Altrincham Football Club News Archive
21 to 27 August, 2004

27 August 2004


Friday 27th
  • Worcester C. 0 Stafford R. 0
  • League table.


    The NW Evening Mail writes that Barrow manager "Lee Turnbull admitted he was disappointed to see [Tuesday's Altrincham] game postponed - despite a string of injuries... It is believed to be the first time in AFC’s history that a game has been postponed in August due to the weather. Barrow had major injuries worries ahead of the game with as many as 12 first teamers doubtful... But Turnbull said: 'I must admit that although we had injuries I was really looking forward to the game and I know the players I spoke to were disappointed when they found the game was postponed'".


    Ryan Hutchinson, who was briefly at Alty last season, has moved from Leek Town to Chorley. Meanwhile, Glyn Barker, a trialist at Alty this summer, has now left Hyde United for Clitheroe. His only team appearance for Alty was actually on the cricket field against Flixton CC.
  • Chris Adam (Gainsborough T. to Ilkeston T.)
  • Aaron Cavill (Kettering T. to Hitchin T. on loan)
  • Mark Cartwright (Runcorn FC Halton to Leek T. on loan)
  • Mark Clifford (Nuneaton B. to Grantham T. on loan)
  • Danny Fells (Bradford PA to Belper T.)
  • Neil Grayston (Droylsden to Guiseley)
  • Paul Moore (Redditch U. to AFC Telford U.)
  • Matthew Plant (Worksop T. to Frickley A.)
  • Gavin Saxby (Alfreton T. to Matlock T. on loan)
  • Danny Stone (Southport to Burscough)
  • Ryan Yeomans (Wigan to Lancaster C.)


    "Fans are beginning to vote with their feet as a disturbing run of results at Watnall Road continued for Hucknall Town last Saturday", states Hucknall Today. A crowd of only 293 turned up for Town's second home game... way below the average of 574... last term when the worst crowd was 366... It might also have something to do with value for money, given the glaring statistic that The Yellows have now failed to win any of their last eight competitive home matches and scored only five goals in the process. The last time Town won at Watnall Road was back on March 22 when they pipped Spennymoor United 2-1. The last time they scored more than two goals in a league match at home was way back on January 17".

    Lancaster Today says that "City manager Phil Wilson has had a busy week on the phone looking to strengthen his squad after seeing his side hit by injuries to key players. Wilson is likely to have to do without club captain Gary Bauress and Jamie Murphy as City face two games in three days... And Steve Jones could be out after missing Tuesday's match with Vauxhall due to family reasons... Wilson said: 'The Gainsborough game was as poor a performance we have had since I took over... The game brought it home to me that we need to improve our squad... A lot of teams have got big players and we looked a bit lightweight and I have been trying to strengthen the team all week to address that'... He had brought in Murray McCullough for the Gainsborough match. He is a right back or wing back who has played first team football for Aberdeen... 'The big plus of the game [v. Vauxhall] was the form of Joe McMahon'... City have swapped the venues of their matches with Ashton because of a clash with the William Smith festival at Giant Axe on Easter Monday, meaning City play four homes games in a row".

    "John Reed, manager of Harrogate Town, praised his players following Tuesday's emphatic 5-1 win against Gainsborough... He said: 'It was the best performance I have seen in the four years I have been here. If they could play like that every week they could win the league'" says their website.

    "Flying left midfielder Blake Norton feels he has the right credentials to cut it at Conference North level [with Worksop] after signing from Rossendale United. The 20-year-old Manchester-born former Stockport County trainee joined the Tigers... He was then given a first start in the 2-1 win over Hucknall where he immediately impressed... 'I was at Accrington Stanley on trial in pre-season so I know what to expect and when Ronnie gave me a call I was pleased to come and sign for Worksop'" he told Worksop Today.

    IC Coventry reports that "Plans by Nuneaton Borough FC to move from their ageing canalside Manor Park ground have hit another snag.. [The Council] "are worried about traffic issues... The soccer club already has planning consent to move to build a new state-of-the-art stadium alongside the River Anker at Ptarmigan Place, Attleborough, and has agreed to sell Manor Park for housing development". On the field "Strike partners Gez Murphy and Michael Frew are hitting the right notes to help Nuneaton Borough to the top of Nationwide North... 'It's a combination that will blossom the more they play together'" said manager Roger Ashby. Also "winger Stuart Wilson's second half showing in the Stafford triumph emphasised what a vital role he has down the right", the manager added that "He's been out since February and I knew it would take time to get him back to his best".


