Altrincham Football Club News Archive
10 to 15 September, 2004

15 September 2004


STAR, the Alty supporters' trust "has now launched its new Silver and Gold membership schemes to help the Club to meet its monthly commitment to the tax authorities. The Club has an agreed payment schedule with the Inland Revenue and VAT, but must now meet its monthly commitment to keep the authorities happy. Members are classed as silver if they donate £10 per month or more (or £120 per annum) and gold with a donation of £20 per month or more (or £240 per annum), and by donating by Standing Order, STAR can guarantee to make regular monthly payments to the Club to go towards historic tax repayments. There are a number of benefits to the upgraded membership, with Silver members receiving 10% discount on purchases in the Club Shop up to £50 per single purchase, a silver member's membership card, certificate, and t-shirt and a STAR baseball cap. Gold members receive all of this, except with gold items and a 20% discount in the Club shop, again up to the £50. Existing silver and gold members will receive their pack of benefits very shortly. If you'd like a Standing Order form then contact Mark Murray on 0161 976 3170 . Please consider making a regular contribution, and thank you for your support".


On Sunday Barrow Youth drew 3-3 at home to Altrincham Youth.


Confguide reports that "Last week's Conference Board meeting formed a committee to finalise details of the Conference's league cup for this season. The committee is now discussing the final stages of the competition, and details are expected later this month".


NL Daily reports that "Droylsden’s Gareth Morris was hero then villain as the Bloods went down to a 4-3 defeat to Lancaster City on Monday... Morris blotted his copy book and received his marching orders with 10 minutes remaining for a second... That allowed City to get on top and just 3 minutes later Ryan Zico Black scored the winner".

Barrow have signed Grimsby centre back Kirk Wheeler (20) on a month's loan. "Meanwhile the club received good news about Mark Salmon at the weekend. He has now been given permission by his specialist to resume full training and is hoping to be fit for first team action within the next 4 weeks or so".

NL Daily reports that "Droylsden’s Gareth Morris was hero then villain as the Bloods went down to a 4-3 defeat to Lancaster City on Monday... Morris blotted his copy book and received his marching orders with 10 minutes remaining for a second... That allowed City to get on top and just 3 minutes later Ryan Zico Black scored the winner".


Confguide now says that "Northwich Victoria will not be immediately docked points after going into administration... Conference Chief Executive John Moules today told the Conference Guide that... should it be necessary for the Conference to implement the Sporting Sanctions rule it will take place once all of the key factors leading to such an action have been verified".

14 September 2004


On Sunday Alty Youth drew 3-3 away at Barrow.


  • Witton A. O Chester C. 1


    Alty beat Harrogate 3-0 last Saturday. Harrogate Today says that Town "boss John Reed has vowed that his current crop of stars will finally put Harrogate 'on the footballing map'... But Town will have to do without record signing Lee Morris who could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off with a suspected ankle injury in mid-week. And Reed suffered another blow this week when Town failed in a double swoop for two new stars - one understood to be a striker, the other a defender". After Tuesday's win the manager claimed "'It was a championship-winning performance. If we play like that every week we'll be serious contenders for the play-off places. That would be magnificent for this football club'... Despite going down 3-0 at Altrincham, Reed remains upbeat and claimed his charges were felled by one of the best - and luckiest - goals he has ever seen. 'I don't know how the kid [i.e. Colin Little (left)!] did it. He hit a scissor-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box. Just getting it on target is hard enough, but he's smashed it in to the top corner. It was incredible', Reed said. 'It had been an extraordinary five minute spell - their first goal was a clear hand ball but the referee didn't spot it. We had dominated for the entire game but just couldn't find the goal. Then they got a lucky break and that was it: they battered us for the last 20 minutes'". He continued "We are a super footballing side, but I think we need to grind out results away from home...We were out of this world on Tuesday and I want more of the same".

    On Saturday Alty lost at Southport. Preston Today says that "In a decisive seven minute first half spell Port flew into a two goal lead, stunning Altrincham, who had only conceded four goals in six previous Nationwide North outings... Altrincham aided by a freakish 72nd minute Farrell Kilbane own goal gave the Sandgrounders a stern second half test at a storm-ravaged Haig Avenue... This was not a one-way affair, Colin Little fired in a testing 30th minute long-ranger which was well held by Steve Dickinson and a minute later Little sliced wide from six yards on the right hand post... Liam Watson, after seeing his side's third successive victory which put them up to second, said: "I genuinely believe Altrincham are a good side and it was pleasing to open them up quite so easily".


