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NEXT MATCH: Saturday, 25 January 2020, 3pm
Home v BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Vanarama National League North match

Other teams' matches at the JDS


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24 January 2020

JJ LEAVES ALTY FOR CHESTER FC

Altrincham FC announce that they "have signed Craig Mahon from Chester as part of a deal that has seen John Johnston move to the Cestrians for a substantial fee.

Altrincham Football Club received a bid from Chester that triggered a clause in the player’s contract that enabled Chester to speak to him. Phil Parkinson explains 'It was an incredible deal according to JJ that was offered to him and having spoken to Chester, he, who got married last year and has a family to support, wanted to move. It’s a good deal for us as we are receiving a substantial sum of money for a player who has done well for us and we are getting a very good player in return as well.

'JJ will be missed, he has played consistently for us over the last three seasons and been a loyal servant to me and Altrincham Football Club. I’m very disappointed to see him leave at this stage of the season and everyone will be disappointed to see him go, but this is what happens in football and we have to move forward and someone will step up or come in and take his place.

'I did everything I could to keep him but I still could not get near the deal he had with them. I also want people here who want to play for Altrincham and are not wanting to be somewhere else as that can hugely disrupt everything we have created as a changing room environment, but should also always be at the core of being at this great historic club.

'I tried to sign Craig Mahon in the summer but he decided to accept Chester’s offer and stay at the club where he has been a fans favourite and legend for 7 seasons. Craig has had some injury problems this season, but he has just returned from a successful loan spell at Ashton United and I have spoken to Michael Clegg, Ashton’s manager, who I know well and trust his opinion and he told me that Craig is fully fit and had done very well for them'...

The club has also issued a Statement from Altrincham FC on John Johnston’s move to Chester, which can be found via the above link to the official club site.

"WE'VE SIGNED A RIVAL'S BEST PLAYER" SAYS JOHNSON

Chester FC "are delighted to announce the signing of winger John Johnston from Altrincham for an undisclosed fee. The Blues triggered a release clause in the 25 year-old's contract earlier this week, allowing discussions to begin between the player and the club.

Johnston has penned an initial 18-month deal, with an option to extend for a further year in the club’s favour at the 1885 Arena... This comes after the Blues had a bid accepted by their fellow National League North rivals earlier this week. Johnston, known for his electric pace and skill in wide areas, worked with Joint Bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley at Salford City during the 2016/17 season before a move to Moss Lane.

The two-and-a-half years that followed for ‘JJ’ saw him score 20 goals in his first season with the club as they won the Evo-Stik Premier Division and he’s gone on to make 129 appearances for the Robins, scoring 39 times...

Joint Boss Anthony Johnson said 'This is a signing of intent from our football club. We’ve signed a rival’s best player at the peak of his career at the age of 25 with a goal ratio of one in three. Having played for Bern and I previously at Salford City we know exactly what qualities John possesses, whether it be an eye for a goal or skipping past an opponent to put a chance on a plate for his teammate.

'His enthusiasm to sign for Chester typifies his ambitions in the game and we believe he’ll play a huge part in helping us meet them.'”

MAHON JOINS ALTY

Chester FC "confirm that Craig Mahon has departed the club for Altrincham on a permanent basis... after a memorable seven years with the Blues, with the Irishman becoming a firm fans' favourite.

The 30-year-old departs the 1885 Arena with an incredible 239 Blues games under his belt, making him our longest-serving player since reformation and also the record appearance holder for the club. This season, Craig has made ten appearances in all competitions and has had a loan spell at Bet Victor Northern Premier side Ashton United.

A tricky winger with skill, high energy and an eagerness to work hard for the team, Mahon joined the club in May 2013 from Vauxhall Motors. He started off his career at Wigan Athletic before signing for Salford City in 2009 where he featured 24 times – scoring 8 goals in that spell. The Motormen then came calling where he completed 117 appearances and scoring seven times.

Upon arrival in CH1, Craig was initially sent out on loan to AFC Fylde, before making his mark on the Blues starting line up... Tearing up defences and making full backs dizzy, he was the shining light in the Blues FA Cup run to the Second Round in 2014/15...

Mahon broke yet another record in 2018/19, making his 200th Chester FC appearance".

NEXT GAME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

On Saturday, Bradford (Park Avenue) "travel to Greater Manchester to take on Altrincham at Moss Lane.

After a very tough season, Avenue find themselves bottom of the table with only three wins in the season. However, one of those wins was against Altrincham just over a month ago in which Bradford ran out 2-0 winners over the Robins in what was an excellent performance. Goals from Tom Clare on his debut and Oli Johnson late on secured the three points for the Green Army and they will be hoping for a repeat of that this weekend.

Altrincham, meanwhile, are on a good run of form. Despite losing their last game away at Gateshead, their previous loss before that was against Avenue back on the 7th of December. Following that, they went on a seven game unbeaten league run, winning six. They sit tenth in the league table, albeit with a number of games in hand on the teams above, so their fate is in their own hands as we reach the last couple of months of the season.

For Avenue, it was another case of what-if last weekend against Brackley. In an evenly contested game at the Horsfall Stadium, it was unfortunately the away side who showed their quality when it mattered most, edging out a 2-1 win and sending Avenue further to the bottom of the table".

MEET THE BOARD AND MANAGEMENT

Altrincham FC director Bill Waterson explains that the club "will be holding a Meet the Manager, Meet the Board session in the Community Sports Hall on Friday 24th January from 1900-2100.

Above: The Golf Road End at the J. Davidson Stadium in October, 2019.

We have a lot to tell you, but the main focus of the night will be a presentation on our plans over the next 10 years for redeveloping the ground. We have spent the last 10 weeks or so working with Manchester-based architects, to create a vision for Moss Lane and they have done a fantastic job in coming up with something special.

In addition, we will give a strategy update, a report on our investigation of full time football for the Robins, and an introduction to new director John Coyne who will outline our progress in the Commercial domain. We will also have the benefit of an “on the pitch” update from Phil Parkinson and there will be the usual opportunity to ask questions to the board and manager.

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!"

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the NL Paper "It has now been nearly two years since Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley took over at Chester. They joined the club from Salford City replacing Marcus Bignot who had led the club to relegation from the National League to the National League North.

In their first full season with Chester FC they finished ninth. This was a disappointing season for the club and the managers, due to only being three points off of the playoff spots for promotion back to the league they just came from.

Over the summer of 2019, the two managers went to work on the signings, bringing in new players to boost the squad with a focus on topping the table and automatically getting promoted. Players such as Russ Griffiths, formerly of Everton under 23’s, and George Glendon who featured for Manchester City’s development squad, were brought in.

So far this approach appears to have worked as Chester are currently sitting in fourth place in the National League North table. Johnson and Morley have recently signed new contracts at the club which takes them through to the end of 2021/22 season.

Initially, it looked like Chester would be battling it out with the teams right at the very top for the title. However, this has stalled somewhat due to the number of draws they’ve had and the number of points they have dropped as a result. Nine times the score has finished level in their games, more than any other side in the league.... The play-offs now seem to be only option left for them...

The fact that they’ve only lost four games should give them the confidence they need to really push for the playoffs... With 20 games to go before the route to the playoffs begin[s], Chester will be hoping they can climb to third or second place as that makes for an easier route to the final... The winner of the two games will then meet in the Promotion Final at Wembley". [Surely that Final is for teams from the National League proper; the North final is played at the home of the higher placed team involved?].

More comes in the Chester Standard which tells us that "Anthony Johnson says Chester’s promotion prospects will hinge on their consistency... Johnson insists that maintaining a big-game mentality is essential, irrespective of the opposition.

'Darlington, Gateshead and York are all big games for different reasons,' said Johnson. 'When we’ve played teams like Guiseley and Southport recently there was added pressure on them. Those games against the teams around you are the ones when you can put a bit of daylight between yourself and the teams around you in the table. But the games we’ve played against the likes of Bradford and Leamington, teams in the bottom half of the table who’ve struggled at times, were tough for us.

'We know that on our day we can take a team to the cleaners, but it’s about consistency... Sometimes when you’re playing a lower-placed side performances can drop off a bit. It’s a subconscious thing among the players but it can happen'...

Alun Armstrong’s Darlington side head into the clash in solid form and buoyed by a 2-1 midweek victory at Guiseley. The Quakers have won seven of their last nine league outings, a sequence that has propelled them to sixth in the table The Blues were downed 2-0 in last month’s reverse fixture in the north east...

Johnson said 'This is the start of a tough week for us... I expect Darlington to come here and try to attack us. It should be a different type of test for us compared to the games we’ve played in the last few weeks. We relish those types of games and if they do try to play on the front foot and get in behind us then we have the quality to exploit the gaps they leave out there.'

Injured duo Matty Waters and George Waring are Chester’s only absentees."

Blyth Spartans "are pleased to announce the arrival of left-sided player Jordan Summerly from Northern League Division One side North Shields.

Summerly came through the ranks at Monkseaton Academy under Graham Fenton before the former Blyth Spartans midfielder signed him for The Robins in his first managerial role.

And despite being aged just 22, Summerly clocked up an impressive 160 appearances in total for the former FA Vase winners.

Manager Lee Clark said 'Jordan covers many positions; he can play anywhere on the left side in different formations, so he gives us flexibility. He is a young player with a lot of promise with over hundreds of games for North Shields, so he adds a bit of experience in that sense. We have taken him until the end of the season and hopefully he can make an impact as we try to have a successful end to the campaign.'"

NL Daily says that "Harry Limb and Nathan Stewart have been released from their contracts at King’s Lynn Town.

Both Limb and Stewart are attacking players, with Limb joining the Linnets on a two-year deal back in summer 2018 following his release by Premier League Burnley.

Stewart signed a similar deal around the same time, joining from Norwich United".

D3D4 Football claims that "Gloucestershire pair, Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers are interested in signing Hereford full-back Callum Wood.

Both clubs sent scouts to watch the 16-year-old left-back in a recent match for Cinderford Town, where he is currently on loan and were thought to be impressed by his performance, according to reports.

