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1 August 2015 1 August 2015


Altrincham FC Matchday Secretary has issued an urgent appeal for three more turnstile operators (no previous experience necessary) to help at today's match against Port Vale (k.o. 3pm). If you can assist, please contact George by phone or text on 07939-890503 as soon as possible.


Altrincham entertain Port Vale today (Saturday), k.o. 3pm.

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

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game at The J.Davidson Stadium. The commentators are Ian Watmore and Joe Barry. The match summariser is John Edwards. Coverage starts at 2.55pm.

You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at".


Port Vale announce that "Port Vale's pre-season will come to a close when they travel to face non-league Altrincham on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The Valiants head to the J.Davidson Stadium off the back of Tuesday’s narrow 2-1 defeat against Bolton Wanderers and Rob Page’s side will be looking to restore the winning formula to the dressing room ahead of the start of the season on 8th August. Tuesday’s defeat was the first of pre-season after the team had previously beaten Newcastle Town, Alsager Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Notts County and drawn with La Liga side Getafe.

The game will be the last chance for players to stake a claim for a starting place in Page’s line-up when the season begins away to Crewe Alexandra, a week on Saturday. Striker Uche Ikpeazu will be hoping to net his first goal for the club since joining from Watford earlier this month. The powerful striker has produced some bullying performances so far this pre-season but still awaits that elusive goal which has so far deserted him.

Boss Rob Page spoke exclusively to Valiant PlayerHD after the Bolton defeat and expressed his delight with the team’s fitness levels ahead of the final trip to Altrincham and the start of the season. He said 'We are really pleased with the fitness levels, you saw Byron in the 90th minute chasing down and making 40 yard runs, Purkiss at right-back, Granty and Foley in the centre of the park, so the fitness levels we are pleased with.

We know, against a very good team who had a lot of the ball, we had to do a lot of running so, overall, I am really pleased'...

Defender Remie Streete highlighted that the squad was expecting a tough test from the Cheshire-based side. 'Like a lot of lower league teams they will run about and put their foot in and make it hard,' he commente. Nothing will replicate the opening game of the season but everyone wants to win in pre-season but it is the performance that matters'".

News of a player who has worn the Alty strip also comes from the BBC which tells us that "Port Vale defender Adam Yates says he was disappointed to lose his number two shirt for this season. The 32-year-old former Crewe Alexandra trainee, Vale's longest-serving player, signed a new one-year deal in June. But he has been given competition at right-back by the arrival of Ben Purkiss, who has been given the number instead.

'I was not best pleased about it. I don't think anyone would be', Yates told BBC Radio Stoke. The decision was taken by Vale manager Rob Page. 'It was his call', said Yates. 'He knows I wasn't happy about it. I've been here six years. I told him if it had happened to him he wouldn't have been happy about it but it's part and parcel of football'.

Although Yates is hurt at instead being given the squad number 16, it has only increased his determination to win a place in Vale's starting XI for their opening game against his first club Crewe on the opening day on 8 August. 'That what you work so hard for in pre-season', he added. 'And, if not, there's another 50-odd games this season that anyone could play in. You have to get your head down and keep going'".


The National League reports that "For a number of months Guiseley AFC has been working hard to progress plans to upgrade Nethermoor to a level suitable, and necessary for the Vanarama National League.

Following consultations,held in 2014 with local residents and community members, the club have reviewed its plans and are currently putting forward proposals for new spectator terracing, a new turnstile unit and new toilets. These are to be put before the Plans Panel of Leeds City Council on Thursday, August 6th. The new plans, necessary to meet the spectator safety and comfort regulations set out by the National League, have been recommended by the planners and, as such, the club are hopeful of getting the green light...

Said chairman Phil Rogerson, 'It's been vital that we incorporate the views of our neighbours, supporters and the wider community and so [we] have adapted our initial plans. We received great support for the development of a Community Building, which we remain committed to for the benefit of both the club and local people. Our future plans, which will be put forward for review at a later date, will involve collaboration with Guiseley Cricket Club. In the long-term we aim to build attached but discrete facilities for both clubs for their mutual benefit and that of the general community'".

The NW Counties Footbaall League says that "The FA have announced increases in the fines which will be applied for Respect offences, commencing from this coming season. Dissent, abusive language and breaches of discipline during and after games will be punished more severely, with the fines applied dependent on the level of the League within the Non-League Pyramid... For 15 incidents the fine will be doubled, and thereafter if any further occurrences arise, these will result in charges being applied in accordance with FA rules."

The BBC confirms that "Southport have signed goalkeeper Jon Viscosi and defender Josh Thompson, while Will Beesley has agreed a new contract. Viscosi made one appearance in the Conference for Chester last season. Left-back Beesley has recovered from a hip injury and has proved his fitness to earn a new deal.

Ex-Celtic centre-back Thompson, 24, ended last season at Tranmere and impressed for Southport in a pre-season friendly against Everton.

'All three signings will add depth and quality to my squad', manager Paul Carden told the club website'".

On the field, the BBC adds that "Guiseley have signed Huddersfield Town forward Jake Charles on a one-month loan deal. The 19-year-old... the grandson of former Leeds and Wales striker John Charles...

'I know Chris Powell thinks a lot of him and we're sure he'll add extra quality and strength in depth', boss Mark Bower told the club website".

We learn from the Gloucester Citizen that "Places are still up for grabs in Forest Green’s team with eight days to go until the start of the National League campaign. Rovers entertain Plymouth Argyle in their penultimate pre-season friendly tonight (Friday), with manager Ady Pennock expected to keep substitutions to a minimum...

Tuesday’s 1-0 win over a West Bromwich Albion XI saw new signings Keanu Marsh-Brown and Delano Sam-Yorke impress on the flanks, only for last season’s regular left winger Elliott Frear to step off the bench and carve out the winning goal for Kurtis Guthrie.