    The Holker St Newsletter reports that after Barrow's 1-6 loss on Saturday, "Ironically, the Evening Mail nominated groundsman Dave Shepherd as the man of the match". The Barrow legal wrangle reported yeserday has been resolved. "In the end the hearing wasn't needed... The Barrow AFC Board agreed to the remedy Colin Moore sought". As a result "The defendant, Barrow AFC Ltd, is forbidden...from: procuring, selling, arranging, assisting or otherwise promoting the sale of football shirts that are the same and/or a 'replica' in any way of those worn by either the first team or the reserve team of the defendant's football teams that do not include on the front of such football shirts the name and logo of the claimant company in the already approved manner... The defendant shall pay the claimant the sum of £60 in respect of the claimant's costs. Colin Moore's comments: If the club, or anyone else connected with the club, breach the terms of the above injunction, then they are likely to be sent to prison".

    NL Daily says that "Hinckley United’s sensational start to the Nationwide North season has earned manager Dean Thomas a new three-year contract. The 42-year-old former Wimbledon and Notts County midfielder has been at Middlefield Lane since the club’s formation in 1997". Thomas said, "'This is a great time to be at Hinckley United. There are good things going on with new facilities just around the corner and a good team on the pitch'.' Chairman Kevin Downes said 'Who would have thought that we would have made such progress? We are ahead of so many big clubs like Nuneaton Borough, Kettering Town, Altrincham and Southport. If we can generate another 150 fans for home games, we can sustain a promotion challenge'".

    Hucknall Today quotes Hucknall Town President Glenn Lathall- "I am surprised by the poor start to the season, but it is far too early to start panicking or thinking about change". The club has had "a run of nine league games without victory under new manager Ernie Moss not to mention a run of 16 competitive games since Town last won, ... on April 10th". And "Some of the fans are being very vocal and negative" said Lathall. "We have to show some solidarity behind the new manager and hope and pray it all comes together... We have seven of last season's championship-winning side still on the books. Good players don't suddenly become bad players... The club's woes started then, not this season". Manager Ernie Moss "has been blighted by injuries... Joe Taylor, Danny Mayman, Russell Cooke and Danny Holland are on their way back... but stalwart defender Simon Brown has picked up a fresh knock and impressive new goalkeeper Matty Taylor has undergone keyhole surgery on his knee-cartilage. He could be out for up to six weeks, forcing Moss to sign Steve Curry, who was Taylor's deputy at Matlock, and former Lincoln and Kettering Town man Ian Bowling on a month’s loan from Worksop".

    On This is Worcester City manager "John Barton... was left purring on Saturday as City crushed Lancaster 3-1 in style... It was a captivating performance... City are still without long-term casualties Mark Owen and Christian Moore (both knee), while John Snape (hamstring) and Danny McDonnell (ribs) are both hoping to resume training this week... Barton... gave a special mention to strikers Webster and Kelly, who have both notched seven goals from eight starts. 'If there's a better front two at the moment, then I can't think of them', claimed Barton".


  • Dennis Bailey (Moor Green to Stratford T.)
  • Lennie Curtis (Harrogate T. to Goole AFC on loan)
  • Paul Norton (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)
  • Danny Pitham (Hinckley U. to Solihull B. on loan)
  • Mark Ward (Hucknall T. to Eastwood T on loan)
  • Kevin Welsby (Lancaster C. to Stratford T.)


    Confguide confirms that our local rivals "Northwich Victoria have gone into administration, a procedure which protects [them] from being wound-up, while the long-awaited takeover goes through... A source close to the club informs us that the new Board has ambitious plans for the club and ground, but [is] insisting it must be run as a business and work within budgets... Conference rules state that a club entering Administration... will be deducted ten points. The rulebook says that the deduction happens immediately".
    13 September 2004


    Lancaster's win puts Alty down to ninth but Altrincham have 2 games in hand on 4 of the teams ahead of them and 1 game in hand on the other 4.


  • Droylsden 3 Lancaster C. 4
  • Worcester C. 2 Kettering T. 2
  • League Table


    Above: Action from Saturday's game- before the worst of the weather.

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


    The real heroes on Saturday were those Altrincham supporters who, due to Southport's inflexible and inappropriate segregation policy, were forced to stand in the wind-swept heavy rain to cheer their team on, which they did impressively. Those fans are seen above before the deluge really started. After seven games, they still await a first-half goal from Altrincham.