The two clubs are currently vying for a play-off berth in League Two and are always looking to improve by signing local young talent. Wood has been on the radar of several Football League Clubs but The Bulls have not received a formal offer".

From the Northants Telegraph we learn that "Former Eastwood Town boss Paul Cox has returned to his old stomping ground to take two promising young players on trial.

Cox, now manager of Kettering Town, has been impressed by the form of Eastwood CFC striker Kieran Knight and midfielder Sam Meakin and has asked for them to train with the Northamptonshire club with a view to a transfer.

Teenager Knight has been a prolific scorer since breaking into the Eastwood first team just over two years ago, while Meakin was given club captaincy last week after Danny Hayes relinquished the role.

And current Red Badgers' boss James Jepson is pleased that one of his former clubs has come knocking, even if could ultimately prove detrimental to his team’s promotion hopes... He said 'Kettering Town is a club where I had great success as a player, winning the league, and a club I am welcomed back to each year on the radio or as a guest. I speak to Paul Cox and [Cox’s assistant] John Ramshaw on a regular basis to try and learn things and ask questions and they have been open and asked to take both lads with a view to a transfer.

'It may be with one eye on next year or a transfer this season but who knows at this stage... Yes, I would be gutted to see them go but as a young manager I want to be able to progress players and move them on to better themselves. This will only attract other players to our football club knowing that we have high standards and Eastwood is a good place to be.

'Paddy Webb is an example that hard work pays and changing his lifestyle to think like a footballer and live like a footballer can bring opportunities'".

Referring to Brackley Town, the Banbury Guardian says that "Saints’ nine-match unbeaten Vanarama National League North run came to an end in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Boston United who made it seven home wins from ten outings.

Dominic Knowles scored the late winner as the Pilgrims resisted Town’s attacking threat throughout the 90 minutes to steal the points.

Wilkin said 'We did everything but score and, going into the closing stages of any game, you know at the back of your mind there is always the possibility of conceding a late goal. It was a very disappointing result but I’ve no gripes about the performance.

'We were very good throughout the game and, apart from the late goal and an early chance, Boston didn’t threaten us. Their keeper has had an excellent game and kept them in it but it was frustrating not to take any of the chances we created. If you don’t take your opportunities you know what can happen and it did. The players showed great application and there won’t be much to work on in training this week. We’re still third but the table only matters at the end of the season'".

Cheshire Live tells us that "Darlington manager Alun Armstrong has question marks over the fitness of some of his squad ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash at Chester FC.

The Quakers are on a red-hot run of form, taking 15 points from their last six games to lift them up to sixth in the National League North... The latest success for Armstrong’s side arrived on Tuesday night when they picked up another three points with a 2-1 win at fellow play-off chasers Guiseley.

But, as has been the case on a number of occasions in recent weeks, injuries have forced Armstrong to shuffle his pack, something that he may well have to do again for the trip to Chester.

He told the club’s official website 'It’s another huge game but it’s going to be no more difficult that what Guiseley was. Everyone is fighting for the same thing... A draw you’d be delighted with but a win you’d be over the moon with. The lads are full of confidence and getting a bit of the rub of the green because they are working their socks off. The only thing that is bugging us is the little injuries.

'Will I have a full squad on Saturday? I don’t know. We’ll have to see how Langy [Louis Laing], we’ve got to see how Tez [Terry Galbraith] is, Alex Storey needs nursing through training on Thursday to make sure he’s ready for Saturday and Will [Hatfield], fingers crossed, will be fit. But that is the thing with having a big squad...

'The camaraderie of the group really is different class and it’s up there with the best I’ve seen'. Since beating Chester 2-0 at Blackwell Meadows on December 7, Darlington have lost just once in the National League North, at Spennymoor Town on New Year’s Day, and have picked up six wins in seven league games during that period.

As well as the creativity of Hatfield pulling the strings in midfield, the Quakers have benefited from a rich vein of form shown by winger Justin Donawa, the 23-year-old Bermuda international attracting plenty of interest from clubs higher up the pyramid, the transfer window open until the end of January."

The Metro reports that "Love Island bombshell Luke Trotman gets ‘full backing and support’ from his football team Darlington FC.

The newcomer is set to make his debut on the dating show ... and... it turns out his team are right behind him. On the official Darlington FC website, a statement was issued, which wished the semi-professional footballer all the best. ‘Darlington defender Luke Trotman has been invited to appear on ITV2 series Love Island,’ their post began. ‘Player of the season in 2018-19 Luke, who is sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury for the rest of this season, has the full backing and full support of the club.’".

Southport "are delighted to confirm that Russ Benjamin has extended his contract with Southport through to May 2021.

Russ is in his second spell with the club and has made 62 starts in all competitions, 31 coming this season. He has also bagged two goals this season in the FA Cup at Farsley and against Burscough in the Liverpool Senior Cup.

Russ has been excellent this season and manager Liam Watson said 'I am delighted to have another player signed up for next season. Russ has been in great form this term and could easily be playing at a higher level so I am really pleased he has committed to the club'”.

SATURDAY'S LEAGUE FIXTURES

Vanarama National League North, Saturday 25th January

CHESHIRE SENIOR CUP

The NW Counties' Football League reports that "In the Cheshire Senior Cup Second Round, Winsford United bowed out of the competition as they were defeated 4-2 by Hyde United.

24 hours later, In the Cheshire Senior Cup, a delighted Mick McGraa travelled home from Stalybridge Celtic knowing his side were in the hat in the next round following a slender 1-0 win for his Vauxhall Motors side".


23 January 2020

NEXT OPPONENTS: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

Bradford (Park Avenue) visit the J. Davidson Stadoum on Saturday, having beaten Alty 2-0 at the Horsfall Stadium in December. Last season, BPA visited the J. Davidson Stadium three times. In the league on 6 February 2019, the sides drew 1-1 with Josh Hancock's first-half goal being cancelled out in the 84th minute by Danny East's equalizer.

Avenue had earlier visited Cheshire in the FA Trophy on 6 October, 2018, losing 4-2. They had returned to Moss Lane in the FA Cup when Alty won 4-0 on 24 November 2018.

Above: In the F A Trophy game in October, 2018, Shane Killock (no.5) nets Bradford's second goal, despite a heavy presence of Alty players. The ball can be seen just behind the Alty keeper in the above image.

Last weekend, the Telegraph & Argus reported that "There seems to be no let-up for Bradford (Park Avenue) as they were narrowly beaten 2-1 at home by Brackley Town to leave them 14 points adrift at the foot of the National League North table.

After getting hammered 8-0 in the reverse fixture, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Avenue. However, Mark Bower’s men looked a completely different outfit this time out.

Only three players remain from that dreadful day in Northamptonshire and the difference was palpable.

However, performances can only take you so far and it is now seven defeats in their last eight for Bradford, a miserable state of affairs with only 15 games remaining.

The Bradford boss named an unchanged starting 11 from the side which battled to a 1-1 draw at Hereford.

It was the home side who started the brightest with the trio of Nicky Clee, Alex Hurst and Oli Johnson all getting in dangerous positions without damaging the best defence in the league, which has conceded only 14 goals in their previous 23 games.

It was the home side who started the brightest with the trio of Nicky Clee, Alex Hurst and Oli Johnson all getting in dangerous positions without damaging the best defence in the league... Holding out until the break seemed a strong possibility for Bradford before controversy struck on the stroke of half-time.

As Alex Hurst attempted to drive out of defence, he stumbled into a Town attacker leading to screams from the touchline for a foul. Yet referee James Westgate wasn’t interested and let play continue, allowing Matty Lowe to earn his side a corner. The resulting set-piece caused a goalmouth scramble which Ndlovu poked home for his 15th goal of the season.

It is fair to say Mr Westgate didn’t receive the most welcoming of returns to the tunnel. After an uneventful first 15 minutes to the second period, Brackley added their second due to a calamity from the unfortunate Green.

Originally, the Avenue number one made a superb save from the in-form Ndlovu, who has now bagged 11 in his last nine games, sprawling to his right. However, as play continued, Green produced a poor punched clearance which fell straight to the head of Armson who could not miss for his ninth of the season.

Effectively, the game was over for Avenue at this point but Bower refused to down tools and brought on his only threats from his four-man bench, Lewis Knight and Tom Clare. The changes meant the match, attended by 256 spectators, was finally end to end with both teams launching a number of attacks...

Bradford did gain some solace in injury-time when Clare finished amazingly from a corner to gain his second goal for the club".

The late Mike Garnett's records tell us the historical record of Altrincham against Bradford (Park Avenue), who visit Altrincham next Saturday (25th January).

Matches against the pre-1974 BPA finished as shown below...

ALTY OLD (AND CURRENT) BOYS

Over Christmas, the Winsford Guardian reported that "Winsford United have beefed up their ranks ahead of a tough run of fixtures. Striker Max Pouncey has been signed ahead of three North West Counties Premier Division matches against top-eight sides.

Pouncey, 24, formerly of Altrincham, comes into the squad in time for the Boxing Day meeting with eighth-placed Whitchurch Alport... Winsford entered the festive period in ninth spot on the back of last Saturday’s 4-1 home win against bottom team Litherland REMYCA.

It was United’s ninth win from 20 games and bringing their goal difference to an even keel, having now scored 40 and conceded 40.

Blues took a grip of the contest with two first-half goals from [ex-Alty youth and reserve team player] Sam Madeley, his 12th and 13th league strikes this season".

Many of Max's former team-mates at Altrincham are now playing under former Alty Reserves' manager Chris Rowley who is now in charge at West Didsbury & Chorlton. In their midweek match this week, WD&C included Curtis Miller, who was a used substitute for Alty in their most recent league game, last Saturday, at Gateshead.

Alty Reserves' joint manager Joel Swift also featured in the NW Counties' side's squad on Tuesday night, as did goalkeeper Andrew Jones, winger Dontai Gabidon (who has been with Trafford this season), former Alty centre-back Sam Heathcote and midfielder Rhain Davis (left).

