Altrincham Football Club News Archive
6 to 8 January 2005

8 January 2005


  • Barrow v Bradford PA OFF
  • Droylsden 2 Kettering T. 3
  • Harrogate T. 1 Lancaster C. 1
  • Hinckley U. 1 Redditch U. 2
  • Hucknall T. 1 Nuneaton B. 3
  • Moor Green 2 Runcorn FC Halton 1
  • Southport v Alfreton T. OFF
  • Stafford R. v Gainsborough T. OFF
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Stalybridge C. 2
  • Worcester C. 2 Ashton U. 2
  • Worksop T. 1 ALTRINCHAM 1


    Andy Mitten is a well-known football writer who founded the United We Stand fanzine and writes for 442 magazine and The Independent, as well as being editor of United We Stand. He is also the writer of The Rough Guide to Man. United, with a former Alty resident and fan, Jim White of The Daily Telegraph. Andy recently wrote a fascinating article in 442, called Action Replay - Altrincham and he has kindly sent the text to the website so that those who did not see the original can read it. Andy is also the brother of Alty's newest signing, striker Jozzer Mitten. The article is here.


    The Worksop website reports that "available for selection for [the Altrincham] game are Antony Jackson, Miles Thorpe, Simeon Bambrook and Dene Cropper, all of whom have now recovered from injury". The site also confirms that the "departure of Gary Browne this week [came]... as chairman Howard Raymond looks to cut running costs at the club. Based on last season's figures average gates are down by 100... and this means the club has to be more self sufficient". Browne is believed to have signed for Belper Town.


    Above: As Altrincham travel to Worksop today, another of Paul Burton's historic Alty photos shows John Rogers in action against today's opponents back in 1978 at Moss Lane..


    The Nationwide North player of the month vote for December was won by Southport's Terry Fearns with 52%. Alty's Colin Little was runner-up with 36% of the internet votes cast, well ahead of Droylsden's Jody Banin (8%) in third place.


    This is Lancs quotes Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson on the Stalybridge vacancy, "I have managed them twice before successfully - but all I can say is that I am the manager of Lancaster City".

    The Barrow website says that "Neil Tarrant [has] signed following a spell with Raufoss in Norway. However, until international clearance, requested on Tuesday, is received, he cannot play football in this country... Tarrant is 25 and enjoyed a succesfull spell with the Bluebirds 2 seasons ago".

    Ashton United "confirm that we have signed Will Dolan from Marine - Will can play either as an out and out striker or in midfield". GMR reported tonight that a new manager will be unveiled at Hurst Cross this Sunday.

    NL Daily reports that "Willenhall Town have signed central defender Neil Manton from Redditch United".

    "The protracted transfer of Maltese international midfielder Jonathan Holland to Bradford Park Avenue has finally been completed following his international clearance by his former club Floriana... A recent member of the Maltese national squad, Holland has won a total of 18 full caps" states the BPA website.

    This is Nottingham quotes Hucknall boss Dean Barrick, "Things are going well for us but it's important we're not complacent. We've got quality in the side. We played some excellent stuff at Alfreton and we've got pace up front". Barrick is "aiming for his ninth win in ten games".

    Also confident is Harrogate boss John Reed who told Harrogate Today that "His Harrogate Town strikeforce have the firepower to shoot them into the Nationwide Conference... 'The strikers are on fire at the moment. Everything seems to be coming together, which is fantastic for us'". Referring to Marc Smith, Reed said that his "second goal [against BPA] would have looked good in any stadium in the world. Thierry Henry or Zinedine Zidane would have been proud of it. You could pay a million pounds and not see another strike like that one".

    Kettering Today says that "Top scorer Darren Lynch should return to the Kettering Town starting line-up at Droylsden. The 27-year-old [has] made a long-awaited return from a thigh injury". And boss Kevin Wilson "revealed Matt Nolan had returned to Peterborough United as they play in the third round of the FA Cup. Wilson also has a long injury list... and that has prompted the Kettering manager to step-up his search for another front-man before kick-off".

