an unofficial website

December, 2008

31 December 2008


The Sponsored Slim Weigh-In will still take place tomorrow (New Year's Day) between 1pm and 1.30pm or, if you cannot make it then, on Friday 2nd January between 10am and 12 noon


Thursday, New Year's Day

  • ALTRINCHAM v Northwich Victoria POSTPONED
  • Crawley T. v Woking
  • Grays A. v Ebbsfleet U.
  • Lewes v Eastbourne B.
  • Oxford U. v Salisbury C.
  • Rushden & D. v Stevenage Borough
  • York C. v Burton A.
  • Through the Years from Howard Watts. This is the eighth New year's Day meeting between Alty and the Vics.

    Saturday, 3rd January

  • Eastbourne B. v Oxford U.
  • Ebbsfleet U. v Wrexham
  • Salisbury C. v Rushden & D.
  • Stevenage B. v Lewes

    The Mid-Cheshire Chronicle says that "The sale of Northwich Vics’ Marston’s Arena has still not been completed. Leading a consortium of local businessmen, club owner Jim Rushe is attempting to buy the football stadium from administrators Deloitte Touche. Global finance firm Deloitte seized the Wincham-based ground after former chairman and landowner Mike Connett’s company Beaconet fell into administration.

    It is not known how many rival bids have been made and Rushe revealed that his group’s bid to buy the ground is still not confirmed as the highest. He said: 'The sale has been delayed and it will take a bit of time still for it to go through. I don’t know whether or not ours is the highest bid'. A Deloitte spokeswoman confirmed that the ground had not yet been sold. The delay of the sale may be due to details of the deal still being finalised or that administrators are holding out for a higher bid than those already submitted – including that of Rushe’s consortium".

    If you want to put in a bid, the details are on the Grimley website.

    On the pitch the Northwich Guardian says that "Steve King is hoping to call on fresh faces for his side’s derby duel with Altrincham on New Year’s Day. The transfer window opens at midnight on Thursday and the Vics' boss plans to move quickly to bolster the Blue Square Premier’s basement team. 'I’ve got four or five lined up to come in immediately and we need to act fast because things need to change drastically', he said.

    'We’ve got the best out of this bunch of players that we possibly can – nobody can deny that – but results haven’t changed'. Vics are currently in their worst run of form of the season so far following five successive defeats in league and cup. Their last league win came at Lewes on October 18. 'For two years this club has been in a position at the bottom of the league and that isn’t a coincidence', said King. 'It’s so hard to inherit players that you know in your heart are not good enough to succeed at this level and that’s really frustrating'. His main focus is on the centre of the pitch and in attack, with Vics’ shot-shy attackers contributing just 14 league goals between them this term. Darryn Stamp is top scorer with six. He, along with Lee Steele and Aaron Burns, were made available for loan following Vics’ FA Trophy exit against York City earlier this month.

    King knows he needs to find midfield cover quickly with long-term injury absentee Joel Byrom ruled out indefinitely and loan pair Rashid Yussuf and Peter Winn due to return to their parent clubs in the next fortnight. That leaves just Matty Crowell and out-of-favour Chris Flynn as options in the centre of the pitch. 'I know where I need to bring people in', said King. 'It’s been obvious since before I came here where Northwich were short on quality and I will do something about it'".


    Gareth Thomas, promoter of the TASC/Altrincham FC New Year raffle writes:

    1. "I need a receptacle. We've sold somewhere up to 600 books of tickets, which is nearly 3,000 individual tickets. Last Wednesday (23rd) myself, the Rowleys, Jenny, Dave and Chris Denham spent about 3 hours folding all these up. The end result being that the tombola drum we have is virtually full already. Do you have, or know of someone who has, a large tombola drum we could borrow for New Year's Day. If so, please e-mail me, Gareth Thomas and I will be able to come and collect it.

    2. Return of sold tickets, a.s.a.p.: As you will be able to tell from above, folding tickets into quarters and putting them into a tombola is quite time consuming. We currently have only one person (Louise Gregory) who has volunteered to do this on NYD. We may sell 200 books of tickets at the game, we have 200 books out there being sold already.

    If you are bringing sold tickets with you to the game, can you return them to me, Steve Foster, Grahame Rowley or, even better, hand them in at the club shop on New Year's Day, please, for folding purposes - with money obviously!

    3. Volunteers to help on New Year's Day: I know that this is the last thing anyone really wants to do but if we are to make this a successfull draw please e-mail me if you can help before/at half time/ after the game in the following ways:

    a) Selling tickets:

    - this can be done either by sitting in the bar and doing so or walking around the ground helping me (the only current seller), bear in mind we expect to have over 500 home fans who haven't been to a game or bought tickets it would be a tragedy if because of lack of numbers we could only sell to 40 of them

    b) Writing names on tickets / folding them up:

    To speed up selling tickets we have been asking people to put their name and telephone number on the front ticket and filling in the other four in the book later. If you could sit in the bar or club shop and fill these in it would be a great help.

    If you could sit next to this person and fold the tickets up into quarters that we be a huge help too.

    Please bear in mind that we expect to sell a great deal of tickets after the match but before the draw at 5.30pm, a flurry of workers at that point could yield a golden profit. Again, if you could help please email me (link above). We need to sell 400 more books of tickets to hit our 1000 book target, if you haven't already bought a ticket please make sure you get one at the game!!


    Altrincham FC offices will be open over New Year as follows:
  • December 31: Open 1000-1630
  • January 1: Match v Northwich Vics. Turnstiles open 1.45pm
  • January 2: Open 1000-1630
  • January 3-4: Closed
  • January 5: Normal hours (0930-1630)


    According to the comprehensive Bullsnews, "Tranmere are to take Stoke defender Ryan Shotton on loan for the rest of the season. The 20 year old played 19 times for the club during a three month loan earlier in the season."


    According to Blue Square Football "Cambridge United manager Gary Brabin is hoping [ex-Alty defender] Phil Bolland will still be at the club at the close of the January transfer window. The defender, who is on non-contract terms at the Blue Square Premier club, has thus far declined to sign a more permanent agreement with the U's due to personal commitments. The 32-year-old is expecting his second child in a few months and has recently bought a new home in Liverpool with his wife. The trip to the Abbey Stadium will thus be a daunting one on a daily basis and his former club Chester are understood to be interested in snapping him up. But Brabin is confident Bolland is enjoying his time at United and is desperate to see him stay on. 'We know there are a lot of clubs interested in Phil Bolland and everyone is aware of his situation with his family and his wife being pregnant at the moment and the commitment they've made back home', he told Cambridge News Online. 'It's not that he didn't want to come to the club, but he didn't want to be dishonest, sign a contract and then cry he was unhappy halfway through it. But Phil has got as much to lose as we have and we're just hopeful we can keep someone of his quality at the club. In a perfect world, we'd be an hour-and-a-half further north, so we'll just have to assess the situation, but Phil has been different class and he's still enjoying his football here'".

    Also, "Danny Brown has turned down the chance to play in the Football League and will remain with Eastbourne Borough. League Two oufit Chester were interested in snapping up the midfielder, along with high-flying Kettering Town and both offers presented the opportunity for full-time football".

    From This is Nottingham we learn that "David Holdsworth will build from the back in his bid to make Mansfield Town a Blue Square Premier force. The new Stags' boss was paraded at the Field Mill Ground before [the] match with Burton... and watched the game from the stands as Adie Moses and Mark Stallard took charge for the final time. Holdsworth, who joins from UniBond League side Ilkeston Town, says Mansfield are in a 'false position' three points off the relegation zone. And he immediately outlined his desire to strengthen his new club's defensive resolve.

    'The amount of goals Ilkeston shed last season meant they nearly went down and it was more luck than judgment that they didn't', said Holdsworth. 'This season Ilkeston have the best defensive record in the league and that is something I believe in getting right. I like keeping clean sheets. To do well you have to be effective from set pieces and that means not conceding from set pieces'. Mansfield have played 4-4-2 since the sacking of McEwan and have looked a better side for it. But Holdsworth insists he is flexible with systems. He said: 'You manage every game individually. Sometimes the decision on the formation is based on injuries and sometimes on the opposition'. One of his first jobs will to be assess whether to extend the loans of Paddy Gamble and Adnan Ahmed. Both run out before Mansfield next play. He will also have to assess who to keep and who to move on ahead of the Stags' home clash with Altrincham on January 10. 'I want hungry people who want success. They must be professional and adhere to my rules', he said."

    "Stevenage Borough "boss Graham Westley insists only a 'crazy offer' would tempt him to part with star striker Steve Morison in the January transfer window" claims the Comet. "Millwall are the latest club to be linked with the 25-year-old but Westley said he is looking to build a promotion assault around the forward... 'We're interested in getting a winning run together', said the Boro chief, who has seen his side go six matches unbeaten. 'You don't think about selling key players like Moro do you? At the same time if someone comes along with a crazy offer then any club would be daft to say no, especially in these times'. Boro chairman Phil Wallace released a statement last week warning the club will be making cuts in the player budget for 2009 but Westley will be looking to offload fringe squad players before even thinking of selling Morison".

    We learn from This is South Devon that "Torquay United are set to move up a place in the Blue Square Premier table — without kicking a ball. Promotion rivals Crawley Town are expected to be docked four points for fielding an unregistered player. It means that United, currently in fifth place after their 1-0 home defeat to Kidderminster on Sunday, will move over Crawley into fourth spot. The player concerned has not been named, but the issue is believed to be similar to the one which saw another BSP club, Mansfield Town, had four points taken away earlier this season. Conference secretary Dennis Strudwick has confirmed that Crawley are under investigation, although he declined to give any more details".

    30 December 2008


    The weigh-in for the Altrincham FC sponsored slim will take place at 5.30pm on New Year's Day after the game with Northwich at Moss Lane. Please contact Grahame Rowley if you intend to take part.


    Monday, 29th December

  • Mansfield T. 0 Burton A. 2
  • League table.


    For those who did not get to York on Sunday:
  • Photos from a York fan are here.
  • Highlights are here

    The Press says that "A dreadful end to 2008 saw York City lose to part-timers Altrincham for the first time since dropping out of the Football League. City had won five and drawn two of their seven previous meetings with the Robins, including 5-0 and 4-0 drubbings, but never looked like making their professionalism count in this latest encounter despite taking the lead... As yet, nobody has dared to whisper the cliche 'City are too good to go down' – perhaps because few believe it. Losing to an Altrincham team, who have only escaped relegation themselves due to the misfortunes of other clubs over the last three years, is certainly not an encouraging portent going into the New Year. Martin Foyle’s men, who have now been booed off the pitch at different stages in their last three home games, will kick off 2009 just four points above the Blue Square Premier trap door with seven of the eight teams below them boasting two games in hand... The transfer window will, hopefully, be one of opportunity for Foyle... Of the three midfield players Foyle started with yesterday, Rusk is yet to score in 41 outings, Simon Russell has not netted in 23 games and all three of converted centre-back Mark Greaves’ goals have come from his head.

    In common with recent displays, City also made a sluggish start against an uncompromising Altrincham team, only mustering their first goal attempt, other than a blocked Russell effort, when Adam Smith fired wide from 30 yards on 24 minutes Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland). Rating: positive with his decisions and got few wrong.

    The Press added later that "City manager Martin Foyle is looking to weed out the 'weak-hearted' after a dismal 2-1 home defeat to part-timers Altrincham. Foyle believes certain members of his squad have grown afraid of playing at KitKat Crescent and is looking to solve that problem by bringing in new recruits when the transfer window reopens on New Year’s Day... He said: 'This defeat showed that we are a bit weak-hearted. The players are decent lads, but decent lads don’t win anything. We’re in a relegation dogfight and we don’t like playing at home for some reason. I think the crowd are great, but some players are scared of them. As soon as the opposition score a goal, you can see four or five go hiding. Some can’t hack it at home and that is something I have to address... There are teams underneath us with two games in hand. People are still talking about promotion, but I think this defeat might provide a wake-up call in the changing room. I’m confident we can stay up but, if you drop into the bottom four or five with 15 games to go, it can be difficult. There’s no emergency yet, but something needs to be done. We need to bring in two or three of the right type of players'...

    Dale Johnson scored the winning goal on 89 minutes following a rare error by David McGurk. Foyle declined, however, to criticise McGurk, saying: 'Big Dave made a mistake, but I won’t be saying too much about that because he’s been outstanding since I’ve been here'. The City chief was more troubled by the performance of his midfield and forward players, bar on-loan Gainsborough attacker Adam Smith... Foyle added: 'Two players out of our frontline could have worked harder and shown for the ball more. We also need discipline and shape. I want a solid 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 base but, too many times, I’m having to change formations, make three substitutions and throw caution to the wind just to get a result at the end of games. That’s not healthy... We tried 4-3-3 and it didn’t look right in the middle of the park. If you can’t pass the ball, though, it doesn’t matter what formation you play... I’ve had lot of promises on loan players, but they can dry up over the Christmas period if clubs get suspensions or injuries'".


    There are now five ex-Alty players at Ashton United, with Astley Mulholland joining Rod Thornley, Stephen Rose, Ben Deegan and Alex Frost.


    "Scott Rendell will stay on loan with Cambridge United to the end of the season... After amicable talks between United director George Rolls and Peterborough United's Director of Football Barry Fry, a deal was agreed to keep Rendell with the U's for the rest of the season, with no recall clause".

    Grays Athletic have signed goalkeeper, Simon Overland, on non-contract terms, Simon is an ex-Millwall trainee who was with Grays Athletic in 2004 before he joined Dagenham & Redbridge at the start of the 2004/05 season. Simon enjoyed a sucessful loan period with Maldon Town, playing a big part in the side which gained promotion to the Ryman Premier. In the play-offs, Simon made a trio of penalty saves. Simon signed for Fisher Athletic at the start of the 2007/08 season".

    Mansfield Town "are delighted to announce the appointment of David Holdsworth as our new manager on an 18-month contract. Holdsworth, 40, leaves his post as first team boss at Ilkeston Town, a club which he joined in July this year. He inherited a squad at the New Manor Ground which had previously survived relegation on goal difference alone. He since guided The Robins to the play-Off positions in the Unibond Premier Division. Prior to his stint at Ilkeston, Holdsworth enjoyed a successful time as reserve coach at Scottish outfit Gretna, where he won the reserve league title. He was then appointed as the club's youth director. As a player, David played in defence and amassed over 550 appearances for clubs including Sheffield United Birmingham City, Walsall, Bolton, but most prominently Watford. Last year, he was offered the chance to be Paul Ince's assistant at MK Dons. More recently he turned down the offer of first team boss at Grimsby Town. Holdsworth is young, ambitious and hungry to succeed. We are excited about the team moving forward under his leadership. Chairman Andrew Perry told 'He received glowing references from the likes of Trevor Francis and Glenn Roeder'".


    "Droylsden manager and chairman Dave Pace plans to appeal after the club were kicked out of the FA Cup" according to Blue Square Football. "The non-league side were expelled from the competition for fielding an ineligible player in last week's 2-1 win over Chesterfield in a second-round replay. Sean Newton, who scored both of Droylsden's goals, should have missed the game through suspension, but Pace has branded the FA's decision 'absolutely ridiculous'. 'We're obviously disappointed. It never ceases to amaze me really', said Pace. 'The appeal is going in as we speak, so we'll have to wait and see. It is an administration error. We had the game the other night with the floodlight failure, so we assumed Sean would have been out for the [New Year's Day game against] Vauxhall Motors. It is the slightest of slight errors. He is not a ringer and he has been registered for two years. We didn't try to lie and to be kicked out of the FA Cup shows there is no grey areas. I just think it's absolutely ridiculous. We have the right to appeal, so that is what we will be doing... It is [prize-]money that would have been there that is now not. It's not really the money that bothers me, they could fine me whatever. At the end of the day it's about football. Even if the appeal fails we beat Chesterfield and they can't take that away from us. We beat them fair and square, so what will be will be and we will get on with it'".
    29 December 2008


    Altrincham FC physio Sean Riley (left) has kindly sent the website the following message about injured players:

    Just to inform supporters and yourself on the injury situation...

    James Smith has sustained a hamstring injury in yesterday's game at York. Hopefully, due to his quick exit from the game the damage has been limited and he will not be absent for too long.

    More serious was the withdrawal of Anthony on a stretcher. I took this decision after my assessment on the pitch. I didn't suspect he had broken his ankle but I was not prepared to take any chances and made the decision to call for the stretcher to safely remove him from the pitch and allow me to undertake a more thorough assessment. He left the dressing room without the aid of crutches and hopefully will not be out for too long.

    One point of note is that the supporters of York City were fantastic as Anthony was being stretchered off, and I received many comments showing great concern for his wellbeing as we exited the pitch. I feel that the booing and jeering was aimed at the stretcher bearers throughout Anthony's ordeal. An observation I noticed and made clear to the club Doctor (who was also exceptional in the treatment room) was that a review of their on the field practice may need to be addressed. Also may I thank the player who caused the injury for coming to see me and showing genuine concern for Anthony. This was followed by a number of the York players coming and asking how he was and wished him well.

    Unfortunately, injuries and missed timed tackles occur in this sport but it's nice when a player is man enough to admit to a mistimed tackle and show genuine concern towards a fellow player.

    Robbie Lawton is still having problems with the injury he sustained during the Rushden game. A further update is in my New Year's Day match notes but Robbie may still be absent for several weeks yet.

    On a positive note, it is fantastic to see Chris Denham (right) back in training following the injury to his eye. He has been given the all clear to start training and following the arrival of his compulsory eye goggles (for games), he is now available for selection.


    The BBC confirms that "Droylsden have been thrown out of the FA Cup after they were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in their second-round win over Chesterfield. Sean Newton scored both goals as the non-league club stunned their League Two opponents in a 2-1 win. But Chesterfield asked the Football Association to intervene when they discovered Newton should have been serving a one-match ban on 23 December. Chesterfield will now face Ipswich on 3 January, although Droylsden may appeal".


  • Match report here.

    A correspondent on the York City forum writes, "Altrincham, to be fair, deserved to win but the opposition we provided was pathetic... The full-backs Purkiss and McWilliams got the run around from some lively lads up front for Alty... I congratulate Graham Heathcote and his Altrincham boys, it just goes to show that even free transfer part timers can be blended into a useful outfit".


    In the NL Paper, an unnamed Setanta TV sports producer writes, "Our game on New Year's Day couldn't sum up the spirit of seasonal sport better. For me Altrincham v Northwich Victoria is a classic Non-League encounter - a local derby in one of the sporting capitals of the world. [I guess he means Manchester rather than Altrincham!]. This should be a fierce, passionate affair with an attendance hopefully swelled by Manchester United and City fans keen for some live sport on a bank holiday. Steve King and Graham Heathcote in particular are characters this league needs and it will be fascinating to see their two styles go head to head".


    Because there are no Premiership or Football League matches on New Year's Day, Altrincham Football Club is offering current season-ticket holders from any Premiership or Football League club the chance to see the Blue Square Premier (Conference) match between Altrincham and Northwich Victoria on January 1st for just £5. Kick-off is at 3pm. Entry is via gates 5 and 6 (on Moss Lane). All season tickets from Premiership and Football League clubs must be accompanied by valid photo ID.

    Alty v Northwich games are the two clubs' only Cheshire "derby" fixtures and are always well-contested affairs so, if you are accustomed to watching Premiership or Football League games why not come along and see a lively game from pitchside rather than a seat in Row Z of Old Trafford or Eastlands or whichever league ground you attend. You can even stand up to watch the game from the terraces at Moss Lane, if you prefer. A sizeable crowd is expected so please arrive by 2.30p.m.

    The ground is just a short walk from Altrincham bus/tram/rail interchange and is only two miles from the M56 motorway. Directions to Moss Lane can be found here. We hope that if you take advantage of this offer you might come again when your own team is not playing - in fact, you might even get "converted" to non-League football!


    Before Vics' postponed game on Sunday, the Northwich Guardian reported that "Will Antwi’s loan stay has been cut short by Wycombe. The defender was recalled by Wanderers and goes straight into their squad for [the] clash with Gillingham... He had been due to say with Vics for another fortnight. His place [on] Sunday, is likely to be taken by Steve Robinson."

    Crawley Town have issued a statement which states,"In follow up to a media report on Sunday 28th December 2008, Crawley Town Football Club, for the sake clarity, can confirm they are in receipt of correspondance from The Football Conference in relation to the registration of one contracted player. The player concerned was signed back in the summer months alongside a number of new additions. It has now, some five months later, come to light that the registration form for this individual was allegedly not received by The Football Conference office although his playing contract posted on the same day has been received and registered by The Football Association. Further, we do note that all other player registration forms posted on or around that date were received and registered, of course this creates even more mystery.

    The matter is now being investigated thoroughly by our club secretary, Barry Munn... We are however disappointed this procedure has been made public by a person allegedly close to The Football Conference board. Our secretary Barry Munn was assured by The Football Conference Office that this matter was being dealt with in a private and confidential manner... No further comment will be made by Crawley Town Football Club until a full and clear understanding has been established".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Oxford United's Sam Deering is set to face a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering a broken fibula and ruptured ankle ligaments in the Boxing Day game against Salisbury".

    And the same source reveals that "Mansfield Town chairman Andy Perry has revealed that David Holdsworth has not formally been offered the manager's job at Field Mill. Holdsworth had previously claimed that he was close to taking up the managerial reins at Mansfield, subject to agreeing a settlement with his current club, Ilkeston Town. Perry told This Is Mansfield Town: 'We asked David if he would take the job if we offered it to him and he said "yes". But it depends on what Ilkeston do. We said we would probably like to offer him the job if his situation there could be sorted, but until then we couldn't offer it him. I was disappointed that it came out at the Ilkeston end about David, as much for the Ilkeston fans as us. But there is nothing guaranteed to happen. There are two people we are talking to and it is a very, very tough decision. They both equal up in 80 per cent of their capabilities and it is just deciding on that other 20 per cent that has held us back... The thing is we want to do things properly. What happened at Leeds is the last thing we want. We don't want David or the other guy in contention [rumoured to be Steve Burr of Stalybridge Celtic] to resign their posts. We want whoever is appointed to come with their club's blessing'".

    "Torquay United have announced the signing of Shrewsbury goalkeeper Scott Bevan on a permanent deal. The former Kidderminster Harriers man was drafted in by the Gulls during September this year and has impressed in the absence of first-choice keeper Michael Poke. The 29-year-old former Southampton trainee has penned a contract which keeps him at Plainmoor for the next 18 months.Standing at 6ft 4ins, Bevan will be remembered for his time at Kidderminster Harriers, where he made 59 first-team appearances before joining Shrewsbury in January 2008", reports Blue Square Football.


    News of one of the Robins' trialists who played against Wrexham in the abandoned friendly at Moss Lane in September comes from NL Daily which reports that "Giovanni Feliciello scored direct from a left-wing cross to give Airbus UK a 5th minute lead at Plas Kynaston and the visitors went on to record a 2-0 success against a lack-lustre NEWI Cefn Druids". Ashton United defeated FCUM on Saturday with former Alty youth/reserve Ben Deegan netting Ashton's opener.

    Witton Albion's side at the weekend included former Alty men, Gary Scott, Kieran Lugsden and James Olsen. Altrincham play Witton on 20 January in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

    In action over Christmas were numerous former Robins, including Steve Bowker (Buxton), Karl Munroe for Hyde against Jake Sedgemore for Solihull Moors, Paul Ellender (Alfreton) and Cavell Coo (man of the match for FC Halifax Town) playing alongside Damien Allen and Ashley Stott. Former Alty midfielder Ally Pickering has resigned as Woodley Sports manager following budget cuts at the Stockport club, for whom former Alty trialist Gavin Salmon scored at the weekend. Finally, Steve Hawes is still playing for FC Sheffield.


    Weekend of January 3rd:
  • Middlesbrough v Barrow
  • Torquay U. v Blackpool
  • Histon v Swansea C.
  • Forest Green R. v Derby C.
  • Kettering T. v Eastwood T.
  • Blyth S. v Blackburn R.
  • Coventry C. v Kidderminster H.
    28 December 2008


    Above: Brodie's deflected freekick beats Coburn to put York ahead.

    A superb second-half performance, led by Dale Johnson but supported by a great team effort, resulted in this deserved first-ever league win at York. But the game's outcome was marred by a poor challenge on Anthony Danylyk by Ben Wilkinson which saw the midfielder stretchered off with ankle ligament damage late in the second half after James Smith had also been taken off, injured in the first period.

  • Match report here.

  • Alty line-ups.
  • Alty player stats.


    Sunday, 28th December

  • Cambridge U. 1 Stevenage B. 1
  • Crawley T. 1 Eastbourne B. 0
  • Forest Green R. 2 Barrow 1
  • Grays A. 1 Histon 4
  • Lewes v Kettering T. POSTPONED
  • Northwich V. v Salisbury C. POSTPONED
  • Oxford U. 5 Ebbsfleet U. 1
  • Torquay U. 0 Kidderminster H. 1
  • Wrexham 1 Woking 1
  • York C. 1 ALTRINCHAM 2


    After Alty beat Northwich on Boxing Day, the Vics' boss Steve King said, "We were absolute rubbish. Truly awful. I am known by the way my teams play passing football... But when we play at home we just go long... I don't want to criticise individual players but collectively some are not good enough. I have inherited other people's problems and there have to be changes. I have a number of players lined up. They are all either players who have played with me before, who are eager to come to Northwich, or have played at Blue Square Premier level before'".

    Meanwhile, Alty assistant boss Graham Barrow (right) said, "The players have worked hard on the training pitch, especially on set pieces. That's where the goal came from. We have had strong words and they have responded"


    Altrincham are away at York City today (Sunday, 3pm).

    The Press tells us that "York City manager Martin Foyle felt referee Gary Sutton cost his side the chance of a result at top-of-the-table Burton Albion. On-loan Gainsborough Trinity winger Adam Smith had fired the Minstermen in front on 53 minutes at the Pirelli Stadium before Sutton awarded a dubious free-kick for an alleged foul on Keith Gilroy that led to Burton’s equaliser. The Brewers then went on to secure a flattering 2-1 Boxing Day victory after City skipper Mark Greaves scored an own goal against his old club. Afterwards, Foyle said: 'It was a fantastic goal by Adam but, typically, a referee decision has cost us at the other end. 'It was a blatant dive by their player for the free-kick but you have to take it on the chin and get on with it. We played some excellent football in the second half and, having done a lot of defensive work for two days, our game-plan worked like a treat in the first half because they hardly had any chances'...

    Burton levelled the scores after Michael Ingham failed to hold on to a firm Ryan Austin free-kick... but Foyle absolved his goalkeeper of any blame for the goal... 'What I have stressed, however, is that we need to follow up better at both ends'... The City boss opted for a 4-3-3 formation against Burton with Richard Brodie flanked in attack by Smith and Onome Sodje... Foyle said: “Some people might have thought it was a bit defensive but I wanted Mark Greaves in there to stop the ball going through to their front two and I think we managed to do that'. Despite the final result, Foyle also believes City can take a lot of heart from their display ahead of [the] home game with Altrincham ...'We will have to bounce back against Altrincham now but we should be full of confidence after an encouraging performance'”.

