinnott whose effort across goal found Peniket who toe poked in a second...

With ten minutes to go, the hosts were given a penalty themselves when Gowling looked to have dragged down Garnett in the box. Marselia stepped up and converted to set up a grand-stand finish.

But the Reds held on and defended solidly throughout the last nine minutes, defending crosses and Sam Ramsbottom providing safe hands in late moments of pressure. A toughly fought cup tie saw the Reds through...

ALFRETON: Ramsbottom, Clackstone, Wilde, Hotte, Gowling, Shiels (c), Sinnott (Clarke 87), Clifton, Bateson, Peniket, Johnson (Platt 75). Subs Not Used: Nicholson, Chettle, Bacon, Riley, Middleton."

After the match the Derbyshire Times reported that "Alfreton’s FA Cup progress will help to improve the squad, much to the delight of manager Billy Heath. His side overcame Mickleover Sports at the weekend to book a fourth qualifying round spot at home to either Coalville Town or St Neots Town...

Heath was, mostly, a happy man after the 2-1 derby cup victory on Saturday. 'Happy in patches, first half was decent, happy to be two up, overall happy that we got through, which is the main thing,' he said...

Beating Mickleover handed the Reds £15,000 on top of the £9,000 they had already earned. Heath said...'The FA have doubled the prize money, so it goes into the coffers and will help improve the squad, so that can only be a massive plus'.

Cup glory aside, it hasn’t been an easy period of late for Alfreton, without a win in three National League North games, and Heath wants a return to form in that competition this weekend at Altrincham.

'For the first time in a while l’m enjoying a Saturday at five o’clock because we’ve won,' said Heath. 'We’re still a fledgling team coming together, we went on a great run early on, found ourselves in a great position in the league, but last three games we’ve lost by the odd goal, nothing in it. We know it’s fine margins, so next week we’ve got to get back on the winning trail in the league. We want to be in and around the play-offs. Hopefully, this time next week we’ll be sat back in the play-offs.'"

CHESHIRE NEWS

Following their poor start to the season, Macclesfield Town have sacked manager Mark Yates.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Chester Live tells us that "Chester FC will have to wait 19 days before they can get their shock FA Cup defeat to Dunston UTS out of their system. The Blues were on the wrong end of the result of the third qualifying round as the Northern League First Division side belied their status as underdogs and claimed a 4-3 success over 10-man Chester in what was a thrilling Cup clash.

The defeat, as well as denying Chester £15,000 in prize money and a place in the fourth qualifying round, means that Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's side now have a near three-week break between matches. Chester's scheduled National League North clash with Nuneaton Borough had already been rearranged owing to international call-ups for Nuneaton, and the following weekend (October 20) is when the next round of the FA Cup is set to take place.

Chester had been pencilled in to travel to York City initially, but the Minstermen saw off St Ives in their Cup clash on Saturday meaning that it will be the home encounter with Alfreton Town that will be the next time the Blues take to the field. The break does at least give the management duo chance to get some more players back in contention after they suffered more injuries in the build-up to the Dunston trip.

Jon Moran was sidelined while Anthony Dudley is still not 100% despite having come off the bench. Dominic Smalley (dislocated shoulder) is another couple of weeks away while George Green (lower back) remains on the casualty list.

Said Johnson after the Dunston loss, 'There would have been a bit of a break anyway. If we would have got the result we'd have been playing the FA Cup in two weeks... We were looking forward to the two-week break and getting some of the injuries back as we picked up another couple this week. It's an enforced break now and we've almost lost that momentum, but the result has killed our momentum anyway. Let's not be saying that the break of two or three weeks is what will kill it, it's the result that has done that today.

'The important thing is we don't want to stand here and say we're going to rip everything up and start again. As I said, the result is the most disappointing thing. But in terms of where we at in the bigger picture and somebody would have offered us that at the start of the season then we would have snatched people's hands off. But that doesn't take anything away from what has happened (at Dunston)'...

Johnson insisted that there was no complacency on Chester's part on Saturday in terms of the way they approached the game and the mindset of the players. And the Blues joint-manager... said, 'You can't be 2-1 up at half time and question complacency about it. We believe we did our due diligence and we've had the scouts up here. What has done us is 10 minutes of the second half where our own poor play has cost us... We walk away with our tails between our legs. It's not good enough from us as a football club'".

Ashton United report that "A single moment of quality was enough to send Ashton into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup after an entertaining encounter in Norfolk where finishing was at a premium. The decisive strike came on 72 minutes as Ramirez Howarth, making his debut from the bench just 8 minutes earlier, swept home Matty Chadwick’s square pass after a combination with Bradley Jackson.

