Altrincham Football Club News Archive
27 September to 2 October, 2004

2 October 2004


Altrincham have signed left-sided midfielder Steve Torpey from Prescot Cables. Steve was a schoolboy international for England and was at Liverpool Academy (1998-2001). In 2001-02 he was at Port Vale, where he made one first-team appearance. He was born in Liverpool on 16 September 1981, is 5ft 9in and weighs 10lb 8lbs.


  • FA Cup 2nd QR:
  • ALTRINCHAM 4 Farsley Celtic 1
  • Barrow 3 Stalybridge C. 3
  • Leek T. 1 Nuneaton B. 1
  • Matlock T. 0 Alfreton T. 5
  • Holker OB 0 Harrogate T. 3
  • Bradford PA 2 Squires Gate 1
  • Maltby M. 1 Ashton U. 3
  • Lancaster C. 3 Esh Winning 2
  • Ramsbottom U. 0 Southport 2
  • Fleetwood T. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 1
  • Billingham T. 1 Vauxhall M. 3
  • Ashington 1 Droylsden 3
  • Gainsborough Trinity 2 Halesowen T. 3
  • Redditch U. 2 Histon 3
  • Worcester C 1 Cambridge C. 3
  • Gresley R. 2 Hucknall T. 2
  • Hinckley U. 3 Stamford 1
  • Moor Green 5 Carlton T. 0
  • Stafford R 2 Kettering T. 2
  • Worksop T. 3 Stone Dominoes 0

    Howard Watts's Through the Years records for 2 October are here.


    Alty Reserves have taken on a few new faces recently. They include former Northwich Vics midfielder Val Owen, who is in the squad for tomorrow's game at Chorley. Joining him is Laurence Ball, who has come from Dover Athletic but is in the NW as a student. His former clubs include Chelsea and Gillingham. Two other newcomers are former Manchester City youngsters, Leyton Slack and Adam Brindle, who played for the Reserves last Saturday. A familiar face returning to the Reserves is former Alty youth captain Paul Tilley, who has been with Trafford and Leigh since leaving Altrincham.

    Long-term injured first-teamers Danny Murphy and Sean Smith have been playing in the Reserves this season and both look to be getting back to good form after more than a year out of action. The Reserves gained an excellent win at Barrow last Saturday and manager Neil Brown takes them to Chorley tomorrow for another in their sequence of seven consecutive away games in the Lancashire League. For more, see the Reserves page.


    The Conference site reports that "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote takes the Nationwide North (Manager of the Month) award following a splendid month for the Cheshire side". It continues, "Graham's personal history with the club spans almost 35 years as he also played for the club as a teenager. He celebrates his second anniversary as the manager of Altrincham this month so the award comes at an appropriate juncture".


    Right is Gavin Rathbone's view of Peter Band in last week's game against Nuneaton. For details of Gavin's photos, click here. Peter has retained the captaincy which he was given due to Mark Maddox's suspension at the start of the season.


    There are three options for Alty next week:
  • MONDAY - Ashton (Away) in the Carthium Cup- unless either we or Ashton draw in the FA Cup today.
  • TUESDAY - Farsley Celtic (Away) in an FA Cup replay - if we draw today.
  • ZERO OPTION - if we don't draw but Ashton do draw today, then we have no midweek game. I wonder if Vauxhall Motors would like to reinstate their twice postponed league game against us on Tuesday - if they haven't got a replay!

    STAR coach times and fares are on the Away Travel page for both Ashton and Farsley.


    Gainsborough Trinity host Halesowen Town in the Cup today but "Trinity's team have been suffering from a flu epidemic and will hope key players are fit enough to play".

    "Steve Burr, manager of Northwich Victoria, has hinted for the first time that he made a mistake by deserting Hucknall Town as boss during the summer... He was effectively sacked after seeking talks with Northwich Victoria, whom he duly joined... Burr said: 'I have no regrets but I often think that, maybe, it was not the best decision I have ever made... Here at Northwich, they have got used to losing", states Hucknall Today.

    Defender Michael Ord has joined Guiseley from Harrogate Town.

