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19 July 2018

ALTRINCHAM 1 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 0

Altrincham FC has a match report on Tuesday's win over Macclesfield Town and Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson comments on the game on the Altrincham FC website.

"We were second best", said Macclesfield manager Mark Yates of his team after Tuesday's defeat against Altrincham in a video interview with the Macclesfield Town website.

FRIENDLY OPPONENTS: CREWE ALEXANDRA

On Friday evening, Alty entertain Crewe Alexandra at the J. Davidson Stadium. Coincidentally both Alty and Crewe have met Kidsgrove Athletic this summer and Crewe Alexandra report that they "came from behind to defeat Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 thanks to a goal in each half from Ollie Finney and Shaun Miller...

It was a bit of a surprise when Kidsgrove took the lead on 39 minutes when Walker was adjudged to have pushed his man over. It came from nothing and no threat. The Kidsgrove number 9 Chris Budrys stepped up but saw his straight penalty saved superbly well only to see the striker race in to tap home the rebound. Richards was unlucky to concede.

Crewe’s response was almost immediate. Ollie Finney equalised within two minutes after unleashing an unstoppable shot from just over 20 yards out... Crewe took the lead for the first time on 54 minutes. Shaun Miller raced on to a fantastic searching ball from Ainley and the striker kept his composure to round Burzynski to score his first goal of the pre-season... A good run out for the Alex saw us win 2-1 and there looked no injury concerns.

Crewe at Kidsgrove: Richards, Johnson, Abedisi, Ray, Walker, Miller, Porter, Green, Finney, Jones, Ainley

In the other friendly at Bala Town, Crewe lost 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sean Smith in the second half. Jordan Bowery had a first half penalty saved.

Crewe at Bala: Garratt, Hunt, Nolan, Sass-Davies, Pickering, Wintle, Lundstram, Lowery, Kirk, Bowery, Nicholls"

FRIENDLY OPPONENTS: TRAFFORD FC

Next Tuesday, Altrincham travel to Shawe View to play our neighbours Trafford FC in a pre-season game (7.45pm). In their last outing Trafford beat Chorley, after falling behind to the Magpies. Trafford equalised moments later and eventually won the match 2-1.

Trafford fielded two different teams in each half...

FIRST HALF: James Coates [pictured, left] , Ally Brown, Hafeez Hamzet, Sam Egerton, Anthony Brown (c), Keil O'Brien, Andy Langford, Paul Williams, Matty Bryan, Ash Woods, Declan Rydings.

SECOND HALF: James Coates, Harry Sheridan, Darius Palma, Chris Palmer (c), Lee Wilshaw, Ross Davidson, Laurence Taylor, Tom Schofield, Aaron Burns, Mark Derbyshire, Matty Crothers.

SCORERS: Trafford 2 (Declan Rydings 42, Aaron Burns 73). Chorley (Andy Teague 41)"

Trafford secured a morale boosting 2-1 victory over Conference North outfit Chorley in an entertaining pre-season friendly at Shawe View on Tuesday night... In the 41st minute the deadlock was broken when, following an almighty goalmouth scramble, an attempted clearance struck home keeper James Coates on the back of the head and the ball trickled over the line.

However, within a minute Trafford levelled when Ally Brown floated a great cross to the back post and Declan Rydings flung himself forward to head past Cameron Belford.

The second half saw both sides making numerous changes with Trafford manager Tom Baker replacing all ten outfield players in the 62nd minute. And the hosts appeared to play with greater fluency and control, star striker Aaron Burns notching the winner in the 73rd minute when he coolly slotted the ball past Belford following a fine cross by Laurence Taylor...

Trafford are in action once again at Shawe View on Saturday when they entertain Ashton United, kick off 3 p.m. and then on Tuesday night Altrincham are the visitors for a game kicking off at 7-45 p.m."

Chorley added that "The Magpies took a 2-1 defeat at Trafford on the chin as a number of squad members played their first full 90 minutes of pre-season... The Manager [said], 'You never want to lose a game, but we won't lose sleep over the result'...

Line-up (3-5-2): Belford; Anson (Doyle, 67'), Teague (c), Meppen-Walter; Hine (Challoner, 67'), Cottrell, Wilson (A.Newby, 61'), Irwin, Blakeman (Lenehan, 67'); Carver (E.Newby, 61'), Almond (Fletcher, 61').

Who's missing? Josh O'Keefe, Stephen Jordan & Josh Gregory were scheduled absentees, while Scott Leather and Dale Whitham were non-playing spectators".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan is set for talks with [ex-Alty keeper] Callum Preston (right) and Andy Wycherley as he completes his goalkeeping ranks. Both shot-stoppers have been on trial this summer. Preston has played two 45 minutes for the Bucks and Wycherley played the second half of Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Barwell.

Cowan wants another goalkeeper to add to his Telford squad to compete with Sheridan Martinez for the No.1 spot.

'Callum has played two 45s now so I’ll be having talks with him in the next couple of days,' said Cowan... Preston, from Stafford but a former cricketer in Welshpool where he grew up, is formerly of Birmingham’s youth team and briefly played in League One with Crawley. Cowan added, 'It will only be one keeper. Cal and Andy are trying to make an impression but we’re open'.

Wycherley, from Telford, left The New Saints this summer. The highly-rated 20-year-old... was unable to see out a clean sheet on his Bucks bow as Cowan’s men conceded a goal shortly after half-time on a tough playing surface in Leicestershire...

While frustrated not to win the game against lower-ranked Barwell... Cowan added 'It was not the result we wanted but I was really happy with the first half performance. It was difficult for the players with a bobbly pitch, which was not ideal'...

Full-back Tyler Little, who has been an ever-present throughout the summer for Cowan’s men, again featured. There also a place in the starting XI for former skipper Jack Rea and striker Matthew Barnes-Homer as the Bucks' boss continues to help them with fitness. The boss continued, 'They’ve been coming and getting game time and will be happy with 60 minutes and if somebody came to watch them they’d be very impressed, I’m sure.'"


18 July 2018

ALTRINCHAM 1 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 0

An early goal by Tom Peers, who scored after a Jordan Hulme effort had been blocked, gave Altrincham a deserved 1-0 win over their Cheshire opponents in Tuesday night's friendly. Alty almost doubled their lead in the second half when a Sean Miller strike struck the crossbar.

Next up for Alty is another home friendly, on Friday, against a Crewe Alexandra XI (7.45pm).

CSC DATES

The Cheshire County FA has announced dates for its Senior Cup competition for the 2018/19 season:

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Boston United "have added two more signings to their ever-expanding squad... Midfielder Grant Roberts (27) has sealed a return to The Jakemans Stadium following a near two-year injury lay-off with a knee injury, having played in two play-off campaigns with the Pilgrims in 2015 and 2016.

Striker Andre Johnson (22), meanwhile, has linked up with United after spending last season with rivals Alfreton Town. He scored in the Pilgrims' opening pre-season friendlies against Basford United and Tadcaster Albion."

At Bradford (Park Avenue) "The club can confirm that recent signing Danny East suffered a ruptured Achilles in training last Tuesday. Alongside Sport Rehabilitator Tally Clayton, he attended Leeds General Infirmary before undergoing surgery to reattach the tendon at Spire Hospital in Leeds last Thursday.

The surgery was successful and Danny is now recovering well at home. Although a major setback for Danny, who has been plagued by injuries in the past, he remains positive and will be an integral part of the dressing room throughout the season. He is aiming to return for the second half of the National League North campaign.

On a more positive note, the club are delighted to welcome Danny to the Horsfall College of Sport as a coach, where he will look to pass his vast experience and knowledge on to the scholars. The former Hull City and Portsmouth defender will work closely with the blossoming Academy, which has already enabled four scholars to make first-team appearances in pre-season".

Closer to home, Chester Football Club "are delighted to announce the signing of attacking player George Green for an undisclosed fee from Nuneaton."

