Altrincham Football Club News Archive
28 August to 2 September, 2004

2 September 2004


Altrincham FC's new "home" shirt has now been delivered to the club and had its first airing tonight at the team's photo session. A team photo will appear on this site tomorrow. In the interim, a new shirt is seen hanging in the dressing room this evening. As you can see it has a wider stripe than last season's version and the Go Goodwins logo is in white rather than black. It also bears the Nationwide logo on the arms, the logo of the manufacturers (Branded), and the shirt numbers have been re-designed and are slightly smaller than last season's.


Alty Reserves drew 0-0 last night at Abbey Hey against Vauxhall Motors. For more on this see the Reserves page.


Above: In last year's game at Harrogate, a year ago last Monday, Ian Craney (8) put this shot just over the bar as the Alty fans looked on.

On Saturday, Alty entertain Harrogate Town at Moss Lane. The Yorkshire side have won 2, drawn 3 and lost 1 so far this season, so have 1 more point than Alty but have played an extra game. Altrincham have not scored against Harrogate since they joined the UniBond Premier in 2002-03. We lost 0-4 at home on the opening day of that campaign and then went down 0-3 away. Last season we lost 0-1 away, when goalkeeper Richard Acton was stretchered off, and then drew 0-0 at Moss Lane. So the margin is getting closer with every game! Ominously though, Harrogate report that their goalkeeper Paul Pettinger (ex-Hucknall) is their Internet Player of the Month.

Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Saturday is here.


Stuart Cook, a member of last year's Alty Youth team, played on Tuesday for Connah's Quay Nomads as they beat high-flying Welsh side TNS, managed by Alty's Ken McKenna, 1-0. An earlier Alty youth graduate who made the first team squad a couple of seasons ago, Lee Thompson, scored again for Skelmersdale on Tuesday. The Accrington site says that on Tuesday at York, "The home side were reduced to ten men as goalkeeper Chris Porter was sent off for a professional foul on Ian Craney". From further back in Alty history, Greg Challender has moved from Rossendale United to Bamber Bridge.


The Conference site announces that "Alfreton Town's David Lloyd claimed the managerial accolade [Manager of the Month] after helping his side claim 15 points from a possible 18 during the month... despite missing several key players... Lloyd said: "We have been hit hard so far with injuries and a suspension... We have been picking up points without playing particularly well... We are just starting to flow but have yet to peak. I can promise the fans that there is plenty more to come. If we can click and find the flow within our abilities, the entertainment value will be phenomenal".

The Gainsborough website reports that on Monday "The influential Sherlock was forced to give way with a troublesome toe injury... but moments later there was even more concern... [as goalkeeper] Holmshaw was stretchered off with an ankle injury... central defender Ben Dixon taking over between the posts".

1 September 2004


Barry Shuttleworth (left) is likely to be out for three or four weeks after damaging his hamstring and having to go off just 13 minutes into his first start of the season, at Hinckley last Monday. Also on the treatment table is right-back Gary Scott (right), who received a knee injury when fouled in the game against Bradford PA last Saturday.


Altrincham Reserves meet Vauxhall Motors tonight at Abbey Hey (7.45pm). The Motormen run two reserve sides. Their offical "Reserve Team" plays in the West Cheshire League and the "A Team" plays in the Lancashire League, in which Alty Reserves compete. The A team lost 1-0 to the Reserves in a pre-season friendly.


Altrincham striker Rod Thornley has been out injured since before the end of last season. A knee operation has cured one problem but a different problem in the same joint now needs surgery. Because of the proximity of the current injury to the previous operation scar, the new operation cannot be done immediately. However, once it is carried out, recovery time may be as short as three weeks. Rod has been showing his dedication to the Altrincham cause by attending all the first team games and he has even acted as physio for the last couple of matches as Alty are without a permanent physio since Gary Thompson went to Halifax. As Alty fans know, Rod is masseur to Manchester United and England when not playing for The Robins.

