Altrincham Football Club News Archive
9 to 12 January 2005

12 January 2005


Our next opponents, Leigh RMI, lost 5-1 at home to Southport in the Lancashire Marsden Cup last night. But Preston Today says that "Leigh manager Geoff Lutley [planned] to hand new signing Michael Reed his Leigh RMI debut. He said, 'I'll probably give him 45 minutes against Southport, but I'm really down to the bare bones for this tie so I'll give a few of the young kids a go because I can't risk any more injuries ahead of the FA Trophy tie against Altrincham on Saturday, which is a hugely important game for us financially'". Also, "Lutley is chasing a centre-half target". Of last night's Marsden Cup game, he said "It's a tie which gives us the chance to briefly get away from the pressures of the league and test ourselves against a very good Conference North side. We face a desperately difficult task to stay in the National Conference, and our next two games against Southport and Altrincham on Saturday, will give us a good idea of what to expect next season if we are to be relegated from Conference National". Southport assistant manager Neil Whalley said: "I would imagine Leigh will be taking it more seriously than we are... but it is a chance for us to give some of the lads who have been on the subs bench for us a bit of a run-out".


Peter Conning. who was at Altrincham from 1984 till he moved to Rochdale in summer 1986, has become "Southern League Premier Division club Tiverton Town’s latest signing... Manager Martyn Rogers has registered his assistant Peter Conning as a player at the ripe old age of 40! Liverpool-born Conning scored once in 39 appearances for Rochdale during 1986 but went on to become one of the most respected midfielders in the non-League game with the likes of Altrincham, Weymouth, Yeovil Town, Salisbury City, Dorchester Town, Bashley and Tivvy, whom he helped to back-to-back FA Vase Final wins in 1998 and 99. He then became player-manager of Screwfix Direct Western League side Bridport in the summer of 2002 before taking over at Sydenhams Wessex League outfit Portland United in November 2003. However, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to return to Ladysmead a year ago" reports NL Daily.


Preston Today reported on Monday that "Lee Mulvaney will turn out for Southport in their Lancashire Marsden Trophy second-round tie at Leigh RMI but it could be his final appearance for the club. The transfer-listed striker held talks with rivals Runcorn FC Halton and UniBond League Premier Division side Witton Albion last week and was mulling over his options this week. Ashton United are another of the 23-year-old's many suitors with a £3,000 fee and a possible player-exchange being mooted as the asking price... Southport boss Liam Watson has already said he is keen to bring new recruits into his squad and has been linked with a swoop for Leigh full-back Chris Lane, who quit Haig Avenue to join Morecambe in May 2003. The 25-year-old is believed to be stalling on signing a new contract at Hilton Park."

Barrow report that "International clearance for Neil Tarrant was finally received today... [Manager] Lee Turnbull has had registered, a trialist keeper, Adam Waite, who has previously been at Rotherham and Kettering". Other Barrow news is that they "will lose the services of Mark Salmon for a month from 17 Jan as his work is sending him on a little job abroad". The keeper has a name change in the NW Evening Mail which reports that "Barrow AFC are set to give a Thai international keeper the chance to impress... Jamie Waite, 19, will make his AFC debut at Holker Street in the Marsden Trophy". However, the match, last night was postponed. "Waite first played for the Thai international side aged just 15. At the time it made him the second youngest player ever to appear in a full international. Following a string of good performances for the Thai national team, Waite signed a three-year scholarship with home-town club Rotherham United in the summer of 2003... Earlier this season he had a spell with Kettering Town". The Barrow boss is himself out of action "after undergoing hospital treatment on a back problem".

Kettering, now five points clear at the top, report that Scott Cross, a 17 year-old foward from Northampton Town has joined the Poppies on a work experience basis. Kettering Today says that manager "Kevin Wilson believes the fitness of his Kettering Town players could be a vital factor in the coming weeks of the Nationwide North season... Wilson says now is the time when all the hard work on fitness in pre-season will come into play". He said: "We are at that stage of the season when there are a lot of heavy pitches. But one thing is for sure - our players are fit... I don't mind sides coming to Kettering and trying to play football. I feel we can match anyone in this division and we have also shown in the last three games that we can mix it."

Nuneaton Boro report the biggest sponsorship deal in their history - a six-figure deal with Bloor Homes.

