Altrincham Football Club News Archive
October 2006

31 October 2006


The Altrincham Reserves' 15-man squad for Wednesday's match against Hyde United will include 11 players with first-team squad numbers. The squad is Stuart COBURN, Keith WEDGE, Colin McALLISTER, Gary TALBOT, Aaron EDWARDS, Steve BUSHELL, Colin POTTS, Eddie HUSSIN, Colin LITTLE, Peter THOMSON, Justin BOWLER, Pat McFADDEN, Kieran LUGSDEN, Laurence BALL and Chris ROWLEY.

Meanwhile, striker Ben Deegan is helping Witton Albion by turning out for them tonight.


If you can volunteer to be a ballboy or ballgirl for any of the Reserves' home matches at Moss Lane, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Reserves' manager Neil Brown or the club offices (928-1045) or e-mail the club if you can help. The Reserves are at home this Wednesday to Hyde United Res. (7.45pm) and this Saturday (4th at 2pm) they host Ossett Town Res. at Moss Lane.

Next week's away Reserves' game at Farsley Celtic has been postponed as the Yorkshire club has a clash with a cup competition then.


Altrincham FC Schools Coordinators Dana Laidlar and Karen Rowley are delighted that the football club is to link up with the Timperley Junior League in a "Featured Club" scheme. The League is the strongest junior league in Greater Manchester, comprising over 400 teams from 53 clubs. At each of Altrincham's home league games, one of the Timperley Junior League's clubs will be our "Featured Club" and will be invited to Moss Lane to watch the match and meet the manager and players. Further details of the scheme will be available in due course. Karen and Dana are now considering options to improve children's matchday facilities.

In a "Here and There" variation on the schools tour option, manager Graham Heathcote is going to Elmridge Primary School soon to speak to the children in assembly, followed by a return visit by the children soon after.


The unofficial Leigh RMI site reportsthat "With Leigh striker Carl Furlong set to follow in the footsteps of ex-RMI midfielder Scott Willis in joining Unibond League leaders AFC Telford, boss Stuart Humphreys has moved quickly to find a replacement. After holding discussions with the Shropshire side over the weekend, Furlong is set to end his short, goal-less, stay at Hilton Park and join Telford at some point this week. With Furlong's seemingly imminent departure, the club have moved quickly to find a replacement with the signing of highly-rated former Preston North End striker Mark Jackson from Conference National side Southport". Ironically, Carl was himself linked with a move to Southport recently.


Alty are away to York City this Sunday. This is York reports that "York City boss Billy McEwan hailed a 'great draw' after his side were paired at home to League One high-fliers Bristol City in the first round of the FA Cup... But McEwan also added that his team will have to improve on Saturday's edgy 1-0 victory at Newcastle Benfield (Bay Plastics)... He said: 'It's a great draw for York City Football Club. We will be the underdogs and it will be a very tough game but it's a great test for ourselves. It will also be good for our fans to see a really good League side and I am sure Bristol will bring a good following as they are a big club... If we want to progress further we have got to put away our chances... We battled and competed and got into the next round but we needed better quality. We also gave the ball away too cheaply and you don't get away with that against better teams. We gave away too many free-kicks and I am fed up to the teeth with saying that. You can only say the same things for so long because if they keep making the same mistakes then they won't be in the team and they won't be at the club'.

On-loan Lincoln City centre-back Luke Foster was recalled to the team although he is due to return to Sincil Bank today unless an extension to his stay can be agreed. Foster was one of the few City players to come out of Saturday's game with any credit but, with James Dudgeon due for a return to action for the reserves tomorrow, David McGurk close to a comeback, Jason Goodliffe on loan until December and Danny Parslow fit, McEwan might decide against carrying five centre-backs... McEwan said: 'We need to speak to Lincoln now because that was Foster's last game... McEwan adopted a 4-3-3 formation for the second successive game at Benfield but hinted that he may return to more conventional tactics after a horses for courses approach in the last two away matches. He said: 'We have better balance with 4-4-2 and we needed to try and play more in the middle of the park but I picked a team for a battle on Saturday. Our footballers sometimes have to be sacrificed like Lewis McMahon and Mark Convery'".


Google search boxes have been added to the foot of this page. they allow a search of every page of this website including news pages from Spring 2000 to date, as well as a wide range of archival material spanning the entire history of the football club. For example, a search on "Heathcote" currently produces 475 hits!


On the Crawley Forum is the following statement from Rob Sadler, partner at Begbies Traynor, joint administrator and joint supervisor for Crawley Town Football and Social Club Ltd.:

The joint supervisors confirm that only limited funds have been received by the 4pm deadline for the monies to be received from S A Retail Limited in settlement of the monies required pursuant to the Company Voluntary Arrangement of Crawley Town Football & Social Club Limited.

The joint supervisors have discussed at length with the company directors and representatives of S A Retail Limited the reasons why not all of the monies have been remitted. They have advised that S A Retail Limited remains committed to supporting the football club and that the funds are unavailable due to reasons beyond its control.

S A Retail Limited is currently continuing to raise the balance of funds due both from within the S A Group of companies and by seeking external investment. In the meantime, the joint supervisors will take steps to realise the equity within the former chairman's, Azwar Majeed, residential property. The property is already on the market for sale.

The joint supervisors will now convene a further meeting of creditors to discuss the conduct of the Company Voluntary Arrangement and will continue to use their best endeavours to ensure the survival of the football club and a return to creditors.


The BBC says that "Burton boss Nigel Clough has revealed that he is still hoping to sign Boston striker Anthony Elding. 'We enquired about him all last week to take him on loan until the transfer window, but Boston seem reluctant at the moment', Clough explained. 'They wanted him to go to Chester as part of the Drewe Broughton deal, but Drewe went to Boston anyway so we will be pursuing it again next week. He is a mate of Daryl Clare, so we hope he'd be interested.'".

"Weymouth's FA Cup first round tie against Bury will be screened live on BBC TV's Match of the Day. The match will kick off at 1415 GMT on Sunday, 12 November at Weymouth's Wessex Stadium... Clubs featured in live televised ties in the first round will receive £75,000 from the Football Association's broadcast payments. In addition, winners of all 40 first-round ties will receive £16,000."

"Grimsby are in talks with Stevenage about a possible extension to Tony Thorpe's loan spell at Blundell Park. The much-travelled 32-year-old striker has made six appearances for the Mariners, without scoring, during his first month with them... Thorpe joined Stevenage from Colchester in July, but has only started one game [at Altrincham] and made two substitute appearances for the Broadhall Way club".

Another departure from Haig Avenue is reported by Southport GB. "Striker Mark Jackson has left Southport to join Leigh RMI... The 20-year old made seven starts for the Sandgrounders this term after joining from Preston North End in the summer but failed to find the target. Having featured eight times when on loan at Haig Avenue last season, Jackson becomes the seventh player to have parted company with Paul Cook’s side since August. Excluding their four loan recruits, the Southport squad now features just thirteen players who have made a first-team start... ‘Port boss Cook will again try to strengthen his depleted side prior to next weekend’s match against Tamworth. ‘I need to bring in a couple or three better players,’ he said after Saturday’s defeat against Kettering. ‘They need to be brought in quickly. I’m a great believer that we’ll be fine... We have to work hard on the training ground and we certainly have to work hard in the transfer market. That’s what we’re doing at the moment'".


Altrincham look like having a blank Saturday on 11 November - the date of the First Round of the FA Cup. Some of the other clubs knocked out have arranged fixtures with each other. Cambridge Utd will host Gravesend and Northfleet, whilst Forest Green Rovers will play St Albans City.
30 October 2006


Steve Aspinall's booking for handball on Saturday took his tally to five yellow cards and means he is suspended for Sunday's game at York.


"Crawley Town have parted company with manager John Hollins and his assistant Alan Lewer, reports BBC Southern Counties Radio. Their last game in charge was Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Lewes in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round. The Red Devils began the season on minus 10 points after entering administration, but are now second from bottom with 12 points from 17 games. Full story to follow". Alty play Crawley on 18 November, assuming they overcome their current financial crisis.

Crawley Today has a Club statement which reads:

"The Directors of Crawley Town Football Club have announced that Manager John Hollins and Assistant Manager Alan Lewer have parted company with the club. Crawley Town FC has had a difficult year both financially and on the pitch and the decision to find a new management team has not been taken lightly.

The Club is pleased to announce that Captain Ben Judge and player David Woozley will take the reigns of Crawley Town FC for the foreseeable future. Former Milwall and Fulham Coach, John Yems has been appointed Coach of the team. Crawley Town Football Club would like to thank both John Hollins and Alan Lewer for all their hard work with the club and wish them the very best for the future. It has been a tough year for the club and its directors are determined to strive forward after some disappointing results on the pitch and having the constant pressure of administration.

The Directors would like to thank the Reds Fans for their support through these tough times and would like to assure them everything is being done to push the club to new heights".

Five Conference managers have now departed their jobs this season, including four managers from the current bottom seven clubs. The affected clubs are Forest Green Rovers, Cambridge United, Rushden and Diamonds, Grays Athletic and Crawley Town.


Congratulations to Rod Thornley for whom Saturday's game at Rushden was his 200th first-team appearance for Altrincham. His club appearances comprise 175 starts and 25 substitute appearances and he has scored a commendable 77 goals in these games. So far this season he has started 5 Conference matches, appeared as a substitute in 3 more and scored twice. He has also played in one Cup game this campaign. Rod made his Alty debut in March 2001.

And another player's landmark is on the horizon. When Stephen Rose recovers from the injury he suffered on Saturday, his next appearance will be his 150th for The Robins.


Details of the STAR supporters' coach to York City for next Sunday's Conference game are here.


Tom Bailey crosses the ball for Rick Crawford to head into the net.

A report on the Youth team's 2-0 win over Leigh RMI on Sunday afternoon is in the Youth team section.


Jamie Phoenix scored for FC United and Terry Bowker netted for Ashton United whilst Alex Hay hit two for Rhyl. Ged Murphy was subbed for Stafford Rangers as was Kevin Ellison for Tranmere Rovers, after he had scored the winner. Danny Adams ws sent off for Huddersfield.. Ex-Reserve Adam Docker was sent off for Bangor City. Neil Parsley has been sacked as Guiseley manager despite his side lying third in the table at the time. Former youth and reserve player, Mark Drew, has left Leigh RMI for Rossendale United.



Right: For the first time this season, Alty had a substitute keeper on the bench for Saturday's game at Rushden. Here sub-keeper Stuart Coburn looks on as Richard Acton faces his team-mates' shots in the warm-up.

A poor performance from Altrincham saw them dumped out of the FA Cup by managerless Rushden.

  • Match report here.

  • Alty Player Statistics
  • Cup Line Ups and Bookings

    29 October 2006


    The next matches involving Altrincham sides are:
  • On Wednesday evening at 7.45pm at Moss Lane, Alty Reserves play Hyde United Reserves in the Lancashire League.
  • On Saturday (4th) at Moss Lane, 2pm, Alty Reserves play Ossett Town.
  • On Sunday (5th) Altrincham's first team is away at York City (3pm) in the Conference. Howard Watts's Through the Years records for that date are here.
  • Also on Sunday, the Youth team is scheduled to play Woodley Sports at home (2pm) at Wythenshawe Town.


    The next STAR Quiz Night (general knowledge) will be held in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane on Thursday 9th November. Doors open at 8pm for an 8.30pm start. Entry is just £1 and as well as the quiz there will be the chance to win the jackpot in "Play Your Cards Right".


    STAR's Membership Director Peter Lewis announces that, in conjuction with Altrincham FC, STAR is organising a Christmas Raffle, to be drawn after the Boxing Day match against Northwich Victoria. Tickets will be available at all home games up to and including Boxing Day. Books of tickets, each containing five tickets, cost £1 each. STAR asks that all supporters assist with this major fundraising effort both by buying tickets and by selling some, too. If you are able to sell tickets at work or to friends and neighbours, and need extra supplies, please let STAR know so that additional books of tickets can be made available for collection from Moss Lane. Alternatively, STAR can post extra tickets to you. See the STAR website for full details.

    STAR hopes that all supporters will be able to respond positively to this initiative and thanks you in advance for your help.


    Despite widely circulating reports to the contrary, the Non-League Paper announced today that it will be published again next Sunday.
    28 October 2006


    Grays Athletic have announced that the club has "today removed Frank Gray from his position as 1st Team Manager with immediate effect. Chairman Mike Woodward has been unhappy with recent results and feels that the time is right following today's exit from the FA Cup. Mr Woodward would like to thank Frank for his efforts this season and stated that no further comments will be made until the end of next week".

    FA CUP 4QR

    Right: Karl Munroe deals with a cross from the left by Rushden..

  • AFC Sudbury 1 Leatherhead 2
  • Barrow 3 Marine 2
  • Brackley Town 0 Havant & Waterlooville 2
  • Burton Albion 1 Halifax Town 0
  • Chelmsford City 1 Gravesend & Northfleet 0
  • Crawley Town 2 Lewes 3
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Oxford United 1
  • Dover Athletic 0 Bishop's Stortford 0
  • Exeter City 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
  • Farsley Celtic 2 Cambridge City 1
  • Fisher Athletic 0 Salisbury City 1
  • Fleetwood Town 3 Wisbech Town 0
  • Gainsborough Trinity 2 Whitley Bay 0
  • Grays Athletic 1 Bromley 2
  • Haverhill Rovers 0 Aldershot Town 4
  • Hungerford Town 0 Weymouth 3
  • Kidderminster Harriers 5 Droylsden 1
  • Kings Lynn 3 Hucknall Town 0
  • Maidenhead United 1 Merthyr Tydfil 0
  • Moor Green 1 Morecambe 2
  • Newcastle Benfield (Bay Plastics) 0 York City 1
  • Northwich Victoria 2 Cambridge United 0
  • Rushden & Diamonds 3 Altrincham 0
  • Southport 0 Kettering Town 1
  • Stafford Rangers 3 Scarborough 0
  • Stevenage Borough 4 Forest Green Rovers 1
  • Tamworth 3 Harrogate Town 1
  • Tonbridge Angels 0 Newport County 1
  • Welling United 0 Clevedon Town 3
  • Woking 3 Potters Bar Town 2
  • Worcester City 1 Basingstoke Town 1
  • Yeading 2 St Albans City 1


    Rushden Today has an interview with Diamonds' striker Simeon Jackson, whose "first senior treble came at Nene Park against Altrincham who are back [today] in the fourth qualifying round". He said, "I'm trying to stay consistent every week... After so many games I spoke to the manager (Paul Hart) and said I felt a bit tired. But I'm feeling fit, fresh and raring to go now. So I can't wait to play". After their draw with Weymouth, he said "If we carry on like that there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to get more good results in the next few games. That was a stepping stone for us. Although this is a break from league action, the game is even more important. Altrincham have been doing quite well. But we will give our best as usual".

    Above: Alty warm up before the league game at Rushden on 9 September.

    SAM's Sport reporter Connor Murphy has spoken to Rushden fan Alan Jenkins about his team. Alan says "In the last few weeks our expectations have nose-dived somewhat... The last real high point at home was, ironically, our last game against Altrincham when Simeon Jackson scored his first hat-trick of the season. However, having lost eight out of nine (or something equally ridiculous) since, we weren't feeling too confident about the rest of the season until Hart got sacked last week and we followed that with a 'winning draw' against Weymouth away, a very difficult place to go this season. I would hesitate to say this to an Altrincham fan, but it seems Northwich Victoria did us a long-term favour by giving us the right good stuffing which precipitated Hart's departure". As for their team "Greg Pearson is - unfortunately for him - clearly the worst player to pull on a Diamonds shirt since... well, since forever. I've never seen anyone with a worse first touch... If the Airwair Stand is opened (which it will if you are bringing more than 200 fans) it will only take 50 decent singers to drown us out".

    "Rushden and Diamonds host one of the biggest names in non league football for FA Cup upsets on Saturday. Altrincham are the visitors to Nene Park with both sides hoping to make the 1st round proper. Diamonds' caretaker manager Tony Godden says the players are ready for the big match. He told the official site: 'Preparations have gone very well, the lads have been bright again and bubbly. Discipline has been good although one or two have tried it on - which I knew they would - and they have been put back in their place again! I don't have any injury worries so I will have a full squad to pick from' reports The Football Conference.


    SAM has Colin Little's column. Colin says, "We keep getting drawn away from home in the cup but if we are going to put a run together this is the kind of game we need to win. Rushden beat us 3-0 earlier in the season but the scoreline didn't really reflect the game. We didn't play too badly and I had a chance to put us in the lead when it was still 0-0 but I missed it and that could've changed the game... We are going into it in much better form than they are so I reckon we can come away from it with a win. It would've been nice if I could have played in the Cup myself but it doesn't look like I'll be able to. Graham might decide to use me on the bench but I definitely won't start, there's still pain in the foot when I kick a ball. The injury's just dragged on and on and hasn't really got any better for the last two weeks. Either I can wait until it's completely cleared up or I'll have to play with painkillers... The team's not picking itself anymore, like it did last year because so many of the lads have stepped up their games while most of the first team regulars have been out... [At Crewe] I'm coaching the under 14s there with Dario Gradi at the moment and I'm learning a lot from it. I'm taking my coaching badges now as well, so you'd think some of the lads at Alty would start listening to the stuff I say but they still look at me as if I'm crazy when I try and give them advice.

    I noticed on the official website that the wheelie bins full of ice water were given a mention at that Meet the New Recruits evening and if you ask me that's crazy! I don't know whose idea it was but I'm definitely not doing it. The good thing is that it's not being policed at the moment so I can get away with it and you're not going to catch me taking a dip in ice water when it gets to the middle of December!".


    The Football Conference reports that its Board "were appalled by the articles that appeared in the Non League Paper's edition of Sunday October 22nd. The articles detailed the Conference's relationship with Nationwide Building Society, Sockatyes and their sponsors generally. The board has instructed their legal advisors to send a letter before action regarding statements which clearly have (and could) bring the competition and its board into disrepute. Given that legal proceedings may follow they must now regard the matter as sub judice and no further statements will be issued until the matter is resolved".

    But the reliable Bullsnews says that "The Non-League Paper is closing. Next Sunday will be the last edition. The paper was recently taken over by its third owners in four years. Non-League Media started the paper but then sold it to Greenway Media. It went bust last June owing £750,000 and was then bought by BHT Media. Several West Midlands press reporters and cameramen were thought to be owed money by the paper. London-based Greenways Media Ltd published both the 'Non League Paper' and the 'League Paper' and has a total turnover of £2.2 million. The appointment of the joint administrators was made following the discovery of financial irregularities and after the board of directors had taken legal advice. The company is continuing to trade whilst the joint administrators seek a buyer for the business and assets... Conference coverage will be incorporated into a new 120 page paper called the Football Paper. It is assumed that the League Paper will also close".


    The Argus has the latest twist in the Crawley saga. "Azwar Majeed, 30, of North Street, Brighton, who runs Crawley Town Football Club with his brother Chas, told Worthing magistrates he hit 18-year-old Martin Grainger in self-defence to protect himself and his then girlfriend Gemma Dyball. Magistrates disagreed and Majeed was found guilty of assault by beating at a trial at Worthing Magistrates Court yesterday. The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report and Majeed will be sentenced on November 22".

    We also learn that "Experienced defender Scott Hiley says the FA Cup could be crucial to Crawley's future. Reds take on Conference south Lewes in the fourth qualifying round... Owners Chas and Azwar Majeed must repay creditors almost £500,000 by Monday or the club could be liquidated by administrators. The winner of tomorrow's clash will earn £10,000... Hiley said: 'The FA Cup is massive for a club like ours because of the financial gain you can get out if it... It is a different world for players if they can get on a good run and get a draw away at somewhere like Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford... We need to get out of the scenario we are in because if we carry on we will stay down the bottom of the league. I don't know if it's complacency of what but we cannot continue losing after every win'".

    Meanwhile, IC Cheshire claims that "Northwich Vics are due to submit accounts to the Nationwide Conference League in the next few days. The club is expected to send them in by the end of the month... The Conference board next meets on November 16 but [the Conference's] Mr Moules is confident the matter will be addressed by then. He said: 'I have talked to (chairman) Mike Connett and he has promised they are being prepared and we are happy with that.' Mr Connett told the Northwich Chronicle last week: 'There is no problem at all'". "Southport FC have secured the services of experienced Boston United forward Paul Tait on loan until January... He is expected to play some part in Saturday's FA Cup qualifier against Kettering after being given permission to play in the competition. Tait started his career as a trainee with Everton and went on to join Wigan on a free transfer in July, 1994. He then had spells with Runcorn and Northwich before signing for Crewe on a month-by-month deal".

    Tamworth "boss Mark Cooper has moved quickly to bring in Portuguese goalkeeper José Manuel Montiero da Veiga after Matthew Ghent, who made his debut last Saturday, had is contract cancelled with immediate effect due to unforseen circumstances. With Sean Bowles going out on loan to Hinckley United for three months, Cooper needed to fill the space between the sticks quickly and signed the former Benfica, Levante (Spain), Valladolid (Spain), Estrela da Amadora and Sporting Club Olhanense player after international clearance had been confirmed with the FA. Cooper is also hoping to bring in midfielder Darryl Taylor, previously with Bury, AFC Bournemouth, Hereford and Walsall in time for Saturday. Another player to go out on loan is Graham Ward (to Worcester City), while Adie Smith must serve a one match suspension for collecting 5 yellow cards and Yeovil have said that Bradley Thomas cannot feature but Gavin McAllum can".

    From the Aldershot News and Mail - "The News understands that Terry Brown could face the sack if Aldershot lose their crucial FA Cup tie at Haverhill Rovers tomorrow. With the board reportedly split over the manager’s future, a poor result... could herald the end of Brown's four-and-a-half-year reign at the Rec. Aldershot have endured a miserable run of late, winning just two out of their last nine games but the boss insists he is not overly concerned about his future. 'I’m not particularly worried', he said. 'As any manager will tell you, you're always five or six bad results away from the sack in this game."

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Jimmy Quinn has shown his players that no-one is indispensable as he seeks to turn around Cambridge United's fortunes... He has circulated a list of players' names, believed to number up to 10, to other clubs within the Conference set-up. 'After two disappointing results, I've sent a circular round to see if there's any interest, not forgetting that the transfer window doesn't open until January', said Quinn. 'If teams aren't performing, it's always nice to send a circular round to see who's interested in your players. It may be a way of generating money for me. It's no good waiting until January to do it... We've had one or two inquiries but, to be honest, it's one or two inquiries that don't suit me or the club. From time to time you have to do that, but it gives the players a bit of a wake-up call to make sure they don't become complacent. As far as I'm concerned, they've short-changed the fans a little bit in the last two games and these things happen'".

