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CURRENT NEWS IN FULL

30 July 2016

ALTRINCHAM 0 BURNLEY XI 0

This fifth draw in six pre-season matches was also the first clean sheet and the first time that the Robins had not found the net this summer. In a match which saw neither keeper overworked, the sides were evenly matched and the defences on top. For Alty, Harry Cain started at left-back and the others to start this game who had not done so last time out were Charlie Joyce, Craig Hobson, Alan Goodall and Simon Richman, as manager Neil Young again rang the changes. Tom Hannigan picked up a late injury but hopefully will be OK for next Saturday's start of the season. Burnley did have the ball in the net late in the game but it was ruled out for offside.

Match report to follow.

Right: Charlie Joyce (right) and Simon Richman are here pictured in the Alty midfield on Friday evening.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 5. John CYRUS, 7. Tom HANNIGAN, 9. Harry CAIN, 8. Alan GOODALL (capt), 12. Charlie JOYCE, 11. David LYNCH, 18. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 14. Craig HOBSON. Subs: 19. Billy HASLER-CREGG,, 20. Sam HEATHCOTE, 21. Jamie MENAGH, 22. James LAWRIE, 23. Jake MOULT, 25. Danny HATTERSLEY, 26. Callum CHARLTON.

RESERVES' ACTION

Altrincham Reserves' remaining pre-season games are:
  • Saturday 30th July: v Mersey Valley FC (Away), Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL, 3pm K.O.
  • Monday 1st August: v Middlewich Town (Away), Finney's Lane, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9DR, 7.30pm K.O.
  • Saturday 6th August: v Curzon Ashton (Away), Tameside Stadium, Richmond St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 9HG, 2.30pm K.O.

AWAY TRAVEL IN 2016-17

TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, tells us that "TASC aim, once again, to provide away travel to as many games as possible for the coming season. Regular travellers will know that we provide a family friendly service and welcome passengers of all ages. To ensure this atmosphere is maintained, the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited on all TASC transport.

We always aim to arrive around an hour and a half before kick off for Saturday games to allow passengers to explore/enjoy a drink in the place we are visiting and return straight after the game to get people home to families or any commitments they may have. The service can only run with your support so we appeal once again for people to use the service where possible.

Full details of the transport to our first two away games at Halifax and Harrogate are here and you will be able to book at the Burnley game on Friday night, then through the week at the club and at our opening game against Darlington. Any queries in the meantime, please feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will be happy to help".

Please note revised time for the Harrogate coach, which will now depart The Vine at 11am, Hare & Hounds at 11.10am, Leisure centre 11.15am and Ground at 11.20am.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The National League reports that "England will return to AFC Telford United in September for an international game against the Netherlands. The New Buck's Head will host England under-19s and the Netherlands on Thursday, 1st September with the game kicking off at 12.30pm.

England’s development teams are all in action throughout September, with four different squads facing a variety of opposition during the next international week. Aidy Boothroyd’s under-20s will spend this season preparing for next summer’s World Cup in South Korea and they will begin their campaign with a double-header against Brazil on home soil.

The first match will be played behind-closed-doors at St George’s Park before the nations will face off at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough Stadium on Sunday, 4th September with a 3pm kick-off.

For the under-19s, who are warming up for their Euro Qualifiers in October, there’s a home game to start with as they face the Netherlands at the New Buck's Head on Thursday, 1st September, with that game kicking-off at 12.30pm. Keith Downing’s side then head over to Brussels for a second game against Belgium at their national training centre on Sunday, 4th September (3pm)".

Also from the National League we learn that "Brad Beatson is the latest to pen a deal with Gainsborough Trinity following a successful period on trial at the club. Beatson, who was with Sheffield Wednesday, was one of only three players to be awarded a professional contract at Hillsborough last season, having impressed whilst playing for the under-18s.

Of his move, Beatson said, 'I am delighted to be joining the club, I've enjoyed pre-season training so far and the chance to get involved in the friendlies as well, I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.'

Beatson played in the past two home friendlies against Handsworth Parramore and Grimsby Town and stood up well to the threat in both games and manager Dominic Roma was keen to secure the young centre-back`s signature following competition both from league rivals and the National League...

Beatson will add competition for places to the backline, which includes old favourites Jake Picton, Josh Lacey, Matty Wilson and Adam Quinn and fellow summer recruit from the other side of the Steel City divide, Ioan Evans. The recruitment of the former Owl, gives Roma the opportunity to shuffle the pack, as he did in the friendly game against Grimsby, which saw Wilson employed in the central midfield holding role... Roma’s summer recruitment drive is almost finished".


29 July 2016

ALTRINCHAM v BURNLEY XI

Altrincham entertain a Burnley XI at the J Davidson Stadium tonight (Friday); kick off is at NB 7.30pm.

Admission is £8 for adults, £5 for concessionaries and £2 for juniors and free for holders of 2016-17 Altrincham FC season tickets.

Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Friday night's game. The commentary team is Paul Salt and Tim Ainsworth and the match summariser is Ian Wilkinson. Coverage starts at 7.25pm with the game kicking off at 7.30pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here".

Before the game, Up The Clarets reported that "The development squad continue their build up to the season tonight with a visit to Moss Lane to face Altrincham... It’s a pre-season fixture that was becoming almost a regular feature after Eddie Howe took the first team there in both 2011 and 2012, on both occasions for our opening pre-season game.

We won both those. In 2011, goals from Alex MacDonald, Chris Eagles, Martin Paterson and Chris Iwelumo gave us a 4-1 win and a year later it was 4-2 with goals from Chris McCann and Danny Ings with Charlie Austin bagging a brace. We went back in 2013 with the development squad in a game played on the same Saturday afternoon as the first team were picking up a first league win of the season at Sheffield Wednesday. On that occasion goals from Steven Hewitt and Jamie Frost weren’t enough with Altrincham winning the game 3-2.

And so back [to] tonight, but for the Altrincham fans there will be disappointment that Josh Ginnelly won’t be playing. He spent the second half of last season with them, scoring five goals in twenty National League games, but his loan move to Walsall yesterday has ruled out a return to Moss Lane.

He’s one of two who featured at Colne last week who has since gone out on loan with Alex Whitmore, who featured at left-back in the game at Holt House, having moved to Morecambe.

Who will feature tonight is difficult to determine and will depend on who did and didn’t board the coach this morning bound for Glasgow. Besides Ginnelly, Brad Jackson and Dan Agyei were both involved at Colne but then played a part with the first team at Bolton.

Altrincham could field a couple of players who spent time at Burnley. They’ve signed Dave Lynch from Clitheroe in the summer. He was a member of our youth team and enjoyed the 2011/12 season in the development squad before leaving the club, and Billy Hasler-Cregg [pictured, above right] was an under-16 who played some youth team games before moving on to Rochdale".

GOODALL SITUATION SETTLED

Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Following the completion of his Morecambe contract, Alan Goodall can now be confirmed as an Altrincham player. Manager Neil Young was delighted to be able to announce the vastly-experienced defensive midfielder's signing and believes his addition to the squad will prove invaluable, in terms of personal contribution and the effect on those around him.

'Alan is someone I know well, and it is clear he has had a great career in the Football League,' said the Alty boss. 'He will bring his qualities and experience to our squad and will be an ideal role model for the younger players to learn from.'

Born in Birkenhead, the versatile 34-year old, who can operate in midfield or defence, launched his career at Bangor City before making over 100 appearances for Rochdale. He had spells with Luton, Chesterfield, Stockport County and Fleetwood before joining Morecambe for a successful two-year stint at The Globe Arena.

