Altrincham Football Club News Archive
22 to 23 April, 2005

23 April 2005


Right: At 34, Gary Talbot may be Alty's oldest player but he remains one of the club's fittest first-teamers, having played 50 games this season, a total only bettered by Colin Little.

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


    Following the deduction of points for Worksop, (see below), the revised league table is here.


    As well as the STAR Player of the Year awards, which will be made on Saturday night (see below), there will be two other awards to be presented immediately after the end of Saturday's game against Redditch United. One of these is the Junior Supporters' Player of the Year Award and the other is a a new award, the Tom Earley Memorial Trophy. Tom was a longstanding Alty fan, who died recently and whose ashes were scattered at Moss Lane. This award will be for the Clubman of the Year and will be selected by Graham Heathcote. This award will become an annual event.


    The Conference confirms that "Worksop Town FC have been deducted 10 points... in accordance with Competition Rule 14 - entering into administration. The sanction has been imposed with the full agreement of both the Football Club and the Administrators of Worksop Town. The 10-point penalty has thrown The Tigers into a relegation battle, as they are now just five points clear of the bottom three, and need four points from their final two matches to guarantee safety". The revised league table is here.

    IC Coventry says that "Scott Goodwin looks set to make his full debut for Nuneaton Borough at Lancaster City tomorrow. The former Coventry City youngster has made numerous appearances on the subs bench... but he looks set for his big chance in midfield after leading-scorer Stuart Whittaker failed to recover from a hamstring injury".

    On Kettering Today "Kevin Wilson has called for Kettering Town supporters to generate a big atmosphere for their final home league game of the season tomorrow... Altrincham's victory in midweek saw them overtake the Poppies and with just two games left each the race for a top-five finish could go down to the wire... The Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust have organised a special 'flag day' for tomorrow's game... The Trust invite fans to bring along St George's flags. There will be face painting for youngsters with flags and wigs being handed out". Wilson added: "We know our home form has not been good enough. But we will be looking to go out with a bang. We know Harrogate and Altrincham are in action but we can't afford to think about what they are doing". NL Daily says that "Manager Kevin Wilson has been handed a new contract... The Poppies' boss has agreed as new twelve-month rolling contract... having been previously on a similar three-month deal... Kettering chairman Peter Mallinger said: 'I think we have come a long way this season compared to where we were'". But Wilson admitted "It was a bit of a surprise but it is great and I am delighted... We have six points to play for. All we can do is try to win our last two games and hope it is enough. I happen to think it will be".

    "Following a board meeting on Thursday night, Alfreton Town Football Club have confirmed that manager David Lloyd's contract will not be renewed at the end of the current season. It was mutually agreed between the board and David Lloyd that, it is in the best interests of the Football Club that he steps down from the position of being team manager at the end of the season. The board wish it to be known that David Lloyd has not been sacked. However, Lloyd has informed the board that his last game in charge will be this Saturday's final home game against Ashton United. He does not wish to take charge of the side for the final game at Stafford Rangers... The club have yet to decide who will be in charge for that fixture. Chairman Wayne Bradley said: "If David wants a reference, I would have no hesitation in supplying him with one". The club "will now be inviting applications for the position".

    On the contrary, Harrogate Town report that "This week Neil Aspin became Harrogate Town's permanent manager after signing a 2 year contract. Aspin told Harrogate Today "I'm a very ambitious person... I've been promised a new ground by 2006 that will give myself an opportunity in management with the resources to take the club forward". Harrogate Today wrongly claims that "The Wetherby Roaders could guarantee themselves a play-off place [on Saturday] if results go their way" - that is not possible. Manager Neil Aspin is nearer the mark saying, "Realistically, I think we're going to have to take six points from the next two games... It's going to be a really close finish and someone will be very disappointed. The next couple of games are going to be make or break. One of three teams is going to fall short. It's going to be very tense... Things are in our hands though... There isn't an awful lot between the top teams and the bottom teams in this league". But "Aspin will be again without top-scorer Danny Holland through injury, while Dom Krief will also miss the trip".

