Altrincham Football Club News Archive
28 March to 2 April 2005

2 April 2005 cont'd


Kettering Today reports that Kettering Town "are currently 8 points clear of 6th-placed Altrincham who lie immediately outside the play-off zone. But the Robins have the chance to reduce that to two before the Poppies play again as they are in action tomorrow and on Tuesday. Kettering... will have to play three away games in five days from next Saturday". Manager Kevin Wilson said, "I don't think there are many clubs in this division who have a squad that is as young as ours. If you look at the likes of Altrincham and Harrogate, they have some very experienced players in their squads".

This is WCFC quotes Worcester City boss Andy Preece: "Moor Green wanted John Snape on loan. But I wanted him to stay with us because he is a big part of our plans... Snapper has been one of our best players and there's not a chance that I'd let him go elsewhere. It's not a very big squad here. We've lost four players and only one has signed since I came to the club, so it's got smaller rather than bigger". Preece "also revealed that long-term injury victim Christian Moore could make a surprise return to first-team action this month... after suffering medial ligament damage to his knee... Preece said: 'He could still make the last two games of the season. The injury with Shabir Khan has been a pain, though. We really could do with sorting that out because I want to have a good look at him before the end of the season'".

Droylsden have signed Chester City striker Kevin Rapley on loan.

Worksop Today has more on goalkeeper Kris Rogers's move to Northwich. "The move comes after the 24-year-old, who was not under contract, had been dropped to the bench for two games after failing to impress Worksop boss Ronnie Glavin. Rogers has played in 42 games and kept 10 clean sheets but the prospect of full-time football has tempted him away from Sandy Lane... However Glavin... has enlisted the help of Frecheville keeper David Ratcliffe as a back-up".

Preston Today says that "Southport have snapped up promising left winger Samuel McNutt from Prescot Cables. Sangrounders' boss Liam Watson has been chasing the 22-year-old for months now and landed McNutt's signature following strong interest from Northwich and Accrington... Watson said: 'He is a tall boy, 6ft 2in, but he has bags of pace and a decent eye for goal, and I'm chuffed to bits to sign him'... Watson has also asked Leigh RMI boss Steve Bleasdale about full-back Chris Lane, but he added: 'I don't know whether that will happen'".

On Harrogate Today, "Danny Holland insists there is no crisis in the Harrogate Town forward line, despite the club drawing four blanks in their past six games. The Wetherby Road striker is one of five marksmen at Neil Aspin's disposal who have so far netted just 30 goals between them... Despite a slightly goal-shy past few weeks, Town still remain handily placed for the play-offs having opened up a seven-point lead over nearest rivals Altrincham".

In the NW Evening Mail quotes Barrow boss Lee Turnbull on avoiding relegation. "I think if results go with us on Saturday then maybe a point might be enough".

Before tomorrow's FA Trophy semi-final This is Nottingham reports that manager Dean Barrick has been on holiday in Barcelona. "Talking from an open-topped bus on his way to the Nou Camp stadium, Barrick added: 'I've heard that Ronaldinho hasn't played in the FA Trophy this season, but it would be a bit of a rush to sign him in time for Saturday's game!'". Assistant manager Roy Hunter added, "Chris Timons twisted his ankle against Harrogate but he's the only one with a knock and he should be OK".

The shortlist for Conference North Player of the Month is Derek Brown (Kettering), Terry Fearns (Southport), Neil Moore (Nuneaton) and Rob Talbot (Droylsden).

Runcorn FC Halton confirm the signing of "three new players... Alessandro Percovich, Jason van Blerk [ex-Alty] and Michael McGinn. [Goalkeeper] Alessandro is the first Italian player to sign for the Linnets".

Alfreton Town report that Thursday saw "David Holmes being transferred to Ilkeston Town for an undisclosed fee and John Knapper join the same club on loan... The Reds have also turned down two 'substantial bids' from un-named clubs for striker Mick Godber and winger Chris Bettney".

Ashton United confirm that their "new signings are Darren Lyons [ex-Alty], Darren Bowman, Andy Power, Danny Jackson plus a couple of the Youth team have been registered as back up". Likewise, Harrogate Town "have today registered two YTS trainees...Mark McLeod, 18, is a midfielder who joins from Darlington; Andrew Brown, 19, is a forward from Scunthorpe United".

Stalybridge Celtic "have announced the signing of striker Rob Martin. Denton-based Rob (23) lists Sunderland among his previous clubs but has been plying his trade on the other side of the Atlantic... Martin becomes incredibly the 42nd player to be registered by Celtic this season". For the record, Altrincham have re-named 36 different players on their league and cup teamsheets this season.