Other Altrincham faces at West Didsbury include Callum Jones, Jack Ryan, Billy Matthews and Matt Cook. The WD&C Line-up at Wythenshawe Town comprised 1. Andrew Jones, 2. Callum Jones, 3. Dontai Gabidon, 4. Tinker, 5. Matt Cook, 6. Sam Heathcote (c), 7. Curtis Miller, 8. Gavin, 9. Joel Swift, 10. Jack Ryan, 11. Blackwell. Subs: 12. Billy Matthews, 14. McLellan, 15. Rhain Davis, 16. Moloney.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

After their FA Trophy game at Barnet was postponed at very short notice on Tuesday night, Farsley Celtic "Chairman Paul Barthorpe would like to issue the following statement on this evening's postponement.

'I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travelling fans, members of our supporters club, players and staff for making the trip down to Barnet in the hope of watching tonight’s game. On behalf of the club, I can only express our frustration and disappointment at the events that have unfolded tonight. As a semi-professional club we rely on games being played and fixtures fulfilled as the life blood of our existence.

'Our players, staff and supporters, many of whom are self-employed, have had to take days off work for a long midweek away game, sacrificing personal income for their dedication in representing Farsley, and for that we as a club are, and always will be, truly grateful. We will once again have to ask them to make this sacrifice, but I can assure our fans, players and all involved that we will be seriously looking into tonight’s events and pushing for acceptable answers.

'We shouldn’t have to ask or expect anyone involved with our club, in any capacity, to make such unnecessary and avoidable sacrifices to do something they love! Putting aside the significant financial implications for us as a club, and the individuals involved, this isn’t what football is all about. Football is and always has been about just playing the game, and win, lose or draw we share it with our fans week in and week out'".

The Barnet & Potters Bar Times added that "The chairman of Farsley Celtic has expressed the club’s frustration and disappointment after last night’s FA Trophy replay at Barnet was postponed shortly before kick-off. The game was called off after the match officials 'deemed the surface, in particular the goal-mouths, to be frozen'.

Meanwhile Barnet themselves stated that "Following last night's postponement, we can confirm our FA Trophy Second Round replay with Farsley Celtic will take place on Tuesday 28th January...

The Club would like to once again apologise for the disappointment caused by the late postponement of last night's fixture and the inconvenience it has caused our supporters and those who travelled down from Farsley Celtic.

As a gesture of goodwill to our visitors, we will be offering all Farsley Celtic supporters free entry to the rearranged tie... Alternatively, refunds can be claimed".

According to Bradford's Telegraph and Argus "Darlington went above Guiseley in National League North after beating the Lions 2-1 at Nethermoor.

Justin Donawa was brought down by Guiseley keeper Marcus Dewhurst after just four minutes and Adam Campbell converted from the spot to put the north-east side in front.

The Lions were level eight minutes later when in-form Kaine Felix netted a fine individual effort.

But former Guiseley player Will Hatfield saw the visitors regain the lead by half-time with a long-range strike.

The Lions drop to seventh, with Darlington leapfrogging them into sixth place."

From Gateshead we learn that "The Heed were... held to a goalless draw at Leamington on a wintery Tuesday evening, despite both sides striking the woodwork in the second half.

Mike Williamson made two changes to rotate his squad for the second game in three days, replacing Liam Agnew and Mitch Curry with Connor Oliver and Dom Tear.

The opening 45 minutes provided little in the way of entertainment for both sets of supporters... with the two sides gridlocked in a midfield battle early on... It took until [first-half] injury time for the Heed to provide a real test for Weaver and it could have seen them take the lead had the stopper not been on red alert, reacting quickly to tip Greg Olley’s header away from goal...

The hosts began to put pressure on the Heed... and saw a penalty shout waved away when Callum Maycock went down in the area under challenge. Scott Barrow then came mere inches away from putting the Heed in front with only five minutes to go when he curled a 25-yard free-kick off the crossbar, but it proved not to be and the game petered out into a goalless draw".

Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC remain hopeful that they will have a new addition among their ranks for this weekend’s clash with in-form Darlington. Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley... have identifed the kind of player they would like to bring in, both for the here and now and the longer term, and are aiming to get something signed and sealed...

'We’ve said we’d like to add to the squad and add some more quality in the final third and we’re still trying to do that,' said Johnson, who revealed that one move for an under-23 player with an EFL side had fallen through after the player had wished to pursue a deal with a club at a higher level.

'We’ve spoken to a few players and clubs and we’d like to try and get something done before the weekend if we can. There are a couple of things we are working on that could happen before then... This is the time of the season when you need to be adding real quality if you are chasing something down.

'A lot of teams, like Darlington, are hitting form and it is up to us to make sure that we are doing the same and nailing down the highest possible finish that we can this season. We’ve lost George Waring for what looks like a big chunk of what’s left of this season and we can’t afford to rest on our laurels...

'If we do bring someone in then we will probably be looking to let one or two out, whether on loan or otherwise... If we can add two, one possibly for the short term to help us get to where we want to be this season, and another with an eye on the longer term, then that would be great.'”

Lincolnshire Live relays the view that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott felt his team ‘got away with one’ after sneaking a 1-0 home win over promotion rivals Brackley Town on Tuesday.

The Pilgrims were under pressure for long spells against the Saints, but defended resolutely and stole all three points courtesy of Dominic Knowles’s strike four minutes from time.

Elliott wants to see his side improve their performance levels but was delighted nonetheless with three more crucial points in their promotion crusade.

'I am really happy to get the win against a fantastic team,' said Elliott. 'I thought Brackley were superb and I am not daft. I know our performance did not hit the levels I wanted but sometimes you have got to take it and move on. I thought we carried four or five players who were not great but what we did show is good character and resilience and sometimes we rode our luck.

'People in this league realise how good Brackley are. They are a well-managed team. They have some great players with a lot of hunger and I am really happy to beat them. I think we will have to play a lot better if we want to stay up there but sometimes you just have to take the results in this league and move on.'

Elliott was full of praise for goalscorer Knowles and goalkeeper Peter Crook, the latter of whom made a string of excellent saves to continue his rehabilitation from a rocky spell of form over the festive period.

'It’s what good strikers do,' added Elliott in relation to Knowles. 'He was living off scraps but when the chance came he was so calm and clinical with the finish. I thought he was a class act. I am happy for Crooky. He made a few errors and came in for a bit of criticism but that’s what good players do. He has shown great character to bounce back'...

Crook made first half interventions... while Simon Ainge twice cleared off the line. Crook continued to excel after half-time... With United holding on for a point, they miraculously nicked all three when Knowles converted Alex Whittle’s cross from the left in the 86th minute".

The Boston Standard confirms that "Striker Dayle Southwell, who spent a spell on loan with Boston United this season, will not be returning to York Street.

Craig Elliott said the door remained open for the striker, who scored 54 times in a previous spell with the Pilgrims, after he returned to parent club FC Halifax Town earlier this month.

However, the former Grimsby Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Guiseley striker has agreed a long-term deal with National League North leaders King's Lynn.

Southwell featured for United twice against the Linnets this season."

According to Buckingham Today, "Brackley Town's nine-match unbeaten Vanarama National League North run came to and end in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Boston United.

Dominic Knowles scored the late winner as the Pilgrims resisted Town’s attacking threat throughout the 90 minutes to steal the points.

Keeper Peter Crook and his defensive unit, commanded by Luke Shiels and Simon Ainge, stood firm to thwart the visitors time and again...

But, with four minutes left, Boston produced the winner. Alex Whittle crossed for Knowles to beat Lewis from ten yards. Boston almost grabbed a second when Lewis denied Thewlis but it was a tough one for Saints to take."

The Hereford Times advises that "Senior defender Josh Gowling will take charge at Hereford FC on an interim basis.

The 36-year-old centre-back will take charge of first team matters including training... Gowling joined the Bulls 13 months ago and was a regular starter last season and former captain. However, he has been in and out of the side in recent weeks under former manager Russell Slade.

Bulls Chairman Andrew Graham told the club's website 'I’d like to thank Josh for agreeing to step up to this new role. My early conversations with him have been very encouraging and I look forward to seeing him and his team in action this weekend. Josh will remain in charge for the foreseeable future whilst the search for a permanent manager gets underway. I am fully aware of how important it is to get this decision right, and so we will not be rushing into making a hasty appointment.'

Gowling added 'Moving into coaching is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I’ve been working on my coaching qualifications and I have experience of being a player-coach so I’m really happy that I’ve got this chance... I’ve not been involved in the playing squad much lately, but that has given me a chance to watch on from the stands and I think I’ve seen areas where I can change a few things and hopefully make improvements...

'It’s hard when you’re on a bad run of results, but I want them to go out and enjoy their football and put in good performances for the fans'".

The Shropshire Star informs us that "AFC Telford United’s Riccardo Calder has signed for Nuneaton Borough. The midfielder has agreed a deal on dual registration terms, meaning the Bucks could still call on Calder if required.

Meanwhile, Telford won their hastily-arranged friendly 4-2 at Market Drayton Town last night. Gavin Cowan’s side set up the match after Saturday’s league clash with Blyth was postponed".

Leamington tell us that the "Brakes fought out a second successive no score draw for the first time since the dark days of the late 1980s but, while Saturday’s clash with Chester had been something of a war of attrition, this one was a thoroughly entertaining affair against first-time visitors Gateshead that Leamington grew into after spending most of the first half under the cosh.

Paul Holleran made one enforced change to his starting eleven, Callum Gittings replacing the injured Joe Clarke while Joe Parker, signed from Gloucester just hours earlier, made his debut in the second half from the substitutes' bench.

The first half proved to be very much a backs to the wall exercise for Leamington for long periods as they had to soak up large amounts of pressure from the visitors, who quickly showed themselves to be a very good passing side...

As the game passed the half hour Leamington emerged from a particularly tough spell of Gateshead pressure to begin to push forward themselves, but Mike Williamson’s side, with their manager in central defence, were soon on the front foot once more, trying to switch things with the aerial approach. Brakes dealt with it well under more pressure, but were indebted to their goalkeeper in [first-half] added time...

Gateshead’s new loan signing Mitch Curry was introduced and almost scored with his first touch... Parker was introduced just prior to the hour mark and almost introduced himself to his new team mates and supporters in spectacular style...