    This is Lincs reports on Gainsborough Trinity's trip to Bradford PA. "The Blues have not tasted victory in their last six matches, a run which has seen them slip to 15th in the table. Manager Paul Mitchell blames a long, hard season on his side's loss of form. 'We have a young set of lads who have done exceptionally well, but now they are starting to wane', he said. "As well as broken leg victims Simon Bird and Matty Caudwell, Mitchell has now also lost midfield workhorse Chris Hurst. He has suffered a re-occurrence of his hip injury... Also missing is new signing Jon Rowan, who has made only one appearance for the Blues [against Alty]. The striker was signed from Kettering three weeks ago, but failed to appear on the teamsheet at either Moor Green or Lancaster. When questioned, Mitchell refused to speculate on Rowan's whereabouts, other than to dub him the Blues' own 'Lord Lucan'".

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow boss Lee Turnbull "is waiting to hear the state of the club’s financial position before pressing ahead with his plans for next season. Turnbull has already revealed he wants to bring Jonathan Smith, Dean Johnson and Glenn Murray to Holker Street in the summer". Turnbull has also "thrown down the gauntlet to his fringe players by telling them: Show me you’re good enough to play for Barrow AFC. The Bluebirds' boss is likely to start with six Furness-based players in his team’s penultimate game of the season at Hinckley United... Keeper Ben Morsby, plus strikers Dave Mansergh and Dave Swarbrick will join Guy Heffernan, Andy Hill and Gareth Simpson in forming the local backbone". Turnbull stated, "It’s a far better league than the old Unibond Premier Division. It’s a big step up from playing at Dalton and Holker, but the lads’ attitudes have been fantastic".

    This is Nottingham quotes Hucknall boss Dean Barrick - "Things have been going well for us since we got to the Trophy final... But I have to get the balance right and try to keep players fresh before the final. It's going to be a case of picking a team from whoever can walk for our last four games". But NL Daily reports that "Hucknall Town’s marathon stint of matches in the Nationwide North finally caught up with them on Thursday night when Lancaster City ended the Nottinghamshire side’s slim hopes of making the play-offs... Hucknall must now re-charge their batteries for another four games in the next week!" The last of these is at home to Alty.

    NL Daily also reports that "The Southport public have been given every incentive to support their side as the Nationwide North nears a pulsating climax... Supporters who attend Saturday’s concluding home match against Hucknall Town will receive a voucher worth £5 in entrance fees for the final day visit to Harrogate Town... The Sandgrounders top the league’s attendance charts and can also boast a travelling core of unparalleled support... Records are set to be broken in the Southport camp, with non-League’s leading scorer Terry Fearns needing just one strike to break the current club record of 31 league goals in a season".


    The Conference says that "Northwich Victoria's Nationwide Conference status is not yet secure. Football Conference chief executive John Moules has confirmed that the Cheshire have until the end of May to get their new ground ready, otherwise they face the prospect of relegation... A delegation will inspect the ground next week to check on progress, and John Moules confirmed to BBC Sport: "Since Northwich moved from the Drill Field we have given them an extension to ground-share on two occasions. The club knows what it has to achieve by 31 May and there will be no excuses for not doing so".
    22 April 2005


    Three away pre-season friendlies have been arranged, subject to confirmation. These are at:
  • Trafford on Thursday, 21 July.
  • Warrington Town on Tuesday, 26 July.
  • Marine on Saturday, 6 August.

    Graham Heathcote is also in the process of arranging some "prestige" home friendlies and these will be announced in due course.


    Steve Aspinall's ankle injury will rule him out of tomorrow's match against Redditch. He is awaiting x-ray results to determine the precise nature of the injury. For Redditch, top scorer Norman Sylla will be missing, as he is suspended.


    There is a match report on the Alty Reserves' game against Accrington Stanley in the Reserves' section.

    The last two Reserves' games of the season have been switched to Moss Lane;

  • 28 April v Burscough
  • 3 May v Bamber Bridge


    Right: Val Owen is seen in action here. You can e-mail Gavin Rathbone to purchase this and other photos from the game against Stalybridge.


    Alty's next game is on Saturday at home to Redditch United. Howard Watts's record of previous games on St George's Day is here.


    The NW Counties website reports that "Skelmersdale United’s fifth goal in their 9-0 victory over Colne was their 800th league goal which was scored by Lee Thompson".


    This Saturday night sees the STAR Player Of The Year & Race Night sponsored by Grahame Rowley at Moss Lane, starting at 7pm for 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.


