Altrincham Football Club News Archive
22 to 29 October 2003

29 October 2003


Match report here.

Above: Alan Johnson's picture of a Stuart Coburn catch. For more pictures please see Alan's website.


Chairman Geoff Goodwin kindly arranged a celebration buffet last night for the Altrincham Youth Team to mark their reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup, in which they gave a good performance against Barnsley. Pictured above, some of the lads tuck in before watching the first team game against Southport last night. Pictured, clockwise, from left are Andy Thorpe, Stuart Cook, Kieran Lugsden, Adam Douthwaite, Josh Collins, Paul Breidenbach and Tom Read.


Gateshead, whom we meet on Saturday, lost to Workington last night in the ULC Cup but "midfield man Mark Rasmussen, missing for 5 weeks because of a knee injury, [got] a recall to the squad". The Heed had won their 3 previous games in succession.

The Burscough site has a match report on last Saturday's game. It sums the game up: "Altrincham’s direct approach was far more effective on the day than Burscough’s neat football which was fairly uninspired and never really threatened to penetrate a strong Altrincham defence".


Ex-Alty centre-back James Glendenning has moved to Colwyn Bay from Droylsden, where he will join another ex-Robin, Jason van Blerk. Droylsden's Alex Kevan has also joined The Bay.


Frickley Athletic "reports that it "has now changed its status to become a Limited Company. As well as fans now being able to join the club as members without fear of being held responsible for any debts, it is hoped that this will help the club with plans to redevelop Westfield Lane and may also attract more investment from local businesses".

Mark Patterson, the former Leigh manager who released Stuart Coburn, has become Chorley's new boss.

The UniBond League states that "Vauxhall Motors...have still not named a replacement for the recently departed Alvin McDonald. Senior club officials are spending the whole of Sunday interviewing a number of candidates and until an announcement is made caretaker boss Paul Rowlands [ex-Alty] continues to be in charge of team affairs".

Harrogate Town have released striker Simon Parke to Guiseley but have signed defender Kieron O’Brien from Frickley Athletic.

28 October 2003



FAC4Q Replays:

  • Gainsborough T. 3 Farsley C. 0

    UniBond Premier:

    Four matches (Burscough, Frickley, Vauxhall, Wakefield) had gates of under 200

  • Altrincham 1 Southport 0 (att 679)
  • Burscough 1 Bradford PA 1
  • Frickley A. 3 Spennymoor U. 2
  • Marine 1 Runcorn FC Halton 3
  • Stalybridge C. 0 Lancaster C. 3
  • Vauxhall M. 0 Radcliffe B. 5
  • Wakefield & Emley 0 Alfreton T. 3
  • Worksop T. 3 Ashton U. 0

    Our Trophy opponents on Saturday, Gateshead, lost 1-2 away tonight at Workington in the ULCC 1st Round.


    Our neighbours Trafford have sacked former Hyde boss, Mike McKenzie. McKenzie replaced Joey Dunn last January 2003 and his side won 8 of 39 games played. Trafford currently lie 18th in the NW Counties Division One. The post is to be advertised but reserve team manager Andy Thorpe is the caretaker boss.
    27 October 2003


    Right is Andy Boyers's fine picture of Hardy's first goal on Saturday. For more pictures and this site's match report, see yesterday's news (26 Oct), here.

    Burscough's unofficial website has two match reports on Saturday's game. The first by Pete Hill says, "In terms of football we [Burscough] were the better side again, today. But Alty's game plan worked for them. So no complaints", whilst the second, from Stan Strickland, says a "lacklustre performance saw the Linnets outplayed and outfought by a determined side Altrincham that well deserved their first home win of the season".


    Above, Ashley Timms clears as Steven Howarth looks on.

    Altrincham Youth beat Marine 4-0 yesterday in the NWYA Premier Cup - for more on this, see the Youth Page.


    In the Sunday Pink, Graham Heathcote says "I firmly believe you need to carry two good keepers, if it's at all possible. I've explained to Richard [Acton] that me re-signing Stuart [Coburn] is no reflection on his contribution over the last 12 months since I've been in charge here, during which time he has done little wrong...Hopefully, he'll stay, although if chooses to leave us to get regular games, I'll reluctantly have to accept that". The article claims that only Mossley had shown an interest when Coburn was demoted at Leigh but other sources suggest that Hyde were also keen to sign Stuart. Heathcote ended, "There won't be many better deals than this in non-league this season". Meanwhile Richard Acton (right) is still "3 or 4 more weeks off full fitness" with his shoulder injury.


