Altrincham Football Club News Archive
1 to 31 October, 2005

31 October 2005


There will be a Fans' Forum in the Noel White Suite on Monday 7th November at 8.30pm (following a Board meeting). This will be an opportunity for supporters to ask questions of the management and Board of Altrincham FC.


Today's Times newspaper has a match report on the Burton game which it describes as being settled by a "controversial goal". Manager Graham Heathcote is quoted as saying that "the teams did not dictate the result", an allusion to the hand-ball in the build up to the only goal of the game. For this site's match report, see below...


Above: Courtesy of Grahame Rowley comes the above picture of Alty centre-back Peter Band, his wife Louise, and baby Max, born last Wednesday.


Niell Hardy now appears to be playing for Flixton, according to a report in the NL Paper.


Reports on the Reserves' wins at Chorley and Clitheroe should be on the website this evening, courtesy of manager Neil Brown.


Another four goals for Ben Deegan took Alty up to second in the NW Allied Trophies Premier Division today. Anthony Davies and Andy Keogh were the other scorers but man of the match was Astley Mulholland who laid on four goals. Report to follow.


Stuart Coburn is a blur as he saves Arron Webster's penalty at the foot of the far upright. In the foreground, physio Richard Norris turns to watch the kick as he treats the injured Chris Adams, who was judged to have conceded the penalty.

Match report here

  • Alty player stats
  • Alty league match line-ups
    30 October 2005


    Formby's Youth team has withdrawn from the NW Allied Trophies League. As a consequence, Altrincham's league fixtures have ben amended and, when received, will be posted on this website. An immediate consequence is that Alty get a bye in the Premier Cup (Neil Thomason Trophy). Alty now play at home in the next round on November 27th.


    Steve Hawes (right), who left Altrincham last week, has rejoined Stocksbridge Park Steels in South Yorkshire. On Saturday Aaron Wilford scored for Whitby. Peter Wright scored his 9th goal of season for Chorley. Glyn Barker, an Alty trialist in 2004, scored Trafford's winner in the FA Vase. Simon Woodford was also in Trafford's side as was former Alty youth player Paul Nelson. Mark Quayle netted for Scarborough. "Carl Taylor, manager of Maidenhead United, has announced that he has strengthened his attack by signing Marc Whiteman" reports NL Daily. Bullsnews reports that "Graham Turner confirmed that Matt Bailey had been taken on for another month, describing his recent criticism by the fans as unfair... Turner admits that his goalscoring and work with the ball on the floor can improve, but he adds an extra dimension to the game".


    NL Daily writes that "Grays Athletic equalled Kettering Town's Nationwide Conference National record for the best start to the season as they stretched their unbeaten run to fifteen games at Southport". Just 480 watched the Canvey v Morecambe game yesterday; the absent fans missed Morecambe's 3-3 draw after being three-down.

    "Paul Mitchell, manager of Gainsborough Trinity, has revealed that York City have tried to sign key Blues defender Richard Pell". The Trinity boss added, "I want to stress that we didn't turn the bid down, it just couldn't be worked out in time". It is believed that York offered £15,000" reports This is Lincs.

    "On the financial side [at Hereford], the completion of the dressing rooms and the impending work on the floodlights were required to meet Football League standards. The Blackfriars End is first on the list to be done, with the Meadow End likely to follow.[Manager Graham] Turner also noted that he could pay a transfer fee if needed for the right player" says Bullsnews.

    29 October 2005


    The BBC says that "Burton welcome on-loan midfielder Lee Bell back after he missed the midweek FA Cup win over Leek. Aaron Webster is doubtful with a groin problem, while Darren Tinson has a thigh strain but Darren Stride returns from a one-match ban". The Burton Mail adds that "Aaron Webster is a virtual non-starter for Burton Albion's Conference clash with Altrincham at the Pirelli Stadium on Sunday". SAM identifies striker Jon Shaw and right-winger Chris Hall as Burton's dangermen against Alty tomorrow. It adds that "On loan Crewe midfielder Lee Bell could play a crucial role in Burton's midfield".


  • Accrington S. 2 York C. 1
  • Cambridge U. 2 Crawley T. 1
  • Canvey I. 3 Morecambe 3
  • Dagenham & R. 1 Forest Green R. 1
  • Exeter C. 3 Tamworth 0
  • Gravesend & N. 0 Stevenage B. 2
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Hereford U. 1
  • Scarborough 2 Aldershot T. 2
  • Southport 1 Grays A. 4
  • Woking 2 Halifax T. 2


    Alty goalkeeper Richard Acton, injured in the CSC match at Woodley, is recovering well from a broken bone in his foot and hopes to resume full training shortly.


    Alty chief steward Darren Gregory reports that "The new Altincham FC pin badge is now available at the club priced £2.50. This has a robin design with Altrincham FC written underneath it"


    In SAM Mark Maddox (right) elaborates on his wearing of Tomasz Radzinski's old boots whilst playing for Alty Reserves, as reported on this website last week. Mark said, "I'm a Red so it didn't go down too well but there was nothing else I could do. I got home after training on the Thursday night and realised I'd left my boots and didn't have another pair for the game on Saturday. So I asked my next-door neighbour, who's the groundsman at Everton's training ground, to grab me any pair in my size and they just happened to be Radzinski's. I scored one with them on and if I had scored another I would have had them gold plated but I missed a penalty, so they can't be that lucky. It was good playing for the reserves though, they are a good set of lads and they can't seem to stop scoring goals at the moment. It's been more difficult for me to get into the first team this season because competition for places in the Conference has been strong and we have a bit of a rotation system where certain players are used for certain games. But I know that whatever Graham and Dalton decide is for the good of the club so I'm not bothered by it.

    Mark added "Our fans are second to none in this league and when you run out at an away game you know where they are straight away, they're really vocal. They are as much a part of this club as everyone else and they have been brilliant this season. In all my time at the club, the whole atmosphere around here has always been great and it's the same in the dressing room as well. We have got some good characters at the club but to print some of the stuff we get up to would have to have an 18 rating, it would be top shelf material! I'm one of the worst and when I get together with Scotty we love to wind people up but Colin Little's funny in his own way too, he's really sarcastic and you never know how to take him. Some of the lads get wound up more than others because some of them have got terrible dress sense and I don't know what Kieran's doing with his hair at the moment (seen right)- it looks more like a dead skunk than a hair cut".


    Four members of Alty's squad have departed in the last month; George Melling opted to join Clitheroe and James Olsen, Steve Hawes and James Olsen have all been released. Manager Graham Heathcote told SAM that "There could well be another one or two departures... It's not necessarily for financial reasons, we are in a reasonable position in the league at the moment but we can't wait until we have a slump to make a change. We have to think about what we can do to make sure we can keep this up. I'm always looking to bring in new players but it's about finding the right ones within the budget we have available here to improve the squad".


    Accrington Stanley confirm that "On loan Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Darren Randolph has signed for a third month. The 18 year old has put in some great performances during his time here and will be available to play up to and including 26th November".

    More changes at Crawley Town are reported as now "Midfielder Richard Hodgson has left after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent... Director of Football Steve Duly said 'I am glad that a line has now been drawn under the whole affair in an amicable manner. Richard can now focus on rekindling his season'". But "Two players have today put pen to paper... 20 year old Dorryl Proffitt, a former Manchester City trainee, has signed county forms and... French central defender Leonard Mendy... has signed Conference forms".

    Gravesend & Northfleet confirm that manager "Liam Daish has signed two defenders... Centre-Half Adam Tann has been signed from Cambridge United... Also signing on work experience is Adam Cottrell, a right back in the Charlton Youth Side".

    "Nick Rogan, ex Morecambe and Lancaster City striker, [has] completed his transfer to Southport" reports their website. Rogan played against Alty in a pre-season game for Lancaster.

    Tamworth report "that James Dormand, who broke down in training on Thursday, may be out for sometime with a knee injury... Cooper has moved quickly to bring in a replacement in Scott Bevan from League 1 side Milton Keynes Dons".

    York City say that "City boss Billy McEwan [has] confirmed that he has been approached by a League club to potentially become their new manager... Billy rejected the offer and has firmly stated his commitment is to York City".

    From NL Daily is news that "Aldershot Town have confirmed the signing of Millwall central defender Jason Rose on a month’s loan".


    The outstanding Round One game in the Cheshire Senior Cup between Tranmere Rovers and Cammell Laird will be on 2 November.


    Alty Reserves won 4-1 away at Clitheroe last night with striker Pat McFadden hitting his third hat-trick of the season. Pat has now scored in the last nine games and has a total of twenty for the season. Dwaine Lindsay scored Alty's other goal at Clitheroe. Report to follow.


    A successful youth-team fundraising Race Night was held at Moss Lane last night, attended by first-team boss Graham Heathcote, most of the youth team and a number of parents and other club supporters and officials. Thanks are due especially to youth manager George Heslop, who compered the event, his wife Jenny who ran the bar and to Jo Ryan, Jo Maxwell and Sarah Rowley who staffed the tote table.
    28 October 2005


    The changes to the squad at Moss Lane continue with Gary Williams now being released by the club. Gary made 6 starts and 5 sub appearances, without scoring, in his time at Moss Lane.

    Altrincham had built a larger squad this season than originally planned, due to a long injury list, but manager Graham Heathcote is now reviewing the situation with the outcome that three players (Olsen, Hawes, Williams) have now left in just over a week.


    Gary Talbot remains a doubt for Sunday's game, whilst Chris Adams, Karl Munroe and Kirk Hilton are all carrying knocks. In tonight's reserves' game at Clitheroe, Steve Aspinall, Rod Thornley, Kieran Lugsden, Pat McFadden and Lewis Chalmers are confirmed particpants but Kirk Hilton has had to withdraw with tight hamstrings.


    Right, three products of the Alty Youth team, Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers, Lee Hendley

    Altrincham FC Youth team is holding a fundraising Race Night tonight (Friday 28 October) in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, starting at 7.30pm. Admission is just £1. Manager George Heslop promises a great night all for all, so please come along and help to support the youth set-up which has already produced three of our current first-team squad (Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley). Full details here.


    Alty Reserves' next fixtures are:
  • Fri 28 Oct: Clitheroe (A) 7.45pm
  • Tues 8 Nov: Marine (A) 7.45pm
  • Sat 12 Nov: Ossett Albion (A) 3pm
  • Sat 26 Nov: Accrington Stanley (A) k.o. TBA
  • Wed 30 Nov: Burscough (H) 7.45pm


    Alty Youth's next fixtures are:
  • Sun 30 Oct: Kingsley U. (A) 2.30pm
  • Sun 6 Nov: Eagley (A) 2pm
  • Sun 13 Nov: Formby (A) 2pm
  • Sun 20 Nov: Altrincham & District FA Youth v Chester &D FA at Shawe View, Trafford, 2pm


    Shotsweb reports that Aldershot goalkeeper Nikki Bull has written a book. "It’s not something you might expect from a goalkeeper currently plying his trade in the Conference National, but in the soon to be published book – 'Being Number 1', Nikki Bull (or 'Bully' as he is known by the Aldershot Town faithful) offers an insight in to life in the non-league game... The past three years however that are the main focus of the book... following his move from Hayes in the summer of 2002... The book often lifts the lid on happenings in the dressing room and with it, offers fans a telling insight in to the goings on at a club that has enjoyed a roller coaster ride over the past three seasons".

    "Exeter City’s striker Craig Watkins has been sent out on loan to his former club, Sutton United, for one month in a bid to sharpen his match fitness. The 19-year-old will return to the U’s in time for this weekend's clash against Weymouth". Manager Inglethorpe said: "The weakness of this club is that because we don't have a reserve side some of the players don't get the chance to play regular games". But "Inglethorpe admits farming the pacy frontman out on loan will also ease financial constraints. The City boss admits he would like to bring in a loan signing, but a £160,000 cut from his playing budget at the start of the season has made it increasingly difficult" reports This is Exeter.

    Morecambe have "completed the loan signing of ex-academy graduate John Hardiker from Bury FC. John, who left the Shrimps on 28th January 2002 in a deal that eventually cost Stockport County £150,000, could be with the Christie Park outfit until the end of the year".

    The BBC says that ""Hereford are hoping to extend the loan spell of Crewe striker Matt Bailey [ex-Alty loan player]. The 19-year-old has completed a month's stay at Edgar Street, scoring once in his first four Conference fixtures". Assistant manager John Trewick told the Bulls website "Matt gives us an extra dimension in our play with his height and his presence and a decision will be made very, very shortly".

    "Barnsley midfielder Simon Heslop is to stay with Kidderminster Harriers for a third successive month. The 18-year-old joined the Harriers before their home game against Southport at the end of August and has made 12 appearances for the club... The youngster will remain at Aggborough until the end of November" reports the BBC.


    NL Daily confirms that "Paul Gascoigne has finally become the player-manager of Nationwide North club Kettering Town". Gazza said: "I'm looking forward to getting the players into the professional league". Meanwhile "Kevin Wilson, the previous Kettering manager, will become the club's new director of football".
    27 October 2005


    Altrincham FC has announced that midfielder Steve Hawes has been released as part of a general review of the playing staff and the need to ensure that club remains within its financial constraints. As part of this process, which also saw left-midfielder James Olsen depart earlier this month, there may be other departures from Moss Lane in the near future.

    Steve Hawes rejoined Altrincham in early June 2005 from Stocksbridge Park Steels, a club he had joined from Worksop Town. Steve was previously at Moss Lane from late 1999 to May 2002 during which period he was the Altrincham captain. Steve had originally joined Altrincham from Hull City, for whom he had started 18 league games. Before that he was the youngest player ever to play in the Sheffield United first team, for which he made 1 full and 3 substitute appearances, before moving on to Belle Vue where he played 18 full games for Doncaster Rovers. Steve then drifted into Sunday league football before being signed by Bernard Taylor in 1999. In his first spell with Alty, Steve made 137+4 appearances and scored 17 goals. In his second spell he was an ever-present this season, making a further 16 appearances. All at Moss Lane thank him for his services and wish him well in his future career.


    Chris Adams (right) had treatment on Tuesday but should be fit for Sunday's game, but Gary Talbot is a doubt for the game at Burton. Lee Hendley has also had treatment for a knock but should be fit for a possible outing with the Reserves at Clitheroe this Friday, where he may be joined by first-team squad members Rod Thornley, Kirk Hilton, Steve Aspinall, Kieran Lugsden and Pat McFadden.


