30 April 2003
In last night's play-offs the results were:
Chorley 5 Gateshead 2
Radcliffe Borough 1 N. Ferriby U. 0
29 April 2003
BAY BOSS GOES
On the Colwyn Bay message board Andy Owens pays tribute to manager Colin Caton who, today has left the relegated club by mutual consent. "Colin will be regarded by all at the club as a truly genuine person, his quiet demeanour hiding an impressive strength of character. Colin will always be welcome back at Llanelian Road as I know people recognise that at heart he will always be a Colwyn Bay supporter".
If at the end of the first team's season you are already suffering football withdrawal symptoms, don't forget that the Alty Youth team still has plenty of games to play.
Thursday 1 May: at Moss Lane 7-30pm (£3 entry) - NWYA Premier Cup Final v. Kingsley United.
Sunday 4 May: The NWYA Open Cup Final v. Leigh RMI Academy, at Robin Park, Wigan at 2pm. The Robin Park Arena is immediately adjacent to the JJB Stadium of Wigan Athletic and is itself a modern athletics/football stadium. See the Youth Page for details of Robin Park and also for other fixtures.
In last night's UniBond League Chairman's Cup Final at Droylsden the game was resolved with a goal in the last minute of extra time:
Droylsden 0 Hucknall Town 1
Above: What the fuss is about; the running track at the International
Stadium was already being ripped up when Altrincham visited in February
and the club soon moved its home games to South Shields, which is now deemed unacceptable for the play-offs. The heap in the background is the discarded old track.
The UniBond League has announced that "Gateshead have today (Monday) withdrawn their appeal against the UniBond League's decision that the Play Off tie versus Chorley should be played at Chorley due to the International Stadium being unavailable". Whilst Gateshead themselves say "We can confirm that after much deliberation Gateshead Chairman Mike Coulson decided to withdraw the appeal. The FA asked the club to reconsider the appeal for a number of reasons. The club would have had to foot the bill for numerous expenses in the event that the appeal was lost. The appeal was due to be heard on Wednesday and if succesful the play-off semi-final would have to have been played at home on Thursday night. That would have meant a day's break before the final on Saturday. Rule 20 in the UniBond League Rules also could be interpreted to back the UniBond League's ruling as it states that clubs involved in the play-offs must have an 'A' graded ground. The club wishes to apologise for inconvenience caused to supporters, but still feels in principle that it was right to lodge the appeal. The time constraints had a large bearing on the club's decision to withdraw the appeal. The play-off match against Chorley will now go ahead as planned at Chorley’s Victory Park home tomorrow with a 7.45pm kick-off. The winners will travel to either
Radcliffe Borough or North Ferriby United to contest the play-off final on
Ex-Alty winger Stuart Quinn (and someone called Andy Green!) were in the Allerton side which lost the FA Sunday Cup this weekend to Northamptonshire side Duke of York. Allerton, from the Liverpool & District Sunday League had
their Andy Green sent off and then their captain, Stuart Quinn, was
substituted after getting injured. The Final attracted 2,203 to Anfield.
28 April 2003
Altrincham Youth lost 2-4 to South Sefton yesterday. Report on Youth Page. Right: Youth-team defender Mark Griffiths is seen in yesterday's game.
This is Runcorn reports that "Goalkeeper Tony McMillan and central defender Peter Ellis are to take up the one-year option on their current deals - following the example of
Chris Lightfoot. Meanwhile utility back Tom Spearritt, having been on loan for the last month of the season, is to sign a one-year contract after his release from Southport. Runcorn are continuing to monitor the situation surrounding transfer target Steve Daley who could be the out-and-out marksman player-manager Liam Watson needs. The 21-year-old, 6ft 2in centre forward was on the wanted list before the signing deadline but the player was handed a two-week trial at Wigan Athletic after impressing for Ormskirk amateurs, Birchfield.
This is Lancashire quotes Lancaster City manager Barrie Stimpson as saying "Results have been disappointing recently. Manager Tony Hesketh and myself have watched a host of matches throughout the North West recently and with our contacts in the game there will be a lot of players passing through between now and the end of August".
