Altrincham Football Club News Archive
12 to 15 August, 2004

15 August 2004


Alty Youth lost today, 1-2, to a Liverpool side, The Farmers, in a game arranged by Mark Maddox. Details and pictures on the Youth Page.


  • Monday 16th: Ashton Utd v Altrincham (Conf. North), 7.45pm. Click Away Travel link for supporters' coach details.
  • Wednesday 18th: Altrincham Reserves v Lancaster City Res (Lancs League) at Abbey Hey, 7.45pm.


    There is a brief match report on the Reserves' game at Workington, courtesy of manager Neil Brown on the Reserves' Page.


    Moss Lane has boasted the best organised group of ball boys and girls in the UniBond for several years and coordinator Ray Armstrong is keen to retain that title in Conference North. If anyone would like to join the team, please contact Ray at any home game or contact the club during office hours on 928-1045. Ray and two of his ball-boys are pictured behind Colin Potts on the picture elsewhere on this page,


    STAR's Mark Murray (back to camera) displays his STAR Nationwide North t-shirt as Colin Little receives his Man of the Match award from Dave Tracey and a female colleague. The commemorative t-shirts are just £6.50 from STAR and have been selling to several clubs in the Nationwide North division.

    Mark has prepared stickers for the STAR seat sponsorship scheme and these will be added to the seats in the stand very shortly.


    In The Pink Graham Heathcote explains how he had been tracking Colin Potts for months before signing him last week in a deal which leaves Alty fans "licking their lips at the prospect of seeing Potts flying down the right wing while Colin Little... weaves his magic on the left". Graham said "I've learned from experience that, if you wait, some really good players become available just days before the season starts and that's exactly what happened in Colin's case... Hopefully that patience will be rewarded. I'm opitimistic it will be, as Colin has certainly torn us apart a few times while playing for Stalybridge".


    Carl Furlong got Droylsden's injury-time equaliser against Moor Green. Ryan Gilligan, an Alty reserve three years ago, was sent off for Flixton. Lee Thompson scored for Skelmersdale as did Gareth Strange for Atherton LR. Andy McDonald played for Woodley Sports and Chris Timons for Hucknall, Tony Sullivan for Lancaster and James Glendenning was a Vauxhall sub. Ian Craney made his Conference National bow for Accrington, as did Marc Whiteman in Conf. South for Lewes. Mark Quayle played for the Vics whilst ex-Alty players in league action yesterday included Danny Adams (Stockport), Kevin Ellison (Chester), Andy Dibble (Wrexham), Paul Edwards (Blackpool), Mike Pollitt (Rotherham), Alex Hay (who also scored for Rushden) and Matt Bailey, a sub for Scunthorpe.
    14 August 2004


    Even 65 minutes into this game, you would have got very long odds against this result as Alty trailed to a well-taken Lee Ellington first-half goal. At that point Marcus Hallows had been stripped off for several minutes ready to come on as a sub before the mangement duo decided not to make a change. This, in hindsight, inspired non-substitution led to four goals in the final 25 minutes which transformed the game as Alty came to life.

    Despite winning the corner count 8-0 in the first half, Trinity had soaked up the pressure well and Ellington and Caudwell looked lively on the break. But, after a farcical corner which saw Aspinall underhit the ball to Rose, who missed it altogether, the ball ran loose to Potts whose low drive into the corner of the net from the edge of the box made it 1-1 (66 mins). After a quiet first half Potts came to life in the second period and it was his pass that set up Peter Wright for the second Alty goal after a defensive error (69 mins). The Gainsborough defence fell apart in the closing stages and a fine pass from Potts saw Wright beat the keeper to the ball and net goal number three (84 mins). In the third minute of added time Colin Little became Alty's third debutant to score when good work by Hallows and Wright set him up.

    Match report here

  • Alty go top of the table!
  • Alty line-up
  • Alty statistics

    After the game Peter Wright (left) and Colin Potts (right) leave the pitch.

    Saturday 14 August- Conference North:

  • Alfreton T. 2 Bradford PA 1
  • ALTRINCHAM 4 Gainsborough T. 1
  • Droylsden 2 Moor Green 2
  • Harrogate T. 2 Barrow 1
  • Kettering T. 3 Hucknall T. 1
  • Lancaster C. 1 Stafford R. 0
  • Nuneaton B. 1 Ashton U. 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 0 Redditch U. 1
  • Southport 2 Vauxhall M. 1
  • Worcester C. 1 Hinckley U. 1
  • Worksop T. 1 Stalybridge C. 1


    Altrincham will hope to pick up where they ended last season, when they finished the season with a win over Runcorn FC Halton. The celebrations are shown above: L to R: Steve Lunt, Peter Band, Stuart Coburn, Matt Bailey. Centre: Ged Kielty, Gary Talbot, Stephen Rose, Marcus Hallows, Jamie Baguley. Front: Stuart Wright, Ian Craney, Gary Scott.