    SAM quotes Alty's on-loan Crewe youngster Kyle Wilson: "My debut against Tamworth was OK but I thought I was a bit quiet and I know I can play much better than that. I hope I can make a big impact at the club and score some goals to put us in a better league position. I'm really looking forward to the game against Burton, especially because I'll be facing my Crewe teammate Lee Bell, who is on loan there, and Ryan Austin, who I played with at the Crewe Academy". Although Kyle "admits he still has not learnt all his team mates' names. He is enjoying the difference in approach at Alty and believes he can learn a lot in his time at the club. 'The training is a bit more physical and there is an emphasis on a different type of football than at Crewe but that is what you need to compete in the Conference'". Graham Heathcote commented on last week's game, "The reality is that we have not been able to achieve anything in the FA Cup over the last few years but we just have to put it behind us". As for Burton, "After their FA Cup win they will have a bit of confidence so we have to be positive and believe we can get a result there. We know we are capable of matching them, we just need to make sure we do it for the full 90 minutes, we can't afford to have only one good half like we did against Southport".


    It is believed that Trafford Council are still proceeding with the planning application to build residential premises on the car park adjacent to the Moss Lane football ground and it is thought that this will be amongst November's Council committee business.


    The Club is arranging a Family New Year's Eve party (open to all ages) at Moss Lane, 7pm on New Years Eve. Entry is free but by ticket only, and these should be available from 12 November (the Exeter game at Moss Lane).


    "Former Altrincham striker Nathan Comley-Excel and Gareth Feeney [ex-Alty trialist] were on the mark for CS Sports... in the Altrincham Sunday League" reports the MEN. Burscough beat Hucknall 6 -2 in the FA Cup on Tuesday but ex-Alty captain Chris Timons got one of Town's goals. Peter Wright got a midweek winner for Chorley at Rossendale United.


    The MEN reports that "Manchester United will play Burton Albion to mark the opening of the Pirelli Stadium on November 14...their new £6.4 million, 6.750-capacity home". But Alty fans have only to wait till Sunday to see the new ground - away travel details here. Meanwhile, Burton manager Nigel Clough hopes to sign goalkeeper Saul Deeney who has already played three games for the club after leaving Notts County. "It's time Saul settled down for the season and it will do him no harm to commit himself to us for the next six months", Clough told the Burton Mail.


    The MEN confirms that Macclesfield Town face an FA hearing on 15 November "after pleading guilty to two charges of financial irregularities... the FA has open-ended powers in such cases, including the ability to deduct points".

    To clarify the current status of this year's Cheshire Senior Cup competition, here are the 2nd round fixtures:

  • Crewe A. v ALTRINCHAM
  • Tranmere R/Cammell Laird v Macclesfield T.
  • Hyde U. v Aitton A.
  • Northwich V. v Stalybridge C.


    Crawley Town report that following the departure of manager Francis Vines, caretaker boss "Murray Jones has left Crawley Town by mutual consent... With Jones expected to take charge of team affairs on Saturday, the Board of Directors have moved quickly to replace him with [current player] Simon Wormull agreeing to take the reins for the match versus Cambridge United. Applications continue to steadily arrive at the stadium following the dismissal of Francis Vines on Monday".

    "Stevenage Borough midfielder Danny Williams may require an operation to clear up a knee injury... The 24-year-old joined Stevenage from Hereford in the summer and has scored once in nine substitute appearances" says the BBC.

    This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe has tipped Paul and Billy Jones to book their squad places for England's non-league match against Belgium next month. The Grecians' pair have been named in an initial 22-man England squad for the first non-league European tournament...'I have not seen a better left-back in the Conference or a better keeper'", he said. Billy Jones "arrived at St James's Park during the summer after cash cuts forced the departure of previous left back Alex Jeannin...His set piece delivery, passing, movement and reading of the game have steadily improved and he is now one of the first names on the team-sheet".

    Although Burnham beat Canvey Island 2-1 in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday with a last-gasp penalty, they had played most of the second half with ten men. Also in the Cup the NL Daily says that "Alfreton bowed out by the narrowest of margins - only beaten 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after holding Hereford to a 1-1 draw after extra-time at the Impact Arena. Mark Turner scored against his father Graham's side to put the home side in front".

    26 October 2005


    Congratulations to Louise Band and husband Peter (right) on the birth of their first child this morning. The baby, to be called Maxwell, has already been described by manager Graham Heathcote as "a future Altrincham centre-half"!


    Altrincham's away game at Tamworth on New Year's Eve is now a 1pm kick-off. That same day at 7pm there will be a Family New Year's Party at Moss Lane from 7pm to which all supporters are invited. Entry will be free, but by ticket only. More details to follow.


    The Altrincham Reserves v Leigh RMI Res. game scheduled for Moss Lane tonight (26th) has been postponed due to the torrential rain over the last few days.


    Alty play Burton this Sunday. The Burton Mail reports that manager "Nigel Clough will this week try to thrash out a deal to extend goalkeeper Saul Deeney's stay at Burton Albion until the end of the season".


    With no Alty game on Saturday, a local alternative is the FA Vase match at Shawe View between Trafford FC and Durham side, Prudhoe Town. Kick-off is at 3pm and entry is just £5 (£2.50 for concessionaries).


  • Winsford United 0 Cammell Laird 2


    The Lancit Haulage Lancashire League has updated the league table on its website, which shows Altrincham Reserves are still top, though games in hand mean that Bradford, Fleetwood and Morecambe can still catch them.


    NL Daily reports on Worcester's FA Cup win: "With just 3 minutes remaining, Stanley’s veteran [ex-Alty] goalkeeper Andy Dibble failed to hold a free kick from player boss Preece and young Warmer pounced to net what on the night was a deserved winner for City"

    FA CUP

    2006 is the 20th anniversary of Altrincham's away win against Birmingham City in the FA Cup; the last victory by a non-league club at a top-tier club's ground. STAR is busy making preparations for an anniversary event. But since that day in January 1986, Altrincham have won just three of their 21 away games in the FA Cup - at Maine Road FC (1991), Gainsborough (1993) and the extra-time victory at Lancaster (2002). In those 21 games 6 matches were drawn and 12 were lost.

    The first live FA Cup matches on TV this season will be Merthyr Tydfil v Walsall on Friday, November 4th on Sky Sports and on Sunday 6th, BBC will screen a game, as yet unannounced.

    Tuesday replays FAC4Q round:

  • Alfreton T. 1 Hereford U. 1 Hereford win 4-3 on pens
  • Burnham 2 Canvey Island 1


    The Hereford Bullsnews adds to newspaper reports that Kidderminster Harriers are losing £5K per week. It states that "Chairman, Barry Norgrove, said that the debts inherited from the previous board are worse than imagined. The club was hoping for an investment from multi-millionaire Bermudan businessman Gordon Howard, but that is yet to happen. He also admitted that last Saturday's FA Cup defeat at Southport meant that Kidderminster missed out on £10,000 in prize money... 'Last season our average gate was 2,875. This season we budgeted for an average of 1,900 but we're running at around 1,600 which is a massive difference. It means we're losing £5,000 a week on the gate at the moment. It's been difficult to get the commercial side going after losing our Football League status'" he said.

    Bullsnews adds that "Defender Steve Burton will depart Aggborough (Kidderminster) after the weekend for Australia. The former Hull man joined Kiddy in 2003 on loan, and made the move permanent in March 2004, but has found chances limited this season."

    Two teams knocked out of the FA Cup have re-arranged their league match for November 5th, the date of Round One.Kidderminster will now play Exeter on that date.

    The Argus quotes Crawley's "Club consultant Alan Mullery, who denies he had anything to do with decision [to sack Francis Vines], said: 'Francis has paid the price for results and that is what all managers live and die by... I have been in the same position as he (Vines) has and I know it is not a nice situation but that is what happens in this game... They have played 16 games and have only won three of them. They are third from bottom and are out of the LDV Vans and FA Cup, so you are only looking at survival now. We have to wait and see what the reaction will be to the job. Sometimes you can be surprised at the quality of managers who are interested... We will advertise and see who gets in contact". Captain Ian Simpemba said: "It is a massive disappointment for the players. We didn't have any idea it was going to happen but you have to say it is not surprising... The players feel to blame and we should do. We have been poor and have let Frank down badly". Ex-Weymouth boss Steve Claridge said "I've no desire to manage Crawley or any other club at the present time. In fact, I want to play until I drop".

    This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe is taking a look at a former Chelsea trainee as he seeks to snap up a right-back. Stamford Bridge youth product Danny Woodards has embarked on a week's trial with the Conference club... But Woodards, who featured in 11 second string fixtures for Chelsea last season, failed to break into the first team". It adds that "Inglethorpe is making no secret of his desire to find cover for veteran defender Scott Hiley who, at the age of 37, looks to be playing his last season in the professional ranks".

    Scarborough's acting manager Neil Redfearn has taken on 60 year-old ex-Barnsley coach Eric Winstanley.

    25 October 2005


    Alty travel to Burton this Sunday. "Burton striker Jon Shaw had what his manager described as an 'awful' game on Saturday despite scoring twice. 'Jon came up with two good headers - but apart from that he was awful', Clough told the Burton Mail. 'He didn't find a yellow shirt for 45 minutes, but that's how it goes some times'". The report adds that "Shaw has now scored twice in each of his last three home appearances".


    SAM reports how "Altrincham crashed to an undeserved 3-1 defeat in the FA Cup... but as the season continues, may well be grateful they have one less thing to think about. Despite the margin of defeat, Alty were by no means outplayed by their opponents and once Adie Smith's own goal had levelled the scores, they looked the more likely to win it".

    FA CUP

  • FAC4Q Replay: Worcester C. 3 Accrington S. 2

    "Five players have been earmarked for The FA Cup 'Player of the Round' award by a panel of experts" - Eastbourne Borough's Stuart Tuck plus Danny McDonnell (Worcester), Paul Stoneman (Harrogate), Steve Ferguson (Woking) and Lee Bullimore (Chasetown)


    "Stevenage Borough boss Graham Westley has defended his unprecedented decision to withdraw Anthony Elding from the England Non-League squad... 'I didn't think he deserved to be selected so I pulled him out - it's as simple as that', Westley told the Herts and Essex Mercury. 'He's got to knuckle down at club level before he can even think about joining up with the England squad. He's just not good enough to represent England at this moment in time''' .

    The BBC says that "Cambridge United boss Rob Newman threatened to make changes to his squad after they lost 2-1 at Weymouth in the FA Cup - 'They don't learn - it's the same mistakes time and time again', he said. 'I can understand one honest mistake, but if that mistake happens time and time again, there comes a time when you've got to get them out. We've got four or five in the team who are battlers, and five or six who aren't - it's time to rectify that'".

    From Kidderminster Harriers' website comes news that chairman "Barry Norgrove today revealed the extent of Kidderminster's financial crisis when he announced: 'We're losing £5,000 a week'". The Harriers Online site adds that "The long awaited comeback for fans' favourite, Johnny Mullins, will officially take place tomorrow when the Reading reserve team team Captain will take possession of the full back slot soon to be vacated by Wayne Evans. Evans, who announced his retirement from playing this week, is leaving to take up a coaching position... John will be here for an initial four weeks and will be in the squad that faces Hereford on Saturday". It adds that "Johnny made twenty one appearances for us in his time here last season".

    This is KHFC adds that "Harriers' boss Stuart Watkiss will ask the board for money for reinforcements - with full back Wayne Evans on the brink of quitting Aggborough. But with the club still in a perilous financial predicament, there is a possibility Evans's wages might not be made available to bring in another player". So, "With Evans's imminent departure, Watkiss is keen to recruit a new right back and although Wayne Graves could fill the role, the boss has another target in mind. A goalkeeper is also high up Watkiss's priority list with the boss keen to take John Danby out of the firing line after a difficult start to the season. Dan Lewis... is set to get the nod over John Danby on Saturday. [But]... Watkiss has an alternative target in mind, but a new keeper's arrival could hinge on the possibility of another current member of Harriers' squad leaving the club".

    The Conference reports that "Stevenage star George Boyd is being targeted by Swansea City, and Borough are bracing themselves for an irresistible bid... There is talk of the Welsh side offering up to £125,000 plus appearance and sell-on clauses".

    24 October 2005


    Scarborough report that the club "today parted company with Head Coach, Nick Henry. The club is in the process of negotiating an amicable settlement with the former Oldham Tranmere and Man City midfielder. Boro have slumped to the foot of the Conference table after a poor start to the season and some heavy away defeats. Last Saturday saw the Seadogs knocked out of the FA Cup by Conference North side Harrogate Town. This removed the chance of a potentially lucrative cup run for the club. Boro have a vital Conference game against Aldershot on Saturday and Neil Redfearn will prepare the team". Chairman Malcolm Reynolds said “Following the Aldershot match, we will have a two week break from football as a result of our after early exit from The FA Cup. We hope to use this period to finalise the club’s future management structure. This is clearly a difficult time for everyone associated with the club and I am now asking the fans to continue supporting the club".

    Confguide reports that "Francis Vines the Manager of Crawley Town F.C was relieved of his position on Monday. The owners of Crawley Town would like to say 'Thank You' to Francis for all he has done for the Football Club...It was felt by the board it was time for change... Assistant Manager Murray Jones will take temporary charge". Crawley went out of the FA Cup to Braintree on Saturday.


    Match report here

    Picture and more on the game below...


    Above: Tom Barclay (centre in yellow) makes a fine clearance at the cost of a corner, in the opening minutes

    After taking a lead inside 20 seconds through Matty Williams and being 2-0 up after 15 minutes following an overhead-kick goal from Hassan Zareh-Ourang, Altrincham & District FA were made to work hard to hold onto a 2-1 winning scoreline today against Runcorn & District FA in the Cheshire FA's District Youth Cup match at Trafford FC.

    There is now a match report and pictures in the Youth section, where the Youth team player statistics and results grid have also been updated.


    Former youth teamer Joel Ekolongeni has signed for Chadderton.


    It has been confirmed that players receiving a fifth yellow card in Conference matches this season will be banned from "the seventh day following the date of the last offence".


    Quarter Final draw:
  • Crewe A. v Altrincham (16 Nov)
  • Hyde U. v Witton A. (14 Nov)
  • Northwich V. v Tranmere R. (15 Nov)
  • Tranmere/Winsford/Cammell Laird v Macclesfield T. (tba)


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to Burton for next Sunday's game at the new Pirelli Stadium are here. The match has been moved to a 2pm Sunday kick off as local police won't allow Burton games to coincide with home matches for Derby County.

    Howard Watts's record of Through the Years for 30 October is here.

    23 October 2005


    The Tamworth website has a match report which says "Altrincham looked the more likely to break the deadlock as the first half drew to a close and the half time whistle with Lutel James looking the most threatening". Tamworth's official Man of the Match was Jake Edwards; for Alty yet again Peter Band was the pick of the bunch. See below for this site's report...


