Altrincham Football Club News Archive
30 November 2005
RESERVES' GAME OFFAlty Reserves' game against Burscough at Moss Lane tonight has been postponed due to a frosty pitch.
STAR TONIGHTDon't forget that STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust, is holding its AGM tonight (Wedenesday) in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane (7.30pm). Some important motions concerning STAR will be discussed at the meeting so all members are urged to attend. After the formal business there will be an opportunity to meet and ask questions of former Alty heroes, Mick Carmody and Paul France, who are STAR's guests at the event.
ONE THAT GOT AWAYAlty were linked last week with Barrow defender Scott Maxfield, but the Bluebirds' website confirms that "Barrow AFC are sad to announce that Scott Maxfield has today left the club to join Nationwide North rivals, Stalybridge Celtic".
YOUTH REPORTCourtesy of George Heslop, there is now a brief report on the Youth team game at Leigh on 13 November - in the Youth Team section where you will also find a link to the much revised Youth Team fixture list.
The next Alty Youth match is this Sunday at home to Bootle in the Open Cup quarter-final at Wythenshawe Town - NB this is a 1.30pm kick-off to allow for extra time and penalties before the light fades.
Above: Another excellent image from Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, showing Kieran Lugsden and Colin Potts amongst the Alty players celebrating the win against Tamworth
SAM has a report on the Tamworth game. "it was a game that seemed destined to end goalless... until an incredible double blast in the closing minutes saw Alty snatch all three points and leapfrog their disbelieving opponents in the Conference table... Buoyed by the presence of new signing Steve Bushell in midfield, Altrincham did look sharp during the opening stages... After the introduction of both Robinson and Kieran Lugsden, the home side attacked with a renewed impetus". Tamworth are subject of a substantial article in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph as they prepare for their FA Cup tie against Hartlepool - having disposed of Altrincham in the 4th Qualifying Round. Meanwhile, the BBC says that "Scott Bevan's loan spell at Tamworth has been extended for a second month. The 26-year-old goalkeeper has made four appearances for the Lambs".
CLASHES WITH STANLEYAlty's FA Trophy draw game at Accrington on 17 December will be the second Trophy game between the sides at the Interlink Express Stadium in five seasons. In 2001-02 the sides met in the second round with Alty winning 3-1 on penalties at Moss Lane after a 1-1 draw at Accrington and another 1-1 score in the replay. If the clash on 17 December is a draw, the replay would be on 20 December. However, any of the Conference clubs remaining in the LDV Trophy will have a clash with that competition on the FAT replay date - and the LDV apparently takes precedence.
Alty have a league engagement away at Accrington this Saturday and Confguide reports that "Stanley have now won each of their last four Conference fixtures and, having risen to second in the Conference table, they are clearly in the mood to maintain the winning habit".
CONFERENCE NEWSCrawley Town say that "Midfielder Andy Lindegaard has returned to Yeovil after his two-month loan spell... Lindegaard made 11 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring once, in the 1-1 draw at Altrincham". Also returning to Yeovil is "defender Luke Oliver [who] has returned to Huish Park following a three-month loan spell at Woking. Oliver completed the maximum 93-day stay at Kingfield... Cards' boss Glenn Cockerill will now have to wait until the January transfer window opens if he wishes to pursue his interest in the 23-year-old" says the BBC.
From Gravesend we learn that the club "have extended their lease on Stonebridge Road for a further twenty years. Chairman, Brian Kilcullen, said 'the new lease which takes us up to 2025 gives the club the security it needs. We are very grateful to our landlords, Land Securities plc, for agreeing to the extension. They have also agreed to waive the rent which is a great gesture and shows their support for the football club. The extension also allows us to source grants from bodies such as the Football Foundation'. However... Kilcullen confirmed 'our main focus is still to move at the earliest opportunity. What this lease gives us is security of tenure whilst we seek to move'".
Tuesday's Halifax v Scunthorpe LDV match was frozen off.
Stevenage Borough report that "Dino Maamria has been handed a five game suspension for his red card against Grays Athletic, his third dismissal of the season".
NL Daily states that "Nigel Clough, manager of Burton Albion, has brought in two trialists... Midfield duo Paul Smith and Nick Hawkins are both currently on trial at the Pirelli Stadium... Smith (29) is attempting to rebuild his career after suffering a serious knee injury whilst with Sheffield Wednesday last season... Hawkins, meanwhile, is looking for a new club after being released by Nottingham Forest".
"Aldershot have lost their appeal against Tim Sills' s dismissal in Saturday's win over Forest Green, reports BBC Southern Counties Radio... Sills must now serve a three-match suspension".
"Hereford United manager Graham Turner believes that the race for the Conference title is still wide open. 'Grays are still going great guns up there and they have to be caught'", he told BBC Hereford and Worcester. He added, "I don't see an outstanding side such as Barnet last year or us and Chester the year before. I think it's going to be a scrap almost to the finish".
Meanwhile, "Canvey Island have been boosted by the news that defender Dominic Sterling does not require a knee operation... [He] has now been told that a course of physiotherapy should suffice. The former Aldershot player is now expected to be out of action for just a further three weeks" says the BBC.
Southport manager Liam Watson told the BBC, "We have got a relatively young side and we needed a leader, which I think Chris Brass is. He's also a very good player and proven at this level". Watson "is also tipping on-loan Crewe defender Mark Roberts, 22, to have a big future in the game after gaining first-team experience with the Sandgrounders".
29 November 2005
GEORGE'S CALLINGA successful Bingo Evening was held at Moss Lane last night with Alty Youth Manager and Matchday Secretary George Heslop acting as the "caller", complete with his new "virtual balls"! Many thanks are due to Jackie Gallimore, Anne Wilshaw, Jenny Heslop, Karen Rowley and all the other helpers, including head waiter Derek Wilshaw.
ENGLAND'S NUMBER ONE!
Above: A superb photo from Gavin Rathbone of Stuart Coburn in action against Tamworth last Saturday. This and many other Alty images can be bought from the Robins's Shop and viewed on the GR Photography website.
OLD BOYFormer Alty player Colin Chesters is now a successful coach with the San Diego Surf club in the USA.
MISSING AGAINST USAlty play Grays Athletic on 6 December but the FA confirms that their player Jamie Stuart will remain suspended for that game.
CONFERENCE NEWSAccrington Stanley confirm that "Stanley will entertain Altrincham in the First Round of the FA Trophy here at the Interlink Express Stadium on Saturday 17th December, a sixth consecutive home game! The winner will receive prize money of £4,000". The two sides also meet at Accrington this Saturday in the Conference.
The BBC reports that "Aldershot have lodged an appeal against Tim Sills's dismissal in Saturday's win over Forest Green Rovers. The Shots hope the FA will overturn the red card shown to Sills following a collision with defender Damon Searle. 'I just thought the referee got it wrong. I have looked at the video of the incident and Tim hasn't touched the guy', said manager Terry Brown".
The NL Daily states that "Crawley Town are tracking Bedworth United goalkeeper David Clarke. Crawley have served seven days notice of approach for the 20-year-old and want to take him down to Sussex on trial. Bedworth manager Mark Hallam will tell the keeper to be cautious, and claimed: “I know of a couple of Football League sides have been running the rule over him of late. We did speak to David with a view to putting him on contract, but he wasn’t too keen. Going to Crawley would be a big gamble, especially as he would have to uproot and move home... I’m convinced something will happen for him closer to home'".
Meanwhile, Simon Wormull admitted he was disappointed not to be Crawley Town's new manager but insists he and the rest of the players are fully behind John Hollins. Wormull, 28, enjoyed a four-week spell as caretaker boss after Francis Vines was sacked and said he wanted the job permanently. He said: "I have spoken to John Hollins and Alan Lewer and they have the same morals as I have, so I think it is a great appointment. I think we will really move forward and the players will enjoy it" he told The Argus.
"Goalkeeper Saul Deeney has resisted Burton Albion's latest attempt to persuade him to put down some roots at the Pirelli Stadium. The former Notts County stopper has been on non-contract terms... But repeated efforts by the manager Nigel Clough have failed to persuade the 22-year-old Irishman to sign a contract... Clough said: '"Saul is still hankering after a bigger stage and wants to keep his options open in the hope that something might happen when the transfer window opens in January'. Clough said: 'There is nothing at all wrong with a player wanting to be higher up the ladder, but he's been with us six weeks and there's still only our offer on the table'... After making almost fifty first-team appearances for Notts County, the Derry-born player was offered new deal by the Meadow Lane club in May. But Deeney rejected the offer because he had hopes that a Championship club would come in for him... but the League Two club cut their losses and released him last month", states the Burton Mail.
"Salisbury City have signed 27-year-old Liverpool-born full back Jon Beswetherick... After a transfer to Bristol Rovers in July 2004, where he failed to break into the first-team, he moved to Kidderminster Harriers in November of the same year where he made ten Football League appearances before being released the following January and joining Forest Green Rovers".
28 November 2005
LDV Vans Trophy 2:
DON'T BE FOOLEDAltrincham FC wishes to point out that adverts (right) appearing around Altrincham advertising Altrincham football ring tones for mobile phones have nothing to do with the Club. Profits from this venture are NOT going to the football club, which is in no way connected with the adverts.
TROPHY DRAWAltrincham face two trips to Accrington inside a fortnight after drawing the Lancashire club in the FA Trophy 1st Round draw today. Alty were already set to face Stanley this Saturday (3rd) in the Conference and must now travel to the Interlink Express Stadium again on 17th December. The draw also means that Alty have five games between now and Boxing Day- four of them away from home.
The FAT draw, as it affects Conference National clubs is:
BINGO NIGHTIt is Bingo Night in the Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane tonight (7.30pm). Please come along and help to support the club - as usual George Heslop will be the Master of Ceremonies, complete with his new number-calling machine!
FOLLOW THE ROBINSAltrincham's next two league games are both away and bring us up against the top two teams in the Conference, Accrington Stanley and Grays Athletic. On Saturday, 3rd December, Alty travel to the Interlink Express Stadium to face our former captain, Ian Craney and his Stanley colleagues. Howard Watts's Through the Years statistics show how Alty have fared on this date in previous years. At Accrington, it seems that there is no seating for away fans at the Interlink Express Stadium assuming that reports on the Southport Forum are correct as regards their game there last Saturday.
On Tuesday 6th we travel to Essex to play Grays (7.45pm). Details of the STAR supporters' s coach times and fares for the matches at Accrington and Grays Athletic are on the Away Travel page .
As the league table graphically shows, we have now met 18 of our 21 Conference opponents - we have yet to meet Woking, Kidderminster or Grays. We have yet to play a top-four or bottom-seven side away from Altrincham and have yet to meet a mid-table side (i.e. 5th to 14th) at Moss Lane.
GATESAlthough Saturday's game saw a disappointing gate of only 824, Altrincham's home attendances remain above 1,000 as is shown by Terry Rowley's Attendance statistics.
THANKS TO THE DOC
Pictured above, Tommy Docherty is watched by compere and Alty manager, Graham Heathcote, during Saturday's succesful fundraising event at Moss Lane.
Above: Graham Heathcote auctions a drawing of Alty's promotion-winning squad.
On Saturday night Altrincham FC held a very enjoyable "Evening with Tommy Docherty" in the Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane. "The Doc", who is now 78, spoke unscripted after an excellent meal provided by Mike Prophett and colleagues. Afterwards he answered questions from the guests and, as usual, gave frank answers on subjects as diverse as the current England team, George Best and his past managerial exploits. Tom kindly gave his time freely to support Altrincham FC and the club is very grateful for his generosity. The evening was compered by Alty manager Graham Heathcote who also conducted a profitable auction of sporting memorabilia. This included Australian cricket memorabilia secured by chairman Geoff Goodwin during his duties as the coach driver to the Aussies during their recent tour of England as well as various football related items. The star auction-lot was a framed collection of FA Trophy programmes and tickets from Altrincham's three FA Trophy Finals in 1978, 1982 and 1986. This alone raised more than £1,000. Other auctioned items included Manchester City items provided by Alty director, Andrew Shaw. A really entertaining evening was had by all - even Graham's attempts to sing did not prevent that!
The next social event at Moss Lane is this Monday evening at 7.30pm when there is a Bingo Night in the Sponsors' Lounge. And don't forget that this Wednesday evening witnesses the STAR (supporters' trust) AGM which is expected to be attended by former Alty stars Paul France and Mick Carmody.
POPPY THANKSPeter Hennerly, a long-time Altrincham supporter, would like to express his thanks and those of the British Legion to the Altrincham and Exeter City supporters who contributed £111.26 to this year's Poppy Collection at Moss Lane. Peter would also like to compliment the Exeter fans on their friendliness. He was interested to see how many Exeter fans seemed to travel to the game from places other than Devon, suggesting that City have a national network of support. Peter was also pleased to meet one particular supporter from Devon who turned out to be a member of the Exeter British Legion branch.
YOUTHS WIN THROUGH
Alty right-back Tom Barclay (in blue, left) jostles for the ball as Astley Mulholland and Richard Gresty prepare to assist in the game against Leigh RMI.
Two late goals saw Alty Youth win 3-2 in the Neil Thomason Trophy against Leigh RMI on Sunday. Trailing 2-1 with seven minutes left, Andy Keogh equalised and then Ben Deegan fired home the winner. Ben also scored Alty's opening goal and he has now equalled the Altrincham Youth goalscoring record of 34 goals in a season, held by Lee Hendley - and it is still only November! In all, he has scored for 20 times for Alty Youth in league and cup matches, 7 for Altrincham & District FA, 6 for Cheshire FA Youth and once for Altrincham FC Reserves, a tally all the more remarkable when it is realised that Ben has also served a suspension this season.
A match report is in the Youth section.
FROM THE OTHER SIDEThe Tamworth official site has a match report on the game at Moss Lane last Saturday. "After the final whistle had blown at Altrincham, Lambs' boss Mark Cooper had the following comments to make on his sides’ defeat. 'We had to mix and match in some positions today, but despite that there was only one aim – three points but it came down to us not putting chances away. Edwards, Storer, Heggs, and Jackson all had chances- Nathan’s especially. It was a big miss for us. He is a handful and played well today. I thought we dominated the game but if we don’t finish moves off… We do need a striker, but we aren’t going to find one especially as at the present time as it would have to be on a non contract basis... The players should be embarrassed by the result'".
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCEHoward Watts, who kindly supplies this site's Through the Years data from his base in the USA, tells me that he is now able to see some Conference sides on America's Fox Soccer Channel. Next weekend he will be able to watch Grays take on Mansfield in the FA Cup and Conference North's Worcester City against Danny Adams's Huddersfield Town, live.
LDVThe next round of the LDV Vans Trophy includes the following Conference-related ties:
27 November 2005
ALTRINCHAM 2 TAMWORTH 0
Right: Steve Bushell
OLD BOYSGary Williams scored for his new club Clitheroe and Mario Daniel scored for Woodley Sports as their two sides clashed in the FA Trophy. Other ex-Robins in action included Mike Pollitt (Wiagn), Ian Craney (Accrington), Neil Murphy (Marine) and Chris Downey (Mossley).
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Argus says that "John Hollins is under no illusions he will be sacked if he does not turn Crawley Town's season around... Hollins, 59, will meet the players for the first time on Saturday after being appointed as Francis Vines' successor on Wednesday. He has brought in Alan Lewer as his assistant". Holins said, "You are judged on results. I know that and I have lost my job in the past through bad results. The ambition of this club is big. The SA Group are successful businessmen and football is a business. They are tough and they want success on the pitch, so I will hope to achieve that with everyone's support... It is all about making the players want to improve, making them enthusiastic and making them want to be the best in the league. Hopefully I can do that... Alan [Mullery] is an advisor to the club and I have no problems with that whatsoever". Hollins has no non-league experience but Alan Lewer "is a former manager at Telford United, Nuneaton Borough and Forest Green Rovers and was coach at Chester City and Boston United". The article adds that "Meanwhile, Crawley general manager Paul Hobbs insists director of football Steve Duly has not been sacked. Duly, who signed a three-year contract in the summer, is strongly rumoured to have left his position. Duly was instrumental in helping Crawley become a Conference National outfit but has become increasingly marginalised since his father John sold the club to the SA Group". A club spokesman said, "Steve is on holiday at the moment".
NL Daily says that "Sheffield United defender Evan Horwood has joined York City on a month’s loan... Horwood made ten appearances for Stockport at the end of last season and began the current campaign at Scunthorpe United but.. returned to Bramall Lane after a month. York boss Billy McEwan said: 'He can play centre-half or full-back and has been on the verge of Sheffield United's first-team. We are grateful to Neil Warnock for allowing him to come and they are helping us financially'... McEwan also confirmed former City player-manager Brass's loan switch from neighbours Harrogate Town to Southport. He said: 'Chris Brass has gone to Southport until January 1st with the view to becoming their assistant-manager'" .
26 November 2005
GED ON THE MARKGed Murphy, on loan at Radcliffe Borough, headed a goal and hit the bar in midweek in a 3-1 win over Colwyn Bay. Rod Thornley also played for Borough. Howard Watts's record of all previous Alty matches on 26 November is here.
RESERVES' MATCH OFFAltrincham Reserves' Lancashire League match away to Accrington Stanley today has been postponed due to the poor state of the pitch.
YOUTH FIXTURE CHANGESThe Youth team's Neil Thomason Memorial Trophy match at home to Leigh RMI has now been re-instated and will be played tomorrow (27th) at Wythenshawe Town - kick off is at 1.30pm. Another change is that next Sunday (4th) Alty Youth will be at home to Bootle in the Open Cup, also at Wythenshawe Town at 1.30pm.
PREVIEWSSAM says that at Moss Lane Alty have extended their "unbeaten run at home to four games. Despite this, three of those four games have been draws and Altrincham desperately need to start picking up points if they are to avoid relegation... Over the past month Graham Heathcote has performed a major overhaul of his squad, releasing five players and bringing in a further six, so much will depend on how quickly he can find the right combinations among these players". As well as being without Gary Talbot, "Both Chris Butler and Stephen Rose face fitness tests to see if they can play... Altrincham would do well to look out for highly-rated, athletic young midfielder Kyle Storer while Birmingham winger Motteram could be a surprise package".
Tamworth's website also has a preview of Saturday's game at Moss Lane: "Lambs' boss Mark Cooper has moved quickly to plug the gaps left in the squad following the departure of Aaron Brown to Reading, and the unavailability of Dave Bampton who is suspended for one game following five yellow cards. Midfielder Hugh McAuley is still registered with Tamworth but may well leave the club soon and Trevor Robinson has completed his loan spell and returns to Millwall. Scott Bevan is available for selection (his loan spell ends after next Saturday's FA Cup tie) but Bob Taylor's foot injury looks set to keep him sidelined.So, with a number of other first team squad members also close to five bookings Cooper and Assistant Manager Richard Dryden were frantically searching for quality players to bring to the Lamb in time for the trip to Altrincham. Birmingham City winger Carl Motteram comes in on loan (until Jan 2nd) and Boston United midfielder Steve Melton is also set to make his debut against the Cheshire club on Saturday. They take squad numbers 7 and 6 respectively... Cooper has also put in 7 days notice for a Conference North player who, if all goes well, looks set to join next week".
