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GLENN'S SIDE TRIUMPHS
Above: The Glenn McGrath squad. Below: The All Stars' squad.
There was something for everyone at Moss Lane on Sunday afternoon when Australian cricket star Glenn McGrath's XI played an All Stars XI at football. As well as cricket stars such as Glenn, Michael Bevan and Chris Adams, there were famous footballers like Peter Reid, Bryan Robson and former Everton and Oldham keeper Paul Gerrard showing their skills on the pitch, alongside ex-Alty stars Rod Thornley and Dave Gardner. And at half-time boys and girls from Altrincham FC Junior team teams displayed their skills. Manager Graham Heathcote also played for Glenn's side, as did chairman Geoff Goodwin. The All Stars, led by Coronation Street's Michael LeVell included numerous TV stars as well as the likes of Alan Kennedy, the former Liverpool defender. Rugby was represented by Brad Drew. The entertaining game ended in a 4-4 draw, with Glenn's side winning the shoot out 4-2 despite the captain striking the bar with his spot-kick. A crowd of 667, more than 20% bigger than that which turned up for yesterday's Blue Square Premier match at Northwich, watched the game, whose proceeds were going to the McGrath Foundation (for cancer relief) and to Altrincham FC. The press and TV were in strong numbers at the match so watch out on BBC North West, Channel M and elsewhere for coverage tonight and tomorrow. More photos, player names and a brief match report are to follow...
REPORTS ON YOUTH TEAMMatch reports from the following Altrincham Youth team games are now available in the website's youth section
OLD BOYSPaul Ellender scored an own goal as Boston won 4-1 at Buxton in the FA Cup on Saturday. Mario Daniel hit a hat-trick for Woodley Sports at Horden CW in the same competition. Defender George Melling was sent off for Bamber Bridge and Peter Wright scored twice for Kendal Town. Cavell Coo and Rod Thornley helped Witton to another win and ex-youth striker Lee Shillito turned out for Chorley.
Above; A turning point in the game at Crawley was Guy Madjo's penalty miss after 23 minutes, as shown above. Below, right: Steve Evans (white shirt) is about to be sent to the stand
The Crawley Town website says that "Crawley Town conceded their unbeaten record at the Broadfield to a scrappy Altrincham side but not without a centre stage performance from the referee. Match official Ian Cooper [who gave a doubtful first-half penalty to the home side] lost total control of the second-half, giving countless poor decisions against the Reds, and sending Town manager Steve Evans to the stands. It can not be ignored though that it was the Reds' poorest performance of the season at home, and they were duly punished when Warren Peyton’s crisp twenty yard volley found its way past Ashley Bayes and into the net with just seven minutes of the ninety left to play. The Reds struggled for most of the game to impose their attacking style of play on the visitors with the Robins camping plenty of men behind the ball at most times". The BBC match statistics show that Crawley had 67% of the possession but no shots on target (which is not correct, as they had at least one, which Acton saved).
Ryan Shotton (named as Ray Shotton) was named in the NL Paper's Team of the Day for Saturday's performance.
29 September 2007
CRAWLEY TOWN 0 ALTRINCHAM 1Altrincham survived a missed penalty by Crawley's Madjo in the first half and a lot of second-half pressure before Warren Peyton drove what was probably Alty's only shot on target past Bayes after 82 minutes. As well as being Crawley's first home defeat and Alty's first away win, it was the visitors' first clean sheet in the league this season. Madjo won his penalty in dubious circumstances under a challenge from Tinson but then drove the spot-kick comfortably wide of Acton's right post (23 mins). Alty kept Crawley at bay for much of the second half but the Sussex side actually created few chances and Alty keeper Acton had relatively little to do.
Above: Alty celebrate their victory.
MANAGER IN THE SPOTLIGHTAltrincham FC supporters learnt a lot about the realities of managing a part-time club in the Blue Square Premier at Wednesday's open meeting with manager Graham Heathcote. Graham had arranged the event in response to criticisms voiced by some supporters that the team was playing too unadventurously and that certain players were being played in the wrong positions. The boss started the evening off by inviting the audience to compile a list of the necessary qualities of a good footballer and some two dozen of these were suggested - ranging from "skill" and "fitness" to absolute basics such as "good timekeeping". Quoting Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson that it was "Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition and repetition" in training that made good players, Graham pointed out that such intensity is impossible when your players only train on a Tuesday and Thursday night as at Altrincham. So, we are at a disadvantage to most of our fellow BSP clubs who are full-time..
Graham freely admitted that the team spirit at the club was not yet as good as it had been when we were promoted back to the Conference in 2005. At that time the squad mostly comprised players who had been at Moss Lane for several years and had had time to bond and develop together. Now, with many of those players having moved on and many new faces having come in, it was inevitable that it would take time for the team to gel in the same way. The manager said that he felt the individual quality of the team members had improved over the last couple of seasons but that bringing in so many new faces combined with the unhappiness of one or two of the older "regulars" (who had now moved on) at no longer being automatic choices had created its own difficulties. Graham was confident that, given time, team spirit would match its previous levels.
The Alty boss then explained the complexity of the rules governing transfers and loans as well as the problems of having to compete against richer clubs. Transfers windows, loan regulations, international clearance and other factors all conspired to make the manager's life a difficult one. Over the last five years Altrincham have not paid a penny in transfer fees and have never overpaid their players. Graham recalled how in the past he had been present at Moss Lane when the bailiffs had called with a view to recovering debts. He never wanted to go through that again so he would never jeopardise the future of the club by paying out excessive wages or fees.
The meeting was then handed over to a number of Alty Exile questioners who had e-mailed queries to Grahame and Karen Rowley. The first question was why we appeared to play a long-ball game on occasions even though most BSP sides had bigger defenders than our own strikers. Graham was adamant that he had never sent a side out to play long balls into the box - except when desperately chasing a game which we were losing, when he might have sent Gary Talbot up front. In other words, the players sometimes may resort to the long ball, but it is not what they are told to do.
Questioned as to whether he was "over cautious", Graham admitted that he probably was but that he believed in living in the real world. He would rather keep Alty "in the game at half-time" than throw caution to the wind and get a hiding. That was why he often put his "impact players" on the bench and brought them on after the interval.
Asked about the left-back position, Graham mentioned that he had been after one particular left-back for a couple of years as he had been expected to go part-time but each time he approached the club concerned, the player's contract was improved. Graham also explained how he was trying to build team spirit. He had been heartened recently by the fact that more of the players were beginning to come into the bar after a game to meet the supporters. Graham encouraged this behaviour but did not force players to do so. When players were willing to come and meet the supporters after games, win, lose or draw, that was a mark of good team spirit.
Graham then discussed a number of current players and why he played them in certain positions and the reasons why he would pick some ahead of others depending on the characteristics of the opposing team. Asked about the disbanding of the Reserves League set-up this season, Graham defended the decision insisting that playing friendlies against good quality teams like Stockport County Reserves was a better way of proceeding than staying in the Lancashire League.
Returning to performances on the pitch the Alty manager stressed the difference in "tempo" and "levels" between the Blue Square Premier and lower leagues and that bringing in players from lower leagues sometimes was a step too far for the individuals. He named a couple of players at other clubs who were successful at Blue Square Noirth level but not at Premier level. Graham also explained how signing players from lower leagues was very difficult nowadays. Most of the best players in leagues lower than the BSP are on contracts and/or on higher wages than we could afford. He cited one local UniBond League side who had recently paid out a four-figure transfer fee, to prove his point.
Altrincham prided itself on its professionalism, Graham said. He would rather spend a bit of money on a good physio set-up, for example, than on excessive wages.
Graham mentioned, too, that he had been very impressed to see WItton Alibion's "museum" at Wincham Park and he declared that he would make it one of his objectives to create something similar at Moss Lane so that everyone could see what a fine club Altrincham FC was. Finally Graham paid tribute to Colin Little whose goals had been the chief reason we were where we are now. He reminded the audience that each summer that he had been at Alty, Colin had turned down offers of better money elsewhere. The manager also indicated that he was now obliged to make more use of the loan system than previously. Whilst this was not always successful, in central defender Ryan Shotton he felt he had a very good player in the making and he hoped to conclude an extension to his current one-month loan. Ryan's celebrations when Alty won on Saturday had been very much appreciated by the Alty fans as they showed his commitment to the cause.
After the meeting Graham indicated that he had not had time to get on to other topics such as team formations. Hopefully, a follow-up can be arranged for the supporters to gain more insights into the realities of football at our level.
NEW RECRUITSThe "New Recruits" evening where Altrincham FC have the chance to meet and question the new signings at Moss Lane this season has been moved from 6th October to Saturday 20th October. Tickets for this event are just £15 and include a "fish and chip" supper - or, indeed, any similar meal from the local Barney's chip shop. To get your ticket please contact Grahame or Karen Rowley by e-mail or by ringing the club (on weekdays) on 928-1045.
ALTY LINKED TO RHEADThis is Staffs reports that "Kidsgrove manager Peter Ward has blamed 'outside sources' for causing unrest in the camp. Grove have already been forced to sell skipper Ashley Woolliscroft to Hednesford, while striker Matt Rhead has been put on the transfer list at his own request. Ward said: 'I would like to have kept Ashley, but he wanted to play at a higher level and I am keen to heal any rift with Matt. But I know what is going on. My view is that these situations are being fuelled by outside sources'. Kidsgrove are without Rhead for tomorrow's first-round qualifying tie at home to Willenhall through suspension and Ward admits the burly hit-man has attracted interest. He said: 'We are keeping Matt informed. Altrincham, Tamworth and Alfreton have been in touch, but he is under contract, so we would want something for him'... But Rhead, who is 23 and in his fourth season with Kidsgrove, said: 'I am not happy at the moment and feel it would be best if we went our separate ways. I am not sure the manager will get the best out of me... and feel I am capable of playing at a higher level'.
FROM THE AIRFor those who like aerial views, here is Google's view of Moss Lane.
NEIL LEAVES LEEK"Leek Town are hoping to appoint a new manager next week - but it won't be Neil Brown", the former Altrincham Reserves' manager, reports This is Staffs. "The temporary boss has ruled himself out of the reckoning for what he describes as 'personal reasons between me and the club'. Brown said: 'I still want the job, but one or two things have happened that lead me to believe I would not be given a fair crack at the job. I have not fallen out with anyone, but feel I have been undermined a bit, so I will be in charge for the last time at Eastwood Town tomorrow'. Brown only had the managerial experience of running Altrincham Reserves when he took over from Paul Ogden four games ago and Leek have won just once. Brown admitted Blues were 'terrible' in losing at home to Buxton on Tuesday and they face a tough task at Eastwood. Mark Soboljew is injured, but Gary Talbot returns". NL Daily adds that "Leek Town have announced that caretaker-manager Neil Brown has decided to withdraw his application for the vacant team manager's job. Brown advised the board that he will take charge for the last time at Eastwood Town on Saturday. His decision has been accepted and chairman Paul Burston said that it was entirely Brown`s decision and it now puts greater pressure on the board to find a permanent replacement. A number of applications have been received already but the club is still networking to find a new manager - the board will discuss what action to take to put someone in temporary charge this weekend".
BSP NEWSYork City "have been informed by The Football Conference that the end of the season has been brought forward in order to accommodate the end of season play-off dates. City will now play their final game of the season on Saturday 26th April when they travel to Salisbury. The home fixture against Farsley has been moved by The Conference to Tuesday 22nd April. The changes will apply to all clubs in Blue Square Premier, Blue Square North & South divisions and it is hoped to announce the dates for the play-offs and end of season finals shortly. The Board of Directors of The Conference have apologised for any inconvenience this may cause clubs and supporters and hope that the early notice will minimise any disruption". In other words it seems that the game scheduled for 26th April, the penultimate Saturday of the season, has to be moved to the preceding Tuesday (22nd) whilst the game scheduled for 3rd May is moved to the preceding Saturday. So far as Altrincham is concerned this would mean that the new dates would be:
Once this is confirmed, it will be announced here. We have not come out of this as badly as some; Halifax, for example, will now have to travel 200+ miles to Crawley on a Tuesday night if the following fixtures are confirmed:
Tuesday 22 April: Aldershot v Weymouth, Altrincham v Histon, Cambridge U. v Torquay U., Crawley T. v Halifax T., Droylsden v Woking, Exeter C. v Stafford R., Forest Green R. v Ebbsfleet U., Grays A. v Salisbury C., Kidderminster H. v Burton A., Oxford U. v Rushden & Diamonds, Stevenage B. v Northwich V., York C. v Farsley C.
Saturday, 26 April: Burton A. v Exeter C., Ebbsfleet U. v Oxford U., Farsley C. v Grays A., Halifax T. v Stevenage B., Histon v Forest Green R., Northwich V. v Cambridge U., Rushden & Diamonds v Aldershot T., Salisbury C. v York C., Stafford R. v Droylsden, Torquay U. v Crawley T., Weymouth v Altrincham, Woking v Kidderminster H.
The BBC says that "Burton Albion have extended the loan spells of Coventry's Andy Gooding and Northampton's Sam Aiston. Midfielder Gooding, 19, has made seven league appearances since joining the Brewers just before the end of August. Winger Aiston, 30, has started four games for Burton and come on as a substitute in another. Boss Nigel Clough had been unsure whether to retain Aiston for longer, but the pair will now both spend a second month at the Pirelli Stadium".
From the Burton Mail we learn that "Tony James has taken a huge step towards returning to action with Burton Albion. The 31-year-old defender came through a reserve team outing on Wednesday and could be back in Albion's squad in 10 days' time. Manager Nigel Clough said, 'Tony probably needs one more reserve game, and we'll try to fix that up for next week'. The defender, a summer recruit from Weymouth, played for 75 minutes... It was his first action since the opening day of the season when he suffered knee ligament damage only a minute after the kick-off at Histon... Clough said: 'The fact that Tony is a senior player and was one of our major summer signings doesn't count for anything. Like any other player in the squad, he has got to work his way back and earn his place in the team on merit'. James is the last of Albion's injured central defenders to make his way back to fitness... The sudden surfeit of defenders means Ryan Austin is likely to go out on loan now that he has recovered from an ankle injury picked up in a pre-season friendly... Midfielders Danny Holmes and Marc Goodfellow, and striker Jake Edwards also had a full game at Tamworth".
Farsley Celtic "Club representatives who were present at the Leeds Metropolitan University Fresher’s Fair this week were delighted at how many new students to the area showed an interest in attending Celtic’s forthcoming fixtures. All students are reminded that presentation of their complimentary vouchers entitles two students, presenting their NUS cards, entrance for the price of one, and we very much look forward to seeing you at Throstle Nest this Saturday".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Steve Fallon is ready to ship out some of his Histon squad on loan in order to give them first-team football... The likes of Chris Dillon, Mark Coulson and Dean Bradshaw have all been playing for the reserves in the Ridgeons League, but Fallon admits the gap between the Eastern Counties and the Premier is too big. The boss said: 'There are some players that haven't been too involved first-team wise for the first 11 or 12 games and obviously they are a bit anxious. The reserve level in the Ridgeons League is good, up to a point, but to expect someone to step up to the Conference is too big a step, so it might be time to start looking at sending one or two out on loan to get them ready to step into our first team when needed'".
"Liam Daish insisted the valuable lessons learnt from last Saturday's stalemate at Exeter contributed to Ebbsfleet United's single-goal victory over Crawley just three days later. Michael Bostwick put the Fleet in front at St James Park last weekend only for James Mackie to equalise close to full-time - the third time Daish men's have been pegged back late on after similar scenarios at Burton and Cambridge" says the Gravesend Reporter.
The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Rushden & Diamonds and manager Garry Hill must wait to find out their punishments after both admitting Football Association charges. They have requested personal hearings – although disciplinary dates are yet to be scheduled – while midfielder Andy Burgess has so far failed to explain his comments following the controversial clash at Salisbury City nearly three weeks ago. Diamonds and Salisbury were accused of failing to ensure their players and staff 'conducted themselves in an orderly fashion'. Hill was charged with violent conduct for a headbutt on Whites player-coach Tommy Widdrington who suffered a broken nose and facial injuries. The Diamonds' boss has already been fined the maximum amount allowed by the FA – believed to be two weeks' wages – after an internal investigation by club chairman Keith Cousins. Salisbury have denied their charge and assistant-manager Barry Blankley denied an allegation of improper conduct. Blankley was dragged away from any further confrontation with Hill following the attack on Widdrington which happened in front of referee Andrew Rodda immediately after the 1-1 draw at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium... The match also featured a 21-man brawl with red cards for Diamonds star Curtis Woodhouse and Salisbury midfielder Mike Fowler".
28 September 2007
CRAWLEY PREPARE FOR ALTYThe Argus says that "Crawley boss Steve Evans is confident the club's owners will only cash in on top scorer Guy Madjo if they receive a big money offer. Madjo has attracted plenty of attention from League clubs since scoring nine goals in 11 starts following his arrival at Broadfield Stadium from Stafford Rangers in the summer. A number of clubs are thought to be preparing to swoop for the 23-year-old striker when the transfer window reopens in January but Evans is keen to hold onto his prized asset. Evans said: 'We've had five or six enquiries about Guy.... We don't welcome them but I am confident the owners would want to keep Guy if something firm happened in the transfer window as he is a big part of what we are trying to achieve here. Obviously we live in the real world and if somebody came in with a bid which overvalued Guy I would recommend we sell him but it would have to be worth our while. The owners have shown they are willing to back us when they turned down a bid for Jamie Stevens before the transfer window closed so I think it would be unlikely if they wanted to sell our top scorer'. Madjo is a major doubt for tomorrow's home clash with Altrincham after taking a heavy knock on his calf towards the end of Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet United. He limped away from Stonebridge Road clutching the man-of-the-match champagne following another battling display and has been undergoing intensive treatment since. Evans is desperate for the Cameroon striker to recover in time as Reds look to maintain their unbeaten home record but is confident either Magno Vieira or Pierre Joseph-Dubios can grab their chance if Madjo does not make it. He added: 'Guy would be a big loss as he is the Conference's leading scorer and a lot of our play goes through him. He is such a hard worker for the team and would be hard to replace. We will do everything we can to get him on the pitch but we have got to be wary of playing him if it could make things worse as we need him for the whole season, not just one match. We've got very capable replacements in Magno and Pierre and they deserve a chance to show what they can do. Magno scored two on his last start so is a bit unlucky not to be playing anyway. It is going to be a tough match as Altrincham have won their last two and will go into it full of confidence but we are determined to bounce back from what happened on Tuesday night'".
LEGENDS RETURNAltrincham FC have arranged a game between players in their current squad and a team of Alty Legends of past years. The game will be at 7.45pm at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 16th October. Ken McKenna is already signed up for the Legends as is Shaun Constable. Ken is insisting on playing in the red and white stripes so the current team will play in blue. More details to follow...
GRAHAM'S REASONSSAM confirms that "Graham Heathcote has released youngsters Matty Berkeley and Sean Clancy as he begins the rebuilding process. The Alty boss is keen to revamp his squad after their slow start to the season and more could yet follow them through the door to make way for new faces. Berkeley made just three appearances for Alty, all as a substitute, after signing in the summer... Meanwhile, Clancy... has been released as his one-month deal has come to an end... Heathcote said: 'I've released the pair because I don't think I can give either of them the first team football they need to keep improving. Matty needs to play regularly because he's quite a laid back character so he needs to stay on his toes. Sean is a good player going forward but I don't know if he's strong enough defensively for this division so we've decided not to extend his deal. We're taking a look at a few players though and we'll have a couple of trialists playing in Tuesday's friendly against Ashton United'".
YOUTH TEAM LET IT SLIPAfter dominating the first half but failing to score, Alty Youth finally went out of the FA Youth Cup at Woodley Sports at the first hurdle when they lost 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out. In normal time Alty had gone ahead after 64 minutes through a well-taken Sam Madeley goal but four minutes later Woodley headed an equalizer at a corner. The score remained 1-1 throughout the 90 minutes and extra time. Though Woodley saw one penalty saved by Jones and skied another over the bar, they ran out winners when Altrincham failed to convert three of their five spot-kicks. Report to follow.
WITTON VERDICTThe Northwich Guardian summarises Alty's win on Tuesday night as follows: "Witton were left frustrated after matching Alty for long periods. Jim Vince can point to his side's profligacy for the apparent difference in class indicated by the scoreline. Colin Little edged the visitors in front three minutes before the break from Chris Senior's assist. Colin Potts played in Senior to add a second soon after the restart, but Albion refused to throw in the towel. They were in the ascendancy until the final whistle, but poor finishing left them without a goal for the first time since the opening day of the season. Sub Sean Clancy teed up fellow replacement Joe O'Neill to complete the scoring in the final minute"
BSP NEWSThe Northwich Guardian reports that "Paul Warhurst has walked out on Northwich Victoria. The former Sheffield Wednesday star told the Guardian he felt he could not carry on as temporary manager after a meeting with chairman Mike Connett yesterday, Wednesday. He had been in charge just over a week. 'I had a long chat with Mike', said Warhurst. 'The financial circumstances of the club mean we can't bring any new players in to improve the team. I felt we needed to do that to make progress so it's a very disappointing ending from a personal point of view'... Warhurst felt he could turn things around, but changed his mind... 'The club needed shaking up after a poor start to the season', he said. 'But obviously the financial situation is such that Mike felt he couldn't do that'. Dino Maamria will be in charge of the team for Saturday's Blue Square Premier clash with Woking. He becomes Vics' third manager of a troubled campaign'".
NL Daily says that "York City have re-signed left-back Anthony Lloyd and landed midfielder Russell Fry... Manager Billy McEwan moved to re-sign 23-year-old Lloyd, who had a spell with Farsley Celtic after being released by City in the summer, as cover for the suspended Mark Robinson. Fry, 21, spent four years as a trainee with Hull City and also had a brief spell with Halifax. Both have signed permanent deals at KitKat Crescent and have been added to the squad to face Town". Halifax Town themselves add that they "have signed 18 year old Junior Dadson on non contract terms. Dadson, who has come through the ranks at Blackburn Rovers, can play in midfield and as a winger. He played for Blackburn's reserves last season".
At Ebbsfleet United "striker Chukki Eribenne, who was taken off during the game against Crawley on Tuesday night with a hamstring strain is expected to be out for a month, Fleet physio Paul Wilson told the club website. It is a major blow for Liam Daish's plans, but he will be thankful for John Hastings's earlier loan signing to plug the gap up front. Defender James Smith is two weeks away from a return to full training... Danny Slatter has improved over the last few days and is now able to ride a bike and is strengthening the muscles around his knee. Warren Goodhind is concentrating on a strength programme this week to help him overcome a niggling groin injury and is expected back in full training next week. Long-term absentee Gary MacDonald is beginning his road to recovery and is now walking without the Aircast boot and is starting early movement of his achilles".
27 September 2007
CLANCY RELEASEDAltrincham FC have today released left-back Sean Clancy (right). Sean (20) played 11 times for Southport last season and signed for Alty at the end of August 2007. He made his full Altrincham debut last Saturday against Droylsden and also made four substitute appearances. As the management team felt they could not give him regular first-team football he has been released.
Photo copyright of www.altrinchamfc.com
OLD BOYThe NW Evening Mail reports on an ex-Alty striker. "[Barrow boss] Phil Wilson says striker Peter Thomson lacked the appetite to play for Barrow AFC. The Bluebirds’ boss has released the 30-year-old non-contract target man just three months after signing him. 'I felt Peter wasn’t giving us what we thought he would', said Wilson. 'I decided we’d have a good look at him in the game at Tamworth to see if he’d got that appetite back, but it wasn’t there. I felt it was best to part ways'". Echoing Graham Heathcote's words at last night's meeting with supporters on the difficulties of signing new players, "The AFC chief has been searching the market for a new striker, but has been left frustrated by high transfer fees and player wages. He said: 'We went to Hyde and tried to get their fifth choice striker, who’s a target man (understood to be Paul Gedman). The transfer fee was £3,500 and his wages were sky high. He’s decided to go on loan to Bradford Park Avenue. He’s not proven and he’s costing £3,500. Proven strikers cost more. I went for a Unibond striker and the club wanted £10,000'".
YOUTH CUPAlty's FA Youth Cup tie at Woodley Sports' Lambeth Grove tonight, Thursday (27th), is a 7.30pm kick off, with entry costing £2, or £1 for children and OAPs.
BERKELEY RELEASEDAltrincham FC have released former Gretna striker Matthew Berkeley (right). He came on as a substitute on Tuesday in the Cheshire Senior Cup but failed to impress, having been away for the previous month on international duty with the St Kitts & Nevis under-23s. The 20 year-old signed for Alty in early August 2007 after scoring three times in pre-season games. He had started out as a junior at South Manchester club, Fletcher Moss. Matt made his BSP debut as a sub against Exeter City on 11 August 2007 and made just two other appearances from the bench.
GRAHAM'S VIEWSAt Wednesday night's open meeting, Alty manager Graham Heathcote gave a detailed insight into his footballing philosophy and thinking on tactics, team formations and other matters. More on this later....
LEGENDS TO RETURN?Altrincham FC is planning a game between current players and a team of Altrincham Legends - past players who are still willing to don their football boots. Ken McKenna has already volunteered to play but only on condition that the Legends XI wears the famous red and white stripes.
GOOD & BAD NEWSThe injury to midfielder Gareth Whalley is not as bad as first feared and he may even be fit to play a part this weekend.
But it is bad news about loan goalkeeper, Russell Saunders from Wigan Athletic, whose injury last Saturday will sideline him for 6 to 8 weeks.
COBURN NO.3Congratulations to Altrincham goalkeeper Stuart Coburn and his wife Eve on the birth of their first child, a son, called Finn.
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUPNews of our next Cheshire Senior Cup opponents comes from the Runcorn Linnets who beat Warrington Town in the 1st Round. "In an entertaining match where Runcorn always looked the stronger side, the Linnets had their second win in a cup match in 4 days with a 2-1 win over Warrington at their Cantilever Park ground. Thomas Lamb scored in 31st minute, but a lapse in concentration in the opening seconds of the second half saw the hosts equalise. Dave Thompson put the Linnets ahead once more after 58 minutes, but in truth it could, and potentially should, have been more like a two or three goal advantage. We now face a home tie in the next round against our old foe, Altrincham".
CHARITY MATCHSAM reports that a "High-profile foreign import will make his Moss Lane debut on Sunday. The man in question needs no introduction, having played more than 370 times for his country, while being generally regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. But, before Alty fans get carried away, it's not a big money midseason signing, rather Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath. The recently retired fast bowler jets into England this week to take part in a charity football match at the Robins' ground on Sunday. McGrath agreed to take part in the event due to his friendship with Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, who drove the Aussie cricket team around England in one of his own Go Goodwins coaches on the 2005 Ashes tour. He will play alongside such famous names from the cricket world as Darren Gough, Michael Bevan, Alec Stewart and Stuart Law, as well as Manchester United great Bryan Robson and rugby star Brad Drew. They will take on the All Stars football team, made up of English TV stars, to raise money for the McGrath Foundation, a cancer charity set up by Glenn's wife Jane, and Altrincham FC. And Goodwin is hoping the occasion will help lift the mood at the club after a difficult start to the season.
He told SAM Sport: 'I hope Alty fans and people in the area will come along to the game on Sunday and support a really good cause. I'm really looking forward to it because it's amazing that Glenn's agreed to come along and it will be a chance for everyone to just enjoy themselves. I just wish I could have played in the game myself. I would have done but I've recently had a cartilage operation so it makes it impossible. I'm gutted. But Glenn will give the club a lift and it's this kind of event which will make us better and better. Everyone will remember the day Glenn McGrath played on that pitch'"
BSP NEWSFrom our next opponents Crawley Town, we learn that "Manager Steve Evans was left disappointed as his side slipped to a narrow defeat at Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday evening. The Reds dominated for long periods of the televised clash at Stonebridge Road, only to fall to Raphael Nade’s 77th minute header. Evans was forthright in his opinion that the better side lost the game. Evans said; 'I think over the 90 minutes we were by far the better team. No disrespect to Ebbsfleet, they were not in the same class as us on the evening, but as far the league table goes the points go to them. They had one chance in the second-half and they took it. I can identify three errors on our behalf for the goal, but we really shouldn’t be relying on our defenders to keep a clean so we can get a point. If we took our chances we would have won comfortably'... Evans though was keen to put the result behind them and was hoping for a positive reaction in Saturday’s league encounter with strugglers Altrincham at the Broadfield. 'We keep saying it, but we will get back on the training ground, work hard and see where that takes us on Saturday', added Evans. 'There is no way forward other than to bounce back on Saturday'... The game's biggest talking point left the entire squad and playing staff fuming. Searching for a deserved leveler, defender, Glenn Wilson, was denied a clear penalty in the 85th minute when United midfielder Stacey Long swung an arm in Wilson’s face which sent the right-back crashing to the turf inside the box". Evans said “It was the same referee who we had down in Exeter, and he told me after the game to remember his name as he was going to the Premier League. I have asked him to ring me... and apologize once he sees he has made a mistake".
