Altrincham Football Club News Archive
21 to 24 January 2005

24 January 2005


The following pages have been updated:
  • N.N. Attendances, courtesy of Terry Rowley.
  • Through the Years, courtesy of Howard Watts.


    Match report here.

  • Alty Statistics
  • Alty Line-Ups This Season.

    IC Coventry had a preview of Saturday's game at Nuneaton which said that "Nuneaton Borough's 1-0 defeat at Altrincham on September 1 launched a nine-match nightmare that saw them bow out of the FA Cup, the FA Trophy and the Birmingham Senior Cup and fail to collect a single league point. But they went into today's Manor Park return against the Manchester outfit looking for a fifth victory in six starts... It's an astonishing turnabout". Manger Roger Ashby said, "Form comes and goes but if you put in the work on the training pitch you'll always stand a better chance... and our results since Christmas have proved that". Speaking of striker Michael Frew, who forced a magnificent save fromStuart Coburn on Saturday, the boss said, "Michael has been out of the side for a while and that was disappointing for him after he scored a few goals early in the season. But sometimes a youngster can pick up a lot by just sitting in the stand and watching more experienced players go about their business. Michael has shown that he is willing to learn and that will stand him in good stead. It's good to have extra options up front and with Gez facing a month out because of his hamstring, we'll be looking to Michael to continue his improvement".

    23 January 2005

    8-GAME BAN

    The Pink has a piece on Jozzer Mitten's eight-game ban picked up at Ashton United before he joined Alty. Mitten was sent off against Gainsborough and got a 3-match ban, which he has now served. But he has now been given an additional five-match suspension after he allegedly "flicked a foot at a grounded Trinity opponent as he prepared to troop off for an early bath". Graham Heathcote said, "The news has come as a real hammer blow... It means I'll probably have to make another signing to bring my squad up to strength. It's a lesson to Josh and I've told him he'll now have to prepare himself to do a 'pre-season' in February to stay in shape". Mitten is available for this Saturday's game but is then unavailable till the Moor Green match on 12 March.

    With Mark Maddox picking up a fifth yellow card yesterday, he will now be banned whilst Aspinall, Hussin and Potts all stand just one card from suspension. In this context Graham Heathcote added, "The league is still wide-open and I've a sneaking feeling it will boil down to which club has the greatest strength in-depth. We're probably one of at least a dozen clubs who can probably say they're in with a shout and, as our resources are more limited than most, it's crucial we try not to allow ourselves to become too stretched".


    Carl Furlong scored yesterday on his Colwyn Bay debut; his former team-mate, Stuart Scheuber, also scored for Stone Dominoes. Mark Quayle was on the mark for Northwich and Darren Lyons and Jordan Burke also scored for Salford City. In the League, Paul Edwards netted for Blackpool.

    Amongst the ex-Alty players on the bench yesterday were Danny Adams (Stockport), Peter Band (Vics), Ian Craney (Accrington) and Jamie Phoenix (Stafford). Nevertheless, Ian Craney has been named in the National Game XI squad. In The Pink, Danny Adams writes that he is out of contract this summer at Stockport - "I was going to get married on May but that's now on hold till the future is clearer". Speaking of County he said, "It's definitely the best place for fans that I've played".


    Premiership star Gary Speed was set for his debut in charge of Bolton Wanderers' Reserves against Manchester United Reserves at Moss Lane last Thursday - but the game was postponed, reports The Pink.


    Our Trophy opponents Barrow's improved form continued yesterday but Gavin Knight picked up a suspected broken nose.

    Yesterday's NN gates ranged from just 173 at Runcorn v Alfreton to 1403 at Kettering v Southport.

    Droylsden boss Dave Pace has confirmed in The Pink that he is considering taking Chris Denham from Stalybridge and paying for the necessary medical traetment to get him fit again after his shin injury. The deal hinges on medical reports and the cost of a remedial operation. Pace has already signed Chris Thompson on loan from Northwich and is "homing in on Burton's Robbie Talbot".

