Altrincham Football Club News Archive
March, 2007

31 March 2007


Altrincham Youth play the semi-final of the Neil Thomason Memorial Trophy tomorrow (Sunday) at Wythenshawe Town , k.o. 2pm. Entry is free so please come along and help the team progress in a competition named in memory of the former Altrincham FC Youth coach.


Alty Reserves came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Guiseley today. Details to follow.


Above: Lewis Chalmers receives congratulations after scoring

Above: Billy Jones scores Exeter's winner from the penalty spot.

Match report here.

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

    Saturday 31st

  • Aldershot T. 2 St Albans C. 0
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Exeter C. 2
  • Cambridge U. 7 Weymouth 0
  • Crawley T. 3 Stevenage B. 0
  • Forest Green R. 0 Rushden & D. 2
  • Grays A. 1 Halifax T. 0
  • Kidderminster H. 0 Northwich V. 1
  • Morecambe 2 Woking 0
  • Oxford U. 0 Burton A. 0
  • Southport 5 Stafford R. 1
  • Tamworth 0 Dagenham & R. 2
  • York C. 0 Gravesend & N. 2


    Altrincham FC welcomes Urmston Town JFC to Moss Lane today as its guests under the Featured Club scheme.


    Steve Tully of Exeter City knows how to charm the Altrincham crowd. 'I played up at Altrincham with Weymouth and it is a horrible little place to go and play. But these are the games you have to get something out of' Tully told This is Exeter. That website adds that "Exeter City owe their fans a big performance tomorrow as they aim to end their poor form on the road.The Grecians head into the match against relegation-threatened Altrincham on the back of a four-game losing streak away from St James's Park". The article adds, "Steve Tully, who has been sidelined for the last three games with a gashed ankle, may come back into the side after coming through Wednesday's Wesintsure St Luke's Challenge Bowl win over Tiverton Town. Tully reckons 'It all comes down to communication. With myself and Paul Buckle being out, we have missed that voice on the pitch. We are both big talkers and, especially in away games, you need your big players to stand up and be counted'".

    This is Exeteralso claims that "Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote has upped the ante ahead of Exeter City's visit to Moss Lane tomorrow, saying: 'There is an awful lot riding on this game'. The Grecians are hoping to muscle their way back into the promotion picture, while Alty have set their sights on avoiding relegation... 'The league has something hingeing on every game at the moment - whether it involves the play-offs or relegation', said Heathcote. 'Everyone has a fight on their hands and it is impossible to predict who is going up and down at this stage. We went to Stevenage last weekend and nobody would have predicted we would win down there. This is the part of the season where you get some strange results. The one thing we learned from last year is that you don't get teams having an off day now as there is something at stake for everyone. They are a full-time outfit and we are a part-time outfit. Given the hectic nature of this month in terms of games, the advantages are always with the full-time clubs. Our preparation has been simple - rest. We are literally not able to train at the moment because of the volume of games. But every game is massive for us at the moment. We have given ourselves a chance, whereas three or four weeks ago our hopes were looking relatively slim', he added.'But that's all we have done because it is so tight down there. We have six games left and we have to try to perform in all of them, it's as simple as that. We are expecting a tough game because they are one win outside the play-offs and I am sure they are expecting a tough game because we are scrambling to get over that finishing line. So there is an awful lot riding on this game... We would love to get the points as quickly as possible but no one is going to come and give them to us, that's for sure. You have to go out and earn them and that's what will be trying to do... Our home form paints a similar picture to Exeter's away form', he said. 'All it does when you suffer that sort of run is to make you more determined to put an end to it as soon as you can. It actually switches you on and I am sure they will want to put an end to their run of results'.

    Meanwhile, "Assistant boss Paul Buckle is confident Exeter City can halt a sorry sequence of away defeats by overcoming Altrincham... Four successive away defeats is the worst run of league results on the road since the Grecians dropped into the Nationwide Conference four years ago. Manager Paul Tisdale labelled his side's defending 'woeful' following their 2-1 midweek defeat at Forest Green Rovers... 'We have to turn this away form around, starting tomorrow [Saturday]' warned Buckle. 'By hook or by crook, we need to get a win. This time of the season is all about winning games - it doesn't matter how you win them. People need to step forward and take responsibility. We haven't got 30-odd games to put it right, it has to sink in now if we are going to be successful. We are not going to start blaming individuals. What we have got to do is regroup, look at what went wrong on Tuesday night and put it right... The goals and the first half display at Forest Green weren't good enough and it isn't going to happen again. It is all about learning from those mistakes and learning very quickly... Come Saturday, at a quarter to five, if we have got three points in the bag then the whole picture will change again... Being positive and upbeat is the only way forward. There isn't any other way to look at it because we have got seven games left and they are all massive games... They are all must-win games between now and the end of the season... Every tackle, every header, they are all must-win situations. We cannot afford to make any more mistakes because we can't afford to lose any more ground'.. The biggest dilemma facing [manager Paul] Tisdale is which two strikers to select... All five strikers have been given ample opportunity to stake their claim for a regular place, but all have been inconsistent in their form. Other than Jon Challinor, who has bagged 10 goals - eight of which came from midfield - no other striker has come close to a double-figure tally... Tisdale continually rotates his strikers in a bid to find his best combination...

    Steve Tully, who has been sidelined for the last three games with a gashed ankle, may come back into the side after coming through Wednesday's Wesintsure St Luke's Challenge Bowl win over Tiverton Town. Tully reckons 'It all comes down to communication. With myself and Paul Buckle being out, we have missed that voice on the pitch. We are both big talkers and, especially in away games, you need your big players to stand up and be counted... I have said to the gaffer I am fit to play, so it is down to him now. Hopefully I can bring a voice back into the side because we have seven games left and we have to start picking up points on the road, otherwise we won't be going anywhere near the play-offs... We came away from Forest Green feeling like we owed the fans and the club a good performance on Saturday... I played up at Altrincham with Weymouth and it is a horrible little place to go and play. But these are the games you have to get something out of'".

    In the form table over the last 6 games, Altrincham are second, behind Dagenham whilst Exeter are 17th .


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Confidence is still high at Moss Lane despite Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Stafford Rangers... The Robins probably need at least two more wins to secure Conference survival... [Manager Graham] Heathcote told SAM Sport: 'It's a tough game. The last six games are all big games for us and we need to pick up as many points as possible. Everbody is on a downer after the Stafford game but if we had beaten them and lost to Stevenage rather than the other way round, it would have been a completely different mood. We had enough possession against Stafford and created plenty of chances in the second half but they defended well so hats off to them. We've had a good month so we can still go into the Exeter game in good heart, confident that we can get a result'.

    Alty will still be without long-term injury absentees Val Owen and Gary Scott for Saturday's game. Scott is at least another week away from full fitness while Owen was due to have a scan on his injured foot on Friday to determine how long he will be out. Stephen Rose will also be missing from the Robins' defence as he starts his three-match ban for the red card he picked up against Stafford in midweek.

    Meanwhile, Exeter should welcome back Steve Tully after injury and he should replace Patrick Ada at right back. But midfielder Paul Buckle is still out with strained knee ligaments".

    The BBC adds that "Either Adam Stansfield or Richard Logan could make way for Jon Challinor or Lee Phillips up front. Altrincham striker Rod Thornley is available again after being away with England in his role as team masseur". Steve Aspinall is the likely replacement for the suspended Rose.


    "Peter Thomson has been released by Altrincham after having the remainder of his contract paid up by the club", confirms SAM. "Since signing from Stafford Rangers in the summer Thomson has started just three games for the club and has generally failed to impress... 'It's just not worked out for him at the club, it's as simple as that', said Alty boss Graham Heathcote. 'We gave him a contract at the start of the season as an act of good faith because he didn't know us and we didn't know him. He didn't beg and plead for a contract. It's just one of those things. It's hampered my plans for the season because I've not been able to bring other players in but we just have to get on with it'".


    Altrincham have yet to visit Dagenham & Redbridge this season, where "The Club is hoping for and anticipating larger than average home crowds for each of our remaining three home games. With this in mind tickets are now on sale for each of the stands as well as the terraces. We will also be opening the Bury Road gates for each of these matches, although tickets for Bury Road must be purchased in advance. Anyone wishing to guarantee a seat for any of our remaining home games are urged to purchase them as soon as possible whilst supporters purchasing terrace tickets before each game will be able to access the ground more quickly. Tickets can be purchased from the club house every day from 11.00am to 9.30pm or by telephone on 020-8592-1549 ext 26. The Club would be grateful to all supporters who can purchase tickets in advance as this does ease congestion at the turnstiles on matchdays". Where this leave visiting supporters, I will try to clarify.

    From This is Staffs we learn that "Stafford Rangers have been hit by further injury problems as they prepare for yet another survival scrap at Southport tomorrow. Four players were on the Marston Road treatment table this week after Rangers' crucial 1-0 win at Altrincham on Tuesday. And they were joined by new loan signing Andy White, who was hurt in a reserve match on Wednesday night. Among the worries are midfielder Levi Reid, who missed the midweek match with a groin strain, and skipper Wayne Daniel, who has reported a back strain. Also suffering back problems is winger Danny Edwards, while Craig Lovatt has a thigh injury" More surprising news, perhaps, is that " Striker Guy Madjo, though, is expected to make a full recovery after being carried off as a result of a collision with Altrincham's goalkeeper".

    "Gravesend and Northfleet manager Liam Daish insists he is committed to the club and will not be leaving. The Fleet boss has been linked with the vacant manager's posts at fellow Conference sides Aldershot and Woking. Daish told BBC BBC Radio Kent: "I have been talking to the board over a contract and they have offered me a new deal. I don't see myself going anywhere. I'm here, I've got a job to do and I just want to focus on my next game and I've agreed a contract with the club'".

    At York City "Manager Billy McEwan is hoping to extend the loan spell of Chesterfield defender Janos Kovacs. Kovacs, 21, reaches the end of his first month's stay with the Minstermen after Saturday's game against Gravesend and Northfleet. McEwan told the York Press: 'We are trying to keep as he's done well and has adapted well to the Conference'".

    This is Glos says that "Forest Green Rovers chairman Colin Gardner has told Conference rivals Aldershot Town to forget about poaching manager Jim Harvey. Harvey is on the Hampshire club's shortlist to replace Terry Brown... 'Jim has heard some whispers that they are interested, and I have told him that no one is allowed to approach him, they come through me', said Gardner. 'If they want to talk, the first compensation figure is £250,000, and we can go from there. He is under contract until the end of next season, and no one is allowed to talk to him directly. If they do, I will come down hard on them. Jim is the best manager I have ever come across', said Gardner. 'He is the man I wanted, I got him here and he's not going anywhere, simple as that... We will not go down this season, I am confident of that. Trevor Horsley (Rovers vice-chairman) said the other day that he is not nervous for the first time in a few seasons'". Meanwhile Harvey said, "Ideally, I would like to keep the majority of the players we've got here. If we could keep the bulk of what we have and add two or three more quality players over the summer then I'd be very happy with that. At the moment we've only got 19 on the books, which is a bit thin, so we'll certainly need to bring in some new faces. But I feel we've got a nice balance of players who are improving all the time and could certainly do well next year". Gardner added: "Jim already has his budget for next season, and he knows where the club is going" <> FGR's "Recent arrivals Ryan Robinson, Adriano Rigoglioso and Danny Carey-Bertram are all contracted to the club until 2008, as are midfield pair Jamie Pitman and Simon Clist. But key individuals such as Darren Jones, John Hardiker, Kevin Nicholson and skipper Michael Brough have yet to commit to deals beyond the end of this season, not to mention a crop of non-contract players... Harvey believes "Another couple of wins would probably put us safe and of course it would be nice if we could get those in the next two games".

    Tony Kempster runs an excellent website on which he "has predicted lineups for next season based on current league positions, with the playoff place given to the team in the highest playoff position. His predicted line up for Conference North (based on positions as of 24th March)" includes current National sides Cambridge United and Southport". His full list comprises: AFC Telford United, Alfreton Town, Barrow, Blyth Spartans, Burscough, Cambridge City, Cambridge United, Farsley Celtic, Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town, Hinckley United, Hucknall Town, Hyde United, Moor Green (to be Solihull Moors next season), Nuneaton Borough, Redditch United, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic, Vauxhall Motors, Worcester City, Workington, Worksop Town".

    30 March 2007


  • May 2006: Altrincham FC are docked 18 points and fined £1,000 after playing James Robinson, whose previous club was Accrington Stanley, because Robinson did not have international clearance. But for the forced demotion of Scarborough, Altrincham would have been relegated.
  • March 2007: AFC Wimbledon are fined £400 and have their threatened 18-points deduction waived after using a player without clearance.
  • March 2007: The BBC confirms that "Accrington Stanley have avoided a points deduction for fielding ineligible players.

    The League Two side, which is just above the relegation zone, has been fined £12,000 by the Football League with half of that sum suspended. A club statement said: 'Accrington are satisfied with the outcome of the case. We may have been guilty of technicalities that breached regulations. But, we have never sought to cheat or circumvent the rules'. The statement added: 'We accept the fine for the breaches and we now look forward to the remaining seven games this season'. Stanley were charged with fielding two ineligible players - work experience Preston striker Chris McGrail and young goalkeeper Martin Fearon in games which yielded seven points".

    Altrincham fans well know that you have as much chance of forecasting all six balls correctly in the National Lotto as predicting the punishment to be meted out by the FA in player registration cases but they should now sit down with a stiff drink before reading the following prose from Accrington Stanley, who pronounce themselves "delighted to finally be in a position to release full details of the cases brought against us".

    They explain" The club had known about the charges brought against us for the last couple of months, however we had always felt that it was always better to keep the story out of the media to prevent struggling clubs attempting to put pressure on the Football League.

    Of course this was demonstrated when the story did break with an individual from one club threatened with relegation urging the Football League to take points from us through the press and radio, somewhat disappointing as we would like to think that as a club we would have been supportive of a club of a similar size to ourselves who were threatened with a points deduction for such a technicality, or at least to have kept quiet if we had a clouded history ourselves. We have always believed it important to remember that Accrington Stanley has never sought to cheat or to bypass the rules of the game, let alone the laws of the land.

    As a club we don’t try to hide things unnecessarily and at the end of the day people who come to the games and pay money to the club should be entitled to know what is going on, however when the story did break we were advised by our legal team to issue the short statement that we made on our website and then wait till after the hearing before putting our side of the story out to the press. It was actually very difficult not to be able defend the club’s position, particularly in light of what we felt were minor technicalities that could perhaps have been dealt with quickly and simply by pointing out our error and allowing us to rectify the situation...

    Accrington Stanley are satisfied with the outcome of the case. We may have been guilty of technicalilties that breached regulations however we have never sought to cheat or circumvent the rules of the competition or the laws of the game. We accept the fine for the breaches and we now look forward to the remaining seven games this season".

    So Altrincham supporters now know why there was a deafening silence from Accrington over the Robinson affair.


    This afternoon, the Northwich Guardian reported that "Northwich Victoria FC are not up for sale. Rumours have been rife that chairman Mike Connett was looking for bidders to take the Conference club out of his hands, but this afternoon the club has issued a statement refuting speculation. It reads: 'The club is not up for sale and it is not going into liquidation. The chairman is away this weekend but when he returns at the beginning of next week he will be releasing a further statement through his lawyers, who are looking closely at comments that have been made on the Northwich Victoria Supporters' Trust website forum'".

    The Northwich Guardian reported this morning that the Northwich Victoria "Trust board are due to meet tonight, Friday, in an emergency meeting. They will issue a statement, which will be published here, as soon as possible afterwards". This comes amidst rumours about chairman Mike Connett's continued involvement with the club. At the moment the official website has no mention of this development and the unofficial forum and the supporters' site are unavailable due to technical reasons.


    The contract of Peter Thomson (right) has been paid up by Altrincham FC and he has now left the club. Thomson, signed from Stafford in the close season, failed to established himself in the first team and missed much of the early part of the campaign through injury. He started three games, was a used sub in six matches and scored once whilst at the Club.


    Facing Altrincham on Saturday are Exeter City. This is Exeter reports that "Rob Edwards says Exeter City have no chance of clinching promotion if they continue to make basic defensive errors.The Grecians pressed the self-destruct button on Tuesday night when Forest Green Rovers right-back John Hardiker twice punished poor marking to steer his side to a 2-1 win at The New Lawn. Paul Tisdale's men have now suffered four straight defeats on the road and their destiny has been taken out of their hands as they now trail fifth-placed Burton Albion by three points in the race for the Conference play-offs. And while the club's misfiring strikers continue to struggle in front of goal, it is defensive mistakes that are costing the club dear at the business end of the season. City conceded few goals from set-pieces earlier in the season, but shoddy defending at Rushden, Halifax and Forest Green have robbed the team of precious points... 'We were really disappointed about Tuesday night', said the experience centre half, who has been one of City's most consistent performers this season. 'We haven't played well for the last three or four games... It's just that we are conceding silly goals and making basic mistakes. You can't afford to concede goals from set pieces like we have been doing recently... The manager hasn't been doing anything different to what he was doing at the start of the season. It is similar to the England situation where the players must hold their hands up. It is the players who must pull things around and that has to start at Altrincham on Saturday. I don't know why our away form has dipped like it has because we were so good away from home at the start of the season. No game is easy at this stage of the season... We have to start winning games now if we are going to do anything. We haven't been scoring enough goals and that hasn't helped. We need to improve at both ends of the pitch or we will be going nowhere this season'".

    Alty's next away opponents are St Albans City. The St Albans Observer says that "Four wins from their last seven games is what Colin Lippiatt believes St Albans City FC need to avoid relegation from the Nationwide Conference... City are seven points from safety... The Saints travel to Aldershot on Saturday before hosting Morecambe on Tuesday night, and Lippiatt knows his side need to put their best run of the season together to avoid falling through the Conference trap door. 'We need to win four of our last seven games, that's what I feel is the minimum requirement', said the manager. 'It's no good keep drawing. It's better to lose one and win one than pick up two draws. Our position is perilous and it's a massive ask but we've got to be positive. We haven't learnt how to win regularly this season and we must start doing that sooner rather than later'".


    Right; Chris Senior got the better of his giant marker, Luke Oliver, to net Alty's winner at Stevenage on Saturday and was centre-stage for different reasons against Stafford last Tuesday.

    After Tuesday's defeat by Stafford, SAM says that "Altrincham got the boot at Moss Lane on Tuesday night - or, more precisely, Chris Senior did. The Robins suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to relegation rivals Stafford and the little striker's decision to pick his right boot up off the turf proved to be the defining moment. It may seem like a completely innocuous decision but that's not how referee Guy Stretton saw it. He took Conference officiating to new levels of pettiness by penalising Senior for the offence and handing Stafford a free kick - one from which they went on to score the game's only goal... To make matters worse Stephen Rose was sent off for a reckless second half challenge on former Alty man Ged Murphy and will now face a three-match ban... Teams like Stafford always bring the worst out in Alty. To call them direct would be a vast understatement. Their midfield only appear to be there to make up the numbers because they spent most of the evening watching the ball whizz over their heads. But, while it may not be pretty to watch, it's hard to condemn them for their style of play because, quite simply, it works. The quick and powerful Cameroonian Madjo forms a formidable partnership up front with wily veteran Neil Grayson and when the ball was launched down the channels, they caused the Alty defence all sorts of problems... And with Murphy - a man quite obviously pursuing a vendetta - whining, moaning and hacking his way around the pitch, it made life very difficult for the Conference's form team... The relegation fight is still well and truly on".

    "It was referee Guy Stretton who faced the wrath of the Alty boss as his side were plunged right back into the relegation dogfight. Mr Stretton's shocking decision to penalise Chris Senior for picking his boot up off the turf effectively decided the match.... 'The game wasn't decided by the teams as far as I'm concerned', he said after the game. Someone needs to explain to me how having your boot off is a free kick. He gave a free kick against Chris Senior for having his boot off and never in my life have I seen a free kick given for that. He decided the game, it's as simple as that. But he'll go home and have his dinner thinking he's had a good game and once again officialdom will be right and the rest of football will be wrong'... Stephen Rose deserved to be sent off, it was a ridiculously reckless tackle and I have no qualms with the sending off because you can't throw everything in like that, it's just stupidity. Ged [Murphy] did a lot of squealing from the first tackle but the players have got to be more professional than that, they fell for it. He's squealing away like a banshee and obviously Rose has lost his rag and committed a bad tackle and you can't defend that. But I can understand his frustration with being wound up'... And Heathcote's frustrations boiled over following the final whistle as he criticised Rangers' approach over the two games. 'They just lumped it like they did at their place and they won 1-0 there too, but I wouldn't want to play football that way', he added. 'They gain points that way and I suppose they'll be happy but that's not the way I see football. It's alehouse football that's effective and that's how I see it. I feel sorry for the supporters because as a spectacle it was poor. People pay to watch football games. It's no wonder they're only getting 600 people watching them because I wouldn't pay a penny to watch them, I could see that on the parks on a Sunday. There was a lot of things there tonight that I don't think football should be about'".


    A week after stating that "Stockport boss Jim Gannon had told Sky Sports that Lewis Chalmers "is one of a number of players we are looking at and we will be making further attempts to recruit young players in the summer, if we feel they are right for the club, both now and in the future'". the same source now quotes Gannon (without any reference to its earlier story) as saying "We haven't had the player watched and there is nothing to suggest we would be interested in signing him, either now or at the end of the season". Either Jim Gannon is schizophrenic or Sky Sports has spoken to another Jim Gannon, or someone made the story up!


    In a terse statement Woking state that "The Woking FC Board of Directors have confirmed that the contracts of Glenn Cockerill and Matt Crossley have been terminated with immediate effect. The club would like to thank them for their services and wish them all the best for the future. Graham Baker and Neil Smith will take charge of all first team affairs for the remainder of this season. Chairman John Buchanan has also resigned his position with immediate effect". BBC Southern Counties Radio adds that "Cockerill replaced Geoff Chapple as caretaker manager at Kingfield in October 2002, being confirmed as boss the following month. Captain Neil Smith and coach Graham Baker take charge for Saturday's trip to Morecambe and will remain at the helm for the rest of the season".

    Meamwhile "Former Farnborough and Stevenage boss Graham Westley would be keen to talk to Aldershot about the vacant manager's position, according to BBC SCR. Terry Brown left the Shots after five years earlier this week with assistant manager Martin Khul taking charge in a caretaker role. Khul told BBC SCR he also wants the job: 'I've worked with youth, reserve and first-teams. I think I'm ready. The club can't promise me anything but I'd love to give it a go'". More routinely, "Out of favour Woking defender Simon Jackson has extended his loan spell at Fisher Athletic. The 21-year-old full-back will now stay with the Conference South side until the end of the season."

    The Romford Recorder says that "Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Sam Sloma has insisted he cannot see the club throwing away the chance to seal a place in the Football League for the first time in their history. Overturning an 11-point lead with six matches remaining and having played a game more, is the task facing nearest challengers Oxford United, who were denied victory over Daggers at the Kassam Stadium on Monday night by the left-sided player's 90th minute equaliser... Daggers, currently on 82 points, require three more victories to seal an unprecedented promotion to League Two... 'I cannot see us losing more than two games max for the rest of the season if I'm honest' [presumably one of these is against Alty!] said Sloma... 'I don't feel Oxford are out of it. We've a little bit to do... But we're closer and closer... Many of us have come from non-league football and there has been discussion about the league and how well we might do', said Sloma... 'We're top of our league and there's not much in it between the top half of the Conference and the bottom half of League Two', he suggested. Daggers' stranglehold on the leadership of the Conference has been reinforced by Oxford's slump and Sloma conceded their demise may have been triggered by complacency. 'Perhaps they believed it would be too easy, but that's impossible because of the number of games. We knew they'd slip up at some stage'".

    "Gravesend manager Liam Daish says his side need to be stronger after their 2-1 defeat at Tamworth. Fleet have tended to perform better against the top sides in the Conference but struggle against those further down the table. Daish told BBC Radio Kent: 'We don't do well against teams who are physical and are scrapping for their lives. We need to get steel in our defence and midfield because at the moment we have too much of a soft underbelly'".

    "On-loan Kidderminster midfielder Andy Ferrell has returned to Hereford to receive treatment on a groin injury... Ferrell joined Harriers on loan on 22 March and has played only one game for Mark Yates' side" states the BBC.

    From This is Weymouth says that Terras' "player-manager Jason Tindall is hopeful of increasing Ishmael Welsh's loan stay at the club. The Yeovil Town winger has started the Terras' last eight games and has been an integral part of their recent upturn in fortunes... Welsh's current deal is due to expire after Saturday's clash at Cambridge United. Tindall said: 'Ishmael has been superb for us over the past month and I am hoping to keep him. I have spoken with him and he really wants to stay. I have also spoke to Russell Slade (Yeovil boss) and they would like to have him back as well so they can monitor him in their reserves but hopefully we can come to an agreement. f we can get him until the end of the season, which is what we would like to do, they can still call him back in 24 hours anyway, so hopefully we can find a happy medium'. Another loan player who is enjoying life at the Wessex Stadium is Conal Platt. The AFC Bournemouth man was sent-off at Halifax Town on February 20 in only his second game for the club but since his return from suspension he has been in fine form. Platt said: 'I am enjoying it. When I got sent off I was gutted so when I got back in the team I just wanted to hold my place. I feel I can still do better and at the moment I am working on my fitness and strength. Once that gets to the level I want it to then hopefully my performances will improve.My loan has been extended by another month and after that we will just have to see what happens. As for Jason, he is quality. He is decent and I get on with him really well. There is also a great buzz around the place at the moment. Even when we get beat and we are gutted everyone helps to pick each other up again which is great'".

    29 March 2007


    Altrincham FC have never played at St Albans City's Clarence Park ground, but they do so on Saturday, April 7th. As usual, STAR is running a supporters' coach to the match, details of which are on the Away Travel page. Please book early to avoid disappointment.


    Altrincham FC Reserves' manager Neil Brown is arranging another charity match in aid of Christie's Hospital with May 8th the provisional date. More details to follow.

    Last June, an Altrincham team comprising first-teamers, reserves, youth teamers, club officials and a supporter played a friendly charity game for Christie Hospital against a Houldsworth Arms side at East Levenshulme. In an entertaining game, Alty won 4-2. Geoff Goodwin scored with a fine volley early in the second half and he is seen above, celebrating.


    Alty Reserves played very well to defeat Bradford PA Reserves on Wednesday night.

    Brief match report in Reserves' section


    Paul Roberts writes:

    ALTRINCHAM F.C. JUNIORS: Formerly Hale Barns Utd JFC

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

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

    Players needed

    Altrincham FC Juniors will have a limited number of spaces for young budding players. If you are interested please e-mail Paul Roberts (address below) in the first instance or print and complete the player enquiry form and return it back by e-mail or to: Paul Roberts, Altrincham FC, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP.

    You will then be invited to a training session and guided into the appropriate team.

    A new website page for the Altrincham FC Juniors is here.


    The planned youth team friendly at Warrington Town on Friday 30th March has been postponed due to double booking of Cantilever Park.


    "'The lads worked tremendously hard tonight', was the verdict of Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson. 'There was some good play and we created a lot of excellent chances in the first half. We were unlucky not to have scored more goals in the first half. We certainly had to hang on a times in the second half and under pressure the players stood firm, got their bodies in the way and made sure we got the three points'. He added: 'It is a happy dressing room and we have already starting talking about the Southport game. We want to try and maintain our form and see if we can continue our unbeaten run. There was some good play and we created a lot of excellent chances in the first half. We were unlucky not to have scored more goals in the first half. We certainly had to hang on at times in the second half and, under pressure, the players stood firm, got their bodies in the way and made sure we got the three points''. Robinson felt Guy Madjo took his goal well. 'It was a great finish and great build-up. The was a back heel between Nathan Talbott and Ged Murphy. Nathan put in a great cross and Guy scored a great goal'".

    On This is Staffs Robinson adds that "The lads worked tremendously hard. We created a lot of chances in the first half and, though we had to hang on at times in the second, the players stood firm".


    The FA confirms that "Stephen Rose [from] 27/03/2007 is suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 27/03/2007". He will miss the home games against Exeter City and Gravesend and the away match at St Albans..


    Shaymen Online reports that "It was announced at tonight's meeting that the supporters will need to raise £40,000 in order to help facilitate the take-over of the club by a group of, as yet, unnamed businessmen. The consortium interested in purchasing the club will match any money raised pound for pound, up to £40,000, but cannot initially afford to cover the whole amount. Money is needed to help cover the March wage bill (circa £30,000) and to clear the CVA (an additional £50,000 over and above what the Shay 100/200/500 schemes have raised). The HT Supporters' Trust's representative to the club's board, Stuart Byrnes, stated that he first raised concerns about the club's debts around nine months ago... Questions need to be asked of the Trust. If it has been known for nine months that there were genuine concerns about the way the club was being run, why not say anything? And even worse, why has Chris Wilder been allowed to increase the wage bill several times during that period? Conference survival, yes, but at the expense of ultimate survival? No. Once again a chairman has been allowed too free a reign. He has spent money the club does not have, and once again the supporters are being asked to bail the club out".

    This is York says that "On-loan striker Rob Elvins will play no further part in City's season after returning to the Hawthorns. McEwan said: 'He helped us out when we needed a striker but it's not fair to keep a young lad who won't start league games. He's better off playing for West Brom reserves rather than York City's'".

    The Kidderminster Shutle says that "Confirmation that Kidderminster Harriers will play their FA Carlsberg Trophy final against Stevenage Borough at the new Wembley Stadium is a fairytale come true, according to the club's life president Colin Youngjohns. 'It'll be a tremendous occasion', said delighted Youngjohns. 'It's absolutely fantastic for the supporters. If it was going to be at a regional ground it would still have been great, but nothing like the kudos that you get from playing at Wembley. The revenue raised from it being there as opposed to a regional stadium is going make a tremendous difference. It's so much more valuable to both clubs to play at Wembley'... Happy Harriers were officially told on Tuesday that the May 12 showdown will be staged at the new national stadium'". Manager Mark Yates added, "We've still got 27 points to play for now... We haven't given up hope of the play-offs".

    The Gravesend Reporter states that "No amount of clowning around with poor results and half-hearted draws seems to be able to put the play-off dream to bed. I guess we can be grateful to our fellow contenders for having calamities of their own (thank you Stevenage for that most unexpected reverse at home to Altrincham), which has proved enough to keep the Fleet clinging desperately to the cliff-edge. But like in those Hollywood movies where some nasty villain steps on your fingers and you plummet to your death, it really is only going to take the twist of a boot from Tamworth or York and we'll be over the edge quicker than a suicidal lemming... But our sudden drop in form is alarming... in the bottom six of the form table and with one win in seven games... If we don't win this week, it's bye-bye to the season".

    Meanwhile This is Glos reports that "Forest Green manager Jim Harvey felt his side fully deserved [Tuesday's] 2-1 victory over Exeter City at the New Lawn... Harvey said: 'Don't forget, when I first turned up here we were losing a lot of leads in the last few minutes rather than winning games, so that's a big turnaround for us'". This is Exeter adds that "Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale slammed his side's 'woeful' defending after they gifted Forest Green a 2-1 victory... Rovers' defender John Hardiker twice punished atrocious marking at corners to send the Grecians crashing to defeat. 'The defending was woeful', fumed Tisdale. 'They were just two flighted balls into the middle of the box and our defending was simply not good enough. But it is no surprise as we have given away a few like that lately... We only have ourselves to blame. The first half hour was sub-standard and the team have gone out and kidded themselves that is good enough, kidded me that is good enough and kidded our supporters that is good enough... The players are kidding themselves if they think that is good enough because it is not'". The report goes on, "City have now lost their last four matches on the road and their inability to gather points away from St James's Park is seriously jeopardising their promotion hopes. And with their next two fixtures throwing up trips to Altrincham and Aldershot, manager Tisdale must find a solution... Schoolboy defending will get punished at this level and City must now pick themselves up ahead of the weekend. Tisdale named an unchanged team from the York game. That meant Bertie Cozic continued in the centre of midfield in place of the injured Paul Buckle while Pat Ada played at right back with Steve Tully still sidelined with a gashed ankle. Tisdale decided to keep faith with the strike partnership of Adam Stansfield and Richard Logan with Jamie Mackie, Lee Phillips and Jon Challinor all having to be content with a place on the bench".

