Altrincham Football Club News Archive
24 to 27 April, 2005

27 April 2005


  • Hucknall T. 0 DROYLSDEN 4
  • League table.

    If Southport only draw at Harrogate on Saturday, a 3-0 win for the Bloods at Worksop would secure the title for Droylsden.


    Pictured (right) against Redditch is Gary Scott, one of several Alty squad members who is playing on through niggling injury. Photo kindly supplied by Gavin Rathbone, from whom copies can be purchased.


    Altrincham Reserves have home games at Moss Lane on Thursday (28th) and on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7.45pm. There will be no admission charge for these games. So if you are not attending the Marcus Hallows fundraising dinner on Thursday or cannot attend the play-offs next Tuesday, (whether or not Alty are in them!), please come along and support Neil Brown's team.


    Peter Wright has left Bamber Bridge says Preston Today. Wes Wilkinson has been released by Oldham Athletic.


    NL Daily, reporting on Stalybridge's win over Hucknall on Monday, says that it is "not sure how happy Runcorn FC Halton, who are relegated as a consequence, will be with Hucknall fielding only four players who started against leaders Southport on Saturday!" Both Droylsden, who meet Hucknall tonight (Wednesday) and Altrincham, who play Hucknall on the last day of the season, can expect a stronger line-up from the Trophy finalists.

    But Stalybridge Celtic report that "Scunthorpe have thrown a spanner in the works with regard to Celtic's preparations for tomorrow's GLS Cup Final tie with Woking. Manager Brian Laws has recalled on-loan striker Andy Parton to Glanford Park as The Iron attempt to secure promotion from Coca Cola Football League Two... Celtic boss John Reed has moved quickly to fill the gap and has recalled Phil Eastwood from his loan spell at Ashton".

    There are off the field issues affecting both those clubs likely to come up to the Nationwide North for 2005-06 and those going down from the National Conference. The UniBond League reports that at an EGM on 23 May, its Board of Directors will "recommend ... that Spennymoor United be expelled from membership of the Northern Premier Football League... The resolution requires a majority of three quarters of the members present". In the MEN Hyde United chairman Tony Beard said of the decision to delete Spennymoor's results, "It's ridiculous. We could lose the league to a club [Farsley] who have been well off the pace. We've told the FA we want to put our case before them. But the FA are unsure whether we, as a third party, have the right to appeal". Also unhappy is Workington chairman Dale Brotherton who "called an emergency meeting of the Workington board on Monday to consider appealing against Sunday's devastating decision by UniBond League directors to expunge crisis club Spennymoor United’s records, which sent the West Cumbrians plunging from first to third... 'It looks very likely that we will appeal the verdict'", he said. Workington "travel to Whitby on Wednesday night and play the return on Saturday". NL Daily adds that "After Saturday’s matches Farsley Celtic were five points behind UniBond League Premier Division leaders Workington. However, 24 hours later, the league’s decision to expunge Spennymoor United’s results suddenly lifted the Yorkshire outfit into being favourites for the title... Farsley suffered only a one-point deduction following the Spennymoor farce and [this] gave them the edge over the other contenders Workington, Hyde United and Whitby Town".

    Forest Green's hopes of a Conference relegation reprieve have been dashed by Gravesend & Northfleet's ground passing the ground grading inspectors yesterday.


    Accrington Stanley are reported to be releasing Lutel James, Jon Kennedy, Paul Howarth and Jonathan Smith and Steve Flitcroft according to Ceefax, whilst Steve Halford has been transfer listed.


    A new book called Alliance to Conference, 1979-2004: the first 25 years by John Harman has appeared recently from Tony Williams Publications. Those who have copies of Bob Perkins and Graham Frost's similarly titled work, Alliance to Conference: the first 22 years, 1979-2001 from Yore Publications (2001) might reasonably think that the new publication was merely an update of the old one. But it is not. Indeed, the new book does not even seem to mention the earlier title and whereas the Perkins and Frost work comprised 128 pages, this new book is a massive 829 pages and, at £17.95, it is, not surprisingly, more expensive than its forerunner (which was £9.95).