GARY JONES INTERVIEWED

Brian Flynn conducted an interview with Altrincham FC's Assistant Manager, Gary Jones, following the game against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday. It can be heard here.

ANOTHER FRIENDLY ANNOUNCED

John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, says that Alty manager "Neil Young has added one extra fixture to Altrincham's list of pre-season friendlies, against Witton Albion at their ground on Monday evening, kick-off 7.30pm.

'Friday night's game against Burnley was to be the last one, but we have now arranged an additional fixture against a Witton Albion XI on Monday,' said the Alty manager. 'The idea is to give lads who have not played some game time, so it should prove a useful exercise from that point of view. We will still be training on Tuesday and Thursday, prior to the opening Vanarama National League North game against Darlington.' A full interview with Neil, reflecting on Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra, will appear on the website later".

LADIES' FIXTURES

Altrincham FC Ladies' league fixtures for 2016-17 in the North West Women's Regional League, Division One South, are here

Manager Keith Edleston adds, "It's going to be a tough season with the two promoted teams from the Cheshire League being put into our league along with two Premier teams dropping into ours too, but we will relish the challenge.

Our pre-season games are as follows"...

  • 7th August: v Bury LFC (Dev/Squad), Away 2pm
  • 14th August v Rhyl LFC, Away 2pm
  • 21st August v Leigh RMI LFC, Home 2pm
  • 28th August v Tranmere Rovers LFC, Away 12 noon

RESERVES' FIXTURES

Altrincham FC Reserves' early fixtures for 2016-17 in the The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League are here. Their first league game of the season is on Tuesday 9th August, away at Whaley Bridge.

EDUCATION PROGRAMME TEAM'S FIXTURES

Altrincham's Football Careers, Scholarship & Education Programme football team fixtures in Division J of the The National League U19 Alliance are here.

YOUTH TEAM FIXTURES

Altrincham FC Youth (u-18) team's first fixtures of 2016-17 in the NWYA Premier Division are here.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

From the Northern Echo we learn that "Darlington defender Chris Hunter will continue to be available for selection despite a planned knee operation being delayed. He has barely featured in pre-season and was due to go under the knife last week to repair a small tear in the cartilage in his right knee.

However, a mix-up at the hospital due to perform the surgery means he now faces a wait of up to three months to have the issue dealt with, though manager Martin Gray is not too concerned. 'He’s going to play through it until the operation comes around,' he said. 'He’s fine, it’s only a simply cartilage issue, so it’s a painkiller job, roll your sleeves up and get on with it. It won’t affect his performance, subject to sustaining further damage, in which case we would take him out of the team. At the end of last season we had a massive backlog of games, he played through that okay when we had two or three games a week and this season we’ve got fewer games to play.

'So he should have more time to recover and prepare for games and he will be available for selection after first two games of the season when he is suspended.'

Following the arrival of summer signing Liam Marrs, the former Boston United right-back, Gray may feel he is in a position to not risk Hunter sustaining further damage. His appearance as a substitute at Gateshead last Friday represents Hunter’s only action of pre-season so far. Quakers’ campaign starts on August 6 at Altrincham, and they play their final friendly on Saturday against a Football League club behind closed doors. "

Chester FC "are delighted to announce the double signing of striker James Akintunde and midfielder Wade Joyce. The duo have been on trial during the pre-season campaign but have now made their switches permanent for the 2016/17 National League season.

Joyce, 22, arrives after spending last season at Stalybridge. He's had spells with St. Johnstone and Barnsley and is the son of Manchester United U-21 Manager Warren Joyce. Akintunde, 20, is already well known to the Blues faithful after his impressive 11 minute hat-trick in the 5-3 pre-season win at Marine on Saturday; he's spent the last three years at Cambridge."

The Worcester News comes news that "Carl Heeley says Worcester City must learn how to manage 'the hill' at the Victoria Ground [at Bromsgrove] to make home advantage count. City made their first appearance at their new temporary home since securing their ground-share with Bromsgrove Sporting when they took on Romulus.

Playing with the slope in their favour, they powered into a 4-0 lead... But Romulus turned the tide in the second half with three goals...

Heeley was pleased to arrange the fixture before hosting Harrogate Town in the National League North opener a week tomorrow but admitted there were areas they needed to work on. 'We have got to learn how to play on this pitch because it’s no coincidence, although there were other factors, the halves were dominated by the teams kicking down the hill. We have to look at managing that,' he said.

'Of course it is different (to Aggborough) but it’s our home now and we will make the most of it and make it as difficult as we can for teams coming to visit us... Hopefully we can make home advantage count... We needed to play here and a game is better than training. It’s an old-fashioned ground. There’s plenty of grass on the pitch. It is a bit dry but hopefully we will get some rain on it and it will be fine. We were grateful to Kidderminster and are grateful to Bromsgrove for allowing us to use their facilities.'

Worcester’s tactic of sending long balls in behind Romulus’s defence paid off in the opening period but Heeley insisted it was not an indication of how they were going to utilise the slope. 'We didn’t set up to do anything as we wanted to keep the ball and pass it when we could and have energy coming from deep in midfield and we had all of those attributes,' he said".

Also in the Worcester News we learn that "Sean Geddes is set to leave Worcester City, less than two months after making a surprise return to the club. Manager Carl Heeley offered Geddes, who left City to join Stourbridge in December, another chance at the Vanarama National League North club after admitting the 24-year-old convinced him of his 'hunger' to get back to his best.

However, with just over a week to go before the season gets underway, it has been revealed the former Manchester United trainee, who came off the bench in Worcester’s 4-3 win over Romulus last night, has been given the opportunity to find a new club. 'Geddes who was starting his second spell with us has been informed that it is in the best interests of all parties that he finds another club where he can play regular football,' a club spokesman said...

Meanwhile, former Cheltenham Town and Hereford United right-back Andy Gallinagh has signed a one-year deal, while ex-Bristol City youngster Elijah Chilekwa has also joined City. Evesham-based Gallinagh, 31, has been on trial at the club after being released by Bath City at the end of last season.

The spokesman added, 'Andy brings with him a wealth of experience... He is a versatile player who can play at either right back or in central defence'...

Winger Chilekwa has also been training and playing for City over the past week... The Gambian-born 18-year-old is a Welsh youth international and Heeley says he has demonstrated his 'huge potential'...

Heeley said, 'Although he is still very raw, we can see something that we can work with and develop'...

City say they are 'very confident' of releasing further news regarding the squad in the 'very near future."


28 July2016

NEIL YOUNG SPEAKS AFTER CREWE GAME

Joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, spoke to manager Neil Young after Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra. Here is the interview in full.

Q: Have you had the reaction you were looking for, in the last two games, after you voiced some misgivings at Trafford?

A: Yes, I'd say so. If you go back to the Trafford game, it was early on in pre-season, it was very hot and we were playing a system we hadn't used previously. If you notice what we are trying to do, it's to educate the players to cope with various systems. Against Manchester United on Friday night, it was a real test in terms of pressing and keeping the ball and being moved about, and the Crewe game was similar.

From what I saw, I'd say we have learned from Friday's game. There were some good performances, and it's also about some of the young lads appreciating that most of football is played in the head. The ability might be there from a technical point of view, but you have got to understand when to run, when to press, when not to press, and so on. These are things we are trying to teach the lads, but I have to say you can't knock the effort they are putting in. The work-rate of the players has been phenomenal.

Q: One thing you picked up on at Trafford was a lack of pressing, but there was plenty tonight, wasn't there?

