Altrincham Football Club News Archive
January 2007

31 January 2007


In advance of the visit of Altrincham to Southport this Saturday, Southport have signed four new players. Their website says "It has been a hectic and successful deadline day at Haig Avenue. Our new faces will energise the squad starting at training tomorrow. Peter Davenport has brought in former Preston North End, Newcastle United and Boston United midfielder Chris Holland. Prescot Cables' hot prospect Mark Duffy has also joined. Right-winger Duffy has netted eleven times this season at Hope Street and is highly rated. Back on the experienced line, centre back Matt Hocking has joined the Port from Fisher Athletic. Hocking is a left sided defender who has vast Conference experience with Stevenage. Striker Sean Paterson has also joined for the rest of the season from Blackpool. Peter Davenport is delighted with the new recruits and still has several irons in the fire that may come in as loans and non contract in the next few days .


Tamworth, who knocked Altrincham out of the Trophy, went out of the competition themselves on Tuesday night.

FA Trophy 2 Replay:

  • Welling 2 Tamworth 1


    The January "Friends of Altrincham FC" monthly draw, organised by Steve Foster, was won by Karen Rowley who holds number 6 in the competition. The £25 second prize was won by G & J Muir (number 33). The Club is grateful to all subscribers to the Friends Scheme.


    The NL paper reports that on Saturday, whilst playing for Leigh RMI at Alfreton, Altrincham's on-loan club skipper "Eddie Hussin escaped with a booking after appearing to throw a punch".


    Alty are at Southport on Saturday and unconfirmed reports on the Southport Forum claim that "FGR's Meechan was due to sign [for Southport], but has now signed for Chester". And, also unconfirmed is a report that Port's loan player "Ciaran Donnelly has returned to Blackpool."


    NL Daily reports that "Crawley Town have made former Brentford winger Jamie England their sixth January signing and are hoping to bring in at least one other new face before Wednesday's deadline. England , 18, has joined until the end of the season as a free agent following his release from Griffin Park towards the end of last year".

    York City report that "Following yesterday’s news that Clayton Donaldson has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Hibernian Football Club at the end of the season and as a result York City will not be eligible for compensation under FIFA rules, Minstermen Managing Director, Jason McGill, made the following statement. The Board of York City Football Club has been consistent throughout and we have clearly stated our desire for Clayton Donaldson to remain a York City player to give the Club the best possible chance of promotion to the Football League. On this basis, we have rejected various offers of up to £200,000 for the player to move in the transfer window. Under FA rules, it was our assumption that we would receive compensation at a tribunal at the end of the season for the time and efforts spent by the Manager and the Club to develop this player should he decide to leave York City. It is interesting to note Clayton Donaldson’s agent has introduced his player to a Scottish Club, on the awareness that the Club, under FIFA rules, would not be entitled to a reasonable assessment of the player’s worth at an independent tribunal. Before Clayton Donaldson joined York City it is fair to state he was a player who had enjoyed little success. It is only the work of Billy McEwan and York City Football Club that has made Clayton Donaldson the player he is today. It is devastating to think York City will receive absolutely nothing when he joins Hibernian at the end of the season. Although we have been offered £50,000 from Hibernian for Clayton to leave immediately, our position remains the same, Clayton Donaldson will stay at York City until the end of the season. We only hope the intervention of this transfer arrangement has not unsettled our player and that Clayton will still perform to the best of his ability. As ever, the Board has tried to act honourably and in the best interests of York City Football Club and our supporters""

    The BBC reports one of the quickest arrivals and departures on record... "Former Weymouth boss Garry Hill has had a change of heart and will not be joining Grays as director of football. Grays had announced on Tuesday that Hill would work there on a non-contract basis until the end of the season. 'Garry wants to be a manager - he didn't want this to jeopardise any positions which might come up', chairman Mick Woodward told BBC Essex. 'I can't offer him the manager's job here because Justin Edinburgh is my manager and he's doing a great job. Former Tottenham defender Edinburgh is the Conference club's fourth manager of the season. He added: 'But I am looking for a director of football to ease some of the pressure on me. If the right person comes along then I'll be appointing them. But I would like to thank Garry for taking the time to talk to us'. Meanwhile, Grays have signed ex-Reading striker Pierre Joseph-Dubois, 18. Mark Wright from his loan spell at Crawley Town".

    In fact, the Grays Athletic website stated at "01:34 PM Following discussions Gary Hill has decided not to accept the position of Director of Football at this stage of the season as he feels this could jeopardise any future managerial posts that may be on offer", having said at "10:13 AM Grays Athletic have today appointed Garry Hill as Director of Football, Garry is on a non-contract basis until the end of the season. Justin Edinburgh remains Manager of Grays Athletic; Chairman Mick Woodward has appointed Garry for his knowledge of the non-league circuit and is keen to tap into this knowledge in the quest to strengthen the current squad and to assist in turning around the form".

    Before last night's game Tamworth reported that the "FA Trophy replay game against Welling on Tuesday night will take place at the home of Gravesend and Northfleet due to a lack of floodlights (safety related) at Welling’s Park View Road ground and former Lambs' boss Darron Gee will be joining Gary Mills once again as Assistant Manager in the dugout at Stonebridge Road. Gee, who managed Tamworth when Mills departed for Coventry City four years ago, took charge of Alfreton on Saturday after Mills came to The Lamb on Friday but has now left the Derbyshire club to take his position up alongside the returning Tamworth boss and will make the journey south on Tuesday night with the squad as they go in search of a victory and potential home tie against Worcester City".

    Oxford's unofficial This is United site says that "Some of Oxford United's players were like rabbits caught in car headlights last night as they froze in front of the TV cameras. And manager Jim Smith believed the fear factor played a big part in what he described as 'probably their worst performance of the season'. Oxford's one remaining proud record, of being unbeaten at home, disappeared with a 1-0 defeat by Rushden & Diamonds, who completed an easy double. United's season is disintegrating fast. This was their ninth Conference game in succession without a win and at this stage they don't even look that great a bet for the play-offs. The players were booed off by their fans at the end, and Smith admitted the 1-0 scoreline maybe even flattered them... Smith said: "I'd been saying how well they've been playing, apart from scoring goals, and I thought if they took that on board, and carried on playing how most of the time we've been playing this last spell, and played like that against this Rushden side, they would win the game. But they never played at all... We didn't deserve anything. The first half was appalling. We didn't create one problem for Rushden. I couldn't believe what they were doing. But that's why they're playing at this level, because one day they play well, the next day they don't. Tonight it was all wrong. From the first ten minutes you knew it was all wrong. Maybe it was fear – we had a few young ones in. Sky, the importance of the game . . . whether that affected them I don't know. It was a new team, with people coming in and being new to one another. That might have been a difficulty, but it shouldn't have been, because the game was there to be taken and we didn't perform. The disappointing thing was that we had some experienced players out there".

    Following the leg fracture suffered by Vics' Jonny Allan, former Alty physio "Gary Thompson would like to express his thanks to Weymouth's club doctor Mr Gankande and Mr Roger Hoare for their prompt and professional action during Saturday's game. Many thanks from myself the staff and players of Northwich Victoria F.C". the statement is signed by "Gary Thompson, Sports Therapist".

    Morecambe confirm that "Midfielder Jamie Burns put pen to paper [yesterday] to make him a Morecambe player until the end of the current season. Burns had been on loan at Christie Park from the Shrimps' seaside neighbours Blackpool but he suffered a hamstring injury during the away fixture at Tamworth on the 30th December. Manager Sammy McIlroy feels the 22 year old is a good prospect for the future and was keen to sign him and hopes to extend the contract at the end of the season".

    Forest GreeN Rovers announce that "It is announced with immediate effect that Rovers' longest serving player for Forest Green Rovers in the Football (Nationwide) Conference – over 200 appearances - is to leave the club by mutual consent. Today being his 27th birthday – Alex Meechan – affectionately known around the club as Meech, wishes to secure his footballing future nearer his current home in Liverpool. Forest Green Rovers will forever have a special place in their heart for Alex but they recognise that with him now wishing to settle down with his partner Lynsey and marry later this year, they should work with him to afford him time to find a new club nearer to his new home. It was also recognised, for him to continue playing at the same standard of football, that he should have the opportunity to do so before the transfer window closes in 48 hours. Several clubs have already expressed an interest in signing him and Rovers have no doubt that he will sign for a new club before close of play on 31st". Also at FGR, "Negotiations are now complete which will see 'keeper Steve Williams recalled by Wycombe Wanderers this week and Shaun Lamb (left side midfield/defender) arrive on loan from Bristol City for an initial month with a view to remaining until the end of the season".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Majority shareholder Paul Barry has put forward a last-ditch plan to save Cambridge United.... Mr Barry told shareholders at the club's annual meeting that he was ready, together with vice-chairman Johnny Hon and American businessman Adrian Hanauer, to plough £600,000 into United over the next two years. However, Mr Barry said he and his fellow proposed investors would only do so if the 20% cap on shareholdings was lifted, the cost of shares reduced from 50p to 5p and the pool of shares increased to 50 million. He said: 'Right now, there's no incentive to new money coming in. If someone put in £900,000 now, they'd only get a six per cent share... If we make these changes and new money comes in, it will have more of a sizeable say in what goes on'. As an investor in new online companies and a high-level poker player, Mr Hanauer is a keen gambler. But the co-owner and general manager of United Soccer League side Seattle Sounders, is ready to take a punt on helping United.

    Seattle-based Mr Barry said: 'Adrian is a personal friend of mine and he's football mad. He has come over and watched United a few times... He has seen the passion of English football and really enjoyed it'... Mr Hanauer would certainly be able to add some financial clout to United. His family owns the biggest bedding product manufacturing company in the US and he is chief executive of Northwest Framing, who run a large chain of picture framing stores. Mr Hanauer has invested in numerous new technology firms at their early stages including and has founded two new online firms Curious Office Partners and ImageKind, a marketing site for artists. Mr Barry said the only alternative for United would be to go back into administration as the club would be insolvent with estimated running losses of around £350,000 this season and annual £200,000 rent payments...

    But while Mr Barry has received the support of Mr Hon, former chairman Reg Smart and Cambridge Fans' United, pending a formal decision at their annual meeting next month, exdirectors Gary Harwood, Roger Hunt, Terry Baker, Gerald Lowe and Richard Summerfield had mixed feelings over the plans and with 75% needed to pass, they hold a potential 27 per cent blocking vote. John Howard was not at the meeting. Mr Baker, who quit as chairman last June following the Abbey Aid [pop concert] debacle that lost United £99,500, called for Barry to stand down. He said: 'Your 565,000 shares are worth as much as somebody's one share, which is sod all, and that's how much influence you should have in the running of the business'... There was one bright spot on the cash front with the announcement that United had signed a deal worth almost £300,000 over the next 10 years with the Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery".

    Meanwhile, "Paul Barry, the club's major shareholder, told the annual general meeting last night that legal points in the contract drawn up when the Abbey was sold to Bideawhile in 2004 make it impossible for them to buy back the ground. The stadium was sold to former director John Howard and his business partner Stephen Clark's company Bideawhile for £1.9 million in 2004, to prevent the club going into administration. United now pay an annual rent of £200,000 and only have until the end of June to buy back the Newmarket Road End and prove they have lease agreements in place for the redevelopment of the site. But Mr Barry said 'I don't see us having a way of exercising the buy back option the way it is currently written. Solicitors did check through the contract, but we have now discovered meeting the conditions of planning consent before we build is impossible to do. This club needs to sort out the issue of where it plays football. We are in a ground steeped in history, but it is not steeped in income-earning potential. I think we need to unlock its value and move on'... For now, the club wants a reduction in its £4,000 a week rent, and in the meantime, Mr Barry is calling on five former directors and one current director to stump up the cash. It is claimed that former chairmen Gary Harwood and Roger Hunt, Johnny Hon, Richard Summerfield, Gerald Lowe, and landlord John Howard promised to pay the rent should United default - and Barry urged them to do so at last night's meeting".

    Despite their problems United still have cash for transfers. "Cliff Akurang has snubbed the offer of a move to Cambridge United despite the club agreeing a fee with Dagenham & Redbridge for the player. Chairman Lee Power said United had an undisclosed fee, believed to be five figures, for the 25-year-old striker accepted by the Nationwide Conference leaders. It would have been the first time United have splashed out on a player since signing Warren Goodhind from Barnet for £80,000 in 2001. But Akurang... rejected the move on Monday... Power said: 'He decided to stay there. That's the difficulty we've got in the situation we're in'".

    "It also emerged at the club's annual meeting last night that United could be on the receiving end of another welcome windfall courtesy of Dave Kitson. Another two appearances from Kitson for Reading, who was sold to the Premiership side for an initial fee of £150,000 on 2003, will net United another £25,000 as he brings up his century with the club. Meanwhile, Power said he would be making a decision on what action to take against Paul Crichton... The keeper was dropped by Jimmy Quinn from Saturday's 3-0 win at home to Woking after an official complaint was made by a fan over his conduct to supporters during last Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Rushden & Diamonds".

    And Burton Albion state that "The home fixture against Forest Green Rovers scheduled for Tuesday 13th March has been brought forward by 24 hours to the Monday evening to allow the game to be shown live on Sky Sports".

    30 January 2007


    On Monday 5 February 2007, the Club will be holding a Fans' Forum at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite. Chairman Geoff Goodwin, vice-chairman Grahame Rowley and other Board members will be in attendance, as will manager Graham Heathcote. Please come along and take you opportunity to get up-to-date with developments at your football club. Entry is free.

    And before that, this Thursday, it's STAR Quiz Night at Moss Lane, starting at 8.30pm, hosted by question-master Steve Raftery

    Then, on Sunday (4th), there is a Car Boot Sale on the Moss Lane car park. The sale runs from 8am till 1pm and pitches cost just £5 for cars and £7.50 for vans and can be booked by ringing the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail. All proceeds go to the Football Club, so please support the event if you can.


    Paul Cuddy (on left in picture) and Jeff Johnson (right) were the guests at a fans' forum after the STAR AGM meeting last night.

    On Monday STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust, held the first part of its AGM, in the Noel White Suite. The STAR website will have the official report on this. However, by way of a brief summary, it can be confirmed that part two of the AGM will include the election of officers of STAR and those standing for office were announced as Peter Lewis, Steve Raftery, Dawn Abbott, Mark Murray and Mike Ainsworth.

    The AGM and a subsequent Fans' Forum with guests Jeff Johnson and Paul Cuddy, were compered expertly by Brian Flynn whose knowledge of Alty history is so detailed that he even had a friendly argument with Jeff about the identity of the team he played against on his Altrincham debut!

    Paul Daine explained that STAR had had to change its auditors and the new company may not now complete the work on the accounts till early May 2007. There was warranted praise for Paul for the hard work he has done on the STAR finances. Membership director Peter Lewis confirmed that STAR currently has 104 adult members, 18 juniors, 54 seniors, 2 corporate, 42 life-members and 14 family memberships recorded, a total of 234. Brian pointed out that, although this figure is down, it is still a much higher percentage of our home attendance figures than most Trusts enjoy. For the club, Director Andrew Shaw recorded thanks for the great fundraising efforts of STAR.

    Amongst other topics, the new link between the Football Club and Hale Barns Junior FC was saluted as a very positive step forward. Alty Secretary Derek Wilshaw also confirmed that the admission price for matches at Moss Lane for all under-14s (home or away fans) is to continue at £2 per game.

    There was much debate about the STAR supporters' coaches, given that one or two of the longer away trips, notably Woking at the end of January, had incurred a substantial loss. Over the season as a whole the deficit was £438 to date but there were several long trips to come. The team's poor away form - they have not won away all season - was felt to be one factor, but there were others such as the lack of the novelty factor this season as fans had visited most of the "new" grounds last season. It was agreed that the issue of whether to subsidise the coach travel would be put to the STAR membership as a whole as there was no consensus at the meeting. Mark Eckersall has now stood down as travel coordinator due to other commitments and his magnificent efforts over 11 years were gratefully acknowledged by the meeting. Tom Jacobs has assumed the travel coordinator role and he and others put forward a number of positive suggestions on how to address to the deficit. There was also debate about the STAR quiz nights and the best night on which to hold these.

    Once the formal business was over, a "Forum" started, at which the guests were Alty heroes of the 1980s, defender Paul Cuddy, striker/defender/midfielder Jeff Johnson and current manager and former player Graham Heathcote. This proved to be highly entertaining with some stories which are best not repeated on the website if gaol is to be avoided for those characters named in some of the tales! Jeff and Paul both explained how they had arrived at Moss Lane. In Paul's case, he had been pursued by Arsenal and Bristol City but his then club Chorley had effectively hindered those approaches and he eventually moved to Altrincham. Jeff, for his part, had joined from Hyde United and had had to visit the local butcher's to obtain his contract release, as the Hyde chairman at the time was a butcher.

    Both spoke of their experiences as internationals at semi-pro level, Jeff having won 18 caps and Paul three. Former Alty man Gerry Casey was identified as the hardest player they had ever encountered. Amongst the many tales of former player and boss John King's exploits, Graham Heathcote recalled how just before an FA Cup tie at Droylsden, the players had sat down to a pre-match meal when a pantomime cow walked across the room. Inside it were John King and John Rogers! Another of John's tricks to break pre-match tension had been to go into the changing rooms before a game and take off his clothes to reveal that he was wearing suspenders and a bra.

    Paul, Jeff and Graham also recalled boozy matchday nights in the Chequers Club at Moss Lane and, after one of these sessions on a Saturday, goalkeeper Peter Eales had not got home till the Tuesday following! Graham also recounted how during one of manager Tony Sanders's lengthy tactical talks, when he had laid out a subbuteo pitch to show the players his proposed tactics and set pieces, England semi-pro international John Owens had sloped off and returned with a bucket of water. He threw this over the subbuteo baize and declared that the match had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch! John King had also once taken a fancy to a Union Jack at the top of a flag pole and had shinned up to get the flag. Returning triumphantly to the ground, he discovered that the flagpole had only just been painted and that he was covered from head to toe in white paint. And before the 1995 match at White Hart Lane against Tottenham, Mick Carmody got punched in the eye on the team coach by a member of the backroom staff and had to play the biggest game of his career with visibility only out of one eye!

    Asked about Tommy Docherty, who briefly managed Altrincham in 1987, Jeff Johnson said that The Doc was a thoroughly nice man with an admirable capacity to down Rioja yet keep his judgement unimpaired. Graham revealed that he had been approached to be the Doc's assistant but had turned the post down to stay with John King at Runcorn.

    All in all, it was both an informative and very entertaining evening - an excellent format which will hopefully be repeated. Many thanks are due to Paul, Jeff and Graham for giving their time to share their memories and views with supporters.

    For Terry Rowley's "Alty Legends" articles, click the following links:

  • Paul Cuddy
  • Jeff Johnson


    The FA has announced the National Game XI for the friendly against Northern Ireland on 13 February. Alty's Lewis Chalmers is a "contingency player" for the England squad. The main squad is : Danny Alcock (GK) - Stafford Rangers, Martin Rice (GK) - Exeter City, Adam Yates - Morecambe, Adam Quinn - Halifax Town, Kieran Charnock - Northwich Victoria, Scott Griffiths - Dagenham & Redbridge, Ronnie Henry - Stevenage Borough, Michael Carr - Northwich Victoria, Les Afful - Forest Green Rovers, Craig Stanley - Morecambe, Stacy Long - Gravesend & Northfleet, Giuseppe Sole - Woking, Marcus Kelly - Rushden & Diamonds, Steve Morison - Stevenage Borough, Clayton Donaldson - York City. And the "Contingency Players" are Steve Drench (GK) - Morecambe, Billy Jones - Exeter City, Michael Morrison - Cambridge United, Sam Saunders - Dagenham & Redbridge, Russell Penn - Kidderminster Harriers, Gary Hunter - Morecambe, Yemi Odubade - Oxford United, Lewis Chalmers - Altrincham, Luke Moore - Gravesend & Northfleet.


    Alty centre-back Gary Talbot (right) is on loan at Kidsgrove Athletic to regain his fitness. This is Staffs reports on Kidsgrove's defeat at the weekend. "Frustrated joint-manager Peter Ward said: 'Lennon and Aiden Matranga also had chances, as did Gary Talbot, so the lads were gutted to get nothing'. Ward was delighted with the debut of ex-Altrincham man Talbot at the back. He said: 'Gary made a massive difference and had one effort cleared off the line'".


    From our next opponents, Southport, we learn that "Striker Tony Gray [has] received treatment on his hamstring while fellow striker Paul Tait returned to none contact training following his cheekbone fracture. Liam Blakeman is also on the road to recovery and could be back in two weeks. Gray could return next week and Tait is three weeks away".


    SAM reports that "Kidderminster's goal led a charmed life as they denied Alty what would have been a deserved win on Saturday. Visiting keeper Scott Bevan proved to be a 6ft 7ins brick wall, as everything the Robins could muster bounced off him. Bevan saved from Warren Peyton, Colin Little and Joe O'Neill in the first half but he really rode his luck after the break. Little's shot hit the post and rebounded onto the keeper's back before he gratefully smothered it and Michael Blackwood cleared off the line from O'Neill following an almighty goalmouth scramble. Then, in injury time, Bevan made the save of the game, rushing out to deny Chris Senior and tip the ball over the bar. Ultimately, it was Alty's sloppy defending in the early stages that cost them at least a share of the points. Debutant Andy Scott made a nightmare start, giving the ball away on the edge of his own area to James Constable. The striker's shot was superbly saved by Stuart Coburn but Brian Smikle pounced to give Kiddy a lead they never relinquished".

    And the Kidderminster Shuttle says that "the small things made all the difference as heroic Harriers trod that fine line between success and failure to keep the ball rolling at Altrincham. There was the thinnest of coats of paint which denied Robins striker Colin Little when his effort to equalise bounced back off the post. There was the faintest of fingertip touches from Scott Bevan as Alty substitute Chris Senior threatened to plunder a stoppage time point. And while we're on the subject of little things going Kidderminster's way there was the diminutive Dean Craven, Harriers' one-hit wonder. The AFC Telford man may be short but he's nowhere near as short as his Kidderminster career which is already over after those impressive 78 minutes at Moss Road [i.e. Lane]. Craven was only drafted in to warm the bench in Greater Manchester after being loaned to Harriers as emergency left-back cover in a squad short of southpaws. The former Shrewsbury and Hereford player was allowed out by Telford for just one game and never expected to get onto the field, let alone hold Harriers' makeshift midfield together.

    But Craven epitomised the character in Mark Yates's squad by rolling up his socks and making an impressive transition from Unibond to Conference football despite playing out of position... Altrincham's Andy Scott endured an introduction to forget with a nightmare start to life at Moss Grove [!Lane]. The former Kidsgrove defender was guilty of gifting Harriers the only goal of the game on 13 minutes... Altrincham, judging by the chances that got away, could have done with a clinical finisher of their own. Graham Heathcote's part-timers can be proud of their performance in going from anonymous opponents in the first-half to a force to be reckoned with after the interval.

    The Kidderminster goal led a charmed life during the second half as Joe O'Neill headed a great chance wide, Little struck the post and Senior was thwarted by a last-gasp Bevan save. There were also countless occasions when Harriers scrambled the ball off the line while, save for a couple of out-of-character lapses, Bevan fielded crosses and shots with his usual efficiency... Just as well they've got a mean machine defence which despite a below-par performance stood firm to earn a fifth clean sheet in six games... Little by little their promotion dream is becoming a distinct possibility".


    The BBC says that "Brentford have released striker Chris Moore halfway through his contract. Moore was signed by the Bees last summer with money won in a competition by a supporter after a prolific scoring record at Dagenham & Redbridge. He scored in two of Brentford's first three matches of the season but failed to find the net again in his 20 games. Moore, who has been out injured recently, is now expected to re-sign for Dagenham".

    "Peterborough have captured Dagenham & Redbridge duo Craig Mackail-Smith and Shane Blackett. Mackail-Smith, 22, appears to have had a change of heart after seeming to have originally rejecting the move to help the Daggers achieve promotion. But he has completed the move along with defender 24-year-old Blackett. The pair spent two-and-a-half years at Dagenham & Redbridge and the

    "Hibernian have completed the signing of York striker Clayton Donaldson on a pre-contract agreement. The former Hull frontman, who has scored 18 goals in the Nationwide Conference this season, will move to Easter Road at the end of the season. City recently refused six-figure bids from Scunthorpe, Accrington and Peterborough for the 22-year-old. Hibs boss John Collins told the Edinburgh Evening News: 'Clayton has pace, lots of pace'. City had fought to keep Donaldson at the KitKat Crescent, but are powerless to stop him leaving at the end of his contract this summer".

    This is York confrims that "York City striker Clayton Donaldson has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Scottish Premier League side Hibernian next season - and the Minstermen won't get a penny in transfer fees. Hibernian's website confirms the 20-goal front man will join them at the start of next season and the club says that, as he will be 23 next month, they will not have to pay a fee under FIFA regulations. That will be devastating news for City, who have turned down a number of bids for Donaldson - including £100,000 from League Two side Peterborough and a 'significant' offer from League One outfit Scunthorpe United. Hibernian's statement reads: 'The club have today confirmed that York City striker, Clayton Donaldson, has signed a pre-contract to join Hibernian at the start of next season. The player is out of contract with York City at the end of the season and, as he will be 23 years of age next month, he will join the club without the requirement to pay a fee'".

    And York City "confirmed this afternoon that striker, Clayton Donaldson, will be staying at York City until the end of the season. Commenting on the news that Donaldson has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Hibernian football Club, Director Sophie McGill said, 'The Board has remained consistent throughout and our position is that Clayton will remain at York City until the end of the season to give the Club the best possible chance of promotion to the Football League. We are disappointed by the latest news and will be issuing a full statement on this website tomorrow morning'".

    The Northwich Guardian says that Vics' manager Steve Burr "is working hard to extend Mark Roberts' stay until June, when his contract runs out with Crewe Alexandra. With no new deal on the table at the moment, the Vics boss is keen to make his move permanent. Roberts' loan spell ends on February 6, but discussions with Crewe are continuing. It is not known if Danny Mayman will return to Northwich when his loan spell at Alfreton Town ends next week".

    Meanwhile, "Jonny Allan is to have an operation today after breaking his right leg in two places. The Vics' striker fractured his tibia and fibula following Ashley Vickers's tackle during the second half of Saturday's Conference clash with Weymouth. Doctors at Dorchester General Hospital confirmed a clean break yesterday".

    The Argus says that "Crawley have targeted two more signings before the end of the transfer window after losing out on former loan defender Michael Bostwick. [The supposedly debt-ridden] Reds want to add to the six new players they have brought in during the January window by the time it shuts on Wednesday. Bostwick has turned down a chance to return to Broadfield Stadium in favour of a move to Reds' relegation rivals Rushden and Diamonds... after being released from his contract at Millwall... Caretaker boss John Yems said: 'We are looking to bring in two new players we have in mind before Wednesday and hopefully something will happen'. Latest new signing Elliot Benyon came off the bench to make his Reds debut in Saturday's 1-0 win at Tamworth. Grays loanee Mark Wright scored the 54th-minute winner".

    Sacked Tamworth boss Mark Cooper turned out for Hinckley United at the weekend.

    The Burton Mail says that "Lloyd Opara was left to watch the [last] game from the bench, with Clough confirming afterwards that he will not be renewing the loan of the Peterborough United striker".

    NL Daily says that "Nationwide South club Braintree Town have signed 19-year-old striker Chris Sullivan on loan from Stevenage Borough".

    Grays Athletic "have secured the following players on a non-contract trialist basis: Jamie Petts, 17yr old midfielder, Milton Elenge, 17yr old midfielder, Anton Robinson, midfielder, ex Millwall and Fisher Athletic. Also joining Grays Athletic on non-contract, with a view to signing until the end of the season, is Pierre Joseph-Dubois, striker, recently released by Reading FC".

    At nearby Gravesend "Luke Moore has signed a new contract to keep him at the club until the end of the 2007/2008 season. Luke who is in his second season with the first team, having come through the club's PASE set-up. He scored his first Conferance goal against Woking last season and has added a further five goals so far this year. This week Luke was put on stand-by for the Non-League International friendly against Northern Ireland".

    Still in Esssex, Dagenham & Redbridge "are pleased to announce the signing of defender Jonathan Boardman. Jonathan was born in Reading in January 1981and began his career at Crystal Palace as a trainee. During 2001 he gained experience with loan spells at Conference sides Woking and Margate before signing permanently for the Cards in March 2002. An England National Game International, he spent two seasons at the heart of the defence at Kingfield, playing 125 games before joining Rochdale in the summer of 2005. He left Spotland in January this year having made 20 appearances for the club".

    Crawley Town say that "Mark Wright has been recalled early from his loan spell from Grays Athletic. Mark joined Crawley Town on loan in November... Mark has been playing a left hand side of midfield role in recent weeks and his performances have been very encouraging. In total Wright made 10 appearances for Crawley... Sean Ridgway and Ronayne Benjamin have also been released".

    29 January 2007


  • Oxford U. 0 Rushden & Diamonds 1
  • League table


    The first part of the STAR AGM takes place tonight (Monday) at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite.

    As the STAR website announces, "Due to the late arrival of the final audited accounts, STAR will, once again, be holding a truncated AGM this year, with part 1 being held on Monday 29th January 2007. This first meeting will be a chance for you to quiz the current ‘temporary’ board and get to know who’s who before getting your chance to elect them officially onto the board on your ballot paper (which will follow by post at a later date).

    The draft accounts and our Secretary’s report for the last year will be available on the night for you to peruse. The final audited accounts will follow with the ballot paper for your final approval.

    Deadlines for motions and nominations to the board are therefore extended to 15th February 2007..please see the appropriate forms on the STAR website.

    The meeting will be followed by a forum with Alty legends Jeff Johnson and Paul Cuddy.

    This meeting is open to all Altrincham fans, please bring your STAR membership card with you if you are a STAR member but non -STAR members are also warmly invited. Membership forms to join STAR will, of course, be available on the night.

    If you have any fund raising ideas or suggestions how you can help STAR help the club then please bring these on the night also!


    Thursday, 1st February is the date for the next STAR Quiz Night at Moss Lane. The Quiz entry fee is just £1.00 per person and there is a maximum of 6 persons per team. Doors open at 8.00pm and the quiz starts at 8.30pm. All proceeds got to the Football Club.


    Altrincham Youth lost their Open Cup match yesterday, 3-2, at Morecambe - after extra time.


    In Sunday's NL paper, Graham Heathcote said of Saturday's match, "Not only was I disappointed not to get a point, I thought we should have got all three. If we play like that for the remaining 18 games, then I will be happy. I am not disappointed with the performance. I have no complaints but the game is about scoring goals and we didn't put the ball in the net. Their long run of success got them this win and, considering they are on such a good roll, they didn't batter us". The Kidderminster boss Mark Yates added, "I thought we started off well and at times we looked good. But we were certainly not good in the second half. We never got to grips with the game as they threw everything at us. Spirit, commitment, character and desire got us through that game... we took our chance and rode our luck.. Right now, I don't think the run will end".

    This site's match report is here.

    For those yet to see him, right, is pictured recent signing Chris Senior, who has made a favourable impression in his first two outings for Altrincham, the second being as a substitute on Saturday.

    The Harriers Online site has a report on their win at Altrincham on Saturday. It starts, "How long can we keep winning these games, eight in a row now, before we're found out? We went to Altrincham with three key members of the side out either suspended or injured. Grabbed a goal from a re-bound and survived a second half onslaught that would have made many lesser sides crumble into a shambles. Instead we buckled down to the job and kept out a side that could see our weaknesses but just could not get past a solid defence and an even more solid keeper". It adds that "with the squad down to bare bones, it was felt that emergency cover was needed and that came in the form of a one day loan of Dean Craven from AFC Telford. I'm not sure about the legality of that but I'm sure the club checked everything out beforehand".


    Altrincham Reserves take on Rossendale United Reserves at Moss Lane on Wednesday (31st Jan.) at 7.45pm in the Lancashire League Cup. Entry is just £2, and free for season ticket holders.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years information for February 3rd is here


    The Football Conference says that "Rushden & Diamonds have completed the capture of promising Millwall youngster Michael Bostwick on a free transfer. The young defender has put pen to paper on a an 18-month deal and has been allocated squad number 32. The versatile player can play either in defence or across the midfield and has already had experience in the Conference, having played for Crawley Town in two separate loan spells... [firstly] on a month's loan where he scored three goals in eight appearances. He rejoined the Red Devils for a second spell in July, 2006 and made 24 league appearances".

    St Albans City reports on "the outrageous dismissal of Dean Cracknell and then moments after the game when Saints manager Colin Lippiatt announced that defender Damian Batt had played his final game for the club before heading across the county to sign for Conference National rivals Stevenage Borough. 'Damian Batt is a massive loss to this club, he is an outstanding player and I think is as good as any full back in this league. I am gutted about it but he has gone. We did discuss putting him on a contract but it was stalled for different reasons. Maybe he was always looking for a January move, and I only say maybe, and I am only so gutted because he didn't have a club when he joined us, he'd already turned down Stevenage. With him gone I've only got sixteen players including two players with bans coming up, so I've got to do something about it'".

    from Stafford Rangers we read of "the signing of highly-rated 20-year-old Doncaster Rovers midfielder Anthony Griffith on a short-term loan. Since making his debut in February this year he had made eight League appearances including two on loan at Darlington last month".

    At Tamworth "Returning Lambs' boss Gary Mills was understandably disappointed with the scoreline after his first game in charge. 'I've learnt a lot straight away', he said after the game, 'It would have been great to start with a positive result and we could have at least got a point – we can’t afford to miss penalties – it happens, even I’ve missed them in the past, but it was disappointing. I thought we put up a good show in the first half and pressed well but lost our shape when they scored in our desperation to get a goal back. We were naive at times and Crawley didn’t create much. There is a lot to work on in training on Monday... John McGrath had to leave the field early in the second half to have stitches in his ankle and with the transfer deadline fast approaching Mills is all too aware that he will have to work hard to get his squad for the rest of the season together quickly".

    Weymouth say that "Raphael Nade has been to see a specialist last evening with two pieces of floating bone in his ankle and is going to be out for a few weeks".

    28 January 2007


    The latest junior football club to be welcome guests at Moss Lane under the Featured Club Scheme were Benchill Celtic, from the Timperley & District Junior Football League. Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin hails from Benchill himself and he is seen above talking to the Benchill club's officials before the match against Kidderminster. Behind him, injured Alty captain Steve Bushell signs autographs for the visiting Celtic teams. After the teams had met Geoff, Steve and the Alty manager Graham Heathcote, Rocky Robin made a welcome appearance and he is seen below with the visitors.


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to the vital clash at Southport next Saturday are here. Also at the same link are the details of the coach to Nortwhich on Tuesday, 20 February. Please support the supporters' coach and ensure that Altrincham have the maximum support possible away from home.