    The latest additions to Alty's squad numbers are:
  • 28 Pat McFadden - a striker, Pat has been a regular with Alty Reserves this season after graduating from the local Fletcher Moss club in Manchester. He has now scored 16 goals in 8 consecutive matches for the Reserves after bagging a brace yesterday.
  • 29 Kyle Wilson - able to play on either flank or up front, Kyle is on a one month loan from Crewe Alexandra.


    James Olsen was back playing for Vauxhall Motors yesterday after being released by Alty last week. Carl Furlong netted twice for Runcorn FC Halton but they lost, as did Danny Adams's Huddersfield. Paul Ellender was an unused sub for Boston. Connah’s Quay Nomads have signed Conall Murtagh, who was briefly with Alty Reserves this season.


    The abandoned Winsford Utd v Cammell Laird match in the Cheshire Senior Cup is being replayed tomorrow (Monday).


    "Gary Norton, manager of Gresley Rovers, has signed front man Eric Graves on a month's loan from neighbours Burton Albion... Graves signed for the Albion in summer after being released by Stoke City but the 19-year-old has failed to make an impact at the Pirelli Stadium".

    "Crawley Town’s midfielder Richard Hodgson claimed he is being forced out of the club... [He] has not featured in the first team squad since starting the opening four games of the season. He is on the transfer list and is being made to train on his own every day. The former Nottingham Forest midfielder says... "I don't want to go into the nitty-gritty but the owners are basically not happy with what I'm getting paid and want to cancel my contract. I have been offered a payment but it is embarrassing. I have a two-year contract, so I'm not just going to agree to have it terminated and then be out of a job... The owners are trying to force me out. They are making me come in at eight in the morning every day and train on my own. Apart from the physio, there is no one else there. I just run around the pitch and take shots. I am also being put on the bench for reserve games and don't come on. It is a ridiculous situation but I'm not going until I get the compensation I am owed". General manager Paul Hobbs said: "He has not been performing either in the first team or the reserves and he is a disruptive influence" reports The Argus.

    22 October 2005


    Having forgotten his own boots, Mark Maddox borrowed a pair that had formerly been ex-Everton star Tomasz Radsinksi's, and proceeded to score at Chorley. But Maddox also had a penalty saved and skied the rebound over the bar! Pat McFadden scored two and Lee Hendley, John Maloney and youth team captain Ben Deegan netted the others. Report to follow.


    Above: Stamps takes a Tamworth throw-in as Alty's Potts and Owen look on.

    A late collapse by Alty saw them crash out of the FA Cup and lose out on £10,000 prize money.

    Match report here

  • Alty player stats
  • Alty cup match line-ups

    The Conference ties in the FAC4Q :

  • Accrington S. 1 Worcester C. 1
  • Bromley 0 Aldershot 1
  • Bromsgrove 0 Morecambe 2
  • Burton A. 4 Leek T. 2
  • Canvey 1 Burnham 1
  • Crawley 0 Braintree 1
  • Exeter 0 Stevenage 1
  • Forest Green 2 Dagenham & R 3
  • Gainsborough T. 0 York City 4
  • Halifax T 2 Farsley C.0
  • Harrogate T. 1 Scarborough 0
  • Hereford U. 0 Alfreton T. 0
  • Kettering 3 Gravesend 0
  • Southport 1 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Tamworth 3 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Weymouth 2 Cambridge U. 1
  • Woking 3 Thurrock 0 (not 0-0 as on Ceefax)


    It is not just the Australian cricketers, after being driven around Britain by our chairman Geoff Goodwin, who have publicly declared Altrincham FC to be their favourite football team. At last night's Bridgewater Hall (Manchester) concert another celebrity, Ray Davies, composer of all of The Kinks famous songs (You Really Got Me, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Days, Lola, etc), revealed to the audience (perhaps just a little tongue in cheek) that he really liked visiting Manchester as it was home to one of his favourite football teams, Altrincham FC! A number of Altrincham fans were at the show and they came away holding the sixties' star even higher in their estimation for his good judgement - and his plug for Greater Manchester's premier non-league club!


    NL Daily says that "Striker Niell Hardy has left Chorley for the second time in less then six months. Hardy has decided to return to Curzon Ashton. Now 27, Hardy started out as a trainee at Bolton before joining Crewe, but it was after playing Conference football for Northwich Victoria, Altrincham and Morecambe that his career really took off, although it was from Radcliffe Borough that he eventually made a £15,000 move to Stockport to resurrect his full-time career. He returned to Radcliffe and then Alty and has also had spells with Ashton United as well as the Magpies and Curzon in recent months".

    A more recent ex-Robin is George Melling, of whom Clitheroe manager Tommy Lawson said, "Our back five are totally different to the defence we had at Kidsgrove [where they lost 5-0]. Tom Hardwick at left back is the only similarity... Tom, Ryan Parr, Ian Kearney and George Melling [and the keeper] showed just how strong they are as a unit on Tuesday... They are probably the youngest defensive unit in the league, but they showed that they can more than cope with ex-professional players" report This is Clitheroe


    Lancaster Today reports that Lancaster City's striker Nick Rogan has been "put under seven days' notice by Southport... A move to Haig Avenue would take Rogan back up to Conference National level where he played for Morecambe".

    Accrington Stanley's official site quotes chairman Eric Whalley after reports that some of his players are the target of league clubs, including our own ex-captain Ian Craney. The chairman said, "It is never a bad thing to have clubs looking at your players, after all it means you are doing something right. A number of clubs have made enquiries, Rotherham were very impressed with one or two players... and Paul Jewell from Wigan has also spoken to Coley [manager John Coleman] after watching our midweek match... It would take an offer of a significant sum of money before we would even consider allowing one of our key players to leave at this stage of the season".

    21 October 2005


    SAM has a match preview for the game at Tamworth. It says that Alty's "forward worries have been relieved by the recovery of Rod Thornley from a virus and he will be available for selection... Tamworth started the season with a 2-0 win at Aldershot but after that, went on a ten-game winless run. Their form has picked up somewhat recently, with two wins in their last three games, including a 1-0 away win over Kidderminster. Still, the Lambs are wildly inconsistent and too often follow up good results with utterly woeful performances". Centre-back Aaron Brown and loan signing Jake Edwards are identifed as the Lambs' dangermen. Tamworth also have on their staff James Francis, 18 year-old son of Trevor Francis, the former England star.


    Altrincham FC have signed Kyle Wilson from Crewe Alexandra on a month's loan; he is manager Graham Heathcote's first loan transaction of the season. Kyle is a pacy forward who can play up front or on either flank. Aged twenty this November, Kyle is the son of former Alty player and current Lancaster City manager Phil Wilson. A former England Youth international, Kyle was a used sub for Crewe towards the end of their CSC Final defeat by Altrincham last March. Kyle joins Steve Aspinall (right) as a current Altrincham player whose father also played for The Robins.

    Crewe's official website writes: "Kyle Wilson has joined Conference One side Altrincham on a one-month loan. The 19-year-old striker has agreed to a short-term loan after scoring twice for Crewe Alexandra reserves at Wrexham on Wednesday. The Academy graduate has consistently scored goals at Youth level but has yet to make that decisive step up to the first-team squad. Wilson's progression through the ranks has been halted by the recent purchases of fellow 19-year-old's Tom Pope and Mat Bailey {ex-Alty loanee from Stockport] and regular football could provide the extra spur he needs on his return to the Alexandra Stadium. Of course, Altrincham visit Crewe on Wednesday 16th November for the second round of the Cheshire Cup but Wilson will be cup-tied for the game having been involved in our first round victory over Stockport County".

    WIlson was top scorer for Crewe's youth team in the 2003 and 2004 according to SAM which adds that he was also "a member of the England under 18 team that won the prestigious Lisbon tournament in 2004".


    Both Steve Aspinall and Kieran Lugsden are out of contention for tomorrow's game following their recent injuries. Mark Maddox, too, is also absent from tomorrow's first-team line-up but he will be playing instead at Chorley for Altrincham Reserves.

    In the MEN, Graham Heathcote says, "You can't afford to have off-days in the Cup. If we were anything like we were in the opening 45 minutes against Southport, then we can kiss the Cup goodbye. But if we play like we did in the second-half, then I'm confident we'll go through. You only have to look at Exeter last season to see just what the Cup can mean to non-league clubs these days". The paper adds that "Lutel James is ready to partner Colin Little up front".


    Altrincham FC has now received an allocation of the FIFA Football Manager 2006 PC game. The normal price is £39-99 but at the Robins Shop it is just £20. Please contact the club on 928-1045 to secure a copy outside matchdays- otherwise head for the shop!


    Altrincham FC Youth team is holding a fundraising Race Night on Friday 28 October in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, starting at 7.30pm. Admission will be just £1. Manager George Heslop promises a great night all for all, so please come along and help to support the youth set-up which has already produced three of our current first-team squad (Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley). If you would like to sponsor a race (£25) or a horse (£5) please contact the club on 928-1045. Details here.


    Courtesy of Geroge Heslop, there is a match report on the win at Holker Old Boys in the youth section.


    Our FA Cup opponents on Saturday, Tamworth "are pleased to announce that Mark Cooper has secured the signature of Trevor Robinson from Millwall on a one month's loan". Millwall have allowed him to play in the FA Cup tomorrow against Alty. He played 3 times for the Millwall first team but has had a dislocated knee.

    Tamworth say that on Saturday there will be "no tickets available for the standing areas of the ground in advance. If you sit in the main stand, you can reserve your seat by purchasing one on Friday from main reception. On Saturday, remaining seats will be available on a first come first served basis". Their website adds that "Jake Edwards - last weekend's loan signing from Exeter City, is available to play in the Cup game... Meanwhile, Julian Alsop has gone on a three month loan to Forest Green Rovers... [Manager, Mark] Cooper, has asked that the crowd get behind the team on Saturday to see his squad through to a potentially money spinning 1st Round tie. Other than Matt Redmile, still recovering from his hamstring injury, there are no major worries ahead of the game with Aaron Brown fully recovered from his clash of heads last weekend against Gravesend".


    Sportal is showing the Burton v Alty game on Octiober 30th live on broadband.


    Alty's summer trialist Aaron Wilford of Whitby Town scored four times on Staurday and then added a hat-trick on Wednesday in the FA Trophy.


    Halifax striker Darren Mansaram has been told by manager Chris Wilder that "His future with us is really on the line now because, as much as he is a nice lad and as well as he played against Bury, he needs to show that sort of form and ability on a regular basis. If he does he can play a big part for us. "I know he is going to have an odd off game, but it can't be one every two matches, or one good game then three bad ones" reports the Conference.

    "With the points we have got I am delighted with the position we are in... We have got to keep our heads down and keep working hard", Wilder told BBC Sport. "If one team runs away with it fair play to them. But it's very tight and I think there will be 12 or 13 teams with their eye on the championship," he added.

    "Cambridge United midfielder Courtney Pitt has been told he faces up to two months on the sidelines with a knee injury" reports Confguide.

    Confguide also says that "Forest Green Rovers' appeal against goalkeeper Ryan Clarke's sending off on Saturday has been accepted and he is now free to play on Saturday... The 23-year-old was harshly dismissed for handling the ball outside the box early in the weekend's game against Woking... The FA appeals committee deemed he did not prevent a clear goalscoring chance".

    Bullsnews says that "Two more Conference games have been added to the Sky Sports schedules. York v Burton will take place on Tuesday 8th November rather than the following Saturday, while Grays v Accrington will take place on Saturday 12th November at noon - the day of the first World Cup playoff matches, and England's friendly with Argentina in Geneva (kick off 4.45pm, live on BBC1). The Bulls' home match with Woking on that date is believed to be unaffected by the coverage of the England match". Let's hope Alty v Exeter is also unaffected!

    20 October 2005


    Altrincham FC have released left-sided midfielder James Olsen (right). The 23 year-old left-sided midfielder made 5 starts and 4 sub appearances and scored once for the club after signing in the 2005 close season from Vauxhall Motors. As Olsen departs, Alty manager Graham Heathcote is hoping to bring in a loan player before Saturday's game at Tamworth.


    SAM says that Graham Heathcote "is not thinking about this club's history in the FA Cup, I want these players to create their own piece of history. You have no divine right to win just because of your history in the competition, you have to work hard to get a result... There are no bad sides in the Conference so we know we will have to put in a disciplined performance against Tamworth. One important factor will be how much support we can get down there because last year at Leigh we had a great following and it gave the lads a real boost... I'm hoping that Lutel James is going to strengthen the squad for a start, he will be like a new signing. We have not made any moves for other players yet, we're going into the cup now so we'll focus on that but then maybe I'll be able to bring a few players in". SAM adds that "with Gary Scott back to full fitness and Steve Aspinall firmly on the road to recovery, Heathcote says his squad is now approaching something like full strength".

    FA CUP

    Promotion means that Alty only enter the FA Cup at the 4th Qualifying Round this season- a round they have not reached since 2001-02 when they went on to lose to Darlington in the 2nd Round proper. It will be Alty's 263rd game in the FA Cup - we have won 133, lost 82 and drawn 47, scoring 556 goals and conceding 390. All Altrincham's FA Cup results are here.


    In Tuesday's games, Leroy Chambers scored for Frickley as they lost their FAT replay. Elsewhere, Tony Sullivan scored for Chorley, Andy Dibble tasted defeat in Accrington's penalty shoot out at Rotherham; Ian Craney also played for Stanley. Former Alty Reserve Adie Orr has become the first FC United player to hit a hat-trick.


    The BBC says that "York City boss Billy McEwan is planning a move into the loan market after losing captain Mark Hotte with a fractured shoulder. 'It's the curse of the armband. It seems whoever wears it gets injured', McEwan told the York Evening Press.

    Halifax trounced Bury in the LDV 6-1 but only after Bury's ex-Stalybridge goalkeeper Craig Dootson was sent 15 minutes into his debut.

    19 October 2005


    Rod Thornley (left) is suffering from a viral infection and so is doubtful for Saturday's game but Kieran Lugsden should be fit again after his knock whilst playing for Radcliffe Borough. Gary Williams remains doubtful after missing last Saturday's game with a foot injury incurred for the Reserves last week. As Altrincham have two reserve games (on Saturday and Wednesday) as well as the FA Cup match at Tamworth, manager Graham Heathcote is intending that all fit members of the first-team squad are involved in at least two of the games. Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed that Peter Band (right) is not called away on Saturday to be with his wife, Louise, whose expected baby is now overdue! All at the club wish Louise well with the birth.