And Pennock admits he has yet to even pencil a rough draft of his starting line-up for the first competitive fixture at Altrincham on August 8. He said, 'Tuesday was the first time we’ve really talked about tactics before the game; until then, it was all about fitness and steering clear of injuries. The squad is coming together well and there is good competition for places all over the pitch...

I really don’t know what the starting XI will be at Altrincham... Places are 100 percent still up for grabs. I’ve got two players for every position and that’s a very healthy situation to be in'.

Snapped up from Barnet for an undisclosed fee, Marsh-Brown arrived in Nailsworth earlier this month after a troubled year... 'Keanu is a month or two behind everyone else because he hasn’t played properly for a year,' said the Rovers boss... 'I don’t want him to break down through fatigue, but he’s been working very hard'...

On the injury front, Rovers' goalkeeper Steve Arnold could yet come into contention for the Altrincham trip after making a promising recovery from a calf problem. But central defender Danny Coles looks set for a lengthy absence, with surgery planned on his knee. Pennock added, 'Steve should be okay to train by the middle of next week. The injury wasn’t as bad as we thought. Danny Coles will have an exploratory operation'".

31 July 2015


Altrincham entertain Port Vale on Saturday (3pm).

Port Vale "forward Louis Dodds says he is expecting a competitive game against an organised Altrincham side on Saturday. The Valiants face the National League side after winning four and drawing one of their six pre-season games so far, with the only defeat coming against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night...

The 28-year-old admitted, 'I think they will be organised. I don’t think there is too much difference between the Conference and League One really, I think it is probably players that make the difference so, collectively, I think they will be very organised, they will be fit and it will be a very good test for us. I think it will be good for us fitness wise'".

Holders of 2015/16 Altrincham FC season tickets are reminded that they will be admitted free of charge to the game on Saturday. For those paying at the turnstiles, the admission prices for the home pre-season games are the same as last year, namely...

  • Adults: £7
  • Concessionaries: £4
  • Under 5s: Free.


TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall writes, "TASC will once again be running coaches to as many away games as possible this year. Our aim is to break even over the season, keeping prices as low as we can and to provide a family friendly service that can be enjoyed by all. The service can only run with your continued support and we hope that we can count on it again this season.

We have booked coaches for our first two away games of the season at Guiseley and Woking and places can be booked via the club on 0161 928 1045 or at the TASC table in the Community Sports Hall on Saturday and against Forest Green.

Please note it will not be financially possible to provide travel to the third fixture at Dover Athletic. This is due to the long journey requiring the wages for two drivers meaning the hire cost is approaching four figures and we have a number of our core of regular travellers on holiday or staying down south.

The travel is run as a separate part of the Supporters' Club and must remain self-sufficient. We are delighted to announce that (with a small donation of £25 from a member at the end of the season) we managed to record a £1 profit for the travel last season. Thanks again to all who supported it; there were many challenging fixtures last season and we managed to achieve our aim.

During the Conference North promotion season we managed to build up a healthy float exclusively from coach travel which we thought we would need to use for the challenges of the longer trips in the Conference. However, we managed to keep that intact. Therefore, £150 was donated to the club in the form of three entries to the Patrons' draw for the coming season. Should a prize be won then we will think of the best way to use it to raise further funds for the Travel Club, If not, it's a donation into the Club. We still have a float to work with and hope that, once again, we can keep it in the bank, with your support.

Details of the first two fixtures are on the Away Travel page and we look forward to seeing you again. If you have any queries at all please e-mail me. Supporters can join/renew TASC membership on the coach and qualify for cheaper pricing".


Following Tuesday's match, Trafford report that they "continued their impressive pre-season form with an excellent 2-2 draw against mighty Altrincham at Shawe View on Tuesday evening. Home midfielder Joe Shaw twice went close in the opening minutes with... an audacious shot from fully 40 yards that landed on the roof of the net.

Trafford’s superiority in the opening stages was rewarded in the 8th minute when Chris McDonagh neatly laid the ball into the path of Jake Cottrell who fired past Tim Deasy. Tom Baker’s side looked hungrier and were quicker to the ball although Alty’s powerhouse striker Michael Rankine was a constant threat and blasted over in the 27th minute following a neat move...

Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott obviously laid into his players at half time for a generally lacklustre display and they started the second period in a far more determined and committed manner. And they found themselves level in the 50th minute when a deep cross from the left was met by a soaring header from Josh O’Keefe that keeper Matt Green just failed to keep out.

However, within a minute Trafford were ahead once more when the rejuvenated Chris McDonagh brilliantly dribbled past three defenders and fired inside the far corner.... Matt Green produced a fine fingertip save to turn Damian Reeves' shot past the post. Altrincham were now dominating but the Trafford defence, superbly marshalled by the magnificent Caldecott, were holding out before disaster struck in the 81st minute when another cross from the left was headed home by Damian Reeves to make it 2-2.

James Lawrie and Josh O’Keefe were both denied by fine saves by Green and in the dying seconds Chris McDonagh almost snatched the winner for the Shawe View men but shot straight at Deasy following a great run by John Pritchard."


The National League reports that "Tranmere Rovers have agreed to sign striker Jonathan Margetts on a one-year deal. The 21-year-old has been on trial at Prenton Park during pre-season and became known as ‘trialist H’ when finding the net four times in a friendly victory against Vauxhall Motors earlier this month. Margetts also scored in the 3-1 friendly win over Marine AFC. He came through the youth ranks at Hull City and was a regular on the scoresheet for their under-21 side.

He has spent time on loan with Gainsborough Trinity (twice) and Harrogate Town while towards the end of last season, Margetts made a temporary move to Cambridge United. Manager Gary Brabin...said, 'He’s a proven goalscorer at youth and under-21 level and now we hope that we can provide him with a good environment to build on that and he can get us some goals to help with what we want to achieve this season'".

