Altrincham Football Club News Archive
23 to 29 November, 2003

29 November 2003


FAT2 includes:
  • Alfreton T. 1 Vauxhall M. 1
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Southport 0
  • Blyth S. 4 Stocksbridge PS 2
  • Harrogate T. 2 Barrow 2
  • Hucknall T. 2 Nuneaton B. 1
  • Lancaster C. 1 Hednesford T. 1
  • Marine 2 Worcester C. 0
  • Redditch U. 0 Stalybridge C. 3
  • Runcorn FC Halton 3 Frickley A. 2
  • Stafford R. 2 Spennymoor U. 1
  • Whitby T. 1 Bradford PA 1
  • Worksop T. 1 Droylsden 0


  • Ashton U. 2 Wakefield & Emley 3
  • Burscough 0 Gainsborough T. 0
  • League table.

    £500 RAISED

    Last night's Bingo Night (see below) raised £500 for the Club. Many thanks are due to the organisers for their hard work to produce such a good result. YOUTH HONOURS No fewer than six Altrincham Youth players are in the Cheshire FA Youth squad to meet Norfolk (away) in the FA County Youth Cup 3rd Round on 6 December. They are Adam Douthwaite, Alex Frost, Josh Collins, Lewis Chalmers, Kieran Lugsden and goalkeeper Barry George. Also called up on standby is Kelvin Lugsden. Congratulations to all the lads!


    Stalybridge report that Celtic have "completed the sale of Colin Potts to Conference strugglers Northwich Victoria. Potts (25) asked for a transfer last week, citing his desire to play at a higher level. He made 67 appearances for the Celts, scoring 22 goals (10 this season). In keeping with club policy details of the deal were not disclosed".

    Other transfer:

  • Graham Mitchell (Bradford PA to Farsley Celtic)
    28 November 2003


    The Sponsors' Lounge was packed tonight for a very successful bingo evening. Youth team manager George Heslop picked the numbers from a bag but denied rumours that he was to use the same method for selecting his starting eleven for Sunday's game against South Sefton Borough. That away fixture has now been switched to Wythenshawe Town (2pm) due to vandalism of the pitch at Hightown.


    Tomorrow's match against Southport will be segregated, at least initially, as is normal practice when a sizeable away following is expected.


    Graham Heathcote reports that Niell Hardy is 50/50 to be fit for tomorrow's Trophy game against Southport but Rod Thornley is expected to play, according to the Evening News.


    Despite suggestions in some quarters that all the Conference sides will be guaranteed a home tie in the next round of the Trophy, Graham Heathcote has checked with appropriate authorities and it has been confirmed that this is not the case and that, though regionalised, the draw will be an open one.


    Gary Warrington is seeking more volunteers for the half-time bucket collection at Moss Lane on Saturday. You can e-mail Gary


    The BBC states that "Leigh RMI boss Phil Starbuck will welcome midfielder Ged Kielty back into the fold when he returns from a loan spell at Stalybridge Celtic in time for this weekend's game at Forest Green. Kielty has spent three months with the UniBond League club but will now be looking to add to his 91 starts in the Nationwide Conference for the Railwaymen. 'I know about Ged. I've seen him play and I know what he can do and he could be a big asset', said Starbuck. 'It's down to Ged and how he applies himself but I'm sure he will fit into the style of play we have'".

    There are now 20 potted biographies of Altrincham's pre-War players here, courtesy of Terry Rowley.


    Barrow's site says that "Barrow AFC and Barrow Rugby could be sharing a new stadium rumoured to be built as part of the docks regeneration... If the plan does go ahead it is hoped the clubs could cash in on their current stadiums and a move to a joint venture will give them the capital to make a concerted promotion effort... It is thought that the ground will have an enclosed pitch which will feature the first team games with an outside pitch for reserve games and training along with a running track for local athletic clubs". BBC Radio Cumbria quoted Barrow chairman Brian Keen: "We are not running away from Holker Street. We will look at the feasibility study and if it is in the interests of the club we will then ask the fans".

    Vauxhall Motors, whom we meet on 20 December in the UniBond League Challenge Cup gave former Robin, Paul Robertson (left), his debut in the last round against Rossendale, says IC Cheshire. Manager Owen Brown noted: "It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet as the goals had been flying in from all over the place when I came here. You can't sort something like that out in 10 minutes but, hopefully, some of the things we're trying to implement are now coming into place". It was Vauxhall's first clean-sheet for almost two months.

    NL Daily reports that Alfreton Town, has lost the services of left-back Jake Buxton... Buxton has been recalled from his loan period at North Street by Mansfield Town - ironically just after The Stags had agreed to extend the talented defender's original month's loan".

