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CURRENT NEWS IN FULL

11 February 2016

ALTRINCHAM 1-1 WREXHAM

Altrincham gained a hard-earned point against play-off hopefuls Wrexham. It was Altrincham who took the lead in the 12th minute. In fact they might have done so as early as the fifth minute when Simon Richman's shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar. But it was a fine run up the right and into the box by Ryan Crowther which set up Josh Ginnelly for the opener.

Altrincham then played some excellent football but could not add to their score before Wrexham equalised, against the run of play, on 30 minutes. Jackson was allowed too much space on the left and his cross was met by an excellent looping header from former Barnsley man, Simon Heslop. After that the visitors had the better of play, though Altrincham still had their own attacking moments in the second half. Wastefulness in front of goal cost the Welshmen in the second period as, on three occasions, they fluffed their lines badly from close range.

Match report here.

Right, Mike Ripley captures Josh Ginnelly's celebration after he had scored against Wrexham. Mike Ripley has more images of the game against Wrexham here.

The BBC stats from the game show Altrincham enjoyed 54% of the possession and had nine shots to the Dragons' seven.

WREXHAM VIEWS

After Tuesday's game, Wrexham reported that "Two first-half goals ensured that this game ended all square, as the visitors passed up a number of chances to have helped themselves to all three points...

The home side took the lead on 12 minutes when they broke up a Wrexham attack and Ryan Crowther raced down the right wing before delivering a long cross that allowed Ginnelly to fire home from 12 yards with the Wrexham defence stretched...

The Welshmen were level on 30 minutes, when Simon Heslop scored with a lovely flick header, diverting the ball away from the keeper, after Jackson’s cross in from the left...

Leather headed off the line from Jennings chip, following a series players slashing at the ball but not making proper contact in the six-yard box. Then another defender cleared off his own goal line from Evans, with Hudson’s header at the ensuing corner flashing wide.

Rankine responded with a close range header that somehow ended up in the arms of Taylor!

Away: 335 [fans in the] away terrace, plus those on the main stand".

In the Leader Live "Manager Gary Mills admits it was two points dropped after Wrexham drew 1-1 against Altrincham... After falling behind following a poor start, midfielder Simon Heslop equalised for Wrexham in the 30th minute and the Reds had a number of good chances to win the game in the second half but had to settle for a third successive draw.

Blaine Hudson missed a golden chance to win the game, and twice Wrexham saw chances cleared off the line from Connor Jennings and Rob Evans.

'Going a goal down again and we didn’t start the game particularly well. We changed it and we were a lot better after that,' said Mills. 'You don’t get many games where you get chances like we had in the second half. Really good chances, we haven’t taken them and it has come back to bite us again. Another two points gone missing so, in a week, six points we could have had, should have had, is a massive difference and we haven’t taken them but we have given ourselves the opportunity to do that.

'But we know we have got to start winning games; but it is the first of 15 games left and we have got another point'".

And in the Daily Post there is an analysis of each Wrexham players contribution.

FA TROPHY

Wed. 10 Feb

  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Chester FC

VANARAMA NATIONAL NEWS

The BBC says that "Eastleigh manager Chris Todd labelled his side's defending 'shocking' after they lost 3-2 at Kidderminster. The Spitfires... are without a win in nine games. And Tuesday's National League defeat by bottom-placed Kidderminster saw Eastleigh concede three goals for the second match in succession.

'It's not good enough,' Todd told BBC Radio Solent. 'Defensively, we were very, very poor and have to be better.' Eastleigh gave a debut to striker Matt Tubbs, who had earlier agreed a loan move from Portsmouth until the end of the season...

'I can't keep saying it, actions speak louder than words and we're deflated,' the manager added... 'We can't keep going out in games on a whimper'".

The next visitors to Altrincham are Lincoln City. The Lincolnshire Echo tells us that at the weekend "Lincoln City's win over Eastleigh has lifted the Imps to within two points of the play-offs. Have they left it too late to mount a challenge? Echo sports editor John Pakey gives... reasons why...

Two weeks ago... With no win in 11 games, life looked bleak for manager Chris Moyses and his team... However, the win over Guiseley finally saw a chink of light illuminating in the dark clouds which had shrouded Sincil Bank...

Lincoln City will need 80 points to secure themselves a place in the play-offs...

Lincoln's final 13 games all present their own challenges. They face two sides in the top five, with a trip to Tranmere Rovers and a final day at Whaddon Road where Cheltenham are likely to be lifting the Conference trophy. The rest are sides below them and are well out of the reckoning or, sadly in the case of Kidderminster, very much dead and buried.

'We know what we need to do over the course of the run-in,' said club captain Alan Power... Out of those 13 teams City have to play, they have already beaten five of them – Aldershot, Macclesfield, Kidderminster, Tranmere Rovers and Chester. They have drawn against two of them in Altrincham and champions elect Cheltenham....

Now they are in a regular rhythm of home-away-home... 'We've got one game a week from now until the end of the season, apart from the Easter period,' added the Imps boss. 'We've got nice recovery periods between matches and the lads are responding to it'...

City finally found a new route forward... in James Caton, who has brought more width to the team. Muldoon's own exceptional performances in the last two weeks have given the side more options up front. However, he has only been able to come into that role because Caton can take up his duties on the wing.

'I can see us sticking with Jack up front,' admitted Moyses. 'And we've got wide men like James Caton and George Maris, who have got pace. That was something we were possibly lacking earlier in the season'...

With investor Clive Nates already pledging to support the side, Moyses has money to work with, and he will make deals if he needs to find cover in the squad".

Everton "have agreed to loan young winger Michael Donohue to AFC Barrow on a one-month deal. The 18-year-old will join... on Thursday".

Barrow have "unveiled the new backroom team to the players at their Lancaster University training base. The move follows the exit of First Team Coach Alex Meechan, Sports Therapist Dan Anderton and Strength & Conditioning Coach Paddy Maher on Sunday as part of the support staff restructuring.

The new structure which features more experience at National League level, sees former Macclesfield & Lincoln Manager, Gary Simpson, 54, join the club as Assistant Manager. A familiar face is returning to the club to take up the position of club Chartered Physiotherapist. [Ex-Alty physio] Sean Riley, 49, who left after 4 years in the summer when the club reverted to full-time status, comes back after a short stint at Stockport County.

Chairman Paul Casson said 'It’s sad to have to move people on but we all believe that this is the best way forward as we strive to bring Football League Soccer back to Barrow”.


10 February 2016

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE GAMES

Tue. 9 Feb.
  • Altrincham 1-1 Wrexham
  • Bromley 1-2 Grimsby Town
  • Dover Athletic P-P Welling United .
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 Eastleigh

Sat. 13 Feb.

