Altrincham Football Club News Archive
19 to 30 September, 2005

30 September 2005


There is a match report on the Reserves' seventh successive win, against Ossett Albion, which confirms them at the top of the Lancit Haulage Lancashire League, in the Reserves' section.

The Leigh RMI site reports on their win over joint league-leaders Fleetwood Town, 3-2,in which "RMI suffered their 3rd dislocated shoulder of the season, this time the unfortunate Will Rider was the victim and the game was help up for half an hour as the ambulance arrived", with former Alty youth Ben Ashmole deemed Man of the Match with two goals.


In SAM "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote accused Conference referees of double standards after his side suffered an undeserved 2-0 defeat at Halifax Town on Tuesday. Heathcote was left fuming by a dubious penalty decision... 'There seems to be one rule for one and one rule for another, that's all I can see at the moment. I'm learning something about the league and what's it's like to be a part time club from all aspects, I think we're on the end of some very harsh decisions, I really do. I'll have to see the video first to confirm what the lads are saying but I think about three or four of them took dives at various stages in the game and the first one was what he gave a penalty for - three or four dives after, he did nothing". However, Graham added, "I'm proud of the lads tonight, we just need a little bit of luck and I told the lads that, if they give that effort every game I'll accept that. I think we did alright first half, we were quite compact and we chased it well in the second half and didn't go kamikaze but sometimes games are out of your hands and there's not a lot I can do about that'".


Crawley Town "boss Francis Vines demanded more clean sheets after his side shut out their opponents for the first time since the opening week of the season... “It wasn't the prettiest game in the world but we'll take it. Keeping a clean sheet was great and we need a few more like that. If you keep a clean sheet you only need to score one to win and it does the confidence of the whole team good when we do it". However, Vines warned he expects another solid display when the Red Devils visit Conference new boys Altrincham on Saturday... '“Winning tonight won't mean anything if we lose at Altrincham', said Vines. 'We have played six of the top eight so far and we want to pick up some wins now we are playing the teams who are currently around us'. The Crawley boss was pleased with the performance of keeper Scott Ward, who made his first league start for the club in place of Phil Smith. 'I have shown faith in Phil this season and I maintain he is one of the best keepers in the Conference, but he has cost us goals, possibly five or six this year, and I took him out of the firing line. Scott got his chance and he has taken it well'". As for the release of Lee Elam, Vine added, “Lee has had a couple of injuries, but he's got back in the side and not done that well... I hoped he was one of those wingers who turns it on eight times out of ten rather than two, but it seems we got the two from him".

"Crawley Town striker Danny Ekoku has joined Sutton United on a month's loan. Ekoku, 19, has made six appearances for the Red Devils, without scoring, since joining from Bradford in the summer" says the BBC. However, "Southport manager Liam Watson has failed in a loan move for Morecambe defender Carl Ruffer". Watson said, "I have identified two other players. But clubs are not enthusiastic in allowing their best players to move" .


Ex-Alty trialist Aaron Wilford scored the sixth goal of six which put our neighbours Trafford out of the FA Cup at Whitby on Tuesday.

NL Daily reports that "Following the release of midfielder Steve Jones and [ex-Alty] striker Tony Sullivan, Lancaster City have announced that contract players Joe McMahon, Iain Swan and Ryan-Zico Black have been placed on the transfer list and that all Conference clubs will be circulated". But “This is not to say that all three players will be leaving the club,” said managing director Les Taylor, “The financial situation has become very serious, we are therefore having to make some big decisions to secure the long term future of the club. This doesn’t mean we are dismantling the side but what it does mean is that you may see a number of younger players in the first-team squad".This comes after they "crashed out of the lucrative FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round stage... New chairman, Steve Johnston...says: 'We need to get more fans through the turnstiles. We have to get bigger crowds... I cannot understand the poor crowd levels. We are playing some good football with some good players but the fans are not there'... Attendance figures have dwindled at Giant Axe this season with the club needing around 500 people through the gates... Phil Wilson has already released Steve Skinner ".

Bulls News previews Hereford's game with Canvey in which "On Loan striker [ex-Alty loan player] Matt Bailey is likely to continue up front with Danny Carey-Bertram, with his height causing problems for the Aldershot defence even if his overall performance was not spectacular".


Alty's supporters will travel at dawn for Canvey Island on Saturday for a 1pm kick-off and This is Essex reports on the Islanders' win "over Scarborough to end a run of three straight Conference defeats". Skipper Jeff Minton said, "We've been very unlucky to end up with nothing on a number of occasions this season, with the visit to Kidderminster a fortnight ago springing to mind. Losing 3-2 after taking a 2-1 lead on 90 minutes was hard to take". STAR coach times to Canvey will be announced at the Crawley game on Saturday.

From the BBC comes news that "Accrington have parted company with veteran midfielder Ged Brannan. Brannan, 33, has left by mutual consent after almost two years with Stanley".

This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe reckons the club's table-topping exploits at the start of the season have distorted fans' expectations as the Grecians battle to stay in touch with the Conference leaders... Inglethorpe said: 'The real problem is people forget we have had £160,000 less to spend on the team this year. We start off like a house on fire and people think that's it, we're promoted. Let's turn the lights off and all go home - we are up'... Meanwhile, Inglethorpe fended off questions linking him with both the vacant managerial posts at Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town".

Confguide reports that Woking's coach was damaged at Exeter, as "Two or three of their supporters decided to have a go at our coach while it was waiting for the players. Exeter's secretary and safety officer were informed and we will be forwarding a quote for the damage, to the club".

The Gravesend Reporter reports that "Liam Daish was fulsome in his praise for Jimmy Jackson after the Fleet midfielder scored a blistering goal in his 500th game for the club to seal victory over Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday... Indeed, Jackson is beloved by the Fleet fans. A local lad playing for the team he supports, he scored with a trademark left-foot drive direct from a free-kick... After a moment to weigh up the situation, Jackson swung his trusty left peg and the ball rocketed into the net".

According to This is KHFC "Stuart Watkiss fears he is living on borrowed time as Kidderminster Harriers' boss - unless the club publicly states its realistic expectations for the season at Aggborough... The flak has already started flying Watkiss's way... 'It's not water off a duck's back, because it hurts', said Watkiss, 'I'm a proud man and when I see my team perform poorly it hurts me... At the moment the set up of this club isn't that of a club to get out of the Conference - if you look deeper it just isn't... There's clubs in this league that are a lot further down the line than we are. Look at Halifax who have been in the Conference for three or four years and look at the underbelly there. They've got a youth system where they're tied in with the college, so have Hereford and Exeter... I've had a chat with people from Crawley and I know their budget is bigger than ours, and they've got a college system, a youth system and their own training ground'".


Jody Banim has signed for Stalybridge from Droylsden.
29 September 2005


The draw for the 2nd Round is:
  • Northwich V. v Stalybridge C.
  • Tranmere R./Winsford U./Cammell Laird v Macclesfield T./Chester C.
  • Crewe A. v ALTRINCHAM
  • Hyde U. v Witton A.

    GRAHAM'S PLANS Graham Heathcote has told the website that he is determined to maintain a long-term perspective and not to "decimate" the current squad in the interests of seeking a quick-fix to Altrincham's current campaign in the Conference. He feels that the season is settling down and that, as predicted, Alty's season is settling into a mini-league with the clubs in the lower half of the table. However, to panic and make drastic changes to the squad could be "a recipe for disaster" should success not be achieved; such a move could leave the club with a long-term rebuilding job. However, Graham is keen to prove that the club can compete at this level and the performance against Halifax was a great encouragement in that regard. Graham's goal is that, whatever the future holds this season, the club emerges stronger than it was at the start of the campaign.