And NL Pitchero confirms that "Midfielder George Green has joined rivals Chester for an undisclosed fee. Green, who arrived at the Boro' earlier this year, after a spell in Norway, became a fan favourite almost immediately. In fifteen appearances Green found the net twice".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

News of a player who appeared against Alty last season comes from the National League, which reports that "Martin Allen thinks Lee Shaw can step up from packing boxes to scoring inside them.

Chesterfield secured the signing of [the] 24-year-old Grantham Town striker, who [has] found the net more than 50 times in the past two years. He had been in trial at Lincoln City but Chesterfield won the duel and he becomes the striker Allen has been chasing all summer long.

The Spireites boss [said]... 'We have signed a 24-year-old centre-forward called Lee Shaw, who this morning was in a factory at 6am to pack boxes,' he wrote. 'He has signed a two-year deal with a one-year option, subject to the paperwork going through. We chose a hungry, young man, on his way up, rather than a seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt type, who would have been just coming here to pick up his last pay packet and cruise in third gear.

'He’s got an excellent goal ratio, a great attitude and he’s chosen us ahead of a decent Football League club. We’ve got a player who matches our desire and drive to be successful in the future and not gloat about his past.'"


17 July 2018

BEFORE THE GAME: ALTRINCHAM v MACCLESFIELD TOWN

Macclesfield Town announce that they "make the short journey over to Moss Lane tonight, as we face local rivals Altrincham in our second pre-season friendly. Mark Yates's side will be full of confidence after a resounding 5 – 1 victory over Ashton United on Saturday, yet the EvoStik Premier League champions will provide a stern test as we continue our EFL preparations.

Despite the fact that the match is billed as a friendly encounter, there is little doubt that both sides will be looking to emerge from the local derby victorious and, as such, a large and vociferous away following is expected to make the journey.

As far as team news goes, Yates has stated that he will rotate his squad and will more than likely employ those who finished the game at Ashton from the start this evening...

Shaun Densmore and James Poole will miss out for Altrincham after picking up injuries, whilst the home side have announced that two trialists will be in their squad".

Against Ashton the Silkmen fielded the following line-ups...

Before their visit to Altrincham, Macclesfield Town reported on their 5-1 win at Ashton United saying "A brace from Harry Smith was added to by strikes from Danny Whitaker, Nathan Blissett and an unnamed trialist, as Mark Yates’s side produced a clinical display in the sweltering July heat..

Despite being a friendly encounter, the opening exchanges exemplified the fact that Macc would be treating the game in the same manner as their loyal fans have been accustomed to and with just 3 minutes on the clock, some nimble footwork from Tyrone Marsh saw him create space on the edge of the area yet his effort has miraculously charged down by Robins skipper [ex-Alty defender] Mark Lees...

Ben Stephens then warmed the gloves of [ex-Alty keeper] Josh Ollerenshaw in the Ashton goal with a wicked attempt from the edge of the area and by this point the League Two side were controlling the game with confidence and conviction. The breakthrough came on 7 minutes when Marsh burst through the Ashton ranks, before playing an innovative ball through for Harry Smith to fire in the opener from eight yards out.

Danny Whitaker was orchestrating the midfield sublimely and his phenomenal workrate was rewarded on 19 minutes when a routine back pass to Ollerenshaw was chased down by our midfield maestro and he bravely blocked the ensuing clearance to send the ball flying into the empty net...

Fiacre Kelleher and Jamie Grimes commanded the backline with consummate professionalism and this was complemented perfectly by the tenacious David Fitzpatrick and Miles Welch-Hayes on the flanks... [A] free kick saw a trialist hit a ferocious drive around the Ashton wall which nestled into the left hand corner of the goal...

Macc began to lay siege on the Ashton goal as they looked for goal number four. This duly came five minutes before the interval, as Stephens' tantalising cross from the left was expertly glanced home by Smith from ten yards out...

A last-gasp clearing header from [ex-Alty midfielder] Sam Sheridan denied Kelleher what would surely have been goal number five... With the exception of the trialist ‘keeper brought on at half time, Yates rotated his entire squad on the hour mark as the ten outfield players who had started the game marched off...

Macc had made it five when Scott Wilson seized on a defensive mistake within the Ashton ranks, before rounding Ollerenshaw and unselfishly squaring the ball for Nathan Blissett who hammered home from close range. Three minutes later the visitors pulled a goal back... It proved to be a resounding performance from Mark Yates’ side and one which elicits copious amounts of optimism for the journey ahead.

Ashton United: Ollerenshaw, Stachini, Lees, Sheridan, Sephton, Evangelinos, Tomsett. Subs: Dale, Woodford. (all other players trialists)."

ALTRINCHAM v MACCLESFIELD TOWN

Altrincham's first home friendly of pre-season is tonight (Tuesday) at 7.45pm and the opponents are Macclesfield Town, newly re-promoted to League Two. A measure of the task facing us is that the Silkmen defeated our fellow promotion-team Ashton United, 5-1 at Hurst Cross at the weekend.

With John Askey having left after winning promotion, Macc's manager is now Mark Yates, assisted by Neil Howarth and Danny Whitaker. As well as the management, familiar faces in the Silkmen's playing squad include ex-Kidderminster defender Jared Hodgkiss, midfielder Elliott Durrell and former Forest Green forward Tyrone Marsh.

The match will be covered, as usual, by Radio Robins and social media.

PRE-SEASON GAMES

Altrincham's remaining pre-season games after the visit of Macclesfield Town are:

If you have a 2018-19 Altrincham FC season ticket, don't forget to show it at the turnstiles to secure free entry to each of the pre-season games at the J. Davidson Stadium. The new league season kicks off on Saturday, 4 August when Leamington visit Altrincham (3pm).

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to NL Daily "Bradford (Park Avenue) have registered coaching duo Danny Boshell and Ryan Toulson [both ex-Alty] as players ahead of the 2018/19 season. The pair will continue to combine roles in the dugout with duties on the pitch and take the number of confirmed squad members to 15 for the season ahead.

37-year-old Boshell was Mark Bower’s assistant during their time together at Guiseley, and the pair assembled a team that gained promotion to the National League in 2015. 32-year-old Toulson was a part of that side, and has also represented F.C. Halifax Town, Harrogate Town and Gainsborough Trinity."

The National League has a "club by club" guide to the new season.

OLD BOYS

NL Daily reports that former Alty player "Astley Mulholland will continue to sit out Barrow AFC’s pre-season games with a hamstring problem. The striker, signed from Colwyn Bay in May, has yet to feature for Ian Evatt’s side, and missed Saturday’s game with Crewe at Holker Street.

'Astley has got a bit of a hamstring problem, and he’s probably still a couple of weeks away,' said Evatt. 'That basically comes down to him coming from a few leagues below. He wasn’t used to the intense levels of training and the fitness levels. He needs time to adapt.'"


16 July 2018

NEXT UP: MACCLESFIELD TOWN

Two promoted teams meet at the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm) when Altrincham entertain Macclesfield Town at the J. Davidson Stadium. And the Silkmen played Alty's fellow promotees, Ashton United, on Saturday. The Tameside club's report is headed "Rampant Macc give Robins a headache" and it goes on to say that "Ashton’s second friendly of the season saw them take on last season’s National League champions in the shape of Macclesfield Town. The visitors were first to show... Tyrone Marsh’s pass split the defence putting Smith clear and he squeezed his effort home despite the efforts of an Ashton defender on the line.

With 20 minutes gone Sam Sheridan gave Josh Ollerenshaw a difficult back pass to deal with and Danny Whittaker charged down the keeper’s attempted clearance to register the second... Later Scott Sephton fouled Whittaker just outside the D and Rose curled a low effort into the corner. 6 minutes before the break and Smith glanced home Ben Stephens‘ cross to make it 4-0.

Into the second period and after Town had replaced all 10 of their outfield players two of the trialists combined to provide the fifth goal after a mistake in the home defence. The Robins pulled one back as Nic Evangelinos’s shot took a slight deflection after good work by one of Ashton’s trialists and the same player then volleyed wide after showing good control.