    In Wales Danny McGoona was back playing for Caernarfon and Stuart Terry was an unused sub for Connah's Quay whilst Marc Limbert scored for Rhyl. In the FA Cup, Chris Timons (Gainsboro'), Tony Sullivan (Lancaster sub), Terry Bowker, Ian Senior (sub) and Ged Kielty (Stalybridge) were in their squads yesterday.

    Three former Alty Youth/Reserve players have signed NWCL forms this week: Richard Smith and Graham Tench (for Trafford) and Paul Johnson (for Flixton).


    Bradford PA "are today waiting to hear which games are selected for television coverage, before deciding on a venue for their forthcoming FA Cup first round tie against Bristol City".
    26 October 2003


    Terry Rowley's updated UniBond league attendance data are here.


    Mark Maddox, with back to goal, shapes to convert a nod on from Gary Talbot, extreme right, for the first goal.

    Match report here.

    Above: Niell Hardy (no.9), on right, scores goal number two.

    Above: From Alan Johnson's photosite is this image of Niell Hardy receiving his man of the match award yesterday from Altrincham's Neil Dawson.


  • Friday 31 October, 7pm: STAR AGM including prize draw and celebrity panel including Jackie Swindells, Mark Maddox and Graham Heathcote. For more on this, see the STAR site (link above). Don't forget to return your raffle ticket stubs/cash!
  • Friday 28 November, 7.30pm: Prize Bingo in the Sponsors' Lounge. Entry 50 pence including tea/coffee. Items required for the event include Christmas gifts, wine, biscuits, tinned goods and raffle prizes.
  • Friday 5 December, 7.30pm: Karaoke/Disco Night in the Noel White Suite. Entry £5 incl. buffet. Tickets available from the club office or from Grahame Rowley.


    Yesterday, some press sources gave the Moss Lane score as Altrincham 0 Burscough 3. As a result, some Sunday newspapers have a league table reflecting this wrong score. It was, in fact, Alty's first home league win over the Linnets in four attempts. Conversely we are unbeaten on our last three league visits to Burscough.


    Click on the Away Travel link above for STAR supporters' coach details for the trip to Gateshead on Saturday in the FA Trophy. Should a replay be needed it would be on Monday, 3 November to avoid a clash with Manchester United's game on Tuesday. Gateshead beat Hyde yesterday to provide some sort of form guide, given Alty's win over Hyde last week. Gateshead have a match report on their site.


    On Tuesday, Alty host Southport. The Southport site reports that yesterday at Frickley "On a bleak, rough and unsupported pitch in Yorkshire, the re-emerging Southport ground-out a result against stereotypical Unibond opposition, all of this in the face of losing top scorer Lee Ashcroft and captain Steve Soley in a 15 minute spell midway through the first half with re-occurrences of their respective hamstring injuries. Southport [were] playing an attacking 4-3-3 formation".


    Ex-Alty keeper Ian Senior and fellow goalie Dave Felgate have put in a joint bid to manage Chorley, whilst Mark Ward is being linked with Leigh's vacancy.

    Nathan Comley-Excell played for Salford City and Ryan Hevicon is pictured in the Pink playing for East Manchester, for whom Darren Lyons scored yesterday.

    Kevin Ellison is expected to be out for 6 weeks after fracturing his cheekbone last week. Nicky Daws has returned from Grimsby to Rotherham after a loan spell.

    Steve Porter and Leroy Chambers (as a sub) both scored for Droylsden for whom Adam Farley also played. Former Alty Youth striker Wes Wilkinson and midfielder Vernum Rowland both scored yesterday for Nantwich and Mike Turner netted for Trafford.


    The remaining UniBond Premier clubs in the FA Cup Round One are:
  • Barnet v Stalybridge C.
  • Lancaster C. v Cambridge U.
  • Brentford v Farsley C./Gainsboro. T.
  • Bradford PA v Bristol C.
  • Hartlepool v Whitby T./Bromsgrove R.

    "Alfreton Town have signed teenager Jake Buxton on a month's loan from Mansfield Town where he made three first team appearances last season. The Derbyshire outfit have also signed Anthony Tansley from Borrowash Victoria".

    NL Daily quotes Tony Lee of Spennymoor United who until yesterday had lost three successive home games. "It's going to be difficult to turn things round, because it's the wrong time of year to be looking for players. The professional clubs aren't releasing many, while others are tied to their clubs in the UniBond League and Northern Leagues". Nevertheless he has signed goalkeeper Steve Tierney from Horden Colliery Welfare.