This was a much more even contest now... Gateshead briefly threatened again in the closing minutes... but both sides were forced to settle for a point after an absorbing second half".

Manager Paul Holleran commented ‘I think Gateshead, the system, the possession game they play... their pressing all over the pitch, you could see the difference between a part-time football club that have had a tough schedule and a full time football club that are bang at it at the moment.

‘You can see why they’ve been getting results after the turbulent start they had. I was really impressed with them but then second half we said come on, we’ve hung on in there and now we’ve got to be better. You’ve got to get the ball wide with the system they’ve got, you’ve got to try and get your full backs up the pitch and your two wide men in the game... and we had a 15-20 minute spell where we were really on top...

'Even though we’ve had a real good go there, I think we’ll be happier with the draw.’"


22 January 2019

ETHAN "FULLY ENJOYED" ALTY

Although his playing time whilst on loan recently at Altrincham was very limited, Preston North End's Ethan Walker has a positive view of his time at the J. Davidson Satdium.

Preston North End report that "Ethan Walker was pleased to return to the youth team fold and help the young Lilywhites reach the FA Youth Cup fifth round by scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Oxford United at Deepdale.

The second-year scholar was recently recalled from a loan spell at Altrincham, allowing him to return to the starting line-up for this game and he wasted no time in making an impact, scoring from the penalty spot after 12 minutes and doubling his and the team’s tally early in the second half to make sure of the win.

The 17-year-old missed the third round win against Bristol City last month and Ethan told iFollow PNE that he was pleased to be back involved in the FA Youth Cup this evening, helping his team-mates to set up a fifth round tie away to Blackburn Rovers in the process.

'I enjoyed every minute of it,' Ethan said. 'I thought that all the players were excellent, they knew their roles and the tactics for today’s game and they put it into today. All the practice we’ve done in training has finally worked out. It didn’t help having the game cancelled last week but we’ve got on with it and been patient and we’ve shown them what we can do.

'I fully enjoyed coming back, spending time with the lads and scoring two goals and getting us through to the next round.'

Ethan’s spell at Altrincham ended prematurely but the youngster said he learned from the experience nonetheless. 'It’s [the loan spell] taught me how fast the game is,' he added. 'The intensity is massive compared to youth team football and it’s helped me improve my fitness. I feel fitter coming back down with the youth team. I’m not saying the tempo’s slow, the intensity’s slow, but I’ve found it a lot easier coming back and I’ve learnt things that I wouldn’t have learnt if I stayed here.

'I fully enjoyed my time at Altrincham, I’ve learnt a lot even just in training, I’ve took it into today’s game and showed that I have improved.'

The forward explained that the team were not fully satisified with their first half’s work, feeling they might have added to their 1-0 advantage, that feeling soon relieved as Walker doubled the lead ten minutes into the second half.".

MIKE GARNETT R.I.P.

The well-attended funeral of Altrincham FC supporter Mike Garnett was held at St Anne's Church in Royton on Monday afternoon. A number of references were made during the service to Mike's dedication to Altrincham FC and his family indicated that Mike's extensive historical archive of statistical and other material would be donated to the football club.

Mike's father was a keen sportsman and it was explained, perhaps tongue in cheek, that Mike was given three forenames so that his initials would not look out of place in the world of cricket where three initials were the norm at the MCC!

Mike's working life was spent as a teacher of French and German and one of his claims to fame was to be one of the few Englishmen to have witnessed Arsene Wenger actually playing football before he embarked on his managerial career! This rare sighting of the Frenchman was made during a year spent teaching English in Alsace as part of Mike's University course in Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia.

In addition to his football interests, Mike was an active member of St Anne's Church and a leading figure in its choir as well as singing with the Saddleworth Consort, which performed two of Mike's favourite choral songs at the funeral service.

Mike will be greatly missed by his many friends at Moss Lane as well as by his family.

TELFORD MATCH ARRANGEMENTS

On Saturday 1st February, Altrincham travel to the New Buck's Head to face AFC Telford United. The Bucks have advised that segregation will be in place for this match. Away Supporters will be able to gain access to the stadium at the turnstiles via the Frank Nagington Stand but tickets are available in advanced via the club's online ticket system. Telford advise supporters to buy in advance here

Given that Telford have experienced two recent postponements through waterlogging, it might be as well to check the weather forecast before purchasing tickets in advance!

Admission Prices are

The Telford match is the second in a series of four fixtures in twelve days against just two different opponents!

MIDWEEK GAMES

Vanarama National League North, Tuesday 21st January

Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round Proper Replays

Cheshire Senior Cup 2nd Round

MEETING WITH MANAGEMENT AND BOARD

By way of a reminder, there will be a meeting for Altrincham supporters with the club's management and board on Friday 24th January, at 7pm in the Community Sports Hall. As well as providing an oportunity to pose questions to the board and management, the evening will include a presentation of potential improvements to the fabric of the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham's home since 1910.

Director Bill Waterson told the Altrincham FC official website, "We have a lot to tell you, but the main focus of the night will be a presentation on our plans over the next 10 years for redeveloping the ground. We have spent the last 10 weeks or so working with Manchester-based architects, to create a vision for Moss Lane and they have done a fantastic job in coming up with something special.

In addition, we will give a strategy update, a report on our investigation of full time football for the Robins, and an introduction to new director John Coyne who will outline our progress in the Commercial domain. We will also have the benefit of an “on the pitch” update from Phil Parkinson and there will be the usual opportunity to ask questions to the board and manager.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Hereford FC "Chairman Andrew Graham has spoken following the departure of first-team manager, Russell Slade.

'We do not want a revolving door syndrome to take hold here, but we do feel that there is a need for a complete revamp of how we do things both on and off the pitch. The fans need to be at the heart of our decision making and our actions,' Graham added.

'As a board we believe that a shake-up of how we do things has been long overdue and we all appreciate that changes have to happen. We don’t feel that we have been demonstrating that we are a fans' club as clearly as we should have been and for that, I apologise' added Graham.

'The fans have always been important to us but I feel that we must work harder to engage with fans and to show them that they are integral to the success of this football club. Our local community needs a thriving Football Club and we must all work together to ensure that happens. We have budgeted on gates of 2,200 and for our club to be thriving we need to be regularly attracting that level of support.

'Of course we appreciate that there must be an entertaining product for the fans to get behind out on the pitch, but I firmly believe that the squad we have is better than the results we have been getting recently. I would plead with everyone to rally around the players for the remainder of the season and help turn this season around'".

This comes after Hereford FC had announced that "Hereford FC can confirm that first-team manager Russell Slade has left the club. The decision for Slade to leave, which comes into effect immediately, was made following lengthy discussions between Hereford FC Chairman Andrew Graham and Russell Slade earlier today.

Following those discussions, Graham said 'We appreciate that Russell inherited an extremely difficult situation, but we find ourselves in a tough position at this moment in time and we, as a board ,need to act in the best interests of the club'...

An interim coach and supporting staff will be appointed as soon as possible".

The unofficial Bulls' News adds that "Russell Slade oversaw just four league wins during his time at Edgar Street (a 21% win ratio). Slade was in the dugout at Edgar Street for the first time against Boston United on August 31... However, it was on the road where Hereford's problems mainly lie... [There] was an encouraging 2-0 win at Leamington on October 1. But that would be the Bulls' last win in any competition until Hereford beat Kidderminster 2-1 at home on New Year's Day.

But following that win came two very disappointing performances, a 2-0 reverse at Gateshead and a 1-1 home draw with bottom club Bradford (Park Avenue). The latter would end up being Slade's last match in charge .

Slade's league record was: Played 19, Won 4, Drawn 6, Lost 9, Goals For 19, Goals Against 31, Points 18".

Since promotion to the National League North in 2018, Hereford's Board has shown little patience with its club's management. They sacked Peter Beadle who had just brought the Bulls up three divisions in the pyramid and despite his having gained eleven points from the first eight games of 2018-19 season. Next into the hot seat was Tim Harris who was appointed Head of Football and his son-in-law Marc Richards soon became Head Coach in October 2018. The Bulls finished 17th that season.

History repeated itself in 2019-20 when Marc Richards got the push after just three games of the season, despite winning and drawing one game apiece in that sequence. Harris re-assumed interim charge before former Football League manager Russell Slade was appointed. His assistant, Andy Whing, left the Bulls in mid-January and now Slade has followed him out of the door. Currently Hereford lie sixteenth.

In the first four days of February, Altrincham play AFC Telford United both home and away. From AFC Telford United reported that they "will play Market Drayton this evening [Tuesday] in a friendly at Greenfields. The fixture is open to the public and will kick off at 7.30pm."

This follows the postponement of Telford's last two home games due to waterlogging.

Kidderminster Harriers "confirm that Richard Peniket has left the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

The 26-year-old has decided to take an extended break from football for personal reasons and to allow his body to recover from cumulative injuries.

Harriers have held discussions with Richard about his decision and have taken steps to support him in his transition".

At Leamington "The club are pleased to announce the signing of Joe Parker from our counterparts Gloucester City for an undisclosed fee.

The 24 year old is comfortable in midfield or up front, and has made the switch from his hometown club where he came through the Youth ranks to make the first team as a youngster.

Joe scored two hat tricks in his first full season in Gloucester's first team, one in 19 minutes in an FA Cup tie, which bought him to the attention of Newport County, for whom he signed before being loaned back to Gloucester.

Having made his Football League debut in one of several appearances for the Welsh club, Joe returned to Gloucester for a third spell at the end of his contract with Newport. He has considerable experience at Step 2 having made over 240 appearances for Gloucester, scoring 49 goals. Joe has scored five goals so far this season, and featured in both of Gloucester's recent games against Brakes.

Manager Paul Holleran said of his new acquisition, 'Joe Parker is a player that has been around at this level for a long time and has always been a consistent performer and somebody that we have liked. When we heard that he would be leaving Gloucester and was interested in us it was something we wanted to tie up very quickly.

'He is a player that has had a taste of league football before and there's no reason why he cannot get there again'". His arrival follows the departure of the Brakes' leading scorer, Josh March to League Football at Forest Green Rovers.

