Altrincham Football Club News Archive
25 to 27 January 2005

27 January 2005


Courtesy of Bill Coop comes this preview of the new Altrincham FC postcard which will soon be on sale at the club. It features the Golf Road End in the centre, surrounded by views of the rest of the ground.


Joint editor of The Robins' Review, Terry Rowley, advises me that centre-back Mark Maddox (right) is on course to make his 300th appearance for the club against Runcorn FC Halton on 12 February. He would have reached this landmark against Barrow on 5 February, the only other senior team he has played for, had he not been suspended for that game. Of course, if the Trophy game ends in a draw, he could still make his tricentenary against the Holker Street club. Terry says that Mark will be only the 12th post-War Alty player to reach 300 games and he should pass two of the other eleven, Ronnie Ellis and Paul France, before the season ends. To date, Mark has made 279 starts and 19 sub appearances for the club, with the Lancaster game to come this Saturday before his ban starts. All Alty supporters will hope that Mark, who is 31 on 1st March, carries on towards appearance number 400 for The Robins. In addition to his wholehearted performances on the pitch, Mark has also always been popular with the fans and a keen supporter of club activities; over the years invariably one or more of the winning annual STAR/SAFE raffle tickets has been bought by Mark or his family on Merseyside.


See the Reserves section for Alty Reserves' February fixtures in the Lancashire League.


Alfreton Town's indifferent run continued as they "exited the Derbyshire Senior Cup at the semi-final stage on Tuesday evening when a lively Belper Town side won a penalty shoot-out... The major blow of the night though was the loss of full-back Ian Robinson who had to be carried off with ankle ligament damage... in front of the lowest crowd of the season in all competitions of just 171."

"Spanna" on the Moor Green Forum says that the fire last night at Moorlands left the main stand "gutted beyond repair and structurally unsafe - its basically now a metal frame. The dressing room area has been cordoned off due to the asbestos roof... There is a fair amount of water damage to the corridor leading from the bar to the toilets. The boardroom will have suffered in the same manner... Worringly though, myself and Nigel were in the boardroom and players were in the dressing room and treatment room when the fire started - however NO-ONE was injured... The youth game on Wednesday is off and Saturday's game with Stafford is certainly in doubt. No details yet regarding whether/ when the Social Club will re-open".

Bradford PA report that "Frank Thornton, Chairman for the last 7 years has announced his resignation "citing as the reasons a combination of ill health, business pressures and the sheer fact that he lives so far away in Oxfordshire... Increasingly, however, he has felt it to be in the best long-term interests of the club to have someone at the helm who lives locally and has the drive and ideas to take it forward... Thornton will remain involved with the Avenue as a Vice President. His successor is Dr John Dean", a long-time supporter and local businessman.

Harrogate Town had to replay their West Riding Cup game against Armthorpe Welfare, which they had won 10-0, after fielding an ineligible player. In the re-match they "only" won 5-0. Due to injuries and ineligibility "Before the match, acting boss Neil Aspin was even considering naming shot stopper Nick Buxton as an outfield player but ... only two substitutes could be named". The gate was just 113.

Kettering Town "gave many fringe and trial players the chance to shine" in Tuesday's GLS Cup defeat by Worksop. But, "Without doubt the player who caught most fans eye was French midfielder, Oswald Lopes".

Alty host Lancaster City on Saturday and ex-Alty man Tony Sullivan scored one of City's goals on Tuesday against Vauxhall.

Runcorn FC Halton's 2-5 defeat by Carlisle United in the GLS Cup was engineered by former Bury manager Andy Preece who scored four times.