    FA CUP

    Saturday's FA Cup tie at Tamworth is worth £10,000 to the winners as well as giving them a chance to draw League opposition in the next round, the 1st Round Proper. where £16,000 is the prize money. The draw for Round One is at 5.10pm on BBC1 on Saturday evening and it will be made by Sir Tom Finney and former Chelsea player Roy Bentley


    LDV Vans Trophy results involving Conference clubs:

  • Cambridge U. 3 Chester C. 0
  • Grimsby 1 Morecambe 1- Morecambe won on pens.
  • Halifax T. 6 Bury 1
  • Kidderminster H. 2 Darlington 1
  • Mansfield T. 0 Hereford U. 1
  • Rotherham U. 3 Accrington S. 3 - Rotherham win on pens.
  • Bournemouth 4 Aldershot T. 1
  • Gillingham 2 Crawley T. 0 aet
  • MK Dons 3 Exeter C. 2
  • Swindon 2 Stevenage B. 0
  • Woking 3 Not'm F. 2
  • Wycombe 2 Dagenham & R. 1 aet


    Alty's next league match is at Burton on Sunday 30th, and The Burton Mail reports that "Out of favour goalkeeper Dan Crane has joined Moor Green on a month's loan from Burton Albion... Crane's temporary departure means Albion are increasingly confident of retaining Saul Deeney's services for Saturday's FA Cup tie... The former Notts County keeper has been on trial with Burnley in between making two Conference appearances for the Brewers... Boss Nigel Clough said: 'Steve Cotterill has indicated he does not have the money to take on another keeper, so we're 90% confident that Saul will play against Leek'... Clough is also awaiting the all-clear from Crewe to include loan signing Lee Bell in his cup squad... Keith Gilroy returned to training after missing Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Hereford because of a hamstring injury. Two casualties - midfielder Andy Todd and striker Dale Anderson - also took part in [training] after making quick recoveries... Clough said: 'Dale has had to live on soup because his jaw is so sore that he can't eat, but otherwise he's okay. It looks as though Andy jarred a nerve because he was fine yesterday'".


    Bullsnews reports that "In a statement made at a fans' forum last Thursday, Cambridge Finance Director Nick Pomery warned that while cash was available to see the club through the season, initiatives were needed to inject the cash necessary to survive the close season and beyond. 'As things stand, we have £100,000 in the bank, so we're running close to, but slightly behind, budget and unless something bizarre happens, we're confident we're safe, certainly until the end of the season -an expected running loss of £250,000 for the season'". Bullsnews says that "Central to this loss is the £200,000 yearly rent on the Abbey Stadium paid to Bideawhile, a company owned by Vice Chairman John Howard. Bideawhile bought the stadium from the Club in December 2004 for £1.92m, with an immediate 50 year lease issued to the club, and has so far refused offers to resell the Stadium to either the club or the supporters."

    The BBC says that "Former Watford and Gillingham defender David Perpetuini has re-signed for Stevenage Borough. The 26-year-old made two substitute appearances for Boro earlier this season before being released as a cost-cutting measure... [He] has returned to the club on a non-contract basis following a number of injuries in the Boro squad."

    Also "Halifax midfielder Tyrone Thompson has agreed a deal to stay at The Shay for the rest of the season. Thompson, 24, joined Halifax from Scarborough on a monthly contract at the start of the campaign... [Also, he] has earned a call-up to England's non-league squad" .

    The FA reports on its 'Player of the Third Round Qualifying'. But the declaration of the winner "had to be delayed due to over 100,000 rogue votes coming in from some techno-bods trying to manipulate the system... Whilst we do not condone this type of skullduggery, it shows how the magic of The FA Cup has led to some fans going to extraordinary lengths to try and secure victory for the player they support - but, unfortunately for them, to no avail".

    The Aldershot News and Mail reports that "Chairman Karl Prentice... has broken his silence over the Shots’ dismal start to the season and said he still believes they can make the Play-Offs... 'As far as my board and myself are concerned, our views have not changed since Terry Brown has been in charge, he has always always had our support... Hopefully Terry will get us rising up the table, this is when he needs our support the most. The quality of personnel we’ve got in there is as good as anything in this League... I know it’s a tall order but I want to get to the Play-Offs, and I think we can still make it"... One main area of criticism has been the club’s PR skills, but the chairman is hoping to turn that around with what he describes as his 'biggest PR tool' — the official website, due to be up and running by the end of next month".

    18 October 2005


    Brian Flynn, chairperson of STAR, has received the following reply to his letter to Canvey Island FC, which was reproduced on this site yesterday (below):

    From: Wayne Purser

    Subject: RE: Canvey Island v Altrincham, 8/10/05

    Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 09:20:33 +0100


    Many thanks for your kind words; we are glad that you enjoyed your short stay with us the other week. Although our ground is somewhat lacking in facilities unlike many of the other teams in this league, we try to make up for it with our friendliness and hospitality. I am glad you came away from the game feeling this. The travelling supporters that came down were magnificent and have to be applauded for their non stop singing and support that they gave your team. It was good to see two sets of supporters trying not to be out done by each other. Even if our mob do cheat with the drums!!

    Looking forward to visiting you on March 11th and a copy of your letter will go on our fans forum and in the bar.

    Thanks again,


    Let's hope that the welcomes for us on the rest of our away trips this season are as friendly as the Canvey one....


    In last night's MEN, Graham Heathcote said, "Us beating Southport has shown we can compete with the teams around us and the win was based on a solid defensive performance". The paper adds that Alty's win "takes their points total up to 16, with a third of their league fixtures now completed... It means they're once again slightly ahead of Heathcote's safety target. The Robins' chief believes a points tally in the early 40s might be enough for Alty to stay up". Only two teams go down this season.


    This is Trafford reports that "Altrincham fans finally got their first proper glimpse of the elusive Lutel James (right) on Saturday and the veteran striker did not disappoint. After signing for the club during the summer James was sent away by manager Graham Heathcote to gain fitness and after two months and plenty of questions from the Moss Lane faithful, he made his first Conference appearance in a red and white shirt... Robins' fans were worried that James did not possess the necessary desire or commitment to play for the club but Saturday was about proving a point and although it would be easy to overstate the importance of his return, he injected Alty with some much-needed impetus. After the interval, Altrincham were unrecognisable from the team who had muddled their way through the previous 45 minutes and broke the deadlock with 20 minutes to go... But despite the striker's impact, it was Peter Band who deserved the plaudits for another calm and composed performance at the heart of the defence". Both Band and Colin Little formerly played with James at Hyde United, several years ago.

    Portchat quotes from the Daily Post: "Moss Lane has never been a happy hunting ground for Port and the jinx struck again. Port paid the price for not taking their first-half opportunities... The introduction of Lutel James on the hour injected menace into the Robins attack... After a three-match unbeaten run Southport slumped to a disappointing defeat and Watson reflected: "We did not take our first half chances. The points should have been ours by half-time. We tried to push it and gain a victory but our approach backfired. In the last 20 minutes Altrincham were the better side'".


    The Football Conference reports that "Accrington Stanley midfielder Ian Craney is in such tremendous goalscoring form he feels like he could score in every game. The 23-year-old pledged a much improved contribution at the start of the campaign after managing 10 league goals last season - a disappointing return by the high standards he has set himself. Despite establishing a new record for Accrington by scoring in four consecutive Conference games, Craney is only too happy to share the credit with the rest of his team-mates... Craney joined the Reds from Altrincham last summer but struggled to adjust". He told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph "Last season I had more long distance strikes and only got into the box a few times. I was playing off the front two as a link between midfield and attack, which is something I wasn't used to, as I played in central midfield for Altrincham. This season we've changed the formation and it's one that I prefer".


    The BBC reports that "Scarborough manager Nicky Henry says he needs more experienced players... Henry has signed Crewe midfielder Ben Rix, 21, on a month's loan but is struggling to bring in other players. 'We have got too many kids in the side. We need experience but we keep getting knock-backs'".

    In contrast, youth is favoured at Cambridge United who "have clinched the services of teenagers Stephen Smith and Michael Morrison on long-term contracts. Midfielder Smith, 18, has started 12 Conference games for the U's this season, while Morrison, 17, made his debut as a substitute at Halifax. Their deals run until 2008 while boss Rob Newman has offered a professional contract to defender Adam Davies. Striker Craig Westcarr, 20, has been on non-contract terms but has been offered an extended deal."

    The BBC also says that "Andy Ford hopes to land a manager's job after leaving his post as number-two to Stevenage Borough boss Graham Westley. The former Gravesend and Northfleet manager spent seven months at Broadhall Way but is now keen to return to a more senior position".

    Yesterday's Daily Telegraph said that "Aaron Brown, the Tamworth captain, who was rushed to hosiptal with concussion... was back at home yesterday under orders to rest. He is doubtful for the home FA cup tie with Altrincham" on Saturday

    "Due to the decision of the referee to dismiss Ryan Clarke after 10 minutes during the match against Woking for 'denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity', Forest Green Rovers can confirm that in accordance with FA Regulations, they have lodged an official claim for wrongful dismissal".

    Gravesend & Northfleet "are pleased to announce... For the remainder of the season, which consists of 14 home league games, the club are proposing to allocate 8,500 complimentary tickets. The tickets will be made available to all primary schools in the area on a rota throughout the rest of season... The great giveaway will be for all children under the age of 12 years. The club will be visiting around 5 or 6 schools in the week before a game. Members of the first team squad will be able to meet the children and staff, hand out the free tickets together with other club information and hopefully participate in some fitness or football training if lessons permit... Brian Kilcullen, Chairman of GNFC said that 'This £50,000 pound donation of free access to watch professional football is just what the sport needs at a time when all clubs are looking to improve attendances. The fact that players want to engage with local school children and help take professional football out into the community is further evidence of our commitment to get close to football fans and motivate youngsters to succeed in school as well as social life'”.

    Bullsnews says that "Managing Director Ian Huxham, a lifelong Exeter supporter, has quit St James Park after just over two years at the helm. Huxham was one of the leading lights in the Supporters Trust takeover of the club in mid 2003... Existing high value player contracts meant that the budget was slashed this season, and after a strong start to the season on the field the ongoing off-field problems had risen back to the surface with Chairman Dave Treharne warning last month that things weren't quite as rosy as some people thought. Huxham's decision to quit is believed to be over some harsh criticism he has received lately, especially over his £40,000 salary".

    17 October 2005


    The club has agreed to STAR, the Alty's supporters' trust hosting a site to be called This is a new internet shopping channel through which purchases can be made from more than 80 major retailers, with commission coming to the club via STAR. A banner-link to the site is below (just click on it) and this will be added permanently to the site for quick access.


    In Saturday's matchday programme, Graham Heathcote wrote: "Whilst I will be letting players go out on loan to get some match practice, I will also be looking to try and find a couple of players in certain positions that I hope will improve our capability of scoring more goals, whilst also working very hard with our strikers and midfield players on how we can improve from within... There are no bad sides in this league and that includes us".


    Alty had two players in the NL Paper's "Team of the Day" yesterday - Peter Band and Stuart Coburn.


    Substitute Kevin Ellison netted for Hull City, whilst Danny Adams played for table-topping Huddersfield. Mario Daniel was man of the match for Woodley Sports. Former Youth player Dion Depiaza scored for Nigel Gleghorn's Newcastle Town on Saturday.


    For a match report-link and photos, see lower down this page...


  • Friday: Southport Res. 1 Altrincham Res. 5
  • Saturday: Altrincham 1 Southport 0
  • Sunday: Holker Old Boys Youth 0 Altrincham Youth 5


    After hitting four goals for the Altrincham & District FA Youth side last weekend, Alty captain Ben Deegan (right) did it again this Sunday as he struck four past Holker OB in the Allied Trophies Open Cup where Alty recorded a 5-0 away win. they now meet Kingsley United in the next round. What is more, Ben also got the winner for the Cheshire FA this week in the National Cup. The other goal at Holker came from Hassan Zareh-Ourang - match report to follow from George Heslop...

    Including Ben's goals for the Cheshire and Altrincham FA teams and for Altrincham FC, he has now hit 21 goals in 11 matches.


    A report on the Reserves' 5-1 win at Southport last Friday is in the Reserves section, courtesy of Neil Brown. Pat McFadden scored in his seventh successive match to make it 14 goals in those games. The Reserves have hit 58 goals and conceded 23 in their 14 matches this season.


    At 7.30pm on Monday 28 November (NB the change of date from 18 November) there will be Christmas Bingo at Moss Lane, in the Sponsors' Lounge. All donations of Christmas items including wrapping-paper, crackers, wine, tinned goods, Christmas puddings and cakes are most welcome. Also items for the Bring and Buy stall will be gladly received. Please ring 904-9936 or contact Derek or Anne Wilshaw on the club number (928-1045) if you can help. Donated items may be left at the club office. This event raised more than £400 last season and your support on the day will also be very welcome.


    The STAR supporters' coach details for the trip to Tamworth for next week's FA Cup match are here. Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Saturday 22 October is here.


    A page on Alty Players of 1967-68 has now been added to the Altrincham Past Players section.


    An interesting posting on the Southport Forum reveals that for the Haig Avenue club, "17 of our 18 goals have been scored in the first 60 minutes; 18 of the 25 goals we have conceded were in the second half. We haven't scored away from home in the second half .We are still reliant on four players to score the goals- two wingers and two forwards. This proves that we are a first half team only, not fit enough to play the last half an hour, our central midfielders are not attacking enough and our defenders don't score from set pieces (same last season)".

    For comparison, Alty have scored only 10 league goals this season but 6 of them have arrived in the second half. Only 3 Alty players have scored - Little 5, Potts 3 and Olsen 1 -plus 1 own goal. Alty's average home gate this season is 1,042 - our highest average gate since 1990/91 when we almost won the "Conference" and a 57% increase on last season.


    Brian Flynn, in his capacity as chairperson of STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, has written to Canvey Island FCas follows:

    I am writing to thank you & everyone at Canvey Island Football Club for the very friendly welcome that we received on our first visit to Park Lane last week.

    We were all very impressed with your new bar for away supporters & in fact this was a subject for discussion at our Supporters' Trust Board Meeting yesterday as we currently are unable to provide such a facility for travelling supporters at segregated games.

    Canvey was our first unsegregated away match & whilst travelling to Nationwide Conference grounds has been a fantastic experience to date, a number of our supporters commented that there was a very nice 'non-league' atmosphere at Park Lane.

    Whilst the early kick off undoubtedly reduced our travelling support, I am sure that those who did travel spent a few bob in your bar.

    We look forward to welcoming you to Moss Lane in the New Year.Hopefully the match will not be segregated & we can all mix for a drink both before & after the game.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Brian Flynn Chairperson, STAR (Support The Altrincham Robins), The Altrincham F.C. Supporters Trust.

    STAR's Marketing Director Paul Daine is appealing for Alty fans to collect Tesco Vouchers for Sports and to hand them in to any STAR representative or to the Club office.

