Altrincham Football Club News Archive
15 to 20 August 2003

21 August 2003


Kleberson (José Kleberson Pereira), Manchester United's new Brazilian midfielder played for Manchester United Reserves last night at Moss Lane tonight as did Gary Neville, who was subbed after 66 minutes. However, the Brazilian made very little impact on the proceedings which ended in 2-0 defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers Reserves, the goals coming from Donnelly (50 mins) and Ostenstad (58). Sir Alex Ferguson and Graeme Souness attended the match, as did Port Vale manager Brian Horton and Rovers' coach Dean Saunders in a crowd which must have exceeded 1,000. Rovers included four starters (incl. Grabbi and Mahon) and two subs from the side which beat Alty at Moss Lane on 9 August, whilst United also fielded Roy Carroll and Kieran Richardson. Every bit as entertaining as the play was the excellent refereeing display of Stephen Brand, who makes every decision perfectly clear to spectators whenever he officiates. His demonstrative booking of Egil Ostenstad for "mouthing" was worth the entrance money itself. Pictured right is Gary Neville marking Ostenstad last night.

The full list of United Reserves' fixtures at Moss Lane is here.


Click the Through the Years link above for a record of all Alty games in previous years on 23 August, the date we play Frickley this Saturday.


The Marine site has a report of Tuesday's game at Moss Lane. Keeper Crookes's save from Mattie Hughes is described as a possible "save of the season".

The Alfreton site says, "On the opener against Altrincham, Reds' Director of Football Dave Rushbury said: 'I thought we would struggle to break them down - as they are a strong, well established side - but with a little more composure going forward I thought we could have gone on and won the game. Overall, I thought we were the better side and the defence were outstanding. Tony Hemmings was less than six inches away from giving us the lead midway through the second half and only a terrific stop under the angle fromthe ‘keeper prevented Mick Godber’s injury time free-kick from notching us a winner. It was that tight'".


On Tuesday night Lancaster's ex-Alty player Tony Sullivan was sent off on Tuesday after for throwing the ball at the Southport bench.

NL Daily says that "Spennymoor United have confirmed they have made a formal application to join the Nationwide Conference North... First Division neighbours Bishop Auckland, however, won't be applying, even though the champions of that division are put into a play off with Premier Division clubs for a Conference place".

Burscough report that "John Norman, has left Victoria Park, having been released by mutual consent". Frickley, whom we meet on Saturday have "signed 20 year old striker Mark Vickerage, who impressed during pre-season. Mark has been playing with Brodsworth in the NCEL but was signed on UniBond forms with Bradford Park Avenue last season and played for them in their opening League game last Saturday. Unfortunately, however, central defender Paul Marquis faces being out of action for around 3 weeks with the injury that forced him off halfway through the first half on Saturday".

Other moves:

  • Iain Dunn (Harrogate T. to Guiseley)
  • John Baker (Rochdale to Hyde U.)
  • Darren Knowles (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)
  • Kris Bowler (Rotherham U. to Wakefield & Emley)
    20 August 2003


    Match report here.

    The Man of the Match award went to Ian Craney, who captained the side last night, but Dave Gardner, who came on at 0-1, had an important role too, as he was involved in all of the Alty goals.


    Altrincham's trip to Droylsden on Bank Holiday Monday is a round-trip of just 29.6 miles - according to the AA - making this our shortest away journey of the league season, just behind the 30-mile round trip to Ashton. Our longest trip will be the 344.4 miles round trip to Blyth, followed by Spennymoor (273.8) and Whitby (262.4). Apart from Barrow (210), there is no other round-trip longer than the 134.8 miles to and from Harrogate. In all, Alty fans will cover 2,668.6 miles if they attend every away league game this season which is further than driving to Madrid and back!

    Of course, you can travel every mile in style with Go Goodwins coaches who supply the vehicles for the STAR supporters' away travel scheme.