    Alty manager Graham Heathcote has indicated that he is unsure of Lutel James's plans. James joined Alty just before the start of the season but has yet to play, having gone to Garforth Town to get himself fit. The club is waiting for Lutel to indicate when he will return to Moss Lane.


    Pat McFadden made it ten goals in his last three matches as an Altrincham side at last defeated one from Yorkshire, following the youth team's defeat at Selby on Monday and the first-team's loss at Halifax on Tuesday. Apart from McFadden's well taken hat-trick, the goals came from Rod Thornley and substitutes Danny Heffernan and Michael Sutton. As well as Thornley, first-teamers George Melling, Gary Scott and Steve Aspinall, all played for the Reserves. Both Aspinall and Scott successfully came through ninety minutes after their recent lay-offs through injury. The Reserves, who played some excellent football, also gave a debut to Conall Murtagh, an ex-Hearts and Sligo Rovers player, who is now a student at the University of Manchester. Report to follow.


    On the SAM website, "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote (right) has blamed himself for the heavy defeats suffered by his team in recent weeks... Heathcote said: 'Apart from York, who were a very good side, I'm the one to blame for our bigger defeats because we opened up in the second half against Dagenham and Cambridge, looking for goals. We finished the game on Saturday with four strikers on the field because what's the point in sitting back to lose 2-0 rather than trying to get a result?... But we know Moss Lane is the place where we have to pick up the bulk of our points... You have to remember we are two or three years ahead of a strict plan and I am not going to put pressure on my board of directors to invest in the squad. I have spoken to a Premiership club about taking some of their players on loan but the fee they would demand is half of our total wage bill and we built up the debt at this club by spending to get to the football league. We cannot afford to expand the squad and all I can ask from my players is for them to give their all but if they shirk that responsibility I will let them know about it'".


    Alty entertain Crawley Town on Saturday- the first time the clubs have met.

    The Argus says that on Tuesday "Crawley got the win that may well have saved manager Francis Vines' job. He said: 'It was ugly and we ground it out but that is what we needed. We are not playing with confidence at the moment so we have to get results any way we can. It will be no good if we go on and lose on Saturday. We need to make sure we keep a clean sheet and get another win so we can progress from there'". In that game "Vines handed one-time Luton Town goalkeeper Scott Ward his first league start after losing patience with Phil Smith, whose mistakes had cost Reds goals in each of their previous three games... Crawley suffered an injury blow on 62 minutes when influential midfielder Simon Wormull was forced off with a back injury and was replaced by Lee Blackburn".

    Alty fans may think they have a lot of travelling to do this season but our opponents Crawley Town from Sussex have had an average away trip of 432 miles so far this season, according to a posting on the Conference Forum! It adds, "As for Saturday, the coach [to Altrincham] is almost full I understand (40 odd), there's a minibus (15) and the usual independent travellers. Heck, a few are even flying - so you'll have something near 100".

    The BBC reports that "Crawley Town midfielder Lee Elam has left the Broadfield Stadium after less than three months with the club. Elam's contract was cancelled by mutual consent following an injury-hit start to the campaign which has seen the 29-year-old start just four games... Elam signed for Crawley in July from Morecambe at the end of last season".

    Before their defeat by Crawley, Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss told This is KHFC "I'm amazed Crawley are bottom of the league with the way I saw them play. But then I've seen enough of this league already to know every team is going to be taking points off each other. In Clare, they have probably the best finisher in the Conference, a lad who is tried and tested in this division".


    Alty defender Mark Maddox limped off at half-time at Halifax with a recurrence of the hamstring spasm which saw him come off in his previous game. Given the unpredictability of the injury, his availability for Saturday is uncertain. His centre-back colleague Gary Talbot is also still unfit with tendonitis in his foot. Colin Potts should, hopefully be available for Saturday after mssing Tuesday's match.


    Alty physio Sean Riley (right) has landed an excellent position as ass istant physio to the first team at Preston North End, a role he started last Monday. Sean is still helping out with Alty until a replacement is found and, in that connection, Graham Heathcote is meeting a prospective replacement this week. Sean is often seen before Alty games engaging in the pre-match warm-up and his off-field activities include a role as an accomplished "rapper" - it is believed he may display this talent at Saturday's "Meet the New Players Event"! One player particulary endebted to Sean is Alty striker Marcus Hallows. But for Sean's prompt action when Marcus suffered a compound fracture of the leg last season, hospital sources revealed that Marcus might have lost his foot. All at Moss Lane wish Sean well at Deepdale.


    Slightly belatedly, you will find the Through the Years data for 27 September, kindly supplied by Howard Watts here.


    Terry Rowley, still exiled in foreign parts, has kindly supplied the Conference National attendance statistics up to and including last Saturday's games.


    The BBC reports that "Halifax manager Chris Wilder was disappointed with the lapse in discipline which took the gloss off his side's win over Altrincham. Midfielder Martin Foster was sent off following an incident involving Altrincham's Steve Hawes... Wilder said: 'I'm disappointed in him... The game was won and we didn't keep our discipline which takes the shine off a good win'".

    Halifax Today quotes Martin Foster, "The manager is right - it was stupid. But it was just a reaction. Their player went to grab hold of my head and I went to push him away more than anything. I must have caught his head at the precise time the referee looked round he saw my arm swinging back". The match report adds, "Altrincham showed little adventure, starting the game with just one striker. But [manager] Wilder said 'Altrincham had three former Halifax players [Munroe, Owen, Little] in their side and none of them wanted to let themselves down... We didn't look as sharp as we have". It goes on, "The visitors made their intentions clear from the outset, playing five across midfield and only former Shayman Colin Little up front. He became increasingly isolated as the opening 45 minutes went on even after Town had taken the lead. They had a chance either side of the break but little else. And they spent much of the game either on the back foot defending or booting the ball out of their own half for poor old Little to chase after. They are not a side you would want to watch every week.


    Tamworth boss Mark Cooper told the BBC, "There is a long way to go and if we keep playing like that week-in week-out the tide will turn sooner rather than later". But "Scarborough boss Nick Henry accused his side of going through the motions in their 1-0 home defeat by Southport. 'It proves that perhaps we're just not good enough, and it's not good enough'", he said. Meanwhile "Accrington boss John Coleman will try and get defender Chris Butler's overturned following his dismissal in Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Morecambe".

    NL Daily confirms that "Radcliffe Borough have extended Accrington Stanley winger Matty O'Neill's loan at the club".

    28 September 2005


    Above: Stuart Coburn is sent the wrong way by Midgley's penalty at The Shay last night.

    Match report here.


    Crawley beat Kidderminster 2-0 last night - Ceefax has it as a 1-1 draw! Also Aldershot did not beat Hereford 1-0 as Ceefax says, they lost 0-1! The link below is to a corrected league table:

    RIght: Stephen Rose, whose 40 yard freekick was pushed onto the bar at Halifax.

  • Aldershot T. 0 Hereford U. 1
  • Cambridge Utd 2 Burton Albion 2
  • Canvey Island 1 Stevenage B. 1
  • Crawley T. 2 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Dagenham & R. 1 Grays A. 2
  • Exeter C. 1 Woking 1
  • Gravesend & N 2 Forest Green 0
  • Halifax 2 ALTRINCHAM 0
  • Morecambe 3 Accrington S. 2
  • Scarborough 0 Southport 1
  • Tamworth 0 York 3


    Not only were Alty a little unfortunate not to get anything out of the game at Halifax last night but also we can take heart from the fact that of our eleven games so far, seven have been against top ten teams in the table and four of those were away from home. Our only defeat to a team lower than 10th has been at Cambridge. Also, the recovering Gary Scott and Steve Aspinall may be involved tonight in the Reserves' game at Moss Lane against Ossett Albion (7.45pm), both having missed virtually all season to date.


