Altrincham Football Club News Archive
26 July to 1 August, 2004

1 August 2004


Above: Defenders "Shaka" Shaw and Matt Tooth leave the pitch at half-time.

Match report on the Reserves Page.


In this weekend's friendlies, Abbey Hey, whom Alty beat 8-0, lost 3-7 to Ashton United. Stalybridge lost 0-2 to a Bury XI.


The NL Paper reports that ex-Alty Youth keeper Barry George produced " a string of fine saves " for Radcliffe Borough in yesterday's friendly, whilst Mark Quayle netted for Northwich at Colwyn Bay. Ian Craney had an "early chance" for Accrington Stanley, which he did not take.


The Club's best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Youth team manager George Heslop who is unwell at the moment. Hopefully George will soon be back in action. Meanwhile Neil Thomason continues his successful combination with George as Youth team coach this season and further help is coming this season from Tony Spilsbury, a former Alty Reserves manager in the Roy Rees/Les Rigby era, who has kindly volunteered his services to the club. The Youth Page has been updated today and includes the opening fixtures and details of new clubs in the NWYA Premier Division for 2004-05.


One of the thinner UniBond programmes in recent seasons has been that of Runcorn but the club website says that "This new season sees a completely revised match programme which will feature a serialised history of the club. The club is able to provide a pre-pay facility where the 20 League match programmes can be paid for in advance in order for you to guarantee your copy".

Hinckley United "lost their second game of pre season losing to Hummel Korea 0-1... but again the performance was one to be pleased about. The professional Korean division 2 side had turned up late but still settled in very easily and obviously were comfortable on the ball... At the final whistle the Koreans soaked up the applause from the fans and thanked the crowd by bowing to them as they left the pitch".


The FA's Alex Stone says in the NLP that immediate bans will apply to players receiving red cards and "This applies through the three divisions of the Conference". However, I am advised that Altrincham have received a letter telling them that the immediate bans do NOT apply to Conference North and the previous 14 day appeal period will remain. It is understood that this is because video recording of matches is not yet mandatory, as it is in the Conference National, so appeals will necessarily take longer to process.
31 July 2004


Above: Ged Kielty in action at Bamber Bridge on Thursday night.

Graham Heathcote has told SAM "We set specific things to do in [pre-season] games and Hyde was the first time we got a 90-minute performance from everyone. The players are looking a bit sharper - Little is a class act and [Peter] Wright is getting sharper".


Alty Reserves are at Cheadle Town today (Saturday 3pm) for their first public match since being re-formed and spectators are welcome. The first team's next game is a rarity - an Altrincham derby, albeit to be played in Sale, away to Old Altrinchamians on Wednesday 4 August at 7pm (NB kick-off time- there are no floodlights). Dalton Steele will be in charge of the side as Graham Heathcote will be on holiday- as Graham put it on Thursday, "My wife won't see me for the next nine months of the football season, so this holiday is her last chance to do so". Old Alts, a long-established local side, will be using a new pitch for the game against Altrincham after their previous one was displaced by the ongoing widening works on the M60 motorway. Directions to both matches are on the Friendlies page.


Confguide reports that "Work on developing Northwich Victoria's new stadium is largely stalled, and the club may need to seek an extension to its groundshare with Witton Albion. Financial constraints have put a delay on construction work. The club should have been playing in the new Victoria Stadium by now, but even the revised target date of 6th November is in doubt. A recent fund-raising exercise amongst Northwich fans has enabled some small works to go ahead, but the main work is at a standstill. The main pitch is not yet ready for seeding... It's unknown how the Conference would react... The solution to the problem lies in getting the new board in place".


Vauxhall Motors' "Semi-professional footballer Anthony Wright, 26, was shot four times as he pulled up outside his house in Kirkdale on Tuesday night. Today he still had a bullet lodged in his chest and was seriously ill at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. His father, Thomas Wright, said: 'He has never done anything wrong. He is not involved in any gang war'... Anthony Wright was shot solely because of his surname, rather than any real involvement in the feud. His father said: 'He is a normal family man. He had just signed for Vauxhall Motors football team on the night and had played his first game for them in Bangor. He had been looking forward to that and was shot after he drove back" reports IC Liverpool.