    Lancaster Today says that "City striker Peter Thomson could be ready to return to the starting line-up as City set off on the FA Cup trail again... And the big striker could also be joined back in the City squad by [ex-Alty man] Tony Sullivan". Phil Wilson said: "Tony Sullivan has started training but he is probably a bit further behind Peter". In goal, "Wilson brought in Ryan Yeomans for his first start at Redditch. 'I just felt that Jamie Speare had had a few off games'... Wilson dismissed talk of a managerial return to Stalybridge as 'just speculation'".

    "Barrow AFC’s FA Cup hopes have been dealt a serious blow with news Steve Flitcroft is to be blocked from playing... Flitcroft would be cup-tied if he featured for Barrow on Saturday and therefore ineligible to play for Accrington Stanley [from whom he is on loan] in any future rounds".

    1 October 2004


    A final decision on Stuart Coburn's fitness to play against Farsley will be made tomorrow.


    Altrincham may complete the signing of a left-sided midfielder tomorrow but he will not be eligible for the FA Cup tomorrow as he would have had to have been registered today.


    Courtesy of manager Neil Brown, there is a report on the Reserves' win at Barrow in the Reserves section.


    Congratulations to Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote (right), who has won the Nationwide Conference Manager of the Month award for September. Teetotaller Graham will receive the award of a magnum of champagne at either the Droylsden or Kettering home games. During September, Altrincham won four, drew one and lost one league match. They also progressed in the Cheshire Senior Cup.


    Alty will be hoping a replay is not necessary on Saturday but if they have to go to Yorkshire, they will find a good ground. NL Daily reports that "Farsley Celtic’s Throstle Nest ground has come through a Pontins League inspection with flying colours. The ground inspection took place in order that Nationwide Conference National side Halifax Town could use the Leeds-based club's facilities for their reserve team fixtures... The development of Throstle Nest has come via the Stadium Development Fund".


    Kevin Ellison scored for the second successive game for Chester City this week and Chris Downey netted for Mossley v Brigg.


    The NW Evening Mail quotes Lee Turnbull, manager of Barrow after he "saw his team waste numerous chances as they slumped to their third successive defeat last night. Altrincham were his tormentors this time as they won the game 2-0". Turnbull said "I think it comes down to a lack of confidence and lads snatching at things... I said to them at half-time, ‘sometimes when you get into positions, you’ve got to steady yourself, take a deep breath and concentrate on the job in hand, instead of just thinking I’ve got to score... [Tuesday] night was a blinding example of us not being ruthless enough in the box'".


    "Long-serving captain Carl Heeley has been awarded a testimonial by Worcester City.... [He] is now approaching 500 games for the club".

    IC Coventry says that "Nuneaton Borough have serious injury concerns ahead of Saturday's crucial FA Cup tie at Leek Town. The quartet of Steve Farmer, Gary Fitzpatrick, Avun Jephcott and Mark Clifford are all battling to be fit". Manager Roger Ashby said, "Steve twisted and tweaked his groin in the Altrincham defeat". The report adds, "Striker Gez Murphy made a successful return at Altrincham after a month out. The plan was to give him a hour and substitute him to try and protect the hamstring but he had to stay on as Boro incurred several more injuries in the second half".

    30 September 2004


    Stuart Coburn has a dead leg after the game against Barrow on Tuesday night and is therefore doubtful for Saturday's FA Cup game. Richard Acton, who is still eligible to play for Altrincham, is cup-tied after playing for Woodley Sports earlier in the competition. So, manager Graham Heathcote has signed Kurt Edginton and is also signing Ian Senior as cover.

    Kurt (35) originally joined Alty in August, 2001 from Hyde after starting out at Flixton. He made his Alty debut at Woodley Sports (Nov.2001) but played only once more for Altrincham that season. He made a surprising return to Altrincham as an unused sub in the FA Trophy win at Bradford PA on 30 November 2002 and also kept goal well in the league match at Marine on 2 December 2002. Kurt is also a bowler for Urmston Cricket Club. He signed NW Counties forms for Flixton in late Feb. 2004.