ECKY'S NEW VENTURE
The Altrincham website is pleased to display the first ever depiction of a Montezuma chocolate fountain on a Conference football club website! And the reason? Belgian Chocolate Fountains is a new company set up by Altrincham supporter Mark Eckersall and his wife Jane. As Alty fans will know, Marks has been a tireless worker for the cause of Altrincham FC, man and boy. Currently, despite a full time job and helping to bring up a family, he runs the excellent STAR Supporters' coach service which operates to all Altrincham away games (using go Goodwins Coaches). In the past "Ecky" has been a leading figure in SAFE, the supporters' association, has been commercial manager of the club, as well as carrying out nemerous tasks at Moss Lane including matchday announcing and painting and maintaining the ground. In short, he has given an awful lot to the club. In return the website is happy to support Mark's venture, which hopefully will be well supported by Altrincham supporters and others.
Chocolate Fountains are fast becoming the must have item for events and parties across the country. At Belgian Chocolate Fountains we offer the hire of a 44" Sephra Chocolate Fountains for your event and can tailor a package to suit your needs and budget.
With such dips as Fresh Strawberries, Marshmallows, Dairy Fudge and Profiteroles the fountain provides a luxurious addition to any event. We provide a fully trained member of staff to look after the fountain and your guests for the duration of the event to ensure everyone enjoys the amazing impact of the fountain. For more information or a quote please visit our website at www.belgianchocolatefountains.com".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC says that "Gravesend & Northfleet followed up the loan capture of Northampton's Brett Johnson by signing Lincoln striker Omari Coleman on a month's loan... [who] is still awaiting his Imps debut after suffering from a combination of illness and injury. He recently scored once in five games during a month's loan at Aldershot".
NL Daily says that Gazza's Kettering Town "have released former Doncaster Rovers and Halifax Town midfielder Jamie Paterson and have signed ex-Leeds United and England under-21 international Kevin Dixon. The departure of 32-year-old Paterson will come as a surprise to many Poppies supporters. However, the former Conference winner coaches at Halifax and would find it difficult to return to being a full-time player again due to his commitments at The Shay".
Woking announce that "Paul Watson a 29 year old left back has been signed this week on a non contract basis. His former clubs include Fulham, Gillingham, Brighton and Coventry".
Confguide says that "Exeter and Grays's appeals about the red cards last week to Phillips and Stuart respectively have failed, due to 'lack of video evidence'".
Also from the NL Paper: "New Crawley boss John Hollins is working without a contract as he bids to turn the Red Devils' season around. Alan Mullery, Crawley’s football consultant, told the NLP: 'We didn’t want someone to get the job in the position we are in and be comfortable. We need the manager to be hungry. John will be here until the summer at least, and then we will sit down and talk again'".
Morecambe "have signed a young England keeper as cover for the injured Ryan Robinson... [who] looks likely to be out of action for two or three weeks. Caretaker boss, Sammy McIlroy has secured the services of 20-year-old Steven Drench from Blackburn Reserves... He has joined Morecambe for one month".
Bullsnews reports that Hereford have signed "Birmingham City stopper Andy Bagnall, who signs on work experience... Birmingham have two other keepers on loan, with James Dormand at Tamworth and Adam Legdzins at Halifax".
Dagenham report that "Lee Flynn joined Fisher Athletic. Lee was unable to perform daytime training having signed on a part time two year contract and has been on the transfer list since June".
OLD BOYI am grateful to Stan Strickland of Burscough FC who kindly sent me the following item from the Cayman Football website about Lee Ramoon (right) who was briefly at Alty in 1994-95. Lee also played once for Burscough whilst on loan from Alty.
Lee Ramoon Honoured with FIFA Order of Merit Award
At FIFA’s 54th Ordinary Congress in Paris on Thursday May 20th, 2004 Cayman’s own Lee Ramoon was recognized as a recipient of the prestigious FIFA Centennial Order of Merit. Lee Ramoon, who has dedicated more than half his life as a representative of Cayman football, was first selected for the Cayman Islands National Football Team in 1979 at age 13. Between 1979 and 2004 he has continuously contributed as both player and assistant national coach. Lee who has participated in more than 200 international football matches on behalf of the Cayman Islands, serving on many occasions as captain, is nationally recognized by both his peers and the fans as an outstanding footballer and role model. CIFA President Jeffrey Webb is more than honored to have nominated Lee Ramoon for FIFA’s highest award in world football. 'On behalf of the Cayman Islands Football Association I would like to convey our warmest congratulations to Lee Ramoon as recipient of this unique and prestigious FIFA award', said CIFA president Jeffrey Webb. 'This is the highest international honour FIFA has ever offered and I believe there is no one more deserving than Lee Ramoon. He has been a true sportsman and a tremendous player for the Cayman Islands. He will go down in history as one of Cayman’s greatest players of all time and an unparalleled ambassador'. The FIFA Centennial Order of Merit will be presented to Mr. Ramoon on a date to be announced in Grand Cayman during an official service befitting this prestigious award.
25 November 2005
CLUBS CHASE MAXWELLThe MEN says that Barrow defender and captain Scott Maxfield is being pursued by several clubs including Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic. Maxwell was recently quoted expressing his disappointment at the sacking of Barrow boss, Lee Turnbull.
LATE CHANGE TO NUMBERSAs reported earlier today, two of Alty's two more recent signings have now been assigned squad numbers. Ged Murphy, who will not be eligible to play until the Accrington game on 3 December will wear number 37 - he wanted a number with a 7 in it. However, Steve Bushell, who had beenxpected to wear no.18, the number formerly worn by Lutel James, has had to change to no.30 due to the unavailability of an appropriately numbered shirt. The Conference only allows numbers up to 40 to be used and, so far, Altrincham have assigned 34 shirts this season. But because some squad numbers have been re-used after their original owners have departed the club, the used numbers at Altrincham, so far, are only 1 to 30 and 37. A full list of the squad, with its numbers, is available here.
TEAM NEWSCentre-back Gary Talbot (right) will definitely miss Saturday's game against Tamworth as his foot injury continues to cause problems. However, fellow defenders Chris Adams and Mark Maddox should be fit for selection. Last night, Stephen Rose was having treatment for the injury he sustained at Crewe and may be available.
In the NL Paper Tamworth boss Mark Cooper says, "We know that Graham (Heathcote) gets a well organised team out on the park and that he will get his men playing with passion. We expect another tough game and, just because we won the recent FA Cup tie, we shouldn't take that as any guide for Saturday's match. I know we were lucky to win on that day... They are better at home and we are a better side on our travels. We expect a tough, tight and interesting contest".
OPPONENTS STRENGTHENOur opponents on Saturday, Tamworth, report that "boss Mark Cooper has moved quickly to plug the gaps left in the squad following the departure of Aaron Brown to Reading, and the unavailability of Dave Bampton who is suspended... Birmingham City winger Carl Motteram (21) comes in on loan and Boston United midfielder Steve Melton is also set to make his debut against the Lancashire club". The "Lancashire club" in question is Altrincham! Melton, 27, is ex-Brighton (46 games) and Hull City (30) and he made 18 appearances for Boston last season.
GOOD SPIRITMark Maddox has told SAM "We were all absolutely gutted after Saturday's defeat against Gravesend. We have been on the end of some really dodgy refereeing decisions away from home this year so it was terrible to lose in that way again. Scotty's an honest guy and he said after the game that MacDonald had pushed him but what more can you do? It's hard to take but the goal stood and we just had to get on with it. We didn't play badly and we created enough chances to get something from the game - away from home we just haven't been putting the ball in the net... "We are confident of bouncing back against Tamworth... We'll have our own crowd behind us, which is always a bonus, and nobody has come here this season and bossed us... The main bonus to come out of the last few weeks is that the new lads are all fitting in pretty well. The only thing I would ask is that a couple of them learn to drive because it seems like I'm the Scouse taxi service at the moment - I've always got a full car when I'm off to training... I'll be really glad when Ged becomes available because we could do with a bit more strength in midfield. None of the lads have been on the receiving end of any pranks in the dressing room yet but me and Scotty are both planning something so you can be sure they will be soon.. We have a good dressing room and a good spirit and everyone gets on well together".
ALTY'S NEW MANAs reported yesterday, Alty have signed Steve Bushell on loan from Halifax Town. Last Tuesday, Halifax Today said that "Skipper Steve Bushell was due to take the next step on his road to recovery from a broken leg today - weather permitting. The midfielder was expected to be named among the substitutes for tonight's LDV Vans Trophy second round clash with Scunthorpe". The article goes on, "Bushell has not appeared in a first team squad since breaking his leg at Barnet on April 9. But boss Chris Wilder has confirmed that the 32-year-old 'Steve will be in the squad tonight. He trained yesterday and we will see if there is any reaction to that. If there is none, it is possible that he will be on the bench which is fantastic news for us all'". But that match was postponed and he has now signed on loan for Alty. One reason for his arrival at Moss Lane (until 1 January 2006) may be that as Wilder said, "We don't have a reserve team sitting in the stand watching on. There is no second string here. All my players are good enough to play whether it is the FA Cup, the LDV or the league".
Joining the Shaymen is "Blackpool winger Rory Prendergast on loan. The 27-year-old moved to Bloomfield Road from Accrington for an undisclosed fee during the summer, but has only started six league games for Pool. He will remain with the Shaymen until 31 December". Prendergast was previously at Emley and Accrington.
RESERVESRevised Lancashire League fixtures for December are in the Reserves' section of this site. However, the game against Fleetwood on 28 December has now been postponed.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC says that "New Crawley Town manager John Hollins has made Notts County winger Tony Scully his first signing since taking over... Scully has ended a loan spell at Exeter City to join their Conference rivals until January, with the possibility of a permanent move to follow... Crawley will become the 15th club Scully has played for either permanently or on loan, and the fifth in the Conference". Meanwhile, " Former York player-manager Chris Brass has joined Southport on a month's loan. Brass, 30, could opt to make the move permanent when the January transfer window opens. The former Burnley defender had been on loan at Harrogate Town ... [but] Port have loaned Farrell Kilbane to Stalybridge".
"Accrington have swapped one Charlton goalkeeper for another with the arrival on loan of Robert Elliot (19) to replace the departing Darren Randolph. Elliot has signed until the end of December and will take Randolph's place when his loan expires on Saturday" and
Scarborough report "A hectic day has resulted in several changes to the Boro playing squad. "Joining Boro are: Andy Parton from Scunthorpe United who is on loan until 2 January. Rob Atkinson an 18-year-old centre half from Barnsley, also on loan. Dan Jarvis, a centre-half who has signed on non-contract terms from Northern Counties East side Rossington Main. Leaving the McCain is striker Jake Speight, who is set to join Bury FC on loan until January". Also Boro have extended Lee Fowler's loan from Huddersfield.
Midfielder Terry Barwick has gone on loan to York City from Grimsby Town..
Shotsweb says that "Aldershot Town manager Terry Brown has confirmed the one-month loan signing of 19-year-old Cambridge United striker, John Turner". who "has fallen out of favour at the Abbey Stadium and it looks as though United may be looking to release Turner in the January transfer window".
Dagenham & Redbridge "have taken Cliff Akurang on loan until January 2nd. Ghana born Cliff was a junior with Chelsea and Luton before joining Chesham United. His goalscoring brought him transfers to Hitchin Town and subsequently Thurrock... In February 2005 he signed for Heybridge Swifts".
Grays Athletic "have signed Nathan Koo-Boothe on a month's loan from MK Dons. Nathan is a 20 year old central defender with first team experience".
24 November 2005
LOAN SIGNINGOn the last day before the loan-signing window closes till 1 January 2006, Graham Heathcote was completing the one-month loan-signing this afternoon of Halifax Town midfielder Stephen Bushell. Steve was the Halifax team captain and plays in midfield. He has been recovering from a broken leg, suffered against Barnet in April 2005. His first league club was York City where he made 181(+21) appearances and scored 11 goals between February 1991 and June 1998. He then joined Blackpool for three years and, before leaving in June 2001, he had made 80(+16) apperances and scored 6 goals for the Seasiders. In August 2001 he signed for Stalybridge Celtic (then in the Conference) where he played alongside Ged Murphy, who coincidentally signed for Alty a few weeks before him. Steve joined Halifax Town in November, 2001 and he had made 128(+1) appearances and had scored six goals for the Shaymen before signing for Alty.
Graham may also add one or two non-contract signings to the Altrincham squad in the near future as these are not affected by the new transfer rules.
GRAHAM NOT ENJOYING ITIn SAM Graham Heathcote (right) says, "On the way home from Gravesend and all day Sunday I was really hurting after that result. I'm not enjoying Conference football one bit and I'm finding it tough week in, week out but it's not anything that I didn't know at the start of the season. We would be happy if the season ended now and that may sound terrible but that's the reality of our situation. The simple fact is that we are playing better teams. At this level you need a combination of strikers who are going to get you 30 goals or so and we are trying to find answers for that but it's tough. People need to look at the bigger picture though, because we have jumped two leagues in two seasons and it is not easy to keep improving the squad on a tight budget. We are not going to push the boat out for survival and if people want to see that as negative then they can do, but we have to be realistic. The bottom line is that we are still alive and kicking at the end of the season and people may lose sight of the fact. It is silly to go out and pay wages that you have not got - we have walked that path before and it was the wrong route. We are on the right path now and if we have to take a step back before going forward again then that's the way it is".
NEXT UPTamworth, whom we meet on Saturday, report that "Following Saturday’s victory over Canvey Island Tamworth have received notification from the FA that the club will be fined £500 for receiving more than six bookings in a game. It is understood that there is no right to appeal the decision, although the club will be responding to the charge. Aaron Brown will definitely miss one game after being sent off in the game, and Dave Bampton has also received a one match suspension for reaching a total of five bookings". But BBC Sport confirms that "Tamworth defender Aaron Brown has joined Reading. The two clubs have agreed a loan deal for the 22-year-old centre-back with a view to a permanent move in January. Tamworth will then receive a fee for Brown".
CONFERENCE NEWSFrom the Barking & Dagenham Post is news that "As Lee Goodwin gingerly made his way to the stands a cluster of press were waiting to grill him on Daggers' latest defeat [by Hereford]... He could not hide the disappointment and frustration that burned away inside him. It stood out like a cherry on a cream pie... He had put his body on the line for that cause, playing through the pain barrier with a hamstring injury in a bid to inspire his side to a win... 'We don't want to get dragged down to the bottom of the table but we just need a bit of luck or a couple of goals, even when we don't deserve it... We're just lacking that little bit of luck and confidence... When you're down on the floor, you keep getting kicked between the legs all the time but it's down to us to put it right... We've got some young boys, brave boys, playing against some big lumps but we need to be a side more of men. At this level, unfortunately, it is very physical but we've got to start winning those battles".Manager John Still "looked ponderous as he walked off down the tunnel at the final whistle. For effort alone, his players deserved something from this game but they are rapidly learning football can be a cruel game without a conscience".
Accrington Stanley report that "John Coleman is expecting to bring in a goalkeeper on loan from a Premiership club ahead of the deadline for short term loan signings at midnight tomorrow night. Darren Randolph's loan from Charlton Athletic ends after Saturday's match at home to Southport, and cannot be renewed until the transfer window opens again in January."
Crawley Town "midfielder Robbie Kember will be out of action until the New Year after undergoing an operation on his injured ankle. Kember...has played less than half an hour this season having earlier picked up eye injury in pre-season training".
Bullsnews says that "Hereford United will be in the draw for the Quarter Final of the LDV Northern Area which takes place on Saturday but won't receive any bonus from last night's win over Port Vale. The prize money rules of the LDV are such that the defeated side picks up any prize money and Vale will receive £4,000 for their efforts. The quarter finals operate in the same way. Should Hereford win, they receive nothing, but if defeated the Bulls will pick-up £6,000. However defeated league clubs will receive £8,000 each".
Southport's "Liam Watson has made two loan signings ahead of Thursdays deadline for signing loan players. Mark Roberts a 22 year old Defender has signed from Crewe Alexandra. He is joined by Adriano Rigoglioso a 26 year old attacking midfeld player or striker from Doncaster Rovers".
"Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe feels this week's loan transfer deadline should not apply to Conference clubs. After 1700 GMT on Thursday no new loan signings can be registered until the transfer window opens on 1 January. Inglethorpe told BBC Sport. "At our level, loans are so important because so many teams run off small squads. A lot of teams do not have youth teams to fall back on. Our youth system consists of seven full-time scholars and we do not have a reserve team... I am yet to be convinced that this [deadline] is something that works at the lower end of the scale... "A loan system is a really important way for us to function... You have still got clubs in the Conference who are not full-time. If it is hard for us at Exeter then can you imagine what it is like for someone like Tamworth where they are part-time. Obviously they cannot sustain a full squad all the time so they are going to need loans" .
"Grimsby midfielder Terry Barwick looks set to join York City on loan. Barwick, 22, has opened talks with City boss Billy McEwan" says the BBC. And, "Morecambe have parted company with defender Carl Ruffer. The former Chester City player leaves Christie Park after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent. Ruffer, 30... has been plagued by injury during his short stay with the Shrimps".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Robert Duffy, who was released by Cambridge United two months ago after making just three starts without scoring, has signed for Kettering until the end of the season."
On This is Essex states that "Canvey soccer boss Jeff King claimed 'appalling defending' in the opening half had been the major factor in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat by a Tamworth side who had gone into the match propping up the Conference table".
The Argus reports that "Jimmy Quinn has blasted Crawley on the day they are expected to announce their new manager... Quinn was one of the leading candidates but was told on Monday he had not got the job... 'I was disappointed with the way this has been handled. I have not been told personally by the club, I heard from my agent. I have also been made to wait a long time. There are ways of doing things and I don't think they have handled it very well'" , he said. Whilst managerless, Crawley "made a £75,000 bid for Stevenage striker Anthony Elding, signed Tristam Whitman on loan from Tamworth and have attempted to capture Tony Scully [on loan at Exeter] from Notts County".
23 November 2005
HOLLINS GETS JOBFormer Chelsea star John Hollins has been appointed the new manager at Crawley Town in succession to Francis Vines. He joins former Spurs man Alan Mullery, who is Director of Football at the club.
CAN YOU HELP?Any donations of chocolate (for a chocolate tombola) or of Christmas items, such as children's games, for sale at the Altrincham FC Christmas Fayre on Sunday 4th December (1pm to 5pm), will be very welcome at the club at any time during normal office hours or on matchdays. And before then, don't forget the Bingo Night at Moss Lane on Monday 28th November - items for the bring and buy stall will be very welcome. A list of upcoming social and fundraising events is here.
IN THE PICTURE
Above: Kieran Lugsden in action in the Cheshire Senior Cup match against Crewe last week - one of Gavin Rathbone's excellent photos, available from the Robins' Shop. More images are displayed on the GR Photography website.
CALENDAR BARGAINThe price of Gavin Rathbone's Altrincham FC Calendar for 2006 (for details, see below) has now been set - it will be just £10 which is excellent value for 12 months of high-quality photos. The calendars are on sale in the Robins Shop at Moss Lane or via the club office (928-1045).
Tuesday's LDV Trophy results:
Confguide reports that "Reading look poised to sign Tamworth defender Aaron Brown, who played for the Championship club's reserves while on trial earlier this year. Brown, 22, who trained with Watford recently, was this month part of the non-League England squad who faced Belgium. Reading director of football Nick Hammond told Reading's official website: 'I've been talking to Tamworth about the possibility of bringing him here, initially on loan but then with the possibility of a permanent move when the transfer window opens in January. Nothing has been confirmed but we will continue to talk to both Tamworth and the player'... He has made 17 appearances this season, scoring one goal as well as being sent off once". As a result, he is suspended against Altrincham on Saturday.