    28 March 2007


    Following last night's deciding goal which came after a freekick had been given to Stafford in unusual circumstances, I have consulted Altrincham FC's expert on the laws of football, Phil Taylor, who is a qualified referee and refereeing examiner. He tells me that "There is a law which relates to players equipment. This states that a player must be wearing Boots, Shirt, Shorts, Socks and Shinguards and that these items must be in good condition and not be a cause real or potential of injury to the player or an opponent. There is also a law which states it to be an offence to indulge in conduct likely to endanger oneself or an opponent. It seems that Chris Senior lost his boot initially up by the Corner Flag in front of the Offices and was at that time instructed to put it back on. However he didn't do this immediately, instead continuing to play. Unfortunately the next time he was involved in play was in front of both the Referee and the Dug-outs hence the free kick and Chris having to leave the field of play to replace his boot. Having left the field of play he then has to wait until the referee allows him back on before he can rejoin play. I discussed this last night with a Refereeing colleague who also happens to be an instructor and, like me, an examiner and it seems to us both that there was a transgression of both the areas of Law referred to above".


    Match report here

    Right: Colin Little's expression sums up Alty's night as he leaves the pitch on Tuesday night.

  • League table including a points-won per game column and a projection based on this to the end of the season.
  • Alty player statistics
  • Alty line ups and bookings


    The Comet, which sponsored last Saturday's game at Stevenage says that "It was the legendary Jimmy Greaves who said football's a funny old game. This was certainly the case on Saturday as Boro played their best football for weeks but were beaten by a sucker punch for Altrincham. Few Boro fans would have been laughing at the final whistle though as the visitors snatched a 23rd minute lead before they defended resolutely for the remainder of the game. In truth Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn had few saves to make as Boro failed to hit the target enough after carving out a number of promising situations... Pinball in the Boro box eventually saw a shot fall to Chris Senior on the edge of the six-yard box and he smashed a shot beyond Alan Julian... [Manager] Stimson said afterwards: 'The result didn't go our way but the performance was first class. We probably didn't test the keeper enough despite all our opportunities... We moved the ball around very sharp and it's the best we've played for weeks. I can't really give Altrincham credit and I don't think they really deserved to win and take the points. We got behind the back of them loads of times but couldn't find the final ball'".

    For its part SAM quotes Graham Heathcote on the Stevenage game. "It was a very similar win to the one we got at Morecambe. We managed to get ourselves in the lead and then defended resolutely for the rest of the game. Credit to Stevenage though, they are possibly the best side in footballing terms that I have seen in the Conference. They had two wingers who were allowed to stay in naughty positions and didn't have to do much defending so they caused us plenty of problems. I expected that from a team who have just got to Wembley in the FA Trophy though. It was a really tough ask". SAM's Connor Murphy adds, "With matters in the bottom half of the Conference table still tighter than Tom Jones's trousers, Heathcote is not about to take anything for granted. He said: 'Looking at how it's gone recently, it makes you realise that if we hadn't got these results we would be right in the mire. It's given us a good chance of getting over the finishing line but that's what we have to do, we can't afford to rest on our laurels. [The Stafford] game will be very different to the Stevenage one. We know what to expect... 'If we drop below the levels of concentration we have shown in the last few weeks we will come unstuck. If we can win five out of six, we could just as easily lose five out of six, that's the way I look at it. We aren't setting any points targets because I don't think anyone can guess what total of points anyone will need to stay up. It's just about getting as many points as you can as quickly as you can'".


    Before last night's match, Stafford boss Phil Robinson spoke to This is Staffs about Altrincham. "They are always very difficult to play against - I watched them beat Grays last week and was very impressed. It is going to be very tough, but our confidence is high and, if we make sure everything is right physically, we have a great opportunity of extending our unbeaten run".


    Our next opponents are Exeter City who lost to a last-minute goal last night at FGR. This is Exeter said, before that game, that manager "Paul Tisdale has told his side they must turn around their recent away form - or risk blowing their dreams of promotion. The Grecians' promotion hopes have been knocked by three successive away defeats to Rushden & Diamonds, Halifax Town and Northwich Victoria. They have only been beaten twice at St James's Park but have lost eight times on the road this season. Tisdale's men have taken just 22 points from their 18 away matches, giving them the worst record of any of the sides in the top seven. And with three away matches on the bounce - starting with Forest Green Rovers tonight and continuing with Altrincham on Saturday and then Aldershot Town - Tisdale concedes now is the time the rot must be stopped. 'We have lost our last three away games, which is not a great record, and we have to put that right because we are not going to be successful if that carries on', said Tisdale, whose side face five of their remaining eight games away from home. 'We have got some important away games coming up and we certainly need a better return on the next three matches. If we don't win our away games we are going to struggle to stay in the play-offs. It is paramount that we get a result tonight. Apart from the first half at Halifax I don't think we have been too bad away from home'... Steve Tully is... now eyeing a return to action at Altrincham. With Jon Richardson rated as only 50/50 to recover from a slight thigh strain, Patrick Ada will continue to deputise at right-back. Tisdale added: 'With Steve Tully the skin has taken a while to bind together and there is bone bruising as well. So thanks to our friend Mr (Halifax striker Shane, who inflicted the injury) Smeltz he is probably going to be out for another match. Patrick Ada had a solid game on Saturday and worked really well. He didn't make any mistakes and challenged well... Bertie Cozic will continue in central midfield in place of Paul Buckle, who is facing another three weeks on the sidelines following a partial tear of his posterior cruciate ligament. Up front, Tisdale is likely to keep faith with the combination of Adam Stansfield and Richard Logan... The lack of goals from his frontmen is a source of concern... 'I would like my strikers to be scoring more', Tisdale admitted. 'Again, it is not through the want of trying. Sooner or later it will happen. I thought Adam Stansfield and Richard Logan complemented each other really well at the weekend". Before the FGR match Tisdale said, "I am not worried about them, although we would not be doing our job properly if we got complacent".


    The Confguide Forum reports from Cambridge United that at Monday's EGM "Motions [were] passed to drop restriction on 20% cap on individual share holding & restructuring of share price to 5p a share from 50p a share. Thus largest share holder Paul Barry along with 2 others can now put £600,000 into the club over next 3 years, plus seek more outside investment". The club's website confirms that "All resolutions passed, clearing way for fresh investment into the club".
    27 March 2007


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


    At Monday night's 85th Altrincham FC AGM the Club's accounts were confirmed - revealing that for the fourth successive year Altrincham FC had recorded a small profit - £9,315.The Directors were confirmed for a further year by a vote of the shareholders and they comprise Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley, Andrew Shaw, Carole Hassan, Barry Pond and Derek Wilshaw. The independent accountant from Milner Boardman congratulated the Board on running the club in exemplary fashion.

    After the official business, there was a brief question and answer session. During this Barry Pond revealed that plans are afoot to replace the floodlights at Moss Lane in time for next season. Though the existing lights meet the Conference lux standards, they are more than 40 years old and their design is such that it is difficult to replace bulbs. It is also hoped to erect a new toilet block for next season in the Golf Road/Moss Lane corner of the ground. The sewers will connect to the new sewers currently being laid in Golf Road. Andrew Shaw confirmed that the club had put in its request for party walls with the impending building development on the car park at Moss Lane.


    Graham Heathcote has indicated that both Steve Bushell and Karl Munroe picked up knocks against Stevenage on Saturday but he is hopeful that they will be fit for Tuesday's game against Stafford. However, both Gary Scott and Val Owen will miss the game.

    Meanwhile, "Stafford Rangers' important win over Grays Athletic on Saturday has come at a cost after teenage goalkeeper Robbie Duggan suffered a shoulder injury. The loanee from Stoke suffered a serious shoulder injury after a reckless first-half challenge from Grays' Matt Bodkin, who was booked as a result. 'I think it deserved a red card', said manager Phil Robinson of the incident which floored Duggan, who is the third Rangers keeper to be injured this season. Midfielder Levi Reid also had to be substituted after just nine minutes after picking up a groin strain, with both players now battling to be fit for their match at Altrincham on Tuesday night. Robinson praised his players for their 4-2 win over Grays, which lifted them into 15th place on the Nationwide Conference table. He told the Express and Star: 'It's such a different feeling at Marston Road now, back-to-back victories, an away draw sandwiched in between, and we're enjoying that feeling. We played some good stuff going forward and looked like scoring quite a few times. Guy Madjo caused them a lot of problems and got in a lot of good positions'" reports the Football Conference.


    Terry Rowley's attendance statistics have been updated here.


    FA states: "At an FA Appeal Board meeting today, the points deduction imposed on AFC Wimbledon by the Ryman League was reduced from 18 points to three points. The points had been deducted after the club fielded an ineligible player, Jermaine Darlington, who had previously played for Cardiff City and had not obtained international clearance before representing AFC Wimbledon. The Appeal Board ruled that, although the Ryman League had not misinterpreted its rules on eligibility and the decision to deduct 18 points was wholly in accordance with those rules, given the specific and unusual circumstances the deduction of 18 points was excessive.The £400 fine imposed by the league was not reduced". This is as much as the FA website feels that football supporters should know about their decision-making process. The "specific and unusual circumstances" therefore remain decidely unspecific.

    Altrincham fans need no reminding that our club had 18 points deducted last season when James Robinson's former club (Accrington Stanley) failed to get international clearance for him before he left them and joined us. So, one wonders what the "specific and unusual circumstances" may be in the AFC Wimbledon case; surely the fact that Newcastle United supporter and prime minister Tony Blair expressed his support for AFC recently in the House of Commons has nothing to do with it? Has it? Of the points deduction, Mr Blair told the House of Commons, "it's a daft rule and someone should change it". And also, why were Altrincham fined £1,000 not £400?

    Whilst delighted that AFC Wimbledon have had their sentence lightened where is the consistency in this? Most importantly, it was so obvious when we were made an example of by the FA last year that the problem would rear its head again yet the FA has even now done nothing of practical worth to prevent it re-occurring. And re-occur again, it has... and ironically, it has happened to none other than Accrington Stanley. Stanley, we read, are fighting the rulebook on two fronts for they have not only "lodged an appeal against the dismissal of striker David Brown in Saturday's vital 2-0 victory over Hereford United... Accrington hope to get the decision overturned" but also "Accrington face a hearing on Friday to answer the League's charge of fielding ineligible players". Seven points were gained whilst Stanley played these two ineligible players but what sort of measures can we expect against Stanley? And Burscough, too, managed by Liam Watson, the Southport manager at the time of our points deduction, also face a points deduction for similar reasons. Will there be mysterious but "specific and unusual circumstances" in these cases too?

    So Altrincham are left with a record that shows them as having finished bottom of the league last season with 23 points when they actually finished 18th with 41 points - will the FA do anything about righting that wrong or were there no "specific and unusual circumstances" in a situation where Altrincham acquired a player whose last club had been in England yet were punished for not obtaining international clearance?

    It's enough to make you want to follow a proper sport where outcomes are actually decided on the field of play and not in some secret inner sanctum, where decisions are determined by inconsistent interpretations of flawed rules. And, finally, will AFC Wimbledon now be reinstated in the Trophy, from which they were expelled?


    "Given the specific and unusual circumstances" of AFC Wimbledon's successfully enlisting of the support of Tony Blair in their fight against the FA rulebook, York City have been even smarter as they have enlisted no less an authority than The Almighty to help their challenge for a Conference play-off place. Despite selling a Bishop last season, City have now enlisted the help of an Archbishop as the York website confirms. "The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is set to visit York City Football Club [tonight], when the Minstermen play Stevenage Borough at KitKat Crescent. The Archbishop will be there to lend his support to the team in what will be another important game for City in their push for promotion. Dr Sentamu will also be blessing the Club’s new Minster Room hospitality suite and meeting the directors, staff and players during his visit. City fans will also get the opportunity to see the Archbishop of York when he will be introduced to supporters on the pitch during the half-time break. Commenting on the Archbishop’s forthcoming visit, Communications and Community Director, Sophie McGill said, 'We are delighted the Archbishop of York will be supporting the team against Stevenage. It means a lot to everyone at the Club, including our players and supporters, that he will be present for this important game'. Sophie McGill added, 'Dr Sentamu is a very positive person who is making a great contribution to our city and we feel very privileged he is taking time out of his busy schedule to show an interest in his local football club'. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, 'As a man of the Minster myself, I’m looking forward to spending an evening with the Minstermen. I’ll be cheering on York and hope for a good result against Stevenage'".

    Confguide says that "Aldershot striker John Grant has given his clearest indication that he intends to stay at the Recreation Ground and is keen to renew his contract. With 18 goals this season, the 25-year-old is the Shots' top scorer this season and has been linked with a move to League One side Brentford. There were rumours that Grant would be unwilling to stay at the club following manager Terry Brown's intention to step down before the end of the season to care for his sick wife, but those have now been quashed. '"I want to stay at the club 100%. I am sure we will sort out a new contract soon', Grant told Sky Sports. 'The fans and everyone at Aldershot have been great to me and if I was to leave it wouldn't be anything to do with me', he added.

    "Cambridge United manager Jimmy Quinn has targeted four more wins to make sure of survival following his side's impressive 4-0 win at Northwich. Robbie Simpson was the star of the show as he hit his first hat-trick for the U's to help his side record their first win in four games and climb out of the relegation zone. Quinn believes Sunday's victory at Victoria Stadium has provided them with the perfect platform to build on to make sure they stay clear of the drop zone. 'I said if we can get a couple of wins we could put daylight between ourselves and the bottom four', the U's boss told BBC. 'We probably need three, maybe four, wins to be sure'".

    TheFootball Conference says that "York City have increased their goalkeeping options with the signing of Nottingham Forest youngster Paddy Gamble. The 18-year-old has linked up with manager Billy McEwan's squad in time for their Tuesday night kick-off against Stevenage Borough at Kit Kat Crescent. The Minstermen were granted special dispensation by the Conference to sign the Nottingham-born stopper as they only have one other recognised goalkeeper".

    26 March 2007


  • Oxford U. 2 Dagenham & R. 2


    Saturday's game at Stevenage was Karl Munroe's 50th start for Altrincham but Val Owen's injury means that he still needs to begin one more game before making his one hundreth start for the club. Karl is pictured, right, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.

    So far this season Altrincham have named 26 players for their Conference matches. Of these 26, four have not started a game (Bowler, Collins, Hendley, Hussin) whilst another four have made three or fewer appeareances (Lugsden, McFadden, Andy Scott, Thomson), leaving just 18 players who have started four or more games.

    Robbie Lawton is the only Altrincham player to have started all 39 matches this season in the Conference. Although Warren Peyton has also appeared in as many games, he started one match as a substitute.


    Our opponents on Tuesday night, Stafford Rangers "made it three good results in a row with a first-ever victory over currrent FA Trophy holders Grays Athletic. During an impressive three-goal first-half performance, Neil Grayson (20, 45) scored twice and Craig McAughtrie (45) scored one of the best goals seen at Marston Road all season. The visitors hit back from the penalty spot just after half time through Stuart Thurgood (49) but sponsors Man of the Match Guy Madjo (59) restored Boro's three-goal lead. Alex Rhodes (85) headed a late consolation for the Eseex side. Rangers moved up the 15th in the table and visit Altrincham on Tuesday evening".

    Meanwhile, "Kidderminster Harriers striker Andy White had joined Stafford Rangers on loan until the end of the season. He was an unused substitute against Grays Athletic and has been allocated the number 33 shirt. Utility player Anje Lorougnon has also joined Stafford on a work experience loan spell from Coventry City and [on-loan goalkeeper] Robert Duggan can stay with the club as long as required. "


  • Match report


    Altrincham FC will be running its Patrons' Club once more during the ten weeks of the close season of 2007. The Club is asking for pledges of £5 a week for that period, in return for which donors will have their names printed in the matchday programme throughout the 2007/8 season, and will be entered in a draw in mid-July. First prize will be a Match Sponsorship for the first home game of next season at which ten people including the Patron, will enjoy hospitality in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge and will select the Man of the Match. Second prize will be hospitality for 5 people and third prize is hospitality for two people. Please contact Grahame Rowley or Barry Pond to join the Patrons and help Altrincham FC during the close-season, when revenue is otherwise reduced.


    Altrincham Youth beat Leigh RMI 1-0 yesterday, with a goal from Anthony Davies. There is a match report in the Youth section.


    BoroPics has photos of Saturday's win at Stevenage.

    Altrincham get little credit for their win from their opponents Stevenage Borough's match report which says: "Quite how Stevenage failed to run up a cricket score at Broadhall Way on Saturday was a puzzle to the 1,913 spectators who witnessed the one-sided contest. From first minute to last the home side laid siege to the Altrincham goal but a mixture of poor finishing, bad luck and dogged defence meant that a rather fortunate goal from Chris Senior midway through the first half sent Borough crashing to their second defeat of the week... Despite the result, however, there was some solace from an enterprising performance that saw Borough regain much of the zest, tempo and enthusiasm that heralded such an impressive run over the winter months".

    From the other side SAM reports that after Alty took the lead, "despite heavy pressure Alty saw out the remainder of the game thanks to a mixture of good goalkeeping from Stuart Coburn and poor finishing from the home side".

    25 March 2007


  • Northwich V. 0 Cambridge U. 4


    SAM says that both Val Owen and Gary Scott "have been out since picking up injuries in the 2-1 win over Weymouth two weeks ago and neither is expected to be fit for Tuesday's home game against Stafford. Scott could be out for a further two weeks although it is hoped Owen will be back before that".


    Speaking before Saturday's win, Graham Heathcote told SAM Sport: "It's another tough game. They have just got to Wembley in the Trophy so they will be buoyant at the moment. They've been playing well recently, (manager) Mark Stimson finally has them playing the way he wants them to and they're a dangerous side. They have a much bigger playing budget than we do but we know that at this stage in the season it's not about budget, it's about what results you can grind out. So we'll go there and set our stall out to get something and hopefully take ourselves another step closer to survival".

    After the game in the NL Paper, Graham said, "I don't know how many points we need to be safe but I do know that four teams are too many to go down. Every team in the bottom half of the table is still worried. We have battled away, got bodies behind the ball and fought very hard for a point. We are frustrating teams. It's all about results at this time of the season and they are a very good side, so we are pleased".

    Boro boss Stimson agreed, saying "It's a strange part of the season because all we are interested in now is results. The result didn't go our way but the performance was first class. It was the best we have played for a few weeks. In the first half we could have had three or four goals but there were just last-minute blocks. And in the second half we came out and did the same".

    The NL Paper's reporter claims that "Stevenage were in absolute control from start to finish... Altrincham somehow managed to scramble a lead... [through] a seemingly offside Chris Senior".

    Altrincham are now top of the Conference form guide with five wins and one defeat in their last six games.


    Colin Little's latest column, written before the Stevenage game, is on the SAM website. He says "We've had a great little run of late. It's amazing, we've won four of our last five and we're flying but if we hadn't gone on this mini-run we would've been in real trouble. It feels good because I think the most we managed last year was three wins in a row so we've equalled that. But we need to just keep pushing so that we are safe as soon as possible. The Cambridge win has given us the confidence to go on and get the results we need. I thought we were brilliant at Morecambe and I reckon that even though they had loads of possession we could've won by more... The only blip has been the Oxford game. It was just a case of them being too strong for us... We got a great result on Tuesday night against Grays, especially considering how the lads are feeling. At the end of the game I was out on my feet. I'm not a young lad any more, so there was just nothing left in the tank and my legs were killing me... I thought Joe (O'Neill) was magnificent. Usually when he gets man of the match it's because he's worked his backside off but on Tuesday everything was going right for him. His touch was good, his passing was good and, of course, he got the all-important goal. It's been really good having Joe at the club, as well as Chris Senior recently, because it takes a bit of pressure off me. They're both really good forwards and since Rod (Thornley) has had a disrupted couple of seasons they've made a big difference. But I'm really pleased with the way I've been playing myself. Even when I wasn't playing up to my standards I had faith in my own ability and so did Graham (Heathcote) and I'm glad it's all come good now... The little flicks and the passes are all working now so I've been really pleased... People are saying Stafford is a must-win but I don't believe that, no game's a must-win... We just need to make sure we win about three of our last eight games... What you find with teams like Stafford is that they don't score that many from open play but they're a real danger from set pieces so we'll have to be on top of our game.

    If we do stay up then Graham's done a great job. He's working on a shoestring budget but he's performed wonders and he really deserves the recognition. When you see the kind of money clubs in the Conference North are throwing around just to get to this level it just makes you realise how difficult Graham's job is. I bet you he won't even be on the shortlist for manager of the year though because we just aren't a fashionable club. People don't pay us much attention".


    Matty McNeil scored Macclesfield's winner yesterday. Phil Bolland headed a goal for Chester City and Simon Woodford was on the scoresheet for Trafford. Though Simon recently signed forms for Radcliffe to help them out, he remains a Trafford player. Buxton have signed Chris Young from Woodley Sports.


    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.


    In Friday night's Altrincham's local cup final at Moss Lane between Atlantic and Knutsford, Knutsford triumphed 3-2. Each side netted a penalty but Atlantic finished the game with only nine men after two dismissals. A very respectable crowd of well over 100 watched the game.


    Aldershot Town announce that manager "Terry Brown will be leaving his post after Tuesday evening's Conference National match at home to Weymouth.Terry has decided to take a short break away from football due to his own personal circumstances. West Londoner Brown requested a meeting with Chairman John McGinty and Chief Executive Doug Wilson after Friday evening's match at Gravesend and Northfleet. Terry Brown joined Aldershot Town exactly five years ago after a successful management period at Hayes. Widely respected he quickly became popular with the Aldershot supporters. He managed the club to the Ryman Premier Division championship in his first full season (2002/03). In 2003/04 he led the club to the play offs in the Conference and Aldershot reached the play off final where they just missed out on gaining promotion into the Football League losing in a penalty shoot out to Shrewsbury Town in front of over 19,000 spectators. They were the last club to achieve this feat as a part time outfit... Upon announcing his departure Terry said, 'I think that this is the right time for both parties to move on. The decision to leave is by amicable agreement... To Martin Kuhl, Paul Priddy and all the coaching and office staff I am so appreciative of your support and dedication... 'Most importantly though I thank the fans who have supported me at all times'... Chairman John McGinty paid his own tribute adding, 'Personally I find this a sad day that circumstances do not allow Terry to continue as manager. He has been a wonderful servant to the club... I have offered Terry a life long Ambassadorship of the club and he has gratefully accepted. He will always be welcome back here at the Rec'...From Wednesday March 28 Martin Kuhl has kindly accepted the role of Caretaker Manager". The reason behind Brown's departure is that his wife is seriously ill and all in football will wish her and Terry well.
    24 March 2007


    Chris Senior, centre, partly hidden by goalkeeper Julian, nets the Altrincham goal.

    Altrincham completed an unexpected double in bleak weather conditions at Stevenage and, in doing so, recorded their third successive away victory after previously going 11 months without a win on the road. Alty's winner was scored from six yards by Chris Senior, after Joe O'Neill had had two shots charged down (24 mins). Despite plenty of pressure by the home side, Alty defended well in the second half, aided by poor Stevenage finishing.

  • Match report

  • League table including a points-won per game column and a projection based on this to the end of the season.
  • Alty player statistics
  • Alty line ups and bookings


  • Burton A. 2 Morecambe 1
  • Exeter C. 1 York C. 1
  • St Albans C. 1 Kidderminster H. 1
  • Stafford R. 4 Grays A. 2
  • Stevenage B. 0 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Weymouth 3 Tamworth 1
  • Woking 1 Southport 1

  • Through The Years


    Meanwhile, Stevenage Borough "completed the signing yesterday of the former Spurs youngster Stuart Lewis. Stuart , a tenacious midfielder, has captained the England Under 16 side and after being released by Spurs at the end of the last transfer window, has featured for Barnet making 4 appearances".


    With four minutes to go at Ossett Albion on Friday night, Altrincham FC Reserves were drawing 1-1, but four minutes later they had run out 4-1 winners! Former Alty Youth striker Astley Mulholland scored a hat-trick whilst Peter Thomson headed the other goal.See the Reserves' page for more on this game...


    Friday 23rd
  • Gravesend & N. 1 Aldershot T. 1
  • Rushden & D. 1 Crawley T. 1


    Our opponents today, Stevenage Borough "have this week extended the contracts of Manager Mark Stimson and Assistant Manager Scott Barrett until 2010. Chairman Phil Wallace said 'We gave Mark and Scott 3 year contracts last summer and it's surprising how quickly time has gone by. I think the squad we have now and the style of play we are starting to offer our fans confirms what a great job Mark and Scott have done in less than a year. We're delighted with the job they've done for us so far and this is our way of showing our appreciation and confidence in our future together'. He continued 'It's really tough to get out of the Conference nowadays. In fact, it's no longer possible to assume anything. Just look at very good sides like Halifax and Grays, who both competed in the Play Offs last season, currently sitting dangerously close to relegation places. Full time professional football has changed the competition from where it stood as a part time game some years ago and you need a lot of luck as well as a very good squad to gain promotion now. However, I've always believed that once we get into the Football League, the profesional and prudent manner in which we run the Club, together with the facilities we've put in place over the past 6 or 7 years, could see us quickly climb the football pyramid. For this reason I believe Mark and Scott can fulfill their career ambitions at Stevenage and we're delighted to extend their contracts to try and achieve that together'".

    The BBC says that "Ronnie Henry will continue to deputise for Stevenage defender Santos Gaia, who completed a three-match ban. Steve Guppy could return after missing the defeat at Dagenham, Adam Miller is still doubtful with a knee injury". As reported here yesterday, the BBC adds that" Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote will be without Rod Thornley, who is the masseur to the England team and away on international duty. Midfielder Val Owen is struggling with a foot problem, Gary Scott is likely to miss out with stomach problems".

    A.F.C. A.G.M.

    It is Altrincham FC's AGM on Monday evening. All shareholders should have received invitations to attend the meeting, which is not open to non-shareholders.


    Above is Gavin Rathbone's excellent shot of Joe O'Neill evading Grays Athletic's Ashley Nicholls. More of Gavin's images are on his GR Photography website.


    The UniBond League announces that "The UniBond League Challenge Cup Final between Fleetwood Town & Matlock Town will take place on Tuesday 17th April at Altrincham FC, kick off 7:45pm. The game will be played to a conclusion with extra time and penalties if required."

    And on Sunday, 6th May (2 pm), Moss Lane hosts a charity match for the Bikes for Africa campaign, between an Altrincham FC side and the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Staff, at which the "guest celebrities" include former Manchester United full-back Denis Irwin and actor Michael Le Vell. Tickets are £3.50, but 12 year-olds and under cost just £1. Tickets are available from the School and the Football Club


    "Aldershot manager Terry Brown will meet with chairman John McGinty and chief executive Doug Wilson on Friday to determine the Shots boss's future. Brown has requested the meeting and his future at the club is expected to be decided by Saturday morning. He told BBC Southern Counties Radio: 'If the club want me to move I will accept that decision. I think we've played some lovely football but that's not what we're paid for - we're paid for results'. The Conference side are set to finish mid-table for the second year in a row, while Brown is also trying to help his wife through serious ill health. Brown, who has been in charge for five years will be in charge for Friday's match at Gravesend and Northfleet".

    The Cambridge Evening News reports that Cambridge United's shareholders vote on changes to the club's constitution "at an extraordinary general meeting on Monday. Director Paul Barry, vice-chairman Johnny Hon and American businessman Adrian Hanauer have pledged to inject £600,000 into United over two years if their proposal is passed. They are calling for the 20 per cent cap on shareholding to be axed, the value of shares to be slashed from 50p to 5p and increasing United's share capital from £2.5million to £5million by expanding the pool of shares to 50 million. In a statement, the board said: 'Shareholders should not fear the new money as it can only serve to strengthen their company. The board remain determined to avoid accepting investment from any parties not fully committed to supporting and enhancing the club... The board also stated while share values would be cut if the moves are agreed, each member's shareholding would remain the same. The amended notional value of the shares takes account of the undeniable drop in value of the club since the start of the decade... All of our fans and shareholders know that the club urgently requires new investment in order to give the best possible chance to reverse the decline in the club's fortunes experienced over recent years. The directors want to put in place a framework which will encourage significant investment necessary to take the club forward'... The supporters' trust, United's second biggest shareholder, voted in favour of backing the planned changes at their annual meeting last month. Fans' director Brian Attmore said: 'These proposals are crucial to the future of Cambridge United. If they fail to get the backing of 75 per cent of shareholders then there is a very real chance the club will go out of business. This is the most important meeting in the club's history'".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle says that "Two-time Conference title winner Jon Brady is the third player to join Harriers ahead of the transfer deadline with the Cambridge United winger arriving at Aggborough on-loan until the end of the season. Dead-ball specialist and wide-man Brady joins fellow new signing Glenn Wilson and Andy Ferrell in the Harriers squad for Saturday's league game at St Albans City".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that Rushden boss Garry Hill "admits it would take 'an unbelievable run' if Diamonds are to push toward the play-offs. But the boss was still a win and a draw away from his 50-point survival target as he prepared for [Friday's] Nene Park showdown with Crawley Town – the side who would replace Diamonds in the top half of the table if they end a 10-match unbeaten league run. From a mid-table position Diamonds are actually closer to the bottom than the top five – although Hill hasn't yet given up hope on a thrilling finish to the season which could even mean a showpiece final at the new Wembley Stadium. Hill said: 'We've got to be realistic. It would take an unbelievable run to turn around and get into the play-offs. But while there's a chance we've got to keep going. We're in an encouraging position and we must make sure that we continue our recent form. The unbeaten run has given us a lot of confidence and belief. The spirit is very good at the moment and everything around the club is very positive. It's a great pleasure to see that response from the players over the past three weeks. We've got people talking about the possibility of the play-offs or dropping back down towards the relegation zone over the last 11 games. Hopefully between now and the end of the season we will get ourselves in a safe position where we can also monitor some of the younger lads in the squad. If the time is right I will certainly give them an opportunity'".

    The St Albans Observer states that "Colin Lippiatt believes his side need to collect maximum points from their next two games if they are to stand a chance of beating the drop. City entertain Kidderminster Harriers, the FA Trophy finalists, at Clarence Park on Saturday, before making the trip to The Recreation Ground to face an Aldershot side who put five past them earlier in the season. The midweek results have left City second from bottom and six points from safety. That gap could be nine should fifth-bottom Tamworth win their game in hand. 'Draws are no good to us anymore', admitted Lippiatt. 'We need to win our next two games, it's as simple as that. The games are starting to pass us by really quickly and time is running out. It's going to get more and more difficult to pick up wins, so we need to start doing it sooner rather than later. If we lose both games our fate still won't be decided until April, but if we can win both games then it puts us in a much better position'".

    Another club desperate for points are Southport and IC Southport reports that "Some supporters say that the fat lady’s lungs are already bursting into song, but Southport boss Peter Davenport remains confident he can keep the songstress gagged. Davenport said: 'We are running out of games and we are in a dogfight. Quite simply, we have to start winning. We have given away too many silly points and now we are paying the price'. The Port have lost 16 points in the final five minutes of matches this season. Davenport added: 'We will keep going until it is mathematically impossible for us to stay up. In most of our recent matches, apart from Dagenham, we have been in a position to get a result. There comes a time when you can’t always play pretty football. If we have to play ugly football to get the right results, then we will. We could have comfortably beaten Weymouth last Saturday but we either didn’t take, or missed, our chances. There are some great lads in the squad and I’m sure we have the capability to dig out some results. Considering the position we are in, the lads are still buoyant and ready to give their all'... With the loan transfer window now closed, the big question is: ‘Can that squad can keep the Port afloat?’.

    This is Staffs reported on Friday that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson was striving to strengthen his squad ahead of tomorrow's relegation duel with Grays at Marston Road and last night's loan transfer deadline.Robinson has been looking for a new recruit since the departure of on-loan striker David McNiven, who was recalled by Morecambe. The Rangers' boss would not disclose his potential targets and has given the current strike pair Neil Grayson and Guy Madjo a thumbs-up. 'We started the season very well with those two in partnership. Neil has had a little bit of a rest recently, so hopefully he'll be nice and fresh for the games coming up'... The game against Grays, who were beaten by Stevenage in the semi-final of the FA Trophy last week, is the first of three further relegation six pointers - on Tuesday they go to Altrincham and next weekend visit bottom of the pile Southport. 'Every game we're playing is important, although we're aware that we're up against teams in the lower part of the table and I expect them to be tight', said Robinson... Stoke's on-loan teenager Robbie Duggan is set to continue in goal as regulars Danny Alcock and Dean Williams are still recuperating from injuries".