The BBC reports on our next opponents, Crawley Town, who lost 1-0 at Ebbsfleet on Tuesday. "Crawley came into the game in a rich vein of goalscoring form but never troubled home keeper Lance Cronin... Crawley Town: Bayes, Bull, Mills, Stevens, Wilson, Bulman, Thompson, Pinault, Cook (Vieira 83), Madjo, Pittman (Joseph-Dubois 83). Subs Not Used: Evans, Clapham, Krause. "
Meanwhile "In-form Forest Green Rovers striker Stuart Fleetwood dampened down transfer speculation after he scored twice in Tuesday night's 4-2 win over Stevenage. Fleetwood has now scored seven times this season to reportedly attract the attention of League scouts. 'I'm settled as I am. Other clubs can look at me but I'm a loyal player and I'm here until the end of the season', the 21-year-old said... Fleetwood signed for Forest Green in June on a 12-month deal following his release by Hereford United at the end of last season".
From This is Staffs we learn that "Stafford Rangers inched nearer to Blue Square Premier respectability with a precious point-grabbing goal from veteran Neil Grayson.Phil Robinson's side followed up their win at Weymouth with a battling draw against a Histon team who beat Oxford in their last outing... Rangers were already beginning to dominate when Roscoe Hipperson was shown the red card in the 64th minute for tripping Marco Adaggio, who had raced clear... 42-year-old Grayson came off the bench and in the 74th minute he latched on to a cross from Fred Murray to fire his first goal of the campaign... Midfielder Greg Stones has been released by Rangers. The former New Saints player made nine starts and one substitute appearance in Rangers' first 10 matches". Stafford Rangers report that "In addition to Greg Stones, Rangers have also released midfielder Ramon Manak"
Grays Athletic report that "With immediate effect Simon Downer and Ben Watson are available for loan.Donny Barnard has not had his loan agreement renewed"> Meanwhile chairman Mick Woodward says that "I have been informed that following Saturday's game against York City certain supporters felt the need to criticise the way I run the club to the Boardroom Manager. It was suggested that I had no right to sell the club as I only had a 1% share in the club, I would like to state that the ground is owned by the Billings and they have agreed to sell to Fairview and Galliard Homes, from the proceeds of this sale they have kindly donated a substantial amount towards the new stadium. We are looking in the first instance to move to Blackshots but if this falls through with the council we will be looking at the Aveley Sports and Social Club, if people wish to stay at the Recreation Ground then please let me know as this would mean that we play at a lower level of football and I would not wish to stay with the club at that point. If people are of the idea that I am not fit to run the club then I am prepared to walk away and take my whole investment with me, Grays Athletic is a passion of mine and to be criticised in this way after all that I have done is both disgusting and hurtful. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who let me know of the indiscretions of a few of our players during the game".
26 September 2007
CSC QFWeek commencing 12 November:
CRANEY RETURNS TO STANLEYHereford's unofficial but very reliable Bullsnews reports that "Accrington have re-signed midfielder Ian Craney (right) on loan for three months. Craney signed for Swansea from Stanley less than a year ago, but has drifted out of contention under new boss Roberto Martínez".
Last season Altrincham received £75,000, which was a half of Ian Craney's £150,000 transfer fee, when he moved from Accrington Stanley to Swansea City.
TORQUAY DATE FIXEDThe away game for Altrincham at Torquay has been moved to Sunday 9th December (from the day before) with a 2pm kick off. Because Plymouth Argyle are at home on the Saturday, the Police advised Torquay that the game should be switched and the clubs have now agreed on this new date and time.
WITTON ALBION 0 ALTRINCHAM 3Though Alty ran out 3-0 winners, they made heavy weather of it in the second half and were grateful that Witton's poor finishing enabled them to record their first clean sheet of the season.
Match report here
CSC Round 1
CSC Round 1
TALK TO THE MANAGERToday, Wednesday 26th September, at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, manager Graham Heathcote will be holding a meeting at which he will be happy to discuss team-related issues at Altrincham FC. In other words topics such as tactics, team formations and player selection will be on the agenda, as opposed to off-the-pitch club matters. All supporters are invited and will have the opportunity to express their opinons on these matters. For his part Graham will respond to all suggestions and proposals and explain the reasoning behind his tactical decisions to date.
MIDWEEK BSPTuesday 25th
SUBS DO WELL
Above: Jake Sedgemore and Warren Peyton were both on the bench, rather than starters, for the first time last Saturday but both came on and played vital roles. Jake kept a clean sheet for 35 minutes when he took over in goal, whilst Warren helped to stifle the threat of Droylsden's Chris Denham. Here, they leave the pitch after the game, followed by Darren Tinson (far left) and the three "C.Ls", Colin Little, Carlos Logan and Chris Lane.
FRIENDLY GAMEAltrincham FC have arranged a friendly game against Ashton United at Moss Lane, next Tuesday (Oct. 2nd) at 7.45pm. Entry will be just £2, or £1 for juniors/concessionaries. Whether Ashton United captain and former Alty left-back Chris Adams is in the visitors' squad remains to be seen.
BIG NAMES AT MOSS LANEThis Sunday at 1pm at Moss Lane, there is a major fundraising football match between a side captained by Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath and an All Stars XI. Glenn's team is expected to include many famous cricketers and other sportsmen, including Darren Gough, Michael Bevan, Alec Stewart, Bryan Robson, Clayton Blackmore, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Law and Sussex's Chris Adams. The All Stars are led by Coronation Street's Mike LeVell. Entry to the game is just £5 for adults, £2 for concessionaries and just £10 for a family of two adults and two children.
The event has been organised by Altrincham chairman Geoff Goodwin and his wife Suzanne with the proceeds going to the McGrath Fiundation, a cancer chairty founded by Jane McGrath, and to Altrincham FC . As the the McGrath Foundation website explains, "Jane McGrath co-founded the McGrath Foundation with her husband Glenn after her initial recovery from breast cancer. Jane experienced first hand the shortage of breast care nurses in Australia during her treatment and became determined to help others in her situation. Today, the McGrath Foundation aims to raise funds to place more breast care nurses throughout the country while generating support and raising awareness of the cause".
The same evening there is "An Evening with Pigeon and Dazzler" where Glenn McGrath and Darren Gough will conduct a question and answer session with the guests at the Best Western Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham.
25 September 2007
TEAM TONIGHTAlty travel to Witton Albion in the Cheshire Senior Cup tonight without captain Darren Tinson, who has a slight knock. But Darren will be fit for Saturday's match at Crawley. With loan goalkeeper Russell Saunders awaiting a scan on his leg injury and Stuart Coburn still sidelined through injury it is fortunate that Richard Acton is fit to take his place in goal for the Robins tonight. Missing tonight will be midfielder Gareth Whalley, who like Saunders, was stretchered off at the weekend. Gareth is expected to be out for at least a couple of weeks. Loan defender Ryan Shotton is available for tonight's game as the CSC rules now allow loan players to take part.
For more on the Witton game, see below..
As reported below, Steve McLaren's England side will be using the Blessed Thomas Holford School's all-weather pitch in Altrincham to prepare for their vital Euro 2008 qualifying match with Russia, as the School's pitch is the only one in the UK identical to the state-of-the-art Russian pitch. In the picture above, Altrincham FC Youth are seen playing on the BTH pitch in a pre-season friendly. The way in which England came to hear about the pitch was via Alty manager Graham Heathcote and our former striker and captain Rod Thornley, who is the England team masseur. Both Altrincham's first-tem and youth team use the BTH pitch for training. As ever, what Altrincham does today, the nation does tomorrow!
GETTING TO WITTONThere are still a few places left on the STAR coach to Witton tonight for the CSC match (7.45pm). Please ring the club 928-1045 to book your seat. Details of the Witton trip, as well as of Saturday's trip to Crawley, are on the Away Travel page.
ENGLAND STARS AT ALTRINCHAMThe BBC reports that "Steve McClaren's England side face a tough test in Moscow [but] England will prepare for the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia by using a state-of-the-art school pitch in Altrincham. Uefa have given Russia permission to play the tie on an artificial surface at the Luzhniki Stadium on 17 October. And the Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College [in Altrincham] boasts the only exact replica of the Moscow pitch. 'For our school to play a part in helping England qualify is marvellous', said headmaster John Cornally. 'Lessons might be difficult that day but what we don't want to do is get in the way of the important thing, which is for the England team to train without any interruptions or distractions'... Cornally added: 'Some commentators talk about a plastic pitch. It is patently not that. It is absolutely state of the art'". The pitch, about half a mile from the Moss Lane ground, is used regularly by Altrincham FC (first and youth teams) for their training matches.
Above: The world of non-league football is summed up in this after-match picture of Chris Senior saluting an Alty ballboy, watched by a smiling vice-chairman Grahame Rowley (right) whilst busy Alty physio Sean Riley (left) leaves the pitch after a taxing afternoon dealing with two stretchered-off players. Below: Sean is seen with Security Officer Darren Gregory, steward Peter Lewis and two helpers carrying off Alty's injured keeper Russell Saunders. Russell endeared himself to Alty fans by giving a thumbs up to the crowd to acknowledge their applause as he was stretchered off.
The Manchester Evening News quotes Droylsden boss Dave Pace after defeat at Moss Lane, "Take nothing away from Alty, they worked hard for their win but we were a disgrace from back to front. I've told the players they could get a manager sacked with a performance like that but they won't get me sacked because I'm also the chairman and I'm going nowhere. If I didn't have to wait until January for the transfer window to repopen, I'd bring in six new faces tomorrow. I'll replace the lot of them if I have to, when the opportunity comes. We're clearly not good enough".
Graham Heathcote said, "There's no euphoria for me but, for the first time this season, we've given ourselves a little platform which we must now try to build on. I thought we again played well in patches, although there was a lot of tension. Our players might have thought my job was on the line had we lost and that's a hell of a pressure".
The Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "Five goals, two serious injuries, a pair of penalties and a goalkeeping crisis. Life's never dull down at Moss Lane but despite the drama, Alty finally broke their Blue Square Premier duck after beating rivals Droylsden 3-2. It wasn't all good for the Robins. Both playmaker Gareth Whalley and on-loan Wigan keeper Russell Saunders were stretchered off early in the second half, the latter setback forcing midfielder Jake Sedgemore into goal.... But anything other than an Alty victory just wouldn't have been justice" Altrincham have a Cheshire Senior Cup game away at Witton Albion on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
CRAWLEY GAMEThe referee for the Crawley v Altrincham game this Saturday is Mr I. J. Cooper. In 2005-06, Alty lost 0-2 to two Daryl Clare goals and last season the game ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a Crawley own goal. The Altrincham team last season included only two players who started the Alty v Droylsden match last Saturday (Lawton and Little).:
NL Today reported on Sunday that "Crawley Town owner Azwar Majeed is still waiting to find out whether or not he will be jailed. Hove Crown Court last month heard Majeed sent Danny Ullah to carry out the 60 hours of unpaid community service Majeed had been given in June 2005 after being found guilty of assault. He was due to be sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Friday but the case was adjourned... The judge warned Majeed and Ullah last month, 'The overwhelming probability is a custodial sentence'".
Meanwhile Crawley Town report that "Pablo Mills has agreed to extend his loan spell with the club by a further month. The talented centre-back joined the club on an initial one month loan in August and would have made his last appearance of his current deal in Tuesday evening’s televised encounter with Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road. The official website can exclusively reveal that following talks between the Rotherham United defender and manager Steve Evans, Mills has agreed to extend his stay. In a short space of time Mills has become a huge favourite amongst the Broadfield faithful with some outstanding performances... In Saturday’s match-day programme, Evans revealed that Rotherham United boss, Mark Robins, had already cleared the way for Mills to extend his stay with the Reds but it was just a matter of convincing the player. Evans said: 'Pablo has been nothing short of magnificent both on and off the pitch for us... He has helped bring on the youngsters around him... My discussions with Pablo have been going on for a few weeks now, and we will do what is within our structure to extend his loan'... Mills added: 'I have loved every minute of it at Crawley... The Gaffer is a superb man manager'".
NEIL'S JUDGEMENT PAYS OFFThis is Staffs reports that former Alty reserves' manager and current groundsman Neil Brown strengthened his case for the managership at Leek Town on Saturday. "Caretaker manager Neil Brown admitted he was relieved to see his gamble pay off as Leek recorded their first win since the opening day of the season. Leading scorer Louis Briscoe was sensationally axed from the side, among other changes, as Brown switched to 4-4-2. But the former Port Vale player came off the bench in the second half to net a brace and give Leek the points. Brown said: 'I am very pleased with the result, having taken a bit of a gamble with my team selection and formation because if it had gone wrong I would probably have been out of a job by now. The lads reacted well to the changes and put their all in. The changes probably surprised one or two on and off the pitch, but I had my reasons and will probably make others over the next few games. A win does wonders for the players and we will now take each game as it comes until after the interviews for the manager's vacancy'". During the game, "Briscoe latched on to a long crossfield ball from [Alty's Pat] McFadden and cut inside two defenders before putting his side in front".
"Goalkeeper Chris Tardif has left Oxford United and has decided to end his professional career" reports the BBC. "Tardif, 26, has terminated his contract at Oxford by mutual consent and plans to start a new job and play part-time. The former Portsmouth keeper joined Oxford in May 2004 and started 61 games for the club", including the recent match at Moss Lane. "Meanwhile, U's defenders Phil Gilchrist and Chris Willmott are set to return from long injury lay-offs in a friendly against Milton United next week". Meanwhile Oxford report that ""United have signed goalkeeper Alex Cisak on loan from Leicester City. The Polish born goalkeeper, 18, is six feet four tall and joined the Foxes on trial after playing representative football in Australia, his home since the age of two. A regular in the Leicester youth side Alex has found competition hard at the Walkers' Stadium where there are seven goalkeepers on the books, but is looking to be involved in the first team during his stay with The U's".
"Cambridge United have secured the services of striker Marvin Robinson in a loan deal from league rivals Oxford United" says NL Daily. "The 27-year-old joins Jimmy Quinn's side on a three-month long deal and will provide cover for Cambridge's only two fit strikers, Leo-Fortune-West and Scott Rendell. Robinson has been given permission by Oxford to play in FA Cup, FA Trophy and Setanta Shield games for Cambridge".
At "York City striker Chris Beardsley is likely to be ruled out for up to four months after sustaining a broken jaw in Saturday's 2-0 win at Grays Athletic. Beardsley was hurt in an off-the-ball incident involving Grays defender Jamie Stuart, who was sent off. 'We've got a lad in hospital with a broken jaw in two places', said York boss Billy McEwan. 'He will be operated on in Derby and will probably be missing for three to four months'", reports the BBC.
This is Glos reports that "Jim Harvey branded Forest Green side naive after they conceded three second-half goals at the Broadfield Stadium. Rovers never recovered from Jamie Stevens' opener on 54 minutes, shipping two further strikes from Jamie Cook to lose a match which had been evenly-poised. 'We lost our shape and discipline after the first goal went in and unfortunately from then on it was pretty poor', said boss Harvey. 'Two of the goals came from the second phases of set-pieces - it wasn't as if we were getting ripped apart by football. It was about concentration, which is very annoying. Crawley are a good side and this was always going to be a tough game, but the way we defended and played in the first half was terrific... but we just lost our way in the second half and that's hard to explain really. Sometimes this will happen with a young team... At Morecambe I had something similar, and we had to keep going back and back over things until they became second nature'".
The Northants Evening Telegraph claims that "Garry Hill was relieved to take away a point as Rushden & Diamonds stretched their unbeaten run to six games. They needed an injury-time penalty from Simeon Jackson to salvage a 1-1 draw at Halifax Town on Saturday after Paul Bastock pulled off a series of saves to deny the hosts... Hill told the BBC: 'We were very disappointing by the standards shown recently on a consistent basis... A few things were said at half-time... I felt we had to chase the game and we changed it around a little bit as well... We changed the formation to get something out of the game with Hope as a centre-forward... We are getting a bit of consistency now with players back to fitness in the squad. Marcus Kelly was involved and that's like a new signing'".
"Phil Robinson hailed an excellent all-round team performance after Stafford Rangers recorded their first victory of the season. An early strike from Marco Adaggio ended a goal drought lasting some 325 minutes and two further goals netted by David McNiven ensured the long trip back from the south coast was a happy one. 'It was a great performance', said the Stafford manager... The unavailability of two regulars - Chris Flynn (ill) and Greg Stones (broken-down car) - meant a reshuffle, with David Oldfield starting for the first time. The assistant-manager's experience in the centre of midfield eventually proved a key factor. Young Ross Draper, making only his fourth appearance, was among those benefiting from the presence of the former Manchester City and Leicester City star" reports This is Staffs
Halifax Town confirms that "There was an incident that took place outside the Weavers' Restaurant at around 6.10pm [on Saturday], which has now been reported to the Police. As the match officials were leaving, they were abused and threatened by a group of people stood outside.They had to drive past this group to depart the stadium, and at that point one individual threw the contents of a glass lager/beer at the referee's vehicle.The referee has reported the Club to the Football Association. This Football Club will not tolerate any form of abuse and violence, against any individual. There was a group of around 20 individuals outside at the time of the incident and we would ask for their assistance in ensuring the perpetrator is correctly identified and can then be dealt with by the Police".
From Ebbsfleet United we leran that "Fleet midfielders Liam Coleman and George Purcell have joined Ryman League side Heybridge Swifts on an initial month's loan. With Fleet players beginning to return from injury, Coleman, who has made seven appearances this season (six from the bench), and Purcell with a goal and eight games to his tally, will be able to gain match practice and maintain their sharpness".
The Setanta Shield is the new league cup competition embracing all three Blue Square divisions. Until Round Four, only the North and South divisions are involved. The draw for the first three rounds has been made in one go. The Northern section of the draw is below:
Round 1 North (w/c 1 October) :
Round 2 North (w/c 12 November) :
Round 3 North (w/c 3 December) :
24 September 2007
Right: Dominic Lillie in action against Runcorn in Sunday's match.
There is now a match report on the Altrincham & District FA Youth team's win over Runcorn FA on Sunday afternoon in the Youth section
23 September 2007
INJURIESTwo players were stretchered off for Altrincham on Saturday. Loan goalkeeper Russell Saunders has reportedly torn a thigh muscle whilst Gareth Whalley has suspected ankle ligament damage. It is believed that Richard Acton will be available to keep goal on Tuesday night at Witton.
NEXT OPPONENTSOur next league opponents, Crawley Town have hit 13 goals in their last three home matches. The Argus says that on Saturday "Striker Guy Madjo showed his old club he is a reformed character by inspiring Crawley to another home victory. Madjo is not remembered too fondly by Forest Green for his hit-and-miss nine-month spell at the club from late 2005. A club insider went as far as to call him the laziest player ever to turn out for Rovers when asked about his memories of the Cameroon frontman. But the Madjo who turned out for the Gloucestershire club is very different from the Madjo who is starring for Reds nowadays... Although he did not add to the eight goals he has already, Madjo set up the first two and ran the visiting defence ragged throughout.
Manager Steve Evans said: 'When you see Guy Madjo perform like he did in the last half hour, you want him to get a goal. I thought he was head and shoulders better than everyone else and showed why there are a lot of clubs further up the pyramid than us who would like to have him. He really is coming into his own now. He gets his share of goals as we know but his workrate for the team is fantastic'. Madjo scored in each of the previous five games, four of which came inside the first 12 minutes... Streaker [?striker] Madjo was even at the centre of a lighthearted moment of the game shortly after the hour when a streaker ran on to the pitch. He caught the male exhibitionist and kept hold of him until he was led away by stewards, much to the amusement of everyone else... The game was the first time at home this season Crawley had failed to score in the opening half and Evans revealed he gave his players the hairdryer treatment at the break. He said: 'It was the first time I've really had to shake them up and take the paint off the walls. But they responded in magnificent fashion'... Victory left Reds two points off the play-off zone, although they can still be deducted six points if they lose their appeal against a punishment for financial irregularities. But Evans does not expect his side to stay in promotion contention even if the Football Association uphold their appeal when it is heard on October 10. He said: 'We're having a great spell and we are performing way above our expectation levels. We don't have any right, with the expenditure we have here, to be as high up the table as we are but we will take it because it's early days. In all the divisions throughout the country, there are always teams either overperforming or underperforming and we are one of the ones overperforming'".
SIDEBOTTOM BAN?The NL Today newspaper has an interview with comedian Frank Sidebottom who says that "The Robins' biggest fan is reeling after being banned from Mos Lane.. Frank was trying to arrnage some filming on the pitch when club officials told him 'Frank Sidebottom is not welcome at Altrincham FC'. He is baffled and can think of only one possible reason. 'I once got my head stuck in the turnstile and it held the kick-off up for 15 minutes; no one else could get in', he said. Frank has tried to sneak into the ground in disguise, sporting a moustache as a ruse. 'It hasn't worked. Everyone thinks I am Freddie Mercury's ghost', he said... His tribute song 'Robins aren't Bobbins' was [allegedly] played as the teams ran out at Moss Lane until recently... Under Tommy Docherty, Sidebottom was even made assistant boss for a couple of weeks... Frank added, 'They need me to lead them out'... But he remains confident the Robins will have him back".
YOUTH TEAM DEFENDS TROPHY
Above: Tom Bailey (second yellow shirt from left) turns after scoring Alty's opener.
Altrincham FC Youth represented Altrincham & District FA today and beat Runcorn & District FA 2-0 at Shawe View, Trafford. The goals came from Tom Bailey and Sam Madeley. The game was a group stage match in the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup which Altrincham has won for the past two seasons. Altrincham have now won both their games to date in defence of the trophy. Report to follow.
Please come along to Woodley Sports on Thursday (7.45pm) when the Altrincham FC youth team starts its FA Youth Cup campaign on the artificial pitch at Lambeth Grove.
Above: Members of the Altrincham JFC Saturday Soccer School were guests at Moss Lane yesterday and are pictured above in the Family Stand. It was also good to see Alan Johnson (back row, right), the former Altrincham FC webmaster and club photographer at the game. Altrincham FC Juniors' Saturday Soccer Club is held at Blessed Thomas Holford school, 10am -12am. The school, offering FA Qualified Coaching, is for 5-8 year olds, both boys and girls. If you have a child who would like to attend, please contact Chris Bullock on 0161-962-2369 for further details.
BLOODS TO GO CAMPING?After yesterday's game Dave Pace told the NL Paper, "I've told the players they were not good enough. They haven't put in the graft and seem prepared to just pick up very easy money. They've been used to stopping in top hotels but I think I'll be looking for a camp site in Torquay [for the next match]. We looked lacklustre throughout and if I have to replace 11 players and spend loads of money in January, then I will". Graham Heathcote simply stated, "This was a vital win".
This site's match report details are lower down this page...
Altrincham v Droylsden photos from a Bloods' supporter are here
ON THE ROAD WITH ALTYDetails of the STAR supporters' coach to Witton Albion (this Tuesday) and to Crawley Town (this Saturday) are to be found on the Away Travel page. For the trip to Sussex the fares are provisional and may be reduced (as they were for our trip to Woking) if the coach is sufficiently full. As usual, please book by ringing the club on 928-1045.
GEOFF HAS HIS SAYThe NL Paper has an interview with Geoff Goodwin on his plans to step down "to concentate on 10 year-old son Jay's promising karting careeer". Geoff says, "We were fourth from the bottom of the UniBond when I took over, £700,000 in debt and with a fan base of 300. Now we are playing in the Conference, we've got a lovely new pitch and floodlights, a healthy bank account, bigger fan base and 200 kids playing for us to enable us to receive the FA Charter Standard this week. So where has it all gone wrong? The debt has all gone and we've money in the bank . But if we gave it to players, what are we going to do next year when it's all gone? We'd have to get rid of them all. I've put four years' hard work in, more than six figures of my own money and I get treated like an idiot in return. It's like they're saying, "Thanks a lot, you've cleared the debt, now get out!" Fans always say they are entitled to their opinion. I'm entitled to mine too. I've done lots for the club and never taken anything out but the way I feel at the moment is that I wish I'd never bothered'". Referring to the manager Geoff said, "Graham Heathcote wears the club on his heart and his sleeve and he loves it, so he won't walk. He tells me not to listen because it is only a minority... Graham's not in it for himself. He's in it so that kids can go and play at Altrincham when he and I are dead and gone. That's the aim". Meanwhile Geoff and his wife Suzanne are putting the final touches to the celebrity football match and dinner on 30th September. You can go to the eBay auction for a place in Glenn McGrath's football team and play alongside Glenn, Darren Gough, Alec Stewart and other famous names against an All Star XI by following this link:
LOCAL FOOTBALLThe Vodkat NW Counties League" "clubs based in the ITV Granada viewing area are being invited to submit video clips to a new online video channel. A new broadband TV service provided by ITV Granada, called Grassroots, will support the existing news service provided by Granada Reports. It is being set up to encourage any interested organisations to submit their own footage to ITV Granada which will then be up loaded on to the website... Visit the channel here.
WITTON GAMEAlty are away to Witton Albion in the CSC on Tuesday and are likely to face old boys Rod Thornley and Cavell Coo. Yesterday the The Northwich Guardian reported that "Witton went top of the [UniBond Premier] table after racking up another impressive away day victory. Steve Brodie and Rod Thornley were on target as Albion - minus Brian Pritchard after he was left out". Meanwhile, Pat McFadden played yesterday for Leek Town who had a good win at Ossett Town under manager Neil Brown. The managership at Leek has still to be resolved on a permanent basis but this win should have done Neil's cause no harm. Pat is expected to be recalled to Alty for Tuesday's game at Witton.
22 September 2007
ALTRINCHAM 3 DROYLSDEN 2
Above: Colin Little receives his team-mates' congratulations after scoring Alty's second goal against Droylsden.
In this bottom of the table clash Altrincham deservedly emerged with their first win of the season in a game in which they had two players stretchered off before the hour mark, including new loan keeper Russell Saunders. Match report here.
Right: Recent signing Carlos Logan is seen in action against Cambridge in this shot by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
BLOODS STRENGTHEN, TOOAlty signed a loan goalkeeper yesterday and our opponents today, Droylsden, were also active in the loan market as Bury report that "Dale Stephens has joined Droylsden on a month's loan. A product of the Shakers' youth system, Dale will spend the next month with the Bloods... He should collect some valuable first team experience whilst with at the Butchers Arms Fold. Dale will link up with former Bury player Steve Halford whilst at Droylsden". Bury add that Stephens is "One of five youth team regulars to have featured in the Shakers' first team squad last season... A tall and powerful midfield player, Dale is one of three youth team players to be rewarded with a pro contract over the summer.... With an eye for goal and keenness to get the ball, no matter what the scenario, Dale has been regularly scoring goals". But the club's player details say he is 5ft 7inches tall.
As already reported Alty go into the game without regular keepers Stuart Coburn and Richard Acton, as well as Gary Scott, whilst both Colin Potts and Carlos Logan have been laid low with a virus this week.
"Graham Heathcote has called on Altrincham fans to get behind the team ahead of their must-win Blue Square Premier match against Droylsden. The Alty manager has come in for strong criticism from the Moss lane faithful this week for comments made in SAM. But he is hoping fans and management can forget their differences and unite behind the team. He told SAM Sport:'I'm calling on all the fans to get behind the players on Saturday even if they don't want to get behind me. It would be good if everyone could put their feelings for me and my tactics to one side and just show their support for the lads out on the pitch. I'm comfortable with the people I have in my dressing room. We have eight new faces in there and we are still trying to build a squad. But I have faith in my team to turn things around. We have played well in patches this season but now we need to become more consistent, replicate the same performance in longer spells'.