With Craig Hobson departed, Chadwick was leading the line for the Robins and captain Mark Lees was restored at right back...

Team: Pilling, Lees, Regan, Baines, Chalmers, Sheridan, Sangha (Ashworth 74), Jackson, Chadwick, Anghel (Howarth 64), McHail (Hill 72). SNU: Jones, Turner".

NL Daily reports that "York City are hoping skipper Joe Tait will recover from a hamstring problem in time for next weekend’s trip to Southport, say York Press. Tait was substituted in the first half of the weekend’s 3-0 FA Cup third qualifying round home victory over St Ives Town, with Russ Penn replacing him and Josh Law moving back into defence after starting the game as a midfielder.

A second Jake Wright goal in as many games had earlier given the hosts a ninth-minute lead, while Jordan Burrow bagged a second-half brace to put the tie to bed.

On the prognosis regarding Tait, City caretaker boss Sam Collins said 'I think it was more tightness in his hamstring than anything else, but we’ll need to assess it. We’ve got good options though and I thought Russ Penn did really well when he came on.'”

Bottom of the table FC United of Manchester, whose only win this season came at Moss Lane, "are pleased to confirm the extension of loan signings Lewis Mansell and Lewis Thompson. The Blackburn duo, who have featured regularly in the first team since their arrival, are set to remain at the club until Saturday 10 November".

At Darlington "striker Reece Styche is training with the Gibraltar squad this week ahead of their double header in the UEFA Nations Cup. The club's top scorer came on as a sub twice last month, and he's in line for possibly more caps against Armenia (away) on Saturday and Liechtenstein (home) next Tuesday 16th October in the new competition".

AFC Telford United went out of the FA Cup to lower level opposition as "The Bucks were bundled out of the Emirates FA Cup by Evostik League leaders Warrington Town in a display where they failed to put the home side under any real pressure until the game was effectively decided.

Gavin Cowan made four team changes, with Steph Morley and Amari Morgan-Smith restored to fitness and also the starting eleven. The early stages of the game were cagey. Warrington looked to use the early ball to utilise former Buck Tony Gray’s ‘little and large’ partnership with Bohan Dixon, whilst the Bucks' closest efforts came from John McAtee... with the Bucks not creating much to test Tony McMillan...

Just before half-time. McQuilkin was involved in a nasty incident, home full-back Alex Whittle using unnecessary force in a challenge which saw the Bucks midfielder thumped against the perimeter boards, taking a blow to the head. The Bucks collectively took issue with Whittle, and after the flashpoint died down referee Richard Aspinall booked the Warrington man... The home side won a corner in first-half injury time, and although initially dealt with they were able to return the ball from the right where Dixon leapt highest to connect and loop a back-post header back over Max Bramley and into the far corner...

On 64 minutes, the tie was effectively sealed. Warrington’s Robbie Evans, a midfield dynamo, burst forward to win a corner on the left; the Bucks didn’t clear it effectively, and when the ball found Evans’s midfield partner Ben Garrity around the penalty spot he somehow was able to wriggle free of a crowd of Bucks to turn and beat Bramley to his left. Collectively the Bucks’ heads dropped a little, facing an exit at the hands of a lower league side... The prospect of an inglorious defeat, sparked the Bucks’ best spell of the afternoon...

Already into injury time. McMillan spilled a catch from a corner, when he appeared to have matter under control, and in the resulting scramble Daniel Udoh poked the ball home from within the six-yard box... The visitors despondently applauded their followers... To say the Bucks performance was flat would be to take credit from the home side, who aren’t top of their division without good reason. Whether they raised their game on the day is something that’s hard to judge, but the Gavin Cowan’s side didn’t match them".


8 October 2018

SALUTING BERNARD

Former Altrincham manager Bernard Taylor, whose death was reported last week, was remembered with a minute's applause before kick-off against Bradford (PA) on Saturday, as shown right.

The funeral for Bernard will be held on Thursday 11th October at 1.45pm at St Vincent's Church, Bentinck Road, Altrincham WA14 2BP, followed by cremation at Altrincham Crematorium at 3pm. The funeral reception will take place at the Masonic Hall, Clay Lane, Timperley WA15 7AB. The Taylor family has indicated that all friends and acquaintances of Bernard will be welcome at all three parts of the afternoon and they would be delighted to see as many people as possible attending on the day.

FA CUP DRAW

Talksport report that "The FA Cup’s famous velvet bag is returning to talkSPORT 2 when the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round takes place this Monday from 12pm, live on Football First. Broadcasting legend [sic] Ray Stubbs will host the draw from Wembley Stadium".

Nine clubs from our Division remain in the draw for this Round at which the National League national division joins the competition. The draw is still regionalised at this stage.