    Ian Senior (44) was signed from Stalybridge Celtic as a cover keeper in late January 2003, for his third spell at Moss Lane. In 1999 he joined as cover for Dean Greygoose having played for Altrincham in the 1980s and became, at 39, the Conference's oldest current keeper when he substituted for Dean Greygoose against Welling on 8 January 2000. This was his first appearance for the team since 1983 and he could therefore boast that he did not concede a goal for Altrincham over a period of 18 years! His record was lost at Witton on 4 April, 2000 when he played the full match in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final, which was won by Macclesfield Town, 2-1. Ian has been on the books of more than 30 different clubs during his career and is now a respected goalkeeping coach.


    Chris Adams will miss Saturday's game but it is possible that both Gary Scott and Mark Maddox may be fit to be involved. Rod Thornley will play again for Trafford at the weekend whilst both Danny Murphy and Sean Smith will be with the Reserves on Saturday.

    FA CUP

    Alty meet Farsley Celtic in the FA Cup on Saturday. In their win over Marine, the Farsley website says that "The hero was Michael Midwood who bagged a brace of trademark stunning goals". Celtic, it seems, specialise in long range goals - of the last eight goals scored upto that date, only one came from within the box. Against Lincoln United on Tuesday, "Farsley's pace on the break ultimately told". Their team for that game was - Morgan, McDaid, Smith, Shields, Connor, Stubb, Knowles, Iqbal, Bernard, Midwood,Stamer. Subs not used: Bold, Zoll, Bett.


    The STAR website reports that "The seats4alty total is now £870". The half-time bucket collections have now raised over £400 this season.


    The UniBond League says that "Frickley Athletic have announced that Gary Marrow will be the club’s new Manager, replacing Phil Sharpe who resigned.. Also rejoining the club is Mark Ogley [ex-Altrincham player], who will be Marrow’s Assistant, Ogley’s father, Alan, will join as Coach". Also in Yorkshire, Jeremy Illingworth scored for Guiseley on Tuesday.


    Confguide says that "Northwich Victoria have confirmed that no appeal was made against the points-deduction for going into administration... Yesterday, the club announced that it expects to come out of administration shortly. There are unconfirmed reports that the club is expecting to arrange a CVA with its creditors...Mike Connett, who leads the consortium that is planning to take over the club said, 'The appeal process could easily have run into tens of thousands of pounds. We have plans to strengthen the team by bringing in new players and the costs involved in an appeal would have jeopardised this. We'd rather strengthen the team and play for the points on the pitch".


    The Tameside Advertiser reports that "Peter Wragg has been placed in temporary charge of Stalybridge Celtic... assisted by [Dave] Miller’s second in command Gerry Luczka... Chairman Mr Dennerly said: 'Last Saturday’s result concentrated everybody's minds, Dave realised that nothing was happening for him'... Wragg was manager at Celtic when they won the Cheshire County League championship in 1980 and the Bass NW Counties League title in 1984 and 1987. He came back in 1994, rescuing the club from relegation out of the Conference by winning nine of the last dozen games to finish 14th, but resigned in 1996. Mr Dennerly added: 'We would expect to be in a position to nominate a new manager within three weeks'".

    "Leaving the Butcher’s Arms [Droylsden] is midfielder Chris O’Brien who has joined Vauxhall Motors". O'Brien scored Vauxhall's goal against Gainsborough on Saturday.

    IC Southport boss "Liam Watson knows it has gone rapidly wrong and he must steady the Sandgrounders immediately. The only positive is that Watson will have learned a great deal about his squad's capabilities at this early stage and can take a critical look at the loss of individual form". Watson said, "At the moment we are giving sloppy goals away... We are also not creating a lot. I'll have to have a look to see how we can get Lee Mulvaney into the starting line-up because he makes thinks happen. The players who have been out of the side now deserve their chance because the ones in the starting line-up haven't done it".

    The Conference site reports that "Alfreton Town chairman Wayne Bradley went on record this week to praise the immense contribution to the continuing rise of the club by manager Dave Lloyd. He said that fans "don't see the quiet, analytical side of Dave's character. Dave has been encouraged to accept, and has accepted, that managing Alfreton Town is becoming a bigger job by the season, and he has risen to it by the season. Some sections of the media seem to be huffing and puffing, and waiting for Alfreton to fall on their collective faces or just to fade away - well, they are in for a long wait".

