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NEXT FIXTURES:
  • Sat. 27 Jan 2018:WARRINGTON TOWN (Home) 3pm
  • Sat. 27 Jan 2018: BILLINGE (Away) 2pm
  • Sun  21 Jan 2018: CURZON ASHTON (Home) 2pm
  • Sun. 21 Jan 2018: WEST KIRBY (Away) 1pm

ALTY HEADLINES
  • 21 Jan 2018: IT'S NOT CRICKET WEATHER...More
  • 21 Jan 2018: RESERVES' MATCH OFF TOO...More

OTHER HEADLINES

  • 21 Jan 2018: FIXTURES...More
  • 21 Jan 2018: SATURDAY GATES...More
  • 21 Jan 2018: EVO-STIK PREMIER NEWS...More

21 January 2018

IT'S NOT CRICKET WEATHER

Altrincham spent a disappointing day cruising up and down the M6 and M5 yesterday as a combination of snow, sleet and rain put paid to their planned game at Stourbridge. The above image from the supporters' coach shows the snow falling near Stourbridge on the way to the game.

Above, one of the sodden goalmouths at Stourbridge which led to the postponement of Saturday's game.

Below: Like Barwell, Stourbridge's ground is adjacent to a cricket pitch but, in this case, there is no structure, other than a fence, between each sport's playing areas.

Sean Densmore was robbed, by the bad weather, of the chance to make his 350th appearance for Alty. Meanwhile, former Alty striker Kyle Perry, spotted in the bar after the match had been postponed, missed his chance to be named against Altrincham for a third different club this season on Saturday. He had been an unused substitute for Stafford Rangers against Altrincham back in August, he then scored for Barwell against us in September and is now on the Glassboys' books.

RESERVES' MATCH OFF TOO

Alty reserves' fixture away to Linotype Cheadle was postponed on Saturday. Next Saturday they are set to entertain Billinge.

FIXTURES

Monday 22 January 2018: Cheshire Senior Cup 17-18 - First Round
  • Winsford United v Warrington Town

Tuesday 23 January 2018: The EVO-STIK Premier Division

  • Ashton United v Stourbridge
  • Barwell v Grantham Town
  • Coalville Town v Stafford Rangers
  • Farsley Celtic v Matlock Town
  • Lancaster City v Nantwich Town
  • Marine v Shaw Lane

Saturday 27 January 2018: The EVO-STIK Premier Division

  • Altrincham v Warrington Town
  • Barwell v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Buxton v Coalville Town
  • Grantham Town v Stourbridge
  • Hednesford Town v Whitby Town
  • Lancaster City v Halesowen Town
  • Marine v Rushall Olympic
  • Mickleover Sports v Farsley Celtic
  • Shaw Lane v Ashton United
  • Stafford Rangers v Matlock Town
  • Sutton Coldfield Town v Workington
  • Witton Albion v Nantwich Town

EVO-STIK PREMIER NEWS

Barwell "made it seven away games without defeat when they picked up a 2-0 win away at Workington AFC. The game took a little while to settle, with Workington restricted to the amount of chances they could create. They could not cause any trouble for the Barwell defence. The game burst into life on 32 minutes, when Canaries midfielder Brady Hickey was brought down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Matt Stenson stepped up, but Aaran Taylor got down well to save to his left-hand side.

Barwell reacted well and opened the scoring ten minutes later. Brady Hickey won the ball and smashed it into the top corner from 15 yards... With fifteen to play, Barwell winger Owen Story sealed three points when Jamie Mellen played a short pass and Story intercepted to fire past Taylor."

NL Pitchero reports that "Coalville Town have confirmed that former favourite Ant Carney has re-signed for the club. The 28-year-old has been away for almost four years after departing for local neighbours Barwell, who at the time were a level higher. He enjoyed a successful time there before picking up a serious knee injury that has kept him out from football for over a year.

The club and Carney himself are keen to stress that from now until the end of the season he will complete his comeback from the injury and be an impact substitute, with next season very much the plan for a starting spot. He described the move back as 'the right choice' due to his relationship with the fans and chairman and it was a no brainer after a discussion with manager Tommy Brookbanks that Coalville was the place he wanted to come too".

On Saturday, the News and Star reported that "It appeared that Workington Reds were still nursing a hangover from their FA Trophy success in midweek and it was Barwell who benefited from the league points on offer. It is a hit to the club's promotion aspirations as they fell out of the play-off places following the result.

Reds struggled to get going in this game, which was in total contrast to the efforts of Tuesday night. Barwell, who have a good away record, looked the better side for the majority of the game and caused a lot of problems for the home defence. Both goals for the visitors came from defensive errors as Reds appeared a little sluggish in their actions...