    And "Quinn is calling on Cambridge United to 'get dirty' at Northwich Victoria in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup tomorrow. 'I've been here long enough and I think some of the players are a little bit weak in commitment levels. I want to build a team that every time they take to the field the fans can be proud of. I just feel, after the honeymoon period, one or two have gone back to their old ways... It's about going to Northwich with that confidence and bit of arrogance. We've got to get dirty - it's not nice to watch, but it's about grafting. Teams such as Northwich and Altrincham set the standard for anybody. They've not got the biggest squads or budgets but work their socks off for each other to get results. You need to roll your sleeves up and earn the right to win in this game, and that involves hard work. If we have the determination and grit there's no reason we can't get the result'".

    27 October 2006


    Tomorrow's Reserves game at home to Goole has been postponed as the Humberside club cannot raise a team for the game. The next game for Altrincham Reserves is now against Hyde United Res., this Wednesday at Moss Lane (7.45pm), though that match, too, could be postponed should the FA Cup match between Rushden and Altrincham require a replay. The Cup replay would be played at Moss Lane on the Tuesday night and a second match on the pitch in 24 hours would not be desirable.

    A date to put in your diary is a week on Saturday (4th November) when Alty Resrves are again scheduled to play at Moss Lane, against Ossett Town (k.o. 2pm). As Alty's first team has a Sunday game that weekend (at York City on 5th November), why not come to Moss Lane and watch the Reserves on the Saturday (4th)?


    Altrincham travel to Rushden in the FA Cup hoping for better things that the 3-0 defeat they suffered in the league on 9 September. And they are likely to field a side which will not be all that familiar to the hosts when compared with that game. Indeed, if Altrincham are unchanged this Saturday from last week's victory over Southport, only Karl Munroe, Lewis Chalmers, Robbie Lawton, Warren Peyton, Val Owen and Joe O'Neill will be survivors from the Altrincham eleven who started the league match seven weeks ago. Of those starters back in September, Stuart Coburn, Gary Scott, Gary Talbot, Steve Bushell and Colin Little were all missing from Alty's starting eleven last Saturday against Southport, their replacements being Richard Acton, Steve Aspinall, Stephen Rose, Peter Band and Rod Thornley. Apart from these five, another four Alty players who were on the bench last Saturday were not involved at all in the previous game at Rushden. These were Pat McFadden, Justin Bowler, Colin Potts and Eddie Hussin. However, manager Graham Heathcote faces a selection dilemma after the midweek Reserves' game, in which up to ten first-team squad members would have played a part, was postponed. As a result of the postponement the planned recuperation of programme of the likes of Peter Thomson, Colin Little and Gary Talbot was disrupted. But with Alty only having lost once in their last eight games, the likelihood of major changes from last week is thought to be slight.

    It is believed that Altrincham supporters may be accommodated in the North Stand (which is along the side of the pitch) for this game, rather than in the Airware stand (behind the goal), where we have previously been located.


    The BBC confirms that "Torquay boss Ian Atkins hopes to extend striker Leo Fortune-West's loan at the club into a second month. The Rushden & Diamonds man has yet to score in five appearances but Atkins is happy with the 35-year-old's form. 'It's taken him a week or two, but he's settled in now', he told the Evening Herald".

    "Cambridge United have released defender Trevor Robinson after the 22-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Jimmy Quinn. The former Millwall player had been on non-contract terms at the club and had started seven games since August. But, according to the BBC, Quinn told the club website: "He's done well but is not what I'm after'. Former Leicester trainee Liam Norval has also been allowed to go but loanees James Meredith and Ben Gill will be permitted to play in the FA Cup".

    "Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough may be thwarted in his attempt to sign winger Daryl Taylor. The 21-year-old midielder has impressed during his trial period... but having been registered as a player with both Bournemouth and Bury this season, any future deal must reportedly run until the end of the season. Clough told the Burton Mail: 'It is unlikely we can offer him a contract for the next seven months'".

    The Tamworth Herald says that "Lambs' boss Mark Cooper has warned his players against complacency as they approach this Saturday's FA Cup qualifier against Harrogate Town, claiming: 'We have become a scalp'. Cooper believes the attention Tamworth received during last year's memorable cup run - when they disposed of league sides Bournemouth and Hartlepool before the replay loss to Stoke City on penalties - means they have become a target for giant-killers themselves. He told Herald Sport: "A lot of people would be looking at this game and thinking there is a chance of a Conference North team beating a Conference Premier side. We have got to make sure there is no complacency as we have become a bit of a scalp now... Financially they [Harrogate] are probably a bit better off than us... There's prize money for this game and if we go on a run again it takes a lot of the pressure off for next year. Also, from the players' point of view, it's a chance for them to earn a bit of notoriety and pit themselves against players at a higher level'".

    26 October 2006


    It was recently reported here that whichever team wins the Rushden & Diamonds v Altrincham FA Cup tie, (or, if it is a draw, both teams), will go into the hat for Round One Proper draw, which will be held soon after the final whistle, at 5.10pm on Saturday (28th). However, the FA's own website gives a draw-time of 5.30pm. But, given that the FA site said the last round draw would be held at 1pm when it was actually held at noon, that is not necessarily correct. The best information we have is that an official letter was sent to Altrincham FC and other clubs stating that the draw would be at 5.10pm!


    The Bingo Night at Moss Lane last Monday raised £415 for the Club. As previously recorded, thanks are due to all the organizers and those who attended the event.


    The BBC carries an interview with Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote whose team is "embroiled in a 46-game scrap to preserve their status at Conference top-flight level. But Heathcote insists that nothing should ever distract from the lure of the FA Cup. He told BBC Sport: 'I have always said it's the greatest cup competition in the world. If you don't get a buzz out of the FA Cup then I don't know why you are in the game. When you get to be fat and 50 like me you can look back and say that you played in this game or that game in the Cup. I get disgusted when I hear about Premier League clubs saying it's not important. It's not just for the Premier League clubs. It's for every club in this country, from the extra preliminary round in August to the final in May. People would do well to heed that when they get to the later stages and the bigger clubs come in. It detracts from the players who have played in it to hear people talk the Cup down. They need to have a focus on how much teams have done to progress'. Heathcote speaks from experience, having featured in some of Altrincham's most memorable Cup moments during a 14-year playing career at Moss Lane. He was not at the club when Altrincham pulled off arguably their biggest ever upset, knocking out First Division side Birmingham City at St Andrews in January 1986. But he did play in third-round draws against Everton and Tottenham a decade earlier and scored a penalty in a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool in 1981. As manager, the highs have been fewer with Heathcote, 52, yet to take Altrincham into the first round proper in his four years in charge. 'No-one at this stage has got a greater Cup history than Altrincham. We have the most successful record of any non-league club but recently we have not been able to get past this hurdle. I think that's because we are playing full-tilt all the time. In the FA Cup you can normally find another gear but playing against full-time teams all the time we have to try and be at that peak. We have to find a way of getting that extra shove, although I don't think you should need an extra shove for the FA Cup. It should be self-motivating and I expect that of our lads... The club is littered with the history of FA Cup wins. But this is a new set of lads and they can create their own little piece of history'".

    SAM's Connor Murphy quotes Graham Heathcote, "The FA Cup is massive for every non-league club in this country. It's full of dreams and ambitions, this club as much as any knows what's possible in this cup. But we don't want our cup run to remain a dream and it will take a lot of hard work to turn it into a reality... It's going to be a very hard game but we are aware of the dangers of the game and I am confident that this side can win the tie... I would never treat the FA Cup as a distraction... I just hope we can get through this round because once you've won your first game, that is when the real buzz kicks in and maybe we would be able to build a cup run out that. The financial aspect would be a big bonus as well. But that's all this club is viewing it as, we are not about to plan our finances around revenue that isn't secure. It would make life easier but if it doesn't happen we wouldn't have to start making any drastic changes".


    As for Saturday's tie at Rushden, the BBC reports that Graham "Heathcote expects a difficult tie... He said: 'They are a full-time team and they have just changed their manager, which can have an effect. I would think that 75-80% of ties will go to the home team so we have to make sure we can find something to be in that other 20%. The FA Cup can be of massive importance to the club's survival. No-one will be thinking about that at three o'clock but it could be a massive bonus if we get the right result. We are not relying on the Cup but if we got through two or three games and then got a live game our worries would be over'".

    Rushden Today claims that "Former England international Gordon Hill is ready to work his 'magic' as the new Rushden & Diamonds manager. The 52-year-old – who won the FA Cup as a Manchester United player in 1977 – wants to return from America and is putting his name in the frame to become Paul Hart's long-term successor at Nene Park. Hill's agent Jon Slocombe revealed: 'He has got his own football academy in Dallas and now he wants to come back to this country. I had already written to Diamonds on behalf of Gordon just to say he was interested should the vacancy arise and then the following week Hart was sacked. We haven't heard anything yet as the club are apparently collating all the CVs. In his playing days Gordon was known as Merlin the Magician. So, hopefully, he is given an opportunity to perform at Diamonds'. Hill's interest in the job to replace Hart leaves him as a candidate alongside the likes of former Diamonds striker Colin West ...ex-Kettering and Northampton boss Kevin Wilson is also expected to be among the frontrunners with former Leyton Orient manager Tommy Taylor and current Boston United chairman Jim Rodwell who had a successful spell as a central defender for Diamonds... [Hill] ran the centre of excellence at Chester City and became director of football, briefly taking over the first team during American Terry Smith's ill-fated period. In 14 games at the start of the 2001-02 campaign Hill won just twice with nine defeats amid problems behind the scenes. After a playing career featuring 450 games Hill also went on to manage Northwich Victoria and Hyde United".

    The Football Conference also claims that "Ex-Macclesfield Town and Port Vale boss Brian Horton is on the shortlist for the vacant post at Rushden & Diamonds. Other names linked to the job are Graham Le Saux, Dave Penney and ex-Norwich boss Mike Walker... It is thought that BBC pundit Graham Le Saux is also very interested in the job and could be ready to manage his first side"

    The only terracing at Nene Park is for home fans. So visiting fans will be accommodated in an all-seater stand behind the goal where admission is £15 for adults, £10 for concessionaries, £4 for under-16s and free to accompanied under-8s.


    The BBC reports that "Altrincham striker Peter Thomson (right, pictured by Gavin Rathbone) could soon be available to make his first-team debut. The former Luton Town and Southport forward, 29, joined the Robins from Stafford in the summer but has since been sidelined by a number of injuries. But Thomson is set to play for the reserves again on Wednesday. Manager Graham Heathcote told BBC Sport: 'It's been frustrating. But this is his fourth game and hopefully he will play 90 minutes'". However, Wednesday's game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch in Bradford.


    "Altrincham FC have taken another step in re-establishing themselves as a major Conference player after club director Andrew Shaw was appointed to the league's board last week. Shaw has been involved with the club since June 2002, when he became part of a new three-man board alongside Geoff Goodwin and Grahame Rowley. The property guru also acts as a consultant to Manchester City and said he was delighted to take up his new role with the Conference. 'I'm absolutely delighted that my appointment was approved', he said. 'I hope I can play a part in the ongoing work being done by the Conference. This appointment also helps us to re-establish ourselves as a long-term Conference player, it is a good boost for the club.'. Conference chairman Bill King, who is also a former Alty chairman, said 'For some time there has been a vacancy and in Andrew we have found the right person to add to the strengths of the board. We felt that he had a strong level of experience and dedication within the game'".


    STAR, the Altrincham FC supporters' trust, announces that "Tickets are now available for the STAR annual Boxing Day Raffle. First prize is the naming of the famous Golf Road End for a year (last won by Debbie Dawson) with a fantastic 6 mega pixel camera as second prize and the usual haul of extra prizes. Tickets priced at £1 each will be available from the club, at home matches or e-mail for a supply. This is a vital fundraiser for the club so please support it". STAR is also organising a car boot sale "on the 20/20 car park on Sunday 3rd December 2006...pitches will be £5 per car so why not clear a bit of clutter before Xmas and make yourself and the club a few quid? Volunteers to help on the day welcome".

    And as if that were not enough, there is also organising a a "Xmas party for just £10. Have we gone mad? There will be a Christmas Celebration Evening on December 9th, after the Kidderminster away game. Tickets are just £10 and include entertainment and a buffet and many of the players will be in attendance. Tickets are available from the club". And there's more..."On New Year's Eve there is a free party in the Noel White Suite at which children are as welcome as adults. Plans for a buffet are being made with it possibly being a "bring a dish event". Entry is by ticket only, which are available from the club".

    And finally, "On Boxing Day for the home game with Northwich Victoria there is a dining package available in the Sponsors' Lounge comprising free reserved seating for the match, pre-match drinks, hot food and a complimentary programme for just £30. Contact Barry Pond or the club offices on 928-1045 or via e-mail."

    For details of all the above see the STAR website, where you can also sponsor Alty director Andrew Shaw "who will be walking off his Xmas and New Year's indulgences on his sponsored 15 mile-ish walk from Altrincham to the Northwich away match on Tuesday 23rd January 2006. Andrew will be setting off at around mid-day and given the number of hostelries on the way he should just make the 7.45pm kick off.".


    "Morecambe striker Danny Carlton is facing up to three months out of action with a knee injury. Carlton, who has scored five times this season, was injured in Saturday's victory over Aldershot. His absence is a blow to Morecambe's play-off hopes but will give a chance to summer signing David McNiven" reports the BBC.

    The Southport Visiter quotes Southport chief executive Haydn Preece as saying, "We will be nowhere near the bottom four at the end of the season. Preece also commented on the club's suspension of Carl Baker, saying "He was not doing what he as meant to be doing in training". Referring to the club's move to full-time he added, "It is taking a little bit more time than we thought and things haven't gone as planned, but it will happen for Southport FC". But a supporter of 20-years standing, Simon Jackson, responded, "I think they've made a mistake going from part time to full time. They also have a manager who is inexperienced which is a risk". Southport FC add that "Paul Cook has defensive changes to make for Saturday's FA Cup tie versus Kettering as Danny Ventre has not got permission from Accrington Stanley to play. Chris Lane is the most obvious replacement. Carl Baker returns to selection."

    The Argus says that "The owners of Crawley Town are confident that creditors of the debt-ridden football club will be paid in full next week... Chas and Azwar Majeed must pay creditors about £450,000 on Monday - or risk throwing the club into a further period of uncertainty. Yesterday Chas Majeed... said: 'The money will be paid, no problem at all, and then we can all move on. There are still a few things to be sorted out before next week but we're very confident the money will be there. Even if it's not, my brother offered his flat as a guarantee at the creditors' meeting and it is already on the market so the money will be there. The club will not be in danger, either way. We want to get on with the rest of the season and concentrate purely on what happens on the pitch'... Andy Sprott, agent to former players owed money by the club, said: 'I really don't know what's going to happen and I wouldn't really like to speculate... I don't know if it is going to be the Majeeds' money they intend to pay to us or money from another source. It could be money from somebody who wants to invest in the club'".

    25 October 2006


    Tonight's Reserves game at Bradford PA has been postponed due to heavy rain.

    Alty striker Colin Little (left) and centre-back Gary Talbot (right) were both set to return to action in the match. Colin has missed the last nine first-team matches through injury, after being fouled against Halifax Town, whilst "Talbs" has missed ten games with a calf problem. The squad included ten first-team squad members in total. The full squad was: Stuart COBURN, Gary TALBOT, Eddie HUSSIN, Justin BOWLER, Colin POTTS, Colin LITTLE, Peter THOMSON, Pat McFADDEN, Kieran LUGSDEN, Aaaron EDWARDS, Keith WEDGE, Colin McALLISTER, Danny HEFFERNAN, John MALONEY and Mike BROWN.

    Adjacent photos courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.


    When the Reserves travel to Bradford Park Avenue tonight they are likely to include at least half a dozen of the first-team squad - as they did last week against Ossett Albion. But not only do the Reserves serve as a useful way for getting first-teamers back to match fitness, they have also produced some good talent of their own for the first team. Both Pat McFadden and Danny Heffernan have reached the first-team squad having joined Altrincham Reserves from local football, whilst many of George Heslop's Alty Youth players have graduated via the Reserves to the first team, including Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley. So, what the Moss Lane crowds see in the way of good Conference National performances from Altrincham owe a lot to the Reserves and their manager Neil Brown and physio Alan Ainsley.

    But it obviously costs money to run the Reserves and gate money far from covers that, especially now that Altrincham reserves find themselves in the Eastern section of the Lancashire League which might more accurately be called the Yorkshire League! The Reserves normally travel to away games in pooled private cars, with the players driving themselves and receiving petrol money from the Club in return.

    A very practical way of helping Altrincham FC would be to sponsor the travel costs to a Reserves' away game. As little as £30 would go a long way but any sum would be very welcome. In return you would receive recognition in the Robins' Review programme and on the website (if you so wished) and you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you had done the Club a great service. If you can help, please contact Neil Brown, the Reserves' manager via the club on 928-1045 or via e-mail.


    Marine have a report on their youth team's 4-3 win over Altrincham last Sunday. Alty had led 2-0 at the interval before a slack second-half allowed the hosts to score four times before Alty got a late consolation goal.


    The referee for Altrincham's FA Cup match at Rushden will be Mr J.D.A. Hopkins, with Messrs Jerden and Whitton as the assistants and Mr Bielby as the fourth official.


    York City advise us that "York City’s home game against Altrincham on Sunday 5th November will be a fun packed day for all the family. As well as entertaining football, York City will also be hosting a free fireworks display run by volunteers from City’s Youth Development Fund. This spectacular fireworks display is sponsored by The Original Firework Factory, , Selby. Although the event is free of charge and open to the general public, there will be a bucket collection in aid of City’s Youth Development Fund and we hope supporters will give generously. The York Minstermen will also be holding a fundraising raffle. The fireworks will be preceded with an autograph session with Billy and the players in the York City Family Room, where young supporters will get the chance to meeting their favourite York City star. After the fireworks event, legendary comedian, Frank Sidebottom [we know him well!], will be also performing live in the Social Club". For those staying after the game the timetable is:
  • 5.00pm Match ends. Social Club and food kiosk are open for refreshments.
  • 5.15pm approx. Autograph session with Billy & the players in the Family Room.
  • 5.45pm Firework Display
  • 8.00pm Frank Sidebottom live in Social Club.


    The BBC says that "Cambridge United striker Robbie Simpson is set to make his comeback from injury in a friendly game on Tuesday. Simpson has been out for six weeks after damaging medial knee ligaments. But the 21-year-old summer signing from Cambridge City, who scored once in five starts before being injured, is set to feature against Huntingdon Town. Andy Duncan, who made his first appearance of the season last Friday, is also expected to play in the fund-raising fixture at Jubilee Park".

    "Southport have been given a boost ahead of their FA Cup tie against Kettering Town with the news that at least three of their loan signings can play. Carlisle are allowing defender Daniel Kirkup to play in the fourth qualifying round tie at Haig Avenue on Saturday. Morecambe have cleared Ryan Robinson to play and Blackpool will allow striker Sean Paterson to be cup-tied. But boss Paul Cook is waiting to hear whether Accrington defender Danny Ventre will be given the all-clear".

    "St Albans City have brought ex-Queens Park Rangers winger Ben Walshe back to Clarence Park for a third spell. Walshe, 23, left Saints in the summer after they won promotion, but returns as a free agent and is eligible for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Yeading. Walshe, who also works as an actor and has appeared in the football soap Dream Team, started his career at Rangers. He made two senior appearances for QPR, and played 22 Conference games in a loan spell at Gravesend & Northfleet" says the BBC.

    Woking announce that "Glenn Cockerill, the management team and players will visit Woking centre on Wednesday this week to meet fans and give out vouchers for this Saturday's FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round prize draw. Supporters coming to the match on Saturday (28th) will be able to enter a prize draw for an autographed shirt, autographed football and some some pairs of match tickets. To have a chance of winning one of these prizes you will need to have your voucher at the match. Glenn and the players will be in town from approx 11.00 to 12.30 full details to follow".


    NL Daily confirms that former Altrincham player "Neil Parsley has been sacked as manager of ambitious UniBond League Premier Division club Guiseley. Parsley had been in the post for some five difficult years and, despite very severe budgetary constraints, consistently kept the club in the top half of the division and the board wish to express their thanks for his hard work and dedication to the club. However, it has been decided that the long-term interests of the club are now best served by the appointment of a manager who can dedicate his time not only to the needs and aspirations of the first-team, but also to those of the reserves and academy teams. The promotion of the club’s very considerable community programme that sees some 350 juniors in Guiseley’s colours will also form part of the appointee’s remit. Director Steve Parkin reportedly stressed: 'It is absolutely no reflection on Neil's ability as a manager, and the board would like to thank him for his efforts whilst he has been in charge at Guiseley'".
    24 October 2006


    Whichever team wins the Rushden & Diamonds v Altrincham FA Cup tie, (or, if it is a draw, both teams), will go into the hat for Round One Proper, which will be held soon after the final whistle, at 5.10pm on Saturday (28th). The FA website gives a time of 5.30pm but then that said the last round draw would be at 1pm when it was held at noon!


    Monday night's Bingo Night at Altrincham FC was as usual a popular event, with drawmaster George Heslop presiding over the event. Once again a good sum will have been raised towards the club's funds and thanks are due to all of the organizers, led by Jackie and Ron Gallimore and Anne Wilshaw, as well as to those who supported the event.


    SAM's website has a column by Colin Little (right) in which he says, "The draw we got at Oxford last week was an absolutely unbelievable result. The way the lads have been grinding out results recently has been really impressive and we're actually becoming quite hard to beat away from home.. Teams need to take us seriously, we can put up a fight against anyone in this division. People do need to start giving us the respect that we deserve... I was actually surprised at Jim Smith for his reaction after the game, I don't know why people like that can't just give credit where credit's due. It has been really hard not being involved myself. This injury really is starting to do my head in. I had been pencilled in to play for the reserves on Wednesday but I wasn't quite ready, I'm not quite able to kick a ball without getting any pain yet... I was happy to see Thommo (Peter Thomson) getting back to match fitness. I've been training with him recently and I have to say, he's got one of the hardest shots I have ever seen! When he hits the ball it's like a rocket, it flies off his boot. I wouldn't like to get in the way of one of them, it would take your head off!... Playing alongside a big guy like him who will win flick-ons and do all the physical work is good because it would mean I wouldn't have to play so deep. That said, I'm not even guaranteed to get back in the team myself the way some of the lads are playing right now".


    Alty meet managerless Rushden in the FA Cup on Saturday. Rushden Today reports that "Lee Tomlin's first league goal proved a point personally and for the whole squad. The 17-year-old striker finally got off the mark in his 32nd senior appearance – ending the drought after 1,052 minutes on the pitch in competitive action and just over 12 months since making his debut for Rushden & Diamonds.