    City have not lost to Altrincham in the six previous meetings between the clubs. [But Alty have beaten York in the FA Cup!] In home matches, City won 5-0 on the first occasion the clubs met in September 2005 with Joe O’Neill, Clayton Donaldson, James Dudgeon, Andy Bishop and Bryan Stewart on the scoresheet. The following campaign Dudgeon headed the only goal of the game and last season Richard Brodie and Paul Brayson scored in a 2-2 draw... Players who have appeared for both clubs include Tommy Heron, Steve Bushell and Joe O’Neill who scored for Alty in the corresponding game last term".

    Alty fans will recall that in last season's game at York, when Altrincham deservedly took their first league point off York it was a quite bizarre refereeing decision which helped the Minstermen. It came after 73 minutes when Mr Coy, the linesman with the red and yellow flag, raised his flag for offside. Referee Webb very clearly 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 Senior, playing to the non-existent whistle, kicked the ball and drove it into the empty net. Mr Webb completely lost the plot, disallowed the goal and restarted the game with a freekick to York... Alty equalised in the second added minute when former Minsterman Joe O'Neill headed home Potts's corner.


    The Northwich Guardian says that "Steve King did not hide his disappointment after Vics’ derby day capitulation. The hosts were sunk by a single goal from Greg Young as Alty left the Marston’s Arena with maximum points for the second successive season. 'We were rubbish', he said.

    'We seem to play better football away from home, here we just resort to the long ball and it’s very depressing. We’re just launching it aimlessly and it’s unacceptable'. The game’s sole moment of magic – Young applying the finishing touch to a slick set piece routine – was enough to secure victory for Graham Heathcote’s men. It was no less than they merited.

    'We didn’t deserve anything', added King. 'They got the three points and I’ve no complaints because we didn’t even look like scoring a goal. We are toothless in attack. Look at Alty – I thought the kid Johnson (right) had a great game for them. Our central defenders knew they had been in a game because he battered them all over the pitch, but their two centre halves didn’t even break sweat... There was no heart, no fight and no desire', he said. 'It’s not good enough, the minimum requirement for any game is to go out and work very hard. Where did you seen a tackle fly in? We’re too nice – it’s a derby game and I don’t remember a single moment where I’ve seen passion out there'...

    He had one moment of rancour for the referee after an equaliser was chalked off for a foul on Alty keeper Stuart Coburn. 'We had a blatant goal disallowed',” he said. 'Their keeper punched the ball into the net – that makes it 1-1 and we nick a point we don’t deserve'".


    According to NL Daily "Rushden & Diamonds have signed striker Neil Cousins. Cousins started his career in the Essex Senior League with Burnham Ramblers, moving on to Maldon Town and then Braintree Town. He joined Heybridge Swifts in 2002, then moving to Billericay Town in 2004, and returning back to Heybridge in 2005. Cousins spent much of last season sidelined with a lengthy injury. However, he has impressed this season at Swifts, scoring six goals in eighteen appearances".

    The Dartford Times tells us that "Liam Daish has been left in the dark over whether he'll be able to improve his Ebbsfleet United squad in next month's transfer window. The Fleet currently lie 12th in the Blue Square Premier, a daunting 11 points off the playoff places, and reinforcements may be necessary if they are to mount a belated push for promotion. But with MyFootballClub (MyFC) subscription renewals not expected until mid-February, Daish's budget won't be properly known until after deadline day - making any purchases problematic. 'I hope I can get players that are going to improve what I've already got, but it's difficult because of the timing of things with the February renewals', the 40-year-old boss told the Reporter. 'The club don't know how much it can commit to until then and that's a little bit unnerving - it's a bit worrying. I understand everyone's predicament - we just cannot live with a crystal ball and don't know whether 20,000 or 30,000 will renew. But, when it comes down to doing budgets and things for the year ahead, it does create problems as you just don't know what we've got. People are confident that sufficient renewals will happen, but until they do, it's difficult'".

    Bullsnews confirms that "Barnet boss Paul Fairclough is to relinquish the manager's role at Underhill. Ian Hendon will take temporary charge with Fairclough taking a boardroom role to go along with his England 'C' team duties".

    27 December 2008


    A measure of Altrincham's improvement this season is that, after just 24 league games this campaign, Altrincham have now won nine league games - as many as they won in the whole of last season.

    Above: Colin Little, off picture, sees Scott Tynan save his penalty kick.

    The Northwich Guardian says that "A moment of Alty magic piled on the misery for woeful Vics. Former Northwich man Greg Young grabbed the winner on 72 minutes, gleefully applying the finishing touch to a brilliant set piece routine. Matt Doughty's clever chip sent Chris Senior sprinting into space down the right, his cross picking out stopper Young. It was no less than the visitors deserved.

    They were even afforded the luxury of missing a first half penalty, Colin Little's feeble spot kick an easy stop for Scott Tynan. Vics did not force Stuart Coburn into a meaningful save all afternoon, their best effort a Darryn Stamp snapshot that was straight at the Robins' number one".

  • This site's own match report of the game is here.

    Right: Anthony Danylyk in acrobatic action at Northwich, as Shaun Densmore waits for the outcome.

    Friday, Boxing Day

  • Barrow 1 Wrexham 1
  • Burton A. 2 York C. 1
  • Cambridge U. 2 Histon 2
  • Eastbourne B. 1 Lewes 0
  • Ebbsfleet U. 0 Grays A. 1
  • Kettering T. 1 Mansfield T. 3
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Forest Green R. 1
  • Northwich V. 0 ALTRINCHAM 1
  • Salisbury C. 2 Oxford U. 1
  • Stevenage B. 3 Rushden & Diamonds 1
  • Weymouth 0 Torquay U. 1
  • Woking 0 Crawley T. 0


    Altrincham travel to York City this Sunday, lying four places and three points above the Minstermen and with a game in hand on them. There are still a few places on the supporters' coach but as the club is closed for the holidays, please contact Tom Jacobs the travel coordibnator direct if you wish to travel. If you don't have Tom's contact details, please contact the website (link above) quoting your name and contact details.

    Meanwhile, The Press reports that "York City officials are making every effort to repair damage to the Main Stand roof at KitKat Crescent in time for the clash with Altrincham on December 28. Some supporters had to sit elsewhere at the Ebbsfleet match after high winds blew a hole in the roof and forced the club to close Family Stand sections ‘B’ and ‘C’ on safety grounds".


    The Northwich Supporters' Trust reports on the Boxing Day game. "Any hopes of recording a first win since 18th October were vanquished by former Vics' defender Greg Young, whose close range winner sealed maximum points for rivals Altrincham. The Robins eventually deserved full 'bragging rights' from a 'derby' game that never reached the excitement, passion and quality of past encounters and only served to provide evidence of the paucity of talent available within both squads...

    For the most part, both tems addressed the match ball as if it were a hot potato preventing measured approach play. The visitors were allowed the chance to grab an unlikely lead when Senior took advantage of a grounded challenge from Ryan Brown to tumble inside the box and be awarded a penalty kick. Scott Tynan was booked for hotly disputing the decision but quickly turned from villain to hero when he leapt to save the Colin Little spot kick... The second half was as mediocre as the first but, to be fair, it was Altrincham who provided the only breaks from the tedium... Altrincham finished the stronger of the two teams without producing anything that contrasted with previous standards.

    Current and recent evidence suggests that the replacement [Vics'] players are no improvement on their previous counterparts and, arguably, have had a negative effect on the balance of the team".

    26 December 2008


    Above: Alty leave the pitch to the cheers of their supporters in the background.

  • Match report here.


    Despite the clubs' proximity to each other, Altrincham have only met Northwich Victoria on 10 occasions on a Boxing Day prior to today's clash, 9 of those being league games. Despite 7 of those 9 games being at Moss Lane, Alty have won only 3 times, all at home. Previous results as supplied by Howard Watts's Through The Years data are:
  • 1907: H Manchester League Lost 1-2
  • 1919: A Cheshire County League Senior Cup Drew 2-2
  • 1934: H CCL W 3-0
  • 1935: A CCL L 0-1
  • 1936: H CCL D 1-1
  • 1967: H CCL W 4-1
  • 1994: H Conference L 1-3
  • 1995: A Conference L 1-2
  • 2006: H Conference W 3-0
  • 2007: H Conference L 1-2
    25 December 2008


    Altrincham FC sends its best wishes for a happy Christmas and New Year to all its supporters and hopes to bring them a successful second half of the season.

    And the Altrincham FC website would also like to thank everyone who has visited the site over the past year and all those who have sent information and comments in 2008.


    The BBC confirms that on Boxing Day against Altrincham "Northwich defender Steve Robinson serves the last of his three-match ban with the on-loan Will Antwi coming in. Midfielder Joel Byrom (hernia) and striker Darryn Stamp (hamstring) are major doubts. Altrincham defender Chris Lane has recovered from a back injury and should make the starting-line up. Striker Colin Little and midfielder Anthony Danylyk are expected to be fit despite picking up knocks during the 3-1 defeat to Burton".

    More on the Vics comes from the Northwich Guardian which says that "Steve E King hopes it’s lucky number seven as he continues his search for a first win as Northwich boss. He saw a huge improvement in his side’s performance at Rushden on Saturday, but the result was disappointing. His main injury doubt is over Darryn Stamp, who limped off in the second half... Lee Steele stands by. Steve Robinson serves the last of his three-match ban, while Joel Byrom continues his recovery from a long-term groin problem.

    Visitors Alty have plundered four points from their two previous visits to the Marston’s Arena, including a 2-1 win last term. Graham Heathcote’s men have lost four of their past five matches in league and cup, conceding 17 goals along the way. They were much improved in a 3-1 reverse against league leaders Burton on Saturday though. Their form on the road has been encouraging, losing only twice on their travels in the past six outings... Long-term absentees Chris Denham, Robbie Lawton and Kevin Street are definitely out".


    Alty's opponents on Sunday are York City. From the Football Conference we learn that "Veteran York City striker Bruce Dyer has decided to retire from Football. Dyer joined York City in November 2008 on a short term contract and appeared for the Club on three occasions but struggled with back and hamstring problems... Bruce has commanded big transfer fees during his career, becoming the first teenager in English football to be sold for at least a million, when he joined Crystal Palace from Watford for 1.1 million in 1994. He went on to play in the Premier League with Palace before joining Barnsley.

    Off the field York City report that "Following minor damage sustained to the Main Stand Roof in the high winds of last Friday evening, the club would like to apologise for the inconvenience experienced by those supporters who had to sit elsewhere at the game against Ebbsfleet United. York City would also like to thank fans, the majority of whom were very co-operative, for their understanding and support for the decision to close Family Stand sections B & C on safety grounds.

    The club are making every effort to have the damage repaired prior to the forthcoming matches against Altrincham (28th December) and Burton Albion (1st January) and hope that ticket holders for the affected sections will be able to use their normal seats. If this is not possible the club will endeavour to relocate supporters in seats of a similar standard to their usual ones".

    "In addition, City Manager Martin Foyle has decided to release midfielder Gavin Rothery with immediate effect. Rothery will continue to train with City in the short term but his contract will not be renewed and he will be allowed to leave as soon as he can find a new club in the January transfer window. Martin Foyle explained that he was disappointed not to have been able to see Rothery play more games but wants to extend the loan deal of midfielder Adam Smith as well as pursuing other possible signings in January".


    Another club to be visited by Alty shortly has appointed a new manager. "Mansfield Town have offered their first-team managerial job to David Holdsworth" reports NL Daily. "The enthusiastic 40-year-old Ilkeston Town boss was locked in talks with the Stags on Christmas Eve morning and emerged to say: "Yes, I have been offered the opportunity to take the manager's job and I am delighted. 'I have one or two loose ends to clear up at Ilkeston, but I hope that won't take long and I would look forward to taking the opportunity at Mansfield... I hope that within the next 48 hours everything can be cleared up'. The move to offer the previously 'unknown' Holdsworth the job will surprise many fans, but already some supporters are welcoming the news as 'an inspired and brave decision'. For in his first few months as a manager he has transformed Ilkeston in the UniBond Premier, won many plaudits from fans and already been linked with the Grimsby managerial vacancy earlier this season... It is not known if Holdsworth - a vastly experienced player who made well over 500 appearances at several Football League clubs - will be at the Boxing Day match at Kettering Town, where caretaker-managers Mark Stallard and Adie Moses will be in charge" according to The Chad.

    "High-flyers Burton Albion needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome Blue Square North hosts Farsley Celtic in the FA Trophy First Round replay on Tuesday night... The Brewers who won 3-2 on penalties after former Burton defender Jamie Price had his spot-kick saved by Saul Deeney" reports NL Daily.

    Rushden & Diamonds report that "In his interview with the Evening Telegraph, Garry Hill revealed that striker Daryl Clare might leave during the January transfer window, as he wants to play closer to home in North-Lincolnshire. Daryl has been out of action throughout December to support his wife, who has been suffering from illness after the birth of their daughter. Garry said 'As a Manager I've got to support his family circumstances. They will always come first. His wife has not been well and following the birth of their daughter, Daryl feels that he needs to be nearer to them'.


    The BBC reports that "Droylsden could be thrown out of the FA Cup after allegations they fielded an ineligible player in their shock second-round win over Chesterfield. Sean Newton scored both goals as the non-league club stunned their League Two opponents in a 2-1 win on Tuesday. But Chesterfield asked the Football Association to intervene when they discovered Newton should have been serving a one-match ban on 23 December. Bury were expelled from the competition in 2006 for a similar offence... Droylsden's case will be discussed at an FA Cup committee hearing on 29 December. 'The FA can confirm it is making enquiries into Droylsden's apparent fielding of an ineligible player', read an FA statement. 'The enquiries relate to defender Sean Newton, who picked up his fifth booking of the season on 9 December. According to the FA's disciplinary regulations, he was therefore suspended for one match from Tuesday, 23 December. Droylsden were informed of the suspension on 10 December, which was then confirmed by the club four days later. Clubs are aware that they are responsible for checking that their players are eligible to play in any given match'.

    Bloods' manager and chairman Dave Pace said the club sent a fax to the FA after being told of the suspension and explained that as far as they were concerned, Newton would serve his ban in their league game on Boxing Day. 'If there was any doubt from our point of view that he should not have played against Chesterfield then he would not have', he told BBC Radio 5 Live. Pace admitted he was shocked when being told his side may not be able to play in the third round tie at Ipswich on 3 January. 'If that happens I will go to the nearest bridge and throw myself off. I just can't believe it', he added".

    24 December 2008


    Altrincham FC held a Carol Service last night, led by club chaplain Andy Barclay-Watts, accompanied by the musicians of Sale Baptist Church. A packed Noel White Suite witnessed readings by Barry Pond and Robbie Lawton and an interview with Kevin Street, Alty's midfielder who is aiming to become a Religious Education teacher. The finale was a rendition of "Once in Royal David's City" by a choir comprising Chris Lane, Kevin Street, Robbie Lawton, Anthony Danylyk, Chris Young and Chris Senior and led by Alty assistant manager Graham Barrow.

    Chris Senior drew the raffle prizes, with proceeds of £126 going to the Sale Baptist Church Homeless Project.


    As well as starring at the Carol Concert, Chris Senior has also found time to become an artist's model! Glancing through the shop window of a Youth & Community Group shop near W.H. Smith in George Street, Altrincham, you can see a selection of work by local young artists (right) which features a large painting of Alty's Chris Senior, identifiable by the no.19 on his shorts. Unfortunately I only had my mobile phone camera with me when I saw the painting, so apologies for the quality of the photo.


    Alty Youth secured a good goalless draw with Woodley Sports last Sunday in their NWYA league match.


    FA Cup 2:
  • Droylsden 2 Chesterfield 1 - the Bloods now play Ipswich, away

    FA Trophy

  • Tiverton 2 Bashley 1
  • Farsley C. 2 Burton A. 2 - Burton won on pens a.e.t.


    SAM reports that "Graham Heathcote has challenged his Altrincham players to turn up the heat on Northwich Victoria's new-look line-up ahead of their eagerly-awaited Boxing Day showdown at the Victoria Stadium.

    Colchester-born former Ebbsfleet midfielder Liam Coleman is the latest to head for the north-west and pitch up in Wincham, and Heathcote said: 'They've signed five or six from down south, so let's see if we can't say to them: "Welcome to a northern derby - this is what it's all about"'. Northwich stayed rooted to the foot of the Blue Square Conference with a 2-1 defeat at Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday, but Heathcote isn't fooled by their current perilous position.

    'The reports I received suggested they could have won', said the Alty manager. 'They have changed a lot of players around and are clearly playing some decent football, so we need to reproduce our first-half showing at Barrow and much of what we did on Saturday... We played to a decent standard, but the annoying part was that, after working all week on being compact, certain players were anything but for the penalty we conceded', he said. 'We had just got back on level terms, so that really cost us. Burton had very few chances but showed they are a quality side by sticking them away. The job ahead of us is to make sure we stay as resilient as we've been up to now and aim to pick off teams one by one. That's the task I've set the players for the second half of the season'".

    For the Boxing Day game, the Northwich Guardian tells us that "Vics have slashed gate prices in a bid to attract a bumper Christmas crowd. Steve King’s men host bitter rivals Altrincham on Boxing Day, when the hosts will launch their special offer for a festive period that sees them welcome Salisbury City 48 hours later. Adults will pay £20 to watch both games from the Danebank. 'We need more people coming through the turnstiles', said owner Jim Rushe. 'It was terrible to see less than 400 fans watch us play York in the FA Trophy last week – I hope this deal tempts a few more to watch the derby'... That’s not the only scheme the club start this week.

    Lifelong fan Paul Ashley has volunteered to run a shuttle bus service to ferry fans from the town centre up to the Marston’s Arena for home games between now and the end of the season. And supporters won’t pay a penny to use it. King will be desperate to score a home success against Alty, a side that has escaped unbeaten from the Marston’s Arena on their two previous visits. Last year’s 2-1 win against nine-man Northwich was a nightmare for the hosts". In fact, Vics ended the game with eight men when an injury was added to two red cards.

    The Mid-Cheshire Chronicle adds that "Vics head into their home Boxing Day clash with Altrincham eight points adrift of safety, with manager Steve King knowing his side need a win to avoid being cut further adrift at the foot of the Blue Square Premier. Alty, currently 15th, have lost six of their 11 league games on the road this term. But Vics have only won three matches all season in the league, and have picked up just nine points at the Marston’s Arena..

    The return fixture with Alty, at Moss Lane on New Year’s Day, will be screened live on Setanta Sports, providing Vics with an expected cash boost of £2,000. King and his assistant manager Justin Skinner have learned in the last week they face charges of improper conduct after both were dismissed from the dugout in the 4-1 loss at Eastbourne earlier this month...

    The manager has this week dispelled reports [and therefore contradicted an unambiguous circular sent to other clubs] ... that he had transfer listed eight players, but admitted he is looking to loan out Aaron Burns, Chris Flynn, Michael Jones, Jamie Mullan, Darryn Stamp, Lee Steele, Scott Tynan and former skipper Mike Welch to decrease the wage bill".


    As for Alty's opponents next Sunday, The Press tells us that "York City boss Martin Foyle has not yet decided whether to extend experienced striker Bruce Dyer’s contract with the club beyond the end of this month. Dyer, 33, is yet to figure during Foyle’s four-match KitKat Crescent reign having suffered a hamstring injury... The former million pound forward has returned to training following that setback but, having agreed a short-term contract with Foyle’s predecessor Colin Walker, no discussions have yet taken place regarding his future. Dyer impressed alongside Onome Sodje during three games for the Minstermen after signing for the club as a free agent. But Richard Brodie has shone with four goals in his absence and Foyle said: 'Bruce hasn’t played for me and I can’t be rushed into decisions I’m not 100 per cent sure about, but his attitude has been absolutely brilliant. He’s bright and breezy about the place. I just need to see him on the training pitch and playing a couple of games before taking things from there'”.


    Left: Dale Johnson celebrates his goal against Burton last Saturday, as pictured by Gavin Rathbone, whose GR Photography website has many more Alty photos.


    Weymouth "Chief Executive Gary Calder is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached after weeks of negotiations with regard to the ownership of the club's majority shareholding currently held by Malcolm Curtis. A consortium including match day secretary Pete Saxby and former director Dave Higson will be forming a board along with Terras Trust representative Mark Golsby, current financial director Ian Winsor and other, as yet unnamed, local businessmen.

    The consortium have already sought and received offers of support from the Supporters' Club, Terras' Trust, WFC Youth and the Save Our Club campaign. Although the legal documentation may not be completed until the New Year due to the Christmas break, the terms of the agreement have been reached and planning and preparation for the future can now begin. The deal will mean that Weymouth FC can raise money by allowing Terras' fans a chance to buy shares in the club... Outgoing Chairman Malcolm Curtis has pledged a further £150,000 to the club and further investment and support will come from local businessmen. The deal guarantees that the Terras will be able to play at the Wessex until a new stadium is built. Plans for the Terras new stadium development and subsequent development of The Wessex Stadium will continue to be the responsibility of Wessex Delivery LLP".

    From the BBC we learn that "Histon boss Steve Fallon has revealed that he could be forced to bring in a loan goalkeeper ahead of the Boxing Day derby with Cambridge United. Regular stopper Danny Naisbitt is struggling with a mystery injury. Fallon told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'We tried to get Mark Tyler from Peterborough, but after consideration he turned us down. It was fine with Barry Fry and the chairman, but we're now looking around elsewhere locally'. Naisbitt was passed fit to play in the Stutes' 4-1 defeat at Torquay on Saturday, but Fallon says his number one was far from his usual self. 'It's a mysterious injury, something in his head is not right, so we'll leave it for as long as possible and it may just disappear', he said. 'At Torquay he could do everything except kick it off the floor, but his all round game became edgy... [Reserve 'keeper] Joe Welch is untested and if we get another goalkeeper in there's going to be a lot of people there, a big atmosphere, we need to make sure any new 'keeper is ready'".

    This is Nottingham says that "Mark Stallard insists he is still unsure if he and fellow caretaker boss Adie Moses will lead Mansfield into their clash at Kettering on Boxing Day. There is growing speculation the Stags are set to point current Ilkeston boss David Holdsworth as a permanent successor to Billy McEwan... Stallard said: 'We have not been told either way. We are just working from day-to-day... Until we are told differently we just have to keep on doing the job as professionally as we can'. Stallard's back problem means he is unlikely to figure at Rockingham Road, but Adie Moses was back in training today after recovering from a calf injury".

    From the Thurrock Gazette we learn that "Grays Athletic have moved quickly to snap up striker Leon McKenzie who was kicked out of borough rivals Thurrock last week. The 22-year-old went for a secret trial with Luton Town, telling Thurrock boss Hakan Hayrettin he was injured and unavailable for training".

    Blue Square Football confirms that Kettering boss Mark Cooper was offered the Oxford United job ahead of Chris Wilder. Cooper turned the offer down. He told the Evening Telegraph: 'It wasn't a hard decision to make. In football if you are getting results then other clubs will always want to try to obtain your services - whether you are a manager or a player. Out of courtesy the club had to listen to Oxford. They made an approach and were willing to pay any compensation. I just made the choice that it wasn't right for me. We have started something at Kettering and I didn't really want to leave the players with somebody else and let that person finish it off. The players will tell you that I am very demanding - which I think you have to be. But I think they like that. They are a good bunch and hopefully they are pleased that I am staying'.

    One person who is certainly pleased with Cooper's decision is Kettering chairman, Imraan Ladak. Ladak told BBC Radio Northampton: 'I would have been really surprised if he'd decided to leave us for Oxford. I didn't think it was the right job for him and I'm pleased that he's happy enough here to carry on'".

    23 December 2008


    The condolences of everyone at Altrincham FC go to Phil Taylor on the death of his mother, last Sunday. Phil has served the club in many capacities over the years, ranging from a role as Security Officer to officiating at Staff v Supporters matches at Moss Lane in his capacity as a qualified referee. Latterly, Phil has been assisting matchday secretary George Heslop in his pre-game duties.


    Altrincham FC press release:

    Chris Lane (left) is ready to give Altrincham a timely lift by declaring himself fit for the eagerly-awaited derby showdown with Northwich at the Victoria Stadium on Boxing Day. The tough-tackling defender was confined to the bench for Saturday's 3-1 defeat by Burton Albion, after struggling to shake off a back problem, but manager Graham Heathcote is confident he will be fit for the short journey to Wincham.

    As a further boost for the Robins, striker Colin Little and midfielder Anthony Danylyk (right), rated injury doubts for the Burton game, both came through without any mishaps and are also fit for Friday. With skipper Robbie Lawton still ruled out with a neck injury, along with other long-term injury victims Kevin Street and Chris Denham, Heathcote must decide whether to continue with Shaun Densmore in the centre of midfield, alongside Danylyk.

    'Shaun was just back from suspension and did all right in the middle, though I still believe his best position is on the right-hand side,' said the Alty boss. 'Whoever we put out, we've got to make sure we approach the game the same way we did in the first half at Barrow and for much of Saturday against Burton. We need to be better defensively, because I wasn't at all happy with Burton's second and third goals, but, equally, it was encouraging that we competed so well with the top team in the League. There were spells where we did ever so well against a team who are flying. We gave them a game, all right.

    Northwich are playing better than their position at the bottom of the table might suggest but the pressure is still all on them. They will be looking at their three games coming up - two against us and one against Salisbury - and thinking they need to take at least seven points. It's up to us to make sure they fall short'".


    Altrincham FC shirts were much in evidence in Marks and Spencers in Altrincham town centre yesterday. All the Altrincham FC Junior teams (both boys and girls) are taking turns at fund raising for the Club by bag-packing at the store, dressed in their football shirts. This venture will continue today (Tuesday) and Wednesday so, if you shop in M.& S., please do reward the young Alty players helping you to pack your shopping.


    Altrincham meet Northwich at the Marston's Arena on Boxing Day. The Vics have Steve Robinson suspended for the game.

    After that, Altrincham travel to KitKat Crescent next Sunday where The Press reports that "York City manager Martin Foyle is ready to extend on-loan Gainsborough Trinity winger Adam Smith’s stay at the club... The former Chesterfield player... Smith’s current loan deal will expire on January 6 and Foyle said: 'I’ve spoken to Adam and we just need to make sure things would be all right with Gainsborough as he’s contracted to them. We took him on trial at Wrexham when I was there but he picked up a hamstring injury. I’d seen enough though to take a gamble on him though and his pace causes problems. He is a very fresh, honest boy who wants that second chance to progress in professional football'.

    Foyle added that he hopes City’s first home win in six matches will help settle his side’s nerves at KitKat Crescent. A poor first half saw City booed off at the interval before Smith’s goal kick-started an impressive comeback. The Minstermen chief added: 'I was right with the supporters and agreed 100 per cent because there was nothing to be positive about in the first half. We were nowhere near what I expect from this group of players and looked very, very nervous again. We didn’t get the ball down and couldn’t string two passes together. We were just hoofing and we certainly don’t work on that on the training pitch. The heads dropped after their goal and I don’t like that. I want them to be braver. We played some great football in the second half though... We’ve broken the home hoodoo now and the players might relax a bit more'.

    Foyle also shed light on a finger-pointing confrontation between himself and rival boss Liam Daish during the second half after Ebbsfleet left-back Sacha Opinel fell to the ground and required treatment. The City boss said: 'I thought their lad had dived and will stick to my word. He went down screaming when he wasn’t touched'. Daish refuted that allegation afterwards, responding: 'He (Foyle) called one of my players a cheat but I know my players and they are honest so I was disappointed with his comments'".