    Today's Yorkshire Post says that Halifax's win last night "was far from straightforward... Halifax were made to work hard and for a long time it looked like a disputed first-half penalty from Craig Midgley may decide the game... Halifax... stroked the ball around well [but] they did not hurt Altrincham for much of the first half... Halifax did not press Altrincham enough and the visitors gave them a few scares with Stephen Rose forcing Ian Dunbavin into a fine tip over [actually onto the bar] with a dipping 40-yard free-kick".


    "Midfielder Simon Wormull insists the players should be blamed for Crawley Town's desperate start to the season, not manager Francis Vines. Vines' job appears to be hanging by a thread following a home defeat against Grays Athletic. It leaves Crawley bottom of the table with one win from their first ten games. Assistant boss Dave Swindlehurst was sacked last week and the axe could fall on Vines if Crawley fail to take points against Kidderminster Harriers at the Broadfield Stadium on Tuesday night... Wormull said: 'Everyone is 110% behind Frank. There is not one person at the club who wants him out... At the moment we are giving too many sloppy goals away'". Swindlehurst "was cast adrift with just a thanks and good luck message for reasons that no one at the club are prepared to reveal...The harsh reality is that the buck stops with Vines, but for how much longer remains to be seen" says The Argus.

    Meanwhile Confguide says that "Crawley Town have offered a £500 reward for information on the 'mole' who is leaking club secrets to the media. In a post on Crawley Town's fan website,, General Manager Paul Hobbs disclosed, 'confidential information' about the club had been made public. He writes: 'We want to know who the 'mole' is. We will offer a £500 cash reward to the person who tells us who the mole is. Confidentiality assured' ... Speaking to the Crawley Observer, Hobbs did admit: 'It could be somebody from the club, it could be somebody from a local paper, it could even be somebody from the hotel where the players are staying'".

    Stevenage Borough report that "Phil Wallace, chairman of Nationwide Conference National club Stevenage Borough, has formally declined a substantial offer for the club by a Bedfordshire based consortium. 'It was very flattering and they had obviously done their homework, which was reflected in the price offered', Wallace explained, 'but I politely declined. I have no financial need to sell and I’m still enjoying building the club’s infrastructure... We have a thriving club, a supportive council, a decent stadium and passionate fans. I’m chasing the dream of promotion along with everyone else at the club, which is great fun, so why sell? The £3 million of investments we’ve made in assets and people over the past five years provide surplus income every month and are the foundation of future growth, with or without me. It may not be the quickest way to success but it is the safest if you want to protect the club from being dependent on a benefactor".

    "Graham Turner, director of football of Hereford United, has spoken of his delight at the on-going refurbishment project at Edgar Street. Several areas of the ground are nearing full transformation, including dressing rooms, ticket office and foyer area, to keep up with demands of a modern-day stadium... Turner said: 'We have got to make the stadium fit for modern-day supporters, including things like the public address system, toilet and canteen facilities and all those will be taken care of over the next few years...We have paid as we have gone along'... Turner added: 'The floodlights are the next thing and a company will be getting the order to replace the `luminaries', as they are termed. There is unlikely to be a lot of change out of £50,000, a big expense but one that is necessary in order for us to comply with Conference rules'" reports This is Worcester.


    NL Daily says that "England legend Paul Gascoigne could be on his way to Kettering Town. Gascoigne... was in Kettering on Saturday to watch Kevin Wilson's side defeat Stafford Rangers in an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round clash. Although officially he was there just as a guest of Poppies chairman Peter Mallinger, who knows Gascoigne from when he was a director at Newcastle United... Gascoigne and his advisors held talks with Posh owner Barry Fry but decided against buying him out... Kettering, with its rapidly growing population, could be a tempting target for the consortium – although the sort of specific role that Gascoigne could fulfil is unclear".
    27 September 2005


    The Bullsnews site reports that "Crewe Alexandra forward Matt Bailey has signed on loan at Edgar Street, [Hereford], for a month... The 6ft 4in target man is considered a high prospect at Crewe, but is yet to feature in the first team at Gresty Road". Matt was on loan at Alty in 2003-04.


    Gary Talbot (right) will again be missing from Alty's side tonight at Halifax due to a foot injury but Chris Adams is fit again. Colin Potts is also doubtful but no decision has yet been taken about him. Both Gary Scott and Steve Aspinall are expected to play for the Reserves tomorrow at Moss Lane versus Ossett Albion (7.45pm).


  • See the Reserves' section for a report on the win over Guiseley.
  • See the Youth section for a report on the defeat at Selby.


    Bill Coop has produced an excellent map of the new car parking arrangements at Moss Lane. As from 1 October (inclusive) there will be a staffed car park at Blessed Thomas Holford School, less than five minutes walk from the Moss Lane ground. A small charge (£1) will apply. This map is here and will be found permanently on the website via the Club and Ground Page. That page also contains directions to the ground and another of Bill's detailed maps to guide you to Moss Lane, as well as information for those arriving by public transport.


    In yesterday's Yorkshire Post, it states that the Shaymen's manager Chris Wilder "hopes more fans will watch Halifax Town's game against Altrincham.. .after [Town's] win over promotion favourites Hereford [last Saturday]". 'Only' 1559 saw that game and the manager said, "Our lads have hearts as big as buckets and have done exceptionally well... it is a little disappointing that our crowds are not bigger... We have a loyal hard core who are very good to us but I do not suppose there is much I can do to effect a change in that except keep winning footnall matches".


    Thanks are due to all concerned for the STAR bucket collection at the Scarborough game, which raised £77.26..


    Right: James Olsen, signed from Vauxhall Motors this summer, has been operating on the Alty left in recent games.

    Alty enter the FA Cup in the 4th Qualifying Round; the 3rdQR draw included the following ties for local clubs:

  • Northwich V. v North Ferriby U.
  • Leigh RMI v GainsboroughT./Goole
  • Alfreton T v Trafford/Whitby T
  • Burscough v Stalybridge C./Workington
  • Salford C. v Farsley C.
  • Hyde U. v Barrow


    NL Daily reports that "Chorley have confirmed that striker Niell Hardy has returned to Victory Park...The experienced former Altrincham, Crewe and Stockport man, Hardy, bagged four goals in six games for the Magpies at the end of last season before deciding to sign for Curzon Ashton in the summer".


    Rob Newman, manager of Cambridge United told the club website, "Everything came right on Saturday [against Altrincham]. I thought we applied ourselves well, we looked positive from the first whistle and we got a lot of balls into the box and a lot of shots... We're trying to make this place like a fortress and sometimes we don't take advantage of the lovely playing surface here, but maybe in the two home games we've lost they've sat back and we haven't been able to break them down. But we've broken them down and had a lot of good chances - probably in double figures - and scored four good goals".
    26 September 2005


    Altrincham bowed out of the FA Youth Cup tonight at Selby after giving a disappointing performance. They took the lead through Deegan's header, only to lose the match to two defensive errors.


    Altrincham Reserves have gone top of the Lancit Haulage Lancashire League on goal difference after their 7-0 win at Guiseley. See them in action this Wednesday at Moss Lane (7.45pm) v. Ossett Albion.


