Altrincham Football Club News Archive
19 to 23 October, 2004

23 October 2004


An eventful day for our ex-players in the League - Paul Ellender (Boston) and Alex Hay (Rushden) scored but Danny Adams (Stockport) was sent off.


  • Alfreton T. 2 Lancaster C. 3
  • Altrincham 2 Droylsden 2
  • Barrow 2 Kettering T. 1
  • Harrogate T. 3 Nuneaton B. 1
  • Hinckley U. 0 Stafford R. 2
  • Moor Green 0 Bradford PA 1 abandoned 45 mins
  • Redditch U. 0 Gainsborough T. 0 abandoned 20 mins
  • Southport 2 Worcester C. 2
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Ashton U. 1
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Hucknall T. 0 the 13th successive league game in which Motors have scored once in the league!
  • Worksop T. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 1


    In Friday's MEN, it says that Graham Heathcote "has put his back four on the alert [as]... Droylsden are the division's top scorers and are out to wreck the Robins' unbeaten home record. Graham said., "We're going to have to be on our guard. But we're also a little handful on our own patch. If both teams play to their potential, I think the fans will be in for a treat". After their Cup exit, Droylsden's Dave Pace said, "No one's guaranteed a shirt after last weekend's performance and there will be a few raised eyebrows when I name my team". The MEN adds that centre-half Craig Robinson and striker Dave Cameron are likely to be out injured. Alty "will be without injured duo Niell Hardy and Barry Shuttleworth".


    The MEN has an article featuring Danny Adams. After Stockport's 4-0 reverse at Chesterfield, Danny said, "I'm just glad my mum and dad weren't at Chesterfield. I'd have been embarassed for them to see us play that badly".


    Alty travel to Worcester next Saturday. IC Cheshire reports on City - "With average gates of 949, Worcester's crowds are second only in Nationwide North to geographically-isolated Barrow's. Their crowds are also consistently the highest in the division with their worst gate 802 - almost four times the figure Vauxhall get through the turnstiles. Worcester [are] currently in something of a rut without a win in their last five matches - a spell in which they have netted just once". Knocked out of the FA Cup by Cambridge City, "boss John Barton and his players were given something of a hot reception from the home faithful. Barton has been in charge at St George's Lane for five years after successful stints as manager of Nuneaton Borough and Burton Albion. He started his playing days with Worcester and was sold for a record £27,500 to Everton in 1979 before going on to turn out for Derby County and Kidderminster Harriers. On the playing front, captain Carl Heeley, who was ever-present for three seasons between 2000-03, is currently in his testimonial year. Other names to look out for include defensive midfielder Les Hines, who collected an FA Trophy winner's medal with Hednesford Town last season, and striker Mark Owen, now employed as the club's assistant youth development officer, who has netted more than 100 goals for Worcester"


    Northwich's "Hopes of signing [ex-Lancaster] Jamie Hughes have been dashed after the FA ruled that Vics must wait until the January transfer window. As the striker was on a professional contract in Sweden Vics are unable to sign him for another three months".


    The Runcorn website says that "the club is able to offer the opportunity to own the Runcorn v Altrincham match on DVD. This league match was played on 12 October... Runcorn beat Altrincham 2-1. The cost of the DVD is £8 + £2 P+P, if you are interested in purchasing a copy, then please contact the club via the Feedback page".


    Bradford PA have signed "former Harrogate Town defender James Riordan and made two loan signings from Wigan Athletic, David Moore and Greg Trayner. Midfielder Marc Thompson has been released, and has joined Wakefield & Emley".
    22 October 2004


