Altrincham Football Club News Archive
12 to 19 September, 2003

19 September 2003


On deadline day for FA Cup eligibility, Altrincham have signed Manchester United reserve keeper Ben Williams on a month's loan. Ben spent part of last season at Chesterfield and has played several times at Moss Lane for United Reserves, including the friendly against Alty in August 2003.

Alty have also signed an experienced left-sided defender/midfielder, with experience at Manchester City, on non-contract terms but this deal has yet to be finalised - hence his name has not yet been announced by the club - but he is already identified on the UniBond website as Jason van Blerk (35) who has 27 U-21 caps and 1 full cap for Australia and played at Millwall, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Stockport County and Hull City as well as Shrewsbury. He is 6ft 1in and weighs 13 stone.


Man. United Reserves lost 2-3 at Moss Lane last night to Middlesbrough Reserves, despite the Reds having led 2-0 at the interval. United's team included Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson whilst Boro' had Carlo Nash in goal.


It is 100 years since Altrincham FC was born when Broadheath FC changed its name. Part One of Terry Rowley's series, 100 Years Ago, is reproduced here, from the Robins Review of 6 September 2003.

On Saturday Marine FC celebrate 100 years of playing at Rossett Park with a league game against Frickley Athletic. The club site says that "Local community groups and school children are being invited to come along in organized groups with free admission to the game. Children coming to the game outside of organized groups will be admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult as will anyone arriving in the dress of the period. Marine played their first games at Rossett Park in September, 1903 after starting off at a ground behind St Mary's church in Waterloo. Copies of David Wotherspoon's 'The Mighty Mariners', the story of Marine's first 100 years will be on sale on the day for just £5, a saving of £7 on the usual price".


Alty travel to Widnes to play Runcorn FC Halton on Tuesday, 14 October. The club site reports that "The Silver Jubilee Bridge is undergoing major road works/repairs between 19 September and November 2003. There will be only one lane available in both directions with a strict 20mph speed limit, and speed cameras will be in operation. Please allow extra time for your journey if you are visiting the club from the South, via Runcorn".


Alty's next game is at Southport and "Port boss Mike Walsh complained after his side's UniBond League Premier Division defeat v. Worksop: "I cannot believe it, it's the best we have played this season, they sat 10 behind the ball, and we threw everything at them in the second half".

Phil Wilson, boss of our FA Cup opponents Lancaster City, told a supporters' club forum this week, "We won't win the league because we've lost too many games already but we will get in Conference North, I am confident of that". He went on, "The Alfreton game apart I think we have done well in most of the games but we just haven't had much luck", reports Lancaster Today.

Alfreton Town's official website quotes manager David Lloyd about the UniBond Premier. "It is a hard, tough league and we had to lose some time but I am really pleased with the start we have had ...There are some very big spending clubs underneath us and they are killing each other on a regular basis. The amount of games that get played early on at this level is amazing". Alfreton's Director of Football Dave Rushbury added: "We are analysing this crucial season by planning in groups of ten games. If we can get around 20 points from each batch of ten we will be championship contenders. It we can get 15, we will be where we want to be with regards to the prize of next season".

The BPA Official Web Site writes after Saturday's match, "Avenue missed a huge opportunity to gain their first home win this season when they abjectly surrendered the points. If Bradford are to cement their place in the top half of the table and qualify for the Conference North then they are going to have to play a whole lot better against all teams, instead of reserving their best performances for top-of-the-table sides. You could point to more injury woe which ruled Maxwell, Collins, Walsh, Wood and Crossley from the starting line up and the fact that keeper Boswell, though named, was clearly unwell and spent most of the game pacing around so slowly that he looked like an octogenarian walking uphill against the wind without the aid of a zimmer frame. It was a mystery why he started the match and reserve keeper Storer sat on the bench. In the end Storer came on for the last 15 minutes and conceded two goals but neither had anything to do with him".

In the Ormskirk Advertiser, "Burscough manager Mike Marsh admitted this week: 'I feel a bit under the cosh, but you are always under that in football management'... The Burscough boss still has Michael Knowles, Ian Bishop, Iain Brunskill, Russell Payne, Mark Brennan and Jeff Underwood all injured and still a few weeks away from fitness". The article also quotes "Supporter and shareholder George Clandon [who] claims: "The lack of support is extremely worrying and without question is due to the way the board of directors under the chairmanship of Frank Parr handled the [Teale] affair... I know of fans who are so disillusioned that they have been boycotting matches this season", said Clandon, treasurer of Burscough FC Supporters' Club. A club response to fans stated ""We need you, now is not the time to panic, now is the time to get behind the team, starting this Saturday".