The in-fighting which has plagued the club since Tuesday's 3-0 defeat against Cambridge has hurt Heathcote... 'What this club has now is a good reputation in the football world and that's how you build anything up - on trust', he added. 'We are trying to build links with the community and make this club stronger for the future. We will do the best to stay in this league but we also have a bigger picture to look at. People have said we need to stop talking about the [achievements of the] past five years but without the changes that have been made, we wouldn't have a club to go to now. I have turned down offers from other clubs to stay here and I will not walk away from my obligations to the community, neither will the chairman'".
ALTY's A RUM PLACE!The BBC has a curious story about how "A football fan cycled 170 miles to watch his team play only to find himself locked out of the ground. Peter Woor, 57, a lifelong Cambridge United fan, pedalled for 12 hours to cheer on his team as they played Altrincham FC last Tuesday. However, he got lost in Leicester and by the time Mr Woor got to the ground the gates were closed. 'It's a sorry tale. I was really upset because of the 3-0 win I missed', said Mr Woor, of Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire. Mr Woor started out at 0745 and got to the gates at 2020. He said: 'They usually open up the gates at half-time but they must have kept them banged up in there - it's a rum place. No one heard my shouts so I went to a pub across the road. The locals were amazed by my tale and bought me a pint'. Mr Woor, a lab worker at Addenbrooke's Hospital, finally got in with 20 minutes left but missed United's three goals. He said:' I have cycled a total of 8,000 miles to 56 different grounds. I have been late before but I've never been locked out'. A spokesman for Altrincham FC said: 'We have a late gate which closes approximately 20 minutes into the game and we open the exit gates 20 minutes before the game ends. However, we do have a bell on the main gate [door] and someone watching the game keeps an eye on it. Mr Woor should have got in'.
GRAHAM'S FORUMAs announced on this website yesterday, SAM confirms that "Alty supporters will get the chance to put their tactical knowledge to the test at a special fans' forum on Wednesday. Graham Heathcote has called the meeting to give fans a chance to question him about tactics and team selection. The Robins' boss decided to take action after receiving heavy criticism following his team's poor start to the season. He said: 'It's a chance for fans to come along and talk about the team. We won't be discussing anything else about the club and it will just be me there face-to-face with the fans'. The fans' forum is scheduled for 7.30pm on Wednesday in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane".
WITTON READYThe Northwich Guardian says that "On the horizon the Wincham club will have the opportunity to create an upset when they face Blue Square Premier side Altrincham in the Cheshire Senior Cup on September 25. 'It's a prestigious trophy the county cup and I'm sure that Altrincham will be up for it. Without doubt I want to win every game we play. It will be a difficult game but I'm not fearing it, lets bring it on'", said Albion boss Jim Vince.
BSP NEWSThis is York reports that "York City striker Chris Beardsley has turned down a loan move to Blue Square North outfit Tamworth to prove his worth at KitKat Crescent. The Lambs, relegated from the Conference last season, had wanted Beardsley to pep up their strikeforce having seen the 23-year-old forward struggle for a first-team place with City. But Beardsley, pictured above, was recalled for his first start in six games at Aldershot". Still at York, "boss Billy McEwan is pleased with the level of support he has received from the club's board and fans during a sticky start to the new Blue Square Premier season. The Minstermen have lost seven of their opening ten games and taken just five points, but McEwan feels fans and directors have noticed signs of recovery during the team's last two games - unlucky 2-0 defeats to top two Stevenage and Aldershot. He said:'The board have been sympathetic and are helping. They understand the problems we are going through as a team and are behind us 100%'. The Press yesterday published a host of fans' comments, which were overwhelmingly in support of McEwan. He said: 'Our fans have been great and I think they understand our predicament as well. We're going through difficult times and there's nobody more disappointed at York City than Billy McEwan. I have to live with it every day, but I took a bit of encouragement from hearing Everton manager David Moyes speaking this week. He said they were bottom of the league in mid-October the season before last but they got their act together, shot up the table and then qualified for Europe the following season. They've also got an international striker in Andy Johnson who hasn't scored in 14 games [and missed two penalties this week]. So what we are going through now can happen to any team, manager or striker'".
"Exeter City will take a further look at QPR youngster Karl Yelland next week" claims This is Exeter. "The 18-year-old right-back, who played in City's second string win over Yeovil Town on Wednesday, will spend 10 days at the Cat & Fiddle [training ground]... Former Bristol City defender Shaun Lamb is still under the microscope at the club following an extended trial. City boss Paul Tisdale said: 'We are in the process of discussing a plan for him which will become evident from October 1 although it has not been done yet'".
It's been remarkably quiet at Crawley, where Alty visit next weekend, recently but The Argus now reports that "Crawley boss Steve Evans believes it is only a matter of time before fans return to Broadfield Stadium. Gate figures have been tumbling at a startling rate over the last few seasons and have now hit an all-time low. The first five home games of the campaign have brought in an average of just 948 fans, 1,068 less than the number turning up for Crawley's debut season in the Conference three years ago. There were 956 fans for Tuesday's 5-3 win over Woking and over 200 of them were supporting the visitors. There has been a growing apathy among fans for a while for various reasons. Many supporters became disillusioned with the way the club was being run after it went into administration with debts of £1.4 million last year. Some have been turned off by the constant bad press involving the club owners Chas and Azwar Majeed, including court battles with former employees, fights with supporters and trouble with police. Others have grown tired of seeing their club battle with relegation and the gradual increase in ticket prices is also likely to have had an effect. It was thought supporters would return after Reds finally paid off their long-standing debt at the start of this season. The arrival of a new manager and an influx of exciting players was also expected to have pulling power. Reds have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Conference premier this season. They are unbeaten at home, scored ten goals in their last two games on their own patch and are sitting just outside the play-off zone. It begs the question, if fans are not turning up now, will they ever? Evans said: 'Whatever people think about Crawley Town, they are missing out because some of the football we are playing is exhilarating. I have said to the boys that if we keep doing it, then people will come. That is all we can do and who knows, some of the missing people will be running back after Christmas if we keep this up. But it is early days, it is not even eight weeks into the season and we have spoken about a three-year plan'.
Crawley's gates are five times less than fellow Conference club Oxford United and are the fourth worst in the division. Part-timers Farsley Celtic (573) and Droylsden (732) attract the least fans and Stafford Rangers, who have a mixture of full and part-time players, have only brought in an average of 920. Gate money cannot sustain Crawley's full-time status, leaving the club more of a financial burden on the Majeed brothers. Their aim was to make the club self-sustainable in two years time but that seems very unlikely. It means Crawley are once again financially vulnerable as they can only stay afloat for as long as the Majeeds are willing and able to keep pumping money in. Evans said: 'There has been a lot of criticism of the Majeed family but all I see is them paying out a lot of money. I don't think the club runs on terraces of 800, it comes from their pockets'. Crawley should look at tomorrow's visitors as an example in how to attract more fans.
Forest Green Rovers have traditionally had poor attendances as they are located in the small village of Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, which has a population of less than 7,000. But they have increased their popularity over the last few seasons thanks to good relationships with the local community. They now average over 1,200, which is almost as much as historically well-supported clubs Halifax (1,321) and Weymouth (1,414)".
The Cambridge News says that "Jimmy Quinn wants to commit himself to Cambridge United beyond the end of the season... Although Quinn has not spoken to chairman Lee Power about a new deal yet, he said he had made him aware of his ambitions at the Abbey. He said: 'I came here to do a job and I'd like to stay here for a while. It's a club that has been in the doldrums, but I feel has the potential to get back in the League and go even further. It was very difficult last year, but I always knew if I could get some good players in that we'd have a better season... I get on well with the board. I know managers have a certain shelf-life, but I've got plans I want to take forward... My ambition is to manage in the League and I want to do that with Cambridge United'. Quinn said he was still looking for a new striker on loan but did not expect anything to happen before the top-of-the-table clash at Stevenage Borough" today.
"Kidderminster Harriers have eased worries over their goalkeeping situation by agreeing a deal to bring in experienced shot-stopper Chris MacKenzie from Shrewsbury Town. Harriers' stopper Scott Bevan has been struggling with a quadricep injury over the past couple of the weeks, and with the former MK Dons man unlikely to be fit for tomorrow's game with Torquay, boss Mark Yates has swooped for cover. Youngster Dean Coleman has performed admirably for Harriers during Bevan's absence, but with Coleman himself picking up a hairline fracture to a finger, MacKenzie's arrival should help settle the situation. 35 year-old MacKenzie arrives at Aggborough with a wealth of experience, with close to 400 career appearances under his belt...
MacKenzie goes straight into the squad to face the Gulls tomorrow, and will stay at Aggborough for the next month".
There is dismay at Oxford United. "The disappointment was evident as Jim Smith gave his thoughts on the game at Histon last night. Jim told Yellow World: 'I haven't been as disappointed for a long time at our performance. If you look at the stats on possession we were way ahead but didn't have the desire or determination to turn that into success. I didn't shout at them because they knew they had let themselves down. They trained the other day and it was the best I've seen since I came back to Oxford. We were hoping they would take that into the game, but it's easy doing it when you're not out there in front of a crowd or trying to win points... It's my job, and everyone else in and around the club, to try and stop the rot.. We have two home games and have to win both of them, simple as that. The fans can sometimes appreciate a performance if you lose but play well, but that didn't happen and we can't afford those performances to happen again.. At Histon we didn't make the keeper save a shot... Our next problem is to get them up and ready to play on Tuesday night and to get a performance... We have to lift the fans, we can't expect them to lift us".
NL Daily reports on a few players dropping out of the Blue Square Premier. Firstly "Frickley Athletic... following the departure of manager Billy Heath, have boosted the squad with the signing of the highly-experienced Neil Redfearn. Although now 42 years of age, Redfearn can still compete at UniBond League level". Redfearn left the manager's seat at Northwich Vics last week And also in the UniBond, "Peter Rinkcavage, manager of Worksop Town, made it two signings in 24 hours when he snapped up hit man Kevin Sanasy. The 22-year-old Leeds-born former Bradford City striker hit top form with Farsley Celtic after netting eighteen goals in thirty starts, helping the Yorkshire side into the Blue Square Premier... Earlier Rinkcavage had signed former Burton Albion right back Terry Henshaw". Meanwhile, "Blue Square South club Thurrock have announced the loan signed of Matt Bodkin from Grays Athletic until the end of the season". And Grays Athletic have released midfielder, Jamie Day, on a month's loan to Blue Square South side Eastbourne Borough". But heading the opposite way we learn that "Peterborough United have loaned winger Alfie Potter to Grays Athletic for a month. Posh manager Darren Ferguson is keen to give the 18-year-old some competitive match practice".
This is South Devon says that "Torquay United have completed their second loan signing in the space of 24 hours, to help them through a selection crisis which currently robs manager Paul Buckle of half-a-dozen players. Following the arrival of Plymouth Argyle utility player Scott Laird yesterday, United today welcomed young Bolton Wanderers defender Mark Ellis on a one-month loan. Ellis, 18, has been at the Reebok Stadium for two years, having started his career in Exeter City's youth team".
"Under-pressure manager Phil Robinson has been hunting for further reinforcements ahead of Stafford's game at Weymouth" says This is Staffs. "After 10 games without a win and just five goals scored, Robinson's top target is almost certain to be a goal-grabber. The boss has already brought in two players on loan - keeper Scott Loach and defender Cedric Avinel, both from Watford - and has the option to sign up to three more loanees. 'We've had irons in the fire, but we've had a lot of knock-backs as well', said Robinson... First-choice keeper Danny Alcock was dropped to the substitute's bench and deputy Rob Duggan axed from the squad to make way for Loach at Salisbury on Tuesday... Weymouth's Wessex Stadium is a happy hunting ground for Rangers, who are unbeaten in their last three visits".
OLD BOYFrom This is Staffs comes news of an Alty old boy. "Newcastle Town, leaders of Vodkat North West Counties Division One, welcome back Stuart Scheuber (from suspension) for their clash at home to Wolverhampton Casuals".
21 September 2007
TALKING TACTICSOn Wednesday 26th September at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, manager Graham Heathcote will be holding a meeting at which he will be happy to discuss team-related issues at Altrincham FC. In other words topics such as tactics, team formations and player selection will be on the agenda, as opposed to off-the-pitch club matters. All supporters are invited and will have the opportunity to express their opinons on these matters. For his part Graham will respond to all suggestions and proposals and explain the reasoning behind his tactical decisions to date.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMANGeoff Goodwin, Chairman of Altrincham FC has today issued the following message to supporters:
It's been a pretty upsetting week for everyone at Altrincham Football Club & it feels to me that there is a danger that a lot of the progress that has been made in recent years could be washed away in a matter of a few weeks.I feel that recently published comments made by me have been misinterpreted & if those comments have upset anyone then I apologise......I can assure you that that was never the intention & I do not want to drive anyone away from supporting Altrincham Football Club.
I love Altrincham Football Club & I love the fans......they both mean an awful lot to me....but I have been upset with some of the comments on the Fans Forum,particularly when it is difficult to respond to a lot of them as individuals use nicknames & aliases.I am always happy to discuss any issues or concerns that any supporter has regarding the Football Club.
We are in a difficult situation in the league but I genuinely believe that Graham Heathcote is the best man to keep us in the Blue Square Premier & I feel that it would be virtually impossible to bring in a replacement who has the knowledge of Football at this level & who could work within our budget to maintain Blue Square Premier status.
It really is a shame that we have made such a poor start on the pitch as Altrincham Football Club is in the healthiest overall position that it has experienced for many years.We have eradicated the debt & now have money in the bank, but it would be foolish to risk everything & go for broke in terms of breaking the principles that we have built our progress on over the last five years. We have brand new floodlights & a superb playing surface & of course a large number of people who put their heart & soul into our club......many for little or no reward. Tomorrow, we will be recognised for achieving the status of being an F.A. Charter Standard Club, a reward for the investment made by the club in developing players at all levels.
As you know I am planning to finish as Chairman at the end of the season & I really do hope that I can look back proudly on my time as Chairman reflecting on the positive achievements over five years that we have made together rather than the negative events of the last few weeks. I am very hopeful that next week's Celebrity Football Match & Dinner will raise a significant amount of funds & raise the profile of Altrincham Football Club to help it move even further forward.
I can assure you that I have found the recent turmoil as difficult to deal with as all supporters & I hope that we can all focus our minds on beating Droylsden tomorrow so that we can start climbing this league.
Yours very sincerely,
KEEPER SIGNING ON LOANWith both Stuart Coburn and Richard Acton injured Altrincham hope today to complete the emergency loan signing, for one month, of Wigan Athletic's young goalkeeper Russell Saunders (d.o.b. 3rd January 1989, Bury). According to the Wigan website, Russell is 6ft 2ins and is a "Highly promising young keeper who impressed sufficiently during his two years as a scholar to be offered professional terms in the summer".
Russell becomes the eighth new player at Moss Lane this season and, as manager Graham Heathcote points out, that is a situation which means that the team needs time to settle.
Also missing or in doubt for tomorrow's game with Droylsden are the following:
YOUTHS HONOUREDAltrincham Youth manager George Heslop reports that five of his team were in the Cheshire County FA squad this week for their match against Manchester FA in the Northern Counties Championship. They were Chris Francis, Tom Bailey, Alex Murphy, Dominic Lillie and Danny Browne.
MOVE ONGeoff Goodwin referred last night to the exchange of views between the Altrincham chairman and a number of supporters critical of the team's management this season. Geoff said "I have had my say and they have had theirs. I have to ask, how did we get into this situation? We have come a long way in the last five years and we need to get together and get things moving forward". Geoff also indicated that there were genuine reasons to be positive as on Saturday the club would be celebrating gaining its Charter Standard which underlines its involvement with the local community, which is a vital step for its long-term future.
ALTRINCHAM FC RECEIVE FA CHARTER STANDARD CLUB AWARDCheshire County Football Association has released the following press statement:
Cheshire County FA has awarded Altrincham FC the prestigious FA Charter Standard Club award for grassroots football.
The FA Charter Standard programme, supported by FA partner McDonald’s, was established five years ago and helps clubs to improve standards of coaching, administration, player development and child protection. The FA Charter Standard award is presented to those clubs like Altrincham FC who have raised their standards in these areas and lead the field in promoting best football practice, both on and off the pitch in grassroots football.
Grahame Rowley Altrincham FC Vice Chairman, said ‘‘We are very pleased to be awarded this accolade but realise that the hard work that the club has put in over the last few years does not end here. We are very keen to develop further our links with the local community working hand in hand with our new branch of the club, Altrincham FC Juniors”
Sir Trevor Brooking, The FA’s Director of Football Development comments: “The FA Charter Standard award acknowledges the fantastic support that Altrincham FC is providing within the local community and its efforts to provide opportunities for players to develop their skills and play football in a safe and positive environment.”
Terry Harrop, Chairman of the Football Development Committee comments “The Cheshire County FA is committed to raising the standards of football at grassroots level and the dedication and achievements of clubs like Altrincham FC make this possible”.
Altrincham FC will be presented with their award at the Altrincham FC home game on Saturday 22 September, by Terry Harrop, Cheshire County FA Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Football Development Committee.
Since 2002, over 50 clubs representing more than 500 teams in Cheshire have achieved FA Charter Standard Club, Adult Club, Development or Community Club status.
The Robins' Review on Saturday will state that: At half time today the club will be presented with the prestigious FA Charter Standard Club award for grassroots football by Terry Harrop, Vice Chairman Cheshire County FA and Chairman of the Football Development Committee and Tom Spencer (Life Member of the Altrincham District Association). Many thanks must go to Paul Roberts (club welfare officer) and Karen Rowley for their tireless work in completing all the applications for this award"
PHIL STEPS DOWNGrahame Rowley writes, "As Vice Chairman I would like express the football club’s thanks to Phil Taylor who has decided to step down from his role as Safety Officer. He will however continue to help the club on match days by assisting George Heslop in the Office. Darren Gregory has volunteered to take on the role as Safety Officer and John Ford will now become Chief Steward. We would like to thank them all for taking on these responsible positions and helping the club run smoothly on match days".
RICHARD HOGGAltrincham FC's condolences go to the family of Professor Richard Hogg, formerly of the University of Manchester, and a keen Altrincham FC supporter, following his recent death.
SAM'S VIEWSAM took a dim view of Alty's performance under their new floodlights on Tuesday. It reports that "Players, management and fans alike were left dazed and confused as Altrincham racked up a less than perfect 10 on Tuesday night. Barely a whisper could be heard as a stunned silence gripped Moss Lane following their 3-0 defeat to Cambridge United. Hope is draining away quickly and after this result it is easy to see why. Early promise quickly gave way to genuine despair, as basic errors and defensive sloppiness once again proved to be the Robins' undoing. It's now 10 games this season without a win and they have a mountain to climb if they are to secure Blue Square Premier survival. Ironically, the first 15 minutes contained some of the best football Alty have played this season. They held possession, passed the ball with precision and piled the pressure on the Cambridge goal... But 17 minutes in, they were caught cold... That strike seemed to leave the Robins completely punch drunk. They wandered around in a complete daze, allowing the visitors to quickly land another blow. The ball broke kindly to Dan Gleeson inside the Alty box from Ryan Shotton's challenge and he gleefully clipped the ball over the helpless Acton". In the second half "the result was confirmed beyond any doubt, Scott Rendell getting on the end of Pitt's cross to loop a header over Acton. That sapped any fight from the Robins and they roamed the pitch utterly despondent for the remaining 30 minutes".
RYAN MAKES AN IMPRESSION18 year-old centre-back Ryan Shotton has made a favourable impression in his two games to date for Altrincham, after arriving on loan from Stoke City. He is pictured right, against Cambridge United, by Gavin Rathbone; more of Gavin's excellent action shots are on the GR Photography website.
BSP NEWS"A determined Billy McEwan has insisted there is no chance that he will quit his position as manager of strugglers York City. The Minstermen have managed just one win from their opening ten league fixtures... McEwan's men were sunk by an unfortunate own goal by Nicky Wroe and a header by KitKat Crescent old boy Rob Elvins at the Recreation Ground. But the visitors were the better side for long periods, with Aldershot failing to muster a single first half shot on target and McEwan stated that he remains confident his side can overcome their poor start to the campaign. He said: 'I've given my life to York City for the last two-and-a-half years and given total commitment. It would be the easy option to walk away, but why would I want someone else to come in and take the credit for this team? The club has been transformed over the last two years. We are struggling now, but I will never hang up my coat and walk out. We are developing players, just like we did with Andy Bishop, Neal Bishop and Clayton Donaldson, and we have got players now that a lot of clubs would love to take, but they are not getting them. We're like a boxer on the ropes at the moment, but we have got to keep getting back up because the guy that falls to the floor is a loser. I have got character and desire as the leader and I am trying to get it into the players. I think I will because they are genuine kids and 100% grafters. Stevenage Borough were about seventh bottom at this stage last season. Now look at them. I'm sure we will soon be saying What was all the fuss about in those first ten games?... We just lacked a killer instinct. .. Although we lost the game, we never disgraced our fans'... Aldershot boss Gary Waddock shared McEwan's belief.. when he said afterwards: 'We rode our luck and York won't be down there come the end of the season. They are a good side'", reports York Press.
The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Garry Hill has paid the penalty for losing his discipline as the Rushden & Diamonds manager faces further punishment over a head-butting incident. He was fined the maximum amount – believed to be two weeks' wages – when the club yesterday completed a full investigation into a post-match fracas at Salisbury City earlier this month. Diamonds chairman Keith Cousins said: 'The fine has been imposed after full discussions with Garry Hill who fully accepts the penalty for the loss of discipline at the game'. Hill must also respond to the Football Association by next Wednesday to admit or deny a charge of violent conduct... Diamonds and Salisbury City have until Tuesday to answer accusations that both clubs failed to control their players and staff at the game on September 8. Hill attacked Salisbury player-coach Tommy Widdrington following the match at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium which also featured a 21-man brawl and two red cards. Diamonds' midfielder Curtis Woodhouse is serving a four-match suspension while Salisbury's Michael Fowler was banned for three games after they were sent off for fighting. Andy Burgess, meanwhile, was asked by the FA to explain his comments in a national newspaper column over criticism of deaf referee Andrew Rodda during that game when he was booked for dissent".
This is Exeter says that "Exeter City's sporting director Julian Tagg has played down concerns over dwindling attendances at St James's Park.Just 2,753 fans saw Tuesday night's frustrating 3-3 draw against Forest Green - the Grecians' lowest gate for a year. The last time fewer fans attended a home game was when a crowd of 2,494 saw City defeat St Albans 4-2 on September 19 last year. Off the back of last year's run to the play-off final at Wembley, attendances had been significantly up so far this term".
The wealth of some BSP clubs is underlined by Thi is Staffs which says that "Dario Gradi admits Crewe could be priced out of landing non-league players such as Stevenage striker Steve Morison. The Alex technical director was an interested observer at Kit Kat Crescent on Saturday... Morison, aged 24, was Stevenage's leading scorer with 27 goals last season, scored one of his team's goals at York, and then bagged two more against Farsley Celtic on Tuesday...'It would be very difficult for us to get players from Stevenage because they are top of the Conference', admitted Gradi, 'some of their players will be earning more than ours are'".
From This is South Devon we learn that "Torquay united's management is furious that the club cannot appeal against midfielder Darren Mullings's controversial sending-off on his debut at Histon on Tuesday night - because there is no film of the incident. Mullings, 20, who had marked his first senior appearance with a goal in the first half of United's action-packed 5-4 victory, was sent off by referee Jock Waugh apparently for elbowing Histon midfielder John Kennedy. But teammates, opponents and even home fans were mystified by the decision, and United had planned to appeal. But Gulls chief executive Colin Lee revealed: 'When we asked Histon for a copy of the film of the match, they told us that they had only the first 20 minutes because a technical fault developed after that. I have spoken to the FA and the Blue Square Premier about it, and the FA say they can only follow up an appeal if there is film evidence'. As things stand, former Bristol Rovers youngster Mullings will be automatically suspended for three matches... Lee explained: 'Under Blue Square Premier rules, every club is responsible for producing and supplying a DVD of every match. I don't know exactly what arrangements Histon make for filming their games, but we employ somebody to do it for us... Something like this can be hugely important. It can have a bearing on who wins the league or promotion'. Mr. Waugh also sent off Histon defender Mat Mitchel-King in the 89th minute - from the resulting free-kick, defender Chris Todd scored United's last-gasp winner - in another decision which enraged home fans this time. And the North Yorkshire official also awarded three penalties - two to Histon for disputed handballs against Todd and one to United for a trip on Elliot Benyon which nobody contested. Buckle did say: 'I thought the first two penalties were decent shouts, for us and them, but the third hit Chris Todd in the face... Although we were leading 3-0 at half-time, I told our players that Histon were still dangerous from set-pieces and if we didn't defend with our lives from them, they were still in with a chance. There was only one team in it at half-time, but losing three key players, especially players who are important when we defend set-pieces, played a big part in Histon getting back into the game'".
Torquay United have "signed Plymouth Argyle player Scott Laird on a month loan deal. Scott, 19, is a confident young player who is comfortable on the left side of defence or in central midfield, he is strong in the air and a fierce tackler. He started out at Plymouth's centre of excellence as a 12 year old and has represented Scotland at numerous levels including a recent call up to the U-19 squad. The Gulls are short in midfield at the moment with Lee Mansell and Darren Mullings both suspended and are awaiting news on injuries picked up during the Histon match so Boss Paul Buckle has moved to strengthen his squad.".
20 September 2007
GEOFF'S RESPONSEOn Thursday night, Altrincham FC Chairman, Geoff Goodwin (left), spoke out strongly in response to critical comments posted on the "Alty Fans' Forum". Geoff said he was "very disappointed and upset at hurtful comments" directed at manager Graham Heathcote and the Board. "If these are the comments of a minority, the majority needs to stand up", said the Chairman. He reminded supporters of where the club had been when he and his fellow directors took over in 2003. Since then massive historic debts have been paid off, the ground now has an excellent playing surface whilst brand new floodlights and other improvements are about to start. Recalling his and the Board's five-years of investment in the Club he said that many clubs now admire our healthy financial state. "If some of the critics are unhappy with the current performances they can talk to me directly and I'll be straight with them. If they are that dissatisfied they don't have to come to Moss Lane. The Board is 100% behind Graham Heathcote. He is Alty through and through . No other manager would achieve what he has achieved with the budget available to him. We got some money from the car park sale but only some of that could go towards the playing side, so whilst Graham got a litle bit more for the playing side, it was not a lot".
Geoff underlined that the manager had lifted the club back to the national level of football. But, he added, fans should not forget that as recently as last summer we had been relegated to the Conference North but got a reprieve, just as happened the previous summer for different reasons. "In fact, for two years running, Graham has had to change course in the summer from planning for regional football to planning for national competition. He has lost players who would have come here but didn't because it looked like we would be relegated", said the Chairman. Geoff went on to recall how the team which got us promoted in 2005 did so because they had great team spirit and a "feeling for Altrincham FC. But they have now got older and in many cases moved on. New players have come in but it takes time for them to acquire the same feelings for Altrincham FC. Team performances have not been dreadful; we just haven't been able to score. What do people want us to do? Put more money in and pay players £1,000 a week and then wait till the bubble bursts and we end up in a mess with points deducted for financial problems? People expressing their opinions is fine but I think we deserve some respect and should not be slagged off". Geoff added that as well as achieving financial stability the club has also made huge strides in engaging with the community. A junior football structure has been set up and Charter Standard has been achieved, both of which are long-term projects which demonstrate the Board's dedication to the club's future.
Geoff pointed out that he personally was working hard now to put together the fundraising event for the Club and the McGrath Foundation which will bring Test cricketers, famous footballers and stars from TV to Moss Lane on 30th September. "All this has come through hard work, developing contacts and putting in time to plan the event. I am not looking for thanks but on the other hand I and the other directors have put a lot of money and effort into this club and unlike previous regimes, have not asked for any of it back". He also praised the rest of his Board for their tireless work for the club for no personal gain.