In advance of Tuesday's game, the Northern Echo reported that " "It is sixth versus seventh tonight when another win for Darlington would put them 'right in the mix, says Will Hatfield. The dynamic midfielder will play against his former club Guiseley at Nethermoor, where he spent four seasons until leaving last summer to sign for The Quakers for whom he has been one of the team’s most consistent performers.

He has missed only one of Darlington’s league games, playing a key role in Alun Armstrong’s team... Hatfield is looking forward to going back to his former club, who also won at the weekend and have lost only one of their last seven matches.

He said: '“A lot of the lads from last season have left but one or two left and the manager is there as well... and the fans at Guiseley were a different class with me. I’m sure I’ll get a warm reception, I did well for them, but most importantly for me is that I am desperate to get three points for Darlington'...

Though he has only one goal to his name in Quakers colours the midfielder is enjoying his football. He added 'I was at Guiseley for four years and in my final year there was a bit of uncertainty about the club in how it was going forward, so it was the right time to leave and I could not have come to a better club than Darlington. Big club, great support, great manager and a great set of lads as well. I am really enjoying my football at the moment'...

Hatfield scored 20 times in 163 Guiseley appearances... 'I feel more responsibility within this team and that’s a good thing, I think it brings the best out of me'...

With Alex Storey struggling with a groin injury, Sean Reid is likely to continue in the centre of defence and Armstrong will have no qualms in in selecting him alongside Louis Laing, though he admits the player prefers to be in midfield or up front.

'What people might not realise, and he does not realise himself, is that he reads the game well,' said the manager, who moved Reid to defence after Galbraith’s injury. 'He is a better centre-half and centre-midfielder than he is a centre-forward... I wanted to bring him to the club earlier, but he is here now and is proving what an asset he is'".

Also before a Tuesday night clash, the Boston Standard told us that "Craig Elliott wants to take his first points of Brackley Town... The Pilgrims' boss has suffered three straight defeats against the Saints since taking over at York Street...

'They’ve always had a strong team since I’ve been at Boston and they’ve always been difficult games,' Elliott said. 'But we’ve got a stronger team now and we’re looking forward to seeing how we do against them. Brackley will a be a test, but they’re not looking forward to coming to us either, we’re stronger than we have been in the last 18 months.'

Town sit third in the National League North, two places and five points above Boston...

Despite [Brackley] winning the FA Trophy in 2018, Elliott admits he is a little surprised they have not earned a promotion. 'I am a little bit to be honest,' he said... 'The FA Trophy was perhaps a bit of a distraction, but they’re a consistent side'".


21 January 2020

BPA: THE LAST TIME

Alty met Bradford (Park Avenue) four times last season, drawing at home and winning all three away games in the league, FA Trophy and FA Cup. This time around the boot has been on the other foot as bottom of the table BPA beat Alty 2-0 at the Horsfall Stadium earlier this season.

BPA's last league visit to Moss Lane ended in a 1-1 draw.

Right: Max Harrop and BPA's Luca Havern contest an aerial ball during the February clash at the J. Davidson Stadium.

That match was played on Saturday, 16 February 2019, on an afternoon which will probably remembered more for the rainbow shirts worn by Altrincham than for the quality of the match itself. A late goal earned Bradford (Park Avenue) a point. Alty could not complain too much at the outcome of a game in which both sides struggled to create many chances.

With Harrison, White and Waterston all sidelined by injury, Sean Williams absent ill and Jordan Hulme suspended, Altrincham restored James Jones and Simon Richman to the starting eleven. This time around Richman will be sidelined by his hamstring injury and Williams is also likely to miss the game as rest has been prescribed for his ankle injury.

In the match last season, Altrincham took a 22nd minute lead when Hancock rounded the keeper after loanee Joe Piggot had dispossessed former Alty defender Luca Havern some 40 yards from goal.

Bradford had enjoyed plenty of possession without creating any real threats but, four minutes from time, ex-Alty man Nicky Clee was allowed to get along the left byline and, though Alty half-cleared the ball, a second clearance then cannoned off East into the net to make it 1-1.

In the New Year of 2019, Bradford had allowed three of their senior players to leave, including goalkeeper Steven Drench to Altrincham. Since then Avenue had added Hull City loanee goalkeeper, Charlie Andrew, and Romoney Crichlow-Noble (on loan from Huddersfield Town) to their squad in recent weeks and Danny East was back in contention following long-term injury. BPA had also not played for three weeks due to postponements.

The sides included Drench in the Alty goal, who will not be fit to face his former employers, and Conor Branson, who was to join Altrincham in the summer.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Steven Drench, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Joe Piggott, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. James Poole, 14. Andy White, 15. Mason Fawns, 16. Yusifu Ceesay, 20. Tony Thompson

BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE): 1. Charlie Andrew, 2. Mark Ross, 3. Nicky Clee, 4. Alex Hurst, 5. Shane Killock (c), 6. Gianluca Havern, 7. Lewis Knight, 8. Conor Branson, 9. Jake Beesley, 10. Oli Johnson, 11. Jamie Spencer. Subs: 12. Ryan Toulson, 14. Macaulay Langstaff, 15. Romaney Critchlow-Noble, 16. Danny East, 17. Adam Nowakowski.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Cheshire Live reports that "Anthony Johnson admitted that dreams of the National League North title have all but gone for Chester FC .

The Blues were held to a 0-0 draw at Leamington on Saturday while league leaders King's Lynn Town came out on top in the battle of the top two... The win for the Linnets saw them extend their advantage over Chester, who dropped to fourth, to what looks an unassailable 12 points while the Norfolk side now hold a four-point lead over York and have two games in hand on the Minstermen.

For the Linnets, they are red-hot favourites to make it back-to-back promotions while for Chester the task is now to make sure they cement a place in the play-off places and finish as high as they can to secure home advantage...

Johnson said 'It has been a tough slog. We are disappointed because it's probably got away from us now, it will take some doing catching them. Fair play to them for beating York. We're just going to have to concentrate on each game now.

'If we try and erase what happened last Saturday for a minute that is three league clean sheets on the bounce. If you isolate things from what we have done since Christmas then it has been a really good run, nowhere near as good as King's Lynn's but it has been a really good run.'"

The Northern Echo states that "You can almost hear the unmistakable sound of the Darlo steamroller being fired up after having been mothballed for a couple of years.

Six wins from our last seven league matches, it feels like we’ve gone back four or five years to a time when winning was the norm, not the exception. Saturday’s win over Alfreton Town at fortress Blackwell Meadows felt very much like any of the many regulation wins achieved during our traverse of the two divisions of the Northern Premier League. We weren’t at our best, but our level was suitably high enough to comfortably see off our visitors from Derbyshire.

As is often the case when facing a Billy Heath rugby side, we had to deal with a greater than usual physical threat. Many a time last season, that would have been our undoing but our side of pocket battleships is a lot more sturdy than they appear at first glance. While Alfreton gave us plenty to think about, their lack of any real guile ultimately meant we could deal with their threat.

At half time it felt like we needed to up our level in order to establish a firm grip on the game and, to be fair to the players, they did just that. As it turned out, the game ended up being very comfortable and, in reality, we probably could have had more than the three goals we scored. Just as impressive as the win itself was seeing our larger, improved quality squad deal with yet another run of frustrating injury concerns. The excellent Alex Storey was missing; no problems. Terry Galbraith then went down injured. Problem? Apparently not.

Sean Reid pulled a Liam Hughes [?] and slotted into the back line seamlessly. In fact, it was his and Louis Laing’s control of the game from the back which seemed to provide us with the overall control of the game.

Goals win games and for only the second time this season, we managed to chalk up three in a league game. After what appeared to be a difficult game for Adam Campbell against Harrogate Town the week before, I thought Saturday might be a good chance to give him a bit of a breather. It shows what I know. He was buzzing throughout his time on the pitch. He took his goals really well and his movement both on and off the ball caused Alfreton no end of problems...

The acid test starts now and I fancy by the time we get to the end of February, we’ll still be right in the mix".

According to York Press, "Steve Watson has said York City must embrace the challenge of being 'a big club at this level', and believes there will be more occasions like Saturday to come this season.

In front of a crowd of 4,019, the Minstermen were beaten 1-0 in their top-of-the-table clash at the weekend by National League North leaders King's Lynn Town.

Much like the aftermath of other league defeats for York, the huge celebrations at the end told all about what it meant to the hosts, who went four points clear.

Watson said, 'When you see the reaction after the game between the manager and the coaches, you do get the feeling it was huge for them. I wouldn't disrespect them and say they think it's over. It happens a lot. Guiseley's reaction to beating us at home was one of mass celebration, so was Curzon.

'We have got to take on board that challenge. We are a big club at this level and we have to accept the responsibility and the pressure that comes with that.'

Despite the blow... Watson suspects there will be more games of this calibre this season... He said, 'The lads and I have been saying all week, that's the reason why you come to a club, to compete. That's the reason why the supporters understand how far we've come...

'It's a game where there's something on at the right end of the league, really challenging for something. There's going to be two or three more of those before the end of the season, and if the support is like it was today, we can come out on the other side of this'".

From the News Post Leader comes the news that "Blyth Spartans found themselves without a game at the weekend when their scheduled match away to Telford was postponed... on Friday afternoon because of a waterlogged pitch...

Last night (Wednesday), Spartans were due to take on local rivals Bedlington Terriers away from home in the Northumberland Senior Cup, and on Saturday (January 25) they are home to King’s Lynn.

Meanwhile, manager Lee Clark has thanked fans for their continued support...

'The supporters play a huge part in the results,' said Clark. 'The support they have given the team this season through some real tough times is outstanding. They have always stayed behind us'...

Meanwhile, Spartans have been told that general manager Anthony Seghini will step down from his position at the end of the season due to personal circumstances.”

And the Spartans have also lost a key player as Notts County confirm the "signing of Blyth Spartans' top scorer Cal Roberts on a deal until the end of the 2021-22 season.

The 22-year-old wide man, who scored at Meadow Lane for Newcastle United in last year’s Checkatrade Trophy, has hit 17 goals in 25 appearances for Spartans during the first half of their 2019-20 National League North campaign.

