Altrincham Football Club News Archive
28 February 2006
FA Trophy Semi-Finals, two legs, 18/25 March:
ALTY PONTOONSarah Rowley's updated Alty Pontoon chart is here. Peterborough are still limping along... but ominously, our visitors on Saturday, York City, are the current leaders!
IN THE PICTUREAnswers to
are as follows: 1. Jeremy Illingworth, 2. Carl Furlong, 3. Danny Murphy, 4. Terry Bowker, 5. Ian Craney, 6. Adam Farley, 7. Rod Thornley, 8.Steve Finney, 9. Paul Edwards, 10. Ronnie Ellis, 11. Ryan Hevicon, 12. Jason Gallagher, 13. Jeff Johnson, 14. Leroy Chambers, 15. John King, 16. Graham Barrow, 17. Mark Sertori, 18. Paul Showler, 19. Nick Stephens, 20. Dave Swanick, 21. Brian Flynn (played for supporters' team!), 22. Andy Green, 23. Jeff Wealands, 24. Jack Swindells, 25. Albert Quixall, 26. Mike Farrelly, 27. Mattie Hughes, 28. Danny McGoona (no.11), 29. Ged Kielty, 30. Paul Reid.
ROCKY ROBBED!Andrew Nash, a.k.a. Rocky Robin writes on the Alty Fans' Forum of dark doings at the Pancake Race for football mascots in Manchester on Sunday... "In today's pancake race at the Printworks, Rocky Robin produced a gaintkilling by beating Bloomfield Bear of Blackpool. However, the judges disqualified Rocky for apparently only tossing his pancake twice, when he quite clearly tossed it 3 times. The PA guy then had the cheek to annouce Rocky as 'Rocky The Cheater Robin'. The event was eventually won by Chaddy the Owl of Oldham. I'd like to thank Ian Senior, Jenny Heslop and Tom Jacobs for ensuring Rocky had the correct shirt with name on. If you sponsored Rocky,you can pass the money onto me at the York game on Saturday. Although there was no victory, I think today raised the profile of the club a bit,so at least something came out of it".
NEXT UPYork City travel to Moss Lane this Saturday and bring with them Andy Bishop who is currently the Conference's leading scorer. This is York states that Bishop's "treble in Saturday's 5-1 demolition of Forest Green Rovers... saw him overtake Woking's Justin Richards, having netted 17 times in the league". Manager Billy McEwen withdrew him after 64 minutes saying, "His groin was tight at half-time and we did not want to take any risks". Also, "McEwan also gave Mark Hotte a 20-minute run-out against Forest Green with the former Scarborough defender likely to replace James Dudgeon on Saturday because the ex-Worksop Town defender misses the trip to Altrincham having picked up a one-match ban. The City boss added: 'Mark needs games because he's not played for a while'". However, McEwan warned, "People will be looking at our results and our games will get harder and harder because teams will be respecting us more".
WARHURST EYES SEADOGSWhen Paul Warhurst backed out of a trial game for Altrincham recently, he stated that he hoped to keep playing in the Football League. He seems to have lowered his sights as Scarborough Today reports that "Former England squad member Paul Warhurst could make his Boro debut in tomorrow's North Riding FA Senior Cup semi-final at York City. The versatile Warhurst, 36, has joined Neil Redfearn's side for training and is expected to slot into the squad to tackle the Minstermen, probably playing up front. Redfearn said: 'We will be having a look at Paul and he will be having a look at us. He has been training with Altrincham but he didn't fancy that [!!]... His ability is not in question'... He added: 'Chris Hughes should be okay after picking up a head injury on Saturday, but [ex-Alty reserve] Tom Baker, Lee Fowler, Paul Foot, Ian Dunbavin and [ex-Alty] Mark Quayle are all struggling'".
ATTENDANCESTerry Rowley's Conference attendance statistics are here.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Argus says that "Furious Crawley boss John Hollins has lost patience with his players and says he would like to get rid of most of them. He pulled no punches after watching a dismal sixth defeat in seven league games at a windswept Canvey Island. Reds were wretched and looked like a side staring down the relegation barrel. Hollins reckons some members of his squad lack motivation because they pick up their money win, lose or draw. He has released two players - Kim Grant and Dorryl Proffitt - during the last two weeks and sent others on loan to make way for new faces. And Hollins says he would like to ship more out the exit door following this awful performance but says his hands are tied because players are on contracts. He fumed: 'The fact is about 12 or 13 players have contracts and have a contract for next season. Every single one of them has a rise in their contract next year. Why? There were 16 players out there and everybody got appearance (money). Why? ... I brought in two players because I could get two players out. I would like to move out as many as I can but I can't... The things we have worked on and talked about, like throw-ins, corners and set-pieces, they didn't take on board'". The paper adds, "They showed what they are capable of last Saturday when they destroyed Altrincham with a magnificent display. So it makes it even more frustrating that the same team can fall so far below that yard-stick just seven days later... They struggled to pass the ball five yards at times and ran out of ideas going forward... Canvey contributed to a dire game by playing almost as badly but took their opportunity when it came... Traditionally, this time of year is when part-time teams begin to find things even tougher. Reds can vouch for that after winning just one of their final 11 games last season. All of Crawley's relegation rivals are part-time, except Scarborough, so theoretically Hollins's men should have enough to lift themselves above the dross".
The BBC reports that "Young midfielder Craig Watkins has been released from his Exeter City contract after becoming homesick... since his move from Sutton last August. 'He is homesick and wants to stay away', said City boss Alex Inglethorpe. 'I am disappointed, but the South West is not for everyone'" .
"Cambridge United manager Rob Newman is lining up a potential loan move for Lincoln City defender Matt Bloomer. Bloomer was due to play in a friendly for the U's on Monday... The 27-year-old has not featured for Lincoln since the end of December and recently completed a temporary spell with Grimsby Town. Newman was also planning to use the friendly game at Boston to take a look at Bolton goalkeeper Sam Ashton, 19", says the BBC.
Meanwhile, "On-loan Fulham defender Robert Watkins is to spend a further two months at Gravesend and Northfleet... but Liam Daish has allowed defender Danny Glozier to extend his loan spell with Tonbridge Angels for a further month".
Forest Green Rovers are appealing aginst the red card for Byron Anthony, a loan player from Cardiff City.
Ex-Cheltenham defender John Brough, 33, has left Aldershot by mutual consent, saying that manager "Terry (Brown) said that there was no deal available for next season which is understandable considering the amount of matches I've played. It was agreed to terminate the deal to help save the club a bit of money and for me to look ahead for my future".
Bullsnews reports that "Forest Green have become the first club to announce their pricing plans for next season - and they show a sharp increase on this year's prices for adult tickets. Matchday adult prices will rise £2 for the move to their new stadium, but Concession and Child rates drop on the terraces. An adult season ticket rises by £45, or £1 a game after the expansion to 24 clubs is taken into consideration. The most contentious price increase, amongst FGR fans, is the implementation of a £3 car park charge per match for their new 250 space car park".
27 February 2006
MONDAY GAMEMonday 27 Feb.
LEIGH RMI YOUTH 1 ALTRINCHAM YOUTH 5A hat-trick by Ben Deegan and goals from Astley Mulholland and Hassan Zareh-Ourang saw Altrincham Youth win their first game in Group A of the Premier Subsidiary Cup, despite a number of regulars being unavailable. Morecambe have now withdrawn from the Subsidiary Cup Group A, whilst Marine have dropped out of Group B due to fixture congestion. Report to follow
Alty Youth are also in the semi-finals both of the Open Cup (away to Eagley) and of the Neil Thomason Memorial Trophy (home to Fleetwood Hesketh). Next Sunday (March 5th), they are away to Marine in the league.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Football Conference reports that "Liam Daish felt his Gravesend & Northfleet side missed top scorer Charlie MacDonald's extra class as they drew 0-0 with Scarborough. 'We probably lacked a bit of quality in the right areas - we're starting to miss Charlie', the Fleet boss summarized. 'Conference teams only tend to have one player like that. To be fair to Scarborough, they worked very hard'".
Meanwhile, York City manager Billy McEwan said of his side's 5-1 win over Forest Green, "We could have even won by more... We were a bit fortunate when the lad (Anthony Byron) was sent off. It was harsh, but that happens in football".
Radio 5 Live reports that Stevenage Borough are facing a loss of potential supporters to nearby Watford, who are introducing a free coach service to Vicarage Road and reduced entry prices to residents of Stevenage.
PICTURE QUIZOn Saturday, part one of the picture quiz of former Altrincham players, set for those attending the Quiz Night at Moss Lane last week, appeared on the website. To allow those with no access to the website over the weekend a chance to try their hand at the quiz, the answers are being held over till tomorrow. Meanwhile, part 2 of the quiz is available here and for those who missed part one, here it is again!
26 February 2006
MORE OLD BOYSYesterday, Alex Hay scored for Leigh RMI, whose squad now includes two more recent ex-Alty men in George Melling (right) and Gary Williams. James Olsen netted for Barrow.
OLD BOYSFC United included Barrie George, Steve Torpey and Phil Power in their starting line-up at Moss Lane yesterday, whilst Tony Cullen and ex-Alty reserve Adie Orr were substitutes. Watching the game was another of FC United's ex-Moss Lane contingent, Josh Mitten.
At Ashton, Terry Bowker scored in a win over Whitby Town.
CONFERENCE NEWSDespite a report by Hucknall Today that "New Hucknall Town manager Kevin Wilson has...snapped up four signings.. [including] Carl Heggs, a seasoned attacking midfielder from Tamworth". Heggs actually played and scored for The Lambs yesterday as they lost to Halifax Town, despite the presence in their side of Paul Merson.
The informative and entertaining Bullsnews questions "Did the Bulls get any LDV money? Hereford United were defeated by Macclesfield Town in the Northern Semi-final of the LDV four weeks ago and should have received some £12,000 for their efforts... Clubs only receive a pay-out when they are defeated... But there are fears that the Bulls have not received any money from the sponsors and probably never will... With LDV Vans going into administration the sponsorship deal for that competition with the Football League has collapsed. All prize money has now been cancelled, with those defeated in the Area Semi-Finals losing £15,000,(Hereford being a Conference side should have received £12,000)... Presumably it will get more embarrassing still, with the Final due to be be broadcast live on Sky Sports... One can't imagine the Football League or the broadcasters wishing to continue promoting and advertising a company that has gone down the pan and defaulted on its commitments, so what to call it? Answers on a postcard to : The Right Honourable the Lord Mawhinney, Chairman of The Football League".
25 February 2006
FA Trophy 4
Prize money : £7,000 for winners
NW Counties 2
Above: Former Alty Youth keeper Barrie George watches as FC United clear their lines. The Reds' no.10 is Steve Torpey- briefly at Altrincham last season. Also in the starting line-up was former Alty player Phil Power.
MARK'S VIEWSIn his column for SAM Alty captain Mark Maddox say "Our performance in the second half against Halifax was probably the best we've played in a few weeks. We didn't just try to shut up shop after equalising, we went for the three points and I think all the lads did themselves proud... I see their manager, Chris Wilder, praised us after the game and it's always nice to hear comments like that... We ended up overplaying a bit and making mistakes during the first half but I think we were the better team after half time and deserved at least a point". As for defeat at Crawley, "They got at us from the start - we just never really got to grips with it.
If we had put away the chance we got just before half time then we would have gone in 1-1 at half time and it might have been a completely different game. They were very physical though. At first I had thought the challenge on Ged was just a case of the two of them coming together at first but then I saw Ged's leg. If it had been me on the end of that tackle I know I would've wanted the guy to get a red card... We've already lost Ged and Chris Adams and the departure of Robbo won't help either. He rang me on Wednesday to tell me about his move to Richmond Eagles in Melbourne. It was a bit of a shock but I wished him luck - although I did want to throttle him for leaving!... It's Gonzo (Gary Scott) that we've got to get rid of - I didn't mind giving a lift to Robbo because he lived nearby but Gonzo's well out of the way so I would have rather seen him go to Australia. That said, I don't think they would even let him into the country with his reputation. I still can't believe Robbo wants to swap the sunny coast of Liverpool for Oz, what more do they have over there that he can't get in Liverpool?"
QUIZ NIGHT SUCCESSThe Alty FC Quiz Night, chaired expertly by Rod Thornley, with Grahame and Sarah Rowley as markers, was a great success on Thursday and raised over £350. For those who couldn't go, here is part one of the Picture Quiz - photos of Alty players of the recent and not so recent past in black and white. There are no prizes for the solutions but you may like to see how well you can do. Answers on Monday...
CONFERENCE NEWSTamworth expect "A bumper crowd after the TV and radio interest in Paul Merson’s arrival ... [Meanwhile] Scott Bevan, the Tamworth ‘keeper who suffered a disastrous injury necessitating the removal of a kidney, will be at the game and plans are underway for fundraisers for the former MK Dons player. A benefit game has been penciled in for Sunday May 21st at The Lamb with former Southampton and England star Matt Le Tissier, Man Utd goalkeeping coach and ex- Birmingham City ‘keeper Tony Coton and Francis Benali already indicating they will feature in the game. It is also possible a benefit dinner will be held".
Halifax Town "striker Darren Mansaram has completed a permanent move away from the Shay". He has joined Sligo Rovers.
Woking "announce the signing of 22 year-old Malik Buari from Fulham on non-contract terms until the end of the season"> He is a winger who "made his Premiership debut in a 3-1 defeat to Everton in August 2003".
Grays v Exeter City has been moved from Saturday 8th April to the following Monday 10th as it is to be televised by Sky Sports
NL Daily reports that "Aldershot Town have announced that 31-year-old defender Tarkan Mustafa has left the club by mutual consent... after losing his place in the side to Matt Somner".
This is York says that "City boss Billy McEwan has insisted that the club's off-field financial worries will not influence matters on the pitch... Said the City manager: 'There's nothing we can do. We have only got to concern ourselves with the football side of things... Obviously, the more games you win the better things are, but we have got to stay humble and, as I keep repeating, see where we are on April 29".
The Burton Mail reports that "Nigel Clough is ready to show his ruthless streak by axing one of Burton Albion's midweek goalscoring heroes".
The official Southport website states that "Regarding articles posted on the Portchat website, Director Barry Hedley says there is absolutely no truth in the reports that Liam Watson is leaving Southport Football Club to be replaced by Shaun Teale or anybody else. Liam is very upset with these rumours as the Chairman and Board of Directors are still backing Liam to rescue the club from our predicament. It is also unfair to Shaun Teale and Chorley Football Club with whom we have a very good relationship with their club officials". As previously reported here, Portchat quotes Liam Watson confirming that he had "decided to release Nick Rogan as I could not guarantee him a start up front. Nick has gone to Barrow and I wish him well. I have made enquiries to Chester about Marcus Richardson. I have talked to their chairman Stephen Vaughan and was in contact with Keith Curle. Steven Vaughan has passed on the information to new manager Mark Wright. Hopefully for us Mark Wright will agree to the loan. We will have to wait and see. Marcus Richardson is an imposing forward with a good work rate who will add to our squad. I have also made enquiries elsewhere in the Conference concerning a striker. At this stage of the season and in our position I have to try all angles and await to see who becomes available. Mark Roberts is happy to return to us and that is very good news once his 30 day loan to Chester technically expires. Mark will add defensive strength to us and Crewe have been very helpful in overseeing this. So we have 14 matches to achieve our objective of getting out of the bottom two. I believe we can do it".
24 February 2006
ELLENDER MOVESFormer Alty centre-back Paul Ellender has been allowed by Boston United to join Chester City on loan for the rest of the season.
THIN ON THE GROUNDIt is perhaps as well that Alty have no game on Saturday, as the departure of James Robinson and the injuries to Ged Murphy, Chris Adams, Colin Potts, Karl Munroe and continuing absence of Richard Norris (left) and Eddie Hussin (right) leave the Robins with just 15 fit outfield players. There was also doubt about one of those 15 this week as Pat McFadden, though fit enough to sit on the Alty bench last Tuesday, was injured last Saturday. Trafford, for whom Pat turned out that day, report that "Trafford were forced to introduce substitute Mark Fitton for the injured McFadden at the interval". The other 14 fit outfield players are Coburn, Aspinall, Band, Maddox, Talbot, Chalmers, Owen, Peyton, Rose , Scott, Hendley, Little, Lugsden and Thornley. And, stand-in goalkeeper Richard Acton has played just once for Alty since he broke a foot-bone in 2005.
At least Hussin, Norris and Peyton were able to take part in the warm-up last Tuesday. Both Hussin and Norris have yet to start a game this season. Alty have so far used 30 players in Conference matches this season, 11 of whom have since left the club. Colin Little and Stuart Coburn are the only Conference ever-presents for Alty this season.
