Altrincham Football Club News Archive
2 to 6 August, 2004

6 August 2004


Tonight's match is the first of seven in eleven days for Alty fans: The other six are:
  • Sat. 7th, Alty Reserves play a friendly at Wythenshawe Town (3pm).
  • Sun. 8th, Runcorn v Alty Youth at The Pavilions, Runcorn, 2pm.
  • Tues. 10th: Alty v Stockport County XI (7.45pm, Moss Lane)
  • Thurs. 12th: Man Utd Res v Aston Villa Res at Moss Lane (7pm)
  • Sat. 14th: Altrincham v Gainsborough Trinity (3pm) - first league match of season.
  • Mon. 16th: Ashton United v Altrincham (7.45pm)


    You can order your Conference North Founder-Member t-shirt, produced by STAR, at tonight's friendly at Moss Lane. The t-shirt carries the names of all the new division's founder members and is a bargain at £6.50 - see the STAR site for details.


    "Less than a year after admitting they weren’t ready for Conference football, Alfreton Town have confirmed that they have applied for promotion to the Nationwide Conference National Division this time around... Chairman Wayne Bradley explained: 'Last season there were two reasons why we didn’t apply. Number one was that after two successive promotions, we didn’t think we could get the Impact Arena ready in time in terms of the necessary upgrades, and number two was the fact that we didn’t think we had the support levels in place to support the move... The level of support is one still to be answered by the community. A figure of 600 and over per home league game this season will give us a great fighting chance. If we are to progress again this season - for what would be a staggering fourth time in a row, we are going to have to do it against the odds... Should we gain promotion to the Conference... We would have to get 1000 people for each home game in order to survive. But it is not just a matter of survival, it is a matter of wanting to progress once there".

    NL Daily reports that "Simon Bird (21) looks set to pen a deal with Gainsborough Trinity after a spectacular two-goal display in the Blues' 5-2 drubbing of his former club, Lincoln United... 'I'm impressed with the set-up at Gainsborough and hopefully I'll get signed on for the new season which starts next week', said Bird, who has recently returned from a three-year sports scholarship programme in the USA... Another to impress for Trinity was Ben Dixon. The former Lincoln City defender has been linked with a return to Sincil Bank, but played alongside Allison for the Blues in the centre of defence", reports This is Lincs.

    Like Runcorn, Nuneaton Borough are offering annual subscriptions to their matchday programme "including the official team sheet for each match. Programmes will be posted to you throughout the season on a regular basis. Home Matches only £65, Away Matches only £65, Home & Away £120.00".

    Bradford PA, also, "have submitted an application to join the Nationwide Conference... Avenue's managing Director Phil Lawler said, 'This is costing the club money, but we feel it is the right thing to do, and shows the supporters and other clubs in the league that we mean business. Although there is still much work to be carried out at Horsfall Stadium to meet the required ground grading, we hope to be sufficiently far enough advanced with our future stadium plans by the end of the season to be able to convince the Conference that we are worthy of a place, should we finish in a promotion position in Nationwide North'".

    IC Cheshire Runcorn boss Chris Lightfoot says "There are always one or two surprises, and hopefully we can be one of them. We will certainly be having a decent go... Things are looking good... The likes of Stafford, Worcester and Nuneaton are all having a good go and spending a few bob, and we know the campaign is going to be difficult... I think Liam [Watson at Southport] is trying to be the Abramovich of the lower leagues. He is buying all the best players and spending all the money! Southport must start red-hot favourites".

    This is Worcester reports that Worcester City's "Mark Owen has been referred to a specialist amid fears his knee injury is worse than first thought. The Worcester City striker was already ruled out of the build-up to the forthcoming Nationwide North campaign... Manager John Barton... will have further talks with trialist left-back Les Hines today. The 27-year-old ex-Aston Villa, Kidderminster, Halesowen and Hednesford defender is being chased by a clutch of clubs, including City rivals Redditch, Nuneaton and Moor Green... With doubts over Paul Carty's fitness, and teenager Shabir Khan boasting only a handful of first team games, Barton is looking to bolster his options and the experienced Hines appears top of his wanted list".