    "York City boss Billy McEwan made a triple swoop ahead of last night's loan transfer deadline.The City boss has recruited Darlington left-back Craig James, Gainsborough Trinity right-back Ben Purkiss and Whitley Bay striker Phil Bell until the end of the season which would include any possible play-off fixtures, McEwan has moved quickly to bring in full-back cover with Darren Craddock ruled out for the rest of the season and Nathan Peat doubtful for tomorrow's trip to Exeter and then unavailable for the next two matches because of suspension... Satisfied City boss McEwan said: "I'm pleased with all the business we have done. Craig James has been around a bit with Port Vale and Sunderland but he's out of the frame at Darlington and is another left-sided defender, which we needed. Phil Bell has done well and it's a chance for him to come in and do some full-time training with us. The same applies to Ben Purkiss'... Bell, aged 22, has scored 21 goals this season, spearheading Whitley Bay's Northern League title challenge. The 6ft 5in striker has also attracted interest from Derby County, Norwich, Stockport and even Premiership neighbours Newcastle United, although Toon chief Glenn Roeder was understood to be put off by his age... Purkiss signed for Gainsborough after being released by Sheffield United in 2003" reports This is York.

    "The Conference Board of Directors have announced that Dennis Strudwick has been appointed the new General Manager of the Competition with effect from 4 June 2007. Mr Strudwick, widely experienced and respected in the game, has been the Company Secretary and Treasurer of The Southern Football League since 1981. John Moules, the present Operations Director, has reverted to the role of Chief Executive and once again, John's vast experience in the game will be invaluable in dealing with sponsors, commercial and special projects and taking The Football Conference forward".

    At Oxford, This is United says that "One year after he took over from Firoz Kassam, chairman Nick Merry insists Oxford United Football Club is now in a far healthier position than it was under its previous regime. Although the team lost their place in the Football League after a 44-year stay, and are now in the Nationwide Conference, so many improvements have been implemented behind the scenes that the club's foundations now seem solid again. In many ways, the club is back with the fans again as supporters have returned in big numbers, and among them there is much more a sense of belonging. Perhaps most important of all, the reputation of Oxford United, which had been greatly tarnished both in football circles and within the local business community, has been gradually restored, thanks to a lot of hard work and bridge-building... It was on March 22, 2006 that Merry, a successful businessman from Woodstock, announced that he had bought Kassam's 89 per cent shareholding in the club... His company, Woodstock Partners Ltd, bought the club for just over £2m from Kassam's Firoka Group, which effectively broke down to a nominal £1 purchase, plus taking on its debts... Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent on the new training ground, on players, on an extensive backroom team of coaches, fitness trainers and medical people, on travelling, various overnight accommodation and the right food for the team – everything, in fact, to make the football club professional, and, as Jim Smith put it, 'to take away the excuses' from the players... Oxford United's gates have increased by 41 per cent. In their 24 home league games played since March 22, 2006, the U's have pulled in 160,717 spectators, averaging 6,696 in that time". Meanwhile on the pitch, "Mickey Corcoran has extended his loan with Oxford United for a further month. But fellow Cardiff City teammate Gregg Coombes has left the U's"

    There is yet another new face at debt-ridden Crawley Town, who "have signed youngster Jack Obersteller on work experience from Millwall. Obersteller, 18, is a highly-promising young left-sided player that came through the Millwall youth setup alongside Jack Macleod and former Red Michael Bostwick. By the end of the 2005/6 season, he had forced his way into the Lions reserve side... Coach John Yems said: 'With all the injuries we have got at the moment, it was really important to add an extra pair of legs, and I’m really pleased to get Jack down here. I’ve known the lad since he was knee high to a grasshopper'".

    23 March 2007


    The Altrincham squad for the match at Stevenage is expected to be unaltered from that which was named against Grays. Val Owen and Gary Scott are both likely to remain sidleined by injury. Goalkeeper Richard Acton (right) is expected to be named in the squad for all of the remaining games. Richard's presence does not signal any doubts about Stuart Coburn's fitness but simply the manager's wish to have goalkeeping insurance on the bench as we enter the crucial run-in phase. So far this season Alty have only four times had a substitute goalkeeper on the bench in Conference games. In addition to those four occasions, Richard has started 8 Conference matches this campaign. Rod Thornley is unavailable as he is serving as masseur to the England team in Israel this weekend.


    News of our opponents this Saturday: The Comet quotes Stevenage Borough boss Mark Stimson after defeat by Dagenham in midweek, "I thought we deserved something... We had extra time at the weekend - and that's draining both physically and mentally with the celebrations - and we were playing against a team which is probably going to win the league this season... It's about how you get over defeats like these... If we can play the way we have done for the last two or three months and continue to create chances, we'll be in with a shout come the end of the season". The Comet notes that "Boro welcome Altrincham this Saturday with a trip to play-off rivals York City on Tuesday night. Santos Gaia completes his three-game suspension this weekend, while Damian Batt and Steve Guppy should both be available after missing the midweek defeat... Adam Miller is continuing his rehabilitation and should hopefully be back in '7 to 10 days' according to Stimson".

    At Stevenage match day admission Prices are

  • West and South Stands: Adults £14 Concessions £11 (OAP's, UB40's, Students and Under 18's)
  • Access to the ground for visiting supporters, is via the South (Buildbase) Stand only


    Skysports confirms that "Stockport County are hot favourites to land Altrincham starlet Lewis Chalmers. The 21-year-old has been in sensational form for the Conference side this season and has scored five goals in 36 league appearances... The League Two promotion hopefuls have confirmed that Chalmers is on the radar, with a view to a possible summer deal. Stockport boss Jim Gannon told Sky Sports: 'He is one of a number of players we are looking at and we will be making further attempts to recruit young players in the summer, if we feel they are right for the club, both now and in the future'".


    From Gavin Rathbone we have the above wonderful shot from last Saturday of Stuart Coburn facing up to Oxford's Marvin Robinson. More of Gavin's images are on his GR Photography website.


    Amongst the newer members of the Friends of Altrincham FC Monthly Draw are players Gary Scott and Robbie Lawton. Appropriately, Gary has number 3 in the monthly draw but Robbie has to make do with number 46, as Paul Daine already "owns" number 7. The full list is here


    Mark Murray of STAR writes that:

    The Player of the Year Race Night hosted as usual by Toni of Fun Racing and compered as ever by George Heslop, will be held on Saturday 28th April 2007 (after last home game v. Aldershot) in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane.. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. Entry will be free to all, the player of the year presentations will take place half way through and there will be the usual chance to win a fortune on the tote's always a great night and raises a handy amount for the club's close season so make the date in your diary now!

    Buy your horses for a fiver each and sponsor races for £25 by seeing Paul Daine in the club shop (STAR Desk) at the Stafford game before and at half time....pledge to buy a horse or race by e-mail and Paul will catch up with you. Player of the year forms will be available on the turnstiles at forthcoming home games or e-mail Mark Murray with your three choices (1,2,3 with 1 being your favourite player of the year)

    STAR are appealing for someone to take over from Steve Foster and sell the treble chance at forthcoming home games. This scheme is always popular as it carries a £100 prize for a £1 stake and normally raises about £400 for the club.....Steve will provide you with the chart.....can you help? E-mail Mark Murray to volunteer your services.


    Jenny Heslop, manager of the Robins' Shop reports that orders are now being taken for Altrincham FC replica shirts for next season. These include the new home shirt, which is produced by Prostar and supplied to the club by Ian Senior's Sensports.


    Right: Stuart Coburn's commitment to the Alty cause is never in doubt as he shows when he leaves the pitch after the win over Grays last Tuesday.

    SAM reports on Alty's win over Grays. "There were some hairy moments - what would an Alty game be without them? - but ultimately they were good value for the three points. It was a strangely subdued night at Moss Lane. An eerie quiet descended upon the ground right up until kick off and even then the atmosphere was surprisingly flat". It was Alty's smallest home gate of the season but the Golf Road End was singing well.


    SAM reports that Altrincham's "recent revival is made all the more remarkable when it is considered that Alty's part time squad have played six games in just 18 days - the kind of fixture pile-up that would worry most Premiership managers. Heathcote has given his tired troops the rest of the week off as they prepare for a tough trip to Stevenage on Saturday and said he was proud of their gut-busting efforts. Speaking after the game, he said: 'I said on Saturday (against Oxford) we were second best and today we were under the cosh second half like we were at Morecambe but they've dug deep. All of the lads are absolutely physically wrecked and you have to take your hat off to them for just digging in. This month is horrendous for the part time clubs. People will say it is horrendous for the full time clubs but if it is, it's doubly so for us. We've given ourselves a good start and a good chance... Fourteen days ago if you had said we could win four out of your next five, we'd have bitten your hand off. That's what this group of players has done and they deserve all the credit in the world for that. But April 28 is when they can chill out and hopefully we'll have the job done by then but there's still some big games to be played... We played some decent football when we were fresher but to do it for 90 minutes was tough. Like at Morecambe, they [Grays] had a lot of possession in the second half but Stuart (Coburn) wasn't flying about everywhere. They passed it around and got to the edge of the box but they didn't create a lot of chances and you'll settle for that. You'd like not to be defending on the edge of your box for that long but, at the end of the day, Stuart hasn't had a lot to do and that's credit to the people in front of him more than anything'".


    "Grays Athletic striker Gavin Grant has been remanded in custody by an Old Bailey judge and could now miss the rest of the club's season" reports the Thurrock Gazette. "Grant, 22, who is on loan at Grays from League Division One Millwall was allegedly involved in the shooting of 24 year-old Jahmall Moore in Willesden Green, northwest London, in January 2005. He is accused of conspiracy to murder with Sean Bennett, 35, and Darren Mathurin, 25, and is due to stand trial on June 18. Mr Moore, a father-of-two, was shot down in a hail of bullets in front of his girlfriend... Two men have already been jailed for life over the murder of Mr Moore on January 13, 2005. Grant, of Gulf Close, Bushey, Herts, was remanded in custody by Judge Martin Stephens after a brief hearing held in private at the Old Bailey today... Grant has been an impressive addition to the struggling Grays squad and has scored four goals. However, he was missing for Saturday's FA Trophy semi-final second leg, which Grays lost, having been arrested, reportedly for breach of bail conditions. As yet, Grays have made no statement on the circumstances surrounding Grant, who is the second player at the club this season to be charged with a serious offence. In December Ashley Stestanovich was convicted of conspiracy to rob in connection with a raid in which a man was shot dead".

    The Aldershot News & Mail reports that "Despite a vibrant display at Christie Park, the Shots slipped to their 14th defeat of the season". Shots' boss Terry Brown stated “'The boys were fantastic, played their football and were the better side on the night but we were hit by two wonder goals... March has turned into a nightmare month for us and this defeat has effectively ruled us out of the play-offs. However, until it is mathematically impossible, we will still fight for every result'... Brown is set for talks with Aldershot chairman John McGinty this week, but told the News that the most important thing is to keep the core of the side together".

    From The Romford Recorder we learn that "The re-arranged home game against in-form Stevenage, allowed Daggers to stretch 12 points ahead at the top... They sprang something of a surprise in their selection, dropping both their wingers - Sam Saunders and Sam Sloma - and fielding a 4-3-1-2 formation that had Ben Strevens playing behind the front two. 'We had Stevenage watched and thought we might surprise them with that line-up', said manager John Still afterwards - he was certainly right!... The home side's progress faltered around the 20 minute mark when central defender Jon Boardman picked up a nasty looking injury - later diagnosed as ankle ligament damage - and had to be helped off. Daggers re-organised, Jake Leberl dropping into the back line where he has impressed so often this season and a recovered Paolo Vernazza, who had played just an hour in a Daggers' first-team shirt, before being sidelined for two months with a knee injury, replaced him".

    This is Exeter says that on Tuesday "The Grecians' eighth away defeat of the season [at Northwich] saw them slip to fifth in the Conference table... City manager Paul Tisdale admitted his side did not play well enough and said: 'We were too defensive in the first half and didn't get the ball down and pass it. I thought we were getting on top in the second half but then they got the penalty. We have been a bit inconsistent on the road and that is our third straight away defeat. It is difficult to put your finger on why because we were so good away last year'". And "Skipper Chris Todd has warned that Exeter City's away form must improve if they are to claim a play-off place... City have taken just 22 points from 18 matches on their travels, giving them the worst away record of the top eight sides in the Conference... The Grecians have taken 39 points from 19 home games and only leaders Dagenham & Redbridge can boast a better record on their own patch... With three successive away games - against Forest Green, Altrincham and Aldershot - after [Saturday], Todd knows City must start winning on their travels... 'The away form is a concern', admits the City captain. 'I can't quite put my finger on what we are doing wrong at the moment'".

    Another team with three successive away games on the horizon is Halifax Town. After a draw with Oxford on Wednesday, Halifax Today says that "The point enabled Town to move a couple of places up the table and they still have at least one game in hand on all their rivals apart from Northwich. The key now will be how they go in three successive away games at Southport, where they go on Tuesday, Grays and Gravesend. 'The table does still not look great and it will possibly look worse at the weekend', said Wilder... Wilder's next target is to see the club's off-field problems sorted out for the sake of himself and the players. 'I just want to manage a football club', he said. 'I don’t want to be involved in politics, but I will not sit back and be trodden on and I won’t allow my players to be trodden on. It is my responsibility to look after them and hopefully someone will look after me. I think I deserve that after what has gone on at this club in the last four and a half years'".

    The Northwich Guardian says that "Vics have added two midfield men to help them through their fixture back log. Port Vale hard man Christian Smith and Rochdale prospect Callum Warburton have both signed short term loan deals. Smith, 19, has spent two previous spells at Cambridge United this term, but Vale boss Martin Foyle recalled him to Vale Park at the beginning of the week".

    The Tamworth Herald reported that "With Simon Weaver (knee ligaments) likely to be out of action for another fortnight at least and Adie Smith (groin) struggling with a groin problem, Mills is looking to bolster his squad for the run-in. 'I am delighted with my defence, they have been unbelievable', Mills said. 'But I think we need to add to the squad as a precaution. If I don't act now and we pick up injuries in the last couple of games, it would leave us a bit short of bodies'... Former Manchester United trainee Matty Williams (knee) is set to return to training today". And later, The Lambs confirmed that "Gary Mills has been busy ahead of today's deadline for registering players - adding a proven goalscorer and two defenders to his squad... Front man Justin Jackson comes with a wealth of experience. A prolific striker, he has been playing in Australia but knows the Conference well and Tamworth are just waiting on international clearance... To bolster his defensive options, Mills has brought in on loan Ryan Lynch, a pro with Coventry City, and Curtis Ujah, who was with Reading but left by mutual consent in January".

    At Weymouth "Chairman Martyn Harrison has opened contract talks with player-manager Jason Tindall. The 29-year-old, who watched his side throw away a two-goal lead as they lost 3-2 to Woking last night, was given the job until the end of the season in January after the Terras announced a huge cost-cutting exercise that eventually saw the departure of 11 of their first-team squad.Since then he has steadied the ship and moved the club back into play-off contention in Nationwide Conference National and it seems he could now be rewarded with a new deal".

    From Gravesend & Northfleet we learn that "Fans who buy their season tickets for 2007/2008 before April 7th will be able to watch their team at home for the same prices as the current season. Fleet Chairman Jason Botley said: 'The price freeze is part of a continuing initiative to boost attendances at Stonebridge Road. We have done exceptionally well this season and we hope this move will not only attract more fans to buy what is a good value for money season ticket, but it is also a way to say thank you to the supporters who purchased season tickets for the current season'... Prices are as follows: Centre Stand: Adult £235 Concessions £117.50. Wing Stand Adult £215 Concessions £107.50. Terrace Adult £185 Concessions £ 92.50".

    Following the game at Moss Lane, Grays Athletic have announced that "Glenn Poole has been released on loan to League 2 club Rochdale until the end of season". And "Ex-Weymouth FC Striker Chukki Eribenne has joined Gravesend and Northfleet on loan until the end of the season".

    Cambridge United have reportedly signed Colchester United winger Craig Hughes (19) on loan until the end of season.

    The BBC says that "Kidderminster Harriers' manager Mark Yates has signed Andy Ferrell from Hereford United whilst York City boss Billy McEwan has brought in three new players in a bid to boost his side's push for the play-offs. McEwan has signed Darlington full-back Craig James, 24, on loan until the end of the season. The former Sunderland and Port Vale left-back joins the Minstermen after starting 27 games for the Quakers this season. McEwan has also signed Whitley Bay striker Phil Bell and Gainsborough defender Ben Purkiss on loan". Meanwhile, "Dagenham & Redbridge have strengthened their squad with the loan signing of Peterborough defender Mark Arber. Arber, 29, has joined for the rest of the season... He played under Daggers boss John Still at Barnet".

    22 March 2007


    Many thanks to Altrincham FC match-day announcer and quizmaster, Steve Raftery for kindly answering the Football Club's plea for help in transporting a freezer to Moss Lane for use by Keith Davey to provide food to supporters at Moss Lane on matchdays. Steve's offer to help is much appreciated.


    Match report here..

    The Thurrock Gazette has a match report on the Alty v Grays game. It starts, "A bad week took a turn for the worse for toothless Grays who yet again failed in front of goal at Moss Lane... At Altrincham they capitulated in a relegation showdown... It was the classic game of two halves. Altrincham held sway in the first and Grays had them on the back foot for most of the second but the visitors are a side remarkably short of finishing power". Curiously the report adds that "Not only did the fans seem somewhat lacking in get up and go' neither team exhibited the fire and passion normally associated with a clash of this nature".


    Once again Altrincham's Lancashire League fixtures have been changed; the latest games are listed here.


    The March winners of the Friends of Altrincham FC monthly draw for March were:
  • 1st prize (£100): - John Laidlar
  • 2nd prize (£25): - Daisy Seller.

    Details of the Friends scheme are here. Please do consider joining, for the benefit of the Club.


    The BBC says that "Northwich Victoria have no time to lick their wounds following their FA Trophy semi-final exit as they embark on a gruelling programme of 15 games in 40 days... [It] is the worst fixture back-log, including 11 games in the first four weeks of April, that boss Steve Burr has experienced in his career as player or manager in the non-league game. He told BBC Sport: 'I find it amazing to be eight games behind another team in the same division. You can't do anything about the weather, but games should be fitted in. Being part-time doesn't help either. Lads have jobs to do as well, which makes it difficult... We just have to get on with it and try and cope'". Burr said of their Trophy exit,"We lost it in the first game". Burr added: "It didn't surprise me when we dropped into the bottom-four. You are not going to stay where you are when you are not playing league games". And "Long-term injuries to strikers Jonny Allan and Chris Williams and skipper Stuart Elliott means the Vics are operating with just 17 players. Burr hopes to add a couple to that number ahead of Thursday's transfer >deadline but admits that he needs to protect his players, some of whom >have jobs outside their twice-a-week training regime, as he best he can... 'I am sure that if had not fallen behind in the number of games we have >played we would not be in the position we are in the table'... Burr believes every team in the bottom half of the table still has to guarantee its safety, including his own. 'I would think you are perhaps looking at 50 points. That's how close it is', he said. 'But as long as we have enough to be more than fourth place off the bottom I will be happy with that'".

    "Oxford United boss Jim Smith has signed Millwall striker Chris Zebroski on a month-long loan deal. Smith landed the forward Zebroski, 20, instead joined Millwall and has scored three times for the Lions in 25 League One starts" states the BBC.

    "Port Vale boss Martin Foyle has allowed... midfielder Christian Smith to leave on loan... Smith, 19, has signed for Northwich Victoria following a loan spell with Conference rivals Cambridge", claims the BBC. Meanwhile "Cambridge left-back Tommy Jaszczun has decided to retire. He has been sidelined since November with a toe injury and has been unable to return to training despite an operation... Jaszczun is the second Cambridge player to bow out of the sport this year with Richie Hanlon retiring two months ago with a knee injury".

    "Kidderminster Harriers have signed defender Glenn Wilson on loan from rivals Rushden and Diamonds. Wilson, 21, has agreed a deal until the end of the season... but will not be able to play when the two clubs meet on April 14. The former Crystal Palace player joined Rushden last summer and has started 25 Conference games for the club. Meanwhile, Rushden have released former Oxford, Boston and Stevenage midfielder Jamie Cook, 28, by mutual consent" says the BBC.

    21 March 2007


  • Halifax T. 1 Oxford U. 1


  • Altrincham 1 Grays A. 0
  • Dagenham & R. 2 Stevenage B. 0
  • Morecambe 2 Aldershot T. 1
  • Northwich 1 Exeter C. 0
  • Tamworth 0 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Weymouth 2 Woking 3
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years


    The BBC says that "Northwich Victoria have released midfielder James Beaumont. 'We have let James go and will use his wages to try and get someone in', said Northwich boss Steve Burr. Beaumont, 22, joined the Vics in January after being released by Nottingham Forest and started five Conference games for the club. Burr is keen to bolster his squad ahead of Thurday's deadline as his side faces a run-in which will see the Vics play 15 games in five-and-half weeks". Vics confirm, however, that "Coming back to the club however is Tony Gallimore who has been re-called from Hucknall Town where he has spent two months on loan".

    From the Burton Mail we learn that "Burton Albion's out-of-favour midfielder Lee Fowler has returned to his homeland to join Newport County... on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move this summer".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Jimmy Quinn is keen for Cambridge United's players to take the good things out of Saturday's 1-1 draw at Crawley which kept his side's head just above the relegation waters. The U's were hit with a sucker-punch, injury-time equaliser from former player Marcus Richardson which denied them all three points. However, the boss was pleased with the display from his team following 5-0 defeats to York and Altrincham. Quinn said:' There were a lot of positives and that's what we've got to build on. I'm not interested in negative things. We're in a fight for our lives and we have seven cup finals left. People can be critical, but you know we have had a problem all season. The club had hardly won a game until I got here, unless I am mistaken. Now we've won 10 and we need to stick together'".

    Halifax Today says that "Winger Felix Bastians has been recalled by League One high flyers Nottingham Forest with immediate effect. The Germany youth international was due to complete his second month on loan at the Shay when Town face Oxford United tomorrow. Bastians, who is tipped to make a move to the Bundesliga in the summer, scored on his Town debut at St Albans City at the end of January and has bagged a further three goals since then. In all, Bastians made 10 appearances for the Shaymen, including one as a substitute.Bastians's departure could mean a start for [ex-Alty man] Steve Torpey in Wednesday's televised clash with Oxford".

    But "supporters have pledged to clear some of Halifax Town's debts – if it will secure a deal to save the future of the club. It will mean raising £50,000 to match the cash already raised by fans. A crisis meeting of Halifax Town Supporters' Trust last night agreed to clear the club's creditors' voluntary arrangement if that would end the takeover negotiations... Fans have already raised £50,000 through the Shaymen 500 scheme and are committed to the outstanding £100,000 bill. 'In order to conclude the deal, the trust has made the offer to clear the creditors' voluntary arrangement', said [spokeswoman] Mrs Burton. 'We know we will be supported in this by our fellow supporters who share our passion and love for the club – this has been demonstrated by the £50,000'. The takeover deal has continually stalled over the repayment of loans owed to former chairman Geoff Ralph, who resigned last week".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph confirms that "Midfielder Jamie Cook has been released by Rushden & Diamonds. The 28-year old midfielder has left Nene Park by mutual consent... Cook made seven starts in the league and one in the FA Trophy".

    Burton have failed to land one target as the Conference North forum reports that ""Hucknall Town today completed the signing of ex-Forest striker David Johnson".

    Southport report that "Peter Davenport has ended Adam Dugdale's loan at Southport. Dugdale's days on his short term loan were now limited so with Kevin Lee returning to fitness Davenport deemed it necessary not to renew the loan. Peter Davenport said 'Adam has worked hard at Haig Avenue, he started very well and has potential. Adam's appearances in the middle of his loan were limited by injury. I wish him all the best and we will monitor his progress. Crewe have been very supportive with us'".

    This is United says that "The two biggest teams in the city are joining forces, with Oxford United and Oxford Cheetahs announcing a new partnership. The football and speedway teams are coming together to give discounts, special deals and ticket offers to their fans, as well as a closer relationship between the two biggest spectator sports in the city".

    Dagenham & Redbridge report that "At a Special General Meeting held last night of the members of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club, a unanimous vote was cast to transfer all the assets and liabilities of the existing members club to a newly formed limited company, limited by guarantee, in the name of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club Limited. The decision to incorporate was made as a result of the requirement of the Football League. Football League Article of Association 4.2 requires all member clubs to be incorporated under the Companies Act. Dagenham & Redbridge FC are currently similar to the European Champions, Barcelona, in that they are a Club run by members but the vote taken last night means they can push on and meet the Football League deadline which is the last day of the season. Talks have been going on behind the scenes since before Christmas in preparation and most of the work to transfer the assets and liabilities are at an advanced stage. The existing members of the current Management Committee plus one of the existing Trustees will become the Directors of the new company. David Andrews and David Ward will remain as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively whilst Derek Almond will become the Company Secretary and Steve Thompson the Managing Director. The decision to form a company, limited by guarantee, was made in an effort to retain the ethos of the members club. All existing members will be invited to join the new company and will enjoy all the same rights as with the old members club. It is hoped that once everything is up and running new members will be sought which will strengthen the club further".

    20 March 2007


    Altrincham FC extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Gordon Crabtree, who died recently. Gordon was a long-time supporter of the club and also a volunteer helper behind the scenes.


    SAM says that "Robins' boss Graham Heathcote admitted his side were in need of a rest after they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Oxford on Saturday. The game was Alty's fifth in 15 days and it showed as the club's part time players were rolled over by their athletic opponents... Speaking after Saturday's defeat, he said: "Our efforts of the last three games showed a little bit today, we were a bit leggy. Four games in two weeks is a big ask and it takes its toll on the lads. These lads (Oxford) can go home and put their feet up after games but our lads are all working the day after. The first 20 minutes we did quite well, but the goals knocked us back a little bit and overall, we were just second best. I think 3-0 flattered them but it's all about winning at this stage in the season. I'd like to say we're going to win all of our last 10 games but it's not going to happen, there's going to be some hiccups. Hopefully, the sort of teams we're going to have hiccups against are the top sides. They were too strong for us and we have to just put it to bed and get ready for Tuesday, which is going to be a big game against Grays. The only preparation we can do for that game is to try and get the lads a bit of rest. It's not fitness now, it's about what rest they can get between games. It's a difficult scenario but we knew that from last season".

    This is United reports that "Jim Smith saw Oxford United record their biggest away win since October on Saturday – and then said: 'I've never known so many bad finishers in a team as we've got!' The U's cruised to a 3-0 victory at Altrincham to end a two-game losing run, and cement their second place in the Nationwide Conference... Altrincham had rattled off three straight wins, but United won the game at a canter, with Eddie Anaclet, Mickey Corcoran and Marvin Robinson all netting. But they missed four other ridiculously simple opportunities. 'How did we miss those goals? I've never known so many bad finishers in a team as we've got. We got three goals, but we should have had six... Yemi (Odubade), I thought that was his best game, in terms of retaining the ball and movement. But he can't score. If he and others had been able to find the net, we'd be 11 points further up the league. I've never known so many bad misses as that in one game... The funny thing is that teams like Altrincham all look better when they play us at our home rather than on their own ground', he said. 'We were better today on all our deliveries, although their goalkeeper was a little bit shaky', Smith said".


    The BBC says that "Altrincham right-back Gary Scott is unavailable with a groin problem. Val Owen's fitness is rated by as 50-50 and the midfielder has missed the last two matches with a foot injury, while Peter Band (stomach) is also a doubt. Grays striker Leroy Griffiths, midfielders Ben Harding and Dean Howell and defender Tom Kemp return to the squad after being cup-tied. The club could enter the loan market before Thursday's deadline but Stuart Thurgood is suspended". Meanwhile Grays Athletic's "defender, Mark Wright, has joined Rushden & Diamonds on loan until the end of the season".

    Although Grays beat Alty last season 2-0 at Moss Lane, thanks to an own goal and a dubious penalty, results elsewhere meant that Altrincham were celebrating after the game as they had enough points to stay up in the Conference - subject to the administrators taking 18 points away for the Robinson affair. Pictured above are the scenes at the final whistle last April.


    Altrincham fans will be just as distressed about the the threatened seven-point deduction for Accrington Stanley in League Two for failing to register two players properly as the Lancashire club were about our club's misfortune when we had 18 points deducted after Stanley had failed to get international clearance for James Robinson before allowing him to join us last season. There is a moving comment about the impending punishment for his club from Stanley chairman Eric Whalley in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, where he states, 'It took us 44 years to get back into the Football League and one or two people are doing their best to make it one of the shortest stays ever". The Telegraph adds, "How neutrals must wish for a happy ending to this particular brief encounter".


    The Burton Mail says of Burton's last game that "Danny Holmes looked tired, Paul Carden wasn’t his usual self and Alex Nicholls had a sore ankle, which is why he came off. We weren’t quite our usual selves in that department. That’s where we lacked a bit because the strikers did well again. We just didn’t get them enough quality service", said Nigel Clough. "Clough confirmed he is in talks with Walsall with a view to keeping loan signing Nicholls at the Pirelli Stadium until the end of the season. And Albion are still in discussions with the Football Association to try to break a stalemate over the proposed signing of former Nottingham Forest striker David Johnson. Johnson officially retired 15 months ago because of a back injury, but is training with Albion in the hope that he can resume his career outside the Football League. However, phased payments under the terms of his City Ground settlement mean he was still technically a Forest player when the transfer window closed on January 31. Albion are still trying to establish whether that makes the former Jamaica international a subject of the 30-day rule applied to players released by clubs outside the transfer window".

    This is Exeter reports that "City have now harvested 19 points from their last nine games, kept six clean sheets in that spell and look in good shape to banish three years of play-off misery... Lapses in concentration have culminated in successive away defeats at Rushden & Diamonds and Halifax Town. But on Saturday the back four were imperious, a quartet of warriors who knew that one slip-up could conspire to put a huge dent in the club's promotion hopes. Morecambe barely had a sight of goal".

    In Halifax Today we learn that "Defeat at Tamworth on Saturday dragged Town right back into the relegation mire. And boss Chris Wilder was acutely aware of the situation when he emerged from a sombre changing room half-an-hour after the end of the game. An early header from Darryl Taylor was enough to condemn the Shaymen to their 13th away defeat of the season... 'No one likes the position we are in', said Wilder. 'But we have 11 games to go and we have to show out mettle... The team has to be like that seeing as the club is disintegrating around us. I do not think there is a lack of will or desire and we never turned it in'. Defeat was almost inevitable following the troubled 24 hours that preceded kick off. The club no longer has a chairman and the potential investors appear to have ended negotiations with Geoff Ralph. 'It has been hard and we'd had a lot of things thrown at us', said Wilder. 'The situation at the moment is very disappointing," he said. "And it needs to be resolved. 'There are people's livelihoods at stake. I would just like to be manager of a club that ran smoothly, but I have had this for four-and-a-half years now. The majority of other managers do not have the same problems. It makes me stronger and more resolute, but I cannot say that I like it and I certainly don't want it".

    From Morecambe Today we read that "Morecambe are in the middle of a hectic run of Saturday and Tuesday games, emphasising the need for a good squad system. This was utilised - without success in the end - at Exeter on Saturday when manager, Sammy McIlroy made three changes. Danny Carlton, Wayne Curtis and Adam Yates were rested to make way for Dave McNiven (recalled from his prolific loan period at Stafford), Jamie Burns and Chris Blackburn. McIlroy explained: 'Danny and Wayne haven't long recovered from injury and were then thrown into a busy schedule and I thought they needed a breather to try and take stock and, I hope, come back refreshed. Adam has also been asked to play just about every game having just stepped up to this level of football and I thought his performances had slipped a little in recent weeks. But this is a busy time and I will be shuffling things a bit, I have to'".

    The Football Conference states that "Ryman League Premier Division club Heybridge Swifts have signed midfielder Tom Bonner on a month's loan from Rushden & Diamonds. The 18-year-old has joined the Swifts initially just for a month but with a view to extend the deal until the end of the season".

    19 March 2007


    Details of the STAR supporters' coach to Stevenage Borough on Saturday, 24 March, are now here. As usual, please book at Tuesday night's game in the Robins' Shop or by ringing the club on 928-1045.


    SAM says that on Saturday "Altrincham came crashing back down to earth, as their three-match winning run was unceremoniously halted by Oxford. Suffering something of a hangover from their midweek exertions, Alty always looked second best to their physical, no-nonsense opponents... Oxford hardly showed the class you would expect from a team whose playing budget is more than double that of Alty's but they did have the better of the chances all the same."

  • This website's match report is here.


