Altrincham Football Club News Archive
19 to 23 March, 2005

23 March 2005 cont'd


Accrington photographer Kipax has pictures of Alty's game at Droylsden.


NL Daily reports that "Kevin Wilson, manager of Kettering Town, has shocked supporters by announcing that he has put in a seven-day notice of approach for veteran former Poppies striker Darren Collins... now 37 [who] has been plying his trade with Cogenhoe United... Kettering will be without leading scorer Darren Lynch for three matches due to suspension... and Wilson feels that Collins’s experience could be invaluable".

Tuesday's Daily Telegraph had a large article on Southport who "could be celebrating 100 years at Haig Avenue with a return to the Conference". Somewhat prematurely perhaps in view of last night's home defeat, chairman Charlie Clapham said, "Playing in the Conference again will be exciting".

Nuneaton Borough report that loan player Gavin Cowen from Canvey Island has now been transferred to Shrewsbury Town by the Essex club.

A press release from Runcorn's Linnets Independent Supporters' Trust says that LIST has "issued a challenge to the people and businesses of Halton to prove that they want a football club in the future. Last month LIST made an offer to buy the football club from chairman Dr David Robertson, but were told via the local press that their offer was "irrelevant". However LIST still believe that supporters running the club is the only option... Martin Fallon, LIST's Director of Communications, said, 'The football club is on its last legs now, and will fold at the end of the season if something drastic is not done. We have spoken to individuals and companies that have said that they would support the club, both on the terraces and financially, but only if the club was under new ownership. We are now saying to the people of Halton to stand up and prove it. Get in touch with LIST and pledge what you would give if we were in control... LIST has done everything that the chairman has asked of us. We have provided him with a copy of our business plan as per his request, and we will provide him with this information once we have collated it to show what support the club would have if supporters were in charge. It would then be up to him to decide the club's future'".

22 March 2005


  • Moor Green 1 Worcester C. 2
  • Southport 2 Harrogate T. 3
  • League Table

  • GLS Cup Worksop T. 0 Stalybridge C. 1


    The Conference have now notified the club that the end of the league season has reverted to 30 April 2005 and that Altrincham will be away at Hucknall on that date. Previously they had moved all Nationwide North fixtures from 30 April to the midweek of the previous week, to clear space for the play-offs. That meant that the away match at Hucknall was moved from 30 April to Tuesday 19 April, but they have now confirmed that that game will be played on Saturday 30 April after all. Fixture list here.


    Marcus Hallows has had a second operation, to close the wound from his compound leg fracture. He remains in Wythenshawe Hospital. All at Moss Lane send him their best wishes.


    Match report here

    A much weakened Alty side, lacking Coburn, Maddox, Hilton and Hussin as well as long-term injured Hallows and Rose gave a spirited performance last night. In addition Potts was playing with flu and Scott and Adams were carrying injuries. So, eight Alty players in the squad named for this game had started three league games or fewer for Alty this season. Things got even worse when both Thornley and Aspinall limped off within 35 minutes of the start and before the end of the match Melling was hobbling, too.

    After the game, Graham Heathcote thanked the travelling fans for their support, saying that Alty were "a very tired side" after their great efforts tonight, which was the fourth game in ten days.


    STAR's bucket collections on Saturday raised £99.74. Thanks are due to collectors and donors alike.


    Lee Turnbull, manager of our next opponents, Barrow, says in the NW Evening Mail "that Jonathan Smith and Glenn Murray are high on his wish list for next season. Both players made stunning impacts in their short stays at Holker Street during the current campaign. Defender Smith spent time on loan from Accrington Stanley, while Murray’s goals earned him a move to Carlisle United". They "are the obvious targets if they’re not offered deals at their respective clubs", said Turnbull.

    A week on Saturday Alty travel to the Horsfall Stadium. NL Daily reports that for "Bradford Park Avenue's ... eighth consecutive away league defeat... There was a new face in the Avenue team... Sean McClare who was released by Halifax Town last month. The 27-year-old midfielder can boast more than 160 League appearances for Barnsley, Port Vale and Rochdale before being released at the end of last season".

    When Alty play Gainsborough on 2 April, Trinity will be without James Sherlock who has a three-match ban ending with the game that day.


    Though Great Harwood Town have signed a Simon Woodford, it is not the same Simon Woodford who was at Moss Lane and who remains at Trafford. Apologies for the error in reporting this.

    "Atherton LR have [signed]... former Port Vale, and England Schoolboy international striker Stephen Torpey... who once scored 40 goals in a season for Prescot Cables before they gained promotion to the UniBond from the NWCL. Torpey left for a spell with Altrincham earlier this season, he returned to Cables earlier this month and is still registered with the Liverpool-based outfit and actually scored their winner at Matlock Town on Saturday" says NL Daily


    BBC TV report that "Northwich have had to shelve their plans to move into their new ground in time for the Easter holiday programme... The Vics hope to make the move before the end of the season but will continue to ground-share with neighbours Witton".