    Alty play at Halifax Town on Tuesday night a side to whom they have yet to lose in the Conference. All four Conference meetings between the two clubs at The Shay have ended in draws, whilst Alty have won three of the four home encounters.

    The Non League Paper quotes Hereford boss Graham Turner whose team lost to the Shaymen on Saturday, "We let them get an early second half goal and after that we were never in it. Halifax were by far the better side and they clearly deserved to win the game". Halifax had brought on Craig Midgley at half-time in place of Wayne Jacobs and scored soon afterwards. Bullsnews reports that "Chants of "what a load of rubbish" from some in the away (Hereford) end pretty much summed up the second half from The Bulls and there was a confrontation between some 'supporters' and Jon Brady as the players left the field. There is a lot of work to be done if Hereford want to achieve their goal this season, and maybe a switch of formation would aid this".

    The Halifax line-up was Dunbavin, Haslam, Quinn, Ingram, Wright, Forrest, Thompson, Foster, Jacobs, Sugden, Grant. Subs: Leister, Bowler, Midgley, Young, Senior.


    Above: Stuart Coburn pushes the ball over the bar.

    Match report here.

    Right (click image to enlarge it): Alty fans dodge the cow pats on the half-mile hike through a field of unfenced cattle from the dropping off point dictated by Cambridgeshire Constabulary for away fans' supporters coaches at Cambridge United. Even the drop-off point was only reached after a diversion from the direct route of several miles from the A14, again at the behest of the Constabulary. The ground's floodlights are visible on the horizon.


    On the BBC site, "Manager Rob Newman called for Cambridge to show more consistency, following their 4-0 win over Altrincham. 'We're not going to get carried away with this result, just like we've tried not to get too downhearted with the other results... We've had a lot of good chances and scored four good goals - hopefully this is the start of a nice little run'". But "York boss Billy McEwan was disappointed with their first-half display as they were beaten 2-1... 'I'm speechless after the last goal, and some of the decisions out there were frightening'".

    The NL Paper leads with the threat to resign by Grays' chaiman Mick Woodward following fans' criticism. "They only have to push me one step further. I'm ready to get it over. They are morons". Grays boss Mark Stimson after his 3-1 win at Crawley said, "It was a very difficult game - you always know when you come to Crawley, they're going to get the ball down and play, and cause you problems. I'm surprised they are where they are in the league (bottom), as they gave us a good test and created some decent chances, but we dug in. Simon Wormull scored a free-kick for them that would grace the Premiership".


    Lee Thompson scored for Leigh RMI in the FA Cup. Steve Torpey had a penalty saved as FC United tasted their first defeat, this weekend, 1-2 at home to Norton United, watched by 2,435. Barrie George kept goal and Jonathan Mitten was booked for United. Meanwhile former Alty youth and reserve, Arron Hevingham was on the mark for Flixton at the weekend. Jamie Baguley (Rossendale), Mike Garrity (Vauxhall), Stuart Scheuber (Nantwich), Neil Murphy (Marine) and Matty McNeil (Hyde) all played on Saturday. Recent Alty trialist Aaron Wilford is still at Whitby as his planned move to Stalybridge seems to have been deferred. Mario Daniel netted for Woodley, for whom Wes Wilkinson also played. Chorley's Peter Wright scored as did Ian Craney (a penalty) for Accrington.
    25 September 2005


    George Heslop and Tony Spilsbury take the Altrincham FC Youth Team to Yorkshire club Selby Town on Monday night (7.45pm) for their first round qualifying match in the FA Youth Cup. More details of this are on the Youth Page.


    Alty Reserves host Ossett Albion at Moss Lane this Wednesday (7.45pm) in a Lancit Lancashire League match. Entry is just two pounds or free if you have an Alty season ticket. Neil Brown's team would appreciate as much support as they can get as they chase top spot in the league. Indeed, the Reserves have now won their last six games on the run and have scored 43 goals in just 10 games this season with striker Pat McFadden hitting seven in the last two matches.

    Courtesy of information from manager Neil Brown, there is a brief match report from the game at Lancaster last Tuesday, here. A report on Saturday's win at Guiseley is to follow.

    24 September 2005


  • Aldershot 2 York C. 1
  • Cambridge Utd 4 ALTRINCHAM 0
  • Canvey Island 2 Southport 1
  • Crawley Town 1 Grays A. 3
  • Dag & Red 1 Accrington S. 2
  • Exeter 1Burton A. 2
  • Gravesend 1 Kidderminster H. 2
  • Halifax 2 Hereford U. 1
  • Morecambe 4 Stevenage B. 1
  • Scarborough 1 Forest Green 0
  • Tamworth 0 Woking 1


    In a hastily rearranged fixture, Alty Reserves beat Guiseley Res. 7-0 away today, with Pat McFadden netting four to add to his hat-trick last week.

    The Alty team was 1. Ellison, 2. Monaghan, 3. A. Brown, 4. Lindsay, 5. McAllister, 6. Jones, 7. M. Brown, 8. Maloney, 9. McFadden, 10. Sutton, 11. Baker. Subs: 14. Grimshaw, 15. Stewart, 16. Ball.


    SAM has a preview of the Cambridge game which says that "Both Chris Adams and Colin Potts have been ruled out after picking up knocks in the game against Scarborough, while Gary Talbot is still recovering from a foot injury. But the good news for Alty is that Steve Aspinall will continue his comeback in the reserves game against Ossett Albion next Wednesday and Gary Scott is expected to make his first appearance since the Conference Regional Play Off final in the same game. Lewis Chalmers has also recovered from his ankle injury while Nehru McKenzie is likely to figure after being rested in midweek. Meanwhile Cambridge are without club captain Andy Duncan and striker Matt Nolan so 18-year-old Adam Davies and short-term signing Craig Westcarr are both likely to start... Dangermen: striker Fola Onibuje (6ft 6in) and midfielder Ritchie Hanlon

    From< ahref="">Confguide says that "Cambridge United boss Rob Newman looks set to ring the changes for the visit of Altrincham. The U's were on the receiving end of a 5-3 battering by in-form Grays on Tuesday night and Newman may promote two players who started on the bench that night. Recent signing Craig Westcarr has had two substitute appearances since arriving at the club earlier in the month and could start in attack, while Parys Okai may also be brought in. Darren Quinton (ankle) is recovering well and played for the reserves this week, although this game is likely to come too soon for him. David Chick misses out again through suspension while Jonathan Harkness is playing the last game of his one-month loan from Walsall. Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote is sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of the trip to the Abbey Stadium. Doubts hang over midfielder Colin Potts (ankle) and defensive duo Gary Talbot (foot) and Mark Maddox. Maddox sustained a suspected hamstring strain during the midweek draw against Scarborough and had to be substituted, but tests have revealed the injury is not as bad as first feared and the 32-year-old will face a late fitness check. Long-term absentees James Olsen [they mean Eddie Hussin] (cruciate) and Stephen Aspinall (ankle) are still out, although the later played 70 minutes in the reserves this week and Heathcote expects the defender to be back in contention for the trip to Halifax".

    Cambridge have lost their last five games, whereas Alty have picked up 5 points in their last five matches.

