Altrincham Football Club News Archive
20 to 26 September, 2003

26 September continued


Speaking of the game, Graham Heathcote told SAM, "Anyone who says that is not a creditable draw against one of the league's better sides is just being narrow-sighted".


SAM reports that "Altrincham FC's centenary dinner raised more than £20,000 for the cash-strapped club". Those present included ex-managers such as Tony Sanders and Tommy Docherty, ex-players such as Jackie Swindells, Mike Farrelly and John Hughes and former chairmen including Noel White, Gerry Berman and Mark Harris. The guest speaker was Jack Charlton, accompanied by Duncan McKenzie, who ran an auction at which two Real Madrid shirts, provided by Dave Gardner went for £3,000 each. Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin told SAM, "I'm over the moon, the dinner was a fantastic success". The profit of £21,500 will be used to help pay off the club's VAT and income tax debts.


"Mossley have signed 20 year old former Torquay United and Altrincham goalkeeper Nick Stephens (left) to compete with Phil Melville and Jean-Paul Ndjebayi for the Mossley number 1 shirt", says Mossleyweb. Nick played the first 3 games of last season for Altrincham. Matty McNeil scored against Bernard Taylor's Kidsgrove Athletic on Tuesday as Hyde United won 2-1, away. Leroy Chambers was carried off in Saturday's Droylsden game with Blyth.


Alfreton report that "The club regret that the official forum has been closed down indefinitely, pending possible legal proceedings, following serious misuse and abuse".


Alfreton's Ryan France has now signed for Hull City for £15,000 plus sell-on clauses.

On Wednesday Worksop defender Mark Haran was seriously injured as he collided with his own keeper in the game against Whitby; in the melee Whitby scored but the game was then abandoned. Thankfully Haran was reportedly to be released from hospital yesterday, after suffering concussion.

Marine's Rossett Park is to be inspected by directors of the Conference in early October and final tidying up will take place this weekend.

"It is a ridiculous run, six games at home without a win, and once again poor defending has let us down badly," said Bradford boss Trevor Storton on This is Bradford after def eat by Stalybridge last Saturday. "We have a back four all six feet plus and we can't deal with crosses into the box or protect our keeper", he added.

Hucknall Today says that Hucknall's former England non-league captain and midfielder "Gary Patterson, who has not kicked a ball in anger since signing for Town, faces an operation on his knee-injury, followed by a long absence".

25 September 2003


Man. Utd Reserves take on Bolton Wanderers Reserves tonight at Moss Lane. Kick off is at 7pm and entry is £2 (£1 for concessionaries). Above, United's keeper Ben Williams, now on loan at Altrincham, moves off his line to stem a Sunderland attack on 4 September at Moss Lane.


Click the Through the Years link for details of previous Alty games on Saturday's date (27 September), when we travel to Lancaster.

Lancaster beat Radcliffe 4-2 on Tuesday. We meet these two sides in our next two matches, both away. Ex-Moss Laner Dickie Landon played for Radcliffe on Tuesday, who had only ten fit players in their squad, but his ex-Alty team-mate Neill Hardy as well as Kelly, Margeson, Elliott and Sampson were all out, injured. The Radcliffe site said that "this game started like most of the previous games this season. Radcliffe were on top for the bulk of the first 15 minutes but were unable to open the scoring" - Boro' have now lost three games in succession, whereas Lancaster are reviving after a dreadful start to the campaign.


The Southport site reports that manager "Mike Walsh held talks with experienced defender Barry Jones before Tuesday night's fixture with Altrincham and told the player his name will be circulated making him available for transfer. Former York and Wrexham defender Jones [is] in his third season at Haig Avenue". The site's excellent match report rightly describes the Alty game as "an action packed evening".


Ex-Alty man Tony Hemmings got Alfreton's first goal on Tuesday as they beat Ashton 5-0. The same night, Stuart Coburn was recalled to Leigh RMI's goal after being dropped last Saturday.


Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley has explained Ryan France's absence from the side's last games, saying that the "Club have agreed with Hull City terms of a deal for Ryan which will easily be the best deal the club has ever seen. With negotiations all but finalised, it would have been foolish to risk playing him, particularly at Spennymoor who had a few scores to settle with us after us pipping them to the championship last season". The UniBond League site says that "it is understood the package includes not one, but two sell-on clauses... Hull are currently... managed by former England Under-21 manager Peter Taylor". Taylor, it will be recalled, signed up Alty's Kevin Ellison to Leicester City a couple of years ago.

Leek Town have taken striker James Tevendale on a month's loan from Hucknall Town after the 20 year-old failed to secure a regular place following his May 2003 arrival from Stocksbridge PS. Former Spennymoor assistant manager Jason Ainsley has returned to the club as a player from Durham City.

Other moves:

  • Steven Pickles from Halifax Town and James Russell from Eccleshill United have joined Bradford PA.
    24 September 2003


    The Whitby site reports: "Tonight's home game against Worksop Town was abandoned after 35 minutes due to a serious injury to one of the Tigers' players [Mark Haran]. He clashed with his own keeper and lay prone on the ground with what appeared to be a neck injury. Whitby were 1-0 up at the time, but that's irrelevant".