    This is Staffs reports that ex-Alty keeper "Ben Williams is delighted he is being kept busy by Crewe's tough start to the new campaign... 'Personally, I'm very disappointed to concede five goals in two games'" he added.


    The brown sauce is off: a north west non-league odyssey is a recently published book by Mike Blackstone, who is Exeter City’s match programme editor. It comprises 212 pages with 80 illustrations and chronicles a trip around the non-league grounds of the North West during the 2003-04 season. Mike "visits clubs who play in competitions ranging from the Aegon U.K. West Lancashire League to the Nationwide Conference; from the Coors/WPRC Mid-Cheshire League to the Unibond League; and from the Air Miles Manchester League to the North West Counties League". The book is available from the author at 3 Norton Drive, Heysham, Morecambe, Lancashire LA3 1PH. Price is £11.99 plus £1 p+p.


    Runcorn boss Chris Lightfoot told IC Cheshire, "I think we will be one of the favourites to be the whipping boys but that doesn't bother me, not at all. I think I've got a decent squad, a decent set of players and there isn't any reason why we shouldn't do OK... The chairman has put his hands in his pockets again and has upped the budget, allowing me to bring a few players, which is great, to be fair". The report adds that "Kieron Durkan is still struggling with the hamstring problem... [ex-Alty youngster] Lee Kissock could be the player to benefit by slotting in alongside his former Vauxhall strike partner Nicky Young, with Ged Courtney just behind them....Lightfoot added: 'Even some of the teams we played last season will have changed formations and players and we will be going into the first few games a little bit blindly'".

    Lancaster manager Phil Wilson told Lancaster Today "I think we have got to be looking to try and get in the play-offs... This is a new league and for three or four weeks everybody is going to be having a good look at everybody else... I have been reasonably happy in the pre-season games and we have played quite a lot of really good football... You can never tell until after the first game... It is a step up from the UniBond Premier League. There are a lot of new teams and it would be nice to get a few more fans through the gate".

    Alty travel to Hinckley's 'old' ground on Bank Holiday Monday. The Hinckley Times reports that "With a new, impressive state-of-the-art stadium due to open later this year, United are hoping to build on last season's sixth place finish in the Dr Martens Premier Division with another solid campaign. A host of fresh faces have been brought in by manager Dean Thomas". Thomas said "Gavin Stone has got a back problem so he won't be involved on Saturday... Up front obviously I've got a lot of options with Matt Lewis, Paul Barnes, Chris Smith and Nathan Lamey... I think a top-eight place is realistic". Meanwhile, "Season ticket sales at United are up 30% on last year".

    In the Tameside Advertiser "Droylsden supremo Dave Pace said 'Everyone will know Barrow, Southport and Kettering will be strong, but we have got nothing to fear and we are looking to win it'... On their way out are Danny Warner and Leroy Chambers, but coming in are Carl Serrant and [winger] Andy Lee" from Aberystwyth but formerly with Chester.

    Stalybridge boss Dave Miller "is optimistic that Celtic can mount a serious challenge this year if they enjoy the luck sorely lacking last term. He said: 'Barrow, Southport and Stafford Rangers are the three favourites... The Stafford boss said in the paper last week that they haven’t signed anyone during the summer and would be happy to finish halfway... We don’t know much about the Midlands clubs'... Having added Dean Calcutt, Paul Sykes and Tony Whealing to his squad over the summer, Miller is still looking for extra players". However, Jody Banim will not be joining Celtic, having now gone on loan to Accrington. Also disappointed by this are Harrogate Town as "The Harrogate Advertiser reveals today that "the striker from a Coca-Cola League Two club that manager John Reed was hoping to sign before the start of the season was Shrewsbury Town's Jody Banim... Reed is also still interested in bringing Matlock Town striker Danny Holland to Wetherby Road. Holland has featured for Hucknall Town during the pre-season".

    Celtic report that Miller "will be bringing a player who was with a 1st Division club last season to the club in the next week. Chris Denham will miss at least the first two months of the season after doctors confirmed he has suffered a broken leg. Chris has been told to rest completely and not to attempt any exercise for at least six weeks... Danny Caldecott picked up an injury in the game against Hyde and will have to see an orthopaedic specialist to determine its extent... Dave Miller will also watch the first three games from the stand, having been banned as a result of his gentle enquiry to the referee as to why the penalty was given at Vauxhall". Celtic's third game is against Alty.