At the other relegated club, confirmation comes that "Gary Johnson, manager of Cheltenham Town, has made experienced defender Danny Parslow his latest new signing. The central defender has appeared in all of the Robins' pre-season friendlies to date... after being released by York City... He had not featured for the Minstermen since last November, originally because of a knee injury and then as a result of going on loan to Cheltenham`s new league rivals Grimsby Town last season".

At Aldershot Town "Defender Sean McGinty suffered a fractured metatarsal in last weekend’s friendly against Basingstoke Town and will be out for up to six weeks. McGinty fractured his fifth metatarsal, a long bone on the outside of the foot which connects to the little toe... but managed to complete the 90 minutes.

Sean has already begun his rehabilitation with Russ Clash, The Shots’ Head of Medical and Sport Science, and continues to work on upper-body strength. He will visit a Specialist on Friday to learn of a possible reduction in his recovery period. McGinty will also use barometric oxygen therapy chambers at Guildford’s Samson Centre, the home of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Group, to aid his recovery. The pressurised chambers are able to give the body ten times its normal level of oxygen through an increase in red blood cells, which particularly promotes rehabilitation from bone fractures".

In the Western Morning News we learn that "Torquay United boss Paul Cox has seen his transfer plans thrown into chaos after injuries to captain Luke Young and trialist Jim Kellerman. Young has suffered a knee injury which was initially feared to have damaged his cruciate ligament. The club are waiting until swelling on Young's knee goes down before assessing him, with Cox saying it may yet be a twisted joint.

Kellerman, however, has had to return to parent club Wolves for treatment after a diagnosis of tendonitis in his knee which could also rule him out of the start of the season".

According to the Daily Post, "Gary Mills has ruled out the likelihood of making any further signings ahead of the start of the new National League campaign and is confident he has assembled a squad which he feels will be competitive.

The Wrexham boss has revamped his squad since taking over in the hotseat in April, making 10 new permanent signings while allowing a raft of senior players to leave the club. Earlier in the week Mills brought in Stoke City under-21s' captain Mason Watkins-Clark on an initial month-long loan, and was impressed by the youngster in Tuesday’s pre-season friendly at Welsh Premier League side Bangor City.

With the addition of Watkins-Clark, Mills said that would be his final piece of business in the summer, and was relishing having a nearly empty physio room ahead of the campaign opener at Bromley in little more than a week's time."

Kidderminster Harriers "can confirm they have agreed a deal to sign goalkeeper Dean Snedker on a contract for the new season after a hugely successful trial period. The former Northampton Town youngster, 20, has spent the entire summer here at Aggborough and put in some impressive performances... He’d been a free agent after departing Brackley Town at the back end of last season, and will now do battle at Aggborough for the number one jersey with fellow new goalkeeping arrival, Alex Palmer."

From Gateshead comes news that "Youngsters Shaun MacDonald and Joe Hailes have both signed first-team terms with Gateshead. The pair, both 18, figured prominently for the Heed’s U18 side last term, and have made a handful of substitute appearances during the current pre-season campaign.

Goalkeeper MacDonald caught the eye with an impressive second-half display against Newcastle United three weeks ago, having played a series of games for the Tynesiders’ U19s at the back-end of last season... Wide-man Hailes... was a regular for John Gamble’s U18 side last time out... Both players have agreed one-year deals".

There is food for thought in news from the New Lawn that Forest Green Rovers "has this week launched a new matchday menu ahead of the upcoming season. The new menu made its debut on Tuesday night at The New Lawn and went down well with Rovers fans.

Two big changes for the new menu are the addition of Quorn as a new ingredient and the presence of local chef Nicholas Allan and the Star Anise Cafe team in the matchday kitchen.

Dale Vince, FGR Chairman, said, 'Food is a really important issue for us, it’s a big environmental and sustainability issue, and it’s a frontier we’ve been exploring for a few years now. We started by removing red meat from the menu, then going vegetarian, and now we’ve teamed up with Nick from Star Anise Cafe. It’s another big step, bringing better food to football. The star of the new line-up is the new Q-Pie. It’s handmade in Stroud and Quorn is the magic ingredient; Quorn is great to add to the mix. It’s a healthy alternative to meat, high in protein and fibre, and low in fat'".

Meanwhile, Braintree Town report that "Iron Manager Danny Cowley was pleased to announce the appointments of Glenn Skingsley as our Perfomance Analyst and Paul Barnes, who joins our medical team, and will work alongside Steve Gracey.

Danny Cowley said, 'This will certainly add to the support network available and help us to further improve the environment for the players... We like to do a lot of anaylsis on both our own and opposition teams. We feel that this provides us with the necessary information to make intelligent decisions about team selection and team organisation. Video analysis and statistical data are excellent tools when providing feedback to the players about individual and team performance.

Glenn has been working tirelessly behind the scenes with different software to find a suitable analysis tool for us to use. He has spent numerous hours editing our pre-season games so that both players and management staff can access a breakdown of the different elements of the game. We will also use this software to analyse opposition's strengths and weaknesses so that we can share it with the players and look to find ways of outwitting our upcoming opponents.

Paul Barnes comes in to a massively overstretched "medical team". Steve Gracey has been overworked trying to manage the day to day issues that arise during a challenging pre-season. Paul will come in and offer both assistance and expertise. He has just completed a Sports Therapy degree in Birmingham and is now embarking on a Physiotherapy Masters at the University of Essex. He has worked at both non league level with Rushall Olympic FC and more recently with Wolverhampton Wanderers Academy and U21's teams. He has a clear vision and many ideas in relation to rehabilitation, player preparation and recovery that will further improve the medical provision available. Accompanied with this additional support we also have access to Ross Poyton on a consultancy basis, who has already been working with Charlie Strutton, and others away from the training ground. It is another area that we have been able to make an increase in. With a small squad we need everyone fit and contributing and these additions to the medical team will help us to work towards this objective."

