Altrincham Football Club News Archive
19 to 24 February 2005

24 February part one


Wednesday 's NN match, Bradford PA v Hinckley U., was postponed.

On Confguide is a report of a press conference at Stafford Rangers. It confirms that the club is making a loss and has cash flow problems, one of the reasons being that income from attendances is forecast to be £25,000 under budget. It dismisses rumours that the players have not been paid. However, it states that the club has "more contract players than it has had in previous seasons (currently 16 or 17)". However, recently, the players "have been asked to defer certain bonus payments until the club's cash flow problems are resolved". Also "The manager has been asked to save money in respect to non-contract players and backroom staff... The action taken now is a 'preventative measure' to keep the club solvent and running'". Finally, The Supporters' Trust at Stafford is to be encouraged to work with the club.

Hinckley United goalkeeper "Tommy Whittle is now struggling to recover from flu. Reserve keeper Adrian di Gregorio is also injured and unavailable to cover, so as a precaution the Knitters have re-signed veteran Dale Belford as cover from Gresley Rovers... Belford played over 50 games for Hinckley United in their first season... Also returning to the club is Danny Pitham, who in his short spell at VS Rugby Town, has scored one goal for himself and an own goal too. He returns to help out with the central defence injury nightmare", reports the club website.

Barrow manager Lee Turnbull’s "current two-year deal runs out at the end of this campaign and speculation is mounting as to his future at the club... Turnbull has now received the backing of two of his most influential players, stand-in skipper Graham Anthony and experienced defender Scott Maxfield". Anthony said, "What he has done this season has brought through a lot of young lads and with a year’s experience behind them it can only be better for next season". If Turnbull went, Anthony says, "It’s hard to say what would happen. I know Lee has got a lot of players in, but personal-wise everyone loves playing for Barrow and that’s why they travel so far to do so". The NW Evening Mail adds that Scott Maxfield is also backing Turnbull's plans at Barrow for next season, which suggests he may not be going to Stalybridge as has been rumoured.

The Tameside Advertiser reports that "Stalybridge Celtic manager John Reed has admitted the club are trying to keep a deal which will see Aron Wilford remain at Bower Fold... He said: 'Aron’s settled in fantastically and the lad’s made it clear he wants to stay at Stalybridge so it’s a case of trying to make a deal for him because there are people sniffing around him. Andy [Hayward] is a forward missing chances and the only thing in his favour is that he gets on the end of things'". Meanwhile, "Chris Denham, heavily linked with a move to Droylsden over the past few weeks, came off the bench on Saturday and, according to Reed helped turn the tide in Celtic’s favour". Reed stated, "Chris is staying until the end of the season". Celtic have arranged a friendly this Saturday at Ossett Town.

Redditch United lost 0-5 at home to Halesowen Town on Tuesday in the Worcester Senior Cup.


Leigh RMI won their first league game for almost six months at Tamworth and former Alty youths Lee Shillito played , whilst Ian Taylor and Ben Ashmole were used subs. Peter Band was sidelined by injury for Northwich Vics last night. Danny Adams's omission for Stockport County's side last Saturday has prompted rumours on the fans' message boards that his days at Edgeley Park could be numbered.


Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin is supplying STAR supporters' coaches for the away game at Alfreton on 5 February at a discounted rate; adults will pay only £5 and concessionaries just £4. Bookings will be taken at this Saturday's game; coach timings have yet to be announced.
23 February 2005


It has emerged that the linesman whose intervention led to Colin Little's dismissal last night claimed to have seen a "simulated head butt" by the Altrincham player.

Right: Colin Little (far right) walks off after his red card, as manager Graham Heathcote arrives on the scene (far left).

Match report here.


Preston Today reports that goalkeeper "Jamie Speare admits he faces the hardest decision of his career with Lancaster and Southport locked in a transfer tug-of-war for the experienced goalkeeper. Southport put seven days notice in on Speare last week and the Conference North leaders will make a formal offer to the 28-year-old ahead of Saturday's clash between the two sides at Haig Avenue. 'If I make a decision to leave Lancaster it will be nothing to do with the players or the manager who are superb people, it will be all about my personal ambition and wanting to play at the highest level I ', said Speare". He added, "Phil [Wilson] gave me a great opportunity when he signed me for Lancaster last summer. But the deciding factor will be the lure of Conference football. That really appeals to me at this stage in my career".

Stalybridge Celtic had arranged a friendly yesterday at Rossintgon Main but it was postponed due to snow.


