Altrincham Football Club News Archive
January 2006

31 January 2006


  • Grays A. 2 Burton A. 3
  • Hereford U. 3 Cambridge U. 0


    Connor Murphy, SAM's sports correspondent writes that he has arranged "new internet TV coverage of Alty. I have teamed up with Let's Go Global ( and will be providing post match interviews and analysis after every home game through their site. We spoke to James Robinson, Rod Thornley and Graham after the Aldershot game, as well as getting reaction in the bar and it will be broadcast this Thursday". So, don't forget to "tune in"!


    SAM has a match report on Alty's win over Aldershot. Town. "After a 5-0 capitulation at Forest Green the week before and with six players missing through suspension and injury, the omens before kick off against Aldershot did not look good. But... this is an Alty side who, when they get it right, are capable of outplaying almost any team in this division". Saturday's STAR bucket collection raised £136.50 bringing this season's total to £1215.89 - a great effort by all concerned, for which the club is very grateful.


    Alty travel to Scarborough on Saturday. Scarborough Today says that "Neil Redfearn admitted that Dagenham and Redbridge deserved all the points against his off-key Seasiders... He said: 'If we'd have got something from the game then I think it would have been an injustice – the best team won. The effort was there at times, but it was undirected effort and for much of the game we were waiting for things to happen... It was a disappointing game because that was the sort of match that we need to be winning". Indeed, "Redfearn was disappointed with his midfield, who apart from Lee Fowler lacked any creative spark. He added: 'Lee played well, but we had to take him off to protect his hamstring. If he doesn't create anything then we just don't create at all. Other people have to take the initiative – you can't rely on people like Fowler, Denny Ingram and Rob Atkinson to play well every week. The commitment has to be there from the whole team'". Also, "A trio of players are leaving the McCain Stadium today [Mpnday], two on short-term moves and one for good. Striker Brian Wake's loan deal has been taken over by Scottish side Hamilton Academicals, and he has played his last game for the Seasiders. Youngsters Jimmy Beadle and Ryan Blott have both joined Conference North outfit Bradford Park Avenue on a month's loan".

    Cambridge United play at Alty on 11 February and their big striker Fola Onibuje is suspended from 4 February for 2 games, says the FA's disciplinary list.


    Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is a keen follower of Altrincham FC having been introduced to The Robins by chairman Geoff Goodwin last summer. He may be interested to know that ex-England wicketkeeper "Jack Russell is lending a hand to Forest Green's goalkeepers... in their warm-ups. Russell, a Rovers' fan, is the coach to current England gloveman Geraint Jones. Forest Green boss Gary Owers told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: 'Jack has got an interest in the goalkeeping side. He is taking it very seriously and it is not a gimmick'". No more wicket deflections at The Lawn, then!

    In Monday's Yorkshire Post, Halifax boss Chris Wilder says, "We are down to just 16 players and that includes Steve Yates (signed from Scarborough last week) coming in. I have a 39 year-old, one-legged goalkeeper [Lee Butler] and a kid from the youth team and I desperately need to bring another [keeper] in... the chairman can't even think of throwing money at it when there are only 1,200 coming into the ground... Othe clubs have £1m in terms of budget but ours is less then half that. A lot of the teams at the top have been out strengthening... but only if we got 2,000 in the ground could we strengthen and I have already been pulling rabbits out of the hat to get us this far".

    The BBC reports that "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has released young defenders Chris McHale and Jermain Hollis... Yates has allowed several players to leave the Aggborough Stadium since his appointment last month as he looks to trim the club's wage-bill. Martin O'Connor, Patrick Flynn and Wayne Hatswell have already been let go".

    "Southport have signed experienced midfielder Gary Brabin to bolster their fight against relegation. The 35-year-old... has agreed a deal until the end of the season at Haig Avenue. Liverpool-born Brabin has previously played in the Conference for Chester City and also had a short spell with Halifax Town earlier this season. He previously had spells in the League with Hull, Doncaster and Blackpool".

    "Hereford United have signed Cardiff City striker Stuart Fleetwood. The 19-year-old has joined the Bulls on a free transfer... [He] made 12 senior appearances for City... The Wales under-21 international was also believed to have attracted interest from Hamilton Academicals" says the BBC.

    Meanwhile, "Crawley Town have signed former Lincoln City striker Omari Coleman. The 25-year-old has agreed a contract until the end of the season... Coleman joined Lincoln from Watford last summer... He gained Conference experience earlier this season during loans at Aldershot and then Gravesend and Northfleet".

    From the Cambridge Evening News we read that "Paul Barry is hopeful Cambridge United can secure a brighter future with the Abbey back in the club's hands. Barry, who is the club's biggest shareholder, has, with fellow director Nick Pomery, played a major role in brokering a deal to buy back the ground from vice-chairman John Howard's company Bideawhile. Bideawhile have agreed in principle to sell back the stadium, which they bought for £1.92million in November 2004, although there are still several issues that need to be addressed before the deal goes through". Barry said, "The current state of the Abbey Stadium is one where to refurbish it to allow it to become an income-producing stadium would cost a small fortune and funds the club doesn't have. From a pure business point of view, relocation makes sense but the devil is in the detail". Cambridge Fans United chairman Dave Matthews-Jones said: "It would be a very positive move because it would allow the club to make its own decisions for the future, but it's one I wish could have been done a long time ago".

    The Argus reports that "Simon Wormull is staying to try and help keep Crawley in the Conference. Wormull has turned down offers from two other Conference sides, claiming it would it be hard to walk away from his home town club in their current plight... Crawley have an awful lot to do if they are to avoid the drop after just two seasons at this level while John Hollins' honeymoon period in the hot-seat is well and truly over". Wormull said, "There's no use us getting at each other, we've got to get on and think about the 17 games we have left and making sure we win enough of them, especially against the teams around us. The situation we're in makes it hard to walk away.... I will hang on until the summer and, hopefully, something will get sorted out". Hollins said, "I will work with what I've got and I will get the best out of them and I think we will stay in this division with this squad".

    The Shots website reports that "Wycombe Wanderers striker Jonny Dixon has joined Aldershot Town FC on a long term loan deal".

    NL Daily states that "Christian Moore is set to rejoin Burton Albion in a surprise move by manager Nigel Clough. Clough expects to complete the signing of the 33-year-old striker on a three-month loan from Kettering Town... A hectic 24 hours before the closure of the transfer window could see Andy Todd, Dale Anderson and Lee Ayres leaving the Pirelli Stadium, also on loan. Todd is wanted by Conference National leaders Accrington Stanley, Ayres is expected to join Hinckley United and Anderson is being trailed by several other Nationwide North clubs. Burton have also parted company with Jake Sedgemore, who has rejoined Bury... Clough said: 'We could have brought in a young and untried striker. But we prefer to have someone like Christian on board because he knows all about Conference football, and no-one will try harder than him in the next three months'". Clough previously sold Moore to Telford for £20,000 having paid £17,500 for him from Ilkeston Town" reports the Burton Mail.

    30 January 2006


  • Exeter C. 1 Accrington S. 3


    Altrincham FC Director Grahame Rowley and the Board have drawn up a social calendar for 2006. The first event is a Quiz Night hosted by Alty striker and Man. Utd/England masseur, Rod Thornley. The event is sponsored by John Smith's Brewery. Teams of up to six are invited to participate with the entry fee being £5 per person. All contestants will receive sandwich refreshments. The evening begins at 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd February in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane.

    Following that, there is a Sportsman's Dinner at the excellent Chef Peking restaurant in Urmston. As Grahame writes, "We are pleased to announce that former Manchester City star Peter Barnes has agreed to be our guest speaker at this event which hopefully his footballing dad, Ken (also ex-City) will also attend. For those of you who went to the ‘Marcus Hallows’ event last season you’ll need no reminding of the fantastic meal served up by the Chef Peking. Tickets available now, priced at £17.50 – tables for various sized group bookings are available".

    The full list of social events with accompanying details is here and can also be reached by the "Social Events and Fundraising Ventures" link in the header of this page. In summary, the events are:

  • Quiz Night - 7.30pm Thursday, 23rd February 2006, in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane.
  • Sportsman’s Dinner - 7.30pm Thursday, 9th March 2006, at the Chef Peking restaurant, Urmston.
  • Prize Bingo - 7.30pm Monday, 27th March 2006, in The Sponsors’ Lounge, Altrincham Football Club. 50p entry fee
  • The Road to Morecambe 2006 - Friday 14th to Monday, 17th April 2006.
  • Golf Day - Wednesday, 26th April 2006, at Withington Golf Club.
  • Staff v Supporters Football Match – Friday 5th May 2006, at Moss Lane.
  • End of Season Ball – Saturday, 6th May 2006, at the Holiday Inn, Manchester Airport (formerly The Valley Lodge).


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to Scarborough this Saturday are here

    The Seasiders website has a preview of Alty's next game, at Scarborough. It says, "Well, another chance to get some points at home as fellow Conference strugglers Altrincham travel across the Pennines to Yorkshire. After failing to get even a single point against Dagenham in their last home game, Boro really need to start getting their act together at home. Three wins at the McStad all season is really not acceptable and the players will be aware of this. Altrincham travel poorly having gained just 8 points on the road this season. It is our job to make sure it remains at 8. It will be another tough game between two relegation threatened sides, but I'm sure Neil will have the players motivated for this crucial encounter". But Alty are now up to seventh in the form guide over the last six Conference games. They go into this match three points ahead of the Yorkshire side and with a game in hand over the Seadogs. Alty last travelled to Scarborough for a vital end of season game in April 2000 and lost to a late goal which helped to send them towards relegation on the final day of the campaign a week later. The website predicts a 1-1 draw this time.


    STAR produced an interesting "Birmingham 20 anniversary programme" which can be purchased from the club shop at the Cambridge United game at Moss Lane on 11 February. It is also available on Ebay.


    Alty Reserves now lead the Lancashire League by a single point from Marine, who have played one more game.


    Match report here

    For an opposition view, see here.

    Right: Stuart Coburn seems a little bit pleased as he leaves the pitch after the game.

    For some of Gavin Rathbone's excellent photos of the game, see below...


    The Shots website announces that "Shots' boss Terry Brown apologised to the travelling faithful after his side suffered the heaviest league reverse of the season. He said, 'I am embarrassed by that display. We were very very poor today. I won't take any credit away from Altrincham because they won every battle out there but apart from possibly Leroy Griffiths all of our players have to look at themselves. Defensively we were extremely poor and we conceded some shocking goals. We had a strong side out there and we have let our travelling fans down and we have let the club down... I apologise to all those supporters who travelled the long distance to watch the match'". The manager added the award of a penalty against Alty "was harsh but I felt our demise came afterwards. We should have just carried on but the players got involved in a fracas just afterwards and we started getting involved in giving away silly free kicks and ill discipline cost us. It's not the first time that has happened and in no uncertain manner I have told the players concerned". The website adds that "By the final whistle many of the Shots supporters were already on the M6".


    NL Daily reports that "Stevenage Borough have completed the signing of Yeovil Town defender Luke Oliver for £15,000. Oliver, 23, has made just three substitute appearances for Yeovil since his move from Woking last summer and was sent out on loan by the Glovers. The centre half is Boro boss Graham Westley's third signing of the transfer window and has joined until the end of the 2007 season".

    The Cambridge United official website says that the club has agreed to sell its Abbey stadium. This follows news last week that Cambridge City have sold their ground, with a merger of the two clubs being an option which is being considered.

    29 January 2006


    At the excellent STAR Birmingham 20 event yesterday, two new DVDs were unveiled and presented to the players who won the match at St Andrew's in 1986. One DVD is of the full 90 minutes of the Birmingham v Alty game and the other covers the FA Trophy Final in 1986 when Alty defeated Runcorn. For further details, contact Grahame Rowley at the club. For more on the event, see below...


    Football statistics are available in greater profusion than ever but what appears in print is not always accurate. For example after yesterday's game against Aldershot Town, the Shots' MAD site said that in the game Alty had 14 goal attempts against 8 from The Shots, with Alty having 9 on target and our opponents 3. Yet the NL Paper statistics say that Alty only had 9 goal attempts with 6 on target and that the Shots had 10 with 3 on target. As for fouls, the NL Paper says Alty committed 10 against 12 by the Shots whereas the MAD site claims Alty committed 9 against 13 by our opponents. Also the NL Paper says that this season Alty have had 45 yellows and 3 reds. This website's own record suggest we have actually had 50 yellows and 3 reds in Conference matches, all of which are recorded here.

    Our next opponents, Scarborough, are top of the NLP's fouls list with 387. Alty have a total of 318 in the same list.


    In the NL Paper, after yesterday's game, Graham Heathcote said of Alty's 5-1 win over Aldershot Town, "The main difference today was that we finished our chances off... What was even better was that we scored great goals... James Robinson set the ball rolling and every other goal had a touch of quality about it [too]. What we have to do now is start winning away". As for the game itself, he said, "I thought their penalty was harsh and we should have had one of our own".

    Match report here

    Shots' boss Terry Brown confessed, "We looked like a pub team at times.. I will have to sit down with my chairman as, on today's performance, we need new players"

    Yesterday witnessed not only a great performance by Alty but also some superb photography from Gavin Rathbone, as shown in these two examples. Firstly, James Robinson leaps with delight on scoring the opening goal and then Rod Thornley rejoices after scoring his side's fourth goal against Aldershot Town. More of Gavin's photos are on his GR Photography website and copies may be purchased via the Robins' Shop.

    Alty's Steve Aspinall and James Robinson are in the NL Paper's Team of the Day. But curiously Aspinall is named in defence and Robinson as a striker when Aspinall played yesterday in central midfield and Robinson on the right. Colin Little is now third top scorer in the Conference with 11 goals.


    Adam Farley scored for Marine and Mario Daniel netted for Woodley, whilst Steve Bushell was a used sub for Halifax Town. Anthony Hargreaves hit 4 in Cammell Laird's 14-0 win over Nelson on Saturday. Matty McNeil scored for resurgent Hyde United as they beat Kettering Town. Alex Hay played for Leigh RMI, Peter Wright turned out for Chorley and James Olsen scored for Vauxhall Motors. Witton Albion have signed Martin McDonald from Flixton, for whom Darren Emmett netted yesterday. Clitheroe have signed three ex-Alty youth players from Leigh RMI; they are Adam Girdlestone, Paul Lewis and Ian Taylor. In the league, Paul Ellender was an unused sub for Boston but Danny Adams played for Huddersfield again.


    Southport have signed the former Halifax midfielder, Gary Brabin. Anthony Elding who left Stevenage for Kettering amongst much acrimony, was sent off yesterday for his new club.


    On Saturday night, STAR held a highly succcessful "Birmingham 20 " event to commemorate Altrincham's win away at Birmingham City in the FA Cup in 1986 - the last time a non-League club beat a top-flight club on its own ground in the FA Cup. Above, are the ten members of the team and the management who attended the celebrations at the Ashley Hotel, Hale. L. to R. back row:Phil Gardner, Gary Anderson, Peter Densmore. Centre row: Peter Conning, Paul Reid, Paul Cuddy, Jeff Wealands, John Davison, Jeff Johnson, Front row:Ronnie Ellis, John King (manager), George Rooney (ass't. manager). Birmingham boss in 1986, Ron Saunders, unfortunately had a prior engagement. More on the event to follow...

    28 January 2006


    Altrincham FC has issued the following press release today:

    Following a meeting on Friday evening, the respective Boards of Altrincham Football Club & STAR [the Altrincham FC supporters' trust] are pleased to announce that STAR will participate in the share scheme to raise funds for the Football Club. The Board of Altrincham Football Club, with immediate effect, has lifted the suspension of the STAR Supporters' Representative to the Board.

    Both Boards regret the events of the last few days and plan to meet to agree on the best way of working together for the future benefit of Altrincham Football Club.


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


    Alty Reserves' lost 5-4 at Morecambe on Friday night, after a Pat McFadden brace had put them two up. Morecambe got back to 2-2 at the interval, at which point Alty discovered that centre-back Laurence Ball had suffered a head injury. So they had to start the second half with only ten men. Morecambe soon went 4-2 up before goals from James Marsden and, on his return from injury, Lee Hendley, made it 4-4. But Morecambe got the winner after a corner had been half cleared. The Alty team is listed on the Reserves' page, where a report will follow.


    Sunday's Altrincham Youth team match against Fleetwood Hesketh Youth has been postponed as three Altrincham players (Andy Keogh, Ben Deegan and Richard Gresty) have been called up for the inter-league match against Bolton and District this weekend.


    The Noel White Suite (bar) at Moss Lane will again be open from noon before the match today against Aldershot Town.


    Left: Alty celebrate their 2-0 win at The Recreation ground, Aldershot, back in August.

    As previously reported Alty have both Warren Peyton (3 games) and Colin Potts (1 game) suspended today and both Gary Talbot and Karl Munroe remain injured. However, Chris Adams is believed to be fit for a recall. In Friday night's Reserves' match at Morecambe, Alty's young striker Lee Hendley was expected to return to action "alongside fellow striker Pat McFadden... With just 16 first team players available, the two youngsters could find themselves thrust into the matchday squad" against Aldershot says SAM. Although The Shots last night sold their top scorer Tim Sills to Oxford United, they have recently signed a striker replacement in Leroy Griffiths, who previously met Alty when playing for Grays Athletic last season. Aldershot also hope to have Darren Barnard back from injury, whilst the BBC claims that "Nick Crittenden, who has taken a knock, and Roscoe D'Sane (tendonitis) are set to miss out on the trip" to Alty.

    Aldershot Town's unofficial Shotsweb site includes an interview with Alty's own Mark Eckersall, a long-time supporter and currently the STAR Travel Coordinator, organising our away trips to matches. The website says that "The Robins appeared to have peaked during the first few weeks of the season when they found themselves in 6th position; however it’s been a downward spiral ever since, and our part-time hosts have found themselves floating just above the relegation places for the most part since... Shotsweb spoke to Alty fan Mark Eckersall to find out his views on this season. Mark said, "As we aren’t currently in the relegation zone, we have to say we’re doing well. We were never even supposed to be in the Conference for a couple of years yet and the club are currently paying off large debts to the Inland Revenue and VAT man. We would have been happy to be in the top half of the Conference North last year, however we got on a roll which continued through the Play Offs, and here we are. We know we have the smallest wage budget in the league and if we can finish third from bottom then we’re having an open-top bus ride around Altrincham and a civic reception! The best thing is that all the fans know the facts and that means they know our limits and that is why, even when we get a 5-0 stuffing, there is no booing or barracking, we just get on with the game". For the full interview follow the above link. Mark's prediction is that "It’ll be a close fought game [against Aldershot] with a 1-1 score-line. The speedy Griffiths for you in the first half and a Steve Aspinall penalty for us in the second. Simple as that". The site also has its own excellent preview of the match. This is the third time the clubs have net, with Alty twice victorious at the Recreation ground.

    Meanwhile our own SAM has a good preview too and Confguide adds that Aldershot's "Ryan Williams has been in scintillating form of late and will no doubt be looking to make amends for his missed penalty on Tuesday evening".


    It is perhaps ironic that on the very day that STAR celebrates the 20th anniversary of Altrincham FC's beating Birmingham City by holding an event at The Ashley Hotel, the coach of Aldershot Town, our visitors today, is Martin Kuhl who played for Birmingham in that game in 1986. The match was the last occasion on which a non-league side beat a top flight (old First Division or Premiership) side on their own ground. Tonight's STAR event is a sell-out; its guests will include 11 of the 12 Alty players involved in the match, as well as other big names from Alty's past.


    Talking about the closing transfer window, Alty boss Graham Heathcote told BBC Sport, "Nothing has changed. We have not been able to do anything [i.e. buy a player] for the last three years. But it's just now that we've reached this level that we're involved with the transfer window. We can't alter the situation until we have paid off our debts, which will take another 18 months. It's frustrating but I try not to let it frustrate me too much. We have got to live with it and hope that we're good enough to keep out of the bottom two. I have gone through the routine [of approaching players] but always lose the player. We are not full-time and it's not an even playing field". However, "Heathcote is hopeful he may be able to bring in some fresh blood once the window closes and other clubs are keen to reduce their wage bills. 'There are still short-term loans open to us when the window shuts and we might be in a better position to do something then', he said.


    Steve Bushell made a good impression whilst briefly on loan from The Shay at Alty this season. But now, Halifax Today reports that Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder "has yet to decide whether to give Steve Bushell his second start in five days. And he admitted he was wary of pushing the midfielder too much as he continues his return from a broken leg. 'We are monitoring Steve closely', said the Town boss. 'Tuesday night was his first 90 minutes for us this season and he was a bit stiff yesterday. We want to make sure that he is not only all right now, but all right for the rest of the season. It is a case of nursing him through the next two or three weeks without weakening the team'"

    Frriday's NL Paper says tha on Thursday, Accrington Stanley turned diown "A double bid from Chester for midfield duo Gary Roberts and Ian Craney". Should Craney be sold by Stanley, Alty have a sell-on clause operative on their former captain.

    "Defender Graeme Law has parted company with York City after reaching an agreement to end his contract early... He made 30 Conference appearances last season, but has not featured in York's first team this season". Elsewhwere, "Woking striker Mark Rawle has joined rivals Gravesend on loan for the rest of the season. The 26-year-old forward was recently placed on the transfer-list by Cards' boss Glenn Cockerill". Meanwhile "Hereford United have strengthened their squad with the loan signing of Swindon Town midfielder Nicky Nicolau... in a deal running until the end of the season. The 22-year-old joined Swindon from Southend last summer but has dropped out of the first-team picture since undergoing hernia surgery. Meanwhile, Hereford midfielder Jamie Pitman will be out for at least three weeks with knee medial ligament damage", adds the BBC.

    The Daggers website reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club would like to announce that Tresor Kandol has today signed for Barnet for a fee of £50,000... Kandol, who had agreed to sign for Darlington F.C. in November last year only to dramatically withdraw from the deal once the transfer window opened earlier this month, has now pledged his services to the Bees... The Club has always recognised that Kandol's failure to move to Darlington was as a result of issues between himself and Darlington F.C and the consequential knock on effect which the Club are still pursuing".

    NL Daily says that "Prolific striker Danny Bloomfield has turned down a loan move to Cambridge United in a bid to win promotion with Southern League Premier Division King's Lynn... Bloomfield said: 'Cambridge wanted me to go on loan, but unless I’m told otherwise I want to see the season out here and try and win promotion with Lynn'" .

    From This is Exeter is news that "Exeter City winger Les Afful has put seven days of disappointment behind him to sign for Torquay United on a three-month loan deal. Afful was targeted by the Gulls' new boss John Cornforth as the former Exeter City manager plots to steer the League 2 club away from relegation trouble". However Cornforth "was rebuffed in his bid to sign Grecians' striker Jake Edwards" who played against us for Tamworth. Afful was set to sign for Forest Green Rovers until "the Gloucestershire club realised he was FA Trophy-tied". Curiously, "Afful has been a bit-part player for the Grecians this season, struggling to claim a regular place in the side... Meanwhile, Inglethorpe has rejected reports he has held talks with Swansea City striker Lee Thorpe - with Edwards back in the fold he has five strikers at his disposal".