  • Aldershot Town v Tranmere Rovers
  • Altrincham v Lincoln City
  • Cheltenham Town v Welling United
  • Dover Athletic v Gateshead
  • Eastleigh v Barrow
  • FC Halifax Town v Forest Green Rovers
  • Grimsby Town v Boreham Wood
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Macclesfield Town
  • Southport v Braintree Town
  • Torquay United v Chester FC
  • Woking v Guiseley
  • Wrexham v Bromley

FA TROPHY FIXTURES

FA Trophy 3rd Round matches and replays are as follows:

Tue. 9 Feb

  • Torquay United 3-3 Macclesfield Town
  • Guiseley P-P Dover Athletic (replay)
  • Bognor Regis T 2-1 Sutton Utd aet

OLD BOY

We learn from NL Pitchero that "Ramsbottom United manager Garry Vaughan has added three new experienced faces to his squad as he continues to guide the club away from the bottom rungs of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division table... Andy Smart, 29, comes to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium from the success[ful] Glossop North End side, and plays in the left-back position.".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

According to NL Pitchero, "Eastleigh have boosted their promotion hopes by signing prolific marksman Matty Tubbs on loan from Portsmouth until the end of the season. The striker had been the subject of interest from the Spitfires during the transfer window.

However, with the opening of today’s emergency loan window, a deal has now been struck to allow the 31-year-old to move to Silverlake Stadium. Tubbs has scored 5 goals in seventeen appearances this season for Pompey, but hasn’t featured since the end of October, but is contracted to Fratton Park until the summer of 2017.

Tubbs had prolific spells with Dorchester Town, Salisbury City, where he scored 107 goals in 250 games and Crawley Town, where he notched 49 times in sixty-five games before joining AFC Bournemouth in 2012, moving along the south coast to Portsmouth in January 2015."

The 72 adds that "Eastleigh have signed Portsmouth striker Matt Tubbs on loan for the remainder of the season...

He joins an Eastleigh team that currently occupies the final play-off position in the top tier of non-league football but they are without a win in their last eight matches in all competitions... Eastleigh Chief Executive Mark Jewell believes the signing of Tubbs is a real coup for the football club and his past record at this level was a major factor in signing him,

'Hopefully Matt will do what he’s always done and put the ball in the back of the net. Hopefully he will be the kick-on the club needs for the run-in. I think he will be a very popular signing. He’s a name that’s been thrown up a lot over the last few years by our supporters, but sometimes it takes a while for the opportunity to come along.

'You do go a bit flat after FA Cup exploits, that’s well-known in football, so signing Matt will be good for morale. He sounds the right sort of character to come in and lift the dressing room.'

Jewell also revealed that the club tried to sign Tubbs on a permanent deal in the January transfer window but couldn’t agree a deal...

'We couldn’t broker a deal before the transfer window closed so we’ve gone back to them and agreed an emergency loan until the end of the season and then we’ll look at things again. Matt’s got another year on his contract and we’ll look at all parties in the summer, see how Matt’s enjoying it and see where we are, with a view to making him a long-term signing. At the moment there’s no commitment beyond the loan period'".

Reports from the BBC say that "Gary Simpson has joined Barrow as the club's new assistant manager. Simpson, 54, has previously managed at Macclesfield Town and Lincoln City but was sacked by the Imps in 2014.

He joins Paul Cox's side as replacement for first-team coach Alex Meechan, who was one of three backroom support staff to leave the club on Sunday. Barrow, who are currently 16th in the National League table, have won just one of their last eight league games."

In the Chester Chronicle we read that "Chester FC and FC Halifax Town will meet in the FA Trophy third round on Wednesday (7.45pm), weather permitting.

A waterlogged pitch at the Shay Stadium led to the tie being postponed on Saturday and, after originally rescheduling for Tuesday, the clubs agreed to push the game back another 24 hours to give the surface more time to recover. Rugby League side Halifax RLFC played at the ground on Sunday so, even if the rain in West Yorkshire relents, which the forecasts suggests will happen, the pitch probably won't be in the best shape.

If the game is postponed again, it is likely to be moved to Tuesday, February 16 which would mean Chester [would] need to reschedule their league visit to Altrincham, which was postponed on Boxing Day.

The winners have been drawn at home to Gateshead in the quarter-finals and will bank £7,000 in prize money... The hosts go into the tie protecting a 12-game unbeaten run under ex-Chester City manager Jim Harvey.

The postponement might have worked in Chester's favour as Ross Hannah (toe), Sam Hughes (illness) and Ryan Lloyd (ribs) were all doubtful for the original date. Blues' boss Steve Burr said, 'It's going to be a tough game, certainly tougher than when we beat them earlier in the season, because we are still stuttering. The players are the same but it's similar to Southport in that a new manager has gone in and that's given them a lift. It's amazing how that seems to happen but that's down to the confidence and belief that comes from winning football matches.

'Halifax have picked up and the players are playing with a lot more confidence and that's the one ingredient as a manger you wish you could give players'. Halifax will include ex-Chester pair Kingsley James and Matty Brown while former Torquay United striker Waide Fairhurst is available after signing non-contract forms last week. Fellow new signing Dino Fazlic is cup-tied having played for Kidderminster Harriers in the competition while leading scorer Shaun Tuton has been sold to Barnsley."


9 February 2016

URGENT! VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR TURNSTILES

With a successful outcome to the 2pm pitch inspection, Altrincham FC will need additional volunteer gate-people to staff the turnstiles at the J Davidson Stadium tonight, as a number of regular operators are unavailable for this rearranged match. If you can help, please contact Matchday Secretary, George Heslop, as soon as possible on either 07939 890503 or (0161) 718 0624. George asks volunteers to leave their numbers and he will contact them as quickly as possible, should the match be called off. No previous experience is necessary and your help would be greatly appreciated.

ALTRINCHAM v WREXHAM: LIVE MATCH COVERAGE

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

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game at The J.Davidson Stadium. The commentators are Alex Sarwar and Paul Salt and the match summariser is John Edwards.

Coverage starts at 7.40pm & you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at http://www.radiorobins.com/

Howard Watts's "Through the Years" information is here.

Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record in matches between our two clubs.

  • At home: P7-W1-D3-L3-F5-A10
  • At Wrexham P7-W2-D2-L3-F7-A11
  • All P14-W3-D5-L6-F12-A21

WREXHAM SELECTION QUERIES

The Leader Live says that "Midfielder Adriano Moke is ready to grab his chance if he is recalled to the Wrexham side against Altrincham at Moss Lane tonight. Moke was introduced as a substitute for the second half against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday and he impressed as Wrexham drew 2-2 with the title chasers.

Manager Gary Mills revealed captain Connor Jennings is rated '50-50' after sustaining a calf injury at the weekend and, although Rob Evans is available, Moke hopes to be back in the starting line-up. 'I was happy just to get on the pitch and make a little bit of difference, speed up the tempo,' said Moke, who hasn’t started any of Wrexham’s last four matches...

