Altrincham Football Club News Archive
23 June to 1 July, 2004

25 July 2004


Match report here.

Right: Peter Wright goes for an aerial ball, as Colin Little watches in the background.

It was only six years since Altrincham had last played at Chorley but for Robins' supporter Tommy Maguire it was a little longer since he had played at Victory Park. Tommy, now a regular spectator at Alty home and away games, recalled as he entered the ground yesterday to watch the Chorley v Altrincham friendly that it was no less than seventy-two years since he had played there in a match involving Salford Lads! Tommy also turned out for Colwyn Bay and various other non-league teams in his younger days. He now owns a shop in Sale providing window blinds to companies and domestic customers and also still goes long-distance cycling every Sunday.


Altrincham Reserves, newly reformed this summer, had their first game yesterday at Stockport County's training ground in Timperley. The County side included nine professionals and even one first-teamer, returning from injury, whilst Alty were without several of their defensive squad members. Despite its being their first game together, Alty held County well in the early stages but the loss through injury of another defender during the game, (captain James Marsden), helped Stockport to a 7-1 win with three late goals. Nevertheless, manager Neil Brown, as well as first-team boss Graham Heathcote who watched the early part of the game before travelling to Chorley, were encouraged by a good performance by their weakened side against a strong League club outfit. For more on the Altrincham Reserves' players for 2004-05, please see the Reserves Page. It is also hoped to add photos and pen pictures to this information shortly.

Neil and Altrincham FC would like to thank JFC Sports of Hyde for their generous sponsorship of the reserves' tracksuits. The Reserves travel to Cheadle Town next Saturday and with no first-team friendly that day, hope for some good support from Altrincham fans at that game (k.o. 3pm, directions on the Friendlies page). The Reserves' League season kicks off on 14 August with a long trip to Workington.

Click the link below:



Alty Youth's keeper last season, Barry George, was apparently a used substitute goalkeeper yesterday for Radcliffe Borough against a Man. Utd XI. Paul Gascoigne and Lee Sharpe played in the Boro side. NLP reports that "Boro substitute goalkeeper Barry George made a tremendous reflex save in 70th minute".


Former Alty captain Chris Timons, at Gainsborough last season, played yesterday for Hucknall Town against Tamworth (0-0). Meanwhile att McNeil scored a hat-trick for Hyde United against Gainsborough Trinity yesterday. Hyde won 5-2, with another ex-Robin, Lee Ellington scoring Trinity's goals. Alty are away at Hyde on Monday night and host Trinity in the first league game of the season on 14 August.

Another possible form guide for the new season for Alty will come when they host Blackburn Rovers on 6 August. Rovers beat our Conf. North rivals Stalybridge 5-0 yesterday at the Bower Fold. Likewise, given our visit to the Irongate in pre-season, Bamber Bridge 2 Droylsden 1, may be of interest. Other Conf. North sides's results yesterday include:

  • Buxton 0 Worksop T. 1
  • Alfreton T. 3 Ilkeston T. 2
  • Burscough 2 Southport 2
  • Halesowen T. 3 Worcester C. 1
  • Stratford T. 1 Moor Green 5
  • Loughboro. D. 1 Hinckley U. 3 - "Nathan Lamey helped himself to another three goals with three stunning strikes... However, the match ended for Hinckley on a sour note as Steve Marriner had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital with what was a suspected, but not confirmed, broken leg", says their website.
  • Harrogate T. 2 Huddersfield T. XI 2 - in this game "Town again offered a number of trialists the opportunity to impress. Leigh Wood played for the full 90 minutes. The 21-year old is a product of York City's youth system, and made 22 League appearances for the Minstermen last season. He can play in either midfield or defence. Michael Cooper and former Scunthorpe player Stewart Preston featured again... Striker Gary Williams, who was once transferred from Accrington Stanley to Doncaster Rovers for £60,000, came on for the final 5 minutes", reports their website.

    Hucknall Town have signed Matlock Town striker Danny Holland.

    24 July 2004


    Mark Quayle has now signed for Northwich Vics.


