Altrincham Football Club News Archive
7 to 11 August, 2004

11 August 2004


Alty have two league trips to Tameside next week. The times and fares for the STAR supporters' coach to Ashton (Monday 16th) and Stalybridge (Saturday 21st) are here. To book your seat, ring the club on 928-1045 or visit the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane on matchdays.


The new Altrincham FC kit for 2004-05 has still not been delivered by the manufacturers but is expected imminently. Once details of its availability for purchase are known, they will be posted here. The new kit will be broadly similar to last year's but with broader stripes, whilst the away kit will be yellow.


On Sunday (15th) Altrincham Youth will play a friendly against a young Merseyside team called The Farmers, who have been lined up as opposition by Alty first-team captain Mark Maddox. For more details, see the Youth Page.


Left: Altrincham will again be sponsored by Chairman Geoff Goodwin's coach company 'Go Goodwins' this season. As one of Geoff's hoardings looks down on the new Moss Lane pitch, injured striker Rod Thornley and Colin Potts have a chat before Friday's match against Blackburn Rovers.

The next match at Moss Lane is tomorrow (Thursday at 7pm) when Manchester United Reserves play Nottingham Forest Reserves. Then, on Saturday (14th), Altrincham kick off the Nationwide Conference North season at home to Gainsborough Trinity (3pm).

Alty are away next Monday at Ashton United. If you only watch the home games you miss some fo Alty's best performances and the players and management very much appreciate their travelling support. As usual, STAR will be organising coach travel to every away game, using Geoff Goodwins' luxury vehicles. Amongst other customers, Geoff's coaches are the official supplier of transport to the English Cricket Board so you might find yourself sitting in the same seat used by Freddie Flintoff or Michael Vaughan! If you have not used the STAR coach services previously you should be aware that they provide excellent value and comfort for your away journeys, with no worries about car parking or finding away stadiums and the vehicles are driven by friendly, experienced drivers. There is no alcohol on the coaches, which are scheduled to arrive in good time for kick-off and which set off home immediately after the game ends. On longer journeys, a brief snack-break is made en route. Every age group is catered for - passengers range quite literally from 8 years of age (or even younger) to 80 (or even older!). To book your seat, (advanced booking is necessary if you don't want to be disappointed), ring the club on 928-1045 or visit the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane on matchdays. Coach pick-up/drop-off points are The Vine, Sale; The Hare & Hounds, Timperley; opposite Station House, Altrincham and the ground at Moss Lane. Times are here.

Once again the club is grateful to STAR and, in particular, to Mark Eckersall, for organising the coach trips. The trips are not aimed at making a profit but at breaking even; their main objective is to ensure strong away support for the team.


Former Stoke midfielder Ryan Hutchinson, who ended last season at Altrincham, has now moved on loan from Leek Town to Chorley.


Recent reports that photographers at Conference matches would have to have a £5 million indemnity insurance and register with their home clubs have been clarified on Confguide. "Although the piece is correct, it seems to have caused undue worry among fans who take pictures from the terrace and stands. The status of such photography is unchanged. It's usually against the club's own conditions, and technically you'll need to seek permission from the home club. But provided that permission is forthcoming, then the licence situation doesn't apply, as you're not pitch-side. This situation is the same as before. The Conference says that: "The licence is there to protect the clubs and to protect the photographers who week in week out support the Nationwide Conference by supplying images to the local/national media. What it is designed to do, is to stop the photographers who take images and then commercially exploit them, giving nothing back to the competition or the clubs".


Runcorn FC Halton "may be kicking off the new season in last season's kit after Halton Borough Council's delayed decision that they will once again be shirt sponsors this season. The council only informed the club late last week that they will renew their sponsorship... This season Runcorn will have new home and away kits. The home kit has a yellow and green top, with green shorts and yellow socks, whilst the away kit has reverted back to a red and white top with red shorts and red socks".

Former Notts County defender Dennis Pearce has reportedly signed for Stafford Rangers from Peterborough United. Droylsden are believed to have signed goalkeeper Jon Worsnop, the Welsh Premier's goalkeeper of the year and Andy Lee- both formerly with Aberystwyth. Bradford PA have signed Dan Sheriffe from Frickley and hope to sign three more players by Saturday.

