Tag Archives: altrincham

Round table prediction: Our writers predict where Altrincham and Curzon Ashton will finish

We predicted who would finish higher in the National League North.

We cover quite a few teams here at the Football Manc Cave, and today we’ve been predicting where these teams will finish in the National League North. It’s been a tough pick with a lot of our teams switching leagues at the end of last season, but this article will focus on Curzon Ashton and Altrincham in the National League.

Both teams no doubt will be focusing on gaining promotion. Altrincham came close last season with a playoff finish, while Curzon had a fantastic turnaround under Mark Bradshaw, however the league form seemed to die off in the latter part of the season.

Curzon Ashton

They managed an 18th place finish last season out of 22 teams which seems quite disappointing, however, we’ve collectively placed them 10th. My personal guess was around the 16th mark so if there’s one thing that has come out of these results, it’s that we all think Curzon will have a better season than last.

Altrincham

They had a great last season and managed to finish 5th. We’ve all put that into consideration and we seem to think they will have a similar campaign in the 19/20 football year. I personally thought that might finish one place higher than last but collectively we have predicted they will come out at 5th again.

What do you think?

12 goals isn’t bad for a defender as Altrincham capture Conor Branson

Altrincham has gone on to boost their squad even more by signing Conor Branson from Bradford.

It’s been reported that Phil Parkinson has significantly strengthened his squad for another promotion push next season, as he has won a three-way battle for the midfielder. He was apparently signed for an undisclosed fee and it understood that a National League North team and a top tier National League team, were beaten in the race to sign the 27-year-old.

Branson landed 12 goals last season for Bradford which will excite Alty fans and they will want to see him progress with them next season. The midfielder has said in regard to his move, “Stockport won the title and Chorley went up via the play off’s, but, for me, Alty were the best footballing side in the league last season.” He has also stated that he was flattered to have so much interest from other clubs.

A crowd favourite at Altrincham was James Poole, and it was a big blow when he revealed he was heading to Australia to take up a Melbourne-based coaching opportunity that would be with Manchester City. Fans and members of the club, including Parkinson himself were all gutted to see Poole leave but wanted what was best for him. Now Parkinson has made such a good signing, that will hopefully make up for the departure of one of their main men.

In my opinion, 12 goals for a defender is pretty impressive and with Alty finishing 5th last season, they will want to aim to finish higher and go for promotion. So a goal scorer of any kind will be a boost and step in the right direction.

OPINION: Can Altrincham Go One Better Next Season In The National League North?

After defeat in the Semi-Finals of the National League North Play-Offs last season, Altrincham will look to go one better this campaign and get promoted to the National League.

Last campaign there was very few people who would have tipped ‘Alty’ to be anywhere near the playoffs. However, with experienced manager Phil Parkinson at the helm, the club finished 5th in the league 11 points behind title winners Stockport County.

The club has made it very clear they want to be up there again, if not winning the league during the 19/20 season. Tying down their manager to a three-year deal and, securing the core of their squad for another assault on the title next season – including top scorer Jordan Hulme who finished on 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

Last season Altrincham were the highest scoring team in the National League North, however defensively they conceded 20 more goals than title winners Stockport County. With how long manager Phil Parkinson has been in the game, he will know that this is the area that needs work early in the window with already making a signing to improve them defensively from Nantwich in Toby Mullarkey.

It seems like all the right things are happening at free-scoring Altrincham for them to once again compete around the top of National League North again next season, and we see no reasons why on paper they can’t go one better and get themselves promoted. However, as everybody knows The National League North is a funny old league, and every team can go through bad spells or have an injury crisis. However, if they stay fit and keep their consistency from last year minus a couple of the draws and narrow losses, we could see ‘Alty’ in the top tier of Non-League very soon.

OPINION: Pre Season at Non-League​ Level Has Changed Over The Years

Following a tweet, by Altrincham FC striker Jordan Hulme we thought we’d look at the facts and give our opinion as to whether preseason in Non-League football has changed.

