1 April 2004
Worksop 0 Alfreton 0
Alty play at Lancaster on Saturday. Manager Phil Wilson told his club site, top scorer "Jamma [James] Hughes is to go and play in Sweden for the summer. I hope he will return to us when their season finishes at the end of September... He will still be training with us until the end of April as the season in Sweden does not start until May. The reason why he could not continue to play for us was because he had to be signed before the Sweden transfer window on the 31 March. Ian Dawes a midfield player has signed as cover for us. He is a former Liverpool trainee... We have reached my target of 60 points, however, with 6 games to go we cannot take anything for granted and I would like to finish in as high a position as possible... It would be nice to see a good crowd for the Altrincham game".
Over the last six games, Altrincham lie 5th in the form guide, Lancaster are 6th. Top are Stalybridge, whilst bottom are Spennymoor.
Nantwich's side against Clitheroe on Tuesday included Nathan Comley-Excel, Vernum Rowland and Nigel Gleghorn. Tony Sullivan netted on Tuesday for Lancaster. Lee Thompson scored for Skelmersdale at Ramsbottom.
Alty travel to Blyth soon; Spartans' manager Paul Baker is quoted on the club website: "It's been a slog recently and believe you me everyone has felt it over the last few weeks...What I am not prepared to put up with is the lack of effort that some of the players have been showing lately. They are well aware of my feelings towards this and are certainly going to accept whatever action I take over the remaining games of the season. If they are not prepared to accept things then they will find themselves without a club... Throwing in the towel is not what I am about, even if it has crossed my mind lately. If people, players are not of the way of thinking as myself, then I'm afraid they are no longer of any use to the club, or me".
After Tuesday's game, he told IC Newcastle "I had something of a showdown meeting with the squad this week and the result was that they responded with a performance that encourages me. We deserved at least a draw".
Alfreton's website quotes Chairman Wayne Bradley on the Alliance North, "We will not be entering just one new ball game in terms of organisation, but several. Looming on the horizon are probably squad numbers on shirts, names of players on shirts, five substitutes for league games and new sponsorship packages and aims... One thing is for sure and that is that the new division will produce a mix of cultures... We have been equipping ourselves this season with what we would have described last term as Ďsouthern basedí players. We have brought in a hefty percentage of southern based players to educate ourselves as to what to expect next time. The southern teams are renowned for better support in general which means they will have more disposable income and be able to offer a better expense package to players... We have already been busily shaping a pre-season schedule... The planning of those pre-season games has also had to take into consideration news that next season is expected to begin a week earlier on Saturday, August 14th."
Droylsden have signed ex-Hull City defender Carl Regan.
Harrogate have a map showing the new Alliance North teams, based on current league standings. The site adds, "Hucknall Town and Droylsden are the only teams... that have mathematically already secured a place... Teams that will not be able to achieve 60 points, and therefore realistically face a massive battle to finish in the top 13, are Wakefield & Emley, Burscough, Frickley Athletic, Spennymoor United and Radcliffe Borough". Meanwhile Hucknall now only need 7 more points to clinch the Unibond Premier title.
UniBond Premier club of the month is Alfreton.
Dominic Moyles (Selby T. to Frickley A.)
Richard Lucas (Gainsborough T. loan ext'd to Stocksbridge PS)
Nicky Scaife (Lincoln C. to Wakefield & Emley)
The Umbro International Cup will be staged at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield (University of Manchester). It bills itself as "Britain's largest youth soccer tournament" and takes place in July with teams from the USA, Malta, Germany, Cyprus, Colombia, Wales and Scotland as well as England. More details here.
After the sending off of Brian Pritchard in the CSC Final at Altrincham last week, the Northwich Chronicle says that "Informed opinion at Soho Square is that Pritchard's punishment will be reduced to the sending off only, that being sufficient enough after his clash with a streaker in the Cheshire Senior Cup final... 'Common sense was not used on the night. You'd hope it was now,' said Albion manager John Davison...
By supporting Witton, the FA fears setting a precedent, tacitly approving of players themselves using force to deal with pitch invaders".
31 March 2004
Bradford PA 2 Ashton U. 1 1300 goals have now been scored in the league this season.
Alty manager Graham Heathcote has signed three more players as 'cover' for the run-in to the League season. They are:
Andy Lundy: (dob 8/11/82, Manchester) 6ft 2ins striker from Trafford FC, who have only two games left to play this season. Andy joined Trafford in November 2003 from Woodley Sports. He was previously at Salford City and Cheadle Town.