    19 August 2003


  • Altrincham 3 Marine 3
  • Ashton United 0 Bradford PA 2
  • Barrow 3 Burscough 3
  • Gainsborough T. 2 Alfreton T. 4
  • Harrogate T. 1 Whitby T. 0
  • Hucknall T. 3 Frickley A. 0
  • Radcliffe B. 3 Stalybridge C. 2
  • Runcorn FC Halton 2 Droylsden 2
  • Southport 3 Lancaster C. 0
  • Spennymoor U. 0 Blyth S. 5
  • Wakefield & Emley 1 Worksop T. 1
  • Vauxhall Motors had no game.


    Right, is another picture from the team photo-shoot last week; this time Steve Lunt and Paul Robertson are featured with their contrasting hairstyles!


    This is Derbyshire describes Saturday's game for Alfreton as "a testing goalless home draw against a very well organised Altrincham... Chairman Wayne Bradley said: 'The players showed a lot of first-half nervousness but everyone on the field wanted to reward the level of attendance and, most importantly, we didn't lose'".


    This is Lincs says that ex-Alty star Paul Ellender "admitted he was surprised to see his 67th-minute wonder strike hit the back of the net against highly-fancied Huddersfield on Saturday... 'It was one of those shots where it either flies over the stand or into the back of the net' said the 28-year-old".


    On This is Lancashire Radcliffe manager Kevin Glendon states, "My aim is for Radcliffe Borough to get into the new Northern Conference... That's still quite a big ask considering we have only just got promoted up from UniBond Division One and we will be facing the likes of Southport, Barrow, Stalybridge and Altrincham this coming season. They all have money to spend"(!!) He added that at Stainton Park, "A lot of money has been spent on the ground. Over £30,000 went towards the building of the new dressing room complex and we intend to do one or two other things round the ground such as turnstiles and new toilet blocks". As for attendances, "I am sure the attraction of the likes of Southport, Barrow and Altrincham will bring a few more in this season".

    The Yorkshire Sports site quotes BPA manager Trevor Storton after defeat of his weakened side by Hucknall on Saturday as saying, "They tell me Hucknall are paying big money, for transfer fees and wages. I would back my first-choice team against them on the evidence of what I saw on Saturday".

    In their bid to bounce back from relegation, Colwyn Bay have signed former Shrewsbury, Bury and Wrexham man Dean Spink (35). He also had a spell as Assistant Manager at Chester City before playing at Kidsgrove Athletic.

    18 August 2003


    Rod Thornley will miss tomorrow's match with Marine as he will be in Ipswich performing his masseur's duties for England before their game with Croatia on Wednesday. However, Mattie Hughes, who missed Saturday's game with a nose injury, should be fit for the Marine game.

    Mattie Hughes is pictured above in the thick of it, versus Crewe, in pre-season, in another of Andy Boyers's excellent action photos. Also seen, left to right are Gary Talbot, Mark Maddox and Peter Band.


    Match report here.

    Saturday's gate of 511 at Alfreton (not 599 as on the UniBond site) was the highest in the Division. The Alfreton site also has some pictures and a match report.


    The Marine site, after the 1-3 home defeat by Spennymoor on Saturday, says "All at Marine will be hoping for a much improved performance on Tuesday away at Altrincham".

    Ashton United have signed experienced centre-back John Dyson, formerly of Huddersfield Town and Nuneaton Borough. The Harrogate site reports that Richard Dunning "has signed for Harrogate Town from Whitby Town".

    Southport report that "new 1st team signing Danny Jarrett (formerly with Alty Youth) broke his leg in a collision with another Southport player" in a reserve game.


  • Lee Clitheroe (Lancaster C. to Southport)
  • Danny Clapham (Huddersfield T. to Wakefield & Emley)
  • Scott Bairstow (Farsley C. to Wakefield & Emley)


    The 2003 editions of both The Cherry Red Non-League Newsdesk Annual and the Sky Sports (formerly Rothmans) Football Yearbook are now available, as is The UniBond League Handbook.

    The Cherry Red (£7.95) is as ever a source of information on dozens of leagues. For example, there is even a full table for Division Nine of the Bournemouth League. Amongst the fascinating club names whose details you can find in this book are Caledonian Strip Mills of the Northants Combination, Wrockwardine Wood of the W. Midlands League and Betteshanger Welfare Reserves of the Kent County League Division 2 East. The volume also lists rule changes for 2003/4 approved by FIFA - these include "Players must not reveal undershirts which contain slogans or advertising" and a change which allows the team which wins the toss for a penalty shoot-out not to have to take their penalties first.