In reality this game will have to be written off as they look to regain their footing in the league campaign".

SATURDAY GATES

The EVO-STIK Premier Division
  • Att. 231: Farsley Celtic 3 - 0 Buxton
  • Att. 255: Nantwich Town 3 - 0 Lancaster City
  • Att. 162: Rushall Olympic 3 - 3 Whitby Town
  • Att. 175: Shaw Lane 3 - 2 Halesowen Town
  • Att. 472: Workington 0 - 2 Barwell


20 January 2018

STOURBRIDGE v ALTRINCHAM: POSTPONED

Today's match at Stourbridge was called off around 1.55pm after rain, sleet and snow had been falling all morning.

RESULTS

Saturday 20 January 2018

The EVO-STIK Premier Division

  • Ashton United P-P Stafford Rangers
  • Farsley Celtic 3-0 Buxton
  • Mickleover Sports P-P Marine
  • Nantwich Town 3-0 Lancaster City
  • Rushall Olympic 3-3 Whitby Town (Rushall led 3-0 after 11 mins)
  • Shaw Lane 3-2 Halesowen Town (SLA came from 1-2 down and won with an own goal)
  • Stalybridge Celtic P-P Grantham Town
  • Stourbridge P-P Altrincham
  • Warrington Town P-P Hednesford Town
  • Workington 0-2 Barwell

PHIL BEFORE THE MATCH AT STOURBRIDGE

Brian Flynn has forwarded pre-match comments from Phil Parkinson to appear in Altrincham Today..

"We are on the road for the fourth consecutive game today as we travel down to Worcestershire to take on Stourbridge, hoping to make it seven consecutive away league wins, a run that started back in the middle of November on the 3G pitch at Sutton Coldfield.

Stourbridge were one of the pre-season favourites to win the league but, following a decent start, they hit a bit of a bad patch, before recovering well during the last month.

They are currently eleventh in the table, but with games in hand, I fully expect them to be pushing for a play-off place from now on and wouldn’t be surprised to see Gary Hackett’s side in the top five come the last Saturday in April.

The game may well be a very tight affair with two very good defences that, between them, have conceded just forty-eight goals in fifty-two league games played by the two sides.

Stourbridge are a direct and physical side but we have shown that we are more than capable of dealing with that during the season.In Luke Benbow and Kaiman Anderson, who is on loan from Southport, they have two very dangerous forwards and, like us, they are a strong all-round team.

Tom Hannigan will not be involved today. He has seen a specialist to assess his thigh injury and both Tommy Uda and Ryan Murray have been doing a lot of strength conditioning work with him to try to correct a muscular imbalance. James Jones came in at Stafford last week and had a very good game and we are very fortunate to have three high quality centre backs at the club in James, Tom and Ben Harrison.

We have played on some terrible pitches recently, but the playing surface at the War Memorial Athletic Ground is usually very good, therefore I am hoping that the playing conditions suit our passing game today.

It’s a longish trip, being the best part of a hundred miles, but I’m sure that we will once again have very good travelling support, as we did in the 2-0 win at Stafford last week when, once again, the numbers and vocal support were fantastic and the singers certainly seemed to enjoy gaining revenge on Stafford for that opening day defeat in August".

STOURBRIDGE VIEWS

Alty's next opponents, Stourbridge "welcome first-time visitors ALTRINCHAM to the War Memorial Ground this Saturday... Alty will be known to many supporters as one of Non-League football’s biggest names, but recent seasons have seen them suffer something of a downturn in fortunes and the current campaign is their first at Step 3 since the pyramid was formalised in 1979. However, at the time of writing they look very much determined to make their stint here as brief as possible, with last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Stafford Rangers extending their lead at the top to ten points.

Having taken the 'horses for courses' option in the summer when they tempted manager Phil Parkinson away from Nantwich Town, the Robins actually made a sluggish start to the campaign, taking only one point from their opening three matches to leave them next to bottom. Four successive wins got their campaign going, before a 2-5 reverse at Workington set them back. It was a temporary blip, however, and a run of 14 wins, four draws and just one defeat since then, 3-4 at home to Witton Albion on New Year’s Day, saw them climb to the top of the table in mid-October, and there they have remained ever since.

The scale of the task facing the Glassboys on Saturday can be summed up in three numbers. Altrincham boast the most prolific attack in the Division (62 goals scored), the meanest defence (21 conceded), and consequently the biggest goal difference (41 – more than double any other team with the exception of second-placed Grantham Town and fourth-placed Shaw Lane)... The 19 League games played since the defeat at Workington have seen just eight goals conceded...