    Colin Little in his latest column for SAM, written before Saturday's game, Colin says that at Woking last week, "We basically didn't play well. It was similar to the Tamworth game, both teams just fired long balls up field and that never suits us. Me and Chris (Senior) are never going to have a chance when we play like that. Other than Thommo (Peter Thomson) we don't really have a striker who can win high balls. Joe (O'Neill) battles well against big centre halves but he doesn't win that many headers. Physically we can't compete with teams like Woking or Tamworth so we always struggle under those conditions. This away problem has become a bit of a mindset and I think we all lack a bit of confidence. The back players have to have the confidence to play the ball rather than hit it long and the midfielders have to use the ball, help us play football... I can't remember too many worse games than the last two - against Tamworth and Woking - so we need to sort things out... Kidderminster may have won quite a few games recently and it won't be easy on Saturday but we know we are hard to beat at home. We pressure teams high up the pitch and it allows us to play the kind of game we want to play... The signing of Chris Senior is a bonus and I think he'll do well. He's nippy and skilful and can create chances so it'll be good to play up alongside him".


    The Lancashire League has issued a statementabout the format of the League and the League cup, which is reproduced in the Reserves' section.

    And Hyde United have a report on Wednesday's game at Moss Lane.


    Updated fixtures for the Altrincham FC Youth team are in the youth section of the website now.


    The UniBond League confirms that "Hednesford Town looked to boost their strike force with the signings of Danny Bacon and Mark Sale both of whom have Football League experience. 26 year old Bacon made around fifty appearances for Mansfield Town before dropping in to the UniBond League with Hucknall Town in 2003... Sale, now approaching 35, has more than two hundred Football League appearances under his belt" but was most recently with Northwich Vics who confirm that "Mark Sale has left the club and made a permanent move to Hednesford. Another departure from the club is Steve Payne who has had his contract terminated by mutual consent". And yesterday, Vics' Jonny Allan suffered a broken leg against Weymouth.


    The Non League Paper's correspondent Stuart Hammonds writes about receiving a text from Mark Maddox telling him that former Alty midfielder Ian Craney "had bought his girlfriend Danielle a pet Shitzu dog. 'How's Twinkle?', I asked Swansea City's £150,000 playmaker. 'Mark Maddox is such a busy git, he's got to get a grip of himself' came the instant reply [from Craney], guessing it was his old Altrincham team-mate who'd thought it'd be in the NLP's best interests to know what a soft-lad Craney is. Craney added, 'Virtually every person in the phone book's rung me to take the p**s! I know it's Mark'. Designer dog in his Swansea Marina pad or not, 24 year-old Craney is as down-to-earth as they come, and now firmly intent on getting his revenge on the man known as 'Mad Dog'".

    Meanwhile, on the pitch, Lee Hendley scored a late consolation for Radcliffe after coming on as a sub yesterday. Terry Bowker has moved to Buxton from Ashton United, whilst former Alty Reserve, Adam Docker, has joined Chorley from Bangor City. 27 January 2007


    In a "game of two halves", Altrincham's spirited second-half performance did not get its reward and the game was ultimately decided by debutant Andy Scott's 13th-minute error.

    Match report here.

  • Alty player statistics
  • Alty line-ups

    Right: Steve Aspinall leads Alty's charge from their own half against Kidderminster .

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


    Harriers Online thinks that Alty may stop Harriers' long sequence of wins today. "It's got to that stage now in our unbeaten run that any team we come up against will be wanting the honour of being the first to beat us. That's just what Altrincham will be hoping tomorrow when we travel there looking for a tenth win on the trot. The Moss Lane side are having a typical season for them with the team hovering just below half way in the table without ever putting a good run of results together. They did have an excellent home win against Rushden a few weeks ago that did football a great favour... Iyseden Christie will be undergoing a [fitness] test for us after he failed to make the mid-week game against Stafford following the calf injury that he picked up against York City a few days previous to that game. His strike partner, James Constable, could be playing his last game for us but the talk is that he may be allowed to stay for longer if Walsall and Mark Yates come to some agreement on Monday... Gavin Hurren and Jonny Harkness are both expected to be fit after they were withdrawn from the Stafford game as a precautionary measure. The one that we will definitely be without though is Russ Penn. He picked up his tenth booking of the season in the York game and will now have to miss two games.... [The Altrincham] game is going to be another tough one and I think our winning run will come to an end but I don't think we'll lose either. A draw is on the cards for this one". For more on the game, see below...


    In Friday's Manchester Evening News there is a feature on Altrincham's past FA Cup exploits and a discussion on why it is harder now for non-league teams to succeed in the Cup. Former Alty captain and manager John King says, "Refereeing has contributed to stopping the major upset. Non-league lads could play but they also got stuck in against the big boys. Tackling from behind was allowed then but if you do it now, or miss a tackle, then it's a booking. Soccer has become very pansy like. People would come to see games because most sides had their strong men and they wanted to see which one came out on top. The other big difference is that pitches are like bowling greens these days... But the Altrincham team I played in was different class. We could play. Perhaps our best result was a 1-1 draw at Spurs. But the games the club remember best are the ones you won such as against Crewe, Scunthorpe, Rotherham, Sheffield United and, of course, Birmingham City". Current manager Graham Heathcote adds, "Getting the draw at Tottenham against a side including Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa was fantastic and so was drawing at Everton, who were top of the First Division. It's not easy to explain why there aren't so many giantkilling acts these days. It may be a combination of reasons such as non-league football reaching a higher level. Also the gap between the Premiership and below has got wider so giantkilling acts against these clubs are now even more difficult".


    The referee for Altrincham v Kidderminster today is Mr P Quinn, with assistants B Khatib, S Clayton - and the fourth official is the almost very appropriately named Mr Graham Eltringham of Sunderland!

    For the Kidderminster match, Alty captain Steve Bushell remains a doubt for Alty whilst, as reported elsewhere, Gary Talbot will be playing for Kidsgrove. Steve Aspinall and Val Owen have also been treated for knocks this week, with Aspinall the more likely to be fit.


    Colwyn Bay have appointed Gary Finley as their new manager, after Peter Davenport left for Southport. An early Bay signing is former Alty striker Mark Quayle, who was previously with Finley at Lancaster City. Meanwhile, Jamie Phoenix has returned to the FC United fold after absence for personal reasons.


    In the Non-League Paper on Sunday will be the following:

    Big Ron Atkinson talks to the NLP about his new role at Kettering Town

    Reaction to AFC Wimbledon's expulsion from the FA Trophy

    The latest Nationwide Conference managerial casualty (Mark Cooper?) speaks out and we reveal the front runners for his old job

    The Big Interview looks at what the future holds for former Weymouth manager Garry Hill. Bideford's FA Vase hat-trick hero Ellis Laight is this week's guest columnist in Star Corner. In My View looks at the thorny issue of whether the police should cross the white lines and intervene in incidents that happen on the field of play. Rob Kember of Tonbridge Angels tells us what car he drives and other personal stuff in Last Five Minutes. York City striker Craig Farrell picks his Dream Team.


    Terry Rowley's Attendances dats has been updated, here.


    Sunday's Youth match, away at Morecambe in the Open Cup has been switched to Morecambe FC's home ground at Christie Park, k.o. 1.30pm.


    First, a story which will resonate with Altrincham fans, even though in our case it was Accrington not Alty who had failed to get international clearance. "AFC Wimbledon have been expelled from the FA Trophy for fielding an ineligible player - and opponents Gravesend & Northfleet are reinstated. The FA ruled that Dons midfielder Jermaine Darlington had not obtained international clearance after leaving Cardiff City last year. The Dons won their second round tie at Gravesend 1-0 - but the Fleet will now face Rushden & Diamonds in round three. Wimbledon must also re-pay £7,000 prize money from previous rounds. A club statement read: 'The decision is a consequence of an unfortunate administrative error and AFC Wimbledon is suffering a a result of an FA crackdown on such situations as evidenced by the sanctions imposed on Bury in relation to this season's FA Cup'... The FA decision is final and binding, and Wimbledon have no right of appeal. However, the Dons have also been charged with a breach of Ryman League rules in relation to fielding Darlington in league games while he was ineligible".

    The BBC confirms that "Dagenham & Redbridge forward Craig Mackail-Smith has rejected the chance to join League Two side Peterborough United, reports BBC Essex. The 22-year-old had been expected to join Posh on Monday in a six-figure move, along with 24-year-old Daggers defender Shane Blackett. But Mackail-Smith has elected to stay with the Conference leaders and try to help them into the Football League. However, Blackett will still move to London Road. The Daggers are expected to unveil his replacement on Monday".

    "Morecambe have signed former Blackburn winger Jerome Watt on a month's loan from Northampton Town. The 22-year-old has made 14 appearances for the Cobblers this season, and Town manager Stuart Gray said: 'Even though Jerome has been playing for our reserves there is nothing like first team football at any level'".

    NL Daily says that "Marc Goodfellow has returned to his roots to lend a hand to Burton Albion's promotion push. The midfielder — Burton-born and South Derbyshire bred — goes straight into the Brewers' squad for Saturday's clash away to Aldershot Town. Goodfellow has not played competitive football after leaving Bury because of a back problem three months ago. But Brewers' boss Nigel Clough has seen enough of the 25-year-old in training and a reserve team match to want him on board for the rest of the season... 'Marc's very quick and he's got a lovely left foot. But he's not exclusively left-footed. He'll give us an option on the right if we need to move Andy Corbett elsewhere, and he can also play up front in the middle'... Goodfellow said: 'I had a bulging disc and a spinal stress fracture, which I had to rest for weeks... I rang Burton after Christmas and they invited me to go down and join in training. It's ideal because it's on the doorstep'" reports the Burton Mail.

    "Adding to the circus currently at Kettering Town is the news that 41-year-old former England man Carlton Palmer is training with the Poppies and expected to play a part in the promotion run-in. Palmer, who is a good friend of Kettering`s recently-appointed `director of football` Ron Atkinson, will not, however, be involved in the top-of-the-table clash with Droylsden on Saturday. The Poppies are also expected to complete a loan deal with Conference National side Oxford United – managed by Atkinson`s close mate Jim Smith – for central defender John Dempster. The 23-year-old, who comes from nearby Corby, came up through the ranks at Rushden & Diamonds, joining the U`s in the 2006 January transfer window." Dempster gave away a penalty against Alty this season.

    Southport report that "Former Wrexham striker Jon Newby has today signed for Southport. 29 year old Newby has signed from Wrexham after a short loan spell at Rochdale. Secretary Ken Hilton obtained his International Clearance this morning, and Newby is in the squad for tomorrow's game".

    26 January 2007


    Altrincham have signed defender Andy Scott after he played a trial game at left-back for Altrincham Reserves on Wednesday night. Andy had been at Kidsgrove Athletic but before that he had played for a variety of clubs against Altrincham in the past, including Leigh RMI, Stalybridge Celtic (from 1999), Southport, and Lancaster City, who he joined in January 2002. His squad number at Altrincham has yet to be confirmed.

    SAM adds, "Graham Heathcote has ended his long search for a left back after today sealing a deal for Kidsgrove's Andy Scott. The 31-year-old will go straight into the squad for tomorrow's game against Kidderminster after being released from his contract at the Midlands club. Heathcote has been tracking Scott since the summer but the left back instead moved to Kidsgrove after taking a job in Birmingham. But after playing for Alty's reserves on Wednesday night, Scott agreed to make the move back up the M6. As part of the deal, Gary Talbot will play in Kidsgrove's next two home games and could play more games on loan there throughout the remainder of the season. 'Hopefully Scott's signing will give us more options... Scotty's got a decent left foot and knows the defensive jobs', said Heathcote. 'He's played centre half in the past and has been used as a man-marker and a sweeper, so he's also versatile. He's a Manchester lad and knows some of the guys here so he'll fit in well. Hopefully his signing will give us more options and now I can look at using Warren (Peyton) further up the pitch'... Heathcote had also approached former Alty left back Danny Adams, who was recently released by Huddersfield Town. But Adams has also received several more lucrative offers from full time Conference clubs, although he is expected to remain in the Football League".


    Tamworth report that "Gary Mills was today introduced to the media as the new manager of Tamworth and stressed: 'I am ecstatic to be back at this football club'. Back in the hot seat after a gap of four and a half years, he said he was relishing the 'action replay' challenge - a situation similar to that which faced him when he first came to The Lamb with the team in the relegation zone. 'I'm over the moon to be here - ecstatic about the job and can't wait to get started tomorrow', he said. Mills, 45, left Tamworth after the 2001-02 season to become assistant to Gary McAllister at Coventry City. He later took the reins at one of his former clubs, Notts County, and after leaving Meadow Lane he was offered the manager's job at Alfreton Town".

    Stevenage Borough "have confirmed that they have agreed a 5 figure fee with Southend United for 21 year-old Mitchell Cole. The left sided midfielder is expected to join Boro today (Friday) and be part of the squad for Saturdays trip to Gravesend. Cole was signed by Southend in the summer of 2005 after impressive performances at Grays following his move from West Ham United and was part of the Southend team that won promotion to the Championship last May. This season, as well as appearing in the Championship, he has been on loan at League One Northampton Town. Cole renews his partnership with manager Mark Stimson who took him to Grays as an 18 year old. The winger is one of the fastest players that Mark Stimson has worked with, as he continues to strenghten his squad in the transfer window".


    SAM Sport reports how "Led by club directors Andrew Shaw (right) and Grahame Rowley and joined by BBC Radio Manchester's Jimmy Wagg, a group of supporters walked the 16 miles from Moss Lane to Northwich's Victoria Stadium on Tuesday to raise money for the club and the Autistic Society... Shaw hopes it will raise between £3,500 and £4,000 for the two causes. Andrew already raised around £5,000 for the club last year after walking to Alty's game at Morecambe. 'The support for the walk was absolutely magnificent because we had 16 people turn out on the day despite the postponement of the evening's match', said Andrew.'We completed it in around four-and-a-half hours. Both myself and Jimmy Wagg have autistic sons so we thought it would be a good idea to raise money for a good cause as well as for the club and, all in all, it was a great event'. Any of the walkers raising more than £100 will have their ticket for the rescheduled derby match, which should now take place on Tuesday February 20 pending confirmation from Northwich, paid for by the club.


    Alty "manager Graham Heathcote has stepped up his quest for a left back after filling one of the gaps in his squad with the signing of striker Chris Senior on loan from Halifax last week", reports SAM. "Heathcote has been forced to use midfielder Warren Peyton out of position. The Robins' boss has been in contact with one player recently released by a league club, with former Alty man Danny Adams known to be available after leaving Huddersfield Town. But he remains cautious [and] told SAM Sport: 'I have spoken to a left back this week who is leaving a league club but he could well end up at Morecambe. We are still way down the pecking order in terms of players' choices because we can't offer full time football and that is always a more attractive option for players leaving league clubs'".

    Graham added "The fact that we can't win away puts a lot of pressure on us to win our home games. We are a real Jekyll and Hyde team and it's not as if we are being torn apart away from home, we are just being sloppy. It's become a real worry for me, we really need to find a system where we can start picking up points away from home".


    The Northwich Guardian says that "Andrew Smart has signed for Vics on loan. The 20-year-old defender trained with his new teammates this morning after making the move from neighbours Macclesfield Town. He will travel with the team to Weymouth on Saturday. 'Andy can play anywhere down the left', said assistant manager Dave Moss. 'He has played as a full-back for Macclesfield, but hasn't quite been able to make the step up from the youth team there'. He made seven appearences in the first team at Moss Rose last term". Timperley-based Andy is a product of Altrincham Grammar School and played a couple of games for Altrincham Youth a couple of seasons ago, whilst already with Macc. He got injured over the summer and has not played for the first team this season.

    "Meanwhile Steve Burr has been busy tying up a loan move to a UniBond Premier Division outfit for one member of his squad... He told the Guardian, 'We just need to sort out the paperwork'".

    This is York claims that "York City are to admit a charge of failing to control their players following the mass brawl during the 1-0 defeat against Woking at KitKat Crescent last month. The FA has confirmed it has started disciplinary procedures against both clubs in the wake of the festive "Friday fight night" which saw City players James Dudgeon and Nathan Peat, along with Woking assistant manager Matt Crossley, sent off. City are now likely to be fined for breaching the FA's E20 (a) rule which says clubs must ensure their players and staff conduct themselves in an orderly fashion on the pitch... Peat has also been charged with violent conduct while Dudgeon has been accused of improper conduct. Crossley faces two charges of violent conduct. The chaos at the match, on Friday, December 29, began when City substitute Dudgeon, warming up on the touchline, stepped in as a peacemaker after Neal Bishop and Woking left-back Danny Bunce tangled in stoppage-time. Crossley then confronted Dudgeon 20 yards from the visitors' bench before allegedly head-butting the York defender. The two were then part of a fracas involving players and staff from both benches and including Peat, who allegedly through a flurry of punches. When the melee was cooled, Peat and Dudgeon, along with Crossley, were dismissed... Club communications and community director Sophie McGill said 'York City Football Club are admitting the charge made by the FA and will not be requesting personal representation in front of an FA panel. However, the club will be submitting documentary and video evidence to support our case. From our video evidence, you can clearly see Woking's assistant manager, Matt Crossley, stride 15 to 20 yards from his technical area to confront our substitute James Dudgeon. Without provocation, Matt Crossley then head-butts James Dudgeon and chaos ensues. Nathan Peat was also the recipient of one of Matt Crossley's head-butts and subsequently sustained a facial injury'. An FA spokesman said the punishment for failing to control players was a fine, while Peat could face another ban of at least three matches. He has already served one three-match ban for the original sending-off. The spokesman added that the offence of improper conduct faced by Dudgeon was 'wide-ranging' and punishment could be as little as a warning or as much as a proper ban".

    The Tamworth Herald "Mark Cooper believes Tamworth have made the wrong decision in ending his tenure as manager claiming: 'It was a panic measure'... Ex-boss Gary Mills has already been touted as a replacement along with former Kidderminster boss Jan Molby, Hednesford Town manager Phil Starbuck and AFC Telford's Rob Smith. Former Birmingham City midfielder Cooper, who revealed he could have taken a managerial vacancy at Rushden and Diamonds five weeks ago, said he left the club on good terms but... he added: 'I told the chairman it was the wrong decision. I don't really understand it. I had no indication it was coming and it's really disappointing. Our league position wasn't great but we had games in hand and didn't feel there was a need to panic with 20-plus games left. But you have to respect the club's decision and I have no problem with the chairman, Mr Andrews, at all. I wish the club the best... The majority of fans at the club were great to us and I wish them the very best... I'm proud of my time at Tamworth and the legacy I'm leaving behind... You are on the back foot every season - ask the bookies, who have us as favourites for the drop every season. We have arguably the lowest budget in the league and we are part time compared to most of the league. It's tough but we have helped the club financially for two seasons. We have had two great cup runs and you have players like Tom Kemp and José Veiga who are targets of league clubs. 'We got Tom in on a free and he will be worth £150,000 to the club'".

    From The Comet we read that "Stevenage Boro Football Club has applied for planning permission to demolish two portable buildings at their Broadhall Way ground which between them currently house catering facilities, toilets and a stewards' room. Club chief executive Bob Makin said that the buildings have been there for 20 years and are in a bad condition... In their place, a new tea bar and a purpose-built building to carry out the same functions as the old buildings would be erected... The club has also applied for permission to install four replacement 25 metre high floodlights. Mr Makin said the cost of the work would be in the region of £150,000. The club has applied for funding for the redevelopment from the Football Foundation".

    Meanwhile "A trio of players are being chased by Stevenage Boro boss Mark Stimson this week. A wide player, a central midfielder and a full-back are targets for Stimson before the January transfer window closes on Wednesday. They currently play for clubs in the Championship and League One as well as the Conference. Stimson said: 'We're waiting on clubs with several players and the lad from the Championship is especially keen to join us. There should be more developments by the end of this week'".

    At Cambridge the Cambridge Evening News reports that "Jimmy Quinn has admitted he is ready to quit if he believes it is best for Cambridge United after his side plunged to their seventh defeat in a row... leaves them 22nd - four points adrift of safety... United fans, under the gaze of unhappy chairman Lee Power, chanted for Quinn's head as the club's worst run since 1985 continued... However, he said: 'It's all about winning and getting results, you can't get away from that unfortunately. I'll have a chat with the chairman about it and if I think the answer is me leaving and getting somebody else in to save the club, I'll do it for the fans. I don't like the situation we're in because I hate losing, but you can just see, for whatever reason, we don't look like we're going to score many goals and we're leaking easy goals. I'll be disappointed if I don't get more time, but it's a results business and we need a win desperately from somewhere. Going right back to before Christmas we haven't had a win and it's been an awful start to the new year. I know the fans are frustrated and were shouting for the manager's head but I've seen from past experience that it filters through to the players and we need to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning games in a difficult siuation'. Despite the result, Quinn defended his decision to play captain Andy Duncan in central midfield, believing he gave extra steel... But the injury problems continue to mount for United with Dean Hooper, Jordan Collins and Dean Holdsworth all coming off with knee, calf and hamstring niggles respectively".

    "Weymouth have confirmed that Ben Smith has rejoined Hereford United for an undisclosed fee" says Bullsnews.

    The NL Daily says that "Morecambe have parted company with attacking midfielder Adriano Rigoglioso, 27, who may now link up with Forest Green Rovers. Rigoglioso had a successful loan spell at Forest Green earlier this season and may be re-united with ex-Morecambe boss Jimmy Harvey on a permanent basis".

    "The Football Conference will commence season 2007/2008 on Saturday 11 August 2007 and will end on Saturday 3 May 2008".

    "Barnet boss Paul Fairclough has been reappointed coach of the England National Game XI and admitted he is honoured to carry on

    On the BBC site is news of yet another signing at debt-ridden Crawley Town who "have signed Bristol City striker Elliot Benyon on loan for the rest of the season. Benyon, 19, had a successful loan spell with St Albans City earlier in the season, netting six times in 12 Conference games. First-team coach John Yems told BBC Southern Counties Radio: 'He's quick and strong and he can ferret around. He should compliment our squad well. He'll look for knock-downs and is difficult to mark'".

    On the BBC site we read that "Cambridge United have signed young midfielder Christian Smith on a month's loan from Port Vale. Vale boss Martin Foyle wants the 19-year-old to play some first-team football...'Going out on loan will help us see if he can make the grade'".

    25 January 2007


    Altrincham Reserves defeated Hyde United Reserves 2-0 last night .

    Match report in Reserves' page.

    Right: Playing at left-back, wearing no.3, for Alty Reserves tonight was Andy Scott (31). Andy has played for a variety of clubs against Altrincham in the past, including Leigh RMI, Stalybridge Celtic (from 1999), Southport, and Lancaster City, who he joined in January 2002. More recently he has been at Kidsgrove Athletic and captained them against us in a pre-season friendly in July 2006.


    Altrincham FC's supporters' trust, STAR, announces that "Due to the late arrival of the final audited accounts, STAR will, once again, be holding a truncated AGM this year, with part 1 being held on Monday 29th January 2007. This first meeting will be a chance for you to quiz the current ‘temporary’ board and get to know who’s who before getting your chance to elect them officially onto the board on your ballot paper (which will follow by post at a later date). The draft accounts and our Secretary’s report for the last year will be available on the night for you to peruse. The final audited accounts will follow with the ballot paper for your final approval. Deadlines for motions and nominations to the board are therefore extended to 15th February 2007..please see the appropriate forms on the STAR website. The meeting will be followed by a forum with Alty legends Jeff Johnson and Paul Cuddy. This meeting is open to all Altrincham fans, please bring your STAR membership card with you if you are a STAR member but non -STAR members are also warmly invited. Membership forms to join STAR will, of course, be available on the night. If you have any fund raising ideas or suggestions how you can help STAR help the club then please bring these on the night also!"


    The BBC says that "Grimsby have secured the signing of striker Tony Thorpe from Stevenage. Thorpe, 32, has agreed a deal until the end of the season after impressing Mariners boss Alan Buckley during a spell training with the club".

    "Southport want an improved offer from Conference rivals Rushden before allowing top scorer Dino Maamria to go. Chief executive Haydn Preece said: 'Dino hasn't fallen out with us, but he's adamant he wants to develop his coaching career with Graham Westley. But Rushden will want to use Dino as a player and he has a contract until the summer, that's the state of play'". Maamria missed Port's draw with Morecambe and has indicated he does not expect to play for them again" states the BBC.

    "Cambridge boss Jimmy Quinn believes he still has the backing of his players. Cambridge's 3-1 loss at Rushden and Diamonds on Tuesday was their sixth straight Conference defeat to leave them stuck in the relegation zone. Quinn said: 'If the lads weren't trying and I had lost them then I'd be the first to go to the chairman and say something else needed to be done. But they're desperate to do well and they feel the disappointment. We have to stick together'.

    Meanwhile "York boss Billy McEwan has praised the club's board after turning down the latest offer for striker Clayton Donaldson from Scunthorpe. McEwan told the York Press: 'My board have been great, they want to keep him until the end of the season and hopefully beyond that'".

    24 January 2007


    NL Daily reports that "Kidsgrove Athletic were hoping to hand a debut to centre back Gary Talbot, signed from Altrincham, at home to Woodley Sports on Tuesday night. However, that game, along with the match between Shepshed Dynamo and Eastwood Town, fell victim of a frozen pitch". However, Gary has not left Moss Lane - he was to play at Kidsgrove to maintain his fitness after a period on the sidelines, following an injury earlier this season. Gary will now take part in tonight's Altrincham Reserves' match at Moss Lane, where at least four other first-teamers will also be involved. They are Peter Thomson, Pat McFadden, Rod Thornley and Stephen Rose. Manager Graham Heathcote has indicated that a number of first-team squad players may appear for local sides on the same basis as Gary's involvement with Kidsgrove. Already Eddie Hussin and Kieran Lugsden have been playing for Leigh RMI, whilst Pat McFadden played for Flixton last weekend. And, Reserves Laurence Ball and Keith Wedge turned out for Chorley recently.


    The much awaited Conference "derby" match between Northwich Victoria and Altrincham has had its date changed again. It was originally meant to be played last night but the Vics' Trophy commitments prevented that. It was then moved to 13 February but that date now clashes with an England National Game XI friendly in Northern Ireland. So the new date is to be Tuesday 20 February at 7.45pm.


    Tonight's Reserves' match against Hyde United (7.45pm at Moss Lane) is definitely "on".


    Tamworth announce that they "have today parted company with manager Mark Cooper and his assistant Richard Dryden. The decision was reached by mutual consent following a meeting this morning between Mark, Richard, the chairman, Mr Bob Andrews, and the board of directors. This follows concern over the league form and the position the club finds itself in. The board felt fresh impetus was needed... Goalkeeping coach Dale Belford and club captain Adie Smith will be taking care of team affairs at this present time".


    The Reserves now have a Lancashire League Cup match at home to Rossendale United at 7.45pm on Wednesday 31 January.

    They should also be in action tonight (24th) at Moss Lane against Hyde United in the same competition, depending on the weather.


    Altrincham have dropped to twentieth place in the Conference table after Tuesday's games.


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

    FA Trophy

  • Tamworth 1 Welling U. 1 Gate 372
  • Eastbourne B. 0 Northwich V. 1 Played at Hastings, gate 287


    Above: The fundraising Altrincham walkers, led by Andrew Shaw (back row), get ready for their sponsored walk to Northwich yesterday. Pictures above and below are courtesy of Sarah Rowley.

    Above: The walkers seen after arrival at Northwich - congratulations ot all concerned for raising funds for the football club and for charity.


    "After almost two-and-a-half years of torment, in-form Kidderminster Harriers look to be back in business. The slump in fortunes which saw the club drop out of the Football League in 2005 has been arrested by manager Mark Yates... 'I live locally and I played for the club for a number of years so it was disappointing when they went out of the League', Yates told BBC Sport. 'We have got to get out of this division, which is tough to do. The ground is one of the best in the division, but we are not in the Football League... It does take time to turn things round... When I took the job on Steve Cotterill said to me 'make sure it's the right thing to do. The club is in a downward spiral and things don't just go from down to up. It always takes time when you bring in 13 or 14 players... although I was disappointed with our start... We have tried to do things properly and the philosophy hasn't changed'. The result is eight victories in their last nine matches, including six straight wins in the Conference... 'The chairman and the board stuck by us through a sticky patch and now we are starting to get the results... We are doing OK on the pitch and the club is being run properly', said Yates, who will soon see the on-loan James Constable return to Walsall. 'We have not done anything yet. We are not 10 points clear at the top. We are in 10th position... We are in the last 16 of the Trophy and eight points off the play-offs but the only way to keep this momentum going is by winning football matches... The fans are talking about the club again and there is an air of optimism'", said Yates.

    the BBC reports that "Ron Atkinson has been appointed director of football at Kettering Town until the end of the season. The 67-year-old is returning to the Conference North club, where he started his managerial career in 1971... He has been out of football since 2004 when he lost his job as an ITV pundit for making an on-air racist comment. Atkinson led Kettering to double Southern League title success in the 1970s and current chairman Imraan Ladak was delighted to have brought him back to the club... Atkinson, who will try to help Poppies manager Morell Maison, admitted: 'If you had said this a week ago I would have said you were potty. He (Ladak) asked me if I would be interested in helping the club to promotion. It is a place I have always had an affection for... For the first week I will just be observing but then if I see things that I think could be improved, I will make those points'".

    "Gravesend & Northfleet boss Liam Daish has brought Peterborough goalkeeper Luke McShane back for a second spell on loan. Daish made his move for the 21-year-old after losing first-choice keeper Lance Cronin for up to five weeks with a groin injury. 'This is obviously a setback but Luke will not let us down', Daish told his club's website. McShane... played five games for Fleet at the start of last season".

    "Southport have signed defender Mark Birch on loan from Scottish First Division leaders Gretna... Birch, 30, has signed a three-month deal" says the BBC.

    "Midfielder Tom Shaw is to join Conference North side Nuneaton Borough on a month's loan. Shaw, 20, has made 18 appearances for Rushden this season but was placed on the transfer list earlier this month".

    NL Daily announces that it is "holding its first ever Programme of the Year award this season. The awards will be split into three categories in order that it is as fair as possible. The first category will be for Step1, 2 and 3 leagues (Nationwide Conference National, North, South and Premier Divisions of the Ryman, Southern and UniBond), the second for Step 4 leagues and the third for Step 5, 6 and 7 leagues... The programme awards will be judged by nonleaguedaily editor Steve Whitney, who twice won national programme of the year awards in the 1980s and 90s. Programmes can be submitted by club officials, players or supporters and it would be appreciated if at least two copies from different matches could be sent in by February 15th, 2007. All programmes sent in will be donated to a club shop after they have been judged. Please send programmes to: Nonleaguedaily Programme Awards, 23, Wellington Street, Kettering, Northants NN16 8RQ".

    The Football Conference says that "Conference strugglers Southport FC have completed the capture of striker Paul Tait following his release by Boston United.The 32-year-old had been on loan at the Conference side since November and a full-time deal was always in the offing. A club spokesman said: 'He was supposed to sign on January 1 but a fractured cheekbone held that up. He has now signed permanently'. The Newcastle-born forward has loads of experience and has previously played for Everton, Wigan, Crewe, Rochdale and Chester amongst others".

    Northwich's F.A.Trophy tie due to be played at Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night was switched to Hastings due to the state of Borough's pitch.

    From the Burton Mail we learn that "Albion have had their first enquiry about out-of-favour midfielder Lee Fowler. The 23-year-old Welshmen, who was transfer-listed by mutual agreement at the weekend, is already in talks with a rival Conference club. Brewers' boss Nigel Clough told Mail Sport: 'Lee is talking to one club and it's possible there will be more interest as news of his availability circulates'... Clough declined to name the club that has made the approach, though he confirmed it was not neighbours Tamworth... Clough said: 'Lee is not happy that we have a preferred partnership in the centre of midfield, but for the foreseeable future, we'll be sticking with Danny Holmes and Paul Carden'".

    The FA confirms that the next National Game XI international friendly is Northern Ireland v England on Tuesday 13 February 2007 at Glenavon FC but adds that "The England squad is yet to be named". More on this later...

    23 January 2007


    The BBC reports on a former Alty player "Winger Bobby Dale, who played for Bury and Colchester United in the 1950s, has died at the age of 75. The Shakers website reports that he passed away last week after suffering with cancer for a long time. Born in Irlam, Dale joined Bury from non-League Altrincham in 1951, and scored two goals in 15 appearances before moving to Colchester in 1953. He then made 128 appearances for the U's before his football career was ended by tuberculosis in 1958". All at Moss Lane send their condolences to Bobby's family.


    Alty's next opponents are Kidderminster Harriers, on Saturday. The FA confirms that the Harriers' Russell Penn is suspended from Saturday from "all first team football until the Club has completed 2 first team matches for 10 cautions". Harriers Online reports that "The Harriers won their sixth game in a row today in a somewhat less than thrilling game against a poor York City side... The three points gained was clouded slightly by a tenth booking of the season for Russ Penn - he will now miss two games, against Altrincham and Tamworth - and a bad looking injury to Iyseden Christie's foot that will see him almost certainly missing Tuesday night's game against Stafford. That game could also be the last for Constable in a Harriers shirt unless Mark Yates can pull something out of the hat and keep him at Aggborough for a wee bit. The talk at Walsall is that he will be re-called to Bescot for a few games at least before deciding where his future lies".

    Right: Warren Peyton tackles Clayton Donaldson in our away game at York last November.

    Altrincham host York City on 10 February so any postponements for the Minstermen between now and then could mean that Alty will not face the in-form Clayton Donaldson. Indeed, "York City boss Billy McEwan will intensify his search for a new striker with Clayton Donaldson suspended for three games following his sending off for using his elbow in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers. according to This is York. The Minstermen could also have lost the services of centre-back Jason Goodliffe on a permanent basis with Rushden and Diamonds believed to be ready to shell out £10,000 for his services following the end of his three-month loan spell at KitKat Crescent. Stevenage want a transfer fee for the 32-year-old defender and a move to Rushden would suit southern-based Goodliffe geographically as well as see him reunited with former Broadhall Way boss Graham Westley... But a new striker will remain the priority for McEwan who will, otherwise, go into tomorrow night's Conference clash at Halifax Town with only Craig Farrell and untried teenager Alex Rhodes as recognised forwards. Winger Martyn Woolford could operate in a more advanced role if required".


    SAM has a brief report on Alty's defeat at Woking. "Loan signing Chris Senior made his debut for Alty, starting up front alongside Colin Little, and he came closest to scoring for the visitors. The speedy forward blasted one shot just over the bar in the first half and sent another into the side-netting after the break. His good build-up play also handed a chance to Colin Little on the stroke of half time that last season's top scorer failed to control properly"


    The Burton Mail claims that "Midfielder Lee Fowler is quitting Burton Albion following showdown talks with manager Nigel Clough. The 23-year-old Wales non-league international has been transfer-listed by 'mutual agreement' after losing his place in Albion’s team. Clough told Mail Sport: 'Lee was disappointed about being left out at Worcester. We had a chat about it and mutually agreed that he should be made available for permanent transfer... I can’t really see him getting back in the side at the moment. In the circumstances, he thinks it’s best if he tries elsewhere'. The former Coventry and Huddersfield player joined Burton last summer from Scarborough and has scored twice in 25 appearances... Fowler’s impending departure is bound to renew speculation linking Albion to Crewe Alexandra’s Lee Bell. Bell was a spectator at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday... Clough said: 'We’re not necessarily looking to bring in a replacement, because we’re OK in that department'".

