an unofficial website
VIRGIN ON THE RIDICULOUSVirgin Media is again having problems which are impacting on this website. A few days ago broadband services in Manchester were all "down". Now Virgin has a nation-wide problem with connections to Germany and that is where much of this website is hosted. This site is accessible via providers other than Virgin but seemingly not via Virgin itself. If this problem persists I will move the Home Page to another URL tomorrow and will post that address on the Alty Fans' Forum. In the meantime apologies to all affected users; hopefully Mr Branson will sort this problem out soon.
GRAHAM SET TO STRENGTHEN THE SQUADSAM reports that "Graham Heathcote is looking to bring his reinforcements in the January transfer window after watching his team play well yet ultimately lose at Stevenage on Monday. The Robins outplayed their illustrious hosts for long periods of the game at Broadhall Way, fizzing the ball about with skill and confidence. But once again individual errors proved fatal as Craig Dobson capitalised on a couple of defensive slip-ups to give Boro an undeserved victory. And the Alty boss is fed up of watching his side come away empty-handed from games where they have more than matched the opposition. He told SAM Sport: 'It was the classic game of frustration but you have just got to take the positives from it because the lads proved again they can play good football. We went to Stevenage, outplayed them, yet still didn't win the game. But I get tired of saying we are playing too well to lose these games, so something has to be done. The board have done well to give us a few more bob in the January transfer window so we'll be looking to strengthen. But the problem is that we'll probably have to rely on loan players because all the good players out there require a transfer fee. We need to try and get some more firepower. Colin Little and Chris Senior have done OK and they'll get us 10 to 15 goals a season each but we need more. We need another type of midfielder and we've needed a natural left back for a year and a half. Those are the areas I'd like to strengthen... We have closed the gap (on the teams above us) but results don't prove that', he said. 'The results are the main thing but I also look at the team in terms of its development over the years. We were fourth bottom of the Unibond when I took over so I think we've developed really well. We are a decent part-time side but people don't understand how hard it is for us to compete in this league under those circumstances. I believe we've put together a decent side within the part-time constraints but we're not getting the results. I'm talking about organisation, the ability of players to pass the ball and move - we are good in those areas and showed that against Stevenage'. He also refused to blame Gary Scott for defeat at Stevenage, although the full back made two crucial errors that led to both the home side's goals. 'Gary Scott (right) made two mistakes against Stevenage but he will be the first name on the teamsheet on Saturday because he's played very well recently'".
CHESHIRE NEWSThis is Staffs claims that "Crewe are set to cold shoulder a new 'Cheshire Bowl' pre-season tournament aimed at the county's League clubs. The competition has been proposed as an alternative to their involvement in the Cheshire Senior Cup, which ended this season. The Senior Cup's format now excludes Crewe, Chester, Macclesfield, Stockport and Tranmere and leaves the trophy to be contested for by non-league sides such as Nantwich who are already through to the last four. Crewe, who re-entered the competition in 1998, used the ties primarily as invaluable reserve experience for their fringe players after dropping out of the Lancashire League. But Cheshire FA bosses were concerned about the fielding of weakened sides and now would like to see a revival of the old Cheshire Bowl tournament with the professional clubs pitted against each other at first-team level in the summer.
'The Cheshire Senior Cup games were useful for us, it was a good competition to keep tabs on our fringe players', said Crewe assistant manager Neil Baker. 'But they have changed things this season and now the Football League teams are wanted in a pre-season tournament. We don't think that will suit us'. While neighbours Port Vale have re-entered the Pontins League after a spell out of reserve football, Crewe are still resistant to the idea of organised second-string competition. Instead, they argue the reserve games they play on an ad hoc basis, including those against sides from Manchester United and Liverpool, serve their needs best. They also play regular in-house games, like Tuesday's practice match arranged to assess Nicky Maynard's match fitness".
BSP NEWSAs reported yesterday, the Northwich Guardian now confirms that "The taxman yesterday asked a judge at London's High Court of Justice for more time so talks over a takeover of Northwich Victoria could continue. The hearing will now take place on January 30. A consortium led by Jim Rushe hopes to have concluded a deal by then with HM Revenue and Customs to pay off Vics' reported £400,000 tax bill. 'I'm very confident of going forward', he told the Guardian. "We've made what we think is the best offer and it's up to them whether they accept it'. Negotiations between the consortium, which also includes Northwich businessman Nick Bone, have been painstakingly slow over the past fortnight. They have agreed a deal with all the club's creditors apart from the taxman. 'We're really close', added Rushe. 'It would be such a waste to come this far then see the work be for nothing'. It appears HM Revenue and Customs agree, for they would not see a penny if Vics were liquidated by a winding-up order. The fact that this latest adjournment is a nine-week one is perhaps an indication that they believe, like Rushe, that a deal is close".
Meanwhile, "A fans' consortium have contacted the Guardian to say they could be interested in buying Northwich Victoria. The first 500 members of supporters' website ThePeoplesClub.com have placed the Blue Square Premier strugglers at the top of their wishlist. But Jim Rushe need not get worried because another 39,500 unnamed members haven't voted yet. The two Oxford businessmen behind the venture, launched last month, aim to persuading 40,000 people to shell out £39 each to help takeover a football club. 'The choice of club that gets bought is down to the fans and followers of Northwich Victoria can play a large part in deciding which club that is', said commercial manager Simon Lassam in a thinly-disguised bid to drum up more support. He may need to do a bit more homework on Dino Maamria's men though. ThePeoplesClub.com website says they are only interested in teams that have long term potential, little or no debt and enjoy a sizeable catchment area within an hour's drive of the ground.' Some may argue Northwich don't tick too many of those boxes right now... Last week another website, MyFootballClub.com announed they had bought a 51 per cent share of Vics' rivals Ebbsfleet United for a cool £700,000. 'We are on schedule to raise £1million', added Lassam. 'It's a big enough sum to buy a lot of clubs in the lower leagues and have money left over to invest. That could be on new players, better facilities, youth development, advanced commercial activities and so on'. He said member registrations are on target to have funds available to open negotiations at the end of this season with the club chosen by members. By then Messrs Rushe, Bone, Campbell and co should be firmly in charge at the Victoria Stadium".
From the Cambridge Evening News we learn that "Cambridge United have made Michael Morrison 'a fantastic financial offer' to stay at the Abbey. Chairman Lee Power said he hoped the England C international, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, would accept the new deal after turning down a previous offer in the summer. But he said the United board, who rejected an offer from Southend for the defender in the summer, wanted an answer one way or the other as soon as possible from the Haverhill teenager, who has previously had trials with the likes of Chelsea, Everton and Newcastle. Power said: 'We've made Michael a fantastic financial offer for this level and I think he'd benefit from staying with us for another year or two under the guidance of Jimmy (Quinn) and Alan (Lewer). It's a big decision for the lad - everyone has got to be aware of that - the same as it was for Robbie (Simpson). Michael is going to mull it over with his family and his agent, but, although we'll give him enough time to think about it, we've asked for an early decision from him'. Power added it was important for United to make it into the draw for the third round of the FA Cup by beating Weymouth on Saturday. Despite the club not budgeting for a cup run of any sort, he said the possibility of a draw against a top Premier League side would be very welcome. He said: 'It's massive for any club at our level or even a couple of levels above to get to the third round, though we've done well just to get here. We'll be the favourites because we're at home, not just because we're doing well in the league, but Weymouth will think they've got a good chance as well... The financial situation is probably the best it has been for a number of years, but we still budget to lose a lot of money this year. Although we do have everything in place to try to fill that hole, it would be lovely for a cup run to do it'". Yes, he really did say, "The financial situation is probably the best it has been for a number of years, but we still budget to lose a lot of money this year".
The Burton Mail says that "Albion's Daryl Clare will have to wait until next week before he can undergo ankle surgery. Albion had hoped the operation would be carried out this week to coincide with the start of the 12-goal striker's three-match suspension. However, the surgeon used by the club is currently away on holiday. The delay should not dent Albion's hopes of having Clare back in action for their Boxing Day derby at Stafford. Manager Nigel Clough said: 'Ideally, we wanted Daryl to have the operation this week, but if all goes to plan he should still be available for our games over the Christmas period. There is even a possibility he could play for us in the Setanta Shield on the Saturday before Christmas'. Clare needs the operation to cure an ankle problem dating back to August.
Midfielder Andy Gooding could have played his last game for the Brewers. Gooding, who returns to Coventry City next week after two months on loan at the Pirelli Stadium, is doubtful for Saturday's FA Cup second round tie against Barnet because of a knee injury".
Farsley Today tells us that ""Farsley Celtic are set to start the interview process in the search for a permanent successor to Lee Sinnott.Caretaker-boss John Deacey will meet the board next week, while Jon Schofield, Bobby Davison, Chris Kiwomya and Andy Preece are also expected to be offered interviews".
NEIL'S SUCCESSOR SOON DEPARTSAltrincham FC groundsman and former reserves' manager Neil Brown was briefly caretaker boss at Leek Town recently. Now, the NL Daily tells us that "Leek Town are looking for a new manager following the shock resignation of Paul Moore. Moore, 38, who was in his second spell at Harrison Park, has joined UniBond Division One South side Warrington Town. Moore said: 'My decision is purely for footballing reasons. Warrington are my home-town club and they made me an offer I could not refuse. I have not fallen out with anyone at Leek. I live 5 minutes from the Warrington ground, which had a bearing on my decision, but is not the major factor. There is a lot going on behind the scenes at Warrington and they want to move forward rapidly. I am flattered they see me as the man to take them where they want to go and I will be in charge of all footballing matters'. This is the second time Moore has quit Leek. He walked out at the end of last season having masterminded their miraculous escape from relegation on the last day. But Moore remained out of work until early October when he returned to replace acting manager Neil Brown. Leek had started the season with Paul Ogden in charge, but he stood down on health grounds after just six games. Brown took over for a further seven games, but with Leek second from bottom in the UniBond Premier, Moore was welcomed back... He said: 'I believe I have left the club in a healthier state than when I arrived. Leek have a good set of lads and I see no reason why they can`t go on and get out of trouble. Wayne Johnson has done a great job as my assistant and I have suggested he takes over'".
29 November 2007
TORQUAY TRAVELThe details of the STAR supporters' coach to Altrincham's BSP match at Torquay United on Sunday, December 9th, are now here. This match has a 2pm kick-off.
YOUTH REPORTCourtesy of Alty Youth manager George Heslop, there is a report of the Altrincham & District FA Youth team's win over Macclesfield in the Youth section.
BORO VIEWStevenage Borough report that "After the ignominy of defeat in Peter Taylor's home opener last week a three-point return from the visit of relegation threatened Altrincham was a minimum. And that target was duly achieved thanks to a goal in each half from Craig Dobson, a brace that took the winger's season tally up to nine. In truth it was not the greatest advert for the Blue Square Premier to lay before the cameras from Setanta, but there were enough highlights to convince the Broadhall Way faithful that they can once more look forward to better days. An uninspiring first half began brightly with Anthony Stokes getting involved early on... The second half was a bit more energetic although no more inspiring than the first. Altrincham were out of the blocks first... Borough got back into the game with a lot more pressure being put onto the opposition with no real end product... The comedy moment of the game came when Oliver put the ball behind for a corner taking up a lump of turf with him. Colin Little politely placing the turf back into its place and patting it down before the play resumed... Peter Taylor said after the game ”In the end it was not the most beautiful of games we will see here at Broadhall way, but it was a welcome three points which will hopefully lead to a lot more".
OLD BOYSThe Northwich Guardian reports that former Alty man Kyle Wilson has joined Witton Albion from Barrow, where his father, Phil, was recently sacked as manager. He joins former Alty men Rod Thornley, Cavell Coo, ex-Reserves' goalkeeper Craig Ellison and ex-trialist Liam Brownhill at the Wincham Stadium.Mario Daniel has joined Rossendale United. In Wales last weekend James Glendenning was in action for Caernarfon whilst Dave Swanick and Marc Limbert both played for Bangor City. The "Deadly Sins" feature in The NL Today newspaper has Buxton's James Turley saying as regards the sin of gluttony "our assistant manager Clive Freeman... is a man who loves his food, although he'll deny it, and you can certainly tell by looking at home" whilst for anger, the target is "Our skipper Terry Bowker [who] is an absolute psycho. He's never happy or satisfied. He reckons he does so to keep us on our toes but I think he just likes shouting".
THINK OF A NUMBER, ANY NUMBER...It is now the turn of Prestwich Heys to suffer the lottery of the points deduction procedure for playing an unregistered player. Just a week after Boston United received no penalty from the FA for fielding an ineligible player for three games because it was deemed a genuine mistake, North Manchester club Heys have been docked 14 points for playing a man who had been on their books for five seasons but whom they forgot to register for this season. In the three games in which the player took part, Heys gained five points, yet nine more points were added to their deduction. Club secretary Michael Openshaw told NL Today, "We cannot understand why we have been treated so harshly".
COOKING THE BOOKS AT NORTHWICHIC Cheshire reports that "Cash-strapped Northwich Vics were left reeling after their head chef scarpered with £8,000 in takings from a fundraising dinner. Paul Johnstone vanished on Saturday night after one of the club’s biggest fundraising events of the year. The theft was discovered the following morning. Chairman Mike Connett is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the crooked cook’s prosecution. Mr Connett said:'It’s a substantial amount, but it’s not about the money – I don’t like a thief. A lot of people have trusted him and this is for them'. Police believe Johnstone, who also goes by the name Paul Kempthorn, lied about his identity from the day he was taken on in March. After the investigation was launched officers discovered Johnstone had never lived at the address he had given when he took the job. He claimed to be 27, but also gave a date of birth in 1973. Det Sgt Simon Newell, of Northwich Specialist Investigation Unit, said: 'We think he’s given false details from the outset. He’s gained the trust of the staff there and he had the keys to the safe. We are satisfied an offence has taken place and that this person is responsible. But we need to identify who he is'". Police are reportedly searching for a man wearing a tall white hat and an apron.
BSP NEWSBullsnews tells us that "Northwich have seen their winding up order adjourned again until January 30th. The Inland Revenue hope that a 'satisfactory resolution' can be reached by then between owner Mike Connett and the incoming consortium".
The BBC confirms that "Rushden boss Garry Hill has been charged with causing actual bodily harm by Wiltshire Police over an incident in the match with Salisbury in September. A touchline flare-up at the final whistle saw Hill head-butt Salisbury assistant manager Tommy Widdrington. Hill has been released on bail to appear at South East Wiltshire Magistrates' Court on 12 December 12. The charge against Hill has been brought by Wiltshire Police and not by Salisbury or Widdrington. Following the incident, Rushden fined Hill the 'maximum possible amount allowed by the football authorities'. Hill was also suspended from all football for two weeks by the Football Association. In addition he was hit with a 10-match touchline ban, with five games suspended for a year.
Ebbsfleet United "can confirm that forward Luke Coleman has left Stonebridge Road and signed permanently for Ryman League Margate. The youngster was previously on loan at the Thanet club and has opted for the chance of regular first-team football".
Kidderminster Harriers "will be requesting a personal meeting with the Football Association. The FA yesterday rejected the club's appeal against striker James Constable's red card from the game against Oxford United this weekend. With no option to appeal this decision, the club understands that the three-match suspension resulting from the red card will stand. However, due to the disappointment the club feels at the decision, a meeting with an FA official will requested by Chairman Barry Norgrove to discuss the matter further".
"Defender Luke Potter has extended his loan spell with Stafford Rangers for a further month".
Torquay United report that "United's reserve side drew their friendly with Weymouth reserves today with the match finishing 2-2. Lee Phillips scored on his return to action with Scott Laird scoring the second goal for Torquay. Coach Shaun North was pleased with the workout, especially the return of Lee and Steve Woods to competitive action -'They both came through wthe game well with Steve playing for 85 minutes and Lee playing 90. We will see what, if any, reaction they have tomorrow but hopefully all will be well for a return to the first team squad for selection on Saturday'.
Still in Devon, This is Exeter tells us that "Exeter City look to have ruled out the prospect of a ground-share with Exeter Chiefs as the club prepare to release the most important document in their history this week. Commercial property consultants Drivers Jonas have launched a full investigation into whether or not the club should stay at St James's Park and a special steering group is expected to present its findings to the club's supporters' trust board of society this week. The specialist firm have been assessing five options. The first is a redevelopment of St James's Park, the second a ground-share with Exeter Chiefs and the other three are all possible sites for building a new stadium. City representatives have had talks with Exeter Chiefs over sharing their £15m Sandy Park stadium on the outskirts of the city. But commercial director Paul Morrish has indicated that the club are unlikely to press ahead with plans to move in with the rugby club. While the contents of the report remain under wraps, Echo Sport understands that City are set to recommend a redevelopment of their own St James's Park home".
From This is Staffs says that "Crewe have ticked free-scoring striker Stuart Fleetwood off their wish list of transfer window targets. The former Cardiff and Hereford frontman has been in devastating form for Forest Green in the Blue Square Conference this season, hitting 23 goals in 23 outings... Club technical director Dario Gradi said: 'Before we went to watch him I asked what we were going to do with him. The question was whether he would fit in. I don't think he is the kind of striker we are looking for'. With Fleetwood out of contract next summer, Forest Green seem certain to cash in on their star asset during January, with £100,000 a realistic starting bid. But Crewe are more likely to turn their attentions to the pricier [ex-York Cty striker] Andy Bishop, although Bury's 25-year-old frontman has endured a lean time in front of goal in League Two this term. The Shakers turned down a £300,000 bid for Bishop from Ipswich Town last January, and the Stone-born striker, who netted 20 times last season, would arguably fetch more now. 'Bishop is one we'd look at again, but he would be expensive', Gradi said. 'The fee is not too big a problem for Fleetwood. And I have spoken to Jim Harvey (the Forest Green manager) about him, but I don't think he and Nicky Maynard would work together'".
"Weymouth had to settle for a draw in yesterday's friendly match with Torquay United despite leading 2-0 at the Wessex Stadium" says This is Weymouth. "Club captain Simon Weatherstone, Marcus Browning, Kyle Critchell and Sido Jombarti all played for the Terras in a bid to claim a spot in Saturday's FA Cup second round clash at Cambridge United".
According to This is York "York City centre-back Darren Kelly is happy to carry on in the club's new-look, three-man defence. Caretaker boss Colin Walker played Kelly in between the recalled Danny Parslow and regular partner David McGurk as City dispensed with a back four for Saturday's 2-1 victory at Weymouth. Walker also employed Darren Craddock and Mark Robinson as wing-backs and former Derry City international Kelly has given his full endorsement for the tactical switch, emphasising communication as the key despite an Irishman, Welshman and Englishman being fielded together in the same defensive line. Kelly told The Press: 'It would be more difficult if (Scotsman) Manny Panther was in there because I can't understand anything he says. Seriously, I've played the system before and the way we lined up allowed the wing-backs to get further up the pitch and I think Darren Craddock and Mark Robinson, in particular, deserve special mentions this week for working their socks off'... Kelly scored his first goal in 17 City outings to give the visitors a 53rd-minute lead at Weymouth on Saturday and... the 28-year-old hailed it as a success for Walker's preparation work on the training ground. He said: 'Colin has a lot of his own ideas that he wants to put across. We worked on some different things in training last week and, to be honest, the lads enjoyed it and I was very impressed. That's not to say we didn't enjoy training before but Billy McEwan has gone and it's important everybody gets behind Colin and works together. As players, we respect him and are 100% behind him. For my goal, we worked on something at corners that did not quite come off but I was still attacking the front post and it ended up coming off my head'".
And, finally, following last week's brief break in updating this website, here is some news from that period...
Northwich Victoria have taken on four new players. Lucas Atkins (on loan from Huddersfield), Nick Farquharson (loan from Crewe), Natt Kerr (loan from Rotherham U.) and Adam Morning (who has joined from Bradford PA).
Former Stafford and Crawley striker Guy Madjo has joined Cheltenham Town on loan. He was also recently called up to the Cameroon international squad. Both Paul Hinshelwood and Darren Mullings have gone on loan from Torquay to Tiverton. Grays have acquired two loan players, Ian Selley from Lewes and Alan Power from Nottingham Forest, whilst Stuart Thurgood has left The Rec on loan to Gillingham. Meanwhile Grays' chairman Mick Woodward told NL Today, "We need a new stadium. We've got no corporate boxes, no function halls and no training facilitiies. We're in the Conference and we need to be professional. At the moment we've got a second-rate place to play. We can't even park cars!... We don't own the ground... The club maybe needs to stand on its own two feet. It can't be about Mick Woodward any more. The council are looking for us and have come up with two sites that we think may work. Hopefully we will have planning permission by January... I would like a pub restaurant where they can sit down, watch the Premier league on the telly before the game". The new ground is planned to have a capacity of 17,000.
28 November 2007
MEET THE NEW PLAYERSTickets are available for the Meet the New Recruits evening which is now set for December 1st at 7.30pm, after the Histon game. Tickets £15 (which include a meal) are available from the club offices or by ringing 928-1045 or e-mailing Grahame and Karen Rowley.
HALF-SEASON TICKETSAltrincham FC are offering half-season tickets covering the matches from Boxing Day (inclusive) to the end of the season.
Please visit the club office to obtain your ticket during normal weekday working hours or ring on 928-1045.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERSMike Ainsworth writes that "The next STAR quiz will be held at the club on Monday 3rd December. As well as a gallon of beer for the winning team the prize for 'Play your cards right' will be two tickets for the Club's Christmas Celebration Dinner with a face value of £90. This prize must be won on the night so come on down!!".
STEVENAGE VIEWSThe BBC says that "Stevenage Borough boss Peter Taylor felt his side deserved to win 2-1 against Altrincham...Taylor told BBC Three Counties Radio: 'It was a hard fought match and they were organised and hard to break down but then we were solid at the back. Although we didn't play as well as we can I thought we just about shaded it after going behind the players worked very hard'". Meanwhile, The Comet has a rather negative view of Monday's game. Its report says that "Boro boss Peter Taylor got his wish - three points in front of the television cameras as Monday night football returned to Broadhall Way. But unlike Monday matches from previous years, this encounter will not live long in the memory. Three defensive errors produced the three goals and the Setanta Sports team will have had their work cut out to talk this one up... With three new faces, Boro were never going to be at their most fluent and so it proved... It was always likely a mistake, rather than a piece of magic, would decide the game. Liptak's long ball failed to be cut out by the unfortunate Scott which allowed Dobson in. His shot was well struck but Coburn will be disappointed it crept under his body and squirmed in".
NEXT HOME OPPONENTSAltrincham welcome Histon to Moss Lane on Saturday, just four weeks after losing narrowly at the Cambridgeshire club's ground. The FA reports that "Histon FC [has] Benjamin Murray suspended from 24/11/2007 [from] all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for a Sending Off in a match played on 10/11/2007". "Matt Langston was Histon's unlikely goal-scoring hero with two power headers from set plays to ensure a point against Exeter. And the centre-half must be fancying his chances of becoming an emergency striker after scoring last week in the 3-1 humbling at Forest Green Rovers" claims the The Cambridge Evening News. "He was dropped to the bench for that game but, restored to the line-up in place of the out-of-touch Patrick Ada, Langston took his chance with both hands to give boss Steve Fallon a selection poser. For not only is Langston giving more options from attacking set-pieces, he is also doing his day job as central defender very well along side Mat Mitchel-King". Then, against Exeter City, "Langston was in the right position for a hat-trick, but a flick on from Mitchel-King picked up so much pace it flew past the two-goal hero and out of play'". Fallon added that "Matt scored two good goals. We were very pleased with the first one because we'd been working on that in training. He's a big lad and he can cause problems in the opposition penalty area".
NEXT AWAY OPPONENTSAfter the long Monday-night trip to Stevenage last Monday, Alty's next away game is a Sunday afternoon encounter at Torquay (December 9th), 2pm). And the best way to get there will be the STAR supporters' coach, which is comfortable, economic and for the environmentally-minded "greener" than driving your own car that distance. Details of the trip will be announced soon and will be posted on the website. Meanwhile, our opponents have been more fortunate. This is South Devon reports that "Torquay United fans, who spend more time on the road than most of the nation's supporters, could soon put the car keys away for a money-saving spell up to Christmas. The FA Trophy draw has pitted them against Southern League Premier club Bashley in the First Round Proper on Saturday, December 15.And that means that the Gulls could be at home for FIVE successive weekends until the Blue Square Premier derby at Exeter City on Boxing Day. United's current programme reads:
And they could also be at HOME when they enter the Setanta Shield on December 22. 'The first thing you want in any cup is to be at home, and it's a brilliant draw as far as I'm concerned', said United manager Paul Buckle, on his way to watch forthcoming opponents Altrincham playing at Stevenage Borough in the BSP last night. 'I'm sure it will please our supporters and players too', he added. The man under most pressure is probably Plainmoor groundsman Mark Burd. Burd quipped: 'I was hoping and praying we would be drawn away! But really, it's no problem for me. I thrive on a bit of pressure, and the main worry for a groundsman at this time of year is not so much the matches, but the weather. Obviously, a run of home games will take its toll, but let's hope that the weather is kind to us, and then we should be OK'. With the FA Cup tie against Brighton coming up this weekend, Gulls boss Buckle was planning to get a game into fit-again Lee Phillips and Steve Woods in a reserve friendly away to Weymouth yesterday. Darren Mullings and Paul Hinshelwood, who both joined Tiverton Town on a month's loan last week, were also due to play, along with all United's other reserve players".
OLD BOYSFrom NL Daily we learn that "Leek Town has announced the departure of two of its players as manager Paul Moore begins to trim his twenty-three-strong squad. Midfielder James Marsden, who had previously been on the books at Altrincham, joined the club in August from Bangor City. However, he made only five appearances from the bench before opting to join former assistant-manager Neil Brown at Abbey Hey in the Vodkat North West Counties League".
Bury "are lining up Workington striker Matthew Berkeley (right) following his goalscoring performance for the Blue Square North club at Gigg Lane. The Shakers have expressed an interest in the 20-year-old forward, who has scored six goals in nine games since returning to Workington. One of those was a well-taken effort at Gigg Lane which briefly pulled Reds level in an FA Cup-tie a couple of weeks ago. Workington would be reluctant to lose Berkeley – seen by management as a talisman – but have always made it clear they would not stand in any player’s way of moving to a higher level. Boss Darren Edmondson, who took the call from a member of the Bury management team, will be speaking with Berkeley. Edmondson said: 'If it had been a Blue Square Premier club I would have been reluctant about it because we have ambitions in that direction ourselves. Bury are a Football League club and actually only about 10 minutes away from where Matthew lives in Manchester. It is every boy’s dream to play League football and I know I would have been upset if anybody had stood in my way of taking the chance to play at that level. We don’t want to lose Matthew but we won’t stand in his way if he wants to go. He is under contract to us so Bury would have to pay a fee and we have asked them to come back with an offer. If it does all go through then there might be other spin-offs in a sell-on clause, pre-season friendly or maybe a player on loan'... If Berkeley did sign for Bury it would be another up-turn on his roller coaster career which saw him figure in Gretna’s promotion charge and earn international recognition with St. Kitts & Nevis before being released and then also allowed to leave Altrincham" says the Workington News & Star.
FAT CHANCEThis is York says that "York City caretaker boss Colin Walker has stressed the importance of targeting an FA Trophy final appearance after being drawn away to Altrincham in the first round proper. The Minstermen have lost all three of their ties in the competition since being relegated from the Football League, falling at the first hurdle to Burton, Northwich and Morecambe. But, with a trip to Wembley and £89,000 in prize money available to this season's winners, Walker will be taking the competition seriously should he still be in charge when City visit Moss Lane on Saturday, December 15.
He said: 'The club will need to take this competition seriously - very much so. It's not just about the prestige of the final but also because of the financial situation. For the players, this competition is like their FA Cup because they have a good chance of reaching a Wembley final and that would be fantastic'. The nearest Walker came to playing at the home of English football was when he featured in a League Cup quarter-final for Barnsley against Liverpool in the early 1980s... Two of City's three defeats in the competition have come on the road but, with 13 points from a possible 15 from their last five away fixtures, Walker added: 'The way the club has been going, people will probably feel an away draw is ideal for us but we will need to go there, be positive and get the right result'. The Minstermen have beaten Altrincham 4-0 and 3-0 in their last two visits to the Cheshire club. Their next away league meeting with the Robins, who drew 2-2 at KitKat Crescent in September, is scheduled for January 19. Walker added that his position in charge had not been discussed any further with the board. He said: 'I'm just concentrating on preparing for Saturday's home match with Crawley'".
FAT Round 1, 15th December 2007, £4,000 for each winning team:
BSP NEWSCourtesy of a problem at Virgin Media, broadband connections in Manchester were not working for much of yesterday.So this site's normal news service is resumed today.
"Stevenage striker Tes Bramble will be out of action until January after undergoing a knee operation. The former Southend striker, 27, joined Stevenage from Stockport in July but has been restricted to just nine league appearances, scoring once. Bramble had played just once since the middle of October and has now undergone surgery to clear up the problem. Meanwhile, winger Alistair John was due to return to light training on Monday after two months on the sidelines. The 19-year-old was stabbed outside his Croydon home in September, and has been recovering from injuries sustained in the attack" states the BBC .
"Milton Keynes Dons' winger Mustapha Carayol has extended his loan deal at Crawley Town for a second month...until 23 December 2007" says the BBC.
The Cambridge Evening News tells us that "Jimmy Quinn hopes he can bring Paul Carden to Cambridge United on a permanent deal when the transfer window re-opens in January. Carden, 28, made his debut in Friday's 2-1 win at fellow high-flyers Burton Albion after joining United from Accrington on a loan deal until January 1. Quinn said: 'It depends on Paul and on Accrington because if he keeps playing like he did against Burton, they might want him back. If they get the right results, they might let us keep him. If not, they might want him back. Paul is an experienced player and, for whatever reason, he hasn't been in their first team, which I find hard to believe because there's not a great difference between this level and League Two. We're just delighted we've got him for now because we had a whisper on him through our contacts. I'm sure if other clubs had known he was available, he'd have been snapped up. All credit to the chairman because we haven't got a lot of money left in the budget, but I told him we needed this guy. He isn't cup-tied either, which is a massive thing for us for this week's game (against Weymouth)... He'll free up some of the other players who can run with the ball and take it forward, such as Rob Wolleaston, Reedy (Stephen Reed) and Mark Convery'".
The Argus reports that "Crawley boss Steve Evans is talking to former Albion defender Georges Santos about a possible move to Broadfield Stadium. Santos is a free agent after being released by Chesterfield and can join Reds outside the transfer window. Evans wants cover in defence and begun negotiations with the 37-year-old ex-Sheffield United and QPR stopper last week. He said: 'He is someone who is not on contract so we can sign him at any time. We are still chatting to him'. Evans is not worried about his lack of cover for goalkeeper Ashley Bayes after releasing Josh Clapham last week. Clapham, who has been Bayes' understudy for most of the season, left for financial reasons without playing a league game. Evans said: 'Josh simply couldn't live off what we were giving him so we have recommended him to a lot of clubs nearer his home in the south west. It is all about affordability and I have no problems with having just one keeper. I did it at Boston and Neil Warnock did it at Sheffield United for years. You can make an emergency loan with a goalkeeper at any time, which is what I did at Boston with (Albion keeper) Michel Kuipers. I have spoken to a number of manager and I have three keepers on stand-by at any time if we need them. They would be with us within an hour'. Young defender Jamie Lovegrove has joined Ryman premier Margate on a month's work experience but can be recalled at any time. Evans said: 'People talk a lot about Jamie and why he is not playing but you have to remember he is only a 17-year-old kid. We want him to keep progressing as far as he has been since we came here and this will give him more experience'".
Yesterday Farsley Today reported that "Farsley Celtic have had the deadline to appeal over Mark Jackson's straight red card at Crawley extended to 1pm today - but they are unlikely to be in a position to submit a request to the Football Association. Celtic were left seething when Jackson was sent off for a challenge - after home manager Steve Evans raced onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee. But they haven't got video evidence to back up their claims Jackson should have got a yellow card at the most in the 4-1 Blue Square Premier defeat. Chairman Andy Firbank said: 'Unfortunately there is nothing we can do because the DVD of the game we got from Crawley we are unable to open and they can't get one that works to us in time. The lad now has to withstand a three-match ban, which is unfair because we believe the original decision had a lot to do with the antics of the opposition manager on the day'".