    "Mike Connett, owner of Northwich Victoria, has pledged the Victoria Stadium will be ready in time for the Conference deadline of May 31st... 'There is £50,000 worth of work and three weeks on site required, that's all', he said. The Conference will inspect progress in mid-May. The ultimate threat they hold over Vics is expulsion". Connett explained the delay: "It was decided playing on a new pitch might offer an advantage to our opponents and we also decided to put all our efforts into staying up and do minimum work on the site for the time being". IC Cheshire adds that "After three years sharing at Witton Albion - twelve months more than normally allowed - the league has been losing patience with Vics".


    The Moor Green Forum reports another arson attack at Moorlands. "The Function Room - in short it is gutted. The bar area is totally destroyed as is the fixed furniture on the right as you look at the bar. The entire ceiling is black as are the walls and there are many roof tiles missing. You can clearly see daylight through the roof above the bar. All the windows are smashed... There were three separate fires started according to the fire officer... There's certainly more damage to the function room than there is to the stand". Moor Green's stand was burned down in January.

    IC Cheshire says that "Vauxhall FC manager Owen Brown is waiting to hear his fate on whether he will be installed as Chester City's new manager. The Motormen boss was interviewed for the post on Monday along with Keith Curle and John Hollins, but a decision is not expected to be announced until next week... However, he insists that his focus remains firmly on his current position at Rivacre Park and getting his team the point they need this weekend to mathematically avoid relegation". Brown, once director of football at Alty said "We've got some fantastic players now and if we can keep them together, I believe that Vauxhall will have a very good season next year... We've got them all tied down on contracts". Chairman Alan Bartlam said, "I've always had faith in Owen and I'm absolutely convinced he has got Vauxhall moving in the right direction. He's had to compete in a transfer market against clubs who have far bigger wage bills than we'll ever be able to afford, but has made us a better side"

    This is The Lake District quotes Lancaster boss Phil Wilson, "We played some excellent football against Gainsborough and that was pleasing and now I want to see us on a run until the end of the season. If we can do that we will get towards mid-table and that will be a season in a tough league. If we can go unbeaten to the end of the season we will have done okay".

    This is Worcester says that "Christian Moore is excited at the prospect of making his long-awaited return to Worcester City’s colours. The 32-year-old striker could be a surprise inclusion in Saturday's squad to face champions-elect Droylsden at St George's Lane". Moore said "Hopefully, the surgeon will give me the all-clear to begin playing again... I know I'm nowhere near to doing a full 90 minutes. But I'm up for taking some part in games". This is WCFC quotes Andy Preece, "The reserve goalkeeper situation is something I've got to look at once the season has finished. We've got a number one 'keeper in Danny McDonnell who is going to play every week providing he is fit.... This Saturday's fixture against Droylsden at St George's Lane is a really big game. We want to win that and I'll be looking to field my strongest possible side... We managed to parade Worcester's new kit for next season... and I'm pleased to say this new strip is more comfortable than the last one!"

    IC Cheshire reports that "It now looks a straight fight between Runcorn and Stalybridge Celtic to avoid the third relegation spot... Worksop could also be in trouble if they lose 10 points, as expected, for entering a voluntary agreement... [Runcorn boss Steve] Soley believes the Linnets could yet shock Kettering to ease their plight: 'The pressure is on them not on us - everyone thinks we are going down. With the situation the club is in, we should be bottom of the league but we are still fighting'". Alty old boy "Jason Van Blerk, who ran the London Marathon for charity, is available" for Runcorn on Saturday... Meanwhile, Soley has received a two-game touchline suspension and £50 FA fine after being sent from the dugout against Gainsborough. This won't come into effect until next season. Soley is to reconsider his future in the summer. Unofficial word is Runcorn will carry on next season be it in Nationwide North or UniBond League Premier Division. And Prescot's retiring chairman and ground owner Ted Mercer said Runcorn will 'hopefully' be at Valerie Park".

    21 April 2005


  • Hucknall T. 0 Lancaster C. 2
  • Table


    There will be limited supplies in certain sizes only of next season's Altrincham FC replica kit available in the Robins' Shop this Saturday. Prices are £32 (adult) and £25 (children). You can place orders in the shop for the new kit and other new merchandise, details of which will appear on the website in the near future. The new kit features a return to a thinner red and white striped design than is currently used, with a V-neck and long sleeves. As previously reported, the club's new supplier is Ian Senior's company, Sensport Kits.


    Above: Man of the Match Eddie Hussin in action on Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone's GR Photography. You can e-mail Gavin for copies of his images.

