Altrincham Football Club News Archive
4 to 8 March, 2005

8 March 2005


Marcus Hallows receives his Man of the Match award from Mrs Flynn, mother of STAR chairperson, Brian Flynn.

Alty completed their first double of the season with this 1-0 win over an impressive Stafford side whose main weakness was an inability to hit the the target. The winning goal was a well constructed move from defence which saw the ball come from Aspinall, through Hussin, to Thornley on halfway. He found Potts on the right, ahead of him, and the winger's low, drilled cross was met by a finely timed run from Marcus Hallows who swept the ball into the net (29 mins). In a very entertaining game, Alty put aside the absence of suspended top-scorer Colin Little and stalwart centre-back Gary Talbot (away in Germany, working), to give another impressive display and extended their unbeaten league run to 12 games. Rangers' Wilding saw a header come back off the underside of the bar in the second half but otherwise Coburn was relatively unoccupied. Marcus Hallows was named Man of the Match but young centre-back George Melling had another fine game alongside a limping but determined Mark Maddox, whilst Kirk Hilton again showed his class in a brief sub's appearance. Report to follow.

  • League Table
  • Alty Stats
  • Alty Line-Ups and Bookings


  • Alfreton T. 1 Kettering T. 2
  • Altrincham 1 Stafford R. 0
  • Hinckley U. 3 Ashton U. 1
  • Vauxhall M. 0 Barrow 2


    Right: After being wrongly sent off against Runcorn, Alty's Colin Little suffers another injustice as, here, he is seen getting two fingers from the ref at Alfreton on Saturday. Fortunately, Mr Greenwood was only indicating two minutes of added time at the end of the first half!


    In the Youth section are an updated league table and results grid.


    On the Alfreton site, after Alty's win on Saturday, assistant manager Charlie Williamson said "These are largely the same players who did so well and got us to the top of the league". The website adds "The match ended with the Reds still not having scored a home league goal in 2005 after five attempts... With Sale booked, the big striker became the target for blatant provocation by the visitors apparently trying to goad him into a second card, and by Maddox in particular... Maddox ­ who has twice been sent off against Alfreton ­ went in heavily on him with the referee’s back turned. Sale needed treatment, but nothing was given... in stoppage time, Maddox went in on Sale yet again, the yellow-shirted Altrincham players steaming in to get involved. But again the referee was looking the other way". Surprisingly the Reds' Man of the Match was Emeka Nwadike rather than Chris Bettney. This is Derbyshire has an alternative report.


    This is Lincs reports that "Gainsborough Trinity secretary Frank Nicholson has confirmed the club will be meeting to decide what action to take over Simon Bird's horror injury at Runcorn on Saturday. The Blues' striker suffered a double fracture of his right leg after a shocking challenge from Runcorn defender David Ness. The incident... earned Ness a straight red card... Trinity physio Bob Bradbury treated Bird, but an alleged dispute between Runcorn Football Club and first aid personnel meant they refused to enter the field of play to help with treatment. The fall-out is believed to centre on the lack of proper footwear allocated to them to go on the pitch. Trinity officials were believed to be considering lodging a complaint over the incident, which saw Bird motionless on the ground for more than 30 minutes before paramedics arrived at the Halton Stadium. Runcorn chairman, Dr David Robertson, a gynaecologist, helped with treatment, but he advised Bird could not be moved until the ambulance came". Nicholson said, "The first aid personnel are there for any problems with the crowd, but it is a shame the whole incident was allowed to happen. The Runcorn chairman said there was nothing we could do until the ambulance arrived, so taking things any further is perhaps not the right way to go about things." Bird "underwent a 90-minute operation yesterday afternoon. He had a bar inserted in his fractured tibia and also had his fibula pinned".