    From our opponents on Tuesday, Grays Athletic we learn that "Matt Bodkin has now returned... following his loan spell at Thurrock FC. [But] Gavin Cowan has joined Nuneaton Borough on one month's loan". The Thurrock Gazette has a report on Grays' narrow defeat by Stevenage last Saturday in the FA Trophy semi-final. "Manager Justin Edinburgh selected a dynamic 4-3-3 formation with Oli, Rhodes and Dubois starting up front and the tactic came so close to reaping rich reward... The first half began with the pacy threesome dominating possession. Oli through the centre and Rhodes forcing down the right channel... With three in midfield, it is vital that someone can do the work of two men. Stuart Thurgood was outstanding, spoiling Boro attacks and then releasing early for the attackers to create mayhem up front. In the 16th minute Grays showed they could dominate from the left side as well. Glenn Poole ran from near the half way line to the box, releasing a shot that flew just over the bar. Grays earned a series of corners which were drilled across by Thurgood... Thurgood had been a hero throughout the match, but in the 105th minute, a scything tackle got the skipper his second yellow and he saw red... After the game Edinburgh was in philosophical mood. He said: "I have to applaud [Boro' keeper] Alan Julian. He was the difference between the two teams. I couldn't ask anymore of the players. They were outstanding. I'm very optimistic. I'm starting to get the side playing the way I wanted. We are eliminating the grey areas from our game. I'm looking forward to the run-in'. The Grays Athletic line-up was: Bayes, Sambrook, Stuart, Thurgood, Oli, Tonkin, Mawer (Barness 61), Nicholls, Poole, Rhodes, Dubois. Subs Not Used: Knowles, Williamson, Smith, Barnes".

    Thurgood will now miss the game at Moss Lane thorugh suspension.


    Broadheath Central will be the next Featured Club to visit Moss Lane as Altrincham FC strengthens its links with local junior football clubs. Central will attend the Grays Athletic match as guests of Altrincham FC. The Broadheath Central Junior Football Club website states that the club "was formed in April 2000, originally as a Saturday morning mini-soccer centre. It has now developed into one of the biggest junior football clubs in the area. The club's growth and popularity stems from our commitment to providing excellent football opportunities for both boys and girls of all ages and abilities within the local community and surrounding areas within a highly organised and safe environment. The Saturday club is based at 3 locations in the Broadheath area of Altrincham:
  • Salisbury Road Playing Field
  • Navigation Road Playing Field
  • Altrincham College of Art

    Broadheath Central Junior Football Club was awarded F.A. Charter Standard Development Club Status and then was awarded Community Club status in 2002 and 2003 respectively". The club currently operates more than 40 teams for boys and girls from under 7 to 16 years of age, whilst 48 under-6 players are also registered for training.

    Altrincham started off as Broadheath FC in 1891 so it is especially fitting that Broadheath Central is one of the clubs to visit Moss Lane under the Featured Club scheme.


    Above: Altrincham's away and home kits for next season are shown above. The away kit is the same as this season's. The shirts, produced by Prostar, are supplied to Altrincham FC by Ian Senior's Sensports company.


    Terry Surridge, a very well known figure at Moss Lane not only as a club sponsor, but also as a club historian and a matchday programme seller, is also a British national weightlifting coach. For the recent British Schools' Weighlifting Championships, at Wright Robinson Sports College, Manchester, which Terry organised, the Best Lifter Awards in the Boys' Year 9 category were sponsored by Altrincham Football Club. Terry took advantage of the event to spread the word about Altrincham FC amongst the weightlifting community and for its part Altrincham FC is proud to be associated with the British weightlifting effort. Year 9 lifters, Christos Michaelas, Josh Farghaly and Shaun Clegg, from Manchester's three weightlifting clubs, have all set new British under-14 records this year to underline the region's importance in weighlifting competitions.


    An Altrincham supporter, who wishes to remain anonyomous (we know who you are!) and who clearly has plenty of time on his hands(!), has been analysing the historical records to see how many points are likely to be necessary to survive in Conference National at the end of this season. As the Conference has never had 46 games in a season before and has never relegated four clubs, our anonymous statistician has delved into the Football League's three divisions and looked at the records from 1997-98 onwards of every time 46 games were played in each division. He concludes that 54 points will guarantee safety; even 53 points have, to date, guaranteed safety in the Football League every year except for 1999 when the fourth and fifth from bottom in League Two (as it is now) both finished on that number of points. Over the last nine seasons, the average points haul of the team finishing fifth from bottom in the Football League's 46-game divisions has been 50.4 points. On the crude basis of taking the number of points per game earned so far this season and extrapolating that average till the end of this season, Alty should gather 51 points - and would survive by finishing 20th! But Graham Heathcote and the team will not rely on statistics as they seek to add to their points tally.


    Steve Foster writes that the Friends of Altrincham FC Monthly Draw for March will take place after the Grays game at Moss Lane this Tuesday. It will take place at around 9.45pm in the Noel White Suite, with a first prize of £100 and a second award of £25. The numbers for this month's draw are:- 1 Simon Ellis, 2 Steven Raftery, 3 Gary Scott, 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 Unallocated, 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 Unallocated, 47 Terry Surridge, 48 Bryan Ford, 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 Ian Jones, 58 Jean Heathcote, 59 J Jordan, 60 Richard Allan.
    18 March 2007


    Above: Oxford's Chris Hargreaves is in possession as Robbie Lawton (right) closes in. Colin Little watches (foreground) whilst an Oxford defender towers over Chris Senior (left).

    Tiredness from seven matches in four weeks seemed to catch up with Altrincham today as, after a fairly bright start, they were comfortably beaten by full-time Oxford United.

  • Match report here.


    In today's NL Paper Graham Heathcote is quoted on the subject of punishments for financial irregularities. He said, "For me, the biggest mistake is docking clubs only ten points if they go into administration. Ten points for a high-flying club is a slap on the wrist. It becomes a calculated risk that they can lose their debts and still be OK. They should be relegated at least one division. That would make clubs sit up and take notice. At the moment the Conference rules will not stop people chasing the dream and putting their existence on the line. We were £700,000 in debt but the new board have eradicated most of that [without going into administration]. Because we balance the books, we cannot be extravagant like other clubs". The article adds that "Kidderminster chairman Barry Norgrove also backed the scheme".


    Colin Little (right) was the selector of the NL Paper's Dream Team in Sunday's edition. Of his Alty team mates he included Stuart Coburn, Gary Talbot, Steve Bushell and Val Owen. Of Coburn, Colin says "If Stu was a bit more athletic he could be playing at whatever level he likes now - not that Premiership mangers would put up with his moaning! Stu is non-stop and at Alty we don't see him as a keeper, more as a 90 year-old grandad!". As for Gary Tabot, Colin states, we call Gary "Steak Head"... because his head is the shape of a steak!... He is also a really solid centre-back". Whilst on nicknames, Graham Heathcote's shouting from the touchline on Saturday suggested that Karl Munroe has the squad nickname of "Munster"! Of Val Owen, Colin adds, "I reckon Val's been our player of the year up to now. He'll always give 100% in every tackle ... he puts in all the hard graft that often goes unnoticed and doesn't seek any praise. He just gets on with it". Colin says he has only chosen Steve Bushell in his team as he is a longstanding friend. Colin writes of Steve, "He used to be good years and years ago but now he's crap! He's captained every team he's been with, mainly because he sucks up to the managers".


    In an article in the NL Paper about non-league players tipped to enter the Football League, it says "Another non-league ace attracting Football League interest is Altrincham midfielder Lewis Chalmers. The 21 year-old is being targeted by League One clubs Northampton and Brentford, but League Two promotion chasers Stockport are hot favourites to land the player. Yet Alty may not profit as Chalmers is not under contract at Moss Lane and can walk out at seven days' notice".


    The NW Counties League reports that Chris Adams has moved from Flixton to Trafford, whilst the UniBond League confirms Simon Woodford's exit from Trafford for Radcliffe Borough. Kevin Ellison hit Tranmere's winner yesterday. Dave Swanick played for Connah's Quay Nomads, whilst Colin Potts (Barrow) and Chris Timons (Harrogate) played for their teams yesterday.


    "Marston's beer company are pulling out of their sponsorship of the Conference at the end of this season. Their move follows the decision of main sponsor Nationwide to quit" says the NL Paper. Conference operations officer John Moule commented, "We have been concentrating our sponsorship search in the area of healthy living and will be making an announcement about next season in the near future" says the NL Paper. Meanwhile, Mr Moules is one of the nominations for the Sanex for Men Non-League Paper Awards in the Administrator of the Year category. Amongst the nominations for Commercial Manager of the Year are Tamworth's Russell Moore and Forest Green's Colin Peake. No one from Altrincham is nominated in any of the categories, which also include Player, Young Player, Goalkeeper, Manager and Captain of the Year.

    In Saturday's games "Goalkeeper Jason Matthews scored a remarkable effort from his own half in the 89th minute for Weymouth to seal a win over Southport at Haig Avenue" according to NL Daily "Matthews performed heroics in the visitors' goal throughout, frequently repelling bottom club Southport as shots peppered his goal".

    17 March 2007


    Right: Alty's Val Owen, missed Saturday's game through injury, as did Gary Scott, whilst Peter Band was only on the bench, due to illness.

  • ALTRINCHAM 0 Oxford U. 3
  • Crawley T. 1 Cambridge U. 1
  • Dagenham & R. 1 Forest Green R. 1
  • Exeter C. 1 Morecambe 0
  • Gravesend & N. 0 Burton A. 0
  • Southport 0 Weymouth 1
  • Tamworth 1 Halifax T. 0
  • Woking 1 Stafford R. 1
  • York C. 0 St Albans C. 0

    FA Trophy SF 2nd leg

  • Northwich V. 3 Kidderminster H. 2 - Kidderminster win 4-3 on aggregate
  • Stevenage B. 2 Grays A. 1 after extra time. Stevenage won 3-1 on aggergate


    Altrincham FC Youth's fixture at home this Sunday to Daisy Hill has been cancelled after the Westhoughton-based side withdrew from the League today. Daisy Hill had been struggling to raise sides in recent weeks. Alty had yet to play Daisy Hill away as well (on April 22), so now lose two fixtures due to their resignation. The next scheduled game for Altrincham FC Youth is now a week on Sunday (25th), away to Leigh RMI "A".


    Altrincham host Oxford United at Moss Lane today. In the form guide over the last six games, Oxford United are fourth with 4 wins and 2 losses whilst in Alty's last six games, five of which have been away from home, the Robins have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 and lie sixth in the form table.

    There is an interesting piece on Oxford United's excellent unofficial website, This is United which says that "One person praying for the right result tomorrow – but unsure what that is! – is the Altrincham club chaplain, Andy Barclay-Watt. Barclay-Watt has been an avid Oxford United supporter all his life, and has an almost encyclopedic knowledge on them, which makes him a mastermind on the U's at football quizzes. He moved to Greater Manchester three-and-a-half years ago to take up an appointment as minister at Sale Baptist Church, and was then approached about becoming Altrincham's chaplain. He said: 'It was John Boyers, the chaplain of Manchester United, who got in touch, and asked me, what would I think of becoming Altrincham's chaplain, and I said I'd be pleased to. I've done it for about 18 months and love it. I get involved as much as I can and am there most home matchdays. Because Altrincham are part-time, I don't visit training that regularly, but on Saturdays I'm around, calling in to see the staff, and just trying to be around in case anybody needs me. It's just about building relationships and being there if anybody – a player or member of staff – has a crisis'".

    Andy, who has admitted to Altrincham fans that he has, on occasions, tried to persuade engaged couples to fix their weddings away from home matchdays at Moss Lane, was brought up in Oxford so, "The meeting of the teams means Andy inevitably has divided loyalties. "'I was hoping it might matter to one club and not the other, so I could put my allegiance fully behind one, but now it looks like being very important for Oxford United to get into the play-offs, and very important for Altrincham as they need the points to avoid relegation... I really don't know who I'll be supporting. I've never been in this position before, so I suppose I'll just sit there quietly and see what happens. I suppose I'll be praying that, at the end of it all, Oxford do go up, and Altrincham do stay up'"

    Oxford boss Jim Smith told This is United "Two games ago I genuinely felt we could catch Dagenham but losing both these matches has put it out of sight really... It's all about pride now'". A familar face to Alty in the Oxford side will be Yemi Odubade who won a penalty against us in the play-off match against Eastbourne Borough at Stoke in 2005. "The U's now have three games in eight days in which they will be without – for two of the three – key players through suspension. Leading scorer Rob Duffy and on-loan midfielder Martin Foster both have two-game suspensions. Duffy's ban means he misses Altrincham tomorrow and the trip to Halifax on Wednesday". But Foster is available against Altrincham today where he will face fellow Halifax loanee, Chris Senior, not to mention Steve Bushell, Colin Little, Karl Munroe and (if fit) Val Owen, all of whom are ex-Shaymen. "It's United's first visit to Moss Rose, one of the most famous grounds in non-League football, and where Altrincham regularly used to dump Football League clubs out of the FA Cup, and they will undoubtedly miss their 21-goal Welshman [Duffy]". Jim Smith said that without Duffy, "We'll just have to try something different on Saturday".

    The bbc says that Oxford's "midfielder Barry Quinn is due to make his long awaited return from his persistent hamstring troubles."


    The Gravesend Reporter states that Fleet manager Liam Daish "has demanded his players start acting like an outfit challenging for promotion. ''It's getting serious and at this stage of the season, you can't have players trying to do their jobs', he said. 'Last season was about development football where perhaps results weren't the be-all and end-all. But we're not learning anymore; we know what our jobs are and we've got to make sure we do them and it's going to be tough. At the moment, we're in danger of letting all that hard work slip away'". Referring to one of David McNiven's goals against them for Stafford, he said "We do a lot of organisation on one-on-one marking, but gave probably one of the smallest players on the pitch a free header... We need to bounce back with a win".

    But for McNiven who opted to join Scarborough last season in preference to Altrincham, The Lancaster & Morecambe Gazette says that "David McNiven could be thrown straight into Morecambe action as the Shrimps look to bounce back to form at Exeter City on Saturday. Sammy McIlroy recalled the striker from his loan spell at Stafford Rangers after Tuesday's shocking 1-0 home loss to lowly Altrincham. And he is set to start at St James' Park as McIlroy looks to shake things up. 'Dave has been scoring while on loan at Stafford and that's what I sent him out for, to get some matches under his belt, says McIlroy. Chris Blackburn is also pressing for a recall to the side as Morecambe make the mammoth trip to Devon'". From the other side, This is Staffs states that "Stafford Rangers have been dealt a major blow with the loss of star striker David McNiven ahead of tomorrow's trip to Woking.The on-loan McNiven was recalled by parent club Morecambe, just 24 hours after he netted a hat-trick in Rangers' 3-1 win over Gravesend on Tuesday. It brought his tally to nine goals in eight games. Manager Phil Robinson said today: 'In an ideal world, we would have liked to have kept him until the end of the season. His goals have been important to us in recent games, but we started the season very well without him and we're confident we can finish the season well without him'. But with only two fit strikers in the squad at the moment, Robinson is hoping to secure the services of another goal-getter on loan. Fortunately, Rangers have suffered no further injury problems for what is a vital relegation battle tomorrow. 'Woking can't get away from the fact that they have gradually dropped down the table, which is a surprise when many people would have expected them to be challenging for promotion, but it is an indication of how competitive the Conference is', said Robinson. 'This is a game we are relishing and I am hoping we can follow up a decent performance on Tuesday with another one'". Alty host Stafford on 27th March.

    "York City defender Darren Craddock has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured jaw. The former Hartlepool United full-back, 22, who has started 32 Conference games for York this season, was injured in City?s 5-0 win at Cambridge on Tuesday...City boss Billy McEwan is now expected to move into the loan market to bolster his squad".

    Meanwhile "Cambridge United boss Jimmy Quinn has again delved into the loan market to sign Crewe midfielder Chris Flynn. The 19-year-old, who can also play in defence, has signed for a month and follows Notts County's Dan Gleeson in joining the U's fight against the drop. Flynn, a Wales under-21 international, has made two appearances for Crewe this season but moves to the Cambridge for the chance of more regular games. Quinn has also recalled goalkeeper Paul Crichton from his loan at King's Lynn" states the BBC.

    There is bad news for the Shaymen as Halifax Today reports that "Halifax Town chairman Geoff Ralph dramatically resigned today [Friday] after talks broke down with potential investors. The club has now been plunged into deep crisis and its future remains uncertain. Mr Ralph, who has resigned his position as chairman but will remain on the board, said the stumbling block in talks related to his loans in the football club underwritten by himself and his wife for the benefit of the club. When his offer to convert loans into shares to be sold to potential investors for a majority shareholding in the club failed to materialise he said he had no option but to resign. 'I feel that I have done my bit for Halifax Town, and I must now step aside and concentrate upon resolving several personal and financial issues', said Mr Ralph. 'I would, of course, be only too pleased to assist in any way I can, with the continued welfare of Halifax Town AFC should any individual or group wish to be involved with the Club'".

    "Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has revealed that he won't be recalling Patrick Ada from his loan spell with Nationwide Conference rivals St Albans City", says the Football Conference. "The French defender joined the Saints in January this year and has been a regular starter under manager Colin Lippiatt. Exeter defender Steve Tully picked up a serious ankle in the defeat to Halifax Town last week and it was originally thought that Ada would be recalled as first-team cover. 'I have Rico (Jon Richardson) or Andy Taylor that can play at right-back in the absence of Steve Tully and with Steve out, it means we only have one absent for Saturday'. Tisdale told This is Cornwall. 'Patrick has been doing OK, he's played a lot of games and I watched him play on Tuesday against Dagenham and he had a stiff test against them'".

    16 March 2007


    Before they visit Moss Lane on Saturday, "Oxford have parted company with Latvian international striker Kris Grebis. Grebis has had his contract with the Conference club cancelled by mutual consent after making just four appearances for Jim Smith's side. The 26-year-old, who joined the U's from Metallurgs in January, failed to score in four starts and one appearance from the bench. Grebis was troubled by a knee injury during his stay at the Kassam Stadium and had played just once since January" says the BBC.

    The FA confirms that "Oxford United FC's Martin Foster [from] 20/03/2007 is suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 2 first team matches for 10 cautions.

    This is United claims that "Mickey Corcoran's excellent form for Oxford United has been rewarded with a call-up for the Northern Ireland Under-21 side. Corcoran has rarely put a foot wrong at centre back since joining on loan from Cardiff... Corcoran will fly out on Thursday, March 22, the day after the U's play at Halifax, and will be back on Sunday, March 25, making him available for the home game against Dagenham & Redbridge the following evening... Corcoran has struck up a fine partnership with Phil Gilchrist at the heart of the United defence". Meanwhile, "Skipper Phil Gilchrist says Oxford United need to sit down and work out what has caused their sudden slump – so they can regroup and save their season by making sure they reach the play-offs... They have destroyed their hopes of the title and automatic promotion... 'It'll be a battle now to make sure we get into the play-offs', Gilchrist said. 'Results take away that buzz and confidence. Why it's gone, I just don't know. We had that run of four wins and it looked like we were back on track, and the last two games we've gone back again... We've got to work out why and if we do have to go through the play-offs, we've got to make sure we're right'... But his frequent reference to 'working hard' suggested that he felt some hadn't grafted enough against Kidderminster on Tuesday night. 'I can't say what I really want to say', he admitted. 'We didn't really perform... We didn't work them hard enough... Yes, it was a wonder goal [that beat us], but he still had a free shot from 30 yards. Whatever the reason, he shouldn't have that'".


    Terry Rowley's Attendance statistics for the Nationwide Conference Natioonal have been updated.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger says of Altrincham that "Tuesday night's victory at Christie Park was their greatest triumph yet - even more so than last week's 5-0 thrashing of Cambridge. It was a case of the right game-plan, perfectly executed by a bunch of players willing to sweat blood for the cause. After Colin Little had put the visitors ahead in the 19th minute, they completely shut down the Shrimpers, making Sammy McIlroy's promotion contenders look nothing better than ordinary. And the visitors' collective effort was evident no more so than in the performance of Joe O'Neill. Playing out of position on the right of midfield, the striker worked his socks off, throwing himself into tackles, chasing down lost causes and generally doing everything within his powers to ensure Alty will still be in the Conference come May. That said, to single out one player would be futile. This was a triumph of teamwork and proof, if ever proof was needed, that the Moss Lane faithful have a bunch of players to be proud of... They are capable, at times, of playing stunning football ".

    "Graham Heathcote hailed a top class defensive performance from his side after they won 1-0 at Morecambe... He said: 'It's about digging results out and we went there and dug one out. We defended as if our lives depended on it, so it's a good job well done. I won't find any negatives about my players because they defended as well as they've defended all season. When you defend like that and your keeper doesn't make many saves, that's good defending. They didn't open us up and Stuart (Coburn) has made two or three saves, that's all. It might not be pretty but that's football I'm afraid. Teams at the top end have to break you down and it would be naive for me to come here and try and play them off the park. It gets us past the 40-point mark and we've got to look to push on and get as many points as we can. With that kind of determination we've got a good chance. It puts us in good stead and good heart to go on and compete with Oxford (on Saturday), which is another massive game. There's 10 games, six at home and four away and hopefully this determination will get us a few wins'".


    Confirmation comes from the BBC that "Rushden and Diamonds have released defender David Perpetuini. The former Gillingham, Watford and Stevenage full-back has had the remainder of his contract cancelled by mutual consent. Perpetuini, 27, was signed for Rushden during the January transfer window by previous boss Graham Westley. However, he is not part of new manager Garry Hill's plans and leaves Nene Park after making five league appearances for the Conference side".

    "Notts County defender Dan Gleeson has rejoined former club Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season. Gleeson, 22, signed for County last summer after being released by Cambridge and has started 16 games for the League Two side this season. However, the right-back has had limited first-team opportunities in recent months... Gleeson started over 50 games in his first spell with Cambridge after coming through the club's youth scheme" says the BBC.

    Weymouth chairman Martin Harrison told BBC Radio Solent: "I am still talking to people about the future of the club and in the last two months we've reduced our outgoings. All the people I'm talking to would prefer for me to move aside. But I still love the club and want to ensure that there are enough funds for the club to move forward".

    The Burton Mail says that "Former Nottingham Forest striker David Johnson could be included in Burton Albion's squad against Conference play-off rivals Gravesend & Northfleet at Stonebridge Road on Saturday. The 30-year-old striker is trying to come out of retirement with the Brewers 15 months after he thought a back injury had ended his career.... Manager Nigel Clough tentatively hopes the former Jamaica international will make the trip to Kent. Clough said: 'It might be a week or so before we can fully assess David's fitness levels, but we're not ruling him out of being on the bench at Gravesend. We'll sit down with him after training and see how he feels about signing for us'. Clough does not anticipate any in problems in completing the striker's registration because unattached players are not affected by the transfer window. Meanwhile, full back Aaron Webster could return to the squad for the first time since suffering a calf strain a month ago... Veteran defender Darren Tinson is also back in training for the first time since suffering neck and back injuries in a motorway accident ".

    Halifax Town share The Shay with the town's Super League club and Halifax Today reports that their "Chairman Howard Posner has said he is 'confident' of finding the £250,000 needed to transform Halifax into genuine Super League candidates - if Calderdale Council and the Shay Stadium Trust can agree a deal to complete the Shay's dilapidated East Stand by early next year... At present, the state of the Shay has already barred Fax from making a promotion application for next year". He said, "The future of the East Stand is crucial though. If real decisions are not taken by May of this year, then I think we are dead in the water because we will start missing deadlines. It certainly needs to be complete or very nearly complete by the start of next season".

    The Northwich Guardian says that "Stuart Elliott has to wait another six weeks to defend himself against racial abuse charges. The Vics' skipper had been due to face an FA disciplinary panel tomorrow, Thursday, but now the hearing has been pushed back until April 23. 'One of the parties could not make the revised date', an FA spokesman said yesterday, Tuesday. He could not reveal which side. But once more the Guardian found out before Steve Burr did. ... 'From a football point of view it means we'll definitely have him until the end of the season', said Burr. 'But this thing feels like it's been dragging on for ever' ... Elliott is currently out injured after damaging knee ligaments"

    "Simon Martin is expected to leave Clarence Park this week" reports the St Albans Observer. "The out-of-favour striker, who did not even make the 16 for Tuesday night's exhilarating encounter with Dagenham & Redbridge, is in talks with Boreham Wood and Wealdstone and he is expected to wrap up the move by the weekend... The St Albans-based school teacher started the season behind Paul Hakim and Lee Clarke but he has also seen Elliot Benyon, Leon Archer and John Hasting leap above him in the pecking order and he clearly feels a move will help kickstart his career.. Manager Colin Lippiatt said this week, 'Perhaps he hasn't had a fair crack of the whip but a manager stands and falls by his team selection and I feel I've been picking the right team. But Simon has shown a great maturity and professionalism throughout'".

    Cambridge United confirm that "Sam Page has been recalled from his loan by MK Dons".

    15 March 2007


    Alty have three doubts for the match against Oxford United this Saturday. They are Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall and Val Owen. Gary and Val both limped off against Weymouth last weekend whilst Steve has been missing for the last four games and was an unused sub in the previous two games to that.


    Altrincham have not played Oxford United prior to this season. The sides drew 1-1 in Oxford in October, thanks to a Steve Aspinall penalty. Pictured, right, are Altrincham players celebrating at the final whistle. The most recent player connection with Oxford Utd is goalkeeper Ashley Timms, who briefly played with Altrincham and had trials with Oxford United in late 2003. Another ex-Alty player link is Phil Bolland who played for Oxford under Mark Wright in 2000-01.

    Alty's side in the fixture in October at Oxford was: 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 11. Warren PEYTON; 4. Peter BAND, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Val OWEN, 10. Rod THORNLEY; 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 21. Kieran LUGSDEN, 22. Colin POTTS, 23. Eddie HUSSIN.


    Altrincham FC chief steward Darren Gregory would like to remind supporters that for the match on Saturday against Oxford United at Moss Lane, "visiting Oxford fans should enter at the 20/20 end of the ground (i.e. the one furthest from Altrincham town centre and the nearest to the King George pub) and that home fans can enter as usual via the turnstiles at the Golf Road end. Despite the roadworks, the Golf Road end still has pedestrian access from Moss Lane. Access to the seated areas of the ground should be made via the turnstiles on Moss Lane, next to the main stand."

    Altrincham steward John Ford has announced on the Alty Fans' Forum that "there will be a half time raffle on Saturday 17th March. Tickets are £1 per strip for the following donated prizes:

  • mp4 player
  • mp3 player
  • 7 disc cd collection x 2
  • 2 x bottle of wine

    All proceeds go to the football club. Thank you for your support".

    From This is United we read that "Oxford United's Conference title hopes were virtually extinguished by a second successive home defeat... Midfielder Simon Russell hit a brilliant goal from 30 yards five minutes from time to bring Kidderminster Harriers a 1-0 victory. Billy Turley had earlier saved a first-half penalty from Iyseden Christie... Jim Smith was sent to the stand by the referee in the second half after offering his glasses to a linesman who had just given a dubious offside decision, the ref failing to see the funny side of it. The U's manager could now face a touchline ban. Oxford Utd: Turley, Corcoran, L Foster, Gilchrist, Brevett, Odubade, Pettefer, M Foster (Burgess 59), Rose (Anaclet 59), Duffy (Hargreaves 59), Robinson. Subs not used: Tardif, Day".

    Smith said, "That's the pressure we've got now – to make sure we get into the play-offs. We've got to show our character now and start winning again on Saturday [at Altrincham]. Everyone's got to pull together – the team and the fans, to make sure we stay where". After his sending off Smith said "I was just having a bit of fun really. I've never seen an offside like that in my life. There was not one, but two players behind Marvin Robinson". The article adds that Oxford"now face games next week without key players Rob Duffy and Martin Foster, with Foster also collecting his tenth yellow card of the campaign, which means a two-game ban".


    Altrincham Reserves slumped to a 2-1 defeat away to Wakefield in a Lancashire League match on Wednesday night. Manager Neil Brown described it as an "awful performance" from Altrincham. The team, which included first-team squad members Pat McFadden and Justin Bowler "were just not good enough" said Neil. The Altrincham team was: 1. Chris ROWLEY, 2. Keith WEDGE, 3. Colin McALLISTER, 4. Aaron EDWARDS, 5. Danny HEFFERNAN, 6. Rick CHETCUTI, 7. Mike BROWN, 8. John MALONEY, 9. Pat McFADDEN, 10. Astley MULHOLLAND, 11. Justin BOWLER. SUbs: 12. Lee MANNION, 14. Ben DEEGAN, 15. Michael RISK. Alty trailed one-nil at the break before Colin McAllister levelled with a header from a Mike Brown corner but conceded a poor second goal to the home side later in the game. More match details to follow.


    Altrincham FC Youth's fixtures have changed again and are to be found in the Youth Section. They are now at home this Sunday so why not come along to Wythenshawe Town FC (next to Tesco at Baguley) to see the lads' first game since winning the Cheshire FA District Cup when they represented the Altrincham & District FA.


    Congratulations to Peter Band (left) who made his 200th appearance for Altrincham at Morecambe last Tuesday. He has started 197 games and made three substitute appearances and has netted 19 goals. And if Val Owen (right) recovers his fitness to play against Oxford this Saturday, it will be his 100th start for Altrincham. In addition he has made three substitute appearances and has scored 9 goals.


    Records of Altrincham's previous games on St Patrick's Day (which is this Saturday) are to be found in Howard Watts's Through the Years.


    Grahame Rowley has confirmed that the End of Season DVD will feature every goal scored for and against this season in the League. It is a limited edition of 100 copies - first come first served and costs £15 per copy. It can be ordered by e-mail or the club (928-1045) or the club shop on matchdays. Cheques should be made payable to Altrincham FC and can be posted to to the Club, or payment can be made to Campbell McLay in the club shop on matchdays.


    SAM reports that "The Robins had not even won on their travels during the current campaign before beating Weymouth on Saturday. But remarkably they have taken maximum points from their last two outings to give themselves a major chance of Conference survival. It was a case of the right gameplan, perfectly executed in Morecambe, as manager Graham Heathcote's tactics proved spot on... In an outstanding team display, the Robins maintained their shape and worked their socks off to consistently frustrate Morecambe".

    From the other camp, Morecambe Today reports that Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy "said he might have to recall David McNiven from his loan spell at Stafford in an effort to spark his misfiring Shrimps". The Shrimps' programme reported on Tuesday that McNiven can be recalled at any time with just 24-hours notice. "After watching his side produce one of their worst performances of the season to go down to a shock 1-0 home defeat against struggling Altrincham on Tuesday night the Shrimps' boss admitted at he would have to look at every option available to him... Speaking after the game he said: 'I might have to look at bringing David back. He's in great form at Stafford and will have picked up some vital match fitness. He will be extremely confident after a hat-trick against Gravesend and he could yet play a vital part for us'. Tuesday saw the Shrimps second best for long periods against a willing but limited Altrincham. The Robins defended resolutely but the lack of creativity in the final third, with Garry Thompson unable to break free of two markers, was a worry for McIlroy... The second half saw Morecambe dominate possession and pile on the pressure but fail to really trouble the Altrincham keeper thanks to some sterling defending... As they pushed forward they left gaps at the back and Altrincham should have taken advantage and extended their lead. Little did well to cross from the left for Senior who missed a golden chance to shoot past Drench".

    The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen ungraciously adds that "Morecambe misfired miserably as they turned in their worst 45 minutes of football since Sammy McIlroy took over as manager to gift struggling Altrincham a Conference lifeline on Tuesday night. The slapdash Shrimps were simply dreadful during the first half against a committed - but equally inept - Robins. And even though they upped the ante after the break, they could not find the cutting edge to get back into the game as their home form took a serious dip to the bottom of the barrel. Let's get this into perspective, though. This is not a bad Morecambe side, far from it. It was a case of a bad night at the office from too many players... That feeling certainly matched anything suffered by the fans who, for the first time this season, booed the Shrimps off at the break. The Robins should have been ahead after 21 seconds when Colin Little inexplicably found space in the six-yard box only to miss his kick... On 19 minutes Little found space in the box and fired in a shot. Drench again saved marvellously but reacted furiously as his defence admired his handiwork and allowed Little to blast home the rebound for the game's only goal".

    Photographer "Kipax" has put some pictures of the match and of Alty fans up on the Alty Fans' Forum


    The FA confirms that Stevenage Borough have "Márcio dos Santos Gaia suspended from 13/3/2007 from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 13/03/2007". This should rule the defender out of the match at home to Altrincham on 24 March..


    The BBC says that "Struggling Crawley have signed former Aldershot striker Hassan Sulaiman and are keen to bring in more players. Sulaiman, 20, made his Crawley debut in Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Weymouth after Lloyd Blackman was ruled out for five weeks following groin surgery. 'Sulaiman will give us pace up front and more options," caretaker-manager John Yems told the Brighton Argus. 'After a performance like that there is no doubt we need to strengthen the squad and we have to do it quickly'. Meanwhile "Weymouth boss Jason Tindall has not given up hope of a late charge towards the Conference play-offs... Tindall told the Dorset Echo: 'I never doubted we'd reach the 50-point mark and I'm looking towards the play-offs'.