Above, Rod (in black) is seen arriving to treat a prostrate Stuart Coburn after he had been caught, late, by an opponent at Hinckley on Saturday. Moments later Stuart was fishing the ball out of the net as Hinckley scored from the re-start to the game. The injury to Stuart (thankfully not serious) came on the anniversary of Richard Acton's bad injury at Harrogate - ironically Richard himself was carried off again, last Saturday, playing for Woodley Sports but after hospital treatment, he was released.

The Hinckley site says that "Victory over Altrincham was achieved through an early goal and a late one - with a lot of hard work from the team in between these highlights... Altrincham then had their own opportunities to win the game but couldn't take them".


Alan Hirst's excellent statistics from the goalless Alty v Bradford PA game are on their website and they show that Alty won the goal attempts count 14 to 8 and the corners 8 to 1. Again, at Hinckley on Monday we won the corner tally comfortably 6-1. We also won 11 corners against Ashton and 10 against Gainsborough - if matches were decided on corner awards we would probably be top of the league!


Alty's next opponents are Harrogate, at Moss Lane, this Saturday. In last Monday's draw at Vauxhall they gave a "very poor first half performance... [whilst] looking to record their first away win of the season.. John Reed sticked with the same team that played against Hinckley United on Saturday, with the exception of Grant Black who came in for the injured James Turley. There was also room on the subs bench for ex-Halifax Town striker Andy Farrell... [Manager] John Reed showed what he thought of his team's first half performace during the interval, by sending them almost immediately back out from the dressing room on to the pitch. It was left to Mark Atkins and captain Paul Pettinger to complete the half time team talk in the centre circle". Their line-up was: Paul Pettinger, Paul Shepherd, Mark Barnard, Simon Sturdy, Leigh Wood, Richard Dunning, Grant Black (Andy Farrell), Dominic Krief (Stuart Preston), Marc Smith, Lee Morris, Colin Hunter (Andy Wright). Subs Unused: Mark Atkins, Nick Buxton.

Southport, whom we meet on 11 September, have former Runcorn midfielder "Dominic Morley out for sometime with ankle ligament damage" but Kevin Leadbetter is likely to be fit after a recent hamstring injury. Also, "Alex Mortimer came through 90 mins in the reserves on Saturday".

Reports from Barrow suggest that the club is trying to extend centre-back Jonathan Smith's loan from Accrington after a series of fine displays for the Bluebirds. Alty meet Barrow on 28 September.


Hucknall's summer signing, former Alty captain Chris Timons, started the move which got his side an equaliser against Worcester on Monday. Former Altrincham youth keeper Barry George did not get his chance to keep goal for Radcliffe in the UniBond after first choice guardian, Danny Hurst recovered sufficiently to play. Since then, Barry has been unavailable for selection as he was part of the City of Manchester entourage at the Olympic Games in Athens.


BPA, our opponents last Saturday had a streaker in their game v. Kettering on Monday as their website reports. "So bad was the football on view that it could be said that it was almost a relief when a streaker appeared from amongst the Kettering supporters, and held up play for a good five minutes... Whatever the reason for this latest defeat, the statistics show Avenue have now won just two at home in the league since the beginning of last season... Kettering were no better than Runcorn, yet both won because they clearly wanted it more than Avenue. Manager Carl Shutt will have a lot of thinking to do and it will be a surprise if several changes in personnel are not made in the next week or so".

The UniBond League "confirm that 16 Premier Division clubs have applied for promotion [to Nationwide North/South] at the end of the 2004/2005 season. The clubs are Bamber Bridge, Blyth Spartans, Bridlington Town, Burscough, Guiseley, Hyde United, Leek Town, Lincoln United, Marine, Matlock Town, Ossett Town, Radcliffe Borough, Wakefield-Emley, Whitby Town, Witton Albion, Workington. The clubs who have not applied are :- Bishop Auckland, Farsley Celtic, Frickley Athletic, Gateshead, Prescot Cables, Spennymoor United".