GRAHAM STANDS FIRMSAM says that "Graham Heathcote insists he will stand firm in the face of criticism from fans. There have been calls for the Alty manager's head after Tuesday's 3-0 home defeat to Cambridge made it 10 games without a win. But Heathcote is confident he is still the man to lead the Robins to Blue Square Premier survival. Speaking exclusively to SAM Sport, he said: 'All the people who are giving me one or two games to turn things around can play football manager if they want but I'm still confident in my ability. When this club were fourth bottom of the Unibond, who was brought in to turn things around? So if I was good enough for the job then, why should I not have the self-belief to think I can get it right this time. We have a bigger picture to look at. We've pulled this club out of the mire and want to sustain it playing at the highest level possible. I have been in these situations before and there's not a fan out there who will detract from my self-belief. If I was to leave this club it wouldn't be the end of Graham Heathcote in football. So why should I walk away from this situation just to walk straight into another one?'. Heathcote also has the backing of chairman Geoff Goodwin, who claimed he would leave the club himself if the Robins boss were forced out the door. 'Some fans have got short memories'. said Goodwin. 'They need to look at what we have achieved at this club over the last five years and not be so negative. Graham is Altrincham FC'. After Tuesday's defeat, Heathcote will be looking to bring in loan players to bolster his ailing squad. He added: 'We've got to get our heads down and find answers to some major problems. Clearly we have major problems up front. We have always relied on Colin Little to score goals so when he had a tough time we were always going to struggle. The solution now is to borrow some players from league clubs but that's not a long-term solution, it's just a stop-gap'".
THE ROAD TO WITTONDetails of the STAR supporters' coach to Wincham Park for the Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Witton Albion, next Tuesday, are here. Places are limited so please book promptly by ringing the club (928-1045).
Alty were up against the big boys in more ways than one on Tuesday night. Right, Leo Fortune-West towers over the far from vertically challenged Warren Peyton under the new lights at Moss Lane. Also pictured, left to right are Chris Lane, Gareth Whalley and Darren Tinson.
Cambridge United report that they "extended the unbeaten start to ten games with three well-taken goals in an emphatic win at struggling Altrincham... Altrincham's five man midfield was proving effective and in the 10th minute Logan skipped forward and tried his luck from distance but lifted the ball into the United supporters behind that goal. With the home fans urging their win-less side on they won two more corners in the next few minutes... Having soaked up the early pressure, United took a welcome lead in the 17th minute with a very well-taken goal.... United's good start was capped by another goal in the 21st minute... The home side were clearly deflated after failing to capitalise on their early chances and conceding twice in four minutes, and a free kick on 27 was wasted when two Robins players collided with each other when chasing the ball... The home side came out charged up for the second half and Stephen Reed and then Courtney Pitt were on the receiving end of agricultural challenges in the opening exchanges". It concludes "'That was a professional performance tonight, to come to a place like this', said assistant manager Alan Lewer. 'They haven't won a game of football this season but the stats tell you they're going to win one here and we wanted to keep that record intact. You'd say in the end it was a comfortable 3-0 win but the boys had to work hard, as we knew we would. It's never easy to come here and if you look at their results you can see they drew at York and they were one-nil up against Exeter here, but we put them to bed quite early, to be honest... We've been telling them all week that this is a hard place to come, as Cambridge found out last season (5-0 defeat), especially when it gets a bit blowy here with a bit of rain on the surface, but it was a professional performance - three points, a clean sheet, you couldn't ask for more'".
NEXT OPPONENTSSome views on our next opponents come from the unofficial Harriers Online. It reports that Kiddy's "Gavin Hurren found himself back in the dressing room earlier than expected tonight when he was sent off for what the referee perceived as a professional foul but to many looked a clumsy fifty/fifty challenge. He had come on in the 79th minute to replace Russell Penn and ten minutes later he was dismissed for the first time in his career. In what was never a dirty game the idiot in the black dished out three other bookings to the Harriers for dubious reasons and gave decisions that at times baffled. His assistant on the right was also equally guilty of ignoring obvious offsides by the one Droylsden player that stood out, the creative Chris Denham... The wake-up call came just before the thirty when the tubby little Jody Banim fired in a shot that looked to be going in but rebounded off the junction of crossbar and upright". After Kiddy scored "To their credit Droylsden didn't give up and came back at us with a reply ten minutes later... Five minutes after the break we had gone back into the lead... Five minutes later and the game was over for the Manchester side when poor defending saw the ball ping around the away goal mouth before Mark Creighton found himself unmarked to side foot the ball home past the static keeper. Again the visitors refused to give up and it's that attitude that could see them reach safety this season even though they have just two points at this stage of the season. There's plenty of time to go yet and if they could add a sharper striker to their books they'll be ok... With three minutes of extra time added came the sending off of 'Trigger' Hurren. Ged Murphy and himself went for a meaningless ball on the halfway line with both of them reaching it at the same time. Hurren caught Murphy on the ankle, as did Murphy on Hurren, who went down too easily and made a meal of the challenge. The ref ran screaming over and immediately pulled out a red card for Hurren while behind his back Murphy was getting to his feet and jogging away for a crafty snigger to himself".
The official Harriers site says that "Gavin Hurren was surprisingly shown a straight red card for a foul on Ged Murphy. At first glance the decision looked harsh, with both players going into the challenge two-footed and Murphy, who was not injured, perhaps a trifle theatrical in his reaction.. Hurren will now miss the next three Harriers' games".
OLD BOYNL Daily reports that "Strugglers Leigh RMI and Hucknall Town met at Hilton Park, with the home side ending victorious. Kieran Lugsden opened the scoring shortly after play resumed in the second half before completing an impressive brace in the 78th minute".
BSP NEWS"Steve Burr was yesterday blamed for the problems that led Neil Redfearn to quit as manager of Northwich Victoria" claims the Northwich Guardian . "Redfearn refused to criticise either his players or club chairman Mike Connett for his decision. But Connett said: 'The problems really started when Steve Burr left. I don't blame Neil for the position we are in, I blame him. When he left we only had eight players. He decimated the squad. Neil had a hell of a job to try and bring players in'. Redfearn told the Guardian: 'It's been very frustrating. We have not been very far from getting a result. It's been difficult with the four best players leaving and, no disrespect to Mike, it's only a tiny budget. He was fantastic to me when I was there... To be fair to the lads they gave me 110 per cent while I was in charge, but we were short of numbers in the team.In the end I thought it would be best for the club for me to leave'... But Connett said: 'Neil realised it wasn't working out for him but I would still back him all the way. He's probably one of the best coaches we've had and it's a sad for the club that he decided to leave. I still believe he was let down by the players though. They are being paid a lot of money and they aren't performing'. Connett also warned he would pull out of the club if the crowds don't come through the turnstiles. 'There was 640 here on Saturday and we gave 150 tickets away to kids. The people of Northwich want football because there were 1,500 here to watch Manchester United Reserves, but it looks like they don't want Northwich Victoria. I won't keep funding the club if people from around here won't come and support them'. Ex-Blackburn striker Paul Warhurst, who only made his debut in Saturday's game against Histon, temporarily took charge of the team for last night's game against Halifax and Connett said if he impresses he would give him the job. 'We've had ten applicants so far but if Paul Warhurst does the business then the job's his'".
The BBC says that "Ebbsfleet United boss Liam Daish has signed MK Dons forward John Hastings on a month's loan. Hastings, 23, has not figured for the Dons this season. 'He will give us more options up front where we are still a little bit light', Daish told his club's website".
19 September 2007
ALTRINCHAM 0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 3Altrincham had the better of the opening quarter of an hour, with Lawton unable to convert a good chance created by Logan after 6 minutes. But then a mistake by the normally reliable Chris Lane allowed Fortune-West to feed Pitt who cleverly chipped the ball over Richard Acton to make it 1-0 to the visitors. Four minutes later the score had an even more unjust look to it to Alty eyes when Gleeson chipped home after a Shotton tackle saw the ball rebound fortunately to the scorer (21 mins). But after that there was no disputing Cambridge's superiority. Rendell looped a header over Acton from Pitt's cross for Cambridge's third after 58 minutes.
Match report here..
Amazingly, the bottom four in the table have all played ten matches this season and not won a single game between them, whilst York, fifth from bottom, have won just once.
GEOFF'S EBAY AUCTIONYou can link to the eBay auction for a place in Glenn McGrath's football team (details below) by following this link:
BSP NEWSThe BBC says that "Halifax defender Greg Young has returned to The Shay following his loan spell with Blue Square North side Alfreton Town. The 24-year-old made six appearances for Alfreton to speed up his recovery... since damaging cruciate ligaments on New Year's Day". Halifax Town confirm that "Former Hull City and Halifax Town midfielder Russell Fry has joined York City on non contract terms. Fry, who had a loan spell with the Shaymen last season, has had non contract terms at both Halifax Town and Boston United this season and aims to get a full time deal at the Kit Kat Crescent".
Extere City report that "Paul Tisdale has confirmed that Steve Basham suffered a broken rib in the 2-0 victory at Farsley Celtic on Saturday. 'He did it early in the game but carried on which is admirable. However in training yesterday he felt a bit of discomfort so we sent him for an x-ray last night. It has shown a fracture but as yet we don't know how long he will be out, it could be a four to six week lay off, but he could be back sooner. A lot will depend on his pain threshold. It's another blow but we will just have to get on with it'".
From Ebbsfleet United we read that "In a tie-up with our official club caterers, the Fleet and Cafe Taj offer you the chance to enjoy a curry and watch the Fleet's game against Crawley Town for free. Spend over £50 in The Café Taj on Thursday 20 September and receive two free complimentary tickets to Ebbsfleet United vs. Crawley Town".
Before last night's game Cambridge United boss "Jimmy Quinn warned that struggling Altrincham should not be underestimated.. The U's boss cautioned, 'There are a lot of difficult games and we have a very difficult one tonight at Altrincham... We have an abundance of midfield players and I really do want to keep them all fresh, so it's nice to be able to rest them from time to time. I rested Courtney on Saturday and Mark Convery started for the first time since he was injured, but we've got a lot of games coming up in the next few weeks so we're going to need everybody. I think when you take a step back from it and have a rest it keeps you fresh, so I'll continue to do that when I can. I was able to rest Michael Morrison a couple of games ago and he came back better for it... It doesn't matter who's left out of the team - they all stick together. When I was leaving people out of the team last year, even when they weren't playing well, they got the hump, but there's none of that this year because there's a great spirit'. Quinn is struggling in his search to bring in a striker on loan to complement Leo Fortune-West and Scott Rendell: 'The lads I've enquired about are injured or not yet match fit. There's one at Norwich and a couple of lads of different clubs but it's not been fruitful because teams are reluctant to let people go this early in the season'... United travel to Altrincham looking to extend the current unbeaten run to ten games. The Cheshire side are currently 21st in the table and still seeking their first win of the season, but Quinn knows they cannot be underestimated. 'It's an awkward place to go. In their last home game against Oxford they didn't deserve to lose and they're coming off the back of another defeat on Saturday against Woking so their confidence won't be too high, but when you're at home you always like to start the game at a high tempo so I think if we match them in the 'dirty' side of the game, like making sure we do the man-to-man stuff, then hopefully we can grind out a result. Even a point away from home isn't a bad result these days but we should be going there with confidence after Saturday. I spoke to (Oxford manager) Jim Smith the other day and he said Oxford didn't deserve to beat Altrincham. He said Altrincham had a lot of chances but they just couldn't score on the day but they were actually the better footballing side and he was disappointed with Oxford, so if Oxford - one of the sides that will be up there or thereabouts - found it difficult going there then a lot of teams will. I think Altrincham are one of those teams that once they're off and running they will cause anybody a problem. They've got some decent players but we've got to be professional; we've done it many times and we have to go there with the mentality we've had all along that we're not going to get beat'".
18 September 2007
BIDDING HAS STARTED...Altrincham FC Chairman Geoff Goodwin recently announced that from today, September 18th, you would be invited to bid on eBay for a place in the football team which will feature such names as Australian cricketers Glenn McGrath (right), Michael Bevan, England bowler Darren Gough and football stars Bryan Robson and Clayton Blackmore.
Geoff advises that the eBay item number for the above prize is 300152680468, so please keep the bids coming. The eBay description is as follows:
"A once in a lifetime opportunity - play football with Glenn McGrath and other sporting legends and celebrities. Glenn McGrath, the famous Australian fast bowling Cricketer, will be in the UK on Sunday 30th September 2007 and together with his team, of which you will be bidding to be part, will play football against the ‘All Stars’ Football Team.
Your team mates will be some of the best international sporting legends including Darren Gough, Michael Bevan, Bryan Robson, Clayton Blackmore, Chris Adams, Blair McDonough (Australian ex-Neighbours actor), Jonathan Dutton (ex-Neighbours), Tim Bresnan, Anthony McGrath, Scott McAllister, Gerard Brophy, Brad Drew (rugby) and others. The All Stars Football Team includes actors from of Hollyoaks and Coronation Street, as well as Jeff Brazier and Ralph Little and captained by Michael Le Velle (better known as car mechanic Kevin Webster).
The event is a charity event to raise money for the McGrath Foundation and Altrincham Football Club and your bid, less eBay fees, will be donated in full to this cause. Not only will you be bidding for a place to play on Glenn’s team, you will also receive 2 tickets to the evening function, which is to be held at the Cresta Court Hotel and overnight accommodation on Sunday 30th September 2007 . The evening function will consist of a champagne reception, four course dinner, wine on tables, entertainment by the impressionist Mike Osman and a question and answers session with Glenn McGrath and Darren Gough. Tickets to the evening function alone are selling at £150.00 each.
Before bidding please note that you must be over the age of 18, and available on the 30th September 2007 , and have your own football boots (kit will be provided). You must also be able to make your own way to Altrincham Football Ground, and return from the Cresta Court Hotel. You will also have the opportunity to get your playing shirt signed by your team mates".
LEO HOPES FOR RAINAlty host Cambridge United tonight and the club's site reports that "United's leading scorer Leo Fortune-West netted his sixth goal of the season in Saturday's 2-1 win against Crawley, but he was unhappy at the way the win was achieved.... '"Again, we aren't playing well - going a goal behind, coming back and not really finishing teams off.. It's not good to let the opposition go ahead'" he said. He also observed that "Again the goals have come in front of the Newmarket Road End and whether we should start by attacking that end is something we may have to think about. We seem to play better attacking that end anyway... I'm never happy. There were too many games we should've won last month and turning draws into wins is more important". Leo added "Altrincham haven't had a great start but it's important for the older players in the squad to keep everyone focused for the job in hand. We won't be taking any opposition lightly. It looks like it will be wet, which is good for me because of my height. Training in the current conditions can be very damaging for me, especially because where we train the ground is like concrete. I didn't train on Friday but trained hard on Thursday and then rested, which helped a lot today, but hopefully as this dry spell is about to break and I won't have to worry about it so much".
Altrincham will again be without suspended centre-back Karl Munroe but have loanee defender Ryan Shotton available after his good debut on Saturday. Val Owen and Gary Scott missed Saturday's game and it would be a surprise if either started tonight. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn is also a doubt after limping through much of the game at Woking last Saturday.
MEN IN BLACKTonights' referee for the match against unbeaten Cambridge United is Mr Oliver Langford of Darlaston. He has not brought Altrincham much luck when he has officiated at our games. He actually officiated when Alty played Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium and lost 4-0 on 24 September 2005. He also reffed the Burton Albion v Altrincham on 30 October 2005, when he allowed the deciding goal to stand after a handball in the build-up. He also had a crucial role in the Alty v Exeter match on 31 March, 2007 when his decision to award a penalty against Karl Munroe led to the Grecians' winning goal being netted from the spot.
The official for the game against Droylsden on Saturday 22nd September is Mr C. L. Pawson who, by coincidence, ran this season's game against Exeter at Moss Lane on 11 August 2007.. Other Altrincham FC matches that he has reffed include Altrincham v Rushden & Diamonds on 6 January 2007, Altrincham v Tamworth on 23 September 2006 and Bradford Park Avenue v Altrincham on 22 November 2003.
SHEDDING LIGHT ON MOSS LANETonight sees the inauguration of the new floodlight system at Moss Lane which replaces the pylons installed in 1966. The first competitive floodlit match at Moss Lane was on Monday, 4th April 1966 in the Cheshire County League, when Alty hosted Witton Albion with a 7.30pm kick off. Courtesy of Grahame Rowley, the Robins' Review for that match is pictured, right.
In that programme, "The Editor" wrote "Who would have thought when the football season started last August we should be gathered here tonight at one of the most momentous occasions in the long history of Altrincham FC - the first game under £10,000 worth of floodlighting equipment?" The article went on to remind spectators of the impending "opening of the £37,000 Red Robins' Club" - which now sadly lies derelict and awaits demolition prior to the construction of housing on the Moss Lane car park. The 1966 programme reminds us all that the floodlights and social club came about from the "sheer hard work" of the Board - and much the same is true of the floodlight and car park redevelopment project in 2007.
Now, in September 2007, Altrincham FC has issued the following Press Release:
Altrincham F.C. Score with FSIF Grant.
Grass roots sport in Altrincham received a boost today following a £9,269 award to Altrincham F.C. by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), supporters of the Football Foundation, and the largest funder of non league football in the country. The funding represents 20% of the cost of the new floodlights which will be used for the first time when Altrincham host Cambridge United at 7.45pm on 18 September at Moss Lane.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the FSIF said "We warmly congratulate the club for their hard work and dedication in securing this award. Non league football has a long and proud history in this country and with the unprecedented amounts now being invested by the FSIF, the game can look forward to an increasingly bright future".
David Burns, Director of Altrincham F.C. said: "We are delighted to receive this tangible support from the FSIF which contributes to our aim to develop Altrincham F.C. and establish it as a central focus in our community. We look forward with excitement to the 'switch on' on 18 September and to a memorable game against Cambridge United".
David Burns, Director Altrincham FC.
Altrincham FC Director Barry Pond added that the new installation showed that the "Club's point of view is to look to the future. The new state of the art lights produce better light levels yet have lower amounts of light spillage to affect neighbouring properties. The new lights also come up to modern television broadcasting levels which improve our chances of having games broadcast".
MEET THE NEW BOYSSaturday, 6th October is the date for the latest Meet the New Recruits event (after the Rushden & Diamonds match at Moss Lane). Tickets for the event, in the Sponsors' Lounge at 7.30pm for an 8pm start, are £15 (includes a fish/pie and chip supper from Barney's). Altrincham's new signings for 2007-08 will be the guests of honour and will answer any questions you have for them. Tickets are available from Grahame or Karen Rowley or by contacting the club by phone (928-1045) or e-mail.
LAST TIME OUTWoking FC have a match report on their win over Altrincham which starts with the point that "With both sides struggling at the bottom end of the table, it was tempting, even this early into the season, to label it as a six-pointer... There was a tangible feeling of relief around Kingfield at the conclusion of this game as, at the fifth time of asking, the Cards secured their first home win of the season against lowly Altrincham, courtesy of a workmanlike performance, in a game that was generally lacking both in excitement and quality... Woking took the lead in rather fortuitous fashion. Following the award of a free-kick midway in the opponents’ half, Danny Bunce floated the ball up towards the ever-dangerous aerial threat of Tommy Hutchinson. He beat the keeper’s punch and managed to get something on the ball. However, his header appeared to be going wide, when the ball inadvertently hit the unfortunate Darren Tinson’s boot and was diverted into the net... With Altrincham gamely never giving up their search for an equaliser, it took the Cards until the ninetieth minute to make the game totally safe by adding a second goal... On balance, they just about deserved the three points".
BSP NEWSNews from Crawley is often remarkable but Sunday's NL Today report is even more bizarre than usual. The newspaper reported that the club's owner Chas Majeed "told supporters the club had yet to benefit from lucrative deals with television company Setanta Sports and league sponsors Blue Square set to be worth at least £85,000" because, as the paper says, "the club did not have a suitable bank account". However, "Chairman Vic Marley later told NL Today the club had recently opened a bank account". Meanwhile The Argus adds that "Crawley boss Steve Evans slammed his frontmen after seeing his prediction come true with a 2-1 defeat at Cambridge United... Evans said: 'We've consistently not finished and we have been severely punished for it... You can't be in the middle of the goal and be missing good chances. But we have no options, we don't have the big money to sign the likes of Fortune-West. We don't have £50-£60,000 a year, so we will persevere and go back to the training ground. Give me the money Fortune-West earns and we will get better. We don't have that and that is not an excuse, it is the reality of what we have got to work with'".
The BBC confirms that "Neil Redfearn has parted company as manager of Northwich Victoria after just nine games in charge. Redfearn resigned following talks with chairman Mike Connett in the aftermath of Saturday's 3-1 loss against Histon. Paul Warhurst, who made his debut in that game after signing on non-contract terms, will take charge of the Vics for their game at Halifax Town on Tuesday". Warhurst was set to join Altrincham in February 2006 but chose to go elsewhere.
The Burton Mail says that "Daryl Clare could be poised for a timely return to the firing line for Burton Albion this week. The striker has been given the all-clear to resume training".
The Yorkshire Evening Post says that "Farsley go to leaders Stevenage with stinging criticism from manager Lee Sinnott ringing in their ears... After an opening ten minutes of supremacy [against Exeter] Farsley rarely looked like turning possession into goals and their undefeated home record bit the dust... and Sinnott gave his side just four marks out of ten. He complained: 'It reminded me a bit of watching the England Rugby Union team the night before. England didn't deserve to score a point and we didn't deserve to score a goal... If we had scored at the end it would have flattered us. You make changes and try to instigate things. You have words with them at half time but it just didn't happen for us and I find that disappointing and frustrating... We started strongly and had a couple of half chances but they went away and scored. It was like a boxer being caught cold with a punch, but it shouldn't have been a sucker punch that lasted 80 minutes... It is not alarm bells ringing – just a word with the players about where we have got to, only to let ourselves down, which is unlike us'... Sinnott absolved right back Stephen Downes from blame".
"Stafford Rangers were plunged into further trouble near the foot of the table when they crashed to their eighth defeat in nine games" says This is Staffs. "New signing Cedric Avinel, making his debut after being loaned out by Watford, was unable to make a big enough difference to a Rangers team for whom losing is fast becoming a habit... Manager Phil Robinson has promised a shake-up to get their momentum going and that has to be sooner rather than later. He said: '"We have shot ourselves in both feet - again, conceding from a set piece. There are things we have been working on all week, like concentrating just before half-time, but the players let themselves down again and it is another mountain to climb. A win would make a lot of difference, but at times like this, players have to play with some passion and desire to get out of the situation'" .
This is Weymouth says that the Terras' "manager Jason Tindall was left disappointed his side didn't score more in their 3-1 victory at Droylsden on Saturday... He said: "It should have been more convincing... Five or six nil would have been fair at half-time'... Tindall is happy with the position they are in, saying: 'We are slowly creeping up the table with every game we play right now. You could compare it to a horse race in which we are towards the end of the pack but remain within touching distance. Hopefully we can work our way through the pack gradually and be towards the front when the finish line approaches'".
"Striker Michael Malcolm has today signed for Rushden & Diamonds, following being released by Kettering Town. The twenty one year old striker started his career as a school boy at Wycombe Wanderers, being spotted by Tottenham Hotspur and signed for £10,000. In 2005 Malcolm joined Stockport County, earning interest from Werder Bremen of Germany and FC Utrecht of Holland after impressing their scouts. The unlikely move to the Bundesliga failed to materialise and Malcolm found himself on the bench at Stockport. Michael was released by the Hatters and signed for Kettering Town, being released in September 2007".
"Stevenage Borough's "latest signing, winger Alistair John, was stabbed outside his house on Sunday evening. The 19 year old was taken to hospital where he underwent exploratory surgery and the Club understand that he's comfortable and in no danger. Chairman Phil Wallace said 'We don't quite know the full details of what happened yet, only that Ally left his house to go outside and see a group of people, was stabbed and staggered back to his house. The reports we've had tonight are that he's in hospital but in no danger and that no organs have been damaged, so we're relieved to hear that above all else'. John joined Boro last month after being released by Charlton in the summer and has already settled into the squad".
Watford confirm that "Scott Loach has joined Stafford Rangers on loan for one month. The 19-year-old goalkeeper is currently third choice at Vicarage Road and will join the Blue Square Premier outfit to get some regular games under his belt. He will join fellow Hornet, Cedric Avinel, who made his debut for the club on Saturday... Loach joined the Golden Boys from Lincoln City in August 2006 and has yet to feature for the first team although he has been a regular for the reserve side over the past year".
NEIL'S TOUGH DEBUTAlty groundsman, former Reserves' manager and now in charge at Leek Town pending a permanent decision on the managership, Neil Brown, witnessed a strange ending to his first game as boss as This is Staffs reports. "Buxton goalkeeper Scott Hartley was left to rue his abusive tirade at the Leek fans behind his goal immediately after the final whistle when police were waiting for him after he left the dressing room. Hartley was hit with a fixed penalty fine of £80 for inciting the crowd after his team had narrowly beaten Leek to progress to the next round of the FA Cup in front of a 653 crowd... Leek caretaker manager Neil Brown fumed: 'I was not happy with the result - with better finishing we could have won the game, but we gave two sloppy goals away which seems to be the norm right now. Their coach shook my hand after the game and told me the best team lost, but that is no consolation to me. I didn't want to change too much with it being the FA Cup, but there will be changes made next week for the trip to Ossett'. Brown... replaced Pat McFadden, who was recalled by Altrincham. Gary Talbot failed to recover from the injury that kept him out of the last match, while Brown was also without Oliver Edwards".
17 September 2007
VICS' BOSS GOESThe Northwich Guardian reports that "Neil Redfearn's reign as Vics manager has come to an end. He has left the job after just 13 weeks at the helm. Vics' latest defeat, at home to Histon on Saturday, left them rock bottom of the Blue Square Premier with just one point from nine games".
NEXT OPPONENTSNews comes from our next opponents, Cambridge United that "Youth team striker Piers Wixon has been allocated a first team squad number. The 17-year-old is added to the squad as cover for strikers Leo Fortune-West and Scott Rendell, because Lee Boylan and Dan Chillingworth are both sidelined with ankle injuries. Piers first showed his potential last pre-season, with a fantastic hat-trick in the youth team's 4-0 win against Sparta Prague. He also showed strength of character... by ending the season with a goals tally in double figures. Many of those strikes were spectacular efforts from outside the area, which became his trademark".
Chairman Lee Power adds that "We've demonstrated a never-say-die attitude throughout the start of the season. We've been behind in so many games [6 times], and that's something that Jimmy is keen to address, but it does show also the fighting qualities we have... Scott Rendell has come into the side and has taken his chance well and when Lee Boylan's back he is going to give Jimmy a selection headache, while Leo Fortune-West has been a revelation. He's 36-years-old and when we signed him we thought that we'd need to give him a rest every now and again, but he's running round like a 17-year-old and, at the time of writing these notes, is top goal scorer in the league and has just won the Player of the Month award. That's a credit to Leo himself and how well he's kept himself in shape... We've allowed Jimmy to go slightly over the playing budget, so we are up to our limit, but the budget that we have given him is a healthy one... Going back to the traditional stripes on the home shirt has gone down fantastically well and sales have been going phenomenally well".
Cambridge and Crawley are our next two opponents and they met last Saturday in what the United website calls a "bruising encounter". Manager Jimmy Quinn said, "I told the players before the game that I didn't want them thinking about the run coming to an end and wondering when we were going to lose. I said 'let's keep taking it forward and believing we're going to win every game we play', and I thought we played some terrific football with some good balls into the box today. I would like to see us have a few more shots from outside the box. I think we get in areas where we're happy to pass it wide at times, and it's all about how many shots and how many crosses you can get in". In that game Quinn left "out Courtney Pitt for the first time this season, recalling Mark Convery for his first start since the opening day... 'Leaving out Courtney was two-fold really; because I haven't been able to bring in another striker in yet I thought that Courtney could go on up there with a bit of pace and he did that for 15 minutes, and then we reverted him back to his left-hand side because I've got a lad (Robbie Willmott) coming in from the youth team who's got a lot of pace as well' said Quinn...Of debutant Robbie Willmott, the 17-year-old youth team forward, Quinn enthused, "The one thing you can't defend against in football at any level is pace and he's got that in abundance. I always say 'it's not how old they are, it's how good they are' and the lad's a good player. I want to make sure he keeps his feet on the ground, but certainly what an option he is - particularly away from home with some big pitches in our league... He likes to run at people... it's great for me to see these young players coming through... That's the benefit of playing in a really tough league in the Ridgeons where they play against men every week'".