"Cambridge United boss Rob Newman has bolstered his squad with two new players, while several scholars have been farmed out in a bid to help them get work experience. Gavin Heeroo impressed... to earn himself a month’s loan from Farnborough. The former Crystal Palace man is joined at the Abbey Stadium by Max Porter, who arrives on a month's work experience from Southend United... Newman said of his new acquisitions: 'Gavin can play right back or right midfield so we've got him in as cover, with the possibility of a longer deal. Max is a very tenacious young midfielder'... Scholars Duane Eastall, Ashley Fuller, and Ryan Lockett have all been sent out on work experience, while striker Mbiyeye Medine has joined Chelmsford City on a month's loan".
"Grays have appealed against the red card centre-back Jamie Stuart picked up in Saturday's top of the table win at Exeter. Stuart was sent off along with City striker Lee Phillips for an incident in the tunnel as the sides trooped off at half time. 'We put the appeal in today, so fingers crossed,even if we can’t get the whole three games scrubbed, we might be able to get it down to one game', Grays boss Mark Stimson told The NLP on Monday night: 'Both players said they hadn’t really touched each other'". If upheld, Stuart could miss the game against Altrincham on 6 December.
22 November 2005
NEXT GAMEAlty meet Tamworth at Moss Lane on Saturday. News of Saturday's opponents comes from the Tamworth website as we learn that on Saturday "With five changes to the side that lost to Scarborough last weekend Mark Cooper’s squad took on a somewhat different look in Essex. Cooper opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Adie Smith, Nathan Jackson, Matt Redmile, Mark Gayle (in for an injured Scott Bevan) and debutant Eddie Ancalet – on loan from Southampton - all taking their places in the starting eleven. Bob Taylor [previously sacked after a drink driving incident] returned to take one of the spots on the bench and Michael Touhy found himself also sitting the first half out before replacing Dave Bampton". In the end "Tamworth finish with 6 players booked and Aaron Brown sent off... Bob Taylor made his return to the field but it was short lived as a tackle saw him hobble off less than 10 minutes later although he also managed to pick up a yellow card in his short appearance".
The FA confirms that two players from our opponents, Tamworth, are suspended - they are Aaron Brown, sent off on Saturday and David Bampton who from 26/11/2005 is "suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for 5 cautions".
GET YOUR ALTY CALENDARAltrincham FC photographer Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography has produced an excellent Altrincham FC calendar for 2006 - and this time the players have kept their clothes on! Gavin intends to have 20 calendars at the game on Saturday and further copies will be produced to order. Prices and purchase arrangements will be confirmed on this website before Saturday. For more of Gavin's Alty photographic products, visit the Robins' Shop on matchdays or visit his website.
Above left: The calendar's cover. Right: The month of February 2006.
GRAVESEND REVISITEDSAM reports on the loss at Gravesend. "Manager Graham Heathcote is faced with a major dilemma. Either his team open up in search of a goal and leave themselves susceptible to the counter-attack or they attempt to keep it tight and rely on the defence keeping a clean sheet - not an easy task in the Conference National". Kent Online has a match report on Alty's defeat last Saturday. Their second goal is described as follows: "MacDonald turned goalscorer to double Gravesend’s lead on 53 minutes when he slipped his marker on the edge of the box before beating the keeper with a fine left-footed shot. It was Fleet’s first victory in seven matches". And Monday's MEN says that "With the Robins now having lost six of their nine away games, from which they picked up just five points, the pressure's increasing on them to win at home if they're to survive their first season back in non-league's top flight"..
CONFERENCE NEWSAccrington Stanley report that "The club together with our architect met with the Lancashire County Council on Thursday afternoon to discuss the continuing development of the stadium and in particular the covering over the Clayton Terrace that will become known as the Sophia Khan Terrace". Spokesman Rob Key said, "In addition to a canopy over the terrace the development will include new turnstiles, toilets and a bar area. We are still confident that we can achieve this by the end of the season... The ground is very close to Football League standard but would require one or two additions such as a police control room, a spectator first aid room and a seated area for away fans. Although these can be arranged fairly quickly it is important that we have plans in place and ready to be put into action as soon as we know at which level we will be playing next season".
BBC Sport reports that "Hereford United boss Graham Turner is hoping to sign a goalkeeper on loan after losing the services of Wayne Brown with a broken wrist... But with no loan signings permitted between November 25 and January 1, Turner wants more cover now".
"Canvey Island have placed defender Jay Conroy on the transfer-list. The ex-Crystal Palace youngster, 19, joined the Gulls in the summer but has struggled to break into the first-team. Meanwhile, Canvey boss Jeff King has allowed long-serving goalkeeper Ashley Harrison to join Great Wakering Rovers on loan" says the BBC.
From This is York we read that "New Zealand international Leo Bertos wants to end his nomadic existence by earning a permanent stay at York City. The 23-year-old right winger made his Minstermen debut during Saturday's 0-0 draw at Kidderminster Harriers... after spending brief spells at five different clubs since being released by Rochdale in the summer. He said: 'It was pretty gutting to get released by Rochdale after two seasons in their first team... I have been at Swindon, Doncaster, Bristol Rovers, Chester and Stevenage but it's the same situation everywhere. So many clubs don't have any money now'". He added, "Hopefully I can cement a place in the team... I'm non-contract at the moment but I would definitely be interested in signing for York because I need to play. I don't want to play reserve-team football". City boss Billy McEwan said "He gives us another dimension to our team and gives us penetration which you need at times in games".
Aldershot Town is to have a new official website at www.theshots.co.uk from 28th November.
Confguide confirms that "Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss has admitted that he may lose some of his top-earners in a cost-cutting exercise... Watkiss will only be able to bring in loan signings before the window closes on Friday, while the prospect of losing players such as Iyseden Christie and Mark Jackson is a distinct possibility. 'It's no secret that we may have to lose some of our top earners... There are no offers on the table yet and no deal is imminent for any of our players but there has obviously been interest, but that's all it is at the moment. There is the money available to bring in one more loan signing (before Thursday) so we'll sit down on Monday morning'" said the manager. Meanwhile "Watkiss is adamant his side should have been awarded a late penalty against York City on Saturday, which if converted would have given the Harriers all three points... Watkiss said after the match: 'For two weeks on the bounce, I'll be leaving the game tonight still puzzled by what I see as a poor refereeing decision that has ultimately decided the game... We're disappointed to again be on the wrong end of poor officiating. I have to say I think the officials were poor from start to finish today' ". Watkiss said of referee Amy Rayner "I went over to her and shook her hand and just let her know what I thought of that decision and her performance".
"Cambridge United are scrapping their youth centre of excellence as a cost cutting measure. Vice-chairman John Howard, who has responsibility for United's youth set-up, explained the likely withdrawal of almost £70,000 in grant funding from the Coca-Cola League at the end of this season had forced the club to axe the centre of excellence. He told the Cambridge Evening News: "The relegation of a club like United with such a well-regarded and successful youth policy has highlighted the lack of provision for the youth policies of clubs that drop out of the Football League... The club will now focus its youth development efforts on local colleges and clubs".
21 November 2005
YOUTHS REACH FINAL
Above: Ben Deegan (left in yellow) keeps his eye on the ball as Anthony Davies (no.11) stands by, on a cloudy afternoon at Trafford as Altrincham FA defeat Chester FA.
Altrincham & District FA youth team, entirely comprising Altrincham FC Youth players, beat Chester & District FA Youth at Trafford FC on Sunday by six goals to nil. They are now in the Cheshire FA District Cup Final against Stockport & District FA to be played in March, at a venue to be confirmed. Fresh from scoring twice in Saturday's Cheshire FA's 6-3 win over Liverpool FA in the Northern Counties group-stage match this weekend, Alty striker Ben Deegan hit a hat-trick against Chester. He has now scored 25 goals for Altrincham Youth and Altrincham FA this season as well as netting once for Alty Reserves and six times for the Cheshire FA side. The other scorers against Chester were Matty Williams, Astley Mulholland and Andy Keogh.
Match report in Youth section.
Alty's Tom Bane also scored in the Cheshire FA match against Liverpool and Richard Gresty also played. And, still on the representative front, in the mid-week inter-league match between the NW Allied Trophies League and the Bury & Radcliffe League, Alty's Andy Keogh played.
RESERVES STILL TOPThe Lancashire League website has the latest league table; Altrincham reserves are still top but can be caught by, amongst others, unbeaten Bradford Park Avenue Reserves. Next Saturday Alty are away to Accrington Stanley Reserves at Pleasington, Blackburn. Kick off (unconfirmed) is at noon.
GOOD SUPPORT!The Gravesend forum has a posting from a Fleet fan which says, "Credit to Alty for a respectable travelling support for such a long distance, especially considering they brought about as many as Halifax this season, an ex-League side". For a match report, see below...
CONFERENCE NEWSSouthport say that "Despite rumours circulating around the club, Farrell Kilbane has not been released from his contract...but he had been given permission to speak to Stalybridge Celtic". Also, "Assistant Manager Neil Whalley left the club after todays game against Halifax Town... Neil would like to make it known that he could not give the job the required time due to changes at work with his job. There has been no falling out and Liam and Neil are still the best of friends". Whalley, who briefly played for Altrincham in 1995/6, was also with Watson at Runcorn.
20 November 2005
CONVERTED TO THE ALTY CAUSE!"I have been a Manchester City fan all of my life" writes Steven Green of Stretford to the NL Paper. But "Altrincham FC have been offering vouchers to let kids in for £2 so my lad and I toddled off to watch Alty v Exeter [last Saturday]. What a great afternoon - how football should be!... Commited football, no mercenaries after a big pay day. Two hot chocolates and a snack for £1.70 - a lot more at City! We enjoyed it very much.. .We are considering spending our season ticket money at a good, honest football club". The vouchers are printed in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, which provides excellent coverage of Altrincham FC.
ON ANOTHER PLANETThe NL Paper's match report on Alty's defeat at Gravesend (see below) quotes Charlie MacDonald, scorer of the Fleet's second goal, who knocked over Gary Scott to score. The paper says, "MacDonald didn't see any problems with his goal. 'I managed to get my body there and I felt he went down a little too easily. Either that, or he wants to get himself in the gym. I kept my composure and managed to slot it in'". Quite why Gary Scott, one of Alty's fittest players, should go down "easily" when he was the last defender, racing back towards his own goal and with an opponent behind him remains unfathomable. Alty boss Graham Heathcote said, "The game is no longer decided by the teams. It is happening far too often on our travels. People can make their own opinions of that second goal".
GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET 2 ALTRINCHAM 0
Above: Gary Scott (blue shirt no.11) battles for the ball at Gravesend, as Val Owen looks on.
Match report here.
OLD (and current) BOYSJames Olsen (Vauxhall M.), Aaron Wilford (Whitby), Barrie George (FC United) and Leroy Chambers (Frickley) all played yesterday - Leroy scored twice. Rod Thornley, on loan at Radcliffe Borough played for Boro at Wakefield yesterday. Other scorers yesterday included Lee Thompson (Skem) and Anthony Hargreaves (C. Laird).
NEXT UPAlty have a vital game against Tamworth next Saturday. The Lambs had Aaron Brown sent off for the second time this season on Saturday at Canvey where they conceded 26 freekicks and saw 5 yellows and one red. Also, "Tamworth failed in a bid to sign experienced forward Tommy Johnson on loan from Scunthorpe this week. Manager Mark Cooper said, 'I am particularly keen to sign a new striker'".
CONFERENCE NEWSAfter Morecambe's Jim Harvey suffered a heart attack last Saturday and the death of Mansfield's goalkeeping coach in the warm-up this weekend, the NLP has a timely piece on how former Arsenal player John Barnwell, now head of the League Managers' Association, is encouraging the Conference to join its Wellness Centre initiative. The Centre gives managers health checks and advice on fitness. Barnwell said, "Most managers in the Conference... have come into the job, having lived a player's life. They are used to just looking after themselves. Then, all of a sudden, they are expected to look after others and drop their own levels. Fitness goes. They rush around and grab food on the go. All things that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Eventually, it catches up with you".
As Alty work hard against full-time opposition, clubs at the other end of the Conference's financial spectrum are able to offer big money for players. The NL Paper reports that managerless Crawley have tabled a bid of £75,000 for Stevenage's Anthony Elding. Elding's partner George Boyd is stated to be subject of interest from Leeds United and Shefffield United, with a £200,000 fee being touted.
Conference teams in LDV fixtures this week are:
19 November 2005
Right: Steve Aspinall, made his 100th appearance for Alty on Wednesday night.
SAM'S VIEWSAM reports that Altrincham's Conference "survival will not be won or lost according to their performances against the top teams in the division..It is those clashes against the teams around them that hold the most importance. Saturday's game is one such encounter and Altrincham should be confident of achieving a positive result against a Gravesend side currently struggling through a dreadful run of form". It identifies Fleet's dangermen as Charlie MacDonald and Jay Saunders but emerging young striker Luke Moore is a slso to be watched. MacDonald came from Crawley and Weymouth. Another danger is "young striker Onome Sodje, on loan from Charlton". For more on the game, see yesterday's news, below...
CONFERENCE NEWSNL Daily says that "Terry Brown, manager of Aldershot Town, has completed the loan signing of Cheltenham Town's young striker Ashley Vincent. The 20-year-old has signed a one-month deal and will go straight into the squad... The signing of a striker, a former Wolves trainee, eases the pressure on Tim Sills, who has been playing as a lone striker in recent weeks".
"Kidderminster Harriers could hand a debut to promising midfielder Russ Penn at home to York City on Saturday, with Michael Blackwood set to fill in for suspended Wayne Hatswell at left back. Harriers' boss Stuart Watkiss, who is braced for further cuts to his playing budget, has been experimenting with various permutations... With Martin O'Connor facing a longer than anticipated lay-off after an exploratory knee operation revealed more damage than expected, Penn has been groomed for a central midfield role against the Minstermen... Since releasing left back deputy Steve Burton from his contract, Harriers have only had two left-footers, Hatswell and Blackwood among their first-team ranks. And with the manager not receiving a single penny of Burton's or departing right back Wayne Evans' wage to reinvest in the squad, Watkiss has been unable to bring in cover for the left side of defence. In Hatswell's absence, he has contemplated reverting to three at the back and has even considered employing right-footers Johnny Mullins, Wayne Graves of Gavin Hurren at left back. 'Whatever I do it is going to be a case of putting a square peg in a round hole', admitted Watkiss... The Harriers' boss has also been busy on the phone this week attempting to clarify the loan arrangements for Heslop, Mullins, Pugh and Taiwo Atieno. He fears that if any of the temporary signings are called back at short notice he could be down to the bare bones of a squad and struggling to name 11 players and five substitutes... 'Barnsley and Burnley are stumping up all the cash for Heslop and Pugh so if they were to go back we would not save anything but we'd lose two important players'", the manager told This is KHFC. Also, "Stuart Watkiss could be forced to release one of his top earners, thought to be leading goal-scorer Iysden Christie or skipper Mark Jackson as part of a cost-cutting exercise", says Confguide
Bullsnews adds that "Failure in the FA Cup, after manager Stuart Watkiss admitted that the club had budgeted for a run, cost Harriers a minimum of the £10,000 prize money for winning the 4QR tie... Should attendances reach the depths of the 1500 attendances the club got against the likes of Morecambe and Halifax then a defecit of £75,000 is easily forseeable for the remainder of the season. Chairman Barry Norgrove acknowledged last month that the club were running at a loss of £5,000 per week... and the club will be facing a six figure loss for the season without a dramatic improvement",
From Confguide comes a report that "Accrington Stanley have bolstered their squad with the acquisition of former Liverpool trainee Mark Smyth on non-contract terms.
NW NEWSIn the wake of their recently annouced financial problems, Lancaster City have reportedly allowed Ryan Zico Black to join Paul Gascoigne's Kettering Town "for an undisclosed fee".
18 November 2005
STANLEY GO TOP
Only six points cover the whole bottom half of the Conference table. A win for Alty could take them to 13th; defeat could drop them to 21st!
GRAVESEND'S YOUNG HOPEKent on Line says that "Luke Moore's place in Gravesend’s starting line-up against Altrincham on Saturday has been virtually assured with two powerful performances in the space of 48 hours. The 18-year-old striker and product of the Fleet’s PASE youth scheme, was outstanding after replacing Onome Sodje for the final 22 minutes of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Aldershot. On Monday, he followed up by scoring twice and again impressing for the reserves in a 4-1 win at Slough. Manager Liam Daish, who praised Moore after the Aldershot defeat, said: 'He’s putting more and more pressure on me to start him. To say he’s knocking on the first team door is putting it mildly. I find his attitude refreshing because he is so determined to do well... He’s showing so much promise that I was able to release Kim Grant'".
FIVE OUTAlty boss Graham Heathcote says that up to five players may be missing tomorrow against Gravesend. Those definitely out of the game are defenders Gary Talbot, Stephen Rose (left) and Chris Adams (right) as well as striker Lee Hendley, with another defender, Mark Maddox, very doubtful as well. As previously reported, Stephen Rose injured his foot on a sunken sprinkler at Crewe in the warm up ot the Cheshire Senior Cup match last Wednesday, whilst Chris Adams picked up an injury in that game, after over-stretching. In addition, striker Rod Thornley will play again for Radcliffe Borough this Saturday, alongside the ineligible Ged Murphy, who is unable to play for Alty until next month under the new transfer rules.
So, that leaves just 16 fit members of the squad to travel to Gravesend this evening, if goalkeeper Richard Acton is not counted as he is still not fully recovered from his broken foot. The 16 are: goalkeeper Coburn; defenders Aspinall, Band, Butler, Hilton, Munroe; midfielders Chalmers, Owen, Peyton, Potts, Robinson, Scott; forwards Little, Lugsden, McFadden and Wilson. Of these sixteen, eleven have started seven or fewer league games this season for Alty this season. Four have yet to start a league game for Alty this season (Aspinall, McFadden, Butler, Robinson), whilst Peyton and Lugsden have started once. Wilson and Hilton have started twice, whilst Scott has started four league games, Chalmers six and Munroe seven.
The BBC says that for tomorrow's game, "Gravesend have a major doubt over the fitness of defender Paul McCarthy, who is suffering from bruised ribs. Danny Slatter is definitely out with a viral infection, while midfielder Lee Protheroe is suspended".
The NL Paper has comments from Liam Daish, the Gravesend boss, before tomorrow's clash with Altrincham. Without a win in five games, The Fleet boss said of the recent defeat by Aldershot, "Last week was gut-wrenching and has stayed with me. When you're on a run like ours you have to show togetherness and bottle. We need to beat Altrincham and then the confidence will come back.... We conceded three goals to three crosses and that's disturbing... and our decision making isn't quite right at the moment". Meanwhile Graham Heathcote spoke of new man Warren Peyton: "Things did not work out for Warren at Leigh. He's a naturally fit lad, which is something we need and he has ability as well".
TRISTRAM WENT FOR A BURTONToday's NLP reports on Tristram Whitman, who chose to join Crawley Town rather than Altrincham last week. Whitman has moved into the house of fellow strikers Jamie Cade and Steve Burton and is pictured getting them involved in a Playstation Premier League game. It says that Whitman "had spoken to Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote about a loan move there until Burton, with whom he played at Doncaster Rovers, texted to tell him to hang on, as full-time Crawley might be interested".