Preston Today confirms that "Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson is staying at Giant Axe after he saying no to his former club Stalybridge Celtic. And Wilson has told Dolly Blues fans- 'It would be a kick in the teeth for Lancaster if I walked out now. Stalybridge offered me the job but I'm staying at Lancaster because I want to finish the job I've started here. Stalybridge was a wonderful period in my managerial career - I won them promotion twice and we had a couple of great runs in the FA Cup - but I'm committed to Lancaster and my target is to try and get them in the play-offs this season. I just couldn't justify leaving Lancaster - it wouldn't be right'. Last month, Wilson rejected the chance to take charge of Ashton United, and he also revealed that two other Conference North clubs had targeted his services. 'I'm flattered by all the interest but we are making progress at Giant Axe and it would be a kick in the teeth to leave now because we are building a decent squad and there is still a lot of work still to do. I've got a huge commitment to the players I've signed, and also to the board of directors and the fans who have backed me tremendously since I took charge at Lancaster. I just can't turn round and say 'see you, lads,' that just wouldn't be right and I'm not going to do that'".

11 January 2005


Sky Sports report that after Hull City's player plus cash bid for former Alty left-winger Kevin Ellison was turned down last week, Peter Taylor the Hull boss has upped the stakes. "The financial offer has been increased to a six-figure sum and the two players that have been offered are a striker and a defender" said Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan. He added, "If Kevin Ellison says he wants to move to a club at a higher level, then we couldn't stand in his way". Hull are currently top of League One. Peter Taylor, the former England U-21 manager, was also manager of Leicester City when they signed Ellison from Altrincham. Kevin is Chester's leading scorer this season.


Alty are away at Leigh on Saturday in the FA Trophy. Leigh RMI have had four sendings-off in the last month with former Alty Youth defender Mark Drew seeing two of those red cards. He has been suspended for four games from 19 December. Also suspended are Craig Mitchell, the former Hucknall player, for 3 games from 9 January and Steve Smith for one game from the same date. Tonight Leigh host Southport in the Marsden Cup and as well as the expected Alty "spies" at that game, Hucknall boss Dean Barrick will also be at Hilton Park running his eye over Southport, who play Hucknall on Saturday. As well as Drew, Leigh also have a number of other former Alty Youth players including striker Lee Shillito and winger Ian Taylor, who made his debut last Saturday. Ben Ashmole and Graham Tench are other RMI youngsters with Altrincham connections; like Shillito and Taylor they arrived at Leigh via Trafford FC.

Alty's last game at Hilton Park was in the 1998/99 season when Alty, successfully chasing the UniBond championship, went 3-0 down before getting back to lose 3-2, with Paul Ellender playing up front.


Former Alty player, Brian Le Boutillier "joined Andover as manager in November 2003 from Bemerton Heath Harlequins, where he had been the reserve team manager for past three years, but left exactly a year later". Le Boutillier, who has recently undertaken his UEFA Coaching Licence, is experienced in football management, working both in the UK and overseas in Saudi Arabia. In his playing days, Le Boutillier represented Altrincham and Glossop North End in the North West Counties League". It now emerges that he has been "acting as first-team coach for over a month now" for BAT Sports, from Totton, in the Wessex League. The "Tobaccomen's boss Andy Leader...said: 'My first impressions were good and he's turned out an excellent coach and a lovely bloke'", reports This is Southampton.


STAR, the Altrincham FC Supporters' Trust, "is aiming to help send equipment to a football coaching school in Kosovo, which is being set up by Kosovan Alty supporter, Amir Lamaxhema. Amir has named his school the 'Altrincham Football School', after his favourite team, and has already enrolled 300 children, all keen to learn more football skills. However, Amir is desperately short of equipment and STAR and Altrincham Football Club have pledged to send over as much equipment as possible to help the School. STAR is therefore appealing for donations of new or second hand football shirts, shorts, socks, boots and footballs, as well as 5 a side nets, and any other football equipment, and will then arrange for the donations to be sent out to Kosovo to enable the School to get off the ground. If anyone wishes to donate equipment please contact STAR's Chair, Brian "Santa" Flynn on 07860 561011. Amir came to be an Alty supporter, when he arrived in the UK as part of the evacuation programme from Kosovo in 1999, arriving with his mother, father and terminally ill wife, Adriana. Sadly, Adriana passed away after six months in the hospital, but whilst in this country, Amir, who is a talented footballer, was invited to train with Altrincham FC, and made many friends at the Club. As the health of his wife deteriorated, Amir gave up football, and looked after her until her death. Finally, when the war in Kosovo ended, he returned to his country and now works as an interpreter at the UN Police Mission in Ferizaj. Amir recently wrote to STAR to request help in setting up the 'Altrincham Football School', and both STAR and Altrincham FC have been delighted to be able to offer their help".


Altrincham lie seventh on the Stalybridge website form guide over the last eight league games. Unbeaten in their last six league games, Alty have the longest current run without defeat.


Harrogate' 10-0 win over Armthorpe in the West Riding County Cup has been annulled and a replay has been ordered "because Danny Holland, who is on loan from Hucknall Town, and who scored four goals in the match, was ineligible" reports The Yorkshire Post.

Monday's Manchester Evening News reports that Lancaster boss Phil Wilson has made a "decision to turn down Stalybridge's offer to go back to the Bower Fold" as manager.

