Altrincham Football Club News Archive
31 December 2004 to 5 January 2005

5 January 2005


  • Bradford PA v Worcester C. - postponed due to waterlogged pitch.


    Tonight's game at Abbey Hey between Alty Reserves and Accrington Stanley has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


    A new date for Altrincham's home game with Stafford Rangers, abandoned last Saturday, has been agreed by the clubs. It is Tuesday, 8th March at 7.45pm. but is subject to Conference approval. Altrincham were robbed of their record home attendance of the season when Saturday's game was abandoned, with 870 spectators in the ground. To check how things stand as regards attendances, Terry Rowley's updated Nationwide North attendance figures are here.

    This is Staffs reports that "Stafford Rangers suffered their second wasted away journey in just over two months as Saturday's game at Altrincham was abandoned after 27 minutes... There was no warning of what was to come on the journey up the M6 to Cheshire. But the heavens opened around half of an hour before kick-off and the referee carried out an unscheduled pitch inspection before giving the go-ahead".


    STAR is inviting everyone who agreed to sponsor goals scored or clean sheets kept by Altrincham this season to pay their end of year instalments. So far, Alty have scored 60 goals in all competitions and kept 9 clean sheets. Cheques should be made out to STAR and either sent to the club for collection or given to STAR Marketing Director, Jon Stack, at the next match.

    STAR also reports that "As the Stafford match was unfortunately abandoned before the bucket collectors could get round the ground, STAR will be donating the proceeds of the Lancaster home match bucket collection towards this worthy cause. As time is of the essence though, STAR have already made an online donation to the Tsunami appeal of £250 (£320 with gift aid) with any shortfall to be made up by the STAR Board members personally".

    STAR now has 24 slimmers taking part in its sponsored Slim4Alty and if anyone else wishes to take part, it's not too late to obtain a sponsor pack from Jon Stack on 01827 64471 or by e-mail.


    Current Alty Reserves' keeper Spencer Liddiard has signed forms for New Mills, whilst former Alty youth goalkeeper William Allman has joined another NW Counties' side, Nantwich Town.


    Defenders Danny Adams (Stockport Co.) and Paul Ellender (Boston) both scored on Monday.


    Nationwide North manager of the month for December was Dave Pace of Droylsden- who promptly lost to Ashton United in January after they had won all four league games in December. Nationwide's Chris Hull commented: "The success of Dave Pace and his players at Droylsden is a fantastic story. Dave is from the area and has been Chairman of the club for nearly eleven years and manager since 1998".

    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter reports that "There is a posting on the Barrow AFC unofficial website that says Barrow AFC Vice-Chairman, Phil Cowing, has resigned from his position on the board".

    SATURDAY 8th

    Worksop Town host Altrincham this Saturday. Alty have had a good record at Worksop since being relegated from the Conference in 2000 and their only defeats since then have occurred at Moss Lane. Alty's score is given first in the list below.

  • 16.9.00 away, 2-1, gate 665, scorers Furlong 46, Ellison 74
  • 27.1.01 home, 1-2, 718, Murphy 77
  • 21.8.01 away, 2-1, 421, Hulme 28, Craney 70
  • 27.4.02 home, 2-0, 709, Shuttleworth 21, Daniel 76
  • 2.11.02 away, 2-1, 754, Thornley 40(pen),42
  • 1.3.03 home, 2-4, 738, Craney 13, Shuttleworth (pen) 65
  • 8.11.03 away, 0-0, 635
  • 20.4.04 home, 2-1, 484, Scott 2, Craney 60
  • 18.9.04 home, 4-1 627, Little 29, Potts 65, Aspinall 76(pen), Hussin 90

    Above - 18/9/04 at Moss Lane, where seven Alty players are visible in the box to Worksop's three but the Tigers' Mark Haran (now at Harrogate), in the blue shirt farthest from camera, turns after putting the ball into the Alty net from a free-kick by Davies (no.3). The ball is in the net, just to the right of the MUFC crest on the hoarding. Alty went on to win 4-1.

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


    The NW Counties League reports that nine of its members have applied for promotion to the UniBond League for Season 2005-2006. They are Bacup Borough, Colne, Fleetwood T., Newcastle T., Ramsbottom U., Skelmersdale U., St Helens T., Stone Dominoes and Trafford, but "The Albany Northern League will not be promoting any clubs to the UniBond".
    4 January 2005


    The Stalybridge Celtic website announces that "Stalybridge Celtic are to have a new manager. After an amicable conversation and following reflection on the festive results and the club's run of seven successive defeats, Chairman Peter Dennerly and manager Peter Wragg have decided that a change is inevitable. Wragg, who took over from Dave Miller in September, will continue in charge of the team until a successor is appointed. Celtic have been in contact with potential successors and hope to make an appointment, if not by weekend then early next week... Wragg, in his third spell as manager at Bower Fold, said: 'The results have not been what any of us wanted, but we have been competitive in every game until the second half at Southport and then the return home game. That gave me cause for reflection'".