    27 November 2003


    SAM reports that "Dave Gardner's increasing business commitments mean the player (seen left) is unlikely to be seen at Moss Lane very often. [Graham] Heathcote admitted that Gardner's career outside of Altrincham meant he was unable to train with the squad which meant his fitness was falling short of the level required". Dave is the third Alty player this season whose work commitments have affected his Altrincham career. Firstly Mattie Hughes left because of his job, then it was announced that Nick Welton would leave in January to work in London.

    Referring to last Saturday's game at Bradford, Graham Heathcote said "I think the first half was a bit of a non-event for us. It's all about how you react to that and I thought we reacted well. We did well to level the match and could have nicked it with a late goal. We could have had a penalty in the last five minutes but we didn't and you have to admit that a draw away from home is a good result".

    As for this Saturday's game Graham told SAM "The two league games we have played against Southport have been very tough and I do not see Saturday being any different. It's clear they will want to control the match as much as we do. We're not the kind of team that is going to score lots of goals so it is important that we remain tight at the back".

    However, there are problems in defence as "Gary Scott's mystery knee condition is no nearer a diagnosis" and "Mark Maddox's heel problem shows no sign of improvement and is likely to require two or three days complete rest after each game".


    The Southport site confirms that "Southport have a number of recent signings cup tied for Saturday's FA Trophy tie [at Altrincham] -Steve Daly and Neil Fitzhenry plus newly installed club captain Chris Price all sit out the Trophy. While Paul Byrne, Mark Byrne, Danny Stone and Graeme Atkinson remain on the treatment table [plus] Jimmy Williams, who missed last weekend's defeat due to a facial injury sustained colliding with a goal post in training. Lee Ashcroft returned at Harrogate after a lengthy absence".


    Silkweb says that "Danny Adams could be set for a move to Sammy McIlroy's Stockport County". At Macclesfield, "The former postman is now the fans' favourite and has quite rightly recently rejected a new offer of a measly one year deal".

    In contrast, This is Lincs says that "Boston United skipper Paul Ellender... appears settled at York Street now after spending three months on the transfer list at the end of last season".


    Worksop Town "have placed Adam Muller, Darren Roberts and Gavin Smith on the transfer list".

    Hucknall Today reports that "Living legend Brian Clough has given his seal of approval to the remarkable renaissance at Hucknall Town. For Clough... has agreed to open Town's new social club... The £100,000 social club has been built behind the club's Watnall Road stand and replaces the old antiquated 'Shed', which has been demolished... Not only will it raise the profile of the football club, it is also intended as a money-spinning venture that will enable Town to be more self-financing, rather than rely on [chairman] Holmes and his team of sponsors".

    The NW Evening Mail says that AFC Barrow "boss Lee Turnbull hopes to hang onto striker Ian Arnold, despite an approach from Gretna... But their seven days notice has now expired and Turnbull has heard nothing since. AFC’s chief said today: "Whether Ian Arnold stays with us, goes to Gretna or plays for Real Madrid, his work commitments are stopping him from playing regular football".

    26 November 2003


    Altrincham are set to lose two strikers in the near future- one of them permanently.

    Nick Welton is set to leave Moss Lane in January because work commitments are taking him to London. Nick was signed from Mossley on 9 September 2003. He has made only 2 starts for the club but has also been a used sub on 10 occasions. He has scored twice, both in the final moments at Gateshead in the Trophy, where his goals converted a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win.

    Alty are also set to lose Rod Thornley for at least two months. Having played all season with a persistent knee problem, Rod is expected to have an operation in the next fortnight. He hit 16 goals in 29 appearances last season, 31 in 56 starts in 2001/02 and 9 in 9 games in 2000/01. So far he has 4 goals to his name this season in 20 starts.

    Last week Graham Heathcote ensured that there will be attacking cover at Moss Lane by bringing in Marcus Hallows (on loan) and Stuart Wright, to compete with Niell Hardy and Steve Lunt for the striking positions.


    The UniBond Challenge Cup 3rd Round Draw has been made and the games are on Saturday 20 December. Altrincham meet Vauxhall Motors, now managed by former Alty coach Owen Brown, who assisted Bernard Taylor in 1999/2000. One recent ex-Robin, Paul Robertson, is now playing at Vauxhall whereas Alty have three ex-Motormen on their books in Nick Welton, Steve Aspinall and Stuart Wright.

    Alty's only victory over Vauxhall came in the same UniBond Cup competition on 11 December 2001 when goals from Rod Thornley and Danny Murphy secured a 2-0 win, in front of just 114 spectators on a cold Tuesday night.


    Alan Hirst provides excellent statistics to the Bradford PA website. His data for the recent game against Altrincham are here and make very interesting reading.