    16 October 2005


    Above: Southport line-up a second-half freekick

    Match report here - another picture below...

    The Southport official website says that "Liam Watson's Southport side tasted defeat at Altrincham's Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon despite dominating the first 45 minutes of the game".


    The STAR supporters' coach details for the trip to Tamworth for next week's FA Cup match are here.

    Tamworth recorded their first home win yesterday and boss Mark Cooper said, "It was thoroughly deserved, especially seeing as how Gravesend are a full time club. That we've won at home is a great result not only for the lads but also for myself and Richard Dryden as we'd quite rightly been getting some stick... Matt Redmile (hamstringinjury) was touch and go before the game, but he wanted to play so we gave him as long as he could last. Dave Bampton was magnificent today and credit must go to our defenders who stopped Gravesend from getting any clear cut chances. I gave James Francis a roasting after the Studley defeat because he did not perform but he's shown great character today... The only worry tonight is that of Aaron Brown who, following a clash of heads received concussion and had to go to hospital for monitoring. I am pleased for Aaron getting into the National Game XI it is not only a fantastic achievement for Aaron but also for the club... We were not really thinking ahead to next Saturday's FA Cup game until the final whistle today as we didn't want to be stuck at the bottom of the league for a couple of weeks". For Saturday's game loan signing Jake Edwards made his debut and Tristram Whitman replaced Jimmy Turner.


    Alty's chief steward, Darren Gregory, on behalf of the Club would like to thank all those who bought Altrincham FC wristbands as the proceeds from the sales have enabled the stewards to be kitted out in new fluorescent, weatherproof jackets. A big thank-you is also due to Ian Senior's Sensports company for kindly providing brand new weatherproof jackets for our excellent team of ball-boys and girls at Moss Lane. A full range of Ian's Altrincham FC kits and associated products is available in the Robins' Shop.


    Alty Youth striker and captain Ben Deegan has been made captain of the Cheshire County FA Youth team, in which he and his Alty team-mates Tom Bane and Richard Gresty also played yesterday in a 2-1 win (aet) over the North Riding FA in the National Cup. Ben scored the winner. Also, Tom Bane and Dean White have been selected for the Gtr Manchester Colleges' squad. Congratulations to all concerned!


    Alty's summer trialist, Aaron Wilford, hit four goals for Whitby yesterday in the FA Trophy. An Alty reserve this season, former Barnsley and Man. City reserve left winger Tom Baker (20) has joined Stalybridge Celtic. Another ex-Barnsley and ex-Alty Reserve, Griff Jones, scored for Wtton as did Jeremy Illingworth for Guiseley also in the FAT. Peter Wrght was on the mark for Chorley and Chris Young got Woodley's winner in the UniBond.


    Portchat has a report on Alty Resereves 5-1 win at Southport last Friday. "A very poor performance from Southport's youngsters saw them trounced by league leaders Altrincham this evening, the visitors demonsrating just why they sit on top of the table having scored an amazing 58 goals already this season.

    The Southport official website also has a report on the game.


    NL Daily says that "Kettering Town have signed midfielder Hugh McAuley on a month's loan from Tamworth.

    York City's "20-year-old goalkeeper David Stockdale has returned to the club following a recent loan spell at Wakefield & Emley and replaced former Azerbaijan under-21 international Farhad Afandiyev on the bench for the visit of Canvey Island... York manager Billy McEwan was also attempting to extend striker Jermaine Palmer's loan spell from Grimsby Town".

    15 October 2005


    Above: Stuart Coburn receives his Man of the Match award after the game.

  • League table
  • Alty line-ups

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


    Kieran Lugsden's injury in his first loan game at Radcliffe in midweek has been described as an "ankle-knock" and it is expected he will be fit again by next weekend after treatment from player-physio Richard Norris.


    Courtesy of Barry Pond, the list of season 2005-06 match day sponsors at Moss Lane has been added to the website here. For a list of the club's main sponsors, please click here, where you will also find details of how to sponsor a game or the club.


    Steve Aspinall (right) captained the Reserves on Friday night.

    Alty Reserves won 5-1 away at Southport last night to maintain top place in the Lancashire League. Captained by Steve Aspinall, who netted the first goal from the spot, Alty scored four second-half goals through John Maloney, Gary Williams, Pat McFadden and Danny Heffernan, despite playing the last 20 minutes with ten men after Gary Williams was injured. Alty team: Blower, Monaghan, A. Brown, Rose, Ball, Aspinall, Williams, Maloney, McFadden, Hendley, Olsen. Subs: M. Brown, Heffernan, Marsden. Report to follow.

    The Reserves have won nine and drawn one of their last ten games and Pat McFadden has now scored in seven successive matches.


    The BBC states that "Cambridge midfielder Courtney Pitt has signed a deal to stay at the Abbey Stadium for the rest of the season. The former Portsmouth and Boston man, 23, has spent the last month with the U's on non-contract terms".

    Scarborough report that "Boro have signed midfielder Ben Rix on loan from Crewe Alexandra. Rix, 21, was born in Wolverhampton but has been with Crewe’s famed academy since he was a schoolboy and signed professional forms in early 2001. He made his first team debut the same year, making many appearances as substitute and scoring a goal at Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup. His progress was halted by injury in pre-season of 2004, when a shin-splints problem kept him out for most of the campaign".

    Tamworth's Hugh McAuley is reported to have gone on loan for a month to Kettering.

    The Argus reports that "Crawley manager Francis Vines is poised to extend Andy Lindegaard's loan deal from Yeovil. The midfielder is due to play the last game of a four-week spell against Exeter City tomorrow... Reds cannot sign a player permanently until the transfer window opens in January but are allowed four short-term loans and four long-term. Vines said: "He has done well and I want to keep him but it's not for me to say if we will be able to or not". His only goal was at Moss Lane recently. Lindegaard said: "The reason I came on loan in the first place was to get first team football, so I wouldn't want to go back and not be playing again". Referring to this season Vines said, "We have not known how to win matches but hopefully now we are beginning to".

    14 October 2005


    Today is the third anniversary of Graham Heathcote becoming manager of Altrincham, with Dalton Steele joining him 9 days later as assistant manager. When Graham took over, Alty were lying 20th in the UniBond Premier League and finally finished 14th. The following season (2003-04), Altrincham qualified for the new Nationwide North and in 2004-05 gained promotion to the Nationwide Conference National. Apart from John King's term of almost four years in charge (1994/98), you have to go back to Tony Sanders (1976-84) to find a manager who has been in post at Moss Lane for longer than Graham's current spell. Alty's post-war managers are listed here.


    Please remember that for tomorrow's match at Moss Lane, there is car parking available for £1 at Blessed Thomas Holford School and it will also be available for future home games. There should be signs up directing people from the ground to the car park which will be staffed at all times during the game. A map can be found here.


    Today's NL Paper quotes Graham Heathcote: "Having fallen behind in a match, I see little point in settling for a narrow defeat and have tried to open up the game. This clearly leaves us open to problems and I have told the players that it is my fault if my tactics have caused them embarrassment". But referring to his faith in the existing squad, Graham added, "A manager can never be completely sure of the attitude of players brought in on loan and non-contract players can cause problems of their own. If I brought in new blood at the expense of players that had been with me for some time, would they remain loyal to Altrincham should we be relegated?"


    Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup match at Gresty Road against Crewe Alexandra has been moved to Wednesday 16 November (7.45pm). Originally it was scheduled for 8 November.


    Paul Roberts, coordinator of the Junior Robins, has announced the winners of the recent drawing competition for Altrincham FC's younger supporters. Thanks go to all the entrants but only three winners could be chosen by Alty manager Graham Heathcote and these are:
  • Charlotte Lloyd of St Anne's in Sale, aged 9
  • Luke Roberts of Stamford Park School, aged 9
  • Kirsty Warburton, also of Stamford Park, aged 10.

    Congratulations to all three winners, who will act as mascots at the match against Southport at Moss Lane this Saturday. Details of how you can join the Junior Robins are here.


    Kieran Lugsden who went on loan to Radcliffe this week was stretchered off after less than 10 minutes of his debut against Witton on Tuesday night.


    Southport report that "Striker Neil Robinson returns to the squad for Saturday's short trip to Altrincham. Robinson has been missing since picking up an injury at Woking. Robbo had scored four goals in the opening matches and will add fire power to the squad. Jerome Fitzgerald is also expected to be available after missing last Friday's home win over Forest Green Rovers. Skipper Steve Pickford remains an absentee with a groin injury. Dominic Krief is the only other player still ruled out... Southport are on a three match unbeaten run... [Manager] Liam Watson has revealed that England manager Paul Fairclough has made contact with him concerning Carl Baker. The attacking midfielder has made a sensational start to the season scoring six goals and also creating for colleagues. It is anticipated Baker will be named in the England squad to play Belgium in mid November"

    The SAM website has a preview of Saturday's game. "Much will depend on Alty's strike partnership and if Colin Little returns to full fitness and Rod Thornley is given the chance to partner him up front, they should cause Southport plenty of problems. Little has struggled up front on his own this season due to the necessity for caution in most games and has not been able to develop a regular partnership in home games due to Thornley's injury problems. Along with Little, Val Owen will receive a fitness test before the game while Steve Aspinall will continue his recovery in the reserves". Though 'Port have scored freely at home, they have only netted 5 times away from home this season.


    Liam Brownhill, an Alty trialist this summer, has joined Connah's Quay from Bangor City. Griff Jones, who played most of this season for Alty Reserves before leaving recently, came on as a sub for Witton Albion in midweek.


    Halifax Town manager Chris Wilder has told the Halifax Evening Courier: "I would have thought Peter Atherton is still a distance away from playing. He suffered a setback during his rehabilitation when he was perhaps a little too determined to get back".

    The BBC says that "MK Dons goalkeeper Scott Bevan is training at Scarborough with a view to a possible loan move. Seasiders boss Nicky Henry is running the rule over the 26-year-old following a knee injury to second-choice keeper Antoni Pecora. Bevan has started 19 games for the Dons".

    Also, "Gravesend and Northfleet hope to reverse the drop in attendances at Stonebridge Road this season. Fleet, who are now a full-time club, have seen their average crowds drop by around 250 compared to last year. 'We will be bringing out some new initiatives very soon', said chairman Brian Kilcullen'".

    Alty travel to Burton on 30 October and "Albion have allayed fears that defender Ryan Austin is facing a spell out with a broken bone in his foot... He has only suffered bruising... Meanwhile, Albion hope Lee Ayres will return to action before Christmas from a long-term pelvic injury" says the BBC.

    Dagenham have "taken Luton Town midfielder Thomas Ward on Work Experience. The 18-year old lives in Dagenham and can play either in the middle or wide. {He was] a regular in the Luton Under-18 side last season".

    The Conference reports that "Crawley boss Francis Vines insists his recently upgraded full-timers need time to get their act together... He told BBC Sport: "When people pump money in, they want to see results immediately... After doing what we did and going full-time a couple of days after the start of the season we must make sure we survive this year". It adds that Vines "After giving up his job as a postman, is now a full-time member of the results industry". He confessed "When you are fighting to get a few results it is all-consuming. You think about it in your sleep and wake up kicking footballs".

    "Kidderminster Harriers' hopes of naming an unchanged side could be hit by another hamstring injury for winger Michael Blackwood". But boss Stuart Watkiss, "has received a more encouraging fitness bulletin on the condition of veteran Martin O'Connor who is set to declare himself available for the trip" to Aldershot, reports This is Kidderminster. Aldershot's "Chris McPhee has returned to Brighton after a temporary spell. Despite their precarious position, Shots boss Brown is under no pressure from the board, although the Recreation Ground public have been frustrated by his tactics".


    NL Daily says that "Paul Gascoigne will become the new manager of Nationwide North club Kettering Town once Imraan Ladak’s consortium completes the proposed takeover at Rockingham Road... Current boss Kevin Wilson will be given the role of director of football... Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis will become the new head coach". Ladak announced, “I believe we can be playing League football and filling a stadium with 7,000 people. But there is so much work to be done... I believe we have the dream team here to make great things happen".
    13 October 2005


    SAM reports on George Melling's move to Clitheroe, though it is not correct to say that "Melling graduated from the Moss Lane youth team last season" - he actually joined Alty at Reserve level, his previous career having included a spell with Morecambe. SAM goes on, "Manager Graham Heathcote was disappointed by Melling's announcement but has no plans to sign a replacement. He said: 'All the players want to be playing regularly and the problem is that these young lads can sometimes become a bit impatient. I couldn't let him play every week so he's going to go there and try to work his way back to this level, it's a significant drop for him so obviously playing regularly is very important to him. We have got good cover in defence and it's not an area that I'm desperately short in after the signings we made in the summer, so we will continue with what we have".

    SAM also reports that "Colin Little is not worried about his team's lack of goals... He said: 'It's not really enjoyable playing up front on my own but it's what we have to do to make us solid in other areas. We are not playing on a level playing field in this division so I understand why we have been playing this way but it's not always easy'". As for Saturday's game at home to Southport, the striker added, "It is a must-win game for us. Southport seem to be scoring freely in this division while we have not been scoring as many as we should. But we have got some really hard games out of the way so now we have to start beating the teams around us... I don't feel that there is more pressure on me to score at all because as a forward you're always expected to get the goals and, when you don't, you get the blame. It just comes with the territory. Rod [Thornley]'s not quite fit yet but there are some good signs and against Scarborough he played really well. I like playing with Rod because he's what you call a proper centre forward. He makes good runs and you always know where he's going to be. He doesn't peel out wide, leaving a gap in the centre'".


    Ronnie Ellis scores against Birmingham, January 1986 - picture by John Rooney from the Robins Review.

    STAR is planning an event in January to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Altrincham's away FA Cup 3rd Round win against Birmingham City, the last occasion on which a non-league club defeated a top-flight (then Division One) team away from home. If anyone would like to help with organisation of the event or has any memorabilia, memories of the game, would s/he please contact STAR Secretary, Phil Taylor via the website.


    Altrincham Youth are now third in the Allied Trophies League table, which is available on the Yellow Jersey website.


    Last Tuesday, Alty's Nehru McKenzie (right) was again a used sub for Mossley. The Mossleyweb site reports that "the on loan Altrincham midfielder made an instant impression as he fired narrowly wide with his first involvement and then won Mossley a corner after a mazy run from the left". The same night, both Tony Sullivan and Peter Wright scored for Chorley at Bishop Auckland.


    The BBC confirms that,"Tamworth boss Mark Cooper has brought in Exeter striker Jake Edwards on a three-month loan. The 29-year-old, who has previously played for Yeovil, Telford, Blackpool and Wrexham, has scored three goals for Exeter this season. Cooper... told the club website: 'We'd be halfway up the table by now if we had a few more goals. It is an area we needed to address and hopefully Jake is part of the answer'". Confguide adds that Edwards "will be at The Lamb for 3 months". Tamworth are our FA Cup opponents on 22 October.

