Altrincham Football Club News Archive
February, 2007

28 February 2007


On Saturday 24th March, Altrincham travel to Stevenage Borough. That is also the date of an England Euro 2008 Qualifying match in Tel Aviv, which starts at 6.30pm GMT. Though some Conference games may start at 1pm for those desperate to get home to see England, Stevenage and Altrincham have agreed to stick with a 3pm kick-off.


STAR announces on the Alty Fans' Forum that "A raffle is to be held to give one person the opportunity to travel to the match against Dagenham & Redbridge on the team coach, on Saturday 14th April, as a guest of the club. The package includes travel on the team coach on the Friday evening, overnight accommodation, breakfast, pre-match lunch, access to the boardroom and to watch the match from the directors’ seats plus a signed Altrincham FC shirt. Raffle tickets will cost £2.00 each or 3 for £5.00 and will be available at the Quiz Night on Thursday, on the coach to Burton on Friday and at the home games against Cambridge United, Oxford United, Stafford Rangers and Exeter City. The draw to decide the winner will take place in the bar after the Exeter City match on the 31st March".


Former Altrincham Youth team striker Andy Thorpe is working on a project on the rivary between Altrincham and Macclesfield. He has created a questionnaire and would be grateful if users of the website could, please, spare a few minutes to complete it and return it to him by e-mail. The questionnaire, in MS Word format, is here.


"Graham Westley says he still is unclear as to the reason he was sacked as Rushden manager. The former Stevenage and Farnborough boss was unexpectedly sacked after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aldershot. He had lifted the Diamonds out of the relegation zone and was on an unbeaten league run of seven matches. 'I'm only guessing that while Garry was available, they felt he was the better man to take the club forward', he told BBC Radio Northampton. "So they made the decision to move me out and bring him in which you have to commend in terms of the courage of the decision and I genuinely wish the club all the very best in going forward".

The Football Conference reports that "Rushden & Diamonds' chairman Keith Cousins has spoken of the recent developments at the club following the appointment of Garry Hill. Cousins is adamant that surprising happenings at Nene Park this past week, have been completely necessary to secure the long-term future of the Nationwide Conference club. 'It has been a difficult weekend but, after a lot of hard work, we have come out with the best result for the Club and the long-term future of the Club', Cousins told the club's official website. 'The Club is more important than any individual, me or anybody else and we have to get it right on and off the pitch. The appointment of Garry and Kevin, I think is the right appointment. Their pedigree is well documented and the ambition is to get us in the Football League, which is where this Club and the fans deserve to be'. Graham Westley brought a large number of new players to the club during his short stay... 'We have a good squad and one that is sufficiently stronger squad than we had at the beginning of the season', Cousins added. 'If they prove themselves they will remain. It is for them to prove themselves, it is a 24/7 job'" .

"Rushden & Diamonds' club captain Dave Savage has been restored to the squad by new manager Garry Hill after being placed on the transfer list. Defender Paul Watson is also back in the frame after being excluded from training by former boss Graham Westley. Savage, 33, has been at Nene Park since May 2005 after leaving Bristol Rovers. Watson, 32, has only been with the Diamonds since June 2006 when he signed a two-year contract after joining from Conference rivals Woking. Watson recently had a trial spell at Conference rivals Cambridge United" says the BBC.

The BBC says that "Crawley's joint caretaker player-boss Ben Judge hopes to be back in action next month following groin surgery. Judge, 29, had an operation after being restricted to just three Conference appearances since the start of 2007. The defender should be back for Town's end of season run-in with an expected comeback set for the end of March".

"Stoke goalkeeper Rob Duggan has joined neighbours Stafford on a month's loan. Duggan made his Conference debut in Stafford's win at St Albans on Saturday after signing as emergency cover for the injured Danny Alcock. The 19-year-old will now spend a month at Marston Road with the opportunity to play further first-team football" reports the BBC. NL Daily adds that "Manager Phil Robinson hailed debutant goalkeeper Rob Duggan as Stafford Rangers eased their relegation fears... with a sixth away win of the season on Saturday... Robinson said: 'He came in, talked really well, organised his back four and pulled off one great reflex save'".

Halifax Today reports that "Town boss Chris Wilder has set his side a top 10 target as they prepared to face Northwich Victoria at the Shay [last night]. Wilder set out his targets... with the squad still smarting from their FA Trophy exit. 'It was a big disappointment but showed that we are not reliable enough in certain key areas', he said. 'I think it could have been avoided'. Wilder declined to elaborate, but it was clearly a reference to his inability to bring any more players into the club until the proposed takeover has been completed. He has had some good news regarding loan signings, when he is finally allowed to bring players in. Town have had seven players on short term loan this season and the club originally thought the maximum was eight. That is the figure given in one part of the Conference handbook, but on another page it says that clubs are allowed as many short term loans as they like, which general manager Angie Firth has confirmed is correct'".

27 February 2007


Altrincham dropped a place tonight in the League Table.
  • Cambridge U. 1 Forest Green R. 1
  • Grays A. 2 St Albans C. 1
  • Halifax T. 0 Northwich V. 2


    On Monday night, after leading 2-0, Altrincham Reserves succumbed to an equaliser from Hyde United with the last kick of the match in the third minute of added time. Alty included seven first-team squad members in their starting line-up.

    Match report in the Reserves' section.


    For Friday's game at Burton, the FA confirms that "Burton Albion FC's John Brayford is suspended from all first team football until the Club has completed 1 first team match for a sending off in a match played on 24/02/2007". So he will miss the match against Altrincham. For our part, Alty have Karl Munroe suspended. As for his replacement, fellow centre-back Stephen Rose played the first half of a game for the Reserves last night, but Gary Talbot did not play after picking up a knock for the Reserves last Saturday.

    The Burton Mail says that Albion manager "Nigel Clough has exonerated his men of blame after a heavy defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Exeter City. The Brewers went down 3-0 at St James's Park on Saturday but only after conceding two penalties and having teenage defender John Brayford sent off in the second half. The Albion boss insisted he was 'thrilled' with the performance and laid blame for the defeat firmly at the feet of referee Graham Scott. Clough was unhappy with the award of spot kicks... They came after alleged infringements by the red-carded Brayford and midfielder Lee Bell, who picked up his fourth yellow card in five games since joining the Brewers from Crewe. Clough said: 'We thought he gave them everything in the first half, and for him to be criticised by the home crowd puzzled us. When John was sent off and the first penalty awarded against us, we couldn't help but wonder whether the referee was influenced by 3,500 people saying he wasn't very good'. The spot kick conceded by Bell was even more hotly-contested... Clough said: 'I don't think any Exeter players even appealed... Referees are answerable to nobody. I can't remember the last time one lost his job. We were absolutely thrilled with the performance it was just the decisions that changed the game. We were a bit short of players, but we were pleased with the way we played. It has given us an awful lot of optimism for the last two months of the season, and we can't wait for the Altrincham game on Friday, when we hope to have two or three players back from injury'... Clough was happy with the performance of debutant Alex Nicholls, despite the heavy conditions hampering the style of the loan signing from Walsall".


    In its report on Morecambe's last game, the Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen says that "Centre halves Danny Meadowcroft and Danny Adams formed an impassable force... the magnificent Adams, tough-looking, tough tackling and immense throughout, was in charge of the Morecambe defence and an equaliser never looked likely". Meanwhile, from an earlier Alty team, Graham Barrow has turned down an offer to become assistant manager post at Swansea City.


    The BBC says that "Grays Athletic have allowed striker Lee Boylan to join Ryman Premier League side Chelmsford City on loan until the end of the season. The move reunites Boylan with Chelmsford boss Jeff King, who was formerly his manager at Canvey Island. Boylan, 28, joined Grays last summer but has started just 16 Conference games this season, scoring three times. Meanwhile, Grays have added ex-Forest Green Rovers manager Alan Lewer to their backroom staff as a

    From the Thurrock Gazette we learn that "Grays' manager Justin Edinburgh is faced with some difficult selection issues as he picks his team for Tuesday's vital Conference clash with St Albans at the New Rec. Despite a convincing 4-1 against Conference South Welling that has earned the Blues an FA Trophy semi-final with Stevenage, Edinburgh has added Dean Howell, Leroy Griffiths, Aaron O'Connor, Abdou El-Kholti and Ben Harding to his squad for the St Albans match. They were all cup-tied on Saturday. St Albans will make one definite change as Grays loanee and local fans' favourite Djoumin Sangare cannot play because of the terms of his loan".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that "Harriers' boss Mark Yates has broken his silence to publicly apologise for the incident at the end of last week's 2-0 Aggborough defeat against fellow play-off chasers Exeter City. In a statement issued on the club's website today ,Yates, who was charged with misconduct by the FA following an altercation with Exeter's Lee Elam, said "As many people know now, I have been charged by the Football Association following an incident after the Exeter City game. Although I am unable to comment in any detail on the incident that occurred after the final whistle pending the outcome of the FA charge I feel that after a horrible week some kind of public statement and apology is necessary. I would like to publicly apologise to my family, Exeter City and Lee Elam, the directors and officials at Kidderminster Harriers, as well as both sets of supporters for my actions. Kidderminster Harriers is a family club and I am a family man, and my actions were out of keeping with my character. The frustration and pressure of job is no excuse but I am a young manager and have learned a lot from this regrettable incident... I am grateful to both clubs, my players and Lee Elam for their understanding and professionalism in handling this matter and I wish Exeter and Lee all the best for the rest of the season".

    The Northwich Guardian says that Vics' skipper Stuart Elliott "limped out of Saturday's FA Trophy victory over Gravesend with knee ligament damage. He faces a six-week spell on the sidelines. Elliott's absence should diffuse any potential ill-feeling on the terrace as he waits to face an FA hearing over a race charge. Andy Smart should take his place... Town's Tyrone Thompson - the other party in the race case - will also miss the match through suspension after he was sent off against Weymouth last week. Felix Bastians' presence in Halifax's ranks adds to the intrigue. The German teenager was the matchwinner for Vics when the two teams met in November, but Steve Burr cut short his spell after being unimpressed with his attitude". Northwich have also extended the loan of Andy Smart for a second month from Macclesfield Town.

    This is Weymouth states that "Weymouth player-boss Jason Tindall is hoping to strengthen his squad this week with the acquisition of two new players... They now face two difficult away trips to Grays Athletic and Gravesend & Northfleet. With Ashley Vickers and Conal Platt both suspended and Tony James, Narada Bernard, Nick Crittenden and Raphael Nade all recovering from injuries, the postponement [last Saturday] could have been viewed as a blessing in disguise but Tindall was a little disappointed. He said: 'We had a few injury doubts but they looked like they were going to be okay so we wanted the game to go ahead really so we could try and get a win under our belts'... On the positive side the postponement has given the Terras extra time to recover from the two gruelling away trips they recently experienced to Halifax Town and York City... Tindall said: 'At least it will give us an extra week to prepare. We should have Raphael Nade back and available this week and it will also give some of the other lads like Narada Bernard the chance to get over their injuries. We are also hoping to bring in a couple more lads this week to strengthen us. The two players we have in mind have a little bit more experience and if we can get them I am sure they will do a good job for us... Obviously the suspended lads are disappointed because they want the games to come thick and fast so they can get their bans over and done with".

    NL Daily says that "Forest Green Rovers' defender Tony Butler has made his loan deal at Nationwide North Hinckley United a permanent move. Butler joined Rovers at the start of the season from Blackpool and made ten appearances, with his last outing on December 30th at Altrincham. Thirty-three-year-old Butler spent last season at Blackpool, making almost forty appearances at Bloomfield Road. However, he is best remembered for his time at Gillingham and Bristol City where he played over 100 times each in a career which has seen him top over 500 appearances".

    26 February 2007


    Altrincham FC have confirmed that despite Eddie Hussin signing for Marine, the door is still open for him at the club in the future, should he feel that he has recovered full fitness to play at Conference National level.


    As expected, the BBC confirms that "Rushden & Diamonds have named former Weymouth boss Garry Hill as their new manager - their fourth of the season. He succeeds Graham Westley, who was relieved of his duties at the weekend, and will be joined at Nene Park by his long-serving assistant Kevin Hales. Hill and Hales were sacked by Weymouth in January after the club's financial problems led to a cost-cutting review. 'Garry was our unanimous choice. His record at this level speaks for itself', chairman Keith Cousins said. 'He is extremely well-regarded in this division and has numerous games of management experience under his belt. I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a good partnership'. Westley was sacked as Rushden boss after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aldershot - having only been appointed in December". Garry Hill is the brother of Mr Cousins's business associate, Colin Hill.


    The draw for the two-legged Trophy semi-finals, to be played on 10 and 17 March is:
  • Kidderminster H. v Northwich V.
  • Grays A. v Stevenage B.


    As reported yesterday, Altrincham FC Youth had a remarkable seven-goal game on Sunday. A match report is in the Youth section.


    Tonight (Monday at 7.45pm), Altrincham FC Reserves play at Ewen Fields and we echo the words from the Hyde United website which confirms that "After speaking to the Alty reserve manager Neil Brown, it seems they will be putting out a very strong side, after a poor showing [against] Atherton Colls on Saturday, we will also be seeing a number of 1st team players. So why not come along and watch what promises to be a very competetive game, in the last home game of the season for the reserves. Admission £2 adults £1 concessions. Once again this is an opportunity to see the future players of Hyde Utd alongside the current stars, so, don't miss this game!"

    Alty Reserves included nine members of their first-team squad in their 2-0 win over Atherton Collieries last Saturday and are expected to include quite a few of these players again tonight.

    As well as picking up points away from home, Alty Reserves must beat leaders Farsley Celtic when they visit Moss Lane in March if they are to stand a chance of overhauling them in the Lancashire League table.


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance statistics are here


    Altrincham FC is saddened to see reports of the premature death of David Lowe who was a part of Jim Vince Senior's Altrincham FC youth team in the mid-1990s. David also played for Trafford and moved to Chorley with manager Mark Molyneaux. David had been suffering from leukaemia. Meanwhile Jim's son and himself an ex-Alty player, Jim Vince Jr, is doing a great job managing Witton Albion these days and they won 7-2 yesterday in their quest for promotion to the Conference North.

    The Non-League Paper yesterday had Steve Hawes in its Dream Team; Steve is now captain at Stocksbridge Park Steels. Danny Adams made his home debut for Morecambe on Saturday. The UniBond League's Press Release says that "Chorley have launched an appeal for help in tracing two former players from their side that beat Wimbledon in the 1997 FA Trophy. The players are holding a reunion on Tuesday, 7th March but the club have been unable to get in touch with former Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic and Altrincham midfielder Len Dickinson or centre half Peter Brown who also played for New Mills and Stalybridge Celtic. Anyone who has any information on the whereabouts of either player is asked to contact John Newman, Secretary of the Chorley Association of Former Players on 07877 244469 or 01257 263406". Len was at a match at Moss Lane about a year ago, I think.


    Chorley report that "Striker Rod Thornley, who appeared on loan for the Magpies from Altrincham, has joined UniBond Premier side Witton Albion". It was planned that Rod would play for Witton last Saturday but due to Witton's excellent form, it was unlikely that he would have played a large part for them so, instead, he turned out for Altrincham Reserves on Saturday. Rod remains an Altrincham player so far as the Conference National is concerned. Alty reserve centre back Laurence Ball turned out again for Chorley on Saturday.


    Grays Athletic whom we should have played on Saturday, yesterday progressed to the FA Trophy semi-finals instead. Meanwhile "Athletic have appointed Alan Lewer as a football scout, Alan has great knowledge of the Non-League scene and will be a great addition to the club".

    Sunday 25th

    FA Trophy 4

  • Welling U. 1 Grays A. 4
    25 February 2007


    Above: Kieran Raynes (no.12 in blue) jumps the highest as Alty attack the Leigh RMI goal.

    Alty Youth hosted Leigh RMI today in the quarter final of the Neil Thomason Memorial Trophy, a competition named after Alty's late youth team coach. When Alty went three goals down after 38 minutes, all looked to be over for them. But with the benefit of playing with the wind a strong second half performance, prompted from midfield by Danny Browne, led to Altrincham netting four times by the 73rd minute to clinch a place in the semi-finals. After an own goal by Leigh, the Alty scorers were Tom Bailey, with two, and Kieran Raynes. Report to follow.


    The Lancashire League informed Altrincham Reserves that their next match was on Wednesday 28th February whilst their opponents, Hyde United, were seemingly told it was on Monday 26th. After consultations between the clubs, it has now been agreed that the game will be on Monday 26th February at 7.45pm at Ewen Fields, Altrincham are expected to include a number of first team squad players.


    On Friday, "Unibond Premier League Marine F.C. announced "the signing today of former Mariner and fans' favourite Eddie Hussin (left) from Conference North Leigh RMI. Midfielder Hussin, 29, joined Leigh RMI at the beginning of the season after playing at Altrincham in the Nationwide Conference since he left Marine in 2004. Hussin joined Marine initially in the 1999/2000 season and helped the Mariners win the Northern Premier League Cup before his departure to Altrincham. Marine Chairman Paul Leary said: 'This is absolutely great news for Marine fans. The signing of Eddie is a real coup for Marine and his arrival couldn’t be better timed. His experience and passion will make a huge difference and I am thrilled that he has rejoined us'. Marine Manager Alvin McDonald said: 'I am really pleased to have had the opportunity, at such a crucial time, to sign Eddie. We have worked hard to sign him and I know that he will provide that extra drive in midfield. His signing will hopefully prove to be influential in the remaining two months of the season as we continue with our push for a play off position'".

    If this does prove to be Eddie's departure from Moss Lane for good, after what was a type of loan arrangement at Leigh RMI, it will be appropriate to remember the vital role that the midfielder played as team captain in getting Altrincham into the Conference National during season 2004-05. Playing through injury, Eddie eventually had to have a cruciate ligament operation after the Play-Off Final in summer 2005 and was out of action for the whole of the next season. He recovered to make three substitute appearances in Conference National this season before going to Leigh. In all, he made 51+4 appearances and scored 5 goals, including his famous "Hand of God" effort. All at Altrincham will wish him very well for the future and will thank him for his magnificent contribution to the Football Club's development.


    After just eleven games in charge of Rushden & Diamonds, during which they have gained more than two points per game, the club has parted company with its manager, Graham Westley. The NL Daily confirms that "Rushden & Diamonds have sacked boss Graham Westley after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aldershot Town... Westley was only appointed as Paul Hart's successor on December 18th. In a statement, the club said Westley had been 'relieved of his duties with immediate effect... The club have decided performances and squad selection do not fit in with its long-term plan', it added. 'The club wishes to make no further comment and the search for a successor to Graham will start immediately'".


    There is a report on Altrincham reserves' match yesterday against Atherton Collieries in the Reserves' section.


    One of the match officials for the Altrincham v Grays Athletic Conference match which was originally to be played on Saturday 24th February, duly turned up at Moss Lane at lunchtime yesterday, to find that the match had been rescheduled several weeks ago due to Grays' involvement in the FA Trophy!

    And there was similar confusion for the Reserves, as they discovered that their next opponents, Hyde United, had been given Monday 26th as the date that they would entertain Alty Reserves, whereas Alty had agreed to Wednesday 28th. Reserves' manager Neil Brown has now agreed with Hyde to play the game at Ewen Fields on Monday (26th) at 7.45pm. It is apparently Hyde's last league game of the season!

    Right: Andy Scott, who did not complete yesterday's Altrincham Reserves' game yesterday, through injury.


    Conal Platt of Weymouth should now miss the Terras' game against Altrincham as he was unable to serve one of his three-matches' ban yesterday due to the postponement of their game against Woking. Also suspended for the Alty game is the Terras' Ashley Vickers who is serving a 5-game ban.


    NL Daily reports on yesterday's defeat of our next opponents, Burton Albion who are having defensive problems through injury. "Exeter City produced a second-half salvo to see off a Burton Albion side reduced to ten-men and move up to third in the table. Billy Jones slotted home the opener from the penalty spot, which also saw Burton defender John Brayford sent-off for a poor challenge. Jones was then fouled in the box by Lee Bell to allow Richard Logan to place a second spot-kick past Kevin Poole. Exeter completed the rout in stoppage time when Adam Stansfield crashed in an unstoppable shot from 18 yards".


    Ex-Robins Lee Ellington and James Olsen scored for Stalybridge as they eased relegation worries with a 3-2 win over Redditch yesterday. Leigh RMI had a good win against Worcester yesterday, with Mark Maddox in their side and Alty loanee Kieran Lugsden a substitute. However, fellow loanee Eddie Hussin did not play before a crowd which numbered only 175. At one point Leigh's "Jackson was able to cut inside on his right foot, with the goalkeeper’s parried save leaving the ball just inches away from the boot of Lugsden following up".


    Our potential relegation rivals "Stafford Rangers helped ease their relegation worries with a comfortable win at Clarence Park that pushed rivals St Albans City closer towards the drop zone. Craig McAughtrie stroked home Rob Gibson's left-wing cross from close range before Neil Grayson's low effort from 12-yards made it 2-0... Grayson grabbed his second on 90 minutes with a close-range header". Making his debut for St Albans was striker Malik Buari. "The 23-year-old joins the Conference club after leaving New Zealand Knights. Buari, who started his career at Fulham and made five first-team appearances, played six games for Woking towards the end of last season". Also at the bottom, NL Daily.adds that "Cambridge United's Robbie Simpson scored a brace to earn the hosts a much-needed draw against ten-man Southport... [for whom] Chris Lane picked up his second yellow card".

    The Football Conference says that "Aldershot Town manager Terry Brown has hinted at a return to first team action for striker Marcus Gayle before the end of the season. The veteran striker was originally sidelined for at least a month at the start of February with a knee injury that required surgery... Brown told the Aldershot official website: "Andy Edwards is progressing well but he will not play again this season. Marcus Gayle has responded well to treatment after the op and [physio?] Sue (Bowen) seems confident that come the end of March there may well be a chance that he could play again this season... [But] I am still not ruling out that there may be another loan signing".

    Once again a visit from Oxford United produced a season's highest league gate for a Conference club yesterday as 2,089 supporters flocked to The Lamb, at Tamworth, yesterday, of whom 854 were officially recorded as being from Oxford.

    24 February 2007



    Southport's point today takes them above Altrincham on goal difference but, on the positive side, today's results restore Altrincham's survival to their own hands as four teams' maximum possible points totals for the season are now lower than Altrincham's.

  • League table
  • Aldershot T. 2 Rushden & Diamonds 2
  • Cambridge U. 2 Southport 2
  • Dagenham & R. 2 York City 1
  • Exeter C. 3 Burton Albion 0
  • Forest Green R. 1 Morecambe 3
  • St Albans C. 0 Stafford R. 3
  • Tamworth 1 Oxford U. 3
  • Weymouth v Woking POSTPONED

    FA Trophy 4

  • Stevenage B. 3 Salisbury C. 0
  • Northwich V. 3 Gravesend & N. 0
  • Kidderminster H. 3 Halifax T. 1


    Above: It was a close shave for Alty Reserves' at Moss Lane this afternoon. The team left it late to defeat Atherton Collieries and, left to right, the back four of Keith Wedge, Stephen Rose, Gary Talbot and Andy Scott seemed to have had particularly close encounters with their barbers before the match..

    Altrincham Reserves, with nine players who have played for the first team this season, defeated Atherton Collieries 2-0 this afternoon in the Lancashire League Cup at Moss Lane. Chris Senior netted his first goal in an Altrincham shirt after 87 minutes following good work from Justin Bowler. And then, as with the first goal, Richard Acton started the move which led to Astley Mulholland scoring the second in the ninetieth minute. Report and pictures to follow


    Right: Val Owen may be 36 years old but he is playing excellently and here he stops Northwich's Danny Mayman making progress in Tuesday's match at the Victoria Stadium. Gavin Rathbone's photo is one of many of the game on Gavin's GR Photography website.


    Moss Lane will host an international match between England and Scotland Independent Schools on Sunday 22nd April at 2pm. Further details will be announced in due course.


    Altrincham FC mascot Rocky Robin, fresh from contesting the Mascots' Pancake Race last week, is now taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday, May 26th.


    News of our next oppponents, on March 2nd, from the Burton Mail. "Alex Nicholls makes his Burton Albion debut on Saturday...The 19-year-old Walsall forward has joined injury-hit Albion for a month under the emergency loan system... Nicholls will operate on the right of midfield as Clough again finds himself having to reshuffle his defence. With skipper Darren Stride (knee) and Aaron Webster (calf) already ruled out, the Brewers' boss will also be without Gary Rowett, who has failed to shake off a groin strain picked up in the midweek win against Tamworth. The absence of the former Premiership star means Andy Corbett will have to fill in at left-back, with Nicholls deputising in midfield. Clough said: 'Alex can play up front or on the right wing, which makes him a very useful signing because of all the games we've got coming up.. He's a strong runner with pace, which makes him ideal for a position that has been a problem to us this season. It's easy to forget that Chris Hall has been out since October, and we've also had to move Corbs from time-to-time when we've been short of a full-back'. Despite the absence of three first-choice defenders, Clough is hoping his side stand up to the expected onslaught by the Grecians... Albion got their promotion push back on track with the defeat of Tamworth, but Clough said: 'March is probably going to be the make or break month with 24 points at stake in 29 days'"... Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has dubbed Albion one of the "tactically most astute" teams in the Conference... Albion's chances should be boosted by the suspension of Exeter midfield dangerman Lee Elam... Jon Shaw will keep his place up front for the Brewers... Albion's probable side: Poole; Brayford, Tinson, Austin, Corbett; Nicholls, Carden, Bell, Ducros; Clare, Shaw; subs: Harrad, Henshaw, Clough, Taylor.


    From Cambridge Evening News we learn that "Jimmy Quinn believes Saturday's home clash with Southport is the start of a four-match run that could make or break Cambridge United's battle to avoid the drop. After Southport, United face a series of games against fellow strugglers, with Forest Green at home followed by trips to Stafford and Altrincham. With United only two points above the relegation zone, Quinn said his side needed to win three of those four games to give themselves breathing space. He said: 'They're four massive games and they won't be easy, but if we can show the same desire and commitment as we have shown over the last four games, I'll be happy'".

    The BBC says that "Exeter City defender Steve Tully has signed a new deal to keep him at St James's Park next season. The ex-Torquay full-back, 27, has started seven games since signing from Weymouth, initially until the end of the current season, in January... Tisdale has also offered a new deal to Jon Challinor but Dean Moxey and Andy Taylor have turned down initial offers".

    "Winger Tyrone Berry is counting down the days until he can make his Crawley debut" says The Argus. Berry is the eighth player to join Reds since the start of January and joint caretaker boss John Yems reckons one more new face is needed to complete the squad. He said: 'We are still looking. I think we need one more, which might be either a loan or a free agent. We are speaking to a few people and there are a lot who are interested in coming to us but we want it to be the right person, not just anybody'".

    Halifax Today says that "Halifax Town will not appeal against Tyrone Thompson's sending off in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Weymouth. Manager Chris Wilder reviewed video footage of the injury time incident, which also saw Terras' duo Conal Platt and Ashley Vickers ordered off. But the evidence was inconclusive and the Shay midfielder will serve a three-match ban, beginning at Aggborough tomorrow". Also, "Felix Bastians has handed Town a massive boost ahead of their FA Trophy quarter-final trip to Kidderminster by agreeing to extend his loan from Nottingham Forest by a further month".

    The St Albans Observer states that "Colin Lippiatt is awaiting international clearance to sign an attacking player from New Zealand and an answer from a striker. As the St Albans Observer went to press, the City boss described the move to land the unnamed Kiwi - who played with Tom Davis at Fulham and who can play wide right and up front - in time for the weekend as 'touch and go'. The New Zealand player has signed a Conference form with City but the Australian FA currently holds his registration and he needs to be registered with the English FA before that form can be submitted to the league. Meanwhile, a striker from a Conference South side is still weighing up a move to Clarence Park after St Albans made a seven-day approach to his club. 'I've spoken to the player twice this week and he can't make up his mind', explained Lippiatt. 'I really need to know one way or another'".

    "Weymouth defender Ashley Vickers has been suspended for five games after losing his appeal against the red card he picked up in Tuesday's 4-1 defeat at Halifax Town" says This is Weymouth. The ex-Dagenham & Redbridge man and his team-mate Conal Platt were both sent off for violent conduct in added-on time, two decisions that Terras' boss Jason Tindall still feels were very harsh. Platt only joined the Terras on a month's loan last week so his ban is a huge blow. Tindall said: 'He will continue to train with us. We will then probably look to try and get him again on loan'".

    Alty travel to Weymouth on March 10th. Admission prices there are:

  • Adults – Terrace £13, Stand £16, Premier Stand £16,
  • Concessions – Terrace £8, Stand £10, Premier Stand £11,
  • Under 16s – Terrace £5, Stand £7, Premier Stand £8

    Woking "confirm that Simon Jackson has joined Fisher Athletic on a month's loan".

    23 February 2007


    SAM says that "Alty hero Joe O'Neill (right) believes the club's luck has finally changed after they snatched a last-gasp point from bitter rivals Northwich on Tuesday night. 'It was a great feeling, we needed that to keep up the little run we've got going now and hopefully we can build on that next game and get three points', he told SAM Sport after the game. 'It's just what the lads needed really because it's hard work when you're going places and you think you're doing alright and you're getting undone by the odd goal. I think we've been unlucky the last few weeks because I think we've played good football in some games but haven't got anything from it. But we've just got that feeling now that we're going to get something from games again, that our luck's changed... We're confident we can avoid relegation, it's going to be a tough run in but if we keep playing like we have done over the last few weeks I think we'll get out of it'.

    And likewise, "Graham Heathcote believes Altrincham's fighting spirit will help them to keep punching above their weight... He told SAM Sport: 'You've got to take your hat off to the lads, they're digging in, they're battling, they're keeping going and they won another important point on Tuesday. It was a very open game, too open really and I thought we could have played more football against them. We didn't pass it well but we battled, kept ourselves in the game and got a decent point. It's all about scrambling and scrapping and scraping and we've scraped a point that's been hard fought for. We've not won away from home so the next best thing is not to lose. The main positive was our determination to keep going and if you do that you'll get the bounce of the ball. We've hit a post today and we've hit the post a lot in the last few games, some of them will start to go in hopefully. If we keep that attitude throughout the 90 minutes I think we'll pick up a few wins... There were some colossal performances at Northwich, like Peter Band in the second half and the lads have responded well. We just need to get Colin (Little) going now. He hit the post again today and nothing seems to be going for him at the moment. If he gets a goal or two he could take off and I'm sure he'll have a say in our survival between now and the end of the season'".