    Lincs Today also reports that Gainsborough "have announced they are running at a loss... Trinity's problems started in October after they were beaten in the FA Cup by Halesowen. Falling gates have also been a concern, with a current average of 350 against a forecast of 500. Kevin Selby, supporters' club chairman said, "We have been able to give assistance until the end of the season and are very pleased to do so. We are the club's biggest financial backer and contributed around £36,000 last season" Selby and two other members of the supporters' club committee serve as directors on Trinity's board and have full voting rights... The Northolme is owned by the supporters' club, who lease it back to Gainsborough Trinity for a peppercorn rent..."Because the ground is not owned by the club, no backer can come in and seize the assets. There will always be a Trinity", he said.

    Barrow "Manager Lee Turnbull has signed a second player on work experience. Stuart Ludlam, 19, has registered for Barrow, while completing his education at Rotherham United. This follows the goalscoring debut of Paul Armstrong, having joined under the same terms from Oldham, on Saturday". Both Armstrong and "Graham Anthony who has broken a small bone in his toe" are now injured, however.

    NL Daily says that "Paul Ogden, manager of Leek Town [has]... landed former Republic of Ireland under-21 international Kieran Durkan" from Runcorn". Leek also are hoping to sign "veteran defender Mick Heathcote" from Hucknall Town.

    7 March 2005


    The match report of Alty Youth's cup semi-final on Sunday is in the youth section.


    Second-half action featuring (l. to r.) Alty's Talbot, Potts, Aspinall, Melling and Coburn

    Match report here.

    Above: Alty's first goal, with Thornley and Little following the ball in.


    Former Alty Youth keeper Barrie George has moved to Salford City. He had a spell at Radcliffe Borough early this season. Another ex-Alty keeper, Dean Greygoose, has once again reached the FA Vase Final, with his Sudbury side. Kevin Ellison netted for Hull City on Saturday.


  • Oliver Schofield (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)
    6 March 2005


    L. to R: Adam Walker, James Monaghan, Arron Hevingham and John Parker-Chambers in action today.

    Despite a strong second-half performance Alty Youth lost 0-2 to Morecambe "A" Youth in the Premier Cup semi-final at Wythenshawe Town today. More pictures on Youth Page. Report to follow.


    The Pink has an article which largely restates that which appeared in the MEN last week aboutJohn King and Noel White's transfer of shares to the current board at Moss Lane. In it Chairman Geoff Goddwin says, "We would like to express our thanks and apprecaiation to two great servants of Altrincham FC who feel the way forward is for the board to hold a larger shareholding.

    In the same article, Graham Heathcote says "We'd have loved to have gone further in the Trophy but we're out so it's imperative we get our minds back on the league straightaway. We've games in hand...We know we can be in the shake-up providing we're able to get back in our stride quickly".


    Up the Boro reports that Stafford, who visit Moss Lane on Tuesday, "can count themselves unlucky though as they created far more chances than the visitors", Hucknall, when losing on Saturday, "but unfortunately we're still found lacking that clinical finish in front of goal". Ex-Alty winger Jamie Phoenix suffered a suspected broken leg in yesterday's game for Stafford.


    Mark Owen, who scored twice for Worcester v Alty earlier this season has joined Moor Green whom we meet a week on Saturday.

    Just before he played in yesterday's game against Altrincham, Alfreton Town confirmed that they had "signed left sided defender Nick Heinemann on loan to the end of the current season from Scarborough. Six foot tall Heinemann (20) began his career with Halifax Town before moving on to Bradford Park Avenue".

    The attendance at the Halton Stadium yesterday for the Runcorn v Gainsborough match was just 131. There were reportedly problems during the match when Gainsborough's Simon Bird's leg was broken by a bad tackle and a long delay ensued over his treatment. Runcorn's Ness was sent off for the foul. Runcorn boss Steve Soley and a Gainsborough player were also red-carded during the game.