    Dave Cummins, the Trafford goalkeeper who kept goal for Alty against Hucknall in the FA Cup this season, made his first appearance of the season for the Shawe View side yesterday against Squires Gate. Also making his first start in the Trafford side this season was David Holt, who was subbed in the second half, with Andy Lundy (registered with Alty last season) coming on to score one of Trafford's two goals in a 2-0 win.

    Niell Hardy missed Ashton's win over Droylsden yesterday as he was "unavailable for selection" says the Ashton site. But another ex-Robin, Darren Royle, "played a great role at outside left".

    Hyde went down to their second defeat of the festive season with Matt McNeil, Ged Kielty (sub) and Steven Clegg in their side yesterday. Meanwhile, Anthony Hargreaves netted for Flixton.


    STAR reports that about £500 was raised by the New Year raffle. "The lucky winner was Debbie Dawson, wife of Alty stalwart Neil Dawson and the Golf Rd End will carry her name for the next 12 months".


    Ashton United confirm that "Peter Carty [is] out of retirement for the second time".

    Bradford PA included "latest signing Jason Wray, who recently joined from Sheffield Wednesday" in Sunday's game.

    This is WCFC reports that "City dropped into the bottom half of Nationwide North following their 2-0 defeat at Manor Park [Nuneaton]. But manager John Barton said: "We deserved something out of the game, there's no doubt about that. I think it was quite an encouraging performance and we played some our best football for a long while". IC Coventry says that a "bonus for the Boro chief was the debut of Gavin Cowan, who joined on a month's loan from Canvey Island, and showed what a useful import he is with a solid, dependable display at the heart of the home defence"

    IC Coventry also reports on Hinckley's "miserable performance at Kettering... Manager Thomas was fuming after the game: 'We've only played for ten minutes at the start of the game and five minutes at the end... The players have to realise that this is not good enough, I felt one or two players didn't put up a fight today'". And Kettering Today describes it as "A thoroughly convincing win over local rivals Hinckley United".

    Hucknall boss Dean Barrick spoke to This is Nottingham after defeating Alfreton. "Some of the stuff we played in the second half was fantastic... It's important to build on this result now", he said. "The players have worked so hard, but we haven't done anything yet... We can't let our standards slip", he added.

    From the other side, This is Derbyshire says that "Alfreton Town were given a sharp lesson in finishing". Alfreton assistant manager Charlie Williamson said, "Considering the massive games we have to play in January, it would have been great to get off to a good start. We were in control during the first half but the game opened up after that and we got stretched".

    3 January 2005


  • Redditch U. 3 Moor Green 1

    Alty remain fifth in the table.


    Alty Youth's opening match of 2005 on 9 January (2pm at Wythenshawe Town) will now be at home to Euxton Villa in the NWYA Premier Division rather than Barrow, as the Cumbrians now have a cup game on that date.


    Saturday's Robins' Review had part one of Terry Rowley's two-part article on famous Altrincham manager Freddie Pye (left). This is reproduced here with Terry's kind permission and forms part of the 51-strong Legends section of this website. To Terry's article has been added a piece on Freddie from a 1968 Altrincham programme.

    One thing Freddie Pye never had to contend with was a confrontation with a six-foot tall badger on a snow covered pitch at Stafford. Here (right) the current Alty boss, Graham Heathcote receives a cheery wave from the Rangers' mascot on Boxing Day.


    The two Stafford unofficial sites have brief match reports on Saturday's abandoned game:
  • Up The Boro
  • SRFC - has Jamie Phoenix as Man of the Match.

    The gate at Moss Lane was 870 - Alty's biggest home gate of the season.

  • CLASS OF 1989

    The Altrincham team of 1989-90 has been added to the Past Players pen-picture section of the website - it includes Nicky Daws, Barry Diamond and many others from that season.