IC Cheshire recently stated that "Northwich Vics have made three loan signings... Striker Nick Farquarharson, 19, who impressed on loan with Witton Albion last season, has joined from Crewe Alex until January 3 along with another young frontrunner Lucas Akins from Huddersfield and 20-year-old Rotherham defender Natt Kerr. Akins has made six Division One appearances from the substitutes' bench this season. Kerr has made the Rotherham first team once, the bench twice". Vics are due to appear in the High Court today (Wednesday) regarding their debts.
From the Northants Evening Telegraph we hear that "Paul Bastock will leave Rushden & Diamonds as soon as they replace him with a new signing. The 37-year-old goalkeeper will return to Boston United where he has racked up the all-time appearances record with 625 competitive first-team games over 12 seasons since leaving Kettering Town in 1992. Bastock was poised to quit Nene Park before the weekend's shock defeat at bottom-of-the-table Northwich Victoria where he sat on the bench as Paul Nicholls' mistake led to the only goal of the game. However, Diamonds boss Garry Hill has so far refused to let Bastock go after failing to recruit a loan replacement. Boston manager Tommy Taylor, though, remains confident of the move happening shortly – especially after allowing 21-year-old Chris Wright to leave the Blue Square Conference North club on Friday. Taylor revealed: 'We thought Paul would be signed in time for Saturday's FA Trophy game at Gateshead. But Rushden couldn't let him go as their attempts to sign a replacement on loan fell through. Paul is 100 per cent behind returning to the club and, as far as I'm concerned, it is just a matter of time before that happens... He was ready to play on Saturday as Rushden were set to sign a goalkeeper from Charlton. But that fell through'"... Nicholls arrived just before the big kick-off and has featured in the last 10 matches – keeping only two clean sheets and making costly errors in 1-0 defeats at Cambridge United and Northwich".
From Woking we learn that a "Naked coach is Cards’ new leader. David Taylor wants to put his business leadership skills into practice when he realises an ambition and takes over as chairman of Woking Football Club on December 1. The 49-year-old acclaimed author of the best selling Naked Leader trilogy, has a clear 'vision' for the future, with the emphasis on placing the club at the heart of the community and helping them climb into the Football League. 'I’m so excited about the challenges that lay ahead and I can’t wait to get started', said Taylor, who recently became an owner of Ebbsfleet United, as a member of my MyFootballClub. He admits his heart sank when he realised he had become part owner of another club on the day Chris Ingram — who will remain chairman of Woking FC Holdings Ltd — asked him to become Cards’ chairman and he plans to give his £35 share in the Kent outfit to his son Anthony to remove any conflict of interests. There is no doubting where his allegiance lies though, after 12 years as a Woking supporter. 'I love Woking Football Club, the fans and the town', he said. 'We want to put this club at the heart of the community with the new stadium and use that as a foundation. There will be a time in the future when the planning application is submitted and we can then share our plans with the community. The people of Woking will then have to make a choice. Do they want an ambitious football club or not? I hope they do, because we will never be this close to such an opportunity again. I want to pay tribute to Chris Ingram and thank him for giving me this opportunity. I’m now a custodian of Chris’s money and this club is going to run properly, in a business fashion'".
"Blue Square Premier club Rushden & Diamonds have denied speculation linking goalkeeper Paul Bastock with a return to Boston United" according to Blue Square Football. "Boston boss Tommy Taylor expressed his desire to bring the veteran stopper back to York Street but will now have to cast his sights elsewhere after Rushden rejected their approach. Club Secretary, Matt Wild told the club's official website: 'Talks were held last week between Boston United Football Club, the Player and ourselves over a possible move for Paul, who was expressing a desire to relocate to be nearer to his family. However, due to a replacement goalkeeper not being secured by the loan deadline, on terms to our satisfaction, we informed Paul that we would not be in a position to release him. Paul is on contract at Nene Park and will not be joining Boston United or any other football club for that matter. We have an extremely busy month ahead in terms of fixtures, to which all our attentions must be focused upon, to ensure we not only climb the league table but also progress in our forthcoming cup competitions, starting with our trip to either Bristol Rovers or Leyton Orient this coming Saturday in The FA Cup".
According to Blue Square News, "Halifax Town have revealed that the Shay Stadium was subject to another act of theft and vandalism on Sunday evening. According to the club, catering vans, the main entrance gate, and two cabins at the Halifax stadium were damaged in what has become the seventh incident in less than six months. Thieves got away with a computer and 19 radios which are all utilised on match days. 'This is just sickening', Geoff Butler, chief executive of the Shay Stadium Trust told the Evening Courier. 'It makes me wonder if people just think that the Shay is easy pickings. It is all just getting beyond a joke. This attack is the worst that we have had in terms of what we have lost. There is someone that knows who has done this'".
27 November 2007
CSC DATEAltrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final at home to Vauxhall Motors will be at Moss Lane on Tuesday, January 29th at 7.45pm.
STEVENAGE BOROUGH 2 ALTRINCHAM 1
Above: The players shake hands at the end of the game.
TROPHY DRAWAltrincham have drawn a home time against York City in the FA Trophy on December 15th.
26 November 2007
ALTY ON TVFor those unable to get to the Stevenage match tonight, Grahame Rowley advises that "As far as we can ascertain to date "The Orange Tree" in Altrincham and the "Little B" in Sale are showing the game tonight".
RYAN OUTCentre-back Ryan Shotton has failed a fitness test so will be out of tonight's game at Stevenage. However, Chris Lane, injured at Farsley last Tuesday is expected to be fit.
NEW FACES AT STEVENAGEStevenage Borough" have "made several changes to the playing squad. IN on loan come 21 year old defender John White, 22 year old centre half Zoltan Liptak and 21 year old midfielder Tony Stokes and OUT go Santos Gaia on loan to Grays with an agreed £10,000 deal to take place on 1st January, whilst Adam Miller and John Nutter move to Gillingham in a loan move with a £65,000 deal agreed for 1st January. John White has joined from Colchester where he's been all his career. He's a 6' 1" defender that can play anywhere across the back and he's made 68 appearances for Colchester, playing left back for most of their season in the Championship last year. Zoltan Liptak is a 6'4" Hungarian U21 international centre half who was bought by Southend for £50,000 in the summer from Hungarian side Lombard Papa. Tony Stokes is a midfield player signed on loan from West Ham where he has come through the youth academy. He can play as a striker or in central midfield and has had 2 loan spells in the Football League. Boro also today signed youth team players Zak Burke and Liam McDevitt on 2 year contracts. Both lads are 17 years old. Zak is an athletic winger who can also play as a striker and Liam is a tall, commanding centre half. Both boys have played for Boro's reserve team this year and come through the School of Excellence".
The Stevenage website also has a comprehensive preview of the game which tells us that, "Stevenage look to put their recent lacklustre form behind them and get their league campaign back on track. Suspensions, injuries and transfers have once again disrupted Borough’s squad over the last week but Peter Taylor will be hoping his team perform as they did in the first half of last weekend’s defeat to Halifax, rather than repeating their second half performance. Three players may have departed Broadhall Way this week but four have arrived to boost the squad, and they will all be keen to make an immediate impression on Borough’s management and fans alike... Altrincham have recently proved somewhat of a bogey team for Borough, having won two and drawn one of the last three meetings between the two sides, including both fixtures last season. A 2-1 defeat at Moss Road [Lane] on the opening weekend got Borough’s campaign off to a bad start, and then even more surprisingly they snatched a 1-0 win at Broadhall Way in March. Borough welcome back Barry Fuller from suspension for this game, but miss John Martin after his dismissal last weekend. John White should make his debut at left back, whilst there could also be debuts for central defender Zoltan Liptak and midfielders Tony Stokes and Junior Lewis. However Mitchell Cole, Tes Bramble, Alistair John and Ollie Allen all remain out injured... Psychologically it could be vital for Borough to open the scoring in this match, as the visitors have won just once from the twelve games where they have conceded first... Often used as a substitute in the early part of his career [Alty's Chris] Senior has proved a thorn in Borough’s side on several occasions, scoring three goals against us when playing for Scarborough and also scoring the winner for Altrincham in last year’s fixture at Broadhall Way".
The BBC says that "Stevenage boss Peter Taylor may give debuts to deadline-day signings West Ham's Tony Stokes, Colchester's John White and Southend's Zoltan Liptak. White and Liptak are both bidding for starts in defence, while Stokes is in midfield. Meanwhile winger Mitchell Cole is a doubt with a groin injury. Altrincham defender Chris Lane remains a doubt for the trip. Winger Colin Potts is also doubtful while long-term absentee Gareth Whalley will definitely be out".
COLIN NOT DOWNHEARTEDAfter the 1-1 draw at Farsley least Tuesday, SAM says that "Colin Little (right) insisted Alty should not be downhearted after failing to beat 10-man Farsley on Tuesday night but said a drastic improvement is still needed. The Robins drew 1-1 at Throstle Nest after Little's second half goal cancelled out Damien Reeves' early opener. But they played 55 minutes of the game against 10 men due to Reeves' sending off for an elbow on Chris Lane, which left the full back with a broken nose. Alty had an avalanche of chances throughout the second half but couldn't breach the Farsley defence a second time. And it is that lack of precision which Little believes is stopping the Robins from realising their full potential.
He told SAM Sport: 'We can't be downhearted. We didn't win the game but we stopped them from going five points clear of us on their own ground. "We've not played well yet this season but we're still only two points from safety so that's a good place to be. We have to improve though. There are maybe only one or two players who can look at themselves and think they've played to their full potential. If we don't raise our game we don't deserve to stay up'... Little was denied by Farsley keeper Tom Morgan either side of the break before his header was cleared off the line by Pearson. The Alty hitman finally got his reward on 68 minutes when he banged the ball home from close range from Senior's cross-cum-shot".
OLD BOYThe BBC reports on a former player who was briefly with Altrincham in 1983/84 season. "A roofer has been found guilty of setting fire to his estranged wife's house after a drink-fuelled row. Gary Hooley, 50, was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday. Hooley, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, started the fire after rowing with his wife Michelle at a pub party. Jurors cleared him of arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered. Reports were ordered and he will be sentenced at a later date. The eight men and four women took just an hour to reach their verdict. Hooley was remanded in custody". Hooley had spells at Frickley either side of his stay at Moss Lane.
BSP NEWS"Stafford Rangers have 'regrettably had to release' assistant manager David Oldfield, the club has announced. 'The decision was not an easy one to make and we would like to thank David for all the hard work he has put in',a club statement read. Oldfield, 39, had assisted boss Phil Robinson since 2006, and had come out of retirement as a player to make 22 Conference appearances since then. His departure came before Stafford's 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet on Saturday", says the BBC.
And Stafford Rangers have issued a press release:
"Football can be cruel and, despite the excitement and achievements of the past few seasons, this year's campaign in the Blue Square Premier League has so far proved difficult for everyone involved with Stafford Rangers. Sitting third from bottom with only nine points to our credit is not where anyone wants to be and has delivered a severe reality check to the club. Disappointment and frustration breeds whispers, rumours and speculation and this release seeks to clarify and address honestly the current position of the football club for the benefit of our fans and supporters.
Our major dream and ambition has been to achieve League status for the football club. Phil Robinson has done a remarkable job since he joined us over five years ago and we were all proud and delighted when Conference League football was achieved. Stafford Rangers is a small football club, which relies heavily on the unpaid efforts of many volunteers within the club, including the directors. For a small club, though, the cost of complying with Conference League ground and statutory requirements was high and the overall increased running costs of maintaining our position were greater than we anticipated and attendances far lower. One of the results of this was that instead of being able to increase the playing budget at the beginning of this season we had to reduce it by 12%. We had to accept the harsh fact that as custodians of the football club we could not continue to spend more than we earned.
The season to date has been a constant fight with a succession of bad injuries compounding the situation and making team selection extremely difficult for the manager. We have made more money available to the team whenever possible in an effort to bring in good-quality loan players to turn the results around. The reality of the situation is that we are in a difficult position with efforts going unrewarded on the pitch and no income from an FA Cup run. Gates have been low and we in a period of only one home game in seven weeks. This has resulted in the unpleasant step of the club having to reduce some of our playing staff costs and being realistic enough to know that we have to deal with the resources we have available. The task that Phil has is even more difficult now than at the start of the season but we have confidence in him and want him to remain as manager of the football club and work with us to try and battle our way through and avoid relegation.
No one at Stafford Rangers can waive a magic wand and we know that our supporters are frustrated by the current position as much as we are. Everyone involved with the football club is taking action to try and change the results and protect the club's future. To the small hardcore of fans that continue to support the club through thick and thin we want to say 'thank you, you’re the best'". There are also a good number of supporters who have started to drift away as results have gone against us and it is the supporters who can make a huge difference both in terms of income to the club and lifting the team.
We hope that everyone now gets behind the manager, the team and the club at the next home game against Northwich on Saturday 1st December. No one is giving up and everyone will give everything to try and maintain our position in the Blue Square Premier and you can play your part, as Stafford Rangers battle on.
Issued by the Board of Directors, Stafford Rangers Football Club Ltd, Marston Road."
"Burton boss Nigel Clough plans to advance striker Daryl Clare's planned ankle surgery after he was sent off in their defeat by Cambridge on Friday. Clare saw red in the 65th minute of the 2-1 defeat for fouling Cambridge defender Mark Peters. 'We will obviously bring forward Daryl's surgery and get him in as soon as possible', Clough said. 'We will try to get him in on Monday. If it's a three-game ban he should be back for the Christmas period'" he told the BBC.
From Bullsnews we learn that "Forest Green Rovers have put a £250,000 price tag on former Hereford United striker Stuart Fleetwood. However it looks as though that valuation may stall any transfer in the approaching window. 'We want to keep him - there's no doubt about it. I have told people I want £250,000 and I stick to that. If they don't want to match that, they shouldn't talk to me', said Rovers chairman Colin Gardner as reported by the Western Daily Press. 'I am aware that a written offer is coming from Cheltenham and it is a six-figure sum but it does not meet the asking price. We are a very friendly club and we work as a team and we want to make sure we are doing everything right for the player and the club. We are mindful that Stuart is enjoying his football here. Stuart has been at a Football League club before and never made it, so it is credit to the work (manager) Jim Harvey has done with him. There is no way he is going on loan. With regards to everything else, when an offer comes in I will put it to the board but I'm sure their view will reflect that of mine'
25 November 2007
YOUTHS REACH SEMISA goal from Tom Bailey saw Altrincham & District FA Youth team, all of whose members are from Altrincham FC, reach the semi-finals of the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup today. Their 1-0 win over Macclesfield FA earns them an away semi-final against Crewe & District FA. The other semi will be between The Wirral and Stalybridge FAs.
GEORGE IN THE NEWSBBC News 24 carried an interview this week with Alty Youth manager George Heslop on the failings of the English national football team. The BBC had remembered some comments made about the Premier League by George four years ago and went back to see him after the disaster against Croatia last week. George pointed out how the influx of foreign players had led to many of the England team players now not getting regular first-team football. Very sensibly, he suggested that a cap be placed on the number of foreign players in the Premier League.
Gareth Whalley (right) is available for selection against Stevenage in the Alty midfield, following his recent lay-off with injury. But Val Owen, who lasted 45 minutes last week is not fit and Colin Potts also remains sidelined. Ryan Shotton faces a fitness test to see whether he can return to the side after missing last week's match.
NEW BLOCKWork on building the new toilet and catering block at Moss Lane should start soon as it is hoped to let the building contract shortly.
22 November 2007
UPDATESAlthough there may be the odd update to this site over the next few days, the normal news service will not be resumed until Sunday. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Right: Chris Lane was injured at Farsley whilst Ryan Shotton missed the game through injury but should be fit for next Monday's match.
Altrincham's next match is on Monday 26th November, away at Stevenage Borough in the Blue Square Premier (7.45pm). STAR is running a supporters' coach to this match and the club and STAR would encourage all the fans who can travel to do so in support of the team. Details of the coach trip and how to book are here.
Before that on Sunday, 25th, Altrincham & District FA Youth side play Macclesfield & Distrct FA at Congleton Town, in an 11am kick-off in the Cheshire FA District Youth Cup.
FROM THE OTHER SIDEFarsley Today says that "Farsley Celtic's 10 men did caretaker-manager John Deacey proud with a backs-to-the-wall display brimful of character, at rain-lashed Throstle Nest. They overcame the controversial 36th-minute dismissal of goalscorer Damien Reeves, for his second bookable offence, against fellow strugglers Altrincham and emerged with a precious point to remain above the relegation zone. Reeves had answered Deacey's plea for incisive finishing when the ball was played through the middle and the striker raced on to Michael Pearson's header to shoot low past goalkeeper Stuart Coburn in the 13th minute. The goal made up for the disappointment felt by Farsley fans who had expected to see on-loan Steve Torpey make his debut in the attack.
Deacey revealed that Torpey trained with his club Lincoln City yesterday and will do so again today before training at Farsley tomorrow and could well make his debut at Crawley Town on Saturday. It was an eventful start for Reeves who had a shot deflected just wide after seven minutes and received his first booking three minutes later for an altercation* with Altrincham captain Darren Tinson. [* i.e. this must be a local use of the word "altercation" as in "he pushed Tinson with considerable force in the back when the ball was out of play so that the Alty captain was knocked to the ground and into the advertising hoardings where he was fortunate not to be hurt"].
Then, when Reeves and Chris Lane challenged for possession in the centre circle, Lane appeared to catch Reeves on the back of the head and had to leave the field with a suspected broken nose. Reeves received his second yellow card and his marching orders despite protests from his team-mates.
As Deacey observed, it would have been interesting to see the outcome if the game had remained 11-a-side, but Celtic were pushed back time and again as Altrincham made their numerical advantage count. Had it not been for some magnificent goalkeeping by Tom Morgan and exceptional defending from the men in front of him, Celtic would certainly have lost, but they showed a spirit that will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.
Deacey said: 'Damien Reeves' sending-off was the turning point. He was causing them problems. I couldn't really see what happened but I have spoken to Damien, who is an honest lad, and he said the defender just headed the back of his head and went down. It was a harsh decision which changed the whole tactics of the game. We had to play with one up front, which put us under pressure. Just before they scored their goal we had our best chance of the second half when Gareth Grant went round their keeper but went too wide. There were some tremendous performances, not just from the back four and goalkeeper but from the midfield as well. We have a great team spirit, which Lee Sinnott and I brought into the side, and it has continued'".
The Bradford Telegraph & Argus adds that "Damien Reeves scored and was then sent off as Farsley gained a point to keep their opponents in the relegation zone and themselves out of it... The scorer can consider himself unfortunate to have been sent off in the 36th minute for a second yellow card. He jumped for a cross with a defender but could not connect. The ball smacked into the face of his opponent, who went to ground with the referee assuming Reeves had made contact with him. The official, who was a little pedantic, showed Reeves a second yellow and also booked Amjad Iqbal and Simeon Bambrook in the first period. Altincham made the most of their numerical advantage after the break and penned the hosts in their own half for much of the time. It was no surprise when they equalised midway through the second period... Caretaker boss John Deacey said: 'It was never a sending-off offence. We will look at the video and then appeal so that Damien doesn't get a ban. Only getting a point at home was disappointing but the lads battled well and dug deep and I can't fault them'".
Unconfirmed reports say that "Carl Serrant has left Farsley to be fitness coach at Crystal Palace".
MARCUS MAKES A CAREER OF ITAltrincham fans will know that their former striker Marcus Hallows, whose career was cut short by a badly fractured leg whilst playing for the club against Ashton United in 2005, had a second career as a successful Elvis Presley impersonator. The Manchester Evening News reports that "Marcus, 32,... looked set to follow in the flying footsteps of his father Paul, a regular in Bolton's 1970s' team alongside Sam Allardyce... His injury forced him to give up the sport he loved and he began a career in sales. But he always wanted to return to performing and he now has a huge following for his stage show, 'The King'. 'I loved football and I was gutted when I couldn't play any more' said Marcus. 'The injury left me devastated. It was the worst day of my life. I heard the crack and knew my career was over. But I get a real buzz from being Elvis. It doesn't hurt too much on stage and I can do all the leg-shaking moves. I do Elvis in his early Las Vegas era, around 1970. I had a couple of suits made including the famous white one with chains and black leather tabs. I wear a black wig and fake sideburns and sing all the hits'. Marcus performed as Elvis for his team-mates on coach trips to away matches'. After performing a a warm-up act for Lulu, his career took off and his son even shares Elvis's middle name of Aaron. "Over the last year Marcus has been making a name for himself with his Elvis tribute act when he's not working with a flooring firm. 'When I played football I was sharing the limelight with 21 others but now it's just me. Hopefully I will soon be doing my act every weekend'". Elvis, a.k.a. Marcus, is booked to appear at Altrincham FC during early 2008.
BSP NEWS"Grays' manager Justin Edinburgh expects Stuart Thurgood to join Gillingham on loan with a view to a permanent move before the loan transfer deadline. Midfielder Thurgood, 26, is a target for Gillingham's former Grays boss Mark Stimson, who recently signed Dennis Oli from the Blue Square Premier side. Edinburgh told BBC Sport, "I think that will happen. It's come to the stage with Stuart that it might be the last chance he gets to move into the Football League'. Thurgood joined Grays from Southend United in 2003 and has been a key player for the club. Edinburgh added: 'How can I stand in the way of a player who has been so good for the club and captained the club to great success?'".
Blue Square Football says that "Cambridge United have revealed that Yeovil striker Darryl Knights will stay at Abbey Stadium for a further month. Manager Jimmy Quinn has secured the services of Knights until 15th December, and he will be available to play in FA trophy and FA Cup games. However, the Glovers have included a 24-hour recall clause in the agreement and the Ipswich-born forward could make an early return to Huish Park if their injury crisis worsens. Knights has performed admirably for the U's since his short term move, scoring twice against Stafford Rangers in the FA Cup, ensuring their progress to the next round ".
"Ryan Harley has joined Exeter City on trial from Blue Square South side Weston-super-Mare" states NL Daily. "The 22-year-old former Bristol City midfielder was released by the Robins at the end of last season and initially joined the Devon club in pre-season. But he suffered a knee ligament injury on his first day with the club and eventually joined the Seagulls. However, City boss Paul Tisdale has been keeping close tabs on his progress and he will spend the next two weeks trying to earn himself a deal at St James's Park. Harleycan play on the right-hand side of midfield or alternatively in the centre".
The Daily Echo claims that "Tommy Widdrington's future at Salisbury City is believed to be in the balance. Whites' player-coach did not travel with the team for their 3-1 Blue Square Premier victory at York City on Saturday. It's understood he's been suspended for disciplinary reasons relating to the club's recent mid-season break to Valencia, Spain. The matter was discussed at a board meeting on Monday afternoon, but yesterday the Wiltshire outfit had no comment to make, saying only: 'It is purely an internal matter and will be handled internally'. Widdrington, a tough, no-nonsense midfielder who made almost 100 appearances for Saints, has had a troubled season. In September, he was left with a broken nose after falling victim of a headbutt following the 1-1 draw at home to Rushden. Rushden boss Garry Hill pleaded guilty to the headbutting charge and was fined £500, handed a two-week ban by the FA and a further touchline ban of ten games, five of them suspended for one year. Wiltshire Police are still investigating the incident which was captured on video.
21 November 2007
CHRIS'S BROKEN NOSE
As a result of last night's clash with Farsley Celtic's Damien Reeves, Chris Lane, the Alty right-back, has sustained a broken nose. Reeves was dismissed when he picked up a second yellow card for the aerial challenge in question.
It has been a bad November for Chris. He was harshly penalised and sent off for handball against Millwall in the FA Cup a fortnight ago. Then, he was omitted from the CSC match against Runcorn Linnets in the belief that he was suspended, only for it to emerge that he could have played in that game. He then had to sit out last Saturday's game against Weymouth to serve his suspension and, now, he has suffered a bad injury. All at Moss Lane wish him a speedy recovery.
Right: Farsley's Ryan Serrant prepares to take a first-half throw-in on Tuesday night as Robbie Lawton and Gary Scott keep an eye on Celtic's Stamer and Darren Tinson marshalls his defence.
FARSLEY CELTIC 1 ALTRINCHAM 1Altrincham failed to capitalize on the dismissal of Farsley's dangerous striker, Damien Reeves, eight minutes before half-time with this draw game at a rain-soaked Throstle Nest. Before his second yellow card, for an elbow on Lane who had to be substituted, Reeves had fired Farsley ahead following Tinson's misheader (14 mins). Earlier Reeves had been booked for barging Tinson off the pitch into the hoardings. Despite a number of close shaves for the Farsley defence, Alty only managed one goal, when Little bundled in Senior's ball from the right by-line (67 mins). Logan was Alty's most dangerous player but this will be seen as two points lost for Altrincham given their one-man advantage. A win would have taken Alty out of the relegation spots for the first time this season but instead they remain 21st in the table. Report to follow.
BSP NEWSBlue Square Football reports that "Oxford United have decided end the loan spell of Queens Park Rangers' 18-year-old striker, Kieron St Aimie. The youngster joined Oxford three weeks ago and made three appearances, with his last performance being in the 0-0 draw with Ebbsfleet United at the weekend. St Aimie was deployed as a striker in that match and clearly didn't do enough to impress manager Darren Patterson. 'Kieron hasn't quite done enough during the matches', Patterson told the club's official website. 'He's looked quick and lively in training but had been out of the game for a while before he came here and maybe didn't quite have that match sharpness. We need someone for now, someone who will have an impact, and so we had a word after the game on Saturday and we decided that it's best for all concerned if Kieron goes back to QPR and tries to make an impression with their new manager. He's a nice lad and it's a shame it didn't work out for him'".
WEDNESDAY ACTION AT MOSS LANEDon't forget that this Wednesday (21st), Manchester United under-15s take on Aston Villa U-15s at Moss Lane (k.o. ). Entry is believed to be free.
TRAFFORD FOOTBALLPerhaps Altrincham are not the poor relations of Trafford football after all if this report from SAM is to be believed. After all, we do not owe the local council £600,000! SAM says, "The details of Manchester United's 'deferred debt' to Trafford have been revealed in the Council's published accounts for last year. United - one of the world's richest football clubs - will pay Trafford £600,000 over the next ten years in annual instalments of £60,000 per year. The agreement was made in March 2005 in relation to the stadium improvements that took United's capacity above 75,000. The council also received a lump sum of £400,000 last year. The Council accounts state: 'The agreement provides for the funding of works on transport infrastructure and match day improvement measures and improvements to sporting facilities in the borough'".
BSP NEWSFrom the BBC comes news that "Grays Athletic plan to groundshare next season as they pursue the development of a proposed new ground. They hope to play their 'home' games at either Dagenham and Redbridge or Thurrock FC and have asked fans to vote on which they would prefer. Athletic believe since they have reached Blue Square Premier level they have outgrown their Bridge Road home. The Essex club hopes to identify a site for a new ground shortly and will sell Bridge Road at the end of the season".
This is York says that "Ousted York City boss Billy McEwan today spoke of his disappointment after learning by phone that he was being sacked as Minstermen manager. McEwan said he was unaware he was going to get the boot from the KitKat Crescent hot-seat until receiving a telephone call from City managing director Jason McGill telling him his services were no longer required. The 56-year-old Scot... told The Press he was frustrated the club could not tell him face-to-face he he was being fired... McEwan said his chief regret was that he would not be able to finish his rebuilding job at the club. Sophie McGill, York City's director of community and communications, confirmed McEwan was told by telephone of his removal and stressed it had not been an 'ideal way' to inform him. But she added that the club's board were volunteers, had full-time jobs outside of their KitKat Crescent affairs...
McEwan said: 'I got a call from the chairman at 10.15am letting me know the board unanimously wanted me to move on immediately. It was disappointing. I know Jason McGill is a very busy man and when the call came through I knew when I heard his voice. He is a bit of an emotional guy and maybe it was a bit too much for him. The McGill family are York through and through but it was a little bit disappointing (to learn by phone). There has been a unanimous decision by the board. I've not seen them - I have spoken to them on the phone but nothing surprises you in football. But they are nice people and I am sure they will progress the club'.
Miss McGill said: 'We have a business to run in Malton and we had business meetings on Monday. We are volunteer directors with jobs to do and Jason had a business meeting, in association with JM Packaging, at 11.30am and it didn't give him the opportunity to go into the club. Over the past few weeks, the board has met Billy McEwan face-to-face several times and, in the last week, Jason and Rob McGill have had face-to-face meetings with him about the situation and the way forward'".
There is surprising news from the Oxford Mail which tells us that "Darren Patterson has suffered a blow after Didcot Town keeper Michael Watkins rejected a move to Oxford United. U's boss Patterson wanted the 23-year-old former Hayes stopper as No 2 to Billy Turley after some impressive displays for the Southern League side. However, Watkins, who is based in Reading where he works in insurance, turned him down. Didcot boss Stuart Peace said Watkins told him that the money that was offered by United was less than he was earning in his current job. 'He has turned down the offer and the deal is dead as far as I am concerned', said Peace. 'This has been going on for weeks and it had an unsettling effect on the team'".
The Halifax Courier informs us that "Detailed plans for completing the Shay stadium will go on show to the public in a fortnight. Councillors working in partnership with the Shay Stadium Trust intend to submit a planning application before Christmas with the intention of starting building work on the East Stand early next summer. The aim is to complete the bars, restaurant, functions rooms, community space and hospitality suite by Christmas 2008. The Weaver's Bar will be pulled down to create more parking and the stand, which has been left half-finished for the past five years, will have seating for 3,500 spectators. That will give the stadium an overall capacity of nearly 10,000. Calderdale Council will pay for most of the work with money it expects to receive in the future from commercial developments in other areas of the Shay complex. Halifax Town, Halifax RLFC and the Shay Stadium Trust will fit out the various rooms, which will be used for fund-raising events. Councillors agreed in April "a minimum scheme" to provide facilities for players and spectators that met the requirements of the governing bodies for football and rugby league. The cabinet last night decided that it should incorporate community facilities, conference and banqueting rooms to improve the stadium's economic sustainability. David Kirton, the council's regeneration and development spo-kesman said: 'We will have a sports stadium that benefits far more people and can be used seven days a week rather than half a day, as it is now'. Roger Simpson, chairman of the Shay Stadium Trust, said: 'This gives the possibility of a financially viable future for the Shay as well as ensuring regular use'".
From the Burton Mail we learn that "Burton Albion striker Daryl Clare is to undergo ankle surgery in the run-up to Christmas. But the promotion-chasing Brewers are hoping their 12-goal top gun will not miss any Blue Square Premier action. Clare needs an operation to cure an injury that has troubled him since he suffered a heavy fall at Weymouth in August. Albion boss Nigel Clough told Mail Sport last night: 'It is a situation we have faced for some time. Daryl has fragments of bone floating around his ankle, which needs cleaning out sooner rather than later. We could ask him to battle on because some weeks are not as bad as others, but by doing that we also run the risk of the injury developing into something more serious and ruling him out for weeks on end'. Careful scheduling of the operation could mean Clare will miss only FA Trophy and Setanta Shield ties in the run-up to Christmas. He is due on the operating table after the December 8 game at home to play-off rivals Forest Green Rovers, and the next league game after that is not until the Boxing Day visit to Stafford Rangers. Clough said: 'Daryl should be able to play again about 14 days after the operation which means, if all goes well, he could be in contention for the Stafford game. Obviously if we draw with Barnet (in the FA Cup) we would want him available for the replay, which would be after Forest Green. That might mean we'll have to revise our plans, but the ideal scenario is for Daryl to have the operation done two weeks before Christmas'".
20 November 2007
FARSLEY STRENGTHENAltrincham travel to Farsley tonight for a BSP match.