DISCOUNT COACH TRAVELSTAR travel coordinator Tom Jacobs was pleased to be able to offer those fans who made use of the STAR supporters' coach to Woking last Saturday a discount on the advertised fares. Tom has the difficult job of balancing income against coach hire costs and for the more distant trips has adopted the wise stratagem of announcing a maximum price for these journeys, which is then reduced if sufficient supporters use the coach. For the Woking trip, there was a good take -up so prices came down. Unlike several clubs in the Blue Square Premier, which run transport les than regularly, Altrincham FC and STAR prides itself in ensuring that good quality and reasonably priced transport is available for travelling supporters. Coaches are hired from Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin's coach company "GO Goodwins". Full details of the service are on the Away Travel page of this site.
SPONSORSBarry Pond has kindly supplied an update Matchday Sponsors' chart. Don't forget the club is always keen to receive requests to sponsor matches or match balls, so just ring 928-1045 or e-mail the club to do so.
16 September 2007
GRAHAM LOST FOR WORDSAfter yesterday's game at Woking, Alty manager Graham Heathcote said "I don't want to say anything. The 90 minutes said everything you need to know".
Once again the press statistics of the game involving Altrincham this week are significantly different depending which match report you read. The NL Paper and NL Today differ as regards the numbers of offsides, shots on/off target, fouls and corners. The one thing they agree is that Alty had one yellow card and Woking had none; but in reality Woking's Morgan was booked. The BBC has Woking receiving two yellows and Alty none! Neither newspaper report mentions that Alty keeper Stuart Coburn was a virtual passenger for almost an hour of the game. More understandably, the NL Today gave the match one star out of five for entertainment and the NL Paper gave it two.
Woking record that "The Cards gained a valuable three points against lowly Altrincham. A header from Tom Hutchinson in the first half, diverted into the net by Darren Tinson, from a free-kick, and a goal on the stroke of full-time from Danny Bunce, saw Woking register a 2-0 win: the first time this season that they have scored more than one goal". Meanwhile Cardsweb adds that "At the fifth attempt the Cards came away with all three points at Kingfield. However, this was far from a comprehensive victory as visitors Altrincham were woeful and judging by their performance it is clear to see why they are current in the bottom three [no they are not!]. A better team may well have scored a lot more than two. To be fair, Frank Gray was hampered with injuries losing all his central midfielders (Pattison, Gray and Quamina) and he changed the team around, strangely dropping Sole and leaving out Maledon in favour of loan signings Kevin James and Joe Gatting as well as giving Izzy Harusha a chance in midfield. Going back to 3-5-2 Hutch returned to marshal Gasson and Lorraine with Gindre in goal and Lambu (right) and Green (left) on the wings. Harusha, James and Bunce made up the midfield with Gatting and Morgan up front.... Altrincham had some half chances too when Colin Little ballooned an ambitious volley over the bar from an awkward angle and Carlos Logan tested Gindre with a shot from outside the area.. Although Woking were edging the game they couldn't seem to create anything of note.. Lambu won a free kick having been upended and Bunce stepped up to loft in a long crossfield ball. Keeper' Coburn came and got nowhere near it leaving Hutchinson to rise above the masses and nod it towards goal, it took a deflection off Tinson and ended up in the back of the net".
This site's match report is here
LOOKING FOR POSITIVESThis season, with nine games without a win, is the worst start to a campaign by Altrincham since at least 1961. As Alty also failed to win any of the last four games last season, it is now a total run of 13 matches without a league win. Alty have also failed to keep a clean sheet this season, but that is not as bad as 1965-66 when they went for 15 league games without stopping the opposition from scoring!
But on the positive side, Alty remain just a win away from escaping the relegation spots as, amazingly, all of the bottom four clubs have failed to win a single match between them because the Blue Square Premier has polarized between the haves and the have-nots. If you disregard Crawley's pending six-point deduction there is already a five-point gap between 19th and 20th in the table. Alty's next opponents are the only unbeaten side in the division, Cambridge United, who last season lost 5-0 to Alty at Moss Lane.
OLD BOYSMatthew McNeil netted for Stockport County. The NL Today newspaper says that "Buxton skipper Terry Bowker (left) is facing a club fine after being dismissed in his side's last two encounters... Manager John Reed said, 'I can't defend Terry. His discipline has gone out of the window. At Frickley he threw a ball at one of their players. That was stupid... Our chairman will be dealing with him. Terry is a contract player; I'm not sure of the procedure".
For Witton, "Cavell Coo failed to deal with a loose ball" when Prescot Cables scored to knock the Cheshire side out of the FA Cup.
Lewis Chalmers scored the late winner for Aldershot at Oxford yesterday. Former Alty captain Steve Hawes was sent off whilst playing for Worksop. Ex-Alty Reserve Colin McAllister netted an own goal for Warrington Town and ex-Alty trialist Steven Moore scored twice for Flixton in the FA Cup. Mark Maddox was a used sub for Leigh RMI for whom Kieran Lugsden also played.
BSP NEWSStafford Rangers surprisingly report that "Long-serving Stafford Rangers defender Craig McAughtrie has completed a permanent move to Blue Square North side Tamworth for an undisclosed fee. Defender David Wood has also been released and Matt Hazley has ended his loan spell from Stoke City. Stafford Rangers have agreed a one-month loan deal with Championship side Watford for Cedric Avinel. The 21-year-old central defender, born in Paris, joined the Hornets during the January 2007 transfer window from Creteil and has impressed in Watford's Reserve side. Avinel will wear the number 26 shirt". NL Daily adds that "McAughtrie, a policeman with the Derbyshire constabulary, had been with Rangers for five years... Rangers' manager Phil Robinson said: 'We need to strengthen in other areas and have to free up some cash from the budget'".
15 September 2007
WOKING 2 ALTRINCHAM 0It is now nine games without a win this season for Alty and they could have few complaints at the outcome, though they were not helped by the fact that goalkeeper Coburn spent much of the game hobbling. It was somehow inevitable that the Cards, the division's lowest scorers, would take the lead through an Alty own-goal, scored after 40 minutes when Coburn was unable to get to a freekick and Tinson put the ball into the unguarded net. Altrincham struggled to create any clear openings before Woking made it 2-0 in the 90th minute when an error by the otherwise hard-working Aspinall allowed Woking to feed the ball to the unmarked Bunce, who hammered it home off the post. Match report here.
Right: Joe O'Neill (in blue) in action against Woking.
SATURDAY GAMESHoward Watts's Through the Years records for next Saturday (15th September) are now on the website.
CARDS' NEW TRIOAhead of the Woking v Altrincham game, NL Daily says that "Frank Gray, manager of Woking, has completed his third new signing this week by bringing in Stevenage Borough striker Paul Hakim on loan. Hakim signed for Stevenage from Hertfordshire rivals St Albans City during the January 2007 transfer window. He had spent a successful eighteen months at Clarence Park, scoring twenty-two goals for the Saints... Brighton's Joe Gatting was recruited along with journeyman midfielder Kevin James, who has come in from Nottingham Forest. Gray said: 'We needed the two strikers to bolster what we have. All strikers need competition to keep them competitive. Marvin Morgan has played well, he just needs support'".
AUSSIES PREPARE FOR MOSS LANEThis week's Trafford edition of Metro News has a feature on Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin as well as an Alty match report and photo of the visit to Moss Lane last Saturday by Stamford Park School.
The article on Geoff concerns the charity football match and dinner to be held on 30th September. Playing in the football match wil be famous Australian and England cricketers as well as football stars of the past. Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath, whose wife Jane founded the McGrath Foundation, (which educates women about breast cancer and is one of the main recipients of the money raised by the events organised by Geoff Goodwin and his wife Suzanne), said of the football match, "I can't promise a skilful performance from the cricketers, our boots are better suited to the cricket pitch. But it will definitely be fun for the fans to watch. Footballers, cricketers and televison celebrities going head to head on the field will be great entertainment for a Sunday afternoon". Also in Glenn's football team will be fellow cricketers Darren Gough, Stuart Law, Michael Bevan and Alec Stewart as well as footballers Bryan Robson and Clayton Blackmore, not to mention Superleague player Brad Drew. The opposition All Stars XI includes Coronation Street's Michael LeVell, Bill Tarmey and Ryan Thomas, as well as stars from The Royle Family, Hollyoaks and other TV shows.
Batsman Stuart Law told Metro News, "Glenn is a top bloke and Jane is an incredible woman and together what they have done to raise money and awareness of breast cancer can only be applauded". Last year Alty raised £24,000 for the foundation at a joint fundraising gala. The link between the cricketers and Altrincham is Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin who drove the Aussies team coach around the country on their last tour of England. Geoff, the owner of Go Goodwins coach company, said of Glenn "I think we''ll have to put him in goal!". The match starts at 1pm at Moss Lane on Sunday 30th November and costs just £5 (£3 under-14s, £10 family ticket) .
GOOD LUCK, NEIL!This is Staffs says that ex-Alty reserves' boss and "Leek Town temporary manager Neil Brown goes into his first FA Cup tie knowing that victory against Buxton at Harrison Park would strengthen his chances of landing the job. Brown has made it clear to the board he wants the job, but chairman Paul Burston said: 'We are still trying to work out the best way forward. Do we continue as we are, or look beyond that? That is the question. We are still deliberating, but will discuss the situation again some time next week when we will be more positive. It is a big game against Buxton. We need a boost in morale as well as the money'. Leek expect the attendance to top 500 for the local derby with £2,250 in prize money at stake and Brown's team will be encouraged by their midweek draw at Stamford. Blues came from two down to bring home a point and Brown said: 'While I was not happy with the way we played, the lads showed plenty of commitment'".
BSP NEWS"Gary Waddock, manager of Aldershot Town, has confirmed that former Watford striker Joel Grant has signed on a non contract basis. The 20-year-old has been training with the first-team squad after being released by Watford at the end of last season. Grant has also featured in two reserve team outings this season including Tuesday's home match versus Brighton. Grant, who made fourteen League appearances scoring three goals in a loan spell at Aldershot between August and December 2006, also represented Jamaica at Under 20 level last season" reports NL Daily>
Barnsley confirm that "Barnsley youngster Simon Heslop has joined Northwich Victoria on an emergency [??!!] loan. The talented midfielder will join up with fellow-Red, Michael Coulson and Oakwell hero Neil Redfearn at the Wincham Avenue club. Simon joined the Reds as an Academy scholar in the summer of 2003 after impressing through the youth teams ranks. He made the breakthrough to the reserve team during his first year at the Academy. A string of excellent displays for both the U18s and reserves saw him handed a first team squad number in October 2004. Highly-rated both at Oakwell and elsewhere, Simon enjoyed a work experience spell with Kidderminster Harriers during the 2005/2006 campaign, making 22 appearances for the Conference side. He returned to Oakwell and put in a string of excellent displays at Academy and reserve team level to earn a new two-year deal. Although Simon did not make the breakthrough at first team level at Oakwell at the start of last season, he enjoyed a very productive six month spell on loan at Tamworth, making 29 appearances in all competitions. He was handed his Barnsley debut on the final day of the 2006/2007 campaign at West Brom. Simon will spend the next month on loan at Northwich Victoria and could make his debut against Histon [today]".
14 September 2007
STRUGGLING ALTYWoking have a preview of the game against Altrincham. It starts, "It’s already clear that Altrincham will struggle again this season to maintain their BSP status. Manager Graham Heathcote has been muttering about the unrealistic expectations some fans have of the Club in the light of his budget. (Might Frank [Gray, the Woking boss] say the same?!) From the Cards’ point of view, this is the sort of game from which we really must aim to get three points if we’re not to slip even nearer the relegation places.
The Cards were without Tom Hutchinson and Bradley Quamina for the visit to Halifax on Tuesday evening, but both resumed training during the week and Frank Gray is hopeful that they will be available for selection this weekend. Young striker, Joe Gatting, has joined the club from Brighton & Hove Albion for a three month loan period and Paul Hakim from Stevenage Borough is expected to sign today (Friday) on an initial month’s loan. Liam Marum and Matt Gray remain on the long-term injury list... Alty’s prize asset is striker Colin Little: without his goals in recent seasons the Robins would have been dead and buried.
We have won all four games played against Altrincham since they were [last] promoted. In December 2005 the Cards had a superb 4-0 away win over the Robins, having put thirteen past Camberley Town in a midweek Surrey Senior Cup game. Justin Richards and Steve Evans gave us a 2-0 lead at half-time, and Justin again and Steve Ferguson added two more in the second half. In the last league game of that season the Cards triumphed 3-1 over Alty in a sparkling display... Last September the Cards won 3-2 away during our Jon Nurse-inspired run of good form... In January... the Cards gained a vital 2-0 victory".
ALTY SIGN LOAN PLAYERGraham Heathcote has announced that Altrincham FC have signed Ryan Shotton from Stoke City on loan for a month. Graham has been watching Ryan for some time and the 6ft 1inch centre-half goes into the squad for tomorrow's game at Woking. Born on 30 September 1988, Ryan has been a regular in the Stoke City reserves side. He has been allocated squad number sixteen, the number vacated by Cavell Coo. The Stoke City site reports that "Ryan signed his first-ever professional contract with the club in the summer of 2007 following impressive performances at both Academy and Reserve level. The Fenton-born centre half is strong and quick, and is definately one for the future. Made his debut for the first team in the friendly at Macclesfield Town in July".
FIVE OUT TOMORROWAltrincham have five players unavailable for tomorrow's game reducing the available players down to 18 if new loan-signing Ryan Shotton is included. Missing from the squad for Woking are the suspended Karl Munroe, and the injured Gary Scott, Val Owen and Gareth Whalley, along with Matty Berkeley who is still in the Caribbean on international duty with the St Kitts and Nevis U-23 team. Gareth Whalley (right) tweaked his hamstring last Saturday and though he will miss Saturday's match, he is expected to be available for Tuesday's game against Cambridge United.
GET YOUR BID READYAltrincham FC Chairman Geoff Goodwin has announced that from Tuesday, September 18th, you are invited to bid on E-Bay for a place in the football team which will feature such names as Australian cricketers Glenn McGrath, Michael Bevan, England bowler Darren Gough and football stars Bryan Robson and Clayton Blackmore. The team will be taking on an AllStars XI featuring stars of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale in a charity match which will kick off at 1pm on Sunday 30th September at Moss Lane. The winner of the E-Bay auction will not only be able to play alongside such famous names but will also receive two tickets (worth £150) to attend the charity dinner later that night at which more famous names will be present. Beneficiaries of the match and dinner are the McGrath Foundation, an Australian cancer charity started by Glenn McGrath and his wife, and Altrincham FC.
Do come along and make the day a great success. The football match is a bargain at just £5 for adults, £3 for under-14s and £10 for a family ticket for two adults and two children.Almost all of the dinner tickets have been sold but if you would like to get one, please e-mail Suzanne and Geoff Goodwin, who are organizing the event.
WOKING SIGN ANOTHER STRIKERIn advance of Saturday's game against Altrincham, Woking are signing their second striker of this week as Stevenage Borough announced yesterday that former St Albans City "Striker, Paul Hakim, looks set to join Woking tomorrow on a month loan. The forward has not yet featured for Borough in a competitive match this season and Stevenage manager Mark Stimson approved the loan last night saying 'the Reserves only have one fixture in the next month and Paul needs first team matches to keep his fitness levels up. It will be good for him to get half a dozen Conference games under his belt'".
Off the field change is afoot at Kingfield. The Woking News & Mail reports that "Opinions are split and tempers are fraying over a land deal between the borough council and Woking Football Club. Woking Borough Council has agreed to sell land around the club’s Westfield ground to the club for an estimated £1.6 million. As well as redevelopment of the ground, the deal could bring the total of new homes for the area to almost 500 and football fans hope it will usher in a golden age at the club. But others fear the agreement will lead to over-development, stretching the local infrastructure to breaking point. Bob Shatwell, who lives in Lime Grove near Kingfield Stadium, said: 'It’s awful and should not be allowed. It’s typical of Woking Borough Council. They are riding roughshod over the rights of residents at every turn. We have told them we’re opposed to development of the football club but they just don’t take any notice'. Householders say an influx of new residents to the area will reduce traffic to a crawl and increase the risk of flooding. Even some of the Cards’ fans believe the new development could cause huge problems.
... But for the council the deal will provide a cash cow to help it progress the long-awaited Hoe Valley flood defence scheme, which will include the construction of 150 homes on the Westfield Tip site... If approved, the work would take place in three phases, starting with the construction of a 2,646-seater West Stand for the club. Phase one would also include the development of 187 new homes and more than 5,000 square metres of space described as “commercial, operational and rentable”. The second phase would see the snooker and gym club sites being redeveloped to provide a new 2,368-seater North Stand. This stage would involve the creation of a further 59 homes and more than 1,400sqm of “commercial, rentable space”. Details of the third and final phase have not been finalised but residents fear this could involve a further 100 homes being built".
NOT GUNG-HO"Graham Heathcote has called on his strikers to prove their worth... The Robins have scored nine goals so far this season but only three of those have come from their strikers... He told SAM Sport: 'It's frustrating at the moment because we have played really well in our last three games but only picked up one point. I honestly believe we are a better team than last season but talking it and proving it is two different things. Now it's up to us to start putting points on the board. The players aren't playing like they're lacking in confidence. We had a good positive training session on Tuesday night and I think it's all coming together now. But we need to start creating more chances for the strikers and then put them away. The strikers have to step up to the mark now and prove they are good enough for this league. I'm confident they are. If we can get that first win under our belts we can kick on, I'm sure of that. I would much rather be down at the bottom now and have to battle our way out than fall into trouble later in the season'. Heathcote's tactics came in for some criticism after Saturday's 3-1 defeat against Oxford. After a cautious start, the Robins went on the attack in the second half and levelled the game at 1-1 before conceding two sloppy late goals. But some observers believed Alty should have fielded a more positive side from the start. Heathcote said: 'It would be naïve of us to go out there with a gung ho style of play when we've already conceded 18 goals this season. Maybe if we were playing at a lower level then we could get away with it but in this division you have to make sure you stay in the game against the full-time teams. You have to win the battle first before you can go out and play'".
OLD BOYIn the game between Cammell Laird and Alsager Town this week, Alex Hay scored as the Merseysiders won.
BSP NEWSIt may be the closed season for transfers but loans galore are going through. At York City "Manager, Billy McEwan bolstered his squad today with the signing of Carl Hegarty from Grimsby Town on a month long loan. The 21 year old midfielder made 19 appearances for the Mariners 1st Team last season and has been with Grimsby since 2004 joining as a trainee. Hegarty will give Billy McEwan... cover for the injured Phil Turnbull who is recovering from shoulder surgery along with Ross Greenwood who has a fractured wrist. Also on the City injured list at present is Carl Jones who fractured a cheek bone in training earlier this week".
And news of more loan activity comes from Rushden & Diamonds where "Simon Rusk has today signed on a month's loan from Northwich Victoria. The twenty five year old midfielder started his career as a youth player at Peterborough United, moving to Cambridge City and then Boston United, where he spent 6 years, becoming one of the Pilgrims most capped players with over 150 appearances. He was signed in July 2007 by Neil Redfearn at Northwich... Lawrence Lambley has also gone out to Corby Town for three months".
The Oxford Mail tells us that "Oxford United boss Jim Smith has told defender Luke Foster to improve his lifestyle if he wants to get back into the team... There had been high hopes that the Mexborough-born player would have a significant part to play for the U's this season after he shone in his seven appearances last term following his February move from Stalybridge Celtic. But Smith has not been impressed with the 22-year-old. Foster has already been sent home and disciplined after arriving late for the pre-match meal when the U's were preparing for their big, televised Bank Holiday battle at Stevenage... Smith said: 'Fozzie has been disappointing in his attitude, which has affected why he's not involved. Lifestyle is very important for a footballer and he maybe needs to look at changing his'".
The Droylsden Forum has unconfirmed reports that [former Alty winger] Blake Norton has now left the club".
At unbeaten Cambridge United "Gavin Hoyte will miss the next couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. The young defender has been substituted in the last two games with a calf problem and Jimmy Quinn confirmed today that he is being treated for a hamstring strain... Mark Peters will return to the team in his place on Saturday... and first year pro Josh Coulson will provide the defensive cover on the bench. 'He hasn't played yet but I wouldn't hesitate to throw young Josh on at any stage', said Quinn. 'I've told him he's been a bit unlucky that we've got so many decent centre halves this year, but it's a long season and over the course of this season we'll be picking up injuries and suspensions and he will play his part'". Meanwhile the Cambridge Evening News tells us that "Danny Brown has been ordered to stay away from Cambridge United's training sessions for his own good to help his recovery from a bruised bone on his left foot. The influential U's skipper has missed the last four league games with the injury... And although he was relieved not to have broken the bone, Brown is now getting frustrated by the fact he is unable to put a timescale on when he might be able to return. He said: 'I started to train again last Thursday, but my foot just kept swelling up, so I've been sent home and told to keep off it. It's painful. I was prepared to play through a certain amount of pain, but at the moment that's just not possible'".
And the News also states that "Quinn has been forced to step up his search for a new striker after learning that Dan Chillingworth has suffered a further setback in his comeback from injury. The U's boss is bereft of forward options with the news that Chillingworth is now likely to be out for at least another two months after discovering the ankle ligament injury which he picked up in pre-season, is worse than first thought. United are also without goalscorer Lee Boylan, who is also sidelined with ankle ligament damage, leaving Quinn with only Leo Fortune-West and Scott Rendell as recognised strikers. The manager said: 'It is now a priority to find someone as soon as we can because we have no cover up front at the moment. We just need to get someone in for a month's loan because Lee Boylan is still a couple of weeks away'... But Mark Convery's return to fitness from a hamstring problem, will be a boost".
13 September 2007
STAR PLANSThe Altrincham supporters' trust, STAR's "acting Board (Mike Ainsworth, Paul Daine, Dawn Abbott, Steve Raferty, Brian Flynn, Peter Lewis and Mark Murray) met this week for a productive meeting...
The STAR Board have been battling with a problem regarding the auditting of the accounts from year 2005/6. However a solution has been found which members will have to vote on. A voting form with full details will be on it's way to shortly and will appear on this site in the next few days. If members vote for this solution then the STAR Board will be able to organise pt2 of the 2006/7 AGM (finally!) and present accounts at a simultaneous 2007/8 AGM bringing us right up to date".
OLD BOYS & LOANEESNL Daily reports that former Alty Youth "Mark Drew gave Rossendale United the lead 5 minutes before half time at Dark Lane against Lancaster City", whilst another more recent ex-Youth, Rico Colulo scored on Tuesday for Flixton versus Glossop North End.
This is Staffs reports that "Leek Town clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to claim a deserved point against a physical Stamford side... As early as the ninth minute, Stamford keeper Chris Sanna was forced to go full length to deny Pat McFadden".
WOKING STRENGTHENOur opponents on Saturday, Woking have scored just six goals this season but they have now announced that a "Young Brighton & Hove Albion striker Joe Gatting is set to join Woking on loan. Joe is expected to sign a loan contract subject to final agreement between the two clubs and approval of all paperwork by the Surrey FA, Conference Office and the FA.... Profile (from Brighton & Hove Albion website): A prolific striker for the youth team, Joe signed professional forms in the summer of 2006. A natural finisher, Joe's strength also enables him to hold the ball up and bring other players into the game. Made his first-team debut as a substitute at Southampton in January 2006. Joe is the son of former Albion defender Steve".
BSP NEWSThe BBC says that "Rushden manager Garry Hill faces a Football Association charge following the fiery game at Salisbury. Hill has been charged with violent conduct relating to an incident involving Whites coach Tommy Widdrington after the final whistle. Both clubs have been charged with failing to control the conduct of their players and/or officials. The clubs have until 25 September to respond, Hill has until 26 September".
THe Cambridge Eveneing News says that "Jimmy Quinn has put Cambridge United's impressive unbeaten start to the season down to team spirit. The U's boss paid tribute to his players' never-say-die attitude that has seen them pick up 16 points from eight matches - coming from behind five times. But Quinn also recognises the need for a well-earned rest - which is what he will be giving his charges this week... He said: 'I get frustrated from time to time and have pops at them, but that's my job. I hope most of them know me well enough by now to know it is never personal, but I just want to win... But we need to balance out that hard work with rest. A few of the lads felt tired with all the travelling we've done, so they had yesterday (Monday, 10 September) off and will rest again tomorrow (Wednesday, 12 September). The pleasing thing for me is that everyone has played their part, even the young players like Michael Hyem and Robbie Willmott... The players that have come in like the goalkeeper Danny Potter, who is as good as anyone at this level, and Mark Albrighton have been great for us. But this is the first week we haven't had a midweek game, so we need to take advantage of that with the right rest to keep us fresh for the visit of Crawley on Saturday'. United are the only unbeaten team left in the Blue Square Premier after Torquay lost 3-1 at Burton last night".
MeanwhileCambridge United say that "Mark Convery is delighted to be back in action for United. The midfielder strained a hamstring during his debut appearance at former club York, but made his comeback with a late appearance from the bench in our win at home to Grays last week and played for the final 30 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Exeter on Saturday. He said 'It'll be difficult to displace the lads who are in the starting eleven because they have done so well but that's the goal that I'm aiming for'".
From the Argus we learn that "Crawley manager Steve Evans has dismissed reports linking striker Leroy Griffiths with a move to Broadfield Stadium. Griffiths, 30, was rumoured to be on his way to Reds after having a bust-up with his Conference south club Havant and Waterlooville. The former QPR frontman only joined the Hawks in the summer after failing out with Fisher Athletic. Evans said: 'It is absolutely not true. I haven't seen him or spoken to him, it is pure fabrication'".
The Halifax Courier says that "Town climbed into the top half of the Blue Square Premier for the first time this season after extending their impressive run to 10 points from the last 12 on offer with victory over Woking at the Shay. A second-half wonder strike from midfielder Anthony Griffith proved to be the difference... But the gulf in class on the pitch was far greater than that and Halifax's latest performance left manager Chris Wilder purring. 'I thought the standard of play from the first minute to the 90th was first class', he said. 'I also thought Tom Kearney was absolutely superb. He has had his doubters, although I cannot see why, because he keeps the ball, he probes, he passes and keeps us ticking over'. As Wilder had predicted before kick off, Woking did everything they could to stifle the Shaymen, getting as many players behind the ball as they possibly could. 'There were times when their forwards didn't get forward a lot', he said. 'I think it is a massive respect to us and you have to break them down... We wanted to play at a high tempo, we wanted to put Woking under pressure and we wanted to get after them... We are gathering momentum and players are playing well'".
"Harriers' chairman Barry Norgrove has made an impassioned plea to stay-away fans to come back and support the team at Aggborough this season" states the Kidderminster Shuttle. "Norgrove was disappointed with Saturday's 1589 strong crowd for the 3-0 win over York City... The chairman believes the club has done its best to try and attract fans to home games, keeping season ticket prices the same and allowing manager Mark Yates to invest heavily in order to strengthen the squad... However, so far Harriers have yet to beat the opening day's attendance of 1976, when Aldershot came to Aggborough. 'I have been wracking my brains about how to attract more fans to games and am not sure what more I can do', said the chairman. 'We have one of the best grounds in the league and invested heavily in the playing squad'... Last season Harriers averaged crowds of 1,500 at home, but the chairman believes that it needs to be raised to 2,000 in order for the club to break even. Norgrove said: 'Myself and the board have put a lot of money into the club and it can't last forever. If we don't start to get over gates of 2,000 at home games then at the end of the season we'll have to put our hands in our pockets once again... We have sold all the billboards around the ground, which is the first time in a long time...I don't want to pull out of the club and the only offer I would consider would be from someone with substantial financial power. We need someone like a Russian billionaire but unfortunately you don't get many around Kidderminster'".
The Northwich Guardian says that "Mike Connett has asked his players to stand up and be counted. The Vics' chairman told the Guardian today that every player had been called in individually as an inquest into Saturday's humiliating defeat at Aldershot continues. Five of them - three of whom signed this summer - have been told they have no future at the club. Simon Rusk, made captain by Redfearn after he dropped original choice Michael Welch, is perhaps the biggest surprise on the list. Brad Maylett, Michael Byrne, Kevin Townson and Greg Strong are the others. 'The lads who have been here longest are the ones who knows what it means to play for Northwich', said Connett. 'They're the ones with pride and who are giving us 100% - others are not'. The quintet are unlikely to feature for the crunch weekend clash with Histon, by which time Redfearn hopes to have added at least two players on loan".