SATURDAYAlty have no game on Saturday but Moss Lane will be in use at 3pm for FC United v Holker Old Boys (3pm). FC United have issued admission details and urged fans to arrive early. They confirm that "Turnstiles will open at 1.30pm. You will be able to walk around the ground". Their website also says, "Please remember that all Altrincham staff are volunteers, helping out their club. They are also all looking forward to what is a big day for them. Please treat them with respect at all times, making sure that the good name that we have made for ourselves as FC United supporters is upheld".
HAPPY BIRTHDAYDennis Birch, a long time supporter of Altrincham and a man well known to Moss Laners and (and to many match officials!) has suffered bad health over the last year or so. However, it has been good to see him back at home and away games, as well as youth team matches, this season. As he will be celebrating his birthday this Saturday (25th), all at Moss Lane send him their best wishes.
OLD BOYSFomer Alty loan player Matt Bailey has joined Lancaster City from Southport, where he had been on loan from Crewe.
GET YOUR BID IN
Gavin Rathbone writes: The photo of 4 Rod's celebrating in his usual way (right) is running out of bidding time. The auction will end of the 28th February so these are your final few days to place a bid! ALL money raised from the auction will go direct to Altrincham FC so it is a great way to do a little something for the clubs finances, whilst getting yourself a unique quality photo which is framed and signed! Total size of the photo is 22" in length and it will look excellent on your living room wall!!!! The top current bid stands at £60, so place your bids now by calling me (Gavin) on 01457 861122 or email me, or post your bid on the forum or speak to Grahame Rowley! A larger version of the photo is here
CONFERENCE NEWSSpeaking to the Burton Mail, Nigel Clough says, 'I'm still thinking of finishing in the top half, rather than the top five. We're probably a couple of wins short of challenging for the play-offs, but we'll keep going and try to win as many points as possible".
Crawley Town report that "Striker Dorryl Proffitt has left the club by mutual consent. ...following his release from Premiership side Manchester City last season. Manager John Hollins... said 'Dorryl is a nice young man but unfortunately it hasn't worked out for him with us... It's been hard for him with the club struggling near the bottom of the table but he has ability'".
The BBC reports that "Hereford striker Adam Stansfield will be sidelined for up to six weeks, after suffering a fracture of the cheekbone. Stansfield sustained the injury during last Saturday's Conference match at Canvey Island and now requires surgery. Manager, Graham Turner, told BBC Hereford and Worcester: 'The swelling has got to go down before the surgery can be carried out. But it looks as though he will have to have a plate inserted in the depressed fracture of the cheek'".
From This is York we learn of "City's cash crisis". The reports says that "York City's Supporters' Trust board is set to discuss whether to offer JM Packaging a shareholding in the football club... considering significant cash problems that could see the Minstermen record a six-figure loss this season. Football Foundation officials have already requested a March 1 meeting with club officials... regarding the non-payment of the first £100,000 installation [?instalment] due on the KitKat Crescent's £2million loan. To satisfy their obligations as a limited company, JM Packaging has also been required to ask what provisions the club and Trust have in place to repay a £300,000 loan, facilitated by the Malton-based company last year. That loan is due to be settled by January 2007 but, having received a letter from City's financial director Terry Doyle stating it was unlikely the commitment could be met in time, Trust business sub-committee officials have met with representatives of JM Packaging to discuss a way forward... It is understood the Trust is considering whether to offer JM[cGill] Packaging a shareholding in the club... Club board member and managing director Jason McGill currently has a 15 per cent stake in the club with the remaining 85 per cent of shares owned by the Trust... If JM Packaging's £300,000 loan to the club is converted into shares then Rob McGill, a City season-ticket holder and supporter since 1955, has indicated that the company would underwrite the considerable losses expected this season".
The Tamworth Herald "can exclusively reveal that Tamworth FC are set to pull off their greatest ever signing when former England star Paul Merson puts pen to paper today (Thursday)". Lambs' manager Mark Cooper added, "He is also a naturally fit man and he will be training with us this week and will feature against Halifax. I am hoping that Tamworth fans will turn out in force on Saturday to welcome Paul to the club and show him he has joined the right club. I could use him in attack or midfield but I won't make that decision until I have seen him in training, but his sheer presence will also give all the players a big boost". And "Tamworth are also hoping they can finally bring former Villa striker Tommy Johnson to The Lamb ahead of Saturday's big game". The website solicited fans' comments, one of whom wrote, "God help you. Neil, Walsall"!
This is KHFC quotes Mark Yates, manager of Kidderminster Harriers: "We've not got a game this weekend which will give us a bit of time to get a few injuries back, but I'd rather have a game. After a win you want to get on with the next game and get a bit of momentum going".
Bullsnews reports that "Exeter will copy the Bulls' youth side setup next season, in a partnership with Exeter College. The Bulls link up with Pershore College on the PASE scheme has already reaped rewards with Andy Williams coming through... Exeter, who are due to lose a £62,000 grant at the end of the season if they fail to return to the Football League, decided to end their youth policy due to the cost despite the number of graduates currently plying their trade in the Grecians' senior squad."
Bullsnews also says that "Cambridge Utd have added Lincoln defender Matt Bloomer on loan for the rest of the season. Bloomer has played just seven times for Lincoln this season, and has just returned from a loan spell from Grimsby"... whilst "Darren Blewitt, who was with Hereford United for much of the first half of this season, is having a trial at Oxford United".
The Lancaster City v Workington game was abandoned at half-time due to floodlight failure with the Reds 4-0 up. The City keeper was sent off after 6 minutes and an outfield player took over, only to concede a goal. Then ex-Alty man Tony Sullivan went in goal and let in three more goals before the interval. Seemingly a Workington player with eletcrical knowledge reportedly offered to help repair the lights but was unable to do so because of an absence of spare fuses! reports the News & Star.
Weston-s-Mare "Manager Frank Gregan has insisted the door was still open for veteran Brian Tinnion to join the Nationwide South club... Tinnion s still considering an offer... But the 37-year-old Geordie, who turned out eight times for Aldershot Town in the Conference National after leaving City earlier this season, is keeping his options open" says This is Bristol.
Aldershot Town manager Terry Brown tells The Shots "We've never been able to name a settled back four this season... but if you look at Accrington, Barnet and Chester City over recent campaigns they have been able to start the season well and keep their main players fit... You need your best players fit and your side settled and we have been the exact opposite this season... I want to produce an exciting end to this season because it has been anything but exciting so far. We are already having one eye on next season and we know that new blood is desperately needed".
The Grays Athletic website has a statement from chairman Micky Woodward - "I would like to make my apologies for the team’s performance [0-4 against Dagenham]. It was a terrible performance. Also I must forward the apologies from all the players and playing staff. The feeling is they have let you all down... but I assure you that a different passion will be shown on the pitch on Saturday... I would like to remind you that this is our first season in the conference, and that it is a learning curve for all of us".
Bullsnews reports that "To be able to join the Football League, Hereford United must have two inspections according to Graham Turner.... The second is yet to take place. This time the inspection will be by the Football Licensing Authority which will also include the police, the environmental officer from the local authority, our safety officer and officials from the club. Turner told the Hereford Times about the first visit in which "A contingent from the Football League went out with tape measures to carry out a thorough inspection of the ground, including measuring dressing rooms, the pitch size and the distance between the touch-lines and the perimeter wall. We have to produce a structural engineer's report on the state of the ground and there is an electrical inspection of floodlighting and power, as well as all the other technical and legal aspects, including the leases... We are seeking an urgent resolution of the leases issue. While we believe we have plenty of time to sort it all out, nonetheless we cannot afford to waste that time. And that is one aspect that is out of our hands".
23 February 2006
ROBINSON LEAVESJames Robinson (left) has played his last game for Altrincham as he has accepted an offer to play football for Richmond Eagles in Melbourne, Australia and is departing for there this weekend. Manager Graham Heathcote is very sorry to be losing a player who had performed well since arriving in November 2005 from Accrington Stanley, having previously been with Crewe Alexandra. Graham points out that such sudden departures are always a danger for clubs such as ours where players are generally on non-contract terms. All at Moss Lane wish him well in Australia.
In a loan spell with Alty from Crewe in late 2002, James made 2 starts and 1 sub appearance and this season he has added a further 8 starts and 6 sub appearances. He has also scored four goals this season, making him joint second-top scorer.
INJURIESChris Adams (above right) has a stress fracture in his foot and is likely to be out for some time. He joins Ged Murphy and Colin Potts who are already on the injured list.
VIEWS ON HALIFAX GAMESAM quotes Graham Heathcote after the game: "The players we had out there tonight did the club proud. I just feel sorry for them because they deserved something from that game of football. But it can be cruel sometimes, we've just got to be big enough to take it on the chin and get on with preparing for our next one. We played some good football and had good chances but it's just one of those cruel games that's been nicked on the day - that's why teams like Halifax are in the play off places. It's not disheartening, it's disheartening when you play poorly but we certainly didn't. Halifax are a decent side and we've got some more good sides to play here but if we can perform as well as we did in the second half in the remainder of our games then I believe we'll be fine".
Halifax Today reports that "On Saturday John Grant struck with 60 seconds remaining to seal a comeback win over Grays. At Altrincham. Ryan Sugden, who had replaced Grant, struck with two minutes to go... This win should not be written off as a close win against one of the Conference also rans. Altrincham gave as good as they got for long periods, especially in the second half. And in the end the Moss Lane side provided tougher opposition than high-flying Grays had four days earlier... Altrincham are renowned for improved second half displays and they did not disappoint their supporters... Altrincham were not the easy beats that many might have expected them to be".
Warren Peyton is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring against Halifax Town in one of Gavin Rathbone's excellent photos; more are on his website and copies are available from the Robins' Shop.
Halifax manager Chris Wilder observed, "It was a massive result for us and it was a game that was more like a cup tie at times. Altrincham gave everything and it was a bit of a rocky ride at times. I just hope that there are teams at the top of the league who have to come here still because it is a really difficult place to come and get a result". As the article adds, "York, Hereford and Grays are the play-off hopefuls who still have to go to Moss Lane between now and the end of the season. And they will not find it easy against an Altrincham side containing the likes of renowned battlers Colin Little and Val Owen". Wilder continued, "At the back of my mind I knew they had players who could hurt us. We all know what Colin Little can do - he is a quality player in this league. We conceded and they had a five or 10 minute spell, but Justin came on and gave us a bit of a spark, then Ryan Sugden and Chris Senior took it on from there... In the last 10 or 15 minutes while Altrincham had a couple of breakaways we really put our foot down to the floor and went for the result".
NEXT GAMEAltrincham's next game is on 4 March at home to York City. Howard Watts's statistical record of previous Alty games on 4 March is to be found in Through the Years. The Yorkshire Post sees only one result for York "with a home match against Forest Green Rovers and a visit to Altrincham to come, York must fancy their chances".
CONFERENCE NEWS"Paul Merson has agreed to play for Tamworth in a major coup for the struggling club. The 37-year-old Merson, who was recently sacked as Walsall player-manager, will play for Tamworth until the end of the season. 'He is coming to join us on Thursday and it's a great signing', Tamworth boss Mark Cooper told BBC Sport... 'I have got to know Paul over the past year or two from trying to pinch his players on loan', Cooper added. 'We have got on well and when Walsall made him redundant I offered him the chance to come and play here. There were some big clubs interested in him and it has not been a money thing for him in coming to us. He was looking for somewhere without too much traveling and where there was a bit more trust... Hopefully he will give us the lift to keep us in the league. It will be a boost for everyone. From the chairman's point of view, hopefully it will get a few more people in through the gate. If it doesnt there is something wrong. But primarily he is coming to help keep us in the league. It doesn't guarantee it as everyone else has to do their bit, but it should go a long way to doing that'... He is now in line to make his Conference bow against Halifax Town at the Lamb on Saturday".
Less happy is Cambridge boss Rob Newman who "was fuming after his side's 2-0 defeat at Burton. He said: 'From a positive first half we've lost another game away, which is disappointing to say the least. They're senior players, but if they're not good enough and they haven't got the fight for it then I'd rather put the young ones back on the pitch. They'll give you enthusiasm and honesty, and sometimes out there I think there was a lack of honesty and passing of responsibility'".
There is also turmoil at Crawley according to Bullsnews which headlines its article, "Crawley Soap Opera Continues: new faces, a stabbing, and an unfair dismissal claim...Crawley's squad list now totals 31 players after adding striker Gavin Gordon, released by Notts County last month, and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chris Banks on work experience to the squad this week. Crawley have used 33 players already this season. Striker Omari Coleman, the former Aldershot loanee who was reported to have flu at the weekend, has now been confirmed as the victim of a stabbing outside a Croydon nightclub. Meanwhile, former manager Francis Vines is claiming £109,000 compensation from the club after his dismissal. Crawley are no better off under the new management than before his sacking. Vines collected just 13 points in 14 games, but the club have gained just 12 points from 14 games since".
Bullsnews also laments the poor gates on Tuesday night in the Conference. "It wasn't just the Bulls that suffered at the turnstile. Kidderminster recorded their lowest gate of the season, 1302, as did York, 2153, while Forest Green recorded their second lowest gate at 582. Most home sides recorded a 300-400 lower gate than their last home match. Only Altrincham recorded an above-average attendance, but were still down on the previous attendance if only by a handful. The figures show that the blank Tuesday nights in September and October could have been better used for these fixtures rather than the cold nights and European knock-out stages on offer last night".
Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendances are here.
22 February 2006
ALTRINCHAM 1 HALIFAX TOWN 2
After conceding a goal two minutes from the end of normal time, disappointment shows in the expressions of Steve Aspinall, Gary Scott and James Robinson as they leave the pitch.
Match report here.
GRAHAM ON CRAWLEYSAM has a report on the defeat at Crawley last Saturday. Alty boss Graham Heathcote said, "The result was a disappointment but a bigger disappointment was that the game needed a strong official but didn't get one. The tone was set early on when Ged got injured after a bad tackle and the referee didn't even speak to the lad - some of the tackles that went on might have been allowed in the 70s but not in this day and age. But fair play to them, they scored to goals and we just didn't put away our chances".
CONFERENCE NEWSBarrow report that "Phil Wilson has swooped to sign unsettled Southport striker, Nick Rogan... Rogan failed to make an impact at Conference level at Haig Avenue... Meanwhile Crewe have agreed to extend [former Alty loan player] Kyle Wilson's loan spell for a third and final month".
Crawley have signed striker Gavin Gordon from Notts County until the end of the season.
The BBC says that "Scunthorpe striker Tommy Johnson is set to sign for Tamworth, according to Lambs coach Richard Dryden... He was hoping to have a deal for the 35-year-old finalised in time for Tuesday's game at York City. 'We know Tommy will join us for the start of next season but we'd like him here this week if possible', Dryden told the Birmingham Mail. Dryden is also looking to extend Matty Williams's loan spell at the club.".
21 February 2006
HALIFAX PREPAREThe Halifax Courier quotes Shaymen boss Chris Wilder, "I don't think anyone can question our attitude all season... I have never seen our players so desperate to win a game as they were at the weekend – I think it really showed what we are all about... But we need to keep focused because Altrincham have a good recent record". The article adds that "Wilder will be without Dean Howell who suffered a groin strain 40 minutes into his first game back at the club on Saturday. And skipper Martin Foster is a doubt so Steve Bushell stands by to face the club at which he spent six weeks on loan earlier in the season. Greg Young will be available as his shoulder injury is not a recurrence of the dislocation he suffered earlier in the campaign. Chris Senior returns to the squad after missing a month with a pulled hamstring and he is expected to be handed a place on the bench". Also, "Wilder added that he would be urging loan winger Brian Smikle to get at the Altrincham defence at Moss Lane tonight. 'The pitch at the Shay didn't suit the widemen running with the ball. We will be encouraging him to take people on a bit more'". Altrincham could name the same side that lost to Crawley with defender Gary Talbot expected to keep his place.
QUIZ NIGHTThere are just a few tickets left for the Altrincham FC Quiz Night at 7.30pm, this Thursday, 23rd February 2006, in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. Hosted by our very own 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. Questions will be of a general nature but with some Alty ones included - not least a picture quiz of past Altrincham players. All contestants will receive sandwich refreshments. Please ring the club (928-1045) or e-mail Grahame Rowley to make a booking.
TUESDAY'S GAMEAlty host Halifax Town tonight (Tuesday 7.45pm). Town have never won a Conference match at Moss Lane in four previous attempts; but the same was true at The Shay till Town beat Alty earlier this season!
TheYorkshire Post quotes Halifax Town's full-back and assistant manager Wayne Jacobs, "To be challenging on our resources is just remarkable. What Chris Wilder has done is absolutely unbelievable - to get the club right to the brink of the Football League". In Saturday's win over Grays, Halifax "handed a second debut to former favourite Dean Howell, back... after spells at Colchester and Carlisle, and a debut to WBA loan winger Brian Smikle".