    Last night at Moss Lane: Man Utd Res 5 Liverpool Res. 2


    Alty travel to Worcester City a week on Saturday (30th) but This is Worcs reports that City are at Southport tomorrow and it "will be 15 days since City's previous Nationwide North encounter... [This] gave extra recuperation time for Mark Owen following his pre-season knee injury, time which the prolific striker has used profitably, striking the net four times in two reserve fixtures... Jai Stanley, City's midfield operator, won't be lacing up his boots... for the next month... after last week undergoing his second knee operation in less than 12 months... Manager Barton comments: 'It is unbelievable that I find myself talking about more injuries at Worcester City when we've not had a game at the weekend. I thought we might have been able to enjoy the break away from any fixtures but that has not been the case with the news of Barry Woolley and Christian Moore. It's just unmanageable at the moment. At this rate, I'll soon be banning anybody from crossing the road or tying their shoelaces for fear of something happening. I felt sick when I heard what had happened to Barry [he was beaten up]... Barry has broken his jaw and it could take between six to eight weeks to heal... Another huge blow for us is that Christian is out for nine months. He has been diagnosed with ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments to his right knee". The boss added, "'The chairman has gone on record to say we can't afford to bring in any loan players to replace them and I have to stick to that... I've not even mentioned Paul Carty, Rob Warner and Leon Kelly, who are still looking to shake off their own injuries. Adam Webster's ankle problem has not improved and he will be seeing a specialist'... Chairman Dave Boddy said the club were expecting to conclude a loan deal for a goalkeeper...following unfortunate injuries to regular goalkeeper Danny McDonnell and stand-in Aaron Kerr. Manager John Barton is desperate to draft in a goalkeeper with years of experience rather than hand the gloves over to rookie Lewis Skyers... Barton said: "There's a couple of leads that we will be chasing up".


    The Tameside Advertiser says that "Stalybridge Celtic will not name their new manager until the weekend at the earliest. Chairman Peter Dennerly said three men were shortlisted following interviews with the Bower Fold directors but the postponement of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Leek Town forced any announcement to be delayed... Mr Dennerly said: "An announcement will be made either this weekend or next Monday. We are satisfied that we have quality people to make a decision on because they are three extremely good candidates".

    IC Cheshire reports that "Vauxhall FC chairman Alan Bartlam has devised a generous new strategy to boost his club's flagging attendances by letting kids into the Motormen's next two matches for free... Bartlam said: 'We've contacted 80 schools not just in Ellesmere Port but in the surrounding areas of Chester and the Wirral, telling them about this offer and asking youngsters the question "What are you up to at half-term?" Hopefully, many of them will take up this offer to watch Conference football free of charge and generate a fantastic atmosphere. We've also written to the parents of all the youth-team players, reminding them that our juniors can gain free entry to all of our first-team matches and we'd like to see as many of them as possible turning up and feeling part of the club'". The article goes on: "Despite playing in their debut season in Nationwide North, Vauxhall are still enduring dire crowds. Their average gate is a paltry 219, less than half the league average of 514 [less than half?], and attendances have been as low as 187 in a division that contains four clubs who have enjoyed crowds of more than 1,000 this season. Bartlam said: 'Although the parameters of the manager's budget have not changed from last season, we are having to foot considerably higher administration costs now we're in the Conference, such as subscription fees. If you just look at a simple thing like the AGM. In the past we've just had to go to Blackpool but this year we had to travel down to Eastbourne. We're running a club lottery and Christmas draw but we won't be able to survive at this level unless we get more people coming through the gate'". We wish them well!

    IC Coventry says that "Talks continue between Nuneaton Borough manager Roger Ashby and two prospective new signings... Ashby continues to look to strengthen his ranks and is having talks with a couple of players he would like to get on board. 'We are close to agreeing terms but unless we move one or two of the present squad on the finances are tight', confirmed the Manor Park boss".

    Last night's FA Cup replay between Leek Town and Stalybridge was postponed again due to a waterlogged pitch. Earlier, This is Stafffs said that "Leek, beaten only once at home, are hoping for a crowd in the region of 700".

    This is Worksop writes that "hero Chris Cleary has made FA Cup history by becoming the first American to score a hat-trick in the cup's 133-year existence.. And this feat has not only created interest across England via the FA's website but has spread across the Atlantic to his native Milton, Massachusetts, resulting in the striker being interviewed by the Boston Globe".


    Our CSC opponents, Chester City, have advised fans at a recent meeting that gates of 5000 are needed to break even. Also, a new company Chester City FC 2004 Ltd will be formed. The existing company will pay off the inherited debts whilst the new company will proceed with a new credit record. A winding-up case is to be heard in early December but debts to HM Customs and the Inland Revenue will have been settled by then.

    IC Cheshire says that "The Northwich Vics' takeover will be completed at a Manchester Airport hotel next week... But the administrators - Begbies Traynor - have been criticised for not recognising a group of fans who coughed up £131,000 as creditors... Clive Penny, a founder of the Drill Field Trust which helped rescue the club 12 years ago, said: 'They had not even heard of the trust until we contacted them, yet it is the biggest creditor of the lot. We could try for an injunction, but there is no guarantee of success'". But "Unless proof and the name of an officer of the trust is forthcoming it seems those who asked for - and were promised - their money back when the Drill Field was sold will receive nothing... The meetings will approve the rate at which creditors, owed an estimated £500,000, are paid".