    On 8 November Alty travel to Worksop, who have now lost four games on the trot. On Saturday ex-Alty man Steve Hawes was "rested" as were Richard Dryden and Gavin Smith.
    25 October 2003


  • ALTRINCHAM 3 Burscough 0
  • Barrow 1 Harrogate T. 2
  • Droylsden 3 Hucknall T. 1
  • Frickley A. 1 Southport 2
  • Radcliffe B. 1 Alfreton T. 0
  • Spennymoor U. 2 Vauxhall M. 1
  • Worksop T. 1 Marine 2

    FA Cup 4QR

  • Ashton U. 1 Grantham T. 2
  • Blyth S. 0 Chester C. 1
  • Bromsgrove R. 2 Whitby T. 2
  • Dunston Federation Brewery 0 Lancaster C. 1
  • Farsley C. 1 Gainsborough T. 1
  • Ossett A. 0 Stalybridge C. 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 0 Bradford PA 1


    Burscough, whom we meet today, have confirmed on their website that "Following a short period as Head Coach, Derek Goulding has now been officially appointed Manager of FA Trophy winners Burscough. Although the position had not been advertised there has been a flood of written applications for the post but the club’s Board of Directors has unanimously decided to appoint Derek... It was felt that after the traumatic events of the past few months the last thing the club needed was more upheaval. Derek is familiar with the way the club operates having worked his way up through the youth and reserve team... He will report to the Board through Rod Cottam, the club’s Director of Football". Derek was in the same Altrincham team as Alty boss Graham Heathcote in the early 1980s.


    This is Weymouth states that "Former Yeovil Town, Weymouth and Altrincham midfielder, Peter Conning, has emerged as favourite to land the manager's job at Sydenhams Wessex League club Portland United. Conning, currently player-manager at neighbouring Screwfix Direct Western League side Bridport, is one of a number of applicants who has been interviewed". Peter played for Alty from April 1984 to the end of 1985/86 and was a contemporary of Steve Aspinall's father John Aspinall in the Robins' side.

    As well as Goulding and Conning, another ex-Alty manager is in the news at Chorley where as well as caretaker-boss Wayne Goodison, "others believed to be in the running, including ex-Chester City and Wigan Athletic boss [and ex-Alty player], Graham Barrow. The list also includes ex-Lancaster City boss Tony Hesketh... and Mark Patterson, who quit...Leigh RMI on Saturday", says Chorley Today.

    Another ex-Robin, Stuart Scheuber, has moved on from Stone Dominoes to Leek Town, where a team-mate will be former Alty defender Dave Swanick.


    On Tuesday we host Southport. The Southport Visiter cites new manager Liam Watson: "I have taken Barry Jones off the transfer list. I felt he was our best player last Saturday and he can play in a number of positions. Barry never wanted to leave Haig Avenue, what is in the past has nothing to do with me... The training has gone really well... I have played with or against most of the players in our squad and have told them they have real quality". The article adds that "Midfielder Steve Pickford missed last Saturday's victory over Radcliffe due to a one match suspension ... while top scorer Lee Ashcroft was also suspended last weekend... However Ashcroft is likely to miss a second consecutive match due to injury having suffered a hamstring strain... Definitely ruled out is right winger Mark Byrne who limped off last Saturday... sustaining a hamstring injury that will rule him out for at least a fortnight".


    "UniBond League Premier Division club Wakefield & Emley have announced that Unison will be sponsoring their shirts for the rest of the 2003/4 season, states NL Daily. Terry Radcliffe, Chairperson of Wakefield Unison said: "This is a club, which, like Unison, has a long tradition in the local communities". The Unison trade-union is also sponsoring Droylsden.

    Phil Stant, formerly player-manager of Gainsborough Trinity has taken over at Ilkeston Town.


    Wayne Bullimore, who recently left Barrow for Wakefield & Emley, has now joined Stalybridge Celtic. Blyth Spartans report that they have "signed Jamie Burt from Whitby Town. Jamie is Blyth-born and recently returned to the town after a couple of seasons at Third Division Chesterfield".

  • Alex Callery (Worksop T. to Belper T. on loan)
  • Steve Tierney (Horden CW Spennymoor U.)
    24 October 2003


    Jason van Blerk (right), who spent a month with us recently, has signed for Colwyn Bay.


    Altrincham is one of many clubs which will mark the Kick it Out anti-racism week from 16-28 October 2003 at their game on Saturday. STAR is coordinating the Moss Lane events at the Burscough game.

