Altrincham Football Club News Archive
22 to 26 September 2004

26 September 2004


Farsley Celtic, our FA Cup opponents next Saturday, continued their good form with a 4-1 win at Prescot Cables yesterday. In The Pink, Graham Heathcote says, "Thye've got some good players, especially the likes of Michael Midwood. But it's a home tie for us and, as a manager, that's all you can ask for. The FA Cup never changes. It represents a fantastic opportunity for non-league clubs to put themselves in the national spotlight and generate much needed finance. And that's what we'll be aiming to achieve".


with Bryan Robson
at The Cresta Court, Altrincham
7.30pm, Thursday, October 7th

Ex-England and Manchester United captain, Bryan Robson, will be our guest at a Sportsman’s Dinner to be held at the Cresta Court. Tickets are priced at £30 per person or £300 for a table of 10. Places are limited to 200, so don’t delay - book your tickets now.

Tickets are available from the club office at Moss Lane (tel: 928-1045) or you can e-mail Grahame Rowley, from whom further details are also available.


After his successful Elvis Presley tribute act (right) at Moss Lane a week ago, and goals for Alty on successive Saturdays, Marcus Hallows is featured widely in Sunday's press. Indeed, the Non-League Paper has three pictures of him - one as Elvis, two as Marcus. Marcus told the NLP, "When I retire from the game, I'd like to contact an agent about my Elvis act. I'm a big Elvis fan and I'd previously sung his songs at parties".


Contrary to reports last week, Danny McGoona is still at Conwy United where he and a fellow player have taken over the managerial reins following the death in a road accident of the Conwy manager.

Lee Thompson hit four for Skelmersdale United in the FA Vase yesterday and Anthony Hargreaves scored for Flixton. Also in the Vase, Alty's Rod Thornley played for Trafford whose website also reports that "Simon Woodford will also make a welcome return to the reserve team squad tomorrow following his knee operation".

Kevin Ellison netted for Chester City, as did Andy McDonald (Woodley) and Matt McNeil (Hyde). Also playing yesterday were James Glendenning (Vauxhall), Danny Adams (Stockport), whilst Adam Farley (Droylsden) and Terry Bowker (Stalybridge) were substitutes. Current Alty reserve, Levi Kennedy was sent off playing for Abbey Hey.


Last Friday, Alfreton played Runcorn in an experiment to improve home attendances - the gate was 446, about 10% more than the average home gate to date at the Impact Arena.

The Nationwide Conference reports that "Football outside the top four divisions in the country features strongly in the new BBC football programme 'Score Interactive'. Every Saturday at 5.45pm, results and league tables from the Nationwide Conference, Nationwide North and Nationwide South are read out by Tim Gudgin and shortly afterwards presenter Ray Stubbs makes a 'Conference Call' to the person who is deemed the Nationwide Conference story of the day. Score Interactive is the new BBC football service available to digital viewers via the red button from 2.45pm to 6pm every Saturday".

The UniBond Newsletter confirms that Leek Town's "veteran defender Mark Heathcote (39)... has switched to Hucknall Town".

25 September 2004


  • Mon. 4 October: away to Ashton United (league cup)
  • Tues. 16 November: away to Vauxhall Motors (league) - was 5 October.


    Match report here.

    Right: Hussin, Band, Shuttleworth and Potts in action against Nuneaton.

  • League table
  • Alty line-up
  • Alty statistics


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


    After the midweek postponement of Alty Reserves' game against Leigh, in which he was due to play, Alty striker Rod Thornley (left) has signed forms for our NW Counties' neighbours Trafford, which will allow him to play today in the FA Vase against Yorkshire Amateur. Altrincham confirm that this is an arrangement to help Rod regain fitness for Altrincham whilst also assisting our friends at Trafford. On the Trafford site, boss Danny Johnson explains: "I spoke with Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote last week... and I asked him about the possibility of me taking Rod on loan following the player's return from injury. Graham was taken aback at first but, when he put it to the player, he jumped at the chance to come and play for us. Johnson continued: 'I have known Rod for a long time and know that he will bring a real buzz and enthusiasm to both the dressing room and out on the park... and I’m sure my three forwards Scott Weir, Phil Carratt and Andy Lundy will learn and enjoy having him around".


