Altrincham Football Club News Archive
31 January to 4 February 2005

4 February 2005


Altrincham have signed midfielder and former semi-pro international Richard Norris from Northwich Victoria ahead of tomorrow's FA Trophy tie. Norris (d.o.b. 5.1.1978) started at Marine (92-96) and went for £20,000 to Crewe Alexandra in 1996 before joining the Vics in 2000. He has made well over 100 appearances for the Vics. He also scored England's first ever international Futsal goal.

Mark Maddox and Jozzer Mitten are suspended tomorrow, Colin Potts and Chris Adams (right) are both out, injured, and Gary Talbot remains an uncertain starter. George Melling will continue at centre-back and Lewis Chalmers and Richard Acton come into the squad.


In today's NLP Graham Heathcote says of the FA Trophy "I can't believe that Conference clubs aren't taking it seriously. It offers £50,000 in prize money... A home tie is all you ask for at this stage and our home form has been pretty good this season, but that counts for nothing come Saturday. I've got problems at the back. Mark Maddox is suspended and Gary Talbot and Chris Adams are both doubtful. I'm trying desperately to get in a loan defender who isn't cup tied". Of Barrow, Graham added, "I saw them beat Hinckley and they were very impressive. They were always a decent side but were finding it dificult to score. But they have got Neil Tarrant scoring and Gavin Knight has started scoring again". Knight replied, "Altrincham is a difficult place to visit... But since we beat Scarborough in the last round we have been on a bit of a roll and not lost".

Meanwhile, Barrow boss "Lee Turnbull has snapped up 19 year old midfielder Danny Forde immediately on his release from Oldham Athletic... Forde has been in the Latics' First Team squad for the last 18 months... He has however not made played for the senior side. He is a midfielder, who can also play in defence and is available for Saturday's FA Trophy tie at Altrincham". (Other sources list him as a 17 year-old, born on 6.10.87).

Barrow have also set up a Support Group which meets monthly "with the sole aim to raise funding and ensure that Barrow AFC has the facility to accommodate an under 18 and reserve set up. The club agreed that it would not be viable (for them) to run both these teams in light of current problems. The voluntary support group had a target set to raise between £7,000-£10,000 to ensure that the two teams would successfully complete this season... Sponsorship or donations are the main source of income which cover travel costs to the away games. The admission costs for home games are adults £2 and children £1... with gates topping the hundred mark".


IC Cheshire has a brief report on the Alty win at Vauxhall on Tuesday.


Niell Hardy headed a goal for Ashton Utd as they beat Curzon Ashton 2-1 in The Manchester Premier Cup on Monday against Curzon Ashton.


Our last Trophy opponent "Leigh RMI is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Bleasdale as their new manager. Steve was Mark Wright’s assistant at Chester City and previously Oxford United and Southport" reports the club website.


After the appointment of Andy Preece as Worcester City manager, Redditch boss "Rod Brown has ended any speculation he is about to quit Redditch United for rivals Worcester City... He said: 'I feel like I haven't finished the job at Redditch, the whole club's great, the fans are fantastic and I feel that I've got a loyalty to Redditch United... We've got a good chance this season. We're trying to build a team at the moment and this club's got great potential but even if we win one trophy this season it'll still be a phenomenal achievement... We're on the verge of getting to the play-offs in the league and we're also in two semi-finals in cup competitions'... Northern Ireland under-19 international John Harkness from Walsall is top of Brown's targets, and he hopes to tie up the left-sided defender in time for Saturday's trip to Gainsborough" says, This is Worcs.

"Andy Preece wants to take Worcester City into the Football League to rival neighbours Cheltenham Town and Kidderminster Harriers after he was unveiled as the new player-manager to replace John Barton... One casualty though of the new regime will be player/assistant-manager John Snape, who will be replaced by Andy Morrison... Preece, 37, has signed an eighteen-month contract with City and will commute from his Blackpool home, although plans to stay over in in Worcestershire where his dad lives... Preece has already established himself a solid reputation as a manager who can work with limited spending power, although he said the City budget was not a shoestring one". Preece said, "City was probably the only club in this division to go to for obvious reasons. For me it's a massive club. I remember making my debut when I was 16 in a 3-0 win that put us top of the Conference, so it has happy memories". The new boss said, "Obviously we are in a difficult position at the minute but I haven't given up hope of getting a good run together and hopefully that will take us very close to the play offs... Hopefully we can be very close to being a Football League side" reports the Worcester Standard.