This is York says that "Setanta Sports executive producer Stephen Cook has apologised to Blue Square Premier clubs for any inconvenience caused by the company's constant fixture tinkering. But Cook has also defended the Irish broadcasters' decision to switch games to Sunday and Thursday nights as a means of maximising the exposure for clubs in the highest echelon of non-League football. York City's home match with Torquay United and trip to Farsley Celtic were recently rescheduled for Sunday, October 21 and Sunday, November 4 respectively to avoid a clash with midweek Champions' League fixtures but the 7.15pm kick-off times have proven unpopular with supporters of all three clubs... Cook said: 'We have to look at what's best for the Blue Square Premier in terms of exposure. Having considered viewing figures so far, a clash with the Champions League is not in anybody's interests and we will be avoiding all clashes with the competition in the future. That's not to say we haven't had encouraging viewing figures. In fact the Exeter v York game achieved over a third of the audience for the Tyne-Tees derby between Newcastle and Middlesbrough which I thought was extremely encouraging. That shows there are an awful lot of York fans who are getting an opportunity to watch their team that wasn't there before. That can only heighten the profile of the club and I would hope potential sponsors would sit up and take notice'. Cook expressed sympathy for supporters who have been unable to attend games or been affected financially by any switches this season but insisted the company make every effort to announce changes in reasonable advance. He said: 'Whilst we appreciate some fans have had to rearrange their plans and are sympathetic towards them, we would hope that we have given them quite a lot of notice'".
12 September 2007
TORQUAY GAMEThere is still no news on the rearrangement of the Altrincham game away at Torquay United, which was scheduled for Saturday 8th December. The Gulls wanted to switch the match to Friday night (7th) because of a clash with a Plymouth Argyle home game. Seemingly, the same stewards are used by both clubs. Altrincham do not wish to play on the Friday as their players are part-time and would have to miss a day's work and because of travelling difficulties for both players and supporters. A Sunday (9th) afternoon alternative was therefore proposed but the matter has gone to the fixture authorities for arbitration. As of yesterday the official position was that the game was still at its original 3pm kick off on the Saturday pending the arbitration decision.
Curiously, the Conference website fixture list and the Blue Square site have no Torquay v Altrincham fixture in December at all; indeed the Gulls are not shown as playing at all in the league in that month until Boxing Day! But the Torquay club site still has the game as Saturday 8th at 3pm. All very confusing!
COME TO WOKING!Just a handful more passengers are required to trigger a discount fare for the STAR coach to Woking this Saturday so, please sign up to join the trip. For details of the journey click here.
Right: Alty on their last visit to Woking in January 2007.
Saturday's referee for Woking v Altrincham is Mr K G Yeo who was a linesman in the Luton v Bristol Rovers' match last Saturday.
On their last visit to Kingfield, Alty lost 2-0. The sides that day were:
With Karl Munroe suspended and Val Owen doubtful through injury, only Coburn, Aspinall, Peyton, Lawton, O'Neill, and Senior from the starters in January are likely to be involved this Saturday for Altrincham.
THANKS TO THE STEWARDSJenny Heslop, bar manager at Moss Lane, would like to thank the stewards who helped her to tidy up the bar after last Saturday's screening of the England v Israel match.
SHIRTS DELAYEDJenny Heslop, with her other hat on as manager of the Robins' Shop, is sorry to announce that there has been a delay in the manufacturers' supply of large and extra-large home replica shirts. Medium and smaller sizes are readily available as are all sizes of away shirts.
BSP NEWSThe BBC says that "Rushden have launched an internal investigation into the violent scenes that marred their match at Salisbury. Salisbury coach Tommy Widdrington suffered a suspected broken nose following a touchline fracas. And Rushden confirmed club officials are examining all evidence surrounding the incident, which is also subject to a Football Association probe. Chairman Keith Cousins said: 'Once we've looked at all the evidence, we'll release a further statement'. Both sides finished the 1-1 draw with 10 men as Salisbury's Michael Fowler and Rushden's Curtis Woodhouse were dismissed after they clashed in the second half... Woodhouse will serve a four-match after his second red card of the season".
The NL Daily says that "Midfielder Frankie Artus will be with Exeter City for a further month after agreeing a one-month extension to his loan deal. The Bristol City teenager arrived at St James's Park before the start of the season to ease a central midfield injury crisis... The new deal will mean Artus is available for the next seven league fixtures, with the contract running out after next month's home clash with Grays Athletic".
Bullsnews reports that on Tuesday a "friendly between Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford United ended in a 1-1 draw... Several of the Harriers management team played including a full ninety minutes from Mark Yates".
The Farsley Celtic Forum confirms that the Yorkshire club has signed "Colin Heath, ex-Macclesfield ex-Chester, ex-Man U, 6ft striker". He came on as a sub for Celtic last Saturday having earlier been linked with Droylsden.
NEIL'S CHALLENGEThis is Staffs reports that Altrincham FC groundsman and "Leek Town acting manager Neil Brown wants the job of succeeding the retired Paul Ogden. The board has put Brown in temporary charge while they consider their next move, but he has told chairman Paul Burston: ''m your man'. Brown said: 'I will go with whatever the club wants, but I hope they take a chance on me. I accept it is a massive step up for me from managing Altrincham Reserves to the UniBond Premier League, but I have faith in my ability. We have a fantastic set of lads here and I have had a good reaction from them, but it will still take another few weeks for them to gel'. Brown faces his first challenge away to Stamford tonight and has already consulted Ogden, who stepped down at the weekend on health grounds. Brown said: 'Paul has watched Stamford play and I have also spoken to other people about them. My job is to gee the players up and we will be positive'. Brown needs results quickly as Leek have lost their last three games to slip to 17th in the table, two higher than new boys Stamford, who were transferred from the Southern League Premier Division". Despite losing Gary Talbot, injured, in the warm-up Leek got a good 2-2 draw in the game at Stamford, with James Marsden, the former Alty Reserves' captain stepping into the defensive breach.
11 September 2007
WOKING'S NEW BREWSTAR is running a supporters' coach, as usual, to the away game at Woking this Saturday as Alty seek their first away win and The Cards look for their first home victory after four draws. Details of the coach arrangements are here.
Meanwhile Woking FC announce that "Further to the success of the Cardinals' Own Bitter, the Club have now launched their very own lager, Cardinals' Gold. This is an organic lager and made purely from organic produce. No additives or preservatives. The organically grown hops deliver a floral note to the brew and the purity of flavour is protected by meticulous cold filtration. This is a long, powerful brew with a firm body and a luxuriant head. Each 660ml (bigger than a pint) bottle is 5% vol and on sale from the Club bar for £3.00. The lager also comes in a ‘mini cask’ containing 8 pints. These will be ideal for home BBQ parties with each cask coming fitted with tap for easy pouring.
Andy Morgan comments: 'We have been delighted with sales of our bitter and this new lager will be even more popular with our supporters. The 660ml bottles will be on sale from our clubhouse every home matchday, starting with the Altrincham match this coming Saturday, 15 September. This new initiative is one of many the Commercial Team here at the club will be launching throughout the coming months. It is an exciting time to be involved with the club especially with the recent news that the Council have agreed to sell an area of Council-owned land to the local football club at open market value. Woking Football Club will now be able to move forward with its development proposals'".
VICS' CLEAR-OUT"Northwich Victoria have transfer-listed five players as they look to recover from a poor start to the season. Greg Strong, Kevin Townson, Michael Byrne, Brad Maylett and Simon Rusk have all been told they can leave. Strong, Maylett and Rusk were signed by Vics boss Neil Redfearn during the close-season, while Townson and Byrne were survivors from last season. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that defender Michael Welsh has fractured his collarbone" reports the BBC.
OLD BOYS"Rod Thornley says he will stay with UniBond League Premier Division club Witton Albion to help with their title bid" reports NL Daily. "The former Altrincham front runner scored on his Witton debut last week before joining up with the England national team in his role as a masseur. He called Jim Vince to say he wanted to stay at Wincham Park on his return 'It's fantastic news for us', said Vince. 'Rod said he would listen to offers during his time away and he has spoken to clubs higher up the pyramid than us. So when he says he wants to stay then that's a great testament to what we're building here'. Thornley, 30, was released by Altrincham after featuring as a substitute on one occasion in their opening five matches."
Meanwhile, former Alty keeper Ashley Timms is now playing for Tamworth.
KARL'S BANThe FA confirms that for "Altrincham FC Karl Munroe (right) [from] 08/09/2007 [is] suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 08/09/2007". Our opponents on 22 September, Droylsden have "Steven Daly suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 08/09/2007" and likewise banned is the Bloods' Jamie McGuire.
BSP NEWSThe Oxford Mail reports that "United's Altrincham saviour, Matt Day, said he was just following instructions after he buried the match-turning goal at Moss Lane on Saturday. Day arrived beyond the far post, on the blind side of Alty's defence, to head home Alex Jeannin's cross in the 86th minute... 'They said to me and Alex before the game, don't be afraid to overhit crosses. If I've got it, Alex has got to get to the back post, and if he's got it, I've got to do that... It's just nice to score. I don't mind what with - head, teeth, shoulder - it can come off anything as long as it goes in. It was an important goal because we'd had the lead and then gave away another sloppy goal, letting them shoot from outside the box'".
NL Daily confirms that "Former Bradford Park Avenue player and manager Phil Sharpe [an ex-Alty player, too] has been appointed assistant-manager to Neil Redfearn at Blue Square Premier strugglers Northwich Victoria. After a playing career with around thirteen clubs, Sharpe has since been assistant boss at UniBond League sides Guiseley and Wakefield and manager at Frickley Athletic and, most recently, Bradford Park Avenue where he signed Redfearn last year".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Jamie Guy could be on his way back to Cambridge United if Jimmy Quinn suffers any further injuries to his strikeforce. The Colchester marksman scored two goals during a loan spell at the Abbey in 2006 under former boss Rob Newman. And Quinn said he has made inquiries to the Championship club about taking Guy, 20, on another temporary deal if Scott Rendell or Leo Fortune-West take a knock before Lee Boylan returns from an ankle injury... Quinn said: 'Jamie Guy is an option we've got if we need it, but Willy (Wordsworth, chief scout) has given me a couple of other names to look at with League clubs as well'. Quinn added: 'It's going to be a tough game because Exeter are one of the teams I fully expect to be up there at the end of the season with Oxford and Torquay. We're going there as a confident side, so it's a little bit different to last season in that respect. Their strength without a shadow of a doubt is their three front-runners. but we're solid at the back, so something has got to give'. Meanwhile, Quinn has ruled out a move for Craig Fleming after United were linked with the former Norwich City defender following his exit from Rotherham last week... Robbie Willmott has a big future with Cambridge United, according to Jimmy Quinn. The 17 year old attacker was set to make the trip to Exeter with the first team today, depending on a late fitness test for skipper Danny Brown... Quinn believes the youngster, who can play on the wing or up front, is one for the future... 'With his pace and shooting ability, Robbie could turn a game for us, and, although I didn't bring him on against Grays, I wouldn't hesitate to use him if we needed to'".
From the Yorkshire Evening Post we learn that "Lee Sinnott was full of praise for his Farsley Celtic players, who grabbed their first Blue Square Premier away win in a 2-1 defeat of Histon, and he promised there is more to come from his side. Celtic controlled the game more than the scoreline suggests with Damien Reeves getting both goals, on 48 and 59 minutes, either side of a Histon strike... Sinnott said: 'It was a difficult game. To be fair they caused us a few problems and put us under pressure... The mental approach has to be right when you come to a place like Histon and I am sure other sides will find it hard here. They've got the long throw which came into the box about 20 times in the second half and you have some defending to do, but we got through that and I was very impressed with the way we defended... We have now started to transfer the form we've shown at home into performances away from home'".
"Salisbury City will await the outcome of an inquiry by the Football Association before commenting in depth on the post-match incident involving player/coach Tommy Widdrington, who was the victim of an alleged head butt by Rushden & Diamonds manager Garry Hill" says the Salisbury Journal. "'Tommy's got a bloody nose and a bit of a headache and we're now waiting for the x-ray results before we know what damage has been done', said City manager Nick Holmes. 'The referee and his assistants all saw the incident and we've watched it on the DVD. Like I said immediately after the game, we're happy to let the officials deal with it through the correct channels, but we'll reserve the right to take the matter further depending on what Tommy wants to do. The FA are now looking at the DVD and they have the referee's report. Once we hear back from the FA we'll comment further'".
From This is York we read that "York City boss Billy McEwan told angry supporters he shares their frustration at the club's disappointing start to the season. Chants of 'What a load of rubbish' were directed at City's players at half-time and at the end of Saturday's 3-0 defeat against Kidderminster Harriers. McEwan's first-half substitution of Ben Purkiss, which the City boss later attributed to injury, was also greeted with a chorus of 'You don't know what you're doing'. The Minstermen have now won just one of their first eight Blue Square Premier fixtures and McEwan, who guided the club to eighth and fourth-placed finished during his first full campaigns with the club, admitted: 'We are going through a very difficult time and I feel for the fans, but it's the challenge I took when I came to the club and it's got to be sorted out sooner rather than later. The supporters are unhappy, but nobody is as frustrated and disappointed as I am. I hate it, but that's my job... You don't become a bad manager because the team's not winning. We've not done too bad in the previous 100 games. We can't keep harking back though. It's what's happening now that's the most concerning thing and this team is not playing as well as I expect it to play. Players are losing confidence and there's also indecision between units at the minute... We had them watched and knew what their strengths and weaknesses were and felt we had to bolster the team more in the middle of the park. Rafa Benítez changed his team 99 times on the trot at Liverpool so there are no problems from that point of view'... While not offering it as an excuse, McEwan also felt traffic delays that saw the team sat on a coach for four hours did not help preparation for the game. 'Instead of the pre-match meal we booked at our hotel for 11.45am, we had tea and toast when we got there at 1pm and then we were straight back on to the coach 20 minutes later', he said".
NL Daily also says that "Mangotsfield United have signed the experienced Jon Beswetherick on a month`s loan from Blue Square Premier club Salisbury City. The vastly-experienced and versatile 29-year-old has made fifty-two appearances for Salisbury since signing for the club in November 2005... He has also played for Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers, Macclesfield, Kidderminster Harriers and Forest Green Rovers, from where he signed for Salisbury in November 2005".
10 September 2007
STEVENAGE GO TOP
YOUTH GAME REPORTThere is now a match report on the Alty Youth match against Morecambe on Sunday. It can be found in the website's youth section.
LOOKING AHEAD TO WOKINGFrom our next opponents, Woking is a preview of their midweek game at Halifax Town. "One win (Stafford away), five draws and one defeat (Salisbury away) is the Cards’ record in the opening seven games of the season. This can be regarded as a decent start, given all the circumstances. Frank has a small, (genuinely!) young and inexperienced squad. Realistically, a mid-table position was the most that could be expected at the beginning of the season and it is probably quite an achievement to have avoided a heavy defeat along the way so far. But there is inevitably some anxiety about our inability to date to turn draws into wins, especially at home, where all four games have been drawn so far. The consequence is that we have now slipped to 19th position in the table, but with 5 points separating us from the relegation places. A win against Halifax on Tuesday or, perhaps more realistically, at home to Altrincham next Saturday would make a big difference! It is probably fair to say too that we have not had a particularly tough start to the season, having not had to face any of the likes of Torquay, Stevenage, Exeter and Oxford". Alty have already faced two of these sides, of course. The website reports that "The Cards will travel to Halifax with Matt Gray (due to have his groin operation last Thursday) and Liam Marum (still recovering from a leg injury) both definitely missing. There are doubts too about Tom Hutchinson, who’s missed the last two games with a sore big toe, and Bradley Quamina, who was stretchered off in injury time in the game against Weymouth.. It will be interesting to see if Izzy Harusha and James Younghusband figure on this occasion".
OXFORD'S DELIGHTAfter our defeat by Oxford, the Oxford Mail says that "Big French defender Arthur Gnohere showed he can be a big asset to Oxford United as he starred in the team's 3-1 win at Altrincham on Saturday... Gnohere said: 'At Cambridge I was injured but I stayed on the pitch and the gaffer told me OK, I want you to be fit, I want you to be training hard to get your fitness back... Sometimes it was very hard because the lads were telling me one thing and the manager had told me another thing. But everybody's happy because we got the win'. Smith said: 'I think Arthur got the man of the match award, which he probably deserved. He headed everything, except one he should have headed in . . . he can head them out but he can't head 'em in!... We've got to expect to do well at places like Altrincham... They are part-time and you've got to win these games. When it got to 1-1 it was very frustrating because a draw here would have been nowhere near good enough. To be fair, they came again and we got two good goals. I don't know why but the players didn't look sharp today. they seemed heavy-legged', Smith admitted afterwards. 'I've got to talk to Eddie Hutchinson as to what was wrong with him. He couldn't move, he looked ill. Mind you, one or two did out there'".
The Oxford Mail adds that "Jim Smith played a 3-4-1-2 formation for the first time, deploying Paul Shaw just behind Rob Duffy and Yemi Odubade... Odubade received a yellow card shortly before half-time for using his elbow as he jumped, which seemed slightly harsh as the Altrincham player who had blatantly body-checked him a minute earlier didn't even get a telling-off from the officials... Substitute Carlos Logan got past Pettefer with ease and when his cross from the left was only half-cleared, Sedgemore fired home a 22-yard drive. Tardif got a hand to the shot but couldn't prevent it going in. Logan continued to cause the U's problems, and he was allowed too much space".
The official site of Oxford United says that "It turned into a lovely Day at Altrincham this afternoon as Matt Day's first goal of the sason and a last minute strike from Yemi Odubade earned United an invaluable win at Moss Lane... With the home side playing with just one man up front and clearly worried by Odubade's pace. That almost bit them on the bum on 17 minutes as Altrincham had the first truly threatening moment of the match and former York striker Joe O'Neill flicked a header over Tardif and onto the bar... It wasn't perhaps the most pleasing game on the eye, with both sides managing one shot on target by 75 minutes, but then on 77 the home side finally found a way through with their second effort. Once again a sub called Logan did the damage, Carlos crossing from the left and Gnohere getting in a goal saving header away. Unfortunately the ball only reach Jake Sedgemorer on the edge of the box and his thumping shot flicked off an outstretched leg and into the right corner of the helpless Tardif's net".
This web site's match report is here.
OLD BOYAndy MacDonald scored for Cheadle Town in the FA Vase.
BSP NEWSThe BBC confirms that "The Football Association is set to investigate after Saturday's fiery Blue Square Premier game which saw Salisbury draw 1-1 with Rushden & Diamonds. Both sides finished with 10 men as Salisbury's Michael Fowler and Rushden's Curtis Woodhouse saw red after they clashed in the second half. After the final whistle, there was an angry confrontation between both benches on the touchline. Salisbury coach Tommy Widdrington was left with a suspected broken nose". The NL Paper and NL Today both print reports that Rushden boss Garry Hill was allegedly involved in the incident which left Widdrington injured.
9 September 2007
Above: Alty (in blue) go close to scoring in the first half.
Altrincham Youth were held 2-2 on Sunday afternoon by Morecambe. Alty led till the 89th minute. The first goal was attributed to Sam Madeley but there was no doubt at all that Madeley got the second.
WOKINGDetails of the times and fares for the STAR supporter's coach to Woking for next Saturday's game are here. Please note that if enough bookings are made, the advertised fares will be reduced. Please ring 928-1045 from Monday morning to reserve your seat.
The pupils of Stamford Park Junior School were the welcome guests of Altrincham FC on Saturday - and as well as meeting manger Graham Heathcote, they also met Rocky Robin, as the picture above shows!
AFTER THE GAMEAfter yesterday's game the NL Today newspaper quotes Oxford boss Jim Smith as saying, "It's okay getting draws against the likes of Exeter but a draw here wouldn't have been good enough". Meanwhile "A downbeat Graham Heathcote said, 'It's worrying that we have played so well over the last three games and have just one point to show for it. Maybe the players aren't strong enough for this league. Maybe I'm not good enough to manage in this league". In the NL Paper, Graham said, "I'm fed up of saying that we played well but lost. People will look at the scoreline and think we had a hiding. But the supporters will know the truth. We had them on the back foot and we got hit with a sucker punch. We need a bit of lady luck, and fast!'". Smith told the NLP, "We have got to come and beat the Altrinchams of this league. We didn't show enough quality... Without being unkind to Altrincham these are only part-timers and, although they are better than last season, anything but a win would have been a bad result". For more on the match, see lower down this page...
The statistics produced for football matches are far from reliable as the following comparison of three reports on yesterday's Altrincham v Oxford game shows. The figures quoted below are respectively from the BBC, the NL Paper and NL Today.
ATTRACTING BIG CLUBS' FANSYesterday Altrincham allowed anyone with a season ticket from a Premiership or League club to watch their match with Oxford United for £5. On a similar tack, in the NL Paper, Grays' chairman Mick Woodward and Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin speak out for the merits of Blue Square football over Premiership and League games. Speaking of continual changes to kick-off times in those leagues, the article says that "Goodwin has invited fans who are sick of rearranging their weekends to give Moss Lane a try. 'If the top clubs continue to mess them about, more supporters are going to turn their backs' he said".
FAN'S LETTERAltrincham supporter Brian Newhall has a letter published in the NL Paper making clear that it was not Altrincham fans who threatened John Moules on the internet and that Mr Moules "seemed to lean towards the 'big boys' of the Conference" and not the smaller clubs such as Altrincham.
OLD BOYSChris Adams captained Ashton United, whilst Peter Wright played for Kendal Town and Chris Downey netted for Flixton.
ALTRINCHAM 1 OXFORD UNITED 3
Above: Alty celebrate their goal.
Though it is now eight games without a win this season for Altrincham, the final score again did not reflect the balance of the game. With four minutes to play the score was 1-1 and Alty looked more likely to win the game than their visitors
SAM'S VIEWSAM says aftre the Oxford game that "It's both disappointing and frustrating for the Robins because although they probably didn't deserve to win today, they didn't deserve to lose either. Once again they played their better football after the break when the defensive shackles were removed and did well to battle their way back into the game. But once again, they also defended naively and conceded two late goals that should have been prevented. There have been positives to take from all of Alty's performances of late but the longer they go without a win, the more likely they are to be relegated this season. The fault lines in this division have been clearly drawn and there are at least four teams down at the bottom who are going to find it very difficult to compete".
OLD BOYSLeek Town has "announced that Paul Ogden will not be returning to the club as manager. After discussions between him and Chairman Paul Burston, Paul expressed his decision to resign as manager following his recent health problems when he suffered severe abdominial pain during the first half of the recent home game against Prescot Cables. This was the second time that Oggy has been taken ill - the last was at Christmas when a similar attack resulted in him being out of action for 6 weeks. The charismatic Ogden now feels it is time to consider his future wellbeing as he recognises that the pressures of football are now too much given his recent illness. The club will support assistant manager Neil Brown, who will be in charge of team affairs. The board will meet early next week to discuss the situation".
Paul was briefly a player with Altrincham, whilst Neil Brown is the former Alty Reserves' manager and is still the groundsman at Moss Lane. We wish Paul a speedy recovery and wish Neil good luck as he takes temporary charge pending next week's board meeting.
Kieran Lugsden played for Leigh RMI on Friday night.
8 September 2007
£5 ENTRY OFFER TODAYWhen Oxford United visit Moss Lane tomorrow, it is one of those days when neither Manchester United or Manchester City, our nearby Premiership clubs, has a Saturday afternoon game at home. So, as previously announced, as a one-off initiative to introduce their fans to non-league football, Altrincham FC is offering anyone who produces a valid United or City season ticket entry to the game for just £5. And now, this offer has been extended and will be applied to anyone who produces a valid season-ticket from any Football League or Premiership club - so it's just £5 entry at Moss Lane this Saturday for valid season-ticket holders from any Premiership or Football League club.
And after the match England v Israel will be screened live in the bar on the new wide screen television which has been installed there!
HELP TO PUBLICIZE THE CLUB
Right: Copies of the above fixture poster are available at the game against Oxford to anyone who is able to display them in a workplace, club or other public space.
JOE LOOKING FOR A RUNThe Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Joe O'Neill has insisted Alty will not rest on their laurels after their late, late show against York on Tuesday night... Although he believes the team can be proud of their performance, he said the back-slapping must quickly end, with a tough home game against Oxford next up on Saturday. He told SAM Sport: 'It's a good goal to score. Coming back here, against my old club, it's always nice. But I'm just happy to get the point really, which I thought we deserved. Sometimes you think, is it ever going to go in?' It just gives us a bit of confidence for Saturday now, to crack on and get the three points. I think if we'd got nothing from the game again, especially after Saturday, we would have been devastated. So it just keeps our confidence up, so that we can just try and put a run together now and get a couple of wins. We felt that they were going to come flying at us so we just tried to contain them and then save our legs a little bit for the second half after a difficult game on Saturday. I think it helped second half that we managed to pass the ball around a little bit so we didn't have to do much closing down. We got a little bit of pressure and I think we played really well. We had a gameplan and we stuck to it. We didn't panic and we managed to keep our cool and keep passing it. It's more rewarding when you get a comeback through passing it'".
JIM EXPECTS A WINFrom the Oxford Mail we learn that "Jim Smith is looking for greater mental toughness from his players... 'We've got to be harder, but I think most teams are more resolute away than they are at home'," he said. 'The expectations are different away from home. The results are the same. You have to do it with quality, and win 5-0 at home, whereas you take a scruffy 1-0 away - that's everybody's mentality. We look at our next two away games, and having drawn the last two, if we can get the results we expect to get, we're on course for our two points a game'".
The official Oxford United site says that United "look to get back to winning Blue Square ways at Altrincham on Saturday. Out through injury: Gary Twigg, Billy Turley, Chris Willmott and Phil Gilchrist. Chris Tardif starts his first game of the season in place of Billy Turley, who is out with a calf strain. Youngster Sam Warrell travels with the squad as cover. Joel Ledgister and Eddie Hutchinson both return to the squad, with Hutchinson likely to start and Ledgister on the bench. United won 3-0 at Moss Lane last season with goals from Eddie Anaclet Michael Corcoran and Marvin Robinson.
The Opposition: Don't go making a song and dance about it because you know how these things work, but Altrincham have lost all three home matches so far and picked up all of their three points on the road, with draws at Halifax, Stafford and York. Former York striker Joe O'Neill's late equaliser against his old club is the only goal his side has scored after half time this season".
The Oxford site adds that "Jim Smith... is demanding greater mental strength from his youthful side as they look to get back to winning ways at Moss Lane. 'We were all down after the game, very down, but football is all about bouncing back up again... There has to be something other than ability because I look at the individual ability here and some of the players are up there alongside players I've worked with in the Premier League. But it's the mental strength. We haven't got too many Ronaldinhos, but we do have good, skilful players and it's the mental part of the game that makes the difference between playing at this level and going higher. Michael Corcoran and Matty Day have done very well, but they are young boys, and two games at home with a mistake in the first means they get nervous. You need a Gilchrist or a Willmott to be with those young lads, and those two are getting closer all the time. Look at our side and you've got Eddie Anaclet, Danny Rose, Yemi, who are all young, Phil Trainer who hasn't played at this level. We haven't got that much serious experience...The midfield three haven't got much experience but Eddie Hutchinson is back for Saturday and that adds a bit of know-how'... Jim must decide whether to call youth team keeper Sam Warrell on to the bench as back up to Chris Tardif, or go with no keeper on the bench, something that Jim is not keen to do. 'I have never done it. A manager who does that must be luckier than me. I have someone who could fill in, so I'll put him in goal in training on Friday and have a look at him just in case'".
BSP NEWSBlue Square have announced the Player of the Month winners for August. As usual, only strikers seem to be eligible. "In the Blue Square Premier the award has gone to Cambridge United summer signing Leo Fortune-West. Leo scored five goals in five games as his new team went on an unbeaten run. The highlight of those five games was a hat-trick in the 5-1 defeat of Farsley Celtic. The Blue Square Premier award is particularly special as it is chosen by fans from a shortlist drawn up by experts including Setanta commentator Paul Parker. Parker had this to say about Fortune-West 'Leo has done incredibly well to gel into the team from the off, after a disrupted pre-season. He has helped to lift his team to a position where they can challenge for promotion come May'. The award in the Blue Square North goes to Danny Holland of Harrogate Town... Lewes forward Paul Booth wins the Blue Square South award after finding the net an incredible six times in five games. Remarkably four of those goals were scored from the penalty spot, two of those in the away match at Dorchester".