From Halifax Today we learn that "Town's Tyrone Thompson scored his first-ever goal for Halifax Town... on Saturday... and he admitted that after 33 previous appearances without a goal he had been becoming increasingly concerned that he would never score in a blue and white shirt... Town now have two away games in four days – at Altrincham tomorrow and Tamworth on Saturday. And Thompson said... 'People will look at the next two games and see that the teams we are playing are not that high up the league. Many will think that they are going to be easy for us, but there are no easy games and we have to approach them with the same application we would any other.'".
STUNNING CRAWLEYThe Crawley Argus's effusive match report says that Crawley put in "a stunning performance against Altrincham. Clare scored twice as Reds tore apart an Alty side with one defeat in their previous eight league games... Reds did not just show fighting spirit and commitment, they showed style. The football at times was the best seen at the Broadfield Stadium this season and their first goal will be talked about for a long time... and was the climax to a breathtaking opening by Reds. Alty could not cope with the frenetic tempo and Reds could have been three up before they broke the deadlock". Meanwhile manager John Hollins "signed midfielder Danny Clay on loan from Exeter until the end of the season on the eve of the game and has promised more new faces".
MASCOT RACEA press release from The Printworks: Rocky Robin (the Altrincham FC mascot) will collide with football mascots from across the region this Sunday for the Annual Printworks Pancake Race to raise money for Manchester charity Disabled Living.
The Printworks will host the clash of the titans at 2.30pm Sunday 26 February. Eight of the fuzzy favourites will race around the Pump Yard, frying pan in hand, flipping all the way as they face off for the title of Pancake Race Champion of the Year, all the while hoping to raise as much cash for charity as possible.
Aiming for the top of the pancake league will be mascots from Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool FC, Rochdale FC, Altrincham FC, Stockport County FC, Preston FC and Bury FC, ensuring the event will be a knock-down, drag-out slobberknocker that’s not to be missed.
Fred Booth, Centre Director for The Printworks comments: “The Pancake Race has become an institution over the last few years. It’s great to see all the different club mascots coming together to swap their football boots for running shoes to raise money for Disabled Living.”
The event is always a definite hit with all ages and an afternoon of fun and laughter is guaranteed.
For more information on the event contact James Adam or Sarah Tarmaster on 0161 923 4994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONFERENCE NEWSAccrington Stanley report that "John Coleman has signed 24 year old midfielder Mark Boyd. The former Newcastle United trainee has had spells at Port Vale, Carlisle, Gretna and Macclesfield and will be available to play against Morecambe on Monday evening". Boyd had agreed to play for Altrincham Reserves last week but did not turn up for the game, having played for Stanley Reserves the night before.
The Confguide Forum confirms that Hereford United have signed "Matthew Halliday, a centre half from Norwich City. Matthew is a product of the Norwich Youth Academy. and Robbie King, a 19 year old centre midfielder from Colchester United. Robbie has featured briefly in the Colchester first team this season and also was on loan to Cambridge United earlier this year, both on work experience".
Southport are away to Accrington Stanley in the Semi-Final of the United Co-operatives Challenge Trophy on Tuesday 28th February.
OLD BOYSThe Yorkshire Post quotes the Huddersfield Town captain as saying that "Danny Adams is one of our most consistent players of the season but he was not even in the 16 today [Saturday] so that is a testament to how strong the squad is".
FC United of Manchester play Holker Old Boys at Moss Lane this Saturday and their squad includes numerous ex-Robins including:
On Saturday Alty's current players Pat McFadden and Lee Hendley both started for Trafford at Maine Road. McFadden was subbed at half-time. Also in the Trafford side were David Holt, a former Alty first-teamer and Paul Robinson, a former Alty Youth defender,
20 February 2006
COMING SOONAltrincham now start a sequences of four home games out of their next five fixtures, starting with the visit of Halifax Town on Tuesday. The other visitors due at Moss Lane in the next month are York City (4th March), Canvey Island (11th) and Burton Albion (25th) with an away trip to Southport on March 18th.
YOUTH REPORTA match report on the Youth team's excellent win over Bootle in the Open Cup is in the Youth section.
THROUGH THE YEARSHoward Watts's Through the Years statistics for 21 February are here.
GATESTerry Rowley's updated Conference attendance statistics are here .
ON THE LOSING SIDEPat McFadden and Lee Hendley, two of Alty's young strikers, turned out for Trafford on Saturday but they lost 2-0 away at Maine Road.
CRAWLEY VIEWCrawley Town report on "a comfortable 2-0 victory over Altrincham... A swashbuckling performance saw them plunder the treasured three points... The second half began with a bang as Alty reacted angrily to an Armstrong tackle and a melee in front of the main stand ended with the Crawley midfielder and two Robins being cautioned... Altrincham lost their discipline in the closing stages but it needed another sound tackle by Judge to deny Little, who had looked offside, after 77 minutes". After the game "Crawley boss John Hollins demanded more of the same... 'It wasn't a surprise. We have trained well this week and prepared properly. The ball zips around a bit on the wet pitch and that helped us to establish the tempo we have been trying to get into our game and they couldn't handle it'", said manager John Hollins. Striker Daryl Clare added, "It was an improved performance from the last two or three games and we looked like a better team".
This website's match report is here.
MARK'S ALTERNATIVE VIEW
Left: Colin Heathcote and right, Sven's Love Child.
Alty captain Mark Maddox has a column on the SAM site, written before the Crawley game. "When you look at the table over the past few seasons, the points total for survival has been around 40 and we are almost there now. But some years it will change and you can't rely on that... There has never been a problem with our home form but we've just got to be a bit more tight and compact away from home". Ironically he adds, "Crawley have got the money to do well so if they're going to click at some point this season I hope it will happen after we've been there. These long trips can sometimes be a bit testing ... I actually quite enjoy the overnights because you get to spend some time with the lads and we all have a good laugh. I think Graham Heathcote was delighted that the Dagenham game was moved to a Tuesday night though because it means we don't have to stop over any more and he's tight like that!". He added, "When I don't play to the best of my ability I get a real cob on but at least I know Bandy's there to sort things out if I do make any mistakes! It's good to see both Talbs and Munroe are both on their way back now as well because we need all our squad playing and we've been a bit thin on the ground recently... It's good to see Rod Thornley back on form too. It's important people don't forget what Rod has done for this club both on and off the pitch... He's got real quality and is good to have in the dressing room when he's in a good mood - he's not quite the same when he's sulking. There have been a few comments in the dressing room about my player profiles for the last programme but all of the lads took it in good humour... A few people have also asked me why Robbo's nickname is 'Snake' but that's not something I could mention in a family newspaper, that's why I put 'don't ask' in my programme notes, I think it's best for everyone that I don't say!".
And here are a few more of Mark's profiles...
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Football Conference confirms that "York City have signed former Welsh under-21 international midfielder Steve Thomas following a recent trial... after reaching a financial settlement with his previous club Darlington".
Morecambe confirm that "A Football League ground grading inspection took place at Christie Park [recently, involving]... representatives of the Coca-Cola Football League, Nationwide Conference, Football Licensing Authority and Lancashire County Council". A club spokesman said, "We look forward to receiving the report from the Football League in due course and will have a plan in place to complete any works identified". Meanwhile, "For the third time in eight days the Reserves have fallen foul of the weather".
Kidderminster Harriers say that "The club are delighted to announce that midfielder Russ Penn has put pen to paper on a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2008".
19 February 2006
GED'S INJURYAfter yesterday's bad injury to Ged Murphy, caused by an opponents' studs at Crawley, the Alty man had three internal stitches and six external stitches inserted in his left thigh at Redhill Hospital. He is expected to be out of action completely for ten days and only then will be allowed to resume training. All at Moss Lane wish him well in his recovery.
STATISTICSThe NL Paper has some dubious statistics from Alty's game at Crawley yesterday. It claims that there were no offsides against either side, that Alty won the corner count 2-1 and that only four fouls per side were committed. There were several offsides in the game and Alty alone had three corners. Overall it claims that Alty have 51 yellow cards this season; this site's records suggest we actually have 57 cautions in Conference games.
CRAWLEY TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 0
Above: The aftermath of the brawl which occurred at the start of the second half at Crawley.
Match report here
In the NL Paper, Graham Heathcote said "We needed a good ref and did not get one. Crawley came out to bully and the ref did not stop them. When you see players in a mass brawl, that shows how bad he was, He was poor and inconsistent. Our player, Ged Murphy, had to have stitches for a gashed thigh and the ref didn't even give a booking. That set the stall out for the first half hour". But Crawley boss John Hollins claimed that "Altrincham couldn't handle the tempo we played at.... We played at 200% all the way through the team".
HALIFAX NEXTSteve Bushell, who enjoyed a loan spell at Moss Lane recently, was an unused sub for Halifax Town on Saturday. On Tuesday Halifax visit Moss Lane, but Dean Howell, the former Colchester winger, recently signed by Halifax, went off injured.
PETER'S POSTAlty fan Peter Hennerley has a letter printed in the NL Paper about an unsporting throw-in by Northwich Vics against Alty a decade ago. His letter was prompted by Vics' complaints about a similarly unsporting incident in one of their recent games.
OLD BOYSNot quite an old boy, but Tristram Whitman almost signed for Alty earlier this season before he opted for Crawley instead. Now released by the Sussex side, he is playing for Hinckley United. Also in action on Saturday were Adam Farley and Neil Murphy (Marine), Terry Bowker (Ashton U.), Mario Daniel and Chris Young (both scorers for Woodley), Wes Wilkinson, Lee Shillito and Ian Taylor (Leigh RMI), James Glendenning and Mike Garrity (Vauxhall M.), Anthony Hargreaves (who netted for C. Laird), Rio Nelson (scored for Abbey Hey) and Carl Furlong (Caernarfon).
CONFERENCE NEWSNL Daily claims that Cambridge City are likely to "quit Nationwide South at the end of the season" and that their existing reserves will become their first team and play at Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium.
18 February 2006
Right: Gary Talbot, back in action after a three-month lay-off.
Saturday 18 Feb.
Right: Alty's Man of the Match in last Saturday's game was James Robinson, who held tight to his bottle of champagne.
Altrincham's young strikers Lee Hendley and Pat McFadden are both set to play for Trafford today (Saturday) in their NW Counties match at Maine Road, so neither were in the first-team squad which travelled down on Friday evening for the match at Crawley. However, Gary Talbot was in the travelling party after coming through almost an hour of his comeback match for Altrincham Reserves last Wednesday. Colin Potts is Altrincham's only injury doubt for the game in Sussex.
Crawley, meanwhile, have taken Exeter City midfielder Danny Clay on loan after a loan spell at Tiverton Town, whose website confirms that "Danny Clay has returned to Exeter City following his second month on loan. Exeter City midfielder Danny Clay has returned to the club after Tiverton Town boss Martyn Rogers admitted he couldn't afford to keep him at Ladysmead. The Grecians' youth product has spent the last two months on loan at Tivvy and has impressed during his 11 appearances... 'He's the type of player I like and I would certainly be interested if he was available on a full-time basis in the future'", the manager said.
A spokesman for the SAG-Group which owen Crawley Town confirmed that the player has been signed "on loan till the summer. Clay goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's game". The BBC adds that "Crawley midfielder Danny Brown has a foot injury but is hopeful of playing".
Meanwhile The Argus reports that "Crawley manager John Hollins insists defender Ben Judge is going nowhere. Judge, who is Reds' longest serving player, was reported to have spoken to Gravesend and Northfleet about a move this week. ..: 'As far as I'm concerned he is here and not going anywhere. If he has spoken to them, then no one has asked me'", said Hollins. But "Judge is doubtful for tomorrow's crucial home tussle against Altrincham after missing training this week with flu. Daryl Clare, Omari Coleman and Leo Mendy were also struck by the virus but should be fit. Midfielder Simon Wormull has been ruled out with a toe injury". Hollins added: "We have been trying to get people in for the Altrincham game. You always need extra personnel". The article adds that "Relegation-threatened Crawley could not be meeting Altrincham at a worse time. The Cheshire club, who were promoted last season after beating Eastbourne Borough in the north-south play-off final, are in the midst of their best run of the campaign. They have lost just once in eight league games and are on the back of a three game winning streak, which included a 5-1 demolition of Aldershot. Hollins has told his players to let him take the pressure as they go into what is a must-win game. Reds are four points adrift of safety at the foot of the table after four straight league defeats. Hollins said: 'Altrincham are no mugs, they are not going to be pushed over easily. We need to be big, strong and not be afraid to make mistakes... I will take all the pressure and the stick, I don't mind that as long as we get results'".
At the Alty end, local paper SAM says "Victory over Crawley would leave Alty needing only a further two wins to achieve their preseason points target of 45. A major factor in the Robins' recent revival has been Heathcote's ability to select a settled team. Since the last spate of signings in November they have suffered no major new injury worries and an unchanged line-up is expected to take to the field tomorrow for the fourth game running. An added bonus is the return of Warren Peyton after serving a three-match ban... but Karl Munroe's comeback has been delayed and he is expected to play in the reserves' next outing... Crawley have not won in the Conference since beating Tamworth 3-0 on December 10, drawing two and losing four of their last six games". As well as Daryl Clare, a man to watch is Tony Scully. "Signed on loan from Notts County in November, Scully is a dangerous wideman with plenty of experience, having played for the likes of Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers and Peterborough United. Caused Alty no end of problems while playing for Exeter earlier in the season".
CONFERENCE NEWSRecent transfers reported by NL Daily include:
Tamworth confirm the signing of former Manchester City, Sunderland and Leicester forward Nicky Summerbee. "Summerbee, who trained with Lambs on Thursday has also played for Forest... was a free agent, not having had a club for the previous 30 days, and he is keen to play in order to stay fit for a planned move to the USA this summer. With injuries and suspensions hitting the Lambs, boss Mark Cooper had to move to bring in three new faces ahead of the game against Kidderminster Harriers... Two players have joined the squad from Shefffield United; Dominic Roma (loan), an England under 19 defender... and Ben Starosta (work experience) - a Blades' Academy player.. And they are joined by Coalville Town's 22 year old 'keeper Sean Bowles... Talks with former Aston Villa and Celtic star Tommy Johnson are still ongoing. Squad members definitely out for the Kiddy game are Matt Redmile, Jimmy Turner, Dave Bampton and Alan Neilson (all suspended) plus long term injury victims Mick Touhy and Bob Taylor.... There has been much press speculation about the possibility of an impending move to a new home for The Lambs but at the moment there is nothing concrete to report... The club are very hopeful that Ocean Finance will be continuing their sponsorship of TFC for the forseeable future".
Also signing new players are Forest Green Rovers who "have completed the registrations of: Barry McConnell, the 29 year old left sided midfielder joins on non contract terms. He originally joined Exeter City in 1995... and only left the club in December 2005... He briefly joined Tamworth for a month but things didn't work out and [he will] take over from Jonny Hayes, who has returned to Reading... In on a month's loan from Cardiff City... comes 21 year old Byron Anthony, a central defender".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Rob Newman believes four more victories will see Cambridge United safe from the threat of relegation.... That sounds like a fairly straightforward proposition for United to contend with. But... Newman's side have the joint worst current form of any side in the Nationwide Conference, along with basement boys Crawley... only two points taken from six matches". Newman said , "I still believe in my players and they've beaten teams who are better than Southport here... We need to show the right attitude and commitment and if we do that I can only see one result. We should fear no-one on our own pitch... If United are searching for omens, they could do worse than take a look at their similar poor run at the start of the season... It came to an end with an emphatic 4-0 victory at home to Altrincham in September to spark a four-match unbeaten run. What price a similar win over Southport?" Meanwhile, "Cambridge United's young defender Adam Davies has been called up to the Wales under-21 squad to play Northern Ireland on February 28th" reports NL Daily
Bullsnews says that "Brian Smikle of WBA has joined Halifax on a month's loan... Last season he had a spell at Hereford United. The 20-year-old [is] a product of Albion's youth system".
Halifax Today reports that "Town boss Chris Wilder has swooped for wingers Brian Smikle and Dean Howell... Smikle, 20, will join on an initial month's loan from West Brom while Howell, a free agent after being released by Colchester before Christmas, will sign to the end of the season... 'Brian is an attacking winger', said the Town manager who has used Brenton Leister and Steve Bushell on the right in the last two matches. 'We have got a bit bogged down in recent games with players operating out of position on the right. We need something a bit different and I think that Brian and Dean will provide that for us'". Smikle... played three games for his hometown club Hereford a couple of seasons ago... By waiting until today to sign, he will be available for the play-offs should he extend his stay to the maximum three months... Howell, 25, scored six goals in 26 Conference starts for the Shaymen last season before rejecting a contract offer and leaving... to join Colchester".
17 February 2006
STANLEY GO 14PTS CLEAR
Although beaten by Accrington this Friday night, The BBC reports that "Gravesend & Northfleet chairman Brian Kilcullen says their experiment to move some home games to Friday evenings may become more regular in the future... Kilcullen told BBC Radio Kent, "Over the course of a season it's worth it for three or four games... just to get a few new people along".