'If I have to wait, I will do that and when my chance comes I will take it.'...

Moke, who joined Wrexham from Macclesfield Town last summer, has been pleased with his form this term. 'Personally I think I have had an all right season so far', said Moke. 'Everytime I have played I have given 100 per cent. Even though sometimes I have not been in the game or quiet, I still try to get the boys ticking and stuff'...

Disappointed not to have held on for three points [against FGR], Moke is targeting victory against lowly Altrincham to boost the play-off challenge. 'It was cruel but things like this happen in football', said Moke... 'When you look at these teams, no disrespect to them but you can tell that we can still be up there with them... We will just keep going to the end and see what happens. We will go to Altrincham and do the same, just keep playing our game'...

Right-back Javan Vidal picked up a groin injury against Forest Green and will be absent at Altrincham so Mark Carrington is likely to deputise once again in Wrexham’s defence."

MATCH TO GO AHEAD AFTER PITCH INSPECTION

Following a pitch inspection by a local referee at the J Davidson Stadium, tonight's scheduled Altrincham v Wrexham match is set to go ahead.

Earlier, volunteers helped to prepare the pitch and the Club is very grateful for their assistance...

Above, left, we see assistant manager Neil Tolson and club caterer Richie Bentley as they prepared to remove the pitch covers. Right, groundsman Neil Brown marked out the pitch.

JOSH GINNELLY LOAN EXTENDED

Burnley have confirmed that "Development Squad winger Josh Ginnelly has extended his youth loan at Altrincham for a further month.

The summer arrival from Shrewsbury Town has made four outings for the National League side, scoring one goal".

VOTE FOR ALTY'S NEW KIT

Alty goalkeeping coach and supplier, through his SKkits company of the Altrincham FC kit, Ian Senior advises that there will be a "supporters' vote for the design of the Altrincham home shirt for the next two seasons. Click on the adjacent image to enlarge it and use the incorporated form to send to the Football Club at the J Davidson Stadium or drop it off at any of the up coming home games. Votes will be counted after the Guiseley game and the winning option will be announced then".

Ian adds that "My designer has come up with 10 options, all featuring a "buttoned collar" with a full colour back to the shirt. Shirts will be available in sizes XSB to XXL, with additional sizes if required. Shirts will also be available in long or short sleeves. Forms will also be available at forthcoming home games, with the result announced after the Guiseley game."

NUMBERS NEEDED, QUICKLY, FOR SPURS REUNION

TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes that "With just one game played at home since the turn of the year, ticket sales for the Spurs Reunion event on Friday, perhaps understandably, have been low to date. With the amount of rain that has fallen in the last 24 hours and the short term forecast looking distinctly wet, Tuesday night's scheduled game against Wrexham may well be postponed, which would deny us our best ticket sales opportunity in the build up to this event.

As we need to understand very quickly, for catering purposes, the number of people who are planning to attend, please could I ask you to let us know if you haven't bought a ticket but are planning to be there, via one of the following channels by tomorrow (Tuesday):-

  • Call the club on 0161 928 1045
  • Contact me by e-mail, ring/text me on 07860 561011 or send me a personal message on the Fans' Forum (Username: Brian Flynn).

Details of the event are below:-

Tottenham Hotspur Reunion Event

TASC is organising a reunion of the teams that played against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup 3rd Round ties in both 1979 & 1995.

This event will take place on Friday February 12th 2016 at 7.30pm in the Community Sports Hall.

Tickets will be available at the Wrexham game &and can be purchased at the TASC table in the Community Sports Hall between 7.00-7.45pm or from the club office from Monday-Friday during normal office hours.

Tickets are priced at £15 and include a two-course meal, provided by Club caterer, Richie Bentley.

This should be a great evening of nostalgia, commemorating two magnificent achievements in the history of Altrincham Football Club and attendees include Paul France, Ricky Harris, Steve Cross, Jeff Johnson, Tony Sanders, Noel White, John King and Graham Heathcote.

For further details or information about this event, please contact Brian Flynn by e-mail, ring/text me on 07860 561011 or send me a personal message on the Fans' Forum (Username: Brian Flynn).

NEXT OPPONENTS: WREXHAM

Following their game last Saturday, the Daily Post reported that "Wrexham suffered a second dramatic finish in the space of seven days, Brett Williams giving Forest Green Rovers a share of the spoils with a 94th minute equaliser on Saturday. That draw followed a 1-1 stalemate at Eastleigh last weekend, Connor Jennings hitting the top of the cross bar with an 88th minute penalty to deny Wrexham all three points.

Saturday’s draw sees the Dragons stay in 12th in the National League... Here Post sport writer Rob Griffiths [says]... Mills doesn't need to bring players... Hudson was indeed the ‘fox in the box’ for the Dragons, firing twice to give them a 2-1 lead... Hudson has often found himself as a scapegoat when things go back for the Dragons but he put in an outstanding performance on Saturday and, even without the brace, was the leading candidate for the sponsors' man of the match award.

It seems strange that a side sitting as low as 12th in the standings, and only on the fringes of forcing their way into the play-offs should be so disappointed after claiming only two points from matches against the league leaders and a team firmly ensconced in the top five. Yet Wrexham will know they have thrown away another four points to add to their tally in their last two outings...

After a hat-trick in midweek for the reserves Kayden Jackson certainly earned his place in the starting XI for the Dragons... The young forward has something you simply cannot teach, pure speed. He has always talked about his willingness to work hard for the cause, and that was clear for all to see in Saturday’s draw with Forest Green...

The performance of referee Ryan Johnson in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers was not up to scratch for the fifth tier. Johnson ‘bottled’ the chance to send off Rovers’s Aarran Racine, the centre-half already on a yellow card before crudely hauling down a flying Jackson, and had Racine not already been booked there is no question a yellow card would have been produced... Johnson did send off Sam Wedgbury in injury time, the midfielder walking a tight line throughout for some heavy challenges in the middle of the park before getting his final one completely wrong."

Wrexham add that "'Alty' had a tough Christmas campaign, results and weather wise! Between farcical postponement after postponement of their FA Trophy replay at Leamington, which they eventually played and won, and rearranging league fixtures to cope with this, Altrincham fell into the relegation places in the National League...

Altrincham visited The Racecourse Ground on the 12th of September in a game that The Dragons dominated. Scott Leather put into his own net on 20 minutes via a deflection from Connor Jennings shot. Blaine Hudson's header made it 2-0 at the break, but Altrincham came out swinging for the second half, and Michael Rankine split the defence and smashed the ball past Cameron Belford. Polarity[?] was restored however when James Gray netted in the 58th minute and the game ended 3-1 to Wrexham...