As for the Manager of the Month, "Salisbury City boss Nick Holmes has won the Blue Square Manager of the Month award for August. Holmes guided his newly promoted team to three wins and two draws... In the Blue Square South the award goes to Bath City manager John Relish... Mark Cooper the Kettering Town manager scooped the award in the Blue Square North".
NL Daily quotes Nick Holmes: "I certainly won't be winning the award for September!". Salisbury have lost both of their matches so far in September.
Alty visit Woking next Saturday from where Woking Council says that "Woking Football Club will be able to move forward with its development proposals after Borough Councillors at last night's Executive meeting (Thursday 6 September) agreed to sell an area of Council-owned land to the local football club at open market value. Woking Football Club has put forward proposals to redevelop the football ground in order to secure its long-term future through football and non-football related income. The proposals include a range of quality improvements to enhance the club and provide better facilities and activities for the club and the community. These include additional community facilities for conferences, improvements at the ground which will strengthen activities including Football in the Community and the Football Academy, plus improved spectator facilities with larger stand capacities. In order for the development to move forward, the Council has agreed to sell its land adjacent to the club's Kingfield Stadium to the football club. Councillors agreed that this would be the best possible way forward for the Council to honour its ongoing commitment to supporting the local club, plus securing full open market value for the disposal of land in Westfield... Chris Ingram, Chairman of Woking Football Club, added: 'We are delighted with this decision, which demonstrates the ongoing partnership between the club and council. We are especially pleased that this will help alleviate the threat of floods to residents in our surrounding area. We will now go forward to draw up detailed plans for new facilities on the Kingfield site that will provide a stadium worthy of our fans, our community and our town'".
Blue Square Football says that "Garry Hill, manager of Rushden & Diamonds, has given permission for youngsters Alex Bolt and Martyn Margarson to go out on loan.Midfielder Bolt is a product of the Rushden youth system and has joined St Albans on a three-month deal. Goalkeeper Margarson has impressed while on-loan at Long Buckby and will stay on for another two months".
7 September 2007
OXFORD SELECTIONThe Oxford Mail says that "Midfield powerhouse Eddie Hutchinson returns to Oxford United's team at Altrincham tomorrow, when they will have Chris Tardif in goal and probably no keeper on the bench. Hutchinson has recovered from a hamstring injury, and although the calf injury sustained by keeper Billy Turley in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at home to Exeter is not as bad as first feared, he is ruled out of the Moss Road[!!] match...Manager Jim Smith says Tardif will take over between the sticks, as he did against Exeter, and youth-team keeper Sam Worrell could go as back-up, or they may have no keeper at all on the bench. With Joel Ledgister's knee injury improving enough for him to be a likely sub, the latter scenario seems the most likely. United will not know the extent of Turley's injury, and whether there's a tear in the calf muscle, until later. 'We have to wait until he has a scan either today or tomorrow', Smith stated after training yesterday. 'It's a worry because we've only got Tards. We've got young Sam, but he's well short (of this level)'". Hutchinson said, "We want to put that [draw with Exeter] behind us now and pick up three points on Saturday".
For more on the game, see below...
ASA IN FULL FLIGHT
Above: A superb shot of Steve Aspinall by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography from the match against Aldershot Town.
AT PLACES LIKE ALTRINCHAMAltrincham entertain Oxford United this Saturday. The Oxford Mail reveals that "Jim Smith will explore the possibility of bringing in an emergency keeper on loan if Billy Turley's calf injury looks like ruling him out of action for any length of time. Oxford United could end up having Chris Tardif between the sticks at Altrincham on Saturday with no back-up keeper on the bench. And Tardif's own performance, when he replaced Turley in Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Exeter at the Kassam Stadium, has created further questions. The former Portsmouth keeper is normally reliable, but he was greatly troubled by crosses in the match. After the game, manager Smith admitted: 'Obviously the aerial stuff's not the kind of balls Tards wants, or can handle too well, and that gave us problems, whereas Billy can handle them. That's invariably why Billy is selected - because you get a lot of aerial stuff in this league. There were too many balls too easily put into our box. We've got to see how long Billy may be out, but it's a difficult situation. It is a concern if we've only got one goalkeeper and we may have to do something...There are a lot of things we've got to work on. The service from the back to the front wasn't good enough, particularly down the right when Yemi (Odubade) came on. We had acres of room to put it in and we kept putting it out to give them the ball. If you give them the ball enough, they're going to come on and come on, and we were quite fortunate to get a draw in the end'. United have thrown away four points from their last two home games (they drew 1-1 with Halifax on Saturday), but Smith says it's too early to start worrying or feeling under pressure. ' We've played three or four of the best teams in the first six games. We've got to go away and make sure we win at places like Altrincham'".
Chris Benson's preview on Non-League Today says that "Oxford Manager Jim Smith sees Saturday’s clash with Altrincham as an important game for his club. He said, 'After drawing two home games we need a victory. In fact it’s important that we get one... My players are not complacent. In fact Altrincham’s position makes us more aware of how difficult the game will be. They’ve just had an excellent result in midweek at York and we know that they will be fighting and working hard. They will be desperate to pick up a win... The league has got stronger and we have played four teams who are likely to be near the top at the end of the season'.
Alty boss Graham Heathcote... says, 'I thought we played very well at York and put them under a lot of pressure in the second half'. But one major source of satisfaction is that striker Colin Little is now free from suspension. Heathcote said, 'He is important to us because he can score goals and that’s what we need. I hope he’s learned his lesson. We can’t afford to lose our top striker for three matches because of a bout of silliness'. Val Owen remains on the sidelines but Gary Scott has a chance of being fit and Sean Clancy – whose sister is currently featuring as a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen – has now had all his paperwork completed. So Robins’ fans can be hopeful that a first win is near". .
OLD BOYNL Daily says that "Clayton Blackmore, manager of Principality Welsh Premier club Porthmadog, has moved swiftly to address a poor start to the season... by signing four new players. The most familiar name is ex-Bangor City midfielder Adam Docker... A tough-tackling player who was a member of Altrincham's reserve squad after previous experience at Bury, Docker made nine Welsh Premier appearances for the Citizens before joining Chorley."
JUGGLING ROUND ENGLAND"From August 18-24th, Pete Miller, Dave Guard and Matt Howell will be travelling 2,400 miles around the country visiting all 116 Premier League, Football League and Conference football clubs. At each ground we'll be taking photos and doing football juggling skills. We're raising money for The Kick Project, which uses football as a way of taking basic school lessons to young people that have been excluded from school" Brian Flynn writes that the jugglers "visited us during our Fans' Forum on Monday 20th July and a photo is attached (right)".
BSP NEWSThe Yorkshire Evening Post says that "World Cup football is beckoning for Farsley Celtic's Amjad Iqbal after he was contacted by representatives from the Pakistan national side. Iqbal, who netted Celtic's goal in a 1-1 draw against Kidderminster last night, has been asked if he would consider playing in Asian Zone qualifiers against Iraq next month... The versatile 26-year-old, who is a science lecturer at Bradford College, is now hoping all parties can get the timetable right in order for him to take up the dream chance... 'I'm not 100 per cent sure I am going, but it is more likely than not. I have told them I would love to play for my country but I will have to see what my work commitments are like... At the moment they are talking about games on October 2 and October 28 but fasting is coming up, they are both Muslim countries, and the players will only be at 100% if they can reorganise the matches for after Eid'"
The Kidderminster Shuttle says that "Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust (KHIST) has increased its share in the Aggborough club. The Trust gave Harriers £5,000 to help pay for new signings Paul Bignot and Dean Bennett and a further £3,600 to pay for an on-line scouting information system. A cheque for £8,600 was officially presented to the club before Saturday's clash with Exeter. It means KHIST has increased its number of shares by 12,208 to 26,708. Bennett, who scored seven goals in as many games for Kidderminster in 2001, has returned to Aggborough for a three-month loan from Chester City. Treasurer Steve Millington said: 'The trust is happy to have further strengthened its links with Harriers'"
Before last night's game the Halifax Courier reported that "Steve Bushell is set to return to the Town squad for tonight's clash at Stafford Rangers... Bushell limped from the field after an hour of the 3-0 win against Droylsden on Bank Holiday Monday... 'We have had three good days training and yesterday we spoke to the squad about the situation off the pitch. Considering what has been happening, I have had a magnificent response from them all'" said manager Chris Wilder.
This is Staffs says that "Stafford Rangers have suffered a devastating injury blow after defender Nathan Talbott was ruled out for the rest of the season. A surgeon has told the full-back he needs a major operation on his hip if he is to continue his career. The complex procedure involves a bone graft and manager Phil Robinson is resigned to losing him for at least a year. Robinson said: 'It's devastating news for Nathan and for the club because he is a fantastic talent and was one of our most consistent performers'... Talbott, who started his career as a trainee at Wolves, joined Rangers in 2004".
Alty's next away game is at Kingfield where Woking boss "Frank Gray has placed a flip chart in the players’ tunnel at Kingfield with a message to his squad that says simply: ‘Punctuality: Don’t be on time, be early, meet time might be different from start or leave time’. Perhaps the Woking boss should add a reminder that a game of football starts when the first whistle blows and not an hour later. There was no better example of a team not making it out of the dressing room for the first half than on Tuesday night, when Weymouth were made to look more like the footballing equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters than a team who have won just once this season. That The Terras didn’t punish their hosts by finding the net in the opening 45 minutes was a mystery to everybody in the ground... With Woking completely outplayed and overrun, a casual observer might have wondered whether the Hoe Stream had burst its banks again given the tidal wave heading towards Nick Gindre’s goal. But after Jefferson Louis had finally headed Weymouth in front five minutes after the break, Woking raised from their slumber, levelled the scores with their first meaningful shot at goal through Giuseppe Sole, and made a fist of it.'We could have been three or four down at half time' said manager Frank Gray. 'We managed to claw our way back and get a point and it’s another game we haven’t lost'. Gray was at a loss to explain why his team have seemingly come to disregard the first half of matches as a meaningless irrelevance — a dangerous game to play if the opposition take their chances. .. 'I don’t know whether it’s something in their heads', added the boss. But we’ve spoken about it before every game that we’ve got to start brighter and think we are playing the second half of every game at the start. We haven’t done that again and it’s something that’s difficult to put your finger on'... With no wins at home as yet, what is serious is the tendency for Woking players to start playing too late in matches, but it’s early days for a young team. In fact, with most of his side in their early 20s, perhaps the explanation is something as simple as young men viewing a game of football as they would an invitation to a party — and preferring to leave the other half at home".
"Forest Green Rovers groundsman Matt Rainey, who has been in charge of the pitch at the New Lawn since their new stadium came on stream in May 2006, has been rewarded for his dedication by winning the top honour amongst his fellow professionals in the Blue Square Premier. At a dinner and awards ceremony held at Windsor Racecourse on Wednesday, 5th September, Rainey came top of the clubs in the Premier but was pipped to the overall title by his counterpart Charlie Skatchill of Hyde United from Blue Square North" reports NL Daily.
Changes to the Setanta TV schedules were mentioned yesterday on this site. Confguide confirms some of the changes. "The following York City televised fixtures have been changed by Setanta Sports to avoid clashes with Champions League televised matches.
Commenting on the changes, Communications and Community Director, Sophie McGill said, 'We apologise to our supporters for any inconvenience caused by these fixture changes. The changes have been made by Setanta Sports and York City Football Club has had no involvement or influence in this decision. As part of the agreement between the Blue Square Premier and Setanta Sports, all clubs have to adhere to any proposed fixture changes'".
The Football Conference says that "Basingstoke Town have announced the signing of striker Michael Charles from Blue Square Premier side Woking FC".
The Droylsden Forum reports: "As one of the few regulars not able to make it to Crawley on Saturday, I've been asked to take part in a 'Fan's Forum' on Jimmy Wagg's Saturday afternoon show, between 1:30 - 2:30, on Radio Manchester. It's apparently a discussion with fans of other clubs in the area. If you can't listen in, rest assured I'll do my utmost to put the Blood cause to the fore!".
6 September 2007
YORK VIEWSFromBlue Square Football we learn that "York City manager Billy McEwan admits his charges need to defend as a unit at all times and be more ruthless in the opposition's area or they will drop even more valuable points like they did against Altrincham on Tuesday. The Minstermen squandered several golden chances and conceded at the worst possible time in a match which should have been wrapped up before the Robins even had a chance to equalise. McEwan told the BBC: 'We could have been two or three goals up at half-time. The annoying part for me was that we didn't kill the game off. But you have got to keep clean sheets to win football matches'".
SAM says that "Alty may have finally turned the corner. After leaving Bootham Crescent with a point, the Robins look to be well on the road to recovery following their poor start to the Blue Square Premier campaign. Never mind relegation battlers, for a good 40 minutes in York, they looked like a team to be reckoned with. Once plan A had failed, the home side leading 2-1 five minutes into the second half, Graham Heathcote turned to plan B. It paid off with spectacular effect. Both Chris Senior and Colin Potts entered the fray and Alty proceeded to play some quite breathtaking attacking football, the likes of which has barely been seen at Moss Lane this season. And just as it seemed all that work would be for nothing, Joe O'Neill popped up to punish his former club in the second minute of injury time. It was a fitting finale, but one that had looked exceedingly unlikely during a tight first half. Alty's intentions were clear from the start. They set out their stall to stifle and stymie their hosts, flooding the midfield and maintaining a solid unit in defence... And after weathering the storm, the Robins hit back with the perfect sucker punch... But the joy was short-lived. The defensive dalliances that have often plagued Alty this season surfaced again... Brodie prodded the ball home... The pattern of the game changed completely after the break... Paul Brayson, swept home a cross from Emmanuel Panther... Alyu would have been level on 74 minutes had it not been for some slapstick refereeing. The man in the middle waved play on after Alty were caught offside but, not paying proper attention, York keeper Stephen Henderson assumed a free kick had been given and gathered the ball before rolling it out. A gleeful Senior pounced on his gaffe to fire home but the referee then decided to pull play back and instead, gave the home side a free kick... Another superb Potts delivery, this time from a corner, reached O'Neill and the striker headed home to leave his former employers reeling".
The unofficial York Rivals site has match statistics which show York had 14 shots, on target 8, off target 6, fouls 9, corners 5 against Alty's 8 shots, on target 5, off target 3, fouls 4, corners 5. The away attendance was put at 98 though there were certainly a few more counted in the home attendance in the main stand.
This is York disparagingly says that "Shot-shy striker Joe O'Neill managed just two goals in a whole season of home matches as a York City player but his injury-time header earned Altrincham a point at KitKat Crescent last night. Over 90 minutes, O'Neill offered little to suggest he has developed a clinical streak since leaving North Yorkshire and his record of eight goals in 49 outings for the Robins is conclusive evidence that he hasn't. However, if you allow any player the freedom of your six-yard box, there is always a strong chance the ball might end up in the back of your net... Both goals came from corners and both were headed past debutant goalkeeper Stephen Henderson in his own six-yard box with centre-back Darren Tinson opening the scoring on 44 minutes. Teenager Henderson was preferred to the struggling Tom Evans between the sticks but, after a promising start, endured an erratic evening following Tinson's goal. While a 'keeper's command of his six-yard box is crucial to all teams at set-pieces, however, basic marking is also a prerequisite for any side looking to make progress... Altrincham, playing with O'Neill as their lone striker, had failed to muster a single shot on target before taking the lead... But City went into the break on level terms after a scrappy goal. A Stuart Elliott cross from the left saw Brodie beat Coburn in an aerial challenge and the loose ball appeared to be turned in by Munroe under pressure from David McGurk. City's second goal, six minutes into the second-half, was much more aesthetically pleasing... Graham Heathcote threw on former Scarborough striker Chris Senior to partner O'Neill and City's nerves began to jangle uncontrollably... City then survived another scare when commonsense prevailed over the letter of the law for once. Referee Webb decided to play advantage as an overhit through ball bounced towards Henderson despite Senior being flagged offside. Henderson, though, assumed a free-kick had been given and rolled the ball out of his area, leaving Senior to fire into an empty net. The Durham official then gave the original offside decision much to the annoyance of Altrincham boss Heathcote, who turned to direct a verbal volley at the referee's assessor in the directors' box and was still chuntering about the decision more than ten minutes after the incident Move of the match: City's second goal, created by Elliott, Farrell and Panther and excellently finished by Brayson".
Meanwhile, City boss Billy McEwan "has challenged his players to prove if they are 'men or mice' following last night's 2-2 home draw against part-timers Altrincham... Last night's match also saw City surrender a winning position for the fourth time this season... the despairing City chief said: 'We are a soft touch at both ends of the pitch at the moment. We're failing to kill teams off and some of our marking is diabolical... they are showing naivety and their concentration levels must improve... I thought the young boy did OK in goal. He was positive and came for crosses and it was a big thing for him making his debut'".
YOUNG VISITORSAfter the summer holidays, Altrincham FC are pleased to announce their first visitors under the Featured Club scheme will be children from Stamford Park Junior School at the Oxford game on Saturday. This popular scheme has been extended for this season to include schools and other youth groups as well as teams from the Timperley and District Junior Football League.
OLD BOYSThis is Staffs says that "Leek Town suffered a double blow at Harrison Park last night. As well as losing by the only goal of the game to Prescot Cables, they had manager Paul Ogden rushed to hospital after complaining of abdominal pain... Ogden's assistant, Neil Brown, took charge for the remainder of the game, which was settled by a controversial winning goal shortly before the hour mark".
NL Daily reports on an FA Cup replay at Mossley which "went the way of visiting Woodley Sports by the odd goal in three. Ironically, Sports` winning goal came in stoppage time from former Mossley favourite Mario Daniel". Meanwhile in the Unibond League "Witton Albion moved into second spot after beating promoted Buxton 2-0 at Silverlands with goals from Brian Pritchard after 11 minutes and a Terry Bowker own goal".
BUCKETSAltrincham FC thanks all those who helped to raise £67.34 from the bucket collection at half-time of the match against Aldershot Town last week.
BSP NEWSOxford United are the next visitors to Moss Lane and on Tuesday night they lost keeper Billy Turley injured during their game with Exeter. The Oxford Mail says that "Oxford United threw away another two points at home last night - but manager Jim Smith said in the end, he was grateful for a draw... They sat back, and panicked, allowing the Grecians to strike twice in the last 12 minutes.. He said. 'I think we were fortunate to get a draw. They changed their system and kept going at us, kept knocking balls in the box... We kept giving them the ball and allowed them to cross too many balls into the box.'"
From the Northwich Guardian we read that "Neil Redfearn defended himself - and his players - after they sank to the foot of the table. Vics were well beaten by Burton, but their under-fire manager was unpeturbed by the first signs of discontent towards him from the Danebank. 'They'll call for my head but I'll stick by these players', he told the Guardian afterwards. 'I won't let them beat themselves up after their performance today, they showed the endeavour I've been asking for. If we score first I'm confident we could have got something from the game'". The paper adds that Vics suffered "their fifth successive defeat to leave them anchored to the foot of the table... Redfearn, joined on the bench for the first time by former Bradford Park Avenue boss Phil Sharpe, switched to 3-5-2 by the time he used all his substitutes but Vics were still soporific in attack".
5 September 2007
ALTY LOSE TV COVERAGEAltrincham FC has been informed that the home match against Cambridge United on Tuesday, 18th September, which was to be televised by Setanta Sports will NOT now be televised. This is due to a clash with Champions League football. Setanta has made a number of other schedule changes as well. As a consequence of these alterations both of our neighbours - Droylsden and Northwich Victoria - will now have live matches before we do. In the Bloods' case the coverage will be for their game with Oxford United on 6th October and for the Vics, the match in question will be on Saturday 15th October with a 5.15pm kick off. Torquay fans who have booked a midweek trip to York on Tuesday 23rd October will have to cancel it as the game has now been moved to Sunday 21st, having originally been scheduled for Saturday 20th October.
Altrincham FC had been planning to inaugurate its new floodlight system for the Cambridge United game but now only those who actually attend at Moss Lane will experience the new lights.
BSP NEWSThe BBC reports that "The consortium looking to buy Halifax Town has been given four weeks to complete its takeover of the club, after a reprieve at the High Court. The Inland Revenue asked for an adjournment for the club to pay its debts at a winding-up hearing. The judge gave the consortium 28 days to complete their takeover bid. 'It is the consortium's intention to discharge the liability to HM Revenue', said Chris Haddock, the lawyer acting for Town director Geoff Ralph. 'I hope this will bring to an end the uncertainty the fans have had to endure over the past year and particularly the last six months', he told the Halifax Courier. The Blue Square Premier club had earlier in the week approached a fans' community website in a last ditch attempt to avoid the club from folding. However, with the 28-day reprieve, the consortium looks set to step in and pay off the debts looming over the former Football League club".
If you want to vote for the Blue Square Premier “Player of the Month” award, follow this link to the Blue Square Football site. The awards for managers and for players in the North and South are being decided by a panel of experts and will be finalised at the end of this week. I will send the list of winners on Friday afternoon.
OLD BOYSAn Altrincham trialist this summer, the former Burnley striker Cayne Handley has joined FCUM where he will team up with fellow trialist Chris Baguley. Baguley is set to make his first start for FCUM this week in the UniBond's cup competition.
YORK PHOTOSThere are photos from Tuesday's draw at York here.
YORK CITY 2 ALTRINCHAM 2Altrincham deservedly took their first league point off York and had a third goal ruled out by a quite bizarre refereeing decision.
Match report here..
4 September 2007
TUESDAY GAMESTuesday 4th
BEFORE THE GAMEThis is York says that "York City boss Billy McEwan could hand under-pressure goalkeeper Tom Evans a final chance to survive the chop against Altrincham tonight. Evans suffered the latest in a string of uncertain performances during City's 3-2 home defeat to Rushden on Thursday. Republic of Ireland under-21 international 'keeper Stephen Henderson, pictured, was recruited the following day on loan from Bristol City but McEwan has not ruled out Evans carrying on in goal... McEwan said: 'I saw quite a few goalkeepers dropping clangers at the weekend, so it's not just Tom. In the Premier League, there are international 'keepers conceding stupid goals... I've had a chat with him and he knows he's cost us goals this season and not produced the form he did last season, but neither have a few others. The players in front of him have made diabolical errors which are uncharacteristic for them. We hope Tom's going to come through it, but you can't keep waiting'. About teenage prospect Henderson, McEwan added: 'He's been recommended by people who are well-respected in the game. We needed to get somebody in because Carl Pentney's loan has finished and he's gone back to Leicester. Stephen will provide a bit more competition for Tom as he's played in the first team at Bristol City and is a bit more experienced than Pentney, even though he's only 19'".
The York City website states that "The Minstermen will be aiming to recover from three successive home defeats when facing fellow strugglers Altrincham... Skipper Emmanuel Panther faces a late fitness test after limping out of the recent home defeat by Rushden & Diamonds... [But] boss Billy McEwan is refusing to ditch his attacking principles as a solution to the club's problems at the other end of the pitch... He said: 'I will never stop attacking. That's the way I am. I'm a Scottish manager with principles of playing football the correct way and attack is the best form of defence but we've got to make sure we concentrate more at both ends.. Altrincham are not the strongest team in the division, but they are not the weakest and, in Chris Senior and Colin Potts, they have players with pace who can hurt you... Our start to the season has been very painful because there are two things in football - winning and misery - but we've had cameos of quality play. That proves the quality is there but we have got to sustain those spells'... Having experimented with his frontline this season, McEwan indicated that he could keep faith with Richard Brodie and Paul Brayson tonight'... City will be looking to kick-start their season tonight against an Altrincham side without a win in ten matches. The miserable run stretches back to a 5-1 win at doomed St Albans back on April 7.... Misfiring front two Joe O'Neill and Chris Senior are likely to continue in attack. Both players have managed just one goal in their last 12 outings... First-choice central-midfielder Val Owen and defender Gary Scott are also currently sidelined with injury, although Altrincham bolstered their ranks before Friday's transfer deadline with the addition of former Southport left-back Sean Clancy, whose sister, Abigail, is the girlfriend of Liverpool and England striker Peter Crouch.... York City can boast a 100 per cent Conference record over Altrincham, having won the four previous encounters with a goal record of 13-0... Only once before have City lost their first four home league games. That was in Division Four in 1963-64".
Meanwhile the NL Today paper profiles Kit Kat Crescent: "York City purchased the land, which used to be a cricket ground in the summer of 1932. Bootham Crescent was opened on 31 August of that year... The stadium itself is a compact affair, situated against a backdrop of terraced housing. With a capacity for 9,034 supporters, it is large by nonleague standards... The view of the pitch - which at 105x67.5 metres (115x74 yards) is about the same size as Wembley - is excellent from the Main Stand although the supporting pillars can occasionally cause a problem. Supporting pillars are more of a problem in the smaller Popular Stand opposite. On its roof is a television gantry that at first glance looks to have been put together by a dodgy scaffolder... At one end is the David Longhurst Stand. This is a covered terrace where the home fans congregate... It was this end that was damaged by a Luftwaffe bomb. Opposite is the Grosvenor Road End, reserved for away supporters. Once through the turnstiles there is a feeling of travelling back in time as the terrace is uncovered and the mens toilets seem to have been there since the Vikings ruled the city. They are the open air 'stand up against a brick wall' urinals. At least there is a portakabin for the female fans... The club hope to move to a new purpose built stadium by 2015 which will no doubt be clean, well presented, have excellent facilities and no restricted views... Like York itself, Kit Kat Crescent radiates a rich sense of history although that might be the open air urinals".
YOUTH REPORTLast Sunday, Altrincham & District FA Youth, represented entirely by Altrincham FC, defeated Mid-Cheshire Youth (mostly from Witton Albion and Northwich Vics), 2-1 in their Cheshire County FA District Youth group stage match. Sam Madeley netted both goals. Report now in theyouth section..
Last Saturday Alty Youth team's Tom Bailey, Chris Francis and Dominic Lillie were in the Cheshire County FA side which beat the Isle of Man 3-2.
TUESDAYAltrincham's Carlos Logan is expected to be available for selection against York after going off injured against Aldershot on Saturday and it is hoped that international clearance will have been secured for left-back Sean Clancy before tonight's match at Kit Kat Crescent. Striker Colin Little remains suspended. The referee tonight is Mr D Webb.
Howard Watts's Through the Years information for Tuesday's game, on 4th September is here.
Last season, on our last visit to York, on Bonfire Night 2006, Alty lost to the only goal of the match. The teams that day were:
SATURDAY'S REFThe referee on Saturday against Oxford United is Mr Jock Waugh. He last officiated at Moss Lane for the final game of last season when we drew 0-0 with Aldershot Town. prior to that he also officiated in the 1-1 draw between Alty and Stevenage at Moss Lane on 7 January 2006 and on 3 September 2006 when Dagenham beat us 5-0 at Moss Lane.
BIG GATEIn yesterday's FA Cup match at Moss Lane between Trafford and FCUM, the gate was 2,238 and former Robin, Anthony Hargreaves was on the mark for United.
OLD BOYSIn action over last weekend were Gary Talbot (Leek T.), Eddie Hussin (Marine), Peter Band (Hyde), Chris Timons (Hucknall), Peter Thomson (on bench for Barrow), James Glendenning (booked for Caerfarnon), Dave Swanick and Alex Hay (Bangor) and Kevin Ellison (Chester City).
AWAY TEAM'S VIEWThe Aldershot News and Mail reports how The Shots "produced a hard-working, committed display to grab an important victory at Altrincham on Saturday... It is often said that the sign of a good side is one that can grind out a result when they have not played well, and that was the case for the Shots... The fans witnessed a home side unable to buy a win and a young visiting team that were never really allowed the time and space to play their best football... It was the home side that created the only meaningful chances in the first 23 minutes, with dangerous striker Chris Senior involved in everything creative... For all Altrincham’s possession, they did not really look like scoring and it was no surprise to see a clinical Shots’ counter attack put them a goal up on 24 minutes... The Shots were under pressure for the last ten minutes as Altrincham piled forward... The visitors also survived two penalty appeals as they clung on to gain three valuable points".