    Confguide reports that "York City defender Chris Brass is to rejoin Harrogate Town for a second spell on loan". Also, "City have reaped an early dividend in their bid to snap up local talent, signing striker Alex Rhodes from York College. The 16-year-old made a favourable impression in a recent Youth Team F.A. Cup match against Marine where he scored two goals, and Billy McEwan was quick to offer him terms".

    The Express & Star quotes the manager of Kidderminster, Stewart Watkiss, on the FA Cup: "We have to get to the first round proper. Without revealing figures, I know the club have budgeted to make 'x-amount' from a Cup campaign so we have to get beyond this stage at least. Hand on heart, if we don't get through, then it makes it more difficult financially for the club". On drawing Southport away, Watkiss said, "My first reaction was disappointment. In the Cup, you want to play the easiest teams at home".

    12 October 2005


    Southport say that "Striker Neil Robinson may be back in the squad for the trip to Altrincham. Southport bid for a fourth match unbeaten against their former Unibond and Nationwide North rivals. [I seem to remember Alty won 2-1 last December at Moss Lane?] Central defender Neil Fitzhenry came through Friday night's victory with Forest Green Rovers delighting Liam Watson. Carl Baker has officially six Conference goals but has always maintained the claim for the o.g. at Canvey Island".


    SAM reports on the reaction to drawing Tamworth in the FA Cup. "Although Robins' manager Graham Heathcote warned that a positive result could not be taken for granted, he was reasonably pleased with the draw. He said: 'In many ways I'm quite pleased with the draw because Tamworth are a club who are in an almost identical situation to us - two teams in the same league, both part time, who are having the same difficulties. Sometimes when you face teams from lower leagues who are doing well it can be difficult because they will face you full of confidence and looking to pull off a surprise result but at least Tamworth are in a similar situation to us".

    The Conference reports that "Tamworth chairman Bob Andrews refuses to abandon his efforts to build the Lambs a new home, even though his latest bid appears doomed. The Lambs' chief threatened to quit the Staffordshire club last year if his Bitterscote ground blueprint fell through. That now appears to be the case, but Andrews is taking the set-back in his stride and insists he continues to seek a suitable site - even if it means moving outside Tamworth itself. 'I won't be retiring just yet. I vowed I wouldn't leave Tamworth until we had a new stadium and that's still the dream'", he said.

    On the subject of attendances, Graham added, "Hopefully we can increase interest in the club, recently attendances have dipped a little to the 800 mark but we need to make sure they stay high so we can maintain the wage bill we have here".


    SAM also reports on the Canvey draw; "A lingering sense of disappointment surrounded Altrincham's 1-1 draw with Canvey Island on Saturday. Before this game a point would have been a more than acceptable return for Alty considering their recent form, but when their opponents were reduced to ten men towards the end of the first half, it put a win well within their grasp. 'We could have and probably should have taken the three points from the game', said manager Graham Heathcote. 'The stats were in our favour, we had more possession than Canvey and created enough chances to win the game. But it is a measure of how far we have come that we are now disappointed with a draw with Canvey. I don't think there is a bad side in this league and you know when better teams go down to ten men against you they will stay organised and make it very difficult".


    BBC Sport reports that "Macclesfield have signed their former loan player Alan Navarro following his exit from Accrington Stanley. Navarro, 24, played 11 games for the Silkmen during a loan spell from Tranmere Rovers last season". Navarro played for Stanley Reserves at Moss Lane against Alty Reserves last Saturday. Accrington Stanley report that "With numbers depleted John Coleman has brought in midfielders Kevin Lee and Philip Edwards on a one month loan from Premiership side Wigan Athletic. Both are young players but have first team squad numbers with the Latics and join us to gain experience".

    From Gravesend is news that "Jamie Guy has joined the club from Colchester as a loan scholar, the same system that brought us Onome Sodje".

    Morecambe "have announced that defender Jamie Heard's contract has been cancelled after mutual agreement between the club and the player. There will be no further comment from the club regarding this statement."

    As at Moss Lane, some of Kidderminster Harriers' young players are going out on loan - "Youngsters Jermain Hollis and Russ Penn will join Alvechurch on a month's loan... Boss Stuart Watkiss told Harriers' website, 'I think this will give both lads some much-needed experience'.".


    Last night's replays FAC3Q replays included:

  • Cammell Laird 0 Hucknall T. 1
  • Gainsboro. T. 2 Leigh RMI 1
    11 October 2005


    Tamworth have notified Alty that the prices for our FA Cup match on 22nd October are as follows: £10 for terraces and £12 for the stands. Alty will be in their blue, away kit and Tamworth will wear red. If a replay is needed, it will be on Tuesday 25th at Moss Lane at 7.45pm


    As previously reported, Nehru McKenzie has gone on loan to Mossley but George Melling's move to Clitheroe is now confirmed as a departure, although his Conference registration remains at Altrincham. George wanted regular football, which he was not getting at Moss Lane. A third young player to get match experience away from Altrincham is Kieran Lugsden (right), who will be playing for Radcliffe Borough tonight but he remains an Altrincham player.


    Alty's Cheshire Senior Cup second round match away to Crewe Alexandra will be played on Tuesday, 8 November at 7.45pm at Gresty Road. Admission will be £5, (£1 for concessionaries)..


  • Altrincham FC Youth team is holding a fundraising Race Night on Friday 28 October in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, starting at 7.30pm. Admission will be just £1. Manager George Heslop promises a great night all for all, so please come along and help to support the youth set-up which has already produced three of our current first-team squad (Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley). If you would like to sponsor a race (£25) or a horse (£5) please contact the club on 928-1045. Details here.
  • Tommy Docherty is guest of honour at a Sportsman's Dinner to be held at the Club 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 match report on the Altrincham & District FA Youth team's excellent win on the WIrral on Sunday is in the Youth section, courtesy of manager George Heslop. George would like to encourage as many supporters as possible to support both the Altrincham & District FA side and the Altrincham FC teams, all of whose fixtures are here.


    Paul Roberts, who coordinates the Junior Robins scheme for our younger supporters, advises me that those who have already applied for membership packs can now collect them on match days at Moss Lane. If you want a pack posting to you, please mark your application form clearly to that effect. The winner for the competition to be mascot at Saturday's game against Southport will be announced shortly.


    This is Essex reports that "On the day his side established a new Conference record with their sixth successive match undefeated, Canvey boss Jeff King rated Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Altrincham a perfect cure for insomnia. Arriving at the press box for the post-match interview, King told assembled journalists: 'I'm surprised you lot are still awake. That was a complete bore between two, on the day, poor sides. No disrespect to Altrincham, but they are by no means one of the better teams in the Conference and we should have beaten them'".


    "Goalkeeper Saul Deeney, who signed for Burton Albion last week, is still hoping to earn a contract at Coca-Cola Championship side Burnley" report Confguide. "'Saul will train with Burnley next week', Brewers boss Nigel Clough said. 'Burnley are interested, but hopefully he will play a few games for us'".

    Halifax Today reports that "Town boss Chris Wilder has vowed to fight a potential touchline ban after he was banished to the stand at half time during Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Exeter... 'The referee called me in after about five minutes of the break and said I abused him. I never did... I spoke to him, but I never swore. If the reports comes back and says I did I will take it all the way'". He added that skipper Denny Ingram's red card "added to the list of grievances Wilder had against the officials. 'Denny used industrial language to the linesman. Not at the linesman, to him. He said 'It was effing offside' and the linesman took that personally. The officials have the ability to do what they want, but it is not a Mickey Mouse game'".

    The Burton Mail says that "Jon Shaw and Aaron Webster both felt the sharp edge of Nigel Clough's critical tongue last week, after he specifically blamed the pair for his side's defeat to Aldershot. 'Jon knows as well as anyone that he should have seven, eight, nine or 10 goals from the chances he's had this season. But he has been pretty determined since the Aldershot game and you would back him now to go on and get 15 or maybe 20 goals...We've taken seven from the last 12 points, which is not a bad return when you consider we've had Exeter away, Cambridge away and Stevenage at home in that run'".

    10 October 2005

    FA CUP

    In today's FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round draw, Altrincham have drawn Tamworth, away. The game will be played on 22 October 2005. Victory in this round will book a place in the First Round Proper, at which stage the League One and Two teams join the competition.


    Above: Chris Adams prepares a throw-in at Canvey Island.

  • Match report. There is more relating to the game lower down this page...


    Pat McFadden, who has scored 13 goals in the last 6 Reserves' games, is training with the first team this week. Graham Heathcote has invited a number of reserves to training over the season so far so that he and Dalton Steele can take a closer look at them.


    Altrincham Reserves still sit on top of the Lancashire League table. For a report on their win against Accrington, see the Reserves' section.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years information is now on the website for 15 October.


    A results grid for Altrincham FC' youth team's league games has been added to the website as has the player statistics grid, both courtesy of George Heslop. These can be found in the Youth section.


    The NW Counties Football League "Goalkeeper of the Month Award goes to Ashley Timms of Salford City. Ashley is just 19 years old and has been in outstanding form in September conceding just two goals in six games as Salford make an impressive start to the new campaign". Ashley was at Alty two seasons ago.


    The NWCFL also reports that "Numerous enquires have been received by The FA primary from Club and Match Officials seeking clarification on the subject of metal cup-hooks on any part of the goal. To date, two Non-League matches have been postponed by match officials and others have only been permitted to be played following guidance from The FA. Having now referred the matter to both The FA’s Legal Department and Referees Department, Steve Williams, National Facilities Manager, can confirm the following procedures should be undertaken by the match referee. It should be the responsibility of the designated referee to point out to the participating clubs or the pitch users before a game that any metal cup-hooks on either the goalposts of crossbar could constitute a danger. This could constitute finger entrapment due to the wearing of a ring or create severe neck injuries due to other jewellery being worn such as earrings or necklaces. Whilst the Laws of the Game clearly state that jewellery should not be worn during any part of a match, such dangers also exist prior to, or immediately after matches, where nets need to be fitted or removed by any user or club personnel. If both teams are prepared to play, having had this fact pointed out to them, then it is The FA’s view that the referee can be considered to have done as much as might be reasonable in the circumstances... Metal cup-hooks are to be banned from all levels of the game at the commencement of season 2007/2008".


    The Conference reports that "Aldershot Town have signed striker Omari Coleman from Lincoln City on a one-month loan deal... Meanwhile, manager Terry Brown has made 31-year-old Tarkan Mustafa available for loan or permanent transfer".

    Hereford's unofficial Bullsnews quotes from a press release issued by the Herefordshire Council: 'The ambitious multi-million pound plan to transform the heart of Hereford into a 21st century city centre is to be driven forward by county entrepreneur, farmer and philanthropist, Clive Richards OBE. Mr Richards, with his City of London background... has agreed to become the Chair of the Board of Edgar Street Grid (Hereford) Ltd, the venture company set up to steer through the project". The website adds that "Richards has also spoken to the Hereford Times. He confirmed he would be meeting with the Richardson Brothers, who own the leases at Edgar Street, over what part the club can play.'Hereford United should stay put. The giant killer club is an integral part of the city' he said".

    9 October 2005


    Altrincham & District FA (comprising the Altrincham FC youth team) had an important 5-3 away win against The Wirral & District FA today with Ben Deegan hitting four of the goals; Kieran Raynes headed the other goal. Deegan has now scored 16 goals in 9 games this season as he chases Lee Hendley's record of 34 goals in a season. Report to follow

    A fixture grid for Altrincham FC' youth team's league games has been added to the website.


  • Dagenham & R. 2 Aldershot T. 0

    The League table shows Alty are still 18th. It also illustrates that only one of our defeats this season has been to a side outside the top eight. Indeed, whereas in 7 games against teams in the top half of the table we have W1 D1 L5, in our 6 games against teams in the bottom half our record is a very satisfactory W2 D3 L1.


    Above: Canvey Island's Park Lane ground seen from the nearby sea wall, which was built to prevent a repetition of the disastrous floods of the 1950s.

    Manager Graham Heathcote personally thanked those on the STAR supporters' coach after yesterday's match, as it prepared to leave Canvey Island, for making the 450 mile round trip to support the team. Needless to say, Graham and the Club also wish to thank all those others who travelled to Canvey by other means for their support yesterday.

    In the NL Paper, Canvey boss Jeff King said, "It was a drab game between two poor sides on the day". Graham Heathcote said, "When we had 11 against their 10 for the entire second half you think perhaps we should have taken three points but we have to look at 'did we do enough to win after the break?'. We had a few near misses but certainly didn't have their goalkeeper scrambling all over the place making saves...but that's the second week running we've come away with a point and I've got to look on the positive side. Both our goals in the last two games have been penalties and we must start looking to score more from open play. In our situation, if we avoid relegation it will be a major success for us".


    Amongst the Alty old boys in action yesterday were Adam Farley (Marine), Peter Wright (scorer for Chorley), Mark Drew (Leigh), Stuart Wright (Cammell Laird) and Ashley Timms (Salford City).
    8 October 2005


    Recently Graham Heathcote indicated that some of his squad would go out on loan and it appears that the first two players in this category are George Melling and Nehru McKenzie who have joined, respectively, Clitheroe and Mossley. Ironically, the two players clashed today when Clitheroe beat Mossley 3-2 and both players were used substitutes. Indeed, Nehru laid on one of the Mossley goals.


    Above: The local fire brigade crew watches the match at Canvey from their vantage point on top of a fire engine parked outside the ground!

  • Match report.

    Saturday 8th

  • Burton A. 3 Stevenage B. 1
  • Canvey Island 1 Altrincham 1
  • Exeter C. 4 Halifax T. 2
  • Gravesend & N. 2 York C. 2
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Morecambe 1
  • Scarborough 1 Crawley Town 2
  • Woking 1 Grays A. 1


    A last minute goal by Colin McAllister clinched this win after Alty had twice trailed. Alty's other goals came from Lutel James and Pat McFadden. Report to follow. TEAM NEWS Altrincham FC have confirmed that first-team squad members Kirk Hilton, Lutel James and Steve Aspinall will all be playing for Alty Reserves on Saturday but SAM confirms that "Mark Maddox, Colin Potts and Gary Talbot are all fit to play at Canvey. In its preview of the Canvey game, SAM adds that "The Essex team's season has been almost the reverse of Altrincham's, having recovered from a run of five defeats in their first seven games to go the next five unbeaten. Their last three home games have resulted in wins over Scarborough and Southport and a draw with title-challenging Stevenage and survival last season will stand them in good stead once again this year". However, it is premature in saying that Canvey "will be missing striker Lee Boylan (injury) ... Boylan is one of the best strikers in the Conference and Canvey's top scorer this season with five goals" as the striker is now reported to be in the Canvey squad v Alty.


