A successful campaign ends; celebrations after the Runcorn game in April.

Season 2003-04 saw Alty finish twelfth, an improvement of two places on the previous campaign and enough to qualify for the new Conference North division for which 13th was the cut-off for automatic inclusion. The season started with numerous draws - there were 7 in the first 10 games. Curiously after draw no.13 in match no.23, there were only 2 more draws all season as the second half of the season was marked by short sequences of wins followed by short runs of defeat. The low point was in September 2003 when Alty dropped to 22nd but the high spot was in March 2004 when 8th was achieved. However, a wave of injuries made eventual qualification for an automatic place in Conference North a close run thing, only clinched on the last day of the season.

In 2001-02, 44 points came from the first half of the campaign and 22 from the second half. In 2002-03 we won 25pts in the first half of the season and 35 in the second. 2003-04 was similar to last season in that we won fewer points, 27, in the first half of the campaign than in the second, 36. Below is the record for each half of the 2003-04 season.

Games 1-22
Games 23-44

Below is Alty's league record since 1998-99. For Alty's complete league record, click here

1998-99 UNIP 42 23 11 8 67 33 80 1
1999-00 CONF 42 9 19 14 51 60 46 21
2000-01 UNIP 44 20 10 14 80 58 70 7
2001-02 UNIP 44 19 9 16 66 58 66 9
2002-03 UNIP 44 17 9 18 58 63 60 14
2003-04 UNIP 44 16 15 13 66 51 63 12

Here are some more statistics from 2003-04. For even more see the Statistics Page:

  • 40 players appeared on league and cup teamsheets in 2003-04 compared with 43 in 2002-03, but two were not used (Sean Smith, Lewis Chalmers). Kelvin Lugsden only played in a cup game so, in all, 37 players appeared in league matches, whilst 28 played in cup games. In 2002-03, 41 players played in league games but only 30 were used in 2001-02.

  • Alty did the league double over Droylsden, Runcorn, Whitby Town and Radcliffe Borough in 2003-04. Only two teams did the double over Alty this season: curiously they were the top and the bottom finishers in the division - Hucknall Town and Wakefield & Emley. For Emley it was the third successive year they had done the double over us! Alty did not beat any of the bottom three this season, taking just 3 points from a possible 18 against these teams.

  • Alty played 54 competitive games this season, one more than in 2002-03. Two men played in every game. Those making 40 or more appearances in 2003-04 were:

  • Peter Band (right) and Ian Craney: 44 league and 10 cup starts = 54
  • Stephen Rose 39+3 league, 9 cup = 48+3
  • Gary Talbot 37+1 and 10 = 47+1
  • Steve Aspinall 36+2 and 10 = 46+2

    Over the last two seasons, three players have clocked up more than 100 competitive games for Alty:

  • 103: Craney 99+4
  • 102: Rose 97+5
  • 100: Band 91+9

  • Nobody matched 2002-03's briefest appearance of the season - Tony Cullen's unmemorable three minutes of added time at Accrington. Those making the fewest appearances in 2003-04 were:

  • 0+1 appearances - Jamie Almond, Chris Downey, Paul Glynn, Kelvin Lugsden, Neil Ryan.

    Several players turned out for both the youth and first-teams this season:

  • Steve Lunt (7+19 games and 1 goal)
  • Kieran Lugsden (1+14)

    Other youth players to make the first-team squad were Lewis Chalmers, Kelvin Lugsden and Ashley Timms.

    Most heavily used subs were Steve Lunt (19), Kieran Lugsden (14), Stuart Wright (14) and Nick Welton (11).

    Alty used six goalkeepers this season: Richard Acton, Chris Adams (50 mins in goal at Harrogate), Ashley Timms, Dave McCarthy, Ben Williams and Stuart Coburn

  • Alty's second against Burscough.

    Alty scored 66 league goals, 8 more than last season but the same as in 2001-02. 36 goals were scored at home (34 last season) and 30 away (24 last season). 12 teams scored more in our Division this season (17 did last season). 19 Alty players scored goals in the league this season, (17 did so last season). Stuart Wright was the only person to score in the cup but not in the league. On 9 occasions Alty failed to score in a league match this season (15 times last season) and, like last season, we scored 4 goals on three occasions in a league game. Chris Adams played the most games in the season without scoring (38).

    Leading scorers in all competitions:

  • Ian Craney scored 12 (all in the league) in 54 appearances overall, matching Rod Thornley and Peter Band who both got 12 from outfield play in 2002-03. Rod Thornley got 16 goals in that season but these included 4 penalties. In 2003-04 Marcus Hallows was second highest marksman, with 11 goals from 28 +2 games.


  • Mark Maddox in action

    Apart from in shoot-outs, Alty scored five penalties- all in the league and all converted by Steve Aspinall. Alty netted 9 penalties, (8 in the league) in 02-03, excluding penalty shoot-outs and scored 12 in 01-02.

    Alty had the 5th best defence in the League in 2003-04 (10th last season); they conceded 51 league goals (63 last season). 13 league clean sheets were kept, one fewer than last season but three goals or more were conceded in only 4 games (10 in 02-03). Nobody scored 4 against Alty in the league this season; 5 teams did so last season.

  • Discipline was much improved with 55 yellow and 5 reds in 54 league and cup games 2003-04- two further reds were recorded against club officials rather than players. Oddly 3 of the on-field red cards came in the last 5 league games. In 2002-03 Alty picked up 69 yellows and 8 red cards in their 53 league and cup games. This compares with 72 yellow and 7 red cards in twelve more games (65) in 2001-02 and 75 yellow and 2 reds in 54 games (00-01). In the 44 league matches in 2003-04 44 yellow and 5 reds (plus 2 reds for club officials).

    Gary Talbot got 2 reds yet only 1 yellow all season! This recalls 2003-03 when Gary Scott picked up 2 red cards but only received 2 other yellow cards all season in 44 games. Equally oddly, Chris Adams got one red in 01-02 but otherwise was never booked in any of his 27 league or cup games that year and almost repeated the feat in 02-03 when he picked up 1 red and just 1 yellow in 36 starts.

    The "serial" offenders in 2003-04 were Mark Maddox with 8 yellows and 2 reds, Steve Aspinall (9 yellows) and Barry Shuttleworth (6 yellows, 1 red). In 2002-03 Mark picked up 11 yellows. Only two players made 10 or more league starts without getting booked- Jamie Baguley and Stuart Wright.

  • RUNS
  • Alty's longest league run without defeat in the league was six games (games 15 to 20, 3 wins and 3 draws). They won 4 games on the trot in January/February and in March. Their worst league run was six games without a win (March/April 04). The worst run of defeats in the league was four (games 37 to 40) and three (twice). They started the season with three successive draws, a feat they repeated in both September and November.

  • Highest league home gate: 874 v Runcorn FC Halton, (last season it was 897 v Stalybridge Celtic). Highest away attendnace was 1,138 at Barrow. The lowest home gate in the league was 434 v Spennymoor (last season it was 477 v Marine). Lowest away gate was 220 at Spennymoor, (compared with 215 at Frickley last season). Lowest home gate in cup matches in 2003-04 was 235 v Stalybridge (CSC). In 2002-03 it was 206 v Hyde in the UniBond cup. The lowest away cup gate in 2003-04 was 222 at Gateshead in the Trophy; (last year's lowest was 115 at Colwyn Bay in the UniBond cup). Alty's average gate in the league in 2003-04 was 584 (in 2002-03 it was 596).