CRAWLEY TO KNUCKLE DOWNToday's NL Paper says that for Crawley Town boss John Hollins, "Anything less than a win over Altrincham tomorrow threatens his managerial comeback". After facing fans' protests last week, Hollins said, "After being the butt of 60,000 at Chelsea, this isn't going to hit me too hard. I have broad shoulders and as long as they keep coming to the games, they can call me what they like... I have the support of the chairman and we have 16 league games to get it right".
Also in the NLP, Crawley striker Steve Burton says "We've got to knuckle down and get a win... Altrincham work hard. They must be getting goals from somewhere because of their recent results but when we played there in October, I missed a couple of chances and they didn't look much of an attacking threat. In the end we gave away a penalty and it ended up being 1-1. Looking back, we should have definitely got three points... We're improving but just one little piece of the jigsaw is missing. We have to find it to win games.. We are not panicking". John Hollins adds, "Altrincham have [had] some good results lately, and we haven't, so they have to start as favourites". However, his squad has been hit by flu this week, which has affected Ben Judge, Lee Mendy, Daryl Clare and Jamie Cade, whilst Steve Wormull has a bruised toe and Danny Brown a sore shin.
Graham Heathcote is "expecting to name an unchanged side for the third succesive week... Heathcote said, 'We have done very well at home and our away form is improving. Our budget is the lowest in the league by a mile, just £150,000. Our success has been achieved by good spirit and team-work".
ALTY SPONSORSBarry Pond continues to do an excellent job attracting sponsorship to Altrincham FC. His latest list of matchday sponsors is here, whilst the club sponsors' page is here.
CRAWLEY BRING IN REINFORCEMENTSThe Crawley Observer has an interview with Crawley Town's chairman Chas Majeed. "He revealed manager John Hollins is currently working on bringing in four or five new players. They will be coming either on loan or non-contract from higher-ranking clubs. Some may even arrive later this week in time for this Saturday's crunch home match against Altrincham". The chairman promised to stay at the club even if it is relegated but also admitted that Town were one of the highest paying clubs in the Conference. Alty fans travelling to Crawley will find a map on the Travel Page, whilst photos of the ground are here.
ALTY RESERVES 4 BURSCOUGH RESERVES 1
Right: Lee Hendley's back: the young striker hit two goals for the Reserves as he continues his comeback after injury. Here he is seen (no.9) entering the pitch with Colin Potts (7) and Pat McFadden (11) for the second half against Burscough. Already on the pitch is Graham Heathcote who spent the interval replacing divots - an Altrincham manager's lot is a varied one!
Match report here.
NO TO FCUM MERGERLast week's Sale & Altrincham Messenger carried a letter proposing a merger between Altrincham FC and FC United of Manchester. This week, SAM prints four letters rejecting this idea. All four correspondents also urge local residents to get behind Altrincham. As Wayne Thorley writes, "The team, board and management have done great work getting Alty back in the Conference; let's get as many people there as possible cheering them on". And Mark Murray writes, "And who needs 'special one' José Mourinho when we already have the 'special two' in Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC reports that "On-loan Woking defender Stuart Nethercott will miss the next phase of the Cards' play-off push. Nethercott, who is on loan from Wycombe, injured a foot in last Saturday's win over Tamworth. It is not yet clear if the 32-year-old has a hairline fracture but he has been ruled out of the next two games. Meanwhile, boss Glenn Cockerill's hopes of watching Portsmouth's striker Joe Carter-Harris in a reserve game on Wednesday were dashed by the weather".
Elsewhere, "Gravesend & Northfleet boss Liam Daish would like to sign on-loan Charlton striker Onome Sodje permanently. Sodje, 18, has just started a second loan spell with Fleet, having scored three times in nine Conference games" reports The Medway Messenger.
However, "Scarborough have curtailed the loan spell of Barnsley midfielder Richard Kell after just two Conference appearances for the Seasiders [one was against Alty]. The 26-year-old is looking to regain full match fitness following a lengthy spell out with a broken leg. Seasiders' boss Neil Redfearn says his side faces '12 cup finals' as they look to secure their Conference status. They are one point above the relegation zone, but all three teams below them have several games in hand over Boro", states the BBC.
The England's National Game XI beat Italy on Wednesday with goals from York's Andy Bishop and Morecambe defender Chris Blackburn. Ex-Alty captain Ian Craney played.
NL Daily states that "Aldershot Town have made three players available for loan or transfer, both centre half Tobi Jinadu and right back Tarkan Mustafa are available for loan or free transfer... Right back Hassan Sulaiman is also available for loan".
"Canvey Island have been boosted by the news that striker Lee Boylan is closing in on a comeback after two months on the sidelines. Boylan.. suffered a nasty facial injury colliding with a post in Canvey's defeat to Halifax Town in early December. 'He has been given the all-clear to drive and trained on Tuesday night for the first time', said Canvey boss Jeff King. 'Hopefully he'll be back available in a week or so'".
16 February 2006
BOYD PREFERS STANLEYEx-Port Vale midfielder Mark Boyd had agreed to play for Altrincham Reserves last night but failed to show up. In fact, Accrington Stanley report that he played for them on Tuesday against Burscough in the Lancashire FA United Co-op Challenge Cup". He played for 98 minutes in a game which went to extra time. The Burscough site reports that "A Mark Boyd corner from the left found its way into the Burscough net via defender Owens". Ex-Alty keeper Andy Dibble was on Stanley's bench.
A GOOD FEELINGColin Little has been speaking to SAM who "reckons the thrill of playing Conference football with the Robins easily compares with any of his previous achievements... 'When I was younger Alty were always the best non-league team around, everyone knew about them. They are my local club so it's really good to be part of the team that is being built here and it feels just as good as anything I achieved at a higher level. There is a good feeling around here at the moment, the club has come on so much over the past two or three years and it is in good shape now'". After winning the Conference Player of the Month award for January, Colin said, "I was a bit surprised to get the award but it was really good to be recognised. It is more to do with the team though, everyone has been playing well since the start of the year and we've been winning games again. It's good that Rod Thornley's back to form as well, it takes a bit of pressure off me when someone else is scoring and I'm delighted for him because he's a top lad and has been suffering with injuries this season". Speaking of next opponents, Crawley Town, Little added, "The pressure will be on them on Saturday because they are in trouble at the moment and that will help us play the way we want to play. But we need to concentrate on getting as many points as possible as soon as possible so that we can reach our points target for the season. Once we have done that we can just enjoy our football and maybe even push on for an LDV Trophy spot".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC reports that "Morecambe have played down talk that former favourite Adriano Rigoglioso is to re-join the club. Rigoglioso has been training with the Shrimps following his recent release from Doncaster Rovers. However, the arrangement is just to allow the 26-year-old midfielder to build up his fitness levels following recent injury problems."
Tamworth manager Mark Cooper told the BBC, that "The chairman spoke to us [Cooper and his assistant] and said that whatever happens he wants to keep us at the club. He said we had done well in difficult circumstances and would offer us two-year contracts...We are still three points clear (of the bottom-two) with games in hand. We have to... get to 44-45 points and then I think we will be okay". Meanwhile, "The Lambs' boss has turned to Sheffield United for reinforcements. Cooper has lined up a loan deal for 20-year-old defender Dominic Roma and a work experience move for teenage midfielder Ben Starosta".
The Burton Mail states that Nigel Clough "is to run the rule over 26-year-old striker Gavin Gordon, who was recently released by Notts County... and has also had spells with Oxford, Lincoln, Hull and Cardiff City, who signed him for £275,000 in December 2000. Clough said: 'Gavin is a mate of goalkeeper Saul Deeney's, so he is coming down for us to have a look at him, although he will probably end up back in the League'".
"Exeter City youth keeper Tom Buckler and midfielder Loris Ghiglia have been sent out on loan to give them experience of men's football. Buckler has gone to Dawlish Town, while Ghiglia has joined Taunton Town. Youth team manager Mike Radford told This is Exeter, 'The fact that we haven't got a reserve side does hinder our progress and it is good to get a taste of men's football'".
Stafford Rangers, top of Conference North are reportedly upgrading their floodlights and adding 80 more seats to meat Conference National criteria. Amongst the other challengers, Droylsden's ground already has met the ground grading criteria for promotion.
15 February 2006
WARHURST DROPS OUTPaul Warhurst, the former Premiership player, who was scheduled to play for Altrincham Reserves tonight, has decided not to do so. Instead he will be seeking to continue his career within the Football League. Altrincham FC understands his position and wishes him well for the future.
TONIGHTTonight's Altrincham Reserves' match against Burscough Reserves is currently expected to go ahead at Moss Lane at 7.45pm. Despite the heavy overnight rain, the pitch is playable though there is always the proviso that more torrential rain during the day could change that. If there is any further news, about this, it will be posted here.
MARK BOYDTerry Rowley provides some further information on Alty trialist and former Port Vale midfielder Mark Boyd. Whilst at Gretna, Mark broke his ankle. After being released by the Scottish side, he had a spell with Doncaster Rovers. His other clubs include Shamrock Rovers, Scarborough, Stockport County and, Terry adds, "he even played for Workington at full back a few years ago". Mark is in action with the Reserves tonight (Tuesday) at Moss Lane, 7.45pm against Burscough Reserves. The Alty squad is: Craig Ellison (gk), Ashley Brown, Gary Talbot, Stephen Rose, Lewis Chalmers (right), Colin Potts, Pat McFadden, Lee Hendley, Kieran Lugsden, Laurence Ball, John Maloney, Danny Heffernan and trialists Mark Boyd and Paul Warhurst (who has since withdrawn).
See yesterday's news (below) for more on the game..
CRAWLEY UPBEATThe BBC reports that "Crawley Town boss John Hollins insists he will keep them in the Conference... Hollins has found it tough to turn the tide since his appointment at the end of November but is adamant that relegation will be avoided. 'We will stay up. With 16 games to go we will be all right. I did not come here to mess about. I came here to do a job. I'm positive'". The article continues, "New owners with new money and fresh ideas did arrive at Crawley last year but their investment is yet to pay off. The club's form nose-dived in the final third of last season - their first at Conference level - and Crawley were about to kick-off in August when the team suddenly switched to full-time status. 'Results showed at the end of last season that things were not right', said Hollins. 'Going full-time was a brave step... but the change-over is not easy'". He added, "Supporters get frustrated. I understand that... We keep working hard trying to install systems and structures and work to budgets, which is all difficult. They are problems, but problems can be solved". In a context where "Crawley now face a number of games against sides in the bottom half of the table. 'They are ones we've got to win', said Hollins. 'We have been losing by the odd goal and people have been saying we're the best team they have played'".
On Skysports we read that "Speculation over Crawley Town defender Ben Judge's future continues this week with Gravesend and Northfleet known to be interested. The 27-year-old was reported to have had initial discussions with Fleet boss Liam Daish last week... Judge... is the Sussex outfit's longest-serving player having also served as club captain". On the Crawley Forum one fan says, "Ben Judge is the bedrock of CTFC. Without players like him, you might as well shut up shop. There are very few players in our squad at the moment that the supporters have complete confidence in. Ben is one of those".
RESERVESThe final league fixtures for this season for Altrincham Reserves have now been released and are here
PONTOONSarah Rowley has updated the Altrincham FC Football Pontoon rankings, here.
MORE PEN PICSHere are some more of Mark Maddox's alternative pen pictures of his team-mates as printed in last week's Robins' Review:
Pictured left is The Rooster and right Mr Angry. More of Mark's pen portraits are to follow...
CONFERENCE NEWSThe FA reports that "Cambridge United midfielder David Bridges [who scored at Moss Lane on Saturday] has earned a last minute call-up to the England National Game XI squad after injury ruled out Tamworth midfielder David Bampton". Skysports explains that "Bampton has been forced to withdraw from the England semi-professional squad after a freak accident... on Sunday at his home in Swindon, when a dumbbell fell off his bed and onto his foot. To the players' relief there were no bones broken but his foot has been badly bruised".
"Southport boss Liam Watson has set his side a target of 43 points to ensure their survival in the Conference... Watson believes their current form will keep them up... Watson told BBC Sport, 'We need five or six wins... To beat Canvey Island at home is a big lift. I hope we can push on from here'. Watson was also delighted with the impact of new loan signing Jimmy Aggrey following the defender's arrival from Woking. 'Jimmy has made a big difference', said Watson after a run of three clean sheets in four games. 'He's an organiser and a big presence in terms of his stature... He could have sat at Woking and picked up his wages, but instead is travelling up and down the country to play for us'".
"Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough has tied winger Keith Gilroy to a new two-year deal... The 22-year-old, who joined last summer after a short spell at Darlington, will stay with the Brewers until June, 2008. Clough is hoping to retain most of his current squad on long-term deals, including loan midfielder Kris Taylor and ex-Charlton defender Gary Rowett. Rowett, 31, is currently winding down his coaching duties at Derby County to commit to playing at Burton full-time" claims the BBC.
Bullsnews reports that "Cambridge United have received a welcome cash boost following the unexpected debut of former U's keeper John Ruddy for new side Everton at the weekend. Ruddy, fourth choice at Everton, got a surprise debut after injuries to both Richard Wright and Nigel Martyn meant Iain Turner started Saturday's match at home to Blackburn but Turner, making his own debut in the Premiership, was dismissed after just eight minutes and Ruddy kept a clean sheet for ten man Everton... but the ones celebrating are Cambridge who, needing to find £250,000 to keep themselves alive over the summer, collect a sizeable bonus payment for Ruddy's shock debut just weeks after annoucing a £581,000 loss for last season".
"Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, predicted a rollercoaster ride to the end of the season after watching his side slip out of the top five on Saturday... 'We have a lot to look forward to, we are in a fantastic position and it is still all to play for. An individual error has cost us', said Wilder. 'Firstly, the pitch was not the best and we possibly overplayed it at the back when we should have cleared the ball'", he told Halifax Today.
On NL Daily confirms that "Tamworth have offered player-manager Mark Cooper a new two-year contract following his successful start to club management".
14 February 2006
RESERVES' SQUADThe squad for the Altrincham Reserves' game against Burscough on Wednesday (Moss Lane, 7.45pm) includes seven players from the first-team squad plus two trialists and five Reserves' regulars. The players are: Craig Ellison (gk), Ashley Brown, Gary Talbot, Stephen Rose, Lewis Chalmers (right), Colin Potts, Pat McFadden, Lee Hendley, Kieran Lugsden, Laurence Ball, John Maloney, Danny Heffernan and trialists Mark Boyd and Paul Warhurst.
Defender Paul Warhurst (d.o.b 26 September 1969, Stockport) was recently released by Wrexham. He started out with Manchester City in 1988, before joining Oldham and then Sheffield Wednesday (1991) who paid £750,000 for him. In 1993 he joined Blackburn for £2.7 million, where he won a Premier League winner's medal in 1995. In summer 1997 he signed for Crystal Palace and was then loaned to Bolton Wanderers, late in 1998. The Trotters signed him for £800,000 in January 1999 but he left Bolton in summer 2003 and has had a number of clubs since then including Chesterfield, Barnsley, Carlisle, Grimsby, Blackpool, Stoke and Forest Green Rovers. In August 2005, he signed for Wrexham. Part of Paul's career was spent as a striker.
Mark Boyd (25) is a former Newcastle United trainee who moved to Port Vale as a midfielder in 2002, where he made 50 appearances. He was released to Carlisle United (his home club) before moving on to Gretna. In February 2005, he signed on loan at Macclesfield Town.
MOSS LANE REGULATIONSFollowing recent discussion of the subject, the Altrincham FC Ground regulations have been added to the site. They are available here and also via this site's Club & Ground page, for which there is also a link at the top of this home page.
MATCH OFFTuesday night's friendly at Trafford has had to be postponed as the Shawe View pitch is already very wet and more heavy rain is forecast. So, a number of those players who were expected to play in that game will now, weather permitting, turn out for Altrincham Reserves against Burscough Reserves at Moss Lane on Wednesday night (7.45pm) - entry is £2 or free for season-ticket holders. The players in question include Gary Talbot, Warren Peyton, Karl Munroe, Richard Acton and trialists (if available) - Paul Warhurst (ex-Bolton, Blackburn, Sheffield Wed., Oldham defender) and Mark Boyd (25 year-old ex-Port Vale and Carlisle Utd midfielder).
BUCKETSThe season's total, to date, from the STAR half-time bucket collections at Moss Lane has now reached a total of £1334.19 after £118.30 was raised in last Saturday's game. Many thanks to all contributors and collectors from the Football Club.