    But on Lancaster Today, Phil Wilson is equally confident of getting some reward at Harrogate today. "I am sure we can get a result because we have been to some tough places this season and got results said Wilson. "The one thing about this team is they don't let their heads drop. We have come from behind on a number of occasions this season".

    "Neil Fitzhenry is set to give Southport a major boost with a return to the first-team in their top-of-the-table clash with Alfreton Town" says Preston Today. He has "been out for the past three months after undergoing a hernia operation". Manager Liam Watson said, "I think we have a squad that is full of quality and getting Neil back not only strengthens us but adds to that quality". As for transfer-listed Lee Mulvaney, Watson said, "I have been asking for players in exchange for Lee and the clubs have not been keen to give me those players which is their prerogative, but it is my prerogative to not accept their cash".

    IC Solihull says that Moor Green "have extended Aaron Brown's loan spell from Tamworth for a further month".

    IC Coventry reports that "Brad Piercewright is back for Hinckley United's home clash with Redditch United... But centre-half Gavin Stone remains sidelined as he awaits the result of a scan on a knee and attacking midfielder Jamie Lenton faces another six weeks out with an ankle injury. Knitters. boss Dean Thomas is chasing a striker to strengthen his squad - he has been involved in talks with a player but does not anticipate any developments over the weekend... But the boss warned: 'You don't become a bad side overnight but we appear to be suffering from something of an FA Cup hangover and were abysmal last Saturday. We cannot afford many more displays like that'".

    Stafford Rangers have a selection crisis and This is Staffs says it could "give assistant-manager Dave Norton the chance of a first-team debut for Rangers - if he has recovered from flu". Also flu-struck are Worcester City. This is WCFC says that "Nick Colley and defender Shabir Khan could [be] shock inclusions in City's squad... following a virus outbreak which has affected four regular City players".


    Preston Today reports that "Shaun Teale was today revealed as the new manager of Chorley". Chairman Ken Wright said: "We have appointed him as a manager, but if he considers he still has something to offer as a player that is an obvious bonus". But Teale added: "I'm coming up to 41 now, and can't keep playing indefinitely, but keep myself fit. First and foremost, we need more organisation. The club has had two lean seasons, but once you can trust your back four and keeper you can start playing".


    Current Worksop boss Ronnie Glavin often ended up on the winning side when he managed Emley against Altrincham but NL Daily reports that "Emley’s decision to take their first-team matches to Wakefield four years ago is well documented... Since then, various people have expressed the hope that first-team football could somehow resume at Emley in view of the existing facilities (i.e. floodlights, changing rooms, sponsors lounge, covered seating, terracing and social club). For this to be achieved, a brand new club, with completely new officials would have to be formed... Recently this idea has received sufficient support for an approach to be made to acquire the facilities at Emley for the benefit of a proposed new football club. In principle, the board of directors [of Wakefield-Emley] are not opposed to this approach, subject to terms being agreed. However, such terms would not involve selling the name of the existing club nor is the intention to 'drop' the name Emley from its trading style Wakefield-Emley that is synonymous with the club’s 102-year pedigree... Negotiations are ongoing with the prospect of a new club being 'up and running' by the end of the current season."
    7 January 2005


    The Alty home game with Hucknall Town, rearranged from 27 November 2004 due to a Trophy clash, has now been set for Tuesday 15 March at 7.45pm. That now gives Alty four successive home league games in March - fixtures here.


    Alty are due to play at Worksop on Saturday - the forecast heavy rain permitting - but, apart from the long-term injury to Stephen Rose, will be at full strength. Chris Adams has recovered from the injury he picked up when fouled last Saturday whilst midfielder Val Owen has overcome his flu bug. In today's NL Paper, Alty's Colin Little refers to The Robins' 4-1 win over Worksop at Moss Lane this season; "They still looked a decent side, despite the result", he said. Colin added, "We are doing quite well at the minute, let's hope it continues... We can start looking up again instead of down and another win on Saturday would put us right up with the leaders... The best team we have played were Hucknall and they are out of the play-off places". Alty currently have the longest unbeaten run in Nationwide North i.e. 5 games since 20 November 2004.