Vauxhall Motors "have signed young midfielder Brian Moogan after he was released from Lancaster City. He spent time at both Liverpool and Everton's Academy before joining Lancaster... Influential midfielder, James Olsen, is making remarkable progress from his ankle ligament injury... [and] is now hopeful of playing a further part in the campaign".

NL Daily says that "Redditch United have signed Matt Aubrey from Travel Factory Midland Alliance side Westfields. Aubrey was deemed as surplus to requirements by Forest Green Rovers earlier this season".


Thursday night's Man. Utd Reserves' game at Moss Lane against Nwewcastle ended 1-1, with David Bellion netting for the Reds.


The Northern Echo says that our former UniBond opponents, "Spennymoor United are on the verge of closing after they failed to fulfil a fixture last night for the third time this season. Owner Benny Mottram... is ready to withdraw the club from the UniBond League" Mottram said, 'We couldn't raise a team. I am going to telephone the league to inform them of the situation and speak to the chief executive. It cannot go on like this. I discovered that two of our players, keeper Darren Horrigan and striker Tommy Raw, have joined other clubs... But while the days of senior football appear over, Mottram is vowing to carry on the name of the club at other levels. He said: "To satisfy the terms of the lease - if a lease exists that is - from Spennymoor Town Council and to make sure the club continues, we'll run a ladies' team and a junior team under the name of Spennymoor United'... Spennymoor's resignation now casts doubt over their Brewery Field tenants, Bishop Auckland".
1 April 2005


As you may have gathered by now from the Runcorn website, the story reported here earlier today about a merger between Altrincham and Runcorn FC Halton was an April Fool's Day spoof, which was composed by our friends in Runcorn!


32-goal Alty striker Colin Little (right) says in SAM, "Seven games to go and there are still plenty of points to play for. We've got a realistic chance of getting into the playoffs but it isn't as definite as it was four games ago... Hopefully, we turned a corner on Monday. We were playing OK but not putting our chances away". Regarding the run of four defeats before Monday, Colin said, "It was tired legs, not just a case of a blip; too many games took it out of us... On Monday, I certainly felt like we had a bit more energy. Lewis Chalmers came on and gave everyone a bit of a boost".


Injury-jinxed former Alty keeper, Andy Dibble (Wrexham) will miss the LDV Final in Cardiff with a thigh injury.

In Thursday's NW Counties Division Two Final at Trafford, Cammell Laird beat Flixton 4-0. There were several ex-Alty players on show for Flixton, including Dave Swanick, who played at the centre of a three-man backline, Anthony Hargreaves, Steve Tobin and Ryan Gilligan, who was with Alty Reserves three seasons ago and who was the man who played under an assumed name for Flixton and cost them a penalty of 21 docked points earlier this season. Derek Ward, who twice signed UniBond forms for Alty but never played for the Robins, captained Lairds. Paul "Coco" Robertson was named in the Flixton side in the programme but neither he, nor another ex-Robin on Flixton's books, Darren Lyons, played. In fact today it is reported that Lyons has gone to Ashton United.

IC Cheshire also reports on ex-Alty midfielder Mike Garrity, who "has joined Vauxhall after being released as a cost-cutting measure by cash-strapped Runcorn... Manager Owen Brown said: 'Mike's someone we knew well and had an eye on for next season, but Runcorn's financial plight enabled us to bring him in a bit sooner... He fitted in well and it's no surprise as he lives on the same street as Anthony Wright and is James Glendenning's best mate".


STAR "recently had its first joint STAR/Club planning meeting, and the initial joint event being planned is the Altrincham Festival, which takes place on Saturday, July 2. STAR and the Club will be organising a sponsored float pull, and we'll be looking for a team of 11 strong individuals, in full Alty kit, to pull the Alty float along the parade route. The team of pullers will be seeking sponsorship to complete the parade with nothing but Alty fans' legendary pulling power!... Further activities are planned on the Festival field, including the ever popular Rocky Robin penalty shootout. If you'd like to be a member of the Alty pulling squad, help to decorate our float, or help out on the day, then please contact Jon Stack".


On the Man Utd website "Communications director Phil Townsend said: 'We made it clear when we went into the Pontins League this season that it was to cope with the number of professionals we had. But we don’t anticipate the squad being as large next season'. United will also be moving reserve venues, as their home games next season will take place at Hyde United's Ewen Fields rather than Altrincham's Moss Lane".