    Cambridge News says that "Marvin Robinson is believed to be a loan target for Cambridge United ahead of Saturday's home clash with Altrincham. United manager Rob Newman watched the Lincoln City striker play in the friendly between the clubs' reserve teams on Monday... But after Robinson fired home the Red Imps' final goal in their 5-4 Carling Cup defeat at Fulham, after coming on as a substitute, Newman could be thwarted. Robinson, 25, moved to Sincil Bank from Stockport in the summer and has scored twice, but has largely been on the bench. Newman would not comment on targets, but said: 'Alexander said to give him a ring and any of them we fancied might be available.We're going to speak to Lincoln again and we've got one or two names who would benefit our squad - and if it comes off, they might be in place for Saturday... Altrincham is one that you'd like to win, but we've got no divine right and we've got to be prepared and do things effectively. They'll see that we're on a bad run, but if we can do what we did in the second half on Tuesday and get rid of the errors from the first, then we've got a good chance'".


    Accrington Stanley report that "On loan Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Darren Randolph has had his loan period extended for a further month, following a number of impressive performances by the 18 year old shot stopper".

    The BBC says that "Tamworth striker Julian Alsop is set for a quick return to action after learning his foot injury was not as bad as first feared. Alsop, 32, was hurt in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Southport and there were fears he had broken a bone in his foot. Player-manager Cooper told the club's website: 'It's not as serious as we first thought, although he will still be out for at least a fortnight'". The BBC also says that "Bristol Rovers striker Lewis Haldane's loan spell with Forest Green has been cut short following the League Two club's decision to sack Ian Atkins" and that "Kidderminster have agreed with Barnsley to extend midfielder Simon Heslop's loan spell... The youngster will remain with Kidderminster until the end of October."

    23 September 2005


    It has been confirmed that the young Altrincham player who has been at Crewe Alexandra this week for trials was Lee Hendley. Lee remains available for selection tomorrow for Alty at Cambridge.


    The NL Paper quotes Graham Heathcote after he had spoken with Aussies' cricket manager Steve Bernard during their recent visit to Moss Lane. "I learnt a lot from talking to Steve... When they suffer a defeat, the Australians will look for the positives in it... These are some of the attributes I'm looking to instill in my players and I can see it happening. We took a lot of positives from losing 3-0 at Stevenage.. by rectifying a lot of what you need changing...When we played Scarborough, we weren't thinking about the previous games, we were thinking this is a home game that we need to be looking to get three points from". He added, after the 1-1 result, "I'm not happy with home draws against sides we need to be beating... It's up to me to find ways to compensate for being part-time, that's where mental toughness comes in". But, the Alty boss went on, "It was all about stopping the rot and getting a result. This is another point towards our target... The players gave their all and I can't really ask any more".


    Above: Peter Band, as ever competing for every ball, here against Scarborough. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography whose products are available in the club shop

    Alty's average gate this season, so far, is 1,051 compared with 665 last season, a rise of almost 60%. Only once in the last 11 years have Alty averaged more than 1,000 over a season at Moss Lane (1994/95), when the average was 1,002. The last time Moss Lane saw a higher average than now was in 1990-91 when Alty almost won the title and the average gate was 1,385. For Alty's average home gates since 1987 click here.


    Alty play Cambridge United for the first time in a league match on Saturday. But it seems that we have met before in a friendly. The evidence is in the Robins' Review for 28 August 1967. After discussing how Alty had attracted 3,500 fans to a Cheshire League home game against New Brighton on 19 August 1967, Alty manager Fred Pye wrote (tongue in cheek) that some of the fans were disappointed that Alty had only beaten New Brighton 2-0 "particularly after our 7-1 thrashing of Cambridge [United]. But I would ask everyone to bear in mind that while Cambridge came cockily attack-conscious, thinking their forwards would have a field day, New Brighton came to pinch a point". So, I guess we met in a pre-season friendly sometime in August 1967. Somehow, I don't think the score will be 7-1 on Saturday!


    IC Cheshire confirms that Crewe boss Dario Gradi is "running the rule over two young trialists this week, 19-year-old striker Tom Pope who is hammering in the goals this season for Biddulph Victoria and an unnamed player from Altrincham".


    The annual Football Mascots Race takes place this Sunday at Huntingdon Racecourse.


    The Cambridge News" states that "Roger Hunt has issued a rallying call to fans to get behind manager Rob Newman and Cambridge United when they entertain Altrincham at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday... Hunt said: 'No one likes losing, but we've got to be fair to Rob. We've got to remember where we were in July and how many players we had under contract at the time (four - Ashley Nicholls, Dan Gleeson, John Turner and Darren Quinton). It's easy to make knee-jerk decisions and it's very easy to sack a manager, but it's hard to employ a new right one. You have to remember the budget that Rob is playing with is one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in the Conference... When we started the season I was just pleased the football club was still alive. Anything after this I'm considering a bonus because we just have to keep reminding ourselves of where we were, otherwise we wouldn't even be talking about this".


    Alty meet Halifax on Tuesday. Halifax Today reports that "Jake Wright made his senior debut at left back for Town in Tuesday's impressive 1-0 win at Kidderminster... The 19-year-old, on a month's loan at the Shay from Bradford City, looked at home on the left side of defence... But he admitted: 'I don't think that I have really found my position yet... I have played most of my football at centre half... I had not played a competitive game for a while. But I just kept going and in the end I really enjoyed it". Meanwhile "Town boss Chris Wilder will be checking on Lewis Killeen and Jacobs at training today after both suffered knocks at Aggborough. He is resigned, however, to being without Gary Brabin for a couple of months after the midfielder underwent an operation on Tuesday to clear up a knee problem".


    Despite their superb form, all is not well at Grays Athletic where "Due to the expanding negative and personal abusive comments that have been posted in recent weeks, the Board of Directors have decided to suspend the Fans Forum facility until further notice".

    Woking manager Glenn Cockerill told the Woking News and Mail, after his side's draw with Canvey, "I was happy with a point because we didn't perform but I'm disappointed with my team because they didn't play like one. They all just did their little bits on their own... If they can't see that they're in the wrong game because that is amateurish in my eyes".

    Confguide says that "Gravesend boss Liam Daish paid tribute to his side's fighting qualities following their 1-1 draw at Hereford on Tuesday. 'We came back well after we went a goal down', Daish told the Gravesend Messenger".

    Gravesend's official site confirms that "Gravesham Council leader John Burden announced at a council cabinet meeting that the council are working with government agencies and the football club to move the Fleet away from Stonebridge Road, their home since being formed in 1946. He also emphasised that a new stadium would be for them alone, scuppering overtures by Coca Cola League One side Gillingham to move to the borough... Specific details of the location are yet to be revealed, but it will be near to Stonebridge Road, close to the river Thames. Part of the site is currently occupied by a cement factory which is due to be decommissioned by 2008 according to owners LaFarge". Burden said, "We are Gravesham and our local club is Gravesend & Northfleet. Our prime interest is Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club and securing their future. The way Gillingham are playing at the moment the clubs could be playing each other next year".

    "We are very pleased with the start to the season,"Conference chief executive John Moules told BBC Sport. "Not only are crowds holding up, they are on the increase. We monitor on a monthly basis and the August figures are well up on last year". He added, "Last season the league enjoyed a three-and-a-half per cent rise with 462 league and cup games attracting over one million spectators. We still offer traditional, three o'clock Saturday football, which is affordable. We still offer traditional, three o'clock Saturday football, which is affordable and competitive". Moules "rates average ticket prices at £9 and £12 for a seat". He went on "With 18 of the 22 clubs full-time, we employ somewhere in the region of 500 full-time players across those clubs, which is a fair indication of the progress we have made over the last couple of years". The article adds that "Wage bills have gone up accordingly and while playing budgets vary across the clubs from less than £5,000 a week to around £10,000, the Conference has tried to make the competition a level playing field". (Alty's budget is under £5,000 but at least one club we have played this season claimed to have a budget twice as high as £10,000). But "Moules is predicting this season's promotion race to be even more competitive and with the league expanding to 24 clubs next season, he believes the future is bright".