  • Stalybridge C. 1 Prescot C. 2 (att.196)
  • Vauxhall M. 3 Rossendale U. 0 (att. 92)


  • Marek Szmid (Sutton Coldfield T. to Marine)
  • Paul Horridge (Bacup B. to Stalybridge C.)
  • Anthony Dobell (Peterlee to Whitby T.)


    Stalybridge Celtic report the signing of goalkeeper Paul Horridge from Bacup Borough. However, "Chris Scott has been released and is expected to sign for Chorley".

    The unofficial Burscough site confirms that "Following on from the visit of the ground grading committee from the Conference, Victoria Park meets the required standards for the new Conference North".

    25 November 2003


    The UniBond Press Release shows that Altrincham are second only to Droylsden in terms of league games without defeat. Droylsden have now gone 14 games without a loss followed by Alty on 5. Our Trophy opponents Southport have gone 6 league games without a win.

    After last night's game, 95 goals have been scored in Radcliffe's 23 league games; just 46 goals have come in Alty's 19 matches - only Lancaster fans have seen fewer league goals, 45 in 18 matches. Altrincham have now used 31 players this season, 8 of whom have now left Moss Lane. 12 different players have scored our 28 league and cup goals. Peter Band, Ian Craney and Chris Adams are our only ever-presents this season, with 24 starts.


    Our neighbours Northwich Victoria have placed three players on the transfer-list. "Goalkeeper Andy Woods, midfielder Val Owen and striker Chris Ward... as manager Alvin McDonald tries to make room for new arrivals" says the BBC.


    Following reports of ground safety concerns at Holker Street (see below), Radio Cumbria reports that "The chairman of Barrow AFC... says an electrical safety certificate is being organised by a company which has been busy installing the town's Christmas light display. He says it will be in place for next week's match"

    From Vauxhall's official site comes news that the club have signed "goalkeeper Mike Kinsella, who was released by Southport... Mike also works as a goalkeeper coach with Everton's youngsters. Also signing... was midfield battler Carl Spellman... from Kidsgrove".

    "Darlington's bid to take a look at Blyth winger Wayne Phillips may be put on the back-burner because of the flu bug threatening the Spartans' dressing room. 'There is a possibility Darlington will look at Wayne in a reserve match this week, but the lad is not well'", said manager Paul Baker to IC Newcastle.

    This is Lincs says that "Gainsborough Trinity manager Paul Mitchell will delve into the transfer market this week after the Blues' injury problems mounted against Marine on Saturday. Left-back Adam Burley... looks set to be out for a month and joins defender Stuart Reddington (hamstring) and winger Chris Adam (groin) on the sidelines. And with winger Paul Eshelby having left to join former Blues' boss Phil Stant at Ilkeston Town, Mitchell's squad is becoming increasingly threadbare". Manager Paul Mitchell said, "We only have 13 [fit]. Now Adam has left us short again and we have no-one to cover the area he plays in. But we are looking to strengthen and I shall try to add a couple of loan signings later this week".

    Worksop's striker Gary Townsend "has turned down a move to Hucknall Town. Worksop had agreed an undisclosed fee with their Notts rivals and had given them permission to approach Townsend. But the 27-year-old, who is in his testimonial year at Worksop, failed to agree personal terms with Hucknall". The Tigers' manager Steve Ludlam said, "It is up to us now to work together and bring him back to his best because on his day Gary is as good a striker as anyone in this league", reports Worksop Today

    24 November 2003


  • Droylsden 5 Radcliffe B. 4


    Alty Youth deservedly gained a last gasp 2-1 victory away to St Helens Town yesterday. Kieran Lugsden scored both goals. His first came after 10 minutes and the second, seen above, was 3 minutes from the end. Kieran is far right in blue shirt, with Steve Lunt in centre-picture.

    Match report on Youth Page.


    Altrincham travel to Barrow on 13 December but over the weekend the Holker Street ground was reportedly closed to spectators for a Reserves' game allegedly because safety certificates were not in place. Fans therefore had to watch the match from the Cross Bar behind the goal.


    Match report here.

    There is a match report of Saturday's game at Bradford on the Bradford PA website.


    The NW Counties League reports that "a new purpose built stadium for Ashton United and Curzon Ashton to share has been the subject of discussions between the clubs and the Council over a number of years... The new £3m stadium, part funded by the Football Foundation includes a fully equipped stadium to Football Conference standard, an all weather synthetic turf pitch for community use and a study centre for informal education opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and ICT skills...

    Dave Richards, Chairman of the Football Foundation, said, 'Both clubs sharing a state of the art community stadium makes great sense and it is good to see this realised for football in Ashton. We are putting £520,000 into the new stadium and are prepared to consider additional help for a study centre'.

