Altrincham Football Club News Archive
16 to 22 November, 2003

22 November 2003


Bradford PA, who host Alty today, have released a fourth first-teamer this week in striker Robbie Painter. Painter previously played for Darlington and Rochdale. He has now signed for Ossett Town, who are also believed to be pursuing another released BPA player, Richard Tracey.


Graham Heathcote last night signed striker Marcus Hallows on a three-month loan from Chorley. Marcus was signed in time to be eligible for the FA Trophy. Marcus (28) is a Bolton lad who has had spells with Stockport County and two sides in Ireland. In the non-league world he was at Leigh RMI (2001-02) and Stalybridge Celtic (2002-03) before going on loan to Lancaster City in January 2003. In October 2002 Marcus was stretchered off against Alty, when playing for Celtic, with a dislocated shoulder and fractured arm. At Chorley Marcus has scored 5 times in 11+1 games.

Also, further to an item below, it has been announced that Altrincham have signed 25 year old Stuart Wright from Vauxhall Motors. Stuart, a pacy left-footed midfielder/striker, is expected, with Marcus Hallows, to have some involvement in the game today against Bradford.


Alty meet Southport next Saturday. The UniBond League reports that "Southport manager Liam Watson [has] signed 21 year old Carl Baker, in his view the most exciting midfield prospect in the region, for an undisclosed fee. Baker played his last match for Prescot against Accrington in midweek and is a player the Port boss has been trailing for some time". Port's midfielder Steve Pickford "has agreed to extend his contract by another two years". He is Southport's third new signing this week, after Neil Fitzhenry and Alex Mortimer.


The News & Star quotes Workington manager Tommy Cassidy, who "was heartened by Reds’ effort in Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw against Premier Division Altrincham, despite going out of the cup on penalties. 'Our penalties were poor, but there’s nothing we could do about that', the manager added... 'We were the better side and Kevin Woolfe didn’t have a save to make, but we needed that goal'".


Released by Bradford PA, central defender Nicky Wood has rejoined Wakefield & Emley states The Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

Stalybridge Celtic report that winger "Colin Potts has been placed on the transfer list at his own request. His name has been circulated to Conference clubs as he has expressed a desire to play in that League. Celtic will only sell if the right offer comes along though. Club Secretary Martin Torr said 'he won't be given away'. Northwich are the first club to express an interest".

The UniBond League reports that Barrow have now signed Morecambe striker Wayne Curtis on a three month loan deal. He scored 18 Conference goals last season. Meanwhile, Grant Holt, who moved from Barrow to Sheffield Wednesday last March for £7,500 "is about to trigger another £5,000 for the club. He has already made nineteen appearances and requires just one more to activate the first of a possible three further payments of £5,000 based on every twenty appearances".

NL Daily reports that Whitby have lost Northern Ireland U-21 international striker Gary Browne, formerly at Manchester City, to York City. Whitby's Aron Wilford also went to the Bootham Crescent earlier this season.

Other UniBond transfers:

  • Ryan McDowell (Manchester C. to Burscough)
  • Matthew Davies (Wingate & Finchley to Frickley A.)
  • Mike Kinsella (Southport to Vauxhall M.)
  • Carl Spellman (Kidsgrove A. to Vauxhall M.)
    21 November 2003


    On the eve of their match at home to Altrincham, Bradford PA announce that they "have released three of their senior players. Former Bradford City and Huddersfield Town defender Graham Mitchell, former Rochdale forward Richard Tracey and summer signing Nicky Wood all left the club yesterday. Manager, Trevor Storton, was reported in the Telegraph & Argus as saying, 'The players will wonder why and the supporters won't understand it because we have struggled on with a shoestring squad and have injuries and suspensions to deal with as well as the flu crisis, but I have to make decisions and we have to cut costs and re-invigorate the squad at the same time. That is an almost impossible task but I have to start somewhere, no matter how hard it is'".


    Skelmersdale United have signed Mike Marsh, as a player. Marsh was recently the boss of our UniBond rivals Burscough at whose Victoria Park ground, ironically, Skelmersdale are playing this season. "This is a great signing for Skem and shows just how committed the club is to restoring United to its former glory", said manager, Paul Gallagher.


    Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote hopes to sign one and possibly two players in the immediate future to bolster his depleted squad. Meanwhile, three men who played at Workington on Tuesday had medical scans this week, (Gary Scott, Mark Maddox and Rod Thornley). Mark Maddox and Gary Scott should be fit for tomorrow but Rod Thornley is seeing a specialist over the weekend. Niell Hardy will not be fit, though his recovery is progressing well. Stephen Rose is to have a test later today on his foot injury, but hopefully will be playing tomorrow.