    IC Cheshire confirms that our neighbours "Northwich Vics are to officially ask Witton Albion to extend their groundshare at Wincham Park to the end of the season - though they do not intend staying that long... The current agreement lasts until November 6, but Vics will be unable to complete the new Victoria Stadium by then - but they might by the New Year, which is the new target date. Northwich are waiting for the takeover by businessman Mike Connett to kick-start their ground development again".


    "Vics are awaiting a Lancashire League hearing after Workington made the 300-mile return journey to Moss Farm on Saturday for a reserve-team fixture, only for match referee Paul Byrne to call the game off because the wooden goalposts were square and not round. The referee appears to have no defence under FA rules which allow for square, rectangular, round or elliptical posts" reports IC Cheshire.
    26 August 2004


    Times and fares for the STAR supporters' coach to Hinckley United on Bank Holiday Monday are now here. This will be Alty's first vist to Hinckley, in Leicestershire, and for those unfamilar with the area, there is a local map at the above link. For a link to the excellent unofficial Hinckley website, which has a guide to the town, visit the Links page.


    In last night's Cheshire Senior Cup games, Cammell Laird won through to an away tie against Altrincham on 14 September with two goals in the last eight minutes.


  • Winsford U. 1 Cammell Laird 3
  • Cheadle T. v Alsager T. OFF
  • Nantwich T. 1 Congleton Town 0


    Last night's Alty Reserves' game with Vauxhall Motors had to be postponed but manager Neil Brown was grateful to Abbey Hey FC for their efforts to get the game on. He is now trying to re-arrange the match for next Wednesday. This Friday (27th) Altrincham Reserves are away to Morecambe.

    Pictured, right, is James Marsden, captain of the Reserves.


    Apologies - there was an error in the league table on this site posted on Wednesday; this has now been corrected here.


    Alty's supporters' team will compete in a 7 a side tournament at Upton, Chester on Sunday 5th September. For details see the Alty Fans' Forum.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years data for 28 August has been added to the website here.


    Our opponents next Monday, Hinckley United, "extended their unbeaten run to four games while ending Alfreton Town's 100% record, as they won 0-2 at the Impact Arena... A second half 20-yard volley from Jamie Lenton after the hour-mark was added to by an 86th minute Paul Barnes goal, backed up by Tommy Whittle's second consecutive clean sheet, to seal the points". IC Coventry adds that Hinckley's "defence looked well organised".


    Southport surprisingly lost at home to bottom-placed Ashton on Tuesday, despite scoring when former Alty man "Colin Alcide was unable to deal with [a cross], sweeping the ball beyond his own keeper... Moments later, Southport were down to ten men when Kevin Leadbetter was sent off for what appeared to be saying something derogatory to the assistant" reports their website.

    "Stafford Rangers deserved to return home with something from their game at Nuneaton Borough, but to get nothing at all was harsh on Phil Robinson’s side. Rangers led on three occasions, only to be pegged back each time, and then fall behind with 15 minutes left" reports the Up The Boro site. IC Coventry says that "In a Jekyll & Hyde performance, Boro were as bad first half as they were superb in the second... Rangers were unfortunate to leave Manor Park empty-handed after dictating play before the interval and making Boro look shambolic".

    NL Daily says that "The game between Runcorn FC Halton and Stalybridge Celtic at the Autoquest ended all-square at 1-1, although it will be the visitors who will be more satisfied with a share of the spoils" - their fourth of the season. Former Alty youngster Lee Kissock got Runcorn's goal.

    Tuesday's attendances included 235 for Alfreton v Hinckley, 390 at Harrogate v Gainsborough, 929 at Kettering v Redditch, 314 at Lancaster v Vauxhall, 818 for Nuneaton v Stafford and 802 at Southport v Ashton.

    IC Sefton says that Southport's defeat by Ashton "was a woeful performance which was tremendously disappointing" according to manager Liam Watson. "Southport striker Kevin Leadbetter was shown a straight red card in the 58th minute for 'foul and abusive language' to one of the referee's assistants".