In contrast, Harrogate Today quotes Harrogate Town manager John Reed- "I said back in August that if we could get in the top ten that would be a magnificent achievement. It has been an unbelieveable season. If I could have written the script at the start of the season I couldn't have written it any better! I've got a hit list of 18 players I'm going to look at. We won't get all of them but if we get half a dozen or so, I'll be very happy. I've already approached five or six players already and had very positive feedback".
27 April 2003
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 0 ALTRINCHAM 3
Chris Adams clears the ball as Stephen Rose looks on in Saturday's game.
Match report here
Today's line up is here and the season's player statistics are here.
Altrincham took half of their season's points from just five clubs - they had double wins over Colwyn Bay, Hyde United, Whitby Town, Blyth Spartans and Frickley. Their other 30 points came from the other 18 clubs in the division.
UPS AND DOWNS
Yesterday's results have clarified the promotion and relegation issues:
Promoted to Conference from UniBond: Accrington Stanley (with Tamworth and Aldershot Town from the Dr Martens and Ryman leagues).
Relegated to UniBond from Conference: Southport. (Kettering and Nuneaton also relegated).
Promoted from UniBond First to Premier: Alfreton and Spennymoor United.
Play-offs for place in Premier: Gateshead v Chorley and Radcliffe Boro' v N. Ferriby Utd.
Gateshead's appeal to the FA over being forced to play their tie away may lead to a delay in the play-offs.
Alty's 2002-03 record has been added to the League History page.
BARROW BOSS GOES
Barrow manager Kenny Lowe has resigned "for work and family reasons" after guiding the Bluebirds to the runners-up spot in the UniBond Premier Division.
Paul Edwards scored one of Wrexham's goals which clinched their promotion yesterday. Also in the League, Paul Ellender (Boston) and Danny Adams (Macc. Town) both played. Stuart Coburn kept a clean sheet to help preserve Leigh's Conference status whilst Ged Kielty was on the bench for RMI. In the UniBond three ex-Alty duos, Sertori and Swanick (Hyde), Bowker and Clegg (Stalybridge), Farley and Chambers [sub] (Droylsden) all played yesterday. Danny McGoona was a sub for Caernarfon Town, whilst Dave Gamble and James Wilkinson played for Rossendale.
26 April 2003
Accrington S. 1 Hyde U. 0
Ashton United 2 Lancaster C. 2
Barrow 2 Gateshead 0
Burscough 3 Runcorn FC Halton 3
Colwyn Bay 0 Gainsborough T. 3
Frickley A. 0 Altrincham 3
Stalybridge C. 1 Blyth S. 1
Vauxhall M. 1 Marine 1
Wakefield & Emley 2 Droylsden 2
Whitby T. 0 Bradford PA 1
Worksop T. 1 Harrogate T. 2
In the UniBond First, Spennymoor United gained promotion today back to the Premier Division, whilst Southport were relegated to our Division from the Conference, having fallen from 4th place last November to drop into a relegation place on the last day of the season.
Altrincham have never previously finished lower than 12th in the Northern Premier League. A win today could take us to the 12th spot for this season (or even 11th if Marine lose extremely heavily). However, given our flirtation with relegation and bankruptcy earlier this season Altrincham fans will be more than content with that. We have only to look at our once powerful Cheshire neighbours Winsford United for consolation; they have just dropped to the NW Counties Second Division having been three tiers higher, in our Division, as recently as May 2000.
As today is the last game of the season, please remember to pay your sponsorship for goals scored this season. So far, Altrincham have netted 55 league goals and 9 cup goals in 2002-03. Cheques can be sent to the club at the address at the top of the page and will be very gratefully received!
The 2003 Four Nations Tournament for non-league teams, in which England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland will compete, will take place from 20 May 2003. Wales are the holders and the games will be played in the Principality, as follows:
Tuesday 20 May:
Wales v Scotland @ Carmarthen Town (7.30pm)
England v Rep. Ireland @ Merthyr Tydfil (7.30pm)
Thursday 22 May:
Wales v. England @ Merthyr Tydfil (7.30pm)
Scotland v. Rep. Ireland @ Haverfordwest (7.30pm)
Saturday 24 May:
Scotland v. England @ Carmarthen Town (1pm)
Wales v. Rep. Ireland @ Haverfordwest (3.30pm)
Tickets cost £4 (adults) and £2 (concessionaries).