    Due to the England v Austria game, Conference matches are staggered this weekend:
  • Accrington S. 2 Hereford U. 1Stanley's first was scored by Ian Craney.
  • Cambridge U. 2 Tamworth 1
  • Southport 3 Forest G.R.1


    NL Daily "Scarborough will welcome the delightful taste of League football this weekend when they entertain the cuisine skills of Tony Carver, chef extraordinaire to Norwich City FC. Carver will be serving up a healthier pre-match supplement in the form of leek and potatoes soup, specially prepared chicken and a range of pastas and fruits. With the aid of Delia Smith’s fuel-time programme and McCain Foods Ltd., Scarborough aim to kickstart their campaign and get the Sea-dog bite back into their game. Secretary Stephen Graham said: 'The last 10 minutes of any fixture can be vital; this fuel-time preparation will give us the legs that lifts our heads when others have fallen'".

    Shotsweb says that "Aldershot have signed Omari Coleman from Lincoln City on a one-month loan deal. The former Watford striker goes straight into the squad to face Dagenham".

    Bullsnews says that "Halifax Town may be having quite a good season on the pitch so far, but off it there appear to be problems with their CVA. ShaymenOnline has been trying to ascertain how bad the position is... A letter dated 29th September has been sent out to all creditors with an update on the situation. The following is taken from the letter: 'I have now received contributions from the Company in the sum of £205,000, leaving a balance due from the Company of £145,000 to be paid over the remaining two and a half years of the scheme. The company is in arrears with its contributions insofar as the total contributions to date should total £220,000'. The seriousness of this situation cannot be underestimated given that a CVA is by all means the final chance for a company that has hit hard times... Currently the club pays, or should have been paying £4,000 each month. These payments are to be continued whilst additional contributions of £1,000 will be made after each home league and cup game".

    Halifax Today adds that "Halifax [rugby] chairman Howard Posner has called for 'action, not pontificating' in a bid to finally complete the Shay's unfinished East Stand. In a letter to the club's members and season ticket holders, the former Halifax Home Insurance boss labels the project 'an eyesore' and 'an embarrassing joke', and admits that unless action is taken it is likely to prevent Fax {the rugby club] lodging a Super League application in 2006. It is four years since any meaningful work was carried out on the stand". He said "For the future, if the club is to be able to secure admission in to Super League, we cannot go back to the RFL with promises that work will be started shortly... The lack of success in securing a firm decision as to whether the Local Authority, at no cost to it, can permit a development could prevent us making any application to join Super League, if we were successful on the field, in 2006. At the moment we simply have a list of promises no more concrete than any we have seen in the past. We must start to see action not pontificating".

    7 October 2005


    Canvey Island's top scorer, Lee Boylan, sidelined for several weeks by injury is back in their squad to face Altrincham tomorrow. But fringe player Dave Theobald has been sold for an undisclosed amount to Kettering Town.


    Alty meet fellow part-timers Canvey Island tomorrow looking for their first Conference win in eight games whilst Canvey are unbeaten in their last five games. But Alty's Colin Little told the NL Paper, "We're confident we're not going to go down. It would be terrible to get relegated in our first season. We've done well recently but we've just not got the breaks. If we can get that little bit of luck along the way, then I reckon we'll work our way up the table quite quickly".


    Details of the Youth Team Race Night are here. Please support this event - on 28 October at Moss Lane. Sponsors for races and horses are needed, so please help if you can.


    Bradley Walsh of Coronation Street was due to be filmed at Moss Lane last night for a programme about his days as a footballer at Brentford. Whether Moss Lane was picked because of its proximity to the Granada TV studios or because we wear the same colours as Brentford is not clear!


    Howard Watts's Through the Years statistics for October 8th are here. On that date this year we travel to Canvey Island where Alty fans are looking forward to a new ground to visit and what sounds like a friendly club.


    Aaron Wilford, a summer trialist at Moss Lane, scored for Whitby last night - his move to Stalybridge having apparently fallen through.


    The Conference Forum says that "The Conference have issued a statement to all clubs today stating, 'It has been agreed by the Conference Board of Directors to cease the use of Multiple Ball Supply Systems with immediate affect for all Football Conference fixtures in Nationwide Conference for season 2005/2006'". This seems to mean that only the fourth official will be able to put replacement balls into play after they have gone out of the ground or otherwise got lost.


    The draw for the FA Cup 4QR takes place on Monday next at 11am - Altrincham enter at this stage


    The BBC reports that "Kidderminster manager Stuart Watkiss is hoping player-coach Martin O'Connor will return to help his side stop the rot... Harriers have lost four of their last five games and Watkiss is keen to have O'Connor, 37, back in his midfield". This is KHFC adds that "Chairman Barry Norgrove has given Kidderminster Harriers boss Stuart Watkiss the dreaded vote of confidence ahead of this weekend's high pressure clash with Morecambe....'It's far too early and we've got to give him a fair crack of the whip," said Norgrove, who will attend the monthly board meeting with Watkiss and the directors tonight. 'We haven't lost many games this season. I've got faith in him to turn it around... He isn't a manager that fritters money away and he's determined to do his best with what he's got... Tthe play-offs are where we want to be and... if it looks like we've got a chance of doing it when the January transfer window opens we might be able to push it a little bit further'". Watkiss said, "I'm not hiding behind the problems of the summer because I know and my players know that we're better than we've showed".

    Morecambe Today reports on "the Shrimps' away record this season - four defeats and two wins.But Harvey concedes only one poor performance in those six games – at Altrincham... He added: 'We were poor at Altrincham but have had a couple of good away wins and even in away defeats at Hereford and Exeter we played pretty well".

    6 October 2005


    Match report in the Reserves' section.


    This is Staffs reports that "Crewe are to hand former striking favourite Colin Little (left) a coaching role back at the club. Little, who now plies his trade for Altrincham in the Conference, recently recommended one of the club's young strikers [Lee Hendley] for a trial at the Alex. Now Dario Gradi is preparing to find a role for the 32-year-old, possibly coaching some of the Alex's youngsters... The striker - who was Crewe's leading scorer between 1998-2000 - is enjoying something of a renaissance and has piled in the goals for Alty... 'Colin recommended a lad from Altrincham and in fact he's going to come and start doing some coaching for us', revealed Gradi. 'He's an infectious character, who was really grateful for his chance at Crewe. David Platt went on to play for England, but the likes of Colin were grateful for the chance they got at this level. He's now back playing non-league football, but I think he will put something back into football and I think he'll make a good coach'".

    It is believed that any job at Crewe would be part-time and not affect Colin's playing career.

    The same source also mentions our former loan striker Mat Bailey. "The giant 19-year-old frontman got on the scoresheet for the Bulls [Hereford] after two games of his initial one-month loan spell, although he has returned to Crewe for treatment after picking up a dead-leg in last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Canvey Island... 'I was a bit worried about loaning him out there as it is a good standard and he wasn't holding his place in Northwich Vics' side last season... But Mat has been doing all right and they are pleased with him. He has definitely improved strength-wise and he is keeping his place in Hereford's team'".


    Stephen Rose will be missing from the Alty squad this Saturday as he has bronchitis. A decision about the fitness of Mark Maddox will be taken later this week, but Gary Talbot and Colin Potts are fit. Lutel James, who came through 90 minutes for the Reserves last night, will play for the Reserves again before being considered for the first team squad. Lee Hendley will be with the Alty squad at Canvey, but is still being monitored by Crewe Alexandra. Steve Aspinall may play for the Reserves on Saturday but Conall Murtagh, an Irish U-21 international who has played two reserve games for Alty, will not be joining the club as he will be seeking regular football elsewhere.


    SAM reports that "Having been sidelined by injury throughout the start of the season, Richard Norris (right) is familiar with the treatment room.But the Altrincham midfielder is set to put his knowledge of footballing injuries to good use by doubling up as the club's physio. Previous physio Sean Riley announced his decision to join Preston North End last week and manager Graham Heathcote immediately turned to his ready-made replacement.Norris, a fully-qualified physio, will take the position at the club temporarily while he continues his recovery from injury and claims he is looking forward to the challenge. He said: 'If you turn up at the club and you're not doing anything you get stick off the lads and I've never been a great watcher of football anyway so it will be good to be doing something on matchdays'... Norris decided to study physiotherapy during his time at Crewe Alexandra and received his qualification after completing a three-year course at Salford University in 2003". Richard said that being a physio "definitely makes you look at your own injuries in a different way, it makes me very paranoid and sometimes I even question my own judgement. But my girlfriend's a physio as well so I'm always asking for her opinion on my injuries too".


    Southport confirm that "Liam Watson has accepted an offer from Droylsden for top scorer Terry Fearns. Fearns has yet to accept all the terms... However, a deal is expected to be concluded this week” . Fearns has not scored this season after hitting 41 last season.

    "Accrington will be without on-loan goalkeeper Darren Randolph for a three-game spell later this month. The Republic of Ireland Under-19 star will miss games against Stevenage, Rotherham and an FA Cup tie as he plays in European Championship qualifiers. Veteran former Wales international Andy Dibble [ex-Alty] is likely to deputise for Randolph, who is on loan from Charlton" says the BBC.

    After Mark Stimson lifted Manager of the Month, "Striker Dennis Oli made it an awards double for Grays Athletic by being named as the Nationwide Conference's player of the month for September" says the BBC.

    This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe ruled out the prospect of leaving St James's Park after Bristol Rovers lined him up as a possible successor... Inglethorpe said: 'I was aware of the interest from Bristol Rovers and there were talks, but I won't be going anywhere'".


    Peter Wright scored for Chorley on Tuesday.


    The Conference reports that "Following a good deal of press about the position of the England National Game manager having dual club interests, Conference clubs were recently asked for their views in a written questionnaire... The result of that survey was that an overwhelming 82% of the clubs in the National Division, from where virtually all of the players selected will come, want the England manager – and any coaching staff employed by England - to be completely independent of any club. Even a staggering 74% of all 66 Conference clubs, many of whom have never had a player selected, expressed the same view... ‘The Conference do not seek the cancellation of any existing contract - on the contrary, the Conference believes that any contract should be honoured – but at the end of this season when the FA’s contract with Paul Fairclough ends, the Conference would be seeking an independent manager to be appointed by the FA in line with previous custom and practice".
    5 October 2005


  • Stevenage B. 2 Dagenham & R. 1


    Canvey Island have informed Altrincham that away supporters will be housed at the Sea Wall end of their Park Lane ground on Saturday. According to Alty's administrator Derek Wilshaw, this is dependant on the tide being out! Admission will be £11.50 for adults plus a £2 transfer to the stand for those wishing to sit. The concessionary ground entrance price is £8.50, with under-11s being charged £5.50. There is a bar for away fans and car parking costs £1.50 at the ground or you can park on the seafront. The matchday programme costs £2.

    It will be Alty's first game against the Essex side who were promoted to the Conference in 2004 after winning the FA Trophy in 2001. They finished 18th last season. Known as "The Gulls", Canvey Island are expected to be without leading scorer Lee Boylan and midfielder Jeff Minton when they meet Altrincham. Boylan has been out injured for several games whilst Minton was sent off on Saturday and will be suspended.


    ConferenceTV, to which there is a banner link at the foot of this page, will be broadcasting live on the internet the game between Burton Albion and Altrincham which is a 2pm kick off on Sunday 30 October at the Pirelli Stadium.


    STAR, Alty's supporters' trust announce that "Latest co-optee to the STAR Board Ian Harwood's profile has been added to the Board Members' page". Also, "As well as meeting our monthly commitment of donating £500 to help pay off the historic debts to the Inland Revenue, STAR has also been able to donate a further £750 to the Football Club. Paul Daine, STAR's Supporters' Representative to the Altrincham F.C. Board presented a cheque on his spectacular 'Board Meeting' debut last Monday".


    NL Daily says that "Chorley may not have enjoyed the best of starts to the UniBond League First Division season, but manager Shaun Teale cannot be faulted in attempting to bring quality players to Victory Park. Last week Teale brought in 27-year-old former Crewe, Northwich Victoria, Altrincham, Stockport, Radcliffe Borough and Ashton United forward Neill Hardy and he has now been joined by experienced wide attacker Tony Sullivan, who was recently released by Lancaster City as part of their budget cuts".


    "Malcolm Reynolds, chairman of Scarborough, has hit out at supporters who have been calling for head coach Nick Henry to go after the 4-0 defeat at Woking" according to Scarborough Today. He said, "Nick is still in charge of the team and it will stay that way. When we beat Forest Green Rovers two Saturdays ago we had the same number of points at that stage as last season and by Christmas we were flirting with the play-offs, so to get on Nick's back is absolutely illogical. Both Nick and myself are equally as frustrated as the fans, especially as Nick hasn't been able to play his first-choice side all season. I am now starting to get dismayed by these people over-exaggerating things. Instead of being negative we need everyone to pull together and help turn it around. We need to keep attendances up because if we don't then we won't be able to strengthen the squad and achieve the things that the fans want to see".

    Mark Stimson (Grays Athletic) has won manager the Conference Manager of the Month title for September. "The Nationwide Conference judges the Nationwide Manager of the Month Award on a points system - four points for an away win, three for a home win, two for an away draw and one for a draw at home", explains NL Daily.

    The BBC says that "Bristol Rovers winger Ryan Williams is keen to make a good impression on caretaker boss Paul Trollope... The 27-year-old has spent the last month on loan at Aldershot". Meanwhile, "Halifax Town striker Ryan Sugden is facing up to two months out of action with a groin injury" and "On-loan Burton Albion striker Danny Bacon [ex-Hucknall] is out of action until next year after breaking his right leg during the Brewers' defeat by Aldershot on Sunday. The 25-year-old, who joined Albion from Lincoln last month, was injured after coming on as a substitute, fracturing his tibia just above his ankle... He is expected to be out until February at the earliest".


    NL Daily reports that "A brief statement has been received from Witton Albion announcing that manager Gary Finley and his assistant Lee Coathup have left by mutual consent... Witton reserve team manager Jim Vince [an Alty player in his youth] will take the reigns for Tuesday's home game against Ashton United and the F A Cup tie at Harrogate Town on Saturday".
    4 October 2005


    Former Alty boss Mark Ward "was jailed for eight years on Tuesday after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply. The 42-year-old, who played for Everton, Manchester City and West Ham, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty last month. He was arrested after 4kg (9lb) of cocaine were found during a raid at a house in Prescot, Merseyside, in May. Ward admitted knowing the drugs were on the premises, but denied owning them" reports the BBC.