IC Cheshire states that "Runcorn and Droylsden are the only teams to have scored in every Premier Division game so far". The same source reports on Vauxhall Motors whose boss Alvin McDonald "says he doesn't think the people of Ellesmere Port 'deserve' his team and that turning out at Rivacre Park is 'like playing in a morgue'. The frustrated football boss made his comments after barely 200 turned up to watch the Motormen at home to Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday" He added, "The game after we beat QPR, we only had 170 at Rivacre Park. I think we have a big problem here. I feel so sorry for the players because it's soul-destroying walking out on a matchday at Rivacre Park when there's hardly anyone there. I just can't ever see us getting the people in this place - I think the club has gone as far as it can... We've got a brilliant band of about a hundred regular supporters and more than half of them will travel to most of our away games. It terms of away support, we're as good as anyone in this league at times".

18 September 2003


In the FA Player of the Round competition there are three players nominated nationally for the 1st qualifying Round award, one of whom is our ex-keeper Dean Greygoose, who saved a penalty for AFC Sudbury in the club's 9 - 0 victory over Berkhamsted Town.


The Stalybridge official site confirms that Danny Caldecott, carried off at Moss Lane on Tuesday, "goes into hospital today (Wednesday) for a specialist to assess whether or not he has damaged his cruciate ligament. If that is the case then Danny could be out for the rest of the season". Our best wishes go to him. Celtic are also without Kevin Parr, for 4 to 6 weeks, and Dave German, who has a triple fracture of his cheekbone and eye socket, and "is not expected to play before Christmas".


The UniBond League Management Committee held at Altrincham last Sunday deducted 4 points from First Division leaders Gateshead and 3 from Ossett Town. "Gateshead inadvertently played Robert Southern in a 0-0 draw at Leek Town... and George Weatherley... at home to Chorley when they won 1-0. Gateshead will lose all four points gained in those two fixtures and were also fined £100 and £200 respectively for the offences... Both Wakefield & Emley and Chorley had also played unregistered players in error but had lost the matches concerned, although their slips cost them fines of £150".


Under the heading "Awful Altrincham lose ground", SAM reports on the defeat at Wakefield, concluding that "Altrincham are adding up to significantly less than the sum of their parts".


Alty meet Radcliffe on 30 September and according to the Barrow manager, after his side beat Boro' 3-2 last night, "We came up against a very, very good Radcliffe side. I thought we were playing Real Madrid for the first 20 minutes, I thought they were outstanding. Some of the football they played was breathtaking and if it hadn't been for Simon Bishop we could have been two or three down", but "They couldn't cope with the fact that we changed the team two or three times during the evening".

This is Lincs reports that ex-Alty captain Chris Timons scored for Gainsborough on Tuesday against Harrogate, who had Marc Smith sent for an off the ball incident. Smith was the player whose challenge led to Richard Acton's current injury. Trinity manager Paul Mitchell said that Trinity's Neil Allison, sent off with Smith, "never touched him but has been kicked and elbowed, even their manager and player have said Neil never touched him... I thought they were very lucky to not to have more players sent off".

Speaking before two defeats, Hucknall manager Steve Burr told Hucknall Today "It would be silly to say we are not championship challengers now after beating a side like Southport... A lot of people will see that result and go: crikey, they mean business!" However, "Winger Lee Hardy has left Watnall Road only 3 weeks after signing from Macclesfield Town. Hardy (21) quit to try his luck with Leigh RMI in the Conference. But he was hauled off at half-time in his debut last Saturday and Leigh manager Mark Patterson says he will not be signing him after all".

IC Cheshire reports that John Davison's Witton "are set to lose midfielder Ross Clegg. UniBond Premier Division side Stalybridge want Clegg and, if they want him desperately enough for the FA Cup in two weeks' time, they may be willing to compensate Witton. Clegg has sat out 7 games under suspension and Albion point out his poor discipline has cost them money and was the main factor in the FA's £5,000 suspended fine on the club. He attended the first training session after Benny Phillips quit but has not been seen since".