    The Sky Sports volume enables you to track ex-Alty players now in the League; for instance, you can confirm that Paul Edwards of Wrexham must be one of the few ex-Robins to gain full international caps after leaving Moss Lane - he has two for Trinidad. The volume also shows that Danny Adams has now played 121 times for Macclesfield whilst Kevin Ellison has appeared 34 times for Stockport, but Nicky Daws has made a really impressive 437 league appearances for Bury and Rotherham.

    The UniBond Handbook includes the usual features, such as the full League fixtures, but this year it also contains details of the proposed new Conference feeders. The handbook also lists the offences which referees must report to the League Secretary and these include "both teams playing in striped shirts" (though this seemed to be allowed when Frickley met Altrincham in 2002-03).


    Despite losing former Alty man Robert Trees to Hyde United this week, Mossleyweb reports that Mossley, whom we met in pre-season have signed Leon Mike (22) from Aberdeen, who played 25 times last season in the Scottish Premier Division. "Mossley have also signed former Hyde United defender Clive Brown (brother of Manchester United star Wes Brown)".
    17 August 2003


    In the Pink, Graham Heathcote says, "I can see Stalybridge, Southport, Worksop, Vauxhall and Lancaster all being in contention" for the league title. "Add to those Harrogate, Hucknall who are spending big, and Alfreton, who are talking big, and it's going to be very interesting".


    In the Conference, Stuart Coburn was "in fine form" for Leigh according to NLP; Ged Kielty also played for RMI. Steve Porter, Carl Furlong and James Glendenning all turned out for Droylsden but Leroy Chambers and Adam Farley did not. Mattie McNeil was a sub for Runcorn and Chris Timons was on the bench for Gainsborough. Tony Sullivan made his Lancaster debut. Richard Landon, playing with Neill Hardy, conceded a last-minute penalty which cost his side the game at Whitby. Gareth Strange scored the only goal as Trafford beat Atherton Collieries 1-0, away. Bernard Taylor's Kidsgrove lost 3-0 at Bamber Bridge. Jez Illingworth played for Guiseley and Jordan Burke netted for Skelmersdale whilst Stuart Walker scored for Flixton.

    In the Football League, Paul Ellender scored for Boston and Kevin Ellison played 52 minutes for Stockport. Danny Adams played for Macclesfield, as did Paul Edwards for Wrexham. Mike Politt and Nicky Daws both played for Rotherham United.

    16 August 2003


  • Alfreton T. 0 Altrincham 0
  • Blyth S. 2 Ashton U. 0
  • Bradford P.A. 1 Hucknall T. 2
  • Burscough 1 Harrogate T. 0
  • Droylsden 1 Barrow 1
  • Frickley A. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 2
  • Lancaster C. 0 Vauxhall M. 0
  • Marine 1 Spennymoor U. 3
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Gainsborough T. 0
  • Wakefield & Emley 0 Southport 1
  • Whitby T. 1 Radcliffe B. 0
  • Worksop Town have no game.


    Bradford PA have signed Colwyn Bay's goalkeeper, Matthew Boswell (26) and Bay's Deiniol Graham "has joined Welsh Premier League side TNS". James McIlvogue has also left Llanelian Road, according to the club's site.

    Frickley's site says that Athletic have signed "centre half Mark Lafferty from Ossett Albion and... Daniel Sheriffe from Glasshoughton Welfare". Yorkshire neighbours Wakefield & Emley have reported a "a £37,338 deficit but chairman Peter Matthews pointed out that the figure from the last 12 months featured various items of expense which were non-recurring, and he expected the financial situation to improve this year", according to IC Huddersfield. Emley have signed "Chris Bowler (ex-Rotherham Utd), Huddersfield-based Shaun Hazleden (ex-Newtown, League of Wales), Calum Selby (ex-Barnsley and Rotherham), Ian Twitchen (Pontefract Collieries) and Tom Cudworth (TNS, League of Wales)" over the summer.