Alty will no doubt see their current upturn in fortunes as long overdue after two successive relegations from the National League in 2015/16... Their 11 seasons in the NPL saw them finish outside the top half only once, but they were never quite able to secure the Championship, with a best finish of second in 1978/79... The national challenge brought by the APL seemed to suit them better, though, and they were to lift the title in each of the first two seasons, and finished in the top five each season between 1983/84 and 1986/87.

Thereafter, Alty’s record tailed off, despite finishing 3rd in 1991 and 4th in 1995, and they were eventually relegated back to the NPL in 1997, to all intents and purposes their first time outside the top tier of Non-League football. Since then Alty have 'yo-yoed' somewhat between Steps 1 and 2, with three promotions in 1999, 2005 & 2014, and three relegations in 2000, 2011 & 2015, before the cycle was broken last summer as they dropped again into the NPL...

Stour and Altrincham have never previously met in any competition, and playing links are few and far between. However, the Glassboys squad is likely to include former Robin, Kyle Perry, on Saturday, whilst Junior Smikle and George Bowerman have also featured for both clubs in recent years...

There will be a minute’s silence before kick-off on Saturday in memory of former Stourbridge player and coach Archie Styles, who passed away recently".

OLD BOYS

Goole "are delighted to announce the signing of forward Emile Sinclair, who joins us from Ossett Town."

Recent registrations in the Hallmark Security League include Cavel Coo at West Didsbury & Chorlton, and former reserves Daniel Grimshaw (Abbey Hey) and at Padiham, Josef Faux.

EVO-STIK PREMIER NEWS

From the Lancashire Evening Post we learn that "Lancaster City need to get themselves in the mix sooner rather than later according to boss Phil Brown. The Dolly Blues drew 1-1 against Barwell at Giant Axe on Saturday meaning they sit 13th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, eight points shy of the play-off places with games in hand on the majority of sides around them.

Fixtures being juggled around means City travel to Nantwich Town on Saturday before the teams immediately play the return fixture at Giant Axe next Tuesday night. Brown has always targeted a top-10... 'I think we are on track for the top 10,' the Blues boss said. 'But if we have any aspirations to finish higher than that then we need to make our move now and show more consistency. We need to stop putting in performances that get us just one point or no points... We’ve got 20 games left which is one or two more than other teams. We’re in there and we’ve got a good chance getting in and around the play-offs and the top eight which would be a good achievement... We’re just lacking a bit of consistency'.

{As for] the Nantwich double-header... 'It’s a bit of a quirk of the fixtures but these things happen,' said Brown... 'We’ll have a little bit more information on them come Tuesday but we look at things one game at a time and Saturday is all I’m thinking about.'

Brown has plenty of numbers to choose from this weekend with Rob Henry’s knee problem set to be assessed. Steve Williams is seven to 10 days away from a return as the defender-turned-striker battles to overcome a hamstring problem...

'We have a relatively healthy squad at the moment,' Brown said... 'We're still looking to bring players in'...

On the out-going front, [ex-Alty man] Adam Sumner has joined Evo-Stik First Division North side Ramsbottom United on loan. The left-footer will be looking to get games under his belt having just recovered from shoulder surgery. Rammy are currently 16th in the league below Lancaster".

NL Daily reports that "Stafford Rangers have completed the signing of Tyrell Waite from Boston United on a loan until the end of the season."

On Friday, Grantham Town reported that there would be "a pitch inspection at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday morning at 9am."

Barwell announce the "signing of Craig Reid from Coventry United. Reid, who has played as high as League One with Cheltenham and Stevenage, is a 32-year-old striker. The Coventry-born front man was in the Football League as recently as last year, when he played for Newport County under Graham Westley.

Following his release at the end of the season, he signed for local club Coventry United. So far this season, he has scored 14 goals in the Midland Football League Premier Division. Reid also boasts the likes of Aldershot Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Lincoln City and Gloucester City (to name a few) on his impressive CV."

In the Yorkshire Evening Post we learn that "After a highly encouraging performance in their 2-2 draw against promotion-chasing Grantham last week, Farsley Celtic manager Adam Lakeland has expressed plenty of optimism ahead of another tough outing at home to Buxton...

The Celts had to come from behind three times to rescue a 3-3 draw when they last played Buxton in November, but Lakeland feels... 'We’ve improved a great deal [since we last played Buxton],' said Lakeland. 'A lot was made of us losing James Walshaw and obviously the goals that he scored speak for themselves. But I feel like we’ve become a better all-round team since he left. We’ve also got quite a lot of lads who haven’t played at this level before, but now they’re 20-odd games into the season and are much more experienced. So, providing we all stick together and continue to put work in on the training pitch then I’m sure we can continue to get some more good results'".



          
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