Altrincham Football Club News Archive
1 to 11 September 2003

11 September 2003


IC Cheshire reports on Tuesday's game - "Despite missing a couple of great chances in the second half, Vauxhall can have few complaints against draw specialists Altrincham. They deserved their late equaliser, an 81st-minute screamer from captain Ian Craney into the top corner".


Leroy Chambers scored for Droylsden on Tuesday at Radcliffe. Clive Freeman has joined Farsley Celtic from Guiseley and Rossendale United have signed Greg Challender from Hyde United. John Davison, the new manager of Witton Albion, has overseen two wins since taking over.


  • Stephen Swales (Whitby T. to Bridlington T.)
  • Jordan Burke (Skelmersdale U., ex Altrincham, Burscough)
  • Stuart Heeps (Kidsgrove A. to Droylsden)
  • Mark Jones (Burton A. to Hucknall T.)
  • Anthony Lennon (ex Harrogate T. to Ossett T.)
  • Mark Beesley (Chester C. on loan to Southport)

    FA CUP

    NL Daily reports that "The FA, in partnership with Umbro is launching an exciting new 'Player of the Round' award scheme, giving fans the chance to back their boys on and off the pitch. The winning player of the round will receive up to £3000 worth of UMBRO football kit and equipment for the school, club or organisation of his choice - so fans will want to make sure their favourites clock up plenty of votes! ... A shortlist of three nominees will be selected by The FA after each round, starting after the first qualifying round on September 13. Fans can then vote on-line for the player they feel should win the prestigious award by visiting and a winner will be announced a week later.


  • 1st QR (198 teams): 13/9/03
  • 2nd QR (168) 27/9/03
  • 3rd QR (84) 11/10/03
  • 4th QR (64) 25/10/03
  • Rd 1 (80) 8/11/03
  • Rd 2 (40) 6/12/03
  • Rd 3 (64) 3/1/04


    Alty travel to either Gateshead or Kendal Town in the Trophy 1st Round on 1st November. As a pointer, perhaps, on Tuesday in the UniBond First, Gateshead won at Kendal.
    10 September 2003


    Match report here.


    Altrincham have signed Nick Welton, a 28 year-old striker from Mossley. Nick (dob 10 September 1975) is a tall striker signed by Mossley in January 2003 from Vauxhall Motors. He was previously with West Cheshire side Ashville and then in Wales with Total Network Solutions (for whom he played in Europe) and Rhyl.


    The UniBond Press Release has Altrincham down as having incurred 6 cautions and 2 dismissals in 2003-04, making them the third worst offenders in the Division, behind Stalybridge and Burscough (bottom). However, this website's statistics recorded 7 cautions and 1 dismissal. The second dismissal must be manager Graham Heathcote's banishment to the stand at Alfreton.
    9 September 2003


    Altrincham hope to field a new striker tonight, Nick Welton from Mossley, who was formerly at Vauxhall Motors.

    New goalkeeper Ashley Timms, 17, will definitely start tonight and Altrincham have also signed Danny Hooper, 20, a Stalybridge midfielder, who was in the Celtic side as recently as Saturday. He joined Celtic in October 2002 and played 43 games for them. Prior to that he played in Jamaica and Finland as well as with Stockport County Reserves and, in 2001, Caernarfon Town and Woodley Sports. In fact he played against us in Alty's famous 8-1 win at Woodley that year as well as for Stalybridge against the Robins in December 2002.

    As well as Acton and Maddox, Barry Shuttleworth will also be unfit to play tonight but Paul Robertson is available, though weakened by a virus. Rod Thornley is missing on England duty and manager Graham Heathcote has a quandary about Gary Scott who still has a hamstring problem, an ailment which has also been affecting Mattie Hughes.


    Adewale Ajetunmobi has signed for Kendal Town after his release by Droylsden. Kendal are Alty's FA Trophy opponents if they beat Gateshead.


    In an interview with Brian Flynn on the ClubCall (details left), manager Graham Heathcote calls for united support of the team and, in particular, praises Dave Gardner for his footballing ability and for giving his time to play for us for nothing when he could be fully employed with his sports agency business. Ring the ClubCall for this important interview!


    STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, is running an auction in which the winner joins the Altrincham first-team squad for the season! Applicants, who must be 16 or over, will sign non-contract playing terms for the season 2003/4, receive a full Alty kit, travel to away matches on the team coach, join in team photos and matchday warm ups as well as sit on the team bench during games. Bidding starts at £1,500 and details are on the website. Bids can be sent to Mark Murray, Acting STAR Secretary, 65 Fulmar Drive, Sale, M33 4WH. The closing date is September 26th.


    Terry Fearns of Vauxhall Motors, our opponents tonight, scored 5 goals on Saturday at Blyth and has now hit 82 goals in a little more than two seasons for the Motormen. Alty have yet to take a league point off Vauxhall having lost to them 1-2 (A) and 0-1 (H) in 2001/02, and 0-4 (A) and 0-2 (H) last season. Curiously all four defeats came in a sequence of 15 league fixtures covering the end of the 2001/02 campaign and the start of the following season. However, Alty did beat Vauxhall 2-0 in December 2001 in the UniBond League Cup in front of Moss Lane's smallest post-war crowd of 114.

    Ashley Timms will make his debut in Alty's goal tonight, due to Dave McCarthy's injury last Saturday.


    This is Lincs says, "Happy Gainsborough Trinity manager Paul Mitchell praised his side's fighting qualities after they snatched a point at Altrincham on Saturday". Mitchell added "I am delighted because, at 2-1, some teams' confidence might have gone at that stage in the game. Teams would have crumbled and gone on to lose three or four one. But we didn't and we rode the storm... I am chuffed for the lads and looking at the context of the game in the 90 minutes, I would say they did enough to win the game".


    According to the Huddersfield Examiner, Wakefield & Emley, whom we meet on Saturday "are finding goals difficult to come by despite creating chances and `lady luck' was certainly absent on Saturday". They currently lie second bottom with just one win this season and only 5 goals from 7 starts since manager Ronnie Glavin left for Barnsley in the summer and striker Simeon Bambrook moved on. A useful pointer to Saturday should be Emley's game tonight at Gainsborough, with whom we drew on Saturday at Moss Lane.


    The UniBond League reports that "BBC TV cameras will be at the Harrogate Town v. Blyth Spartans UniBond fixture on Tuesday night where they have requested a facility to do some filming for a feature on young players who have been released by Football League clubs but still have ambitions to return to that level. Harrogate Town have a few such players in their squad and the BBC has picked out Gary Bradshaw (ex-Hull City) as the subject for the recording tomorrow evening".

    The same site states that the Endsleigh Sports Insurance Goalscoring Award for August has gone to Alfreton Town - whom Alty kept goalless, but who hit 13 goals in their next 4 games. At present there is no "Best Defence" award but one may be started up soon.

    8 September 2003


    Altrincham's 3-0 win over Morecambe on Sunday took them joint top of the league. For a match report and league table, see the Youth Page.


    It now turns out that we have indeed signed Ashley Timms, as reported last week by the UniBond League, but he is a goalkeeper (d.o.b. 6/11/85) and not a midfielder as the Sky (Rothmans) Yearbook 2003-04 states. In late 2001 Ashley was at Oldham Athletic and was released by Manchester City in summer 2003. He was a trialist at Bolton Wanderers Reserves in August 2003. The Man City Info via the Alps website describes him as follows: "Ashley Timms. He's big like Schmeichel, shouts like him and has a thunderous kick"!

    With Dave McCarthy doubtful after picking up a groin injury on Saturday, Ashley could be in for his UniBond debut tomorrow night at Rivacre Park, against Vauxhall Motors.


    Following the signing of last season's Youth team captain Paul Glynn, two of his Youth team-mates have now also signed non-contract forms with Altrincham. They are centre-back Greg Byrne (right) and defender/midfielder Mark Griffiths. Greg is a tall and very dependable defender who has played for Cheshire Colleges. Mark, who is two-footed and an excellent dead-ball kicker, has played both for the Cheshire FA and England Colleges. Both players figured in one or two of Altrincham's pre-season games this year. Above, Mark, furthest from the camera, scores from a free-kick against Marine A, 23 March 2003.


    As well as the doubts over keeper McCarthy, and the long-term absences of Acton, Maddox, Murphy and Smith, Altrincham also have fitness doubts for tomorrow's game over Barry Shuttleworth and Paul Robertson. Paul has been ill with a virus for the past week. Gary Scott is also carrying a groin injury.

    Alty will be without captain Rod Thornley tomorrow as he is again on masseur duties with Sven-Goran Eriksson's England team.