  • Martin James (Bradford PA to Chorley)
  • Joe McAreavey (Pontefract C. to Frickley A.)
  • Iain Dunn (Guiseley to Harrogate T.)
  • Chris Holmes (ex Kidsgrove to Vauxhall M.)
  • Wayne Bullimore (Barrow to Wakefield & Emley)
    17 September 2003



  • Bradford PA 2 Whitby T. 3. Alty drop to 21st, as Whitby climb 8 places tonight with a last-gasp winner but 3pts could take Alty up to 12th in the table.


  • Hyde U. 0 Crewe A. 5
  • Witton A. 1 Macclesfield T. 0

    Thursday 18th, 7pm at Moss Lane: Manchester Utd Res. v Middlesbrough Res. Entry £2, (concessionaries £1). There is no Altrincham game on Saturday 20th as it is our turn to sit out the league fixtures, given the odd number of teams in the UniBond Premier Division.


    The next three matches are all away- at Southport (23rd), Lancaster (27th) and Radcliffe (30th). .


    In last night's Robins' Review, there were informative articles by club chairman Geoff Goodwin and manager Graham Heathcote. These are both reproduced here. All supporters can explore the matters raised in the articles at Friday's Fans' Forum (7pm) at the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane, prior to the FA Youth Cup match at home to Pickering Town. Please do come along to the meeting and the match if you possibly can.


    Alty went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup last night despite an improved performance from Saturday's match at Wakefield.

    Match report here.


    Alty Youth goalkeeper Barry George has been selected as the fully-sighted keeper for the England Partially-Sighted team who are preparing for a fixture at the FA training centre at Lilleshall this weekend. Sadly this means that Barry, who also has Cheshire FA representative honours, will be unavailable for the FA Youth Cup match on Friday against Pickering Town at Moss Lane (7.45pm). However, in Clint Walker, who played in Alty Youth's 3-0 win over Morecambe recently and Tom Read, Altrincham Youth have other excellent goalkeeping resources for Friday.


    The Shropshire Star reports that "Ken McKenna, manager of JT Hughes Mitsubishi Welsh Premier club Total Network Solutions, has agreed two-year extension to his contract. The new contract will keep McKenna, who is in his third season in charge, with the league leaders until May 2006".


    Next Tuesday we travel to Haig Avenue and the Southport site reports that "The one disappointing feature of [last] Saturday's match was the gate, with 759 attending, a drop of 200 which has to be a matter of concern and indicates that a winning run is vital to attract the floating Sandgrounder fan".

    NL Daily reports that "Striker Marcus Hallows has been placed on the transfer list by Mark Patterson, manager of Leigh RMI... Hallows is more out of favour now as youngster Chris Downey signed late last week after being released from Bolton. Hallows is likely to sign for one of his former managers' clubs, whether it be Steve Waywell at Hyde United or Dave Miller at Stalybridge Celtic".

    16 September 2003


    Left-sided midfielder Paul Robertson (right) has left Altrincham FC. He made 65+2 appearances and scored five goals in two spells at the club in 1998/99 and 2003.


    Alty dropped to 20th in the table after tonight's league matches.



  • Ashton U. 2 Blyth S. 0
  • Gainsboro' T. 2 Harrogate T. 0
  • Hucknall T. 0 Wakefield & Emley 1
  • Radcliffe B. 2 Barrow 3
  • Spennymoor U. 3 Frickley A. 2
  • Worksop T. 1 Southport 0


  • Altrincham 0 Stalybridge C. 2 att. 235
  • Vauxhall M. 4 Alsager T. 1 att. 70
  • Woodley S. 1 Stockport Co. 0 (played Monday)


    Mattie Tooth is Alty Youth's left back and he is likely to figure in Friday's FA Youth Cup match at Moss Lane this Friday (7.45pm). Come along and support the lads as they take on Pickering Town with the winners playing either Barrow or Hallam at home in the next round. Entry is only £3, (£1 for concessionaries).


    After Saturday's game, IC Huddersfield reports: "'Wouldn't it be great to play Alty every week?', said one Wakefield and Emley wag... and he had a fair point as this was a seventh successive victory over the Cheshire outfit for the Belle Vue side".