Hucknall Town have been unable to sign Danny Holland of Matlock as he has been playing for Grimsby Town - on Thursday he played for Grimsby v Gainsborough.

Runcorn FC Halton's latest friendly saw them beat Mond Rangers 4-2. Lancaster lost to Carlisle this week with ex-Alty man Tony Sullivan in the side, still managed by another ex-Robin, Phil Wilson. "Tino" scored a goal.

NL Daily "Moor Green produced a good performance against Bristol Rovers to earn a share of the spoils on Thursday night"- the game ended 1-1. But "Alfreton Town slipped to a 3-1 pre-season friendly defeat at UniBond League First Division outfit Eastwood Town".

"Roger Ashby, manager of Nuneaton Borough, snapped up two more young prospects when midfielder Mark Noon and centre-back Steve Farmer agreed one-year deals... Noon, released by Coventry City in May, has impressed Ashby with his energetic contribution... while Farmer, who turned out for Southern League Western Division side Sutton Coldfield Town last term, is earmarked to fill the defensive gap left by Terry Angus's retirement". Ashby added, "So far we've been concentrating on stamina. I'm very pleased with our fitness levels" says IC Coventry.

"Gainsborough Trinity finally snapped up former loan signing Rob O'Brien on a two-year deal straight after they were beaten by Grimsby Town last night... The Blues have captured the 21-year-old right-sided player after chasing him since he enjoyed two spells at the Northolme from Doncaster last season. Boss Paul Mitchell said, "'Rob has got pace and he can go past people'...Trinity also fielded ex-Lincoln United striker Simon Bird last night... The pre-season friendly was decided by a solitary goal from Grimsby... It was all one-way traffic, but the Conference Two outfit battled hard" states This is Lincs.

"Harrogate Town are hopeful of signing former York City midfielder Leigh Wood, after he impressed in pre-season matches" says the BBC. "He is comfortable in playing in midfield or defence".

Former Alty players still at Droylsden are Adam Farley and Leroy Chambers; new signings for the Bloods this season are Ryan Ludlam (ex-Worksop Town) and Wayne Gill (ex-Scarborough and Blackburn Rovers midfielder).


Rhyl beat Shrewsbury Town in a friendly - Marc Limbert got one of the goals.
30 July 2004


Graham Heathcote confirmed yesterday that three more of his pre-season squad had now signed or re-signed for the coming season. They are first-choice left-back Chris Adams, who has been back at the club since October 2002, 18 year-old striker Kieran Lugsden, who has graduated from the Alty Youth team and wing-man/striker David Holt, who was recently released by Stockport County and enjoyed a loan spell at Moss Lane from County late last season.


Match Report here.

29 July 2004


The Sale and Altrincham Messenger (SAM), has been reorganising its staff and this means that Mike Crockett, their Sports Editor for the last few years, is moving to another job within the organization. Mike has been very supportive of Altrincham FC over this period and the club thanks him for his help and wishes him well for the future. His place as Sports Editor is being taken by Jenny Dixon, who will be most welcome at Moss Lane.


A sure sign that a new season is just around the corner is the arrival by e-mail from Illinois of the coming campaign's "Through the Years" data from exiled Alty supporter Howard Watts. I am delighted to say that Howard will once again be providing his information on Alty games played in previous years on the same date as this season's games. His first file, which relates to the opening day of this season, 14 August, is now here.


IC Cheshire quotes Northwich boss Steve Burr on pre-season: "I am disappointed with some of the performances. I promised everyone a chance and everyone has had a chance, but I am still waiting for a lot of players to convince me they want to play for Northwich... If I have to unload and get players out on loan, I shall have to - or I could be the next manager to go and I don't intend that to happen". Burr "exempts Chris Royle, Steve Garvey and goalkeeper Ben Connett from criticism, which leaves Mark Came, Phil Brazier, Mark Foran, Chris Thompson, Mark Devlin, Richard Norris and Kieran Charnock facing an ultimatum. Those in midfield ought to be concerned by the arrival for last night's friendly of Mike Sheron, the former Stoke City, Port Vale and Blackpool player and the vastly experienced Richard Forsyth, who won the Conference with Kidderminster and had just been released by Cheltenham Town. In attack at Runcorn last night and at Cammell Laird's tomorrow is 19-year-old Kelvin Langmead. Preston North End expect big things of Langmead, who played at Carlisle last season. If he came to Vics, it would only be on loan. Colin Potts, the winger Vics paid £3,000 for last season and then sold back to Stalybridge for the same amount, has joined Burr's trialists and played at Leek... And with the campaign looming, there is still no confirmation of the [boardroom] takeover. There is no reason to suggest it won't happen, but the longer it doesn't happen the more urgent the off-field situation also becomes. Best estimates were three months to prepare the Victoria Stadium for football and Vics have been given a groundshare extension at Wincham Park to November 6".