Liam Ralph, (dob 23/6/83) Also signed from Trafford. A left-back, Andy joined Trafford from Leigh RMI. Height 5ft 9ins, weight 12st 4lbs.
Barry George (18) is Alty's youth team goalkeeper and also the Cheshire FA keeper. He has now signed UniBond forms.
The MEN had an article last night on Alty Director Andrew Shaw who has moved from property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle to "join rivals CB Richard Ellis" after 22 years at the former company. "Shaw, a European director of Jones Lang LaSalle had run the firm's £5m turnover Manchester operation since its creation", says the paper. Andrew will, no doubt, be spreading the word about Alty to his new work colleagues and all at Moss Lane will wish him well in his new role.
ALTY IN CUP FINAL
After Alty's trip to Lancaster City on Saturday, why not make the trip to Bamber Bridge FC this Sunday to support Altrincham Youth as they contest the NWYA Premier Cup Final (2pm)? Alty are appearing in the Final of the above competition for the fourth successive year. The opposition is Morecambe, who beat Alty 4-1 in the 2002 Final, also at the Irongate. Steve Lunt, Kieran and Kelvin Lugsden and Lewis Chalmers are youth team players likely to be involved on Sunday who have been in the first team squad this season but the side, managed by George Heslop and Neil Thomason, also contains several other regular players for the Cheshire or Manchester FA Youth sides.
IMAGE luntcawt.jpg DELETED
Right: With Kieran Lugsden injured by the keeper at Frickley in last Saturday's first-team game, Steve Lunt (back) had a new strike partner last Sunday in Sam Cawthra (foreground).
Blyth S. 0 Stalybridge C. 1
Frickley A. 0 Hucknall T. 1
Lancaster C. 2 Worksop T. 0
Marine 2 Whitby T. 2
Runcorn FC Halton 2 Barrow 2
Vauxhall M. 4 Spennymoor U. 2
"Richard Battersby and Simon Kelly have both agreed new two-year deals" with Kevin Glendon, manager of Radcliffe Borough. The boss said, "These are the first two to be put into the new squad I want to build for next season, there is a lot of hard work to do in the coming months and I now need to talk to the rest of the squad between now and the end of the season to inform them of my decisions in relation to each individual's position and future at the club".
The Holker Street Newsletter quotes Phil Yelland, from the Barrow matchday programme: "For several seasons now, the Northern League have not promoted anyone to the UniBond set up and it seemed that the reorganisation would give ambitious Northern League clubs the chance to move up a League. Last autumn... four Northern League clubs showed an interest. They were Billingham Town, Horden CW, Jarrow Roofing and Whitley Bay. Within weeks, Billingham had withdrawn their application and now former UniBond club Whitley Bay have followed in their footsteps... That leaves Horden who seem very unlikely to finish in a League position that would allow them to move up. Jarrow Roofing might well gain the League position but their ground still needs a lot of work to make the necessary grading".
Conference leaders Chester City are racking up debt in their bid to reach the League. Chairman
Stephen Vaughan "has forked out £2.5m since taking over at the Deva... [but] the club is still losing £65,000 a month". Vaughan, a former Barrow chairman, said, "Itís not an ego thing; ultimately itís for my love of football" reports the Chester Leader.
30 March 2004
Altrincham travel to Lancaster on Saturday with what is the league's best away record in terms of goals conceded - Alty have let in 19 goals on their travels so far.
Next Monday, Hucknall Town visit Moss Lane having lost on Saturday (at Barrow) for the first time in 16 league games. "Steve Burr's heroes now require only three wins and a draw from their final [seven] matches to be crowned champions for the first time" says Hucknall Today.
Our visit to Whitby on 17 April will coincide with the second annual UniBond League Family Fun Day "at every UniBond League ground where there is a fixture that day. The first 50 children to enter the ground will receive a voucher for a free burgher [I think they mean a burger and not a local citizen!] ... In addition, there will be a balloon race for up to 200 participants at each ground with a special prize of a top games console for the person who releases the balloon to travel furthest. There will also be three goody bags to be won by adults at each ground in a half time draw whilst the teams scoring the quickest home and away goals of the day respectively will each win half a dozen training balls. The star prize is a Family Holiday in Europe and will be open to supporters of all clubs whether they be at home or away on the day... Clubs who are on their travels on 17th April will be able to involve their own home fans by distributing entry forms in their match day programme before the big day".
