Altrincham Football Club News Archive
14 to 18 March, 2005

18 March 2005


  • Alfreton T. 0 Gainsborough T. 1
  • League table


    Press release from Martin Fallon, Runcorn FC Halton's press officer:

    Runcorn FC Halton can today confirm that Saturday's Nationwide Conference North game against Bradford Park Avenue will be the last that the club will play at the Halton Stadium.

    The game is the 104th that the club has played there since moving from Canal Street at the start of the 2001/02 season.

    The Linnets' final four home games of the season, against Stafford Rangers, Ashton United, Hucknall Town and Lancaster City, will all be played at Valerie Park, which is home to Unibond Premier League outfit Prescot Cables.

    Conference officials have given the go ahead to the change of ground, and the club wish to express our thanks to both the Conference and Prescot Cables officials for allowing us to play out the season there.


    Alty Youth's home game this Sunday against First Touch Halewood has been brought forward to a 2pm kick-off at Wythenshawe Town FC.


    Ashton have signed two more players, both from Stockport County, in advance of tomorrow's match at Moss Lane. One of the players is full-back James Wonfor, formerly a Stoke City academy player and then a Stockport trainee from 2002. After missing a season with a broken leg, he was part of the Stockport Reserves side which beat Alty Reserves in a pre-season game last July. However, another broken leg sidelined him early this season. The second player is Danny Campbell, who scored in the above match against our Reserves. Campbell had a cruciate ligament injury 18 months ago. However, defender Dave German who has just signed for Ashton on loan from Stalybridge (see below), is reportedly unavailable for tomorrow's game.

    Alty will have Colin Little back from suspension and Richard Norris is available again after being cup-tied for Wednesday's game but doubts remain about the fitness of Val Owen, Eddie Hussin and Chris Adams.


    You can buy Gavin Rathbone's excellent pictures of the Cheshire Senior Cup Final (of which a montage of some of the images is shown above) either through the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane or by e-mail. For several of Gavin's pictures, see lower down the page, where there is is also a link to the match report.

    Altrincham have now won the CSC six times, with Wednesday's win coming 100 years after the first triumph in 1904/05. The other winning seasons were 1933/34, 1966/67, 1981/82, 1998/99 and, of course, 2004/05.

    The Crewe Alex unofficial website says of the CSC Final, "the majority present were from the Cheshire metropolis that is Altrincham. In all fairness, the Altrincham fans were quality throughout... Rather than causing trouble, the Alty lot were excellent and really improved my view of non league football. It was nice to see the trophy go to some fans who actually cared. The Crewe lot were obviously not bothered, and it was quite refreshing to see the enthusiasm of the Altrincham faithful". The same site says that "Justin Cochrane, Steve Jones, Michael Higdon and Andy White, all first team players, started, but none of them looked particularly effective against sub-Conference opponents".


    Our opponents on Saturday, Ashton United confirm that "Phil Eastwood has joined Ashton until the end of the season from Stalybridge Celtic... and scored on his debut in a friendly at Chorley on Tuesday... Further signings are expected before the Altrincham game". In fact, Stalybridge Celtic state that "Phil Eastwood and defender Dave German have both made the short hop across Tameside [to Ashton] on loan deals that will run to the end of the season". Howard Watts's Through the Years for 19 March is here.


    Terry Rowley's article from the Robins' Review of 5 March 2005, entitled When were Altrincham AFC formed? has been added as Appendix 2 to his own Brief History of Altrincham FC, which is here


    This weekend provides a unique chance to see all three Altrincham FC teams in action in the space of 24 hours. You can take in the first half (at least) of Altrincham Reserves' game at home to Guiseley at 1pm this Saturday before travelling to Moss Lane for the Ashton game at 3pm. Entry to the Reserves is free and the game is at Wythenshawe Town FC (Timpson Road, Baguley - off Southmoor Road, behind Tesco's car park). On Sunday, at the same venue, at 2pm, Altrincham Youth play First Touch Halewood - again entry is free and both the Youth team and Reserves would be delighted to have some extra support. The games will also give you a chance to see the up and coming Altrincham players - already this season young players such as Kieran Lugsden, Paul Tilley, Lewis Chalmers and George Melling have played in the first team after playing for the youth and/or reserve teams, whilst more experienced players like Val Owen and Kirk Hilton both appeared for Alty Reserves before making their first-team bows.

    Alty Reserves are managed by Neil Brown, with the assistance of Carlos Marsden and Alan Ainslie, whilst Alty Youth are managed by George Heslop, with the assistance of Neil Thomason and Tony Spilsbury.


    Alty travel to Droylsden on Monday night. Unconfirmed reports say that Droylsden right-back Carl Regan has moved to Chester City.