    A tannoy announcer's delight is "Worksop's new signing Azizjon Khoshimov from Uzbekistan [who] was on the bench" yesterday. The club website also reports that "The latest talks [about the club debt] between the club officials and the Bassetlaw Council take place on Tuesday afternoon and the club are hopeful of a positive result".

    Darren Bowman (Stalybridge C) has moved to Leek Town.

    22 January 2005


  • Ashton U. 1 Moor Green 3
  • Bradford PA 0 Stalybridge C. 1
  • Droylsden 1 Hinckley U. 0
  • Gainsborough T. 1 Vauxhall M. 2
  • Hucknall T. 1 Barrow 2
  • Kettering T. 0 Southport 5
  • Lancaster C. 0 Redditch U. 0
  • Nuneaton B. 0 Altrincham 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Alfreton T. 0
  • Stafford R. 4 Worksop T. 0
  • Worcester C. 1 Harrogate T. 2
  • League table


    Altrincham have no injury problems for tomorrow's game at Nuneaton which will be our 14th away game out of 25 played this season. So, the only uncertainty is likely to be whether new signing Jozzer Mitten, Marcus Hallows or Rod Thornley (left) starts up front; latterly Thornley has got the vote over Hallows.

    Our opponents tomorrow, Nuneaton Borough, have signed "Scott Goodwin from Bishop Stortford and will be available for selection [against Altrincham]". Goodwin (26), signed from Bishop's Stortford, has been at Coventry City, Hereford, Gravesend, Tamworth and Hednesford amongst many former clubs. He is a left-sided defender/midfielder.

    Nuneaton have not drawn for 18 league games so have reached third place despite losing ten league games this season; they either win or they lose - but the NLP forecasts a draw. IC Coventry says that "Roger Ashby will send out his Nuneaton Borough side against Altrincham tomorrow with a simple 'same again' message. A run of four wins from five starts...has fired them into third spot... Although striker Gez Murphy is sidelined for a month with his hamstring strain, midfielder Mark Noon is expected to shrug off the ankle injury that saw him substituted [on Monday]... Ashby may include new signing Scott Goodwin in his squad". The manager added, "Confidence is a wonderful thing and there's no reason why we can't keep this run going". The basis of the Boro squad is listed as "Acton, Oddy, Love, McGorry, Moore, Cowan, Collins, Noon, Wilkin, Frew, Whittaker, Fitzpatrick, Jephcott, Poole, Wilson, Farmer, Goodwin".


    Alty v Barrow games have been amongst the highlights of both clubs' fixture lists in recent years but this year Barrow will be making a rare Saturday visit to Moss Lane for their Trophy game on 5 February. Crowd trouble at this fixture many years ago still leads the league's fixture secretary to make the game a midweek affair. But in recent seasons the fans have always got on well, not least when Alty fans contributed to visiting Holker Streeters who were collecting funds for their cash-strapped club a few years ago. Barrow will reportedly be sending at least two coaches of fans for the Trophy game and Alty will look forward to welcoming them to Moss Lane.

    The Holker Street Newsletter reports that Barrow goalkeeper Adam Capp "will be out of contention for a fortnight with a calf strain" so "it appears Simon Bishop will be the first choice keeper" with new signing Jamie Waite as sub-keeper.

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow "have been dealt a major injury blow... In-form midfielder Steve Ridley has had to have four stitches in an ankle injury he suffered during the 3-0 win over Hinckley on Tuesday... He has been arguably AFC’s most consistent player this season... Manager Lee Turnbull said: 'The injury is right on the join in his ankle and is very sore. He’ll probably miss the game tomorrow. I imagine he’ll be out for a week or so'. Defender James Cotterill is struggling with a groin strain and is rated 50/50, while striker Mike Kewley is also a major doubt with injury. Karl Colley has recovered from a slight hernia problem and is expected to play at Watnall Road. Phil Rowland could come into the midfield, while Turnbull may change from a back three to a back four to compensate for the loss of Cotterill".