NEXT OPPONENTSThe Argus reports that "Crawley proved a big point at Grays, even though they failed to take any in their fight to avoid the drop. Reds boss John Hollins openly criticised his players in the wake of the FA Trophy embarrassment against Boreham Wood last week, accusing them of lacking fight and commitment... But this time the players deserve commiserations, not condemnation, after a gutsy performance... The team were organised, hard-working and played with an added determination that suggested they are up for the relegation dog-fight. It left Hollins relatively upbeat. He said: 'I am happy with the troops, they gave me what I wanted. The supporters went home supporting and applauding the players, which was a good sign. We will get a lot of strength from this'". But "Crawley have struggled to win and perform at home when they are forced to take the game to the visitors. Even Hollins' solitary league success, a 3-0 home victory against Tamworth, was not convincing. Crawley appear to enjoy being the underdog where, away from their fans, they can play without pressure... Hollins tried a new 4-5-1 formation [away] against Grays, which converted to 4-3-3 when Reds attacked, and it gave them an unpredictable cutting edge. Striker Daryl Clare, the lone man up front, was left fighting a losing battle when the ball was pumped up front but when it was played to him on the deck, Crawley piled on the pressure. Captain Ian Simpemba was given a holding midfield role, which allowed the recalled Lee Blackburn and Paul Armstrong to get forward at every opportunity". Grays' winner,said Hollins, "was very similar to the one we conceded at Hereford a few weeks ago. You tell them to deal with crosses like that but we didn't and they punished us".
Some interesting news about our next opponents comes from the ever informative Bullsnews. "In a Q&A session on the Crawley Town forum, it has been reported that the side are operating on a lower budget than under previous manager Francis Vines. Ben Taylor, Crawley's assistant General Manager, stated: 'When we first took over, we heard from Steve Duly and Francis Vines that we needed to spend so much on the squad. But some of the players were on crazy money and had crazy deals. Francis Vines's budget was astronomical - we are talking in terms of approaching Stevenage's level - and Chas realised that we couldn't sustain that level of spending. The current budget is still plenty to get the job done". Also of interest is Crawley's bid earlier this season for Stevenage's Anthony Elding. "The offer was up front and Chas said he'd drive the money up to them himself if they wanted. We had discussions with Stevenage but they just didn't want to sell him to us. We were disappointed, but on the other hand he will be a free agent again in the summer".
NOT CARRIED AWAY"Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote wants his side's current good form to quickly secure their Conference status. 'Winning three games has given us some breathing space, no more than that', Heathcote told BBC Sport. '"We are not getting carried away and the aim now is for us to get over the finishing line as quickly as possible'". The Confguide Predictions table has Altrincham finishing eleventh this season. If it proves correct, that would qualify Altrincham for the LDV Trophy next season.
LAST GAMESAM has a report on Alty's win over Cambridge United. "It was fitting that Rod Thornley should offer another timely reminder on Saturday that the solution to Alty's goalscoring problems has been at the club all along. The long-serving striker scored what must be considered a contender for goal of the season, hitting a sensational 20-yard lob with the outside of his right boot that sailed over the head of stranded Cambridge keeper Scott Howie and into the net... and Alty manager Graham Heathcote was quick to praise Thornley's contribution, 'There's never been a question over Rod other than his fitness. He's had a decent run in the team now and that's given him the confidence to start scoring goals again. I would love to see him set a goal target for himself now - it's not easy to get into double figures in this league but I think Rod could do it'".
On Saturday at Moss Lane, Cambridge United gave a debut to "former Oxford midfielder Rob Wolleaston. The 26-year-old has agreed non-contract terms at the Abbey Stadium following his departure from Oxford in October. Wolleaston, who started his career at Chelsea, signed in time to make his debut in Cambridge's defeat at Altrincham on Saturday. Meanwhile, U's boss Rob Newman has released defender David Chick, 25, following six Conference appearances earlier this season", says the BBC.
YOUTHS BANNEDThe FA confirms two Alty Youth suspensions, though the player their website calls "Kichael Pisk" is actually Michael Risk! Perhaps, the referee's handwriting was not clear? Michael was harshly sent off against Bootle a week ago and, after the final whistle, Youth striker Ben Deegan (right) also received a second card and is therefore also banned. Both men receive a one-match ban.The bans are effective from 19 February.
RESERVESThe official Lancit Lancashire League site has the latest table showing Alty Reserves' position. However, many of the games played and points total do not add up so treat it with caution.
OLD BOYSFormer Alty trialist Matthew Platt has signed for Nantwich Town, whilst ex-Alty Reserve, Rio Nelson has joined Abbey Hey from Flixton. And a current player's relative, Peter Band's brother, Simon, has joined FC United of Manchester.
NL Daily says that "Nationwide North club Moor Green managed to avoid a goalkeeping crisis last week when they snapped up 20-year-old Ashley Timms in time to face Nuneaton Borough. Timms became the sixth different keeper used by Moors this season, having recently been on trial with Shrewsbury Town. Timms, who had been on the Shrews' bench for their previous three League games, previously played for both Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup, [as well as Alty and most recently Salford City]. He wrote to Moors, amongst a number of clubs, after Shrewsbury confirmed they couldn't keep him".
CONFERENCE NEWS"Barnsley manager Andy Ritchie is hoping to sign teenage Scarborough forward Michael Coulson during the summer. Coulson, 17, impressed Ritchie during a recent trial spell at Oakwell, which included a game for the reserves. 'I will be looking to do something at the end of the season in regards to Michael', Ritchie told Barnsley's official website" reports the BBC.
The Romford Recorder says that "Dagenham & Redbridge are on the verge of signing Nigerian international Christopher Kanu - brother of former Arsenal and current West Brom star Nwankwo Kanu. The 26-year-old midfielder [and central defender] has a wealth of top level experience having played for his country at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, coupled with spells in the Dutch First Division for Ajax and Spain's La Liga with Alavés. He has been out of contract since leaving Peterborough United in May last year and is training with Daggers in a bid to regain his fitness... Daggers’ boss John Still is optimistic he can pull off an astonishing deal to bring the player to Victoria Road. Still said: 'He seems to be happy enough to play for us but he's not fit at the moment... He's a non-contract player... but it's much too early to say what might happen at the moment. Right now, he's weeks away from fitness... Kanu is a strong player and can play in midfield. If there is one area we need to strengthen, it's midfield, especially with Jake Leberl having been out for so long'".
From This is Exeter we read that "Alex Inglethorpe admitted Exeter City's recent poor run of results has sparked a slump in confidence... Inglethorpe's side have collected 13 points from their last ten games... 'Confidence is low at the moment, you can see that', said Inglethorpe. 'There are lots of reasons and it's not just results... At the end of it we are still on an upward curve, this is just the reality check that sometimes everyone needs... We'll come back from it, there are no two ways about that. We have come a long way in such a short space of time '".
13 February 2006
For pictures and more on the game, see lower down this page...
ALTY YOUTH 5 EAGLEY YOUTH 1In an entertaining game played in constant rain, Altrincham defeated their Bolton opponents thanks to goals by Zareh-Ourang, Mulholland (2), Keogh and Crawford. Match report in Youth section.
Altrincham and District FA's youth team (all of whom are Alty Youth players) will play the Cheshire County FA District Cup Final against Stalybridge FA and the venue and date have now been fixed. The game will be at Moss Lane on 2 April.
TRAFFORD v ALTYAs well as giving a run out to Gary Talbot and Karl Munroe after their injuries, the friendly against Trafford on Tuesday (7.45pm) will allow goalkeeper Richard Acton to regain his fitness. He last played for Alty in a Cheshire Senior Cup game back in November against Crewe, having been sidelined with a fractured bone in his foot in September.
The Trafford website confirms that admission will be just £2 for the friendly at Shawe View, and Trafford boss Danny Johnson says that "The morale in the squad is as good now as it's ever been in my time at the club. We got off to the worst possible start in 2006 with a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Maine Road but since then we have maintained a high level of performance and produced some excellent results throughout a difficult time due to numerous injuries to key players". Also, Danny told the website, "I am putting Altrincham's Pat McFadden (left) and Lee Hendley (right) on a [NW Counties] form and will be looking to use them at every possible opportunity between now and the end of the season. Both players possess real pace and an eye for goal and will be a real asset to us between now and the end of this term. I need cover up front due to the absence of Phil Carratt, Dean Canning and Glyn Barker due to work commitments. Troy Hayder has made a great impact since I signed him from Chadderton and I expect him to get even better the more he plays. I have also signed Scott Holt from FC United, Scott can play either up front or on the right hand side of midfield and he too possesses real pace and ability".
TEAM SPIRITFresh from writing his "alternative" pen pictures of his team mates in last Saturday's programme, Alty captain Mark Maddox has further enhanced his literary reputation with another article on the SAM website. He says of the recent win at Scarborough, "That result has given us a bit of breathing space and we're sitting a bit more comfortably in the table now. .. A win makes a massive difference, morale is higher and you can go into training on the Tuesday with a smile on your face rather than having Graham shouting at you. The spirit at the club is great at the moment, I suppose it has been ever since I joined this club and we have a really good bunch of lads. Everyone takes the mickey out of everyone else and we have some great banter - it's really important that we keep that up. I suppose that's why this whole part time/full time thing is exaggerated. We have got bigger heart than most teams and more desire to win. If anyone comes here thinking 'it's only Alty we should win this' then we'll turn them over... You do get some big time Charlies in this division who think highly of themselves but once you get on the pitch with them and get amongst them they don't look any better than the lads we have here... Graham [Heathcote] and Dalton [Steele] (right) have got things organised right here, we're set up well and ready for any challenge".
12 January 2006
PLEASE HELP THE STEWARDSAfter an incident yesterday at Moss Lane, chief steward Darren Gregory would like to remind all supporters that "The drinking of alcohol on the terracing is not allowed. This is in accordance with the club's ground regulations and that is why it was taken off a few individuals. If such action is not taken, the club can lose its bar licence". Spectators are also reminded that airhorns are prohibited items in the ground. All supporters should note that the stewards are all volunteers and their actions are all designed to ensure ground safety for all at Moss Lane. Please help them to do their job.
Above: Kieran Lugsden leaves Cambridge defenders in his wake. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone, whose website has more...
After defeat at Moss Lane, Cambridge boss "Rob Newman was pleased with some individual performances but disappointed with the opening half hour at Altrincham.Three new faces and a David Bridges goal contributed to a much-improved United performance, but after conceding twice in a poor opening half hour the U's left themselves too much to do", reports their website. The respectful Cambridge manager also said, "I'm not very happy because - no disrespect to Altrincham - we should come to places like Altrincham and get a result" and "When you're 2-0 down, like at Hereford, the fear factor goes. It's one thing feeling fear at Hereford but - again, no disrespect to Altrincham - if you're fearful at Altrincham then you've got problems. It's as simple as that".
Meanwhile, the Cambridge Evening News reports that "Rob Newman is ready to start putting together the squad he wants at Cambridge United next season... Following finance director Nick Pomery's recent statement that the club hopes to provide Newman with an extra £150,000 towards his playing budget for next term, he hopes to open contract talks with the players he wants to keep over the next few weeks... But it will also mean giving the bad news to players he does not feel will fit the bill. Players such as Paul Atkins and Nick Robbins, both on loan at Norwich United, and Dave Daniels, who is on a temporary deal at Hitchin, may not have many chances to seal an extension to their contracts at the Abbey. Newman said: 'We needed to get them out to give them games because decisions are going to have to be made on those players in the next four or five weeks'. He has also been looking at former Norway under-18 international keeper Bjorge Fedje as he attempts to provide extra competition for Scott Howie's No 1 jersey. Fedje has been playing for Norwegian Division One side Sogndal".
For more news and pictures from the Cambridge game see below, in Saturday's news...
CRAWLEY TRIPTimes and fares for the STAR supporters' coach to the Alty's first league match in Sussex, at Crawley Town next Saturday, are .here. For those who have not been before, Crawley lies close to Gatwick Airport. Howard Watts's records of previous Alty games on 18 February are here.
CONFERENCE NEWSNL Daily reports that "MK Dons' defender Shola Oyedele has joined Woking on loan for the rest of this season. The 21-year-old full back has fallen out of favour at the Dons in recent months, and has not featured for the first-team since August... He racked up thirty appearances last term, but has only featured four times this season so far".
Radcliffe Borough "have appointed Andy Johnston as the manager of the footballing and administrative side to oversee all those aspects of the job... The duties of [former manager] Kevin Glendon will change and he will have the responsibility of dealing and coaching with just the first-team only. Obviously with his new business commitments this will free a lot more of his time to concentrate on his new venture... Meanwhile, Boro have announced that they have signed defender Ian Kearney and forward Tony Evans. Both players have been on loan at First Division Clitheroe from Nationwide Conference National side Southport... Nineteen-year-old striker Evans was top goalscorer in Southport’s reserve team last season and so far this season he has notched fifteen goals
OLD BOYSPeter Wright (Chorley) and Steve Hawes (Stocksbridge) both scored yesterday. Two former Alty Youths, Paul Lewis and Adam Girdlestone, who only recently signed for Clitheroe, have now moved on to Fleetwood Town following a change of management at Clitheroe.
11 January 2006
ALTRINCHAM 2 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1
Above: From Gavin Rathbone's GR Photos site comes this shot of James Robinson celebrating his goal against Cambridge with Ged Murphy joining in.
Right: Alty's current run of success owes a lot to people who don't always get onto to the pitch; three of them are pictured here after the game with Cambridge. In the foreground is unused sub Pat McFadden, whose 27 goals for the Reserves have forced him into contention for the first team, whilst in the background is Ray Armstrong, with one of his team of the best ballboys and girls in the Conference.
Results: Saturday 11th
ROCKY ROBINAlty supporter and STAR member Andrew Nash writes:
On Sunday 26th February, Rocky Robin will once again be taking part in the Great Annual Mascot Pancake Race at the Printworks, Manchester. After a successful debut last year, when he didn't finish last, Rocky will be looking to improve and make the final three and, who knows, he could win it!!!!
I am looking for people to sponsor Rocky to help spur him on to victory. All sponsorship money will go to Altrincham Football Club. If you would like to be a sponsor, a sponsorship form will be at the STAR area of the club shop and I will have the form at Crawley, next week.
This event can help raise money for the club while also raising the club's profile, so please sponsor and if you've nothing to do on the 26th, get down and support Rocky. Thanks.
CAMBRIDGEThe Cambridge Evening News reports how United "missed out in the battle to sign Duane Darby... It is another blow for United manager Rob Newman after missing out on several other targets including Anthony Elding, Daryl Clare and Danny Bloomfield". However, he has now signed Colchester youngster Jamie Guy on loan, to join his only other "two recognised forwards available - Craig Westcarr and the inexperienced Mbiyeye Medine". Cambridge failed to win a game in January and captain Anthony Duncan "said it was important not to think United were in a comfortable position. He felt a win at part-timers Altrincham, who are level on points with United, was needed to end their poor away form and boost confidence. Duncan said: 'It's important that we take points against the teams around us. These runs of form are easy to get into and hard to get out of, and if we slip into one of those runs, especially at this stage of the season, you can be fighting for your lives... The three points could be crucial at the end of the season... those three points could mean just avoiding relegation. Or, if we turn it around, it could mean we just get into the play-offs'".
SAM previews the Cambridge game, saying thet "while Cambridge have faltered since the start of the new year, Alty have hit a rich vein of form... United are without the suspended duo of Fola Onibuje, who scored twice in his side's 4-0 victory at the Abbey Stadium, and Dan Gleeson. Ritchie Hanlon is also out injured but new arrivals Stacy Coldicott and Jamie Guy, both signed on loan this week, are expected to be named in the matchday squad... Away from home they have managed only one win in 13 matches". Facing Alty again will be former Stevenage and Hereford striker Jon Brady, signed from Hereford recently. Also playing will be Courtney Pitt, who "is usually deployed on the left of midfield but can also play up front and has scored four goals this season, including one against Alty".
CONFERENCE NEWSScarborough Today reports that "Player-boss Neil Redfearn and centre-back Paul Foot may be in line to face Forest Green on Saturday after turning out for Boro Reserves". Former Alty reserves played in the same game with report describing his giving a "shining" performance.
"Tamworth have signed teenage goalkeeper Tony Breedon - a player former Lambs' star Dale Belford calls the best young prospect in non-League football he has ever worked with. Breedon, who is the Birmingham County under-18s goalkeeper and has had several trials at clubs like Stoke City and Notts County, joins the Lambs from Southern League Division One West neighbours Sutton Coldfield Town". Following the bad injury to first-team goalkeeper Scott Bevan, Belford "believes Mark Gayle will be a worthy replacement for Bevan and that his former club have enough quality to climb away from the Conference relegation zone. 'Mark will never let Tamworth down. He is an unsung hero. He will not be intimidated by playing in the Conference - he believes he should be playing for Trinidad in the World Cup! '", reports The Tamworth Herald.
IC Sefton reports that when Burscough were meant to play Burton Albion in the FA Cup, "the scheduled match at the Pirelli Stadium was postponed at the last minute due to a waterlogged pitch [and] the Linnets' Supporters Club was left with a £250 bill for four coaches which they had booked. Supporters' secretary Eric Berry said: 'At the suggestion of the Supporters' Club members, I wrote to Burton chairman Ben Robinson, to see whether he would consider making a donation, not knowing whether it would be £50, or even if he would ignore it. But within a few days I received a cheque for the full £250 which I think is a marvellous gesture, one which shows what can happen when non-League clubs form a bond and help each other like this'".