    27 January 2006


    On the eve of their match at Moss Lane, Aldershot Town report that the "Football Club have this evening transferred Striker Tim Sills to Oxford United Football Club for an undisclosed fee. The whole package is a good one for both the player and the Shots. Everyone at the Rec wishes Tim all the very best and is pleased he has now been given the chance to prove himself in the Football League. Terry Brown is actively looking to replace Tim with another quality striker along with other quality players". Sills is The Shots' top scorer this season.


    Former Alty goalkeeper Ian Senior, who now runs the Sensports company, which supplies Altrincham FC's team and ballboys' kit, is auctioning a current Altrincham replica kit of your choice (home or away) for the benefit of the club. Bidding has reached £70 so please top it if you can! Bidding is taking place on the Altyfans' Forum, run by Gary Warrington and closes at 9pm tonight, Friday, 27th January. Ian says, "I'll also number and name the shirt with the winner's choice if they fancy that, e.g OWEN , 8". In addition Ian also says that the "shirt can be autographed by the current Altrincham first-team squad".


    Alty Director Grahame Rowley writes to those who have pledged to take part in the Club's share scheme:

    We are now closing the offer for donations into the club for the share scheme and would like to thank everyone who has made a pledge. Could you please forward your cheque for the attention of Grahame Rowley, before February 14th so that we can arrange transfer of shares by February 28th? Cheques should be made payable to Altrincham Football Club.

    Once again, thank you for your donation and I hope that you enjoy owning a piece of your club. Please supply your full name and address for entry on the Share Certificate.


    The Shots confirms that "bids have been made for striker Tim Sills". But manager Terry Brown has laid down "what considerations are required before the club can accept any bid for the club top scorer". Meanwhile, "Coach Martin Kuhl is eager for the Shots to respond in a positive fashion on Saturday in their first time visit to Graham Heathcote's Altrincham. The former Portsmouth midfielder said, 'We played well on Tuesday evening against Canvey Island with some entertaining football displayed... but we have to continue that performance on Saturday at Altrincham without the kind of drama we had at the end of Tuesday'... Talking about the difference in the side since the shock home defeat by Altrincham in August Martin continued, 'It is a much stronger side than earlier in the campaign. This team has excitement, pace and people that can take their opponents on and create chances. We just have to eliminate the way we conceded goals at the end of the Canvey match... We are expected to win on Saturday but we know what to expect. Altrincham beat us earlier in the season. We dictated the game on that day and they had two chances from crosses and scored them both'... Terry Brown added, "I am confident that [goalkeeper] Nikki Bull will be OK to play but we will assess Darren Barnard's calf before making a decision on him. However Lewis Hamilton has come on leaps and bounds in the last two games so I have every confidence that he can continue in that role if required".

    For Alty, Warren Peyton (right) is suspended, as is Colin Potts.

  • Through the Years data for 28 January by Howard Watts


    In this week's SAM John King and Graham Heathcote recall the 1986 Trophy win and victory at Birmingham in the FA Cup.. King said of the current Alty chairman "Geoff Goodwin has done a stunning job and he has got the club stable again when it was on the brink of collapse. The board live and die Altrincham FC and they have a good manager in Graham Heathcote who is doing great work under a lot of pressure". Graham added, "The team from 1986 was a fine team and we are trying to become one but we are still in the development stage, which is slow. But this season everyone has been respectful of the situation we are in".

    STAR's Birmingham 20 celebration event at The Ashley Hotel is a sell-out.


    SAM reports that "Altrincham FC board members are to meet with counterparts from supporters' trust STAR on Friday evening, in a bid to resolve recent difficulties... STAR chairperson Brian Flynn is now confident that an agreement can be reached... He told SAM Sport: 'We are disappointed that the STAR representative to the board has been suspended but we understand the board's concerns and the specific pressures on Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw. Clearly the club are frustrated essentially by the speed at which STAR has reacted to this [shares scheme] but we are bound by various rules and regulations. My objective now is to get round the table to try and sort this out as quickly as possible, in order to support the club in its time of need and to make sure that STAR doesn't come out of this as the bad guy'". Meanwhile Alty director Grahame Rowley said, "I don't believe that STAR is anti-club whatsoever and we are certainly not anti-STAR or Supporters Direct, but we are just disappointed that things have not been moved on quicker regarding the share scheme. We know STAR didn't have a unanimous vote in favour of the share scheme so we would just like these people to tell us what their objections are to the scheme. I'm not sure people understand the gravity of the financial situation at the club, you can't always be steadfast in your aims and it would only be a slight change if STAR were to have a slightly reduced shareholding for a short time in order to help the club".


    In his regular column in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger Mark Maddox confesses that "It's an understatement to say I was disappointed with the result at Forest Green. It was awful... we just didn't put in enough on Saturday. The gaffer made us watch the game again in training on Tuesday night, I think it was our punishment and I was just sat there thinking 'I'm not 18 I really shouldn't be watching this'... Personally, I've not really been pleased with me own performances recently either, as a back four against Forest Green we were a load of rubbish and if it hadn't been for Stuart Coburn it would have been double figures. Warren [Peyton]'s sending off did seem really harsh... The lad went down like a sack of spuds and when I asked the referee why he was sending Warren off he told me 'hang on I'll have to ask my linesman'". Referring to Alty's win at Aldershot in August, he said, "We deserved our win there, it was a classic smash and grab, but I'm sure they'll be coming to Moss Lane expecting a comfortable win. They will get a surprise if that is the case". Our rivals in the Conference have "all been able to strengthen their squads during the January transfer window while we have been struggling but I think we've proved that the squad we have here are more than capable of competing in this division. We don't have the money to strengthen at the moment but there's no point bleating about it, if we perform to the best of our ability we can beat any team in this league".


    NL Daily says that our play-off opponents at Stoke last May, "Eastbourne Borough has completed another historic moment in its history, with its first transfer to a Football League club... League Two side Oxford United have completed the signing of former Yeovil striker Yemi Odubade. Odubade, 21... joins United for £15,000 on an eighteen-month contract. The fee will rise to £25,000 with appearances". Odubade won a penalty against Alty in the game at Stoke.


    NL Daily reports that Ashton United "received a boost when talented full-back Kirk Hilton (right) turned down the opportunity of a move to Leigh RMI after the Conference North side put in seven days notice for player".


    The BBC confirms that "Midfielder Lee Fowler has left Huddersfield and is poised to sign a permanent deal with Scarborough following an initial loan spell. The former Coventry player has made a big impression at the Conference side, scoring three goals in 11 appearances".

    "Woking manager Glenn Cockerill has made defender Jimmy Aggrey available for a loan move. Aggrey, 27, has been restricted to just seven appearances for the Cards this season", whilst "Morecambe have allowed striker Sean O'Connor to leave Christie Park. O'Connor endured an injury-hit stay with the Shrimps following his arrival from Queen of the South at the start of last season... [He made] 16 appearances this season, scoring three Conference goals. Meanwhile, Morecambe have signed defender John Hardiker, 23, permanently after his contract at Bury expired" says the BBC.

    "Dagenham & Redbridge have taken 18-year-old right back Ryan Johnson on a month’s ‘work experience’ from QPR... He was a regular member of QPR’s under-17 team... This season he has been a regular for the reserve team" reports The Daggers website.

    Scarborough Today states that "Steve Yates has joined Halifax Town after spending just two weeks with rivals Scarborough. Huddersfield Town released the experienced 35-year-old in the summer having started 50 League One games for the Terriers... During his fortnight at Boro he twice appeared on the bench, but only played nine minutes of Conference football. Boro chairman Malcolm Reynolds said: 'Halifax came in and offered him a long-term deal on more money. We just saw him as a short-term player here'".

    "Welsh Premier reports that league "leaders Total Network Solutions have captured the signature of prolific marksman Graham Evans... [who] arrives from Hereford United".

    From Confguide we learn that "Defender Tommy Jaszczun has joined Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season after finding his first-team chances limited at Rochdale recently. The 28-year-old signed for Rochdale on a free transfer at the beginning of this season after making 32 league appearances for Northampton Town... Manager Rob Newman told the club's official website, 'He can bring something to the team that we're lacking in the left-back area, in terms of experience and know-how and a track record at a higher level, and by coming in for the rest of the season it gives us more stability in the back line'".

    Kidderminster Harriers' official site confirms that new manager manager Mark Yates has agreed to the departure of former player/caretaker manager Martin O'Connor. "We finally agreed a settlement this week which means Martin and the club can go their separate ways", said Yates, adding that "Martin was honest enough to tell me when I arrived that he didn't feel he'd be fit enough to play in the near future and we felt this move was in the best interests of both parties". As for Mark Pugh's return to Burnley, Yates stated, "He'll always be welcome here if he feels that's the right move for him in the future - I've spoken to him and he knows that. He wants to go and assess the situation regarding where he stands at Burnley". Also at Aggborough, the BBC confirms that "Yates has released defender Patrick Flynn. The former Wolves youngster... had not figured in the first-team since early January".

    Tamworth report that their goalkeeper "Scott Bevan has had to undergo an emergency operation for the removal of a kidney following the serious injury he suffered in the Conference match at Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night. His family has informed the club that 26-year-old Scott was admitted to intensive care after the surgery and spent a comfortable night... The distressing news comes only a fortnight after the 6ft 5in Bevan was the star of Lambs' magnificent performance to draw away to Stoke City in the FA Cup third round... Bevan... was injured in a nasty collision with ex-Tamworth striker Julian Alsop... On the coach journey home, Scott was vomiting and feeling very poorly. After arriving back at his Milton Keynes home, he went to the accident and emergency department at his local hospital where he was admitted for a scan which indicated clotting around the kidney... In the evening specialists decided surgery was necessary and this revealed the kidney was shattered and had to be removed".

    Bullsnews reveals that our next opponents "Aldershot have accepted two offers for top scorer Tim Sills. The 10 goal striker is out of contract at the end of the season, and the recent signing of Leroy Griffiths - with three goals in two games, has allowed the Shots to cash in on Sills before he can depart on a free in the summer".

    Also Cambridge United "have lost out on wanted-man Jake Edwards after the Exeter striker decided to come off the transfer list and fight for his place at the real St James's Park. Exeter, however, are in talks with Swansea striker Lee Thorpe. Thorpe, 30, has scored nearly 100 goals in over 300 senior appearances for a string of clubs. Forest Green have also failed in an attempt to sign Exeter's Les Afful on loan".

    Stevenage Borough have taken on striker Eric Chukwunyelu Obinna, formerly at Reading.

    The Cambridge News reports that "Arthur Eastham has promised Cambridge City supporters no deal has been done that will see them become arch-rival Cambridge United's reserve side... At a heated fans' forum on Wednesday night, Eastham and fellow directors... faced up to a grilling about the fate of Cambridge's oldest club... Eastham said: 'This deal with Cambridge United is not signed, sealed and delivered'". The chairman "also announced that the ground had been sold and various sites for a new stadium... had been explored... He has been in contact with David Boyle, the deputy chief executive of Supporters Direct, and said: 'I went to the supporters trust and they said if we had some money we could put it in a charitable trust. If we had our money in a time capsule, and then get the stadium built, suddenly we could get our money back out and re-launch Cambridge City'".

    26 January 2006


    SAM reports that on Tuesday Alty's "rivals in the Conference relegation battle stole a march on them. Scarborough's 3-0 win at promotion-challenging Morecambe saw them leapfrog the Robins into 17th place and both Tamworth and Southport made up ground in the fight for survival. But... Graham Heathcote remains unconcerned about other teams' performances. Speaking exclusively to SAM he said: 'I can't worry about other people's results and if you are going to rely on other teams to get results for you, you are in a bad situation. Nothing has changed as far as we are concerned, we just have to concentrate on the same goals - winning our home games and getting what we can away from home. Forest Green might have beaten us but we are still ahead of them in the league, we are towards the top end of the group fighting for survival so we just have to make sure we do our job. The only target we have is that given game on that given day... We have just got to go out there each week with a single-minded determination to win the game, that is the only way we will survive. If you had watched the game against Forest Green you would have thought we had never played football in our lives before but against Stevenage we were very good'... Heathcote singled out the travelling Alty support for special praise after the defeat to Forest Green... He said: 'We gave them absolutely nothing to sing about on Saturday but they were fantastic, they kept going right until the final whistle and probably embarrassed the players because the performance on the field didn't match that. Now we have to pay them back against Aldershot. We have analysed the Forest Green game and we know what we did wrong, so we will be going out to win on Saturday'".


    The BBC says that "Manager Terry Brown has called on Aldershot to forget Tuesday's late collapse against Canvey Island. Two Canvey goals in the last four minutes saw the Shots held to a 2-2 draw after they had led comfortably. But Brown told BBC Southern Counties Radio: 'We've got to bounce back on Saturday, as we've got a more than winnable game at Altrincham. If we play in a similar fashion to which we played on Tuesday, I think we'll come away with three points'".

    The Shots website says that "Looking ahead to Saturday and the visit to Altrincham the boss [Terry Brown] discussed the injury situation at the club, 'We rested Darren Barnard on Tuesday evening. He had a bit of a calf pull and if he had pulled it against Canvey on a cold evening it could have set him back a month or so and I couldn't afford that. As it happened I thought that Lewis Hamilton had another very good game. He was an integral part in the first goal and is getting better with each game. Nikki Bull picked up a thigh strain during the Canvey game and was struggling as the game progressed. We have to hope that he will be back for Altrincham. I was pleased with Gary Elphick's debut too. Regarding the remainder of the current campaign the boss continued, 'We have no margin of error for the remaining 18 matches. We have an opportunity to bounce back against Altrincham. We wasted two points on Tuesday so need to respond with three points at the weekend'".


    Following Altrincham FC's statement yesterday about suspension of the representation of the supporters' trust STAR on the Club's Board, Dave Boyle, deputy chief executive of Supporters Direct told SAM: 'It is sad to see that STAR is being portrayed as anti-club when they are actually pro doing things the right way. We are strongly supportive of STAR because we insist that all the supporters do the right thing by their members and by the law and if they need to take legal advice before a big decision like this then that is what they must do. So obviously it's a huge disappointment because quite clearly what all supporters want is to have representation on their club's board."

    And STAR chairperson Brian Flynn writes on the Altyfans' Forum "I regret the action taken by the Board of Altrincham Football Club this morning in suspending the STAR Supporters' Representative. It would have been useful to have had some prior indication of this potential outcome in order that the STAR Board could have had the opportunity to attempt to prevent this breakdown in the relationship between the Altrincham Football Club Board & the Board of its Supporters Trust. It is my intention to try to resolve this issue over the next 48 hours,ideally to the satisfaction of both Boards".


    NL Daily reports that former Alty reserve Griff Jones has left Witton Albion for Lancaster City


    "Dagenham & Redbridge striker Tresor Kandol insists he has no problem with Darlington, after returning from his loan spell... 'I went up there and for some reason it didn't work out', he told BBC Essex. 'It was things outside football. I couldn't see myself living up there for more than a year or 18 months, and I always do what's best for my family'".

    "Scarborough boss Neil Redfearn is delighted with his side's progress after a stunning 3-0 win at Morecambe eased their relegation fears. He said: 'As away performances go, you can't get much better. We could have scored more but the thing that pleased me most was that we didn't concede. If anyone said we would get six points from the three away games we've just had I'd have snapped their hand off. It's a great fillip for the boys but we have got two tough home games now'" . The BBC adds that "Barnsley are set to allow midfielder Richard Kell to leave on loan to improve his match fitness.. 'It looks like he'll go to Scarborough. He needs the rough and tumble of first-team football', Tykes boss Andy Ritchie told the club website".

    Accrington Stanley "Chief Executive Rob Heys has spoken of the club's delight at being selected for two live televised games on Sky Sports in the space of three weeks. 'It's superb news for us, the live Sky games are a fantastic way of raising the profile of the club and are also a great reward for our sponsors'".

    25 January 2006


    The following statement has been issued by the Board of Altrincham FC, following a meeting of the Board this morning:

    25th January 2006

    STAR Representative Suspended.

    The Directors of Altrincham Football Club announce with regret that they have suspended the STAR representative’s attendance at future board meetings. Whilst loathe to take this step, the Board have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress regarding the joint Club/STAR share donation scheme. Although the majority of STAR Board members are in favour of the scheme, progression is being hampered by a minority.

    The current pledges to the scheme total in excess of £10,000 of much needed income for the club.

    Altrincham Football Club Board.

    Footnote: STAR is the Altrincham FC supporters' trust.


    Alty had no game tonight, having already played their game scheduled for today, against Accrington. Three of the teams below Alty gained points tonight, so Alty dropped a place in the table.
  • Aldershot T. 2 Canvey I. 2
  • Burton A. 1 Halifax T. 2
  • Dagenham & R. v Crawley T. POSTPONED
  • Forest Green R. 1 Tamworth 3
  • Gravesend & N. v Grays A. POSTPONED
  • Morecambe 0 Scarborough 3
  • Stevenage B. 1 Woking 1
  • York C. 0 Southport 0

    LDV Vans Trophy Northern Semi Final

  • Carlisle U. 1 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Macclesfield 2 Hereford U. 0


    Following their 12-0 win over ten-man Furness Rovers recently, Alty won the return fixture in Cumbria 8-0 on Sunday, the goals came from Hassan Zareh-Ourang who hit a hat-trick, (including two fine strikes from outside the box), two goals each from Ben Deegan and debutant Richard Crawford, and Astley Mulholland scored the other goal. Report to follow.


    Alty host Aldershot Town this Saturday. The Aldershot News and Mail claims that "Leroy Griffiths repaid the faith shown in him by new boss Terry Brown by opening his Aldershot Town account with a double strike against Halifax Town - thus winning the instant adulation of his new army of fans... Whisper it quietly, but this could be the turning point of the season... 'The victory was more important than the performance, which I wasn’t overly impressed with', Brown explained. 'It was one of those days where we needed a bit of luck and we certainly got and again you have to win scruffily and we took that to new heights today... everything bounced our way'... Brown added: 'Leroy’s got pace over the top and his finish is clinical. Tim (Sills) has had to shoulder most of the attack all year so it was pleasant for him to have a quiet day and let someone else grab the glory. [But] Leroy picked up a knock'... And on Monday afternoon [Brown] announced the arrival of 20-year-old Gary Elphick, who comes in on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion until the end of the season. The current centre half pairing of Greg Heald and John Brough struggled for pace against the Halifax attack — the latter in particular — and Elphick could be the perfect tonic for the boss".


    "Stevenage Borough have secured the signature of 23-year-old Adam Miller from Queens Park Rangers on an 18-month contract. The central midfield player was snapped up by QPR in November last season and featured in most of the 2004/05 season Championship games after starring for Aldershot Town" reports the Stevenage website.

    Weymouth have ruled out bringing Exeter City striker Jake Edwards to the Wessex Stadium. Terras' boss Garry Hill plans to turn elsewhere after the Conference National outfit put a £10,000 price-tag on the Anglo American's head. Edwards was expected to join the Conference South leaders having completed a successful three-month loan spell at Tamworth where he scored nine goals. But Hill today claimed Exeter manager Alex Inglethorpe's valuation of the 29-year-old was `unrealistic'... Edwards himself believes he has become a victim of his own success following his spell with Tamworth who he helped into the FA Cup Third Round. 'I am no longer in control of my own destiny - Alex Inglethorpe holds all the keys', he said. 'I'm still third or fourth choice striker, and that is terribly frustrating because all I want to do is play. By doing well at Tamworth I have probably made it harder for me to leave'".

    NL Daily reports that "Mark Cartwright, caretaker-manager of Leek Town, moved quickly to cover the loss of Richie Sutton by signing central defender Jamie Davies on loan from Morecambe. Davies, 18, came through the Shrimps’ Academy to break into the reserve side at Christie Park and has also represented the British Colleges' side. Meanwhile, Cartwright also swooped to net winger Lee Dodgson on a month’s loan also from Morecambe. Dodgson 21, also came through the academy and reserve sides at Christie Park and has played in the Conference side for the Shrimps"

    From The Argus we read that "Defender Neil Jenkins has turned down an offer from Fisher Athletic to fight for his place at Crawley Town... Hollins has been told he must release players before he can strengthen his relegation-threatened squad in the last few days of the transfer window. Jenkins said: "The gaffer has told every player that anyone can talk to anyone, so I spoke to Justin and their chairman. They put their cards on the table, which was a very good offer, but I decided that I'm happy here. A new manager has come in and I want to prove to him that I am good enough".

    Confguide says that "Chesterfield striker Tcham N'Toya has joined York City on a month-long loan deal. The French-born frontman, originally joined Chesterfield on a one-month loan deal from French club Troyes in March 2004 and after impressing manager Roy McFarland, was offered a two-year deal. N'Toya has made 53 appearances for the Spireites with 30 of those coming from the bench and has eight goals to his name... N'Toya is expected to join fellow new signing, defender Darren Craddock in the squad to host visitors Southport on Tuesday".

    The BBC states that "York boss Billy McEwan has swooped to bring defender David McGurk back on a second loan spell... McGurk, 23, will now spend the remainder of the season with City... The defender started 22 Conference games for York before returning to Darlington when his original loan stint concluded at the end of December".

    Also in Yorkshire, "Halifax Town have signed experienced defender Steve Yates on a contract until the end of the season, reports BBC Radio Leeds". Confguide adds that "Yates helped Huddersfield to promotion in 2004, before deciding to retire at the end of the 2004/05 season. However, he has returned to football and made one appearance for Scarborough earlier this month".

    "Rob Newman is hopeful he can hang on to Michael Morrison's services for Cambridge United beyond the transfer window" claims the Cambridge Evening News. "The United manager is keen to keep the 17-year-old defender for the Abbey cause as he feels he has been a revelation... Newman said: 'Michael Morrison is the one everyone is looking at, but we don't want to lose him because he has done a massive job in the team.... He has potential. That's one of the reasons why I let him and Adam Davies go up to Everton and I was in regular contact with their staff, including the manager, and they were very pleased with the progress that they made through the week'... Besides training with the Premiership outfit, Morrison also spent several days with Preston two months ago. But Newman said no offers had yet come in for the player".

    This is Exeter tells us that "Exeter City fans were last night presented with V10 - the club's vision for the future. Manager Alex Inglethorpe and business consultant Paul Morrish gave details of how the club plans to deliver League One football by 2010. The new plan has a simple but direct focus - income less costs equals profits for football. And a whole host of cost-cutting measures and initiatives for boosting income were announced. 'The club is making considerably more money than it has done in previous years but our costs haven't changed in a long time', said Morrish. 'I was told when I came into the club that revenue was the problem, but it isn't, it is costs. Budgeting has been done on a whim, and the club has had no direction. Now we have a plan and a clear vision of where we want to go'. The most radical of the changes will see the club's management structure completely overhauled in the coming months. The club are to disband the current board structure, creating several new positions... An executive committee with a chairman - from the club's board of society - [will be] overseeing affairs. Each member of the executive committee will head up a sub-board consisting of volunteers and club employees with expertise in their respective field... It was also revealed the club had budgeted for a loss of between £160,000 and £200,000 in the current season, and that measures prompted by Morrish's findings had been taken to lessen the losses. These included an immediate cutting of overheads by 15%. The club is planning a new share issue with a view to raising between £500,000 and £1,000,000 over the next five years. There are also plans to introduce grading for ticket prices, with a sliding scale based on the importance of the game".