    Seen above, most of the floodlights failed at Haig Avenue just six minutes after kick-off causing the players to leave the pitch and a delay of 44 minutes before a sub-station fault was rectified and the match could resume.

    Match report here.

    It was Alty's seventh draw in ten league matches this season and they dropped to second bottom in the League table.

  • Alfreton T. 5 Ashton U. 0
  • Barrow 1 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Blyth S. 0 Bradford PA 0
  • Frickley A. 0 Gainsborough T. 0
  • Harrogate T. 3 Spennymoor U. 1
  • Lancaster C. 4 Radcliffe B. 2
  • Southport 2 ALTRINCHAM 2
  • Stalybridge C. 1 Hucknall T. 2
  • Vauxhall M. 3 Burscough 2
  • Wakefield & Emley 0 Droylsden 2
  • Marine - No Game
    23 September 2003


    The Southport Visiter reports that Tony Hallam has been "added to the squad for [tonight's] Unibond fixture v. Altrincham. Morecambe’s Jim Harvey has agreed to the 20 year-old ex-Preston trainee joining the 'Port in a short term agreement... Mike Walsh said 'Tony impressed in our pre-season matches before joining Morecambe and I have been looking to bring in a central defender, Tony fits the bill'".

    After defeat at Worksop, 'Port manager Mike Walsh said, "It's difficult to test the keeper when they put ten behind the ball on a tight pitch. We had no space to play, we put Ashy (Lee Ashcroft) wide left late on and I was insisting we hugged the touchlines in the second-half. That is the way to break it down and put some quality balls into the box".

    As previously reported, Southport captain Steve Soley is likely to be out tonight with a hamstring problem but Paul Byrne and Danny Stone may figure whilst "Ex-Preston North End star Graeme Atkinson is poised for a home debut". The sides last met at Haig Avenue in the Conference in 2000 when Southport won more comfortably than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.

    For Alty team news, see news for 22 September, below.


    The Runcorn FC Halton reports that "Dominic Morley, Runcorn's captain, has had a serious accident and all at the club wish him and his family well, and we trust that all the fans will join us in hoping for his speedy recovery". All at Altrincham echo these good wishes for Dominic, who formerly played for Droylsden.
    22 September 2003


    Ben Williams will become the fifth keeper used by Altrincham in the last seven games when he plays tomorrow at Southport. The on-loan Man. Utd reserve takes over from Dave McCarthy, himself on loan to Alty from Worksop. Graham Heathcote has reached an amicable agreement with Dave and his club to play Williams, as he needs to have a game before the FA Cup tie next Saturday for which McCarthy is unavailable anyway. (The other four keepers used were Acton, Adams [as a sub], McCarthy, Timms. For the record our Youth team has also used four keepers to date - Allman, Walker, Timms and Read!).

    Jason van Blerk has now agreed terms with Altrincham after signing registration forms last Friday.

    Michael Reynolds (achilles) and Gary Scott (hamstring) have slight injuries but will be available tomorrow. However, Mark Maddox is unlikely to be fit.


    The Altrincham FC Centenary Dinner last night was apparently a great success; more on this later.


    September 30th is the closing date for the fundraising Goal Rush competition. A prize of £100 is on offer if you can predict the top scoring Premiership and Football League sides. Entry is just £5 for the month of October; application form here.


    Altrincham & District FA Youth unluckily lost on Sunday to a goal scored in the third minute of added time after they were reduced to nine men for the second half following an incident just before the interval which also saw a Chester player dismissed. Andy Thorpe (pictured right) headed Altrincham's first goal and Kieran Lugsden netted the second to put Alty 2-1 up after 50 minutes before a penalty levelled the scores. Report and picture in the Youth section.


    Alty meet Radcliffe Borough on 30 September. Kevin Glendon, their manager, told their website "I am finding it very hard to accept that we have lost five games so far this season, as I honestly believe we have not deserved five defeats and I really feel we are not getting the results our football deserves... We will continue to try and both entertain and win... If you have any genuine questions that you want answering then please register and ask me rather than hide behind a guest name".


    In the Cheshire Senior Cup 1st Round, most of the League teams have been put out of the competition. Woodley Sports beat Stockport County 1-0, Congleton beat Chester City 5-4 and Witton defeated Macclesfield 1-0. However, Crewe won 5-0 at Hyde. Also left in the competition are Vauxhall Motors, Nantwich Town, Stalybridge Celtic and either Tranmere Rovers or Northwich Vics, who meet on 1st October.


