May I wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to all for this evening’s rearranged Vanarama National League game with Bromley. And I extend a warm welcome to the players, staff, officials and supporters of our visitors from Kent this evening.
This game was originally scheduled for the second Saturday in January, but was called off due to a burst of torrential rain on the Saturday morning. Let me extend our apologies to the team and to those Bromley fans who had already set off, and if it makes things any better (it won’t!) I can reveal that I too had set off from the South East for the game, and was sat in Altrincham Market when the postponement was announced. Additionally, if we had carried out an inspection at 9am, the pitch would certainly have been declared playable at that time.
January contained a hat-trick of such uncertainties – the game at Halifax on New Years Day was only declared playable at the last minute, and then a few weeks later I arrived at Yeovil Pen Mill Station to discover that said fixture was also a victim of the weather. T'was always thus in January, I guess.
In the time since the original fixture, our opponents have suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against Wrexham, comfortably beaten Yeovil at home and had three draws at home to Aldershot Town and Dagenham & Redbridge and away at Scunthorpe United. The Ravens had Saturday off, as their interest in the FA Trophy had been terminated in December at Bath City on penalties. Bromley were of course the holders having defeated Wrexham at Wembley by a goal to nil at the end of last season.
Speaking of Wrexham wasn’t it absolutely fantastic to see nearly 5000 fans inside The J. Davidson Stadium for our game a week last Saturday. And didn’t Alty put on a fabulous performance, being unlucky in the end to miss out on a point? That was our biggest attendance in all competitions since the visit of Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup in 1982, when 5,762 spectators lined the terraces at Moss Lane. It was a huge test for us all to determine whether we could handle that many spectators under modern crowd control and stewarding rules and I am glad to say we passed with flying colours. Thanks to your support in turning up early we managed to get all 4,865 spectators inside the ground by kick off. And of those 4,800 over 3,000 were home fans, our growing home support increased by the local Alty community wanting to take a look at the Hollywood machine that is Wrexham. In the past two seasons we have now had more than half a dozen crowds of over 3,000 and we would like to thank you all for this incredible support.
For the Wrexham game we were delighted to have two of our three North American Directors over, with Scott Burton returning to Moss Lane, and Albert Valdez making his first visit. Needless to say we made good use of their time over here in terms of moving the five year plan forwards.
On the commercial side, we are delighted that Add People, an Altrincham based Digital Marketing company have come on board as a major sponsor. Get ready for some very exciting news from Add People in the coming days
Enjoy the game.