Hucknall Today reports that "A domestic squabble over an inferior competition this week threatened to overshadow Hucknall Town's bid to reach the last 16 of the FA Trophy for the first time... The biggest talking-point on the eve of the tie surrounds a match that was originally scheduled for the same day - a Notts FA Senior Cup, Third Round visit to Pelican, who are riding high in the Central Midlands League. For efforts to re-arrange the tie have triggered a blazing row that has developed into a farcical saga... Pelican cannot stage the game in midweek because their ground does not have floodlights. In a bid to break the stalemate, Town decided to send their under-19s' team to fulfil the tie tomorrow. But... Notts FA moved swiftly to scupper the idea". Player/manager Dean Barrick said "We will do whatever we are told to do but it is a headache I could do without!" Town secretary Brian Scothern "wants the club to pull out of the Senior Cup" but Pelican secretary Neil Swift retorted ""We have been shit on!.. It is our fixture. But we will play it at Watnall Road any time, any night. Hucknall will win anyway. If we played them 99 times out of 100, we might draw once. But they are so far ahead now. They shouldn't be in the competition. They are too big... I blame chairman Brian Holmes who wants the trophy [sitting] on his telly".

Alfreton Town boss David Lloyd has recruited Luke Foster in time for this Saturday's FA Trophy 4th round clash against Conference side Woking at the Impact Arena... Central defender Foster, 19, joins the Reds on loan from Sheffield Wednesday


In Thursday's Manchester Derby between United and City Reserves at Moss Lane, the players on display included Tim Howard, Jonathan Spector and David Bellion for United and Nicky Weaver, Stephen Jordan and Bradley Wright-Phillips for City. City won 5-1.

The contestants for Nationwide North Player of the Month are Banim (Droylsden), Fearns (Southport), Maxfield (Barrow), Philpott (Harrogate) and Ricketts (Hucknall).

3 February 2005


Our league rivals Worcester City are reported to have appointed former Bury manager and current Carlisle United player, Andy Preece, as their new player-manager on an 18-month contract.


STAR's Jon Stack writes that "Once again STAR has a special email address for sending good luck messages to the team prior to the crucial 4th Round FA Trophy tie against Barrow this coming Saturday. If you'd like to send a good luck message to the team, to be read out before the match, then email your message hereby 10.30am on Saturday morning. Messages can also be faxed direct to the Club on 0161 926 9934. Last season the messages were greatly appreciated, and we all know what subsequently happened at Weymouth, so please send in a message!"

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

Unconfirmed reports say that Barrow, like Alty (with Potts, Talbot and Adams) have injury problems (with Neil Tarrant, Gavin Knight, Michael Kewley, Scott Maxfield and Steve Ridley, the latter two failing to complete last Saturday's game. The NW Evening Mail adds that Barrow "reserves could field former Carlisle United defender Adam Thwaite in their line-up [last night]". Midfielder Graham Anthony "and the rest of Barrow’s first team are without a midweek game as they prepare for Saturday’s FA Trophy fourth round clash at Altrincham. So that gives [the] Bluebirds Reserves' boss... the opportunity to play both Gareth Simpson and Ian Kilford in his midfield". Meanwhile, first-team boss Lee Turnbull said, "We are talking to a Conference club as well [as a Championship club] about the possibility of a centre-half who is maybe available... It’s a Conference club down south... It’s probably one or the other though, I would have thought. I don’t think finances will give us the opportunity to bring both in. If I’m totally honest it will probably be the Conference player... He’s nearly 21 whereas the lad at the Championship club is 19".


Today (3rd Feb) Man United Reserves play Manchester City at Moss Lane in the Manchester Senior Cup (7pm k.o.). Admission is £3.


This year's will be Altrincham's seventh CSC Final appearance in the last 25 years, during which period they have been winners twice (1988 and 1999). Alty were last in the final in 2002 when, as in 2005, their opponents were Crewe Alexandra. Crewe won 3-0 after extra time with none other than Colin Little netting twice! But for a spot-kick miss in the first half by Rod Thornley, Alty might well have won the Cup without the need for extra time. However, Carl Furlong's dismissal for a totally needless foul 40 yards from his own goal on the touchline, after an earlier booking for an equally pointless handball, led to Crewe making the extra man tell in extra time. Alty's side that day was 1. Stuart COBURN 2. Neil RYAN 3. Dave SWANICK 4. Gary SCOTT 5. Mark SERTORI 6. Vernum ROWLAND 7. Kevin HULME 8. Ian CRANEY 9. Carl FURLONG 10. Rod THORNLEY 11. Lee POLAND and subs: 12. Lee THOMPSON 14. Barry GUILDFORD 15. James WILKINSON.