    "Tamworth target-man Julian Alsop is facing a possible lengthy spell on the sidelines with a foot injury. The ex-Swansea and Cheltenham striker, 32, was hurt in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Southport with scans still to confirm whether he has broken a bone. 'It is a big blow for us to lose Julian. He is a major player for us'", player-manager Mark Cooper told the Tamworth Herald.

    The Burton Mail reports that "Albion were hoping to secure the signing of Derby County youngster Nathan Doyle on a month's loan... Rams' boss Phil Brown is willing to release the 18-year-old midfielder, who has failed to figure in the first-team so far this season... Clough told Mail Sport 'He is a dogged and determined type of player and that's just what we need at the moment... We need all the help we can get at the moment'". Brown confirmed: "There is another club interested — a League club — so it is by no means a foregone conclusion".

    This is KHFC says that "Under-fire boss Stuart Watkiss admits he must take the rap for 'the worst back to back performances'" of his Kidderminster Harriers reign. Watkiss insisted "'no teacups were thrown' during a constructive dressing room post mortem after the Halifax defeat. 'I can understand the crowd's frustration and their anger because I'm a football fan too. It was not just losing, it was the manner of the defeats... We haven't played well at home all season. Away from home it's been a different story... I have had a chat with the chairman about it, but all that was said was everyday business".


    After an approach to Altrincham FC, I have been asked to publicise the following:


    Do you have a passion for your local team but can’t motivate yourself to get out there and have a kick around?

    Are you a heavy smoker? Can’t sleep? Eat badly? Don’t exercise?

    Or does this remind you of someone you love?

    We are producing an inspirational new television series which will show people how to live longer, healthier and happier lives.

    We are looking for people who want to change the way they live their lives for the better – permanently. Our leading experts, Dr Adam Carey (nutritionist to the England Rugby Squad) and Patricia Mitchell (Life Coach), will take them in hand and prescribe a new long lasting life plan for them. We will follow the process and show how you really can change the day you die.

    The series will deal with issues ranging from diet, smoking, exercise and cutting down on the booze to time management, improving relationships and tackling stress - each programme will look at a different case and examine how you can take control to make positive and potentially life-saving changes.

    So if you are between 35 and 55 and really want to change the way you live, or if you know someone whom you’re truly worried about, please get in touch with Liz of Zig Zag Productions on 020 7017 8755 or e-mail her.


    Confguide reprots that "Boston Manager Steve Evans has been charged with fraud according to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, along with their current General Manager John Blackwell, ex-Chairman Pat Malkinson, former accountant Brian James, and former bookeeper Ian Lee. The five are to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court next Friday on charges brought by the Inland Revenue... Boston United have stated that neither the Club, nor any of the current Board, have been charged and will make no further statement".
    22 September 2005


    Tonight's MEN reports that "Crewe manager Dario Gradi has revealed his club are looking at an unnamed Altrincham youngster as well as forward Tom Pope. The Altrincham player has come to Gresty Road to join Biddulph Victoria stiker Pope in training this week on the strength of a glowing report from former Crewe striker Colin Little. 'We often have trialists training with us and we'll see what happens', the Crewe boss said". As yet there is no confirmation who this is, but I think we can draw our own conclusions....


    In his programme notes on Tuesday night, Alty boss Graham Heathcote wrote, "Thank you to all you supporters who travelled to York City... there was at least 200 for which we are all greatly appreciative and we are just sorry we were not able to achieve a better result. Sometimes it is just better to say the opposition were better than us and fully deserved the victory... I have never in my footballing career suffered back to back 5-0 defeats and it has been tough to digest.. In my own mind I have categorized where I am hopeful we will achieve the points from and... I still believe the 10 points that we have gathered is a good start". He added that at York we "probably had more defending to do in our penalty area than against any other side in the last three seasons". Graham continued, "Any player ... unable to find the determination and desire as starting points will not survive here this season. I have great belief in the players to do this. They have never let us down under my managership... The bulk of our points will need to be achieved here at Moss Lane".


    Whoever wins the Selby Town v Altrincham Youth clash next Monday, could face Lancaster City away in the next round, who won at league leaders Woodley Sports 2-1 on Tuesday. FA Youth Cup. City now play Formby, the winners will then host Alty or Selby.


    Colin Little celebrates his goal against Scarborough. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography whose products are available in the club shop

    In SAM's report, it says that Alty "will be disappointed not to have taken all three points after drawing 1-1 with Scarborough on Tuesday... The result was harsh on the home side, who had dominated the first half and put in an admirable performance considering both of their previous games had ended in 5-0 defeats... Manager Graham Heathcote said: 'These are the kind of games you would categorize as being between two of the eight or ten teams who will all be in a pack fighting it out this season so in that respect it was a big game and I look at it more as two points lost than a point gained. I'm disappointed at the way we conceded the goal because three weeks ago we wouldn't have conceded that goal, we just got a little bit tired and instead of closing them down and stopping the shot in the first place we sat back and let the shot happen. But I just said to the lads we've come a long way, we're disappointed with drawing at home to Scarborough and this time last year we were probably playing Moor Green so you keep things in perspective if you can. We're in a batch of games now where we need to pick points up and I don't think we've had a poor start, it's a reasonable start and if we get 11 points out of the next nine games I'd be just as happy'".

    The BBC quotes Graham as saying: "The important part was to get something on the back of two 5-0 beatings, because that can sap the confidence. That aspect pleased me but we could have played better and if we had played more football then we would have won. However, this is a tough league for us, physically."

    The Scarborough site has some interesting statistics of the game which include:

  • Possession: Altrincham 56% Scarborough 44%
  • Shots: Altrincham 12 Scarborough 16
  • Fouls: Altrincham 10 Scarborough 19

    Scarborough Today quotes Michael Coulson who scored against Alty on Tuesday, "When I am sent through one-on-one with goalkeepers I like to take the ball around them and that was what I had in my mind. I tried a little dink and then a trick, but the keeper (Stuart Coburn) just stood up and made the save. He did very well all night though, making some brilliant stops".


    From the Sean's Surgery feature in Tuesday's Robins' Review comes the following news from Alty physio Sean Riley.
  • Steve Aspinall: "It was thought that he might need a second operation. However, with treatment he has progressed well". Steve played for the Reserves on Tuesday night and took another knock on his ankle but hopefully this will not set him back.
  • Gary Scott: "Has now stepped up his rehabilitation after his hernia operation and is hopeful of a return to first team duty on October 1st."
  • Gary Talbot: "Following a cortisone injection in his foot, he has been advised to take two weeks rest".
  • Lewis Chalmers:: "Should hopefully be available for Saturday's trip to Cambridge [after his] slight ankle ligament injury".
  • Richard Acton "A fractured metatarsal has been confirmed... and Richard is now in plaster. He will be unavailable for a minimum of 6 weeks".


    Altrincham Reserves are now second in the Lancashire League having played 8, won six and lost two, scoring 32 goals against 16. Top of the table are Fleetwood Town Reserves, yet to drop a point after 7 games.


    Alty's next game is at Cambridge United on Saturday followed by another trip to ex-League opposition, Halifax Town, the following Tuesday. Please see the Away Travel page for STAR supporters' coach details. Links to maps of both ground locations are also on the Away Travel page.