30 July 2015


Match report here


John Edwards, Alty's joint |Press Officer, has subm,itted the following to the Sale and Altrincham Messenger..

"Lee Sinnott believes Altrincham remain firmly on course for the big kick-off after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with a highly-competitive Trafford at Shawe View on Tuesday night.

Deservedly trailing at the break, Alty stepped up a gear in the second half to score twice for the first time this pre-season through far-post headers from Josh O’Keefe and Damian Reeves.

Speaking ahead of this Saturday’s final warm-up game against Port Vale at The J.Davidson Stadium (3pm), Alty boss Sinnott said: ‘The players responded as I wanted after Witton Albion last week, even if we started slowly and conceded early.

‘I still couldn’t fault their effort or application in the first half, but we weren’t getting anywhere. A couple of changes in the second half, and it became a different game. With teams like Trafford, you have to match their energy and enthusiasm and then let the football you’re capable of make the difference, and we did that.

‘We started to pass the ball better and find the pockets that are a bit of a blueprint of how we like to play. That was pleasing. James Lawrie had a great second half, and generally we upped our game, but it’s the old adage – August 8 is exam day.

‘Pre-season is there for a purpose. If there are areas where improvement is needed, the little whip comes out and there’s a little giddy-up to make sure they are addressed.

‘But, don’t forget, it’s still pre-season. You don’t put a load on your own back before the campaign has even started. Results at this stage are important, of course they are, but they are not the be-all and end- all. There are only points at stake when Forest Green Rovers arrive on the 8th.

‘It’s about making sure we are fully prepared, and we will keep working towards that and making the most of the time available.’

Shaun Densmore suffered an injury scare after being flattened by a late, high challenge, but Sinnott said: ‘Thankfully, he seems ok, though there is some bone bruising to the left shin. It was a worry at the time.’".

29 July 2015


With a starting eleven comprising four new players, a youth team graduate and six of last year's squad, Altrincham gave a lacklustre first-half performance. They went behind in the ninth minute when a cross was nodded down by McDonagh and Cottrell scored with a firm shot from close range.

The visitors improved after half time with the arrival of James Lawrie, Scott Leather and Jordan Sinnott. Altrincham equalized after 50 minutes when O'Keefe's header avoided the grasp of goalkeeper Green, from a Lawrie cross. But some 90 seconds later Trafford scored again when McDonagh dribbled impressively through three Altrincham defenders before scoring.

Alty equalized again in the 81st minute when Crowther's mishit shot ran to Lawrie on the left. From his cross, Reeves headed in at the back post. Next up is a home friendly against Port Vale this SAturday.

Match report to follow...

Above right: Shaun Densmore was on the wrong end of a bad tackle at Shawe View but recovered to complete the first half. Here he is seen in action earlier in the match.

TRAFFORD (All white) 1. Matt Green, 2. Mark Haslam, 3. Danny Lambert 4. Jordan Hadfield (capt), 5. Danny Caldecott, ,6. Danny Lafferty, 7. Joe Shaw, 8. Martyn Andrews, 9. Ben Deegan, 10. Chris McDonagh, 11. Jake Cottrell. Subs 12. Sam Marshall, 14. Robbie Bromley, 15. John Pritchard, 16. Jake Wood, 17. Porya Ahmadi.

ALTRINCHAM.(Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. Tom MARSHALL,6. Anthony GRIFFITH, 7. Josh O'KEEFE, 8.Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12 Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Luca HAVERN, 15. Jake MOULT, 16. Scott LEATHER, 17. James LAWRIE, 18. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Jordan SINNOTT.


The Gloucestershire Citizen confirms that "Three new faces appeared in Cheltenham Town's team photo this morning while another was missing as Gary Johnson finalises his Robins' squad. Trial duo Daniel Parslow and James Rowe were joined by young goalkeeper Rhys Lovett and the 12 other summer signings in posing for the cameras.

Central defender Parslow has appeared in all of the first-team pre-season friendlies to date and was offered terms by Johnson after the Robins' boss got clearance from the board on Monday. Former Forest Green Rovers midfielder Rowe shone in Saturday's 2-1 win against Bristol Rovers and becomes the 14th recruit to the first team.

Goalkeeper Lovett played on trial for World of Smile Stadium tenants, Gloucester City, earlier in pre-season and was on the bench on Monday night as the Robins' second string drew with Bishop's Cleeve. The former Rochdale trainee will provide cover and competition for on-loan number one Dillon Phillips and back-up gloveman Calum Kitscha.

Defender Jack Deaman, didn't appear in the photo, the transfer-listed defender is set to leave the club and is set to play on trial for two different clubs in the coming days."

Following the confirmation of Tom Craddock’s signing, Guiseley "are pleased to announce the squad numbers for the upcoming Vanarama National League season. Any further arrivals will be handed numbers as and when they sign but, for now, the current squad list is below.

1- Steven Drench, 2 – Ryan Toulson, 3 – Ben Parker, 4 – Danny Lowe, 5 – Adam Lockwoood, 6 – Jake Lawlor, 7 – Wayne Brooksby, 8 – Danny Boshell, 9 – Adam Boyes, 10 – Tom Craddock, 11 – Gavin Rothery, 12 – Danny Hall, 13 – Steve Dickinson, 14 – Will Hatfield, 16 – Liam Dickinson, 18 – Oli Johnson, 19 – Nicky Boshell, 20 – Luke Porritt, 21 – Jordan Hendrie".

28 July 2015


Altrincham travel to Shawe View to play Trafford on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

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

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game at Shawe View. The commentators are Ian Wilkinson & Brian Flynn. The match summariser is John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.40pm.

You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at".