    The BBC says that "Midfielder Neil Sorvel has been released from his contract by Shrewsbury Town manager Gary Peters. The 34-year-old former Crewe player had not started a league game since mid-November... 'Sorvs has gone after we released him and he's going to sign for Morecambe', Peters told the club's website".

    From This is Exeter is confirmation that "Danny Woodards is heading for the St James's Park exit door after Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale admitted he was resigned to losing the talented full-back.The former Chelsea trainee was axed from the Grecians side which slumped to a costly 3-1 defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Gravesend & Northfleet at St James's Park on Saturday... It emerged the 23-year-old has refused to sign a new contract. Woodards has been stalling on a new deal since October and fresh talks last week failed to persuade him to stay at the Conference club... Paul Tisdale commented: 'Circulating his name to other clubs is the next step... He has been distracted, his performances have not been great and we need 11 players on the field who want to play for this club in the Football League. Danny was fit enough to play, but I selected a side who are one hundred per cent behind winning the game for the team... We extended the deadline for Danny but it has still not been taken... I don't want Danny to go, I want Danny to play like he did in September and October'. Billy Jones is set to end his protracted contract negotiations by finally putting pen to paper on a two-year extension... 'It is being signed', confirmed Tisdale. The City boss hopes to bring in a new striker this week after losing out on the services of Steve Guinan and Richard Logan".

    But The Northwich Guardian says that "Eastbourne Borough have called in a favour from neighbours Hastings ahead of tomorrow's FA Trophy tie. Should their Priory Lane pitch fail an inspection first thing in the morning, the second round clash will be moved to Hastings' Pilot Field. 'We want this game to go ahead', said club spokesman Len Smith. 'But we're struggling at the moment. I can't say any more than that'... Boro have had army of people working on the pitch this morning after more heavy rain overnight (on Sunday). Vics wrote to the FA last week suggesting the tie should be switched to the Victoria Stadium if it is called off again. Thursday has been pencilled in as a reserve date, but Vics have let it be known they will refuse to travel".

    Meanwhile, Vics "have missed out on another of their transfer targets. Steve Burr told the Guardian he had hoped to sign a midfielder from a Conference North rival in time for Saturday's game with Aldershot Town. Instead he joined a UniBond Premier Division outfit. 'It's disappointing when a player does that', he said. 'BUT... there certainly are more names on my list yet'".

    Last Saturday's opponents, Woking "are pleased to announced that galkeeper Nick Gindre has joined the Cards until the end of the season after being released by Walton & Hersham. [The manager's son] Liam Cockerill has also left the club today by mutual consent... Argentinian born Nick is a highly talented young keeper who joined Swans four seasons ago from neighbours Walton Casuals... He missed a large part of last season with a serious knee injury, but has now passed 150 appearances".

    The Football Conference says that "Cambridge City are facing competition from Nuneaton Borough for the signature of Rushden's Tom Shaw".

    "New Weymouth player-boss Jason Tindall has raided his old club Bournemouth to sign midfielder James Coutts on loan for the rest of the season. The 19-year-old has made 16 first-team appearances for the Cherries, but has not featured this season. Coutts joined Grays Athletic on loan in November, but only made one substitute appearance" states the BBC.

    22 January 2007


    The Lancashire League has released its February fixtures which have Altrincham Reserves playing four of their six games away from home. Details are in the Reserves' section.


    Right: The "4-4" element of Alty's 4-4-2 is seen here at Woking. Aspinall, Band, Munroe and Peyton are at the back, with Lawton, Chalmers, Owen and O'Neill in midfield. More pictures below...

  • Match report here.


    SAM reveals that in signing Chris Senior on loan from Halifax Town, "Robins' manager Graham Heathcote had the deal lined up for a fortnight but only finalised terms after his side's FA Trophy exit... Heathcote did, however, deny he had made an approach for Senior's former Shay teammate Ryan Sugden, as reported elsewhere this week....'I hope Chris will be a good addition to our squad', said Heathcote. 'He will give us something we haven't really got at the moment and that's genuine pace up front, so that'll allow us to try something different. He only ever comes on as a sub for Halifax so we'll have to see if there's a reason for that but his arrival gives us more options, which is what we need between now and the end of the season. I never made any contact with Ryan Sugden though, he was never an option. Chris Senior was the only Halifax player I made enquiries about'... Heathcote is hopeful his recuitment drive will not end there, however, and he is keen to bring in a left back as soon as possible. Alty have already missed out on Adam Yates and Marc Tierney this season after they joined Morecambe and Shrewsbury respectively and midfielder Warren Peyton has had to fill in at left back". Tierney was a 21year-old Oldham Athletic player who also had a spell on loan at Carlisle United, before joining Shrewsbury last week.


    Even though this Tuesday's game at Northwich has been rescheduled to February 13th, (as the Vics now have to play a Trophy match on Tuesday), the Altrincham FC/STAR sponsored walk to the Victoria Ground at Wincham is going ahead. As there are now some twenty walkers involved, there is a need for one or two cars to help bring the walkers back to Altrincham. This would involve your driving to Northwich and back between approximately 2.30pm and 4pm this Tuesday (23rd). If you can volunteer, your services would be greatly appreciated. Please ring Grahame Rowley on 07720 606897 or e-mail him for full details. Thank you.


  • Tuesday, January 23rd: On the STAR website you can sponsor Alty director Andrew Shaw for his sponsored walk from Altrincham to Northwich. Andrew and many other walkers will be setting off at around mid-day.
  • Monday, January 29th: The STAR AGM will start at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite. It will be followed by an Open Forum with special guests in the form of ex-Alty players who have also played for the non-league England international team.
  • Sunday, February 4th: Altrincham FC and STAR will be holding a car boot sale on from 8am till 1pm on the car park at Moss Lane. Pitches cost just £5 for cars and £7.50 for vans and can be booked by ringing the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail. All proceeds go to the Football Club, so please support the event if you can.
  • Monday, February 5th: Altrincham vice-chairman Grahame Rowley reports that "The club will be holding a Fans' Forum on starting at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite. Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley, Graham Heathcote and other members of the Board will be present to answer any questions. Everyone is free to come along - please bring your questions with you".


    Alty's next game is at home to in-form Kidderminster Harriers at Moss Lane on Saturday, January 27th (3pm). Howard Watts's Through the Years records for 27 January are here. On Wednesday 24th, the Reserves are at home to Hyde United at Moss Lane (7.45pm) in the Lancashire League Cup.
    21 January 2007


    Today's Altrincham Youth match at home to Prescot Cables has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Wythenshawe Town FC.


    "Potts howler proves costly" is the harsh headline in the NL Paper today concerning Colin Potts who "from 10 yards... mis-hit his attempt towards the empty net" for Barrow against Vauxhall Motors yesterday. Ashley Timms was in goal for Barrow, whilst a Matt Bailey figured for them too. Lee Thompson has moved back to Skelmersdale Utd from St Helens Town. Griff Jones, a former Alty reserve, hit two of Witton's six yesterday. Former Youth player Mark Drew turned out for Rossendale yesterday. Ged Murphy went off with an achilles injury for Stafford yesterday.


    Youth team striker Tom Bailey scored for the Manchester Colleges' under-18 side according to the NL Paper today. Alty's Danny Browne is also a member of that squad.


    Pat McFadden was a used sub by Flixton in their FA Vase match yesterday and scored one of their goals in a 2-5 defeat. Former Alty striker Lee Hendley also played for Flixton, whilst Anthony Hargreaves was a substitute. Kieran Lugsden was a used sub for Leigh for whom Eddie Hussin also played, as did Alty "old boy" Mark Maddox.


    Right: Chris Senior, Alty's loan-signing from Halifax Town.


    At Morecambe "midfielder David Perkins, a product of the Shrimps Academy, has today signed for Coco Cola League Two club Rochdale".
    20 January 2007


    Alty Reserves beat FC United of Manchester Reserves 3-1 today in a friendly. The Alty goals came from Aaron Walters, a penalty from Justin Bowler and Astley Mulholland.


    In a generally poor game Alty went behind after 63 minutes when McAllister was allowed a free header from a corner. The goal lifted The Cards and it came as no surprise when McAllister netted again, following Chalmers's error, as Woking dominated the latter stages (76 mins). Barratt then had a goal ruled out for Woking. Alty's best shots came from debutant Senior, one in each half, but it was Little who wasted the best chance, from Senior's feed, just before the interval. But for three good saves from Coburn, it could have been worse for Alty.

    Match report here.

    Right: Alty in action at Woking today.

  • League Table
  • Alty Player Statistics
  • Alty Line-Ups and Bookings

  • Burton A. 1 St Albans C. 0
  • Crawley T. 2 Southport 1
  • Exeter C. 1 Gravesend & N. 3
  • Forest Green R. 2 Tamworth 0
  • Grays A. 2 Oxford U. 2
  • Halifax T. v Weymouth POSTPONED, WATERLOGGED
  • Kidderminster H. 2 York C. 1
  • Morecambe 1 Dagenham & R. 1
  • Northwich V. 1 Aldershot T. 3
  • Rushden & D. 2 Stafford R. 1
  • Stevenage B. 4 Cambridge U. 1
  • Woking 2 ALTRINCHAM 0
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.


    A hastily arranged friendly between Altrincham Reserves and FC United Reserves is to be played at Blessed Thomas Holford school, Altrincham on its all-weather pitch at 11.15am today (Saturday). As a number of Alty's Reserves are unavailable, their squad will include some new faces. Alty Reserves' captain Keith Wedge and centre-back Laurence Ball are on loan to Chorley for their first-team squad tomorrow, whilst Ben Deegan (glandular fever) and Rick Chetcuti (recovering from appendicitis) are both out for two or three weeks. In addition, Colin McAllister is unavailable due to work commitments. Amongst those expected to take part in the game against FCUM are Chris Rowley, Danny Heffernan, Aaron Edwards, Michael Risk, John Maloney, Mike Brown, Justin Bowler and Astley Mulholland.


    It has been confirmed that Alty's Pat McFadden and Radcliffe Borough's former Alty striker Lee Hendley will be paired up front for Flixton in their FA Vase tie today.


    In Friday's Manchester Evening News, it is reported that Alty boss Graham Heathcote "has set the Robins a minimum target of 20 points from their remaining 20 league matches to ensure safety and he is confident they can achieve it after a Christmas surge that lifted them to mid-table. He accused his side of 'lacking heart' after their FA trophy exit... but said, 'Our league form has been good although our record in cups has been unacceptable. It's tight at the bottom of the Conference and we do need to improve our away form. We get jittery late in games, like we did at Tamworth, but we've got the players to take that extra step and get us an away win. They have shown enough to prove we can stay in the Conference but now I want them to kick on. Even so, I have been disappointed with our lack of success in cup ties because we have missed out on extra finance and that puts pressure on everyone at the club'".


    Above: Last season at Kingfield, Woking beat Alty 3-1. Above Watson (no.17) puts the Cards 3-0 up after just 40 minutes.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has Colin Little's latest column. He writes, "Our trip to Tamworth last week was exactly what I thought it would be. It was just a horrible game of football. The wind and the pitch didn't help but both teams just lumped the ball. It must have been terrible to watch because it wasn't good to play in. We're really disappointed though because a lot of big teams have already gone out of the Trophy and you could start plotting a route to the final... Our poor performance wasn't down to a lack of effort though, we were all determined to win that game... We usually find it difficult to play against that kind of team and we missed Bushell in the centre of midfield. Don't get me wrong, both Robbie (Lawton) and Lewis (Chalmers) are good players but we needed someone like Bush to pick the ball up off the defence and then link things together in the middle. As it was, nobody was dropping deep enough to pick the ball up off the defence and we relied on too many long balls... We didn't deserve to lose really but we just got sloppy at the end.

    We just can't seem to win away from home... We've not played badly - in fact, we've played much better than we did last season... It starts to play on your mind when you don't get a win - we just need to play well and get the rub of the green and it'll come. When we get that win I reckon we'll be able to go on and get a couple more before the end of the season.

    Geoff's decision to leave this week was bad news. He is a top man and a brilliant chairman. I texted him this week to tell him that I was disappointed he'd be leaving. Geoff's not even a football man but he's come in to this club and turned it around. He's a friend as well as a chairman and you can talk to him about anything. I think the fact he wasn't really a football fan has helped because he doesn't interfere as much as other chairmen I've known. Geoff's put a lot of pride back into the club and he won loads of friends both for himself and for Alty during the appeal against the points deduction last season".


    The BBC "says that "Halifax boss Chris Wilder is planning to complete the loan signings of forward Lionel Ainsworth and midfielder Felix Bastians on Monday. Ex-England Under-17 star Ainsworth, 19, is set to join from Derby County. He spent the first half of the season on loan at League One side Bournemouth, but made just seven league appearances. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Bastians is poised to join the Shaymen from Nottingham Forest after ending a recent loan spell with Northwich Victoria".

    "Cambridge left-back Tommy Jaszczun will have surgery on his foot. The 29-year-old has been on the sidelines by the injury to his metatarso-phalangeal joint since mid-November". The BBC adds that "United have received more positive long-term injury news on midfield duo Danny Brown and David Bridges. Brown is making good progress from a hamstring problem, while Bridges is in the final stage of his rehabilitation from an ankle ligament injury".

    "Stevenage have signed midfielder Mark Hughes and allowed striker Tony Thorpe to rejoin Grimsby on trial. Northern Ireland international Hughes, 23, joins Boro following spells in the League with Northampton and Oldham. After leaving Oldham in September 2006, he had a spell at Conference South side Thurrock, from where he joined Chesterfield on loan in November".

    The Burton Mail reports that "Albion boss Nigel Clough is unlikely to rescue the career of Crewe Alexandra's Lee Bell... The Brewers boss saw Bell as a direct replacement for Paul Carden. However, Carden has now committed himself to Albion for the rest of the season... Clough said: 'We think Lee is a good player, but the predominant reason we inquired about him was because we thought we were going to lose Paul Carden to Bury. For whatever reason, that didn't happen and we now feel the centre of midfield is one of our strongest departments. As well as Paul, we've got Lee Fowler and Danny Holmes vying for a place in the team and in a couple of weeks' time we also expect to have Andy Ducros available again after injury'". Bell said, "I'm out of contract in the summer and I've got to try to do the best for me. I think getting away from Crewe may be it. I've made 60 appearances in five years, so I can't really call myself a professional footballer, more like a professional trainer'".

    "York City boss Billy McEwan has dismissed Accrington Stanley's £25,000 plus a player bid for 20-goal Conference top scorer Clayton Donaldson as an 'embarrassment'", according to This is York. He said: "The offer was an embarrassment to our club and the player and is not even worth talking about. They were trying to take the Mickey and offered a derisory sum of money as well as a player I have been looking at for a long time". Indeed, "City's board also issued a statement refuting reports from Accrington that the League Two strugglers had returned with a six-figure sum after their original approach had been rejected... Director Sophie McGill said: 'We can confirm that we received a written offer of £25,000 plus a player but that was rejected and we have had no further communication from Accrington Stanley and no further offers have been made".

    But "on-loan defender Jason Goodliffe could make his farewell appearance for York City at Kidderminster tomorrow with Stevenage Borough requesting a fee for his permanent services... Stevenage have unexpectedly indicated that they would also seek money for Goodliffe, who turns 33 in March. City boss Billy McEwan is keen to thrash out a deal that would keep Goodliffe at KitKat Crescent until the end of the season but any transfer fee could provide a stumbling block... McEwan said: 'Stevenage are looking for a fee. That's surprising and the boy has come into my office disappointed. He's been there five years, they never paid any money for him and he's been a good professional. He thought the least they could have done is let him go and pursue his career but we have got to see now if we can come up with some agreement with Stevenage'. McEwan has admitted 'I spoke to two of Weymouth's players but could not match the money they were on and would not have paid it even if I had it because it was more than what my players are on and they have sweated blood for me so far this season. I will never be swayed to pay stupid money and nobody will ever come in on more money than anyone here'".

    "Hartlepool United, right sided midfielder, Michael Maidens, has joined York City today for a 4 weeks loan period. Michael Maidens is 19 years of age and 5ft 11".

    At Southport "Peter Davenport has made his first signing. He has brought in centre half Adam Dugdale (20) on loan from Crewe Alexandra".

    "Rushden & Diamonds have signed Mansfield Town forward Chris Beardsley on a month's loan. Beardsley, 22, is in his second spell with the Stags. He was released in 2004 but returned a year later after spells with Doncaster and Kidderminster. Also moving to Nene Park is Stuart Beavon, leading scorer from Didcot Town, reports BBC Radio Oxford... Beavon moves on a free transfer". Diamonds have also signed Rodney Hicks (20) who signed for Peterborough United in late 2006. The Posh then loaned him to King's Lynn before cancelling his contract last week.

    From Forest Green Rovers "Two players have today gone out on loan for one month: Mark Preece to Weston Super Mare and Paul Stonehouse to Gloucester City. One further player will be going out on loan next week with a Conference North club... One further player is interesting a club outside of England in relation to a possible permanent move. One further player as asked for his details to be circulated for a possible transfer but he requested at this stage that his details are not made public. Manager Jim Harvey will therefore be seeking to bring one or two players in when he can conclude the right players at the right price".

    19 January 2007


    Alty captain Steve Bushell is still a week away from fitness, so will not be playing at Woking tomorrow. Otherwise, everyone is fit.

    Gladly, there is no truth in the alarming statement on the Woking website that "Last season’s leading scorer Colin Little recently left Alty after a lack of first team opportunities". For "Colin Little" read "Lee Hendley".


    Altrincham FC have completed the signing today, on loan till the end of the season, of Halifax Town striker Chris Senior. Chris will have squad number 19, formerly used by Lee Hendley. He was set to sign yesterday but weather conditions prevented that and so he signed instead this lunchtime. 25 year-old Chris played against us recently at The Shay. As recently as November 2006, the Halifax boss Chris Wilder told the Halifax Courier, "Chris Senior was a major contributor in what we achieved last season" when the Shaymen reached the play-off final.

    He started at Huddersfield Town as a midfielder but, after being released as part of cost-cutting measures, he played briefly for Wakefield-Emley from January 2003. After a trial with Halifax Town, in summer of 2003 the Huddersfield-born Senior joined Scarborough, where he stayed till summer 2005. He started 31(+36) league games for the Seadogs and netted 18 goals. In 2003-04 he set a Conference record by coming off the bench 36 times. Whilst with Scarborough he was selected for the England non-League squad. Chris moved to Halifax on a free transfer in summer 2005 and made 21(+40) appearances for the Shaymen.

    Chris joins Colin Little, Steve Bushell, Justin Bowler, Val Owen and Karl Munroe as ex-Shaymen currently at Moss Lane.


    Alty striker Pat McFadden is expected to play tomorrow for Flixton in the FA Vase. Indeed, Flixton are hoping to arrange for Lee Hendley, who recently left Altrincham for Radcliffe Borough, to be loaned to them to form a strike pairing with Pat in the Vase game at The Valley tomorrow.


    We understand that former Altrincham FC manager Bernard Taylor is making a steady recovery from his recent stroke and we hope that his progress continues. Above is a picture of Bernard in happier times, just after winning the UniBond Shield against Stalybridge Celtic in pre-season, 1999/2000. The players seen are (l. to r). Brendan Burke, Danny Adams, Ged Kielty, Keith Russell, Stuart Coburn, Dickie Landon, Chris Timons, Tony Hemmings, Jason Gallagher and Paul Ellender, with Bernard himself, far right. On the extreme left is a Barrow supporter with a placard protesting against his club's demotion from the Conference.


    Altrincham travel to Woking on Saturday - why not come too? You can find the STAR supporters' coach details here.

    The Woking News says that "Glenn Cockerill has stated the next three games will 'make or break our season' as he unveils his new-look team at Kingfield on Saturday. The Cards’ boss, who still harbours hopes of the play-offs, is preparing for 'massive' home clashes against Altrincham, a team who haven’t won away since April last year, and Oxford United (Tues), a side who have only won once, against Lewes, in their past 10 matches.... Cockerill’s men then visit Cambridge away (27th), with Jimmy Quinn’s side having the worst home record in senior football this season... It seems the ideal time to take on all three clubs, especially as Cockerill has been able to make the changes he feels can make a difference to his underachieving team, with five players set to make their Kingfield bows this weekend. Cockerill was hoping to add former Portsmouth and Dundee midfielder Neil Barrett to his squad ahead of Saturday’s match against Altrincham and he could join James Bittner, Adam Green, Liam Marum and loanee Jason Pearce in the starting line-up. Gary MacDonald, Craig McAllister and Neil Smith are expected to play a part although MacDonald (hamstring) remains a slight doubt. But the absence of thigh-strain victim Tom Hutchinson, until at least the end of the month, is a major setback... With Shwan Jalal (Peterborough), Chris Sharpling (Lewes) and Steve Evans (Crawley) all gone — and Steve Ferguson loaned out to AFC Wimbledon for a month — Cockerill has been able to draft in Barrett on the recommendation of Hutchinson. Barrett played for Portsmouth in the Championship and was a team-mate of Hutchinson at Dundee, before being released by Livingston in January of last year... and having turned down a deal at Exeter City because he wants to stay nearer the capital, Cockerill has moved to sign him.... Cockerill allowed Evans to go to Crawley... 'He didn’t produce the consistency I was looking for', said the boss. Cockerill has told Giuseppe Sole and Hutchinson he wants to build the team around them and Sole was delighted to put pen to paper on a new contract... Meanwhile, Karim El-Salahi has had his loan extended with Eastleigh... Ollie Berquez could be available against Oxford on Tuesday while Simon Jackson, Shola Oyedele and Ian Selley are a couple of weeks from fitness".


    The BBC says that "Cambridge United have agreed to sign ex-Peterborough full-back Dean Hooper. The 35-year-old, who has recently been playing for Conference South side Lewes, is to stay at the Abbey Stadium until the end of the season. 'We need experience to cope with the pressures and make sure we stay in this league and Dean has that', U's boss Jimmy Quinn told his club's website".

    The Cambridge Evening News reports that "Lee Power has admitted Cambridge United are no closer to solving their financial woes than when he took charge. And Power, pictured below, says the annual rent on the Abbey Stadium continues to 'cripple' the U's. The United chairman arrived at the Abbey last August hopeful of making inroads into the club's running losses of around £400,000. But, five months on, he said the ongoing issue of having to pay £200,000 to stadium owners Bideawhile and a slump in attendances due to United's struggles on the pitch at home had not helped the club's long-term bid to break even. Power said: 'The position is more or less where it was when I came here, and if anything it has got worse. We put a budget in place at the start of the season for a mid-table position and not a great cup run, but we've not had any cup run and we've been in the bottom eight for near enough all season. Although the support we've had is fantastic, it's down on last season and that's made our job even tougher. With trying to get sponsorship with a team that's struggling, it has made it very difficult even though Heather (Wilkanowski, general manager) and her team have done a decent job. The football club is largely determined by what happens on that pitch on a Saturday, and there's nothing as a board of directors that we can do to make a difference in a game. We were hoping for a cup run or the team to be performing well and the gates would have increased'. Power said there was still some way to go in United's bid to buy back the Abbey from Bideawhile by the June deadline, adding that the club needed to shed its annual rent burden to secure its future... 'It's crippling the club', said Power... 'Myself and a lot of other people are frustrated with where we are at this moment in time'".

    In Sussex, The Argus says that "Crawley are confident they can land a League One striker before their crucial relegation clash with Southport on Saturday. Reds have been talking to a 19-year-old frontman for a week... Joint caretaker boss Ben Judge, in charge along with Dave Woozley and John Yems, said: 'We want to bring him in before Saturday but there is a bit of a problem with the player's agent which is holding things up but hopefully that will be sorted out soon'. Yems says Reds are unlikely to pursue their interest in trialists Ryan Watts and Kevin George... Yems said: 'We gave them a chance to show us what they could do and they didn't take it'".

    "York City have rejected a bid from Accrington Stanley for top scorer Clayton Donaldson. City turned down a cash-plus player offer for the 22-year-old, who is the Conference's leading scorer with 18 goals so far this season. Accrington then upped their bid to a six-figure fee but were told that the former Hull player was not for sale. Peterborough failed with a £100,000 bid for Donaldson, whose current deal expires at the end of the season".

    Meanwhile "Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has allowed defender Patrick Ada to rejoin his former club St Albans City on loan. Ada had joined the Grecians in the summer after helping St Albans to promotion to the Conference in 2005/06. 'We have already played St Albans twice, so let's get him some football in the Conference', Tisdale told the Express & Echo newspaper. Another player leaving Exeter is young striker Chris Wright, who has joined Conference South side Yeading on loan" states the BBC.

    And "Rushden and Diamonds have signed former Gillingham full-back David Perpetuini from Lewes. The 27-year-old moves to Nene Park on a free transfer in a deal which will keep him with the Conference strugglers until the end of the season. Perpetuini was previously signed by Rushden boss Graham Westley when he was in charge at Stevenage".

    In the Romford Recorder we read that "The departure of Peterborough United manager Keith Alexander is not expected to jeopardise the transfers of Craig Mackail-Smith and Shane Blackett to London Road... Alexander was sacked on Monday and replaced by Tommy Taylor after less than eight months in charge... Peterborough director of football Barry Fry, rather than Alexander, is thought to have instigated the signings of Mackail-Smith and Blackett, and a club spokesman insisted that despite Alexander's exit, a deal has already been signed".

    This is Exeter asserts that "New signing Steve Tully has branded the crisis engulfing Weymouth as 'absolute chaos'and has thanked Exeter City for rescuing his career... Winger Lee Elam and full-back Tully were thrown a lifeline when they agreed terms with the Grecians within 48 hours of the crisis erupting. But now Weymouth bosses have recalled all the remaining players and taken them off the transfer list as the situation descends into farce. Terras' striker Richard Logan, who was due to turn out for City's reserves in their 1-0 defeat by Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, was forced to return to the Wessex Stadium despite staging talks with City boss Paul Tisdale over a potential move to St James's Park... Tully told Echo Sport, 'I have spoken to a few of the lads and they have agreed to sign for other clubs only to be told they can't go anywhere. They are absolutely fuming and I am glad I am out of it. I spoke to Exeter straight away after we realised what was going on and I was delighted to get something sorted so quickly'. Tully also revealed how he spoke to Conference rivals Forest Green Rovers and League Two strugglers Torquay United before sealing his move to St James's Park".

    "A top-five finish would certainly be a fitting end for the Conference's surprise package and Daish has been hunting for squad reinforcements to secure that ultimate objective" states the Gravesend Reporter. The Fleet boss has brokered a deal to bring quick-footed, right winger-cum-striker Joel Ledgister on a one-month loan from Southend United and another forward also remains a top priority. Daish made an enquiry about Welling United's Danny Kedwell, but the reputed price tag - £25k - rather put the buffers on that proposed deal. He's also close to bringing Weymouth's Chukki Eribenne to Stonebridge Road... Daish revealed: 'I've spoken to Chukki and he's come down and discussed terms. However, I don't know what's going on at Weymouth at the moment. One minute, all their players are up for sale and the next, they're not'".

    Halifax Today confirms that "Chris Wilder is set to sign German midfielder Felix Bastians on loan from Nottingham Forest. The move comes hours after the Shay chief discovered that he was losing Nathan Joynes who has been recalled by Barnsley. [Joynes scored against Altrincham this season]. Bastians had a spell at Northwich earlier this season". Wilder added "If we could get him in, it would free Lewis Killeen to play up front... And Steve Torpey probably needs two or three weeks training before he can return". The paper adds, "With Darryn Stamp and Neal Trotman joining an injury list that also includes Andy Campbell, Steve Haslam and Gus Uhlenbeek, and Ryan Sugden having been allowed to leave to join Farsley, Wilder's resources are stretched... And Town received the news that Joynes was wanted back at Oakwell last night. Barely 24 hours earlier, the 21-year-old spoke about how much he was enjoying his time at the Shay. 'I have loved it since scoring on my debut', said Joynes. 'Since then things just got better and better - better than I expected to be fair'". Kidderminster Shuttle which says that "Walsall are set to recall James Constable after his loan spell expires this weekend - scuppering Harriers' hopes of signing the goals machine permanently.... [Meanwhile manager Mark Yates] "looks set to stick with his current Conference kings for the next two games after missing out on a transfer target. Yates had hoped to draft in Weymouth captain Ben Smith to boost their play-off push, but the attacking midfielder favours a more lucrative move to a Football League club. Although Harriers have other irons in the fire, there is unlikely to be any movement either in or out of Aggborough before the York and Stafford matches. 'I think Ben would have been a good addition but there's probably 20 other clubs after him and a lot of them are league clubs offering him a fantastic deal and opportunity', said Yates. Having released Jamie McClen and brought in Danny McGhee last week Yates wants to secure the services of another midfielder and striker as well as offloading players in both positions... Meanwhile, their ranks will be boosted by the expected return to fitness of hamstring injury victims Michael Blackwood and Gavin Hurren this weekend. Iyseden Christie has recovered from a foot problem... Boss Yates is relishing Christie's battle of the in-form Conference strikers with York's Clayton Donaldson".

    From the St Albans Observer we learn that "St Albans City are set to dramatically re-sign Patrick Ada on a three-month loan deal. The Cameroon powerhouse left Clarence Park in the summer after being deemed surplus to requirements by Colin Lippiatt, but he has been summoned back by the City boss who is desperate to bolster his back line in the wake of the departures of Magnus Okuonghae and Dave Theobald. Ada is currently out of favour at Exeter City". But "Paul Hakim's chances of finding a new club before the end of the January transfer window are running out after a move to Dagenham & Redbridge fell through. St Albans City had agreed an undisclosed fee with the Daggers and given them permission to talk to the wantaway striker this week as they sought a replacement for the departed Craig MacKail-Smith. But the deal has fallen through, leaving Hakim in limbo... The striker is currently sidelined with a knee injury".

    Stevenage Borough says that "striker Tony Thorpe has gone back to Grimsby Town, temporarily at least. Thorpe... has rejoined the Mariners for a three-day loan spell to allow new manager Alan Buckley to have a look at him". The Comet says that Stevenage's "Steve Morison is going nowhere according to his manager. Morison has reached the 20-goal mark already in league and cup matches this season, prompting talk of a move to Championship neighbours Luton Town. But Boro boss Mark Stimson assured supporters when he said: 'It's just speculation'".

    This is Weymouth claims that "Weymouth's new player-manager Jason Tindall has confirmed that the club is doing everything in its power to retain the services of skipper Ben Smith. The talented midfielder, who has netted ten times this season, has been linked with a move to several clubs including Hereford United and Cheltenham Town. But now the Terras have pulled all their players off the transfer list he could be persuaded to stay... In December he signed a contract committing himself to the club until 2009. Tindall said: 'At the end of the day, if the club receives an offer that is acceptable then that is what is likely to happen'".

    18 January 2007


    Altrincham travel to Woking this Saturday.

    The Surrey Advertiser states that Woking chairman John Buchanan "jetted in from Australia and then leapt to the defence of his underfire manager. Goalkeeper Shwan Jalal was sold to Peterborough for an initial £35,000 while record signing Chris Sharpling, whose career has been wrecked by a series of injury blows, headed for Lewes. Set to leave too, possibly to Crawley Town, is midfielder Steve Evans while, joining recently recruited goalkeeper James Bittner, have been Cambridge United striker Liam Marum, defender Jason Pearce on loan from Portsmouth and the latest, Grays full-back Adam Green. Buchanan, fresh from watching England’s Ashes struggles, returned to face flak from fans agitated by the Cards’ form which has seen them win just two of their last 11 league games – and crash out of the FA Trophy to Salisbury City. He hopes supporters, large numbers of whom have called for Cockerill’s head, will be encouraged by the action now being taken to arrest the slide.

    As many as eight of Cockerill’s current squad are understood to be up for sale in a radical shake-up though movement during this month’s transfer window has been hampered by an injury crisis sweeping through the club. Currently nine players are undergoing treatment and are having to form an orderly queue to see physio Bobby Childs. The situation got so bad that Cockerill was able to name only two outfield subs as the Cards lost bravely at Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday. Good news is that youth product Giuseppe Sole and outstanding centre-half Tom Hutchinson – who could start up a small business given the number of man of the match bottles of champagne he has won – are poised to sign new contracts tying them to the Cards until the end of 2007-08.

    'Glenn has done a lot more for this club than people give him credit for', insisted Buchanan. 'Setting up the Academy has been a wonderful thing and our main sponsor (GMB) is at the club because of Glenn, no one else. He has probably made some bad tactical decisions and some signings haven’t worked out but all managers do that. Some of the criticism aimed at Glenn while I’ve been away has been unjustified as he is doing his best on a tight budget which was cut in the summer and which will be cut again for next season'.

    The chairman insisted too that he would not lead Woking down a similar rocky financial path as others who are now feeling the effects, notably Crawley and the latest this week, Weymouth. 'I’m given a budget by the owner and Glenn is very good at working to it', he went on. 'We are not going to sign players on £1,000 a week like Weymouth and halfway through the season end up skint'. Buchanan said the current budget offered to the club by owner Chris Ingram was 'a good one' but warned: 'There are too many in the Conference running miles over what theirs should be and getting into financial trouble. We will work within our means and if Mr Ingram keeps cutting the budget I will cut the cloth to suit it. If Chris thinks myself, Glenn and the team are not doing a good job I’m sure he will soon change it. Would another manager do as good a job as Glenn with the same budget? [But] Glenn is not stupid. If he loses the next three or four games his job is on the line'".

    But on the Woking Forum we learn that Giuseppe Sole has "a thigh strain [which] has ruled him out until at least the end of January. Neil Barrett is set to sign and could join Bittner, Green, Marum and Pearce in making their home debuts [against Altrincham]. Barrett is a former Portsmouth and Dundee midfielder. He's played in the Championship for Portsmouth and alongside Tom Hutchinson at Dundee... and Glenn Cockerill claims we couldn't have gone for him without Fergie, Evo and Sharpling being shipped out, as well as Shwan Jalal's sale. Karim has been allowed to extend his loan at Eastleigh, despite there being a doubt over Macca (Macdonald) for Saturday and Hutchinson and Matt Ruby injured. Karim can be recalled if Macca doesn't make it.. [and] Jackson, Shola Oyedele and Ian Selley are a couple of weeks away from fitness".


    The Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen says that "One of the most popular players to wear the Lancaster City shirt in recent years is boosting the Dolly Blues - although he probably doesn't realise it. Flying striker Tony Sullivan retired from senior football at the end of last season when Gary Finley indicated he wouldn't have a place in the City side. The Liverpudlian was a crowd hero at Giant Axe and now a signed Sullivan City shirt has been put up for sale on an Internet auction site. The shirt, being sold by a Lancaster fan, has attracted dozens of bids and at the time of going to press was racing towards the £50 mark with the cash from the sale going straight to the football club".


    The BBC reports that "Grays Athletic have clinched the signings of Weymouth duo Simon Downer and Abdou El-Kholti. Former Orient defender Downer, 25, ends an 18-month stay with the Terras, while ex-Chester midfielder El-Kholti, 26, had been at Weymouth since last summer. Weymouth were forced to trim their staff to cut costs but having seen five players leave have removed the rest of their squad from the transfer list. Meanwhile, Grays have released central defender Nathan Moulds, 24".