    The league match with Lancaster at Moss Lane was postponed to accommodate tonight's CSC match but the FA Cup draw has meant a meeting with City just 11 days later than scheduled. Lancaster Today reports that Lancaster "boss Phil Wilson says he may need to sign extra defensive cover after discovering centre-half John Robertson will be out for several weeks". Gary Bauress and Robert Pell are recovering from injury whilst goalkeeper Kevin Welsby was sent off on Saturday 6 September, so faces a ban.


    Spennymoor have released Graeme Atkinson and Jonathan Skinner has also left.

    "Due to difficulties in communication and a lack of information crossing the Pennines to Lancashire, the 'Official Website' at has been closed".

    15 September 2003


    Droylsden beat league leaders Alfreton Town tonight 2-1 at the Butcher's Arms.


    Altrincham have drawn an away tie against Lancaster City in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round on 27 September. Altrincham last met Lancaster in the Cup in the 2001-02 competition's 1st Round when Alty won a replay at the Giant Axe 4-1 after a 1-1 draw at Moss Lane. City are now managed by ex-Alty player and ex-Stalybridge boss, Phil Wilson.


    Alty Youth drew 1-1 away at Prestwich Heys yesterday. Above Michael Bailey (in blue) makes an interception during the game. For a match report and photos, see the Youth Page.


    The last time Altrincham met Stalybridge, Tuesday's opponents, on 16 September was in 1958 when we won 5-1 away in the Cheshire County league.


    The UniBond Premier attendances data have been updated by Terry Rowley and can be found here.


    Ashton United report that "Midfielder Gareth Morris became the third player to depart Hurst Cross recently when he was transferred for a fee at lunch-time today to Droylsden. Gareth was our longest-serving player, having moved into our senior squad from our Reserve team in May '99. All told, he made 130 appearances (22 as substitute) and scored 23 goals".


    Since he took over as manager at Witton Albion, ex-Alty player John Davison has tasted success in every game. On Sunday they trounced Nelson 7-0 in the FA Cup 1QR. Also on the local front Rossendale United "have parted company with team manager Jimmy McBride".
    14 September 2003


    Dean Greygoose's Sudbury will appear on Football Focus after he saved a penalty in their 9-0 win over Berkhamsted. Sudbury now assume the role of Focus's "team to follow" in this year's FA Cup. The following ex-Alty men were amongst those in action yesterday: Danny Adams (Macc), Stuart Coburn (Leigh), Andy Lovelock (Solihull), Stuart Walker (Flixton), Steve Hawes (Worksop) Ged Kielty, Terry Bowker (both Stalybridge) and Chris Timons (Gainsboro'). Neil Murphy was a sub for Marine. In Wales, Marc Lloyd-Williams and John Toner scored for Aberystwyth Town and TNS respectively whilst Marc Limbert netted for Rhyl. Otis Thomas hit two for Nantwich and Craig Skelton scored for Blyth as did James Glendenning for Droylsden, with Carl Furlong and Adam Farley in the same side.

    Simon Woodford and Nathan Comley-Excell were team-mates in Salford City's FA Cup exit on Saturday. Ryan Hevicon has surfaced at East Manchester, playing alongside Darren Lyons.

    The Pink has an article on John Davison, whose rivals for the Witton managerial post allegedly included Mark Ward.


    Stalybridge Celtic, whom we meet on Tuesday in the CSC, had two players injured yesterday; Kevin Parr was stretchered off with a knee injury and Dave German has a suspected fractured cheekbone.
    13 September 2003


  • Match report

    IMAGE 03emlgol.jpg ARCHIVED. Right: Mark Wilson (furthest right) nets Emley's second but,as the home fans celebrate, Graham Heathcote, Mark Maddox and Richard Acton look on in a less happy frame of mind (foreground, all in white).


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


    Last night Altrincham signed Michael Reynolds (d.o.b. 19/6/74) the former Emley forward. Michael was sold by Emley to Ayr United for £60,000 in 1999 before returning to the Yorkshire club in September 2001. He was most recently reported to have joined Droylsden.