A: We were up against a Crewe side who were pretty much all first-team players, so it was a great test and one we responded to really well. Young boys like Sam Heathcote and Harry Cain came on in the second half and made the most of their opportunity, which was great to see.

John Cyrus and Tom Hannigan (left) again looked the part in the centre of defence and the keeper (Andy Dawber) looked a lot better. We have put together a squad that is fairly young very quickly, and the boys who were already here are trying to learn different methods we are trying to implement in readiness for what is going to be a very tough league. But the pleasing thing for me is they are taking things on board, and what can't be knocked is their effort and attitude.

From what I have seen of Altrincham fans on previous occasions I've been here, the first thing they want is to see a lad putting the shirt on and giving everything they possibly can.

Q: Were you pleased for Andy Dawber after one or two uncertain moments in previous games, and will it have boosted his confidence to have made two or three impressive saves?

A: He is a young lad who's got the ability to do well for us, and I think we have maybe got carried away a bit with one or two Twitter posts and various things on social media and websites. People can be a little bit negative, and that breeds negativity. I have seen it before, and at the end of the day, people who bring players to the club have to be trusted to be able to do that.

We made a lot of decisions about players during the summer. We had to, because we couldn't keep the players who were here previously after the budget had been cut. Neither could we compete financially with other clubs in this division, so we have gone, to a large extent, for young lads. We've got some right and we've got some wrong. But what I can see out there is 18, 19, 20 players, or whatever it is, giving everything they've got.

Q: It's no surprise that Hannigan has made such a favourable impression, given his pedigree, but Cyrus (right) has really taken the eye. So has David Lynch, so does that suggest there is talent that can be unearthed from a lower level?

A: There's plenty out there. You've just got to find them, and a lot of hard work goes into that. It's not just me. There are people working for me who highlight these lads to me. That never stops. It is a continuous process. I've said all along, in terms of recruitment, the second lot you make are the most important. When you first come into a club, you've got players you have inherited and the budget may have changed. It's throughout that first season that the identification process goes on and you earmark what's required for the second season.

I'm very happy with what we've done so far, though there are probably two or three lads who are going to have to go out and learn their trade a bit more. It's no good them sitting on the bench here. They need to be playing football. It's more about the physical side, particularly lads who have come out of the League and not experienced this level before. They need to get some games, get roughed up a bit and rough a few people up themselves. That is the key.

Q: That's still the case, then, that it could be one or two going out and one or two more coming in?

A: Other clubs were in for certain players we wanted, and we had to go early to make sure we brought them to the Football Club, because anyone who knows about non-League football these days will know some of the wages being handed out are frightening. I'm not knocking it, though. If you've got it and better players are there, demanding that sort of money, you go and get them.

But we have to look at a different animal, in the way we do things. That involves a lot of recruitment and working with younger players, hopefully developing them and making them better.

Q: Would you say Cyrus and Lynch have exceeded expectations, given the clubs they were at before?

A: They've done very well, both of them, but I don't think I'd necessarily say that. It's quite difficult really, because some lads are actually better playing at a higher level, but that's the art of recruitment, in a way. You spot something that tells you they can step up to the plate, and these boys have done really well so far.

Sam Patterson has been excellent as well, whether at right-back or left-back. We took him from Bradford Park Avenue, and he has stepped up really well. All managers are trying to unearth something a bit special, but, likewise, we want to be seen as a football club trying to develop lads and give players from lower down a chance at our level. Like any club, even those at the very top, we will get some right and some wrong.

Q: With the start of the season just round the corner, do you feel the squad is in good shape?

A: I think we are still short in one or two areas to start the season. I would like to think we will get at least one, if not two, in before the Darlington game. We are talking all the time to League clubs about loans. I speak to managers in our league a lot, and the league above, and they are all saying the same, that there's not a lot out there. So we are probably going to have to look at the loan system, which I don't mind, because you usually find the lads in question are training every day and are fit.

Q: Any thoughts on the captaincy, while Shaun Densmore continues his recovery from injury?

A: Not at the moment, in terms of actually deciding, though there are plenty of candidates. It will be a senior player, and there are four or five who would be well suited. I've got an idea in my head for captain and vice-captain, but it depends on what we decide on, team-wise. You look at the likes of Alan Goodall, Tom Hannigan, Damian Reeves and Jake Moult, and they are all players who have seen it and done it. I'll take a view on it probably next week.

Q: Clearly David Lynch (right) isn't ready for that sort of responsibility yet, but he does seem to have leadership qualities, doesn't he?

A: He is a talker, all right. He demands off others, but I wouldn't want to put undue pressure on him so soon after coming up two or three levels. We are still trying to get him ingrained in what we are trying to do, so he doesn't need any added pressure at the moment. But the lads I've mentioned would take it in their stride. They have it in their make-up to do the job, whereas I want to take the shackles off the younger lads and let them go out and enjoy their football and keep learning.

Q: Finally, how close are you to deciding on your starting XI for the Darlington game?

A: I've got a good idea, but it still depends, to an extent, what shape we decide to go with. We probably need to bring in one player before Darlington, so that's another factor to consider. But I'm getting close..

CREWE MATCH IMAGES

Michael Ripley has excellent images from Alty v Crewe Alexandra here. Pictured, right, by Mike is Harry Cain, who came on as a second-half substitute.

CREWE VIEW ON GAME AT ALTY

From the Stoke Sentinel we learn that "Crewe first-team coach James Collins felt it was important to give 90 minutes to Crewe's likely starting XI during the 1-1 draw at Altrincham last night.

Steve Davis fielded the same team for the second game running, with that looking to be his line-up when Crewe travel to Stevenage on the opening day of the season on August 6. Crewe dominated the first-half, and will have been disappointed to take only one of the numerous chances they created against the National League North side. But, having lost concentration to hand Altrincham a way back in to it, Crewe lost their way in the second period as they never looked like grabbing a second goal.

Collins admits a change of shape, or indeed some fresh legs, would have helped, but giving 90 minutes to the players with the season approaching was deemed the best move by the management team...

'That was always the plan,' Collins said. 'We had this game and the one at Lincoln on Saturday, plus two at Hednesford and Kirby Muxloe, and we now need to get a couple of 90 minutes in to them going in to the Stevenage game. I think if it had been a league game we would have made some changes in the second half to try and liven them up but I think the gaffer wanted them to get that 90 minutes. Sometimes, if they get the solution from the side with a change of shape or substitution, then they don't work at it, they have to work things out to try and win the game or definitely not lose. We didn't create enough chances in the second half to really win the game'...

Collins was happy with the test Altrincham provided, believing the club's young players to have benefited from it. He added, 'That was the first game in pre-season that will look a lot like what we will face this season... and I think that while it wasn't particularly exciting game, our boys will take a lot from the game...

'Second half was tougher, they put an extra man in midfield, brought on some fresh legs, and got on top a little bit but the manager wanted to test them by giving them all 90 minutes'...

With a relatively small side, defending set plays could be a potential worry in a more physical League Two, and Collins said, 'To be fair to the lad it was a terrific delivery [by James Lawrie] but we lost the lad at the back [John Cyrus] and when you've worked hard to get a 1-0 lead you don't want to throw it away with a soft goal'".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Altrincham's opening-day league opponents, Darlington 1883 "would like to announce the signing of attacker Josh Gillies from Gateshead. Josh, 26, has been signed on a permanent basis by Darlington manager Martin Gray, who rates the former Carlisle player very highly.