    "Boss Phil Robinson praised a united front from players and fans as Stafford ended a seven-match home losing streak by beating Gravesend & Northfleet 3-1. On-loan striker David McNiven became the first R's player to score hat-trick in a league game for five years. 'This was a collective effort', Robinson told the Stoke Sentinel. 'But Guy Madjo worked himself into the ground as a foil for David and the midfield lads got through a tremendous amount of work. From the word go the crowd were really positive in everything we did, encouraging the players from the start right up until the end and that is what we need'". Gravesend & Northfleet manager Liam Daish told BBC Radio Kent: "We set up all our organisation before the game, so everybody knew who they were meant to be marking. But we went 1-0 down when one of their players who is not the tallest had a free header from a free-kick. Their second goal was an individual error and then we were up against it".

    The Thurrock Gazette says that"Grays Athletic do not make life easy for themselves and this narrow victory over fellow strugglers Tamworth was no exception. Justin Edinburgh's men have to be applauded for the way they stuck to the task against a classy but strangely one-paced Tamworth, who had just won their last three games. The first half was a typical relegation dogfight with both teams doing nothing wrong but there was little evidence of individual flair or creativity".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle says that "It's surely just a matter of time before Harriers follow their manager onto the box - preferably in the FA Trophy final at Wembley - if they can repeat this kind of show. Mark Yates might have been a pundit on Sky Sports on Monday - but his players would have lit up the small screen had Tuesday night's cracking performance [at Oxford] been televised....It was a great advert for Conference football, although the hosts' biggest contribution to the spectacle was when Jim Smith sarcastically offered his glasses to the linesman!"

    The Northwich Guardian reports how Vics lost the CSC Final to Cammell Laird, 1-3, on Tuesday night. "Cammell Laird left Vics red-faced to claim the county crown. Steve Burr's men slumped to their fourth - and most embarrassing - defeat in a row, but they were lucky not to have lost by a greater margin. Hardly the best preparation for their most important game of the season on Saturday... They played like their heads were some place else... Rarely will they be more underwhelming than tonight". The Vics included many players from their first-team squad: 1-Senior, 16-McCarthy, 28-Roberts, 25-Conlan (2-Battersby 46), 15-Brown, 7-Mayman (21-Rutter 68), 24-Barwick, 26-Beaumont, 11-Roca, 27-Dean, 18-Townson. Subs not used: 20-Connett (GK), 10-Brayson, 31-Shaw"

    "St Albans City remain in the bottom two of the Conference but they gave leaders Dagenham & Redbridge a real run for their money at Clarence Park" on Tuesday reports the St Albans Observer. Colin Lippiatt's side actually took the lead against the title favourties, Leon Archer converting a cross from Malik Buari who had stormed down the right flank".

    And "Two stoppage time goals saw Southport throw away more points and lose ground in their battle to survive" reports Southport GB. "After Stevenage striker Steve Morrison had hit the woodwork four times, the Sandgrounders took the lead on 25 minutes... Stevenage’s Santos Gaia received an instant red card for a reckless lunge".

    This is Staffs adds that "Stafford Rangers were given a standing ovation from their loyal followers after ending a run of Marston Road defeats at the eighth attempt.... Just 72 hours after they were booed and jeered off the field in the wake of their thumping by Tamworth, Rangers tore into their opponents. It was more or less the same players, but a different team".

    NL Daily confirms that "Barrow have signed Flookburgh-based striker Jason Walker following his release from Conference National side Morecambe.. Despite having scored in both the FA Trophy and Lancashire Trophy for Morecambe, Walker was unable to command a regular place at Christie Park."

    For their game at Oxford, Kidderminster Harriers had a reserve keeper. "There was a surprise name on the team sheet before the game with Steve Taylor replacing the, so far, ever present Scott Bevan. It later transpired that Scott had picked up a calf injury"

    14 March 2007


    Cheshire Senior Cup Final
  • Northwich Vics 1 Cammell Laird 3 at Witton Albion


    For the Altrincham game on Easter Monday at home to Gravesend, Altrincham FC is offering a good value dining package. For £30 you can have free entry to the ground and a seat in the Family Stand, combined with a hot meal in the Sponsors' Lounge, a free drink and coffee and a free matchday programme - all for the bargain price of £30. And before each game, manager Graham Heathcote gives diners his view of the match ahead. Please contact the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail to book.


    After almost a year without an away win before Saturday's triumph at Weymouth, Alty made it two victories at the seaside in little more than 72 hours with this excellent win at fifth-placed Morecambe. Alty, without Gary Scott and Val Owen, almost scored straight from the kick-off but finally did so after 19 minutes when Colin Little netted from right of goal, at the second attempt, from Senior's pass. After an error-ridden first half, the Shrimps improved in the second and applied plenty of pressure but the Alty defence and midfield did extremely well to restrict Morecambe to a few clear shots at goal, whilst Alty looked lively on the break.

    Match report here.

    Right: Alty leave the pitch at the end of the game.


    You can buy DVDs of all of Altrincham's hime games for just £7.50 from the Robins' Shop or by ringing the club (928-1045) or by e-mail. The quality of the DVDs is now excellent as is the commentary, supplied by Alty Youth team coach, Tony Spilsbury.The club is also taking orders for a limited edition End of Season DVD featuring action from throughout the season. Alty DVDs can also be bought via the Alty E-Bay shop, to which there is a link in the header to this page.


    "Altrincham striker Colin Little hopes he has rediscovered his goalscoring touch in time to keep the Robins in the Conference. Little's goals have been an integral part of Altrincham's success over the past two years since the former Crewe frontman returned to part-time football with his local club... 'The manager and the team rely on my goals', he told BBC Sport. 'Hopefully I can stay injury-free until the end of the season and get a few goals to help us get safe The lads do a brilliant job for the team and I put the icing on the cake but it has been frustrating for me not to be firing. I just felt I had started to hit a bit of form earlier in the season. I scored against Halifax but then got injured in that game and I never got going again. When I came back I got a couple of goals but then I got sent off at Christmas, when even their manager said I didn't do anything and missed some more games. It has been difficult but hopefully now I can go on a bit of a run'. Little admits that he would sacrifice a terrible season on a personal level for maintaining Altrincham's Conference status... Since Little returned to the club where he had played as a junior, prior to a successful stint with Crewe and then shorter spells at Macclesfield and Halifax, he has scored 63 goals in 129 appearances. His 38 goals led Altrincham to promotion in 2005 and then last season 17 Conference goals did much to keep the Moss Lane club up - in spite of their 18-point deduction. He is leading scorer again this term with seven league goals and, crucially, his most recent efforts have helped produce back-to-back wins for the first time this season to lift Graham Heathcote's side out of the relegation places. 'We needed those wins badly and now we have given ourselves a chance', said Little.

    'Things were not going for us but that 5-0 win over Cambridge gave us the belief and then we kicked on to get our first away win. We have always been confident and we would have said that if we hadn't beaten Cambridge. But we really are now. When I was at Crewe we used to set ourselves a 50-point target in the Championship to be safe. With four teams going down from the Conference it might be different. It could take even more than 50 but it will be there or thereabouts... Quite a few teams are looking over their shoulders now. We have hit a bit of form and we have some winnable games to come. We need to get another away win from somewhere and then gobble up the winnable games at home. It's within our own hands'.Little believes Altrincham are an improved side from last season and can also draw on the experience of 12 months ago to help them win the fight for survival... As a genuine part-time team, Altrincham run on one of the smallest budgets in the league and, having battled to clear historic debts, now run a tight ship. Relegation to Conference North would be a blow to morale, rather than the financial death knell that might threaten one or two others and Little feels that could yet be a factor. He said: 'Some of the clubs with bigger budgets would be in a worse state than us if they went down. For us, it would not be the end of the world, although we don't want to do it. We have punched above our weight for the past two seasons and we want to stay there. The club has been clearing its debts and there is some money to come from the Ian Craney deal (around £70,000 from a sell-on clause). 'So if we can stay up I think there's a good future'".


    Former Alty Youth player "Ryan Stewart has joined Winsford after being released by FC United of Manchester... Stewart has featured heavily for FC United’s reserve squad this season as part of a defence that has only conceded twelve league goals, but was yet to break into the first-team squad" reports the Winsford Guardian


    The BBC says that "Burton defender Gary Rowett has decided to retire. Rowett, 33, has played 26 Conference games this season but has suffered a recurrence of the knee problems that forced him to end his League career. Clough said: 'We have got to recognise what he has given us, playing something like 50 games with his quality when he didn't think he would play again.'". And "Former Ipswich and Nottingham Forest striker David Johnson may look to revive his career with Burton Albion. Johnson, 30, retired from last year because of a back injury but will join the Brewers for training. Burton boss Nigel Clough told his club's website: 'He is coming to do a little bit of training with us and we will see how he feels. There is a possibility he may join us. He wants to come and have a look and he wants to see how he feels about it'".

    "Oldham goalkeeper Terry Smith has joined Southport on a month's loan... The 19-year-old has made two substitute appearances for Oldham this season but has slippeddown the pecking order following Alan Blayney's signing. Port boss Peter Davenport is expected to add further to his squad in the next few days" claims the BBC.

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "United are three places and two points above the relegation zone, having played more games than all the teams below them. But Quinn said: 'I still think our destiny is in our own hands, so we've got to look forward to the games coming up and get as many points from them as we can. 'But without a game on Saturday, this was an ideal time for us to work on things after the defeat at Altrincham. We'd normally have let them have Wednesday off, but we've had them in every day. It's important to put things right, and we can do that in training. Not having a game meant we were also able to let one or two players who have knocks to have a rest. We need to make sure we're up for the game tomorrow (Tuesday) because we were nowhere near it against Altrincham. We need to keep positive and look forward. York are a very good side... People don't expect you to beat them, so that will help us'. Quinn added that he was looking to bring in another striker as cover after Charles Ademeno's return to Southend with a knee injury that could need an operation < P> The Northwich Guardian says tha "Vics have failed in their bid to get [Tuesday's] Cheshire FA Senior Cup final called off. Steve Burr wanted his players to have a full week to prepare for Saturday's FA Trophy semi final second leg against Kidderminster. But bosses at Cheshire FA are having none of it. The Conference club suggested next Tuesday, March 20, even though this clashed with a league clash with Exeter City at the Victoria Stadium. Burr has instead registered half a dozen Academy players to face Cammell Laird at the Britannia Carpets Stadium, kick off 7.45pm. Vics have fielded a weakened team in all their Senior Cup matches so far this season. That policy is unlikely to change tomorrow". In the Vics squad will be Altrincham Youth's Anthony Davies who signed for Northwich on non-contract forms last Tuesday.

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says thet "Rushden & Diamonds striker Simeon Jackson has won the Nationwide Conference player-of-the-month award for February... Jackson was up against Paul Benson (Dagenham & Redbridge), Elliot Benyon (Crawley Town), Jake Edwards (Tamworth) and former Diamonds striker Robert Duffy (Oxford United)".

    In the St Albans Observerstates that "The pressure is on promotion hunting Dagenham & Redbridge as much as second-from-bottom St Albans City ahead of their clash [onTuesday], according to Saints' manager Colin Lippiatt. Saints' draw against the only team lower than them in the Conference on Saturday - Southport - has all but sealed their return to Conference South football next season, but Lippiatt remains upbeat. 'The bottom line is you could suggest the pressure's as much on them, if not more. They are heading for League Two football at the moment... Most will see it as a certain away banker, but football isn't like that'".

    This is Staffs reports that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson has called for a united front against Gravesend at Marston Road (on Tuesday). Robinson hopes the verbal hammering his players received after Saturday's 4-0 thrashing by Tamworth will help to end the home hoodoo of seven straight defeats. Rangers players were made to take five minutes of abuse from some supporters in the wake of the defeat. However, Robinson said: 'What came out of Saturday also was that the players realise there are a lot of people who are 100% behind them and willing them on to turn it around. Even in defeat there was some positives in the reaction of the crowd. I'm glad to have the chance to get straight back out there and try to put in a performance that matches our excellent away form. Everybody has to stick together, the players and the fans'. Robinson would not reveal whether he would be making any changes, but with doubts over Richard Sutton (foot injury) and Ged Murphy (hamstring), his options will be limited".

    Woking report that "Daniel Webb has signed on loan for one month from Yeovil Town. Meanwhile Matt Ruby has joined Bognor Regis for a loan period. 23 year old Webb started his career as a trainee with Southampton before spending time with Southend, Brighton, Hull, Lincoln City, Cambridge United and Weymouth before moving to Yeovil Town in January 2006".

    This is United says that "Jim Smith is set to make changes for Oxford United's home game against Kidderminster tonight (Tuesday) insisting nothing less than a win will do... Smith said: 'To stand any chance of catching Dagenham, we needed to stay unbeaten until the end of the season. That was based on the run including some draws, but we've lost the option of draws now . . . we've got to win, and win every game'. Carl Pettefer could come into the midfield, if United's manager wants to freshen up that department, and with Gavin Johnson taken off because Smith felt his legs had gone, there may be an opportunity for Rufus Brevett to return at left back. Barry Quinn is also believed to be fit following his hamstring strain, and could come into the side at centre back to replace Phil Gilchrist, or at right back instead of Matt Day. Top scorer Rob Duffy is available for this game, although he then misses Altrincham away on Saturday and Halifax away next Wednesday in a two-match ban after picking up his tenth booking of the season. Marvin Robinson failed to impress when he replaced Duffy during the first half against Forest Green, and he could find his place as back-up striker coming under pressure from two directions. Latvian Kris Grebis is recovering from an ankle injury, although he probably first needs a reserve game, while Billy Beechers has been waiting patiently for his chance... All visiting teams seem to put in extra effort when playing at the Kassam Stadium. 'Wherever they are in the league we know that when they come here, they're a different side. It's their Wembley', Smith added. 'And if you look at our results, teams that couldn't win anywhere, have won or drawn here. It's a special place for them to come'".

    13 March 2007


  • Aldershot T. 2 Woking 2
  • Cambridge U. 0 York C. 5
  • Grays A. 1 Tamworth 0
  • Halifax T. 0 Rushden & D. 0
  • Morecambe 0 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Oxford U. 0 Kidderminster H. 1
  • St Albans C. 1 Dagenham & R. 2
  • Stafford R. 3 Gravesend & N. 1
  • Stevenage B. 3 Southport 1
  • Weymouth 3 Crawley T. 2
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years

    Cheshire Senior Cup Final

  • Northwich Vics 1 Cammell Laird 3 at Witton Albion


    Val Owen and Gary Scott, who both limped off before half-time at Weymouth last Saturday are out of action tonight for Altrincham at Morecambe.

    From the Lancaster & Morecambe Gazette we read that "Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy is sweating over the fitness of the talismanic Garry Thompson ahead of tonight's Conference cracker with Altrincham. The in-form wide man suffered a dead leg in Saturday's 1-0 win over Crawley Town and the manager admits it is touch and go for the Kendal-born Thompson. 'Thommo is a worry', says McIlroy. 'He took a knock on Saturday but I hope he will be okay for Altrincham. He is in wonderful form at the moment and it would be a loss if he had to miss out'. The Shrimps will aim to move back into fourth spot in the table against an Alty side determined to get something from Christie Park as they battle the drop. 'They are doing okay at the minute and have had some good results recently', McIlroy says. 'They will be a tough team to beat and there is added spice because their manager Graham Heathcoate and his assistant Dalton Steele are big friends of mine and I am sure they will want to put one over on me. We have to approach the game in the right way and look to get the win'".

    Morecambe Today further quotes McIlroy. Altrincham, he said, "are confident from winning their last two. It will be a tough match. It doesn't matter whether we play a top side, bottom side or mid-table side, we have got to pick up the points and rely on the ability of the squad to get us through. Here are 18 players all fighting for places and we will need this depth with all the Saturday and Tuesday matches we have this month'". For Alty, Graham Heathcote said 'goals breed confidence' and 'it gives us a belief that we can go on and do this'".


    Tonight (Tuesday) Altrincham travel to Morecambe for their fifth away game out of the last six - and for the second time in a week, it is a trip to the seaside. The Shrimps are likely to include former Alty left-back Danny Adams, as well as Adam Yates, who turned down Alty in favour of Morecambe after trials at Moss Lane. The BBC says that "Morecambe midfielder Garry Thompson should recover from a dead leg suffered after scoring the winner in the 1-0 win over Crawley. Fellow midfielder Paul Lloyd is expected to miss out again with a hamstring injury. Altrincham midfielders Val Owen (foot) and Gary Scott (groin) are out after limping out of the win over Weymouth. Lewis Chambers [i.e. Chalmers] is rated 50-50 with a knock from the same game but Andy Scott has recovered from a virus".

    From the Lancaster & Morecambe Gazette we read that "The lethal right boot of Garry Thompson fired Morecambe right into the play-off mix as he struck in style to sink Crawley Town [last Saturday]... If they had taken half of their chances on Saturday they could have reached double figures. One goal from 18 attempts is not the best return. But at this stage of the season the only thing that matters is the final score and at least the Shrimps are creating their chances despite an increasingly difficult Christie Park playing surface. That bobbly pitch is a real pain in the grass to boss Sammy McIlroy - but his players are adapting their game to it, although at times attempts to play a sharp passing style approached the farcical, especially when the odd shower blew in to add to the fun".

    Meanwhile, SAM reports that "It's taken 20 games and more than 330 days but Alty have finally done it. After an excruciating wait, the Robins have finally won away from home, beating Weymouth 2-1 at the Wessex Stadium. It was their first away win of the current campaign - in fact, their first since the sensational 4-2 victory over Dagenham in April last year. Frustratingly, it's not that Alty have been particularly poor on their travels since then - they had still avoided defeat in half of their away games this season. But they were short of luck and, more importantly, a bit of confidence. That came surging back during the 5-0 win over Cambridge last week and it showed in Weymouth... After seeing off Weymouth's early charge, Alty hit back... After the break, the Robins dominated. Livewire striker Chris Senior was a constant source of worries for the struggling home defence".


    Monday 12th
  • Burton A. 1 Forest Green R. 0

    It's a funny world; Burton have scored three fewer goals than Altrincham, despite playing a game more and Burton's goal difference is the same as Grays Athletic (plus one). Yet, after last night's win, Burton are fourth from top, Alty are sixth from bottom with 22 fewer points than Burton and Grays are third from bottom, 25 points worse off.


    Some photos of the Altrincham & District FA Youth team's win in the Cheshire County FA District Cup Final on Sunday are now on the Youth Page. Seen right is their captain, Tom Barclay, lifting the Trophy.


    "Graham Heathcote refused to celebrate after his team claimed their first away win of the season at Weymouth on Saturday. The three points... allowed Alty to escape the relegation zone for the first time since January 26. Speaking to SAM Sport on Monday, he said: "The win at Weymouth just keeps us in the pack. There's no getting carried away with it. It's got to be feet on the ground time and we'll go into our next two games (against Morecambe and Oxford) needing to pick up something. We were in a precarious position a couple of weeks ago but now we've given ourselves a chance of survival, nothing more. Finally winning away from home isn't a relief. There will be no relief until we've done the job'... Meanwhile Heathcote is hoping that striker Colin Little has finally found his shooting boots after overcoming his lean patch. Last season's top scorer has scored twice [three times, actually] in the last two games."


    Alty host Oxford United next Saturday. This is United says that "Oxford United boss Jim Smith branded Rob Duffy 'unprofessional' as the 21-goal leading scorer collected his tenth yellow card on Saturday. The U's striker was hauled off in the 38th minute, soon after picking up a needless booking which means he is now suspended for two matches, starting at Altrincham this Saturday. But Smith has himself come under fire for taking off his main goal threat so early. United went down to a 2-0 home defeat against Forest Green Rovers... Oxford's old failing of defending set pieces poorly cost them as they conceded two goals from corners. But without Duffy, they looked punchless in attack. Smith said: 'I thought he was terribly unprofessional from the first whistle until the time he came off. I thought he was poor and with the head he'd got on, there was a possibility of him getting sent off, so that's why I brought him off. He was always likely to miss two games – he'd have to go to April 8 without getting another booking which, with a mouth like he's got, is impossible! I said that he talked himself into this booking, but he said that he kicked somebody, I don't really know until I get the referee's report'. An upset Duffy mouthed some words of dissent towards the dug-out when he came off, but the U's boss didn't want to make an issue of it. 'You get that when they come off and go down the tunnel, but I don't take much notice of that', he said".

    "Smith refused to hand Dagenham & Redbridge the Nationwide Conference title – but admitted his side wasted a glorious opportunity... 'We're making it very hard to win the league', said United's manager. 'This was a massive game and great opportunity and we've wasted it... Dagenham have four games in one week, and simply through the fact that there are so many games in such a short space of time they will drop points'. Smith was happy to accept some of the blame for United's defeat, wishing he had rotated his squad... 'It was a very poor performance. In retrospect, I should have made three changes to freshen the side up. Having said that, Forest Green hardly had any shots all game, they had two corners and one other shot, and that was it. We had enough of the game, but we didn't have enough shots and hardly created anything ourselves. We were very slack in front of goal'. Smith was angry that the set-piece problem that haunted United earlier in the season seems to have reared its head again. 'It was very disappointing to concede two set-piece goals like that', he said. 'Defending set plays was a problem for us earlier in the season and we thought we'd conquered that problem. We have designated people to defend the near-post space at corners and they didn't do it. It was symptomatic of our display. We were never switched on from the first minute to the last'" opined the Bald Eagle.


    In Monday's Manchester Evening News Graham Heathcote is quoted as saying, "I don't think anyone can deny our first away win. We stayed organised and disciplined and made it difficult for Weymouth. I've been saying for a while that all we needed was for Colin [Litttle] to click and results would start to come. I'm delighted for him and now we have to try to keep this run going". Little is now top scorer this season with 8 goals, 3 of them coming in the last 2 games.

    This is Weymouth says that the Terras' "player-boss Jason Tindall was upset with his side after they crashed to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Altrincham... The 29-year-old described his men's second-half performance as "unacceptable" and he also apologised to the club's fans... 'It took us 75 minutes to start doing what we set out to do from the beginning and it took a 17-year-old in Callum Crawley to come on and change the game for us. He was the only positive we could take from the second half. It was many of the fans' first look at a lot of the players and I am just disappointed that we did not put on a better show. All I can say to them is that second half was not us, it was not how we have been and I won't accept it happening again'... Academy player Crawley, who used to be on the books at Queens Park Rangers, came on in a double substitution with Australian new boy Ezekiel Rink. Tindall said: 'When Nigel Spackman was manager of Millwall he was very interested in taking Ezekiel there. Unfortunately things did not work out for Spackman so it was an opportunity missed for Ezekiel but he has stayed over here and recently he has been training with us... When he came on he did not quite have the same impact like Callum had but that was only his first chance at this level and I am sure he will learn from it'... An AFC Bournemouth scout was also in attendance at the game studying the performance of Terras' striker Stuart Beavon. Tindall said: 'Bev had a few chances and on another day he would have scored a hat-trick but all the greatest strikers in the world have those days...The lads know that the second-half display was unacceptable'".

    The Dorest Echo reports that "The Terras suffered a frustrating afternoon in front of goal at the Wessex Stadium as Altrincham finally grab-bed their first away win of the season. Weymouth created plenty of chances but a combination of fine goalkeeping and disappointing finishing cost them as Colin Little’s brace handed the visitors the spoils... The visitors offered very little in the opening 20 minutes although Little did drive a shot at Jason Matthews after a clever one-two on the edge of the box... Then came the sucker punch in injury-time. A harsh free- kick given against Trevor Challis allowed Alty to get the ball forward and after a fine run and cut back by substitute Chris Senior, Little arrived to side foot the ball past Matthews... Senior was beginning to prove a pain for the Weymouth defence and on 51 minutes his fine cross from the right found Little but he could only poke the ball wide when he should have done better... Alty should have made it 2-0. Joseph O’Neill crossed from the right but somehow Little managed to stub the ball wide from six yards when faced with a clear sight of goal... But the hosts’ hopes of getting back into the game were then crushed on 73 minutes when they conceded again. A corner from the left was headed back across goal by Peter Band and Little rose to nod in from close range".


    The BBC says that "Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan has confirmed his interest in signing former Birmingham and Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse. The 26-year-old is playing on non-contract terms for Rushden & Diamonds, having put his professional boxing career on hold. Vaughan said: 'We are interested and we'll be approaching Rushden. I spoke to his boxing agent on Friday night and he told me he's available so hopefully we can get a deal done'". Meanwhile, "Rushden and Diamonds boss Garry Hill has recalled defender Tom Bonner from his loan spell with Conference South strugglers Bedford Town. The former Northampton Town player, 19, has made just one appearance for Rushden but will now get the chance to impress the recently appointed Hill. Bonner joined Rushden on non-contract terms in January after his contract was not renewed by the Cobblers. He was signed by ex-boss Graham Westley".

    "York City have been handed fines and bans by the Football Association following incidents in their home game with Woking in December. Both clubs have been fined £2,000 following a clash which saw Woking's assistant-boss Matt Crossley and City's James Dudgeon and Nathan Peat sent off. Crossley has been given an additional three-match touchline ban. Dudgeon has also been banned for three games and fellow defender Peat a further two matches. York's Communications and Community director Sophie McGill said: 'We have been informed the fine must be paid in two weeks, which also puts enormous pressure on the club's finances. From a football perspective, to lose two first team players for two and three key games when we are pushing for a play-off place is a major blow. I know Billy McEwan is very upset and collectively, we all feel the club has been treated very unfairly', McGill told the York Press".

    12 March 2007


    Above, the victorious Altrincham FA side. Standing, left to right: Lewis Bishop, Paul Barry, Reza Zareh-Ourang, David Leigh, Steven Roberts, Tom Barclay (capt), Michael Howe, Alex Murphy, Marcus Baxby, Jason Melling-Fong, Rick Crawford, Kyle Johnson and Michael Simcock. Front row: Anthony Davies, Kieran Raynes, Tom Bailey and Danny Browne.

    Altrincham & District FA's Youth team, entirely made up of Altrincham FC Youth team players, yesterday won the Cheshire County FA District Youth Challenge Cup by the biggest margin in the competition's history, 6-0, away to Stalybridge & Hyde District FA at Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold ground. Alty could well have trailed at the interval as they played uphill and into the wind. But following the goalless first 45 minutes, a commanding second half performance saw them record two goals apiece form Anthony Davies and Rick Crawford and one each from Michael Simcock and Michael Howe. The last two goals were extraordinary; firstly, Anthony Davies hit a quick freekick for Alty's fifth goal, reminiscent of Ryan Giggs's controversial effort for Manchester United v Lille, whilst Michael Howe's goal was scored directly from a freekick which he took from two yards inside his own half on the right touchline. Altrincham retained the trophy, which they had won last year, the first time they had done so in the competition's history. It was the third time they had won the District Cup in the last seven seasons. For Anthony and Rick their brace of goals apiece were ideal birthday presents as Anthony was 18 on the day of the game, whilst Rick celebrated his 18th birthday last Friday. The age of the Altrincham youth management duo, George Heslop and Tony Spilsbury, is not recorded! Match report in the Youth section.


    Match report here.

    This is Weymouth reports that Terras' "player-boss Jason Tindall was upset with his side after they crashed to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Altrincham... The 29 year-old described his men's second-half performance as 'unacceptable' and he also apologised to the club's fans... Tindall said: 'We created a lot of chances in the first half but we did not take them and when you do that you leave yourselves open to be punished and that is what happened just before half time. We then came out in the second half and were very poor. It seemed like a few of the lads were in the comfort zone where they felt whatever happened they would still be picked week in week out but that won't be the case'".


    The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen has news of our opponents this Tuesday. It reports on their last game in which "Garry Thompson's sumptuous first half strike was enough for Morecambe as they saw off Crawley Town to maintain their push for the Football League. The wide man cut in from the right before striking a beauty low into the corner - and that goal was enough, despite the Shrimps missing a host of chances".

    Last season Altrincham lost the corresponding game 2-0. The Alty side that day was:

    1. Stuart COBURN, 11. Gary SCOTT, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 15. Peter BAND; 7. Colin POTTS, 37. Ged MURPHY, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 12. Warren PEYTON; 28. Pat McFADDEN. Subs: 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 17. Karl MUNROE, 18. Blake NORTON.

    Only four of that starting eleven (Coburn, Scott, Band and Peyton) began Alty's game last Saturday.


    Saturday 17th
  • ALTRINCHAM v Oxford U.
  • Crawley T. v Cambridge U.
  • Dagenham & R. v Forest Green R.
  • Exeter C. v Morecambe
  • Gravesend & N. v Burton A.
  • Southport v Weymouth
  • Tamworth v Halifax T.
  • Woking v Stafford R.
  • York C. v St Albans C.

    FA Trophy SF 2nd leg

  • Northwich V. v Kidderminster H.
  • Stevenage B. v Grays A.

    The next visitors to Moss Lane are Oxford United, of whom their unofficial site, This is United says that in Saturday's defeat by FGR, Oxford's "Rob Duffy was booked in the first half and is now suspended for two games for collecting ten yellow cards. His ban will start at Altrincham next Saturday... Manager Jim Smith substituted him before half-time to prevent him getting a red card. But his replacement, Marvin Robinson, didn't look sharp, and playmaker Andy Burgess disappointed out on the flanks. Yemi Odubade had an opportunity to pull a goal back near the end but fired his angled drive over. Oxford Utd: Turley, Day, Corcoran, Gilchrist, Johnson (Hargreaves 46), Anaclet, M Foster, Rose, Burgess, Duffy (Robinson 38), Odubade. Subs not used: Pettefer, Tardif, Coombes".

    11 March 2007


    As Alty celebrate, to the left of goal, the Weymouth keeper picks the ball out of the net after Altrincham had scored their first goal.

    Match report here.

    BBC statistics of yesterday's game at the Wessex Stadium show:

  • Possession: W(eymouth) 45% A(ltrincham) 55%
  • Shots on target: W6 A 4
  • Shots off target W7 A4
  • Corners: W8 A5
  • Foul W14 A11
  • Bookings: W 1 A2

    Alty go close in the first half at Weymouth. Left to right, Senior, Little, Chalmers and Band are the Alty players seen.


    In last Tuesday's Altrincham matchday programme, physio Andy Hosgood said that "Stephen Aspinall, who has been suffering with groin problems since Christmas, has recently put a small tear in his right groin muscle. This could see him missing for 3 or 4 weeks" Fellow defender Andy Scott "suffered a slight twisted ankle during his game for the Reserves last Saturday". Gary Scott has recently suffered "tightness in his groin and a small ankle strain", whilst Robbie Lawton had been playing for the previous fortnight with two broken bones in his hand - hence the bandaging. Gary had to be substituted just before half-time yesterday whilst Val Owen limped off after just 18 minutes after being injured making a block tackle.


    In last Tuesday's Altrincham matchday programme, manager Graham Heathcote wrote:

    "With our inability to win away from home it puts added pressure on our home results, pressure being the operative word but pressure is something you put on yourself and something that you have to learn to handle in all walks of life and it is also a word that you can exchange for determination for that is what you have to be in all situations. Determined to work as hard as you can to achieve the results that you want. There are obviously other qualities you need to be successful but believe me, without determination you will fall short.

    Our results have been poor over the last six games but our performances have been anything but that. Our inability to finish off chances is our main concern but whilst looking at the league table there is a possibility of there being more clubs in the dog fight than I thought would be and there is so much for us all to play for. Whilst I believe that the bottom four going out of any division is too much you can't argue with the interest that it creates.

    There are a lot of nervous teams at the moment but I do think that it will be strikers who can hit form for their teams that will survive because in all the games that I have watched there are always chances for both sides and it just needs a goal to boost a striker's confidence and that person can and usually does go on a bit of a run. I think that our performances have been better than our results suggest but it is putting points on the board that counts and as the games dwindle the more the pressure builds. To listen to some of the clubs down at the bottom and the financial repercussions should they get relegated really does make you think how these clubs set budgets in the first place.

    Losses of hundreds of thousands of pounds really does add up to bad management of the clubs. We have learnt our lesson and will have made a profit for the last four years but alas that has meant no financial input into the team other than whatever we could afford on the playing budget for each season. There is no doubt that as a non-league club, being in the National Conference has to be the aim, but I would be a lot more comfortable for that league to be part-time. I don't care what anyone says, this country cannot carry five full-time divisions and the losses and the financial problems that the clubs are in at our level are concrete evidence of this.

    I would love to be able to ask for finance to be able to strengthen, as we haven't spent on any players for 4 years now but the one thing for sure that we can say is that no matter what the outcome of this season, the future of the football club will not be jeopardised and come the start of next season the foundations will look very strong and our community involvement greatly increased and with that our future support has a chance to grow.