    From the Burton Mail we hear that "Nigel Clough hailed the stunning winning streak that has made Burton Albion the bookies' favourites to lift the Blue Square Premier title. Albion made it eight victories on the bounce after overcoming battling Altrincham in the Moss Lane rain on Saturday. Clough said: 'We've had decent unbeaten runs before, but to win eight in a row is a magnificent achievement'. It was by no means an entirely convincing display, and Albion were possibly flattered to register their biggest away win of the campaign.

    Once again, however, the Brewers gave another demonstration of their ability to raise their game when it was needed, as befits a team oozing irresistible confidence and self belief... Not even a typical Manchester drenching could douse the firepower that has put them top of the scoring chart with 46 goals. But for an eagle-eyed linesman, Albion might have found themselves trailing in the first half... And every time spirited Altrincham threatened an upset in the second half, Clough's men simply conjured goals with almost perfect timing..

    The Brewers gave their hosts something a lesson in passing in the opening stages, despite the slippery conditions on a wet and gloomy afternoon... The hosts felt aggrieved when a linesman's flag denied them the opening goal for pushing in the 29th minute after Colin Little headed a cross from midfield veteran Warren Peyton past Kevin Poole... Albion's grip on the game was broken as substitute Dale Johnson had a stunning impact in second half... The Robins continued to bust a gut in search of a shock result".


    NL Daily reports that "Basingstoke Town have announced that they have completed the signing of striker Allan Tait on a month`s loan from Eastbourne Borough".

    The BBC says that "Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has denied he has gone for the cheap option with the appointment of Chris Wilder as the club's new manager. Thomas told BBC Oxford: 'We were very impressed with him during the interview process. He knew a lot about the club, the players and the history, and he passionately wants to be its manager. I understand why people might think it's the cheap option, but that isn't the case. There were more expensive options, but there were two credible people who were prepared to work for free. We needed someone who knows this league. A lot of people speak very highly of him and there's a lot of respect for him in the game. He is on a good package at our level. He won't be under the constraints that he has worked under before (at Halifax). Here he can work on a level playing field with the advantages of good support staff', Thomas added. Jim Smith will step down as caretaker manager, but will remain involved at the club. The rest of the coaching staff will remain unchanged".

    "Salisbury City have agreed to keep Gillingham defender Sean Clohessy on loan until the end of the season. The full-back has just completed a three-month stint at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. Manager Nick Holmes told BBC Radio Wiltshire he was keen to keep hold of the 22-year-old. 'We're obviously pleased to keep him. He realises it's a good stage', he said".

    According to the NW Evening Mail "Barrow joint-manager Darren Sheridan has apologised to fans who made the 600-mile plus round trip to Grays Athletic on Saturday. Around 80 Bluebirds supporters watched their team turn in one of the worst performances of the season in a 2-1 defeat... Barrow, their minds perhaps distracted by the FA Cup run, have now taken just two points from the last possible 15 and sit four points above the Blue Square Premier relegation zone. And, after blasting the players in the dressing room, Sheridan and fellow joint-manager Dave Bayliss made the players watch a DVD of the horror show on the coach home.

    'It was poor all over the park, unacceptable', said Sheridan. 'We started the game well, went 1-0 up and then just stopped. We conceded a stupid, sloppy goal which gave them a lift, and, in the end, they deserved to beat us. It’s just not good enough and me and Dave told them that after the game. We could have gone on at them all day. We told them that on that showing some of them aren’t good enough for this league. There was no spirit, no hunger. They didn’t show us anything. As for the fans that travelled all that way, what can you say to them? They’ve been working all week, spent their money at a time when there’s a credit crunch going on, and then we go and put a show like that on. Me and Dave apologise to every one of them'.

    It was the third league game in a row that Jason Walker gave Barrow the lead, only for the Bluebirds to throw away that advantage, just as they did against Rushden and Diamonds and Altrincham. 'We’ve got to be more resilient', said Sheridan. 'When you’ve gone in front like we did on Saturday, you need to stay strong, see it through to half-time. But there seems to be no leaders out there, no-one organizing people about and shouting at people'”.

    The Oxford Mail reports that "New Oxford United boss Chris Wilder is determined to make Oxford United a force again. The former Halifax manager... beat off several other bigger-name candidates, including John Ward and Mark Cooper, after greatly impressing in the two interviews he had. United chairman Kelvin Thomas says... he's convinced he's got the right man, because Wilder was the most professional of all the candidates that were interviewed".

    Wilder commented "There's no doubt my work ethic will be second to none in terms of wanting to move this club forward. I'm hands-on on the training ground, I'm very much a man-manager in terms of trying to get the best out of individuals and then trying to get the best out of the team. I think I'm very pro-active on the sidelines, looking to change things, not just sitting back and letting things happen... I've been through every experience that you can imagine at Halifax Town", he said. “Basically, it was building something up from nothing, going without wages, no training ground, no kit, no players, no pre-season friendlies, losing players for £50, and then building it up again, gaining momentum, getting to the play-off final and then getting done in the last ten minutes. And obviously there was the other side of it, in having about six chairman in five years, and the situation in the summer. I think people realise the restraints I was working under, and I think I've got a decent name at this level. It's now up to me to produce a team the supporters are proud of and can get behind, and hopefully we can do that. It's a great opportunity for me, I think I can be good for Oxford United, and Oxford United can be good for me. I've kept my eye on this job because I really wanted it... I would say there were only one or two clubs outside the Football League that I would have been interested in, and this was one of them... I've had 25 years as a player in the League and I've become known because I'm used to winning games. It's up to me to get a team to prove to the fans what a capable manager I am. It's a difficult job, but not an impossible job. This club is in possibly its lowest position, it has bottomed out, and with a few fresh ideas, I can take it upwards".

    "Barry Quinn has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Oxford United’s former captain and longest-serving player has been able to play just once since mid-October. And the former Republic of Ireland now needs surgery on his injured ankle", says the Oxford Mail.

    According to The Comet Stevenage Borough "chairman Phil Wallace has warned supporters to expect major cutbacks at Broadhall Way to help the club ride out the recession. Boro revealed this week they posted a profit of £75,119 for the year ending May 31, 2008 but Wallace warned the club has suffered 'staggering' losses in the first six months of this financial year. The club is feeling the pinch in several of its income streams with falling attendances the principal concern and Wallace said it is necessary to cut the player budget to remain in a financially stable position. 'I doubt there's anyone on the planet that doesn't know that we are in a recession or, worse, heading for a depression', said Wallace in a statement released by the club earlier this week. '"Certain businesses will suffer early in that cycle and lower league football is one of them.

    I'm sure we're not the only club seeing our general income in the last six months down sharply and, although we are protected to a certain extent by the wide variety of the income streams put in place years ago, the losses we've posted for the first six months of this financial year are staggering. It's not just gate income and spending within the ground that's down, but all of our income streams are feeling the pinch - advertising, sponsorship, conferencing, function events, bars and the sports complex at Shephalbury. Gate income accounts for just over 20 per cent of our overall income so although what happens on the pitch is important financially, it's the other areas that are the cause for future concern'.

    Wallace added 'The directors continue to provide top-up funding for the club but there is no doubt that our outgoings - the huge majority of which are players wages and football costs - will have to be reduced in 2009 to keep the club in a stable position. Not to do so would be foolish in the extreme as I fear there is much worse to come in 2009 and 2010 for full time clubs outside of the top two divisions. This is not the time to be carrying on as we did in the past - mistakes made in the environment I'm expecting will not be recoverable'".

    22 December 2008


    Because there are no Premiership or Football League matches on New Year's Day, Altrincham Football Club is offering current season-ticket holders from any Premiership or Football League club the chance to see the Blue Square Premier (Conference) match between Altrincham and Northwich Victoria on January 1st for just £5. Kick-off is at 3pm. Entry is via gates 5 and 6 (on Moss Lane). All season tickets from Premiership and Football League clubs must be accompanied by valid photo ID.

    Alty v Northwich games are the two clubs' only Cheshire "derby" fixtures and are always well-contested affairs so, if you are accustomed to watching Premiership or Football League games why not come along and see a lively game from pitchside rather than a seat in Row Z of Old Trafford or Eastlands or whichever league ground you attend. You can even stand up to watch the game from the terraces at Moss Lane, if you prefer. A sizeable crowd is expected so please arrive by 2.30p.m.

    The ground is just a short walk from Altrincham bus/tram/rail interchange and is only two miles from the M56 motorway. Directions to Moss Lane can be found here. We hope that if you take advantage of this offer you might come again when your own team is not playing - in fact, you might even get "converted" to non-League football!


    Saturday's Robins' Review had an article from the Board of Altrincham FC, which followed on from the routine Board Meeting held last Tuesday. Amongst other things, the article stated that "Budgets were set at the beginning of this season, based on our turnover from last season and projected differences for the forthcoming season... We set ourselves a tough budget to achieve but, with a small amount of money available from the car park development [and] after paying off our other debt, we believed we had given Graham (Heathcote) our best chance of avoiding another relegation battle this season...

    We believe that the first half of the season has backed our optimism... Hopwever, no one could have foreseen the arrival of the 'Credit Crunch'.... Money is becoming tighter and the first thing to go when this happens is that entertainment/ advertising budgets are cut. Lisa (Jones) and Barry (Pond, the club's commercial team) have been finding it increasingly difficult to get companies to sponsor (advertising) boards or matches and thus a strain on our income has begun.

    Although income to date is up on that projected, expenditure has also increased... Travel costs have increased, utility costs have soared and thus we find ourselves in a position where we are facing a projected deficit, come the end of the season. The loss of money from the proposed televising of the FA Cup replay against Luton Town, the loss of Setanta money from the televising of today's game (v Burton) and our own early exit from the FA Trophy... have done nothing to help our cause. The recent problems with our electrcity supply... again becomes a burden on an already negative budget.

    We are assessing the budget on a monthly basis and decisions will be taken when and if we feel they need to be taken to keep this club debt-free and playing within its means". At some Conference clubs, the Board notes that over-spending, administration and liquidation have have been rumoured but "We will not allow this situation to develop here".

    For the rest of the season, the Board has an aim of "increasing income into the club to avoid having to cut expenditure. The support of each and every one of our supporters is essential if we are to achieve this aim. A Sportsman's Dinner is planned for February/March and the End of Season Ball will be in the first week in May. We are also planning a football tournament for local companies to compete in, over two weekends. If anyone can help in these ventures, please make yourself known and, if you have any other ideas on how we can increase our income, we'd be delighted to hear from you.

    The Board of Directors".

    S.O.S. (Strengthen Our Squad)

    Brian Flynn, acting chair of TASC writes:

    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) is appealing for as many supporters as possible to make a financial contribution to help manager Graham Heathcote strengthen his squad in the New Year. The team has done exceptionally well to achieve 29 points to date but a combination of losing key players through injury and the current exceptionally difficult economic climate have meant that we are ending the year with a desperately thin squad and no funds available to strengthen. The loss of potential revenue from two games planned to be screened live by Setanta (Burton Albion & Luton Town) plus last week's F.A. Trophy demise against Southport leaves the club in a very difficult financial position.

    Whilst realising that this may not be the ideal time of year to make this appeal, we believe that all Altrincham fans would want to do whatever they can to help, rather than see a promising season fall away due to the lack of being able to bolster the playing resources available to Graham Heathcote and Graham Barrow.

    If you are able to help then please contact Mike Ainsworth at Altrincham Football Club (0161 928 1045) with your pledge. All pledges,large or small, will be gratefully received. Alternatively, you can send a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club. All cheques should be sent to the Football Club (Moss Lane, Altrincham, WA15 8AP) and clearly marked for Mike's attention.


    After Saturday's game with Burton, the Brewers' manager Nigel Clough was positive in his comments to the NL Paper about Altrincham, saying "Alty have had a tough time but they've just given us one of our hardest away days of the season". However, "Robins' boss Graham Heathcote refused to comment after the game , so it was up to veteran striker Colin Little to explain the feeling in the dressing room. He said, 'Obviously with my [disallowed] goal, it's all ifs and buts. I had my hands on his shoulder and I gave him a little push. sometimes the ref notices it, other times he doesn't. This time, he spotted it. The manager's blasted us for not keeping our composure after equalising but we didn't want to just sit back as we felt we could get something out of the game. We've shown great resilience against a class side and we're on 29 points which is a lot better than in recent seasons, so we'll look to build on that". The NL Today newspaper adds that Nigel Clough said, "That was as tough a game as we've had all season".


    Brian Flynn, the Chairman of The Altrincham Supporters Club (TASC) writes:

    I am delighted to advise that we have broken the £1,000 barrier in terms of ticket sales for the New Year raffle. We have some momentum now & with a few hundred pounds worth of sales still to be collected & the prospect of lots of ticket sales at the big game against Northwich Victoria on New Year's Day, we have a good chance of achieving our target of £2,000 of ticket sales in total.

    We mustn't let up though so let's have a one last big effort to maximise our sales!

    Particular thanks to Gareth Thomas, Graham Jackett, James Black & the lads who did the bucket collections at yesterday's match.A special mention to Mike Davies & "The Old Plough branch of TASC" who have sold well over £100 worth of tickets.

    We can do this!!


    Altrincham's next four away games are all against clubs who have just changed their manager - Northwich (Steve King), York (Martin Foyle), Mansfield (Adie Moses) and Oxford United (Chris Wilder).

    In fact, two of Alty's next three games are against Northwich Vics (away and home). The Vics met Rushden and Diamonds last Saturday and the Diamonds website reports that "The second half started... with the Vics on top, with Peter Winn seeming able to beat Michael Corcoran and find space for a cross from the Vics left at will, resulting in a series of corners... The Diamonds midfield was struggling to find each other with a direct pass, with several stray passes going straight into touch, to the frustration of the home fans. As the game reached an hour old the change to 3-4-3 was made by the Diamonds management, with the introduction of Yannick Bolasie for debutant Cochrane. This suddenly gave the Diamonds some cohesion... The Diamonds management stuck to this more attacking formation following the equaliser, and within a few minutes this paid dividends as a Lee Tomlin run through the centre saw him lay the ball to Smith, collect the return and slot into the left hand corner of the net".

    Meanwhile, NL Daily confirms that "Former Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has been appointed Oxford United's new manager. He succeeds Darren Patterson after Jim Smith's four-game unbeaten run as caretaker-manager.

    Wilder, 41, had been Halifax manager for six years, working in difficult circumstances and taking the Shaymen to the Conference National play-off final one season, despite a small budget. He left in the summer when the cash-stricken club had to fold and re-form, with the team demoted three divisions. Wilder has been working as number two to Alan Knill at Bury this season... U's chairman Kelvin Thomas said he believed Wilder was the best man for the job and was excited by his appointment. He also said Wilder was the most impressive of all the candidates at the interview process, and really wanted to be Oxford United manager. Wilder believes he has come in at a good time with the U's, with four or five games for the players to try to show him what they can do before he starts any wheeling and dealing that needs to be done during the January transfer window".

    21 December 2008


    Altrincham FC Youth team's next two matches are:
  • Sunday 21 December 2008, k.o. 2pm, home (at Wythenshawe Town) versus Woodley Sports in a league match.
  • Sunday 4 January 2009, k.o. 1.30pm, home (at Wythenshawe Town) versus Marine "B" in the NWYA open Cup, 2nd Round.


    This may have been Alty's third defeat in their last four league outings but, in this game against the league leaders, it was a much improved performance from the home side compared with last week's Trophy exit.

    Match report here.

    "As hard a game as we've had all season" was Burton boss Nigel Clough's view of the match.

  • League Table.
  • Alty Line-Ups.
  • Alty Player Stats.

    Right: Matt Doughty in action against Burton on a very damp afternoon at Moss Lane.


    Burton Albion report that "A battling 3-1 victory over Altrincham at Moss Lane sent Burton Albion eight points clear at the top of the Blue Square Premier... Albion did not have it all their own way after Greg Pearson opened the scoring". Manager Nigel Clough said, “We have had some tough games in that eight game run and the longer it goes on the more difficult it will be to keep it going. We have had some good unbeaten runs but in terms of outright wins it is a remarkable sequence... We just about deserved that victory today but it was an extremely tough game as Altrincham made it very tough for us throughout and despite having the majority of the play, particularly in the first half, and getting the goal we never really felt comfortable and although they have put a good goal in, which from our point of view was a poor one to concede, we had it all on to try and get the second and third goals and that was as tough an away game as we have had all season. In some ways we would have settled for a point especially at 1-1 when they were putting us under pressure because of the conditions and you can't keep going on winning and winning but we dug a result out. Another mistake at the other end and we could have been on the end of a 2-1 defeat today quite easily".

    Also, "Clough was quick to praise a gritty Altrincham side who in the second half in particular had moments that cause Albion real problems but the Albion boss was relieved that the luck went with his side. 'Altrincham came out in the second half and put us under some pressure as you would expect with them being the home side and a goal down. They have got some good players and Colin Little is a good lad up front who always seems to cause us problems here. On the whole we dealt with their threat although they missed a good chance at 2-1 down which could have changed the game and it is those little bits of luck that you need when you are at the top'". As for Alty's diallowed goal, Mr Clough observed, “I think it was a pretty clear push and the referee has given it straight away almost before the ball had hit the net and we didn’t see too many arguments about it in all honesty... We deserve the run we are on at the minute for the workrate alone at the minute. We still want a few things better and there are a few positions we want to improve on... We think our best avenue will be loan signings from league clubs at this stage".


    The latest winners of the Friends of Altrincham FC's monthly prize draw are:
  • 1. Steve Foster (no.9)
  • 2. Lisa Jones (no.23)
  • 3. Steve Foster (no.10)

    For details of how you can join the Friends and have a chance of winning a prize, whilst helping the club, cliak here.


    The Altrincham FC Christmas carol service will be held on Tuesday 23rd December at 8pm for 8.30pm in the Noel White Suite. It will be led by club chaplain, Andrew Barclay-Watt.


    An ideal Christmas present is a Half-Season Ticket for Altrincham FC matches. Prices are: Standing- Adults £100, Concessionaries £50; Seated - Adults £120, Concessionaries £55. For further details, please contact the club on 928-1045.

    S.O.S. (Strengthen Our Squad)

    Brian Flynn, acting chair of TASC writes:

    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) is appealing for as many supporters as possible to make a financial contribution to help manager Graham Heathcote strengthen his squad in the New Year. The team has done exceptionally well to achieve 29 points to date but a combination of losing key players through injury and the current exceptionally difficult economic climate have meant that we are ending the year with a desperately thin squad and no funds available to strengthen. The loss of potential revenue from two games planned to be screened live by Setanta (Burton Albion & Luton Town) plus last week's F.A. Trophy demise against Southport leaves the club in a very difficult financial position.

    Whilst realising that this may not be the ideal time of year to make this appeal, we believe that all Altrincham fans would want to do whatever they can to help, rather than see a promising season fall away due to the lack of being able to bolster the playing resources available to Graham Heathcote and Graham Barrow.

    If you are able to help then please contact Mike Ainsworth at Altrincham Football Club (0161 928 1045) with your pledge. All pledges,large or small, will be gratefully received. Alternatively, you can send a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club. All cheques should be sent to the Football Club (Moss Lane, Altrincham, WA15 8AP) and clearly marked for Mike's attention.


    NL Daily reports that "Antigua and Barbudan international midfielder Justin Cochrane has joined Rushden & Diamonds and made his debut in the win over Northwich Victoria on Saturday. Cochrane started his career as a trainee with Queens Park Rangers, later moving on to Hayes and then Crewe Alexandra, where he made more than seventy appearances. More recently Cochrane went on to Rotherham, Yeovil and has most recently been on the books at Millwall, where he made one appearance. This season he has been on trial with Leyton Orient".

    The BBC reports that "The former chairman of a West Sussex football club has pleaded not guilty to stealing £1.4m and cheating the taxman. Millionaire businessman and former boss of Crawley Town FC, Azwar Majeed, 32, of North Street, Brighton, denied eight charges at Southwark Crown Court. The charges include four thefts involving "credit balances" totalling £1,436,700 and concealing criminal property of £505,505. He was remanded on bail to await a six-week trial due to begin on 2 February. Mr Majeed is also accused of failing to keep sufficient accounting records for S A Retail Ltd and failing to account properly for income and national gains tax and national insurance between 1 April 2003 and 31 January this year. He is also charged with perverting the course of justice between 19 February and 6 March this year in connection with the transfer of £741,675 while subject to a Crown Court restraint order."

    The Northwich Guardian makes a claim that "Vics are not looking to offload half their contracted players, according to Steve King, [Vics' manager]. He told the Guardian that rumours he had transfer-listed eight members of his first team squad were wide of the mark. 'It’s a load of rubbish', he said. 'What is true is that those players named can join another club on loan – they’ve all been told the same thing'. King circulated the names of Aaron Burns, Chris Flynn, Michael Jones, Jamie Mullan, Darryn Stamp, Lee Steele, Scott Tynan and Michael Welch just hours after their lacklustre FA Trophy exit at the hands of York City. The list was published on the official website of neighbours Altrincham last night, Friday, before Vics themselves had made an announcement [to their own fans]...

    'For some of them it was intended to be a kick up the backside', said King, who earlier this week described his side’s cup defeat as ‘unacceptable’. 'I wanted to get a response and I’m delighted with how they did today'... Last season’s top scorer Steele has told the Guardian that he had asked to be made available for a move following a chat with King earlier this week. He blamed the ongoing financial problems at the club – the players haven’t been paid since the start of last month – for his decision'".

    20 December 2008


    Saturday 20th
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Burton A. 3
  • Cambridge U. 4 Salisbury C. 0
  • Crawley T. 2 Kidderminster H. 0
  • Forest Green R. 0 Kettering T. 2
  • Grays A. 2 Barrow 1
  • Lewes 0 Woking 2
  • Mansfield T. 2 Weymouth 1
  • Oxford U. 1 Stevenage B. 1
  • Rushden & D. 2 Northwich V. 1
  • Torquay U. 4 Histon 1
  • Wrexham 5 Eastbourne B. 0
  • York C. 3 Ebbsfleet U. 1
  • Howard Watts's Through The Years.


    Right: Stuart Coburn gets the ball ahead of Ciaran Kilheeney in last Saturday's game. Many more of Gavin Rathbone's photos are on his GR Photography website.

    Altrincham's squad will be stretched to the limit on Saturday as Burton Albion ride into town on the back of a run of seven consecutive league victories that has seen them open up a five point lead at the head of the Blue Square Premier table. Tuesday night's training session did not go well as both Chris Lane and leading scorer and talisman, Colin Little, sustained injuries to deplete Graham Heathcote's already stretched squad. Defender Lane's back went into spasm as he suffered a recurrence of an injury that forced him to miss matches last month and he is rated as doubtful. Little, already into double figures in terms of goals scored this season, has a swollen knee and is rated as having a 50/50 chance of making it.

    Dale Johnson missed training on Tuesday through illness but is now recovered and influential midfielder Anthony Danylyk has recovered from the hip injury that forced him to miss the second half of last week's F.A. Trophy defeat at home to Southport. Shaun Densmore, who has been sorely missed in midfield, returns following a three match suspension.

    Long-term casualties, Kevin Street, Robbie Lawton and Chris Denham are also unavailable, although Denham has been given the all- clear to resume training after suffering a work related eye injury at the end of September. The Robins are looking for their first-ever Blue Square Premier victory against Nigel Clough's team. In fact the Cheshire side have taken just one point in the six games between the sides.

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger adds that "Burton Albion ride into town on the back of a run of seven consecutive league victories. The Staffordshire outfit have a five point lead at the head of the Blue Square Premier table".

    Meanwhile, the Burton Mail states that "Burton Albion hope for an early Christmas present tomorrow - by tightening their stranglehold on top spot in the Blue Square Premier... The Brewers will be looking for a club record eighth successive league win when they face Altrincham at Moss Lane on a day when their high-flying rivals go head-to-head. Second-placed Histon visit Torquay United, who are currently fourth in the table, while third-placed Kidderminster Harriers take on fellow play-off hopefuls Crawley Town at Aggborough.

    Albion boss Nigel Clough said: 'It's a huge weekend that could swing things a bit more in our favour'. Clough's men could open up a seven-point gap if the football gods smile on them. The Brewers boss said: 'It's not often that four of the top five play each other on the same day, so something has to give. We're not quite sure how we would prefer the other games to finish but, one way or the other, the results could be of some significance. First and foremost, we need to make sure we come back from Altrincham with something - preferably all three points - and see where that takes us going into the Christmas games... We need to be on our game at Altrincham to avoid a slip-up'.

    Alty are in the midst of a slump that has seen them ship 14 goals in four successive defeats after a promising start to the season. But Clough believes the Cheshire outfit are a better side than their current form suggests. He explained: 'They've got their best squad since they came back into the Conference - and, although he's 34, Colin Little is still one of the best strikers around at this level. We've seen them twice this season and both games hinged on the first goal. They looked a different team after getting it against Oxford and went on to beat them, but they conceded it against Southport in the Trophy last weekend and ended up letting in four. The first goal is invariably the most important and this will be one of those occasions when we can't afford to concede it because our games against Alty are usually very close. Last season was disappointing at their place because it ended 0-0 after we missed a very good late chance. But our strikers are all in very good form so we fancy we can get a get ourselves a goal, which makes it imperative that the back four are on their mettle'.

    Clough hopes to be able to field a full-strength starting line-up after a weakened side could only manage a 1-1 draw against Farsley Celtic in Tuesday's FA Trophy first round tie. Goalkeeper Kevin Poole takes over from Saul Deeney after being rested, while defender Jake Buxton and midfield maestro John McGrath return from suspension. Clough also hopes to have Buxton's regular partner Tony James back in action after a hamstring strain.

    The Brewers boss said: 'The only dilemma - and it's a nice one - is who we go with up front'. Top scorer Greg Pearson and Shaun Harrad are in pole position after bagging 24 goals between them, but Clough is also a big admirer of Lee Morris. The Brewers' boss said: 'We keep looking at ways of getting all three of them out there together and at some stage we will do it, especially as Lee is capable of playing out wide'. Albion from: Poole, Corbett, James, Buxton, Webster, Newby, Simpson, McGrath, Gilroy, Pearson, Harrad, Holmes, Deeney, Austin, Morris, Armstrong".

    The Mail adds that "Nigel Clough is planning his biggest-ever New Year shopping spree when the transfer window opens on January 1... Clough said 'We're working as hard as possible to set things up so we get players in as soon as possible. The numbers involved will depend on fitness and availability, but we're optimistic that new people will be arriving. We're talking to clubs, mostly from the Football League, and trying to prioritise as best we can. They might be on month-long loans initially or on deals that will take us through to the end of the season'...

    Clough has never been one to break the bank, but he does have room for manoeuvre on his wage budget... Only the goalkeeping department is likely to be exempt from change... Clough's priorities are thought to be a striker and a right midfield player, but he revealed: "We're looking for a mixture of players... It is almost certain Clough will be disappointed if he cannot bringing in more attacking firepower, even though Albion are the Blue Square Premier's top scorers. Jody Banim and Marc Goodfellow have suffered a notable fall from grace after promising form earlier in the season. And the jury is still out on Jon Newby... The former Morecambe player lacks the skills specific to the needs of the role that an in-form Keith Gilroy provides on the left flank".