His form has convinced Neal Ardley and our owners... to bring Roberts to Nottingham to aid our play-off push.

Having been in their academy since he was eight, Roberts made his first-team debut at Newcastle aged just 17... As well as spending time on loan at Gateshead and Kilmarnock over the next two years, Roberts became a regular source of goals for United’s Under 23s...

All signs pointed to Roberts continuing to move through the ranks at St James’ Park but, following a loan at Colchester, he was released by his boyhood club at the end of last season... In August, he linked up with former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark, who managed Kilmarnock in Roberts’ time there, and continued to produce what he had in Under 23s football.

His 17 goals for Spartans have been the shining light as they’ve struggled in the National League North, and he leads their scoring charts by some distance".

Middlesbrough report that "Mitchell Curry marked his debut for Gateshead with a goal and a win as the Heed made it back-to-back wins, [this time winning] against Altrincham.

Curry linked up with Gateshead and fellow Boro loanee Brad James on loan until the rest of the season, and it was a debut to remember...

Curry got off the mark for Gateshead to seal the points for the National League North outfit when he headed home Alex Nicholson's cross. The 20-year-old was delighted...

'It's a big relief. On your debut you want to get off to a good start,' Curry told Gateshead's website... It's the first game I've started since November, so I was starting to cramp up towards the end and it can be hard to get your sharpness'.

Gateshead add that on Tuesday evening they were set to face Leamington. The Heed are "on a four-game unbeaten run, having won two on the bounce at the International Stadium against Hereford and Altrincham, both by 2-0 scorelines...

Leamington, meanwhile, managed to prevent a third defeat on the spin on Saturday as they held Chester to a goalless draw at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium. The Brakes are a tough nut to crack at their home ground and have lost just once there [against Alty] in their last eight games across all competitions...

Gateshead assistant manager Ian Watson is looking to continue building momentum on Tuesday night. 'The lads are in good spirits today. We’ll face a different test tomorrow in terms of a long away trip and a different style of play... “If you look at Blyth last year, they weren’t in it at all and managed to put a run of wins together towards the end of the season and managed to sneak in seventh place... so it’s important that we do string a run of wins together.'”

Gloucester City "confirm that long serving defender Sam Avery has left the club.

With recent additions to the playing squad and likely limited playing time, Sam was released so he can seek first team football elsewhere.

Sam was a product of the much acclaimed Gloucester City Youth Development setup, but with limited opportunities at the club as a youngster, he left and developed his game with the likes of Chipping Norton Town and Bishops Cleeve. Sam returned to the Tigers in 2014... and continued to be at the heart of the City defence for over five seasons, many of them as Club Captain...

Sam had made over 230 appearances in a City shirt across the National North and South, including 26 during this campaign...

Midfielder Jennison Myrie-Williams has also been released from the Club. Jennison arrived in the Summer but didn’t make his first team competitive debut until September due to injury sustained in pre-season. He went on to make 13 appearances, 6 of them starts."

At Southport, "George Newell says he believes this week will be crucial if Southport want to get their season back on track after a disappointing start to 2020.

Newell scored the Yellows’ only goal in the 3-1 defeat to Boston United on Saturday and despite the scoreline, Newell thinks the signs are there that things will improve. The Port face Pilkington in the Liverpool Senior Cup on Wednesday before a visit to Gloucester City at the weekend.

He said 'Everyone’s a bit deflated which is to be expected after a loss but I think there’s a feeling in the squad that things are starting to improve... Key moments have gone against us and with a bit more luck we could have got something out of that game. The next few games for us are going to be absolutely crucial for us. There’s no excuse for the form in recent weeks but I think it’s fair to say that the fixture list hasn’t been kind to us over Christmas but we’re coming out the other side of that now and if we can get back into our pre-Christmas form then getting into the playoffs isn’t out of the question.

'Pilkington is a game we should win on paper but Burscough showed earlier in the season just how dangerous these sides can be in the Senior Cup. They’re massively pumped up for this game and we’re going to have to be at our best to make sure we get a result.

'Then we’re going to Gloucester next weekend and that’ll be the first time we’ve played a team from the bottom half of the table since before Christmas. So both of those games are winnable we just need to make sure we do our part.'

Newell has just returned from a loan spell at Marine, where is scored four goals in five games. He added 'I loved playing there and it was really good for me because I didn’t have a proper pre-season and then I got injured so I needed to get more minutes under my belt and build up my fitness. The team there were fantastic with me and made me feel really welcome and obviously on the pitch they were performing well so I managed to get a few goals out of it as well.'"

Spennymoor Town state that "Saturday’s game at home to Leamington will see a new addition to The Brewery Field as our new marquee makes its full home league debut. Our new match day hub is ran [sic] by the club internally and will work in tandem with The Neil Adams Sports Bar, offering fans a choice of pre-match and half time venues.

Unlike the previous marquee in place at the same location, you will get a full view of the pitch and have the choice of staying out of the cold whilst sampling the range of drinks...

Club sponsors Arriva will be at the Brewery Field on Saturday launching a new priced ticket on for the number 6 service. There will be an Arriva bus on site with free giveaways and games before the big kick-off at 3pm!...

The play-off race took another swing last weekend with Moors dropping to 8th following the 1-1 draw at Kidderminster".


20 January 2020

ALTY "BELOW PAR", SAYS PHIL

Following the game at Gateshead on Saturday, Altrincham FC has an interview with manager Phil Parkinson.

The Altrincham manager lamented that "So many players were below par" at the International Stadium against a full-time side.

At Gateshead, midfielder Josh Lundstram (right) made his debut for Altrincham on loan from Crewe Alexandra.

Match report here.

CUP WIN FOR YOUTH TEAM

Altrincham FC Youth beat Stockport County Youth 3-2 on Sunday in the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup in a game played at the Manchester Health Academy. The Altrincham scorers were Howarth, Moser and Sumner.

LADIES BOW OUT

On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies lost 0-2 at home to Runcorn Linnets FC Ladies' Open Age team in the Cheshire FA Ladies' Cup.

MIKE GARNETT R.I.P.

The funeral of Mike Garnett takes place today (Monday, 20 January) at 1.15pm, followed by a service of committal at Hollinwood Crematorium at 2.30pm. The address for the church is St. Anne’s Church, St. Anne’s Avenue, Royton, Oldham OL2 5AD. A wake will be held, afterwards, at the Crompton and Royton Golf Club, High Barn Street, Royton, Oldham OL2 6RW.

Flowers will provided by the family only but donations will be gratefully received for Dr. Kershaw’s Hospice, a local charity which Mike supported.

NEXT OPPONENTS: BPA

The late Mike Garnett's records tell us the historical record of Altrincham against Bradford (Park Avenue), who visit Altrincham next Saturday (25th January).

Matches against the pre-1974 BPA finished as shown below...

DEFEAT FOR RESERVES

On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves lost 3-2 away to Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's, who lie second-bottom in the league. Alty now lie fourth in the Cheshire League table.

Whaley Bridge Athletic lead the table with 30 points from 14 games; Alty have 25 points from 15 matches.

Meanwhile news of one of Altrincham's Cheshire League rivals comes from Cheshire Live, which confirms there is "Sadness as Blacon Youth first team forced to call it a day. Blacon Youth have been forced to withdraw from the Cheshire League Premier Division. The Cairns Crescent club announced on its Facebook page on Monday night that a decision had been taken to fold the first team.

In four years together the current Blacon group had won a league title, three successive promotions and no less than seven trophies to the club, their crowning achievement being lifting the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup last season.

But with Blacon's first team not in a position to be able to offer money to its players a number of their squad have been approached in recent weeks with offers of money to play elsewhere.

And with the club faced with not being able to field a team by the end of this month a decision was taken for the first team to call it a day, much of the squad heading across the border to keep the group together with an unnamed Welsh side.

Joint-manager Matthew Mackin told Cheshire Live 'I’m absolutely gutted this has come about. We have had a few teams coming in for our players over the past few weeks offering money. We can’t pay them anything at Blacon, in fact we charge £10 subs. So we wouldn’t have been able to field a team by the end of this month'".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

In its weekend review, the National League reports that "Leaders King’s Lynn won the huge contest at the top and may have won some new fans in the process. The table toppers beat second place York City to take control of the title race. Prolific Adam Marriott got the winning goal as an incredible crowd of 4,019 watched on.

Chester slipped further off the pace after they drew 0-0 at Leamington. Brackley, though, keep up the pressure. Kevin Wilkin’s side won 2-1 at Bradford PA. Lee Ndlovu and James Armson were on target. Darlington stormed into the top seven with a fourth win in a row.

A simple 3-0 win at home to Alfreton means nobody wants to play the Quakers right now. Justin Donawa put the seal on another good day for the North East club. Boston United are also in a good place; they won 3-1 at Southport. Andi Thanoj was at the double for the Pilgrims.

Guiseley are sixth. They won 2-1 at home to Gloucester City. Kaine Felix and a Gabriel Johnson effort handed the Lions another three points. Gateshead keep up the pressure; they won 2-0 at home to in-form Altrincham.

Ashley Chambers got another goal as Kidderminster came from behind the draw 1-1 with Spennymoor. Curzon Ashton had a great day in front of goal as they beat Farsley 4-0".

Spennymoor Town report that "Ashley Chambers continued his goalscoring exploits against Spennymoor and cancelled out Rob Ramshaw’s excellent opener, as Moors earned a point at Aggborough.

Chambers looped a header over Matt Gould four minutes after Rob Ramshaw finished off a sweeping counter attack to give Moors the lead.

Both sides had half chances in a cagey second period, with a point apiece a fair reflection on the contest overall.

Jason Ainsley made three changes to the side who began the home defeat to Kettering a week previous, with Nathan Buddle, Shane Henry and Andrew Johnson replacing Carl Magnay, Mark Anderson and Ben McKenna.

Despite looking the brighter of the two sides in the game’s early exchanges, Harriers were almost caught cold by Moors... Jimmy Shan’s side showed greater composure on the ball in the opening half hour but Moors almost took the lead following a wicked corner delivery from Johnson, with Glen Taylor inches away from making a goal worthy connection.