    There is a lot of football to play and your support at our last three away games has been magnificent and your support for the team immense and I know it will continue. There will be some who will allow their frustrations to get the better of them but we must not allow them to be the loudest voices. Encouragement for all our players is vital.

    Confidence is a fickle thing that lurches inches away from you at times. We have to find it and keep it in our remaining games no more so than in our home matches where generally this season we have performed well. Two wins on the trot can change the picture dramatically and we have to enter every game with a positive frame of mind. There is so little between a lot of teams in the league on the pitch whilst there is a gulf of difference on the financial side off the pitch. If we are in a bad position where does that leave the full-time clubs with their extravagant budgets? I say extravagant because if you haven't got it then it's extravagant. At least we only spend what we have. Get behind the lads, enjoy the tension and remember - pressure is losing your club, not just a game.


    Alty's home game on Saturday is against Oxford United. Before yesterday's games, This is United said that "In -form Oxford United are hoping to make it five wins in a row for the first time this season when they face Forest Green Rovers... It's a measure of how spectacularly the U's have got back on track that they are now top of the Form Table , above Dagenham & Redbridge. Less than a month ago they were bottom of it! The encouraging news for United fans is that a lot of players whose form had waned slightly in midwinter are now right back on song. Gavin Johnson, for example, now seemingly over his injury problems, has been excellent in the last two games. Phil Gilchrist too has been mightily impressive in recent weeks with the arrival of Mickey Corcoran appearing to bring out the best in him. And Billy Turley was at the very top of his game in United's 1-0 victory at Southport on Tuesday night, when Danny Rose scored a classy goal. The keeper [said that against Southport] 'We had three different centre backs. Quinny came in and did excellently and Mickey Corcoran at the back again – he's only 19, but he's going to be some player. He's got an old man's head on his shoulders and I thought he was excellent. So were Gavin and Eddie (Anaclet)...We've won four in a row and hopefully we can win against Forest Green to make it five in a row – well, not hopefully – we will win!'". As regards Oxford's title rivals, "The rearranged date for Northwich v Dagenham is Wednesday April 11 and leaves the Daggers with four games in eight days – Aldershot (h) on April 7, Cambridge (a) on April 9, Northwich (a) on April 11 and Altrincham (h) on April 14. That's a schedule that would test any squad".

    The Football Conference says that "Oxford United have been dealt a blow with news that striker Steve Basham is expected to miss the rest of the season. The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury in the Nationwide Conference game at Exeter on New Year's Day and has struggled to return to full fitness since then... 'We've just had a very sad phone call. Bash won't play again this season', manager Jim Smith told the Oxford Mail. 'Quite a few of the draws we had would have been wins if we'd had the real Bash'".


    Ian Stanton writes to the website:"I have the following Altrincham programmes available for sale, any reasonable offers considered":
  • 1976/77 v Matlock (FA Trophy)
  • 1979/80 v Northwich Vics (AP Lg Cup Final 1st leg)
  • 1980/81 v Northwich Vics (APL Shield)
  • 1981/82 v Kettering (APL Shield), Bath (APL) 1982/83 v Barnet (APL)
  • 1987/88 v Macclesfield (GM Conf), Barnet (GM Conf)
  • 1988/89 v Barnet (GM Conf)
  • 1989/90 v Barnet (GM Conf)
  • 1990/91 v Barnet (GM Conf)

    Please e-mail Ian if you wish to make a bid.


    Former Weymouth chairman Ian Ridley has isued a statement to the club's Suporters' Trust in which he says "I wish the Supporters' Trust well in its attempt to win more say in the running of the club and I hope that it will be successful. I believe that once it is formed, it needs to become involved in negotiating with the club immediately as there are certain worrying things afoot. People should be under no illusion about the problems facing the club currently, even if new owners come in. These are desperate times and I fear that Martyn Harrison may be contemplating desperate measures. His rare statements do not inspire confidence and should, I believe, be treated with scepticism, given his record. I would also hope that my own track record of having been accurate in my fears will be taken into account.

    This is not scaremongering, nor is it denigrating the club. It is doing what I have always done – taking a keen interest in the club’s affairs to ensure that nothing untoward happens to it. I remain a follower, and supporter, who wants only good things for the club. I just happen to believe that sometimes the wrong people get hold of clubs without the right motives... My fear is that all the secrecy and lack of information will mean that the Trust is faced with a done deal that may not be good for the club. I understand he is close to selling to an outside consortium who will take on the club’s debt to Barclay’s Bank, around £600,000, and schedule repayments over a period of time. They are paying a reduced fee to Martyn Harrison to acquire his shares in the club because of their willingness to take on that debt.

    In return, Mr Harrison may well be retaining a hold on the stadium, as collateral for the £2.5 million Hollybush Hotels says it is owed by the club. It continues to depress me that after saying for almost two years that this money was NOT a loan – and that is on record in the press and in board minutes - Mr Harrison now says, through the annual accounts, that it is. Neither does Mr Harrison have the right to dispose of the stadium, though he may secretly be trying to do so...

    Initially, I am convinced, the Trust should have the immediate aim of ensuring that the stadium and its land remain an asset not in the hands of an owner or a consortium... I believe that the Supporters Club should ally itself to the Trust, allocating all its funds and revenue raised to the Trust and not the football club. In that way, the Trust can hand over the money to the football club only if it agrees to sell shares to the Trust. In that way, the Trust will over time accumulate sufficient shares to return the club, hopefully, to a wider ownership in the future rather than it being in the hands of any one concern. Good luck to you. Ian Ridley, former chairman, Weymouth FC".

    10 March 2007



    Tuesday 6th

  • ALTRINCHAM 5 Cambridge U. 0
  • Crawley T. 1 Burton A. 0
  • Dagenham & R. 1 Stafford R. 1
  • Exeter C. 2 Grays Athletic 1
  • Gravesend & N. 1 Weymouth 3
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Halifax T. 0
  • Rushden & D. 2 Morecambe 2
  • Southport 0 Oxford U. 1
  • Tamworth 2 Aldershot T. 0
  • Woking 0 Stevenage B.1
  • York C. 2 Northwich V. 1
  • Saturday 10th
  • Aldershot T. 0 York C. 2
  • Burton A. 2 Woking 1
  • Halifax T. 2 Exeter C. 1
  • Morecambe 1 Crawley T. 0
  • Oxford U. 0 Forest Green R. 2
  • St Albans C. 2 Southport 2
  • Stafford R. 0 Tamworth 4
  • Weymouth 1 ALTRINCHAM 2

    FAT Semis 1

  • Kidderminster H. 2 Northwich V. 0
  • Grays A. 0 Stevenage B. 1
  • Saturday's Through the Year's records are here, courtesy of Howard Watts.


    Right: There is no gulf between players and young supporters in non-league football as this picture of Alty keeper Stuart Coburn shows. Stuart is seen leaving the pitch, congratulated by young fans, after keeping a clean sheet against Cambridge

    And to underline the camaraderie than exists in Non-League, Altrincham FC received a generous letter from Mr David Gray, the Cambridge United programme editor, after he saw his team beaten 5-0 at Moss Lane last Tuesday. It reads:

    I'd just like to praise everyone connected with your club that we met on our visit on Tuesday. From the club officials, stewards, tea-bar staff and, most importantly the fans, we were treated so well, with a friendliness and warmth that helped gloss over a fairly dismal display by Cambridge. The reception we were given by your fans in the bar after the game was so pleasing. I'm sure, as your fans have found, there are clubs in the league who, after a comprehensive home win, would like to continue to heap the misery on us. But your fans were magnanimous to a man and made us so welcome. If they continue to provide the vocal backing that we heard on Tuesday for a team that have the skill and commitment to climb the table, then you should avoid the drop. Here's hoping you do, because it's always a pleasure to visit Moss Lane and we hope to do so for years to come.

    It was also good to see the Cambridge fans continuing to sing for their team despite trailing 5-0 and having a round trip of more than 300 miles to make on a Tuesday night.


    Altrincham are away at Weymouth today. In Friday's Manchester Evening News Graham Heathcote says "An away win or two would make life so much easier and, hopefully, the confidence gained from beating Cambridge so convincingly will give us the impetus to break our duck at Weymouth. I've never lost faith in my players and still believe they can reach my 50-point safety target. Six of our last ten games are at home and that makes the next two away games all the more important". The MEN adds that "Karl Munroe is free from suspension, having completed a two-match ban, but Gary Scott picked up a knock in Tuesday's win and is Heathcote's biggest doubt".

    This is Weymouth claims that Terras' player-manager "Jason Tindall reckons his side possesses the best strike pairing in Nationwide Conference National. Since Raphael Nade's recent return from injury the Terras have claimed four points from two games.... The Ivory Coast-born forward has only netted twice so far this season but Tindall reckons his work-rate and pace combined with Stuart Beavon's top-class finishing is a recipe for success. Beavon has fired five in eight games since joining from Didcot Town and he will no doubt be looking to add to that tally against struggling Altrincham at the Wessex Stadium tomorrow. Tindall has also praised Yeovil Town loanee Ishmael Welsh. He said: 'I had being trying to get Ish for a while and with Rafa back as well, going forward we are looking great. We have got two quality strikers and in my opinion there is not another pairing as good as them in the Conference. If we can cut out the silly mistakes at the back that have cost us goals in recent times then we will always have a good chance of winning games'. Tomorrow's encounter will be the Terras' first home match since February 10"

    The Weymouth Forum says that "With the logistics we have with people getting into the bar only after they enter the ground we are going to give the Barclays suite to all supporters, i.e.those that want to meet and drink together. There will be segregation as we have committed to both the council and the police to segregate for the first season in the conference. Having said all that after the game if the game goes off without any supporter problems and I am sure it will, all Altrincham supporters are more than welcome after the game to join us in our bar."

    Weymouth report that "Both sides in this weekends clash at The Wessex had magnificent midweek victories. Visitors Altrincham put five past Cambridge United but remained in the bottom four due to Grays’ better goal difference. The Terras already high morale was further boosted by a tremendous 3-1 away victory over promotion chasing Gravesend & Northfleet. This first win of Jason Tindall’s tenure was made sweeter by the fact that the team had fought back from being 1-0 down at half time, afterwards the manager said 'We have got to build on this win now and we will have a great opportunity of doing that at the weekend. We are looking forward to playing at home because we have not done that for a while and we will definitely be going into the Altrincham game full of confidence'. The Weymouth manager is unlikely to have recovered from his thigh injury in time to join the starting line up and Ashley Vickers is still out due to suspension. Matthew Hartmann continues his international duty with the Philippines. Any changes from Tuesday nights team are likely to be through the managers choice and James Coutts’s second half heroics will have done his chance of starting the game no harm at all. When we last met, 1214 watched a 0-0 draw in early October although only three Terras players who started at Moss Lane are still with the club."


    "Warren Peyton never doubted Alty could avoid the drop this season... 'We really needed that', Peyton told SAM Sport 'I've never doubted we could avoid the drop and, to be honest, we all know what we've got to do and we'll just keep putting the work in. The Cambridge win did come at the right time though because if we hadn't got the result that could have been it, in the sense that we would have been left thinking 'what can we do to get out of this?' Luckily that didn't happen. A few of the lads - and I was one of them - were saying that we could really do something in that game and that they were there for the taking and we proved that in the end'. Peyton kickstarted the 5-0 win with an absolute cracker of a free kick, sending the ball into the top corner of the net as if it had been hit by a sledgehammer... He said: 'We tried a few things in training and I tried to work one for Colin (Little) actually, but he said it wasn't on so I just had a pop at it. I fancied it to be honest anyway so I was glad that he didn't take it. Obviously, as soon as it left my boot I knew it would end up in the back of the net. I think that gave us a bit of confidence. I thought we'd made a good start to the game anyway but obviously the goal cemented things and gave us a little bit of a kick and we went on from there. In terms of effort there was no difference between the Cambridge and Burton games. We've been really unfortunate, we've hit posts and not had the run of the ball in recent games. But I think against Cambridge the luck was with us, everything seemed to come off and we got the result we deserved. We've got the best result we could have going into the Weymouth game and we've just got to kick on now really'".


    On Sunday (11th), why not come along and support Altrincham & District FA Youth team (which is made up entirely of Altrincham FC Youth team players) as they contest the Cheshire County FA District Youth Challenge Cup Final at Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold? The game kicks off at 2pm. The District Cup was first awarded in 1949 and since then the Altrincham & District FA has won it seven times. Sunday's game is Altrincham's fourth District Cup Final in seven seasons and of the previous three, Alty have won twice. This year is the first time since 1970 that Altrincham have contested successive finals but they have never won it twice in succession, a feat that was achieved last season with a 3-1 win over Stockport FA..

    The Stalybridge side is likely to include many of Celtic's Academy players though some will be ruled out by the under-18 rule, as the Academy side is for under-19s. On the Altrincham side both Rico Colulo and Joe Steenson are barred from playing as they have already represented the Manchester FA side this season.

    Pictured, right, is last season's victorious Altrincham side. Back row: Rick Crawford, Kieran Raynes, Danny Chebrika, Danny Browne (partly hidden), Anthony Davies, Michael Risk, Dean White, Tom Barclay, Andy Keogh, Ben Deegan, Hassan Zareh-Ourang, Lewis Bishop, Ashley McGrath (hidden). Front row: Matty Williams, Richard Gresty and Astley Mulholland.


    On 21 April 2006 this website quoted Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin in an article in the NL Paper. This was at the height of the furore over Accrington's failure to get clearance for James Robinson which led to an 18-point punishment for Altrincham, when they subsequently signed him. Geoff said of Stanley "They should apologise to us and accept the responsibility but they haven't even made contact". Now the boot is on the other foot as Accrington have been accused of fielding two ineligible players but this time Accrington have a lot more to say for themselves as This is Lancs reports. "Accrington Stanley chairman Eric Whalley today came out fighting after a Football League charge left the club facing an uncertain future. The relegation haunted Reds have been charged with fielding two ineligible players in three recent games and ordered to appear at a disciplinary hearing next month. If found guilty of breaking League rules, Stanley could be docked points or, in the worst case scenario, even expelled from the League altogether. But Whalley has vowed to contest the charges, insisting the club will do everything in its power to avoid slipping back into non league football less than 12 months after securing a fairytale return to the Football League. He said: 'We're going to fight this. It took us 44 years to get to the Football League and some people want to make it the shortest stay possible'. One of the unregistered players is believed to be Preston scholar' Chris McGrail, who made two appearances for Stanley in January. The identity of the second player remains unknown. A club statement read: "Accrington Stanley Football Club confirm that they are in receipt of documentation from the Football League in which charges have been laid alleging that ineligible players participated in three recent fixtures. Issues surrounding the registration of players is a complex matter. The Club considers the charges to be technical issues and will submit a detailed defence to the Disciplinary Commission hearing early next month. Accrington Stanley Football Club is taking expert advice in this matter and can assure supporters that they will take every available option open to them to ensure that League status is maintained'. News of the charges has sent shockwaves through the club...

    Football League spokesman John Nagle said: 'Accrington have been charged with fielding two unregistered players in three games. The matter has been referred to the Football Disciplinary Commission and we're in the process of fixing a date for that'". The article claims that "Stanley were fined £5,000 last year after fielding James Robinson three times in their reserve side" but reports at the time said it was a mere £200. "The Reds [claim that they] had been unaware that the former Crewe midfielder had played in Iceland before having a trial at the club last season. Robinson went on to sign for Altrincham, who had 18 points deducted as a result of him making 13 appearances and scoring four goals... News of the latest charges comes almost 45 years to the day the Reds were forced to resign from the Football League due to crippling debts of £63,688."

    Meanwhile Stanley manager John Coleman said, "I've got no comment to make. The club has made a comment. But this is not bad news. It's something that's happened and we're getting on with it". No doubt he will discuss the matter with his good friend, the former Southport boss Liam Watson.


    In Sussex, The Argus reports that "Caretaker boss John Yems says Crawley are the 'Dirty Dozen' of the Conference. And he believes their crazy gang spirit will be the key to beating the drop. Reds have surprised many with their recent impressive run of form. They have suffered one defeat in nine league games to pull seven points clear of the relegation places. That is despite, working on a restricted budget and starting the campaign with a ten-point deduction for going into administration. They have done it with a team of hard working players, many of who joined Reds after being released from other clubs. Yems compares his squad to the famous 1967 war film, in which 12 convicts were trained for an important mission.

    He said: 'It is like the Dirty Dozen here. We have people who were released from other clubs or told they were not good enough and they have come here and are proving a point. I have known a lot of these players a long time so other managers haven't seen what we have seen in them. We are now getting the best out of them because they are enjoying it and they know we are going to be honest with them. We have overcome adversity this year in all sorts of forms through sticking together. We give every game our best shot and give it a real go... A lot of people fall foul in only working on what they are bad at. We work on what we are good at, which is team spirit and keeping the ball. The lads are all playing with a smile on their faces and when they put the shirt on they give us everything'... Midfielder Steve Evans arrived at the Broadfield in the transfer window after being told by Woking his contract would not be renewed... Evans said: 'I've had a new lease of life coming here'". Crawley face Morecambe on Saturday and Yems confidently said, "We don't worry about them because there is no reason to. We have been to places like Oxford and battled out points, so we don't worry about anyone".

    The BBC says that "Gravesend & Northfleet manager Liam Daish says they can still earn an end of season play-off spot despite a recent dip in form. In their last seven games, Gravesend have won three, drawn one and lost three matches. He told BBC Radio Kent: 'You're better off winning a game and losing the next one rather than getting two draws. But if we win a game and then lose a game until the end of the season we will get into the play-offs'".

    At the bottom-end of the table "Southport have re-signed striker Dino Maamria on loan from Rushden & Diamonds for the rest of the season. Maamria ended his second spell at Port on 31 January, when he was signed by then Rushden boss Graham Westley on an 18-month contract. But after failing to feature in new Diamonds boss Garry Hill's first two squads, the 33-year-old has returned to Haig Avenue for a third stint. Maamria has previously made 40 Conference appearances for Southport. He has also played in the Conference for Doncaster, Leigh RMI and Stevenage". The BBC adds that "Southport have allowed left-back Sean Clancy, 19, to join Unibond Premier Division side Burscough on a month's loan".

    Southport GB says of Maamria, ""He departed in a manner that attracted the rancour of supporters - and the sight of Dino Maamria in a Southport shirt again will once more provoke much debate. 38 days after bringing an end to a contentious series of events by leaving the club, Maamria returned to Haig Avenue yesterday with the proclamation that: ‘It is great to be back.’ With six goals from 17 league matches for the Sandgrounders this season, he remains the team's leading goalscorer and the squad member with the most Nationwide Conference experience. On those bases, his contribution to a front-line requiring direction could be a telling one... Maamria publicly set his heart on a move to their Conference rivals in November and was subsequently excluded from the Sandgrounders team until negotiations at Nene Park had stalled... Maamria’s move to Rushden centred around the appointment of manager Graham Westley, whose brief tenure at Nene Park ended two weeks ago, since when the striker hasn’t featured... Maamria told Southport's official website: ‘It is great to be back, I had several offers from clubs in the Conference including prospective play off clubs but I wanted to come back to Haig Avenue... I honestly only left because I wanted to work with Graham Westley, once he had gone then Haig Avenue was the place to be'".

    "Grays have signed Brentford striker Alex Rhodes on a seven-week loan deal and and defender Anthony Barness on a deal until the end of the season. Rhodes scored the winning goal to secure the Bees' safety from relegation on the last day of the 2003/04 season. But the 25-year-old has not featured for the Brentford first team since the loss at Port Vale on 16 December 2006. Barness, 34, is a free agent and had been with Championship side Plymouth until earlier this season" states the BBC.

    There is an air of resignation in the air as "Woking boss Glenn Cockerill admits that he fears the sack at any time, after going six league games without a win. The Cards are just five points above the Conference relegation zone, and lost to Combined Counties side Merstham in the Surrey Senior Cup on Thursday. 'If I have to be sacrificed, or top players have to be sacrificed, to save this club, I'm all for that', Cockerill told BBC Southern Counties Radio. 'Five years is a long time for one manager to be at one club'".

    "Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson has appointed his former Wrexham team-mate [and ex-Alty man] Andy Dibble as goalkeeping coach. The former Wales international, 41, was recently keeper coach at Coventry until Iain Dowie replaced caretaker boss Adrian Heath last month".

    From The Romford Recorder we learn that "This season is St Albans' first in Conference football. They should have been in the league in 1992-93, but were denied entry because of an oak tree, under a preservation order, that stood behind one goal in the park. The tree, later diseased, was removed five years later... St Albans have a real six pointer with the one side below them in the table Southport, this weekend. The Hertforshire team go into that game on the back of a four game losing run, which isn't their worst sequence of the season - they lost five in succession back in September. Also concerning for the Saints is the improving form of former bottom sides Tamworth and Altrincham who have both climbed above them following recent results. Despite all this pessimism, manager Colin Lippiatt, who earned the side promotion last season, has been given a vote of confidence and has said he will stay with the club, even if they are relegated".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph states that "Garry Hill insists he does not mind Rushden & Diamonds having two successive blank weekends as it gives him extra time to assess his squad. They are without a game on the next two Saturdays due to Stevenage Borough and Northwich Victoria both being involved in the FA Trophy semi-finals instead of Nationwide Conference fixtures. Diamonds are back in action at Halifax Town on Tuesday night, looking to extend their unbeaten league run into double figures. Hill said: 'The boys are very tired after two tough games so it works out nicely to have a bit of a window this weekend. We can turn around and work on the training field a little bit more while the players also deserve a rest'".


    From BHT Media Stuart Ryan writes "I trust you are well and that you have been following the progress of The Football Paper (The Non League Paper) over the past few months. It has been a difficult 12 months for our company which featured a period of administration in July 2006 followed by new owners taking over at the start of the season. Although The Football Paper sold 50,000+ copies per issue at its highest point, unfortunately in recent weeks copy sales have dropped dramatically which meant an additional 30p was added to the cover price. I can now inform you that we have now been taken over once again which has regrettably meant that our publication has changed format. We are no longer printing The Football Paper and have gone back to solely publishing The Non League Paper which was our original and most profitable product"
    9 March 2007


    Above: Joe O'Neill scores against Cambridge on Tuesday night. This and other excellent photos of the game are on Gavin Rathbone's GR Photography website.

    "Graham Heathcote has revealed" to the Sale & Altrincham Messenger "the secret behind his team's stunning victory over Cambridge last night... And it may surprise some Robins fans to hear that their team's inspiration was a former Northwich favourite - Jimmy Quinn. The Cambridge manager's pre-match comments about Alty were less than complimentary and Heathcote was happy to use them to fire his players up. 'It was a great performance - we did the job that we needed to do', said the Robins boss after Tuesday's game. 'We had certain motivation in the fact that Jimmy's said we had no quality in our side, that we work hard but have no quality, and that we don't score a lot of goals. So that was a nice motivational part of the pre-match speech. But I'm not saying that's why we got five today, we just took our chances to be fair... All season's been about trying to put two or three wins together. That's just a game, it's now a case of can we build on it? Goals will breed confidence in any football team, that's not rocket science. Most importantly, it'll help the goal difference because you never know, that might be in the equation come the end of April. But what it will do is it'll give everyone a massive lift, it'll give them a belief that we can go on and do this. We've never faltered in our belief that we can but there's still 12 games to go and we've got to perform to that level in those 12 games. If you're going to go all the way to Weymouth you might as well go on the back of a decent win because it's a long way to go. So that'll make the journey there a bit more comfortable but we've got to perform at Weymouth and our away form hasn't been good so we'll see'".

    The Cambridge Evening News states that "United remain 17th after the rout at their fellow strugglers, but the gap between themselves and the bottom four has been reduced to four points... But while Quinn, who had his side in for training yesterday (Wednesday, 07 March) despite not getting back to Cambridge until the early hours from Moss Lane, was shocked by the scale of the defeat, he believes valuable lessons can be learned that will help United get back on track at home to York on Tuesday. He said: 'I was gobsmacked. I want to know where the team went that I had out there last Saturday (a 2-1 win at Stafford)... As disappointing as that was at Altrincham, it was only one game and there are three points to be won next Tuesday... We'll have a chat about what happened and look forward to Tuesday. I'm not particularly happy about it, but these things happen in football'".


    Last season Accrington Stanley's James Robinson moved to Altrincham without Stanley having gained international clearance for him. As a consequence Alty picked up an absurd 18 point deduction when they signed and played him in the Conference. But as Robinson had only played in Accrington's Reserve side in the Lancashire League, the Lancashire side escaped a points deduction in the Conference and were fined a mere £200 for the Robinson episode. Indeed, allegedly, more than two dozen Stanley players were not registered correctly in their Lancashire League side last season but Stanley resigned from that League before anything further happened to them.

    So it is with mixed feelings that we read on the BBC website that "Accrington Stanley are under investigation from the Football League for fielding ineligible players. Preston youth team striker, Chris McGrail played twice for Stanley while on work experience at the club and registered as a scholar with North End. McGrail, 17, appeared as a substitute in Accrington's 3-2 win over Mansfield on 16 January and in Stanley's 1-1 draw with Wycombe on 20 January. The other game and player is unknown at this stage. Accrington Stanley could be facing the possibility of being deducted points.

    Stanley could be deducted 4 points or more, which would drop them into the relegation zone. In a club statement Accrington confirmed they are in receipt of documentation from the Football League in which charges have been laid alleging that ineligible players participated in three recent fixtures. The Club considers the charges to be technical issues and will submit a detailed defence to the Disciplinary Commission hearing early next month. The club say they are taking expert advice in this matter and can assure supporters that they will take every available option open to them to ensure that League status is maintained. The Club will make no further comment at the present time.

    Meanwhile, Preston North End confirmed to BBC Radio Lancashire that on the 15th January scholar Chris McGrail was given permission to attend Accrington Stanley Football Club on work experience in accordance with FA Rule C3 (b) (v)".


    Our opponents on Saturday are in the news. This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth chairman Martyn Harrison has issued a statement about the club's current situation. The hotelier announced in January that the Terras had to restructure or face financial meltdown. Since then he has been seeking advice and holding talks with potential investors. Harrison said: 'When I made my announcement in January, I promised to look after the long-term security of Weymouth Football Club and this continues to be my primary goal. I am pleased to announce that there has been a significant level of interest from the wider football community, and several approaches from individuals and organisations that have expressed an interest in taking over the running of the club. At this stage the board is ruling none of these options out. In fact I want to make it known that we positively welcome any expressions of serious interest from whichever quarter, provided the interests of the club come first. I have put my heart and soul into this club over the last few years and it's no secret that this has taken its toll. However, I haven't put all of this hard work and money into the club just to leave it without direction... I promised we would play all our fixtures and work hard at keeping our place in the Conference. Our present position vindicates the stance I have taken.". a

    Meanwhile, "Weymouth midfielder James Coutts has admitted that player-manager Jason Tindall was right to drop him. The AFC Bournemouth loanee started on the bench at Gravesend & Northfleet on Tuesday but came on at half-time to inspire the Terras to a 3-1 win. The Weymouth-born youngster netted twice and received glowing praise from Tindall afterwards. The victory was the Terras' first of 2007. Coutts said: "The points were the most important thing... Over the past few weeks we have played well and not always got that bit of luck or what we deserved. I think it all came together on Tuesday and now we want to push on... As for myself, I have not played as well as I had hoped, to be honest... Being put on the bench was something I probably needed. It gave me a little kick and showed me that I am not going to be playing every game and that I have to fight for my place just like everyone else. I came on and played in my most natural position, just behind the forwards, and to score two goals was very pleasing'... Coutts reckons Raphael Nade's return from injury and the loan signing of Yeovil Town winger Ishmael Welsh have been major factors in the Terras' upturn in fortunes... Coutts said: "Ishmael has done really well.. and with his pace he is always going to be dangerous. If you keep giving him the ball and get him one-on-one then he will always create something. Having Raphael Nade back is also a big boost. It was hard for Stuart Beavon when he was the only fit striker and he has done a great job since he came in but now we have two forwards that we can play off which is making a big difference'. Weymouth will look to continue their good form when they entertain Altrincham on Saturday... Coutts said: 'Altrincham had a good win on Tuesday so it won't be easy but we will be looking for two victories'".


    Lymm Rovers JFC, who were Altrincham FC's "Featured Club"from the Timperley Junior Football League can claim the glory for Altrincham's thumping win aginst Cambridge United last Tuesday. For Rovers were the sixth junior football club to watch a match at Moss Lane as guests of Alty but all the previous five had failed to see Altrincham win! Pictured right, some of the Rovers players queue up to buy sweets at half time in the Cambridge game, whilst one young Rover has just finished an ample tray of chips from Keith Davey and Dawn Abbott's refreshment trailer. We hope that Lymm enjoyed the visit and that they have now started a trend for Featured Clubs in terms of watching home wins at Moss Lane. The next Featured Club is Broadheath Central, who will be here for the Grays match. Details of the Fetaured Club scheme are here.


    The BBC confirms that "Cambridge United have extended the loan spell of MK Dons defender Sam Page for at least another month. Don's boss Martin Allen has allowed Page, 19, to stay at the Abbey stadium, with the duration of the extension to be determined. Boss Jimmy Quinn told Cambridge's website: 'Sam is delighted to stay and he will have a good future in the game. He's not the quickest player in the world but you won't find a much better attitude and determination than his'.

    "Striker Michael Rankine [who had an unsuccessful trial at Altrincham] has agreed a new long-term deal at Nene Park. Rankine, whose existing contract was due to expire at the end of the season, has now signed up until June 2011. The former Scunthorpe United forward joined Rushden last summer from Conference North side Alfreton Town. The 22-year-old has only scored five times this season, but is seen by new Rushden boss Garry Hill as part of his long-term plans" claims the BBC.

    "St Albans City have signed former Barnet midfielder Guy Lopez. The 27-year-old Frenchman joins the Saints following spells with Conference South sides Havant and Waterlooville and Dorchester Town. He previously spent two-and-a-half years with Barnet and made over 50 appearances for the Bees, helping them win the Conference title in 2005".

    "Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has clinched the signing of former Bolton and Wigan defender Greg Strong. Strong, 31, has joined after ending his time at Scottish First Division side Dundee earlier this season. The deal has been financed by a mystery backer after financial restraints at Halifax prevented Wilder from adding to his injury-hit squad. Strong, who started 17 games for Dundee, has had spells with Motherwell, Livingston, Hull City and Boston" says the BBC.


    NL Daily reports that "Manager Phil Wilson saluted Colin Potts after a goal of the season contender earned Barrow three points at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday. On a night when Europe’s best were on display in the Champions League, Potts scored a memorable 72nd minute match-clincher at Rivacre Park. 'Fantastic', said a grateful Wilson. 'You need goals like that and we haven’t had them this season. You need someone to do a little bit of magic, something out of the blue and he’s done that tonight. We’ve brought Colin in and it has taken a while to get him into the side because he had injuries and Paul Brown was playing so well it was difficult to replace him. Colin’s shown what he offers in the last two games, he’s got us a goal in each of them, which is what we have been lacking. A goal like that is what we have been lacking all season, somebody to do something a bit different that gets us the points'".
    8 March 2007


    Above is Gavin Rathbone's photo of some of those who completed the sponsored walk to Northwich last month, which was organised by Alty Director Andrew Shaw. More than £4,000 was raised, with half going to the Autistic Society and half to the Club. The walkers were honoured on the pitch at Moss Lane on Tuesday when a cheque was presented to the Autistic Society.


    This is Weymouth confirms that "AFC Bournemouth loanee James Coutts fired home a brace to hand Weymouth player-boss Jason Tindall his first victory at the helm at Gravesend & Northfleet [on Tuesday] night. The Weymouth-born youngster, who was one of Tindall's first signings when he took charge, came off the bench at half time and netted twice in 11 second-half minutes before Tony James made it 3-1 from the spot... Tindall, whose record in charge now reads one win, three draws and four losses, said: "I am very pleased but I always knew that our first win would come sooner rather than later. James was a little bit unfortunate to be left out of the starting line up tonight. We changed things around a bit, but in the first half the lads did not do what we asked them to do. I was also disappointed with their goal because it came from our own corner. At half-time we brought on James and Brian Dutton for Scott Dixon and Danny Phillips, and in the second half we went out and put on a great performance. James was fantastic. Not only did he do well going forward but he was also tremendous defensively. I always knew there was more to come from him and tonight he was the James Coutts I know he can be. We have a tremendous spirit and all the lads want to be successful together and for each other. I said before the Grays game that I wanted us to be judged from then onwards. I said that because I had managed to bring in a couple of players that I wanted and we also got a couple back from injury. Since then we have taken four points from two away games which is a great effort. I look around the changing room and we have a strong squad now. Not many teams come away from Gravesend with three points'. The Terras now host Altrincham on Saturday and Crawley Town on Tuesday. Tindall added: 'We have got to build on this win now and we will have a great opportunity of doing that at the weekend. We are looking forward to playing at home because we have not done that for a while and we will definitely be going into the Altrincham game full of confidence'".