    Alty have never met Cambridge United competitively before but we have played Halifax Town 8 times in the Conference and never lost. All the away games have been draws, whilst at home Alty have won 3 and drawn 1. We have also met twice in the FA Cup, losing both times. In 1975-76, in Round 1, we lost 1-3 at The Shay and in 1988-89 we went down 0-3 at Moss Lane in Round 2.

    The Cambridge News reports on Cambridge United's 3-5 reverse at Grays saying that "Ritchie Hanlon was the man who finally ended Cambridge United's long-running barren streak in front of goal after almost eight-and-a-half hours". Likewise Alty broke their 6 and a half hour barren goalscoring spell on Tuesday. But for United "suicidal schoolboy errors ensured United's Conference woes continued". After getting back to 5-3, "it was too little, too late for United, who now they have rediscovered the art of scoring, also need to halt a worrying run of five defeats". Manager "Rob Newman is ready to put players on the transfer list... Newman said more changes needed to be made if United did not win at home against Altrincham on Saturday... He said: 'Players may have to go and if it means putting three or four on the transfer list and getting rid of some of the non-contract players, we'll do it... I'm under pressure, everyone at the club is under pressure and we have been for the last four or five months... It's basic errors that have cost us. The fans quite rightly have voiced their disapproval and I know it's not good enough".

    Halifax Today reports that "Town ended a six-month wait for an away win when Lewis Killeen bagged the only goal of the game at Kidderminster... Boss Chris Wilder said, "It was not a matter of dropping anyone. I had to change things round... Lewis and Ryan Sugden have waited for their chance and they came in last night and gave me their lot. If we are going to be successful it will take a group of players to do it". The report adds "Among the many highlights was an impressive debut from on-loan youngster Jake Wright who replaced Greg Young at left back. Jake came into the squad from Bradford".


    "Loan signing Andy Lindegaard believes Crawley Town need to start playing ugly to get results in the Nationwide Conference National. Lindegaard signed for a month from Yeovil last week... He said: 'This is not the time to play nice football, this is the time to knuckle down and scrap out results... and then we can start thinking about playing good football". Manager Francis Vines added, "We have to stop letting in sloppy goals. We scored two great goals against Accrington but let in three bad ones... We have got to be stronger in defence" he told The Argus.

    The Burton Mail reports that "Albion had to endure a chorus of boos at the Pirelli Stadium last night after crashing to the foot of the Nationwide Conference for the first time". Manager Nigel Clough said: "Fans will always vent their frustration if they think that's the best way to get the lads going and support the team. We're pleased the majority stayed behind and gave us a bit of encouragement to the end. That's the bit we'll take heart from... We played well in spells, but every time they went in our box they seemed to score... Four-nil suggests a thrashing [by Morecambe], but we just feel a little bit hard done by. It's quite scary what's happening at the moment... We've hit the bottom now and I can think of no better place to go and get a point than away to the league leaders [Exeter]".

    21 September 2005


    In the programme for the match against Scarborough, Graham Heathcote appealed to supporters: "We must now try and start a run where we can again pick some points up and your vocal support is going to be vital. I need your help to help me rally these players". As usual STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, will be running supporters' coaches to both Cambridge (this Saturday) and Halifax (next Tuesday) - details are here. Please book via the club on 928-1045.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Saturday's game on 24 September is here.


    Yesterday's Daily Telegraph has arevealing article on Grays Athletic, "now at the highest point in their 115-year history... Grays' chairman Micky Woodward is a self-made man and his company, Westview Rail Limited, employ more than 700 people in Barkingside, supplying labour for rail maintenance to firms such as Network Rail. The recent refurbishments at Bridge Road, home to Grays Athletic for more than 100 years, were carried out by Woodward's firm. Since he took over five years ago, the 50-year-old former chairman of Barkingside FC has worked to make the football club as successful as his company". Woodward said, "I don't want this to be the Micky Woodward show... People don't realise, we've got a thriving bar that will take more than £750,000 this year, we've obtained grants like other clubs and our gates are averaging 1,500 and rising". The article reveals that the squad is paid on a 40-week a year basis. "Our wages budget is £8,000 per week and it has to stack up", Woodward said. "That figure is found via the gates, the clubhouse and sponsors so if, God forbid, I should go down, Grays Athletic survives".


    Match report here

    20 September 2005
  • Accrington S. 3 Aldershot 2
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Scarborough 1
  • Burton Albion 0 Morecambe 4
  • Forest Green 2 Crawley T. 2
  • Grays A. 5 Cambridge U. 3
  • Hereford U. 1 Gravesend & N. 1
  • Kidderminster 0 Halifax T. 1
  • Southport 1 Tamworth 1
  • Stevenage B. 2 Exeter C. 0
  • Woking 1 Canvey Island 1
  • York C. 1 Dagenham & R. 1


    Alty Reserves won 4-3 at Lancaster tonight, with Pat McFadden hitting three. Report to follow.


    A report on Alty Youth's 4-1 win over Leigh RMI is in the Youth section.


    Alty chief steward Darren Gregory informs me that a new stock of Altrincham FC wristbands will be available at the game against Scarborough tonight (Tuesday). They are in the club shop and cost just £2.00 each. As worn by Shane Warne!


    Former Alty player Graham Barrow has had his managerial contract terminated by Bury. Graham is seen on the right of the adjacent picture (courtesy of Terry Rowley) with John King.


    The BBC reports that "Former Scarborough keeper Gavin Kelly has re-signed for the Seasiders to act as cover for Leigh Walker. The 36-year-old has re-joined the club on non-contract terms following an illness to Anthony Pecora. Kelly, who has been coaching Boro's keepers, played for Scarborough a decade ago after earlier spells with Hull City and Bristol Rovers. Meanwhile [ex-Alty] striker Mark Quayle is set to be out for at least a fortnight with a hamstring injury". But "defender Paul Foot goes straight back into the side against Altrincham after his suspension". In place of Quayle, 17-year-old striker Ryan Blott may make his full debut.

    The Scarborough website quotes Scarborough chairman Malcolm Reynolds: "Losing Brian Wake to an injury has been a real blow just after he had shown us his true capabilities. We have also lost Chris Hughes without a ball being kicked, then Mark Quayle". The article adds, "Boro are also seeking to bring in an established Conference midfielder on loan, although some difficulties were experienced on Friday with his current club. The player is expected to sign for Boro during this week, possibly in time for the match at Moss Lane on Tuesday".

    The Scarborough FC site reports that the Seadogs "make a return visit to an old hunting ground on Tuesday when they visit Moss Lane in Altrincham. Boro and The Robins faced many battles in the 1970s and 1980s when, as members of the Northern Premier League and then the Alliance Premier League, they were two of non league football’s most feared teams".


    Mark Eckersall, the STAR travel coordinator writes:

    As well as a new ground for most Alty fans, supporters travelling on the STAR coach to Cambridge could win themselves a pair of tickets to the Meet the New Players night on 1st October - worth £35. Altrincham director Grahame Rowley has kindly donated three pairs of tickets to the STAR Travel Club and these will be won by three lucky travellers picked at random on the coach during the journey down to Cambridge. The coaches have been a great success once again this year and the club are very grateful for the fantastic away support. Entry to the draw is free, all you need to do is book on the Cambridge coach at the Scarborough game on Tuesday or at the offices in the week (from Wednesday) to be in with a chance.

    Details of the Cambridge coach times and fares will also be posted on this site after Tuesday's game.