    This was only Tomlin's second start of the season as former boss Paul Hart rarely gave him an opportunity to shine – only a few months after Liverpool invited him for a trial as the best player at his age in the country... It was a chance for everyone to prove themselves again and Diamonds produced a much better performance. Caretaker manager Tony Godden went back to basics with a 4-4-2 formation rather than the three-man attack or diamond midfield which Hart favoured. It worked so well that they probably deserved to go home with three points... Tyrone Berry and Marcus Kelly seemed much happier on the wings to create chances. Tomlin's shock selection... paid off as he could have been celebrating a first-half hat-trick... Diamonds failed to deal with Dean Howell's corner – not the only time they have struggled at set-pieces – and Terras skipper Ben Smith smashed his shot into the bottom corner of the net...With two of the biggest budgets behind runaway leaders Oxford United – the only other side to have avoided defeat at the Wessex Stadium so far this season – we might have expected a more entertaining game... But, most importantly, Diamonds had delivered a performance which they could take pride from – despite dropping down another league position after making it nine games without a win".

    And the BBC adds "For a club once dubbed the 'Manchester United of the Conference' the current league table does not make pretty reading for Rushden and Diamonds. Back in the Conference following five seasons as a Football League club, the Diamonds are just one point and a handful of places above the drop zone, having won just four of their first 16 games. Paul Hart, hired in the summer as only Rushden's fifth manager but third in the last two years, paid the price by losing his job... Chairman Helen Thompson told BBC Sport: 'With a person like him we expected to be in a play-off position. He had a budget which was not the highest in the Conference by any means but was certainly at the higher end and he got some good players... He worked very hard and was a gentleman but it did not work out for us'... Under Brian Talbot the club, formed in 1992 following the amalgamation of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds, followed up their Conference title success of 2001 by winning League Two two years later. But relegation followed immediately and after Talbot left, two seasons of struggle culminated with last season's slump to the bottom of the League... Max Griggs's wealth from his Dr Martens footwear firm powered Rushden's rise but in June 2005 he handed over the keys of Nene Park to a Supporters' Trust... The club have had to reduce an operational deficit of £1.3m down to £300,000 - and come next summer the Diamonds hope to break even. With no bank loans to service and up to 200 volunteers working for the club at every level to keep costs down, Rushden are better off than many. But Thompson does not regard being solvent at the lower end of the Conference as an option. The hunt for Hart's replacement has begun and according to the chairman, Rushden have been 'inundated with people of a very high calibre looking to be his successor'... Thompson said: 'Lots of football clubs are finding it hard going. The establishment of the Premiership had made football at this level a lot more difficult and with the Bosman ruling there are not the transfer fees around. But we have got a good brand name and fantastic facilities, and we want to see the Diamonds sparkle again'".


    Alty travel to York on Bonfire Night. This is York says that "City boss Billy McEwan...watched his side twice throw away the lead before drawing 2-2 at Tamworth on Saturday... and were undone by two goals from set-pieces. McEwan said afterwards: 'I'm not happy with the goals we conceded and neither are the players. Indiscipline cost us because we gave the free kick away unnecessarily for the first goal and we did not pick up a player we should have been marking for the second... Our concentration levels need to be better'. The City boss was more encouraged by Donaldson's goals, which took him into double figures for the season... Donaldson started the game in a wider position than usual, as McEwan employed a 4-3-3 formation with on-loan Stevenage striker Darryn Stamp making his debut alongside the ex-Hull City forward and Craig Farrell. McEwan said: 'The build-up play for the first goal was superb and Clayton's finish was clinical. He was also on the spot when Jason Goodliffe got a good knockdown from a good Craig Farrell corner. I told him before the game that he should be on double figures by now and I'm pleased for him. The change in position worked at the start of the match but then I felt we didn't use his pace enough because, when you have somebody of his ability and calibre, the ball should be on his side most of the time...Jason Goodliffe's leg stiffened up because he hasn't had many games recently and we thought we better take him off so as not to risk a worse injury. Darryn Stamp has also not played much but he did okay and will get better once he understands how we play and the way we want to use him'".
    23 October 2006


    Alty Youth lost 4-3 at Marine on Sunday.


    The Football Club has received payments from standing orders for the Saturday Yankee from persons identified as A. Hill and D. Simon. However, the Club has not had documentation from these two Yankee members so would be very grateful if they would kindly get in touch. They should contact Jenny Heslop at the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    Southport FC report that "Mike Marsh has left his post as coach after discussions with manager Paul Cook before Saturday's match at Altrincham. This was Mike Marsh's third spell at Haig Avenue. Paul Cook has stated 'Mike and I have decided to part. This has been amicable and we remain friends. Mike wishes the club all the best and texted that message before kick off at Altrincham. Mike has other interests and his role here was something we had always agreed to have a look at. I would like to thank Mike for his time here but we move on from Monday'..... Paul Cook spent time on Saturday talking to Southport supporters in the Altrincham club bar. Paul said 'It is good to talk to fans and I was able to explain the situation as I see it. We need some quality to come in with what we've got and I am confident we will get out of this situation quickly. I have stated all the time this squad had to be put together in a hurry during the summer. I had to put it together so quickly and now we need to build on what we have. It is not what I want and I know we can improve with additional quality'".


    Congratulations to Altrincham FC Director Andrew Shaw, who has been elected to the National Conference board, whose regular meetings are held at Burton and Stevenage. Andrew's appointment marks a further step in Altrincham FC's rehabilitation at Conference level after several years outside the Conference fold. Andrew is pictured (right) with neighbour Michael Carter with whom he completed a sponsored walk to the Alty game at Morecambe last season. Andrew is repeating the performance this season with a sponsored walk from Altrincham to Northwich for the away game against The Vics on January 23rd 2007.


    In the Robins' Review programme, physio Andy Hosgood reveals that "Colin Little has suffered a frustrating time with tendonitis of his foot. He is back in training but still aware of discomfort on striking a ball... but we are not willing to risk him until he is fully fit. We should see him ready for action next week... Stevie Bushell is back running after becoming aware of his hamstring during his 20-minute return. Steve will be put through an intense strength programme which should last 2-3 weeks before returning for selection. Gary Talbot is making great progress following a calf strain" but has also had flu "but is back to full training". Stuart Coburn came through 90 minutes for the Reserves last Wednesday whilst Peter Thomson lasted more than an hour in the same game.


    The Club has arranged three Christmas events:

    There will be a Christmas Celebration Evening on December 9th, after the Kidderminster away game. Tickets are £10 and include entertainment and a buffet and many of the players will be in attendance. Tickets are available from the club.

    And on Boxing Day for the home game with Northwich Victoria there is a dining package available in the Sponsors' Lounge comprising free reserved seating for the match, pre-match drinks, hot food and a complimentary programme for just £30. Contact Barry Pond or the club offices on 92801045 or via e-mail.

    And on New Year's Eve there is a free party in the Noel White Suite at which children are as welcome as adults. Plans for a buffet are being made with it possibly being a "bring a dish event". Entry is by ticket only, which are available from the club.


    STAR is not only offering DVDs of every match played at Moss Lane for £7.50 (available from the shop or via the STAR website) but is also planning to offer an end of season compilation showing every goal scored in every league game played by Altrincham this season. The compilation should be ordered via Grahame Rowley. And don't forget the Robins' Shop also offers DVDs from Alty away games as well as programmes from each away fixture this season.


    Altrincham FC is offering Half-Season Tickets for all the games from Boxing Day (inclusive). For twelve Conference games, plus free entry to reserves' matches at Moss Lane, the prices are:
  • Standing - £85 (adult), £40 (junior and OAP).
  • Seated - £105 (adult) £45 (junior and OAP).


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to Rushden for the FA Cup tie next Saturday are on the Travel Page along with links to Rushden websites and route maps.

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


    Right, Brian Flynn accepts the Altrincham FC Friends' Monthly Draw prize of £100 from Vice-Chairman Grahame Rowley before Saturday's game. Brian's daughter, Lori, was the winner but she trusted him to collect the cheque for her!


    The updated Lancashire League table is on their website and the Altrincham Reserves' November fixtures are here.


    The NW Counties League announces the following signings. In Chris Adams's case this is presumably a parallel registration as he is still in Droylsden's Conference North squad.
  • To Flixton: Christian Adams
  • To Formby: Carl Furlong


    Southport FC has a brief report on Saturday's game at Moss Lane where "Despite Southport’s bright start to the game, with Lee Hoolickin providing several chances from his dangerous corner kicks, they found themselves going a goal behind when Joe O’Neill was hauled down by Danny Kirkup, with Steve Aspinall blasting his corner, which took a cruel deflection off Mark Jackson which wrong footed Ryan Robinson, with the goal sneaking home". The report has several good photos of the game attached to it.

    The unofficial Southport site also has a report. It remarks on "A superb turn out from the travelling faithful, 252 in the away end plus around 50 in the stand shows just what potential support we could have if we were going well... You really could tell the division in the fans today, the Cook must stay faction against the Cook must go brigade, It's amazing how there is such a split in the fans but then again thinking back to last season it was there with Liam Watson but never to this extent. Things got a touch heated at times on the terraces and I understand a punch was thrown".

    The Football Conference reports that "Weymouth manager Garry Hill suffered a suspected heart problem at the end of his side's 1-1 draw with Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday. Hill needed to be escorted from the touchline and straight to hospital ten minutes from the end of the Nationwide Conference clash at Wessex Stadium. Weymouth chairman Martyn Harrison was on hand to explain the situation: 'Following a free ride to Dorchester Hospital and a complete checkup Garry was released last night and is today well enough to go to West Ham to watch his son play for their juniors. Panic over. Personally I think it was our teams performance yesterday .... enough to make anyone stressed. Garry has been advised to take it easy for a few days'".

    "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates will know early this week whether his loan players will be allowed to play in their FA Cup match with Droylsden. Harriers are set to host the Nationwide North leaders in a fourth qualifying round tie at Aggborough Stadium but may not have their full squad available. Rochdale, Crewe, Doncaster and Plymouth could still deny Iyseden Christie, Paul Bignot, Craig Nelthorpe and Reuben Reid the chance to play. Manager Yates told the club's official website: 'I don't know where we are with the loan lads at the moment... but if they're not we'll have a plan. If they aren't allowed to play then we've got some lads who are waiting in the wings to get a game'".

    St Albans City "manager Colin Lippiatt has began the Clarence Park clear-out threatened in the aftermath of the Saints heaviest home league defeat for almost 50 years. Three players were released on Sunday with the possibility of new faces arriving during the week... The three players released are all recent acquisitions, Duane Jackman, Warren McBean and Nathan Simpson... Looking forward to Saturday's trip to Yeading the Saints hope to be able to add Gary Elphick, Magnus Okuonghae and possibly Lee Flynn to the squad... The game will be Colin Lippiatt's 100th as manager of St Albans City".

    22 October 2006


    After the win over Southport, Graham Heathcote said "We picked up some good draws on our travels and today's win turned those into good results. It was also important to get the psychological advantage before next week's FA Cup game and also to keep us out of the relegation area after other teams have turned in good results today. But I would have settled for 20 points from 17 games in August". Last season Alty had 19 points after the first 17 games.

    Match report here.


    On Saturday night Altrincham FC hosted a well-attended Meet the New Recruits evening at which this season's signings Joe O'Neill, Steve Bushell and Robbie Lawton were the guests for a fish and chip supper at Moss Lane. The evening was compered in his inimitable fashion by Alty manager Graham Heathcote and was recorded for later, edited transmission by "Go Global TV". Amongst the paying guests was former Alty left-back Chris Adams, who had returned from warming the bench at Harrogate in the match against Droylsden. Graham and Chris engaged in spirited exchanges of banter throughout the evening.

    Right: Alty manager Graham Heathcote comperes the evening with, left to right, Steve Bushell, Robbie Lawton and Joe O'Neill.

    Graham pointed out that both Steve Bushell and Joe O'Neill had only ever been full-time footballers before joining Altrincham and going part-time. Steve, who hails from nearby Heald Green, is currently looking for a job to supplement his football earnings, whilst Joe has enrolled on a part-time physiotherapy course at Salford University. Robbie Lawton, however, is in full-time employment as a teacher of PE and psychology. Steve said that his only job outside football at the moment was chauffering Colin Little around!

    Asked why they had joined Alty, Robbie stated that playing in the Conference was a step up for him from playing in Conference North with Vauxhall Motors, whilst Graham Heathcote revealed that Steve had joined Altrincham this season despite better offers from Northwich Victoria and Stalybridge Celtic. "Bush" (or "Bish" as Steve says Dalton Steele insists on calling him), said that he came to Moss Lane because he had given his word to Graham Heathcote that he would join us and because he had friends at Moss Lane, notably Colin Little. Steve confirmed that he had asked to leave Halifax and had not been released.

    As for Joe, Graham had been impressed with his showing against us for York last season. So, when he heard that Joe had been released by York, Graham had spoken to York manager Billy McEwen about Joe. McEwen had given Joe a good reference but said that he did not score enough goals. Graham and Dalton met him at Birch Services on the M62 and made Joe an offer to come to us which he had subsequently accepted. He later admitted that he had had no other offers anyway! But Graham nearly blew his chance of signing Robbie, whom he had attempted to sign a year ago, as when he met the midfielder, he kept referring to him as Robbie Talbott instead of Lawton, prompting Robbie to wonder if Graham had made a mistake and really wanted to sign the Morecambe player instead! Robbie advanced the interesting theory that one way of assessing if a club is a vibrant one is by how many stewards they have on duty at games and Alty had passed that test as far as he was concerned. But before Darren and his stewards take all the glory for landing Robbie, Graham Heathcote also revealed that he had to sign the midfielder after his office staff at Moss Lane swooned when he came to see Graham. The Alty boss said that he had then signed Robbie as part of a new initiative, parallel to our Schools' Initiative, to attract young lady spectators!

    Robbie told the guests that his boyhood hero had been Kenny Dalglish whilst for Joe O'Neill, his hero is Terry Sheringham. Steve Bushell opted for Bryan Robson and Roy Keane as his models. The evening was punctuated by compere Graham Heathcote's joking references to Steve Bushell's absence from match action with injury.

    As for Alty's finishing position this season, Graham underlined that we are a better side this season than last. Steve thought we could finish on the fringes of the play-offs, whilst Robbie and Joe also thought that we could be a top-half side. Amongst the other interesting information to emerge was that the Alty players are immersed in wheely-bins of cold water after the games as this is believed to aid post-match muscle recovery - though Graham himself sounded sceptical and had not tried the therapy himself.

    Graham also paid tribute to the players who had taken their chance this season when they got to play regularly in the first team due to others' injuries. Stephen Rose and Karl Munroe are apparently inseparable off the pitch as well as on it, whilst Richard Acton was praised for his laid-back attitude which meant that he had come into the side and performed excellently after seeing little action for almost three years. Lewis Chalmers was also mentioned as a player who had stepped up a level this season.

    Graham revealed that he watches DVDs of every Alty game played during the season but he has only once forced the team to watch a recording - after we lost 5-0 at Forest Green last season. As for this Saturday's win over Southport he said that he had been minded to point out the team's failings to them but had decided to leave that till Tuesday night training! Nevertheless he was pleased with how they had achieved the target of gaining the three points even if the performance was below par.

    For the event Barney's chip shop provided excellent food whilst the service from Sarah Rowley, Dan and Mike was equally good. If you get the chance to come to the next such event, don't miss it!


    Chris Timons acored for Harrogate Town against Droylsden whilst Steve Torpey netted for Halifax Town. Danny Adams was in Huddersfield town's victorious side on Saturday.


    The NL Paper quotes Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin on the post match hooliganism at Oxford last week. The NL refers to "a group of around 30 people spitting and hurling objects at the away supporters' coach which also had its door kicked, causing £1,000 worth of damage. Geoff also confirmed that damage was done to one of his coaches at Aldershot in August. He said, "We're going back to the 1970s with this behaviour. I will not be involved if this goes on. If any more damage is done to one of my coaches then I'm gone... It was very worrying and disturbing.. I fear for the safety of supporters and the future of the game if this isn't addressed. I've never seen anything as bad as this in non-league football... we can't sweep it under the carpet". The Oxford Safety officer Tony Ashley said, "Oxford very much regret that the incident happened...We had 85 stewards at the game which is probably the largest amount in the Conference. Within five minutes of the incident occurring there were 60 stewards forming a protective ring round the Altrincham supporters". Meanwhile prosecution of those who attacked Dagenham's coach at Aldershot is set to fail for lack of witnesses prepared to testify.


    The Burton Mail reported on Saturday that "Nigel Clough, manager of Burton Albion, will attempt to bolster his squad by bringing in two new midfield players. Clough has opened talks with Paul Carden and Daryl Taylor, both of whom are available outside the transfer window after becoming free agents, and has strengthened his squad ahead of the visit to Halifax Town on Saturday with the signing of former Chester City and Peterborough United midfielder Carden. The 27-year-old was a regular in the Posh side last season, winning their player of the year award, but after a change of management at London Road was released earlier this week. Daryl Taylor is also currently unattached after parting company with Bury last week, and he trained with Albion on Thursday, but has still not decided on his future... The Brewers' boss sees Carden as an ideal replacement for the suspended Lee Fowler, and former Walsall player Taylor could cover for the lack of wide midfield players because of doubts about Andy Ducros and Keith Gilroy, who have now been joined on the injured list by Chris Hall. Liverpool-born Carden is a former team-mate of Brewers striker Daryl Clare at Chester. Described by Clough as 'combative', Carden began his career with Blackpool and has also had spells with Rochdale and Doncaster".

    The NLP says that if the Majeeds fail to meet their end of October deadline for paying their debtors, diamond dealer John Goodwin is set to renew his bid to takeover. "Goodwin said he was certain that the Majeeds would not be able to find the money. 'My prediction is the club will fold before Christmas unless someone comes in'"


    Also in the NL Paper, Graham Heathcote "has slammed the 'panicking chairmen' funding full-time football in Non-League and believed the Conference will eventually revert to being a part-time division". Graham said, "Football went the wrong way five years ago... I thought that the last Football league division would become part-time with the Conference and probably even regionalise.... Time after time we have seen clubs having their problems in administration... You've got a few Jack-the-lads in charge of clubs. It's fine when all is going well and they put themselves forward for the publicity. But when it is not, the first thing Jack says is "I'm not paying you'. Heathcote believes the way forward is for a truly part-time club to break into the Conference play-off group... '[Part-time] teams who were down the bottom last year and their panicking chairmen firmly believe it's because the others are full-time. I don't. They are not competing because the players have got are not good enough not because they haven't got the legs. If you put the same players in the full-time scenario they still won't be good enough. That's the bottom line of it".


    In the NL paper Alty's goalkeeper Richard Acton is given a full two columns. Referrring to the Oxford match he reveals that "It was an even better result after our pre-match preparations were ruined by traffic. We were booked into a hotel for a pre-match meal but had to have it in the changing rooms at 1.30pm instead. .. We went home happy but hungry....But the travelling does take its toll on a part-time club...I'm lucky, I've got my own business as a car dealer and I can sort out when I work. Other lads don't have that luxury. We've been written off again this season as one of the favourites for relegation because we're part-time but we have a much stronger squad than last year and are aiming for the top half of the table... Robbie Lawton has come into the midfield and has been fantastic. He's given us a real presence and has deserved the captain's armband .And Joe O'Neill has been reall sharp up front... we've a lot of quality but no stars and outr team ethic is crucial to our success".


    Our FA Cup opponents next week,Rushden and Diamonds have 45 applicants fpr their vacant mangership says the NL Paper. R & D Chairperson Helen Thompson said "We just cannot afford to go into Nationwide North or South. That's not what Rushden and Diamonds is about". The NL Paper says that "Former Diamonds' players Colin West and [Tamworth boss] Mark Cooper are sure to be leading contenders."


    Match report here.

    Right: Peter Band in action against Southport.

  • Alty line-ups
  • Alty player statistics
    21 October 2006


  • Aldershot T. 0 Morecambe 1
  • ALTRINCHAM 2 Southport 1
  • Dagenham & R. 1 Kidderminster H. 3
  • Exeter C. 1 Stafford R .2
  • Gravesend & N. 1 Woking 0
  • Halifax T. 1 Burton A. 2
  • St Albans C. 0 Grays A. 6
  • Stevenage B. 0 Northwich V. 2
  • Tamworth 2 York City 2
  • Weymouth. 1 Rushden & D. 1


  • Saturday, 7.30pm prompt in the Sponsors' Lounge, it will be the Meet the New Recruits Event with Joe O'Neill, Robbie Lawton and Steve Bushell. Entry by ticket only - contact Grahame Rowley or the club office to see if there are any left..
  • Monday 23rd, 7.30pm - Bingo Night in the Sponsors' Lounge with resident caller, George Heslop.

    Details of both events are here.


  • Cambridge U. 0 Oxford U. 3
  • League table


    Neither Colin Little nor Gary Talbot is expected to figure for Altrincham today against Southport. Alty won the corresponding match 1-0 last season with a Colin Potts goal.

    Above: Southport prepare a freekick in last season's match on 15 October 2005.

    The teams then were much different from the line-ups expected tomorrow:

    ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Karl MUNROE, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT (capt), 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 12. Steve HAWES, 8. Val OWEN, 11. Gary SCOTT; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 4. Mark MADDOX, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 18. Lutel JAMES, 23. Kirk HILTON, 26. Lee HENDLEY.

    SOUTHPORT: (All yellow):: 1. Steve DICKINSON, 19. Chris LANE, 3. Jerome FITZGERALD, 12. Farrell KILBANE, 4. Neil FITZHENRY, 5. Carl BAKER, 10. Dominic MORLEY (capt), 14. Kevin LYNCH, 20. Matty McGINN, 11. Steve DALY, 7. Kevin LEADBETTER. Subs: 15. Jamie SPEARE (gk), 6. Earl DAVIS, 16. Michael POWELL, 21. Robert BOOTH, 8. Neil ROBINSON.

    SAM writes that "Alty will be hoping to claim their first win in six games when they take on bottom side Southport... Alty have played some good football at home this season and if they can display the kind of patient possession game they employed against Oxford, Southport will find it hard to cope. Robbie Lawton will once again be crucial driving the team forward from midfield and with Rod Thornley and Joe O'Neill using the channels up front, they could have plenty of joy against a shaky defence. Although Stuart Coburn has returned from injury, the impressive Richard Acton is likely to keep his place in the side... However, Colin Little is still at least a week from fitness and Steve Bushell could be out for even longer. Southport are likely to give a debut to on-loan Blackpool striker Scott Paterson, although midfielder Carl Baker will miss out after being suspended for a breach of club discipline. Striker Dino Maamria is also unlikely to feature... The Sandgrounders have not won in their last eight games and have only picked up two points from their last five on the road... Southport captain Mark Boyd was on trial at Alty last season before eventually signing for Accrington Stanley. Good in possession and confident going forward, the midfielder will be the main source of creative influence for the visitors. Liam Blakeman only got his chance last week because of injury and has been in and out of the Southport team this season can still have a big impact on his day. Quick and direct, he also possesses a good shot and could cause problems for the Alty defence running from deep".