    The opening of Hinckley's new ground boosted their attendance to 2,029. Hinckley's manager Dean Thomas said, "We've got to take advantage of the marketing possibilities and the great facilities at the new ground... It's a far cry now from the club we are used to. The running of the new ground will have to improve tenfold compared to the old one". Chairman Kevin Downes added, "We must put the work in off the pitch because there have already been discussions at league level about bringing in a wage cap as a percentage of a club's income. I think that will happen in two or three years' time so we must bring money into the club through our facilities, and the marketing and hospitality opportunities that the new ground provides". Downes told This is Leics that there was still "'about a month's work' to do finishing off 'bits and bobs' at the ground. And with the decision to spend most of the FA Cup money on expanding the West Stand, the ground will not be officially opened until the last week in July". The chairman revealed that "We are targeting getting into the Conference as our next move - something we could never have achieved without moving from Middlefield Lane... And with all the talk of a new ground, Middlefield Lane remained an awful place to play football, but we obviously didn't want to spend too much money on it".

    Over the last eight games, Alty are now top of the Nationwide North form chart with 5 wins and 3 draws. Our next opponents, Stafford, lie fifth, behind Southport, Droylsden, Nuneaton and Stalybridge Celtic, who are the only club other than Alty unbeaten in their last 8 matches.

    Harrogate Today says that "Guiseley chairman Rob Northfield... has revealed he failed to buy a 50 per cent controlling stake in Harrogate Town from Bill Fotherby this summer before taking over the Nethermoor club instead". Northfield said, "I told Bill I wanted a 50 per cent share, but he wanted to keep a controlling interest in the club". Fotherby responded "There are quite a few people who would like to take over Harrogate Town, and if anybody offers any help to us I will listen to them - but not for somebody to take over... We've got a plan, and if that plan comes to fruition we'll be in the Conference".


    As well as Jamie Phoenix's injury (above), another ex-Robin taken to hospital yesterday was Flixton's Anthony Hargreaves, with a bad head injury. Lee Thompson (Skem), Carl Furlong (Colwyn Bay) and Jordan Burke (Salford C.) scored as did Matt McNeil (Hyde). Darren Lyons was sacked last week as Salford City manager after a 7-1 defeat. Former Alty Youths, Lee Shillito, Mark Drew (used sub) and Ian Taylor (unused sub) played for Leigh in the Conference. Jamie Baguely has moved from Rossendale U. to Woodley Sports. Ian Craney (Accrington), Tony sullivan (Lancaster) and Niell Hardy (Ashton) were subs but Peter Band (Northwich V.) and Chris Timons (Hucknall) started yesterday.
    5 March 2005


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


    Alfreton Town this morning confirmed that they had signed "Powerful left-sided midfield player Lee Featherstone just two days after he was released by Scunthorpe United. The six foot tall 21-year-old has been signed on non contract forms and is available for the game against Altrincham... He has also spent a loan period at rivals Harrogate Town recently. It is also anticipated that the Reds squad will be bolstered further still before kick-off against Alty". He made 2 appearances for Harrogate in January and in 2003-04 played 31 times for Scunthorpe.


    Clarence Hilditch, the only ever player-manager of Manchester United was an ex-Altrincham player, as Terry Rowley recounts in the latest addition to the Alty Legends section.


    Alty Youth meet Morecambe A in the Premier Cup semi-final on Sunday at Wythenshawe Town (2.30pm). The Allied Trophies Premier Division results grid has been updated in the Youth section.


    Above: On Alty's last visit to Alfreton in August 2003, Rod Thornley (10) goes close in a goalless draw which saw Mark Maddox sent off after 73 minutes. Alty line-up: 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Stephen ROSE, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.) 11. Paul ROBERTSON. Subs: 12. Dave GARDNER, 14. Rob MATTHEWS, 15. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH. Only Scott, Maddox, Talbot, Aspinall and Thornley are likely to be involved today.