    Alty host Nuneaton Borough on Saturday. In Friday's MEN Graham Heathcote says "I'm certainly not getting carried away at this early stage but the next three games could be crucial to what we hope to achieve this season". Graham hopes that today Alty will take "the chance to claw our way to within three points of Nuneaton, who are currently third, and still have two games in hand". The article adds that "Niell Hardy and Gary Scott are both definite non-starters, but Peter Wright (right) could return and Graham Heathcote hopes that Stephen Rose will have recovered from a knock".

    IC Coventry says that "Few Nuneaton Borough fans would argue that Avun Jephcott is the most talented footballer at the club - and the vast majority agree he is the most frustrating... Despite being the club's top marksman this season, the former Coventry City youngster has flattered to deceive too often... 'Avun has so much ability and on his day can rip defences apart but he can be so frustrating', complained [manager Roger] Ashby... Ashby takes his side to Altrincham without striker Gez Murphy (hamstring) and with young central defender Steve Farmer (groin), doubtful".


    Alty Reserves have been handed six consecutive away fixtures in the latest batch of games issued by the Lancashire League; see the Reserves' page.


    The full draw for the Cheshire Senior Cup quarter finals is:
  • Chester City v Altrincham (at Moss Lane)
  • Alsager T. v Hyde U.
  • Stalybridge C. v Vauxhall M.
  • Tranmere R. v Crewe A.


    "Rod Brown, manager of Redditch United, made an offer to Conference National side Tamworth for the aquisition of prolific marksman Norman Sylla, which has been accepted. Brown said: 'We improved our offer to £3,000 for him but we knew they were looking for £5,000. We weren’t going to budge on that ­ it was our final offer', he added. Subject to agreeing terms, Sylla will be rejoining Redditch as a full-time player. This, along with the newly-loaned Paul Edwards and Scott Rickards, will strengthen the squad... Crewe Alexandra’s Paul Edwards could make a debut in a United shirt on Saturday. The Derby-born 21-year-old striker is on his way to the Valley for a month... Brown is also trying to tie up... Scott Rickards for a longer spell. The Kidderminster Harriers' hit man, who has more than impressed Brown since his arrival has only got a couple of weeks left at the Valley", reports This is Redditch.

    Harrogate Town "boss John Reed has hailed his current crop of Town players as 'the best I've ever managed... We're playing some absolutely fantastic football. I'm not worried at all. This is the best team that I've had here by a mile... The boss at Droylsden said we were the best team that they'd played in three years. Although we lost, for the second half they were chasing shadows'".


    Ex-Alty "Goalkeeper Lance Key has spoken of his heartache after choosing to leave Kingstonian just weeks after being made captain... A tempting offer to become player-coach at Southern League Premier Division side Histon forced Key's hand. The 36-year-old... expects to be made goalkeeping coach at the club's planned football academy". Key said, "Histon is my home club, literally five minutes from my front door... But one of the main things was the promise of a coaching position". Histon's assistant manager is "John Beck, formerly of Cambridge United and Preston North End". Of Kingstonian's demise, Key remarked "It really started in the Geoff Chapple era, when players were being paid silly money" - where have we heard that before?
    24 September 2004


  • Alfreton T. 4 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • League table.


    Though Altrincham FC has yet to be informed by the Conference, the league cup draw has been posted on the unofficial Conference North Forum. It is bad news for Altrincham who are one of four clubs in our division required to play a preliminary round - with the winners away to Droylsden. Presumably these four clubs were chosen at random as Runcorn and BPA, for example, who qualified for Nationwide North below us do not have preliminary round games.

    Prelim. Round, w/c 4 October

  • Ashton U v ALTRINCHAM (presumably on Monday 4th, thereby presumably forcing the second postponement of Alty's league game against Vauxhall on Tuesday 5th)
  • Moor Green v Redditch U.

    First Round, w/c 1 November

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

    Should Alty progress they would meet Worcester or Stafford at home in Round 2 (w/c 29 Nov.), then Tamworth away in Round 3 (w/c 24 Jan.) then they would be away to Accrington or York in Round 4.


    In the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, Alty boss Graham Heathcote (right) says that the win over Worksop "was our best 90 minutes of the season. We played against a very well organised side, needed patience and we showed that attribute very well... but I heard one or two people dissecting the performance. I find it very down heartening - everybody now should be totally behind these players and concentrate on where we go from here. I think we are getting better. We've still got room for improvement but I think we'll have to play in the Premier League to satisfy some people".

    As for Tuesday's draw at Lancaster, Graham said "It was a good performance in difficult conditions - wind and driving rain. I am delighted with the effort". On the same game, Lancaster Today's headline is "'Elvis' has City all shook up", as it reports on Elvis-impersonator Marcus Hallows's goal for Altrincham. Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson said: "We changed things around a little bit against Altrincham and we looked more solid... we thoroughly deserved a draw".