    24 January 2006


    Whilst Warren Peyton was sent off on Saturday for allegedly elbowing Forest Green's Gadsby after the FGR man had held his shirt. he wasn't the only man raising his arm during the game as the adjacent picture shows. Here Peyton (blue shirt in background) watches as Alty's Robinson (no.19) dodges the elbow of a Forest Green player.

    The FA confirms that Warren Peyton is suspended immediately "from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 21/01/2006" and that Colin Potts will be banned from 28/01/2006 "from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for 5 cautions".

    This is Glos describes Alty's defeat at Forest Green - "a sensational performance few Forest Green fans would have dared to dream of earlier in the season saw Altrincham torn apart at The Lawn". The 5-0 win "matched the club's highest ever winning margin in a Conference game". The FGR official site also has a very similar report.


    Alty's next game is at home to Aldershot Town on Saturday. BBC "Aldershot have signed Brighton defender Gary Elphick (20) on loan for the rest of the season". Tonight (Tuesday), The Shots play Canvey Island for which game "Aldershot manager Terry Brown welcomes back duo Darren Barnard and skipper Steve Watson from suspension. Debut hero Leroy Griffiths limped out of the 3-1 win over Halifax after netting twice, but should be fit".


    Alty Reserves' Kieran Killackey made his debut for Bangor City at the weekend and played the full 90 minutes. The 20-year-old came to Alty after a spell with Accrington Stanley. Former Alty man Tim Ryan has been released by Doncaster Rovers.


    "Barnsley boss Andy Ritchie is running the rule over teenage Scarborough forward Michael Coulson. Ritchie has invited the 17-year-old, who has started six Conference games and scored three times this season, to train at Oakwell" says the BBC.

    The Burton Mail reports that "Albion striker Eric Graves has joined Gainsborough Trinity on a month's loan".

    Meanwhile, The Cambridge Evening News says that "Colchester youngster Jamie Guy is set to switch to the Abbey on loan on Wednesday and manager Rob Newman restated his hopes to add another hitman to the ranks before this weekend... And he warned Craig Westcarr that his place in the squad was on the line despite his hard work for the team. 'You feel for Craig because he has run his socks off and the only thing missing is a goal', said Newman. 'I'm continuing to look for a striker and by this weekend I'm pretty sure we'll have one and maybe two in place and Craig knows that. 'There have been strikers who have been here for a short time this season and have gone purely for the fact that they weren't scoring goals. That's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm not trying to chastise Craig, though, because I thought his work rate up there on his own was fantastic'".

    From The Argus comes the view that "The consensus this season has been that Crawley are in a false position and have too much quality to go down. Players and fans have scoffed at relegation and claimed that everything will be fine once they put a run together. Indeed, any team capable of overwhelming a side like Hereford at Edgar Street for the best part of an hour, like Reds did on Saturday, should be up with the Bulls pushing for a play-off place. Hereford boss Graham Turner said "You have to forget about the league position Crawley are in at the moment because they are a much better team than it suggests. They will cause some upsets at the top of the table and we are very thankful for the three points". But Crawley midfielder Danny Brown said: "We've got a war on our hands now and we all have to be man enough to get out of it... We have to be horrible to each other on the pitch and then come off and be best of mates. Last week I had a suspected cracked rib and now I've got a black eye. We have to put our bodies on the line and deal with the consequences afterwards... I'm fed up of hearing that we are too good to go down. No one is too good". The article adds, that the club's "undisputed improvement under manager John Hollins has not been reflected in the number of points they have collected. Six in seven league games is not a total that will worry their relegation rivals... Hollins said: 'It is a cruel game sometimes but we have to take a lot of credit from it... We didn't get any points but we are getting somewhere because it is not easy to come to a top side like Hereford and play as well as we did'".

    But from Confguide is confirmation that "Crawley Town midfielder Simon Wormull is reluctantly set to leave the club because of a row over pay...He told the Crawley Observer: "I am not the highest paid player by a long way but I would consider myself a senior player and have been helping the younger ones and have acted as a go-between with the management".

    Halifax Today reports that The Shaymen's "already depleted squad has been hit by Birmingham City's decision to recall goalkeeper Adam Legzdins from his loan spell... And that means veteran Lee Butler will take his place between the posts for tomorrow's Conference clash with Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium... It means he [manager Chris Wilder] has lost two central defenders – Denny Ingram to Scarborough and Peter Atherton to injury – winger Rory Prendergast and a keeper since the transfer window opened on January 1... 'I don't see anyone else losing two centre halves, their goalkeeper and other players', he said. 'The availability of loan players and players on free transfers is small'". He explained: "Birmingham decided that playing for two different teams [Halifax and Birmingham reserves] was too much for Adam. I don't think we will be able to get another keeper in at short notice so Lee will be in goal tomorrow and for the foreseeable future". Butler (39) has played against Alty for Alfreton in the past. The Halifax Evening Courier quotes Chris Wilder "I have made a couple of inquiries about the availability of players in the past few days. They will be loan deals, though. We won't be bringing in anyone on permanent deals... We have been without quite a large chunk of the squad we started with this season and a lot of them are senior players. But whichever players we bring in, they have to be the right ones".

    "Aggborough boss Mark Yates has reacted angrily to criticism from Rochdale manager Steve Parkin over his handling of their bid for Kidderminster's top-scorer Iyseden Christie" states This is KHFC. "Yates admitted Rochdale made an offer which was around the asking price the Harriers board have set for the 13-goal hitman. However, Yates declined to respond to Parkin's enquiry by the deadline he had set, much to the Rochdale manager's displeasure. Parkin said: "For one reason or another Kidderminster have not got back to us regarding Christie despite us agreeing a fee for the player. It's no fault of the player himself, but I'm bitterly disappointed his club haven't been back in touch". But Yates hit back at this, saying he will not stand for other people dictating to him what will happen with his players. 'He gave me a 7pm deadline at the end of last week to get back to him by if a deal could be done. I didn't get back to him and as far as I am concerned Iyseden.. is a Harriers player and I want to keep it that way'". Likewise for skipper Mark Jackson, Yates said, "He remains a Kidderminster Harriers player until anything else happens. Unless I get the right offer for him, he is not going anywhere... The squad is too big at the moment so I need to move a few players on to get it to a level that I want to work with".

    Exeter's "central defender Danny Seaborne has been farmed out to Taunton Town in a bid to give the 19-year-old first-team games... Alex Inglethorpe told This is Exeter, "He needs senior games now. He is 19 now and he is playing in a pre-dominantly under-18 environment, which is not going to convince me he is right for the first team. So he needs to sharpen up in a senior environment". Also striker Craig Watkins has gone on loan to Staines Town.

    "Cambridge City are on the brink of collapse. Fighting serious cash problems, the club are exploring a potential link-up with Conference National neighbours Cambridge United... City Chairman Arthur Eastham said: 'We could have forged a link-up with United by next season'" reports NL Daily..

    And Confguide also reports that "Burton boss Nigel Clough has not given up hope of landing Woking striker Justin Richards... With the Brewers' coffers swollen by FA Cup cash he has upped his offer for the man currently topping the Conference scorers' chart. Clough... told the Burton Mail; 'We think he's just about the best striker around at our level... That's why we've made three offers for him, all rejected, and have left the last one on the table for Woking to think about while the transfer window is open'. .. That offer is believed to be in the region of £25,000".

    The Lambs website says that "boss Mark Cooper has stayed true to his word after the defeat at Dagenham on Saturday by signing defender Peter Folkes until the end of the season... Cooper said 'We are not at the wrong of the table because we are unlucky we are there because we are not good enough and the players have had enough chances. I have already circulated the names of some of the squad and am hopeful of a couple of names coming in by Tuesday night". The website adds that "Folkes, formerly with Lincoln and Bradford, takes shirt number 3 and goes straight into the squad, [whilst]... Eddie Anaclet has returned to Southampton after the end of his loan period and Kyle Storer has left The Lamb for a month’s loan at Hinckley United".

    23 January 2006


    Match report here.

    The unofficial Forest Green site says that "Rovers produced a five-star performance to shock Altrincham... Altrincham started poorly and were rarely in the contest as they struggled to recover from two goals in the space of six minutes". Elsewhere, a correspondent on tha Forest Green forum writes: "Rovers were on top of their game against an uninspiring Alty. God bless their supporters who kept up the singing throughout the match". Pictures below...


    Congratulations to our old UniBond friends at Colwyn Bay who, like Altrincham FC, refused to take the easy way out of financial problems and go into administration. Instead, The Bay have, like Alty, have now negotiated a repayment schedule with the Inland Revenue for historic debts. This means there will continue to be only limited funds available for running the club as the debt is paid off. Meanwhile the club celebrated its 125th anniversary on Saturday with a birthday match against Chorley.


    Alty Reserve Kieran Kilacky has joined Bangor City. Reserves' manager Neil Brown answered Clayton Blackmore's appeal for players after the new manager of Bangor found himself short of players at the weekend. Also in Wales, Peter Wright got the winner from the spot for Chorley at Colwyn Bay yesterday. Jamie Baguley netted for Salford City.Both Steve Torpey and Adie Orr were on target for FC United as they beat Ashton Town 2-1 before a crowd of 3,549.


    Alty travel to Scarborough a week on Saturday (Feb. 4th). Scarborough Travel & Holiday lodge has written to Altrincham FC offering group accommodation to Altrincham supporters at discount rates both at the Lodge and its sister hotel, Clarence Gardens. The Lodge is holder of a "Best Guest Accommodation" under "The Discover Tourism" scheme. It is offering room-only accommodation for £20 per person based on 3/4 sharing. Anyone interested should contact the hotel via its website or on 01723 363537. The Lodge is at 33 Valley Road, Scarborough; a map of the area is here. (NB Altrincham FC has no connection with this establishment and cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from its use; equally, it has no reason to doubt the probity of the establishment).


    Confguide reports that "Exeter striker Les Afful's proposed loan move to Yeovil Town has collapsed... [Yeovil] chairman John Fry has said that they will now look elsewhere. The reason for the deal failing to go through has not been announced".

    Also ,"Gravesend & Northfleet have signed Fulham defender Robert Watkins on loan... He had a five-game loan spell at Crawley last season. Meanwhile, defender Ross Smith has extended his contract until the end of next season".

    Grays Athletic's "Joe Bruce has been released and has joined Maidenhead United".

    The UniBond league confirms that "Marine have signed former Stalybridge Celtic and Southport striker Lee Mulvaney from Skelmersdale United". Jonathon Smith of Morecambe has gone on loan to Fleetwood Town.

    The Daggers site reports that "Tresor Kandol has returned to the Club from Darlington FC. A binding contract had been signed between Dagenham & Redbridge FC and Darlington FC preventing either Club from pulling out of the transfer, however because of the Transfer Window the contract between the player and Darlington F.C. could not be signed and registered with the Football Association and Football League until the 6th January 2006. However Tresor Kandol has decided that a permanent move to Darlington FC was now not for him and instead wanted to return to Dagenham & Redbridge FC... Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club are currently in talks with Darlington Football Club regarding the situation and a further statement will be made in due course".

    22 January 2006


    Today's NL Paper quotes Graham Heathcote after the defeat at Forest Green, saying that "he was more angry about the referee's decision to banish him to the stands than the sending off of Peyton. He said, 'The referee told me I had come out of my technical area. If that's a sending off offence then I can think of a few managers who would get sent off every week. It was a ridiculous decision. I was just asking the linesman what he had seen. I didn't say anything offensive". Graham added that "In terms of passing the ball around, that was probably the worst game I've seen in 30 years. I'm not knocking Forest Green, who are a big side and knock a lot of balls up to Alsop. But it was a poor game. It's difficult to comment after losing 5-0 because people will say it's sour grapes, but we've had a few hefty defeats this season and we have always bounced back". Curiously, the NLP's match reporter gave the match four stars out of five.


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance data is here.


    As the Allied Trophies Premier Division, in which Altrincham Youth play, has lost two clubs through resignation this season, the League has acted to fill in vacant fixture dates by creating a new cup competition, the Premier Subsidiary Cup. The remaining ten clubs in the Division have been split into two groups of five. Each club will have two home and two away matches and the winners will meet in the final. Alty have a tough draw, having Morecambe A, Woodley Sports, Leigh RMI and Eagley in their group. This means that Alty now play both Eagley and Bootle three times before the end of the season. The updated fixtures are in the Youth section.

    Alty youth players Ben Deegan and Richard Gresty were playing for the Cheshire FA yesterday against Lincolnshire.


    The Lancashire League has updated its leaguetable but there are errors in it; six more victories have been recorded than defeats which cannot be right! Also some clubs are shown as having played fewer games than in the previously issued table. However, Alty do remain top of the league. The February fixtures have also been issued and are listed here. The games shown for March and April are provisional dates only. Eight of Alty's ten remaining fixtures are at home.


    Above: Alty defend an early corner at The Lawn.

    Match report here

  • Alty player statistics
  • Alty line-ups and bookings

    Above: Alty peer into the sun at Forest Green.

    21January 2006


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


    The Football Association has written to Altrincham FC as one of "33 top-ranked non-league clubs in the FA Cup's history based on total matches won". The FA wants the club to provide "the names of four players and one manager who have been the most memorable, most idolised and most successful FA Cup heroes in your club's history. We need to cover all positions on the field, so would like you to nominate one goalkeeper, one defender, one midfielder, one forward and, of course, a manager to lead them into battle". The FA say that the method of nomination is up to the club. So Alty director Grahame Rowley has asked that supporters e-mail their five nominations in each category to him, here. The deadline for the names to be submitted to the FA is Friday 27 January so please vote before then!


    Mark Maddox (right) has a new column on the SAM website. He writes, "It was good to get back in training this week. I don't really like having time off because there's always something we can work on and it's good to keep focused on the football. We did a bit of running on Tuesday because the pitch didn't look in great condition and then on Thursday night we played a two-touch game on the Astroturf, just working on our control and passing". At Forest Green , "If we stick to our gameplan and work hard for one another we should pick up at least a point there. The return of Steve Bushell to Halifax is a bit of a blow though. The news came as a shock to me and I was absolutely gutted... We have a talented squad here now and I'm sure whoever comes in will do a good job... We're in a good league position now though and it's beginning doing my head in all this relegation talk. If we can pick up 10 points or so pretty quickly then the talk will soon be about how high up the table we'll be able to finish and that's the way we need to look at it".


    In Friday's Manchester Evening News, Graham Heathcote said, "It's impossible to overstate the importance of the next five fixtures. If we perform well during this period, we'll be well on the way to achieving our target of being safe by the start of April. But, if we don't, it might well be touch and go for us right through till the end of the season". The five games are Forest Green (A), Aldershot (H), Scarborough (A), Cambridge (H), Crawley (A).


    The Forest Green website says that today's "is a huge match for both clubs, a real six-pointer... Alty are currently just two places above Rovers in the league table having four more points... Boss Gary Owers will be without Zema Abbey due to a hamstring strain, and also Mark Beesley who despite playing in a training match recently and scoring twice is still not match fit. New signing Michael Brough is also ruled out after turning an ankle during training this week... The loss of Ben Harding in midfield after his return to MK Dons has opened up an opportunity for either Matt Gadsby or Scott Rogers to impress if they the chance, that may be the only change in the side from the Dorchester match last week which Rovers won 3-1".

    But the BBC has contradictory news on player fitness, saying "Forest Green look set to welcome Mark Beesley back after a lengthy lay-off. He has only played once in 12 months and will take a place on the bench, while fellow striker Zema Abbey is also back after a hamstring strain".


    The Shots says that Terry Brown "has secured the services of former QPR striker Leroy Griffiths until the end of the season. London-born Griffiths, 29, made his name during his time at Queens Park Rangers... However he is a frequent goal scorer at this level and netted 23 goals last season in the Grays Athletic Conference South championship side. This season Leroy has been performing at Ryman League front runners Fisher Athletic and he has joined the Shots on a long term loan deal from the south London side... The boss also confirmed that two goal striker from last weekend's Hampshire Senior Cup Quarter Final encounter at Basingstoke Town, Kirk Hudson, has signed on non contract forms".

    Bullsnews reports that "Kidderminster have signed Watford striker Francino Francis on work experience terms. The move is likely to mean Iyseden Christie will be allowed to leave... Manager Mark Yates acknowledged a bid from Rochdale, but refused to allow Christie to leave until a replacement is found: 'There is a deal on the table for Iyseden from Rochdale but we haven't given them permission to speak to him yet. If we can get an adequate replacement we are happy with and Rochdale match what we want we might take it further'". Francis, 19, made his full Watford debut in a League Cup match at Wigan... but is yet to open his goalscoring account. He is described as a 'powerhouse' forward with a good eye for goal".

    Southport confirm that "Liam Blakeman has today signed a two and half year contract for Southport. The 23 year old attacking midfield player left Burscough to join Southport after impressing Liam Watson with a succession of impressive performances". Burscough confirm that he has moved "for an undisclosed fee; part of the deal also includes a sell-on clause". Burscough FC Chairman Chris Lloyd said 'Following some very amicable discussions with Southport and Liam during the past week the Board have reluctantly agreed to accept Southport's offer'".

    Neil Marsdin, Morecambe Secretary, said that the last 24 hours had been the most hectic period during his 12 years since assuming that position. 'I got a call from Sammy to say that we were letting three players go out on loan and signing one ourselves. It takes a lot of paperwork and faxes to various bodies, Football Association, Football Conference, The Unibond League and the respective clubs, and all to a deadline of this lunchtime'... Coming into the club on a short term contract is experienced striker Stuart Barlow... who has been at Bury FC this season... Going out from Christie Park are younger players, Lee Dodgson, Jamie Davies and Jonathon Smith. Dodgson and Davies are joining Unibond club Leek Town, whilst Smith is joining progressive division one Unibond outfit Fleetwood Town. All three players are on initial 1 month loan spells... Sammy McIlroy commented, 'The three young boys who have gone out on loan, will have a job to do at the clubs they are joining, it will be a sharp learning curve for them. The Unibond is totally different from the Conference and Lancashire League. They will come back to us much wiser and more experienced for the period with other clubs, although they will continue to train full time with us'” .

    On Confguide, there is a report that "Grays Athletic have signed 34 year old, 6'3" ex Southend defender Andy Edwards on loan until the end of the season with a view of a full contract next season. Andy has previously been with Birmingham, Peterborough and Rushden & Diamonds before returning to Southend in 2004, Andy played his 500th league appearance last year".

    "York City have completed the signing of Hartlepool United defender Darren Craddock on a month's loan... Formerly of Whitby Town, Craddock is described as primarily a right back... and should offer the club increased cover following the recent departures of David McGurk, Lee Andrews and Evan Horwood. Craddock has made thirty-three senior appearances for ‘Pool, including seven this season... Meanwhile, York manager Billy McEwan remains hopeful of including up to three newcomers for the crucial clash with former leaders Grays on Saturday. One of these could be Kidderminster Harriers' ex-Scunthorpe United centre half Mark Jackson", claims the York website.

    BBC Sport reports that "Defender Nathan Bunce has left Canvey Island after his contract was terminated by mutual consent", whilst "Yeovil Town have signed Exeter City striker Les Afful on loan until the end of the season. Afful, 21, was a trainee with the Grecians, and has also been a member of the England National Game XI squad".


    "Dean Thomas, manager of Hinckley United, has moved quickly to solve a possible goalkeeping crisis by signing Craig Dootson on loan from Bury... Dootson has played non-League football for Leigh RMI and Stalybridge Celtic".
    20 January 2006


  • Gravesend & N. 2 Canvey Island 0


    Graham Heathcote was interviewed on GMR tonight. As well as talking about the club's financial situation and the possible sale of the car park at Moss Lane, he indicated that he had watched tomorrow's opponents, Forest Green, last week. He suggested that forwards Madjo and the 6ft 3inch Alsop were players to watch but felt "there was no reason why we couldn't get a positive result" at The Lawn. Graham confirmed that he had given the players ten days off as we had no match last week, with one aim of this break being to allow those with "niggles" to regain full fitness. However, he confirmed that Karl Munroe, who has already been missing for a few weeks has now had a stress fracture of a toe diagnosed and will be out for a while longer. Gary Talbot is also still sidelined, having already missed the last six weeks of action. However, he is hopeful that Chris Adams is fit and everyone else is OK. Graham also indicated that he had lost out to Tamworth this week in signing an ex-league striker. He believed The Lambs' FA Cup prize money was now allowing them to outbid clubs such as Altrincham.


    In today's NL Paper, Graham Heathcote says of the game against Forest Green Rovers tomorrow, "We're both in the bottom third of the table and desperate to get points to secure safety. There'll be reasonable confidence in both camps; they're unbeaten in six games and we drew with Stevenage last time. Winning an away fixture in the Conference is extremely difficult. It's a case of picking up the home points and seeing what you can get away from home". FGR boss Gary Owers added, "The Altrincham game's a classic six-pointer, we just cannot afford to lose. If we win, we'll be one point behind them with a game in hand - we'll suck them right back into it at the bottom". Owers goes on to praise Julian Alsop, who recently came to FGR from Tamworth; "He's a big presence on the field. I am sure defenders don't like playing against him". As for Jonnie Hayes, loaned recently from Reading, Owers indicates that he has high hopes for the 18 year-old left-winger.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger recalls that "When Altrincham beat Birmingham City on January 14, 1986 they became only the second team in Cup history to defeat a top-flight side on their own ground. It is a feat that no team has emulated since and... a feat unlikely to be repeated again... John Davison was a member of that illustrious Alty side of the late 1970s and early 1980s, playing in cup ties against the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, and by the time he lined up against Birmingham he was more than ready for the challenge. He says, 'There was an aura around Alty at the time that we were a good cup side who could give league sides a run for their money. Because we had got to the third round so many times it became almost a normality... It might have come as a shock to the football world but not to the lads. I think it is only some time later that you realise the magnitude of what you have achieved'". And goalscorer Ronnie Ellis added, "Going into the game having already beaten Blackpool at Bloomfield Road we all fancied our chances. I don't remember that much of the game but I do remember that Julian Dicks, who was playing left back that day, flew into a tackle on me almost straight away". Meanwhile manager John King said, "After we had scored our second the only thing on my mind was to make sure that we didn't concede another... After the game [Birmingham boss] Ron Saunders stopped the TV cameras from coming into our dressing room because he wasn't best pleased so I think the one thing about our achievement that day was that it got overlooked by the press really". Saunders was sacked the day after the game. But "King will join 11 of the 12 players involved against Birmingham for a 20th anniversary celebration of the feat on January 28 at the Ashley Hotel in Hale, organised by Alty supporters' trust STAR.


    Welsh-Premier says that "Striker Alex Hay has left Bangor City to join Leigh RMI. Hay,who has scored seven league goals from fifteen appearances this season... has previous experience at Tranmere Rovers and Rushden & Diamonds, where he made 45 League appearances, and also spent time on loan with Altrincham". Alex (24). whom Alty signed on loan from Tranmere in October 2000 scored seven league goals and one cup goal in 18 appearances before returning to Prenton Park over the Christmas break in 2000.

    Though not an ex-Alty player, former Man. Utd. star Clayton Blackmore has been a friend of Altrincham FC - taking part for example in last season's Alty Staff v Supporters' game. Now he is the new Bangor City manager. He told Welsh Premier "This is my first senior job... As long as I'm fit, I'll be out there on the pitch leading from the front... Our main priority is to finish in the top eight to qualify for next season's FAW Premier Cup".