Radcliffe Borough "manager Kevin Glendon has signed Lee Duffy from Rochdale". Meanwhile, Stalybridge Celtic have signed Simon Bowman, a centre-back from Rochdale.
The promotion of runners-up from the UniBond to the Conference may not be permitted despite recent announcements, according to the Conference Guide, which "remains unconvinced that this issue has been resolved yet".
The UniBond Press Release reports that Runcorn FC Halton's floodlights at the Halton Stadium are the best in the UniBond League at a brightness of 666 lux, followed by Wakefield and Emley's (482) and Barrow's (347). Of course, both Runcorn and Wakefield are tenants at rugby league grounds.
29 March 2004
Steve Lunt (3), an own goal (46), Matt Tooth (pen 75) and Sam Cawthra (88) were the scorers as Alty, lacking six regulars, recorded another league win on Sunday, 4-0 away at Ashton Athletic. The match report is in the Youth section, where there is another photo.
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 1 ALTRINCHAM 1
IMAGE frick04.jpg ARCHIVED
Craney (right) sees his shot strike Hallows's back in the second half.
The Frickley website also has a match report on the game.
ONLY ONE STUART COBURN?
"There's only one Stuart Coburn", goes the song but here's proof there are two... Pictured right is the Leigh RMI Youth team goalkeeper in last week's game against Altrincham Youth, wearing what appears to be Stuart's old Leigh RMI goalkeeper's jersey! (Picture courtesy of Jo Ryan).
Alty's next game is away next Saturday at Lancaster, who knocked us out of the FA Cup at the Giant Axe before Christmas. In the form guide, over the last six games, Alty lie fourth and Lancaster fifth. Whilst City have won their last three away games, at home they have won, drawn and lost one of their last three matches. By way of a further guide, on Tuesday, Lancaster host another team we have still to play this season at Moss Lane, Worksop Town.
Nathan Comley-Excel has moved from Abbey Hey to Nantwich Town, managed by ex-Alty midfielder Nigel Gleghorn.
Worksop Town say that they "have received written confirmation from the FA, that its sanctions and registrations committee have not received an official application from the Conference for the words "runner-up club" to be deleted from their rule 11 and therefore this reference must remain in the rule. In other words the second club will gain promotion if it complies with all the regulations".
Like Runcorn, Blyth Spartans have announced that "To ease the financial burden on fans wishing to attend Blyth's three home games in a week on Tuesday 6th, Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th April a reduced price combination ticket is available. The ticket is priced: £15 for adults... The Tuesday and Thursday games - Droylsden and Lancaster - will also have a combined match programme".
Burscough, who have played more games than anyone else in our league, do not play again until Altrincham visit them on 10 April. Meanwhile, they have signed, according to Linnets on Line "Ian Johnson, the grandson of Ronnie Moran, on Unibond League forms... after impressing for the reserves... He can play either as a midfielder or forward and his previous clubs include Southport, Skelmersdale United and his last club was Marine. Whilst at Marine he played 19 league and cup games... Former Linnet Kris McHale has been back training at Victoria Park and it appears he has rejoined us from Leigh R.M.I."
Harrogate Town report that "Following a meeting on Wednesday between Harrogate Town, Harrogate Rugby Club and the local council, a working party has been established to consider options for developing and expanding the Claro Road rugby ground.
Harrogate Town chairman Bill Fotherby said: 'I'm over the moon, it's a dream come true... This gives us encouragement to know that, should we progress up the league, there is a vision for a new ground in the town'".
Paul Brown (Esh Winning to Blyth S.)
Keith Graydon (Scarborough to Blyth S.)
Simon Brooker (ex Farsley C. to Frickley A.)
Wayne Bullimore (Bradford PA to Stocksbridge PS)
Nicky Scaife (Lincoln C. to Wakefield & Emley)
28 March 2004
In The Pink, Graham Heathcote defends goalkeeper Stuart Coburn against accusations of cheating by Droylsden's Dave Pace concerning the red card for the Bloods' Dave Cameron last week. "I don't know Dave Cameron but I do know Stuart Coburn", said Graham, "and I'm utterly convinced he would never con a ref into sending an opposing player off. Stuart is adamant he received a blow from the knee". But in the NLP Pace asserts, "Dave and Coburn were just having a laugh and a joke together, then Coburn just fell over and started rolling around like Coco the clown. I'm disappointed because I've always rated him a good keeper but I was very disappointed to see antics like that. To get a fellow pro sent off like that is ridiculous. I hope he's happy with himself... You would have thought he'd been battered round the head". The paper also has a full page on the Moss Lane streaker incident last Wednesday.