    Derek Ward, who has been twice at Moss Lane but never played for the Robins is still at Cammell Laird for whom he played recently in a 3-2 win over Northwich Vics.


    Confguide reports that "Northwich Victoria have said that the person reporting the club's demise on its forum is a hoaxster. A 'statement' was published on Tuesday claiming to be from club chairman David Stone. The club says that it was a hoax, according to the Chester Chronicle... However, the club does seem to be in some trouble. Major work has halted on the development of the new Victoria Stadium, and the 'imminent' club takeover has been 'imminent' for rather a long time. The club has taken its forum offline, claiming there are 'technical' reasons".

    IC Cheshire says that Vics' "takeover is progressing, albeit excruciatingly slowly. The man behind the takeover is Mike Connett, the businessman father of Vics' goalkeeper Ben Connett. He was unavailable for comment. What's more, stories that Vics have asked Witton for an extension to their groundsharing agreement at Wincham Park are not true... [Manager Steve] Burr aims to sign ex-Doncaster Rover striker Tristan Whitman this week and he will lead the Northwich attack alongside Mark Quayle [ex-Alty] against Witton Albion in the Mid-Cheshire FA Cup final... To try and create leeway in his budget, Burr has transfer-listed fans' favourite Mark Devlin, player-of-the-year Mark Foran, midfielder Richard Norris and striker Chris Thompson... Wincham Park, meanwhile, is fast becoming the centre of attention for house builders". A Witton spokesman said "Yes, we have talked to three developers and they are all keen to give us an option payment. But the £50,000 they would give us is not that important. We do not need it". Former Alty chairman Mark Harris, now a director at Witton is cited as believing that any extension to the Vics' groundshare at Wincham Park should be seen as "a business deal... rather than [in] a partisan light".

    5 August 2004


    Right: Sean Smith (11) back in action at Crossford Bridge

    Match report.


    Matthew Bailey netted for Stockport in their 4-4 draw at Mossley this week. He has also been given first-team squad number 35.


    NL Daily says that "Lincoln United fielded a largely experimental side against local rivals Gainsborough Trinity...on Tuesday night and came off worse. Trinity... led 4-0 at half time... [Ex-Alty man] Lee Ellington showed some good footwork before rounding the keeper to slot in Trinity’s fifth".

    "Hinckley United [gained] a comfortable 5-1 win away at Leicestershire Senior League side Ellistown" whilst "Harrogate Town recorded a 5-1 win at West Yorkshire League side Knaresborough Town... A new face on view for Harrogate was former York City midfielder Christian Fox" says their website. NLD adds that "Another Nationwide North outfit, Moor Green, returned to winning ways thanks to two superb strikes from Darren Middleton at neighbours Solihull Borough", whilst "Goals from Andy Hayward, Phil Eastwood and Nathan Wharton gave Stalybridge Celtic the Ray Stanley Memorial Shield against Tameside neighbours Hyde United".

    Harrogate Town report that "Gary Williams will not be joining Scunthorpe United following his appearance for them in a 2-0 friendly win at Brigg Town on Tuesday. Manager Brian Laws told This is Scunthorpe 'Unfortunately... Williams is not what we're looking for'. Williams, who has been training with Harrogate Town during the pre-season, picked up a hamstring injury during the match. Both Marc Smith and Dominic Kreif were also injured on Tuesday evening".

    At Barrow "The Secretary's office at Holker Street was hidden under a mound of paperwork last night as several players signed new deals... Graham Anthony signed his 2-year Contract, while Lee Turnbull has shown his faith in up and coming local talent by securing the trio of Guy Heffernan, Mike Kewley and Gareth Simpson also on 2 year contracts. Mark Salmon will remain on non-contract terms until his return to fitness following his shoulder operation but sadly Simon Shaw has now left the club after a re-currence of an injury problem... Jamie Paterson has now formally signed from Doncaster Rovers, while Leyland-based Ian Kilford tied up the loose ends following his release from Scunthorpe United. Meanwhile Lee Turnbull is in negotiations with a Nationwide Conference (National) club over the services of a central defender. The player himself is keen to come to Holker Street. It is hoped that a deal can be sorted before Saturday's final pre-season friendly at Morecambe".