    New signing 'Jozzer' Mitten remains sidelined as he arrived at Moss Lane from Ashton with a suspension to serve and last Saturday's abandonment means he has to sit out another match. He is also cup-tied in the FA Trophy so cannot play against Leigh a week on Saturday either. Mitten, whose first name is Jonathan, prefers to be called Jozzer, though the press generally calls him Josh. As well as being Alty kitman Dave Mitten's nephew, Jozzer has other Alty connections. His great uncle was Charlie Mitten, the famous Manchester United player of the 1950s and a manager at Alty in the early 1960s, whilst his brother Andy is a well-known football writer for publications which include 4-4-2 magazine and The Independent - in fact, Andy wrote the recent excellent article in 4-4-2 about Altrincham FC.

    Worksop Today reports that former York striker "Gary Browne has been shown the exit door by the Tigers because they cannot afford to keep him. Striker Craig Mitchell has also returned to Leigh RMI after his loan period was not renewed for a second time and [goalkeeper] Ian Bowling has joined Matlock Town on loan. But Worksop Town chairman Howard Raymond insisted that there was no need for fans to panic as the departures coincide with a return to fitness for Simeon Bambrook and Dene Cropper". Worksop boss, Ronnie Glavin told the NL Paper today, "I've got young players who work hard and never seem to give up".

    Seen right in Saturday's game, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone, is Eddie Hussin heading the ball as Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot and Rod Thornley look on.


    Manager Graham Heathcote has spoken to SAM about Saturday's abandoned game v. Stafford. Regardless of the current pitch problems at Moss Lane, he said that "There is no question whatsoever that the downpour would have seen the match off anyway. Some areas of the pitch were causing difficulty but it is a new pitch so we didn't know if there would be any teething problems. It will probably not be rectified until the end of the season... We've got to keep it spiked but the weather is making it difficult, there is so much water we can't get machinery on the pitch". For the same reason Alty cannot get a cherry-picker onto the pitch to replace a couple of dead floodlight bulbs.

    Alty's release last week of recent signing Steve Torpey is also covered by SAM, with Graham Heathcote stating: "I didn't feel he was fully committed. He didn't really get the into club, he played two games and was substitute five times, but he didn't have the commitment that everyone else was giving. I can't accept that. We were not getting enough football out of him".


    IC Cheshire reports that "Chester City [have] received a substantial offer from Hull City for their left-sided midfielder Kevin Ellison. However, City chairman Stephen Vaughan will inform the Humberside club that Ellison is not for sale. 'The bid from Hull was cash plus two players, but quite frankly we are not interested in selling Kevin to anybody, as we see him as one of the cornerstones of our future development... Quite frankly, we value Kevin... and even if a monumental offer came in for the player, we would still reject it, that's how highly we rate him. As I've said many times before, we are building a side here at Chester City and quality players are always in the forefront of our minds and our planning, and Kevin is in that category'. Ellison has been a revelation this season since he joined City from Stockport County in the summer and he is currently the club's leading scorer".

    "Maltby Main have ended [former Alty midfielder] Shaun Goodwin's reign as manager and replaced him with the man that he orginally took over from... It comes after a string of poor results, apparent disharmony in the playing squad and comments made by Goodwin in the local press. Former boss Wilf Race has been re-installed in the position he vacated before Goodwin was appointed", reports the Northern Counties East League.

    IC Cheshire has more on the Steve Porter shooting, "Midfielder Steve Porter was shot in the neck on Saturday, December 11 while walking in the street near his Croxteth home. He was missing from the team for three weeks but returned to action on Saturday. Incredibly, Porter, 23, is the second player at the club to be shot in the city this season following an attack on team-mate Anthony Wright in July. Manager Owen Brown said: 'It's crazy for two of our players to be shot at in the space of only a few months. Steve was shot in the neck with an air gun and had to go for a minor operation but he seems to be OK now". Porter spent the summer coaching in the USA before emigrating to Australia, "However, the midfielder did not settle Down Under and on returning to the UK in November, he linked up again with the Rivacre Park club who had kept hold of his playing registration. Like Wright, who was shot four times by a masked gunman on the driveway of his home in Kirkdale, Porter is believed to have been the victim of a case of mistaken identity".