    But, the same source also says of Lloyd "In each of his three seasons in the Alfreton hot-seat, Lloyd has seen the club's cup hopes ended at the first hurdle". They meet Matlock away on Saturday. Also, "Last weekend's experiment of Friday night football was a qualified success, with 446 going through the gates... Those who turned up witnessed a vintage team performance by the Reds". Chairman Wayne Bradley was upbeat about the experiment but said "We're not looking for a permanent move away from the tradition of Saturday afternoon football".

    29 September 2004


    Right: At the end of the game, Stuart Coburn hobbles off the pitch with an injury to his right leg, alongside Dalton Steele.

    Match report here.

  • League table
  • Alty line-up
  • Alty statistics


    In his programme notes for last night's game, Alty boss Graham Heathcote wrote: "Our foootball has been a pleasure to watch but... you have to graft hard at all times to earn the right to play your football. Being solid at the back is the foundation for other players to perform their skills... Our spirit is superb... The players fully support the vocal support you give... Dalton and I are looking to strengthen the squad as now is the time to do it and I will be speaking to the Board of Directors to see if this is possible or, indeed, even if we can maintain our current squad level- finances will dictate". Graham will be busy getting his squad fit for Saturday as Coburn, Adams and Potts were all injured last night, whilst Maddox is also sidelined. Better news is that Gary Scott trained on the pitch before the game last night and Rod Thornley played the last 15 minutes for Trafford last night in their FA Vase defeat by Yorkshire Amateur.


    As Alty were beating Barrow at Moss Lane, Alty Reserves were winning their first game of the season up at Holker Street by four goals to two. The Barrow forum says that "after going 1-0 up, the [Barrow] reserves lost 4-2 at Holker Street this evening. The score was all square at 1-1 at half time before a further 3 goals in the second half from Altrincham sealed the points. Patrick Staunton snatched one back late on".


    BBC Sport reports that "The Nationwide Conference has confirmed the deduction of 10 points from Northwich Victoria following the club's move into administration. The 10-point penalty... has taken immediate effect. As a result the Vics, who did not appeal, are last in the table on minus five points".
    28 September 2004


    Jody Banim has been signed by Droylsden on a free transfer from Shrewsbury. Banim had recently turned down a move to Stalybridge.


    Peter Wragg has been put in temporary charge of Stalybridge Celtic after the departure of David Miller.


    Match report in the Youth section.


    Altrincham are at home to Barrow tonight (7.45pm) in a match previously postponed by heavy rain in August. Needless to say it rained in South Manchester this lunchtime - no Barrow/Alty game can ever take place on a dry pitch. However, the sun is now shining! Meanwhile, Alty Reserves travel in the opposite direction to play at Holker Street.


    Chairman Peter Dennerley confirms on the Stalybridge Celtic forum that manager "Dave Miller and Stalybridge Celtic Football Club agreed to part company on mutually acceptable terms. The agreement was made in the light of recent results and current performances of the team... An announcement on the interim manager will be annouced shortly".


    In Gavin Rathbone's action picture, above, the ball evades the Nuneaton keeper as Colin Little lurks. Gavin's photos are on sale in the Robins' Shop - details here.

    IC Coventry has a match report on the Alty v Nuneaton game last Saturday. It begins in bizarre fashion "In a town associated long ago for bear baiting, cock fighting and public floggings, Altrincham exacted their own present day rituals with a no-nonsense success over Boro. Not for the first time this season, or the last, Roger Ashby's men came up against tough, resolute opponents who may not have all the footballing grace in the world but battle 100 per cent for 90 minutes... The deciding goal came midway through the opening half and was superbly taken by Elvis Presley impressionist Marcus Hallows, who shook up all the Boro defence with a deft angled run to escaped the clutches of Steve Farmer and find the target with a stunning 20-yard angled lob". The Nuneaton official website states that six players ended the game at Moss Lane injured or less than fully fit on Saturday- Gez Murphy, Steve Farmer, Gary Fitzpatrick, Avun Jephcott, Mark Clifford and Stuart Whittaker.