Farsley Today says that "Caretaker-boss John Deacey admits the pressure is on his Farsley Celtic side to start wracking up the points – starting with tonight's showdown against Altrincham at Throstle Nest. Celtic could go five points clear of the bottom four with a win this evening, while defeat against the Cheshire men would dump them in the relegation zone. Despite the precarious league situation, Deacey is refusing to add to the hype surrounding the match, but he does acknowledge it is time for Farsley – who have picked up just five points from their last 10 games –to hit the winning trail. Deacey admitted: 'Of course the pressure is building. We have to string some results together now and we have got to start on Tuesday. Altrincham is a big game – but they all are. There are another 27 league games left after tonight so we won't be treating the match any differently. Everyone is hyping it up but it is just another game as far as I'm concerned and we have to treat it as such, and if we show the same application we showed on Saturday then we are quite capable of winning'.
While fourth-bottom Altrincham moved within two points of the Celts following a 3-2 victory over Weymouth at the weekend, Deacey saw his side go down 1-0 at Grays. The result against the side with the meanest defence in the Blue Square Premier was no disgrace, but the stand-in boss has no doubts about where the problems lie. And he is hoping the arrival of Steve Torpey and the return from injury of Tris Whitman and Simeon Bambrook can get the Celts firing on all cylinders again. Torpey was forced to sit out Saturday's game as the paperwork for his loan move wasn't completed in time but the former Bradford City, Swansea, Scunthorpe and Lincoln hit man is in line to make his debut tonight.
Whitman [who reportedly turned down a move to Altrincham last season] played for 40 minutes on Saturday on his return from a dislocated shoulder, while Bambrook trained yesterday following a hamstring strain and had no reaction. Deacey said: "The end product needs to improve, but we have got Torpey in there now and Bambrook and Whitman back so it gives us much more interesting selection problems'. Deacey's hopes of further adding to his squad before tonight's game ended in frustration, but he is hopeful of landing a couple more signings before the emergency loan market closes on Thursday. And he is confident Farsley will be good enough to start to climb the table.
He said: 'This is a difficult league, but the spirit is good in the camp and we do have a good squad and with a couple of loan signings I am trying to bring in, we will be even stronger. I think we can put a run together, we just need to start finishing off the chances we are creating as every team does. But Torpey has scored goals at every level so hopefully he will continue to do so. He will be a valuable addition to the squad'".
Lincoln City confirm that "Steve Torpey has today joined Farsley Celtic on loan until January 7th 2008. Veteran front man Torpey, who has made 14 appearances for the Imps since moving to Sincil Bank in the summer from Scunthorpe United, links up with The Villagers in time for their home game against Altrincham, having recovered from the hamstring strain that forced him to miss the last two Imps' games".
Tuesday 20th BSP
FA Cup 1 Replay
GEORGE NOSE HIS NUMBERS
Alty matchday secretary, Youth-team manager, licensee and bingo-caller, Mr George Heslop was the master of ceremonies at Monday night's Prize Bingo Evening at Moss Lane which, once again, was a great success. George presented himself in a new light, as he donned a flashing red nose and reindeer antlers for the evening (picture, right). The Football Club would like to thank all those who attended the event and, above all, those who worked so hard to arrange it - notably the Gallimore family and Anne Wilshaw, but many others were also involved.
YOUTH GAMESunday's Altrincham & District FA Youth game at Congleton Town against Macclesfield & District FA was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. This game, in the Cheshire County FA District Youth cup will now take place next Sunday at 11am at the same venue.
FARSLEY GAMEAltrincham make their first trip to Farsley Celtic tonight (Tuesday), where "caretaker boss John Deacey will be able to recall Simeon Bambrook and Ryan Crossley for the visit of Altrincham on Tuesday night. Bambrook [who has played against Alty for Emley in the past] comes back after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Ryan Crossley is also available after a ban. Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote has been boosted by the return of two players as he gears up for the relegation clash with Farsley Celtic. Chris Lane returns after suspension, while Val Owen is back after injury" reports the BBC which adds that "Veteran Lincoln City striker Steve Torpey is wanted by Farsley Celtic. Lincoln have refuted claims from Farsley that the 36-year-old has already sealed a two-month loan move. But City boss Peter Jackson confirmed Celtic's interest and will discuss a move for the striker. 'He's still carrying an injury but talks will take place about him possibly going there', Jackson told the Lincolnshire Echo."
LOCAL NEWSIn the next round of the FA Vase on 8 December, Trafford's two surviving teams have drawn long-distance away ties. We wish them well.
PRIDE COMETH...Weymouth's historic record at Moss Lane is dreadful; in their ten visits to Altrincham before they were relegated from the Conference for the best part of 20 years, they lost eight times, drew once and won once here. Before returning to the national level in 2006, the sides met once, at Weymouth, with Alty knocking the Steve Claridge's table-topping Terras out of the Trophy on their own patch. Last season, Altrincham beat Weymouth in Dorset and drew at Moss Lane. In these circumstances, and with Weymouth arriving at Moss Lane well down the league themselves, it is difficult to fathom why the current Weymouth boss felt that, before Alty's third goal last Saturday, his side "were only one behind and still in the game at that point against a side we are capable of scoring five or six against so that was very disappointing. No disrespect to Altrincham but it was a match we should have won. We have played against so many better teams and performed much better and got something. And it was not even that they deserved to win it was just we were very poor" as he told This is Weymouth. When Weymouth last scored "five or six" away from home against anyone, never mind Altrincham, is not a statistic readily to hand.
Indeed, "Jason Tindall was bitterly disappointed with Saturday's 3-2 loss at Altrincham, describing his side's performance as their worst of the season' so far. Goalkeeper Jon Stewart was to blame for Alty's first two goals and after the Terras had fought back to level twice they then conceded another that proved decisive. Tindall said: 'We were poor today. Jon was at fault for the first two goals and when you give two away in any game you are always going to face an uphill struggle. To be fair to Jon he has been excellent for us in previous games but today he just had one of those days and had a bit of a nightmare. The third goal they scored was also a soft one to concede but what really upset me was the way we just laid down in the last half hour... Today was just one of those where I am not sure what it was. I am not sure whether it was a bit of immaturity or whether we just did not have strong enough characters but there is no doubt that we have got to get our act together. Today was probably our worst performance of the season so far against a side who we should have beaten comfortably'".
This is Weymouth adds that "Two errors from goalkeeper Jon Stewart proved costly as Weymouth went down at Moss Lane. A poor display from the Terras' number one combined with an inept show from the rest of the side led to boss Jason Tindall labelling it the worst performance so far in the Blue Square Premier season". Mr Tindall's record against Altrincham is now played two, lost two.
BSP NEWSThe BBC says that "York City manager Billy McEwan has left the Blue Square Premier club. He was appointed as the Minstermen's boss in February 2005 after eleven and half years as a coach at Derby County. A club statement on the club's website: 'It is with regret that York City Football Club has parted company with manager Billy McEwan. Billy has been instrumental in the turnaround in the playing fortunes of the club, with last season's play-off position the major highlight'. Reserve team coach Colin Walker will take on the responsibilities of caretaker manager. McEwan took charge at York when the former Football League club was facing possible relegation to Blue Square North level. After securing their survival, he led City to eighth place the following season and then last season took York into the play-offs as they finished fourth... Last Saturday's seventh home league defeat of the campaign to Salisbury City proved the final straw. McEwan's first coaching appointment was at Sheffield United were he later took over as manager, before taking a similar position as manager of Rotherham United guiding them to the fourth division championship in 1988-89. He later had a spell as manager at Darlington and assistant boss at Scarborough. McEwan's playing career as a midfielder was spent with Hibernian, Blackpool, Brighton, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Peterborough and Rotherham".
The BBC says that "Shrewsbury goalkeeper Chris Mackenzie has returned to the New Meadow after two months on loan at Kidderminster. The 35-year-old stopper played eleven games whilst with the Harriers covering for the injured Scott Bevan. Harriers manager Mark Yates said: 'Chris obviously didn't have the best of starts, by his own admission, but he's been fantastic for us'. Bevan is expected to be fit for Kidderminster's next match which made extending Mackenzie's loan unnecessary".
19 November 2007
CATCH THE BUSDon't forget you can get to the Stevenage v Altrincham match on Monday 26th November by using the STAR supporters' coach; details here.
FA PHOTOSThe photos taken when the FA Cup visited Moss Lane recently will be on display in the bar at the home match on December 1st against Histon. You will be able to place orders there for copies of the photos.
ROBINS AND PHOENIXAltrincham FC and Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team, both of whom are based on Moss Lane, Altrincham, are setting up a joint scheme to give supporters of each club discount if they visit the other's games; more details to follow.
END OF AN ERADemolition on the former Chequers night club at Moss Lane has now started in earnest in preparation for the construction of housing on the site.
ALTRINCHAM 3 WEYMOUTH 2
SPOT THE DIF-F.A.-RENCEConsistency seems to be in short supply at the F.A. if the report in Sunday's NL Paper is to be believed. Alty fans will not need reminding that they suffered an 18-point deduction the season before last for fielding James Robinson, who joined Alty after being at Accrington Stanley, where the club had not gained his international clearance despite playing him in their Reserves. The Robinson affair came to light when James joined Australian side Richmond. And now, coincidentally, Richmond have been involved in what most people outside the FA might see as a very similar case. The NLP states, "Boston United escaped with a slap on the wrist after an FA hearing found the Pilgrims guilty of playing defender Tom Matthews without international clearance. The 20 year-old joined Boston in July having spent the summer turning out for Australian League side, Richmond. However, it later emerged that Matthews had played the Pilgrims' first three games of the season before the FA had received his international clearance. The FA said the lenience of the the punishment - a warning as to their future conduct - reflected the fact that the incident represented a technical breach of the rules rather than a deliberate offence. But Tommy Taylor's men now face a Conference hearing on the same matter".
ALTY'S NEXT GAME, AT FARSLEYFarsley's new loan-signing from Scunthorpe, Steve Torpey, did not play for Celtic last Saturday but, according to the NL Paper acting manager John Deacey is "hopeful the veteran would play at Altrincham on Tuesday". Let's hope he actually turns up at Moss Lane that night as Alty will be playing at the Throstle Nest !
Meanwhile NL Today claims that "In the frame for the job [of Farsley manager] is ex-Blackburn star Paul Warhurst, Harrogate Railway boss Vince Brockie and caretaker manager John Deacey". But there are rumours that "chairman Andy Firbank will stick with the stand-in. And the chairman said, 'We will not be rushed or rail-roaded into anything. The final date for applications was last Friday and letters will be sent out over the weekend. But we're not in a hurry. The calibre of applicants is impressive and our postbag has been, frankly, bulging. But at the moment I must be honest and say the targets in preparation for the transfer window are more on my mind. We need to make sure we have a squad that holds up till January when we go out and have a closer look at what's about'".
Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Tuesday's match on 20 November is here.
COLIN AND GRAHAM LOOK FOR AN IMPROVEMENTColin Little has a guest column this week in NL Today. Colin writes, "Despite our dreadful start to the season, the one saving grace is that safety is still in our hands, But it's fair to say that with the exception of Ryan Shotton (pictured right) [who is on loan from Stoke City], no one has produced what they are capable of on a consistent basis at Altrincham so far this season. There've been games when three or four have played well but as an eleven, we've not done it. I, for one, cannot say why we have not got going but the important thing at this stage is that if we can string three or four games together we catapult ourselves up the table. Confidence has obviously taken a knock but we're an experienced group of players who have pretty much seen it all. A lot of the boys have experience battling relegation so there'll be no panic from us.
Funnily enough we're doing better away than at home at the moment. At home it's not a case of the fans getting on your back or anything like that but I suppose you tend to treat games with a bit more trepidation... We travel to Farsley Celtic on Tuesday, who are currently one place above us and just outside the relegation zone. Without doubt it is a winnable game so now's the time to turn things around.
For me, this season has been interrupted by injury and suspension. It was the same at this stage last season when I only had two goals. My stats since I arrived at Alty say that I get one every other game so I need to get to that form sooner rather than later. I'm a big player for the team and the onus is on me to score the goals to save us. I've got 6 in 14 so far, which is OK, but I need to be better than OK. I need to play week in, week out".
The Blue Square Premier really is the only place to be. Anything below is for the dead men of football. The change has been unbelievable from when I was at Crewe and we played against Conference sides...There's so much that the club does in the community that may be lost if we went down. We have kids who want to both watch and play for the club. We don't want a return to the days when only Man City and United meant anything to kids in the area. In fairness, Graham Heathcote has put the ball in our court to turn the season around or there could be big changes come January".
Echoing Colin Little's words, the Alty boss wrote in last Saturday's programme, he write "We are in a dogfight now. We have to have players who want to keep this club in the Blue Square national league... There is no excuse for our home results... we have to be more clinical and ruthless... If we can't change it from within, we will have to recruit. Geoff Goodwin and the Board are looking at it very seriously to see if they can help us to improve. We are in that mini-league [at the bottom] and the next four fixtures are vital to our survival. We can't afford to carry anyone. We all have to be totally committed to the cause, or move on".
OLD BOYSOnly a week or so ago we reported that Keith Russell had moved from Stourbridge to Pelsall Villa on loan, after a recent spell at Bromsgrove Rovers, but he has now moved again to Willenhall Town from Stourbridge, reports NL Today. Ian Craney is in the NL Paper's Dream Team, as selected by Kidderminster Harriers' striker Justin Richards. Former Alty trialist striker Aron Wilford is now with Guiseley. Goalkeper Ryan McMahon played for Skelmersdale last Saturday as did ex-reserve Rio Nelson for Atherton Collieries. Ex-Alty reserve Scott Metcalfe scored for Trafford on Saturday in the Shawe View side's excellent 3-2 win at Seaham Red Star in the FA Vase.
WEYMOUTH WINAfter the Weymouth game, Graham Heathcote told the Non-League Paper, "At 3 o'clock I'd have given anything for any sort of win. The vital thing is that we don't get displaced from the team fifth from bottom", as four teams get relegated again this season.
CHRIS AND THAT SENDING-OFFIn his column in NL Today referee Ian Lamont writes of the sending off last week of Chris Lane for alleged deliberate handball against Millwall. "Altrincham's Chris Lane was sent off against Millwall for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, adjudged to have handled on the line. I could understand his disbelief because TV replays suggested he had jumped, turned away from the ball and had his back to it. The referee must have seen it differently and felt that, in spreading himself, he had deliberately put his hand in the way".
BSP NEWSAlty play Stevenage away on Monday 26th November and on Saturday Borough had midfielder John Martin sent off for violent conduct. He should therefore miss the game with Altrincham.
"Grays' skipper Stuart Thurgood is set to rejoin his former Blues' team-mate Dennis Oli and Leroy Griffiths by signing for old boss Mark Stimson at Gillingham... despite competition from Dagenham & Redbridge, Millwall and Peterborough" says the NL Paper
From the Halifax Courier we learn that "Boss Chris Wilder did not want to single out individuals after his side produced a stunning comeback to beat Stevenage Borough 3-2 at Broadhall Way. The Shaymen looked to be heading for certain defeat at the break when they trailed 2-0. But goals from Darryn Stamp, Simon Heslop and Jon Shaw in a seven minute spell at the start of the second period gave Halifax what had appeared an unlikely victory 'I don't think the character of this side has ever been in doubt', said Wilder. 'But individual errors have killed us in the past. Errors could have hurt us again yesterday because Stevenage did not have to work hard for their goals. But I thought our play was excellent overall. We passed the ball, controlled the game and there were a lot of outstanding performances'".
18 November 2007
ALTY DONATION TO LINNETSAltrincham vice-chairman Grahame Rowley, writing in the Robins' Review confirmed that after the CSC tie against Runcorn Linnets last Tuesday, "The Board of Altrincham FC decided to give Runcorn Linnets a helping hand with their fight to survive by waiving our cut of the gate, enabling them, after expenses, to take the full take. We all know how hard it can be when you are struggling and any little help is much appreciated. I'm sure they will put it to good use".
RADIO VIEWSInterviewed on Radio Manchester on Saturday evening, Alty boss Graham Heathcote expressed his happiness to Bryan Flynn with the win over Weymouth and with Chris Senior's fine run of form. He was less happy with the absence of marking for the Terras' second goal. Meanwhile the summariser of the Alty v Weymouth game on BBC Radio Solent is reported to have been former Alty boss John Williams.
For this site's match report, click here.
POLL TO SPEAKAn Altrincham FC Sportsman's Dinner is being arranged for March 2008 at which the guest speaker will be former top referee Graham Poll.
NEXT GAMESAltrincham have two successive away games in the coming week. On Tuesday they pay their first ever visit to the Throstle Nest at Pudsey to play Farsley Celtic. A win for Alty would lift them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season. Then, the following Monday, Alty travel to Broadhall Way to take on title contenders Stevenage Borough who, despite their high league position, have lost their last two games (one in the Cup), conceding seven goals in the process. Both our opponents have new managers. John Deacey is in temporary control at Farsley whilst Peter Taylor recently took over at Stevenage.
FARSLEYA report on our next opponents comes from the Thurrock Gazette after Grays beat Farsley 1-0 on Saturday. "Aaron O'Connor's 25th minute strike was enough to secure Grays their fourth Blue Square Premier League win on the bounce as their season continues to flourish. Playing in their away strip (the kit man left the home strip in the laundry) Grays picked up from their last two successful visits on the road. The 4-3-3 formation mean Grays were closing down space and giving struggling Farsley, who have only won one of their last nine, very little room to breathe... There wasn't a lot wrong with Farsley's game but perhaps they give the opposition far too much respect. They allowed Grays time to shape their play when they really should have got stuck into them... Then some of Grays' passes started to go astray. That prompted many in the crowd of 724, the second lowest in the league, started to express their displeasure... A notable exception was "Sarah's crew" in the corner who sang their hearts out and were a credit to the club. It was noticeable that boss Justin Edinburgh pointed his team to them at the end of the game. With some of the fans on their backs and a defence-minded opposition the Grays players realised that this was going to be a day of attrition... Grays have never lost a lead this season... Farsley were not out of it. They had a string of corners in the last ten minutes but somehow they never looked likely to convert this into goals".
OLD BOYSLewis Chalmers was the Man of the Match for Aldershot yesterday whilst Matthew Berkeley scored again for Workington. Striker Peter Wright has joined Fleetwood Town from Kendal Town. Former Alty youth and reserve player Mark Drew has moved to Chorley from Rossendale United. Alex Hay netted twice yesterday for Cammell Laird and Mark Quayle netted for Colwyn Bay. Mario Daniel scored for Wooldey Sports.
BSP NEWSOur next but one opponents, Stevenage Borough lost on Saturday, at home to Halifax Town. But "Borough have confirmed that they are close to agreeing terms with 34-year-old Junior Lewis until the end of the season. The experienced midfielder has won promotion from Leagues One and Two and has also played in the Premiership under Peter Taylor. He will provide valuable experience to the squad and is expected to sign on Monday".
Droylsden have signed former Alfreton Town striker Ashley Burbeary from Stalybridge Celtic.
NL Daily says that "Crawley Town have signed MK Dons` defender Kieran Murphy in time to make his Blue Square Premier debut at home to Torquay United on Saturday. Crawley manager Steve Evans moved for the Republic of Ireland under-21 international after Glenn Wilson hurt his groin in training on Friday".
17 November 2007
TABLE -TOPPING ALTRINCHAM?As well as beating Weymouth today, Altrincham, according to the Northants Evening Telegraph also defeated Rushden and Diamonds!. Under the heading, "Altrincham 2-1 Rushden and Diamonds", it reports that "Despite a gritty performance Rushden and Diamonds lost 2-1 against table topping Altrincham Town. Diamonds could count themselves unlucky not to be rewarded with a draw in a thoroughly entertaining game in which they played well. They went behind in the first half through a John Grant goal. And Altrincham doubled their lead with a superbly taken goal in the second half. The goal came just after half-time with a crisp left-foot volley from just inside the area by Ben Harding. Diamonds' goal machine Simeon Jackson pulled one back for Diamonds on 62 minutes".
ALTRINCHAM 3 WEYMOUTH 2
Above: The 4-4 element of Alty's 4-4- 2 formation this afternoon is seen above.
After a first half in which Alty were decidedly second best, the Robins upped their game superbly in the second half to dominate the final 45 minutes.
ALTY HOLD NO TERRAS FOR WEYMOUTH
"Weymouth manager Jason Tindall has called on his side continue their recent good form with an away win over fellow strugglers Altrincham on Saturday" says Blue Square Football. "The Terras find themselves in the bottom-half of the table after some woeful home form, which has seen them collect just four points from a possible 27. 'I think Altrincham are in a false position in the league but I believe we are as well', Tindall told the Dorset Echo. 'They were unlucky against Millwall last week in the cup, they had a man sent off and came close to getting the result they were after so we know tomorrow will be a tough game. We have had them watched and we know what to expect but I tend not to worry too much about what our opponents might do, I just concentrate on what we are going to do and at the moment we are confident in the way we are playing. Our away form is good and as long as the lads keep working as hard as they have been then I am sure we can go there and get a good result'. However, Tindall has a number of first-team regulars still receiving treatment... He added: 'Neil Young and Callum Hart have come in and strengthened us but having the likes of Marcus Browning, Kyle Critchell, Simon Weatherstone, Justin Roberts, Trevor Challis, Ashley Vickers and Sido Jombarti all out recently, just shows how well the team has done in the last nine games. Those quality players are slowly coming back and once they return I am sure they will make a big difference and give us that little kick we need to be even more competitive and more consistent'. Tindall added: 'Marcus, Trevor, Kyle and Stuart are all close and Simon is just lacking a bit of match practice. Sido is still two weeks away while Ashley could be anything from a couple of days away to four weeks away depending how he reacts to certain treatment'".
Meanwhile Alty are without the suspended Chris Lane. The BBC confirms that "Altrincham are short in midfield with both Val Owen and Gareth Whalley missing through injury. Colin Potts is still struggling with a knee problem". But it wrongly states that "Defender Chris Lane is available after completing his one-match suspension" but is closer to the truth when it adds that "Striker Colin Little is now available. Weymouth travel to Altrincham without suspended centre back Justin Roberts. Ashley Vickers and Kyle Critchell are doubts while Trevor Challis may miss out with a hamstring injury. Striker Stuart Beavon is back after a virus".
Right: Peter Band in action in the goalless draw against Weymouth at Moss Lane on 7 October 2006. Weymouth arrived at Moss Lane in 3rd place in the table, whilst Altrincham were in 14th position. This game was played at 1pm to avoid a clash with another match in Trafford, which involved England and Macedonia. Alty's side that day was 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 11. Warren PEYTON; 22. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 4. Peter BAND, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 14. Lewis CHALMERS; 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 15. Justin BOWLER, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 21. Kieran LUGSDEN, 23. Eddie HUSSIN. Only three (Lawton, O'Neill and Peyton) of that starting-line up also started for Alty against Milwall last Saturday.
Howard Watts's Through the Years records for Saturday's date, 17 November, are now on the website.
MEN IN BLACKThe referee of Saturday's game at Moss Lane is Mr D Webb, whom we will remember from the 2-2 away game at York City this season when he waved play-on before York's debutant keeper Henderson inexplicably picked up the ball, handled it outside his box and dropped it down for a freekick. Alty's Chris Senior, playing to the non-existent whistle, took the ball and drove it into the empty net. Mr Webb disallowed the goal and restarted the game with a freekick to York.
Next Tuesday, the referee at Farsley Celtic v Altrincham will be Mr Mo Matadar who was the fourth official at Moss Lane for our match against Millwall last Saturday. Mr Matadar has previously officiated at Southport v Altrincham (1-1) in March 2006 and at Alty's 2-0 home win over Tamworth on 26 November 2005.
MEET THE NEW RECRUITSThe previously postponed Meet the New Recruits event will now be held at Moss Lane after the Histon game on Saturday, 1st December, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 (which includes a fish and chip supper or similar meal). Altrincham's new signings for 2007-08 will be the guests of honour and will answer any questions directed at them! Already signed up to appear are Darren Tinson, Jake Sedgemore, Chris Lane and Chris Senior. So come along and find out what goes on behind the scenes at the Club and learn what the new recruits did with themselves before joining Altrincham. Please ring the club on 928-1045 or e-mail Grahame or Karen Rowley for tickets.
ALTY FUELLED BY ALDIMore on the store-opening by Graham Heathcote and Colin Little comes from SAM. "Aldi launched its new store in Broadheath, with the help of Altrincham Football Club at the official opening. Celebrations got underway at the store on Davenport Road after Altrincham FC manager Graham Heathcote and star striker Colin Little helped Aldi store manager, Carl Palmer to cut the red ribbon yesterday,Thursday, November 15. Graham said: 'We're pleased to help with the opening celebrations and welcome Aldi to Altrincham. The store provided the club with energy drinks and bottled water for the players at our FA Cup match - and it's great to see Aldi showing its support to the local community'".
OLD BOYStalybridge Celtic have "announced the loan signing of striker James Dean. James (21) joins us on a month's loan from Bury, having just completed a loan spell at Blue Square Premier strugglers Altrincham, and goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's home game with Boston United. He will be available for the F.A Trophy tie with Tamworth next weekend. Celtic's problems in front of goal have been well documented and Steve Burr is hoping that the new arrival can 'shake' things up at the sharp end for his team".
BSP NEWSThere's only two Steve Torpeys. Alty have already faced their ex-player Steve Torpey at Halifax this season but will face another one next week, as This is Farsley reports that "Farsley Celtic have completed the signing of target man Steve Torpey - and the veteran striker is set to make his debut in tomorrow's game at Grays. The former Bradford, Swansea and Scunthorpe frontman has signed on an initial two-month loan with a view to a permanent deal after leaving Football League basement club Lincoln City following an unhappy stint. Celts were in the market for the 36-year-old back in the summer but the lure of one last crack at league football proved too tempting for the Londoner. But a little more than three months down the line and Goole-based Torpey has decided to accept at second chance at Throstle Nest after being impressed with the Celts when he spoke to the club in the summer. The striker has notched 143 goals in 517 Football League appearances and has been transferred for a combined total of £750,000 in his lengthy career. Caretaker-boss John Deacey said: Steve has got a great pedigree and has been around for a while. Lee (Sinnott) and I tried to sign him at the start of the season, but it was between us and Lincoln and he chose to go there with Lincoln being a league club. He said he'd get back in touch if his situation changed and he's been as good as his word. He was well impressed by the club first time around and got back in touch and we sorted something out straight away. He's a great pro and I'm looking forward to working with him. He offers something we haven't got. He's 6ft 2ins and players can play off him. We've got a bare squad and it's a great boost in a big week which sees us play Grays, Altrincham and Crawley. We've been looking around trying to target people within our budget and Steve is one'... He added: 'I watched a video of Grays' recent game with Halifax and they are very, very unpredictable and I don't know which Grays will turn up. They are so up-and-down'".
Blue Square Football tells us that "Histon have allowed midfielder Dean Bradshaw to join Billericay on a one-month loan deal. The 22-year-old has not featured for Steve Fallon's side since making his switch from Braintree Town in the summer. Fallon told the club's official website: 'The deal is for an initial period of 28 days but let's see how things pan out during that time'. Meanwhile, Chris Dillon may cut his loan spell at Hemel Hempstead short and return to the Glass World stadium two-weeks early. Fallon added: 'Chris did not want to be Trophy tied and the lad that has come in for the Trophy for them has done well and kept him out which is very frustrating for Chris and us because he was there to play.. I think it's likely he could be back with us in the next week'".
Grays Athletic reports that "Goalkeeper, Danny Knowles, has been released on loan to AFC Wimbledon until 1st January 2008".
At nearby Ebbsfleet United "central defender Warren Goodhind has left the club and is expected to join Blue Square South side Eastleigh, where former Fleet goalkeeper James Pullen now plies his trade. South African Goodhind (30) joined the Fleet on a non-contract basis in August 2007 and the former Barnet, Cambridge and Rochdale defender has made nine appearances for the club".
"Frank Gray believes Giuseppe Sole has a big future at Woking Football Club and insisted this week the club will not cash in on the youngster’s talents in the January transfer window. The Cards’ boss has had another heart to heart meeting with Sole following the young star’s omission from the starting line-up against Grays Athletic on Saturday — the 19-year-old dropped despite scoring Woking’s only goal against Droylsden seven days earlier... 'We want to keep Gez', said Gray. 'He came to see me again this week and he’s not happy about not being in the team but then I’d expect that of any player. He knows he hasn’t performed as we know he can and he knows he has to work hard at his game to improve. It’s always difficult, for someone who rocketed on to the scene like he did, to repeat that in their second season. It’s a different story for him this year but he will be an asset to this club. Nobody really expected him to repeat last season’s form but he is working hard, even though perhaps he hasn’t made the most of the opportunities he’s had'".
This is Staffs says that "Stafford Rangers go into tomorrow's crucial relegation battle at Droylsden with manager Phil Robinson declaring: 'Bring it on'. With both clubs deep in the drop zone, the pressure will be on Rangers to chalk up what would be only their second win of the season. They will be hampered, though, by the absences of skipper Wayne Daniel and midfielder Ross Draper, who are both serving one-match bans... 'We've had time to prepare and we're ready',said Robinson. 'Although I would not say it is a 'must win' game at this stage, it is a big one and has a lot of pressures going with it. It's one my players really want to win to try to put right the defeat against Exeter. We've watched a video of that match and highlighted a few things we can improve on. We have prepared really well, although on top of suspensions we've had quite a few injuries that have hampered us. We're hoping to get quite a few of those bodies back'. That includes full-back Richard Sutton, who could see some action for the first time in more than a month. Tomorrow's match is the first meeting between the clubs since Rangers beat the Bloods in the promotion play-off final at Burton in May last year. Droylsden are also expected to field to former Marston Road men - winger Robin Gibson and midfielder Ged Murphy".
16 November 2007
NEW DATEAltrincham's home match against Kidderminster Harriers will now be played on Tuesday, 8th January 2008 at 7.45pm. This match was scheduled for 1 December 2007 but has been moved because of our opponents' involvement in the FA Cup 2nd Round on that date.
ALDIRINCHAM CELEBRITIES OPEN STOREAltrincham manager Graham Heathcote and striker Colin Little (right) were the celebrities who opened the new Aldi store in Davenport Road, Altrincham recently.
HONOURING FANSAnyone who knows of an Altrincham supporter who has died in the past year is asked to notify Altrincham FC (928-1045) of the deceased's name as there will be a roll-call of those names before Altrincham's home match with Stevenage Borough on December 29th.
SUSPENSION CONFUSIONAlty defender Chris Lane was omitted from Tuesday's Cheshire Senior Cup match when Altrincham met Runcorn Linnets because it was believed that he was suspended after being sent off last Saturday against Millwall. It has now emerged that Chris could actually have played in that game as the English FA does not recognise the County Senior Cup competitions as first-team games for clubs at Conference (Blue Square) National level. So, this means that Chris is now suspended for tomorrow's game with Weymouth. Had we been a Conference North club (like our next opponents Vauxhall Motors), Chris would not have been allowed to play against Runcorn Linnets but he could have played tomorrow in the league, as the Senior Cups are deemed first-team games for clubs below the Conference National. And just to add to the confusion, the Cheshire County FA can fine clubs which deliberately do not field their strongest side in the Cheshire Senior Cup a minimum of £200, so they evidently see their County Cup as a first-team match, unlike their national masters. So, Chris is now effectively serving a two-match ban.
DEMOLITION STARTSDemolition of the disused Chequers nightclub at the Hale End of Altrincham's Moss Lane ground will start on Monday. As previously reported a housing project is going ahead on the old car park and site of the nightclub.
TURNSTILES CLOSEDThe newly-built Warren Peyton Turnstile Block at the top of Golf Road will NOT be open on Saturday as some internal work needs to be completed on them. The turnstiles at the bottom of Golf Road will be open.
TAKE YOUR SUNGLASSESAlty groundsman and new Abbey Hey manager Neil Brown has now re-mown the Moss Lane pitch with an even more intricate mowing pattern than that which featured on last Saturday's Match of the Day, so you may be dazzled by the effect tomorrow.