The Tameside Advertiser quotes Stalybridge Celtic boss John Reed: "Usually people look at 44 points to be safe, so if we can win 10 of our remaining games that will give us 48 points and we can stay up... There were a lot of factors behind our win at Bradford not least our fans - I’ve been a manager for 28 years and I’ve never heard anything like it, they were absolutely amazing. Scott Bonsall and Barrie Keeling were amazing in midfield, Steve Smith superb on the left-hand side, Andy Hayward selfless up front and Paul Sykes immense at the back". Ashton United manager Andy Johnston added, "We’re looking at 42 points for safety... There’s been a bit of bad luck involved for us but you get to a point in a season where you can’t keep saying everything is down to that". Meanwhile Reed is "optimistic of signing Paul Shepherd from former club Harrogate. However, any plan to bring in Scott Maxfield appears more likely to happen in the summer". But Johnston said, "I’m not going to bring anyone in to make up the numbers. I know we have only got 16 or 17 players but I’m going to give them a chance". If Johnston is right, Alty need 3 more points to be sure of avoiding relegation this season!

Elsewhere in Tameside, "Droylsden chief Dave Pace hopes to have Burton Albion striker Robbie Talbot on board for Saturday’s match against Harrogate Town". Pace added, "I’m now looking at the squad and letting someone go by the end of the week". 26 January 2005


Peter Wright, recently recovered from a lay off due to a fractured eye-socket, has asked to leave Altrincham as he wishes to pursue regular first-team football elsewhere. The club is disappointed that Peter has chosen to depart so soon after being supported through his period of injury. After scoring twice on his debut in August, Peter failed to score again in a further 7 starts and 7 sub appearances.

As Alty will also be without the suspended Jozzer Mitten for five games after this Saturday, manager Graham Heathcote is stepping up his search to add to the squad though it is not necessarily in the forward division that he will be seeking to strengthen.

It has also been confirmed that Mark Maddox's suspension for five bookings will rule him out for the Trophy tie against Barrow on 5 February.


A fire yesterday evening, allegedly started deliberately, has caused major damage to the stand at Moor Green. All at Altrincham FC hope that the damage may not turn out to be as bad as it seems initially. There is a photo on the Moor Green forum.


Right: Gary Talbot, who was in outstanding form at Nuneaton.

IC Coventry says that Nuneaton "Keeper Darren Acton saved Boro from defeat at the hands of fellow promotion prospects Altrincham with a superb performance at Manor Park on Saturday. The ever-present was in superb form as he thwarted the eager visitors time and again in arguably his best display of the season as the sides battled out a dour[???] and energy-sapping encounter... But while Acton was showing his agility at one end, the Cheshire outfit's number one Stuart Coburn was no spectator, especially in the opening period as he pulled off excellent stops". Alty are described as having "a strong, no-nonsense Alty back division... [with] the outstanding Gary Talbot (right)".


Alty play their Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final next Tuesday at Vauxhall. In the other semi, last night:
  • Alsager T. 1 Crewe A. 2 The winner came 5 mins from the end.


    Ian Watts advises the website that "Altrincham fans in the Stockport area might be interested to know that Danny Adams is one of the players the club are to be sending to the Bredbury branch of Hatters' Independent Supporters Club on Feb 8. Alty fans who feel like dropping in would be made more than welcome. Further details of the venue including directions can be found here.


    An innovative idea from Kettering Town is "a 'Fans' Match' and 'Meet the Players' day on Saturday, February 5th" when Kettering have no fixture. "Lee Howey and Alan Biley will be the managers [but the first-team boss] Kevin Wilson will be in attendance to offer advice to both squads of players, and their managers! Everyone is welcome to play... All playing kit will be provided. Teams will use home and away dressing rooms, and prepare in the same way as a normal match. Howey and Biley will give team talks, and the necessary praise or criticism at half time/full time! Players can play for as long/little as desired. A special programme will be produced with pen profiles of all the players! (Write your own pen profile!) Match and ball sponsors etc being sought. a donation fee of £50 (under 16’s £20) booking/payment would be appreciated... Prior to the fans' match, the 1st team will train at 11am. So why not come along and meet the players?"

    Alfreton Town have problems with "John Knapper and Carl Bradshaw through injury... Chris Bettney (flu) and Mick Godber (groin) while Ryan Mallon has returned to Halifax Town having completed his loan spell".

    Worksop Town report that "In a rather ironic twist of fate and despite the current luke-warm atmosphere with the council, the club today received planning consent for their ground improvements to go ahead. A decision on the planning application was to have taken between six to eight weeks, but this recent revelation has taken officials at the club by complete surprise considering the current circumstances". 25 January 2005


    Nationwide North
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Gainsborough T. 2
  • Table.