Former Alty player Ally Pickering, ex-coach Andy May, and Droylsden boss Dave Pace are all playing in a charity match at Droylsden next Sunday. Danny Adams (Stockport), Paul Edwards (Wrexham), Paul Ellender (Boston) and Kevin Ellison (Lincoln) all played in the League yesterday, whilst Wes Wilkinson made his first start for Oldham Athletic and had a hand in both their goals. Bury have offered Graham Barrow an extension to his manager's contract for next year.
27 March 2004
Barrow 1 Hucknall T. 0
Blyth S. 0 Burscough 1
Droylsden 3 Harrogate T. 1
Frickley A. 1 Altrincham 1
Gainsborough T. 0 Vauxhall M. 0
Marine 3 Radcliffe B. 2
Spennymoor U. 0 Lancaster C. 1
Wakefield & Emley 3 Runcorn FC Halton 5
Whitby T. 0 Ashton U. 1
Alty supporter John Cudlip is showing his dedication to The Robins this weekend. He has returned today from a 12,000 mile round trip to Canada on business but is heading to watch Altrincham at Frickley this afternoon before setting off on a 16,000 mile round-trip to Brazil! To make things even more complicated John has to deal with the clocks going forward tonight. The following week is a rather more sedate one for him; after returning from Brazil he will travel to the away game at Lancaster before setting off on a round trip to Italy - a mere 2,000 miles!
Meanwhile, Matthew Wheeler, another long-distance supporter will be travelling back to Altrincham from his home in Australia at Easter and will be at our home game against Alfreton. He tells me that "Moss Lane appeared on Australian TV last night (And not for the first time). I was watching the 6 o'clock news on Channel 7, the second highest-rating station in the country. The sports segment of the news contained video footage of the CSC final, and the streaker incident. Alty weren't mentioned by name, and the location of the incident was mentioned only as 'Cheshire, England'. But it was somewhat surprising to see Moss Lane feature for about 15 seconds on the national news! I have seen the ground on TV before here in Sydney. Just over 2 years ago, the Toyota World Sports program on the national free-to-air channel SBS had a segment on David Beckham, who was shown juggling the ball down at the Chequers end of the ground".
VIDEO or DVD
Today's Altrincham match at Frickley Athletic will be recorded on video and DVD. The recordings will be available from Frickley for just £4 for videos (£5.20 inc. postage/packing) and £6 for DVDs (£7 inc. postage and packing). They can be ordered from the gentleman who sells badges/ties/hats, etc inside the Frickley clubhouse. For anyone not actually at the game, they can be ordered by e-mailing Steve Pennock on the excellent Frickley website and sending payment through the post.
The town council in Barrow have awarded the Barrow football and rugby league clubs £5,000 each "in recognition of the promtotion that the town receives when the two clubs go on their travels".
Marine "announce the signing of former Wigan Athletic and Congleton Town midfielder Ben Kay. Ben, 21, signed for the Mariners on Thursday... Said Marine manager Roly Howard: 'He will strengthen midfield'... Said Marine Chairman Paul Leary: "His signing follows the return last week of striker Richie Townsend from Rossendale Utd. and the signing of Nicky Young in February. Every game now until the end of the season will be like a cup final".
Ian Johnson (Marine > Burscough)
Kingsley Jones (Aberystwyth > Gainsborough T.)
Gavin Smith (Worksop T. > Gainsborough T.)
Mark Roberts (Crewe A. loan extended > Vauxhall M.)
Jack Wilkinson (Hartlepool U. work exp. > Whitby T.)
"AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Dean Greygoose, the hero at Colne on Saturday in the semi-final second-leg, may miss the FA Vase Final at St Andrew's on May 16th", says Sudbury Today. "Greygoose starts a four-week suspension on Monday... Although Greygoose will be back from the ban on Monday, April 26th, he is
not automatically guaranteed an immediate return to first-team football... Greygoose was sent-off against Wroxham in the League Cup semi-final on February 10th. AFC did not appeal, but a letter of mitigation to the Suffolk FA saw the ban reduced by one week". A club spokesman said, "Dean is very disappointed... He has never been sent off before".