    Hinckley United report that "Former Conference ‘Golden Boot’ winner Paul Barnes has signed a one-year deal... It had appeared that the deal was dead as the experienced strikers’ expectations and the club's wages budget were miles apart. A change of stance from Barnes, however, enabled a deal to be done... Manager Dean Thomas said: 'Signing Paul Barnes is a major boost for the club and shows our ambition... The money side of things has been sorted out because he dropped what he wanted quite a bit, so he can play more locally to where he lives'... Thomas also revealed that he would not be releasing any of our other strikers but with Nathan Lamey, Matt Lewis, Justin Jenkins and Chris Smith all fighting for a place he may look at loaning out a forward when the season starts".
    23 July 2004


    Ged Kielty fires in a shot at Trafford on Tuesday night, as Peter Wright (10) looks on in the pouring rain.

    In SAM, Graham Heathcote says that in pre-season friendlies, "The result is of no importance. We won every pre-season game last year [- we lost against Blackburn Rovers, ed.!] but it doesn't mean anything, as we went on to draw the first few games of the season".

    The Tameside Advertiser confirms that "Hyde United... host Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday afternoon, before welcoming Altrincham to Ewen Fields 48 hours later". So, as well as providing a form comparison between Alty and Trinity, the game gives Graham Heathcote the chance to send a scout to Ewen Fields to watch Trinity, who visit Moss Lane in the first match of the league season.


    Ian Craney scored last night for Accrington v. Preston North End. Stockport County have given former Alty man Danny Adams the number 3 squad number, suggesting that he will be their first-choice left back next season.


    Alty Reserves will play in the Lancashire Football League, which now has a website. See this site's Reserves' Page for more details.


    IC Cheshire reports that "A massive hike in rent has left Runcorn FC Halton needing to double their average attendance just to makes ends meet. Chairman Dr Dave Robertson revealed Halton Borough Council have upped the rent by 20% - to £60,000 plus VAT - for the first 25 matches... Dr Robertson told the Runcorn Supporters Club's annual meeting: 'We need at least 450 adults paying £7 for their attendance at every home game to meet the costs'. Wages and other expenses, including travel, are on top of that. Even so, there is a mood of renewed optimism with H2H of Albert Road, Widnes, having taken over as the club's main sponsor... [Manager, Chris] Lightfoot is keen, subject to funds being available, to accommodate impressive trialists Carl Brown, a right-sided player released by Hednesford, and ex-Leicester City Matt Smith, who operates on the left. Two fringe players, defender Scott Parkinson and midfielder Chris Tamm have been released".

    IC Cheshire quotes Vauxhall Motors' manager Owen Brown on their recent friendly: "The side we had out there in the second half was severely lacking in height so we were very vulnerable from free kicks and corner kicks. We're still taking a look at several players and I expect there will be several changes before now and the start of the season. 'We still have the likes of Leighton McGivern and [ex-Alty] Steve Porter to come back and I'll also be bringing in a few more new faces... Both of Vauxhall's two new defensive recruits, [ex-Alty] James Glendenning from Droylsden and Tony Allen from Blackpool, were in the starting line-up as was former Tranmere trialist Carl O'Donnell, operating up front alongside Peter Cumiskey".

    NL Daily says that against Huddersfield in their recent friendly, Bradford PA "boss Carl Shutt's starting line-up included five trialists. These joined Andy Britton, Danny Walsh, Dean Jones, Ryan Crossley, Craig Smith and James Russell".

    "Dominic Krief has become the latest player to sign for Harrogate Town... The 21-year old midfielder played a number of times for Leeds United's reserves last season, before moving to Frickley Athletic."

    Former Hyde United player Glyn Barker, who turned out for Altrincham in the pre-season cricket match, played for Stalybridge Celtic in their recent pre-season game.

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow "manager Lee Turnbull said he was embarrassed after watching his side slump to a 9-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at Holker Street... Turnbull said last night: 'I’m embarrassed... We gifted them half a dozen goals through basic errors, which we need to work on'".

    Lancaster Today quotes The Dolly Blues' boss Phil Wilson: "We have now signed Jamie Murphy, Ryan-Zico Black and Jamie Speare, who are all experienced Conference players, and Joe McMahon, who is one for the future. Jamie Murphy will be a good replacement for Farrell Kilbane in the centre of defence and I see Ryan as an attacking player to complement our strikers" In addition, "Wilson was also expected to include a number of trialists for the first friendly of the season".

    This is Worcs says that manager "[Rod] Brown was happy enough with the first viewing of his side [against Swindon]. 'Hopefully what the fans did see on Saturday was that we've raised the bar from last year. In the league we're in now, you have to keep the ball more and we showed signs of that on Saturday'", he added.