    FAT3 replay

  • Lancaster C. 3 Vauxhall M. 0

    GLS Cup 3

  • Kettering T. 1 Worksop T. 2
  • Tamworth 3 Worcester C. 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 2 Carlisle U. 5


    Courtesy of Runcorn FC Halton Press Officer, Martin Fallon, comes this press release:

    Runcorn FC Halton regret to announce the news that the Managerial Team of Alvin McDonald and Peter Carroll have been relieved of their duties with immediate effect. This has arisen due to the financial constraints at the club which has meant a review of various aspects of the present structure. The club would like to place on record its thanks for the work done by Alvin and Peter since their appointments, and wish them both the best of luck with any future managerial careers that they may undertake.

    Senior players Steve Carragher and Steve Soley will be in charge of team affairs in a caretaker role for the immediate future starting with the GLS National Conference cup tie against Carlisle United at the Halton Stadium on Tuesday 25 January.

    All at Alty will hope that our local rivals overcome their financial difficulties soon.


    You can re-live Colin Little's and Mark Maddox's goals against Leigh ten days ago by purchasing a video of the game from Leigh for £7 including p&p; please ring 01942 742043 to secure your copy.


    Alty meet Lancaster City at home this Saturday but tonight the Dolly Blues play Vauxhall Motors in a Trophy replay at The Giant Axe. Preston Today says that "The Giant Axe pitch was the biggest opponent as draw specialists Lancaster City slogged out another stalemate [last] Saturday... City manager Phil Wilson... said: 'This is one of those pitches that takes the legs out of players. The ground staff have worked wonders with the pitch and there is plenty of grass on it, but it is just very heavy... it is a surface that cannot take massive amounts of rain'". With Alty unbeaten in ten matches, Saturday's "draw stretched Lancaster's unbeaten run to seven games, but nine [draws] in 24 league games leaves City knowing they need to start turning one point into three on a regular basis if they are to achieve their aim of a play-off place".


    STAR have issued a joint statement with Altrincham FC:

    "The Boards of Altrincham Football Club and STAR have agreed ways in which further progress can be made to developing the relationship between the two organisations, with a view to clearing the historic tax debts of the Club and other long term liabilities, and to secure a viable future for the Club both on the field and off it. As well as STAR's continued representation at Club Board meetings, STAR and the Football Club will be meeting during the close season, and regularly from then on, to plan fundraising events and the promotion of the Club jointly. This is designed to ensure that the resources of the Club and STAR are working together towards jointly agreed objectives in the most coherent and effective manner, and it is hoped that the success of the Football Club's events and STAR's fundraising can be developed further in this way.

    The Boards of STAR and the Football Club would like to thank all supporters for their efforts in supporting all their activities in the past year, and would like to welcome anyone who wishes to help, or who has any ideas, to come forward. Both Boards recognise that the Club is still in a difficult, but improved financial position, and so the focus will remain on clearing outstanding historic tax and other debts in as short a time as possible, whilst ensuring that the Club is able to compete successfully on the pitch, together with further development of facilities when possible, and enhanced promotion of the Club in the local community. STAR and Altrincham Football Club will be working together closely in the future to achieve these objectives".


    Congleton Town have released former Alty goalkeeper Ryan McMahon. Leigh RMI's Reserves meet Alty Reserves this Saturday and in their recent defeat by Bamber Bridge their side included former Alty Reserve goalkeeper Dale Newbrook and youth-team centre-back Steve Howarth.


    Our Cheshire Senior Cup opponents' Vauxhall Motors have Karl O'Donnell suspended for three games and Wayne McDermott for four games but both bans end, if games are played as scheduled, on 29 January. The Motormen play Alty on 1 February.