    Altrincham FC offices will be open over Christmas/New Year as follows:
  • December 22-23: Normal hours (0930-1630)
  • December 24-30: Closed
  • December 31: Open 1000-1630
  • January 1: Match v Northwich Vics. Turnstiles open 1.45pm
  • January 2: Open 1000-1630
  • January 3-4: Closed
  • January 5: Normal hours (0930-1630)


    "Andy Burgess and Lee Tomlin have been taken off the transfer list by Rushden & Diamonds' manager, Garry Hill. The two midfielders were amongst the eight players transfer listed in October 2008, where of those eight, Leon Knight has been sacked and Phil Gulliver, Dean McDonald and Sagi Burton have left, leaving Lee Phillips and Curtis Woodhouse remaining on the transfer list. Burgess looks set to be out for around eight weeks after fracturing an eye socket in Saturday's FA Trophy fixture at Newport County. He will face an operation next week to have a surgical plate inserted".

    We learn from This is Nottingham that "Adie Moses today revealed it took him and Mark Stallard seconds to revert back to a 4-4-2 formation to take Mansfield Town forward. The defender was put in caretaker charge with Stallard last week... He said: 'As soon as the chairman gave me and Stall the job, we knew we would revert back to 4-4-2. We have been playing 4-3-3 a lot recently and I was a little frustrated as a defender because the system did not quite suit the players we had. You know Jason Lee will win his headers but the two wide players were a little too far apart. It tended to be Jason flick them on and from a defensive point of view the goalkeeper would collect it or the other centre half. We knew we wanted to go 4-4-2 and wanted to play Emile up there because he has looked a different player up front'".

    According to the FA, "The latest cases heard by Regulatory Commissions and charges issued" include: "Steve King, Northwich Victoria FC, Eastbourne Borough FC v Northwich Victoria FC... Charge: FA Rule E3 – improper conduct [and] "Justin Skinner, Northwich Victoria FC, Eastbourne Borough FC v Northwich Victoria FC... Charge: FA Rule E3 – improper conduct".

    19 December 2008


    To ease their financial crisis Northwich Vics have made eight contracted players available for loan or transfer. They are Aaron Burns, Chris Flynn, Michael Jones, Jamie Mullan, Darryn Stamp, Lee Steele, Scott Tynan and Michael Welch.

    Northwich Vics also report on a supporters' meeting on Thursday. "An open and frank exchange of views took place and Jim Rushe outlined his plans for the club, talked frankly about the financial position and engaged in positive discussions regarding fund raising. A full report of the meeting will be posted on the club's web site in due course... These are some of the main points. £7K raised by the end of the meeting. Support by the way of donations is still urgently needed... A fund raising group was formed... The meeting felt that Vics should continue to operate at the present level but that the wage bill should be reduced and brought under control. JR totally agreed and stated that he is close (perhaps 90%) to finalising a deal to buy the VS. Buying the stadium is in his view critical if the club is to prosper long term. The consensus of the meeting agreed with that view".


    Above: Alex Meechan at full stretch against Southport, as captured by Gavin Rathbone. Many more of Gavin's photos are on his GR Photography website.

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger tells us that "Graham Heathcote was left feeling totally flummoxed" after last Saturday's 4-1 defeat at home to Southport. He said, "We're a complete Jekyll and Hyde team at the moment and if that is the best we can do in a competition that ends up at Wembley, then that is a really poor state of affairs". SAM adds that "A poor decision by an official acted as a catalyst for a complete capitulation... The first goal looked to be a very poor [offside] decision. But I thought the key impact on the game was losing Anthony Danylyk at half time with a hip injury. We were already very light in midfield without the suspended Shaun Densmore and Robbie Lawton, who is injured and we just didn't protect our back four well enough after the break". Graham added, "We've got 29 points, which is an excellent return before Christmas but we still need at least another 21 to be confident of achieving another season at this level. Burton [Alty's next opponents] are a really good side who have put a very consistent run together. They also have strength in depth when you consider that a player of Jody Banim's calibre can't even get on the subs' bench. However, they do let you play and I'm sure that after the work we do in training this week that we will be very organised and ready for Saturday's game'".


    Altrincham host Burton Albion this Saturday. According to the Burton Mail, "Paris Simmons could have kicked the last ball of a doomed spell with Burton Albion... The 19-year-old forward, on loan from Derby County, could be out for two weeks after twisting an ankle in Tuesday's FA Trophy stalemate with Farsley Celtic. The injury means Simmons is unlikely to play again before his second month on loan from Pride Park ends on January 1... Albion also have defenders Matt Bailey and Craig Armstrong on loan until January 1 from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cheltenham Town respectively. An agreement with Scottish club Greenock Morton which resulted in Jon Newby joining the Brewers is also due for renewal on that date. Clough said: 'Who we try to keep and who goes back will depend to a large extent on who we are able to bring in when the transfer window opens. We're talking to five clubs about various players, but at this stage we don't know what the outcome will be'. Clough would not be drawn on the futures of summer signing Jody Banim and winger Marc Goodfellow. The pair have dropped further down the pecking order since being criticised by Clough for their performances in last week's Setanta Shield defeat at the hands of AFC Telford United.

    They even had to watch from the stands on Tuesday evening... Clough said: 'We put out what we thought was our best 16 against Farsley. Jody and Marc both know they have to do better if they want to get back in it'... Meanwhile, skipper Darren Stride is unlikely to play until next month as he tries to regain full fitness. The stalwart defender had knee surgery last month, but that in turn has delayed his recovery from a pulled thigh muscle".

    Shaun Densmore's suspension has now been completed and he is expected to be back in the squad this Saturday.


    The referees for Altrincham's next four games have all overseen Alty games previously.
  • Saturday 20 Dec. v Burton, Mr Colin Harwood. He reffed Alty's 2-1 win at Radcliffe Borough in a pre-season friendly match on 23 July, 2005.
  • Boxing Day, at Vics: Mr Jock Waugh, who has handled numerous Alty games including our 2-1 loss at Burton last April and our 3-1 defeat by Oxford, also last season.
  • Sunday 28 Dec, at York: Mr G. Eltringham, who handled the 1-0 home win over Oxford United on Sunday, 12 October 2008.
  • 1 Jan v Vics at home: Mr J. Collin - another regular official for Alty, whose games include the Alty v Wrexham match this season, but also include matches in our UniBond days.


    Right: Alty's home match with Burton is on Saturday 20th December and the club is offering special prices in the Sponsors' Lounge for this game... as described in the image (right). Why not take advantage of this offer for an early Christmas celebration?


    Setanta TV's next live matches include the following. Cambridge United only have four televised matches in a six week period.
  • 26/12/08 3pm Burton v York
  • 01/01/09 3pm Altrincham v Northwich
  • 06/01/09 7.45pm Weymouth v York
  • 08/01/09 7.45pm Woking v Northwich
  • 15/01/09 7.45pm Torquay v Wrexham
  • 22/01/09 7.45pm Wrexham v Cambridge
  • 29/01/09 7.45pm Cambridge v Oxford
  • 05/02/09 7.45pm Burton Albion v Rushden
  • 09/02/09 7.45pm Kidderminster v Cambridge
  • 28/02/09 5.30pm Oxford v Torquay
  • 02/03/09 7.45pm Histon v Cambridge
  • 05/03/09 7.45pm Setanta Shield Final


    Joey Dunn was one of manager Mark Ward's managerial team at Moss Lane during the 2000-01 season. NL Daily says that "Paul Moore, manager of UniBond League Division One North club Warrington Town, has moved quickly to try and turn around the club’s fortunes by bringing in the experienced former Town player Joey Dunn as his assistant. Dunn was controversially sacked as manager by Blue Square North outfit Burscough earlier this season after taking over from Liam Watson, who resigned to take the Southport job. Dunn had been his number two for two seasons".


    "Worcester City players and staff have been asked to take a pay cut as the Blue Square South club continues to tighten its purse strings. Chairman Anthony Hampson broke the news to manager Richard Dryden and his squad at a meeting at St George’s Lane. The revelation comes just days after Dryden was forced to release scout and reserve team manager Geoff Ashby and stopped from recruiting players following the departures of Troy Wood and Jemiah Richards... Plans to swell attendances by admitting under-16s for free with a paying adult have already been announced for Saturday’s visit of Bognor Regis Town. The running of the social club is currently under review and around £1,600 was received as a result of appeals sent to 'local individuals'" reports the Worcester News.


    One of life's mysteries continues as Northwich Vics again send out conflicting signals about their well-being. Having hastily arranged an apparently desperate fundraising meeting for supporters this week, they now announce that they have found the cash to fund yet another player's move from a distant southern football club. The Northwich Guardian reports "Vics have bolstered their squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rushden & Diamonds. Former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Liam Coleman has agreed non-contract terms after training with the club over the past week. 'He’s a high energy player', said manager Steve King. 'I just feel we need a little bit extra in there at the moment with Joel Byrom out of the reckoning. Liam can do a good job for us.” Coleman, 22, left Stonebridge Road in the summer following a two-year stay... He began his professional career at home town club Colchester United, playing a handful of matches for Torquay United and Forest Green Rovers before joining the Fleet in the summer of 2006".

    However, "Steve King read the riot act to his players following their FA Trophy humbling by York City. The Vics boss kept his side in the changing room for more than half an hour after their 2-0 defeat... 'It was totally unacceptable', he said. 'The performance was terrible and I felt embarrassed watching the game in the second half – we didn’t trouble their keeper once. I won’t accept another display like that... Their second was a catalogue of mistakes between Simon Grand and Will Antwi'... King has promised changes for this weekend’s trip to Rushden... Dean Lodge, cup tied on Tuesday, is available for selection along with fellow wide man Owen Price... Said King, 'We’ve been fair, working with the players we inherited – all of them have had an opportunity to impress but to be honest not enough have. This side has been struggling at the wrong end of the table for the past two seasons and that’s not a coincidence'”.

    "Nathan Fairhurst and Nathan Woolfe have signed extensions to their current loan agreements with Blue Square Premier club Wrexham" reports NL Daily. "Woolfe, on loan from Bolton Wanderers, scored inside 15 minutes of his first team debut against Weymouth, and Fairhurst, who has formed a solid central midfield partnership with fellow loanee Angelos Tsiaklis, will both now stay at the Racecourse Ground until January 14th".

    "Wrexham Football Club was delighted to announce this week that planning permission has been put forward to Wrexham Maelor Borough Council for a major new Student Village development adjacent to the Racecourse Ground - with all profits from it going straight into the Club. The development company created to handle the project, Wrexham Village Ltd, has announced the £40 million investment for the local community - securing in excess of 100 jobs locally... Director Paul Retout, commented: 'We are working closely with Glyndwr University to create the best possible Student accommodation in North Wales and further afield'. Phase 1 is due for completion in September 2011, and Phase 2 the following year. Paul added: 'Wrexham Village will help finance Wrexham Football Club as all profits from the project is going back into the Club - securing the future, with the aim of paying off all current debts and putting working capital into the Club'".

    At Mansfield Town "Emile Sinclair has extended his loan stay from Nottingham Forest for a further month... He said: 'It definitely suits me better playing up front as a partnership of two. I feel I am more dangerous playing up front in a 4-4-2 formation'. Emile has made 11 starts and four substitute appearances, scoring four goals in the process".

    From the BBC we learn that "Cambridge United director George Rolls says there will be no transfer funds for manager Gary Brabin in January. Rolls told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'We've got no money to spend, I don't want to give the fans false hope. I believe that the squad we've got is very capable of taking us into the Football League'. The U's will lose a striker having recently failed to extend Scott Rendell's loan deal from Peterborough United beyond the New Year. Rolls has had to defend himself against a claim by Peterborough director of football Barry Fry that the U's director had withdrawn a transfer offer for Rendell... Brabin, meanwhile, will have to look at other short-term deals or players out of contract if he is to bolster his squad in the transfer window'".

    Kidderminster boss Mark Yates "has told on-loan players Michael McGrath and Paul Bignot they can leave the club" claims the Kidderminster Shuttle. "McGrath is currently at Worcester City but his deal ends this month, while Bignot's stay at Newport County finishes on Boxing Day. Less than a year ago, Yates believed that McGrath had the potential to play at a higher level and handed him a season-long contract in the summer... Bignot joined Harriers in the summer of 2007 on a two-year deal but never really secured a regular first team spot".

    This is Nottingham reports that "Notts County need to unearth more talent like Sean Canham, Ian McParland said today. The Magpies' boss revealed he has already set his sights on bringing a couple more non-league players to Meadow Lane in January or during the summer – and has had one target scouted... They paid an undisclosed fee, thought to be £5,000, to sign Canham from Team Bath after the striker scored 41 goals there last season... McParland said: 'It's important for a club like ours to get players from non-league. We have been looking at another couple, but they still cost money'".

    Weymouth "Midfielder Stephen Reed has not broken his ankle as first feared" according to the Dorset Echo. "Reed was replaced at half-time in Tuesday night’s disappointing exit from the FA Trophy... Team-mate Jordan Collins, like Reed, was also taken to hospital after the game with a suspected broken ankle. But it was determined the on-loan defender had suffered ligament damage at worst. And following a x-ray yesterday morning, Reed was also deemed to have damaged ligaments as opposed to a break in his ankle. Caretaker-manager Alan Lewer feared the pair would be out for anything up to two months... He said: 'Stephen has not suffered a break so he should be out for four weeks, which is probably how long Jordan will be out for too'".

    18 December 2008


    Wednesday's Altrincham FC Pensioners' Christmas Dinner was a huge success and the Club would like to thank chefs Dave Johnson and Brian Southworth, and all of those who helped to make it such an enjoyable event. The food was very favourably compared to that served in local restaurants - and there are not many establishments where you can have your Christmas dinner served to your table by the manager of a Blue Square Premier club, as it was by Graham Heathcote! Vice-Chairman Grahame Rowley and his wife Karen, along with John Skelhorn and TASC Chairman Brian Flynn (who ran the raffle) also helped with the serving, whilst Jenny Heslop took time off from kit washing to washing-up! Raffle winners were John Hirst, John Hutton and Dana Laidlar. The only complaint was that no bookings were being taken for next year, yet!!


    Alty's next opponents are Burton Albion who "face a replay at Farsley Celtic next Tuesday evening... On a disappointing night amidst the rain Albion dominated the first half of the game during which Greg Pearson netted for the fourteenth time this season but failed to capitalise on their lead and despite hitting the woodwork three times they allowed Farsley to poach an equaliser... Brewers boss Nigel Clough made six changes to his side, two of them enforced with John McGrath and Jake Buxton unavailable through suspension. As predicted by the manager last week, Danny Holmes and Ryan Austin were drafted in to the starting eleven to replace them. With Tony James not risked Aaron Webster moved to centre half with Craig Armstrong slotting in at left back. Saul Deeney was given a rare start in place of the rested Kevin Poole and Greg Pearson was restored to the team... On loan striker Paris Simmons was also recalled on the right wing as Jon Newby was rested to the bench although the Derby County youngster only lasted eight minutes after twisting his ankle early on... Albion man of the match: Shaun Harrad".

    More on this comes from the Burton Mail which tells us that "Albion face an unwelcome trip to Yorkshire in the run up to Christmas after being taken to an FA Trophy replay by underdogs Farsley Celtic ... The game will have to be squeezed between Saturday's trip to Altrincham and the Boxing Day clash at home to York City when Albion will be looking to tighten their grip on top spot in the Blue Square Premier...Manager Nigel Clough admitted: 'It showed up quite considerably that we were missing our three first-choice centre-halves... You need people like Jake Buxton, Darren Stride, Tony James and John McGrath in your team, or at least a percentage of them, to get you a second goal or a clean sheet... It's not ideal that we've got to fit in another game at what is a very busy stage of the season, and some of the lads who are responsible for that will be making the trip up to Yorkshire'... There was a place on the bench for trialist Scott McCubbin but, perhaps ominously, both Marc Goodfellow and Jody Banim both failed to make the 16".


    FA Trophy 1

    Wed. 17th

  • Swindon S. 1 Eastbourne B. 0


    The revised FA Trophy Round 2 draw (games on weekend of 10th January) is below:
  • Lewes v Havant & Waterlooville
  • Ilkeston T. v Kidderminster H.
  • Burton A./Farsley C. v Salisbury City
  • Basingstoke T. v Wrexham
  • Hednesford T. v Welling U.
  • Forest Green R. v Redditch U.
  • Bashley/Tiverton T. v Kettering T.
  • Durham C.v Southport
  • AFC Telford U. v Hayes & Yeading U.
  • Farnborough v Stevenage B.
  • Torquay U. v Rushden & Diamonds
  • Ebbsfleet U. v Stalybridge C.
  • Barrow v Workington
  • Uxbridge v Swindon S.
  • Oxford U. v York City
  • Cambridge U. v Crawley T.


    News from the Halifax CourierMeanwhile, This is Staffs reports on the FA Trophy game which ended Hednesford Town 3, Nantwich Town 2, during which "in the 25th minute Nantwich centre-half Darren Tinson smashed a clearance against Hednesford's Ross Dyer and the ball flew past goalkeeper Lee Jones to give the home side a fortuitous lead". Also in action this week was Tinson's former team-mate at Alty, Steve Aspinall, who is playing for Colwyn Bay.


    The Dorset Echo reports that "Caretaker-boss was left cursing his luck last night after seeing the Terras crash out of the FA Trophy and losing Stephen Reed and Jordan Collins to injury at the same time. A goal inside the opening minute from Charlie Sheringham put lower league Welling United in front before Moses Ademola doubled the home side’s advantage... Weymouth not only suffered a disappointing defeat, they also saw on-loan Collins and midfielder Reed taken to hospital with suspected broken ankles. Speaking after a quick visit to A&E, Lewer said: 'Jordan didn’t suffer a break in the end but he has damaged ankle ligaments. Stephen will be x-rayed in the morning and it’s either ligament damage or a break of the ankle. Whatever the outcome I’d expect both of them to be out for six to eight weeks. The game itself was very poor. We gave away two sloppy goals... It takes us down to about 13 senior players or so, so that’s very concerning'. The Terras’ winless run now stands at four games in all competitions. However, last night was only their second defeat in six fixtures... Lewer added: 'The good news is that Santos Gaia and Kevin Sandwith will be back from suspension'”.

    "Steve King did not emerge to speak to the press following Vics' FA Trophy exit. The Northwich boss spoke to players for more than half an hour after seeing them slump to a 2-0 defeat against York in front of just 393 people. He retired to his office after that2 acording to the Northwich Guardian. "A conversation with staff and owner Jim Rushe was still in progress after 10.30pm - almost an hour after the final whistle. His opposite number Martin Foyle was understandably delighted with the Minstermen's progress. 'I thought we played some super stuff at times', he said".

    Meanwhile "Will Antwi has agreed to stay another month at the Marston’s Arena. The on-loan Wycombe Wanderers stopper signed terms for another four weeks".

    And from the Mid-Cheshire Chronicle we learn that "Vics' owner Jim Rushe is confident his consortium will soon own the Marston’s Arena. It is understood two rival bids have been made for the Wincham ground and surrounding nine acres of land to global finance firm Deloitte and Touche, which is acting as Vics’ de facto landlord after seizing the site from former chairman Mike Connett’s company Beaconet Ltd. The higher bid is believed to be that of the group led by Rushe, who saved the club from folding in December 2007. But a second offer, thought to be from Summit Finance, has also been tabled. Rushe was in talks with backers about 'how we put the funding together'(Tuesday). But speaking on Monday, he said 'I’m feeling positive about it'...

    A successful deal between Rushe’s mystery money men and Deloitte would mean the end of Vics’ association with Connett, a controversial and largely unpopular figure who once claimed he wanted to make Vics “the Chelsea of Cheshire”. Meanwhile, Rushe told the Chronicle a complaint to the FA from Vics’ cup conquerors Telford United over gate receipts would soon be resolved... Telford claim they are owed about £3,000. But Rushe said 'I have apologised to Telford for not paying them on time', he said. 'With not having a home game for seven weeks the cash flow at the club hasn’t been good, but we’ll be paying them in full very shortly'.Jim Rushe will be speaking to supporters at a meeting on Thursday night to discuss the future of the club".

    Acording to the Cambridge News, "Histon chairman Gareth Baldwin and his Cambridge United counterpart Terry Baker have poured scorn on calls for the Blue Square Premier to be regionalised. The pair were responding to Woking chairman David Taylor's suggestion that non-league's top flight needs to be split up geographically to help clubs cut spiralling costs. But the Stutes' chief and the U's acting chairman have branded Taylor's comments as ridiculous and believe there is no need for change. Baldwin said: 'It's a nonsense - the Blue Square Premier is the pinnacle of non-league football, so why would we want to dilute it? Everyone has to live within their means and if you do that, it's very competitive... Baldwin said: 'If you can't afford overnights, then don't do them. We only have one overnight in the whole season and that's at Torquay. You have to cut your cloth accordingly. If we hadn't had our FA Cup run and finances hadn't improved, we would not have done it - we'd have left at 7am and got on with it'.

    Woking chairman Walker also feels supporters are being asked to travel too far and cannot afford to attend away matches... He said: 'I wouldn't be in favour of regionalisation and I think there are a lot of clubs in the Blue Square Premier, North and South who have overstretched themselves. We all have ambitions, but there are some clubs that have their moment of glory, reach the dizzying heights and then they can't sustain it. Our supporters often outnumber the home fans in this league and a lot of teams' income would be drastically reduced without our fans being there'".

    "Jeff Goulding is set to finally make his Eastbourne Borough debut tonight (Wednesday). The AFC Bournemouth striker has been sidelined with injury since arriving on loan three weeks ago but is expected to be on the bench for Borough’s FA Trophy first round tie at Swindon Supermarine" says the Argus. "Goulding injured his back when he took part in an army training day with the rest of the Bournemouth squad but an injection has eased the problem".

    "A football club chairman is looking forward to working with the council to help secure the future of football in its town" claims the Northants Evening Telegraph. "Kettering Town FC chairman Imraan Ladak was pleased to hear that a motion will be put to Kettering Council tonight (Wed) pledging to support the club... Mr Ladak said: 'We cannot do anything without the help of the council. I know that some people have always said that the council aren't behind the football club, but from my own point of view, since I have come to the club, I have had several conversations and they have always told me what we need to do as a club is to solve our stadium issue. I really consider that we have come up with a plan where there should be no reason for anyone to stand in our way. What we are doing is good for Kettering, and the community as a whole. We are not asking for money, we are not asking for land, we are just asking for support for the plan'. He said that the two elements of the club's plans, which involve the selling of its Rockingham Road site for housing, and the building of a new stadium elsewhere, would both need approval for the plan to go ahead".

    Oxford United’s chairman Kelvin Thomas is urging local football fans to come out and support the U’s over the festive period – saying the finances from the next three home games are vital. For the first time in six years, United have not been given a home league match on Boxing Day, which traditionally brings in their best gate of the season. So they are promoting the post-Christmas December 28 fixture at home to Ebbsfleet United as ‘Boxing Day + 2’. The income from this game, plus this Saturday’s visit of Stevenage Borough and the New Year’s Day clash with Salisbury City, will be crucial to seeing United through a difficult month. And the club are also hoping the arrival of a new manager, which could even be in time for the Stevenage game, will help boost attendances" reports the Oxford Mail.

    The Daily Post says that "Wrexham players faced yet another evening in front of the TV after last night’s Blue Square Premier League showdown with Northwich Victoria was called off. The cancellation has left the Dragons with four games in hand over their promotion rivals, and was quickly followed by the abandonment of a replacement match-up with Cymru Alliance side Llangefni... This meant French trialist Christian Mimani Ngalou was left to try and impress manager Dean Saunders and assistant Terry Darracott in a friendly game with Newi Cefn Druids. And impress he did, playing a key role in a thrilling 5-2 victory".

    17 December 2008


    Altrincham FC Youth team's next two matches are:
  • Sunday 21 December 2008, k.o. 2pm, home (at Wythenshawe Town) versus Woodley Sports in a league match.
  • Sunday 4 January 2009, k.o. 1.30pm, home (at Wythenshawe Town) versus Marine "B" in the NWYA open Cup, 2nd Round.


    Darren Sheridan, joint manager of Barrow wrote about the recent 2-2 draw with Altrincham in his programme notes for his club's recent Trophy match against Skelmersdale last week; "That was a disappointment on Tuesday, wasn't it? With no disrespect to Altrincham, they are the sort of side we should be beating. We started really well. I thought we should have been three up in no time. But the more we wasted chances, the more you could see their equaliser coming. Then they got another and it was a good job that we were not beaten. I see it is two points dropped and that is not good enough. Our priority has got to be to get up the table. It looks as if we need a run of wins to get clear of the bottom half. We are not far away but we have got to get those points soon. And I have no doubts that we can, and will, do it. But we cannot afford any more basic defensive errors; schoolboy stuff".


    "Leigh Genesis's [former Altrincham Reserve] forward Richard Chetcuti has been called up to the Malta under-21 squad" reports NL Daily. "The 20-year-old will train with the squad in hope of winning himself a place in their side to play Denmark on February 10th. Chetcuti, who has represented England at schoolboy level, qualifies to play for Malta through his father, Mario. Injuries have meant the youngster has made only six appearances this season but he is now back to full fitness".

    "Macclesfield Town are said to be preparing a move for in-form FC United of Manchester striker Kyle Wilson. The 22-year-old former Crewe Alexandra trainee has attracted League scouts to Gigg Lane this season after plundering twenty-two goals in just twenty-four appearances. And FC United manager Karl Marginson admits he may struggle to keep hold of the front man... 'We don’t want to hold the lad back – I would love him to sign a contract with us, but his ultimate ambition is to get back into the League'", said the FCUM boss. Wilson spent a period on loan at Altrincham from Crewe in 2005.


  • Blyth S. 1 Bournemouth 0 - winners, home v Blackburn R.
  • Droylsden v Chesterfield - match abandoned after 72 mins due to floodlight failure with Chesterfield leading 2-0.


    Northwich Victoria have announced a "Special Supporters' Meeting" this Thursday evening.. The announcement explains that "Supporters and business people are asked to help the club through what is a very difficult time. So please come along to this meeting and take the opportunity to hear exactly what the situation is, directly from Jim Rushe [chairman]. Don’t listen to RUMOURS come along and hear the TRUTH about the status of your historically important football club. All supporters are welcome. Can you make a donation which can help get the club through this period of negative cash flow? Your help is crucial, please come along and hear why. It’s a big ask at this time of the year but saving Northwich Victoria is a big job!"

    According to the Cambridge Evening News "Scott Rendell will not be signing for Cambridge United on a permanent deal - but the striker could remain at the club until the end of the season. The forward has scored four goals in five appearances since returning to the Abbey last month on loan from Peterborough. Rendell, who left the U's to join Posh for a £100,000-plus fee in the summer following a successful loan spell at London Road, has been told he can leave the club after falling out of favour. But United director George Rolls admits they have been priced out of the market as Peterborough's director of football Barry Fry is determined to recoup every penny for the striker.

    He said: 'I think Barry Fry has made his point clear that he wants a certain amount of money for Scott, and we're not in a position to spend that amount. We're in talks with Barry and we're doing our utmost to try to keep Scott on loan, but I can't give our fans the false hope that we might be signing him permanently. We're not in a position where we're going to spend £60,000 to £70,000, even if we could get them down to that - we're in the Conference and we've got to be realistic. We'd love to keep Scott on loan and maybe we can sort something out where he stays with us until the end of the season. Fry has revealed Peterborough have received cash offers from two Football League sides for Rendell, whose current loan deal runs out on January 1... Rolls said: 'It's not just the transfer fee we'd need to find, it's the wages as well, and we won't be breaking the bank to sign a player from League One. With a bit of luck, no other clubs will come in for Scott with the money Peterborough are asking for, and we can keep him'".