Ashton Utd: Ollerenshaw, Stachini, Lees, Sheridan, Sephton, Evangelinos, Tomsett. Subs: Dale, Woodford, (all other players trialists)".

OLD BOYS

Nantwich Town report that "The Dabbers picked up their first win of pre-season on Saturday afternoon thanks to first Nantwich goals from Joe Malkin and James Lawrie either side of half-time to ensure a 2-1 victory over Newcastle Town at the Lyme Valley Stadium.

Malkin put the Dabbers in front after 27 minutes, slamming home a loose ball in front of goal, before Newcastle equalised seven minutes after the break... With Nantwich looking the more dangerous side in the second half, a piece of brilliance won it as Danny Glover picked out Lawrie over the top of the Newcastle defence who then unleashed a venomous volley into the right-hand corner.

Manager Dave Cooke made several changes to the line-up from Tuesday’s defeat against Salford City, with James Hawkins starting in goal and the likes of Declan O’Riordan, Ryan Allcock, Joe Malkin and Harry Cain all starting".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Chester Standard, "Anthony Johnson warned some Chester players [that they] need to ‘buck their ideas up’ despite recording a second pre-season win at Runcorn Linnets.

Goals from Steve Howson, John Pritchard, an own goal and a brace from Chester’s trialist striker secured a 5-3 victory over the Evo-Stik West outfit, but joint-manager Johnson admitted he’d ‘torn strips’ off his players at half-time having grown increasingly frustrated with the amount of chances Runcorn were gifted.

The Blues lacked rhythm and the new-look squad certainly have work to do before their National League North opener against Spennymoor on August 4, with Johnson and Bernard Morley looking to bring in a handful of new signings this week, with a former Football League midfielder expected to be announced in the next 48 hours.

'There were more negatives than positives,' Johnson said. 'There were a few positives... I said last week that I wasn't going to be over critical, but we’ve just tore [sic] strips of some of them in there. We said at half-time that’s potentially your back five going into the new season. No scholars or first year pros but one of the goals we gave away was awful and we gave them so many chances. We’ve continued to pour goals in the second-half too, so there is a lot of work to do.

'We've won 5-3 with a couple of well-worked goals and some good stuff early on. However, some of the sloppyness that lead to chances needs to be ironed out. It was almost a free hit for them but I said to them at half time, sorry, but I am going to have to judge them a little bit earlier here after that first-half. One or two of them are under no illusions as to where they stand and what they need to do to be in the team in three weeks.

'There will be players coming in. Not players coming in to pad the squad out but players for the starting 11. They need to buck their ideas up and some players now know that. We’ve spoken to them individually and as a group. However, we’ve not done any work with them technically and tactically in their three weeks. It’s all been physical work and we’ve said to the lads, go and enjoy it, go and play, get your minutes. There’s no identity of how we’re going to play (yet) so now is the time to nail that down, starting with Llandudno. You will start to see how we look like with or without the ball.'

Johnson was delighted with the efforts of his trialist striker who bagged a brace and rattled the upright with a second-half header. The forward has considerable Football League experience and a deal could be done between now and the start of the campaign... Johnson added, 'He is a big strapping targetman that understands the game and is an intelligent player. We are seeing the graft that he has been putting in. It was a decent performance from him. We asked him to earn a deal and he is doing that the right way. He is doing OK'".

Across the Pennines, the Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue) clinched the Donald Bell Trophy with a 15-0 home win over the Yorkshire Regiment in energy-sapping heat. Avenue boss Mark Bower once again assessed a number of trialists, as well as giving valuable game time to a string of first-team players.

Ten changes were made at half-time, with goalkeeper Steven Drench being the only player to complete 90 minutes. The scoring was opened after just three minutes in bizarre fashion. Two trialists rattled the woodwork in the space of ten seconds before the ball cannoned in off a third trialist.

With Ben McKenna looking lively, Avenue soon had a second as keeper Brandon Greaves palmed an Adam Nowakowski header into the path of Luca Havern, who hammered the ball home....

With fresh legs, Avenue were even more ruthless in the second half, with a trialist making it 6-0 barely a minute after the restart... The rampant hosts hit double figures on the hour when a trialist ran beyond the Regiment's backline after a superb through ball from Danny Boshell before rounding the goalkeeper and passing into an open net. Johnson then teed up a trialist for number 11 before leaving the pitch as Avenue played with ten men for the remaining 25 minutes.

Being a man short didn't make any difference, however, as trialists scored three of the final four goals, with Killock bundling home the 15th and final goal".

Alfreton Town "gave a good account of themselves when they entertained League Two Morecambe FC at the lmpact Arena on Friday night in the second of their pre-season friendlies. The Shrimps had stepped into the breach at short notice after Scunthorpe United had cried off from the original fixture, setting up the first meeting between the clubs since Alfreton's shock 1-0 FA Cup win on the coast back in 1984, when Morecambe were an established Northern Premier League side and the Reds were plying their trade in the Northern Counties [East] League.

It was a lively encounter, marred only by torrential yet much-needed rain during the entire second half, Alfreton enjoying a 2-1 interval lead before succumbing to a rather soft 87th minute decider [2-3]...

The Reds, playing in blue for the second time at home this pre-season, were level by the 32nd minute though when Luke Shiels headed home a King free-kick from the edge of the six-yard box, then a sublime Tom Denton header from virtually the same spot eight minutes later edged Alfreton in front from a James Clifton ball into the area. Numerous changes afflicted the second half, notably with both sides changing their keepers, the Reds' Tom Nicholson catching the eye with a double save from Alex Kenyon and Lamin Jagne on 69 minutes, then two minutes later his replacement counterpart Barry Roche tipping over a stinging drive from Alfreton's Declan Bacon.

Morecambe had drawn level ten minutes after the break... their winner coming after Nicholson's parry from Jagne had left Carlos Mendes Gomes free to ram home the loose ball.

ALFRETON: Durrant; Clifton, Wilde, Platt, Riley, Shiels, Bateson, Peniket, Johnson, Denton, King. Subs: Nicholson; Clackstone, Hotte, Chettle, Bacon, Lane plus three un-named trialists".

Southport Football Club "are pleased to announce that midfield maestro, David Morgan has put pen to paper and signed a contract extension with the club to May 2020. Turning 24 recently, David has so far made 24 (+2) appearances, scoring twice in the process since signing for the Port last September".

From Bulls' News we hear that "Hereford have four preseason friendlies left to play, with three of those against League Two and Premier League opponents...

After this Tuesday's game at Evesham United, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers and a Cardiff City XI will visit Edgar Street for the three friendlies on home turf.

'Those three games, we maybe might have less of the ball than what we normally have,' said Beadle. 'It'll give us a chance to work on our shape, work on different types of shape and how we try and nullify teams that are going to try and come to us in the next season that have got big players, big squads and play differently to what we do. Some of the lower-graded teams want us to go there because we are well-supported so we try and cherry-pick to a degree. We want to find nice pitches to play on and there's not many around at the moment with the weather that everyone's having.

'We build up towards our first game of the season by playing teams that are probably going to be probably more like what we'll come up against when the season starts.'

For the visit of a Cardiff City XI on Saturday July 28th, Hereford manager Pete Beadle admitted he had no idea what sort of the side the Premier League new-boys would bring, but hoped for a number of big names... 'They've got two games on that day so we're hoping they'll split and go half and half but we don't know. We're just happy they're coming... Hopefully we might be able to give them a bit more of a test than we did last year'".

At Alty's first opponents of the forthcoming season, Leamington report that the "Brakes fought out a score draw with a young Derby County side on a sweltering afternoon at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium. Paul Holleran was only able to name two of his summer acquisitions in his squad, striker Matt Stenson making his first appearance while goalkeeper Brad Caswell was an unused substitute.