Because of many factors yes Non-League preseason and Non-League football, in general, has changed over the years. I agree with Hulme the days of players just going on the booze for a month are gone but probably for the better.

In the last few years Non-League football has taken great strides in becoming more professional and more advanced than it had previously been, the standard of Non-League is constantly improving as the game at that level gets more and more interest and funding.

We see players like Vardy and Smalling who climbed there way from Non-League to the Football League, and personally I don’t think this would have been possible had Non-League not been improving constantly. Would any professional club have cared if Vardy had been playing Sunday league at the age he broke into the upper parts of Non-League…I don’t think so.

I understand why some players have issues with this, one of the reasons that some people play Non-League is that its less of a commitment. You don’t have to train daily, go to the gym and monitor their diet. In the modern version of Non-League, though that commitment is there, you can’t go off in your summer months on a total bender, purely because the other players won’t be and you will be steps behind.

I’m sure a lot of Non-League players would love a return to the old ways, however, in the state that the game is in at the present time, its just not possible because players and clubs will be left behind.

EFL & Below Show 2018/19 Season Review: Bury FC, Salford City, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Wigan Athletic & Bolton Wanderers

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave in this final episode of the season, taking a look back at the respective seasons of Bury, Salford, Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale and Stockport County.

Subscribe to the podcast now and never miss a show.

Thanks for listening this season!

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EFL and Below Show Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/manchester-football-social-efl-and-below-show/id1449475076

Curzon Will Be Hoping to Edge Towards Playoff Contention by Beating Altrincham

Curzon’s brilliant unbeaten run finally came to an end last weekend. After a remarkable comeback against Alfreton the week before maybe it was time for another team to grab a bit of luck, and 4th place Brackley had both luck and a touch of confidence about their game that saw them beat the Nash in a fairly uneventful game with the final scoreline a 2-0 victory.

You can’t win every game so there is no point dwelling too heavily on one away defeat, after what has been an incredible 2019 so far for the Nash. Curzon are back at the Tameside Stadium on Saturday and taking on Altrincham who are currently hanging on precariously to a playoff spot but are only a mere 5 points ahead of the Nash, with the same amount of games played.

Altrincham’s league position is largely due to a remarkable start to the season, where they put four against the likes of Bradford Park Avenue and Nuneaton. However, since the festive period their league run has started to come apart a bit, they’ve played 11 games since the 22nd of December and have won only three and lost five.

Including against the likes of Leamington, a team they should easily outclass managed to put three past them, and in some increasingly frustrated play, Altrincham saw a player sent off with about ten minutes to go.

This recent decline in form should give Curzon, who are on a massive upward trajectory of improving confidence. They showed against Chester that they are capable of taking it to the opposition, and showed a remarkable amount of fighting spirit against Alfreton.

Back at home, where the fans are really starting to enjoy the momentum that’s been picked up this season, Curzon have a real chance of getting the wheels back in motion in their unlikely bid for the playoffs.

4 Fixture Focus: Crunch Time For FC United

In FC United’s history of almost 14 years, they have had 4 promotions to get them into the National League North.

Although, this could all change this season after only winning 6 matches throughout the length of the season. With only one of those wins coming at home against local rivals Curzon Ashton, which saw the Reds come away with 3 points in a comfortable 2-0 win.

Five wins of United’s this season have come away from home after going against the odds by beating potential playoff contenders Bradford Park Avenue, Altrincham, Kidderminster Harriers and Blyth Spartans. However, with time running out Reynolds will be hoping to scrape out as many points as possible over the coming months in order to secure their position.

After a season that has seen United have 3 managers at the club, they have failed to stay out of the relegation places on a regular basis and the last few weeks results have conspired to find them set adrift from the safety of 19th place with teams above them also having games in hand.