    John Harman is the official Conference statistician and his book is arranged in A to Z order of each club which has ever been in the Alliance or Conference. Within each club's section there is a list of every player and his appearance and goalscoring totals for each season that he played. There are also charts showing each club's annual and cumulative record against each opposing team. In addition there are numerous black and white photos of players from each team as well as team photos and other statistics. All in all, it is an excellent publication full of fascinating data. Also, in his preface, the author states that best side that he ever watched was the 1990-91 Altrincham team which so nearly won the Conference but fell at the final hurdle due to fixture congestion. In his "dream team" are three Alty players, John Brady, Ken McKenna and Paul Showler.

    There is also an excellent series of booklets being issued by John Guilfoyle on each season of the Conference. Details are given of every game played by each club in the season in question i.e. score, scorers, attendance, as well as final league table, each club's appearance and goalscoring records for every player and also results from the cup competitions. So far, John has issued volumes from 1988/89 to 2003/04 and these are available from him at 24 Adelaide Street, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington, Lancs BB5 5LU for £3.50 plus 42p postage per volume.

    26 April 2005


    Eddie Hussin is Alty's main fitness doubt for the Hucknall game after he limped off on Saturday with a knee injury. But Kirk Hilton, who missed that game, should be fit for Saturday. Alty hope to bring two coaches of supporters to the game, which will determine whether they qualify for the play-offs.

    A Hucknall fan on his club Forum says that "For the final game of the season against Altrincham F.C., I will include a small quiz in the programme. As you know most of my football knowledge (if any) relates back to the 70s and 80s, and it will be NON LEAGUE! The first person to come to me with the right answers on the day will receive a £20 voucher redeemable in the Talk of the Town bar".


    If Alty do reach the play-offs they will be away to one of Southport, Droylsden or Nuneaton depending on Saturday's results. If it is Droylsden, the game will be on May Bank Holiday Monday at 3pm (2nd May); otherwise, a Tuesday (3rd) evening fixture is likely. The Northern play-off final is on Saturday 7th, whilst the promotion final against the winners of the Nationwide South play-offs will be played on Sunday 15th at 1pm at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke.

    Nuneaton Borough confirm that their "play-off semi final will take place on Tuesday May 3rd at Manor Park... at 7.45pm and admission will be £8 for adults and £5 for concessions". Manager Roger Ashby said "We want the players to be as fresh as possible and having another 24 hours to prepare rather than playing on Bank Holiday Monday was the preferred option".


    Altrincham FC are now offering for sale two designs of birthday/greetings card (A5 size with envelope), which are featured below. They show, respectively, filmstrips of memorable Alty action and a dressing room view of the new Altrincham kit for 2005-06. The cards are available from the club for £1 each, with all proceeds helping its finances. (Thanks to Bill Coop for the images).


    STAR confirm that they raised "well over £3000 for the Club" from the Slim4Alty campaign. Also, STAR's Player of the Year/Race Night "raised over £1,500". Plans are afoot for the Altrincham Festival parade, "when a team of Alty fans will be using nothing but muscle power to pull a coach along the parade route in a sponsored coach pull! Alty Chairman, Geoff Goodwin, of Go Goodwins Coaches, will be providing the vintage half cab coach, and Alty supporters are being asked to volunteer for the team, which will be on the pull in full Alty kit at the Festival on Saturday July 2nd". Please contact Jon Stack on 01827 64471 or e-mail to volunteer.


    Steve Foster's Treble Chance competition based on results at the STAR Race Night last Saturday was a great success. Steve says "The winning combination was 3 6 4 which was sold to Stephen Raftery (or Rafo as everyone knows him), so he won the £100 prize. In total we sold 472 of the combinations, so I would like to thank everyone for their support in buying the combinations".