    Right: Lewis Chalmers celebrates his superb goal for Altrincham on Tuesday night. This and other excellent photos of the game are on Gavin Rathbone's GR Photography website.

    The Cambridge Evening News writes of Tuesday's defeat by Altrincham - "Clueless United take a giant step back into trouble. Dumb-founding, shocking, embarrassing. However you put it, the manner in which Cambridge United's seven-match unbeaten run came to an end could not have happened in more inglorious fashion... against second-from-bottom Altrincham. Facing low-on-confidence, part-time opposition in midweek when many of their players have had to do a full day's work, and you would think the scoreline on paper could well have been the other way around. But right from the start, it was United who looked clueless and sluggish while Altrincham were dynamic and, most importantly, well-organised... Altrincham were allowed to dictate everything about the game, the United midfield looking as weak as it had before the unbeaten run, while the defence was at sixes and sevens against the front two of Colin Little and Joe O'Neill... But if United had been out-of-sorts in the first half, they got worse after the interval... Jimmy Quinn switched to a 4-4-2 formation in an attempt to at least stand strong in the face of Altrincham's onslaught. But, with United well under par, they could gave tried any system under the sun and it would not have sparked a revival".

    The same paper adds, "Cambridge United boss Jimmy Quinn described last night's crushing 5-0 defeat against against struggling Altrincham's part-timers as '"embarrassing'... Disappointed Quinn said: 'I gave the lads all the information on Altrincham, but we never made a tackle. I've got to apologise to the fans travelling all that way to watch a performance like that. We defended poorly, not just the lads in the backline, but the midfield as well... People switched off and that was the main thing I noticed all night. The players were on the back foot rather than the front. I feel sorry for Christian Smith and Stephen Smith as they didn't get any help from the senior players in the team'... United clearly missed top scorer Robbie Simpson, who was serving a one-match ban. Quinn said: 'The question is are we a one-man team and is it all about Robbie Simpson? On that performance, it looks like it'... Quinn added that he hoped to extend Christian Smith and Sam Page's respective loan deals from Port Vale and Milton Keynes Dons for another month today".

    From the home side, SAM said that Alty gave a "five-star display... but, more importantly, restored confidence and belief among the players. Now just goal difference keeps them in the relegation zone and with several winnable games still to come, both home and away, hope has been well and truly restored at Moss Lane... And Moss Lane was engulfed in delirium - either that or utter disbelief - when number five hit the back of the net... It was the perfect end to a perfect night"


    The Altrincham FC website would like to send its best wishes to Mike Crockett of the Sale and Altrincham Messenger who is moving on to a new post back in his native Scotland. Mike has been a great friend of Altrincham FC and ensured that the newspaper gave excellent coverage of the Club. Mike was promoted from Sports Editor to a higher editorial position a couple of years ago but he continued to attend Altrincham matches regularly. Connor Murphy, who succeeded Mike as Sports Editor continues the newspaper's supprt with coverage of all home games and also many away matches too.


    All at Moss Lane were sorry to hear of two accidents which have befallen Alison Lewis, a great supporter of Altrincham FC and also a steward at the Club. Indeed the whole Lewis family is Altrincham through and through with her husband Peter also being a steward as well as Membership Secretary of the supporters' trust, STAR. Their daughter is also a regular ball girl at Moss Lane. Sadly Alison was the innocent victim of a motorway accident from which she was fortunate to escape with minor injuries but then yesterday she had a further misfortune when she fell and broke both her wrists. We all wish her a speedy recovery.


    There is an interview with ex-Alty defender Danny Adams in the Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen "Rock-solid Danny Adams reckons Morecambe have what is takes to cut the mustard at the business end of the Conference... Adams dropped two divisions from Huddersfield Town ... 'I didn't want to drop into the Conference - but I feel at home at Morecambe', he says. 'The lads are spot on, Sammy McIlroy and Mark Lillis are good people to work for and the set up is that of a professional club. The team is good enough to get promoted and the club is in a position to survive if promotion arrives. And it could happen this season - there is no reason why not'. Adams is already becoming a crowd favourite after two top displays. He linked-up with the Shrimps on the eve of the crunch match at Forest Green Rovers. He was awesome in that game and also stood out on Saturday in the 2-0 win over St Albans City as his League class shone through. 'There is no way that I wanted to drop down two divisions at this stage of my career', says the 31-year-old. 'But when Huddersfield told me that would not be getting a new contract then I felt that I had to move straight away. I know Sammy and Mark Lillis and have worked with them before so I knew what to expect. It wasn't a risk coming here'".


    The BBC says that "Morecambe manager Sammy McIlroy believes his side's fightback at Rushden and Diamonds could be crucial in the battle for a play-off place. The Shrimps clawed back a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Nene Park and climb up to fifth in the table with back-to-back home games to come. McIlroy said: 'We did not deserve to be 2-0 down but our character showed. The spirit we have is unbelievable. It would have been bad going home with nothing and this may be a vital point'". Morecambe play Altrincham next Tuesday (13th) at Christie Park.

    "Kidderminster Harriers boss Mark Yates has been given a new two-year deal. Assistant Neil Howarth has also signed a new contract which means the pair will stay at the club until June 2009. 'Mark's done well and I know that he wants to build on the success we've already had this season', chairman Barry Norgrove told the club website" reports the BBC.

    From the Thurrock Gazette we read of Grays' defeat at Exeter. "In search of a desperately-needed win, Grays looked like they would have to settle for a point in Tuesday's Nationwide Conference clash but sucumbed to a devastating late blow when Billy Jones snatched a last gasp winner that gives boss Justin Edinburgh a real relegation headache. Former Leyton Orient trainee Jones smashed an explosive drive beyond the despairing reach of Ashley Bayes five minutes into added time. It was a gut-wrenching moment for the boss, his team and travelling supporters who had made the long trek to Devon and he might well have rued the decision five minutes earlier to change his defence by taking off Tom Kemp in a bid to waste time. Changing players in the last minute is a move that often back-fires as newcomers struggle to get to grips with the pace of a match and it is a wonder, when a late goal is conceded so often, that managers stick with the tactic... But of more long term imporatnce could be that Blues lost the chance to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone and they now sit perilously just one place above the drop zone on the same number of points as fourth bottom Altrincham, who had a 5-0 morale-boosting win against Cambridge".

    Halifax Today says that "Town boss Chris Wilder has been given the green light to bring in a new defender by a mystery benefactor. Wilder watched his patched-up side, without a single specialist central defender in the squad, go down 1-0 at Kidderminster last night... 'I have been chasing a centre half and was told I could not get him in', said Wilder who has been operating under a one-in, one-out policy during the continuing takeover negotiations. 'But through a third party we may be able to do a deal for the weekend. I have pleaded with people because it is something we desperately need to do and fortunately we have found someone outside the club to sponsor that to the end of the season'. Town slipped to within two points of the Conference drop zone as an own goal from Ryan Toulson condemned them to their 12th away defeat of the season... 'Everyone knows the situation at the club and everyone will have their opinion', he said. 'I know the full facts and I care about the club. That is why I wanted to stop here in the summer and October when I might have had an opportunity to go elsewhere. If you asked whether from the final game of last season - the play off final - to now are we weaker or stronger it would not take much to answer that question. We have been treading water all season. All I can ask of these players is that they give 100% and they gave that last night. If it is good enough we will get results and if it isn't we won't. Unfortunately we were just a little bit short last night... but I am proud of the players'".


    AFC Wimbledon have an e-petition against their 18 points deduction for fielding a player without international clearance. The petition is here.
    7 March 2007


    Match report here.

  • League table
  • Altrincham line-ups & bookings
  • Altrincham player statistics

    Pictured right is the new Altrincham home shirt for next season.


    The STAR supporters' coach fares and times for next Tuesday's trip to Morecambe are here, as are details of the transport to Weymouth, this Saturday.


    Altrincham travel to the Wessex Stadium this weekend. Before last night's win at Gravesend, This is Weymouth reported that "Jason Tindall is still looking for his first win as player-manager and believes Weymouth can upset high-fliers Gravesend & Northfleet... Tindall was delighted by the second-half display against Grays at the New Rec, when Stuart Beavon scored twice in six second-half minutes". Tindall said, "We did well on Saturday, especially in the second half". The article continues,that since their financial problems were announced "Eleven of the 16 players in the match-day squad which [last] faced the Fleet, plus manager Garry Hill and his assistant, Kevin Hales, have left the club. In seven matches, Tindall's squad have earned three points, but the football produced by the hard-working and enthusiastic personnel has been fluid and refreshing. 'The first win will come', said Tindall. 'We have been unlucky not to have it already'... Ishmael Welsh, on loan from Yeovil, impressed Tindall on his Terras' debut and will continue in the starting line-up. Local starlets Callum Ross-Jennins, Lewis Ironside and Scott Dixon could play a part, as could Narada Bernard, who returns from injury. Tindall will be out of action for another week with a thigh injury, while Matthew Hartmann is on international duty with the Philippines. The Terras have missed out on Daniel Webb after the striker decided to stay at Yeovil Town".


    Altrincham FC Youth have arranged a friendly on Friday 30th March at 7.30pm against Warrington Town Youth at Cantilever Park.


    "Rushden & Diamonds have ended their search for a new goalkeeper with the signing of Weymouth`s Matt Baker on a season-long loan deal" reports NL Daily. "The 27-year-old began his career as a schoolboy at Leeds United before signing for Hull City as an apprentice and progressing through the youth ranks. The 6ft stopper was an integral part of the Hereford side that returned to the Football League as Conference champions during the 2003/04 season and since then has played for Wrexham, MK Dons and the Terras. Baker has also made four appearances for the England National Game XI and knows new Diamonds boss Garry Hill from their time with the Terras". The BBC says that "Northampton winger Jerome Watt has returned to Sixfields following a month-long loan at Morecambe. The 22-year-old made one start and two substitute appearances in the Conference while with the Shrimps".

    Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion striker Rob Elvins has had his loan at York City extended for a second month. "Elvins is yet to score in five appearances for City but manager Billy McEwan believes the 20-year-old can play a part in York's promotion push. He told the York Press: 'He's settling into a new situation having come to our little set-up from a big club. That can sometimes be strange at the age of 20 but he's got ability and we feel we can develop that'".

    Steve Whitney of NL Daily announces "the winners of the inaugural Programme of the Year awards. The categories have been split, with Step1, 2 and 3 leagues (Nationwide Conference National, North, South and Premier Divisions of the Ryman, Southern and UniBond), being judged together... For each category a first and runners-up award have been given... Please remember that decisions on winners and runners-up have been made on a personal preference. I like there to be plenty of reading material especially. It doesn`t bother me if a programme has lots of glossy pages or is just photocopied. The price is also a factor.

    THE AWARD WINNERS: Step1, 2 and 3 Leagues (Nationwide Conference National, North, South and Premier Divisions of the Ryman, Southern and UniBond)

  • Winner: TAMWORTH
  • Runner-up: GATESHEAD
    6 March 2007


    Don't forget that STAR is running a supporters' executive coach to the match at Weymouth this Saturday. Full details are here.


    Altrincham's new home shirt for next season will be on display in the Robins' Shop tonight. Apparently, it features a broader red stripe than this season, red sleeves and a different collar design from this season's model. Orders are not yet being taken.


    At half-time tonight there will be a presentation of a cheque for £2,077.80 to the Autistic Society. This sum is a half of the total of £4155.60 raised by the sponsored walkers to Northwich last month. The other half is to be presented to Altrincham FC. The Club and the Society would like to thank all those who took part in the Walk, which was led by Alty Director Andrew Shaw and BBC Radio Manchester's Jimmy Wagg.


    Despite the torrential rain last night, Altrincham FC reports this morning that the match tonight at Moss Lane against Cambridge United (7.45pm) is expected to go ahead as scheduled.


    Altrincham host Cambridge United on Tuesday, having beaten The 'U's last season 2-1 at Moss Lane, with goals from Rod Thornley and James Robinson, to record Alty's third successive win. The teams that day were:

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 11. Gary SCOTT, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt), 15. Peter BAND, 3. Chris ADAMS; 37. Ged MURPHY, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 8. Val OWEN, 19. James ROBINSON; 10. Rod THORNLEY, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 7. Colin POTTS, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 20.Kieran LUGSDEN, 21. Stephen ROSE, 28. Pat McFADDEN.

    CAMBRIDGE UNITED (All blue): 13. Scott HOWIE; 4. Andy DUNCAN, 5, Mark PETERS (capt.), 21. Michael MORRISON, 29. Courtney PITT, 19. Tommy JASZCZUN, 12. Jon BRADY, 17. Stacey COLDICOTT, 10. Jamie GUY, 8. David BRIDGES, 23. Rob WOLLASTON. Subs: 33. Max PORTER, 18. Stephen SMITH, 15. Adam DAVIES, 30. Craig WESTCARR, 26. Danny BUNCE.

    The BBC says that "Altrincham are sweating on the fitness of Stephen Aspinall (right), who has missed three games and is still struggling with a groin strain. Fellow defender Karl Munroe is ruled out as he completes a two-game ban. Cambridge will be without striker Robbie Simpson who serves a one-match suspension after collecting his fifth booking of the season. Port Vale midfielder Christian Smith, who scored the winner at Stafford, plays the final game of his loan spell".

    The Cambridge Evening News reports that "Jimmy Quinn is confident Cambridge United can finish the season on a high note after their late 2-1 victory at Stafford moved them six points clear of the relegation zone... He said: 'I told the lads if we got three points on Saturday it would move us a few places up the table, and I think our destiny is in our hands. We've still got plenty of games to play and everyone is now looking forward to going to Altrincham on the back of this win. But what we've got to do more than anything is finish this season well to give hope for next year'". For the recent game against Stafford, "Jon Brady was dropped to the bench with David Bridges filling the right wing-back role as Quinn felt his form had fallen short recently... Meanwhile, Quinn has been dealt a blow with the indefinite loss of Charles Ademeno, who has been on a work experience loan deal from Southend. The 18-year-old striker injured his knee last Tuesday... and is likely to need an operation". But "Winning challenges rather than matches was the reason Christian Smith was brought back into the Cambridge United side by Jimmy Quinn... His willingness to get stuck in is such that the Port Vale player has already earned the nickname of Brick Wall... {Beating Stafford] moved Quinn's side six points clear of the trapdoor with the knowledge that a further win over second-from-bottom Altrincham tomorrrow is likely to give them a healthy amount of breathing space. United can expect to endure a similar kind of game against another parttime outfit and lessons learned at Stafford could serve them well. To say it was rarely pretty would be an understatement... United's best opportunities came on the break with quick balls for Robbie Simpson and the recalled Dan Chillingworth to latch on to... Stafford found the visitors' fiveman midfield, featuring David Bridges at right wing-back and a surprise return for Stephen Smith in the centre, hard to break down... The secret weapon of Stephen Smith's long throw was used to great effect, the ball being flicked on for Bridges to drive home from 12 yards... 'We are staying up', came the chant from the travelling supporters. But while there is still some way to go, the same result at Altrincham will go a long way towards making that become reality".


    Amazing financial goings on at Weymouth, whom we visit next Saturday, are reported by This is Weymouth . "Weymouth FC lost more than £100,000 a month in its promotion-winning year, new accounts reveal... for the year ending May 31 2006. The club had to borrow hundreds of thousands of pounds... The club has blamed soaring player wages and an over-reliance on funding from the club's major creditor - Hollybush Hotels Ltd - for the £1.22 million loss. Martyn Harrison, club chairman, admitted the figures were "disappointing" but represented a time when the club was "chasing the dream" of promotion to the Conference league. The figure compares to a £993,878 loss recorded in 2005. He said: "These figures only go up to May 2006 and although I accept that they are not very good, the reasons for them have been well-documented'... the club gave a £228,000 pay-off to Steve Claridge who was sacked in September 2004, 15 months into a £1,000 a week five-year contract... Mr Harrison said: 'The payment to Steve Claridge was very unfortunate because he had a massive contract. We did save a bit when he left but the next manager was brought in and we didn't achieve what we wanted. I admit I got a bit carried away'.

    . The club... has received £1.73 million from Hollybush - the company owed by Mr Harrison which in turn owns 84% of the club. This figure is up from the £809,000 the previous year. There is also a Barclays Bank loan of £300,000, secured with a personal guarantee by Mr Harrison. According to the figures the club owes its creditors £2.1 million, up from £1.1 million in 2005".

    On the field, "Striker Stuart Beavon once again proved his predatory instincts as Weymouth ended a run of three games without a point with a 2-2 draw at Grays Athletic. The ex-Didcot Town man, who has netted five in seven outings for the Dorset outfit... Of Beavon, Tindall added: 'The two goals he scored were fantastic. The first was a great header and the second was a sublime finish... I try to give him as much freedom as he likes because I feel that is the right way to get the best out of him. He is getting sharper with every game'. New signing Ishmael Welsh began the encounter and set up Beavon's opener. The Yeovil Town youngster agreed a month's loan deal with the Terras on Friday. Striker Raphael Nade also returned from a long injury lay-off as a second-half substitute. Tindall said: 'Ishmael did well. I was a bit annoyed at the end of the first half because I did not feel we gave him the ball enough. In the second half we changed that and he put in a fantastic cross for our first goal. He has a lot of quality and in the end Grays' defence was scared of him. As for Rafa, he came on at half-time and made a big difference. We do not want to rush him back but we knew he had 45 minutes in him so we brought him on at half-time and he caused them a lot of problems'".


    The Burton Mail says that "Nigel Clough has hailed the goals that have revived Burton Albion's promotion challenge. A double strike from Daryl Clare in a Friday thriller at the Pirelli Stadium clinched a 2-1 victory over relegation strugglers Altrincham... Clough purred: 'You’ll have to go a long way to beat the quality of those two goals. The movement, everything about them was good. They were as good a pair of goals as we have scored all season. We needed some pace out there being at home, and it was lovely to have Keith [Gilroy] back. He made a big difference'. With Gilroy operating effectively on the left, the Alty defence was also continually stretched by the pace and power of Nicholls, who has been loaned to Albion to speed his return to full fitness after breaking a leg last season. Clough said: "Alex is a strong land and, daft as it seems, breaking his leg gave him the chance to spend six months strengthening up body-wise... It was a very entertaining game, very competitive, and I thought we had some good performances all over the pitch. Our goalie (Kevin Poole) was outstanding in terms of picking up stuff on the edge of the box. He was impeccable and at 43, I don’t think there’s a sharper keeper over five or 10 yards'... The only problems we had in the game was those of our own making, and their goal came from a mistake by Andy. I don’t think he’ll have a worse game than that this season or in his career... Fortunately, we got away with it and won the game — and it could have been by a much bigger margin. We hit the post twice, and in the second half we could easily have scored two or three times'".

    The Mail also says that "Daryl Clare believes Burton Albion can produce a sprint finish to the season to clinch a place in the promotion play-offs... The 15-goal top scorer told Mail Sport: "Over six or seven games, we haven’t performed as well as we would like, and we’ve been unfortunate with decisions... but I think it’s changed now and we’re more than capable of having a strong run-in to the end of the season'. Clare’s optimism is based on a positive attacking display that could have buried Altrincham beneath an avalanche of goals as wingers Keith Gilroy and Alex Nicholls tormented the visitors’ defence. He explained: 'We have been grinding out results. It’s not been pretty to watch and it’s not been enjoyable to play in. But we tried to change it by playing more football against Altrincham — being a bit more direct and getting more balls into the box, and I think it worked. Having two wide players with pace meant we could get beyond the full-backs and put in a different type of ball... As well as scoring twice, we hit the post twice, clipped the bar and had a lot of other decent shots on goal. It was unfortunate really we didn’t get our biggest victory of the season, but the important thing was that we played well and got the three points...It was nice to get a couple against Alty. When the chances come, I always try to hit the target. That’s what I’ve been doing for a few years, and if you can do that, you’re always in with a chance (of scoring)'".


    "Defender Sasha Opinel says Gravesend & Northfleet's players are getting fed up with their attendance figures. The Fleet are enjoying their best ever season - but on average, have only been attracting crowds of just over 1,000. 'We're fourth in the table, so if the fans don't come this year they will never come', he told BBC Radio Kent. 'We have the chance to have League football next season, which would be great for the club, but we would like everyone to get involved'.

    The Thurrock Gazette says that "The threat of a legal challenge over Grays' signing of defender Tom Kemp, who made an impressive debut in the 2-2 home draw with Weymouth on Saturday, has now ended with Grays believed to have paid £15,000 for his services and club supremo Mick Woodward praised for his diplomacy. Blues announced the signing of Kemp on a two and a half year contract last Wednesday but the player left his former club Tamworth in acrimonious circumstances and the Lambs had instructed specialist sports contract lawyers to look into the deal. Kemp had enjoyed a successful loan deal with Tamworth from League club Lincoln City and, after returning to the Imps, then rejoined the Conference side on a permanent basis, with Lincoln getting a fee of £15,000... However, at the eleventh hour the Grays and Tamworth brokered an arrangement and on the eve of Saturday's match with Weymouth, Tamworth backed down"

    A departure is reported from Grays Athletic who "have released striker Maheta Molango".

    5 March 2007


    "Graham Heathcote hit out at Conference officials after his side lost 2-1 at Burton Albion on Friday night" reports SAM. "The Robins boss was left fuming after the referee made a string of puzzling decisions to spoil an otherwise entertaining 90 minutes. Fouls went missed, others were punished too harshly and some decisions simply left everyone scratching their head as the man in black put on a grand display of incompetence".

    Speaking after the game at Burton, Graham Heathcote told SAM, "We had this referee at Tamworth too. He had a disaster there and I think he's had a disaster here as well... Maybe I'm getting a bit emotional about it all. But I genuinely believe that there were worse performances than the two teams out there tonight and there's nothing you can do about that... Every time I speak to managers at this level, they complain about the man in the middle and they can't all be wrong. You run the risk of championships and relegation being decided by referees rather than the teams out on the pitch".

    Graham added "I'm disappointed how we've given goals away because we've been hit twice on the break... We were naive. Daryl Clare must love playing against because his two goals at our place were gifts and today he's been given similar opportunities. We had enough of that game to get something out of it but we've come away from home and got nothing yet again. We're not clinical enough and that's the problem. My leading goalscorer has six goals so that tells you exactly why we're struggling this season. Our general play is OK. We have been competitive with them both home and away this season but we've come away with nothing. Our failure to win away puts a lot of pressure on our home games. We've got seven games coming up at home so if we can't win away from home, we're going to have to win five of those but it's not beyond us".


    Altrincham Youth got a very creditable draw at Morecambe on Sunday. Despite very windy conditions. Match report in youth section.


    Giving a new meaning to the "football pyramid", Terry Rowley, currently working in Egypt, has updated the Conference Attendances here. And in case anyone sphinx that Terry is our only supporter in foreign parts, courtesy of Howard Watts, currently working in the USA, the Through the Years files have also been updated, here, for Tuesday's date.


    The scheduled Altrincham Reserves match this Wednesday, away at Guiseley has been postponed to Saturday 31 March. Guiseley were given a Wednesday fixture by the League, though they normally play on Tuesdays and they are unable to use their pitch on that day.


    Altrincham host a confident Cambridge United on Tuesday night. The BBC reports that "Jimmy Quinn hopes Cambridge United can continue their good run of form after winning 2-1 at Stafford and moving six points above the relegation zone. 'That's three wins out of seven, and we possibly could have had another one or two on top of that', the U's boss said. 'There are a lot of players who are fighting for new contracts and they're all rising to the occasion. Our destiny has always been in our own hands, we've got plenty of games to play and we have to keep it going'.

    "New Rushden & Diamonds boss Garry Hill remained calm after they beat Exeter 3-0 in his first game as manager. 'I won't be judged over seven games or even seven months - it is all about building for the future', Hill said. 'Our aim is to get back into the Football League. It might take one year, or it might take two years. But my record in the Conference is a proven one and I don't feel under any pressure', the former Weymouth and Dagenham & Redbridge boss added".

    Meanwhile, The Football Conference says that "Rushden & Diamonds have ended their search for a new goalkeeper with the signing of Weymouth goalkeeper Matt Baker on a season-long loan deal. The 27-year-old began his career as a schoolboy at Leeds United before signing for Hull City as an apprentice and progressing through the youth ranks. The 6ft stopper was an integral part of the Hereford side that returned to the Football League as Nationwide Conference champions during the 2003/04 season and since then has played for Wrexham, MK Dons and Weymouth".

    4 March 2007


    NL Daily reports that "Scarborough gained another point towards their safety attempt after a 1-1 draw at Barrow, whose Colin Potts gave them the lead around the hour-mark". Flixton have signed former Alty midfielder Sean Smith, whilst ex-Youth and reserves' keeper Barrie George has moved from Salford City to New Mills, where he joins Kelvin Lugsden. Leigh RMI report that on Saturday ""It took just a couple of minutes of play at Watnall Road for Humphreys’ engine room headache to increase when Steve Porter suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw from the action, prompting a little reorganisation that saw... substitute [loanee from Altrincham] Kieran Lugsden playing down the left flank". And later "centre back Mark Maddox had to leave the field through injury".Another frmer Alty Youth and Reserve, Ryan Stewart, has moved from FC United to Winsford United. Stafford midfielder Ged Murphy laid on a goal for David McNiven yesterday.


    Alty's game next Saturday is at Weymouth. "Jason Tindall, player-manager of Weymouth, has drafted in Yeovil Town winger Ishmael Welsh ... Chukki Eribenne, Dean Howell, Abdou El Kholti and Simon Downer all moved to the Blues (Grays) after Weymouth transfer-listed their entire squad in January due to a cost cutting exercise... Tindall said: 'There are no friends until after the final whistle'. The arrival of Welsh should boost the Terras, who have not won in their last eight games... Striker Raphael Nade has returned to training... Grays ended a winless run of fourteen league games in on Tuesday when they beat St Albans City 2-1 but they still remain in trouble towards the foot of the table" reports the Dorset Echo. Grays and the Terras drew yesterday. Bookings are now being taken for the STAR supporters' executive coach to Weymouth - details here.


    Altrincham FC's Featured Club this Tuesday night for the match against Cambridge United is Lymm Rovers JFC who have 22 teams ranging from U-7s to U17s. Their Secretary, Ian Watson, has connections with Altrincham FC, being a local fireman who actually came in the close season last summer and watered the pitch. He also is a friend of former Alty keeper Ian Senior. Ian, also a fireman, now runs Sensport Kits, the firm which supplies kit to Alty.


    The FootballConference says that "Morecambe have completed the signing of Blackpool striker Matthew Blinkhorn on a one month loan deal...'Blinks needs regular first team football which is something we cannot give him at the moment',Blackpool boss Simon Grayson told his club's official website". He scored for The Shrimps yesterday.

    Tamworth report that "Following lengthy and protracted discussions between Tamworth and Grays Athletic an agreement has been reached whereby Tamworth have now released Tom Kemp's registration. The club have recouped all money with regard to Tom Kemp and would like to stress that no money have been lost and also would like express how disappointed the club is with the way in which Tom Kemp conducted himself and his affairs during this last month. One final note is that TFC General Manager / Secretary Russ Moore would like to thank Mike Woodward, Chairman of Grays, for his understanding of events surrounding Tom Kemp. Tamworth Football Club have now drawn a line under the events of the past few weeks and are moving on". Kemp reportedly cost Tamworth £15,000 from Lincoln City.

    And Grays Athletic " have signed Anthony Tonkin (d.o.b 17/01/1980) on loan until the end of the season, Anthony is a 5ft 11 left sided defender, he started his career at Yeovil Town before joining Stockport in 2002 for £50000, he then joined Crewe Alexandra for £150,000 in 2003 then rejoined Yeovil Town in 2006".

    3 March 2007


    Alty old boy Steven Clegg (blue shirt, no.3) helps to see off a Leamington attack in Saturday's FA Vase match before almost 900 spectators at Curzon Ashton's Tameside Statdium - the majority of fans were from the Midlands, many of whom travelled in the six coaches parked in the stadium car park. After Altrincham's former Conference opponents AP Leamington were dissolved in 1988, Leamington had no club until the current Leamington FC reformed in 2000 and they have now climbed the leagues to top the Midland Alliance. But despite an excellent record this season they were no match for Curzon, who won 4-1.


    Friday 2nd March
  • Burton Albion 2 ALTRINCHAM 1

    Saturday 3rd March

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


    Above: Referee Watts, the man who abandoned our Trophy match at Tamworth in January, supervises a free kick, which Colin Little prepares to take at Burton.

    Match report here

  • Alty Player Statistics.
  • Alty Line-Ups & Bookings.

    Both the Burton Albion and SAM sites have a match report, too.


    Before Friday's game Colin Little told SAM "I'm really looking forward to the Burton game tonight (Friday) because we've got two good away results under our belts now and we're confident about the rest of the season... [At Northwich] Personally, I wasn't happy with my own display. It's not that I thought I was terrible, i just don't think I was up to the standards I set for myself... I thought Val (Owen) and the two centre halves were amazing for us and they stopped Northwich getting many clear cut chances. To be fair, we didn't look much like scoring ourselves but we did have a fair few chances and it could've been so different if we'd taken just one of them in the first half. I know Graham (Heathcote) wasn't happy because we didn't get the ball down and play it as much as he would have liked and I'd probably agree with that, but at this stage of the season, pretty football doesn't matter so much as long as we're getting the results. There are no shocks about the position we're in right now, I could have told you at the start of the season that we'd find ourselves in a relegation battle again, but we're staying positive. Training has been really good and all the boys are up for the fight. If we can get Moss Lane back to the way it was and make it really difficult for teams to play us at home, I reckon we'll be safe. That's not to say we don't need to pick up a win away from home though. All the teams around us seem to be scraping the odd shock result here and there so now it's time for us to do the same... I have a feeling that there's plenty more to come from me as well. I know I've not been at my best but I'm feeling better in myself, not just in terms of goalscoring but in terms of my all-round play".


    Altrincham are at home to Cambridge United this Tuesday (6th) at 7.45pm. Our Featured Club for this game will be Lymm Rovers JFC from the Timperley and District Junior Football League.

    The Cambridge Evening News curiously states that "'Squeaky bum time', a phrase first coined by Sir Alex Ferguson, perfectly sums up the situation Cambridge United are in with less than a quarter of the season to go. With tension mounting and matches dwindling away rapidly, any club from Rushden & Diamonds in 12th spot could still find themselves plunged into the relegation zone, such is the small number of points separating sides in the bottom half of the table... United find themselves with the disadvantage of having played more games than any other club in the Nationwide Conference... Of United's final 11 games, only four are at home - York, Weymouth, leaders Dagenham & Redbridge and basement boys Tamworth on the final day of the season. It is a situation that could have consequences as much off the field as on for United because of to a lack of income from gate receipts... For manager Jimmy Quinn, though, facing seven away matches does not concern him, and he believes Stafford tomorrow (Saturday) and Altrincham on Tuesday are there for the taking. He said: 'It's less pressure than playing at home, and we're able to relax a little bit. We'll be looking to win both our next two games, and it might be a good time to play them. Stafford have only won four at home and have lost their last two home games after they've taken the lead, and Altrincham aren't scoring too many goals... We've just got to keep it tight and keep clean sheets to give ourselves the best chance as, at this level, you're always going to get one or two opportunities. We need to take them'... [Though] Robbie Simpson's haul of six goals in as many games music to Quinn's ears", the striker is suspended for Tuesday's match at Moss Lane according to the FA suspensions list.


    On behalf of Altrincham FC, Schools Coordinator Dana Laidlar paid a visit to Sandilands Primary School,who were holding a Health and Fitness Awareness session for pupils and parents on Thursday. Colin Little, whose son is a pupil there, was unable to attend for a coaching session with the children, but Dana presented a display and explained the facilities that were available to school children at Moss Lane. The children were given Altrincham posters and leaflets about the club, with many parents asking about the new Altrincham JFC that is to be formed for next season. One lucky parent won complimentary tickets to an Alty game in a raffle, whilst arrangements were made with the school for their pupils to attend a match later in the season. Another school has also approached the club for a similar presentation at an Open Day they are holding.