TASC will be running travel to the opening two away games of the 2015-16 season at Guiseley and Woking. Many of Altrincham's good performances take place away from home and away support is very much appreciated by the players and management. So, why not join the supporters of all ages who take advantage of the convenience of TASC's coach travel? Details of the first two trips will be on this site in midweek.


Alty entertain Port Vale next Saturday. There is news of one in and one out for the Valiants as they "confirm that Nathan Smith has Torquay United on a three-month loan".

And "Port Vale are delighted to announce the signing of Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old, who spent around a month at Vale Park last term, put pen to paper on his deal on Monday morning. Inniss made five appearances for the Valiants in 2014/15 but his spell was cut short after he picked up an ankle injury in March’s win over Coventry City. The highly rated centre half is a former England youth international and has had spells at Cheltenham Town, Luton Town, Gillingham and Yeovil Town.

Manager Rob Page said, 'Ryan is a very talented defender and someone we have been in talks with throughout the summer'".


News of our first league opponents comes from Stroud Life which tells us that "Forest Green defender Danny Coles will miss the start of the new National League season due to a knee injury. Coles has not figured in any of Rovers’ pre-season friendlies this summer after picking up the problem in training...

The seriousness of the Bristolian’s injury has yet to be established, but manager Ady Pennock is resigned to being without the 33-year-old when the competitive action kicks off on August 8. Coles joined the Nailsworth outfit in August 2014 and was a virtual ever-present in the heart of defence until the turn of the year, when Aarran Racine’s return to fitness and the signing of Charlie Clough saw him lose his place. He was recalled for the second leg of last season’s play-off semi-final at his former employers Bristol Rovers and would have been confident of forging a partnership with the returning Darren Jones this term."

In Cumbria, the Evening Mail reports on how Barrow "owner and chairman Paul Casson looks back on the summer so far with his club preparing for their assault on the National League...

'Considering we had to do it all in a very short window, the transition of switching from a part-time operation to full-time was a remarkable achievement that involved some very long hours for a lot of people.... As the first week of May ended only Jason Walker, Andy Cook and Alex Newby were 100 per cent fully committed to playing for Barrow in 2015/16, no matter what... Going full-time would be a dramatic transition for some; to be required to train four days a week.

When our manager Darren Edmondson, his assistant Alex Meechan and club director Austin Straker boarded a plane for Dallas, on May 20, we were still in active deliberation over that decision. By then, Alex-Ray Harvey and Andy McWilliams had also signed up for the ‘no matter what’ brigade, and so we had five players signed for 2015/16. And the unpleasant likelihood loomed that we would lose a lot of last year’s squad if we pursued the full time-option...

On leaving Dallas, we had several long lists of target players depending on which scenario we chose... On June 1, at a board meeting via Skype, the board made the decision to go full-time... As June began, we still only had five players signed... Twenty-eight days to sign around 18 players of a quality to compete in the National League...

Andy Haworth was important and fortunately he quickly agreed... One-by-one, almost all of the players we wished to retain decided to continue their journey with Barrow. The last of last year’s brigade signed being Paddy Lacey on July 12... Training began on Thursday, June 25, and we had 15 players under contract, but no goalkeeper which would have made for an interesting first pre-season game.

Mo Fofana was stuck in Calais for two days. Our top goalkeeping target was being pursued by a League One club. As I look at the squad now it’s amazing what’s been achieved in a short period of time. New goalkeeper Joel Dixon, David Mellor, Mo Fofana, Matt Young (in line to earn a deal) and Neil Ashton were identified as five of our top targets and we eventually captured them all. Four are young with a big upside and Ashton is a natural leader of men.

We missed out on a central defender, an attacking midfield player and a striker, but we acquired Steve Williams, Ashley Grimes and Barrovian Elliot Newby along the way. The final piece in our puzzle is hopefully a fully fit Anthony Wilson. We weren’t privileged to see the best of him last year, but come October or so... There’s still much to do, but we do have a team. How they will develop, during the season only time will tell. The players are mainly young, with a point to prove. I have a quiet feeling they will do rather well'".

News of another promoted side comes from the National League It says that "Guiseley AFC have confirmed the signing of former Portsmouth and Oxford United striker Tom Craddock. The 28-year-old striker put pen-to-paper on his deal at the weekend and becomes the club's third new signing of the close-season following the arrivals of Adam Lockwood and Will Hatfield.

Craddock began his career at Middlesbrough before permanent spells at Luton Town, Pompey and Oxford... 'He's a player I know from earlier in my career,' said manager Mark Bower. 'He's been impressed with the players around him and he's sure he'll be able to score goals for us. I'm confident he's got the qualities to fit into the way we play... I'm not too fussed about what other people think about us, we're just going about our business how we want to do it and getting the players in who we think will help the squad.

It's obvious we've been a bit short at the top end of the pitch and Tom's got good quality into feet, he brings other players into play and his goalscoring record is top notch'".

Meanwhile, as reported above, "Torquay United have completed the loan signing of highly-rated defender Nathan Smith from Port Vale. The 19-year-old penned his first professional deal at Vale Park last summer and whilst he is yet to taste senior action for the Valiants, his progress has been such that he signed a new two-year deal at the club earlier this summer.

Last term saw him enjoy a successful loan spell with Stafford Rangers... 'Nathan is a player with a lot of potential,' said Torquay manager Paul Cox. 'He is very highly rated by Port Vale, who see him as a big part of their future plans, and this deal suits all parties involved. He’s a... good all-round defender'... Smith arrives at The Launa Windows Stadium on a three-month loan deal".

The Lincolnshire Echo says that "Lincoln City will not be offering deals to trialists Shaun Harrad and Nicholas Bignall. The strikers have both been vying for a place in the Imps squad, but both have been told there is no room for them.