Alfreton Town "have confirmed they won’t be bringing in any other players before the registration deadline of March 31. The club will also not be releasing an official retained list until they have reviewed all their options with the current squad who will be notified of those decisions on April 30, one week before the current season officially closes".

Joe Anyon (a goalkeeper) has moved from Port Vale to Stafford Rangers on loan.

Hucknall Town "escaped the Easter programme without injury to any of the squad ahead of the most important week in the club's history. A league game at Altrincham [is] the only thing to deflect attention away from the two legs of the FA Trophy Semi-Final. The first game at Bishop's Stortford taking place this coming Saturday, and the return at Watnall Road on the 9th of April".

Hucknall Today says that "Hucknall player Chris Timons [the former Alty captain] is getting married at the end of the season and has invited his team-mates to join him on his stag do in Magaluf for a few days of sun, sea and sangria. The only problem is that the players were not due back until May 22. But Hucknall assistant player-manager Roy Hunter says it's a no contest between a trip to sunny Spain and a potential FA Trophy final... Sky will show the final live and if Dean Barrick's men make it, they will receive a windfall... in the region of £35,000. They have already scooped £26,800 in prize money".

Worksop Town have "signed promising Reserve team goalkeeper David Ratcliffe on first team forms... as cover for Ian Bowling" after Northwich signed the Tigers' other keeper, Kris Rogers. Northwich report that their former Vauxhall keeper Andy Ralph "has joined Witton Albion on loan".

Halifax Town have signed "23-year-old goalkeeper Matthew Taylor, who played in the FA Trophy Final for Burscough and has more recently been at Matlock Town and Hucknall Town".

Kettering Today reports that the Poppies' win over Bradford PA "was only their third win at Rockingham Road this year... Just three other sides, including the bottom two, have lost more games at home this season... Four out of their final five games are away from home". Manager Kevin Wilson said "I would say mentally we have not been right at home this season... I don't think we play any differently at home. But the stats are there for everyone to see".

This is the Lake District reports on Lancaster's loss to Ashton United. Manager Phil Wilson said: "The attitude and effort was spot on and we were unlucky to lose". Also, "New goalkeeper Tony McMillan continues after joining the club from Runcorn FC Halton". On Lancaster Today Wilson said of McMillan after his first two games ended in defeat, "It was hard for him and he conceded a few goals, but he has looked the part". The report adds that "Wilson also moved to sign young Crewe midfielder Andrew Bond on a work experience deal".

IC Cheshire says that Runcorn "are on the brink of capturing ex-Australian international defender Jason Van Blerk and may even sign an Italian goalkeeper - though there could be problems getting clearance for the latter". Van Blerk, at Alty briefly last season, arrives at Runcorn from Colwyn Bay. The Italian keeper is Alessandro Percovich, formerly at AC Taino in Italy. "Alessandro has played at some big clubs in Italy but has moved here with his wife and hasn't really done anything the last couple of years", said Runcorn boss Steve Soley, who added "He loves to punch the ball as all continental keepers do - but he punches to the halfway line". Current Runcorn keeper is "on-loan Neil Thompson". Also, "Soley has captured midfieldman Mike McGinn, brother of Matty, from local football". However, "Southport, anxious that their lead in Nationwide North has been whittled away, have put in a cash offer for their long-term target Matty McGinn. Soley has rejected the bid... And with David Ness now available again after suspension, Soley could yet be tempted by an improved offer for the player. Runcorn have, meanwhile, released highly-rated midfieldman Scott Willis as a disciplinary measure. Soley was upset at Willis's reaction to being demoted to the bench at Stalybridge - now the player's probable destination".

31 March 2005


As reported on this website last weekend, Manchester United will not be playing their reserves' matches at Moss Lane next season. Sporting Life says that "Manchester United are to quit the Pontins League this summer just one season after their return. The move will also see the Red Devils abandon Altrincham's Moss Lane ground as their reserve-team base in favour of Hyde United's Ewen Fields stadium. Sir Alex Ferguson requested a return to the less prestigious second string league 12 months ago as he tried to work out the best way of giving the growing number of youngsters in his squad some meaningful match action... It is now thought [Ferguson] will pursue a policy of loaning out some of his younger fringe men... It is bad news for cash-strapped Altrincham, who will lose an estimated £20,000 a year from United. But Ferguson has become increasingly frustrated at the state of the Moss Lane pitch and the recent postponement of a home encounter with Wolves signalled the decision to relocate to Hyde". The Manchester Evening News also carries the story.


The STAR bucket collection for Marcus Hallows, Alty's injured striker, raised £460.22 plus £40 from STAR chairman Brian Flynn who had just won that sum with the winning Golden Goal ticket for Saturday's game.