    "Rory May has returned to Redditch United’s ranks for the remainder of the season. The one-time Lincoln City striker had a disappointing loan spell with Redditch before Christmas on-loan while on the books of Tamworth. May has since left the Lambs and spent the past four months out of football, but the 6’ 4" front-runner is looking to revive his career with Redditch. Assistant-manager Gary Whild said: 'Rory phoned up out of the blue and asked if he could come back. His attitude has been first class and he looks certain to feature over the next fortnight... This is a second chance for Rory and he needs to buckle down and take it'".

    On Preston Today "Liam Watson predicts off-colour Southport can take a huge step towards the Conference North title against promotion rivals Harrogate Town [on Tuesday]. But the Southport manager will ring the changes as the Sandgrounders championship journey continues to stutter and stall like an antique steamroller stuck in third gear". In their last game "Southport's best league gate of the season witnessed a wretched display. Droylsden boss Dave Pace ruffled a few feathers this week when he suggested Southport's title challenge is creaking like an old oak tree in the teeth of a winter gale". Watson said, "We can't afford another mistake at home. It wasn't pretty and we just huffed and puffed against Barrow, and that's not good enough when you've got a title to win... I'll be making changes against Harrogate to try and freshen things up".

    21 March 2005


    A report on the Youth team game against First Touch Halewood is in the Youth section.


    STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, "has made a further donation of £1,000 to the Club in an effort to assist it in overcoming cash flow difficulties in March and to make payments to the Inland Revenue. STAR has now donated in excess of £17,000 since its formation, and would like to thank everyone who contributes so generously".


    The NW Counties League reports that former Alty keeeper and current "St Helens Town boss Joe Paladino has sensationally announced he's to quit the club. The Knowsley Road club are currently lying in third place of the North West Counties League with just 10 games to go. Paladino said: 'If it were just a question of turning up and running team affairs, which would be fine. But I have to deal with all sorts of other issues which are distracting and stressful'... He has been at almost constant loggerheads with some officials over the club's day-to-day business. The father of four added: 'We're a club without a ground, and just borrowing off Saints and that's not good for our long-term success. If we're going to move forward we need our own place... I've done my best; I can walk away with my head held high'".
    20 March 2005


    The Altrincham FC Board has issued the following Press Release tonight:

    After an incident following the game against Ashton United, manager Graham Heathcote tendered his resignation as manager of Altrincham Football Club. The Board have met and have refused to accept his resignation, citing the fact that extreme provocation caused the event.

    Mr Heathcote will remain in charge of all team affairs, as before, with the full backing of all members of the Board.

    The club are extremely disappointed at the actions of certain individuals, but will not allow these events to destabilise a club which is now heading in the right direction.

    The Board would also like to express their thanks to Sean Riley, the club physio, and Dr Richard Parish, for their treatment of Marcus Hallows prior to his admission to hospital. We wish Marcus a speedy recovery.

    Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley, Andrew Shaw

    Brian Flynn, Chairperson of STAR commented "There seems to be universal regret surrounding the unfortunate events that took place following the game against Ashton United. I am sure, however, that the vast majority of Altrincham supporters will be relieved & delighted that the Board of Directors have persuaded Graham Heathcote to continue as manager, particularly with the team that Graham has built being in a strong position, despite recent setbacks, to push for a place in the Nationwide North play-offs".

    Supporters may also wish to ring Clubcall, details right. From 7pm, chairman Geoff Goodwin will be interviewed by Brian Flynn about recent events at the club. As well as an update on Marcus Hallows's injury, there is also good news from Geoff about Colin Little revealed in the interview.


    A report on the Alty Reserves' game against Guiseley on Saturday is now in the Reserves section.


    Alty Youth came back from a two-goal deficit to draw, 2-2, today at home to First Touch Halewood. The goals were from Lee Hendley and Adam Walker.


    Marcus Hallows had an operation late last night on his double compound leg fracture. It is understood that pins have been inserted into the leg but that the wound has not yet been closed. The club wishes to thank physio Sean Riley and the club doctor, Dr Richard Parish for their help yesterday. Apparently the fracture had blocked an artery and only skilful manipulation by Sean and Dr Parish prevented a potentially far worse situation in which Marcus might have lost his foot through loss of circulation. He is expected to be detained in Wythenshawe Hospital for another 4 or 5 days.


    A club statement on the future of Graham Heathcote following the events at the end of Saturday's game is expected early this evening and will be posted on this website as soon as it is received from the Board. The Board was meeting Graham today after yesterday refusing to accept his resignation.