    4 August 2004


    The full season's NWYA league fixtures for Altrincham Youth are in the Youth section. Home league games are played at Wythenshawe Town FC, next to Tesco at Baguley and entry is free. Games are usually at 2pm every Sunday. Entry is via Timpson Road, the road immediately behind the Tesco car park, accessed from Southmoor Road. Manager George Heslop and coach Neil Thomason have again assembled a strong squad for 2004-05.


    Pictured above are Alty Reserves' midfielders 'Adayo' (left) and Jamie Almond (centre), with Stevie Taylor in the background. Cheadle Town's former Alty midfielder Martin McDonald is seen on the right in a picture taken at Saturday's friendly. Adayo and Jamie are expected to be in the squad tonight for the game against Old Alts. Watching them closely on Saturday was Derek Wilshaw (white shirt), the man whose voice you will most often hear if you ring Altrincham FC. Derek gives many hours of his time every week to help out in the club office.


    Mike Cockayne, author of Derby County: the Clough years, (which he sold at the Altrincham FC 'bring & buy sale' last season and kindly gave a percentage of the proceeds to the club), has contacted the website to say:

    "I attended a charity game for the Human BSE Foundation in my home town of Belper on August 1st. I was delighted to see that the Robins' football trust (STAR) was one of the few trusts who had sent in a message of support to the organisers. Well done Brian Flynn and all concerned". Mike Cockayne, Alty fan /football author.

    Meanwhile STAR members are being notified by post of the Trust's AGM, which will be on Friday 10 September at 7pm in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The AGM will be followed by a quiz and an open forum. If you have not yet (re-)joined STAR, please visit their website to do so.


    Stalybridge Celtic "have today tabled a bid for Shrewsbury striker Jody Banim. The former Radcliffe striker has been transfer-listed at his own request... Banim is on the list for a five figure sum and Celtic have declared a definite interest in signing him. Jody was at Bower Fold on Saturday to discuss personal terms and negotiations with both him and Shrewsbury Town are ongoing".

    Runcorn have completed the signing of right full back Lee Prior. The 26 year old...has signed from West Cheshire League outfit Newton FC".

    Lancaster City were supposed to play Morecambe last night but "Morecambe called the match off at 12.30 on Monday because they have only 9 fit players [and] City will now play Leigh RMI" nstead. The Morecambe site confirms that "manager Jim Harvey is currently worried about the fitness of 11 players for the coming season".

    Bradford PA' s manager ""Carl Shutt has announced the signing on contract of two more players" - Andy Quinn and US goalkeeper Andrew Britton.

    Barrow's woes continue as the NW Evening Mail says that the club "could face a fine after being hauled up in front of the FA and told to clean up their disciplinary problems. The Bluebirds finished bottom of last season's Unibond Premier Division fair play league with over 100 yellow and nine red cards... The club have now promised to impose a stricter code of conduct, which will include fining players who step out of line on the pitch. The FA may, however, still decide to fine AFC. They are expected to decide whether to take such action within the next week to 10 days".

    3 August 2004


    Altrincham play Old Altrinchamians (Old Alts) tomorrow, Wednesday at 7pm, at Crossford Bridge, Sale, which is accessed via Danefield Road, off Dane Road. Alty's side will be a mix of first-teamers and the newly formed reserves. The latter are expected to include right-back and reserves' captain James Marsden, centre-back George Melling, midfielders 'Adayo', Levi Kennedy and Jamie Almond. It is also hoped that new first-team signing Eddie Hussin from Marine will be fit to make his debut for Altrincham following his summer knee-wash operation. The team will be managed by Dalton Steele as Graham Heathcote is on holiday.

    Old Alts finished second last season in the Air Miles Manchester League Division One, netting more than 3 a game with Ray Nevins hitting 35 goals alone. So, this campaign they start in the Premier Division.