    Alan Bartlam, chairman of Vauxhall Motors told IC Cheshire, "It is stunning to think that just over four years ago, we were still playing North West Counties League football, and now we are on the verge of playing Conference football in this new, vibrant competition - and the competition will be intense... The club is now hoping the crowds at Rivacre Park will turn up in their droves and reflect the hard work by staff that has been going on behind the scenes during the summer".

    Bradford PA boss Carl Shutt "has added four more players to his squad in readiness for Saturday's opening match of the new season. Central defender Karl Colley, was previously with Halifax Town, Kettering Town, Sheffield United and Newcastle United. Former Rotherham United player Gareth Clayton skippered a young Rotherham side against Avenue in a pre-season friendly match in July 2003. 18 year old Sheffield-born Adam Oldham is a former England Youth International who played alongside Wayne Rooney. Formerly with Barnsley, he put in some impressive performances in defence and midfield in this year's pre-season friendlies. 16 year old midfielder Paddy Mumbley is a local Bradford boy of whom much is expected in the future".

    This is Staffs says that "Stafford Rangers have clinched the signing of goalkeeper James Lindley in time for tomorrow's club debut in the newly-formed Conference North at Lancaster. Lindley left Rangers at the back end of last season for Hucknall, but did not play a competitive game... Rangers' player-manager Phil Robinson has run the rule over Lancaster and said: 'We will have to counter a physical element, but they also have a lively front line, so we will have to be careful'".

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow "manager Lee Turnbull will hold talks with defender Paul Raven tonight about his possible future at the club". Raven (33) has been released by Carlisle United. "Turnbull has already offered the Doncaster-based player a pay as you play deal. Raven is, however, undecided as to what he wants to do and is even believed to be considering hanging up his boots to concentrate on his business".


    This is Nottingham reports on Forest Reserves' 2-0 defeat by Man. Utd. Reserves at Moss Lane last Thursday... Forest used the game to run the rule over Gilbert Prilasnig, the experienced Austrian international, but he failed to shine against a youthful United side. The 29-year-old midfield man, who played for Sturm Graz against United in the 2000-01 Champions League, was replaced by Ryan Handbury in the 65th minute". The attendance was 244.
    13 August 2004


    According to the MEN "Colin Potts is likely to be named as substitute... against Gainsborough but fellow new boys Colin Little, Peter Wright and Eddie Hussin (right) are all expected to start. Graham Heathcote will have to juggle his resources at the back as skipper Mark Maddox is suspended along with fellow defenders Gary Talbot and Barry Shuttleworth". Mark is out for 4 games in all, Gary for 2, and Barry just for tomorrow's match.


    Leaving aside Danny Murphy and Sean Smith who are recovering from long lay-offs, Altrincham have the following 21 players in their first-team squad. More details of each player are on the squad page. Five subs can be named in Conference North games.

  • Goalkeepers: Richard Acton, Stuart Coburn
  • Right backs: Steve Aspinall (also right-midfield), Gary Scott (also right-midfield)
  • Left-backs: Chris Adams, Barry Shuttleworth (also left-midfield)
  • Centre-backs: Peter Band (also any other position except goalkeeper!), Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot
  • Central midfield: Eddie Hussin, Ged Kielty, Stephen Rose (also centre-back, right-back)
  • Wide men/ strikers: David Holt, Colin Little, Colin Potts, Stuart Wright
  • Strikers: Marcus Hallows, Niell Hardy, Kieran Lugsden, Rod Thornley (injured), Peter Wright

    The newcomers this season are Hussin (from Marine), Holt (Stockport County), Little (Halifax T.), Potts (Northwich V.) and Peter Wright (Northwich V.). Of last season's players, Ian Craney has left (to Accrington) and Steve Lunt is taking a break from football.


    "Paul Mitchell, manager of Gainsborough Trinity, has had a relatively quiet summer compared with many other bosses. However, he has tied-up four new players just ahead of the new campaign. states NL Daily. Mitchell has, as expected, secured the services of 21-year-old striker Simon Bird, formerly with Lincoln United, after he had impressed in pre-season after returning from America where he was at university and played for Louisville Cardinals. Also joining on a twelve-month contract are Ben Dixon, Danny Wood and Jamie Sherlock. Classy, left-sided defender, Dixon signed for Whitby in November 1998 from Singapore club Woodlands Wellington... Hull-born defender Sherlock helped Brigg Town to a number of honours after joining from neighbours North Ferriby United in the summer of 2002. He was then signed by Conference side Scarborough in August 2003...and became a regular member of their first-team squad".