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Rushden & Diamonds' club captain Andy Burgess has suffered a fractured eye socket. He picked up the injury in the FA Carlsberg Trophy draw with Newport County on Saturday... He will now see a specialist tomorrow to discover what treatment is required and how long he will be ruled out".

    "Oxford United's directors have drawn up a shortlist of seven for the vacant manager's position – and interviews have already begun" claims the But the former Cheltenham, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Carlisle boss is understood to be also on the shortlist for the manager's job at League One Crewe... It's believed that several managers from the Blue Square Premier's leading clubs had applied for the Oxford job".

    "Discussions over the future of Weymouth Football Club have been described as 'positive'" reports the Dorset Echo. "Club chairman Malcolm Curtis, ex-director Dave Higson and Terras' Trust representatives Anthony Sams and Mark Golsby were all present at the meeting. Golsby labelled the talks as 'provisional but positive' and it was agreed that dialogue would continue between all interested parties. However, there will be no further statement on the matter until the discussions have reached a conclusion".

    The BBC says that "Stevenage Borough have completed the signing of Cork City midfielder Darren Murphy on a short-term contract. The 22-year-old, who will not be allowed to play until January, has joined... until the end of the season... said Murphy, 'I am sure I will miss Cork and I'd like to thank the fans for their wonderful support, but this is a chance to win a full-time deal in England'".

    16 December 2008


    Following both clubs' elimination from the FA Trophy, Altrincham will now travel to play a Blue Square Premier match against Mansfield Town on Saturday 10th January 2009 at 3pm. This game was previously scheduled to be played on Tuesday, 13th January.


    Altrincham FC is holding a Christmas Lunch for Pensioners, organised by Dave Johnson on behalf of The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC). It will be on Wednesday 17th December in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge at 12.30pm. A three-course Christmas dinner with coffee and mince pies will be provided for just £5.95. Please contact Derek Wilshaw at Moss Lane on 928-1045 to book your place.


    "Jim Rushe has promised to pay Vics’ FA Cup conquerors before the weekend. He told the Northwich Guardian a shortage of money at the club had stopped them sending AFC Telford United their share of gate receipts from matches between the two teams earlier this season. 'We’re in the wrong', he said. 'I want to apologise to Telford for not paying the what they are owed – it’s just a cash flow thing. They will be fully reimbursed in the next few days'. Rushe confirmed he had not yet spoken to his Telford counterpart Lee Carter, but said he planned to write to the Bucks to explain Vics’ position.

    Earlier today the FA said it had been asked to mediate in a bid to find a solution. Carter claims that Vics owe the Bucks more than £3,000 following their FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie in October. A four-figure crowd watched both encounters between the two clubs at the Marston’s Arena... 'We’re not the only club that’s struggling', said Rushe. 'I’m sure Telford have themselves in the past but sometimes you have to make a decision about where to allocate your resources. At no point have be been trying to avoid paying them, it’s just that we haven’t had the money available at any time'”.

    On the BBC "Woking chairman David Taylor has said that he is in favour of regionalisation in the Blue Square Premier. Taylor believes that in the current financial climate the expense of long away trips may get too much for teams in the top tier of non-league football. He told BBC Southern Counties Radio: 'Clubs like ours really can't afford the overnights anymore. I think regionalisation has to come, Wrexham away is a huge journey for fans who want to see a game of football'. Woking's rivals Lewes reported that they are close to administration last week and Taylor said he has sympathy for everyone at The Dripping Pan. 'It's terrible for Lewes to go into administration, I feel for the club and I feel for the fans', said Taylor. 'There are also a lot of people who are owed money when a club goes into administration, let's not forget them'".

    "Kettering boss Mark Cooper attacked the unprofessionalism of striker Jean-Paul Marna after substituting the striker because he was wearing the wrong boots. The 27-year-old forward was taken off just 14 minutes into the Poppies' 4-1 victory over Cambridge City in the FA Trophy on Saturday. Cooper explained: 'He said he only had moulded studs and was slipping and sliding all over the place. I'm not prepared to put up with that lack of professionalism'", he told the BBC.

    NL Daily says that "Horsham boss John Maggs has turned to friend Garry Wilson for help in strengthening his injury-stricken side by signing Darren Budd from Eastbourne Borough on dual forms with the Blue Square Premier outfit. The 24-year-old midfielder has seen first-team chances limited this season".

    According to The Kidderminster Shuttle "Harriers' midfielder Russ Penn has signed a deal that will keep him at Aggborough until 2011. The 24-year-old has ended speculation that he will leave the club when his previous contract came to an end next summer by signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal".

    From the Dorset Echo we learn that "Weymouth boss Alan Lewer described Saturday’s postponement as a 'godsend'. Not only were the Terras down to the bare bones for the FA Trophy tie at Welling United but they also had the distraction of the ill-timed comments made by chairman Malcolm Curtis, who 24 hours before the game released a statement about the possible closure of the club. Lewer... said: 'What the postponement does do is give us more time to get certain players who are struggling with injuries and illness looked at. Danny Knowles and Stephen Reed would have both played Saturday but would not have been 100% and we would have had to include half-a-dozen youngsters in the squad because the likes of Pierre Joseph-Dubois and Jordan Collins would not have made it. And with Kevin Sandwith and Santos Gaia suspended you can see how at the moment we are right down to the bare bones'.

    If that was not hard enough to deal with, Lewer also saw team morale dented even further while on the coach on the morning of the tie. He added: 'The players heard the comments from the chairman about the future of the club on the radio on the way up to the game and immediately a lot of them asked me "where is the club going to?" Now, at this moment, that is a very difficult question to answer. For the players to hear that, at best, the club might go into administration and, at worst, it might not be there anymore was not very helpful at all. We were travelling up to try and win a football match that was worth £3,000 to the club and from my point of view it was a godsend it was off... I will continue to do the job to the best of my ability for my own pride anyway, because I could not live with myself if I did anything different'".

    15 December 2008


    Tonight's scheduled game at Moss Lane between Manchester United Reserves and Accrington Stanley Reserves has been postponed.


    Southport report that "Altrincham looked sharper early on creating two good chances to seize the lead... Altrincham looked dangerous with set pieces, with Matt Doughty's deep left wing free-kick going direct to Colin Little on the near post, but his volley on the turn went into the side netting... Southport did well to stifle their hosts for a prolonged period" before Southport ran out 4-1 winners.

    This site's match report is here.


    Terry Rowley's BSP Attendances data has been updated; seven teams have lower average gates than Altrincham.


    Terry Rowley's profile of Altrincham FC "legend" Albert Foulds has been added to the website here.


    Alty's loan midfielder from Rotherham, last season, Liam King scored for Matlock Town on Saturday. Another former Alty midfielder Ged Kielty is now manager of Trafford on whose website he writes of some ex-Alty youth players. "Unfortunately we have lost the services of Wes Wilkinson for a couple of months. Wes has been struggling with persistent knee injuries and he still doesn't feel right... The good news is that Tom Read is now out of plaster and he should hopefully commence training in the next couple of weeks and challenge for the number 1 jersey again".


    "Paul Cox, manager of Eastwood Town, has thrown his hat in the ring for the vacant post at Mansfield Town. The former Notts County player was recently linked with the vacancy... 'Mansfield are a massive club and one that should really be in the Football League', said Cox. 'The potential of it is huge because the club have terrific fans... It is steeped in history and when I was playing they had some really good players... I would definitely consider it if I was approached, I would give it some serious thought... But unless something is concrete and I get a call, it is all speculation and I have a job to do at Eastwood'" he told This is Nottingham. "Mansfield chairman Andy Perry has revealed that he is looking to bring in a new manager before next weekend's game with Weymouth. Former fans' favourite Richard Barker has been made clear favourite to be the club's next permanent manager, according to bookmakers".
    14 December 2008


    Two more of Terry Rowley's profiles of Altrincham FC playing legends have been aded to the website. They are for Ronnie Smith and Stewart Littlewood and can be found here.


    Altrincham FC groundsman Neil Brown did a superb job to make the Moss Lane pitch playable on Saturday despite the heavy rain and the previous week's frosts. He would like those who helped with the work on the pitch on Saturday morning including Grahame "Roller" Rowley, (whom Neil announces that he has appointed as deputy groundsman), Mike Ainsworth, Pete Hughes and Tom Jacobs.


    Ian Craney hit the winner for Huddersfield Town yesterday.


    Forest Green Rovers announce that "2 more players have now left The Lawn - The loan spell of Josh Low has taken its course and he has returned to Cheltenham Town as of today. Lee Molyneaux's non-contract has been cancelled by mutual consent".


    Following the postponement of last Sunday's home game against Marine, today's away match against Bury Amateurs has also been postponed. Both games fell victim to the frost and wet weather of the last week.


    Games for Altrincham FC come thick and fast over Christmas. After entertaining the league leaders Burton Albion this Saturday at Moss Lane (3pm), Alty play Northwich both away on Boxing Day (noon kick-off) and at home, on New Year's Day (3pm). Between those dates, the Robins travel to York City on Sunday,December 28th, 3pm.

    As usual supporters' transport is being arranged for both away games. The coach times for Altrincham's trips to York (28th Dec.) and Northwich (Boxing Day) are now on the Away Travel page.


    The 13th proved to be a truly unlucky day for Altrincham. Even before kick off they had lost £13,000 in television revenue as a consequence of the postponement of Burton Albion's FA Trophy match today which, in turn, had led to the cancellation of the scheduled TV coverage of the Altrincham v Burton game this Thursday. And then Alty's match against Southport turned into a second-half disaster as they lost 4-1 - the third time in four outings that they had conceded four goals. Fourteen goals have now been leaked in the last four games.

  • Match report here

    13 December 2008


    FA Trophy 1st Round
  • Altrincham 1 Southport 4
  • Durham City 2 Harrogate T. 0
  • Northwich V. v York C. POSTPONED
  • Wrexham 2 Mansfield T. 1
  • Hednesford T. v Nantwich T. POSTPONED
  • Burton A. v Farsley C. POSTPONED
  • Ilkeston T. v Ossett T. POSTPONED
  • Barrow 2 Skelmersdale U. 1
  • Alfreton T. v Redditch United POSTPONED
  • Kidderminster H. v Burscough POSTPONED
  • Workington 4 Kings Lynn 3
  • Stourbridge v Stalybridge Celtic POSTPONED
  • Boston U. 1 AFC Telford U. 2
  • Swindon Supermarine v Eastbourne Bo. POSTPONED
  • Stevenage B. 4 St Albans City 1
  • Cambridge C. 1 Kettering T. 4
  • AFC Sudbury 0 Oxford U. 2
  • Bashley v Tiverton T. POSTPONED
  • Welling U. v Weymouth POSTPONED
  • Histon 2 Cambridge U. 3
  • Forest Green R. 5 Hemel Hempstead T. 1
  • Bognor Regis T. v Ebbsfleet U. POSTPONED
  • Farnborough v Wingate & Finchley POSTPONED
  • Uxbridge 2 Wimbledon 1
  • Hayes & Yeading United v Grays A. POSTPONED
  • Havant & Waterlooville v Bury T. POSTPONED
  • Torquay U. 2 Bath C. 0
  • Woking v Salisbury C. POSTPONED
  • Basingstoke T v Brackley T. POSTPONED
  • Newport C. 1 Rushden & D. 1
  • Chesham U. v Crawley T. POSTPONED
  • Team Bath 1 Lewes 2
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.


    The postponement of today's FA Trophy match between Burton Albion and Farsley Celtic will cost Altrincham £13,000 in lost Setanta TV revenue. Had both Alty and Albion played today and avoided draws, the Altrincham v Burton league match would have been played this Thursday and would have been covered live on Setanta. But now Burton will play their game with Farsley this Tuesday meaning that the Alty v Burton game reverts to Saturday (20th). This loss of revenue comes on the heels of the loss of £37,000 when Luton refused to switched our FA Cup replay to enable the game to be televised live.


    Altrincham FC physio Sean Riley (right) has kindly informed the website about Robbie Lawton's injury. Sean writes, "Following Robbie's withdrawal at half time during the Rushden game due to the awkward fall he took, he has been in immense discomfort for the past two weeks with pain in his neck which was radiating down his left arm and also reducing the strength of his left hand grip. These are quite serious symptoms and it was due to these findings that I took the decision not to start treatment but to obtain an x-ray of his cervical spine to get a clear diagnosis of what was causing him so much pain.

    Unfortunately, Robbie (left) visited two hospitals local to him and both decided that an x-ray was not needed. Still not happy with this, I spoke to our club surgeon who agreed that an x-ray was needed. Between us we arranged an x-ray for this afternoon, followed by a meeting with the surgeon to discuss the results. The x-ray showed that Robbie had sustained an avulsion fracture of the 4th cervical spinous process. (This is where the ligaments that run in between the spine are severely over stretched and it pulls a piece of bone off the spinous process - the bony bits that stick out on the spine). Fortunately, the damage itself won't prevent Robbie from playing but the degree of discomfort he is in will. This type of injury could take up to 6-8 weeks to settle down but the treatment can now safely be started. Both Robbie, the gaffer and myself hope that this time scale can be dramatically reduced".


    According to the FA "Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote believes the club's fantastic FA Trophy history can inspire his side to glory this season. The Robins have won the competition twice in the past, in 1978 and 1986, and Heathcote wants his side to use that as motivation to overcome Southport on Saturday... 'It's The FA Trophy and there is the chance to play at Wembley and that should be all the motivation any player at this level needs', he said. 'In any competition, if you can really get into it and get a cup run going then anything can happen. I will certainly be reminding my players of Altrincham's history in this competition and that should help focus them on what lies ahead. However, I always say to them as well that although a club's history is important, it is vital they go out there and make their own history and that's what I want them to start doing on Saturday... They have some good players and had a great win against Wrexham this week, so they can certainly play football', he said. 'If you don't respect teams, that's when you get beat so we will be on our guard'".

    In the Manchester Evening News, Graham added that in the Trophy, "All the favourites are teams we play week in and week out in the league so there really is no one in it for us to fear". The MEN adds that "Heathcote is considering sticking with the side which ended Alty's mini-slump with a battling midweek draw at Barrow".


    "UniBond League Division One North club Radcliffe Borough have confirmed they have signed 24-year-old midfield player Mark Drew from UniBond Premier side Witton Albion. The former Rossendale United and Chorley midfield player was courted by Stalybridge Celtic before signing a contract with the Lancashire club. Drew was then sold to Witton Albion before a change of manager saw him returning north to join Boro". Mark is a graduate of the Altrincham Youth set-up.


    The FA confirms that "After full consultation with our partners in the Premier League and Football League it has been agreed to push the transfer deadline through to 5pm on 2 February. This is because 31 January falls on a Saturday and, in order to fall in line with procedures adopted by foreign Associations, the closure has been moved from a week-end date to the first available week day. This is consistent with the decision taken in August when the deadline was extended to 1 September and has the support of the majority of national associations and European Leagues".


    Tales of serious financial problems at three clubs - Weymouth, Lewes and Northwich - start off today's review...

    NL Daily reports that "Malcolm Curtis has warned Weymouth could be wound up if a new buyer is not found very soon. The Terras' chairman is keen to offload the ailing outfit but so far no one has come forward with an offer. Having ploughed more than £200,000 of his own money into the club, Curtis has now said 'enough is enough'. And with debts of £150,000 and outgoings outstripping income, administration - or worse - now seems inevitable for the club, especially after Tuesday night's poor attendance against Oxford United at the Wessex Stadium. Just over 800 fans turned out for what was a mouth watering contest between two of the biggest names in non-League football. 'I have no more money to put in', revealed Curtis. 'Unfortunately administration or winding up may be my only options because while I hear a lot of abuse and criticism directed my way, I don't hear many sensible solutions to the problem. Tuesday's crowd against Oxford United just sums things up at the moment. How on earth can the town expect to have a successful Blue Square Premier side when only 800 people turn out to watch a big game like that. It's an old cliché, but it really is a case of use it, or lose it...

    If people don't like me then fine, but that shouldn't stop them supporting the club. Contrary to what is naively assumed, any money raised doesn't end up in my pocket - we have accounts which are open to inspection on a regular basis. Sponsorship has almost stopped as some sort of get back at me which is crazy. If people are not coming out and supporting the Terras because of me, the only thing that will happen is the club will suffer further. Take the `Save Our Club` campaign. Although well intended this has taken further funds and sponsorship from the club and into a different pot. But no one has spoken to me as to how it will be used. It's certainly not helping the club today. The maths is simple. I paid £550,000 for that land which is the same amount that Morgan Sindall paid. So that £550,000 originally went into the club to keep it afloat. Following the Morgan Sindall deal I then put a further £140,000 of my money in to support the club... While people are throwing rocks at me and ignoring the facts, the club is dying. It's now or never. We all have to do our bit before it's too late. Time is seriously running out'".

    The Argus reports that "Lewes have slashed the asking price for the club in a last-ditch attempt to stave off administration. The entire club is now available for purchase for £150,000 after directors collectively wrote off £300,000 worth of debt. A new appeal has been launched to find 30 businesses or individuals who are prepared to invest £5,000 in return for a single share in the club. This is a scaled down version of an earlier appeal by Mark Henderson, of shirt sponsors Magic Man, who was trying to find 100 people to invest £5,000 each.

    The existing board will continue running the club until the end of January when they will assess the response to this latest appeal... If the new appeal is successful it does effectively resign the club to relegation from Blue Square premier as the £150,000 it would raise would only finance the running of the club until the end of the season rather than provide money for ground improvements which are necessary to avoid automatic demotion to Blue Square south.

    However, with many Blue Square Premier clubs in financial trouble pressure may be applied on the league to reconsider their minimum ground requirements which demand a 4,000 capacity. The Rooks' last home gate was 486... About “eight to ten” people have already committed themselves to the latest scheme, including some of the existing directors. The prospect of finding another 20 in the current economic climate is a tough one... If the scheme is successful the existing board would resign and there would be new 30 shareholders who would then elect a new board to run the club.

    A club statement said: 'The Board are disappointed that little has been achieved since the plight of Lewes FC was brought to the public attention. No one has come forward with any offers of substance... The club has now reached the end of the line and unless sufficient pledges come forward immediately then there is a reasonable chance that the club will have to consider entering administration in the near future. The Board are therefore proposing the following radical action. The club is available for purchase for £150,000 in its entirety. This would secure the running of the club till the end of the season".

    Another tale of woe comes from nearer to home as the Northwich Guardian states that "Vics' FA Cup conquerors claim they are owed cash by the troubled Blue Square Premier club. AFC Telford United say they have asked the Football Association to help them get their share of gate receipts from matches between the two teams in October. 'Jim Rushe has not responded to my calls once', said Bucks' chairman Lee Carter. 'The FA are now involved and amazingly Vics haven’t responded to them either'.

    The Guardian has contacted the FA to check Carter’s claim, although the game’s governing body has yet to respond. The competition’s rules state that prior to the third round, net gate receipts should be split equally between the two clubs. Northwich owe Telford a four-figure sum, according to the Blue Square North club. 'It’s not a case of us needing the money', added Carter. 'However, if they were doing this to a club that did then it could be the difference between that club trading and going under'.

    He also took a swipe at the transfer activity of Vics boss Steve King, who has brought in four players on permanent deals – three others on loan, since he took over as manager at the start of November. Carter reckons that is proof enough that Vics have the money to give Telford their cut of the gate money. 'When I read in the non-league press about how Northwich are signing this player and that player I realise they are taking us for mugs', he said".

    Meanwhile from Vics' Forum we read that "Steve King explained last night at the [supporters'] meeting that Joel [Byrom] has broken down again and will need to see a specialist. Don't know how long he will be out but another big loss".

    "Leon Knight has been sacked by Rushden & Diamonds" reports the Northants Evening Telegraph. "But the 26-year-old striker can't play at any level until the summer of 2011 unless another club agrees a transfer fee with Nene Park chairman Keith Cousins. Knight officially left following 'continuous breaches of the club's code of conduct" which are understood to include turning up late for training and first-team fixtures. Cousins said: 'His contract has been terminated without prejudice to our right for a fee. He has been informed of that in writing this week with the approval of the FA, PFA and Football Conference'. Knight only joined Diamonds at the end of August after being kicked out by Wycombe Wanderers boss Peter Taylor...

    Cousins, meanwhile, confirmed that club captain Andy Burgess, first-team skipper Curtis Woodhouse, striker Lee Phillips and winger Lee Tomlin are still available for moves in January. However, the chairman is expecting to agree a pay-off with Woodhouse who wants to focus on his professional boxing career... Cousins added: 'The response and attitude of those players who stayed has been shown on the pitch with desire and passion... I'm feeling very positive and I will stand right by Garry Hill. Things are coming together now and we are getting there'".

    Reports from This is Nottingham suggest that "Mansfield may turn to a non-league manager with a proven track record rather than a so-called big name to succeed Billy McEwan, chairman Andy Perry hinted today... 'We need some time to consider where we go now but we are hopeful of getting someone in before we play Weymouth (on December 20)', he said. 'I have been on the phone to other chairmen who have been in a similar position, having come down from the Football League. They have given me some good advice. Some have appointed a big-name manager and it has not worked out. They said we should not be afraid to look at a manager who is doing well in the Conference northern or southern divisions, someone who has a very good knowledge of non-league football. But we are keeping an open mind... We are prepared to back the new manager', he said... 'At the same time we have players here who know they can do better – they all admit to that'".


    It's not just Weymouth, Northwich and Lewes who are in dire financial straits, but our old rivals Stafford Rangers, too. "The Board of Directors of Blue Square North club Stafford Rangers have issued an official statement following the departure of Steve Bull MBE. The statement reads: 'It is with regret that, following a lengthy board meeting at 4.00 pm on Thursday afternoon and as part of the financial restraints currently being introduced at the club, the directors have decided they no longer require the services of Steve Bull MBE as football manager. The decision bears no reflection on results achieved on the field play or Steve Bull’s managerial skills, but is based purely on the cost cutting operation currently being undertaken at the club'" reports NL Daily.
    12 December 2008


    Altrincham skipper Robbie Lawton is seeing a specialist this afternoon and is having a scan on the injured neck that has forced him to miss the last two games. He is virtually certain to miss Saturday's F.A. Trophy tie with Southport. For the third game running, manager Graham Heathcote has just 15 fit players to pick from as Shaun Densmore completes his three match suspension for his dismissal against Rushden & Diamonds a fortnight ago.

    Danny Heffernan may fill one of the substitute berths if Abbey Hey's game in the Vodkat Premier Division at home to Atherton Collieries falls victim to the weather. Heffernan has made one appearance from the bench for the Robins this season in the Setanta Shield defeat at home to Wrexham last month. If Abbey Hey do play then Robbie Lawton will be named as a fifth substitute, although he is almost certain not to take any part in the game.


    For Saturday's FA Trophy game at home to Southport, don't forget that season tickets are not valid.

    SAM reports that "Graham Heathcote saluted his Altrincham players' character after they bounced back from successive 4-0 defeats with a spirited draw against Barrow at Holker Street on Tuesday night... 'It was important to show what we are about after those two defeats, and there were some good performances', said the Alty boss. 'It was disappointing to concede an equaliser in the manner we did. We knew all about the runs Paul Jones makes but still let him get away at a corner and get a header in. There was a great level of determination from the lads, though, and it was good to get off the 28-point mark after being stuck there a couple of games. It was a well-taken equaliser by Meech (left) that will have done him the world of good, and Colin will benefit from being on the scoresheet after a lean spell by his standards. It was just what he needed, and 10 goals at the halfway stage is good going in anyone's book'. Alty face Southport in the FA Trophy at Moss Lane on Saturday (3pm kick-off), and Heathcote added: 'There is the financial aspect, from the club's point of view, but all I need to say to the players is where you end up if you go all the way in this competition. The final is at Wembley, and there can be no greater incentive for any of them'.

    Meanwhile, Southport report that manager "Liam Watson will be taking training tonight and after the exertions on Tuesday night at the Racecourse Ground the Port players can expect a light, tactical session. If a replay is required it will be on Tuesday night at Haig Avenue. On loan midfielder Ashley Winn has been given permission from his club Barrow to play for Southport in the FA Trophy. Club captain James Connolly is ruled out for Saturday's trip to Altrincham. Michael Powell is available after serving a one match suspension at the Racecourse ground. Alan Moogan's suspension will begin in a fortnight's time depending on an appeal. Southport are looking for a Blue Square Premier double when they kick off on Saturday at Altrincham in the FA Trophy. Having achieved a fantastic result at Wrexham in the Setanta Shield on Tuesday night the Port travel to more familiar foe in the guise of north west rivals Altrincham.

    Striker Neil Robinson will receive treatment following his early second half substitution at Wrexham. Club captain James Connolly remains on the sidelines. Experienced midfielder John Doolan came through 56 minutes at the Racecourse after a lengthy absence due to a troublesome hamstring... Top scorer Ciaran Kilheeney will be back in the squad having been rested in midweek... It will be a Port reunion for two former favourites Chris Lane and the much travelled Lee Elam. Altrincham's home Blue Square Premier record [against Southport] is won five, drawn three and lost three. They have scored and conceded eleven goals at Moss Road-averaging a gate of 1,234. Colin Little again is the Robin's dangerman having netted eight Blue Square Premier goals".

    The referee on Saturday is Mr T. Harrington who oversaw the 0-0 draw between Alty and Salisbury in September.

    The sides' last league meeting at Moss Lane was on 21 October 2006, when Alty won 2-1 in the Conference. In that game, Peter Band is pictured (right). Alty took the lead after 19 min through an own goal before Karl Munroe added a second just before half-time. Sean Patterson pulled one back near the end for the visitors. Alty's side that day was - 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 11. Warren PEYTON; 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Val OWEN, 4. Peter BAND; 10. Rod THORNLEY, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 15. Justin BOWLER, 22. Colin POTTS, 23. Eddie HUSSIN. It is likely that only a single player from that Altrincham squad will play a part on Saturday. That will be Joe O'Neill, as Robbie Lawton is likely to be sidelined through injury.


    "Dean Saunders is set to make midfielder Steve Abbott his 11th signing since taking over as Wrexham manager" claims the BBC. "The 26-year-old is to sign an 18-month contract after joining from Blue Square South side Team Bath, the club affiliated to the University of Bath. The England Universities midfielder has graduated from his teaching degree and is to move nearer his Liverpool home".

    The Argus reports that "Worthing are set to sign Eastbourne Borough goalkeeper Chris Winterton on a month's loan. Winterton... will provide cover for the injured Alan Mansfield".

    From the Oxford Mail we learn that "Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas says that interviews for the manager’s job are likely to start this weekend... United’s board – comprising Thomas, Nick Merry and Jim Smith, who is also the caretaker-manager... have now got a short-list of ten. But that will be cut to either four or five in the next few days. 'We have had a very good response indeed, and the hard work really starts now', Thomas said... 'The interviews will probably take place over the weekend and the early part of next week'... John Ward and Steve Cotterill are understood to be at the top of United’s wish-list, but with jobs at Crewe and Swindon also available, whether United could tempt them to the Kassam Stadium is debatable... United’s chairman hinted that the club are also interested in at least one manager who is already in a job".