YOUTH REPORTThere is now a match report from George Heslop in the Youth section on the Altrincham FC Youth team's win over league leaders Ashton Athletic last weekend. Alty have now gone to the top of the table themselves.
NEIL GETS ABBEY HEY JOBCongratulations go to Neil Brown (right) the former Altrincham FC Reserves' manager and currently the groundsman at Moss Lane. Neil has been appointed manager of Abbey Hey, the Vodkat (NW Counties) League Division 1 side, based in Gorton, Manchester. Neil is also the groundsman at Moss Lane, where his pitch is one of the best in the Blue Square Premier, as was seen on Match of the Day last weekend. He also recently had a spell at Leek Town where he served as assistant manager and, briefly, as acting manager following the illness of Paul Ogden.
FRIENDS' DRAWThe monthly prize draw for the Friends of Altrincham FC takes place in the Noel White Suite after this Saturday's game against Weymouth.
GOOD PREPARATIONAfter Tuesday's CSC match against Runcorn Linnets, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "The 3-1 final scoreline barely reflected the tough test and manager Graham Heathcote said that was exactly what his side needed... He told SAM Sport, 'I'm glad we had the game. In the first 20 minutes we had half a dozen proper chances and that highlights what's happened this season. We need to be more ruthless because you don't get that many chances in the Conference. But, mentally, it's always a very difficult game, the one after a big cup tie [v Millwall]. You're coming down off such a high and it's difficult to get your head around it. It's a back down to earth, feet on the ground job and now we can get our heads together and concentrate on Weymouth'".
IC Cheshire says that "Runcorn Linnets manager Steve Carragher is anxiously awaiting an update on the ankle injury which forced top scorer Dave Thompson out of Tuesday’s Cheshire Senior Cup defeat by Altrincham. Already knowing he would be without skipper Paul Scott from midfield and the consistent Dave Standley in defence, because of illness, the last thing Carragher needed was to lose his 13-goal frontman. But he got a phone message – complete with photographic evidence – from electrician Thompson to the effect he had fallen through a loft space at work and couldn’t make it. Carragher was due to visit the player yesterday but the best-case scenario is the swollen foot will keep him out for a couple of weeks... The Robins came from behind with three goals in the last 26 minutes to avoid a quarter-final shock after Linnets had gone ahead in the first half with a thunderous 30-yard strike from Michael Young. Despite the teams being separated by three divisions – UniBond One, UniBond Premier and Blue Square North – Vodkat League One underdogs Runcorn put up a terrific fight for an hour or so. But defensive mistakes then crept in and Altrincham’s Blue Square National pedigree shone through in the closing stages as Runcorn conceded twice to Carlos Logan (64,76) and Chris Senior in between.
Carragher said: ‘It is hard to be critical. They are a Conference side and we are North West Counties Division One but for spells in the match, you wouldn’t have known. The players were disappointed but we just have to make sure we carry on that performance through into the league. At the start of the second half, we had a really good go at them. If we had got another goal, I really couldn’t have seen them getting back. I was happy with the fact we tried to play football. I felt the 3-1 probably flattered them but a bit of fitness, craft and know-how showed through in the end'".
YOUNGSTERS AT MOSS LANEOn Wednesday 21st November at Moss Lane, Manchester United Under-15s take on Aston Villa Under-15s, with a 7pm kick off. It is expected that there will be free entry to the game.
CSC SEMISThe Cheshire County FA confirms that the semi-finals of the Senior Cup will be played in w/c 26th January 2008 as follows:
GEOFF CALLS FOR VIDEO JUDGESpeaking to SAM Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin "has called for the introduction of video technology in football after a dubious penalty decision cost Alty an estimated £60,000. The Alty chairman was left exasperated by the decision to send off Chris Lane and award Millwall a penalty for deliberate hand ball... Television replays showed the defender didn't actually handle Gary Alexander's goalbound shot. But the referee's decision meant the Robins were denied the chance of a replay or a lucrative second round tie. 'When are we going to get an umpire who can look at decisions like that?. The referee sent the player off without thinking... We have the technology there, so why not use it? We would probably have made another £60,000 if we'd got through, plus the sponsorship money. That's a lot'".
OLD BOYSAaron Burns who, but for the complex rules of the transfer window, would have signed for Altrincham a month ago, hit a a hat-trick this week for FC United. Meanwhile, NL Daily reports on Tony Cullen who was briefly at Alty at the end of 2002-03 season. "It`s all change behind the scenes at FC United of Manchester as manager Karl Marginson reorganises his backroom staff... Former fans` favourite Tony Cullen is now back in the home dressing room as the newly-installed first-team coach... 'I never expected this and it caught me by surprise', admits Cullen. 'Knowing how important the role is I went away and had a little think about it. Then I realised it was a great challenge and I’m definitely up for it. After each game we’ll have a meeting and look at where we need to do some work. Then I’ll go away and come up with some ideas before taking the training sessions, with Karl always on hand to oversee everything... Although we are a little inexperienced at the back, and we’ll work on that, we’ll always frighten teams going forward'" he told the FC United website.
BSP NEWS"Brian Kilcullen has told News Shopper that "Ebbsfleet fans have nothing to fear from yesterday's takeover by the MyFootballClub website. The football world, and Fleet fans in particular, were stunned to discover the Blue Square Premier side would be run by 20,000 new supporters, but director Mr Kilcullen believes the move makes perfect sense. He said: 'My main role since stepping down as chairman a couple of years ago has been to make sure the club is financially sustainable without having to rely on the support of individual directors. Gates have gone down and this made the search for new investment even more important. What MyFootballClub bring is the ability to make the club financially sustainable and they will not be taking any money out of Ebbsfleet either as it is a completely non-profit making organisation. It is very important the existing fans do not feel in any way disenfranchised by the news. There will be new fans coming in and it is very clear from looking at their website they are very sensitive to the fact people have been coming here for years. Hopefully both the new and old fans can quickly pull together and take the club forward'. Kilcullen and his fellow directors will retain their titles, although they are now non-executive roles in reality. He explained: 'We will all stay on and the day-to-day work of the club will pretty much be the same. Obviously I will no longer be searching for funding, but I am still going to be involved in the new stadium project'".
In last night's England C international game in Finland, the visitors won 2-0. NL Daily reports that "England `C` (or National Game or semi-professional international XI) proved comfortable winners in Finland on Wednesday night, when goals either side of the break from Cambridge United defender Michael Morrison and Salisbury City striker Matt Tubbs propelled Paul Fairclough’s side to this International Challenge Trophy Group A victory... A brutal coastal gust had plummeted the temperature to six degrees below freezing in the Finnish capital ... With England fielding six new caps at this level in their starting eleven and with the testing conditions in place, it was a fine performance... with Stuart Lewis, one of the debutants, sparkling in a central midfield role alongside Aldershot schemer Lewis Chambers [a.k.a. Chalmers]. 'If I was honest, I would have accepted a draw here. To get the victory is sensational, particularly when you consider that most of my lads wouldn’t have ever seen such difficult conditions', Fairclough said. 'I don’t like picking out individuals for special praise, it’s not my way of course, but you have to say our central midfield was quite outstanding – Chalmers and Lewis were magnificent. Everything good came through that pair'". England: Lance Cronin (Ebbsfleet United), John Brayford (Burton Albion), Liam Brownhill (Witton Albion), Lewis Chalmers (Aldershot Town), Ronnie Henry (Capt) (Stevenage Borough), Michael Morrison (Cambridge United), Russell Penn (Kidderminster Harriers), Stuart Lewis (Stevenage Borough), James Constable (Kidderminster Harriers), Matt Tubbs (Salisbury City), Erkan Okay (Histon). Subs: Adam Bartlett (Blyth Spartans), Gleeson, Shaun Harrad (Burton Albion), Nathaniel Knight-Percival (Histon), Matt Day (Oxford United)."
Halifax Town report that "Simon Heslop has extended his deal for two months. The 20 year old, who is on loan from Barnsley, will now be with the Shaymen until the middle of January. Heslop has made five appearances for Town so far scoring 2 goals".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Lee Power hopes Cambridge United could soon be on the end of a cash injection. The U's chairman said the club was in discussions with several parties who had expressed an interest in pumping money into the club. It follows major shareholder Paul Barry's belief that the lifting of the 20% limit on shares, agreed at the extraordinary general meeting in March, would attract outside investment after he and fellow directors Johnny Hon and Adrian Hanauer agreed to plough in £600,000 over two years. Power said: 'Everyone on the board has put a bit more in to move things forward, but there are one or two people that are speaking to us at the moment who can see what we're doing and want to be part of it. We're just having conversations with various people to see that they understand the game-plan that we've got. There will be a few other bits and pieces regarding the boardroom where we might look at making additions and tweaking it a bit. But the club is in the healthiest position it has been in for years, and I hope people can see what we're gradually trying to do'.
Meanwhile, Power added that he hoped to put a new deal in front of Michael Morrison by Christmas in a bid to entice him to stay beyond this season. United rejected an offer from Southend to take the defender in the summer, but Morrison also snubbed new terms put before him by the club at the time. Power said: 'Michael has been a key part of the team and a good servant to us and staying here for another year or two would help his progress. One thing for sure is that he'll get a big move one day, but we made Robbie (Simpson) two fantastic offers last season and we don't want to be left in the same position. Michael is a great lad who gets on with his job and an awful lot of people have had a look at him. But we haven't had any other offers yet, and I think he still has a little bit more to go before someone will take a chance on him'".
From the Tameside Advertiser comes news that "Furious Dave Pace condemned the officiating after watching Droylsden knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend. Having seen his Bloods team beaten 2-0 at Harrogate Railway Athletic in the first round, Pace vented his spleen at the performance of the match officials. Terry Fearns saw an early goal ruled out while a couple of penalty claims went unrewarded... Pace said: 'The officials were just diabolical but no matter what anyone says, the game’s gone, we’ve lost and we can’t do anything about it. Fearnsy’s goal was a goal but the linesman pulled it back for handball – which it wasn’t – and if that goes in, it changes the game. Their first goal comes when one of their players taps it in despite being four yards offside and the same linesman doesn’t give anything. I can’t change the result but I’d like to say the pitch was a disgrace even though it’s the same for both sides, but that’s what the FA Cup’s all about I suppose. We’d trained at Abbey Hey [note this, Neil Brown!] so the players knew what to expect and we’d had them watched beforehand. I’m not saying we played our best on the day by any stretch of the imagination but those decisions did not help us'. Saturday sees the Bloods back in league action with Stafford Rangers visiting the Butcher’s Arms for what pundits refer to as a ‘relegation six-pointer’".
15 November 2007
ALTY ON TVHighlights of the Runcorn FC Linnets v Altrincham match in the Cheshire County FA Senior Cup last Tuesday will be broadcast on Channel M on Friday evening's Gtr Manchester Football Show.
EARLY STARTThe Youth team game between Altrincham & District FA and the Macclesfield & District FA at Congleton Town FC is an 11am kick off this Sunday 18th November.
CSCThe NL Daily says that "Nantwich Town shocked Blue Square Premier hosts in the quarter final of the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night. Nantwich took a 7th minute lead through a Danny Griggs penalty. The spot-kick was awarded after Ryan Brown was alleged to have deliberately handballed on the line. Brown was shown a straight red card by the referee, leaving the Blue Square Premier’s bottom club to play with ten-men for the remainder of the tie. However, despite the deficit, Vics showed spirit but, it took them until the 38th minute before Dabber`s new keeper Lee Jones had a shot to save. Meanwhile, Nantwich had plenty of possession without actually hurting struggling Northwich, who earlier in the day were represented in the high court in a further attempt at avoiding a winding up order brought by the Inland Revenue. Throughout the match, Northwich`s Ben Connett was by far the busier of the two ‘keepers but credit to him for keeping out Andy Kinsey, Glyn Blackhurst, Ashley Carter and Danny Griggs, whilst Nantwich right back 17-year-old youth team player Kelvin Mellor earned the respect of the 200 Nantwich fans in attendance with a mature display against considerably older and far more experienced players from a higher level. Nantwich have been drawn at home in the semi final to the winners of the Congleton Town versus Cammell Laird quarter final tie". Altrincham are at home to Vauxhall Motors in the other semi-final in week commencing 22 January 2008.
SHIELD TAKES SHAPEAltrincham enter the Setanta Shield in December after the Third and last Qualifying Round games, which are to be played in week commencing 3 December. Those games are as follows:
BSP NEWSFrom IC Cheshire we read that "Chris Williams, Paul Tait and Kevin Townson have all ben transfer listed as Northwich Vics’ boss Dino Maamria gets tough. He hopes to bring in three new players – a centre forward, central midfielder and a centre back – before the game at Cambridge United on Saturday. Williams, part of the 2006 Conference North title winning team, is a crowd favourite. But Townson has never been the success Steve Burr envisaged when he signed him from Macclesfield as a top wage earner – and Paul Tait has looked past his best since returning to Vics in the summer. Maamria said: ‘I have not fallen out with any of the players, but I called a meeting on Sunday to discuss where we go next. We have not won a league game so things have to change. Those three players have not been up to standard and are free to go. It will be the same for everyone. I want players who manage to win games and I am not scared to change things. The players we have are not good enough’. Maamria is limited to signing loan players and free agents or non-contract men until the January transfer window. But as he points out the non-contract players Scott Tynan, Danny Williams and Luke Horrocks have performed the best in recent weeks. Vics’ search for a first league win does not get any easier. Cambridge, managed by former Vics boss Jimmy Quinn, are title chasers. Maamria added: ‘A run like this has never happened to me before and I won’t have players who just go through the motions'. [Meanwhile,] Jim Rushe reports little advance in the consortium takeover of Vics. 'We are waiting on solicitors and still do not know which of the options we will take. It is a fluid situation, but we have not come this far to simply disappear. We are expecting a deal any day,’ said the leader of the consortium. The group gains control via administration, in which the team will be docked 10 points, probably next season, or take the preferred route of buying the club outright by coming to agreement over £500,000 worth of debts".
And there is a forced departure in Yorkshire, too, where "Cortez Belle has been told by boss Chris Wilder that he can leave Halifax Town" according to The Halifax Courier. "And while the Shay chief would only say the decision to allow the centre back to leave was for 'footballing reasons,' it is clear his error at the start of the second half of Saturday's game against Burton was a deciding factor. Wilder was fuming after the game, which 10-man Town lost 4-0, pointing to Belle's error which gifted Albion a second goal 90 seconds after the break as the real turning point. The manager added that the 'door was not closed' to Belle, but the 24-year-old will do well to work his way back into the manager's long term plans. 'Cortez has done well in matches this season', said Wilder. 'But I have to make decisions'. Belle has started 16 games since signing for Town in the summer when Wilder took a chance on him after he had played a couple of seasons in the League of Wales... Wilder is already planning his post-Christmas shopping when the January transfer window opens - and the protracted takeover of the club could well be completed... 'There is still something there for us this season, but we are a club at the moment that is between eighth and 14th in the league', he said. 'I am looking to make that extra step in the January window and... we have to make one or two additions if we are to be stronger. If we get a centre forward and a central defender we can make that jump between being mid table and being up there. I know I can manage in this league given the resources and I know what it takes to be close. If we'd have had the likes of a Mark Greaves and a Daryl Clare in our side this season I know we would be 10 points better off than we are. And that puts a completely different perspective on it'. Wilder is hopeful of extending midfielder Simon Heslop's loan spell at the Shay for at least a further month. He has spoken to Barnsley boss Simon Davey who was happy to extend the deal, which is due to expire on Friday. And Heslop has made it known that he wants to stay at the club through to the new year... Striker Darryn Stamp, who has been substituted in each of Town's last two matches due to the dismissals of Ryan Toulson and Anthony Griffith, also played half of [a friendly game]... Rob Scott, who played the full 90 minutes against Burton on his return after a two-month lay-off, got another hour under his belt. Lewis Killeen, who has been out with a recurrence of a groin problem, did not play".
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post "Anyone interested in replacing Lee Sinnott as manager at Farsley Celtic has until this Friday to get their applications in. Celtic's board will then meet to draw up a shortlist of candidates... At least three names are already on that list to succeed Sinnott, including caretaker-boss John Deacey. Others in the running for the post include former Ipswich, Arsenal and QPR striker Chris Kiwomya, ex-Manchester City, Tranmere and Stockport goalkeeper Eric Nixon, former Sheffield Wednesday player Paul Warhurst and Greg Fee. Celtic chairman Andy Firbank said: 'We will be holding interviews because we feel there are some strong candidates in there. But, as we have said from the start, John Deacey is in the caretaker-role and he is in the driving seat. He is out sourcing loan players, he has got the full backing of the board at this moment in time and we will take it from there. He will be interviewed and he will be judged both on results and what he comes to the board with regarding his plans for the future'".
Next, a bizarre story from Bullsnews from whom we learn that "Rotherham have written to the FA to complain at the shape of the balls used during their 2-2 draw with Forest Green in the FA Cup. Manager Mark Robins described the balls as 'egg-shaped'. Robins also complained last season after their First Round exit using the same Umbro balls".
Rotherham United themselves say that "After watching his team recover from a two goal deficit at half time against Forest Green Rovers, Rotherham United manager Mark Robins was relieved to earn a replay. He said: 'I have to mention the balls used in FA Cup games, they are not round, they are egg shaped as they were last season, it's shocking, you are talking about a premier competition and the balls don't roll right'".
14 November 2007
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTSThe Away Travel Page has details of the STAR coach trips to the away games at Farsley Celtic (20th Nov.) and Stevenage Borough (26th Nov). For the Stevenage trip the fares are subject to a reduction if sufficient numbers travel. This will be the first chance for Alty fans to support the Robins at Farsley and it could be the last chance to go to Stevenage, if they get promoted this season - so why not come along and support Altrincham on the road?
CONGRATULATIONSCongratulations go to Alty midfielder Robbie Lawton (right) and his wife on the birth of their daughter this week. For obvious reasons, Robbie missed last night's game against Runcorn Linnets.
ALTY REACH SEMIS
Altrincham reached the semi-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night with a 3-1 win at Wincham Park, Witton, where the Linnets groundshare with Witton Albion. Alty were without the suspended Chris Lane and, as Robbie Lawton had just become a father he, too, was absent. Val Owen, Colin Potts and Gareth Whalley remained sidelined by injury so Altrincham FC Youth teamers Tom Bailey and Dominic Lillie were on the bench.
Other CSC results:
Although Altrincham FC have not yet been informed, it is believed that they will be at home to Vauxhall Motors in the next round in January.
TERRAS ARE NEXT AT ALTYNews of our next opponents comes fromThis is Weymouth which says that "Striker Stuart Beavon is hoping his FA Cup first round hat-trick at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday will kick-start his season. The 23-year-old has had a frustrating campaign so far due to injuries and illness but he is now determined to put those setbacks behind him and start firing the Terras up the Blue Square Premier table. Beavon has not scored in league action since September 15 when his side defeated Droylsden 3-1, so he will no doubt be hoping to get on the score-sheet this Saturday at Altrincham. He said: 'I waited for my chance at Eastbourne and took it, and it was great to go on and get the hat-trick. It felt like a big relief and when the first went in it gave me a lot of confidence'. Despite his three-goal haul coming in the space of seven minutes in the latter stages of the game, Beavon admits he still does not feel he is quite at peak fitness. He said: 'I did not feel 100 per cent on Saturday but I am certainly getting there. My aim now is to work hard to keep my place in the team and build on those three goals... At the moment though the only thing we will be concen-trating on is the game at Altrincham on Saturday and trying to get another three points'".
OLD BOYSNL Daily says that "The board of directors at Blue Square North club Barrow have announced that they have parted company with manager Phil Wilson with immediate effect. Despite the excellent cup form, including last Saturday`s draw with AFC Bournemouth, the league position has been a concern for many weeks. The board felt that this could no longer continue as it is our ambition to finish as high in the league as possible. A statement read:'We urge fans to support this decision, and those who have stayed away, for whatever reason, to return and help push the club forward. The board would like to thank Phil for his efforts during his tenure and wish him well for the future'".
BSP NEWSLee Hales has signed for Rushden & Diamonds on loan for two months from West Ham United. Hales has featured in both West Ham’s youth and reserve squad this season and is tipped to be a hot prospect for the future at Upton Park. The 18-year-old midfielder is the son of Diamonds assistant-manager Kevin Hales and has played for England at both under-16 and under-17 level. Hales joins a strong side for Tuesday night`s Northants FA Hillier Senior Cup quarter final". says NL Daily.
Blue Square Football reports that "England C Manager Paul Fairclough has made three changes to his 16-man squad set to face Finland in this week's International Challenge Trophy Group A fixture in Helsinki. Stevenage Borough's Mitchell Cole has been withdrawn due to a groin strain, whilst Aldershot's Louis Soares has declared his intention to play for Barbados. Fairclough has chosen his replacements, with Histon duo Nathaniel Knight-Percival and Erkan Okay receiving the call-up to represent England C. 'Both players have had tremendous seasons so far and are fully deserving of their call-up'," Paul Fairclough told the FA website. Histon FC manager Steve Fallon added: 'This is fantastic news for two very promising young players and is a testimony to all the hard work, and effort both have has put into their game. Nathaniel's progress has been phenomenal. Increasingly opponents are wising up to the threat posed by him from wide left and with his modest, unassuming manner, it couldn't happen to a nicer lad. Erkan is another good lad, just like Nathaniel, who has adjusted brilliantly to his new position on the right. His selection is fully justified and a terrific boost for Erkan and this club. Everyone at the club is delighted with this high-level recognition'. Meanwhile, Cambridge United defender Dan Gleeson has also been added to the squad ahead of Wednesday's fixture".
The FA adds that "England C manager Paul Fairclough is facing an anxious 24 hours as injury and illness has hit two of his 16-man squad ahead of Wednesday’s game with Finland... Blyth Spartans goalkeeper Adam Bartlett was taken ill during the flight to Helsinki on Sunday and although he did manage to train on Monday night, he is not 100% and may not be risked. England were hit by a further blow when during a training session in freezing conditions, Oxford United's Matt Day suffered a slight knee injury and only the next 24 hours will tell if he will be fit for the match".
The Oxford Mail tells us that "Jim Smith says he will still be heavily involved at Oxford United, despite having handed over the managerial reins to Darren Patterson. Smith stepped down last week after 20 months as U's boss, as 38-year-old Ulsterman Patterson took charge of the team. Smith, who is staying on as a full-time director, intends to give his successor as much help as he can in his new job. While Patto will be in charge of everything to do with preparing the team for matches, and the selection of players and tactics, Smith will be around to offer advice and make use of the contacts he has built up during five decades in the game... Smith will also be looking at ways of trying to bring money into the club... Smith is hoping satellite broadcasters Setanta will show a strong interest in screening their glamorous international friendly against Guinea at the Kassam Stadium on January 8".Meanwhile, "Midfielder Stefan Bailey has returned to QPR after his month's loan at Oxford United. The 20-year-old made five appearances for United".
Before last night's CSC match, the Northwich Guardian said that "Dino Maamria is set to shuffle his pack for the return of former Vics' boss Steve Davis. He told the Guardian that he will pick those players who have had less time on the pitch this season.' 'I might change a few things', he said. 'I've got two choices to make - either I go with our strongest team to give them more time to play together or I can take a look at some of the other guys. I'm thinking more of finding out what they can do'. That should mean a place for the likes of Jake Johnson and [ex-Alty Youth] Danny Jarrett. Loan players can play in the competition following a rule change in the summer, so Dominic Taylor could feature. Greg Strong (groin) is rated doubtful, while long term absentees Michael Byrne, Jonny Allan and Jake Speight are all definitely out".
One reason for Ebbsfleet United's recent takeover can be found in a report from the Gravesend Reporter some weeks ago that "In the last few weeks, the Reporter has received a variety of letters from Fleet fans, some disgruntled by the quality of football on offer, others upset over the club's decision to change its name earlier this year. At the moment, Liam Daish's side lie ninth in the current standings, just six points adrift of a coveted playoff berth. Last year, the club were knocking on the playoff door for much of the year before falling short on a dramatic last day. And yet, despite such an impressive showing, the club's attendance figures have declined. Since their inaugural season in the top tier of non-league football back in 2002/03, Ebbsfleet's average home attendance has decreased by nearly 250 - that's 50 less people through the turnstiles per year... Manager Daish has also expressed concerns over the future fanbase at Stonebridge Road. He said, 'At one stage last season we were up in third and we spent the majority of the campaign up in the top six or seven and it still did not see a bounce in our attendances of around 200 or 300 to an average between 1,200 and 1,500. Maybe, it's a case that the novelty has worn off or the ground is not shiny enough. I've always said that if the football club is to push on, they need something to relate to...whether it is a winning team, a new ground or whatever. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes regarding a new ground, but everything takes time and it's very, very difficult. A new ground doesn't just happen overnight'".
13 November 2007
CHANGE OF FIXTUREAs both Altrincham and Histon have been eliminated from the FA Cup, they will now play a league game at Moss Lane on Saturday, 1 December 2007, the date of the 2nd Round of the Cup. Altrincham had been scheduled to host Kidderminster Harriers that day in the BSP but the Harriers remain in the FA Cup so have had to cancel the league game. We were to have played Histon on Tuesday 22nd April, prior to this change.
EBBSFLEET TAKEOVERThe BBC reports that "Fans'community website MyFootballClub has agreed a deal to take over Blue Square Premier outfit Ebbsfleet United. The 20,000 MyFootballClub members have each paid £35 to provide a £700,000 takeover pot and they will all own an equal share in the club. Members will have a vote on transfers as well as player selection and all major decisions. 'We are united in believing this is a great opportunity', Ebbsfleet chairman Jason Botley told BBC Sport. This extra finance and support will enable our club to progress. The deal is expected to be completed in a few weeks after a due diligence process and the website will purchase a 51% controlling stake, while also having the option to buy the club outright in the future. The takeover is a landmark for English football, given the website's stated intention of involving the members so radically in the running of the club, particularly with team selection.
After the takeover goes through the current board will stay in place, as will manager Liam Daish, although his title will change to head coach. Daish insisted that he was happy for fans to have an input on team matters. 'Picking 11 players and formations isn't a precise science and luck often plays its part', stated the Ebbsfleet boss.'During and after matches, Ebbsfleet supporters often give me their opinion on which players should or shouldn't start games. Now they can have their say. My job won't change that much. As a club, we'll select the starting 11 players and formation together. But just as before, what goes on at the training ground and in the dressing room on the day of the match is down to me. It's the supporters' money that finances this club and pays my wages and those of the players. So there's a good argument for them having a say in what players they want to see'... Ebbsfleet's push for a spot in League Two will receive a boost as some of the funds raised by MyFootballClub members will be available in the January transfer window.
MyFootballClub members will be given the option to vote on who the club should buy.Daish added that he was fully behind the radical model for the club. 'We all agree we need something extra to take us to the next step', he said. 'As a football fan, I think the MyFootballClub idea is fantastic. As the coach, I look forward to the challenge of working with thousands of members to produce a winning team. My assistant Alan Kimble and myself are 100% committed to making this work'. Since the website's launch in April, 50,000 members have signed up, with 20,000 of those paying the registration fee. The membership subscription is paid annually so new members can join and become owners at any time, adding to the club's finances...
'The MyFootballClub ownership model is an innovative way of funding a lower league club', said Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte and editor of the Annual Review of Football Finance. 'Reports of having raised over £700,000 in 11 weeks suggests it is viable too. Deloitte has been following its progress with interest and we're now looking forward to offering our experience in football finance to assist with advice and guidance during the due diligence process'...
Jessica McQueen, Ebbsfleet United Supporters' Trust chair commented: 'Being a Trust, our members understand the MyFootballClub concept immediately. We very much look forward to working with the MyFootballClub members for the benefit of Ebbsfleet United'".
TUESDAY'S GAMEAltrincham are away to Runcorn Linnets tonight, in a game to be played at Witton Albion's Wincham Park, at 7.45pm. It is a Round 2 game, a stage which features the last eight teams in the competition.
WARMTH OF ALTY
Millwall keeper Pidgeley tried to claim that Chris Senior's shot was not over the line in Saturday's FA Cup tie. Gavin Rathbone's picture proves conclusively that it was! More of Gavin's photos are on the GR Photography website.
In The Times BBC sports correspondent Mark Pougatch writes of his visit to Moss Lane for Saturday's Five Live broadcast of the Millwall FA Cup tie. "There is nothing like variety in life, so six days after sitting in the Emirates Stadium to watch the best two teams in England draw 2-2, I went off last weekend to see grounds of a different hue on my FA Cup odyssey. I chose a picturesque route to Hereford... After Hereford it was on to Altrincham, who are noted as the biggest giant-killers of all nonLeague teams. I immediately ran into Graham Heathcote, manager of the Alty (as everybody calls them). Heathcote played in some of their famous FA Cup wins and his programme notes were a real carpe diem rallying call. Geoff Goodwin, the chairman, drove the Australia cricketers around in one of his coaches on the 2005 Ashes tour and told us that Glenn McGrath came over recently to play in a charity football match. 'He was playing up front with me and he never left my side', Goodwin said, with a laugh. 'He had no idea what to do'.
Alty lost on the pitch, but they won off it with the warmth of their welcome and [Hereford boss Graham] Turner summed up the thoughts of the millions not obsessed with the Barclays Premier League when he said: 'The game matters as much to the fans of Hereford [and, by extension, Altrincham] as it does to those of Chelsea and Manchester United. Just because the clubs are smaller, it doesn’t mean the passion is less'".
CAR PARK DEVELOPMENTSAM reports that "Trafford Planning Committee has granted permission for 12 houses and two flats to be built at the site of the former Chequers night club on Moss Lane. The proposal for the new development, which is adjacent to Altrincham FC, includes new access to Moss Lane, the installation of a 1.8m wall and 1.5m high railings and buildings that range from two to three storeys in height. The development will retain access at the back to the nearby allotments and the existing pedestrian access gate will be repositioned outside the site.
The GMP Architectural Liaison Unit saw no reason why the development should be gated, stating : 'This will create an urban fortress in an area that does not need it and in any event will not be that safe as all visiting strangers will have to be let in to get to the front doors'. Councillor Colin Foster did not object to the scheme but suggested traffic calming measures would need to be explored near Sandileigh Avenue and Stamford Park Road. He said: 'I fully support the application but 12 houses will bring a lot of families and there are a number of roads that are on a lazy bend. I'm wondering if it's possible for the sake of a few thousand pounds to protect the children living in those homes'. An officer told councillors there was no justification that the development would cause a safety problem on the road and that they did not want to affect emergency response times with traffic calming devices. Cllr Ken Weston lent his support for the project. He said: 'This is a long awaited development and I'm sure the people of the area will be pleased when travelling people don't visit or stay on this site. I understand cllr Foster's concerns and should the traffic problems get worse the council will have to do something about it'. Chairman, cllr David Merrell, added:'I'm sure the development will do well and will be good for the area'.
YOUTHS WIN AGAINIn Sunday's NW Youth Alliance League match the result was Ashton Athletic 0 Alty Youth 2.
NOT GEOFFAltrincham FC chairman Geoff Goodwin wishes it to be known that the comments posted on the Alty Fans' Forum above the name "Geoff", do not come from him.
FRIENDS' WINNERSThe winners of the latest monthly draw for those in the Friends of Altrincham FC scheme are:
Please consider joining the scheme, details of which are here.
HOME AND AWAYA glance at the League Table shows that so far Altrincham have played 17 games, 9 at home and 8 away. Curiously, 8 of those 9 home games have been against top 13 clubs and just one point has been earned from those games. The only home game against a club in the bottom 11 produced Alty's only home win this season (v Droylsden).
Conversely, of the 8 away games played so far, only two have been against clubs in the top 13 and Alty lost them both (at FGR and Histon). Of those 8 away matches against bottom half clubs, Alty have lost just once (Woking), whilst drawing four and winning one of the remaining five away games.
On that basis, we might reasonably expect an upturn in home form as 9 of our 14 remaining home games are against teams lying 15th or lower in the table and a harder time away from home as 11 of the remaining 15 away trips are to teams in the top 13.