    Injured against Altrincham, "Halifax defender Greg Young is out for the season because of a knee injury. Young has been ruled out for between six and eight months after being told he requires reconstructive surgery on the knee he injured on New Year's Day. Boss Chris Wilder told Halifax's website: 'We are totally disappointed for the boy. But we'll look after him. We won't abandon him'. Young, 23, has previously had to undergo shoulder surgery during his two-year stay with Halifax" states the BBC.

    "Cheltenham Town have placed striker Steve Guinan on the transfer list. Guinan will be allowed to leave on a free transfer and has already attracted attention from a number of clubs in League Two and the Conference. Exeter City were one of those who have already confirmed an interest in the 31-year-old... Guinan joined Cheltenham from Hereford in 2004... Exeter boss Paul Tisdale was given permission to talk to Guinan".

    On NL Daily confirms yet another signing at Crawley, their fourth in a week, saying that "Crawley have secured the services of young midfielder Sean Ridgway from rivals Aldershot Town. The Paddington-born player has made just one first team appearance for the Shots this season... It is believed that the move was a free transfer and will help the youngster gain more experience as well as free up some funding. Ridgway started his career as a trainee with Luton and went on to play for Rushden & Diamonds."

    NL Daily adds that "Rushden & Diamonds' founder, owner and chairman Max Griggs has resigned as life president of the club. His departure is thought to be connected to the continuing argument over land at Nene Park. Griggs gave the club, stadium and 22 acres of land to the Supporters' Trust 18 months ago. However, the Trust are now expected to hand that land over to new chairman Keith Cousins later this month. The Trust Board revealed that should supporters vote against handing over the land, administration could follow".

    "Jimmy Quinn, manager of Cambridge United, wants to sign Nationwide South side Lewes's experienced full back Dean Hooper to bolster the U`s bid to beat the drop. Hooper impressed in a friendly for the U's on Monday night and Quinn wants to secure the 35-year-old on a deal until the end of the season. Hooper played for Peterborough before a spell with Aldershot Town. However, non-contract defender Rob Gier, 27, is set to leave Cambridge after playing seventeen games this season" reports NL Daily.

    Amidst their turmoil, Weymouth state that "Several academy players trained with the Terras yesterday including Josh Burton, Richard Marshallsay, Sanchez Janz-Baker, Lewis Ironside and Callum Crawley. The club is still desperately trying to put together a side for Saturday's trip to Halifax Town. Some of those who have been transfer-listed by the club were also in attendance while others were talking over possible deals with other clubs. It has been rumoured that Richard Logan held talks with Exeter City yesterday, Chukki Eribenne was at Gravesend & Northfleet, and Nick Crittenden and Tony James were at Stevenage Borough. Echosport also reported yesterday that Ben Smith was considering two offers and that there may be a third in the pipeline. The two confirmed offers he has received are believed to be from Hereford United and Cheltenham Town. Last night (chief executive] Calder said: 'Nothing more has happened but there is a lot going on'. Ian Hutchinson, Adam Wilde and Simon Browne have also been linked with possible returns to the Wessex Stadium".

    Terras' chairman Martyn Harrison has spoken frankly of the crisis. "We are just working hard towards getting a team for Saturday... I spoke to Garry Hill at some length before agreeing what we would do and I also asked at times for some help and assistance but Garry would never settle for second best, that is for sure. Looking at a club that is going to have a playing budget way below what it was before and the type of players we were getting in, although he said he would like to help it wasn’t really a situation which we could agree on... I have had one offer to [take over from me] but that is very difficult because I am tied in with the club and I do feel totally responsible for the situation...

    I have got one particular person (Ian Ridley) at the moment who has given me a dead­line of 6pm today to give him an answer whether I will just walk away from the club and let him take it over lock, stock and barrel. Although part of that deal would involve me funding the rest of the season... I probably over-estimated what we could get and what we could achieve, and made a lot of mistakes along the way... From Ian Ridley's point of view I suppose he is going to be in a position to say I told you so but the fact of the matter is I have invested a lot of money into the club for no personal gain. I am sure he will be a difficult person to deal with going through this. He has his own agenda and I don't think I am a part of that...

    I have got the club in this position and I need to be given the chance to get it out. I think we are going to have to go part-time.. We are trying to get the expensive players settled somewhere else because we have an obligation to them and their futures, and their lives... There was so much money going in there that basically it was out of control. I cannot blame anyone for that... Garry and Kevin stuck to their budget and it is just a case where moving into the Conference we over-anticipated the amount of income which we were going to get. Our income has not increased substantially from where we were in Conference South. The average gate is up but not enough to sustain the wage bill that we had...

    What went in was my personal money. It is nobody else's money. It's not creditors or anyone else's... Two-and-a-half million pounds has been put into the football club to achieve a certain amount of success and ongoing it was costing around £100,000 a month. It is impossible to carry that on. New contracts for the players and the staff would have had to have been negotiated for next season and there was no way this club could move forward with the way we were going... It is not of interest to me to sell this ground to anybody and under the agreement I have with the club there is no way anyone would want to come in and buy it... I got involved because I was asked on to the board... At the time I envisaged that. I would be putting in £500,000 to secure the future of the club. The fact that I then got carried away with it all and lifted that up to £2.5million or thereabouts is my problem really.

    I am not asking the club for the money back, I am not asking for the redevelopment of the ground for my benefit, I am not asking for anything apart from support and to get through the situation we are in... The money I have put in is what I could afford to put in and I can't put it in anymore. It was a huge sum of money and I think we have gained something from it by winning the league last year. But I also know from the fans' point of view that it has not been very good because it has also destabilised the club. It is something I expected but I have not been clever enough to deal-with. The business is doing fine and what I have been doing is taking my profits out at the end of the year and utilising them on the football club. I have a business that employs 350 people and that needs to be nice and safe, and secure as well. I do not have a problem with the bank... At the end of the interview Harrison also revealed what the club's player budget was before the recent departures. He said: 'It was not £25,000 a week like some people have been saying. The player budget was £690,000 a year'".

    Meanwhile Ian Ridley has his say on This is Weymouth 'Over the last few years, the club has caused me - and my family - all sorts of grief but still it remains in my system... When I first heard the news of the club's plight last week, I can't say I was surprised. It has been coming for a while, knowing what I do. Despite my scepticism, I made contact with Martyn Harrison and we arranged a meeting last Thursday. I felt it was time for us both to swallow our pride for the good of the football club in this direst of hours. I put together a rescue package which I thought would offer the club the best way of digging itself out of the hole he has created, and is still digging. I wanted Steve Claridge back as player/manager to assemble a team on a small budget capable of remaining competitive in the Conference, so that we could stay up and regroup in the summer.

    Over the next four months the club would be self-financing through revenue. I had done the figures. Including Steve's knockdown fee, we could have a wage bill of around £4,000 a week based on gate receipts. He would play, and attract players back, to keep us up. I said that to implement this plan I wanted to return as chairman, with Dave Higson joining me on the board. I had spoken to Dave who had agreed in principle. In addition, I was willing to come back to the club as an unpaid part-time chief executive to sort out the situation, thus saving the club the £1,200 a week wages of Gary Calder.

    On top, I insisted on the club sanctioning and recognising a supporters' trust, which would have two members on the five-person board... I wanted Martyn to remain on the board for the next four months because we would need him to be accountable for the debts the club has incurred... over those four months I would find new investors in the club who would come to arrangements with Hollybush Hotels to get them some of their money back, buy out Martyn's shares, and take on the debt to Barclays... Weymouth FC owes Hollybush Hotels £2.5 million and Barclays around £400,000, though it has a debenture on the club for £800,000. In addition, there are creditors of around £70,000, with only around £30,000 owed to the club. This after Mr Harrison told a press conference that the club was debt-free. The club is losing around £70,000 a month, still saddled with exorbitant contracts.

    After last year's losses of £886,000, the loss for the next set of financial figures... will be more than £1 million. Even with recent changes, it is heading for around the same this season, given the pay-offs for Messrs Hill and Hales. That is £3 million in three seasons. The deficit was £348,000 when I left the club at the start of the Harrison era, me having inherited a debt of £300,000. And he told everyone that I was the one who was going to bankrupt the club!

    Steve would have known how to find new clubs for players, and get cheaper ones in, very quickly, as well as maintaining gate revenue by being on the pitch... After the one-hour meeting, Martyn rang me back a few hours later and agreed to all the criteria. Then he rang me again to say he needed to speak to his solicitor first... We duly met for two hours, but his mood had changed, shown by him bringing along a Hollybush director... At 8.30pm on Monday night he finally rang again to say he had more meetings with legal and financial people and could not make a decision... He stated - at an AGM, no less - that his money was not loans. Then he changed that, with the club receiving a letter from Hollybush saying that all their money is indeed in loans... My fear is that the land is sold along with the club to some asset-stripper. I suspect that with Messrs Harrison and Calder unable to get enough players off the wage bill, administration looms, and possibly re-forming in a lower league... In Conference circles, I am afraid to say that a reputation for arrogance over the last couple of years has taken hold when it comes to Weymouth Football Club".

    Southport GB says that "The appointment of Peter Davenport as the man tasked with steering Southport to safety came as a bolt out of the blue to many - including the new Haig Avenue boss himself...Ten years since leaving Haig Avenue, Davenport resigned from the North Wales side last night and after receiving the thumbs up from the Southport top brass, he was in at the deep end... 'It’s a pleasant surprise to be back and I’m looking forward to it', he said. ‘I have come in with my eyes wide open and things need to be done to ensure the team get results. I’ve missed the full-time side of football and that was big appeal. I missed the day-to-day involvement with the players and the coaching to improve them, so it’s good to have more of a professional basis... With a few results, we can certainly turn things around... Davenport’s last first-hand involvement in Nationwide Conference football was in 1997... He continued: ‘I’ve watched a lot of Conference games, particularly last year. I’ve been in management this year, but this time last year I was watching a lot of games, including Southport, Altrincham, Northwich and Burton Albion... The transfer window closes in two weeks time and we need to bring people in quickly. There’s no set budget or set figure on things. The promise is there that we will try to bring people in as and when we can. It’s certainly a matter of bringing some experience in. We’ve already got players in mind, it’s now a case of seeing if we can get them'... Chief Executive Haydn Preece confirmed that caretaker manager Dino Maamria was interviewed for the job as permanent boss, but, after consulting other managers, the striker later withdrew his application because he felt he wasn’t ready to take sole charge of a team". Of Maamria, Davenport added, ‘I’d very much like him to stay... and if he wants to get involved in the coaching, then that may be an avenue to explore'... The Southport boss is yet to select his support staff and Davenport says that he is ‘still in discussions’ with former Telford United manager Alan Lewer, but maintains ‘there’s nothing definite on that'".

    The Northwich Guardian claims that "Stuart Elliott still doesn't know when he'll face an FA appeal panel. The Vics' captain told the game's governing body at Christmas that he would fight to clear his name after being charged with racially abusing another player. But he's been kept waiting since. 'We haven't been able to find an agreeable date', an FA spokesman told the Guardian on Monday.The FA charged Elliott last month with using racially aggravated abusive language' towards Tyrone Thompson during the second half of Vics' Conference clash with Halifax Town on November 4... His captain's form has suffered in recent weeks. Indeed, Elliott was in line to be dropped by Burr for last weekend's trip to St Albans but he filled in at left back after Tony Gallimore and Ryan Brown were taken ill".

    The same source adds that "Steve Burr has told the Guardian he wanted former Halifax forward Ryan Sugden. The 26-year-old joined Conference North play-off hopefuls Farsley Celtic on Monday after turning down offers from both Vics and Altrincham... 'I've always rated Ryan and, when we heard that he'd become available I was on the phone to Halifax', said Burr... 'He's made his choice and we all move on'".

    From Halifax Today we see that "Chris Wilder has hinted that chairman Geoff Ralph's bid to secure funding for the cash-strapped Shaymen is about to pay off. Ralph has been in talks with two groups of potential investors and told Courier Sport last week that he was optimistic that he was not far from securing a deal.... Wilder suggested that a deal could happen within a matter of days... He said, 'I think the club has a lot of things to look forward to if we can compete on a level playing field'".

    This is Glos says that "Forest Green Rovers' boss Jim Harvey will be eagerly awaiting a report from his physio to see how many fit players he has for Saturday's clash with Tamworth".

    Rob Gier last night said [in the] a href=">Cambridge Evening News that "he was 'disappointed' to become the latest player axed by Cambridge United. The 27-year-old defender was told yesterday (Tuesday) his non-contract terms, which are due to run out on Friday, would not be renewed as manager Jimmy Quinn seeks to get players off the wage bill to bring in new recruits. Gier's release follows the exits of Marcus Richardson, who is set to join Crawley, and Danny Carey-Bertram in the past five days, while Liam Marum moved to Woking earlier this month... 'I feel I've done well in the games I've played, so I'm obviously disappointed', said the former Milton Keynes Dons player... The fact that I was on noncontract terms didn't help because it's much easier for him to free me than someone with a deal'... With Gier gone, it will strengthen Quinn's attempt to bring in former Peterborough right-back Dean Hooper before Saturday's tough trip to Stevenage".

    Tamworth have "signed Rikki Bains, a central defender or right wing back who doesn't turn 19 until next month. He made three first team appearances for Accrington Stanley in Division 2 over the Christmas-New Year period but wanted a club nearer to his Midlands home.Bains... had been on the books of Coventry City from the age of 10 but was released last May. He has signed a contract with Tamworth to the end of this season"> On the Crawley Forum we find a summary of yesterday's meeting. Amongst the outcomes was that "The proposal to extend the CVA until April in order to give time for Azwar's flat to be sold was accepted. The FA attended and are not happy at all with CTFC. They feel they were lied to when they were told everything would be sorted by October and are pushing for all football creditors to be paid as a matter of urgency... No club representatives whatsoever were in attendance... the administrators chaired the meeting".

    Another report adds "As [the Majeeds'] SA Retail had effectively no assets and had ceased trading, [the administrator] has extended the scope of the assurances and indemnity to keep the club going to other parts of the SA Group/Majeed family empire (SA Leisure & SA Restaurants but not Platinum Ignitions)... Because football creditors remain unresolved there is still a transfer embargo applied to the club, they can only sign out of contract, loan, youth experience etc type players... The flat is currently for sale at circa £1.4 million with a reputable Brighton Estate Agency... The sale of the flat is to a niche market price-wise, further reduced by the “individual” way in which it has been decorated... Rob proposes that the sale of the flat through the market be given until the end of April after which he will move to repossesion & sale by auction to be completed by the end of June, in any event he proposes that creditors will receive their full 50p in the £.... There was a general level of complaint amongst the creditors that the no real penalties had been applied to the Majeeds for defaulting on the CVA and that the timescales seemed to be arrived at to favour the continuance of the football operation."

    17 January 2007


    The Conference match betwen Northwich Victoria and Altrincham has now been re-arranged for 7.45pm on Tuesday, 13 February 2007. The game had been set for 23 January but has had to be moved because of the double postponement of the Vics' away FA Trophy tie at Eastbourne Borough, which has now been scheduled for that date.

    Four of Alty's next six games are away (at Woking, Southport, Northwich Victoria, Crawley Town).


    Altrincham FC has issued the following statement after yesterday's announcement by chairman Geoff Goodwin about his future at the football club - (see lower down this page for details).

    Mr Geoff Goodwin announced at the Board meeting last night, (Tuesday), that he intends to step down as Chairman of the Football Club as from the end of the 2007-08 season.

    Because of business and family commitments he is unable to donate sufficient time that the Chairmanship merits and, although he has no intention of severing his links to the club, he feels that it would be beneficial that the position of Chairman is passed to another person.

    During his time in office, the club has gone through a remarkable change in fortunes from being on the verge of insolvency to financial stability. His fellow Directors and everyone connected with Altrincham Football Club are extremely grateful for his leadership and are pleased that Geoff will remain connected with the club.

    Vice-Chairman Grahame Rowley says, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Geoff for everything that he has done for the Football Club and I am also pleased that he has allowed sufficient time for an orderly transition to take place”.

    WALK ON...

    Altrincham FC has confirmed that the sponsored walk to Northwich Victoria's ground, to be led by Alty director Andrew Shaw, will still take place on 23 January, despite the fixture on that date between the Vics and the Robins now having to be re-arranged. You can sponsor Andrew via the STAR website, or the club (928-1045).


    Yet again, wet weather has caused the postponement of a Reserves' match. This time it is tonight's League Cup match against Rossendale United at Moss Lane. The next match is on Wednesday 24 January at home (7.45pm) to Hyde United in the League Cup.


    The Crawley Argus reports that debt-ridden Crawley Town have, nevertheless, signed yet another player. "Crawley today boosted their firepower with the signing of well-travelled striker Marcus Richardson from Cambridge United. The 29-year-old has played almost 200 League games for nine different clubs... He is the third player Reds have signed in the last week following the arrivals of defenders Magnus Okuonghae and Ronnie Bull from St Albans and Grays respectively. Caretaker boss John Yems said: 'He (Richardson) has a lot of experience and will be a real handful for defenders. He is quite a big lad and will give us a physical presence up front which maybe we have been lacking'".


    As announced by the Sale and Altrincham Messenger last night, "Geoff Goodwin will step down as Altrincham chairman at the end of next season. The shock announcement was made at a board meeting on Tuesday night and Goodwin is set to leave in May 2008. Goodwin, who became Alty chairman in July 2002, has overseen the club's turnaround from near-bankruptcy to relative financial comfort.But the owner of the Go Goodwins coach company now believes it is time for him to walk away. He said: 'I haven't got the time to dedicate to the job that it deserves. I want to leave on a good note because I think I have done my job here. This is a big decision and it's been really difficult but I have to do the right thing for the club. I've made the announcement a year in advance so that the club can plan for my exit and everything will continue to be stable. I'm not going to cut my ties with the club and I'll still do what I can at Moss Lane, I just think it's time for me to step aside and let someone else take over at the club. I can hold me head up and walk away knowing I've done things right'".

    When Geoff spoke about his resignation to the Altrincham FC website yesterday afternoon he indicated that he had always said that his role at the club was to pull it round from its poor financial situation and he believed that once the money from the car park development came through, the club would be on an even keel. However, he said that he would then remain at the helm for a year to ensure that the situation was stable. Meanwhile Geoff revealed that he is busy trying to arrange a fundraising venture for the club involving Australian Test cricketers and Altrincham FC.

    Left: Geoff in action for the Staff side against the Supporters in 2005.

    Geoff Goodwin was named as Chairman in late July, 2002 after the previous Board members resigned in May 2002. An Emergency General Meeting was held on 17 June 2002 and from this, a new Board emerged comprising Geoff, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw. Together, they brought much needed stability to the club's operations, with a small operating profit being made in 2002-03 and each year since. Geoff and the Board have hugely reduced the club's debts, which they inherited, without taking the easy way out of reneging on debts by going into administration. Trafford council's impending sale of the car park at Moss Lane should bring a much-needed cash injection to the club in 2007 and the sell-on clause for Ian Craney should ultimately bring £75,000 to Moss Lane.

    When the financial plight of certain big-spending clubs in the Conference is considered, Geoff and his Board's wise policy of living within the club's means has been fully vindicated. During his chairmanship Geoff has also raised the profile of the club, not least through his various fundraising ventures with the Australian cricket team, for whom his coach company Go Goodwins provided transport on their last tour of England. He leaves the club in the capable hands of the remaining Board, which comprises vice-chairman Grahame Rowley, Andrew Shaw, Derek Wilshaw, Carole Hassan and Barry Pond.

    All supporters of Altrincham FC will be grateful to Geoff for the time and money that he has given to the club and will wish him well for the future. And few will forget his enthusiasm as seen in his response to our winning the Cheshire Senior Cup and whenever he scored a goal in the Staff v Supporters' matches!

    A club statement is expected later.


    Because of the postponement of Tuesday night's Eastbourne Borough v Northwich Vics game in the FA Trophy to 23 January, the Conference match between Northwich and Altrincham which is scheduled on that date will now have to be moved.


    "A partner in communications consultancy Travel Intelligence Network", Mark Harris, who was chairman of Altrincham FC in 2001-02 is reported by the Manchester Evening News as being "named 2007 Business Travel Personality of the Year during a ceremony at London's exclusive Hurlingham Club. He was voted for a Diamond Award by readers of a magazine who comprise business travel buyers, managers and arrangers. Mark (45), a former chairman of Altrincham FC said, 'I was very shocked but naturally very honoured to get this highly prestigious award. I have been in the the business travel industry for nearly 17 years now but I honestly had absolutely no idea I was going to win until my name was read out at the ceremony'. The Manchester Grammar School old boy and Oxford graduate sells sponsorship, contract publishing magazines and industry reports for the business travel market. His company also runs events on behalf of trade associations, business travel suppliers and intermediaries. Mark also acts as head of marketing for the Institute of Travel Management. Outside business travel he is now a director of Witton Albion FC".


    The BBC says that "Weymouth have appointed Jason Tindall as player/manager and have taken all of their first-team players off the transfer list. The Terras last week made the entire first team available for transfer and sacked manager Garry Hill and assistant Kevin Hales to reduce costs. But chairman Martyn Harrison said: 'We have now reduced our costs. I am providing the necessary funding to see us successfully through to the end of this season'. The reconstruction of the management team also sees Roy O'Brien appointed to the position of player/coach. Harrison added: 'The management team will have the necessary resources made available to them to succeed and they will be working hard with the team to ensure we stay in the Conference. I want the club to have a proper future, and I hope this demonstrates to all my complete commitment to the Terras. These funds come from myself, not my company and with no strings attached. To safeguard the long-term future, a Supporters' Trust Committee will be formed and will be tasked with raising funds locally. These funds will be placed in Trust for the future benefit of the club'". All very strange!

    Before the new upturn in the Terras' fortunes, This is Weymouthreported that "Chairman Martyn Harrison is talking to potential investors in a bid to secure the club's future. Last night the hotelier told Echosport that several people have contacted him offering help and that one possible deal could even result in him relinquishing his backing from the club. Harrison said: 'I have spoken to quite a few people, there are ongoing meetings and I am hoping to have some good news soon on the financial side. Loads of people have been offering help and it is just whether they come good or not. I am talking to somebody about coming in and running the club which does not involve me and talking to others who do involve me but time does seem to be slipping by quite quickly at the moment'... Former boss Garry Hill and his assistant Kevin Hales, who were relieved of their duties last week, offered their services until the end of season to Harrison yesterday. But no arrangement could be struck".

    And the same source said that "Martyn Harrison is mulling over a rescue package that has been put to him by Ian Ridley. According to the hotelier, he was initially given a deadline of 6pm last night to make a decision on the proposal but the pair spoke on the telephone last night and talks are still ongoing. Harrison took over the club from Ridley in 2004 and they have been at loggerheads ever since. But it seems that they might now be ready to forget their differences, in order to strike a deal to save the club. Ridley made this statement: 'I was willing to speak to Martyn because the important thing at this time of crisis is the football club and not our personal history. The club is in such a serious state and a lot more needs to come out about that'".

    Following Peter Davenport's appointment at Southport, the BBC quotes chief executive Hayden Preece: "'He knows the club and he is looking to come in and strengthen the squad with immediate effect. We are looking for Peter to take us out of this situation and project the club forward'. Preece is hoping Davenport can have a similar effect at Haig Avenue as he did with Sammy McIlroy at Macclesfield. He played and coached under McIlroy at Moss Rose as they rose from the Conference to League One. The 45-year-old, who was capped once by England, also had a brief spell in charge at Macclesfield in 2000, before managing Bangor City in the League of Wales".

    NL Daily says that "Jim Smith is confident he will be able to extend Danny Rose's loan after the Manchester United youngster gave a dazzling performance for Oxford United at the weekend. Although the U's were disappointed to be held to a 2-2 draw by Halifax Town in their FA Trophy tie, the game offered great encouragement with both Yemi Odubade and Rose having outstanding attacking games. Rose, the reserve team captain at Old Trafford, looked a class act and the teenager also grabbed his first senior goal. Smith said after the match: 'I'm seeing Sir Alex on Tuesday so he'll be telling me what a good player Danny is'". As for their draw with Halifax, the Bald Eagle said "We had enough chances again to have had it all wrapped up about 20 minutes into the second half. Halifax kept launching the ball and have got big lads up front...We didn't want a replay, but we've got one, and we've got to go up there and turn the result around, and win the game" reports the Oxford Mail.

    16 January 2007


    In tonight's FAT2 match between Tamworth and Kent side Welling United, the game was abandoned after 40 minutes due to floodlight failure with the scores 0-0. This follows the abandonment after 45 minutes of the previous round's replay at Tamworth, due to fog, when Altrincham were winning 2-1.

    FA Trophy 2

  • Eastbourne B. v Northwich V. POSTPONED
  • REPLAY - Halifax T. 2 Oxford U. 1


    Gary Warrington writes:

    After speaking to Paul Daine and hearing how well the Bonus Ball was doing at the football club I was wondering if anyone fancies doing it via the internet \ fans forum. I would need 49 entries at £1 per entry. The winner each week would get £20 and the football club would get £29.00 which means £1,500 a year for the football club. You can pay either at a game, via paypal, cheque or banks transfer so an ideal opportunity for those that can not get to the games to help the club. The Bonus Ball is for the Saturday draw only so will only cost £1 a week! More information can be found on the Alty Fans' Forum.


    Southport announce that "Former Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Sunderland and England star Peter Davenport is the new Southport manager... Chairman Charlie Clapham said 'Peter came top of a highly competitive field, the highest quality of applicants I have experienced. I am delighted Peter has joined us, it is a great appointment. Peter has a hunger to succeed, has great stature as a player plus lots of coaching and managerial experience with Macclesfield Town, Bangor City and Colwyn Bay. He wants to put his coaching and managerial skills into the full time arena and we can offer Peter that opportunity'... Chief Executive Haydn Preece added 'Peter Davenport is a fantastic appointment for Southport Football Club. Our new manager has contacts at all levels in the game and will be hard at work strengthening the squad quickly'".


    The Sale and Altrincham Messenger reports that "Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote said his team lacked the heart to survive the big cup battles after they crashed out of the FA Trophy on Saturday. ... conceding two goals in the final eight minutes... Heathcote was incensed that his team never really got going at The Lamb. 'I'm not gutted about the result. I'm more angry because that was one of the poorest games of football I've watched in a long time', he said. 'Both teams were very, very poor and if Mark Cooper can play 90 minutes at that level, that says everything about the other 21 men on the pitch for me. I'm disappointed that we panicked at the end and we lost the game. The pitch wasn't good but you can look for excuses all day. The cup's about getting through and we haven't got through. We've not won a cup game in four years* and that says something about us, we've got a deficiency in the cup and it showed itself again today. We just haven't got enough about us to win cup ties... They won it just because they wanted it more in the last 10 minutes. When we came under the cosh in the last 10 minutes we just weren't able to defend it, it's as simple as that. The final of that could get played at Wembley and we didn't do enough as a team to show we wanted to get to Wembley. Two shots on target in the whole 90 minutes, that says a lot about us. We stuck away the goal well but what happened after that? We just weren't good enough or strong enough today, it's as simple as that, against what I believe is a very, very poor side'".

  • * Graham's despondency led him to forget that Alty's last FA Trophy win was actually in February 2005, against Barrow, whilst in the FA Cup we last won in October 2004, against Farsley Celtic.


    Alty's next game is away at Woking, this Saturday. Click the Away Travel link above for details of the STAR supporters' coach to the match..

    "Woking FC "can confirm that Steve Ferguson has joined AFC Wimbledon for 1 month on loan. Despite recent speculation, Adam Green (Grays) is not yet officially part of the Woking squad. More news will follow when it becomes available".

    After a change in catering arrangements at Kingfield, "For this Saturday's match against Altrincham the Clubhouse will be open at 12.30pm with the Sky TV game between Liverpool and Chelsea LIVE on the big screen. Draught Fosters, London Pride, Stella Artois and Guinness will be £1.50 a pint (£1 half pint) up until kick-off time (3.00pm). Come along and support YOUR Cardinals Bar, now run by dedicated Woking FC officials". It is not clear if the bar is open to away fans.


    All at Altrincham FC extend their best wishes to former manager Bernard Taylor (right), who suffered a stroke on New Year's Day. Thankfully, he has now recovered sufficiently to go home. Mark Eckersall writes on the Fan's Forum " If you can be lucky with a stroke, it's a blessing that it has not taken his speech, he needs physio to get his right side moving again but is in as good spirits as can be expected".

    Bernard was manager of Altrincham from March 1998 till May 2000 and again, from May 2001 (having been caretaker for the previous two months) until October 2002. During his managership, he enjoyed much success as Alty won the UniBond Premier League in 1999 as well as lifting the Cheshire Senior Cup and the UniBond shield.

    All at Moss Lane wish Bernard a full and speedy recovery.


    Altrincham Youth beat Lancaster City Youth 3-0 on Sunday thanks to goals from Mike Simcock (2) and Tom Bailey. Mike also played half an hour for the Reserves last Saturday in their 2-2 draw at Woodley Sports, in which Ben Deegan and Astley Mulholland were the scorers. Brief reports on both matches are available via the
  • Youth Team page
  • Reserve Team page.

    The next Reserves' game at Moss Lane is tomorrow (Wednesday at 7.45pm) against Rossendale United in the Lancashire League Cup. The Youth team is at home on Sunday at Wythenshawe Town, kick off 2pm, against Prescot Cables.


    Wikipedia reports that Danny Adams "made himself an integral part of Huddersfield Town's defensive set-up and has been praised for a number of performances in his time at the Galpharm Stadium. On the 12th of January 200, [the] manager of Huddersfield told Adams along with two other team mates (Pawel Abbott and Martin McIntosh) that they were for sale. After telling this to the players, Peter Jackson [the manager] told them to keep quiet about this but Adams thought that this was wrong and he told Radio Leeds later that night. As a result of that Adams was then dropped from the first-team for the game against Cheltenham the next day".

    NL Daily reaffirms yesterday's news that Trafford FC have announced the signing of former Oldham Athletic striker Wes Wilkinson. Manager Danny Johnson was very happy to have finally got his man and explained: 'Wes is a player I worked with a number of years ago with the Manchester County FA. He is a very talented footballer with great feet, lightening pace and an eye for goal so I am sure he will be a real success at Trafford. I have been looking to sign Wes for a couple of years now but he has always been a wanted man. Since leaving Oldham Athletic just two years ago he has played for Woodley Sports and Leigh RMI in the UniBond and Conference and this season played a couple of games for Newcastle Town whilst recovering from injury'.". The Trafford boss went on to praise other members of his squad, saying “Glyn Barker [former Alty trialist], Troy Hayder and Dion Depieaza [former Alty youth/reserve player] have all been exceptional for us this season... Wes will do two things, the first being score goals and be a real good addition to what we already have but most importantly he will remind Troy, Glyn and Dion that they have to keep doing the business... [But former Alty midfielder and now a right-back], Simon Woodford, has found it difficult to regain his first-team shirt due to the outstanding performances of Andrew Jones. My midfield is packed with.... Danny Doherty finding it difficult to force there way past recent signings [ex-Alty man] Ged Kielty [and others]".


    From our next opponents, we read that "Highly-rated teenage Woking striker Giuseppe Sole has signed a new contract to extend his stay with the Cards. The 18-year-old, who has scored seven Conference goals for Glenn Cockerill's side this season, has agreed a deal until May, 2008. Meanwhile, midfielder Steve Evans has left Kingfield to join Conference rivals Crawley Town. Evans, 26, ended a two-and-a-half year stay with Woking" confirms the BBCc

    From the BBC we learn that "Aldershot defender Andy Edwards is set to miss the rest of the season after breaking a leg in Saturday's defeat to Crawley Town. Manager Terry Brown told his club's official website: 'I really feel for Andy because he has been dogged with bad fortune recently'. Edwards, 35, moved to the Recreation Ground from Southend last summer".

    Sky Sports reports that "Peterborough United have parted company with manager Keith Alexander. The Posh are looking to mount a push for promotion from League Two and have been active players in the transfer market in January. However, results on the field have not mirrored their ambitions as their last win came way back on 9th December. A 3-1 defeat at Darlington on Saturday proved to be the final straw... 'Peterborough United Football Club and Keith Alexander announce that with immediate effect they have mutually agreed to part company', read a statement on the club's website. 'The club would like to take this opportunity of thanking Keith for all his hard work both on and off the field. Tommy Taylor will take charge for the FA Cup replay at Plymouth tomorrow'". Whether this change affects the impending transfers of Dagenham's Mackail-Smith and Sean Blackett to The Posh remains to be seen.

    "Rushden & Diamonds have issued seven days notice of approach on British Gas Business Southern League Division One South & West side Didcot Town for their 22-year-old striker Stuart Beavon. Beavon`s two stunning goals in the final of the 2005 FA Vase saw him hit the national press and claim the title as FA Vase Player of the Season. Highly-rated Beavon, who joined Didcot in the summer of 2004 from AFC Wallingford after previously being with Ardley United, is strong, competitive and the scorer of spectacular goals... He currently tops the Division One South & West scoring chart with twenty-three goals" says NL Daily.

    The nominations for National Conference Player of the Month for December are Steve Morison of Stevenage Borough, Clayton Donaldson of York City, Paul Benson of Dagenham & Redbridge and Oxford United's Rob Duffy.

    Bulls News says that "Former Hereford United player Steve Guinan could move to Exeter City.... [manager] Paul Tisdale confirmed on the official Exeter Website, 'Yes, I have enquired about Steve Guinan at Cheltenham Town, he is vastly experienced at Football League and Conference level. He is 31-years-old and has played for Hereford United and Plymouth Argyle amongst others. I've talked to the player. but as yet he has not agreed terms'".

    Bulls News also reports that at Weymouth "The playing budget at the club could have been around £24,000 per week which for a Conference club would be very high. Although the figures have not yet been released, the playing budget at Hereford United last season is thought to have been around £14,000 a week. Weymouth's overdraft has risen to about £500,000 and chairman Martyn Harrison's Hollybush Hotel Group is said to be owed some £2 million by the club. Whether Weymouth have broken the Conference rules about a salary cap remains to be seen. But with crowds of around 2,500 the figures probably don't add up".

    Accrington Stanley confirm that they "have tabled an offer worth a five figure sum for a leading goalscorer in the Nationwide Conference, and are awaiting a response from his club". Bulls News states that Stanley "have tabled a bid for an un-named Conference striker, believed to be Michael Twiss".

    From Cambridge United, we hear that "Marcus Richardson has become the third striker to leave Cambridge United in the last two weeks".

    15 January 2007


  • Newport C /Histon v Eastbourne B/ Northwich V.
  • Tamworth /Welling U. v Worcester C.
  • Stalybridge C./Kettering T. v Salisbury C.
  • Morecambe v Stevenage B.
  • Oxford U. /Halifax T. v Redditch U.
  • Kidderminster H. v Braintree T.
  • AFC Wimbledon v Rushden & Diamonds
  • Grays A. v Yeading


    Until 2006/7 it had been more than 40 years since Alty had gone from the start of a season to the following New Year without an away win but that elusive next victory away from home will come at some point. Help to achieve it by boosting our away support and catching the STAR supporters' coach to Alty's away matches - see the booking details for Alty's impending trips to Woking and to Northwich.