    Stalybridge Celtic are to build a health and leisure centre on part of their car-park, a development which will improve the Club's finances in the long term.

    Gateshead report that they have signed Ben Ryan, a striker, from Spennymoor United but who has also been at Barrow.

    IC Newcastle says that Blyth manager Paul Baker "is backing former Blackburn midfield man Graham Fenton to be a hit with the Spartans. 'Graham is not one of those players who comes into non-league football expecting an easy ride. He is a Geordie lad who wanted to come home and settle down with his family'".

    The Southport Visiter reports that Port manager Steve Walsh believes his "squad has a lot of talent, especially going forward. We have a lot of pace which will be a big asset. I intend to out-score opponents, and we will have an attack-minded approached. We are geared to go forward, I want to win games with style, having our supporters appreciating the quality and entertainment within the side and coming back for more".

    Harrogate Town "will be ready for Burscough. We'll give them total respect and we've done our research on them. It will be a very tough game but we're going there to win", says manager John Reed. "We have a great squad this year and if we stay clear of injuries we will do well". he added. "Reed has pin-pointed Southport, Barrow and Worksop and Stalybridge Celtic as the contenders for the league... Head coach Neil Aspin also believes the standard of the league has improved due to the influx of Nationwide League players", reports Harrogate Today.

    Whitby Today says that the possibility of building above the existing clubhouse is not being ruled out" by Whitby Town as they seek to meet Conference criteria. "Midfielder Richard Dunning is likely to leave the club and Whitby's playing of midweek matches on Wednesday instead of Tuesday this season means fireman Tom Reid is unavailable and has re-joined Pickering Town... Aaron Wilford's departure and Lee Ure's fitness worries as he takes a serious knock every other game he plays and Craig Skelton's continued spell at Billingham Town mean the Seasiders look lightweight up front".

    15 August 2003


    Alty hope to have everyone available tomorrow at Alfreton apart from Mattie Hughes (nose injury) and the long-term absentees Sean Smith and Danny Murphy. Both Chris Adams and Barry Shuttleworth were exempted from training this week as a precautionary measure but both should be available for selection tomorrow.


    On the eve of the new season both Jason Gallagher (left) and Andy Tunnicliffe (right) have left Altrincham FC at their own request. Both were offered terms for the new season but each has decided to move on.

    Jason (31) joined the club in September 1998 from Hyde United as an understudy to right-back George Shepherd but he made his mark mainly on the right of midfield with his pacy runs and his good ability in the air. Manager Graham Heathcote described Jason today as a "fantastic servant of the Club, who played from the heart". He emphasised that Jason had been an integral part of the 1999 UniBond championship side. Sadly, Jason's last three seasons at Altrincham were blighted by injury and he started only 58 league games in that time. His injuries included hamstring damage at Worksop (Sept. 2000) from which he returned, only to pick up a nasty double injury at Bamber Bridge (25/11/00) in his 100th appearance for the Robins. Jason was sidelined again in January 2001 but returned to the first team, only to be injured once more (March 2001). He underwent a hernia operation in December 2001 and after trying a comeback, he was ruled out for the rest of that season. In 2002-03 he returned to first-team action but injury again restricted his appearances. However, he was back in action again in the 2003/04 pre-season games. With his friendly attitude to supporters, Jason was one of the most popular players at the Club and many Moss Laners, not least Graham Heathcote, will be sad to see him go and will wish him a happy future. Jason made 150(+27) appearances and scored nine goals for the Club. His previous clubs included Marine, Witton Albion, Northwich Victoria, Runcorn and Caernarfon Town, as well as Ternia in Belgium.