    21 October 2004


    On Sunday (24th) Altrincham & District Youth FA are away at Alsager (11am) against Crewe & District FA in the Cheshire FA District Youth Cup. So, the scheduled Altrincham FC Youth game on Sunday at St Helens is off.


    Following our exit from the FA Cup, SAM reports that "Altrincham FC's board will meet soon to consider the club's wage bill and [manager Graham] Heathcote said departures may be necessary".


    Match reports on the Alty Reserves' games at Bradford PA and Leigh RMI have now been added to the Reserves section. The Reserves drew 1-1 at Marine on Tuesday night, their 6th draw in 11 outings this season.


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


    The Hucknall website has a match report on Tuesday's win over Altrincham. It rightly says "Another cracking cup tie produced thrills and spills at either end". Graham Heathcote told SAM, "Hucknall are, in my opinion, the best team we have played this season... I have no qualms about my players. People who saw the two games have seen a fantastic battle".


    Above: Former Alty captain Chris Timons gets to grips with Gary Talbot, his successor as Alty centre-back, during last Saturday's game. This is another action picture from Gavin Rathbone, for which I am grateful. Visit The Robins' Shop to order your copies of Alty photo merchandise.


    Jamie Almond and Anthony Hargreaves both scored for Flixton on Tuesday in a 4-6 defeat by Ashton United in the Manchester Premier Cup.


    The Conference quotes Alfreton boss David Lloyd: "I just hope the people who witnessed the 4-0 home league win over Runcorn on September 24 will remember what an excellent show the team put on. We can't wait to get back and entertain the home fans again. We have worked out our own winning formula from within our limitations and it will be up to another big city club - Lancaster City - to come and try and work out how to undo it this Saturday. We have come so far in the past three years it is staggering to think that each game now is against big city clubs instead of the Welfare sides from our Counties days. But we have built up a sound squad with very good ability and lots of quality and I don't think our fans have ever had it so good". The article goes on, "It has already been shown by big names Kettering Town and Worcester City that they were happy to take a league point from the Reds despite both being at home! Such is the extent of Alfreton's respect these days". Lloyd added, "It defies logic and explanation to know how we are doing so well on limited resources. We are top of the league and deserve to be there". Meanwhile, striker "Mick Goddard will return to the squad as his loan period at Stocksbridge [ends]... Winger Paul Riley has been allowed to join Ilkeston Town to gain match fitness".

    IC Coventry reports that "talks continue between Nuneaton Borough manager Roger Ashby and two prospective new signings... Ashby commented:'We are close to agreeing terms but unless we move one or two of the present squad on the finances are tight'".

    Barrow report that "Gavin Knight joined Brigg Town of UniBond 1 on Monday in a 1 month loan deal... The aim is for Gavin to regain the scoring touch that saw him net 20 times in his debut season for The Bluebirds last term".

    20 October 2004


    After the sacking of Chris Lightfoot today (see below), Runcorn FC Halton have announced "the appointment of Alvin McDonald and Peter Carroll as their new managerial team, with Barry Taylor remaining at the club as kit man... Alvin and Peter were formerly in charge of fellow Nationwide North outfit Vauxhall Motors, with the duo achieving numerous successes at Rivacre Park. They also had a brief spell at Northwich Victoria last season. The new managerial team will formally meet the players at training tomorrow evening (i.e. Thursday), and will be in charge of their first game on Saturday. This will be the Nationwide North match between Worksop Town and Runcorn FC Halton".


    Beating Altrincham last week was not enough to save Runcorn bosses Chris Lightfoot and Eddie Bishop (ex-Alty player), who have been sacked. The following Press Release has been kindly supplied by Martin Fallon, Press Officer at Runcorn FC Halton:


    Runcorn FC Halton regret to announce the news that the managerial team of Chris Lightfoot and Eddie Bishop have being relieved of their duties with immediate effect. This decision comes after a series of poor performances by the team over recent weeks, culminating in the club bowing out of two different cup competitions in the space of four days. The club would like to place on record our thanks for the work done by Chris and Eddie since their appointments, and wish them both the best of luck with any future managerial careers that they may undertake. Further announcements relating to the appointment of a new managerial team will be announced shortly.

    Also dismissed today is Weymouth boss Steve Claridge; one of the first nails in his coffin was Alty's Trophy win at Weymouth last season.


    Match report here.