    Worksop Today says that "goalkeeper Matthew Ghent is hoping to have a settled season at Worksop following a year in the footballing wilderness. The 23-year-old signed a one-year deal for the Tigers this week after spending the whole of the 2003/2004 season without a club... Ghent has a wealth of experience behind him that includes appearances for Aston Villa, Barnsley and Lincoln City. 'I have played at almost every level of football from sitting on the bench in the Premiership to playing in all three leagues and the Conference'", he said.

    22 July 2004


    Eddie Hussin, Alty's signing from Marine, sees a specialist today and hopes to be given the all-clear to resume full training for the start of the season.


    Altrincham Reserves' fixtures for 2004-05 have been released but, at the moment, the club has only been able to supply me with the first four fixtures. These are here and start with a trip to Workington. The Youth Team's fixtures are not yet available.


    Manchester United Reserves will again play at Moss Lane in 2004-05, normally on a Thursday night, kick-off at 7pm. Entry prices have yet to be confirmed but were just £2 last season for adults. The full United Reserves' fixtures are here.

    Altrincham FC are keen to recruit stewards for these games and this season, a payment of £20 will be made for each match. Applicants should be aware that they will be required to compete a P46 tax form. Please contact Graham Heathcote at Moss Lane (928-1045) if you can help; these games bring important revenue to Altrincham FC and adequate stewarding is necessary to ensure that they continue. Many big Premiership names have appeared on the pitch at Moss Lane in United Reserves' games so being a steward is a great opportunity to see them at close quarters- and be paid for the privilege!.


    Alty's away league game against Runcorn FC Halton is likely to be switched due to the National Rugby Football League Grand Final at the Halton Stadium on Saturday 9 October. The Alty game will move to Tuesday 12 October at 7.45pm, subject to Conference approval. One benefit of the switch is that it avoids a Saturday clash with an England v Wales football international on TV.


    Alty play Bamber Bridge next Thursday and Preston Today reveals that "Former Birmingham City striker Chris Ward has put pen to paper for Bamber Bridge in the latest coup for manager Paul Byron since Nigel Webster arrived as chairman...[Ward] joins fellow new signings Steve Macauley and Andy Banks at Irongate". Banks was previously with Lancaster and Morecambe whilst Macauley was at Rochdale, Macclesfield Town and "a decade at Crewe Alexandra. Yet Byron, who has also snapped up ex-Lancaster striker Brian Welch, has not finished shopping yet, with an offer currently on the table for another experienced Football League striker". 2,175 people watched Brig's recent friendly with Preston NE.


    Matt Bailey, back with Stockport County after a successful loan period at Altrincham, scored for County against Woodley Sports at the weekend.


    The Ashton Forum has a statement relayed from club chairman Tony Ryan - "We've finally come to an agreement with TMBC regarding moving to the New Stadium - the status is that we are unable to formally come to any agreement - and are too far apart to come to an arrangement that would be beneficial to both sides. Therefore we have agreed to part and go our own ways in an amicable arrangement". So Ashton will not join Curzon Ashton at the new stadium under construction in Tameside.

    The Barrow Forum says that "Our transfer target James Stansfield from BPA has signed for Droylsden".

    Preston Today confirms that "Lancaster City manager Phil Wilson has signed two former Morecambe players... Ryan Zico Black, who can play either in midfield or up front, and central defender Jamie Murphy... Wilson persuaded Black to opt for City despite being wanted by Conference North rivals Barrow. The 23-year-old, who won Northern Ireland Under-21 honours while at Christie Park, had already played for the Bluebirds in a friendly against Queen of the South last week... Wilson stepped in and secured the player on a one-year deal. Murphy... opted to join Fleetwood Town... He then had a change of mind at the weekend and signed for City".

    Ex-Alty captain Chris Timons is still at Gainsborough, our first league opponents this season. Gainsborough. Their website says in their first pre-season game "The Blues took the pitch with most of last season’s squad on show, although they were parading new signing Matty Caudwell from Worksop Town. Two other new faces in the starting line up for this game were Grant Black and Richard Carrington". Their line-up was Holmshaw, Black (sub Purkiss), Burley (sub Davey), Allison (sub Sherlock), Timons, Carrington (sub Hannah), Smith, Hurst, Ellington, Caudwell, Grant.