    This is Worcs says that "Four games into the new season and there is already a new face at the Valley. Redditch United manager Rod Brown has brought in former Barnet and Banbury striker Norman Sylla on a month's loan from Tamworth. Stormin' Noman scored 42 goals for Banbury two seasons ago... Brown said: 'We've lost a little bit of confidence after the last couple of games'... Brown is also looking to bring in another striker before the weekend and believes the forward positions are where the Reds have struggled this season despite leaking seven goals in the last two games...Injuries are already taking their toll on the Valleymen... Centre backs Neil Manton, Matty Gardiner and midfielder Richard Softley could all miss the next two games through injury".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "James Cotterill has been given a month by boss Lee Turnbull to save his Bluebirds career. The defender has made a string of costly errors in Barrow AFC’s opening three Nationwide North games... Turnbull said : 'We’ll give him a month to prove his fitness and if he doesn’t there may be a parting of the ways'".

    This is Derbyshire reports that "Alfreton Town were unable to celebrate the big switch on of their brand new state-of-the-art floodlights with a win last night as Hinckley United ran out worthy victors at the Impact Arena".

    25 August 2004


    Tonight's Reserves' game at Abbey Hey has been postponed due to the monsoon conditions -there has been heavy rain in the Manchester area more or less continuously since 4am this morning. Altrincham already have a fixture backlog as three games have already been postponed this season - two reserves' matches at Abbey Hey and last night's first-team game at Moss Lane. The forecast for the weekend is a little better.


    Altrincham FC have two important fundraising events on the horizon. Please support them if you can! Click here for details.


    Last night's postponed match against Barrow will now be played on Tuesday 28 September at 7.45pm when, hopefully, the weather may be a little better. The preceding night Alty meet Southport in the FA Youth Cup, also at Moss Lane.


  • Alfreton Town 0 Hinckley United 2
  • Harrogate T. 5 Gainsborough T. 1
  • Kettering T. 1 Redditch U. 0
  • Lancaster C. 0 Vauxhall M. 0
  • Nuneaton B. 4 Stafford R. 3
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Stalybridge C. 1
  • Southport 1 Ashton U. 2

    Alty dropped from 2nd to 7th by not playing Barrow but it was worse for our would-be opponents, who dropped to second-bottom. That was because unbeaten Southport lost at home to Ashton United, who had not previously scored in three games. Alfreton also surprisingly lost at home to Hinckley United allowing Nuneaton to climb to top spot. Stalybridge drew their fourth successive game. Indeed, two of last season's top three in the UniBond are now in the bottom three in the Nationwide North and four clubs from outside last season's UniBond League now occupy the top five spots in the new league. Alty have a game in hand and, had they played Barrow, any margin of victory would have seen them go back to the top of the table.


    Ironically, not a drop of rain fell in Altrincham until well into the night after the decision to postpone the game with Barrow had been taken at 3.30pm but it was understandable that the game was off given the series of torrential downpours in early afternoon and the need to inform Barrow before they set off on their long journey so Moss Lane. If the rain holds off on Saturday, Alty will host Bradford Park Avenue. Their website reports that BPA "were clearly disappointed in not claiming a first-ever win at Droylsden after taking a 3-1 lead early in the second half and conceding a dubious penalty" on Monday night... Although the Bloods had signed former Avenue players Neil Grayston and Carl Serrant, neither featured in the team with Grayston rumoured to have already left the club and Serrant out of action nursing an injury". The BPA side was Britton, Quinn, Naylor, Crossley, D. Jones, Walsh, Sheriffe (Oldham 64), Thompson, Colley, Oleksewycz, Clayton (Smith) (B. Jones 80). Subs: Pearce, Helliwell.


    "Tamworth striker Norman Sylla has joined Redditch United on a month’s loan. The Frenchman joined the Lambs in October 2003... Sylla (pictured) was released by Oxford United, where he had been on professional terms, during the summer of 2002" reports NL Daily.
    24 August 2004


    After a pitch inspection at 3.30pm. today's match against Barrow has been postponed. After a fairly dry morning, torrential downpours during the lunchtime and early afternoon put paid to the game. Mark Maddox would have completed his four-match ban tonight but must now stay inactive till Bank Holiday Monday at the earliest. On Saturday Alty host Bradford Park Avenue (3pm) and on Monday are away at Hinckley United.
  • Worksop T. 2 Hucknall T. 1


    Above: Everyone, except the referee, seems to be mesmerised by the ball at Stalybridge last Saturday. The Alty players seen are (l to r) Hussin, Scott, Aspinall, Potts and Hardy.