    Non-League Daily says that "Former Stoke City winger, Ryan Hutchinson (left), who spent the back end of last season at Altrincham, contacted [Leek Town] last week after missing much of pre-season training. And, after talking things through... Hutchinson was given a run-out on Saturday ... and is set to make a further appearance at Alsager Town on Tuesday".

    Woodley Sports have two ex-Alty first-teamers in their ranks now: striker Anthony Hargreaves and "new recruit Adewale Ajetunmobi (right) [who] scored two well deserved goals".

    The Mossley website confirms that Chris Downey (at Alty last season) is still there and scoring regularly in pre-season. The Lilywhites drew 1-1 with Droylsden recently. Another ex-Robin, from the late 1990s, Steve Tobin has joined Mossley from Skelmersdale United. Ex-Alty youth and reserves' keeper Dale Newbrook is still at Trafford with their Reserves side.


    The Conference North Forum reports that "Clubs had until 1 August to apply for the Conference [National]. Any Club which has a Grade A ground and achieves promotion at the end of this season will be promoted. A Club with a B grade ground which achieves a promotion place will also be promoted providing that they have all the necessary planning consents etc. to develop their ground to achieve an A Grade. They will then be given 12 months to achieve this and I assume they will be demoted at the end of the following season if they fail to do so. There are quite a few Clubs in Conference North who do not have either a Grade A or a Grade B ground at present but have been allowed in on the basis of their respective UniBond or Dr. Martins League gradings. These Clubs would not be allowed promotion and unless they achieve a Grade B by 1 May 2007, will be demoted back to their respective feeder leagues. I would suspect that the Clubs most at risk in this scenario would be Moor Green and Vauxhall Motors as they at present have the least developed grounds in Conference North, although there is still plenty of time for everyone to do the necessary work".

    Worksop Today says that "Tigers' boss Ronnie Glavin has been encouraged by Worksop's performances in both pre-season games... So far the Worksop boss has 13 players signed... He said: 'The players have still got to get their fitness levels up... You may only rate certain players as a 4 or a 5 at the moment but as we near the start of the season those scores will go up to 9s and 10s. We are training as much as we can'... Glavin is still on the lookout for at least four more players... 'Strikers are still my priority', he added".

    This is Worcs says that Worcester City "manager John Barton has raided former club Burton Albion to beef up Worcester City's leaky defence with the capture of experienced stopper Colin Hoyle. The 32-year-old becomes the club's fourth summer signing" Barton said "I've been concerned about the number of goals we've been conceding, both in pre-season and at the end of last season". "Hoyle began his career at Arsenal... Trialist Jamie Gosling pulled out of Friday's Evesham match after securing a trial at Hereford United".

    This is Staffs confirms that "Stafford Rangers' leading scorer Daniel Davidson has joined Conference newboys Crawley Town... on a two-year contract... Davidson scored 23 goals last season".

    On IC Southport, Sandgrounders' boss Liam Watson says "When I took the job at Southport I thought I knew how big it was but on and off the pitch I have realised the club is larger than I anticipated and the potential enormous... With our training facilities at the Everton academy and the Victoria we will be the envy of most clubs outside the Football League... Results are not the be all and end all in pre-season and I could take positives out of both the weekend Burscough draw and the 3-2 defeat at Radcliffe.. In a way I'm glad certain things did happen at Radcliffe because it was a warning that no one can be complacent".

    Harrogate Today says that "Harrogate Town are hoping to conclude the signing of ex-WBA defender Paul Raven from Carlisle United early this week following a successful trial period". Managing director Nigel Pleasants said "We have been talking to Paul with a view to joining us but we cannot conclude a deal until John Reed returns from holiday." He also "revealed that York City's Leigh Wood is set to put pen-to-paper on a permanent deal". Also, "the on-off saga with Hull City's Clayton Donaldson looks on again after Peter Taylor's men agreed to his release for an initial three months."