    Altrincham's full FA Trophy record has been updated here.


    Former Alty left-back Danny Adams looks set to be released by League One Huddersfield Town. The Football Paper quotes Town boss Peter Jackson who "insists he will make changes in the transfer window and said, 'I was brutally honest with Martin McIntosh and Danny Adams and Martin has responded with a perfromance [on Saturday] that says he wants to change my mind. They are two players who have done well for me but they are both out of contract soon... Before the deadline there will be players... going out'". Danny was not in the Huddersfield squad against Cheltenham on Saturday.

    Kevin Ellison played the last 15 minutes as a sub for Tranmere Rovers, whilst Paul Ellender got four minutes longer for Boston at Stockport.

    Two former Alty Youth players on the move are Wes Wilkinson (Newcastle Town to Trafford) and Ben Ashmole (Flixton to Winsford United.)


    The NL Paper says of Crawley Town, "creditors may be paid in June, eight months late... Agent Andy Sprott, who represents several players said, 'I expect the creditors will be less than happy with performance of the CVA and all those associated with it'. An insider, who asked not to be named, said, 'There is much resentment among the creditors, especially as the Majeeds [the club owners] found £200,000 to pay the tax man... Speculation is they are just dragging their heels. I can't see it being resolved before the summer'". The Majeeds claim that they are trying to sell a flat to pay the debts but the creditors only "intend to allow Majeed to continue to market it until 30 April. If no acceptable offer has been received by this time, the joint supervisors [creditors] will request Mr Majeed place the property in an auction. Should Mr Majeed not cooperate, [they] will seek possession and dispose of it'". Meanwhile, a report shows that between May and November 2006, the club only gained "season ticket sales of £638 and gate receipts of £25,687".

    The NL Paper also says that "By next Thursday, [Halifax Town] could be making moves in the transfer market with Shay general manager Angie Firth confirming that investment intended to settle the CVA is imminent". The article claims that Town "has been paying a reported £4,000 a month to service the CVA since March 2003".

    The BBC reports that "Cambridge United midfielder Ritchie Hanlon has been forced to retire at the age of 28 because of a knee injury. 'I cannot kick a ball and I am devastated but I am hoping to stay in football as much as my injury will allow', Hanlon told the U's website. 'I am talking with the PFA at present - it is life-changing and I need to find another career'".

    "Former Weymouth manager Garry Hill... who left the Conference club last week as part of a major cost-cutting process, told BBC Radio Solent: 'Even today, I am still Weymouth. I have had three offers, two from Conference clubs within 24 hours - but I don't want to go anywhere else. Never say never as far as I am concerned, and we'll see what comes out of things. My job now is to talk to the players still at Weymouth, and help them in every way I can. I've got no interest for any other football club in any way. You won't see Garry Hill at another football club next week - I moved out of my flat in Weymouth crying my eyes out'" reports the BBC.

    From NL Daily we learn that "York City have applied a reported £500,000 transfer valuation on their star striker Clayton Donaldson in the wake of interest from several clubs. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Scunthorpe United are the latest clubs to be added to the list of Donaldson's admirers which already includes Hibernian and Peterborough United. The prolific striker has raced to the top of the Conference scoring charts with twenty goals in just twenty-nine appearances for City this season... Peterbrough are understood to have had a bid of £100,000 turned down by City... However, Posh may be out of the running as they have already spent £800,000 on players during the January transfer window, including a Conference record £260,000 for Stevenage Borough winger George Boyd".

    14 January 2007


    SAM has Colin Little's latest dispatch. The Alty striker said, before yesterday's game, "It will be good to finally get the first round out of the way but I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to it. Don't get me wrong, I like playing in the Trophy and I reckon we've got a good chance of getting a result, I just don't like playing against Tamworth much. You always know what to expect from them. It's never the prettiest of games when you play Tamworth, they don't tend to get the ball down and play it. The signing of Jake Edwards this week gives you an idea of their style of play. But it doesn't matter, we've just got to get on with the job at hand and try to match them blow for blow... Against Rushden last week. I thought all the lads played well but both Val (Owen) and Joe (O'Neill) were outstanding... Val's all-round contribution was superb.He was winning tackles, breaking play up and then setting up attacks. The fans might notice players like Lewis (Chalmers) but they wouldn't have the chance to express themselves if it wasn't for Val. I was really pleased that Joe got a couple of goals too. I think everyone appreciates the work he puts in for the team, he just never stops running. Joe might not have scored too many goals this season - that said, he's scored as many as me now - but his contribution to the team is more important than that. Another man who deserves credit at the club but doesn't always get recognised is Dalton (Steele, pictured right). Graham (Heathcote) gets the praise he deserves but Dalton does a great job as well and puts in so much hard work to ensure we're always well prepared.

    As well as we played against Rushden though, I was suprised at how poor they were. They looked like a completely different team to the one that beat us 3-0 twice earlier in the year... Weymouth have put all their squad on the transfer list as well this week. That kind of thing shouldn't be happening as often as it does, too many clubs are badly run. Alty are doing it the right way. They don't pay beyond their means and plan for the long term, it's just good business sense... Southport made the move to full time football this season but they have been no better off and sacked their manager Paul Cook recently. If they get relegated will they get into financial trouble as well?... At Alty, we can't pay massive wages, we spend within our means, and that means the players we sign have to do it for the love of the club. I've had much bigger offers to play elsewhere over the past two seasons but I'm Alty through and through now. City are my club, they always will be, but I love Alty. You won't get any mercenaries here... Graham wouldn't put up with that. Look at the guys we have here, the likes of Bandy (Peter Band) and Rod (Thornley). Even guys who have come in recently like Thommo (Peter Thomson), his reaction to the goal he scored against Halifax said it all. There's a special atmosphere at this club and I can't tell you how many people have told me recently that they're getting fed up with watching City or United and would rather watch Alty. People I didn't even know came to Moss Lane have come up to me and said that they have jacked in Premiership football to watch the club. It just goes to show we're doing things right".


    In today's NL Paper, Mark Maddox is the selector of the Dream Team feature. With typically amusing comments, he includes many ex-Alty players - his full eleven is: Coburn, Shepherd, D. Adams, Jim Bentley (Morecambe), Sertori, Craney, Owen, Tony Kelly, Ellison, Little and Hugh McAuley (Leigh RMI).

    But back in the real world, Mark himself was sent off yesterday for two yellow cards in the Trophy match against Stevenage Borough. Neither of Alty's current players on loan to Leigh, Eddie Hussin and Kieran Lugsden, played - presumably because of Alty's wish not to see them cup-tied.


    Like Colin Little, above, Mark Quayle writes a lot of sense in an article in the NL Paper about clubs' financial problems in non-league. After being released for financial reasons by Lancaster City this season, Mark writes, "The experience has coloured my view of non-league and I'm taking some time off to try and get my appetite back".

    Lee Hendley almost made a dream start to his career with Radcliffe Borough but he hit the post with a late chance to win the match for his side yesterday.


    Alty photographer Gavin Rathbone has told the Fans' Forum: "I have launched a new site for images ( Over a matter of time, photos will appear on here for downloads, ideal for your desktop or screen savers. Please have a look at the 1st image and have a go at saving it your desktop. You should be able to right click on the image on the site and select 'save image as background' Look forward to any comments!"


    Tamworth report that "With boss Mark Cooper warming down after playing a vital role in his team's 2-1 comeback victory over Altrincham – The Lambs' first ever victory over Graham Heathcote’s side {in fact Tamworth beat us in the FA Cup last season] – spoke to assistant manager Richard Dryden about the side’s progression to the next round of the FA Trophy. 'We came to the game with a depleted squad and had this been a league game a draw would have been a good result. Although we are a part time club with a small squad we showed our fitness levels today [against another part time club with a small squad] towards the end of the game and youngster Kevin Spencer had a good game after coming on as substitute. 'We'll be without Tai(wo Atieno) on Tuesday night (when Welling visit in the next round) – he’s been suffering with ‘the flu’ for about a week and is still laid up, but Jake Edwards is available and we’ve brought him here to score goals so he’s going to feature in the side in some capacity, plus we’ve got Kyle Storer, Simon Weaver and Jamie Price all available. I firmly believe there are some good attacking players at this club in Matty (Williams), Tai, Jon Stevenson, Steve Burton and now Jake. We may have to let someone go to ‘balance the books’ but at the moment there are not any clear candidates. On a similar subject I would be very surprised is someone doesn’t come in to snap up Tom Kemp in the transfer window – he’s a different class'... Dryden admitted that he didn’t know a lot about the forthcoming opponents. 'Mark (Cooper) gets a friend to scout for us around the South when he can but we’ve not gone out of our way to have them watched. What with everything else that’s been going on here in the last few weeks there’s not been time to think but we know it won’t be easy. They are doing well in their league and we’ll give them the respect they deserve. But we’ll both know the prize on offer so it should be a good game'".

    The site adds that against Altrincham "Lambs' boss Mark Cooper was forced to field everyone of his squad that was fit or available – all 13 of them - and draft in 2 youth team players in Luke Keen and Kevin Spencer. Taiwo Atieno was ruled out through flu, Kyle Storer and Simon Weaver both sat out serving one game suspensions and Cooper himself had to bring himself into the fray for the first time (away from Senior Cup games) this season. Both Jake Edwards and Jamie Price were unavailable to play in the fixture as they were not in the squad at the time of the first game back in December".

    On defeat at Tamworth, The Sale & Altrincham Messenger adds that there was a "lack of quality on display. Alty probably edged the first 45 minutes although chances were few and far between, Steve Aspinall coming closest with a curling free kick. But they finally broke the deadlock early in the second half when Colin Little - returning after a three-match ban - headed home from Warren Peyton's free kick... Alty looked entirely comfortable until a suicidal eight-minute spell at the end of the game... Darryl Taylor got on the end of a Mark Cooper free kick to head past a furious Stuart Coburn at the far post. And slack defending was punished again in the third minute of injury time. Coburn saved superbly from Taylor and Karl Munroe managed to tackle Graeme Law but the ball ran to Jon Stevenson who comfortably slotted home. It was harsh on Alty but signalled the end of another sub-par cup display".

    This site's match report is here.


    Southport GB claims that "Four leading candidates are reported to have emerged in the race to become the next manager of Southport FC... Joint caretaker boss Dino Maamria is in contention, along with former ‘Port striker Andy Mutch, Iffy Onuora, the ex-Swindon Town manager and Alan Lewer, who was in attendance as Southport were defeated by Salisbury City today... The new man has been promised funds to spend in the January transfer market.Maamria this afternoon took change of the Sandgrounders for the second time at Salisbury. A favourite with the supporters and the club’s current leading goalscorer with six strikes this season, the 35-year old had been expected to join the coaching staff at Rushden and Diamonds prior to Cook’s departure. Former Morecambe assistant boss Andy Mutch has been out of football since ending his three-year stint at Christie Park in December 2004. A popular player during his time as a striker with Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Birkdale resident is frequently linked with the job when the Haig Avenue hotseat becomes vacant. After a playing career at clubs including Huddersfield Town and Gillingham, Iffy Onuora became assistant to Paul Merson at Walsall upon retirment in 2004. The 39-year old Glasgow-born forward then occupied roles as coach, youth development officer and latterly manager at Swindon... Alan Lewer’s experience in non-league management includes time in charge Telford United, Nuneaton Borough, Forest Green Rovers and most recently at Crawley Town, where he was assistant boss until October 2006. He was present at Southport’s FA Trophy defeat at Salisbury and seen in conversation with ‘Port Chief Executive Haydn Preece. An appointment is expected on either Monday or Tuesday".

    After Aldershot Town lost at home to Crawley yesterday, "A dispondent boss said afterwards, 'That was as bad as performance as we have had since I have been the manager here. I didn't think that we worked hard enough to be honest. I have no excuses because, even though we did have some players missing, the side that I put out there should have been good enough to have won that game. Apart from the first 20 minutes we were never at the races'".

    The NL Daily reports from Cambridge City that "Michael Gash, the former Cambridge City striker who last year crossed the river to join neighbours Cambridge United, is back with the Nationwide South club on loan until the end the season".

    Meanwhile "Matthew Batt has joined Dover Athletic as caretaker-manager Terry White's first signing. The striker has joined the club on a dual registration basis - meaning he is still a registered Dagenham player, but eligible to play for Whites too... Batt, who has been excelling for Daggers' Academy side, was an unused substitute for the first-team last Saturday when they beat Woking 3-2 at Victoria Road".

    Over the weekend, "Crawley Town are chasing two League strikers in a bid to strengthen their forward line. Caretaker boss John Yems said: 'Hopefully we can get them in as soon as possible'".

    The Football Conference says that "Oxford United have secured the services of Latvian International striker Kristaps Grebis subject to international clearance. The 26-year-old began his career with Olimps Riga before joining Lieppjas Metalurgs, where he finished as fifth top scorer in the Latvian league last season. He also helped his club qualify for the Champions League qualification where they were beaten by Dynamo Kiev in the second round. The tall, athletic frontman has joined Oxford on a deal that will run until the end of the season".

    Also, "Kidderminster Harriers boss Mark Yates has confirmed the non-contract signing of former Hednesford Town midfielder Daniel McGhee. The 25-year-old has been training with the Nationwide Conference side for the past week and managed to get his name on the scoresheet in the 4-2 reserve team win at Nuneaton Borough. 'He looks a good prospect and this deal just gives us a chance to have a longer look at him', Neil Howarth told the club's official website".

    Forest Green Rovers manager "Jim Harvey has made his first replacement signing in the outfield during the transfer window by securing the signature of striker 22yr old Danny Carey-Bertram from Cambridge United. Danny who is Birmingham based was originally with West Bromwich Albion before he signed for Hereford United where he was part of their promotion winning team with now Rovers team mate Jamie Pitman... Those who have contributed to GRASS are thanked for their donations because it has been instrumental in Danny signing up to the end of 2007/08. With the squad going through changes, which are not yet finalised, any further contributions or donations would be most welcome. The ideal scenario is to have 20 full time players in the squad for the remainder of the season".

    13 January 2007


    Alty Reserves drew 2-2 at Woodley Sports this afternoon in the Lancashire League Cup, after leading 2-0 at the interval.


  • Aldershot T. 0 Crawley T. 2
  • Cambridge U. 0 Stafford R. 1
  • League table


    Having led Tamworth 2-1 on December 19th when this Trophy replay was controversially abandoned at half-time, Altrincham suffered a reversal of that scoreline today. The Robins failed to capitalize after Colin Little had headed them ahead just after the interval (48 mins) and allowed the home side to come at them in the final half hour and snatch a late victory with goals three minutes from the end and in the third minute of added time.

    Right: Rod Thornley in action for Alty at Tamworth.

    Match report here.

  • Alty Player Statistics
  • Alty Cup Match Line-Ups


    FA Trophy 1 Replay

  • Tamworth 2 ALTRINCHAM 1

    FA Trophy 2

  • Eastbourne B. v Northwich V. POSTPONED
  • Exeter C. 0 Kidderminster H. 1
  • Farnborough T. 0 Braintree T. 2
  • Gravesend & N. 0 AFC Wimbledon 1
  • Morecambe 5 Mangotsfield U. 0
  • Newport Co. 0 Histon 0
  • Oxford U. 2 Halifax T. 2
  • Redditch U. 3 Dagenham & R. 2
  • Salisbury C. 2 Southport 1
  • Stalybridge C. 1 Kettering T. 1
  • Stevenage B. 3 Leigh RMI 1
  • Weston Super Mare 0 Grays A. 4
  • Witton A. 0 Rushden & D. 1
  • Worcester C. 2 Burton A. 1
  • Yeading 2 Bishop's Stortford 1


    Regarding today's game at Tamworth, Alty boss "Graham Heathcote told SAM Sport, 'To be honest, I'm not going to say anything about the game until I get there and see what the pitch is like. I won't be picking the team until I see that. If the pitch is really heavy it will have a massive effect on the game and I will have to change the way we play. I would much rather we get the chance to play some decent football because when we have been able to pass the ball around against them we have showed we can beat them. But if the pitch starts cutting up badly it won't help anybody'.


    Right: Referee Watts (centre) and his assistants survey the scene before kick off on December 19th, before they abandoned the game at half-time.

    For the third time, today, Altrincham set off for Tamworth to play their First Round Trophy tie. Tamworth report that "In a bid to ensure the game goes ahead at the third attempt on Saturday the club enlisted the use of pumps to remove surface water from the pitch on Thursday. Plus - don't forget to use your half price entry voucher from the original game if you have one".

    Altrincham may be without both of their most experienced midfielders in Val Owen (suspended) and Steve Bushell (doubtful with injury). But Tamworth have two suspensions in the form of Kyle Storer and Simon Weaver. The Lambs new re-signing, Jake Edwards. is not eligible to play but "Simon Heslop's loan has been extended for another month."


    The Spenborough Guardian reports that Yorkshire club "Liversedge FC have appointed former [Altrincham], Emley, Ossett Albion and Ashton United boss Gerry Quinn as their new manager. The announcement was made today (Friday) after Quinn accepted the post at a meeting last night. He will officially take over at training on Tuesday night... Sedge Chairman Bob Gawthorpe said: "I've known Gerry for several years and he's a tremendous manager, with a reputation for getting clubs promoted and winning trophies. He knows this level of football inside out and also has the respect and contacts in the game to take our club where we want to go".

    Goalkeeper Mike Pollitt has gone from Wigan Athletic to Burnley on loan.


    Already one Trophy match tomorrow has been postponed as Northwich Victoria confirm. "Saturday's F.A. Trophy game at Eastbourne was called off at 12:30 on Friday.It will now take place on Tuesday 16th Jan 7:45 k.o.. The C.S.C game v Witton Albion will now take place on Tuesday 30th Jan.".

    At troubled Weymouth, This is Weymouth confirms that as yet "No one has gone and no one has come in. That was the message from Weymouth chief executive Gary Calder at the end of business yesterday. Due to a huge cost-cutting exercise every Terras' player has been placed on the transfer list but so far no deals have been completed for their services. No replacements have been found either. Calder added: 'One or two things are bubbling around and we will probably see a few things happen tomorrow'. Striker Raphael Nade is on a season-long loan from Carlisle United but as yet he has not returned to the Coca-Cola League One club. Calder said: 'Raphael Nade is still our player'... When asked what Weymouth players he was interested in signing Exeter boss Paul Tisdale refused to comment. He said: 'I am not going to answer that at the moment I am afraid'". But This is Exeter confirms that "Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has clinched the signings of Weymouth pair Lee Elam and Steve Tully. Elam, who can play down either flank, has been handed an 18-month contract... Tully, a right-back who spent a brief spell with the Grecians under former boss Alex Inglethorpe, has signed a contract until the end of this season... Tisdale, keen to recruit a winger and more cover for contract rebel Danny Woodards at right-back, wasted little time in securing the two players' services on free transfers".

    Surprising news from Halifax Today is that "Ryan Sugden has left Halifax Town to join Conference North neighbours Farsley Celtic. The 26-year-old frontman has made the switch 24 hours after the arrival at the Shay of Darryn Stamp. Sugden, who joined Town from Morecambe in the summer of 2004, scored 22 Conference goals in 66 starts for the Shaymen. He scored in three successive games earlier this season but had fallen out of favour in recent weeks. Sugden had been linked with a possible move to York, with whom he had talks back in August and Northwich Victoria are also believed to have shown an interest. The same source also reported earlier that Sugden "and fellow frontman Chris Senior have been made available for transfer in the January window". Both played some part of the recent game against Alty at The Shay.

    Unconfirmed but normally reliable reports from Cambridge United's forum state that "Danny Carey-Bertram has been released and will shortly be joining our relegation rivals Forest Green Rovers".

    "Midfielder Paul Carden is staying with Burton Albion for the rest of the season after a surprise u-turn. The 28-year-old former Chester and Peterborough player has been training with Bury... Carden had been lined up by Bury as a replacement for Dwayne Mattis, who is set to join Barnsley in a £50,000 move. Brewers' boss Nigel Clough told The Burton Mail: 'We're absolutely delighted, whatever the reason, to have Paul on board for the rest of the season. We wanted him to stay all along, but we couldn't match what Bury had to offer. He's been training with them, but I think he's become frustrated that nothing has been finalised... He has proved in the last couple of months that he is exactly the good, steady midfield player we need'. Carden joined Albion from Peterborough outside the transfer window in October when a loophole was found that enabled him to sign for Burscough before joining the Brewers on what was technically classed as a loan arrangement. That deal expired after the New Year's Day game against Stafford Rangers, though he immediately signed non-contract forms with Burton pending his proposed move to Bury. Carden's return to the Albion fold means Clough's interest in Crewe Alexandra midfielder Lee Bell could quickly cool... The Brewers' boss said: 'We're certainly not desperate to sign another (central) midfield player now that Paul has decided to stay'... Yesterday [Bell] was transfer-listed at his own request. Clough said: 'We're not ruling Lee out of the equation... but Crewe are talking about a transfer fee which would mean a permanent deal — and we're not sure that's what we want at the moment'. In another transfer window twist, Albion's hopes of finally securing the services of striker Justin Richards after an 18-month chase look doomed. Clough has tried to sign Richards on at least three occasions — most recently after the striker returned to Peterborough after two months on loan to Grays Athletic. While Posh pondered Richards' future, Clough instead took fellow striker Lloyd Opara on loan from the London Road club. Now, in a surprise move, Richards has joined Boston United on a month's loan".

    This is Glos states that "Striker Allan Russell has left Forest Green Rovers for Scottish League Division One side Partick Thistle.Russell had been keen for a move back to Scotland for personal reasons, and jumped at the chance to move to Firhill. Russell, 26... joined Rovers in the summer from Mansfield... Partick manager Dick Campbell. said, 'He was very keen to try his luck down in England... However, he is now married and his wife is expecting their first child so he is keen to do well for Partick Thistle'".

    From Rushden Today we read that "Rushden & Diamonds have secured the signing of Boston United defender Mark Albrighton on a month-long loan deal. The 30-year old centre-back started his career at Atherstone United in 1998. After a year at the Warwickshire club, he was snapped up by Telford United for a fee of £10,000... Once Mark's contract expired at Telford, the Doncaster Rovers Manager, Dave Penny, offered the centre-back a four-year deal. During his time at Rovers Albrighton made 80 starts and six substitute appearances, scoring 5 goals... Towards the end of the 2005-06 season Albrighton joined Chester City on loan, and under the leadership of Mark Wright, Chester enjoyed a fine end-of-season run, which included five successive victories. Mark joined Boston United on a free transfer in May 2006 and... this season has also seen Albrighton go out on loan to Darlington"

    "Diamonds are also keen to sign 20-year-old midfielder Rodney Hicks whose contract at Peterborough United was cancelled by mutual consent last night. Right-winger Tyrone Berry – one of seven players put on the transfer list earlier this week – has joined Nationwide South club Lewes on loan. Westley said: 'I've looked at four games so far and I'm not happy with what I've seen. We have to get players who are good enough because the quality here is inadequate. I've made that clear this week by putting seven players on the transfer list. But that could quite easily have been 10 or 12. We are not just saying the boys on the list are not doing enough – it's very much the whole squad. Right now how many deserve to be at this club with their performances? I would say Wayne Hatswell has done a reasonable job and other than that there are a lot of questions.... The ball has been in their court from day one. I would be happy to say the results were misleading but that's not been the case... I'm sitting here with an open mind and looking at what the players can give me. It doesn't surprise me that a team third from bottom has a lack of consistency in their performances. If they were at the right level then they wouldn't be where they are in the league. On the first training day here I was shocked by the fitness levels. You can't improve those or the organisation immediately – it takes time. If the players are happy with losing football we have to change their attitudes'". This is Staffs states that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson is on the hunt for reinforcements ahead of tomorrow's game at Cambridge after losing two temporary members of his squad.Teenagers Chris Basham and Matt Barlow have gone back to their parent clubs, leaving Robinson with a wafer-thin list of fit players - and the prospect of having to turn out himself. Basham, aged 18, who made four appearances, completed his allotted two-months work experience last weekend, while Oldham this week recalled Murray, whose loan was due to expire on January 22. The only bright spot would be the return of midfielder Craig Lovatt, who has been out of action with a calf injury for nearly a month... The Rangers boss, who turned 40 last weekend, said: 'We are a bit stretched. We are looking to bring in players, but it is proving to be difficult. We need to make sure that anyone we bring in fits in with our budget', said a guarded Robinson. 'In the mean time, we may have to promote some of the younger players. There is also myself and what I've got is experience of playing at this level and above which some of the younger players don't have. That is a decision that will have to be made closer to the game'. However, tomorrow's re-arranged fixture at Cambridge stands a good chance of being jinxed for a third time... Now the Us' Abbey Stadium is waterlogged... If it does go ahead, it will be the first of three consecutive away games for Rangers, who have slipped down the Conference table, having picked up just one point since the end of November".

    Meanwhile, Woking "are delighted to confirm that Giuseppe Sole has signed an extension to his contract which will keep him at the club until 3rd May 2008. Stephen Evans has also left the club by mutual consent and it is thought that he will join Crawley Town on non-contract terms", a move which Cr awley confirm.

    More activity at Grays is reported on their website where "Dennis Oli, Glenn Poole and John Martin are currently holding talks to extend their contracts with the club. Will Hendry has been released from Grays Athletic Football Club. Grays Athletic have signed on a non-contract basis David Wareham from Colchester United, David is a left-sided midfielder".

    12 January 2007


    Altrincham Reserves now have a re-arranged fixture this Saturday when they travel to the artificial pitch at Woodley Sports to play a reversed home fixture, away, to Woodley Sports. Kick off is at 2pm. Next week they are scheduled to host Rossendale United at Moss Lane on Wednesday 17th but this may be re-arranged to Thursday if the first team are playing the previous night in the Trophy. On 24 January, when Alty should have hosted Woodley, they will now meet Hyde United at Moss Lane.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports of Saturday's Trophy game, "Before the Robins can even dream of progressing in the competition, they must first bank on the elements allowing them to play their first round tie at all. Twice, the replay against their Conference rivals has been postponed, the first game cut short by fog and the latest, on Tuesday, falling victim to a waterlogged pitch... Manager Graham Heathcote gave his players the night off from training on Tuesday following the postponement but remains confident they could handle the fixture pile-up. He said: 'It will give us a difficult situation but we have had these scenarios before. We would have to play five games in two weeks, which will be a juggling act but the lads have showed they can cope with this kind of thing'. Despite the extra preparation time for the Tamworth tie, captain Steve Bushell is not expected to recover from a calf strain. Val Owen is suspended but Colin Little will return after serving a three-match ban. Meanwhile, Heathcote renewed calls for a greater emphasis on sustainability in non-league football after fellow Conference side Weymouth became the latest club to find themselves in financial difficulty... And the Alty boss is hoping the scenario will encourage more clubs to think twice before over-spending in the hunt for league football... 'It's just frightening', said Heathcote. 'For years I have talked about this wrong route people are taking with switching to full time football and more clubs are realising that each season. You can't plan for the next two or three years, hoping you will get league football, you have to plan long-term or else it can easily go wrong. We found that out at this club and hopefully more clubs will start making the switch to part time status because the current financial situation is not a good reflection on football'".

    Howard Watts's Through the Years reveal that Saturday is the anniversary of our 5-0 drubbling at Colne Dynamoes in the FA Trophy in 1990. Let's hope for a better result on this date in 2007!


    The Tamworth Herald says that "Jake Edwards is set travel to The Lamb today to sign for Tamworth. And the Crawley Town striker, who was a hero of Tamworth's FA Cup campaign last season, has vowed to fire Mark Cooper's men up the Conference table. 'I should put pen to paper today', Edwards revealed. 'It's exciting to be going back to The Lamb because I enjoyed my time there last season. The players, staff and fans were all lovely people... I think there are only three lads - Adie Smith, Dave Bampton and Kyle Storer from when I was there before. But I'm looking forward to meeting the other players and to working with Mark Cooper and Richard Dryden again because they are great to work with. They keep the players working hard but also keep it light hearted in training... The good thing is the club has three games in hand on other teams down the bottom so they are not cut adrift... Hopefully, I can score the goals to boost the side because from what I saw on Saturday against Norwich, the midfielders pass the ball well and are capable of creating chances... Tamworth have had two or three seasons now where they have been in this position, fighting for their lives but they need to start moving on next season'. Edwards will not be available for Saturday's re-arranged FA Trophy replay with Altrincham at The Lamb as he did not play in the first meeting [i.e. had not been signed beforehand] . He is not cup-tied, however, and could play in the next round against Welling on Tuesday night should Tamworth progress... The first match was abandoned at half time due to fog while the second was called off on Tuesday night due to a waterlogged pitch. 'It was a blessing the game was called off', said Cooper. 'We were down to the bare bones and struggling to field a side'. Jon Stevenson and Taiwo Atieno hope to shake off the affects of flu while Steve Burton has a slight hamstring problem. Kyle Storer and Simon Weaver are suspended, however, and Micky Tuohy and Alan Neilson remain sidelined".


    The Conference says that "Oxford United have been dealt a blow with news that defender Chris Willmott will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Willmott suffered the injury at Stevenage before Christmas and club physio Neil Sullivan has finally been able to make a diagnosis on the injury. 'Chris followed the advice and even trained a couple of times, and to be honest he wasn't suffering any major reaction but it just didn't feel 100%', Sullivan told the club's official website. 'He has such good muscle strength that the knee was coping with the injury, but obviously we didn't want to take any risks. We decided to go in for an exploratory operation, which I watched yesterday. It was clear that the injury was cruciate damage and that he'd need an operation, and we'd decided that if that was the case we'd do it there and then. It will now be a case of rest and the rehab, and it looks like Chris will be out until July'". Manager Jim Smith added: 'It's disappointing for Chris and a big blow to us'". NL Daily states that ""Nationwide North club Hucknall Town have signed experienced defender Tony Gallimore on loan from Northwich Victoria". Gallimore was the man involved in Colin Little's sending-off on Boxing Day. "Gallimore has started eleven games for Vics since joining the club last summer... It was from Spotland that Vics` boss Steve Burr made him one of several summer recruits. However, travel and work commitments will make it easier for the 34-year-old to assist in Hucknall's bid for a play-off place".

    From the Cambridge Evening News. we learn that "Jimmy Quinn hopes to offload several more players before Cambridge United's important home clash with Stafford on Saturday. The United manager knows he has to... get players off the wage bill before he can boost his squad further... Striker Liam Marum has already gone, having signed for Woking last Friday, and Quinn is desperate to move others on as he bids to bring in a right-back and a goal-scoring midfielder before the deadline at the end of the month. Among those who could be top of the list are out-of-favour strikers Marcus Richardson and Danny Carey-Bertram, who have scored just three goals each this term... The clock could also be ticking for midfielder Darren Quinton, who has yet to feature under Quinn and is on loan at CRC, while defender Matt Bloomer has already been told to search for a club closer to his home in Grimsby after Quinn felt the travelling was affecting his form. Quinn said: 'By the end of the week there should be a little bit of movement regarding one or two players. Hopefully, it will be on a permanent basis because we need to freshen things up and I don't think there would be any sense to just send people out on loan and have them back here a month later. I've told one or two players it's in their interests to get themselves sorted out because it could give them a breath of life going to another club. I'm sure some of them will leave this club and do well because it all comes down to confidence, whether the manager likes you and whether the surroundings are right for you'".

    This is Exeter says that "Exeter City are poised to take full advantage of the crisis engulfing Conference promotion rivals Weymouth by opening talks with several of their key players... Winger Lee Elam, who can play on both the left and right flanks, would appear to be a prime target after earning rave reviews this season.... Exeter manager Paul Tisdale is determined to land a striker in the transfer window and Richard Logan could also be a target. The experienced frontman... has netted five goals this season... With star defender Danny Woodards stalling on signing a contract extension, Tisdale might also be keen on right-back Steve Tully, who had a short spell at St James's Park during the 2004/05 campaign. And the availability of 10-goal leading scorer Ben Smith is bound to trigger a wave of interest, although the 28-year-old has already been heavily linked with a move to Bournemouth... City's close proximity to the Dorset club, allied with the fact assistant boss Paul Buckle knows the players from his time there, puts the Grecians in pole position to capitalise on the crisis. 'There is a link there where I do know the players', admitted Buckle. 'I have a decent relationship with some of the lads and... I would be lying if I said that the situation at Weymouth hasn't alerted us because it has. They are just down the road, which helps. One of our biggest problems when we are signing players is trying to get them down here'"... Buckle added: 'It is certainly a plus for the fighting pack. It means one is eliminated and there was no doubt that Weymouth were strong. They did have the power to go and buy players and were always in the market for players. So if they do fall over, as bad it is for them, there is some good to come out of it for other sides in and around them. We don't want to see any clubs in this predicament. There is certainly no gloating on our behalf and it was a real shock'".

    Meanwhile, at another financially troubled club, Halifax Today confirms that "Town boss Chris Wilder finally got his man when Darryn Stamp put pen to paper on an 18-month deal to join the Shaymen. The 28-year-old, a long time Wilder target, joins Halifax from Conference rivals Stevenage where the arrival of Jamie Slabber from Grays made him surplus to requirements.'" Wilder said, "With him in the side, if we need to, we can mix things up. He is good in both boxes and at only 28 he is still a player for the long term". The article concludes, "Stamp... only returned to Stevenage at the weekend after a three-month loan spell at York. But he was used sparingly at the KitKat Crescent, making just five starts and appearing four times from the bench... Stamp played five games on loan for Halifax from Scunthorpe in 2000, appearing alongside Wilder".

    In Morecambe Today we learn that "Morecambe manager Sammy McIlroy has identified the next month as a key period in his side's promotion push... After Saturday's FA Trophy game with Mangotsfield United at Christie Park, leaders Dagenham (January 20) and Southport (Jan 23) visit. Then there is a trip to Stafford Rangers (Jan 27), a home game with Aldershot (February 3) and then the Shrimps' game in hand at St Albans on February 6... He said: "If we can get the majority of points out of those games, we will be in there. We have got a big month and we need everyone fighting for the cause and the fans to get behind the side". As for their Trophy game against "Southern League Mangotsfield United on Saturday. McIlroy said: 'We will pay them respect and it is a chance for us to get into the third round'". Dave Perkins will play on Saturday after missing three games for his red card at Southport. Jason Walker is also in line for a debut. The former Morton striker completed his signing, as revealed in The Visitor last week... Conal Platt has returned to Bournemouth after his loan ended but McIlroy was hoping to extend Jamie Burns's stay at the club after negotiations with Blackpool. Burns is currently out with a hamstring injury and he and Garry Thompson (hamstring) are serious doubts for Saturday... Also leaving Christie Park last week was goalkeeper Ryan Robinson who has linked up with former boss Jim Harvey at Forest Green Rovers... Shaun Gray has moved to Fleetwood while Jonathon Smith and Paul Lloyd have joined Bamber Bridge on loan. McIlroy said: 'We always have to try and balance the books – to get a player in, one has to go out'. Ged Brannan will be staying at the club. He had agreed to join Paul Cook at Southport as assistant manager but that fell through when Cook was sacked. McIlroy said: 'I want 18 players fighting for 11 places and we are getting close to that'".

