Altrincham Football Club News Archive
26 September (cont'd) to 3 October, 2003

3 October 2003


On Saturday, Alty meet Blyth on whose official web site manager Paul Baker says, "We have got to take each game as it comes and we have to start to putting together a string of results to take us up the table... The search goes on as I look to strengthen the squad, this will enable me to have a varied selection of players, as the season itself has a very long way to go and I will need a healthy batch to choose from".


"Fallen giants Altrincham were the latest victims of bubbling Lancaster City on Saturday - dumped unceremoniously out of the FA Cup", says This is Lancashire. However, "The Dolly Blues made a slow start and looked distinctly second best against the well-drilled Cheshire side, once known as the Manchester United of non-league football, in the early stages". When Tony Sullivan came on "He went up front alongside Jamie Hughes and the injection of extra pace unsettled the visitors to such an extent that chances immediately began to fall Lancaster's way".


At Moss Lane last night (Thursday) Man. Utd Reserves beat Birmingham City Res. 3-1. Birmingham included Jeff Kenna, Stern John and Clinton Morrison in their side.


Hucknall Today says that "Having pumped so much money into rebuilding the team, Hucknall were desperate to drag some back through FA Cup prize money" - but they got knocked out by Congleton. However, "There is no suggestion that Hucknall's exit means they will have to impose financial cutbacks... Indeed [chairman] Holmes has granted [manager] Burr permission to strengthen his squad in the light of Tuesday's defeat and a bid to sign experienced Doncaster Rovers centre-half Barry Miller (27) was being made yesterday. An approach was also made to snap up the player who starred for Congleton over the two FA Cup ties, defender Chris Burke". Against Congleton "extra-time... opened disastrously. Congleton substitute [ex-Alty] Andy Tunnicliffe (right) shaped to cross from the left but a miscue sent the ball looping over Nelson into the far corner of the net. It proved to be a most fortuitous winner".


In the Cheshire Senior Cup Northwich, under new boss, Alvin McDonald from Vauxhall Motors, beat Tranmere Rovers 3-1 a.e.t. this week. Rovers scored first when ex-Alty striker Alex Hay set up a goal. Crewe are the only League team left in the CSC, along with Congleton, Nantwich, Stalybridge, Vauxhall, Witton, Woodley and Northwich.


Droylsden's former Mossley striker, Ciaran Kilheeney, broke his leg on Tuesday against Burscough.
2 October 2003


Altrincham Youth's FA Youth Cup 1st Round Proper match away to Barnsley has been set for Monday 13 October at 7.45pm. Barnsley Youth were only knocked out in the 4th Round last season when their conquerors were Middlesbrough, who reached the Final where they lost to Man. Utd. Alty Youth, however, have an honourable record against league opposition and hopefully they will bring a good body of supporters from Moss Lane to cheer them on. Altrincham last reached Round One two years ago, when they lost narrowly at Wrexham.


The Club has confirmed that there will not be a rearranged Altrincham league fixture on Saturday 11 October, which is now blank following our dismissal from the FA Cup. However, there may be an away friendly game instead. Also, as regards the rearranged game on 3 November against Ashton United (see below), this match will be subject to there not being an FA Trophy replay needed after our tie on 1 November at either Kendal Town or Gateshead, who meet this weekend.


The UniBond League reports that "After Burscough's FA Cup defeat to Droylsden, Mike Marsh unexpectedly informed the club and players that he was quitting the club. Stan Strickland, Director of Burscough said, 'It was Marsh's decision alone, he was under no pressure from the club to resign. In fact he (Marsh) was full of praise for the support he has received from the club, particularly [from] Chairman Frank Parr and Director of Football Rod Cottom. The club are disappointed as they felt performances were beginning to improve and players gradually returning from injury to strengthen their squad'".

Burscough are currently bottom of the table.


Manchester United Reserves host Birmingham City Reserves tonight at Moss Lane. Kick off is 7pm and entry is £2, (£1 for concessionaries).


With this victory on Tuesday, Alty Youth landed an away tie in the FA Youth Cup at Barnsley's Oakwell Stadium. Match report here.


After four consecutive away league games, Alty now have two at home, both to North East sides. On Saturday Blyth Spartans are the visitors and on Tuesday it is Spennymoor United. Blyth lie 18th with the same points as us from two more games. The Moors lie sixth with 6 more points than us from one extra game.


In last night's FAC2QR replay, Northern League Shildon beat Frickley Athletic 5-1 in front of a crowd of more than 600.