Altrincham come into this fixture occupying 19th place with 31 points having played two less fixtures than Wrexham. Wrexham sit in 12th place... It's tight, Altrincham sit just 3 points above the drop zone but only 4 points away from overtaking Chester who sit in 17th. Unfortunately for the Robins, goal difference isn't on their side, on a differential of -20, conceding 47 goals, only Torquay United (second bottom and on -27) and Kidderminster Harriers (bottom and on -20) can rival those stats".

MICHAEL GIVES THANKS

Above: Michael Rankine gives thanks for his goal at Welling last Saturday, as his team mates (Jake Moult, Jonny Margetts and James Lawrie) gather to congratulate him.

MIDWEEK FIXTURES

The Chester Chronicle says that "The rescheduled FA Trophy third round tie between FC Halifax Town and Chester FC will now be played on Wednesday (7.45pm). Having been postponed on Saturday because of a waterlogged pitch at the Shay Stadium, the game was due to take place on Tuesday.

However, the clubs have agreed to move the fixture back a further 24 hours to ensure it has the best possible chance of going ahead. The prospects of the match taking place tomorrow were considered bleak because rugby league side Halifax RLFC, who share the ground, played at home on Sunday and heavy rain fell on Monday with more expected on Tuesday.

Drier weather has been forecast for Wednesday so the clubs are more hopeful of the pitch being declared fit, although an inspection is likely given the circumstances surrounding the weekend's postponement... Blues' boss Steve Burr and most his squad were also at the ground when Preston-based referee Michael Salisbury arrived at about 1pm. The official called the game off 10 minutes later having inspected the surface. Overnight rain had left the pitch saturated and it was clear from late morning there was little chance of the tie going ahead."

FA TROPHY DRAW

The FA Trophy Quarter-Final Draw was made on Mondaay, with ties to be played on Saturday, February 27th 2016.
  • Nantwich Town/Stourbridge v Dover Athletic/Guiseley
  • FC Halifax Town/Chester FC v Gateshead
  • Grimsby Town v Woking
  • Sutton United/Bognor Regis Town v Torquay United/Macclesfield Town

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

In the Worcester News we read that "Pete McKinney takes an in-depth look at Kidderminster Harriers' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Vanarama National League... The 2-0 success was only Kidderminster’s third win of the season and bucked a disastrous losing run of eight straight defeats.

Can Harriers pull off a miracle and somehow produce the greatest of great escapes? The statistics suggest the odds are against them. Harriers are bottom of the Vanarama National League after 29 games, with just 17 points. That’s an average of 0.59 points a match. If that trend continued then they would finish the season with approximately 26 points... If we assume that 45 points will be enough to ensure safety, the difficulty of Kidderminster’s task is clear and intimidating...

The matches in Kidderminster are key; they have nine games left at Aggborough and conceivably they would have to win almost all of those games to give themselves a chance. After Eastleigh tomorrow night, the visitors to Hoo Road are all beatable and include fellow relegation battles Halifax, Chester and Altrincham...

Away from Kidderminster, they have much tougher challenges, including title challengers Cheltenham as well Wrexham and Braintree... Harriers also go to fellow bottom four sides Welling and Torquay in no doubt season defining matches. Kidderminster’s hopes of survival are slim - the bookies have odds of 1/66 and 1/100 of escaping the drop...

The January rebuild seems to have left the squad more settled than it has been for this miserable, erratic campaign. There have been signs of improvement and they will pick up more points but it might be too little too late".


8 February 2016

NEXT OPPONENTS: WREXHAM

Alty are due to entertain Wrexham at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday (9th at 7.45pm). This is the first of four successive home matches and a sequence of seven home fixtures in the next nine.

Last Saturday, according to the Daily Post, "Wrexham were denied at the death as Brett Williams struck in the fourth minute of added time to secure a share of the points for National League high flies Forest Green Rovers.

It was hard on the home side, who had seemingly wrapped up the points as they came from behind to take a deserved lead through two Blaine Hudson efforts. Darren Carter headed the league leaders ahead in the first half from a deep corner, before Hudson struck twice in quick succession from two Mark Carrington set pieces...

But Wrexham guilty of not being able to clear their lines in the dying embers of the game and Williams was on hand to fire home from close range to seal the draw...

Referee Ryan Johnson elected not to pull out a second yellow card and send Aarran Racine for an early bath... Racine should have gone, and will know it, so it was a little bit of justice as Blaine Hudson stabbed home from the resulting free kick to put the Dragons ahead...

But it was only after Mark Beck came on and added a physical presence up front that Wrexham looked a little more capable of scoring...

Given how much rain had fallen in the lead up to kick off, it was only down to the state of the pitch, and hard work of the Racecourse groundstaff that this game was able to go ahead...

WREXHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Vidal (Moke 46), Smith, Hudson, Fyfield, Newton; Heslop, Carrington, Jennings; Jackson, York (Beck 59). Subs: Fowler, Briscoe, Gray".

Meanwhile, "Gary Mills said he did not feel forced into bringing any new recruits into the Dragon... but that money was available should he feel the need to bolster his squad. Mills brought in four players in the January transfer window; Simon Heslop and Louis Briscoe on permanent deals, while Mark Beck joined on loan until the end of the season and Rhys Taylor saw his loan from Newport extended until the summer.

The Dragons saw leading scorer Dominic Vose depart the club on transfer deadline day to join League One outfit Scunthorpe United for an undisclosed figure...

Said Mills, 'We have got a strength in the dressing room, and... sometimes you can’t buy that. That money you are talking about can’t buy that, and that is why my ex-club Leicester are sitting top of the league... Our pure passion for this football club deserved three points' [against FGR]...

Mills added, 'The money is there but, because it is sitting there, it doesn’t mean you have to spend it... So the people upstairs might be pleased to hear I am not going to spend it'".

SPURS MATCH REUNION

John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Altrincham's Community Sports Hall will be awash with nostalgia next week when key figures from their halcyon days as FA Cup giantkillers relive two of their most memorable third-round encounters.

Twice Alty ventured south to White Hart Lane, in 1979 and 1995, and, each time, an upset was on the cards as non-League's most feared Cup battlers made light of star-studded Tottenham Hotspur line-ups.

A late Jeff Johnson equaliser reduced the home crowd to stunned silence in '79, and forced a replay Alty lost, while a Tottenham side containing the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham could only breath easy 16 years later after Shaun Constable had a goal controversially disallowed with the score 2-0.

To commemorate those two unforgettable occasions, Alty's supporters club, TASC, have organised a dinner at the Community Sports Hall next Friday (12th), 7.30pm, that will include the chance to quiz names that have gone into Moss Lane folklore. Former manager Tony Sanders, ex-chairman Noel White, midfield hard man and skipper John King, who famously flattened Ossie Ardiles inside the opening minute in '79, and Graham Heathcote have already given their word they will attend, as have Paul France, Ricky Harris and Steve Cross.