    The BBC says that "Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has set his sights on a potentially memorable league and cup double. Stanley lead the Conference by six points and have reached the last-16 of the FA Trophy. 'We are desperate to win this cup. It has got a great tradition', Coleman said".

    Grays Athletic midfielder Michael Kightly is The Nationwide Conference player of the month for December.

    "Gravesend and Northfleet have signed former Cambridge United midfielder Ashley Fuller. The 19-year-old left-sided player was offered a deal by Fleet boss Liam Daish after impressing during a trial spell... Fuller made a handful of first-team appearances for Cambridge before being released earlier this season". The BBC also reports "the extension of Bradley Johnson's loan spell from Northampton".

    The England National Game XI (U-23 squad) includes ex-Alty captain, Ian Craney of Accrington and his team-mate Gary Roberts. Three Burton Albion players (Austin, Harrad and Shaw) are included - the next match is on their ground. Amongst the others selected are two players (Carr and Charnock ) from assistant manager Steve Burr's Northwich Victoria in Conference North. Yeading of Conference South also have a player chosen, whilst our part-time companions in the National division, Southport and Tamworth have representatives too, in Baker and Bampton respectively.

    "Striker Jake Edwards has been told he has a crucial role to play in Exeter City's promotion assault after returning from his loan spell at Tamworth. The 29-year-old scored seven goals in twelve games for the Midlands club during his three months at The Lamb". Grecians' manager Alex Inglethorpe said, "Tamworth have had a great run of things since he has been there and now it is up to Jake to try and come back and be part of Exeter... I am not surprised he did well because he is a good forward... So Jake comes back and until such time that either a club puts an offer in and tempts Jake away, or Jake tells me he wants to go, he is very much part of the first team and he comes back into our thinking", reports This is Exeter.

    Confguide states that "Huddersfield boss Peter Jackson has confirmed that on-loan midfielder Lee Fowler will sign a permanent deal with Scarborough some time next week. The 22-year-old midfielder arrived at Scarborough on loan in November... 'He is still on loan for another week and we will look to get something sorted out around then', said Jackson".

    "Colchester youngsters Jamie Guy and Robbie King are poised for loan moves to Cambridge United. Striker Guy and midfielder King recently had stints on loan at Conference South side Staines and manager Phil Parkinson is eager for the highly-rated duo to test themselves at a higher level".

    "Chris Ingram, Chairman of Woking Football Club (Holdings) Ltd, has spoken about the complexities involved in trying to secure agreement to the redevelopment of Kingfield Stadium" reports the Woking official site. "In a note released today, giving an account of a discussion at the AGM of the company held on 14 December... he "confirmed that he would be putting £100k less into the Club next year as part of his strategy to progressively ensure that the Club lives within its means". He also stated that "redeveloping parts of the ground to produce other sources of income was the only way forward for the Club. Unless this could be achieved the Club would have to massively slash its costs... [but] he intended to continue to provide financial support to the Club for the next two years until a conclusion was reached" to the redevelopment plans.

    Gravesend & Northfleet say that "The club is pleased to announce that a new deal has been agreed that will keep Charlie Macdonald at ‘The Fleet’ for a further season. The Fleet’ today missed out on signing Andy Hessenthaler after the player decided to join Barnet FC".


    NL Daily reports that "Witton Albion are to announce losses last season of nearly £1,000 a week. The figure is startling because the 2004/05 campaign was their last with Northwich Victoria still their tenants paying rent every match day. But chairman Mike Worthington will assure shareholders at the annual meeting on Thursday that the situation is now stabilised... Albion have made drastic cuts since the summer under new manager Jim Vince, which ironically has corresponded with a better set of results. Worthington said: 'It's a damn good job Vics were there. With groundsharing coming to an end we invested in a full-time steward, part-time commercial manager and the team, to drive the business forward. All three sections failed to meet their targets... This season is better. We took drastic action, curbed our overheads. Now we are breaking even... Gates have dropped every year for the last three years. We are in the entertainment business and have not entertained'... [But] Vince's more attractive team are slowly winning back fans... On January 25th would-be developers of 35-acres of land at Wincham for housing, which include Albion's six acres, are making a presentation to the club. Witton are the only landowners involved who have not yet signed an option and taken a deposit... [Also] their sportsman's dinner with guest speaker boxer Ricky Hatton at Winsford Civic Hall in March will be Mid-Cheshire's biggest ever. They have sold all 375 seats at £40 a time" states IC Cheshire.
    19 January 2006


    SAM quotes Alty boss Graham Heathcote, "I don't worry about what other people are doing, we have got a good squad of players now and the one thing that none of our rivals can buy that we've got here is spirit. It's one of the main reasons we have come from behind in so many games this season and it shows we have lads that have character and the desire to achieve what we want to achieve. We've spoken with plenty of players - I spoke with David McNiven but he went to Scarborough. We are in a situation where we are always going to get outbid... But it's amazing how people unite in a time of crisis. Everyone at the club has a common aim, firstly that the club survives financially and secondly that the players get enough points to stay in this division". Speaking of FC United of Manchester's decision to play a game at Moss Lane, Graham said, "We have to look at things like this to bring in money... and the fans can be reassured that nobody is proposing a permanent groundshare with FC United of Manchester".


    NL Daily says that "Grays Athletic have signed Northampton Town defender Brett Johnson on loan for the rest of the season. The 20-year-old joined the League Two promotion-hopefuls from Aldershot Town in the summer, and recently had a loan spell at Grays’ rivals Gravesend & Northfleet. Meanwhile, leaving Grays is Ade Olayinka, who has been released on a month’s loan to Hampton & Richmond Borough".

    "Mark Yates, manager of Kidderminster Harriers, has completed a deal to bring in former Walsall defender Jonny Harkness on a one-month contract... The 20-year-old earned rave reviews during his time with Walsall, bursting onto the scene and making his first-team debut at the tender age of just 16. He spent loan spells at Cambridge United and Halesowen Town earlier this season" reports the Harriers' website. The site also "can confirm reports that Wayne Hatswell is expected to leave the club tomorrow to move to Rushden & Diamonds for an undisclosed fee".

    Bullsnews adds that "Harriers will receive an undisclosed sum for his services but, more importantly, also remove one of the higher earners from the wage bill. Iyseden Christie is likely to be the next departure from Harriers. Lincoln manager Keith Alexander named Christie as one of the targets he had made offers for but failed to get, and several other league sides are believed to be ready to help Harriers lighten their wage bill".

    The BBC says that "Crawley midfielder Joe Keehan has made his loan move to Eastbourne permanent, having initially joined them for a month-long spell before Christmas". The BBC also confirms that "Rory Prendergast is returning to Blackpool after rejecting a permanent move to Halifax Town... Halifax manager Chris Wilder told his club's website: 'We offered Rory a deal. However, he made it clear he didn't want to stay'... Pool boss Simon Grayson added: 'He wants to try and make a living in League football. Whether he plays his way into our plans remains to be seen'".

    The BBC also confirms that Northampton Town defender "Bradley Johnson, 18 - who has also been on loan at Gravesend for two months - has extended his loan spell... [for] a third month".

    Lincoln manager Keith Alexander. is quoted by the Lincolnshire Echo: "I wanted to bring Anthony [Elding] in and so did a few other teams in League Two, but Stevenage didn't want to sell him to a team in the Conference or the Football League. Whether it was to do with the player's problems there, I don't know. But it ended our move straight away".

    Bullsnews also states that "Kettering are sizing up a cash bid for Dagenham striker Chris Moore after fellow managers Kevin Wilson and John Still had a discussion about the player."

    The Woking News and Mail claims that "Mark Rawle is unlikely to wear a Woking shirt again but even in his absence in Cheshire, he had a bearing on The Cards' finally overcoming Northwich at the fourth attempt as they set up a last 16 date with Welling United... to the delight of the 30 travelling fans. But it was something former Boston and Kidderminster striker Rawle said that got Glenn Cockerill so angry, he read the riot act to his players in a clear the air meeting on Monday designed to spark a reaction ahead of this clash... This was a typically resilient, no frills Woking display, prompted by employing a five-man midfield to strangle Vics’ attacks in their infancy. Rawle’s misdemeanour was telling a radio reporter on Saturday that he didn’t know why he had been left out because he was fit, after apparently telling Cockerill he was injured and could not take part in the first clash between these sides... Cockerill confirmed: 'Something was said to a radio reporter, by one of my players about his fitness, which was untrue. And I don’t like that sort of thing. I honestly don’t know why he said it. He told me there was a mix up with the question but I’m not sure about that. So I let the players know the true story and got into them and it seems to have sorted itself out. I had a go at all of them... As a manager I felt I needed to do it, to clear the air and it seems to have done the trick'". Cockerill added “The club want me here, I’ve agreed to sign a new contract and I asked the players ‘who wants to be here with me?’".

    Crawley Today says that "Crawley Town are being taken to an employment tribunal by three former employees.Former manager Francis Vines, his assistant Dave Swindlehurst and administration manager Ian Holman have all lodged claims against the club, following their dismissals this season. Vines - considered by fans to be the most successful manager in their history - was sacked in October, only three months into a new three-year contract".

    Confguide reports that "Cambridge City are resisting interest from Exeter City in their star midfielder Mark Molesley... City manager Gary Roberts said: 'They have expressed an interest in Mark, although obviously we are very keen to hang on to him. I've spoken to Mark and he is flattered by the interest but there's nothing more to it at the moment'".

    18 January 2006


    Wednesday, 18th

    FA Cup 3, replay

  • Manchester U. 5 Burton A. 0


    The match between Altrincham Reserves and Bamber Bridge Res. tonight at Moss Lane has been postponed due to the bad weather.


    Graham Heathcote advises the website that as part of a scheme called Supporters of Tomorrow, "On Saturday 25th March (Alty v. Burton Albion), there will be a girls' football skills demonstration at half time, by Blessed Thomas Holford's pupils. The club will also be presenting them with a football kit. This whole event is sponsored by Nationwide. The reason that BTH is the school we have chosen is to strengthen our links as eventually our partnership with them will prove beneficial with the use of some of their new facilities for our players. It is hoped that this event will be covered by a television company called Go Global, which is a tv network for Trafford Borough Council, whose football development officer, Andy Hilton, is an integral part of this three way partnership".


    Graham Heathcote also informs the website that after former Alty hero Ronnie Ellis was interviewed today on Radio 5 live, it is the turn of Jeff Wealands tomorrow. The interviews are in connection with the 20th anniversary of Altrincham's away win at Birmingham City in the FA Cup, an event being celebrated by .STAR, the Alty supporters' trust on 28 January. In addition, Graham has recorded a 15 minute interview with GMR's Jimmy Wagg about FA Cup giant killing which will be going on air in his show tomorrow, either before or during the Manchester United game against Burton Albion.


    Andrew Shaw (right) is one of Altrincham FC's three-man board and Tuesday's Manchester Evening News has a feature on him by David Thame...

    Andrew Shaw (right), one of Manchester's best-known property dealmakers, has quit city surveyors CB Richard Ellis. Mr Shaw joined CBRE in March 2004 after a series of defections left the firm looking for a senior surveyor to rebuild the agency teams. He became director and head of the firm's Manchester agency departments. Now the 50-year-old says he's leaving and will be following his own property projects. 'He's just lost interest in working for the big corporate surveyors. It's just not right for him any more', said one close friend.This is the second time Mr Shaw has attempted to withdraw from frontline business. In 2003 he left Jones Lang LaSalle after 22 years with the firm. He said: 'The move to CBRE was always intended to be short-term. It's been amicable, and I will be doing consultancy work. But I'm 50 now and that seemed a good moment to go'"


    According to the Manchester Evening News the 10,500 supporters of Burton Albion who have bought tickets for tonight's match against Manchester United will create a new record for the number of visiting supporters at Old Trafford in its current all-seater configuration. Normally away fans are assigned a smaller allocation.

    The BBC confirms that "Bury have completed the signing of former Burnley and York City defender Chris Brass. Brass, 30, has agreed a deal until the end of the season after securing his release from York - where he was previously player-manager".

    The BBC adds that "Leyton Orient winger Wayne Carlisle has joined Exeter City. The 26-year-old has agreed a deal which will keep him at St James's Park until the end of the season".

    "Morecambe have signed Bury's ex-Everton and Wigan striker Stuart Barlow... on a free transfer... The 37-year-old started just three games for Bury after signing last summer from Stockport, where he played under Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy. Morecambe have also completed the signing of 23-year-old Bury defender John Hardiker, also on a free transfer".

    The Aldershot News and Mail says that "Nick Crittenden and Tim Sills have been attracting interest from other clubs in the transfer window, but boss Terry Brown is keen to keep hold of the pair". Brown said, “We have had a couple of enquiries about Nick, but he is not a player that we want to move on. He is an integral part of not just the squad but the side because he plays every week. I’m not under pressure to get any of my players out except the ones I want to move on and we have established who they are". Indeed "one such player has moved on, left winger Ahmed Deen has joined Fisher Athletic... Brown is also hoping that Tarkan Mustafa will soon be joining another club, while Tobi Jinadu has returned to training ahead of a possible move away". Brown added, “We are trying to get Brett Johnson back to the club". Meanwhile, "Tim Sills has admitted he is flattered and tempted by the interest of Leyton Orient, but remains committed to the Aldershot cause in the meantime... The Shots are believed to be holding out for at least £50,000... Indeed, Shots boss Terry Brown admits they are expecting an offer this week for the striker, in the region of their asking price" But the manager said, "I can’t let him go until we’ve got players in".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Rob Newman is battling to bring two players on loan from Everton2. They are, "Two un-named youngsters - a left-back and a right-sided player". However, Newman added, "Since I spoke to David Moyes (Everton manager), [a League] club has come in and they're playing in trial games for them this week... It's disappointing because I felt we had two in the bag, but it's still not dead in the water". Also, "Newman was frustrated in his attempt to sign a striker, believed to be Anthony Elding, who was sold by Stevenage to Kettering on Monday for £40,000. But he remains optimistic of signing at least one new player before the weekend... Meanwhile, Ritchie Hanlon had a knee operation on Monday and will rest for 10 days before returning to light training". The BBC adds that "Cambridge United boss Rob Newman is considering a loan replacement for crocked midfielder Ritchie Hanlon. Hanlon, 27, is expected to be out of action for at least a month after undergoing knee surgery on Monday. Newman told the club's website: "We have cover in midfield but we miss Ritchie's stature in there. The others are technically as good but they're quite lightweight".

    From This is Thurrock we leran that "Grays defender, Stevland Angus, looks certain to leave the club after manager, Mark Stimson, questioned his commitment to the Blues' cause. Angus, 23, was due to partner new-signing, Christian Hanson, in the heart of Grays' defence for Saturday's game against Kidderminster but pulled out at the last minute claiming he had injured his groin... 'He has thrown up a mystery groin injury and declared himself unfit. I don't know where he's got it from, I'd love to know and I have to question whether he wants to play for Grays Athletic'", said the manager. However, "Grays hope to make at least two more signings before next week's league game at York and to do so will need to release one or two players to balance the books. Joe Bruce is one man tipped to leave and now it seems that Angus, who only joined the club in August, will also be shown the door. Stimson said: "We've got some players who have shown they are not good enough. One of those has an injury, which I don't know where it came from. Those players will be shown the door... [But] there were two players who were involved in league football on Saturday and hopefully they will be joining us by Wednesday".

    Halifax Today "Peter Atherton should discover today the extent of the hamstring injury he suffered in Saturday's FA Trophy defeat... The veteran centre back pulled up sharply with little more than 15 minutes remaining ... Atherton spent two-and-a-half months on the sidelines earlier in the season after suffering a similar injury... 'It is the same leg but we have to wait 48 hours before discovering the extent of the injury... Hamstrings are difficult, you can never quite tell until you test them', said Atherton".

    "Congolese international Andy N'Diwa will be given the chance to impress tomorrow when Scarborough Reserves face Hartlepool... The teenager has arrived at Boro after having a trial at Celtic, a £100,000 move to Premiership Bolton, a loan switch to Oldham and a trial with Shrewsbury", states Scarborough Today... The Boro chief said: "He can play at either centre-back or in the centre of midfield, so we'll have a look at him in both positions... Redfearn is giving a number of other first teamers a run-out against Hartlepool, including himself".

    this is York reports that York City manager Billy McEwan "says he is disillusioned by the poor crowd against Stevenage and is asking supporters to speak up as to why they stayed at home. The 2,325 gate for the top-eight clash - the third lowest all season - was several hundred down on the average". McEwan added, "When I took over we were sixth bottom and got 2,100 fans. We only got 200 more for the Stevenage game and we were top eight... If they are not going to turn up when we are top eight, when are they going to turn up?" The article adds that "Shortly after taking over at the helm in April 2005, he vowed to consistently add 4,000 on to the gate. He said at the time: "I know we have 2,000 loyal fans but I want to get 6,000 and I will do, don't worry about that. That's one of my goals - to fill this ground. I did it at Rotherham and I will do it here". Now he says, "I'm astounded. I just don't know what the reason is. Is it because the gate money's too expensive or what is it? We need to know - we have got to find out. We need the fans to tell us please why... I'm getting disillusioned. It makes me wonder if it is worthwhile all the effort. It's very frustrating and to be honest I'm getting totally disillusioned with the York public".

    "Former caretaker-manager Simon Wormull is on the brink of leaving Crawley Town. The influential midfielder has been given permission to speak to other clubs after the club’s owners, the SA GROUP, withdrew an offer of a new two-year contract... He said: 'Before John Hollins arrived a contract was offered to me and I was happy with it. It was not as if I was hounding the SA Group for a new contract. They said they had looked at mine and would like to offer me a new one. We talked and I thought we had agreed it and then I heard nothing for a long time. That is when I started to get worried. Now we have come to the January window and I have to ask what is going on? My current contract is until the end of the season... I just want it sorted out. If it is there then great, but if it isn't then I have to look elsewhere... When John took over I was happy because it took a lot of stuff off my shoulders and in the time he has been here it has become a lot more professional. He is the best thing that has happened to the club this season... John understands where I'm coming from. He has not put me on the transfer list, he has just allowed me to speak to other clubs. I don't want to leave but, if I have to, I will'" reports The Argus.

    Stevenage Borough boss "Graham Westley has admitted that he is struggling to sign the players that he wants as the transfer window comes towards its close. 'Financially, we just can't afford the players' demands' said Westley after Exeter beat Boro to the signature of midfielder Matthew Gill. 'I couldn't afford to compete with the first Exeter offer let alone the final deal'. Westley admitted that he was unlikely to see any of the Anthony Elding transfer fee ... 'I have only paid one notable fee for Dino Maamria since I have been here. Everything else has been done on a free transfer. I am working with less money in my budget than last year.... The club has expended on the new academy so these gate revenues and funds like the Elding fee are already committed. The Chairman is clear about that... But if not, and I cannot guarantee it, we still have an ace squad. We will just need key players to stay fit and youngsters to really kick on".

    The NW Evening Mail reports that "Phil Wilson will come face-to-face with his Holker Street predecessor tonight as Lee Turnbull returns to Holker Street with Southport. The Conference side come to Holker Street in the United Co-operative Challenge Trophy quarter-finals with Turnbull newly-installed as assistant to Liam Watson at Haig Avenue".

    Halifax Town have confirmed that loanee "Rory Prendergast is returning to League One side Blackpool".

    The Forest Green Rovers preview of Saturday's game against Altrincham says, "Rovers will be seeking to extend their current 7 match unbeaten run, whilst the visitors will be looking to complete the double having won at Moss Lane by 2 goals to 1 back in August. Children entering to watch the game on the terraces can obtain entry for just £1 under the Quid a Kid scheme which has proved popular this season".


    Tuesday, 17th

    FA Cup 3, replay

  • Tamworth 1 Stoke C. 1 aet, Stoke won 5-4 on pens
  • Middlesbrough 5 Nuneaton B. 2

    FA Trophy 2, replays

  • Accrington S. 2 Carshalton A. 0
  • Northwich V. 1 Woking 2 (aet)


    After replays the FA Trophy Round 3 draw is as follows. Ties will be played on Saturday, February 4th.
  • Hereford U. v Grays A.
  • Stafford R. v Forest Green R.
  • Crawley T. v Boreham Wood
  • Woking v Welling United
  • Tamworth v Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Exeter C. v Cambridge C.
  • Accrington S. v Worksop T.
  • Salisbury C. v Stalybridge C.
    17 January 2006


    FC United of Manchester announce that "We cannot play our home game versus Holker Old Boys at Gigg Lane on [Saturday], February 25th, as Bury are hosting a Beer Festival that pre-dates the signing of our lease agreement. We will therefore play our fixture at Altrincham FC (Moss Lane) on the same date". Altrincham FC are away at Dagenham on that date.


    Alty Reserves are at home again next Wednesday at Moss Lane (7.45pm) versus Bamber Bridge Reserves. As there is no Alty first team match for a couple of weeks, why not come along and support the Reserves? Entry is just £2 or free if you have an Alty season ticket.


    Rod Thornley's brother Ben Thornley has left Bacup Borough and joined Salford City.


    This Is Glos reports that "Ben Harding has not ruled out a return to Nailsworth after marking his farewell Forest Green appearance of this season with a goal in Friday night's 3-1 FA Trophy win over Dorchester Town. The 21-year-old midfielder has returned to Milton Keynes Dons after two months on loan... He said: 'The gaffer here [Gary Owers] has brought in some very good players and the lads are playing with more and more confidence every week. I think they'll stay up and they won't be distracted by the Trophy'... However, Owers was unhappy his players had allowed Dorchester back into Friday's game after goals from debutant Jonnie Hayes and Harding had put Rovers into a commanding 2-0 lead... 'Maybe I'm being a bit fussy after six games unbeaten', Owers said. 'Our two centre-backs didn't deal with their front two as well as they have with one or two Conference sides we've played recently'". Hayes (18) played just after joining FGR on loan from Reading, "Short and stocky, the pacy youngster proved a handful for the Magpies on the left and right flanks. Owers said: 'He's got a little bit of an eye for goal, he's brave and he never stops running'".


    "Stevenage Borough have confirmed that they have accepted a £40,000 package offer from Kettering Town for the transfer of Anthony Elding and that the player has signed for them today. The fee is partly performance based... In addition to the fee, Stevenage Borough have secured a significant proportion of any future transfer fees [for Elding]". Only a couple of days ago, Elding was quoted as saying that he would not be joining the Poppies as he wanted to move up to a higher level.

    "Kevin Glendon, manager of Radcliffe Borough... [has signed] former Burnley winger Matty O’Neill from Accrington Stanley" says the club's website.

    "Crawley Town’s forward Jamie Cade has joined Lewes on a month’s loan. Cade, signed on a two-year contract in the summer after being released by League One Colchester, has scored four goals in seventeen starts and five substitute appearances for the Red Devils this season" says NL Daily.

    Halifax Today reports that "Chris Wilder was delighted to welcome back Steve Bushell to his side for Saturday's FA Trophy clash with Hereford... Bushell, a half-time substitute, appeared in a Town shirt for the first time since breaking a leg last April. 'I thought Steve was superb', said Wilder. 'He won tackles and played forward'. Bushell was recalled from his loan at Altrincham last week. Wilder criticised his team though, saying, "They cannot put together a run of performances. It is one and two in which they do well followed by a poor one and that is holding us back".