NL Daily confirms that "Steve Soley has become the latest midfield recruit to Alvin McDonald's ever-changing squad at Runcorn FC Halton... While a lack of match fitness will be a problem for Soley, who last played in the Conference with Southport". The same source reports that "Guiseley have signed big defender Lee Connor from Stalybridge Celtic". He was formerly with Ashton United and Farsely Celtic.

Redditch United report that "The Carlisle v. Redditch FA Trophy fixture... has been rearranged due to the unfortunate flooding of ground and surrounding areas. The new date for the fixture is Sunday 16th of January and the game will be played at nearby Workington... Coaches will be leaving Redditch United at 7:15am!!"

This is WCFC says that on Saturday at Worcester "Lowly Ashton stormed back from two goals down at St George's Lane and seemed certain to glean all three points but for the heroics of City goalkeeper Danny McDonnell, who pulled off six terrific stops in the last half-hour. [Worcester boss, John] Barton, sat in the stands for the second of a four-game touchline ban, was totally dismayed with City's display over the course of 90 minutes and laid the 'awful' performance squarely at the feet of his players... Barton said: 'The situation is crying out for a few new faces and that's been the case for a few weeks. ... It is not a case of adding to the squad, but a situation of one out, one in... It was awful, let's not kid ourselves. I think if we had been in Ashton's position, we would have felt very disappointed not to have won the game... At times it looked as if they had more players than us'".

A happier man is top of the table Kettering's boss Kevin Wilson who told Kettering Today "Nothing is won in January but, having said that, we are obviously pleased to be in the position we are. I have said all along that this season was about three stages. I now believe that the first one of those is completed because I feel we now have enough points to ensure we don't get relegated".

The This is Nottingham reports that Hucknall "Manager Dean Barrick says he might have to ask his chairman to let him bring in at least one new player this week. With captain Mick Heathcote ruled out, the Hucknall boss had just 15 senior players in his squad to face high-flying Nuneaton. And he will find out today if he needs to bring a goalkeeper in on loan, after James Lindley landed awkwardly and injured his shoulder joint... With Hucknall's other keeper, Matt Taylor, already out of action, resources are stretched". Barrick added, "It might be a good time to freshen the squad up. We didn't defend set-pieces well, but Nuneaton are on a good run of form and I can understand why... It was blowing a gale and Nuneaton are a physical side".

10 January 2005


Above: Another of Paul Burton's vintage photos; Alty return to Moss Lane with the FA Trophy in 1986.


Apparently Steve Aspinall was booked after the melee near the end of the game at Worksop on Saturday. However, the referee has since indicated that this was a case of mistaken identity and that the booking will be rescinded. Colin Potts and Val Owen were both booked earlier in the game. All three of the above are just one card away from a suspension.


In the Sunday Pink Leigh RMI boss Geoff Lutley writes "I can't tell you how much we're looking forward to Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Altrincham. ... And while I have every respect for Graham Heathcote and the team he has put together at Moss Lane, I genuinely believe that ... we'll surprise a few people by coming out on top. My first half-dozen games in charge at Hilton Park might only have yielded a solitary point but, believe me, we'd have taken a lot more than that had Lady Luck been with us... And games such as Saturday's ... will give us a good idea of what to expect next season if we are to be relegated from Conference National". Lutley went on, "I am delighted with my latest signing, 20 year-old ex-Carlisle striker Michael Reed". After being released by Carlisle, Reed had been playing for Penrith.

Last Saturday's Conference home match at Leigh attracted just 251 spectators. Normal admission prices are £10 for adults, £5 for concessionaries.


The Worksop site has a match report on Saturday's game. The home Man of the Match was left winger Blake Norton. A correspondent on the club forum claims that "The legendary Alty fans did not show up in numbers either bringing perhaps 60 supporters". See below for this site's match report link.


There is a match report on yesterday's Youth Team win in the Youth section.


David Swanick has joined Flixton; recently he was playing for Burscough Reserves against Altrincham Reserves. Northwich Victoria report that on Saturday "Vics lost Band after he was unable to recover sufficiently after a nasty clash of heads" and he was subbed. Also subbed on Saturday was Ian Craney (Accrington).


  • Attendances, courtesy of Terry Rowley
  • Through the Years, courtesy of Howard Watts.


    Ashton United confirm that "After a board meeting on Sunday morning, the Club have announced that Andy Johnston will be moving up from his caretaker role to take over as the Manager of Ashton United, Andy Thackeray will continue as his assistant at the club. Tony Ryan the Club Chairman stated 'It was a very difficult decision in the end, as we had such a high calibre of applicants, however this year we recognise that we have moved up a level in the football pyramid and think that the two Andys have worked hard to stabilise the Club since Gerry Quinn left and fully deserve their opportunity to take the Club forward'".