Kidderminster rallied and looked a threat through the lively front three of Ashley Hemmings, Chambers and debutant Austin Samuels... Despite looking the side more likely to grab the elusive opening goal, it was Moors who struck the decisive blow on the counter attack. Taylor released James Roberts who in turn flicked cutely into the path of the bombarding Tyler Forbes.

The right back kept his composure and slid a ball across the six year area, allowing Ramshaw, who started the move with a raking cross field pass, to slide in and send the 46 Moors fans into raptures, netting his eighth goal to campaign in the process.

But Moors couldn’t hold the lead for long, failing to learn from a warning sign after Taylor cleared off the line from a goal bound Hemmings effort moments after Ramshaw’s goal. The Harriers scorer was Chambers, an inevitability given his record against Moors in the last few years, looping a header over the advancing Gould after a clever reverse pass from Hemmings.

With the game finely balanced at the interval, both sides lacked the killer punch in a finely poised contest... The result leaves Moors one place outside of the play-off places in eighth, with a home game against Leamington up next."

At King's Lynn Town "The Linnets recorded a single goal victory over their nearest rivals York City to extend their lead to four points at the top of the National League North table on Saturday. That however was only half of the story on another memorable afternoon of football at The Walks as over 4000 fans , including a big turnout of visiting fans packed the terraces to create scenes not seen for a league fixture for many, many years.

New signing Simon Power was handed a full debut with Rory McAuley and Jordan Richards returning after missing last week's game through injury.

The game itself was a tense affair as was to be expected for a fixture with so much riding on it as both teams turned the game into a war of attrition with chances at a premium. Midway through the second half the decisive moment arrived as another pacy run from the debut making Simon Power saw the youngster get a shot away which visiting keeper Peter Jameson fumbled, leaving top scorer Adam Marriott the chance to prod the ball home past the groping keeper to spark scenes of sheer delight around three quarters of the packed stadium.

The game became a little stretched but it was the Linnets who had the better control, reducing the visitors to shots from long range as the clock ran down. The final whistle witnessed jubilant scenes with Town receiving a standing ovation from a still packed main stand".

At Guiseley, "With the first team management having extended their contracts for another two and a half seasons the Lions showed some of the grit and determination they have instilled in the team by coming from behind with goals from Kaine Felix and Gabriel Johnson giving them their first home win of the new decade.

The home starting lineup showed just one enforced change due to injury as Lee Shaw replaced Chris Sands [?Sang] up front and the welcome return from injury of leading scorer Aaron Martin.

Gloucester, who are batting at the bottom of the table, got off to the best possible start when the unmarked Liam Daly headed home a corner from the right at the far post with just five minutes gone.

The home side responded with two corners of their own which saw captain Hamza Bencherif go close as his two headers finished up on top of the netting. Shaw went one better on twelve minutes when he poked home a loose ball from another corner only for his joy to be cut short by an offside flag.

The rest of the half saw plenty of effort but few openings being created and the visitors suffered a blow when Joe Hanks had to be stretchered off after a lengthy spell of treatment following a clash of heads with Arum Soleman. Alex Hainault replacing him...

However, the turning point came on 61 minutes when Martin replaced Kennedy Digie and almost immediately set about causing havoc in the visitors' back four...

Three minutes after his introduction the striker chased down a seemingly lost cause and got the better of Jack Senior before playing a the ball into the middle where it eventually fell to Soleman who beat two defender[s] only to see his shot blocked but Shaw was on hand to lay it on for Felix to shoot home from ten yards out.

Now with their tails up the Lions went for the kill and the Tigers had keeper Zachary Jeacock to thank for keeping them in the game as he clawed Shaw’s effort out of the top corner. But minutes later he was beaten by a Johnson’s in-swinging corner from the right that went straight into the net via the far post to put the home side ahead... The win moves Guiseley up to sixth in the table level on points with Darlington who they meet at Nethermoor this coming Tuesday".

Darlington inform us that "Two goals from Adam Campbell and a late third by Justin Donawa lifted Quakers four positions and put them into the play off places.

Quakers withstood an aerial bombardment and an injury to Terry Galbraith in the first half, and then Campbell's second goal gave Quakers firm control.

It set Quakers up for Tuesday night's game away to Guiseley; it will be 6th v 7th... Quakers struggled to put anything meaningful together on the bobbly surface... [but] took the lead on 19 minutes. Adam Campbell picked the ball up 30 yards out, worked his way into the right hand side of the box, and struck a low shot across Wright into the net for his 11th goal of the season...

Quakers made a sub at half time, Holness coming on for Galbraith with Reid going into the back four... Quakers went 2-0 up on 55 minutes. Reid won a header inside his own half and the ball went to Hatfield, who quickly played the ball through for Campbell to break away and confidently tuck the ball past Wright.

Quakers took tight control of the game after that, not taking any risks and stopping the high balls into their area... Quakers made it 3-0 in stoppage time when Lambert whipped in a free kick for Donawa to turn home his ninth goal of the season".

Curzon Ashton produced one of their best performances of the season to destroy Farsley Celtic and put the pain of last week’s defeat at Blyth Spartans well behind them.

The Nash dominated throughout and took a two-goal lead into the break thanks to Mike Calveley’s header and Josh Askew’s first for the club.

Two more Curzon loanees broke their duck in the second half as substitute Andy Scott pounced at the back post to settle the tie before Tunde Bayode lashed home a late fourth.

Farsley were pushing on the outskirts of the play-off places before this game but were way off the pace as Curzon earned a significant victory which moves them up one place to 19th and four points ahead of the relegation zone.

There was a late scare for the Nash as Robbie Evans picked up a knock in training on Thursday night, but he shrugged that off to take his place in the starting line-up. The Welshman was captain for the day as Owen Watkinson, on loan for the rest of the season from Blackpool, was given the task of leading the line on his Nash debut in place of Nicky Wroe.

That was the only change as Mark Bradshaw sought a reaction from the painful loss at Blyth and he got exactly that.

After a scrappy first 20 minutes, the Nash began to control proceedings and had already created several openings before taking the lead 10 minutes before the break. Connor Dimaio’s pin-point pass released Askew who was making a great run behind the away defence. His shot was well blocked by Elliott Wynne but the Farsley goalkeeper was helpless from the resultant corner as Calveley nodded Isaac Sinclair’s ball into the far corner...

The next goal duly arrived. Dimaio’s low ball into the box found Calveley and although his effort was saved by Wynne, Askew was on hand to slide home the rebound from three yards out... There were times where the Nash sat back and soaked up some Farsley pressure, but they did so with ease. Cam Mason hasn’t had many quieter afternoons in goal as he notched his ninth clean sheet of the season.

Scott came off the bench with just over quarter of an hour remaining and made an immediate impact to seal all three points. Dimaio’s effort looped off a Farsley defender and fell kindly for the on-loan Accrington Stanley forward who kept his cool to slam home at the back post.

Scott continued his electrifying cameo moments later by assisting Bayode for the final and best goal of the afternoon".

Chester FC "earned a hard-earned point on the road against Leamington, closing the gap on second placed York City.

The result was probably fair after a relatively uneventful first half, Brad Jackson’s effort from the edge the best of the period. The entertainment got better following the interval, Leamington improved and had an effort chalked off before David Bremang’s low shot was kept out by Russ Griffiths late on.

Chester made two changes and a formational switch-up from the side that lost at Royston, Danny Livesey and Joel Taylor returned to the team in place of the injured Matty Waters and Matty Hughes. Top scorer Akwasi Asante made the bench.

The visitors had to weather the storm in the opening ten minutes of a scrappy affair, but whilst Leamington were dominating the possession they’d failed to carve out any real chances...

The hosts started the better in the second period... A point gained for Chester who ever so slightly closed the gap on York City in second".

According to Bradford (Park Avenue), "Brackley continued their promotion push with a 2-1 victory away at Bradford (Park Avenue) in a game which confines Avenue further to the bottom of the table.

It wasn’t the best of games to watch. It was a cagey opening with Avenue dominating most of the possession in the first half. Chances were at a premium, though, with neither side being able to muster up anything too concrete...

After a period of Avenue domination at the start, Brackley soon found themselves getting more and more into the game and they were rewarded by taking the lead just before half time. It was a sloppy goal to concede from an Avenue point of view but Ndlovu wouldn’t have cared, back-heeling the ball into the net for his 11th goal in 9 games.

The second half was much like the first, very cagey with not much to split the two teams. Brackley, though, managed to kill the game with a second goal through Armson. Tom Clare managed to grab a consolation for Avenue late on, but it was too little too late for the hosts as Brackley managed to extend their unbeaten league run to 11 games".

Meanwhile, Boston United "Midfielder Andi Thanoj marked his return to action with a well-taken brace as Boston United defeated Southport at the Pure Stadium on Saturday.

Thanoj's first half free-kick and second half header put the Pilgrims firmly in control and they secured all three points despite George Newell reducing the arrears with 11 minutes to play. Luke Shiels' 88th minute header sealed maximum spoils on the road for Craig Elliott's side.

Fit-again Thanoj was one of three players coming into Elliott’s starting XI, alongside Alex Whittle and Martyn Woolford... United broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when David Morgan was penalised for a foul and THANOJ stepped up to bend home the resulting free-kick from 20 yards... before the Pilgrims doubled their lead on the hour mark. Brad Abbott played Woolford into a crossing position and he chopped the ball back onto his right foot before delivering a pinpoint centre for THANOJ to head home from close-range...

United’s nerves were calmed two minutes from time when Thanoj’s deep corner was powered home by the head of SHIELS at the back post."

Leamington advise that "Brakes played out their first goalless draw of the season and their first in a little over 12 months as once again they could not be separated with Chester.

Three of the four meetings between these two sides have finished with honours even and this always looked likely to be the case here, as although both sides produced glimpses of their best form at times neither seemed to possess the guile or creativity to break down well organised defences at both ends of the pitch.

Paul Holleran named the same starting eleven that had edged past Kingstonian in the FA Trophy on Tuesday evening, and while his side kept a second successive clean sheet they were just unable to find that cutting edge to nick all three points...