    This is KHFC states that "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has settled into the Harriers hotseat by issuing a stern warning to managers trying to poach his best players. Much of the new manager's first week in the job has been spent trying to fend off suitors for Mark Jackson, Iyseden Christie and Wayne Hatswell. York and Shrewsbury are still tracking Jackson, while Bristol Rovers are continuing to be linked with Christie and Hatswell is rumoured to be attracting interest from Rushden and Diamonds. But Yates insisted: "No one is going to bully me into making decisions just because they think I'm new". However, "one player who Harriers look set to be without from now on is Martin O'Connor. The veteran midfielder is believed to be negotiating a settlement on his contract, which has five months left to run. O'Connor, who... recently filled in as caretaker boss, is thought to be disappointed at not having a coaching role under the new regime.... Meanwhile, Shrewsbury striker Duane Darby has admitted that a move to Kidderminster would appeal to him after being released... 'I live in Bromsgrove so it's just down the road and would suit me down to the ground , but I've not heard from them'".

    Goalkeeper Saul Deeney has signed a new contract for Burton for rest of the season and will play against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

    16 January 2006


    Sunday's NL Paper quotes manager Graham Heathcote on the possible sale of the car park adjacent to the Moss Lane ground. He says, "The future very much depends on selling some of our land at the side of the ground, which is currently a car park. If that happens as quickly as we would like it to, then we can progress. But we have been waiting three years for planning permission from the local authorities... If we cannot do it, then we will have bigger questions to ask about how far we can take the club... Our current three-man board... all have timescales, which can be extended if they feel they are getting co-operation form the authorities".


    Lance Key was in goal for Histon in their narrow 3-2 defeat at Exeter on Saturday. Steve Bushell, recalled to Halifax this weekend, came on as a substitute for the Shaymen on Saturday. Another Alty loanee, Kyle Wilson again turned out for his father Phil's Barrow side.


    Woking announce that "manager, Glenn Cockerill, has accepted the offer of a new two-year deal... Glenn commented: 'I’m delighted that the Club has recognised what we’ve achieved over the last couple of years and that they’ve shown confidence in me to take the Club forward'... John Buchanan, Woking FC’s chairman, said: 'The Board believes Glenn has done a good job since he took over. We are now a lot more professional. He’s taken us from a side which was staring relegation in the face to one which has challenged for the play-offs in the last two seasons. I think stability is important, especially at a time when the Club is hoping to move forward, off the pitch, with our planned redevelopment of part of the ground. I am very pleased, therefore, that Glenn has accepted our offer'". Cockerill has been manager since October 2002, having previously been assistant to Geoff Chapple.


    Before they moved from the Drill Field, Northwich Vics made much of their claim to be playing at the world's oldest continuously used football venue. But in Sunday's NL Paper, current Vics' chairman, Mike Connett, sees them as a new club - since they moved to their new ground. He said, "We are just a year old and we already have a history. We've been labelled the "Chelsea of Cheshire". A new club, in its first year, reaching the 3rd round of the FA Cup and playing at a Premiership ground while they are third in the league is a fantastic achievement."
    15 January 2006


    Matt Bailey made his debut for Southport yesterday whilst his former team-mate and fellow loanee at Alty, Jamie Baguley scored for Salford City. The UniBond League Press Release says that Burscough "manager Derek Goulding has agreed a two year contract, which also has a one year extension, with the club. This will see Goulding in charge of team affairs until at least 2007 by which time the progressive Lancashire village club expect to have completed a move to a new stadium."


    Southport confirm that "Chris Brass will not be part of the Port's immediate future. The ex York City player manager looks bound for Bury after his loan spell was concluded and no further deal was agreed after Brass became a free agent from the Minstermen".

    NL Daily reports that Forest Green Rovers, whom we meet next Saturday owed their FA Trophy progress on Friday night to two loan players Jonathan Hayes and Ben Harding who both scored in a 3-1 win over Dorchester.

    "Kris Taylor's return to Burton Albion from Walsall for a second stint on loan underlines manager Nigel Clough's determination to keep the season alive once the FA Cup adventure is over... Clough said: "Despite the attention the Manchester United games have created, it's been business as usual behind the scenes as far as I am concerned... He made a huge contribution to our revival last season and we're hoping that he will help to make us a top-half team... It's premature to be thinking beyond the end of the current season as far as Kris is concerned because he has another year on his contract at Walsall", he told the Burton Mail.

    Confguide confirms that "York manager Billy McEwan faces a potential defensive crisis after seeing two more on loan players return to their respective clubs. 19-year-old left-back Evan Horwood has been recalled by Sheffield United midway through a three-month loan deal, while 22-year-old right-back Lee Andrews has returned to Carlisle United following the completion of his loan spell". But the injured Nathan Peat "has not yet fully recovered... while fellow full-backs Jamie Price and Graeme Law are both injured, and teenage left-back Steve Baynes is currently on loan at Bishop Auckland".

    Exeter City manager Alex Inglethorpe is on the verge of signing Matthew Gill on a free transfer after the midfielder left Notts County by mutual consent".

    The official Stevenage Borough website reports that manager Graham Westley "admitted that just Burton, Cambridge, Scarboro and Accrington had asked to take Anthony Elding on loan whilst he had given Kettering permission to talk to the player after accepting a significant 5 figure offer. Elding is believed to be waiting to see if anything better arrives before answering Kettering. A lower financial offer from Barnet has been turned down".

    Southport's website writes that "Supporters are reminded that there is a public meeting this Wednesday 18th November at 7:30pm in the Railwaymen's Club on Sussex Road to discuss the creation of a Southport Independent Supporters Association or Trust". Amongst those speaking are our own Jacqui Forster of Supporters Direct and Brian Flynn, chair of Altrincham's trust, STAR.

    Canvey Island have signed Joe Dolan from Leyton Orient on a 2 and half year contract. He is a 25 year old defender who previously played for Millwall".

    14 January 2006


    Southport have confirmed that "Lee Turnbull has today joined Southport as Assistant Manager [to Liam Watson]... Lee is the former Manager of Barrow, and a friend of Liam's".


    Alty had no game today. But Alty will now have to face the rest of the season without Steve Bushell (right), who has been recalled early from his loan by Halifax Town.

    Saturday 14th

    Nationwide Conference

  • Southport 0 Scarborough 2

    FA Trophy 2nd Round

  • Barrow 1 Cambridge City 2
  • Blyth S. 1 Welling U. 3
  • Boreham Wood 3 Gravesend & N. 1
  • Canvey I. 0 Salisbury C. 1
  • Carshalton A. 2 Accrington S. 2
  • Crawley T. 3 Worcester C. 1
  • Dagenham & R. 2 Kettering T. 1
  • Exeter C. 3 Histon 2
  • Halifax T. 0 Hereford U. 1
  • Kidderminster H. 0 Grays A. 1
  • Stafford R. 1 Morecambe 0
  • Stalybridge C. 1Solihull B. 0
  • Tamworth 1 St Albans C. 0
  • Weston-s-Mare 1 Worksop T. 1
  • Woking 1 Northwich V. 1


    Today's Manchester Evening News has a page and a half spread on the 20th anniversary of Altrincham's famous win at Birmingham City in the FA Cup 3rd Round, which was the last occasion that a non-league team knocked out a top-flight team on their own ground. The article includes interviews with goalkeeper Jeff Wealands and defender Paul Cuddy.

    For details of STAR's celebratory "Birmingham 20" event on 28 January, at which virtually all of the squad which was involved in the Birmingham game will be present, see the STAR website.


    Our next opponents (on 21 January) have been active in the transfer window... Forest Green "announce that the following moves in and out at The Lawn have taken place. Following his 3 month loan at Tiverton Town, 27 year old, left sided defender Darren Davies is now a free agent, after the cancellation of his registration. His move away coincides with that of Mark Danks, to Cirencester Town... Reading FC have again proved to be a useful connection to manager Gary Owers and arriving at Rovers on an initial one month loan is Irish born Jonathan (Johnnie) Hayes. At 18 years of age he is regarded as a bright prospect with the Premiership chasing Royals, so much that he was allocated squad number 20 by manager Steve Coppell. Rovers are keen for him to vie for the wide left position... Michael Brough also joins the Nailsworth based club, although in his case it is on a permanent 18 month contract from Stevenage Borough. 24 years of age, he started his career at Notts County... A combative midfielder...Leading up to the new year he had been a regular in [Stevenage's] starting line up... Unfortunately, MK Dons will be recalling Ben Harding, when his second month on loan at The Lawn ends this weekend... Keeping the best news to last, Rovers are pleased to announce that despite interest from numerous clubs in the Football League and the Nationwide Conference, Guy Madjo has put pen to paper, making him a Rovers player for the remainder of the season... The club will now be seeking support from those fans who promised financial contributions if the club retained his services".


    In SAM Alty captain Mark Maddox writes, "It's been a really busy few weeks and of course I'm up all the time at the moment looking after the baby. My missus's water broke on New Year's Day morning so I thought she would give birth in time for me to play in the Kidderminster game the following day. But then we ended up staying in the hospital for a couple of days so it didn't work out that way and I gave her a bit of stick for it, which she wasn't too happy about!". Mark also "started work at 12pm on Christmas Day and had to work on Boxing Day before going to the match and then broke my nose at Kiddy, so I can't say it was the best Christmas!... I thought we should have beaten Kiddy on Boxing Day - the penalty decision given against me was just ridiculous, the ball hit me on the arm before I knew anything about it. We battered them second half though and it was disappointing not to grab the winner. I would say the same about the Tamworth game on New Year's Eve as well, it was a game we really should have won and deserved to win... People were also saying that the Stevenage result was a great result as well but I don't agree, I came off that field feeling really disappointed because I thought they were there for the taking in the second half... I'm looking forward to the upcoming games against York, Dagenham and Cambridge because those are teams who we can prove a point against. They might have beaten us heavily earlier in the season but I'm confident we can beat any of those teams and prove some people wrong along the way... Graham Heathcote makes sure we are always on our toes, he likes to get the rabbit out and we have to chase it but that just makes us better prepared for the task ahead".


    Welsh Premier says that "Wayne Phillips, manager of Caernarfon Town, has boosted his striking options by signing Carl Furlong, a Liverpudlian with previous Welsh Premier experience at Conwy United and Total Network Solutions. Furlong spent three seasons at Colwyn Bay and has also played for Droylsden, Altrincham, Cammell Laird, Netherfield, Runcorn and in the Football League with Wigan Athletic".

    The BBC says that "Southport have signed towering striker Mat Bailey on loan from Crewe. The 19-year-old former Stockport County player is set to make his debut for the Sandgrounders in Saturday's relegation clash with Scarborough. Bailey is yet to make a senior appearance for Crewe since signing last summer but has had spells with Northwich and Hereford" - and of course was on loan at Alty at the end of 2003-04 season.


    The BBC reports that former Conference and "Boston United manager Steve Evans and four other people connected with the football club have appeared at a London court charged with fraud... They are each charged with conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and all entered pleas of not guilty. The trial date has been set for 18 September".

    The NL Daily confirms that "East Thurrock United have announced the signing of striker Shaun Batt from Dagenham & Redbridge. Batt has signed on loan for the rest of the season" and that "Exeter City’s defender Billy Jones celebrated a one-year contract extension and then declared: 'I would have signed for longer if I could'... He follows fellow full back Danny Woodards in committing his immediate future to the Grecians. The club are now expected to open negotiations with in-demand centre half Chris Todd about extending his City stay". Jones said "The club is very ambitious, the manager is clear about where he wants to take the club and I would've signed for longer if I could have... I am desperate to keep doing well and help the club get back into the Football League". Manager Alex Inglethorpe added, "We have now got Lee Phillips, Billy Jones, Danny Woodards, Paul Jones and Jon Challinor on longer deals" reports This is Exeter, which adds that "Mark Cooper, player-manager of Tamworth, has re-affirmed his desire to sign Jake Edwards on a permanent basis... During three months at The Lamb, Edwards has averaged a goal every two games in the league and has played a crucial role in Tamworth's explosive run to the third round of the FA Cup. Cooper... said: 'I will be talking to Jake Edwards and it is just a case of what he asks. I'll go to the chairman and we'll have to see what happens from there'". In the meantime, "Edwards's three-month loan spell expired... and he has returned to St James's Park" and manager Inglethorpe stated, "His loan has finished and, as far as I am concerned, Jake is back with us full-time".

    "Aaron Webster has agreed a new two-and-a-half-year contract with Burton Albion and hopes to celebrate by making an appearance at Old Trafford. The 25-year-old full back missed out on the Brewers' stunning goalless draw against Manchester United because of a knee ligament injury... Brewers' boss Nigel Clough insisted: 'Aaron is still in contention... We have seen him develop from a shy young lad with some talent to a mature footballer who now relishes games... we think he is the best left back outside the Football League'... Utility man Andy Corbett is also set to have talks with Clough in the next week with a view to penning a new one-year deal" reports tha Burton Mail.

    "Centre back Christian Hanson has been released by Leyton Orient and is expected to join Grays Athletic. Former Middlesbrough junior Hanson joined the O's on non-contract forms in October.... Manager Martin Ling [said] "Grays look like they can offer him football at a senior level though... so it wouldn't be fair of me to deny him the opportunity to further his career... After only a handful of appearances for Billingham, Hanson joined Spennymoor United and spent the 2003/04 season with the Moors as club captain" reports NL Daily.

    "Scarborough are set to sign veteran defender Steve Yates... Huddersfield Town released the experienced 35-year-old in the summer having started 50 League One games for the Terriers... Yates will become Scarborough boss Neil Redfearn's second signing since the transfer window opened, following Denny Ingram's return from Halifax Town. Meanwhile, centre back Simon Weaver could be back on his way into the Football League... [He] is training with Bury" reports Scarborough Today.

    Southport boss Liam Watson has "added former York City and Aston Villa defender Lee Grant to his squad" says the BBC, who also report that "Scarborough have bolstered their goal-shy attack with the signing of striker David McNiven. McNiven has joined as a free agent after leaving Queen of the South in December. The 27-year-old, who had a loan spell at Scarborough earlier in his career, scored 25 goals for Leigh RMI in the 2003/04 Conference season". Alty did make an offer to McNiven but he opted for the East Coast side.

    The Shots report on "an opportunity for all fans to contribute to an Aldershot Town FC Player/Transfer Fund. It should be made clear this is not the Club begging for money but an idea generated by Supporters following the lead of other Football Clubs. The Board have given their approval to organise this Fund from which any monies will be separately recorded and every penny will go to Shots' Manager Terry Brown to spend on the playing budget... [Also] an end of Season Football Match at the Rec will enable Supporters to actually play against the First Team Squad... Aldershot Town are not in the fortunate position of having a rich benefactor to help with such things but do have a tremendously loyal fan base".

    13 January 2006


    FA Trophy 2nd Round
  • Forest Green R. 3 Dorchester T. 1


    Halifax Town have recalled Steve Bushell, who has been on loan at Altrincham for seven weeks. Steve made seven appearances in that time in central midfield. He will be on the bench tomorrow for Halifax in the FA Trophy.


    Alty's injured trio of Gary Talbot, Chris Adams and Karl Munroe are all making progress and may be available for selection for Alty's next game, a week on Saturday at Forest Green Rovers.


    A match report on the Reserves' impressive 4-0 win over Marine on Wednesday night is now in the Reserves' section of this website. The Marine site has its report available, too.


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance statistics are here..


    SAM has an interview with Colin Little who is now in the top ranks of Conference scorers this season. He said, "It's nice to be up there but it doesn't make much difference... it's much more important for us to keep on playing well and getting the right results. Only a month ago some people were saying that we needed another proven goalscorer to improve our goal record but you can't score if you don't create the chances and we've made some good signings in midfield who have made a difference in that way... Graham (Heathcote) has been working hard to make sure the delivery from midfield has been better". He went on, "The arrival of the four lads (who SAM lists as Warren Peyton, Steve Bushell, Ged Murphy and James Robinson) in midfield has made a big difference and Colin Potts coming on from the bench has been working really well, as he is such a threat coming on late in games... I was over the moon for Rod when he got his first goal in the Conference against Kidderminster but he deserved it. He hasn't been able to get his fitness up to the right level this season because he's had problems with injuries but now that he is getting a run in the first team you are starting to see the difference'".


    NL Daily says that "Stevenage Borough's joint top scorer, Anthony Elding, was confirmed as one of Kevin Wilson's priority transfer targets following the presence of the striker at Kettering Town on Tuesday night... Wilson stated: "We made an official offer to Stevenage for Anthony on Friday and that has been accepted". Now Wilson must wait to see if there are any other clubs, apart from Southport, prepared to make their interest official by tabling a bid.

    The Halifax Courier reports that "Lewis Killeen is looking forward to helping Halifax Town continue their promotion push ... despite recent speculation linking him with a move away from The Shay... 'It is flattering to be linked [with Mansfield] because it means I must be doing something right, playing well but I think it is more a reflection on the squad as a whole'".

    NL Daily says "Mystery still surrounds the future of Crawley Town's chief executive Steve Duly. Duly has been on ‘gardening leave’ since mid-November but he was back at his desk on Monday, although no-one at the club would confirm last night that he was doing his old job again on a permanent basis".

    And the BBC confirms that "Stevenage Borough midfielder Michael Brough is to join Forest Green Rovers on a free transfer. Borough have agreed to let the former Notts County player, 24, move to The Lawn to create room for potential new signings at Broadhall Way... He has made 10 appearances for the Conference club this season".

    Bullsnews confirms BBC reports that "Dagenham striker Tresor Kandol has pulled out of a permanent move to Darlington, citing personal problems with relocating to the North East as the main problem. Kandol, 24, made seven appearances but failed to make much of an impression with Darlo until he scored in each of the last two games. He also went AWOL from training after apparently being involved in a minor car crash. Quite where this leaves Dagenham is open to question. Manager John Still had described the permanent deal, believed to be worth £50,000, as unbreakable".

    The BBC reports that "Hull City have completed the signing of Macclesfield Town striker Jon Parkin for an undisclosed fee". As well as helping Macc to meet their fine for financial irregularities, York City are due a slice of the transfer fee under a sell-on clause. Meanwhile, York's website states "that ex-player manager and City defender Chris Brass has left the Club. His registration has been cancelled and a settlement has been mutually agreed releasing him from the remaining part of his contract. Chris Brass's loan period at Southport has also been terminated and he is now a free agent". He is expected to stay at Port in a playing/coaching capacity.

    12 January 2006


    Above: Alty's Kwame Barnett comes on as a sub for Kieran Killacky against Marine.

    Altrincham Reserves had an excellent win on Wednesday night against Marine Reserves at Moss Lane. Pat McFadden netted twice to bring his tally to 24 for the season so far, whilst Daniel Heffernan set Alty on their way with the opening goal, a cracking shot from 25 yards, after just 4 minutes. The other goal came from James Robinson, who had asked to play tonight to regain full fitness following his recent illness. Also in the side were trialists Matthew Platt (aged 22, ex-Crewe Alexandra) and John Bailey (aged 21 ex-Preston NE and England Youth player). Platt and Bailey had brief first-team experience at Crewe and Preston respectively. The game also saw the return to action of Lee Hendley, following a long lay off with a foot injury.


    Bullsnews says that West Ham "defender Darren Blewitt who has just returned from a half season loan with Hereford United is returning to the Conference with local side Grays Athletic. Darren who only turned down the chance of an extension at Edgar Road due to the lack of guaranteed first team starts is hoping to make his debut this coming Saturday".

    Southport confirm that "Left back Lee Grant yesterday signed for Southport and made his debut at Burscough in a Liverpool Senior Cup Game. Grant's previous clubs include Aston Villa, Wycombe Wanderers, and York City". Southport lost 3-1 with a starting line up of Speare, Lane, Grant, Roberts, Fitzhenry, Morley, Baker, Pickford, Rogan, Stringfellow, Leadbetter. The Southport Forum adds that Lee Grant, as a "16-year-old, became one of the youngest players in York's history to play first-team football".

    NL Daily reports that "The Nationwide Conference is to push ahead with a proposal that would see three clubs being promoted to the Coca Cola Football League and the same number being relegated. The proposal will be tabled before the League in eighteen months' time...'We are looking for parity with the rest of football', chief executive John Moules said. 'From the Premier League down it's three-up and three-down until League Two where it's four-up and two down'".

    Meanwhile, "Burton Albion’s goalkeeping hero Saul Deeney has been warned he could miss out on the biggest game of his career at Old Trafford next week. The 22-year-old produced a brilliant injury-time save at the Pirelli Stadium on Sunday to earn the Brewers a dream FA Cup Third Round replay against Manchester United. But Deeney's dilly-dallying over a contract with the Brewers is starting to frustrate manager Nigel Clough. The Brewers boss said: 'I presume Saul wants to run out with us at Old Trafford next week. But he hasn't signed yet and he should remember that we have a perfectly capable and experienced deputy in Martin Taylor (39)... It has become a little bit frustrating because the Man United games are more than a showcase for him. I actually think he got more credit than he deserved on Sunday... The people in front of him did their jobs just as well, if not better... We would like Saul to stay with us until the end of the season, and signing another month's contract will effectively mean that because the transfer window will have closed by the time it expires", reports the Burton Mail.

    In contrast to Deeney, "Defender Johnny Mullins is set to remain with Kidderminster Harriers for the remainder of the campaign. Mullins first became a hit with Harriers’ supporters after performing well in a season-long spell from Reading last season... He returned to the club in late October 2005... 'I'm really pleased to be staying for the season', Mullins said. 'It gives me the chance to play more football as well as letting me have a greater opportunity to help do what I set out to do when I came back, helping us back up into the Football League... I've got another great opportunity to keep impressing people here at Kidderminster so I need to grasp it with both hands... As much as I'm playing for a new Reading deal on one hand, I'm also playing to impress the people here on the other. If I were to be a free agent come the summer time then I'd love to stay here'" reports the Harriers' website.

    "Exeter City have ended their interest in former Millwall midfielder Anton Robinson but are continuing to trawl the transfer market in search of new players". Manager Alex Inglethorpe said, "Unfortunately it's not quite the right time to take Anton on. I think he is someone who would be a fantastic acquisition in the future. But at the minute I think whoever comes in would have to pretty much play straight away and be a regular in the first team. Anton is just a dash away from that". However, This is Exeter adds that "A winger is the priority for City, who have no natural wide-man in the squad following the departure of Tony Scully for Crawley Town in November".

    The BBC says that "Everton boss David Moyes has invited Cambridge United's Michael Morrison and Adam Davies to train with the club. The defenders have recently spent time at Preston... Morrison, 17, has started 10 Conference games this season, while Davies, 18, has started six and been capped at Wales under-21 level".

    11 January 2006


    New stocks of Gavin Rathbone's Altrincham FC calendar for 2006 have now been received at Moss Lane. To secure a copy, please ring the club on 928-1045.


    Alty reserves host Marine Reserves tonight (Wednesday) at Moss Lane (7.45pm). Entry is free to season ticket holders and just £2 to others.