The game started in a near 30 degree temperature with Brakes first to show... Following a good turn in the box, Checkaine Steele was brought down and referee Sarah Garratt pointed to the penalty spot. Stenson struck the ball hard and low to the keeper’s right and although he dived the correct way, there was too much pace on the shot to put Brakes ahead with 38 minutes played...

Plenty of substitutions were made... Derby levelled on 66 minutes following a fine left wing move... Both sides attacked in turn but neither keeper had to make saves as both defences held firm and the game was largely played in midfield.

Leamington: 1, Tony Breeden; 2, Junior English (14 Joe Magunda); 3, Connor Gudger (17 Tom James); 4, Joe Clarke; 5 Jamie Hood; 6, James Mace; 7, Kieran Dunbar; 8, Callum Gittings; 9, Matt Stenson (16 Shay Nicholson); 10, Chekaine Steele (12 Ryan Harkin); 11, Ahmed Obeng (15 Taylor Morrison). Sub not used: Brad Caswell".


15 July 2018

ISLE OF MAN XI 0 ALTRINCHAM 6

3-0 up inside twenty minutes, Altrincham ran out 6-0 winners in Douglas against an Isle of Man XI. Jordan Hulme hit a hat-trick with other goals from Sean Miller, Tom Peers and trialist Elliot Rokka.

Alty's next game is at home on Tuesday against Macclesfield Town (7.45pm).

GET YOUR SEASON TICKET!

As previously announced the following admission prices at the J Davidson Stadium will apply for next season:

Season tickets will be priced as follows:

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

Boston United "have taken their summer transfer business into double figures by capturing in-demand striker Adam Marriott. The 27-year-old has put pen-to-paper on an initial one-year deal at The Jakemans Stadium after plundering 31 goals for Southern Premier League side Royston Town last season.

It came a season after his exploits as a Lincoln City player where he helped the Red Imps to the National League title and the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup."

Morecambe report that "The Shrimps came from behind to claim their second victory in a week winning 3-2 at the Impact Arena, [Alfreton].

The Shrimps went ahead in the 20th minute... Alfreton countered with pace and Aaron Wildig took a foul on the right side of the defensive third. The resulting free kick was whipped into the penalty area and headed past Mark Halstead for Alfreton to equalise.

Alfreton went ahead after 39 minutes after a long throw... headed home by the 6’7” Tom Denton to make it 2-1 to the home side going into half time.

The Shrimps fought back after the break and went level on 54 minutes when... Campbell slotted home from 6 yards to take his goal tally for the week to 3.

Morecambe pushed for a winner and after a missed penalty by new loanee Liam Mandeville, the 21 year old made amends when he broke the Alfreton lines and squared the ball to Lamin Jagne who’s effort was well saved but fell to Carlos Mendes Gomes who made no mistake and won it for the Shrimps in the 89th minute."

Chorley report that "Unfortunately, the glorious weather has thrown a spanner in the works for game two of pre-season, with Saturday’s friendly against Blackburn switched to AFC Darwen due to Victory Park’s new pitch requiring extra attention...

Monday night’s opening 5-0 victory at Euxton Villa was a good starting point heading into our weekend fixture against... Blackburn Rovers XI/development squad/under-23s...

'We're looking forward to testing ourselves against a good, technical side,' manager Jamie Vermiglio enthused... 'We'll have a few extra bodies involved again like at Euxton. Some are just looking at gaining fitness, others trying to impress. We'll use the next few games to make some final judgements, but they'll have to perform very well to convince us, especially because of how strong our squad already is'".

Nuneaton Borough "are delighted to announce the resigning of goalkeeper Ross Etheridge... After his release by Doncaster Rovers, Etheridge joined the Boro' on a deal until the end of the 2017/18 season. After taking over between the sticks for Dean Lyness, Etheridge never relinquished the number one shirt, making 13 appearances.

Nuneaton lost just twice with Ross in goal as he kept four clean sheets and grew in confidence as the season progressed".

Still at Nuneaton Borough, "Dior Angus and Michael Calveley will make their Boro' debuts tomorrow as the loan pair have received special dispensation to turnout at Liberty Way against Coventry City. Parent club, Port Vale, have approached the Football League for permission to loan the duo to the Boro' on a longer term basis but have taken this temporary measure whilst they await clarification on the deal.

Dior is a 24 year-old forward from Coventry and the son of Boro' legend Terry. In six matches on loan with Tamworth last season, Angus netted three times. The hard-working forward has also had spells with division rivals Leamington and Kidderminster Harriers but secured a permanent deal with the Valiants after an impressive run with Redditch United that saw him score 17 times.

Michael Calveley is a 19 year-old midfielder that came through the youth ranks at Port Vale. So far he has made three appearances for the Valiants and has had a loan spell with Leek Town".

Elsewhere, York City "host Bradford City on Saturday afternoon... It will be the third game in eight days for the Minstermen who won 2-1 at Shildon AFC last weekend before losing at home in midweek to League One side Barnsley.

Manager Martin Gray is hoping to welcome back new signings Jordan Burrow (calf) and Macaulay Langstaff (illness) who both missed Tuesday night's game. Defender Kallum Griffiths (ankle) has resumed training after missing the first two friendlies but defender Tom Allan (knee) remains a doubt".


14 July 2018

ISLE OF MAN MATCH

Altrincham FC adds that "Altrincham’s pre-season travels take them across the sea... to the Isle of Man as we face an Isle of Man XI on Saturday afternoon at 5pm at The Bowl in Douglas...

Phil Parkinson will field a more experienced team for this match as more of his first team squad are available with only Shaun Densmore, Ben Harrison, James Poole and Tony Thompson unable to participate here".

Radio Robins will be covering the match from the the Isle of Man.

PATRONS REACH 185

The Altrincham FC Patrons' scheme for 2018-19 has now reached 185 members. If you have not yet joined, why not do so now and help the Club? Details of the scheme are here.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Chester Chromicle confirms that "Jordan Archer has left Chester FC for a move to the Football League with Bury on a two-year deal. The League Two side beat off competition from the likes of Salford City, Southport, Chesterfield and Boston United for the 24-year-old's signature after he had made clear his desire to remain in full-time football, with Chester reverting back to part-time for this season...

The fee Bury have paid for the services of Archer is undisclosed but 'substantial' and Chester have also inserted a sell-on clause into the deal for the striker who netted four times in 19 games after arriving from Stourbridge in October last year".

The National League reports that "With some big names in the Vanarama National League North this season, promotion is set to be hotly contested by a number of clubs...

Can Hereford continue their promotion streak? Can Chester’s new joint managers bring their winning formula to their new club?...

With ex-Salford City pair Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley dropping back into the National League North with Chester this season, it gives them the chance to reignite their battle with Darlington. The Quakers battled with the duo for promotion during their time at Salford and Tommy Wright’s side will look to thwart their promotion plans once again as they look to improve on last seasons mid-table finish.

Darlington will also be coming up against another familiar face in the opposing dugout this season when ex-manager Martin Gray returns to Blackwell Meadows on Boxing Day with his Minstermen.

Marcus Bignot will also face his former employers this season. His Chester side dropped into the division under his stewardship and he now makes a fresh start as joint manager of Guiseley who themselves suffered relegation last time out.

Rivalries aren’t always solely about bragging rights. For Stockport and Altrincham this season, promotion could also be on the line when they come up against each other".

Ashton United entertain Macclesfield Town on Saturday, before the Silkmen travel to the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Ashton report that "Having made six signings on Tuesday, manager Jody Banim will once again be hoping that the new squad members, alongside the returnees, will be able to get a good run out against the Sky Bet League Two Side. To recap, the six new signings are; Darren Thornton, Matt Regan, Curtis Jones, Zack Dale, Oliver Crowley and Scott Sephton. In addition to this, many of the Play-Off winning side remain in the squad including the likes of Liam Tomsett, David Carnell and Aaron Chalmers...

