Everything Chorley need to know about Altrincham ahead of Sunday’s National League North play-off semi-final

Frank Sidebottom
Frank Sidebottom

Chorley are two games away from a place at the top table of non-league football.

The first is Sunday’s National League North play-off semi-final against Altrincham at Victory Park (3pm), with the winners playing in the final the following Sunday.

The Robins battled back from 2-0 down at home to Blyth Spartans on Wednesday night to level in stoppage time at the end of the second half.

Extra time could not separate the sides but Altrincham won through on penalties.

But Jamie Vermiglio’s Magpies side will face a team with a rich pedigree – including in knockout football.

FIVE THINGS ABOUT THE ROBINS

Altrincham won the equivalent of the National League in its first two seasons but were denied a Football League place by the voting system, failing by a single vote in 1980.

The Robins have knocked Football League opposition out of the FA Cup on a record 16 occasions.

In 1979 they held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, losing 3-0 in the replay which was staged at Manchester City’s Maine Road.

Altrincham knocked out Birmingham City at St Andrews is the 1986 FA Cup, winning 2-1.

Famous Robins fans have included Premier League referee Anthony Taylor, and the late Chris Sievey, better known as the papier-mache headed Frank Sidebottom. There is now a bronze statue of the character in the suburb of Timperley where the comic and musician lived.

Former Preston North End player and manager Tommy Docherty, the ex-Scotland and Manchester United boss, managed Altrincham for 17 games in the 1987-88 season, his last job before retiring.

In 2009, former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting was given 500 shares in Altrincham after striking up a friendship with the club’s chairman .