The first half was an even affair with both sides doing their fair share of pressing but largely cancelling each other out. While Leamington looked lively in the opening ten minutes it was Chester who carved out the first chance of the afternoon... The stalemate continued into the second half...

Gradually the visitors began to assert their authority... Perhaps the best chance of afternoon for Leamington came deep into injury time when Bremang beat the last defender to head into the path of Anderson, who advanced into the box on the right before blazing his shot over the bar... but it finished honours even".

Manager Paul Holleran said, ‘For us to get two or three games played on our pitch this week when others have seen theirs called off, the people responsible here have done really well. The conditions today weren’t great, the wind was blowing around a bit. You could see it was going to be a percentage game, it was a physical battle, and they (Chester) are good at that. Bernard and Johnno (Chester managers), their whole careers have been built on their identity, they like good, hard-working honest players and I always think we’re pretty similar, and we had to go and match them today.

'On the whole it was probably about right, we might have edged the chances, they had a couple as well but on the back of a really difficult week for us with the journey to London and the disappointment with losing the late goal, then a good performance on Tuesday. Obviously we’ve lost Joe Clarke in the first half too. It was a really disciplined performance against one of the better sides in the league. The game did lack a bit of quality but sometimes at this level of football you look at other qualities, and every player out there has left everything on the pitch with their commitment levels.

'It was played in a good spirit, they’re a good bunch. It’s a good point, and to keep a clean sheet against a side which with the quality they have and the delivery from set plays and the targets they’ve got, I’d probably take more out of the 0-0 than the 3-3 earlier this season'".


19 January, 2020

GATESHEAD 2-0 ALTRINCHAM

Altrincham could have no complaints at the outcome as their weakened team lost to a well organized Gateshead.

Without the suspended Harrop and the injured Williams, Richman and Peers, and with the recalled Walters not yet re-registered after being recalled from loan, Alty nevertheless saw plenty of the ball in the first half.

Fielding debutant loanee Josh Lundstram in midfield and with Luke Wall brought in on the left, Alty were unable to convert their possession into a clear opening after they had had a goal disallowed for offside early on.

Above: Andy White cleared this 40th minute effort off the line, following a corner, and an Altrincham freekick was given for a foul, in any case. But, just three minutes later, from their next corner, Gateshead scored.

Gateshead had not created a lot themselves before they took a fortuitous 43rd minute lead. The goal came direct from an inswinging right-wing corner by former Dover man Deverdics. As the ball dropped in the goalmouth goalkeeper Thompson failed to deal with it before it crossed the line.

Gateshead doubled their lead in the 67th minute when a cross from Nicholson from the right was hit against the near post by debutant Middlesbrough loanee Curry before rebounding back off him and into the net.

Alty never looked like recovering and scarcely troubled keeper James in the home net. Alty dropped to tenth as a result of this defeat which ended their seven-game unbeaten run.

Match report here.

GATESHEAD'S VIEW: BEFORE AND AFTER

In the Heedlines matchday programme, Gateshead manager Mike Williamson wrote about Altrincham before Saturday's match. "You can see they've got a method and a blueprint that they stick to.

"All of their players are comfortable on the ball and they try to pull you out of position to go through the middle".

After the match ,Gateshead reported that "Two fortuitous goals helped Gateshead to a 2-0 win over Altrincham at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Visiting keeper Anthony Thompson fumbled into his own net from a corner just before half time. Debutant Mitch Curry doubled the lead by scrambling home from a cross just after the hour mark.

The Heed made just one change, replacing outgoing striker Josh Kayode with Middlesbrough loanee Curry....

Altrincham had started much brighter and came close, but winger John Johnston’s shot was blocked behind for a corner. Robins captain Jake Moult thought he’d headed the visitors ahead after 10 minutes but was denied by an offside flag...

Altrincham’s intensity died down towards the end of the half, but they did come close again through Jordan Hulme who shot well wide from corner of box...

Gateshead took the lead just before half time when a corner from Deverdics was turned into his own net by Thompson.

Alty started the second half on top but struggled to create any clear-cut chances... Gateshead did double the lead 20 minutes into the half when Curry turned an Alex Nicholson cross home at the second attempt. The striker’s first effort hit the post, but bounced out and hit the Boro-loanee before going in".

NEXT OPPONENTS: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

Bradford (Park Avenue) visit Moss Lane next Saturday.

The Telegraph & Argus says that on Saturday "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower thinks it is his sides actions in the key moments of recent matches with is denying them points.

Avenue suffered their seventh defeat in eight as they went 14 points adrift at the foot of the National League North table after a 2-1 loss against Brackley Town at Horsfall.

Bradford went a goal down through a Lee Ndlovu poked effort on the stroke of half-time before James Armson doubled the visitors lead in the second half, meaning Tom Clare's injury time finish was only a consolation.

Bower thinks it is the combination of his sides inability to convert their chances and bringing in the quality needed which is halting their survival bid.

He said 'For the first half hour I think we were on top, we had the wind behind us and we penned them in... and there was not a lot to choose from in terms of possession. They haven’t played us off the park it is just key moments that they have turned the screw and we were unable to. Brackley have scored two scruffy goals, ours was the best with a great cross and finish.

'We have not got the resources to bring in those players that will make a difference in both penalty areas. We will keep going, we are not getting played off the park by teams. We certainly don't look like a team 14 points adrift. It is pointless looking at other teams results when we are not picking up points ourselves. Last time we faced Brackley we lost 8-0 but we have given them a better run for their money today.'

He said 'Their goal comes from a corner which should have never been, it was a blatant foul on Alex Hurst... We keep having to defend set pieces which we shouldn’t have too. It was a clear and obvious foul on him, we come in at 0-0 and everyone is positive but it completely changed it'".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

York Press reports that "Steve WAtson has lamented the little moment that made all the difference between York City and King's Lynn Town on Saturday but refused to pin anything to luck.

Adam Marriott, the top scorer across all three divisions of the National League, added another to his tally as the North tier leaders beat the Minstermen 1-0 in Norfolk. He was quickest to the ball as Pete Jameson failed to hold onto an effort by the hosts' man of the match, 21-year-old Norwich City loanee Simon Power, and he poked in from very close range.

York had good chances of their own...

Watson said 'I can't have a go at the lads for the way they performed and set about their jobs against the team who have scored more than anybody. I thought we defended well and we broke away as we did at home but couldn't find that clean bit of finishing. It's the story of a lot of games.

'The top scorer pounced on one little error in the box. It's one of those seasons for him, and unfortunately that was the difference between us today. In a split-second he was on top of Pete, and that's the difference between when things are going for you and things aren't...

'It was a tight game with two good sides going at it and there was not much at all between them, virtually nothing, and the one thing that needed to fall for them, their main man was there to put it in the net. We're 27 games in, you're not top of the league by luck,' he added...

The win takes King's Lynn four points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand.

Watson continued: "Without trying to play mind games, I'm not really into that, it's theirs to lose. They've not lost many, and Power's added to the quality they've got. We can't worry about King's Lynn anymore, we can't affect what they do anymore, we've got to get as many wins on the board as possible and see where it takes us.'"

The Hereford Times reports that Hereford FC chairman Andrew Graham says his sides' fans were ‘let down’ by the late pitch postponement at Kettering Town. Graham said 'As soon as we arrived it was obvious that the pitch was clearly unplayable. We are in complete agreement with the match official’s decision to postpone the game.

'We have spoken to officials from Kettering as well as the match officials to express our disappointment at the late decision. “Quite a few of our fans had already made it to the ground and many more were well on the way to arriving at Kettering, at considerable expense to themselves. It is disappointing that they have been let down by an unacceptable, but totally preventable situation.”

'As a club, we will be making our feelings very clear to the National League and will be looking to recover whatever costs we can for supporters and the club.'”

From Cheshire Live we learn that "A classic this was not as Chester FC had to settle for a point from an ugly contest at Leamington.

The Blues had the best chance of the game in the second half through Anthony Dudley but on a difficult pitch against an organised if ordinary opposition a draw was probably the fairest outcome. Chester slipped to fourth in the National League North but it was a display that was committed, although lacking in the quality needed in the final third to see it through.

After the misery that was the FA Trophy collapse at Royston Town seven days previous the Blues were in need of a response on their return to National League North.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made two changes to the side that lost at Garden Walk, Danny Livesey back in the side following injury and Joel Taylor returning to the starting line up. Matty Hughes dropped to the bench while Matty Waters was ruled out through injury.

There was a change of shape for the Blues, Dudley as the sole striker with George Glendon playing at the head of a midfield diamond with Simon Grand reverting to left back and Joel Taylor playing in an advanced left wing role.

The first half was a battle and limited on quality from either side...

The second half proved to be a more entertaining affair, although the theme of a lack of cutting edge would continue in the second half... A draw was probably a fair result, although the Blues lose ground on a day where King's Lynn Town took a massive step towards the title with a 1-0 win over second placed York City.

A tough run lies ahead".

According to the Kidderminster Shuttle "Harriers were held to a 1-1 draw by play-off chasing Spennymoor Town at Aggborough Stadium. Ashley Chambers had netted his eleventh goal of the season to pull Harriers level in the first half, after Spennymoor had stolen ahead through a devastating counter-attacking goal.

The home side had arguably had the better of the game either side of the goals and can count themselves a little unlucky to not have taken all three points.

Going in to the tie, Jimmy Shan opted to hand a debut to new signing Austin Samuels, while fellow new arrival, Samir Nabi, made the bench. Ashley Chambers and Ryan Johnson also slotted back into the starting eleven.

Harriers, through Hemmings, started brightly enough with a low shot... A few minutes later, a Gould fumble almost saw Hemmings get lucky with his attempt, but the Moors hit Harriers hard on the counter-attack moments later; Ramshaw slamming a squared pass into the back of the net as the hosts found themselves at a loss.

As often is the case, Harriers responded excellently and, within four minutes, they were level. Hemmings had seen a shot hooked off the line and, just after, he provided the ammunition for Chambers who nodded a back-header up and over the goalkeeper and into the net".



Click here for EARLIER NEWS


Alty Files Website Index

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

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