Preston Today reports that former Alty striker Peter Wright scored twice this week in a Lancashire FA Marsden Trophy tie at Radcliffe Borough, who fielded another ex-Robin, Scott Wilson "whose cousin [is] Paul Scholes". More surprising was the appearance for the Brig of Barry Shuttleworth who reportedly broke his ankle soon after leaving Alty. Accrington Stanley confirm that "Ian Craney [has] been put on the reserve list for the England National Game XI international friendly against Holland at Woking on Wednesday 16th February".


Martin Fallon, Runcorn FC Halton press officer says on the Runcorn Forum, "The current situation that the club is not that bad, nowhere near what has [been] made out. Apart from money owed to the Chairman (which is quite a bit), the football club owe around £35,000 to various creditors. This includes the Halton Stadium (as the £60k per year is paid monthly), players' wages, inland revenue, and the coach and programme people... The preferred move for LIST [the Runcorn sipporters' trust]... is to get out of the stadium and play elsewhere until the end of the season. Whilst this is going on we talk to Pavilions to see whether we can play there next season onwards and talk to the Conference to see what the criteria are and whether they would allow it. Initial investigations are that Pavilions would need to be up to Unibond Standard when we play there and up to Conference standard by 2007". Pavilions is a ground used by Mond Rangers of the West Cheshire League Division Two.

Runcorn FC Halton have announced "the capture of midfielder Scott Willis from Conference side Halifax Town. 23-year old Willis, who has signed for the Linnets until the end of the season, has had spells at a host of football league clubs in his short career, and he hopes that a spell at Runcorn can be his springboard back into the Football League... After his release from Carlisle, he joined Unibond side Bamber Bridge before moving to fellow Unibond outfit Droylsden. Lincoln City then snapped him up in August 2002 and his form helped them to the play-off final in the 2002/03 season. Whilst at Lincoln, Willis attracted the interest of Millwall who were rumoured to be interested in signing the player for a fee of around £250,000. After falling out of favour at Lincoln, he has had loan spells at Stockport County and Hereford United before moving to Halifax Town at the start of this season. New Runcorn boss Steve Soley said 'I know Scott from my days at Carlisle United and I was delighted when he said that he would sign for us. Scott is without a doubt a football league player, and I hope that he takes this opportunity to show league clubs what they are missing out on'".

NL Daily Alfreton Town meet woking in the Trophy on Saturday "In the league, because of the games in hand, Alfreton are perhaps still the team to beat... Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley believes home advantage and home support will count for everything. He said: 'I feel it will all come down to support. I don't think Woking are going to bring the level of support they are used to seeing at home and I don't think they can create anything else other than what they have on the pitch... Form doesn't count for anything in this game. It is all about effort and all I know is that everyone who comes will see 100 per cent effort from every Alfreton player'".

IC Coventry reports that a "new striker is the top priority for Nuneaton Borough as manager Roger Ashby looks to boost his side's promotion ambitions... The Boro boss hopes to have a new front-runner in place... against... Harrogate Town on Saturday. Ashby said: 'We have identified several players who we would be interested in bringing to the club but the major stumbling block is the money. The better ones command more than we can afford'".

This is WCFC says that "Worcester City chairman Dave Boddy has picked out his man to succeed John Barton but is holding firm not to name the club's new manager until tomorrow afternoon... Former Notts County manager Gary Mills, ex-Forest Green Rovers boss Tim Harris and Stafford Rangers chief Phil Robinson are all believed to be in the running". Boddy added, "We've picked up just one point since Christmas and we have been in freefall. We've now got a big weekend coming up with Southport and Gainsborough. It's a good couple of games for the new manager to get his teeth into".


Right: Steve Aspinall netted against his former club.

Match report here.

The Final will be at Witton on 15 March against Crewe Alexandra, so the league game at home to Hucknall, already re-arranged to 15 March is now to be re-arranged again.

2 February 2005


  • Stalybridge C. 1 Bradford PA 0


    Goalkeeper Richard Acton has rejoined Altrincham after being released by Bangor City and will be on the bench for Saturday's Trophy match against Barrow.


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference North attendance chart is here.


    STAR Director Jon Stack writes:

    Good news! STAR has now received sufficient pre-orders for the Alty Highlights DVD for the project to be viable, and so we will be going ahead with it. In order to fund the purchase of the licence from the BBC we will have to pay out an up front sum to them, so if you would like to pay in advance for your DVD now, this will help us enormously to obtain sufficient cash in advance, but will also make sure that you'll be among the first to receive the DVD before it goes on open sale to all Alty fans.