This could potentially see the Reds set an unwanted milestone as they have never suffered relegation in their short history. The next four matches will prove crucial to FC United’s season-long battle. The men in red will be going into every one of their remaining matches as if it is a cup final, in order to secure themselves a place in the National League North next season and, with the reds 6 points from safety with 13 matches left of the 2018/19 season, it is all to play for!

Altrincham

This Saturday sees the red rebels play against local rivals Altrincham at Broadhurst Park. FC United’s first win of the season came at Moss Lane on August 14th, in a 2-1 win that saw United secure all three points after Kurt Willoughby scored the winner in the 80th minute with a wonderful curling effort.

The Robins currently sit in 7th place however with only 2 wins out of 5 in the calendar year, this weekend’s match is set up to be an absolute cracker with both teams fighting for the points at either end of the table.

Guiseley

The Reds face back to back home matches over the next couple of weeks as Guiseley AFC are the next team to visit Broadhurst Park after Altrincham. The reverse fixture saw The Lions take all three points at Nethermoor Park after a comfortable 3-0 win against FC United.

Guiseley sits just 6 points above United and have only one win in 2019 which came against fellow Yorkshiremen Bradford Park Avenue. With both teams being around the relegation places and both having a bad form, this match sets up to be a real six-pointer as the two teams will have to go out fighting for all three points in order to avoid the dreaded drop.

Southport

The first away match FC United face in this run of four fixtures will take place at Haig Avenue, as the reds take a trip to the seaside to play former league club Southport FC. The sandgrounders currently sit 13th in the league and will be looking to take all three points from the red rebels, after the points were shared in the reverse fixture at Broadhurst park in the less than enthralling 1-1 draw.

Liam Watson former Stalybridge Celtic manager will be hoping that former red rebel Jason Gilchrist will be able to remind his old club of his goal-scoring prowess, while the Moston Outfit will be aiming to keep him and his striking partners at bay.

Hereford

The final match the team from Broadhurst Park will play over these next four fixtures will be current Southern Premier League Champions Hereford FC. November saw the Red Rebels travel the 284-mile round trip twice in both the league and the FA Trophy. In the league fixture, it was the men in red who came out on top after a 3-1 win against The Bulls in their 4th away win of the season.

Two weeks later saw the same scoreline however for the other team as Hereford knocked United out of the FA Trophy in the Third Qualifying Round. Hereford are currently sat in 16th place, 7 points ahead of the drop zone. The Whites will be hoping to secure more points in the upcoming months in hope, of securing themselves a place for a second season in the National League North.

Curzon’s Key Matches In February in Quest for Unlikely Playoff Hunt

Curzon’s most recent result of a 1-1 draw leaves them unbeaten this year and hopefully won’t put the breaks on too heavily on their chances of a playoff place.

There are two games this February I think are crucial to the Nash’s hopes this season…

The first falls this weekend against Hereford away at the utter beauty of a football ground that is Edgar Street. Curzon are comfortably clear of Hereford in the National League North so you might wonder why I think this is an important game. Well, years of supporting Manchester City in their difficult years in the 90s and 00s have taught me many things, mainly about staying warm and the location of chip shops in Reading, but also that you cannot get complacent against any team.

Hereford should be easy for a team playing as well as Curzon who are currently hard to beat, however, if they go in with that attitude and Hereford go in battling in an attempt to avoid the drop, they could drop points that they shouldn’t be.

Staying focussed against this opposition is crucial. On paper, it looks an easy three points for the Nash, and if they come away with that it could be a huge step to their playoff dreams. However, taking a point from this would mean a lot to Hereford and I imagine they will be throwing the kitchen sink at this game. Curzon need to make sure they go into this respecting this opposition, keeping the upward curve in improvement with their back line and hopefully walking away with the points they deserve.

The other game I think could have a huge baring is Altrincham at home at the end of the month. This is for two reasons, the first of which is that Altrincham are floating far higher up the league than they are, currently in the playoff, and a good performance against them is a real statement that Curzon are playing better than they ever have and are a team to be taken seriously at this level.