'Nostalgia will be very much to the fore, and it promises to be a great night,' said TASC chairman Brian Flynn. 'Apart from the dinner, there will be a Q&A with those involved, and it will be fantastic to be able to relive two major achievements in the club's proud FA Cup history.

'Tottenham had really high-profile players back then, but we really gave them a run for their money. The 1-1 draw in '79 was one of the stand-out results, and if Shaun's goal hadn't been contentiously ruled out in the '95 game, who knows what might have happened?

'There has been a really positive response so far. When I phoned Paul France, we were chatting for half-an-hour, and that's typical of how well received it has been.' Tickets, at £15 each, are still available from the club on 0161 928 1045".

WELLING'S VIEW

After Saturday's game, Welling United report that "Sahr Kabba came to the rescue of Welling as they claimed a precious point in their quest for survival.

In his pre match interview manager Dean Frost urged his side to start on the front foot but, maybe due to nerves, a youthful Welling side very were tentative and it was Altrincham who were brightest with the away side almost taking the lead but Welling survived a goalmouth scramble... as a shell shocked Welling struggled to compete.

Slowly but surely Welling began to work their way into the game... But back came Altrincham and they went close when [they] hit the crossbar from close range...

Just before the hour mark though Altrincham took the lead and it was a howler from a Wings perspective. A long ball out of defence should have been a routine clearance for Rodak but he and covering defender Michael Chambers both hesitated allowing Rankine to nip in and touch the ball past a stranded Rodak and he tapped into an empty net.

It almost got worst but this time Rodak atoned for his error with a super save to deny Rankine... With the game seemingly drifting away from Welling and the game in the 89th minute. The Wings best move of the game resulted in them grabbing the crucial equaliser. Michael Bakare’ played a lovely weighted ball to Luke Wanadio whose goal bound shot was blocked on the line only for Sahr Kabba to react quickest and slam the ball home for an unlikely equaliser.

It was a goal that felt like a winner for The Wings. Whilst it leaves Welling with a lot of work still to do, there task would have been a lot, lot harder witout Kabba’s last minute strike".

ALTY'S OTHER TEAMS

Next Sunday (14th) Altrincham FC Youth are scheduled to have a home match against Curzon Ashton.

The next scheduled fixtures for Altincham FC Ladies are...

  • 14/02/16 v Merseyrail Bootle (away)
  • 21/02/16 v Warrington Wolverines (home)
  • 28/02/16 v Winsford (away)

For the Altrincham FC Football Careers, Scholarship & Education Programme team, the next scheduled games are...

  • 10/02/16 v MMU (home)
  • 24/02/16 Farsley Celtic (away)

OLD BOY

Sam Wedgbury was sent off for FGR last Saturday

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Dover Athletic "have moved to strengthen the backroom setup at Crabble with the appointment of former Welling United manager Loui Fazakerley as a coach.

31-year-old Fazakerley, until last month, had been in charge of the Park View Road side... and has now been recruited as part of Chris Kinnear’s backroom staff, as a coach, with a main focus on fitness.

Fazakerley said, 'I am very happy to join Dover as fitness coach as it keeps me involved in the game at the same level, albeit in a different role... I can see why the team is doing so well this season as Chris and Jake have put together a great group of lads. Everyone seems to get on well and they all work their socks off. There’s a great atmosphere around the place too...

With my background in sports performance I really think I can come in and make some improvements to the physical performance of the players".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "FC Halifax Town have announced the signing of 26-year-old striker Waide Fairhurst on non-ontract basis

The Sheffield-born frontman started his career at Doncaster Lovers and had loans spells at Shrewsbury Town, Southend United and Hereford United. He joined Macclesfield Town in the summer of 2011 and was at Moss Rose for two seasons before joining Lincoln City ahead of the 2013/14 season.

Fairhurst returned to the Silkmen initially on loan in January 2014 before making his move at the end of the season and joined Torquay United last summer, but left them by mutual consent at the end of January".

In its weekly review the National League reports that "Cheltenham Town returned to the top of the table on Saturday after a 2-1 win at the Furness Building Society Stadium against Barrow AFC, while Forest Green Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw at Wrexham...

A drama-filled game at the Racecourse Ground saw Forest Green rescue a late point against Wrexham...

Tranmere Rovers earned a 1-0 win against Southport at Prenton Park. James Norwood’s second half goal was enough to secure the three points... Gary Brabin’s side have now won six of their last seven games.

Lincoln City kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a comfortable victory over Eastleigh... Matt Rhead and new strike partner Jack Muldoon combined to give City the lead after 22 minutes... On-loan James Caton scored number two 5 minutes before the break when he blasted home from 25 yards.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Rhead returned the favour by setting up Muldoon for the third...

Kidderminster Harriers gave their faint hopes of avoiding relegation as boost with a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Boreham Wood to bring an end to their eight-game losing streak. Harriers took the lead in the 21st minute against the run of play".

At Barrow "we learn that "After careful consideration and due process, Barrow’s Board of Directors and Manager Paul Cox have agreed to completely reconfigure the playing support staff both in terms of structure and personnel.

This means that First Team Coach [and ex-Alty winger] Alex Meechan, Sports Therapist Dan Anderton and Strength and Conditioning Coach Paddy Maher have left the club with immediate effect.

The club will announce Paul Cox’s new backroom staff in the next day or two. The club would like to place on record their thanks to Meechan, who has been at Holker Street since the summer of 2013".

In the Western Morning News we learn that "A weekend of waterlogged frustration, their FA Trophy third-round tie at home to Macclesfield Town has been rearranged for Tuesday night, may just have worked out well for Torquay United.

Not only did Saturday’s postponement give Torquay player-manager Kevin Nicholson a few extra days to get more players fit for the Trophy tie at the Launa Windows Stadium, but National League results elsewhere did the Gulls’ hopes of avoiding relegation little harm... The gap between Torquay and safety remains at ten points.

The Gulls now have a game in hand on most of their rivals in distress. They still have to transform their current form to have a chance of mounting a 'great escape', which will centre on a make-or-break month starting with Chester’s visit to Plainmoor this coming Saturday...

If the third-round game had gone ahead as scheduled, Nicholson would have been without five cup-tied players, including last week’s signing, former Millwall prospect John-Prince Rylah. Rylah, Shaun Harrad, Toby Ajala, Nathan Blissett and Sam Chaney are all still ineligible, but Nicholson would have been pushed to fill out a 16-man squad because of fitness worries over himself (ankle), right-back Durrell Berry (shoulder) and midfielder Aman Verma.

Verma spent last week recovering from a worrying collapse the night before the 2-1 league defeat at Tranmere Rovers nine days ago. Verma was examined in hospital and then released after feeling unwell and fainting... With four more days to recover, he is expected to be available tomorrow.