Ceefax reports that Halifax's Peter Atherton and Chris Senior are both out for two weeks which could mean their missing their game at Altrincham on 21 February.
10 January 2006
CAMBRIDGE GAMEGraham Heathcote is hoping to field the same side that have done so well in the last two games. Warren Peyton will again miss out as he serves the the last match of his 3-game suspension.
The MEN says that Graham "is considering signing former Bolton star, Paul Warhurst, following his release by Wrexham but first plans to watch him in action in a friendly at Trafford on Tuesday. In the same game, Altrincham hope to include Karl Munroe and Gary Talbot, to give them the chance to test their fitness after their long injury lay-offs.
In today's Non-League Paper Graham Heathcote "has warned fans thinking of a top-half finish that they can still get sucked into a relegation dog-fight... [He] said 'We look at things here on a week-to-week basis. We never think too far ahead and we take every game that comes at us with a fresh and positive attitude. If we lose we forget about it and start again. If we win we forget about it and start again - it's that simple. We don't dwell and we don't get over-excited... We certainly won't be celebrating staying up yet. There are still plenty more matches still to be played and we face Crawley next weekend. But first we are looking forward to the Cambridge match - our home form has kept us where we are. There's no secret to it. Hard work is the key'. One downside to Altrincham's season has been the large number of away defeats...The last time they met Cambridge opponents was a case in point. Heathcote explained: 'We lost 4-0 at their place and that, last Saturday at Scarborough aside, sums up our form away from Moss Lane. My team will want to set the record straight'".
MAD DOG'S PEN PICTURES - GET YOUR COPY!
Pictured right, Gary "Gonzo" Scott.
Alty captain Mark Maddox has produced a set of "alternative pen pictures" for this Saturday's Robins' Review programme, which will be on sale as usual at a bargain £2. Joint editor Grahame Rowley has kindly sanctioned the advance publication of a couple of the pen pics to whet your appetite...
Scotty’s the fittest lad at the club, he’s always at the front of the running (which is not hard considering the size of his hooter). A very consistent player, also very consistent in blagging me he's having driving lessons!
Colin’s got great ability and his crosses have created a lot of goals for us this season, is quite quick on the pitch but even quicker in getting to the bar after games for his food; never seen anyone eat as much in his "pre-match" as him.
NEXT YOUTH GAME
OWN A PIECE OF YOUR CLUBAlty Director Grahame Rowley writes:
On behalf of the Football Club may I say a big thank-you to all those supporters who have made a pledge in our “Own a piece of your club” fundraising/share scheme. The offer period is now up and I would thus like to ask everyone who has made a pledge to please send their money in to the club by February 14th so that share certificates can be drawn up and dispatched by the end of the month.
Please make cheques payable to ‘Altrincham FC’ and mark the envelope for the attention of Grahame Rowley. If all the pledges made come to fruition we should have raised in excess of £10,000 for the club – a great help in this difficult period of the season. We look forward to welcoming all our new shareholders and hope they enjoy owning their ‘Piece of the Club’.
Grahame Rowley, on behalf of the Board, Altrincham FC.
ALTY CHEERLEADERSAltrincham FC announce that they are launching their very own cheerleaders. "We are looking for new talent to join the Altrincham Aces. As a cheerleader you will get to perform at home games, local and national events, competitions and shows throughout the year.
We are looking for all ages and abilities to join the team, this is the perfect opportunity for any dancers, gymnasts or performers who want to receive professional training and have the chance to perform on a regular basis.
If you think you've got what it takes to make the team get down to the open auditions on Thursday 2nd March 2006 at the Waterside Arts Centre, Sale (studio A) from 4.30pm.
Please wear clothes suitable to move in and trainers.
Altrincham Aces are trained by Spikes Management and will be a funky blend of street dance/hip hop, combined with lifts, tricks and stunts to make it the most update cheerleading around. For further details contact Hannah on 01925 413255 or by e-mail.
ASASAM interviews Steve Aspinall (left), saying that "Few would have seen him as the solution to Alty's midfield conundrum. But after stellar performances against both Aldershot and Scarborough, Steve Aspinall has proved himself to be something of a surprise package. The 29-year-old was handed his chance after the suspension of Warren Peyton and has been key to the Robins' recent revival in form, striking up an impressive central midfield partnership with Val Owen (right). But despite spending the majority of his Moss Lane career at right back, Aspinall was originally signed to play in midfield and claims that is where he is still most comfortable. 'I have enjoyed playing there but you just play where you are told to play and I'm just happy to be back playing regularly. I've played in midfield for most of my career anyway but when you play with someone like Val he makes a lot of things easy for you. He is so powerful and athletic and will do a lot of the donkey work in midfield so that you can concentrate on other things.. Everybody is really happy with the way we've been playing but we know we have to keep working hard to make sure we pick up enough points over the last few months of the season... As much as everyone is part of the team on the pitch we are part of the team off the pitch as well, everyone gets on here... Even though it has been a step up playing in this league, it is a better league to play football in and that definitely suits our game".
CAMBRIDGE STRENGTHENThe BBC says that our opponents on Saturday, "Cambridge United have made a double swoop, signing Stacy Coldicott from Hereford and striker Jamie Guy from Colchester... Coldicott, 31, joined Hereford from Grimsby last summer but only recently returned to action following a back injury and signs on a month's loan. Guy, 18, made a handful of appearances for Colchester and returns to Cambridge on a work experience basis. Bulls' boss Graham Turner feels Coldicott's move should be beneficial to all parties. 'They're desperate for a midfield player'", he said.
And NL Daily confirms that "Rob Newman, manager of Cambridge United, is adding two new players to the squad before the trip to Altrincham on Saturday. Experienced midfielder Stacy Coldicott and young striker Jamie Guy will join up with the U's squad on Thursday and sign on loan. Thirty-one-year-old Coldicott is a tough-tackling character ...and will boost the midfield in the absence of the injured Ritchie Hanlon". Newman told the club website, 'Stacy Coldicott has bags of experience in the lower leagues and also played for West Brom... He's just coming back to fitness after a long layoff and while Ritchie Hanlon is out injured he will be a like-for-like presence in there. He likes to get stuck into a tackle and he'll bring some experience... Hopefully he'll come in and help us get over this sticky period we're having at the moment. We need some positive results and it's a month's loan so it will help him get fit and help us out as well, and hopefully by the time that month is up then Ritchie will be available for selection'"
COLIN HONOUREDThe official Nationwide Conference press release for January's Player of the month follow, courtesy of Jo Ryan:
LITTLE SCOOPS NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Colin Little of Altrincham is the Nationwide Conference Player of the Month for January - an award voted on by fans of the competition. Danny Howard of Harrogate Town and St Albans City’s Lee Clarke pick up the Nationwide North and Nationwide South Player of the Month Awards respectively.
Nationwide's Chris Hull said: "Colin, Danny and Lee have all had fantastic months for their sides and we are delighted to give them January’s awards. "Colin has made his mark for Altrincham during the month by scoring in nearly every single Nationwide Conference fixture in January. "Little's performances and goals have helped to lift the Moss Lane side clear of the relegation zone and into 16th place in the Nationwide Conference table. Colin's goals have boosted his personal tally to 12 this season.
“All three players will receive a specially commissioned magnum of champagne from Nationwide prior to a forthcoming home fixture. The fans of the Nationwide Conference vote for the Nationwide Player of the Month Awards and supporters can vote for future prizes on www.footballconference.co.uk".
CONFERENCE NEWS"Tamworth have made an ambitious bid for Paul Merson's playing services. Merson, sacked as Walsall boss earlier in the week, lives close to Tamworth and is friends with Tamworth boss Mark Cooper", says Bullsnews.
"Halifax have signed three of their players to extended contracts. Martin Foster, Tyrone Thompson and Adam Quinn have all signed deals to the end of next season. Cambridge have added Colchester striker Jamie Guy to their signing of Stacey Coldicott. The 18 year old joins on a work experience basis, but the U's have lost out on Duane Darby who has joined Nuneaton as Player-Coach. Dagenham have lodged an appeal against Sam Saunders' dismissal in the FA Trophy replay win over Tamworth. Saunders was one of three players red carded in the match. Grays have made their FA Trophy Quarter Final tie with the Daggers all ticket."
The BBC says that "Dagenham and Redbridge have appealed against the dismissal of midfielder Sam Saunders in their FA Trophy replay win against Tamworth... on grounds of wrongful dismissal".
Confirmation comes from the BBC that "Nuneaton have won the race to sign experienced striker Duane Darby... after [he rejected] rival offers from Cambridge and Stevenage". Also confirmed is the news that "Southport have boosted their relegation fight with the signing of Woking defender Jimmy Aggrey on loan. Former Torquay and Yeovil defender Aggrey, 27, will spend the rest of the season at Haigh Avenue".
9 February 2006
OLD BOYWhen Accrington lost in the penalty shoot out at Worksop on Tuesday, one of their misses from the spot was by Ian Craney. However, Ian had earlier scored an equaliser for Stanley.
TROPHYAfter last night's replays, the FA Trophy draw for 25 February is:
For Alty fans, without a game that day, the alternatives include either watching FC United at Moss Lane versus Holker Old Boys or watching Trafford v Bacup Borough at Shawe View.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC on our next opponents; "Cambridge boss Rob Newman has allowed youngsters Paul Atkins and Nick Robbins to go out on loan... with Ridgeons Premier League side Norwich United. Dave Daniels, 20, has extended his loan at Hitchin Town into a second month.
The Southport Visiter reports that "Conference survival can be achieved but it will require a massive reversal from the previous six months. The Houdini-style Port escape has to start at Haig Avenue on Saturday against mid-table Canvey Island... Manager Liam Watson has targeted eight victories, plus a scattering of draws along the way, as essential to push the Port towards a 42 point final finish that he believes will ensure Nationwide Conference football next season... Southport are aiming for their first Conference home victory since 0ctober 7... Watson has to strengthen his understrength squad after repeatedly missing out during the transfer window.... [On Wednesday] the opportunity to draft in loan players between now and the end of the season reopened. The place to look, Watson has acknowledged, has to be the Coca Cola Football League for experienced pros who are seeking contracts for next season. Watson has been in contact with a number of clubs and has spoken to Bury about the availability of ex-Preston striker Alan Smart. He has also spoken to Glenn Cockerill at Woking. Cockerill has agreed to loan former TNS centre-back Jimmy Aggrey... while another midfielder and a striker are on the shopping list". Watson added, "Our fate is still in our own hands. We know we have to put a run together. We have a number of fixtures that we can certainly get points from... Our last three Conference matches have seen us win, lose and draw. If we continued like that until April it is likely we would be safe".
NL Daily reports that "Roger Ashby, manager of Nuneaton Borough, will meet for a second time with striker Duane Darby and is hopeful of landing the striker. Cambridge United and Stevenage Borough have also tabled offers to Darby, but Ashby is confident he will be a Boro player... The 32-year-old has had the remainder of his contract paid up by Shrewsbury Town... Manager Roger Ashby said: 'Cambridge United and Stevenage are both in for him also but we are very close to agreeing a deal and I am keen to get things signed and sealed'” says the Nuneaton website.
Also in Conference North it is reported that Hucknall Town have appointed Kevin Wilson, the froemr Kettering boss as their manager.
8 February 2006
FAT EFFECTSAfter last night's FAT games, Alty will now not meet Dagenham away on 25 February as the Daggers will still be in the Trophy on that day. The match has been arranged for Tuesday, 11th April at 7.45pm.
FAT 3 replays:
NUMBER 28 HITS NUMBER 27Altrincham striker and no.28, Pat McFadden, has now hit 27 goals for Alty Reserves (not 25 as previously stated) - which coincidentally is exactly the same number of goals as the entire Altrincham first team has scored all season in the Conference!
Altrincham FC photographer Gavin Rathbone has agreed with the Club to donate a photo every month to be auctioned for the Club's funds. Gavin says, "All prints will be unique in some way, and will be framed courtesy of Col Malvern (AKA Rod Stewart). First up is Rod Thornley's cartwheel (above). The photo can currently be seen in the Sponsors' Lounge, but it will also make an appearance in the bar area. Print size is approx. 22" in length and Rod has signed the photo. It is a little different as the photo is in black and white apart from the colour red, and the fact there are 4 Rods on one photo! Bidding will finish at the end of February, and updates and announcements for closing bids will be found on the forum, website, programme and club. To place a bid you can post on forum, call GR Photography on 01457 861122 or e-mail Grahame Rowley. I will also be accepting bids by e-mail. Bidding has already been started by Grahame Rowley with a £50 bid". You can also see the photo here.
MULLERY LEAVES CRAWLEYOur next away trip is to Sussex where The Argus confirms that "Alan Mullery has left Conference strugglers Crawley. The former Albion manager says his help as an advisor is no longer needed... Mullery said: 'I agreed to help them up until Christmas and I was there three mornings a week. I gave them advice on a lot of things around the club and they have taken most of it. My brief when I came in was to help the club become more professional and I think I have done that because a lot of things have improved. Various players and staff have left and the club is professionally run much better. However, they now have a manager with a lot of experience and the chairman is running things so I am leaving them to it.'". The Argus continues that "Meanwhile, supporters' club chairman Kevin Giles has warned [manager, John] Hollins the backlash from fans will continue unless results improve quickly. Hollins suffered a barrage of abuse from the crowd at the end of Saturday's embarrassing FA Trophy exit against Boreham Wood. The defeat followed a run of one league win in eight games since Hollins took charge, which has seen Crawley drop to second bottom in the Conference. Giles said: 'I don't think he can have too many complaints about the fans getting on his back after Saturday. It was an embarrassment. We should have been good enough to beat Boreham Wood, they were a bunch of cloggers. The fans pay their money every week so we have the right to voice our feelings when we see things going badly wrong. It will only carry on and probably get worse. Unless things change, it is going to become torturous for the rest of the season. I'm seriously worried about what is happening because I don't see where our next win is going to come from. A lot of fans I have talked to say they are already resigned to going down, which is a horrible situation to be in'". As for attendances, Giles added: "Once it starts dropping below 1,500 then the club is going to lose some serious money. But I don't see it improving because of how we are playing at the moment. We should be getting 2,000 fans every week but we will only get that if the team is winning'".
CONFERENCE NEWSConfguide reports that "Woking's Justin Richards leads a five-man shortlist of Nationwide Conference National players vying for the ‘Player of the Month’ award for January. The Cards' forward faces stiff competition from Charlie MacDonald (Gravesend), Colin Little (Altrincham), Scott Bevan (Tamworth) and Paul Wanless (Forest Green), who all acquitted themselves admirably in January... Colin Little has made his way on to Altrincham's score sheet in almost every single Conference fixture in January, helping to lift them clear of the relegation zone and into 16th place on the table. His goalscoring exploits have also boosted his tally to 11 goals [actually 12] this season.. Vote here. Bullsnews says of the Conference's Player Of The Month award, "Gravesend's Charlie MacDonald has been shortlisted despite the striker playing only three games in the month and scoring just once, and Woking's forward Justin Richards scored just two in five but was included. Forest Green striker Paul Wanless also got a nomination despite scoring just one goal from five games in the month. By comparison, Bulls strikers Adam Stansfield and Andy Williams scored four and three respectively... Only Colin Little, who scored four in four for Altrincham, and Tamworth keeper Scott Bevan can truly be considered as worthwhile candidates for the award based on their performances in January".
The BBC says that "Canvey Island defender Jay Conroy has extended his loan stay at Sutton United for a third consecutive month... If the move is made permanent Conroy will follow long-serving goalkeeper Ashley Harrison out of Park Lane. Harrison was released by the Gulls to join Southern League side Great Wakering, where he has been on loan."
Nearer to home, "Southport have allowed Michael Stringfellow to return to Morecambe following a month on loan at Haig Avenue. The 24-year-old midfielder made just one substitute appearance during his stay... Port boss Liam Watson has also released former Aston Villa and York City defender Lee Grant, 20, after just one County Cup appearance. Watson is hoping to strengthen his squad with further loan signings", claims the BBC.
"Gravesend and Northfleet defender Graham Porter has joined Heybridge Swifts on a month's loan... after completing a similar stint with Maidenhead. The 31-year-old started 20 Conference games for Fleet last season but has not figured this term". And "The Halifax Town trio of Martin Foster, Tyrone Thompson and Adam Quinn have agreed new deals to stay at the Shay next season. Boss Chris Wilder is also holding contract talks with further members of his squad as he looks to hold onto his leading players... Wilder told the Halifax Evening Courier: 'I have been delighted with the squad's efforts this season. Now is the right time to start looking ahead to next year'" .