    Terry Rowley's Nationwide North attendance figures are here.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's great picture of Stuart Coburn making a save against Redditch. Gavin's pictures are available via the club shop or by e-mail.


    Bradford PA boss Carl Shutt told This is Bradford "We've got a great bunch of lads up here at Horsfall Stadium, but it's hard work competing at this level. We need to stabilise". The article adds, "Most managers just coach and pick the team but Shutt spends a lot of his time raising sponsorship money using his well-respected name, and trying to set up a football-in-the community scheme". Shutt added, "We have to get a more professional set-up to be able to go on to the next level. It's not been right this year but we have been competing against clubs with a far superior budget... We have lacked a proven goalscorer... Being a former league club does not give us any advantage... Look at Farsley Celtic - they have a great set-up. They have got things right which will enable them to progress further. We must look at that. Their place looks like a football stadium. You come to ours and it doesn't look like a football ground. I have had players who have come to have a look at our ground and sometimes I have not been able to get back in touch with them!"
    25 April 2005


  • Stalybridge C. 2 Hucknall T. 0

    Stalybridge guaranteed their Nationwide North survival tonight at the expense of Runcorn, who are now relegated. Hucknall, with a fixture backlog, fielded defender Russell Cooke in goal from the kickoff and named a team almost entirely made up of second-string players. Goalkeeper Greg Smith was supposed to play but only arrived during the second half after being delayed en route. But Celtic started poorly and only went ahead when Shepherd beat Cooke directly from a freekick (23 mins); their second arrived in the second half after an awful mistake by Rowlands on a very hard pitch allowed Parton a clear run on goal. Incidentally, Cooke also kept goal for 31 minutes against Alty in May 2001, when Hucknall keeper Dave McCarthy injured himself.


    The 2005/06 Altrincham FC home kit has now arrived at Moss Lane, albeit in limited supplies. However, you can order your size now from the club (928-1045). Pictured right is the kit, as worn by Alty chief steward Darren Gregory's son, Dan, who very kindly agreed to "model" it. Dan is one of the team of Altrincham ballboys.


    Alty have a vital game on Saturday 30 April at Hucknall; see how we have fared on that date through history on Howard Watts's Through the Years statistics.

    Details of the supporters' coach times and fares to Hucknall are here.


    Ray Armstrong, who with Mike Antrobus, organises the Altrincham FC ballboys and girls, as usual oversaw their annual awards ceremony on Saturday (pictures below). The following text was kindly provided by Ray and lists the prizewinners, who received their awards from chairman Geoff Goodwin and captain Eddie Hussin. The club would like to record its thanks to Ray and Mike and to all the ballboys and girls for their hard work during 2004-05. If you would like to join the ballboys and girls please contact the club on 928-1045.

    Trophies sponsored by Ray Armstrong and Mike Antrobus
    Joint Co-ordinators.


  • Winner: 28 games: James Antrobus
  • Runner-up: 27 - Alex Pugh
  • 3rd: 26 - Tim Ainsworth
  • 4th: 21 - Matthew Cook


  • Winner: 32 - Stephen Pollitt
  • Runner-up: 30 - Matthew Jamieson
  • 3rd: 26 - George Carr
  • 4th: 22 - Damir Sirovica


  • Winner: 36 - Samantha Lewis

    Samantha is the first ballgirl to top the overall total of games attended for a season. She has, so far, completed 112 games overall.


  • 20: Zaid Slaei
  • 18: Chris Butt
  • 17: Daniel Jones
  • 16: James Black
  • 14: Robert Ellis
  • 12: Sam Fletcher


  • 8: Hannah Fletcher

    In addition many other lads and lasses have worked so hard this season - far too many to mention here.

    Well done, too, to Mike Antrobus in his first season as joint co-ordinator of the Altrincham FC ballboys and ballgirls.

    Ray Armstrong.