  • Alty Line-Up
  • Alty Stats


    On Saturday Alty led Hucknall 2-0 after Colin Little had scored (above). That high point is well captured by Gavin Rathbone's camera above.


    A match report of the Reserves game at Chorley on 2 October has now been added to the Reserves section.


    NL Daily says that "Stamford have signed much-travelled striker Simon Underwood from Kettering Town".

    Harrogate boss John Reed, manager of Harrogate Town said of his side defeat by Liversedge "We were winning 1-0 at half-time when we hadn't played well and the second half should have been a total stroll at the end of the day. But we were shocking, absolutely appalling, our standards went down 200%... I am not making any excuses whatsoever", he told the club website.

    The Barrow website reports that "The directors reviewed the unsavoury incident that occurred after the Kettering game between Assistant Boss Lee Warren & some travelling Barrow fans. The board will be dealing with the matter within the club's internal disciplinary system and a further public statement will be made when Lee Warren has been fully made aware of this".

    19 October 2004


    Manchester's City Life magazine for 14 to 20 October has an article about STAR's Saturday morning coaching sessions for youngsters. The article includes an interview with Andy Jones of Trafford Sports Development who ran a similar scheme at Manchester United's Carrington training complex before being approached by STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust. "Kids seem to want to go to watch United and City play but shun their local teams. We hope to build a bigger fanbase for the [Altrincham] club fom the bottom up as well as encouraging physical participation in the sport", said Mr Jones. Under STAR's scheme, children who take part receive free tickets for games at Moss Lane. STAR's Community Development Officer, Mike Rose added, "The important thing is that the kids enjoy themselves... It's for the kids that aren't so brilliant. Maybe they can't get on the school team but they enjoy a kick-about and the social side of the sport anyway. This is their chance". Andy's Saturday morning sessions are currently operating at Flixton but will return to Altrincham's Stamford Park when the spring weather arrives. For more details, see the STAR website.


    Shaun Constable is now playing for Yorkshire side Glasshoughton Welfare in the N. Counties East League.


    If Alty don't win at Hucknall tonight, they will travel to Worcester for a league match on 30 October. But Worcester City's injury woes were heightened when "defender Barry Woolley was badly injured on Saturday evening when he was attacked by three people in Lichfield. In what has been described as an unprovoked attack, 26 year old Woolley was hit over the head with a bottle and then kicked around like a 'football' while on the ground. He suffered numerous injuries, including a broken jaw in the attack. He was due to have a plate inserted into his jaw at Derby Royal Infirmary on Monday" reports the Conference website.

    On a happier note, This is Worcs reports that "City striker Mark Owen continues to impress on his comeback from injury after scoring a brace for the reserves... The 27-year-old was sidelined for the opening two months of the campaign after injuring his right knee in City's pre-season... City's player-coach John Snape, who has been suffering with a hamstring injury since pre-season, also returned to action and played for 70 minutes in the Challenge Bowl tie".

    This is Staffs reports that "Player-manager Phil Robinson was delighted with a result [against Runcorn] which put his hard-working Stafford Rangers side into the hat for the fourth qualifying round. He said: "young goalkeeper James Dormand was superb. There was no stopping Stafford registering a seventh clean sheet in 16 games and extending their impressive unbeaten run to nine games".

    At troubled Barrow, the NW Evening Mail says that manager "Lee Turnbull has been forced to cut his players’ budget with Jamie Paterson set to be the first casualty. The midfielder should complete a move to Forest Green Rovers today after a drop in attendances meant a tightening of finances. "Obviously crowds and results have affected our finances, which is understandable. It’s something I’ve got to accept and I’m quite willing to work with the board on this to reduce the budget", said the boss. However, "An ugly bust-up between AFC assistant manager Lee Warren and some Barrow fans left a dark cloud hanging over the club after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Kettering. The two parties are understood to have exchanged heated words pitch-side after the final whistle... The club’s directors have said they will discuss the incident at a board meeting tonight. During the game it is understood some fans were again calling for the axe to swing on manager Lee Turnbull and Warren". Warren said "We (the management) are prepared to take criticism off people but I ain’t prepared to take that kind of abuse".

    The FA ‘Player of the Round’ award, includes two Nationwide North players, Vauxhall Motors goalkeeper Tim Dittmer and Worksop's Chris Cleary. The winner gets "£1000 worth of UMBRO football kit and equipment for a local school, club or organisation of his choice, plus an engraved silver salver".