    On Saturday we entertain BPA and IC Coventry reports on their game against Nuneaton on Saturday. "Bradford and Boro produced a Comedy of Errors in a dismal encounter. Boro could not have wished for a better start as Avenue's woeful marking from corner kicks enabled Steve Farmer to put them ahead inside the opening minute". Both Bradford's goals were "the produce of long throws... On a pitch that was badly in need of a dose of weed-killer... the small crowd was treated to 90 minutes medication for insomniacs".

    IC Coventry also reports on our bank holiday opponents, Hinckley United's draw with Southport. "Southport are a talented side, they passed the ball well, possess a couple of lively forwards and demonstrated good movement throughout, but after struggling in the early stages, United's defence adapted well, Adam Willis was outstanding at the heart of Hinckley's back line... Knitters' boss Dean Thomas said 'Overall, I'm pleased with a point, it keeps the run going'".


    Stalybridge Celtic "have announced the signing of former Doncaster and Accrington hitman Gary Williams. Gary (25) has been plying his trade in America for the past two seasons". Earlier in his career, he moved to Doncaster Rovers for £60,000 from Stanley and then returned to Accrington for £25,000.

    Gainsborough won at last on Saturday and manager Paul Mitchell "was pleased to be able to include a full bench of substitutes for the first time this season".

    Stafford Rangers played Droylsden and "One valuable lesson they will have learned is that the former UniBond contingent in the new Conference set-up aren't out until knocked out and that they have no qualms about resorting to direct methods" says This is Staffs.

    NL Daily reported before last night's Worcester victory that "City boss John Barton is expected to name an unchanged line up for the fourth successive game... [but] will still be without skipper Carl Heeley and player-coach John Snape both who have hamstring problems and Christian Moore who is unavailable".


  • Troy Bennett (Barrow to Frickley A.)
  • Gavin Saxby (Alfreton T. (loan) to Matlock T.))
  • Barry Jones (Southport to Prescot C.)
  • Richard Byrne and Ross Hannah (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)
  • Paul Moore (Redditch U, to AFC Telford)
    23 August 2004


  • Droylsden 3 Bradford PA 3
  • Worcester C. 4 Moor Green 1
  • League table


    In Sunday's Pink Graham Heathcote says he is not being carried away by the club's unbeaten start to the season. "It's only after half a dozen games that we'll even begin to have an idea of the relative merits of the sides in this division. If you were to put me on the spot I'd have to say I think Southport could be the side to beat... I took the oportunity to watch Hinckley play Worksop on Tuesday and judging by them and the sides we've played, I certainly think this is going to be a tough, physical league. Hopefully, the foootball teams will eventually prevail because that's the way I think it should be... I'm so pleased with our start because we've picked up results even though we've been without our first-choice centre-backs... Overall, I'd say our first two performances were patchy... We've four new players in the side and it takes time for the new lads to bed in... And the nice thing is, all four came well within our budget... I should have 19 players to choose from and with both Danny Murphy and Sean Smith also on the comeback trail after long injury absences, that's a much healthier situation than it was last year...As long as we're moving in the right direction, that's all that matters".


    Barrow were without regular goalkeeper Simon Bishop on Saturday, apparently due to a foot injury The Barrow site says "He will require surgery. He will be out for about a month". In his place in the Barrow goal is Scunthorpe's Adam Capp who "will be on loan for the month... Injuries are beginning to be a problem for the team and the difficult games continue at Altrincham (on Tuesday)". Capp joins Ian Kilford who was released by The Iron and joined Barrow for this season.


    It is hoped that Danny Murphy (right) will play his first game since his cruciate ligament injury in January 2003 when Altrincham Reserves meet Vauxhall Motors at Abbey Hey FC this Wednesday (7.45pm).


    Worksop Town boss "Ronnie Glavin has signed 20 year old left winger Blake Norton from Rossendale United".


    Above: Alty left-back Ryan Stewart attempts to stem a Bootle attack as centre-back Matt Garland waits to assist.

    The new-look Altrincham Youth team got off to a disappointing start in defence of their NWYA Premier Division title today when they went down 2-1 at home to Bootle, a new side in the division.

    Report in the Youth section.


    Match report and more photos here.

  • Alty line-up
  • Alty stats

    Left: Stuart Coburn is congratulated by Dalton Steele as he leaves the pitch at Stalybridge.