    Roy Oldham, Leader of Tameside Council, said, 'The new stadium will be finished by July 2004 for the start of the next season'... Harry Galloway, Chairman of Curzon Ashton, said, 'We were originally going alone on this project but when the Council approached us, as head lease holders, to consider ground share we were delighted to embrace the idea'... John Milne,

    Vice Chairman of Ashton United, said, 'It is the ambition of Ashton United FC to compete at the highest achievable levels of soccer... Given the restrictive infrastructure of our present stadium, we feel that the possibility of playing in a brand-new, purpose built stadium affords us the best opportunity of realising our ambition'".


  • Jonny Allan (Northwich V. [ex Workington] to Lancaster C.)
  • Rob Painter (Bradford PA to Ossett T.)
  • Richard Tracey (Bradford PA to Ossett T.)


    Former Alty Youth striker Wes Wilkinson hit a hat-trick for Nantwich Town in their Vase win yesterday, with ex-Alty player-coach Nigel Gleghorn scoring as well in a 5-1 win.
    23 November 2003


    The Pink confirms that "Rod Thornley is to see a surgeon in a bid to cure a knee problem which has been troubling him all season... A scan has revealed he's suffering from tendonitis, a complaint requiring rest, but Thornley... fears there could be damage to the joint which only an operation would cure. In the meantime he plans to continue playing".


    The NLP has a picture of Graham Heathcote in its preview of next Saturday's Trophy game with Southport which "brings together two of non-league's biggest names- but the two UniBond League heavyweights have failed to punch their weight in recent years". Graham is quoted as saying, "It's a fantatstic competition, so close to everybody's hearts in Altrincham. We have a history in the FA Trophy. Obviously the priority for everybody... is to finish in the top 13 but I would never say the Trophy wasn't a priority... You need a lot of ingredients to do well in this competition, and one is luck". Despite our draw and win over Port already this season, Graham says "I would say they are ahead of us... they have a lot of Conference players still attached to them.. We're going through a difficult period at the moment and operating with a small squad but it will be a smashing cup tie". Southport's new signings Steve Daly and Neil Fitzhenry are cup-tied for the game.


    Mario Daniel, now known it seems as Mario Sergio Daniel, has signed for Mossley. Mario, a Trinidad and Tobago youth international, played 1+4 games for Altrincham in 2000-01 and 3+5 in 2001-02, scoring twice.

    The Pink quotes the Macclesfield chairman as saying "We are keen to retain the services of Danny Adams beyond the end of the current season", whilst on the letters page there is a photo of Danny and a correspondent berates Macc for only giving Danny a one-year contract. The writer describes Danny as "without doubt the best left back in the division".

    Another ex-Alty Danny, McGoona, was a sub for Caernarfon Town yesterday. Paul Ellender (Boston), Steve Hawes (Worksop), Adam Farley and Steve Porter (Droylsden), Tony Sullivan (Lancaster), Chris Timons (Gainsboro') and Terry Bowker (Stalybridge) all turned out yesterday. Also, Leroy Chambers netted for Droylsden whilst Rob Matthews scored for Mossley in the Vase. Ryan Hevicon got two more for East Manchester and in the NW Counties former Alty reserve Sam Baker netted for Abbey Hey and Gareth Strange scored for Atherton LR, whilst in the Vase, Ryan McMahon kept goal for St Helens Town, for whom Paul Glynn, who has played for Alty's first team this season, also played.


    The club's unofficial site says that "Burscough`s former Captain Carl Macauley has beeen released by the club. Carl has left to join Vauxhall Motors where he will be taking up a coaching post with the Rivacre road side".

    The Northern Echo says that "The UniBond League is seeking a meeting with Bishop Auckland to discuss their future plans, both short and long term. It is understood that the UniBond League has '"numerous areas of concern' but Bishops are confident they can satisfy demands. Meanwhile, the sale of Kingsway appears to have reached deadlock again, and at least one more year at Dean Street [Shildon] is on the cards".

    Harrogate Town report that former Northwich Vic, Mark Barnard has joined them. He "was reported to have joined Belper Town earlier this week after being released by Northwich Victoria, however Harrogate Town have captured his signature".


  • Ashton U. 1 Alfreton T. 1
  • Bradford PA 1 Altrincham 1
  • Burscough 1 Barrow 1
  • Frickley A. 1 Stalybridge C. 2
  • Gainsborough T. 2 Marine 0
  • Harrogate T. 3 Southport 1
  • Hucknall T. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Lancaster C. 1 Blyth S. 1
  • Radcliffe B. 0 Whitby T. 5
  • Spennymoor U. 4 Wakefield & Emley 4
  • Worksop T. 1 Droylsden 3