    Twenty-year Andy Tunnicliffe joinded Alty in March 2002 on loan from Manchester City and made an impressive debut as a late substitute at Hucknall, only to break his leg early in the next game at home to Hyde, which was his first start for the Robins. Andy worked very hard to regain his fitness and returned to competitive action in 2002-03, mostly as a substitute, and he finally made his second start for the club in November 2002. After a spell at Trafford, Andy returned for the Alty game at Bradford PA on 29 March 2003. He was a speedy and hardworking player who could play on the wing or up front. In all, he made 6 starts and 18 substitute appearances for Altrincham. Manager Graham Heathcote respects Andy's wish for regular first-team football and he and the Club are grateful to him for his loyal service at a difficult time for the Club.


    Former Alty striker Carl Furlong, recently reported to be leaving Colwyn Bay for Brunei, has now joined Droylsden! The Bloods have also signed Ciaran Kilheeney, who played against us for Mossley this pre-season.


    Shaun Teale, sacked by Burscough as player-manager, is in talks about joining Radcliffe Borough.


    Altrincham Youth team's NWYA Premier Division fixtures for August and September have been released. New teams in the Division are Barrow AFC and Eagley, whilst Kingsley United are no longer included.

    Alty Youth are now sponsored by:


    Please click the above banners to visit the sponsors' websites.


    14 UniBond qualifiers will be joined by 8 from the other feeders in the Conference North in 2004-05. A look at the map suggests that the new "northerners" are likely to include many of the following ten clubs, who are geographically the most northern in the Dr Martens and Ryman leagues this season - Grantham, Stafford Rangers, Hednesford Town, Hinckley United, Nuneaton Borough, Kettering Town, Moor Green, Worcester City, Cambridge City and Bedford Town.


    Hucknall Today says that "Town have earned a reputation this summer as the 'Chelsea of the Unibond League' with millionaire chairman Brian Holmes playing the role of Roman Abramovich. Few other clubs in the Premier Division have spent as much money, signed so many new faces or chased as many big names as Town. And during the transfer activity, it has emerged that they are now paying wages that are on a par, or even higher, than those at cash-strapped Notts County and Mansfield Town". In all 10 new signings have been made by new manager Steve Burr. "Town are taking TWO buses, packed with supporters, to [their] opening match at Bradford PA... Says chairman Holmes, 'We are not going to fail this season and we shall be in the Conference. We have to get that elusive place in the First Round proper of the FA Cup as well'". The site adds that "A new £75,000 social club should be open by the end of September. The Watnall Road stand is to be extended, the Salterford Road viewing slope is to be upgraded and a new viewing slope could be installed on the training-pitch side". One of Hucknall's latest signings is "winger-cum-midfielder Jon McCarthy (32)... Less than six years ago, Birmingham City paid Port Vale £1.5 million for him. And he went on to make 147 appearances for The Blues, as well as win 19 international caps for Northern Ireland".

    "Whitby Town have signed Darlington midfielder Adam Reed who notched up approaching 200 games for the Quakers either side of a move to Blackburn Rovers in 1995/96 when they were defending their Premier Division title. The 28 year old failed to make an appearance in the Premiership and returned to the North East three years later", states the UniBond site. The same source also says that "Stalybridge Celtic have re-signed midfielder Kenny Mayers just weeks after transferring him to Hyde United. The Celts have also landed 6ft 4ins Hucknall Town midfielder Steve Lenagh who won the Dr Martens League with Kettering Town in 2001/2002".

    Spennymoor have lost experienced League midfielder Nick Richardson to Ossett Town, where he will become player-manager. Southport have signed former England Youth International Neil Whitworth (31). He made one appearance for Manchester United in 1990-91 after moving from Wigan Athletic.

    Other moves:

  • James Cotterill (Scunthorpe U. to Barrow)
  • Steve Gill (Louisiana Outlaws to Barrow)
  • Michael Kewley (Preston NE to Barrow)
  • Michael Rushton (Morecambe to Barrow)
  • Gareth Simpson (Morecambe to Barrow)
  • Matthew Turner (Worsborough to Gainsborough T.)
  • Shaun Varley (Worksop Town to Gainsborough T.)
  • Adam Carden (Southport to Runcorn FC Halton)
  • Brian Hogan (Southport to Runcorn FC Halton)
  • Thomas Spearritt (Southport to Runcorn FC Halton)
  • Blake Norton (Trafford to Stalybridge C.)