"The Evening Press reports that Harrogate Town manager John Reed is hoping to lure a striker from a Coca-Cola League Two club to Wetherby Road before ... Saturday". The Harrogate site says that manager John Reed "expects to pay more than the club record 4-figure transfer fee paid to Frickey Athletic for Lee Morris... He said: 'I'm trying to sign a lad from a Third Division club for a club record fee. He would get among the goals but there are other clubs after him'. Reed also states that he is delighted that Christian Fox, Leigh Wood and Paul Shepherd have signed for Town: 'Christian Fox is a wonderful footballer who Halifax were very interested in... Leigh Wood has also been an unbelievable signing along with Paul Shepherd... Our squad of 19 is giving me selection headaches with 2 or 3 places still up for grabs. They [Barrow] are the title favourites so we will probably know how close or far we are from where we want to be after that game'".

This is Worcs says that "After clinching the signing of left-back Les Hines", Worcester City manager John Barton...admitted: 'If I get my way there will be another new player in for Saturday and, if I pull it off, he will be a more than useful acquisition'". Hines scored for Hednesford in this year's Trophy Final. "It was from a free-kick, which enhanced his reputation for deadly set-pieces". Barton added: "It gives us more options. We have a young promising left-back in Shabir Khan and also Paul Carty who is just coming back from an operation". Hines is "the fifth summer signing following full-back Rob Warner, striker Christian Moore, winger Nick Colley and centre-half Colin Hoyle. Striker Mark Owen is due to see a specialist over his knee injury".

This is Worcestershire also reports that Redditch United manager Rod Brown "will be eager to put things right after Saturday's 4-1 defeat by Kidderminster Harriers but admits there is only so much he can do in friendly matches... Brown may even dip into the market again before the season kicks off proper as he looks for a left-sided defender".

The NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow's "Lee Turnbull said his shopping spree is over following the loan signings of Steve Flitcroft and Jonathan Smith... Turnbull said: 'That’s it now, but it may be with them coming on loan for a month that I still have an eye on one or two options. But I will give it another month and wait on Mark Salmon. He probably won’t be back for another two months, but you never know'".


Reports from Gateshead suggest that their chief backer, Mick Harland, has withdrawn his financial support and that the club may fold; let's hope these reports are premature. A public meeting was being held at the club last night to assess the situation.
10 August 2004


Colin Potts (right), 26, who made a surprise appearance for Altrincham in the friendly against Blackburn Rovers last Friday, has now signed for The Robins. Manager Graham Heathcote is delighted to have captured the skilful wingman, who along with other new signings Colin Little, Eddie Hussin, David Holt and Peter Wright will strengthen the side for the challenges of the Nationwide Conference North. Colin had recently rejoined Northwich Victoria after leaving Stalybridge Celtic so no announcement about his joining Altrincham could be made before his release from the Vics had been secured.

After being at Rochdale, Colin's former non-league clubs included Chorley (1998), Morecambe, Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City, prior to his joining Stalybridge Celtic. Colin moved to Northwich Victoria from Celtic in November 2003 but in February 2004 he returned to Stalybridge for £3,000. He spent the early summer training with Southport before making his bow with Altrincham last Friday.


Tonight's friendly match against a Stockport County XI at Moss Lane has been postponed due to the torrential rain and poor weather forecast. Alty's next game is on Saturday against Gainsborough Trinity- the first league match of the season.


Tony Spilsbury, who is helping George Heslop and Neil Thomason with the Altrincham FC Youth team this season, has kindly provided a report on Sunday's friendly game between Altrincham Youth, led by Paul Lewis (right) and Runcorn FA Youth. It can be found in the Youth section.


Alty meet Gainsborough on Saturday and This is Lincs reports on Trinity's recent goalless friendly with Bridlington in which "The Blues were missing Gareth Grant (broken hand), Lee Ellington (toe) and new signing Simon Bird (ankle). Of the three, Grant is the biggest doubt for the start of the new season next week. Mitchell was forced to play winger Matty Caudwell up front with youngster Brett Neilson, who has scored regularly for Trinity's U18s and reserves... Trinity fielded former Lincoln City striker Ben Dixon, who has agreed a 12 month contract, with Neil Allison at the back. Behind them goalkeeper Jamie Holmshaw had a fine afternoon... Trinity: Holmshaw, Purkiss (Parker), Burley, Allison, Dixon, Wood, Smith (Staton), Sherlock, Neilson (Luckett), Caudwell, Hurst".