    At Haig Avenue Southport GB reports that "Chairman Charlie Clapham is hopeful of appointing a new manager this week. The ‘Port supremo began conducting interviews yesterday and says his list of applicants includes former Football League and Conference bosses. The Sandgrounders have been without a manager since the sacking of Paul Cook seven days ago, but Clapham wants his new man to be in place before Saturday’s visit to Salisbury City in the second round of the FA Trophy. He told the Echo: ‘It’s an opportunity for whoever comes in to make a name for themselves - just look at what Paul Ince has done at Macclesfield. They were in more of a dour situation than we’re in at the moment when he took over and with the same set of players he has got results. I recognise the fact that the new manager may want to bring in four or five players to strengthen the squad, but also the players we’ve got have proved time and time again they can compete at this level but they’ve got to do it consistently'". Meanwhile, Southport report that "Centre back Dan Kirkup has been recalled by Carlisle United... This comes as a blow with fellow central defender Kevin Lee suspended".

    This is Weymouth says that Weymouth "skipper Ben Smith does not see how the Terras are going to recoup much money from the sale of its squad in terms of transfer fees. According to the ex-Hereford United midfielder, only himself and winger Dean Howell have contracts which stretch past the summer. Smith was handed a new deal in December until 2009 and he is regarded as the club's most saleable playing asset. There have already been rumours that he has been offered to AFC Bournemouth for a fee of £20,000 but with Weymouth desperate to get him off the wage bill it is likely that possible suitors will hold out for a cheaper price or even a free transfer. The Terras have transfer-listed their whole squad in a cost-cutting exercise to secure the future of the club. In a press conference held at the Wessex Stadium it was revealed that they would replace those players departing with local talent living in a 50-mile radius of the town. It was also confirmed that the Dorset outfit would once again become part-time and that chief executive Gary Calder has taken over the day-to-day running of the team".

    Meanwhile, "Terras' defender Ashley Vickers, 34, is considering quitting the game and returning to teaching. The ex-Dagenham & Redbridge defender has been transfer-listed along with the rest of the Terras' squad and so far he has only been offered deals from clubs in London. Vickers said: 'We are all shocked and are in limbo at the moment. The club has been telling us what clubs are coming in for us but no one really knows where they stand. The club has also said it will honour our contracts but it has also said that it will be turning part-time. It is difficult to see how they can honour that in that format. To be honest I am absolutely gutted because I really do not want to leave. All the clubs that have enquired about me have so far all been based in London and I do not want to go back there'".

    However neighbouring "Dorchester Town boss Mick Jenkins is unlikely to swoop for any of Weymouth's transfer-listed squad. The Magpies' chief, who used to be assistant manager to Steve Claridge at the Wessex Stadium, reckons that the Terras players' wage demands are far too high for his club to match. He said: 'I can't afford to shop in Harrods unfortunately. I'm shopping in Costcutters at the moment and I am looking for value for money'".

    Kidderminster Harriers"confirm that midfielder Jamie McClen has parted company with the club by mutual consent".

    A press release from Grays Athletic affirms that "Following a meeting of Grays Athletic Ltd last night it has been decided that at present the football club will remain at the New Recreation Ground until suitable land can be sourced within the borough. If any person knows of a suitable site that could be utilised for a new facility, your views would be most appreciated. The meeting for 19th January is still going ahead and this will be an open meeting to discuss ways to move the club forward".

    Aldershot Town "are pleased to announce that 22 year old striker Jonny Dixon has signed from Football League 2 side Wycombe Wanderers to the end of the 2007/08 season for a fee of £6,000... It will be the third time Dixon has linked up with the Shots after serving two successful loan periods at the club over the past two seasons. Manager Terry Brown said, 'This is a great opportunity for Jonny to establish himself as a permanent feature in the team and to play every week. If he can do that then we will have one of the best strikers in the Conference league. A significant part of the transfer fee came from the Supporters' Transfer Fund and I am truly grateful to everybody that contributed to this'".

    11 January 2007


    If the FA Trophy Round 1 replay (replay) at Tamworth does not go ahead on Saturday 13th, it will be played on Tuesday 16th. If it is not played then it will be played on Thursday 18th. If Alty beat Tamworth on Saturday 13th they will play Welling United in the second round on Tuesday 16th. If the match with Welling ends in a draw, it will be replayed on Tuesday 23rd, causing the postponement of the Conference match away at Northwich Victoria scheduled for that day.

    If Alty do not get to play Tamworth until Tuesday, 16th or Thursday, 18th January, but win on one of those dates, they will play their second round game against Welling on Tuesday, 23rd January 2006. Round Three is on 3rd February. So, in summary:

  • Sat. 13th: Tamworth v Altrincham (FAT 1 replay of abandoned replay)
  • Tue. 16th: EITHER Tamworth v Altrincham (if not played on 13th), OR Altrincham v Welling Utd (if Alty have beat Tamworth on 13th) OR a blank date (if we lose to Tamworth on 13th)
  • Thu. 18th: Tamworth v Altrincham (if not played on 13th or 16th)
  • Tue. 23rd: EITHER Altrincham v Welling Utd (if Alty have beaten Tamworth on 16th or 18th), OR Welling Utd. v Altrincham (if Alty v Welling was a draw on 16th), OR Northwich Victoria v Altrincham (if Alty eliminated from Trophy on any of the above dates or have beaten/lost to Welling on 16th).


    Radcliffe Borough "confirmed today they have completed the signing of Altrincham forward Lee Hendley. The 19 year old former Altrincham striker left the Conference club at his own request... Manager Andy Johnston said, 'We are delighted to have signed Lee on a permanent basis, we were going to take him on loan from Altrincham earlier in the season but at that time he was involved in the first team squad. After speaking to Graham Heathcote (Altrincham manager) he felt Lee has an excellent future and he did not want him to leave but Lee wanted to be playing more and that was the only reason he has left the conference club. Hendley comes with a reputation of being a prolific scorer in the youth and reserves at Altrincham and at only 19 years of age he is highly rated and manager Johnston said, 'Lee has obviously talked to Pat (McFadden) and Kieran (Lugsden) and they have both sang the praises of the club which is encouraging. Pat has the opportunity to make a name for himself now and this club has a reputation of producing quality forwards. He is only 19 years of age, has excellent pace and obviously an eye for goal and, added to Ian Fitzpatrick, Chris Downey and Matty O’Neill, hopefully we can find the goals that would transform the team'. Manager Johnston will include Hendley in the squad for Saturday’s home game against Prescot Cables".


    The supporters' trust, STAR, is holding more of its regular monthly general knowledge quiz nights in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The latest dates are as follows:
  • Thursday 11th January
  • Thursday 1st February
  • Thursday 1st March
  • Thursday 5th April

    The Quiz entry fee is just £1.00 per person and there is a maximum of 6 persons per team. Doors open at 8pm and the quiz starts at 8.30pm.


    SAM reports on Alty's sell-on clause which should net them £75,000 from the sale of Ian Craney from Accrington to Swansea City. "The Robins are likely to receive the money in instalments, although details of the transfer have not yet been made available. Club vice chairman Grahame Rowley said the windfall would be a welcome boost in helping to finally pay off Alty's historic debts. 'I'm really pleased for the player himself', he told SAM Sport. 'He was a young lad who came to us from Sunday League football and when he first came here he probably wasn't quite up to the physical demands of football. But over the years we watched him develop into a commanding midfield player and we always knew he would go on to play at a much higher level. He is a credit to the club and it's nice that one of the first things he did after the Swansea deal had been completed was to phone us up to tell us how pleased he was that we would benefit from the deal. This money will help stabilise the club even more. Over the last four years we have worked hard to achieve that. The VAT bill was paid off and the Inland Revenue bill should be paid by July this year. This windfall won't mean a massive injection into the playing squad unfortunately, but it will help put us back on a level footing. We can pay off more of our debts and put ourselves into a good position to move forward. Once that is achieved we can start looking at improving the ground and facilities at the club and then maybe allowing Graham a little bit extra to improve the playing staff'. Craney made his Altrincham debut against Emley on September 9, 2000, going on to play more than 200 games for the club and scoring 40 goals in the process".


    Alty's next away league match is at Kingfield, where Woking announce that they "have ended their contract with Shillings, the company that has been running the main clubhouse, bar and food and all catering for our sponsors. They will finish with immediate effect, after which time the club will take back control of all these areas and run them in-house. This will enable us to provide the quality and service that our fans, sponsors and guests expect and deserve... Our aim is to have a full offering in place for our next home game with Altrincham on Saturday 20 January 2007".

    Details of the supporters' coach trips to Woking as well as to Tamworth this Saturday and to Northwich a week on Tuesday are here.


    The BBC confirms that "Weymouth have placed all of their first-team squad on the transfer-list following their decision to axe manager Garry Hill and assistant Kevin Hales. The moves are designed to cut costs at the club, which would not have been able to sustain its current level of spending on its playing budget. Chairman, Martyn Harrison said: 'We have no other option than to reduce our costs. This is painful but we're confident we have made the right decisions."It is important to stress at this point that this club has not gone bust, is not going bust and continues to have my fullest support. We will continue to meet our commitments to play all the fixtures planned between now and the end of this season... We are making these changes in order to guarantee the future of this club'. Chief executive Gary Calder has been placed in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, including the recruitment of players".

    The Football Conference adds that "Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond will attempt to take advantage of the uncertainty at Weymouth by snatching skipper Ben Smith... Bond told the Daily Echo: 'I would certainly be very interested in taking Ben Smith from Weymouth... I know he's somebody that Garry Hill thinks an awful lot of because he's just signed a new contract (until June 2009). Garry would not have wanted to lose him under any circumstances, but he's no longer there and the club appears to be going in a new direction. He scores goals from midfield, he's got bags of energy and is somebody I would like to bring to Bournemouth'".

    Recent transfers include :

  • Nathan Simpson [St Albans to Torquay] Free

    The BBC reports some good news at last for former Conference side "Scarborough's survival hopes have been boosted by a council decision to allow them to sell their McCain Stadium. The council agreed to transfer a covenant restricting the use of the land to sporting activities to the club's proposed new ground. As a result Boro will be able to sell their existing ground for housing to pay off debts and finance a new home. They must now persuade a creditors' meeting to allow the club sufficient time to build a new stadium. The former league club, now struggling in the Conference North, have lined up a site in the Eastfield area of the town".

    "Rushden and Diamonds have signed former Northampton Town midfielder Tom Bonner ... Bonner, 18, moves to Nene Park after his current contract was not renewed by the Cobblers", says the BBC.

    Also according to the BBC, "Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has warned of departures at the Aggborough Stadium during the transfer window. The Conference side signed striker Iyseden Christie at the start of the month and are hopeful of recruiting a few more faces. But Yates has revealed that there could be players going the other way too. He said: 'There will be a little bit of movement out. We haven't got a great deal of money so one or two will be leaving'" .

    Aldershot went out of the FA Cup at Blackpool on Saturday but theAldershot News and Mail says "Terry Brown’s men were outstanding and but for two short periods in the first and second halves respectively, they more than matched their League One opponents in every aspect and can be justifiably proud of a spine-tingling performance... [They] could even have gone on to claim a famous victory were it not for some erratic finishing... Brown could not help but be disappointed by the defeat. 'I thought the game was there to be won today. We knew we had to come here and attack and we did that side of things very well... We came here on a day when it was possible to get a result but we have blown that chance by not defending well enough'”.

    "Burton Albion could be without top scorer Daryl Clare for their FA Trophy second round tie against Worcester City at St George's Lane on Saturday. The 12-goal striker may not be risked because he is awaiting a second operation on his damaged hand. Clare underwent surgery a week ago to repair a shattered knuckle... The former golden boot winner is due back in hospital on Monday to have a pin removed from the joint. Nigel Clough told Mail Sport: 'Daryl is back in training, but he's only doing the non-contact stuff'... The loss of Clare means loan signing Lloyd Opara will partner Jon Shaw up front... On the plus side, Gary Rowett has recovered from a knee injury... Holmes is likely to drop back to the bench on Saturday, where he could be joined by Aaron Webster. The full-back has missed nine games since suffering a knee ligament injury in a training ground mishap... Striker Steve Scoffham, who has been out even longer with a similar injury, is also on the mend... Clough said: 'Steve is going to need an intensive month of football — and the only way he can get that is by going on loan somewhere'. Darren Tinson has returned to light training and could be back in action against St Albans on Saturday week" says the Burton Mail.

    From Sussex, The Argus reports on Oxford's narrow Trophy replay win over Lewes on Tuesday. Rookie goalkeeper Jack Adams left the Kassam Stadium with his head held high even though Lewes's FA Trophy run came to an end. The Sussex under-18 stopper answered an 11th-hour SOS from manager Steve King to avert a goalkeeping crisis... Four hours before kick-off Lewes had defender Leon Legge lined up to go in goal... But 17-year-old debutant Adams was rushed to the ground and did nothing wrong as Oxford sneaked a 1-0 win... and Adams was only beaten by a soft penalty... Lewes requested special dispensation from the FA on Monday to sign an emergency keeper but were refused despite the support of Conference chief executive John Moules". During the game "Oxford's experienced manager Jim Smith sensed all was not well and he came to the touchline to berate his players".

    From the Oxford end This is United says that "Marvin Robinson gave Oxford United a boost with an assured performance on his return from injury last night – and lasted longer than anyone expected. The former Derby, Lincoln and Macclesfield striker won the penalty which Rob Duffy converted to bring the U's a 1-0 victory over Lewes... 'I'm very surprised I got through 90 minutes', Robinson said... United made hard work of defeating their Conference South opponents, who had a 17-year-old in goal who had never played a senior game. Jack Adams was at his girlfriend's house in east Sussex, having just returned from college, at 5pm when he got a phone call asking if he could play. After agreeing, somewhat stunned, he was raced by car to Oxford by a Lewes fan. Yet the only shot on target against him from United was the spot-kick".

    "Crawley have completed a second signing in as many days with the capture of defender Ronnie Bull from Grays. But midfielder Gary Mills and striker Jake Edwards have both left the club to join Rushden and Tamworth respectively. Bull came through the youth ranks at Millwall and made 50 League appearances for the Lions... The 26-year-old had spells at Brentford, Grimsby and New Zealand Knights before joining Rushden last season. He played 19 games at Nene Park alongside fellow new signing Magnus Okuonghae, who joined from St Albans yesterday. Bull has been restricted to just three appearances for Grays this season because of injury. Caretaker boss John Yems said: ;I've known Ronnie since he was nine-years-old and he is a quality player'... Mills joined Reds from Rushden in the summer and made 24 appearances... He has returned after finding travelling from his home in Northampton too difficult. Edwards held talks with Tamworth last week... The American striker scored two goals in 23 games after joining from Exeter at the start of the campaign... Yems says there could be more new arrivals before Saturday's trip to Aldershot" according to The Argus.

    IC Surrey adds that "It is the loss of Edwards which will be most keenly felt, as he was one of only three recognised strikers at the club... Reds' joint caretaker-manager Dave Woozley said 'A few of the lads at the club are on non-contract deals so they are entitled to speak to other clubs. We made Jake an offer of a permanent contract which he had for a while,but it is his decision'. Edwards' departure has left Crawley desperately short of attacking options as Ben Strevens left for Dagenham & Redbridge after Christmas and youngster Carl Baker has been released. Fortunately the Reds were boosted last week when top scorer Scott Rendell decided to commit himself to the club for the remainder of the season on a non-contract basis. The 20-year-old had been on loan from Reading since the beginning of the season, and after his period of work experience came to an end on January 1, he agreed a permanent release from the Premiership outfit and turned down offers from several other clubs to extend his spell in the Conference. However his current record of one goal in nine games, a penalty, will need to improve if he is to shoulder the goalscoring burden with new signing Lloyd Blackman... And with the club confirming they are not looking for a permanent boss, the three caretakers can concentrate on continuing their search for players in the transfer window. Woozley said: 'John Yems (joint caretaker manager and youth team boss) has loads of contacts in the game and Ben (Judge) and I know a few people, so it's a case of ringing around'. A late addition to the Crawley shopping list might be a reserve goal-keeper, after first-choice Ben Hamer limped off in the opening minutes against York on Saturday with a hamstring injury... Woozley said 'We are hoping he will be okay for the Aldershot game but it might be one week too early for him. But Rob Tolfrey came on against York and was pretty confident and what he had to do he did well'... The next Crawley Town creditors' meeting will take place on January 16".

    Mick Woodward, chairman of Grays Athletic states that "It has been noticed on other websites that there is mention of Stuart Thurgood being sold, I would like to state that this is not true. Players like Stuart Thurgood, Jamie Stuart, Ashley Bayes, John Martin and others are a big part of this club, in fact both Stuart and Jamie have contracts for next year. My intention is to not sell any further players from our squad until such time we reach league status, then the situation may be reviewed".

    Morecambe "Central defender Shaun Gray has moved to Fleetwood Town. Midfielders Jonathan Smith and Paul Lloyd have been loaned to Bamber Bridge".

    10 January 2007


    Tonight's game at Moss Lane between Altrincham Reserves and Hyde United Reserves in the Lancashire League Cup has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The Reserves have now played just once in the last two months. So far nine Reserves' games are awaiting re-arrangement after being postponed by bad weather. They are due to play their next game, at home to Rossendale United, next Wednesday (17th, 7.45pm).


    The coach times for the STAR supporters' coach to Tamworth on Saturday are here. Please come along and help the team get through to the next round! Please book, as usual via the club on 928-1045.

    AND IF WE WIN...

    The following is reproduced from the Robins Review:

    If we triumph at Tamworth this coming Saturday, we will be at home next Tuesday (Jan 16th) against Welling United. Unfortunately, with the short notice it is unlikely that we will be able to obtain a Match Sponsor for that game. Thus the club are offering a special rate for anyone who would like to dine pre-match in the Sponsors' Lounge. For just £25 per person, you will get entry to the ground, a matchday programme, pre-match drinks, hot food and tea/coffee with biscuits at half time - all in the comfort of our Sponsors' Lounge. Go on, treat yourself and your partner/friends to a great night out and, hopefully, entry to the last 16 of the competition. If, however, we don’t win at Tamworth, there will be no game to watch!!!!!

    Please contact Karen Rowley on 07850-964751 or by e-mail or contact the office 9-5pm on 928-1045. Many Thanks.


    Although, after last night's postponement, Altrincham and Tamworth have only actually completed one match in the Trophy this season, given the abandoned replay game on 19 December, Alty fans' thoughts turn to previous sagas in the Trophy. Those of more mature years may recall the following drawn-out Trophy ties...

    FAT 1974-75

  • 2Q Runcorn H 0 0
  • 2QR Runcorn A 0 0
  • 2QR2 Runcorn 1 1
  • 2QR3 Runcorn 2 0

    FAT 1976-77

  • SF1 Scarborough A 0 2
  • SF2 Scarborough H 2 0
  • SFR Scarborough N 0 0
  • SFR2 Scarborough N 1 2

    FAT 1987-88

  • 3 Fisher Athletic H 1 1
  • 3R Fisher Athletic A 0 0
  • 3R2 Fisher Athletic A 1 1
  • 3R3 Fisher Athletic H 1 0


    Conference South side Welling United will remain in the dark about their opponents in the FA Trophy 2nd Round till Saturday night and will then have to travel to either Tamworth or Altrincham to play the game 72 hours later on Tuesday night (16th).

    A penalty saw Oxford through in Tuesday's Trophy Round 1 replay...

  • Oxford Utd 1 Lewes 0


    STAR's Jon and Winnie Stack write:

    So we're roughly half way through the season and with a total of 33 Alty goals (3 from Rod Thornley, 4 from Colin Little and none from Peter Band, (unfortunately!), and 7 clean sheets, the total sponsorship stands at £767.25. No Stuart Coburn penalty saves from what I can recall (penalty misses without a save don't count, by the way!)

    If you've sponsored goals or clean sheets then please can you hand in the amount for the first half of the season via cheque (payable to Altrincham FC) or cash at the Club, or send to me, Jon Stack, at 86 Main Road, Wigginton, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 9DZ (please don't send cash!) and I'll make sure it gets to the Club.

    Thanks very much for your support

    Best Regards

    Jon and Winnie Stack


    The supporters' trust, STAR has details of its AGM on its website.


    Courtesy of George Heslop, there is a match report in the website's youth section on the Youth team's victory over FC United of Manchester last Sunday


    The news that Alty have been waiting for comes from the BBC: "Swansea City have signed Ian Craney (right) from Accrington Stanley for a fee of around £150,000. The 24-year-old midfielder joined the Swans on a month's loan at the end of November and played in all but one of Swansea's games during that period. Swansea triggered a clause in Craney's contract allowing them to speak to the former England non-league international after lodging a suitable bid. Craney has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at the Liberty Stadium. He played a key role in Accrington's Conference title success last season and has scored six times in League Two this season". Altrincham are due a half of the fee of around £150,000, thanks to a sell-on cluase from when he left Altrincham for Stanley in 2004. Alty had sold him to Accrington Stanley for £15,000 (plus £2,500 after 20 appearances).

    Alty's previous largest income from a player sale was the £50,000 received for the direct sale of Kevin Ellison to Leicester City in February 2001.


    As reported below, Weymouth are in crisis; another Conference club undergoing major change is Rushden and Diamonds. The Diamonds' forum has a posting which states: "I've written up my notes [from a Fans' Forum last Monday] as I remember them. They won't be 100% accurate, and shouldn't be regarded as quotes, but you'll get an idea of what was said. Present : [Chairman] Keith Cousins (KC), [manager] Graham Westley (GW) and RDFC fans... KC wanted to state that the current performance of the team is not good enough... He thus informed us that seven players had been put on the transfer list today. In addition to the five players brought in on a trial basis last week, further are expected in the next 10 days. Mr Cousins admitted that "debts are running at £600k per year... These debts will be reduced by a mixture of cuts and progression – already he has sealed various sponsorships, but still needs double or triple the amount. He felt the Griggs Group [the former owners] had given the Trust a poison chalice".

    Graham Westley stated words to the effect that "You need to realise that the wage bill is 70% higher than for the Stevenage team that reached the playoffs – and they had fewer players. The players he has aren’t sufficiently fit – on a standard test he runs, the best got 6.3, and yet at Stevenage the worst was 7. He confirmed the players going to be Crane, Wilson, Grainger, Pearson, Chillingworth, Berry and Shaw. He had also spoken to the other senior players. They accept they need to raise their games". Westley stated, "I was discussing the situation on the bus back from Altrincham, reflecting that one of our player's wages is equal to the total of five of my Stevenage players from the playoff side. You can see why it is not always easy to get players out". KC continued to the effect that "We need to build on a proper base of finance, fans and players – Max built on sand".

    As for the defeat at Altrincham, "GW pointed out that the team that was already only good enough for a bottom 4 place was further weakened by Kelly and Chilli’s injury and Paul Watson’s late withdrawal, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising we lost". Asked about relegation, the chairman said, "I’m not thinking of such things, but we’ll still be here [Nene Park] if we do go down". Westley added, "I won’t say we’ll definitely stay up – too many say that and pay the price, but I will point to my experiences at Stevenage, and awareness of what I need to do".

    Asked about Leo Fortune-West, KC said "He is on loan until the end of the season, and Shrewsbury are paying his wages cheering), but we get him back for next season (cheering stops). As for our tormentor at Nene Park, Simeon Jackson, Westley said "I like Simeon, and he realises there is a problem, and is working with us to solve it". The chairman stated that "You should be aware that [ex-manager] Paul Hart is taking proceedings against the club for unfair dismissal (laughter from the floor)".

    Rushden also report the signing of "Tom Bonner, (18), Northampton midfielder, who played for Bedford Town in their play-off season. They were trying to re-sign him but he wanted to stay full time. Can play in defence or midfield. Also went out on trial to Nuneaton and Kettering"

    Explaining his release of seven players after defeat by Altrincham last Saturday, Rushden boss Graham Westley told Rushden Today, "I gave everyone a clean slate before I came in. But there is a definite lack of quality. Those seven players still have to be considered for selection. They are professional footballers who are looking to continue being employed. Some of the players here are scared of the ball and fear getting possession. We are suffering with those boys. We've got enough leaders and honest lads... I'm sure one of the seven will turn up for training and play on Saturday. They all need to find another employer or persuade me I'm wrong. So I don't think motivation will be a problem... Moving players out is not going to be an easy job but we have to bring in people on lower wages. There are still eight or nine players with a lot to prove. As we move one out, we will bring one in. That process has now begun". Chairman Keith Cousins added: "If the current squad can't get it right then we will sign different players".

    In response to the forum, The Griggs Group says "The Griggs' Group had been funding RDFC's deficits of between £2 and £3 million for a number of years... In the year ended May 2005 the management accounts showed a loss reduced to £59,000 after Griggs' sponsorship and £1,369, 000 before the sponsorship... The Griggs Group has no knowledge of the current financial status of the Club, except for comments from the CEO that the Club deficit had been reduced to £300,000 and from Keith Cousins that the deficit was still approximately £600,000. ... In handing over the Club to the Trust and in agreeing a payment of £750,000 to help with the transfer, Max and Stephen Griggs were concerned to prevent a third party taking control, liquidating the assets and realising the value of the land for purposes other than the good of the local community. The value of the land with commercial planning permission was estimated at approximately £4 million... The contract between the Griggs' Group and RDST (supporters' trust) makes it clear that the Club and the land belong to the supporters".


    To start with, another off-field incident involving Crawley where The Argus reports that "Azwar Majeed, owner of Crawley Town Football Club, was driving on Saturday when he crashed his yellow Porsche 911 at a notorious blackspot on the A23 at Pyecombe. The car smashed through a barrier and down the side of a ditch, rolling over several times before finally coming to a halt in a field. Firefighters freed Mr Majeed from the car using hydraulic cutters and he was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton... where his condition was described last night as 'stable'... It is understood that Mr Majeed suffered broken shoulders, legs and ribs during the crash, which happened around 4.45pm... The club faces a meeting with creditors at the Broadfield Stadium on January 16 over debts it owes to former players and staff. Mr Majeed said: 'It's going to be business as usual. Azwar will be back on his feet soon'". On the pitch, Crawley's midfielder Gary Mills has joined Rushden & Diamonds, whilst the Sussex club "have completed the double signing of Ronnie Bull (Grays Athletic) and Magnus Okuonghae (St Albans) and Grays Athletic have announced that left back Mark Wright's loan period with Crawley Town has been extended for one month". The BBC adds that "Okuonghae, 20, had been on non-contract terms with the Saints since joining from Aldershot Town at the end of August. The former Rushden and Diamonds centre-back made 20 appearances for St Albans and played in their 3-1 home defeat by Northwich on Saturday". Crawley also announce that former Exeter "striker Jake Edwards has agreed to join Conference rivals Tamworth. Edwards joined the Club in the summer of 2006, and made a total of 23 appearances in all competitions and scored two goals".

    Sacked Weymouth boss Garry Hill told BBC Radio Solent, "'I'm stunned, I loved it at Weymouth, the supporters have been great to us. Take nothing away from the chairman, he's been very good to me and Kevin Hales and the players'. The Terras' Board refused to comment on the departures of Hill and Hales... A news conference at the Wessex Stadium has been called for Wednesday morning at 11am".

    The BBC says that "West Bromwich Albion have recalled midfielder Rob Davies from his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers. Davies was nearing the end of a second month at Kidderminster, where he had started five games. However, the Wales under-21 international had not figured in the Conference for a month".

    As previously reported "Curtis Woodhouse has left Rushden and Diamonds to pursue his professional boxing career. The former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder, 26, had reached the end of a short-term deal. Woodhouse, whose boxing ambitions were put on hold after he received a community service order, scored twice in seven appearances for the Diamonds. Midfielder Andrew Rigby has left by mutual consent after starting two games after signing from Nottingham Forest", states the BBC.

    "New Grays manager Justin Edinburgh has allowed four players to leave Bridge Road as he continues to shake up the squad following his appointment. Former Millwall defender Ronnie Bull and former Fulham player Adam Green have left the club by mutual consent. Meanwhile, loan players Sheku Kamara and Charlie Comyn-Platt have returned to Watford and Swindon respectively".

    "Peterborough have continued their raid of the non-league ranks by signing Woking goalkeeper Shwan Jalal for an undisclosed fee. The Baghdad-born 23-year-old, who is an England non-league international, made over 100 starts for the Cards having started his career at Tottenham. He also had spells with both Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds this season" reports the BBC.

    NL Daily says that "Nationwide South club Lewes have signed Woking`s longest-serving player, striker Chris Sharpling, on non-contract terms. Sharpling orignally joined Woking on loan from Crystal Palace for the second half of the 2000/01 season... [In 2003, he] suffered a cruciate injury and, to be fair, has struggled to return to the form he showed prior to sustaining that injury".

    NL Daily also says that "Nigel Clough, manager of Burton Albion, will continue transfer talks this week in an attempt to boost his promotion-chasing squad. Clough hopes to persuade Crewe Alexandra to grant midfielder Lee Bell his second spell on loan at the Pirelli Stadium. Burton’s boss had agreed the deal in principle with the League One outfit last week after taking former Cheshunt striker Lloyd Opara on loan from Peterborough United.... Clough said: 'Crewe are keen for Lee to join us to get some games under his belt, but they’re just a bit short on numbers on the moment'... He is being lined up by Clough as a possible replacement for Paul Carden, who is waiting to hear whether his proposed move to Bury will be completed this week. Clough said: 'Lee can play a holding role in midfield, he can also get forward... he’ll be fit enough to do a job for us for a month'" reports the Burton Mail.

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Jimmy Quinn continued his search for new blood by running the rule over Kidsgrove striker Michael Lennon... The United manager took advantage of the postponement of Saturday's game due to a waterlogged pitch to spy on the 25-year-old centre-forward, who is the top scorer in the Unibond League with 31 goals this season. Lennon, who has previously played for Spennymoor, Colwyn Bay and Newcastle Town, netted an early goal for Kidsgrove... Quinn did not see Lennon, who represented Great Britain in the World Student Games in South Korea four years ago, score but said it was vital to keep tabs on strikers scoring goals regularly in lower divisions in a bid to unearth a rough diamond. He said: 'I missed the first half-hour and the goal he scored'... He had been looking forward to seeing his newly-signed frontmen Wayne Purser and Dean Holdsworth in action against Forest Green. He said: "We need to stay up, and getting a couple of proven goalscorers in was very important. If you've got people putting the ball in the back of the net, it gives everyone confidence".

    Also, "Quinn is giving James Cullingworth the chance to prove himself worthy of a deal with Cambridge United, [as]... the United manager has turned his attentions to filling the right-back spot. Quinn believes Rob Gier, who has been United's regular player in that position this season, is a centre-half converted to the task and has been keen to bring in someone more suited to the specialised role. And he has moved quickly to draft in Cullingworth, 19, for a trial this week after he was released by Nottingham Forest last week... Quinn said: 'We're just having a look at him in training at the moment... We're trying to arrange something so we can have a look at one or two lads as well as some of those who need games, like Mark Peters. I like to play half-decent opposition to give us a bit of a test, so I'll be contacting a few Nationwide South and Ryman Premier clubs... Grays captain Stuart Thurgood has also been linked with a move to United but while Quinn said...'He's one we'll be interested in if he becomes available, but I think a few other clubs might be interested in him as well'".

    9 January 2007


    As reported below, Weymouth have serious financial problems. This is Weymouth now reports that "Weymouth Football Club is in crisis tonight (Tues) after the manager and players were told they would be axed to save the club from financial ruin. Manager Garry Hill, coach Kevin Hales, and the entire squad of players have been released or transfer-listed by club chairman Martyn Harrison. Mr Harrison says the decision has been taken as part of a major financial 'restructuring' of the club. Club captain Ben Smith said 'shocked' players were told the news by the manager at training on Tuesday afternoon".

    Of the current teams in the Conference National, eleven have now had one or more changes of management in the 17 months since the start of 2005-06 season. They are Morecambe, Weymouth, Exeter, Stevenage, Kidderminster, Grays, FGR, Cambridge Utd, Crawley, Rushden and Southport.


    Tonight's FA Trophy replay (replay) at Tamworth has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. It is now re-scheduled for this Saturday at 3pm. Details of the supporters' coach on Saturday will appear here as soon as possible. On December 19th the first attempt to play the replay was abandoned after 45 minutes because of fog.


    Weymouth are the latest Conference club to find themselves with financial problems as the following press release entitled, "Weymouth Football Club restructure" reveals.

    "Weymouth Football Club Chairman Martyn Harrison today announced that a number of changes at ‘The Terras’ are being implemented as a consequence of an on-going review he has conducted at the club over the past few months.

    Weymouth F. C. is an important part of a wider business and for almost two years I have devoted considerable time and resources to re-building the club to ensure its long term future. This has proved to be enormously difficult and has placed considerable pressure on both myself and my other businesses. Following a review of all our activities I have concluded that the best way to achieve the original goal of a sustainable football club is to re-structure, set new challenging but realistic goals for the future and operate very much more in line with the income we are able to generate.

    The plans we have for the re-development of the club encountered set-backs last year but we are working on a revised strategy that I believe will offer up a sustainable future for Weymouth F.C. I continue to view this initiative as vital for our future.

    In the weeks ahead there will be a number of changes that will place us in a better position to give the club the future it needs as well as the ability to maintain financial self reliance. I am working closely with the Board and Management to ensure that these changes take place as soon as possible. It will be a painful time for us as it is likely that there will be changes in the squad as well as some personnel at ‘The Wessex’.

    I appreciate the irony of these changes coming at a time when we are enjoying success but it is imperative that achievements are delivered in a sustainable manner. I believe that now is the right time to make the changes that will give us the long term future we need".


    IC Birmingham reports that "Masked men armed with sawn-off shotguns and knives terrorised staff and stole the day's bumper takings just hours after Tamworth FC's FA Cup Third Round clash. The trio forced up to seven staff to lie on the floor, held a knife against one young man's neck and even claimed they had rigged up a bomb before stealing a 'substantial amount' of cash from the safe. They burst into the social club as staff were locking up after an 18th birthday party just after midnight on Saturday. The violent trio took the takings from the lunch time kick off against Championship side Norwich - which saw more than 3,160 fans packed into the grounds - and the birthday party... The exact amount of the haul has not been revealed but is expected to run into thousands of pounds. Lambs' general manager Russell Moore said: "They took the keys off the steward, took cash from the tills and raided the safe. I can't reveal the exact amount but it was substantial. It was the day's bar takings from the FA Cup match and the 18th birthday party".


    If the match today at Tamworth is played Alty's Val Owen and Tamworth's Kyle Storer will miss it through suspension. Storer was the scorer for Tamworth against Norwich on Saturday. If the game today is postponed till Saturday, the Lambs will have a second player suspended as "Simon Weaver will be suspended from all first team football until the club have completed one first team match [from 13 January] for 5 cautions" reports the FA.

    Howard Watts's Through the Years for today is here.