ACCENT ON YOUTHSAM reports that Alty boss "Graham Heathcote is looking for his young charges to make a real impact after the club released veteran striker Lutel James this week... Heathcote is confident his squad is strong enough to cope and is ready to put faith in youth. Speaking exclusively to SAM, he said: 'We've released Lutel mainly because what we need up front at the moment is pace and the player who can give me that is Kieran Lugsden (left). He came on against Exeter on Saturday and made the sort of impact you hope a substitute would make and caused them real problems. Lugsden, 19, is a graduate of the Alty youth team... The Robins can also call on fellow youth team graduates Lee Hendley and Pat McFadden, both 18, who made their debuts this season but have found chances limited so far. 'We need to start getting behind teams and pace will be important in that'," said Heathcote. 'Lee Hendley hasn't trained for the last couple of weeks but hopefully we'll have him back soon and Pat McFadden can come in as well. All the young players at this club are important, Lewis Chalmers was another one who did well on Saturday, they just have to start performing consistently'". Graham added that 'Hopefully the arrival of both Warren Peyton and Ged Murphy will make a difference. We've been trying to play football this season but that's not always possible, you need to have two strings to your bow and adapt depending on who you are playing".
GRAHAM NOT HAPPYAfter the defeat at Crewe on Wednesday, Graham Heathcote told SAM, "We made seven changes from Saturday and we were struggling with injuries but the bottom line is that I wasn't happy with our performance. We passed the ball quite well but didn't show enough tenacity in midfield. I don't blame Richard Acton for any of the goals because he faced four virtual one-on-ones throughout the game and they were able to pass the ball into the net. I thought Steve Aspinall and Kirk Hilton did well on their return and Kirk was one of our better players on the night. But we defended badly as a team and we didn't show any of the competitive streak in midfield that we did against Exeter".
CONFERENCE NEWS"As expected, former Barnsley midfielder Sean McClare has joined Scarborough on a month's deal... Boro boss Neil Redfearn is still running the rule over defender Karl Colley, the ex-Halifax Town, Kettering Town, Barrow, Frickley Athletic and Stocksbridge Park Steels defender. Redfearn said: 'Sean has signed, which is good news and we are still looking at Karl. He could be the big man we are looking for at the back'". Redfearn added: "If the players perform well then they will stay in the side. There is no point in breaking that just because a few players are coming back in... Players will have to be patient, but that's the way it must be. The lads who are in there now have earned their place in the side and it is up to the other lads to push them and regain their spot. The likes of Neil Bishop and Jake Speight may eventually get their places back in the starting line-up but it isn't guaranteed – they may have to spend a bit of time on the bench until a place opens up for them" he told Scarborough Today
NL Daily says that "Rob Newman, manager of Cambridge United, has brought in Gavin Heeroo and Max Porter on a temporary basis. Defender Heeroo has arrived on a month's loan from Farnborough Town... while midfielder Porter has come in on 'work experience' from Southend United".
The BBC says that "Former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy has taken over as caretaker manager of Morecambe. He is to stand in for Shrimps boss Jim Harvey, who is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack before last Saturday's game... Harvey, who was McIlroy's assistant with Northern Ireland, is expected to be sidelined for around three months. McIlroy's last job in management came at Stockport County... [He] will be assisted at Christie Park by Mark Lillis, who was his assistant at Stockport".
"Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss has signed former Torquay defender Patrick Flynn... The ex-Wolves junior (20), has moved to Aggborough for a month on non-contract terms to cover for the absence of Wayne Hatswell and Chris McHale. 'With Chris going out to Stourport for a month for games, it's freed up a little bit of cash'", Watkiss told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"Forest Green Rovers have signed Bristol City striker Guy Madjo on loan, with a view to a permanent deal. The Cameroon-born forward, 21, has started one game and made five substitute appearances for City - scoring in their LDV defeat at Barnet". FGR have also released Jamie Gosling and Jon Beswetherick.
The BBC also says that "Dagenham have given former Gillingham and Southend winger Jimmy Corbett the chance to revive his career. Corbett is training with the Conference club... following an injury-hit two years at Southend which ended in the summer. Corbett spent five years at Blackburn after a big-money move from Gillingham but never made a first team appearance".
"Notts County boss Gudjon Thordarson says he is looking at releasing out-of-favour winger Tony Scully. Scully, 29, has been on loan at Exeter since August, but his spell expires at the start of December. 'I think it would be best for Scully to try and get a future elsewhere', Thordarson told County's website".
"Aldershot boss Terry Brown is thrilled to see Roscoe D'Sane back in action after more than a year out injured. The striker, 25, came on as a second-half substitute for the reserves. 'It's fantastic to have him back, but it's going to be a gradual process - we're not going to rush this'", Brown told BBC Southern Counties Radio.
NORTH WEST NEWSBarrow "have relieved Lee Turnbull of his position as first team manager with immediate effect. The board having fully considered the current situation at the club - the team without a league victory in two months and attendances understandably tumbling - feel that in the best interests of the future of Barrow AFC, a new man is needed at the helm. The position will be advertised shortly in the national press with a north-west based manager with a proven semi-professional track record at this level or above, the ideal choice".
17 November 2005
CREWE ALEXANDRA 4 ALTRINCHAM 0
KYLE TO STAY LONGERCrewe Alexandra's Kyle Wilson has had his loan spell at Altrincham extended for a further month. After initially playing on the left, Kyle started his last game for Altrincham up front.
PLAYER NEWSGary Talbot, Lee Hendley (foot injuries) and Stephen Rose (ankle) will all miss Saturday's game at Gravesend & Northfleet. Stephen was set to play last night against Crewe when he turned his ankle on a sunken sprinkler at Gresty Road in the warm-up to the game. Steve Aspinall, making his 100th appearance for Alty, came through an hour of that game successfully. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn is expected to be fit for Saturday - his replacement last night, Richard Acton, stepped in despite not being fully recovered from his foot injury and manager Graham Heathcote was very grateful to him for doing so. Mark Maddox is still a doubt for Saturday but new signings Warren Peyton, Chris Butler and James Robinson are all available after being ineligible for the Cheshire Senior Cup game last night.
FA CUPWednesday's FA Cup 1 replay:
OLD BOYIan Craney played for the England National Game XI against Belgium in their 2-0 win on Tuesday. The goals came from York's Andy Bishop and Hereford's Daniel Carey-Bertram.
CONFERENCE NEWS"Burton boss Nigel Clough will delay a decision on experienced defender Gary Rowett untill the New Year. The 31-year-old has been pencilled in as a possible New Year signing by Brewers boss Nigel Clough, but doubts about his fitness are causing Clough to be cautious... [Rowett] will not be available immediately to play in Saturday games... [but the player told the Burton Mail], 'Football takes place on a lot of other days and I'm looking to play a few games'", he told the Burton Mail. The Brewers' boss said: "Gary will do a bit of training with us and play the odd game". Of his injuries, the former Birmingham man said, "I had a lot of operations and it wasn't much fun, but the knee feels miles better now after a good rest... Whether Nigel thinks I'm any good to him I don't know, but I've let him know that I'm available for more games".
16 November 2005
STRONG CREWE TEAMCrewe Alexandra report that "assistant manager Neil Baker will name a strong side for tonight's Cheshire Senior Cup encounter with current holders Altrincham... Baker will have a number of players with first-team experience at his disposal. This evening's repeat of the 2004 Senior Cup final will see the likes of defenders Adie Moses and Chris McCready given a run-out following injury, as well given further opportunities for the likes of Luke Rodgers, Mark Rivers, Eddie Johnson and Justin Cochrane a chance to stake a claim for a more prominent role at first-team level. Luke Varney remains the only doubt after suffering from a heavy cold since the weekend. Crewe Alexandra squad from: Stuart Tomlinson, Chris McCready, Mark Roberts, Rob Lloyd, Paul Bignot, Richard Sutton, Justin Cochrane, Ben Rix, Mark Rivers, Pavol Suhaj, Eddie Johnson, Luke Varney, Luke Rodgers, Nicky Maynard, Tom Pope, Michael O'Connor".
MARK REFLECTSThe Independent has a long interview with former Alty player-manager Mark Ward, now in gaol on drugs-related charges. The article says "In 2000 he was appointed the player-manager of Altrincham but was sacked 15 months later partly because he spoke his mind when 'unfortunately it is not always possible to do so', but mainly, the then chairman said, because the club wanted someone to work on a smaller budget than Ward had accepted. For Ward this was a huge blow. 'My sacking at Altrincham damaged my whole existence in the game', he says now. He was soon on the dole". Mark was actually manager of Altrincham for less than a year, being appointed in summer 2000 and being dismissed in March 2001.
ALTY AT CREWEAltrincham take on Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road tonight (k.o. 7.45pm, admission £5) in the Cheshire Senior Cup. Definitely not involved in the game, due to injury, will be Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot and Lee Hendley. Also ineligible tonight are recent signings Ged Murphy, James Robinson, Warren Peyton and Chris Butler, whilst Kyle Wilson (on loan from Crewe) will, of course, not play against his own club.
Above: Gavin Rathbone's shot of Kyle Wilson in action against Exeter. For more of Gavin's photos, visit GR Photos or the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane.
SAM reports that "When Altrincham took to the field on Saturday, they were barely recognisable. Unhappy with recent performances and faced with suspensions to both Karl Munroe and Val Owen, manager Graham Heathcote decided on a virtual overhaul of his team... But it initially seemed as though Heathcote's tinkering had backfired on him; that was until Colin Potts entered the field of play... The winger added a touch of class to the Alty midfield and it was his eye for an opportunity that enabled the Robins to finally split the well-organised Exeter defence... Earlier the Robins had struggled to get the better of their title-challenging opponents and throughout the first half they did not even manage a single shot on goal".
Above: Gavin Rathbone's photo of Warren Peyton playing against Exeter.
This is Exeter quotes the Grecians' Director of Football, Steve Perryman: "We are averaging two points from every three at the moment... There are going to be draws when we are expected to win and Altrincham might have fallen into that category. But other teams are going through the same thing and it's all about where you finish at the end of the season - and we are confident".
YOUTH TEAM LOSEAlty Youth lost 2-0 away to Leigh RMI on Sunday. Report to follow.
ROD & GEDOn Monday night when Atherton Collieries lost to Radcliffe Borough on penalties 6-7, after a 0-0 draw, both Rod Thornley and Ged Murphy played for Boro, on loan from Altrincham, as did old boy Scott Wilson. On the Trafford bench was Danny Hooper, who was at Alty two seasons ago.
LOCAL NEWSOur neighbours Trafford have supplied Altrincham with several goalkeepers on emergency loan in recent seasons, the most recent being Chris Cloherty who was on the bench at Hereford this season - and, of course, Stuart Coburn came to Alty from Trafford eight seasons ago. But Graham Heathcote will have to look elsewhere if we need any further loan-keeper as Trafford boss Danny Johnson says "On Sunday evening I was dealt a major blow with the news that we will be without goalkeeper Damien Rooney until at least Christmas as he has severed tendons in his right hand... I already have one or two irons in the fire and will be speaking to numerous contacts to arrange suitable cover until Damo is back playing again" reports their website.
CONFERENCE NEWSTuesday's FA Cup replays included:
The BBC says that "Accrington manager John Coleman wants his side to make the most of being the first team to beat Grays by continuing their push to the top of the table... And with four successive home games to come against sides in the bottom half of the table [including Alty], starting against Forest Green on Friday night, Coleman is keen to take advantage. 'You can talk about the four home games, but that counts for nothing if you don't go out and perform...When we have got ourselves in a good position in the past we have let ourselves down and we have to make sure that doesn't happen again'". But "Mike Flynn, on loan, and Chris Butler are the latest to have gone and with Andy Tretton and Andy Proctor still sidelined through injury Coleman is scouring the market either for a loan or a January swoop. 'We have to bring a couple of players in. There is no getting away from that. We are thin on the ground in midfield so we need to bring in a midfield player and a defender'".
"Hereford United striker Adam Stansfield is nearing a first-team return after more than two months out of action following hernia surgery... The former Yeovil Town forward, 27, came through a reserve game against Cheltenham Town... Wing-back Simon Travis, who is yet to play this season because of injury, also featured in the 0-0 draw", states the BBC.
"York City boss Billy McEwan has signed New Zealand international Leo Bertos on a short-term contract... after being released from a non-contract deal at Chester City. The 23-year-old, who has also played for Rochdale and Barnsley, had spent a trial spell at York while turning out in the Conference North for Barrow" says the BBC.
The Conference ‘Player of The Month’ for October is Jamie Slabber of Grays Athletic.
"On-loan midfielder Lee Fowler is keeping his options open after starring on his debut for Scarborough. The 22-year-old midfielder produced a storming display in the 1-0 defeat of Tamworth and afterwards hinted at a full-time switch into boss Neil Redfearn's plans... He said: 'I only had a cartilage operation on my knee four weeks ago, but the only way to get back is by playing games. I did have a few options and when I made my mind up that I wanted to come to Boro, my agent asked me what I was doing because they were at the bottom of the Conference National. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Neil Redfearn. I played against him when he was at Boston, so I know what he is all about and how ambitious he is'". In response Redfearn referred to "The added bonus of having Lee Fowler is fantastic – he is easily the best midfield player in this division", reports Scarborough Today.
Crawley Town "Striker Stuart Douglas is the latest player to leave the Broadfield Stadium. The former Luton Town and Boston player joined the Red Devils just before the commencement of this season... [but] has had his contract with the club cancelled by mutual consent".
15 November 2005
LUTEL GOESAltrincham FC have released striker Lutel James after three starts and one substitution (and no goals) for The Robins. Though signed in pre-season, Lutel went to Garforth Town to get fit at the start of the season and did not make his competitive Alty debut till 15 October 2005, when he came on as a substitute against Southport at Moss Lane. 33 year-old Lutel, a St Kitts & Nevis international, had made his initial debut for Alty on 28 July 2005 in a friendly against Lincoln City and signed non-contract forms for Altrincham the next day. His early career was with Selby Town, Yorkshire Amateurs and Scarborough before he joined Guiseley. From there he moved to Hyde in 1996. He joined Bury from Hyde in 1998 but they released him at the start of the 2000-01 campaign. Lutel next joined Accrington Stanley where he had a prodigious scoring record. In November 2004 he went on three-months' loan to Droylsden but picked up an injury. Lutel is the fifth player to leave Moss Lane this season, following James Olsen, Steve Hawes, George Melling and Gary Williams.
STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust, has launched its long awaited "Giant killers" DVD (seen above), which records many of Altrincham's most famous moments in the FA Cup and FA Trophy. As Alty fans will know, Alty have more FA Cup scalps of League clubs than any other current non-league side. Priced at £18, the DVD can be bought by following links on the STAR website.
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUPOn the Crewe official site "Dario Gradi admits that this Wednesday's Cheshire Senior Cup meeting with Altrincham could well sort out his substitutes bench for the visit of Stoke City on Saturday. Dario has a full compliment of out-field players available at his disposal, so narrowing his selection down to sixteen will be difficult for one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the season... but he is looking for good performances to put pressure on those currently in the side". Gradi added: "I don't think what happens on Wednesday will make me change the team because at the moment that looks like our best eleven. They deserve to keep their places in the team... It could well influence the bench for the Stoke game though, because we have everyone available and the competition is good. Of course, that could all change if the lads on International duty come back tired or injured, so it will be interesting to see who performs well against Altrincham. It will be a welcomed game for those who are out of the side or just coming back from injury. It will be good for the likes of Adie Moses, Luke Varney and Justin Cochrane to get a run out. As usual we want to go as far as we can in the competition and that is why we always pick a fairly strong team". For Wednesday's game, "It is pay on the gate with prices set by the Cheshire FA at £5 for adults and £1 for juniors and OAPs. Hopefully the tie could see the return of former favourite Colin Little to Gresty Road some two and half years after he originally left us for Macclesfield Town. Super Col as he was fondly named was suspended for last season's Cheshire Senior Cup Final!"
This is Staffs says that goalkeeper "Ben Williams will need to shake off a knee injury before Crewe can consider him for Saturday's derby clash. The Alex keeper was nursing a swollen knee at the end of last week's training sessions and has required treatment". Dario Gradi said "The treatment room is more or less free of bodies other than him... That is pleasing and I think that is down to the work we did with the players during the summer. I think their joints are protected by that extra body work they do in the gym". But "Steve Jones and David Vaughan have joined up with the Northern Ireland and Wales squads preparing for friendlies against Portugal (Tuesday) and Cyprus (Wednesday), while young midfielders Gary Roberts and Billy Jones are likely to start for England under-19s in their game with the Swiss at Wycombe on Wednesday night".
FA TROPHYThe FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round draw yesterday included the following local ties. Alty join the competition in the next round.
OLD BOYSFormer Alty winger Gary Williams was the man to cause a rare defeat for FC United in a 2-1 victory for Colne on Sunday; Williams's winner was scored against United's former Alty Youth keeper , Barrie George. The NW Counties League and NL Daily have announced the move of Barry Shuttleworth frpm Altrincham to Bamber Bridge on loan. Barry actually moved to Bamber Bridge last season, so quite what is going on is unclear!
CONFERENCE NEWSOur opponents on Saturday, Gravesend & Northfleet's have Lee Protheroe suspended for one game following his sending off last Saturday.
Confguide reports that "Morecambe FC officials were busy making plans for the rest of the season following the news that manager, Jim Harvey, suffered a heart attack before Saturday's home game against Cambridge. The 47-year-old was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary an hour before kick-off after he collapsed in his office complaining of chest pains. Club doctor, Trevor Fleet, examined him at the scene and an ambulance was called immediately. Harvey underwent tests and was detained in the coronary care unit at the RLI where he is expected to remain for the rest of this week. On medical advice he will not return to the club for at least three months. Club chairman, Peter McGuigan, said on Monday: "In the very short term Jim Bentley and Dick Danson will be responsible for the team... In the longer term we hope to appoint a caretaker manager for a period which will be dictated by the length of time it takes for Jim to make a full recovery to enable him to rejoin the club. Jim is fully aware of what we are planning".
"Rob Newman, manager of Cambridge United, added a triallist to the squad travelling to Morecambe on Saturday and also welcomed back Ashley Nicholls. Newman has signed triallist Danny Bunce on non-contract terms and the defender made his debut at Christie Park. The teenage former West Ham trainee had trained with the U's for the previous two weeks... 'He's a left-sided defender who was released by West Ham at the end of last season', said Newman. Another 'new' face to the squad was Ashley Nicholls, who has returned from his three-month loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds" reports the club website
On This is Exeter "Jon Challinor sent Exeter City back to the top of the Nationwide Conference - before admitting: 'This was two points dropped'... after being held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Altrincham... But despite their table-topping exploits, the celebrations were put firmly on ice after they carelessly gifted Altrincham a share of the spoils.'We had numerous chances, two goals disallowed, plenty of shots on targets but they didn't go in and it wasn't to be our day', said Challinor. 'This was a definitely a case of two points dropped. We feel like we have lost the game, even though we still got a draw. In the first half we were well on top and that's when we need to take our chances.'".
This is Essex reports that "Canvey skipper Jeff Minton expressed his delight at his side finally getting their just deserts on opposition territory... 'We've had some good away draws this term, but too often we've played well enough to get some reward and ended up with nothing but we worked hard for what we got today'" at Forest Green, he said.
The Argus claims that "Former Chelsea boss John Hollins has emerged as a surprise candidate for the vacant Crawley job... Reds will hold third interviews with three candidates this week before naming the successor to Francis Vines, who was sacked three weeks ago. I understand Hollins is one of them and the others are former Northern Ireland international Jimmy Quinn... and ex-England international Luther Blissett... Caretaker-boss Simon Wormull says 'When the new man comes in he will find a buoyant changing room and when that happens then the performances of the players improve by 30 or 40%".
The BBC says that "Tamworth manager Mark Cooper wants to sign a new striker... Cooper said: 'I will be looking to bring in a striker now that Tris Whitman has gone out on loan. 'Tris hadn't performed for us so it was right to look for a change."