NL Daily says that "In addition to his duties as team manager of Bradford Park Avenue, Carl Shutt has now also been appointed commercial manager... responsible for sponsorship, advertising and all other forms of commercial revenue, as well as managing the side on-the-field... With the help of assistant-manager Ian Roscrow, Shutt is currently assembling a young and talented side capable of making a strong impact in the coming season. Exciting new signings include American goalkeeper Andrew Britton, who played on loan from Sheffield United for the latter part of last season, and New Zealand international Allan Pearce, recently released by Lincoln City. "

"John Reed, manager of Harrogate Town, is hoping to sign former York City midfielder Christian Fox before the start of the season... Reed is also confident that Gary Williams's 'signature is imminent'. The former Accrington Stanley and Doncaster Rovers striker has returned to Harrogate following a trial with Scunthorpe United" reports Harrogate Town.

At the weekend, "Despite leading with two goals from Ged Courtney, Runcorn were unable to keep the advantage against Rhyl, and succumbed to a 3-2 defeat in blistering heat" states the club website.

"Ilkeston Town have paid an undisclosed four figure sum for [Hinckley] striker Justin Jenkins... Phil Stant, now manager at Ilson, obviously liked the look of the 16 goals Justin scored last season to become the club's top scorer. The writing was always on the wall for one of our strikers having signed Nathan Lamey and Paul Barnes in the close season, and when the offer came in for Justin it realistically had to be accepted. Assistant Manager Charlie Palmer said: 'In fairness we were a bit overloaded with strikers'", according to the Hinckley site.

The Holker St Newsletter [HSN] reports that "The loan deal which brought Accrington Stanley pair Jonathan Smith and Steve Flitcroft has signalled the end of Barrow's signings for the time being. Smith and Flitcroft are only here on a month's loan and at the end of that period there's likely to be further signatures if their loan isn't extended. During the course of the pre-season, Barrow's new signings have been Ian Kilford (Scunthorpe), Phil Rowland (Brigg Town), Jamie Patterson (Doncaster Rovers)".

The HSN adds, "Currently Barrow Football Club is being pulled apart as the current board and The Barrow AFC Progress Group fight for the members' vote. This leaves supporters divided and confused as to where the true heart of the club lies, and where they should place their trust when deciding its future. It was under these circumstances that a group of supporters came together to try and find where the good of Barrow AFC lay in all of this, and they came to the conclusion it lay with the supporters, regardless of whom they support, if any, in the current debate. We believe that whatever the result of the vote of no confidence, it is vital the supporters are represented on any future board, and beyond that come together to pool their influence through meaningful representation. To this end an open and public meeting is to be arranged".


The Radcliffe Forum reports on Boro's recent friendly in which there were "opportunities missed by Patterson and [Jamie] Baguley... Also Barry George [ex-Alty Youth keeper] had little or nothing to do in the match".
9 August 2004


Above, Stuart Coburn prepares to punch away a cross from Blackburn on Friday night.

Further picture below.

Match report

In The Pink Graham Heathcote says, "Having finished 14th and 12th in the UniBond in the last two seasons, our target now is to maintain that progress by climbing again. We know we're going to have to improve if we're to achieve that. Even though we'll find Ian Craney hard to replace, especially his goals, I feel that overall we might be stronger given the signings we've made".


Radcliffe boss Kevin Glendon "is poised to sign young ex-Stockport winger Jamie Baguley" says The Pink- Jamie was at Alty in pre-season and at the end of last season. Andy Dibble played on Saturday for Wrexham, Paul Edwards played for his new team Blackpool and Danny Adams was booked for Stockport.


The Pink reports that Droylsden are considering joining Curzon Ashton in the new stadium being build in Tameside. This follows Ashton United's failure to join the scheme.