POST-MATCH REACTION

There is post-match reaction from Jake Moult and Phil Parkinson on Alty TV. Match highlights are included in the above.

From across the Pennines, the Telegraph & Argus says that "There will be no FA Cup run this season for Bradford (Park Avenue) and no potential dream tie against Football League opposition next month after a 4-2 defeat in the third qualifying round... For a second time this season, the Robins beat Avenue..

The visitors broke the deadlock before the half hour mark. Avenue striker Jake Beesley was fouled in the area by Tom Hannigan [as the match video shows, Beesley dived as Jake Moult came in to challenge] but he got up to take the resulting penalty and fired it past Thompson... Connor Hampson forced home the Robins’ first equaliser after a 35th minute cross was not cleared.

Left: A smiling Phil Parkinson with Tom Hannigan and Elliot Wynne at the end of last Saturday's game.

Avenue re-took the lead when skipper Shane Killock converted a Nicky Wroe corner at the back post but Alty responded just before the break when a speculative shot from Jake Moult took a big deflection and looped over Drench.

Avenue manager Mark Bower was forced into a half-time substitution as centre back Luca Havern succumbed to an injury... Bower was re-jigging his side again just seven minutes into the second half as Chris Dawson limped off after treatment.

The home side were back in front just after the hour mark when James Jones converted a 62nd minute corner and a wonderful strike from Jordan Hulme six minutes from time ensured their place in the fourth qualifying round draw.

Bower was far from impressed with a tight call that went against his side when they were ahead and he said 'We were 2-1 up, looking pretty comfortable and an appalling refereeing decision has done us again. Ben McKenna is breaking and we’re two on two when he gets pulled down but we got nothing and that kind of sums it up at the minute. And then they go on and a deflected shot ends up in the back of our net. I thought that was a real turning point.

'Obviously losing two players to injury, one at the break and one early in the second half, didn’t help us, but I’m disappointed because we didn’t play as we have been playing recently.'"

NEXT OPPONENTS: ALFRETON TOWN

Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in previous matches against next Saturday's opponents, Alfreton Town, the outcomes have been as follow. Strangely both teams have a better record on their opponent's ground.

The match on Saturday will be Altrincham's sixth attempt to win a home league match this season and also to score a first-half goal in a league match at the J. Davidson Stadium.

If the above data suggest that Altrincham face a tough time on Saturday, Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records, (which give us the details of previous matches played by Altrincham on Saturday's date, 13 October), are more encouraging. We have not lost any of the club's last nine fictures on this date.

LADIES BEAT VIXENS

Altrincham FC Ladies beat Northwich Vixens 4-2 on Sunday in Division One South of the North West Womens Regional League. Alty Ladies remain top of the division.

WALKOVER FOR YOUTH TEAM

Sunday's NW Youth Alliance Premier Division fixture at Prescot Cables was postponed with the visitors, Altrincham FC Youth, being awarded a walkover.

GOALS AT BOTH ENDS

Altrincham have certainly been delivering on the entertainment front, as there have been 21 goals in their last four matches!

So far this season, in thirteen league and cup matches, Altrincham have netted 29 goals, but have also conceded 23. Nine of the goals scored by the Robins have come in two FA Cup matches; five against Whitley Bay and four versus Bradford (Park Avenue). The only two goals conceded in the FA Cup this season are seen below, in images from the match against Bradford (Park Avenue).

Above: Tony Thompson goes the right way but cannot quite reach Jake Beesley's penalty, won by the BPA striker's dive, as the match video clearly shows (link above).

Above: Shane Killock (no.5) nets Bradford's second goal, despite a heavy presence of Alty players. The ball can be seen just behind the Alty keeper in the above image.

ALTY OLD BOYS

James Lawrie netted for Nantwich Town as the Dabbers beat Farsley Celtic 2-1. In the Stafford Rangers game against Scarborough Athletic, Theo Bailey-Jones hit the post twice for Rangers whilst James Walshaw netted for the victorious Yorkshiremen.

Jerome Wright netted a penalty for Ramsbottom United, whilst our neighbours Trafford beat Clitheroe 2-1 with Aaron Burns scoring for the Shaw View club past visiting goalkeeper Cameron Terry, who was an Altrincham Youth keeper.

EMIRATES FA CUP ROUND-UP

Bulls' News reports that "Both Martin Horsell and Mike McGrath have been released from Hereford hospital after suffering injuries during the game against Welling. Horsell lost consciousness after a collision between himself and a Welling player whilst McGrath suffered a deep cut to his face, which needed nine stitches, in the same incident."