    Morecambe "today completed the signing of ex-Huddersfield Town defender Danny Adams on a short term deal until the end of the current season. Due to the complexities of the transfer window, permission had to be sought from the Football Association for the player to be able to be registered for a club in the Nationwide Conference, before the signing could be confirmed. Permission was subsequently granted and his registration has now been accepted by the Football Conference. Adams started off by playing for his home town club Altrincham before being signed by McIlroy, when he was manager of Macclesfield Town for a fee of £25,000, in September 2000. He went on to make 169 appearances for the Silkmen, scoring 2 goals. Danny, who is 31 years old, moved to Stockport County in March 2003, making 43 appearances before moving on to Huddersfield Town in March of 2005. During his 20 months at The Galpharm Stadium he made 77 appearances without scoring, and his last appearance for the Yorkshire club was in the televised game against ex Conference club Yeovil Town in early January. His squad number will be 25".


    From the BBC is confirmation that "Kidderminster Harriers' manager Mark Yates has been charged by the Football Association with misconduct. Yates is alleged to have clashed with Exeter winger Lee Elam following the Harriers' home defeat to the Grecians. Harriers chairman Barry Norgrove said: 'We can confirm that Mark has been formally charged with misconduct. We understand Mark will request a personal hearing so we are unable to make any comment until the outcome of any such hearing is known'".

    "Cambridge United have secured the services of ex-Ipswich defender Aidan Collins until the end of the season. Collins has agreed a deal for the remainder of the campaign after joining the U's at the end of last month, initially on non-contract terms. The 20-year-old has since started three games for Jimmy Quinn's side" reports the BBC.

    "Walsall striker Alex Nicholls has joined Burton on a month's loan. The 19-year-old has recovered after breaking his leg late last season in a youth cup tie, but has not played for the first team this season. 'Alex is a talented player and we will monitor his progress closely', boss Richard Money told Walsall's website... Nicholls has made 13 league and cup appearances for Walsall" says the BBC.

    The creditors may still be waiting for their money but rarely a day goes past without news from Crawley. The Argus which says that "Goalkeeper Ben Hamer today admitted he could stay permanently at Crawley if he is not offered a new deal by Reading. The 19-year-old's contract runs out at the end of the season. He said: 'My agent will talk to Reading in the next week or so to see what their plans are. I think I have done quite well and if things didn't work out then I would like to stay. The lads have been brilliant and I have enjoyed it. The Conference is competitive and is much better than playing reserve football'... Meanwhile, Reds have been told new winger Tyrone Berry cannot play for 30 days because he was signed outside the transfer window. The 19-year-old agreed to join last week after having his contract cancelled by Rushden and Diamonds and was thought to be eligible as a free agent. But only players whose deals ended before January 31 are allowed to play immediately outside the window".

    Stevenage's Trophy tie on Saturday "will see a showdown between two of the most feared strikers in their respective divisions, Steve Morison and Salisbury's Matt Tubbs.", reports The Comet. After wins over Stafford Rangers and Grays Athletic at the weekend, manager Mark Stimson said "I would have been happy with three points but to get six is great... There are another two away games to come after Saturday". And "both Grays and Stafford had men red carded, with flying winger Mitchell Cole the Boro man regularly sinned against. 'The only way to stop Mitchell is to kick him and that's why both players were sent off'" said Stimson who continued: "We've added quality to our already strong nucleus of players. Who ever has come into our midfield in recent games has done a good job. It is really obvious that some of the players have been in the Championship or League One this season".

    Our last opponents Northwich Victoria announce that "Our opponents in the Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup Final on Tuesday 13th March will be Cammell Laird who defeated Chester City 5-0 in the semi-final .The venue will be at Witton Albion". Chester knocked Alty out earlier in the competition, on penalties.

    22 February 2007


    Alty manager Graham Heathcote has today expressed his thanks to the "absolutely magnificent" support given to the team at Northwich last Tuesday. He feels that such vocal support will be a "strong ingredient" in helping the club to gather enough points to stay up this season. Whilst he realizes that such numbers cannot always travel to the more distant away games, he hopes that large numbers will continue to give their excellent support at Moss Lane for the remaining home games. Graham, quite justifiably, is also of the view that the non-local media has been giving Altrincham scant credit for their performances recently, press reports from Northwich and Crawley being cases in point.

    Meanwhile, assistant manager Dalton Steele remains away from Moss Lane with his work commitments but he should be back for the Oxford game on 17th March.


    Despite leading at the interval, through goals by Mulholland and Thomson, Altrincham Reserves lost 3-2 at Farsley Celtic last Saturday. A report, courtesy of Neil Brown, is in the Reserves' section.


    Former Alty player James Robinson was a 62nd-minute substitute for Melbourne Victory as they lifted the Australian A League Grand Final trophy last Sunday with a 6-0 win over Adelaide United.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's photo of Peter Band in action at Northwich. More photos are on the GR Photography website.

    The Northwich Guardian reports that "Steve Burr said seeing Alty's late leveller was like being 'kicked in the teeth'. Joe O'Neill rose highest to head home Steve Bushell's corner in the 91st minute, stealing a barely deserved point for the visitors. 'It feels like we've lost in our changing room', he told the Guardian after the final whistle. 'To concede a goal like that is really disappointing, especially as we were better than them in the second half. I wanted us to push for a second', he said. 'I felt Altrincham weren't threatening and we had the upper hand on them. Still, after all that a point is less use to them than it is to us... Mark Roberts did a great job for us', he said. 'But what can I say about Dean? I'm delighted for him - he took his goal superbly'. Continuing the same theme, the Northwich Guardian adds that "Alty ambushed Vics in injury time to steal a point. Joe O'Neill's superb header from Steve Bushell's corner flew under the crossbar to deny their hosts a deserved win. Before that their cause had looked hopeless. Steve Burr's side shaded a scrappy encounter that was short on quality but high on endeavour and, when James Dean leapt highest to scored his second goal in as many matches on 66 minutes, it seemed likely to be the only goal. They should have known Alty never turn down a scrap. Bereft of craft, they resorted to an aerial attack for the entire game[???], rewarded finally when O'Neill powered home the leveller". Despite this "aerial attack", the paper itself records that "The visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half time. Colin Little swivelled and shot in the same movement, but his shot cannoned back off Ben Connett's post. A linesman's flag meant it didn't matter though... Warren Peyton's stinging 30-yard free kick was tipped over the bar by Connett and O'Neill glanced a dangerous header towards goal in the only real chances of note". It continues "Vics relaxed as they assumed control and, while they created little, they had Alty where they wanted them. Graham Heathcote's men quickly ran out of ideas, and Peter Band was lucky not to see red for clattering into Paul Brayson with his forearm. Connett parried O'Neill's speculative drive to give Alty hope, before the same player popped up to complete an old fashioned smash and grab".

    SAM has a more balanced match report from Northwich. "Joe O'Neill headed a superb late equaliser for Altrincham to seal a point in their derby duel with Northwich. Just as it looked like Alty were fighting a hopeless cause, Steve Bushell swung in a corner and O'Neill headed high into the net. It was just what the Robins deserved for a gritty performance in which they never gave up despite falling behind to a James Dean goal. Despite the late drama, the game had been a generally cagey encounter in which quality had been in short supply. However, Alty did play some decent football during the first half... Dean then gave Northwich the lead in thge 67th minute, rising to head home a superb right wing cross from Richard Battersby. It was a lead the hosts had barely deserved after doing plenty of huffing and puffing at the start of the second half but creating very little. However, Alty barely troubled the keeper either... And after it seemed like time had run out O'Neill popped up to grab a valuable point".


    Altrincham's next opponents on March 2nd are Burton Albion, whose "boss Nigel Clough was relieved to see his side get their play-off push back on track with a 1-0 home win over Tamworth. The victory was their first in five games and Clough said: 'You take a win anyhow it comes. It was very tough. They made it very hard for us to break them down'... Gary Rowett picked up a groin strain during the game and with a number of other injury problems Clough may look to make a loan signing later in the week" says the BBC.

    After a tempestuous match against Weymouth (whom we visit in early March) at Halifax, The FA confirms that "Weymouth FC's Ashley Vickers from 20/02/2007 suspended from all football until the Club have completed 5 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 20/02/2007. Also Weymouth FC's Conal Platt from 20/02/2007 suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 20/02/2007". Alty meet The Terras on 10 March so Platt should have completed his ban by then.

    Halifax Today reports that "Wilder is considering an appeal against the red card shown to Tyrone Thompson in last night's 4-1 win over Weymouth at the Shay. The midfielder saw red in injury time along with Terras' duo Ashley Vickers, who appeared to be spoiling for a fight from the moment he arrived on the pitch as a substitute on the hour, and Conal Platt. Vickers had earlier had Thompson in a headlock as the two teams lined up before a Weymouth penalty. And they clashed again in the centre circle with the minutes ticking away, prompting a real melee. 'I could understand Vickers being sent off, but I do not know why Tyrone was sent off', said Wilder. 'Vickers also slapped Matt Doughty as he was going off the pitch which I thought was an absolute disgrace. Tyrone said to me that he had not done anything. I think when one side has two sent off referees do look to see who might have been a culprit for the opposition... We will have a look at it and if there is nothing in it there will certainly be an appeal thrown in. The game turned into a bit of a joke in the last five minutes because we were up against a team that went out to mix it and put people in a position they should not have been. I am all for having a fair dust up and a tackle but there were a lot of things going on out there that were a little bit naughty, especially towards the end. Our character was magnificent under a lot of provocation, especially in the second half when they made a substitution and they brought a boy on whose sole intention was to smash every one of my players. There were a lot of things going off - a lot of words said - but they stood up to the battle and thoroughly deserved their victory... I thought Tyrone was unbelievable last night. His energy was amazing. He clamped onto their lad who was sitting in front of the midfield and ran over the top of him'".

    From the other side, This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth player-manager Jason Tindall has branded last night's loss at Halifax Town as a disaster. Not only was the defeat the Terras' third in succession but they also suffered several injuries and had Conal Platt and Ashley Vickers sent off in added-on time... Tindall said: 'Stuart Beavon gave us an early lead and for the first 20 minutes we were in total control. James Coutts then had a goal ruled out when the linesman gave Stuart offside despite the fact he had nothing to do with the play. If that had been given it would have probably been a different story".


    Eddie Hussin returned for Leigh on Tuesday against but neither fellow Alty loan player Kieran Lugsden nor ex-Alty defender Mark Maddox were involved for RMI.


    A press release from Forest Green Rovers deserves extensive quotation: "Following their defeat at Northwich Victoria on Saturday, Forest Green Rovers have lodged a complaint with the Football Association over a decision by referee Peter Quinn that, having permitted substitute Danny Carey-Bertram to come on, he sent him from the field of play after two minutes, to remove clothing which the referee deemed to be illegal. Rovers were then forced to play with ten players for some four minutes and as the player returned (70 mins) Northwich scored. Rovers' management were at variance with the interpretation of the referee and felt that at the stage, when they had to play with ten players, this decision was pivotal to the result.

    The Football Association have issued an initial response to the complaint, stating that the referee will be asked to explain his actions and informed the club that they believed he should not have prevented the player from playing and that if the referee believed there was a contravention of an FIFA or FA directive then the referee should have reported it and not taken his own action. The directive, issued this season from the FA; and re-circulated to all clubs in the FA Premiership, Football League and Nationwide Conference on 1st February, relates to the wearing of undergarments. Forest Green Rovers have asked, for the purpose of clarity, that the directive should be re-visited to ensure that there can only be one interpretation possible.

    In the case in question, the Rovers player wore black 'tights' under his black shorts and black socks, yet Mr Quinn ruled this was in contravention of the directive. In their complaint to the FA the club pointed out that if that were the case, then a certain well known Premiership player also contravened the directive in the FA Cup this Sunday. Having said that, the club believes that Mr Quinn was at fault with his interpretation of the directive. Also the player in question and other players have worn similar undergarments since the directive was issued and no such action has been taken against this player or any team-mates.

    In consulation with the Football Conference, who are due to meet the FA over other matters this week, Forest Green Rovers have requested that a clear statement about this directive needs to be made before the player plays again this week against Morecambe.

    A club spokesman stated 'The club would not rule out the possibility of making an appeal to have the match replayed but thought that it is unlikely. The incident was bizarre and sadly shows that certain directives in the current game have nothing to do with the game of football itself. This needs sorting out quickly for the benefit of every member club in the Conference'.

    All member clubs in the Conference have been alerted to this incident and many have responded with their personal views on the subject but they all agree that the FA have to ensure that ALL clubs and ALL match official are clear on this directive".

    Tamworth "have made a tough but very carefully considered decision to withdraw from the Staffordshire Senior Cup. It follows a protest lodged by Rushall Olympic after their defeat by Tamworth on Tuesday February 13. Rushall claim that the Tamworth team included two players who were ineligible due to the timing of their registrations and while this is strongly disputed, it means that the process for Staffordshire Football Assocation to deal with the issue cannot be completed in time for the Tamworth v Chasetown semi-final to go ahead as scheduled next Tuesday, February 27. With Tamworth already having a congested 'Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday' fixture list, fitting in another date for a rearranged SSC tie could not be foreseen without impacting on the top priority efforts of concentrating on the league. It was decided this could not be allowed to become a distraction and therefore, reluctantly, withdrawal from the competition was considered to be in the very best interests of Tamworth Football Club in the circumstances. Having studied the rules and sent a detailed response to the Staffs FA, Tamworth are confident that they were not in breach... Rushall had challenged the eligibility of Gary Mills and Michael Briscoe on the grounds that the tie against Tamworth was originally set for Tuesday December 5 and for players to be eligible they had to be registered with the club by noon on December 1. After postponement of the tie initially, it was rearranged for February 20 and then, at Tamworth's request, brought forward a week to the 13th. This was still nearly two months after it should have been played and TFC would have argued this would have had a bearing on registration deadline for players. No communication or correspondence had been received from the Staffs FA on the subject of registration in relation to such a delay in the tie being completed. Russell Moore, Secretary/General Manager".


    The BBC says that "Stafford Rangers boss Phil Robinson remained upbeat despite another home defeat against Stevenage on Tuesday. Robinson said: 'We are confident we can pick up results. Parts of our play were very good and parts of our play give us confidence and make us positive. Up to the last quarter hour, when we tired, I thought we restricted them'. Despite leading through a David McNiven goal, Stafford's 3-1 defeat means they have lost six of their last seven games and sit two points above the drop zone".

    "Barnet defender Anthony Charles has rejoined former club Aldershot Town on loan until the end of the season. Charles, 25, heads back to the Shots after falling out of the first-team at Barnet, where he has been since signing from Farnborough two years ago. He previously played 45 games for the Shots and helped them win promotion to the Conference in 2003" says the BBC.

    Crawley Today confirms that "Crawley Town have signed winger Tyrone Berry until the end of the season. He has come as a free agent after being released by rivals Rushden & Diamonds on Thursday. Berry, 19, is a former Crystal Palace trainee and has a reputation as a pacey wide player. He has recently been on loan at Conference South club Lewes... Caretaker manager Ben Judge said: 'He is a quick, lively winger and gives us more attacking options, as he can play upfront as well'".

    But Halifax Today says that "Chris Wilder has been told that he cannot sign any more players until the proposed takeover of Halifax Town has been completed. The Shay chief is hoping to bolster his defence, but admits he is in limbo until any potential deal in finalised. 'I have lined up an experienced centre half but I have been told I cannot do anything until everything is sorted out', he said. 'I don't want to be disrespectful, or put pressure on anyone, but I am the manager and I am in limbo. We have lost players all through the season and I need as many bodies as I can get. I get the impression that the supporters want to know what is going off as much as I do and hopefully there will be a conclusion sooner rather than later'. The Town boss did add to his squad ahead of yesterday's game against Weymouth with Simon Parke returning to the Shay from Bradford Park Avenue on non contract terms. But they have lost Lionel Ainsworth who has returned to Derby County after a month on loan with the Shaymen. 'Simon is well known to people', said Wilder. 'He is an honest boy who can score goals. There was no point bringing a kid in and he will bring power and experience to a young squad'". Park nearly joined Altrincham in the late 1990s when he was with Guiseley. "Meanwhile Halifax's Felix Bastians', "initial month's loan spell ends after Saturday's FA Trophy tie at Kidderminster".

    The Comet reports from Stafford where Stevenage "had to come from behind after struggling Stafford took an early lead through on-loan striker David McNiven. In front of the lowest Conference crowd of the season - numbering just 653 - the home side made a bright start... Stafford's misery was completed in injury-time when defender Richie Sutton was dismissed for a second bookable offence".


    The The NW Evening Mail reports that "Barrow`s winger Paul Brown is whizzing off `Down Under` to find his footballing fortune... He was removed from the starting line-up for the 2-0 defeat at Worksop on Saturday, with Wilson putting Colin Potts in the starting XI in preparation for Brown’s departure. The move was not a huge success, with Brown replacing his replacement just after half-time. Wilson said: 'Rightly or wrongly, on Saturday we wanted to get Colin Potts in and he would slot into where Paul Brown has been playing, in that attacking midfield role'... The announcement of Brown’s departure comes as goalkeeper Ashley Timms has been released by the club. Timms had been playing on a game-by-game basis since the start of January, usurping regular stopper Jamie Speare in the team. He kept three clean sheets in his seven games for the club and had been on trial with Wycombe Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Macclesfield Town during his time at Holker Street".
    21 February 2007


    Alty's first team has no game until a week on Friday (March 2nd at Burton), but you will be able to see some of them in action in the Altrincham Reserves' side this Saturday. The Reserves' game this Saturday (24th) was supposed to be away, in the Lancashire League Cup, at Atherton Collieries. But the Colliers have another match on their pitch so the tie has now been switched to Moss Lane where it will kick off at 2pm. Alty are expected to include some first teamers in their line-up.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's photo of Joe O 'Neill as he turns after scoring at Northwich. More photos are on the GR Photography website.

    Match report here

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line ups and bookings


    The sponsored walk to Northwich, organised by Andrew Shaw, raised £4,055 for the combined good causes of the Autistic Society and Altrincham FC. A presentation will be made to the Autistic Society at Alty's home game with Cambridge United.


    Danny Duerden of Timperley & District Junior League club, Fletcher Moss Rangers, has written to Altrincham FC's Featured Club coordinator, Dana Laidlar, thanking the Club for its invitation to participate in the Featured Club scheme under which junior football clubs are guests of Alty for a first-team match. Danny writes:

    I would like to pass on my appreciation to all the staff at ALtrincham FC for making Fletcher Moss RAngers under-11s feel welcome. Also a big thanks to Karen Rowley, Graham Heathcote and, of course, your good self, for arranging for my tem to attend your Club - shame that the Robins could not give York a good tattering. WIsh Grahn all my best for this seasonand seasons to follow. Oh. not forgetting of course one of my pals at Fletcher, Mr Neil Brown [Alty Reserves' manager and groundsman]. Sincerely yours, Danny Duerden. P.S. Tell Graham that if he gives my boys a training session, I'll buy him a McDonalds!"

    More Featured Clubs will visit Moss Lane under this scheme as the season progresses.


    The BBC says that "Cardiff City players Micky Corcoran and Gregg Coombes are poised to extend their loan spell with Conference promotion hopefuls Oxford United. The midfield pair reach the end of a month's loan at the Kassam Stadium after Saturday's trip to Tamworth. But they have agreed to spend a second month with Jim Smith's side, which faces eight games during March. Corcoran, 19, has so far started three Conference games with Coombes, 18, figuring just once for the U's". One of those March games is at Moss Lane on St Patrick's Day, to be sure.

    This is Staffs reported yesterday that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson will be forced into another reshuffle of his side for Tuesday''s Conference clash with Stevenage at Marston Road.Striker Guy Madjo jets off to the Congo to play for the Cameroon under-23s, while on-loan midfielder Antony Griffith looks unlikely to play for Rangers again after suffering an horrendous mouth injury at the weekend. But Rangers will be bolstered by the return of defender Craig McAughtrie and midfielder Craig Lovatt after one-match bans. Rangers, who slipped perilously close to the relegation zone at the weekend after defeat to Halifax, will be striving to avoid a fourth consecutive home defeat. But Stevenage are one of the in-form teams in the division... and they beat Rangers 6-0 in September when [ex-Alty man] Ged Murphy was red carded".

    Halifax Today says that "Football bosses are turning the screws on the council to finish work on the Shay's east stand next year. The Nationwide Conference has set two deadlines. If they are not met, Halifax Town FC could be banned from the league for the 2007/08 season... Conference operations director John Moules pulled no punches ahead of a council leadership meeting today when cabinet members were expected to discuss the ground's redevelopment. Mr Moules said promises had not been kept and by July 31 directors' hospitality and toilet facilities had to be housed in the east stand. 'And by March 2008 we expect the east stand to be fully operational', he said. 'The Conference has been more than patient and Halifax Town has to meet the commitments previously made. Our board of directors have now decided enough is enough. The involvement of Calderdale Council in brokering a development deal is irrelevant. That is not our problem. That is the club's problem', said Mr Moules.

    Oxford Utd currently play in the Conference with only three sides of their ground developed. Mr Moules said that was allowed at the discretion of the Conference board, which accepted relegated clubs whatever the condition of their grounds. Nuneaton Borough were kicked out of the Conference in the mid-1980s for not carrying out ground improvements and other clubs have been refused promotion to the Conference. Halifax Town chairman Geoff Ralph remained upbeat and said the Shay Stadium Trust was aware of what needed to be done and was confident cosmetic improvements to the east stand could be completed by July. 'There are no major issues. There is a commitment to complete the east stand by March 2008 from the trust and the local authority'... Trust chief executive Geoff Butler said 'The council has not come up with any commitment whatsoever'".

    Yet another signing is reported by Crawley Today which says that "Crawley Town are on the verge of signing winger Tyrone Berry, released by Conference rivals Rushden & Diamonds. The 19-year-old was recently on loan at Conference South club Lewes and was released... on February 16. It is unclear when he will be eligible to play for Crawley as there is a rule that released players switching clubs at the same or a higher lever must wait 30 days before joining another club. Reds are awaiting confirmation if this period starts from the date a player last played for his previous club, which in this case was January 6, or from the day he was released".

    21 February 2007


    Alty's first team has no game until a week on Friday (March 2nd at Burton), but you will be able to see some of them in action in the Altrincham Reserves' side this Saturday. The Reserves' game this Saturday (24th) was supposed to be away, in the Lancashire League Cup, at Atherton Collieries. But the Colliers have another match on their pitch so the tie has now been switched to Moss Lane where it will kick off at 2pm. Alty are expected to include some first teamers in their line-up.


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's photo of Joe O 'Neill as he turns after scoring at Northwich. More photos are on the GR Photography website.

    Match report here

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line ups and bookings


    The sponsored walk to Northwich, organised by Andrew Shaw, raised £4,055 for the combined good causes of the Autistic Society and Altrincham FC. A presentation will be made to the Autistic Society at Alty's home game with Cambridge United.


    Danny Duerden of Timperley & District Junior League club, Fletcher Moss Rangers, has written to Altrincham FC's Featured Club coordinator, Dana Laidlar, thanking the Club for its invitation to participate in the Featured Club scheme under which junior football clubs are guests of Alty for a first-team match. Danny writes:

    I would like to pass on my appreciation to all the staff at ALtrincham FC for making Fletcher Moss RAngers under-11s feel welcome. Also a big thanks to Karen Rowley, Graham Heathcote and, of course, your good self, for arranging for my tem to attend your Club - shame that the Robins could not give York a good tattering. WIsh Grahn all my best for this seasonand seasons to follow. Oh. not forgetting of course one of my pals at Fletcher, Mr Neil Brown [Alty Reserves' manager and groundsman]. Sincerely yours, Danny Duerden. P.S. Tell Graham that if he gives my boys a training session, I'll buy him a McDonalds!"

    More Featured Clubs will visit Moss Lane under this scheme as the season progresses.


    The BBC says that "Cardiff City players Micky Corcoran and Gregg Coombes are poised to extend their loan spell with Conference promotion hopefuls Oxford United. The midfield pair reach the end of a month's loan at the Kassam Stadium after Saturday's trip to Tamworth. But they have agreed to spend a second month with Jim Smith's side, which faces eight games during March. Corcoran, 19, has so far started three Conference games with Coombes, 18, figuring just once for the U's". One of those March games is at Moss Lane on St Patrick's Day, to be sure.

    This is Staffs reported yesterday that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson will be forced into another reshuffle of his side for Tuesday''s Conference clash with Stevenage at Marston Road.Striker Guy Madjo jets off to the Congo to play for the Cameroon under-23s, while on-loan midfielder Antony Griffith looks unlikely to play for Rangers again after suffering an horrendous mouth injury at the weekend. But Rangers will be bolstered by the return of defender Craig McAughtrie and midfielder Craig Lovatt after one-match bans. Rangers, who slipped perilously close to the relegation zone at the weekend after defeat to Halifax, will be striving to avoid a fourth consecutive home defeat. But Stevenage are one of the in-form teams in the division... and they beat Rangers 6-0 in September when [ex-Alty man] Ged Murphy was red carded".

    Halifax Today says that "Football bosses are turning the screws on the council to finish work on the Shay's east stand next year. The Nationwide Conference has set two deadlines. If they are not met, Halifax Town FC could be banned from the league for the 2007/08 season... Conference operations director John Moules pulled no punches ahead of a council leadership meeting today when cabinet members were expected to discuss the ground's redevelopment. Mr Moules said promises had not been kept and by July 31 directors' hospitality and toilet facilities had to be housed in the east stand. 'And by March 2008 we expect the east stand to be fully operational', he said. 'The Conference has been more than patient and Halifax Town has to meet the commitments previously made. Our board of directors have now decided enough is enough. The involvement of Calderdale Council in brokering a development deal is irrelevant. That is not our problem. That is the club's problem', said Mr Moules.

    Oxford Utd currently play in the Conference with only three sides of their ground developed. Mr Moules said that was allowed at the discretion of the Conference board, which accepted relegated clubs whatever the condition of their grounds. Nuneaton Borough were kicked out of the Conference in the mid-1980s for not carrying out ground improvements and other clubs have been refused promotion to the Conference. Halifax Town chairman Geoff Ralph remained upbeat and said the Shay Stadium Trust was aware of what needed to be done and was confident cosmetic improvements to the east stand could be completed by July. 'There are no major issues. There is a commitment to complete the east stand by March 2008 from the trust and the local authority'... Trust chief executive Geoff Butler said 'The council has not come up with any commitment whatsoever'".

    Yet another signing is reported by Crawley Today which says that "Crawley Town are on the verge of signing winger Tyrone Berry, released by Conference rivals Rushden & Diamonds. The 19-year-old was recently on loan at Conference South club Lewes and was released... on February 16. It is unclear when he will be eligible to play for Crawley as there is a rule that released players switching clubs at the same or a higher lever must wait 30 days before joining another club. Reds are awaiting confirmation if this period starts from the date a player last played for his previous club, which in this case was January 6, or from the day he was released".

    20 February 2007


  • Burton A. 1 Tamworth 0
  • Exeter C. 0 Rushden & D. 0
  • Halifax T. 4 Weymouth 1
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Dagenham & R. 4
  • Northwich V. 1 Altrincham 1
  • Stafford R. 1 Stevenage B. 3
  • Woking 2 Gravesend & N. 2


    Alty Reserves lost 3-2 at Farsley Celtic tonight, after leading 2-0 at the interval. Report to follow.


    Altrincham make their first visit to Northwich Vics' new ground to play their first league fixture against their old rivals since the 1999-2000 season. The Northwich Guardian confirms that "Vics play a must-win derby duel without Michael Carr. The midfielder sits out Altrincham's visit with a one-match ban after he was sent off in Saturday's 2-0 win over Forest Green. His place could go to new signing Matt Shaw. Steve Burr has no other new injury worries, but may shuffle his pack ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy quarter final. James Dean can't play in that game, so should keep his place against Graham Heathcote's Robins, but Jon McCarthy, Carlos Roca and Mark Roberts are pushing for a recall. Jonny Allan, Chris Williams and Michael Byrne are all out injured".

    Altrincham may well be unchanged for tonight's game, with Owen and Chalmers likely to be fit after earlier doubts.


    "Graham Heathcote... admitted the mood had dropped at Moss Lane during the month-long spell, which was the club's worst run this season. But after clear-the-air talks last week - and a 1-1 draw at Crawley - he is now confident of avoiding relegation. 'We will go into every game with a positive attitude now because that's the only chance we will have of winning games', Heathcote told SAM Sport . 'There are a good set of lads here who want to try and keep this club in the league and we are hopeful we will do just that. We had a bad run but we've put that behind us now. The lads just have to do their job on the pitch. We just lost our way organisation-wise for a while but hopefully we are back on track after Saturday. People have started to panic because of our situation but we are averaging exactly the same amount of points as we have since we came into this league. We are in the relegation zone on the back of a bad run but some teams are still down there after having good runs. So hopefully we've got our bad run out of the way and other teams are yet to hit theirs... [Tuesday] night is just one game in what we are looking at as a 15-game season... The way we're looking at it is that we have 15 games to finish top of this group of teams at the bottom of the table. Of course I'd like to win against Northwich but whatever the result we will still go into our remaining games with a positive attitude'".


    The Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen reports that "Sammy McIlroy has moved to ease his defensive crisis with the signature of Danny Adams (right) on loan until the end of the season. The 31-year-old centre-half goes straight into Morecambe's team for Saturday's Conference clash at Forest Green as skipper Jim Bentley and Ged Brannan are suspended, while Chris Blackburn is injured. Adams joins from Huddersfield Town and also played for Macclesfield and Stockport after moving into the professional game from Altrincham. 'Danny played for me at Macclesfield and he adds good experience', says McIlroy". The former Alty left-back did speak to Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote following Huddersfield's decision to release him but, not surprisingly, Danny has preferred to remain full-time. This is the second time this season that Alty have lost out to Morecambe for a full-back; trialist Adam Yates opted for the Lancashire side after seeming set to come to Moss Lane.