Former Alty Youth, Stuart Cooke "pulled the ball back from the left leaving Rain to fire home past the despairing Mackin from eight yards out" for Connah's Quay Nomads against Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier league.
22 February 2005


  • Altrincham 3 Runcorn FC Halton 3
  • Lancaster C. 0 Worcester C. 2
  • Moor Green 0 Vauxhall M. 2
  • League table


    Above: Alty physio Sean Riley entertains Colin Potts with his heading skills, at Kettering.

    Kettering Today reports that Poppies' manager Kevin Wilson "had a degree of sympathy for his Kettering Town players after their second-half performance against Altrincham... Wilson's side missed a number of chances after dominating the play" following Little's early goal. Wilson said: "We didn't really start in the first half and we have conceded another early goal which is a real disappointment... Games like this happen and we have got to go on and make sure we take our chances in the future... We are disappointed because in the end we should have got something out of it". Wilson was impressed by "midfielder Jamie Paterson who played despite an ankle injury". But "Chris Carruthers is set to return to Northampton Town following his month on loan". The website has a match report which quotes Wilson as saying "We have only forced their keeper [Coburn] into a couple of saves and, on occasions, we have not hit the target when we should have done". The newspaper report adds "Altrincham, at times, had to defend the ugly way to stop [Kettering]... The Robins were perfectly happy to defend their one-goal lead and their efforts were rewarded with three more points as they charge for the play-offs".


    As previously reported, Grays Athletic have three players suspended for Saturday's game at Moss Lane (Stuart, Brennan and Heeroo). Alty meet Alfreton Town on 5 March and the Reds' midfielder Matthew Fisher will be suspended for two games from 1 March. On 8 March, Alty entertain Stafford Rangers and This is Staffs says that on Saturday "Stafford Rangers suffered their first red card of the season... Veteran Neil Grayson's controversial 57th-minute dismissal...[means that] he will also miss three vital games coming up against other teams vying for promotion via the play-offs". One of those will be against Alty as he should be suspended from 5 March.


    Former Alty goalkeeper and amateur boxer, Joe Paladino "put his money where his mouth is by injecting cash into [St Helens Town] when he took over, but no-one is prepared to admit or deny that. What no-one can deny is that he has brought some good times back to the Saints, as well as a vitually new squad... One of his first tasks was to bring in two other former St Helens players to his backroom staff in Gibiliru Snr and Mick Hayde, who was forced to hang up his boots last year at the age of 32 after a successful career in non-League football with the likes of Altrincham, Worcester City, Moor Green and Solihull Borough... Paladino... has recently registered himself [as a player] in case of emergencies" reports NL Daily.


    There is a report on our Trophy opponents Grays Athletic's last game on their website - a 0-0 draw with Newport County.


    NL Daily reports that "Kevin Glendon, manager of Radcliffe Borough, has made a surprise signing in the form of former Boro 'keeper Andy Johnston. Johnston was... up until seven days ago manager of Ashton United. The 36-year-old, who made 15 appearances this season for Ashton, has joined the club in a role at the club similar to the position ex-Bolton and Wales ‘keeper Dave Felgate held". Asked "Would the signing leave youth team keeper Barry George [with Altrincham till last summer] further down the pecking order? Not according to Glendon, who said: 'It is difficult for Barry and he needs to play on a regular basis to gain experience, which as understudy to Danny has proved difficult. Now all three can train together and we can monitor his progress through these sessions. Let’s not forget he is still a young lad'".

    Preston Today quotes Southport boss Liam Watson after their 3-1 loss to BPA. "The result was a shocker, but you've got to look at the bigger picture, I'm not going to have a go at my players' commitment, application or attitude, we were just outplayed... Our season has not disintegrated because of one poor result". The report adds that "What will have concerned Watson more than anything was his team appeared jaded, mentally and physically... Only the agility of goalkeeper Steve Dickinson kept the score down and saved Southport from a more emphatic beating".

    Hinckley United report that "Gavin Stone is effectively ruled out for the season... Following his knee scan it was confirmed that Stone would need an operation to repair torn knee cartilage. He will have an operation next week... Stone had become a regular in the heart of the Hinckley defence and recent results, without him there, have shown exactly what Stone brings to the team. This news just adds to Hinckley's injury nightmare. Jamie Lenton is still out, though in light training, after his ankle ligament injury... Lee Colkin will be out for at least another week with his knee injury".

    Meanwhile on the Conference North Forum "Kevin Downes, Hinckley United chairman, has confirmed that this Saturday's match, Sat Feb 26th, at Middlefield Lane v Bradford PA will be the final match to take place on the ground and that the first game at the Marston Stadium will be against Stalybridge Celtic on Sat 5th March. The club have announced that ALL admission to Middlefield Lane this Saturday, Feb 26th, will be FREE".