    An updated list of Altrincham FC Patrons for summer 2005 and how to join them and help the Club is here.


    The Holker St Newsletter reports an innovative idea: "Fans have the chance to make their name a permanent part of Holker Street with the 'Barrow AFC Supporters Wall - Past, Present and Future'. The wall, which will be situated between the Popular Side and the Holker Street end will be a permanent monument to the fans and businesses who support the club, £25 buys you a place in Holker Street history with a two line message of your choice (max 18 characters per line). New born children, departed relatives or even your all-time favourite player can be commemorated by donating a stylishly produced inscribed brick. The wall itself is available for sponsorship".


    The updated Lancashire League table is in the Reserves' section.


    As Northwich Vics try to meet a 31 May deadline for completing their ground to Conference standards, their former official websitehas announced that "From today, 23/04/05, is no longer the official Vics website. In January, without the knowledge of the team that produce and maintain the site, Mike Connett registered a new domain name and also commisioned a redesign of the site. Considering the hours of unpaid effort put into the site not to be consulted over this move was an insult to all involved. We decided to continue running the site on behalf of the club until the summer and then make an unofficial site. Recent events have brought that decision forward. Have spoken to both Rod Stitch and Mike Connett yesterday I believe the future of the club is not in safe hands and no longer wish to have the site associated with Mike Connett".

    Confguide adds that "The club has still not completed its new Victoria Stadium despite moving away from The Drill Field three years ago. Work has stopped a number of times, including a major hold-up earlier this season when the club went into administration. The Conference membership has not been transferred to a new company as far as I can tell, so the club remains in administration despite apparently agreeing a CVA many months ago. There seems to be a boardroom battle in progress, and sources claim that the club still owes large sums for work on the stadium, along with smaller sums to other clubs. The latter could result in a transfer embargo".

    24 April 2005


    A tight finish is guaranteed in the UniBond Premier to decide who comes up to Conference North following today's decision by the League to expunge the record of Spennymoor United after finding the Durham side "guilty of failing to fulfil fixtures". Also "a fine of £1000 plus the reduction of 3 points was imposed for each one of the four games". The top of the table now reads:

  • 1. Hyde United P39 / PTS 79 / GD 33
  • 2. Farsley Celtic P38 / PTS 76 / GD 38
  • 3. Workington P38 / PTS 76 / GD 34
  • 4. Whitby Town P38 / PTS 76 / GD 17

    ... and Whitby and Workington have to meet each other twice! At the bottom the relegations of Bamber Bridge and Bridlington Town are confirmed.

    But Hyde United have issued a statement which says "We believe the decision is unfair and unjust with regard to Hyde United and consequently it is likely the club will appeal to the Football Association".


    Right: Colin Little accepts his Players' Player of the Year award.

    A very enjoyable and financially successful Player of the Year/Race Night was held by STAR last night at Moss Lane. Not surprisingly, it was Colin Little who went home with a car-boot full of trophies. Having received the Young Supporters' Player of the Year award immediately after the Redditch game, Colin also lifted the STAR Player of the Year, the Altrincham Fans' Forum Internet Player of the Year and the Players' Player of the Year awards in a ceremony excellently compered by STAR's Brian Flynn. A prize draw for various Alty-related items was also held, with Jacqui Forster lifting the first prize of a framed Altrincham photo montage by Gavin Rathbone.

    Other players to receive awards were Colin Potts, who received the Outstanding Contribution to the Team award, and Eddie Hussin (3rd) and Stuart Coburn (2nd) who were the runners-up for Player of the Year. Mark Maddox made a presentation on behalf of the team to the Altrincham Board of chairman Geoff Goodwin and directors Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw.

    The awards took place during a Race Night admirably compered, as usual, by Toni and her youthful helper, Mr George Heslop. The final race involved the auctioning of the competing horses and a consortium of supporters from the Golf Road End dipped very deeply into their pockets to sponsor three horses. It was only fitting that one of these romped home in the race and the Golf Road lads then made the extremely generous gesture of donating their £155 winnings straight back to STAR and the Football Club. Well done to all concerned!