    Likewise, two Barrow players are set to complete suspensions just before the Trophy game at Alty on 5 February. Both Graham Anthony and Karl Colley are suspended for Barrow's game on 29 January. The Holker Street Newsletter reports that Barrow "are running two coaches to the Fourth Round game against Altrincham on Saturday 5 February". However, one of these is "The team coach [which]... has a limited number of seats available for £12 each. A supporters' coach will leave the Cross Bar at the later time of 11.30am, and seats on this charabanc will cost £10 for adults".

    The NW Evening Mail reports on Stalybridge's approach for defender Scott Maxfield. Barrow boss Lee Turnbull said, "I spoke to Maxy about it and he’s not interested in leaving the club. He’s been here for four seasons and he wants to carry on". Reportedly John Reed, the Celtic boss tried to sign Maxfield last summer for Harrogate Town. Turnbull added, "Unless there is an exceptional offer Maxy will stay put".


    Our local neighbours Flixton, now in NW Counties 2 "have had 21 points deducted after they admitted playing defender Ryan Gilligan under a false name while he should have been serving a ban. [They] have also had their fixtures suspended until they pay a £650 fine imposed by the league... That led to Flixton's clash at Ashton Town on Saturday being postponed but club chairman Phil Greenhalgh insisted the fine will be paid". Gilligan was a Reserve with Altrincham in 2001-02.


    Kettering Today reports that "Kettering Town FC's chairman says directors can not continue to fork out cash to keep the club afloat. He said Kettering could face the prospect of losing its football club unless they are able to relocate from their Rockingham Road stadium... At present, the club's five directors fork out about £80,000 a year to keep the club afloat".

    Chairman Peter Mallinger said: "'It cannot go on. In the last ten or 11 years we have lost more than £1m'... The chairman said paying lower wages was not an option as the club was still ambitious and wanted to progress through the divisions. He said the club had put together an exciting scheme that involves building 750 houses, a school, community centre and the football stadium, which would house a 500-seat theatre in the main stand. The scheme... is planned for the northern end of the town. The move would end the 107-year association with Rockingham Road, where the Poppies' lease runs out in seven years. Mr Mallinger said: 'The council has to meet us otherwise Kettering may face the prospect of being without a football club'". The Council Leader replied: "I am not in a position to discuss a planning application which has not been submitted... I just cannot offer him the assurance he needs. He will have to go through the proper channels'".

    Mallinger also said, "I would like to remind the Council of the manifesto commitment that it gave, ... to support Kettering Town FC in its need to relocate". The club website adds that "A meeting is to be held in the Poppies' Social Club on Friday 28th January.. [at which] the plans... will be revealed for the first time to the public. Meanwhile, manager Kevin Wilson said of the 0-5 defeat by Southport, "It is very disappointing for us because a lot of hard work to get us into this sort of position has gone in the space of 90 minutes. But I am not going to concede any titles".

    This is Lincs says that "Gainsborough Trinity boss Paul Mitchell "witnessed the most inept performance by an official at the Northolme this season. Nigel Murphy took an age to come to any decision and then, more often than not, made the wrong one. For Mitchell it was all too much. 'I could have refereed the game better myself from the bench', he said... 'Why is this allowed to happen in non-league football? Are we playing to different rules?'".

    Another disappointed boss is Alfreton's David Lloyd who told This is Derbyshire after their defeat on Saturday, "We were very poor and, although I don't like to criticise, we must bring in fresh faces... Our squad is not big enough if we are going to challenge for the league and try to progress in the FA Trophy".

    The BBC says that "Scarborough are set to sign former Barnsley striker Griff Jones... Jones was released by Barnsley... and after a brief stay at Wrexham joined Conference North side Runcorn".

    This is WCFC quotes Worcester City chairman Dave Boddy, following the resignation of manager John Barton. Boddy said: "There has been a lot of interest. We've had about 10 serious telephone enquiries, some fairly local and others from further afield... The closing date is this Friday... We will look to carry out interviews early next week. Ideally, we will have somebody in place for the Southport game... They will inherit a reasonable squad, but clearly changes will need to be made... There is a strict financial criterion that we have got to work with and a new manager will have to understand that. There's never a worse time than when you don't have a manager. I've been at various clubs in the past and I know when they are managerless that it creates uncertainty".