ALTRINCHAM FC ANNUAL REVIEW, 2013-14 SEASON

Altrincham FC Review of Season 2013-14

REVIEW OF THE SEASON, 2013/14

2013/14 season brought a number of significant achievements.

  • Promotion back to the Football Conference national division after a three-season absence.
  • Highest league placing (3rd) since 1998/99 when Altrincham won the UniBond (Northern Premier) League.
  • Most league goals scored, 101 (incl. six in play-offs), since 1967/68.
  • In the normal season, equal least goals conceded, 51, since 2004-05 (excl. four conceded in play offs)
  • Most points accrued (81) since 1990-91 when 82 points almost got Alty into the Football League.

Having never been relegated in more than a century, till 1997, in ten of the eighteen seasons from that date (inclusive) Altrincham have either been promoted, relegated, reprieved or in play-offs at the end of the season.

  • Promoted: 1998/99 (to national Conference), 2003/4 (qualified for newly formed Conference National), 2004/5 (to national Conference),
  • Relegated from national Conference: 1996/97, 1999/2000, 2010/11
  • Reprieved: 2005/6*, 2006/7, 2007/8 (*only in relegation places after points deduction for fielding unregistered player)
  • Play-offs: 2004/5 (won), 2012/13 (lost), 2013/14 (won)

  • STATISTICS
  • The points accumulation during the season was very even overall, with 40 points in the first half of the campaign and 41 in the second half of the campaign. Within that, the points gathering was strongly loaded towards the start and end of the campaign. Seven unbeaten games meant 17 points were won in the opening spell, whilst six unbeaten matches just before the play offs saw 14 points amassed in that sequence.

    Last season (2012-13) was more unbalanced as we gained 46 points in the latter half of the campaign but only amassed 34 in the opening 21 games.

    In 2013-14, 95 league goals were scored in 42 games excluding the play-offs, compared with 100 goals in 2012-13.

    Defensively, 51 goals were let in during the normal season, just the same as last year, but, this time, at a more regular rate - 26 goals went in to the Alty net in the first 21 games and 25 in the final 21 matches. In 2012-13, 51 goals were also conceded but the record markedly improved during that campaign; after conceding 11 times in the first four matches and 32 times by the halfway mark of the season, only 19 more goals were let in during the second half of the campaign.

     
    P
    W
    D
    L
    F
    A
    GD
    PTS
    Games 1-21
    21
    12
    4
    5
    46
    26
    20
    40
    Games 22-42
    21
    12
    5
    4
    49
    25
    24
    41
    Play-Offs
    3
    2
    1
    0
    6
    4
    2
    [7]
    Totals
    45
    26
    10
    9
    101
    55
    46
    [88]

    Below is Alty's league record since 1998-99. The 2009-10 season shows both the full record, including the expunged games against Chester City, and the official league record. For Alty's historical league record (excluding play-offs), click here

    SEASON LEAGUE P W D L F A PTS POS
    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 CONFN 42 19 12 11 66 46 69 5
    inc playoffs CONFN 45 22 12 11 72 50 [78] 5
    2005-06 CONFNAT 42 10 11 21 40 71 41 18*
    2006-07 CONFNAT 46 13 12 21 53 67 51 21
    2007-08 CONFNAT 46 9 14 23 56 82 41 21
    2008-09 CONFNAT 46 15 11 20 49 66 56 15
    2009-10** CONFNAT 46 14 16 16 57 53 58  
    2009-10 CONFNAT 44 13 15 16 53 52 54 14
    2010-11 CONFNAT 44 11 11 24 47 87 44 22
    2011-12 CONFN 42 17 10 15 90 71 61 8
    2012-13 CONFN 42 24 8 10 100 51 80 4
    Playoffs CONFN 2 1 0 1 2 4 - -
    2013-14 CONFN 42 24 9 9 95 51 81 3
    Playoffs CONFN 3 2 1 0 6 4 - -

    * 2005-06 Alty's deduction of 18 points reduced their official total to 23 points and sent them to 22nd and bottom place.

    ** 2009-10 The demise of Chester City meant that the Conference expunged Alty’s win and draw against them that season

  • PLAYERS
  • Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures the delight of Greg Wilkinson on scoring the equalizer against North Ferriby but also the various expressions of despair of the opposition.

    Altrincham continued the process of the previous season of bringing youth team players into the squad. In 2012-13, five current youth teamers (Bullen, Mooney, Riley, Samberg, Weatherby)figured in a first-team league squad; in 2013-14 eight such players were named in a first-team league squad (Brown, Cunliffe, Gilroy, King, Pouncey, Samberg, Todd and Ubah), though none actually made a league appearance. However, in cup games, seven youth teamers, Clarke, Cunliffe, Gilroy, King, Pouncey, Samberg and Ubah did play.