    Alty Youth beat FC United of Manchester Youth 1-0, away, on Sunday, to complete a double against the newly formed side.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Altrincham's promising league form continued as they made it four games undefeated with a 2-1 home victory over Rushden and Diamonds... having taken eight points from the last twelve available... Hard tackling and sheer determination was typical of the Robins' second half display and this was evident no more so than from Rod Thornley and Val Owen. Thornley went off to great applause with five minutes left on the clock and it was the man who replaced him, Pat McFadden who had a big hand in the winning goal. Receiving the ball from Owen, he drove down the left hand side, got his head up and after having his first attempted cross blocked he managed to pick out O'Neill, who secured the points with a clinical finish".

    The BBC reports that "Rushden and Diamonds manager Graham Westley is convinced that teenage striker Lee Tomlin will be a big asset. The 17-year-old, who was signed by Rushden in 2005 after being released by Leicester, scored in the 2-1 loss against Altrincham at the weekend. Westley told BBC Radio Northampton: 'He's got the ability to do things in the penalty area. He looks like a natural goalscorer but we have to be careful we don't over use him so he doesn't get hurt'".

    Rushden Today reports that "Graham Westley has told Rushden & Diamonds fans to show patience as he predicts 'steady progress'. They are stuck in the drop zone after Saturday's 2-1 loss at Altrincham... Westley said: 'If the players were at the right level in terms of fitness, organisation and desire then the club would not be where it is. It's going to be steady progress and Rome wasn't built in a day. We are going to have to get certain types of players in to do certain jobs. Nobody wants to pick up a point per game. But it's one point more than I got from my first four matches with Stevenage'... Meanwhile "midfielder Curtis Woodhouse has left Nene Park after just seven appearances"

    The article continues "With all respect to Altrincham's display in this game, in all honesty Diamonds should not be losing to part-time teams. So what's the point in working all week as 'full-time' professionals if you can't match the amateurs when it counts? Diamonds had already recorded a couple of 3-0 home wins against Altrincham this season when the Robins were probably the worst side we have seen since dropping down... But overall they got exactly what they deserved – nothing. In fact the late goal by substitute Lee Tomlin wasn't even a consolation which they had really warranted anyway... Those Diamonds fans who saw yet another defeat might have been left wishing Westley hadn't sent the team bus to pick them up when the supporters' coach broke down".

    And "A fans' forum was due to be held at Rushden on Monday night and beforehand, Rushden Today said, "The fans' forum comes just a few weeks before trust members must vote on proposals to secure the long-term future of football at Nene Park amid ongoing fears that Diamonds could go into administration along with almost certain relegation. A group of fans have already held an open meeting to put together a list of questions for new club chairman Keith Cousins after it was revealed he made a loan of £512,000 to save Diamonds from closure in November. The trust board also announced any development of the Irthlingborough complex would trigger a 'claw back' clause which means paying more than £3m to the Griggs Group who handed over control of the club to the supporters' trust at the start of last season. Diamonds had held 'positive discussions' with East Northants Council over planning permission for a fast food restaurant and hotel at Nene Park... Supporters will be asked to vote at meetings on January 25 and February 8 over proposals for a new trust... A statement read: 'Naturally members have a right to vote against the proposal and to reject the recommendation of the trust board. Effectively this would mean that the existing trust would remain liable for all the land assets at Nene Park and would be responsible for repayments on the loan received from Keith Cousins. The trust board firmly believes this could lead to the football club going into administration in the very near future.. with almost certain relegation following a deduction of 10 points'"


    "Exeter City have offered winger Wayne Carlisle a new 18-month contract. The former Leyton Orient and Bristol Rovers player, 27, is expected to commit himself to the club after joining for a second spell in October. Grecians boss Paul Tisdale is also optimistic that he will secure defender Billy Jones on an extended deal. Tisdale is also due to hold further talks with full-back Danny Woodards, 23, as he looks to keep the former Chelsea youngster at St James Park", states the BBC.

    Meanwhile, "Stevenage Borough manager Mark Stimson has completed the signing of Margate defender Hasim Deen. Deen has agreed a contract until the end of the season after a three-month loan spell at Broadhall Way. Meanwhile, striker Darryn Stamp has returned to the club after his loan spell at York City ended, but he is expected to move on again this month. York have retained an interest in the 28-year-old, who is also a target for Conference rivals Halifax Town".

    "Grays Athletic have named Jimmy Dack as the club's assistant manager to newly-appointed boss Justin Edinburgh. Edinburgh became the club's fourth boss of the season last week and was fast to recommend Dack, with whom he worked at Conference South side Fisher Athletic. Dack also has previous Conference top-flight experience from a stint as player and coach at Stevenage Borough. And, having played at Crawley and Sutton United, he also worked last season on the coaching staff at Woking", says the BBC.


    And finally, The Times reports that on Saturday, "Unfortunately, the Chelsea manager committed a ghastly gaffe after the match, when on three occasions he referred to Macclesfield as 'a Conference side'."

    This United an unofficial Oxford site reports that "Oxford United boss Jim Smith is confident he will have signed a new striker by the next Nationwide Conference game at Grays on January 20. Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Morecambe saw the U's slip three points behind leaders Dagenham & Redbridge. And their dire run in front of goal – United have scored just once from open play in the last six games – has seen fans begin to doubt whether this side are capable of winning the league. Boos rang out at the final whistle on Saturday, but Smith remained defiant and pointed to a first-half incident which he felt turned the match. 'I think people are too quick to criticise the players', he said. 'However, if we had scored inside the first ten minutes like we should have done, everything would have been different. Rob Duffy hit a good shot that was going in, only for it to hit a defender's arm and bounce off the bar. Yemi should have put the rebound in, but that was a definite penalty. If it hadn't hit the arm, it would have gone in, so it has to be a penalty'... Midfielder Danny Rose and defender Georges Santos, both signed on loan at the end of last week, made their debuts, but a striker is now top priority... Smith said 'The hardest position to fill is that of a striker. I could go and get one tomorrow, but if he is no better than what we've got, then what's the point'. Smith admitted that he approached Crewe about Luke Rodgers, but was put off by the money involved. 'They wanted a substantial figure just to take him on loan', he explained. 'Then there were wages, but we had been told that the player did not want to drop into the Conference anyway... I'm confident that we will have someone in for when we go Grays'".

    8 January 2007


    Should the FA Trophy between Tamworth and Altrincham be postponed tomorrow, as The Lamb pitch, like most in the country, is already heavy and more rain is forecast, the FA has instructed that the game would be re-scheduled for this Saturday (13th at 3pm) In those circumstances, the second round game for the victors, at home to Welling United, would take place next Tuesday (16th) at 7.45pm. But, as things stand, the tie is still scheduled for tomorrow.


    On Tuesday, Altrincham travel to Tamworth for the replay of the FA Trophy 1st Round Replay, which was abandoned because of fog when the first attempt to play the match was staged before Christmas. Alty were leading 2-1 at the time. Having met Tamworth in the FA Cup at The Lamb last season, this will mean that by the end of this season, Altrincham will have visited Tamworth five times in two seasons. STAR is running a supporters' coach to this game so please come along and lend your support to help the team secure a home tie on Saturday against Welling United. You can book your seat on the coach by ringing 928-1045 - full details of times and fares are here.

    Thos fans who attended the abandoned game at The Lamb should remember to bring their vouchers with them to claim half-price admission to the game on Tuesday.

    Tuesday's Trophy 1st Round games are:

  • Oxford Utd v Lewes (winners home to Halifax T.)
  • Tamworth v Altrincham (winners home to Welling U.)


    The STAR bucket collection at the Alty v Rushden game raised £75-37. Many thanks to collectors and donors alike.


    The phone number for the Altrincham FC Car Boot Sale (details below) has been changed - to book a pitch, please now ring the club on 928-1045.

    Altrincham FC and STAR will be holding a car boot sale on Sunday 4th February from 8am till 1pm on the car park at Moss Lane. Pitches cost just £5 for cars and £7.50 for vans. All proceeds go to the Football Club, so please support the event if you can.


    The Football Conference reports that "The Sanex for Men performance of the month for December goes to Histon for their 5-0 demolition of local rivals Cambridge United before a crowd of just under 3,000 at The Glassworld Stadium".
    7 January 2007


    The website has been advised that regular home and away Altrincham FC supporter Pete Hughes has been attacked by his dog and has had to undergo plastic surgery in Wythenshawe Hospital. Amongst his other work for Altrincham, Pete was the instigator, this season, of the reduced rate entrance prices for the Alty v Weymouth match which attracted many England supporters en route to Old Trafford. He is seen above (background) opening a bottle of celebratory champagne after the Boxing Day win over Northwich Victoria. All at Altrincham FC wish Pete a full and speedy recovery.


    Following Saturday's win over Rushden and Diamonds, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "It's really tight at the bottom and it's becoming more important to get three points from each of our home games. We put in a battling performance today and we did well in a game which was physically tough. All credit to the players. They've really looked after themselves over Christmas... we need to follow Kidderminster's example and kick on from here. It was a pity to concede the goal but I don't want to dwell on it. The result is more important and I think we were the better team". The NLP adds that Diamonds' boss Graham Westley "kept his players in the dressing room for more than 45 minutes but was philosophical when he emerged for interviews. He said, 'Really, this was a game between two average sides. It's been a difficult week for us, losing two players and when Paul Watson pulled up in the warm up it left us short on the left-hand side. We were disappointed to concede the first goal and gave it a go in the second half but it wasn't enough. I am looking at my players at the moment. I've brought in five players on trial and I need to look at what I've got".

    The NLP included Joe O'Neill and Val Owen in its team of the week. Val is pictured right by Gavin Rathbone in the Rushden game. Another of Gavin's photos is below and more are on theGR Photography website. This site's match report is here.


    Alty players Eddie Hussin (started) and Kieran Lugsden (sub) played for Leigh RMI yesterday, as did former Alty centre-back Mark Maddox.


    On Friday The NW Evening Mail reported that "There will be a new man between the sticks when Nationwide North club Barrow travel to Redditch United on Saturday. [The match was subsequently postponed]. Bluebirds' boss Phil Wilson has brought in 21-year-old stopper Ashley Timms for the vital trip to the Valley Stadium with regular keeper Jamie Speare injured... He said: “We certainly need another keeper in... 'I’ve seen Ashley on a number of occasions, he’s been at a Premiership club for three years, he’s 6ft 4ins and he’s got a good kick on him'... Former Manchester City man Timms is due to go on trial at Coca-Cola League One side Wycombe Wanderers on Monday and, as such, has been signed purely for the game with Redditch, with Wilson due to reassess matters next week".

    "North Ferriby United have named former Guiseley manager Neil Parsley as their replacement for Brian France with whom the club parted company after ten years just before Christmas. Parsley himself had been in charge at Guiseley for five seasons until, with his side lying in third place, the Nethermoor outfit replaced him... Parsley [briefly at Altrincham] has named Trevor Storton as his Assistant".


    In the context of the FA Cup 3rd Round this week, various TV programmes have covered previous giantkilling acts in that competition - one of them being Alty's famous 2-1 away win at then top-flight Birmingham City. This in turn has led to recollections of the impact of that win in the USA where on 15 January 1986 the New York Times reported on a "Stunning Upset In British Soccer. Altrincham defeated Birmingham, 2-1, in a sensational upset today in the third round of English Football Association Cup. Altrincham, a part-time club, became only the sixth team from outside the English League to beat a First Division club in this event, which was inaugurated in 1872. Robert Hopkins of Birmingham sent the ball into his own net with 15 minutes left for the winning goal. Hopkins had given Birmingham a 1-0 lead in the 63d minute, scoring after a corner kick by Ray Ranson. Two minutes later, the Birmingham defense blundered and Ronnie Ellis scored from close range".


    News from our next league opponents on 20 January. Woking "can confirm that Liam Marum, Jason Pearce and James Bittner have signed for the club. 19 year-old Liam Marum, who is out of contract at Cambridge United has signed for the Cards on contract until the end of the season. 18 year-old defender Jason Pearce also joins Woking on a month's loan from Premiership side Portsmouth. Jason has come through the youth ranks at Pompey, earning himself a full contract in June 2006. Goalkeeper James Bittner has also signed from Torquay United on non-contract terms. He has previously had spells at Exeter, Bournemouth and Salisbury". But on Saturday a poster on the Cards' forum said "Woking could only bench three subs (two forwards and a keeper) and fielded two youngsters who have just joined the club this week and reserve Sam Cockerill who usually doesn't make the subs bench. After losing our other youngster centre-back Ruby and debutant Marum to injury we ended up playing 18 year-old forward Gez Sole at right back and midfielder Karl Murray at centre-back".

    Full-time Southport's crowd for the visit of Grays yesterday was just 810.

    NL Daily confirms that "Striker Wayne Purser has signed for Cambridge United. Other clubs were interested in signing 26-year-old Purser, who started out as a youngster with QPR and has played for Barnet, Leyton Orient, Peterborough and Weymouth".


    The UniBond League newsletter announces that "Later this month UniBond League fans will be able to download recorded highlights of UniBond matches from their PCs, laptops and PDAs with the launch of UniBond TV. The League has teamed up with Onside Sports – the company behind Charlton Athletic TV and production company for Sky TV’s Hong Kong Soccer 7’s and International Masters Football – to launch a service that will be available to anyone with broadband internet access. Visitors to the League website will be able to download a 20 minute highlights package from a Premier or First Division match filmed by Onside within 48 hours of the final whistle complete with interviews and match analysis. A second 45 minute programme is expected to come on line in the coming weeks showing highlights from UniBond clubs able to film and supply their own games. Each programme will be available for just £2 with season tickets available to reduce the cost even further".
    6 January 2007


    Left: Man of the Match Joe O'Neill is caught by Gavin Rathbone's camera against Rushden. More of Gavin's photos are on theGR Photography website.

  • Match report here.

    Altrincham rise to 14th in the league table, thanks to postponements and an abandonment - see below- and Alty have played more games than seveal teams below them.

  • Alty line-up
  • Alty player statistics

    Above: Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley shakes hands with a representative of the Hale Barns Junior FC who, from 2007-08 season, will become Altrincham FC Juniors. Also in the picture are representatives of the various Hale Barns age groups, along with Altrincham FC and Hale Barns JFC officials and Alty first team players Steve Bushell and Colin Little.

    Altrincham FC are delighted to release the following announcement:

    Altrincham FC are pleased to announce their development into “grassroots” football from season 2007/2008 when they are joined by Hale Barns United Junior Football Club.

    Hale Barns United have been established in the local community since 1971, offering competitive junior football to both girls and boys. They currently have 14 teams, accommodating in the region of 200 players ranging from under 8 to under 18s. They are long-standing members of the Timperley and District Junior Football League and are affiliated to Cheshire FA. Following this merger they will be known as ALTRINCHAM FC JUNIORS.

    Graham Heathcote, Manager of Altrincham FC said “It’s vital that this Football Club integrates itself with the local community and we welcome the chance to involve as many youngsters as possible in our Football Club with a theme of Football for All and the emphasis on participation rather than "pot hunting". Hale Barns United Junior Football Club have demonstrated to us that they also share this value. We look forward to a long and beneficial partnership". A spokesman for Hale Barns United said “This is a big step for a club already well established in this area and with our own identity. Our integration into Altrincham FC, we believe, is essential for our development as a junior football club. We need a base and access to the type of facilities, coaching and otherwise that a club the size of Altrincham can readily provide. We hope to quickly establish a mutually beneficial relationship under the Altrincham FC banner and secure Charter Standard Status as soon as possible.”

    “The ethos of the club will continue to be the provision of competitive football to children and young people of all abilities in a safe and friendly environment and at a reasonable cost. It should be noted therefore that we will not be an “Academy” but players with the ability and commitment to play at a higher level will be given every encouragement and opportunity to do so. We welcome both current and new players to join us in this new venture”.


  • FAC3: Blackpool 4 Aldershot T. 2
  • FAC3: Tamworth 1 Norwich C. 4
  • FAT1: Vauxhall M. 0 Kidderminster H. 4


  • Altrincham 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1
  • Cambridge U. v Forest Green R. POSTPONED
  • Dagenham & R. 3 Woking 2
  • Gravesend & N. 1 Halifax T. 2 ABANDONED AFTER 61 MINS, WATERLOGGED
  • Oxford U. 0 Morecambe 0
  • Southport 3 Grays A. 1
  • St Albans C. 1 Northwich V. 3
  • Stafford R. v Stevenage B. POSTPONED
  • Weymouth v Burton A. POSTPONED
  • York C. 5 Crawley T. 0


    Three years ago today, as Howard Watts's Through the Years confirms, Altrincham were losing to Vauxhall Motors in the UniBond League Cup in front of one of the smallest gates at Moss Lane in recent years - just 245. Against Rushden today, Altrincham will hopefully welcome a much larger crowd. The Robins will still have the services of Val Owen, whose suspension does not start till next Monday, and striker Rod Thornley is available again after work commitments kept him out last week. But Colin Little remains suspended and very doubtful for the game is captain Steve Bushell, who limped off with a calf injury at Halifax last Monday.

    As reported here yesterday and now confirmed by the BBC "Rushden and Diamonds manager Graham Westley has signed four players. Westley has recruited Yeovil Town striker Daniel Webb and Peterborough midfielder Jimmy Ghaichem on loan. Ghaichem, 22, has joined the Diamonds until the end of the season while ex-Southend and Cambridge forward Webb, 23, has signed for an initial month. Former Sheffield United midfielder Shane Hill, 19, and ex-Oxford, Boston and Stevenage forward Jamie Cook, 27, have signed non-contract terms". NL Daily also confirms that "Witney United have revealed that former Oxford United midfielder Jamie Cook has signed non contract terms for Rushden & Diamonds. This may well turn into a permanent deal in two weeks time but Cook goes straight into Diamonds` squad for their fixture at Altrincham on Saturday. Manager Spencer Keyes broke the news with mixed emotions. "Everybody at United wishes Cookie well and hope that it works out for him. If it doesn’t he will return to Witney'". Wikipedia reports on "Narada, Michael Bernard: (born November 30, 1981 in Bristol) is an Jamaican-English football left-back. He has played once for the Jamaica national side. Narada Bernard began his career with Tottenham Hotspur before moving, as a trainee, to local rivals Arsenal, turning professional in August 1999. He played alongside Ashley Cole in the reserves for Arsenal, but failed to break into the first team. He moved to Bournemouth on a free transfer in 2000, signing a two-year contract. His time at Bournemouth was disrupted by injuries and he was released at the end of the 2002-03 season having played 38 first team games. Bernard signed for Woking in August 2003, joining Torquay United in November 2003. At Torquay he trained alongside former Arsenal youth team colleagues Lee Canoville and Jo Kuffour, but played only once in the first team (as a late substitute for Canoville in the 1-1 draw at home to York City) After being released by Torquay manager Leroy Rosenior, Bernard joined Welling United. On June 2, 2004, Bernard made his only appearance for Jamaica in a 1-0 defeat against the Republic of Ireland in the Unity Cup at the Valley... He moved to Farnborough Town in January 2005, but played just 4 games before being released in March 2005 when he joined Dover Athletic. He spent August 2005 with Yeading and in December 2005 was playing for Hemel Hempstead Town. In 2006 Bernard was playing for Fisher Athletic, and moved to Rushden & Diamonds in January 2007".


    After Saturday's game with Rushden, Altrincham FC could have a three-week gap in home matches if they do not win their FA Trophy replay replay on Tuesday. So, why not come and support the team on Tuesday night at Tamworth? A win there would give Alty a home tie on January 13th against Welling United, of Conference South, and would generate much needed gate income and prize money for the club. As usual coach travel to the game will be provided by a comfortable executive coach arranged for the Altrincham FC supporters' trust, STAR, by Go Goodwins.

    After that there is a trip going to Woking on 20 January, where we received a warm welcome last season in what might have been our last game in Conference National, thanks to the points deduction imposed on us. As usual on the longer trips, there will be a brief stop en route to get a bite to eat and drink. Then, comes the match that we have all been waiting for, our first away trip to Northwich for seven seasons. But of course it will be the Victoria Stadium at Wincham and not the Drill Field where the game will be played.

    STAR supporters' coaches will be running both to Woking and Northwich, as well as to Tamworth, Whilst January is often a difficult month for fans after the expense of Christmas, Altrincham FC and STAR would really appreciate your support of the coaches to away games. Fans using the coaches not only help the team performance by making it easier for Altrincham's support to be heard on away terraces but good patronage of the coaches also ensures that costs can be kept at a reasonable level for away travel throughout the rest of the season.


    In his weekly column on the SAM website, Colin Little says "It's been a pretty good Christmas and New Year for us... I still can't believe my sending off against Northwich, I was fuming. I've been moaning about it ever since, so I think the lads have just stopped listening to me now. It was a terrible decision. Kieran Charnock fouled me and he admitted he had done, but then Gallimore came over and started calling me a cheat. He was making out he was going to headbutt me so I put both my hands on his to keep him away and the referee said I'd put my hands around his neck. It really annoys me because the referee's decision could have cost us the game but he just gets away with it, he's allowed to just go on and referee another game... My season has been disrupted enough already so this was the last thing I wanted... I thought Bush (Steve Bushell) was tremendous in the centre of the park". After the below-par game against Forest Green, "It was a different story against Halifax. We played really well and although we played most of the game on the break, we had plenty of chances to win the game... I was really pleased that Thommo got off the mark and he's looking like he should be given a run in the team now... But both him and Pat [McFadden, right] looked good against Halifax. Pat's a quality player as well and everyone at this club knows that I rate him. Of the two young strikers who came through the ranks - Pat and Lee [Hendley] - Pat always had more ability but Lee had explosive pace so he was the one who got noticed. Pat's more of a 'jinker' like myself. I'm really chuffed that's he's getting his chance and I really do think he can kick on now and start scoring some goals. It's a shame that Lee decided to leave though. When you've got that kind of pace you are always worth your weight in goals and I thought he could make it at this club. He wants to be playing regularly but I reckon he should've gone somewhere like Trafford, got some games under his belt and then come back here for the start of next season. I was in the same situation at Hyde early in my career. They shipped me out to Maine Road on loan where I was playing week in, week out. They called me back... and then never looked back... I'm looking forward to my comeback in the Trophy game against Tamworth though. Obviously, It's up to Graham whether I play or not but I'd love it if we could get through to the next round".


    Our Trophy opponents on Tuesday, "Tamworth have signed Birmingham winger Jamie Price on loan ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Norwich City. The Wales under-19 international will be included in Mark Cooper's squad for the third round clash". However he will not be eligible for the Trophy replay as he had not been signed in advance of the original Round One tie at Moss Lane. However, "On-loan Barnsley defender Ryan Laight, 21, is to stay at the Lamb until the end of the season but ex-Darlington defender Joey Kendrick is released. Meanwhile, Cooper is hoping to sign striker Jake Edwards from Crawley Town and will hold talks next week".


    Alty supporter Robert Dickinson informs me from Down Under that former Alty player "James Robinson is in the first team squad for Melbourne Victory for the game on the weekend against Perth Glory. He was interviewed on TV the other night and it seems likely he will start the game". The Melbourne Victory website says that "Brazilian striker Fred has been given a well-earned rest after featuring in 15 matches this season. Kristian Sarkies, James Robinson and Alessandro have all been promoted to the squad". The link also has a picture of the new-look James, which can be compared with him in his Alty days last season (right). The website profiles say that "Robinson scored 13 goals in 19 matches for [former club] Richmond Eagles... The Englishman moved to Australia after spending the majority of his career with English side Crewe Alexandra, followed by stints in Iceland and back in his homeland with Altrincham".


    The Conference website has its latest monthly electronic newsletter - which prompts the question, whatever happened to the printed Conference magazine which many of us paid £10 for last season on the promise of receiving receive four issues - but only ever received one?

    The BBC also reports that "Burton Albion have signed striker Lloyd Opara on a month's loan from Peterborough United. Opara, 22, will get the chance of first-team football with the Brewers after making just six starts for Peterborough this season... But Paul Carden's expected departure from Burton has been put on hold and he is set to face Weymouth on Saturday".

    "Oxford United have signed Brighton defender George Santos on loan until the end of the season. The Marseille-born player, 36, has played for Tranmere, Sheffield United, West Brom and Ipswich. He has played 12 matches in League One this season for the Seagulls, after being a regular in the Championship with QPR last season".

    Endebted Crawley continue to acquire new players, as NL Daily reports: "Crawley Town have signed top scorer Scott Rendell permanently from Premiership side Reading. But they look set to lose his strike partner Jake Edwards to relegation rivals Tamworth. Rendell turned down offers from several other clubs to agree non-contract terms until the end of the campaign after being released by the Royals. The 20-year-old has scored nine goals in twenty-five games since joining Reds on a season-long loan in the summer. Joint-caretaker boss Ben Judge said: 'We have sorted out the release forms from Reading and we are very happy with it. He has done well during his time here and, now we have sorted out his future and he is settled, hopefully he can carry on doing it'. Edwards has held talks with the Lambs after Reds gave him permission to speak to other clubs. The 30-year-old targetman, who has netted twice in twenty-two appearances since switching from Exeter City in the summer, had a loan spell at Tamworth last season... Fellow non-contracted frontman Ben Strevens joined Dagenham & Redbridge last Friday... but Judge is confident of bringing in new faces during the January transfer window. He told The Argus. 'We've told everyone who is not under contract that they can talk to other clubs as long as they tell us first. It is their livelihoods so if they can get some security elsewhere then we won't stop them. The only way we can get money to get new players in is if we let people go. We have got Strev's money to play with which might get us a decent player and if Jake goes then we will be able to get someone else in... We have spoken to other managers about new players to see who is available and we are getting CVs in all the time'". The thoughts of Crawley's long-suffering creditors are not recorded.

    At Cambridge United "Out of contract striker Liam Marum has opted to sign for Woking".

    Grays Athletic have confirmed that their "Manager, Andy King, tendered his resignation due to personal reasons... With immediate effect Justin Edinburgh has been appointed as First Team Manager on a permanent basis".And already striker "Aaron O'Connor has signed [for Grays] from Gresley Rovers on an 18 month contract. He is in the squad for tomorrow's match away to Southport. He scored 80 goals in 127 appearances for the Unibond Division One team".

    Oxford's unoffocial This is United site says that "Oxford United received a huge boost yesterday morning, when the final instalment of Dexter Blackstock's transfer to Southampton was received. Although now at Queens Park Rangers, United agreed an appearance clause with the Saints when they sold Blackstock, and that money came through just in the nick of time. Smith confirmed: 'We thought that we would only be able to sign one player in the window, but this Blackstock money means that we may be able to get three in. 'We have got Danny [Rose], but there are two others I am hoping to get... It maybe today or it maybe in two weeks. It is just impossible to say'".

    St Albans City "are pleased to announce the signing of three players in time for Saturday's encounter at Clarence Park with Northwich Victoria. Striker Leon Archer and wide midfielder Chris Watters have joined the Saints for a small fee fromBoreham Wood, while defender Djoumin Sangare returns to St Albans for a second spell. Leaving Clarence Park is central defender Dave Theobald who has returned to his former club Kettering Town in the Conference North. The popular and consistent defender scored three times during his 25 games for the Saints. The future of Paul Hakim remains unclear but at this time he remains a St Albans City player although injury is again likely to rule him out of Saturday's match with Northwich".

    The Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen reports that "Ged Brannan's move to Southport collapsed at the 11th hour after the Sandgrounders sacked their manager Paul Cook. Morecambe's former Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers and Motherwell midfield general was due to move to Haig Avenue as Cook's player/assistant boss. But that move has been put on ice after Cook, a close friend of Brannan, was dismissed on Wednesday morning. Ryan Robinson has left Morecambe and joined up with ex-Christie Park chief Jim Harvey at Forest Green. The 25-year-old goalkeeper has recently been on loan with Morecambe's Conference rivals Southport and was expected to complete a permanent move to Haig Avenue".

    5 January 2007


    The bar at Moss Lane (The Noel White Suite) will be open early tomorrow (c.12.20pm) so that customers can watch the Tamworth v Norwich City FA Cup tie, which kicks off at 12.30pm. Then,back in the open air, at 3pm Alty take on Rushden and Diamonds in the Conference.


    Our opponents tomorrow, Rushden and Diamonds have signed five new players, of whom two are loan players.
  • Daniel Webb - a striker, on one month loan from Yeovil.
  • Jimmy Ghaichem - a midfielder, on season-long loan from Peterborough United.
  • Jamie Cook - ex Oxford Utd and Witney Town striker.
  • Bernard Narada - a Jamaican international left-back, ex-Fisher Athletic, Farnborough etc
  • Shane Hill, an ex-Sheffield United midfielder.

    Leaving the club is Ben Sedgemore who has gone to Havant & Waterlooville.


    The BBC reports that "Grays Athletic have made former Spurs defender Justin Edinburgh their fourth new manager of the season following the shock resignation of Andy King. King was appointed in November, but resigned his position with the Conference club for personal reasons. Grays chairman Mick Woodward, said: 'I was quite surprised when Andy called me last night with his resignation. He was bought in on a temporary basis to steady the club which he has done. I'd like to thank him for his efforts'. Grays, who did not win a league game under King, started the season with Frank Gray in charge and were then managed for a spell by Woodward himself. Edinburgh was appointed as assistant manager to King but has now been promoted to the manager's job on a permanent basis".

    Ten current Conference National sides have changed their manager at least once since the start of the 2005-06 season. So, given that the three promoted clubs this season have not changed manager, Alty's Graham Heathcote is fast becoming one of the most experienced Conference National bosses after just 17 months of operating at national level. In total, however, Graham has been at the Moss Lane helm for more than four years, having served us previously in the Unibond League and Conference North.


    The next scheduled Altrincham Reserves' match is a League Cup match at home to Hyde United on Wednesday, 10 January at 7.45pm. This is a change of opposition as Woodley Sports were scheduled to be the opponents. Woodley will now visit Moss Lane on 24 January, which was the original date planned for Hyde's fixture with Altrincham.


    Alty Reserves have again been victims of a postponement. Alty's Lanacashire League opponents Bradford PA report that "Due to ongoing work at Horsfall Stadium, Friday's Reserve team match between Bradford (Park Avenue) and Altrincham has been postponed". T


    The Sale and Altrincham Messenger reports that "Graham Heathcote believes his team have not achieved the results their performances have merited this season... He told SAM Sport: 'We have learnt lessons from last season and we are a lot tighter than we were then. I feel we can give everybody in this league a game, we just need to start scoring a few goals so that we can pick up a few more wins. We have not put points on the board that we have deserved at times, especially away from home. So it's about picking up a few more scruffy 1-0 wins now and if we do that we might be able to put a bit of a run together... It's going to be nip and tuck all throughout the rest of the season, positions will change every week and if one team wins a couple of games they might shoot up the table... We desperately need to put a few results together, that's got to be the aim. I'm looking forward to the Trophy because I love the Trophy and so does this club. Tamworth go straight into that game on the back of their big FA Cup tie so they might be exhausted but if they get a good result, they'll be on a real high'. And with the transfer window now open to the end of the month, Heathcote [said] 'We are looking at one or two players in particular. I feel we can definitely do with another striker with genuine pace and a left back, which is a position we have been looking to strengthen ever since we went after Adam Yates. Bringing in players is fine but they will have to gel with the players we already have here and have the kind of attitude we are looking for'".


    The Altrincham supporters' trust, STAR says that "In addition to the prize winners below we are delighted to announce that, in the Xmas raffle, Charles Heathcote won the PSP, Stuart Coburn won the Terry Wogan autobiography (give him something to read next time we play Northwich) and F Hope won the teddy bear". Tempting providence, SAM adds that "If we beat Tamworth in the FAT 1st round replay the club is offering STAR members and season ticket holders a lunch package at a special reduced rate of £25 in the Sponsors' Lounge for the Second Round game on Saturday 13 January. Anyone who wants to book should contact Derek Wilshaw or Karen Rowley at the club to book. The raffle raised approx £1300 thanks everyone!"


    The BBC claims that Swansea City's former Altrincham "Loan singing Ian Craney is expected to finalise his permanent move from Accrington Stanley in the next few days. The midfielder joined on a month's loan at the end of November and played in all but one of Swansea's games during that period". It is believed the fee is in the region of £150,000 of which a half is due to Altrincham through a sell-on clause.


    NL Daily reports that "Northwich Victoria have signed Crewe Alexandra defender Mark Roberts on loan. Roberts, 23, joins the Vics after ending a recent loan spell with league rivals Halifax Town. 'He is a proven player at this level and is someone I have tried to get hold of for quite a while', said Vics boss Steve Burr".

    Southport FC confirm that "Dino Maamria and Steve Whitehall are in caretaker capacity and will be in charge for Saturday's home match versus Grays Athletic. Interviews for the post are imminent with time a major consideration". The Sandgrounders say that "Our two on-loan Blackpool players have agreed to continue their loans which is a major boost. Sean Doherty has decided to go back to Accrington Stanley as he looks to settle his contract at the Fraser Eagle. Paul Tait has been injured in training this morning. Right at the end of the session Paul Tait suffered a badly gashed eye and cheekbone injury. The centre forward stooped to head a ball and in an accidental challenge with Carl Baker and Michael Powell picked up what appears a serious injury. Paul was taken by physio Steve Whitehall to casualty where he is undergoing x-rays".

    The BBC states that "Burton Albion's Nigel Clough and Mark Yates of Kidderminster have jointly won the Nationwide Conference manager of the month award for December. Clough is rewarded for guiding the Brewers up to third in the table thanks to three wins in four Conference games. Yates led Kidderminster to a run of four straight league wins to take his side into the top half of the table... Stuart Humphries of Leigh RMI is the winner in Nationwide North".

    "Oxford United have signed Manchester United midfielder Danny Rose on loan, reports BBC Radio Oxford. The 19-year-old has been recommended to Oxford boss Jim Smith by Sir Alex Ferguson and moves initially for a month, but that could be extended. Rose said: 'I'm definitely excited because it's my first loan move. I'm looking to gain as much experience as I can in the lower leagues, and looking forward to working with Jim Smith and the rest of the players'.

    Woking say that "Glenn Cockerill has already begun to hunt out bargains in the January sales and revealed there are six of his players he is ready to dump in order for him to 'freshen up' his squad. Whether the Cards’ boss can move those players on to other clubs this month, either permanently or on loan, is another matter though after he admitted that only one of the six men on his list can leave immediately because the others are either not fit or needed as cover. Cockerill’s mind has been made up and he maintained that the draw at Oxford and the superb 1-0 result at York City on Friday night did not change his thinking about which players to jettison. His thoughts were endorsed on Monday with the poor performance against St Albans, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat against a team on a fraction of Woking’s budget. With Steve Ferguson, Karl Murray and Simon Jackson already named and shamed by Cockerill after the Salisbury City shambles, that leaves three others, with the likes of Ollie Berquez, Shola Oyedele and Liam Cockerill among the likely candidates... Cockerill senior has nine injured men on his books, although disregarding long-term absentee Ian Selley, only Neil Smith (hamstring), Craig McAllister (knee) and Gary MacDonald (hamstring) are regulars and all three are likely to be fit for Saturday’s trip to Conference leaders Dagenham and Redbridge. The others in the treatment room are Aaron Howe (head), Jackson (thigh), Liam Cockerill (groin), Berquez (knee) and Oyedele (calf). Karim El-Salahi (Eastleigh) and Jerome Maledon (Carshalton) are out on loan and are said not to be among the six for the chop. 'We’ve sat down over the last few days and discussed things', said Cockerill. 'I’ve spoken to other managers about players coming in and who I may release but unfortunately you can’t release anyone when they’re injured... We can’t afford to pay up contracts so it’s a case of moving them on to other clubs if we can. As soon as I can do anything, I will.”