25 April 2003
LAST GAMES OF SEASON
The first team may end their campaign on Saturday but the Youth team still
has eight games to play by 11 May including two cup finals! See their
fixtures, starting at home (Wythenshawe Town FC) this Sunday, in the Youth section.
Pictured above is Gary Scott (in blue), tangling with Accrington Stanley's Paul Mullin, in another of Andy Boyers's pictures of the recent game at the
Former Alty keeper Dean Greygoose's current team AFC
Sudbury have clinched the Jewson Eastern League Premier Division for the
third year running. They are also FA Vase finalists next month.
24 April 2003
Spennymoor United won again tonight to move two points ahead of Radcliffe Borough in the second automatic promotion place in the UniBond First Division. Alfreton are already promoted to the Premier Division.
Marine won the UniBond Challenge Cup 3-0 on aggregate tonight, whilst Stalybridge lifted the President's Cup 6-3. Marine will now play Accrington, away, in the UniBond Swales Shield match on 3rd May.
ULCC Final 2nd Leg: Marine 2 v Gateshead 0, (agg. 3-0)
UL President's Cup Final 2nd Leg: Ashton U. 1 v Stalybridge C. 2 (agg. 3-6)
IC Newcastle reports that
"Gateshead will lodge an appeal to the FA if the Unibond League puts the block on plans to stage any relegation play-off matches at Filtrona Park, the home of South Shields".
The Yorkshire Post reports
that before their recent game with Stalybridge, the Bradford PA keeper "Chris
Howe, for the second time in his career, fell awkwardly in the warm-up and
had to be whisked off in an ambulance with a suspected broken ankle. Jamie
Holmshaw, down as a substitute, was promoted to the ill-fated shirt while
assistant manager Ian Thompson, banished from the touchline for assaulting
a linesman when these two sides met earlier in the season, was added to
the bench. Unfortunately Holmshaw contrived to stand on the ball in an
embarrassing attempt to keep it in play during the first-half and failed
to come out after the interval. Thompson, who twice had to play emergency
goalkeeper for his previous club Frickley, the most recent occasion being
four years ago, put his hand up and was summoned to the nets. And he
attained hero status when at 1-1 he saved a one-on-one against Celtic's
leading scorer Phil Eastwood and then, with just three minutes remaining,
dropped a free-kick on to the head of Collins for the winner".
This is Runcorn states that
Runcorn's "striker Wes Kinney [has been] sent packing from the club after
he failed to turn up to travel with the team to Gateshead. It was almost a
repeat of an incident that led to the departure of Gary Lunt to Kidsgrove
Athletic". Witton Albion, seeking promotion to the Premier Division, have brought back striker Adam Lillis, who was briefly at Altrincham, to help out in their injury crisis, according to IC Cheshire.
23 April 2003
Bradford PA 3 Burscough 2
Runcorn FC Halton 0 Hucknall T. 3
Hucknall have now completed their fixtures. Altrincham, barring a goal avalanche, can now finish no higher than 12th and no lower than 17th this season in the table.
SAM quotes Graham Heathcote after the Colwyn Bay game; "I don't believe that there were six bookings and one red card in that game - to me, that is a disastrous statistic. We went very ragged late on but we had done the job by then. We had scored four and possibly could have had a few more, but the whole gloss is taken off by the fact that we've had Gary Scott sent off, which we will have to appeal because the tackle that Gary was booked for in the first place was clearly done by Andrew Tunnicliffe".
BALL BOYS AND GIRLS
The list of 2002-03 prizewinners has been added to this site's Ball Boys and Girls Page, courtesy of their coordinator, Ray Armstrong.