    Altrincham, having played on Tuesday at Workington, who were voted out of Division 4 in 1977, travel to play another former league club Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, before meeting a third ex-League team, Southport, the following weekend.

    In 1970, after finishing bottom of Division 4, BPA were outvoted by Cambridge United in the re-election process and so joined the Northern Premier League for 1970-71, where they met Altrincham on a regular basis until the formation of the Alliance in 1979.

    In April, 1973 the Park Avenue ground was sold and the club moved to join Bradford City at Valley Parade for the 1973-74 season. In May 1974 the club went into liquidation with debts of £57,652 but a group of supporters then revived the club name in the Bradford Amateur Sunday League Division 4. They won promotion in both 1975 and 1976 and, in 1985, entered the Bradford Sunday Alliance League. Since then they have competed in the following:

  • 1988/89 West Riding County Amateur League.
  • 1989/90 Central Midlands League, Supreme Division
  • 1990/91 North West Counties League Div. 2
  • 1991/92 North West Counties League Div. 1
  • 1995/96 UniBond League Div. 1
  • 2001/02 UniBond League Premier Division.

    Altrincham have yet to win a league game at the Horsfall Stadium, though we won there 1-0 in the Trophy on a murky November day last season- Graham Heathcote is seen, above right, peering through the gloom during that game. In the UniBond League our league record against BPA is:

  • 2002/03 - H won 1-0 A lost 1-4
  • 2001/02 - H drew 0-0 A drew 1-1

    In BPA's 1-6 loss on Wednesday night to Bishop Auckland in the ULCC, Simon Collins, Andy Hayward, Wayne Benn, Carl Serrant, Craig Smith, Ryan Crossley and Gavin Smith were not playing but the eleven all had first team experience. This is Bradford reports on the game - "'The least said about a performance like that the better', said [BPA manager Trevor] Storton, clearly frustrated that the senior players in his side had not pulled the club through in its hour of need. 'We had too many players off, and I don't just mean the ones missing. Andy Quinn, Nicky Wood and Andy Wright were all in the starting line-up but they are not ready. They missed Saturday's game because of the flu and this thing takes a fortnight to get over'... It was the first time the squad had been together since the 2-0 loss at Marine, training sessions have been cancelled".

    Altrincham go into the game unbeaten in their last 7 league and cup games (5 wins, 2 draws) and with keeper Stuart Coburn (right) yet to finish on the losing side. He has conceded just one goal in 11 hours action since he rejoined Altrincham from Leigh RMI, though he did also let in one spot-kick, but saved two others, in Tuesday's penalty shoot-out at Workington. Captain Mark Maddox is set to return after missing Tuesday's match.


    The Manchester United Reserves v Man. City Reserves game will now be at Moss Lane on Thursday, 4 March 2004 at 7pm. The revised home fixture list is here. United beat Leeds Res. last night at Moss Lane, 2-1. Amongst the names playing were Jason Wilcox, Didier Domi and Michael Bridges for Leeds and Roy Carroll, Kieran Richardson and, on the bench, Ben Williams for Manchester United.


    After 9 years at the club, "Vauxhall Motors' prolific marksman Nicky Young has joined his father- in-law Alvin McDonald and former team-mates Andy Ralph and Phil Brazier at Northwich Victoria... Better news for Vauxhall Motors, however, was the decision of midfielder Carl Nesbitt to extend his contract for another year", reports the club's Unofficial Site

    IC Newcastle states that "Blyth Spartans boss Paul Baker, out of hospital after a back operation, has been told that it could be two months before he completes a full recovery. Baker has had surgery to cure a slipped disc".

    "In a quirk of fate, Skelmersdale United and Burscough have been drawn against each other in cup competition in the season when they are sharing the same ground [at Burscough]. It has happened in the first round of the Liverpool Senior Cup", reports IC Liverpool. The clubs are now debating whether Skem can have the home dressing room! The winners meet Liverpool in the next round.

    Harrogate Town have arranged a friendly with Huddersfield Town on 25 November.

    Droylsden's Aeon Lattie received £3,000 from Droylsden's League Cup victory over Chorley as part of his testimonial reward.

    Radio Cumbria reports that "Barrow have made an official approach for Morecambe's transfer-listed striker Wayne Curtis. The 23 year-old Barrovian, who began his career with Holker Old Boys, scored 18 times for The Shrimps last season... Meanwhile, [manager Lee] Turnbull says he may follow up his interest in some of the 9 Carlisle United players placed on the transfer list earlier this week."