    Despite their many injury problems, Alty lie just three points behind fifth-placed Worksop Town and if the pre-season games are counted, they have lost just twice in 17 games.


    Match report here.

    Above: Ellington sends McCarthy the wrong way from the spot.

    7 September 2003


    In today's Pink, Graham Heathcote says before yesterday's game, "I'm taking a lot of positives out of our performances so far and am confident that... the results will come... Barring our 3-3 draw against Marine... we've looked solid and secure in every game. Our problem in a nutshell is that we haven't been taking our chances... One of the reasons we've yet to find our cutting edge is that our skipper, Rod Thornley, hasn't had a proper pre-season... As a result, Rod's has been trying to play catch-up with his fitness... It will also take time for him to strike up a proper understanding with Mattie Hughes". Graham adds, "I am pleased to report that Danny Murphy has now had cruciate ligament surgery and, while we may not see him back in action this season, at least he'll be relieved to have the operation behind him... If only we can start to punish teams, I feel we have it in us to get among the top six or seven clubs and, who knows, maybe have a little tilt at promotion to the Conference".


    The STAR half-time bucket collection raised £90.18 yesterday.


    Ex-Alty goalkeeper Ian Senior, now 43, was in Stalybridge's squad for their match at Southport this week. Adewale Ajetunmobi has been released by Droylsden. Droylsden's scorers yesterday included Steve Porter, who is pictured with Leroy Chambers in the NLP. Adam Farley also played for the Bloods but Carl Furlong was just a sub. Niell Hardy turned out for Radcliffe for whom Dickie Landon was on the bench. Neal Murphy was a Marine sub and Terry Bowker scored an own goal for Stalybridge against Worksop. Marc Limbert netted for Rhyl.

    Kevin Ellison scored for Stockport whilst Danny Adams (Macc.), Stuart Coburn (Leigh), Steve Hawes (Worksop) and Ged Kielty (Stalybridge sub) were also involved yesterday.


    Former Alty player John Davison, who left St Helens Town in the summer, has been appointed as the new manager of Witton Albion to succeed Benny Phillips. Davison was Witton coach when they won the NPL in 1990 and he later had managerial success at Burscough.


    According to Confguide "The Isthmian (Ryman) League has confirmed that it is to challenge the proposed restructuring of the non-league pyramid, which is due to take effect at the end of this season. A letter sent to clubs by League Secretary Nick Robinson said that the Isthmian League Board instructed a well known firm of solicitors in sports law to advise on matters. Legal action is promised, starting with a letter from the solicitors to the Football Association. The letter claims that the vast majority of the league's clubs want to retain the status quo (three feeders to the National Division of the Conference)".


    After nine months at Hurst Cross, Ashton have released former Emley striker Rodney Rowe to Ossett Town and Nigel Evans has been released by Droylsden. Greg Challender has left Hyde.
    6 September 2003


    Alty now have three goalkeepers injured. Richard Acton is recovering from his dislocated shoulder and will be out for at least a month; Kurt Edginton has his ankle in plaster for at least six weeks, whilst loan 'keeper Dave McCarthy injured his groin in today's game. Also out are centre-back Mark Maddox, still on crutches with a heel fracture, Danny Murphy who is also on crutches after his cruciate operation last week, Sean Smith recovering from his car accident and Paul Robertson recovering from illness. Gary Scott and Peter Band are also carrying injuries and even assistant manager Dalton Steele is still on crutches after suffering a cricketing injury. To add to this, Rod Thornley will miss Tuesday's game at Vauxhall as he is again on England duty as masseur.


    Right: Loan keeper Dave McCarthy, injured against Trinity.


  • Altrincham 2 Gainsborough T. 2
  • Blyth S. 3 Vauxhall M. 6
  • Bradford PA 2 Barrow 2
  • Droylsden 2 Burscough 0
  • Frickley A. 3 Radcliffe B. 0
  • Hucknall T. 4 Southport 0
  • Lancaster C. 1 Harrogate T. 4
  • Marine 0 Alfreton T. 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Spennymoor U. 2
  • Stalybridge C. 0 Worksop T. 3
  • Wakefield & Emley 1 Ashton U. 2


    Neil Ryan (right) has left Moss Lane at his own request. He made 47+6 appearances after joining in December 2001 but injury ruined his 2002-03 season. Neil had got fit again for 03-04 but he figured just once as a substitute this season.