    On the Conference North Forum comes this unsolicted praise... from a 'Neutral at Haig Avenue': "What a credit Altrincham FC fans were. Even when 2-0 down and in the pouring rain they sang their hearts out. The home fans and most other (including mine) clubs should hang their heads in shame when you see support like that. Altrincham were outclassed on the pitch but won hands down off it. Can I say well done to the brave Altrincham Fans. WELL DONE". After the match many of those very wet fans had to walk for ten minutes in the pouring rain to locate their supporters' coach which had been unable to park at the ground despite arriving more than an hour before kick-off. STAR Coach organiser Mark Eckersall then staked his claim for the "Most Soaked Fan of the Year Award" when he had to spend a further 20 minutes in the downpour hunting for one of our more senior passengers, who had lost his way on the trek between the ground and the coach!

  • Southport.GB has a match report and photos of Saturday's game and the Southport official site also has a report. After beating Alty, Southport are now top of the N/North form guide; we lie sixth.


    Altrincham, already with a game or more in hand on everybody except Barrow, will fall further behind in the games played table this week when they are engaged in the Cheshire Senior Cup.


    Barrow, who visit Moss Lane on 28 September to play the game washed out in August, lost 1-6 on Saturday and the Holker Street Newsletter reports that the last time the Bluebords lost so heavily at home was on February 21 1979 when Altrincham beat them in the Northern Premier League, having already lost 4-0 at Moss Lane that season. The HSN also reports that manager "Lee Turnbull [says] that two players have left Barrow AFC: Michael Oliver, who has been blighted with injuries has decided to play closer to his home in Middlesbrough, and appears to be headed for Spennymoor United and Michael Rankine who has gone to seek fame and fortune with Scunthorpe United".

    Conference North reports that "Darren Middleton of Moor Green, who signed for the club from neighbours Worcester City this summer, picks up the Nationwide North Player of the Month Award after scoring four times in the month. A former Aston Villa trainee, Darren also played for Wolverhampton Wanderers before moving to Stafford Rangers where he established himself as their leading goalscorer.

    Hucknall Town have acquired midfielder "Stephen Warne, after being released by Chesterfield". Meanwhile "Danny Mayman is likely to be out till Christmas with a groin problem, Matt Taylor had successful surgery on Tuesday, and is hoping to start training once the swelling on his knee has reduced. Russell Cooke, Simon Brown and Nathan Winder continue to recover from injury".

    On the Ashton United Forum a club official says that the club is considering a name change to avoid confusion with other clubs called Ashton. He says "I have spent the last couple of months trying to convince the Conference people that we are not Ashton Town (a Wigan club) and at Stafford on Saturday I was asked if we came from Ashton in Makerfield. The final decision will be made by the shareholders... In the meantime we have set up a small committee to look at the improvements to be made at the ground - including a new stand, new boardroom, car parking facilities, new sponsors' lounge, toilets, souvenir shop etc".


    The NWCFLreports that "20 of the country’s top grass roots ground staff have been nominated for The FA’s prestigious ‘Groundsman of the Year’ awards. From our league is Jonathan Wood (Gainsborough Trinity) and, locally, Charlie Skachill (Hyde United). Three local authorities have also been nominated including Harrogate Borough Council, though for which ground in the town is unclear. The winners get a trophy and a holiday for two worth £600. Interestingly, "The FA now re-invests 50 per cent of its operating profits into developing grass roots football". Fans passing Moss Lane last Saturday will have seen three or four tractors on the Alty pitch, apparently adding more sand to it.


    Our visitors on Saturday Worksop Town "have parted company with Mr Peter Robson the club's Chief Executive and wish him well in the future. Tigers manager Ronnie Glavin has signed [ex-Alty] right winger Michael Reynolds... [from] Eastwood Town ... Worksop Town goalkeeper Ian Bowling has [re-]joined Hucknall Town on a month's loan while Ryan Davis has gone to Matlock Town, also on a month's loan"
    12 September 2004


    Alty's Colin Little (right) has been at large with the press this week and there are interviews with him in both today's NLP and Pink - both of which curiously use the same accompanying photo of him. In the NLP, when asked what was the greatest goal he has ever scored, he said, "A stunning overhead effort for Altrincham last weekend" - few who saw that goal against Harrogate will dispute his judgement. He also reveals that he is a Manchester City fan and that he rates as the loudest manager he has ever played under, none other than our own John King, when both were at Bury Reserves. In The Pink he says of Alty's good start to the season, "The fact we've done so well, so far, is all down to Cobes (Coburn) and the back four if you ask me. As a team, we haven't even started playing like I know we can... The lads at the back have been superb". Colin added, "I could have stayed at Halifax, where I ended last season, but I always saw myself coming to Alty and I'm really glad I did. I only live down the road and this is a lovely club for my family and friends to come and watch me play. The fans here are great as well". Manager Graham Heathcote added, "In patches we look a decent side but, at other times, we've been far too lackadaisical and that's something we have to rectify".