    We expect the DVD to be available in early April, but remember this is first come first served and a strictly limited edition (due to the terms of our licence from the BBC), so if you haven't already ordered yours, it would be worth doing so now.

    The price of each DVD is £18, and those who have ordered in advance can collect from the Club shop at any home match when the DVD becomes available. If you would like us to post yours to you then please add £1 for postage and packing to your payment. Cheques should be payable to "STAR" and addressed to Jon Stack, STAR Alty Highlights DVD, c/o Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP, or simply bring a cheque to the Club Shop at half time at any home match and give to the STAR rep.

    We're also looking for sponsors for the DVD, who are invited to support the project and in return each sponsor will be able to include their own message on the DVD and its packaging, and so associate their name with Alty’s great history, and on a collectors’ item which will be hugely popular with Alty fans and non league football connoisseurs everywhere. Depending on the amount of sponsorship, individual sponsors may be offered membership or life membership of the Supporters' Trust, whilst corporate sponsors may be offered corporate membership

    If you have any questions or would like further information, or would like to discuss sponsorship of the DVD, then please contact me via e-mail or by phone on 01827 64471.

    The STAR website has a summary of the recent AGM PArt 2


    After last night's loss at Droylsden, Alfreton Town are "still looking for their first point of 2005 after four straight league defeats. In a much changed Reds side, Michael Simpkins made his debut in the number 11 shirt... while there were first league starts of the season also for David Holmes and Paul Teather".

    Kettering Town "have released former Peterborough United wide midfielder Daniel French. French... has found first-team opportunities hard to come by recently after being a regular earlier in the season". Manager Kevin Wilson "revealed more changes would be happening over the next couple of weeks".

    The Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson has won the January Manager of the Month award.


    Following the resignation of manager Geoff Lutley, Leigh RMI chairman Bill Taylor said that "the search for a replacement will commence immediately and in this regard we have a number of speculative applications and people in mind... We hope to have a replacement in place for our forthcoming fixture at Forest Green this Saturday. But if we fail to find the right person by then there are a number of internal options available to us".
    1 February 2005


    Alty will be without both Gary Talbot and Chris Adams tonight, after both limped off on Saturday. Gary has injured his side whilst Chris's groin injury is still to be fully diagnosed. Both will be receiving daily treatment in the hope that they may be fit for Saturday. So, Reserves' centre-back George Melling (left) makes his full debut tonight against Vauxhall Motors in the CSC semi-final, after coming on as a late sub on Saturday. George, 19, was at Blackpool and Morecambe before joining Altrincham.

    According to NL Daily Vauxhall won their last game against BPA who "after dominating the opening half... were made to pay... when the Motormen stole the points with a fluke of a goal just after the hour".


    A fortnight after being knocked out of the Trophy by Altrincham, Leigh RMI announce "the resignation of their manager Geoff Lutley. Mr Lutley stated the main reason for his decision was due to work commitments and that he has found it increasingly difficult to balance the demands of Conference football with his full time employment".

    MARK'S 300TH

    If he plays at Vauxhall tonight, centre-back Mark Maddox will be making his 300th appearance for Altrincham - congratulations! He has made 280 starts and 19 sub appearances to date and scored 11 goals - two of them in the last fortnight.

    Terry Rowley kindly advises me that Mark made his debut as a right-back on 17 August 1996 in a 4-3 win over Rushden and Diamonds at Moss Lane. In addition to his Alty appearances, he made 3(+1) Conference appearances for Barrow in 1998/99 season. His 300 appearances place him 13th in the all-time Alty appearances list after John Davison (672), Stan Allan (564), Graham Heathcote (528), John Owens (506), Jeff Johnson (504), Neil Dewer (376), Cyril Barclay (359), Paul Cuddy (342), Jack Swindells (322), Micky Brooke (320), Paul France (309) and Ronnie Ellis (304).


    The NW Evening Mail quoted Barrow manager Lee Turnbull after Saturday's draw with Runcorn. He said: "I’d have taken a scrappy 1-0 win, and if we had, we’d have had an open-top bus around Barrow. It would have been a massive result for us, but we take the positives from it. We’ve got a point, we’re doing okay and we’ll have a couple of players back [from suspension] for a big game next week" [at Altrincham in the Trophy].


    Manager Phil Wilson writes of defeat at Altrincham on the Lancaster City website, "I was extremely disappointed with our performance against Altrincham... Altrincham on their own pitch are one of the best teams in the league and they are strong physically in all areas. We had to compete with them and win the individual battles, this we did not do... After half time Alty were the better side but we still had a great chance to equalise... I was very angry after the game because I felt the lads let themselves down badly. Some of the players that had played so well on Tuesday night were very poor, the only thing I can think of is they had their minds on next Saturday’s game... I can only apologise to our fans... it is not a game I want to remember too quickly... We are a small squad of players and when like last Saturday when we had five players injured Bauress, Dawes, Prince, Elderton and Sullivan, it is hard to field a team against the likes of Alty."