    Profiles of Graham Heathcote and Ian Morris have been added to the Legends page, courtesy of Terry Rowley.


    In an official statement to the Worksop Town web-site, it is stated that "the acting Chairman Mr Howard Raymond can confirm that current investigations into the disappearance of approximately £40,000 are ongoing. A further statement will be released when more details are known".

    The UniBond League reports that former Macclesfield man, Lee Hardy has left Hucknall Town for Leigh RMI whilst Ian Stevens has left Barrow. The Non-League Daily confirms that former Alty midfielder Jordan Burke has left Skelmersdale Utd for Burscough, with whom they currently ground share.

    Gainsborough, today's opponents, have signed Richard Byrne from Lincoln City, whilst Alex Callery has moved from Worksop Town to Ilkeston Town on loan.


    Trafford's "Reserve Team manager Andy Nelson has decided to step down from his role at Shawe View to concentrate on other projects... Andy Thorp has taken on the role of caretaker Reserve Team Manager".
    5 September 2003


    Altrincham Youth's will play Pickering Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup. The date for the match has now been changed to 19 September, see the Youth Page for details.


    Barrow boss "Lee Turnbull believes his side were unlucky to leave Moss Lane with only a point to show for their efforts... [He] felt that the penalty awarded against Mark Hume was harsh... 'I felt that we played very well and we were unfortunate not to win the game... Sometimes when you go to places like Altrincham you don't really get the rub of the green... We ended up with two 18-year-olds up front, which augurs well for the future'".

    Another manager irate about a penalty is Paul Mitchell of Gainsborough Trinity, whom we meet on Saturday. Concerning their defeat at Whitby, he told This is Lincs, "The referee has killed us... When the referee makes a decision like that, it's in God's hands".


    As well as allowing ex-Robin, Ged Kielty, to join Stalybridge Celtic on lan (see below), Leigh RMI have also released former Marine player Ged Courtney to Runcorn FC Halton.

    The Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports that the recent transfer of Wakefield & Emley's Simeon Bambrook to Worksop was for a "fee believed to be about £7,000".

    4 September 2002


    In tonight's match at Moss Lane, Sunderland took the lead after 3 minutes through James. United equalised with a fine finish by Nardiello (23 mins). Sunderland went ahead again when Jason McAteer's free-kick was apparently knocked into the net by a defender (64 mins). United, with Fortune in their side, then won a penalty but Ingham saved Nardiello's spot-kick, but Lynch followed up to convert the rebound (77 mins). Sunderland's team included Phil Babb and Michael Proctor as well as McAteer.


    Ged Kielty, who played in Alty's midfield under Mark Ward, has gone on a three-month loan from Leigh RMI to Stalybridge Celtic, whom we meet in the Cheshire Senior Cup on 16 September. (Thanks to Allen Blakely for this information.


    Spennymoor United have signed ex-Alty fringe-player Craig Skelton from Billingham Town and Kevin Duncan, a youngster from Hartlepool United. They have released Jonathon Skinner to Ossett Town; he only joined the Moors on 21 August from Kilmarnock.

    The UniBond Fair Play award has gone to Alfreton Town for August. The League's website reports that Whitby Town have re-signed striker Jamie Burt from Scarborough. He has been at Whitby before playing 24 games for Chesterfield in 2001/2002 season. He was then released to Scarborough,

    Other moves:

  • Lee Calvert (Ashton U. to Ossett T.)
  • John Ryder (ex Prescot C. to Runcorn FC Halton)
  • Andy Carney (Ossett A. to Wakefield & Emley)


    Former Alty Youth striker Rico Richards and ex-Reserves' player Chuku Otutu scored two of Trafford's 3 FA Cup goals against Hall Road Rangers this week as they earned an away tie at Guiseley - the scene of Alty's cup exit last season.
    3 September 2003


    Altrincham dropped to 13th tonight:
  • Bradford PA 0 Worksop T. 1
  • Whitby T. 2 Gainsboro' T. 1


    Match report here.

    2 September 2003


    Asssuming he plays tonight Rod Thornley will be making his 100th competitive appearance for Altrincham (99 starts and 1 as a sub). In those games he has scored 57 goals, including 15 penalties. His strike rate compares with that of Ken McKenna who hit 56 in his 100-game Alty career (1990-92) when the club was in the Conference. But Rod still has a long way to go to catch Jackie Swindells!