  • 22 August 2004


    "Altrincham's first-team squad are to get their kit off to raise much-needed funds for the cash-stapped Robins. The idea was generated by Jo Ryan, sister of striker Steve Lunt and the calendar is to be put together by the club's loyal supporters' trust, STAR", reports The Pink. Jo said "We are in the process of putting the calendar together in time for Christmas". Manager Graham Heathcote said that "We as a club will ensure it is all done in good taste". Graham is ensuring that he will not be one of the pin-ups himself - "I'll definitely be leaving it to them", he said.


    Danny Adams hit the post on Saturday for Stockport County and Kevin Ellison was booked for Chester City in the League. Paul Ellender was back in Boston's side. In the Conf. North, Carl Furlong was a sub for Droylsden whilst James Glendenning was himself subbed for Vauxhall Motors. In the UniBond, Matt McNeil scored for Hyde and Leroy Chambers made his Matlock Town debut. Chris Downey hit two and Mario Daniel also scored for Mossley, whilst Anthony Hargreaves turned out for Flixton and Lee Thompson netted for Skem. Former Alty Youth Wes Wilkinson made his return from injury for Oldham Reserves. His manager Brian Talbot told The Pink that Wes "picked up two bookings and got himself sent off. It was stupid and downright crazy in his first game for four months". Another ex-Alty youth, Stuart Cooke was on the bench for Connah's Quay Nomads.
    21 August 2004


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


    NL Daily reports that Guiseley have signed "James Stansfield and David Donaldson from Bradford Park Avenue, while Curtis Bitton-Price has arrived from Harrogate Town. NL Daily also says that Worcester "Forward Leon Kelly... has signed a year's extension to his contract".

    "Holker Street chief Lee Turnbull is threatening to make wholesale changes" says the NW Evening Mail. He said "If I don’t see a better performance there will be changes and that’s only after three games".

    This is Lincs quotes Paul Mitchell, manager of Giansborough Trinity: "'I have confidence in the lads, hopefully the supporters have as well and will stay with us until we get on a bit of run'. Mitchell has a had a difficult start to the season losing two of his key players. Gareth Grant, last season's leading scorer, is on compassionate leave after his cousin, who he shared a house with, died suddenly last week at the age of 23. While former Lincoln United striker Simon Bird, who signed for Trinity in pre-season, has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the season started".

    Harrogate Today says that "John Reed has hailed Harrogate Town's 'dream start" to life in the newly-formed Conference North'... 'I am ecstatic with all the players. In our first ever Conference game we played the favourites and won. It was a fantastic performance and we were outstanding. The football was brilliant... We've got a superb set of players, they're great lads who can really play. The major thing for me is that I've got so many good footballers. Other managers have said to me 'you play some lovely football'. When an opposition boss says that you know you're not far away. The quality and work ethic here gets me really excited. Against Barrow and Hucknall we made some fabulous moves... We've still got a couple of players carrying injuries... Marc Smith, Lenny Curtis and Michael Ord are all out'".

    "Hucknall Town gaffer Ernie Moss said his team will take time to gel after mixed results from their first games of the season. Moss said: 'We were very much off the pace in the first game and the players appreciate that... We've only been together a month. I'm not making excuses for the opening game, but it will take some time" he told Hucknall Today.

    "Nuneaton Borough may be favourites to continue their winning start to the season tomorrow at Bradford Park Avenue, but manager Roger Ashby doesn't see it that way", says IC Coventry. He added, "There's been a lot of strange results, so it's important our work ethic is again right... Success breeds success and what's pleasing is that the fans appreciate what we are trying to do".

    IC Sefton reports that "Everything is blooming in manager Liam Watson's garden after two great [Southport] victories... Tomorrow Southport travel to Hinckley United looking to maintain their 100% record and take over undisputed league leadership at this early stage... The trick will be to sustain that devastating form in Leicestershire against unbeaten opponents... Team news for Saturday revolves around wideman Kevin Leadbetter who came off at half-time at Holker Street feeling ill and complaining of breathing problems... Kevin Lynch, a substitute at Barrow, suffered a nasty head gash... Jerome Fitzgerald who was at left-back against Vauxhall tweaked a thigh and missed the Barrow match and Steve Pickford is expected to continue in the left-back berth". Alty play Southport on 11 September.

    This is Staffs says that "Rangers are on a high after thumping Kettering in midweek, but player-boss Phil Robinson has warned that [Droylsden] will present a tougher challenge".


    Altrincham pay their first visit to Hinckley United this Bank Holiday Monday. United have been building a new ground, but it is not yet complete so we will be going to the older Middlefield Lane ground. Directions are on the Hinckley website.