    Cammell Laird, who play Alty on Tuesday in the Cheshire Senior Cup, are leaders of the NW Counties Division Two having won 6 of their 7 games and drawn the other game, scoring 28 and conceding only 3 in the process. A familar face in their side on Tuesday may be Derek Ward, the former Stalybridge defender who signed UniBond forms for Alty last season during our injury crisis, but who has never played for the Robins.


    Danny Adams played as Stockport were beaten 5-0 yesterday, Kevin Ellison netted for Chester City, whose other goal came from Phil Bolland, also an ex-Moss Laner. A 20-yard deflected goal was also scored by Ian Craney for Accrington Stanley. Carl Furlong played for Droylsden. On the mark for their sides yesterday were Matty McNeil (Hyde), Leroy Chambers (Matlock), Marc Limbert (Rhyl) and Chris Downey (Mossley).


    Alty's game next Saturday is at home to Worksop Town, now managed by Ronnie Glavin, the former Emley boss. The NLP reports that Tigers' striker Gary Townsend "suffered a head injury... last week" and had to have 22 stitches after a clash of heads. It is not clear how long he will be out for. Also, fellow striker Simeon Bambrook "who hasn't kicked a ball ball this season" is recovering from a torn hamstring and "could be back in action during the next fortnight".


    A brief report on the Reserves game yesterday is in the Reserves section. Rod Thornley came through his comeback in this game; he played the last 35 minutes without any adverse reaction.


    Pictured above are some of the key people at Moss Lane who make sure that the club maintains its high standards. Left to right: Charles Heathcote (Kitman), Dalton Steele (Assistant Manager), Geoff Goodwin (Chairman), Graham Heathcote (Manager and Secretary) and Dave Mitten (Kitman/Physio).

    11 September 2004


    Saturday fixtures

  • Barrow 1 Redditch U. 6 (six)
  • Droylsden 3 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Harrogate T. 2 Alfreton T. 1
  • Hinckley U. 3 Gainsborough T. 1
  • Hucknall T. 0 Bradford P.A. 0
  • Moor Green 2 Stalybridge C. 2
  • Southport 2 Altrincham 1
  • Stafford R. 1 Ashton U. 1
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Nuneaton B. 1
  • Worcester C. 3 Lancaster C. 1
  • Worksop T. 0 Kettering T. 3


    Last night's STAR (Altrincham FC Supporters' Trust) AGM included a very entertaining "forum" session (pictured), hosted expertly by Brian Flynn. The guest panel comprised Alty Legends John King, John Hughes and current player Rod Thornley. The questions from the audience ranged over topics as varied as the new offside law, Sven Goran Eriksson, how Alty were unable to sign "Spike" Carter and missed promotion to the League in 1991, how Alan Kennedy the Liverpool defender gave Graham Heathcote £40 in the dressing room after betting Graham £40 that he would miss his penalty at Anfield, and what John King really said to the Scunthorpe keeper in the FA Cup tie in 1974. The AGM itself will be reported on the STAR website in due course. STAR members also voted to donate a further £2,500 to the club, and Alty director Graham Rowley was given a ceremonial cheque for this amount.

    Nowadays, John Hughes is living in his native Wales, based in Anglesey, and is still involved in football, at junior level. John King, meanwhile, is kept busy running his scaffolding firm on Merseyside and only gets to watch live football these days if he is entertaining guests at his beloved Everton. Despite being out injured for so long, Rod Thornley continues to give his time freely to Alty events such as this and his insights into the England camp, where he is masseur, were particularly interesting.

    The STAR Prize Raffle was drawn and the STAR website will carry details of the winners.


    Despite fears that a third knee operation was necessary, Rod Thornley will play for half an hour today for Altrincham Reserves away to Northwich Reserves at Moss Farm. Rod has been able to run this week without pain so is hopeful that an operation may not now be necessary. All at the club wish him well in his comeback, though manager Graham Heathcote has apparently told him that he won't get back into the first team now after its good start to the season!


    Mossleyweb reports that a "new award was presented for the first time when Mario Daniel was presented with a momento for 'Goal of the Month' for his strike in the 5-1 openining day victory over Rocester".


    IC Cheshire says that "Lee Parle will get his first start this Saturday since resurrecting his shattered career with Runcorn FC Halton in the summer... The youngster was advised to quit because of a neck injury but was cleared to return after a second opinion. Parle will start at Droylsden since Anton Lally, who has been first-choice alongside Mike Garrity [ex-Alty], will be recovering from surgery... After the last away game at Stafford for which [ex-Alty] Lee Kissock was unavailable... the striker didn't win back his place in the 16... on Saturday. Skipper Steve Carragher has... medial knee ligament damage... 'I think he will be another 10-14 days" said manager Chris Lightfoot. David Ness escaped serious injury when elbowed in the head against Worcester. "For their players on the bench... to be laughing about it was bang out of order. Someone threw a water bottle at me so I threw it back. It came from their bench area so I just threw it back".