    The Alfreton Town website says that "manager David Lloyd is expecting to bolster his injury-hit squad before the Reds face sixth-placed Altrincham... Matt Fisher misses the game as he completes a two-match suspension, and also definitely out are injured trio Mark Blount, Mitch Ward and John Knapper. There are doubts over Ian Robinson who has contracted the same virus which afflicted Blount, Ward and Carl Bradshaw in midweek although is is hoped the latter may have recovered in time. Mark Sale will also need a late check after an ear infection in midweek. Reds from: Lee Butler, Gav Saxby, Carl Bradshaw, Grant Brown (captain), Luke Foster, Ian Robinson, Ben Chapman, Emeka Nwadike, Peter Duffield, Mick Godber, Mark Sale, David Holmes, Richard Cooper, Stephen Woolley, Paul Teather". Alty will be tyaking two coach loads of fans as well as many who will be making their own way to the Impact Arena.


    Matt Bailey's loan from Stockport to Leigh has fallen through after RMI discovered that they had already used up their loan quota.


    The BBC says that Morecambe's "Carl Ruffer is set to join former club Droylsden on loan to get some first-team football".

    On Thursday, Stalybridge Celtic beat Halifax Town 7-3 in the GLS Cup with both Chris Denham and Steve Smith hitting three and Aron Wilford scoring too.

    Radcliffe Borough have secured the services of former Alty midfielder Scott Wilson for next season and have also re-signed "top scorer Steve Foster" for two more years. "The 26-goal striker... recently turned down a move to Ashton United".

    IC Sefton reports that "Southport could run out of money in the next four years if the town doesn't get behind the club... Chairman Charlie Clapham said the club had lost £350,000 in the last five years and that it was only through careful planning that they were still in the black... But he warned that if attendances didn't improve, funds would run out in the next few years". He said: "The club and team are going in the right direction. Our youth development policy is taking the club forward and I thank Caterforce and Richard Hughes for supporting what is the largest youth development sponsorship in the country".

    Barrow boss "Lee Turnbull has landed the services of young Oldham Athletic scholar Paul Armstrong... With Guy Heffernan expected to be out with injury for at least a further fortnight, Armstrong is thought likely to figure in his role".

    Bradford PA have re-signed "former Avenue player Dean Calcutt on loan from Stalybridge Celtic for the remainder of the season".

    Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson says that "Jamie Hughes... has decided to go to Ashton to gain this fitness... Jamie Speare has been offered a contract for next season however the pull of Conference National [Accrington] maybe the deciding factor... We are not going to let him go without a fight. Last Tuesday we saw the majority of the players fail to arrive at the ground for the Runcorn game... We ended up in a traffic jam 7 miles from Lancaster at 6-15pm, unable to move or turn back... All I can say is that I apologise to all the fans that went to the game and hope nothing ever like this again happens... Lastly to our friends at Southport who moaned because we did not let them win because we did our homework and stopped their leading scorer scoring. We went to Southport to win. Unfortunately, attack wise, we never really got going, however defensively we were strong. It was not a negative move to bring on another forward in Tony Sullivan mid way in the second half, it was a move to win the game".

    Lancaster Today says that "The Conference have launched an investigation after several players and manager Phil Wilson were... unable to get to Giant Axe [against Runcorn on Tuesday]... A Conference spokesperson said: "Once the matter has been thoroughly investigated, the facts will be reported to the Conference board of directors, which meets on March 10... Should a club be in default of a fixture, they can be deducted points, fined or in certain cases expelled from the competition"... The referee was prepared to kick off at 9pm, but when it became clear that there was no prospect of the players arriving, he called the game off at 8.30pm. The Runcorn squad did manage to reach Giant Axe by 7.30pm, but only after their coach travelled via Burnley and Skipton. The City players based in Lancaster, Ryan-Zico Black, Ryan Elderton and Neil Uberschar, made it to Giant Axe as did Paul Sparrow, from Preston. Steve Jones also managed to get there from Stoke. But City were short of the minimum seven players required to fulfil the fixture as the majority of the squad, who are based in either the Liverpool or Manchester areas, were stuck without any way of reaching the ground".