    Why not come along and support Alty's latest crop of young players when Altrincham Youth take on Southport Youth at Moss Lane this Monday (7.45pm) in the FA Youth Cup? Gate prices are just £3 for adults and £1 for concessionaries.


    The NW Evening Mail quotes Lee Turnbull, manager of Alty's opponents on Tuesday, Barrow, after defeat by Runcorn: "I’m very disappointed to get beat... We need to be more aggressive, more positive and braver in the box... Then we gave them a comedy goal.. At the moment obviously Neil Campbell and Gavin Knight are not firing. We lack that cutting edge". As for Steve Flitcroft, on loan from Accrington, Turnbull said earlier: "I think in the last two games he’s been our best player".


    The 'FA Cup Player of the Round’ award has five nominees for the 1st Qualifying Round - one of whom is ex-Alty youth and first-teamer Lee Thompson, who scored twice for Skelmersdale at Blyth to dump the north-eastern side out of the competition. If Lee wins "he will be crowned ‘Player of the Round’ and win £1000 worth of UMBRO football kit and equipment for a local school, club or organisation of his choice. He will also receive an engraved silver salver... [He] will also be the first player to join The Team of The FA Cup, guaranteeing VIP attendance at The FA Cup final... and a chance-of-a-lifetime introduction to the crowd, pitch side at half time". Why not vote for Lee on the FA site? He is seen, right, in his Alty Youth days.

    The star, as Urmston Cricket Club routed their opponents at the weekend, was "paceman Kurt Edginton returning a storming 7-32" says SAM. Kurt kept goal for Alty a couple of seasons ago.


    Two UniBond clubs which failed to qualify for Nationwide North have now lost their managers with the resignation of Blyth Spartans' Paul Baker. "Baker felt that he had taken the club as far as possible... As a short-term measure, player/assistant-manager Graham Fenton... will take over day-to-day running of the team... The club will be interviewing for a new manager over the next few days" states the club's website. Recently Whitby Town parted company with manager Harry Dunn and the "one game in the UniBond League Premier Division on Wednesday night... was a curious one, as the north-east derby between Whitby Town and Blyth Spartans involved teams who are both managerless! However, four wins out of five and fourth place in the table has strengthened the hand of David Logan as he looks to secure the manager's job at Whitby".


    "Alfreton Town [had]... a superb 2-1 home success over title-favourites Southport last Saturday and a 1-1 draw on Tuesday evening at Kettering Town... The Reds went into last Saturday’s game against former Conference club Southport with another new signing, Paul Riley, from Notts County. The... left-sided wing-man could, conceivably [be]... playing against the Magpies this time next season. It is a statement which should shake anyone in the local area who has still not been to see Alfreton Town in recent years to the core. Four years ago it would have been unthinkable that the Reds would be within touching distance of any of their local Football League clubs. The rise and rise has brought that thought very much to the forefront. A tall story? Not a bit of it. Admittedly, it would take events to transpire at the same time and no-one would wish relegation on anyone else. But Notts County are currently bottom of League Two while the Reds are now two points clear at the top of Nationwide North... Perhaps the rise has left some people standing and they can’t fathom what has happened in such a short space of time. Indeed, one long-standing fan recently brought two of his work colleagues to see a team they had not watched for ten years. The pair were totally dumbstruck at the transformation of the old North Street ground into the magnificent Impact Arena and the stunning new state of the art floodlights" says Kev Miles on NL Daily.

    The Stalybridge Forum states that "In the Tameside Reporter [it says that] Celtic have put in a seven day notice for Steve Smith at Ashton United".

    Bradford PA "reserved their worst performance of the season for the must-win clash against bottom-of-the-table Vauxhall who arrived at Horsfall without a victory in Conference North... Manager Carl Shutt brought in loan signing Phillip Reilly from Stockport County, the 19-year-old left sided midfielder getting a place in the starting line-up". Apparently Vauxhall have now scored a single goal in each of their last 10 matches!

    Worksop Today says that "Work on upgrading Sandy Lane to Football Conference standard is hoped to be under way before Christmas".

    This is Worcester quotes City player-coach John Snape after "City crumbled to their second consecutive defeat, 2-0 to Worksop Town. He said: 'One supporter said a few things during the game and I had a go back at him. I apologised at half-time and I let my frustration get the better of me because we lost at home. I thought the crowd could have been a little more lenient'... City gave a run-out to midfield trailist Goran Zujovic, formerly of Dundee".