31 August 2004


Above: Stuart Coburn prepares a goalkick, as a Hinckley fan bangs his drum in front of the clubhouse - which has seen better days. Hinckley's impressive new ground opens in December..

Above: Peter Band (4) gets the better of three opponents as Colin Little looks on.

Above: Ged Kielty in action, with Peter Wright and the London Alty flag in the background.

  • Match report

  • Alty Line-Up
  • Alty Statistics
  • League table
    30 August 2004


    Monday 30th
  • Barrow 2 Worksop T. 1
  • Bradford PA 1 Kettering T. 2
  • Gainsborough T. 1 Nuneaton B. 2
  • Hinckley U. 2 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Hucknall T. 2 Worcester C.2
  • Lancaster C. 2 Ashton U. 0
  • Moor Green 2 Southport 3
  • Redditch U. 1 Droylsden 1
  • Stafford R. 0 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Alfreton T. 3
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Harrogate T. 1

    Howard Watts's Through the Years data for this date is here.


    Alty fans will remember that last season's Cheshire Senior Cup Final at Moss Lane was interrupted by a streaker who ran onto the pitch. Then, a mysterious copycat incident was captured by the camera at the end of the Altrincham v Runcorn match last April (as seen below). Incredibly, the man in question has now done it again as this image (above) from the end of Saturday's Bradford PA game confirms. When apprehended, the mystery man insisted that he was simply practicising for Jo Ryan's forthcoming STAR calendar shoot. There is a large article in the NLP on Jo's proposed calendar featuring Altrincham players minus their kit. Jo said "The players appear keen to do it. Let's hope they don't get shy!"


    Thanks to Reserves' manager Neil Brown, the website has been able to expand its player biographies section. To find these details, please go to the Reserves Page and click on the Reserve Player Details heading near the top of the page. Also included is information on the Reserves' coaching staff.


    There is now a report on the Youth team game at Woodley on Sunday in the Youth section.


    'The London Gazette' records a "In the Matter of 'City of Lancaster Association Football Club Limited' and in the Matter of the Insolvency Act 1986, a petition to wind up the above named company... presented on 22 July by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue... claiming to be Creditors of the Company, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL, on 8 September 2004". Despite this, it does not appear that the Dolly Blues are actually about to go under but it does underline that Lancaster like so many clubs, our own included, have to struggle to keep their heads above water.

    In the Nationwide North attendance chart, Altrincham lie 8th with an average of 637 after two home games.

    Gainsborough Trinity "have signed central defender Richard Pell from Boston Town".


    Many of the former Alty Youth players who had moved to Trafford over the last couple of seasons, during which Altrincham had no reserves of their own, have now moved to Leigh RMI and may now play against our newly reformed Reserves this season in the Lancashire League. These include Paul Tilley, Mark Drew, Ian Horton, Steve Howarth, Richard Smith, Steve McGrath, Ben Ashmole and Lee Shillito.
    29 August 2004


    There is now a match report in the Reserves' section on their good draw at Morecambe on Friday.

    The Reserves will now play at home to Vauxhall Motors this Wednesday (1st) at Abbey Hey (7.45pm). This game was postponed last week due to heavy rain.


    Alty Youth allowed a two-goal half-time lead to slip at Woodley Sports today and the match ended 2-2. The Alty goals came from Deegan and Garland. Report to follow.

    Above: Alty's Hevingham, Mike and Garland (l. to r. in the orange shirts) encircle Woodley's Smith.


    Seen, left, is Man of the Match, Gary Talbot, leaving the pitch with his champagne award; behind him is AFC's Neil Dawson.

  • Match report..
  • League Table
  • Statistics
  • Line-Up

    Richard Acton (right), who lost his goalkeeper's jersey at Altrincham to Stuart Coburn after being injured at Harrogate early last season, was taken to hospital yesterday after colliding with a team-mate whilst playing for Woodley Sports. We all wish Richard a speedy recovery.