    Alty meet Barrow tonight and manager Lee Turnbull told the NW Evening Mail: "We are by no means anywhere near where I would like us to be, not just in the league, but in performance... We always say 'try and keep it tight for the first 20 and let's try to get one ourselves and build on it'". Against Frickley on Saturday "We were ragged and a little bit off the pace... individual errors led to their goal... We've got a few lads out and a few lads struggling to recapture the form of last season, so all that adds to us not being quite as top bracket as I would like".


    Hyde United report that ex-Alty man Matty McNeil has left Runcorn for Hyde United "for an undisclosed fee". McNeil went to Runcorn from Stalybridge in June last year. Another ex-Robin at Hyde "Steven Clegg, has received his international clearance from the U.S. and is now available to the Tigers".

    At the Bower Fold, Stalybridge have started work on a £4 million leisure complex on their car park. "The deal has been completed with FX Leisure who are also understood to be in talks with Runcorn FC Halton about a similar project" says the NL Daily. However, Runcorn FC Halton have since indicated that no such talks have taken place. Celtic Chairman Peter Dennerly said: "The deal has allowed the football club to clear all of its debts and we donít now owe anyone a single penny".

    Following the resignation of their chairman last week, This is Lincs reports that "Gainsborough Trinity have fired full-time chief executive Rick Knowles. "We felt his job overlapped with others", said acting chairman Pat Lobley".


    The NL Daily quotes John Cassidy, director of tax investigations at accountants and business advisors, PKF. "The Inland Revenue is about to lose its status as a preferential creditor in insolvency cases which may make it more aggressive in collecting debts and lead it to target businesses which it feels are most likely to owe it money or are at risk of becoming insolvent while owing it money.... This could spell danger for those clubs in the lower divisions facing financial difficulties and there is a likelihood of detailed self assessment enquiries, early estimated figures if a return is late being submitted and more aggressive collection of amounts apparently due".
    1 September 2003


    Droylsden beat Vauxhall Motors 2-1 tonight to move above Altrincham in the table. The winner was scored by Carl Furlong.


    There is now a match report on the Youth team's win over South Sefton in the Youth Team section. Pictured right, Adam Douthwaite heads clear as Michael Bailey looks on.


    Following the injury to Richard Acton on Saturday, Graham Heathcote has agreed a one-month loan-deal for Worksop Town keeper Dave McCarthy. McCarthy was at Hucknall Town for 6 years and was their captain but moved to Worksop in February 2002, where he also had a brief loan spell at Stocksbridge PS. He has been coaching in the USA this summer and lost his place in Town's goal to Ian Bowling. Dave has played against us both for Hucknall and Worksop after earlier spells at Bournemouth and Chesterfield. He will make his Altrincham debut tomorrow against Barrow. Before becoming a keeper Dave was a centre-back!

    It has been confirmed that Richard Acton has not fractured his shoulder but he will nevertheless be out of action for four to six weeks, according to the Alty manager. Altrincham's cover-keeper Kurt Edginton was ruled out of contention because of a tendon injury.


    Paul Glynn (18), captain of last season's Alty Youth side, has now signed non-contract forms with Altrincham. Paul, a right-sided midfielder and full-back put in some useful pre-season performances to earn his chance with the first team.


    Newly promoted Spennymoor have replaced manager Alex Mathie after just five games by "mutual consent" according to Non-league Daily. The Moors won their opening game of the season but have since lost three matches. He is replaced by Tony Lee, who was interviewed for the Altrincham job after Mark Ward left Moss Lane. Lee was then at Bishop Auckland but left them to join the Moors. He left Spennymoor in January 2003 but now returms there! "Mathie, whose two main summer signings, Gary Hobson and Neil Richardson, left the club before a ball was kicked, said: 'I'm disappointed that I've left, but that's the way it goes'". Club owner Benny Mottram told the Northern Echo, "We couldn't afford to sit and wait, especially as we must finish in the top thirteen. Alex is a nice lad, but he didn't have the knowledge of non-League football". Meanwhile Lee's ex-club Bishop Auckland thrashed our neighbours Flixton 8-0 today in the FA Cup - they were four up inside 10 minutes!

    Gainsborough Trinity, our visitors next Saturday, have made yet more signings: Richard Byrne from Lincoln City, Ben Jones from Farsley Celtic and Alexander Mortimer from Shrewsbury Town