'Josh has got plenty of experience for both Gateshead and Carlisle United in the past,' said MG. 'He is a major signing at this stage of the season, and has come highly recommended by several people. I rate him in the same calibre as Phil Turnbull, and I think he’s a player that will go back to playing at a higher level, hopefully with us.'

Josh started his career in the Northern League at Sunderland Nissan, before moving on for brief spells at Newcastle Blue Star and Blyth. He then moved back into the Northern League to Whitley Bay... He then moved on to Gateshead, and was top scorer with 15 goals for them in season 2012-13, earning a call up to the England C squad...

He was transferred to Carlisle in 2013, and had a loan spell at Cambridge before he was freed by Carlisle in 2015 and rejoined Gateshead. He scored 4 times for the Heed in 23 games last season. He would have played more games, but was hampered by a shoulder injury."

Alty lost 2-1 to the Manchester United Reserves last week and Metro reports on the United side's next game, against our league rivals Salford City. It tells us that United'as"James Wilson boosted his hopes of convincing Jose Mourinho he has a future at Old Trafford last night thanks to a solid display for a Manchester United XI side that thrashed Salford City 5-1...

The 20-year-old wasted no time in showing off his ability on Tuesday evening by scoring just three minutes into the match at Moor Lane, taking a touch before firing into the back of the net. Salford equalised after 20 minutes and the match against the Class of ‘92 backed non-league side would remain at 1-1 until Josh Harrop sparked a goal frenzy in the last 25 minutes". The United line up comprised Henderson; Riley (Olosunde 82), Love, Poole, Blackett; El Fitouri, W

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that "Striker Jordan Connerton has returned to Lancaster City from Chorley. The 26-year-old is back for his fourth spell at Giant Axe...

City boss Phil Brown said... 'Strikers of Jordan’s calibre are difficult to secure, so it’s a great signing for us'...

He [had] returned to Giant Axe in 201... before leaving for Australia and signing for Chorley on his return to England. The Magpies have given their blessing to the move, with the club indicating Connerton has headed back home in search of first team football after the arrivals of Marcus Carver, Sefton Gonzales and Jason Walker at Victory Park this summer. A statement said: “Although we are disappointed with Jordan’s decision, as we feel that he brought us different options to the other strikers, we also respect his decision'".

We learn that Bradford Park Avenue, "have added attacker Leon Osborne to their squad for the fast-approaching campaign. Osborne, 26, joins after spending the summer on trial with Alex Meechan’s Avenue side. He has played in four of the five friendlies so far...

Osborne, equally comfortable on either wing or in attack, started his career at Bradford City, going on to make 36 appearances in the Football League... and spent time on loan at Southport. The forward then spent time at Harrogate Town and Stalybridge Celtic before two years at Buxton, with a short spell at Goole sandwiched in. Osborne then moved on to Frickley in 2014 before joining Matlock for the 2014-15 season.

A stint at Rainworth Miners Welfare followed before he joined Farsley Celtic last season following a trial at Avenue in the summer. Osborne becomes the 17th member of Meechan’s squad and the 14th new signing this summer. He is the fourth signing in just two days, following Liam Dickinson, Tom Davie and Sanchez Payne yesterday."

And NL PItchero adds that "Midfielder Sanchez Payne became the third player to sign for Bradford Park Avenue in 24 hours. The former Leeds United man has been on trial at the Horsfall Stadium for the majority of pre-season... He played 90 minutes in his first appearance against Newcastle United, when head coach Alex Meechan chose to keep his identity under wraps... The skilful 23-year-old started his career in the academy at Elland Road, before his release in 2013.

He initially joined Doncaster Rovers, but a serious injury scuppered any chances of earning a contract and he was left without a club until he signed for Stockport County in 2014. A spell at Frickley Athletic followed before last season, when Payne started out at Ossett Town but took a self-imposed break from the game, before returning to Ingfield for the latter stages of the campaign. The midfielder adds competition in the centre of the park, joining Luke Dean and new signing Nicky Wroe in the fight for a place in the starting XI".

FA CLAIMS "EXTRA INTRIGUE AND INTEREST" ADDED TO FA CUP

From the BBC we learn that "Clubs will be allowed to use a fourth substitute during extra time in the latter stages of this season's FA Cup. The format, subject to approval from the International Football Association Board, was trialled in the Copa America this summer. The rule will be introduced in the FA Cup from the quarter-final stage.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the move will add 'intrigue and interest', adding that 'player welfare" had also been a consideration. It is important The FA continues to look at how it can further add to the drama and spectacle of a competition loved by millions,' he added. The FA's decision to scrap replays from the quarter-final stage was another factor in the move. 'With the cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter-finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest,' Glenn said.

'Also, from a technical point of view, it will be interesting to see how managers use the chance to make an additional substitution in such high-profile games and the impact it has on the final result.'"


27 July 2016

ALTRINCHAM 1 CREWE ALEXANDRA 1

Above: Alty line up before the game.

Altrincham secured a well-deserved draw, their fourth in five pre-season games, against a strong Crewe Alexandra side at the J. Davidson Stadium. The visitors had enjoyed a dominant spell midway through the first half when only a couple of fine stops by goalkeeper Dawber kept them out. But Alex got the breakthrough in the 32nd minute when Cooper nodded home a Jones ball played into the box.

Having rarely threatened, Alty nevertheless equalised less than four minutes later when James Lawrie's well-taken freekick from 25 yards was firmly headed home by centre-back John Cyrus who arrived, unmarked, towards the back post

Altrincham made three changes at the interval and went on to make eight substitutions, in all, during the second half. And it was they who had the better of the latter stages of the game but the score remained 1-1.

Match report here.

ALTY LADIES' AWARDS NIGHT

Keithe Edleston, manager if the Altrincham FC Ladies has kindly sent images and information from the recent Presentation Night for the Ladies' team. This was kindly sponsored by Neil Faulkner from Robinsons Preservation Ltd. who made the presentations seen below.

The awards were...

  • Manager's Player of the Year: Jess Hartopp
  • Players Player of the Year: Kate Bryan
  • Most Improved Player: Lucy Smith
  • Sportswoman of the Year: Lucy O'Dwyer
  • Blue Dog Player of the Year: Heather Scott
  • Isle of Man Player of the Tournament: Laura Dodds
  • Parents' & Supporters' Player of the Year: Elina Parker
  • Top Goalscorer: Kate Bryan
  • Physio of the Year: Alan Ainsley

The images below are courtesy of Keith Edleston.

Above: The Ladies after the Presentation Evening.


Jess Hartopp

Kate Bryan

Lucy Smith

Lucy O'Dwyer

Heather Scott

Laura Dodds

Alan Ainsley

Elina Parker

Manager Keith Edleston

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Northern Echo, "Football fans have given a cautious response to the announcement of a start date for long-awaited redevelopment work to bring a North-East club home. Darlington FC confirmed that construction to complete an agreed groundshare between Martin Gray’s squad and Darlington Rugby Club would finally go ahead at the Blackwell Meadows site.

Darlington-based J & RM Richardson Construction Ltd will being the existing facility’s overhaul on Monday, August 8 to include a welcome expansion. The rebuild of the beloved Tin Shed from Darlington FC’s former Feethams home will include 250 new seats, terraces, turnstiles and a security fence to secure the ground. Darlington RFC will undertake the redevelopment of the changing room facilities.

However, despite the step forward to returning the Quakers to Darlington after four long seasons at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland, some fans are still not getting their hopes up. Sisters Louise Airey, 34, and Clare Clayton, 32, both season ticket holders from Hurworth, near Darlington, have been fans of the club for over two decades... Mrs Airey said, 'There have been so many stories over the last few months, it’s actually disheartening. I’ll wait until the August 8 and then I will get excited'...