    Altrincham have made 7 or 8 new signings in the past fortnight. These comprise 3 former Alty youth players (Paul Glynn, Greg Byrne and Mark Griffiths) plus Nick Welton, Danny Hooper, Ashley Timms, loan keeper Dave McCarthy and a new striker who may join us this weekend. For profiles, see the Squad Page. For their part, Emley "could have three new men... against the Robins. Former Frickley Athletic man Nigel Henstock, a right-sided midfielder, could earn first his start after coming on as substitute against Ashton United and Gainsborough, while Chris Dolby and Adam Muller have arrived on-loan from rivals Alfreton Town and Worksop Town respectively", reports NL Daily. Dolby is a left winger who rejoined Alfreton from Bradford Park Avenue in early 2001. He had spells with Rotherham United and Bradford City, as well as Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United. Dolby played the last 9 minutes against us for Alfreton on the opening day of this season.


    The NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow's Ian Arnold will return to his side's squad today after work commitments have kept him out so far this season.

    IC Newcastle reports that Blyth Spartans' injury crisis saw "defender Michael Laws used as an emergency striker in the 2-1 defeat at Harrogate", but he "could keep his role up front... 'Apart from scoring our goal, his all-round display was a great example to the rest of the lads'", said manager Paul Baker.

    Another side on a poor run is Southport and manager Mike Walsh told IC Liverpool: "The wheels have come off the track and I was embarrassed by our Runcorn performance... I've never seen so many heads drop, I think players have to come to terms with the Unibond. Teams play deep at Haig Avenue and they clear the ball out to their strikers. They hit us on the break... Good players are looking poor".

    Lancaster Today reports that the Dolly Blues' "boss Phil Wilson says he may need to sign extra defensive cover after discovering centre-half John Robertson will be out for several weeks with the injury he suffered on Tuesday night". Also doubtful are skipper Gary Bauress and on-loan striker Robert Pell, whilst goalkeeper Kevin Welsby faces a suspension after being sent off on Saturday as does Robertson, dismissed at Burscough. Referring to the latter dismissal, Wilson said "That's the third sending off we've had this season and every one has been a reaction to something that's been done to us". Alty's league game with Lancaster on Tuesday has been postponed to make way for our CSC clash with Stalybridge at Moss Lane instead.

    Burscough have signed Lee Hardy (ex-Macclesfield and Hucknall Town) from Leigh RMI, Paul Howarth from Accrington Stanley and Adam Lucas on a loan deal from Leigh RMI.

    The Northern Echo says that "Spennymoor United are hoping to sign former Darlington midfielder Phil Brumwell in time for Saturday's away game at Stalybridge Celtic. Moors' boss Tony Lee said: "Phil should be able to give us some experience in the midfield. The youngsters in there need some help". Brumwell had a spell at Blyth last season".

    12 September 2003


    Dave McCarthy may be fit to play in goal for Alty tomorrow and there may also be another signing, a striker, by then.


    Our next opponents, Wakefield & Emley lost again on Tuesday, with Danny Day missing from their side. As well as changing their manager since last season - Ian Banks has taken over from Ronnie Glavin - they have lost Simeon Bambrook to Worksop, Lincoln Adams to Ashton, Ryan Crossley to BPA and Michael Reynolds to Droylsden. Arriving at Belle Vue are Sean Hazeldean from Newtown, Danny Clapham from Huddersfield Town, Scott Bairstow from Farsley Celtic, Kris Bowler from Rotherham United and keeper Andy Carney from Ossett Albion.

    Alty's matches against Emley have yielded nothing in recent years with away defeats 1-3 (2000-01) and 1-2 (in 01/02 and 02/03) together with home defeats too in all three seasons. On a happier note, Alty beat Emley 7-1 in 1998 and clinched the UniBond title 1-0 against the Yorkshiremen in 1999.


    Alty travel to Radciffe on 30 September. Their website quotes manager Kevin Glendon: "In all of the games so far (except Stalybridge)... I have been disappointed with the standard of football. I have looked at how some of the teams have set their stall out so far and the way they have played and found it very ordinary and more to the point very direct... Whilst I would like to win as much as anyone else, I also want to win in what I believe is the right style".

    The NW Evening Mail claims that Barrow manager Lee Turnbull is hoping to sign Morecambe's Wayne Curtis on loan. Curtis has lost his place in the first team at Christie Park.

    This is Lincs reports that Gainsborough have signed "Alex Mortimer (20) who has spent four years at Leicester City, and has also had a spell with Shrewsbury. During the summer, the left-sided player was given a trial by Leeds United and travelled with Peter Reid's side to Ireland for a pre-season tournament".