    Runcorn FC Halton have arranged "another friendly game to give players competitive minutes... [on] Monday 3 January 2005 against West Cheshire First Division side Heswall at their Gayton Park ground". Former Alty keeper Ashley Timms got his chance for Runcorn last Saturday when regular no.1 "Tony McMillan 'cried off' very late at 1.20pm. on the day of the game again with an upset stomach". Another ex-Robin, "Carl Furlong had a heavy cold" and missed the game too.
    2 January 2005


    Sunday Jan. 2
  • Ashton U. 1 Droylsden 0
  • Bradford PA 1 Harrogate T. 2


    Pictured right, as the clock shows what should have been more or less full time for yesterday's game, Eddie Hussin digs deep to select the winning tickets for the STAR prize draw. Presiding is STAR chair-person Brian Flynn, who provokes a look of amazement from an onlooker in the background as he indicates just how many inches he intends to shed from his waistline in the Slim4Alty contest, which started yesterday with a public weigh-in. Also present in the picture are STAR's Mark Murray and, with his back to the camera, Jon Stack, who with the rest of the STAR committee have worked hard all year to raise funds for the club.


    Altrincham now have four games in a row away from home - unless the Stafford game is rearranged in this period and/or a Trophy replay is needed:
  • 8 Jan: v Worksop Town (League), who surprisingly lost at home yesterday to Gainsborough Trinity.
  • 15 Jan: v Leigh RMI (FA Trophy), whose game yesterday was abandoned as they led Northwich 2-1 - with ex-Alty youth Ben Ashmole a scorer.
  • 18 Jan: v Vauxhall Motors (Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final), who had Wayne McDermott sent off yesterday.
  • 22 Jan: v Nuneaton Borough (League), who won yesterday.

    STAR supporters's coach details for three of the above games (not for Vauxhall, which will follow when known) are here.

    Howard Watts's Through the Years data for 8 January is here.


    There is good news about former left-back Steve Porter of Vauxhall Motors, who was shot recently. It has turned out that the wounds were only pellet injuries and Steve was fit enough to play yesterday for the Motormen, for whom James Glendenning also featured. In the same game, Ashley Timms kept goal for Runcorn. Ashton United's Colin Alcide is now semi-retired, as he is suffers badly from arthritis; but he still managed to score against us this season! Kevin Ellison scored Chester's winner yesterday at Macclesfield.

    Also in action yesterday were Paul Ellender (Boston), Danny Adams (Stockport), Chris Timons (Hucknall), Tony Sullivan (Lancaster) and Terry Bowker (Stalybridge). In the NL Paper,John Williams, Alty manager from 1986 to 87, is chosen by outgoing Northwich physio Phil Lea as one of the two "best managers he has served under".


    Ashton United report that "Interviews [for manager] have been taking place over the last few days, with a shortlist being drawn up from the candidates. The new manager is likely to be announced after the Worcester match next weekend". Meanwhile, "The club, in an effort to attract more youngsters to games, has announced that children under 16 will now be allowed in free when accompanied by an adult".
    1 January 2005


    The STAR raffle was held after the abandoned game this afternoon; the winner of the main prize- to re-name the Golf Road End at Moss Lane, was Debbie Dawson, wife of Neil Dawson, who works tirelessly to help the club on matchdays in the Noel White Suite.

    Pictured right, Reserves' manager Neil Brown and Graham Heathcote examine the scales closely at the public weigh-in for the Slim4 Alty contest, held after the raffle, and which aims to raise funds for the club. STAR also presented its first of a monthly series of cheques for £500 to the club to pay off the historical tax debt at the football club.


    After a bright morning, a deluge, which only started around 2.15pm put paid to the Altrincham v Stafford Rangers game after just 27 minutes this afternoon with the score 0-0.

    Match report here..

    Above: the scene at Moss Lane just after the game had been abandoned. Alty remain fourth in the table

    Today's Golden Goal proceeds will be donated to the Asian earthquake and tsunami appeal fund. The replayed match with Stafford will take place with reduced admission prices in force.

    Saturday Jan. 1

  • Alfreton T. 0 Hucknall T. 2
  • ALTRINCHAM 0 Stafford R. 0 abandoned after 27 mins.
  • Kettering T. 3 Hinckley U. 1
  • Lancaster C. 2 Barrow 1
  • Nuneaton B. 2 Worcester C. 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Vauxhall M. 1
  • Stalybridge C. 3 Southport 5
  • Worksop T. 1 Gainsborough T. 3


    Val Owen is out of today's game as he has flu. A more permanent absentee will be Steve Torpey, who has been released after just 2 starts and 4 sub appearances since he joined on 2 October from Prescot Cables.


    In SAM, Graham Heathcote says "My New Year's resolution is to remain calm in the dug out. Although it may all be out of the window by quarter to five on New Year's Day when we play Stafford Rangers! I don't have any resolutions for the team. I just want them to carry on as they are doing and give their all - that will be acceptable". The back page of SAM reviews the sporting year 2004 including Alty's Trophy win at Weymouth and qualification for Nationwide North.