    The BBC agrees that "Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote will keep faith with keeper Richard Acton despite the return of Stuart Cobrun from injury. Colin Potts returns after a calf strain and Gary Scott should feature on the bench after a reserve-team run-out [Actually, Scott did not play in the Reserves]. Southport's Kevin Lee returns after ankle ligament damage".

    Southport FC reported yesterday that "The players are on the Haig Avenue pitch this morning running through Paul Cook and Mike Marsh's training routine. Sean Paterson on loan from Blackpool is poised to make his Port debut. Striker Tony Gray has spent a week in hospital undergoing tests, Chris Lane is available after serving a one match ban and Kevin Lee is also included in the squad. Striker Dino Maamria is unlikely to feature".

    Southport G says of Southport that "Twelve months ago, their defeat at Altrincham triggered a run of ten matches without a victory. Now Southport return to Moss Lane knowing that a similarly depressing wait for a win must not be allowed to spiral beyond the current eight-game drought. Statistically, their present series of results may not be as grim as the sequence that saw one point acquired from a possible thirty last season, but the Sandgrounders’ recent form is nonetheless a frightening cause for concern. With only two victories in the sixteen matches played so far, the ‘Port are bottom of the Nationwide Conference and have mustered a mere three points from their most recent eight outings. But perhaps more concerning than the facts and figures, is the blanket of despair that currently shrouds events at Haig Avenue. With restlessness amongst the Southport support rapidly on the rise, an alarming circulation of rumours and reports have been propelled throughout recent weeks, while performances on the field demonstrate a lack of purpose and direction. Paul Cook’s squad desperately require an injection of confidence and conviction, but with such an inexperienced side scarred by absentees and negativity, the forthcoming contests will provide a real test of their mettle.

    Without Carl Baker, internally disciplined this week because of a ‘breach of club discipline’, the Sandgrounders are also expected to miss Alex Smith, who has not renewed his monthly contract but is apparently prevented from representing another club until November. Striker Dino Maamria has made only ten appearances this term and could again to be absent with a hamstring strain, but right-back Chris Lane is available for selection following a one-match ban and the ‘Port squad should feature striker Sean Paterson, who signed on loan from Blackpool on Thursday... The Moss Lane squad also features striker Joe O’Neill, who bagged a hat-trick at Haig Avenue for York City a year ago, but Peter Thomson, the former ‘Port frontman, is yet to make an appearance since joining in the summer. Stuck in a rut and without a win in their nine visits to Moss Lane, it’s time Southport experienced a change".


    The The Football Conference reports that "Nationwide Building Society and The Nationwide Conference have agreed not to continue sponsorship arrangements when the current contract expires at the end of this season. [They] have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 1999. This is the ninth season that the building society has been the sponsor of the competition". Former Altrincham chairman "Bill King, Chairman of The Football Conference, said 'We have enjoyed our relationship with Nationwide and the opportunities its has created for both organisations over the past 9 years".

    The The Football Conference says that "Nigel Clough, manager of Burton Albion, has revealed that he will dip into his transfer kitty in a bid to strengthen his squad. This is despite Clough's earlier assertion that he would not be signing any new players before Christmas. The Brewers boss has funds at his disposal following the club's FA Cup clashes with Manchester United last season and is preparing to do some spending in the coming week. 'It's possible something might happen next week because we're in touch with clubs who might release players once they get people back from injury', Clough told Skysports. 'There are one or two people who might become available who we would take'".

    York City "confirmed this afternoon the Club has signed two new players from Stevenage Borough on loan. Striker, Darryn Stamp, and central defender and Stevenage captain, Jason Goodliffe, both trained with the team today and will be eligible to play against Tamworth tomorrow. 28 year old Darryn Stamp, who hails from Beverley, has joined the Minstermen on a 3 month loan period ending on 6th January. 32 year old Jason Goodliffe has joined the Club on a 2 month loan period ending on 15th December. City manager Billy McEwan said, 'Jason McGill and I have been working very hard to get this emergency loan deal sorted and are very pleased to welcome Darryn Stamp and Jason Goodliffe to the Club. We would like to thank Phil Wallace and Stevenage Borough for their help and co-operation'".

    From Sussex, The Argus says that "Crawley are in danger of losing two of their best young players. Full-back Jamie Lovegrove, 16, is wanted by three League clubs, including a London Premiership outfit. Top scorer Scott Rendell, 19, on work experience from Reading until the end of the season, is a target for a Championship club. Manager John Hollins has confirmed they are two of six Reds players attracting attention from other clubs. Crawley's financial problems means all but four players - Tony Scully, Lee Blackburn, Ben Judge and Dave Woozley - do not have contracts and can walk out at any time. Hollins said: 'This is the problem we face. We have worked hard and trained these young players to make them better and then other clubs see them and want them. There is nothing we can do about it but at least it shows we are doing something right'... Rendell has been a revelation since being handed his first start due to injuries four weeks ago. He has scored seven goals, including six in the last five games. Captain Danny Brown has backed Rendell to carry on his goalscoring form against his former club Forest Green Rovers tomorrow. Rendell netted two goals in 18 appearances on work experience at the Gloucestershire club last season. Brown said: 'We see ourselves as a tophalf team and that is what we tell the players... Hollins said: 'We've been hit quite badly by illness, which has swept through us, but hopefully one or two will be back'".

    20 October 2006


    Graham Heathcote has just completed four years as manager of Altrincham FC and when he completes at least another month in the Moss Lane hot seat, he will pass John King's period of tenure between February 1994 and March 1998. Before that, you have to go back to the 1976-84 tenure of Tony Sanders to find a manager who has been in post in one continuous spell for longer than Graham. And, before that, the only other boss to last longer than Graham has, to date, was Freddie Pye (1963-69). For a list of post-war Alty managers, click here.

    SAM marks the occasion with an article in which "Alty boss Graham Heathcote reflected on a job well done as he completed four years in charge at the club last Saturday. Since becoming manager, Heathcote has guided Alty from the lower reaches of the Unibond Premier to survival in the Conference National... But the Robins' manager insists he is not about to rest on his laurels and is now fully focussed on the even more challenging task of consolidating his side's position in non-league football's top flight. Speaking exclusively to SAM Sport, he said: 'We have taken this club forward over the past four years and we are now in a much better position than we were four years ago. They have been four very tough and demanding years but if we can keep progressing the way we have, it will make all the hard work worthwhile. The danger is that you could start back-pedalling or standing still if you begin to relax and that is just not an option for us. My players have given their all for me for four years and that will continue for as long as I'm here... I'm not one of those that celebrates their achievements, I just keep my feet on the ground. When you are 52 and have been in the game since the age of 16 you know anything can be just around the corner in football and I want to make sure we are ready for whatever the future holds'".


    Above: Pupils of Springfield Primary School in Sale are seen enjoying their visit to Moss Lane on Thursday.

    Altrincham hosted a very successful visit yesterday from children and teachers from Springfield School in Sale. The children had a tour of the ground and a lively talk from manager Graham Heathcote. This is part of the club's new "Schools Initiative" and further tours are being planned. All the pupils who attended have been given a complimentary ticket to attend any of the next three home league games.

    Right: Alty manager Graham Heathcote shows the visiting pupils of Springfield School the second home of most of his players this season - the physio's room.


    For Saturday's game against Southport, Altrincham are expected to be without Colin Little, Gary Talbot and Steve Bushell on Saturday after none of them took part in Wednesday's Reserves' game which was used as a fitness test for several other first-teamers.

    Graham Heathcote told SAM, "Saturday's an important game but we say that every week now. It's going to be a very tense occasion for both sides because there is so little between the teams at the bottom that a win can take you up a few places. We have had a few draws recently so it is important that we get back to winning ways, especially as we are at home. But I'm just looking for the players to carry on where we left off at Oxford and play the kind of football I know we are capable of at home".

    Southport report that "Striker Dino Maamria remains a doubt for Saturday's trip to Altrincham. Paul Cook is working very hard to bring in players before Saturday's match. Training today went well in muddy conditions. Stephen Rowland should be fit after more treatment on groin. Alex Smith has not re-signed his month to month deal and Paul Cook will decide whether Smith, who cannot sign for anyone else in the next month, comes back in. Chris Lane is back in squad after one match suspension". And the BBC confirms that "Teenage Blackpool striker Sean Paterson has joined Southport on a month's loan. Port boss Paul Cook made his move for Paterson to bolster his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Altrincham. The 19-year-old has made two first-team appearances for Blackpool and last season spent temporary spells at Lancaster City and Leigh RMI. Meanwhile, Southport have appointed former Lancaster boss Gary Finlay in a coaching and scouting role following the recent departure of John Durnin".


    If the match at Rushden in the FA Cup 4QR ends in a draw on 28 October, the replay will be on Tuesday 31 October. However, from Round 1 onwards, replays take place ten days after the original fixture. Don't forget to book your seat on the STAR supporters' coach to Rushden after the game at Moss Lane on Saturday.


    "Morecambe have taken Adriano Rigoglioso back to Christie Park following a month on loan with Forest Green Rovers. Rigoglioso scored three times in five games [including a goal against Alty] for Rovers after being reunited with former Shrimps' boss Jim Harvey. Harvey was keen to keep the 27-year-old forward at the New Lawn but with Morecambe suffering with injuries and suspensions, he has been recalled" says the BBC.

    "Derby defender James Meredith has joined Cambridge on a month's loan. The 18-year-old has been given squad number 29 by U's boss Jimmy Quinn and could figure against Conference leaders Oxford on Friday evening. Meredith has yet to play a first-team game at Derby after coming through the club's youth scheme. But the Australian, who can also play on the left-hand side of midfield, was given a two-year professional contract at Pride Park in the summer".

    An interesting piece from the BBC on the Conference's attitude this year to off-the-field demotions... "Conference chiefs are determined to ensure that the end of this season will not be dogged by the kind of controversy that has hit the league in recent years. For the first time, four clubs will be relegated from the Conference National - with two coming up from each of the North and South feeder divisions. And officials will be doing everything possible to make sure that the fate of clubs is determined through their playing records and not off-field problems. Conference chief operations officer John Moules told BBC Sport: 'It's paramount. The target this year is that all promotion and relegation matters will be decided on the field of play and not in the boardroom'.

    Last season, the Conference campaign finished in a state of confusion with Altrincham being deducted 18 points but surviving when Scarborough were relegated for financial reasons. Canvey Island's resignation from the league meant that no other side went down as the Conference expanded to 24 teams. Looking at the way things are panning out, it is expected to be four down and four up. Twelve months previously, Northwich Victoria finished outside the bottom three but were relegated over ground and ownership issues. Northwich are again coming under scrutiny from the Conference, with an investigation into the club's finances by BBC Five Live Sport being passed onto the FA's compliance unit. The Vics will be one of a number of clubs whose positions will be discussed by the Conference management committee at its monthly meeting on Thursday. However, expulsion from the league is not on the agenda, with failure to produce accounts on time liable for punishment by a fine. Crawley Town are also being monitored as they owe money to creditors but they still have more than a week to meet the terms of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

    Clubs are constantly being advised on how to abide by Conference rules and with ground standards improving at Conference North and South level, Moules is optimistic that promotion and relegation will run smoothly. He added: 'This year we are fairly safely saying that looking at the way things are panning out, it is expected to be four down and four up'. The Conference is striving to get its house in order to further their argument with the Football League for three-up and three-down after gaining a second promotion place in 2003. The League has rejected that proposal for next season, but dialogue will continue".

    Grays Athletic report that "John Turner has been released on one month's loan to Conference South side Braintree Town".

    Confguide says that "York City centre-back David McGurk is set to undergo a throat operation later this week and is expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks. The former Darlington defender is understood to be facing surgery on Friday and is likely to miss the next three games". Alty play at York on 5th November.

    The Tamworth Herald says that "Dave Bampton could be back in a Lambs shirt by the end of January if his rehabilitation from a serious knee problem goes smoothly. Initial fears were that the Lambs midfielder would be out for rest of the season. But Bampton, who had an operation to repair medial ligament damage on Monday, this week gave a more positive outlook on his future... Bampton told Herald Sport 'Basically I will be in plaster for three weeks and then a brace for about four weeks... I have set myself a January target and hopefully I'll be back by early February at least'".

    The Northwich Guardian proclaims that "Northwich Victoria will not be relegated for failing to file their accounts on time. On the same day the FA denied they had launched a probe into the club's finances, the operations director for the Conference also ruled out any punishment for the time being. John Moules said he wanted to wait until Vics had completed paperwork, which is five months overdue. He also rubbished reports in another publication that the Wincham oufit could be kicked out of the Conference for the second time in three seasons, despite being in breach of league rules. 'The ball is certainly in their court', he told the Guardian on Monday. 'But at this stage they do not risk being expelled'... Financial documents from five other unnamed Conference clubs are also overdue. When asked why Vics had been allowed to start the season if they had not sent accounts to Companies House, Mr Moules was categoric. 'The answer is simple', he said. 'It isn't a serious enough offence to prevent a club playing matches'. However, he did confirm the six teams in question had been fined. Mr Moules warned if there was further delay the Conference could consider banning boss Steve Burr from signing new players during the January transfer window. He claimed he had passed on the BBC's findings to the Football Association's Compliance Unit, but they offered a different version of events. Spokesman Andrin Cooper said: 'We have not received any documents either from the Conference or the BBC. There is no investigation'. The Conference board are due to meet tomorrow, Thursday, to discuss the matter further. Vics' chairman Mike Connett has declined to comment".

    19 October 2006


    Match report in the Reserves' section.

    Fitness watch: The game featured several players on the way back from injury. Peter Thomson played for 63 minutes and displayed a powerful shot on several occasions as well as scoring. Stuart Coburn played the whole game and conceded twice, one a deflected goal, but otherwise had barely a save to make. Eddie Hussin improves with every game and played the full 90 minutes, as did Colin Potts who produced some excellent crosses and through balls.


    As announced yesterday, the "Meet the New Recruits" event after Saturday's game will start promptly at 7.30pm. However, in a change of plan, the food is now to be served in the Sponsors' Lounge (not the bar) at 7.45pm prompt. Following the meal, there will be a question and answer session with the new recruits, Steve Bushell, Joe O'Neill and Robbie Lawton. There are just a few tickets left; please contact the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail if you would like one. Full details of the event are here.

    So, don't be late if you don't want your meal to have gone cold!


    SAM has an article on the crowd trouble at Oxford United last Saturday when "A group of Oxford supporters confronted their Altrincham counterparts after the 1-1 draw, causing the visiting fans to be held behind inside the ground for their own safety. They then spat and threw projectiles at both the Alty supporters' and players' coaches, causing almost £1,000 damage to one of Goodwin's own vehicles. 'I don't want to be involved in football if this is what it has come to', said the Robins chairman Geoff Goodwin. 'I'm appalled and shocked by the behaviour of the Oxford fans and if the club are unable to control them then they should be made to play a few games behind closed doors'". Alty manager Graham Heathcote added, "The result of the game becomes irrelevant when your fans are put in a predicament like they were on Saturday. Credit to the stewards, they did an excellent job of dealing with the trouble and most of the Oxford fans were smashing anyway. But what I saw on Saturday made me worry about the future of the game. In all my time in football I have seen some scuffles at non-league games but nothing like this". Alty now intend to make an official complaint to the league board". Oxford United's safety officer Tony Ashley responded: "We pride ourselves on being a friendly club where everyone is welcome and there is certainly no room for such behaviour here. We are investigating the incident alongside Thames Valley Police using our CCTV footage, with a view to making prosecutions. I can only apologise to Altrincham's fans. We never want to see that at a football game again and will leave no stone unturned in investigating it".


    After the score had been level at 2-2 at the interval, a strong second half performance saw Altrincham & District FA beat Stockport FA 6-3 at Trafford FC in the Cheshire County FA District Cup on Wednesday night. Rick Crawford hit a hat-trick, Michael Howe hit two and Steven Roberts scored the other goal. Details to follow.


    Altrincham host Southport on Saturday at Moss Lane.

    The Southport GB Forum confirms that "Carl Baker has been fined and suspended for one week by Southport FC as a result of a ‘serious breach of club discipline,’ it was confirmed this morning. In the latest of a worrying series of suggestions to have emerged from Haig Avenue, the 23-year old midfield player was last night rumoured to be leaving the club. Having arrived from Prescot Cables in November 2003, Baker is widely regarded as the most exciting and talented prospect to have played for the Sandgrounders in recent years and, as mark of his progression, received international honours by representing England’s National Game side last season. It has furthermore been revealed that defender Paul Martin and Alex Smith, the experienced midfielder, have parted company with Southport after three months at the club. There are also reputed doubts surrounding the future of Liam Blakeman. Excluding three players currently on loan, the Sandgrounders’ squad now features only fifteen members who have made a league start this campaign. The ‘Port are at present bottom of the Nationwide Conference and without a win in eight matches, while it has been promised that Haig Avenue will this week be a ‘hive of activity’.


    The BBC says that "York City's teenage defender Darren Hollingsworth has joined Stalybridge Celtic on a month's loan... City boss Billy McEwan allowed the 18-year-old to move to Bower Fold for the chance of first-team football. Hollingsworth is yet to figure in York's senior set-up after coming through the youth scheme and earning a professional deal in the summer".


    NL Daily says that former Alty Youth player and "New boy Lee Shillito put Mossley in front on 66 minutes" in their draw on Tuesday night.
    18 October 2006


    From Southport FC we read: "Club statement. Due to a serious breach of club discipline Carl Baker has been fined and suspended for a week". So, presumably, he will not face Altrincham on Saturday.


    Courtesy of Neil Brown, a match report on the Reserves' cup match at Leigh last Saturday is in the Reserves' section.


    After the squad had been named for tonight's Reserves' match (see below) it became clear that only three first-team squad members will not have seen some degree of action in the past week. The three who remain unfit to play at present are defender Gary Talbot and strikers Colin Little and Lee Hendley. However, some of those involved for the Reserves tonight may not yet be ready for ninety minutes.


    Tonight (Wednesday 7.45pm), Altrincham Reserves play Ossett Albion at Moss Lane. Alty will be fielding a strong side, including eight players with first-team squad numbers

    The squad for the game is, in no particular order, Stuart COBURN, Colin POTTS, Eddie HUSSIN, Pat McFADDEN, Justin BOWLER, Kieran LUGSDEN, Peter THOMSON, Danny HEFFERNAN, Keith WEDGE, Colin McALLISTER, Aaron EDWARDS, Laurence BALL, Colin McALLISTER, Astley MULHOLLAND, Michael RISK, Chris ROWLEY, Michael BROWN. Entry is just £2 (£1 for concessionaries, free for season-ticket holders) - and don't forget that Keith Davey's excellent refreshment facilities will be available. Pictured are the eight first-teamers in the same order as listed above. (First 7 photos are courtesy of Gavin Rathbone).

    Further Reserves' news concerns Richard Gresty, the former Altrincham Youth team captain who graduated to the Reserves this season and got injured in pre-season playing for a Sale side in the Umbro International Tournament. Richard then arranged to go to Trafford FC to regain fitness and an agreement was reached between Altrincham and Trafford for him to return to Altrincham once he had re-established himself. However, the England Colleges centre-back has now decided to move to Hyde United, and he turned out for their Reserves this week against Farsley Celtic.


    Altrincham & District FA Youth (comprising Altrincham FC players) play Stockport & District FA in the Cheshire County FA District Cup group stage tonight at Trafford FC (Shawe View) at 7.30pm. A win for Alty would secure a place in the final.


    The The BBC confirms that our FA Cup opponents in ten days time, "Rushden have appointed Tony Godden as caretaker-manager at Nene Park. Godden, 50, takes on the role following the exit of Paul Hart, assistant-boss Ian Bowyer and coach Ian Woan". Former WBA goalkeeper Godden "had been the club's goalkeeping coach. He will be assisted by club captain Dave Savage and team captain Chris Hope as Rushden draw up a shortlist of candidates for the job".

    And Rushden Today says that "Diamonds' chairman Helen Thompson says she sacked boss Paul Hart for failing to deliver – despite having one of the biggest budgets in non-League football. But within hours of his exit yesterday, the Nationwide Conference club revealed that they had already received applications for the job from 'high-profile names' as well as messages of support from fans... The vacancy is still set to attract further interest from the likes of former Diamonds stars Colin West and Jim Rodwell, ex-Northampton and Kettering boss Kevin Wilson plus highly-rated Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough... During the recent run of eight games without a win [since they beat Alty 3-0!] which cost his job, Hart hinted that he felt let down by financial problems at Nene Park which affected his squad budget. He had also failed to sign a contract since taking charge in May but last night refused to comment over his dismissal. However, Thompson denied any suggestions there had been budget cuts... She said: 'Our financial situation is no different to a lot of other football clubs whether they are in League Two or the Conference. All clubs have difficulty making it pay and no-one does that from gate receipts alone. Our gates have not been fantastic so far this season but I'm sure they will go up later. Perhaps Paul's experience of working in the Championship was different to coming to this level. But I have to stress we have to spend our money according to our income and we don't have a lot. We have to make sure we are prudent because the fans own this club so it's their money. Paul had a decent budget to spend here and it's one of the biggest in the Conference apart from Oxford United and Weymouth. It's very disappointing because we had high expectations and we really didn't expect to be in 17th place now. That's just not acceptable'". She went on, "We have a good squad of quality players. But it just wasn't happening for them. This club has fantastic facilities and we have to aim for at least the play-offs. I know we are not quite at Oxford United's pinnacle but with Paul in place we shouldn't have found ourselves in 17th place. I saw Paul first thing yesterday morning and explained the situation along with the two Ians. I think they were surprised, although they understand football is a result- orientated business. So they accepted that was the decision made by the club board. The players' reaction was fairly non-committal. They are professional footballers who tend to express their opinions to themselves and there was no comment one way or another. We've had huge support from the fans. So I think we made the right decision at the right time. We didn't let it go too far down the line and I think this was probably better than at another time". The website continues, "Thompson says there could be loan deals within the Diamonds squad as striker Leo Fortune-West (Torquay United) and goalkeeper Dan Crane (Lewes) have already left.But she admitted: 'In the near future I can't see the squad being bolstered. We might get a few loans in, however I'm certainly not promising a huge increase in players at this time. It's all about ensuring players have a fair crack of the whip. I've not doubt there will be loans both in and out so we can go forward'".


    The Staffordshire Sentinel reveals that "Phil Robinson, manager of Stafford Rangers, believes his shock decision to part company with midfielder Lee Downes has been vindicated by results. Robinson revealed after the victory against Woking that Downes has now been shown the door following a pre-match bust-up... Robinson confirmed: 'Lee Downes is no longer with us. I think there is a line you cannot cross and I feel that was crossed before the Dagenham & Redbridge game. He refused to go on the bench. It is unacceptable, it is a squad game. I am very disappointed and felt I had to make a stand. We made a decision and after discussions with Lee, we have decided to go our separate ways... I felt I had to make this decision and it has been backed up with the results." Downes made 157 appearances for the club.