    Marine have a preview of Wednesday's match at Moss Lane against Altrincham Reserves. It says that "Alty's Reserve side have hit the top of the table with some style, scoring freely in most of their matches with 75 goals scored from the 20 league games they have played so far this season... Alty's reign at the top of the Lancashire League may well be short lived. In their last league game they were beaten 2-1 at home by Morecambe Reserves and Morecambe - champions for the past five seasons - are hovering ominously in second place with three games in hand and only four points in arrears". Meanwhile Marine Reserves beat "Southport Reserves 5-0 at home in their last game. Their last three league games have seen them score 12 and concede 1".


    Confguide says that "Aldershot Town are reportedly preparing a new transfer bid for Wycombe Wanderers' striker Jonny Dixon in excess of £10,000. Town had a bid of £5,000 turned down earlier this season.... 23-year old Dixon was a fans’ favourite at the Recreation Ground when he joined the club on-loan last season, scoring nine times in 12 appearances".

    Sky Sports says that "Barnet are expected to step up their interest in Hereford United striker Danny Carey-Bertram with a firm offer this week. Although the 21-year-old striker has only found the net once in eight appearances this season, he is still considered one of Non-League's hottest prospects having notched 16 goals in 26 starts for The Bulls... Should a deal for Carey-Bertram fall through, other possible targets include York City's in-form young striker Andy Bishop and wantaway Stevenage Borough hit-man Anthony Elding".

    Southport confirm that "Liam Watson has made an ambitious enquiry to Graham Westley to see if England semi pro striker Antony Elding is available for loan/transfer. Elding appears to be out of Westley's plans and is being tipped to return to Coca Cola League football in the summer".

    On Monday night Morecambe became the first team to keep a clean sheet at The Shay this season but Halifax remain unbeaten at home this season.

    Grays lost 5-4 on pens to Chelmsford City on Monday in the Essex Senior Cup after the score was locked at 1-1.

    Forest Green Rovers "have confirmed that Mark Danks has now reached agreement with Cirencester Town on a permanent move".

    Cambridge News reports that "vice chairman John Howard has met with parish councillors in a top secret meeting to discuss plans to build a new 10,000-seater football stadium on the Milton landfill site... If the new stadium did get the go-ahead it is likely Mr Howard would sell United's current home, the Abbey Stadium in Newmarket Road, for housing... Cambridge Fans United chief David Matthew-Jones said: "The fans would like to know what's going on. It is no way to go ahead, in our opinion, having secret meetings. I did not know anything about it, and I'm a little bit upset about it'.... Mr Howard was photographed leaving the Bowls Pavilion, on Coles Road, Milton, just after 8pm on Monday. When asked if he had been discussing plans for a new stadium the startled businessman refused to comment and drove off in his black 4x4. Mr Howard left the meeting with another man clutching a set of plans under his arms. He refused to reveal his identity but spoke briefly to say "ideas" for a new stadium at the landfill site had been discussed. Milton parish council had attempted to conceal the secret meeting from the United fans. The plans for a new stadium were listed on the agenda under the vague heading of Landfill Liaison. Members of the public were also barred from listening to the discussions under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960. Although the meeting was scheduled to start at 8pm it began almost an hour earlier and the item, originally listed at item number 15 on the agenda, was moved forward. After Mr Howard's swift exit councillors initially denied all knowledge of Mr Howard's attendance. However, when confronted with the News' photographic evidence, Jane Coston, chairman of the parish council, conceded Mr Howard and a colleague had been present but refused to say why or make any further comment".

    From Accrington Stanley is news that "Mike Flynn has been released from the club by mutual consent and has immediately signed for Hyde United, where he has been on loan for the last two months... Meanwhile Phil Edwards is expected to join Stanley permanently on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic in the next few days. The 20 year old defender joined Stanley on loan in October last year and has been a regular in the starting line up. John Coleman has identified a number of possible targets to bring in before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but is keeping his cards close to his chest as to their identity.... The manager also rubbished any rumours of bids for players in the current Stanley squad "Obviously we are doing well, we are top of a league and have a great squad, and with the calibre of players we have they are always going to attract attention. However the club has not received any offers, and nor are we looking to encourage any".

    The Shots report that Aldershot Town's "Paul Kitson has this week taken up a coaching role at Rushden & Diamonds".

    The BBC says that "Kidderminster Harriers have allowed Gavin Hurren to join Bromsgrove Rovers for a month's loan. The midfielder was released by Nottingham Forest last summer but has made just two first team appearances". And "Gravesend & Northfleet midfielder Steve McKimm has been cleared to resume full training after nine months out with a knee injury... Meanwhile, Liam Daish has loaned defender Graham Porter to Maidenhead United to gain some first-team" football."

    10 January 2006


  • Tamworth 1 Accrington S. 2 - Ian Craney got the winner.
  • York C. 0 Stevenage B. 1 - Borough go third.


    Altrincham FC's Football Pontoon 2006 now has only 15 unclaimed teams from which to choose. For just £10 per team, there's a chance to win £150 if your team scores exactly 21 goals in a specified period. For full details of this and other fundraisers, please click here.


    Three ex-Alty Youth players are in the first-team squad this season (Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers, Lee Hendley) and several have already played for the Reserves. But a youth team costs money to run and this year Alty fans can help by joining the Monthly Draw Club organised by Pam Gresty, mother of Alty Youth captain, Richard Gresty and of their physio, Julieanne. The current Alty Youth squad, managed and coached by George Heslop and Tony Spilsbury, is doing well in the Allied Trophies Premier Division and is also successfully providing all the players to the Altrincham & District FA youth side, which has reached the Cheshire FA District Final. Several Alty players are also regulars in this year's Cheshire FA representative side. Details of the Draw Club scheme are here.

    For just £5 a month you can win cash prizes; the winners of the four prizes in December were, in order, Graham Rowley (£35), Pam Gresty (£20), Terry Surridge (£10) and David White (£5).


    Our next opponents are Forest Green Rovers and This is Glos says their manager "Gary Owers felt a point was the least his side deserved on the balance of play at the Abbey Stadium... Owers admitted he was disappointed to have seen his side concede twice from set-pieces, particularly as their defending away from home has improved markedly in recent weeks. 'The lads must have got sick and tired of myself and [assistant manager] Shaun Taylor going about defending set-plays because they had finally done something about it in the last few games, so I'm disappointed with the two we've conceded today. Set plays will always be important and I'm pleased we've scored from two of them because we spend a lot of time practising them. But we also spend time defending them, and there's no doubt that we've given away more than we should have done this season". And "Bruno Teixeira's knack for scoring dramatic late goals won't help him lose the 'super-sub' tag... All three of the Portuguese frontman's goals for Rovers have come in the latter stages of Nationwide Conference matches, including a memorable 30-yard effort to beat Morecambe in October".

    Forest Green Rovers are operating a "Kid for a Quid" scheme for the match against Altrincham, whereby all under-16s will be charged £1 for standing on the terraces. Normal prices apply in the main stand.


  • Halifax T. 0 Morecambe 0


    Right, from last Saturday's game is Gavin Rathbone's picture of Colin Potts, with bandaged hand, playing against Stevenage. Gavin's photos can be bought from the Robins' Shop or via his website.

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports on the Stevenage game. "There was not even the hint of a gap in class on Saturday and Alty actually dominated the opening stages, spurning two good chances to establish an early lead... Stevenage began to assert themselves on the game and controlled the remainder of the half... Alty started the second half with renewed impetus and once Colin Potts had replaced Ged Murphy in midfield, they began to attack with real purpose... Even after their goal the Robins continued to play attractive attacking football and, sensing they had the better of their full time visitors, went in for the kill... And although the initial feeling around Moss Lane was disappointment at not being able to snatch a deserved winner, this was a point which would not have been expected after the opening day defeat and one which keeps Alty ahead of their rivals in the relegation battle".

    STAR's half-time bucket collection raised £110.30 on Saturday. Many thanks to donors and collectors alike.

    The unofficial Stevenage website has a very fair report on last Saturday's draw at Moss Lane where Stevenage "only claimed a point from Altrincham's Moss Lane on a ground that they'd previously never failed to win on... and by the end Boro' hung on for a point... As Altrincham rang the changes from the subs bench, the flow of the game changed very much in the Robins' direction, and even more so when, with 20 minutes remaining, Boro' were forced to withdraw the injured Hocking... The latter stages were largely end to end, but with more chances available to the home side who may well reflect on missed opportunities to snatch all three points - were it not for Julian's exploits in goal this would almost certainly have been the case".

    The Stevenage official site refers to "Alty’s fall from the top flight which has taken eight seasons to restore...The introduction of Colin Potts gave the home side a new dimension which Boro took time to assess... Taking the excellent Bulman out of a fully functioning midfield was a mistake which left Maamria exposed and most wondering why natural right back Gary Schillaci wasn’t the obvious choice. The change was sufficient to unsettle both midfield and defence... You could see the equaliser coming.... Sometimes substitutions work for you but today it was the difference between one and three points for Boro but a most entertaining game all the same. For this we must give credit to the teams and referee Mr Waugh who for the first time since I can remember had a game that most spectators would like to see as the rule rather than an exception".


    Bullsnews reports that "Exeter have launched an appeal against the Conference's decision to move their home match with Accrington from a Saturday to a Monday (30 January) for live Sky coverage... A club statement on the official Exeter site reads:' Not only is it anticipated that the Club will lose a significant amount of much-needed revenue from this 'top of the table clash' (currently estimated to be at least £28,000), it will also deny many of our regular supporters the opportunity to be at St James's Park in person to watch the match. For that reason the Club continues to appeal against the decision to move this fixture and has made a formal written request to the Conference asking for evidence to show that individual clubs have no say in such matters together with a breakdown of anticipated losses'".

    The BBC confirms that "Exeter City are giving a trial to French midfielder Xavier Luissint. The 21-year-old right winger has previously played for French sides St Etienne and Valence. Tony Scully's departure back in November left the Grecians without any natural width, and a winger is their primary target".

    Also, "Chris Brass is set to leave York after nearly five years with the club. The former City player-manager... became the youngest League manager in 50 years when appointed to the York hotseat aged just 27 and spent 18 months in charge at KitKat Crescent. Meanwhile York defender James Dudgeon is set to extend his contract with the club until the end of the season".

    "Former Chelsea midfielder Danny Woodards has cemented his future with Exeter City by signing a new contract... a one-year extension... manager Alex Inglethorpe described Woodards' contribution as "fantastic" since he took the gamble to turn his back on a contract at Premiership champions Chelsea to re-launch his career in the rough and tumble of the Conference... Few expected him to oust veteran Scott Hiley from the right back spot that had become his own since returning to the club for a second spell. Yet that is exactly what happened". Inglethorpe told This is Exeter, "There is an exciting crop of good young players here at the club now who could flourish in the future".

    Scarborough Today confirms that David Pounder is back with Scarborough after a short spell with rivals York City. The 23-year-old, who made more than 100 appearances for the Seadogs... won the Boro player of the year award in 2002/03 and spent five years at the McCain Stadium... Meanwhile, experienced defender Denny Ingram has rejoined the Seadogs from league rivals Halifax Town... He spent eighteen months with the Scarborough after signing from Hartlepool in March 2000".

    NL Daily reports the following transfers:

  • Neil Howarth (AFC Telford U. to Kidderminster H. as player/assistant-Manager)
  • Max Porter (Southend to Cambridge U.)
  • Dave Pounder (York C. to Scarborough)
  • Nick Wright (Birmingham C. to Tamworth)
  • Paul Stonehouse (Forest Green R. to Yate T. on loan)
  • Daniel Crane (Burton A. to Rushden & Diamonds)

    The Lambs' website quotes Tamworth boss Mark Cooper on the result at Stoke City: "When Jake Edwards got through I thought my god we are going to win it here. It may have been a little unjust if we had nicked it but the players were fantastic, we stuck to the game plan and frustrated Stoke. We knew that Scott (Bevan) would have to make some saves – we just managed to get his signing through before the deadline after he’d been released by MK Dons – and he did well... I’m really bitter that we haven’t had a television game after beating two Division One sides away from home and now we will be entertaining a big club at our little old fashioned non league ground. There’s no better chance than now for us to have a TV game. That was my gesture at the end of the game towards our chairman. We’re going to try and keep Jake (Edwards) as he is desperate to play in the replay but he may be a little out of our price range". Edwards is curently on loan from Exeter City. "We’ve got a really important game against Accrington on Tuesday in the league and have to focus on that now as the league is the bread and butter. The cup run is going to enable us to bring in that extra bit of quality to make sure that Tamworth stay in our Conference", said Cooper.

    9 January 2006


    From last Saturday's game, Gavin Rathbone has produced some excellent action photos. Above is seen James Robinson in action. With fellow substitutes Kieran Lugsden and Colin Potts, James made an important impact against Stevenage. Gavin's photos can be bought from the Robins' Shop or via his website.


    Saturday's 1-1 draw was the eighth time this season that Alty have drawn 1-1 and on seven of those occasions they have come from behind to do so:
  • Home v Crawley, Exeter and Stevenage
  • Away v Canvey Island, Tamworth, Grays and Kidderminster
  • The exception is the home match v. Scarborough, when Alty scored first.

    Alty have yet to lose a Conference game in which they have scored; but have yet to win when the opposition has scored first.


    In Sunday's game, Furness Rovers arrived with only ten players and played the last fifteen minutes with only nine but even with a full eleven would have struggled against Altrincham. Alty's scorers were Matty Williams, Danny Gray (2), Curtis Connell (3), Dean White (3), Ben Shanks-Pepper, Anthony Davies and Astley Mulholland. Report in youth section.


    After a long lay-off, Alty Reserves start their 2006 action with two home games at Moss Lane at 7.45pm:
  • Wed. January 11th, v. Marine Res.
  • Wed. January 18th, v Bamber Bridge Res.

    As usual, entry is free to season ticket holders and just £2 to others. As much support as possible would be very welcome.


    Terry Rowley's updated attendance grid is here.


    Non-leaguers in FA Cup 3
  • Sunderland 3 Northwich V. 0
  • Burton A. 0 Manchester U. 0


    The NW Counties League announces that their December "Safe Hands" award has gone to Ashley Timms of Salford City, whilst former Alty youth and reserve player Levi Kennedy has moved from Abbey Hey to Formby.


    A Stevenage photographer has some excellent shots of Saturday's game at Moss Lane, here.

    The Stevenage website quotes Borough manager Graham Westley: "We had it tough today. With Quinn and Ronny suspended and Jason and Justin injured, we didn't need to lose Hocking. Defensively, it left us light. And at the other end, with Nursey out and Elding needing replacement, there was always a danger that we were going to lack a little bit of the forward energy we have been showing. Certainly, we didn't have strength in depth to call upon. We largely controlled the first half without converting our chances. But then paid the price after poorly defending their counter from our corner. We know that points on our longer travels are tough to win so we mustn't be too downhearted at winning a point".


    Southport report that "Michael Stringfellow has completed his signing. The 24-year-old Morecambe midfielder has signed on a month's loan".


    The Times had a pre-match report on Northwich's FA Cup trip to Sunderland. "The sign is taped to the ticket office wall and written in felt-tip pen. Its maker ran out of space, so 'Tickets for Sunderland' became 'Tickets for Sunderlan'. Out on the pitch, shooting practice flirts with abandonment because the players are running out of balls; four have sailed out of the stadium into the cement works behind. Lunch is served in the “ boardroom”. This turns out to be a portable building, and the spread is hotpot with crust. Despite this, it would be a mistake to patronise Northwich Victoria. The Cheshire club’s visit to the Stadium of Light is but a detour on a much grander journey, according to Mike Connett, their owner. His flash motor sits pitch-side and the logo of the paper-shredding business from which he made part of his fortune adorns advertising boards and the front of Northwich’s shirts. 'Confidential destruction', its slogan promises. Might Sunderland meet their end, not so confidentially, this afternoon? Connett is confident the Premiership side will be shredded like an incriminating memo".

    It continues, "The magnate, who owes the rest of his money to entertainment, leisure and property businesses, estimates he has spent about £3.5m saving Northwich from administration, paying the wage bill of the 20-strong football staff, who earn up to £300 a week, and developing the half-built stadium he inherited when he took over in autumn 2004. He has big plans. The main stand, replete with bars, restaurants, executive boxes and conference facilities, will be completed by Easter, and by the start of 2007 he expects the rest of his vision to be realised. At the far end of the ground, all-weather facilities, parking for 400 cars and, yes, a hotel will be built. 'Another Chelsea Village', Connett beams. He intends going one better than the London club by using land bordering the River Weaver Canal to construct a marina, although he rules out mooring his own boat there. “I keep it in Torquay and it’s too big, though not quite as big as Roman (Abramovich)’s'”.

    8 January 2006


    Saturday's draw with Stevenage left Graham Heathcote "delighted" according to the NL Paper. "I can't knock our application and the contribution the substitutes made. I have a talented squad here now and players are disappointed when they can't make the start. This makes them more determined when they come on... we could have done without going a goal down but we had a great [second] half and could have won, really. We performed well against one of the best sides in the Conference and have proved that we can compete... We should be OK so long as we keep on getting a point a game". Borough boss Graham Westley rued his side's missed chances in the first half but admitted that, in the second half, "Altrincham came back and controlled the game and I have no problem with the equaliser. It had been coming for a while. I'm disappointed ... but losing Hocking in the second half and having three players suspended was just too much for us".

    The NL Paper's Team of the week includes Warren Peyton.


    Above: Colin Little leads Val Owen and Kieran Lugsden off the pitch, having scored Alty's goal today.

    Match report here.

  • Alty Line-Ups and Bookings
  • Alty Player Stats


    Colin Little's haul of 10 goals now takes him to fourth place in the Conference top scorers list this season. Colin (left) is also featured in the NL Paper's "Star Corner" column. He talks about the step up between the Conference North and National divisions, stating that Alty are "on course" for survival this season but need another 18 points to be sure. "But we are not counting our chickens as we know what can happen if you get a run of defeats", he said. He added, "There is no money available here and from that perspective Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele (right) have done a remarkable job. No one gave us a chance but the Christmas spell has turned the season".

    Colin then writes about the part-time/full-time debate. Though still part-time, "Even now the lads have to act in a more professional manner and they all know if they can't, then we'll say thank you but goodbye... Sacrifices have to be made. Mark Maddox missed his Christmas Day as he had to work so that he could play on Boxing Day; that is the commitment needed. Credit must go to all the remaining part-time teams in the Conference as we are mixing it with the full-timers and doing a good job of it... The key though is winning at home... It can be downheartening to lose away, but you need to lift yourselves at home".

    On a more personal note, Colin admits that "Altrincham will always be close to my heart,as I grew up nearby... It's a close-knit place and every player has to take the place and the club to their heart. This creates a special spirit. The lads make an effort after every game to go into the bar for at least an hour and share a drink with the fans. Altrincham is still a big name in Non-League, a massive club, back where they belong in the Conference".


    Altrincham's first team has no match now for a fortnight. The STAR supporters' coach times and fares for the trip to Gloucestershire for the match against Forest Green Rovers on 21 January are here. This should be Alty's last trip to The Lawn as FGR are due to move to a new ground next season. On our only other previous league visit there, on 8 January 2000, we drew 1-1 thanks to a late goal from Dickie Landon.

    Howard Watts's Through the Years records for 21 January are here. Howard continues to e-mail these fascinating statistics from his home in North America and I remain very grateful for his help in this way.

    Whilst on the subject of historical records, another Alty expert on the club's history who is largely based abroad and who is very helpful in providing information for the website, Terry Rowley, has written to suggest the answer to a recent query about the last season in which Altrincham had no home cup fixtures. Supporters will be aware that this season we were drawn away in all four cup matches that we played, in the Cheshire Senior Cup, FA Cup and FA Trophy. Terry believes that the last time such a sequence happened was in 1938/39.

    Alty's next home game in the Conference is on 28 January (3pm) against Aldershot Town, who will be making their first visit to Moss Lane. Alty's only away win in the Conference this season was a 2-0 victory at Aldershot but the Shots have improved their form since then.


    Old boys in action yesterday included Anthony Hargreaves (2 goals for Cammell Laird), Anthony Sullivan (Lancaster), whilst Kyle Wilson (Barrow), Chris Downey (Mossley), and former youth player Graham Tench (Chorley) all scored, the last named from a pass by Peter Wright. Barrie George and Phil Power were amongst the ex-Robins playing for FC United on Saturday.


    Alty Youth play Furness Rovers today at Wythenshawe Town (2pm).


    As other teams catch up on their fixtures, Alty Reserves' lead at the top of the Lancit Haulage Lancashire League table has been cut. The Reserves have a chance to extend their lead again this Wednesday (11th) when they host Marine Reserves at Moss Lane (7.45pm). Entry is just £2, or free to season ticket holders.


    In today's Sunday Telegraph Northwich chairman Mike Connett who "only started to watch Northwich when his son, second-choice keeper Ben Connett, began playing for the team after failing to make it at Liverpool". Asked why he got involved with the Vics, he said, "I am a conceptual thinker. This is not a dream. It is an investment. There is no money in football on the pitch, so we have to make it around the pitch. we have 10 acres here. We are building a restaurant, car parking, bars, conference and banqueting facilities, executive boxes. we are building a marina on the canal... We're lucky. we've got no debt. We've got money in the bank".


    Gary Lineker writes about non-league teams in the FA Cup in today's Sunday Telegraph. He writes,"If the non-League side do happen to do well... you invariably get one or two of the dafter players coming out and spouting off about how the big-name players are overrated. We saw it with Stevenage a while ago... I think it's the unpredictability of non-league players who, let's face it, are not very good... Obviously, they're good players at their own level but, compared to the best, they're not very good. For example, sometimes they don't buy the dummies better players try to sell them and because they're relatively slow and clumsy, they can hurt you with late tackles". Despite this, Lineker twice states that he "will be rooting for the little guys" in the FA Cup this weekend.

    NL Daily reports that "Forest Green Rovers’ striker Mark Danks is set to spend the rest of the season with Cirencester Town. Danks, who is on a month's loan at the Corinium Stadium, has been told he can leave The Lawn". Also, at York, "Former Scarborough winger David Pounder has been released after failing to break into the Minstermen's first-team squad. The 23-year-old Newcastle-born forward moved to KitKat Crescent on a short-term deal at the beginning of the season... Another summer recruit - ex-Halifax Town winger Ryan Mallon - could be next to leave. Mallon has made only one senior start together with five substitute appearances, and is expected to complete a permanent switch to Gainsborough Trinity after joining the club on loan last month. A further departure has witnessed young left-back Steve Baynes linking up with Bishop Auckland on loan".

    New Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has been given "a war chest to revive their fortunes" says the NL Paper. It also reports that "Aldershot striker Tim Sills remains unsure whether his potential dream move to League Two club Leyton Orient will go ahead, with a fee yet to be agreed". The Shots' valuation far exceeds what Orient are offering.

    7 January 2006


    Right: Warren Peyton was named Man of the Match today.