    In Friday's MEN, Graham repeats his message - "All I want is for us to carry on the way we have been doing, playing the same way and chopping away at the debt. I'm quite happy with the players we've got and delighted to be going into January on 37 points. We're in there with a shout and that's all you can ask at this stage".


    The MEN says that Graham Heathcote "is expecting stubborn resistance from a Stafford side seeking immediate revenge for their 1-0 home defeat by Alty on Boxing Day. The Robins' chief is hoping striker Marcus Hallows will have finally recovered from a foot injury which has sidelined him for the last three games, while Peter Wright is also back in contention after a fractured cheekbone".

    This is Staffs says that "Rangers will be forced to make changes for tomorrow's return clash against Altrincham as midfielder Craig Lovatt is suspended... But player-boss Phil Robinson also has worries over skipper Wayne Daniel, who is nursing a groin strain and may not be passed fit. Chris Smith and Craig McAughtrie are standing by to pair up at the centre of defence, if needed. After losing their unbeaten home record in the Nationwide Conference North this season to the Robins on Boxing Day, Robinson said: 'It's important we get back to winning matches. I'm confident that on a better pitch we can get a better result'".

    Right: Gary Scott celebrates the win at Stafford on Boxing Day in a picture kindly supplied by Andy Boyers.


    In the on-line vote on This is Trafford, the STAR Altrincham calendar won 76% of the votes against the Sale Sharks' calendar, which got 24%. Get your copy today from the Robins' Shop!


    At half-time in today's game against Stafford Rangers there will be a collection in aid of the victims of the tsunami which struck Indonesia and numerous countries around the Indian Ocean over the Christmas period.


    STAR's New Year Raffle Draw will take place today after the Stafford game at 5.15pm in the Noel White Suite. It will be followed immediately by the Slim4alty public weigh-in. Please return your raffle ticket stubs to the STAR reps in the Club Shop at half time or in the bar immediately after the match. For those who want to take part in Slim4alty, sponsor packs will be available from STAR reps, and at the weigh in.


    Nuneaton Borough have signed centre-back Gavin Cowan, on loan for a month, from Canvey Island.

    Vauxhall Motors have both James Olsen and, Karl O'Donnell are suspended for today's game at the Halton Stadium. Meanwhile "Long term injury, Mike Tomlinson, underwent his long awaited operation last Wednesday and it has gone well. He should be back in training within the next month to six weeks".

    On IC Southport, Liam Watson says "We go to Stalybridge Celtic kicking off 2005 on top of the Nationwide North table - and that is where we intend to stay... We are just over the half way stage so nothing can be taken for granted, we have it all to do in the next four months... Since our Boxing Day match I have taken in a UniBond and Nationwide Conference match and am looking at players who can strengthen our squad and who are the standard of the Nationwide Conference... Tactically I have decided between now and the end of the season I will go 4-4-2. Anyone who comes to Haig Avenue will have to be a good team. Our flair players are coming back to their best and hopefully the likes of Carl Baker, Kevin Leadbetter and Neil Robinson will hit the heights they are capable of".

    PortChat carries a message from Southport match reporter Ron Ellis saying that "Lee Mulvaney has been placed on the transfer list. His contract runs out in the summer". Meanwhile Hyde United report that they "have signed... Alex Mortimer a left back from Southport".

    After Lancaster's Peter Thomson netted twice on Monday at Barrow, Phil Wilson told Lancaster Today, "We did well to come back twice after going behind... Maybe last year if we were a goal down in a game the game was over. But this year, we have come back from goals down, like at Droylsden and Hinckley, and now here at Barrow".

    After losing their Boxing Day game to the weather, Kettering boss Kevin Wilson told Kettering Today, "With the run we've been on we would have preferred to have played. We went unbeaten in December and collected ten points... January is going to be a very tough month for us. We are playing a lot of the sides around us and we know we have to perform".

    This is Derbyshire says that "Alfreton Town midfield duo Matt Fisher and John Knapper are almost certain to miss tomorrow's clash with Hucknall Town... Tomorrow's match will be Alfreton's first fixture since... December 18". Manager David Lloyd said, "I'm not sure if the break's a good thing or not - we'll see tomorrow... We have to try to keep everyone fit but with the amount of games and with the pitches being heavy at this time of year, we know that will be difficult."

    31 December 2004


    Above: In another of Andy Boyers's excellent pictures, Rod Thornley slides in the snow to take possession at Stafford on Boxing Day.