    The Stalybridge website has a match report on defeat at Moss Lane last Tuesday. It says that "Celtic’s first half performance deserved more, but a late first half goal and crunching tackles that left Wharton, Shepherd and Black requiring substituting before the second half meant that Celtic’s second half performance allowed Altrincham to run riot in the second period... The score line flattered Altrincham, who never looked comfortable until their late first half goal".

    This site's report is here.


    Now that Colin Little has passed the 36 goals scored by Jackie Swindells (right) in 1968-69, and equalled the 37 goals in a season scored in 1974-75 by John Hughes, his remaining post-War targets are:
  • 39: 1948-49 Walter Jones
  • 43: 1967-68 Jackie Swindells
  • 46: 1947-48 Walter Jones
  • 47: 1966-67 Jackie Swindells
  • 82: 1965-66 Jackie Swindells

    Colin has, so far,scored 23 league goals ( penalty) in 38 appearances and netted 14 (inc. 1 pen) in 13 cup games this season.


    Altrincham Reserves lost 1-2 at Abbey Hey to Accrington Stanley last night. Hassan Zareh-Ourang scored Alty's goal. Report to follow.


    Forest Green Rovers have joined Leigh RMI and Farnborough Town in being relegated from the Conference and some pundits believe they could end up in Nationwide North. Possibly heading for Nationwide North in the opposite direction are Burscough who beat Bamber Bridge on Tuesday, despite a Brig goal from former Alty striker, Peter Wright.

    Confguide says that "Northwich Victoria and Gravesend & Northfleet have been given deadlines to get their grounds ready - failure may result in a reprieve for a relegated club. Northwich Victoria have until 14 days before the June AGM to satisfy the Conference that the new Victoria Stadium will be ready for use... Failure of either club could mean relegation, and a reprieve for one or more of the bottom three.

    This is Cheshire reports that "A writ has been issued against Northwich Victoria Football Club 2004, demanding repayment of a £25,000 loan. According to the writ the money was lent to the club by another company in two instalments in February and March this year on the basis that it would be paid back within a few weeks following the receipt of a bridging loan by the club. And a second company, which carried out work at the ground, has issued a statutory notice giving chairman Mike Connett 21 days to pay debts before starting bankruptcy proceedings". Connett said: "The football club does not have debts and does not even have banking facilities. The money referred to in the writ was given as a donation... The club is losing £6,000 per week which I have funded. If I hadn't funded those losses there would be no football club". Also, Connett "denied that constructors had walked off the site".

    20 April 2005


    Match report here.

    Right: Richard Norris leaves the pitch after the match, having scored Alty's fourth goal.

  • League Table
  • Alty Stats
  • Alty Line-Ups


    STAR hope to have the Alty Highlights DVD available for sale in June. However, some commentary licensing problems remain to be resolved with the BBC.


    At half-time last night Alty steward Dawn Abbott, a former Miss Altrincham, accepted a marriage proposal, made in the centre circle of the pitch, by Paul Murphy. Everyone at the club wishes them well in their married life.


    The Confguide writes that that "With the battle for play-off places so tight, it's time for a rules reminder on how teams are ordered in the table when they finish on equal points. The following criteria are applied, in this order: Goal difference, Goals scored, Games won. In the unlikely event that two or more teams still cannot be separated... play-offs on neutral grounds are used to decide the placing".
    19 April 2005


    Tuesday 19th
  • Altrincham 4 Stalybridge C. 1
  • Hinckley U. 0 Hucknall T. 3
  • Moor Green 0 Stafford R. 1


    Altrincham will make late decisions about a number of players' fitness for tonight's game with Aspinall, Scott, Adams, Hilton, Norris and Potts all finishing last Tuesday's game lame to varying degrees, whilst Maddox has a groin injury. Alty will be hoping to secure their first home win against any of the 5 teams currently at the bottom of the league, a bizarre statistic given that we have not lost at home to any of the current top 12 and have lost to just one of the top 17 clubs at Moss Lane!

    The Stalybridge Celtic website says that "Celtic travel to Moss Lane on Tuesday night knowing that a win would virtually seal their spot in the Conference North... The fact that relegation teams like Moor Green and Ashton can come away from Moss Lane has to be encouraging. Runcorn and Bradford both got draws there, too... If Altrincham have a bogey team, it is Celtic. Though we have only beaten them once in the league at Moss Lane in the past 15 years, the last four encounters have seen Altrincham fail to beat us at Moss Lane". For Celtic, "Danny Caldecott requires a fitness test, and Chris Denham is also sidelined through injury".