MILLWALL SHIRTAltrincham supporter Mike Ainsworth writes, "An Alty home shirt signed by the Millwall players on Saturday is being auctioned by the club on Ebay. There's definitely only one of these in the world!"
PRESS VIEWMillwall report "What The Papers Said. There was a time when Altrincham scared the living daylights out of the likes of Everton and Spurs whenever the FA Cup came around. But since the last of their record 16 victories over League opposition they have hit hard times and are struggling to hang on to Blue Square status. Just to be back on the national map was a massive bonus, so you might think they were delighted to put on a reasonable show but manager Graham Heathcote was gutted to miss out on further glory. He said: 'The FA Cup is about winning and we weren't able to do that. I didn't want to be a gallant loser, I wanted to be a scruffy winner. When Chris Senior put us ahead just before half-time we were more than in the game but we got hit by a double whammy and ended up losing'". Millwall boss Kenny Jackett, who lives in Altrincham, said: "We didn't have much of a cutting edge in the first half but we started to look good and fully deserved the win".
The Sunday Mirror said that "It looked for a while like the League One outfit - finalists in 2004 - were heading for an early exit after Chris Senior had given Altrincham a shock lead. That was deserved reward for the Blue Square Premier strugglers following a lively opening 45 minutes". The Sun stated "It is reasonable to assume Jackett knew more about Altrincham than his new charges after living in the town during his time as Manchester City reserve boss. As for Bignot, he knew nothing about either team. He said: 'I signed on loan from QPR on Thursday and was on the team bus on Friday. I did a quick crash course to discover who my new team-mates were on the way to Altrincham but it is good to start with a win'. And the Sunday People agreed that "The home side looked set for victory at the break after taking the lead through Chris Senior's volley". The FA confirms that for "Altrincham FC Christopher Lane is suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for a Sending Off in a match played on 10/11/2007".
BSP NEWSThe < ahref="http://news.bbc.co.uk/">BBC reports that "Gillingham boss Mark Stimson has made Grays Athletic striker Dennis Oli and Fisher Athletic forward Leroy Griffiths his first new signings. Oli, 23, has joined the Gills on loan with a view to a permanent move in January for an undisclosed fee. Grays will also receive a 50% sell-on fee if the former QPR forward is sold in the future. Griffiths, 30, who worked under Stimson at Grays, has joined the Gills on an initial one-month loan deal. Oli also previously played under Stimson at Grays and scored 31 times in 112 games for the Blue Square Premier side". Meanwhile, "Grays have recalled Craig McAllister from his loan spell at rivals Rushden & Diamonds. The striker, 27, scored once in four appearances for Rushden, and played his last game for them in Saturday's FA Cup win over Macclesfield. He has now returned to Grays - but Diamonds boss Garry Hill has hinted that he would like to bring him back. 'The original arrangement was that he was loaned here until January, but we'll look at the situation', he said. 'He's Grays' player and they've called him back, so I thank Grays for letting us have him. But I'm sure Grays are thankful to me, and Rushden & Diamonds, for what he's done here'".
"Five players have been nominated for the FA Cup Player of the Round award for the first round proper. The quintet are Weymouth's Stuart Beavon, Bury's Andy Bishop, Horsham pair Nigel Blake and Lee Carney, and Havant & Waterlooville's Mo Harkin. Fans can vote for their favourite player on the FA's website" says the BBC.
As reported here yesterday, the BBC confirms that "York City midfielder Alex Meechan has joined Stalybridge Celtic. Meechan had been at York since July but made just seven league appearances".
In the Yorkshire Evening Post "Angry York manager Billy McEwan accused his players of underestimating underdogs Havant and Waterlooville as City went crashing out of the FA Cup. McEwan said: 'We defended poorly for their goal and never caused them enough problems in the final third of the pitch. Perhaps some of our players underestimated Havant but I didn't and told them so several times during training sessions leading up to the game'".
"Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder believes he will be summoned by the Football Association to explain his side's disciplinary record. Wilder is bracing himself for a call at the end of the season after a fourth red card in seven matches. The Shaymen have seen Jon Shaw, Anthony Griffith, Jake Wright and Ryan Toulson dismissed in the last month and Wilder admitted: 'It doesn't look good. Most probably I will be up before the FA to answer my case, but we have been unfortunate. People will automatically think we are a very aggressive, ill-disciplined side but I don't think we are. We have not changed how we have played over the last two seasons. I want my teams to compete first and foremost. But you have to rely on referees making good decisions. My teams don't use elbows or cynically go for the ball. They compete and I won't take that away from them'... While the dismissals of Shaw, Wright and Toulson could all have mitigating circumstances, that of Griffith is not so easily defended. Griffith, 20, a highly-rated midfielder on a season-long loan from Doncaster Rovers, was sent off at Kidderminster for 'stamping' or at least 'treading' on an opponent. He was banned for three matches for violent conduct and got an extra game on top for reaching five bookings for the campaign. Wilder said: 'Other clubs would love to have a player like him. He is an all-action player who will get booked, but I have never seen him go over the top'... On the plus side, being forced to play for long periods with ten men has told Wilder plenty about the character of his side... Said Wilder. 'And in general we have been very organised and disciplined when we have gone down to 10 men'".
"Chris Wilder has again hit out at what he sees as the inherent unfairness of the loan system for Blue Square Premier clubs. The Shaymen boss said the league was badly disadvantaged by rules which seemed stacked against them. Unlike clubs in the Football League, Blue Square Premier sides are denied 'window-to-window' loan deals and are only allowed to play two short-term loan players at once. Season-long loans are allowed but the potential impact of that on clubs with modest budgets could prove out of proportion. 'The loan system in the Conference is an absolute farce', said Wilder. 'The system punishes Conference National clubs more than it does any league in the country. We are only allowed two short-term loans and we've got Adam Legzdins (from Birmingham) and Simon Heslop (from Barnsley) in... Our long-term loans have to run from August to May and that is really for young players, but that is completely unrealistic. You are dealing with young players and all sorts of things can happen in eight months of football. Fortunately we have Anthony Griffith, whose attitude has been spot on and Doncaster have been very good with us'. Wilder believes there is much confusion among clubs about the Blue Square Premier loan rules and it would be easy for teams to fall foul of regulations".
12 November 2007
DOING ALTY PROUDAltrincham FC would like to thank all those who assisted in helping the FA Cup tie against Millwall to run smoothly on Saturday. Their efforts are very much appreciated by all at the Club.
This site's match report is here.
Links to alternative reports from both sides of the fence are lower down the page...
After the game, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper "To get the upset, Lady Luck needs to smile on you and she didn't smile on us in any way, shape or form. I'm not disputing it was handball but whether it was deliberate is questionable. He's not dived across with his arm out like Superman! I think to get the double whammy with a sending off as well was harsh because it changed the game totally. We had got ourselves in a great position. The players have done themselves, the town and the league proud but in 25 years' time no one will remember us nearly beating Millwall. In the Cup, it's all about winning".
The Times has a match report on Altrincham v Millwall. "Altrincham may boast proudly that they have knocked more Football League sides out of the FA Cup than any other current nonleague club, but the Blue Square Premier side were unable to make Millwall their 17th senior victim in the competition. Lying 21st in the fifth tier of football and still defiantly part-time, the Cheshire side initially threatened to embarrass Kenny Jackett, the Millwall manager, in his first game in charge but, after being reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of defender Chris Lane, cup success had to be put on hold for another year. For Jackett, who has been living in the town while working as part of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s backroom staff at Manchester City, there was relief at an uncomfortable afternoon safely negotiated and the manager could return to his nearby flat and continue packing safe in the knowledge his reign at the south London club had started without the blemish of an immediate cup exit.
Altrincham, though, were left nursing a sense of injustice at the sending-off of Lane for handball after 51 minutes and the subsequent penalty that gave Millwall a route back into the game after Chris Senior had volleyed the nonleague side into the lead in first-half stoppage time. 'I’m not convinced it was a deliberate handball', said Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote. 'But if the referee says it is, he has to go. They scored the penalty and with just 10 men, it was always going to be difficult. We had scored a good goal just before half-time that put us in the driving seat, but we were on the back foot from the moment he gave the penalty'. Jackett had visited his local club earlier this season, but there was little evidence his players had gleaned much from any inside information during a first half in which Altrincham weathered early pressure before going on to take control and cap an impressive 45 minutes with Senior’s well-worked goal.
Warren Peyton, whose influence was becoming more noticeable, delivered a clever free kick into the path of the midfield player, who struck a first-time shot beyond Lenny Pidgeley, the ball crossing the line after striking the inside of a post... Fitness was always going to be an issue for Altrincham, who train just twice a week, and reduced to 10 men, they struggled to make inroads against visitors who had returned from the break with increased vigour. Nine minutes after Dunne had equalised, Altrincham’s task got considerably harder when Will Hoskins followed up after Stuart Coburn, the home keeper, had blocked Jay Simpson’s shot to put the League One side ahead and, from that point on, there was no way back for the home side".
Millwall boss Jackett said, “I live just down the road. I’m just going back to clear my things up and I don’t know when I’ll be back up this way. But I’m just pleased to have come away from here with a victory. We had to change it round at half-time. But the work ethic was there, we have done a professional job and we move on. We have more or less a full team of senior players missing injured, but we could still put out a balanced side".
Graham Heathcote added, “My players did very well and hopefully we have put the town back on the map.You want this every year, which is being a bit greedy, but we gave them a good game today. We just feel sorry for ourselves at going out".
The player markings given by The Times have some significant differences from those of the NL Paper. Here they are, the first figure being the NLP's, the second is from The Times:
QUIZ NIGHTDon't forget it is STAR Quiz Night on Monday (12th) from 8pm (for 8.30pm) in the Noel White Suite. The following Monday (19th) there is a Bingo Night in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane from 7.30pm. Both events are important fundraisers for the club as well as being entertaining nights out, so please do support them.
Another event on the horizon is the rescheduled Meet the New Recruits evening. This is now set for December 1st but this date is subject to confirmation now that the visit of Kidderminster Harriers that day has had to be postponed due to their continued involvement in the FA Cup, round two and we may have a reorganised league fixture instead.
WARREN'S EFFORTSIn the NL Paper, Alty midfielder WArren Peyton is interviewed about his role in building the new turnstile block at Moss Lane. Referring to his work, Warren said, "Something like this really shows the contrast betwen a big club like Millwall and minnows like us where the players have to help out any way they can. It started off as just a wall that had been knocked and the club asked me to repair but, as soon as I'd finished, they asked me to do the turnstile. My part was just to knock down the old walls and lay the brickwork. The roof went on this week so we got it done just in time. Last Thursday I was still working at 5.45pm trying to get it finished. Then, it was straight round the corner to training. At the time I just treated it like any other day at work but it does feel nice to have given something back to the club. Now there's a little reminder of my time here that will be there when I've gone, just as long as it doesn't fall down! The lads have been joking that the Millwall fans were going to come up and demolish it but they were at the other end, so it was OK".
SICK BAYIn Saturday's Robins Review, Alty physio Sean Riley reports on the club's injured players:
OLD BOYSBoth Kieran Lugsden and Mark Maddox played for Leigh RMI on Saturday, as did former Reserve, Rick Chetcuti. Peter Band was on the bench for Hyde United.
BSP NEWSFrom the Droylsden forum we learn that Droylsden's town centre Christmas Lights are being switched on by Dave Pace, the Bloods' manager, at the Concorde Suite on Wednesday, 14th November 2007 from 4.30pm.
Salisbury City report that "Supporters' coaches to Salisbury City's away games at York City and Halifax Town later this month have been cancelled due to insufficient seats being booked".
Farsley Celtic report that "Former Guiseley and North Ferriby United boss Neil Parsley [ex-Alty] has joined the backroom staff at Farsley Celtic on a short-term basis at least following the departure of Lee Sinnott as manager. Parsley, who has been working for Farsley as a scout since parting company with UniBond League top-flight side Ferriby at the start of last month, will assist caretaker-boss John Deacey with coaching duties at Throstle Nest. Farsley have had a continuous stream of applications for the manager's post since Sinnott was unveiled as the new boss at League One strugglers Port Vale last Monday, but seem set to give Deacey first crack of the whip. Celtic chairman Andy Firbank said: 'We are bringing in Neil to bolster the backroom staff and help steady the ship in the short-term. Neil has a wealth of experience in professional football coaching and recently as manager of North Ferriby and Guiseley. Neil is not totally unknown to the backroom team as for the last few weeks he has been doing a scouting role for us anyway. John Deacey decided to bring him in with a view to strengthening his claim to become the first team manager at Farsley Celtic and it is an opportunity for them to show the board what they can do'. Deacey has been busy scouring the loan market this week, taking advantage of a blank weekend to try and bolster his ranks before Celtic return to league combat at Grays on November 17. A couple of players at least are expected to arrive from Football League clubs during the next seven days. Firbank said: 'We're in no way happy we're out of the FA Cup at this moment in time, but from a club point of view it does give us the chance to regroup. We're also looking at bringing loan players in to bolster the squad before the emergency loan window shuts on November 22'".
11 November 2007
FA CUPSunday 11th
In Round Two, Millwall, who beat Alty, have a home draw in Round 2 against Barrow or Bournemouth.
The ties involving BSP teams are:
VIEWS ON MILLWALL GAME
Above: The teams run out onto the pitch at Moss Lane on Saturday, and in the queue Alty's Colin Little greets his former Crewe team-mate, Millwall's Marcus Bignot. Meanwhile Graham Heathcote scans the crowd and coordinator Mike Antrobus oversees another excellent turnout from the team of ballboys and girls which he organizes so efficiently with Ray Armstrong.
This site's match report is here.
Below, left Chris Lane and, right, Chris Senior.
From Millwall we read that "Second-half goals from Alan Dunne and Will Hoskins broke brave Altrincham's hearts... Hoskins then saw his 43rd-minute shot held by Alty keeper Stuart Coburn as The Lions seemed to be in total control. But the home side stunned Millwall with just seconds of the half remaining. A well worked free-kick from Warren Peyton picked out Chris Senior on the right, and his first-time shot smacked the left hand post before crossing the line to send the home fans wild. However game turned on 51 minutes when Alexander's close range shot was handled on the line by Chris Lane. Referee Eddie Ilderton had no alternative other than to brandish the red card and award The Lions a penalty. Dunne, who was on target with a spot-kick against Swansea, made no mistake and he calmly stroked home his fourth goal of the season for a deserved leveller.... Simpson proved a real handful for the Alty defence and it was no surprise that he was involved in Millwall's second goal just past the hour mark... Thereafter it was The Lions in control - and the only surprise was that further goals didn't follow".
But SAM has a different persepective saying that "Despite an heroic performance, Alty weren't able to add Millwall to their long list of League scalps in the FA Cup. Lady Luck simply deserted them. At half time the current players had looked set to walk in the footsteps of their legendary giant-killing predecessors, Chris Senior's sublime goal giving the Robins a 1-0 lead. But the game hinged on Chris Lane's sending off seven minutes after the break... Alty never gave up though. Substitute Carlos Logan attempted to open up the visitors' defence and even Coburn went forward in the hope of getting something from a couple of late corners... Now the challenge is to transfer this kind of pride and desire to their league matches".
There is one silver lining from our FA Cup defeat on Saturday. At least we won't have to read any more patronising, one-sided articles from The Observer which has been following a club through the competition since its preliminary rounds. So, after Kendal lost to Alty a fortnight ago, The Observer covered Altrincham's game with Millwall yesterday. The Observer said, "The last time The Road To Wembley caught up with the excitable Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote, he was being restrained by around half a dozen people on the field at Kendal after his side had narrowly scraped through against the Lake District club in the previous round. A bout of second-half touchline verbals had spilled over, resulting in Heathcote making a bee-line for his opposite number Lee Ashcroft, determined to beat him to a pulp. So much for the spirit of the FA Cup. 'If he's like that when they win, what the hell is he like when they lose?' observed one bemused spectator.
But Heathcote was a model of composure in yesterday's first-round match against Millwall despite a 2-1 defeat that contained sufficient incident to madden the most relaxed of managers. Altrincham had taken the lead before a deliberate handball led to a dismissal and sparked a revival by the visitors. The non-league websites and newspapers over the past fortnight have been buzzing with the fall-out from the showdown at the Lakeland Stadium. Heathcote insisted he had been provoked by Ashcroft's jibe that he hoped he 'gets the f***ing sack'. There was an apology of sorts - not to Ashcroft, but to Kendal's tea ladies, who had spent the morning preparing a post-match banquet, only to have Altrincham boycott the spread in light of Heathcote's histrionics.
No matter where the blame lay, there was no escaping one thing. Morphing into the Incredible Hulk in front of a few hundred people in a Cumbrian backwater is one thing. Doing it in the presence of TV cameras while facing a club whose fans have a reputation for getting worked up is another. Composure would have to be the order of the day as Altrincham, once regarded as the Manchester United of the non-league scene, went in search of another league scalp in the FA Cup...
However, anyone expecting an upset yesterday would have done well to look at Altrincham's equally dodgy home record. Seven defeats from nine league games might help explain Heathcote's sudden rush of blood to the head at Kendal. The common consensus beforehand among 'Alty' fans was that their side would be going back to south-east London, having forced a replay. 'We are better away from home at the moment and we've always tended to do well away in the Cup as well,' said one elderly supporter joining the queues outside the main stand at Moss Lane. 'Since Yeovil went up, we now hold the non-league record for having beaten the most league clubs in the FA Cup. That's us, that's Alty.'
Come kick-off time it was standing room only on the brick wall outside the Air Hair salon overlooking the Dawn Abbott Stand. Though far from a sell-out the identity of Altrincham's opponents meant no tickets being on sale on the day of the match, leading to any locals finding themselves at a sudden loose end to improvise for a view.
Not that there was a whole lot to see during the opening 45 minutes.... Still, at least the lack of incident will have pleased Heathcote's doctor. The Altrincham manager was the model of good behaviour, rising from the bench occasionally to direct his players in an apparently obscure form of semaphore known only to the 'Alty' players.
Then, out of the blue in first-half stoppage time, Altrincham suddenly broke the deadlock. Warren Peyton's free-kick picked out Senior whose first-time shot cannoned off Pidgeley's right-hand post, trickled along the line, then crossed it despite the best efforts of Millwall's goalkeeper to pull the ball back. Queue [I think he means "cue", ed.] mayhem around Moss Lane... Peyton had the ball in Millwall's net again just after the break, albeit several seconds after a linesman's flag had deemed him to be well offside. ...The London side had to endure a tense final few minutes during which Colin Little volleyed narrowly over and Coburn, with Heathcote's blessing, made a futile but entertaining attempt at Cup glory by going upfield for a corner in time added on. Yet an equaliser, probably deserved on the balance of play, would not come. In charge of his first Millwall match and perhaps having read about Heathcote's Terminator impersonation, Jackett wisely chose to keep his touchline thoughts to himself while maintaining a healthy distance from the Altrincham manager, still calmness personified despite the result".
STAR QUIZ NIGHTDon't forget it is STAR Quiz Night on Monday (12th) from 8pm (for 8.30pm) in the Noel White Suite. The following Monday (19th) there is a Bingo Night in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane from 7.30pm.
NEXT GAMEOn Tuesday Alty play Runcorn Linnets for the first time since they were formed a couple of seasons ago in the wake of the collapse of Runcorn FC Halton. The Linnets play at Witton Albion's Wincham Park ground in the Vodkat (NW Counties) League. Normal admission to their home games is Adults £5, Concessions £2.
The full CSC Round 2 draw is:
NEXT SATURDAYBSP Games on 17 December 2007
BLANK SATURDAY?With Kidderminster Harriers still in the FA Cup, Alty cannot now play them in the BSP on 1st December as that date clashes with Round 2 of the Cup. The other BSP teams who have been knocked out of the FA Cup and who are not playing against sides left in the FA competition on that Saturday, and with whom Alty could therefore rearrange a game, are: Droylsden, Stevenage Borough, Grays Athletic or Histon. And depending on FA Cup 1 games still to be played, we could also rearrange a game with Farsley Celtic who are due to meet Torquay United on 1 December, because if Torquay beat Yeovil today, Farsley would have no game on December 1st. Likewise Forest Green Rovers may release Halifax Town for a BSP game on that date by winning their Cup match this weekend.
OLD BOYSMatty McNeil scored again for Stockport County. Rod Thornley netted for Witton, whilst Chris Baguley scored for FCUM. Also on target were Mark Quayle (Colwyn Bay) and Josh Mitten (Curzon Ashton).
The NL Today paper says that "Scottish Premier League sides St Mirren and Gretna are keeping an eye on Aldershot starlet Lewis Chalmers's contract situation. The England C international has starred this term as the Shots have hit top spot in the BSP. NL Today understands League Two clubs Bury and Bradford City are also keeping tabs on Chalmers, whose Rec deal expires this summer... But Chalmers, 21 (right), says he is happy and fully committed to helping Aldershot into the Football League. He said, "I signed a one-year deal and haven't missed a game all season. But I'm ambitious. I see myself fulfilling those ambitions with Gary Waddock but not getting promoted is not an option. I'm looking forward to my call-up to the England Non-League team and I'm keen to do well and impress Paul Fairclough. I think there has been a bit of interest from the League and from a few Scottish sides and, given my recent form,. I think that's understandable'. The player's agent Jamie Holsgrove... refused to rule out a move over the border. 'I won't confirm or deny that any clubs are interested in Lewis', he said. 'I think his football over the next couple of months will answer any questions anyone has about his ability'".
BSP NEWSNL Daily says that "Sutton United have brought in defender Jack Haverson from Grays Athletic in a loan deal running until the start of January. Haverson, 20, signed for Grays in the summer following a spell with AFC Bournemouth. But he made just three appearances in the Blue Square Premier. Meanwhile, Grays manager Justin Edinburgh have signed former Barnet goalkeeper Tim Trebes, 19, on non-contract terms".
The Northwich Vics' Forum has an article from The Mid-Cheshire Business Update about "The newly named Marston's Arena at the quayside is the ideal location for conferences, meetings, functions and parties. Completed in 2006,the prestigious complex boasts a 175 seat conference facility, the chairman's suite, Italian and Spanish theme restaurants, plus the vibrant Heriots bar... To date Marston's Arena has hosted Manchester United reserves, Northwich Victoria and corporate companies who have utilised the pitch for team building events". So the Victoria Stadium is now to be known as the Marston's Arena, it seems.
"Oxford United have completed the signing of Darlington defender Patrick Collins on a month's loan" reports the BBC. "The former Sunderland trainee has played regularly for the Quakers' reserves but has struggled to get a regular place in the first-team".
And "Burton Albion have signed former Wycombe and Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Simpson on non-contract terms. The 33-year-old has been out of the game for a year with a knee injury. Simpson, whose last League appearance came for Orient last November, has been training with Burton and played 90 minutes in their reserves on Tuesday. Simpson, who started his career with Notts County, joins Nigel Burton's squad following Sam Aiston's return to Northampton following a spell on loan".
News of a Conference player once linke with Altrincham as Stalybridge Celtic "announced the signing of striker Alex Meechan. Alex (27) arrives at the Fold from York City having scored over fifty goals in that League. He lists Chester City, Halifax, Leigh, Dagenham & Redbridge and Yeovil amongst his former clubs but is best known for being prolific during his time at Forest Green Rovers. He goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's trip to Worcester City, where the Celts will be aiming to break a goal drought stretching back 372 minutes". Celtic failed to score again yesterday.
10 November 2007
ALTRINCHAM 1 MILLWALL 2
Above: Neil Brown had Moss Lane's pitch in perfect condition for today's FA Cup match.
Altrincham gave a good account of themselves and took the lead in first-half added-time with a fine goal lashed in from the right by Chris Senior following a freekick, which just went over the line after striking the inside of the post.
FA CUP ROUND ONE
SATURDAY'S BSP GAME
GRAHAM TELEGRAPHS HIS FEELINGSIn today's Daily Telegraph, Alty boss Graham Heathcote who himself played 34 times for Altrinchamin the FA Cup. Indeed, if he reads the Telegraph's summary of the Alty boss's playing career, defender Gary Scott, following his comments on Radio Manchester yesterday, will be startled to hear that his manager once scored a penalty in the FA Cup at the Kop end against the mighty Liverpool!
Graham says "We haven't bought a player for five years and we only spend what we've got. Getting through to this stage is a real bonus... We're still a part-time club competing in a league of full-time professionals. We train Tuesday and Thursday nights and as far as today's game is concerned, we will be working on our set-pieces this morning". Referring to the fact that Millwall have just appointed a new manager, Kenny Jackett, Graham said that this as "the worst possible scenario for us". As for the FA Cup, the Alty manager said, "Those who decry the Cup need to take a good, hard look at themselves. The FA Cup is for every club and player in this country".
LITTLE FITSAM reports that "Alty have received a major boost ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup First Round tie against Millwall with the news that striker Colin Little should be fit to play. The Robins' top scorer in each of the past three seasons, Little came through training without any problems on Thursday night to put himself in contention for a starting place. The bad news, however, is that Val Owen remains a serious doubt and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will be involved. If he doesn't recover in time for the game, he will join Colin Potts and Gareth Whalley on the sidelines. Despite the injuries to key players, manager Graham Heathcote remains positive.
'I'm not nervous', he said. 'There's really no point being nervous because we go out there tomorrow with nothing to lose. I know what's possible in this competition and there's every chance we could get a result if we play well'. Meanwhile, Millwall have moved to ease their own growing injury crisis with the loan signing of defender Marcus Bignot. The 33-year-old is a former Crewe teammate of Colin Little and has joined on a month-long deal from QPR... More good news for Millwall is the possible return of on-loan Watford striker Will Hoskins from injury".
GET YOUR MILLWALL MUGS
|Pictured, left and right, is the limited edition Altrincham FC v Millwall commemorative mug, of which just a few examples are left in the Club Shop. The price is only £3.
Also, don't forget to pick up your commemorative t-shirt from the shop, if you have ordered one.
BEFORE THE MATCH...The BBC confirms that "Altrincham have several injury worries, including major doubts over midfielder Val Owen who has a foot injury. Gareth Whalley is definitely out with a calf injury and Colin Potts is also still sidelined, while leading scorer Colin Little faces a late fitness test. Millwall are without Richard Shaw, while Andy Frampton and on-loan Watford striker Will Hoskins are doubtful. Danny Spiller, Chris Hackett, Ryan Smith, David Brammer and Tom Brighton are out. Jamie O'Hara is unavailable".
In Friday's Manchester Evening News Graham Heathcote said, "While the history and tradition of the FA Cup is a wonderful thing, it should only be used as a motivation and not be allowed to become a noose around players' necks. That said, our lads need only take a glance at the record books to see how that can be achieved by a club such as ours in this competition, given a little bit of luck and providing they can raise their game. We're going to have to do that if we're going to give ourselves a chance of beating Millwall, but we're playing at home and if we don't at least give it a good blast, I''ll be very disappointed... Our job will be try to stop the opposition doing what they're more than capable of doing to us, while at the same time endeavouring to get forward and, hopefully, create some chances. It's a fine balance and will require us to be both disciplined and organised. It's a lot to ask us to knock out a club of Millwall's size but it's certainly not impossible... We've done our homework and now it's down to the players to try to put our game plan into practice. I'd be astonished if I need to give the boys much in the way of a motivational talk before a game as big as this one'".
Also in the MEN, Colin Little speaks of his fitness; "Hopefully, I'll be OK and this is a game I'd love to play in but, if I'm asked if we can beat Millwall, either with or without me, then, yes, I think we can. Anything's possible... and especially so in the Cup... Big teams don't seem to like coming to Moss Lane and we'll soon sense it out on the pitch if one or two of the Millwall lads don't fancy it. They've been struggling like ourselves in the league but all the pressure in this tie is on them. An early goal for us would really throw a spanner in the works and, particularly if that were to happen, I honestly believe we could go on to deliver an upset".
WE'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE...The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reminds us that "Alty have beaten an incredible 16 league clubs in the FA Cup. Saturday's FA Cup First Round clash with Millwall will be the first chance for many young fans to experience the magic of the competition...SAM sports editor Connor Murphy asks three lifelong fans to recount their favourite memories.
"Altrincham FC historian Terry Surridge: "Everyone obviously remembers the big games but the one that sticks in my memory is the 3-0 win over Crewe in 1979. That is the only time I have seen a League side go to a non-league side as the underdogs. Crewe expected to be beaten. We completely and totally outplayed them throughout. That team contained a lot of players who could easily have played at a higher level. But a lot of them had well-paid jobs and since the wage gap between the League and the Alliance Premier (now the Blue Square Premier) wasn't as big as it is now, they were probably earning more than many League players. It was a great day and there was a real sense of excitement. Nobody expected us to lose"
Former STAR chairman and Alty expert Brian Flynn: "Everton away was a special moment as it was the first time we'd played a top division side in the FA Cup. We took about 5,000 fans to Goodison. It's a funny ground and it really generates a good noise so we really enjoyed ourselves. I don't think a non-league team would be able to get a draw on a Premiership side's ground these days, the gap's just too big. But back then we had an incredible team and some of our players really played out of their skins. That side reached the Third Round four years running, which is still a record for a non-league team and I can't see it happening again".
Club vice chairman Grahame Rowley: "The first trip to Spurs is the one I remember. A lot of us made the trip down and everyone was absolutely buzzing. Although we didn't really have any expectations before we went down there, we got the result and really, it was the pinnacle of what a non-league club could do. In some ways, playing them at White Hart Lane was better than playing them at home because you get to play in front of a crowd of 30,000, which is something we rarely experienced. The whole experience was just magical. It was amazing to get a result against a side that included players like Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, guys you'd only seen on TV before".
BSP NEWSThe BBC says that "Jim Smith has stepped down as manager of Oxford United and [they] have appointed Darren Patterson as his replacement. Smith made the decision to relinquish his position during a period in Spain although he had recently stated that he was not considering leaving the job. However, Smith will stay at the club but solely in a director's role".
The Oxford United site states that "Jim Smith has recommended to the Board that the time is right - before this season's promotion opportunity disappears - to make a change in First Team Manager. Nick Merry and Ian Lenagan have accepted Jim's recommendation and, as a result, Jim has stepped down with immediate effect and Darren Patterson has been appointed as Manager. Nick Merry, Chairman said:'We have always maintained that Jim Smith would put the interests of the Club before his own and decide when it was time for him to step down as Manager and concentrate on his Director's role full-time. Whilst Jim still feels there is a good chance that he could turn the season round, his experience has led him to recommend that a change in Manager now is more likely to produce the required result'. Nick continued: 'We respect and thank Jim Smith for his efforts for Oxford United and look forward to his future with us as a long-standing and valued member of the Main Board'.
Darren Patterson takes over as Manager with immediate effect reporting to the Board and will have his first match in charge of the current First Team squad on Saturday. Discussions have started as to his Assistant but may not be concluded for some weeks. Jim Smith said: 'Managing in The Conference is very different than at the higher levels and, consequently, has been more difficult, less enjoyable personally and unfortunately less successful than I would have liked for the Oxford United supporters. We came very close last season but not close enough. I feel the time is right for Darren to have the opportunity to manage the team in his own way and I'm delighted to be asked to continue to contribute to Oxford United as a Director helping with overall strategy'. Nick Merry, Chairman added: 'Concern about performances has caused many Oxford United fans to call for this change. Results and - particularly - reduced attendances have become a serious financial concern to all the Board including Jim. Having made the change, we would ask Oxford United fans to demonstrate in the most significant way their commitment to the Club by attending in large numbers starting with tomorrow's important FA Cup game'".
NL Daily reports that "Guy Madjo, Crawley Town`s top scorer so far this season, has been included in the twenty-seven players invited into the Cameroon full national team for their training camp in Germany from November 15th. Newly-appointed Cameroon coach Otto Pfister has been tasked with taking the `Indomitable Lions` to the 2010 World Cup Finals and finish amongst the top three in next year`s African Nations Cup in Ghana. Included in the squad for the training camp in Pfister`s homeland is Lauren Etame Mayer, who has refused to play for Cameroon since 2002. The list also includes Geremi of Newcastle United and Andre Bikey of Reading as well as Madjo, 23, who joined Crawley in the summer of 2007 from Stafford Rangers with whom he spent the previous campaign".