    Our old UniBond friends Marine "announce the appointment of experienced non-league campaigner Alvin McDonald as the new manager to replace long serving boss Roly Howard at the end of the current season. McDonald, 54, achieved many successes as manager of Vauxhall Motors". Since then he has had brief spells at Northwich and Runcorn.


    Terry Rowley's updated Nationwide North attendance statistics are here.

    IC Cheshire reports that "On Tuesday night the Linnets [Runcorn] held talks with a club - believed to be Warrington Town - about a move [of stadium]... However, by the following day talks had collapsed with speculation that the rent offered by Warrington was too high". IC Cheshire goes on to quote Steve Soley manager of Runcorn FC Halton: "It is getting harder and harder to motivate the team with what is happening off the pitch. I just want to be able to concentrate on winning games, but that is becoming impossible... Even Kenny Dalglish would struggle... Now that the latest chance of a move has fallen through, the only other place I can think of playing is my back garden. Players have not been paid and the club is in turmoil. It is a desperate situation for everyone". The same source quotes Halton Stadium manager Chris Patino: "In the last fortnight, I have phoned the chairman Dr Dave Robertson on numerous occasions and left messages but have not received a reply. The stadium will be ready on Saturday but I am disappointed the club has not had the courtesy to keep us informed of events. This situation cannot continue. The club will owe us £15,000 in rent but do not bother to contact us or speak to us about the situation. They just assume that everything will be ready on matchdays. I have left messages with the chairman saying that we assume they will NOT be playing at the weekend but he still does not reply".

    NL Daily says that "Leigh RMI and Southport have been involved in a swap deal that has seen striker Lee Mulvaney move to Hilton Park and winger Mark Peers go in the opposite direction... Mulvaney is, of course, well-known to Leigh manager Steve Bleasdale, who was reserve team boss at Southport... Former Liverpool winger Peers... only joined the Railwaymen last month... Peers, still only 20, had a spell with Raith Rovers before joining Vauxhall Motors just over a year ago".

    NL Daily also reports that "Kevin Wilson, manager of Kettering Town, has announced that his assistant-manager, Lee Howey, has departed Rockingham Road by mutual consent... Wilson explained: 'Lee has left mainly for financial reasons. We released Steve Croudson and signed Mark Osborn but something else had to give'".

    In the Tameside Advertiser Stalybridge boss John Reed says, "18 points will keep us up - I’ve said to the lads that we should try for 20 points from the last 30, but my opinion is 44 points will keep you up... If someone had said we’d achieve what we have done in 13 games so far, people would have laughed at them including myself... I’d take ugly results because we need three points game in, game out".

    17 March 2005


    Match report now available - see link below

    Match report here

    Above: Kieran Lugsden shows his delight on scoring the second goal

    Above: Steve Aspinall scores his penalty.

    Above: The team celebrates

    Above: Alty fan Ian Rosendaal kisses chairman Geoff Goodwin's head as the trophy is passed amongst the spectators!

    Pictures above all courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography. Gavin's photos can be bought at the club shop or ordered by my e-mail.

    Chairman Geoff Goodwin parades the Cheshire Senior Cup to the travelling fans at Witton.


    The match report on Altrincham Reserves' game on Tuesday is in the Reserves' section.


    NL Daily reports that "Guiseley dumped Nationwide North high-flyers Harrogate Town out of the West Riding County Cup at the semi final stage"

    Watched by 1,521, Hucknall Town reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy on Tuesday, beating Hereford. The two-leg semis straddle a league game against Altrincham on 5 April.

    Confguide reports that "There are further hold-ups to the Victoria Stadium... Northwich had planned a Good Friday opening of their new Victoria Stadium, for the visit of Gravesend and Northfleet. However, it will not be ready in time, and we're not currently aware of a new planned date".

  • Bradford PA 0 Worcester C. 1 - updated table
    16 March 2005


    Altrincham meet Crewe Alexandra tonight (Wednesday) in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final at Witton Albion. Alty last won the Cheshire Senior Cup with a 1-0 win in April 1999 over Northwich also at Witton, when Phil Power scored. Alty also contested the Final in 2000 but they lost 1-2 to Macclesfield after Phil Power had been sent off.

    Alty have met tonight's opponents, Crewe, twice in the CSC since 2002:

    In the CSC Final at Northwich on 19th March, 2002 Alty lost 3-0 a.e.t., when Carl Furlong was sent off near the end of normal time. The extra-time Crewe goals came as follows:

  • 101 mins: Phil TRAINER - who also scored against us for Moor Green on Saturday!
  • 110 mins: Colin LITTLE - who, of course, is now Alty's leading scorer but is suspended tonight.
  • 114 mins: Colin LITTLE, again.

    Alty's side that day was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Neil RYAN, 3. Dave SWANICK, 4. Gary SCOTT, 5. Mark SERTORI (capt.), 6. Vernum ROWLAND, 7. Kevin HULME, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Carl FURLONG, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Lee POLAND. Subs: 12. Lee THOMPSON, 14. Barry GUILDFORD, 15. James WILKINSON .