A correspondent on Southport's Portchat says, "Now is the time for the true fans to show their loyalty to their club and give Liam Watson’s men every encouragement... Despite the closing of the transfer window, players can still be brought in on loan and surely it would be worthwhile to pay whatever wages are necessary to give the battle for survival a fighting chance... 'I am trying to bring in Jimmy Aggrey on loan from Woking,’ Liam Watson told me. ‘He is a defender who has played in the UEFA Cup with TNS and was in Yeovil’s Conference-winning side. I am also in talks with a Coca Cola League club about one of their strikers'".
Bullsnews states that "Terry Brown, the Aldershot manager, has told Sky Sports that the Conference title race is not over, ''If Hereford can put a run together they've definitely got what it takes to claw Accrington back. Stanley are likely to go through a sticky patch, much like Grays are at the moment, so there could still be a lot to play for'".
Aldershot Town report that "Following the recent communication from the Football Club. Brian Bloomfield and I have agreed to administer the setting up of a transfer/player fund for Aldershot Town FC. Initially this will consist of setting up a separate bank account for any payments into the fund... With Jonny Dixon signing for the club on a loan basis one of the first aims will be to aid Manager Terry Brown in his attempts to keep him at the club" .
7 February 2006
PONTOON LATESTFrom Sarah Rowley, we have the latest standings in the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition, here
GEORGE HAS BEEN BUSYAlty Youth boss George Heslop has filed three brief reports on recent away games for the Youth team and these may be found in the Youth section.
ATTENDANCESTerry Rowley's updated Attendance figures are here.
LAST GAMESAM reports on Alty's win at Scarborough. "Goals from Colin Little and Steve Aspinall helped them destroy their reputation as uneasy travellers and in truth, the scoreline flattered their hosts. Spurred on by their excellent travelling support, Alty were head and shoulders above Scarborough, who did little to merit David McNiven's consolation strike... Victory over Cambridge this Saturday would take them into the top 15 for the first time since October".
Scarborough Today says that "Furious Boro boss Neil Redfearn read the riot act to his players after Saturday's grim display – then revealed he may resume his own playing career to help in the growing battle against relegation. Redfearn kept his players in the dressing-room for more than an hour after Saturday's 2-1 home defeat against Altrincham. In that time he made it clear that the future of several players was on the line – and that one solution to improve matters on the pitch may be to play himself... [He] may resume his playing career on Saturday at Forest Green". He added, "I scored 14 goals last season and maybe I have neglected that fact. At 40-years-old I am not going to get about as much as I would want but I am still dangerous. If any ball drops in and around the box then I will cause sides a few problems".
From the same source states, "If I catch anyone with their head down or sulking then they can disappear," said Redfearn. "I’m only interested in keeping this club in this division. They were bang at the bottom when I took over and I want to get them out of this situation... If anybody hasn’t got the stomach for the fight then they can tell me and I’ll let them go. I’m sick of coming in after games and being disappointed... I can’t stand by and let players get away with lesser performances. Each week there are a few players who play well, but there are a few certain individuals who aren’t playing well... Over a season players do get found out. Football is a ruthless game... I have persisted with a few people for too long and I can’t afford to do that any longer".
NEXT HOME GAMEAlty's home game this Saturday is against Cambridge United and their official website says that manager "Rob Newman has held talks with an experienced striker but must now wait for his decision in the face of interest from other clubs". The manager said, "He had his contract paid up... He's 32, he's been around the lower leagues and the Conference, he's very tenacious and he has a good attitude. We had talks with him but he's spoken to another club on Friday so we just have to wait at the moment". But Cambridge News confirms that "Duane Darby is believed to be the man Rob Newman has earmarked to boost Cambridge United's goalscoring capabilities... Reports from Shrewsbury boss Gary Peters suggest Newman is in a head-to-head battle with Nuneaton for the services of 32-year-old Darby, whose contract with the League Two Shrews was cancelled by mutual consent... Newman said, 'I don't want to say who it is, but he has been around the divisions and we feel as though he's someone who can give us the strength and power we need up front'.... Newman added that he was optimistic about bringing young Colchester forward Jamie Guy in on loan as soon as the League One club's injury problems cleared up. He said: "The lad from Colchester might be the way forward - I've got that one pencilled in as soon as he can come to us. Hopefully, it could be before the Altrincham game (on February 11)'". Newman is busy as the News also reports that "Trevor Robinson could be one of Rob Newman's targets to join Cambridge United in the summer. The left-back has returned to Millwall afer the end of his month-long loan spell at the Abbey... While keeping his focus on United's fortunes this season, Newman admitted he was already looking forward to next term. He welcomed finance director Nick Pomery's announcement at the club's annual meeting last Monday that the board would try to give him a promotion-level budget for the 2006-07 campaign. That would mean the club finding an extra £150,000 on top of the estimated £600,000-plus Newman was handed this season. 'If we can be in this league next season, it would be massive for us because we know with the experience we've gained... We're in a position at this point of the season where we can start looking forward. Rather than just getting stop-gaps in, we're looking for players who will fill the void and carry us forward with some momentum for next season'".
NEXT AWAY GAMEAlty's next away game is at Crawley Town in Sussex - our first ever league visit to that county. From there The Argus says that "Crawley fans turned on manager John Hollins after watching the most humiliating defeat in the club's recent history [0-2 at home to Boreham Wood in the Trophy]. Supporters lined the gangway in front of the main stand to hurl abuse at the Reds boss during ugly scenes at the final whistle. Having seen their side slump to second bottom in the Conference, this FA Trophy third round defeat against a team three divisions below Crawley was more than they could take. They booed off the crestfallen players and chanted 'what a load of rubbish'...This was worse than the FA Cup exit against Ryman Premier division Braintree earlier in the season. That resulted in the sacking of former boss Francis Vines and some angry fans wanted the same outcome as they called for Hollins's head. To his credit, Hollins faced up to fans who had gathered behind the dug-out and let them vent their anger... He lashed out at his charges and admitted they are not good enough. He said: 'You warn players but some think it is comfortable and some people are not up for the fight. That is why we are in the position we are in. Players think they can do it but when it comes to reality and doing it on the day, they can't. The quality of passing was atrocious. Can I do anything about that? Well, I can't go on and play myself... It would be interesting if you didn't pay them'".
Meanwhile captain Ian Simpemba said, "If you want to call yourself professional footballers you have to beat teams like that. The fans have every right to be angry... If the lads can't play in front of 800 people who are booing them, they should not be in this game". The paper adds, "You only had to observe some Boreham Wood players celebrating afterwards with a cigarette and a beer to realise they should not have been any match for the full-time athletes of Crawley... Boreham knocked out Gravesend 3-1 in the last round and were on the crest of a wave having lost just once in 25 games. That run has been built on a team ethic, with every player working hard for each other, something severely lacking at Crawley. Reds have lots of good individuals but played like a bunch of strangers... Daryl Clare was forced off after just 20 minutes with a dead leg but even without their top scorer, Crawley should have found a way to unlock the visitors, especially when they tired late in the game... Crawley's trip to Dagenham and Redbridge [today] has been rearranged because the Essex club have an FA Trophy replay. The game will now take place on March 28. Striker Tris Whitman has returned to Tamworth following a two-month loan at The Broadfield Stadium". Whitman almost joined Alty earlier this season.
CONFERENCE NEWSAccording to the Bullsnews "The dates for the Conference play-offs have been announced, although some of the details are to be confirmed.
Bullsnews also says that "Hereford United have confirmed that the home game against Stevenage Borough has been moved from Saturday February 25th to the following Monday because it is to be covered by Sky Sports".
6 February 2006
FRIENDLY NEXT TUESDAYAltrincham have arranged a friendly at Trafford next Tuesday (14th) at 7.45pm. Alty will use the game to look at various options in the first team squad as well as to maintain fitness, given we have only one more midweek Conference match this season.
SCARBOROUGH 1 ALTRINCHAM 2Match report and photos here
ALTY YOUTH 0 BOOTLE YOUTH 1A very physical Bootle side beat Altrincham Youth 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a single first-half goal. Despite conceding seven yellow cards for a series of robust challenges, the Merseysiders were allowed to keep all eleven men on the pitch despite having several multiple offenders. However, Alty, who until the last minute had only one player booked, saw centre-back Michael Risk harshly dismissed at the start of the second half for his second offence. Report in Youth section.
A brief report of last month's friendly against Macclesfield Town Academy has also been added to the Youth section of the website, courtesy of George Heslop.
RESERVESThe Lancashire League has updated its league table, which Altrincham Reserves still top. Burscough will have an influence this week on the title race as they meet Morecambe on Friday before travelling to Moss Lane a week on Wednesday (15th).
Altrincham FC are very grateful to Ian Senior's Sensport Kits, suppliers of the AltyReserves' playing kit.
OLD BOYSRyan Hutchinson has joined Salford City. Alty Youth had a player on their books called Graham Bryant and he appears to have now moved from Maine Road to Abbey Hey.
ALTY SHOPIan Harwood of STAR announces that:
With the agreement of the club and STAR i've put together a shop on eBay for Altrincham FC merchandise. This gives the opportunity of online and credit card sales that we've not had before. You can view the shop here.... So far just having had a tentative go with mainly DVDs and badges we've had sales of just over £400 so it's definitely worthwhile. I plan to add further products and sponsorship opportunities over time. A link has been added on this website's Robins Shop page.
CONFERENCE NEWSYork City have "confirmed that midfielder Levant Yalcin has left [as]... he has failed to achieve a regular place in City's first team. His contract has been terminated by mutual consent and he is now a free agent".
Bullsnews reports that "Hereford supporters without season tickets are expected to be asked to pay an extra pound to see next Saturday's home game against Halifax as the Bulls are in the top five".
5 February 2006
Above: Even in Dalton Steele's pre-match warm-up, Steve Aspinall had his eye on the opposition at the other end of the pitch. In the background, as well as "Asa" and Dalton, there is Colin Potts, whilst in front of them are Lewis Chalmers, Pat McFadden, Gary Scott and Stephen Rose.
In the NL paper, Graham Heathcote said, "We have played well over the last two months despite one or two hiccups such as the Forest Green game. Our supporters were fantastic today and we have all the ingredients at the club to do well. We looked solid and the players worked really hard. I couldn't fault them at all".
On the Surfing Seadog forum one Scarborough fan writes: "Part-time and we’re proud of it. That’s the song Altrincham supporters sang as they congratulated their players - and we walked out. At times it was difficult to tell who the full-timers were: Boro’ allowed Altrincham players through at regular intervals and the away ’keeper was once again a virtual spectator as we again failed to take advantage of a home fixture. For this reason I and others are beginning to think - maybe it won’t be such a bad thing if we go down. The players we would get in the Conference North would probably be far more committed and bothered about the club. This is in contrast to the likes of Hackworth and Quayle who are more bothered about picking up their highly inflated wage packets every week".
OLD BOYSAdrian Booth, an authority on Rotherham United has been in touch with the website about Gary Scott, who was a former Millers' player. In that process of exchanging messages, I enquired about the current position of our former player Nicky Daws who is at Rotheham United. Adrian tells me that Nicky is now employed as the club's fitness coach.
Gavin Salmon, an Alty trialist last summer, and former Alty player Mario Daniel both scored yesterday for Woodley Sports, who are managed by ex-Alty midfielder Ally Pickering. Peter Wright scored again for Chorley.
TAKING STOCKAltrincham are now fourth from the top of the Conference form guide over their last six games. The Robins have taken 11 points from those games, their only reverse being the 5-0 defeat at Forest Green. Ahead of them are Accrington, Hereford and Dagenham and Redbridge.Our next opponents, Cambridge United lie 20th.
Alty's match away at Dagenham in three weeks time may be postponed as the Daggers remain in the Trophy, having earned a replay yesterday against Tamworth. The next round of the Trophy clashes with our scheduled trip to Dagenham, so as with Grays earlier this season, we may face a long Tuesday night trip to Essex.
4 February 2006
SATURDAY'S GAMEIn SAM's match preview it says that Alty "have picked up only eight points from 14 away games and manager Graham Heathcote admitted he has struggled for answers to their travelling woes... Meanwhile Scarborough are likely to replace the departed Neil Bishop in midfield with loan signing Richard Kell, who arrived this week from Barnsley. Both [ex-Barnsley and Alty reserve] Tom Baker and Leo Bertos could figure... while striker Tony Hackworth should recover from calf and thigh problems to start.. Scarborough have been extremely inconsistent since the start of 2006. The Seadogs' last outing was a 1-0 defeat at home to Dagenham and Redbridge and their form at the McCain Stadium has been poor this season, winning only three of their 14 games there so far... [But] since the arrival of David McNiven from Scottish side Queen of the South, the previously goal-shy Seadogs have found an added edge up front... Fowler, who recently completed a permanent move from Huddersfield Town, is a hardworking and tough-tackling player who provides an important influence in the midfield engine room."
The Scarborough website says that "Boro face a tricky home game with Altrincham on Saturday. Fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Aldershot Town last weekend, the Cheshire side are expected to be unchanged for the game. Warren Peyton remains suspended and Colin Potts (right) will probably make the bench after ending his ban. Boro will be captained by midfielder Lee Fowler for the first time following Neil Bishop’s defection to York City on Tuesday". However the website reminds us that "Alty have not won at the McCain Stadium since August 1981, when the visitors ran out 3-1 in an Alliance Premier League match. Of the other 8 games at the McStad, Boro have won 5 with 3 being draws".
CHAIRMAN SCORESAltrincham may have found the answer to their goalscoring problems after a midweek five a side game in which club chairman Geoff Goodwin hit seven goals, playing alongside Alty Director and midfield schemer Grahame Rowley.
RE-LIVE THE GAMESFor those who cannot get to Alty games or who just want to re-live James Robinson's superb goals last week, the club has DVDs available of all games this season for just £7.50. You can get them from the club shop or by contacting the club on 928-1045 or by e-mailing the Grahame Rowley.
ASKING THE QUESTIONS... ROD THORNLEYDon't forget there is a Quiz Night at- 7.30pm Thursday, 23rd February 2006, in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. Hosted by our very own 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 questions are expected to be of a general nature, possibly with a special round related to Altrincham FC. After that there is a Sportsman’s Dinner at 7.30pm Thursday, 9th March 2006, at the Chef Peking restaurant, Urmston. Altrincham FC is pleased to announce that former Manchester City star Peter Barnes has agreed to be our guest speaker at this event which hopefully his dad, Ken 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 are priced at £17-50 – various sized tables are also available for group bookings. For full details of forthcoming events, click here.
ALTY VOLUNTEERSAlty's Barry Pond, who does a great job attracting so much sponsorship to Moss Lane, and Derek Wilshaw, who works every day in the office at Moss Lane and is often the voice that answers the phone when you ring the ground, have deservedly both been nominated for awards in the "Volunteer in Sport" category in the Trafford Sports Awards. Also, Altrincham FC has been nominated as "Club of the Year". Trafford Council says that "The winners of each of the Trafford awards will be announced at the Trafford Sports Awards Presentation Evening on 22nd February 2006 and then go through to represent the borough at the prestigious Greater Manchester Sports Awards to be held in April 2006".
OLD BOYSAlty's former loan player from Stockport, Matt Bailey has reportedly finished his loan spell from Crewe Alexandra at Southport after just one game "by mutual consent". This follows a similarly unhappy exit from a loan spell with Hereford United.
IC Cheshire states that "Former Macclesfield Town, [Altrincham] and England semi-professional international midfielder Martin McDonald... has to make his mind up between Witton and North West Counties League Second Division outfit Flixton, who, somewhat surprisingly, have offered him the better deal".
"Tommy Lawson, manager of Clitheroe, has been boosted by the arrival of three new players ahead of this Saturday's home game against Gresley Rovers. Having seen [ex-Alty man] Gary Williams go to Leigh RMI last week, 21-year-old Ian Taylor, 20-year-old Adam Girdlestone and 19-year-old Paul Lewis have made a move in the opposite direction to bolster Lawson’s' injury hit squad". ". All three are ex-Alty Youth players, who played for RMI against Alty Reserves last Wednesday. "All three have had at least ten starts for the Railwaymen... The club's next fund-raising step is to offer up the name of the ground to any businesses who would like to be associated with East Lancashire's leading non-League football team... Several clubs around the country, now have sponsored stadiums and the initiative has helped cash-strapped clubs, York City's KitKat Crescent and even West Lancs Leaguers Barnoldswick Town's Silentnight Beds Stadium being prime examples" reports Clitheroe Today.
MAD DOG'S TAXIIn his SAM column, Alty's captain, Mark Maddox says, "It was great to beat Aldershot 5-1 but we can't get carried away with one good result. We are confident going into the Scarborough game but it should be a real battle - it's going to be really cold up there, I know that much... The other teams have all strengthened their squad in the transfer window but I don't pay much attention to that either. There is a time when you need a shake up in the squad but it's up to Graham and Dalton to bring in the right players and not mercenaries... If you look at the players we've brought in recently - Warren, Ged, Robbo and even [loan player] Bushell - they all have the right attitude". He added that James Robinson (right), "now that he's fit again, has made a real impact. Maybe I'm being biased because he's a Scouser and he's in my car pool but I think he's settling in well here and he's a good lad. All he needs to do now is learn to drive and then buy a car so that I don't have to keep giving him and Scotty a lift to the game".
