Above: The season started in August at Stevenage Borough..

After two eventful ends of season, qualifying for Conference North by the skin of our teeth in 2003-04 and then unexpectedly gaining promotion to the Conference National Division through the play-offs in 2004-05, the season of 2005-06 was to prove even more tense. Having magnificently defied the odds, as a part-time side with the lowest budget in the division, to finish 18th and safe from relegation, Altrincham were savagely docked 18 points for the playing of James Robinson in 14 games after he had been signed from Accrington Stanley, who had not gained international clearance for him. An appeal to the FA was dismissed on 23 May 2006 and Alty looked destined for demotion to Conference North. But on 3 June the Conference AGM demoted Scarborough for financial reasons and Altrincham stayed in Conference National - but remained with the stigma of officially being placed bottom of the table with just 23 points when they actually won 41 points on the field of play.

A sad note was the absence all season of both the team captain Eddie Hussin, following a cruciate ligament operation, and of midfielder Richard Norris, who was injured in the last pre-season friendly and also underwent surgery. 2004-05 season's second leading scorer, Marcus Hallows, also missed the whole of 3005-06 after a bad leg fracture.

It was a bad season in cup competitions, with Altrincham having tough away draws and going out of the FA Cup and Trophy at the first hurdle. In the Cheshire Senior Cup, of which they were the holders, they did win at Woodley in their first game but succumbed to Crewe in the next round.

Off the field, the club's Board continued its excellent work and aided by the supporters' trust, STAR, it chipped away steadily at the inherited debt whilst keeping within a sensible budget for the year.

  • In 2001-02, 44 points were won from the first half of the 44-game campaign and 22 from the second half. But since then, Altrincham had always done markedly better in the second half of each season, until 2005-06. In 2002-03 we won 25pts in the first half of the season and 35 in the second. In 2003-04 we won 27pts in the first half of the campaign but 36 in the second. In 2004-05, with only 42 league games played (excluding the play-offs) rather than the 44 contested in the above seasons, 31 points were gained in the first 21 games and 38 in the last 21 games. The play offs in 2004-05 produced three more wins to underline the strong finish to the season.

    Below is the record for each half of the 2005-06 season. One curious feature was that in all 10 defeats in the first half of the season, Alty failed to score. Goalscoring improved later in the season but in the last third of the campaign Alty took just four points.

    Games 1-21
    Games 22-42

    Below is Alty's league record since 1998-99. For Alty's historical league record (excluding play-offs), 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
    2004-05 NN 42 19 12 11 66 46 69 5
    inc playoffs NN 45 22 12 11 72 50 [78] 5
    2005-06 CN 42 10 11 21 40 71 41 18*

    * Alty's deduction of 18 points reduced their total to 23 points and sent them to 22nd and bottom place.

  • 32 players appeared for Altrincham in league or cup games in 2055-06, one fewer than in 2004-05. Of these 32, all but Richard Acton played some part at least in a league game. Richard's only appearances were in cup matches, though he was 7 times on the bench in the Conference as an unused sub.

    These totals compare with 40 players used in 2003-04 and 43 in 2002-03.

  • Alty celebrate at Aldershot, 27 August 2005

    Alty did the league double over only one team, Aldershot Town, in 2005-06, compared with two "doubles" in 2004-05 (Stafford and Gainsborough) and four in 2003-04 (Droylsden, Runcorn, Whitby Town and Radcliffe Borough). Whereas nobody at all did the double over Altrincham in 2004-05, five clubs beat Alty twice in the league in 2005-06 (Accrington, Halifax, York, Burton and Woking - all top eleven finishers). Alty lost just 5 games to teams finishing in the bottom half of the table.

  • In 2005-06 Alty were knocked out of the Trophy and FA Cup at the first hurdle whilst lasting only two rounds in the Cheshire Senior Cup, so only played 46 competitive games whereas they played 59 competitive games (45 league and 14 cup) in 2004-05 and to 54 (44 league and 10 cup) the previous campaign.

  • Colin Little 45+1 (41+1 league plus 4 cup games)
  • Stuart Coburn 44 (42 league + 2 cup)
  • Peter Band 43 (39 league + 4 cup)
  • Val Owen 35 (32 league + 3 cup)
  • Chris Adams 32+1 (31+1 league + 1 cup).

  • In 2005-06 nobody who was used as a sub failed also to make a first-team start though Lee Hendley came closest having made four Conference sub appearances and no league starts but he did start a cup game, so his total was 1+4 appearances. Three others started only one Conference match (Chris Butler, Kieran Lugsden, Pat McFadden) but Kieran and Pat also made 26 and 5 sub appearances respectively. Taking league and cup matches together, those who started just one game were Chris Butler, Lee Hendley and Pat McFadden. One player was named in the first-team suqad but never played, goalkeeper Chris Cloherty.

  • A pleasing aspect of 2005-06 as in 2004-05 was the continued emergence of players who came through the youth team and/or the newly re-formed Reserves. Regular members of the first-team squad to have graduated through the youth and reserves were Kieran Lugsden, Lewis Chalmers and Lee Hendley, whilst Pat McFadden forced his way into the squad from the Reserves.

    Most heavily used sub in 2005-06, as in 2004-05, was Kieran Lugsden (2 starts and 26 sub apps). Kieran holds the club record for sub appearances with a career record of 8 starts and 70 sub appearances.