    Today's Pink states that Graham "refused to comment on the incident".

    Many thanks are due to the Altrincham FC stewards and those public-spirited spectators who intervened to prevent the incident getting worse.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's excellent view of Steve Aspinall's penalty yesterday. You can buy Gavin's pictures either through the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane or by e-mail.

    Match report here.


    Before yesterday's game, Graham Heathcote spoke to The Pink about the Cheshire Senior Cup win on Wednesday. He said it "was a tremendous achievement... and without Colin Little, who was suspended, plus Val Owen and Chris Adams, who we lost during the game, it was even more remarkable.... The manner in which we acheived it has shown that there is competition throughout the squad for places... Those who have come in, such as Kieran Lugsden... have proved more than capable... The players have deserved the reward of winning the cup, as have the chairman Geoff Goodwin and his board who have worked tremendously hard. But we will need to stay focused in what is ultimately an 11-game season" in the league.


    Pictured above is the Altrincham Reserve team which faced Guiseley on Saturday. Five regulars were missing due to work commitments or injury so, hopefully, there will be an opportunity for another team photo including them later this season. Pictured above, left to right are: Back - Carlos Marsden (coach), Laurence Ball, Mike Brown, Adam Brindle, Craig Ellison, Ranel Williams, Pat Connolly, Lee Hendley, Neil Brown (manager). Front - Todd Cunliffe, John Thompson, Paul Monaghan, James Marsden (capt.), Paul Tilley, Ashley Brown, Arron Hevingham and the mascot.


    Danny Adams has left Stockport County "by mutual consent" says The Pink. Matt Bailey has now left Stockport and signed for Northwich Victoria. Although Steve Torpey was listed on the NW Counties site as moving from Prescot Cables to Atherton LR, he actually scored for Cables yesterday. Also in action yesterday were Ian Craney (Accrington) & Matt Bailey (Vics), both as used subs, whilst Peter Band (Vics) and Dean Greygoose (Sudbury in the FA Vase semi) also played. Both Carl Furlong (Colwyn Bay) and Leroy Chambers (Frickley) scored yesterday.


    The Man. Utd v Man. City Reserve match in the Barclays Premiership Reserve league will take place on 28 April at Moss Lane, (k.o.7pm)


    Worksop Town issued a statement yesterday which said, "it has sent a Proposal to its Creditors for a Voluntary Arrangement. Under the Proposal a new company has offered to buy the business and assets of Worksop Town, the net proceeds of the sale being paid into the Company Voluntary Arrangement which will mean that creditors will receive a dividend of c.28p in the pound. The new company will see additional Directors added to compliment the existing board of the current company. [Chairman] Mr Howard Raymond himself is a creditor for £1,500,000 and he and the other Directors of Worksop Town have all agreed to waive their claims as creditors in favour of the general body of creditors". The statement adds "The football side of the business was losing approximately £1,000 to £2,000 per week... The Inland Revenue has obtained judgement against Worksop Town for circa £100,000. Under the rules of the Football Conference Ltd, the Club would be deducted 10 points if the Proposal was accepted and Worksop Town formally enters into an arrangement with its creditors. The Directors understand that this will be very upsetting for players and fans alike but the Proposal is the only means by which the future of the Club can be secured".


  • Steve Farmer (Nuneaton B. to Gresley R.)
  • Jamie Hughes (Ashton U. to Airbus UK)
  • Ian Kearney (Southport to Prescot C.)
    19 March 2005


    The Board of Altrincham FC has confirmed that manager Graham Heathcote tendered his resignation this evening following an incident after today's game against Ashton United. The Board have not accepted Graham's resignation and will meet Graham on Sunday to discuss the next step. A statement will be issued by the Board after tomorrow's meeting.

    Footnote: Those who were at the match today will be aware of the circumstances which provoked the post-match incident today and the vast majority of fans will sincerely hope that Graham will remain as manager after tomorrow's meeting.


    Above: Aspinall nets the Alty goal, from the spot.

    Match report here.

    All Altrincham supporters and officials wish Marcus Hallows (right) as speedy a recovery as possible after he broke his leg badly today. He is in Wythenshawe Hospital where he will have a operation in the next 24 hours.

  • Altrincham 1 Ashton U. 2
  • Droylsden 4 Vauxhall M. 0
  • Harrogate T. 0 Hucknall T. 0
  • Kettering T. 0 Stafford R. 1
  • Lancaster C. 0 Stalybridge C. 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 2 Bradford PA 1
  • Southport 0 Barrow 0
  • Worcester C. 2 Redditch U. 1
  • Worksop T. 3 Hinckley U. 1


    Despite playing some very good football, Alty Reserves lost today. Lee Hendley scored Alty's goal. Report and pictures to follow.