    Steve Foster has worked hard for weeks raising funds through his Treble Chance competition and this was won by "Rafo", Moss Lane's very own matchday announcer. Much work was also put in by the other STAR committee members who are all to be thanked for their great efforts, whilst Jenny Heslop and Helen McGuire who had run the bar non-stop since well before the match kicked off at 3pm received a well deserved round of applause.

    Above left: Eddie Hussin prepares to present the Players' Player award. Right: Geoff Goodwin receives a presentation from Mark Maddox.


    Kettering striker Darren Lynch broke his leg yesterday.

    After yesterday's games, the last relegation place lies between Runcorn and Stalybridge, with Monday's Stalybridge v Hucknall game possibly deciding it. At the top Droylsden can still win the title but need to defeat Hucknall on Wednesday to stay in the hunt. If they win, Southport would need a draw against Harrogate next Saturday.

    As for the play-offs, Two of Southport, Nuneaton or Droylsden will occupy the home places whilst the away teams in the Nationwide North play-off semis will be two of Kettering, Altrincham or Harrogate.

    If Alty win at Hucknall on Saturday they qualify for the play-offs. If Alty draw, we can still qualify if either Harrogate fail to win or Kettering lose as the Robins have the best goal difference of the three contenders. If Alty lose, they can still qualify if Harrogate only draw or lose.


    Match report here.

  • Alty line-ups.
  • Alty stats.


    In the Sunday Pink, Graham Heathcote says of the play-offs, "We desperately want to qualify but, no matter what, no one can say we haven't had a good season. Having got into this league by the skin of our teeth, who would have thought back in August that we'd be going into our last game at Hucknall with a great chance of making the play-offs and having already won the Cheshire Senior Cup and had another lucrative run in the Trophy?. Our recent four-game blip... was the only point... when we can say we didn't do ourselves justice. But the way the lads have come back from that has spoken volumes about their character... And, if we do get to the play-offs, believe me, anything can happen".


    In the league, Kevin Ellison played an hour for Hull City and Danny Adams, 87 minutes for Huddersfield. The NLP has a piece on the late Nelson Stiffle, who it says was the first Indian-born player in the football league, for Exeter City. Andy Lovelock scored another two for Racing Club Warwick. Goalkeepers Richard Acton (Woodley) and Barrie George (Radcliffe B.) played yesterday. Chris Downey scored for Mossley. Ryan Hevicon (Chadderton), Lee Shillito & Mark Drew (Leigh) played yesterday. Peter Band (Vics) was a used sub (Vics) and Ian Craney played 65 mins for Accrington. Tony Sullivan was sub for Lancaster and James Glendenning played for Vauxhall.


    Above: Chris Adams was a popular first-winner of the Tom Earley Trophy, a new award for clubman of the year, as selected by Graham Heathcote. He is seen here receiving the trophy from chairman Geoff Goodwin (back to camera), whilst Eddie Hussin (left), Mark Maddox (right) and the rest of the squad show their approval.


    The Altrincham FC team of ballboys and girls is one of the best organised in the business and it plays a vital part in keeping games flowing as well as minimising losses from lost balls. Standing out in the rain for 90 minutes on a wet Tuesday night requires great dedication and the awards to those boys and girls with most appearances this season are very well deserved. The team is organised by Ray Armstrong and Mike Antrobus, who devote great time and effort to the job. A fuller report on the awards, kindly provided by Ray, will appear on the website in the next 24 hours.

    Below: Geoff Goodwin and Eddie Hussin hand out an awards to members of the impressive squad of Altrincham ballgirls and boys.

    Above: Colin Little receives an admiring handshake from Sam Heathcote, the manager's son, as he receives his Young Supporters' Player of the Year award.