    The Oxford Mail reports that "Oxford United have expressed their disappointment after their glamorous FA Cup tie at Dagenham & Redbridge on October 28 was declared an all-ticket game.'I can understand why Dagenham have done it for security reasons, but I don't think it was really necessary', said United secretary Mick Brown, Oxford have been offered 1,570 tickets - 362 of them for seats - for the fourth qualifying round tie between the top two teams in the Nationwide Conference".

    The Football Conference says that "AFC Bournemouth have announced that Kevin Bond has appointed former Southend Utd and Cambridge Utd Manager Rob Newman as his assistant". At Cambridge, "In incredibly difficult financial circumstances Newman built up a squad mainly from youth players and scavenging the non-league scene. Because of his looks, Newman gained the nickname 'Buzz Lightyear' amongst the fans with even a homage website set up. But despite popularity amongst the fanbase, Newman was sacked by United in September 2006'".

    "Doncaster Rovers midfielder Craig Nelthorpe has joined Kidderminster Harriers on a work experience deal. Nelthorpe... is yet to make a league appearance for Doncaster... The one month loan-spell with the West Midlands side should help to give Nelthorpe, a product of Rovers' youth team, a chance to experience first team football" says the Conference site.

    FA CUP

    Results from Tuesday's FA Cup 3QR replays:
  • Blyth 1 Whitley Bay 2
  • Scarborough 2 Ossett Albion 0
  • Witton Albion 0 Farsley Celtic 1
    17 October 2006


    A brief video clip of the goals in the Oxford v Altrincham match is available here.


    This is United reports that "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote was delighted with the result his part-timers achieved, especially after all the injuries he's had in his squad. 'In the first half, we played some good football. In the second Oxford got on top but you'd expect that. We deserved a result with the work we put in. Tactically we got it right. Putting a marker on Andy Burgess isn't rocket science. People have seen that it worked well for Southport, so I'm sure others will try it. That's not being negative, it's out of respect for Andy Burgess. But today we stifled him, and for all the clever play Oxford tried to play, we stifled them. I don't like the Oxford fans' reaction, they seem to think they have a divine right to win, but football's about two teams. And why their supporters are running looking for a fight after the game, I don't know. We don't want that in non-League football, you can keep that in the League'" said the Alty boss.

    SAM says that the draw at Oxford "extended Alty's unbeaten run away from home to four games and they now sit 16th in the Conference table. Despite coming under plenty of pressure from the home side, a superb team performance saw Alty go in at the break without conceding.They finally went behind just nine minutes into the second half after a long-range effort from Matt Day.But the Robins stuck at it and were awarded a penalty after a push from John Dempster on Pat McFadden. Steve Aspinall coolly slotted home from the spot to secure a point for the visitors".

    Warren Peyton in action at Oxford.

    Robbie Lawton clears his lines.

    But Oxford goalscorer Matt Day has a far less charitable view of Altrincham. He netted Oxford's only goal but he lamented, "This is a goal that for me, doesn't really mean much because that's a game we should have come away from with three points. In these last two games we've dropped four points and we shouldn't really be doing that, not against the teams we have been playing. Kidderminster – down to ten men – we should be beating, and these [i.e. Altrincham] we should be beating. We went 1-0 up but we don't know what we can do . . . the refs just aren't going our way... but we let it slip and gave a sloppy penalty away... I hit the bar in the first half and thought I'd try another one. It took a little deflection, but not that much, and thankfully it went in". However "Day said John Dempster was convinced the late penalty was unjust and that he hadn't fouled their player... I think they only had one cross into our area in the second half and, unfortunately for us, we gave a penalty away. I personally didn't think it was a penalty... I think the referee was poor, he gave a lot to them and hardly anything to us. We had one player stamp on us, which we didn't get a foul for and we probably had a couple of penalty chances which we didn't get. And then he gave such a soft penalty to them. I think he was just looking to give something to them the whole way through the game. I just spoke to him and he said it wasn't a push. He saw Billy was going to get it (the cross), and he just put his hands out and walked away, and the player's just made a meal of it. They also made a meal of it down in the corner when I shoulder-barged one. He kicked the ball too far, realised it and just fell over, and the ref, and the linesman, have given a free-kick for it. The ref he said he'd just given it on what he saw, but that was another free-kick that shouldn't have been". Oxford's manager was equally ungracious, "Jim Smith said Saturday's opponents Altrincham didn't earn the point they got – they had it handed to them by the referee... Stephen Aspinall converted the 86th-minute penalty to give the Cheshire side a 1-1 draw in one of the most one-sided matches seen at the ground. But for all their dominance, United struggled to put the ball in the net, and had to rely on another long-range blast from defender Matt Day... One fan described it as a 1-1 massacre". Smith also said, "I did expect us to win. I was very disappointed with our performance in the final third. We had plenty of opportunities where we didn't even make the keeper save".


    On Wednesday night at Moss Lane (7.45pm) Altrincham Reserves host Ossett Albion in the Lancashire League. The latest league table is here.


    Above: Worksop Town seal the FA Youth Cup match on Sunday. Their no.8's freekick has just hit the wall, wrong-footing Alty keeper Lewis Bishop. The ball struck the post and was put into the net by the incoming Worksop no.11 (left) to make it 3-0. For a report and more pictures see the Youth Page

    16 October 2006


    In today's FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round draw, Altrincham have been drawn against Rushden and Diamonds away. Alty lost 3-0 at Nene Park earlier this season but Rushden sacked their manager today (see below).

    The match will be played on Saturday, October 28th with £10,000 prize money going to the winners, together with a chance to bag a further £16,000 in Round One. However, without playing a game, Altrincham are already enjoying their equal best FA Cup run for five seasons as they have exited at or before the 4th Qualifying Round in every season since 2001-02!

    As for away ties, this is Altrincham's sixth successive away draw in cup competitions. And, Altrincham have not won when drawn away in the FA Cup (excluding replays) since 1992, when they won at Gainsborough Trinity to set up the famous tie against Chester City, in the replay of which Clive Freeman scored the BBC's Goal of the Season. So, we must be due an away Cup win soon!


    Rushden and Diamonds have announced that "After further discussion this morning and following a series of poor results on the field, exacerbated by the defeat at Northwich Victoria on Saturday, Rushden and Diamonds Football Club have today parted company with Paul Hart, Ian Bowyer and Ian Woan. Despite early promising results Rushden and Diamonds have now failed to win in eight games as they strive to secure their position in the Nationwide Conference. After Saturday they faced a difficult task stabilising and improving their position and it became apparent that changes were needed to ensure the long-term success of the Club. Chairman, Helen Thompson [said] 'This is a results orientated business and realistically the results have not been good enough. It was our wish and intention to at least be challenging for a play-off position this season. This, however, has not been the case and we currently find ourselves in the wrong end of the league, which is unacceptable.The board therefore felt it necessary to make a change'. Looking ahead Rushden and Diamonds are now close to appointing a Caretaker Manager to lead the team".


    Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote (right) has today spoken to the Altrincham FC website to give his view of the events on Saturday at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. Firstly, Graham thanked all of the Alty fans who had travelled down to the game for their "tremendous vocal support" throughout the game. However, he was far from happy about other aspects of the game. He explained that, as he was being interviewed by a reporter after the final whistle, he witnessed scenes "the like of which I have never seen in more than 30 years of involvement in non-league football". He described how he saw "150 marauding Oxford fans" trying to get at the Altrincham fans, who had to be protected behind a mesh gate by the Oxford stewards as they attempted to leave the ground. Graham praised the stewards for their actions to protect the Altrincham supporters.

    But, he added, "What l witnessed is not what Non-League is all about. If people believe they have a divine right to win and react in that way when they don't win, then the sooner they go back to the Football League the better". Graham added that there was no justification for their behaviour. The Alty boss says that the match video clearly shows the correctness of the penalty decision which allowed Altrincham to gain a late draw. Having seen what happened to Altrincham's supporters, Graham has worries over what might happen to other fans should any team actually win at the Kassam Stadium this season.

    Turning to the game itself, Graham is amazed at the derogatory comments about Altrincham's performance from certain quarters and the accusations that his team was over-physical. The Alty manager had no complaints about our only booking in the game, a yellow card for Stephen Rose, but he says that critics have only to look at the foul count and yellow card totals both for this game in particular and for the season as a whole to see that Altrincham's disciplinary record is a good one. "Oxford can't expect a part-time side to go there and just give them space to play as they wish. We were well organised and disciplined and I make no apology for not making it an open game of football. That would have been naïve. It was for Oxford to overcome our strategy".

    This is United reports that "Oxford United were seething with referee Andy Hendley after he awarded a highly controversial late penalty which earned Altrincham a 1-1 draw... Manager Jim Smith afterwards called it "a massive two points dropped" and although United set a new Conference record, and new club record by making it 16 unbeaten games at the start of the season, their lead at the top of the table has been cut to two points"


  • Howard Watts's Through the Years for 21 October.
  • Terry Rowley's Conference Attendances 2006-07.


    A report on the Youth team's defeat in the FA Youth Cup at Worksop, is in the Youth section.


    Alty Reserves drew on Saturday, 1-1 at Leigh RMI, in the Lancashire League cup competition whose early stages are played on a league basis. The Reserves are at home to Ossett Albion on Wednesday at Moss Lane, 7.45pm in a League match.


    Steve Torpey scored twice for Halifax Town on Saturday. The
    NL Daily reports that Alsager Town have "newcomer Ryan Hevicon. The left-sided player, who is a student at Alsager-based MMU Cheshire, arrives at the club with an excellent pedigree. The speedy winger started his career at Blackburn Rovers and then had a spell with Carlisle United. He signed for Mossley in September 2002 from Altrincham and then switched to Trafford in January 2003 before becoming one of the first to sign for the new FC United of Manchester in the summer of 2005". Another ex FCUM player, Josh Mitten scored for Flixton last Saturday. A third ex-Alty (Reserves) and FCUM player is Adie Orr, 22, who "played through the junior, youth and reserve teams at Manchester City before being released in 2004. A brief spell with Leigh RMI followed before he joined FC United of Manchester where he scored 18 goals in 32 games for the newly-formed club in its first season, including their first ever hat trick" has gone to Mossley, as has former Alty Youth striker Lee Shillito, from Leigh RMI.


    Our next opponents, Southport, report that "Haig Avenue is expected to be a hive of activity early this week. Due to injuries the squad was decimated for the weekend trip to Weymouth and the manager had already acknowledged that the squad was not yet fully formed. [Paul Cook said] 'We need experience and strength. I have said all along that the squad was put together in a hurry during the summer from scratch. Some of our supporters seem to forget that. Everyone has been given their chance and I believe we have some very good players in our young squad. But we need more strength and experience. We are very close to having a very competitive squad and it is my job to bring in those players who can take us forward. We really went into the Weymouth match without a forward line up. I want competition in all positions and we have yet to achieve that. We have had one four nil defeat apart from that we are losing narrowly, we can come through this and climb the table. No one is happy with the position we are in but I am confident we can quickly move forward with some strengthening. I want to thank the supporters who travelled to Weymouth which is a massive commitment. But we all knew it was going to be difficult. All I ask for is patience and we will achieve together. The results at Burton, York and Oxford plus the Crawley win and the first half against Stevenage show we are not far away'. Central defender Paul Martin whose time at Haig Avenue has been interrupted with injury has been released. Striker Tony Gray was kept in hospital for a second night. Gray was taken ill on Thursday evening and has been diagnosed as having an inflamed muscle around his heart. Tony has been reassured this is not a long term or serious condition".
    15 October 2006


    A very disappointing performance from Altrincham FC Youth led to their elimination from the FA Youth Cup on Sunday afternoon, 0-3, at Worksop Town. Report to follow...


    "The result was daylight robbery" says the NL Paper reporter at yesterday's game at Oxford, a view reinforced by United boss Jim Smith who said of Altrincham, "They were never going to get a draw. I saw Billy Turley go to collect the ball and then the penalty was given. John Dempster did say he put his hands up but the ball was somewhere else" Actually, the referee clearly signalled the offence was pushing not handball as Smith implies. Smith went on, "It was a really amazing decision compared to when Yemi Odubade was put out on the track or when Rob Duffy was pushed over in the box". Getting nearer to one of the reasons why Oxford did not win, Smith said, "We've missed a lot of goals this season but we missed more today than all season. I think we should have been comfortably 5-0 up at half-time".

    Alty boss Graham Heathcote saw things differently. "I'm absolutely thrilled because we were down to the bar bones [because of injuries] and we came here with tired legs. Jim Smith's going on about the number of games we're having to play at this stage of the season but that's what it's like for him with his squad. It's even worse for part-timers [like us]. For some reason Oxford's centre-half pushed Pat McFadden. Why he did it, he only knows but it was a clear-cut, cast-iron penalty". In what was presumably an allusion to the scenes after the match when Altrincham fans needed a mass escort by dozens of stewards to get out of the stand and the ground, he said, "I don't like the Oxford fans' reaction, they seem to think they have a divine right to win".


    Above: Alty celebrate their draw.

    Disgraceful behaviour by some Oxford fans after the game took some of the edge off this excellent result for Altrincham. At the end of the match, the visiting supporters, who had given their side magnificent support throughout, had to be kept under the stand behind a mesh gate for their own safety and escorted to their coach by an army of stewards because Oxford fans had attempted to get in among them to cause trouble. The coach was then escorted at walking pace by an army of stewards out of the ground, past a crowd of Oxford supporters. The Oxford stewards were out in commendable force but the police were conspicuous by their absence.

    Match report here.

    14 October 2006


    Right: Rod Thornley was back for Altrincham at Oxford. Photo by Gavin Rathbone.

    Saturday's games:

  • Aldershot T. 4 Kidderminster H. 2
  • Burton A. 0 Gravesend & N. 1
  • Cambridge U. 1 Crawley T. 2
  • Grays A.1 Forest Green R. 1
  • Halifax T. 3 Tamworth 1
  • Morecambe 2 Exeter C. 2
  • Northwich V. 4 Rushden & D. 1
  • Oxford U. 1 Altrincham 1
  • St Albans C.4 York C. 2
  • Stafford R. 1 Woking 0
  • Stevenage B.1 Dagenham & R. 2
  • Weymouth 2 Southport 0

    Altrincham play their first ever game against Oxford United on Saturday as they search for their first away win of the season. Oxford, however, are unbeaten in all 15 league games this season. As well as Joe O'Neill, who has recovered from the blow to his head, suffered on Tuesday, fellow Altrincham striker and England masseur Rod Thornley will also be available for the game at the Kassam Stadium, following his tour of duty with Steve McLaren's England team which has cost him three appearances for The Robins over the last fortnight. As previously reported, both Steve Bushell and Colin Little remain sidelined for Saturday's game, as do Gary Talbot and Peter Thomson. Manager Graham Heathcote hopes to have some of his injured list fit to play in the Reserves at home to Ossett Albion this Wednesday at Moss Lane (7.45pm).

    There is contradictory Alty team news from the BBC: "Oxford defender Chris Willmott serves a one-match suspension after collecting five yellow cards. Rufus Brevett is doubtful with a tweaked knee, but Oxford are more confident about Andy Burgess (ankle). Altrincham should welcome Colin Little and Stuart Coburn back after recovering from ankle and groin injuries". (However, both Little and Coburn are not expected to play by club sources). "Doubts remain over Gary Scott (knee), Gary Talbot (calf) and Steve Bushell (knee), while Peter Thomson is still short of match fitness" adds the BBC.

    However, the Oxford Mail says that "Oxford United will probably be hoping that tomorrow's opponents, Altrincham, keep 11 men on the pitch! Twice now this season, the U's have struggled to break down - and been unable to beat - opponents who have had a man sent off... It's often said that the strength of a team can be gauged by how well they bounce back after a disappointing result or disappointing performance. And while the point from Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Aggborough wasn't such a bad result, the second-half display was disappointing by Oxford's high standards this season... The Altrincham players are part-time. Twenty-five years ago, Altrincham were regarded as the Man Utd of non-League football. They won the Alliance Premier (the forerunner to the Conference) in its first two seasons, and captured the FA Trophy in 1978 and 1986 aas well as reaching the final in 1982. But it was in the FA Cup where they became second only to Yeovil as the most deadly giant-killers in England. In addition to drawing with Everton at Goodison Park and with Tottenham at White Hart Lane, in the FA Cup between 1973 and 1986 they dumped out Hartlepool, Scunthorpe (twice), Crewe, Rotherham, Sheffield United, York, Rochdale, Blackpool (twice), Birmingham City and Lincoln. Sadly, the Cheshire club has nothing like the aura it had then. Still part-time, Altrincham have one of the lowest wage bills in the Conference, so all they are looking at really is survival... Manager Graham Heathcote has had to contend with a string of injuries... But the team have proved hard to beat, and get players behind the ball... United hope to have Andy Burgess fit after he hobbled out of the Kidderminster game with a sore ankle. And Gavin Johnson is getting closer to a return after his hamstring injury, although he will need some reserve team action first".

    This is United reports that "Oxford United are on course to create a new Conference points record if they can carry on in anything like their current vein. Jim Smith's side have amassed 37 points from 15 games this season, and if they maintained that ratio over a 46-match programme they would finish with 113 points... And the previous record haul in the Conference is 95 points, achieved by Yeovil Town in 2002-3... Altrincham, tomorrow's visitors to Oxford, won the Alliance Premier League in its first two seasons, when it was still two points for a win". The site adds that "Midfielder Chris Hargreaves reckons a ten-year-old pair of extra-thick shinpads saved him from serious injury in the 0-0 draw at Kidderminster this week. The former Brentford player had the gashes to show for it after a horribly high challenge from Harriers' fullback Paul Bignot which led to the on-loan Crewe defender getting a straight red card... Hargreaves, who has now taken over the ball-winning midfield role in Oxford's team from his former Griffin Park colleague Eddie Hutchinson, felt the U's became just a bit too frantic in their desperation to continue their winning form".


    The BBC has a recording of the midweek programme about Northwich Victoria. The BBC adds that "An investigation into the finances of Northwich Victoria, conducted by BBC Five Live Sport, has been passed on to the FA's compliance unit. Chairman Mike Connett was found to have failed to produce any financial accounts for the club. He was also revealed to have been the director of 13 different companies that have been dissolved - in one case leaving thousands of creditors unpaid. Mr Connett has so far declined to comment on the report".

    The Friday issue of the Non League Paper has ceased but the Sunday issue will continue.

    NL Daily says that "Witton Albion have rebuffed a move from Premiership Sheffield United for winger Sean Whalley and from Southport for midfielder Steve Connors. Whalley is training full time with Crewe Alexandra and Albion boss Jim Vince [ex-Alty] wants him to stay with the Coca-Cola League One club. 'Sheffield wanted to take Sean for trials and a lot of clubs are interested in him. I have to look after his interests and advise him on what he should be doing and the best place for him right now is Crewe. If he is going to become a Football League player then he will at Crewe'. Southport may return to Witton for Connors. Their initial enquiry did not offer the right platform for negotiations, said Vince, and the problems were not just over a valuation" reports IC Cheshire.

    The same source also says that "Northwich Vics have responded to their second five-goal hammering of the season by signing a striker and lining up a centre back. And the injury-plagued club are desperate for at least one more recruit, a central midfielder. Louis Dodds, who has scored 65 goals for Leicester City Reserves and Academy teams in the past two seasons, arrives at the Victoria Stadium on a month's loan. Vics believed they were about to land a 24-year-old centre back with Football League experience, but on Tuesday the deal was delayed by 'complications'. Manager Steve Burr is anxious to find cover for Keiron Charnock, who left Dagenham on crutches on Saturday to protect a damaged ankle. If the player he has targeted does not sign, Burr will look elsewhere quickly. He said: 'We have not scored enough and we have conceded too many. We are addressing those problems'... Charnock may be sidelined for three to four weeks, depending on what injury is discovered when the swelling on his ankle goes down. It may only be badly sprained, but damaged ankle ligaments seem more likely. He follows Carlos Roca (knee), Mike Carr (broken toe), Jon McCarthy (hamstring) and Chris Williams (broken leg) as casualties which have hit Vics this season. The good news is that McCarthy and, probably, Carr will be fit to face Rushden and Diamonds at home on Saturday. Burr added: 'The chairman (Mike Connett) understands the situation and is backing us to bring in the players we need... 'When things start to go wrong for you in football everything does and this is the worst spate of injuries since I have been here. I didn't risk Gareth Griffiths at Dagenham, but he had to come on - and he split his head wound open again'... Phil Senior will also be given the goalkeeper's jersey once more and his deputy, Ben Connett, sent out on loan. Burr said: 'Phil's performances have been a disappointment, but we will see the best of him. I had a talk with Ben and we both think he'd benefit by going out on loan. When a keeper is in and out of a side his decision-making is affected. He needs games and we would get back a sharper player'".

    The Portchat reports that "Southport boss Paul Cook was delighted that his team had got back to a level of good performance, despite a 2-1 defeat by Stevenage... He said: 'We are not even a third of the way through the season and people are writing us off. Never write us off. We showed on Tuesday what we can do with the squad we have available. That was a squad game on Tuesday with James Olsen coming off the bench'.... Chris Lane was sent off and will definitely miss Saturday's game with Weymouth... Cook said: 'It is the fourth game this season that we have gone down to 10 men... I am a little bit concerned that we have had so many games now where we have played for periods with 10 men'... Captain Mark Boyd failed to play the planned 90 minutes and was substituted raising more doubts over his fitness. Cook said: 'I was hoping on Tuesday to give him the full 90 but when we went down to 10 men I would have sent out a wheelchair to keep him on!'". Spot the difference between this last comment and that of Sammy McIlroy about Jim Bentley after the midweek game at Altrincham last Tuesday, "I was hoping tonight to give him an hour but when we went down to 10 men I would have sent out a wheelchair to keep him on!"

    13 October 2006


    Joe O'Neill has recovered from the blow to his head, suffered on Tuesday, but both Steve Bushell and Colin Little remain sidelined for Saturday's game at Oxford. However, manager Graham Heathcote is confident that all of his squad should be fit by the end of the month, in time for the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round.


    There are a few seats available on the Altrincham Youth team coach to Worksop for this Sunday's FA Youth Cup match (k.o. 3pm). If you would like to come, please contact George Heslop via the club (928-1045). Admission to the game at Sandy Lane is just £2. The coach leaves at 11.30am from Moss Lane.


    The BBC says that "Veteran defender Rufus Brevett has agreed a new deal to remain with Conference leaders Oxford United for the rest of the season. Brevett, 37, joined the U's on a short-term contract last month and has done enough in eight appearances to warrant an extended stay... He has previously served Doncaster, QPR, Fulham, West Ham and Plymouth".

    Right: The sweat on Warren Peyton shows that, like his team-mates, he has given his all for Alty as he leaves the pitch after the game against Morecambe.