Darlington FC director, John Tempest, previously stated that the target date for the club’s first National Northern League game at Blackwell Meadows would be the August Bank Holiday weekend... Through the Community Share Scheme, dedicated fans have raised over £100,000 within a three-year period.

Chair of Darlington Football Club Supporters Group, Wayne Raper, said, 'Many supporters thought this might not ever come off but this is a real start'...

However, club bosses have hailed the progress so far as a milestone for the squad that now hopes to play its first game in its new home at some point in October this year".

From another club playing away from its home, the Worcester News tells us that "There is 'no pressure' on former Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford defender James Chambers to sign for Worcester City, insists manager Carl Heeley. The 35-year-old, who announced his retirement last year, made his second appearance for City when he started in their 2-0 victory over Sutton Coldfield last Friday.

But Heeley said the talks remained 'relaxed' as Chambers, who also played for Walsall, Doncaster Rovers, Cardiff City and Hereford United during his career, continues to consider whether or not to play competitive football again. 'It is very open with James,' said Heeley. 'He wants to play some minutes, we are happy to give him that and we will see where it goes. But it is relaxed and we are putting no pressure on him'...

Chambers, who memorably secured promotion to the Premier League with West Brom in 2002 and Watford in 2006, currently runs a business called My Farewell. Heeley said the former England Under-20 international was looking to return to the game and insisted City were the only club he was talking to ahead of the new season...

Heeley said, 'He knows we would like to get him on board but it is not about whether he wants to sign for us or whether we can agree a deal, it is about whether he feels he can commit to playing football again as he has had over a year out and that’s all we are talking about.'

Chambers played the full 90 minutes at centre-back against Stratford Town earlier this month before featuring at right-back against Sutton Coldfield".

Bradford Park Avenue confirm that "Striker Liam Dickinson has completed his return to the club following a successful trial period. The towering front man spent the last two months of last season on loan at the Horsfall Stadium, and has now signed for Avenue on a permanent basis. He has featured in four of Avenue’s five pre-season friendlies so far...

The 30-year-old was probably involved in the most memorable event of last season, as he started in goal when Avenue travelled to Boston United in April due to the fact no other goalkeepers were available. Dickinson has had an eventful career to say the least. After spells at Bolton, Blackpool and Blackburn as a youngster, he gave up on becoming a professional at 16. However he became a prolific goalscorer for several non-league clubs in Manchester, prompting then-Football League club Stockport County to sign him for £2,000.

Three years and 35 goals in 107 appearances, including a winner in the League Two play-off final, later, Dickinson secured a £750,000 move to Derby County in 2008. He never made an appearance for Derby, but impressed on loan at Huddersfield Town and Leeds United before joining Brighton and Hove Albion in 2009. Spells at Peterborough, Barnsley, Walsall and Rochdale followed before the 6’4″ striker joined Southend United in 2011, netting 12 goals in 37 appearances that season.

He returned to Stockport for a year, and spent a season at Stalybridge before joining Guiseley last summer. He scored six times in the National League at Nethermoor before moving to Avenue on loan. Dickinson’s signing takes the tally of returning players up to three, with Luke Dean and Ryan Jones the only two other faces in Alex Meechan’s squad that fans will remember from last season."

Also, "Bradford Park Avenue have signed left-sided winger Tom Davie from North Ferriby United. Davie, who can operate on the left-hand side of midfield or at left-back, has been on trial with Avenue lately, playing in the recent friendlies against Consett and Guiseley...

After making just two substitute appearances for Billy Heath’s North Ferriby last term, Davie spent the majority of last season on loan at Frickley... The 21-year-old joined Ferriby last summer following two years at Gainsborough Trinity, where he made 39 appearances in the then-named Conference North... A product of the Hull City academy, Davie also scored eight goals in a loan spell at Scarborough Athletic in the 2013-14 season, his first with Gainsborough".

The Tamworth Herald tells us that "Tamworth FC have completed the signing of former Mansfield and Wrexham winger Louis Briscoe. Lambs boss Andy Morrell said, 'I think he is the kind of player that we need. He has plenty of experience but is still hungry and wants to do well. He ticks all the boxes, his touches are great and I think he is someone who will get better as he gets fitter. He can play in various positions at the top end of the pitch'".

The Football Conference reports that "Brackley Town have announced the signing of central midfielder Shane Byrne. Dublin-born, 23-year-old Byrne spent last season with league rivals Nuneaton Town. He arrived in England at Leicester City before going on loan to Bury where he made four League appearances for The Shakers.

Released from his contract, Byrne returned to Ireland and played for Bray Wanderers before joining Corby Town for the 2014/15 season where he attracted the attentions of many clubs, including Nuneaton".

And a third exiled club, Gloucester City report that "In light of the club’s ground application not being heard on the August Planning Committee meeting, Gloucester City would like to issue the following statement.

'The club is very disappointed that it’s not been possible for the council planning committee to consider our reserved matters application at the August meeting. It is necessary for the Council Lawyers to draw up a Deed of Variation relating to the Universal Undertaking signed last year in relation to the flood relief payments to the Environment Agency. Unfortunately, due to very high levels of work in the council legal department, it has not been possible to get this drawn up in time for the deadline.

We continue to work closely with all parties to get this completed quickly so that the whole package can be considered together (even if everything else had gone to committee this month a determination would not have been possible without that document). The club is working through the implications of this delay, and remains committed to holding meetings with fans to discuss [this]'".


26 July 2016

ALTRINCHAM v CREWE ALEXANDRA

Alty entertain Crewe Alexandra at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.45pm). It is Alty's fifth pre-season match and follows three draws and a defeat in their previous four matches.

Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game. The commentary team is Alex Sarwar and Ian Watmore and the match summariser is John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

BEFORE THE CREWE GAME

Crewe Alexandra report that they "travel to Altrincham on Tuesday night to contest the Mornflake Cup. Kick off is 7.45pm at Moss Lane and tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for juniors."

Before the match Crewe Alexandra reported that "Alexandra travel to Altrincham this evening for our latest pre-season warm-up game and, with both clubs sponsored by Mornflake, we will be playing for a commemorative trophy to only add to the friendly fixture.

Steve Davis... has stated that he will name a strong side. Steve told crewealex.net, 'It will be another good test against a good non-League side. I am sure we will get out what we need and it is important now that players start to get 90 minutes under their belts. We will go strong and build them up for the opening game of the season. I want to replicate the tempo we played against Bolton on Friday night, but the most important thing is that the players come through unscathed.

'I want it to be as competitive as it can be and I’m sure Altrincham will be as sensible as we want to be. No manager wants their players to pick up injures a week or so before the new season starts. They will want to beat a club that is playing at a higher level than themselves and I’m sure they will raise their game against us. We will have to raise ours to match them or a tough game becomes even more difficult. There are no strolls in pre-season and I’m sure it will be a good game tonight'".

Last Tuesday Crewe Chronicle says that Crewe boss "Steve Davis was encouraged by his side's performance in their 4-0 friendly win at Nantwich Town... Manager Steve Davis said, 'It was another useful run-out for us and it was good.... but it was more about seeing the signs of what we have been doing all week in training. I thought there were positive signs and we played some really good football at times...

'I thought the back four were good, the full-backs got forward a lot more and we didn't let a lot into our box, so that was a positive'.