14 November 2005
EXETER GAMEStuart Coburn is listed in the NL Paper's Team of the Day for last Saturday's peformance. Also in that paper, Graham Heathcote said, "Exeter are at the top because they are a good side. They are strong and physical and I'm just pleased that we competed so well. I was proud of my defenders... I have to take my hat off to the lads. We handled them physically despite losing two centre-halves in the match and the things we worked on in training worked out. I felt, after watching Exeter, that they are dangerous from throw-ins. Lewis Chalmers cut out that threat". This site's match report is here. Pictured right is Gary Scott, acknowledging a young supporter as he leaves the pitch ahead of a proud Graham Heathcote after Altrincham's draw against league leaders Exeter City.
Exeter boss Alex Inglethorpe added, "Fair play, to Altrincham. They competed well but I am disappointed not to win... Having said that, I have to feel relieved that we got a point because ... they took their goal well and we could have lost it but for a good save by Paul Jones".
This is Exeter has a brief report on the game saying that "Exeter dominated the game in the early stages without really threatening until Dan Woodards let fly from long range, but his goalbound effort was blocked in front of goal by Altrincham defender Gary Talbot".
GATESTerry Rowley's updated Conference match attendance figures are here. Gates at Moss Lane remain the highest since 1990-91 season as the historical attendance statistics confirm.
ALTY RESERVESCourtesy of manager Neil Brown there is a match report on Alty Reserves' draw at Ossett Albion on Saturday in the website's Reserves' section. Pat McFadden netted for the 10th successive Reserves' game, taking his tally to 21 goals this season.
NEXT SATURDAYAlty are away at Gravesend & Northfleet in the Conference next Saturday. The Fleet, with Scarborough and Alty are the only current Conference sides who were founder members of the Alliance Premier League, the forerunner of the Conference. In six encounters between Alty and The Fleet, before they were relegated in 1982, Alty won the three home matches and, away from home, won twice and drew once. However, results from more than 20 year ago will have no bearing on Saturday's outcome!
"Gravesend & Northfleet striker Charlie MacDonald was 'gutted'" to lose 3-2 to a stoppage-time winner at Aldershot. 'We're without a win since Forest Green (on 27 September), although the boys picked up a couple of draws while I was out injured', he told BBC Radio Kent. 'We dominated the second half, even with 10 men, but if you can't defend crosses you're not going to win games'" .
OLD BOYJamie Baguley, an Alty loan player from Stockport County two seasons ago, has now moved from Flixton to Salford City.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe best wishes of all at Altrincham FC go to Morecambe manager Jim Harvey who was taken to hospital for tests after he suffered chest pains before Morecambe's game on Saturday.
The BBC reports that "Cambridge United boss Rob Newman revealed he dropped four players from his team against Morecambe for disciplinary reasons. Ritchie Hanlon, Parys Okai and Craig Westcarr were on the bench, while top scorer Fola Onibuje was in the stands. 'I won't go into details but it was for disciplinary reasons they were left out', Newman said 'I want honest players at this football club and there were 11 honest players out there. They can be proud. Some might call me brave, some might call me stupid... but I had to act. .. The powers-that-be knew my reasons and they backed me 100%'".
"Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss blamed referee Gavin Ward for the Harriers' 3-1 defeat to Stevenage. Two of Stevenage's goals were penalties and Watkiss said: 'The only difference between the sides were the officials. I thought the referee was poor throughout. He consistently favoured the home side in his decision-making... We'll put in a report on his performance. He's not fit to referee in the Conference'".
The BBC says that "Boss Mark Stimson was disappointed to miss out on the unrivalled record for the best start to a Conference season after Grays lost 2-1 to Accrington. Grays had equalled the record on 29 October by going 15 games unbeaten. 'I think we created enough chances to get the equaliser, but we've come up against a good side', Stimson said. 'Accrington worked hard, closed us down and made it very difficult for us - but sometimes you have to hold your hand up and admit they were as good as us'".
From Crawley Town comes news from temporary player-manager Simon Wormull - 'We haven’t got a clue who the new manager will be or when he will take over – as far as I know, I’ll be taking training on Monday and Tuesday and we’ll take it from there... I’d be happy to keep a coaching role if that suited the new manager'".
Bullsnews says that "Woking signing John Mousinho has returned to Brentford after Woking manager Glenn Cockerill refused to guarantee him a starting spot, to the disappointment of Brentford counterpart Martin Allen".
NORTH WEST NEWSThe Lancaster Guardian reports that "Lancaster bosses this week admitted severe financial problems could lead to the club going into liquidation. Fans were delivered the news by City chairman Steve Johnston at a frank Fans' Forum held at the Dolly Blue on Wednesday evening. Director Eric Williams, secretary Barry Newsham and manager Phil Wilson joined Mr Johnston on the panel for the meeting, which was attended by two dozen fans... 'We are living hand to mouth each week and it's difficult, but we have not given up yet', admitted chairman Steve Johnston. ''As a company we are in debt by £708,000, and taking the company into liquidation is an option we are looking at. I have got plans for the club, but there are quite a few problems to sort out at board level and until we get that foundation and stability there will be no big money'. Phil Wilson admitted 'I am looking at things week to week. Every game we get through is a bonus. But if the club did go into administration it would be extremely difficult for us to stay up – it would panic the players and some would be leave and it would be difficult to get any to join'".
13 November 2005
NEXT GAMEWednesday's Cheshire Senior Cup game against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road is the 37th anniversary of the day when Crewe beat Altrincham 1-0 in the FA Cup first round at Moss Lane. For other anniversaries oin that date, see Howard Watts's Through the Years data, here. Alty's recent signings Warren Peyton, Chris Butler and James Robinson (left) are all ineligible for the game and, of course, loan signing from Crewe, Kyle Wilson (right), is also not able to play.
ON THE ROADDetails of the STAR supporters' travel arrangements for the matches at Crewe Alexandra (Wednesday) and Gravesend & Northfleet (Saturday) are here. Please help to support the team on its away trips- travel is provided in top quality coaches provided by Geoff Goodwin's Go Goodwins company, is good value for money and saves you the stress of driving, parking etc. More details of STAR Travel are at the above link.
STRANGE STATISTICSThe NL Paper statistics show that only two teams have committed fewer fouls in the Conference than Altrincham this season. yet, if you look at the yellow card count in the same paper we lie second highest with a total of 28!. In fact, we actually have 33 yellows in the league this season so the picture is even more curious! For details of our bookings see the Statistics page.
NEXT LEAGUE GAMEGravesend & Northfleet, whom we meet next Saturday, have allowed "midfielder Ben Surey has gone on a month's loan to Basingstoke Town, while at the same time Northampton Town midfielder Bradley Johnson has joined the Kent outfit for the same period of time... Johnson, 18, has started two games since signing for the Cobblers from Cambridge United in the summer" says the NL Daily. Yesterday Gravesend had Lee Protheroe sent off for handball.
OLD BOYSGeorge Melling was a sub for Lancaster City. Mossley won at Gresley in the FA Trophy yesterday and both Chris Downey and former Alty reserve Anthony Bingham scored. Another Alty reserve earlier this season, Griff Jones, scored for Witon Albion. Goalkeeper Ryan McMahon (Prescot Cables), Adam Farley (Marine) and Peter Wright (Chorley) were among the Alty old boys also in action yesterday. Alty's Kirk Hilton again played, on loan, for Ashton United.
ALTRINCHAM 1 EXETER CITY 1
Right: Warren Peyton leaves the field after his debut against Exeter City.
CONFERENCE NEWSCrawley Town confirm that ""Permission has been granted for Crawley Town to take 25 year old Tris Whitman on emergency loan from Tamworth... Caretaker Manager Simon Wormull said, 'Tris is an experienced Conference campaigner who knows what is required at this level, he has pace and good delivery and has the attributes we have been a little short of lately'. Whitman has joined the club initially until January 7th and has been granted permission to play in the FA Trophy, although he will be restricted from playing against Tamworth". Whitman had agreed to join Altrincham before Crawley made a better offer. Also, "Former Manchester City trainee Dorryl Proffitt has signed for Crawley Town. Negotiations for the 20 year old striker broke down last week, but the issues were ironed out over the last few days seeing Proffitt put pen to paper on a contract to the end of the season. An England International at a number of youth levels, Proffitt injured himself whilst on trial with the club during pre season, but has impressed in training... Caretaker Manager Simon Wormull said 'He gives us raw pace and has great technical ability'". Also Danny Ekoku "was set to sign for a second loan spell at Sutton United, who had a change of heart at the 11th hour" so he remains at Crawley.
Accrington Stanley confirm that "Chris Butler has been released by the club and is expected to join Altrincham in the near future. The 21 year old left back joined Stanley in October 2004 after leaving the Liverpool Academy, but has struggled to get into the starting lineup this season. He leaves with the best wishes of the club". Chris was on the bench yesterday at Moss Lane.
NL Daily reports that "Roger Hunt, chairman of Cambridge United, has responded to press reports about relocation from the Abbey Stadium. 'We welcome John Howard's statement setting out the vision of the Bideawhile directors for a centre of football in Cambridge... As a board we are very clear that the details of any proposed relocation would need to be put in front of the supporters and shareholders, and a full and open discussion take place before the club could commit its support to any scheme... Since the conclusion of the CVA at the end of July the board have been in discussions with John and his partner Steven Clar... While John's aspirations are those we can all support in principle, the continuing lack of any details makes it impossible at present to make any proper evaluation of the proposal... We are certainly not in a position yet to support or decline John Howard's proposed relocation... Meanwhile, despite the massive and continuing efforts of staff and supporters, the club continues to face rent and other costs which we are finding difficult to sustain, and to face ongoing uncertainty about its ground and finances. This cannot continue if the club is to have any future. The club will be putting clear and final proposals to John Howard at the Board meeting next Monday evening'".
Nuneaton Borough have signed strikers Danny Davidson from Crawley Town and Ian Foster from Forest Green Rovers.
12 November 2005
RESERVES DRAWAlty Reserves drew 1-1 today at Ossett Albion, with a late strike by Pat McFadden. The goal came after good work by Mike Brown.Report to follow..
TODAY'S GAMEOn the Exeter game SAM writes "Graham Heathcote has worked wonders on a very restrictive budget and the squad he has assembled are showing every sign of being able to avoid relegation from the Conference. But unlike recent opponents - Southport, Tamworth and Burton - Exeter will provide a stern test and are true title contenders in this division. Physical, well-organised and effective, they have the best defence in the league... Exeter have a full bill of health after Lee Phillips and Santos Gaia recovered from head injuries... Despite losing their last two games, Altrincham have not looked out of their depth and poor refereeing in the Burton game put them at a distinct disadvantage... The Grecians... have won four in a row in the league, looking every bit as ruthless as they did at the start of the season". SAM identifies ex-Notts County winger Tony Scully and striker Lee Phillips as their key players.
This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe admits tomorrow's match at Altrincham is a trip into the unknown for his team - but he can't wait for it. Moss Road [??] provides new surroundings for the title-hunting Grecians as they aim to stretch their winning streak in the league to five games. "I am pleased with the form, really pleased" said the City boss. "You are in danger if you suddenly switch off and think that it is an easy three points. They are a side who are going to work extremely hard to close us down and they have got enough pace and ability up front to cause us problems. We are wary of their strengths and it is certainly going to be a tough game. True, we are not familiar with their ground so it's a new type of challenge and one which we are really looking forward to". Meanwhile, "Gary Sawyer has stepped up his claims for a return to the heart of the defence... Last week Santos Gaia and Chris Todd got the nod, but Sawyer clearly forms a major part of the manager's plans... With Billy Jones, who received an England National Game XI call-up this week, and Danny Woodards the first choice full-backs there is fierce competition in midfield. Danny Clay is still struggling with an over-active thyroid and may need further treatment before he hoists himself into the reckoning. But with Les Afful, Paul Buckle and Dean Moxey putting pressure on the current midfield quarter of Tony Scully, Glenn Cronin, Andy Taylor and Jon Challinor, there are some exciting options at Inglethorpe's disposal. Lee Phillips is expected to be given the all-clear to continue his impressive partnership with Craig Farrell after shrugging off the head injury he picked up at Kidderminster last week".
The same source reports that "Heathcote (right) confesses his side face a daunting prospect halting the rampant Grecians in their tracks... Despite their lowly position, Altrincham have sprung several shocks this season - wins over Aldershot and Morecambe their most notable scalps. And with leading goalscorer Colin Little, a former Mansfield and Crewe frontman who has plundered five goals this term, leading the line, the Greater Manchester side will be a tough obstacle to overcome".
NEW MENSAM says that Alty's new signing, left-back Chris Butler "featured in the same England Youth side as current Premiership stars Kieran Richardson and David Bentley". As for fellow newcomer James Robinson he "was released by the Gresty Road side this summer after making just 11 first team appearances". The third new man, Warren Peyton, 25, "brings with him a serious non-league pedigree, having appeared for the England National Game XI during his time at Nuneaton. The attacking midfielder's last club was Leigh RMI, where he made more than 60 first team appearances before taking a break from football last season". Manager Graham Heathcote told SAM, "You only have to look at the players CVs to see the kind of pedigree they've got, their arrival will really freshen us up and give us plenty of competition for places. I'm really happy that I was able to bring these three in, as well as Ged Murphy, because people don't appreciate just how hard it's been to find players who will strengthen the team. It's hard to find players for nothing. Ideally we want to bring in permanent signings rather than loan players but it's hard to find non-contract players who have enough quality to improve the squad. We had agreed a deal to sign Tristram Whitman but Crawley came in at the last minute and offered him more money as well as a hotel to put him up in, so we couldn't compete".
In the NL Paper, Graham Heathcote says, "I feel now is the time to freshen things. What we need is a better standard of fitness because being part-time we suffer in the latter stages of matches. Warren is naturally fit and Chris and James have both been training full-time with Accrington. With them in the side, I'll have more legs, more pace and they'll help inject some tenacity".
OLD BOYSEx-Altrincham "Striker Lee Thompson is set to re-sign for Skelmersdale United following an unsuccessful spell at Leigh RMI. Thompson was Skem’s leading scorer last season with thirty-six goals... Thompson was originally signed from Abbey Hey in November 2003... United boss Paul Gallagher said: “Lee Thompson was a big favourite amongst the supporters last season... People shouldn’t look upon this as a setback in Lee’s career. He’s coming back to a club with a great future, and now he will be in the shop window once again... If Lee continues to show promise, he will play football at a much higher level, I have no doubt about that" reports the Skem website.
ON LOANAlty left-back Kirk Hilton was loaned to Ashton United last week where he "made a good impression on his debut against Guiseley and Robins’ manager Paul Futcher will be looking for more of the same from him" says NL Daily.
CONFERENCE NEWSNL Daily reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge’s striker Trésor Kandol has joined Darlington, initially on loan with a permanent transfer being completed during the transfer window in January... .Besides the five-figure fee, the Daggers have also agreed sell on clauses. Kandol, 24, joined the Daggers from neighbours Thurrock in June".
Meanwhile "Neil Redfearn, manager of Scarborough, has signed midfielder Lee Fowler on a month's loan from Huddersfield Town. Fowler, 22, has made over 50 League appearances for the Terriers... Former Rochdale midfielder Sean McClare, 27, has signed non-contract forms after training with the Seadogs" reports the BBC.
Nuneaton Borough have reportedly signed Danny Davidson (25) from Crawley Town, who signed him from Stafford Rangers for £10,000 last season. Also on the move is Lee Andrews of Carlisle Utd who has gone on loan to York City.
York City have "revealed that their preferred site for York City's new stadium would be the York Central brown field site at the rear of York Station. Council leader Steve Galloway and his officers are working closely with the Club and have agreed to embark on a feasibility study on the site... City's Stadium Development Director, Ian McAndrew said, 'We presented to the City of York Council the concept of a stadium for the City of York which would be a sub regional asset as there is no other facility of this nature in North Yorkshire. We have been delighted by their positive response and their firm commitment to embark on a feasibility study. We envisage the stadium would be home to York City Football Club as well as the York City Knights and could also be a possible concert venue with extensive conferencing facilities'... The Club confirmed they envisage the new stadium would be completed by 2013".
Bullsnews says that "Forest Green have signed MK Dons midfielder Ben Harding on loan for a month, and have allowed fellow midfielder Scott Rodgers go to Weston for a month." The BBC adds that "Meanwhile, striker Mark Danks has returned to the Lawn following a two-month loan at Bromsgrove Rovers" and that "Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss has allowed defender Chris McHale to join Stourport Swifts on loan".
The BBC confirms that "Crawley Town have secured a two-month loan deal for striker Tristram Whitman from Conference rivals Tamworth... Meanwhile, Crawley are expected to appoint a new manager next week".
"Northampton midfielder Bradley Johnson has joined Gravesend and Northfleet on a month's loan".
11 November 2005
THREE SIGNINGSSubject to confirmation of their registration, Graham Heathcote has signed Chris Butler and James Robinson, both of whom were at Accrington Stanley. They have initially only joined for a month but this short period is only because the management has not yet been able to see them in a competitive game after last week's Reserves' game was postponed. Former Leigh RMI man Waren Peyton (25) has been signed as well and all three are likely to be with the squad tomorrow for the game against Exeter. However, Tamworth's Tristram Whitman has opted to join Crawley for three months rather than come to Altrincham, with whom an agreement had been made. The new men have the following squad numbers:
As mentioned lower down this page, Chris Butler (21) is a left-back, who started as a Liverpool trainee and played 30 first-team games for Accrington. Midfielder (and former striker) James Robinson was released by Crewe last year and had a brief loan spell with Alty in December 2002. Midfielder Warren Peyton has been at Rochdale, Bury, Nuneaton, Doncaster and Leigh RMI.
On the injury front, whether Gary Talbot will play tomorrow is still uncertain but Lee Hendley is likely to be ruled out of contention as he is having an x-ray on his foot today. Pat McFadden and Steve Aspinall will be with the Reserves.
GRAHAM ON SATURDAY'S OPPOSITIONIn today's NL paper, Graham Heathcote says of Exeter, "They are an excellent side. They work hard, have good fitness levels and there is plenty of height in the team. They are also quite physical...Anyone coming along can expect something approaching a cup-tie". As for the signing of Ged Murphy, the Alty manager said, "Unfortunately Droylsden cancelled his contract by mutual consent and he is unavailable for 30 days. It seems like just another barrier for clubs like us". Whilst Chris Adams, Mark Maddox and Gary Talbot "are suffering with knocks", Graham says that "Gary is the biggest doubt. I really need him to be fit to counter Exeter's threat in the air". Meanwhile "Exeter manager Alex Inglethorpe has no problems selecting a side".
A TOUGH BATTLEAltrincham meet Exeter City for the first time in their history on Saturday. In SAM Graham Heathcote says, "It is going to be a really tough battle on Saturday, Exeter are a well-organised, confident and physical side and it will be difficult to break them down. We need to turn the game into a cup tie because that will be our best chance to compete against them. Unfortunately we are missing some of our best competitors for the game but we just have to deal with that and work even harder to get a result".
Speaking of new signing Ged Murphy, the Alty boss added, "Ged is tenacious, a strong ball-winner and a good passer of the ball and has a desire to win that is evident in the way he plays. But under FIFA transfer rulings, he won't be able to play for us until December ... It is difficult working as a part time club under these regulations because we can't afford to build a big enough squad in the summer to cope with any problems but we just have to get on with it... We've been on the phone non-stop over the last couple of weeks but it's difficult to get the right players because we can't offer them big contracts. There are so many down sides to being a part time club in this division and there might be a scenario in four or five years time where there are no part time clubs in the Conference".