"Three more signings have been made as manager Ernie Moss puts the finishing touches to his preparations for Hucknall Town's new season. But another, striker Danny Holland, might be snatched from under their noses by Grimsby Town. Within days of Holland, 22, signing for Hucknall, Grimsby... offered him a two-week trial at Blundell Park... Meanwhile, midfielders Frazer McHugh and Steve Palmer and defender Chris Timons have signed... Nottingham-born McHugh, 23, was released by Notts County... Palmer (27) joins Town from... Telford... The three new signings could signal the release by Moss of centre-back Nathan Winder and young midfielder Chris Davies, who have failed to impress during pre-season. Former Notts County goalkeeper James Lindley could also be on his way out, with Stafford Rangers the likely destination, as Moss makes it plain that new boy Matt Taylor, snapped up from Matlock Town, will be his number one... The list of possible recruits includes ex-players Russell Cooke plus youngsters Michael Plummer, Jordan Hall, Mark Smith, Ian Ward and Matt Draper. Also in the Watnall Road frame is left-sided utility player Paul Riley, 21, who has also been released by Notts County" reports Hucknall Today.

The NLP confirms that the new fast-track suspension system for players, which would see them banned immediately, will NOT apply to Conference North and South.

Anthony Wright, the Vauxhall Motors' player shot outside his home a week ago, has been released from hospital but ordered to rest.

8 August 2004


Above: Alty make a triple swap after 55 minutes: (left to right), Colin Potts, Gary Talbot and Barry Shuttleworth come on for (front to back) Ged Kielty, Eddie Hussin and Chris Adams. In the white shirt, bottom left corner, is Graeme Souness.

Match report

The official Blackburn Rovers site says in its match report that "A strong Rovers reserve team defeated Altrincham at Moss Lane last night to remain unbeaten throughout their pre-season campaign, but it wasn't all one way traffic against the Nationwide Conference North side".


Above: Mattie Tooth (3) wins the ball in the area, watched by Danny Grimshaw (16), Wayne Leather and in the background, James Marsden. With back to camera (foreground) is the 'linesman', Alty's Paul Monaghan.

Altrincham Reserves beat Wythenshawe Town 7-0 yesterday; see the Reserves' Page for a match report.


Former Robins' loan-striker Alex Hay, released by Tranmere, played for Rushden & Diamonds yesterday. Tim Ryan scored for Doncaster Rovers. UniBond Premier club Matlock Town confirm that "31-year-old striker Leroy Chambers has moved from Droylsden to Causeway Lane". The NL Daily adds that "Chambers damaged his ankle" in a recent friendly. Kevin Ellison was booked on his Chester City league debut.


Alty play Gainsborough next Saturday. In a goalless friendly yesterday "Bridlington Town dominated their game against visitors Gainsborough Trinity to remain unbeaten in the pre-season campaign" says Non-League Daily.

Bradford Park Avenue have signed forward Ben Jones and ex-York City midfielder Marc Thompson as well as New Zealand international striker Allan Pearce. Experienced midfielder Thompson... spent the first half of last season at Farnborough Town... A former trainee at Bradford City, Jones has played for Farsley Celtic and Gainsborough Trinity, and spent last season in the Welsh Premier with Aberystwyth Town". Pearce is a "21-year-old [who] was previously with Barnsley and Lincoln City, and has 12 caps for New Zealand at under-23 level, being joint highest scorer in his country's Olympic qualifying group competition".

"Phil Wilson, manager of Lancaster City, added another name to his squad for the new season... John Paul Stanhope signed for City... Stanhope, 23, spent most of last season with Colwyn Bay after joining from Marine in October. He has previous experience with the likes of Stalybridge Celtic, Connah’s Quay Nomads, Vauxhall Motors and Wrexham. Wilson is still on the lookout for perhaps one or maybe two players who would improve the squad he has at the moment". In thier win over Leigh RMI "Yet again the headlines were grabbed by Peter Thomson who scored his fourth and fifth goals of pre-season, but also missed a penalty... [but] Neil Uberschar... went to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder". After Morecambe withdrew from a friendly against City, a city spokesman said "We were disappointed that Morecambe pulled out... I would like to think clubs help one another in non-League but it is getting to appear that that does not appear to be the case" states Lancaster Today

7 August 2004


Trafford manager Danny Johnson heard "great news when he received a phone call from a certain Simon Woodford who told Danny that his operation has been a total success and he can start running in about 10 days. Danny added 'Simon was influential in his few appearances for us last season... He is a dedicated lad". Johnson added, after friendlies including one against Alty, "Although we are looking much stronger than last term, we still have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves serious title contenders. The Altrinchams, Mossleys and Woodleys of this world have proved during pre-season that we are not totally ready to make the step up to the next level just yet".