    "Peterborough defender Chris Plummer has joined Grays Athletic on a month's loan. Plummer, 30, has not figured for Posh for the past month. The former Barnet and QPR centre-back is set to make his Grays debut in their game on Saturday. Plummer, who spent a season in the Conference with Barnet, will be looking to help shore up a Grays side that has won just one of its last eight games" reports the BBC.

    "Aldershot Town striker Kirk Hudson is to spend a second month on loan with Ashford Town (Middlesex)... Hudson, 19, signed a permanent deal with the Shots in the summer but made just three appearances from the bench before joining Ashford. Meanwhile, midfielder Mark Molesley hopes to step up his training following a back injury".

    The Football Conference says that "Crawley Town owners Chaz and Anwar Majeed have declared their intentions to play hard-ball in their attempt to raise the money they owe to creditors. Following entrepreneur Matthew Pearson's failure to buy the club two weeks ago, the Britannia Sports Management owner has again failed to meet a promise to Crawley's owners. Chaz Majeed has now lost patience, declaring: 'The message from me and my brother is this - we are in control and we will remain in control. If anyone doesn't like it, they can get out'. The brothers' SA Group Ltd will now remain in charge at Broadfield Stadium for the foreseeable future, or until a suitable offer for the club is forthcoming. Majeed added on Sky Sports: 'We will no longer be communicating with the supporters' trust after this mess with Pearson. It appears his cheque was written from an account that doesn't exist anymore. I was then promised a direct money transfer. This money has not yet arrived'. The Majeed brothers have until the end of October to repay creditors close to £1 million for months of non-payment"

    Southport manager "Paul Cook has brought in right back Danny Ventre on loan from Accrington Stanley. Ventre previously played for Chester City and under Cook's coaching played his part in John Coleman's squad for Accrington that lifted the Conference championship last season. Paul Cook has released trialist striker Awen Douglas who leaves the club today. 'He has not shown enough to me for him to stay', stated Paul Cook.

    12 October 2006


    Saturday's Reserves' cup game is at Hilton Park, Leigh RMI at 2pm. So, if you can't get to Oxford, please go along and support the Reserves.


    The winner of this month's Friends of Altrincham FC draw was Lori Flynn, with Jenny Heslop winning the runner-up prize. Details of the Friends scheme, which raises vital fund for the Club, are here.


    The STAR bucket collections this season have raised an excellent £651 at the first six home matches. In addition, at the Woking game at Moss Lane, a collection for the Hinckley United player Matt Gadsby's family raised £364-41 which the club rounded up to £400. Many thanks are due to all the collectors and donors.


    Altrincham Youth are away at Worksop Town on Sunday at 3pm in the FA Youth Cup, where admission at Sandy Lane (subject to confirmation) will be just £2. A map of the locality is here.


    Right: Pat McFadden is restrained by Morecambe captain Jim Bentley in the visitors' box on Tuesday night. Picture by Gavin Rathbone.

    SAM reports that "Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote said his side's game against Morecambe had been 'one step too far' after they fell 2-0 to the Shrimps on Tuesday night... 'We were second best all night', Heathcote told SAM Sport after the game. 'It was just one step too far for us, the players had no legs. One thing I can't do is put energy into players and we simply didn't have the energy to do what we wanted to do out there. I would have to see the first goal again because that looked a million miles offside and it gave them the confidence to pop the ball around after that. But our sharpness just wasn't there, either stopping them passing the ball around or playing ourselves. Luckily the schedule settles down a bit now and that will give us more recovery time'". However, for Saturday's game "Last season's top scorer Colin Little and first choice keeper Stuart Coburn are both expected to return to the matchday squad".


    The unofficial This is United site says that centre-back Chris Willmott will be suspended for the game against Altrincham on Saturday. Although, on Tuesday, the proliific "Rob Duffy was one of four U's players to be booked, and for him that was his fifth yellow card of the season, which means a ban", that won't start till after Alty's visit to Oxford. Also last Tuesday, "Andy Burgess limped off with an injury early in the second half". The Oxford team was: Turley, Anaclet, Willmott, Quinn, Gilchrist, Brevett (Day h-t), Pettefer, Hargreaves, Burgess (Odubade 54), Basham (Hutchinson 76), Duffy. Subs not used: Tardif, Dempster. The website adds that "United boss Jim Smith took leading goalscorer Rob Duffy down a peg or two after last night's 0-0 draw at Kidderminster. The draw extended the U's unbeaten start to the season to 15 games... He was annoyed with Duffy's booking – his fifth of the campaign... 'It was an absolutely stupid booking', Smith said. 'He's got to get his feet back on the ground and score goals, not be a prima donna. He'll be missed, that's for sure, for his aerial presence, although we won't miss him when he's greedy, like in the first half when he should have made Bash (Steve Basham) a goal. You should play for the team, and score for the team...He's got to learn things like that. He's a kid, and what he's done is not bad at this level". As for Burgess's injury, the player said "We've iced it up and hopefully I'll be OK for Saturday". Smith added "He feels it, obviously, but he could well be OK for Altrincham".


    The BBC says that "Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough was disappointed with the way his side surrendered their unbeaten nine-match run in Tuesday's loss at Forest Green. 'The run was going to come to an end sooner or later', said the Burton boss. 'You just don't want it to come to an end in a 1-0 (defeat) where we haven't really had a go'".

    "Crawley Town manager John Hollins was angered by his side's second-half showing as they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat to Weymouth. The Red Devils conceded three goals in half-an-hour to slump back to the bottom of the Conference table. Hollins said: 'We didn't start after half-time and you can't do that against a team who are third in the league. Credit to Weymouth. They punished us with every chance. They're a good team but the way we lost is disappointing'".

    Forest Green boss "Jim Harvey praised Forest Green's resilience as they climbed off the bottom of the Conference after handing Burton their first defeat in 10 games. Adriano Rigoglioso scored his third goal in five games to give Forest Green their second win of the season and continue their revival under Harvey. Harvey said: 'That was a different performance to what we were producing. The number of games we've had has helped, and mentally we're now much tougher than we used to be'" reported the BBC.

    Meanwhile, "Captain Stuart Thurgood's return to action was the only bright spot as Grays' poor run continued. Midfielder Thurgood came on as a second-half substitute at Tamworth after his recovery from a broken leg sustained in pre-season. Grays' boss Frank Gray said: 'Stuart makes players play, he talks to others around him and you saw that for the final 20 minutes'".

    "Weymouth midfielder Andy Harris has joined Conference South side Eastleigh on a permanent basis,,, after a successful loan with the Spitfires. Former Chester player Harris helped Weymouth to the Conference South title last season... Terras' boss Garry Hill plans to strengthen his squad despite a 3-0 win at Crawley helping consolidate their third place in the Conference". x Morecambe Today says that The Shrimps "picked up a deserved third win in four games after a thoroughly professional performance to see off Altrincham on Tuesday night. Sammy McIlroy's side outclassed their opponents and even when Garry Thompson was sent off, the Shrimps were still in charge for the 35 minutes they were a man short. The Morecambe boss decided to play all his cards after the 4-0 defeat to Crawley with both Jim Bentley and Thompson coming back into the starting line-up after injury... Sammy McIlroy was delighted that his team had got back to winning ways... He said: 'That was superb, a great performance. They responded after Saturday when they knew they had let everyone down and let themselves down... We should have won by more goals. We are not even a third of the way through the season and people are writing us off. Never write us off... The official, Mr I Smedley, had told McIlroy after the game that Thompson had been sent off for a headbutt. He was fouled but he reacted which is silly. But their player got away scott-free. I am not crying for Munroe to be sent off but it was six and six'". As for Jim Bentley, McIlroy said "I was hoping tonight to give him an hour but when we went down to 10 men I would have sent out a wheelchair to keep him on!"

    The Football Conference reports that "Mark Cooper, manager of Tamworth, has extended the loan of Lincoln City defender Tom Kemp for another month... and will now be with the Lambs until November 11". And "Colin Lippiatt, manager of St Albans, has secured the services of Bristol City youngster Elliot Benyon on a month-long loan. The 19-year-old striker has been a regular goalscorer for the reserves but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Robins". Elsewhere, Grays Athletic confirm that "Scott Canham has been released".

    11 October 2006


    Right: Morecambe's Jim Bentley gets Pat McFadden in his grasp. Photo by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography

    Match report here.


    The BBC says that "Stan Collymore has ruled out a return to former club Stafford Rangers. The 35-year-old former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker had been linked with a return to Marston Road, where he played between 1990-91. Collymore's agent, Simon Kennedy, told BBC Radio Stoke the striker has 'no interest whatsoever' in playing non-league football. Kennedy says Collymore wants to return to football but will only consider a Premiership or Championship club. The striker has travelled to Tenerife to begin an intensive fitness regime to prepare for a potential return to the sport".

    "Hull's Tom Matthews [full-back] has returned to Halifax for a second spell on loan. Matthews, 19, spent a month with the Shaymen earlier this season, without making a first-team appearance... Meanwhile, Halifax striker Andy Campbell is to undergo a scan on the knee injury he sustained in Town's win over Kidderminster a week ago". Meanwhile "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has brought 19-year-old Doncaster Rovers winger Craig Nelthorpe for a month's stay. Yates told the club website: 'He's an exciting talent who likes to go past players'. Nelthorpe has made three first-team appearances for Doncaster since coming through the club's youth scheme. He joins Reuben Reid and Paul Bignot in joining Kidderminster in loan deals".

    Rushden Today says that Paul Hart "has no definite plans to sign a contract yet after an unsettling start to his spell in charge of Rushden & Diamonds... four-and-a-half months since taking over... Hart admits there are issues to be resolved behind the scenes after some uncertainty over his own boss. Richard Palmer and Peter Rolton both resigned as chairman before the start of the Nationwide Conference campaign with Helen Thompson then being put in control... The Diamonds' boss said: 'It's true I haven't signed a contract for a couple of reasons which I think are private matters. I've already had two chairmen and I'm on my third now. Normally that's the other way around with managers! Other events have overtaken certain things so we will have to wait and see what's happening. I'm not being evasive or anything like that. I wasn't really creating any rubbish by mentioning this but it's just a little bit of fun for me!'" Speaking of last night's opponents Halifax Town, he said "I don't think Halifax have become a bad team or players overnight so this is another tough game for us. You can disregard their results as people should with ours as well.. Apart from two or three games this season I don't really think we have been anything less than entertaining".

    10 October 2006


  • ALTRINCHAM 0 Morecambe 2
  • Crawley T. 0 Weymouth 3
  • Dagenham & R. 4 St Albans C. 2
  • Exeter C. 1 Northwich V. 1
  • Forest Green R. 1 Burton A. 0
  • Gravesend & N. 1 Stafford R. 4
  • Kidderminster H. 0 Oxford U. 0
  • Rushden & D. 0 Halifax T. 1
  • Southport 1 Stevenage B. 2
  • Tamworth 4 Grays A. 2
  • York C. 1 Cambridge U. 2


    Above: Courtesy of Gavin Rathbone comes this fine photo of Richard Acton making a save against Weymouth. The GR Photos website has more pictures and copies can also be ordered from the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane.


    The Friends of Altrincham FC monthly draw will take place after Tuesday's match against Morecambe, in the bar at about 10pm. To enter the Friends scheme costs just £5 per month and there is a minimum prize of £100 drawn every month. All proceeds go to Altrincham Football Club. Details of the Friends are here.

    The winner of last month's draw was Graham Muir (right) who is seen receiving his prize from Lee Hendley (left) and Grahame Rowley (centre).

    The draw numbers are as follows:

    1 Simon Ellis, 2 Steven Raftery 3 Julianne Gresty, 4 Pamela Gresty, 5 Grahame Rowley, 6 Karen Rowley, 7 Paul Daine, 8 Paul Daine, 9 Steve Foster, 10 Steve Foster, 11 Peter and Judy Foster, 12 Peter and Judy Foster, 13 John Laidlar, 14 Mike Lloyd, 15 Daisy Seller, 16 Daniel Eadie, 17 Stephen Murray, 18 Brian Topping, 19 Dianne Swindells, 20 Derek Wilshaw, 21 John Browne, 22 Laurence Howarth, 23 Lisa Jones, 24 Dan Yarwood, 25 Dan Yarwood, 26 P B Smith, 27 Campbell McLay, 28 Jackie McLay, 29 John Brennan, 30 John Brennan, 31 Paul Brady, 32 G & J Muir, 33 G & J Muir, 34 Ian Langford, 35 Andrew Shaw, 36 Andrew Shaw, 37 Daniel Jones, 38 Niall Flynn, 39 Lori Flynn, 40 David Mardon, 41 David Mardon, 42 Nigel Hennerley, 43 Nigel Hennerley, 44 Neil Faulkner, 45 Neil Faulkner, 46 Anthony Henderson, 47 P J Crawford, 48 P J Crawford, 49 George Heslop, 50 Jenny Heslop.


    Right: Last August, Alty beat Morecambe 2-0 at Moss Lane, with goals from Little and Potts; a win that took Alty to fifth place in the Conference. In the picture, Chris Adams contests possession, as Owen, Rose and Melling look on. The Alty side that night was: 1. Stuart COBURN (capt.), 21. Stephen ROSE, 24. George MELLING, 15. Peter BAND, 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 12. Steve HAWES, 16. James OLSEN, 25. Nehru McKENZIE; 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 2. Steve ASPINALL; 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 26. Lee HENDLEY.

    Only Rose, Band, Potts and Owen of the starting eleven last season against Morecambe also started last Saturday's game against Weymouth.

    The BBC states that "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote is likely to be without at least six members of his squad. Gary Talbot, Colin Little, Steve Bushell, Stuart Coburn and Gary Scott are all doubts while Peter Thomson is slowly building up his match fitness. Morecambe will be without Chris Blackburn who is suspended after he was sent off in the 4-0 defeat at Crawley. Wayne Curtis is still being hampered with a foot injury and is unlikely to be involved".

    On Morecambe Today we read that "Morecambe suffered their heaviest defeat of the season and their second on the road at Crawley on Saturday. Schoolboy errors crept back in after an excellent disciplined result at home last Tuesday against a youthful Rushden and Diamonds side. It was the experienced pair of Ged Brannan and Chris Blackburn in the heart of the Morecambe defence who were the offenders on Saturday with two woeful defensive howlers. Blackburn got his marching orders five minutes into the second half and by then result was a foregone conclusion... Shrimps right-back Adam Yates [an ex-Alty trialist] made an excellent run into the 18-yard box and delivered a precision cross finding striker David McNiven [another who rejected an Alty offer and went elsewhere] who perhaps should have done better with his two attempts... Michael Twiss [also an ex-Alty trialist of several years ago] then gifted possession to Ben Strevens at the edge of the 18-yard box... The situation was worsened with the injury to striker Danny Carlton who left the field with a knee injury on 24 minutes after a collision with Lee Blackburn...An awful day for Sammy McIlroy's men and the small travelling support, who will wonder how a team who finished so well last year can be making so many mistakes that have led to so many goals against".


    Altrincham & District FA Youth team, (all of whose players were from Altrincham FC), beat Mid-Cheshire FA 4-0 on Sunday at Winsford in the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup, of which they are the holders. Tom Bailey hit a hat-trick, with Rick Crawford scoring the other goal. However, they lost midfielder Michael Simcock to an injury which required hospital treatment. But the injury turned out to be bad bruising rather than anything more serious so he should be back in action soon. Next Sunday Alty Youth travel to Worksop Town in the FA Youth Cup, k.o.3pm at Sandy Lane.


    TheSale & Altrincham Messenger reports on the draw with Weymouth watched by more than 170 England fans who "took advantage of the club's cut-price attendance offer to bolster the Moss Lane crowd. And although they were hardly treated to the greatest spectacle, it was at least more entertaining than the national side's drab 0-0 draw with Macedonia. Playing their eighth game in just over four weeks, Alty put in a weary performance - although one that their opponents failed to better".

    This is Weymouth reports that Terras' "boss Garry Hill has vowed to increase his efforts in the search to add more firepower to his squad. The former Dagenham & Redbridge boss watched his men draw 0-0 at Altrincham in Nationwide Conference National on Saturday despite creating a host of goal-scoring opportunities... Hill replaced Wayne Purser with Carlisle United loanee Raphael Nade at Moss Lane but all four of the strikers he used in Cheshire could not find the goal which would have handed his side a much-needed away win... He said: 'We had our chances at Altrincham but I am afraid to say we did not take them which was frustrating. We dominated them for long periods and once again I could not fault the lads for their commitment but in the final third we should have racked up a few. We have only scored 16 in 14 games yet we are still third in the table and that shows where the problem is. The difference between us and Oxford and Dagenham is that they have goal-scorers at their clubs who are in form. We need to start scoring more and we will be working hard to turn that current situation around. The transfer window does not open again until January but we have got the emergency loans and non-contract players' market. Whether we will be able to add or not we will certainly be looking. Altrincham had a strong side out [only six players out injured!!]. They had won four out of six at home and went into the match off the back of some good results but we controlled the game and I felt at times they were there for the taking'".


    From the BBC we learn that "Forest Green Rovers' Aradiusz Zarczynski has left the club to join neighbours Bath City. The 31-year-old Polish striker only joined Rovers this summer but made just three substitute appearances for the Conference club". And "Stafford striker Nathan Smith is likely to miss the rest of the season. The 21-year-old suffered a knee injury in a motorcycle accident during the close-season and has not played at all this campaign. 'In terms of goalscoring and finishing he's the best we've got at the club so we will miss him', Rangers manager Phil Robinson told BBC Sport.

    The Oxford Mail says that "Jim Smith may freshen up Oxford United's attack for tomorrow's game at Kidderminster - despite scoring five in their last match! Although the U's boss was delighted with Rob Duffy's hat-trick, he was a touch disappointed that strike partner Steve Basham didn't really look like scoring at Forest Green. Smith admits that they is thinking of starting with livewire substitute Yemi Odubade a start, but know that the striker's pace after coming off the bench is a huge asset". [Odubade played against Alty for Eastbourne Borough in the 2005 play-off final at Stoke and won his side a penalty in that game]. 'Yemi came on at Forest Green and took his goal very well and he could have had a hat-trick in the short time he was on', said Smith. 'I decided to freshen it up on Friday by giving Rufus (Brevett) and Eddie (Hutchinson) a rest. We'll lose Chris Willmott on Tuesday anyway because he'll be suspended after getting five bookings, so we'll probably have to freshen it up again'. Chris Hargreaves and Matt Day gave good performances at the New Lawn when they came into the team".

    The Crawley Argus reports on a player wanting to join Crawley Town, despite their failure to pay last season's players. "Striker Scott Rendell hopes his 'easy' hat-trick will help him seal a permanent move to Crawley... It was his first treble in senior football and he admits he will probably not get an easier one. He capitalised on two defensive howlers by Chris Blackburn in the first half and added a penalty shortly after the break when the hapless centre back was sent off... He has mainly been used as an understudy to first choice strikers Jake Edwards and Ben Strevens and had to make do with a place on the bench for the first ten games... He said: 'The gaffer has constantly been in my ear saying I would get my chance and told me to take it when I got it and hopefully I have done that... The club has been fantastic and if I have the chance to come down permanently I would jump at it'.... Manager John Hollins would jump at the chance of signing Rendell. The club's future is still uncertain, with liquidation a possibility if creditors are not paid the £500,000 they are owed by the end of the month... Rendell said: 'With the penalty, I looked at where the keeper was going as I took it because nine times out of ten they move early. I have a corner in my mind just in case but he went early and it made the job easy for me'".

    This is Exeter says that "Former Exeter City football bosses John Russell and Michael Lewis are to face trial, four years after their arrest. It was decided at Bristol Crown Court yesterday that the trial of ex-chairman Russell, his wife Gillian, and former vice-chairman Lewis, would begin on April 16th, 2007... They have denied accusations connected with alleged financial irregularities at the club. Lewis, 64, and Russell, 50, face four charges. It is alleged that between February 1st, 2002, and May 15th, 2003, the two men dishonestly conspired to defraud the directors, shareholders and creditors of Exeter City. It is also claimed that the pair dishonestly obtained by pecuniary advantage membership of the football club by falsely representing they had access to substantial funds. Russell's wife and former club employee Gillian Russell, now 51, faces a charge of theft and another of false accounting. She has denied both. All three were arrested in May, 2003. The club and private addresses were searched and documents seized. Lawyers said that more documents had yet to be obtained. The trial will be held in Bristol and could last three months."

    Northwich Victoria's "boss Steve Burr has swooped to sign Leicester City striker Louis Dodds on a month's loan. Burr has been eyeing a number of loan targets to bolster his squad following Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Dagenham. Dodds, 20, has been a prolific scorer, with 65 goals in three seasons for Leicester's Academy and reserve side. The former England youth player is yet to make his senior Foxes debut but was given a professional deal after being named 2006 Academy player-of-the-year".

    The Daily Mirror claims that Stan Collymore is set to return to his former club, Stafford Rangers.

    F.A. VASE

    Local clubs in yesterday's FA Vase draw included:
  • FLIXTON v Pickering Town
  • Poulton Victoria /Curzon Ashton FC v TRAFFORD/Parkgate
  • Salford City FC v FC United Of Manchester

    F.A. CUP

    If you cannot get to see Alty at Oxford or the Reserves at Leigh RMI on Saturday, another option is in the FA Cup 3QR where our neighbours Trafford, the last NW Counties side left in the competition, play Harrogate Town at Shawe View, 3pm. Alty go into the hat for the 4th Qualifying Round on Monday.


    NL Daily reports that former Alty Reserve, Anthony Bingham has joined Buxton. "Bingham, who has transferred from Mossley, has also played at Northwich Victoria, Altrincham and Bradford Park Avenue. He had been in fine form at Mossley but suffered a broken leg last December and is currently sidelined with a slight leg injury".

    NL Daily reports from Ashton United on "Paul Collins, who has impressed since filling the left back slot at the end of last month".Collins had one of the briefest Alty careers when he signed Conference forms for Alty a couple of weeks ago on the basis of a handful of Reserve games and was rewarded with a seat on the Alty bench at Forest Green. He did not get on the pitch and then left rather than rejoin Alty Reserves.

    9 October 2006


    Right: Seen here is Karl Munroe, who has forged a reliable partnership with Stephen Rose in Alty's defence. In the background is Warren Peyton.

  • Woking 2 Aldershot T. 0


    In his column in the Robins' Review, Alty physio Andy Hosgood gave updates on the Altrincham injury list:
  • Lee Hendley; having an x-ray after twisting his ankle at Cambridge.
  • Gary Talbot; suffered a re-occurrence of his calf strain and will be out a further three weeks
  • Steve Bushell; should be available in a week or so.
  • Stuart Coburn; should be available in a week or so.
  • Colin Little; should be available in a week or so.
  • Gary Scott (right); having a knee scan.
  • Peter Thomson; came through 45 minutes with the Reserves last week.