Davis used 21 players, including three trialists, during the annual encounter at the Weaver Stadium. Former Wigan winger Ryan Jennings got another run-out, while Solihull Moors midfielder Jamey Osborne impressed in his second-half cameo. Striker Toby Fure played the final 25 minutes.

And on Friday, it was Crewe Alexandra 1 Bolton Wanderers XI 1 which "was another useful run out for manager Steve Davis's side, who played well in patches but often lacked a ruthless edge in the final third... The Alex had been the better side, and Dagnall got his reward for an industrious first half with the opener on the stroke of half-time...

Just after the half-hour mark the manager made five substitutions, giving home fans a first glimpse of Kiwomya. Daniel Udoh, Liam Smith, George Ray and Callum Ainley also entered the fray, with Jon Guthrie, Ryan Lowe, Kirk, Cooper and Jones getting a rest. The new players had no time to settle in before Bolton drew level... Wanderers also made a whole host of changes, and the alterations drained the life out of the encounter.

Neither side truly threatened to win it from that point, with most of the match being contested in the middle third. But there were worrying scenes for loan man Smith just before the end, when he went down in agony after a heavy challenge from Alex Samizadeh. The Newcastle United man was stretchered off to warm applause from the home fans.

Crewe (4-4-2): Garratt; Turton, Davis, Guthrie (Ray), Bakayogo; Cooper (Smith), Jones (Kiwomya), Bingham, Kirk (Udoh); Lowe (Ainley), Dagnall (Saunders).

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Darlington 1883 report that "The directors are pleased to announce that they have exchanged contracts with Darlington-based company J & RM Richardson Construction Limited to undertake the main building works for the Blackwell Meadows redevelopment.

The announcement is the latest step to bringing Darlington FC back to its home town after four seasons at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland. The club intends to groundshare with Darlington Rugby Club at Blackwell Meadows.

Richard Cook, Director of the football club said, 'I am delighted that we have reached this major milestone in returning the football club back to Darlington. Being able to work with a local Darlington based company with an excellent reputation on quality and delivery provides the club with confidence in making this substantial investment. We are also grateful for the help and assistance given to us by Darlington Rugby Club and Darlington Borough Council as well as other stakeholders.'

Having signed the relevant contracts with Darlington Rugby Club less than two weeks ago, the main building works will commence on the 8th August with the first game in the Vanarama National League North scheduled to be played back in Darlington later in the year.

Managing Director of J and RM Richardson, John Richardson, whose company is based in Portland Place in Darlington, added, 'My company is proud to have been chosen as the main contractor for the Football Club’s redevelopment works. We are looking forward to starting the project and delivering this prestigious development'.

The redevelopment will see the rebuilding of the 1,100 space Tin Shed, many Darlington fans have fond memories of the original Tin Shed at Feethams, long with over 250 new seats, new terraces and turnstiles, while a security fence around the ground will be constructed. The development of new changing rooms [is] being undertaken by Darlington Rugby Club."

According to the Shropshire Star "Defender Gianluca Havern is set to be named as AFC Telford United’s captain for the new season. Manager Rob Smith has revealed the 27-year-old centre-back, who has skippered his previous clubs Hyde and Altrincham, is his choice to take the armband for the 2016-17 campaign.

Jack Rea led the team at the end of last season and captained the side in Saturday’s 4-0 win in the Shropshire Senior Cup semi-final against Market Drayton Town. Smith said, 'Ben (Bailey), ‘Camps’ (Darren Campion), Josh (Wilson), ‘Prezzo’ (Dan Preston) have all captained teams, but I want a centre-half really. We’ll go with Gianluca as captain. I just think he’s a talker and an organiser and he’s got the experience. He’s not a bawler and a shouter but he organises people and you can hear it so it’s a good position to have a captain.

'Luca’s got to get his shirt as well but the good thing is, if he doesn’t play, we’ve got other people who can be captain. I don’t make a great deal out of the choice of captain but he’s a natural organiser'.

Smith is happy... adding, 'The one thing we’ve got this season is a lot of players who have been captain at clubs, so we’re spoilt for choice really. He (Rea) has been doing my head in, telling me he’d been stripped of the captaincy so I thought I’d give it to him on Saturday!'

Right-back Dwayne Samuels suffered a dead leg and went off shortly after replacing Darren Campion as a half-time substitute. Smith said, 'It was just a dead leg but there was no point risking him any more. I imagine he’ll be OK for Tuesday.' Centre-back Dan Preston missed the game because of a family issue in Devon, but both he and Samuels are expected to be available for tomorrow’s visit of Wrexham."

At Nuneaton Town "The football stadium at Liberty Way will be known as The Coombe Abbey Arena for the 2016-17 season after the Warwickshire hotel won the Golden Ticket draw on Saturday... DB Devall and Son won the pitch side advertising board, while Sheldon's Wine will be enjoying the hospitality in the SFB Boro Boardroom as winners of the match ball sponsorship package. JJ Sports Promotions, who produce the club's match day programme, will receive the framed and signed Nuneaton Town football shirt."

NW MOVES

The EvoStik League reports that David Brown has signed to allow him to play for Burscough. Two former Alty players have gined on at EvoStik clubs. Samuel Grimshaw (Stockport County) has signed for Leek Town whilst Joe Mwasile has signed for Marine from Salford City.
25 July 2016

IMPROVED IRRIGATION AT ALTY

Altrincham FC's Peter Foster writes that "Our friendly game against a Manchester United XI on Friday night was not just the latest match in our pre-season preparation, it also included the official ’switch-on’ of our new pitch irrigation system.

The system is part of a £45,000 project that also included some work on pitch drainage, and new mowing equipment, all of which we believe will help to improve the quality of the playing surface. The project is part-funded by a grant from the Football Foundation's ‘Football Stadium Improvement Fund’.

It was appropriate that the visitors were United, who will share the benefits of the playing surface as they have committed to playing at least ten of their Under-18 fixtures at the J. Davidson Stadium in 2016/17. We are very grateful to United for sending such a strong team which contained a mix including players with first-team experience as well as highly promising young players.

Afterwards Neil Faulkner commented ‘The pitch improvements are the latest in a series of enhancements to the facilities for players and spectators, including new changing facilities, matchday bar, catering outlet and, now, the pitch improvements.

All of these have been undertaken with the support of the Football Foundation and the Premier League, and, without this support, they would not have been possible. We are really grateful, and hope to continue to improve the facilities over the next few months and years.

Thanks also to Neil Brown (groundsman), who has worked so hard in co-ordinating the installation of the irrigation system during the close season, while still managing to get the pitch in top condition for the new season.’

United’s U21 manager, Warren Joyce (left) is in the above picture along with groundsman Neil Brown, Altrincham FC director Neil Faulkner and Altrincham FC manager, Neil Young".

Image courtesy of Mike Ripley Photography.

UNITED AT CROSSROADS

The Manchester Evening News says that "Manchester United's under-21s claimed a 2-1 win over neighbours Altrincham on Friday night...

While the first-team squad were recovering from a bruising encounter with Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai, James Wilson was starting for the second string against Altrincham. It was a difficult evening for the young striker, who ran an increasingly isolated furrow as a lone frontman and struggled to get into the game. During the first half, the majority of United's attacks came down the wings, the crosses were largely not good enough to pick out a man wearing a blue shirt in the middle and Wilson suffered.

However, left out of the trip to China and without a first-team squad number for next season, he will surely have wanted to make a positive impression here and his frustration was evident at being unable to have any influence on proceedings. A loan away from Old Trafford must beckon...