    SAM reports on Alty's friendly against Blackburn Rovers. Gary Scott said. "Blackburn had a lot of the ball and more possession but they didn't actually hurt us a lot. As a team we were a lot better, we were a lot tighter and worked harder for each other. Last year we did that against the top teams and it was the bottom teams where we didn't do so well". Eddie Hussin added, "If you needed a test I think playing against Tugay and Thompson provided that. Personally I took a lot out of the game through the fitness side and it was good to be involved in a team with the lads". Manager Graham Heathcote said, "Things have gone well off the pitch, we are eradicating the debt slowly but surely - the board are doing a great job. We've just got to keep trying to build the football team, make it stronger and progress. Hopefully eventually the two will marry together, that is we've cleared the debts and the team's a good side, we can take the club forward then".


    As SAM was unable to publish the STAR Column this week, it is here.

    However, SAM did include two articles on Alty and a fixture list. In an interview with Eddie Hussin, the midfielder signed from Marine said, "The chance to play at a ground like this and with the players that they have got was too big a chance to turn down". Graham Heathcote added, "Once the first two or four games are out of the way and we've hopefully got no injuries and the suspended players are available again, the strength of the squad will be there and create competition for places, which is healthy in any atmosphere".


    The Holker Street Newsletter notes that new Alty signing "Colin Potts had been a target for Barrow during the close season".


    According to Worksop Today "The roar of Worksop's Tigers could be silenced over an outstanding £60,000 debt owed to Bassetlaw Council. The council is pressing the football club to settle their bill by Thursday 30th September, or face court action to recover the cash. But millionaire backer Howard Raymond has vowed he will turn his back on Worksop Town unless the council agree to accept the money in instalments, and says Bassetlaw Council has already knocked back an offer for a full settlement... The club initially took out the £99,000 loan more than a decade ago to bring the Tigers back to Worksop in 1992 after they were temporarily exiled to Gainsborough at the end of their 1989 campaign. Before Mr Raymond took the Tigers on in 2001, the debt had hardly budged. But since then, the club has managed to settle a third of the outstanding balance, and now owes £61,841... Council chief executive Jim Molloy [said]: 'There has been no offer of a full settlement. Mr Raymond has offered arrangements to repay the debt, but that's different from offering the money'... Mr Molloy added that Howard Raymond... was not only behind on the loan repayments, but was also behind on payments for the lease of their ground. We appreciate the benefits of having a successful football club in town, but we can't be held to ransom... Terry Yates, Tory cabinet member for finance, added: 'This money comes from little old ladies' purses, and out of the pockets of ex-miners. It's enough to keep Bassetlaw Leisure Centre open for nearly a year. We are talking about a gentleman of reasonably substantial means reneging on a deal, which is quite sad'".

    "Alfreton Town chairman Wayne Bradley told......."This is a massive year for the club, one in which we are continuing to play catch up with our own development... I can only describe the club’s rise from Counties football to where we are now as phenomenal. We are the David against some of the Goliaths of the football world. That statement comes from the fact that we have one of the smallest support bases and yet the biggest ambition outside the more established and fancied clubs... The national presence for Alfreton could be massive... Manager David Lloyd’s brief this season is for his side to to entertain".The article adds that "The Reds go into the new season buoyed by a record number of season ticket sales with 101 sold so far".

    "Pat Cremin, chairman of Redditch United, wants townsfolk to get through the turnstiles... He said: 'Last season we exceeded and achieved beyond our wildest dreams. We had a plan to finish in the top seven but we ended up breaking a record by staying at the top of the league from day one' ... We're a town of 110,000 people and if we really want to advance to the next level we need their help... We're entering a new era - we're not going to get another chance like this. We're so close to touching something that's unbelievable'".

    Like Altrincham, Barrow see their Reserves and Youth teams as important so have urged fans "Wherever you are in the world you can now help AFC Reserves and the U18s, who are the club's future, to succeed this season. All you have to do is to donate either £10 or £20, towards the target of £8000 to run the Reserves and U18 sides... The cost of travel, match officials costs, training facilities and match balls, etc is around £8000 a year".


    The UniBond League reports that Gateshead Football Club have advised the League that chairman Mark Harland and secretary Phil Chambers have stood down and that all communications should be made to Derek Bell, manager. The League has had a conversation with Derek who advises that he has a series of meetings over the next few days to endeavour in obtaining financial support to honour the Gateshead fixtures for the forthcoming season. The UniBond League plans to send a member of the League Management Committee to discuss the situation with regards to Gateshead having the resources to start the season and continue for the full season".
    12 August 2004


    Our opponents on Saturday, Gainsborough Trinity announce that "Danny Wood has joined Trinity and both Simon Bird and Ben Dixon are signing 12 month contracts with the club". Wood is a young defender released by Sheffield United; Bird is a striker and defender Dixon was formerly at Whitby.