    The Chester City website reports that former Altrincham and "Chester forward Don Weston died recently at the age of 70... Don Weston played more than 250 Football League games in a 10 year career, with Chester being the last of six different sides he represented. The Mansfield born inside forward was recommended to Wrexham... His shooting power and turn of speed soon brought him to the attention of the bigger clubs and in January 1960 he moved to Birmingham City for £12,000. By the end of the year he was on the move back north to Rotherham United... A move to Leeds United followed in December 1962 and started in sensational fashion with a debut hat-trick against Stoke City. In 1963/64 he finished as leading scorer at Elland Road as Leeds were promoted as Second Division champions. In October 1965 Don was transferred to Huddersfield Before returning to Wrexham the following year" before moving to Chester... In January 1969 he moved into the Northern Premier League with Altrincham and scored a hat-trick on his debut. He wound down his playing career at Bethesda Athletic. After retiring from the game Don ran his own car sales business in Mansfield". Elsewhere on the Altrincham website, Terry Rowley writes "Don came to Moss Lane after a successful league career... Don made his debut in the 8-1 trouncing of Northwich Victoria in front of 2,430 spectators at Moss Lane. Don hit a hat-trick, and the other scorers were Ian Morris (2), an own goal, Mick Metcalf and, of course, Jack Swindells. In all, Don played 16 games for Altrincham and scored 9 goals. He moved to play for Bethesda (in Wales) the following season". Altrincham FC extends its condolences to Don's family and friends.


    For tonight's game at Northwich, the BBC says that "New signing striker Matt Shaw could be handed his Northwich debut. Defender Michael Carr will not feature because he will serve a one-match ban and Michael Byrne will also miss out after undergoing a hernia operation. Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote has doubts over midfield duo Val Owen and Lewis Chalmers. Heathcote also has concerns over former Manchester United trainee Stephen Rose, after the midfielder missed out once again at the weekend with a virus".

    Indeed, "Northwich Victoria have signed former Blackpool midfielder Matt Shaw. The 22-year-old joins the Vics as a free agent after ending a short spell with Conference rivals Morecambe earlier this season. Vics boss Steve Burr will be without attacking midfielder Michael Byrne for up to six weeks after 21-year-old underwent surgery on a hernia problem". The Northwich Guardian adds that "Michael Carr will sit out the derby duel with Altrincham. The Vics midfielder was harshly sent off referee Peter Quinn in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers. 'It was a ridiculous decision', said assistant boss Dave Moss... Carr's absence will be a huge blow for Vics, for the midfielder has found his best form in recent weeks. Terry Barwick, new boy Matt Shaw and Stuart Elliott are in line to take his place". On Saturday "Darren Jones' own goal and James Dean's first strike for the club ensured a 2-0 victory against Jim Harvey's men... Moss praised debut boy James Dean after he capped his Conference bow with the second goal".


    Right: Stuart Coburn at Crawley; Stu has made some vital saves in recent games.

    The Argus says that "Crawley have become victims of their own success. .. Their reputation precedes them following a remarkable run that has taken them from the Conference relegation zone to mid-table. And, from the evidence of Saturday's home draw against fellow relegation battlers Altrincham, they could find it tough going for the rest of the season. Alty arrived at the Broadfield Stadium with one thing aim - to defend. To coin a phrase used by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, they parked the team bus in front of their goal and celebrated as if they had beaten the drop at the end after undeservedly stealing a point... Joint caretaker boss Ben Judge said: 'The crowd will be disappointed with how we played and we are slightly but teams are going to come here with the record we have got over the last few months and be happy to nick a goal in the last ten minutes. They are going to come and sit back, which is a sign that we are going places and we will have to work on how best to break them down'. The fans had every right to feel disappointed after seeing their side control the game and deservedly go ahead on 31 minutes... Judge said: 'We were comfortable in the first half and I thought the only way they were going to score was either with a worldy (world class goal) or something sloppy, which is what happened'... Goalkeeper Hamer said: 'I gave Mag a shout and he said he heard it late and tried to get rid of it'" but put it into his own net. Reds dominated the second half [??] and carved out more chances with the lively Benyon firing over and nodding wide. But in the end they were fortunate to get away with a point following another defensive howler. Dave Woozley took a quick throw back to Hamer, who scuffed his attempted clearance straight at the onrushing Little... Hamer said: 'Wooze gave me the throw but I didn't really want it. It was bobbling so I was going to take a touch but then I saw the guy coming out of the corner of my eye. I panicked a bit, which I shouldn't have done, and swung a leg at it. Luckily I managed to run straight across his line and get a good hand on it to tip it wide. It would have been terrible if that had gone in because we should have won it. In hindsight we could have scored six'".

    Meanwhile Crawley Today adds that "Colin Little should have won the match for Altrincham in injury-time when he seized upon a mistake by 'keeper Ben Hamer and had a sight at an open goal, but put his shot narrowly wide".


    The BBC says that "Gravesend & Northfleet have extended the loan spell of Southend winger Joel Ledgister for two further months. The 19-year-old has spent the last month at Stonebridge Road, making four appearances and scoring the winning goal in the recent win over Morecambe. He will now remain with Liam Daish's side until 21 April".

    A week on Friday, Alty travel to the Pirelli Stadium where The Burton Mail reports that "Manager Nigel Clough believes Burton Albion can halt a slump in form and revive their bid to make it to the promotion play-offs... The Brewers have now taken only one point from four games — their worst run since August — and have dropped to eighth place in the table. They will be hoping to arrest the slide when bottom club Tamworth visit the Pirelli Stadium [on Tuesday]. Clough insisted: "With 16 games to go, there’s still everything to play for... In terms of effort, I can’t fault what’s being put in. We could do with some better decisions on the ball and a bit more quality at times'... The form of recent signing Lee Bell also gave Clough cause for optimism.".

    From the Cambridge Evening News is news that "Mark Peters has been given the thumbs-up to return to training with Cambridge United despite being struck down by a heart-related illness. The former captain has been provisionally diagnosed as suffering from pericarditis - an inflammation of the sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart - resulting from a viral infection he picked up two weeks ago... but after extensive tests by specialists, Peters has been given the all-clear to go back into training. But it is not known how long the 34-year-old centre-half will take to fully recover from the virus... Meanwhile, Wayne Purser has been challenged to win his place back in the United first team after recovering from an infectedfoot injury... Assistant manager Steve Castle said 'Unfortunately, Wayne came to the club and hasn't set things on fire as we know he can do. He has had this foot problem and that's all sorted out now, but it's just coincided with some really decent performances from Robbie (Simpson) and Chilli (Dan Chillingworth). We've also got Charles (Ademeno), who has looked good when he has come on, so at the moment we've got the luxury of having four strikers champing at the bit'".

    This is Exeter confirms that "Kidderminster Harriers' manager Mark Yates could be in hot water following allegations he headbutted Exeter City winger Lee Elam. City had just given their play-off push another welcome boost with a 2-0 win at Aggborough when tempers flared on the pitch. Elam went down clutching his head and was left with bruising around his eye in the unsavoury incident. Yates was then confronted by City players Matt Gill and Paul Buckle before being led away by Harriers assistant manager Neil Howarth. He was then shown a red card by referee Amy Rayner. The Harriers manager looks certain to face an FA probe into the alleged assault after Rayner confirmed to City bosses that she had witnessed the flashpoint.... "I honestly didn't see it," said Exeter manager Paul Tisdale. 'I am not going to put any appeal through, I didn't see it, so how can I? The referee will decide what to do'. The club's sporting director Julian Tagg said: 'Lee is fine, he has got some bruising but that's all'".

    Halifax Today says that "Boss Chris Wilder hailed teenage centre backs Neal Trotman and Ryan Cresswell as Town picked up three invaluable points from their trip to Stafford. The duo were part of a Halifax defence under intense second half pressure... Trotman started the game but Cresswell was forced into the action for his debut when Adam Quinn suffered a fifth minute injury...'The only way Stafford could play was to launch balls into our box. And the two young lads at the back put up very well with the physical confrontation posed by McNiven, Madjo and Grayson. The most inexperienced part of the side stood firm, headed things and kicked things... I thought it was a magnificent effort on a pitch that was a massive leveller'" said the Shaymen's manager.

    The Kidderminster Shuttle claims that "The Harriers' board will not discuss Saturday's unsavoury scenes with manager Mark Yates until after Tuesday's clash with Conference leaders Dagenham and Redbridge. Yates has been left to concentrate on team affairs... temporarily ending rumours that he could be suspended or sacked. Chairman Barry Norgrove said 'I haven't spoken to him yet... There's conflicting evidence at the moment... We've got to look at the video and wait for the referee's report'". But a Soho Square spokesman today confirmed that the FA's disciplinary department had been made aware of the alleged on-pitch altercation via the referee's report. 'The matter will be passed onto our compliance department to decide what happens',she said".

    "Sammy McIlroy is in the middle of an emergency loan defender hunt in time for Saturday's Conference grudge match at Forest Green Rovers" states the Lancaster & Morecambe Gazette. "The Christie Park treatment room currently resembles a scene from Emergency Ward 10 - and to compound that misery skipper Jim Bentley and fellow Scouser Ged Brannan are banned for Saturday's trip to the New Lawn after collecting their fifth bookings of the season. 'It's unbelievable', says McIlroy. 'After all the injury problems I have Bentley out and Brannan out and Blackburn is not fit. I am going to have to do something to get someone in because I have run out of centre halves'. mcIlroy tried to sign Sheffield United defender Ryan Cresswell in time for last weekend - but the player opted for a loan to Halifax Town instead... The Shrimps face their former boss Jim Harvey when they travel to Gloucestershire on Saturday with acrimony and bitter feeling still bubbling under the surface following the Christie Park draw in November".

    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth player-manager Jason Tindall refused to get downhearted after his side's 1-0 defeat at York City... Tindall said: 'We came here with a game plan and it worked for 94-and-a-half minutes. We played 4-5-1 with myself sat in front of the defence and with Stuart Beavon up front. That gave the four midfielders a lot of freedom, we had some good movement and made a few good chances... Hhow we have come away with nothing I do not know. Even some of the York people came up to me afterwards and said that we deserved something from the game'. Weymouth have now not won in their last six".

    "Woking Football Club and Steve Ferguson have agreed today that the player will leave the club by mutual consent. Steve has released the following apology to our fans: 'I would like to express my sincere apologies to everyone who is involved at Woking Football Club and to everyone who supports the club. The recent Newspaper article on funding was taken out of context and I was misquoted. I would never dream of running down this football club after three and a half years I’ve had here'".

    At Southport "Lee Hoolickin will have an operation at the start of next week on his knee. The op and following rehab should see Lee back in the squad in four weeks which is good news on our run in".

    League-leaders Dagenham & Redbridge report that "John Still has further bolstered his [side] with the addition of two more players. Arriving are midfielder Jon Wallis and goalkeeper Nicky Eyre. 21-year old Jon began his career at his hometown Club of Gillingham before moving to Hereford United last summer. The small, but physical player can play in the centre of midfield as well as out wide. Jon joins on a month’s loan. Nicky is a Braintree born 22-year old who began his career as a trainee at Tottenham Hotspur. He played 17 games at Grays Athletic last season and this term has played 19 times for Rushden and Diamonds... Nicky joins the Daggers until the end of the season".

    19 February 2007


    The FA has confirmed that Altrincham centre-back Karl Munroe's tenth yellow card of the season, picked up at Crawley on Saturday, will mean that he is banned for two matches with effect from 24 February. He will therefore miss the matches against Burton Albion (away) and Cambridge United (home).

    Meanwhile, Northwich Vics' Michael Carr is suspended for tomorrow's match against Altrincham.


    A report on the Altrincham Youth team's first home game for 12 weeks is in the Youth section. Right, is Alty midfielder Michael Simcock pictured during a break in Sunday's game against Salford City, which Alty lost 0-2.

    A report has also been added to the Youth section of the website, courtesy of manager George Heslop, on the match a week ago, away at Salford City, which was drawn 2-2.

    Congratulations go to Alty Youth's left winger Anthony Davies, who received his Cheshire County FA cap this week. Caps are awarded after a player has made ten appearances for the FA side.

    Alty Youth's next game is in the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup on Sunday, 25th February at home to Leigh RMI at Wythenshawe Town FC, k.o. 2pm.


    The Lancashire League East fixtures for March have been released and are now in the Reserves' section. Alty have five fixtures, all against Yorkshire sides and four of them away from home but Goole AFC have resigned from the league so that leaves just two more league games to be played at Moss Lane this season.


    The Crawley forum has pictures of the game against Altrincham.

    This site's match report is here.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years records for 20th February remind us that on Tuesday, when we meet Vics away in the Conference for the first time in seven seasons, it is also eight years to the day since we were travelling to Spennymoor United for a Northern Premier (UniBond) League match.

    And seven years ago on Tuesday this website reported that Alty were going through a winless phase in the UniBond:

    20 February 2000 - ALTRINCHAM 1 HUCKNALL TOWN 0: After a delayed kick-off due to Hucknall's late arrival, Altrincham clinched their first win in eight games with a close-range goal two minutes from the end, through Steve Hawes, after good work by Scheuber, Landon and Finney. The first half had been very even and entertaining but Altrincham dominated the second half after Ward and Craney gave way to Landon and Scheuber at the interval. Landon made a surprise return from his loan at Droylsden, whilst Hawes had been thought to be unavailable due to his trial at Doncaster. Alty move up to fourth with this, their first win in eight games and their first clean sheet this year. Terry Bowker was the official Man of the Match.

    Also on 20 February 2001: KEV SHINES AGAIN: Kevin Ellison turned out for Leicester Reserves again last night against a very strong Chelsea side. The Foxes won 1-0 thanks to a mis-kick by Ed de Goey. The Leicester website reported that "recent signing Kevin Ellison enjoyed an impressive performance.. Fast forwarding forward to last Saturday, Ellison was a last minute sub for Tranmere Rovers.

    And on 20 February 2004: REDS AT MOSS LANE: Manchester United and Liverpool Reserves drew 1-1 before a large crowd to Moss Lane last night. Amongst those playing were United's Solskjaer, Djemba-Djemba, Wes Brown, David Bellion and Kieran Richardson. Liverpool fielded Traore, Biscan, Diao, Danny Murphy, Baros and Diouf. Bellion put United ahead (37) before Murphy levelled from the spot (59).


    The unofficial Harriers Online site reports that "With the Harriers losing, poorly, for the second time in a row this game [against Exeter] took an unpleasant twist at the end when the Harriers' manager, Mark Yates, marched onto the pitch and appear to head butt Lee Elam after first offering to shake his hand. It had been bad enough for the home supporters watching this pathetic display from a team that had recently turned in an unbeaten run of thirteen games. To then see our manager put his future on the line with an attack on an opposing player was depressing. It seems that he had already forgotten his noble gesture in taking the players off the pitch at Worcester in a pre season friendly when their assistant manager had punched Mark Creighton in the dressing room. Yates will now be waiting for the referees report into the incident to see in what form the punishment will come but first he will have to deal with being called to the boardroom on Monday to explain to them what was on his mind at the time". In the Harriers' squad "On the bench was new striker Gary Hay, a non-contract signing from Bromsgrove Rovers on Friday". After half-time "Yates decided to make a change and new signing Gary Hay was bought on to replace, an again disappointing Andy White, a player with a profound lack of talent and urgency by the bucketful... The game exploded into the first simmerings of friction mid way through the half when a flurry of bookings were handed out to Harriers players. First Gavin Hurren got booked for tackling Elam a bit too strongly but there seemed to be no after effects for the City man because as soon as the referees back was turned, while she was booking Trigger, the little s**mbag dropped to the floor feigning injury. Michael Blackwood then stupidly intervened by pushing Elam, now trying to get up, back down again. Amy Rayner must have thought she'd won the lottery as she again got her book out and brandished another card at Blackie. Cheating Lee Elam 2 - Harriers 0. Elam then went on to rub salt into our shattered team spirit when with two minutes remaining of the ninety minutes he scored the decisive goal... This was a shocking performance from the Harriers but let's not take anything from City. They came with a game plan that included playing attractive football and less attractive cheating".

    St Albans City report that "Colin Lippiatt's relentless search for new faces to strengthen the squad at Clarence Park brought some reward on Friday afternoon, moments before the deadline for registering players elapsed, when the City manager completed the signing of 21-year-old left-back Ahmed Nuru Deen... Deen, born in Sierra Leone, joins the Saints from Conference South side Fisher Athletic".

    The Football Conference adds that "Kidderminster manager Mark Yates could face serious disciplinary action from the Football Association after appearing to headbutt an Exeter player. According to Harriers Online, Yates walked up to Lee Elam at the conclusion of their match on Saturday and offered to shake his hand, but then appeared to headbutt him instead". Bullsnews says that "For Mark Yates, the 2-0 defeat of his side by Exeter at Aggborough, may pale into insignificance compared with what happened after the game... Yates was said to be furious and took it out on Exeter's Lee Elam. Allegedly he head-butted him to the ground. After the game Exeter released a statement 'regarding an incident after the final whistle at the Kidderminster Harriers v Exeter City match today. At this point in time Exeter City Football Club and the player concerned will leave Kidderminster Harriers and the authorities to deal with the matter in the appropriate fashion'".

    18 February 2007


    Right: Robbie Lawton chases the ball at Crawley, as (left to right) Warren Peyton, Lewis Chalmers and Val Owen wait for the outcome.

    Match report here.

    The NL Paper quotes Graham Heathcote after the match. He said, "I'm happy we have stopped the rot after four defeats on the trot. Beating relegation is going to be about who can put a run together and, hopefully, we can build for the rest of the season. Our away form has been disappointing so the players deserve the plaudits for their efforts and the way they battled out a good point. We know it is going to be a scrap right until the death and, hopefully, this result will give us the belief that we can do it". Opposition joint-boss Ben Judge said, "They made it difficult for us and we struggled to break them down. We know teams are going to come here now and try to defend because we have been on a good run... I think up to 12 other sides are in danger of going down, so it's going to be tight".

    Crawley Town have a brief match report on Saturday's game. It says that "The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by Altrincham despite dominating the first-half... Magnus Okuonghae turned the ball into his own net from Robert Lawton’s cross [it was actually Joe O'Neill's cross] to send the sides into half-time at 1-1. If the home fans thought normal service would resume after the break – they were to be mistaken. Altrincham’s fortunate goal seemed to spur the visitors on and grew in confidence and made the Reds defence work hard through out the half, but rarely troubled Ben Hamer. After gifting Altrincham a first half leveller, Ben Hamer almost handed the Robins the full points. David Woozley threw a throw-in back to Hamer, but the keeper kicked the ball straight back to Chris Senior [Colin Little]. [Little] scuffed his shot, but Hamer managed just to recover and get a finger tip to the ball to turn it around the post".


    Altrincham FC Chief Steward Darren Gregory advises the website that for the match at Northwich on Tuesday, admission to seating is £14 (£12 concessionaries) and for the terraces it is £12 (£10 concessionaries). Altrincham fans will be housed behind the goal at the canal end of the ground and have also been allocated a third of the covered Danebank terrace, which was removed from the Drill Field and rebuilt at the Victoria Stadium. There is a bar and also catering facilities which will be open at the away end for visiting supporters. There are two restaurants at the front of the ground that can be used by both sets of supporters. Car parking at the ground is £2. Altrincham FC's stewards will be in attendance at Northwich on Tuesday night and will be assisting the Vics' stewards at the away end. The Victoria Stadium has closed-circuit TV which covers all areas of the stadium.


    Altrincham have just started a sequence of five away games out of six successive fixtures. Altrincham's away following at Crawley maintained magnificent support throughout which played its part in the gaining of a valuable point. You can do your bit by taking the STAR supporters' coach to the next away matches at:
  • Northwich Victoria on Tuesday, 20th February, k.o. 7.45pm
  • Burton Albion on Friday, 2nd March, k.o. 7.45pm Details of times and fares are here. To book your seat, please ring the club on 928-1045 during normal office hours. Other away dates for your diary are Weymouth (Sat. 10th March, 3pm) and Morecambe (Tues. 13th March at 7.45pm)


    Last Wednesday in the Manchester Premier Cup Semi-Final, Flixton beat Oldham Town 3-2 with goals from former Alty striker Anthony Hargreaves and the on loan Pat McFadden.
    17 February 2007


    Despite a deserved point at in-form Crawley, Altrincham dropped a place to 23rd after today's game:

    Match report here.

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

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


    Pictured by Gavin Rathbone, right is Rod Thornley's scissor kick which almost came off for Altrincham against York City last Saturday. More of Gavin's photos are on the GR Photography website.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has Colin Little's latest column. It declares, "We're all surprisingly upbeat ahead of this Saturday's game. As far as I'm concerned, the games can't come quick enough at the moment. When you lose a few in a row, you want to put things right straight away so the wait between games is agony... We had a meeting on Tuesday to talk about what's going wrong... We need to just get back basics, work on our defence and try to grind out a 1-0 win..

    [For the Crawley game], We'll be staying down south overnight. I'm not sure I like the overnight stays but they're just part of the job so you get on with it. I room with Val (Owen) and he's not too bad really, doesn't have any annoying habits. The only thing is that he always gets the double bed in the room and I get the single because he's older than I am and you have to respect your elders.

    Rooming with some of the lads can be a bit of a nightmare though. Scotty (Gary Scott) is just strange and quite often walks round with no clothes on so I would try and avoid rooming with him. Talbs (Gary Talbot) gets stuck with him though so he won't try anything funny because Talbs is much bigger than he is. Then there's Warren (Peyton) who just sleeps all the way down on the coach and then all the time we're at the hotel as well. Pottsy (Colin Potts) was a nightmare because you'd wake up in the middle of the night and he'd be ordering room service for 'supper' - at three in the morning. Then he'd have a full breakfast first thing in the morning as well...

    We can't afford to do what we did against York and let them score so early on, we didn't have a chance after that. There was a bit of a misunderstanding between me and Lewis (Chalmers) from the kick off and they just went straight downfield and scored... All I need now is a good run of games and I know I can start scoring goals again. It may be doom and gloom at the moment but I'm confident we can stay up".


    Of our opposition, The Argus says that "Crawley's new defender Darius Charles has no problems swapping one relegation battle for another. That is because he does not expect Reds to be involved in the Conference scrap for much longer. Charles signed on loan for the rest of the season from Brentford last week.. The towering 19-year-old has made 15 League appearances for the Bees this season as they have struggled to pull themselves out of the League One drop-zone. Crawley have had no such problems. A six-match unbeaten run has left them 12th and eight points clear of the trap door. Charles said, 'I was offered three teams, one being Fisher and the other St Albans. Fisher are in a lower league so I didn't want to go to them and St Albans only train twice a week so I would not get to know the boys. I thought Crawley would be the best options because they train every day'... But he may have to settle for a place among the substitutes for tomorrow's home game against Altrincham. Crawley have built their unbeaten run around a solid back four and are unlikely to make changes. Charles said: 'That makes it harder for me. Most people presume they are going to play games when they go on loan but I could have to sit on the bench'... On current form, Reds' back four are not expected to be troubled too much by Altrincham, who sit in the third relegation spot... They have yet to win away this season and have scored just one goal in their last four league games, all of which have been defeats.

    But joint caretaker boss John Yems ... said 'We give credit to every side because there were teams who underestimated us at the beginning of the season and they came unstuck... Altrincham have to win away some time and they are fighting for their lives so it won't be easy'. Midfielders Steve Evans and Scott Marshall both return from suspension but Lee Blackburn is serving the second of a three-match ban. Joint caretaker boss Ben Judge remains sidelined with a groin injury".

    On the Crawley Forum, a representative of the supporters' Devils' Trust writes of a meeting with John Yems, "He recognised that many Trust members and other supporters had issues with the Majeeds and understood why they might choose to not attend home matches and he would not condemn them for taking that stance. We also discussed why the financial situation (specifically the SA debt remaining while the CVA is outstanding) made attracting alternative outside investors difficult and also the serious damage caused by the owners sending thugs to intimidate a fans family and disrupt a Trust meeting.

    Whilst being loyal to the Majeeds he recognised that they had made many mistakes and mishandled situations. He agreed that a major cause of the crisis was that football contract negotiations had been mishandled by an individual unqualified for the task and also that the move to a full-time operation had been far too rushed.

    All parties felt that those on the football side at the club had done remarkably well under the circumstances. John was full of praise for the team spirit and gave most credit to Woozley & Judge for their part in building it. He is still frustrated by not being able to place players on contracts. But he was proud that the football side now operated within sensible financial limits and believed that the playing budget was one of the best managed in the Conference.

    In spite of the ten-point deduction, John still believed that placing the club in Administration was the best way to resolve the unsustainable financial situation. John was completely confident that the CVA would be settled in March and both parties agreed that would be a positive start towards moving forward (albeit 5 months after the deadline agreed by the Majeeds)".


    The Non-League Paper announces that on Sunday it will contain the following:
  • By cracking down on goal celebrations, we ask if FIFA is taking the fun out of football
  • FA Trophy Legend Geoff Chapple leads the calls to bring the Non-League showpieces back to Wembley
  • D-Day for Farnborough Town's future approaches
  • Graham Westley, manager of improving Rusden & Diamonds provides our Big Interview. Exeter City skipper Chris Todd is our guest columnist in Star Corner. We spend a Last Five Minutes with Didcot Town's Andy Parrott. Sutton United assistant manager Paul Harford picks his Dream Team.


    "John Hollins and Mark McGhee have applied for the vacant manager's job at Swansea City, BBC Wales Sport understands. Former Swans boss Hollins has been out of club management since October after leaving Conference side Crawley". Swansea boss Kenny Jackett resigned this week, just weeks after signing ex-Alty man Ian Craney, a deal which netted Altrincham £75,000.

    "Kidderminster Harriers have signed striker Gary Hay from Worcestershire neighbours Bromsgrove Rovers. The former AFC Telford United forward has signed for the Conference club on non-contract terms" says the BBC.

    "Southend's James Lawson has joined Dagenham & Redbridge on a month's loan. The 20-year-old forward returned from a month-long loan spell at Bournemouth last week, and also had a brief stint at Grimsby earlier this season. Daggers' manager John Still told BBC Essex: 'He can play wide on both sides, or down the middle. We're in a position where if we need to give a player a rest then we have to move someone, but he'll stop us from having to do that'".

    "St Albans have signed defender Mark Wright on a month's loan from rivals Grays Athletic, reports BBC Essex. The 20-year-old left-back joined Grays last summer, but has not yet appeared in the Conference for them, although he recently had a loan spell at Crawley. Meanwhile, Grays have signed American-born goalkeeper Ian Joyce on non-contract terms. He will act as cover for Ashley Bayes while Danny Knowles is out injured. Joyce has played university football in the United States."

    The Cambridge Evening News reports that "Paul Barry is confident his bid to save Cambridge United will be given the green light. The United director told the News he believed he had enough support to push through changes to the club's constitution at an extraordinary general meeting that would see him, fellow board member Johnny Hon and American businessman Adrian Hanauer pump £600,000 into United over the next two years... US-based Barry, United's major shareholder, has said he believes the club would die without the changes being passed... He said: 'No-one else has approached the club with substantial offers of financial help on the level that would be required to keep the club trading.... I am personally confident that the EGM resolution will pass and the club can look forward to a bright future'".

    Also at Cambridge, "Mark Peters was set to undergo further tests on Thursday to solve his mystery illness. Physio Greg Reid said there was no timescale for the recovery of the former United captain, who went down with a viral infection two weeks ago. But despite having complete rest last week, Peters, 34, is still laid up with unspecified problems that stemmed from the initial virus".

    This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says Bertie Cozic is central to his future plans after the French midfielder signed a one-year contract extension at St James's Park.The 28-year-old would have been out of contract at the end of the season, but has agreed fresh terms that tie him to the Grecians until the end of the 2007/08 campaign... [Also] Tisdale opened talks with converted striker Jon Challinor over a new deal".

    "Northwich Vics could be free of their relegation worries by Tuesday night", says IC Cheshire. "All they have to do is find good home form at last and beat Forest Green Rovers on Saturday and Altrincham on Tuesday... But nine Conference defeats at the Victoria Stadium means Northwich cannot even take on lowly Forest Green and Altrincham with any certainty. Coach Dave Moss said: 'In all the clubs I have been involved with I have never known a home record like it.'There is just no explaining it. Our place seems to bring out the best in other teams. 'But we always can't wait to play at home again. There is no fear of it and the next two games are vital to us. Recently results elsewhere have been kind to us and now we have an excellent chance to pull away from the relegation zone'... There are 63 days remaining and Vics have to play 20 league games and at least two, possibly five, cup ties... Plans for the further development of land at the Victoria Stadium took a major step forward this week when Vale Royal Council made a grant of £50,000 available for an artificial pitch. The Vics owner has offered schools free use of the pitch during the daytime".

    However, The Northwich Guardian met a less confident version of David Moss. "Dave Moss admits he is pensive about Vics' fixture pile up. They have played just 26 league matches - less than anybody else in the Conference... 'It's worrying us to be honest', Vics' assistant boss told the Guardian... 'People cling to the fact we've got games in hand, but it's vital we make use of them'... And the next fortnight will be fundamental to his side's fight for survival. They face home matches against Forest Green Rovers, Altrincham and Tamworth - all teams in danger of the drop this term. 'Make no mistake, these are massive games for us', said Moss. 'It's no good calculating, saying if we win that one or get a draw in the other one - we've got to win football matches'".

    The Vics themselves say that "Manager Steve Burr has added ex-Blackpool & Morcambe midfielder Matt Shaw to his squad before Saturday's game v Forest Green Rovers. On the downside Michael Byrne will be missing for 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery for a hernia last wednesday. Good news for Chris Williams though, he has been given permission to resume full time training commencing on Monday".

    The Football Conference reports the news that "Oxford manager Jim Smith has signed defender Luke Foster from Stalybridge Celtic on a seven-day deal... The 21-year-old started his career at Sheffield Wednesday before going on loan to Nationwide South [?North] outfit Scarborough. The 6'2" centre-half then signed on at League Two side Lincoln City in 2005 before joining York City on loan earlier this season. Lincoln cancelled his contract after his loan spell in the Conference and he went on to play for Nationwide North club Stalybridge Celtic on a non-contract basis. His recent form attracted interest from the U's and Foster was given a trial in which he excelled, playing in a friendly match for the reserves against Luton last week. Foster is seen as ideal cover for the injured Georges Santos and Chris Willmott and goes straight into the squad to face Gravesend & Northfleet".