United officials are keeping everything crossed that the weather improves enough to allow the Trophy tie to go ahead. The Plainmoor pitch has seen three postponements already this season and, as things stand, it is due to stage six matches in the next 26 days. That is a demanding enough schedule at the best of times."


7 February 2016

WELLING UNITED 1-1 ALTRINCHAM

Altrincham allowed two points to slip by conceding a last-minute equalizer at Welling...

Match report here

Right: Marcus Holness, on loan from Tranmere Rovers, has slotted in well to the Altrincham backline. Here he marks Welling's Luke Wanadio.

After the game, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper "It's not a nice feeling to concede so late on but we can only blame ourselves. We should have finished the game off but we really lacked a cutting edge at times".

SATURDAY FIXTURES

Saturday 6 February, Vanarama National League
  • Barrow 1-2 Cheltenham Town
  • Boreham Wood 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Lincoln City 3-0 Eastleigh
  • Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Southport
  • Welling United 1-1 Altrincham
  • Wrexham 2-2 Forest Green Rovers

Saturday 6 February, FA Trophy Round 3

  • Torquay United P-P Macclesfield Town
  • Grimsby Town 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville
  • Gateshead 1-0 AFC Fylde
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Chester
  • Woking 1-0 Oxford City
  • Dover Athletic 2-2 Guiseley AFC
  • Sutton United 0-0 Bognor Regis Town
  • Nantwich Town P-P Stourbridge

6 February 2016

COVERS TO PROTECT THE PITCH

With four home league matches having been postponed this season at the J. Davidson Stadium, the Club is grateful to Lancashire County Cricket Club for the loan of some pitch covers to protect the most vulnerable areas of the playing surface at Moss Lane. Above, left, we see groundsman Neil Brown (centre) overseeing the unpacking of the covers, with (from left to right) Neil Tolson, Phil Taylor, Peter Foster, Judy Henson, Alan Ainsley and Karen Rowley. The right-hand picture shows the covers after they had been applied to the pitch at the Golf Road End on the Popular Side.

WELLING BOSS WANTS A "RATTY TEAM"

Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Welling United,

  • At Home: P13-W6-D3-L4-F17-A12
  • Away: P14-W4-D7-L3-F14-A14
  • All: P27-W10-D10-L7-F31-A26

Welling United report that manager "Dean Frost will be looking for his Wings team to beat Altrincham on Saturday at Park View Road as he takes charge of the team for the first time on home ground.

Frost was keen to turn Park View Road into the fortress it was under Jamie Day, when Frost and his assistant Barry Ashby were Day’s back room team.

The Wings' manager said, after Tuesday’s loss at Braintree, that he is looking for the Wings to press hard and be a ratty team and give the opposition no time to settle at PVR [Park View Road]. He also said his team have to learn fast over the next two or three matches to turn performances into wins.

The Wings failed to overcome a physical and savvy Braintree side on Tuesday and they will face a similar threat on Saturday through Altrincham’s target man Michael Rankine (right) who is often the target for Alty as they try to move up the pitch and play from there.

The Wings could have Ade Yusuff available up front after he was not selected on Tuesday, after his loan move from Dagenham, to give him a few more days to be over an injury.

If you are coming on Saturday, get behind the team and lets make PVR a fortress again and inspire the players to a vital 3 points, kick off is 3:00pm".

GEORGE BOWERMAN

As reported on below, George Bowerman, who is on loan from Altrincham to AFC Telford United, is going on trial with Orlando in the USA. As things stand he will return from that trial to complete his loan at Telford. He therefore remains an Altrincham player at the present time.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

From NL Pitchero, we learn that "Guiseley AFC have confirmed that winger Wayne Brooksby has left Nethermoor by mutual consent and has re-signed for North Ferriby United. Brooksby joined the Lions in the summer of 2012 and formed a key part of the Guiseley squads under both Steve Kittrick and Mark Bower.

The 25-year-old missed the North play-off final defeat to Altrincham due to a broken jaw but was part of the side eventually promoted to the National League last season. Brooksby struggled for game-time this term following an injury in October and was loaned out to former club North Ferriby for a month in November".

The National League reports that "The New Year has seen plenty of impressive performances and undefeated starts in 2016 and Vanarama are pleased to announce the winners for Manager and Player of the Month.

The Vanarama National League Manager of the Month award for January goes to Ady Pennock of Forest Green Rovers...

The Vanarama National League Player of the Month for January goes to Danny Wright of Cheltenham Town".

From The National League we learn that "Boreham Wood have announced the signing of our influential central midfield player Conor Clifford on a contract until the end of the 2016/17 season. Clifford has a fantastic pedigree, having started his career at Chelsea before loan spells at Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town.

When he left Chelsea he joined Southend United and played thirty-six games before being loaned out to Barnet, where he played a big part in winning the National League title.

Manager Luke Garrard said, 'Conor is a big part of my changing room and my future plans. We have ambitions at this club to not only move up the table this season but to get ourselves into a position where success becomes an expectation and not a dream. For that to happen, I first have to sign players with that mindset and Conor gives me that in abundance. I have no thoughts on relegation with this squad and I’m putting building blocks in place already for next season.'

Director of football Ian Allinson said, 'The chairman has done great for us to get this bit of business over the line and, I must say, with the minimum of fuss. Trust me when I say that Conor is as good as any in this division and he can certainly play higher. We are developing all the time as a club, as a squad and as a team. This signing tells our dressing room and our supporters that, of course, we need to concentrate on safety in the next seventeen games but we intend to push on again in the summer, having learnt loads this season about the level'".

At the division's most northerly club, "Former Hartlepool United defender Darren Holden has signed for Gateshead. The 22-year-old was one of six players released by Pools manager Ronnie Moore at the end of last season... But Holden [wasted] no time securing a new club, joining Ross County on a two-year deal. Holden made eleven appearances for Pools in 2014/15 but barely featured once Moore took charge. He made a total of sixty appearances for Pools.

However, he has made only a handful of League Cup appearances for County`s first-team this season, and has been mainly featuring in their under-21 side."

Last season the final fixtures in the division kicked off at 5.15pm to accommodate television coverage by BT Sport and, this season those matches will start a quarter of an hour later as we learn that "ALL Vanarama National League matches on Saturday, 30th April 2016 (the final day’s fixture programme) will kick-off at 17.30hrs, enabling the selection of LIVE coverage of a match or matches on BT Sport as part of the climax to the regular season.

Vanarama National North and Vanarama National South matches are not affected and will all kick-off as scheduled, at 15.00hrs."


5 February 2016

GEORGE BOWERMAN TO USA?