    Harrogate Today quotes Harrogate's manager John Reed: "Brilliant was certainly the way to describe our performance on Tuesday night, it's certainly the best performance I've seen from a Harrogate Town team during my time at the club. The work rate was absolutely magnificent and Dunning and Krief in our engine room were faultless... If we play with the same endeavour that we did on Tuesday night, you can bring anybody down to Wetherby Road. We'll save Man United for the third round of the FA Cup".

    According to Ripley Today Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley says "We need a specific attendance figure to be able to become independently run. While there is no wage capping this year, the club has to prepare for the likelihood of it happening - possibly even next season. Clubs will be asked to reconcile their financial status by paying expenses in line with income achieved from support bases. In short, gate takings... If our attendances do not increase we would have to decrease player numbers, quality, and with it the ability to progress". 252 was the gate yesterday at Alfreton.

    Droylsden have signed Burscough midfielder Steve Brown.

    This is Nottingham says that "Hucknall last night re-signed midfielder Roy Hunter. The player left the Watnall Road outfit to follow former manager Steve Burr to Northwich Victoria... Travelling was one of the main reasons Hunter decided to rejoin Hucknall".

    This is Lincs quotes Gainsborough manager Paul Mitchell: "We do not have a talker in the side, no-one is telling the others where to be or what to do. At set pieces, especially, there is no communication - somebody has to be prepared to talk... I have told the players they will all have to talk more".

    On This is Runcorn manager Chris Lightfoot says "I've been pleased with the efforts of Nicky Young and Ged Courtney but we do need to score more".

    Against Ashton, "The Port were brought back to earth with a big bang and a great deal of work is obviously still needed to gel the squad... After four Nationwide North matches Southport have performed superbly at Barrow, got out of jail to defeat Vauxhall, battled for a point at Hinckley and bombed abysmally at home to Ashton. The Haig Avenue home syndrome is emerging again" says IC Southport.

    This is Worcester reports that "Christian Moore's wretched start to his Worcester City career has taken another downward turn. The former Telford United frontman has been ruled out of tonight's Nationwide North clash with Stafford Rangers due to suspected salmonella. Moore has yet to start a game for City since his arrival in the summer. Manager John Barton said: 'With games on Monday and Friday we won't be training, allowing players a rest between games. The results from the weekend will show whether we have done the right thing'".


    Ian Craney scored a fine solo goal and was Man of the Match for Accrington yesterday. Anthony Hargreaves scored for Flixton and Andy Lovelock netted for Racing Warwick.
    28 August 2004


  • Alfreton T. 3 Vauxhall M. 1
  • ALTRINCHAM 0 Bradford PA 0
  • Ashton U. 5 Runcorn FC Halton 4
  • Droylsden 0 Stalybridge C. 0
  • Harrogate T. 1 Hinckley U. 1
  • Kettering T. 0 Gainsborough T. 1
  • Lancaster C. 2 Hucknall T. 2
  • Nuneaton B. 1 Barrow 1
  • Southport 1 Redditch U. 1
  • Worksop T. 1 Moor Green 0


    Altrincham Reserves secured an excellent draw, 1-1, away at Morecambe on Friday night in the Lancashire League. Alty also had two goals ruled out. Report to follow.


    Friday's NL Paper's regular Diary of a Groundhopper reports on the recent Ashton United v Altrincham match. After curiously complaining that "Entry is a whopping £7, a price I consider reasonable for a Coca Cola League Two match, not this level, I seriously think Conference clubs are beginning to price themselves out of the market", the writer praises Ashton's matchday programme. He then observes that "The vociferous Alty fans are creating a good atmosphere. One even has an old fashioned wooden rattle, circa 1950s" [- actually I think that was an Ashton fan].. The groundhopper ends: "Fortunately Alty crown their obvious dominance with a tap-in right on 90 minutes. God bless 'em".


    The welfare of the club depends greatly on the support it receives, both through the turnstiles and at the social and fundraising events organised both by the club, STAR or both jointly. A full list of the club's social and fundraising events is here. STAR events are listed on their website. Please do support as many of these events as possible.