Warren Joyce will have been glad to leave Altrincham with a win after a game that failed to provide much in the way of inspiration... Ultimately, this looked like what it was - a friendly on a July night featuring players with distinctly rusty limbs against a side that showed limited ambition in United's half, particularly after the break. Tyler Blackett was given so much freedom to roam by Altrincham that he ended up in a position more akin to a centre forward on a couple of occasions...

James Riley and Sadiq El Fitouri were particularly effective as a duo in the build-up and although it took four or five attempts, the first goal from Tosin Kehinde arrived from this approach. It was a noticeable tactic employed by Jose Mourinho and the first team at Wigan and with Joyce also setting up in a 4-2-3-1, it points to a welcome cohesion between the first and second XIs...

The second half brought a raft of changes from Warren Joyce, subs that brought down the average age a notch or two. With younger players chomping at the bit to get game time, there are questions over the side that started at Altrincham that the following 90 minutes failed to answer. Many of them are the elder statesmen of this group now and it's unclear what happens next. With more players to return to this level, either from injury or exploits in China, there is a clear need for some to be moved on, whether on loan or more permanently, to give the next generation room to flourish."

OLD BOYS

Chorley added after the Trafford game that the match " will be one of those that lives short in the memory. Both sides put in a good display, but the passion, drive and eagerness to win was, as ever in these games, lacking.

With keeper Sam Ashton unavailable due to holiday and deputy Jack Cookson injured, AFC Blackpool keeper Adam Caunce was drafted into the number one shirt on a temporary basis...

With an hour on the clock Sefton Gonzales was fouled just inside the box and the referee awarded the Magpies their fifth penalty of the season, but Josh O’Keefe blotted his spot kick record when he fired against the bar from 12 yards. It wasn’t long before Chorley did take the lead, Gonzales rounding a defender to slot beyond Pilling on 67 minutes, but the lead lasted only 7 minutes as Trafford levelled from the spot... Then, in the final minutes, Walker was fouled, a penalty awarded and the new signing followed O’Keefe by failing to score...

Starting XI: Adam Caunce, Matt Challoner, Will Beesley, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Josh O’Keefe, Dale Whtiham, Jason Walker, Sefton Gonzales, Paul Jarvis. Subs: Keiran Charnock, Jack Lynch, Jordan Connerton, Waqas Azam, Aaron Astley".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Chorley report that "Ahead of Saturday's friendly with Trafford, striker Jason Walker put pen to paper on a deal to play for the Magpies this season. The former Barrow striker has been a proven goal scorer throughout his career and offers a different option to the management team up front to compliment Marcus Carver and Sefton Gonzales.

Now 32 years old, he has played for Greenock Morton, Morecambe, Barrow (two spells), Luton Town, York City, Forest Green Rovers, Southport as well as a stint with Östersunds FK in Sweden, and totals 145 goals in 480 career appearances throughout his career. He has appeared for the club in the last three pre-season games, including today’s draw with Trafford, and has looked sharp in each game".

Two players who were at Alty last season were in action over the Pennines, where Guiseley reported that they "travelled to Horsfall for their second pre-season game in two days and came away with a confidence boosting 3-2 win over Bradford Park Avenue...

Starting line-up: Willynski, Bennett, tares, Vidal, Wells, Abbott, Smith, Boshell, Boyes, Clee & Rankine. Second-half subs: Jack Carney, Steve Smith, Scott Smith, Jack Atkinson and Dev Morton for Stares, Vidal, Clee, Bennett & Boyes".

From Bulls' News we learn that "Hereford travelled to Manchester on Saturday for their fourth friendly but suffered the first defeat as the National North side FCUM won 1-0... The opening stages were fairly even...

FCUM broke the deadlock as Greaves scored. Hereford went searching for a leveller but they were frustrated by FCUM defending... Full Time: FC United 1-0 Hereford... FCUM: Dave Carnell, Dale Tong, Chris Chantler, Tom Brown, Tom Eckersley, Scott Kay (c), Sam Madeley, Sam Sheridan, Harry Pratt, George Thomson and Harry Winter. Subs: Tom Greaves, Adriano Basso, Dean Hope, Kieran Glynn, Matt Walwyn, Kisimba Kisimba, James Doyle, Jake Williams and Jamie Frost."


24 July 2016

UNITED VIEW

Manchester United report on their game aganst Altrincham.

Right: Mike Ripley's image shows John Cyrus in action for Alty against a Manchester United XI on Saturday.

"Manchester United came from behind to claim a narrow 2-1 friendly win against close neighbours Altrincham on Friday evening. Tosin Kehinde and Callum Gribbin grabbed United’s goals after Damian Reeves had given Altrincham the lead.

This was the start of pre-season in earnest for Warren Joyce’s charges, following their behind-closed-doors training game against Blackpool on Tuesday...

Altrincham, one of the aristocrats of non-League football and richly deserving of the status as Trafford Borough’s top club behind their illustrious guests, have accumulated a considerable back catalogue of friendly matches against United over the years.

This latest visit was billed as the official unveiling of Altrincham’s new playing surface which, it has to said, was looking resplendent as the match commenced. The hosts, represented by their first team, were in familiar red-and-white stripes, while United were kitted out in all blue...

A rapid raid on United’s goal bore fruit when Reeves struck a shot past Dean Henderson to put the home side in front.

The lead was short lived for, in the 33rd minute, Sadiq El Fitouri raced down the right wing to cross for Kehinde to lash home the equaliser...

There was very little to choose between the sides as the second half unfolded but, with 15 minutes of the game remaining, United finally got their noses in front.

Dawber managed to repel a couple of threats to his goal but, when the ball fell to Gribbin, one of United’s substitutes, he launched a sweetly-struck shot into the top corner that gave the Alty no.1 no chance and brought a cheer from the United fans among the 543 spectators".

ALTY WIN FOYLE CUP

Adam Nuttall writes that "The Foyle Cup trophy is on the next flight back to Manchester as Altrincham FC U19s last night beat local side Foyle Harps 2-1 in another closely fought game at Ardmore FC in Derry.

Harry Dulson got up highest to nod home the opener, a fine reward for a superb tournament from the centre-half, and Thabani Jambaya added another to his collection for the trip, midway through the second half.

The home side threw everything at the Altrincham defence an, despite some more great saves, Christian Evans was finally beaten when a wonde-strike crashed in, off the cross bar, with 15 minutes remaining!

Foyle Harps now had the bit between their teeth and a few Altrincham hearts were in mouths when a late chance bounced down off the bar onto the line but was cleared. Finally, the final whistle blew and the Altrincham players were joined by their under-13 counterparts for celebrations that went on all the way back to the hotel! What a fantastic trip!"

From Northern Ireland's Newsletter, "The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup Under=19 final had everything in a pulsating showpiece at Ardmore on Friday night as local side Foyle Harps fell to Altrincham FC.

In a tense final it was the English side who prevailed with a 2-1 victory to claim the silverware... [A] corner saw Altrincham centre back Harry Dulson head goalwards with play waved on at first. After consulting his line official, the referee awarded a goal claiming the ball had crossed the line.

Ten minutes into the second period, Harps conceded again. Tricky Altrincham winger Thambani Jambaya neatly tucked the ball inside the post from 16 yards... A constant barrage of attacks from the local side saw them pull a goal back when Caolan Kearney’s deft chip from 20 yards out deceived the keeper and crept under the crossbar.

Minutes later Harps went down to 10 men with Odhran Scarlett sent off for abusive language... The red and white of Altrincham ran out 2-1 winners and collected the Hughes Insurance Under 19 Foyle Cup at Ardmore from Mr. Don Brennan, Area Manager, Hughes Insurance Northern Ireland."