Chris Downey hit a mat-trick for Mossley in midwek against Abbey Hey.
STORY RUNS ON
There was a lengthy piece on the CSC Final "streaker" episode on GMR last night, including an interview with Graham Heathcote. During the day the story had appeared in many national newspapers, including the front page of The Times, as well as on TV. Graham underlined the "controlled" nature of the Alty stewards' response to the incident and said it was a pity that the affair had "overshadowed a good victory by Woodley". The Woodley spokesman on GMR said that his side would refuse to re-play the final should Witton's appeal get to that stage.
26 March 2004
The UniBond league attendance grid has been updated, thanks to Terry Rowley.
Apart from the continuing absences of Chris Adams, Gary Scott, Niell Hardy and Rod Thornley, Altrincham should have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow's game. Referring to the competitiveness of the league, Graham Heathcote told SAM, "Those in the bottom three are scrambling to get out for obvious reasons; those above them have play-off places to aim for and the rest want to be in the top 13".
Frickley report that they are again "down to the bare bones for Saturday's visit of Altrincham with Wayne Benn and Dan Sheriffe suspended whilst Dominique Krief (injury) and Paul Marquis are also likely to be missing. On the plus side Duncan Richards returns after suspension".
The Tameside Advertiser quotes Droylsden boss Dave Pace: "I canít walk in the dressing room and say the titleís up until itís impossible. They (Hucknall) have eight games in something like two weeks and they could lose seven on the trot - highly unlikely I have to say though... We are the first Manchester club to qualify for the Northern Alliance and are in two cup finals". As for defeat at Moss Lane, Pace says, "The [winning] goal was that outrageous that it topped my week off. We missed a couple of sitters early on, but thereís no excuses". The paper adds "Altrincham become the only side to have recorded a double over their near neighbours... A controversial issue ensued on the 90-minute mark, as Cameron went to take the ball from Coburn for a Droylsden corner. It was smiles all around, but Coburn dramatically collapsed in a heap, and the referee gave Cameron
his marching orders after consulting his assistant".
Only the possibility of other clubs being thrown out of the Conference can now save our neighbours Northwich Vics from relegation and another candidate came into the frame yesterday with news that "Telford United stands on the brink of collapse within weeks, with debts of £650,000, after its big-spending chairman Andy Shaw was forced to put his business empire into receivership... Commercial director Robin Eaves said: 'Andy Shaw has lost it all - his businesses, his house, his cars, the lot. He said to me that all he has left is the suit he's wearing'... He added: 'We need someone to come in and put £1 million or more into this club. Until the end of the season we will be operating purely on what we get through the gate'", says the Shropshire Star.
Runcorn FC Halton "have completed the loan signing of Matthew Platt. Matthew, a young striker is currently with Crewe Alexandra".
From Whitby comes news that "Harry Dunn stuck with the youngsters that did so well in beating Barrow on Monday, and they didn't let him down again, this time it was Champions elect Hucknall Town who were given a good game. This was the first time
that Hucknall had failed to score in a league game since September".
On Tuesday, Alfreton v Burscough "started 15 minutes late due to an electrical fault on the floodlights which had to be repaired... The last three matches have seen manager Dave Lloyd rely on the same squad of 14 players... Lloyd is now set to boost his squad strength and freshness with the recall of players out on loan", reports the club site.
The NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow "transfer target Christian Lee may arrive at Holker Street in time for a debut against league leaders Hucknall Town. Barrow AFC manager Lee Turnbull rates his chances of capturing the Halifax Town striker as 50-50".
Southport "boss Liam Watson reckons he has signed a new cult hero after seeing Neil Robinson net his eighth goal in five matches in the 3-2 victory over Harrogate last Saturday. Watson signed the former Macclesfield striker on Friday and enthused: 'It is a great relief to have secured Neil's signature for the next two and a half seasons'", he told IC Sefton.
"Lancaster City could reach their season-long target of a Conference North spot in the next two games, according to boss Phil Wilson" on Lancaster Today. Wilson said of his side which has 54 points, "'We maybe need another four points. Two wins definitely, but four points should be OK'. Wilson has brought in former Lancaster favourites Mark Thornley and Paul Haddow 'just for cover' for his almost fully-fit squad. He said: 'Hopefully we will be in the position to give them a game before the end of the season'".