9 November 2007
TICKET SALESAlthough the Altrincham FC ticket office remains open this evening, hopes of a bumper gate at Moss Lane for Saturday's FA Cup game with Millwall are unlikely to be realised as the Lions have reported total ticket sales at their end of just 302. Combined with Altrincham's own sales, it looks like a gate of around 2,200 is likely. Tickets CANNOT be bought at the the turnstiles tomorrow.
On the positive side, this will still be Alty's best gate of the season so far, so there should be a good atmosphere.
ALTY IN MEDIACoverage of Altrincham FC in the media in advance of the Millwall game includes:
In the print media, SAM has several pages on the Alty game, the Manchester Evening News (Friday) has a double-page spread and amongst the papers to which Graham Heathcote has given interviews is The Daily Telegraph. This morning, (Friday) Gary Scott launched his media career with an interview on Radio Manchester.
ALTY EXPECTANTAlty midfielder Robbie Lawton's wife will be at the Millwall match tomorrow even though she is pregnant and a week overdue!
MILLWALL'S NEW FACESMillwall FC report that "Kenny Jackett won't need an A-Z to find Moss Lane tomorrow - because up until this week Millwall's new manager lived in Altrincham himself! Den boss Kenny is no stranger to Alty's ground having visited there a couple of times already this season. But he is determined that it is his Lions' side, and not non-league Altrincham, who book a place in Sunday's FA Cup Second Round draw. He said: 'It's an interesting one - and I certainly didn't think I'd be going back to Altrincham so soon! Football has a funny habit of throwing these things up. We know that it will be a very difficult cup tie. Despite the considerable number of injuries we will have to make sure that the players who are selected have their attitude exactly spot on to ensure that we overcome this challenge'".
But "Millwall's squad for Saturday's FA Cup First Round tie at Altrincham has been bolstered by the arrival of defender Marcus Bignot on loan from QPR and the possible return of Will Hoskins (ankle), who resumed training onThursday. However, new manager Kenny Jackett is without the services of Richard Shaw (groin), Andy Frampton (broken toe), whilst Jamie O'Hara is not eligible to play. Lions' boss Kenny has also added a trio of youngsters to Saturday's squad, with full-back Jack Sim, striker Gary Noel and centre half Pat O'Connor all involved with the senior squad for the first time. Kenny said: 'I can't believe the injury list we have got here at the moment. Every fit professional is in the squad and the three youth team players will also be travelling'. Millwall's current injury list is now as follows: Richard Shaw (groin), Andy Frampton (broken toe), Danny Spiller (hernia op), Danny Senda (hamstring), Neil Harris (achilles), Ryan Smith (knee op), Chris Hackett (cruciate op), Dave Brammer (cartilage op), Ben May (ankle), Tom Brighton (op), Mark Phillips (cruciate op), Andrew Callaghan (foot)".
"The addition of four new faces to the senior squad for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Altrincham resulted in a few extra hours graft for Club Shop manager Alan Pearce, who printed the players' shirts. Marcus Bignot has been handed squad number 30, Jack Sim 33, Gary Noel 34 and Pat O'Connor 36. Millwall's full squad list is now as follows: 1. Lenny Pidgeley, 2. Danny Senda, 3. Andy Frampton, 4. Danny Spiller, 5. Paul Robinson, 6. Zak Whitbread, 7. Alan Dunne, 8. Gary Alexander, 9. Neil Harris, 10. Will Hoskins, 11. Ryan Smith, 12. Chris Hackett, 13. Chris Day, 14. Dave Brammer, 15. Tom Brighton, 16. Scott Barron, 17. Ben May, 18. Jamie O'Hara,19. Jay Simpson, 20. Peter Vincenti, 21. Zoumana Bakayogo, 22. Ali Fuseini, 23. Preston Edwards, 25. Ahmet Brkovic, 27. Richard Shaw,28. Mark Phillips, 29. Andrew Callaghan,30. Marcus Bignot, 32. Bryan Hodge, 33. Jack Sim, 34. Gary Noel, 36 Pat O'Connor".
"In the event of Saturday's FA Cup First Round match at Altrincham finishing all-square, the replay would be held here at The Den on Tuesday 20th November with a 7.45pm kick-off. If The Lions win at Moss Lane tomorrow, we will be designated ball number 27 in the Second Round draw, due to be held live on BBC1 at the conclusion of Sunday's televised match between Torquay and Yeovil (5.15pm-ish!)".
FA CUP PHOTOSGavin Rathbone has put the photos that he took at last night's visit of the FA Cup to Altrincham on his website, from where you can order your personal copies.
LAST CHANCEToday is the last chance for you to buy tickets for the Altrincham v Millwall FA Cup match tomorrow (Saturday). Tickets are for sale at Moss Lane tonight (Friday) from 9am-5.30pm AND from 6pm-8pm. NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD ON THE DAY OF THE MATCH.
PUT YOUR SHIRT ON ALTYIan Senior's company Sensport Kits has delivered a new consignment of Alty replica shirts in time for Saturday's game. They are available in sizes 26/28 throught to "XL Mens" from the Club Shop. Ring the Club on 928-1045 for further details.
CHANNEL MAt 7pm today (Friday), Channel M has coverage of Altrincham's preparations for the FA Cup and of the bringing of the trophy to Moss Lane on Friday evening.
FA CUP AT MOSS LANE
Above: Altrincham FC players get a close look at the FA Cup which was brought to Moss Lane last night by the competition sponsors, E-on. The face you may not recognise is Ryan Shotton's brother. Another picture and brief report is lower down this page....
DARREN SEEKS MORE CUP GLORY"Since his finest FA Cup moment in helping Burton Albion take Manchester United to a third-round replay two seasons ago, Darren Tinson's job description is no longer just 'footballer'. But that has not stopped him from coming back for more and on Saturday, the veteran defender (left) will line up in Altrincham's back four looking to knock out 2004 finalists Millwall. 'I possibly thought when we played Manchester United it would be my last season playing at that level and to finish on a high at Old Trafford would be magnificent', Tinson told BBC Sport. 'I have kept saying to myself that when my body tells me it's time to pack in I will. But the legs are still going and the head is still working so I am certainly carrying on. But this could be my last time in the FA Cup like this so I want to give it a good shot'.
A centre-back with almost 500 senior appearances behind him, Tinson has long since had an eye on the future. During spells in the Football League with Macclesfield and Shrewsbury, he studied towards becoming a physiotherapist. Then at Burton, he worked on a temporary basis to fit around the Brewers' daytime training sessions before in April landing a full-time position within the NHS working in the spinal injury department of the orthopedic hospital in Oswestry... Now the part-time status comes with the football but there is no drop in dedication. After a day's work, Tinson, who will be 38 next week, faces a 120-mile round trip to Altrincham to train twice a week with his team-mates. 'It can be hard but I wanted to keep playing and Altrincham gave me the chance to do that', he said. His 'reward' has been a struggle against relegation from the Blue Square Premier for one of the few genuine part-time sides still playing at a level just one division below the Football League.
'I think the way it has panned out this season is that the part-time teams have struggled straight away. The part-time teams are getting better but so are the full-time ones', he said. Salvation, however, could come in the shape of the Cup as Altrincham look to enhance their formidable record in the competition. With 16 Football League scalps to their name - including a famous slaying of top-flight Birmingham City 21 years ago - the Robins are the Cup's most prolific giant-killers. 'I remember playing against Altrincham many years ago and they always seemed to be the team that was on the television on Match of the Day causing an upset', Tinson said. 'Despite our league position we are a confident bunch of players and I'm sure Graham (Heathcote) will get us fired up. They are not doing too well at the moment so hopefully we can cause another one'.
Since losing to Manchester United in the final three years ago, Millwall have suffered a drastic fall from grace. After relegation from the Championship in 2006, the Lions are currently in League One's bottom four and will visit Moss Lane - whose leafy Cheshire surrounds will contrast starkly with Millwall's South London home - with Kenny Jackett freshly appointed as their sixth manager in two and a half years. 'That's the beauty of football. One year you're up there and the next you're down', said Tinson, whose adventure with Burton was matched by earlier runs to the third round with Macclesfield in 2002 and 2003. 'It would be great to get to that round again for the manager and the fans. Graham works very hard behind the scenes and he has been getting a bit of stick this season so I'd be delighted if we could get a result and turn it round for us and for him'". Burton's good Cup run "put us on a good bit of league form. We were down at the bottom of the league and struggling at the time", he said. "I am hoping for a similar kind of effect this time. It would be great to get a result on Saturday and it would be nice if it turns our season round as well".
Darren has also been talking to SAM. "Tinson was part of the Burton Albion team that held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at the Pirelli Stadium in the Third Round back in 2006... He told SAM Sport: 'It was a strange experience. I just remember that they didn't have a clock or scoreboard at Burton but they put one in for that game, so I couldn't stop myself from looking at it.... When we got in at half time and it was still 0-0, the manager said to us 'you can't let this slip now'. The longer it went on like that, the more it frustrated them and we were able to hold out. If the fans can get behind us and we get going straight from the off, we've got a chance'... Despite Alty's poor start to the league campaign, which has seen them win just twice in 17 games, Tinson doesn't see any reason why they can't cause an upset of their own on Saturday. 'These lads want the same (as the players at Burton), they want to do well for Alty', he added. 'The lads are looking forward to it and with it being a one-off game your league form goes out of the window. If the fans can get behind us and we get going straight from the off, we've got a chance'".
The Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "After years of FA Cup nightmares, Alty's First Round tie against 2004 finalists Millwall has finally got the club dreaming again - and manager Graham Heathcote isn't ready to wake up just yet... As a member of possibly the club's greatest ever team - a side that reached the FA Cup Third Round for four straight years between 1979 and 1982 - he knows nothing is impossible in the Cup and is now looking for the current team to create their own piece of history. He told SAM Sport: 'I have so many great memories from the Cup it's hard to choose a best one... You have to get past a league club to really make history... I don't tell my players this is a dream, it's not a dream. The history of the FA Cup is littered with upsets so it's reality, you just have to have the belief that you can do it while also giving Millwall the respect they deserve. No matter what I say the players have to have that belief themselves and the desire to want to achieve what I would like them to achieve. You have to reach the heights that maybe you are only capable of reaching only once or twice a year. It's not hard to give the players a feeling of our Cup tradition, I just tell them the truth. It's possible to achieve a victory in a one-off situation... People will always want to see upsets because that's what makes the Cup great. You have to create your own piece of FA Cup history and want to become a part of Alty's history so people will say in years to come he played in that game'".
But "Despite his positive approach to the game, however, Heathcote is under no illusions about the magnitude of the task ahead. 'It's a massive gulf between league teams and their non-league counterparts nowadays', he said. 'The days when pitches were great levellers are gone and when they come here they aren't going to be worried about the pitch. It's much more difficult to cause an upset these days... If we had a Cup run the whole town would be buzzing and the finances would be boosted. Every penny we make from this is a massive bonus because we don't budget for the FA Cup and the possibilities are unbelievable. You just have to look at Burton a couple of seasons ago. But we can't get carried away with the game and the situation. The players will have to do their bit and the supporters will have to get behind them even before they've gone out on the pitch'".
ALTRINCHAM RESIDENT PLOTS ALTY'S DOWNFALLMillwall boss Kenny Jackett has a strong connection with his opponents Altrincham - he actually lives in the town, having been employed till this wek by Manchester City. As a former Watford colleague of Stuart Pearce, Jackett had been part of the coaching set-up at Eastlands.
The Milwall site quotes Jackett as saying "I am genuinely excited about becoming manager of Millwall. This is a club with a proud tradition, which has enjoyed significant success in the past and is a sleeping giant at this level. It is also a passionate club and that is important too... I was not in a position to declare an interest in the Millwall vacancy at that time [2 weeks ago]. Since then I have spoken at some length with people at Manchester City including the manager and once I had their backing I was able to indicate to Millwall that I did indeed wish to become their manager... I will begin my assessment of everything and everyone on Thursday morning... In 11 years as a manager or assistant I have been lucky enough to win four promotions, including at least one from every Division".
Asked "about the prospect of his first game in charge at Altrincham on Saturday. [he said] 'Funnily enough I live about half a mile from Altrincham's ground and have seen them play this season. This will be a tough tie for us, the more so because of the number of players unavailable for this game for various reasons. But we'll go there in positive mood looking to put in a performance which will enable us to progress through to the Second Round of the FA Cup'".
BSP NEWSThe Crawley Observer reports that "Steve Evans says he's been put on kitchen duty by his wife after he was fined £500 by the FA for a sarcastic clap towards the referee in Crawley's game against Altrincham. The Reds' boss escaped a touchline ban for the gesture during the game on September 29. He has accepted the FA's decision, but admits the fine will still hit the purse strings. 'I think when you get sent to the stands and the FA fine you and they don't add a ban, they realise it was a very small misdemeanour. The gesture I made is one that happens in every league by the management of every team. It's an emotional game. When I pleaded guilty to making a hand gesture, the FA have to say we've got to fine you'". The BBC adds that "The former Boston boss was also warned as to his future conduct... Since that game, Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor were also sent to the stands during the 1-1 draw against Stafford on 20 October - but the FA has already decided not to take any disciplinary action relating to that match".
The BBC says that "Cambridge United boss Jimmy Quinn has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2010. Quinn had been recently linked with a number of club including Gillingham and Port Vale. 'I'm delighted that the board have faith in me to take the club through the next two and half years', Quinn told Cambridge's website. Assistant boss Alan Lewer, who joined the U's in May, has signed a similar new deal to Quinn".
Alty's next league game is against Weymouth. The Terras' website reports that "Striker Stuart Beavon is determined to get his season back on track after a frustrating period of injury and illness. The 23-year-old, who came on as a half-time substitute in Friday's 2-0 defeat against Aldershot Town, has not started a competitive game since September 22. He is now focusing on Saturday's FA Cup First Round Proper clash at Blue Square South leaders Eastbourne Borough as a chance to prove he is worth a regular spot in the team. Beavon said: 'First I was injured and then I was ill and it was really frustrating but now hopefully I can get in the team Saturday, take my chance and enjoy a good run of games... By the time Saturday comes around I should hopefully be 100 per cent... Our away form is very good at the moment'".
From the Oxford Mail we learn that "The decision on Jim Smith's future as Oxford United manager has been delayed following the postponement of Wednesday night's scheduled board meeting. Smith was due to meet with co-owner Ian Lenagan and chairman Nick Merry to discuss United's position following last week''s disastrous 5-0 defeat at Rushden. But the meeting was called off because Smith's flight home from his holiday in Spain was delayed, and because Oxford United's FA Youth Cup tie, which Merry watched, went into extra time. The three men are expected to meet today (Thursday) for discussions. Today's scheduled press conference has been postponed and will now be held at The Kassam Stadium on Friday lunchtime".
8 November 2007
FA CUP AT MOSS LANESomewhat later than scheduled, the FA Cup, sponsored by E-on, finally arrived at Moss Lane tonight. Fans were invited to have their photos taken with it and afterwards the team also posed with the trophy. Pictured right is the Mitchell family, with the famous piece of silverware. Colin is a turnstile operator at Moss Lane, and he and his wife Jill are clearly bringing up their son George, (one year-old in December) in the right way as a Robins' supporter.
BAR AT HALF-TIMEOn police instructions, the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane will not be open at half-time on Saturday. Before the game, the bar will be open to home supporters only and after the game it is expected that the bar will be reopened for home supporters but this depends on police instructions.
NO PARKINGThe car park at Altrincham FC will not be open to spectators this Saturday. The area behind the Popular Side will be assigned to BBC vehicles whilst the area behind the Carole Nash & Family End will be used by the visitors' coaches and the police.
SHIRTS AND JACKETT AT MOSS LANEFresh supplies of the Altrincham FC replica shirts are expected at the Club tonight around 6pm, so when you come down to look at the FA Cup or to get your FA Cup tickets, why not get a shirt too? Please see Jenny Heslop in the bar if you would like to buy one.
Meanwhile, Alty have cause to give the new Millwall manager Kenny Jackett a warm welcome on Saturday. Although he will be plotting to bring about Alty's downfall in the FA Cup, he is the man who, when he was manager of Swansea City, signed ex-Alty midfielder Ian Craney for £150,000, thereby triggering a sell-on clause payment from Accrington Stanley to Altrincham.
SEE THE FA CUP AT ALTY TONIGHTThe FA Cup trophy will be brought to Moss Lane this evening (Thursday 8th) by E-on the sponsors of the competition. It will be on show in the Noel White Suite from 6pm to 9pm. TV cameras will also be present and interviews with fans and club officials will take place. Supporters are invited to come down and see the trophy. And don't forget tickets for the tie with Millwall on Saturday will be also be on sale at the club as follows:
No tickets will be sold on Saturday.
THANK YOUAltrincham FC would like to thank the volunteers who came to help to tidy up the ground yesterday. Their assistance is much appreciated.
MEN IN CHARGEThe FA reports that the referee for the match against Millwall on Saturday will be Mr E L Ilderton (Tyne & Wear), assisted by Messrs J R Tyas and P I Thompson with the Fourth Official being Mr Mo Matadar.
MILLWALL TAKING ALTY SERIOUSLYMillwall report on their 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City on Tuesday, which was a "Big improvement... Lions fans will be wondering how Swansea escaped with a draw from The Den...Colin West and Richard Shaw's last game in temporary charge saw a massive improvement from Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Hartlepool. And with new boss Kenny Jackett ready to take charge, West immediately turned his attention to Saturday's FA Cup first round trip to Althrincham. He said: 'It will be hard - It won't be a pretty game. We've got to remember that it's their playing surface, their changing rooms - their everything. It will be a lot different from The Den, but that's what the FA Cup is about. We've got to go there and be strong - be professional and work really hard. Basically we need to do the same as we did tonight. We'll give Altrincham the respect they deserve, as we would with any team that gets through to the first round of the FA Cup'".
"Former Watford boss Jackett officially takes charge at The Den from tomorrow [Thursday], and he - along with Lions fans - will be able to take great heart from a battling performance that belied Millwall's lowly League One position. The Lions started with an incredible 12 senior players ruled out through injury, with Neil Harris, Ben May and Danny Senda the latest casualties on a seemingly never-ending injury list at The Den. But tremendous credit should go to the collection of youngsters, loan signings and fit senior players who dug deep and battled for all their might... The Lions' engineroom quartet of Jay Simpson, Jamie O'Hara, Bryan Hodge and Ali Fuseini had a combined total of just 16 first team appearances between them this season - and less than 45 throughout their careers in total... The home side's chances of getting back into the match were hampered when Richard Shaw hobbled off with a groin injury on 34 minutes. In fact it was Shaw's replacement Zak Whitbread [Barry's son!] who hauled Millwall level on 58 minutes when he rose above his marker to net his first ever senior goal for the club with a powerful header from O'Hara's pinpoint corner. Although the home crowd of 6,750 might have been The Lions' lowest League One attendance of the season, the roar that greeted Whitbread's equaliser was matched 10 minutes later when Dennis Lawrence was penalised for handling in the area... [This was] given the circumstances, one of the gutsiest Millwall displays for a long, long time. Millwall: Pidgeley, Dunne, Frampton, Fuseini, Robinson, Shaw (Whitbread, 34mins), O'Hara, Hodge, Alexander, Brkovic, Simpson. Subs not used: Day, Bakayogo, Barron, Gaynor".
Meanwhile, from This is Local London we read that "Kenny Jackett has all the right attributes to bring success to The Den according to departing caretaker manager Colin West... West said: 'I've known Kenny for a number of years. I played with him at Watford as a player and I know his values and his discipline. Both of us had it as players when we were under Graham Taylor and I've texted him to congratulate him... "At this moment in time, we've got a load of players injured and it needs to be addressed. We need some new personnel coming into the club'... Looking ahead to this Saturday's potentially hazardous FA Cup tie at non-league Altrincham on Saturday, West claimed he was expecting a battle. He said: 'It's going to be a tough one and we will have to be ready for it. It's going to be a total focus and attitude game. We are going to have to put them on the back foot, we've got to go and press. It's not going to be a game of pretty football but it may end up that way in the second half, although we have got to go and win the battle first'".
Unconfirmed reports say that Radio Five Live will be broadcasting from Moss Lane on Saturday.
COLIN FIGHTS FOR FITNESS
Right: Gavin Rathbone's shot of Colin Little in action recently against Ebbsfleet. Colin is striving to be fit for the game against Millwall.
"Setanta Sports and Virgin Media have announced that their joint-venture sports news channel will launch on November 29. The 24-hour channel, which will be produced by ITN, will be available on Virgin cable in the basic TV pack and free-to-air on digital satellite. 'This channel represents a new age for sports fans in this country', said Virgin Media CEO of content Malcolm Wall. 'We're confident the energy will provide a fresh approach to sports news in the UK and by putting fans at the very heart of the channel, we think it will give us an edge with viewers'. Virgin Media has prioritised the launch of a sports news service since Sky Sports News was withdrawn from its digital cable service earlier this year as part of a wider carriage dispute with Sky. Setanta Sports News will offer sports headlines every 20 minutes interspersed with debate segments and reports from 'fan correspondents'. Geoff Hill, the channel's editor in chief, explained: 'This channel will be much more than a rolling sports news service - we want the added value of passionate input from fans. We aim to be alongside them at every major sporting event in the UK'. Setanta Sports News will appear on Virgin channel 518". Three days earlier, Setanta will broadcast the Stevenage Borough v Altrincham game from Broadhall Way.
IC Cheshire says that "The takeover of Northwich Vics is going ahead, although the court hearing aimed at taking them into administration was adjourned for another week on Friday. The group led by Jim Rushe already have an obvious presence at the ground, through advertising and support.The shortfall between receipts and the wage bill is being met by ‘a benefactor’. The group have also registered Northwich Victoria (2007) at Companies' House in preparation of taking charge officially. Rushe said: ‘We have not seen anything that would make us walk away'. That assurance comes after ‘positive and supportive’ meetings between Rushe and the Supporters' Club as well as the Supporters' Trust. Exactly how the group will take over remains to be seen, however. If Northwich enter administration their 10 point deduction will probably take effect from next season when they may well be in Blue Square North. There is still a chance the group could buy the club outright by paying off debts estimated at over £500,000. Or negotiations could simply run out of time – the Inland Revenue’s winding up petition is due to be heard on November 28.Rushe added: ‘The way forward has changed about four times already because of all the people who are involved and a deal has to satisfy everybody. ‘I am still hopeful it will be done in a matter of days
"Stockport County have recalled James Tunnicliffe" from Northwich Victoria. "The League Two club had agreed on Friday to extend the teenage stopper's loan stay by another month but an injury crisis at Edgeley Park has forced them to have a rethink.... Meanwhile Maamria has asked Bury for permission to use left back Dominic Taylor in Saturday's FA Cup clash with Oxford United" reports the Northwich Guardian. There is a new unofficial Vics' site at here.
NL Daily says that "The experienced Michael Simpson is hoping to end his injury nightmare with Burton Albion. The 33-year-old former Notts County, Wycombe Wanderers and Leyton Orient player is joining the Brewers on extended trial as manager Nigel Clough looks to bolster his midfield department. Simpson - a star of the Wycombe side that reached the semi finals of the FA Cup in 1998 - is fighting his way back to fitness after a cruciate ligament injury. Clough said: 'We are very interested in Michael, and we're having a serious look at him with a view to signing him until the end of the season. It's a year since Michael last played seriously, but he's now ready for a game. We'll have a look at him in the reserves, and we've also got him pencilled in for the Birmingham Senior Cup tie at Atherstone Town in a couple of weeks' time. In between, he'll get some good training sessions under his belt and then, hopefully, he'll become part of the squad'. Clough has been on a lookout for a midfield recruit because Sam Aiston has returned to Northampton Town after two months on loan, while Andy Gooding is due to return to Coventry City on December 1st. The Brewers' boss said: 'We'll be talking to Coventry again about Gooding when the transfer window opens, but we'll have a gap in our squad for a month at least, which is where we're hoping Michael will come in'... Burton would be allowed to sign Simpson outside of the transfer window because he is an unattached player".
From Blue Square Football we learn that "Grays Athletic goalkeeper Danny Knowles has had a transfer request accepted by the club. Twenty-one-year-old Knowles began his career at Gillingham before moving on to the Blues at the beginning of last season. He has started twelve league games at the Recreation Ground. But with limited opportunities this season, he wants to find a new club in the hope of regular first-team football".
And "Salisbury City have given permission for goalkeeper James Bittner to join Southern League side Chippenham Town on a month-long loan. The 25-year-old joined the Whites from Woking during the summer and has spent the majority of the season on the treatment table with a broken finger. Manager Nick Holmes told the Salisbury Journal 'We've got Martin Horsell with us until the end of the year so it's a bit much having three 'keepers'".
"Former Stevenage boss Mark Stimson believes that his former side will be battling with Torquay and Cambridge for the top spot at the end of the seasoh,. 'I've got to say if I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd bet between Torquay, Cambridge and Stevenage', Stimson told Setanta Sports. 'For different reasons, Cambridge are very strong physically and play a certain way. Torquay have got a lot of experience and score a hell of a lot of goals, but they do concede. Stevenage are the best football team and if it was just about football I think they'd win hands down. But it's not just about his it's about rolling your sleeves up in certain games. But I think they can do that. Mark Arber was a good addition to the squad this year in that respect. He brings a lot of experience and a lot of strength. Peter Taylor's probably going to wait until January and bring a couple of league players in and hopefully take Stevenage to the title, because they're the ones I want to see get promoted'".
A first for Histon who report that "Nathaniel Knight Percival has been called into Paul Fairclough’s England C side to travel to Finland for an International fixture on November 14th. We believe he will be the first Histon player ever to gain an England Cap... Manager Steve Fallon is clearly overjoyed with the news; 'His progress has been phenomenal. Increasingly opponents are wising up to the threat posed by Nathaniel from wide left and with his modest, unassuming manner it couldn’t happen to a nicer lad'".
"Jimmy Quinn hopes to extend Darryl Knight's loan deal with Cambridge United later this week", according to the Cambridge Evening News. "Knights, 19, has scored twice in three games after forging a great partnership with Scott Rendell and Lee Boylan in a front three since arriving at the Abbey from League One side Yeovil on a month-long temporary deal. Quinn admitted making a mistake when he left the ex-England under-17 international out of the 1-1 draw at Stafford in the FA Cup last weekend. And he wants to keep hold of Ipswich-born Knights, whose loan move was allowed so he could be closer to his brother, who is in hospital following a road accident, after the impact he has made with United. Quinn said: 'I've spoken to Russell Slade, the Yeovil boss, about that already and it shouldn't be a problem keeping him for longer so hopefully we'll tie that up later this week. Darryl has done very well and I had no qualms adapting the system with him and sticking him in the hole behind the front two'".
7 November 2007
OLD BOYSIan Craney netted Accrington's winner last night at Morecambe whilst Kevin Ellison scored a consolation goal for Chester City at Bradford City.
MILLWALL'S NEW BOSSAfter sacking Willie Donachie a month ago, our cup opponents have again looked to a Manchester City old boy for their new manager. Millwall "are pleased to announce the appointment of Kenny Jackett as manager. He will take charge of first team affairs following Tuesday evening's Coca-Cola League One fixture against Swansea City.>Jackett, 45, enjoyed a successful playing career with Watford under Graham Taylor... On Taylor's departure in 2001, Jackett also left to assist Ian Holloway at QPR... In April 2004 Kenny was appointed as manager of Swansea and guided them to promotion in his first full season when they finished third in Division Two. They then reached the League One Play-Off Final a year later, and were in or around the top six for much of the 2006/7 campaign before he left the club by mutual consent in February 2007. He was appointed reserve team coach at Manchester City a month later. Lions' chairman John G.Berylson commented: 'Kenny was one of the first names on our list after we had drawn up our criteria for a new manager... We were careful to take our time, and we did speak to a number of very good candidates, but Kenny is the one who came through as the strongest in the end and we were delighted when he accepted our offer... He has helped three teams win promotion as manager or assistant, and while at Swansea also enjoyed some cup success as well... Kenny added: 'I'm excited to be joining Millwall and to be offered this challenge. This is a club with tremendous potential and a passionate support and I am looking forward to meeting the players and getting underway later this week'".
Alty could face three new managers in the next three weeks. Millwall have just appointed a new boss, Farsley Celtic have a new caretaker in John Deacey and Stevenage Borough have recently appointed Peter Taylor.
Meanwhile "Watford striker Will Hoskins has had his loan spell at Millwall extended until 15 December" says the BBC. "Hoskins initially joined the Lions on 18 September and has now been given permission to play in Saturday's FA Cup tie against Altrincham. The 21-year-old has scored in his last two appearances for the London. Hoskins joined Watford from Rotherham in January but has been restricted to just a dozen appearances for the Championship side". However, for Tuesday night's game against Swansea, "Hoskins is still struggling to be fit as he has a hamstring injury. Danny Spiller (hernia), Chris Hackett, Ryan Smith and David Brammer (all knee) are all sidelined".
NEIL'S CIRCLESSpectators at Saturday's FA Cup tie against Millwall should have a good look at the pitch before kick off as Alty groundsman Neil Brown has risen to the occasion by applying an impressive circular pattern to his mowing, which is as good as anything you will see on Match of the Day. Let's hope it has the visitors running round in circles!.
ALEX IN ACTION
Right: Centre-back Alex Murphy contests possession for Altrincham Youth against Bootle last Sunday.
BEST WISHES, ALANThe Club's best wishes go to Alan Johnson, former webmaster and photographer at Moss Lane as he undergoes a further eye operation this Friday. Sadly this means that Alan will miss the Millwall game but hopefully he will be fully recovered for Round Two!
BSP NEWSThe Terras are the next league visitors to Moss Lane and NL Daily tells us that "Weymouth`s midfielder James Coutts has welcomed the additions of centre back Neil Young and left back Callum Hart. Coutts played with both players at his former club AFC Bournemouth and he believes they will prove to be excellent signings. Young has joined on a month's loan while Hart has signed non-contract terms. The pair made their debuts in the 2-0 defeat against Aldershot Town at the Wessex Stadium on Friday. Coutts said: 'Neil has played a lot of League games and is very experienced. Against Aldershot he was talking to everyone as if he had been in the team for years and he is a natural leader. As for Callum... he is very good going forward and also solid defensively'... So far this season in the Blue Square Premier, Weymouth have collected more points on the road than at home. Coutts added: 'We are a good counter-attacking team and when we play away we are good at soaking up pressure and hitting teams on the break with the pace we have in the side. It is disappointing that we have not won more at home but it is just one of those things'", he told the Dorset Echo.
"Ipswich Town have recalled teenage striker Jordan Rhodes following a month's loan spell at Oxford United" reports the BBC. "Rhodes, 17, scored twice in the FA Cup and started three times in the league for the U's but is wanted back by Ipswich for their FA Youth Cup games. 'It's a shame but Ipswich have asked for him back so all we can do is thank him for his efforts here', Oxford boss Jim Smith told his club's website".
"Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Sam Mott has joined Croydon Athletic on a month's loan" says the BBC.
"Exeter City striker Richard Logan has been named as the Blue Square Premier player of the month for October... Hyde United's striker Gareth Seddon takes the award in Blue Square North... Hyde's Steve Waywell won the managerial prize".
Whoever gets promoted from the BSP for next season can look forward to more TV coverage as the ever informative Bullsnews reports that "The Football League has secured new broadcasting agreements with Sky Sports and BBC Sport, worth a total of £264m, to run for three seasons from 2009/10. The new agreements will see Sky Sports continue their unrivalled coverage of Coca-Cola Football League, Carling Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy matches. Also, for the first time in recent memory, live Coca-Cola Championship and Carling Cup matches - including the Carling Cup Final - will be shown on BBC terrestrial television. The new agreements, which represent a 135% increase on The League's existing broadcasting arrangements, are worth £88m per season to Football League clubs and encompass terrestrial and pay television, broadband internet, video-on-demand and mobile services. The announcement doesn't state how much the deal is worth to individual clubs"
6 November 2007
PLEASE HELP IF YOU CANAltrincham FC is appealing for volunteers to help prepare Moss Lane for the FA Cup tie on Saturday 10th against Millwall. As well as tidying up the ground there is a number of small jobs that need doing to satisfy the police as regards security. If you can help, from 10am on Wednesday (7th) for up to two hours, your presence will be very much appreciated. Please ring the club (928-1045) if you can help.