    Goals from Deegan (2), Williams, Gresty and White saw Alty reach second place in the Allied Trophies league on Sunday.

    Match report in Youth section


    Last Saturday night's "Meet the New Players" event "was a great success with Gary Williams, Lewis Chalmers and Kieran Lugsden on the top table along with Graham Heathcote and Sean Riley", writes Alty director, Grahame Rowley. The players "soon blossomed into conversation. Gary recalled his many clubs including three years in America, whilst Kieran was ribbed about coming from New Mills and also his cockatoo style hairdo! He also informed us that he is training to become a plumber and would love to stay at the club for many years. Lewis Chalmers recalled how, like Kieran, he graduated through our youth team as well as, in his case, playing for Manchester City. He would love to go and play in Spain or Italy. Alty's outgoing physio Sean Riley was the star of the show, entertaining us with his rapping throughout the night and numerous jokes on all subjects. He will be sadly missed but has promised to come to future events (and entertain us!)".


    The Club would like to thank everyone who turned up on Saturday morning to clear the pitch of the rainwater which had fallen on it. Without them the game would surely not have taken place. Grahame Rowley adds, "It was ever so pleasing to see the response for volunteers at such short notice. We hope that we can rely on them again (and others) if the need arises again. Many thanks once again".


    Above: A Crawley attack ends with this second-half header over the bar at Moss Lane, last Saturday.

    Alty manager Graham Rowley wrote in the Crawley programme about Altrincham's finances. Referring to Crawley he wrote "Today's visitors reportedly paid out £60,000 for one of their strikers; that's just short of 50% of our total wage bill... [as regards Altrincham]. Do you decimate your squad to bring in new faces? Would these faces be as committed as the lads we already have? If we didn't succeed in staying in this league, would those players want to go... thus decimating our squad again?.. I don't think that would be in the long-term interests of the club. We will get to the end of the road with our debts and that is when we can push on team-wise... It's hard for me personally as I know people will say 'Heathcote's not up to it now that we're in the National Division but I would like to be judged on this league when we are playing in an even situation but that may be never be because that would mean this club going full-time.. and, dare I say, losing that unity that belongs to non-league part-time football".

    In the same Robins' review, chairman Geoff Goodwin wrote, "What a three years we have had, coming from the UniBond to the National Conference... From the board's point of view, all the hardwork has paid off earlier than expected. I would like to thank you all for standing by myself and the board and our fantastic manager, Graham and coach, Dalton, plus, let's not forget, our unsung heroes, the players... I myself have no ambitions to get into the present Football League structure. I see the next few years as a period of consolidation for the club... in the Nationwide Conference. My aim, as your chairman, is to stay in the Conference and kick on next year after which time the VAT and tax debt, which was left outstanding before I joined the Board, will be paid back. But let's not forget we still have other debts which need paying back to ex-Directors... We have no plans to sell the ground". Referring to the Council's plans to build on the adjavcent car park, Geoff said, "If anything comes of this, we can pay all the debts and push on in a very good position.. Let's keep on the road that has got us where we are today with a low budget and making a small profit".


    Alty's Junior Robins are running a competition for one lucky child to be the mascot at Altrincham for the home game against Southport on the 15th October. If you are interested in entering this competition, all you have to do is draw a picture of anything connected to Altrincham FC and send it into the club along with your name, address, contact number and date of birth by 10th October.

    The Junior Robins run a wordsearch in each Altyhome programme. Last week's featured the names of 21 of our Reserves' players. If you are under-12 why not join the Junior Robins? Or if you are 12-16 years old you can sign up for the Club Robins - details here.


    Terry Rowley has kindly provided some further biographical details of the Altrincham team of 1947/48 which was recently posted on the website. The full information is here.


    Courtesy of Terry Rowley the updated Conference attendance statistics are Attendanceshere; Alty are averaging 1,012 at Moss Lane this season.


    Confguide confirms that "Exeter have extended their loan of Notts County winger Tony Scully by a further two months".
    3 October 2005


    After Saturday's game, which he described as a "tough little battle", Graham Heathcote was interviewed on GMR and indicated that he was "not enjoying" this season. Not having won for six games was "really tough" but he was proud that the team "had given their all" in recent games. In the NL Paper on Sunday he said, "I know that sides come here to try and score early because the opinion is that we can't come back and then we get worn out in the final third of the game. At least we've put that one to bed" by drawing against Crawley. He went on, "The fixture list now begins to works for us. Having games only on Saturdays will allow us to get our energy levels up".

    SAM has a match report as does Crawley's Argus.In it manager Francis Vines says: "We controlled the game and an individual error cost us again. We had opportunities to capitalise on some great possession and for some reason we tried to walk it in rather than just get it in the box and try to finish it". The unofficial Crawley Town site has photos of Saturday's game.


    Alty Youth captain Ben Deegan scored twice for the Cheshire FA site in their recent 6-0 win over the Isle of Man. Also in the Cheshire side was Alty defender Tom Bane. Cheshire now meet the North Riding at home.


    Sky Sports News has reported that a consortium which includes Paul Gascoigne has put in an offer for Kettering Town, "and are expecting it to be accepted".

    Confguide says that "Cambridge boss Rob Newman, is hoping to persuade Courtney Pitt to extend his stay... The former Chelsea man joined on a short-term deal earlier this month after impressing on trial... Manager Newman is clearly a fan: 'Here's a guy who nearly went to Barcelona, he's been at Chelsea and he's been at Portsmouth... He's come in here but he doesn't want to stay here - not because he doesn't like Cambridge United but because he feels he's got something to offer at a higher level and I don't mind that".

    Also from Confguide, "Former Watford favourite David Perpetuini has reluctantly been released by Stevenage Borough as a cost-cutting move. Boro boss Graham Westley was obliged to trim the playing staff at Broadhall Way in order to ensure that the club remained within its tight budget limits". And Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss after Kidderminster's home defeat to Tamworth told Confguide "It's yet another poor, lifeless performance that just isn't good enough".

    Meanwhile Tamworth announce that "The club's ties with local supermarket giants ASDA have taken another step forward with two major projects being announced. The first is a fund raising week to be held at the store with the aim of getting Tammy The Lamb a new 'purpose built' costume... The second initiative will see Tamworth FC Merchandise go on sale in the store in the 5 to 6 week run up before Christmas. The full range of Lambs clothing and souvenirs will be displayed in a prominent location in the store".

    Southport report that "Midfielder Tom Field [has] signed up from Stalybridge Celtic. Ex TNS player Field featured in the Port's pre season programme and did well... With skipper Steve Pickford out injured and Michael Powell in the heart of defence Field comes in as midfield cover. Kevin Lynch is poised for his full Nationwide Conference debut .Ian Kearney is also in the squad as defensive cover. Kearney can play at right back and centre back".

    Grays Athletic have "made the decision to dispense with the £2 charge for seats, but as a result there will be a general price increase as follows:- £11.00 Adults, £ 7.00 Senior Citizens/Students/11-16 year olds £ 4.00 Children under 11 when accompanied".

    Accrington's Paul Brown has gone back to Tranmere Rovers after a month's loan.

    2 October 2005


    Above: The Alty players leave the pitch, whilst chairman Geoff Goodwin shakes each player by the hand. Peter Band (15) was named Man of the Match .

    Match report here..


  • Burton A. 1 Aldershot T. 2


    The website has received this unsolicited testimonial to Altrincham's supporters who travelled to York City a couple of weeks ago, where we lost 5-0:

    I am writing as a York City Supporter who was, to put it bluntly, truly impressed with your brilliant Supporters. You may have had only 185 Supporters at Kit Kat Crescent but honestly you made more noise and supported your team better than Clubs who have brought 4000 Supporters. I can honestly say that in many many years of following football teams I have NEVER witnessed better support on a per / fan basis than your Supporters provided. Even though the result was not good to put it mildly, your fans cheered until the end. Unbelievable and with that type of support you will go far.

    John English

    John added "Incidentally I was certainly not the only one who commented on your Club's Supporters because it was mentioned on all the local Press Reports after the game". The Altrincham FC website is very grateful to John for taking the trouble to send us his message; it is much appreciated.


    Thanks to the England v Austria match being played at Old Trafford next Saturday, Alty supporters need to get the 222 miles to Canvey Island, Essex, for a 1pm kick-off. So the STAR supporters' coach will be making a 6am start from The Vine in Sale. Full details are on the Away Travel Page. On the plus side, the early start means we should be home well before the pubs close!


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "Altrincham FC recently joined forces with Trafford Sports Development to lend a helping hand to Sale West Physically Handicapped Able-Bodied Club. The club runs a football team... Trafford Football Development Officer Andy Hilton had been working with the club and, after speaking to Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote, they agreed to provide full kit for the team. Andy said, 'Altrincham FC has always been keen to assist community organisations when able and when I mentioned about the Sale West PHAB Club, Graham Heathcote was only too pleased to help. Community assistance is one of the links being developed between Altrincham FC and Trafford Sports Development and it is fantastic that a group as enthusiastic as the PHAB club can benefit".


    Information on the Altrincham squad from 1947/48 has been added to the Past Players section. Other recent additions are the player profiles for 1969/70, 1980/81, 1983/84 and 1986/87.


    The 2005/6 edition of the NL Club Directory is now out and, as usual, it is a mine of useful information and well worth adding to your bookshelves - despite the fact that the Altrincham entry has a number of errors e.g. Karl Munroe and Lewis Chalmers will be surprised to see themselves listed as goalkeepers. In midfield we have Seeve Hawes, born in Hugh Wycombe, whilst the squad numbers of Hilton, Melling, Rose, Norris, McKenzie, Lugsden, Williams and Hallows are all incorrect.

    The Directory also has a "Rags to Riches" section profiling non-league players who progressed into the League - this includes entries for Danny Adams, Matt Bailey, Nicky Daws, Kevin Ellison and Paul Ellender.

    1 October 2005

    Right: Gary Scott - returning to action after injury.

  • Accrington S. 1 Gravesend & N. 1
  • ALTRINCHAM 1Crawley T. 1
  • Forest GR 1 Morecambe 0
  • Grays A. 1 Halifax T. 1
  • Hereford U. 1 Canvey I. 1
  • Kidderminster H. 0 Tamworth 1
  • Southport 2 Cambridge U. 2
  • Woking 4 Scarborough 0
  • York C. 4 Exeter U. 2


    Alty's game away to Accrington Stanley today has been postponed as Stanley have no venue to meet Lancashire League criteria. Normally they play at Gt Harwood Town, whose ground was gutted by fire last season. Instead, Alty will now play a HOME game against Stanley at Moss Lane NEXT Saturday (8 October) , kicking off at noon, to avoid a clash with the England v Austria game. So, if you can't get to Canvey Island that day to watch the first team, go along to Moss Lane where for just £2 (free to season ticket holders) you can watch Alty Reserves, the league leaders, who have found the net 49 times in 11 games this campaign.


    Following last Monday's trip to Selby, Alty Youth now have a further nine successive away league/cup games as well as three matches away from their Wythenshawe Town base for those of their players representing the Altrincham & District FA team. Alty Youth's next scheduled home game is in January 2006! On Sunday (2nd Oct) they are away at newcomers Fleetwood Hesketh in Southport. After that the nearest to a home game in the rest of 2005 will be two Altrincham FA matches at Shawe View, Trafford. It is possible that the fixtures may change again or that a cup draw will place Alty at home. The revised fixtures are in the Youth section.


    SAM says that "Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Halifax was a particularly harsh blow for Alty, who had acquitted themselves well against the play off challengers, matching them for long periods of the game... They now enter a run of games in which they simply have to pick up points - coming up against Crawley, Canvey Island, Southport and Burton Albion in their next four games". Although, as previously reported, Maddox is fit, Talbot and Potts will have fitness tests and Scott comes back into contention after injury, "Steve Aspinall has suffered a swelling of his ankle after the reserve game on Wednesday and will continue to be unavailable". Crawley "have recovered from an appalling start to the season, which saw them claim only two points from their first six games while scoring just three goals. But the arrival of striker Daryl Clare has had an immediate impact and Crawley have an experienced an immediate upturn in their fortunes... Clare became the club's record signing when he joined the Reds for an undisclosed five-figure fee at the start of September. Since then he has scored three goals in six games... Wormull has been Crawley's most consistent player so far this season and an important creative influence in midfield".

    From The Argus Crawley striker Jamie Cade stated, "We are playing to save the manager's job. There is massive pressure on us at the moment, especially the manager... We are also playing for our own jobs". Cade "admits he has underperformed since joining Reds from Colchester and says that goes for most of the other nine summer signings... Cade said: 'To be honest, in my first few weeks I was awful. I didn't really enjoy being down here because I didn't know anyone or the area. Most of the players are based in London so it was difficult to socialise with them. Now I have got to know the lads and I have settled in nicely and my performances have improved". The article adds, "Tomorrow Crawley travel to Altrincham, who have also struggled since being promoted from Conference north... but [manager] Vines is taking nothing for granted. He said: 'We can't start talking about being confident of winning against Altrincham with the way our results have been going. We need to concentrate on getting another clean sheet and working hard first and hopefully the win will come'. Goalkeeper Scott Ward will keep his place ahead of Phil Smith... Neil Jenkins is available for selection following a calf injury but Simon Wormull is a doubt with a back problem'.", though Ceefax suggests Wormull will play. Lee Elam, released by Crawley, has reportedly signed for Weymouth.


    The Ilford Recorder states that "Dagenham & Redbridge club captain Tim Cole has joined East Thurrock United on loan... as he recovers from a knee injury... Liam Francis has also gone out on loan, to Ilford, for first-team experience"

    "Bradford City defender Jake Wright is to spend a further month on loan at Halifax Town. The 19-year-old left-back has so far started three Conference games [including versus Alty] reports the BBC, who also say that "Woking manager Glenn Cockerill has extended the loan spell of Yeovil Town central defender Luke Oliver...until 5 November".

    NL Daily reports that "Mick Woodward, chairman of Grays Athletic, has told supporters he is staying after an open meeting on Wednesday night. Woodward received the full support of the fans – if he didn’t, he would have walked away. The chairman was furious last week after the club’s website forum was inundated with accusations ranging from fiddling gate money to inproper use of an FA grant. Also NL Daily reports the following moves:

  • Barry Miller (Burton A. to Worksop T.)
  • Arron Reid (York C. to Stalybridge C. on loan)
  • Carl Lewis (Hereford U. to Rugby T.)


    The 2006 edition of the NL Club Directory is now out and those who ordered copies from the Club Shop can now collect them.


    The Sponsors' Lounge at Altrincham FC is the venue for Meet the New Players Evening; please check with the club if any tickets are left.