    Stuart Cook, a recent Alty Youth player, played for Connah's Quay on Wednesday against Ken McKenna's TNS.


    Gainsborough Trinity report that out of favour striker Gareth Grant is joining Scarborough on loan. "He comes with a good pedigree and will provide competition for places for us," Boro boss Nicky Henry told the BBC. "Seasiders' striker Steve Burton has been given the chance to make the reverse move and is thinking over the offer".

    Former Southport player "Steve Soley could be the latest midfield recruit to Alvin McDonald's ever-changing army. The Runcorn manager has lined up the 32-year-old Widnesian who has played League football with Macclesfield and Carlisle... Runcorn, who had three players making their full debuts in last week-end's 1-1 draw against Vauxhall with another two newcomers on the bench... Soley lasted the full 90 minutes of a practice game at Heswall on New Year Bank Holiday Monday, despite a heavy pitch. McDonald said: 'Steve's not signed yet but I think he is going to sign... He had to pack in because of injury - he had been getting pain down the left side of his body but like many injuries, it was found to be back-related. He has had it sorted and wants another go'... But centre-back Robbie Moore continues to struggle with injury". McDonald said, "When Robbie tries to take off, he is getting like a delayed shock down his leg and his first stride is not there... We've just got to hang in there to stay in this league this year and do the best we can... We are trying to get in a bit of quality and don't need to be told what we're lacking. We need a goalscorer". But ex-Alty keeper "Ashley Timms settled in well on his debut against Vauxhall... McDonald said: 'Ashley is a young lad but confident in his own ability'". IC Cheshire continues, "McDonald and [assistant] Carroll had been prepared for operating on a tight budget but had not foreseen the injury toll... The new team bosses... have also suffered frustration at the club not having a settled training regime due to the lack of suitable facilities in Halton. With the club yet to achieve, and in most cases get near, the 450 home attendance figure needed to cover increased ground rental alone and fund-raising opportunities limited, its long-term viability continues to be a cause for concern".

    Despite Runcorn's problems, The Lancashire Evening Post reports that "Southport have received three cash offers for transfer-listed striker Lee Mulvaney... The 23-year-old frontman, who was put up for sale by the Sandgrounders on Friday, has attracted a bid from league rivals Runcorn FC Halton and two other clubs with a fee in the region of £3,000 being offered... Assistant manager [ex-Alty man] Neil Whalley said: 'I know Runcorn are one club that has put a bid in... I know that a fee of around £3,000 has been offered and it is now obviously up to Lee to decide what he wants to do, if he decides to go, I would expect it to be by the beginning of next week'". Whalley added, "Lee's only problem is the form Terry Fearns has been in this season, we have Neil Robinson who is a centre-forward and we play Fearnsy off him".

    The Holker Street Newsletter refers to "an article in the later editions of Tuesday's Evening Mail headlined 'AFC Cash Crisis Averted'. It detailed how unnamed club directors had 'stumped up thousands of pounds to save the club from a cash crisis... Although it was not revealed what the debt was for, it was confirmed that a sum of money had been found'". The Newsletter also says that the Tameside Advertiser "reported the favourites for the [vacant Stalybridge] Celtic job were Barrow's own Lee Turnbull and Lee Warren". Meanwhile the same source adds that "Barrow player Neil Campbell played for Bishop Auckland against Frickley Athletic" recently and has apparently gone on loan there.

    The Barrow chairman has issued a report which says that manager Lee Turnbull "is rebuilding a side which had grown too old, into a side that will mature over the next 3 seasons... As part of the restructuring and the organisation of the long term finance plan a number of the directors have given the club a sum of money. The club did not need ‘bailing’ out, nor was it in a state of ‘crisis’. The Board realised they needed to restructure the debt back in October and now the plan has been put in place. The club is sound and is only looking forward... The directors number only ten and have admitted making mistakes in the past prior to the last AGM... The Board and the membership raised £3000 on the Christmas Raffle. A great effort by everyone. We now wish to announce that in the near future we will be offering our New Year Holiday Draw. Only 1000 tickets will be printed ­ the first prize is £3000 worth of holiday vouchers! The cost of the tickets will be £10 each... We are still not performing on the pitch. Lee has reduced the age of the team, but we do need to start to see some more consistency in our performances and bring in some more points to move us into a safer area in the league".