    According to the Daily Post "Wrexham chiefs have submitted fresh plans to develop the Racecourse ground. Revised proposals to build two blocks of student accomodation, one for 319 and one 521, have been sent to Wrexham council planners for consideration".

    11 December 2008


    The Holker Street Newsletter reports on the Barrow v Altrincham game. "The last time the attendance dropped below a 1,000 for a League game was back on 8 March 2008, when Barrow beat Solihull Moors 5-1, although the official Barrow website has the attendance for the Altrincham game as 1174. [It was twice announced as 976 at the game itself]. In his interview with Radio Cumbria after the game, [joint-manager] Bayliss remarked that it was definitely two points dropped".

    Blue Square Football says that "Barrow failed to make home ground advantage count when they drew 2-2 with Altrincham on Tuesday night. The home side started the brighter of the two teams and deserved to take the lead in the ninth minute... The Robins rallied after going a goal down and managed to equalise on 31 minutes through Alex Meechan. The visitors then took the lead five minutes later when Colin Little capitalised on some poor defending before hitting a low drive into the net. The second half saw both teams continue with their attacking minded play, but it was the hosts who found the net first after the break. Paul Jones rose highest to powerfully head Mark Boyd's corner into the net in the 68th minute".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Skipper Paul Jones scored a 69th minute equaliser to earn Barrow AFC a 2-2 draw against Altrincham... Barrow trailed 2-1 at half-time after Jason Walker had given the Bluebirds a ninth minute lead with a wonderful 25-yard strike into the top corner. But back came the visitors, with Alex Meechan tapping in an equaliser at the back post on 31 minutes after Barrow goalkeeper Alan Martin had saved a Warren Peyton shot. Altrincham took the lead four minutes later when a shot from Colin Little was diverted into his own net by Barrow defender Mike Pearson. The goal was later credited to Little".


    Altrincham host Southport this Saturday in the FA Trophy. Southport won at Wrexham in the Setanta Shield this week, in a match in which "Steve Daly scored both goals... Wrexham went down to 9 men when Sam Williamson was sent off for a foul on Duffy but minutes later [Port's] Alan Moogan was also given a red card for a challenge with his elbow... Southport: McMillan; Lever, Flynn, Davis, Gray; Moogan, Duffy, Robinson (Daly 50), Barnes (McGinn 56); Booth, Doolan (Lee 56). Subs: Hibbert, Price". Though sent off on 9 December, the FA states that the Southport man's ban does not begin until 23 December.

    The Southport official site adds that "with the Port formation changed considerably for this fixture, the side took a while to settle, although they did very well keeping their hosts at bay".

    The Wrexham Daily Post reports that "Southport, who saw skipper Alan Moogan sent off in the 90th minute, owed their success to substitute Steve Daly... The home side showed five changes from Saturday’s winning line-up, with Anthony Williams given a first start of the season in goal behind a new centre-back pairing of Steve Evans and Christian Smith... Southport, whose last competitive vist to the Racecourse was 34 years ago, suffered a first away defeat of the season on Saturday, but are still among the Blue Square North front-runners... Yet it was clear from the opening stages last night that they had little answer to the pace of winger Jon Brown, who might have punished the visitors on two occasions as the Dragons made the more positive start... Set-pieces offered the best hope for a Dragons’ breakthrough and it was from a partially-cleared corner that Mackin again tested the Southport keeper... Visiting boss Liam Watson rang the changes with three substitutions in six minutes and one of the replacements, Steve Daly, made an immediate and crucial impact".


    From the Crawley Observer comes news that "crawley Town are delaying the appointment of their two new directors because of the illness of chairman Vic Marley... Last week popular director Phil Jarman quit to concentrate on his new business commitment... One of the two men expected to be appointed is multi-millionaire businessman Bruce Winfield, who lives locally... Manager Steve Evans said: 'We are quite happy to wait until the right time to appoint our new directors. It cannot be rushed through and it's typical of this club that we like to do things the right way".

    "Billy McEwan and Neil Richardson have today been relieved of their first team duties as manager and assistant manager of Mansfield Town Football Club with immediate effect. Having collected only four league points from a possible 30 at stake during the last ten matches, we feel a change of manager is needed in order to progress. Billy was appointed first team manager in early July this year. After a promising start to the season, first team results have since not been acceptable and we now hover perilously above the relegation zone in the Blue Square Premier. Losing our status as a Blue Square Premier Club is a proposition that simply can not be contemplated at this stage in the club's ongoing development... Adie Moses and Mark Stallard have been placed in temporary charge of first team affairs, whilst a search for a permanent replacement takes place".

    McEwan is the eighth managerial casualty in the BSP, with the season less than half completed. The four most recent changes, have been at Northwich, York City, Oxford United and Mansfield, who happen to be Alty's next four away opponents over the next five weeks.

    According to This is Nottingham, "Mansfield chairman Andy Perry is hoping his completion of the take-over will help the club climb away from the drop zone. The Stags fell to their eighth defeat in ten Blue Square Premier matches at Kidderminster on Tuesday night... Earlier, Keith Haslam's ownership of Mansfield ended and Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton took over. Perry said: "We can say for certain that Keith Haslam no longer owns any share in the club. Now we can concentrate on getting the team up the table'".

    The Mid-Cheshire Chronicle reports that "Four red cards – including one for boss Steve King – marred a game Vics would rather forget at Priory Lane. Vics came away from Eastbourne Borough 4-1 losers... But boss Steve King insists his team deserved a better result. He said: 'In the five games I’ve been here, it was the best we’ve played in the first 60 minutes. Everyone in the ground couldn’t believe that we lost that game. Chance after chance hit the post or was cleared off the line. We battered them – you see the 4-1 scoreline but it just wasn’t like that. We just couldn’t finish'... Vics' centre half Steve Robinson was sent off by referee Andrew Sainsbury in the 61st minute for pushing Matt Crabb. King was sent to the stand for complaining about Robinson’s dismissal. He said: 'It’s very dangerous what they made me do. They escorted me through the people to the changing room. If anyone had the chance to attack me they could have. The FA has to have a look at that'... Vics’ scorer Wagstaff followed his teammate in for an early bath after what King describes as a '50-50' challenge... King’s assistant Justin Skinner was also given his marching orders for disputing the decision".

    The Northwich Victoria Trust has issued a statement saying that "After further discussion with Jim Rushe today, Tuesday, it was decided that the idea of the Trust lending money to the club was impractical due to the time constraints on the club as the club are unable to get the paperwork completed quickly... The Trust is not structured to provide an emergency response and the urgency of the situation last week resulted in the Trust having to gain members' views in as quick a way as possible which was, overall, not a satisfactory way of having to make a crucial decision. Jim was asked to put any further request in writing in a form that could be sent out to members in the normal manner and enable the issue to be fully debated and voted upon. We remain concerned about the financial situation and the risk to the club but we also have a duty to safeguard the Trust’s reserves and without a firm guarantee of repayment we did not feel it appropriate to take the matter any further at this time".


    Alex Hay scored the winner for Cammell Laird against Worksop Town on Tuesday night


    The FA says that "Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson believes he was right to tell his players to allow Droylsden to score an equaliser in their FA Cup Second Round tie following a controversial incident at Saltergate. Richardson's side went 2-1 up with just 12 minutes to go when Jack Lester lobbed goalkeeper Craig Mawson who was waiting for a gentle back pass after Droylsden had put the ball out of play to allow Carl Lamb to receive treatment. The goal was allowed to stand, but the Chesterfield boss immediately made his team let their Conference North opponents level the tie as Steve Halford ran through unopposed. And Richardson explained: 'I don't think it would have been right for us to go on and win the game with that goal because I think it's against the spirit of football'".


    "Torquay United manager Paul Buckle felt his side did not deserve to come away with any points from Eastbourne Borough in Tuesday's 4-2 defeat" reports the BBC. "The loss saw the Gulls' 14-game unbeaten league run come to an end. 'We weren't good enough tonight, as simple as that', Buckle told BBC Radio Devon after the defeat. 'We got what we deserved. As a whole team we didn't defend properly'. And Buckle said his side did not adapt to the weather conditions as well as their opponents. 'It wasn't a night for passing and pretty football, it was night to get it forward and have a fight and I felt they did that better than us... We've dropped three valuable points'" he said.

    This is Glos claims that "Darran Kempson does not want to return to Wrexham when his loan spell at Forest Green comes to an end. The defender has been a revelation since arriving in Nailsworth on November 5, most notably in helping the club reach the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. He is due to return to the Racecourse Ground in January, but insists he sees his future at another club – possibly Rovers – after failing to impress Dragons boss Dean Saunders. 'I was signed last summer by Brian Little and it looked like a good move for me, but unfortunately the change of manager worked against me', said Kempson.... 'I've enjoyed it at Forest Green and I'm basically in the shop window now, as I don't think there is a future for me at Wrexham. I don't know whether I can stay here beyond January, as the transfer window will be open and Wrexham might want to cash in. Maybe Forest Green will make an offer? I just don't know'".

    "David Taylor has played down reports that he was showing a potential buyer around Kingfield on Tuesday night" claims The Woking News & Mail. "The Cards’ chairman has kept a low profile in between business trips to the Middle East in recent weeks. And reports that he asked staff to have Kingfield looking its best this week were seen as an indication he was close to finding a buyer for the club — perhaps from overseas.

    But... Taylor insisted: 'The fact is we are unlikely to find a buyer until late 2009 at the earliest... Although my focus is finding a buyer for this club it is unrealistic to assume I will be successful in the present economic climate. I have been showing various groups around the club in the past few home games'... With the asking price for the club said to be at least £10m — well out of the price range of local investors — it appears that ambitious Taylor is branching out in his efforts to show Woking FC off as a viable business proposition. In the meantime, the club have a £300,000 deficit to be bridged for next season, although they have already made inroads into that figure. A lot depends on the take-up on the new shares’ issue".

    Rushden & Diamonds reports that "The month long loan deals for Luke Boden and Joe Wilcox expired last night, so the two players have returned to their former clubs, Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe respectively".

    FA CUP

    Wednesday 10 December

    FA Cup 2 Replay

  • Kettering T. 2 Notts Co. 1 - winners play Eastwood Town
    10 December 2008


    In a pulsating match, Alty withstood intense second-half pressure to leave Holker Street with a point.

  • Match report here.

  • League table.
  • Alty player stats.
  • Alty league line-ups.


    Tuesday 9 December

    Blue Square Premier

  • Barrow 2 Altrincham 2
  • Burton A. 3 Cambridge U. 1
  • Eastbourne B. 4 Torquay U. 2
  • Ebbsfleet U. 0 Forest Green R. 1
  • Histon 1 York C. 1
  • Kidderminster H. 2 Mansfield T. 0
  • Salisbury C. 1 Lewes 2
  • Stevenage B. 0 Grays A. 0
  • Weymouth 2 Oxford U. 2
  • Woking 1 Rushden & D. 1
  • League table

    Setanta Shield 4 Northern Section (winners earn £3,500)

  • Wrexham 1 Southport 2 aet

    FA Cup 2

  • Chesterfield 2 Droylsden 2
    9 December 2008


    The BBC says that "Barrow may still be without midfielder Andrew Bond for Altrincham's visit. Bond is struggling with a knee injury and is a major doubt, and long-term absentee Lee Woodyatt (broken leg) is out, though he has started jogging. Altrincham will be without suspended defensive midfielder Shaun Densmore while Robbie Lawton continues to struggle with a back injury. Kevin Street (knee) and Chris Denham (eye) are out, so boss Graham Heathcote has just 15 players to choose from".


    Above: Mark McGregor always likes to be the last Altrincham player in the pre-match handshaking ritual but after being named captain on Saturday, he had to lead the procession at Crawley, as is seen in above. Left to right the players are Danylyk, Senior, Smith, Peyton, Young, Lane, Elam, Little, Doughty, Ralph and McGregor.

    The Argus waxes lyrical that "It wasn’t late-summer weather at the Broadfield on Saturday but the quality of Crawley’s performance reminded their fans of those early-season days when their side was top of the table. They might not reach those lofty heights again but after returning to the play-off places for the first time in a month Reds will stay there if they can maintain the performance levels which swept aside Altrincham... With a 3-0 lead, it was hardly surprising that there wasn’t quite the same intensity in Crawley’s second-half performance... Two stood out.

    When Thomas Pinault plays well Crawley invariably do too and the French midfielder, back after a one-match ban, orchestrated the clinical dissection of a wobbly Altrincham defence... And it was encouraging to see wideman Mikey Malcolm finally produce the sort of performance which alerted Steve Evans and a host of rival managers when Weymouth made him available...

    Altrincham carried a threat on the counter-attack but they spent most of the game fighting fires at the other end as Reds took control, particularly in midfield".


    The thanks of all the Football Club, travel coordinator Tom Jacobs and all of the pasengers go to Mike Ainsworth who drove the supporters' minibus expertly on the 470 mile round-trip to Crawley on Saturday. The vehicle suffered a puncture on the way to the match but fortunately this was detected at Hilton Park Services rather than on the road. Without the expertise of passengers Lee and Keith (Davey), who replaced the tyre, the delay would have been much longer before the journey could be resumed. Tom also reduced the advertised prices to reflect the vehicle used and this was also much appreciated by the passengers.

    A full-sized coach will be running to Barrow tonight (Tuesday). To book a seat ring the club on 928-1045. Details are on the Away Travel page.


    Darren Gregory writes that the recent fundraising venture, "Bags2thefuture" raised £104 by collecting "just over half a ton of clothes. A big thank you to all who donated. Please save your clothes again I will be running it again at the end of the season", says Darren.


    Richard Battersby was sent off in Stalybridge's defeat at AFC Telford last Saturday. AFC LIverpool have signed former Alty youth Liam Coyne, whilst ex-Alty striker Josh Mitten has joined New Mills.


    The draw for the Setanta Shield Quarter-Finals is:
  • Barrow or York v Wrexham or Southport
  • Crawley or Chelmsford v Ebbsfleet
  • AFC Telford v Kettering T.
  • Woking v Forest Green R.


    Players are leaving Northwich Victoria as NL Daily confirms that "FC Halifax Town have signed defender Ritchie Sutton on a month's loan from Northwich Victoria" whilst "Stalybridge Celtic have announced the signing of Welsh semi-professional international Michael Byrne. Byrne was released by Northwich Victoria and has been at FA Cup heroes Forest Green Rovers recently, but he links up again with Steve Burr".

    Kent Online reports that "Youngster Scott Wagstaff, sent off for serious foul play during Northwich Victoria's 4-1 defeat at Eastbourne on Saturday, has been recalled by Charlton. Northwich manager Steve King and assistant Justin Skinner were also dismissed in a stormy second half. But Addicks club-mate Rashid Yussuff has had his deal with the Vics extended for a second month".

    Elsewhere "Forest Green Rovers have snapped up defender Lee Ayres from Redditch United on a non-contract deal".

    Bullsnews tells us that "Peterboro have told Cambridge that they will have to pay £120,000 to re-sign former striker Scott Rendell, which is more than they received for him".

    "Martin Elliott is hopeful of finding a way to stop Lewes going into administration" according to The Argus. "The Rooks went down 2-0 at home to Stevenage but it is their off the field problems which have been overshadowing everything recently. Since being put up for sale a month ago amid financial problems there have been no offers forthcoming for the club. Mark Henderson, of shirt sponsors Magic Man, has been trying to put together a rescue package but has been disappointed by a lack of response in his appeal for help... Managing director Elliott, who has been working closely with Henderson on his plans, admits the club are still in trouble but is hopeful a short-term solution can be found. Speaking before Saturday's game, Elliott said: 'A number of individuals have expressed that they would be prepared to put some money into the club along the lines of the £5,000 each Mark was asking for but not the 100 people he wanted. The board will try to get these individuals together. If we can get some kind of injection of money prior to Christmas that will smooth the way until such a time we can restructure the board and the shareholding. Mark has painted a gloomy picture and make no mistake things are difficult. As a board we will have a meeting this week. I am hopeful we can find a short-term solution to avoid going into administration'".

    "Grays Athletic manager, Wayne Burnett, has a full squad available for Tuesday's trip to Stevenage Borough, though Ishmael Welsh will be subject to a late fitness test. One man not taking part is striker Andre McCollin whose loan spell from Yeovil Town has now expired" states the Thurrock Gazette. "Also leaving the new Rec for the moment is goalkeeper, Ross Flitney, who has joined South Croydon Athletic on loan until January 8".


    the Express& Star reports that "Crisis club Stafford Rangers’ future is in the balance after players rejected wage cuts from the board. Steve Bull’s Blue Square North squad turned out against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday and unluckily lost 1-0. But in a dressing room meeting with chairman Jon Downing and other directors afterwards, they refused to accept the proposed financial measures and asked to be transfer listed en-bloc. A statement by the players says Rangers propose to:
  • Stop paying non-contract players
  • Stop paying bonuses
  • Halve the pay of contract players until the club can afford to pay in full.

    'We cannot agree to these terms' said the statement. 'Players have commitments based on their contractual arrangement with the club and cannot afford to take these cuts in wages. Furthermore, if the state of the finances is in such a dire state, the feeling is if we agree to this, it is only a matter of time before further cuts. We have tried our hardest for the club, the fans and the manager to do as well as we possibly can. We believe the next step for the board is to place all the contracted players on the transfer list and circulate the names of the non-contract players'”.

    8 December 2008


    Altrincham sank to their second successive 4-0 reverse after a poor first-half showing.

  • Match report here

    Right: Colin Little, Chris Lane and Andy Ralph are the Alty players waiting for this Crawley throw-in to be taken.

  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups, bookings


    Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

    It has been decided to have a Roll of Honour at our game against Norhwich Victoria on January 1st 2009. If anyone knows of any Alty fans who have passed away during the last 12 months can they please e-mail me or phone the office on 0161-928-1045 to add their name to the list. In future we intend to repeat this event twice a year. Rev Andy Barclay-Watts, (club chaplain) will hopefully conduct the ceremony.

    7 December 2008


    Saturday 6 December:
  • Crawley T. 4 ALTRINCHAM 0
  • Eastbourne B. 4 Northwich V. 1
  • Ebbsfleet U. 1 Weymouth 0
  • Forest Green R. 2 Burton A. 3
  • Histon 1 Woking 0
  • Kidderminster H. 3 Salisbury C. 2
  • Lewes 0 Stevenage B. 2
  • Rushden & D. 1 Barrow 1
  • Torquay U. 0 Cambridge U. 0
  • Wrexham 2 Kettering T. 1
  • York C. 0 Grays A. 1
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.
    6 December 2008


    Altrincham will be the audience as "Isaiah Rankin is poised to make his first Crawley appearance since August tomorrow and boss Steve Evans believes: 'It will be like having a new player'", reports the Argus "The former Arsenal striker has made just two starts and two substitute appearances since suffering a long-term hamstring injury at the start of the season. But the 30-year-old returned as an unused substitute in last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Northwich and he could see some action from the bench tomorrow when Reds could lift themselves back into the play-off zone with victory over Altrincham at Broadfield Stadium. Evans said: 'Whenever he played against my teams he was a handful and I think our fans saw in pre-season that he can score a goal and never gives defenders a moment’s peace... He’s lively, his movement and first touch are good'... Although Evans is not underestimating mid-table Altrincham he acknowledges that his side are in a run of games which they should be taking points from... Evans said: 'There are no easy games in this division but if we perform at our best I can see us winning a few over the next few weeks. We have four home games coming up... Apart from the last two our form at home has been pretty good... Tomorrow will be another difficult game. They invested {Altrincham have not paid any transfer fee during Graham Heathcote's six year tenure] in their squad in the summer and have had a fantastic season. They were unlucky to lose to Luton in the FA Cup and although they had a lapse last Saturday when they lost 4-0 at home to Rushden they were down to ten men halfway through the first half and (Rushden manager) Garry Hill said there was nothing in the game at that stage. They will play 4-5-1 and hope to counter-attack us but it’s all about how we apply ourselves. We have a great incentive to win the game'...

    Although leftback Sam Rents is available after suspension tomorrow he is unlikely to change the back four... 'At Northwich it was the first time we saw (centre-half) Chris Giles defend the way he can. No disrespect to Forest Green where he was last season, but we don’t want Giles thinking he’s Rio Ferdinand. We want our centre-halves to be big and strong and defend first and foremost. They should leave the passing to the likes of Thomas Pinault and Dannie Bulman'. Pinault will return after a one-match suspension, probably at the expense of Michael Malcolm".



    Oxford United is Altrincham's destination on Saturday, January 17th. As usual Oxford are selling tickets in advance, potentially at a discount, but this time sales are not being done through the visiting club's staff but directly by phone (01865 337533) or via the Oxford United official website. However, this time there is a £2 booking charge per transaction. So if you are going alone, it is no cheaper to buy in advance as the discount is £2 and the booking fee is the same sum. But if you are travelling in a group it makes sense to buy as a group as it is just £2 per group. Prices are as follows; under 7s are the big winners of this scheme.

    In advance:

  • Adults, £15; Students with NUS card £11.50; Over-65s and under-16s £9; under-7s are free.

    On matchday:

  • Adults, £17; Students with NUS card £13; Over-65s and under-16s £10; under-7s £10.


    The Weymouth Forum has a Statement from Ian White, Chairman of Weymouth FC Supporters Club.. It says that "The Weymouth FC Supporters Club have currently got a small amount of cash available which it would normally donate to the football club, but we have decided in the current climate that it is better for us to hold onto it, as all that would happen is it would fall into the big Curtis black hole. It is now common knowledge that Malcolm Curtis has cancelled all direct debits and standing orders. One of these standing orders was to Bluebird Coaches who of course transport the team and the WFCSC Travel Club around the country. I contacted Gary Calder at the begining of the week and asked him how the players were going to get to Ebbsfleet Utd this Saturday. After discussion with Bluebird, Gary told me that the only way that Bluebird would transport the team on Saturday is if the coach was paid for up-front. Gary then told me this would be very difficult as the club currently have no money. After a discussion between Bluebird and myself and with the support of my Supporters Club committee the Weymouth FC Supporters Club are paying for the players to get to Ebbsfleet Utd tomorrow. Bluebird will be sending the invoice to the Supporters Club".

    Meanwhile the Dorchester Town chairman writes that "I can confirm that there is no chance of DTFC merging with Weymouth FC within the near future. I felt obligated as Chairman to investigate all possibilities for the club to improve its financial situation and play at the highest level. After consulting with members of staff, family and supporters I have decided on behalf of DTFC to pull out of talks with Weymouth FC immediately. I do however think that future survival of smaller clubs will be to join forces but for the time being amalgamation is not to be".

    The Northwich Guardian says that former Alty loan player "Mat Bailey has joined Hinckley United on a month’s loan. The Vics' stopper switched to the Blue Square North play-off hopefuls to become the first of six listed players to find a new club. He had been due to move before the weekend, but a dead leg delayed his departure until today. The 22-year-old has made just two starts for Northwich this term, plus a further four appearances as a sub. Brought back to the Marston’s Arena by former manager Dino Maamria in the summer, he has struggled to break into the reckoning since Steve King’s arrival at the beginning of last month".

    Also, Vics' "landlord will trade until next year – thanks to a mix-up over paperwork. A registrar at London’s High Court adjourned a case against Beaconet Limited, the company of the club’s former chairman Mike Connett, until January because a winding-up petition was not served in time. He should have had seven working days’ notice. 'We had to delay the hearing to make sure the proper process was followed', said a spokesman for HM Court Service. It is the second time in the past two months that the firm has faced going out of business only to be given a reprieve. On Wednesday a solicitor representing Bank of Scotland was told that Mr Connett is attempting to refinance Beaconet to pay off the five-figure debt he owes to the lender. In the meantime the company will continue to trade from its base at the Marston’s Arena and collect rent from Vics – to the tune of £1,000 a week – to cover match day expenses. Wednesday was a busy morning for Registrar Derrett who, minutes after deferring a petition against Beaconet, did the same for Vics.

    The club, which still owes more than £300,000 in unpaid bills, has been kept afloat after owner Jim Rushe agreed a deal with the taxman. 'It was a formality', he said... He told the Guardian he has negotiated to pay off the next instalment of Vics’ six-figure debt at the beginning of next year... HM Revenue and Customs’ petition to wind up Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Limited will be heard on January 28. Rushe told supporters last month that the club’s finances were in better shape now than when his consortium bought the club at the turn of the year. Their tax debt then was more than £460,000. That figure has since come down by £175,000 thanks to contributions by Rushe and former director Nick Bone. Between them the pair has pumped close to half a millon pounds into the club... He has made an offer to buy the club’s home ground off business advisory specialists Deloitte after assembling a consortium of local businessmen. They are waiting for a response".

    On the Vics' forum a quote from the Distant Vics' Newsletter says that "The postponement of the Wrexham game [on Wednesday] has dealt a severe financial blow to the club at a time when there are major cash flow problems after a run of few home games. Wages for October do appear to have been paid but obviously the next month's wages are due imminently. The club, with support from Wrexham, have tried to get the game re-arranged before Christmas. However, the police are insisting on the customary 15 days notice which makes it impossible to fit in. The club asked them to be flexible but they declined and one reason quoted by the police was postings on the forum suggesting that there would be crowd trouble. The club reassured them there was no 'history' between the clubs but the police were not prepared to budge".

    The Argus says that "Lewes boss Kevin Keehan has further trimmed his squad ahead of tomorrow’s game with Stevenage but Joe Tabiri’s loan from Barnet has been extended. Three players have been released to follow the departure of joint top scorer Scott Taylor who joined Staines last week. Midfielder Manny Sackey has joined Croydon Athletic while Craig Richards and Louis Bell have also been allowed to leave. Keehan says the changes have not been forced upon him by the club, who remain in danger of going into administration.

    Richards was a regular at the start of the season but has struggled to win his place back after being sidelined for a number of weeks with a groin injury. Sackey and Bell have made only a handful of starts between them. Although the departures reduce the size of the squad, Tabiri’s loan has been extended until the New Year... In addition Tom Lyons is back at the club, having left to join Farnborough in October and then subsequently scoring twice on his debut for Three Bridges last Saturday... Keehan is also having a look at former Derby striker Marvin Robinson, who has been out of football since a car accident 14 months ago left him with a broken leg and bruised lungs. The 26-year-old, who has played for a number of clubs including Stoke, Chesterfield, Notts County and Lincoln, played against Saints in midweek.

    Keehan said: 'We are looking at him. He has been training at Kettering for eight weeks to get himself fit and wants to get back with a club'... Keehan must decide whether to stick with the 4-5-1 formation he played in the win against Grays or revert to 4-4-2 which could mean a starting place for Chamal Fenelon or Stefan Cox... Despite losing four players over the past fortnight Keehan is still happy with the squad he has got. He said: 'The changes I have made were not forced upon me, it is more prudent managing. In the circumstances we don’t want to be paying players we are not playing... Keehan’s scheme to donate £100 a person to the cause has raised about £4,500 but he has urged fans to help further by attending tomorrow’s game".

    According to Blue Square Football, "Kidderminster Harriers boss Mark Yates has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal this weekend following the loan signing of Kettering striker Chris Beardsley. Top scorer Justin Richards is on the sidelines with an eye injury and is expected to be out of action for around a month".