    In 2005-06 Alty scored just 40 league goals and 5 cup goals in 46 league and cup matches. In 2004-05 Altrincham netted 66 goals in 42 league games and six more in 3 play off games, making 72 goals in 45 games. 25 Alty goals came in the 21 home league matches and only 15 were netted away. Alty failed to score in 18 league matches in 2005-06. Only at Exeter and Woking did Alty score and lose.

    In 2005-06 twelve different Alty players scored in the Conference whereas 16 different Alty players scored in the league in 2004-05 compared with 19 in 2003-04. In the cup Lee Hendley was leading scorer with two goals. Apart from goalkeeper Coburn, Val Owen started the most league games in the season without scoring (32).

  • Goals were in short supply in 2005-06, with just 40 league and 5 cup goals being scored. For the second year running, Colin Little was top scorer. He netted 17 goals, all in the league. In season 2004-05 he scored 24 league goals and 14 in the cup, making 38 in all. Second top scorer was Rod Thornley with 5 (4 league, 1 cup), folowed by Colin Potts and James Robinson with 4.

  • Altrincham netted 20 first-half league goals and 20 in the second half, compared with 2004-05's totals of 27 first-half goals and 43 second-half in the league and 2 extra-time goals in the play-offs. Five goals were scored in added time either at the end of the first half (twcie) or after 90 minutes (3 times).

    League game goal times are shown below. 2004-05 totals are shown in brackets:

  • 1 to 10 mins: 5 (2)
  • 11-20 mins: 3 (7)
  • 21-30 mins: 4 (7)
  • 31-40 mins:4 (2)
  • 41-50 mins: 5 (13)
  • 51-60 mins: 1 (8)
  • 61-70 mins: 6 (11)
  • 71-80 mins: 8 (7)
  • 81-90 mins: 4 (13)

    Alty had strong away support all season; here the visiting fans are seen at York City on 17 September 2005


    Altrincham scored 4 league penalties in 2005-06 - two each by Little and Aspinall. Little also missed a penalty at Accrington. Altrincham scored all nine of the penalties awarded to them in 2004-05, Steve Aspinall getting 6 and Colin Little 3. Steve Aspinall has scored all 13 penalties he has taken in the last three seasons since joining Altrincham.


    Altrincham conceded five goals three times in the league - at York and Forest Green and at home to Dagenham.They conceded 71 league goals. In 2004-05 Alty conceded 46 times in the league.

    Alty kept 6 clean sheets in the league, all recorded by the 24th game of the campaign on 2 January.

  • Alty racked up 83 league yellow cards and 4 reds, plus 4 yellows in cup matches; 46 matches in total. This compares with 48 yellows in the league and 16 in cups making 64 in total in 59 games in 2004-05. In 2005-06 Band, Maddox, Munroe and Peyton were the Alty players sent off. In 2004-05 only one red card was received (Colin Little).

    Those receiving the most yellow cards were Mark Maddox 9 (8 in the league), Val Owen 8 (all league), Chris Adams and Colin Potts 7 each, Warren Peyton 6 and Karl Munroe 5. The "serial" yellow-card offenders in 2004-05 were Eddie Hussin (12 yellows in 51+1 games), Mark Maddox (12 in 40+3), Chris Adams (7 in 52), Steve Aspinall (6 in 49+1) and Val Owen (5 in 35+2). In 2003-04 the chief offenders were Mark Maddox with 8 yellows and 2 reds, Steve Aspinall (9 yellows) and Barry Shuttleworth (6 yellows, 1 red). In 2002-03 Mark Maddox picked up 11 yellows.

    James Robinson played the most games 8+6 without getting booked.

  • RUNS
  • In 2005-06 Alty's longest run without defeat was four games, achieved twice - 3 wins and a draw in August/September and 3 draws and a win around Christmas/New Year. Alty's longest league run without defeat in the league in 2004-05 was 12 matches (games 19-30) compared with a maximum run of 6 in 2003-04.

    Whereas Alty finished the 2004-05 season with a run of just one defeat in 11 matches, in 2005-06 they won only one of their last 13 league games, picking up just 5 points out of a possible 39 in these games. Strangely that disastrous run-in came after Alty had won three games on the trot for the only time all season, in January/February. The worst run of consecutive defeats was four, the last four games of the season.

  • Above, one of Alty's away wins was at Scarborough in February, 2006

    Gates were vastly improved in 2005-06, thanks to promotion to the national level. The average home gate in 2005-06 was 1,048 whereas the league average gate at Moss Lane was 665 (584 in 2003-04). The best home gate was 1,447 versus Morecambe and the lowest was 688 v Gravesend and Northfleet. The highest home league gate was 1,076 v Redditch United, the lowest 478 v Vauxhall Motors in 2004-05. In 2003-04 the highest league home gate was 874 v Runcorn FC Halton.

    The highest away league gate in 2005-06 was 3,134 at Exeter City. The lowest away gate was 835 at Canvey Island, which was a lunchtime kick-off. But in cup matches, just 151 attended the Woodley Sports v Alty Cheshire Senior Cup match. Alty had no home cup matches in 2005-06. The highest away gate in 2004-05 was 1,033 (Stafford) followed by 1,029 (Kettering). In the play-offs 1,532 watched the game at Nuneaton, 2,285 at Kettering and 2,839 the play-off final at Stoke v Eastbourne Borough. The lowest away gate was at Vauxhall (330). The highest home cup gate was 1,119 v Barrow (FAT4) and the lowest 161 v Cammell Laird (CSC1).