    One player who won't face Alty today for Ashton is ex-Robin, Niell Hardy. Preston Today reports that he has now signed for Shaun Teale's Chorley "after impressing in a mid-week trial... He is likely to start [Saturday's] home tie with Warrington Town".


    SAM reports that after winning the Cheshire Senior Cup, manager Graham Heathcote said, "I though we played very well. Crewe are a good football-playing side and we knew we would have to play well against them. We had a lot of lads out there last night who have not played all that regularly recently and it was very heartening to see them do so well. Players like Josh Mitten, Kieran Lugsden and Kirk Hilton. To see them come in and put in performances like that bodes very well for the crucial period we have coming up. It was a performance worthy of a cup win... Stuart saving a penalty in the early stages of the match was bviously a boost for us and it gives you a bit of a gee-up. You think to yourself 'Maybe it's going to be our night'. There were some lovely scenes at the end".

    In contrast after last week's defeat by Moor Green, Graham told SAM, "Apart from Coburn it was a poor performance but I always felt Moor Green were a decent side and was astonished at where they are in the league. On the day, no qualms about it, Moor Green were the better side, we looked a tired side. It was a poor performance but we've not seen many of them this season".

    IC Solihull has a match report on Moor Green's win at Moss Lane. Assistant manager John Frain said "That is only the third or fourth clean sheet we have kept all season... They know they have underachieved this season and this win has given them a lot of belief and confidence".


    There will be a Family Day at Moss Lane on Easter Monday when Alty host Hinckley United. On offer is a hot and cold buffet and dessert before the match, drinks from the bar and seating in the Go Goodwins Family Stand for the match and a free match programme. At half time, there will be free tea, coffee and biscuits. Prices are £25 for adults and £12.50 for children from age 5 to 14 with under 5s free. Places can be reserved by ringing the club on 928-1045.


    Danny Adams has been given the go-ahead to talk to Northwich as he is out of contract at the end of the season; Carlisle United are also understood to be interested in the left-back. The Stockport Express confirms that "Matt Bailey is the latest player to leave Edgeley Park... The 18-year-old, who has scored six goals from six starts for County Reserves this season, is expected to team up with former assistant manager Dave Moss at Northwich Victoria". Matt was at the Cheshire Senior Cup Final on Wednesday, where he met his former Alty team-mates.


    Dave Pace "expects to complete the loan signing of Morecambe's Carl Ruffer before tomorrow's game and hopes the former Chester star will have the same effect on Droylsden as he did last season" when he was also on loan at the Butcher's Arms. Unconfirmed reports say that the Butcher's Arms has now received ground grading for the National Conference after improvement works were completed recently.

    The NW Evening Mail reports that "Lee Turnbull will warn his men about their post-match conduct following a flare-up between players and travelling Barrow AFC fans in a bar at Ellesmere Port. Tension has existed between players and some fans since a petition calling for the removal of Turnbull went around Holker Street... This bad feeling came to a head in the bar at... Vauxhall Motors... It is understood that two Barrow squad players made abusive and inflammatory remarks towards a small group of travelling fans, some of whom were involved in organising the petition. After complaints from supporters a clear-the-air meeting was held with directors at Holker Street on Tuesday. The directors have arranged to speak to Turnbull, who has since been given a 12-month extension to his contract, to tell his players to cool it. Club director Dave Ingham said 'This is a family place and it must remain so. They (the players) would have to conduct themselves in such a manner that you could take youngsters into the [clubhouse] afterwards... to mix with the players and to be able to ask them for an autograph and so on".

    Mark Peers, who joined Southport from Leigh this week "is so fast he could catch pigeons and has an excellent eye for goals too" said manager Liam Watson on Preston Today, where Droylsden boss Dave Pace says "I've always said that, in a one-mile race, the place you want to be going into the last lap is tucked in behind the leader, so you're perfectly positioned to pass them going into the final bend. I'm convinced that's going to happen to Southport because they've some really difficult games ahead of them, and still have to meet Harrogate and Hucknall twice, who are the form teams right now... I marched into our dressing room the other day and told the lads that, if any of them don't believe that we can win the league, they should get out now because there's no way I'm going to settle for second-best". But Watson retorted "80 points is the target and, providing results go well, we could have broken the back of that figure after our two Easter games against Ashton and Moor Green".

    Also on Preston Today, Lancaster boss "Phil Wilson believes he needs to add four or five new players to his Lancaster City squad this summer... and one of them could arrive as early as next week. With goalkeeper Jamie Speare now certain to be leaving for table toppers Southport at the end of the month, the City boss has been in talks with goalkeepers about taking the number one shirt at Giant Axe". And finally, "Conference officials may need to find a new venue for their play-off finals... if Stoke make it into the Championship play-offs... Derby County and Reading have also been considered".