    Our first two away opponents (Ashton and Stalybridge) and an ex-Alty manager (Gerry Quinn) all figure in the Huddersfield Daily Messenger- "Manchester rivals Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic are hoping for inspiration from Huddersfield as they aim to make their mark in the new Conference North. Ashton, bossed by former Emley manager Gerry Quinn, the man who took the village club into the Northern Premier (UniBond) League back in 1989, have just added former District League midfielder Nick Clee to a big Huddersfield contingent at Hurst Cross... Clee turned out for Wakefield and Emley, who remain in the UniBond Premier, in their pre-season clash with Town at the Welfare Ground. But Quinn came in with an offer which was too good to refuse, and now Clee, who lives in Upperthong and works in the accounts department at Reliance Gears, is hoping to be in the starting side when Ashton open their campaign... Clee, who joins Huddersfield-based right-back Andy Thackeray, centre-back Lincoln Adams, midfielders Dean Johnson and Martin Allison, winger Steve Smith, striker Jamie Miller and goalkeepers Danny Trueman and Ashley Connor at Hurst Cross. Manager Quinn, who moved to Ashton from Ossett Albion four years ago, lives in Marsh himself, and explained: 'The Huddersfield connection has proved fruitful for me over the years... For the top Huddersfield players, there isn't really anywhere to go after the County Amateur League". Quinn "who left Emley to manage Altrincham in the national Conference... [and] holds the prestigious UEFA 'A' coaching badge... [said] "We're not under any illusions about the Conference North. There is more travelling, which can be a problem midweek given that most players have full-time jobs, and there are some strong and fairly wealthy clubs, like Nuneaton, Kettering and Southport... But we have a flourishing social club which has helped provide a sound financial base, and while our immediate aim is survival, in the long term we can become established at this level".

    The article adds that "Stalybridge... have snapped up former Welfare Ground winger Dean Calcutt after his release by Accrington Stanley... Stalybridge... kick-off at Worksop, now managed by Ronnie Glavin, but Calcutt will miss out on a reunion with the man who took him to Emley from Brackenhall. He must serve a three-match ban carried over from last season, when he was in the Accrington team". Presumably he is also suspended for the match against Altrincham on 21 August.


    Leigh RMI lists the squad for the coming season which excludes ex-Alty youngster Mario Daniel. Mario was apparently listed on the teamsheet last Saturday but did not play. Former Alty winger Paul Edwards scored for Blackpool on Tuesday night.


    NL Daily reports that Droylsden's "Dave Pace has added three more new players to an already impressive-looking squad" As well as keeper Jon Worsnop and midfielder Andy Lee whose arrival is reported below, his latest recruit is "defender Craig Robinson from rivals Vauxhall Motors... Robinson, 20, is an ex-Blackpool defender who gained Conference experience at Morecambe. He joined Vauxhall Motors [and]... was a regular last term". Unconfirmed reports on the Droylsden forum say that there was an "announcement made at Tameside Council last night, that Droylsden will move to the new ground in Ashton" - i.e. with Curzon Ashton.

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow's "new loan signing Jonathon Smith could miss the first game of the new season after limping off in the 2-1 friendly defeat at Morecambe on Saturday. The centre-half, signed on a one-month loan from Accrington Stanley on Thursday, strained a hamstring in the second half and is a major doubt for Saturday's game... Barrow manager Lee Turnbull said: "It would be a massive blow to lose Jonathon for the first league game... although he was at fault for the second goal, which he holds his hand up to". But "new signing Ian Kilford is tipping himself and Graham Anthony to form a formidable partnership at the heart of the Barrow AFC midfield. The 30-year-old former Wigan Athletic ace... released by Scunthorpe United... certainly seems to be Turnbull’s favoured choice to partner stand-in skipper Anthony in central midfield".


    IC Cheshire says that "Northwich Victoria have been forced to deny rumours that the club is about to go into liquidation... Nevertheless, Vics remain beset by problems with no substantial work carried out on their new £1.8million Victoria Stadium at Wincham since April... The main 1,200 seater stand is at present only half-completed at the new ground and a roof and side cladding need adding to the large former Dane Bank stand". But Vics' "boss Steve Burr [is] setting his sights on a top-half finish... And Burr could unveil three new signings - a new front man, left sided midfielder and a defender - before the big kick-off. Central defender Phil Brazier this week left the club to rejoin Vauxhall Motors, freeing up transfer cash".