    After Alty's narrow 4-3 win at Bamber Bridge, Preston Today reports that "Brig [were] unlucky not to earn [a] draw with [Lancaster] City" whose side comprised Speare, Clarke, Scott, Sparrow, Murphy, Bauress, Sullivan, Jones, Thomson, Black, Prince. Subs: Uberschar, Elderton, McMahon, Jack, Stanhope and Lock.


  • Byron Benton (Stafford R. to AFC Telford)
  • Thomas Griffin (Stafford R. to AFC Telford)
  • Kevin Welsby (Lancaster C. to AFC Telford)
  • Shaun Murray (Hinckley U. to Belper T.)
  • Gary Ingham (Gainsborough T. to Belper T.)
  • Ben Walker (Worksop T. to Belper T.)


    Radcliffe Borough report that "Shrewsbury have released Jody Banim from his current contract. Banim left Radcliffe last December for a record fee of around £20,000". Manager Kevin Glendon "has agreed to let striker Josh Mitten move on to Ashton United".
    2 August 2004


    Former Alty winger Kevin Ellison has moved from Stockport County to Chester City says the BBC. Ellison finished last season on loan at Lincoln City. He left Alty for Leicester City for £50,000 in February 2001 and made a Premier League debut as a sub at Old Trafford just 7 weeks after leaving Moss Lane. Later in 2001 he moved on to Stockport County where he made 37+15 appearances and scored 2 goals.


    There are more details and photos of the newly reformed Altrincham Reserves' squad on the Reserves Page. Pictured right is Reserves' captain James Marsden. For details of their game on Saturday, see below...


    NL Daily reports that Matlock Town used Droylsden's ex-Alty striker Leroy Chambers as a trialist in a "comfortable victory against Long Eaton United".

    "New Congleton goalkeeper Ryan McMahon made two outstanding saves, but Southport wasted two golden opportunities to claim victory" reports This is Staffs. Ryan played once for Alty's first team, in the FA Cup defeat by Mossley in 2000.


    IC Cheshire reports that Runcorn FC Halton's "Player-boss Chris Lightfoot remains confident former Republic of Ireland U21 international Kieron Durkan will be fit for Runcorn's Conference North opener against Redditch United. The Linnets' new hometown signing, from Weston Point, went off in Tuesday's defeat by Northwich Victoria with a recurrence of his hamstring problem after missing the previous two warm-up games... Lightfoot said: 'Everyone else came through OK... Centre back Peter Ellis was absent in midweek while 6ft 4in central defender John Robertson, who has been brought in from Lancaster City, hasn't featured - he is on honeymoon... Lightfoot remains keen to sign utility man Matt Smith (ex-Leicester) and former Hednesford player Carl Brown, who is versatile on the left... The Linnets' boss [added] 'I'd also like to sign Lee Prior, who has been playing right wing-back because he has been excellent... I am hoping to have at least 20 signed on and there are going to be lads who aren't happy but it's up to me to keep them all sweet... I am struggling with my ankles... But I have two centre forwards in Lee Kissock and Carl Rendell on the bench and both are itching for a game'".

    Barrow’s Michael Rankine is on trial with Scunthorpe United and scored in their friendly against Halifax Town.

    From This is Worcester comes news that "Worcester City are still looking for their first pre-season victory after a narrow 3-2 defeat at neighbours Evesham United... City looked good going forward at times, but it's their defensive play which will be giving manager John Barton plenty to think about with the new season only two weeks away. At the moment City simply don't know how to handle a long straight ball from the opposition".

    In contrast, "Stafford Rangers extended their unbeaten run in pre-season to seven matches" at the weekend, says This is Staffs.

    The NW Evening Mail says that the Barrow "futures of Michael Oliver and Simon Shaw are to be decided within the next nine days. Both have been asked by manager Lee Turnbull to prove their fitness in pre-season before being offered new deals at the club... Midfielder Oliver was asked to prove his fitness after a disappointing first season at the Holker Street club". And, manager "Lee Turnbull is refusing to speculate about his possible future at the club should the current board be ousted. Five businessmen, including shirt sponsor Colin Moore, have formed the Barrow AFC Progress Group and are attempting to replace the current board of directors".