Also, STAR reports "the death of one of our members, John 'Jack' Forsyth. 'Jack' had been an Alty fan for nearly 50 years and was a stand season ticket holder for many years. He will be sadly missed at Moss Lane and our condolences go to his family".


Altrincham Reserves have played most of their home games at Abbey Hey this season. Though the club has been very welcoming, the fact that the pitch is used by numerous teams as well as Abbey Hey, means that the playing surface has suffered. In fact, Danny Johnson, mmanager of our neighbours Trafford said, after his team's game at Goredale Avenue, "Losing at Abbey Hey was extremely disappointing... It didn't help us much playing on possibly the worst surface I have ever seen at this level of football". Alty Reserves have switched their next home game, this Saturday (1pm) against Barrow, to Wythenshawe Town FC.


The Hinckley website has some photos of the game at Altrincham.

The Hucknall forum reports that the last game of the season at home to Altrincham will be a "Fancy Dress" day at Watnall Road.


NL Daily reports that "Moor Green have snapped up 19-year-old defender or midfielder Phil Midworth from Burton Albion".

IC Cheshire confirms that "Vics, punished by goalkeeping errors and back in the drop zone, have signed Christian Rogers to take the pressure off Andy Ralph and Ben Connett. Former Wrexham keeper Rogers joins Vics from Worksop Town and will be plunged into two massive games at Wincham Park - Barnet on Saturday and Forest Green on Tuesday". The Vics' boss Steve Burr "took the unusual step of subbing keeper Andy Ralph for Connett at half-time of Monday's 4-0 defeat at Hereford. Burr said: 'Andy's made too many mistakes and has been hammered for them. It has cost us dearly and his confidence has gone completely'".

Stalybridge Celtic have "announced the signing of midfielder Scott Willis... Scott actually played for Runcorn FC Halton in their Good Friday defeat at Bower Fold, but joins us for the rest of the season". Preston Today adds that "Jim Harvey says he will use Morecambe's second team in [the] GLS Cup fifth round tie against Stalybridge Celtic... 'As far as I'm concerned the GLS Cup is a nuisance competition at this stage of the season, and it is not important to us'" said manager Jim Harvey. Meanwhile, Stalybridge manager John Reed remarked, "We've given ourselves a fighting chance to stay in the Conference North after the club looked doomed at the start of the year, but tonight's a really attractive cup tie and we'd like to progess in the competition".

Stalybridge Celtic beat Morecambe 2-1 last night to reach the GLS Cup semi-final where they will meet Accrington Stanley. The winners will play Woking in the final.

IC Cheshire quotes Vauxhall manager Owen Brown: "Provided we play like we have over the last two games, over the remainder of the campaign, we should have no difficulties steering clear of the relegation places." The website adds that the Motormen then "totally dominated their home game with Lancaster on Saturday. Had the match ended 5-0, instead of 3-1, the visitors could have had no complaints. And then 48 hours later, apart from the opening ten minutes when they conceded two early goals, Vauxhall repeated the display at title-chasing Harrogate. New midfielder Mike Garrity [ex-Alty], who joined the Motormen last midweek from Runcorn, played a major role in both games, and scored an absolute cracker at Harrogate".

Worcester midfielder Nick Colley has spoken to This is WCFC about the play-offs. "I think it's a short-term target for us now, just to take each game as it comes and do the right things... I'm delighted that the fans think we can make the play-offs because that means the momentum is carrying on to the terraces. But if we lose one game now, we feel as though the play-offs won't be there".

IC Coventry reports on our next opponents, Gainsborough who lost their last game 1-0 at Nuneaton where 39 year-old Terry Angus "crashed in a stunning 15-yard volley to send the Cock & Bear faithful into raptures... Up until that point Boro... had toiled and sweated without any reward against a Trinity outfit which posed few threats up front but looked capable of snatching something on the break".

30 March 2005


Right: Graham Heathcote salutes a goal on Easter Monday. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.

This is Lincs reports on our next opponents. Gainsborough Trinity", who lost to Nuneaton 1-0 on Monday. "Trinity played exceptionally well against the side lying third, but failed to score... Defeat sent the Blues down to 11th in the table, 12 points outside the play-offs, but manager Paul Mitchell was proud of his players. 'We were the better side... We created good openings, but just didn't finish them off. We were well organised at the back and passed the ball for fun'".