    Stevenage Borough report that "The Nationwide Conference have now confirmed the dates for the end of season play-offs. The 1st leg of the play-off semi-finals will be played on the evening of Friday 4th May, with the 2nd leg three days later on Monday 7th May. One of the first legs will be shown live on Sky Sports and both of the second legs, therefore kick off times of the second legs will be staggered and announced nearer the time. The Final will be played on Sunday 20th May with a 3pm kick off, at a venue to be confirmed. The past two play-off finals have been held at The Britannia Stadium, home of Stoke City, and The Walkers Stadium, home of Leicester City. The Conference South and North finals will be played at the same venues as last year. The South final will therefore be played at Broadhall Way on Sunday 13th May with a noon kick off and the North final at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium on Monday 15th May with a 7.45pm kick off. Both matches will be shown live on Setanta Sports. The FA Trophy final will be played on Saturday 12th May with the kick off and venue to be confirmed".

    Grays Athletic report "that Leroy Griffiths has today signed for Grays Athletic... Leroy has signed on loan until the end of the season".

    16 February 2007


    Tonight's game at Moss Lane between Altrincham Reserves and Bradford PA Reserves has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


    Midfielder Val Owen remains a doubt for the Altrincham team at Crawley tomorrow and defender Stephen Rose is out of contention as he is suffering from a virus. Val has missed the last two games after picking up an injury against Kidderminster.

    Meanwhile, unfounded rumours have suggested that Altrincham's Peter Thomson will not play for the club again. Manager Graham Heathcote wishes to make perfectly clear that this is certainly not the case and that Peter remains a member of the squad who will be selected on the same criteria as any other player.


    Rocky Robin is seen here with Southport's and Bury's mascots at yesterday's Pancake Race. More on this below...

    There is now Alty action on three out of the next four days:

  • Saturday 17th: Crawley Town v Altrincham, 3pm.
  • Sunday 18th: Altrincham FC Youth v Salford City Youth at Wythenshawe Town FC, 2.30pm.
  • Tuesday 20th: Northwich Victoria v Altrincham, 7.45pm.

    Details of STAR supporters' coaches to Crawley and Northwich (as well as Burton on 2nd March) are here.


    Altrincham travel down this evening (Friday) to stay at Guildford overnight before taking on Crawley Town. There, The Argus reports that "Caretaker manager John Yems has told Crawley to ignore the Conference league table. Reds are sitting in 12th place, eight points above the relegation zone but have played more games than eight of the sides below them. Yems said: "The table is misleading because it is very tight down there. We can't think because we are mid-table we are safe. We are far from safe and I think we will still need another 14 to 16 points to definitely stay up. 'If the teams down the bottom all won their games in hand we would still be out of the relegation places so we are in a good position at the moment. But there is no let-up because it would only take a few bad results for us to be sucked back down there'.

    Crawley have claimed points with last- minute goals in three of their last five games. The last came on Saturday when substitute Elliot Benyon netted a stunning injury-time volley in a 2-2 draw at St Albans. He said: 'It has given me a few heart attacks but it makes no difference if we score in the first minute or the last... It shows that we don't give up, we keep playing for the full 90 minutes, and that our fitness is good... Yems has praised the versatility of the Reds players and reckons it has played a part in their unbeaten run. Striker Lloyd Blackman and defender Magnus Okuonghae both featured in midfield last Saturday due to suspensions for Steve Evans, Lee Blackburn and Scott Marshall. Yems said: "It shows the character of the team that players are willing to play where they are needed and fight for the team'. Evans and Marshall are both available for Saturday's home game against Altrincham".


    The BBC says that "Rushden's Paris Cowan-Hall is set for a trial at Premiership champions Chelsea. The highly-rated 16-year-old, who has been at Diamonds since the age of 12, has already spent time at Chelsea this term after a two-day trial in December. The forward has also had a week-long spell at Manchester United this season, where he played in a friendly fixture. A Diamonds statement said: 'He's one of a number of promising youngsters at the club and a testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes'.

    "Weymouth player-manager Jason Tindall has boosted his ranks by signing a trio of youngsters. He has recruited winger Conal Platt, 20, from his old club Bournemouth, and Millwall full-back Adam Cottrell, 21, on one-month loan deals. Former Liverpool trainee Platt made four Conference appearances on loan for Morecambe earlier this season. Tindall has also brought in 21-year-old midfielder Danny Phillips, formerly with Charlton, on a non-contract basis. Cottrell, Platt and Phillips could all figure for the Terras in Saturday's Conference game at York" says the BBC.

    The Burton Mail says that "Albion manager Nigel Clough has been handed a triple fitness boost ahead of Saturday's crunch clash with Conference leaders Dagenham & Redbridge. Injury-troubled midfield pair Keith Gilroy and Andy Ducros were put through their paces in the reserves this week — with both emerging unscathed. And striker Jon Shaw showed he had fully recovered from a jaw injury, playing 90 minutes and scoring two second-half goals in a 3-0 Central Conference League Cup win... Gilroy, who has been struggling with an ongoing hamstring problem, played 65 minutes, while Ducros — who made a brief substitute appearance in the 2-1 defeat at Stevenage after a six-week lay-off due to knee ligament damage — completed 75 minutes. Clough has midfielder Paul Carden and top scorer Daryl Clare suspended for the visit of the Daggers, and will need Gilroy or Ducros to start the match on the left of midfield, with Shaw also likely to feature... Albion's other goalscorer against Hednesford on Tuesday night was on-trial striker Chris Archer, who looks to have done enough to earn himself an extended stay at the Pirelli Stadium. The 22-year-old scored a hat-trick in his first reserve run-out against Kidderminster Harriers, and impressed again. Clough said: 'We will have a chat with Chris this weekend about maybe signing him on non-contract terms'. Meanwhile, defenders Ryan Austin and John Brayford also played 90 minutes, and Clough was pleased with his side's performance... 'We played well and the young lads — the likes of Tom Liversage and Oliver Hancock — did well again'", said Clough.

    In the Cambridge Evening News we read that "Paul Watson could be on his way to Cambridge United if Jimmy Quinn can find the funds. The 32-year-old left-back played the second half of last night's 1-1 draw in a friendly at Canvey Island after being transfer-listed by Rushden & Diamonds last Friday. Quinn was impressed with Watson and hopes United can come to an agreement with their Nationwide Conference rivals ahead of Saturday's tough trip to Morecambe. Despite the transfer window being closed, Diamonds could release Watson, allowing United to step in. But Quinn could face a battle with St Albans to clinch the signature of the experienced defender, who started out at Gillingham and has also played for Fulham, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Coventry City and Woking. Quinn said: 'I like the look of Paul. He's very comfortable on the ball and it's a bit of a problem position. He has played in three teams that have got promotion, and there aren't many decent left-sided players around. I'll do the best I can to get the lad in, because Courtney Pitt's groin could go at any minute and there's a lack of cover on that side. The problem I've got is I need to release a bit of money to get him in and that might happen in the next day or two, but we'll have to wait and see'. Quinn also plans to take another look at centre-half James Quilter, who had a spell with Cambridge City four years ago. Quilter came through the ranks at Tottenham and was most recently with Dagenham & Redbridge. 'He's a big, strong lad and he's obviously missing a bit of full-time training, but he's one we'll keep an eye on', said Quinn. Despite opening the scoring on the half-hour, Quinn said he did not have any further interest in Thurrock's French striker Ludo Dje or former Crystal Palace trainee Andrew Julius, who played at right-back. Meanwhile, for the last seven minutes United's two Wayne Pursers played up front together. And it was Purser the secretary, back on his old stomping ground at Park Lane, who almost grabbed a winner late on".

    The Romford Recorder says that "Dagenham & Redbridge chairman Dave Andrews has revealed he is hopeful of striking a compromise with the insurance company that paid out £150,000 to goalkeeper Tony Roberts when he was forced to retire from the football league. If the Daggers achieve promotion this season and Roberts goes on to play in a League Two match, then he will be liable to pay back the cash awarded to the one-time Welsh international and semi-professional international in 2000 after a broken finger sustained while on the books of Millwall forced him to quit league football. A switch to the non-league game brought with it a move to St Albans and then Daggers, where he has played for the last six seasons, though any plans to re-establish himself as a league goalkeeper have had to be shelved until the insurance money is paid back. Roberts is rumoured to be keen for Daggers' committee to ease that financial burden by offering to pay some or all of the fee which, in the event of promotion, would allow him to join his team-mates in the Football League for the first time in the club's history... Andrews was not adverse to the proposition that his committee would lay out the money, though he baulked at the figure of £150,000 and suggested it would take a concession on the part of the insurance company for the parties to reach an agreement. Roberts, who plays with a protective splint over the damaged finger, has been out of league football for the past eight seasons and that, coupled with the fact he is 37, has convinced Andrews that the insurance company may lower their demands... 'If it's not much money, we could work something out... We don't want to lose Tony. He's one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in the league and he's great to have in the dressing room... He's still got a bad finger and his age will probably bring the price down. That's how I'm looking at it. After all, if I was the insurance company, something is better than nothing... [It's] up to John (Still) to sort out and he'll be doing that soon".

    Meanwhile, "Paolo Vernazza is still a couple of weeks away from fitness with his knee ligament injury, while Paul Bruce is possibly a week further back, having been out two months with a groin problem. Still says the ex-QPR man will go out on loan when fully fit. Unluckiest Daggers player of the season is undoubtedly Lee Goodwin, who goes into hospital for an initial operation today (Thursday) on the knee injury that has kept him out all season. He is facing a second operation after this one, and Still has confirmed that the popular defender won't play again during this campaign".

    "Three Exeter City players will walk the disciplinary tightrope this weekend as they attempt to escape a one-match ban" says This is Exeter. "Winger Lee Elam, full-back Steve Tully and makeshift striker Jon Challinor have all collected four yellow cards this season and have to survive until the end of February without any further cautions if they are to avoid a suspension. FA rules state that players who receive five yellow cards before the end of February will be hit with a one-match ban. All cards are then carried over and any player who picks up 10 yellow cards before the second Sunday in April, will be landed with a two-match suspension, coupled with a severe warning from the FA to clean up their act... The trio will have to avoid picking up any yellow cards during their trip to Kidderminster Harriers and successive home games against Rushden & Diamonds and Burton Albion if they are to avoid a ban. City boss Paul Tisdale says... 'They have got three more games to get through before the end of the suspension window. I am not going to tell them to change their game, they have got to play their game as normal'... The club have amassed 36 yellow cards and not a single red in their 29 league outings. That tally puts them top of the Conference fair play charts... Struggling Cambridge United are the worst offenders. They have racked up 57 yellows and eight reds.... Paul Tisdale is about to open talks with Jon Challinor and Bertie Cozic over new contracts... The City boss, who has already secured the services of Billy Jones, Jamie Mackie and Matt Gill beyond the summer, is keen to strike a deal with the players".

    At Southport "Former Tranmere Rovers apprentice Joe Fowler has been allowed by Peter Davenport to leave... and is signing for Droylsden. Fowler was unlucky missing the start of the season after an appendix operation and was unable to command a starting shirt being a regular substitute...At Droylsden where he will meet up with former Port players Kevin Lynch, Steve Daly and Terry Fearns". Meanwhile, Southport GB says that "A Southport side comprising several first-team regulars received a useful run-out at Burscough yesterday evening but couldn’t prevent defeat. As well as giving a run-out to players who had yet to have the chance to impress under manager Peter Davenport, the Sandgrounders’ line-up also included five starters from the draw at Tamworth last Saturday. Defender Matt Hocking was forced off because of a calf injury, while trialists Adam Howard, Alec Howard and Mark Houghton featured as substitute. In difficult conditions, a lacklustre contest was settled by former Southport attacker Kevin Leadbetter, who scored with a 20-yard strike on 48 minutes having been played in by another ex Haig Avenue player, Gary Brabin".

    The Woking News and Mail reports that "Steve Ferguson believes Woking boss Glenn Cockerill has done him a huge favour in allowing him to go on loan to AFC Wimbledon — and believes he is currently at a club with greater ambition. The 24-year-old Scot, who trains with The Cards on Mondays and Fridays as he is still contracted to Woking, is enjoying his loan spell at Kingsmeadow — and says the atmosphere in both camps is very different. 'All I hear from the chairman, the commercial manager and the fans at Wimbledon is that they want to go higher', said Ferguson, '...while the feeling I get at Woking is that they are happy to be where they are. The budget is going to be cut again for next season and I’ve heard rumours it could go part time one day and that’s not what should be happening to a club who want to go into the Football League... whereas AFC will want to go full time in the future. The gaffer (Cockerill) did me a favour in telling me in January that I wasn’t part of his plans as otherwise I’d be sitting around at Woking not playing... I always thought Woking fans were great but AFC’s are up there with them — and there’s a lot more of them. I think Woking should be getting 3,000-plus crowds every week and I can’t understand why they don’t... I think I’m better than Conference level as a player. If we don’t go up this year then we’ll do it next year instead and I’d like to be part of that and see where we go'... Cockerill said 'Tamworth’s recent win at York shows that shock results can happen and they have been given a lift with a new manager coming in. I set my players a challenge of 10 wins in 17 games and although we lost the first one, we move on to the next. If we lose that, then we still have 15 to go and I won’t be giving up on the play-offs because I think it’s possible'".

    15 February 2007


    In today's Mascot Pancake Race at the Printworks in Manchester, Altrincham FC's Rocky Robin was knocked out in the first round by Preston North End's Deepdale Duck, who employed a dubious tactic of tossing the pancake before starting to run rather than whilst in motion! The eventual winner of the competition was Oldham Athletic's Chaddy the Owl who outpaced Bury's mascot in the final. Congratulations to Rocky, anyway, for a creditable performance and for helping to raise the profile of the football club. Rocky and Deepdale are seen in their race, right. The only other Conference competitor, Southport's mascot, also went out in the first round.


    On SAM, Connor Murphy reports that "Graham Heathcote will hold crisis talks with his players this week as he looks to arrest the club's recent slide. The Robins have lost four on the bounce in the Conference... Speaking exclusively to SAM Sport, he said: 'I'm going to sit down with the players this week and thrash out with them what the problems are. I'm going to sort it out this week with straight talking because if we don't get our act together we will get relegated, it's a simple as that. I'm looking to every man who pulls on the shirt to stand up and be counted and do all they can to stay in this league. We as a dressing room have to reverse our fortunes and I won't let anybody play for this club unless they have the stomach for the fight. We are playing too open at the moment and always look like conceding goals. I'm not just blaming the defence because it starts with the front two, it's a collective effort and we have to defend better as a team... Every time we concede at the moment we don't look like winning'".


    Rocky Robin will be taking part in the Mascot Pancake Race today (Thursday 15th February). The race is held in the pumpyard area of the Printworks in Manchester and it starts at 12pm.


    Alty's Gary Talbot did not play for Kidsgrove Athletic on Tuesday night but Alty Reserves' Laurence Ball did play for victorious Chorley


    NL Daily says that on Tuesday "Kendal Town new signing Peter Wright opened his account on 15 minutes".


    Altrincham have two blank Saturdays in succession after this week. On February 24th our scheduled opponents, Grays, are in the FA Trophy and on March 3rd, we should have played at Burton, who have moved our fixture to the preceding (Friday 2nd) evening. Local alternatives on those dates include Trafford v Abbey Hey on February 24th, and on March 3rd, the Shawe View side entertains Glossop North End.


    "He has the face of an angel and used to be a Saint but Elliot Benyon proved he is deadly in front of goal", reports The Argus. "The 19-year-old scored a heavenly injury time wonder-strike against his old club to give Crawley a precious point at relegation rivals St Albans. He came off the bench to smash a volley from the edge of the box past the full-length dive of keeper Paul Bastock". Benyon has joined Crawley "on loan for the rest of the season from Bristol City... He had only made one other appearance, as a first-half substitute at Tamworth two weeks ago, and struggled to make an impact. Benyon's slight frame and boyish looks makes you wonder if he can cope against physical Conference defenders. But... his appearance is deceiving... Joint caretaker boss Ben Judge said: 'You can see in training that he is probably the best finisher we have got. He will get plenty of goals because he is a natural goalscorer'... Benyon said: 'St Albans tried to keep me but it was complicated with the financial side'... Late comebacks are becoming a trait of Reds. They have netted last-gasp goals to collect points in three of the last five games. Judge, who was ruled out due to a groin injury, said: 'For sheer determination, no one can match us at the moment. We never know when we are dead'... [But] Reds clearly missed the suspended Steve Evans, Lee Blackburn and Scott Marshall in the middle of midfield. Striker Lloyd Blackman filled the gap but his and fellow central playmaker Dannie Bulman's attacking instincts often left the defence with little protection. Judge said: 'They kept making the same runs in behind us, which they scored their second goal from. That was disappointing because we spoke about it at half-time. But when you are missing three centre midfielders, you are always going to struggle'". Blackburn remains suspended for Saturday's visit by Altrincham.


  • Howard Watts's Through the Years data for 17 February reveals that it is the 11th anniversary of Alty's 7-0 reverse at Morecambe; but more cheeringly, it is also the anniversary of several high-scoring victories!


    The BBC says that "Out-of-favour Swindon midfielder Gareth Whalley has joined Halifax for a week-long trial spell. The 33-year-old has not featured in a league game this season, and boss Paul Sturrock [said]... 'They are taking a look at him because he knows he has to find another home and this may be an option for him'".

    "Five people were arrested after violent clashes between football supporters at a match between Aldershot and Oxford. Police said the violence 'included clashes in the street with offenders as young as 13 challenging officers and throwing missiles'. Trouble had flared in one of the pubs in the Hampshire town but continued after the game in the streets around the Recreation Ground... Insp Antonia Weeks, public order commander for the game, said: 'Attending a football match is not an excuse for criminal behaviour. Fortunately, the majority of people attending the game did behave but the criminal minority not only ruined it for them, but caused unnecessary problems for those going about their business in the town centre on Saturday afternoon. Anyone identified as being involved can expect to be dealt with appropriately, which includes being subject to a football banning order'" reports the BBC. The Oxford Mail confirms that "Clashes both before and after the game between rival groups of fans marred Oxford United's away game at Aldershot Town on Saturday. Hampshire Police, who had 85 officers at the match, arrested five people... Three United fans were also cautioned by police after being arrested at the ground for being drunk while trying to gain entry to a sporting event"

    "The Irish League claimed a deserved victory in the representative game at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night. Gary Hamilton's flicked header gave the Irish side a 16th minute lead and Paul McAreavey headed in five minutes later to make it 2-0 to the hosts. The Conference's Steve Morison saw his 39th minute penalty saved by Alan Mannus and the Irish went further ahead through David Scullion on 58 minutes. Paul Benson's strike eight minutes later proved merely a consolation" states the BBC. The England side was: 1 Danny Alcock (13 Martin Rice 55), 2 Barry Fuller, 3 Scott Griffiths, 4 Adam Quinn, 5 Craig Stanley, 6 Kieran Charnock (12 Ronnie Henry 55), 7 Les Afful (15 Guiseppe Sole 46), 8 Michael Carr, 9 Steve Morison, 10 Clayton Donaldson (14 Paul Benson 62), 11 Stacy Long (16 Marcus Kelly 46)

    Stevenage Borough report that "In a straight talking summary of the financial year intended for the fans, Borough chairman Phil Wallace said "We lost over £151,000 last season. We’re not happy with these figures and if we hadn’t received an unexpected transfer sell on fee for DJ Campbell to Birmingham City during the year and sold Antony Elding, the loss would have been over the £250,000 mark. 'After reaching the Promotion Final the previous season and missing out on promotion so narrowly, we invested heavily in players last season to reach the play offs again, didn’t make it and this is the financial consequence. 'Fortunately we have the financial ability and resources to cope with losses of this magnitude when they arise, but it's still a warning shot to all of us what can happen in a short space of time if you chase a dream and lose. This brings the accumulated losses since I've been here to well over £1 million and somehow we have to stop this continual drain on our cash flow.

    We'll always be ambitious as I don't like coming second and we have an ambitious board who feel the same way, but we don’t want too many years like last season or it will be back to the dark financial days of 1999 again and right back to where we started, so common sense must always prevail. 'Speculate to accumulate' is a mantra for the ignorant and it has no place in modern day football at this level. We've now done everything we can commercially off the pitch at the level we're playing at and we've invested a significant amount of money - in excess of £3 million over 7 years - aimed at income-producing assets to keep losses under control. Last season was a wake up call and a clear warning. Subsequently we've learnt our lesson, regrouped and restructured this past summer.

    We now feel very confident about the future. The long term view and our strategy of ongoing, prudent investment in the right places at the right time is the foundation for the club's future. We've invested this season in new, young management and players and we're now at an exciting cross roads with results starting to go for us and, just as importantly, we're delivering a style of football that we believe our fans want to see, which is very important to the board. 'The secret of survival, growth and prosperity now and in the future is in gate income – if we can provide entertaining football and get people to watch our games in sufficient numbers, then we can make some commercial sense of the current spending levels on players and kick on into the Football League.

    Selling George Boyd this season was the right thing to do, both from his career point of view and financially, and now that we've invested part of the fee received in new players and a larger squad, the balance will help stabilise the Club for a while. We need an average of 2,750 at home games to break even as a full time professional club in the Conference on our current budget, and our hope is that we can provide a winning, entertaining team in 2007/8 and our fans will do their best to spread the word and encourage new fans to watch and support us, so that we can get somewhere near that break even figure.

    This season started off as a year of uncertainty but the board made a bold decision to employ one of the brightest management teams in Conference football, when many felt it was an impossible thing to do. We've since supported that management team by bringing in players and moving others out to create a young, vibrant squad which we hope can provide the highest levels of entertainment to the fans that are the lifeblood of the Club".

    A world away from Broadhall Way, at Moss Lane Altrincham FC last week announced a £9,000 trading profit in 2005/06. And from outside the Conference, there is news from Andy Owens at one of former UniBond opponents, Colwyn Bay of similar sensible management of finances. Andy writes that The Bay "will be announcing a small operating profit for the third season running, our tax repayment schedule is being met as the only outstanding debt, all payments to players are above board and approved by IR, even though we cannot compete with the money offered by other clubs, or offer contracts, and we too will be appealing for new blood at board level to help us move on. We are addressing ground development issues and have fans generating funds to help to that end, and if we [like Alty with the proceeds from Ian Craney and the car park development] had an injection of funds it would be invested in ground and reducing tax debt".

    Our next home visitors are Cambridge United. The Cambridge Evening News says that "Robbie Simpson can be the man to help fire Cambridge United to Conference survival, says manager Jimmy Quinn. The young striker has hit four goals in the last three matches and tops the United scoring charts with six so far this term. Quinn, who once said Simpson reminded him of how he looked at the same age, believes he has found his feet after making the step up from Cambridge City last summer and hopes he can carry on in the same vein of form over the final quarter of the season. He said: 'He has worked very hard for the team and he made both goals for himself on Saturday by forcing his way through because he has got a lot of fight. The only frustrating thing is we don't have him all week because he's at University. It's just what the fans need at the moment, though. We all need a hero who can win games with their goals. Robbie has got a few rough edges, but with experience, they'll be ironed out. A lot of his goals come from shots, but I'd like to see him getting into positions where he can get headers on goal. Once he can get there and scoring with his feet and his head, he'll be in business'. Meanwhile, Quinn hopes to run the rule over an un-named Italian midfielder in [a] friendly at Canvey Island. Other trialists are also expected to feature, along with David Bridges, who missed Saturday's 2-0 home win over Grays through suspension, and Wayne Purser plus fringe first-teamers including Darren Quinton, Stephen Smith and Danny Crane. Youth players Jordan Collins, Michael Hyem and centre-half Josh Coulson are also likely to get a run-out. Quinn said: 'I like these games because you can use different formations and it doesn't matter very much about the result'".

    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth player-boss Jason Tindall is interested in signing ex-Yeovil Town left back Stephen Reed but any potential deal is unlikely to be struck in the immediate future. Reed, whose contract at Torquay United expires in May, turned out for the Terras' second string in a 5-0 defeat against Exeter City Reserves and the 4-0 loss against Yeovil Town. The 21-year-old has made 19 appearances for the Gulls so far this term. Tindall, who saw 11 players exit the Wessex Stadium last month, is very keen to bolster his squad but... he said: 'It is hard for us as a club to offer permanent contracts to players at the moment so we are just looking at the loan market and trying to make use of that. I am talking with a couple of players regarding coming here... I would like to get Reedy in but at the moment we have got other priorities in terms of positions that we need to strengthen first and foremost'".

    "Nestlé could become the new home of York City's new super stadium, The Press can reveal, amid fears the club's move to the York Central site could be scuppered. Land at the northern end of the confectioners' factory is one of several sites to be looked at by the football club. The club's stadium development manager Ian McAndrew today revealed he feared the development of York Central could take too long, or prove too costly, for them. Next week, he will hold a crunch meeting with City of York Council's director of city strategy Bill Woolley, to discuss the way ahead. City are considering building a new super stadium at the Nestlé Rowntree complex, The Press has learned. Mr McAndrew said... this was a 'one-off chance' to create an 'iconic stadium', which could not only be a sports facility but also a concert venue, allowing the club to generate more income... A Nestlé spokeswoman said: 'Yes, York City are looking at us as one of the options, but it's early stages of the discussion process'. On Huntington, Mr McAndrew said: 'Huntington Stadium has always got to be there on the list, because it currently is a stadium... We will need to say why that is not our first choice'. As previously reported in The Press, to avoid financial penalties on their £2 million loan from the Football Foundation, City must identify a site for relocation this year, secure planning permission by 2009, and move by 2015... York Council leader Steve Galloway said: 'We are fully committed to helping York City find a new home within the time limits laid down by the Football Foundation... Our preference is, for planning reasons, to find a brownfield site - one that has been previously developed - because it would be much easier to get planning permission... local councillor Ken King said 'When York Rugby League Club moved from Clarence Street out to Huntington, I knew the minute they were going it was going to be a bad move, and they did lose a lot of support. It's critical that if City want to keep their support, they have got to find a ground somewhere in the locality where they are now'".

    14 February 2007


    The England non-League side lost 3-1 to the Irish League last night.


    Rocky Robin (right), will be taking part in the Mascot Pancake Race tomorrow (Thursday 15th February). The race is held in the pumpyard area of the Printworks in Manchester and it starts at 12pm. Rocky says, "If you are in town or you work in town, come and support Rocky. Events like this help raise the profile of the club,and if I were to win,it would be in the main pages of papers like the M.E.N.".


    A correspondent on the Crawley Forum writes that the local newspaper, "The Argus states that [player/manager] Ben Judge has a groin strain and will be out for at least two weeks and if it get worse then it could require surgery. Good job we have some cover in the new signings".


    The winning number in the February Draw for the Friends of Altrincham FC was ball 28, owned by Jackie McClay who wins £100. Jackie's husband Campbell runs the programme section of the Altrincham FC Robins' Shop. The second prizeof £25 was won by no. 31, held by another Moss Lane regular and football scout, Paul Brady.


    Terry Rowley's Conference attendance statistics have been added to the website, here


    Altrincham have loaned out several of their squad to keep them fit. This is Staffs says that for their next match "Kidsgrove have to check the availability of Gary Talbot, who is on loan from Nationwide Conference strugglers Altrincham and was on their bench last Saturday".


    The Histon manager "looks certain to continue with the very reliable and very popular Lance Key [in goal]. Manager Fallon is understood to want Key to stay next season".

    30 YEARS AGO

    Brief pen portraits of the Altrincham team of 1976/77 have been added here. The index to other seasons' players is here


    The Burton Mail reports that "Lee Fowler's move away from the Pirelli Stadium is being held up by a troublesome anke injury. The midfielder's hopes of finding a new club during the January transfer window were dashed when he picked up the injury in a reserve team game. Albion are still prepared to allow the Welshman out on loan with a view to a permanent transfer, but his bruised ankle is proving an obstacle. Fowler told Mail Sport: 'I've spoken to a few clubs, but the injury has not responded to treatment as quickly as I had hoped, so it doesn't look as though I'm going anywhere for the time being'. The former Scarborough player was transfer-listed by the Brewers by 'mutual consent' because he wants regular first-team football."

    Halifax Today says that "Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has been linked with the manager's job at Bradford City which has fallen vacant following the sacking of Colin Todd yesterday. The Town boss made 42 appearances for the Valley Parade club between March 1997 and March 1998 and is one of several ex-Bantams players who has been mentioned as a possible for the City hot seat. However, Wilder has so far remained staunchly loyal to Halifax and has resisted previous attempts to lure him from the Shay, most notably from the likes of Hartlepool United and Town's Conference rivals Cambridge United. Sheffield United assistant boss Stuart McCall, who is a former crowd favourite at Bradford, has emerged as front runner for the post and is understood to be the overwhelming choice of Bradford supporterds as the ideal man to succeed Todd". One ex-Alty man who may be affected by this is Danny Adams who has, reportedly, been training with City.

    The Football Conference adds that "Gareth Whalley is on a week-long trial at Halifax Town after being told he is surplus to requirements at Swindon... A catalogue of injuries has limited the midfielder's first-team involvement. The one-time Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic man has made a miserly two appearances for Swindon this season, prompting manager Paul Sturrock to dispense with his services... [On a three-year contract,] Whalley insists he will only leave the club should he be offered a generous enough deal to allow him to take care of his family".

    Tamworth "would like to thank Alan Neilson, who left the Lamb today by mutual consent, for his contribution since joining the club in December 2005. Alan, whose previous clubs include Newcastle United and Southampton, had been struggling to regain full fitness and ultimately a place back in the first team".

    13 February 2007


    The Away Travel page has details of the STAR supporters' coach taking fans to our next three away matches, at Crawley Town, Northwich Victoria and Burton Albion. Away results could be crucial to Altrincham's survival on the Conference National, so please support the coaches and support the team if you can.