The one to watch for this game [v. Macc] is young attacking midfielder Koby Arthur. Starting his career at Birmingham City, the forward managed to play 16 games for the Championship side. He moved on loan to Lincoln City in 2013 and made six league appearances. The next season Koby took in a loan spell at League Two side Cheltenham Town... before making a permanent move to Macclesfield Town last season".

News of Brackley Town comes from the NL Paper. "The man who struck the winning [FA Trophy] penalty back in May, Andy Brown, has moved on. A stalwart of Wilkin’s Nuneaton Town side, his demanding job as a deputy head teacher means it’s time for change. Striker Aaron Williams has moved onto their play-off conquerors Harrogate, while Alex Gudger is also moving to Step 1 with Solihull Moors. A disappointed Brackley had thought the highly-rated defender was staying put.

But largely the squad from last season that finished third and had the best defensive record in the division is still together. Striker Greg Smith has arrived from Boston United while Wilkin has looked further down the Pyramid to bring in Connor Hall from Biggleswade and Luke Fairlamb, fresh from promotion with AFC Rushden & Diamonds...

'We want players to buy into what that changing room is,' Wilkin says... 'Ideally, the boys you take fit in and the more seamless that is the better chance you have to hit the ground running. It takes a bit of work, speaking to the players to make sure they fit with our ideas. For me, profiling players is a big part of it and trying to get in the right characters as well as players. It’s part of the challenge that players are able to deal with the expectancy. Not every player can do it but you have to be able to cope with that, no two ways about it'".

At Kidderminster Harriers, "Versatile former Coventry City man Billy Daniels has become Harriers’ second signing in as many days. The 24-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the club having worked with boss Neil MacFarlane while the pair were with the Sky Blues. He came through the ranks there to make a professional debut in 2012, going on to appear more than 30 times in Leagues 1 and 2.

Capable of playing in midfield, out wide or up front, Billy has spent the last three seasons with Nuneaton where he has gained key National League North experience. Daniels joins fellow new signings Ashley Chambers, James Baxendale, Ryan Johnson and Ed Williams in the squad for Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa".

From Bradford Park Avenue we learn that "Mansfield Town condemned Bradford to their first defeat of pre-season at the Horsfall Stadium. Mark Bower fielded an experimental side once again, opting to take a further look at numerous trialists and handing first-team opportunities to scholars Lewis Johnson and Matthew Rowntree. American trialist Aaron Onion also appeared as a second-half substitute after joining on a temporary basis from Bugeaters F.C in Nebraska. Both sides made eleven changes during the game but whereas Bradford’s changes were staggered, Mansfield made eleven substitutions during the half-time break.

Bradford (PA): Drench, Trialist, Lowe, Trialist, Killock, Trialist, McKenna, Boshell, Trialist, Trialist, Clee. Substitutes (all featured): Toulson, Trialist, Wroe, Havern, Spencer, Nowakowski, Johnson, Trialist, Onion, Johnson, Rowntree".


13 July 2018

PHIL PLEASED WITH JORDAN

The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Jordan Hulme sent an ominous warning to National League North defences with a swift return to goalscoring form as Altrincham launched their preparations for the new season with two wins in quick succession.

Last season’s 31-goal leading marksman may have been off the pace in Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Rhyl, but there was no containing him at Kidsgrove three days later, as Alty followed up with a 4-2 success.

An opening goal after only two minutes and another assured finish in the second half crowned a lively show of frontrunning and suggested the Alty crowd favourite is ready to hit the ground running when Leamington visit The J.Davidson Stadium for the start of another league campaign three weeks on Saturday.

'You could tell on Saturday that Jordan (right) had been away on holiday, but I thought he was superb tonight,' said manager Phil Parkinson after the win at Kidsgrove. 'To be fair to him, he’d just stepped off the plane when we played Rhyl but tonight he showed his real quality and gave us something to take heart from, in terms of our front line. Some of his touches and interplay were top drawer, and he was a real threat. He looked very sharp, and that’s a great sign for us. We are making steady progress in each game, and that’s something we need to continue doing.'

As Alty head for a ground-breaking friendly against the Isle of Man in Douglas on Saturday, Parkinson admitted he faces a dilemma choosing between trialist keepers Matthew Johnson and Callum Roberts, who both impressed at Rhyl and Kidsgrove. 'Both have done well and made my life very difficult,' he said.

'They have shown different attributes, and I’ve got a tough decision to make at the end of the week, because I promised them I would decide by then. They have given me a bit of a headache, which is good. The Isle of Man trip should be a great experience for everyone at the club. It’s a first for me as a manager, and I’m looking forward to it.'"

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan is set to hold crunch talks with chairman Andy Pryce to determine the fate of the club's trialists.

Winger Joe Cuff, goalkeeper Jono Brown and full-back Tyler Lyttle all featured in Tuesday's 4-0 victory at Market Drayton Town. Two mystery men were also involved, after several others had been training with the Bucks.

'I'm meeting with the chairman to have a discussion on a few of them,' said Cowan. 'It's football, so some of them will fall by the wayside unfortunately. A few of them fell away before Tuesday night. Listen, we don't keep them around just for our own benefit. We make sure they're here if we're interested, and we're interested at this moment in time. I need to sit down with the chairman and look at what we might be able to do, and what we might not be able to do.'

Cuff has been given an opportunity to impress after a stellar season at Drayton, being named players’ player of the year. Brown was recently let go by rivals Kidderminster Harriers, having had loan spells at Rushall Olympic and Sutton Coldfield Town over the past couple of years. Lyttle, the son of former Nottingham Forest and West Brom star Des Lyttle, ended last season at Sutton Coldfield. He was on the books of Bristol Rovers a couple of years ago and went to Thomas Telford.

Cuff got the most time on the pitch of the on-trial players at Greenfields... Brown replaced Sheridan Martinez between the sticks on the hour mark, while Lyttle started and was taken off in the second period. The other two trialists were a right-back and a left-back.

'They've got aspirations to play higher, and that's what they're doing here,' added Cowan...

Jack Rea and Matthew Barnes-Homer, who started last season with Telford, have also been training and featured in friendlies. Cowan 'wouldn't call them trialists', insisting he has been helping the pair boost their fitness as they search for clubs."

According to the Stoke Sentinel, "Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite has at times reflected on the aggravation of being involved in one football club, but may have his plate full after deciding to take on two.

Smurthwaite became landlord of Nuneaton Borough in June after agreeing to buy their ground in a deal which allowed the National League North club through financial problems. He is Nuneaton's landlord rather than owner, but was still faced with a headache this week after the local rugby team blocked the entrance to the football club with skips. That was the latest step in a long-running dispute between the football and rugby clubs who share the Liberty Way ground.

This was the last thing the football club needed before Saturday's friendly at home to Coventry City, although Borough tweeted to suggest the game is going ahead. Port Vale are also visiting Liberty Way, playing a friendly at the ground next Wednesday (7pm).

Smurthwaite spoke to CoventryLive on Tuesday, saying, 'The skips were placed blocking the access yesterday. I will be starting litigation against Nuneaton Rugby Football Club to resolve the access issue once and for all, but this legal process could take up to a year'"

OLD BOYS

Whilst Altrincham now employ a number of ex-Nantwich Town players, the Dabbers likewise have several ex-Altrincham men in their squad as their most recent line-up shows...

Nantwich Town Andy Wycherley (James Hawkins), Troy Bourne (Sam Wakefield), Damien Skolorzynski (Clayton McDonald [pictured left]), Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey (Declan O’Riordan), Caspar Hughes (c) (Ryan Allcock), Joe Mwasile (Nathan Cotterell), Matt Bell, Danny Glover (Jack Higginbotham), James Lawrie (Harry Cain), Jordan Davies (Joe Malkin).

On 24 July, Alty travel to Shawe View for a pre-season game against our neighbours, Trafford FC. Last Tuesday, Trafford won 4-0 at Irlam FC in a friendly and they featured a number of ex-Robins in their squad as the following lists show...