    Surprising news is that manager John Barton has resigned at This is WCFC quotes Snape as saying "The gaffer going has left a huge hole to fill". Another surprise is that "striker Mark Owen has left the club to join Moor Green". This is confirmed by Moor Green's website which confirms Owens' signing "on an 18 month contract... Owen scored four goals in four starts earlier this season but suffered three broken ribs in a collision with the pitch hoardings versus Stafford at the start of November which sidelined him for 6 weeks". Sadly for Alty, two of these goals were against us!

    The Kettering website reports on three new signings. "Northampton Town defender Chris Carruthers has joined Kevin Wilson's side on a month's loan. The England Under 20 Kettering born youngster is a naturally left footed defender who has over 50 first team appearances for the Cobblers... He was only one of two players outside the Premiership and Nationwide Division One to represent England at the World Youth Championships in November 2003". Also signed is Oswald Lopes (24) who "actually played for Torquay United and their League Two fixture against Huddersfield Town just last week. [He] lists ES Frejus (France), Plymouth Argyle, Montpellier (France), Berrichonne (France), Cork City (Ireland) and Torquay United as his previous clubs. He is a skilful and physical midfielder". The third new face is "Daniel Bulley, a tall powerful striker who started out in Yeovil Town's very successful youth team set-up. Daniel has had short spells recently with Grimsby Town, Plymouth Argyle and Margate".

    Newly appointed manager Neil Aspin told Harrogate Today "What better place to come back to than Harrogate Town? I really like this football club... It's got a good chairman, good players and good supporters - it's a nice place to work... Our target is to reach the play offs". Aspin "has considered the future of his playing staff - some of who may yet be courted by former boss John Reed as he bids to drag Stalybridge Celtic out of the Conference North relegation zone". But the new Town boss said, "If they really want to leave there's nothing I can do about it". Already, Celtic's website reports that the club have signed "full back Grant Black. Grant (21) joins us from Harrogate Town, and has football league experience with Barnsley".

    The Manchester Evening News says that Stalybridge have also served "notice of approach on Harrogate's ex-Leigh striker Paul Shepherd and Barrow midfielder Scott Maxfield". New boss John Reed says that if Celtic "don't perform [on Saturday], I intend to act immediately". The paper reports that there are "several loan deals that he has set up". The paper also says that "Droylsden boss Dave Pace is homing in on Burton striker Robbie Talbot".


    NL Daily says that "midfielder Andy McDonald has also left Lambeth Grove [Cheadle Town] as he has returned to live and play football in Gran Canaria".
    21 January 2005


    The supporters' trust, STAR, is holding its Race Night / Player of The Year Night on Saturday 23rd April 2005 after the last game of the season, at home to Redditch. The Noel White Suite opens at 7pm, racing starts at 7.30 and the Player of the Year Awards will be after the fourth race. You can sponsor a race for £25, buy a horse for £5 and have a go on Steve Foster's Big Treble for a £100 prize.


    SAM quotes Graham Heathcote after last week's win at Leigh. "It is a fabulous result I felt a lot of people underestimated the task. It was very important our players didn't do that. Nobody seemed to give credence to the level that Leigh were playing at. Leigh kept the ball quite well, we didn't get tight enough in the first half but we recovered and won the game". Graham described the second suspension for Josh Mitten (reported earlier this week) as a "massive blow". Also the Alty manager "intimated he is keeping his eyes out for another player to draft into the Moss Lane squad".


    Crewe Alex report that "The postponed Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final clash at non-league Alsager Town has been re-arranged... The match will now be played on Tuesday 25 January with a 7:45pm kick off. Tickets for the game remain priced at £5 Adults, and £3 concessions". The winners meet either Altrincham or Vauxhall Motors who meet at Rivacre Park on 2 February.


    Redditch United report that "midfielder Craig Woodley has been released and will be going to play for Stratford Town... He wanted to play more first team football.

    AFter yesterday's report that Runcorn might quit the Halton Stadium, Martin Fallon, press officer at the club has posted on the Runcorn forum the criteria to be met at all Conference North grounds. These include -a freehold or 10 year lease on the ground, capacity for 3,000 spectators, a clubhouse, car parking, floodlighting, 6 turnstiles, 500 seats and cover for 500 spectators".