    21 February 2005


  • Ashton U. v Alfreton T. OFF


    Alty line up to repel Kettering last Saturday. The Alty players visible are, left to right, Richard Norris, George Melling, Val Owen, Mark Maddox, Chris Adams. Eddie Hussin and Gary Scott. Match report link below in 20 February news section.

    Every season has its ups and downs but whatever happens before the end of the season it is fair to say that Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele have worked wonders with their small budget this season as they now see their Altrincham side top of the Nationwide North form guide over the last eight games. Indeed, Alty have now gone nine successive games in the league unbeaten and played fourteen matches in all competitions without defeat.

    The Robins have built on the second best defence in the Nationwide North, having conceded just 27 goals in 27 matches; only Stafford have conceded fewer. Our goal difference of 16 is bettered only by leaders, Southport, who are the only other side to have lost no more than six games. With 15 matches to be played, Alty have 9 home matches left and 6 away. There has also been cup success as Altrincham are in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final, against Crewe Alexandra, and are in the 5th Round of the FA Trophy next Saturday.


    Gavin Rathbone, whose excellent photos of Altrincham FC action this season have been featured on both this and the STAR website, is launching a new website in March which will feature his stock of sporting memorabilia and other photographic images. A catalogue of products is available by e-mailing Gavin, here. (I hasten to add that the above mediocre picture is NOT one of Gavin's!).


    Alty Youth beat Leigh RMI yesterday 3-0 at Wythenshawe Town. Adam Walker scored two and Lee Hendley got the third. See the youth section for the league results grid and the updated fixture list and a match report.


    STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, announces that:

    Alty face their biggest test of the season so far on Saturday as they prepare to face Grays Athletic in the 5th Round of the FA Trophy, with £6,000 in prize money and a place in the quarter finals at stake. With the path to Villa Park in May perhaps about to open up, STAR has again set up its email address for good luck messages for the team here. Each message received will be read out to the team prior to the match so let's have as many messages as possible to give the lads a big boost in the pre match build up. Please e-mail all messages by 5pm on Friday or fax them direct to the Club on 0161 926 9934.

    Forthcoming STAR Events:

  • The final weigh-in for Slim4alty's public slimmers will take place on Saturday, 26 February after the Grays game, at 7pm in the Noel White Suite prior to the Club's Famous Five night which commences at 7.30pm. If you prefer to weigh-in less publicly, please contact Jon Stack on 01827 64471 or by e-mail.
  • The STAR Player of the Year/Race Night is on Saturday, 23 April, after the Redditch United home match in the Noel White Suite. If you'd like to sponsor a race at £25 a time, or a horse, at £5 a time, or enter the treble chance with a £100 prize to the winner, then please contact Mark Murray by e-mail or ring Mark Murray on 0161 976 3170.
  • STAR now has sufficient orders for its Alty Highlights DVD to go ahead with production. The cost of the licence for the footage is a large amount of cash and has to be paid up front, so STAR would like to ask those who have ordered to make payment now if they possibly can. Please send a cheque for £18 payable (plus £1 postage and packing if applicable) to STAR for each DVD addressed to Jon Stack, Alty Highlights DVD c/o Altrincham Football Club, or come along and give your money to Jon in the Club shop at half time. We're expecting the DVD to become available in April. See the STAR website for details of how to sponsor the DVD.
  • STAR is making available Kids go Free vouchers to home league matches on its website.
  • STAR has a new discount Travel Club through which supporters can book their holidays at exclusive discount prices and earn commission for STAR and the Club at the same time- see the STAR website for details.

    The Football Club's upcoming social events are listed here.


    On Easter Saturday 26 March, England meet Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford at 3pm. As previously announced Barrow have switched the kick off time of the game against Altrincham on that day to 1pm. In a poll conducted on the way back from Kettering, 85% of the STAR supporters' coach customers voted to return to Altrincham straight after the Barrow match rather than stay late to watch the international in Cumbria. Coach times will be announced in due course.


    Old boys on the move include Ashley Timms, who has left Runcorn for Atherton LR, whilst Cheadle Town have signed a certain Richard Landon. In NW Counties Two, Flixton have signed former Alty winger, Jamie Baguley. Peter Band limped off on Saturday for Northwich, with a thigh injury. Also, Joe Paladino has signed as a player at St Helens Town.