    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter states that there will be a "Let's Kick Racism Out of Football campaign at the match against Altrincham on Saturday 13 December. Various activities will be planned for the day including an exhibition on The History of Black Footballers. The supporters group, Bluebirds Against Racism, will also be launched as part of the day's events.


    Last night Manchester United Reserves beat Wolves Res. 2-0 at Moss Lane. Wolves included former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny and ex-Spurs man, Steffen Iversen in their side. United had Roy Carroll in goal, with the familiar face of Ben Williams on the bench.


    IC Cheshire reports that Vauxhall Motors' new chairman is Alan Bartlam "who has been the club's programme editor and press officer during his 8-year spell at Rivacre Park". Bartlam said, "I want to improve the club as an off-the-field unit as, in some aspects, I feel we are still lacking when it comes to UniBond Premier Division status. I want our facilities to be a showcase for other clubs to follow". The report goes on: "Motormen fans are still likely to have to wait at least another two weeks until the club reveals who will be Alvin McDonald's successor... The position was advertised at the weekend... Interviews will follow between October 27-31... a final decision is not expected until after... November 1. Mr Bartlam said: 'The club has stated all along that we have no qualms about Paul Rowlands taking care of the first-team squad until we find a replacement for Alvin, and he will of course be one of the candidates for the job himself'."

    "Chris Lightfoot was named permanent successor to Liam Watson [as manager of Runcorn] on Thursday [last]... Kit manager and trainer Mal Liptrot has followed Watson and his former assistant Neil Whalley to Haig Avenue... Secretary Debbie Quaile is reconsidering last week's decision to resign for 'personal reasons'", says IC Cheshire. Meanwhile, "Plans to launch a supporters' trust at Runcorn FC Halton will move a step nearer fruition on Monday night when a working group holds its first meeting... Speakers at last week's meeting included Jacqui Foster from Supporters Direct... Letters of support for the Runcorn proposal were received from other trusts, including Altrincham". A spokesman said, "Our long-term aim is to get back to Runcorn... We are not anti-club and we hope they will work with us". The Runcorn chairman said, "The club is committed to the next nine years to play at Halton Stadium. The facilities are the best in the league and meet Conference requirements".

    NL Daily reports that Gainsborough Trinity "manager Paul Mitchell has signed much-travelled midfielder Brett Storey from NCEL side Hallam, while Rob O'Brien, Doncaster Rovers' midfielder, has agreed to [stay] another month".

    23 October 2003


    We play Burscough on Saturday and their unofficial site says "Both teams will be looking for vital points, but Burscough will be hoping to score for the ninth consecutive game and come away with a valuable result".

    Burscough's official site reports that, in Tuesday's UniBond League Cup win, 5-0 over Colwyn Bay, Burscough included several youngsters, including defender Lee Dames, "another very promising teenager who has come up through the ranks". Their team was Bagnall, C.Macauley (Clark), Dames, White, McNulty (Bell), Molyneux, Bluck, Blakeman (Underwood), McHale, Crowder, Brown. Subs: Underwood, Clark, Bell.

    The Through the Years data have been updated for 25 October, thanks to Howard Watts.


    As well as Stuart Scheuber, the Stone Dominoes website lists goalkeeper Chris Williams (right) as a squad member; he was with Alty in 2003-03 pre-season but lost out to Nick Stephens for the no.1 jersey.


    Alfreton report that they "are continuing to reshape their squad and there has been plenty of activity over the past week. The next new face into North Street looks set to be Jake Buxton (19), a left-sided defender from Mansfield Town... On the outgoing side, Niall McNamara has returned to Lincoln City... Another player moving out is striker Ian Askey who has joined Stocksbridge Park Steels while centre-back Lee Hobson has been released".
    22 October 2003


    Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote will again have problems with team selection on Saturday following the injuries to Stephen Rose (left) and Mark Maddox (right) at Hyde on Monday night. Stephen has re-dislocated the right shoulder which he originally injured at Bradford at the end of March. Mark Maddox still has a sore foot, which is a legacy of his heel fracture in August, whilst Gary Scott's upper leg strain makes him also doubtful for Saturday. However, Michael Reynolds comes back into contention after being unavailable on Monday.

    The long-term injured are 'keeper Richard Acton (recovering from shoulder injury), winger Danny Murphy (recovering from a cruciate operation) and midfielder Sean Smith (getting back to fitness after car accident). So far this season, Graham Heathcote has only been able to name an unchanged starting eleven for a league game, once, at Harrogate where Richard Acton was carried off. Only Chris Adams, Peter Band and Ian Craney have started all 14 league games to date and even they have played in varying positions. In all, 25 players have had to be employed in the league so far.