The Express & Star reports that "George Bowerman could be lining up alongside Kaka after being offered a trial in the MLS with Orlando City. The Sedgley-born 24-year-old had joined AFC Telford on loan from Altrincham less than a fortnight ago and made one substitute appearance. But he has already moved on after getting an offer from the Florida-based club, who currently have Brazilian World Cup winner Kaka on their books.

'To be fair to George, this was an opportunity he could not turn down,' said Bucks' assistant boss Larry Chambers. 'We spoke to him, to his agent and both parties agreed for him to go. This is something which could completely transform his lifestyle'.

Bowerman came through the youth academy at Walsall and made his debut for the club... in August 2011. The forward scored 11 times for the Saddlers in 59 appearances, although just 15 of them were starts. But he was released from the Banks’s Stadium in May, 2013, after then-boss Dean Smith said he felt Bowerman had lost his way.

Spells at Woking and Accrington Stanley followed and he had a loan spell with Stourbridge in the Evo-Stik Premier last season. A move to Vanarama Premier side Altrincham followed in July last year and he started well with four goals before the end of August. But he netted just once after that and was allowed to drop down a division with the Bucks".

George has made 15 (+15) appearances for Altrincham this season, scoring four times.

NICKY HAS SUCCESSFUL OPERATION

Following Thursday training, manager Lee Sinnott confirmed that winger Nicky Clee has successfully had his operation on his ruptured adductor and, like Shaun Densmore, is now recuperating from undergoing the surgeon's knife. Fellow injury victim, Luca Havern, is due to see his specialist again as he recovers from his broken nose.

With the one-month loan period of Josh Ginnelly ending next week and that of Dylan Mottley-Henry due to finish a week later, the club's attention now turns towards discussions over the continuation or otherwise of their initial loans from their parent clubs, Burnley and Bradford City.

NEXT OPPONENTS: WELLING UNITED

For the second season running, Altrincham travel to Welling United soon after a new managerial appointment at the Kent club. The referee on Saturday is Mr C Hicks who officiated at the Dover Athletic v Altrincham game earlier this season.

On the topic of Welling the NL Paper says "I’m still a risk, admits new Welling United boss Dean Frost. Welling United have replaced a manager with no managerial experience for another and new boss Dean Frost accepts there’s a risk element involved for the troubled Wings.

The Kent club sacked long-serving Loui Fazakerley last Monday with the club without a win since mid-October and desperately struggling for form... But while the likes of FC Halifax have appointed experienced Jim Harvey and Southport went for former NLP Manager of the Year Dino Maamria with great success, Welling have opted for the relatively unheard of Frost. Although a well-respected coach, the 38-year-old is, like his predecessor, lacking in dug-out experience.

Fazakerley may not have worked but untried Jamie Day before him certainly did. Frost believes his appointment can have a similar outcome to that of the now Forest Green number two and his first challenge is getting shot- shy Welling firing again. The Wings have scored just 24 National League goals, with only National League North AFC Telford and Southern League strugglers Bideford scoring fewer times in Non-League’s top three tiers...

'I have an affiliation for the place', added Frost, who has unveiled Barry Ashby as his number two. 'I was a fan in the 80s before going on to play for Welling but it’s not an emotional thing. I’m here to do a job and that’s to keep the club up. Some people will see my lack of managerial experience as a little risky, and maybe it is, but I feel I have earned the right. Who’s to say someone who has been managing at a high level for years would do any better?'

Wings' owner Barry Hobbins said, 'Loui has been a fantastic servant but we felt we had to make a change to give ourselves the best chance of staying up'".

SUPPORTERS' TRAVEL TO WELLING

Altrincham are away at Welling United on Saturday 6th February. TASC is running a supporters' (mini-)coach, operated by Haytons with two drivers, to the game. Details of times and fares are here. To book, please ring the club during normal office hours on 0161 928-1045.

'EASTER' DRAW 2016

Brian Flynn announces the Altrincham FC Easter Draw for 2016...

"Tickets will be on sale at the Dover game for the Altrincham Football Club ‘Easter’ Draw 2016, for which the prizes are as follows:-

  • Amazon Fire 7 Tablet Computer
  • The Complete James Bond DVD Box Set
  • Hudl 2 Tablet Computer
  • Multi-Function Printer/Scanner
  • Any item from the Altrincham F.C. Merchandise/Clothing Range
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • 2 Tickets for an England International Match at Wembley Stadium
  • Matchday Hospitality for 4 People at an Altrincham F.C. Home game & a signed home shirt.
  • Dolce & Gabbana, The One, for Men, Eau de Toilette.
  • Four Ball Round of Golf at Davyhulme Golf Club
  • PLUS MANY MORE!

Tickets are 50p each or a book of four for £2. The draw will take place on Easter Monday (March 28th) 2016 in the Community Sports Hall after the game with Southport".

CREWE "DOMINANT"

After Wednesday's game Crewe Alexandra report that their "Under 21 side booked a second round Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Stockport County after defeating Altrincham with ease at Gresty Road. It was a dominant display by Alex Morris's side, with Joe Howell and Andre Brown notching in the first half before Charlie Kirk, James Baillie and a Callum Saunders brace completing [sic] the rout during the second period..."

OLD BOY

We learn from NL Pitchero that "AFC Fylde have announced the appointment of Alex Hay as chief scout. Hay will oversee the introduction of a complete scouting network at the club, from watching games and producing match reports on opposition teams to highlighting potential targets for recruitment into the first-team.

The 34-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the role and is already well-known to manager Dave Challinor. Hay began his scouting career with Chester before moving into a full time role with Tranmere Rovers. On leaving Tranmere, he worked for Eastleigh in the National League and began this season as chief scout at fellow National League North club Stockport County."

The above does not mention that Hay was a first-team player with Tranmere Rovers and spent a period on loan with Altrincham.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Fourteenth-placed Bromley report that "The board of Bromley FC have agreed to part company with their manager Mark Goldberg. Club Chairman, Jerry Dolke, said, 'This is not a decision that has been taken lightly. The Club has new investors who have higher expectations than current performances on the pitch are showing'.

Mark has been the most successful manager in the club's history, and his record speaks for itself. Notable achievements include being promoted from the Ryman Premier Division and winning the Conference South Championship last year allowing the Club to compete at its highest ever level. In addition, Mark led Bromley FC to two Kent Senior Cup titles and a London Senior Cup. During Mark’s tenure the Club reached the First Round of the FA Cup on five separate occasions and produced a number of players that progressed on to play in the Football League.

Mark’s involvement and contribution span almost 30 years. From Bromley Reserve team player-manager in the late 80s, to starting the first Bromley FC youth team at Under-9 level, taking them all the way through to under-18 level and contributing to the growth of the Bromley FC Junior and Youth section to over 30 teams.

Mark Goldberg said, 'I am disappointed that the Board feel a change is required, as I believe we are performing to a realistic expectation, considering all circumstances. My belief and ambition have never waivered, however football is all about opinions and a decision has been made. As a patron of Bromley FC I will continue to support the club in every way I can.'