BSP NEWSIn Sunday's NL Paper, Cambridge United chairman Lee Power writes about the MyFootball.com phenomenon but it is the following throwaway line that is the most remarkable comment that he makes. After querying whether the MyFootball.com members would continue to raise money into a second or third season of controlling a club, he tells them what to expect: "A club like Cambridge loses between £300-£400,000 a year. The fans would cover the first year deficit but what happens after that?". The thought that a club might actually break even does not seem to be an option.
IC Surrey reports that "Football club owner Azwar Majeed could be facing jail for getting an employee to do his community service. Crawley FC owner Majeed, 31, of Dyke Road, Brighton, admitted dodging the 60-hour community service, punishment for an assault he committed in June 2005. Also in the dock at Hove Crown Court last Friday was co-defendant Danny Ullah, 29, of Seaview Avenue, Peacehaven, who carried out the community work on Majeed's behalf between July and September this year.By the time the offence was uncovered, Ullah had done seven, eight-hour gardening shifts and even posed for a photograph as Majeed. Judge Cedric Joseph said a custodial sentence was 'an over-whelming probability' after the court heard that Majeed used Ullah's previous address... after last November's sentencing. Although Majeed owned a property in the same building, the flat number he gave was Ullah's, not his,meaning his employee received correspondence relating to the punishment. Members of Majeed's family, including brother Chas, watched from the public gallery as both men pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. The offence usually carries a punishment of a short jail sentence or a fine. Nicholas Hamblin, defending Ullah, asked Judge Joseph to delay sentencing the men until September 21. He said Ullah had become a father 10 weeks ago and asked for this to be taken into consideration through a pre-sentence report. Majeed is also subject to a second 76-hour community service order for a separate offence, which has been suspended after a serious car crash in January. Both men were released on bail"
Another chairman in court is noted by the Oxford Mail, where we learn that "Oxford United chairman and owner Nick Merry has been bailed for two weeks after appearing at Banbury Magistrates' Court charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. Appearing at court today, Mr Merry, 45, of Bloxham, did not make a plea and the case was adjourned because prosecution papers were not ready. Mr Merry will appear again on Monday, September 17".
This is Staffs says that "The gulf between the full- and part-time teams in the Blue Square Premier was evident again on Saturday as another encouraging performance by Stafford Rangers went unrewarded. A goal in each half sent unbeaten Torquay back to the top of the table, while Stafford remain in bottom position ... 'Last season it took a while for the part-time teams to filter down to the bottom', said manager Phil Robinson. 'The division is really strong this year - stronger than last year. Already there is a divide, but we are going to keep working hard to buck the trend and get back among the full-time teams higher up the table. I think we need a little bit of luck in front of goal'. There wasn't much wrong with Stafford's performance at Plainmoor before a crowd of 2,980. Indeed, they could well have taken an early lead as Marco Adaggio, Greg Stones and Kevin Street all went close to breaking the deadlock... Robinson added: 'I though we played particularly well in the first half and created some good opportunities'".
NL Daily says that "Joining loan signing from Coventry City, Andy Gooding, at Burton Albion ahead of the transfer deadline was Northampton Town midfielder Sam Aiston. The 30-year-old signed on a two-month loan deal but his signing was completed too late for the Conference deadline to allow him to play at Crawley Town on Saturday. However, he will be available for Tuesday's game at Northwich Victoria. Aiston spent time at both Newcastle and Sunderland, taking in spells with Chester, Stoke and Shrewsbury on loan. A permanent move to Gay Meadow saw him spend five seasons with the Shrews. Upon his release he nearly signed for the Brewers two summers ago before Tranmere Rovers offered him the chance to stay in the Football League. He signed for the Cobblers in the summer of 2006".
The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that "Lee Sinnott admitted his side were fortunate to come away with the points after a late, late show saw off Northwich at Throstle Nest. Two last-gasp strikes from Simeon Bambrook and Tristian Whitman in the final ten minutes did the damage... He said: 'It was one of those games that drives a manager bananas. I didn't think we got out of the blocks in the game. That was the frustrating aspect, but the pleasing aspect was picking up three points... We played much better against Cambridge, Rushden and Burton and came away with nothing'".
The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Imraan Ladak has hit back at Droylsden boss Dave Pace after a war of words broke out between the pair over the battle for sponsorship money in the Blue Square Conference. Kettering Town chairman Ladak threw his support behind Conference North chairman Bob Andrews of Tamworth last week after he called for a vote of no confidence in the board... Ladak maintains his problem is with the board being made up predominantly of Premier clubs who are deciding how much money is dished out. Ladak has hit back at Pace and said: 'I'm a little disappointed by his comments. But I have no problem with Dave. We are similar as we both tell it as we see it... Maybe he has been misinformed as to the points I am making. I agree that the Premier is the place to be and that is where the highest proportion of sponsorship money should be. I strongly believe that the decision of how much money ends up in the Premier, North and South should not be made by Premier clubs as there is a clear conflict of interest. The point I am making is a matter of principle and is nothing personal against any club or individual. I am unhappy with the system. I can assure Dave we are getting off our backside to try to get in the Premier and I sincerely hope that, if we do get there, he hasn't left "the pinnacle" as I do enjoy our games!'".
Droylsden's Craig Robinson who left the Bloods this week, played for Hyde last Saturday.
3 September 2007
HALIFAX IN A FIXThe BBC says that "Halifax Town have approached fans' community website MyFootballClub in an attempt to save the club from folding. The Shaymen face a winding-up order on Wednesday over unpaid taxes and talks with a consortium seeking to take them over appear to have run out of time. MyFootballClub has enlisted over 50,000 members since May and is now collecting money to buy up a suitable club. 'I can confirm we have made an approach to MyFootballClub', said a spokesman for Halifax director Geoff Ralph. 'Having received no communication from the consortium's solicitors, and in the face of the winding-up petition which has been presented to the High Court, we have no alternative but to seek intervention from elsewhere'.
Halifax owe more than £100,000 to the Inland Revenue and have been in takeover talks with the consortium since last year without reaching a resolution, despite the club saying last week that they were confident of agreeing a deal. The MyFootballClub website launched in May seeking fans willing to invest £35 each to buy a team, with each member an equal partner... Members will have a vote on transfers as well as player selection and all major decisions affecting the club.
A lawyer for MyFootballClub said: 'We are not privy to Halifax Town's internal financial dealings. However, the club is a popular choice among our members, so it is one we will consider'.. Simon Denton, editor of the Shaymen Down South fanzine and website said: "Given the recent history of Halifax Town, one is left to wonder whether a club run and owned by 50,000 could be any worse than what we have experienced to date...Richard Harris, board member of both the Supporters Trust and the Stadium Trust, added: 'A club run by the fans for the fans is a tempting proposition. We have got Shaymen Down South, why can't we have them north, east and west as well. I concede that this model for running a football club has its problems, but the challenge of solving them puts a smile on my face'".
SUNDAY AT MOSS LANEIn yesterday's match at Moss Lane, FC United of Manchester defeated Trafford 5-2.
SATURDAY VERDICTSOn Saturday Alty lost 1-2 to Aldershot Town but played well.
The Aldershot Town site says that "Gary Waddock's side battled to maximum points at Moss Lane; the first Aldershot victory against Graham Heathcote's side at the sixth attempt. In truth, after surviving an early onslaught, boss Waddock's side responded well after Jonny Dixon's 24th minute opener... The visitors showed tremendous battling qualities and rode their luck towards the end to secure another three points on the road. The boss said afterwards, 'This was a great result and it wasn't our best performance by a long way. We scored with our first attempt on goal and that makes a change because it has normally been the other way round. It was unfortunate to go in at the break on level terms. Nikki Bull has been outstanding in the games so far and he will make mistakes like all players but fortunately we went on to win the game. The players did respond after the break but it was not to the standard that we are looking for. There is lots of room for improvement...It was a relief at the final whistle'... There was a set back prior to kick off when striker John Grant was ruled out with a back injury... Former Shots trialist Chris Senior's pace and trickery caused problems... Joe O'Neill's 20 yard strike cannoned off the bar with Bull beaten on 13 minutes and Steve Aspinall also went close with a 20 yard lob. When Karl Munroe nipped in between Rhys Day and Anthony Charles to fire goalbounds only to see his effort deflect just wide for a corner Altrincham must have had visions of deja-vu. The was confirmed on 24 minutes when Ben Harding powerfully strode through the centre before squaring the ball to Jonny Dixon who, from 22 yards, shot delicately over Coburn to see the ball hit the roof of the net... The home side were fired up and came out after the break looking the more threatening side". The Shots' web site also has a wide selection of match photos.
YORK'S NEW KEEPEROur next opponents look like facing us with a new goalkeeper. This is York confirms that "York City manager Billy McEwan beat yesterday's transfer deadline to snap up Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Stephen Henderson. The 20-year-old agreed to join the club on a month's loan from Bristol City, whom he joined this summer after two years with Premiership Aston Villa. Henderson enjoyed a baptism of fire with the Coca-Cola Championship side when he was pitched into his debut in the second-half of Bristol City's season opener against Queens Park Rangers at Ashton Gate after first-choice Adriano Basso suffered a thigh injury... That was Henderson's sole appearance this year, but he is likely to get a bigger taste of the action with City as regular number one Tom Evans is likely to be axed after a poor start to the Blue Square Premier campaign. Had McEwan not acted to get another goalkeeper in, he would have been faced with plunging 18-year-old Carl Pentney into the fray for City's next match at home to Altrincham on Tuesday night. It looks now as if Henderson will be the man for that task. Henderson's Ashton Gate employers have imposed a 24-hour recall clause on the month's loan for the Dublin-born shot-stopper".
MORE ROADWORKSThe incovnvenience of the Metrolink upgrading works is now over but the roadworks in the centre of Altrincham continue to necessitate a one-way system through the town until November. And now another major scheme is gettung underway as SAM reports on a how "A public exhibition by United Utilities took place [last week] to outline plans of a £3.2 million scheme to tackle sewer flooding in Altrincham. The work will start on September 17 and is expected to go on until March next year... The size of the sewer in the lower part of Brunswick Road and Bridgewater Road is set to be increased, and engineers are also building a storm water holding tank on the Navigation Recreation Ground which will prevent the flooding of local properties. The tank, which will be 20m across and 12m deep, will be able to hold 2,200 million litres of water - enough to fill one Olympic-sized swimming pool. As a result, Navigation Road will be restricted for the duration of the works". This should not have a direct effect on away fans travelling to Moss Lane, whilst locals are "sewer" to find a way round the holes in the road.
2 September 2007
TODAY AT MOSS LANEThis afternoon at Moss Lane, at 3pm, Trafford FC take on FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup, a match moved from our neighbour's Shawe View on police advice. Entry for adults is £7.
Carlos Logan (above) had a promising debut yesterday but had to be taken off injured by physio Sean Riley. Meanwhile, Graham Heathcote (back to camera) adjusts his team to make up for the winger's departure.
After yesterday's game, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "I couldn't ask for any more in terms of commitment. For 25 minutes we bossed the game and had quality chances. But we struggled to finish. I was looking to bring in a striker on loan but couldn't match the financial deal needed. We've lost but but the improved performance shows we might have turned a little corner". The NLP statistics show Alty had 6 shots on target to Aldershot's five, won seven corners against five and conceded only 10 fouls against 18.
LIGHTING PROGRESSESThe floodlight installation at Moss Lane is on schedule, with all eight pylons now in place but with lights still to be fitted to more than half of them. Completion date is expected to be 12th September, six days before inauguration for the match against Cambridge United.
SEAN HAS TO WAITNew signing, nineteen year-old Liverpool-born left-back Sean Clancy (right) was involved in yesterday's warm-up for Altrincham but unavailable for selection as his international clearance had not come through. Sean has played in the USA as well as in the UK for the likes of Blackpool, Burscough and Southport.
ENGLAND GAMEAfter next Saturday's game at home to Oxford United (3pm), the England v Israel international will be televised in the bar (Noel White Suite). The "Golden Goals" competion will not only take place for the Alty game but also for the England match, so you have a double chance to win a prize!
BINGO!A Bingo Evening will be held in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge on Monday, 19th November - if you can donate any items (groceries, etc) as prizes, these will be most welcome. Please contact the club for details 928-1045.
OLD BOYSRod Thornley, who left Altrincham this week, scored on Saturday for Witton Albion. An Alty trialist this summer, Steven Moore (ex-Curzon Ashton) got the winner for Flixton in the FA Cup. Also in the Cup, Mark Quayle netted again for Colwyn Bay, whilst Peter Wright scored for Kendal Town. And though Leigh lost 4-1 at home to Kettering "Kieran Lugsden did manage to breach the visitors' defences with 6 minutes to go".
BSP NEWSThe Northwich Guardian says that "Mike Connett spoke to Neil Redfearn tonight about his future at Northwich Victoria. A visibly crestfallen Redfearn was whisked away from Throstle Nest by his boss without speaking to the press following his side's disastrous 2-1 defeat to Farsley Celtic. He barely even had time to speak to his underachieving players. Connett, clearly furious at the final whistle, waited for Redfearn at the tunnel entrance before the pair left the ground together. The Guardian has learned that his instinct is to keep faith with Redfearn, who has struggled to find a winning formula this season. But Vics now lie penultimate bottom, tied with Stafford Rangers, with one point. Vics slumped to their fifth defeat in six matches this afternoon". Vics were "watched by more than 100 travelling fans plus new boys Carl Furlong and James Scales".
In the NL Paper, various managers are quoted on the resignation from the Football Conference of John Moules. Our own Graham Heathcote says: "I had fall outs with John over referees at times but the bottom line is that huge strides were made during his time with the Conference and he made a massive contribution to those strides... Nobody should fail to acknowledge the job John did and nobody can argue the Conference didn't improve in his time there".
Droylsden's Dave Pace goes further, laying into Kettering owner Imran Ladak and Tamworth chairman Bob Andrews for their campaign to oust Moules. Pace said, "I'm hoping their campaign had nothing to do with John's resignation. They say it isn't but it all adds up. They ought to give the bloke a medal for getting North and South clubs two and a half times more sponsorship money than last year". Referring to Tamworth chairman Bob Andrews, Pace continued, "The fella at Tamworth is swapping sides like the Italian army. He wants to get his own house in order and get back up... Now he's not in the BSP, he's kicking off and making all sorts of waves. He should just start priaising John for what he did. Ladak has got to realise that he's got to get in the Premier and then get the rewards. Setanta TV doesn't want to watch Blue Square North and South clubs. They don't even want to watch Droylsden and we're up there!... I'm not moaning, just trying to make my team better so we might get a live game in future. Ladak wants to shut up and concentrate on getting up... Tamworth and Kettering wouldn't be shouting off if they were in the Blue Square Premier. They want to get off their backsides and get in it". Meanwhile, from the BBC, we learn that: "John Moules will be in the studio on the Non League Show this Monday from 9pm. (September 3rd) Email your questions to John - firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen LIVE to the Non League Show every Monday from 9pm www.bbc.co.uk/nonleague or in the greater London area by tuning to 94.9 FM or BBC London DAB and Sky channel 0152".
NL Daily reports that "Basingstoke Town have announced the signing of Michael Charles from Woking. It comes at the same time as Carl Gibbs has chosen to go the other way, leaving the Dragons for the opportunity of full time football with the Blue Square Premier outfit". Frank Gray, manager of Woking, has made a hat trick of signings ahead of the transfer deadline. Striker Carl Gibbs has joined... Gibbs played under Gray at Farnborough, and has joined on non-contract terms, as has Albanian forward Izedin Harusha, 22. The Kossova-born striker has recently been turning out for Corinthian Casuals in the Ryman League Division One South. Also joining the Cards is former Chelsea left back James Younghusband, who is a Philippine international, left Chelsea in 2006 and has recently been on the books at home-town Ashford Town".
1 September 2007
ALTRINCHAM 1 ALDERSHOT TOWN 2
Right: Darren Tinson receives his team-mates' congratulations after scoring for Alty whilst goalkeeper Nikki Bull rues his error.
Altrincham were very unfortunate to take nothing from their best sustained performance over ninety minutes this season.
Saturday 1 September
The Manchester Evening News confirms that Altrincham's "Colin Little is suspended and midfielder Val Owen is likely to join Gary Scott, out through injury. Matty Berkeley is away having been called up to the St Kitts and Nevis u-23 squad". SAM confirms that "Rod Thornley has left Altrincham after more than six years with the club. The prolific striker was Alty's top scorer among actrive players but has decided to move on after finding opporunities limited recently... Alty boss Graham Heathcote said Thornley would be sorely missed. 'He's been fantastic for the club for the past six years. He's helped everybody pull this club around and he's a very popular figure. He'll be missed. "It's been a difficult couple of years for him though. After he picked up his knee injury he lost a yard of pace and has struggled to get back to his best. I'm now beginning to think we are in a bit of a transitional period and some of the lads who have been here a while are finding it hard when they're not in the team every week'".
SAM says that "Left-sided duo Sean Clancy and Carlos Logan have both arrived at Moss Lane in a flurry of transfer activity... Winger Logan is the more high profile of the pair, having recently been released by Darlington. Older brother of Manchester City youngster Shaleum, the 22-year-old also started his career at City before moving on to Darlo, where he scored four goals in more than 40 League Two appearances. Last season he also spent time on loan at Bradford, where he made just four appearances.
Clancy, meanwhile, featured in Southport's unsuccessful Conference campaign last season, while also spending time on loan at Burscough. He has returned to play in England after a spell in America this summer and recently turned out for Alty's Reserves in their recent game against Bradford Reserves, as well as spending time on trial at both Bury and Shrewsbury. Heathcote said: 'I'm pleased with both signings. Carlos wanted to stay in the Football League but when he didn't sign up with any club he decided to come here to get some football under his belt. He wants to get back into the League and sees this as a shop window. But if he can come in and give us a couple of good months then it would be a good deal. Sean will be coming in for an initial month so that we can both see if the deal works out. He's played in the Conference with Southport so he's a good standard... I have spoken to two clubs about bringing in defenders on loan', he said. 'But we couldn't meet the wages for one of them and although the other club would've been happy for their player to join us, they were short of cover so kept him there. I still want to strengthen the squad though so we could bring in another player on loan after deadline day'"
Our opponents, Aldershot Town say that the "Shots travel to Altrincham on Saturday afternoon aiming to secure a first ever victory against Graham Heathcote's side... Supporters who travelled to Altrincham will recall the tremendous exploits of goalkeeper Nikki Bull on the day and the popular stopper told 'The Shots', 'It was quite funny last season because the Altrincham supporters were passing the bucket round for a collection towards the end of the match for me to let a goal in. Obviously I didn't go along with that and they were giving me a bit of stick after the game. I am sure that as they are still in the league they will give me a warm reception on Saturday....We'd love to go up and win 1-0 to be honest. I know the fans want to see some fancy football and score some goals but at the moment we are desperate for a clean sheet because without that you achieve nothing'. Manager Gary Waddock is aware of the dangers Altrincham may bring: 'We have had some good results away from home so far. After the disappointment of the Crawley match I want to respond positively... Altrincham will make it difficult for us. Lewis Chalmers is going back to his old club and he will want to impress but I don't want him to try too hard because it normally goes pear shaped if you do that. There are a lot of tough games in this league and I know that Altrincham won't be lying down for anybody and they want to get their season going with a win. I'm not so sure that there is going to be a runaway leader this season...We are close to the top group and I want to be able to carry that on... We need to start keeping clean sheets plus be more ruthless in front of goal so there are areas to focus on and we will do that'. With the continued absence of Ricky Newman and Dean Smith the boss is not expecting to be adding to the squad before the transfer window ended on Friday. He also confirmed that Ryan Williams had his knee operation on Wednesday evening... It is also confirmed that Ricky Newman is back in full training but is not likely to be included in the first team squad... Dean Smith... will remain sidelined for a further three weeks".
OLD BOYSThis is Staffs reports as "Leek Town face another stiff test at table-topping Guiseley... Blues will check on the fitness of Gary Talbot... And they will be without the services of striker Pat McFadden, who has been recalled by Altrincham". And Carl Furlong has signed for Northwich Vics (see below...)
NEXT AWAY OPPONENTSAltrincham travel to York on Tuesday where the full-time side will have the additional benefit of two extra days' rest after playing their last game on Thursday.
Blue Square states that "York City boss Billy McEwan has hinted that he will drop struggling goalkeeper Tom Evans. Evans looked short of confidence in last night's 3-2 home defeat to Rushden and Diamonds and could now lose his place for Tuesday's home game against Altrincham. City have conceded 12 goals in their first six games so far this season, which is the highest number in the Blue Square Premier. McEwan may sign a new goalkeeper before today's (Friday) transfer deadline or pick on-loan Leicester City teenager Carl Pentney. Pentney's one-month loan deal comes to an end a week tomorrow (Saturday September 8). McEwan told The Press: 'Tom might need to have a wee rest and I will be having a chat with him. He was my Player of the Year last season and was outstanding with 21 clean sheets. Like most 'keepers, he could have done better with a few goals but, in general, he had a fantastic campaign. Now though, he's not a patch on the player he was. His confidence has gone a bit and that can affect players. Outfield players can get away with things but he's the last line of defence even though he was a bit unlucky with the second and third goals when we did not defend properly. He's got to be big and strong now and he's 30 with lots of Football League experience under his belt'... City lost 3-2 [to Rushden] and McEwan... said: 'We had so much of the game and some of our attacking play was scintillating but... we gave them goals on a plate by making basic errors.. I know I keep saying we will be all right but I believe we will be'".
York City have confirmed that "defender Joey Hutchinson has been released... Joey Hutchinson joined York City on non-contract terms. The player asked to be released as he stated he would like to sign for a club closer to his family home in the Midlands. Joey Hutchinson featured in the squad for four matches this season and made appearances against Exeter and Northwich".
BSP NEWSThe Northwich Guardian reports that "Neil Redfearn has signed four players... [On Friday morning] the Vics' boss had told the Guardian that he didn't expect any new names to be on tomorrow's teamsheet for the trip to Farsley Celtic after a frustrating week. But he has strengthened his struggling squad after a frantic afternoon on the phone. Barnsley front runner Michael Coulson [ex-Scarborough] has signed on a month-long loan deal as cover for injury victim Lee Steele. The 20-year-old had been subject to an offer by Vics earlier in the week but waited to see if he could fix a switch to another Football League club before agreeing to move to the Victoria Stadium. Midfielder James Scales, who has been training with Vics this summer, has signed from Bangor City. The 19-year-old was a reserve team regular at Chester City before spells with Lancaster City, Morecambe and Colwyn Bay. He signed for Bangor in February before his release at the end of the season. 'James is a busy, quick midfield player who will give us some balance in there', said Redfearn. Next on the list is experienced forward Carl Furlong, who moves from Caernarfon Town. Now 30, he began his career at Wigan Athletic and has also turned out for Vics' Blue Square Premier rivals Droylsden and Altrincham. Former Preston North End academy graduate Reece Hardy, 18, will also spend a spell on work experience at the Victoria Stadium. 'He's a striker with bags of pace', said Redfearn. 'It gives us another option up front with three forwards out injured at the moment'. Redfearn appears to have missed out on Chester City stopper Sean Hussey, who has been linked with Dave Pace's Droylsden. 'We were not quite able to do the maths there', he said".
Coventry City report that their "midfielder Andy Gooding has signed a one-month loan deal with Burton Albion. The England youth international, who has risen through the Academy ranks at City, links-up with the Brewers in time to ;play in their trip to Crawley Town. Gooding, 19, a regular in the Sky Blues reserve side which won the Birmingham Senior Cup in 2006/07 and was handed a first-team squad number for the first time upon the arrival of manager Iain Dowie. He ended last season on a high by earning a late call-up to the England under-19 squad for their European Championship match against Holland at the Ricoh Arena in May". Burton Albion themselves confirm that on "deadline day there have been movements both in and out of the Pirelli Stadium ... Coventry City youngster Andy Gooding has joined the Brewers on a month's loan.... One player not making the trip to Sussex is Jon Shaw who has today been sold to rivals Halifax Town for an undisclosed fee. Jon joined the Brewers in 2004 and was leading scorer in his first two seasons with the club. Jon netted four times in the Conference last season but has yet to start in attack this season".
The Manchester Evening News reported last night that "Droylsden boss Dave Pace is poised to make a dranatic transfer deadline swoop for up to three Chester players... Pace... has been ofered his pick of five fringe Chester first-teamers, believed to be Ashley Westwood, Phil Bolland, Simon Marples, Sean Hessey and Dean Bennett. He's also homing in on 24 year-old former United striker Colin Heath, noiw a free agent after a spwll with Royal Antwerp. Pace has released centre-half Craig Robinson and transfer-listed summer-signing Mark Hotte". It is believed that Robinson asked to be released. But fromIC Cheshire "Chester centre-back Ashley Westwood has joined Port Vale on loan until January, while midfielder Dean Bennett has moved to Kidderminster for three months. City chairman Stephen Vaughan said, 'We have a large squad at the club currently and obviously this means that certain players won’t be getting the regular football they naturally desire'... Defender Simon Marples is expected to agree to a loan move to Farsley Celtic... Defender Sean Hessey has been the subject of enquiries from Northwich and Droylsden, and the player will give a decision today [Friday]." Meanwhile, Blue Square reveals that "Barrow manager Phil Wilson has strengthened his squad with the signing of utility player Joe Fowler from Droylsden. The former Tranmere starlet signed for the Bloods in February but has since been deemed surplus to requirements".
"Crawley could lose two key players before the transfer window closes", said Friday's The Argus. "Manager Steve Evans is... trying to replace the duo with loan signings... Evans said: 'We have had an enquiry about one player and I am thinking it over whether I should let them speak to the club. Another player has personal problems which might lead to them going as well. I'm disappointed but it is for personal reasons and I have to respect that. I expect to bring players in and am waiting for their clubs to come back to me. I want to fine tune the squad and have had conversations with players I am interested in. We are looking at loan players which involves financial help from their clubs so we are asking them to assist us'". Against Burton they face Daryl Clare. "Evans sold the prolific hitman [from Boston] to Crawley in 2005... Evans said: 'I know everything there is to know about Daryl Clare. I know his wife, his kids, the colour of his eyes... We would not have won the Conference had it not been for him. He is a brilliant player... If we win we could be in the top six. If you told anyone who knew Crawley at the start of the season that they would be near the top after six games they would probably have put you in a straight jacket. It shows how well we have done'".
"Oxford United are hoping to sign former Arsenal, Millwall, Gillingham and Sheffield United striker Paul Shaw on a non-contract basis. The 33-year-old is looking for a club after being released by Chesterfield earlier this month. He has had talks with U's boss Jim Smith and joined in United's training session at Milton Heights yesterday. Smith hopes to sign him in the next few days... As a player without a club, he can be taken on even after the deadline... United manager Jim Smith said: 'We're in negotiations not so much about wages - because we don't have any - but he's scared of signing with the window closing, and not being able to move anywhere else. But we've had it on good authority - seriously good authority - that the only clubs he wouldn't be able to sign for would be in the Conference. But we've got to get that in writing'. Asked if he would need to offload a player to sign Shaw and keep within the Conference's strict wage-cap, Smith replied that it was different if he remained on non-contract terms. 'We won't need to get one out if he signs non-contract because they're not on proper contracts and are not on proper wages', he explained. 'But if we wanted him, and he wanted to stay, yes, players would have to go'" according to the Oxford Mail .
The Salisbury Journal says that "Salisbury City have made the loan signing of Andy Sandell a permanent one, have taken Stevenage Borough's Luke Oliver on loan and have allowed Craig Richards to go out on loan for one month. Manager Nick Holmes said he is delighted to have captured Sandell from Bristol Rovers for a substantial undisclosed fee... Sandell has signed a three-year deal with the club. Oliver is a versatile player who joined Stevenage Borough from Yeovil Town for £15,000. He has also played for Woking and began last season as Stevenage's skipper... Holmes last week allowed City striker Paul Sales to move to Eastleigh". The manager confirmed that "Luke will be with us for three months". But "Heading out of Old Sarum for the time being is Craig Richards, who Holmes signed during the summer, but has allowed to join Bognor Regis Town for a month".
Woking FC "are delighted to announce the signing of two new strikers... Carl Gibbs joins from Basingstoke and Albanian forward Izedin Harusha also comes to Kingfield. Both have signed on non-contract terms".
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