The UniBond relegation/promotion play-offs are still far from resolved. Gateshead will be in the play-offs but have been refused permission to play at home in them as the International Stadium is out of action due to athletic track repairs and, although South Shields FC has been acceptable to host Gateshead's recent league games, it has been ruled unacceptable for the play-offs. So, on Tuesday 29 April Gateshead will have to travel to play at whoever finishes 5th in the UniBond First Division (currently Witton). However, the team which finishes 4th (currently N. Ferriby) will have to play away at the 3rd placed finisher (currently Spennymoor)! A further problem is that as well as the play-offs, Gateshead play the second leg of the ULCC this week against Marine and, if they win that, they have to play the UniBond Swales Shield match against Accrington on Saturday 3rd May as this takes precedence over the play-off finals set for the same day. In that circumstance Gateshead would have to play the play-off final on Thursday 1st May, just two-days after the semi-final play-off match!
There are some intriguing clashes still to come in the UniBond First, including Radcliffe (currently 2nd) v N. Ferriby and Spennymoor v Witton
The Conference's two-legged play-offs will be on Thursday 1st May at 8pm and Monday 5th May at 3.30pm. The two winners then play 'The Promotion Final' at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, on Saturday May 10th. Curiously, the winners are given the Bob Lord Trophy as well as promotion. Tickets for the final are £20.00 and the match programmes costs £5.00, with car parking £7.00.
Frickley Athletic's site reports on Saturday's home defeat by Wakefield and Emley - "With nothing at stake, the game had a typical end of season feel to it". Alty travel to Frickley for the last match of the season this Saturday. The game would have been more fiercely contested had Gateshead not lost a couple of hours earlier in a match which the losers' website described as a contest in which "Blyth played a very physical game to make sure they got victory after a series of punches, elbows and kicks went unnoticed and unpunished by the referee, Mike McDonough... In the second half Gateshead were lucky to come out unscathed as fears of more injuries were threatened by the bullying Blyth players".
Hyde report that the Tigers "have not scored more than one goal in any match since the turn of the year. Earlier in the season, we scored plenty, but let in more. The defence (which includes ex-Robins Dave Swanick and Mark Sertori) has tightened considerably, but there is still much to do in midfield and attack if we are to contend for the First Division title next season". Hyde's final game in the Premier Division is away at the champions, Accrington Stanley.
Stalybridge report that a recent sponsored walk has raised £1300. Also, "There are currently 26 companies who have entered the Sponsor the Stand raffle and 272 seats have now been sold". Celtic's "Gerrald Crossley (ground director) is doing a half marathon in May in order to raise money. Half of his collection will go to the Mark Pover appeal, and half to the Stand Appeal". Mark was the Alty Youth player and son of the Celtic physio, Dave Pover, who died whilst playing football at the age of 17 last winter.
An official ground-breaking ceremony will take place at Croft Park home to mark Blyth Spartans' ground improvement works, which are actually alreday well under way. Guests will include civic dignatories. Blyth Chairman Tom Hedley said "We are indebted to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund who have funded a grant of £149,100, Blyth Valley Borough Council who have put in an additional £47,000 and our own Supporters' Club who have donated £2,000". The Chief Executive of Blyth Valley Borough Council said "The council has a policy to support and uphold leisure activity for local people and this is just one of many improvements for the future". Peter Beardsley will be at Croft Park for tomorrow evening's Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final tie against Newcastle Reserves where "he will be happy to sign autographs".
22 April 2003
RUNCORN 3 ALTRINCHAM 2
Three crazy minutes immediately before the interval saw Alty's well-deserved lead through a Band header (27 mins) wiped out by three Runcorn goals. Carragher equalised after Parle got the ball past Talbot (42 mins), then Price made it 2-1 (44 mins) before Prescott volleyed home (45 mins). Alty pulled one back through Craney (55 mins) and hit the bar through Band but a very unadventurous Runcorn kept Alty at bay. Right, Dalton Steele calmly watches Band's goal, scored in front of an empty stand. Alty are now 15th. Match report here.