    Man. Utd Reserves meet Wolves Reserves at Moss Lane tomorrow (Thursday), 7pm. Admission prices of £2, (£1 concessionaries), apply. The Derby with Manchester City Reserves scheduled for 6 November has been postponed; no new date has been set, yet.


    Match report here.

    Alty's line-up is here.

    Right: Stuart Coburn, one of the pictures of the game from Alan Johnson's photo-site.

    Last night's UniBond Challenge Cup fixtures were as follows. Those in this First Round are the lowest placed Premier and First Division clubs from last season. Those who lose in Round One go into the Chairman's Cup; those who lose in Round Two go into the President's Cup.

    All of Tuesday's gates tonight were 186 or fewer, making the 353 at Hyde on Monday by far the highest attendance of the Round.

  • Ashton U. 1 Leek T. 1 aet; Ashton win 6-5 on pens.
  • Bamber B. 1 Lancaster C. 2
  • Burscough 5 Colwyn Bay 0 - hat trick for McHale.
  • Guiseley 4 Wakefield & Emley 1 - a goal for Jez Illingworth.
  • Lincoln U. 2 Gainsborough T 1 - the winner was a Timons own goal!
  • Marine 2 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Ossett T. 3 Farsley C. 1
  • Rossendale U. 4 Kendal T. 1
  • Stocksbridge PS 1 Frickley A. 3
  • Workington v Gateshead POSTPONED due to local cup match


  • Kidsgrove A. v Matlock T.


    Congratulations to Alty Youth captain and centre-back Alex Frost (right), who has been invited to the England Schools U-18 trials at North Cestrian, Altrincham, this Saturday morning.


    James Wilkinson, a former Macclesfield Town defender who made 3 sub. appearances for us in 2001-02, has been signed by John Davison at Witton Albion, from Rossendale United.


    "Blyth boss Paul Baker, in so much pain from a back injury that he was taken to hospital by ambulance earlier this week, thanked the Northumberland FA and Newcastle Benfield Saints for boosting the Spartans' FA Cup chances", according to IC Newcastle. Blyth should have been at the Saints' ground [last] night for a Senior Cup clash, but it has been postponed to give Baker's squad a clear run-in to Saturday's showdown with Conference club Chester City.

    The same source says that "Dunston Federation, preparing for their home tie against Lancaster City [who beat Alty] on Saturday, have turned to Whitby boss Harry Dunn for help... Dunston manager Bob Scaife is contacting Dunn for a rundown". Our Trophy rivals on 1 November, Gateshead, "are in action at South Shields - and they travel knowing that Mike Coulson is ready to resign as chairman unless he gets more help in running the club. Coulson said: "I do not want to resign, but unless the burden of responsibility is shared, I feel I do not have any other option". [Gateshead won 3-1].

    Harrogate Today says that Town's "chairman Bill Fotherby has issued a rallying cry to the people of Harrogate... He said: 'We are very disappointed with the response of the public and feel the ambitions of the town do not reflect the ambitions of the club... We've got a management team second to none and we are the envy of every UniBond club, but we cannot sustain a Conference team with crowds of just 300 to 400 people'."

    Frickley's website reports that "Phil Sharpe has signed 31 year old midfielder John Reed from Matlock Town. Reed has formerly been at Gainsborough Trinity, Bury, Blackpool and Sheffield United. Also today, the club have been visited by a representative of the Conference ground grading committee in respect of the new Conference North".

    Marine's Chairman writes on their website: "It was decided that we would release some players and Ricky Bainbridge, Dave Nolan, John Stannard and Jon Stanhope left on Thursday... I was delighted with the result at Wakefield where a Dean Thurston hat trick and an Ian Johnson goal provided us with a moral boosting 4-0 win. I was particularly pleased with the way we played. It is a shame that so few travelled and I appeal to all of you to get behind the team and the Manager and give them your support".

    Worksop Town report that "After...the Highways Authority rejected Worksop's ground improvement plans... the Council have agreed to an extraordinary special meeting on Thursday 30th October". Worksop play a friendly at Staveley Miners' Welfare of the NCE League tonight "and Chris Waddle is set to make his debut for Staveley", whose manager is Rudy Funk.


  • Robert O'Brien (Doncaster R., loan extended to Gainsborough T.)
  • Brett Storey (Hallam FC to Gainsborough T.)
  • Lee Hobson (Alfreton T. to Stocksbridge PS)