    Runcorn FC Halton "midfielder Matty McGinn has confirmed that he will be staying with the Linnets after turning down a move to Southport. McGinn... will make his 100th start for Runcorn in Saturday’s game". Manager Steve Soley confirmed, "He can see that we are in the process of good, young squad here at Runcorn, and he knows that he will be a central part". But "In an unrelated move, Southport have recalled striker Lee Mulvaney from his loan spell at Runcorn to provide cover for their other strikers".

    On the Runcorn Forum club press officer MaArtin Fallon says that the Linnets Trust (LIST) "has made the Doc [chairman] an offer for his shares, but he must agree to write off his debt... We will be attempting to produce a business plan for next week... The Council have asked the Doc on numerous times to produce a business plan for the club, so that they can offer us assistance, but one has never been produced".

    The Worksop website reports that supporters have "voted unanimously in favour of approving a move to form a Worksop Town Supporters Trust... Jacqui Forster of Supporters Direct... gave details of why a Trust was needed".

    NL Daily says that Matty Collins of Nuneaton Borough is the Nationwide North Player of the Month for February with 41% of the web-vote.

    Forest Green striker Mark Danks has joined Kettering Town on loan.

    4 March 2005


    This is Derbyshire says that "Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat by Southport made it one win in 10 league games for the Reds in 2005. The early season leaders go into tomorrow's home game against Altrincham - a fourth in succession against a promotion-chasing side - in 10th place, seven points away from a play-off position". Manager David Lloyd said "There are a lot of managers and teams who would love to be in the position that we are... We just don't feel we've had any real breaks". The report adds "Lloyd has been busy trying to strengthen his squad this week and was hoping to bring in bring in two players in time for tomorrow's game. They would be on deals until the end of the season but Lloyd says he is also frustrated by players' demands. 'Some of the money people have been asking for, especially when you consider they would be free to walk away at the end of the season, is just stupid'... Alfreton Town want to be here in 10 years' time and we're not going to spend that sort of money". On the injury front, Mark Blount, Mitch Ward and Mark Sale are unlikely to be ready to return for tomorrow's game and Ian Robinson is a doubt - he is the latest to report the effects of the virus which has been sweeping the club. Lloyd hinted there was a chance Chris Bettney, transfer-listed after his row with the manager, could be involved again".


    Graham Heathcote told SAM "I hope we don't pick up sending offs, suspensions or injuries because if you avoid those three things it is down to the team's own ability. There is no question about our players' attitude. We must concentrate on the next game. Our big danger is that we suffer a dip. We are out of a cup competition where we have done quite well so it is human nature to feel a bit down. Can the lads recover? We won't know until Saturday but we can't afford a blip given what advantage we've got in terms of games in hand. [But] I'd rather have the points than games in hand. The aim is to win every game. Little's suspension won't help but people will have to step into the breach". Both Val Owen and Eddie Hussin have knee injuries ahead of Saturday's game at Alfreton.


    Alfreton Town "chairman Wayne Bradley this week made an impassioned plea for everyone at the club to pull in the same direction... 'It is a hugely frustrating time for all of us. Victory tastes sweet, defeats taste bitter, but I ask everyone, especially the supporters not to turn bitter from the taste of defeat. Our fortunes have to change because it is too one-sided against us at the moment... We are going to have to continue to show what scrapping qualities we have got'", he said. "Supporters have been airing their grievances on the Fans Forum on the club’s official website but Bradley insists there will be no answers placed on there. He commented: 'Anyone wanting answers to any frustrations they have can write to me'". He went on, "We have players who were forging a hero status level up to early December when results started to go against us. Now some of them are being described as past their best, how bizarre is that? The criticism is unfair and it is ripping the club apart... We need to create a togetherness and I will lead from the front... There are clubs at our level who, beyond our understanding, are definitely not on a level playing field. The financial input of at least one chairman into his club is exceptional to say the least... We continue to look for new signings and there isn’t a week goes by without a player being involved in discussions with us. But... there have been some astounding monies being talked... I said before the season started that we are the underdogs in this division and I stand by that, it is a fact borne from the point of view of our resources on the incoming side... The only other choice is to bankroll the situation but that would put the very infrastructure of the club at risk.... I do not want to be the individual that people say in later years: ‘He was the fool who took us to the limit we were at and then withdrew everything’. I am not going to abandon the club, but I am also not going to stand by and see the club subsidised to such a level that it falls flat on its face".