    Victor Gladwish's GLS land company has stepped in to sponsor the Conference's league cup competition following the demise of the Carthium company.

  • Neil Campbell (Barrow to Bishop Auckland on loan)
  • Damien Hindle (Stalybridge C. to Hyde U,)
    9 January 2005


    This Friday, 14 January, 2005 in the Sponsors' Lounge, 7.30pm, there is fundraising night for Stephen Rose and Peter Wright, both of whom have been long-term injured this season. Stephen has a broken leg incurred at Worcester whilst Peter has just recovered from a fractured an eye-socket playing for the Reserves. Please do support this event if you can - the guest speakers will be ex-Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand and former United keeper and trainer, as well as Moss Lane regular, Jack Crompton. Tickets, including food, are £18, from the club (928-1045). Please do support this good cause.


    Match Report.

  • Table
  • Alty Line-Up
  • Alty Statistics


    Worksop Town report that "Tigers' leading scorer Gary Townsend smashed a real cracker past Robins' goalkeeper Stuart Coburn in the 71st minute, to earn his team a share of the spoils in their match against high-fliers Altrincham. The visitors took the lead in the 47th minute when a cross from the right by Rod Thornley, found Colin Little at the far post and he slid the ball home from close range. The Tigers went in search of the equaliser and it came after substitute Chris Cleary fed Blake Norton who was somewhat lucky in receiving the ball after defender Stephen Aspinall slipped, but his then perfect cross found the incoming Townsend who hit a powerful low shot into the bottom corner to make it 1-1. The final quarter belonged to Worksop as they pressed forward, but the visitors held out for a creditable draw".


    Pictured above in the Santa suits they wore at Stafford on Boxing Day is Dave Tracey, flanked by the Flynn brothers (Paul, left and Brian, right). Brian says his Slim4 Alty objective is to lose at least one of his chins! Photo by Andy Boyers. You, too, can sign up for Slim4Alty on the STAR website.


    Alty winger Colin Potts became a father late last week; our congratulations go to him and his partner.


    Runcorn FC Halton reports that yesterday at Moor Green "With 25 minutes to play, Ashley Timms was deemed to have handled outside the area and was sent off... Ten minutes later, Moor Green went down to ten men" as well.

    Kevin Ellison scored Chester's goal in their FA Cup defeat. Mario Daniel scored the winner for Mossley; Chris Downey was sent off in the same match.


    According to their website our Trophy opponents next week, Leigh RMI "fell deeper into trouble when they crashed to a home defeat to previously out-of-form Gravesend. Leigh are now without a win in 18 games... The Railwaymen's hopes were dashed before the kick-off when new signing Michael Reed was stranded in Cumbria because of the bad weather. His fellow strikers rarely threatened... To add to Leigh's problems two players were shown the red card in the final minutes. Mitchell was dismissed for an over-the-top challenge on Justin Skinner while substitute Steve Smith was sent off after picking up a second yellow card after only being on the field from the 69th minute". The RMI line-up was Mann, Rezai, Lane, Coyne, Clarke, Stoker, Ian Taylor [former Alty Youth], Roscoe, Peyton, Mitchell, Williams. Subs: Soszynski, Graham Tench (another ex-Alty youth), Nayim, Warwick & Smith.

    Leigh boss Geoff Lutley said, "Once again I am very unhappy with our lacklustre performance. In the 90 minutes of play we made only two decent goal attemps... We created nothing and we deserved to lose the game against a poor Gravesend side. I have said that changes will take place over the next few weeks and I think these will help us but I have no excuses for the display today... I must once again say sorry to those supporters who came along today. The team do appreciate the support they give us and I ask once again that they stay with me while I make the changes that will make a big differance to us".


    To accommodate the end of season play-offs, the last match of the season, away at Hucknall, has been moved to Tuesday, 19 April at 7.45pm.


    Barrow report that "The match against Bradford PA [was] postponed due to structural damage at the ground. One of the floodlight pylons has some damage, some gates have been blown off and there are a few other areas of damage. The game was called off on police advice". The UniBond Press Release also reports gale damage at a couple of grounds visited by Altrincham in recent years- Blyth Spartans and Colwyn Bay.

    Harrogate Town have made "the loan signing of Lee Featherstone from Scunthorpe United... Chesterfield-born Featherstone, 21, joined Scunthorpe from Sheffield United's Academy in December 2002... Harrogate manager John Reed said: 'It will be a big bonus to us if he signs... Lee is a different type of winger and he should add a lot to our cause... If they don't really want to play for you, you don't always get the best out of these players. But I think this lad will give his all and he does have one or two goals in him". Yesterday "only 4 substitutes could be named, with Mark Haran, Colin Hunter and Lee Philpott all ruled out due to injury".