"After being placed on a stand-by list", Exeter City's Billy Jones has been called up for the England National Game XI, reports This is Exeter. "Now he will join City goalkeeper Paul Jones at the start of the inaugural European Challenge Trophy... Full-back Jones, a summer acquisition from Kidderminster Harriers, admits he is overcome with pride at the prospect of pulling on an England jersey". Jones said, "It was a bit of a shock and I am over the moon about it. My mum and dad are so pleased for me and it will be a great occasion for the whole family as they are planning to come and watch the game".
MAD DOG'S VIEWWriting in SAM, Mark Maddox says "It was difficult not being involved in the FA Cup, especially after Tamworth got a result at Bournemouth. I looked at that result and thought about what might have been, we should not have lost at Tamworth and then who knows what would have happened if we went to Bournemouth... While all those other teams had a great day out we had a miserable wet and windy day on the training pitch... The training's been going really well during our time off and we've had some really difficult sessions, working out tactics for the Exeter game and building up general fitness... Things are looking good at the club though and we've even managed to bring in a new player, Ged Murphy, from Droylsden... He's exactly what we need at the moment, someone who can add some bite to the midfield and make us more competitive in the centre of the park. Val [Owen]'s been doing that job really well this year and he's been one of our best players but we've been missing Eddie [Hussin]... If we bring in a couple of other players as well, we'll be looking strong for the rest of the season".
OLD BOYSThis is Lancs reports that Ramsbottom United have signed Atherton LR's goalkeeper Martin Campbell. Martin kept goal for Alty against at Droylsden last March in the absence of the ill Stuart Coburn.
NL Daily says that "Phil Wilson, manager of Lancaster City, has bolstered his squad with the signing of George Melling (right) from Clitheroe. A versatile player, 20-year-old Melling played five Conference National matches for Altrincham earlier this season. 'I have been watching George and made my move and I am delighted he agreed to move here', said Wilson. 'He has played in the Conference this season which shows he is a decent player... He can play at right back, centre half or in midfield and that is just what we need at the moment'".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC says that "Aldershot have signed former Bristol City player-manager Brian Tinnion. Tinnion, 37, who left Ashton Gate in September, has joined the Shots on a non-contract basis". Aldershot manager Terry Brown said, "Brian's range of passing is fantastic and he also has a decent shot on him". Shotsweb adds that "Terry Brown has confirmed the brilliant news that fans favourite, Roscoe D'Sane, will make his football comeback next Wednesday as he lines up for the Reserves".
Meanwhile, "Burnley's youth-team striker Marc Pugh has joined Kidderminster on work experience. The 18-year-old has scored 15 goals in 11 games for the Clarets' youth team this season, and has also scored once for the reserves. He has been a first-team substitute twice this season".
"Dagenham and Redbridge boss John Still has received mixed news on the injury front ... Paul Bruce and Tim Cole both played for 90 minutes in the Essex Senior Cup... However, midfielder Jake Leberl was forced out of his comeback game with a back problem" reports the BBC.
"England National Game boss Paul Fairclough has named Steve Burr as his assistant for the non-league international against Belgium... after Exeter manager Alex Inglethorpe stood down from the role"
Confguide states that "Kidderminster manager Stuart Watkiss has been told by his chairman Barry Norgrove that he will have cash to spend on new players, albeit loan recruits. The Harriers' boss currently presides over a squad decimated by injuries. Midfielder Martin O'Connor is out for a fortnight after knee surgery; Simon Russell faces up to three months out with a broken wrist, whilst Gareth Sheldon is sidelined by a hamstring problem". Norgrove said, "We'll be looking to get players in on loan so we can take a look at them and if we want to keep them, we can try to sign them up on a permanent basis later in the season". This is KHFC adds that "Lower than expected home crowds and ongoing difficulties attracting fresh investment are to blame for Harriers' perilous financial plight, says Norgrove. "Obviously the crowds are very disappointing... We were down to 1,400 of our own fans against Exeter . We were banking on getting nearer to 1,800 of our fans for home games with the away side topping it up a bit. We're still trying all the time to get more investors but there's not many people coming forward at the moment".
"York City goalkeeper Fahad Afandiyev has been released" says their website. "The 26 year old former Azerbaijan under 21 international has played several games in the reserve team during his time at the Club, as well as substitute appearances for the first team. The fitness instructor, who is based in Coventry, has increasingly found the distance between his home and the Club a growing issue".
Scarborough confirm that "Halifax Town’s 25-year-old goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin has joined on loan until Christmas, to offer competition to Leigh Walker and Antoni Pecora. Former Barnsley midfielder Sean McClare has also joined Boro on trial with a view to securing a deal... Ex-Newcastle defender Karl Colley is also training with Boro".Alty fans will recall Colley as an opponent at Barrow and Frickley.
The Accrington Observer reports that "Radcliffe Borough are said to be keen on getting Stanley winger Matt O’Neill back on loan after he returned from his two month spell at Boro... Goalkeeper Danny Alcock has returned to training and is expected to be back later this month. And [Robbie] Williams, who limped out of the Worcester FA Cup clash with an ankle injury, is expected to be fit for the huge game with league leaders Grays in the Sky televised match, with a noon kick-off. Captain Peter Cavanagh is also hoping to have had an injection on his ankle so he will be available against Grays... Meanwhile, Stanley’s three loan players have had their spells extended. Wigan duo Edwards and midfielder Kevin Lee are at the Interlink for a further month. And Charlton goalkeeper Darren Randolph is delighted to be back at the Reds for a third month - but it looks like it could be his final month". Manager John Coleman added, "I think we under achieved last season in tenth place so I think we can do better this season".
The Cambridge News claims that "Max Porter did his chances of earning a deal with Cambridge United no harm with the opening goal in a 5-3 win in a friendly at Sudbury. The teenage midfielder, who has been released by Southend, impressed manager Rob Newman with his powerful play... He was also pleased with the displays of fellow trialists Gavin Heeroo [ex-Grays, Farnborough]... and defender Danny Bunce [ex-West Ham]". Newman said, "I'll speak to all the trialists. But the situation is I'm pleased with what I've seen from all of them and if they're better than what we've got already, then others have got to go. I've got a budget to manage, and harsh as it may seem, there's no sentiment here. I'm only as strong as my weakest player". Meanwhile, "Ashley Nicholls was set to return to training with United after the end of his three-month loan term with Rushden but the midfielder, 24, could be on his way to the League Two club... when the transfer window reopens in January. Nicholls was sent on loan after United manager Rob Newman was unhappy at the player returning to pre-season training overweight and criticised his attitude".
10 November 2005
TRAINING WITH ALTYAt Monday's Fans' Forum, Graham Heathcote mentioned that Chris Butler was due to play in Tuesday's Altrincham Reserves' game, but that match was subsequently postponed. Chris (dob 18.10.84) is a former Liverpool FC trainee left-back who has just been released by Accrington Stanley after 30 games for the Lancashire side. He made his Stanley debut in October 2004, just after his exit from Anfield. Stanley boss John Coleman told the Accrington Observer, "Chrissy has been speaking to a couple of clubs and I expect to know more over the next few days". This is Lancashire adds that "Chris Butler could also soon be leaving the Interlink Express Stadium after training with Altrincham on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, [ex-Alty captain] Ian Craney has been selected for the England National Game XI's European Challenge Trophy match against Belgium next Tuesday but could be withdrawn from the side due to club commitments. If the midfielder were to travel with the squad, he would only return to training with the Stanley squad on Thursday, just a day ahead of their re-scheduled match at home to Forest Green Rovers".
Also training with Alty is Whiston-born James Robinson, who has played three reserves' games for Accrington Stanley this season. He was give a free transfer by Crewe in March 2005 after making one first-team start and 10 sub appearances. Born on 18 September 1982, he is 5ft 9ins tall. James was at Alty in late 2002, when he was a striker. His loan-stay with Alty was curtailed when he suffered a facial injury against Marine; in all, he made 2(+1) appearances for Altrincham. After returning to Crewe, Dario Gradi converted him to a midfield role.
GED EXPLAINSSAM quotes new Alty signing Ged Murphy on his departure from Droylsden. "It was all taken out of context because I got on well with Dave Pace mainly. No player likes being substituted so when I was brought off against Kettering I said something to myself. I had said nothing to Dave but he must have read my lips because he wasn't happy with it and he let me go... I had about eight or nine clubs trying to sign me but Alty was the right move. They are a massive club in the area and I live nearby with my girlfriend so it was the right move... I tried to come here in the past but they didn't have the money to complete a move at the time so I'm really looking forward to playing for them... I know I'll be able to add something to the Alty midfield and my fitness levels are good because I work as a PE teacher. I got on well with the fans at Droylsden because I gave my all there and that's just the way I play. Alty should fear none of the clubs in the bottom half of the Conference and I think we should be able to survive this season", he said.
NEXT OPPONENTSFrom This is Exeter we read that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe has warned Dean Moxey he faces a battle to reclaim his first-team place after the youngster returned from injury... Moxey, who is mulling over the terms of a new contract, has been sidelined with a mysterious ankle injury that repeatedly failed to respond to treatment. Now it would appear he has finally overcome the setback... But the City boss said, "Dean is more than aware that to get back into the team he is going to have work really hard". The article adds that "Moxey's current plight is a far cry from last season when he secured a regular place in the team and then hit the headlines following his FA Cup wonder goal against Doncaster Rovers. It turned out to be the strike that earned the club that epic third round draw with Manchester United".
CONFERENCE NEWSStevenage Borough report that their "treatment room is beginning to look like a casualty ward, with Micky Warner, Michael Brough, Ollie Berquez, Jon Nurse, Chris Sullivan and George Boyd joining Messrs Hocking, Goodliffe, Henry, Williams, Weatherstone and Maamria on the injury list". Manager Graham Westley said, "Big clubs love the pressure of needing to keep winning. And we are no different. Winning is a great habit to be in and one that you have to concentrate on to sustain... I certainly feel that the whole club believes in our team now. And the team is determined to continue to earn the right to that belief... The fortress is delivering results and we all have to concentrate and make sure that we do what we do even better in our remaining home games".
"17 year old striker David Brooks was today registered on Nationwide Conference forms" reports the Southport site. "Brooks is averaging more than a goal a game both for the Youth team, and the Reserves. He suffered slight concussion during last nights FA Youth Cup win at Rochdale, and if he is fit, will travel with the First Team to Crawley for Saturday's game".
Bullsnews reports that "Woking have signed Brentford defender John Mousinho in order for the 19 year old to gain some first team experience. English born Mousinho came through the Chesham United ranks".
"Simon Wormull has urged the Crawley board not to rush the decision to appoint a new manager", states The Argus. Wormull said: "It is a big decision so it is important not to rush into anything... The fact Graham Rix applied shows the high standard of people interested in the job but you cannot blame him for choosing to go to a club like Hearts".
This is Glos says that "Forest Green believe they have made a crucial signing in Natalie Ward. Rovers have recruited the ex-Gloucester City commercial manager to look after hospitality and events at the club, and she is set to play a key role in the months leading up to the opening of the new stadium on Spring Hill. Ward is the first appointment made by new general manager Robin Eaves... She explained: "I'll be responsible for taking bookings for weddings and conferences at the new stadium, with a separate office to do admin and accounts". Natalie "has now taken charge of the Quid a Kid scheme at The Lawn, which entitles under-16s to watch games for £1... Rovers are due to move to their new ground at the start of next season".
Morecambe Today reports that "Morecambe's first team players were, for the first time, called to the club on Sunday morning for a 'no punches pulled' inquest into Saturday's abysmal FA Cup defeat. Manager Jim Harvey said he took the decision to call the meeting because he was 'hurting' after the Northwich game. A video of the game was played and individual and collective performances were analysed move by move in a three-hour session. 'I didn't want it just to be passed off as 'one of those things that happens in the FA Cup'. It was more than that and we've had two or three displays of poor attitude like that in recent weeks... I wanted to make sure they felt the hurt and the disappointment that I was feeling and that the fans will have felt and to carry that emotion into important forthcoming games and do something about it in terms of their attitude and commitment so it doesn't happen again... I am happy with the strength of the squad, especially now we've added John Hardiker and Ged Brannan, and it may be that there are team changes as well as the improvement in attitude that we're demanding".
This is Staffs reveals that "Lee Bell may yet be recalled from his loan spell at Burton, although it has been extended for another month. The midfielder is not being allowed to play in the FA Cup for the Brewers and Gradi says he could be needed as cover later in the month".
This is York says that "York City are urging fans to come out in force for Saturday's rearranged match against Burton Albion to offset the thousands of pounds in lost revenue from Tuesday night's late postponement. The televised Conference match against the Brewers was called off... after three hours of torrential rain... The game has been restored to its original 3pm Saturday kick off time, but the £5,000 broadcast fee from Sky has been lost... York City communications director Sophie McGill said: "It's very disappointing because everybody was looking forward to the televised game and putting a good show on.... and there is also staffing costs that we will still have to incur, catering costs and also the travel expenses for Burton Albion which we will have to pick up". The article adds that "With City already feeling the pinch in the cash department, the weather could not have struck at a worse time as they will now be without a home game for six weeks.... At least the postponement gives City boss Billy McEwan more time to get in a loan signing ahead of Saturday's game. He said: 'It does give us a bit more time to get someone in and there's a few discussions going on".
OLD BOYSWitton Albion have confirmed the appointment of Jim Vince (junior) to the position of manager. Leigh RMI's website reports on their reserves for whom "The midfield with [former Alty Youth captain Paul] Lewis in outstanding form kept RMI on the attack... RMI added to the score when [former Alty youth centre-back] Steve Howarth delivered a pinpoint cross". Also in the RMI side were Ian Horton and Pat Claffey, two more ex-Alty Reserves. In Leigh Reserves' following game, three more ex-Alty youngsters, Ben Ashmole, Lee Thompson and Graham Tench, were all involved.
9 November 2005
GRAYS GAMEThe Grays Athletic v Altrincham match has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 6 December 2005, at 7.45pm. The original date for this match (3rd Dec) had to be changed due to Grays' involvement in the FA Cup.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC reports that "New Hearts' boss Graham Rix was to be offered the vacant manager's job at Crawley Town this week, BBC Southern Counties Radio has revealed... However, he has accepted an offer to succeed George Burley at the Scottish Premier League leaders instead. Crawley are now... unlikely to appoint a new boss before Saturday's game". Also, "Crawley Town have added French defender Léonard Mendy to their squad. The Conference strugglers now await international clearance to allow the former Le Havre and Excelsior Mouscron player, 23, to play for them. Striker Danny Ekoku, 20, has extended his loan stay at Sutton United for a second month. Meanwhile, Crawley midfielder Robbie Kember is to have an exploratory operation to gauge the extent of his ankle injury".
But whilst The Argus confirms that "Crawley expect to go into Saturday's crunch Conference clash with fellow strugglers Southport without a permanent manager for the second match in a row", it gives the reason as being the "high number of quality applicants". The Argus adds, "It means midfielder Simon Wormull will be in caretaker charge again... Alan Mullery, who was brought in as a football consultant by Crawley's new owners at the start of the season, said: 'We are in a very nice dilemma of having so many people to choose from... There are still ten people in with a shout and most of them fit the bill'... The club received a total of 35 applicants... The likes of Graeme Rix, Jimmy Quinn, Barry Lloyd and Luther Blissett have all been linked to the post and Mullery says that highlights the calibre of those still in the running". Mullery added, "We were expecting one or two top people but not as many as we have had...You would not believe some of the names who have applied... We will have them back for second interviews this week". Bullsnews adds that "In an attempt to increase gates at the struggling Conference club, Crawley Town have mailed 4 free tickets to each season ticket holder for the relegation dogfight against Southport on Saturday".
"Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has ended his search for a new goalkeeper with the signing of Birmingham City teenager Adam Legzdins. The 18-year-old has joined the Shaymen on a work experience basis following a successful spell with Alfreton Town. Wilder had terminated the contract of his former keeper Ian Dunbavin last week following a drink-driving offence". But "Scarborough boss Neil Redfearn is considering moves for goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin and midfielder Sean McClare. McClare, 27, is training with Boro after a three-game trial at Stirling Albion, after previously playing with Redfearn at Barnsley and Rochdale". The Halifax site has since confirmed that Dunbavin has joined Scarborough on loan.
Exeter City manager Alex Inglethorpe has told the Express & Echo that he has signed former Chelsea full-back Danny Woodards for the rest of this season. "City are also hoping to agree a deal to keep on-loan Notts County winger Tony Scully, 29, for the rest of the season".
The BBC reports that "Cambridge United striker John Turner is to join Scunthorpe on trial. The 19-year-old has made over 90 first-team appearances for the U's, but has fallen down the pecking order at the Abbey Stadium this season. Turner recently had a spell training with Rushden & Diamonds".
Confguide says that "Kidderminster Harriers have been rocked by the news that Simon Russell faces up to three months on the sidelines with a broken wrist... after sustaining the injury during Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Exeter City. 'It's very badly broken and obviously worse than we'd first anticipated; it's virtually shattered his wrist', " confirmed Physio Jim Conway. 'At the moment we'd expect him to be out for at least 12 weeks'". Also, "Midfielder Martin O'Connor, is also expected to undergo an operation that will rule him out of action for at least two weeks".
"Surplus to requirements at Notts County, but a hotshot at Exeter City where he is on loan, Tony Scully is mulling over the Grecians' offer to stay on until the end of the season. 'I have obviously got to see what Notts County are saying and see if we can do something'", he told the Express and Echo.
Stevenage Borough's George Boyd has been named as one of the finalists for The FA's 'Player of the Round' award, whilst Woking have been voted as 'Team of the Round' for the LDV Vans Trophy competition.
"Woking boss Glenn Cockerill has extended the loan spell of Yeovil Town defender Luke Oliver for a third month" and "Burton Albion have extended the loan of Crewe midfielder Lee Bell" reports Confguide.
8 November 2005 The York v Burton Albion match was postponed tonight, due to a waterlogged pitch, and will now be played this Saturday. Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Saturday can be found here.
GAME OFFTonight's Reserves' game at Marine has been postponed because of the heavy rain today.
FANS' FORUMA very informative Fans' Forum was held at Moss Lane last night with the panel comprising the club's Board (Geoff Goodwin, Andrew Shaw and Grahame Rowley) and the management duo (Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele). A wide range of topics was covered from car parking and club finances to the management's tactics on the field this season and their vision for the future.
EXETER GAMEGary Talbot is Alty's major doubt for the game against Exeter this Saturday. Definitely out are the suspended duo of Val Owen and Karl Munroe. Others with knocks, which should not rule them out, are Chris Adams and Mark Maddox. Richard Norris is set to have an operation on 22 November whilst goalkeeper Richard Acton is three or four weeks away from playing again. Marcus Hallows is progressing well and should be playing football again before too long.
CONFERENCE NEWSBullsnews reports that "Accrington have given free transfers to defenders Mike Flynn and Chris Butler. Centre back Flynn, 36, and left back Butler, 21, will remain... until they can find new clubs but neither are in manager John Coleman's plans.
Morecambe have increased their options by capturing the signature of experienced midfielder Ged Brannan. Brannan, who had been playing with Radcliffe Borough was last in the Conference National with local rivals Accrington Stanley, who he left at the end of September. Brannan first came to the attention of manager Jim Harvey when they were both teammates in the early 1990s at Tranmere Rovers... After 227 League appearances for the Wirral club, big-money moves followed, £750,000 Manchester City, £378,000 to Motherwell, and £175,000 to Wigan Athletic... He joins Morecambe, more or less exactly two years since the Shrimps first attempted to sign the player when he was at Wigan, prior to joining Accrington Stanley, and he brings with him a wealth of experience which can only be of benefit to what is a young Shrimps’ squad.