    Gainsborough Trinity report that, after defeat by Droylsden, boss Paul Mitchell said "From my point of view it highlighted perfectly that our squad is just not strong enough... Everyone keeps telling me, we have a great side, but it is not about having a great side - it's about having a great squad... I feel the strength of the squad will stop us from finishing higher up than we could".


  • Phil Bayliss (Chorley to Lancaster C.)
  • Kieran Dolan (Everton to Lancaster C.)
    20 November 2003


    It is not very often that 17 year-old twins make their debut in the same game but it happened on Tuesday night at Workington where Alty's Kelvin and Kieran Lugsden both came on as substitutes in the UniBond League Challenge Cup tie. The twins, of whom Kieran is the elder by ten minutes (d.o.b. 4/4/86), joined Alty late last season from New Mills, following the winding-up of that club's youth team. Earlier in the season, the twins had played against Altrincham and had both scored in a pulsating 5-4 win for the Derbyshire side. Both twins continue to play for New Mills's first team in the Air Miles Manchester League as well as being regular starters this season for George Heslop and Neil Thomason's Altrincham FC Youth side.

    Kieran is a speedy striker, with a prolific scoring record, whilst Kelvin currently plays at centre-back for Altrincham Youth but is also comfortable in midfield or at full-back. They have now joined Paul Glynn, Steve Lunt and Ashley Timms as members of last or this year's youth squad to have played in the Altrincham first-team in 2003-04.



  • Bradford PA 1 B. Auckland 6 - Alty play BPA next; see below.
  • Whitby T. 2 Bridlington T. 1


    The UniBond League reports that when Alty meet Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, the PA captain Wayne Benn should make his 399th appearance for the club. "His 400th game will also put him third in the all-time list of most appearances... He was signed after being released by Bradford City for whom he played in the first team at the age of 18. He made his Avenue debut in December 1995".

    This is Bradford reports that after defeat at Marine, BPA are in the "bottom four of the UniBond Premier Division [but] they still have up to three games in hand on many of their rivals and are just seven points off a place in the top half. But it was their 7th defeat in 17 starts and it left manager Trevor Storton dejected. 'It was a bad defeat - not an unfortunate one, a shocking performance against a team that are struggling', said Storton... Avenue were not at full strength with Andy Hayward returning from a rib injury but only making the bench. Simon Collins was missing with a viral infection, joining Nicky Wood and Andy Wright, who were both suffering from flu, on the sidelines. Steve Oleksewycz pulled out of the squad at the last minute due to personal reasons but new signing [on loan from Worksop] Gavin Smith made his debut".

    Click on the Through the Years link above for Howard Watts's updated data on Alty games played on 22 November in the past.

    SAM says that the "Robins are now at the business end of a six game unbeaten streak of league and cup matches in which they have conceded only one goal... The run has seen them keep pace with the increasingly congested group of teams gunning for the crucial top 13 position which will bring a place in next season's restructured Football Conference. Also, Robins have a home tie against Southport in the second round of the FA Trophy to look forward to - only a fool would maintain things aren't rosy in the Moss Lane garden... First and foremost, Heathcote and his lieutenant Dalton Steele have made Alty very difficult to beat, the finishing touch to a well-drilled defence being the re-signing of the totemic Stuart Coburn. The sight of Alty going 1-0 down game after game has been happily scarce recently".


    The draw for the UniBond League Cup will be made on 26 November. The next round (quarter-finals) are on Saturday 20 December.

    Alan Johnson's website has pictures from Tuesday at Workington and of the recent STAR annual draw prize awards. The Alty Board presented Dale Brotherton the Chairman of Workington with an Altrincham centenary plate.


    In the Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Finals Stalybridge Celtic complain that "For the ninth time in ten cup draws so far this season Celtic have been drawn away, this time to Woodley Sports, who beat Vauxhall 4-3 aet in their quarter final replay". However, IC Cheshire reports that "Witton, who beat Crewe 4-3 in the competition last week, have drawn Nantwich Town at home in the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final, but they may well face Congleton Town instead. Nantwich, managed by ex-Albion boss [and Alty player] Nigel Gleghorn, fielded ex-Northwich Vics' manager Steve Davis in the tie but Congleton believe he was not signed at least a week beforehand and have appealed".


  • Josh Bowker (Accrington S. to Harrogate T.)
  • Steve Circuit (Alfreton T. to Matlock T.)
  • Alexander Mortimore (ex Gainsborough T. to Southport)
  • Mike Harris (Runcorn FC Halton to Leigh RMI)


    Two Stalybridge men (Mayers and Smith)were sent off on Tuesday night against Barnet, making it ten dismissals for Celtic this season.