    Graham Heathcote wrote in Saturday's programme that "We can give any team in this league a hard game and we must ensure that no one leaves Moss Lane with any easy points. The players have proved to me in this hectic beginning to the season that they have the desire and attitude required. Now we must look to be more positive in our outlook and ambitions in this league. We need to string a set of wins together that would really push us up this league; difficult, I know, but not beyond us. After the Morecambe game the mid-week games stop. That will give us greater recovery time between games ... The players need to understand that the same eleven players week in, week out, have gone. Collectively, we have to do the job part-time and be proud of it".

    Meanwhile, Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy blasted his team's performance on Saturday at Crawley, where they lost 4-0. "It was totally unacceptable" he told the NL Paper. In future, "You can be sure that there will be more fire in our bellies than there was today, I can assure you of that", he added.


    Alty keeper Richard Acton was the official Man of the Match on Saturday and is named in the NL Paper's Team of the Day. Richard has now kept three clean sheets in his five appearances this season.


    Altrincham FC chaplain Andy Barclay-Watt, from Sale Baptist Church says "It is amazing how quickly a football club can get into your blood. Nine months after becoming chaplain here at Alty, I find myself trying to persuade people to get married on Saturdays when we will be playing away from home, slipping out of meetings to check Teletext for the latest scores and after our Sunday morning services, eagerly trying to find a Non-League Paper!... I love the fact that, here at Alty, the board and the management appear to have taken a long-term view and not tried to come up with quick-fix solutions."


    Last Saturday's gate at Moss Lane was boosted by supporter Pete Hughes's excellent idea to offer discount admission to England supporters en route to the international at Old Trafford. This attracted an extra 172 supporters to the game, raising £860 in entrance fees in the process, as well as boosting the bar, shop and refreshment takings.


    On October 21st, Altrincham FC is holding a "Meet the New Recruits" evening at Moss Lane (7.30pm). This will be a chance to meet Alty's new signings, including Steve Bushell, Robbie Lawton and Joe O'Neill over a Pie/Fish & Chip supper. Tickets are £10 and will be available from the club on 928-1045. Two days later (Oct. 23rd) there will be a fundraising Bingo Night at Moss Lane on Monday 23rd October 2006 at 7.30pm. As usual, any gifts for use as prizes, as well as tinned or packet goods and bric-a-brac will be very welcome. Details of admission will be published in due course but please contact the club on 928-1045 if you have any queries.

    STAR is looking for donations of prizes for the Christmas Draw. If you can help, please contact STAR via the website or the shop at Moss Lane on matchdays. STAR have organised a regular quiz night on Thursday nights at Moss Lane. The next Quiz will be on November 9th. On quiz nights the bar opens at 8pm and the quiz, which is on general knowledge, starts at 8.30pm. The entry fee is just £1 for each team member with all profits going to the club.

    8 October 2006


    In today's NL Paper, as well as an excllent match report by Dave Stringer, Graham Heathcote says of the Weymouth game, "You could see that my players were tired from the off. It's not rocket science. They didn't get back from Cambridge in midweek until 2.50am and it showed. The lads had to dig deep and they did well to get draw...Weymouth had their chances but their job was to beat our keeper and they couldn't. Richard Acton is really making it difficult for Stuart Coburn and I will have to believe in my decision on who to play when the time comes. But a lot of players have grabbed their chances. The more options we have, the better".

    Weymouth boss Garry Hill was less happy. "Normally I would be happy with a point away from home.. but this was a game that we could have wrapped up in the first half. I wasn't worried when the early chances didn't go in but towards the end I was worried that we might lose to a breakaway goal. Maybe the statistics tell the story. We have only scored 14 in 14 games... But fair play to Altrincham. They battled hard".

    This site's match report is here.


    The NL Paper quotes Alty's Stuart Coburn, who rooms with Peter Band on away trips. He told the NL Paper's reporter who was to interview Peter, "Make sure you've got a pillow handy because he'll send you to sleep. If I'm having trouble getting off, I get Peter to talk to me for a bit, Then I'm guaranteed a decent night's kip!"


    Howard Watts has kindly provided the Through the Years data for next Tuesday, here.

    Right: The hypnotic Peter Band! (Picture by Gavin Rathbone).


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance figures are here. Alty have now climbed above Northwich (just!) in the attendances table.


    As well as Alty v Weymouth, Saturday saw three other matches in Trafford on Saturday with England v Macedonia the most high profile but most disappointing. Elsewhere Trafford FC came came back from 3-0 down at home to Rotherham side Parkgate in the FA Vase, to level at 3-3 with 15 miutes to go, the equaliser coming from formner Alty Youth Dion Depeiaza, two minutes after he had come on as a sub. Depeiaza then missed a sitter to win the game before it went to extra time. But when former Alty player Simon Woodford was concussed in extra time they were reuduced to ten men and the game went on to a reply. Meanwhile Flixton beat Abbey Hey, also in the Vase.


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to Oxford are

    Tickets for the Oxford United v Altrincham match on 14 October are now available at Moss Lane. Admission is cheaper if tickets are bought in advance. Tickets can be purchased by calling at the Altrincham FC Club offices during office hours (Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm) or by visiting the Robins' Shop before and after, as well as half-time at any of the first-team matches (v. Tamworth, Weymouth and Morecambe) between now and the Oxford game. The Kassam Stadium at Oxford is all-seater and the standard adult price, in advance is £16, with full-time students paying £12.50 on production of an NUS card, and under 16s or over 65s paying £10. Fans in wheelchairs are also £16 or £10 for U-16 or over-65s, but assistants to wheelchaired fans are free. Under-sevens are free, in advance. Visit the Links Page for a map of the area. Payment at Moss Lane must be by cash or cheque.

    If you do not buy in advance, the prices from the North ticket office at Oxford (from 1.30pm on matchday) are £18 for adults or adult wheelchairs, £14 for students with NUS card in full-time education, £11 for under 16s or over 65s or wheelchaired fans in those age groups and £11 for under sevens.

    The matchday programme costs £2.50 from the Club Shop, the Priory Pub and inside the ground.

    The stadium seating area is a no smoking area. ALL away fans are allocated seats in the North Stand, along the side of the pitch

    For those going by car, the ground (The Kassam Stadium on Grenoble Road) is clearly signed from all major approach roads, with a brown football symbol. Parking for 1800 cars is free at the stadium but you should get there early to avoid disappointment. The coach will be parked near the North Stand turnstiles and is asked to leave five minutes after the final whistle.

    The Priory Pub and Restaurant invites all supporters to use its facilities just two minutes walk from the stadium on Grenoble Road. Away fans are welcome in their team colours and will have access to free parking (for 350 cars) - a £3 charge is made refundable if a purchase is made in the pub. The pub offers hot and cold food, sells the matchday programme and has Sky TV. It is a family run pub, at which children are welcome. It has a beer garden and opens from 11am. It has its own website.

    For train travellers, a football special bus (route 601) leaves stop R1 at the station at 1pm and 2pm and leaves from the stadium at 5pm and 6pm. The station is not within walking distance.


    Danny Adams was sent off playing in Huddersfield Town's win yesterday. Former Alty Reserve Chuku Otutu has left Salford City for Warrington Town whilst Mark Quayle scored Lancaster City's goal in their 5-1 mauling at Workingon yesterday.


    Weymouth report that "chairman Martyn Harrison is still looking into ways of developing the club's Wessex Stadium site but no firm plans have been drawn up yet. With the proposed deal with Asda now dead in the water, the supremo is looking at alternative developments including leisure facilities. Harrison said: 'We are working with local planners to see if we can come up with alternative plans but anything concrete is a long way off yet now with the Asda thing put to bed... We want to turn the football club into a financially stable unit and we are looking at all sorts of things we can do. The only thing we know we cannot do at the moment is put a superstore there'".

    The Football Conference says that "Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, has made an approach for former captain Denny Ingram. Ingram is currently with Nationwide North side Scarborough and they are due to pay £2,500 to Halifax as part of the deal for the defender. Boro were told that this debt would be wiped out if they allowed Ingram to return to the Shay on loan, with a view to a permanent deal in January. However, following Scarborough's victory over Lancaster in Tuesday's FA Cup tie, they have decided to pay the debt instead and retain the services of the Sunderland-born stopper. Scarborough chairman Ian Scobbie was quoted as saying that the deal would have gone ahead if they had lost but with the £3,750 prize money they won they will clear the £2,500 debt instead".

    "Just over a month after easing their administration worries, Crawley Town's ups and downs continue to astound and entertain both on and off the field", says the Football Conference. "Off the field, owners Chas and Azwar Majeed are still under pressure to find the £400,000 they owe to the club as well as having to pay in excess of £500,000 to their creditors for months of non-payment. That means that in total the Majeeds have to find close to £1 million before the deadline of the end of October, but also have the option to sell the club to buyers interested in clearing their debt... As things stand, Crawley Town and the Majeed brothers, who are still operating under a CVA, are still in massive debt and have 26 days at the time of writing to find a solution to their off-field problems".

    7 October 2006


    Above: Late in the game, all eleven Alty players defend a freekick.

    Match report here

    Right: Peter Band battles against two Weymouth opponents.

  • Alty line-up
  • Alty player statistics

    Saturday, 7th October

  • ALTRINCHAM 0 Weymouth 0
  • Crawley T. 4 Morecambe 0
  • Dagenham & R. 5 Northwich V. 0
  • Exeter C. 4 Halifax T. 1
  • Gravesend & N. 2 Cambridge U. 0
  • Kidderminster H. 2 Grays A. 1
  • Southport 1 St Albans C. 1
  • Tamworth 0 Stafford R. 0

    Monday, 9th October

  • Woking v Aldershot T.


    Alty Reserves' next game, on Saturday 14th, will not now be a league match at Guiseley but instead will be a cup game at Leigh. For more on this, see the Reserves' page.


    Don't forget Saturday's game against Weymouth kicks of at 1pm and, after the game, the England v Macedonia game will be live on the big screen in the bar.

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger previews Alty's game against "surprise title contenders Weymouth on Saturday... Despite a string of injuries to key first team players, Alty have exhibited passion, determination and no lack of skill in climbing into 14th in the table. Although Weymouth arrive at Moss Lane on the back of wins against St Albans and Gravesend, they have only picked up one point in their last four away games and this could be the ideal chance for Alty to once again press home their Moss Lane advantage. They have won four of their six home games so far this season and the Dagenham debacle aside, have looked capable of beating anyone on their home turf. The Robins' injury problems are not about to get any better though and Colin Little, Steve Bushell, Stuart Coburn and Gary Talbot are still out. Peter Thomson made his competitive debut in the midweek reserve game but he only played 45 minutes and is still some way short of match fitness. Meanwhile, Rod Thornley is fulfilling his duties as England team masseur and will also be unavailable for selection. Weymouth's only injury doubts are Nick Crittenden and Ross Carmichael and they are likely to remain unchanged from Wednesday's 2-1 win over Gravesend". SAM identifies the Terras' dangermen as playmaker and top-scorer Ben Smith along with former Southport and Morecambe winger, Lee Elam.

    This is Weymouth reports that "Weymouth boss Garry Hill is expecting his side to face a tough test when they visit Altrincham... The Cheshire outfit have leaked 22 goals in 13 games so far this season and are currently 14th in the table but the ex-Dagenham & Redbridge boss is adamant that claiming the three points cannot be taken for granted. Hill said: 'It is going to be another tough one for us. The bottom dozen sides have already proved that they are more than capable of taking points off those higher up but that is just the nature of this league. It is very competitive and no game is easy... To be honest I do not know much about their side. Obviously they came up last season and they are probably just adjusting to life in the Conference. What we have been told is that they are a very strong and physical side so we can expect a hard game'. [This is a strange claim as, according to the NL Paper statistics, Alty have committed the third least number of fouls in the Conference this season, 142, compared with the Terras' own total of 170].

    "Hill wants to see his third-placed side improve their away form, having only captured one point from their last four trips. He said: 'We are delighted with how things have gone so far... and there is a good buzz around the club but it is still early days'. Jason Tindall (groin), Nick Crittenden (hamstring) and Ashley Vickers (knee) will all miss the trip to Cheshire. Hill said: 'The same 16 players who were involved in the Gravesend game plus Trevor Challis will travel'.. . and Andy Harris will come back from his loan spell at Eastleigh after the weekend".

    The BBC claims that for today's game "Weymouth look set to be unchanged, with striker Raphael Nade once more due to be on the substitutes' bench".


    By chance, Alty's two away trips last week took their supporters on both of the Conference's most unusual routes for away fans. Above left, Alty supporters head from the designated coach drop-off point for away fans at the Recreation Ground at Aldershot, along the flat part of the otherwise steep, and twisty wooded slope leading to the terraces. Above, right, dusk falls on Coldhams Common, the pastureland through which away fans have a ten-minute walk from the designated drop-off point to the Abbey Stadium of Cambridge United. The local residents (cows) are seen crossing the path in front of the Altrincham fans.


    The York City forum reports that Timperley comic ""Frank Sidebottom will be appearing at York City FC Social Club on November 5th at 8.00pm". Curiously, this is the same night that Altrincham FC will be playing away at KitKat Crescent..


    "Tamworth boss Mark Cooper has signed Yeovil Town duo Brad Thomas and Gavin McCallum on a second month's loan. The pair recently spent a month with the Conference club and have returned in time for Saturday's derby clash with Stafford Rangers. Defender Thomas, 22, scored once in seven appearances for the Lambs, while winger McCallum started eight Conference games. The pair both played for Yeovil in their mid-week Somerset Cup win".

    And yet another departure from Haig Avenue where "Southport have parted company with coach John Durnin. The former Portsmouth and Oxford midfielder has left Haig Avenue due to other coaching and playing commitments. Durnin, who has been representing his first club Liverpool in legends' matches, joined the Conference club in the summer. The 41-year-old was part of a new-look coaching set-up at Haig Avenue alongside former Liverpool midfielder Mike Marsh and manager Paul Cook".

    The unofficial This is United website says that "Rufus Brevett has signed for a second month at Oxford United. The vastly experienced left back, who celebrated his 37th birthday two weeks ago, is on a month-to-month contract with the U's... Brevett has signed an extension to carry on as Gavin Johnson's replacement while the former Ipswich and Northampton defender continues his comeback from a torn hamstring... realistically it's a couple of weeks before he can be considered for first team action... Manager Jim Smith said 'Rufus can play in midfield, he can also play our wide if you want, and Gavin's the same... But as well as he's done, you've got to be looking at another fortnight because we'd probably want him to have maybe two reserve games before he's considered. With the games as they are in such a short period of time, there's not a lot of work you can do on the training pitch, you have to keep the players ticking over and making sure they've got the energy levels up... It's literally going from one game to another'... Smith has been delighted by the advances shown by striker Rob Duffy, who has now scored eight goals in nine appearances since joining the club in the summer". [After scoring a hat-trick on Friday night, he now has 11 goals in 10 matches].

    Dagenham & Redbridge report that they "have signed former Watford youngster Michael Bardle. Michael has impress in his two trial appearances for the reserves and goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's game".

    The Crawley Forum has a statement from Maclom Fillimore of Atherton Bailey LLP. It includes the following, "Following a request from The Devils Trust, who had received an approach from the football club, I offered my firm’s services as an intermediary to assist in the sale process between CTFC and a Mr Matthew Pearson, whose offer had reportedly been accepted in principal by the shareholders of CTFC. I met Mr Pearson last week and made it clear to him that my firm was prepared to assist once he had satisfied a due-diligence exercise and also arranged for the transfer of the purchase consideration of £495,000 into my firm’s Client Account. I insisted (and he agreed) that this was an essential part of the evidence that he was acting in good faith and had the resources to complete the transaction. In addition, Mr Pearson promised to send me documentation in support of his explanation of how a person of 24 years, without inherited wealth, could accumulate assets of several million pounds from his trading activities. A payment into my firm’s Client Account of £495,000 was duly received on Tuesday 5 October. On the following day, my bank advised me that the cheque had been dishonoured on the basis that it had been drawn on a closed bank account. I immediately contacted Mr Pearson who said that an error must have occurred which he would get corrected immediately... No replacement funds have been received into my firm’s Client Account, nor have I yet received the promised documentation. Attempts over the last 24 hours to obtain any satisfactory response from Mr Pearson have resulted in my receiving a text message today from him to say that he will be contacting me shortly... Meanwhile, under the present arrangements between SA Retail (the Majeeds) and Begbies Traynor, SA has until October 30 to provide the substantial funding necessary to meet their commitments under the Voluntary Arrangement with the Club’s creditors. These arrangements were understood to be unaffected by the 'offer' from Mr Pearson".

    6 October 2006


    Friday, 6th October
  • Forest Green R. 1 Oxford U. 5
  • Rushden & D. 2 Stevenage B. 2
  • Woking 0 Burton A. 0
  • York C. 1 Aldershot T. 0


    Altrincham FC still have a number of first team squad players available for shirt sponsorship. For just £150 you can sponsor a player and receive his signed shirt at the end of the season. If you would like to take up this offer, please ring Mike Healing on 07989 091689 or contact him via the Club on 928-1045 or via the club e-mail.


    The BBC is today reporting that for the Weymouth game "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote will hand fitness tests to Colin Little (ankle), Steve Bushell (knee) and Stuart Coburn (groin). Rod Thornley misses out as he is with the England squad as a masseur". This is a little surprising as Coburn, Little and Bushell have all missed several games recently and were expected to be out for the immediate future. However, in the absence of manager Graham Heathcote, who is en route to the match at York tonight, the accuracy of this cannot be confirmed by the Club at present.


    As detailed below, fans in possession of tickets for the England v Macedonia game can gain access to the Altrincham v Weymouth game for £5 tomorrow - all those coming to the match on this basis should please use turnstile 6 to show their England match ticket (the one to the right of the Main Stand on Moss Lane).

    The scheme: Alty supporter Pete Hughes has come up with a proposal which will, hopefully, draw some extra people to the Altrincham v Weymouth match. With Alty kicking off against Weymouth this Saturday at 1pm, and England playing Macedonia just six miles away at 5pm, anyone who e-mails Pete with his or her name and address will get into Moss Lane for just £5 on production of their England match ticket at the turnstiles along with some proof of ID. Fans heading for Old Trafford can reach the game by road (up the A56) or can catch the regular Metrolink tram service from Altrincham Interchange which is at the foot of Moss Lane, to Old Trafford (c.15 minutes away). Only those who send an e-mail in advance and produce valid England match tickets will be admitted at the discounted rate. Any questions can be directed to the same e-mail address.

  • For visitors, please check Routes to Moss Lane.

    And don't forget that the England match will be shown live on the big screen in the club bar at Moss Lane, after the Weymouth game.


    The NL Paper's "Big Interview" today is with Graham Heathcote (left). It starts by reporting on "the 131 hours he worked in the last fortnight, logged in his desktop diary" - hours which included a trip to size up future opposition in the Cambridge v Aldershot match. The article also recounts his history at the club from teenage player to manager. He is proud that on the financial front at Altrincham FC it is "No CVAs or 10p in the pound jobs here. When the day comes that we have got rid of all the debts, I can put my head on the pillow and say, 'I helped get it back to where it was'".

    Speaking of his two dismissals by referees this season, Graham said, "You've got to remember I came through an era where you could tackle. Not that I could tackle a hot dinner, but people would come through the back of you for fun, just to see if you'd got owt about you or not. The problem I feel football has now is that if you've any sort of passion, it's seen as dissent. The game is for school teachers and pupils. I'd give the game up if I had to sit there and be mute. I've put myself in the stand at the moment, but it's pure agony. I was like a bloody yoyo at Aldershot. I'd done more runs than my strikers up and down the steps down to the dugout... I've got to make sure I don't lose my own enjoyment from football by being up there".

    Graham went on to say how he is helping to ensure that the club is still there for his son's generation. Of the younger generation he says "They can't all go to Man United. They can't afford to, and we are the next level of football in Trafford - which is a bit of a daunting thought, but it's reality"

    Elsewhere in the NLP, Peter Band (right) says of the injury crisis, "The lads who have come in... have all done a great job... Take keeper Richard Acton [who] has hardly played for a year but he's kept two and a half clean sheets and made some great saves... Alty fans sing to Stuart Coburn that he's England's number one, but we're winding him up telling him he's only Alty's number two now!"

    Peter praised Alty physio Andy Hosgood who is "doing 12 hours at his normal job then he's having to treat about 15 players at training". Referring to organisation and team spirit, Peter assigns Alty's success to "a bit of both. The spirit, because most of us have been here from when we managed to scrape through on the last day of the season in the UniBond Premier to qualify for Conference North. This year Graham has brought in a few more players who have played at this level, like Steve Bushell from Halifax and Joe O'Neill from York. Graham goes and watches teams, like he went all the way to Cambridge v Aldershot... so that when we get there, all we've got to do is go out and play football. He makes it as easy as possible for us".


    Courtesy of Terry Rowley, the Conference attendance statistics have been updated, whilst Howard Watts's Through the Years information has also been uploaded for Saturday's date.


    A report on Altrincham Reserves's last-minute win over Woodley Sports, in which Peter Thomson made his competitive debut for the club, has been added, here.


    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth boss Garry Hill reckons striker Richard Logan should be playing at a higher level. The ex-Peterborough United forward grabbed the winner in the Terras' 2-1 victory over Gravesend & Northfleet but his manager also believes his lack of consistency is what is holding him back... When told Hill's thoughts, Logan said: 'If I can get a good run in the team and get myself properly fit I should do that hopefully (get 20 goals). I am not bragging but my finishing in training has been good so if I keep getting the right delivery then I should be able to score more for the team'"... Logan replaced Chukki Eribenne in Weymouth's starting XI, which also saw Shaun Wilkinson and Lee Elam come in for Simon Weatherstone and Steve Tully... Simon Downer had to be replaced in the second half but he has no injury concerns. Hill said: 'Simon cramped up a bit but he is another player who has had a lot of games. There are some tired legs here with the schedule we have had but you never get tired of winning so we must keep moving on'... Ashley Vickers will have the stitches in his gashed knee removed today. The talented defender is hoping to return to training next week".


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports on Alty's "valuable away point at Cambridge United. The Robins once again proved they are a far more resilient outfit than last year's model, twice coming from behind to eventually wrap up a 2-2 draw". Manager Graham Heathcote said, "The players once again showed tremendous character to keep coming back and we definitely deserved the draw. I thought we passed the ball around well and the system we played also worked very well. We have started to dig in and grind out some results away from home and now it's important that we keep on doing the job at Moss Lane. We have learnt our lessons from last season and we are a much better side this time round - we are on more of an even keel with other teams in footballing terms. We have been approaching the situation differently as well and we know that we can't just go gung ho when we go behind in games".