The second is that playing well would be a confidence boost to the team itself who will have a tough game away against Bradford Park Avenue for their first March game. Bradford PA are almost certainties for the playoff spots and I saw them pull York apart earlier this season, they will be tough opposition on home turf. However, if they have performed well against Altrincham it will be a bit of hope that they can head to Horsfall Stadium with a real chance of taking something from one of their toughest remaining games this season.

The Tales Of Being a Ground-Hopper

I was bought up a dyed in the wool Manchester City fan, through thick and thin, from relegations to centurions, however, I also consider myself a Curzon Ashton fan, and have family ties to Sunderland AFC and Scunthorpe United. I have had a lot of ELF and non-league away days.

The main joys of the leagues are the eccentricities of the places and the grounds you visit. Luton, walking through a terraced house to get to the away end. Yorks bathroom facilities overlooking peoples gardens, the Stadium of light and its sweetshop-cum-nightclub as you walk from town to the ground, and so many more.

I have lost so many hours to researching the likes of North Ferriby, Grimsby and Morecambe. I have got inordinately lost trying to find Bower Fold. “I know all of Tameside like the back of my hand” I once proudly proclaimed. It turned out I do not.

I’ve said it before and I will reiterate, you will go to so many more interesting places once you drop out of the Premier League. I don’t want to spend £60 on a Pendolino to go to watch Chelsea. I will however happily wonder “where on earth is this place” looking at a teams name, and waste close to an entire weekend traipsing over there, probably with a slight existential crisis stuck in motorway traffic along the way. Don’t add up how much you spend on petrol and trains on these excursions. You could probably book yourself an all-inclusive break somewhere significantly more desirable than Nottingham.

You can have some great days out without leaving the home comforts of the Greater Manchester area too. Broadhurst park has a remarkable atmosphere for football of that level, attracting thousands to every game, and singing the whole game through. Stockport County, as you would expect from a team with their history, have a huge ground, tucked away down a terraced street, and adverts in the toilets stating if you buy a funeral with a local provider you get a free county shirt.

Salford City, perched on the top of a hill in Kersal with its sloping pitch and rapid development is worth going to now before they inevitably need to relocate. Oldham’s ground remains quite literally the coldest place I have ever been to, and Macclesfield’s ground (stretching the boundaries of Greater Manchester here, but it’s about a tenner on the train) is as old as time and utter beauty.

Sure you don’t have Aguero playing for Bury and Rashford kicking about for Altrincham, but there is a charm of following your team away in the leagues and National League, you might find yourself wondering if you will die of exposure stuck in stationary traffic on the A1 but also you will see the same die-hard faces every week, you’ll go to some hilariously cheap pubs, you’ll get unforgivably lost in Middlesborough, and go to a lot of seaside towns.

Make a resolution to go to a game or two away this season, you won’t regret it.

Spotlight Feature: Your Team – Altrincham

We caught up with Mark Rogerson, an Altrincham fan since the 70’s in our second instalment of ‘Your Team’ ahead of #NonLeagueDay.

markrogersonalty

How long have you supported Altrincham?

I’ve supported Alty since 1974. I’m 49 now!

What are your memories of your first match?

Not sure if it was my first game, but my dad took me to Everton v Altrincham in the FA Cup 3rd round in 1975. We drew 1 1 !!

I remember mainly how big the ground was and how high up in the stand I was.

What is the greatest Altrincham moment for you?

Has to be beating 1st Division Birmingham City in the FA Cup in 1986 at St Andrew’s. We had a fantastic team in those days.

What’re your hopes for the season?

Quite modest. Good FA Cup run…drew Stockport today so tough and finish mid-table in the league.

We play excellent football but are a bit naive at the back sometimes.

If a first timer was to come to your ground, they would experience…

A friendly environment, traditional stadium, excellent pies and a team that plays the game the right way.

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