Former Notts County man Harrad had been eager to seal a deal, saying he had been impressed with the calibre of player City boss Chris Moyses had recruited this summer... Moyses had been keen to find an extra striker for his squad... While he was keen to secure one from a trialist in pre-season training, he hasn't ruled out looking at the loan market. Those players, though, are unlikely to come available until closer to the start of the new campaign as clubs finish their own summer training schedules and determine who will be available for loan."

27 July 2015


Altrincham play at Trafford on Tuesday night (7.45pm). Trafford report on their 4-0 away win at Ashton United, last Saturday, saying, "Trafford produced a magnificent display to demolish Evo Stik Premier Division outfit Ashton United 4-0 at Hurst Cross on Saturday. Danny Lambert almost put the visitors ahead after just five minutes... Ashton winger {ex-Alty trialist] Jayden Hall then cut inside from the left and fired just past the far post before Trafford took the lead in the 18th minute, Martin tripping Chris McDonagh following a weak back pass and the visiting striker dusting himself down to blast the resultant penalty into the roof of the net.

Trafford were well on top and doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Ben Deegan collected McDonagh’s cross-field pass and advanced to rifle the ball past Martin from 10 yards. Ashton were on top in the opening stages of the second half with substitute Chris Baguley floating a wonderful effort from just inside his own half inches over the crossbar and Martin Pilkington striking a low drive that was well held by [ex-Alty keeper] Russ Saunders.

But it was Trafford who struck again in the 58th minute when the menacing McDonagh was tripped once more in the penalty area and coolly placed his spot kick past Martin to make it 3-0. And that soon became four when substitute Porya Ahmadi broke clear of the home defence and clipped the ball past the advancing Martin. Three minutes later Ahmadi crashed a drive just past the near post from 20 yards and two minutes from the end Ashton striker [Adam Morning] was unfortunate when his run past three Trafford defenders ended with a shot that cannoned back into play off the foot of the post.

The final whistle signalled a superb victory for [ex-Alty reserve] Tom Baker’s newly assembled side and just reward for a performance full of skill, passion and honest endeavour...

Trafford Team: Russ Saunders, Mark Haslam, Danny Caldecott, Jordan Hadfield, Josh Granite, Danny Lafferty, Joe Shaw, Ash Reece, Ben Deegan, Chris McDonagh, Danny Lambert. Subs: Sam Marshall, Chris Palmer, Robbie Bromley, Jon Pritchard, Porya Ahmadi, Jake Wood, Matt Green".


On Saturday Alty entertain Port Vale. Their most recent pre-season line-up comprised. "Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Remi Streete, Michael Brown, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall, Sam Foley, Louis Dodds, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Colin Daniel. SUBS: Ryan Boot, Ben Purkiss, Carl Dickinson, Anthony Grant, Michael O’Connor, Byron Moore, Uche Ikpeazu, Enoch Andoh, Achille Campion, Ryan Lloyd, Sam Kelly".


Altrincham FC Youth team league fixtures till the end of February 2016 have been released and are here.


The Gloucestershire Echo reports that "Deals for trial duo Danny Parslow and James Rowe plus the completion of a move for a central defender on loan will complete Cheltenham Town's summer overhaul. But Robins' boss Gary Johnson warned that the three remaining deals could fall through if some of the players on the fringes of his squad don't leave to free up funds.

Johnson meets the Robins board on Monday and try to secure the money to sign central defender Parslow and former Forest Green Rovers midfielder Rowe after they impressed in Saturday's 2-1 defeat of Bristol Rovers. But, having already signed 12 new recruits, funds are tight and Johnson may be told that players need to leave before others can sign.

'I want to make a quick decision on both James and Danny as they both played a part in a game where we beat a team from the league above,' Johnson said. 'But a lot of it depends on people going out. It will be a shame if we were to lose people who are definitely good enough for our squad because there are people who aren't, that haven't moved out yet. That may sound harsh but life is harsh. If we can get James and Danny in and the loan centre-half, that would be it. We would have a squad then.

The loan deal is still on and I expect it to go through. He will be in, I am sure, for the start of the season'.

Academy graduate Zack Kotwica played for Evesham United on trial on Saturday and could be set to depart on a loan deal in a bid to gain crucial first-team experience. Transfer-listed central defender Jack Deaman has also been told that he needs to move out, as has versatile midfielder Jordan Wynter. Winger Omari Sterling-James and forward Jamal Lawrence have already departed for Oxford City on loan and Johnson hopes that they will be joined by the others.

'People like Zack, Jack Deaman and even Jordan Wynter need games, they can't afford to have another season where they aren't playing regular football,' Johnson said. 'I have spoken to them and they know they have to get out and play and then we will have to see what happens. It will mean that they aren't sitting down on Saturday watching Jeff Stelling, they need the experience. We have tried to help people go out and find them places. But sometimes they come back and say that they don't want to go there as they are waiting for Man United and Liverpool to make a move.'

Johnson was delighted with the way his team performed in Saturday's 2-1 win against a full-strength Bristol Rovers side. Billy Waters netted a first-half double and missed a golden chance to put the gloss on the win after missing a penalty that he won through his own persistence in the second half. Johnson was pleased with the overall showing, as 10 of the team completed 90 minutes, despite them tiring late and almost gifting newly-promoted Rovers a route back into the game through a penalty of their own.

Goalkeeper Dillon Phillips made an excellent save to deny Matty Taylor from the spot...

Johnson said, 'The only thing is that to play our high-energy game we have to make sure we can do that for 90 minutes and we aren't quite there yet. We talked about not leaving any burning embers and if you don't put the fire right out, it can re-ignite. We were a bit disappointed that we didn't snuff out that last ember with our penalty as that gave them hope they were still in the game. In the league we are in if a team gets that chance they may take it and we can't always rely on our goalkeeper or the referee...

The game was a benchmark for us. Our workrate was phenomenal, there wasn't one player who didn't give every last ounce of effort and if we can keep that energy, and have players who will compete like that I will be pleased'... Forward Amari Morgan-Smith missed Saturday's game with a slight thigh strain".