    Although Saturday's UniBond Press release correctly indicated that ex-Alty trialist Aaron Wilford had rejoined Whitby Town from Barrow, I am advised that he has actually now re-joined Stalybridge Celtic. But as part of the deal with Barrow it was agreed that he would not play for Celtic against Barrow last Saturday. So, Aaron rejoined Whitby briefly to maintain his fitness.


    Howard Watts's record of Through the Years for 20 September is here.


    The York City website has a match report on Alty's defeat last Saturday in which "Resurgent York City recorded their biggest home victory in more than a decade as they comfortably brushed aside the challenge of Nationwide Conference National newcomers Altrincham". Even when 4-0 down "Altrincham - who were still being vigorously encouraged by their loyal bank of supporters - were becoming increasingly rugged in their approach" it claims. The site's own stats, however, record that York committed 16 fouls to Alty's 10. It also has pictures of the game.

    This is York reports that "York City's stand-in skipper Emmanuel Panther believes the best is yet to come from his new team despite Saturday's 5-0 trouncing of Altrincham... He said: 'At the start of the season nobody knew each other so I think the more we play and train together we will get a bit better as a team and have more performances like that against Altrincham'... Panther admitted that Saturday's display marked one of the best team performances he had ever been involved in".

    The unofficial Minstermen website also has a report.


    Alty travel to Cambridge United on Saturday, a team we have never played before. The Football Conference reports that their "boss Rob Newman fears his side could be suffering an inferiority complex... 'You can't coach confidence and at the moment it is as though we go a goal down and we think we have lost the game'".

    Cambridge News says that "Rob Newman admitted Alan Shearer might struggle to score for Cambridge United as their goal drought stretched to five games after Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Woking... making it the club's longest run without a goal since October 1973. The result also marked United's fourth successive defeat as they slumped to 19th in the table from third a month ago". He added, "We look as if we couldn't score if we're playing all day and we have to get rid of that fear factor. They looked like they'd rather pass than shoot and I know a lot of them are only kids but you can only say that for so long. Craig Westcarr has only been in the building this week and I don't think his fitness is there because he hasn't had a lot of football in the last three or four months". But "Newman said he could understand why fans booed United from the pitch... He said: 'The fans have got every right to voice their disapproval, but when they're on that pitch, the players need all the help they can get... We're all pulling together but because we've lost the last four games, it just feels really bad at the moment'".


    Halifax Today says that the Shaymen's boss Chris Wilder "made no excuses for his side's dismal display at Gravesend where they crashed 4-0... And he was scathing in his criticism of players all over the pitch at Stonebridge Road... And it means the Shaymen have now picked up just one point from the last 27 on offer away from home. 'We were poor all over the pitch from the first minute... The back four never got to grips with their front players, our midfield players lost too many challenges in the middle of the park, our wide men didn't give us anything going forward or defensively and the front two never held the ball up. Every part of the team was poor... I mark the players in accordance with how I think they have done. I put it to them at the end of the game to tell me what they thought their marks would be. There was a lot of three and fours, a couple of ones and twos, there was a five and a seven and I marked those two up... Threes and fours are not enough to win a game of tiddlywinks".


    NL Daily reports that Moor Green gave a debut on Saturday to "six foot Glaswegian Gary McPhee, 25, who had been on trial with Kidderminster Harriers after being deemed surplus to requirements at Shrewsbury Town".

    Southport "are back in action on Tuesday night against Tamworth... Dominic Morley came through his first outing since the opening day of the season. Kevin Leadbetter returns to the squad after feeling ill at last Thursday's training session. Liam Watson describes Tuesday night's Conference clash as 'the biggest game of our season so far'. After three successive defeats everyone wants a win on Tuesday night however a clean sheet would indicate a tightening at the back having conceded 11 goals in 4 home matches".

    Crawley Town say that "Yeovil Town midfielder Andy Lindegaard has signed for Crawley on a month’s loan ... Lindegaard has made over 100 appearances for the West Country outfit, including 29 in last seasons promotion winning side. Director of Football Steve Duly explained “With the introduction of the transfer window this season, we are now only permitted to take players on a short term loan in the event of an “emergency”. We reviewed the injury situation last week and contacted Gary Johnson regarding Andy’s availability, and with Danny Brown, Neil Jenkins and Rob Kember out of contention and Paul Armstrong and Simon Wormull rated 50/50 for tomorrow's match, we contacted the Conference who approved our request. 25 year old Lindegaard operates on the right hand side".

    "Aldershot have signed Yeovil full-back Steven Reed on a month's loan just a few days after he returned from a temporary spell with Woking. The 20-year-old has yet to feature for the Glovers first team this season.... [but] Reed enjoyed a two-month loan spell with Forest Green where he made just nine appearances" says the Football Conference.

    This is Exeter reports that "City striker Craig Farrell fired a chilling warning to the rest of the Conference by claiming his partnership with Lee Phillips could yield 40 goals this season... 'We are friends off the field and I think that helps... I went from being top scorer two years running at Carlisle to not being in the side... But luckily Alex has taken a gamble on me".

    19 September 2005


  • Meet the New Players on 1st October 2005, in the Sponsors' Longe, at Moss Lane, at 7.30pm. At least four of Alty's summer signings will be the guests of honour and will answer any questions that you may have. The event is sponsored by John Smith's brewery. Tickets are £17.50 and include a two-course meal. Last season's event was a great success and this year's is likely to be every bit as entertaining.
  • Tommy Docherty is guest of honour at a Sportsman's Dinner to be held at the Cresta Court on Saturday, 26 November at 7.30pm. Tickets, £20, are available from Grahame Rowley or the club (928-1045). Fans will recall that the Doc was manager at Moss Lane briefly, nearly 20 years ago - and also managed Manchester United and Chelsea.
  • Celebration Christmas Dinner at the Cresta Court Hotel, Altrincham on Saturday 10th December. Tickets £40, from the Club (928-1045).


    A hat-trick from Ben Deegan and a goal by Mattie Williams helped Alty beat Leigh RMI 4-1 yesterday. Report to follow..

    For details of Alty's FA Youth game at Selby Town on 26 September, see the Youth Page.


    Confguide says that "York City boss Billy McEwan has praised his side's patience, as well as their finishing power, during their emphatic 5-0 win over Altrincham. We knew before the game that they'd come and make it difficult - they played five across midfield, but we showed a lot of patience... We know teams are going to come and be physical with us - and if we take the bait, we'll get punished - but the football was very nice to watch". Actually, York won the foul count over Alty by a significant margin.

    But our next opponents, Scarborough, left their manager Nicky Henry rueing "a frustrating end to a frustrating week" after losing at Canvey Island. "You've still got to do the most important thing and that's put the ball in the back of the net. We didn't today. We've had chances, we've hit the bar, the goalie's made a good save - so yeah it's a frustrating day at the end of a frustrating week" he told BBC Radio York. Former Alty striker "Mark Quayle picked up a hamstring injury and looks set to be sidelined for the next two to three weeks".


    Aaron Wilford (23), who was a trialist at Alty this summer, has returned to Whitby Town from Barrow for whom he has played this season. He was at Whitby before embarking on a brief league career at York City. Other old Alty players in action yesterday included Jeremy Illingworth (Guiseley), Leroy Chambers (Frickley), Matt McNeil (Hyde), Chris Downey (Mossley) who scored twice , Ian Craney who netted for Accrington and Ryan Gilligan who scored for FC United.


    Above: The Alty fans watch a throw in by York's Price. Below: Mark Maddox raises his arms in despair as O'Neill opens the scoring for York.

    Match report here

    One consolation - all four Alty defeats this season have been against teams now in the top six in the league table. Report to follow.