The UniBond "Club of the Month" is Worksop Town, who were undefeated in September.

Stalybridge report the signing of former Stockport County defender Lee Todd (31), who has also been at Mossley.

1 October 2003


Jon Stack of STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, announces:

We have a winner!

I can confirm that £1500 was the winning bid in the Alty squad place auction...fantastic!

The person taking up the prize is Andrew Riley, aged 21. He is an ex Manchester City youth player for 3 years between the ages of 13 and 16 and plays Saturday and Sunday League in Eccles. He lives in Monton with his girlfriend Danielle Goodwin (the Chairman's Daughter), and can now take up his place in the Alty squad! Best wishes to Andrew... we hope he enjoys the experience!

Alty fans may recall that our injured midfielder Sean Smith also came to us from Eccles Sunday league football.


Last night was a good night for the two Altrincham teams in action, as they both recorded 3-1 wins. The first team were playing at Radcliffe, where a fine goal by Rod Thornley put them ahead (35 mins) before Barry Shuttleworth (left) netted, following good work by Dave Gardner and Ian Craney on the right, just before the interval. Gardner converted Thornley's pass to make it 3-0 just after the break, with Radcliffe replying very late on, through a well-taken Banim goal. Alty moved up to 16th in the table.

The Youth team booked a trip to Oakwell (Barnsley) in winning their FA Youth Cup match against Hallam, with first half goals by Steve Lunt and Kelvin Lugsden and a second half strike by Kieran Lugsden (right). For Hallam, Mawforth pulled a goal back with a 35-yard screamer that gave Ashley Timms no chance on 66 minutes. The Alty keeper had saved a penalty a few minutes earlier. Match report here.


The UniBond League has anounced that the Man. Utd v Glasgow Rangers match on 4 November, "is the reason for the Altrincham and Ashton United management deciding to bring their fixture at Moss Rose (!!! i.e. Lane) forward 24 hours. With Manchester United entertaining Glasgow Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday 4th November, the UniBond clubs see the traffic congestion in the Trafford area plus the game live on TV as detrimental to gate receipts if played on the scheduled date". So the game will now be on Monday 3 November.


Following Bernard Taylor's resignation from Kidsgrove, his assistant Stan Allan, another former Altrincham manager, has taken temporary charge till new boss John Ramshaw assumes control. Ramshaw brought Hucknall into the UniBond and recently managed Leek Town. Bernard "had intimated he felt it would be in the best interests of all concerned if the club had a manager from the locality and this combined with the lack of success since he took over led Taylor to his decision", says the UniBond site.


The Non-League Daily confirms that "Alvin McDonald has bid farewell to Vauxhall Motors after accepting an offer to take over as manager of Northwich Victoria". McDonald said "I have had 5 great years there and I didn't particularly want to leave, but this is a great chance for me to manage at the highest level in non-League. I'm 53 now and it was a challenge I couldn't turn down". Vics next game is at home to Accrington, opposition he will know well.

"Taking charge of team affairs [at Vauxhall] is a former manager of the club Paul Rowlands who has been helping out recently with the second string", says the UniBond League site. The UniBond site is offering all visitors a free cd-rom, from their sponsors Henkel. It covers DIY jobs about the house and is presented by the BBC TV Changing Rooms team.


  • Daniel Burgess (Wilmington Hammerheads, USA to Barrow)
  • Daniel Connell (Accrington to Burscough, loan extended)
  • Matty Woods (Stalybridge C. to Rossendale U.)
  • Lee Furlong (Ex Marine to Witton A.)
    30 September 2003


    Ex-Alty players Andy Tunnicliffe (Congleton) and Tony Hemmings (Alfreton) scored their club's winners tonight.


  • Alfreton T. 2 Wakefield & Emley 1
  • Blyth S. 1 Whitby T. 1
  • Radcliffe Borough 1 ALTRINCHAM 3
  • Runcorn FC Halton 0 Marine 2
  • Southport 1 Barrow 1


  • Burscough 1 Droylsden 2 aet
  • Congleton T. 3 Hucknall T. 2 aet
  • Kings Lynn 1 Worksop T. 4
  • Stalybridge C. 3 Guisborough T. 1



  • Shildon v Frickley A.


    The Kidsgrove website says that former Altrincham boss "Bernard Taylor has resigned as manager of Kidsgrove Athletic. Former Leek Town manager John Ramshaw has been appointed as his successor. Having joined the club in March 2003, Taylor was in charge for 19 games, with a record of 5 wins, 4 draws and 9 losses. More details will follow when available."