    IC Cheshire reports on Runcorn FC Halton, who tonight (Friday) play at Alfreton "who are experimenting with Friday-night football in the hope of boosting poor crowds... Said [Runcorn boss, Chris] Lightfoot: 'It's something I'd like to try myself'... The Linnets certainly need to do something to boost attendances which have scraped 200 for the last couple of games - less than half the amount they need to break even on ground rental alone. [Ex-Robin] Mike Garrity is undergoing ice treatment on a dead leg... while Anton Lally will also travel to Alfreton after jaw surgery... Lightfoot has lined up a potential loan recruit for midfield and a striker who would come on a permanent deal. But he admitted: 'I may have to let players go to bring someone in'".

    23 September 2004


    At Chester City's request, the CSC match on 9 November has been switched to Moss Lane.


  • Saturday 25th: Altrincham v Nuneaton Borough, Moss Lane, 3pm
  • Sunday 26th: Stockport FA Youth v Altrincham FA Youth (Cheshire FA District Cup) at Woodley Sports 2pm
  • Monday 27th: Altrincham Youth v Southport Youth (FA Youth Cup), Moss Lane 7.45pm
  • Tuesday 28th: Altrincham v Barrow, Moss Lane 7.45pm
  • Tuesday 28th: Barrow Res. v Altrincham Res.


    Nuneaton Borough visit Moss Lane this Saturday. They last visited Moss Lane on 27 October 2001 when Alty beat them 3-0 in an FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round game. At the time Boro' were still in the Conference and Alty were in the UniBond Premier. Alty's goals came from Thornley (2) and Hulme. The only Alty players who took part in that game who are still at Moss Lane are Coburn, Scott, Adams, Maddox and the recuperating Thornley and Murphy.

    Above: Rod Thornley nets the first goal against Nuneaton in 2001, from the spot.

    IC Coventry says of Boro's last game that "Mark Noon opened his Borough account to net the three points against an uninspired [and] unimaginative Stalybridge in one of the worst games seen at Manor Park for many a year. Both sides struggled to entertain Nuneaton's lowest crowd of the season, a woeful 615, but those who stayed away missed precious little, only the fact that Boro avoided a third successive home defeat... The performance left a lot to be desired with Noon, keeper Darren Acton and the back four, that included the returning Mark Clifford from his loan spell at Grantham, the best of a poor lot... Skipper Neil Moore, who again took the man of the match honours". However, away from home Boro are unbeaten.

    Meanwhile the Nuneaton Borough website reports that planning permission has been granted to build houses on the Manor Park ground. A new stadium will be built at Liberty Way and work is expected to start early in 2005, with completion in summer 2006.


    Farsley Celtic will come to Moss Lane on October 2nd to play in the FA Cup 2QR. As Altrincham have not met Farsley Celtic previously in a competitive match, here is a little background on them. Celtic finished third in the UniBond First last season and this season play in the Premier Division, where they lie 15th. Farsley play at Throstle Nest, Pudsey, near Leeds and are known as "The Villagers". Before 1982 they played in Yorkshire local leagues but then joined the Northern Counties East, leaving in 1987 to join the Northern Premier.

    In the FA Cup, their best year was 1974 when they reached Round One and lost 0-2 to Tranmere Rovers before 11,000 fans at Elland Road, Leeds. Amongst their famous ex-players are Leeds United's Paul Madeley and Bradford City's Stuart McCall.

    Well known current Celtic players include the former Barnsley man Curtis Bernard, striker Michael Midwood who has been at Doncaster, Emley, Halifax, Huddersfield and Ossett Town, and Stefan Zoll, who has played against us for Whitby Town. One of several players to have turned out both for Farsley and Alty was Clive Freeman, of whom more below...


    The Cheshire Senior Cup draw against Chester City evokes memories for Alty fans of the famous FA Cup clash in November, 1992 when, after a 1-1 draw, the replay at Moss Lane witnessed Clive Freeman's stunning goal to make it 2-0 to Altrincham - the goal was televised and later voted Goal of the Season on Match of the Day. City are now managed by Ian Rush and boast two ex-Alty players - Kevin Ellison and Phil Bolland.


    The Tameside Advertiser quotes Droylsden boss Dave Pace as saying that he has "let Carl Furlong go... I let [him] go because I'd said I wasn't happy with the strikers, but I hope to bring in a striker on loan hopefully by Saturday".