    Morecambe Today says that "Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy has revealed that he expects top scorer Michael Twiss to be out for the rest of the season. Twiss picked up a knee injury at Gravesend on Saturday and McIlroy told Monday's press conference that it is probably a medial ligament injury... The injury is the latest in a series of blows for McIlroy with Chris Blackburn, Adam Yates, Fraser McLachlan and Wayne Curtis all doubts for Saturday. And with Neil Sorvel having to get off his sickbed on Saturday and Danny Carlton still on his way back from a long lay-off, the Shrimps are down to their bare bones. He said: 'It is unbelievable what is happening. We will probably be without Michael Twiss for the season. He is a key player for us and when you lose a key player it gives us a kick in the guts and gives other teams a lift. We have got to overcome that. I am not one to dwell on injuries but it is beginning to take its toll', he added. McIlroy is looking into bringing in players on loan but David McNiven, who scored for Stafford on Saturday, cannot be recalled until he has served a full month".


    This is York says that "York City boss Billy McEwan enthused about the strength of his squad after Saturday's thumping 4-0 victory at Altrincham. New striker Richard Brodie netted within two minutes of climbing off the bench on his professional debut and he later created a goal for fellow substitute Martyn Woolford, completing a comprehensive win after first-half efforts from midfielders Neal Bishop and Steve Bowey. The impact of his replacements, supplemented by the fact that Nathan Peat, Ross Greenwood and on-loan Hartlepool winger Michael Maidens could not even earn a place on the bench and Mark Convery is still to return from injury, left McEwan purring over his current selection options. He said: 'When I first came here two years ago we were picking players because there was nobody else to play but now we have got good players who cannot even get on the bench and that strength in depth should see us through until the end of the season. The game was a great team performance'". Of Richard Brodie he said, "He's been playing against men for the last two years and is a tough cookie who can handle himself". The report claims that Clayton Donaldson "received some forceful treatment from the home defence... The City boss said: "He got kicked all over the place... He got targeted and was marked very tight and closely... If he was razor-sharp he could have had four goals himself and I lost count of the number of one-on-ones we had. We scored four goals but we could have possibly had ten on another day'".

    The same site adds that "City ended their worst run of the season by recording the club's best away league win in almost 12 years.Not since a 5-0 drubbing of Blackpool in April 1995... have the Minstermen enjoyed such a convincing margin of victory on their Football League and Conference travels". But even this York source admits that the scorer of their first goal, Neal Bishop, "looked suspiciously offside". It says too that, for the second goal, Steve Bowey, "the 32-year-old midfielder, got in the way of a scuffed Bishop shot but the resulting deflection beat a helpless Coburn who was sent diving the wrong way". It claims, too, that "Altrincham's frustration then manifested itself in ugly stamps from Steve Aspinall and Munroe on Elvins and Donaldson respectively which were fortunate to go unpunished. But the Robins did improve as an attacking force as the half wore on and Rod Thornley's thumping 25-yard drive struck a post. Thornley also went close again when a Chris Senior volley struck him but ricocheted wide".


    A new website Crawley in Crisis has been established "to catalogue the continuing problems suffered by Crawley Town Football Club under the ownership of owner Azwar Majeed and his brother Shafqat (Chas), to encourage support for Crawley's fans from their fellow supporters across the globe and to attract the attention of anyone with the means to help build a brighter future for the club", reports the Crawley Forum. "You'll find all the details, press cuttings, video and audio files to see what the fans of Crawley Town have had to put up with... The site is an independent production and has no links to Crawley Town Football Club".

    This is United says that for Oxford United the "level of performance, if not yet their results, are firmly back on track... Jim Smith said: 'We all felt we should have had it all sewn up by now and possibly could have had a lot more points, but we haven't. Having said that, we're in the fight and I think we've still got a great chance to be where we want to be'. [After Saturday's draw] 'We're disappointed because it's not a win, but as a result and a performance, it was quite pleasing... There are a lot of games left - we've got 15 to go - and teams get tired, it's a long season, squads get lessened and Dagenham have sold two good players. There are going to be a lot more twists and turns, I'm sure, by the end of the season'".

    From Halifax Today we learn that "Town will have to play 20 games in the last 71 days of the season starting with Saturday's trip to Stafford Rangers - and boss Chris Wilder hopes it is 22... 'We want to play two Trophy semi-final games', said Wilder. 'It might pose a problem regarding league games, but it is a problem we would like to have'. Wilder added that 'Last Thursday we looked at the weather and thought there might be half-a-dozen games off', he said. 'In the end it was just us and that shows how it is going for us at the moment'. Town dropped into the bottom four for the first time this season... But Wilder's side have games in hand on all of their rivals, apart from Northwich... 'It might sound simplistic but we are down there because we have not got enough wins', said Wilder. 'But since the start of the year we have only completed three league games and when you are not playing you cannot pick up points. We have to swallow our position, get our heads down and start to pick up as many points as we possibly can. The players have to be patient and so do the supporters who have been very sympathetic to our situation. Their attitude has been first class and it will have to continue to be as we play our games'. Town tried to get the Northwich game on yesterday but England were unwilling to release Town defender Adam Quinn or Vics duo Kieran Charnock or Michael Carr for the game. The three players are in Paul Fairclough's England National Game XI squad for a game against Northern Ireland at Glenavon FC [on Wednesday]. Northwich were quite keen to play and the Conference said we could, but the FA were not prepared to release the players' said Wilder"

    12 February 2007


    Altrincham Reserves' game at home to Bradford PA this Wednesday (14th) has now been moved back to Friday (16th) at 7.45pm at Moss Lane as, for the second time in a fortnight, a team due to play Altrincham could not raise a side on the original date.


    Altrincham FC has received confirmation that Moss Lane continues to be graded for Football League matches should we ever be promoted.

    Meanwhile Premiership Football has come to Moss Lane this morning as the ground has been used for filming of a BBC drama in which Moss Lane is playing the role of Liverpool's Anfield stadium! A large number of extras are at the ground and shots of them singing football chants ("Hello, hello, we are the Busby Boys" etc) are amongst the scenes being shot. The drama involves scenes at a Liverpool v Man. Utd match.


    SAM reports on Saturday's game. "Graham Heathcote admitted his side had simply been "second best" after they were thrashed 4-0 by York City... their second heaviest defeat of the season... He told SAM Sport: 'We are best just facing the reality, we were second best today and got battered by a very strong side. It was always going to be tough but I suppose this was at least a game we wouldn't have expected to win at the start of the season. It's not the results against the likes of York City that are going to determine whether we stay in this league so we just have to put it behind us now and prepare ourselves for the Crawley game. When you concede a goal as early as we did today you know that something's not right. At 2-0 after 10 minutes, the game was over and, to be honest, we could have been 4-0 down after 15 minutes... We got a good hiding and on the evidence of today, I would say we've got some big tests ahead of us between now and the end of the season".

    This site's match report is here.

    Right - Alty stars of the future? Ten young players from Fletcher Moss Rangers, whose ex-players include Lewis Chalmers, Pat McFadden, Warren Peyton and Danny Heffernan, lined up on the Moss Lane touchline on Saturday. They were guests at Moss Lane as part of Altrincham's Featured Club scheme for local junior football clubs in the Timperley and District Junior Football League.


    On Sunday Altrincham FC Youth secured an excellent draw away at league leaders Salford City, 2-2. The two sides play the reverse league fixture at Wythenshawe Town at 2.30pm next Sunday (18th).


    Alty travel to Crawley next Saturday and at their last opponents, St Albans City, manager "Colin Lippiatt was in surprisingly chipper mood on Saturday evening considering that moments earlier he had seen the Saints tense bid for Conference National survival damaged by Elliot Benyon's breathtaking equaliser for Crawley Town deep into added time. The City manager was honest enough to know that however close his side came to a third consecutive victory it was only a magnificent display by a hard-pressed defence that denied Crawley a share of the spoils until almost the final kick of the game. 'I think they [Crawley] did deserve something, they put us under a lot of pressure, at times it was like the Alamo but I thought we dealt with it quite well. They played a lot of balls into our back four but we seemed to deal with that and the second ball'... Any criticism of Sangare for the opening Crawley goal will be muted though as he had another outstanding game and has proved an exceptional signing with performances every bit as good as those of his first loan spell with the Saints early last season". Lippiatt added that "On the break we had some opportunities but I felt we were just about holding on and we're very disappointed. I do think that Leon Archer looks a threat and without getting too excited he is looking a good signing so far... We were put under a lot of pressure, they knocked a lot of diagonal balls in from the full-backs, Bull and Hiley, they knocked a lot of crosses into the box and had a lot of presence in there in Richardson, they slung Magnus a bit further advanced and Woozley came up a little bit more. They were gambling because the game was drifting away from them and it paid off. But it has only paid off because the centre half [Okuonghae] has got a header in the box that shouldn't have happened".

    For Saints on the bench was "Scott Cousins. It has been 13 months since he suffered his terrible ankle injury at Tamworth and Colin is delighted to have the left-back back in the squad". The manger added that "Dean Cracknell will be back next week but I do still think we are one or two players short and it is something I have got to attend to, I have been very busy on the ‘phone. I have had a lot of negative answers, players are looking for full-time football and not part-time, and that has been a hindrance. We can only compete in a certain marketplace".

    11 February 2007


    Altrincham FC is pleased to announce that the Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane has been named the Gill Oates Lounge in memory of the late wife of Mike Oates, who is a major benefactor of the Club. The Club would like to thank Mike for his generosity in supporting the Club.


    Steve Bushell and Manny Panther flank officials Mr Brown and his assistants, together with the matchday mascot, before kick off yesterday.

    After the match, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "When we were two down after just ten minutes, the game was effectively over. And to be ruthlessly fair, we could have been four down after just a quarter of an hour. We were definitely second-best throughout. We struggled to make any headway against a side that had had its backsides kicked in the last game and to concede goals so early proves that there is definitely something wrong [with us]. When we did try to get forward, we got picked off. On the evidence of today's game, we have some diffficult challenges ahead". York boss Billy McEwan said "You saw the real York City today. We beat the opposition to nearly everything. On another day we could have scored ten. This was a great performance... Clayton Donaldson was exceptional".


    In Saturday's Robins' Review, Alty boss Graham Heathcote's "Cote's Comments" article read as follows:

    Missed Chances Prove Costly

    Well, after our last two games against Kidderminster Harriers and Southport we have had enough opportunities to have won both games comfortably but we didn’t take those chances and it doesn’t matter about formations or anything else the facts are that if before either of those games you had said that we would have so many chances you would have taken it. When you don’t put them in and actually lose those games then everyone starts to over analyse – this is wrong, that is wrong, this player should have played, that player should have played somewhere else, not in that position. The bottom line is that missed chances cost us but let me say straight away that no player misses a chance on purpose. The effort put in by the lads has been excellent and I am confident that these players will give their all to keep this club in this league. Now we are in the battle I am quite happy that the nucleus of this squad has the heart for the battle. They have shown in the past and have to show again their battling qualities and we have simply to put a higher percentage of chances away.

    I’ve spoken all along what a run of results either way can mean – unfortunately we have lost our last three and put ourselves firmly in a relegation battle. Three wins on the bounce can alter that dramatically. Looking at the transfer window, a lot of players have been brought into the clubs at the bottom of this league and that must mean considerable expense. Some clubs are even talking about folding if they don’t stay up. At what price do you put a place in this league? – the cost of your club folding if it doesn’t work out? Where would that leave your supporters? Other clubs are still bringing in players whilst still owing massive debts to various people and businesses – that shouldn’t be allowed, but is. Desperation is a dangerous thing and we will not or more importantly cannot risk this club’s future for self gratification. Does it make you a better club if you gamble and stay up – are there any guarantees for next season? It’s the same story again, only the problems are bigger.

    We have done what we have said that we would do – clear the debts. At the end of this season the club will be in a stronger financial position. Not one player bought, part-time against full time, stronger community links and a base to build on. I will have to take the flak but at the end of the day, we have done what we set out to do – Survive, and each season has been a difficult struggle with little enjoyment in losing so many games. If you think that I enjoy a 4 ½ hour journey home having lost, think again.

    We knew what we were getting into when we went to try and win the play-off final at Stoke – a lot of heartache. We knew it would be tough for the players and it has been. We knew that there would be no chance of paying for transfers and we knew that we had to rely on the loyalty of a lot of our players and we have and they have given their all (generally) and they will continue to give their all as I will and for those who want to be critical have a close look at what has been achieved at this club – a club that is trying to compete on a wage bill we were using 5 years ago. The task has and is very difficult but a lot of people have given their all on and off the pitch and we now have 17 games left to earn our survival in this league. This set of lads will give it their all – if it fails we will only be exactly where we set out to be – in a lot less debt, ready to push on and try and achieve Conference National status. Take a long hard look at what has been achieved at this club and how the finances have been generated to simply survive. Reality check is needed. Who or how are we going to feed this hungry animal called the Conference National and who is constantly going to take the headaches that it throws up week by week. Too many have forgotten how we got here – it was bloody hard work and harder still to stay here. Anyone got £30k for next year’s travel – all answers to the Chairman. I’m not having a go at anyone’s right to their opinion but think before you criticise and remember – better the devil you know!

    Get behind the lads today for what I’m sure will be a tough encounter and we will push on trying to get enough wins.


    Right- Alty boss Graham Heathcote chats to Fletcher Moss Rangers' staff and players before the start of yesterday's game. Fletcher Moss boast Lewis Chalmers, Warren Peyton, Pat McFadden and Daniel Heffernan as ex-players for their club who are currently in the Altrincham FC squad - and manager of the Reserves, Neil Brown, and physio Alan Ainsley also are active in the Fletcher Moss junior football club. Rangers were at Moss Lane as guests of Altrincham FC under the Featured Club scheme.


    Flixton have signed both Daniel Hefferman and Laurence Ball on North West Counties forms, whilst former Alty Reserve Adam Docker has also signed for the Valley Road club. However, Danny and Laurence will continue to play for Altrincham Reserves in the Lancashire League.


    Reports from West Yorkshire say that former Alty left-back Danny Adams has been training with Bradford City recently, following his release by Huddersfield Town.

    It's good to see that Altrincham has excellent following in Australia, as this third recent message about ex-Alty player James Robinson's exploits Down Under confirms. Bill Masterson is a former Alty fan from the 1960s. He writes to the website to say that he is "now living in Melbourne, I was a regular Alty supporter in the 60s, days of Tommy Banks, Ernie Taylor, Lenny Dickinson, Paddy Fagan, Charlie Mitten so on. Crowds always 2 to 3 thousand. Anyway, just sending a report on James Robinson who came on as a sub in last week's Australian A-League Semi final and scored the winner to put us in next week's grand Final. He scored a great header in the 92nd minute in front of 48,976 fans. He was signed mid-season from local Melbourne side, Richmond, and has been used mainly as a sub due to the fact our two strikers have been scoring heaps of goals - they are Danny Allsop [ex-Man. City, Notts County and Hull City] and Archie Thompson [who is in the Socceroos squad]. James came on as a sub in last week's game against Adelaide in the cup semi final and scored a magnificent headed winner. We expect a full house sell-out for next weeks final - 65,000, and James Robinson is tipped to play. Our captain is Kevin Muscat [ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers player]".

    The UniBond League announces that the "Bradford Park Avenue management team of Phil Sharpe and his assistant Clive Freeman have been given contracts following the turn around they have brought to the club’s fortunes since rejoining Avenue in March 2006". Both men are ex-Alty players.


    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. Left: Karen and Graham Muir are seen receiving their awards from Warren Peyton and Draw organiser, Steve Foster, before yesterday's game.

    February's draw was held yesterday- results to follow... The draw numbers were, 1 Simon Ellis, 2 Steven Raftery 3 4 Pamela Gresty, 5 Grahame Rowley, 6 Karen Rowley, 7 Paul Daine, 8 Paul Daine 9 Steve Foster, 10 Steve Foster, 11 Peter and Judy Foster, 12 Peter and Judy Foster, 13 John Laidlar, 14 Mike Lloyd, 15 Daisy Seller, 16 Daniel Eadie, 17 Stephen Murray, 18 Brian Topping, 19 Dianne Swindells, 20 Derek Wilshaw, 21 John Browne, 22 Laurence Howarth, 23 Lisa Jones, 24 Dan Yarwood, 25 Dan Yarwood, 26 P B Smith, 27 Campbell McLay, 28 Jackie McLay, 29 John Brennan, 30 John Brennan, 31 Paul Brady, 32 G & J Muir, 33 G & J Muir, 34 Ian Langford, 35 Andrew Shaw, 36 Andrew Shaw, 37 Daniel Jones, 38 Niall Flynn, 39 Lori Flynn, 40 David Mardon, 41 David Mardon, 42 Nigel Hennerley, 43 Nigel Hennerley, 44 Neil Faulkner, 45 Neil Faulkner, 46 Anthony Henderson, 47, 48, 49 George Heslop, 50 Jenny Heslop. 51 Mrs M Warrington, 52 Mrs M Warrington, 53 Ruth Gallagher, 54 Ruth Gallagher, 55 Dalton Steele, 56 Graham Jackett, 57 I Jones, 58 Jean Heathcote, 59 J Jordan.

    WALK RAISED £3,500

    From the Robins' Review of 10 February 2007:

    The Road to Northwich – January 23rd

    This walk was a great success and has raised approximately £3,500. The proceeds will be split between the Autistic Society and the Football Club. A presentation is planned to be held prior to the Cambridge United game on March 6th. Many thanks to everyone who took part in the walk – a great day and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who took part.

    1986 MEMORIES

    Steve Porter from Northern Ireland writes:

    I am collating old newspaper articles from what I consider to be the 100 biggest F A cup shock results in history but, living in Northern Ireland, I find it difficult getting around the country to visit the local libraries. I'm therefore asking local fans if there are any who would be interested in visiting their local library and obtaining photocopies of the articles I'm researching. I would guide them in how to go about it and cover their photocopy costs plus a few bob for their trouble and a credit in a publication that results. The game that involves Altrincham that interests me is 1986 v Birmingham City. Anyone interested in assisting can contact me by email for further information. Kind regards, Steve Porter. PS. I'm always keen to hear from people who were at the games listed and have memories of them"


    NL Daily reports that "Rushden & Diamonds have placed club captain Dave Savage on the transfer list. The former Northampton Town midfielder is free to leave Nene Park along with experienced left back Paul Watson. The pair have each missed only two games this season but Diamonds' boss Graham Westley expects both players to leave 'very quickly' either on loan or as free agents if their contracts can be cancelled with the transfer window now being shut".

    Yesterday Gravesend & Northfleet reported that "Kick off for the Morecambe match [on Saturday] has been brought forward to 2:30 due to problems with the power for the floodlights".

    10 February 2007


    Altrincham went down to their fourth successive defeat of the season and dropped to 22nd in the table. Despite kicking off, Altrincham were half asleep as possession was immediately given away and then York were allowed to work the ball forward up the inside right channel, with Bishop converting comfortably after less than 30 seconds. Then, after Coburn had stopped Donaldson from making it two, a few minutes later Bishop did the job for him when his deflected shot found Coburn's left corner in the ninth minute. Altrincham then had the better of the remainder of the first half but knew that their luck was out when Thornley's shot from the left came out off the inside of the York upright. York's strapping debutant striker, Richard Brodie from Newcastle Benfield, came on after 64 minutes and the youngster had an immediate impact, scoring with virtually his first touch when the exposed Coburn could only parry Donaldson's shot to his feet from the York left (66 mins). Alty rarely looked like scoring in the second half and were finished off when Brodie laid on a fourth, for Woolford, in the 90th minute, crossing the ball from the right by-line for his fellow substitute to score. With five of their next six matches away from home, Altrincham will need to dig deep over the coming weeks if they are to escape the relegation zone.

    Full match report here.

  • League table
  • Alty line-ups and bookings
  • Alty player statistics

    Right: Karl Munroe receives his Man of the Match award..

    Saturday 10 Feb.

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


    This is York reports that "Former York City midfielder Steve Bushell is expected to return from injury to face his old club at Altrincham tomorrow. Bushell, 34, has been missing since New Year's Day with a calf strain and his absence has coincided with a run of four successive defeats... But the Minstermen's 1993 Wembley play-off final hero has returned to training this week and, as the Robins' key man, will almost certainly be thrown back in... He will be joined in the home side's squad by another Minstermen old boy, although Joe O'Neill's place is under threat from former Scarborough front man Chris Senior and ex-Luton striker Peter Thomson. O'Neill, who netted five times in 38 games for City last season, has fared little better in front of goal for the Lancashire [what!] side, managing to hit the target on just four occasions in 27 outings. Elsewhere, midfielder Val Owen looks a definite non-starter with a foot problem. Despite their recent poor run, only five Conference teams - Dagenham and Redbridge, Gravesend and Northfleet, Weymouth, Stevenage and Crawley Town - have won more home games than Altrincham this season... Only the generous St Albans have also conceded more goals - 59 - in the Conference this season. The Robins have let in 44. [This is not correct and misleading; not only have Northwich conceded 45, but 4 other teams as well as Alty have conceded 44]. City have won the three previous Conference meetings between the clubs without conceding a goal.

    "City boss Billy McEwan is ready to unleash Conference danger-man Clayton Donaldson on lowly Altrincham. Donaldson has sat on the sidelines suspended for the last three weeks - securing a summer move to Hibernian in the meantime - but, while McEwan expects the 20-goal striker to receive a mixed reception from travelling fans because of the nature of his transfer, he is in line for an immediate recall. The former Hull City striker, who turned 23 on Tuesday, has scored in all three games when he has faced Altrincham in the past, netting four times, and McEwan is expecting a rousing comeback. McEwan said: 'He's had a run-out in a private game at Chesterfield so he won't be too rusty and will be coming back raring to go. He will get some stick off the fans I imagine and rightly so but we need to get behind him between now and the end of the season'... Donaldson could join on-loan West Brom forward Rob Elvins and Craig Farrell in a three-pronged strikeforce at Moss Lane with City new signing Richard Brodie also pushing for his debut from the bench. The Minstermen will be looking for goals to end a four-match run without a victory... McEwan said: "We are not panicking because I know these same kids can produce some great football when they are focussed on their jobs... If the players want a top-five place as much as I do they have got to bounce back... McEwan has also stressed there is no room for complacency... He said: 'Our record against them [Alty] means nothing. The past is history and the future's a mystery... They missed a penalty and lost 2-1 at Southport in their last game but it should have been 8-5 to Altrincham in terms of good chances so it won't be easy'".


    Colin Little writes on the SAM website that "Losing at Southport was horrible. It was one of those games we desperately wanted to get something from, but it just didn't happen for us. We bombarded their net and I really do think we played much better than they did, we just didn't have any luck. The penalty summed it all up really. We miss a chance like that and then soon after they go up field and score a goal from a stuffy deflection... We let ourselves down and most of all, we let the fans down... We feel it too though. I know it might sound strange but most of us our fans too, I know I am. When we lose, we're not just disappointed for ourselves, we're disappointed for the club... I was, particularly, because I know I've not been playing to my best recently and I've been getting a bit of criticism around the club. I don't think I'm playing badly, I'm just not reaching the standards I have set for myself and it's really frustrating.... So I've spent the past week going through the game in my head thinking about where it went wrong and what I can do better... There was one chance at Southport when I had the ball in the area, cut outside to beat my man but then instead of shooting, decided to try and cut back inside to square the ball to Warren Peyton. It didn't work and I know now that I should have shot earlier. What I could really do with is a run of games on Saturdays and Tuesdays just to get my sharpness back because it's been difficult to do that with the disruptions I've had so far.

    Graham (Heathcote) had the right attitude when we went into training on the Tuesday though. he told us to just forget about it and focus on the things we have done well because there really is no use us all moping around. We had a couple of good training sessions this week so we'll go into the York game with a bit more confidence, although it isn't going to be easy.... I never thought for one minute that we would be in any position other than this so it's not as if it's come as a shock. It's really tight at the bottom of the table but if you look at the teams around us, the likes of Cambridge, Grays and Halifax, it just shows you how hard it is to stay up in this division now. These are full time clubs with a lot of talented players so we just have to enjoy the battle against the big names. These teams are paying a lot more in wages than we are and it would be a disaster if they went down, where as we're almost expected to go down. Like Geoff (Goodwin) said this week, if you look at the bigger picture we're in really good shape. But we're not ready to give up yet and I'm still looking forward to proving some people wrong once more".


    Saturday's matchday programme contains the following:

    Events for the Diary

    Car Boot Sale – Sunday 4th March

    STAR in association with the Football Club are planning another Car Boot Sale to take place on Sunday 4th March from 8am to 1pm. Anyone interested in booking a space should contact Karen at the club on 928-1045 or 07850-964751. Prices in advance are £5 per car and £7.50 per van

    Prize Bingo Evening – Monday 2nd April

    Jackie Gallimore and Anne Wilshaw are holding another of their famous Prize Bingo evenings in the Sponsors' Lounge at 7.30pm on Monday 2nd April 2007. Admission is 50p and includes tea/coffee with biscuits. Donations would gladly be accepted of:-

  • Biscuits
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Bottles of Wine
  • Chocolates
  • Toiletries

    Please contact Anne or Derek Wilshaw on 928-1045 or Jackie on 904-9936

    Alternatively you can drop off your donation to the office at the club between 9am and 5.30pm. Many thanks for your support

    Race Night and Player of the Year Awards- Saturday 28th April

    Following a highly successful formula, STAR are again holding the popular End of Season Race Night and Player of the Season awards following our final game against Aldershot. Horses and races are available for sponsorship so please book your horse/race at the STAR counter in the club shop or phone Karen at the club on 928-1045 or 07850-964751

    Staff v Supporters Football Match – Thursday 3rd May

    Following on from the success of last season’s event we are now taking applications for players to take part in this prestigious event. The start of a weekend not to be missed! The fee is £30 and further information can be obtained from Grahame Rowley by e-mail or 'phone 07720-606897.

    End of Season Ball – Friday 4th May

    The ‘End of Season Ball’ is to be held at the Cresta Court, Altrincham. This Black Tie event will be held in the Belgrave Suite with champagne reception at 7.30pm. All the players will be in attendance with Graham Heathcote as the MC. The cost of the evening is £45-00 per ticket or £450 per table of ten. A 10% discount is available for all tables booked before 31st March. The evening will consist of a 4 course meal, a raffle, auction and dancing to the sounds of Jason Flint and the resident DJ. Why not come along and join us with friends, family or work colleagues and make this night another giant success? Please contact Karen Rowley for further details on 07850-964751 or 0161-928-1045 or by e-mail.

    Golf Day at Withington Golf Club - Tuesday 8th May

    Graham Heathcote has organised another of his highly entertaining Golf Days at Withington Golf Club. Played under ‘Stapleford’ Rules, tee-offs are between 1.30pm and 3.30pm at 8 minute intervals. Trophies will be awarded to the winning team and the runners-up and there will also be a ‘nearest the pin’ and ‘longest drive’ award. The price, per team of four, remains at £300 +VAT and includes an evening meal. To register your interest please contact the club on 0161-928-1045 or email Graham.

    In addition, Altrincham Chief Steward Darren Gregory writes on the Alty Fans' Forum:

    Wife/Partner fed up of Altrincham FC? That they always do functions more towards the males. Now it's their chance. On Thursday 19th April 2007, Altrincham FC are to host a:


    Ex-chainstore & branded kid clothes; brand new children's wear as seen in the following high street stores: Gap, Next, BHS, M&S Adams, George, Mothercare, etc.

    Huge savings to be made! Age range from 0 to 14 years.

    To be held in the Noel White Suite - doors open 7.30pm. Admission £1 including raffle ticket . Refreshments available on the night. Tickets will be available in advance or pay on the door. Further details will be annoucned nearer the time. This event is being organised by Louise Gregory and all profit from the event goes to organized football club. If you have any questions, post a message on the Forum or contact the Club on 0161-928-1045".

    A full list of Club and Trust events is here.


    The BBC says that "Members of Rushden & Diamonds' supporters' trust have voted in favour of chairman Keith Cousins's recent takeover of the Conference club. The trust were handed control of the club in 2005 by the Griggs family. However, Cousins took over as club chairman in November, and has now assumed responsibility for all the land and assets at Nene Park... Cousins said in a statement, 'A new trust will now be formally created'".

    The Rushden Supporters' Trust adds that "Following weeks of speculation members of the Rushden & Diamonds Trust last night voted in favour of putting in place the arrangements to finalise the deal with Keith Cousin’s following his investment into the Club last November. Paul Hajduk, Chairman of the Trust said 'I am delighted that the majority of trust members have voted in favour of creating a new Trust allowing Keith Cousins to assume responsibility for all the land and assets at Nene Park. As a Trust Board we were really pleased to be able to reach agreement with Keith in the autumn last year, and the changes at the club over the last 10 weeks have been fantastic. Now we can move onto the next stage of rebuilding the club and supporting Keith with his plans.”

    Commenting on the vote Keith Cousins was clearly pleased; 'I am pleased the Trust members have the confidence in me to take this club forward. Over the last few short weeks we have already seen significant additional investment in the club and I want to see this continue. I have been able to bring in a highly skilled, dedicated manager who is driven to succeed. Graham has been able to begin restructuring the team and I am pleased with the success that is beginning to emerge'".

    "Tamworth boss Gary Mills has made Hucknall defender Michael Briscoe his first signing since taking charge. Briscoe, 23, has joined Tamworth on a month's loan after previously working with Mills during his time on the coaching staff at Coventry City. Briscoe made 17 appearances for Macclesfield last season and also spent time on loan at Burton in 2005. Meanwhile, Northwich's Tony Gallimore, 34, will spend a second month on loan with Hucknall", reports the BBC.

    "Cambridge United boss Jimmy Quinn has snapped up Milton Keynes Dons defender Sam Page on a month's loan. Quinn swooped for the 19-year-old centre back to cover for the absence of Andy Duncan and Mark Peters for Saturday's game against Grays Athletic. Page has played twice for the Dons this season following loans spells with Aylesbury and Hendon. '"Martin Allen rates him very highly and thinks he's going to be big for them next year', Quinn told the U's website", according to the BBC.

    "Former Wimbledon striker Dean Holdsworth has joined Conference South side Newport County. Holdsworth, 38, joins on a non-contract basis after leaving Cambridge United recently".

    And yet another signing by debt-ridden Crawley Town who "have completed the signing of Brentford defender Darius Charles on loan for the rest of the season. Charles, 19, is a 6'1, central defender, and is a product of Brentford's successful youth set-up. Charles made his break through into the Brentford 1st team during the 2004-05 season, and has so far made 14 appearances this season".