FC Halifax Town say that "full back James Bolton felt his side didn’t turn up in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Hyde United. Bolton conceded the foul that led to Hyde’s Lee Neville burying his penalty past Matt Glennon, after Danny Hattersley gave Town the lead with his second goal in as many matches.

Bolton said, 'I didn’t think we were brilliant today, we weren’t up to scratch and especially in the first half we got caught out of position a few times. Hyde have a unique way of playing with how their forwards have free rein of the pitch, which a lot of teams in our division wouldn’t play like. But, saying that, it was a good test. Bolton was quick to focus ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Oldham Athletic at The Shay, a game in which Bolton is relishing. 'It’s going to be great to get back to The Shay and play on the new pitch... Technically, they are going to be difficult to break down, but we’ve just got to get in their face and make it hard for them'".

26 July 2015


Altrincham travel to their nearest non-League neighbours when they visit Shawe View on Tuesday night, to play Trafford FC (k.o. 7.45pm). Trafford were sadly relegated from the EvoStik Premier last season and have had a high turnover of players since then. Their new management duo comprises two ex-Alty players. Their manager is Tom Baker, a former Alty reserve, and his assistant is our former forward, Chris Denham. On Saturday they travelled to Hurst Cross and thumped Ashton United, who will operate at a level above Trafford next season, by four goals to nil.

Right: Chris Denham and Ben Deegan at Ashton on Saturday.

As well as the management, Trafford's players also included several with Alty links. In goal was Russ Saunders, who was at Alty two years ago. In midfield there was Jordan Hadfield, who played as a Macclesfield loanee for Altrincham in early 2009. Up front was Alty youth and reserves' graduate, Ben Deegan.

Ashton also included some ex-Alty faces. Playing on the wing was Jayden Hall who has played two trial games for Altrincham this summer, whilst a used Ashton substitute was Chris Baguley, who trialled for Alty in 2007. He hit the cross bar with a superb effort from 55 yards, which had Saunders back-pedalling anxiously.

Trafford will prove a tough test for Alty on today's evidence. Up front with Deegan, who scored Trafford's second goal, was Chris McDonagh who won and comprehensively converted two penalties. In the second half, young Porya Ahmadi came on and impressed as a pacy lone front-man and he scored his side's fourth goal too. Their line up at Ashton was 1. Russ Saunders, 2. Mark Haslam, 3. Danny Caldecott, 4. Jordan Hadfield, 5. Josh Granite, 6. Danny Lafferty, 7. Joe Shaw, 8. Ash Reece, 9. Ben Deegan, 10. Chris McDonagh, 11. Danny Lambert. Subs: 12. Sam Marshall, 14. Chris Palmer, 15. Robbie Bottomley, 16. John Pritchard, 17. Porya Ahmadi. 18 (wearing 20) Jake Wood, 19. Matt Green.

Earlier this summer Trafford lost narrowly 0-1 at home to Chester FC, with a line-up comprising Russ Saunders, Chris Palmer, Danny Lambert, Danny Caldecott, Josh Granite, Ryan Ledson, Joe Shaw, Ash Reece, Ben Deegan, Chris McDonagh, Porya Ahmadi. Subs: Sam Marshall, Jack Cookson, Danny Lafferty, Max Pouncey, Robbie Bottomley, Ashley Woods, Jordan Hadfield, Matty Kay.

Last Wednesday, Trafford defeated Bury Under-18s 3-1 with a hat-trick from McDonagh.


Alty lost to Crewe Alexandra on Friday night and Alex report that they "passed their first extended pre-season test with flying colours, beating National League (Conference) side Altrincham 3-0 at Moss Lane. The rejuvenated Brad Inman struck twice to put The Alex in control and young midfielder Ryan Wintle hit a third late on to seal the victory.

Steve Davis fielded a strong line-up in South Manchester after gaining fitness in a number of local pre-season outings, and there was a real sense of purpose about his side in the opening stages. That was demonstrated after just 50 seconds when Billy Bingham’s masterful through ball was collected by Inman and he made no mistake to slot past the keeper.

The Alex continued to control possession and looked tidy, until the home side gained a foothold midway through the half and wasted a few half chances to draw level. Then came the home side’s best chance of the game, Lawrie finding space and shooting before seeing the ball bounce back off the crossbar [post]. Into the second half and it was Inman again who struck to make it 2-0, and what an individual goal it was. He broke in the Altrincham half & ghosted into the box before curling his effort into the corner.

A host of substitutions broke the game up, but The Alex again had the final say with fellow subs Chris Atkinson and Ryan Wintle combining, with Atko going on a mazy run before slotting it to the former Alsager Town man tap in from close range."

Gavin Rathbone has images from the game here and Michael Ripley also has images from the match.


NL Pitchero reports that "Dover Athletic have announced the signing of versatile midfielder Naby Diallo following a successful trial at Crabble. The 24-year-old joins after a spell at Bath City, who he signed for in January 2015 from Aldershot Town. Diallo joined the Shots from Weston-super-Mare in July 2014..

The Moscow-born Guinean began his career in the Bristol City youth academy before continuing his scholarship with Bristol Rovers... Brief spells at Gloucester City and Oldland Abbotonians preceded his move to Weston in July 2010... In January 2013, Diallo also reached the final eleven in the Samsung 'Win A Pro Contract'` competition which attracted over 5,000 applications to earn deals with Leyton Orient and Swindon Town."

Other news from NL Pitchero is from Eastleigh where "With the news that supporters' player of the year Ross Flitney would be missing the start of the season through injury, Eastleigh have taken goalkeeper Michael Poke on loan from Portsmouth until January 2016. Twenty-nine-year-old Poke started his career with Southampton, making four appearances for them and having loan spells at Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town, Woking and Torquay United.