    Midland Alliance side Rushall Olympic have re-signed 29 year-old ex-Alty striker Keith Russell, who has been out of the game for a season with injury. Keith left Alty at the end of June 2000 for Hednesford on a free transfer and since then he has been at Pelsall Villa in addition to a previous spell with Rushall (from Oct. 2001). Keith, still Alty's most expensive ever signing, hit 33 goals for Altrincham in 72+13 appearances but most of these came in 1997-98 on his arrival from Blackpool when he hit 20 goals in 19 starts. Keith had originally left Hednesford Town to join Blackpool in March 1997 but made only one first-team appearance there, due to injury. Right: Keith is pictured with Simeon Hodson.


    Altrincham's match at Radcliffe tonight seems to be guaranteed some goals. Radcliffe are the only UniBond Premier side not to keep a clean sheet this season whilst Alty have not done so either since the opening day of the season. Alty will be hoping that any goals do not come from ex-Robins' strikers Dickie Landon and Niell Hardy, both now at Radcliffe.

    Borough have lost their last three league games. Alty have 10 points from the first 10 games which, coincidentally, is the same haul from 10 games both as last season, when we ended 14th, and as in 1998/99 when we actually went on to win the UniBond championship!

    This is Lancs says about Boro's game last Tuesday that "Sloppy Radcliffe have their cross to bear... not for the first time this season, Boro's vulnerability to crosses was exploited to the full as Vauxhall Motors snatched two late goals. One goal up with ten minutes to go, Boro looked set for all three points but some naive defending allowed the Motor Men back".

    Click on the Through the Years link above for Howard Watts's record of previous Alty games on 30 September. Alty fans will be hoping for better luck than on the last time we had a game on that date, 30 September 2000, when we lost 0-3 at home to Mossley in the FA Cup.


    When you come to Moss Lane you can now dispose of your paper and glass rubbish at the new recycling centre organised by STAR behind the Popular Side near the foot of the foot of the communications pylon. STAR will receive an annual fee for overseeing the site and this will be passed to the Club.


    Ex-Alty defender Mark Ogley, now 36 and assistant manager of Belper Town in the UniBond First, has signed playing forms at the injury-hit Derbyshire club. Mark also works for the Youth Academy at Barnsley who are the opponents of whoever wins tonight's FA Youth Cup match at Moss Lane between Altrincham and Hallam, (7.45pm, £3 adults, £1 concessionaries).


    Vauxhall Motors' manager Alvin McDonald is in talks with Northwich about their vacant manager's post, according to this morning's press.

    Former Colwyn Bay striker Deiniol Graham has signed for Welsh Premier club Rhyl after leaving Ken McKenna's TNS.

    Hucknall have transfer listed midfielder Paul Mitchell.

    29 September 2003



  • Hyde U. 1 Ashton U. 2


    "Following a run of poor results culminating in the club's FA Cup exit it is with regret that Southport Football Club have agreed to mutually terminate the contract of manager Mike Walsh with immediate effect", says a Southport Football Club statement on the UniBond site. Chairman Charlie Clapham added, "With Mike Walsh it simply has not worked. We were in deep trouble when he arrived and those problems sadly were not arrested. Managers are judged on results. At the start of the season we said coming second was not acceptable. Therefore our current position and cup exit made change inevitable... Tony Hesketh will act in a caretaker capacity... I will await applications for the post as manager". Southport topped the table at the start of the season!

    Also, Steve Walsh has resigned as manager of Northwich Vics, second from bottom of the Conference.


  • Chorley v Lancaster City
  • Ashton Utd v Barrow
  • Bridlington T/Farsley C. v Worksop T./King's Lynn
  • Redditch Utd/Shirebrook T. v Frickley A./Shildon
  • Nuneaton B. v Runcorn FC Halton
  • Gedling T. v Guisborough T/Stalybridge Celtic
  • Marine v Dunston F./Fleetwood T.
  • Blyth S. v Halesowen T.
  • Bradford PA v Vauxhall M.
  • Warrington T. v Whitby T.
  • Wakefield & Emley v Hinckley U.
  • Droyslden/Burscough v Gainsborough T.
  • Buxton v Radcliffe B.
  • Hucknall T./Congleton T. v Bromsgrove R.


    Andy Tunnicliffe (right), who left Alty at the start of this season, made his debut for Congleton Town in Saturday's FA Cup draw at Hucknall. Also in the team was another ex-Alty man, David Wills.