    Nationwide Conference

  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Stevenage B. 1
  • Cambridge U. 2 Forest Green R. 2
  • Canvey Island 0 Accrington S. 2
  • Crawley T. 0 York C. 1
  • Exeter C. 1 Gravesend & N. 0
  • Scarborough 0 Hereford U. 1
  • Southport 1 Dagenham & R. 2
  • Woking 0 Kidderminster H. 1

    Non-leaguers in FA Cup 3

  • Nuneaton 1 Middlesbrough 1
  • Stoke C. 0 Tamworth 0


    In Friday's MEN, Graham Heathcote says "We are looking at people and talking to people but the reality is we've no money and so, if we are to do anything during the transfer window, it's most likely to be towards the end of the month when cash may not be such a major issue. At the same time, I'd have to be convinced any player coming to us would be capable of making a profound impact on the team". The paper claims that "Both Val Owen and Mark Maddox are available for a return to action but Heathcote is unable to risk Gary Talbot even though he appears to have recovered from the foot injury which has sidelined him in recent weeks".

    In the Friday NL Paper, Graham is also quoted: "I've spent most of my career in this league both as a player and in management but it just isn't like it used to be. It's no longer enjoyable to be involved and I can only put that down to the tensions felt within clubs. It seems as though every club is either worried about gaining promotion or feeling tense over the thought of dropping out. The pressure on players at those clubs must be immense. I can assure you that there is not the same pressure on the players at Altrincham. They are not being told it is a must to stay in this league". But Graham wishes to stay in the National division but "Clearly, we are not going to put the club into jeopardy by spending money we can't afford".


    Alty host Stevenage Borough today (3pm) and The Herts-Essex Mercury reports that Boro' manager Graham Westley sees no future for Anthony Elding at Broadhall Way. Westley told the Mercury: 'If we get a massive offer, and I mean a massive offer, he can leave the club. If not he can spend the next five months doing whatever he is doing. He is a professional and should be here giving 120%, but he isn't. As far as I'm concerned, he's history'... Westley's patience with Elding finally snapped after the player refused to travel to the away defeat against Cambridge United on Boxing Day, claiming he wanted to be with his ill grandfather for the forseeable future. The boss did not give him permission to be absent and feels the player let the club down. Westley's stance will alert clubs to the availability of the man who remains Boro's joint leading scorer and recently attracted a £50,000 bid from Conference rivals Crawley Town. Meanwhile, Jefferson Louis has made a striking and immediate impact... Westley commented: 'You can't ever complain about a man who is averaging a goal a game. Technically he isn't the best, although he would argue with that... His pace and power can be difficult to defend against'".Also, "Westley is closing in on two deals to bring new faces to Broadhall Way. One of the players is rumoured to be 25-year-old Notts County midfielder Matthew Gill. He has made over 200 senior league appearances during a career which began at Peterborough United".


    SAM's preview of the Stevenage game says of Borough, "Their recent form has been less than impressive, having won only once in their previous five outings, and away from Broadhall Way they have won only two league games all season. Altrincham, meanwhile, have been very difficult to beat at Moss Lane... And they have received a boost ahead of the game with the news that Val Owen (right) should be fit to play after recovering from a groin injury. Chris Adams has returned from his one-match suspension but is unlikely to play due to a back problem, joining long-term injury worries Gary Talbot (foot) and Karl Munroe (ankle) on the sidelines. Manager Graham Heathcote will check on the fitness of Gary Scott (illness) before the game but Mark Maddox should be available despite missing training this week after the birth of his second child". SAM identifies George Boyd and Jon Nurse as their dangermen - saying that "Jon Nurse will be very important up front for Stevenage... and is likely to form a dangerous partnership with recent arrival Jefferson Louis" but the FA website lists Nurse as one of three Borough players suspended for this game, (Henry and Quinn are the others).


    The Allied Trophies Premier Division fixture grid and league table have both been updated in the youth section, courtesy of George Heslop.


    As Alty fans will know, their club has knocked out more league clubs from the FA Cup than any other existing non-league team and NL Daily reports that "Altrincham, Kettering Town, Bishop Auckland, Chorley and Scarborough are amongst an elite 33 non-League teams who have, according to the FA, the highest rankings in the history of the FA Cup. This elite band on this, the 125th season of the FA Cup, have been invited to participate in the selection of an 'All Time FA Cup Heroes' team. The team the FA are compiling will be featuring a player in each position, a manager and an overall FA Cup legend, who will be crowned the No 1 FA Cup hero of all time. This week, a letter from FA chairman Geoff Thompson arrived at the 33 top-ranked non-League clubs and the 92 FA Premier League and Football League clubs asking for them to provide the names of their most memorable, most idolised and successful FA Cup heroes. Clubs are being asked to nominate these players via a vote on their club websites and must send their entries before this season’s FA Cup Fourth Round, on the weekend of 28th January 2006". As this FA announcement was made without any prior reference to the website, I will consult the club about how this voting exercise will be carried out. "The FA are looking for one goalkeeper, one defender, one midfielder, one forward and, of course, a manager to lead them into battle from each club... A panel of FA Cup experts, chaired by Sir Trevor Brooking will whittle this [list] down to a shortlist of 125; 25 players from each position and 25 managers. The will then begin a month-long search for the final all-time team by asking visitors to their website to select their own FA Cup Legends team and manager. The final team will be announced, by position, throughout the build up to May’s Cup Final. Fans who take part in the poll will also be given the opportunity to win two tickets to the big match on 13 May and will also be invited to help unveil a special plaque at the new Wembley Stadium commemorating this special team. The full list of Non League teams is :- Altrincham, Barrow, Bath City, Blyth Spartans, Bromley, Bishop Auckland, Chesham United, Chorley, Dartford, Darwen, Enfield, Gainsborough Trinity, Grantham, Hereford United, Hitchin Town, Kettering Town, King’s Lynn, Kingstonian, Lowestoft Town, Merthyr Tydfil, Northwich Victoria, Nuneaton Borough, Runcorn, Scarborough, Shildon, St Albans City, Sutton United, Tooting & Mitcham, Wealdstone, Weymouth, Woking, Worcester City and Worksop Town".


    Michael Rankine played a trial match for Altrincham at Witton before Christmas but NL Daily now says that "Gary Mills, manager of Alfreton Town, has strengthened his attacking options by signing Michael Rankine, 20, in time for Saturday's trip to fellow strugglers Vauxhall Motors... Rankine, who stands at 6'1'', is a former Scunthorpe United striker who had a spell with Barrow last season and trials with Lincoln City this, and has been turning out for Armthorpe Welfare in the Northern Counties East League recently to keep fit".


    The Chester Daily Post reportedly claims that Chester City have made a written bid to Accrington for ex-Alty player Ian Craney and star winger Gary Roberts. Altrincham have a sell-on clause for Craney.

    Cambridge United have reportedly allowed John Turner to sign for Rushden and Diamonds. Meanwhile, "The Football Association can confirm that Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium will host the England National Game XI, in their second European Challenge Trophy match against Italy on Wednesday 15 February... Paul Fairclough’s U23 side will be looking to cement their position at the top of the group following on from their impressive 2-0 victory in Belgium last November. Kick-off on 15 February is 7.45pm. Admission will be £5 for adults and £1 for children and OAPs".

    The BBC says that "Walsall winger Daryl Taylor has moved to Hereford on a two-month loan deal, his second time on loan with the non-league side. The 21-year-old also spent the latter part of last season on loan at Hereford, making five appearances before sustaining a knee injury". And also, "York defender Chris Brass has extended his loan spell at Southport for a second month. City's former player-manager is poised to leave York on a permanent basis". The BBC also adds that "Scarborough have signed experienced defender Denny Ingram from rivals Halifax Town. Ingram, 29, has moved for a small fee and joins the McCain Stadium club for the second time after agreeing a deal until the end of next season".

    NL Daily reports that "Maidenhead United have completed the loan signing of experienced centre back Graham Porter from Gravesend & Northfleet for an initial period of one month."

    "Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, is on the look out for a goalkeeper in the transfer window due to uncertainty over Adam Legzdins' Shay future. The youngster has been on loan from Birmingham City since early November, but, with the Football Association's permission, he has also been playing for the Premiership side's reserve team who are in action on Monday evening at home to Manchester City - the same night Halifax entertain Morecambe... 'Adam could be called back permanently at any time', said Wilder, whose only other senior keeper is veteran Lee Butler... [Meanwhile,] Mansfield Town boss Peter Shirtliff's dismissal of reports linking Lewis Killeen with a move to the Stags has been greeted with delight by Wilder. 'I am delighted that Lewis is not going', said Wilder. 'I have nothing but praise for the way he has remained focused. Obviously it is an attraction if a Football League club expresses an interest, but Lewis has been different class throughout'". However, The Halifax Courier adds that "Wilder could allow Brenton Leister to leave The Shay on loan during the transfer window".

    The Nationwide Conference Player of the Month shortlist comprises, Andy Bishop (York), Ian Craney (Accrington), Michael Kightly (Grays), Fola Onibuje (Cambridge U.) and Jon Shaw (Burton).


    The Sunderland Echo reports that "Northwich Victoria chairman Mike Connett has urged Sunderland to hand over ALL of the gate receipts from this weekend's FA Cup third round clash as a magnanimous gesture towards their non-League opponents. The businessman, who admits Northwich have more money in the bank than the Black Cats, says Sunderland should follow the lead of other Premiership clubs in supporting those lower down the league ladder. And Connett has repeated his complaints that ticket prices for Sunday's tie were set too low at £10 for adults and £5 for juniors and OAPs. Vics will bring a 3,000-strong travelling support – about three-times more than their average home gate". Connett added, "I understand Sunderland has £40million of debt, well, I've got cash in the bank here and at the end of the day it's not my problem. We just want out of the game what we should get out of the game." He continued, "If there's a replay – which is the worst scenario for us I suppose! – then our ticket prices are £20 and £10...I'm not bothered if I don't get a warm reception in the Sunderland boardroom because of this. When you come from nothing you don't bother about these things. I wasn't born into money, I've had to fight for everything I've got".
    6 January 2006


    Altrincham Football Club reports that response to the donation of shares which will be made available to supporters has been very positive. Those interested in acquiring shares should make their pledges by 31 January - full details of the scheme are here.


    STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust, has announced that it intends to issue the following text as a leaflet to all home fans attending Saturday's game at home to Stevenage Borough. For further details, see the STAR website.

    STARfighter fund 2006

    As many of you will already know, Altrincham Football Club urgently require further funding to cover shortfalls created by the loss of revenue from the Manchester United reserve games and early exits from both FA Cup and Trophy. To help meet this shortfall the Altrincham FC Supporters Trust (STAR) is embarking on a major recruitment and fundraising drive to start the New Year. You may be reading this as an existing member, as someone who has considered joining before and just not got around to it, or this might be the first time you have even heard of STAR. In any case you can play your part in one of the following three ways.

    1. Existing members:

    Included in this envelope [which STAR will issue on Saturday] is a standing order mandate. If you do not already make a monthly contribution by standing order, please complete this form and post it to the address at the bottom of this page.

    2. New members:

    Complete the membership application form [which STAR will issue on Saturday], together with the standing order mandate if you wish to make additional monthly donations, and post to the address at the bottom of this page.

    3. Use the envelope … to make a one off donation today by cash or cheque and deposit it in the half-time bucket collection, or hand it in at the STAR counter in the Club Shop. Alternatively, you can post your donation to STAR at the address below.

    If just 300 people commit to £20 a month from now until the end of the season (five more months) we can raise the incredible sum of £30,000 (300 x 5 x 20 = £30,000).

    Altrincham Football Club Supporters Society Limited, Altrincham FC, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP. IPS Regn. No. 29532R


    BBC states that "Stevenage Borough striker Jefferson Louis has agreed a new deal until the end of the season at Broadhall Way. The former Oxford forward, 26, joined Boro from Worthing on non-contract terms at the end of December and has scored in each of his first two games. The arrival of Louis will offset the impending departure of leading scorer Anthony Elding, 23, who is being pursued by a host of Conference clubs. Boss Graham Westley has told Elding that he does not figure in his plans".


    "Weymouth have won the race to sign former Republic of Ireland under-21 international John McGrath... Delighted boss Garry Hill said: 'I'm chuffed to bits we've signed John, especially as he had offers from three higher division clubs... He turned down Scarborough, Exeter and Forest Green to join us so that makes this deal a little sweeter. Right up until the last minute it seemed John was going to sign for either Scarborough or Forest Green but we slipped in under the radar and got him'" reports the The Terras website

    However, our next away opponents, "Forest Green Rovers have secured the services of striker Julian Alsop until the end of the season. The 32-year-old, signed initially on a three-month loan from Tamworth in October, has played a key role in Rovers' recent revival and forged a promising partnership with fellow loanee Guy Madjo. But midfielder Simeon Howell has returned to Reading after failing to impress since joining on a season-long loan last summer. With Ben Harding likely to be recalled by MK Dons after the FA Trophy tie against Dorchester Town on January 13th, Rovers badly need reinforcements in midfield now the transfer window has opened. Manager Gary Owers said: "It's going to be a crazy month but I've got to get my head down and try to bring in people of the right quality". As for Madjo, Owers added, "I'm aware one or two people have been having a pop at him but he's only had one bad game for me. Jules Alsop gives us an outlet and he's a massive target - he takes all the hits and brings other players into the game" reports the Gloucester Citizen

    "Cambridge United have loaned out winger Dave Daniels to Hitchin Town. The 20-year-old signed his first professional contract last summer and has made three first-team appearances this season".

    "Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, has not decided yet whether to make a move for Bradford City defender Jake Wright. The Bantams' youngster enjoyed an impressive three-month loan spell at The Shay earlier in the season, making fourteen appearances. But, under the transfer conditions that now exist, he had to return to Valley Parade after the game at Scarborough a month ago. Wilder said at the time that he would be interested in bringing Wright back to the club when the window re-opened". Manager Chris Wilder said "We will not do anything hasty. Matt Doughty has been superb in the last couple of games or so" reports Halifax Today

    "Whitby Town have signed Mark Eccles and Ian Clark on month loans from neighbours Scarborough". Town manager Dave Logan said, "Ian does not have a future at Boro... We have basically taken over Mark's loan deal for the month, while with Ian we may keep him to the end of the season when his contract expires at Scarborough", says Scarborough Today.

    Skysports "understand that the former Newcastle United and Bradford City playmaker, Brian Tinnion, is looking for pastures new after ending a short spell with Aldershot Town." Meanwhile the BBC says that "former Stevenage and Rushden man Jon Brady, who played against us for Hereford earlier this season, has moved to Cambridge United till the end of the season".

    Bullsnews says that "Kidderminster Harriers have shortlisted six in their prolonged hunt for a new manager... The decision is now likely to be taken next week... Caretaker-boss Martin O'Connor... ex-player Mark Yates, Stafford boss Phil Robinson and Jimmy Quinn are believed to have been joined on the shortlist by controversial ex-Cambridge manager John Beck and Keith Alexander, whose reign at Lincoln City appears to be nearing an end after being put 'on leave' by the board"

    This is KHFC reports that the "Harriers, who slipped to 17th in the table with Monday's 3-0 defeat at Altrincham, have already lost forward Taiwo Atieno who decided against extending his loan deal from Walsall". Meanwhile, "Sacked Harriers' boss Stuart Watkiss has been handed a part-time scouting role at Wolves - the club where he launched his professional playing career".

    5 January 2006


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance grid is here; Alty's home league gates are currently 57% up on last season but increased costs mean that the financial situation is still difficult.


    The bar (known as the Noel White Suite) at Moss Lane will, in future, be open at 1pm for all 3pm kick-offs. It will be open to both home and away fans before kick-off but will be cleared of all customers at 2.45pm so that they can enter by the turnstiles. However, due to crowd segregation, at half-time and after the game the bar will be for home supporters only. Access to the bar will be directly off Moss Lane through the gates to the left of the officials' entrance. So, please help to make this innovation a success by using the bar.


    In the run-up to our Promotion Play-Off Final against Eastbourne Borough last May I was pleased to be contacted by Borough's webmaster and non-league enthusiast David Bauckham. Recently David passed through Moss Lane as part of his extensive trip around England researching a forthcoming book on football dugouts. In advance of that, he has now placed an entry on his excellent Pyramid Passion website. As well as the pictures at the above link, there are also images elsewhere on the site of the Robins' Shop and the entrance to our ground.


    SAM reports that after beating Kidderminster, Alty manager Graham Heathcote said "People think that if we get another 18 points or so we will be safe but we have more to think about than that. We have got to look at ways to raise the necessary revenue to get us through this season and there are a number of initiatives which we will need to put in place to make sure this club can survive. I feel negative reminding people about this but that's reality. We have discovered that Conference football is a difficult animal to feed. Overnight trips this season have cost us about £8,000 to £10,000 alone. We need help to try and alleviate the pressure on the people who are working hard to make sure this club is safe. Nobody can expect these same people to keep on going year in, year out... We need everyone in the borough to support us and not just take it for granted that we are going to continue forever and a day as we are now". Graham added, "There are lots of areas where we could improve the squad at the moment but we just can't afford it. For example, other clubs send teams of scouts to watch us in games but we can't afford that although it's something I think would really benefit us. I don't want to have to make cutbacks in the reserves and youth teams but they are areas we will have to look at very carefully if we continue to struggle. We are in a position where we can progress this football club, for the community more than anything, but we need to keep bringing in the crowds and entice youngsters to come along and follow the club".


    STAR reports that the "Birmingham 20 night is almost sold out..only a few tickets left..get yours from the club or the Ashley Hotel". In the meantime "STAR has just made another £500 donation to the club" and also announces that "New stock of the greatest moments DVD is available now".


    Above: Alty defend their lines at Stevenage on 13 August.

    For those of a superstitious nature, it may be worrying that Stevenage are the club against whom Altrincham have played the most Conference games without ever once winning. In 9 encounters to date, Alty have lost all 4 matches at Moss Lane and 3 of the 5 games at Stevenage. But, on the positive side, Stevenage will be without four players (Elding, Nurse, Quinn and Henry) and their away record this season is not brilliant - only two wins in eleven outings.

    Curiously, the only other side with a comparable Conference jinx on Altrincham is Fisher Athletic whom we met 8 times in the league without ever winning.


    Barrow report the signing of "Former Liverpool-Reserve, Accrington and Altrincham full-back, Chris Butler... from Vauxhall Motors. The 21-year old was only with the Motormen a short time before the resignation of former Barrow boss, Owen Brown and then fell out of favour... Butler is Wilson's second signing following the loan acquisition of his son, Kyle from Crewe". Kyle was on loan at Altrincham recently.


    Alty's next away trip is to The Lawn where, "Forest Green Rovers have won the race to sign winger John McGrath. The 25-year-old former Kidderminster wideman, who was a target for Exeter, looked set to join Scarborough until Rovers came up with a better deal. 'We could not match the wages offered by Forest Green', admitted Boro boss Neil Redfearn. Scarborough midfielder Ian Clark has joined Whitby Town on loan along with winger Mark Eccles, whose loan from Gretna has been transferred to Whitby'" says the BBC.

    "In-form striker Guy Madjo is enjoying life at Forest Green Rovers, but admitted his long-term future lies in the hands of his agent. The 21-year-old scored his fifth goal in as many games since arriving at Forest Green on loan from Bristol City... Madjo said: 'I'm happy to stay at the moment, but I have an agent who is working for me'... Once part of Cameroon's Olympic national squad, Madjo has attracted plenty of publicity during his short time with Rovers... He was controversially sent-off after scoring on his first start for the club at Aldershot Town, then arrived late for the Boxing Day clash with the Bulls before coming off the bench to score again... 'I believe in God, so I'm always positive and I accept good things and bad things'". FGR manager Gary Owers told This is Glos. "If he goes to another club then I hope it's to a league club".

    The Nationwide Conference's December award for managers has gone jointly to John Coleman (Accrington) and John Hollins (Crawley).

    The BBC says that "Aldershot midfielder Ahmed Deen has been placed on the transfer list... The 20-year-old joined the Shots from Peterborough in the summer but has been unable to secure a regular first-team slot, starting nine Conference games. Deen joins central defender Tobi Jinadu and full-back Tarkan Mustafa in being made available for a move by Aldershot boss Terry Brown".

    NL Daily says that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced the signing of Ashley Nicholls from Cambridge United until the end of the season... He become a regular with Darlington but failed to settle in the north... which led to his loan at the Abbey".

    As part of the build up for the weekend's FA Cup 3rd Round, the FA Cup trophy will be visiting Tamworth in advance of the tie.

    Confguide says that "York are eagerly watching developments in Macclesfield because if rumours of transfer activity at Moss Rose bear fruit City stand to cash in. The thisisyork website reports that former City star Jon Parkin is the prime candidate for a move away from Moss Rose to help generate money needed to pay a £257,000 Football Foundation fine which is due by the end of this month. Lincoln City are bidding to take the defender-turned striker to Sincil Bank, and the clubs are said to be haggling over a fee. If the deal does go through York will benefit thanks to a far sighted sell-on clause... City's cut is believed to be as much as a third of any fee received".

    4 January 2006


    Press Release from Altrincham FC

    A chance discussion at the Altrincham FC New Year's Eve Party between club chairman Geoff Goodwin and a STAR member Mike Ainsworth led to a proposal which could prove to be an important fundraiser for the club. It is proposed that the Board (Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw) donate shares into a pool and STAR, The Supporters' Trust, will also be invited to donate some shares into the pool. The shares would then be made available to supporters at a rate of 20 per £100 donation or 10 per £50 donation.

    At present, the club has been knocked out of all cup competitions after difficult away ties and is currently, with the help of STAR, paying off historic debts to the Inland Revenue and VAT. However, the club is also keen to avoid making cuts in the playing budget as it seeks to stay in the Conference National division and this proposal would ensure that these would not be necessary.

    Many supporters have asked over the years if shares were available to purchase and have been keen to own a part of their club. This proposal will give them the chance to do just this and give the club's finances a vital boost at the start of the New Year. The board hope that supporters will take this rare chance to acquire shares and will spread the word to all Altrincham fans that they have an opportunity to make a real difference in this difficult season. Together, we can achieve our aim of survival with the elite of non league football and form a platform to take the club forward into a brighter debt free future.

    STAR will need to approve the proposal for their contribution but supporters are now being invited to lodge their pledges by January 31st. Those participating would receive a share certificate in recognition of their donations.

    For further details or to make a pledge please contact Grahame Rowley by e-mail or rung him on 07720-606897 or write to the club at Moss Lane, Altrincham. WA15 8AP


    For this site's match report see the news for 2nd January, below...

    A feature of recent games has been the return of Rod Thornley to the starting line-up and he celebrated on Monday against Kidderminster with his first Conference goal in his seventh start. Amongst the current players, Rod remains the club's leading scorer over his career with 72 goals for Alty in 155+22 games. Here Gavin Rathbone captures the moment as he steers the ball home having charged down Kidderminster keeper Danby's attempted clearance. The stranded keeper is seen, left.

    ... and then Rod performed his trademark cartwheel celebration in front of Colin Little and a delighted Popular side. Both images are from Gavin Rathbone, whose images can be ordered via the shop at Moss Lane or his website

    SAM says that in their win over Kidderminster "the Robins put in possibly their best all-round performance of the season... and left manager Graham Heathcote delighted after the game. He said: 'We had two good results away from home [over Christmas] which wouldn't have meant anything if we'd slipped up today. I knew if we played a high tempo game and got amongst them they wouldn't have enough to withstand that. I think we've played better this season because we had some tired legs out there but the 14 that went out there did a good job for us. We enter the New Year with the games in our favour - we have 10 at home and eight away - so we have to do the job on our own pitch and give people a game here'".