    Meanwhile, "Cockerill has taken a swipe at York manager Billy McEwan, following the alleged head-butting incident involving Cards’ assistant boss Matt Crossley, during Woking’s victory in Yorkshire on Friday. McEwan labelled Crossley’s actions as GBH, a comment that hurt the former Wycombe and Kingstonian skipper, who has been full of remorse since the ugly incident, which he maintains was made worse by the reaction of City substitute James Dudgeon. Cockerill confirmed that was the case and said: 'I was disgusted with Billy McEwan’s remarks in the Non League Paper and rang him straight up after I’d seen them. Everyone knows Matt hasn’t got a nut in him. Their lad started it when he stood on Giuseppe Sole who had slid off the pitch after being tackled. Matt went over and there was a head to head incident (with Dudgeon), with no butting at all. Then their lad who had just been substituted (Nathan Peat) came over and starting throwing punches. The fourth official saw it all and said we were provoked and the ref dealt with it brilliantly'... York are said to have destroyed the tapes of the game, blaming storm damage, and Woking are now waiting to see the referee’s report to see whether Crossley is summoned to an FA hearing to explain his actions, which caused a mass brawl. Mild-mannered Crossley regrets confronting Dudgeon and has apologised to the Kingfield directors... 'I was disappointed with myself', he said. 'I went into their technical area and asked ‘what’s going on?’ and he (Dudgeon) put his face straight up to me aggressively and I just leant forward into him. He went down as if I’d really whacked him and then I was stuck under a pile of bodies. I apologised to the ref and said ‘sorry ref, I shouldn’t have been there, do you want me to go in the stand?’ and he said ‘yes’ so that was it... I’ve never been in trouble with the FA and the only time I was sent off as a player was for a professional foul'".

    the BBC confirms that "Halifax Town have signed defender Neal Trotman on loan from Oldham Athletic. Trotman, 20, has joined Town for an initial month with a view to spending the rest of the season with the Conference club. He spent a spell at the Shay during the summer before agreeing a deal with Oldham, where he has made two senior appearances this season. Halifax have made the move after losing Greg Young to injury [against Alty] and ending the loan spell of Crewe's Mark Roberts".

    "Ryan Robinson has departed Morecambe Football Club and joined up with his former manager Jim Harvey at Forest Green Rovers". And another move at Grays Athletic who "have released Djoumin Sangare on loan to St Albans City until the end of the season". But at Crawley Town "Strikers Scott Rendell and Lloyd Blackman have both agreed to stay with the club until the end of the season". Cambridge United have gone for experience as "Veteran striker Dean Holdsworth has joined the club for a month", a story confirmed by the Cambridge Evening News which states, "Dean Holdsworth could be on the verge of a short-term move to Cambridge United. The 38-year-old striker has been training with United after a spell with Nationwide South outfit Havant & Waterlooville. Holdsworth came through the youth ranks at Watford before joining Brentford for £125,000 in 1989 followed by a move to Wimbledon three years later for £720,000. Bolton paid £3.5million for the former England B international 10 years ago before releasing him to Coventry on a free transfer in 2003. Holdsworth went on to have brief spells with Rushden & Diamonds and Milton Keynes Dons before becoming player-assistant manager to Phil Brown at Derby in 2005. Following Brown's sacking, the ex-PFA chairman turned out for Weymouth and Ryman League side Heybridge last season before moving to Havant last summer. United manager Jimmy Quinn said he was considering making Holdsworth a short-term offer to join United... He said: 'Dean did train with us last week and he didn't do too badly, but it would only be for a month if something was going to happen. Someone like Dean with his experience could be vital, but I'm looking to get another striker in as well and maybe one or two other players'. But Quinn's interest in Giuliano Grazioli has cooled despite the Barnet striker recovering from a knee injury... Quinn said: 'Grazioli is still having a problem with his injury and Barnet haven't got a reserve team as such, so he hasn't really had any match practice... At this moment in time, I'll have to count that one out'".

    "The realism of finances at Dagenham & Redbridge that dictates players must be moved on when bids materialise is bound to shape the club's destiny but its timing must be exasperating for John Still", states the Romford Recorder. "A core group of young and inexperienced players have matured perhaps quicker than he anticipated they would when he took over from Garry Hill two summers ago. Five years was the timescale Still volunteered during his first season at Victoria Road when he was pressed for an answer to the question of how long it would take for Daggers to emerge as serious contenders for promotion to the Football League... The raw talents he has spent nearly the last three years developing are ahead of schedule... Still described his side's position at the top of Conference at the end of 2006 as 'unbelievable' ... Progress has been remarkable but it comes at a price... In the context of an unforeseen promotion tussle this time round though, Mackail-Smith and Blackett's projected departures to League Two side Peterborough United at the end of January could hold more significance than Still would want to acknowledge. The £250,000 that Peterborough are reportedly willing to part with for two of his most exciting young players will be much welcomed for off-field stability but it is difficult to ignore the potential on-field disruption their sales might bring... Still was once asked what he would do if he had to sell one of his promising young players and his response was simple: "It doesn't matter. We'll just go out and get another one."

    The Thurrock Gazette says that "Grays' boss Andy King made no excuses after Wednesday night's Sky Sports televised home Conference defeat by Thames neighbours Gravesend and Northfleet. Without a league win since arriving at the New Rec seven matches ago, King remained bullish about his side's chances of moving up the table... King has had to suffer the departure of strikers Aaron McLean and Michael Kightly and while Grays coffers have reportedly been swelled by up to £250,000 he remains short of a precious footballing commodity - goals. 'It's apparent to me that we need goals', said the manager... having already signed three players, two defenders and a midfielder, this week. However, he was reticent to commit to being able to spend the cash generated by the sale of Kightly and McLean, despite chairman Mick Woodward's previous promise that he could have who he wanted from his would-be shopping list, including David Beckham! He admitted that he had been in discussion with the chairman about the problem. 'At the moment we've only got two strikers at the club and tonight I chose not to go with them. I’d like to stand here and be full of excuses but I have to say that’s the poorest we’ve been since I’ve been here. We didn't play to a system, we didn't play to an idea'". And "A statement by the club said: 'Following articles in the local newspapers regarding a move away from the New Recreation ground, an open meeting with the chairman, Mick Woodward, and other board members will be held in the club car [bar?] at 8pm on Friday, January 19".

    The St Albans Advertiser states that "A member of the St Albans City board has resigned after becoming 'frustrated' by the running of the club. Ian Ridley announced, this week, he was stepping down after a year at Clarence Park... In a statement to the St Albans Observer he said: 'I am a little disappointed and frustrated at not being involved in the running of the club as much as I would like to have been. But I have enjoyed my year on the board. I wish Saints well'... Ridley, a former chairman of fellow Conference side Weymouth was brought in by chairman, John Gibson, because of his contacts and media expertise offered from working for a national newspaper... It is believed part of Ridley's frustration is the chairman's reluctance to bring in older professionals such as 40-year-old Steve Claridge, who was player/manager at Weymouth when Ridley was at the south coast side. Gibson said: "There was some frustration around bringing in some experienced professional players to the club - the likes of Steve Claridge. But manager Colin Lippiatt is looking for young lads to graft their way up. From a club point of view we want lads that are on their way up, not old pros on the way down, collecting their money and not trying too hard for it'".

    The Tamworth Herald reports that Mark Cooper "is hoping to complete the signing of former loan striker Jake Edwards in time for Saturday's match. The Herald can exclusively reveal that the Lambs are in talks with the Crawley ace who played for Tamworth against Stoke City in the third round of last season's FA Cup. Cooper has also completed the loan signing of Birmingham City left winger Jamie Price, who goes straight into the squad for Saturday. 'Jake would be a great signing' said Cooper. 'He knows the club already and would fit straight in. As for Jamie, he has got bags of talent, is a danger with set-pieces and is also prepared to put his foot in'".

    This is Weymouth says that "Former Peterborough United striker Wayne Purser has left Weymouth by mutual consent. The 26-year-old, who missed most of last season due to an eye injury, is now being linked with a move to Gravesend & Northfeet".

    4 January 2007


    19 year-old Altrincham striker Lee Hendley has left the club at his own request. After an excellent pre-season in summer 2006, Lee, who had graduated to the first team through the youth and reserve teams, was in the first-team matchday squad for 10 of the first 13 Conference games this season. In 2006-07 he made seven appearances from the bench plus one start in a cup match, to add to the one start and four sub apperances he had made in 2005-06. A foot injury bedevilled his first-team season in 2005-06. This season, he sprained his ankle playing for the Reserves on 16 August 2006 and, after regaining fitness briefly, was injured once again at Cambridge United on 3 October 2006 and has not played since. Lee held the Alty Youth team all-time scoring record with 34 goals and he also got two for the Reserves in that season but Ben Deegan has since surpassed that total. Lee's first-team record for Altrincham was 2(+11) appearances and two goals. All at Moss Lane wish him well for his future career.

    Lee is pictured, right, by Gavin Rathbone.

    For details of all nine players to leave Moss Lane since the end of last season, see the Departed Players page.


    Kieran Lugsden is currently on a loan arrangement at Leigh RMI, along with Eddie Hussin. The Leigh RMI website reports that "With only ten minutes left on the clock, RMI’s fifth league win in succession was confirmed when substitute Kieran Lugsden raced on to the through ball and took it beyond the onrushing goalkeeper before showing a tremendously cool temperament to knock the ball in to the back of the net, despite a Workington defender rushing back to stand on the line and block Lugsden’s route to goal. The early season misery of the almost weekly RMI defeats has now completely disappeared".


    According to Halifax Town, their former Altrincham left-winger, Steve Torpey has been called up to be picked for England National Game XI squad.

    "A disappointing Festive period means Town cannot set long term targets.That is the view of Tom Kearney after the Shaymen picked up one point out of nine from games against York, Dagenham and Altrincham", according to HalifaxToday. "Their performances may have deserved more, but it has left them 14 points away from the play-off places... Said Kearney, 'We all want to be in the play offs, but we have to be realistic and say to ourselves that we have to win the next game first and foremost'... After successive away defeats, Town had been hoping to get back to winning ways at the Shay on New Year's Day... 'We played two top teams in York and Dagenham and did not get what we deserved', said Kearney. 'Then on Monday against Altrincham we expected nothing less than a win and we shot ourselves in the foot by conceding the goal... We need to be the first to score... We have to take the positives out of the games', he said. 'Over the three matches we have probably played better than each opposing side'".

    There is confirmation from Forest Green that "Agreement has been reached with Fleetwood Town for the permanent move of John Hardiker to Rovers. His temporary loan ended today and... Jim Harvey is very pleased that the loan has now moved to a permanent position and John will now be with the club until the end of this current season at least... that John is still now only 24 yrs of age. The plus side of the deal is that the package does not greatly affect the financial donations made to the club through the club's GRASS appeal and Jim Harvey is keen to bring in other players as soon as it is possible and he is mindful that with a free Saturday on 13th January he has time to bed in any new players who join the squad in the next two weeks. He wishes to ensure supporters that he is seeking to improve the depth of the squad overall for long term objectives as well as seeking immediate solutions".

    The Football Conference says that "Peterborough director of football Barry Fry has warned Posh will not be increasing their bid for York's highly-rated striker Clayton Donaldson. Fry confirmed it is now unlikely the Minstermen's top scorer will be moving to London Road in January - because he won't pay a penny more than £100,000 for the Conference's leading striker. 'I put in an offer which was turned down', Fry told the Yorkshire Press. 'Obviously York have got a great chance to go up with him and it has got to be a ridiculous offer to prise him out. From my point of view, I know he's out of contract at the end of the season. I have offered more than a fair price of £100,000. I won't be increasing it. I rate the boy very highly and I think he's got great potential. I am sure he will do it in the League. My offer is still on the table. I want him to join in January but I would doubt it (would happen) unless they have a change of heart. I am prepared to talk at the end of the season - that's if my manager still wants him. He might decide to spend his money somewhere else'".

    Grays Athletic confirm that they "have signed 22yr old Midfielder, Ben Harding from MK Dons on loan until the end of the 06/07 season, Ben has recently been on loan with Aldershot Town. Grays Athletic have [also] signed Vincent Fernandez on a month's loan from Nottingham Forest, Vincent is a defender who started as a trainee with Nottingham Forest and has had loan spells at Wycombe and Blackpool".

    "Paul Carden is set to quit Burton Albion after being offered the chance of a return to League football" reports the Burton Mail. "Manager Nigel Clough had hoped to persuade the influential midfielder to stay to help Albion's promotion push. But the Brewers' boss... told Mail Sport: 'We have done everything we can to keep Paul at the club and I think he was happy with our offer. But we're simply not in a position to compete with the offer that's been made to him by a League club. I think the club involved have got to move a player out before they can bring Paul in, but basically everything has been agreed and he intends to accept the offer'. The 27-year-old midfielder almost certainly made his last appearance for the Brewers in Monday's goalless draw with Stafford Rangers... The Brewers managed to find a loophole in the FA rule book to secure Carden outside the transfer window after the Liverpool-based player had been released by Peterborough United. He joined UniBond Premier Division side Burscough, who effectively acted as intermediaries by immediately loaning him to the Brewers. With Carden at the helm in midfield, the Brewers have averaged two points a game since his debut in October. Clough said: 'We're talking to six players at the moment. Two are strikers and one is a wide player, but the other three are people who would be a direct replacement for Paul'... One possible target for the Brewers could be Crewe Alexandra's Lee Bell, who had a successful month on loan at the Pirelli Stadium last season... He broke his foot in a pre-season friendly at Southport, but is now fully fit and keen to play regular football. Clough, meanwhile, has dismissed a suggestion on an Internet message board that he is hoping to sign Boston United [and former Alty] defender Paul Ellender. The Brewers boss said: 'We haven't got any plans to sign a centre-half'".

    From the Cambrudge Evening News we read that "Quinn's attempt to bring his top target Anthony Elding to the Abbey has failed. Stockport snapped up the former England National Game XI striker from Boston for £55,000 just as the transfer window opened yesterday. Quinn approached Boston two months ago about taking Elding on loan, only to be knocked back, but he had hoped to get the 24-year-old marksman on a permanent transfer because of the League Two club's cash problems. A disappointed Quinn said: 'Stockport came in and offered £55,000 for him. He was the main target because he has got the experience and he's a proven goalscorer... But I've got one or two other targets'".

    "Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy will have a new face in his squad for Saturday's trip to Oxford United. Jason Walker, who has played in the Scottish League with Morton, has been training with the Shrimps squad and with the opening of the transfer window on New Year's Day, can now play". McIlroy told Morecambe Today, "He will be a good addition to the squad and I am looking forward to getting him on board. He did well in Scotland, he has good movement and although he is not the biggest, he is decent in the air for his size". Indeed, "Attack is an area of concern for McIlroy with Garry Thompson and Jamie Burns both out of Saturday's game with hamstring injuries and Danny Carlton still a way off a return. McIlroy is hoping to extend Burns's loan from Blackpool. Ged Brannan was expected to decide whether to move to Southport as assistant manager this week. If Brannan does go to Haig Avenue, that would reduce McIlroy's cover in defence... The Shrimps' boss called on a small section of the crowd to show more patience after his side's first defeat in 11 Conference games at York on New Year's Day... He said: 'It was a poor day for us and a disappointment to lose to someone who will be challenging us for a play-off spot. I thought we were a bit off the pace and the fact that York had had an extra day's rest after being allowed to play their game on Friday night told. They were sharper than us.. I think supporters need to realise that you are not going to win every game and play great football every game because things don't work that way'... The Shrimps head to faltering Oxford... McIlroy said: 'It will be a tough game but I will be giving the lads a couple of days off this week to make sure they have a good rest'".

    Southport GB says that "Only hours after leaving Southport Football Club, former manager Paul Cook talked honestly to Onthespot about his departure from Haig Avenue. He said that there was nothing mutual about the way he left the Nationwide Conference club. He received a phone call whilst on his way to work at 9:30am from chairman Charlie Clapham, telling him he was sacked. Paul said that he was trying to build the club for the future and in a way that would see them progress. He was disappointed not to be continuing that work".

    3 January 2007


  • Grays A. 0 Gravesend & N. 2
  • League table


    The BBC reports that "Manager Paul Cook has parted company with Conference club Southport. Cook leaves the bottom-of-the-table side by mutual consent after a run of three straight defeats over Christmas. The former Burnley and Wolves midfielder, 39, was appointed last summer after leaving Accrington Stanley to take his first job in management. Southport took on full-time status at the same time and after being forced to build a squad from scratch, Cook led lead his side to just four league wins".


    Mark Maddox was named named in Leigh's squad for tonight's win 2-0 at home to Workington. It was RMI's ninth game without defeat. Current Alty player Kieran Lugsden was named as a substitute but team-mate Eddie Hussin was not involved. Kieran scored a late goal to cement the victory.


    If he plays on Saturday, right-back/midfielder Steve Aspinall (right) will be making his 150th appearance for Altrincham. To date he has made 141 starts and 8 appearances from the bench, scoring twenty goals in the process, all but two from the penalty spot, from where he has missed just once. Steve was signed in early July 2003 from Vauxhall Motors, where he had been during much of the previous two seasons. He started his career at Poulton Victoria and was also on Tranmere's books and has also played for Runcorn, whom he joined from Bamber Bridge in December 2001, Chorley, Winsford, Vauxhall Motors and Macclesfield Town. He is the son of John Aspinall, who played for Tranmere Rovers and Altrincham in the 1980s and went on to manage Bangor City.


    Midfielder Val Owen is suspended for the second time this season, having already served one ban, for a sending off. Following his booking at Halifax on Monday, the FA confirms that Altrincham's "Valentine Owen is suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for 5 cautions". The ban starts on 8 January, so Val will miss the FA Trophy replay match at Tamworth on 9 January. Likewise, Tamworth's Kyle Storer is suspended for the same game.


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance figures are here.


    Halifax Today reports that "Town boss Chris Wilder admitted that his transfer market moves were likely to be hindered by the uncertainty surrounding investment in the club. Leeds businessman Marc Rushton and former Shay chairman Bob Walker have both been named as possible benefactors... 'It is out of my hands', he said. 'I don't know what's happening. When I bring players in it is going to have to be young players until I know what's happening. I am massively in the dark. I know what it takes to be successful in this league, but the difference between me knowing and being given the opportunity are two different things'. Central defence is clearly a major concern following yesterday's injury to Greg Young. He was stretchered from the field early in the second half of the 1-1 home draw with Altrincham with a knee ligament injury. He is likely to be sidelined for some time. With Rob Atkinson back at Barnsley, having been recalled just before Christmas, and Mark Roberts back at Crewe following a four-month loan, Wilder's options for centre backs are limited. Right back Gus Uhlenbeek was also forced from the field after twisting an ankle early in the first half. Wilder was more concerned about the other end of the pitch after yesterday's draw.

    Peter Thomson put the visitors ahead after 10 minutes with Nathan Joynes levelling three minutes before the break. But Town dominated for long periods and will consider it two points dropped. 'We created enough chances to have won the game comfortably – and that was without being particularly great in the final third', said Wilder. 'We turned away too many chances to shoot. Possibly, because we like to pass and play it into feet, we want to score really good goals... We got the ball out to the wide men enough, we just need a fox in the box to come up and nick us a goal. We don't want to take the passing away from the players because we want them to play football but we have to mix the game up... if we have to change our style a bit then we might have to do it. The crowd feel the frustration I feel when there is a little groan when we don't take the opportunity to shoot. I am on the same wavelength as them'". Wilder also paid tribute to Adam Quinn who made his 150th Conference appearance for the Shaymen".

    Elsewhere the Halifax Today site continues its rather one-sided account, "Town's familiar failings returned to haunt them as they were unable to turn almost total domination into goals and were held to a draw by battling Altrincham. Seldom can a side have enjoyed so much of the ball but rarely threatened to actually put the ball in the back of the net. The visitors had a couple of efforts on goal in each half despite being starved of the ball by the Shaymen who showed great poise right up to the moment they got near the visitors' penalty area. Town did not have too many more shots on goal themselves, however... Altrincham worked hard and hit Town on the break on a couple of occasions. In fact they threatened so rarely that it was a comfortable afternoon for Town's defenders. The midfielders held onto possession well and the ball was worked to the wide men many times. And the frontmen did their bit, with both Nathan Joynes, who scored the goal, and Chris Senior causing Altrincham plenty of problems... Altrincham broke the deadlock after 10 minutes. Patrick McFadden raced away down the right into the area and, after Gus Uhlenbeek had lost his footing, squared for Peter Thomson who tapped home at the far post. Killeen cleared a Warren Peyton free kick soon after and Rob Lawton flashed a 25-yarder narrowly wide... And McFadden broke again in the 56th minute only to be denied by Craig Mawson who saved well. It was business as usual after that as the Shaymen went back onto the front foot. They were in complete control of the ball, but struggled to break down the massed ranks of the Altrincham defence."


    The BBC confirms that "Kidderminster Harriers have completed the permanent signing of striker Iyseden Christie from Rochdale. The clubs have agreed a free transfer deal for the 30-year-old following the end of a successful loan spell. Christie has scored eight goals in 19 Conference appearances for Harriers since joining the Conference club for a second time in August. The former Mansfield and Leyton Orient striker previously left Kidderminster to join Rochdale in January 2006".

    Meanwhile "Peterborough United have secured a permanent deal for striker Aaron McLean. McLean, 23, has completed a £150,000 move from Grays Athletic on a three-and-a-half year deal following a successful loan spell at London Road" and "Exeter City striker Jamie Mackie has agreed a new 12-month deal at St James's Park. The former Milton Keynes Dons player, 21, will now be with the Grecians until the end of next season. Mackie told the Express and Echo: 'This is a quality club and I signed a new contract because I want to play a massive part in taking us up. I'm massively ambitious and I wouldn't have signed unless I thought we were capable of getting into the play-offs'.

    However, "Burton Albion striker Daryl Clare faces a short spell out of action after an operation on his damaged hand. The Brewers' 12-goal leading scorer was due to undergo surgery on a knuckle he shattered two months ago and could miss Saturday's clash with Weymouth. Manager Nigel Clough told the Burton Mail: 'Daryl has managed to get by get with his hand strapped up. But he's been told he needs the knuckle setting properly or face the possibility of problems later in life'".

    From This is Weymouth we read that "Weymouth boss Garry Hill blamed his side's 3-2 defeat at Forest Green Rovers on an inept defensive performance in the first half. The Terras were three down at the break but battled back in the second half ... Hill said: 'I am very disappointed because we did not defend properly at set-pieces in the first half... In the second half we showed why we have done so well this season. We showed character and got back in the game at 3-2. However, we then lost Ashley Vickers with a hamstring injury, which meant we had to play the last ten to 15 minutes with ten men. Watching us in the first 45 minutes we can have no excuses with the end result'. Vickers came on in the latter stages of the first half for Roy O'Brien, who suffered a facial injury. Hill said: 'The injury to Ashley is a big disappointment. It was his third game in six days and I knew it was going to be hard for him... We changed things around a bit today. We had Raphael Nade up front with Dean Howell and Lee Elam either side of him and three in midfield but defensively we were disappointing...You cannot give goals away and expect to get a result'".

    NL Daily says that "Terry Brown, manager of Aldershot Town, has confirmed that striker Jonny Dixon will have to decide for himself whether he wants to join the Shots or not. The saga of Wycombe Wanderers' striker Dixon coming to the Recreation Ground is firmly in the player's hands, following the club's official offer... League rivals Grays Athletic have also had an offer accepted for the striker and it is believed that another, Stevenage Borough, is also interested in securing his services".

    "Gateshead have signed former Darlington goalkeeper Chris Porter on his release from York City.. he had managed only fifteen games in his Football League career when York were relegated in 2004. He did, however, go on to become a regular for York, missing just one game in the Conference last season".

    The player activity at Grays Athletic continues as "Justin Richards has been recalled to Peterborough due to injuries in their squad" and "Grays Athletic have signed Gavin Cowan on a 2 year deal, Gavin is a 25yr old 6ft 4in central defender who has had spells at Canvey Island, Nuneaton Borough, Shrewsbury Town and recently on loan at Kidderminster Harriers". Confguide adds that "Grays Athletic have signed Shrewsbury defender Gavin Cowan on a free transfer as well as MK Dons midfielder Ben Harding on loan. Cowan, 25, was signed from Canvey Island in March 2005 but has found first-team action hard to come by this season and has had his contract cancelled... Shrews' boss Gary Peters confirmed, 'He's got enough ability to go on and do well, he's a footballing centre-half and that is probably the reason he hasn't played much for us'... Harding, 22, arrives on loan until the end of the season and has recently returned from a four-month loan spell at rivals Aldershot. He has made over 50 appearances for the Dons but has failed to break into the first team picture this season".


    "Boston United have eased their immediate financial worries by selling striker Anthony Elding to Stockport County for a five-figure fee. Elding has agreed a deal running until June 2009 at Edgeley Park after Stockport beat off competition from two others clubs to secure the 24-year-old. The deal meanns Boston's players and staff will be paid their December wages. At least two more players are expected to be sold during the transfer-window to secure Boston's short-term future". Elding has played against Altrincham for Stevenage Borough.
    2 January 2007


    Match report here


    Saturday 6th January
  • Altrincham v Rushden & Diamonds
  • Cambridge U. v Forest Green R.
  • Dagenham & R. v Woking
  • Gravesend & N. v Halifax T.
  • Oxford U. v Morecambe
  • Southport v Grays A.
  • St Albans C. v Northwich V.
  • Stafford R. v Stevenage B.
  • Weymouth v Burton A.
  • York C. v Crawley T.
  • Through the Years for 6th January courtesy of Howard Watts.

    2006 REVIEW

    Part Two of the statistical review of the year 2006 for Altrincham FC is here


    The Forest Green website has now issued a brief match report on the draw at Alty on Saturday. "Rovers gave an encouraging performance away against Altrincham yesterday and came away with a point, but they should really have won all three having taken the lead twice... Both teams were dealt a blow when Tony Butler was sent off mistakingly after accidently injuring one of the Altrincham players [Peter Band] who also left the field, on a stretcher".

    Meanwhile, This is Glos says that "Altrincham needed a late leveller to secure a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at home to Forest Green after a ding-dong second half which saw the visitors' Tony Butler score and then get sent off... The Robins refused to buckle and were rewarded when Val Owen struck to make it 2-2 with two minutes remaining with a precise right-foot finish from the edge of the box. It got worse for the visitors moments later when Butler was sent off for violent conduct but they held on for a point... Alex Meechan has assured Forest Green supporters that the team remain confident of Nationwide Conference survival. Now in his fourth spell at the club, Meechan is a veteran of relegation battles... 'We've found it hard in the last few weeks, but we showed a lot of battling qualities and character to come back from four defeats on the bounce', said Meechan... 'I definitely know from past experiences that we can get out of trouble'".


    Former Alty striker Marc Whiteman is now playing for Croydon Athletic in the Ryman League Division One (South). Rumours are growing that financially troubled Boston United are allowing former Alty defender Paul Ellender to join Burton Albion.


    The Football Conference reports that "Aldershot Town manager Terry Brown has confirmed that loanees Joel Grant and Ben Harding have returned to their respective parent clubs. Both players joined the Shots in September last year, with Ben Harding making 21 appearances (including 11 as a substitute) and Joel Grant making 18 appearances and scoring four goals... Brown told the club's official website 'I am hoping to make a signing of a forward this week and I also think that the supporters may have glimpsed in the five minutes or so against Grays Athletic a bit about what Karl Beckford is all about too. He gets on the ball, goes past the last midfield player and gets shots in from everywhere'" .

    Before yesterday's games NL Daily said that "York City's Clayton Donaldson could play his last game at Christie Park against Morecambe after Peterborough chief Barry Fry confirmed his side had tabled a 'good sum of money' for the striker". And "Kidderminster Harriers will be without top scorer Iyseden Christie against Cambridge United at Aggborough after he returned to parent club Rochdale". Another move - "Rob Norris will aim to keep his place for Saints [Saint Albans] after making a surprise return from his loan spell at King's Lynn and featuring against Exeter City".

    1 January 2007


    Alty warm up under the shadow of the unfinished stand at The Shay.

    In a very entertaining game played in spells of torrential rain, Altrincham took an early lead but again could not hold on to a lead away from home.

    Match report here

  • Alty Line-Up
  • Alty Player Statistics

    Monday 1st January, New Year's Day

  • Burton A. 0 Stafford R. 0
  • Crawley T. 0 Dagenham & R. 0
  • Exeter C. 2 Oxford U. 1
  • Forest Green R. 3 Weymouth 2
  • Halifax T. 1 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Cambridge U. 0
  • Morecambe 1 York City 3
  • Northwich V. 3 Southport 1
  • Rushden & D. 1 Tamworth 1
  • Stevenage B. 3 Aldershot T. 2
  • Woking 1 St Albans C. 2
  • Howard Watts's record of Altrincham games on 1 January, Through The Years.


    SAM has a report on how "manager Graham Heathcote praised the character of his players after they twice came from behind to seal a 2-2 draw with Forest Green...The result keeps Alty three points above the relegation zone ahead of their New Year's Day trip to Halifax and Heathcote was extremely grateful for another valuable point. Speaking after the game, he said: 'I don't see this as a chance missed because they were the better team on the day to be fair. I think we were very leggy having put so much into Tuesday's game with the 10 men and I don't think we had a lot of zip about us. The only thing I'll say today is that the character that we showed was great. To come from behind twice when you've not got a lot of energy takes a lot... I can't fault their attitude. The three subs made the difference, they helped us get back in it... The pitch was quite heavy because of the weather and we just didn't have the energy to pass it around with any kind of tempo'... Halifax having lost both their games over the Christmas period so far [but] Heathcote is under no illusions about the task facing his side. 'This period is really hard on part time sides because, with all due respect, full time sides can rest up and put in more preparation time', he said. 'The killer for us is playing for so long with 10 men on Tuesday. We've not got a massive squad where we can make lots of changes and bring fresh legs in so we got some tired lads at the moment. It's going to be another really tough game'".


    Right: Rocky Robin meets some of the guests from Longhey Junior FC, guests at Moss Lane last Saturday as part of the Featured Club scheme. The Timperley club brought a group of players and coaches to sit in the Family Stand and were greeted by Graham Heathcote. We hope they enjoyed the game, especially the last 20 minutes and the Alty goals. Our next guests are Benchill Celtic, who will be our guests for the home game against Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday January 27th. Hopefully they will be the first Featured Club to see an Alty victory at Moss Lane, the previous 3 games having yielded two draws and a loss!!


    An enjoyable Altrincham FC New Year's Eve party was held last night at Moss Lane, with Rafo presiding as the DJ and a good representation of the club's supporters in attendance. Hopefully everyone who saw in the New Year will be up in time this morning to get to Halifax!


    In the Robins' Review last Saturday, manager Graham Heathcote posed himself the question "Has the year 2006 been a success?" Graham points out that, firstly, we gained "enough points to survive in this league on our own merit" . But, also, "We managed as a club to reduce our debt and get rid of the VAT debt completely whilst substantially reducing the Inland Revenue debt. We then looked to try and strengthen the squad whilst, for another year, not spending a single penny on transfers. That's four years now and is a feat itself to progress any football team [without spending money]. I believe that we are a better football team now but are still only averaging a point a game in this league and that leaves you walking the tightrope. The club has continued to build community links, with local schools and football clubs being regular visitors now at Moss Lane. The interest in the club is definitely increasing. Some of the younger players have progressed into the first team, notably Lewis Chalmers, who has gained international honours. The Board of Directors has been strengthened and continues to be led by an outstanding Chairman in Geoff Goodwin, who has gained much respect throughout non-league football. Andrew Shaw has been voted onto the Conference Board of Directors - another feather in the cap for the club. The reserve team continues to develop good players and the youth team continues to attract potential good players and is soon to be supported by teams below it [in age]". On this basis Graham quite rightly concludes "'Yes', 2006 has been a success in many ways and whilst 2007 is going to be another difficult year, if we can continue to progress at this club in all of the above areas, the future looks bright".

    2006 IN FIGURES

    As usual the website has been compiling a statistical review of 2006, the first part of which appears here. Find the answers here to how many league games did Alty win during 2006 and who made the most appearances in the calendar year, click the above link. Part 2 will follow tomorrow.


    The DVD of the Altrincham v Northwich match is selling like hot cakes; to order yours (for just £7.50) please leave your name with Campbell McLay in the Robins' Shop or e-mail the club. The DVDs this season have excellent commentaries by another of Moss Lane's "multi-taskers", Tony Spilsbury. Tony, who you may have seen working in the Moss Lane Tesco store, is also the Altrincham FC youth team coach as well as matchday commentator. But on the DVDs Tony has competition from Alty supporter Dennis Birch whose own inimitable pitchside commentary on the referee's performance can often clearly be heard on the DVD soundtrack!


    Stevenage Borough "have confirmed that George Boyd will be leaving on the 8th January to join Peterborough United. The clubs have agreed a Conference record fee of £260,000 for the 21 year old striker, with Stevenage sharing significantly in any future transfers. Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said ‘We promised George all last season that if the right offer came in and he wanted to go we wouldn’t stand in his way. There’s only so many times you can say that to a young player who wants to play in the League. Peterborough have made George a fantastic offer which he wants to accept and they've met our valuation so we have to keep our promise, allow him to move on and test himself against League opposition. The board and management are unanimous that this is the right and proper thing to do, both for the player and the club. He’s a very talented player who we expect to play much higher, so the key point for us once the fee was agreed was to negotiate a significant sell-on so that we can share in his future. We’ve had George with us since he was 16 and will now continue to have a vested interest in his career... There’s nothing to tell on any other regular first team players. We’ve had no offers for anyone else and it wouldn’t matter if we did this season. The best way for our lads to be playing in the League is to win promotion with us. George was a separate case as we’ve turned enquiries away since July 2005 ... We’ll now be looking to strengthen the squad in January by signing more young, talented players that Mark and Scott believe can bring us success'’’.

    Tamworth state that "We need to start scoring goals. We had more play [on Saturday] and looked more of a threat but after trying every combination of our strikers recently we are still struggling - it hasn't worked. We played Steve (Burton) for the full 90 minutes to see if he could get his confidence but it didn't happen for him. We need a couple of players to scrap for the goals. I am hopefully that once the transfer window opens we can get one or two in and we will need to let one or perhaps two players go but I want to keep us as together as possible. I've got a player or two in mind so we'll have to see what happens". Alty meet Tamworth in their Trophy replay on 9th January. Before that both Tamworth and Alty meet Rushden and Diamonds, whilst The Lambs also have an FA Cup date with Norwich City. Any players signed after mid-December are not eligible for the FA Trophy replay against Alty on 9 January.