CONFERENCE NEWSOn Friday, "A strong Southport Reserve team that included 9 of Southport's first team squad took on five times consecutive Champions Morecambe in the Lancit Haulage Lancashire Football League at Haig Avenue. Southport went down to a 76th minute goal".
"It has been reported that Hinckley are linked with Burton Albion defender Lee Ayres. Manager Rod Thomas is currently still discussing this move with his counterpart at the Pirelli Stadium, Nigel Clough".
"Nineteen-year-old Jermaine Hollis signed for Hucknall Town from Kidderminster Harriers. 'Jermaine hasn’t really been in my plans since I've been here and I felt it was best for him to leave us and try and further his career elsewhere', said Harriers’ boss MarkYates.
3 February 2006
FEET ON THE GROUNDSAM quotes Graham Heathcote after Saturday's win against Aldershot Town. "We are not going to get on a high after the Aldershot result because we didn't get on a downer after the Forest Green game either. What we did on Saturday is irrelevant, we now have seven games away from home and we have to play them as cup ties, we just need to pick up as much as we can from those games. People look at Saturday's game on paper and think that it will be easier because they are below us in the league but it's not because these teams will be desperate to beat us. We need to improve and start picking up some points away from home because although it won't take the pressure off, it will make life slightly easier. I can't put my finger on why we have been so poor away from home but if we can play like we did in the games against Aldershot, Grays, Hereford and Accrington we will be fine". As for new faces coming to Moss Lane, "There is one player who we might sign when his team are knocked out of the FA Trophy and several league clubs are releasing players now to cut their costs. It's important to try and strengthen when you can but unfortunately we sit at the back of the queue waiting to see who we can bring in".
RESERVES' REPORTA report on the Altrincham Reserves' 1-0 win over Leigh on Wednesday night is in the Reserves' section.
OLD BOYFormer Alty left midfielder, James Olsen, has joined Barrow from Vauxhall Motors. "Olsen, a subject of a seven day’s notice over a fortnight ago, was also pursued by Conference outfit, Southport, but the former Tranmere & Altrincham man, finally agreed to come to Holker Street early this week".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC confirms that "Accrington boss John Coleman has been named as the Nationwide Conference manager of the month for January".
"Burton Albion striker Dale Anderson has joined Conference North promotion hopefuls Northwich Victoria on a month's loan. Brewers' boss Nigel Clough allowed Anderson to join Vics after signing Christian Moore from Kettering on loan". Meanwhile, "Gravesend & Northfleet have confirmed that Northampton Town midfielder Bradley Johnson is to spend the rest of the season on loan at Stonebridge Road. The 18-year-old has scored twice in nine Conference appearances". And "Woking boss Glenn Cockerill wanted to make sure his strike force would stay at full power by recruiting QPR striker Luke Townsend. The 19-year-old joined on a month's loan on deadline day as Cockerill safeguarded against the possible loss of top scorer Justin Richards.
After signing 19 year-old striker Luke Townsend from QPR on a one month loan, Woking boss Glenn Cockerill told his club's website, "I wanted to bring someone in, in case the club got a late offer [for Justin Richards] it couldn't refuse. I just want to see how he does with us. We'll then take it from there". But another Woking target, Jonny Dixon of Wycombe opted to join Aldershot Town instead, also on loan.
For the England National Game XI match against Italy, manager Paul Fairclough has brought in five debutants, Accrington Stanely's Gary Roberts, Burton Albion's Jon Shaw and Ryan Austin, Southport's Carl Baker and Tamworth's Dave Bampton. The full squad comprises:
CONFERENCE NORTHKettering Town confirm that "Burton Albion secured the services of Christian Moore". But soon afterwards, Poppies' manager Kevin Wilson was leaving Rockingham Road for the second time this season, having previously been displaced by Paul Gascoigne. On their website the Kettering chairman, Imraan Ladak, says, in a statement which curiously does not mention the manager's name, "If I felt that our form and performances were likely to change for the better I would have left the management team in place. However in the privileged position of Chairman... and having taken into account all factors, I felt it was essential to make a change. I am aware that the dismissal of two managers within a short space of time has resulted in unsettling players and supporters and will of course bring my own judgement into question... I am fully aware of the qualities I am looking for in the next manager and the criteria does not include someone who has played top flight football... Football has moved on and it is clear that intelligence, communication, disciplined man-management with respect and tactical awareness are vital to success in the modern game. That is not to say that these qualities were not helpful in previous generations but it is fair to say that managers like Arsene Wenger have a style we were not previously accustomed to. For the foreseeable future Morell Maison has been appointed First Team Manager with Alan Biley returning as Assistant Manager... This management team has my complete confidence and support and I hope that you will keep faith in my judgement, despite recent events". On other matters, he said, "It is clear that the stadium issue is vital to the future of the club and it is equally clear that the council will not be giving us eight acres of land a £4million to build a football league standard stadium and training facilities. As a result we have been actively looking at all options that do not include a move out of the Borough of Kettering or to Corby and Rushden... However Kettering Town Football Club has no need or desire to merge with any other organisation and I hope this confirmation will allay any fears you had of rumours to the contrary".
2 February 2006
ALTY RESERVES 1 LEIGH RMI RESERVES 0In Wednesday's Lancashire League match, leaders Altrincham gained a 1-0 win over a Leigh RMI side packed with former Alty Youth players. Pat McFadden got the winner soon after the interval but Alty's defence held firm under a lot of Leigh pressure in the second half and even survived a final ten minutes with ten men after Danny Heffernan had to limp off injured. As well as McFadden who netted his 25th goal of the season, two other first teamers, Colin Potts and Lewis Chalmers also played. Report to follow
THANK YOU, IANFormer Alty goalkeeper, Ian Senior, whose company Sensports supplies kit to Altrincham FC, has generously donated a new set of kit to Altrincham Reserves. The team wore the kit for the first time against Leigh RMI. Reserves' manager Neil Brown and the Football Club as a whole would like to thank Sensports for their generosity.
NEXT OPPONENTSThe Scarborough official website reports on their Reserves' defeat at Doncaster. "There were two new faces in the Boro team, with Tom Baker in a deep-lying midfield role and Leo Bertos out wide. Both players had impressive games". Both may be involved against Alty on Saturday; Baker actually played for Alty Reserves earlier this season. Another ex-Robin who played in this match for Scarborough reserves was Mark Quayle, who scored against Doncaster. Manager eil Redfearn also played for his reserves side in this game. But "Boro midfielder Sean McClare was stretchered off with a bad leg wound which required seven stitches".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Nationwide Conference announces that it is launching a new "magazine For The Love Of The Game, a quarterly, glossy, full-colour, 80-page plus magazine about the teams and players you love is on its way. Issue One features Burton Albion's Cup run, the rise and rise of Grays Athletic, the inspirational story of Northwich Victoria and an intriguing trip to St Albans. Besides that, we've got the top ten Conference FA Cup shocks ever, a number of players to keep your eye on, and an exclusive interview with Martin O'Neill on Conference football. All that and a chance to win Nationwide hospitality at a Nationwide Conference game in our very own Conference-themed crossword and a special update on each and every one of the 66 Conference Clubs.
You will be able to buy For The Love Of The Game from your local club shop but to save money, why not subscribe? For just £10 a year you will get all four issues delivered direct to your doorstep. We cannot accept credit card or direct debit payments at the moment, so send cash or a cheque (payable to TriNorth Ltd) to: TriNorth Ltd, 10a The Chandlery, 50 Westminster Bridge Rd, London, SE1 7QY. You just need to enclose your name, address, contact number and email details and we will set up the subscription" Confguide says that "Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has moved to ease his goalkeeping problems by signing Jon Kennedy on loan from Witton Albion. The former Accrington Stanley keeper agreed a deal until the end of the season at the Shay".
Bullsnews states that "As confirmed earlier in the season, loan deals will be permitted from next Wednesday. A 7 day embargo now exists on all transfers until the 'emergency' loan system returns through to the traditional transfer deadline day, which is March 23rd (5pm) this year. One deal which may be done by the Bulls in the loan window is an extension to Daryl Taylor's loan. The current two-month spell is due to end on March 6th and can be extended if required. The other current loan players, Wayne Brown and Nicky Nicolau, are both intended to stay for the remainder of the season."
Bullsnews also says that "Information has come to light to show that Aldershot are £130,000 in debt on their bank overdraft... The Shots are £130,000 into a £150,000 bank overdraft. A post on the Shotsweb message board made the claims, later verified by the Shotsweb team who confirmed the validity of the statements when presented with the proof. Aldershot budgeted for a break-even gate figure of "approaching 3,000", but have seen gates hover around the 2,400 mark. The last home game attracted just 2,009 supporters. It is estimated, on the current average, that Aldershot are losing around £5,000 a match. The club had always operated at a profit since their rebirth until they entered the Conference in 2003, but the transformation into a full time outfit and the chase for promotion caused costs to surge by over £200,000 last season. They recently appealed for a £100,000 main sponsor for the next two seasons, more than double what the Bulls currently receive from their main sponsor".
The BBC reports that "Cambridge United boss Rob Newman criticised his players' application after their 3-0 loss at Hereford on Tuesday. 'They've got to wake up and smell the coffee pretty sharpish', Newman said of the defeat which stretched their winless run to five in the Conference. 'I can handle a lack of technical ability but there is one thing I can't handle and that is surrendering. I can also handle losing if they show passion but not lack of effort and it's very disappointing'". Cambridge visit Moss Lane a week on Saturday.
"Morecambe have secured the services of on-loan Blackburn keeper Steven Drench until the end of the season. Drench has been on-loan at Christie Park since the end of November and the deal has now been extended" says the BBC.
The Portchat forum quotes Liam Watson after the 1-4 home defeat of Southport by Kidderminster. "This afternoon was the worst I’ve ever felt. I feel let-down by my senior players who should have taken more responsibility. Three of them had their worst game of the season. We gave away four comical goals and this with hardly any pressure from Kidderminster, who looked a very average side yet were likely to score every time they attacked. We just couldn’t compete and I’m very disappointed at this display after earning two good results away, at York and Stevenage, I thought we were on our way out of trouble but obviously not. I have tried non-stop over the past month to sign new quality players but, for various reasons, I have not been able to bring them to Haig Avenue. However, Gary Brabin has agreed to come to the end of the season".
Morecambe report that "A bid by Coca-Cola League 1 seaside neighbours Blackpool to land Morecambe striker Danny Carlton failed to hit the target on transfer deadline day. The two clubs had agreed terms and Morecambe had spoken to the player about the prospect of a move but the Shrimps were not prepared to let the young striker go unless an adequate replacement could be found". Carlton hit four goals against Alty Reserves last Friday. Shrimps' chief executive Rod Taylor commented, 'We feel Danny Carlton is an integral part of our squad in the push to consolidate a play-off place in the Nationwide Conference this year and despite an enormous effort over the past few days we could not secure the services of the player we wanted to replace him. It is only right to talk to the player about an approach from a Football League club and although this move did not happen Danny does know that clubs at a higher level are watching him. At times it is a difficult balance but we have to ensure we a looking after the interests of the football club primarily and lets hope that next season Danny has a part to play at a Football League club here at Christie Park'".
1 February 2006
PUTTING THEIR WEIGHT BEHIND ALTY
Terry Surridge, one of the experts in Alty's history and a regular sponsor of games at Moss Lane, is also an international weightlifting trainer. Indeed, a number of Alty's squad have taken advantage of Tery's expertise to improve their strength. At the Aldershot game last week, Terry sponsored the matchball in the name of Wright Robinson Sports College Weightlifting Club. The photograph (above) of the ball sponsors from Gavin Rathbone's site shows two of Terry's young lifters who are both aiming for 2012 Olympic selection. On the left is 17 year old Andreas Michaelas (British U-18 62 kg Champion) with 16 year-old David Oakes (British U-18 56 kg Champion). Both are experienced Youth internationals having represented both England and Great Britain in European U17 and Commonwealth U-18 Championships. Terry explains that Kieran Lugsden was chosen to be on the photograph as he represents the future of Alty football, having risen through the Youth Team. Also shown on the picture, right, is Alty's Neil Dawson. Terry will use the photograph to "advertise" Altrincham FC in the weightlifting world.
40 YEARS AGO
Pictured above is the Altrincham team of 1966, the year of the club's first big FA Cup 3rd Rd match, away at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Back row: Pat Connolly, Jimmy Brown, Frank Peters, Neill Dewar, George Smith, Derek Halliwell, George Forrester. Front row: Fred Pye (manager), Ken Taylor, Les Campbell, Felix Riley, Jack Swindells, Clive Colbridge, Harold Bramwell (trainer).
SEADOGS RECRUITScarborough Today says that our next opponents, "Boro have signed Barnsley midfielder Richard Kell on a month's loan, while boss Neil Redfearn is also checking out a trio of trialists... Redfearn is taking a look at former York City winger Leo Bertos, ex-Barnsley midfielder Tom Baker [who played for Alty Reserves earlier this season] and experienced striker Adrian Littlejohn. The Boro chief said: "Kell is a great box-to-box player and a good footballer who has now got over the broken leg which kept him out of the game for 20 months. When Scunthorpe won promotion a few seasons ago he was their player of the year...The other three are training with us this week and if they do well then they could possibly be involved against Altrincham. 'Baker has been playing with Gainsborough since he was released by Barnsley, so he could be useful, while Littlejohn does have plenty of experience up in the attack'", said the manager. Confguide adds that "Neil Bishop has signed for York City from Scarborough for an undisclosed fee".
York City confirm that "New Zealand international Leo Bertos has been released by the Club... It is thought Leo Bertos is now likely to sign for local rivals Scarborough and may play for their reserve side tomorrow".
"UNLIKELY DOUBLE"The Aldershot News and Mail reports that "Terry Brown insists his Play-Off dream is not over, despite watching his side crash to a humiliating defeat at lowly Altrincham ... A hideous defensive display allowed Altrincham to run riot at Moss Lane — not only giving the Shots a lesson in finishing, but more importantly, in passion and desire. As a result, the fuming boss vowed to make changes, and he did just that on Monday night as the long running saga to sign Jonny Dixon was brought to a successful conclusion. Brown finally managed to bag the Wycombe Wanderers striker on loan until the end of the season". The boss said, “I know I’ve got players out there who can play considerably better than they did today, it’s down to bog basic defending and we never did that,” said Brown. The article adds that game ended with Altrincham becoming the first, and most unlikely, team of the season to do the double over the Shots. Whilst five may be flattering, Altrincham, on this showing, should not be sucked into a relegation battle".
CONFERENCE NEWSBullsnews says that "In their annual accounts for the 2004/05 season, Cambridge United reported a loss of £581,000 on turnover of £2.27million - as reported on the official Cambridge website. Total losses over the previous four seasons totalled £2.2million and that another loss, estimated at £248,000, was expected this season with a break-even attendance figure of 4,200. With the current average gate running at 2,677 the loss is expected to be significantly higher than estimated. Finance Director Nick Pomery confirmed that there was enough cash available to complete the season but £250,000 needed to be found to complete the close season, but suggested that £200,000 was already expected - partly due to a £100,000 bonus from the sale of former player Dave Kitson to Reading when they achieve Premiership status... The website article says,"Strengthening the playing budget from a bottom third budget, e.g. adding £150,000 would bring the playing budget into line with other clubs expecting to challenge, e.g. Aldershot, Hereford. Gates of around 4,000 would allow a real promotion challenge to be mounted, as would £100,000 extra sponsorship or commercial income."
Dagenham have signed Cliff Akurang on a permanent deal from Heybridge Swifts for an undisclosed four figure fee, whilst Barnet have reportedly signed Stevland Angus from Grays Athletic.
"Former Sheffield Wednesday and Hartlepool United man Paul Smith has put pen to paper on a contract with Kidderminster Harriers, keeping him at the club until the end of the season... [Also] Harriers can finally confirm that the double-deal taking duo Iyseden Christie and Mark Jackson to Rochdale for a joint fee [reportedly £35,000] has now been completed". Kidderminster have also signed young Watford defender Junior Osborne and tall Notts County striker, Andy White, both on loan. NL Daily adds that "Kidderminster Harriers have signed Jake Sedgemore. Sedgemore starred for Burton Albion... whilst on loan from League Two side Bury. The midfielder recently had his contract cancelled by The Shakers and was hoping to stay at Burton. However, Nigel Clough's side would only offer a deal until the end of the season and therefore Sedgemore decided to look elsewhere".
The BBC says that "Accrington Stanley have allowed midfielder Anthony Barry to join Yeovil for an undisclosed fee. Barry, 19, had been an ever-present for Stanley this season after signing from Coventry City last April and joins the Glovers on a two-year deal. Accrington boss John Coleman has strengthened his squad with the signing of Burton Albion midfielder Andy Todd... on loan for the rest of the season".
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