    The Argussays that "Caretakers boss John Yems has urged the people of Crawley to come out and support their team... [Despite owing thousands to creditors,] they have a team full of former League and Premiership players and play relatively good football. Yet Crawley have the second lowest average attendance in non-league's top flight and the worst of any full-time club. Crowds are down 31 per cent from this time last season which is the biggest drop of any team in the division. The reason for the decline is linked to the club's off-field problems over the past 12 months... The fall-out continues to be felt with some creditors still waiting to be paid. Some fans have refused to attend games in protest at the way the club has been run while others have been put off by the negative publicity... Yems said: 'It would be nice for people to watch a good game of football and appreciate what is happening on the pitch and not have all the talk about what is going on off it... The playing budget is nothing like what it used to be and I would say that the club is 98 per cent better off now than it was this time last year. The owners have had a lot of stick but, no matter what anyone says, they are putting their hands in their pockets to keep the club going. The atmosphere among the players is brilliant, players want to come here and hopefully the supporters who do turn up watch good football'".

    This is Glos says that Adriano Rigoglioso, "The former Morecambe frontman was carried off after 32 minutes of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Cambridge United, having landed awkwardly from an aerial challenge and twisted his left knee... 'I'm absolutely gutted - I've never had an injury as serious before', said Rigoglioso.The injury could hardly have come at a worse time for Rigoglioso or Rovers, who play the second of five successive away matches at KitKat Crescent... 'Looking at the table, I think we need another six points before we can talk about being safe', he said".

    Woking "announce that Jamie Taylor has refused a contract with the club and has now left by mutual consent. It is expected that he will sign for Dagenham & Redbridge". Indeed The Daggers confirm that "John Still has added striker Jamie Taylor to his squad... in a deal that will keep him at Victoria Road until May 2009".

    Alty's next away opponents, Weymouth "have signed midfielder Ishmael Welsh from Yeovil Town. The former Westham Utd Academy player has signed on loan".

    Tamworth have issued a "Statement by Russell Moore, secretary/general manager". It says, "I personally have been astonished at some of the things written on the unofficial forum with regard to myself. I will at a later date be able to put in detail ALL of the happenings regarding Tom Kemp [whom Grays have announced they have signed].What I will tell you is that I spoke with Tom Kemp at the be 'No, I don't want to play for them'. I have this on tape. Much speculation regarding myself has also been written... this is by people who do not know any of what as gone on with regard to Tamworth FC and Tom Kemp. All will be revealed and I have nothing whatsoever to answer for. This is a fact that our chairman Bob Andrews will confirm.

  • Yes, Tom Kemp has signed for Grays: Fact
  • Tamworth FC hold his Conference registration: Fact
  • Tamworth FC have a signed written agreement between Tom Kemp and a club official (not me): Fact
  • Tamworth FC have written transfer agreement with Lincoln City FC: Fact
  • Tamworth FC have made a formal compliant to the FA over Grays: Fact
  • Tamworth FC banned the adviser of Kemp from The Lamb and the training ground : Fact
  • Tamworth FC have treated Tom Kemp with respect and adhered to numerous requests made: Fact ( these requests include travel arrangements,and other things I cannot at present reveal)

    I, knowing all of the above and more, struggle to [see] how personal attacks on myself can be made with regard to Tom Kemp and Tamworth FC. If any of the written comments are libel and the 'author' can be traced, I and the club will take legal action."

    This is United says "See if you can go unbeaten for the rest of the season – that was the challenge Jim Smith gave his Oxford United players. The U's boss issued it two games ago when there were 15 remaining, and it's been so far so good with two wins out of two. But today's clash with Stevenage will be a significant test of their improved form... The U's boss added: 'Stevenage fancy themselves to do the double, so I gather, the FA Trophy and winning promotion – I think they're too far behind to win the league – so to do what they want to do they must fancy their chances at our place... We're coming on the downhill now. We're running out of games, so we can't lose. To stand any chance to win the league, I feel we've basically got to go the rest of the season without being beaten – and obviously having a big percentage of wins as opposed to draws... We can't do anything about Dagenham, in all honesty. If they go unbeaten, whatever we do, we're not going to overhaul them'... United's resurgence over the past two weeks has owed much to the form of Mickey Corcoran at the back, and Yemi Odubade up front alongside Rob Duffy".

    2 March 2007


    The Burton Mail says that "Albion boss Nigel Clough has set his men a target of three home wins in 11 days to boost their hopes of promotion to the Football League. A rocky run of results away from home has seen the Brewers slip to eighth place... Clough believes the balance can be redressed at the Pirelli Stadium — starting with tonight's visit by relegation strugglers Altrincham. Clough said: 'It's a game we need to win, and win well. If we can get a sizeable victory, it will set up us nicely for Tuesday's trip to Crawley and the two home games that follow in quick succession'. Altrincham will be followed to the Pirelli by Woking next Saturday and Forest Green Rovers... Clough said: 'Having three of the next four games at home gives us the opportunity to get right back in the play-off places and we need to get off on the right footing by beating Altrincham. The bottom line is to win the game whatever that takes, but ideally we would like a strong victory and a good performance. We've had very few comfortable wins this season and it will be a massive boost at the start of a crucial month if we can get one against Altrincham'.

    Graham Heathcote's side look like relegation fodder, having failed to win any of their 16 away games this season. Clough said: 'We'd prefer them not to be still looking for an away win, and we certainly won't be under-estimating them. But the onus is on us to seize the initiative and keep going at them from the first minute to the last'... Gary Rowett has recovered from the groin strain that forced him to miss the trip to Exeter and will probably line up on the left of the defence, with Andy Corbett on the right. Clough, however, is less optimistic about skipper Darren Stride, fellow defender Aaron Webster and winger Keith Gilroy returning to the starting line-up... The Brewers boss said: 'We think they'll have a better chance of starting at Crawley... We could take a risk with a couple of them, but the last thing we want is for people to break down again when we've got eight games to play in 29 days'".


    Today (Friday), Altrincham FC Youth are playing a friendly match against Country Park, a Liverpool-based youth football team coached by former Alty captain Mark Maddox. Kick off is at 7pm at Victoria Park, Knutsford Road, Warrington. The Altrincham side will be made up only of those players who will still be eligible fo the Youth Team next season. However, Danny Browne and Jason Melling-Fong, two of the Alty Youth players who qualify, are unavailable for this game. But amongst those who will be involved will be Alex Murphy, Tom Bailey and Steven Crane.

    Altrincham FC Youth's next league game is away at Morecambe on Sunday (k.o.2.30pm).


    Modesto Villajos is organising support for AFC Wimbledon as they fight their 18-point deduction for fielding a player without international clearance. He is asking for supporters to write to their local MP "to encourage him or her to sign-up to EDM (Early Day Motion in Parliament) #992 in an attempt to not suffer the same harsh punishment Altrincham did. At the time of writing, 27 MPs from all parties and from across the country have signed-up, we hope to get at least 100 MPs signed-up in the next few days". For details of the Motion, click here. Modesto has also produced a suggested text to send to your MP.


    The Cambridge Evening News reports that "Andy Duncan is confident Cambridge United can stretch their unbeaten run to eight games with victories in their crucial trips to Stafford and Altrincham. United remain three points above the drop zone and have been buoyed by their longest undefeated streak for almost four years. But the United captain said it was vital for Jimmy Quinn's side to win both games against their fellow Conference strugglers in the next week to ease their way further away from the trapdoor. He said: 'People are disappointed that we're only picking draws up at the moment, but we just need to focus on taking as many points as possible. The sooner we get another three points on the board the better, and I can see no reason why we can't get six points from Stafford (on Saturday) and Altrincham (on Tuesday). Both are decent sides who are big, strong and professional about what they do, but that goes for a lot of teams in this league. It's all about how we go about both games, and as long as we can play to the level we can, we can win both. It's disappointing we've not really done much against the lower teams. Rushden & Diamonds turned us over twice and St Albans and Stafford have both beaten us at home. It's about time we started taking points off teams down the bottom with us, because it's another three points for us and another three points that they can't get on the board'. Meanwhile, Quinn's hopes of bringing Paul Watson to the Abbey have ended after the player was taken off the transfer list at Rushden & Diamonds."


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has an article on Richard Gresty, the former Altrincham Youth team captain, who is now at Hyde United. As well as chronicling Richard's involvement with the England Colleges' team in a recent tournament in of Italy, Richard says "I've settled in well at Hyde and have just signed a one-year first-team contract, so I am really delighted with the way things are going".


    The Northwich Guardian says that "Stuart Elliott faces an FA hearing in a fortnight. The Vics' skipper gets the chance to clear his name on March 15 - four months after Halifax Town's Tyrone Thompson accused him of racial abuse. But the Guardian found out before he did. A call to the club on Monday revealed the games' governing body hadn't bothered to tell them. 'It's outrageous', said Steve Burr. 'I've no idea why it's taken this long to get everybody together, but Stuart is relieved the matter can finally be resolved'... His manager said he is sickened' by the abuse his captain has endured in recent weeks, particularly from Altrincham and Witton Albion supporters. 'Stuart has conducted himself with incredible dignity', he said. 'It's been a tough time, especially when you get morons on the terrace calling him like they have done'".

    The BBC says that "York City boss Billy McEwan is looking for a new goalkeeper following the departure of Arran Reid. Reid, 20, was released from his contract at his request by mutual consent after making two Conference appearances this season. McEwan will now seek cover for first-choice Tom Evans". The York City website announces that the club "have signed 21 year old central defender Janos Kovacs on a months loan deal from Chesterfield. The Hungarian-born 6ft 3in defender has featured in several League One fixtures this season and is eligible to play against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. In addition, 18 year old goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell has joined City from Sheffield Wednesday. As a member of Wednesday's Academy set up, the player still has scholar status and is eligible to stay with City as long as the arrangement suits O'Donnell and the two clubs. He is expected to fill the vacncy left on The Minstermens' subs bench left by the departure of Arran Reid yesterday".

    This is York says that "York City's board [has] revealed that the club are hoping their move to a new ground can be completed within five years. The Minstermen are also looking for the City of York Council to decide quickly whether they are committed to helping build a community sports stadium and, if so, whether a site could be identified for such an arena before the end of this year. If not, the football club have signalled an intention to pursue their own relocation plans while also seeking possible commercial partners, such as hoteliers, and welcoming interest from other parties who could contribute money towards financing any project. Based on an estimate of the current marketable value of City's KitKat Crescent home with planning permission and the £2million Football Foundation loan which, under its terms, would be converted into a grant on relocation, the football club could raise at least £7million for the purpose of building a new stadium. To avoid financial penalties according to the terms of the Football Foundation loan... City need to identify a site for relocation by the end of this year, obtain planning permission in 2009 and be playing football at their new stadium during the 2014/2015 season. But City managing director Jason McGill also explained at last night's Supporters' Trust annual general meeting that the club are losing £150,000 in "dead money" every year they remain at their current home hence the desire to move as quickly as possible to avoid the annual loan repayments and maintenance repairs". Stadium Development Director Ian McAndrew said "2007 is about York City setting the agenda and driving forward irrespective of others because we have targets to meet... Bootham Crescent is a cracking and stunning site for a residential housing development and would be the subject of some hard negotiation and the price would be the best we can get. It would be a different stadium if others come in with funding and there would be scope for a commercial partner depending on the location, but our ambition for a stadium, if we went alone, would still be for one that is iconic and has modern facilities".

    "Stafford Rangers' on-loan pair of David McNiven and Anthony Griffith have extended their loan stays. Morecambe striker McNiven, who has scored four times in his first five appearances for Stafford, will stay at Marston Road for a second month. Doncaster midfielder Griffith, 20, has been given clearance to stay until the end of the season" says the BBC.

    "Oxford United have parted company with defender John Dempster, who has left the Kassam Stadium by mutual consent. The 23-year-old, whose contract was due to expire in the summer, is expected to complete a permanent move to Kettering Town, where he has been on loan. The ex-Scotland Under-21 international joined Oxford from Rushden & Diamonds in January 2006. He has since made 24 appearances, but had been unable to win a regular place under Jim Smith this season".

    "Graham Westley says he will not be sueing Rushden and Diamonds for wrongful dismissal even though he says the club had no grounds to sack him... He told BBC Radio Northampton: 'What's the point in sueing? I'm not doing the job anymore but I'm not bitter. I'm a straightforward person, if I'm doing the job, pay me and if I'm not doing it, you don't need to pay me'. The club are still involved in a legal battle with another former manager, Paul Hart, over the terms of his sacking".

    Halifax Today says that "Centre-back Adam Quinn has signed a new contract that will keep him at Halifax Town until the end of next season. The 24-year-old was one of Chris Wilder's first signings when he was appointed manager in the summer of 2002....and he has gone on to become a mainstay of the side, making more than 150 Conference appearances for the club since arriving from Sheffield United. 'It has been a difficult season for him because he has played with so many different centre backs because of injuries'", said Wilder. "Quinn is the eighth player to be tied up by Wilder for the 2007-08 campaign with Tom Kearney, Chris Billy, Darryn Stamp, Craig Mawson, Ryan Toulson, Nicky Gray and Danny Forrest already committed.Ironically, he is out at the moment after suffering a knee injury... It has also emerged that fellow defender Steve Haslam suffered a broken nose against the Vics. But Wilder is confident that the ex-Sheffield Wednesday man will be able to line up against the Cards at the Kingfield Stadium. Haslam suffered the injury when he clashed heads with a Northwich player and he spent six minutes off the field during the second half having stitches inserted into the face wound."

    TheSt Albans Observer says that "City's hopes of beating the drop are set to be boosted by the arrival of a striker today (Thursday). Manager Colin Lippiatt has agreed a deal with a Football League Club to bring a 23-year-old forward in for an initial month, with the prospect of extending the deal until the end of the season... The new signing will go straight into the side for Saturday's trip to sixth-place Morecambe, with Lippiatt set to field a 4-3-3 formation. 'He will give us more height and he is very quick and mobile', said Lippiatt. 'His current club paid money for him from a non-league club but his chances have been few. We have got plenty of games in March, so hopefully he can come in and do a job for us'". Later the club website confirmed that "St Albans City are pleased to welcome to Clarence Park striker John Hastings who has joined the Saints on loan for the remainder of the season from League Two side MK Dons. The 6'2" striker goes straight into the City squad for Saturday's match away to Morecambe. Hastings, 23, joined MK Dons last summer on a one-year contract from Isthmian League side Tooting & Mitcham United after scoring 54 times in 74 games for the Surrey club".

    From This is Weymouth we learn that "Weymouth player-boss Jason Tindall is hoping to bring striker Daniel Webb back to the club on loan. The 23-year-old was released by the Terras in December 2005 and has been plying his trade at Yeovil Town. However, he has found it difficult to break into the Glovers' side... Webb, who has been recently linked with Dagenham & Redbridge, did go out on loan to Rushden & Diamonds in January but he made two appearances before returning to Huish Park. Tindall said: 'We have spoken to Yeovil just to see what his situation is really and we are now waiting to see what develops'. Raphael Nade is expected to be back fit for the Terras' trip to Grays Athletic on Saturday but with Stuart Beavon the club's only other natural forward, Tindall said: 'Rafa is now back but I would like to have four strikers to be fair so if we can manage to bring Daniel in then that would be great. He is a big, powerful lad and he would give us another option'... The ex-Cambridge United hitman has netted eight times for Town's reserves... The Poole-born forward, who is the son of Chelsea legend Dave Webb, joined Weymouth in the summer of 2005 but failed to become a regular under the regime of Garry Hill".

    NL Daily rpeorts that "Aldershot Town have announced that, despite a lengthy day of negotiations with the Hampshire FA, the Hampshire Senior Cup quarter final at Eastleigh, postponed on Tuesday evening, will now take place next Tuesday... This means that the Conference National fixture at Tamworth has had to be postponed. Aldershot did express, in the strongest possible terms, its concern at losing another Conference fixture so soon after having the Kidderminster Harriers fixture, originally scheduled for March 17th, postponed due to Harriers' FA Trophy semi final commitments. The Hampshire FA were insistent that the county cup quarter final has to be played next Tuesday".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph confirms that "Curtis Woodhouse has rejoined Rushden & Diamonds. The midfielder had a successful short spell at Nene Park earlier this season but left shortly before Graham Westley took over as manager. However, he is back as Garry Hill's first signing and goes straight into the squad to face Exeter City at Nene Park tomorrow".

    The Football Conference says that "Kidderminster Harriers manager Mark Yates could be tempted to delve in the transfer market ahead of Saturday's match against Gravesend. Iyseden Christie and Stuart Whitehead both picked up their fifth yellow card recently and Yates has admitted that he might bring somebody in ahead of Saturday's game. 'There's the option of going out and getting somebody else in', Yates told the club's official website... Yates continued: "Having Iyseden on the bench on Saturday was a boost for the players and a boost for the supporters and you saw the reaction when he came on".

    Grays Athletic "have extended Gavin Grant‘s loan deal until the end of the current season".

    1 March 2007


    Graham Heathcote has indicated that defenders Steve Aspinall, Stephen Rose, Andy Scott and Gary Talbot are all subject to fitness tests before Friday's game at Burton. Assuming that either Rose or Talbot is passed fit, one of them can be expected to replace the suspended Karl Munroe at centre-back.


    Burton Albion have advised Altrincham FC that Friday's game at the Pirelli Stadium will not be segregated but the away end will be available to away supporters, if they wish to use it, once they are inside the ground. As regards access to the ground:
  • For seating, supporters should use turnstiles D, E and F ( £14 adults, £12 OAPs and £5 for under 16s).
  • For the terraces, supporters should use turnstiles K, L, M and N. (£12 adults, £10 OAPs and £3 for under 16s). These turnstiles are located on the "Popular Side" of the ground; the normal away turnstiles will not be open. Away supporters will be able to use the "away" bar as well as the Popular Side toilets and snack bar facilities.

    The corresponding fixture last season was in October 2005, when a debatable strike from Dale Anderson was the only goal of the match. The goal came in dubious circumstances when an attempted clearance by Scott, 40 yards out on the Alty left, came off Hall's hand, setting him free up the Burton right to feed Anderson, inside him, for an easy conversion. In the last minute, Munroe rounded off his unhappy afternoon by getting sent off, apparently for kicking the ball away after a foul by the already-booked Owen. Both Alty men were suspended as a result of their infringements. Coincidentally, Karl Munroe is suspended for this match. With the game into the fifth minute of added time, Coburn (England's no.27 on this occasion) saved a penalty from Webster.

    Right: As Chris Adams receives treatment from physio Richard Norris (foreground), Stuart Coburn saves Webster's penalty in last season's game.

    The teams that day were:

  • BURTON ALBION (Yellow shirts, black shorts and socks): 31. Saul DEENEY, 3. Arron WEBSTER, 4. Andy CORBETT, 5. Darren TINSON, 6. Ryan AUSTIN, 7. Darren STRIDE, 8. Dale ANDERSON, 9. Jon SHAW, 11. Keith GILROY, 12. Chris HALL, 22. Lee BELL. Subs: 2. Terry HENSHAW, 10. Andy DUCROS, 13. Martin TAYLOR (gk), 14. Shaun HARRAD, 19. Andy TODD.
  • ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN (wore shirt 27), 17. Karl MUNROE, 15. Peter BAND, 4. Mark MADDOX, 3. Chris ADAMS, 11. Gary SCOTT, 9. Colin LITTLE, 8. Val OWEN, 29. Kyle WILSON. 7. Colin POTTS, 18. Lutel JAMES. Subs: 10. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 21. Stephen ROSE, 23. Kirk HILTON, 28. Patrick McFADDEN

    Of the Alty starters last season, only Coburn, Band, Scott, Little and Owen can also be among the starters tomorrow.


    The supporters' trust, STAR, is holding its regular monthly general knowledge quiz night tonight (March 1st) in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The Quiz entry fee is just £1 per person and there is a maximum of 6 persons per team. Doors open at 8.00pm and the quiz starts at 8.30pm.


    The Burton Mail reports that "Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough is hoping a lengthy injury list eases before Friday's Pirelli Stadium clash with Altrincham. Clough had to take a depleted squad to Exeter at the weekend, and he is anxious to avoid a repeat as the Brewers seek a victory crucial to their promotion play-off hopes. Skipper Darren Stride, fellow defenders Aaron Webster and Gary Rowett and winger Keith Gilroy all made a tentative return to training last night. And tomorrow's daytime session will determine whether any of the quartet can return to action against the relegation-threatened Robins. Clough told Mail Sport: 'They have all got a chance of playing against Altrincham, but we can't be any more certain than that at the moment. It's possible that all four will be available by Friday, but it's also possible that none of them will'. At the very least, Clough is hoping either Rowett or Webster prove their fitness because of the suspension of John Brayford... His absence will leave Albion with a shortage of full-backs unless Rowett (knee) or Webster (calf strain) can shake off their injuries.

    Clough said: 'Full-back looks as though it might be a problem if Gary or Aaron don't make it'. Their absence would leave Andy Corbett and fringe first-teamer Terry Henshaw as the only players available to make up the numbers in defence. Clough said: 'We will have no qualms about playing Terry if we have to, but we would like a few more options than we've had in the last couple of weeks'. Gilroy's return to fitness would also be a boost to the Brewers hopes after his long battle to overcome a hamstring injury. Albion are also locked in discussions with the Football Association that could free up Chris Archer for the visit of Altrincham. The locally-based striker has impressed Clough on trial in the reserves, but the issue of his international clearance has still to be resolved. Archer, 22, is back at his Marston-on-Dove home after four years at High Point University in North Carolina. However, the FA seem unclear about the former Derbyshire tennis star's status.

    Clough said: 'We are getting conflicting statements at the moment, but hopefully Chris's situation will be sorted out in the next 48 hours. If he had played professionally in America, then we would not be permitted to sign him outside the transfer window. However, it is our understanding — and the American FA have confirmed this to Chris — that he only played college or amateur football over there. He certainly would have been involved in the last two games if he had been available to us. We're working on getting his clearance, and it's possible it could come through so we can sign him as a non-contract player in time for Friday's game'".


    The BBC reports that "Boss Jimmy Quinn says Cambridge United must turn draws into wins to ease their fight against the drop after being held by Forest Green on Tuesday night. The U's are unbeaten in six games but have won only twice in that run... Quinn said: 'Again we have showed character and we got a point, but it's not enough. We need to win and get three points to move up the table. We're keeping the run going but we need to win the next two games, which is a tall order. But we're away from home and we seem able to relax more'". One of those games is at Altrincham next Tuesday.


    Grays Athletic "have just signed 19 year old ex Lincoln City's Tom Kemp on a two and a half year contract, Tom is a 6ft3 Central Defender who joined Lincoln from Derby County he has more recently been with fellow Conference side Tamworth. But Tamworth say that they "have instructed specialist sports lawyers, Cramer Richards from Leeds, with regard to an ongoing dispute with Tom Kemp. On the back of a successful loan period at the start of the 2006 Season Tamworth purchased from Lincoln City Tom Kemp at a fee of £15,000. The transfer was concluded with Lincoln City with effect from 1 January 2007 having agreed playing terms with Tom Kemp. Despite completing the transfer from Lincoln City, Tom Kemp has failed to activate his Playing Contract despite agreeing terms with the Club in mid-December 2006. Over the last few weeks Tamworth have endeavoured to bring this matter to a satisfactory resolution by encouraging Tom to continue to play and fulfil his obligations. For whatever reason Tom has decided that he does not want to play and is presently staying away from the Club. Given the fact that a transfer fee has been paid to Lincoln on the basis of agreed terms, Tamworth now intend to hold Tom Kemp’s registration until this matter is satisfactorily resolved. In the absence of a satisfactory resolution it is likely the dispute will have to be decided by a Football League Tribunal. As the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers it would be improper to make any further comment".

    And The Thurrock Gazette reports that "It took four months, four managers and whole lot of heartache, but Grays are finally able to celebrate a victory in the Nationwide Conference thanks to Gavin Grant's last gasp winner against St Albans at a distinctly damp New Rec on Tuesday". St Albans were also Grays' "last league victims way back on October 21 last year. Grays boss Justin Edinburgh stuck with the 11 that had started against Welling United in Sunday's FA Trophy triumph, a rare piece of continuity in an unsettled season, and he was rewarded with a good start... Three minutes from the end Grant chased down a ball over the top and outmuscled Patrick Ada and slotted past the Bastock as the keeper came off his line".

    Meanwhile, the BBC says that "Forest Green Rovers boss Jim Harvey was delighted to see striker Danny Carey-Bertram get his first Rovers goal in the 1-1 draw with Cambridge. Carey-Bertram, who left the U's in January, opened the scoring on his return before Courtney Pitt levelled. Harvey said: 'I was pleased to see Danny show the potential that I believe he has, and on another night he could have come away with a hat-trick. He knows their players and he maybe felt like he had something to prove'. Meanwhile, former Stevenage and Hereford winger Danny Williams has left Forest Green after making 19 Conference appearances this season".

    The FA says that "Cambridge United FC's Robert Simpson from 06/03/2007is suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for cautions"> So, Simpson who is the leading scorer, will miss the match at Altrincham . He has scored twice in each of three successive home games for Cambridge this season.

    This is Glos says of Cambridge's last match on Tuesday that "There was nothing pretty about this dogfight on a lumpy surface, but Forest Green will have headed back along the A14 with quiet satisfaction last night... An improved display from the hosts after half-time brought them a deserved equaliser from Courtney Pitt... Rovers took the lead on 16 minutes. Darren Jones' wind-assisted clearance totally embarrassed Us keeper Shane Herbert, who attempted to head the ball away and saw it sail over his head [before] Carey-Bertram did extremely well to finish from a tight angle, gleefully celebrating in front of the hostile home faithful. A less welcome sight was that of Adriano Rigoglioso being carried off on a stretcher with a twisted knee on the half-hour, having earlier been the victim of a late challenge by Aidan Collins... The final whistle was greeted with jeers from the home supporters, a sure sign that Rovers would leave the happier of the two sides."

    The BBC also says that "Northwich Victoria boss Steve Burr has been named as the Nationwide Conference manager of the month for February. Burr takes the award after leading Northwich to an unbeaten league run during the month and a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy".

    But all is not well with the Vics as the Northwich Guardian reports. "The chairman of Northwich Victoria says he feels let down by the people of the town. Mike Connett told the Guardian he was not prepared to keep paying out of his own pocket to keep Vics afloat. He said he felt let down by low attendances at matches. 'Do they even want a football club?' he said on Monday. 'Just 1,200 people turned up to watch us and Witton play two of our biggest matches of the season on Saturday'. Vics booked a place in the final four of the FA Trophy in front of just 810 spectators. More than 3,000 watched Vics win the Conference North league title in April. 'There comes a point when you have to start asking if the town wants us here', added Mr Connett. He denied he had plans to sell the club, but he did reveal that if more supporters did not start coming to home games he would be forced to review the situation in the coming months. 'I'm here to stay at the site', he said. 'All the businesses up here are making money apart from the football club. I'm not unrealistic though, if I break even on that side of things I'll be happy'. To do that he said gates need to rise from the current average - 973 - to around 1,700. The club's Victoria Stadium, in Wincham, has developed rapidly in recent months with two restaurants and a bar now open. An all-weather pitch - to be used by more than 1,500 people a week - and a 40-boat marina will be finished by the summer, with a 60-bed hotel and office block next on the list after that. 'I've spent more than £2million up here so far', said Mr Connett. 'That will double by the time the next phase is finished'. He is holding two open days this week to show people around the ground".

    A similar plea is reported by Southport GB. "Chairman Charlie Clapham has pleaded for local support as Southport face two tough assignments in the battle to avoid relegation. Currently unbeaten in four matches, the Sandgrounders put their recent run on the line when they host the Nationwide Conference’s top two teams in the space of four days. Peter Davenport’s side entertain leaders Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday before welcoming Oxford United next Tuesday evening. And Clapham has urged the people of the town to play their part. We have had great support all season and now we have two massive matches,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘We really do need the town behind us. We have and are working very hard to maintain our Nationwide Conference status and we believe we can do it... It would be great if everyone of our regular, loyal supporters brought a friend on Saturday... We ourselves are in the best form of our season'".

    Halifax Today says that "Town's injury problems have threatened to reach crisis proportions with fears that Neal Trotman's season could be over. The young central defender limped from the field before the hour mark of last night's 2-0 home defeat to Northwich. And the early indications are that he could be out for at least six weeks after tearing his hamstring. With Adam Quinn already ruled out of Saturday's trip to Woking as he recovers from the knee injury sustained at Stafford and Greg Young out for the season following knee reconstruction surgery, Ryan Cresswell is the only fit specalist centre back on the books. 'There are a lot of things going against us at the moment', said Wilder. 'But we have to be big and stand up to them. We have to believe that what we are doing is the right thing to win matches - and that is with half a team missing'. Asked whether there was any hope that Quinn might be in line for a quicker than expected return, Wilder said: 'No chance. I will just battle on, get my head down and do the best I can'. Frustrated fans let their feelings be known at the final whistle after second half goals from Matthew Shaw and Paul Brayson had given Northwich the points... 'There were dissenting voices after the game, but you ask if the players have put the effort in, won tackles, played at a decent tempo and created chances and they tick all the boxes', said Wilder. 'I am not going to beat the boys up after last night because I felt we did enough to win not one, but two games... You walk away in disbelief, but sometimes you have to take it on the chin and move on. We have had to overcome losing Neal with a hamstring problem and losing Steve Haslam for five to 10 minutes when he had stitches... I can't fault my players' efforts or their play. I thought we played better last night than we did at Kidderminster on Saturday. We were undone by a little bit of indecision and a wonder goal after we'd had 13 or 14 opportunities to score. People will look at that and not know how we have failed to win the game.. It was the perfect smash and grab".

    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth striker Raphael Nade is confident that he will be fit for Saturday's trip to Grays Athletic. The Ivory Coast-born forward, who is on a season's long loan from Carlisle United, has not played since the 4-0 defeat at Exeter City on January 23 due to an ankle injury. He is now hoping to win a permanent move to the Terras by finishing the season on a high. Nade said: 'At the moment I feel a little bit of pain but the doctor says that is normal so hopefully I will be fit. I am coming to the end of my contract here and I want to do the best I can to help the club over the next couple months'. Nade may have only netted twice so far this season but his return will be a huge boost for Weymouth, who have not won in their last eight games... He said: 'I would like to stay because I have met some good people here and like the area but it is not just down to me. It is down to the club and what happens next season because we still don't really know what is going to happen'... If Nade is fit to play against Grays he is likely to link up for the first time with fellow forward Stuart Beavon. The ex-Didcot Town man has netted three times in six outings since joining the club last month".

    This is York says that "The deal to make JM Packaging 75% owners of York City Football Club has now been officially completed. Supporters' Trust board members sanctioned the takeover last June when 78% voted in favour of the Malton-based business assuming control of the club at a special general meeting. The Trust, who previously owned 85 per cent of the club's shares, now hold a 25 per cent share under the new arrangement... Trust chairman Steve Beck has welcomed the news. He said: 'As 25% owners of the football club, the Trust still has an extremely important role to play. In the coming months, the new Trust board will be formulating a strategy for our focus in the future'. City managing director Jason McGill, who owns JM Packaging, added: 'Our priorities will continue to be promotion to the Football League and a new stadium for the club in the city of York'".

    Aldershot Town held their 14th Annual General Meeting of Aldershot Town Football Club (1992) Ltd at the Phoenix Club on Monday evening. "The largest turnout in the 15 year history of the club attended to be informed that in order to attain the footing that it had at its inception in 1992 a substantial injection of £500,000 is required... but equally important is the ability to operate in future within its means... An overview of 2005/06 was provided where Shareholders were told:

  • There was a gate income decrease of £155,000 and a drop in attendances of 24%
  • Turnover decreased by £182,000
  • The performance of the Club Shop/merchandise was down by 54%
  • The overall trading loss for the 2005/06 period was £202,000

    It was conceded that only a successful winning team can influence attendances and maybe the Club had to recognise current gate levels as being its core support level for budgetary purposes. On the cost side while recognising the continued excess of expenditure over income this year this cannot be changed immediately, recognising playing staff contractual commitments...

    The budget for attendance was set at 2,400 spectators per league match and this appears to have been correctly set at present. The playing budget for the current year while initially set lower has been allowed to increase on the back of FA Cup success and aspirations to achieve the play offs. The interim results showed a small profit and for the seven trading months a small deficit has occurred. With only seven first team league matches scheduled for the remainder of the season and with player commitments throughout the summer this is expected to rise but the outurn should be significantly lower than last year... The playing budget [next season] set will be realistic and prudent and be based broadly on projected gate receipts plus cash receipts from a new Conference sponsorship package with Setanta, the Irish television network, who will be televising live Conference league fixtures next season... There will also be no reliance on successful cup runs to generate sufficient funds".

    From Stafford Rangers we learn that midfielder "Anthony Griffith's loan spell from League One side Doncaster Rovers has been extended".