A successful feature of this year has been the re-establishment of the Altrincham Reserves side, which plays in the Lancashire League, under the guidance of manager Neil Brown, coach Carlos Marsden and physio Alan Ainslie. So far 67 players have been named in the Reserves' squad in their 25 league games. Of these, 13 have also appeared in the first team squad this season, either as youngsters who have broken through or as established first-teamers recovering from injury or keeping fit. Full details of who played where will shortly be posted on the website but, in the meantime, the leading numbers of appearances and of goals scored are on the Reserves page.


NL Daily reports that "Moor Green have parted company with coach Kim Casey, the former England semi-professional international striker... Casey left the Moors by ‘mutual consent’ but it is understood that he had a difference of opinion with long-serving manager Bob Faulkner over the current squad that have slipped close to the relegation zone. Former Birmingham City midfielder John Frain, the Moors’ assistant-manager, has taken charge of training with striker Rob Elmes supporting".

This is Nottingham says that "Hucknall Town... were well beaten. Player-boss Dean Barrick rang the changes and, on the plus side, the squad picked up no serious injuries ahead of their FA Trophy semi-final at Bishop's Stortford". Alty's former captain Chris Timons was an unused sub.

Kettering Today quotes Poppies' boss Kevin Wilson after winning 1-0, "It was not a great performance against Bradford but I suppose we are at that stage of the season when it is results that count... There were a few who were looking a bit leggy. However they will all have this Saturday off" so Jamie Paterson, Chris Difante, Derek Brown and Mark Danks "now all have 11 days to rest their knocks".

This is Derbyshire says that "Alfreton Town brought an end to two long sequences at the Impact Arena on Monday. Firstly, at the eighth attempt, they claimed their first home win in the league during 2005... to break Stalybridge Celtic's resurgent run of 14 games without defeat".

29 March 2005


Details of the STAR supporters' coach for the trip to Gainsborough next Saturday are here.


Below are two wonderful photos from Gavin Rathbone showing (left) Stuart Coburn tipping Paul Barnes's effort over the bar and (right) Alty captain, Gary Talbot celebrating his headed goal. Copies of Gavin's photos are available via the club shop or by e-mail.


Right: Richard Norris and Paul Tilley leave the field on Monday (website photo).

Match report here

  • Alty Line Ups
  • League Table
  • Alty Stats

    "Very, very poor" is the only comment currently on the Hinckley Independent website on their team's showing at Altrincham.


    Michael Garrity scored for Vauxhall yesterday as did Jez Illingworth (Guiseley) Matt McNeil (Hyde), Chris Downey (Mossley), Niell Hardy (Chorley) and Jamie Baguley (Woodley). Peter Band was substituted at half-time for Northwich.
    28 March 2005


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


    In today's MEN, Graham Heathcote says that reaching the play-off "is still not impossible although we have made life very difficult for ourselves and now face a massive test of character. I'd be more concerned if we were playing badly but all that was wrong with our performance at Barrow was our finishing. We must have missed a dozen chances".


    Alty play Hinckley United today and Howard Watts's Through the Years feature shows all our games on 26 March since 1908, when we beat Newton Heath 1-0.

    Hinckley United report that on Good Friday when they beat Alfreton 1-0, "Craig Woodley, on as a second half substitute, got the winner on 79 minutes with virtually his first touch of the match. Up till then neither team had really looked like scoring... We played averagely and won". Alfreton's website reports that "Woodley’s goal came very much against the run of play".


    A report on the Altrincham Reserves win over Lancaster last Wednesday is in the Reserves' section of this website. The Lancashire League table has also been updated and can be reached via the above link.


    There is now a match report on the Alty Youth team win over Woodley Sports on Sunday in the youth section.


    If you can bear to look, there are photos of the defeat at Barrow on their Forum, which also says of Barrow that it was "The best we've played all season without much doubt; Alty looked good until the final third, where they were very wasteful".

    This site's Barrow match report is here.

    Right: One of several Alty players currently playing through the pain barrier: Chris Adams


    The NW Counties League confirms that "Atherton LR have acted quickly to replace top scorer Paul Crompton, with the signing of former Port Vale and England Schoolboy international striker Stephen Torpey... Torpey left for a spell with Nationwide North side Altrincham earlier this season, he returned to Cables earlier this month and is sill registered with the Liverpool-based outfit". Meanwhile Atherton LR have released another Alty old boy, Ashley Timms.

    Darren Lyons has moved from Salford City to Flixton where he joins other Alty "old boys", Anthony Hargreaves and Steve Tobin. Anyone wanting to see the old boys can see Flixton play Cammell Laird in a cup match at Trafford FC this Thursday night.


    Runcorn keeper Tony McMillan made his debut for Lancaster City on Saturday, replacing Jamie Speare who is going to Accrington.