    Alfreton Town report that "a new Supporters' Association is to be formed... Club chairman Wayne Bradley explained: 'We welcome this idea on board as the club takes pride in supporting its supporters. It is clear that the interest from fans wanting to give support to the team away from home is escalating beyond the position of recent seasons which has led to the club providing extra transport recently'. The club’s average home gate has risen massively from 277 to 559 per home league game in around 19 months."

    Tuesday's MEN confirms that Ashton United and NW Counties' neighbours Curzon Ashton are to share a new ground with a 4,500 capacity. Ashton are also looking for a new chairman as acting chairman David Wright is unwell. Further details will emerge at the Ashton AGM on 26 November.

    Harrogate Town lost to our own bogey side Guiseley last night in the UniBond Cup even though "There were only 2 changes to Town's starting line up compared to the team that drew 0-0 at Altrincham on Saturday. Neil Aspin and James McDaid were rested, making room for Phillip Beal and Robbie Whellans... After the players had left the pitch, Scott Bonsall, Marc Smith and Guiseley's Richard Chattoe were given red cards... Smith's red card is his second of the season". Harrogate's Michael Ord "has received a 109 days suspension, following his red card whilst playing on loan for Harrogate Railway against Pickering Town...He is banned until February".

    Marine "have announced the launch of a family ticket scheme in partnership with local, mainly, primary schools. The tickets will admit families at discounted rates for the home league game against promotion chasing Harrogate Town... To date twelve schools have been invited to sell up to 20 family tickets at a discounted cost of £10 (family of five) or £7 (family of three). For each ticket sold Marine will make a donation towards school funds of £4 or £3 depending on which family tickets are sold... Marine have donated a prize to each school towards their Christmas fundraisers and are considering installing a schools' notice board in the Clubrooms".

    19 November 2003

    WORKINGTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 0 - Altrincham win 3-1 on penalties a.e.t.

    Match report here.



  • Stalybridge C. 0 Barnet 2


  • Runcorn FC Halton 2 Gainsborough T. 2


  • Ashton U. 1 Southport 3
  • Frickley A. 4 Hucknall T. 5
  • Guiseley 2 Harrogate T. 1
  • Lancaster C. 1 Radcliffe B. 2
  • Lincoln U. 2 Alfreton T. 1
  • Marine 1 Burscough 2
  • Matlock T. 1 Belper T. 0
  • Spennymoor U. 4 Ossett T. 2
  • Workington 0 Altrincham 0 (1-3 on pens, aet)
  • Worksop T. 3 N. Ferriby U. 4


  • Woodley S. 4 Vauxhall M. 3 aet
    18 November 2003


    Further to yesterday's note on the death of former player Paddy Mulvey comes this brief profile from the Altrincham v Wrexham, FA Cup 1st Round, programme of 16 November 1963.

    Paddy Mulvey: a crowd pleasing winger with a deadly shot. A very consistent player who helps his defence as well as the forwards. Formerly with Blackburn Rovers and previously experienced [in the] Cheshire League with Sankeys of Wellington. A nightmare for any full-back to play against.

    Condolences to Paddy's family go from all at Moss Lane.


    Altrincham Youth beat Eagley 5-0 on Sunday.


    Altrincham are not the only club to have used plenty of goalkeepers this season (Acton, McCarthy, Timms, Williams, Coburn plus left-back Chris Adams for 50 minutes at Harrogate). The UniBond League reports that Vauxhall Motors "have managed to field four goalkeepers in the last two games! On Tuesday against Woodley Sports, Steve Hilton had to go off with a hand injury during extra time and was replaced by Matty Hogg. Then on Saturday, new signing Matt Higgins, playing his second game for the club, was injured five minutes from time, having clattered head first into an upright, and central defender Chris Whelan went in goal for the last few minutes".

    The Vauxhall Motors report that ex-Alty coach "Owen Brown, the recently-appointed manager, has started to shake-up his squad by releasing previous boss Alvin McDonald's last signing for the club John Norman, and his own first signing Brian McIlroy. Brown has brought in experienced duo Hugh McAuley and [ex-Alty] Paul Robertson to add to on-loan Macclesfield Town goalkeeper Matt Higgins. Ex-Liverpool winger Brian McIlroy, 21, managed just one appearance as a substitute against Runcorn FC Halton before being released. Brown knew McIlroy from the Liverpool under-19 squad he coached". McIlroy also made a couple of pre-season appearances for Altrincham in August 2002.

    Harrogate Town states that "The [Harrogate] Man of the Match vote for the Altrincham game was won by Liam Sutcliffe, who just pipped James Riordan to the post... following a game that was more entertaining than the 0-0 score suggests".