    Gary Warrington is running his annual "Internet Player of the Year" poll on the Altrincham Fans' Forum. The closing date is Friday 22 April at 4pm. One thing is sure; a new name will appear on the trophy after Ian Craney's success for the last three seasons.


    Terry Rowley's updated Nationwide North attendance figures are here. Terry is currently compiling the data from Baluchistan, from where he also co-edits the Robins' Review with brother, Grahame, who is a little less remotely located in Hale!


    Man. Utd confirm that for their Reserves, "The final league game of the season, against second-placed Manchester City, has been switched [from Altrincham] and will take place at Old Trafford on Thursday April 28". This decison has nothing to do with the postponement of Monday's game due to waterlogging but was due to the nature of hte match in question. Neverthless, it means a further loss of revenue for Altrincham. Indeed, United have now played their last game at Altrincham as they will play at Hyde next season.


    STAR "is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring the Staff v Supporters match on May 9th in conjunction with the Trust's auditors, Boardman Conway. The STAR Board would like to thank Boardman Conway for all their work and their generous support of this event"


    Andy Lovelock, at Alty in 1999-2000, scored twice for RC Warwick last weekend.


    On Harrogate Today says that "Harrogate Town's chairman Bill Fotherby admits he has 'no idea' why fans are continuing to stay away from Wetherby Road... Harrogate have seen attendances stutter around the 550 mark... 'I've done everything I can', Fotherby said. 'The club's done everything it can, the players have done everything they can and we even spent thirty-odd thousand pounds to make sure the fans could watch a play-off competition. So where is everyone? Perhaps Harrogate's just a quiet, laid back town where people come to retire. But I tell you what - I'm determined to change it. I've been trying to boost the attendances since I got here and I won't stop now'".

    As Worksop Town await a decision on their potential deduction of ten points following their CVA, the Northwich Vics "website can confirm that Steve (McQueen) Burr, Dave Moss and the players have defied all the odds and a ten point deduction to maintain the club's uninterrupted status in the top flight of non league". It goes on to describe it as "an almost miraculous feet[sic] performed by this season's Vics squad".

    IC Coventry quotes Hinckley boss Dean Thomas after defeat by Southport; "Once again we threw away the game with the sort of defensive errors that have blighted our season... You need to be mentally tough to succeed at this level and we've been found out a bit too often". The same source confirms that Nuneaton are now guaranteed "a top three place and, at worst, a home tie in the first play-off games. Manager Roger Ashby said "If we don't win the league we want to finish as high as we can and that's second and get all the options in our favour in the play-offs". Despite their win on Saturday Ashby said, "I told the team afterwards I was not happy. We were below the high standards we've set ourselves". Brian Quailey netted the winning goal against BPA and his boss said, "In fact he scored another but it crashed against the stanchion and bounced back into play. It was definitely a goal but unfortunately neither the referee or the linesman spotted it".

    18 April 2005


    Manchester United Reserves' game tonight against Wolves Res. has been moved to Old Trafford (k.o. 7.30pm) as Moss Lane is waterlogged after heavy rain overnight and this morning.


    Altrincham are now due to play at home to Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday (19th) and Howard Watts's Through the Years statistics for that date are here.


    Above: Chris Waugh, Alty Youth's right-back, tussles for the ball with Barrow's Kieron O'Connor in Sunday's game. Chris is one of four Alty Youth players in the South Trafford College squad for the English Colleges' cup semi-final.

    Match report in youth section.


    The Redditch Utd website reports on last Thursday's "Annual Fans Forum". Manager Rod Brown "revealed that he had 'handshake' deals with at least four new players for next season and was in the process of approaching a fifth... there was some indication that some may be coming from Tamworth... Fans were assured that next season the aim of the club was to finish within the top two". Chairman Pat Cremin said "Last year we didn't have a club shop, this year we have. Last year we needed the tarmacing done and to sort the terraces out, this year we have. Next season we have other work that needs doing and we'll address it in the same way". In the close season fans are invited down every Monday for "work nights" - "whether it be painting, building or cementing your time and contribution will help the club no end" .

    Hinckley United's "Neil Cartwright has had his excellent season recognised by the Welsh semi-professional set up... Neil has been called up into the Welsh international non-league squad to play a tournament at the end of this season, in Cork. His father, Les, won a handful of full international caps for Wales".