A current Vauxhall Motors and former Hyde United player, Anthony Wright (26), was shot yesterday. The Liverpool Echo reports: "A gang-war truce in north Liverpool has been shattered by a masked gunman. Anthony Wright, 26, is fighting for his life after being shot up to four times in the chest. It is the latest shooting in a drug-based feud in the area which has already claimed the lives of three men. Mr Wright, whose brother Michael is facing an attempted murder charge, was with his girlfriend at midnight. As they got out of the car on the driveway of his house... a masked gunman ran towards them. He fired into Mr Wright's chest and fled. Paramedics stopped him bleeding and took him to the Royal Liverpool Hospital where his condition is critical... The shooting is linked to a feud between two gangs, one based in Everton and the other in Kirkdale".

After losing at Bamber Bridge, Droylsden lost 2-1 against Ashton United this week. The Ashton forum reports that trialist Ashley Jones scored both goals whilst a "new signing [is] Nicky Clee who has joined via Ossett Albion... [whilst] Jones is a speedy striker who impressed again after a good second half against Curzon".

Our first league oppponents, Gainsborough lost again on Tuesday, 0-2 to a Sheffield Utd XI but the Trinity website says "If Trinity maintain that level of play they should have a good season".

Harrogate Town included several trialists in their friendly this week. These were "Carlisle United central defender Paul Raven, who still has a year left on his contract at Brunton Park and has been linked with Barrow... Another new trialist was Paul Rickers".

Kettering Town lost 2-5 to Lincoln City in a friendly, with former Hyde United striker Simon Yeo scoring one of the Imps' goals. "The Poppies battled well for 90 minutes against a team two leagues above them, and go on from here this weekend to conclude pre-season preparations down at a training camp being held at Exeter University".

Runcorn FC Halton lost 0-1 to Northwich Vics in a friendly, with ex-Alty striker Mark Quayle the scorer.

The Southport forum reports that "Barrow have signed Doncaster's 'boxing champion' Jamie Patterson". The Southport Visiter reports that "There is no Port future for Colin Potts. Watson has decided not to offer any terms to trialist Potts. The ex-Stalybridge and Northwich winger had asked to train with the Port which Watson agreed to. But Watson has told Potts to look elsewhere as he will not fit into the composition of the squad".

Radcliffe Borough beat Southport after Port had "doubled their lead in under 15 minutes this time Steve Daly converting an easy opportunity after an excellent save from the young [ex-Alty Youth keeper] Barry George in the Boro' goal".

The Tameside Advertiser reports that "Ashton United chairman Tony Ryan was looking to the future after plans for them to share the new Tameside Stadium with Curzon Ashton were finally shelved... They will now have to apply to the local authority for planning permission for work to upgrade Hurst Cross to fit in with proposed new ground regulations for 2007. The sticking point over the switch is thought to have been the asking price sought by the Robins for Hurst Cross... On the field, things appear to be looking up for the Robins with manager Gerry Quinn hoping to sign six new players".

28 July 2004


The Cheshire Senior Cup draw is as follows. All matches will be played to a conclusion i.e. no replays.

Preliminary Round in w/c 23 August

  • Nantwich T. v Congleton T.
  • Winsford U. v Cammell Laird
  • Cheadle T. v Alsager T.

    1st Round in w/c 13 September

  • Nantwich T. or Congleton Town v Stalybridge C.
  • ALTRINCHAM v Winsford U. or Cammell Laird
  • Northwich V. v Crewe A.
  • Tranmere R. v Warrington T.
  • Stockport Co. v Cheadle T. or Alsager T.
  • Witton A. v Chester C.
  • Macclesfield T. v Hyde U.
  • Woodley Sports v Vauxhall Motors

    The 2nd Round will be drawn on 4 October and will take place in w/c 8 November.