    Sunday's In the Non-League Paper announces that it will contain news of the "FA Vase and FA Trophy finals to Wembley; Rushden and Diamonds future decided; The Big Interview, with the one and only 'Big' Ron Atkinson; Welling United's Martin Carthy is our guest columnist in Star Corner. We spend a Last Five Minutes with Glenn Harris of Hampton & Richmond Borough and Sutton United assistant manager Paul Harford picks his Dream Team".

    9 February 2007


    There will be a pitch inspection at 9am tomorrow before the Altrincham v York City match. At present there is frost on part of the pitch. If temperatures remain above zero and rain falls rather than snow between now and then it is hopeful that the game will go ahead.

    On behalf of Altrincham FC, Darren Gregory, the chief steward at Moss Lane has written to the Alty Fans' Forum saying, "The club is looking for a few volunteers Saturday morning (10th Feb.), if the weather is still bad, to come down to the ground and assist in getting the ground ready for the match i.e sweeping snow off the terrances and gritting them to stop them being slippy. Please don't panic the match is not off as yet. The club is just looking at the bigger picture. If you are interested please contact the club on Saturday morning from 10 am.


    According toThis is York "Former York City left-back Paddy Atkinson has told current boss Billy McEwan not to fear throwing new signing Richard Brodie straight into the first team. Brodie, 19, missed out on a chance to stake his claims for Saturday's Conference trip to Altrincham when Tuesday night's reserve game at home to Sheffield United was frozen off. He was also suspended for last weekend's 2-0 home defeat against Tamworth after moving from Northern League outfit Newcastle Benfield before the transfer window closed. But Atkinson said, 'I've said to Billy don't be afraid to put him in because he's been playing against men all season.. He's got stitches in his lip because people can't cope with him. Somebody nutted him this season because he was getting the better of the lad but he did not stay down or complain. He's a tough lad from the North-East... He's only 19 and he's 6ft 3in so he will end up about 6ft 4in at 21... He's also quick and doesn't just hold the ball up. He can run the channels as well'".


    Barry Pond's Matchday Sponsor details have been updated on the website.


    In SAM "Geoff Goodwin has called on Altrincham fans to get behind the club's players as they continue to fight for their Conference lives... The Alty chairman believes the squad have done an excellent job in recent years and fears some supporters may need a reality check after having expectations raised unrealistically high by recent successes. Operating on what is probably the lowest budget in their division, Goodwin is amazed the club have managed to stay in the Conference at all. He told SAM Sport: 'Even though the results have not been going our way it's not a true reflection of how we are playing. The players have been giving their all and have actually been playing above themselves because to sustain a good team in this league you need about £8,000 a week in wages and that's around double what we can afford. If the worst comes to the worst and we do go down, we will still be better off than we were four years ago when I arrived at the club. It's not all doom and gloom because of where we are in the league. We are exactly where we predicted we would be when the new board took over, so that's not bad really. We have overachieved for four years and that's down to Graham (Heathcote), Dalton (Steele) and the players. I'm really grateful to the players. They graft for this club for very little money and I would like to say thank you for making my time at the club a proud one. I will always have the memories I've gained here'.

    The big picture is brighter than ever, with the club set... to receive a 50 per cent sell-on fee from former player Ian Craney's £150,000 transfer from Accrington to Swansea and will also receive a significant sum when Trafford council complete the sale of the land behind the Hale End... But Goodwin insists the money will not be pumped automatically into the first team... 'We need to pay off our remaining debts and then look at improving the ground, those are our main priorities... We made a profit again this year of £9,000 and we are now the only board in the club's history to have made a profit four years running. We are in a far better position than any other club in the Conference at the moment. That might sound daft but we are built on solid foundations here. I think we will start to see more clubs struggle in the years to come because they have to keep paying full time wages. We are a lovely family club and we have now found our level. We are not big time like we used to be, we are a club for the people of Trafford and as long as our fans get to grips with that we can continue to move forward'".


    "Radcliffe Borough have announced that they have released winger Andy Heald, and also [ex-Alty] forward Chris Downey has left due to work commitments. Downey has had to put football on the back burner whilst he concentrates on his business".

    SAM has a death annoucement for former Alty player Geoffrey (Mickey) Warburton, whose passing was reported here earlier this week. It confirms that Mickey he "played for Altrincham FC before and after the War. He attained the rank of captain after training at Sandhurst. Geoff worked for 40 years for Altrincham Corporation in the Treasurer's Department".His funeral is today (Friday) at Altrincham Crematorium at 2pm. The same paper also has an obituary of Alty fan John Robinson who died last Sunday, aged 57. His funeral is at the Unitarian Chapel, Hale Barns on Wednesday 14th February at 11am.

    Regarding Mickey, Alty historian Terry Rowley, based in Egypt currently, but still a mine of detailed information on Altrincham FC players, reports that "He made his 1st team debut at home to Ashton National in a 3-0 defeat. In total he played 7 games in season 37/38, scoring 1 goal in the 1-1 home draw with Wigan. The following season, 38/39, he played 30 League games and 2 CSC games scoring 8 league goals and 1 CSC. He didn't play in the abridged 39/40 season but appeared sporadically ( 2 games and 4 goals, including a hat trick) in the war time 39/40 competition as Lance Bombadier Warburton was stationed in the North so only available when on leave. In 46/47 he played 15 League and 1 League cup game scoring 3 goals. In 47/48 he played 5 league 1 FA Cup and 2 LCgames and in 1948/49, 3 League 2 LC games. Then in 1949/50 he played 21 League games, scoring 6 goals and finally in 1950/51 he played 7 games and netted 1 goal. He was also playing for Seamon's Moss at this time. By 1951/52 he was turning out for Mossley for whom he played 18 games and scored 4 goals".


    The Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson "Has blamed 'football politics' for the postponement of the local derby against Tamworth.The game has been put back seven days to February 20 on the orders of the Nationwide Conference. Conference bosses have insisted on the switch because of a clash with the non-league international between Northern Ireland and England at Glenavon — even though neither club has any players in the national squad... The Brewers' supremo said: 'Our game against Tamworth on the same night would have been in no way detrimental to the England game. This is a political decision as a sop to the F.A.'. Albion have been advised that Shaun Harrad has been added to England's back-up squad... but the Brewers were prepared to play the Tamworth game without the striker... Robinson said: 'It is a local derby, which means it's a big game for us commercially. We have 140 corporate guests from six sponsors who now have to ask their guests to rearrange their diaries for the second time. Two weeks' notice is adequate from a fans' point of view, but it is not that easy for business guests... We agreed the new date with Tamworth on January 17. That very same day there was a Conference board meeting at the Pirelli Stadium and not a word was said about the new date causing a problem. Clubs are supposed to have been notified by e-mail that games could not be played on February 13, but it was never received'".

    Tamworth Secretary Russell Moore told Mail Sport: "It is utter nonsense that two clubs who want to play next Tuesday are not being allowed to. I blame the incompetence of the Conference board, who should be there to adhere to the wishes of the clubs". For the same reason Alty have had to re-arrange their already re-arranged game at Northwich Victoria to 20 February.

    IC Surrey says that "Towering defender Magnus Okuonghae says it was Crawley Town's fully professional status that persuaded him to join the club. The defender, who signed for the Reds from part-time Conference outfit St Albans City in the January transfer window, said he wanted to be a full-time player again after spells with Fulham, Aldershot and Rushden & Diamonds earlier in his career.'With respect to St Albans, it is a good club but it is part-time', he said. 'For me, playing professionally on a full-time basis was important. At Crawley we train every day and it improves you massively, but at a club like St Albans you don't train as much because it's part-time, and I didn't play very well there because of that'".

    The Romford Recorder says that "Saturday's home fixture with improving Rushden & Diamonds could be one of the most crucial that Daggers will have to face in the long run-in... For it's their first match without Shane Blackett and Craig Mackail-Smith, after the ex-Arlesey pair's long and protracted move to Peterborough, that finally looked like it had come to a satisfactory conclusion at the start of this week, with the errant Mackail-Smith eventually reporting for duty at Peterborough". Manager John Still has "made a double swoop to recruit experienced central defender Jon Boardman, who despite being only just 27, has had experience at Crystal Palace, where he was a young pro, Woking and for the past two seasons Rochdale. Boardman has also captained the England semi-professional select side and in fact, is a much more experienced defender than the departed Blackett. On top of which, he was released by Rochdale, as he sought a return to the south-east, so no fee was involved. Nor was [a fee required] to bring back former Daggers favourite Chris Moore from Brentford. Moore, top goalscorer in three previous seasons at Victoria Road, didn't get on with new Brentford boss Scott Fitzgerald, who released him a fortnight ago... While not possessing Mackail-Smith's blistering pace, Moore, a very sharp player in and around the area, is a much better finisher than the departed forward and on face value, Daggers seem to have covered their losses in excellent fashion".

    FromThis is Staffs we learn that "Cambridge United have sent midfielder Christian Smith back to Port Vale after the 19-year-old was handed a three-game ban... [after] only the second match of his month's loan... Cambridge face a £750 fine from the FA as referee John Hopkins also booked six of their players".

    This is Weymouth says that "Chairman Martyn Harrison has quashed rumours that New Look founder Tom Singh is considering investing in the club. The hotelier has also played down suggestions that ex-Terras' boss Garry Hill and his brother Colin Hill could be interested in taking over the outfit in the summer... Last month Harrison revealed that he would fund the Terras until the end of the season to give the club time to come up with a plan to tackle the financial crisis that has seen 11 players exit the Wessex Stadium over the past few weeks. Harrison said: 'Things are not a lot different to what they were a couple of weeks ago'".

    Woking News and Mail Online says that "New signing Curtis Osano will be thrown in at the deep end on Saturday as Woking head to Exeter City without four recognised centre backs. The Reading youngster, who is said by his club to have a big future in the game, is at Kingfield on work experience... Tom Hutchinson is the biggest loss for Woking, the immensely impressive defender still not having recovered from a thigh strain, while Gary MacDonald remains an absentee with a calf injury.With Matt Ruby still out with a foot injury, and Jason Pearce suspended, it means Osano will line up alongside Karl Murray... Ian Selley has joined in training but is 'a long way off' playing, according to Cockerill, who may opt to send the former Arsenal man on loan so he gets some games. Shola Oyedele is likely to be in contention for a place on the bench but Simon Jackson is not yet ready to return. Twelfth placed Cards will also have to do without Giuseppe Sole, another player to be suspended".

    "Harrogate Town have signed midfielder Byron Webster after he was released by neighbours York City", says NL Daily.

    8 February 2007


    Grahame Rowley writes:

    Altrincham FC was saddened to hear about the death of Geoffrey “Mickey” Warburton this week. Born on 21st July 1918, Geoff played for Altrincham from 1936 -1939 and again after the War from 1946 till the mid 50s. He also played for West Brom and Manchester City as an amateur before finishing his career at Mossley, Droylsden and Ashton United. Captaining the British Army football team, he brought their kit home after the War and donated it to Altrincham who wore it for a few seasons. After retiring in his mid-40s he then became a scout under Freddie Pye and signed players such as Johnny Worth and Fred Taberner. Then, under the leadership of John King, he became the club physio.

    His funeral will take place at Altrincham Crematorium at 2pm this Friday (9th Feb). Altrincham Football Club would like to send their condolences to his family at this sad time.


    Right: Lewis Chalmers keeps his eye on the ball at a foggy Southport last week. Looking on are Chris Senior (foreground) and Warren Peyton (background).

    Howard Watts's Through the Years information for Saturday, 10 February, has been added to the site.


    Nothing changes...

    Last season, Altrincham suffered an 18-points deduction when they signed James Robinson, whose previous club Accrington Stanley had not got international clearance for him.

    And a similar situation has occurred again. The Confguide Forum reports on the "Ryman League Appeals Committee verdict. AFC Wimbledon has been found guilty of breaching Ryman League Rule 6.1 in that Jermaine Darlington played eleven games for the club before an International Registration Certificate was obtained. Because the club was found guilty of breaching Rule 6.1 the Committee also considered Rule 6.8 which deals with playing an ineligible player. The Committee has also found AFC Wimbledon guilty of breaching Rule 6.8. As a result of these decisions, the Appeals Committee has deducted the eighteen points earned by AFC Wimbledon in the games in which Jermaine Darlington played whilst ineligible. The Committee has also fined the club £400 and the costs of the hearing. An appeal to the FA is allowed and must be lodged within 14 days. The board of AFC Wimbledon is very disappointed with this outcome and intends to consider the options available to it. Until it has done so, there will be no further announcements".

    A personal rather than Club view is that presumably many more clubs will suffer these huge point deductions in future years,effective given the lack of any action from the football authorities to match the punishment to the alleged crime. Large-scale financial irregularities at certain clubs (which do give the clubs concerned a distinct advantage by allowing them to use better players than they can really afford) go completely unpunished, whilst administrative errors such as AFC Wimbledon's prompt punishments out of all proportion to any supposed "gain" made by the offending club.

    In the meantime, IC Surrey reports that "Crawley Town FC owner Azwar Majeed says he aimed to put the club in administration - to purge the club of 'rubbish players'. In an exclusive interview with the News, Mr Majeed said: 'People still think we fell into administration, but it was a calculated business position. We had about 20 rubbish players on big wages and needed to lose them without handing out large payoffs.The only way was by inviting in administrators. I'm sorry creditors lost money through this decision but it saved the club. We decided on administration about a month before it happened. Last season, unlike this season, there were too many players who didn't really want to play football'. Crawley Town FC entered administration in May last year and did not leave until November.The club still owes out of pocket creditors a combined figure of around £100,000. Mr Majeed also revealed to the News the club was still potentially up for sale. He said: 'If anyone has the money to run it and they approach us with a decent offer then they can buy it.However, the fact is this club survived because of us and still survives because of us. We collect £10,000 from gate takings at each home game, but staging the game costs £20,000 - it's SA Retail that fills this gap and maintains the club, which is a loss-making business. Me and Chas don't take a wage from Crawley Town FC's accounts. We don't even take petrol expenses. It's thanks to us that the club still exists - and all we get is criticism'.

    Mr Majeed also claimed Crawley Borough Council holds the club back as a business. He said: 'The lease on the stadium is too restrictive. We wanted to run a car wash and an overnight lorry park on the site, but planning permission for both were rejected in November by the council'... He said: 'Protesters have chased off sponsors and that has hit income. These people are frustrated. They want to run a club, but they don't have money.If they want to play a positive part and work for us then we would consider taking people on'.

    A Crawley Town supporters' group has hit back at Mr Majeed's claims. Phil Agius, of the Devil's Trust said: 'It's not right to blame the club's problems on the previous players and the previous regime. Even if players are not tackling properly it is not an excuse for mismanagement'".

    Alty's next away game is at Crawley Town, from where Crawley Today reports that "The Reds continued their run of good form with a 3-1 victory over Forest Green but the win was marred by Lee Blackburn's sending off in the last minute. This follows Scott Marshall's two dismissals in recent matches and Judge knows his squad is not big enough to be able to handle too many suspensions. He said: 'The players really need to use their heads and calm down'".

    Once again Sky TV has gone for the ex-League club scenario in its choice of televised matches as Oxford United have been awarded two televised games in a week when many a Conference club has not had a look-in on the small screen. Oxford confirm that Halifax T. v Oxford on 21 March and Oxford v Dagenham & Redbridge on the 26 March are both being transmitted.

    The Football Conference says that "Aldershot have been dealt a blow in the wake of their 1-0 win over Grays after learning that Marcus Gayle requires surgery to correct his knee problem. The veteran striker is now set to be sidelined for at least a month... 'Marcus has a cartilage problem and knee ligament damage and he will require an operation', Shots boss Terry Brown told the club's website. 'Although Marcus is a fit individual I would be surprised if he is playing before the middle of March. It really depends on how much ligament damage there is'".

    "A total of 19 international caps, a full-time job, three young children, 36 years on the clock and a thrice broken leg might be enough to persuade many footballers to call it a day. Not Jon McCarthy, who is happy to keep all of his plates spinning while prolonging his career at Northwich Victoria. A lecturer in sports science and academy football coach, McCarthy trains once a week with the Vics and come Saturday or Tuesday plays a key role as one of the team's senior professionals. 'I am focussed on the teaching as well as this now, but when it comes to match day I still feel competitive and I'm still bawling and still shouting at referees so it still matters', he told BBC Sport McCarthy is now a full-back rather than the tricky winger who excelled for York City, Port Vale, Birmingham and, despite being Middlesbrough-born, Northern Ireland. But he is still one of the fittest players at Northwich and with the team, which operates part-time, accommodating his work needs, McCarthy remains a regular on the team-sheet.

    'I wasn't sure I'd be able to hack it again at Conference level, but it's been all right and it's sort of freshened me up training just once a week and I've been able to cope', he said... 'I have not played all of the games. At the start of the season I think they were looking for young lads to come through but there have been some injuries and we didn't do as well at the beginning and I have been able to come into the team and do a job and still enjoy it... I got the chance to join Steve Burr at Hucknall and I went part-time and started getting my coaching qualifications and used my degree that I had before I came into football and got into teaching. Fortunately I then came across here to Northwich with Steve and it coincided with a job at the (Mid-Cheshire) college... I've not come into Sunday League football here. There are some good players around in the Conference, there is good football played and there are not many bad pitches left in this division... We do have one of the smallest budgets in the league and there are not many of us who are still part-time at this level'".

    Clayton Donaldson was prevented from having a warm-up match before York City come to Altrincham on Saturday since, as This is York says, "City's reserve clash at home to Sheffield United B' last night (Tuesday) was called off after a pitch inspection deemed the KitKat Crescent surface frost-bound".

    This is Weymouth states that "Weymouth will field a couple of trialists in tonight's [Wednesday's] match against Yeovil Town at the Wessex Stadium. The reserve-team clash will also be a chance for Ashley Vickers to get some playing time... [following] suspension... Weymouth boss Jason Tindall said: 'We have got a few trialists who will play and we will be a little bit more experienced than last week... One of the trialists has come down from Barnsley and the other has come over from Australia I believe. He went to Millwall but then there was a change of manager there and he is looking to make a name for himself in English football'".

    The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen reports how "Morecambe crashed out of the FA Trophy in heartbreaking manner as three extra-time goals took Stevenage through with an extra gloss they didn't deserve... It took a piece of brilliance from Morecambe's nemesis Steve Morison to sway an enthralling tie in Borough's favour ... Morison is a big strong player with a real talent for taking his one chance. He can hold the ball up and afford his team-mates the opportunity to move into support him. That, at the moment, is what Morecambe miss. Danny Carlton is well on his way back from his long-term knee injury but it would have been folly to risk him on a frozen surface - and so Wayne Curtis is an absentee the Shrimps could do without. Garry Thompson is not a Morison and late sub Jason Walker has much to prove at this level if he is to make some local predictions that he is worth £250,000-plus come true, unless, of course, those predictions are in Turkish Lira"

    From This is Glos we read that "Forest Green manager Jim Harvey will dip into the loan player market again tomorrow, with a midfielder his primary target. Central defender Chris Giles and winger Lee Dodgson each received straight red cards during Rovers' 3-1 defeat at Crawley Town last weekend, ruling them out of three league games through suspension. The loan window for Conference clubs re-opens at midnight tonight, and Harvey has confirmed he plans to bring in reinforcements. 'We were very unlucky last week when we lost Alex Lawless, Kevin Nicholson and Darren Jones through injury because we'd only just allowed three of our own players to go out on loan', said Harvey. 'I'm not allowed to recall any of those players and, with two boys suspended, I've had to look around. It looks like Kev and Darren will be back for this weekend, but Alex is still struggling and I'm looking for cover in midfield. I've got my eye on someone who can play on either flank and, fingers crossed, it'll be sorted before Saturday'. There were a number of absentees from Rovers' training session yesterday, including the Lancashire-based quartet of Dodgson, Ryan Robinson, John Hardiker and Adriano Rigoglioso. The former Morecambe players were excused the marathon trip to Gloucestershire due to heavy fog and ice on the roads".

    "Tamworth and Burton have both admitted their 'utter amazement' over a decision which sees their local derby at The Pirelli Stadium put back from next Tuesday, Feb 13, to the following week, 20th. Because the England Non-League representative side are in action away to Northern Ireland that night, the Conference has ordered the clubs not to play ... even though neither of them has any players involved. Strong representations were made to the Conference for the local derby to go ahead, especially as it aggravates an already worrying fixture pile-up. It was hoped commonsense would prevail. It didn't - and the clubs were told: 'You don't play'. TFC general manager Russell Moore said: 'I wonder at times how and why the decisions made are not to the benefit of the member clubs'".

    Morecambe say that Gravesend & Northfleet have cut their prices to £10 and £5 for their game against The Shrimps this Saturday.

    And finally, St Albans City have plenty of ideas for Valentine's Day!

    7 February 2007


    Paul Daine of STAR writes...

    Travel to an away match on the team coach.

    Altrincham FC have very generously offered the opportunity for one fan to travel to either the Weymouth game on Saturday 10 March or the Dagenham & Redbridge game on Saturday 14 April as guests of the club.

    The package includes travel on the team coach on the Friday evening, overnight accommodation, breakfast, pre-match lunch, access to the boardroom and to watch the match from the directors’ seats plus a signed Altrincham FC shirt.

    STAR is inviting fans to offer bids for the package by contacting Derek Wilshaw at the club on 0161 928 1045 or via e-mail: to Derek Wilshaw.

    Geoff Goodwin has started the ball rolling with a bid of £150.00. If bidding reaches a high enough level the club are happy for one supporter to travel with the team to each of the Weymouth and Dagenham & Redbridge games.

    All bids must be submitted to Derek by Wednesday 28 February.


    SAM reports from the defeat at Southport that "Had this been a boxing match, the referee would have ended it 10 minutes before the end. True, Southport had twice rocked Alty back on their heels - Carl Baker and Jon Newby scoring in either half - but such was the visitors' dominance, it was utterly mystifying how they hadn't managed to score. In their past two games - Saturday's trip to Haig Avenue and the home game against Kidderminster - the Robins have endured the kind of wretched luck that will ensure they remain mired in the relegation battle right until the death this season. They are creating the kind of chances that most struggling teams can only dream about, but are seemingly unable to put them away. Undoubtedly, Colin Little's injury-disrupted season has played a major part in that and the 34-year-old hitman has since been unable to rediscover the kind of form that saw him score 17 league goals last season... 'We must have had 15 proper chances but if you don't score chances you won't win games of football', said the Alty boss Graham Heathcote after the game.


    This is York says that "Leading scorer Clayton Donaldson will return to action in Tuesday's reserves match against Sheffield United at KitKat Crescent. Donaldson has secured a summer move to Hibernian since his last appearance in City colours when he was sent off for elbowing during the 2-1 defeat at Kidderminster on January 20. But, having served a three-game ban, he will be given a run-out in this evening's 7pm fixture ahead of Saturday's first-team trip to Altrincham. Ex-Newcastle Benfield striker Richard Brodie is expected to line up alongside Donaldson after completing his transfer from the Northern League side last week".

    "City defender James Dudgeon believes Sunday morning's hastily-arranged team meeting has helped 'clear the air' at KitKat Crescent. Manager Billy McEwan ordered his players to report at the club the morning after Saturday's dismal 2-0 home defeat against bottom-of-the-table Tamworth and Dudgeon admitted there were few complaints with that decision. The team sat through a re-run of the Tamworth game during a two-hour session in which the home side's display was dissected, and Dudgeon felt it was a worthwhile exercise, saying: 'We were in on Sunday but it's our job and it has to be done if things aren't going to plan so I don't think the lads minded going in. Nobody was happy with the way we performed after watching the video. It was unacceptable by our standards but I think we have cleared the air now and put right a few wrongs. Hopefully, it will not happen again'. McEwan described the display as the worst during his two years at the Minstermen helm and Dudgeon... said: 'You can carry three or four players each game but any more than that and you're struggling. We all know we did not perform to our ability but we have got to forget the bad display and move on because we have got another big game on Saturday'... Centre-back Dudgeon was making his first start in a City shirt since mid-September... City's next test will be provided by lowly Altrincham on Saturday but, with a record of just two wins against the Conference's bottom eight clubs, Dudgeon knows the team cannot afford any more off days. He said: 'Teams down the bottom at this stage of the season are trying really hard and they put that extra bit of effort in against the top teams'".


    Terry Rowley's updated Conference attendance statistics are here.


    The following is based on information supplied by Neil Brown.

    Altrincham Reserves' manager Neil Brown said that he was "totally embarrassed" after watching his side's lamentable second-half performance at Valley Road, Flixton, tonight (Tuesday) in a friendly match. Altrincham slumped to a deserved 4-1 defeat to a Flixton side including only 7 first-teamers. Altrincham fielded a strong reserve side (Rowley; Risk, McAllister, Edwards, Wedge; M. Brown, Maloney, Keogh, Bowler; Heffernan, McFadden. Subs: Walker, Walters, Mulholland and a trialist, Scott) and the score was level at half time after a decent 45 minutes from the visitors. Indeed, in the first half, Justin Bowler scored an excellent goal and Chris Rowley made a fine save but, after the break, Alty went behind to a very doubtful penalty when a player fell over the ball. But then the visitors fell apart and were comprehensively beaten by a Flixton side which included former Alty youth and reserve player Paul Monaghan. The Altrincham performance is all the more disappointing given that the team has lost just once in the Lancashire League this season.


    The website was contacted a few days ago by former Altrincham left-back James Birch, who was Tommy Docherty's first signing when he managed Altrincham in the 1987/88 season. James made his debut against Wycombe Wanderers at left back and subsequently played both there and in midfield. His Alty career statistics as kindly supplied by Terry Rowley were:
  • League: 17+2
  • League cup: 1
  • CSC: 3
  • FAT 1+1
  • Total: 22+3 games. James scored two goals, one each in the league and in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

    James himself writes: I was Tommy Docherty's first signing, from Stalybridge Celtic, whilst I was on trial at Everton with Steve Burr & John Askey. Tommy Docherty had just been appointed manager. Whilst at Stalybridge, I was in the process of signing for Macclesfield Town when I received the offer from Alty. I made my debut against Wycombe at home in a 4-2 win, returned to Stalybridge the following season where I had a spell in Man. City Reserves and also Leeds Utd Reserves under Howard Wilkinson in the same team as David Batty & Gary Speed. I played for Curzon Ashton, Droylsden, Leigh RMI and finished at Mossley in 2002 having spent 18yrs in non league football, aged 36. I could write a book on my experiences during that time, maybe one day, who knows?".


    The BBC says that "Rushden and Diamonds have signed former Stevenage defender Jason Goodliffe. Goodliffe joins the Diamonds as a free agent until the end of the season after being released by Stevenage... The 32-year-old centre-back previously played under Diamonds boss Graham Westley at Stevenage, where he made almost 150 Conference appearances. However, Goodliffe did not figure in new Boro boss Mark Stimson's plans and spent time on loan at York this season".

    "Halifax Town's Tom Kearney and Craig Mawson have agreed new deals to extend their stay at The Shay. Midfielder Kearney and goalkeeper Mawson have both signed contracts running until the end of next season. Kearney, 25, took a break from the game over the summer after leaving Bradford City, but has become one of Town's key players over recent months. Mawson, 27, has been ever-present this season after returning following spells with Morecambe, Oldham and Hereford".

    At Stafford Rangers "Manager Phil Robinson remains positive despite his side suffering a fourth straight defeat, at the hands of Exeter City on Saturday. He said: 'There are a lot of positive things we have taken from it. There is a lot of positivety[?] in the dressing room. Everybody feels we are going in the right direction. There was a lot of commitment, a lot of passion and work rate out there which we are going to need to continue over the next few weeks. We feel that if we continue with in that vein and continue to be positive then we will start to pick up points. As a team we still feel we are strong and strong defensively. Teams don't really open us up and create too many chances but at the moment, errors are proving quite costly".

    St Albans City announce that "Following the recent departure of Damian Batt and Paul Hakim, City manager Colin Lippiatt has held talks with several players as he looks to bolster his squad for the Saints remaining 16 matches of the season. His efforts have been rewarded with one signing (pending final clearance by the F.A. on Monday) so far, that of Frenchman Faly Mammadou Basse (also known as Mamadou Faly Basse) who trained with his new team-mates earlier this week".


    Northwich Vics say that "The Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup Final between Vics & Chester City or Cammell Laird will take place at Witton Albion F.C. on Tuesday 13th March. k.o. 7:45. This means the home league fixture v Exeter City will now take place on Tuesday 20th March".
    6 February 2007


  • Aldershot T. 1 Grays A. 0
  • League table

    FAT 3R

  • Braintree T 1 Kidderminster H. 3
  • Stevenage B. 3 Morecambe 0 aet


    Altrincham FC and STAR will be holding another car boot sale on Sunday 4th March 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.


    Altrincham FC Youth's fixtures to the end of the league season are now in the Youth section.


    At Monday night's Fans' Forum in the Noel White Suite, virtually the entire Board (Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley, Andrew Shaw, Derek Wilshaw, Barry Pond) and the management duo of Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele were on hand to answer questions from supporters. The following is not an official record.

    Right: Andrew Shaw and Derek Wilshaw

    Andrew Shaw confirmed that Trafford MBC had now chosen a preferred building company for the Altrincham FC car park development. He confirmed that the club would lose none of the existing ground space and that a new wall would be built between the ground and the new building. Sadly, he confirmed, the new project does not include a penthouse looking out over the pitch! A triangular open-area had also been guaranteed as a gathering/dispersal space outside the 20/20 End turnstiles. He hoped to see financial benefits for the club from the scheme by the end of this season.

    Geoff Goodwin confirmed that the income from this transaction and from the sell-on of Ian Craney to Swansea City would be used to pay off inherited tax debts and loans, rather than to bolster the playing squad. Likewise, the Club was aware of the need to make minor repairs to part of the ground and Neil Faulkner had done a survey of what was necessary, but this was a lower priority at the moment than ensuring that the regular bills were paid every week. Later in the meeting, Mick Taylor received a round of applause for all the work that he had recently done for the club in regard to drainage work and tarmac surfacing at Moss Lane.