    "Already missing from Tuesday night’s trip to Southport were Mitch Ward and Mark Blount. Both of those have also now got viruses which also affected Carl Bradshaw... and Mark Sale had also had to cry off with an ear infection which affected his balance and then John Knapper had to have an x-ray on a shin injury at Southport hospital after the game. While no bones are broken, there is possible nerve damage as ‘Knapps’.. had no feeling in his foot. Mark Hume has had the cast removed from his broken leg but faces a scan on Thursday".


    On Tuesday, Richard Landon scored Cheadle Town's only goal in a 7-1 defeat by Cammell Laird, whilst Stuart Scheuber scored one for Stone Dominoes in their 7-2 win over Salford City.


    "Dave Pace, manager/chairman of Droylsden, is expecting Conference officials to deliver their verdict on the club’s Butcher’s Arms ground by the end of the week... Pace had been in talks about a switch to the Conference-standard Tameside Stadium, but this [recent] work would indicate the Bloods are likely to remain at Market Street. He said: 'I’m going through the ground criteria of what’s needed ­ there’s 80 seats, men’s and women’s toilets, the lighting in the stand is being done as we speak, there’s concrete all over the place and there’s 15 workmen in the ground. I think we’ve got enough to qualify but if we don’t, I’ll build whatever’s necessary and do everything humanly possible ­ if I don’t succeed I’ll throw myself off the M62! It’s costing a few bob'" reports the Tameside Advertiser.

    I am advised that before Tuesday's postponement "the Runcorn coach actually got to Lancaster City's ground at 7.25pm on Tuesday evening, with the team warming up on the pitch by 7.40pm". The game was called off at 8.45pm as the City side had not all arrived at their own ground.

    IC Cheshire quotes a spokesman for Runcorn's Linnets Independent Supporters' Trust to the effect that LIST "made the chairman an offer for his shares - a nominal amount per share - so that we can take over the running of the football club. The conditions would be that he resign from the club as a director and write off any other debts that he is owed". But chairman Dr Robertson said: "I think to be honest that's irrelevant at the moment. What would that do? It would just leave the club owing me a lot of money with an organisation taking it over that, although it's backed up by a national body, is untried and untested. I have suggested to them that they should produce some kind of business plan to give me some comfort". The LIST spokesman added: "There is no communication coming out of the football club. We do not know where the club will be playing for the rest of the season... We want to restate our intentions which are to move to Witton Albion temporarily while we look to develop a new facility that the whole community could use at Pavilions". Dr Robertson added that the club owes Halton Council £11,000 for matches at the Halton Stadium "and there isn't £11,000 in the kitty. All the bills are being paid by supporters or directors and that can't go on... We are going to have to make some dramatic changes very soon".

    Barrow's website reports that "Barrow AFC and Bradford Park Avenue today received a vote of thanks from the Conference Secretary Kellie Discipline for their endeavours in ensuring Tuesday's fixture went ahead." But "A group of supporters of Barrow have launched a petition urging the club’s board not to renew manager Lee Turnbull’s contract and claim to have got 100 signatures from an attendance of 604 [on Tuesday]". Turnbull said "Until those particular supporters are directors of Barrow Football Club, I don’t think it’s worth the paper it’s written on", says the NW Evening Mail. The Mail also says that "injured Barrow AFC striker Mike Kewley is still hopeful of making it back into action before the end of the season... [He] is currently waiting for an operation date."

    The NL Daily reports that "Ossett Town have signed defender Kirk Wheeler on a permanent basis from Grimsby Town.... [He] had a loan spell with Barrow earlier this season". Town have also signed "Joe Walsh, a promising young midfielder, from Ashton United".