FA CUP TICKETSThe remaining opening times for purchasing tickets for the Alty v Millwall game are:
Further details of the arrangements are here.
News of Saturday's opponents comes from This is Local London. It says that "Hartlepool consigned Millwall to their fourth home defeat of the season... Millwall went in at half time unfortunate not to be ahead after creating four good opportunities in the last five minutes of the half... Ahmet Brkovic was Millwall's best player and had a host of chances in the second half to win the game".
Howard Watts's Through the Years data for Saturday, 10 October is here.
Right: Daniel Killilea tracks back as Chris Francis keeps his eye on the approaching ball.
A match report on Alty Youth's fine win over Bootle is in the Youth section.
HISTON VIEWSThe Cambridge Evening News says that "Blue Square Premier manager-of- the-month for October Steve Fallon will already be a front runner for the November gong after watching his Histon side beat Altrincham 1-0 on Saturday... Histon controlled the game from start to finish against a lowly Altrincham side, the sort of which the Stutes have struggled to get results against in recent seasons. The only thing that vexed the Histon boss was how his team failed to add to Danny Wright's 21st minute thunderbolt. He added: 'After about 20 minutes we got into it. It was a fantastic strike and we dominated. We left ourselves down a bit to do by missing chances, but overall it was a very good performance. There was a little bit of pressure in the last three or four minutes and sometimes you get punished - fortunately that didn't happen to us. Going forward, there was some great play and we were unlucky not to have won more comfortably'. Fallon also heaped the praise on youngster Wright... He said: 'Danny is still raw, but he has certainly got something as he showed with the goal. The more he plays the better he becomes... If you go back to the beginning of the season, we only took two points from our first four games. We've now got 29 points from the last 14 games, which is a fantastic record'".
The same paper has more on Histon's win "at the expense of struggling Altrincham... With Cliff Akurang sidelined through suspension, Wright has stepped up to the plate when his manager Steve Fallon really needed him to... Histon barely had to get out of first gear in the first half... Histon's passing and moving from back to front allowed them to see a lot of the ball and they should have gone into the break with at least one more goal to their name... And the Stutes would have got the second if it were not for two wonderful saves by the Altrincham No 1 Stuart Coburn in quick succession... Despite their lack of invention, Altrincham did have the odd chance at the other end, but Histon stopper Danny Naisbitt kept up his decent run of form with two saves, firstly from O'Neill on 42 minutes then again from a low drive from Robert Lawton a minute before half time. How Histon did not get a second goal after the interval is anyone's guess because the Stutes threw everything at the Robins... No matter what Histon tried, Coburn's goal seemed to be protected by a mysterious force".
LINNETS PREPARE TO COME HOMEA week today (Tuesday 13th) Alty play in the Cheshire Senior Cup away to Runcorn Linnets, who are tenants at Witton Albion's Wincham Park Stadium. The Runcorn Linnets have issued a press release which suggests that progress is being made in getting the club back to Runcorn and a ground of its own. "After further discussions between Runcorn Linnets FC and Riverside College Halton, the college Board of Governors gave their in principle approval on Thursday, November 1st, to commence with the production of a draft lease document for the use of college land, this of course is subject to full formal agreement of the lease terms and the acquisition of the necessary funding for the development. This is a significant step forward for the project, which will ultimately allow the Linnets use of the land at the college in order to build a new stadium back in the town of Runcorn".
OLD BOYSPhil Taylor, until recently Altrincham FC's security officer and still a part of the Club's backroom matchday team, is also a qualified football referee and on his recent travels in that capacity he came across two ex-Alty players. He writes, "In the Cheshire FA Sunday Cup I went to Runcorn and found Eddie Turkington playing for Bridge Timber, a local Sunday League side against a team from the Wirral, Rock Ferry Social. Last Saturday, at Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's I encountered Keith Wedge playing for Stalybridge Celtic Reserves in the Cheshire League (ex Mid Cheshire) a league in which I have also come across Rico Richards earlier this season playing for Woodley Sports". Bullsnews says that "Peterboro are in negotiations with Swansea to buy Ian Craney. The midfielder, currently on loan at Accrington, was recalled briefly last week with the intention of moving to The Posh on loan until a permanent move could be arranged in the summer. Talks broke down, but are resuming today".
GET THE T-SHIRT
Pictured right is the special commemorative t-shirt produced for this Saturday's FA Cup game at Moss Lane against Millwall. The shirt costs just £8 and be ordered from the club (928-1045).
BSP NEWSSussex's Argus claims that "The future of every Crawley player is under threat following a horror show at The Shay. That was the message from assistant boss Paul Raynor after he emerged from an hour-long post-match changing room lock-in. Reds meekly yielded their four-game unbeaten league run to a Halifax side who had not won in the Conference premier in seven outings. For an hour they were all over the place at the back, lacked bite in midfield and posed little threat up front... Livid manager Steve Evans could be heard giving his players the hairdryer treatment as he carried out a lengthy post mortem after the final whistle. He had earlier given a debut to former Portsmouth striker Berlin Nlome-Ndebi, who came on as a second-half substitute after signing as a free agent on Friday. The Cameroon frontman is the second arrival in a week following Mustapha Carayol's loan deal from MK Dons... Raynor said: 'We are constantly looking to improve our squad and we are constantly looking at whether some people maybe don't deserve to stay in the squad. That is an ongoing thing at every level of football club and if it isn't it should be. We want the best possible squad within the budget that we can get so if we can add to it and it means people will fall by the wayside, then we will do that'. It was telling that Nlome-Ndebi replaced top scorer Guy Madjo for the second half, a signal that no one is immune from being replaced... Nlome-Ndebi looked strong and powerful but did not do anything to suggest he will pull up many trees. The stocky frontman had a spell at Pompey last season and has recently returned to England from playing for KVC Westerlo in Belgium. Raynor said: 'He is somebody we tried to get last season at Boston but we couldn't afford to get him and he went to Belgium. He has just come back and through the gaffer's contacts with (Portsmouth manager) Harry Redknapp we were made aware he was available'".
From the NL Daily we read that "Bridlington Town have announced one of the biggest signings in their history... in snapping up veteran midfielder Neil Redfearn". The former Northwich Vics and Scarborough manager, now 42, had been with Frickley after leaving the Vics.
Leek Town`s manager Paul Moore has been seeking a goalkeeper and "has turned his attention to former Stoke City youngster Rob Duggan, who spent the back end of last season on loan at Stafford Rangers... After being released from the Britannia Stadium during the summer, Duggan signed for the Rangers this season playing in the first few games" says NL Daily.
"Port Vale have appointed former Farsley Celtic boss Lee Sinnott as their new manager after he signed a two-and-a-half year contract" confirms the BBC. "'I am delighted and honoured to become the Port Vale manager', said Sinnott. 'I play a style of football that wins games. I will change systems and players to achieve the right results'".
Also from the BBC we learn that "Scunthorpe United striker Daniel McBreen has returned to Glanford Park following a month on loan at York City. He scored his second goal in five games for York in Sunday's 4-1 win at Farsley but returns to Scunthorpe after Ben May was recalled from his loan by Millwall [Alty's opponents this Saturday]. They are going to take Daniel back which is disappointing because I felt we might be able to get him for another month or two', said boss Billy McEwan".
"Former Leeds United trainee Craig Farrell helped to make it a disappointing start to John Deacey's spell as Farsley Celtic's caretaker-manager last night" reports the Yorkshire Evening Post... Deacey is keen to land the job permanently after Lee Sinnott's departure to Port Vale but the players let him down by making too many elementary mistakes. Deacey said: "We are trying to bring stability to the club and, if that is what they want, I would do the job. It is up to the board of Farsley Celtic, but I have been told I will be given a chance and I would like to have a go... We just didn't perform in front of a big crowd. We made some sloppy mistakes and I thought their second, third and fourth goals were avoidable. We now have nearly two weeks' break and that has come at the right time. It means we can regroup, have some thorough training sessions and prepare for the game against Grays'".
"Jim Rushe reckons the next 48 hours are crucial for the consortium bidding to buy the club" reports the Northwich Guardian. "He told the Guardian he hoped to make an announcement early this week after an application for an administration order against Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Limited was adjourned for a second time on Friday. It is now scheduled to be heard on November 9. 'We've got a range of options to pick from', he said. 'And hopefully we'll be able to decide on one of those in the next couple of days'. Officials from the Football Conference and the FA met with the consortium on Thursday to find out more about their plans for the club should the takeover be successful. But Rushe was tight-lipped on how the meeting went. Instead he encouraged Vics fans to be patient. 'We want to make sure we are happy with every detail', he added... For now Mike Connett, who watched the 2-0 reverse against Stevenage yesterday, remains at the helm at the Victoria Stadium. He shook hands with Rushe on a deal to sell the club three weeks ago. Since then the consortium, which also includes Northwich businessman Nick Bone, has been busy negotiating with HM Revenue and Customs to whom Vics owe £350,000. A winding-up petition by the UK tax department to liquidate the club is due to be heard at the High Court in London on November 14, although could be withdrawn if Rushe and his colleagues are in charge by then".
5 November 2007
GRAHAM EXPLAINS KENDAL ROWThe NL Paper reports that "Graham Heathcote says his altercation (last week) with Kendal manager Lee Ashcroft was sparked by Ashcroft telling Heathcote he hopes he gets 'the f****ing sack'. The Alty boss, who also claims Ashcroft said his team are s***, had to be restrained from confronting Ashcroft by his players... 'It's no way to treat a fellow manager and it will come back to haunt him at some point in his managerial career', Heathcote said. 'Hopefully no manager ever says to him what he said to me because it is the most despicable thing you can ever say to another manager. One thing you learn in management is that you need the help of other managers. I don't know exactly what he meant when he called me a Big-Time Charlie. Perhaps he's referring to the fact that we had a pre-match meal and went to the game wearing a jacket and tie. That's what we do for all away games and it is what I call being professional'".
Altrincham refused the post-match hospitality. Graham explained, "I've rung the chairman of Kendal and apologised to him. I apologised for my reaction to the words but also to apologise to the ladies at Kendal who prepared the buffet after the game. I know the ladies will have spent the day bending over backwards to lay on a spread. For me not to take my players in there was hard for me and disappointing but it was a sensible thing to do in light of what happened". For his part Ashcroft said, "I didn't swear at him. I just spoke to him about the way I thought he behaved in the day and that I thought he came across as very big-time in the way he spoke to me. That was it really. He over-reacted and made himself look like an idiot. We had a bit of handbags but why he was trying to fight me, I'll never know...he knows what I said'".
In NL Today, Graham said "Lee is claiming that he [just]called me a big-time Charlie but both of us know that is not true. I was the one who had to go to him to shake his hand after the game and I didn't make any comments to him'".
STUART LOSES SIX FRIENDS!The guest in NL Today's Seven Deadly Sins column is Alty's goalkeeper Stuart Coburn. For Pride he accuses Warren Peyton because he "has ideas above his station because he always refers to himself as Seba Verón". For glutton, Stuart's victim is Colin Potts who over the summer claimed he was 12st 10lbs when he was over 13 stone, "He says his scales at home are different" claims Stuart. For Lust, it is Gary Scott who is the accused. "Although married, Gary Scott is just filthy", says Stuart whilst for Anger it is Chris Lane who is in the dock, as "he can never take a comment or criticism from the gaffer. Where others would take it and move on, he's always got to bite back". Regarding Greed, the guilty party is James Dean because "We may as well have our own ball to play with because he never passes". Danny Heathcote stands (or sits) accused of Sloth. He is one of the kit men and he "turns up for games when the work is done and then shoots off at the end while the others are still working". But at least Stuart can find no one at Altrincham to accuse of envy.
Despite Stuart Coburn's accusations about Warren Peyton (see above), the Alty midfielder has every reason to be proud as there cannot be any other BS Premier player who has personally built his club's turnstile block. But that is what Warren has done at Moss Lane. The left-sided midfielder/defender has laid the brickwork for the new turnstile enclosure at the Golf Road End. It is hoped to have the turnstiles ready for use this Saturday for the Millwall game. Meanwhile Warren himself will be hoping to recover from the illness which kept him out of last Saturday's match at Histon.
Remours that genial Altrincham matchday secretary George Heslop has responded to demands from the Alty turnstile attendants for heated facilties for cold winter midweek games appear to be confirmed by the installation of chimneys in the new turnstile block, as can be seen above.
YOUTHS WINAlty Youth beat Bootle 4-2 on Sunday in a league match. Two goals came from Sam Madeley and one each from Dominic Lillie and Daniel Killilea. Report to follow.
OLD BOYSDefender Danny Jarrett has rejoined Northwich Victoria recently; he was a major factor in George Heslop's youth team's first NW Youth Alliance title triumph seven years ago. Former Alty Reserve Rio Nelson, now at Atherton, failed to raise the necessary money to get to St Kitts to represent his country in an Olympic Games qualifier but he is reportedly now attracting the scouts of Stockport County. He told the NL Paper, "Stockport have been down a few times to watch our first team and I know they have been impressed with me".
Matty Berkeley scored again for Workington. Former Alty Reserve defender Laurence Ball has moved from Dover Athletic to Ramsgate.His fellow reserve, Anthony Bingham has moved to Darwen from Buxton but the Derbyshire club are lodging a complaint about the move. Keith Russell has moved from Stourbridge to Pelsall Villa on loan, after a recent spell at Bromsgrove Rovers.
"A hearing to discuss the fate of Northwich Victoria has been put on ice for the second week running"says the NL Paper. "Jim Rushe and his consortium were due to hear on Friday whether their bid to save the club had been accepted by the creditors but discussions will now continue into next week". Rushe explained, "There's still some talking to do and a few legal matters to clear up... In terms of progress the situation remains as it was but we are hoping for better news next week".
The non-league press is agreed that Oxford United manager Jim Smith is about to take a back seat as a director rather than manager of the club.
Phil Robinson, manager of Stafford Rangers, told NL Today that "I feel the Blue Square Premier has really strengthened over the summer. Last season it took a while for the part-time teams to filter down to the bottom [but it has happened] almost straightaway this season. There is that little bit of a gulf between the full-time teams and the part-time ones. We need to try to be the best of the part-time teams".
4 November 2007
GRAHAM AND THE PENALTY INCIDENTAfter yesterday's defeat at Histon, Alty boss Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "Unitl the day I die I will never understand why that was not a penalty", referring to the home keeper's foot-up challenge on Alty's Chris Senior. Graham added that "We did enough to get something out of the game". Meanwhile in NL Today, Graham is quoted as saying that the penalty incident "was like a common assault".
GEOFF'S DISAPPOINTMENTNL Today's headline is about the TV companies' decisions to go for so-called high-profile ties in their coverage of the First Round of the FA Cup, rather than the traditional small club v big club angle. BBC and Sky Sports have chosen as their main games the all-League clash between Hereford Utd and Leeds Utd and the tie between recently relegated Torquay, who are regulars on Setanta TV this season, and Yeovil. Meanwhile the clashes between Billericay Town and Swansea and Altrincham and Millwall are relegated to brief highlights. Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin said, "Yes, I am disappointed by the decision. We have the highlights money which softens the blow but our club has one of the biggest and best histories in Non-League football. We've played against Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton and we still hold records". Alty have knocked out more League clubs (16) then any other current non-League club. Geoff added, "I can't understand why they've picked Torquay against Yeovil. It's a big game for the area but it's not like they need the money, and we do". The Billericay chairman "was also gutted that his home tie with Welsh giants Swansea was ignored'".
Live coverage brings £75,000 to each club whereas the highlights yield £13,000.
LIONS AND ALTY BOTH LOSELike Alty, the Robins' FA cup opponents Millwall lost 1-0 yesterday. The Lions lost at home to Hartlepool, with Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele running his eye over the Londoners. The Millwall site reported before that game that the "Lions' chairman John G Berylson assured fans that the managerial selection process is still moving along and in the meantime called on supporters to get behind the team against Pool. 'Firstly, let me quash any rumours that we have offered the job to anyone and been turned down. We are still in the process of talking to prospective candidates and are determined to find the right man for this job. I have great confidence in Richard Shaw and Colin West who are doing an impressive job in the meantime and that reduces the pressure on the board to rush things'". However, Saturday saw "goal-shy Millwall slide to a second successive defeat... that saw The Lions fail to score for the first time in four matches. It was an afternoon of total frustration for the home side, compounded by Millwall playing the last five minutes with 10 men after Danny Senda limped off injured. The Lions were dealt a blow before kick-off when in-form striker Will Hoskins was unable to take his place in the starting line-up with a hamstring injury picked up in the match at Leeds last Saturday. Jay Simpson stepped in to fill the vacant striking berth alongside Gary Alexander, whilst loan signings Ahmet Brkovic and Bryan Hodge were both handed their home debuts... It was one of those afternoons when quite simply nothing went Millwall's way".
LOCAL NEWSThe UniBond League press release for this week reports that our Stockport neighbours, Woodley Sports suffered a big set back when during a break-in last Saturday night the culprits did extensive damage to several doors and electrical equipment causing several thousand pounds worth of damage in addition to stealing the first team’s red/blue striped kit, a brand new and still unused youth team kit, a spare kit and UniBond match and training balls".
OLD BOYSMatty McNeil scored for Stockport and Rod Thornley netted for Witton Albion yesterday. Josh Mitten was on target for Curzon Ashton.
The Football Network reports on a former Alty Reserve now at Leigh RMI where manager "Bleasdale made the type of call that he was brought in to make when introducing Richard Chetcuti from the substitutes bench with just over twenty minutes of the game remaining, with the one-time Chelsea trialist changing the game in an almost an instant. The former England Under 18 international picked up the ball out wide and set off on a determined run that created the space for top scorer [also ex-Alty] Kieran Lugsden to eventually tee up Owen Roberts...to drill home". Later, the impressive Lugsden played a delightful ball for Chetcuti to fire the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Lee Crockett and level the scores".But only 175 watched this BS North game against Boston United.
In Wales there is news of two ex-Alty men being sent off as "Nine-man Bangor City ground out a 3-2 extra-time win at Caersws thanks to a Mike Walsh goal after Kieran Killackey and Dave Swanick had both seen red in the second half". Meanwhile, Sheffield FC defeated Kendal Town in the FA Trophy 3-2, with "Peter Wright`s second coming in stoppage time and too late to make a difference to the outcome".
BSP NEWSHiston "boss Steve Fallon has been looking at the heavy fixtures awaiting his team in December and is planning on sending a few more players out on loan to get them match fit and ready for the busy December and New Year fixture list which includes 2 local derby games with Cambridge United. Speaking today Fallon confirmed that he had spoken with the players currently on the fringe of the first team or unable to make the squad and plans to get them some first team experience so they can rejoin the Stutes before the crazy fixtures during Christmas begin; the Stutes face eight or nine games during December so the squad is likely to be tested to the full. 'It's clear that the players who are not currently playing first team football need to get games at a higher level than our reserves to keep themselves ready for the tests that the Conference offers so we will be circulating some names and see who comes in. We really need them playing Southern League Premier Football as a minimum so I am hoping we can get them out to clubs during the next two weeks so that they can come back before the fixtures over the Christmas period'. Fallon confirmed that Dean Bradshaw, Matthew Haniver and Robbie Nightingale would be among the names circulated to clubs this week but confirmed he had no intention of letting the players leave the club it was just part of his strategy to keep everyone at the top of their game ahead of a busy period. 'We need to make sure the youngsters in the reserves get support from some senior players because its essential the reserves retain their Premier Division status but it's also important the players are sharp enough to make the step up to the conference and on what we have seen so far the players' levels have dropped when playing in the reserves for a period of time so we need to do something about that by getting them first team football at a higher level'".
The Conference Forum has a comparative list of prize money for the Setanta Shield.and FA Trophy. Alty enter at Round 4:
In the Shield there will be one televised game from each round; with £5,000 for the home team and £2,000 for the away side.
. This is Staffs says that "The nine directors' vote on their choice of manager was won 5-4 by Sinnott, with some not certain which way they would go when they turned up at the decisive meeting on Tuesday evening. But they will rally behind the new man having invested in him a two-and-a-half year contract and their hopes for their beloved club. Sinnott may have only just edged the boardroom vote, but there was overwhelming agreement among the directors that he is an excellent candidate for the post after leading Farsley to three promotions in four seasons... They also approached Stevenage about Mark Stimson and were interested in Nottingham Forest coach Ian McParland before he joined Notts County as manager last month... Vale calculated the possible cost of appointing Sinnott at more than £200,000, a figure which includes the new man's two-and-a-half year contract, the compensation payment to Farsley and potentially paying up other coaching staff.... By Thursday evening Vale were close to a deal, even though Farsley's statement that Sinnott had resigned was embarrassingly premature".
The Northwich Guardian reported yesterday from the Vics where manager "Dino Maamria unveils three new faces in his matchday squad. Bury full back Dominic Taylor joined on a month-long loan deal late last night and replaces banned Ryan Brown. Former Winsford United central defender Danny Jarrett is on the bench after signing non-contract terms, as is Woodley youngster Luke Horrocks. Teenage defender James Tunnicliffe has extended his stay from Stockport County for another month and lines up for his second start at the heart of Vics defence".
3 November 2007
HISTON 1 ALTRINCHAM 0
Right: Second-half action at Histon.
With the sick Warren Peyton having to be named on the bench, and Colin Little, Colin Potts, Gareth Whalley and Val Owen all out injured, Alty had limited resources to deploy today.
THIS WEEKEND'S BSP GAMES
FA CUP TICKETSFor the Altrincham v Millwall game, Altrincham FC's ticket office will open for 15 minutes after the STAR supporters' coach arrives back at Moss Lane from Histon tonight (Saturday). Altrincham FC requests that those purchasing tickets for the FA Cup tie against Millwall do so in cash or by cheque (supported by a bank card), as there is no credit card or Switch facility available. Please note the earlier opening time for ticket sales this Sunday than was originally announced.
Opening times for purchasing tickets are:
Further details of the arrangements are here.
Meanwhile Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter reports that "When the FA Cup First Round is reached, it's normal to expect that it will be a money-spinner for the club, but, perhaps, what isn't realised are the extra costs associated with such a game". Barrow meet Bournemouth at Holker Street next Saturday when we take on Millwall. "Bournemouth can claim the following:
HISTON PREVIEWThs BBC confirms that "Histon striker Cliff Akurang is still suspended for the visit of Altrincham. Danny Wright looks set to continue up front, although captain Jamie Barker is pushing for a recall after scoring a superb goal against Bamber Bridge. Altrincham's Val Owen (foot) and Gareth Whalley (calf) are out, as is leading scorer Colin Little after picking up a knock in the FA Cup against Kendal. Colin Potts remains on the sidelines, but Joe O'Neill and Robbie Lawton have both recovered from minor knocks".
Meanwhile "Defender Mark Coulson has left Histon and made his loan move to Southern Premier Division leaders Hemel Hempstead permanent. Coulson, 21, had spent the last month on loan there, alongside Histon striker Chris Dillon... Meanwhile, Dillon, 23, has extended his loan spell at Hemel for a second month."
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Matt Langston is under orders from Histon manager Steve Fallon to become a match-winner at both ends of the pitch. The 26-year-old defender has impressed the Stutes' boss with his recent displays at the back and he is expected to keep his place for tomorrow's visit of Altrincham, despite the return to fitness of Mat Mitchel-King. Histon have netted 27 times in 17 league matches, but a defender is yet to get on the scoresheet and the manager believes Langston can change that statistic. And he feels the former Cambridge City skipper is streets ahead of his defensive colleagues Mitchel-King and Patrick Ada when it comes to finding the target. Fallon said: 'We're aware that Kingy and Patrick are not their best in the opponents' box and they're not natural goalscorers. We work a lot on set-plays and we'll take goals whoever they come from, and Matt Langston will always cause problems. It's not always the first touch that gets goals, it's about picking up the flicks'. Fallon is delighted with his team's current form.
But he knows his players will have to be up for a battle when Graham Heathcote's struggling part-time outfit, who are without a win in four league games. Histon (possible): Naisbitt, Pope, Langston, Ada, Gwillim, Okay, Cambridge, J Kennedy, Knight-Percival, Wright, Murray".
"To an army of Histon fans, he is simply known as Kendo. But veteran marksman Neil Kennedy is in danger of becoming the forgotten man at the Glass World Stadium in what is now his 10th consecutive season with the Stutes. The Histon legend, who has hit 300-plus goals in a red shirt, admits this season in the Blue Square Premier is likely to be his last in football and he is desperate to show his long-time manager Steve Fallon he can still do a job if he is given the chance going into the league clash with Altrincham. He said: 'The manager knows how I feel about not being able to play, or even make the squad sometimes, but I've just got to hang on in there and take my chance if it comes'... His strike partnership with Ian Cambridge was a major contributing factor in catapulting the Stutes up the non-League structure... He added: 'It is not just mine and Ian Cambridge's goals that got us up to the Conference, it is players like Jamie Barker, Neil Andrews, Matty Haniver and Adie Cambridge, who have all played a part in the Histon promotions.. Kennedy knows full well that his chances of breaking back into the first team to partner Antonio Murray could not be better than now. Cliff Akurang is suspended for two more games, while Danny Wright has struggled when he has played from the start".
OLD BOYFromAccrington Stanley we read firstly that "On-loan midfielder Ian Craney has been recalled by Swansea City with immediate effect. The 25 year old returned to Accrington Stanley on a three month loan in September but picked up a hamstring injury in his second match. He marked his return to the squad on Saturday with a goal at Barnet". But then "Following discussions between Stanley Chairman Eric Whalley and his Swansea counterpart Huw Jenkins the club is delighted to announce that Ian Craney will remain on loan at Accrington Staney until the end of the year".
BSP NEWS"Weymouth manager Jason Tindall has raided his old club Bournemouth to sign his former team-mate, veteran defender Neil Young, on a month's loan. Young, 34, has just returned from injury himself and will cover for the Terras' injury and suspension problems. He will also be allowed to become cup-tied for Weymouth in the FA Cup. 'It is not very often that a club like Weymouth can sign a player of the quality and experience of Neil Young', Tindall told the Dorset Echo. Former Tottenham trainee Young has made 490 appearances in 13 years with Bournemouth since leaving White Hart Lane".
Steveange Borough's "Assistant Manager Scott Barrett resigned his position today. Chairman Phil Wallace told Webnews: 'Scott told us he'd been advised by others to take this action. That's a big disappointment, especially since I went to great lengths to reassure him yesterday that his position was entirely unchanged if he wanted to stay, as Peter was delighted to work with him. I suppose we'll have to see what happens now. Scott had already told the directors that he would leave to go with Mark as soon as he got a job, so it's possible that Mark's appointment at Gillingham yesterday may have something to do with it, but we'll have to wait and see what happens next. The disappointing thing is that Scott did a professional job under difficult conditions after Mark left so it's a shame he's been advised to resort to this. However I can't say that it's a total surprise after what's gone on so we'll let our lawyers deal with it in the normal manner. I think this draws a line under the Mark and Scott tenure at Stevenage and we can now all look forward to the future and give our total support to Peter and Steve as they work to put Stevenage on the football map'".
"Jim Smith pulled no punches after United's 5-0 defeat at Rushden last night. The United boss could hardly hide his frustration as he told Yellow World: 'It was a disaster. To concede three bad goals in ten minutes is a mountain to climb. I wish I could tell you why we started so badly Billy Turley has been one of our best players all season but comes back here and lets a pretty soft goal in, which I can't explain. Then senior experienced defenders get caught with simple balls down the middle twice, it's very difficult to explain. Some of us hid, and that disappoints me. It's a criminal thing because whatever the scoreline you've got to stand up and be counted rather than hiding. You can excuse some of the youngsters because they haven't been in that sort of situation before but there weren't enough leaders out there or enough pride. Once you're 3-0 down it's a big mountain to climb, but at half time you think it's possible to launch some sort of comeback, but it never came. Not a lot was said after the game because it's not the moment to steam into people. There are young lads in the team and you can't climb into them. You need to go away and think about it instead" reports Oxford United. Smith went on !I don't think the players don't care but there are some senior players who could have done a bit more about it. We didn't put ourselves about enough and made it too easy for Rushden... We can't bring in new players because it's the cup and you need a week's grace with the registration, but we have to regroup and make sure we are right for the next game".
In similar vein the BBC adds that "Oxford manager Jim Smith is confident that he will not lose his job after their crushing 5-0 defeat against Rushden & Diamonds. Smith told BBC Radio Oxford: 'I will be speaking to the chairman. I only want what is best for Oxford but I have no doubt that I will be picking the team for our next match. We have got to regroup now after this defeat and make sure that we are ready for the next game because the FA Cup tie against Northwich is now a huge match and a huge competition for us. It is not the lowest point since I have been back at the club because we have been relegated but it is nearly there'".
However a different slant on the same interview as above came from the Oxford Mail which reported that "Jim Smith has dropped the first hint that he may be considering his future as Oxford United manager" claims "While seeing his side crash to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Rushden & Diamonds last night, Smith had to listen to United fans making their feelings known throughout the second half. Chants of 'Smith Out' rang around Nene Park, and when the supporters asked the U's boss for a wave, they booed when he obliged... Although Smith's position has been questioned before, he has always vowed he is going nowhere. However, he could not do that last night, saying he will 'probably' be picking the team for their FA Cup game against Northwich a week tomorrow. Asked whether he will remain in charge, he replied: 'That will be between me and the chairman. I only want what's best for Oxford United. I have no doubt that I will probably be picking the team next week... If I could have made nine substitutions at half-time I would have done... We maybe had too many young players out there, but they have got to do better than that. There wasn't enough pride out there'".
The Farsley manager saga continues as This is Staffs reports that "Port Vale are poised to appoint Farsley Celtic boss Lee Sinnott as their new manager. Vale are close to agreeing a two-and-a-half year deal with the 42-year-old - and will ask current caretaker manager Dean Glover to stay on as his assistant. Vale were trying to tie up an agreement with Sinnott last night, negotiations which could mean the new boss won't take charge for tomorrow's game at Huddersfield. However, barring a dramatic late setback, the former Watford and Crystal Palace defender will become only Vale's fourth manager in the last 23 years. Vale chairman Bill Bratt said: 'We still haven't agreed anything with Farsley or Lee Sinnott, but hopefully that will be finalised today. At the moment there are contractual details which we are hoping will be sorted out'... Vale's move for Sinnott was thrown into confusion last night when Farsley chairman Andy Firbank claimed Sinnott had resigned, only for the manager to publicly deny this. Sinnott made clear to the Vale board his desire to join the club after they re-opened talks with him and Farsley this week... He was on the shortlist for the Bradford City job in the summer and was also targeted by Stevenage Borough before they appointed Peter Taylor".
"Goalkeeper Will Puddy could be out of Stafford Rangers' vital Blue Square Premier game against Exeter at Marston Road tomorrow. The former England schoolboy international is on loan from Cheltenham, who have already excluded their player from Rangers' FA Cup ties against Cambridge. Now an injury to one of the Robins' other keepers has created an air of uncertainty in the Marston Road camp. 'Technically, they could recall Will at any time', said manager Phil Robinson. 'At the moment, he is available for selection, but they are having a problem with one of their keepers and we are watching the situation closely'. Robinson is already resigned to losing Marco Adaggio for up to six weeks. The striker was due to have an operation today to repair cartilage damage to his knee... And player-coach Dave Oldfield will miss tomorrow's game with a hamstring injury. Robinson was today trying to sign two further players on loan as replacements for what is shaping up to be a key game in Rangers' survival bid" states This is Staffs. Meanwhile Stafford Rangers themselves report that they "have re-signed goalkeeper Scott Loach on loan from Watford for a further month. The second player to join Stafford Rangers is midfielder Chris Humphrey (shirt 34) who has arrived on loan for one month fromShrewsbury Town. An ex-WBA youngster, Humphrey, aged 18, has six league and cup appearances to his name this season and made his debut in September 2006. He came on a substitute in May at Wembley Stadium in Shrewsbury's play-off final defeat by Bristol Rovers. Midfielder Sebastian Arnolin has joined Unibond League Premier Division side Hednesford Town on loan for a month".