    Radcliffe Borough had Simon Kelly and Neill Hardy back on Saturday but Chris Denham is carrying a hamstring injury.

    Southports's website says that their loan striker from Chester, Mark Beesley, "refuses to play in [Saturday's] FA Cup tie at Vauxhall" for fear of being cup-tied.

    28 September 2003


    Altrincham Youth beat Ashton Athletic today 2-1 in a league match. The goals came from Steve Lunt and Luke Killeen. Pictures and report on the Youth Page.


    Yesterday's defeat at Lancaster City (see below for match report link) was the third time in the last six seasons that Alty have bowed out in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. In 1998 we lost 0-1 at Ashton United and in 2000 at home 0-3 to Mossley. We also went out at the first hurdle in 1999 but that was in the 4th Qualifying Round as we were in the Conference then. Alty's full FA Cup record is here.


    Alty Youth entertain Ashton Athletic at Wythenshawe Town (Timpson Rd) today (2pm). For details of the six youth players called up by Cheshire FA, see the Youth Page.

    Alty Youth play Hallam in the FA Youth Cup 3QR on Tuesday at Moss Lane, k.o. 7.45pm. If you are unable to get to Radcliffe the same night to support the first team, then please support the Youth team instead. The winners of the Youth match have a plum tie away at Barnsley in the next round.


    The Pink has an article on Alty's new signings, Jason van Blerk (right) and Ben Williams. It also reports on Altrincham's successful centennial dinner held last Sunday.


    Rob Matthews, released by Alty last week, scored twice for Mossley yesterday. Mike Turner equalised for Trafford against Stone Dominoes and Ryan Hevicon scored for East Manchester. After signing UniBond forms for Chorley, ex-Alty striker Anthony Hargreaves has joined Ramsbottom from Woodley Sports, reports This is Lancs.

    In the Conference, Mark Quayle (Scarboro'), Stuart Coburn (Leigh) played yesterday, whilst in the League, ex-Alty players in action yesterday included Andy Dibble and Paul Edwards (Wrexham), Danny Adams (Macc.), Nicky Daws (Grimsby), Paul Ellender (Boston) and Mike Pollitt (Rotherham).


    The NLP reports that Conference attendances are up by 330 on average per game this season to 1,950. It also reports that Ryman and Dr Martens gates are at least "solid" but "less encouraging are the numbers from the UniBond". Even yesterday's Vauxhall v Southport FA Cup clash drew fewer than 500 people.

    Runcorn's Dominic Morley's serious injuries, reported last week, turn out to be internal ones and they were suffered when he fell off scaffolding at work. Burscough's FA Trophy-winning goalkeeper Matt Taylor has now joined Matlock Town from Rossendale United.

    27 September 2003


    In contrast to their performance at Southport last Tuesday and to their last FA Cup visit to the Giant Axe, Altrincham went out of the FA Cup in disappointing fashion at Lancaster City this afternoon. City had the better of a fairly undistinguished first half but took the lead after 67 minutes when Alty keeper Williams saved well from Sullivan but Hughes's stooping header at the back post despatched the rebound. It was former Alty man Sullivan who finished off Alty when he converted Hughes's pass, from close range (82 mins). Not even the return of Mark Maddox could alter the result- Mark is seen in action, right, today, against the backdrop of the Lancaster Castle area. Match report here.

    Other FAC2QR ties for UniBond Premier clubs:

  • Ashton Utd 1 Hyde Utd 1
  • Barrow 2 Harrogate T 0
  • Blyth Spartans 3 Bamber Bridge 0
  • Chester-le-Street 0 Bradford PA 2
  • Droylsden 2 Burscough 2
  • Frickley Ath 0 Shildon 0
  • Gainsborough T. 6 Skelmersdale Utd 0
  • Gedling T 1 Alfreton T 0
  • Guisborough T 2 Stalybridge Celtic 2
  • Hucknall T 1 Congleton T 1
  • Marine 3 Rossendale Utd 1
  • Radcliffe B 2 Oldham T 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 3 Guiseley 0
  • Spennymoor Utd 0 Warrington T 2
  • Vauxhall Motors 3 Southport 1
  • Whitby T 3 Winsford Utd 0
  • Witton Alb 0 Wakefield & Emley 1
  • Worksop T 2 King's Lynn 2


    Alan Johnson was kept busy with his camera at the Altrincham FC Centenary Dinner last weekend and he has now put dozens of pictures of the event on his photosite.