    Joe Mwasile (Morecambe) was the only loan player used in 2013-14, compared with two loan players in 2012/13, i.e. midfielder Danny Boshell from Guiseley and Chester FC's Ben Mills.

    31 players were named in a league squad in 2013-14, three more than in 2012-13. Whereas five keepers were named last season, in 2013-14 four were named in league matches (Coburn, Reid, Samberg and Saunders) but only one (Saunders) was used. However, in cup matches, Samberg made two starts. Alty also had two other keepers on their books during 2013-14; Adam Reid, who left in January 2014 and Tim Deasy, signed as cover, on dual registration with Northwich Victoria. Deasy was never included in an Alty squad.

    The only players to leave the Club during the season were Danny Boshell and Danny Higginbotham (chose to go), Joe Mwasile (loan ended) and Junior Smikle (released). Apart from Higginbotham, Mwasile and Smikle, the only players to join the Club during the campaign were Tom Marshall, Adam Griffin and goalkeeper Russ Saunders.

    In 2013-14, 18 players who had never previously played for Altrincham's first team were named on a league or cup team sheet this season, compared with 20 last season. Of these only Matt Todd failed to get onto the pitch in any game. So, 17 debuts were made in all competitions in 2013-14 (18 if you count Russ Saunders's "second debut").

  • DOUBLES
  • Whilst 2012-13 had been the best season for recording league "doubles" in more than a decade, with six recorded, excluding play-off matches, the 2013-14 season eclipsed that with eight (v. Brackley T., Solihull M., Bradford Park Avenue, Colwyn Bay, Leamington, Vauxhall Motors, Stalybridge Celtic and Workington).

    In 2012-13, Alty took just 4 points out of 18 from the top three clubs in the league and in 2013-14, once again taking points from the top clubs proved difficult with just one win and eight points from the 10 games against the other top-six clubs. However, the only team in the league to do the double over Altrincham was ninth-placed Harrogate Town. In the 10 games against the bottom five, Alty won eight and drew two.

  • CUPS
  • After reaching a First Round Proper replay against Burton Albion in the FA Cup and the First Round Proper of the Trophy in 2012-13, the 2013-14 season was disappointing in cup matches. Alty exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle to lower league opponents (Trafford). In the FA Trophy progress was again made to the First Round proper but, again, lower league opposition defeated us (Leek Town). The Cheshire Senior Cup saw two wins before the defeat of a much-changed Alty side to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

  • APPEARANCES
  • For the first time in many years, no player reached the 50-match total, though both Stuart Coburn and Gianluca Havern made 49 starts. Damian Reeves made 48 appearances (41+7) and Shaun Densmore 47 (45+2). Only Coburn and Havern started every league match as well as the 3 play-offs.

    Last season, in 2012-13, there were two players who made 50 appearances. No one played in every league game, though Coburn and Reeves would have done had they not been rested for the play-offs in the last match of the scheduled season against Droylsden.

    LEAST APPEARANCES

    Matthew Todd was the only player named in a league squad who did not make a league or cup appearance in 2013-14.

    GOALSCORERS

    For the first time in many years, three players reached double figures in the league. However, it was the first time in four seasons that Damian Reeves was outscored by a team-mate.

    • 32: James Walshaw (league incl play-offs 29 from 35+8 games, plus 3 cup goals, making 32 goals from 39+8 appearances).
    • 22: Damian Reeves (league incl play-offs 21 from 39+5 games, plus 1 cup goal, making 22 goals from 41+7 appearances).
    • 14: Kyle Perry (league incl play-offs 12 from 16+22 games, plus 2 cup goals, making 14 goals from 20+24 appearances).

    In all competitions, in 51 games, Alty hit 115 goals in 2013-14 (101 of these were in the league, including the play-offs).

    With 16 cup goals, a total of 118 was recorded in 2012-13 from 52 games in all competitions.

    LANDMARKS

    During the season Stuart Coburn made his 600th appearance for Altrincham. Nicky Clee made his 200th appearance for the Club and Shaun Densmore his 250th appearance, whilst Matt Doughty made his 150th and both Simon Richman and James Lawrie made their 100th appearance for Altrincham.

    LEAGUE GOAL TIMES

    For the second season running, 51 goals were conceded in the 42 league matches of the regular season. But this time the heaviest margin of defeat (in any game in league or cup) was just two goals, whereas in 2012-13 Alty lost twice in the league by a margin of three goals.