In the Chester Standard, "Paul Carden hailed his 'outstanding' Warrington Town as they upset higher league Telford United to reach the Fourth Qualifying round for only the third time in their history. Goals from Bohan Dixon and Ben Garrity handed the Yellows, who featured ex-Wrexham trio Rob Evans, Jack Mackreth and David Raven, as well as former Chester duo Tony Gray and Luke George, control of proceedings...

The former Chester captain said 'It’s up there with our best displays of the season. To a man, we were outstanding at both ends of the pitch. We supported each other, made blocks and there was no question about who deserved the win. You can see there is a fit, strong organised bunch of lads here. Whatever changes we make, they understand what is needed and they all back each other. They are running through brick walls for each other and they know everyone at the club is behind them.'

Former Chester boss Neil Young also pulled off a cup upset as Marine defeated Kevin Wilkin's Brackley 3-2. Young, who saw his side race into a 3-0 lead, said 'I would just like to thank all the fans that travelled to the game for their magnificent support, all the staff and players really appreciate it. A special mention must go to all the supporters behind the goal who never stopped singing from the minute they entered the ground until after the final whistle.'

Ex-Wrexham manager Wilkin was brutally honest about his side's display. 'The way we played in the first half and the attitude we showed from the outset was really poor,' he said. 'It is one thing being confident and another being arrogant and I thought we were in the first half. It’s a strong word to use but credit to Marine because they were sharper than us, they made better decisions, their finishing was sharper.'"

And after another upset, Kidderminster Harriers manager "Neil MacFarlane admitted in the wake of Saturday’s FA Cup exit at Stourbridge that the team should never have 'gifted' the hosts a way back into the game at 2-0 down. Harriers, looking to exorcise some Cup demons at the War Memorial Ground following two horror shows three years ago, looked to be well on their way to a victory this time around.

By the time they’d gone 2-0 up thanks to an Ed Williams goal and Joe Ironside’s penalty, they’d had enough chances to have been out of sight... After costly errors presented the Cup specialists with a way back into the tie, the surge of momentum carried the hosts over the line as they saw out the final stages with alarming ease at 3-2 up.

'Ultimately I’m really disappointed with the result, it’s a really sore one for us,' said the boss, speaking at full-time. 'We had total control of the football match and had the game won, and we just gifted them a way back into it. It’s a harsh lesson for our young defenders today... We were cruising at 2-0 and had numerous chances to put the game to bed... but we gave them a moment that enabled them to get back into the game.'...

Harriers were backed by around 600 supporters at Stourbridge. MacFarlane knows how they’ll be feeling... 'I’ll stand up to it and take the responsibility as that’s the Manager’s job, but I have said to the group that we are all together, as we have been when we’ve been winning, it’s the same when we’re losing'".

From Bradford's Telegraph and Argus comes news of another club which let a two-goal lead slip. However, "Guiseley will be in tomorrow’s draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup but only just, after they were held to a 2-2 draw by a side from two divisions below them.

The Lions’ third qualifying round hosts were Cleethorpes Town and they too will be in the hat after coming back from two goals down inside the last six minutes at the New Linden... The Vanarama National League North outfit had taken a firm grip of the tie with two goals in a five-minute spell midway through the second period. The home side booked a replay at Nethermoor this Tuesday though with strikes in the 84th and 89th minutes...

Lions’ joint manager Russ O’Neill said, 'We’re absolutely devastated; they feel like they have won the tie and we feel as though we’ve lost it but we do live to fight another day and we go to Tuesday. But, with six minutes to go, we were 2-0 up and cruising and we could have been three or four up. We had created chances but, similar to the York City game last weekend, we didn’t take them and when you’ve got to stand up and be strong, they change their shape, go long and hit things more direct and they get their reward.

'If it had gone on another five minutes I think they might have got a winner but hopefully we’ll get the job done on Tuesday.'”

The EvoStik league reports that "Managerless National League North strugglers FC United of Manchester were dumped out by Northern Premier League Premier Division side Witton Albion at Broadhurst Park. The visitors took the lead in the 9th minute through James Foley... It was 1-1 just past the half-hour mark when Jack Bannister tried his luck from 20 yards and the ball flew past Albion 'keeper Greg Hall.

But on 38 minutes, FC United were reduced to ten-men when Kurt Willoughby was adjudged to have elbowed Billy Smart. The visitors went 2-1 up after 63 minutes when Rob Hopley poked home after a goalmouth scramble. The on 85 minutes, the home side were reduced to nine-men then Harry Winter was shown a second yellow card. And in stoppage time, FC United ended the game with only eight on the pitch as sub Elliot Simoes was shown a red card, seemingly for two yellows after kicking the ball away".



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Alty Files Website Index

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

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