    Steve Lunt (left) has decided to take a break from football to concentrate on his studies. Steve, a product of the Altrincham Youth team has made 11 starts and 34 sub appearances for the Robins since making his debut in November 2002 and has scored four goals. Hopefully we will see him back in action before too long.

    Two pre-season trialists with Altrincham will not be figuring in the squad for 2004-05. One is Jamie Baguley, the Stockport County youngster who made 10(+2) appearances last season for The Robins on loan from County and who has been a sub in two pre-season games this summer. The other is Mark Rawlinson, the former midfielder with Bournemouth, Exeter, Weymouth and Dorchester Town.

    Joey Roberts, the ex-Accrington and Wigan Athletic trialist who was a used sub against Hyde on Monday night, is now on trial at Macclesfield Town.


    Following the departure of Gary Thompson to Halifax Town, Altrincham are on the look out for a new physiotherapist. Anyone interested in this position should have the FA Diploma in the Treatment of Injuries as the minimum qualification. Please contact Graham Heathcote at the club (928-1045) if you can help or know anyone who can.


    Right: Peter Wright receives close attention from his Hyde marker on Monday night.

    Altrincham travel to Bamber Bridge on Thursday night (7.45pm) - directions are on the friendlies' page.


    On This is Lincs it states that "Gainsborough Trinity manager Paul Mitchell has blasted [ex-Alty captain] Chris Timons over his move to rivals Hucknall Town. Mitchell is furious that defender Timons had reneged on his agreement to accept a one-year deal with the Blues to sign for Town on Saturday. His move has left Mitchell with no recognised centre-backs after Stuart Reddington also left for Dr Marten's side Grantham earlier this month. An angry Mitchell felt Blues supporters had been kicked in the teeth by Timons who had been lured to Watnall Road by a lucrative deal. 'I'll be honest and say Chris has gone down a hell of a lot in my estimation', raged Mitchell. I'm furious because six weeks ago Chris Timons had agreed a one-year deal with me to my face. It wasn't in principle it was agreed and for me I took his word as his bond. But I got a call saying he had a meeting at work on Thursday and that he had to miss training. I was fine with that, but I got a call from someone who told me he had gone to meet Hucknall manager Ernie Moss instead. So as you can imagine I feel very let down by Chris, but most of all I feel for the supporters. He goes in to the club after games and speaks to all of the fans and tells them how much he loves Gainsborough, and he kisses the badge on the shirt when he scores. But at the end of the day he doesn't love them that much does he? I've bit my lip over Stuart Reddington's decision to go, but now Chris has done the same as him it has made me really ticked off'. When the Echo contacted Timons for his reply he was unavailable for comment". Elsewhere the same source says that Trinity are giving trials to "Barnsley's Grant Black and Sheffield United's Paul Wood". Gainsborough's first league match is away to Altrincham.


    Radcliffe Borough reported yesterday that "Young keeper Barry George (right) who played the last 20 minutes on Saturday against Manchester United, will play the full 90 minutes tonight when Southport visit Stainton Park for the last home pre-season game. George who last season was with the Altrincham Youth Team has recently been playing with the Boro's Youth Team was called up on Saturday as Danny Hurst came off with a groin strain". Barry is also the Cheshire FA Youth keeper. Boro' beat Southport 3-2.


    This is Worcs says that "Worcester City tasted defeat once again last night but manager John Barton insisted there was room for optimism. Kidderminster Harriers capitalised on an uncharacteristic fumble by Danny McDonnell to come from behind and win 3-2 at St George's Lane. Three losses in three makes grim reading for City but in the wider picture plus points did emerge, not least a fine display by Jai Stanley in central midfield... Shabir Khan once again reaffirmed his growing stature at left back but up front Christian Moore and Leon Kelly had few clear-cut openings with little thrust down the flanks. City sprang a surprise with the inclusion of trialist ex-Yeovil and Aldershot midfielder Jamie Gosling in central midfield but he failed to shine". The boss added, "I thought we defended quite well and I think we're moving in the right direction".


  • Gary Ingham (Gainsborough T. to Belper T.)
  • Jamie Kearns (Grantham T. to Kettering T.)
  • Mike McNaughton (Harrogate T. to Pickering T.)
  • Carl Serrant (Bradford PA to Droylsden)
    27 July 2004


    Above, Gary Scott gets in a cross at Ewen Fields.