    Former Alty youngester Lee Thompson (1+5 app's for first team) has moved from St Helens Town to Abbey Hey. Another former Alty youth teamer, Paul Coverley, has joined Trafford whose new boss Danny Johnson has just signed 13 new players!
    17 November 2003


    42 year-old Ian Senior may play in goal for Stalybridge against Barnet in the FA Cup tomorrow night if Craig Dootson, (carried off on Saturday), fails a fitness test. Amongst ex-Alty players in action last weekend in the League were Andy Dibble (Wrexham), Paul Ellender (Boston) and Danny Adams (Macclesfield). In the UniBond, Dave McCarthy (Worksop), Terry Bowker (Stalybridge), Mike Garrity (Runcorn), Chris Timons (Gainsborough), Adam Farley (Droylsden) and Matty McNeil (Hyde) all played. Mark Quayle (Scarborough), Mario Daniel (Atherton Collieries) and Gareth Strange (Atherton LR) were also in action. Despite joining Stockport County as kitman, Dickie Landon was still on the Radcliffe subs' bench on Saturday. In local football, Nathan Comley-Excell scored for The Stonemason's Arms and Ryan Hevicon netted twice for East Manchester. In the League of Wales, Marc Lloyd Williams (Aberystwyth) is leading scorer this season.


    Altrincham FC have appointed a new club chaplain. He is the Rev. David Hardman, who will be made welcome at Moss Lane.


    Please support the following events at Moss Lane:
  • 28 November: Prize Bingo (7.30pm). All donations of prizes for raffles etc will be welcome at the Club Office.
  • 5 December: Karaoke and Disco Night (7.30pm). Tickets, £5 inc. buffet, from the Club.
  • 14 December: Christmas Sale - more details to follow when available.


    The NLP reports that Ashton United are investigating a ground share with Curzon Ashton at a new stadium to be built with the assistance of Tameside Council. Meanwhile Harrogate Town and York City may also ground share "initially at Harrogate, where the ground would be brought up to League standard but then possibly at a new stadium".

    Droylsden may be top of the League but they are bottom of the Fair Play Table.


  • Droylsden 4 Chorley 1
  • Witton A. 4 Barrow 1
    16 November 2003


    Match report here.

    Above: Stephen Rose heads clear.


    The supporters' coach details to Workington (Tuesday 18th) and Bradford PA (Saturday 22nd) have been added to the Away Travel Page.


    Michael Garrity (right) who played for Alty briefly in September-October 2000, has now joined Runcorn FC Halton from Salford City.

    Worksop are having a clear-out, it seems:

  • Adam Muller (Worksop T. to Wakefield & Emley (Loan)
  • Robert Pell (Worksop T. to Wakefield & Emley (Loan)
  • Gavin Smith (Worksop T. to Bradford PA (Loan)
  • John Burns (Hucknall T. to Ilkeston T.)
  • David Jervis (Gainsborough T. to Ilkeston T.)
  • Hugh McAuley (Northwich V to Vauxhall M.)


    Today's STAR half-time bucket collection raised £79.03. Thanks, as ever, are due to Gary Warrington and his team.


    Southport "have confirmed that defender Neil Fitzhenry is expected to put pen-to-paper and sign for the Sandgrounders after Saturday's game against Spennymoor United". Fitzhenry, previously at Leigh, has just left Workington, whom we play on Tuesday. The Workington News & Star reports that The Reds "will demand a fee for Neil Fitzhenry if he moves to a rival UniBond League club". Meanwhile The "Reds will search for a replacement and are stepping up their scouting efforts - with chairman Dale Brotherton looking at players in the North East this week - but even Fitzhenry does not believe it will be easy to attract talent from outside the county, due to the distances they must travel. Manager Tommy Cassidy said, "'It’s very difficult to bring players in. That’s been proved with Fitzhenry. I need a couple in, but from where?' Meanwhile, Cassidy reckons fans may not see the best of last season’s top goal-scorer Glenn Murray, who re-joined Reds [recently], for a short while. 'He needs match fitness'... the manager said.

    This is Bristol explains that Chester City's Steve Brodie's loan move to Droylsden arose because his "return to Forest Green Rovers has fallen through... Rovers' boss Colin Addison confirms they were all set to make an offer, but Chester pulled out of the deal and Brodie is instead to spend a month on loan at UniBond League Premier Division high-flyers, Droylsden - although he has not given up hope on returning to The Lawn. 'The clubs weren't able to sort anything out,' Brodie said. 'So I'm going to Droylsden just so that I can get playing again'".

    This is Lancs reports that Chorley may be signing another Southport player, after Lee Clitheroe, namely defender Paul Haddow.