Mossleyweb reports that "Arriving at Seel Park is 21-years-old striker Anthony Bingham from Northwich Victoria. Bingham began his career with Bradford Park Avenue... He began the current campaign playing with Altrincham's reserve side and made his Mossley debut as a substitute in Saturday's 4-0 win over Eastwood Town.
FA Cup first round replay dates involving Conference clubs:
Tuesday 15 November:
Wednesday 16 November:
7 November 2005
GAME ON 3rd DECEMBERWith Grays Athletic's continuing involvement in the FA Cup on Saturday, 3rd December, when we should have played the Essex side, manager Graham Heathcote has moved to fill the gap in Altrincham's fixtures on that day. Altrincham will now play away to Accrington Stanley on 3rd December, at 3pm. The game at Stanley was previously scheduled for Tuesday, 24 January 2006.
ALTY TRIO AT RADCLIFFEAltrincham's Rod Thornley, Stephen Rose and Ged Murphy will again be in Radcliffe Borough's squad tomorrow (Tuesday) for their home game against Ilkeston.
FANS' FORUM TONIGHTTonight (Monday) at 8.30pm (after a Board meeting), the management and directors of Altrincham FC will be available to answer supporters' questions at a Fans' Forum in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. Please come along and get the inside story on the latest developments at Altrincham FC.
THE MAN WHO HAS JOINED USIn Droylsden's programme on Saturday, editor Steve Jarvis wrote of Alty's new signing from The Bloods, Ged Murphy. Steve wrote of "The sad exit of the brilliant Ged Murphy. Ged, during his time with the Bloods, was most certainly a fans' favourite, who wore his heart on his sleeve and battled hard for the Bloods' cause. In total he made 157 appearances (34 as sub) and scored 12 goals. I'm certain I speak for Bloods' fans in thanking Ged for all his efforts and wishing him all the best for the future, whoever he plays for and that will be some queue trying to sign him". Stalybridge and Worksop were believed to be rivals for Ged's signature before he elected to join Alty.
Pictured right, by Bill Coop, is an exhibition case at Altrincham Leisure Centre, the contents of which have been arranged by Bill's wife, Sue, and Karen Rowley. The aim of the display is to promote Altrincham FC in the community. If you walk through reception at the Leisure Centre walk as far as you can until you get to the glass wall where you can see the smaller pool, then turn to your right and the display case is on the wall on your right.
YOUTH NEWSCourtesy of information from George Heslop, the Youth team player statistics, fixtures and fixture grid have been updated in the website's youth section.
In the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup, Alty lead League 1 with six points from three games - it is still two points for a win in this competition. Only the Wirral FA can catch them; they have 4 points, also from 3 games. Alty's final qualifying match is against Chester FA on 20 November. Leading the other qualifying group (League 2) are Stockport and Crewe, each with 4 points from 3 games. Macclesfield are not yet out of it, with 3 points.
CROWDSTerry Rowley's Conference attendance chart has been updated here.
ALTY LOANSThe Radcliffe Borough website reports that "they have signed prolific striker Rod Thornley from Conference side Altrincham. The 28-year-old has signed an agreement on a match-to-match basis, with the club being able to register him as a player whilst also keeping his registration with Altrincham. Manager Kevin Glendon said 'The situation and the agreement with Altrincham is that it will be on a match to match basis and will depend on their situation as to how many games Rod plays for us and in our situation I am grateful for ‘Cote’ (Graham Heathcote) helping us out. Attaining players of the calibre of Rod is not easy and currently there are not many strikers with his reputation and goalscoring record available". It adds that Borough have also signed Stephen Rose in "an agreement similar to Rod Thornley on a match-to-match basis, with the club being able to register him as a player whilst also keeping his registration with Altrincham... Kevin Glendon said, 'The agreement is the same as Rod’s and his stay will depend on how developments progress at Altrincham. Steve will fit in comfortably at the back for us in the style of play we like as he is comfortable on the ball and reads the game well". The third Alty man to play for Radcliffe last Saturday was our new signing Ged Murphy on a "month's loan". Glendon described how "his drive, enthusiasm, and commitment I am sure will inspire the other players around him. He is a player who wears his heart on his sleeve and gives his all in every game he plays. I tried to sign Ged when he left Leigh but he moved to Stalybridge and on from there to Droylsden. I am sure we will both benefit from the month he is with us".
FA CUPSunday's results included:
OLD BOYSThe NL Paper has an article on former Alty reserve and current FC United player Ryan Gilligan. FC United played a recent friendly against Thorn Cross Young Offenders' Institute where Gilligan spent a period for affray when he was younger. Gilligan now works as an electrical engineer and according to FC United manager Karl Marginson, "he's turned his life totally on its head... He is a role model for them". Former Alty youth keeper Barrie George is still keeping goal for FC United who also have Josh Mitten and Adie Orr in their ranks. Terry Bowker played for Ashton Utd alongside on-loan Alty defender Kirk Hilton. Tony Sullivan and Pater Wright turned out for Chorley.
CONFERENCE NEWSGoalkeeper Ian Dunbavin, released by Halifax Town after a drink-driving offence is at Scarborough on trial, says the NL paper.
The Conference website says that "Kidderminster boss Stuart Watkiss was left frustrated by his players' failure to carry out his instructions, in their 2-1 defeat by Exeter" on Saturday. He said, "The players deserve a certain amount of praise, as in terms of effort they've given it a real go. But all that goes out of the window if you fail to take on board what you've been working on during the whole week. Their two goals - which were far too predictable - and the set-pieces were classic examples of that".
6 November 2005
GAME OFFThe heavy rain has caused the postponment of today's Youth game v Furness Rovers.
ROBINS HELP BOROUGHAlty players Stephen Rose, Rod Thornley and Ged Murphy all gained match practice yesterday for Radcliffe Borough, whilst former Alty midfielder Danny Hooper was also in Borough's squad. The BPA website has a match report. "Inside the opening two minutes Boro went close to scoring through a Rod Thornley shot... Borough's Ged Murphy picked up ayellow card on 21 minutes... Thornley went down in the box but the referee dismissed appeals for a penalty". In the second half "Foster fired wide with only Parry to beat, then Thornley fluffed an equally good opening steering the ball passed the post from the edge of the box".
OLD BOYSOld boys who scored yesterday included: Chris Young (Woodley), Aaron Wilford (Whitby). Former Alty loanee Matt Bailey, from Stockport, has reportedly now returned to Crewe from his loan to Hereford. "The reasons for the return were not disclosed... Whilst with the Bulls he was only on the losing side once" reports Bullsnews.
CONFERENCE NEWSWhen Exeter City visit Moss Lane next Saturday they will come as joint league leaders. Confguide reports how "Exeter City beat Kidderminster Harriers 2-1... to move level on points with Nationwide Conference leaders Grays Athletic". The Harriers' goal came from Simon Heslop who played for Barnsley Youth v Alty Youth a couple of seasons ago. The match was watched by Alty chief Graham Heathcote.
Crawley Town confirm that "Striker Danny Davidson has mutually agreed to cancel his contract... Davidson joined Crawley Town from Stafford Rangers in July 2004, penning a two year deal, but with the club turning full time in the summer; his commitment to his primary employment restricted his opportunity to make the switch to professional status".
The ever informative Bullsnews says that "Aldershot Town have posted a £13,157 loss for the year ending June 30th 2005. The figure was lessened by Transfer income of £45,000, but is considerably worse than the profit of over £180,000 made the previous year when the club made their way to a lucrative play-off final. This season the club is believed to be running at a loss due to low gates after a poor start. NL Daily adds that "Aldershot Town’s former England semi-professional international right back Tarkan Mustafa has joined Billericay Town on a month’s loan deal".
"Malcolm Reynolds, chairman of Scarborough, has revealed that the Seadogs are close to concluding a deal which could see a major housing company purchase the McCain Stadium... Reynolds told supporters the sale would push forward the proposed move to a new 6,000 capacity stadium off Dunslow Road. This could see building start on the new ground mid-way through next year. The switch across the town would act as a lifesaver for Scarborough, who are currently losing £250,000 a year. The McCain Stadium site, which would house 120 properties, has increased in value from £1.6million in April 2003 to £4.1million. Reynolds said: 'People keep telling me that they can build the new ground in four months because it would all be assembled in a factory, shipped over and then bolted together... We have a yearly income of £250,000 and outgoings of £500,000... The move would leave us with an additional 10 acres that could provide us with some development income. Once that happens then we have a business that breaks even", He told Scarborough Today.
Scarborough's website adds that "Boro chairman Malcolm Reynolds has appealed for fans to stop listening to unsubstantiated rumours... Stories currently going the rounds of the pubs and workplaces of Scarborough include yet another version of the 'bouncing wage-cheques' story and the belief that the stadium move has fallen through. At a forum with Boro fans on Thursday evening, Mr. Reynolds stated categorically that all players’ wages have been paid in full. There had indeed been a mix-up a couple of months back when the players’ cheques were distributed before the agreed date, resulting in various banks asking for the cheques to be re-presented... With regard to the stadium move, the site at Eastfield has been bought. Contracts for the sale of the present McCain Stadium site have been drawn up and are due to be signed soon – possibly within days. The proceeds of the sale should allow the club to become debt-free. The Eastfield site consists of 15.5 acres, of which 5.5 acres will be used for the football ground and car parking (the current McCain Stadium occupies 4 acres). The remaining 10 acres of the Eastfield site will be used for office space etc. which will be put on long-term leases to other companies and will provide an annual income which will allow the club to at least break even, as opposed to its current loss-making operation. Once the contracts are signed, planning application must be made within four weeks. This could be granted within two months, and no complications are envisaged. Construction of the new stadium could be started by April/May 2006. The stadium could then be complete within three months. However quickly or slowly things proceed, the club will not remain at Seamer Road beyond May 2007 at the very latest". Good news for the Seadogs who, back in 2000, were unable to pay Alty the full fee for the transfer of Paul Ellender.
Southport "must trudge down to Woking a week on Tuesday evening after they secured a draw against Woking. The draw will result in Carl Baker missing his opportunity of the England semi-pro team due to the replay".
Stevenage Borough report that "Ronny Henry's scans reveal less damage than feared. Henry could well be back in action within the next 2 weeks. Jason Goodliffe and Justin Gregory were both on the training ground on Friday.... Following a meeting with Graham Westley on Thursday morning, Anthony Elding resumed training on Friday also. Elding has committed himself sufficiently for Graham Westley to say this; 'Once again, Anthony has had his head turned by a big money offer from another club. He is being offered nearly treble his current wages to move within the Conference. We are not in the 'big payer' bracket... Although nobody has been given permission to speak to him, one club has. And it has disrupted him as it has done before. He is a young man with big responsibilities.......he has a young daughter and a baby on the way... Clubs should not be illegally approaching our players. And presumably encouraging him to misbehave to secure his release. Anthony was fined for his latest misdemeanour, he has spent a week away from the club... He knows he was wrong but I don't want a verbal apology. We have agreed that the slightest future misdemeanour will result in the most stringent financial penalty and that the only apology worth getting is in his actions". Elding responded by scoring yesterday.
Barrow have signed former Chester man Leo Berthos who has been on trial recently with York City.
5 November 2005
ROBINS FOR RADDYThree current Alty players (Rod Thornley, Stephen Rose [right] and Ged Murphy) were in Radcliffe Borough's team today at Bradford PA and helped them to a 2-1 win. The Altrincham website had its star roving reporters, Grahame and Karen Rowley at the game and the following is their summary...
BPA 1 Radcliffe 2
An entertaining first half with Radcliffe taking a 2 goal lead before Bradford nicked a great goal just before the break. The second half wasn't as good a half with the midfield being by passed a lot. Stephen Rose had a commanding game at the back and never looked in much trouble. Rod was in and out of the game but showed some great touches and worked hard to keep the ball up front. One lovely touch near the end saw him escape his marker, race down the touchline and cross to give Steve Foster (the other forward), an easy chance which unfortunately he missed.
Ged Murphy had a very bright opening 20 minutes - always making himself available and distributing the ball well. Unfortunately, when Rod was fouled after 20 minutes he got involved with the opposing player and both ended up in the book. The rest of the first half he was quieter and with midfield being by-passed mostly in the 2nd half we only saw glimpses of him. However, looks a very useful player who looks like he wants to "boss" things in the centre of the park.
Many thanks to Grahame and Karen for the above- but, sorry, no reporters' fees are available!
GOOD DAY FOR NON-LEAGUE IN CUPThere were some good results for non-league teams in the FA Cup 1st Round today. For example, our own conquerors, Tamworth, won away at Bournemouth. In an all-Conference clash, Grays Athletic beat York City, so Alty's away league game at Grays on 3 December will now be postponed as that is the date of Round 2.
ALTY YOUTH TEAM NEEDS YOUR HELPPlease do consider helping the Altrincham Youth team by joining the new Monthly Draw Club organised by Pam Gresty, mother of Alty Youth centre-back, Richard Gresty and physio Julieanne. The Youth team is a vital part of Altrincham FC and has produced three of the current first-team squad - Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley. The current Alty Youth squad is riding high in the Allied Trophies Premier Division and is also doing well as the Altrincham & District FA youth side. Several Alty players are regulars in this year's Cheshire FA representative side. Details of the Draw Club scheme are here.
You can see the lads in action (weather permitting) on Sunday (6th, 2pm) against Furness Rovers at Wythenshawe Town FC .
CHRISTMAS FAIRThe Altrincham FC Christmas Fair will take place on Sunday, 4 December in the Sponsors' Lounge, probably from 1 till 5pm but this will be confirmed later. The club would appreciate donations of :
Items can be brought in to the club or the club can collect by prior arrangement.
NEW BOYAlty have signed Ged Murphy and the Tameside Advertiser reports on his departure from Droylsden: "Going through the exit door are Ged Murphy and Danny Byrne, the former on a permanent basis and the latter purely to get some match fitness. Pace said: 'Ged came off on Saturday and gave some mouth to the bench, so I released him. He just doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut and Saturday was one step too far".
OLD BOYSClitheroe Today reports that "Clubs higher up in the Pyramid structure are also beginning to take note of performances made by Clitheroe players as 20-year-old centre-back George Melling (right) has had seven days put on him by Nationwide North side Lancaster City. 'George will be speaking to Lancaster. We've given permission as we'd never hold any player back', said Lawson. 'We're hoping he doesn't go but if he does we wish him well – the decision is George's'".
Radcliffe Borough have announced that they have re-signed former Stockport County, Stalybridge Celtic and Altrincham midfielder Danny Hooper. The 23-year-old rejoins the club after leaving after a short spell first time around due to work commitments. Having regained his fitness with spells at Ashton United in pre-season, he attended the club and has been training over the last few weeks. Manager Kevin Glendon said: 'Danny is footballer in the true sense of the word and is a passing midfield player. After missing his football to pursue an outside professional career he has returned determined to give it another go'".
Accrington Stanley report that "Ian Craney has been selected in England National Game manager Paul Fairclough's final sixteen that will travel to Belgium for the European Challenge Trophy match on Tuesday 15th November".
CONFERENCE NEWSBullsnews reports that "Former Bull Ian Foster is to leave Forest Green Rovers after agreeing to the cancellation of his contract due to long term injury. The former Liverpool trainee joined FGR in the summer, but never player a competitive match for his new side".
The BBC reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed the departure of full-back Wayne Evans. Evans has been released by mutual consent... Harriers' boss Stuart Watkiss released him following the loan signing of Reading's Johnny Mullins".
"Halifax Town have parted company with goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin. A statement said that Dunbavin's contract had been terminated by mutual agreement. The move follows discussions between club officials and the 25-year-old, who was recently fined and banned from driving for a drink-driving offence". The BBC also states that "Burton Albion have signed Bury utility man Jake Sedgemore on a month's loan".
The Argus claims that "Graham Rix is one of the eight candidates in the running for the manager's job at Crawley. The former Arsenal and England midfielder is believed to have been interviewed by the Conference club on Wednesday. Rix, 48, was a coach at Chelsea under Gianluca Vialli and had unsuccessful spells as manager of Portsmouth and Oxford... Former Northern Ireland international Jimmy Quinn, who guided Shrewsbury to the Conference title last year, is also thought to be one of the front-runners. Ex-Gravesend boss Andy Ford applied but was not given an interview. Reds aim to have a new man in place in time for their next Conference home game against Southport on November 12".
From This is Exeter we hear that "Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe is hoping to extend Tony Scully's loan spell until the end of the season... The winger is due to return to Notts County on December 3 - but Inglethorpe is keen to thrash out a deal before the League 2 club recall the player. Meanwhile, long-serving utility player Barry McConnell has signed for Bath City... Scully, who has played for a remarkable 14 different clubs, appears to have settled at St James's Park... And striker Jamie Mackie is also pressing his claims for a first team start following an accomplished display in a 1-1 friendly draw with Weymouth... With Paul Buckle on the mend from an achilles injury, the squad has never been in finer fettle". Their next league opponents are Altrincham.
This is York says that "York City midfielder Emmanuel Panther is set to be sidelined longer than first anticipated... Panther has suffered ankle ligament damage that will keep him out of the Minstermen's side in the foreseeable future"
The Football Conference curiously says in its Newsletter that "Our partners over the last 18 months, BT, confguide.com, Sportinglife and InTheBox Media have all invested heavily to try keep our live selective broadcast of games and highlights as a free service. Not that you would have noticed, especially if you have not visited our site, www.footballconference.co.uk. Our campaign at the moment is to try and get at least 10,000 fans to participate in our affiliate programme each month with totalbet".
The same source says; "After watching Grays tear his side to shreds, Southport boss Liam Watson paid the league leaders the ultimate tribute: 'Grays are easily the best team I have ever seen in non-League football'" .
4 November 2005
SIGNING, LOANS AND BANSAltrincham FC have signed the Droylsden midfielder Ged Murphy. Ged (dob 19/12/78) was released by Oldham Athletic at the end of the 1998/99 season and although he was briefly with Altrincham that close season, he did not join us. Ged later joined Droylsden (in 2002) from Stalybridge Celtic. However, under the new transfer rules, because his contract at Droylsden was cancelled last Sunday, Ged is not allowed to play for a club at Conference level for 30 days. But he is allowed to play for clubs at a lower level. For that reason he will be turning out for Radcliffe Borough this Saturday and possibly for the rest of November. He will be joined there for this Saturday by both Rod Thornley and Stephen Rose who will be maintaining fitness by playing for Borough this weekend, when Altrincham have no first-team game. Another Alty player who will be playing at another club this Saturday is Kirk Hilton, who will turn out for Ashton United. All the above players remain Altrincham FC players despite this weekend's arangements.
Above: Ged Murphy looks on (in red shirt) as Stephen Rose (no.4) and Leroy Chambers challenge for an aerial ball in the Droylsden v Altrincham game on 25/8/2003.
Manager Graham Heathcote is still working on bringing in other players and another loan signing may be settled after this weekend. The new transfer rules mean that no loan signings are allowed after 24 November until 1 January 2006
It has been confirmed that both Val Owen and Karl Munroe have received one match mans and will miss the Exeter City game.
YOUTH REPORTCourtesy of George Heslop, a brief match report on last week's win at Kingsley has been added to the Youth page.