TRAFFORD FIRST HALF TEAM: James Coates, Sean Yeldrem, Darius Palma, Sam Egerton, Anthony Brown, Kiel O’Brien, Tom Schofield [ex-Alty loanee], Paul Williams, Matthew Bryan, Matthew Crothers, Ashley Woods.

SECOND HALF: Mason Mostyn, Chris Palmer, Zac Cooper, Ross Davidson, Anthony Brown, Lee Wilshaw, Nico Collins, Andy Langford, Aaron Burns, Mark Derbyshire, Jack Dorney, George Farreley".


12 July 2018

KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC 2 ALTRINCHAM 4

Altrincham FC has a match report.

ISLE OF MAN FRIENDLY

There is an Isle of Man TV video interview with Altrincham FC director, Lawrence Looney (right), and the Isle of Man manager, Paul Jones, recorded in advance of the Isle of Man XI v Altrincham pre-season game which takes place on the artificial pitch at The Bowl, Douglas, k.o. 5pm. on Saturday.

It's eighteen years since Alty last set sail on the Irish Sea for a pre-season game, when the Robins played St Francis in Dublin and drew 3-3, thanks to goals by Kevin Ellison, Stuart Scheuber and Richard Landon.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

The Sunderland Echo tells us that "Jack Ross admits there is a lot of room for improvement from his players before the League One campaign kicks off after losing their opening pre-season friendly. Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by Darlington at Blackwell Meadows, Jordan Nicholson capitalising on a mistake by new signing Alim Ozturk in the ninth minute...

Sunderland, who named four new signings in the starting line-up plus triallist Anton Forrester, couldn't find an equaliser though...

'We played it like it was a friendly and they played it like it was a competitive game... Darlington were always going to make the game competitive, that’s why we take these kind of games on'" said Ross

Still in the north-east, Blyth Spartans "have added former Middlesbrough, York City and Spennymoor Town striker Bradley Fewster to the squad... The 22-year-old is Alun Armstrong’s fourth summer signing, and has already shown a killer instinct in pre-season by notching braces against both Blyth Spartans Reserves and Dunston UTS, also creating goals for his team-mates.

Fewster is a former England U19 International, coming through the Middlesbrough Academy in the same age group as former Spartan Luke Armstrong, and that’s where he got to know the Blyth boss... And the 43-year-old former Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town striker has been a huge influence on Fewster’s decision to sign for Blyth Spartans. 'He’s a massive influence, he wanted me to sign last season but I decided to stay closer to home. It says a lot about Alun that when I rang him this season he was exactly the same. He didn’t hold a grudge about me not signing last year and that’s a testament to the man he is.

'With him being a prolific top level striker I’m hoping he can help me become even better, help me add things to my game and produce for the this famous club'.

The Spartans’ boss was delighted with his new addition, and expects big things from his new centre-forward... 'He has the ability to score goals at any level, and he’ll score for Blyth, we create so many chances that he’ll get... He’s a proper striker, he plays within the 18-yard box and getting in between defenders. We didn’t have anyone to replace Dan Maguire when he got injured last season, so it was important to bring in an out and out striker this summer.'

During his time with Middlesbrough Fewster had loan spells at Preston North End, York City and Hartlepool United. He scored eight times at then League Two York City... At International level Fewster scored 12 goals in 18 games between U16 and U19 levels, scoring a hat-trick against Belgium U18 in a side that included Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Winks and Leicester City’s Demarai Gray...

'I’ve got more to my game then just goals... I’ve shown so far in pre-season I can create chances for others'".

In the game against Dunston, Blyth Spartans add that "Spartans gave new signings Alex Nicholson, Kieran Green and Jamie Holmes, as well as Fewster, places in the starting line-up, with Sean Reid partnering Nathan Buddle in central defence...

Alun Armstrong was pleased with the performance from his side but insisted he’s not the biggest fan of pre-season.... Stated the 43-year-old, 'It was a difficult game in difficult conditions after the heat we’ve had over the last month or so, and it was red hot out there today. I’m not a big fan of pre-season, you can’t replicate the realism and toughness of league football, but it does it’s job in getting the fitness levels up... We need to be patient with Jack, he’s a huge talent but has a lot to learn, it’s going to be a big year for him but we can’t expect the world...

'It’s going to take Nicca [Nicholson] a few weeks to get his fitness levels up, we all know how good he is going forward but we’ll have to work on the defensive side of his game. I thought Jamie Holmes was bright and linked up well with Bradley, and everyone knows what a talent Greeny is, he’s going to be huge for us this season'...

Spartans Starting XI | Jameson; Nicholson, Buddle, Reid, Liddle; Mullen, Green; Wrightson, Holmes, Dale; Fewster. Substitutes Used | Horner, Hooks, Butler, Chimbonda, Trialist. Substitutes Unused | J Watson, Rivers"

At the other end of the country, Devon Live reports that "Hereford captain Jimmy Oates is currently on trial with Exeter City. The defender featured in the Grecians’ 3-1 win at Bideford on Tuesday night... Oates, 26, was listed as a trialist during the win, and was included in the starting XI that saw Matt Taylor’s youthful side record a comfortable victory in north Devon.

Born in Australia, Oates joined Hereford in August 2015, and was voted the club’s Player of the Year during the 2016/17 season. Bulls manager Pete Beadle is hopeful Oates will return to the club for Saturday’s friendly against AFC Wulfrunians, but is already looking for a replacement."

Closer to home, Alty's first away trip of the new season will be to Haig Avenue from where Southport report on a 1-1 draw at newly renamed Radcliffe where "Southport began their friendly schedule... After a fortnight’s training for his players, manager Liam Watson gave 45 minutes each to two different line-ups against the team from Evo-Stik Division One North, managed by the one-time Manchester City striker Jon Macken and former Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair.

The Sandgrounders’ first-half team featured new signings Bradley Bauress, the former Barrow midfielder who joined the previous day, Mike Phenix, goalkeeper Dan Hanford and two trialists, one of whom opened the scoring three minutes before half-time with a free-kick from deep which floated over Radcliffe’s trialist goalkeeper... Hanford was the only Southport player to remain on the pitch for the duration of the game and on 76 minutes Rick Smith drilled a low free-kick against a post, only for the ball to ricochet in off the visiting goalkeeper.

The second-half line-up also included defenders Zac Corbett and Ryan Astles, while Andy Parry played in central midfield and Devarn Green joined Dan Cockerline in attack...

Southport first half: Dan Hanford, Jordan Richards, Trialist, Trialist, Billy Priestley, Elliot Osborne, Mike Phenix, David Lynch, Jack Sampson, Jason Gilchrist, Bradley Bauress.

Southport second half: Dan Hanford, Dean Winnard, Zac Corbett, Andy Hollins, Ryan Astles, Nathan Lowe, Billy Whittle, Andy Parry, Dan Cockerline, Devarn Green, Liam Davies."

According to The 72 "Nuneaton Borough have signed former Oldham Athletic, Peterborough and Leicester City midfielder James Wesolowski. The midfielder is vastly experienced...

Wesolowski started his career at Australian side Northern Spirit before signing for Leicester City in 2002... making his debut at home to Cardiff City in January 2006... Despite playing a total of 22 league games, Wesolowski could not prevent Leicester from being relegated at the end of the 2007-08 season. He had loan spells with Cheltenham Town, Dundee United and Hamilton Academical.

In June 2010, Wesolowski signed a two-year deal at Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee. In his one year spell at Peterborough he made 32 appearances and scored twice. Following his spell with Peterborough, the midfielder signed a one-year deal Oldham Athletic... James Wesolowski had his best season for Oldham in the 2013–14 season, he played nearly every game for the club and netted 5 goals, his best ever goal goalscoring season. The great season resulted in him scooping up five awards at the end of season awards, including Player of the Year.

Despite a contract offer from Oldham, Wesolowski moved to Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer."