Kevin Ellison has walked into trouble at Chester City; just after signing from Stockport, City boss Mark Wright resigned.

As well as Mossley's inclusion of ex-Alty player Chris Downey in their recent game against Stockport, County had ex-Alty loan player Matt Bailey in their side. Matt has since joined Scunthorpe United on loan. A Mossley sub was another ex-Robin, Jason van Blerk.


"Dene Cropper has been snapped up by Worksop Town in a bid to end the Tigers’ goal shortage. The 21-year-old striker, who spent last season with Boston United after being released by Lincoln City, was manager Ronnie Glavin's first target after joining the club in May... It seals a return to the club for Cropper who played for the Tigers on loan from Sheffield Wednesday during the 2001/02 season. Also former Barnsley defender Brian O'Callaghan and ex-Falkirk man Steve Livorso have agreed terms with the club and will sign... Glavin hopes to also sign a defender at the weekend", says Worksop Today.

"Alfreton Town will begin the Nationwide North campaign with one piece of silverware, the Derbyshire FA Beneficiaries Cup, already in the trophy room. Alfreton won 5-2 at local derby rivals Matlock Town on Thursday night... The home side finished the game with nine players for the last 19 minutes after goalkeeper Joel Armstrong was sent-off for on 68 minutes for hand-ball outside his area and Leroy Chambers [ex-Alty] exited through injury on 74 minutes" reports NL Daily.

Hednesford have "secured the services of [Hucknall's] Leon McSweeney". However the Pitmen's "Midfielder Steve Palmer has left the club... to join up with Hucknall".

This is Staffs says that "Stafford Rangers are reporting record season ticket sales, an indication that the fans are relishing the prospect of renewing hostilities with old foes up north such as Altrincham, Runcorn FC Halton and Barrow, along with the new powerhouses in the shape of Hucknall Town and Alfreton Town... Player-manager Phil Robinson... is having to work within strict budget guidelines set down by the board... [and] one of the smallest squads the club has operated with in recent times". Robinson said "Make no mistake, this division is going to be extremely competitive... It is likely Rangers will start the season at Lancaster City with more or less the same squad who finished in third place in May, but the glaring exception is leading scorer Danny Davidson, who has joined Crawley Town... Robinson has brought in experienced defender Dennis Pearce, who was formerly with Notts County and Peterborough, and is in need of a goalkeeper since youngster Will Smith is the only recognised custodian on the books... Rangers will be looking to Craig Wilding and veteran striker Neil Grayson for goals, even though the latter is fast approaching his 40th birthday. Grayson's experience and undoubted predatory instinct is what Robinson is hoping will rub off on the others, particularly the younger element of Gary Fife, Glyn Blackhurst and Paul Rutter, any of whom could make a big breakthrough into a first-team regular". Robinson added, "I know our high tempo style leaves us open to bookings, but that is the way we play". Meanwhile "Off-the-field, Rangers have put in for planning permission to increase the capacity of the Marston Road main stand to 500, to extend the stand at the Macbel end, to give additional cover for fans and install crush barriers. At the Social Club end, a stand of cantilever construction the full width of the pitch and terracing is proposed".

"Ex-York City midfielder Leigh Wood signed for Harrogate Town earlier this week... Another player to put pen to paper is centre half Chris Ellerker from Knaresborough Town."

Stalybridge Celtic's "trip to Bangor has been cancelled... The Celts are reeling from their first injury crisis of the season with no fewer then EIGHT players unavailable for Saturday with varying degrees of injury. Dean Calcutt and Chris Denham were already missing from Tuesday's win over Hyde, and Terry Bowker and Danny Caldecott... picked up knocks. After the game Gregg Pearce, Kevin Parr, Andy Hayward and Craig Dootson were all declared unavailable".

"Mossley manager Jason Beckford saw enough... on Tuesday night to offer left sided player John Hore terms for the coming season. 21 year old Liverpudlian born Hore was a regular in Kettering Town's team last season but has recently signed up for study at University in Manchester. He began his playing career with Carlisle United and then played for Gretna".