MARK'S VIEWSSAM has Mark Maddox's column. On his return to the first team he says, "I love playing for Alty so it's always good to play for the first team, especially now that I'm skipper, I was made up! But after the game it was terrible, we were all really deflated. I thought the game had 0-0 written all over it but it was really hard because of the way they scored their goal, it was an obvious handball and our heads just went down after that... Training was good on Tuesday... it was one of the best sessions we've had in a long time... It's bad going out of the FA Cup but it might not be a bad thing that we've got all this time on our hands because we can work on our fitness, work on set pieces, work on a bit of functional play and get it right for the Exeter game. A few new lads who are known in non-league came to train with us as well and a few of them looked like good players. I just think we need a bit of energy from somewhere so maybe Graham will be able to sort something out with a couple of these lads and get them down here. I think freshening up the team will do the lads good because it might give them a bit of a kick up the backside... I've known Graham for a long time and if he feels someone's not doing it then he'll tell them straight away and he'll just get rid of them. We've got a few young lads who will give us a boost and you definitely need that mixed bag of experience and youth. Pat McFadden looks a very good player and there are a few other lads who look sharp and quick, like Lee Hendley and Kieran".
YOUTH NEWSFor details of changes fixtures, see the Youth Team page. One change means that with Alty's first-team out of action this weekend, you can now watch a Robins' side in action instead. On Sunday (6th, 2pm) at Wythenshawe Town FC (Timpson Rd, Baguley) Alty Youth host Furness Rovers in a league match. Youth manager George Heslop also thanks all those who helped the Youth Team Race Night raise £575 last week. Your support is much appreciated.
CSCOn Wednesday in the Cheshire County FA Senior Cup - Round One:
CONFERENCE NEWSThis is Exeter says that ""Exeter City defender Scott Hiley is ready to battle to win back his place... The 37-year-old sat out his first league game in more than three years after new recruit Danny Woodards broke his stranglehold on the right-back spot... After scooping a string of player-of-the-season awards at the end of last term, Hiley signed a new one-year playing deal and started the season as one of the first names on the team-sheet. Now his place has been thrown into doubt with the arrival of Woodards, a player who has spent the last three years being groomed by Chelsea". Hiley said, "There are no egos involved, no bitterness and no malice or anything like that... I don't think anyone is guaranteed their place in the squad apart from Paul Jones".
"Former Rochdale midfielder Leo Bertos scored a goal as a triallist for York City in Tuesday night's 4-0 reserve team victory... About Bertos, manager Billy McEwan said: '"He did okay and he has been released by Chester. We are having a look at him and need to have a chat with him'" . He has also played at Barnsley. "McEwan could now decide to make a move for Bertos with doubts still surrounding the fitness of influential midfielder Emmanuel Panther" says This is York.
Bullsnews reports that "In his weekly article in the Hereford Times, Graham Turner has revealed that the bank account at Hereford United is down by around £45,000 since the start of the season". The manager said, "The first thing the floating supporter does is look at our league position. If we are up in the top two or three they come, if we are halfway they don't... Our gates are down this season, which reflects the league position".
The BBC says that "Bradford City midfielder Jake Wright has extended his loan spell with Halifax to a third month".
The Aldershot News & Mail confirms that "Aldershot Town boss Terry Brown is hoping to unleash his four-month long striker target on minnows Burnham in the FA Cup this Saturday as well as an attacking midfielder. Brown is on the verge of landing two major signings... The boss has been locked in talks with a League striker and attacking midfielder in the build-up to Saturday’s huge FA Cup... Brown said: 'I’m definitely going to get the front runner in. I’ve been working since May on this one and after four-and-a-half months I think I’ve finally got him'". But "striker Matt Gearing returned from his club Northampton Town where he had been recovering from an ankle injury, only to limp off again just before half time of the Hampshire Cup tie with Brockenhurst".
This is KHFC states that "Kidderminster Harriers are considering a loan swoop... as most of their back four are walking a suspension tightrope... Mark Jackson, Daryl Burgess and Wayne Hatswell are all one booking away from a one-match ban... Kidderminster have already welcomed back Reading's Johnny Mullins on a month's loan following right-back Wayne Evans's exit... Watkiss's search for another keeper has been shelved due to youngster Dan Lewis's encouraging form... He admitted that with both sides out of the FA Cup, the Exeter game [on Saturday] has been brought forward from its scheduled midweek date next January to give cash-strapped Harriers an earlier financial boost... Defender Chris McHale is to be allowed out on loan to get match practice".
From Scarborough Today we learn that "Boro boss Neil Redfearn is lining up moves for some Football League players to boost his squad... He said: 'There isn't any point in bringing in kids in this situation, we need to go for experience. I'm looking at some players who are currently playing in the league, hopefully we can get a few signings sorted out. I know exactly where we need to strengthen and I know who I want, it is just about sealing the deals. The only problem is getting these players away from their current clubs'"
3 November 2005
GRAHAM PLANS CHANGES IN SQUADSpeaking exclusively to SAM Alty manager Graham Heathcote said "The two-week break is a blessing for me because now I can concentrate on preparing us for the rest of the season. I have got several irons in the fire and we should be able to bring in at least one new player before the Exeter game, which means a couple will be released as well. It's clear to see we don't have enough pace in this side and that is something I am looking to address, but we also need to learn how to play a passing game for the full 90 minutes rather than just one half. We don't have two 6ft 5ins strikers, so sending long balls up front is not going to work and when we do that it just shows we can't keep up our passing football throughout the game. Last year players had the time to stop and appraise things before making a decision but you just don't have that in the Conference".
... AND CHANGES FOR OFFICIALSGraham added, "The levels of consistency in refereeing are alarming. I can accept human error and everyone is allowed to have a bad day but the refereeing system is very inflexible. If a linesman is having a bad day then he should not officiate on the same forwards for the whole 90 minutes, we should have 45 minutes of him and then 45 minutes of the other official to even things up".
Confguide picks up on this theme: "Heathcote's suggestion - essentially that referees' assistants should not change ends at half time - does have the great merit of common sense to commend it. It will be interesting to see what sort of response Heathcote's call prompts".
NEXT OPPONENTSAlty play Exeter on 12 November. The BBC reports that "Exeter have announced that they hope to conclude the Corporate Voluntary Agreement (CVA) they entered into with their creditors before the end of 2005. City's directors met CVA supervisor Jerry O'Sullivan on Wednesday. O'Sullivan is due to write to all creditors next week, informing them of the likely dividend they will receive. The dividend is set to be paid within the next six weeks, with O'Sullivan set to deliver his final report and conclude the CVA on 16 December".
This is Exeter reports that "City goalkeeper Paul Jones has revealed his honour at being called up to the England National Game XI squad... Jones and his Grecians' namesake Billy both received their first summonses to the national non-league side". Paul said, "I feel I started off this season well but then had a bit of a bad patch when we started conceding a few, but we've kept two clean sheets in the last two games and we're getting back to how we were". Meanwhile "Exeter City manager Alex Inglethorpe was given an access-all-areas tour of Premiership side Fulham's training facilities as part of a two-day fact-finding mission in London this week... Inglethorpe made the trip in a bid to explore the coaching methods employed by top-flight side Fulham and League One high-fliers Brentford... He previously spent a week at Everton... He chose Fulham because of their survival record in the Premiership". Also "Inglethorpe should welcome new defensive signing Danny Woodards back to training today.... Inglethorpe is keen to offer the ex-Chelsea youth product something more concrete after initially landing the youngster on a game-by-game deal".
CONFERENCE NEWS"York City boss Billy McEwan is lining up a possible move for former Chester and Rochdale midfielder Leo Bertos. Bertos, 23, scored for York reserves on Tuesday night after being released from a non-contract deal at Chester. The New Zealand international also spent a spell training with York in the summer following his departure from Rochdale, where he played 79 games" reports the York Evening Press. Also, "Grimsby defender Tony Crane is hoping to leave Blundell Park - and boss Russell Slade has revealed that York may be a possible destination".
"Teenage Cambridge United defender Adam Davies has signed a new long-term deal at the Abbey Stadium. Davies, 18, has penned his first professional deal to keep him with the U's until June 2008" reports the BBC.
"Grays' 4-1 win at Southport on Saturday made it 15 games unbeaten, equalling the Conference record for the best start to a season. Despite that start Grays boss Mark Stimson remains cautious on promotion". Stimson told BBC Sport. "If we win promotion that would be a miracle." The article adds, "Stimson attributes the club's phenomenal success to the decision to go full-time while still in the Ryman Premier League as well as hard work and and a deliberate policy of signing young players. The club's oldest player is 28-year-old Jamie Stuart, with the youngest just 17, the highly-rated Gary Hooper... 'When I took over we had a lot of journeymen and they didn't want to run around and they had a part-time attitude. I made it a policy to get in people with enthusiasm. It's no good having ability if you're not prepared to run about... At Grays we're all out to prove people wrong. In a few years you want to be bumping into those people who told you weren't good enough". Although "Run as a full-time club Grays have implemented unusual contract agreements with their 20-man squad - four players have deals paying them for 46 weeks of the year, with the remaining 16 on 40-week contracts. 'No player gets paid 52 weeks of the year', added Stimson. 'From July to the middle of August they all came in basically without pay'".
"Crawley Town are to begin interviews to find a managerial successor to Francis Vines on Wednesday. Over 30 applications have been received and the club's football consultant Alan Mullery told BBC Southern Counties: 'There's a good mixture of names'". However, "Mullery insists the new man will need experience of full-time football. He added: "It's not important we get a big name - a prime example was when Bobby Charlton became manager of Preston'".
>Hereford's informative Bullsnews reports that "Hereford have signed Darren Knurek as back-up goalkeeper... Knurek, 18, is the reserve keeper at Evesham United".
2 November 2005
HELP, PLEASEThe club would be grateful for any gifts of raffle prizes for the forthcoming Evening with Tommy Docherty (Nov. 26th) and the Christmas Celebration Dinner (Dec.10th). In particular, if you work for, or own, a company or business, Alty director Grahame Rowley asks if you or your employer would be willing to donate a prize to help their local football club? "No items too small, every little bit helps!". adds Grahame.
For details of forthcoming social events, please click here.
NEXT GAMEAlty host Exeter City a week on Saturday.
This is Exeter has a curious column from City's former Spurs' star Steve Perryman: "As a visiting club or fan you make instant judgements when you enter a ground. What sort of club is this? Is it clean and tidy? This is why I think Exeter have got a chance... I can stand for a lot of things wrong at a club, but one factor that has always remained important to me as a player is the quality of the pitch... The pitch has been something that Exeter has struggled with in recent times... At Spurs we weren't even allowed to do sit-ups on the surface at White Hart Lane... by doing it you are pushing your heals along the floor, rubbing some of the grass away and, as a result, ruining the pitch. The pitch is the place where we earn our money, the place where success or failure is determined, the place where we get results. It is incredibly important. A looseness had crept in at Exeter - I have seen kids taking penalties, I have seen people coming out of the bar taking penalties on the pitch where professionals are paid to earn their corn. That was not right... We have appointed a pitch consultant, whose roots[!!] are in a golf club and he checks what is being done and leads the people who are working on the pitch, educating them and steering them in the right direction...For the good of this club we need to have a decent pitch, we need to get it back to being revered by the rest of the big clubs". Follow the above link for mower on this story...
The same source says that "Exeter City's new recruit Danny Woodards is determined to earn a longer-term deal... The 22-year-old has signed on non-contract terms and is getting paid on a game-to-game basis... The 22-year-old gave a tantalising glimpse of his pedigree at the weekend after taking the tough decision to bring the curtain down on his Chelsea career...The right-back, who can also operate as a central midfielder, gave the Grecians a different dimension at the weekend... City boss Alex Inglethorpe said of his new signing: 'He offers us something different and did extremely well on his debut in senior football'".
LAST GAMESAM reports on the Burton game in which "Consistently poor officiating threatened to turn the game into a farce and forced manager Graham Heathcote to speak out angrily after the final whistle. 'If ever common sense re-enters this game we've got a chance, but I doubt it will', he said. 'I could see my players were physically drained after that goal and for 10 or 15 minutes afterwards you could see it had drained the energy out of them and that's wrong'".
Confguide curiously reports that Burton's win over Alty "was further soured by the sending off of Stuart Coburn (right) for a second bookable offence". Of course, it was actually Karl Munroe who saw red and not Stuart, who was Alty's man of the match with a couple of great saves and a magnificent penalty stop.
STARThe "Annual General Meeting (AGM) of STAR (Altrincham FC Supporters' Association Limited) will take place in the Noel White Suite, Moss Lane Altrincham, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 30th November, 2005. Followed by a quiz and an open forum including STAR guests".
CONFERENCE NEWS"Scarborough have confirmed Neil Redfearn as their new manager. The 40-year-old midfielder, who spent last week as caretaker boss following the sacking of head coach Nick Henry, has been handed a twelve-month contract. Former Barnsley boss Eric Winstanley, who arrived at the club in an advisory role last week, will assist Redfearn... The pair have been promised money to spend on players by chairman Malcolm Reynolds... Redfearn's previous experience as player-manager was with Halifax Town in 2001/02". Redfearn said of Winstanley, "It is no coincidence that he was the first-team coach at Barnsley when the club moved up to the Premier League" reports Scarborough Today.
"Stevenage Borough manager Graham Westley has won the Nationwide Conference Manager of the Month award for October" says NL Daily.
NL Daily reports that "Former Cambridge United defender Adam Tann has joined rivals Gravesend & Northfleet. Tann was a free agent after Cambridge recently agreed to let the 23-year-old, who rejected a new deal with the U's in the summer, move without a fee... Fleet boss Liam Daish has also added Charlton Athletic's teenage defender Adam Cottrell to his squad on a ‘work experience’ basis".
Halifax Today says that "Goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin's future with Halifax Town is uncertain after it was revealed he was dropped from the team at Woking on Saturday for disciplinary reasons... 'It is a disciplinary matter I am going to have to deal with'", said manager Chris Wilder. "It is not something you want to have to do, but I will do it. The club will make a statement on it shortly", the boss added. Former Alfreton keeper Lee Butler (39) has replaced Dunbavin. The Hereford Bullsnews reports that "Halifax goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin was convicted yesterday of drink driving for the second time. Dunbavin, 25, had only recently returned from a 20 month driving ban for the same offence in early 2004 before he joined Halifax, and has now been given a 3 year ban from driving plus a £700 fine after being caught with an alcohol level of twice the legal limit". Halifax Today adds that "he was twice over the legal limit when stopped in Wrexham, North Wales. Dunbavin, of Pinfold Lane, Southport, was fined £700 and banned from driving for three years... Antony Newnes, for Dunbavin, said his client had drunk five cans of lager at a friend's. 'However Dunbavin is anxious to assure us that he does not have a problem with drink', said Mr Newnes. 'As a professional footballer he is subject to random alcohol and drugs tests. He is worried because now he is suspended from working and faces a disciplinary hearing at the club. The PFA has advised him his contract could be terminated'".
"Tamworth Football Club has given striker Bob Taylor two weeks off to deal with personal issues after the player was convicted of drink driving last Friday.Taylor was fined and banned by magistrates last week, and was left out of the squad for last Saturday's game at Exeter City because he was not mentally ready for the game... It was agreed that Taylor should be given time away from the club to deal with his problems.The club has offered support to Taylor but it has been made clear to the player that Tamworth FC does not condone drink driving and will not accept serious breaches of the club's code of conduct.Taylor knows he has let his family, the club and the supporters down, and has apologised. He has also assured the club there will be no repeat. Tamworth FC hope that in two weeks time Taylor will be fit, mentally and physically, to return to action and play an important part in the club's Conference campaign". But Hereford Bullsnews adds that "a later report for the icBirmingham (Birmingham Mail) website suggests Taylor was sent home on Saturday morning after turning up the worse for wear, and was later spotted drinking with Tamworth supporters before the game".
"Sulking Stevenage striker Anthony Elding has been told to get rid of his 'bad attitude' by no-nonsense boss Graham Westley. The dispute erupted when Westley pulled the 23-year-old out of the England non-league squad claiming his attitude was not right. That, in turn, prompted the player to request a loan move.Now Westley has told his sulking striker that he will definitely not be leaving Broadhall Way and that he needs to buckle down and 'toe the line'. Westley told Borough's website: 'He's contracted to us and he's required to honour that contract. He won't play for us unless he toes the line and proves to me that he can be trusted to play with his heart for this club, the fans and me. Fortunately we are not called Mickey Mouse and we do not need to give in to a misbehaving player. I am sure in the future he will look back on talk of asking for a loan as embarrassing. Knuckle down, work hard and earn a shirt...He thinks that he is okay because League Two clubs want him. If he listened and concentrated he could be moving into the Championship. But no big club will want to introduce a bad attitude'" reports Confguide
From the BBC comes news that "York City boss Billy McEwan has told fans intent on causing trouble to stay away from the club's matches. McEwan admitted to York's website that he has been concerned by reports of incidents at recent games. He said: 'There's an element I don't like at the club,and I don't want the image of York City tarnished. If we start needing a bigger police presence at games it will lead to bigger charges and I can't afford to buy players as it is'".
NATIONWIDE NORTHKettering report that "Kevin Wilson has decided not to accept the role of Director of Football at Kettering Town Football Club. Kevin has decided that his heart lies in day to day football management and that it would not be fair to himself, the club and it's supporters to accept a role he could not commit to in the medium to long term...The club has parted with Kevin on good terms".
1 November 2005
EXETER CHANGESFrom our next opponents: "Exeter City manager Alex Inglethorpe intends to change his team line-up each game even though his side are showing good form in the Conference. The starting eleven depends on who is fit and form," he told BBC Radio Devon. "The players know they cannot just turn up and expect to play on Saturday. They need to perform all week and be on their toes and that is just to earn them a shirt for the weekend" reports the BBC.
Confguide says that "high-flyers Exeter City are facing the threat of a lawsuit from former managing director, Ian Huxham. Huxham left his £40,000-a-year post two weeks ago, three years ahead of schedule. And now it has emerged that the man widely credited with turning the Grecians' financial fortunes around is to seek compensation, claiming constructive dismissal... A club statement said: "At the moment the club does not intend to expand on Mr Huxham's reasons for resigning. That is up to Mr Huxham himself, as it was his decision to resign".
BANSAlty picked up their first suspensions of the season last Saturday. The FA confirms that the following are suspended:
RESERVESMatch reports on the Reserves' wins at Chorley and Clitheroe are available in the Reserves' section, courtesy of information from manager Neil Brown.
BURTON VIEWSThe Burton Mail reports that "Burton Albion lifted themselves out of the Nationwide Conference relegation zone with a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Altrincham". Speaking of the build-up to the game's only goal, "Brewers' boss Nigel Clough said: 'It was one of those situations that officials either see or they don't. It probably was handball, but I don't think it was deliberate. I can understand Altrincham's frustration because we've had plenty (of decisions) go against us, but overall I thought we deserved it'". The paper adds that the "win was more comfortable than it looked, yet curiously was dependent on the generosity of referee Oliver Langford. The Darlaston official — the man who gave Brewers skipper Darren Stride his marching orders two weeks earlier at Hereford — obligingly turned a blind eye when Alty's Gary Scott saw his clearance hit the hand of Albion midfielder Chris Hall. It was the pivotal moment of the game". The reports refers to "excellent saves by Stuart Coburn. The Robins' keeper saved his best until last by diving full-length to deny Arron Webster from the penalty spot... Yet the Robins might have stolen a point if their own finishing had been better in the 82nd minute. Lewis Chalmers's huge throw-in from the right found its way over Albion's defence and fell invitingly for fellow substitute Patrick McFadden beyond the far post, but the youngster sliced his shot wide of the opposite upright... [Alty] were reduced to 10 men in the 89th minute when Munroe, who had already been yellow carded, injudiciously kicked the ball at the grounded Bell after the midfielder had been fouled by Owen". Clough added: "We probably should have won two or three-nil".
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