2 November 2007
CONFUSION AT FARSLEYAfter the club chairman announced that Farsley Celtic manager Lee Sinnott had left to take over at Port Vale, a story reported lower down this page and repeated throughout Thursday evening on Setanta TV for example, the BBC reported late on Thursday evening that "Farsley Celtic boss Lee Sinnott, who has been linked with the vacant Port Vale job, says he has not resigned after the club said he had quit. Farsley chairman Andrew Firbank said the club had agreed a compensation package with League One side Port Vale for the 42-year-old Sinnott. But Sinnott told BBC Leeds: 'At no time have I either verbally or in writing tendered my resignation to Farsley. I'm flattered by the interest shown in myself by Port Vale', he added. And on the Farsley Athletic Forum a Kidderminster fan who works for Radio Leeds is quoted as saying, "We've been in touch with Sinnott throughout the evening. Farsley Chairman Andy Firbank released a statment this afternoon saying the two clubs had reached a compensation deal... However, it seems this is news to Lee who after a few conversations with us has responded with the following - 'After being informed of an article and its content that has been posted on the official Farsley Celtic web site this afternoon, I would like to point out its misleading content. At no time have I either verbally or in written form tendered my resignation to Farsley Celtic FC. although I have been aware of dialogue between themselves and Port Vale FC. I would like to say that I am flattered by the interest shown in myself by Port Vale FC for their coveted manager's position. I can only apologise for the misleading content of the article to the board of Port Vale FC, and also the staff, players, and supporters of both clubs At the writing of this reply I have still had no clarification concerning my position at Farsley Celtic FC'".
HISTON READY TO RISEAltrincham travel to Histon this Saturday, where manager Steve Fallon has been named BSP Manager of the Month. "Histon's remarkable rise through the ranks of non-league football is a success story that shows no sign of ending. Seven years ago, the modest Cambridgeshire club was a member of the Eastern League Premier Division. But the 1999-2000 season was also the time Histon appointed Steve Fallon as manager and with him still at the helm, the Stutes are now just one more promotion away from the Football League. 'We might have talked about it but I don't think we genuinely believed that seven or eight years down the line we would be at the top level of non-league'", Fallon told the BBC. "'"It's not something you would have put a lot of money on. We are enjoying every minute of it. But we are not complacent and we want to push on. We do the best we can each year and if we are good enough to go up then we deal with it. 10 or 15-year plans don't work. If you are good enough you go up and then you deal with it. I don't understand people who say you are not ready to go up. You are better off having at least one year in the league above. You can't pick and choose when you make it'. Even by his own admission, Fallon's team was ready to take stock this time around, having joined the likes of Torquay, Exeter, Oxford, Halifax, York and Cambridge United, where Fallon previously played over 400 games to become an Abbey Stadium legend. 'I know everybody says it, but the biggest aim was to make sure we got another year, to make sure we survived and learn from it', he added. 'We didn't have the best start and we didn't win for the first four games. But since then our form has been very good and we have this ability not to lose games. It's something we've had over the years that we have not always played at our best but we have hung in there and got results. It's been a great start and we are very pleased with it, particularly as we have not had the best of home records. We have gone away and picked up results and hopefully we have started to turn the corner at home'.
As a result, survival looks almost certain and looking upwards is again the option for a squad in which every player bar one has another job, like the manager who combines his football with teaching. 'We are not too tough taskmasters. If we train three times a week and they make two out of three we are happy with that, as long as they are doing it on the pitch on a Saturday or Tuesday night', he said. Fallon, who is assisted by former Preston and Cambridge boss John Beck, brought in just five new players over the summer, mainly from lower leagues, and kept faith with a squad that has developed a winning mentality. And in Adie Cambridge, record appearance maker Jamie Barker and striker Neil Kennedy - who has taken more of a back seat since scoring his 300th goal for the club last season - he has a trio of players who have climbed every division with the club. 'They are all good players and deserved a go at this level but they have probably surprised themselves a little bit', said Fallon. 'Adie Cambridge should really have played at a higher level but he has been loyal to this club and now having got this far with his hometown club is the best thing going... I'm not saying we are going to do this or that but you can't just dismiss it as luck or a flash in the pan. We have earned the right to be where we are. We have played some of the big teams and we are not up with them. But we are not far off. It's not impossible [to get into the play-offs]. It's still a long way off, although in theory we are only four points away. If we are good enough to be successful then I'm sure we would be ready off the pitch. And if we were good enough on the pitch we would give it a go. It's a really big step in a lot of ways, although I don't think there's that big a difference playing-wise. There are a lot of lads playing in this league who could play higher, as they have shown at Peterborough. But it's something you don't know until you try it'".
FA CUP 1st ROUNDThe office opening hours for ticket sales for Altrincham's game with Millwall are:
BSP NEWSSteveange Borough pride themselves that "Borough have pulled off a remarkable coup by persuading ex England boss Peter Taylor to take over as manager and he will be unveiled to the media at a 3pm press conference today, along with coach Steve Butler. The 53 year old former England international has agreed contractual terms to manage Stevenage Borough until the end of the 2008/9 season. Chairman Phil Wallace, currently in the USA on business, said: 'This is a Championship appointment in the Conference and shows our desire to compete for promotion this season and next. It wasn’t easy persuading Peter that this was a great career move for him, but he’s seen the potential of the club, likes the look of the stadium, the facilities, the opportunity and the Board and relishes the challenge. This is breathtaking news for the town of Stevenage. Peter is one of the finest coaches in the country and it was only a couple of years ago that he was managing the England U21’s. In fact his record at International U21 level is outstanding – just 3 defeats in 31 games – what a fantastic opportunity for our young players to learn from one of the very best coaches in the country. Peter also brings a wealth of experience and contacts to Stevenage. He’s managed at the very highest level possible by managing the full England team and has also managed at every level of the game. The timing is great too. Exeter away in the First Round of the FA Cup now means Peter Taylor v’s Steve Perryman, which could be great TV if they choose to cover the game'... Borough have swooped to appoint him to replace Mark Stimson who resigned just over two weeks ago. Phil Wallace added: 'The past is the past. It was a shock when Mark walked out but we promised the fans that we would use this to go up a gear and we’ve delivered that with this appointment. It’s only about the future now and we’re only looking forwards. There are no guarantees in football, but our young players will love working with Peter and that’s a great start'. Borough’s other appointment in Steve Butler brings a wealth of football experience to the team. Butler, now 42, has made over 400 League appearances, scoring over 150 goals for Brentford, Watford, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Gillingham and Peterborough. He also enjoyed a loan spell at Borough and so is no stranger to Broadhall Way or Conference football".
The local paper, The Comet adds that "The man who handed David Beckham the England captaincy is the man charged with taking Stevenage Boro into the Football League. Peter Taylor, who had two spells as England under-21 manager as well as one game as caretaker boss of the full side in 2000, has been recruited until the end of the 2008-9 season. Boro's chief executive Bob Makin, speaking at the press conference to unveil Taylor and first team coach Steve Butler, enthused: 'We believe we have got a Championship level manager at a Conference level club. This will hopefully see the club go from the Conference to the Championship. This is a massive day for the club'. Taylor, whose most recent job was at Crystal Palace before his sacking in early October, said: '"I was very disappointed with what happened at Palace and I wanted to work. I'm still fit enough to get on the training ground with the players and it's a great challenge. I've never stopped being interested in non-league and I enjoyed my early managerial days at this level. You can be too clever at this game and I'm very comfortable with the people I'm working for. I promised the chairman (Phil Wallace) I'm still as determined to get into the League'... Taylor is the successor to Mark Stimson who was ironically unveiled as the new manager at League One Gillingham at almost the same time. Taylor continued: 'Stevenage were worried they were going to lose Mark Stimson and they approached me. It has gone from there. If I go on to bigger and better things, it means Stevenage will be successful'. His first game in charge is away at Northwich Victoria this Saturday and the 54-year-old said: 'Stevenage have got some young, hungry players and I'm very pleased with what I saw in the game and a half I've watched'. Makin, who is close friends with Taylor from their playing days at Chelmsford, added: "Peter has made the decision and we've got tremendous backing from the board".
As Stevenage fill their vacancy, "Gillingham have appointed former Stevenage Borough manager Mark Stimson as their new boss on a three-and-a-half year contract. The 39-year-old resigned from the Blue Square Premier club on 17 October and had also been linked with the vacancies at Port Vale and Millwall. Stimson said: 'I'm very pleased to be here, it's a challenging position and one I'm very much looking forward to. It's a big opportunity for me and one I cannot wait to start'. The Gills are 18th in League One and have been without a full-time boss since Ronnie Jepson resigned in September... 'I did pretty well at Grays and then Stevenage, this is a step in the right direction for me. I'm very excited and cannot wait to get to Swansea on Friday night and get the ball rolling', Stimson added. Gills chairman Paul Scally said: 'It's taken a while coming but we've had to be patient because Mark hasn't been available until the last 48 hours for contractual reasons. I think he will be a great manager for Gillingham. He has impressed me hugely and will bring a whole different type of football to the club'".
As well as losing their manager, Farsley Celtic have also loaned out a player, as the NL Daily reports. "Tamworth have welcomed back Scottish-born midfielder Graeme Law from Blue Square Premier side Farsley Celtic. The 23-year-old, who moved to Throstle Nest in the last close season from the Lambs, has returned a month`s loan. Law, born in Kirkcaldy, started his career with York City and then returned `north of the border` with Dundee in February 2006. He originally joined Tamworth in the summer of 2006 and played twenty-seven times before moving onto Farsley",
This is Staffs reported before Lee Sinnott joined Port Vale that Farsley chairman Andy Firbank "said managerless Stevenage Borough had also inquired about Sinnott, but added: 'When Lee came here one of his ambitions was to be England manager. I think that is realistic. He is an up-and-coming, bright, young English manager, and there are not many of them out there. He has his A licence and is ready to rock'".
The Halifax Courier states that "Michael Branch is ready to be a bit part player for the Shaymen - but only for the next couple of weeks. The former Everton and Wolves striker has played around an hour of football in the past seven days in two substitute appearances against Evesham. And after more than 12 months out of the game Town's latest recruit is happy to ease himself back into action. 'It has been almost a season and a half since I last played a competitive game", he said. 'I did pre-season at Milton Keynes but then got injured and was out for three weeks so all that hard work went out of the window. I am starting from scratch again here.You can do as much running as you want but it is games you need. I have had a couple of bit parts this week and hopefully in a couple more weeks I will be able to get a 90 minutes in. I stopped playing because I wasn't enjoying it. I needed time out to have a think. I want to get back to enjoying it again and see where it goes from there... I am just glad to be at a club and not stuck in the house!'", he said.
From the Northwich Guardian we learn that "Vics' fans must wait to find out how much it will cost them to watch next week's FA Cup match at Oxford. Their Blue Square Premier rivals want to reduce admission prices for the game, but are waiting for a response from the Victoria Stadium. 'Northwich are currently considering our proposal', read a statement on Oxford's official website this morning, Wednesday. 'But, as has been well publicised, they are having financial problems at the moment and are having discussions which may lead to a change of ownership. This uncertainty is slowing down discussions over pricing for the match'".
This is South Devon tells us that "On-loan winger Ishmael Welsh CAN play for Torquay United against his own club Yeovil Town in the FA Cup - but only after his case revealed a contradiction in the Football Association's rules. As soon as the Gulls' First Round Proper draw against League One Yeovil was made, United officials and supporters began wondering whether left winger Welsh would be allowed to play.The 20-year-old former West Ham starlet is on a season-long loan from Huish Park. And the Glovers gave permission for him to play in United's 2-0 Cup win at Bath City last Saturday. So he can't play for them. United immediately sought clarification from the FA about Welsh's availability. Chief executive Colin Lee revealed: 'The FA have told us that Cup Rule 15 J1 says "The Association will not give permission for players on loan or work-experience players to play against the lending club". But Rule 15 J4 states "In the Competition Proper, players on long-term loan agreements are not considered loan players for the purpose of the rule and, therefore, are eligible to play in the competition". They admit that the two rules are contradictory in this case. 'But the FA have said that Ishmael is eligible to play for us, with or without Yeovil's permission'. One thing the Welsh case has underlined is that, in the FA Cup, there is a difference between ordinary loan and long-term loan players. And Lee added: 'It's certainly a good learning curve - we would never have been aware of this problem if this hadn't cropped up. And it always pays to make sure!'".
"Woking are still reeling from their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Ryman Premier opposition — and counting the cost. While their conquerors Staines Town have projected their cup run will have earned them a minimum cash bonanza of £51,000, after landing a first round tie at Stockport County, The Cards blew their chance to fill the coffers with Saturday’s lame defeat. The Swans have already raked in £21,000 prize money, plus £10,000 gate receipts, and chairman Alan Boon said he anticipates a further £20,000 from the Stockport clash — and that’s just if they lose. As for The Cards, they have missed out on a more than useful £30,000 minimum, starting with Saturday’s £10,000. Woking chairman Chris Ingram has confirmed that, despite being cautious with projections, the cup exit will have a negative impact as far as the budget is concerned and he has stressed that no further funds will be made available in the January transfer window".
"Spy-in-the-camp Anthony Lloyd is advising York City to attack his old club down the flanks during Sunday night's derby clash at Farsley Celtic" claims This is York. "Lloyd kicked off the current campaign with Farsley after being released by the Minstermen at the end of last season only to re-sign for the KitKat Crescent club at the end of September. The 23-year-old full-back is unlikely to line up against his former team-mates but feels Farsley's favoured 4-3-3 formation could provide opportunities for City's wide men, in particular Martyn Woolford. Lloyd said: 'The 4-3-3 formation suits Farsley more at home than away but they do seem to get exposed in the full-back positions. My advice would be to give the ball to Woolford really and the other wide man and get at their full-backs because they don't get any protection. The manager also likes his full-backs to bomb on and get up the field so there are gaps there. If we attack them down the flanks, I think they will be exposed'... The Leeds-based team are tighter at home, however, having only conceded eight times in seven games - a record that cannot be bettered by any of the Blue Square Premier's top 15 sides... But, with Farsley's average attendance just 746, Lloyd feels the compact stadium could be an advantage for the visitors if travelling fans outnumber home supporters. He said: 'It's not a bad, little club and they've come a long way in a short period having won four promotions in five years, which is a credit to them and the manager. Teams turn up there and are used to playing at decent, little stadiums but Farsley is a little bit different. The fans stand very close to the pitch but there will probably be more of our fans there which could make it intimidating for them instead'. Lloyd also feels it is significant that the only sides Farsley have beaten this season - Stafford, Northwich, Histon and Droyslden - are fellow part-time outfits. He said: 'Having come right up from the UniBond League, they still have some players who think they can turn up for training when they want. They have three sessions on a Monday, Wednesday night and Thursday morning but you don't always get a full squad there. It's difficult for some players because of work so it's a massive difference in terms of your preparation for games compared to a full-time club'. During his short stay at Farsley, Lloyd felt his former Huddersfield team-mate Ryan Crossley was the team's top performer and predicts City's strikers could be in for a bruising encounter, saying: 'Ryan is a typical centre-back. He wins all his headers and is a tough defender'".
1 November 2007
FARSLEY BOSS GOESFarsley Celtic's chairman has issued the following statement: "Over the last couple of days, Port Vale Football Club have once again expressed an interest in speaking with Lee Sinnott concerning their vacant managerial position. At the same time, the boards of the two clubs have been in active discussion over a compensation package and this has now been agreed to the satisfaction of all parties. It is therefore with profound sadness that I must advise our supporters of the resignation of Lee Sinnott as first team manager of Farsley Celtic Football Club with immediate effect. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee for the work and commitment he has shown to the club over the last four and a half years. At the time of his initial appointment, our club were playing in the Unibond League Midland Division and during his time in charge we have sampled unprecedented success, with three promotions in four seasons, success in the FA Cup and West Riding Cup. To celebrate our centenary season in the highest echelons of non league football is a fitting reminder of the impact Lee has had on this club. Such success inevitably is noticed. Lee is an ambitious manager and we, as a board, fully recognise that it would be impossible to stand in the way of him furthering his career. We would like to sincerely thank Lee for all his work and we wish him and his family the very best of luck for the future. John Deacy, with the assistance of Carl Serrant will take over first team affairs, initially for the game against York City, and until Lee’s successor has been appointed".
STEVENAGE NAME TAYLORTwo of Alty's opponents (Stevenage Borough and Millwall) over the next month were managerless until today. But Borough have today "appointed Peter Taylor as their new manager. The former England Under-21 boss was sacked as Crystal Palace manager last month after a period of just 16 months in charge at Selhurst Park", says the BBC. "Taylor has also managed Hull, Southend, Dover Athletic, Gillingham, Leicester and Brighton. Stevenage have been looking for a new boss since Mark Stimson resigned earlier this month following 16 months at the Blue Square Premier outfit. Chairman Phil Wallace said: 'I've done nothing else for almost a week other than work on the managerial position, but it was worth it to get Peter on board. This could be an excellent coup for Boro and I am looking forward to the good times here now. This is a Championship appointment in the Conference and shows our desire to compete for promotion this season and next. It wasn't easy persuading Peter that this was a great career move for him. This is breathtaking news for the town of Stevenage. Peter is one of the finest coaches in the country'. Since 2004, he had also combined club management with his role as England Under-21 boss, until relinquishing the job in January 2007 to concentrate on his position with Palace. Taylor also had a one-match spell as caretaker manager of the full England team in November 2000".
HISTON JAM?Ahead of Alty's trip to Histon this Saturday, there is a traffic warning for those fans' driving there. The Cambridge Evening News reports that "Early work on the guided bus scheme in Histon is causing road chaos. A Histon shop owner has claimed that too few diversion signs were put up to warn drivers... As a result the 16-week project to create a new level crossing in Gatehouse Lane has got off to a disastrous start... cars turning down the road at the junction with High Street and School Hill don't know the road is now closed... cars and lorries have been forced to do dangerous three point turns on the narrow lane... A county council spokeswoman said: 'We have put up 20 signs in Cottenham, Histon, Impington and near the A14 warning motorists about the work, but if people want us to put up further signs then we will do our best'". You can avoid the driving hassle by taking the STAR supporters' coach to Histon; details here.
INJURY DOUBTSSpeaking to SAM, Alty boss Graham Heathcote said: "What matters now is Histon and the Millwall [game will] take focus after Saturday. We are still embroiled in a massive fight to climb up the league and that has to be our priority. But our away form has been pretty good this season so we should be confident of being able to go down there and get something from the game. It's the complete reverse of previous seasons because our major problems are at home, so we'll have to look at ways to address that before we take on Millwall". But SAM adds that "Alty's cup triumph at Kendal came at a cost. A number of key players picked up knocks in Cumbria and midfield playmaker Gareth Whalley (left) will be out for around three weeks after suffering a recurrence of his calf problem. There are also doubts about Colin Little ahead of Saturday's trip to Histon, to add to existing injury casualties Val Owen and Colin Potts, although both Robbie Lawton (right)and Joe O'Neill should be fit after coming through training on Tuesday night".
MILLWALL CUP MATCHSAM confirms that the Altrincham v Millwall match a week on Saturday (10 Nov), will be "all-ticket, with no tickets available on the day of the game and the prices are as follows:
On the day, away supporters will use turnstiles one, two, three and four, while home supporters will use all remaining turnstiles. Fans are advised to arrive as early as possible and the ground will be open from 1pm. Tickets will be on sale from tomorrow (Friday) onwards from the club offices at Moss Lane. Merchandise will also be on sale from the offices.
Postal applications can be sent to the ground immediately and tickets will be dispatched as soon as possible. Please add £2 for recorded delivery. Those who wish to use this facility should note that their cheque must be banked and funds cleared before the tickets will be dispatched.
The office opening hours for ticket sales will be:
John Ford, chief steward at Altrincham FC reports that "segregation will be as normal... There will also be no parking anywhere near the ground. BBC will also be on the scene [bringing an] extra £13,000.00 to the club...Searching will also take place on the day at all gates, also, on advice of police beer bins will be outside each turnstile". The Club is also expected to hire additional stewards to assist the normal Altrincham FC stewards, and police will also be in attendance.
1,400 tickets at the Away End are being assigned to Millwall.
OLD BOYThe Manchester Evening News says that former Alty striker "Peter Thomson will get his first start for FC United as The Rebels take on Bamber Bridge... The powerful 6ft 3in striker... scored on his debut as a late substitute... on Saturday... Thomson could become a crucial player, even if he faces a battle to dislodge... Rory Patterson and new boy Aaron Burns... 'He's got a fantastic touch for a big fellow, his movement is excellent and he has an eye for a goal, as we saw when he came on, on Saturday' said manager Karl Marginson, who has signed the Bury-born 29 year-old from Barrow. 'The first words out of his mouth when I spoke to him were that he just wanted to play for this club, and they weren't plastic words. He says he will come alive when he pulls the red shirt on and we saw that when he scored against Ossett. He grabbed the badge and thankfully he didn't kiss it! He also takes a bit of stopping'". As for Aaron Burns, whom Alty were prevented from signing by the transfer window rules, Marginson said, "'Aaron needs games'... Another FC new boy, midfielder Jamie Baguley [ex-Alty, too], is also set for his first start, alongside his brother Chris [an Alty trialist last summer]".
FA CUP 4QR REPLAY
BSP NEWSAnother episode of everyday life in Crawley comes from The Argus. It reports that "A football club owner who punched a teenager had his community service sentence reduced - after failing to turn up to carry it out. Azwar Majeed, who owns Crawley Town Football Club with his brother Chas, missed 15 and a half hours of unpaid work in August as part of his sentence for assault. The 31-year-old claimed he was to ill to attend but admitted breaching his community service sentence by failing to provide medical evidence within seven days. Magistrates in Brighton ordered Majeed to pay £150 court costs and serve an extra 15 hours of community service. That means when he finally completes his sentence he will have carried out 89 and a half hours of unpaid work, rather than the 90 hours he was originally ordered to undertake.
Majeed was convicted of assaulting 18-year-old Martin Grainger in Worthing in the early hours of September 17 last year. He was sentenced to community service at Worthing Magistrates' Court on November 22. Ian Bridge, defending, said Majeed seriously injured his back when he crashed his Porsche 911 in Pyecombe in January this year. He said he later suffered whiplash in a second, less serious, car crash. Both injuries affected his ability to carry out the unpaid work required by his sentence. Mr Bridge said: 'Had it not been for the car crash this would have been long completed. His one aim now is to get this out of the way and repay the debt he acknowledges he owes to society for the assault he committed back in 2006'.
Majeed and his brother Chas have hit the headlines for their running of Crawley Town FC, which has suffered major financial troubles for three seasons. In June The Argus reported Azwar Majeed's flat in North Street, Brighton, had been put up for auction to help repay £140,000 to the club's creditors".
Meanwhile there was more controversy for The Argus to report at the football club itself, where "Crawley assistant Paul Raynor has slammed the behaviour of Aldershot No. 2 Martin Kuhl following their ugly FA Cup touchline tussle. Kuhl was sent from the dug-out by the referee after punching Raynor in the face during Reds' fourth qualifying round 1-0 replay defeat at the Rec on Tuesday. The pair clashed again in the tunnel at half time, with Kuhl reportedly trying to head-butt his opposite number. Crawley are set to report Kuhl to the Football Association for the double assault and Raynor says what he did was unexcusable. He said: 'I have been in football for 25 years and I have never experienced anything like it. There has been lots of incidents of pushing and shoving in the tunnel but to do what he did is unheard of. To be struck in the technical area is unforgivable and it has no place in football'. The incident occurred after Crawley defender James Krause was injured in a tackle with Shots winger Rob Gier at the end of the first half. Kuhl and Raynor had been involved in a war of words throughout the game and squared up to each other by the Shots dug-out.
Raynor said: 'It came totally out of the blue and I'm sure it is very regrettable from Aldershot's point of view, especially after Saturday's game, which was good humoured. Martin had his opinions on the tackle and words were exchanged but nothing untoward. The disappointing thing is that after it happened we carried on and you thought the incident was over with and we could concentrate on the game. So to be confronted again in the tunnel where he tried to head-butt me is inexcusable. I was asked by the referee after the game to give my account of what happened and I will now let the FA get on and deal with it'. Raynor and Reds' manager Steve Evans have a track record of poor behaviour on the touchline. Evans has been sent to the stands three times already this season and Raynor was dismissed with him during a game against Stafford Rangers two weeks ago. Both escaped punishment by the football authorities. Raynor said: 'It is well documented that Steve and I get very passionate, appeal for everything and there is a bit of verbal stuff but we have never done anything like that. We all get heated on the touchline but you can't raise your fist.. It spoilt my enjoyment of the game'".
"Kidderminster boss Mark Yates hopes he can sign Chester midfielder Dean Bennett permanently in the future. Bennett, 29, made nearly 200 league appearances in his first spell with the Harriers before leaving in 2004, and is currently back at Aggborough on loan. He will return to Chester at the end of November when his initial three-month loan spell expires. 'We've got to lose him for a little while, but we'll take it from there', Yates told Kidderminster's website. 'I've spoken to Chester manager Bobby Williamson at length - maybe in the future we can try and do something'" reports the BBC.
Weymouth travel to Altrincham on November 17th. This is Weymouth says that "boss Jason Tindall admitted that the referee had no other option but to show defender Justin Roberts the red card during the 1-0 FA Cup replay win at Hitchin Town. The former Nottingham Forest man retaliated after provocation by Canaries' striker Jon Stevenson on 44 minutes and was dismissed along with home midfielder Martin Standen after a huge melee broke out, which later continued in the tunnel at half-time... Tisdall said 'Their big centre forward tried to headbutt him and he retaliated by kicking out when he should have known better. One of their lads also got sent off for charging over and pushing Justin, which then caused a bit of a melee'... When asked what went on in the tunnel at the interval, Tindall added: 'There was another big melee with their players and people in the crowd all getting involved but it was just handbags really. It all soon calmed down again'". The FA confirms that for "Weymouth FC Justin Roberts [is] suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 30/10/2007... and Andrew Harris 13/11/2007 [is] suspended from all football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for a Sending Off in a match played on 30/10/2007".
Next, news of Alty's opponents on Setanta TV on 26 November. "Stevenage Borough are set to announce their new manager on Thursday. The Blue Square Premier club will unveil the successor to Mark Stimson at a press conference at 1500 GMT" says the BBC.
Halifax Courier says that "Town had double reason to celebrate last night after they booked their place in the first round of the FA Cup just hours after news that the club had paid their tax bill and avoided potential closure at the High Court. But despite beating Southern League Evesham 2-1 thanks to goals from Jon Shaw and Simon Heslop, Chris Wilder's side was still booed by a section of the 1,025 Shay crowd. And the Town boss was in belligerent mood when he emerged from the changing rooms after the final whistle. 'They can boo, clap or cheer', said Wilder, commenting on the reaction at the end of the game. '"Whatever they feel necessary in their hearts to do. If they think it is beneficial to the club and to the players' confidence to boo they can do that. I know what I would be doing as a supporter... Does it help or hinder? I will let you make that judgement... When people talk about character and bottle, this team - and me - have plenty of it', said Wilder.., For the first time, Wilder admitted that off field matters had to have an effect on the way the side performed on the pitch, 'It is no fault of the people coming in, but we have been talking about this for 15 months now'".
The Courier adds that "Solicitor Adrian McDonald, acting for a takeover team led by David Bosomworth and Bobby Ham, said today: 'We have transferred sufficient funds to pay the petition debt... The businessmen have been negotiating a takeover but have struggled to obtain a 75 per cent shareholding. That figure is now in their grasp and once share issues are settled the new owners will take control from director Geoff Ralph".
Elsewhere in the White Rose county, the Yorkshire Evening Post says that Farsley Celtic "chairman Andy Firbank wants to 'put to bed' all talk of Lee Sinnott going to Port Vale – and says the club won't welcome another approach. Reports in the Potteries have implied that compensation could have scuppered Vale's move for Sinnott with the Valiants board currently mulling over whether to ask for another seven-days to speak to him... Firbank said: 'Reports in Stoke have said that Port Vale didn't have the finance to take him off us, but never at any time have they asked anything about the cost of taking him (Sinnott). They also say they may ask for another seven days. But we've shown our goodwill by granting the initial seven days and it's not going to happen'".
However, This is Staffs claims that "Farsley Celtic manager Lee Sinnott remains a target for Port Vale following talks between the club's directors last night. However, an appointment is unlikely to be made before the weekend as the board agonise over whether to opt for Sinnott or caretaker boss Dean Glover. Reports from Farsley Celtic that Vale have withdrawn their interest in Sinnott are wide of the mark, according to club sources... A 'dream team' solution of Sinnott as manager with Glover as his assistant is among the possibilities being considered by the board as Vale prepare to appoint only their fourth manager in 23 years... Vale will have to seek further permission from Blue Square Premier side Farsley to speak to Sinnott... Vale have also been impressed by Sinnott's credentials as the former Watford defender has guided Farsley to three promotions in four years".
IC Cheshire states that "Just when things were getting better for Vics, they have got worse. Northwich have hit a player crisis just as they prepare to meet one of the title favourites Stevenage Borough. Whatever fillip they have given their confidence by winning at Southport, may have been already undone. Out are Greg Strong (groin) and Ryan Brown (suspended), while doubts hover over Mike Welch (knee), Richard Battersby (hamstring) and Lee Steele (back). Vics only have 16 regulars to begin with, so caretaker boss Dino Maamria is searching for at least one loan signing... 'Stevenage like to play the ball around and that will suit our style of play. I am confident, I always am', said Maamria. ‘We can compete with any team in this league and I want them to do it with a smile on their faces. They looked sharp at Southport and deserved their victory and now they have to carry that performance over to the league'. Northwich’s triumph at Southport has given them a first round tie proper at Oxford United... 'It’s the best of both worlds – it is winnable and there will be a good crowd there',said Maamria. Vics were due to go into administration on Friday, but the court case was delayed seven days, but should go ahead this week. Which clears the way for a takeover by Mancunian Jim Steele and a group, which also includes Nicholas Bone, a businessman who lives at Great Budworth on the very grounds where Vics – as Northwich Hare and Hounds and Football Club – played their very first match against Sandicroft College in 1874. But administration also means 10 points deducted. But still Maamria believes Vics can escape relegation. ‘We need a run of six to eight straight wins and it would look different. I have been at clubs where that has happened. It happened here not long ago, too'" said the manager.
"Chief executive Colin Lee has promised Gulls fans that every penny that Torquay United make from the FA Cup this season - prices have been raised by £2 all round for the televised tie against Yeovil Town - will be pumped into the club and to help the team's bid to win promotion back into the Football League" reports This is South Devon. United, who will receive a £75,000 windfall from live BBC1 coverage of the all-ticket First Round game on Sunday, November 11 (3.15pm), are raising adult prices to £17 for seats and £16 on the terraces. 'The directors held a long debate about ticket pricing, and it certainly wasn't an easy decision for them to make. There was a lot of discussion about it', said Lee. 'Everybody was aware that we're asking our supporters to pay more, after they've got behind us so well this season. But their only interest is to take the club and the team forward as quickly as possible, and this game gives us a chance to do that. When the January Transfer Window comes round, and if Paul (manager Paul Buckle) wants to strengthen the squad, we want to be able to support him. But people should remember that Conference salary-capping rules only allow us to spend 25 per cent of any extra turnover we generate, over our original budget, on the team. It's not as if we get £75,000 in from the TV, and we can go out and spend that on players'. Tickets go on sale at 10am today, with Yeovil being allocated 1,150 standing places in Plainmoor's Sparkworld Away End... Lee added: 'There are substantial additional costs in putting this game on - for instance, our stewarding bill alone will be doubled and there will be a police bill too. People should also remember that we have to share the gate receipts with Yeovil and the FA, and there is VAT to come out of what's left'".
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