    In Trafford's FA Vase on Saturday, "substitute Rod Thornley floated in a corner from the right, the visitors failed to clear the danger and Haydn Eames pounced to lash the ball home from close range" says their website.


    There is praise of former Alty youth product Lee Thompson on the Skelmersdale website after his 4 goals on Saturday in the FA Vase. "M.O.M. Lee Thompson. Who else? Thompson's 4 goals took him to the top of the goal scoring charts, with 12 in all competitions. It's nothing less than this 20-year old lad deserves. He's a gutsy workaholic, who never gives up, and if he continues at this rate he'll stay at the top!"


    "A consortium led by Mike Connett has today confirmed that it has entered into a contract with administrators Begbies Traynor to buy Northwich Victoria... The new board will provide financial stability for the club. We are also confident that the new Victoria Stadium at Wincham will be completed this season" reports Confguide
    27 September 2004


    Altrincham bowed out of the FA Youth Cup tonight after giving a good performance but conceding a late goal. The visitors took the lead when Tinson was judged to have sprung the offside trap and he fed Dutton for an easy goal (11 mins). Alty equalised seven minutes later when Hendley converted Lewis's cross. Southport took the lead again in bizarre circumstances when the linesman flagged for a Southport freekick 20 yards out and the referee quite clearly blew his whistle. As everyone stopped, the ref then waved play on and Southport put the ball into the net and the goal was allowed to stand (62 mins). Alty were then awarded a penalty for handball and Monaghan scored from the spot (65 mins). After a tremendous long range effort from Deegan had come back off the bar, the game was decided when a cross from the right evaded Maddix and Edgar scored easily (87 mins). Report to follow.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's shot captures Colin Little shooting for goal against Nuneaton. Gavin's photos are available from the Robins' Shop. Click here for details.


    Altrincham goalkeeper Richard Acton (right) "who made nine appearances for Total Network Solutions last season, made his debut for Bangor City in Friday night's 4-0 win over NEWI Cefn Druids" reports the Welsh Premier site. Recently, Richard had been with Woodley Sports. He remains on Nationwide North forms with Altrincham but he would need international clearance to play for us.


    Should Altrincham's preliminary round Carthium Cup tie at Ashton next Monday (Oct. 4th) be a draw after 90 minutes, the result will be determined by extra time and penalties i.e. no replay.


  • Tonight (Monday), 7.45pm Altrincham Youth v Southport Youth in the FA Youth Cup - admission £3 (£1 concessionaries).
  • Tuesday: Altrincham v Barrow (N/wide North), 7.45pm.


    The STAR bucket collections continue to raise much appreciated funds for the club: £77.20 was raised on Saturday. Thank you to all concerned.


  • Through the Years, courtesy of Howard Watts.
  • Nationwide North Attendances, courtesy of Terry Rowley. Worcester City top the attendance charts.


    Report in Youth section.


    Rod Thornley came on after 63 minutes of Trafford FC's FA Vase game on Saturday against Yorkshire Amateur, which ended 2-2 after extra time.


    In their game on Saturday, Stafford Rangers "fielded Mark Danks up front, on loan from Forest Green Rovers, plus young keeper James Dormand who also made an appearance for the reserves on Wednesday night", says the Up the Boro website.

    Bradford PA report that following "defeat to bottom side Vauxhall Motors, only keeper Andy Britton emerged with any credit from that abject midweek display and several players were clearly on a final warning ahead of the trip to Bower Fold. There had been no 'stay of execution' for Karl Colley, the big striker having been shown the door prior to [Saturday's game] with Stalybridge. Colley, a close-season signing, had failed to impress". BPA won 4-1.


    The NW Counties League reports on a new directive from the FA's Head of Refereeing on the "inspection of footwear and jewellery" worn by players. It includes the following: "All jewellery, with the exception of a plain wedding ring, must be removed. Wedding rings must be rendered safe by taping... When inspecting footwear, officials are to be alert to the possibility of the edge of the blades or studs developing rough areas on either the plastic or metal used in their construction".