    Harrogate Town report that "Former Leeds United and England midfielder David Batty has agreed to become a Vice President of Harrogate Town.Managing Director Nigel Pleasants... revealed that Batty is 'very excited' about being involved with Harrogate Town". Meanwhile, "Trialist Paul Shepherd had a promising debut at the centre of Town's defence. A former Leeds United trainee, he has also previously played for Ayr United, Tramere Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Oldham Athletic, Scarborough and Leigh RMI".

    Hinckley United say that "Paul Barnes opted not to play [in the latest friendly]as his move to Hinckley has virtually collapsed. He has asked for wages high enough to make him the club top earner and is after a sign on fee... With Farnborough and Northwich both also tracking the player it seems likely he will return to the Conference National".

    Runcorn FC Halton "Manager Chris Lightfoot has continued his summer squad rebuilding with the signing of Robbie Moore from local outfit General Chemicals. 27-year old Moore... can play in central defence or central midfield".

    Stalybridge Celtic report "a case of deja-vu for Dave Miller as well, with the harassed Celtic boss already having to cope with a growing injury list. Both Chris Denham and Scott Bonsall have yet to make an appearance due to broken bones, and two more players picked up injuries in last night's defeat by Manchester United. Barrie Keeling hyper-extended his knee and Danny Caldecott collected a knock on his achilles, and both are unlikely to feature in Saturday's game".

    "Following the Tigers' first training session at Sandy Lane, Worksop manager Ronnie Glavin has signed goalkeeper Matthew Gent. Gent has experience at both Barnsley and Aston Villa and has international youth honours".

    Conf Guide says that Worcester "right-back Jon Holloway has today departed Worcester City by mutual consent, citing travel in the northern half of the Nationwide League. Jon works at Swindon Town F.C. (as a youth development officer) and is hoping to link up with a Nationwide South Club".

    21 July 2004


    Match report here.

    Above, Stephen Rose plays the ball to Steve Aspinall at Shawe View.


    The Holker Street Newsletter confirms that "Barrow have agreed terms with former Wigan and Scunthorpe midfielder Ian Kilford (30)... The Bluebirds' boss Lee Turnbull is hoping to add former Hartlepool, Huddersfield and Rochdale midfielder Chris Beech to his squad". Midfielder Ian Kilford, After joining Nottingham Forest as a trainee, moved to Wigan... until August 2002 where he made a total of 270 appearances... He moved to Scunthorpe later in 2002".

    Former Morecambe man Ryan Zico Black, after trials at Barrow, has joined Lancaster City for whom striker Chris Ward (ex-Barrow and Lancaster) is once again training.

    NL Daily reports that "Alfreton Town are due to complete the double signing coup of experienced duo of midfielder Mitch Ward and forward Peter Duffield... Ward, 33, has almost 300 League games to his name, most notably with home-town club Sheffield United. He transferred to Everton for £750,000 in November 1997 but never really settled on Merseyside and played only 23 times in the Premiership... before returning to Yorkshire with Barnsley in the summer of 2000... Duffield, 35, also started his career with the Blades... before moving north... with Hamilton Academicals in 1993. Spells with Airdrie, Raith Rovers, Morton and Falkirk followed before he returned to Darlington in 1999. Since then he has turned out for York City and Boston United, who released him".


    "Marc Lloyd-Williams is to be assistant-manager at Aberystwyth Town", says the Welsh Premier site.
    20 July 2004


    With only small numbers turning up to help tidy and prepare Moss Lane for the new season, the weekend Working Parties have now ceased. However, help is still needed, so if you can spare some time please ring the club (928-1045) to offer your services. The club will be pleased to hear from you.


    Alty travel to Chorley on Saturday where the club site reports that "With five signings already made, John Hughes, manager of Chorley, is keen to add others to his squad as he builds for the new season. With midfielder Billy McCartney joining Droylsden, veteran defender Keith Hill retiring from playing and taking up a coaching role at Rochdale, Andy Mason also retiring, albeit temporarily due to work commitments, and Anthony Hogan all departing the club, Hughes is keen to add more new signings to his squad to compliment the five who have already joined. Currently training with the club is former Great Harwood Town player Sam Hope and last season's captain of Nelson Andy Haworth.

    Directions to the friendlies are here.

    On the subject of directions, Bill Coop has kindly provided the excellent official Altrincham FC directions for visitors to Moss Lane. These are here in a 217K PDF file which includes several maps.