    Our Trophy opponents, Grays Athletic have allowed Martin Carthy to join Welling on loan, says their Unofficial site


    Alfreton Town report that "Chris Bettney has probably kicked his last ball as an Alfreton Town player. The winger was embroiled in an angry contretemps with manager Dave Lloyd during the interval of last Tuesday's match at Hucknall, did not re-appear for the second half, and was conspicuous by his absence from the squad travelling to Nuneaton on Saturday. Reds chairman Wayne Bradley confirmed: "It would appear that Chris Bettney has probably kicked his last ball for the club. This football club will not tolerate a player voicing an opinion, be it right or wrong, in the manner in which that particular player did. Bettney will be placed on the transfer list, but the club will recognise him to be the good asset that he is, and it will require a fair offer to secure his release".
    20 February 2005


    In The Pink, Graham Heathcote says of next Saturday's Trophy opponents, "Obviously, we've a tough job on our hands but I'm confident that, if our fans can get behind us in numbers and drive the team on, we can upset the odds. Grays are clearly a decent side with some quality young players, including two who were in the England non-league squad... But we have to remember they're only a non-league outfit like ourselves and, even if we were playing Manchester United at our place, we'd say we were going to give them a game. Our home form this season has been excellent and we'll be as thoroughly prepared as Grays".


    Ian Craney, a late sub, scored for Accrington whilst Peter Band was subbed early on for Northwich. Peter Wright scored for Bamber Bridge and Carl Furlong both scored and missed a penalty for Colwyn Bay. Ramsbottom United have signed Alex Frost, who was Youth team captain at Alty last season. Another ex-Alty youth at the Lancashire club is Todd Hayes. Lee Thompson netted for Skem and Adam Farley played for Witton. The Pink has a picture of former Alty centre-back Paul Taylor in a feature on local amateur side Zurich for whom he plays, alongside Lewis Chalmers (in Alty's first team squad yesterday) and former Robin, Matt Duffy. Leigh RMI played ex-Alty youths Lee Shillito, Mark Drew and Ian Taylor (as a sub) in their Conference defeat yesterday. Steve Hawes (Stocksbridge), Leroy Chambers (Frickley) and Neil Murphy (Marine) were other old boys in action but Danny Adams was not in the Stockport County squad.


    Ashton United's 37 year-old defender Andy Thackeray has joined Mossley. Stafford Rangers had Neil Grayson sent off; Rangers meet Alty on 8 March.


    Above: Alty fans get their banners ready at Kettering today.

    Match report here.

    The Kettering official website has a match report whilst the NLP report disparagingly refers to "a basic Altrincham side".

    19 February 2005


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


    A list of Altrincham Youth players for 2004-05, their appearances and goals scored, is now in the Youth section, courtesy of George Heslop.


    Kettering Today says that Poppies' boss "Kevin Wilson sends out his players for the first game in a month... The Poppies have been out of action in Nationwide North since they were thrashed by Southport last month, but return to face Altrincham at Rockingham Road". The boss said "After being out of action for so long we could come out like a rocket or we might struggle to get back into it. It has been very frustrating not to have a game for so long and sometimes that can affect the players. We had a bit of a practice game earlier in the week and there were players who were taking one or two extra touches on the ball than normal simply because they were so enthusiastic to be back and playing".At Moss Lane earlier this season, "We gave away three sloppy goals and that is something that has become a habit". Kettering's last league match was a traumatic 0-5 defeat by Southport but midfielder Brett Solkhon says, "After you have been involved in a game like the Southport one all you want to do is get back out there. Unfortunately we have not been able to do that. But it is a big game to look forward to because Altrincham are up there".


    The MEN says that Ashton United's new boss is interested in signing former Alty centre-back Terry Bowker from Stalybridge Celtic.

    This is WCFC says that "Midfielder Aleksejs Volosanovs is the first player to be shown the door by Worcester City's player-boss Andy Preece. Former Latvian international Volosanovs... has now linked up with Stourport Swifts". Peece said "We are looking to bring in one or two players and we have to make some tough decisions. With the system we play, we were struggling to find a position for Alex". Also, "Preece has confirmed that teenage goalkeeper James Coates will step in to replace suspended Danny McDonnell... The 19-year-old made seven appearances for Worcester earlier in the campaign and was never on the losing side" - including a win over Altrincham!

    Barrow are away at Droylsden but manager Lee Turnbull says, "Droylsden are a formidable side, but if it’s a battle then that might suit us".

    This is Derbyshire reports on the aftermath of Alfreton's 4-0 defeat by Hucknall. Manager David Lloyd "confirmed he had a half-time confrontation with winger Chris Bettney as tempers frayed. Bettney was replaced for the second half by Stephen Woolley... Lloyd said: 'The players have got a lot to make up for. The Hucknall game was embarrassing and the players have got to prove themselves... We didn't look interested... We haven't done well since Christmas and, at the end of the day, if it carries on, my own position is in question".