    Pete Hughes expressed the feelings of the fans when, referring to the recent announcement that chairman Geoff Goodwin would step down in 2008, he thanked Geoff for all that he done for the club. Barry Pond underlined the need for the club to continue to act sensibly in its spending and not go the way of so many clubs who had become beholden to one mega-investor who might then walk away from the club leaving it in a mess. Derek Wilshaw announced that Altrincham FC would again make a modest profit on the last trading year whilst Geoff quipped that we would soon be in the Premiership as everyone else was on the road to financial ruin and we would get automatic promotion as one of the few solvent clubs left!

    There was discussion of whether the club would prefer STAR to donate all of the trust's funds raised through events and other initiatives to the club, or use some of it to subsidise away travel on supporters' coaches. After some debate, Geoff Goodwin (left) generously offered to provide a cut-price or free vehicle for one of the forthcoming matches, which was much appreciated. STAR travel coordinator Tom Jacobs explained the economics of the coach-travel pricing system and Grahame Rowley stated that he would be very disappointed if it ever got to the stage that a supporters' coach were not run. It was hoped that the large loss on the Woking trip in late January was a blip caused by various factors including the fact that it was a long and therefore expensive trip at the end of the month after everyone had spent-up at Christmas. Tom confirmed that the coaches had not made a loss over the last 12 years and that the coach for Crawley would definitely run as numbers booked on it were already virtually at break-even level.

    Graham Heathcote spoke about our form this season, saying that though we had not won away yet, we had generally not played at all badly away from home. One of the major differences this season had been that last season's top-scorer Colin Little had missed part of the campaign through injury and had not yet fully recaptured his form. But Graham was confident that he would do, reminding fans that Wayne Rooney had had a similar problem this season at Manchester United. Asked about the release of former Alty left-back Danny Adams, Graham explained that there had been discussions between him and the defender but that naturally Danny wanted to stay full-time on the League if he could. Dalton Steele explained that now that Graham sat in the stands for most games, it did not alter the way the team was run from the technical area, as he acted on tactics pre-arranged with Graham before the game.

    Asked about contracted players, Graham confirmed that only three current players were contracted. These players had been offered contracts because they were all new to Altrincham and did not know the set-up here so the contracts were a form of guarantee to them as they entered the unknown. However, they had been told that, if they stayed for future seasons at Moss Lane, there might be no contract as they would then have the knowledge that the club was an honourable one and they would not need the guarantee of a contract. In retrospect, Graham said that this season's approach to offering contracts would not be repeated.

    Still on the playing side, Graham explained that teenage striker Lee Hendley had left of his own will because he wanted regular football, albeit at a lower level than the Conference. But Graham was full of praise for Pat McFadden (left) who had shown patience and had a "fantastic attitude". He revealed that despite being involved with the first team throughout this season, Pat had been playing for no wages until the last four weeks. Pat, he thought, could have a good future at Altrincham FC. Asked about the on-loan Kieran Lugsden and Eddie Hussin (right), Graham said that Eddie had felt that he still needed to improve his fitness to compete at Conference National level so was remaining at Leigh RMI for the time being. Kieran had gone to Leigh to get more playing time but, even though RMI had mainly used him as a substitute, Kieran preferred to have that regular action to sitting on the bench at Altrincham where he might not always be used.

    Graham then paid tribute to Neil Brown and the Reserves and confirmed he had his eye on two or three of them for eventual first team action. There was widespread approval for the creation of Altrincham FC Juniors by the recently announced link-up with Hale Barns JFC. Discussion also ranged over ways of getting younger supporters into Moss Lane and it was agreed that wider publicity needed to be given to the decision to admit under-14s for £2. There was then discussion about the relative merits of having a goalkeeper on the substitutes' bench or a wider selection of outfield players to choose from. Finally, Graham confirmed that he still sees a target of 50 points as the one to achieve to avoid relegation.

    It was appreciated by supporters that so many of the club's officials had turned out to field questions from them.


    The rearranged match at home to Grays Athletic will now be on Tuesday 20th March at 7.45pm.


    Tom Jacobs, STAR Travel Coordinator, confirmed last night that the supporters' coach to Crawley will definitely run - but there are a few places left so please get you booking in (tel. 928-1045) if you wish to come and join the trip. Details are here.


    Altrincham Reserves, subject to the weather, will be playing another friendly game tonight (Tuesday) away to Flixton at their Valley Road ground, (k.o.7.30pm).


    Altrincham host the Minstermen on Saturday and This is York says that "York City boss Billy McEwan issued a public apology to his team's supporters and on-loan West Brom striker Rob Elvins after Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Conference bottom club Tamworth.The Minstermen were booed off the pitch at half-time and full-time as goals from visiting strikers Jake Edwards and Taiwo Atieno gave Tamworth their first league win since November.

    An embarrassed McEwan labelled his players' display the worst by any team since his arrival at KitKat Crescent two years ago. He also withdrew a service-starved Elvins after 58 minutes and said afterwards: 'I have to apologise to the fans because it was a shocking performance. I felt sorry for them because they have paid good money and watched crap. I also felt sorry for the young lad whose here on loan because he got no help. The display was unrecognisable from the York City side I am used to seeing and the worst performance from any of the sides I have had since I have been here. I can't believe what I witnessed.

    We have got to show more desire. We will not get a play-off place playing like that and I won't be here because they will get me the sack'. McEwan also ordered his players in for training yesterday to analyse and eradicate Saturday's problems, adding: 'We were dozy but they had more time off in the week before this game than at any other time since I've been York City manager. There will be no more time off, though, if they play like that. Tamworth are part-timers and played on Tuesday. We didn't. We had Monday and Tuesday off but that will never happen again. You have to earn your time off, which they did after a tough period, but it didn't do any good... Maybe they throw in a blip like that every now and again to remind us they are Conference players and maybe we have been getting carried away with some of the great football they have been playing but we won't be sweeping it under the carpet and saying it will be okay next week... There's been a lot of indecision with the Donaldson situation and it's caused unsettlement in the camp. They can't use that as an excuse but it has not helped and he was sitting in the stand [suspended] so he has to take his share of the blame. He did not help the situation at the club but he's still a York City player and will come under consideration to be selected now, and the way we played there's a good chance he will return'" [against Altrincham].


    Alty centre-back Gary Talbot will play again for Kidsgrove Athletic (tonight) and is likely to face Alty reserve centre-back Laurence Ball who will be on loan in the Chorley squad.


    Matthew Wheeler, another Alty correspondent Down Under adds to yesterday's report on former Alty player James Robinson's exploits in Australia for Melbourne Victory. After netting the late goal which saw his side win through to the Australian A-League grand final, "James was interviewed after the game, and the footage was shown on many free-to-air stations here in Australia". There is a further match report on the World Game website whilst the A-League website is here. Matthew helpfully explains thatt "Melbourne Victory were runaway winners of the minor premiership this season. The minor premiership is what we know as the regular league back in the UK - 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, etc. But in Australia, winning the minor premiership isn't considered a great achievement. It's rare for anyone to remember the minor premiers from any given season. Instead, the top 4 teams in the league play in a knockout competition, and the winners of that (The 'Grand Final') take all of the glory". Matthew's My Space site also has some Alty content.

    This is Staffs states that "Fogged off and left in a fog - that was Nantwich Town, whose game at Jackson Avenue against Formby was halted after 83 minutes, with The Dabbers leading 5-0. Now, the Cheshire club has to wait for Wednesday's League Management Committee meeting to see whether the result stands...[Ex-Alty midfielder] Stuart Scheuber made the game safe as early as the 40th minute with a superb strike from the edge of the area".

    Colin Potts played for Barrow Reserves in a 3-1 defeat at Burscough last week


    The BBC says that "Northwich Victoria have given manager Steve Burr their backing to continue in his role as assistant to England National Game XI boss Paul Fairclough. Fairclough was reappointed to the role last month, and Burr will carry on working alongside the Barnet boss".

    And now a series of stories about indiscipline... Firstly, from the Burton Mail we learn that Nigel Clough "praised Weymouth for their fighting qualities in the midst of the Dorset club’s financial problems but had few kind words for referee Andy Turner. Albion picked up six yellow cards — at least two of which were highly contentious and face a possible £500 Football Association fine for a breach of disciplinary regulations".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Cambridge United could be hit with a £10,000 fine if they do not improve their disciplinary record after another flurry of red and yellow cards in their 1-1 draw at Oxford. The club will be hit with an automatic FA fine of £750 after having six players booked and Christian Smith sent off on Saturday. Ironically, it came after Jimmy Quinn revealed he had been called before the FA's disciplinary commission last week over hard-up United's glut of red and yellow cards this term. The United manager said he was told the club has averaged 9.8 penalty points per game this season, based on a system of four points for bookings and 10 or 12 points for dismissals. He was warned by the Soho Square panel that if the average per match is 10 or above at the end of the campaign, United will be hit in the pocket, with a fine of up to £10,000 in the offing. United picked up 36 penalty points at Oxford and their ninth red card of the season... Quinn said: 'Even the Oxford fans sitting around me were saying how poor the referee was. It was the most biased performance I've seen from a referee... Something else I didn't like is that when I shouted on to the pitch about a couple of decisions, he just smiled at me. I don't know whether that's just arrogance. I can understand people having bad games or making bad decisions, but I didn't like that at all'... Aidan Collins made his debut in defence after Mark Peters went down with a bug, and Quinn was pleased with his display".

    The Argus says that "Caretaker boss John Yems has urged Crawley's young players to keep their discipline. Lee Blackburn was shown a straight red card for a tackle which sparked a mass brawl at the end of Reds' 3-1 home win against Forest Green Rovers. He had only just returned from a one-match suspension after picking up five yellow cards. Fellow midfielder Scott Marshall was dismissed in the first half against Gravesend two weeks ago, a fortnight after being sent off for two bookable offences at Aldershot within six minutes of coming on as a late substitute. Blackburn will now serve a three-match ban, starting with Saturday's vital trip to relegation rivals St Albans" and should also miss the game against Altrincham.

    This is Exeter reports that "Lee Phillips is confident Exeter City's 1-0 victory over Stafford Rangers will lay the foundations for a successful promotion push... 'This was a massive three points', Phillips told Echo Sport. 'Some of our rivals - the likes of Oxford, Burton and York - dropped points at the weekend and when it comes to the crunch we need to be there or thereabouts'... City have a glorious opportunity to step up their play-off assault as three of their next four league games are at home... 'I have always set myself a target of 20 and that is what every striker wants to get. This season I desperately want to get into double figures... I have had to be a completely different player this season and adopt a different style. I am more of a targetman and I have to play people in and it has shown in my assist tally'" said Phillips.

    This is Glos says that "The winning run had to end somewhere, but the repercussions of this ill-tempered defeat could do severe damage to Forest Green's survival hopes.Questionable red cards for Chris Giles and substitute Lee Dodgson - not to mention a nightmare debut for new loan signing Shaun Lamb - brought Rovers shuddering back down to earth after a run of four straight league victories. A mounting injury list and impending suspensions could now force manager Jim Harvey to recall one or more of the players he allowed to go out on loan last month. Prior to kick-off, Harvey was deprived of the services of inspirational captain Darren Jones, who had tweaked a hamstring in training...and Alex Lawless, still sidelined by an ankle problem... Lamb deputised for the injured Kevin Nicholson at left-back and Danny Carey-Bertram was handed his first start in Rovers colours up front, leaving the four remaining fit players to fill the substitutes' berths... Lamb was showing plenty of adventure going forward, but Scully exposed the youngster's defensive frailties... Crawley's second goal bordered on the comical, as Lamb dwelled for an age on the ball inside the penalty area before watching in horror as his clearance cannoned off Rendell's shins and flew past a helpless Robinson... Lee Blackburn's shocking late tackle on Dodgson sparked an ugly melee. Blackburn was rightly shown a straight red card, but he still had time to collapse in a heap after an alleged head-butt by his victim".

    "Stafford Rangers have welcomed back former Port Vale midfielder Levi Reid - six months after manager Phil Robinson axed him from the club" says This is Staffs. "A costly blunder by keeper Danny Alcock in the 28th minute let City's Lee Phillips notch the only goal of the game [against Exeter]... It was the entrance of Reid and [ex-Alty man] Ged Murphy just after the break that sparked some life into Rangers... while [debutant] David McNiven showed some nice touches... Robinson said: 'I got a call from Levi this week asking if I was looking for players. He told me he had seen the error of his ways and had matured and was prepared to show a proper attitude and that was music to my ears, because ability-wise, he is a very good player and if he can put that together he will be a very good addition to my squad. It is up to him to prove himself'".

    Weymouth report that "Problems on the left side of defence forced Jason Tindall into an 11th-hour signing last Friday, but it was anything but panic buying as the Weymouth player-manager knew exactly what he was getting. Tindall contacted Jamaican international Narada Bernard, a left back he played with at Bournemouth, and the 26-year-old filled the void of Abdou El Kholti’s departure and Trevor Challis’ injury in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Northwich Victoria. Bernard, who played one match for the Reggae Boys in 2004, started his career with Tottenham Hotspur before moving to North London rivals Arsenal, where he played alongside England and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole... Bernard has led a nomadic existence ever since following spells at Woking, Torquay United, Welling United, Farnborough Town, Dover Athletic, Yeading, Hemel Hempstead Town, Fisher Athletic and Rushden & Diamonds... Bernard is still to negotiate a permanent deal with Tindall, but a few more solid performances could see one forthcoming... 'I was only at Rushden for a few weeks. I had gone there looking to sign but they have got a few players there. They have got quite a big squad and at my age I don’t want to be going to a club and never be playing'".

    From This is United we read that "Two excellent debut displays gave Oxford United encouragement that they can turn the corner and soon end their winless spell... Their poor run now stretches to ten Nationwide Conference matches without a victory... Centre back Mickey Corcoran and midfielder Martin Foster, loan captures from Cardiff and Halifax, were both very impressive".

    5 February 2007


    There is a match report on the Youth team's 6-0 defeat at Woodley in the Youth Section.


  • Welling U. v Grays A.
  • Morecambe / Stevenage B. v Salisbury C.
  • Northwich V. v Gravesend & N.
  • Kidderminster H. /Braintree T. v Halifax T.


    Altrincham FC wishes to extend its commiserations to the family and friends of long-standing Popular Side supporter John Robinson who has died. He was believed to be in his early fifties and had been suffering from cancer.


    From Australia, Alty fan Robert Dickinson informs me that he "went to the semi final for the A-league championships between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide. Ten minutes to go, 1-1with Adelaide due to advance on away goals, James Robinson comes on and in extra time scores the winner with a looping header from just outside thesix yard box. In front of 47,000 odd fans as well (would have been a sell out apart from the cricket at the MCG). Melbourne have already qualified for the Asian championships next year hopefully thiswill give him a few more chances to start in the first team". Details of the game are on the Victory website and from The Age newspaper, which has another report here. In the above link his career seems to have a gap at the time he was at Altrincham, as it has him going straight from Crewe to Australia.


    There is a Fans' Forum at Moss Lane at 7.30pm tonight (Monday) at which chairman Geoff Goodwin, vice-chairman Grahame Rowley and manager Graham Heathcote will be amongst those from the Club available to answer questions from supporters. Everyone welcome.


    Please book as soon as possible for the STAR supporters' coach to Crawley Town a week on Saturday (17th February). It is important that the team receives as much support away from home as possible if we are to maintain our place in the Conference so please do support the team and the STAR coach if you possibly can. Details are here.

    The Crawley game is the first of five away games in the six Conference fixtures for Altrincham which follow this Saturday's home match against York City.


    Chris Timons is pictured in the NL paper, playing for Harrogate Town on Saturday. Lance Key kept goal for Histon against Northwich Vics yesterday but bizarrely the NL Paper teamsheet for the Vics has Peter Band in the Northwich side along with other players from several seasons ago! Kevin Ellison played for Tranmere and Paul Ellender was in the Boston side thrashed at home 6-0 by lowly Grimsby Town.


    The Football Paper on Sunday had a large piece on Dagenham's Chris Mackail-Smith who has failed to turn up for training yet with his new club Peterborough United. Posh chairman Barry Fry is threatening to bankrupt the player with a lawsuit if he does not mend his ways.


    Yesterday's car boot sale at Moss Lane was again a popular event with around 40 vehicles estimated in attendance there. Many thanks are due to the organizers and all who participated.
    4 February 2007


    Above, Lewis Davies, Danny Brown and Marcus Baxby (all in blue) in action against Woodley

    A disastrous 27 minutes, starting just before half-time saw Altrincham Youth go from a goalless scoreline to six goals behind at Woodley Sports on Sunday. And this was despite their hosts losing three players in the first half - two with hamstring pulls and the third with a forearm fracture. This 6-0 defeat was Alty Youth's heaviest for at least six years. Report to follow.


    After yesterday's defeat at Southport, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "We must have had 15 good chances and we haven't put them in. It's as simple as that. You now go home and realise you're in a relegation battle. I think we're both (Southport and Alty) in it (the dogfight), there's no question about that but we're just in a bit more now because we've not been able to finish our chances. No one is going to tell me that they were any better than us today. It's unbelievable that we've got [just] one goal out of the amount of chances we created".

    Meanwhile one of Southport's debutants against Altrincham yesterday, was Mark Duffy, who "Prescot Cables sold to Southport for a four-figure fee" according to Saturday's UniBond Press Release.

    This site's match report is here.


    In today'sFootball/NL Paper, Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin and goalkeeper Stuart Coburn (pictured, right, by Gavin Rathbone) take opposite sides in row over AFC Wimbledon, who were thrown out of the FA Trophy for fielding a ex-Cardiff City player without international clearance and who also face a Ryman League points deduction for the same reason.

    "Altrincham chairman Geoff Goodwin has sided with Wimbledon. 'It's nonsense' he said. 'The FA and the football governing bodies have to change the rulings. There's just no common sense and it sums up all that is wrong wioth football. It's heartbreaking for clubs'.". But in a long article in the same paper by Stuart Coburn, he says, "I know it sounds harsh but AFC Wimbledon will have to swallow the pill they've been given, just like we had to'". Referring to the docking of 18 points from Altrincham after Accrington failed to get clearance for James Robinson before he joined Altrincham from Stanley, Stuart says, "If they turn round and reduce the punishment, we would be up in arms. It has to stand... Points need to be deducted for every game they played and won with Jermaine. Don't get me wrong. I'm gutted for their players and the punishment is extremely harsh... Our manager, Graham Heathcote, has told us that every transfer is supposed to be looked at before being given the green light. They are supposed to look at all the facts, such as who released the player and where he has previously played... You wonder who is doing the checking... It's the same position we found ourselves in with James Robinson.... It's a ridiculous rule as Cardiff play in England, so why is there a need for international clearance?... Graham now checks every tiny detail of every player. He even asked me if I'd played abroad and he's known me for years... The Altrincham lads couldn't believe what went on last year... You can't help but think we were punished because of our position in the league and our part-time status... I still wonder if Stanley would have been stripped of the title if he'd actually played [for them]... It does seem to be one rule for Non-League clubs and another for those at the top level".


    Former Alty Youth captain Paul Lewis has moved from Trafford to Flixton, whilst ex-first-team striker Jonathan Mitten has left Flixton for Curzon Ashton. NL Daily reports that "Well-travelled striker Mark Quayle bagged a brace for Colwyn Bay" yesterday. The NL Paper claims that "A bizarre row has broken out at Nationwide North strugglers Sacrborough, with the club insisting their former hero Mark Quayle's expenses are threatening their survival. The FA have refused to lift a transfer embargo until all footballing debts are paid, including the strikers £2,600 expenses... Boro are still awaiting a ruling by the FA on the validity of some of the expenses claimed by Quayle... Amongst the disputed claims are ... a linen jacket costing £150, a £13.48 car hire in San Javier, Spain [and] a clothing bill for £170 run up days before his contract with the club was due to expire". Scarborough also revealed that Quayle received £200 a week travelling expenses between Liverpool and Scarborough for training and matches. Quayle's solicitor says the "receipts were not sent in a fraudulent manner".

    At Mossley "One piece of good news for manager Jason Beckford, is that leading scorer Peter Wright has been given the all clear to carry on playing for the rest of the campaign despite a double hernia problem that has been restricting his appearances recently. Once the season has ended, however, Wright will have to undergo an operation".

    Lee Hendley scored yesterday for Radcliffe Borough whilst another ex-Alty youth player, Ian Taylor, turned out for Leigh RMI, for whom Mark Maddox and Eddie Hussin also played. Kieran Lugsden was a substitute. Ashley Timms played for Barrow, whilst Colin Potts was a sub for the Bluebirds.


    Whilst many Conference clubs have been bringing in loan players, Altrincham have been more active loaning players out, with Kieran Lugsden and Eddie Hussin being at Leigh RMI for some time now and others such as Pat McFadden, Rod Thornley and Gary Talbot also loaned out for odd games. The latest to be loaned was Stephen Rose who played for Chorley at Warrington Town last week. In the same Chorley side, "Rod Thornley was making a rare start to bolster the attack. He it was who came closest to scoring for the visitors at either end of the match. Firstly he latched on to a long clearance from new boy Stephen Rose and instinctively knowing the keeper was off his line lobbed him from the right-hand corner of the box, only to see his effort tantalisingly miss the far post by inches. With time running out, in a delightful move involving an interchange of passes between him and Sean Wright, he wormed his way past the last defender but the angle was just too tight for him and his shot again shaved the far post". NL Daily adds that, for Chorley, "Rose is the latest in a string of `loan` signings from Altrincham, following on the heals of Rod Thornley, Colin Potts, [and Reserves] Laurence Ball and Keith Wedge". In fact, centre-back Laurence was in their side again yesterday.


    The latest tables Lancashire League tables for both the league and cup competitions are on their website.

    In yesterday's friendly against FCUoM Reserves at Moss Lane, Altrincham took an early lead but were pegged back to 1-1 by a very late goal.


    "Hyde United have given striker Gareth Seddon a new three-year deal in a bid to fend off interest from Droylsden and Altrincham" says the NL Paper. Seddon has cored 20 goals this season for The Tigers.


    Oxford United fielded a new loan signing yesterday, Micky Corcoran, from Cardiff City.
    3 February 2007


    Altrincham FC Reserves drew 1-1 at home to FC United of Manchester Reserves in a friendly at Moss Lane today.


    Above: Steve Aspinall (no.2) sees his penalty saved in the first half.

    Match report here.

  • Alty player statistics
  • Alty line-ups


  • Crawley T. 3 Forest Green R. 1
  • Oxford U. 1 Cambridge U. 1
  • Southport 2 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Stafford R. 0 Exeter C. 1
  • Weymouth 1 Burton A. 1
  • Woking v Gravesend & N. POSTPONED
  • York C. 0 Tamworth 2

    FA Trophy 3

  • Histon 1 Northwich Victoria 2
  • Welling U. 2 Worcester C. 1
  • Kettering T. 0 Salisbury C. 2
  • Morecambe 1 Stevenage B. 1
  • Halifax T. 3 Redditch U. 1
  • Kidderminster H. 0 Braintree T. 0
  • Gravesend & N. 2 Rushden & D. 1
  • Grays A. 2 Yeading 1

    Grays' win means that their game at Moss Lane on 24th February will have to be rearranged as the next round of the Trophy is on that day.


    Stalybridge Celtic "have announced the signing of midfielder James Olsen (right). James (25) joins us having been released by Nationwide Conference National strugglers Southport and goes straight into the squad for the trip to Alfreton... as manager John Reed looks to arrest a slide that has seen the Celts slip perilously close to the Nationwide North relegation zone". James played 5(+5) games for Altrincham in 2005-06 and scored once, at Aldershot Town.


    The BBC says that for Alty's game at Haig Avenue "Southport's Liam Blakeman is hoping to get the all-clear to play in a face mask to protect a fractured cheekbone. A similar injury forces Paul Tait out for two weeks, and Tony Gray misses out with a hamstring injury. Altrincham will be without former Blackpool midfielder Steve Bushell with a calf injury. Val Owen also misses out with a foot injury suffered in the defeat at Kidderminster, but they are the Robins only injury worries". However, manager Graham Heathcote has been ill since midweek and Dalton Steele was in charge of training. It is still uncertain if Graham will be fit enough to travel to Southport tomorrow. Robbie Lawton, too, has been under the weather.

    In Friday's Manchester Evening News Graham says, "We know what we have to do to stay up and I have faith in my players. We're averaging just over a point a game and, if we can maintain that over our remaining 18 fixtures, I believe we'll be OK".

    Southport GB say that "Promoted together two seasons ago, Southport and Altrincham again share the same definition of success, but are both running out of time to achieve it.. It represents a big afternoon for Altrincham, but an even bigger one for their hosts. Should they fail to win their second match in nine attempts, Southport’s chances of avoiding relegation will look significantly bleaker... The Sandgrounders are yet to defeat the side from Moss Lane in three attempts since promotion in 2005, while they have won just six out of 19 league meetings between the two sides.. The Robins’ form since defeating Southport in October has gradually seen them reeled in. With two wins from their last eleven games, the Moss Lane side tumbled into the drop zone... Since arriving in Cheshire during the summer, former Southport striker Peter Thomson has managed just two league starts, scoring his only goal on his full debut at Halifax Town. The Alty squad also features full-back Andy Scott, another player relegated with the Sandgrounders in 2003... Southport’s new signings are expected to feature, although winger Mark Duffy, according the FA's website, is due to face a suspension. Striker Tony Gray is likely to miss out despite making progress on a hamstring injury, while long-term absentees Liam Blakeman and Paul Tait are on the road to recovery and could return within a fortnight.

    "Midfielder Lee Cartwright decided to stay on at Scarborough, despite interest from Southport before the transfer window shut this week. Port boss Peter Davenport made a transfer deadline day bid to capture the 34-year-old, but Cartwright felt that there was more security on offer with Boro. Seasiders' head coach Mark Patterson said: 'Peter Davenport spoke to Lee, but he didn't offer him the security he wanted. Because of that Lee has decided to stay with us, which is great news for me and for the club'".


    This Saturday (3rd), Altrincham Reserves should have played a league match at home to Goole at 2pm. But for the second season in a row, the Yorkshire side has been unable to raise a team - or at least they could raise ten but were unwilling to play with that number or even with the loan of a player. The postponement means that the game has to be replayed at a later date.

    However, manager Neil Brown, who in his other capacity as groundsman had just spent four hours preparing the pitch when the postponement was announced, has hastily arranged a friendly against FC United of Manchester Reserves, kicking off at Moss Lane at the same time, 2pm, on Saturday (3rd). Spectators are welcome for this second game against FCUM - the first was played on Blessed Thomas Holford's all-weather pitch on 20 January with Alty winning 3-1.


    Andrew Nash reports on the Alty Fans' Forum that the club mascot "Rocky Robin (right), will again be taking part in the Mascot Pankcake Race on Thursday 15th February, trying to win at the 3rd attempt (last time disqualified when clearly flipped the pancake 3 times!!!). It is held in the pumpyard area of the Printworks in Manchester and it starts at 12pm. So if you are in town that day, or you work in town,come and support Rocky. Events like this help raise the profile of the club,and if I were to win,it would be in the main pages of papers like the M.E.N.". Supporters travelling with Andrew to Southport on Saturday will make sure he keeps to a low-fat diet in preparation for the big race!


    In Colin Little's regular SAM column, the Alty striker says that "We're in the relegation zone again but it's really not something that's playing on the lads' minds... We know that if we get a couple of good results we'll shoot right back up the table again... That said, we really could do with going to Southport and getting a win. Despite the result against Kidderminster, at least we can be happy with our performance... Everyone is really upbeat and training has been going really well. We are training on a new astroturf surface now and we're passing the ball around like Real Madrid. It's just about transferring that to our games now. People pay their money to watch a game of football so if we can give them that, that's the main thing. If we get beat, we get beat but at least we're doing things right... We need to go there [Southport] and play to our strengths. Rod (Thornley) is playing really well on the right at the moment and with the signing of Andy Scott, Warren (Peyton) has the chance to play further upfield and cause a threat. I'm sure Andy will be a good signing for us. I know he had a bit of a nightmare start to his debut and looked a bit off the pace at first but after that he started to look quite comfortable. He was good on the ball and passed it well. He always had the awareness to take his time and wait for the right opportunity - although he doesn't need to take quite as much time as he did before their goal! ... We know what we're up against and it's not going to be easy avoiding relegation, just look at the players clubs have been bringing in. Southport have made something like five signings in the transfer window, Tamworth have brought in a couple and Stafford have signed David McNiven, who turned us down last year because we weren't offering enough money".


    SAM has an article on Alty chairman Geoff Goddwin's 9 year-old son, Jay, who is making a name for himself on the 60cc Cadets' Karting Circuit. Jay aims to take part in the Super One championship in Belgium and to cover his costs of his karting he has already raised £3,000 in sponsorship. Jay is also an accomplished cricketer, having won Bowdon Cricket Club's under-9s' best batsman award - with some coaching from the Australian Test team who were Geoff's coach-company clients a couple of years ago. Geoff says, "He wants to race in Formula One some day". Geoff himself was a Formula One stock car racer in his own younger days.


    "Woodley Sports have mutually agreed that in the best interests of the club, manager Ally Pickering would be leaving with immediate effect. The club have thanked Pickering for all his hard work and effort during his two-year reign. Pickering stated: 'I am disappointed to be leaving the club but wish everyone connected to Woodley well in the future'... Meanwhile, directors Mike Clark, Craig Sellers and Stewart Vann have decide to resign from the club".


    Having built up a huge squad in recent weeks Grays Athletic "have released the following players on a month's loan: Matt Bodkin has gone to Thurrock FC; John Turner has gone to Bishop‘s Stortford FC". And "Grays Chairman, Mick Woodward, wishes to apologise to Gary Hill and his assistant Kevin Hales for the incorrect statement that Grays issued concerning the recent discussions for the vacant appointment of Director of Football at the Club. The Grays' Chairman confirms the change of mind to appoint Gary and Kevin was that of the Club, not Gary, as wrongly stated in the statement last Tuesday. Gary agreed to accept the offer I made to him, however upon reflection I decided not to proceed".

    Meanwhile This is Exeter says that "New signing Richard Logan snubbed a last-ditch swoop by Grays Athletic to join Exeter City's play-off push.The 25-year-old was offered a deal at St James's Park until the end of the season before Grays tried to hijack the move with the offer of an 18-month contract. But Logan's family commitments, coupled with his determination to be involved in a promotion battle, persuaded him to pen a six-month deal at City. 'Grays came in on the last day and offered me another year', Logan told Echo Sport. 'Obviously I had to think about it because it was a bit more security. But I have got my family down here and my little girl goes to school in Weymouth, so I wanted to stay in the area'".