    Former Robins' goalkeeper Andy Dibble has been sidelined for three months after severing tendons in his hand whilst playing for Wrexham. Fellow 'keeper Ryan McMahon played for Congleton against Trafford this week. Lee Thompson scored again as Skem beat Nantwich 4-0.


    Confguide announces that "The Carthium Group Ltd are sponsors of the Conference's League cup for 2004/5. The group's brands includes Coldseal and Bryco". They also sponsor various clubs including Hornchurch. "Details of the format of the competition has yet to be announced, beyond the inclusion of all 66 Nationwide Conference, Nationwide North, and Nationwide South clubs".

    IC Southport says that after Port lost to Alfreton, manager Liam Watson disputed "a sixth-minute penalty decision" against Steve Pickford... An angry Watson blasted: 'The result was very disappointing. I didn't realise the referee's name was Hogg as he had a pig of a game all day! Whether he's a Premiership assistant or not he should stick to being a linesman as he was totally inept in the middle. He also borders on being totally arrogant which does not help. The penalty decision was a joke. Steve Pickford simply shoulder charged their winger... So the referee's had his day in the sun. It's cost us'".

    Moor Green "have signed up youngsters Jason Ramsay and Dean Wellington, and former Hucknall and Nuneaton midfielder Jermaine Ayoola-Liburd... All have been immediately loaned out to Alvechurch to gain some match experience".

    22 September 2004


  • Bradford PA 0 Vauxhall M. 1


    Alty Reserves were due to play Leigh RMI at Abbey Hey tonight but the match has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


    Stephen Rose tweaked a thigh muscle last night and may be out for a week or so, whilst Gary Scott is still a week or so away from resuming training, with his knee injury.


    Altrincham have been drawn away to Chester City in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday 9 November - a reunion with Kevin Ellison perhaps.


    Two "old boys" scored twice each last night in the 3-3 draw between Northwich and Accrington. Ian Craney's brace included a long range effort whilst both of Mark Quayle's goals were penalties.


    Right: Another excellent photo from Gavin Rathbone, as Colin Little takes the applause after scoring against Worksop last Saturday.

    Last night, Altrincham came close to securing their first league win at the Giant Axe since 1978 - but, to be fair, we have only had six attempts since then!

  • Match report

  • Alty Line-Up
  • League Table
  • Alty Statistics


    Alty now have three home games on the run before travelling to Vauxhall Motors on 5 October:
  • Sat. 25 Sept: v Nuneaton Borough (league)
  • Tue. 28 Sept: v Barrow (league)
  • Sat. 2 Oct: v Farsley Celtic (FA Cup 2QR)
  • Tue. 5 Oct: AWAY v Vauxhall Motors (league)


    "An injury crisis at Total Network Solutions forced 44-year old former Alty striker Ken McKenna to name himself on the bench for Saturday's Welsh Premier League game away to Airbus UK. And the TNS manager came on as a second-half substitute to play for 18 minutes, his first league appearance since May 2001. TNS won the game 6-0 to stay top of the league with former Alty striker Marc Lloyd-Williams bagging a hat-trick", writes Andrew Lincoln of the Saints Alive website. Andrew adds that "Since signing for TNS Marc has scored 10 goals from just 254 minutes of football with hat-tricks in his last two games!"


    Altrincham host Barrow next Tuesday (28th) in a game postponed by heavy rain from August. The Holker St Newsletter reports that "During Saturday's victory at Bradford (PA), left back Scott Maxfield went off with an ankle injury and looks likely to be missing for the next fortnight. As he's a left sided player, it's expected that Steve Ridley will take his place, after he has just returned from suspension".


    Farsley Celtic beat Marine 4-0 in Tuesday's replay to secure an FA Cup 2nd QR tie at Moss Lane against Altrincham on 2 October.

    To play in that match, or any replay, all players must have been registered by 12 noon on 1 October. The draw for the 3QR is on Monday, 4 October and will be live on the FA Competitions Newsline 09066 555888 at 11am and available on after 11.30am.


  • Ashton U. 0 Hinckley U. 2
  • Droylsden 2 Harrogate T. 1


  • Gainsborough T. 1 Southport 0
  • Hucknall T. 2 Redditch U. 1
  • Kettering T. 1 Alfreton T. 1
  • Lancaster C. 1 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Nuneaton B. 1 Stalybridge C. 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Barrow 0
  • Stafford R. 2 Moor Green 1
  • Worcester C. 0 Worksop T. 2