    Below right: Altrincham defend their lines at Boston United in October, 2013.

    .
    Time
    2013-14
    0 to 10 mins:
    10
    11 to 20 mins:
    13
    21 to 30 mins:
    12
    31 to 40 mins:
    4
    41 to 50 mins:
    14
    51 to 60 mins:
    11
    61 to 70 mins:
    7
    71 to 80 mins:
    17
    81 to 90+ mins:
    13

    .
    Time
    2012-13
    0 to 10 mins:
    6
    11 to 20 mins:
    8
    21 to 30 mins:
    11
    31 to 40 mins:
    17
    41 to 50 mins:
    13
    51 to 60 mins:
    11
    61 to 70 mins:
    12
    71 to 80 mins:
    10
    81 to 90+ mins:
    14

  • PENALTIES

    In contrast to 2012-13 when Alty were awarded a remarkable 16 penalties but only scored directly from six of them, 2013-14 saw Altrincham only awarded five spot-kicks, but all of them were converted successfully by James Walshaw.

  • DEFENCE

    Altrincham netted five or more goals five times in the league and once more in a cup match. The biggest win was 8-0 against Stockport Sports in the CSC. In 2012-13 Alty netted five or more goals six times.

    In 2013-14 Alty emulated their record of the previous season in keeping 13 clean sheets. Three or more goals were conceded six times in 2013-14 compared with five times in 2012-13; the worst being the 4-5 defeat at Gainsborough.

  • CAUTIONS
  • Discipline improved in 2013-14 - no red cards were received though Simon Richman was sent off against Hednesford before the card was rescinded on appeal. Only 47 yellow cards were received in the league compared with 56 yellows and 2 reds in 2012-13.

    The players with most cautions in 2013-14 were Carl Rodgers and Nicky Clee, who each amassed eight yellow cards, all in the league. The best behaved was Matt Doughty who was unbooked in 16(+6) league matches, though he did get 2 yellows in cup matches. Otherwise, goalkeeper Stuart Coburn and Damian Reeves received just one caution each from, respectively, 44 and 39(+5) league games.

  • RUNS
  • Altrincham completed the season with an unbeaten run of nine games; they had started the season with seven unbeaten games, which included a sequence of four straight wins. In 2012-13 they had two runs of eight games in the league without defeat, each comprising six wins and two draws.

    In 2013-14 Alty twice lost two successive league games, compared with a run of three defeats during 2012-13.

    In 2012-13 Alty had failed to score on six occasions but endured just two goalless draws. In 2013-14 they only failed to score three times, including two goalless draws.

    GATES

    The Promotion Final at Moss Lane attracted 4,632 spectators, the biggest league gate since 1982 and exceeding the biggest gate of any kind in Altrincham's 25 years in a national football league.

  • Home league attendances in 2013-14 averaged 909 for the 21 league games before the play-offs, compared with 868 in 2012-13. If the play-off games are included, the average in 2013-14 was 1118.
  • Home highest: 4,632 v Guiseley on the Promotion Final. In the regular season the highest gate was 2,875 versus Stockport County.

    In 2012-13 the highest home gate was 2,428 v Burton FA Cup 1R. The highest in the league, at home, in 2012-13 was 1,940 versus Chester FC.

  • Home lowest: Just 106 saw the home CSC match against Stockport Sports in 2013-14 and in the league only 527 watched the league match at home to Worcester City.

    In 2012/13 only 172 saw Alty play Congleton Town (CSC). The lowest in the league that season, at home, was 558 v Solihull Moors

  • Away highest : In 2013-14, 3,770 saw Alty play at Stockport County whereas in 2012-13 3,089 saw Alty play at Chester FC (BSBN).
  • Away lowest: 269 at Gloucester and 270 at Workington were the lowest away league gates in 2013-14. This was better than in 2013-14 when just 205 attended the away game at Gloucester City.

  • OVERALL

    Although cup competitions were generally disappointing, 2013-14 was a remarkable year not just because it ended in promotion but because it witnessed both the highest (4,632) and lowest (106 in CSC) gates at Moss Lane for many a year. Average league attendances before the play-off stages were also up on last season. Once again more than 100 league goals were scored (if play-offs included) and discipline improved with fewer yellow cards than last year and no red cards recorded.

    The club also had the league's highest scorer, James Walshaw, despite his not starting every game. Indeed, he missed virtually the whole of the two 5-0 wins against Staybridge Celtic over Christmas. For the first time in decades, three players got into double figures of goals scored, James Walshaw, Damian Reeves and Kyle Perry.