    "The Bamber Bridge management duo of Phil Entwistle and Andy Whittaker had a selection headache before Saturday’s clash with Hyde United ­ but a positive one, despite the eventual 4-0 defeat. The Irongate outfit secured the services of striker Peter Wright...from Nationwide North side Altrincham. The newly-appointed managerial duo are hoping that Wright will be able to re-ignite what looked like being a potentially good attacking partnership with Chris Ward at Irongate. Wright has already partnered fellow Prestonian Chris Ward at Nationwide Conference National strugglers Northwich Victoria... He signed for Altrincham in June 2004, although injury limited his appearances at Moss Lane... Whittaker said: "I've known Peter for a while. He's a local lad and I knew him from his time at Burscough... "He's scored goals at whatever level he's played, and is still only 22... He has a low centre of gravity, a good touch and an eye for goal" says Preston Today.


    NL Daily reports that "Bangor City have re-signed goalkeeper Phil Priestley from Stalybridge Celtic".

    "After being released by Redditch United earlier this month, midfielder Craig Woodley has now returned to the same division with Hinckley United after a very brief spell with... Stratford Town. Woodley re-signed for Redditch in November 2003 after another short stint, this time with Worcester City". Other current NN clubs he has played for are Moor Green and Nuneaton Borough".

    Worcester City complete interviewing for their new manager today, Tuesday, and "Pre-selection narrowed down 36 applicants to four for interview". Rumours claim that Andy Preece is one of them.

    On financially troubled Runcorn's website programme editor Derek Greenwood says that the club is "looking for 100 fans to commit themselves to buy £100 of shares in the club either immediately or in two blocks of £50 over the next month or alternatively, if you do not wish to buy shares, to put that money into the club lottery which would cover the payments for the next 2 years at just £1 a week. Secondly, if you feel you cannot afford to put up £100 I would ask you to at least contribute £5 a month over the next 12 months to join the lottery".

    Stalybridge Celtic are believed to have transfer-listed defender Lincoln Adams, signed recently from Ashton United. Alfreton are reported to have served seven days' notice on Worksop for Blake Norton.

    31 January 2005


    After Droylsden's win tonight, they climbed above Alty, who are now sixth in the table.

  • Droylsden 3 Alfreton T. 2


    Right: Gavin Rathbone's picture of Jozzer Mitten celebrating his goal.

    As well as the two further Gavin Rathbone photos of last Saturday's game, which are lower down this page, there are more of his images on the STAR website (link above) whilst Lancaster have their own photos of the game here.

    The match report is here.


    Alty travel to Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday for the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final at Rivacre Road, a ground where they have yet to win a game! Howard Watts's Through the Years data for that day are here.


    The club, with STAR, has arranged the following social events to raise funds:
  • Sat. 26 February: The (Almost) Famous Five, Part 2 and final weigh-in for the STAR slim4alty sponsorship competition. The Famous Five will comprise five current Alty players who, as the Robins Review says, will be available for "grilling" during the evening. Tickets, which will also include a meal during the evening, are available from the club. (Sorry, no price notified to me as yet).
  • Sat. 7 May: End of Season Ball at the Cresta Court Hotel, Altrincham, 7.30pm. Comprises a champagne reception, dinner and ball. Tickets are £40 from the club.

    Altrincham FC social and fundraising events are listed here.


    Alty Youth beat Marine,away, on Sunday 2-0 to record their seventh successive victory. A report is in the youth section where new fixture details are also posted. One of these games is an international friendly in March at Wythenshawe Town FC against Eastern Ontario side, Cataraqui Clippers, whose manager hails from Manchester.

    The Reserves have now gone nine games unbeaten and the first team has not lost in the last eleven games, so it has been a good weekend at the club.


    Altrincham FC is offering a special package for the Trophy game at home to Barrow on 5 February. For £25 you can gain admission to the game, a free programme, pre-match drinks, hot food in the Sponsors' Lounge and tea and biscuits at half-time. Please contact the club on 928-1045 to book your place.

    Unfortunately, it is felt necessary that the game against Barrow should be segregated, with away fans occupying the 20/20 Hale End of the ground. Chief steward Darren Gregory has also indicated that random personnel and bag searches may be carried out, in accordance with Ground Regulations.