    However the Kidderminster Shuttle contradicts this, claiming that "With top scorer Justin Richards available again, Kidderminster Harriers are in rude health for their Blue Square Premier clash at home to struggling Salisbury on Saturday. Richards' recovery from the eye problem he sustained against Wrexham means that Harriers' manager Mark Yates has a wealth of striking options to choose from. Harriers boast forwards Matthew Barnes-Homer, Darryl Knights, on-loan Kettering hitman Chris Beardsley and Stefan Moore, who bagged his first goal for the club against Cuzon Ashton last weekend. 'Justin is training again after a ten day break, so he's eligible to play', said manager Mark Yates."

    News of an old boy comes from the NW Evening Mail which reports that "Carlos Logan says he and his Barrow AFC team-mates must put their FA Cup glory to one side and focus on moving up the table... 23-year-old left-back Logan, the only Barrow player to start every game in all competitions so far this season, said: 'The lads have been buzzing since the FA Cup draw, but we must forget about that now and focus on getting three points at Rushden and three points against Altrincham on Tuesday night. At the end of the day, a cup is a cup and we will at some stage go out, where as in the league we need points so we can stay in the Conference Premier next season. If we can play like we did against Brentford last Friday I don’t see why we can’t get three points tomorrow... We showed a League Two club how to play football'".

    This is Glos tells us that "Forest Green Rovers' secretary Colin Peake is cursing his luck after his club potentially missed out on more than £200,000 in TV revenue due to Derby County's Carling Cup commitments. Rovers play Derby in the FA Cup third round, but there will be no live TV coverage of the mouth-watering tie. The match has to be played on Saturday January 3 instead of Rovers' desired date of Sunday January 4, because Derby's Carling Cup semi will be on January 6 or 7. Premier League and Football League rules state that clubs cannot be forced to play matches without a break of three days". This same rule cost Alty £37,000 when Luton refused to move their replay at Altrincham for the TV cameras... To rub salt in the wounds, Rovers miss out on £13,000 because their New Year's Day game against Kidderminster has had to be cancelled, thanks to the Derby FA Cup tie being played a day earlier than expected. The Kidderminster match had been chosen for television coverage by Setanta, ironically after Histon's New Year's Day game with Cambridge was postponed because of Histon's involvement in the FA Cup". So Altrincham is the third choice for Setanta who will now beam the Cheshire Derby live to the nation on New Year's Day.


    This is Staffs confirms that "Stafford Rangers' players have been asked to take massive pay cuts – or play for nothing – in a bid to keep the club out of administration. The board this week announced an unprecedented austerity package to stop their debts spiralling out of control. Players on contract were told they could look for a new club if they wanted to – and leave with Rangers' best wishes. Dwindling gates and early exits from the FA Cup and FA Trophy has led to what the club says is 'a financial crisis'. Directors have been propping up Rangers with their own cash for the last couple of months. Secretary and financial director Mike Hughes said: 'If we carry on as we are, we are heading for disaster. It's a cruel world at the moment'. Rangers play Vauxhall Motors in the Blue Square North at Marston Road tomorrow and early indications are that there is no threat of a strike by players. It is understood contracted players have been asked to take wage cuts of up to 70 per cent, while those playing on a non-contract basis have been asked to play for nothing.

    Manager Steve Bull and his staff are also affected. Bull said: 'The club must be in more debt than was realised. All the lads have said they'll come to training and have a chat. I'm sure they'll be there on Saturday, but I don't know what's going to happen after that'. Hughes added: 'The players don't like it, the supporters won't like it – we don't like having to do it... We have five months of the season to go and present levels of expenditure would give us a massive deficit... Administration is the very last course of action for us'".

    5 December 2008


    Thursday 4 December:
  • Mansfield T. 1 Oxford U. 3
  • League table - Alty drop a place.


    Setanta TV announced tonight on their live coverage of the Mansfield v Oxford game that Altrincham's home match with Northwich Victoria on New Year's Day will be televised live. Coverage starts at 2.30pm, with kick off at 3pm.


    Altrincham FC have issued the following press release:

    Altrincham midfielder Val Owen (left) has decided to leave Moss Lane in a bid to play regular first team football in the twilight of his career. Owen has now recovered from a knee injury that he originally sustained in a pre-season game in July 2007, however with the increased quality in the Altrincham squad that has achieved a top half position in the Blue Square Premier, his chances of regular first team action are limited and he has decided to look for another club. Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote said 'We all need to say a big thank-you to Val, who has been an absolute role model for the four years that he has been with us. He played a massive part in helping the club achieve promotion to the Blue Square Premier in 2005 with two historic goals in the play-off semi-final at Kettering as well as scoring our second in the final at Stoke against Eastbourne Borough'.

    Owen made 117 appearances for the Robins scoring nine goals and was a huge favourite with Altrincham fans.

    With the current economic challenges, Altrincham are not in a position to replace the former Northwich, Hyde, Hednesford and Halifax midfielder in the short term.


    The FA has confirmed that Shaun Densmore has been given a 3-match ban, ending 13 December, for his sending off last weekend.


    The Manchester Evening News reports that "Graham Heathcote was in his element, microphone in one hand, audience in the palm of the other, when Geoff Goodwin stopped him in full flow by striding over and handing him a mobile phone. The bemused Altrincham manager pressed it to his ear and listened for a moment before saying: 'I know, mate, but the ref did us no favours. We had no chance after that sending off. Anyway, I'll pass you back to Geoff'. The gags were soon flying thick and fast again from Altrincham's wise-cracking boss, but only after a word of explanation for around 300 guests at the club's Christmas party at the town's Cresta Court Hotel.

    August 2005: Right: Adam Gilchrist is seen at Moss Lane with Graham Heathcote, Geoff Goodwin, Eddie Hussin and Michael Kasprowicz in Gavin Rathbone's photo.

    'That was the manager of the Australia cricket team', he said. 'They are in the middle of a Test match with New Zealand, but he wanted to know how we managed to get turned over by Rushden and Diamonds'. Prospects for the forthcoming Ashes series might be uppermost in the majority of minds Down Under, but news of Alty's fortunes is being sought just as eagerly within the Australia dressing room. Chairman Goodwin's mobile beeped within minutes of a 2-1 opening-day win at Woking to reveal a message from Aussie team boss Steve Bernard that read: 'Colin Little among the goals again - great result Popeye!'

    The texts have been travelling halfway round the world to the Altrincham chairman ever since, as evidence of a long-distance friendship that dates back to the last Ashes tour three years ago. That is when Goodwin, the boss of Goodwin's Coaches not only provided the Aussie squad's transport but doubled up as driver. Ricky Ponting's team raised eyebrows all round Moss Lane by turning up for a game during their stay in Manchester, and while some have since retired, there will be an Aussie presence again at the start of next season.

    Speaking from his home in Australia, Bernard said: 'Adam Gilchrist is a big fan. He has packed in Test cricket but was at the Adelaide game, and the first thing he said to me was "How are Alty doing, mate?". He is planning to travel over for the Ashes next summer and said it would be great to arrange a trip to Moss Lane. You can probably include Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee in that. When I mentioned I was phoning Geoff before the start of play the other day, they wanted to know about Alty's results and asked me to pass on their best... I had no idea I was calling him in the middle of the club's Christmas party. Jeez, that was a bit embarrassing, but I just wanted to know what had gone on against Rushden and Diamonds. I call or text after just about every game, because I consider myself a big Alty fan'".

    Steve revealed that Geoff Goodwin "really hit it off with all the guys on that tour. He's a larger-than-life personality and a straight-shooting guy, and if you've got that about you, you'll do for any Aussie. It also helped that he owned the company but was still happy to get behind the wheel. That went down well. He still got heaps of stick, though. We all bagged him about his bus, even though it had every comfort we could wish for. We told him it was like a relic from the 1930s and the worst we'd ever been on, and, of course, he gave plenty back. We are really good pals, and he has visited me and my family for a holiday since the last series. We are all looking forward to seeing him behind the wheel again next summer. It has to be Popeye driving us'".

    Why Popeye? 'You are not accepted in Australian circles unless you've got a nickname', said Bernard. 'We were at The Oval, and Darren Lehmann suddenly pointed at me and said "I know - Popeye!" I asked why and he said: "Strewth mate, just have a look at those arms!"'". <


    Rushden & Diamonds report that "East Northamptonshire Development Control Committee yesterday gave planning permission for the erection of a three star 150-bed hotel on the grounds at the front of Nene Park... The hotel will be situated in Car Park B, at the front of the football stadium, most of the hotel is to be four storeys high, with the corner focal point rising to five/six. A contribution of £47,500 towards improvements of the Chowns Mill roundabout and local road infrastructure will be made" by the club.

    The Northwich Guardian reports that "steve King says he will chat to Charlton Athletic about extending the stay of loan pair Scott Wagstaff and Rashid Yussuff... Their loan spell ends after Saturday’s trip to Eastbourne Borough... Said King 'I think our fans have seen what these two boys can bring to the team in the short space of time they have been here'... Yussuff has perhaps made more of an impact, according to King".

    Meanwhile, "Northwich Victoria have handed a trial to a former Barcelona star. Samuel Okunowo, who played for the Catalan giants against Manchester United in the Champions League a decade ago, will make his debut once he gets international clearance from the Football Association. 'We’re happy to have a look at him', said Steve King. 'He’s been struggling with injuries for a while so we need to get him fit, but he has played at a very high level and not doubt could make our defence stronger. Put it this way, if we get him into shape and he starts to play well, he won’t be here for long'. The 29-year-old full back also starred for Nigeria at the Sydney Olympics and the African Cup of Nations in 2000 – the same summer he left the Camp Nou. Spells at clubs in Greece, Romania, Albania and the Ukraine have followd. He has trained with his prospective new teammates for the past fortnight while he waits for the game’s governing body to sort out the paperwork... King has targeted Vics’ problem position of full back for strengthening after listing both Richie Sutton and Ryan Brown for loan. Teenager Mike Aspin has filled in during Sutton’s long-term absence through injury, but the Vics boss feels he needs extra knowhow to help the promising former Preston North End trainee’s development".


    Bullsnews brings news of one of Alty's frequent opponents over the years. "Stafford are facing a cash crisis that has forced the club to slash wages. Manager Steve Bull will meet with players at training tonight, with any player not willing to accept the cut free to leave the Conf North club".

    From the Gravesend Reporter, we learn that "Ebbsfleet United chief executive David Davis says the club are working on a series of contingency plans in case there is a shortfall in the required number of MyFootballClub (MyFC) renewals in February for the club to break even. The Fleet are expected to unveil a number of new initiatives to up their revenue in the near future, one of which - the Fleet Supporters' wall, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks - is hoping to generate £15,000 in additional cash. However, with Ebbsfleet currently running at an operating loss of £55,000 [fifty-five thousand] a month, Davis admitted that the Stonebridge Road outfit would not continue to operate in the red if that situation arose... 'We're due for about 26,000 renewals to come up in February from 30,000-plus members we have at the moment. This means that, at the current run-rate, we will need a minimum of 16,000 renewals next year'".

    The Dorset Echo says that "Dorchester Town secretary Dave Martin has called on Eddie Mitchell to end his interest in a possible takeover of local rivals Weymouth. Terras’ chairman Malcolm Curtis is desperately trying to offload the Wessex Stadium outfit and so far the frontrunners remain to be a consortium of local businessmen and Magpies’ chairman Mitchell. Mitchell has also suggested that the two rivals could merge should he succeed in any potential takeover. However, the thought of any amalgamation does not sit comfortably with Martin. He said: 'The important thing is that both Dorchester Town and Weymouth Football Clubs remain independent, and start to live within their means in their own community... If you run a retail business or a manufacturing business, the economies of scale and joint marketing makes sense. But football is not a normal business. Look at what Gareth and Lisa Baldwin have achieved at Histon, without merging with either Cambridge City or Cambridge United... Football clubs are an important feature at the heart of their community. They generate a sense of passion, of belonging. They are like a family with supporters proud to wear their replica shirts in a tribal display of pride... I would publicly urge Eddie Mitchell to drop his interest in Weymouth and concentrate on the job at Dorchester'".

    Meanwhile "John Hollins will appeal against the club’s decision to sack him as manager" claims the Echo. "The former Chelsea and Arsenal man, who was placed on gardening leave last month while the club investigated a breach of contract, was dismissed yesterday". Hollins "confirmed his intention to appeal against the decision but was unable to comment further due to legal reasons".


    Because of Forest Green's continued involvement in the FA Cup, Altrincham have no game on Saturday, January 3rd. Local alternatives include:
  • Trafford v Newcastle Blue Star
  • Witton/Cammell Laird v Marine in the UniBond League Challenge Cup
  • Droylsden v Kings Lynn - only if the Bloods are not still in the FA Cup
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Hucknall Town
    4 December 2008


    Our next opponents are expecting a financial boost as the Crawley Observer claims that "Crawley Town's hopes of reaching the Football League could become reality if they appoint local multi-millionaire Bruce Winfield as a new director. The former owner of huge marketing and public relations company Media Square is believed to be one of two mystery men who are about to be named as directors of both the club and the consortium which owns Crawley, Prospect Estates Holdings Ltd.

    Currently a season ticket holder, he is known to be a wealthy businessman who would be capable of helping to inject sizeable funds into the club and push it into the Football League. The Crawley Observer understands he would become the majority shareholder. The news comes as welcome relief after the bad news of the departure of popular director Phil Jarman due to other business commitments... Jarman said: 'I have heard of Bruce Winfield but cannot say whether he will be a new director. He was part of the club in the Town Mead days and his appointment, should it take place, would be a positive thing for the club...If it is him who takes over it will be a big step forward".


    An interesting piece on last Saturday's referee at Moss Lane, who sent off Shaun Densmore, has emerged from the Northern Echo of 2 June 2007.

    "A footballer ordered to complete a refereeing course as punishment for a foul-mouthed tirade has become one of the top officials in the country. Ross Joyce saw the error of his ways after he was sent off in a youth match six years ago for swearing at the man in the middle.As a result Ross, from Eston, near Middlesbrough, was told to complete the six-week refereeing course at the nearby Southland Centre. The 20-year-old took full advantage of his penalty and, from a pool of 30,000 officials, has gone on to become one of the best in his field. He now acts as an assistant referee and fourth official in the football league, officiating games in the Championship, Coca Cola League One and Two...

    'I wouldn't describe myself as foul-mouthed. It was a one-off - I was actually a quiet lad. It was a cup game, which was important, and I lost my temper, got a bit upset and swore at the referee, so he sent me off for it', he said... 'I love being a referee. It's very enjoyable and exciting as every game brings a new challenge'... He has recently been promoted to level two of the national list of panel referees... He is the youngest assistant referee in the country at that level and the youngest panel referee, which will see him take charge of Conference football next season (08-09)... Some of Ross' games have already grabbed the attention of the media.In one, he needed a police escort from a women's match between Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea after he sent off three Rovers' players and the manager".


    Looking ahead to next summer, a number of Alty fans usually try to fit in one or more Welsh European match before the league season starts in England. NL Daily reports that in Europe in 2009-10 "UEFA has confirmed that the qualifying rounds will no longer be regionalised... Wales has traditionally been placed in the northern group with clubs from Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Ireland, most of whom are already in-season when the competition kicks-off in June. This has proved a major disadvantage for clubs from the Welsh Premier, who are forced to go back into training a few weeks after the end of the season and play Uefa ties with no competitive match action under their belts. A geographically-open draw will increase the chances of facing teams who also play winter football, theoretically increasing the chances of progressing further in the competition. However, on the downside, long distance travel will increase costs and, with Mediterranean clubs as potential opponents, the hot summer weather could be a disadvantage in away ties... First qualifying round ties will start on June 29th with three Welsh Premier clubs participating".

    "Droylsden have launched inquiries with police after allegations of racist taunts from their fans in the abandoned FA Cup Second Round tie at Chesterfield last Saturday. Stewards reported offensive noises directed at Kevin Austin of Chesterfield... Droylsden match secretary Alan Slater said: 'We have had players of different nationalities and colours for years. Our assistant-manager of fifteen years is black. We are great believers that if you play football it doesn't matter what colour you are. It is possible that, with Manchester United and Manchester City not playing last Saturday, there were a few hangers-on in the 500 fans we took to Chesterfield. The average Droylsden fan would not want anything to do with racism'".


    Wednesday's BSP game, Northwich V. v Wrexham, was postponed.

    It's not just sacking the manager which makes Weymouth a troubled club as the Dorset Echo says that "Former Weymouth director Dave Higson has revealed that the consortium of local businessmen interested in taking over the club will only consider doing so if current majority shareholder Malcolm Curtis wipes out the debts that have been incurred during his troubled tenure... It is understood Curtis is in desperate need of a quick sale. Commercial manager Ken Wilde became the latest victim of the property developer’s cost-cutting when he was relieved of his duties yesterday and Echosport understands that the Terras’ chairman has also put a stop on all the club’s standing orders and direct debits.

    Despite the huge severity of the situation it is believed Curtis has intimated that he will not allow the club to go into administration and would instead favour settling for a controversial deal with Dorchester Town chairman Eddie Mitchell... Some fans have even started planning breakaway clubs with potential protests at forthcoming games also on the cards. It is also understood that some senior officials at both non-League outfits will tender their resignations should such a deal take place.

    Higson said: 'Malcolm Curtis has asked me for an offer but I have told him that I need time. This is not something that is just going to happen overnight. Not only would I need to meet up with the consortium again but we would also need to instruct a lawyer to draw everything up because we do not want to go in there and find a hidden tax bill or something... Not only do we want Malcolm Curtis to clear the club’s debts but we also want him to underwrite that we are not responsible for any hidden debts or loans... If we could raise around £100,000 and take over the club debt free, and get through to January where we could then make cutbacks it would give us a fighting chance. If that is allowed to happen I am confident I could convince people to come on board'”.

    There is even worse trouble at Lewes where the Argus claims that "The man trying to save Lewes fears the club is about to go into adminstration. Mark Henderson, of shirt sponsors Magic Man, has been trying to put together a unique consortium to buy the financially-stricken Rooks. The Rooks have been up for sale since November 5 but no offers have been forthcoming. Henderson has been trying to find 100 people to put in £5,000 each for a single share in the club... However, Henderson has been hugely disappointed with the lack of response and now fears for the club’s future.

    He said: 'Only a handful of sponsors have come forward for my scheme... Not one of the 2,700 businesses in the Lewes catchment area has come forward with offers of help in any way. To say I am shocked is an understatement considering the fact that Lewes FC prides itself on its community spirit. The only local support has come in the form of the Supporters' Trust and two local individuals. Further afield one pledge from the Midlands has been forthcoming along with two companies... It is therefore my opinion that there is insufficient interest to rescue the club from administration. The supporters of the club would best be served by rallying around the Supporters Trust, which while in its infancy has some very good support from parent organisations and the legal status to offer protection to investors going forward.

    I suspect however there will be scavengers about waiting to pick the carcass of Lewes FC and buy on the cheap, this then leads the club on to another unknown path'... He added: 'I have been asked; what do I get for my £5,000? My initial response is to say don’t get involved if you see this as an investment. While over the mid term of three to five years there may be a return depending on cup and league success, in the short there most definitely will not. However, the fact that you are able to help the many supporters of the club who, unlike the ‘prawn sandwich’ brigade, come along to the Pan in all weathers and support grass roots football and the community at large should be enough. Sometimes just being fortunate enough to help others can be its own reward'".

    "Barrow joint-boss Dave Bayliss has tipped defender Carlos Logan to make a return to league football" claims the BBC. "The 23-year-old has previous league experience with Darlington, Chesterfield and Bradford City. 'People were saying don't touch him, he's got a bit of an attitude', Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'But he has been first-class and now we're looking for him to push on into a League One or League Two team, maybe even a Championship team'. Logan joined The Bluebirds in the summer after a brief spell with Altrincham last season. 'He actually dropped down to the Unibond League with Woodley Sports', Bayliss said. 'We took a bit of a gamble on him, we knew his ability but were a little bit wary of his temperament. Me and Darren [Sheridan] basically said this is your last chance saloon, if you get released by us then no-one will touch you with a barge-pole'. Logan, who began his career with Manchester City as a trainee, began the current season as a winger but has been converted to a left-back. He's been a different class and probably our most consistent player this season so far. He's got a thing that people love and that's sheer pace. He can play at left-back and left-wing, he's versatile. People say 'why are you playing him at left-back?' but I've not seen a single winger in this league run Carlos once', he added. 'If Carlos does move on, then good luck to him but hopefully he can stay with us longer because he's the kind of player we need'".

    The BBC says that "Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has said there are unlikely to be fresh funds for a new manager to strengthen the squad at the Kassam Stadium... 'I don't think there will be additional funds in January', said Thomas. 'But if there is player movement, with people going elsewhere then there is the ability to move things around'. The U's have admitted they have had short-term financial issues this season and have found it difficult to pay the rent to landlord Firoz Kassam".

    The BBC has more on the sacking of Weymouth boss John Hollins. "Weymouth chairman Malcolm Curtis said: 'John has the option of appealing but I am confident our case is watertight and in the best interests of Weymouth... After appointing John Hollins last January, things went superbly. He installed respect and discipline into the camp and kept us in the Blue Square Premier which had been his brief. However we hardly saw him during the close season and it was left to his assistant Alan Lewer to do all the work and sign all the players. I began to worry when John eventually turned up at the end of pre-season and had to be introduced to the players. That was embarrassing and unfortunately was a sign of things to come. Since then he has failed to turn up for training on a number of occasions and has not kept within the strict playing budget that was set for him'. Curtis said the most serious breach of contract came when Hollins is alleged to have approached Woking about their vacant manager's' position earlier this season. 'We got wind that John had spoken to Woking', explained Curtis, 'but he denied it and I was tempted to dismiss it as just another rumour. But I rang Woking's chairman who said he'd look into it and he came back to say that yes, John had spoken to a couple of club's directors about the job. To me, that's not the behaviour of someone committed to Weymouth or who even cares about Weymouth Football Club. It was embarrassing for me and for the Woking chairman and I'm sure our supporters will feel let down by John's actions, the same way that both Alan Lewer and the players felt let down'.

    With Hollins departed, Alan Lewer will now get the opportunity to prove his worth in charge of the Terras in a caretaker capacity. 'Alan Lewer has been a real credit throughout this difficult time and he will now assume the responsibility of first team manager on a caretaker basis', added Curtis".

    According to NL Daily "Terry Brown, manager of AFC Wimbledon, has signed Dwane Lee, who was released by Kettering Town recently. The former Stevenage Borough and Barnet man was with Dons` league rivals Maidenhead United last term".

    "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, revealed he would like to re-sign Ritchie de Laet for another loan spell... Having completed his initial one month loan deal, the Belgian right back has returned to parent club Stoke City to undergo a double hernia operation which will rule him out for three to four weeks. But Saunders was impressed with de Laet's determination to play despite carrying knocks... Saunders has extended the loan spell of Manchester City midfielder Angelos Tsiaklis for another month" reports NL Daily.

    Burton Albion report how they "were knocked out of this season's Setanta Shield following a 3-0 defeat at Blue Square North promotion chasers AFC Telford United... A Burton side containing just Craig Armstrong in the starting line-up who started against Eastbourne on Saturday were soon up against it when former Albion trialist Danny Carey-Bertram game the Bucks an early lead...Albion line-up: Deeney, Webster (Harrad), Banim, Holmes, Goodfellow, Austin, Morris (Newby), Bailey, Simmons, Armstrong, McCubbin (Pearson). Subs not used: Poole, Clough"

    From Ebbsfleet United we learn that "The Fleet advanced into the last eight of the Setanta Shield with a convincing 3-0 win over Stevenage Borough at a cold, sparsely-populated (285 att) Stonebridge Road. Both sides fielded strong teams, though Mark Ricketts was suspended for the Fleet and Liam Daish started with Karl Murray, Jamie Hand, Kezie Ibe, Dean Pooley and Danny Slatter. Stevenage were without leading goalscorer Steve Morison and former Fleet midfielder Andy Drury, though Michael Bostwick did play... The Fleet also pocketed £4,500 in prize money after tonight's victory."

    Forest Green Rovers' "Setanta Shield match against Torquay United seemed to be heading towards extra time on a very cold frost night when substitute Mike Symons fired in the 86th minute winner which also ended Torquay's 17 match unbeaten run".

    The Northwich Guardian tells us that "Only Cambridge players have behaved worse than their Vics' counterparts so far this season. The Football Conference’s Sportsmanship Awards puts the Us at the bottom of the table for discipline, with Northwich one place above them. 'It’s a difficult one to comment on because a lot of the bookings were picked up before I took over as manager', said Vics' boss Steve King. 'If a player is going for the ball honestly and follows through with their tackle then I’m happy to defend them. It’s the other stuff I can’t stand like kicking the ball away or giving the referee stick – I’ve told the team already that I simply won’t tolerate that'...

    Gary Brabin’s men had picked up 38 cautions – plus four red cards... Vics’ tally of 43 yellow cards and two dismissals place them a single point better off. Midfield pair Matty Crowell and Chris Flynn are the bad boys in chief, picking up 14 bookings between them so far. Defensive duo Michael Welch and Simon Grand have also been cautioned five times apiece.

    Kidderminster Harriers topped the table on Friday as the only team not to have a player sent for an early bath since the start of the current campaign. That puts them in the running for a share of the £15,000 prize available to clubs who demonstrate the most improvement in the attitude of their players, officials and supporters". On the latest chart on the Conference official site Alty are 6th with 25 yellows and 1 red - though they have now actually had two reds in league matches.

    3 December 2008


    Following a period of "gardening leave", Weymouth have announced simply that "Manager John Hollins has been sacked by Weymouth Football Club. Further details to follow".

    However, the Dorset Echo writes that "John Hollins has been sacked by Weymouth Football Club. The former Chelsea and Arsenal man was put on gardening leave last month while the club investigated a number of alleged breaches of contract. The allegations included failing to turn up for training and approaching fellow Blue Square Premier side Woking in search of employment. Hollins has also been accused of failing to discipline players and not keeping within the club's strict playing budget. Following a disciplinary hearing held last week, which was attended by Hollins, a PFA representative and Terras officials, the boss has now been dismissed".


    SAM reports that "Nurturing potential has long been a priority for any football club, but Altrincham are showing they care about both ends of the age spectrum by opening their doors to the town's pensioners for a festive get-together. The Robins are eager to build on this season's success in the Blue Square Conference by strengthening ties with the local community and have arranged a Christmas lunch for senior citizens at Moss Lane on Wednesday, December 17.

    The latest initiative follows a visit by children from Woodheys and Tyntesfield primary schools in Sale, who cheered the side on to a 1-0 win over Cambridge United and showed off their own skills by playing each other on the pitch at half-time. The club are even providing their own chef for their latest event, in the Jill Oates sponsors' lounge, starting at 12.30pm, to ensure cullinary standards are up to scratch.

    Alty fan Dave Johnson, who has worked in the kitchens at the Cresta Court Hotel, was quick to volunteer his services after joining recently-formed fans' group the Altrincham Supporters' Club. 'It was actually Dave's idea,' said TASC chairman Brian Flynn. 'He came up to me and explained his background was in catering and how about if we organised a Christmas lunch for pensioners? As a club, we like to be as inclusive as possible with community relations, and we were all for it'.

    The cost is £5.95 for three courses, followed by coffee and mince pies, and places can be booked by contacting Derek Wilshaw on 928 1045".


    TASC - The Altrincham FC Supporters' Club - held a committtee meeting last weekend. The minutes of the meeting are now available here and show that the organization is making good progress as it gets off the ground as the successor body to the mothballed Supporters' Trust.