Above and below, are images from Adam Nuttall showing the celebrations.

NEW FAMILY STAND SPONSORS

Altrincham FC is pleased to welcome Smart Storage as new sponsors of the Family Stand at the J. Davidson Stadium. "Smart Storage Altrincham provide a huge range of self storage options to both domestic and commercial customers situated in Altrincham. If you’re looking for self storage in South Manchester give us a try.

We can cater for any requirement, whether you need a small storage locker or you are looking to make use of over 5000 sq ft. We also have commercial office spaces, perfect for those businesses wanting a town centre location without paying inflated prices or rates for the privilege.

Our Craven Road storage facility in Broadheath, Altrincham, near Atlantic Retail Park, is perfectly situated between Hale, Bowdon and Sale and offers easy access to the A56, A560 and the M56".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

From the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United are still seeking fresh investment as it emerged they have held talks with five interested parties, as two new directors and a new commercial manager were appointed.

Talks with one individual are on hold after four other parties were ruled out following the mandate given at the AGM in December to look at different ownership models. Chairman Ian Dosser said, 'The publicity after the AGM generated five enquiries of material interest. Two parties were quickly ruled out because they were unsuitable and a further two were ruled out because the individuals had the wrong motives. That leaves one and there were discussions with a fifth person.

'But although talks are not ongoing with the remaining party, it remains an open item and it’s not been "switched off""'...

Dosser stressed the board... 'Will not give the club away to someone not suitable'...

Telford have been appealing for fresh investment ever since a fans’ forum last October when outgoing managing director Lee Carter claimed the club could go under in 12 months if the current financial situation continued. The news comes as the Bucks unveiled two new directors to the club board, Andy Pryce and Luke Fearnall.

Fearnall will become fan liaison director... Pryce, who runs a successful local building company and is also the Bucks' goalkeeping coach, brings a wealth of business and football experience, having been Market Drayton’s goalkeeper for many years...

Two external additions are likely to be appointed to the club board in the coming months."

Elsewhere, "Midfielder Nicky Wroe has today joined Bradford Park Avenue from FC Halifax Town. The 30-year-old was an unnamed trialist in Avenue’s victory over Consett, and has committed to the club...

Wroe joins with a wealth of Football League experience... He made over 100 league appearances for Torquay... before joining Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee. The central midfielder started his career at Barnsley... going on to make 59 appearances...

Spells at Bury, Hamilton Academical and York City followed before he joined Torquay in 2008... Two more years in League Two followed with Shrewsbury before he joined League One side Preston in 2012. After loan spells at Shrewsbury and Oxford United, Wroe joined Notts County in 2014. In his second season at County, he joined Halifax on loan, making the switch permanent in January this year.

The midfielder is Alex Meechan’s 11th new signing this summer, and becomes the 13th member of Avenue’s squad".


23 July 2016

ALTRINCHAM 1 MANCHESTER UNITED XI 2

Altrincham gave a good account of themselves against the Manchester United Reserves at the J Davidson Stadium on Friday evening. Altrincham took a 25th-minute lead when United keeper Henderson dropped a cross and Damian Reeves scored off the underside of the bar. United levelled nine minutes later when Riley fed el-Fitouri up the right and his cross was converted by Kehinde from 15 yards.

During the second half United fielded ten substitutes to Alty's six (with two of the home side's replacements only deployed late in the match) and the fresher legs told as United took a 75th minute lead. The ball broke free in the Alty box and Gribbin sidefooted home.

Match report here

Right: Tom Hannigan and Alan Goodall get stuck in against Manchester United Reserves at the J. Davidson Stadium.

YOUTHS REACH FINAL

Adam Nuttall, coach with the Altrincham FC Youth and Juniors' teams competing in the Foyle Cup in Northern Ireland, writes "Last night (Thursday) the Altrincham FC U19 side maintained their 100% record with a nail biting 4-3 win over Scottish side Partick Thistle. A difficult opening ten minutes was navigated thanks to some top-drawer goalkeeping from Christian Evans before Thabani Jambaya countered and with his first touch of the game finished expertly to give Altrincham a lead against the run of play.

Partick were soon level, but Altrincham's quick counter attacking saw them add to the score sheet with Jambaya adding a second and skipper Dominic Newton breaking away to add a third before half time.

The Scottish side came at Altrincham hard but Evans's defence stood strong. Eventually, a twenty-yard free kick skidded off a wet surface and the lead was pegged back to 3-2. The goal of the game then came from substitute Aaron Clayton, who collected a loose clearance from the Partick goalkeeper, took one touch and left the keeper stranded from fully forty yards! 4-2 Alty!

With twenty minutes left on the clock, the Altrincham side were bolstered by strong performances by Jordan Henry and Isaac Graham, off the bench,to help take pressure off the defence. A late Partick goal meant a nervy final five minutes but Altrincham held on to book their place in Friday's Foyle Cup Final versus local side Foyle Harps at Ardmore, kick off 7pm.

The U13s continued their action packed week with a great team performance against Strabane. Tom J's dipping free kick and great saves from goalie Ben were the big highlights!

RESERVES IN ACTION

Chris Rowley adds that "Our next game is the most recently arranged fixture, which is this coming Saturday (23rd) against Manchester Gregorians (at The Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield, M14 7UU K.O. 3pm),

JOIN THE SUPPORTERS' FOOTBALL TEAM!

Jack Jolly updates us on the Altrincham FC Supporters' Team. He says, "We're at the WorldNet 2016 tournament this weekend. Fresh off the back of their Staff v Supporters victory, Altrincham Supporters' team head off to sunny Preston this weekend for their annual post-season tournament. WorldNET is a two-day knockout tournament, played annually every year since 1996 in July, for supporters' teams.

This is Altrincham's thirrd WorldNet tournament and we're hoping to do better than last year's Quarter-Final defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. The defeat was attributed to Altrincham's Dave Barnett missing an open net. This year, the supporters have been drawn in Group C alongside Ipswich Town, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Southampton. The tournament not only features English teams but has representatives from Scottish, Welsh and French clubs. You can follow our results this weekend via Twitter at @altrincham_Sfc

The competition is run by the Internet Football Association who also help us play 10-15 games throughout the season against the likes of Rochdale, Manchester United, FC Halifax Town and other Vanarama clubs. The games take place on Saturday mornings and, unlike Saturday teams, do not require a weekly commitment. We welcome all standards of fitness and footballing ability, as long as you support the Robins! 'Training' (a kick about) takes place each Monday at Timperley C.C.

If you'd like to join the team for the 2016/17 season, or just fancy a kick about on a Monday night, then contact Jack Jolly for more information".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Nuneaton Town report that "Kevin Wilson has added to his defensive options by signing 19-year-old Elliot Hodgett-Young. Hodgett-Young, who can play as a centre half or left back, said, 'I was with the gaffer and Steve at Ilkeston a couple of seasons ago and it's great to be linking up with them again at Nuneaton. After they left, I went to Carlton Town, but I wanted to work with them full-time again and play at a higher level...

'Obviously I know a few of the Ilkeston lads who are here and I also went to the same school as Greg Tempest and Jordan Keane so I don't think I'll have a problem settling in. It's a step up for me, but I want to progress and help to take Nuneaton forward. I'll fight for a place in the team'...

Kevin Wilson said he was happy to have the chance to work with Elliot again. 'He needs to be around the first team squad and train with us so that he can progress. He will develop as a player with the Boro and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to help with his development and, in turn, improve the team'".



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