    With a trip to Radcliffe scheduled for Tuesday night, Altrincham fans who experienced the floodlight failure at Southport on Tuesday night will be pleased to read the following on the Borough website. "Most Boro' fans will have noticed the lack of light for our evening games over the last year or so. Good news - all bulbs have now been changed and we have a full complement in place... The bulbs have been salvaged from the old Manchester City stadium at Maine Road". Alty fans will need no reminding that Manchester United's goalposts from the European Champions' League Final of 2003 now adorn Moss Lane.

    This is Lancashire says that "Boro' boss Kevin Glendon is banking on Niell Hardy being fit for Saturday's FA Cup clash with Oldham Town... [He] missed the midweek defeat at Lancaster with flu... He should be joined by Simon Kelly and Eamonn Elliott in Saturday's line-up as Glendon's injury headache eases a little". The 4-2 loss at the Giant Axe was Boro's third defeat in seven days.


    Manchester United Reserves won Thursday's Manchester Senior Cup match at Moss Lane against Bolton Wanderers Res., 5-4 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes. Roy Carroll saved a penalty to set up United's win. Bolton had led till the last minute of normal time.


    Hucknall Today reports that "Hucknall Town will NOT gain promotion to the top division of the Nationwide Conference even if they win the Unibond League's Premier Division championship this season... Chairman Brian Holmes said 'Our licensed capacity at the moment is 1,800. We know we can get 2,500 in but the Conference stipulate that your licensed capacity has to be at least 4,000. That would mean us spending about £300,000 on new stands, new barriers and segregation etc. I would love to spend it if I knew we were going to stay at Watnall Road. But it would be crazy to spend that amount of money on a ground we might be leaving soon'. The article adds "It is well known that the owner of Town's Watnall Road ground, Bolsover Estates, is keen to remove the football club to cash in on the site for development. So far its planning applications have been rebuffed by Ashfield District Council, which insists Bolsover helps to find the football club a site for a new stadium. At present, the favourite choice for a new site would be the Rolls-Royce airfield, across Watnall Road. Neverthless Holmes said,"We want to finish in the top six and nothing else will do. But I think we are credible challengers for the championship. People are asking why we want to win it and why are we spending all this money if we can't go up. But the glory of winning the Unibond Premier would be something to achieve and we would still move on to the Northern Conference... I am delighted with Steve Burr and Peter Wragg... If they need to strengthen the side, money will be made available". Average gates at Watnall Road so far this season are up from 224 to 497. A new £75,000 social club opens on October 14 when Hucknall meet Worksop.

    The worst aspect of the serious injury to Mark Haran (Worksop) at Whitby on Wednesday is a "swelling to the cervical vertebrae", according to the UniBond site. The same source reports that Stelybridge Celtic have now lost Jerome Fitzgerald for upto a month with a hairline toe fracture. He joins long-term injured skipper Kevin Parr (knee), Dave German (cheekbone) and Danny Caldecott (knee). New signing Ross Clegg also picked up an ankle injury on his debut and Andy Heald tore his groin whilst training Thursday.


  • Jonathan Milroy (West Auckland, ex-Bishop Auckland, to Spennymoor)
  • Stuart Heeps (Droylsden to Kidsgrove A.)
    26 September 2003


    Mossleyweb confirms that Mossley have re-signed Rob Matthews who only joined Altrincham from Mossley at the start of this season. Rob made 4+4 appearances for Alty and scored once. Mossley have also signed Adie Mike the former Manchester City striker.


    Graham Heathcote has told SAM that Saturday's FA Cup tie at Lancaster is "one of those games where we can gain a double positive. It could provide the spark we are looking for in our league form and also, we have the chance to put together a good cup run".

    Phil Wilson, "the Lancaster boss, was part of the Altrincham side that beat Crewe 3-0 in a third round tie back in 1980, scoring the final goal. 'There's something special about the FA Cup, the league has to be our priority this season but it's always good to get a cup run'", Wilson told Lancaster Today. Wilson went on, "Altrincham have a proud history in the FA Cup and this is a great tie for us, they will want to win it but we have been playing well and we have plenty of confidence after recent results... Apart from one game I don't think we've played that badly all season, but maybe our luck has changed a bit". City are now unbeaten in their last four games. "Wilson may be able to welcome back two of his senior players for tomorrow's big cup game. Skipper Gary Bauress is rated as 50-50 after a groin strain kept him out for the last three games, while Steve Jones should be fit after two games out with a knee ligament problem".