    Altrincham host Stafford Rangers on New Year's Day (3pm). This is Staffs reports that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson found himself caught up in a Yuletide dilemma when the bad weather struck just before the Boxing Day game against Altrincham: To play or not to play... "A volunteer crew of around 40 fans cleared the snow for the safety of spectators. Their efforts gave Rangers their biggest league crowd of the season so far - but ultimately at the cost of losing Robinson an unbeaten home record... Neither Robinson nor his opposite number Graham Heathcote, in fact, really wanted to send their players out on to a treacherous, icy pitch and the game itself left a lot to be desired in terms of entertainment... 'I was very disappointed that the game went ahead', admitted the Rangers' boss on reflection... 'The game was uneventful, things broke down, you couldn't get a passing game together... On a better pitch, I am sure our unbeaten home record would still be intact', said Robinson... Midfielder Craig Lovatt becomes the first Rangers' player to serve a suspension this season - he gets a one-match ban under the yellow card totting up and won't feature at Altrincham".


    There are only a few copies left of the celebrated STAR Altrincham Calendar for 2005 (seen right). Your last chance to get one may well be at tomorrow's match, either before the game or at half time in the Robins' club shop.


    There is a brief statistical review of Altrincham FC's calendar year 2004 here.


    The Nationwide North "Player of the Month" vote for December includes Altrincham's Colin Little (left) as one of the nominees; you can vote here - by noon on 5 January. Colin's nominated rivals are Jody Banim (Droylsden), Carl Bradshaw (Alfreton Town), Terry Fearns (Southport) and Jae Martin (Moor Green).

    Stalybridge Celtic have "announced the signing of Lincoln Adams from Ashton United. Lincoln is a defender and has been a long term target of Peter Wragg's. Joining Lincoln is ex-Bolton Wanderers centre-half Ndiwa Lord-Kangana. Andy [as he is known] has figured in the first team for both Bolton and Oldham Athletic". Lord-Kangana has played at Moss Lane for Bolton Reserves against Man. Utd Reserves.

    Alty travel to Worksop on 8 January. Worksop Today reports on Worksop's late equaliser against Gainsborough on Boxing Day. "But with tough games against Altrincham, Stafford Rangers and Worcester City coming up" the Tigers hope to beat Trinity tomorrow in the return game.

    This is WCFC says that Worcester boss "John Barton received a welcome New Year's Day lift last night when midfield general Paul Carty returned to action for the first time in almost three months... The 38-year-old has been struggling with a troublesome calf injury and last took to the field in City's 2-1 home win over Altrincham on October 30. Without Carty and player-coach John Snape, who has failed to start any of City's last seven matches, Barton has lacked a midfield ball-winner".

    IC Coventry quotes Nuneaton Borough manager Roger Ashby - "I agree when supporters say we have not played to our expectations, yet we are eighth in the table and right on the heels of the sides above us so we are not doing that badly... While I know I need to get one or two new players into the squad I'm convinced the nucleus of a side is there that can take us into a top five position. Don't forget we have blooded a lot of youngsters ... If I could choose one thing going into the New Year it would be for our fans to be patient, back the lads and give them their support whether things are going good or not so good".

    IC Cheshire reports that Vauxhall boss "Alvin McDonald was poised yesterday to swoop for former Barnsley striker Griff Jones. The 20-year-old has burst on to the non-league scene with Prescot Cables after being out for 10 months with injury... McDonald said: 'He is 5ft 11in, holds the ball up quite well, is quite pacey and has always scored goals in his career'. McDonald has also signed "18-year-old defender Tyrone Grant, who has been released by Manchester City Academy. But Runcorn interest in a second City youngster - a left-winger - has been put on hold until the New Year as the player was injured in a Manchester Premier Cup tie against Bolton last week... McDonald said: 'Tyrone covers that little triangle on the left of defence as he can play in a three, four or at left back... Tyrone has come through City's youth system - basically, the same side as our keeper Ashley Timms... Ashley Timms was third-choice goalkeeper at City and all of a sudden he found himself sixth in line without doing anything wrong'".

    Harrogate boss John Reed said "We were absolutely awful last weekend.But we are all still focused on winning the league. It'll be a tall order, but our sights are firmly set on topping the table. These boys are capable on doing it - they've had a brilliant year... We've made Wetherby Road a fortress this season and long may that continue" - reports Harrogate Today. But "Reed will be without the services of inspirational centre-half Mark Haran for the next three weeks... with ankle ligament trouble". Looking back on 2004, Reed added, "We haven't got the money or the attendance of other clubs, but we're still up there with them... We're in the pot with some really good teams and I honestly believe we're among four or five who can win this league. The only thing that might undo it is our squad size".