Following a permanent move to Brighton & Hove Albion where he never made a first-team appearance, Poke had a loan spell at Bristol Rovers before a permanent move then followed to Torquay before moving on to Portsmouth in June 2014".

From NL Daily we learn that "Following joint planning meetings in relation to the Wrexham AFC and Chester FC fixtures for the coming season, all parties, including both Chester and Wrexham Football Clubs, Cheshire Police and North Wales Police have agreed that, in the continued interests of safety, both games will remain all ticket, with supporters travelling to the matches on officially organised coaches.

All parties are committed to working towards returning these fixtures to ‘normality’ with standard kick-off times and, as a result, it has been agreed that these fixtures will both take place on the dates already set and will have 2pm kick-off times. The main driving factors in the implementation of these conditions remains to be; reducing the potential for disorder, the safety of fans, residents & visitors to Wrexham and Chester town / city centres & minimal disruption to businesses and local communities.

During the last two seasons whilst these conditions have been in place, both Forces have seen a decline in the number of persons arrested at the fixtures and there has been a noticeable absence of any disorder or disruption to the communities outside of the two stadiums. However, at the more recent fixture at Wrexham, damage was caused to seating in the Racecourse Ground by a small minority of Chester supporters. As a result of a very positive and ongoing relationship between the clubs, Chester FC have agreed to reimburse Glyndwr University for the damage caused.

Unfortunately, the actions of these few supporters continues to highlight issues of concern, which have a potential to impact upon the safety of other supporters and the wider general public. These actions also have a direct bearing on the implementation of the transport arrangements surrounding these fixtures.

There has been recent speculation that fixtures against Tranmere Rovers may be subject to the same conditions. This is not the case as the same level of historical public disorder in relation to Tranmere fixtures does not exist for either Wrexham or Chester Football Clubs. Therefore there is no current plan to use the Safe transport arrangements for the Tranmere Fixtures.

Two well-contested and incident-free fixtures will see these arrangements reviewed and will further support consideration of a return to 3pm kick-offs and independent travel. However, incidents of disorder or further damage to either stadium will not be tolerated and will give grounds for concern that the games cannot take place without safe transport arrangements. 1,200 tickets have been allocated to Wrexham supporters for the Chester game in October, the Clubs will be announcing the detailed ticketing arrangements in due course on their websites".

Meanwhile, "Forest Green Rovers have confirmed that goalkeeper Jonny Maxted has signed for the club on a one-year contract.The 21-year-old former Hartlepool and Doncaster player had impressed the The New Lawn faithful last week during a Man-of-the-Match display in Forest Green's 1-1 pre-season draw with Cardiff City. Standing in for Arnold and back-up keeper Paul White who were both sidelined with injuries, Maxted pulled off a number of outstanding saves...

Maxted is a product of Doncaster Rovers' youth system and spent six years at the South Yorkshire club before graduating to the first team squad, and was a regular back-up to Ross Turnbull and Sam Johnstone at the Keepmoat. After spending most of last season at Hartlepool United, Maxted had been on trial at QPR this summer before answering the call from Rovers following injuries to both keepers during preseason.

Ady Pennock said, 'I'm very pleased that Jonny has joined us. It gives great competition between the three goalkeepers... I've known Jonny for a while, having watched him at Doncaster when I was at Stoke'. Commenting on his arrival at the club, Maxted added, 'The Conference is a really good level to be at. The facilities here are as good as a Football League club. I've got a flat-viewing tomorrow and if all goes well I'll be moving down here'".

The BBC confirms that "Fans of Grimsby Town have raised £100,000 for the club in eight weeks. Operation Promotion was launched by the National League side's supporters trust in June to provide cash to sign new players for the 2015/2016 season. The club narrowly missed promotion to the Football League in May and The Mariners Trust had initially hoped to raise £20,000.

The trust said more than 3,500 individual donations had been received. Dave Roberts, from the trust, said, 'It is an incredible achievement and we are very grateful to every supporter for all of their donations over the past eight weeks. It goes to prove Grimsby Town supporters really are the best around and we can't wait to get the season under way'".

25 July 2015


Altrincham entertained a strong Crewe Alexandra side at the J. Davidson Stadium on Friday night and got off to the worst possible start, conceding a well-taken Brad Inman goal after just 55 seconds. After their slow start, Alty gradually improved and came close to levelling in the first half when an excellent effort from James Lawrie came back off the inside of Crewe keeper Garratt's left-hand upright.

Despite Alty starting the second half brightly, Crewe's fast tempo and slick passing brought them two second-half goals. Inman netted for a second time in the 55th minute before Wintle converted a 76th minute cross from Atkinson after he had made an impressive run up the inside-left channel.

Match report here.


Before kick off against Crewe, Altrincham FC announced that midfielder Jordan Sinnott (right) had re-signed for the Club. Jordan finished last season at Altrincham, following his release by Huddersfield Town, and has featured as a trialist this summer before rejoining the Robins on non-contract terms. Last season he made 8(+5) appearances for Altrincham to add to six loan appearances for the Club in 2012-13.


The NW Evening Mail tells us that "Left-back Andy McWilliams has left Barrow AFC and is expected to join Conference North side Harrogate Town. McWilliams joined the Bluebirds last summer and made 21 appearances for the club...

Boss Darren Edmondson said, 'I think Harrogate tried their hand to see if Andy would be available. I spoke to Andy about it and, obviously, with (left-back) Neil Ashton coming in, he wants to play football. And we decided that, from the point of view of him playing more football, he was going to get more game time at Harrogate. I left it up to Andy really, option-wise, and he said that it would be more beneficial for him at this stage to play, having missed quite a few games last season.

He just wants to play football. He’s a very honest and a very fit young man and he wants to play as many games as he can. So we decided to let him go'. Edmondson currently has no plans to replace McWilliams in his squad."

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