    The Harrogate unofficial website anounces that "Following an approach from Harrogate Town, is delighted to announce that as from Sunday 21 September 2003 we have agreed to become the club's official website. was first launched as an unofficial site nearly 2 years ago. Since then the site has grown from having a few visitors each day, to thousands every month".
    21 September 2003


    Graham Heathcote defends Alty captain, Rod Thornley (left), in today's Pink, saying "How is he going to get fit if I don't play him?" Referring to Altrincham's low league position Graham says, "I've done a lot of soul-searching and without wishing to sound conceited, if I felt it was me who was the problem, I'd do something about it. People have got to realise the difficulties of managing Altrincham in the club's current financial position.... I know the lads are right behind me as are a lot of other people here. If I thought they weren't, I'd be big enough to fall on my sword. I'm touched by the players' support, they know that.. I certainly believe in them, that's for sure. They might have let themselves down once or twice recently but we're still only a couple of wins away from where we want to be and I know they are good enough to do the job we're asking".

    In the NLP Graham is quoted over the release of "veteran midfielder Paul Robinson [i.e. Robertson]", as saying "You cannot afford squads of 21 or 22 players at this level".


    Alty travel to Haig Avenue on Tuesday. The Southport official site says that "Mike Walsh with the FA Cup in mind has signed 25 year old ex-Rossendale goalkeeper Michael Kinsella as cover for Steve Dickinson" and he has "described Mark Wright's permission to allow on loan Deva striker Mark Beesley to play in next weekends FA Cup tie with Vauxhall as a 'terrific gesture'". Southport have also signed "former Preston North End left sided player Graeme Atkinson... His last club being Spennymoor". The same site previews "the visit of traditional rivals Altrincham at Haig Avenue on Tuesday night. Altrincham have had a stuttering start to their season but Port supporters know the Robins can never be underestimated". 'Port captain Steve Soley failed to complete yesterday's game after returning from injury


    Next Saturday we travel to Lancaster for the FA Cup 2QR. Lancaster drew today with Worksop whose official site describes our Cup opponents as "the fast improving Lancaster City team". Off the field at Worksop, "Thieves have broken in to the Club for the fifth time in three weeks, which more than disappoints the owner, Howard Raymond. The thieves have taken a number of major items from the club including sofas, computer, fridge/freezer".

    Blyth Spartans report that "As far as suitablity for the Conference North is concerned, the biggest problem is that by April 2005 we would need to have a stand with 500 seats. This was not in the original ground criteria and is not necessary for entry to the league next season... Other requirements for the Conference North are five turnstiles, a first aid room and a larger press box but we do not think any of these will be a problem. We will be having the new floodlights tested in the next couple of weeks"

    The Liverpool Echo quotes bottom of the table Burscough's manager Mike Marsh as saying, "I have had a chat with the Chairman this week and he has given me his full backing. He has been in football long enough to know the situation. He comes down to see us training every Tuesday and Thursday and he sees a bigger crowd in the treatment room than he does in the stands, so he understands we are having a difficult time".


  • Richard Tracey & David Donaldson (Bradford PA to Ossett T.)
  • Clint Marcelle (Stevenage Borough to Ossett T.)
  • Blake Norton (Stalybridge C. to Trafford)


    Stuart Walker was in Flixton's side yesterday in NW Counties Two, whilst Adewale Ajetunmobi scored for Kendal Town, whom we may meet in the Trophy if they beat Gateshead. Mark Quayle hit two penalties for Scarborough. Stuart Coburn was only on the bench for Leigh RMI. Ex-Alty Reserve Sammy Baker has joined Abbey Hey.

    Dean Greygoose was runner-up to James Curley of Oldham Town in The FA Cup Player of the Round awards.

    Simon Woodford scored for Salford City yesterday. Paul Ellender (Boston), Chris Timons (Gainsboro'), Niell Hardy & Dickie Landon (Radcliffe), Stuart Terry (Connah's Quay), John Toner (TNS), Marc Limbert (Rhyl), Leroy Chambers & Adam Farley (Droylsden), Danny Adams (Macc.), Ged Kielty & Terry Bowker (Stalybridge), Tony Sullivan (Lancaster) all played or were subs yesterday. Vernum Rowland has now signed for Nantwich Town, where he has been playing since last season.

    20 September 2003


    Last night's informative Fans' Forum at Moss Lane ranged over topics which included club finances, team performance, new signings and a possible departure. Click here for a fuller report.


    Match report here.


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


    Nicky Daws has moved on a one month loan to Grimsby from Rotherham United. Alty Safety Officer (and referee) Phil Taylor informs me that one of the Assistant Referees at Thursday's MUFC Reserve fixture at Moss Lane was Andy Newell, who played in goal for Altrincham in the early 1990s. More recent Alty keeper Stuart Coburn is likely to be dropped by Leigh RMI today, even though his manager told the MEN that Stuart "has done little wrong". Anthony Hargreaves has moved from Woodley Sports to Chorley. Neil Ryan is expected to join former manager Bernard Taylor at Kidsgrove Athletic over the weekend.


  • Simon Parke (Halifax T. to Harrogate T.)
  • Paul Wheatcroft (Oldham A. to Stalybridge C.)
  • Ross Clegg (Witton A. Stalybridge C.)
  • Niall McNamara (Lincoln C. on loan to Alfreton T.)
  • Robert O'Brien (Doncaster R. on loan to Gainsborough T.)
  • Mark O'Connor (Formby to Lancaster C.)
  • Martin James (Bradford PA to Chorley)