    The opposition view comes from the Cambridge Evening News which says that for "Cambridge United, after three wins in the last four games, it was all set up for a nice, straightforward victory over part-time opposition. But twice Altrincham showed the resilience to come back and bite Jimmy Quinn's side in the behind... United should be kicking themselves for not adding another three points to their tally against a workmanlike Altrincham side as they created enough pressure and opportunities to kill off the match". Manager "Jimmy Quinn blamed his players' naivety for Cambridge United being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Altrincham... Quinn felt his side should have hung on to take win the Nationwide Conference game rather than allow the part-timers back into the game. He said: 'It's very disappointing. We had other chances and if we'd taken them we'd have run out comfortable winners. We were a little bit naïve last night. It just seemed that when we scored the first goal we appeared to think we'd won the game already and we took our foot off the gas. Having taken the lead again at 2-1, we should have shut up shop. Instead we were put under the cosh just by Altrincham knocking long balls over the top of our defence, so a bit of naivety last night has cost us the three points'". Speaking of Alty's first goal, Quinn added "It definitely wasn't a penalty. It was ball to hand, not hand to ball. The referee has got that all wrong". However, "he said United had only themselves to blame for Altrincham's second goal. 'We got caught pushed up on one side when we should have been square at the back... we got caught with the ball down the channel and there was a race for it that they won... I like good, attacking football, but last night we didn't keep good enough possession in the final third and we gave it away too much, particularly in the last 15 to 20 minutes'".


    The BBC says that "Kidderminster Harriers have signed striker Reuben Reid on a month's loan from Championship side Plymouth. The 18-year-old made his first league start for Plymouth in last weekend's 1-0 win over Coventry. 'He's a forward who can play wide and in other positions. He's quick, strong and he should give us a boost', said Harriers' manager Mark Yates".

    "York City have signed Lincoln City defender Luke Foster on loan. The 21-year-old was due to spend time training with the Minstermen but has now been signed... Foster has started 16 games for Lincoln since signing from Sheffield Wednesday in June, 2005, but has not figured at first-team level this season. The central defender has previous Conference experience from a loan spell with Scarborough in 2004".

    The BBC also says that "Teenage Reading defender Curtis Osana has joined Aldershot Town on a work experience basis... Osana, a product of the Royals' academy, has made one senior appearance for Reading, coming on as a substitute in an FA Cup tie last season. Shots boss Terry Brown moved for Osana after his side conceded three goals in mid-week and with full-back Darren Barnard set to undergo groin surgery".

    Meanwhile, "St Albans City winger Rob Norris has left the club to join King's Lynn. Norris joined the Saints from Boston United in the summer but was unable to win a regular first-team place under Colin Lippiatt. The 18-year-old made eight Conference appearances but started just once and asked to leave following Tuesday night's draw with Forest Green".

    The Football Conference states that "Cambridge United manager Jimmy Quinn has made his first transfer signings... 31-year-old central midfielder Ben Sedgemore has signed on a non-contract basis and Watford midfielder Ben Gill has joined on a month's loan. Sedgemore was Canvey Island's player of the season last term but was released as they prepared for life outside of the Nationwide Conference... 19-year-old midfielder Ben Gill has been tipped as an exciting prospect by Watford boss Adie Boothroyd and joined the Hornets from Arsenal in June, 2005... Gill can play in midfield or at right back and centre-half ".

    Morecambe Today reports that after recent poor results, Sammy McIlroy said: "There was a lot of constructive discussion and a lot of issues were thrashed out from all sides. It was great to see the reaction from the players because this was a big week for us... The spirit in the dressing room is fantastic. We looked at the games we've lost and we were at least able to identify what had gone wrong and it was all down to us not taking chances and making the odd mistake... I still haven't seen a side that I can say are miles better than us - and I include Oxford in that. I don't want to make the excuse of having players injured but we have missed Jim Bentley's character and influence and both Garry Thompson and Wayne Curtis have been hampered... We need to start getting it right at home and I'm confident we will. Fans are getting annoyed and maybe that's to be expected but I know what's going on behind the scenes and I know the determination of everyone at the club to put things right... And when we get into the top few places I believe we'll stay there".

    5 October 2006


    The Robins' Shop now has the Non-League Club Directory in stock for those who ordered copies. Please collect them from the shop, at the next home game on Saturday. The Shop also has new stocks of replica shirts, in preparation for Christmas, so please drop in to see what is available. Other items are expected soon.


    Altrincham Youth's FA Cup match at Worksop Town's Sandy Lane ground will be played on Sunday, 15th October, k.o. 3pm.

    Alty Youth's fixtures till Christmas have now been released and are in the Youth section of the website.


    Cambridge United quote manager Jimmy Quinn after the draw with Alty. "'We should have won', Jimmy Quinn admitted he was 'very disappointed' with a draw against Altrincham after seeing his side take the lead twice". The site adds, "Quinn also felt that United's reputation in the Conference means that opposition clubs will lift their game, and in this instance the part-timers of Altrincham kept charging right to the end as some of United's number began to tire".


    Aldershot Town quote manager Terry Brown after their draws with Alty and Tamworth."We have had two great opportunities against Altrincham where we couldn't score and Tamworth where we couldn't defend. Altrincham beat Tamworth 2-0 and Tamworth haven't won in six matches. We were not unlucky in this game but were not ruthless enough and not strong enough".


    Tamworth confirm that "Two young defenders [were] signed on loan from Barnsley in time to join the Tamworth squad for their Conference trip to Aldershot... and put in a great showing in the Lambs' rollercoaster 3-3 draw. Twenty-year-olds Thomas Harban and Ryan Laight both slotted into the starting eleven almost seamlessly. Both of them joined Barnsley as trainees on the same day, July 1, 2004 and Laight made his first team debut in a 2-0 win over Bristol City last Febuary and has been sub once this season. Harban has yet to appear in the first team. Youth player Harry Hambleton has also been added to Cooper's squad but Gavin McCullum and Bradley Thomas returned to Yeovil after their loans while Graham Deakin is back with Walsall where he's being having treatment for an injury. Former Scotland and Birmingham City star Paul Devlin has been released by mutual consent. He didn't realise the amount of travelling involved in this league and, unable to give the necessary commitment, he felt it was only fair to the club and himself to make a decision now".

    Tuesday, 3rd October, k.o. 7.45pm

  • Aldershot T. 3 Tamworth 3
  • Burton A. 2 Crawley T. 1
  • Cambridge U. 2 ALTRINCHAM 2
  • Grays A. 2 Exeter C. 2
  • Halifax T. 2 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Morecambe 1 Rushden & D. 0
  • Northwich V. 1 York C. 2
  • Oxford U. 2 Southport 2
  • St Albans C. 0 Forest Green R. 0
  • Stafford R. 1 Dagenham & R. 2
  • Stevenage B. 3 Woking 2

    Wednesday, 4th October, k.o. 7.45pm

  • Weymouth 2 Gravesend & N. 1

    Rushden Today reports on Diamonds "having failed to win any of their last [five] games... Behind the scenes Diamonds are again fighting for survival as chairman Helen Thompson announced that opening Nene Park to a crowd of 2,500 costs the cash-strapped club £3,500 without wages of players and staff. Home attendances are already dropping below that figure within the budget and Hart's plans have also been affected through a 17-man senior squad which can't be strengthened with any new signings... The Diamonds' boss [has] allowed veteran striker Leo Fortune-West to join Torquay United on loan for a month to ease the wage bill. Meanwhile former Nottingham Forest midfielder Andrew Rigby is playing for nothing under non-contract terms... He admitted: 'People have got to realise the position we are in. It's very disappointing, I've got to say. But I'm paid to do a job which involves coaching and management plus all the financial side of things.. I know that I keep harping on about it. But there needs to be some realism employed by all concerned with the fact that the money has run out. I've got to say it and reiterating this point is the only way... This is a fantastic club. But the Max Griggs era went two or three years ago when, if the team were struggling, they would bring another player in at the click of fingers'" .

    Tha BBC says that "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has acted quickly following his side's 1-0 defeat to Halifax on Tuesday by signing Crewe defender Paul Bignot on a month's loan... And 20-year-old Bignot, brother of ex-Harrier Marcus, will go into the squad to face Grays on Saturday. Yates said: 'Paul is a good defender who can play on the right or in the centre. He will gives us solidarity'. Meanwhile, Harriers striker Dean Sturridge will be out of action until after Christmas after undergoing surgery on an Achilles tendon injury".


    Cheshire Senior Cup, 2nd round draw, w/c 6 November 2006:
  • Chester C. v Crewe A.
  • Northwich V. v Stockport C.
  • Stalybridge C. v Witton A.
  • Warrington T. v Cammell Laird
    4 October 2006


    A last minute goal from Ben Deegan clinched a 2-1 win for Alty Reserves on Wednesday night at home to Woodley Sports. Woodley took the lead in the first half, but Kieran Lugsden levelled the scores. Peter Thomson completed 45 minutes in his comeback game and Eddie Hussin played the full match. Thomson is seen, right foreground, with Kieran Lugsden. The Reserves have now won all six games this season. Report to follow..


    Alty's opponents on Saturday, Weymouth won tonight:
  • Weymouth 2 Gravesend & N. 1


    Alty Reserves play Woodley Sports Res.tonight at Moss Lane, k.o.7.45pm. Entry is just £2 (£1 for concessionaries). Peter Thomson is expected to play at least a part of the game, as are Kieran Lugsden and Justin Bowler. The match is definitely on despite the plentiful rain yesterday and overnight.


    Above: A crowded Alty goalmouth in the first-half at Cambridge last night.

    Match report here.

    3 October 2006


    Sky Sports are sending a camera to Moss Lane today (Tuesday) to interview Alty manager Graham Heathcote and commercial manager Barry Pond about the Club's offer of entry to the home game against Weymouth this Saturday. Following an idea fron Alty supporter Pete Hughes, the Club is offering admission for just £5 for anyone with an England v Macedonia ticket who has e-mailed in advance to register themselves.


    Altrincham FC have this season embarked on a programme to attract local children to its matches. Schools Coordinators Karen Rowley and Dana Laidlar last week sent out letters to 50 local primary schools inviting them to bring pupils to the club for a tour and a "Meet the Manager" session. This has had a promising response with enquiries already coming in. More letters will be going out in the near future. The club is also hoping to invite other local organisations to bring groups to Moss Lane. The pricing of child admission at £2 has led to an increase in children coming to matches, so the club is looking to provide better facilities for them. The Junior Robins also have improved numbers and have their own page on this site.


    Alty Youth lost 1-2, to a last-minute goal on Sunday. This website was prevented from filing a match report by the abject failure of Arriva buses, ironically the sponsors of Marine, (was it a plot?!), to run their Sale to Baguley service as scheduled on Sunday. Having waited almost an hour for two buses which did not come, your reporter gave up and went home! The Marine Forum has a brief report which says that after a goalless first half, Alty took the lead after 85 minutes but conceded twice in the last five minutes.


    Alty face the long journey to Cambridge tonight (Tuesday). The unofficial Rivals site at Cambridge United says of last Saturday that "The only loss for Cambridge was that Tommy Jaszczun was substituted early on and could now be a doubt for Tuesday's tie with Altrincham. Jaszczun came off on the 21st minute of the game with a slight hamstring pull.. Quinn will once again be looking to pick up maximum points on Tuesday night and if he does so it will be the first time in seven years that Cambridge United have won three league games on the bounce... United's injury worries have eased off slightly seeing as there are only five players out instead of the eight in the previous week. Once again it's at the back where United find themselves short on numbers [where] defensive problems have been furthered with Tommy Jaszczun's pulled hamstring on Saturday. He now joins Andy Duncan (thigh,) Adam Davies (knee,) Mark Peters (foot) and striker Robbie Simpson (ankle). However Simpson might be named on the bench for Tuesday's game and Trevor Robinson will be filling in for Tommy Jaszczun.

    The Cambridge Evening News states that "Jimmy Quinn hailed his side's ability to grind out a result after earning his first away win as Cambridge United manager with Saturday's 1-0 win at Tamworth. He admitted that United's display left a lot to be desired, but was thrilled they had hung on to collect three points... Quinn said: 'It wasn't good for my health on Saturday, but a win is a win and we're delighted to get another three points... We lacked a bit of composure at times... I'd told them not to give free kicks away, but they obviously didn't take that on board in the first half as we gave them eight or nine... We sorted that out at half time and were better in the second half, but it wasn't a terrific performance by many individuals in the team. The travelling fans were very vocal and got behind the team and I'm sure they went home happy because the result was great, if not the performance. Body language is everything, and one or two of the lads were showing Tamworth that they were tired. They've got to get that out of their system because that's just saying 'take me on and you'll get past me because I'm knackered'. They've got to be stronger than that mentally and that's something we'll work on'... He added that Tommy Jaszczun came off as a precaution midway through the first half after feeling his hamstring tighten".

    The BBC adds that "Ritchie Hanlon completes a four-match ban but Mark Peters, Adam Davies and Andy Duncan are all out sidelined. Rod Thornley misses Altrincham's next three games as he is away as a masseur with the England team. Colin Little (ankle), Steve Bushell, Gary Scott (both knee) and goalkeeper Stuart Coburn (groin) are also all missing for the trip to Cambridge". Peter Thomson also remains sidelined.and it remains to be seen whether Gary Talbot has recovered sufficiently to be involved. The recently injured Justin Bowler, Peter Band and Eddie Hussin were all on the bench at Aldershot so should be available again at Cambridge.


    Right: As Karl Munroe and Colin Potts look out for an aerial ball, Alty captain, Robbie Lawton, makes sure nothing gets through at lower level.

    Aldershot Town "Manager Terry Brown has hinted that midfielder Dave Lee may get a longer run out on Tuesday evening after returning to the first team fold on Saturday after over a year on the sidelines through injury. It has been a testing time for the 26 year old and his patience was rewarded when he came on as a second half substitute versus Altrincham... The boss also has some positive news regarding defender Darren Barnard who surprised many by featuring in the goal-less draw against Altrincham despite the requirement of a groin operation. He added, 'We need a bit of stability and experience and we are hopeful that he can last out until after the Woking match and he will then be able to be treated after that'". As for next opponents Tamworth, Brown said "Apparently they battered Cambridge. They will have plenty of players behind the ball and be competitive. They will play to their strengths and it is for us to break them down. That was the case for us on Saturday and whilst we were unable to do so I was disappointed with some of the reports about the game because I don't think Altrincham did deserve a share of the spoils. They came down to spoil the game and killed it off and came away with a point whereas we went out to attack and try to play our football. Views are in the eye of the beholder but I wasn't happy with the reports I read. We just needed a bit of luck on Saturday and an early goal would have made all the difference to us... but the bottom line is that we have near enough a new squad here and are only a quarter of the way through the season". There are some good match pictures of Aldershot Town v Altrincham here.

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports on the draw at Aldershot saying that "With eight first teamers still out through injury, the Robins put in another valiant performance to deny a decent Shots side".


    From This Is Weymouth we learn that for our Saturday opponents, "Wayne Purser scored twice as Weymouth rallied to beat St Albans City - then declared: It's great to be back'. The striker marked his return to the Terras following a month's loan at Eastleigh with both goals in the last ten minutes of his side's 2-1 win... And Purser, who missed nearly all of last season with an eye injury, could not contain his delight, 'It wasn't the best of performances, for me or the side in general, but I'm the sort of striker who would rather play badly and score, and that's what happened'".


    You can book for the STAR supporters' coach to the Cambridge game in the shop at Moss Lane on Tuesday or by ringing the club. The shop is also selling admission tickets for the Oxford United match on 14 October.

    Howard Watts's "Through the Years" records for 3rd October are here.

    FA CUP

    Ceefax blooped again over the weekend, reporting, as did some of the national press as late as Monday, that our neighbours Trafford had beaten Glossop NE 2-0 in the FA Cup 2nd QR; in fact, Trafford won Saturday's game 5-1, with former Alty Youth Deon Depiaza scoring twice and former Alty trialist, Glyn Barker, netting a hat-trick. Traford now host Harrogate Town in the Third QR. But neighbours Flixton went out, narrowly 1-2, to Barrow on Saturday. Alty enter the FA Cup at the 4th QR.


    The BBC reports that "Cambridge United manager Jimmy Quinn feels his side are heading in the right direction but says they must improve on their mental and physical strength. Quinn told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "Body language is everything and some our lads in the past have shown other teams that they were tired in games. 'We have got to get that out of our system because that will just tell teams to take us on. We must be stronger mentally and that's something we're working on'".

    "Oxford boss Jim Smith is the Nationwide Conference manager-of-the-month for September after taking his side eight points clear at the top of the table. He shared the award in August but is outright winner after U's were unbeaten and won six of their seven games".

    NL Daily says that "Jimmy Quinn, manager of Cambridge United, has offered trio Liam Marum, Rob Gier and Trevor Robinson three-month contracts. Gier's and Robinson's contracts were set to expire after Saturday's game and Marum was on a non-contract contract previously... This is despite the Cambridge manager also highlighting his reluctance to jump into any long term negotiations with any player at the Abbey Stadium. Marum has been an indispensable player since Quinn took charge... scoring two goals in two games". Marum also won Cambrdige's winning penalty last Saturday.

    2 October 2006


    Match report here.


    Alty supporter Pete Hughes has come up with a proposal which will, hopefully, draw some extra people to the Altrincham v Weymouth match. With Alty kicking off against Weymouth this Saturday at 1pm, and England playing Macedonia just six miles away at 5pm, anyone who e-mails Pete with his or her name and address will get into Moss Lane for just £5 on production of their England match ticket at the turnstiles along with some proof of ID. Fans heading for Old Trafford can reach the game by road (up the A56) or can catch the regular Metrolink tram service from Altrincham Interchange which is at the foot of Moss Lane, to Old Trafford (c.15 minutes away). Only those who send an e-mail in advance and produce valid England match tickets will be admitted at the discounted rate. Any questions can be directed to the same e-mail address.

    The England commitments, (as masseur), of Alty striker Rod Thornley mean that he will miss the Weymouth game.


    Alty supporters Neil Dawson, Neil Faulkner and Tom Jacobs (seen, right, at Cammell Laird) will be amongst those to get their second chance to see Alty's new striker, Peter Thomson, in action this Wednesday for Altrincham Reserves. Peter (seen wearing Lee Hendley's shirt) was injured in the game at Lairds in July and has not played since. After rehabilitation at Lilleshall recently, Peter is expected to play against Woodley Sports Reserves. K.O. is at 7.45pm and entry is just £2 (concessionaries £1).

    Despite winning all five of their games to date, Altrincham Reserves lie third in the latest Lancashire League table... but they do have games in hand on those above them.


    The "Kidneys for Life" charity game held at Moss Lane on Sunday drew some 450 spectators and raised a substantial sum for the cause. The Manchester City Old Boys won the game 5-1 against an All Stars XI which included other ex-City players.


    The Altrincham FC programme has won several awards in the past five years but Programme Monthly, the leading magazine for football programme collectors, buyers and sellers, has taken over from the Wirral Programme Club as organisers of the Non League Programme of the Year Awards... If you wish to receive a copy of a recent edition of our magazine, please e-mail your postal address to us at and we will be pleased to send you a copy.


    Former Alty youth player Ben Ashmole has joined Flixton. He last played against Alty for Leigh RMI.


    On the Tamworth website, boss Mark Cooper rues defeat in what "was arguably our best performance in the Conference" against Cambridge United on Saturday. "We tortured them and I don't know how Paul Crichton managed to keep a clean sheet. We deserved something out of it. Their penalty was fair enough... I didn't see the sending off, but rest assured Matt Williams will be fined as per our disciplinary system and I am also going to place him on the transfer list. After all our pressure he cost us the game.However, I couldn't fault the other lads out there today. We will regroup and try again at Aldershot on Tuesday night. But we will be without Matty obviously and maybe both Gavin McAllum and Bradley Thomas as their loan period is up. I want to keep consistency in the side so will be trying to keep them. With regard to players coming in, I am still looking for a centreback to play along side Simon Weaver and Tom Kemp".

    St Albans City report that Weymouth's "'Former St Albans City manager Garry Hill was in a relaxed mood following his sides late victory over his old club on Saturday but admitted that he was a touch concerned during the latter stages. 'It has been a hard week in respect of having two back-to-back defeats' [he said] 'and with 10-15 minutes to go after St Albans took the lead it did like it could be another disappointing afternoon. We had a little bit of a gamble and made a couple of substitutions and it has come up trumps for us... I thought that we bossed the first half despite kicking into the wind and we governed much of the game. St Albans had five across the back and weren't going to come out, and to be truthful I think they scored their goal from their first or second attack of the match. It was a good goal, great strike a goal worthy of winning any game'".


    The BBC confirms that "Macclesfield have sacked manager Brian Horton after a run of results that have left the club bottom of League Two. The Silkmen are currently seven points adrift of second-from-bottom Boston United, having failed to earn a single victory in 12 matches this season. A club statement read: 'Brian Horton has been relieved of his duties following a poor run of results'.. Horton took over at Moss Rose in April, 2004... He helped the club survive relegation that year and then narrowly missed out on leading the Silkmen to promotion the following year, losing in the play-offs".

    The UniBond League Newsletter reports that "with Sports Marketing Network, it has arranged a commercial / sales & marketing seminar for mainly, but not exclusively, UniBond clubs to be held at Witton Albion FC on Thursday 19th October 2006. The theme is 'Grow your UniBond club – How to make your football club vibrant, visible and viable... Expert marketing consultant Svend Elkjaer who will be providing literally dozens of proven ways that clubs can be become vibrant, visible and viable. There is no boring theory – just exciting, positive and proven action points drawn from best practice amongst sports clubs at all levels across the UK and abroad. Although the seminar is mainly for UniBond clubs there is a very limited number of places available for any other club who feel they could benefit from the acknowledged expert guidance of someone like Svend Elkjaer. Anyone from outside the League who is interested should contact the Committee’s Chairman [and ex-Alty chairman] Mark Harris on 07850 072166. This is another exciting initiative implemented by the Marketing arm of the UniBond League which, under the guidance of Mr Harris, has already implemented a kit deal for member clubs with the additional bonus of e-commerce for club sales of replica kits and club branded sports wear via the UniBond League On-Line store. All profits from on line sales go back to the respective clubs".

    1 October 2006


    After the Aldershot game, the NL Paper quotes Shots' manager Terry Brown as saying "I couldn't ask for more... They [Aldershot] could have scored enough to win two games today... We created chances [which] on any other day we would have slotted. We did more than create chances, we missed open goals... [Our] finishing was not good enough". However, Graham Heathcote said, "You only have to look at our away record and the injuries I have got to see it was going to be tough but we've come here and got a clean sheet and I'm delighted with that. We kept our shape and our dsicpline and made it difficult for them to break us down. They had a lot of the ball but it's what you do with it that counts. We could have nicked it. You can't legislate for ther keeper throwing the ball to you, but we didn't take the opportunity. People say it might not have been just if we'd won but we've had games nicked off us".


    Above: Steve Aspinall prepares to cross the ball as Val Owen and Colin Potts look on.

    Match report here.

    Above: Graham Heathcote congratulates his team as they salute the travelling fans at the end of the game.