    Back at Weymouth a report that they "Have signed Philippines' youth international Matthew Hartmann. The former Portsmouth player, played on the left side of midfield at the Wessex Stadium earlier this week when the reserves entertained Exeter City." And from This is Weymouth we learn that "Weymouth player-manager Jason Tindall failed with a bid to land Yeovil Town youth team captain Gary Bowles from Dorchester. The 18-year-old... has opted to stay with the Magpies... Tindall is now not expecting to add to his threadbare squad ahead of tomorrow's fixture with Burton Albion ".

    From Aldershot Town we read that "Supporters may be aware that AFC Wimbledon were recently removed from the FA Trophy due to fielding Jermaine Darlington in the previous three rounds without obtaining an International Transfer Certificate, a requirement when a player moves under the regulation of the Welsh FA to the English FA. On January 25 2007 an FA Trophy sub-committee decided, upon hearing evidence from AFC Wimbledon, that in addition to the club being removed from the competition for this season they must also repay £7000 of prize money from earlier rounds in which Jermaine Darlington played plus having to forfeit £5000 money from the last round versus Gravesend and Northfleet. Aldershot Town Football Club have received a letter from the Football Association stating that Gravesend and Northfleet have been re-instated to the competition. It has been explained that in line with similar circumstances in recent seasons when a club has been removed from the competition the losing club from the latest relevant fixture is re-instated. The player did also feature against Eastleigh and ourselves. Aldershot Town Football Club has responded to the Football Association regarding this matter and is seeking financial compensation. We are currently awaiting a response".

    NL Daily says that "The response to our first ever Programme of the Year award has been excellent, and thanks to all who have entered so far. However, for some reason I have had very little response from the North East or West of the country... 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. Programmes should be sent in by February 15th, 2007 to Nonleaguedaily Programme Awards, 23, Wellington Street, Kettering, Northants NN16 8RQ"

    Sunday's Non-League Paper will include a feature on Cambridge United's boardroom battle and "The Big Interview" is with new Southport boss Peter Davenport. Dagenham & Redbridge hot-shot Paul Benson is guest columnist in Star Corner, whilst St Albans City's Matt Hann picks his Dream Team.

    "Badgers' Ales Sussex County League club Three Bridges` striker Clinton Moore wants to make a sensational return to his former club, Crawley Town next season. The 30-year-old says he is fitter than he has ever been after recovering from a persistent knee injury, and has recently returned to the Bridges first-team squad... 'Since the New Year it's been amazing', said Moore. 'My injury has been spot on and I've been running backwards and forwards from work and going down the gym every night. I'm probably fitter than I ever was at Crawley. Potentially I feel I've got five good years left in football. I'm looking after my body at the moment. I have a personal trainer and I'm in the process of getting really sharp again. There could well be a comeback for Crawley next year. I know Ben Judge, Crawley`s captain and joint/caretaker-manager, quite well and he'll have and look at me and my fitness'... Moore has already had two spells at Crawley, the first of which ended when he left for Wick before returning to the Broadfield Stadium via Burgess Hill Town in 1999" reports IC Surrey.

    2 February 2007


    The Reserves' away league fixture at Hyde United has been moved once more and will now take place on Wednesday 28th February at 7.45pm and not 7th February as previously announced.


    Courtesy of manager George Heslop, there is a report of the Youth Team's Open Cup defeat at Morecambe last Sunday in the Youth section.


    There is now a report on Altrincham Reserves' win over Rossendale United on Wednesday night, in the Reserves' section.


    SAM says that "Despite standing just 5ft 4ins tall, new Alty signing Chris Senior (right) has lofty ambitions. The little striker predicts big things for his new club despite the current predicament they find themselves in. Since arriving on loan from Halifax two weeks ago, Senior has been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the squad at Moss Lane and believes their current league position is completely misleading... He told SAM Sport: 'It's been good so far and it's been really easy to settle in at Alty but on the flipside, it's been disappointing because we've lost the last two matches. That said, we were massively on top in the game against Kidderminster. It just seemed like they had a forcefield around their goal. We've got a good chance of getting out of relegation trouble... I've come in from Halifax who are a full time team but there really is no difference between the two teams, it's that tight in this league. There is plenty of quality here and I can't believe they haven't won away from home yet. I've only played one away game with the club but the fact that they haven't won didn't seem to affect the players. Hopefully we can end the streak on Saturday against Southport. It's going to be a massive game, the proverbial relegation six-pointer. It has been strange moving to part time football because I'm not training with Halifax anymore so I've found myself twiddling my thumbs a bit. But I've started doing some work on my own and I might even have to find myself a little job. Despite being part time, this club is so professionally run. It just seems that everything is done in the correct manner and more clubs might go down this route. The Conference doesn't attract the crowds that the Football League does, so clubs need to start thinking in a different way if they want to keep running. I'm not sure if I'll stay part time myself after the end of this loan. I've been told there's no future for me at Halifax at the end of the season but I'm keeping my options open. I'm just focussed on getting into the team here and starting to find the back of the net again'".


    Ex-Altrincham "Winger Blake Norton looks set to leave Worksop Town to join Nationwide North leaders Droylsden following the Bloods' putting seven days notice on the player this week... The popular Norton, who recently completed his 100th appearance for the club, is understood to be in favour of the move after taking travelling into consideration.... [Blake] left to join Conference National outfit Altrincham in February 2006, but in a surprise move, he re-joined Worksop in August last year and has put in some sterling performances since his return".


    The BBC "Stafford have boosted their relegation fight by signing David McNiven from fellow Conference side Morecambe. The 28-year-old, who has Conference experience with Northwich, Leigh and Scarborough, has initially joined Rangers on a month's loan". McNiven snubbed Altrincham last season to join full-time Scarborough.

    "Halifax swooped to beat the deadline with the signing of veteran midfielder Chris Billy from Carlisle. The Shaymen signed Billy, 34, on an 18-month deal after allowing Martin Foster to join Oxford on loan for the rest of the season. Halifax have also signed Sheffield United defender Ryan Cresswell, 19, on a month's loan. The Shaymen have also given 21-year-old midfielder Nick Gray a contract until the end of the season".

    "Rushden boss Graham Westley beat the deadline to sign long-standing target, veteran striker Dino Maamria from Conference rivals Southport. Maamria, 34, joined Diamonds on a free transfer after agreeing an 18-month deal and rejoins forces with Westley who he played under at Stevenage. Rushden have also signed 22-year-old striker Chris Beardsley on a free transfer from Mansfield Town. Diamonds have extended the loan stay of Boston defender Mark Albrighton", states the BBC.

    "Northwich Victoria have clinched the permanent signing of Crewe defender Mark Roberts. Roberts joins the Vics on a free transfer following a successful loan spell... Meanwhile, Vics boss Steve Burr has re-called winger Danny Mayman from his loan spell at Alfreton Town" says the BBC.

    "York have signed West Brom striker Rob Elvins on a month's loan. Elvins, 20, is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Baggies, but gained League experience during a loan spell at Cheltenham earlier this season. Boss Billy McEwan told York's website: 'We've signed him for a month to strengthen the squad in our efforts to push up the table. I've done my homework and watched him play and I think he'll be a good addition to the squad'".

    Meanwhile, "Kidderminster Harriers boss Mark Yates has been named as January's Nationwide Conference manager of the month. Yates takes the prize after leading Harriers to four straight Conference wins and a place in the last-16 of the FA Trophy. [Ex-Alty player] Phil Wilson of Barrow and Neil Aspin of Harrogate Town are joint winners of the award in Conference North".

    From the Burton Mail we read that "Albion midfielder Marc Goodfellow is expected to miss the rest of the season after breaking an arm in training today. Goodfellow, who only joined the Brewers last week, was due to make is full debut at Weymouth on Saturday. Brewers' boss Nigel Clough said the injury had been suffered in an 'innocuous collision' with team-mate Aaron Webster. 'It's an absolute nightmare for Marc because he's only just started playing again after a three-month lay-off'". But the Brewers have "signed Crewe Alexandra midfielder Lee Bell in a deadline -busting move... after a month-long chase... allowing the Brewers to sign him on a deal until the end of the season.. The Brewers boss said: 'He can play either centre midfield or wide on the right'... Albion are to give an extended trial to striker Chris Archer after his three-goal show in the reserves... Archer, 22, is back at his Marston-on-Dove home to finalise his masters degree in sports science after winning a scholarship to an American university"

    . In the Argus we learn that "Joint caretaker boss John Yems believes Crawley have built a squad good enough to stay up... Reds have brought in six new faces during the January transfer window, more than virtually all of their relegation rivals. The signing spree has coincided with the Broadfield outfit picking up ten points from their last four league games. Yems said: 'We brought these players in at a time when we have been doing well because that is the best way to do things. If you wait until you are struggling, you start to panic and bring in the wrong people... The beauty is that we have brought all these players in on the same budget, there has not been a massive influx of money. We have been able to get quality in through our contacts and have also been inundated by people wanting to join us. The new boys have slotted straight in, which shows we are doing something right. The atmosphere at the club is brilliant and it has been a good sign that people want to come and play for us'".

    The Romford Recorder says that "Mackail-Smith has reportedly signed a four-year contract to join Peterborough United in a £250,000 double transfer with Daggers team-mate Shane Blackett, who the League Two side confirmed has joined on a three-and-half-year contract. The situation regarding Mackail-Smith is not as straightforward however, with Peterborough director of football Barry Fry suggesting he is preparing legal action against the 22-year-old for breach of contract after the youngster failed to arrive at London Road on Monday for a meeting with club officials. Fry and Posh manager Darren Ferguson had anticipated handing Mackail-Smith his debut in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Swindon Town but his name was absent from the squad, fuelling doubts over his immediate future at London Road. The BBC initially claimed on their website that the player had undergone 'a change of heart after seeming to have originally rejected the move to help the Daggers achieve promotion'. Fry, however, painted a very different picture and cited the role played by unlicensed agent Robert Codner... Codner, Fry maintained, had touted Mackail-Smith to numerous clubs behind his back in order to secure a better financial deal, despite being aware that his client had signed a contract with Peterborough... Fry said 'The deal is binding in a court of law and we've got to protect our club. He's signed 44 documents and we've paid the money out. We've talked with legal people and if he doesn't come the boy will be sued for breach of contract and damages because of his so-called agent. We let two forwards go out on loan and rearranged a game against Swindon so he could make his debut... The boy just wants to play in the league', Fry said. 'The only person to suffer in all this is Craig and that's a crying shame because he's got the world at his feet. Here's a young man being brainwashed by an unscrupulous guy'".

    This is Exeter says that "Danny Woodards has sealed his move to Crewe Alexandra after Exeter City agreed a £30,000 transfer fee - with sell-on clauses - for the want-away defender last night. Fellow League One club Yeovil Town had shown an interest in the City full-back, who rejected a new contract at St James's Park... The player is understood to have passed a medical and agreed personal terms with the Staffordshire-based [Cheshire!!!] club. And City have signed Weymouth striker Richard Logan on a full-time contract until the end of the season... The striker was called back to Weymouth just hours before he was due to play in a friendly for City at St James's Park last month, but has now signed on with the Grecians"

    From This is Glos we leran that "Former Forest Green favourite Alex Meechan has described his shock move to Chester City as a 'fantastic opportunity.'The 27-year-old signed a six-month deal with Mark Wright's League Two outfit yesterday, having only agreed to join Conference outfit Northwich Victoria hours earlier. He said: 'I've had to apologise to (Victoria boss) Steve Burr because I'd agreed to go to Northwich and had to go back on my word. I'm not normally someone who lets people down, but at the end of the day I've got a chance to play League football and I might never get that opportunity again. The call from Chester came totally out of the blue and at the last minute, after I'd spoken to three Conference clubs'".

    Halifax Today says that Chris Wilder "was thwarted in his bid to bring striker Nathan Joynes back to the Shay from Barnsley when the youngster joined Boston United on loan to the end of the season. 'I think he enjoyed his time here and I had been looking to tie him up to the end of the season. Barnsley wanted him to get some League experience and that is their prerogative'... Wilder also revealed he had inquired about Barnet's Paul Warhurst, but was unable to do a deal to bring the defender, who won the Premiership with Blackburn in 1995, back up north".

    The Comet says that "A busy transfer deadline day at Broadhall Way saw two players join and the club captain depart. St Albans City striker Paul Hakim and Leyton Orient central midfielder Daryl McMahon are the new additions. The pair join other new recruits in Damian Batt, Mitchell Cole and Mark Hughes at the club. Boro's longest serving player Jason Goodliffe has been given a free transfer".

    And form the Tamowrth Herald is news that "Gary Mills was facing a race against time to bring permanent signings to Tamworth before last night's transfer deadline. Faced with a growing injury list, the new Lambs boss was focusing his attention on strengthening right and central midfield. He was also hoping to add a central defender to the squad in time for Saturday's trip to York City, with Hucknall Town's Michael Briscoe on his wish-list. Former striker Mark Sale has also been linked with a return to The Lamb, despite only signing for Hednesford Town last week. 'There are eight or nine lads on the treatment table', said Mills. 'That means we have people playing out of position which isn't healthy'".

    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth were rocked by four departures on transfer deadline day, taking the total number of players who have left the club to 11 and leaving player-manager Jason Tindall with a threadbare squad ahead of Saturday's match at home to Burton Albion. Want-away forwards Dean Howell, Chukki Eribenne and Richard Logan have left the club for undisclosed sums. Howell and Eribenne secured moves to Grays Athletic, Logan has moved to Exeter City and goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett's loan move to Coventry has been made permanent. Tindall will be forced to field a number of inexperienced players on Saturday, with the equivalent of an entire team having left in January... 'They stated they didn't want to be here anymore', said Tindall, 'If players don't want to be here they are not going to perform'. Howell and Eribenne join up with two former team-mates at Grays; Abdou El Kholti and Simon Downer signed for the club earlier this month".

    "Byron Webster has been released by York City at his own request" says This is York "The 19-year-old midfielder figured in ten of Billy McEwan's first 14 matches in charge of the Minstermen at the end of the 2004-05 season".

    NL Daily says that "Woking have recruited Reading defender Curtis Osano on `work experience` ... The 19-year-old, who appeared for the Royals as a substitute in their FA Cup tie at Birmingham last week, will spend the rest of the season at Kingfield. Osano recently completed a similar spell with Conference rivals Aldershot, where he started nine games. Meanwhile, the Cards have allowed defender Karim El-Salahi, 20, to leave the club by mutual consent".

    "Grays Athletic were one of the busiest on transfer deadline day, bringing in no less than five players... Grays have signed Lincoln City midfielder Tom Wilkinson and Millwall striker Gavin Grant on loan, and both Dean Howell and Chukki Eribenne arrive from Weymouth, while striker Maheta Molango joins from Brighton. Wilkinson, 21, has left Sincil Bank to join the Essex outfit for the rest of the season... 22-year-old Grant has moved to Grays initially for a month, with a view to extending until the end of the season. Midfielder Howell, 25, becomes one of many first-team players to leave Weymouth in the wake of the departure of manager Garry Hill. ... Striker Eribenne has followed from Weymouth, whom he had joined in the summer of 2004... Molango is a Swiss-born Italian striker who joined Brighton in August 2004 from Bundesliga 2 club SV Burghausen. Molango, who has played for Congo's under-21 side, began his career in Spain with Atlético Madrid".

    The Football Conference says that at Rushden & Diamonds, "Greg Pearson has had his contract cancelled by the club, while Dan Chillingworth is another player to be shown the door. Chillingworth has subsequently joined rivals Cambridge United. Daniel Grainger left the club by mutual consent but Jamie Cook will stay after extending his stay at Nene Park until the end of the season. Boston United defender Mark Albrighton is also staying until the end of the season and Chris Beardsley has now signed an 18 month contract".

    At Tamworth "Simon Heslop today agreed to extend his loan period for the rest of the season from Barnsley".

    Stafford Rangers "are pleased to announce the signing of two new players. Sean Ridgway is a 20-year-old midfielder who has previously played for both Aldershot Town and most recently Crawley Town. He impressed in Monday's Reserve-team's 4-2 victory... Signed on a one-month loan from Morecambe is 28-year-old striker David McNiven".

    This is United reports that "Midfielder Chris Hargreaves will be staying at Oxford United. It was believed he was in talks with a Football League club yesterday, but it is understood he could not agree terms... His contract runs out at the end of the season and, partly, because of his age, he is 35 in May, he is unlikely to get a new deal".

    The Cambridge Evening News confirms that "Dan Chillingworth has returned to Cambridge United until the end of the season to top a trio of new signings drafted in by Jimmy Quinn... The 25-year-old striker, a graduate of the youth system at the Abbey who made more than 80 appearances for United, was released by Rob Newman in 2005 after the club's relegation from the Coca-Cola League. He spent the last 18 months with Rushden & Diamonds but was recently released. Quinn said: "'He has got good movement and was regarded as the best finisher at Rushden, but a new manager wants to bring his own players in. We've offered money for strikers and they haven't wanted to come here. But Dan wants to'... Also arriving from Rushden is keeper Dan Crane, who has signed non-contract terms after Paul Crichton's loan move to King's Lynn for the rest of the season. Crane, 22, a youth-team player at West Bromwich who later joined Burton Albion, was released by Diamonds... Crichton's move comes after he was fined and dropped... following comments made to United fans during last week's 3-1 defeat at Rushden. Quinn said Crichton would continue as the club's goalkeeping coach... Carl Patten's work experience loan from Southend has ended after just a week".


    This Saturday, Altrincham travel to Southport. Southport GB report that ex-Alty winger "James Olsen and Franny Barry have been informed by manager Peter Davenport that their contracts will not be renewed later this week. Dino Maamria had left the club on a free transfer to join Rushden & Diamonds".

    Right: Colin Little challenges for the ball last Saturday against Kidderminster.

    1 February 2007


    The supporters' trust, STAR, is running a supporters' coach for Saturday's trip to Southport. After that, Alty's next away game is at Crawley Town on February 17th and STAR, is also planning to run a coach to that game. STAR travel coordinator Tom Jacobs will be taking bookings from this Saturday. The Crawley coach will leave The Vine at 7.40am, The Hare & Hounds at 7.50am, Station House at 7.55am and Moss Lane at 8am. Fares will be £25 return (£22 for concessionaries and £15 for juniors). As usual the coach will be of executive standard, with an on-board toilet, and will make a brief food stop en route. So why not spare yourself the long motorway drive and travel in style on the STAR coach provided by Go Goodwins coaches? And the team needs as much away support as possible as it seeks to improve its form away from Moss Lane. Please book through the club on 928-1045 or via Tom, on the coach to Southport this Saturday.

    Details of the STAR supporters' coaches are on the Away Travel page.


    Altrincham Reserves beat Rossendale United Res. 4-1 tonight in the Lancashire League Cup, with two goals from Peter Thomson and one each from Pat McFadden and Astley Mulholland. Report to follow.


    The BBC reports that "The stakes on offer might not be quite as high as the top level of the game, but Conference football is proving just as ruthless in the sack race. Mark Cooper's recent departure from bottom club Tamworth has taken the number of clubs changing their managers this season up to eight. That amounts to a third of the clubs playing in the Conference National, with seven casualties coming in the bottom half of the table in what is becoming a desperate fight against relegation. Weymouth, whose over-spending led to the departure of Garry Hill earlier this month, are the one exception. But Tamworth, Southport, Cambridge, Rushden and Diamonds, Grays (on their fourth manager this season), Crawley and Forest Green Rovers have all got rid of managers as they scramble to stay out of the bottom four... 'We are concerned and disappointed every time a manager loses his position but that is the name of the business we are in', John Moules, chief operating officer of the Conference, told BBC Sport. 'It's in keeping with the rest of football. The Football League had a 40% turnover (of managers) this year so this is synonymous with the way football is at the moment. And with 20 of 24 teams full-time, it's the harsh world we live in'...

    According to Northwich Victoria boss Steve Burr more factors should be taken into account by clubs who are quick to sack their managers, who, unlike their League counter-parts, do not have a supporting body like the League Managers' Association. 'Only one team wins the league, one wins the play-offs, one wins the Trophy and perhaps one has a good cup run', Burr told BBC Sport. 'But it just seems to be the slightest thing and clubs get rid of their managers. They want the good times and they don't want to stick with them through the bad times. It doesn't matter what club you're at. If you haven't got the same resources financially to get better players, nine times out of 10 you will finish below the team that has... I believe clubs should be more loyal when things are not going so well and forget the rubbish and everything that goes with it, with these anonymous voices on the internet and phone-ins. Supporters see the team on the pitch, and that's all they see'...

    [Burr added] 'If you look at the table, it's probably, apart from Cambridge, about what it should be. Our aim, like that of Altrincham, Tamworth and Stafford, is to stay in this division. As managers we want to be up the top and winning every week, but really you can only do as well as what you've got to spend... Teams that have been successful are the ones who have stuck with their managers, like Nigel Clough at Burton. At the start of last season the supporters were hounding him and giving him criticism... And Mark Cooper is a good manager. I see him out at games, he works hard and only two weeks ago he had Tamworth in the FA Cup against Norwich and probably brought in £200,000. Clubs should stick with a manager like that... To be fair to the supporters of Northwich, 90% of them are realistic and know that if we stay in this division we have achieved something. We are building slowly to get stronger each year and try and get to a full-time position. I have never been one to jump up and down if the chairman doesn't give me this that or the other. We always try and do our best with what we have got. If it doesn't work and I lose my job, that's football. But a lot more clubs should be realistic about what they are trying to achieve with what they've got'".

    York City "have signed a new striker, Richard Brodie, from Newcastle Benfield F.C. The 19 year old, who has previously toured with Bolton Wanderers, played against City in the 4th qualifying round of the F.A. Cup and impressed Minstermen Manager, Billy McEwan. The Club confirmed they have signed the 6ft 3 striker for a nominal fee and have agreed to play Newcastle Benfield away in a pre-season friendly as part of the deal... McEwan said, 'He’s a great young player with good potential who I can really work with. I’m uncertain at this stage if he’ll make the first team, but he’s definitely a great prospect for the future'... Richard Brodie is currently suspended for one game, but will be eligible to play for City away at Altrincham on Saturday 10th February".

    "Dagenham & Redbridge striker Cliff Akurang has rejoined Conference South outfit Thurrock on loan. Akurang was also wanted by Cambridge United who had agreed a fee for the 25-year-old.The former Luton player opted for a second spell with Thurrock". The BBC also says that "Aldershot have released midfielder David Lee. A former Southend and Oldham player... Lee, 26, had recovered from a broken leg to make 18 appearances this season but he will now not be kept on. Manager Terry Brown told his club's website: 'David is out of contract and I am not in a position to offer him a new one at this moment'".

    "Forest Green Rovers have sealed a deal to take young Bristol City utility player Shaun Lamb on loan. The Bristol-born 20-year-old, who can play in defence or midfield, joins Rovers until the end of the season... On-loan goalkeeper Steve Williams will return to parent club Wycombe Wanderers, having made 25 appearances since joining Rovers last August."

    "Teenage midfielder Tom Bonner is to stay with Rushden and Diamonds until the end of the season. The former Northampton Town player, 18, joined on non-contract terms earlier this month. Meanwhile, Rushden boss Graham Westley has allowed goalkeeper Dan Crane to leave Nene Park. The former Burton keeper, 22, joined Rushden last January but has not played this season and leaves by mutual consent after a loan spell with Lewes".

    Last Saturday's visitors to Moss Lane, "Kidderminster, have signed Walsall striker James Constable for an undisclosed fee. Constable, 22, scored nine goals in a two-month loan spell at Aggborough and has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal. Harriers' boss Mark Yates told his club's website: 'We're delighted to have him on board, we know what he's about, he's a fantastic addition'".

    NL DAily confirms that "Forest Green Rovers` attacking midfielder Alex Meechan has made a surprise move to Chester City. Meechan will spend the rest of the season on loan at the Deva Stadium after being released by Rovers. The 27-year-old... wanted to be allowed to move back nearer his Liverpool home".

    "Jim Smith, manager of Oxford United, has added a second Cardiff City youngster to his squad in the space of four days. Michael Corcoran, 19, has followed Cardiff team-mate Gregg Coombes in joining the U's on a month's loan deal... He is the captain of the Cardiff reserve side".

    Confguide reports on "Gravesend & Northfleet ins and outs. In: Alex Varney (unattached), Joel Ledgister (from Southend on loan), Luke McShane (from Peterborough on loan). Out: Chris Anderson and Danny Ekoku". Also, "Cambridge ins and outs: Aidan Collins signed non-contract after release from Ipswich; was good enough to play centre back for their first eleven at 16, but is just back from a series of bad injuries. Brother of our young left back, Jordan Collins".

    Meanwhile, the Football Conference says that "League Two strugglers Grimsby Town have bolstered their defence with the signing of former Mariner Matt Bloomer until the end of the season. The 28-year-old has rejoined his hometown club after being released by Cambridge United by mutual consent".

    Rushden & Diamonds "are delighted to announce that Jamie Cook has today signed a contract for the remainder of the season. The plucky midfielder, who was also a professional golfer, had previously played under Graham Westley at Stevenage Borough and the Diamonds' Assistant Manager, John Dreyer, at Maidenhead United".

    Halifax Today say that "Town boss Chris Wilder was hoping to tie up the long term loan signing of centre back Ryan Cresswell... Cresswell, 19, was expected to put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the Shay to the end of the season. 'We are really light at the back with Jake Wright, who is really a left back, the only cover for Adam Quinn and Neal Trotman', said Wilder... [who] has be been keen to secure back up for his defence particularly after the news that Greg Young is out for the season after tearing his cruciate ligament... Rotherham-born Cresswell, a product of the United academy, returned to Bramall Lane yesterday following a month on loan at Ilkeston... Cresswell will take the number of loanees in the Town squad to four as joining fellow centre back Neal Trotman, midfielder Felix Bastians and striker Lionel Ainsworth. Clubs are allowed four long term and eight short term loan deals per season. Cresswell's arrival will leave Wilder with one long term deal up his sleeve... He has just one short term deal left to play with". Meanwhile "Striker Andy Campbell is at Lilleshall as he continues his rehabilitation frollowing a knee injury... on October 3".

    Yesterday Stevenage Borough "were successful in the 3-club race for St Albans City striker Paul Hakim, agreeing a 4 figure transfer fee. The 24 year-old striker was previously at Bishops Stortford, where he formed a strike partnership with [Boro's] Steve Morison". But "Jason Goodliffe ended 5 years at Boro when his contract was terminated by mutual consent today. The 32 year old centre half, who has made over 150 appearances for Boro, has been on loan at York City this season... Chairman Phil Wallace said 'He has a chance to sign an 18-month deal at Rushden and secure his future as a professional, so we've agreed to release him now so that he can take up that offer".

    The Northwich Guardian reports on the Cheshire Senior Cup game - Witton Albion 1 Northwich Victoria 2 in which "Tony Barras's backside settled this boisterous derby duel. Stuart Elliott's free kick squirted off the Albion defender and out of the reach of Jon Kennedy's despairing dive to send the holders spinning out of the UniBond Cheshire Senior Cup... Wittoners turned their ire on referee Dean Mohareb afterwards but, in truth, the match official made puzzling decisions to the detriment of both teams throughout... Vics held firm to give themselves a shout of winning a trophy that has eluded them for 13 years".

    And This is York adds that "York City boss Billy McEwan has revealed the club intend to fight against the 'international loophole' that means Clayton Donaldson can join Hibernian for nothing this summer. The Minstermen are ready to lodge an appeal with the FA after learning yesterday that the compensation ruling that would have entitled the KitKat Crescent outfit to a fee in this country does not apply to international transfers. In moves between English teams, Football League and Conference clubs receive a cash sum for out-of-contract players under the age of 24 but Scotland, like all other affiliated countries, are governed by FIFA's under-23 ruling. Donaldson will turn 23 next Wednesday, meaning City will not receive compensation if the ex-Hull City reserve plies his trade north of the border having signed a pre-contract agreement with the Scottish Premier League club.

    But McEwan said, 'I am sure we can get something for him. They will need to get international clearance before he can play and we will be putting in an appeal. I'm hoping we can get something for coaching and developing him because it's not right... It's another harsh lesson learned and that's the seedy game of football at times. It's not nice and it kicks you in the teeth'. An angry McEwan, who began his professional career as a Hibs player in 1969, also refused permission for a photographer from a Scottish national paper to snap Donaldson at KitKat Crescent yesterday. He said: ' threw him out of the ground because he's still a York City player until the end of the season. They can take their pictures of him when he goes to Hibernian'.

    "But... the City manager is hoping 20-goal Donaldson will now produce his best form for the Minstermen once he has served the third and final game of his current suspension. McEwan said: 'I've always said we would never stand in his way and we know we will lose our better players but I'm disappointed with the way it's happened. I think he's a young boy, who's a little naïve and I think he's been exploited and misguided but he's still a York City player between now and the end of the season and I've told him he's got to get his head together because I will rip into him if he lets his team-mates down. He will battle and compete because, if he doesn't do that, he won't be selected to play".

    McEwen added "It's a big, big step from the Conference to the top five in the SPL. He may sit on the bench and only come on for 20 minutes but it's the boy's decision. I just think he's been swayed on the matter'.

    'The way it was done has annoyed me', McEwan said. "My chairman phoned me on Monday morning and said that Clayton was about to sign for Hibs. I said, eh? The agent then phoned us up and said that Hibs would give us £50,000, but we're not interested in that. So, then, they said, Oh well, we'll just sign him for nothing in the summer... I know [the Hibs' chairman] spoke to my chairman, but, out of respect, I thought I might have got a call as manager. It's been done behind my back, which I don't like. John (Collins) is only a young manager, I suppose, so he'll be a bit wet behind the ears. If that is the way he wants to do his business, then that is up to him. He might have been a great player, but he's still got a lot to learn about being a good manager, in my opinion. A wee phone call to tell me that he was going to speak to my player would have been handy. Nothing has been done against the rules, but it would have been nice for him to call and say "All right Billy, I know your situation, but I'm going to speak to your player. It's just to put you in the picture"'".

    Exeter City's Danny Woodards, having played on trial at Yeovil yesterday, is currently discussing terms with Crewe".