    Stalybridge Celtic have "announced the loan signing of Wigan Athletic starlet David Moore. David (19) arrives... for a one month spell... Transfer-listed striker Phil Eastwood has been struck down with a viral infection that has necessitated hospital tests... Danny Caldecott had his cartilage operation this week... Also out of [today's] game are Scott Bonsall, Gregg Pearce, Nathan Wharton and new signing Damien Hindle", who is suspended.

    10 September 2004


    Alty are away at Southport on Saturday. IC Southport says that "Southport have a great opportunity to be early Nationwide North table-toppers after last weekend's victory at previously unbeaten Nuneaton Borough... Manager Liam Watson said to the Visiter: 'We came to get at them and did the job superbly, wiping them off the pitch. I have to say Terry Fearns scored the goal but Neil Robinson put in an immense performance. We can all look forward to Altrincham on Saturday'... Watson and his players need to bottle their outstanding away day performances at Barrow and Boro and untap them at Haig Avenue. If they do they will be runaway Nationwide North champions, that's why the next two home matches are so crucial in the greater scheme of the season... The strike partnership of Neil Robinson and Terry Fearns continues to grow with Robinson in robust play making form and Fearns netting his fourth goal of the season".

    Meanwhile, Altrincham were hoping that Niell Hardy would come through training last night after missing a session earlier this week with a knock.


    A recent Marine programme reports that former Robin, Steve Haw "is in hospital in Southport with a broken back having fallen from a roof". All at Moss Lane wish him a speedy recovery. This is Nottingham reports that "Bryan Chambers, manager of Eastwood Town, has had a clear-out of players. Last season’s top scorer Wael Nazha, new-boy James Nestor and Michael Reynolds have all been released". Reynolds had an inauspicious spell at Alty last season.


    NL Daily reports: "As Alfreton Town set out for their trip to Harrogate Town this Saturday, they will go with open eyes. The Yorkshire club, along with Southport, were the big hitters in the summer when it came to signing players, but Harrogate are also at the top of the money tree when it comes to admission and facility prices. While the Reds have the lowest admission in the league at £7, fans travelling this Saturday will have to pay £10 to gain entrance to the Wetherby Road ground and once inside, will find top prices on refreshments, etc, in direct contrast to the Impact Arena... Reds' chairman Wayne Bradley said this week: 'It seems as if some people can’t believe we are top and they are just waiting for us to fall off it - or go bust... We obviously can’t compete with some of the sides financially in the division, including our opponents on Saturday who have landed a couple of players over the past year we were interested in but couldn’t get anywhere near the wages they were offered. Alfreton Town Football Club are solvent, but we are nowhere near the biggest payers in the division'... Manager David Lloyd has plenty of injury worries... Both Mark Hume (ankle) and Carl Bradshaw (hamstring) missed the goalless battle with Worksop last Saturday during which Mitch Ward’s calf injury flared up again... Ward’s replacement John Knapper lasted just 22 minutes before exiting with a bloodied nose while Ian Robinson bravely played on with a patched up cut on his head".

    "The long-running saga of striker Danny Holland's move from Matlock Town to Hucknall Town finally came to an end this week as both clubs came to an agreement... the actual fee though is not being disclosed by either club".

    Lancaster City have reportedly signed 29 year-old midfielder Chris Beech, released from Rochdale. and Danny Stone, 21, from Burscough.

    Hinckley United have fallen out with Hinckley Rugby Club after they asked for "a £10,000 fee to allow the soccer club power for the new Marston's Stadium from a pylon on the rugby ground". The distance involved is 10-15 yards reports says The Hinckley Times

    Harrogate Town "Managing Director Nigel Pleasants told BBC North Yorkshire today that attendances at Wetherby Road so far this season have 'met expectations. They haven't been too bad, they are a little a bit above what we were expecting. We could do with an extra couple of hundred, but at the moment they are about what we budgeted. Harrogate is a big town for cricket, and a number of the clubs are getting large crowds at the moment. When the cricket finishes, that will give us a better idea of where we are'".


    "Northwich Victoria have appointed former Macclesfield Town manager David Moss as their new first-team coach. Moss, who recently left the assistant's job at Chester City, joins Northwich in place of Peter Wragg following the Vics' switch to day-time training", said the BBC.