    Only Coburn, Scott and Thornley remain at Alty of those 15 players.

    In a 1st Round match, played on 18 September, 2002, Alty lost 3-2 to Crewe, after leading 2-0. The goals were:

  • 20 mins: Rod THORNLEY (Altrincham)
  • 27 mins: Rod THORNLEY (Altrincham)
  • 40 mins: Lee BELL (Crewe Alexandra)
  • 56 mins: Mike HIGDON (Crewe Alexandra)
  • 62 mins: Colin LITTLE (Crewe Alexandra)

    The Alty side that night was: 1. Andy MOORE, 2. Neil MURPHY, 3. Mark MADDOX, 4. Stephen ROSE, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Andy McDONALD, 7. Ian CRANEY, 8. Peter BAND, 9. Chris YOUNG, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Danny MURPHY. Subs: 12. Adewale AJETUNMOBI, 14. Andy TUNNICLIFFE, 15. Jason GALLAGHER.

    Of the above, only Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot and Rod Thornley will be involved in the match tonight.


    Runcorn FC Halton "can confirm that Saturday’s Nationwide North game against Bradford Park Avenue will be played at their usual home ground of the Halton Stadium, Widnes". It had been reported that the game might have to be played at Prescot Cables or Warrington Town due to Runcorn's financial problems.

    The Barrow website states that "The Chairman and Board have unanimously agreed that Lee Turnbull is the manager to lead Barrow AFC and give its fans the success it deserves. Therefore Lee Turnbull has had his contract renewed for the 2005/6 season. We hope this announcement will bring stability in depth to the club".

    On Preston Today "Jamie Speare admits his decision to quit Lancaster City for Southport is about personal ambition. Speare said: 'It is going to be really hard to leave Lancaster, but the reason you do anything in life is to better yourself... But I'm not going to Southport to sit on the substitutes' bench, I had enough of that at Accrington Stanley. I want to be Southport's first choice in the Conference next season'". Speare stays at Lancaster till the end of March.

    Nuneaton have signed Martin Reeves (23), a former Leicester City and Northampton midfielder.


    Our former UniBond opponents Spennymoor United seem to be in deep trouble after they failed to fulfil a fixture for the second time this month. This time they failed to play at Leek Town, after failing to appear in the President's Cup semi-final against Witton, who were awarded the tie by default. The Moors have been obliged to pay Witton's expenses. This is Staffs reports that Spennymoor's actions were because "they couldn't raise a side". As a result, "Spennymoor were hauled in front of the League Management Committee on Sunday and were kicked out of the cup competition, as well as being fined £500 with £250 costs". They now face "a further charge... which carries a maximum penalty of a £1,000 fine plus costs, the deduction of up to three points or expulsion from the league... Leek's loss is expected to be in the region of £2,500... Spennymoor are already under a threat of expulsion after being served notice to carry out a list of 19 items of work required to bring their Brewery Field Stadium up to UniBond standards following a ground grading inspection five months ago. Last summer their social club burned down and there have been rumours recently that their players have not been paid".
    15 March 2005


    Alty Reserves lost 1-4 at home to Morecambe tonight, the margin being a little harsh on the Robins, whose goal came from Tony Wealle. Report to follow.


  • Hinckley U. 0 Kettering T. 1
  • Nuneaton B. 2 Lancaster C. 0
  • FAT6: Hucknall T. 1 Hereford U. 0

    Revised league table.


    As the away match at Barrow, a week on Saturday (26th), is a 1pm kick-off, the STAR supporters' coach will set off from The Vine at 9am. Before then, there is a visit to Droylsden next Monday evening (21st). The times and fares for both coach trips are now on the Away Travel page, listed below the details of Wednesday's trip to Witton for the CSC Final. Thanks are due to travel coordinator Mark Eckersall for the details.


    Altrincham FC have produced an attractive leaflet entitled Advertising Opportunities and Room Hire at Altrincham FC, which is available from the club at the address at the top of the page. This includes Sponsorship Prices for everything from advertising boards and room hire to match and stadium sponsorship. A list of the clubs' main sponsors is here.


    Alty's third goal, Kieran Lugsden's long-range header which deceived the stand-in Vauxhall keeper in the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final has now been credited to Colin Little, who followed the ball into the net. This means that Kieran's goal tally this season is reduced to 2, whilst Colin's total rises to 29.


    Weather permitting, Alty Reserves play Morecambe Reserves at Abbey Hey tonight (Tuesday at 7.45pm).


    STAR's half-time bucket collections have now raised over £6,000 since 02/03 season - a great help to the club.