Meanwhile, York Press tells us that "York City striker Jon Parkin has admitted the team must rectify the manner in which they 'crumbled' during the 7-1 friendly defeat to Barnsley. Parkin helped City take the lead when he crossed for Jake Wright to open the scoring in [the] Bootham Crescent contest, but the Tykes hit back before half-time with three goals in four minutes and went on to run riot during the second period.

The visitors, who fielded 19 players from last season’s relegated Championship squad, ended up with seven different marksmen on the scoresheet... [including ex-Alty loanee] Dylan Mottley-Henry [left].

Barnsley also hit the frame of Adam Bartlett’s goal four times and Hamza Bencherif cleared a further Thiam chance off the line, with 36-year-old forward Parkin saying 'When we concede a goal, we seem to crumble a little bit. We need to rectify that and rectify it quickly because, no matter who you are playing, if you make basic mistakes, you will get punished...

'Obviously, the result wasn’t what we were looking for and everybody knows you don’t want to get beaten as heavily as that but, for 35 minutes, I thought we were in control of the game,' Parkin argued... 'We then had a mad few minutes and they got a couple more to put us on the back foot, but it was still only our second pre-season game and it’s all about fitness at this point. We got some minutes under our belt and, hopefully, we’ll get some more on Saturday. We’ll just need to look to improve against Bradford and do what we did for 35 minutes against Barnsley for longer periods of the game.'

Wright’s goal did mean that three of City’s strikers have already scored during the Minstermen’s opening two warm-up matches, with Parkin and Macaulay Langstaff both on target during the 2-1 win at Shildon over the weekend. The side were over-reliant on 25-goal Parkin to deliver the goods last season...

'As long as we’re winning games, I’m not too bothered who scores but, hopefully, we can all get goals now and hit the ground running' [added Parkin]. 'The gaffer has fetched a few strikers in so that might take a bit of pressure off me, but I don’t really feel pressure at my age anyway'. Parkin went on to suggest that it would be premature to comment on which of City’s three new centre-forwards, Wright, Langstaff or Jordan Burrow, would be most suited to a role as his striking partner.

'I’ve only played a half with Macca and a half with Wrighty, so it’s too early to tell,' the Barnsley-born behemoth reasoned. Wright will be monitored ahead of Saturday’s game after taking a knock against Barnsley when he joined fellow forwards Burrow (calf) and Langstaff in the treatment room. First-year pro striker Flynn McNaughton also limped out of the action... while Kallum Griffiths (ankle) and Tom Allan (knee) will be assessed before the Bradford match too, having sat out last night’s game. Clovis Kamdjo and midfielder Lee Hulme remain at the club as trialists."


11 July 2018

KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC 2-4 ALTRINCHAM

Phil Parkinson started this pre-season friendly game with ten present or past first-teamers, including Sean Miller who ended last season on loan at Trafford as he recovered fitness. On the bench the manager again gave youth its head with five youngsters, who all played for part of the game.

Altrincham went ahead after three minutes, through Hulme from a Hampson ball, before Rokka made it 2-0 as the game went into the 24th minute. However, Kidsgrove pulled back a goal through Cropper twelve minutes later.

Alty's lead was extended by a penalty, conceded by Morris early in the second half, when Hulme was brought down (51 mins). Hancock netted from the spot but the score became 4-1 after 66 minutes when Hulme finished off a Savage ball. However, Kidsgrove scored a fine goal through Chris Baker to make it 4-2, twenty minutes from time. See the official site for further details.

Altrincham's line up comprised 1. Matthew JOHNSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Elliot ROKKA, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs. 12. Sean WILLIAMS, 14. Dontai GABIDON, 15. Ben ELLIOTT, 16. Cayde PRESTON, 17. Simon RICHMAN, 18. Pat SAVAGE, 19. Sam HARDING, 20. Harry SHERIDAN, GK. Callum ROBERTS.

Next up for Alty is a trip to the Isle of Man to take on an Isle of Man XI in Douglas on Saturday, 14 July.

PHIL'S VIEWS ON RHYL GAME

After Saturday's game at Rhyl, manager Phil Parkinson was interviewed by Brian Flynn and you can here that interview on the official site.

OLD BOYS

From NL Daily we learn that "Coalville Town have announced the signing of striker Tolani Omotola (left), previously of Altrincham. Omotola, 20, is a young striker from Liverpool but currently studies at Loughborough University. He started his career as a pro at Tranmere Rovers, coming through the youth ranks before having a loan spell at Witton Albion. Omotola actually played against Adam Stevens's Grantham side, impressing the now Coalville gaffer.

He then signed for Altrincham but, due to moving south, went on loan to Loughborough Dynamo at the end of last season".

Tolani made just one appearance for Alty as a substitute in an Integro Cup First Round match against Ashton United. But he made quite an impact as Alty won the tie on penalties, with Tolani netting the winning spot-kick.

A player leaving a National League North club and joining former Alty boss Lee Sinnott is the subject of a report from the National League which reports that "Ross Hannah, the prolific striker, has decided to play his football at Step 3 next season. He has signed for Gainsborough Trinity, relegated from the National League North last April. Trinity hope they are only away for one season - they are confident of a promotion charge in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier. Hannah came to an arrangement with Chester to part ways last week...

The 32-year-old’s arrival has Gainsborough excited and he joins former Altrincham striker Damian Reeves at Northolme.

'We can announce a massive statement of intent with the capture of Ross Hannah to complete an already potent attacking quartet which boasts last season's top scorer Ashley Worsfold, Alex Simmons and fellow new recruit Damian Reeves,” they said on Twitter."

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Coventry Telegraph "Coventry City's friendly match with Nuneaton Borough could be in doubt this weekend, because of strategically placed skips. The Sky Blues are due to face Boro on Saturday but a groundshare row between the Nuneaton outfit and Nuneaton Rugby Club could see fans shut out from the game.

Bosses of the rugby club blocked Borough's access to part of the Liberty Way ground yesterday with large industrial skips. They have been dumped at the entrances to Nuneaton Borough Football Club ground as part of the on-going feud between the town's two biggest sporting clubs. The large blue and yellow skips appeared yesterday afternoon, in a reprise of the ground-sharing saga which hit the town last January.

Norman Smurthwaite, the new owner of the Liberty Way ground, insists he is working to keep the match on schedule and had threatened legal against against the Nuns... He said, 'The skips were placed blocking the access yesterday. I will be starting litigation against Nuneaton Rugby Football Club to resolve the access issue once and for all, but this legal process could take up to a year... We know, for health and safety reasons, we will not be given a licence for the game if the skips are still blocking access. So we will either have to play the game behind closed doors or find another venue for it.'

A Nuns spokesman said that they had been forced to take action again as pleas to arrange a new ground-sharing agreement have fallen on deaf ears. They said,' We wish the football club and its supporters well and hope an agreement for a groundshare can be reached for this season. Unfortunately the football club haven’t been in a position to sit down with us at this point and haven’t replied to some correspondence. The right to access Nuns land is always part of the groundshare agreement and so clearly in the absence of an agreement Nuns have to protect that right. So the skips are simply performing the role of a fence protecting Nuns’ land rights.

Let’s hope this can all be sorted quickly to benefit both clubs and sport in Nuneaton'...

The groundshare between the town's two premier sporting clubs was first revealed back in October 2006, and came into force in 2008".

Middlesbrough report that "Tony Pulis's Boro squad will be given more game time during Tuesday’s pre-season friendly at Spennymoor Town. Boro will head for Brewery Field with the boss expected to utilise his first team squad to the full once again in what is the club’s first UK friendly of the summer. The Boro players had an outing against Sturm Graz in Austria late last week in a game that proved to be the conclusion of a demanding training camp in Central Europe.

The three-times Austrian champions scored the only goal of a game where the emphasis was more on continuing players banking some game time. Moors finished eight in National League North last season and are managed by Boro-supporting former Hartlepool United man Jason Ainsley."