    This is Lancs reports on Stafford Rangers' win at Accrington. "Midfielder Craney, who Stanley hope will continue the prolific goalscoring form he enjoyed at Altrincham, proved why he was a summer target with a variety of shots. The first came as early as 22 seconds when Mullin laid the ball off for him but Craney cracked it over the bar before being unlucky to see a half-volley on the turn just miss the target minutes later".

    St Helens Town are not only owned by former Alty keeper Joe Paladino but his "former colleagues Joe Gibiliru and [ex-Alty] Mick Hayde have joined the coaching team" reports This is Cheshire.

    From Mossley comes news that former Alty defender and Australian international Jason Van Blerk (right) took part in their friendly game last Saturday. "Last December Van Blerk left Bay to return ‘down under’ and played for Wollongong Wolves in the Australian National League".


    The Chester Evening Leader says that "Chester City [has been] served with a petition to compulsorily wind it up. HM Customs and Excise has brought proceedings against the club for unpaid VAT. The Evening Leader understands that the matter is a historical issue which is likely to be contested by the club... News of the winding-up petition appeared in the London Gazette on Friday, July 16. Chester City refused to comment today on the issue".


    "Curzon Ashton's dream of moving to a new purpose-built stadium becomes reality on Monday as the first stage of construction of the Tameside Stadium gets underway. The club had initially been hoping to develop National Park as far back as 1997/8, a development which came to a halt when they were asked to consider entering into a groundshare agreement with Nationwide Conference North neighbours Ashton United, a deal which fell away some years ago... The stadium, which will be built to Conference standard, is expected to be ready for occupation before the start of the 2005/06 season... For this coming season the Curzon first team will use Bower Fold, the home of Nationwide Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic" eays NL Daily.

    "Winger Colin Potts is on trial with Southport... The 26-year-old, who can also play as a central striker, was a January transfer target for Yellows' manager Liam Watson while at Northwich Victoria... 'I’m top heavy with experienced players and we will have to make a decision regarding Colin'", Watson told Portconnection.

    Harrogate Railway manager Martin Haresign has "revealed that negotiations were under way with ex- Harrogate Town stalwart Robbie Whellans, in what would be a colossal signing for the Station View outfit" reports Harrogate Today.

    Also from Yorkshire comes news from Wakefield Today that Ossett Town manager Steve Richards "has recruited experienced former Barrow man Steve Gaughan to his side... Gaughan, 33, is a tall midfielder and Richards is hoping he will help bring on Ossett’s promising crop of youngsters".

    NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow "Sponsor Colin Moore says Bluebirds fans have approached him about joining the soccer club’s board... It comes just days after a legal dispute between Barrow AFC and Mr Moore over sponsorship. He said: 'I haven’t gone touting for support. It’s people who have felt that strongly about what’s going on'... It is believed legal costs over the wrangle could cost the club up to £24,000... AFC president Alan Dunn said: 'If there's a huge groundswell of negative support then the board has obviously got to take notice of that. But I'm only aware of four or five people saying there should be a change'".

    The Mail adds that Lee Turnbull, manager of Barrow, has challenged [ex-Morecambe] Ryan Zico-Black to prove he’s worthy of a place in his Bluebirds squad. Turnbull wants to take a second look at the attacking midfielder before offering him a deal... However, with Zico-Black understood to be considering options from other clubs Turnbull may have to move quickly... Turnbull said: 'I think sometimes you can be overly confident in people, look at them in one game and throw a couple of hundred quid at them. But I have just played it a little bit more cautious to see what kind of hunger Zico’s got'... Meanwhile, Turnbull has admitted teenage midfielder Gareth Simpson is at the forefront of his first team thoughts. The 19-year-old central midfielder shone in the Bluebirds’ opening two pre-season friendlies". Black has now reportedly signed for Lancaster City.

    "Jordan King has become the latest player to join Redditch United. The former Telford United midfielder became Reds’ most recent recruit, having finished the season as part of Hednesford Town’s FA Trophy-winning side whilst on-loan from Hereford United" reports NL Daily.

    This is Worcs quotes coach John Snape on Worcester City's defeat: "I think Swansea had their first team out in the first half and they put us under a lot of pressure... Rob Warner was outstanding on his debut. Lewis Skyers made a couple of good saves and now he's got that out of the way it's how he reacts in the next game. With Shaun Hayes gone he's the main man to be number two to Danny McDonnell".