Accrington S. 1 Lancaster C. 1
Blyth S. 3 Gateshead 2
Burscough 0 Whitby T. 2
Droylsden 1 Stalybridge C. 1
Frickley A. 0 Wakefield & Emley 3
Harrogate T. 5 Bradford PA 2
Hucknall T. 1 Vauxhall M. 2
Hyde U. 1 Ashton U. 1
Marine 3 Barrow 1
Worksop T. 0 Gainsborough T. 1
21 April 2003
BALL BOYS & GIRLS
Ray Armstrong, the Altrincham FC Ball Boys & Girls Coordinator has kindly supplied an updated list of appearances for his team of helpers and this can be found here. If you would like to join Ray's ball boys and girls, please contact him via the club on 928-1045 and you will be made very welcome. Above, Rod Thornley hands out the ball boys' and girls' 2002-03 awards last Saturday.
Congratulations to Mark Eckersall and his colleagues for organising a very successful Player of the Season Awards and Race Night on Saturday. This has raised more than £1,000 for the Club. Mark is also due many thanks for his organisation of all of the away coach travel for supporters this season. Once again Carsville Coaches have not let us down and we have arrived well in time for every game. Details of the coach to Frickley are now on the Away Travel page; why not come along and enjoy the last trip of the season? In addition, Saturday's SAFE bucket collection brought the total raised at home games this season to over £2,600 so many thanks, too, to the collectors and contributors.
It's been a busy weekend for Alty photographer Alan Johnson; his images from the first-team and schools' matches on Saturday, the Ball Boy and Girl awards and the Player of the Year Awards are all on his website, with images of today's match to follow!
Frickley, whom we meet next Saturday are now virtually safe from involvement in the play-offs for relegation. If Gateshead fail to win at Blyth this morning, Frickley will be safe. Marine are making an award to Jon Gautrey who has retired after playing for the club for 17 seasons. In the form guide over the last 8 games, Alty are now 14th with our next opponents Runcorn and Frickley 5th and 6th respectively. Accrington Stanley will be honoured by Hyndburn Council with a civic reception in May.
20 April 2003
ALTY YOUTH IN TWO FINALS?
ALTRINCHAM YOUTH pictured before the game against Lancaster City on 20 April 2003.
Back L to R: James Carty, Steve Lunt, Joel Ekolongeni, Michael Bailey, Barry George, Greg Byrne, Richard Harrison, Josh Collins, Alex Frost. Front: Stevie Taylor, Paul Nelson, Luke Killeen, Jon McEvoy, Paul Glynn, Adam Douthwaite, Mark Griffiths..
Altrincham Youth beat Lancaster City today 1-0 in a hard-fought Open Cup semi-final at Moss Lane. The goal came from no.11 Stevie Taylor. Alty may also be in the Premier Cup Final following the resignation of Alty's semi-final opponents New Mills from the league. Match report and pictures to follow on the Youth Page.
ALTRINCHAM 4 COLWYN BAY 2
Match report here.
Alty are now 12th in the table. Alty line-up here.
Stuart Quinn, pictured in his last Alty game at Whitby is now captain of Allerton who play in this year's FA Sunday Cup final. Quinn features in today's NLP, which recalls his winning goal for the Liverpool FC Youth side in the 1996 Youth Cup Final against a West Ham side including Rio Ferdinand. Quinn's Liverpool team mates included Jamie Carragher. Quinn left Liverpool for West Ham and then Tranmere before playing at Southport, Droylsden, Leigh, Altrincham and Burscough. He has been playing on Sundays for Allerton (Liverpool) for four years. He joined Alty near the end of the 1999-2000 season to go to Leigh before retuning to Moss Lane for 2000-01 but left again after just three games following a disagreement with manager Mark Ward.
Former Alty Youth players Paul Tilley and Rico Richards scored Trafford's goals yesterday in the UniBond First Division. The Pink has a an article on Mark Quayle's bid to land a contract at Chester City where he is on loan from Nuneaton. Stuart Coburn (Leigh), Stuart Terry (Connah's Quay), Steve Hawes (Worksop), Adam Farley, James Glendenning, Steve Porter (all Droylsden) played for their sides yesterday.