    Harriers Online says of Kidderminster's loss at Moss Lane that this "expected defeat continued the awful form of this once great football team into the New Year... We have now picked up just one point out of a possible nine over Christmas and frankly that is just not good enough to save us from relegation to the dreaded Conference North/South. Action HAS to be taken NOW by the board to halt this slide. If they DO NOT ACT NOW then it's obvious to myself and every other Harriers fan that this board are the most incompetent fools to have walked this planet and in the real cut and thrust of a major companies boardroom they would not even be allowed to make the tea...We are a club in mortal danger of crashing straight through the pyramid at the first attempt unless someone in command gets their arse into gear and does something positive for once in their life".

    Meanwhile This is KHFC agrees that "the relegation trapdoor is looming closer for Kidderminster Harriers but Martin O'Connor tried to take the positives out of the 3-0 defeat at Altrincham. While the Conference result was dreadful on paper, Harriers often looked the better team but desperately lacked the killer pass or finish". O'Connor said: "I thought we were the better team against Altrincham. We lacked a cutting edge. Two mistakes from the goalkeeper and we were two goals down... There were some good performances... Simon Heslop was superb. He and Terry Fleming were different class."


    Player profiles for 1972/73 and 1996/97 have been added to the Past Players' section of this website.


    For Saturday's clash with Altrincham at Moss Lane, the visitors have four key players missing. In addition to striker Anthony Elding who is in dispute with his manager, three players are suspended. These are Robert Quinn, Ronnie Henry and Jon Nurse.


    The BBC says that "Scarborough manager Neil Redfearn is expected to make former Doncaster and Kidderminster winger John McGrath his first transfer window signing... The 25-year-old had also been a target for fellow Conference side Exeter after a spell in Ireland. Redfearn also hopes to extend the loan stay of Gretna striker Brian Wake, but keeper Antoni Pecora has been released".

    "Crawley Town boss John Hollins hopes to keep on-loan Tamworth striker Tristram Whitman " - who almost joined Altrincham before opting for fulltime playing at Crawley. The BBC adds that "Hollins has extended winger Tony Scully's loan spell from Notts County and wants to do the same with Whitman, 25, who has scored once in four games. Tamworth boss Mark Cooper is unlikely to block the move and plans transfer-window activity of his own. Cooper is trying to secure a permanent deal for on-loan Exeter striker Jake Edwards and wants further signings.".

    Bullsnews reports that "Doncaster winger Adriano Rigolioso has joined Chester on trial... He last played for Doncaster in March, and is available on a free transfer after spending a spell on loan at Southport which was cut short due to a knee injury. York City manager Billy McEwan has confirmed interest in Kidderminster defender Mark Jackson, who has been virtually ever-present in the Harriers side this season. York may make a move with Harriers believed to be under pressure to reduce the wage bill".

    Southport confirm that Crewe's "Mark Roberts has agreed to stay at Southport until the end of January".

    From Morecambe is news that "Following discussions between the board of directors of Morecambe Football Club, manager Jim Harvey, caretaker manager Sammy McIlroy & his assistant Mark Lillis... Sammy McIlroy & Mark Lillis will remain as caretaker manager and assistant manager until the completion of this season. This decision gives clarity to all concerned at Christie Park... It also ensures that Jim Harvey has sufficient time to completely recover from his recent heart attack... Sammy McIlroy commented, 'I am delighted with this decision and I am 100% committed to the job here'... Jim Harvey added, "I am recuperating well and looking forward to getting back to work when the time is right. Special thanks must go to Sammy & Mark for their sterling work".

    "Cliff Akurang’s loan period at Dagenham & Redbridge ended after the match on 2 January. Manager, John Still has made no secret his ambition to sign the Heybridge striker... 'We have had some preliminary talks with Heybridge Swifts', said Still. 'Those talks are ongoing... he’s a player I would like to bring into this football club", he told the Daggers. site.

    3 January 2006


    Above: Steve Bushell leads team-mates Steve Aspinall, Colin Potts, Ged Murphy, Peter Band and Kieran Lugsden off the pitch after the game, as Colin Little prepares to receive his Man of the Match award.

    Altrincham welcomed in 2006 with their biggest win and first three-goal haul of the league season to make it an unbeaten Christmas period with five points gleaned from three matches.

    Match report here.


    From The Robins' Review, 2 January 2006

    What a great day it was at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium last season and what a great result we achieved against Eastbourne Borough. However, with every step forward, more problems, especially financial, come along with it. Over the last 3 years, your Board have worked within tight financial constraints due to the inherited debts. These constraints have also been applied to the management at the club and both Graham and Dalton have worked wonders in getting the club into the Nationwide Conference. However, setting a budget for this season was an almost impossible task and we started the season 'in the dark' as to expected crowds, level of sponsorship and more importantly the cost of competing in the League. Long term injuries and the imposed 'transfer window' system have also played their part in us having to carry a larger squad of players than we would ideally (and financially) have liked to have done.

    We have now reached the New Year and assessment of our initial budget has taken place and unfortunately a substantial shortfall is predicted for the year end. Going out of both Cup competitions at the first hurdle hasn't helped our cause and we thus find ourselves in a situation where expenditure is not being met by income. All avenues of generating extra income are being looked into and cost saving measures are also being analysed but the stark reality is that this League is a thirstier animal than any of us first thought.

    The proposed 'Car Park Development' is one avenue for extra income but, at present, the Council are unsure whether to back the proposed plans... we must await their judgement. The Board are doing everything in their power to push the development forward and are looking into other new income streams that may alleviate the impending financial problems that beset this club at present. We all want to remain in this League but NOT at any cost. We cannot abandon principles of the last 3 years when expenditure has been balanced by income come the season end.

    We are all available to discuss any matters further with you, including new ideas, and if a public meeting be deemed necessary, we would be happy to be in attendance. We are sorry to begin the year on such a dismal note but the facts speak for themselves and we've never tried to hide them from you. Watch this space for further developments.

    On behalf of the Board of Altrincham FC


    From The Robins' Review, 2 January 2006

    by Graham Heathcote

    Welcome to everybody, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. If we analyse the year 2005 I think it is fair to say that this football club had a very good year. The players deserve a lot of credit for their achievements throughout the year and also everybody associated with this football club for the very fact that we are still here alive and kicking and operating at the National Conference level. 2006 is going to be a difficult year. The first part of the year being to try and hold on to our National Conference status, the financial problems this creates are difficult for everybody, just the general expenses alone for this league are proving to be very testing for everyone. Our dismal cup form, albeit that we had some difficult away ties, has obviously hit us financially as we tried in the first half of this season to maintain as large a squad of players as we could and also to try and be fair to the players that gained promotion for us. It is pretty clear for us to progress or even survive at this level then the funds that could be generated by the proposed car park sale are vital. After all the hard work over the last three years it would be a crying shame for an issue of 40 car park spaces to be the deciding factor on us moving this club forward and becoming an even bigger community asset than we already are. The use of 40 car park spaces once or twice a fortnight in comparison to having a thriving community asset does not bear comparison and the people who are dilly dallying over this issue need to look at the bigger picture.

    I have always believed that most people have a time scale to things they are trying to achieve and, whilst trying to achieve those aims, you need to see light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel not to be too long. Our aim is to make this football club family orientated and a community asset, whilst progressing the playing side within this structure. To broaden the structure needs regular income. Without it, all funds would need to be concentrated purely on the first team. I said at the beginning of this season we would find out if we were a National Conference Club or a Conference North Club. The swiftness of the decision regarding the car park could be decisive and should the couple of councillors who appear to be the stumbling block dally much longer they may well have to take the credit for the demise of this football club as a community asset. The Board of Directors, myself and everybody else connected with the football club have worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to be hindered, possibly, by two people who have probably never set foot inside Moss Lane. I have no doubt they will want to know us when it comes to voting time. Harsh words you may think but this is how I personally see the situation and I await instructions from my Board of Directors as to what financial reductions I may need to make. So 2006 is going to be a difficult year. Yet again we all need to rally together to generate the required funding and the answer lies not 50 yards from where we all stand or sit.

    Enjoy the game, Graham.


    Matty McNeil scored two late goals to secure Hyde's win at Stalybridge yesterday. A trialist at Moss Lane this summer, Gavin Salmon, hit a hat-trick for his new club Woodley Sports with another ex-Alty man, Mario Daniel, scoring a fourth against Warrington Town.


    Alty entertain Stevenage on Saturday, having lost 3-0 at Broadhall Way on the opening day of the season. The Borough website reports that manager "Graham Westley was delighted to start the new year with a bang as Stevenage crushed Cambridge... Westley said "The old year wasn't great to us. We ended it in disappointing and we lost a play off final. Hopefully, 2006 will be our year... We travel north [to Altrincham] on Saturday with three suspensions. So now the squad will be tested and the challenge up north is always tough anyway. But we are capable of doing the job. We know what to expect and we will be ready. In some respects, the suspensions may work in our favour because players who have played two games in three days will be replaced by three lads who haven't".

    In addition to these suspensions, one player unlikely to face us is highly rated Anthony Elding, who has fallen out with manager Westley. The Stevenage Forum quotes from Westley's programme notes as follows: "Cambridge kicked us in the teeth on Boxing Day and stole 3 points from us. We were left in 6th place as a consequence and I guess its a compliment to what I have achieved here that some fans were calling for my head. Actually, that did nothing to motivate me. I thought it was an unappreciative way to treat a Manager who has given a lot of his young life to help the club avoid relegation and reach a play off final. Yes, it affected my heart. I admit that. But it did nothing to dent my determination to win promotion. My supporters need not worry.

    My Farnborough Champions won 16 straight games in the New Year to win promotion to the Conference. What has gone has gone. It is what comes next that will count. We have a great side in the making. In Julian, Henry, Nurse and Boyd, we have tremendous experience. In Bully, Hocking and Jefferson we have middle aged excellence. Size, speed, stamina and skill. We possess the lot.

    Stuff Elding. He has let us all down.

    Talk though is cheap and we have to deliver consistently. Lots of people have lots to say about myself and the players. We will answer together in our results.

    Happy New Year. If we are 80% as good as I think then we will end the season in the League. If not, then laugh at me.

    Graham Westley".


    Saturday, 7 January is the anniversary both of Alty's FA Cup replay against Everton (1975) and their FA Cup defeat at White Hart Lane (1995) as is confirmed by Howard Watts's Through the Years.


    Woking announce that manager Glenn Cockerill "passed on the news that he has taken on a defender, Tom Hutchinson, on non-contract terms. Tom, 23, has been with Dundee and is the twin brother of Brentford’s Eddie Hutchinson... Glenn explained: 'I just felt that we needed a bit more cover defensively at least until Gary MacDonald returns. Of course, I’d have liked to have signed a forward but it’s not easy finding someone who’s better than the players we’ve already got. There are a few players I’ve looked at, though, and if the budget will allow it, I would hope to be able to bring someone in during the next couple of weeks'”. Hutchinson was booked on his debut as a substitute.

    Bullsnews states that for Hereford today "Guy Ipoua played, as an appeal against his red card had been submitted but there was no sign of Darren Blewitt, who was later confirmed to have returned to West Ham".

    2 January 2006


    Alty captain Mark Maddox missed today's game as his wife Jayne had gone into labour and the good news is that she has given birth to a 9lb 12oz son, Vinnie, a brother for Sonny. He is the fourth son born to Alty players in the last year following the offspring of Colin Potts, Rod Thornley and Peter Band. All should be eligible for Graham Heathcote's first team by 2024.


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


    In today's NL Paper, Ged Murphy says of his disallowed goal for Alty in the Tamworth game, "I could see nothing wrong with it. But I was cross with myself for missing a good chance before then. We certainly had the better opportunities and restricted Tamworth to just a couple of openings".

    Meanwhile The Lambs' manager Mark Cooper said of his team, "Two or three of them are in for a big shock during the transfer window. I've made up my mind who they are and they will be leaving the club".

    Graham Heathcote also speaks in the NLP about Gary Talbot (right), saying "Gary has been out for a month already and we have missed him [and] his aerial ability as a big centre-half". In the same paper, Gary Talbot is the selector of this week's "Dream Team". He chooses current team mates Stuart Coburn as his goalkeeper and Colin Little in midfield. He also selects former Alty players Ian Craney and Danny Adams. Of Stuart Coburn, Gary says, "He should be in the Football League". In his own position of centre-back, Gary goes for the Yeovil pairing of Terry Skiverton and Scott Guyett.

    100 UP

    If he starts today's game against Kidderminster, it will be right-back Steve Aspinall's 100th start for Altrincham. He was a virtual ever-present last season, but a summer operation and a slow recovery have limited Steve (left) to just 2 league and 2 cup starts this season. But Alty's penalty taker has already hit the mark in the Conference with a spot-kick at Kidderminster on Boxing Day. In all, he has made 99+5 appearances to date for The Robins and has scored 14 goals, 12 of which have been penalties.

    Steve's lack of first-team action this season was one element in Altrincham's squad at Tamworth including 11 players who had started 9 or fewer league games this season before that match. As well as Steve, these 11 included Steve Bushell (4), Lewis Chalmers (9), Kieran Lugsden (1), Pat McFadden (0), Ged Murphy (4), Warren Peyton (7), James Robinson (1), Stephen Rose (8), Gary Scott (9), Rod Thornley (5). Indeed, only three of the Alty starters against Tamworth had started 10 or more previous Conference games this season for Alty; they were Mark Maddox with 15 starts, Stuart Coburn (22) and Colin Little (22), whilst two others, Peter Band (20) and Colin Potts (13), were unused subs on the bench.

    Apart from Steve Aspinall, only six players have scored for Alty in the league this season, they are Colin Little (7), Colin Potts (3), Kieran Lugsden (1), James Robinson (1), James Olsen (1) and Warren Peyton (1) - there has also been one own goal scored for us. In cup matches, Peter Band (1), Rod Thornley (1) and Lee Hendley (2) have also scored.


    Don't forget you can get your Altrincham FC calendar for 2006 at the Robins' Shop, featuring the excellent photography of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography. And this year, the players have their clothes ON!


    Howard Watts's Through the Years information for 2 January is here.

    For today's game against Kidderminster, Confguide reports that "Altrincham are hoping to have midfielder Val Owen available after injury, but Chris Adams watch from the sidelines as he serves a one-match suspension. Gary Talbot has missed the last six games with a foot injury and is expected to miss out once again. Kidderminster caretaker player-manager Martin O'Connor has recovered from knee surgery and he could select himself to play. Simon Russell could also return after recovering from a broken wrist".

    The Harriers On-Line site has a preview of today's game with Alty. "After that rubbish served up against Burton on Friday night it can't happen too soon. In that un-memorable game we were totally out played by a Burton side far more interested in getting a result than we were and with too many below par performances from our lot we looked a sorry sight. On Boxing Day we played Altrincham at Aggborough in an equally mind numbing game that ended all square at 1 - 1 and for the return fixture at Moss Lane tomorrow we are going to be without a key player. Johnny Mullins picked up his fifth booking of the season in that game and will now have to sit this one out along with Simon Russell and Laurie Wilson, both injured... It's not known yet whether Taiwo Atieno is still a member of the Harriers set up or if he has been sent back to Walsall now that he has reached the end of his loan spell here. I'm sorry to say that, since his opening day double against Woking, the Walsall youngster has failed to impress and looked decidedly lazy and un-interested most of the time... Alty will be hoping to go one better than last week in this game so will look favourites for all three points... Chris Adams was not supposed to be playing tomorrow after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Aggborough but he would have been allowed to play at Tamworth yesterday. Instead he 'picked up an injury' before the start of that game and missed out playing. That means that he will probably play against us now and not in Altrincham's next game". This speculation is incorrect; suspensions are dictated by date not by choice. Adams will miss today's game. Also, his injury was certainly a genuine one as we could have done with him at Tamworth on New Year's Eve.

    The Kidderminster Official site says that "Lee Thompson is again a doubt for Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow as they travel to Altrincham, with his foot injury further aggravated in Friday's defeat to Burton".


    York City say that "centre-back David McGurk was set to make a farewell appearance against Morecambe at KitKat Crescent last Saturday. The Middlesbrough-born defender returns to Darlington upon completion of a three-month loan spell with assurances of an immediate recall to their first-team".

    Those who attended the Alty v Woking game last month and witnessed Woking's timewasting from early in the first half will find the following comments on the Cards' official site about their Christmas/New Year double fixtures with Crawley interesting.... "The Cards failed to turn their domination into goals in the 0-0 draw on Boxing Day... [but for the return match today], this game should have a bit of an edge, with Glenn Cockerill accusing Crawley of time-wasting on Boxing Day and with John Hollins retorting by criticising Woking’s long-ball game".

    Stevenage Borough report that manager "Graham Westley has reacted to continuing speculation by the Non League Paper surrounding George Boyd. He said, 'I cannot get to grips with why my players seem to receive such regular exaggerated attention. If it isn't Maamria being written off, it is Elding being unsettled or Boyd on his way. Often, the same journo pens the stories. Maybe he is an Accrington fan! I have not had one enquiry for George. In fact, since the speculation began, he has lost his spark. He needs to knuckle down and get that back or he may well be fighting to get back into our side rather than worrying about a move. Thankfully, he is an honest lad and he will definitely react well now. He is earning his spurs: he isn't wearing them yet'".

    Accrington Stanley report that "On loan Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Rob Elliot will remain here at Accrington Stanley till the end of the season. The 19 year old shot stopper joined us at the beginning of December, and is sure to be a key member of the Stanley squad in the second half of the season".

    The Shots say that "Manager Terry Brown took time out after training on New Year's Day to discuss his undoubted pleasure in securing the services of former Bristol Rovers winger Ryan Williams on a contract that will keep the East Midlander at the Recreation Ground until the end of next season. A delighted boss said, 'I think that we have signed the best winger not only in the Conference but also in League Two'". Williams had a short loan spell at Aldershot in September. The manager added, "I need to make a further addition to the front line before I am totally happy. With the transfer window I have until January 17th to be able to do this". And he went on, "We have had no offer from any club about Tim Sills at this moment in time. In any case I am looking to supplement my squad and not to weaken it".

    1 January 2006


    A Happy New Year to all Altrincham supporters and all users of this website.

    After just one home game since 26 November, the start of 2006 sees seven out of the first eleven Conference games for Altrincham being home matches at Moss Lane.


    A statistical review of Altrincham FC in the calendar year 2005 is now here. Find the answers to fascinating questions such as:
  • Who was Alty's second-top scorer in 2005?
  • Who picked up 17 bookings in his 39 starts in 2005?
  • Who sat on the bench six times in 2005 but never got on the pitch for Altrincham's first team?


    The Club held a New Year's Celebration last night for supporters and club officials and many thanks are due to the organisers and helpers who helped to make it a success.


    In a variant version of a report from the NL Paper quoted here on 23 December (below), The FA quotes Graham Heathcote halfway through the season as follows: "Our fortunes will now depend on what we can afford to do in the second half of the season. It will be very hard for me to improve the side. We have had no money to spend over the past couple of years to get to this level. So there are no funds available to stay here... I would think that there are 21 teams in this league looking to increase and improve their playing staff in the New Year. But Altrincham as the 22nd club may have to reduce what we are spending, especially on the back of having no cup income to look forward to. We are just hoping to reach the end of this campaign without increasing debt. That is going to make things so much more difficult for us on the field of play. I made a statement back in August that we would quickly find out whether we are a Conference club or a Nationwide North outfit. I think we are now beginning to discover what we actually are. On the footballing front, we will go out in every game and try to secure enough points to stay in this league. All we are aiming for is to avoid the drop. If we can survive in the Conference with the financial constraints that we have, then everyone at the club will have done a fantastic job".


    Some Conference clubs are not having a happy Christmas and our next opponents Kidderminster are apparently one of them as Harriers On Line reports, following defeat by Burton. "In two days time the transfer window opens once more and with a bit of luck some unsuspecting club, preferably Hereford, can sign every one of our squad. After that tripe tonight it's obvious they don't want to play for us, the shirt or Martin O'Connor anymore and they are now all surplus to requirements... Goalkeeper Daniel Lewis turned in his worst performance for us since taking over from John Danby and made error after error in his handling of the ball and his wayward goal kicks... We're stuck with the majority of this lot and with no prospect of any new people coming in during the transfer window and with Atieno, Christie and Jackson all possibly leaving there seems no improvement in sight for us".

    Also less than happy are Aldershot's fans whose Shots site says that "An afternoon that had a farcical touch saw Shots brushed aside all too easily at The Lawn... The farcical touch included two floodlight failures as the village of Nailsworth was darkened through a power cut. Referee Michael Mullarkey chose to wait for the match to be concluded ensuring that new year revellers could not start their party until 5.40pm, the time the match finally finished. By this time most of the Shots followers were back down the M4 deciding not to wait for the final seven minutes that remained when the match was restarted. In fairness it would have been unjust on the home side whose performance belied their lowly status. They deserved their victory and could even afford the luxury of an injury time penalty miss that would have put them 5-1 ahead". And Shotsweb adds that it was "The lowest ebb. Defeat - and not just a defeat we might add, but a comprehensive humiliation - at basement club Forest Green sees Aldershot end 2005 sitting 15th in the Conference. This after the Chairman stated in August that he believed the title could head this way. This was not just an unlucky day for the Shots. But for an effort cleared off the line, three others hitting the woodwork and a missed penalty, Forest Green could have scored NINE... Eight goals conceded so far in the Christmas programme tells its own story and there is virtually nothing anyone can say about the last two games that could allow any of the team to take any crumbs of comfort from the performances. One player who can be excused is young striker Matt Gearing, who for the second game in a row was named as a substitute, but was not visible on the bench or seen at the ground. With rumours gaining momentum on Saturday that a formal offer has been made for Tim Sills by Leyton Orient, there is even the unconfirmed possibility that club could find itself without a single contracted first team striker in a matter of days".

    Bullsnews reports that "Anthony Elding is set to leave Stevenage as long as Graham Westley can obtain around £75,000 for the out of favour striker. Crawley offered £50,000 some weeks ago but talks between the two clubs stumbled. After last night's defeat by Hereford, Exeter are rumoured to be interested but maybe not be able to afford the 23 year-old who is said to be on good money at Broadhall Way. Speaking to the Exeter Express and Echo, Exeter manager Alex Inglethorpe said of Stevenage's Anthony Elding, "What would I sign him with? How would I finance that one? Unless I was to sell someone. But I definitely don't want to get rid of Craig Farrell, Lee Phillips, Jamie Mackie or Steve Flack and you can put Craig Watkins into that as wel". Bullsnews adds that "Elding failed to turn up for training this week. Manager Graham Westley wasn't happy, 'Anthony can stay away now and if he does return he will train with the reserves or the youth team. I am never going to put a Boro shirt on his back again. That would be unfair to the other players here who have worked hard... He decided to stay at home and I never gave him permission to do that, it was his choice'".

    Bullsnews also has an interesting analysis: "This season, nine clubs have 30 points or more. Last season, it was 14. Last season, no-one outside the top seven at the halfway stage made the play-offs. Down the bottom, the bottom club at halfway was relegated as the bottom side in each of the last three seasons".