    Martin Fallon, press officer of Runcorn FC Halton on the club forum says that this Saturday's home game will be played at either "Prescot Cables or Warrington Town. Both grounds are not up to Conference standard so need the thumbs up from the league. The league are inspecting the grounds on Tuesday then letting the club know".

    Worcester City's Forum quotes a local newspaper report that "Worcester City Football Club has confirmed that Miller Homes is the preferred developer for its St George's Lane ground. Discussions to redevelop the land for residential purposes are said to be in the advanced stages but both parties have stressed that contracts will not be signed until shareholders have given their formal approval and a suitable relocation site is found. Three alternative sites are currently being investigated by the club and a final decision is expected towards the end of April... Club Secretary, Brian Lancaster, added; "I would, however, stress that the proposals are in the very early stages".

    NL Daily says that "Redditch United are already putting together the framework for next season’s squad. Striker Scott Rickards and defender Matthew Clarke have both agreed terms to stay at the Valley Stadium next season, and the club are also in the throes of working out new deals for defender Asa Charlton together with Simon Hollis and midfielder Sean Flynn..., with French striker Norman Sylla already on a two-year deal".

    Confguide reports that the next Conference season will begin on 13 August 2005. "Regarding this season, the transfer deadline has been confirmed as Thursday 31st March" for all divisions of the Conference.

    Lancaster City have reportedly been fined £500 for not fulfilling their fixture at home to Runcorn recently. They have also been required to pay the travel expenses of Runcorn, who did make it to the Giant Axe when the home side did not due to a traffic jam on the M6.

    Southport keeper Steve Dickinson has told Preston Today, "The manager is bringing another goalkeeper in and I don't understand it really... It is down to me to keep Jamie Speare out. Obviously the lad is a very accomplished goalkeeper, and too good to be sat on the bench. But there's no way I'm going to let him take my place. Liam Watson has got something special going at Southport, and there's a great spirit at the club, the best I've known at Haig Avenue... I'm Southport's first choice and I intend to keep it that way". Dickinson "recently signed a new two-year deal and is due a testimonial in 2006."

    14 March 2005


    Alty boss Graham Heathcote says that both Eddie Hussin and Val Owen are doubtful for Wednesday's Cheshire Senior Cup Final against Crewe Alexandra. Eddie has a badly swollen knee after going down in agony following an innocuous challenge on Saturday, whilst Val has been feeling under par for some time. With Colin Little suspended and Richard Norris cup-tied for the Final and a number of other players carrying knocks, the manager's options are limited and, with 5 games in the 13 days between Wednesday and Easter Monday, he needs to shepherd his playing resources carefully.

    The admission prices for Wednesday's Final at Witton will be £6.50 for adults and £5 for concessionaries. Click on the Away Travel link for details of the STAR supporters' coach to this match. Howard Watts's Through the Years records for Wednesday's date are here.


    The Sunday Pink has an article on Droylsden boss Dave Pace, which states: "While Graham Heathcote (left) prefers to take the heat off his players by insisting he'd settle for finishing sixth, providing they maintain the standards they've set throughout the season. Pace would never talk down Droylsden's prospects". The Altrincham manager wishes to make clear that he would never enter any competition without aiming to win it. What he actually said to The Pink was that he is happy to be sixth at this stage of the season but what really matters is where the club is on the last day of the season. Indeed, Graham says that he would be very disappointed if we did only finish sixth given the platform that the team has given itself to date.


    Right: Gary Scott receives his Man of the Match award on Saturday.

    Tuesday STAR bucket collection raised £115.01 whilst Saturday's produced £103.19. As ever the club is very appreciative of the collectors' efforts and the donors' generosity. Alty now lie 3rd in the form guide over the last 8 games.


    A brief match report on the Reserves' draw against Accrington is in the Reserves' section, where there is also a link to the revised Lancashire League table.


    Alty Youth beat Canadian side Cataraqui Clippers, from Ontario, in today's friendly match. The only goal of the game was a well-struck shot from outside the box by Ben Shanks-Pepper (78 mins). The game, at Wythenshawe Town, was watched by the WBA manager and former England and Man. Utd skipper, Bryan Robson, whose son Ben was making his debut for Altrincham. Report in the youth section.


    Friday 18th
  • Alfreton T. v Gainsborough T.

    Saturday 19th

  • Altrincham v Ashton U.
  • Droylsden v Vauxhall M.
  • Harrogate T. v Hucknall T.
  • Kettering T. v Stafford R.
  • Lancaster C. v Stalybridge C.
  • Nuneaton B. v Moor Green POSTPONED
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Bradford PA
  • Southport v Barrow
  • Worcester C. v Redditch U.
  • Worksop T. v Hinckley U.


    A successful Easter Fayre was held at Moss Lane on Sunday morning. Many thanks are due to all the organisers and their families who gave up their time to raise £365 for the club, as well as to those who supported the event.