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath believes he has a squad 'full of quality'... Heath has been busy in the market this summer...

Defender Josh Clackstone is the latest player through the door at the Impact Arena, signing after his release from Hull City on a one-year deal. Clackstone is a product of the Tiger academy and has been on the fringes of the first team for the past two seasons, making the subs' bench on several occasions. He has Football League experience after making eight appearances for Notts County during a loan move for the second half of the 2016/17 campaign.

And, after captaining Hull’s under-23s side, he was again allowed to go out on loan, this time gaining valuable minutes at Halifax Town in November 2017. It was here where Heath, now Reds manager, got to see Clackstone up close and was impressed with what he saw from the versatile 21-year-old defender...

Said Heath, 'I had him on loan when I was at Halifax and he did impress... He plays mostly at right-back but can go centre-half and can slot in as a right-sided centre-half.. We won’t have the biggest squad in this league, but we have a squad full of quality'...

Heath’s side got their first run out of pre-season on Saturday when Doncaster Rovers visited the Impact Arena for a friendly fixture, which saw the visitors win 1-0. 'It was difficult conditions for both sides. It was really horrendous out there,' said Heath. 'I’m disappointed with the goal. I think it was the only time we switched off in the game... We made a lot of changes in the second half, which is never great, and it took is 10-15 minutes to settle in to the game again. But overall I’m pleased with today’s work and what we’ve done.'

Alfreton host Scunthorpe United on Friday 13th July (7.45pm KO) and Buxton on Tuesday 17th July (7.45pm KO) in games two and three of their six-match pre-season schedule...

'We’ve only had a short space of time (for pre-season) because the season starts so early. The pre-season games are coming earlier and earlier each season so we have had limited time... We looked organised and we have experience at the back... We defended the penalty box nice and narrow. The wide players did well as well'", said the manager.


10 July 2018

RADIO ROBINS AT KIDSGROVE

Altrincham FC confirms that "Radio Robins is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game at Kidsgrove (7.45pm). The commentary team is Brian Flynn and Mark Eckersall. Coverage starts at 7.40pm".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Chester FC striker Jordan Archer could be heading for the exit door The Chronicle understands that the 24-year-old has been the subject of a bid from a National League side, with the offer believed to be close to what the Blues were looking for.

No deal has yet been agreed but Archer has made no secret of his desire to return to full time football following Chester's relegation to the National League and the subsequent decision of the club to revert to a part-time structure in the National League North this season. Archer, who is attracting interest from Southport and Chesterfield, among others, played in Chester's 7-0 pre-season friendly defeat at home to a star-studded Liverpool side on Saturday in front of over 4,300 fans at the Deva.

And after the match Blues joint-manager Anthony Johnson hinted... 'Up front we have one centre forward at the club in Jordan Archer. We don't know how long he is going to be at the club for, in the sense of there is interest. Even if Jordan stays, we will be looking at bringing in a couple of forwards, minimum. From the top of League One to non-league everybody is looking for the same thing, that forward that promises you an amount of goals. That is the reason your Andy Cooks have taken a two-league jump.

'We're looking for them but we are looking more that fits the profile rather than "He scored 30 goals, can we sign him?" We need someone we can mould into what we want.'

Archer, who arrived in October from Stourbridge, has another year to run on his deal and netted four times in 19 games for the Blues last season, struggling with injuries during the campaign. Chester are hopeful of landing a forward later this week, with talks ongoing."

From York Press we learn that "Veteran striker Jon Parkin will line up against hometown club Barnsley tomorrow night when York City play their first home friendly of pre-season. Barnsley-born Parkin, City's leading marksman last season with 25 goals, will also be presented with The Press Player of the Year award before the game. Now 36, the much-travelled hitman started his career with the Tykes and made his first-team debut aged 17 in 1998.

He first joined City in 2002 and stayed for two years before spells with Macclesfield Town, Hull City, Stoke City, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Fleetwood Town, Forest Green Rovers and Newport County. Parkin returned to City in November 2016 and signed a new deal with the club last season...

City manager Martin Gray will be without defender Tom Allan, who suffered a minor knee injury in Saturday's 2-1 victory at Shildon AFC. New signings Jordan Burrow, Jake Wright, Macaulay Langstaff, Russ Penn and Wes York are all likely to be involved but full-back Kallum Griffith is doubtful with an ankle injury".

NL Today reports that "Zimbabwean international defender Cliff Moyo has joined Guiseley AFC. The 25-year-old departed FC Halifax Town at the end of last season after a two-year spell. He had joined FC Halifax from Trafford at the beginning of the 2016/17 season.

Moyo has enjoyed an unorthodox route to football, having not properly started playing until the age of 16 when he combined his studies at university with part-time stints at local clubs. At the Manchester Metropolitan University, where he studied Sports Science, Moyo was coached by Manchester United legends Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Andy Cole as part of their badges, with the latter inspiring his shift from a left-winger to a full-back.

In his first season at The Shay he helped the club win promotion to the National League and played 47 games in total for the Shaymen. Moyo, who also numbers Barrow AFC, Northwich Victoria, Nantwich Town and Alfreton Town amongst his former clubs, earned his first call-up to the Zimbabwe national in March 2018, making his debut in the semi-final of the 2018 Four Nations Tournament. In May he was called up to the Matabeleland football team for the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup".

According to Lincolnshire Live "Boston United’s pre-season campaign will move up a gear this week. A Pilgrims team littered with trialists kicked off their summer friendlies last week with a 3-2 defeat at Basford.

Manager Craig Elliott plans to field much stronger sides when the Pilgrims visit Tadcaster Albion on Thursday, host Chesterfield on Saturday and travel to Lincoln United in the County Cup on Wednesday, July 18.

'There were a lot of trialists and a lot of them didn’t do themselves any good to be honest,' said Elliott of the game at Basford. 'But that is why you have those sorts of games. In every friendly from now on we’ll be taking it more seriously. We’ll be picking strong teams with just the odd trialist. We should be a lot more competitive and show more consistency in our play.'

Having swooped for former Lincoln City and Gainsborough Trinity striker Jonny Margetts, Elliott is closing in on two more forwards... Said Elliott, 'I’m talking to two or three and I need to get at least one in this week because we are short in that area. I’m looking for a proven striker to play with Jonny and perhaps a younger one as well. I would also like to get a right-sided defender in if possible, but it’s not critical that we get someone in straightaway. We’ve got a couple of trialists training with us, so we’ll have a look at them.'

Elliott is also looking to broaden his squad tactically, as well as numerically, over the coming days... 'We’re now moving into how we want to play, having a plan A and a plan B, and how we adapt in certain match situations. That’s what we’ll be working on over the next couple of weeks.'

Midfielder Jonathan Wafula, one of the scorers against Basford, has signed a new deal with the Pilgrims. He was joined in the side by Grant Roberts, who made his first appearance for the club in almost two years. Roberts, a key man the last time Boston reached the National League North play-offs in 2016, is hoping to earn a deal after recovering from a serious knee injury."

The Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Jon Worsnop has returned to Guiseley for a third time. The 35-year-old former Bradford City trainee is back at Nethermoor to provide experienced goalkeeping cover as well as do some coaching. Worsnop, who left Valley Parade in 2002, has also played for Park Avenue, Chester in two spells, York and Southport."

From NL Daily comes a report that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan is ready for ‘decision time’ on up to 10 trialists who have impressed with the Bucks during pre-season. Cowan’s men strolled to a 6-0 friendly victory at Ellesmere Rangers, their first public outing of the summer, in north Shropshire on Saturday.

A number of players vying to earn a move, including a goalkeeper and one of the Bucks’ second-half goalscorers, were involved in the run-out. Cowan said, 'They’re giving us a problem at the moment. We’ve got them in for a reason and I had a good conversation with my chairman yesterday morning. Though we’ve got to be realistic. They’ll play against Drayton and then it’s decision time for me. But I’m not just looking at them on match day, I’m looking at their characters at all time'".



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