    NL Daily says that "Solihull Borough have signed striker Robbie Taylor on contract from Redditch United... Meanwhile, following the conclusion of his loan spell from Redditch, experienced forward Scott Voice has made his stay at Solihull into a permanent move".

    After their defeat by Hucknall, Alfreton manager David Lloyd said, "We didn’t really do anything wrong in that game except fail to take our chances for once". Although "Lloyd’s side have only won one of their last five league games but he feels they will still be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. He added: 'There are only twelve points separating the top fourteen teams and there is no doubt it is a lot tougher league than last year... We haven’t had much luck on or off the pitch lately'". Their latest setback saw "right back Carl Bradshaw withdraw after just 34 minutes of the Hucknall game through an ear and throat infection related illness".

    This is WCFC says that "Two more Worcester City players have contracted the 'flu virus that [has] continued to sweep through the club... Midfield Jai Stanley and centre-half Barry Woolley picked up the bug yesterday... Colin Hoyle and Pat Lyons missed the Nuneaton clash due to 'flu, while long-term injury victim Christian Moore and manager John Barton have also gone down with the illness".

    6 January 2005


    The club has a vacancy for a matchday announcer for the Manchester United Reserves' games at Moss Lane, which normally kick-off on a Thursday evening at 7pm. If you can help, please contact Graham Heathcote at the club as soon as possible (928-1045). The next game is on 20 January.


    Left: A rare colour picture from Alty's first national trophy success- the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in 1978, kindly sent to the website by longstanding Alty fan Paul Burton. Paul tells me that as cameras were officially banned, the picture was taken without anyone looking!


    Left: In the pouring rain against Stafford last Saturday, Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele suddenly realises why manager Graham Heathcote nowadays sits in the stand. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone, whose excellent photographic products can be bought in the Robins' Shop - details here.

    Lower, left: Marcus Hallows and Gary Scott challenge for an aerial ball against Stafford in another of Gavin Rathbone's superb shots.


    "John Reed, manager of Harrogate Town, is hoping to dip into the loan market after losing two left-sided midfielders in a week. Former Weymouth winger Lee Philpott came off after just 2 minutes of Sunday's 2-1 win at Bradford Park Avenue with a hamstring pull and then his replacement Colin Hunter had to be substituted shortly into the second half with a similar problem" reports NL Daily.

    IC Southport quotes Southport boss Liam Watson as saying "I have transfer listed Lee Mulvaney by mutual consent. Lee is out of contract in the summer and I am not prepared to let him go for nothing. Lee will not sign the new contract I offered him over six weeks ago. Nobody is guaranteed a starting place and Lee finds himself as Terry Fearns's understudy. Of all the players at the club since I have been manager I have received the most enquiries from managers about Lee. Let us see what we can get for Lee, fees, a player exchange and definitely a sell-on clause. He has a Nationwide Conference hat-trick and is a lively, exuberant player. I will quote players in the past the club lost for nothing - Tim Ryan, Phil Bolland [both ex-Alty too], Scott Guyett and remember James Connolly was allowed to leave for Marine and when I wanted him back Marine quoted £12,000!... I know he is a favourite but I cannot fit him into the squad so it is time to let Lee get opportunities elsewhere".

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow "captain Mark Salmon has admitted playing through the pain barrier in a bid to keep AFC in the Nationwide North... The 30-year-old centre-half broke his right ankle towards the end of the last campaign and has had further troubles with it since... He said: 'I may be as well having a big arrow on my sock saying ‘kick here’, because I just keep getting knocks on it. The pain is now starting to go up towards my shin... If I get a knock during a game I play through it'. There is also confimration that Barrow "vice chairman Phil Cowing is to leave the board...after more than 25 years with the club. Mr Cowing was heavily involved in this season’s shirt sponsorship fiasco with solicitor Colin Moore which ended with the club facing legal proceedings".

    Move: Carl Smith (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)