    It is confirmed by Worksop Today that "the financial crisis at Worksop Town deepened this week as it emerged a number of players are owed wages. Last week the Guardian revealed the club could be forced into administration over a £60,000 debt Bassetlaw Council want to call in. Now the club's playing staff have been hit, with some owed as much as four weeks' salary, after payment cheques bounced... Partners Press, who print the club's matchday programme, and coach company, Johnson Brothers, who provide transport for away matches have also not been paid substantial amounts. Both are understood to have withdrawn their services a result. The wages problem came to a head on Tuesday night following the Tigers' 2-0 defeat to Droylsden. Players had to be paid out of the gate receipts but some only received part payment. One of those was Blake Norton, who [said] "I was one of the players who did get their wages on Tuesday, but I am still owed money after three cheques have bounced since we played Kettering in December. Things started going wrong around that time and it is no coincidence that the results have also started to suffer since then".

    Meanwhile, "Liam Watson has served his seven days notice on Worksop's winger Blake Norton but it is unlikely the ex-Macclesfield player will be joining as Norton wished to see out the season at Worksop. Said Watson: "I am looking at... bringing in another winger, we only have two at present. I have also inquired to Runcorn about Matty McGinn, he will be coming here in the summer but I'd like a deal now. Matty, as a young player, is the most talented player I've worked with" says IC Southport. It adds that "Southport have accepted offers for Lee Mulvaney from Runcorn, Prescot, Witton and Ashton United and although the terms to the player were good he has turned them down. Mulvaney said: 'Ideally I want to stay at Southport, I love the club but, at 22, I do need regular football and I haven't got that. I am not rushing as this is a big move for me and if I do have to move it has to be right for me'"

    IC Cheshire reports that Tuesday's "FA Trophy replay between Lancaster City and Vauxhall was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. The playing surface at The Giant Axe was so heavy that a tractor was left stranded on the pitch until a crane could be brought in to remove it".

    The Tameside Advertiser states that "New Stalybridge Celtic boss John Reed has told his side they have ‘19 cup finals’ in which to preserve their Conference North status. Having seen the Blues lose 2-0 against Hinckley United... he said: 'I thought we showed fantastic commitment but to be fair, if we had defended properly and put away any of our six or seven scoring opportunities we would have won the game. The lads gave everything in terms of commitment and enthusiasm and there were some good individual performances from Nathan Wharton, Scott Bonsall, Paul Sykes and Lincoln Adams, who did well apart from his mistake which led to their second goal'".

    Barrow boss Lee Turnbull "says he’s willing to discuss an extension to his current contract should it be offered by the board", reports The NW Evening Mail... Recent rumours suggested the AFC boss was being eyed up by Stalybridge Celtic... Turnbull refused to comment on if he had been approached by other clubs... Asked about his future at Holker Street, Turnbull said: 'I’ve got a job to do here and I want to see it through. I’ve stated from day one that it would be a building process here at the football club this year. I would like to think that we are progressing'".

    This is Derbyshire states that "Derby County's Pride Park Stadium is set to be chosen as the venue for two Conference play-off finals on consecutive days in May. Pride Park remains the favourite ahead of Stoke City's Britannia Stadium... A decision on the venue will be made at a meeting of all 66 Conference clubs at Breadsall Priory, near Derby, a week today... 'The play-off between the Conference North and South will be a first and we are hoping it will prove as successful as the Conference play-off final has been'" said John Moules, chief of the Conference.


    Our former UniBond colleagues, Burscough, have boardroom problems after Chairman Chris Lloyd "announced that he is standing down as chairman and director of Burscough Football Club, citing that the situation at the club had now become intolerable. As a direct result of Chris’s decision fellow board members Dave McIlwain, Stan Strickland, Andy MacGregor and Keith Crawford have announced that they will also be standing down as directors. The actions of one director who refuses to act in accordance with the wishes of the board is undermining my position and placing the club in serious financial jeopardy as it is impossible for me to invest further in the club or invite others to invest while the situation remains like this" states their website.