    Previous TASC minutes:

  • Meeting on 11th October 2008
  • Meeting on 1st November 2008


    Later this month, Altrincham take on Southport in the FA Trophy. The Southport Visiter quotes Port manager Liam Watson. "I am pleased with the FA Trophy draw at Altrincham, they have done really well this season after three poor years, the manager Graham Heathcote would tell you that himself. I spoke to him before Tuesday’s match with Vauxhall and I think that as soon as he can get them to 50 points in the league he will be happy, 53 points would probably do him. The game down there will suit us I think, the better opposition will make us produce a better performance, although it is a ground I don’t have a good record on. Both as a player and a manager my record at Altrincham is pretty awful but... things change. Our next five games are all away from home...All three cup competitions are important to me but obviously the league is paramount'".


    Former Alty midfielder Lewis Chalmers has been an unused sub in recent games for Aldershot Town in League Two.


    News from our next opponents, Crawley Town; "Crawley Town Director and club Secretary Barry Munn has confirmed it is business as normal despite Chairman Vic Marley being confined to hospital. Marley who fell ill during a family holiday last week was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton over the weekend where his condition has been described as ‘worrying but stable’. Munn has also confirmed it is the Chairman's intention to add at least two new board members, both of [whom] will purchase a shareholding in the football club... Munn said, 'It is very much business as normal at the football club'... Crawley Town are back in action here at The Broadfield Stadium on Saturday when Altrincham are the visitors. A win for the Reds could take them into a Conference Premier play -off place so the lads need a large support behind them".

    The Argus adds that "Steve Fletcher believes Crawley will only have themselves to blame if they do not make the play-offs. The 36-year-old striker’s third goal of the season at Northwich on Saturday earned Reds their first Blue Square Premier win in seven games... Fletcher, said 'I believe we’re good enough to get into the play-offs. We had probably over-achieved when we sat on top of the league for a few weeks earlier in the season but we’re in among it again and if we drop out of contention we only have ourselves to blame. We have seen most of the sides now and some of them are strong. A team like Torquay could probably put a second side out which would compete in this division. There are clubs with bigger squads and wage bills than us so we need to keep our major players fit but if we do that and have a bit of luck then we can achieve it'.

    Meanwhile, boss Steve Evans is considering whether to extend James Dayton’s loan deal after he came off the bench to create Fletcher’s winner against Northwich. Dayton, who celebrates his 20th birthday next week, has made just one start and two substitute appearances since joining from Crystal Palace a month ago. Evans said: 'I will have a chat with (Palace boss) Neil Warnock. They have been fantastic in covering most of his wages while he has been here and given that we are light on numbers perhaps we will have another look at it'. Thomas Pinault and Sam Rents are available after suspension against Altrincham and Isaiah Rankin is now back in the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since the end of August. The former Arsenal striker was on the bench at Northwich and could have played, according to his manager. Evans added: 'He could have come on against Northwich but I was worried about how cold it was. When you have had a hamstring injury coming on cold when it’s freezing you are worried psychologically'”.


    Tuesday 2 December:
  • AFC Telford 3 Burton A. 0
  • Barrow v York C. POSTPONED
  • Crawley T. v Chelmsford POSTPONED
  • Hinckley U. 2 Kettering T. 3 aet
  • Ebbsfleet U. 3 Stevenage B. 0
  • Forest Green R. 1 Torquay U. 0 att 421
  • Salisbury C. 0 Woking 3 att 297


    The Burton Mail "Nigel Clough, manager of Burton Albion, has ruled out a move for former Pirelli Stadium favourite Daryl Clare... The Brewers boss said: 'We've inquired about two or three strikers but Daryl is not one of them. Clare left Albion at the end of last season to join rivals Rushden & Diamonds after scoring forty-eight goals in fewer than 100 appearances. The double former `golden boot` winner is reported to be unsettled at Nene Park, despite topping their scoring chart with five goals. He was left out of their side last Saturday when Diamonds beat Eastbourne Borough".

    Burton Albion defender Jake Buxton has won the Blue Square Premier "Player of the Month" award for November. The former Mansfield centre back has been a key factor in Albion’s rise to the top of the Blue Square Premier table".

    The Histon manager Steve Fallon has won the Blue Square Premier Manager of the Month award for November.

    The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Curtis Woodhouse could leave Rushden & Diamonds earlier than expected following showdown talks over his future. The transfer-listed skipper is set to concentrate on his professional boxing career after recording a ninth successive victory. Woodhouse had been planning to quit football at the end of the season. But now he looks ready to hang up his boots and bring forward those retirement plans. He revealed: 'I will be speaking to Garry Hill over the next couple of days. My future at Diamonds is not sure. I've been told I'm surplus to requirements. But I won't be leaving just because they want me out. We are going to need to come to a financial agreement – otherwise I will stay to the end of my contract'... Woodhouse has missed Diamonds' last two games to focus on his fight in Yorkshire at the weekend when the welterweight claimed a stoppage victory over Peter Dunn after 23 seconds of the sixth and final round.

    He added: "It was a brilliant night and probably my best performance so far. It went really well as that was the first time he has been stopped in eight years... I got caught with a few shots and couldn't see for an hour after the fight due to blurred vision. I'm hoping to fight again in January, February, March and April before looking to a title bout in the summer. It's a busy time'".

    Grays Athletic "have signed Dagenham & Redbridge Striker, Wesley Thomas, on one month's loan, Wesley started with Waltham Forest Youth before joining Thurrock FC, he then went to Fisher Athletic before joining The Daggers".

    "The Albion Football Club (Burton On Trent) Limited held an extraordinary general meeting at which the clubs accounts for year ended 31st May 2008 were discussed and adopted. The accounts showed a position described by the club's accountants as ‘healthy’ following a year in which the club recorded a trading profit of £158,970... Both the chairman and club accountant pointed out the settlement of legal proceedings with the previous pitch contractors during the year which had brought about a confidential out of court settlement and which had allowed the club to reverse previous provisions in the accounts which played a significant part on the club recording a trading profit. Whilst income had increased through gate receipts and commercial income the club's accountant noted that the gross profit was up from 14% to 16% in comparison to the previous year...

    After a glowing tribute from chairman Ben Robinson regarding Clough’s ten year tenure at the club, the manager started by quashing any rumours linking him to the managers job at Crewe Alexandra, answering a question by saying that the last time he had been in touch with the Cheshire club was six weeks ago to check on the progress of former Albion defender John Brayford who is settling in well at Gresty Road and appears to have worked his way into the first team quite quickly going some way towards earning the Brewers the first of two top-ups on his original transfer fee.

    Clough went on to say that he would soon have to make decision regarding players currently at the club on loan with all of those currently here on temporary deals seeing those agreements run out on January 1st... The manager also said that he was looking for ‘maybe two or three’ players to bring in during the January transfer window... The Brewers' boss also indicated that should the Brewers achieve promotion at the end of the season it was highly likely that the team would go full time... Clough confirmed that the players contracted for 2009/10 at present were Aaron Webster and Greg Pearson".

    From the BBC, we hear that "Barrow joint-manager Darren Sheridan is hoping his team's FA Cup run can influence the decision to turn full-time next season... Sheridan told BBC Radio Cumbria: 'We've had a chat with the chairman. I'm sure we can look into maybe going full-time next year. It will help the club massively'. The Bluebirds pocketed £105,000 from their televised 2-1 second-round victory over League Two Brentford".

    "Cambridge United's on loan striker Scott Rendell wants to hear from Peterborough United before making any decision about his future at the Abbey. Rendell, 22, re-joined the U's from Posh last month, but would like to return to London Road in January. The former Reading and Crawley man told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I don't really know what situation I'm in'... Posh boss Darren Ferguson has hinted that he may look to offload Rendell in January, but the U's would struggle to finance any permanent deal".

    "Forest Green have extended defender Darran Kempson's loan deal from Wrexham by a further month".

    According to the Hampshire News & Mail "Experienced goalkeeper Richard Barnard has joined Francis Vines' Farnborough from Weymouth".

    "Gary Brabin fears Cambridge United could soon be in trouble with the FA because of inconsistent refereeing. United have picked up four red cards and 46 bookings so far this season. Brabin believes United's card count is not a fair reflection of their discipline, and blamed double standards from officials... The club was fined £3,000 in August last year by an FA disciplinary panel after collecting nine red cards and 86 cautions during the 2006-07 campaign... He said: 'I know everyone has got hard luck stories, but how anyone can tell me how we're one of the dirtiest teams in this league I'll never know... What seems to be happening is the referees are letting the game flow for the first half, by which time we've been kicked to death for 45 minutes. Then in the second half they say 'right, that's it now, I'm going to start booking people... We aren't a dirty team, we're just a hard-working side'... An FA spokesman said the governing body had no plans to bring United before a disciplinary panel as yet", he told the Cambridge Evening news.

    This is Notingham states that "Mansfield chairman Andy Perry has revealed he is eager to offer contract extensions to the Stags' leading players... But it is believed no-one has been offered terms beyond the end of this season... Perry said: 'We need to extend the contracts of our better players'". In past years "The loss of players was always a source of frustration to fans, who saw it as showing a lack of ambition. And they do not want the likes of Gary Silk and Jonathan D'Laryea to walk away from Field Mill in the summer. Perry said: 'If you can tie up some of your best players, it is as good as a new signing. It sends out the massage to players that if they produce the goods they will be rewarded. Already we are getting offered players for next season, so the sooner the better'".

    2 December 2008


    Altrincham FC Youth team won through to the next round of the Neil Thomason Memorial trophy, named after their former coach, when they overcame New Mills last Sunday. After 120 minutes of normal and extra-time, the score remained goalless. In the shoot-out all 11 players had to take a spot-kick but Alty ran out 9-8 winners. Kane Berkeley and Paul Cordock missed their kicks but Lewis Kilkenny, Dominic Bates, Dan Shaw, Blaine Whiteside, John Bennett, Joel Brownhill, Jake Leigh-Watson, Dan Millen and, finally, goalkeeper Chris Walker all found the net. Chris then won the match by saving the New Mills' goalkeeper's penalty. Next Sunday, Alty are again at home - against Marine "B" in the Open Cup at Wythenshawe Town - k.o. is 1.30pm.


    The Argus has news of our next opponents. "Steve Evans does not have the same resources as some of Crawley's Blue Square premier promotion rivals. No one can deny, however, that the Crawley boss makes pretty good use of his resources. At York last week his substitutions were instrumental in helping Reds come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2... Evans persisted with three up front but Jon Paul-Pittman and eventually Dayton played much closer to Fletcher so they might profit from his aerial presence... Fletcher roughed up former Lewes centre-half Steve Robinson before scoring the sort of goal which has been his stock-in-trade for nearly two decades... Evans said: 'Every time we went forward after we changed it we looked a threat. We thought that if we got decent balls in from wide areas we would make a chance and that has won us the game. If we’d scored three in the second half it would have been a fair reflection'". Fletcher added, “We needed that win for morale and to get us out of a bit of a rut that we have found ourselves in the last six weeks'... Fletcher has never been a prolific scorer despite more than 600 games for Bournemouth, Chesterfield and now Crawley... His appearances this season have often been as an isolated target man at the pivot of Reds’ three-man attack but he has looked more effective when his team-mates play closer to him rather than in wide areas... He added: 'I’m no spring chicken and I know I can’t play every game and the gaffer explains to me every time when I don’t play. We play a system with three up front with two of them really wide. When I play I need people around me to read my headers and flicks and when I’ve come on recently we have played three tight up front'".


    Right: Gavin Rathbone captures Mark McGregor battling for possession against Rushden last Saturday.

    The referee for Saturday's match at Crawley Town is Mr M F Thompson, whilst Mr A I Halliday will officiate at Barrow v Altrincham on the following Tuesday night. Andy Halliday oversaw the Rushden away game this season, which Alty drew 1-1 as well as reffing last season's draw at Torquay United. Last Christmas he also reffed Alty's 1-5 home defeat by Stevenage Borough.

    If you want another dose of last Saturday's referee at Moss Lane, Mr Joyce, you will find him reffing Vics v Wrexham this Wednesday night.


    The FA Cup Round 2 replays to be shown on Setanta are:
  • Wed. 10 December: Kettering Town v Notts County
  • Tue. 16 December: Blyth Spartans v AFC Bournemouth


    NL Daily tells us that "Neil Tolson, caretaker player-manager of Hyde United, has... signed striker Matthew Berkeley".


    According to the Sussex Express "The man behind Lewes FC's main sponsor is attempting to launch a bold bid to build a consortium to take over the troubled club. Mark Henderson, of Magic Man, wants to set up a group where individuals pledge £5,000 each in return for equal rights in any future consortium. Mr Henderson warned Rooks fans that the present situation was so grave that the current board of directors could consider pulling out their financial support of the club as early as the end of the week...

    Mr Henderson said, 'It would seem that little has been achieved over the last few weeks since the plight of Lewes FC was brought to the public attention. This is partly due to the differing factions involved and recent history of the club. The resulting mutual mistrust and suspicion of the motives of several factions has resulted in the current impasse. I have over the last few weeks been disappointed with the level of interest and offers of help that I have been made aware of by the board and perhaps naively expected more from the local and wider communities. The situation with the club is now extremely serious and a decision on its future must be made before the end of the week. With the lack of interest from others I have taken it upon myself to try and raise my own consortium whilst at the same time address some of the many issues of concern to the supporters of the club... It is therefore my aim to try and raise as much money as possible by the issue of shares in a newly formed limited company. The cost of these shares will be £5,000 each and no more than one share can be purchased by any individual or company so as to ensure that the shareholders have an equal say in the direction of the club... It is my opinion that Lewes FC has now reached the end of the line for promises, inaction and good intentions and unless sufficient pledges come forward immediately there is a reasonable chance that the current board of Directors would not wish to continue to fund the club beyond this week!"

    The Kidderminster Shuttle says that "Delighted chairman Barry Norgrove believes the money earned from Kidderminster Harriers' FA Cup win over Curzon Ashton has ensured that Christmas has come early to the club. Saturday's 2-0 victory saw the club make an extra £30,000 and bag a mouth watering third round tie away at Championship side Coventry City... Harriers' FA Cup run also meant they have earned £62,500, which has alleviated the pressure off the cash-strapped club... Said the chairman, 'At the end of October the board to had pay the wages and it was hand-to-mouth... In the end we might make £100,000 out of this run in the cup, but if we make it through to the fourth round then the money we earn from that may tide us over for next season as well'".

    "Torquay United have extended the loan of Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Scott Bevan to a third month. All the indications are that Gulls` boss Paul Buckle would eventually like to keep his so-far 'undefeated' keeper on a longer-term basis... United will get at least another six games out of the 6' 6” tall Bevan. The former Southampton and MK Dons 'keeper has played a dozen games without tasting defeat to date, helping United to a record-breaking sixteen league and cup games unbeaten. Bevan has conceded only eight goals during that run. His predecessor Michael Poke, who's also on a season-long loan from Southampton, is back with the Gulls after more than two months out with injury... 'We've now got two good goalkeepers on board — I would like to keep Michael too'" manager Paul Buckle told This is South Devon.

    From Sussex's Argus we learn that "Allan Tait and Darren Budd have been told they can leave Eastbourne Borough. Both players were left out of the squad for the trip to Burton Albion on Saturday and are deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Ashley Barnes, Jeff Goulding and Dan Smith on loan... Striker Tait was transfer listed two weeks ago following a training ground argument, while Budd will also be made available for loan after failing to make a single start in the league this season. The pair will only be able to join clubs from the Ryman League or below as the loan transfer window has closed for teams in the Blue Square Premier and above".

    1 December 2008


    The Altrincham FC Christmas carol service will now be held on Tuesday 23rd December at 8pm for 8.30pm in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. Originally planned for Thursday 18th, the event has been moved as that may now be the date for the Altrincham v Burton Albion game, should it be televised by Setanta Sports TV. The carol service will be led by Altrincham FC chaplain, Andrew Barclay-Watt.

    Altrincham FC is holding a Christmas Lunch for Pensioners, organised by Dave Johnson on behalf of The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC). It will be on Wednesday 17th December in the Jill Oates Sponsors' Lounge at 12.30pm. A three-course Christmas dinner with coffee and mince pies will be provided for just £5.95. Please contact Derek Wilshaw at Moss Lane on 928-1045 to book your place.

    Please collect your New Year's Day raffle tickets (40p each or £2 fopr a book of five) from Moss Lane as soon as possible. The draw will be on New Year's Day after the game with Northwich Victoria, at 5.30pm. The draw is an important fundraiser for the Club so please sell and buy as many tickets as you can.

    Whilst searching for that special present for Christmas please take a look at the retailers who have signed up to the scheme whereby they offer commission to the football club for buying your goods through their website. Amongst those participating are Mothercare, Littlewoods Direct, Next and, to name but a few.

    It's an easy to use system – just click on the bar in the yellow section near the top of the home page on this website, and this will direct you to a listing of all the companies who are offering commission. Any purchases made via this link will generate income for the club at no expense to you.

    Also an ideal Christmas present is a Half-Season Ticket for Altrincham FC matches. Prices are:

  • Standing- Adults £100, Concessionaries £50
  • Seated - Adults £120, Concessionaries £55.

    For further details, please contact the club on 928-1045.


    The club wishes to thank Darren and Louise Gregory and all supporters who contributed to the success of the Bag2TheFuture scheme. Darren reports that 92 full bags of clothes were handed in today and more may follow tomorrow morning to bring the total to 100. The club receives £200 for every ton collected


    Ilkeston Town won 3-1 against Witton Albion on Saturday with former Altrincham loan-striker Tom Cahill (Ilkeston) and ex-Alty left-winger James Olsen (Witton) on the score sheet. Former Alty reserves' goalkeeper Billy Blower has re-joined Neil Brown at Abbey Hey.


    NL Daily informs us that ""Cammell Laird have made the shock announcement that the credit crunch has finally hit the UniBond League Premier club and that they will be reverting to amateur status with immediate effect. Players who wish to leave will be helped to find alternative clubs but the club vows to see out the current campaign in the UniBond Premier. Chairman John Lynch and his board of directors have fought hard to meet their financial commitments so far this season but the point has now been reached where the present situation cannot continue. Match day revenue is down despite being promoted last season and an early exit from both major cup competitions means that prize money received has been below minimum expectations".


    The fog got worse as Saturday's match progressed; here the players greet each other before kick-off.

    The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "A controversial sending-off allowed Rushden & Diamonds to record a comfortable away win. Altrincham midfielder Shaun Densmore was harshly red-carded after only 20 minutes for a late challenge which caught on-loan winger Yannick Bolasie. The Congolese youngster was perhaps fortunate to escape with a yellow card soon afterwards for a high tackle on Robins' skipper Robbie Lawton.

    Club captain Andy Burgess marked his return from suspension with the opening goal – his right-foot drive from 30 yards finding the bottom corner after keeper Andy Ralph punched out Michael Corcoran's cross. Chris Senior wasted a golden opportunity to equalise and it was game over when Lee Tomlin's deflected shot went in, moments after Simon Brown had been denied by Greg Young's goal-line clearance.

    Altrincham striker Colin Little hit the post early in the second half and Diamonds had a goal disallowed when Michael Rankine was adjudged offside... The only doubt was whether the game would finish as the fog descended over Moss Lane. But, despite a helping hand from the referee, Diamonds had deserved three points and should have scored more goals".

    The Telegraph adds that "Garry Hill can see encouraging signs for Rushden & Diamonds going into the second half of the season... Hill said: 'They have been going very well in the last two or three months and taken 14 results from the last 17 games... We had to be very professional to set about the task and get the job done. We've changed one or two things around, worked hard and kept a low profile... "Winning 4-0 is very encouraging. Andy Burgess got two very good goals... Of course, a big decision has gone against Altrincham. But, with the greatest respect, we looked strong when they had 11 men. They couldn't handle Yannick Bolasie in the first half. Because he was on a yellow card and we were 2-0 up, we didn't want a situation there. We gave him a pat on the back and fetched on Marcus Kelly".


    Altrincham's next opponents Crawley are coming to terms with the departure of one of their main financial backers, hairdresser Phil Jarman. The Crawley Observer reports that "Crawley Town director Phil Jarman has stepped down as director of the club six months after joining a consortium to take it over. Fans' favourite Phil has decided to quit the Broadfield Stadium to focus on his business ventures citing that he didn't have enough time to concentrate fully on both... His decision to leave will come as a shock to fans after he spent £5,000 of his own money to buy defender Adam Quinn from Halifax in August. Jarman said; 'I am heavily involved in a new business venture that requires my sole focus. I have tried to manage both over the last two months alongside family life but I have been unable to give either the time it deserves. I had to make a decision not only for my business but as a husband and father'... The Scotsman joined Crawley in the 2007/08 season becoming a member of the board but now joins commercial director Andrew Dodd as the second back-room departure from the club this season.

    Chairman Vic Marley added: 'In reality Phil has only been with us a short time but has worked hard to help us make the progress we have... I will be adding a new director to our board early next week as we continue to take this football club forward'. In April this year Phil was appointed as one of three directors of the consortium Prospect Estate Holdings Limited, which took over ownership of Crawley, along with John Duly, from the SA Group... His departure now leaves the sole directors of Prospect Estate Holdings Limited as chairman Vic Marley and [manager] Steve Evans's father-in-law, Tom Scott, who has not been seen or heard by the public since the takeover. There are are also two further members of the board at Crawley, Susan Carter and Steve Mansell. Phil Jarman has added that he will sell his share in Crawley for a £1 in the hope of attracting investors to the club".


    The BBC says that "Lewes have given their blessing to a scheme which would see businessman Mark Henderson take over the club. Henderson is managing director of the club's shirt sponsor, Magic Man, and has begun searching for 100 businesses or individuals to invest £5,000 each. Lewes managing director Martin Elliott told BBC Southern Counties Radio: 'The idea is lots of people doing a little rather than a few doing a lot. It needs someone with a lot of time and energy to pull it together'. At least 20 potential investors are reported to be on board, and Elliott admits it could lead to Henderson taking over the reigns. 'It could end up with him very much more involved, and anyone else interested in rallying round him', said Elliott. 'He's talking about doing it on a very democratic basis... We feel its certainly a course of action worth serious consideration' he added".

    "Steve King did not hide his dismay after his search for a first win stretched to four matches" reports the Northwich Guardian. "The Vics' boss saw sub Steve Fletcher head the game’s only goal five minutes from time to settle an encounter that seemed certain to end level. 'I don’t think we deserved to lose', he said. 'They are meant to be a top side and I’ve not seen that out there on the pitch today'. King once more used Aaron Burns as a lone raider... It was a gameplan that gave Crawley little room for manoeuvre in midfield... 'We held them pretty comfortably but I don’t think our central midfield players hurt them enough in their half... We can do better in the final third that’s for sure'. He threw on strike pair Darryn Stamp and Lee Steele... but their impact was slight.

    King admitted too that Crawley’s strong finish owed much to the room they had in the centre of the pitch following Joel Byrom’s exit. 'I didn’t want to settle for a 0-0 – what’s the point?' he added. 'I wanted us to be positive and go for the victory. A draw at home to Crawley might be a decent result but I felt we needed to get three today'... He praised debutant Steve Robinson, who impressed alongside Simon Grand at the heart of the hosts’ defence. Signed from Chelmsford City on Thursday, the ex-Lewes skipper has yet to train with his new teammates. 'I thought Robbo was outstanding', he said. 'He was really unlucky with their goal, he just tried to clear the ball and it’s one of those things when it sneaks in off his foot. The guy has done a 500-mile round trip to play today – that’s the level of commitment he has to us and I think he’s a great addition'".

    NL Daily reports that "Redditch United have lost out in a tug-of-war to keep striker Mark Rawle... He has returned to Blue Square Premier high-flyers Kettering Town. Rawle had needed games to sharpen up after a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury kept him out of action for six months but he has still been training full-time with the Poppies".

    There has been a recent flurry of loan moves ahead of the deadline. "Martin Foyle, the new manager of York City, has made forward Adam Smith his first signing. Smith, 23, joined the Minstermen on loan from Gainsborough Trinity minutes before the loan transfer deadline passed on Thursday. Smith, who will be available for Saturday's game at Salisbury City, has previously played for Chesterfield and spent time on loan at Lincoln City".

    "AFC Bournemouth`s assistant-manager Jason Tindall claims neighbours Weymouth 'moved the goalposts' to scupper the Cherries’ bid to sign striker Stuart Beavon. Beavon, who played under Tindall during his time as manager at the Wessex Stadium, was set to join Bournemouth ahead of Thursday’s emergency loan deadline. The 24-year-old had also agreed personal terms for the move to be made permanent before the deal fell through at the 11th hour. It is believed talks may have collapsed between the two clubs over the terms of a possible permanent move during the January transfer window. Tindall said: 'Everything was agreed for him to come. Unfortunately though, Weymouth moved the goalposts on the negotiation side of it and that’s why it broke down at half-past-four'" according to the BoOurnemouth Echo.

    "Woking used Thursday`s loan transfer deadline to strengthen their squad with three new additions. Leicester City defender Joe Magunda and Huddersfield Town pair Simon Eastwood and Tom Denton have joined the Cards on loan. Magunda, 19, arrives for one month as cover Tom Hutchinson, who faces surgery on a knee injury. Goalkeeper Eastwood and striker Denton, both 19, have also moved to Kingfield for a month. Striker Denton, who stands 6` 7”, moved to the Galpharm Stadium from Wakefield in the summer and is yet to feature for the first-team, as is former England under-19 international goalkeeper Eastwood".

    "Stevenage Borough were busy in the emergency loan market ahead of Thursday`s deadline, with three additions to cover injuries to several players. Coming in are Mark Roberts from Northwich Victoria, Jordan Parkes from Watford and Keiron St Aimie from Barnet. Meanwhile, young Boro striker Zak Burke has joined Tooting & Mitcham United until January" reports NL Daily.

    "There was more movement out of cash-strapped Salisbury City ahead of Thursday`s loan transfer deadline. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke has joined rivals Northwich Victoria on loan until January 1st, at which time the move is expected to become permanent. Despite being just 25, Clarke is a vastly experienced keeper. He joined the club last summer having previously played for Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Southend United, Kidderminster Harriers and Forest Green Rovers and played a key part in City's promotion to the Blue Square Premier. Wayne Turk and Aaron Cook have completed loan deals with Blue Square South side Newport County... until January to help ease the Whites’ financial troubles". Meanwhile, "Southend United have signed winger Liam Feeney on loan from Salisbury City until January 3rd, with striker Charles Ademeno going in the opposite direction."

    "Kettering Town have taken Watford defender Dale Bennett on loan, while allowing striker Chris Beardsley to rejoin former team Kidderminster Harriers for the same period". And "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, has made his second loan signing this week with the capture of Manchester City defender Sam Williamson... on a month's loan and will have the option to make the move permanent when the transfer window re-opens".

    There are four loan signings on the south coast where "Eastbourne Borough have signed Plymouth Argyle winger Dan Smith and striker Ashley Barnes on loan until January 3rd. Smith, 22, had a loan spell at Morecambe earlier this season and Barnes, 19, was at Grays Athletic, Oxford United and Salisbury City last term after being with Paulton Rovers. The Blue Square Premier club have also loaned [i.e. borrowed] striker Kevin Barden, who joins team-mate Jeff Goulding... from AFC Bournemouth".