    Match report here.


    Last night Talk Sport interviewed Lou Macari about Manchester United's policy of playing youngsters in their current tournament in the USA. He mentioned Altrincham twice as regards United's Reserves playing at Moss Lane. He added that the stadia and opposition in the USA might be slightly better than the Reserves have experienced so far!


    Alty did much better than Gainsborough against Hyde last night; Trinity lost 5-2 at Ewen Fields last Saturday. Their website says that "Trinity went into this game having to reshuffle after the late withdrawals of central defenders Neil Allison and Chris Timons, with Chris Hurst forced to play at the back". Timons is now playing for Hucknall. Trinity are the first league opposition for Alty this season on 14 August. Their side at Hyde was: Holmshaw, Black (sub Davey 59 mins), Burley, Purkiss, Smith (sub Carrington 59 mins), Caudwell (sub Thornley 59 mins), Wood, Hurst, Ellington, Staton (sub Dickman 59 mins), Grant.


    The Stockport County website confirms that the County side which beat Alty Reserves on Saturday included Chris Williams, Michael Byrne and Bailey, who have all been in the first team, as well as McLachlan, a first teamer returning from injury. Matt Bailey, who spent a couple of months on loan to Alty last season was also in the County side. For more on this game, see the Alty Reserves' page. Alty face a more reasonable challenge on Saturday when they travel to Cheadle Town (3pm) - spectators are very welcome.


    Barrow's Forum is back on the air but "There will be no posts about any subject to do with any off the field activities except fund-raising".

    The BBC reports that "Forest Green have signed Worcester City midfielder Jon Holloway".

    The NW Evening Mail says that Lee Turnbull, manager of Barrow, is interested in Conference National neighbours Carlisle United's duo Paul Raven and Darren Kelly. Both central defenders have one year left on their contracts at Brunton Park, but are not expected to form part of Paul Simpson's first-team plans. Turnbull is understood to have offered 33-year-old Raven a position as player-coach. Carlisle boss Simpson said: 'I have spoken to the two players about it and it is something that interests them both, but they want to think about it more'... Following last Tuesday's 9-0 pre-season defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, Turnbull said he was eager to sign two new defenders".

    NL Daily says that "Redditch United are running the rule over former Aston Villa trainee David Bridgwater. A close friend of Redditch's recently-signed striker Paul Moore, Bridgwater had been training with Forest Green Rovers. He spent last season with TNS... Gary Whild, Redditch's assistant-manager, said: 'David would have to be something exceptional to be taken on board now, although he does have a good pedigree'".

    26 July 2004


    STAR is selling a "Nationwide North Founder Members' t-shirt... An heirloom to treasure and to wear with pride, proving that when the new league started, you were there. Designed by STAR, we are offering the t-shirt to other Nationwide North clubs to have printed in their team colours. Only £6.50 each!" For a picture and ordering details, visit the STAR site. 26 July 2004


    Left, is Colin Little and, right, is David Holt, both as seen at Chorley on Saturday.

    Alty travel to Ewen Fields to meet Hyde United of the UniBond Premier in a friendly tonight (Monday, 7.45pm). Hyde beat Gainsborough 5-2 on Saturday so it should be Alty's toughest test yet of the pre-season.

    On Thursday evening Alty travel to Bamber Bridge. Last Saturday, Brig beat Droylsden 2-1 and their team comprised, Andy Banks, Andy Farley (sub Danny Kent), Dave Leaver, Jamie Squires (sub Adam Lucas), Steve Macauley (sub Ross Bain), Glen Steel, Stewart Clitheroe (sub Mark Melling), Lee Cooper (sub Marshal Holding), Mark Wane (sub Barry Massay), Chris Ward (sub Stuart Honor) and Jimmy King.

    Directions to all the pre-season games are on the Friendlies page.


    Kettering Town report that "Paul Fewings has left the club. [Manager] Kevin Wilson thought it only right to inform Paul he wasn't in his plans for next season... 'There are no hard feelings on either side'", said Fewings.

    The Barrow Forum is "closed until at least Sunday. Further decisions on its future will be taken then. This is due to the potential threat of legal action".