    Carl Shutt, manager of today's opponents, Bradford Park Avenue "was unhappy following his team's 3-3 draw at Droylsden... 'I'm pig sick, there is no other way of putting it. Two goals up and the referee gives a penalty for an offence two yards outside the area... The players, who I asked to give everything - and they did, the supporters who made the journey and the directors who can't believe what happened are all devastated. To say everyone is upset is a gross understatement... The ref would not consult his assistant and after the game he admitted he was wrong, but that's too late'", he added.


    September's Lancashire League fixtures have now been released and are on the Reserves' page.

    FA CUP

    As usual BBC Football Focus is following a team through the FA Cup and they have started by sending cameras to tomorrow's Extra Preliminary Round between Norton & Stockton Ancients and Yorkshire Amateur. Whoever wins is away at Chadderton and the winner of this match is away at Frickley who are thus guaranteed national TV coverage in the 1st Qualifying Round.


    Alan Bartlam, chairman of Vauxhall Motors, told IC Cheshire "I was only reasonably happy with 256 [spectators] against Droylsden in midweek but I hoped that figure would be bettered on Saturday. I'm afraid to say that 204 will not sustain a club at this level and we need more support. Not only was that the lowest attendance in the division, it was also smaller than seven crowds in the decimated UniBond Premier League". He added, "Our junior sections aren't up and running yet but once they get going, we'll try and bring more of them in en bloc on matchdays to try and generate a more vocal atmosphere... Some supporters at Rivacre Park have already commented this season that they would like to see an increased profile for the team within the town [of Ellesmere Port]".

    "Ronnie Glavin, manager of Worksop Town, has signed American-born Chris Cleary just prior to the transfer deadline... The 25-year-old forward has most recently been turning out for SVL Ludwigswinkel in the German Second Division" says the club website.

    Runcorn FC Halton quotes manager Chris Lightfoot: "The season has started by following last year’s pattern losing at home only to go away to Bradford and win... followed up by a hard earned point at Hucknall... Another disappointment about our first home match of the season was the attendance. Only 270 people turned up".

    Moor Green "have brought in young striker Kyle Terry from Walsall to give them more options up front, with Neil Davis and Rob Elmes both sidelined. He joins fellow Walsall youngster Luke Bradley who has started at left back in the last two Moors games. Both are on long term loan contracts. The third new face is Tamworth’s Mark Turner, who should sign a one month loan deal tonight. Turner... has been brought in to fill the centre-half gap left by Lee Collin’s three-game ban".

    Hucknall boss Ernie Moss "after the midweek defeat at Worksop still thought there were plenty of positives to come out of the game... The Hucknall boss will be hoping that centre half Joe Taylor gets the all clear to return to action... The news on Danny Mayman is not so good, he has had a cortisone injection to help remedy a groin strain problem, and his recovery will take time. Moss continues his search to add players to his current squad".


    After yesterday's report (below) about the Northwich Vics reserve game called off by a referee because he didn't approve of the shape of the goalposts, comes another local pitch problem. "When you are about to kick off in a brand new £1million stadium, the last thing you want to be told at the eleventh hour is that the pitch is not big enough nor wide enough, to meet Football Association requirements. But that is what happened to Skelmersdale United’s officials on a dramatic day at the Westgate Interactive Stadium. Ground grading officials from the North West Counties League gave the thumbs down after their calculations, using a measuring wheel, indicated the pitch was fractionally too small, in length and width. Not so, maintained Skem's representatives, and to prove the point they brought in a measuring tape which revealed the playing area did indeed meet the required 100 metres long and 60 metres wide... And an EDM, Electronic Distance Measurer, rushed to the ground by a worker for stadium developers Elite Construction, produced a figure of 100.38 metres length and 64.314 width". Sadly, after resolving that problem, the inaugural game had to be postponed due to a waterlogged surface, reports IC Sefton.