Assistant Manager Neil Smith has been appointed Interim First-Team Manager.

Jerry Dolke concluded, 'We would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank Mark for his professionalism and exemplary service to the Club and we hope to see Mark around the club at games and potentially involved with the Board in some capacity in the future. We will give Neil all the support we can moving forward. Now is not the time to speculate about a full-time appointment'.

The final word comes from Mark Goldberg, 'I am pleased that Neil Smith has the opportunity to take on the role and he has my full support and I thank everyone involved with me during my time at the club for the great team effort that has seen us grow from a Ryman League to a National League club.'

No fewer than ELEVEN National League clubs have now changed their manager this season, in some cases, more than once!

NL Pitchero tells us that "Torquay United have secured the services of pacey wide-man or striker John-Prince Rylah on a non-contract basis.

The teenager came through the ranks at Millwall, where his skill and attacking flair marked him out as one to watch and also saw him spend time on trial at AFC Bournemouth. He has also gained experience with Walton Casuals and, most recently, Chatham Town... As well as playing out wide, he can also feature in a more central attacking role if required."

Following yesterday's revelation that Torquay were looking at a possible new stadium, the Torquay Herald Express adds that "United are in talks with a major American development company and Plainmoor landlords Torbay Council over an ambitious new stadium scheme in the Barton area of the town...

The new ground, which could be called the Riviera Stadium, will be on part of a 42-acre site between the Willows retail and residential area and Torbay Crematorium".

The Southport Visiter says that "Southport manager Dino Maamria is fully focused on getting a win at Tranmere for the fans, amid some speculation that Stevenage may want the Sandgrounders’ boss as their new manager. Maamria has previously been a coach and an assistant manager at the Hertfordshire club, where he also made 95 appearances as a player.

Some rumour had arisen that Stevenage might be vying for his services after the sacking of their manager Teddy Sheringham on Monday. However, whilst Maamria admitted... 'Any manager or any players who is doing well is always going to get linked with jobs or with moves, it’s part and parcel of football. I’m not surprised by the link to Stevenage because I’ve been a big part of that football club, a big part in their journey taking them to the top six in League One.

But my focus is always on Southport Football Club and my focus is on the next game on Saturday. That’s all I think about and I’ll make sure that it’s what my players will be thinking about as well'".

Up on Tyneside, "Defender Nathan Buddle has cancelled his contract at Gateshead by mutual consent. The 22-year-old has spent the last month on loan at former club Blyth Spartans, having joined the Heed from Carlisle United last summer. Buddle made 16 appearances for the Tynesiders in all competitions, scoring three goals".

In the Daily Post we learn that "Javan Vidal said he was buzzing to be back for Wrexham, even if he did need the odd breather in his comeback match,and believes the Dragons have more than enough quality within their ranks to make up for the loss of Dominic Vose.

Leading scorer Vose departed the Dragons late on transfer deadline day after penning a two-and-a-half year deal at League One outfit Scunthorpe United.

Vidal, who made his comeback after a three-month absence through injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at high flying Eastleigh, admits... 'Of course it (losing Vose) will be a big blow,' said Vidal... 'There is more than enough quality in the squad to make up for him. Saturday (at Eastleigh) we were without him as well, and I think we coped admirably without him in the side'".

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr accepts the criticism being levelled at him and his team as the Chester FC manager insists he’s working harder than ever to turn things around. Five league games without a win and two from the last 12 leaves the Blues facing up to the prospect of a relegation battle.

With the division’s bottom two, Torquay United and Kidderminster Harriers, next up in the league Burr’s side have the chance to relieve much of the pressure... A growing number of supporters are getting restless and, ahead of an FA Trophy trip to FC Halifax Town on Saturday...

'It’s disappointing for everyone because whatever is said we’ve lost another game of the football, that’s the crux of it,' said Burr, whose team went down 2-0 at Braintree Town last weekend... 'Mistakes are costing us far too often and that was the case against Braintree. We work every week on defending corners and all of the players know how we are going to set up. We knew with the pitch at Braintree there wasn’t going to be much football played and we said it would come down to set-pieces.

'We can give the players instructions and tell them what to do but the responsibility is with them to do their jobs once they are on the pitch and, at the momen,t we are making it very difficult for ourselves. I brought the players to the club and I’ll take responsibility for that because the results have not been what I expect... I can change personnel, and I think everyone’s had a chance, and tactics but I see what the players are capable of in training every week and for whatever reason we’re not taking that into the Saturday.

'Sometimes things blow up on a Saturday after a game so we had a meeting with the players on Monday when we went through things because I’m as disappointed as anyone... Jon (McCarthy) and I will keep lifting them and keep working hard in training until we get it right'".

The Worcester News states that a "Defiant Colin Gordon will remain in charge of Kidderminster Harriers’ team affairs until the end of the season while the club continues it search for a new head coach.

Fans are disgruntled with the chief executive’s second spell as caretaker boss. The club’s majority shareholder has yet to taste victory, overseeing two 1-0 defeats since succeeding Dave Hockaday. There were encouraging signs in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Aldershot, although it could not prevent an eighth straight reverse...

'We need to make sure the new head coach is the right person for the job, that he will be at the club for five years not five months', said Gordon. 'So I am happy to be in charge until the end of the season and take the flak from the fans. I hear the clamour to get a new man in now but this is an important appointment and we need to get it right. We are looking at a wide range of people and many of them are still in work. It will be easier to employ the person we want when their task is done and it makes sense to join in the summer when we know what division we’ll be playing in.'”

Gordon confirmed former Coventry, Watford and Derby midfielder John Eustace had visited the club several times, but the 36-year-old hopes to keep on playing... 'John is someone I used to represent at Key Sports Management,' commented the chief executive... 'I think there would be a very long queue of clubs wanting his services as a player and, if we signed him, it would be like winning the lottery!'

Meanwhile, Harriers bolstered their forward options with the signings of Evan Garnett and Harry White. Garnett has scored 19 goals for Belper Town... and has joined until the end of the season. White has signed on a month’s loan from Barnsley after a spell at Gloucester City.

'Harry is someone I wanted to sign from the start of the season,' said Gordon. 'We kept an eye on him when he joined Barnsley in the summer and I'm good friends with their chairman. Kevin Phillips also worked with him at Gloucester and he’s filled out since then. He’s a 6ft 2ins target man and can also bring others into play. Evan has a lot of potential. Gary Rowett had him at Burton and gave him a glowing reference. He’s had some health problems but has overcome them and he’s one for the future...

Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to do it section by section. We passed the ball the best we have done all season in the first half against Aldershot. But there’s room for improvement, we have to be more creative and have better movement in the box and hopefully Harry can help with that'".



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