Altrincham Football Club News Archive
30 November to 6 December, 2003

6 December 2003


The Cheshire FA Youth side, which had six Alty Youth players in the squad, won 5-2 away to Norfolk FA today to reach the last eight of the FA County Youth Cup. Kieran Lugsden of Alty scored two of the goals, taking his total to nine for this week in Alty or Cheshire youth games!


Chris Lightfoot, Runcorn's player-manager, says "I’m not used to playing a full game so it’s taken me a time to recover! I know how much the Trophy means to all Runcorn supporters so it was great that we managed to get into the next round. Actually I would have preferred a home tie in the next round... but I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the trip to Altrincham".

IC Cheshire adds that "Lightfoot is relishing the prospect of a good old-fashioned derby against Altrincham in the FA Trophy.... The tie at Moss Lane on Saturday, January 10, also carries historical significance. It will bring back memories of the 1986 final at Wembley - and before that, a two-legged semi in the 1970s. Both contests went Altrincham's way". Lightfoot said: "It's not a bad draw. It would have been better if it had been at home, but we seem to do better away. It is a nice pitch at Altrincham and there is no reason why we can't go there and get a result. We have both had some decent results without setting the world on fire and it has all the makings of a decent game". The manager added, "Steve Carragher has had a sore foot and Ged Nolan has been playing with a thigh strain. But it is good they have been willing to do that to help me out". The paper says "Nolan should be fit after suffering a head injury".


Woodley Sports have signed Carl Alford the former Conference striker, who hails from Manchester, from Gainsborough Trinity.


Congratulations to Barrow, who last night emerged from almost 5 years of liquidation. According to the excellent Holker St. Newsletter, "The news means that there are now no problems with admission to the Conference who said they'd be happy to have us back... The news also means that companies who couldn't sponsor us may now be more approachable with regard to sponsorship". Talking of the "disciplinary side of things, [manager] Lee Turnbull said that the way we play, we're a physical side, and many sides we play against deliberately make it hard for us and as a result, we have to be a little physical as sides play harder against us with it being their cup final which was what Wayne Bullimore found out now that he'd experienced less physical games whilst playing for Wakefield & Emley... Asked about his preferred line-up after already naming a back four of Shaw, Hume, Salmon and Maxfield, LT said that upfront would be Campbell and Curtis and the midfield would be four from Gaughan, Anthony, Warren, Oliver and Hill... One thing that LT reveals he does do, is arrange for his dad to go out and obtain reports on some of our opponents to point out their best players", so look out for Mr Turnbull senior today at Moss Lane!.

In the NW Evening Mail Barrow "boss Lee Turnbull has admitted he faces a fight to hang on to loan-signing Wayne Curtis... The former Holker Old Boys striker has signed for three months from Conference club Morecambe. But the Shrimps have an option to take him back after a month... Turnbull would love to sign him on a permanent basis and he said: 'It’s worrying, of course it is'".


Stalybridge Celtic, whom we meet twice over Christmas, have several long-term injuries: goalkeeper Craig Dootson is out for a month with a hand injury, ex-Robin Terry Bowker (tendonitis) is out for a fortnight. Kevin Parr could be back from his knee injury before Christmas but Danny Caldecott (knee) still has no date set for his return.

Southport report that "Liam Watson this week conducted the biggest mid season shake up Southport Football Club has ever seen. The Port boss is now in the progress of clearing the decks for a fresh influx of talent... Watson pulled in a number of players on Tuesday night to inform them of his decisions. Out go non contract players central defender Tony Hallam and Graeme Atkinson. Put on the transfer list with immediate effect are striker Peter Thomson, centre back Neil Whitworth and right back Danny Stone... Hallam has been playing with a shoulder injury and it is likely the ex Preston apprentice will take time out of the game to get corrective surgery... Midfielder Liam McGuire currently suspended has also been told he is going to be sent out on a three month loan... Former skipper Steve Soley left the Sandgrounders this week after an injury ravaged career at Haig Avenue... Soley was the first player in over 30 years to be given a three year contract".

Possibly less happy news is that Frickley "have arranged an Extraordinary General Meeting for Monday 15th December at 7.30pm in the Clubhouse at the ground. All members are encouraged to attend".

NL Daily report that "Hucknall Town hope to have completed the signing of 20-year-old Leon McSweeney in time to include him in the squad for Saturday's game... The attacking midfielder was released after three years with Premiership Leicester City, and joins Hucknall after a short stay at Nationwide Conference side Scarborough"

BPA's site states that "Bradford manager, Trevor Storton, is preparing for his 400th match in charge, when Avenue take on Wakefield & Emley at Belle Vue tomorrow. His record to date is: Played 399 Won 194 Drawn 74 Lost 131".

The UniBond League adds that Celtic "manager Dave Miller is hoping to unveil a new addition to his strike force before Tuesday's Tameside Derby at Ashton United".

Blyth boss Paul Baker, "is waiting to hear whether Quakers' [Darlington] manager David Hodgson wants to take a closer look at Spartans' winger Wayne Phillips. Baker said: 'I reckon it is time they got in touch to tell us and Wayne whether they intend to pursue their interest. The way things are it's not doing the player or Blyth any good'", according to IC Newcastle.

IC Liverpool says that "amid internal unrest which has dogged Burscough Football Club since they won the FA Trophy, two key figures resigned, then returned to the fold, all in the space of seven days. Treasurer Stan Petherbridge and director of football Rod Cottam quit following a board meeting last week from which allegations of two factions at the club emerged. But both men had a change of heart following a "clear the air" meeting on Tuesday night at which former secretary Stan Strickland was appointed to oversee a bridge-building exercise to get everyone working together for the benefit of the club". Stan added, "Next Tuesday at 7pm, the directors will meet the management committee to take the first steps towards a new start, and at 8pm we will meet the supporters' club committee along with representatives of the junior section to build bridges with them".

Lancaster Today quotes City manager Phil Wilson as saying after the club's FA Trophy exit at Hednesford Town, "We are falling well behind in the league and we need to get back on track. In some ways losing this could be a blessing in disguise. The league has always been our priority this season". After a recent slump in form, Wilson added: "I am still looking at one or two new players and we could change things a round a bit". Lancaster visit Moss Lane on 16 December.

But another return has been denied by This is Lincs: "Gainsborough Trinity assistant manager Pete Rinkcavage has poured scorn on reports linking him and boss Paul Mitchell with a shock return to Worksop Town. Rumours circulated the Northolme [that] they were set to be approached by their former employers at Sandy Lane... It is believed the Tigers were ready to approach the duo, as fans at Town are unhappy with current boss Steve Ludlam... 'I have heard what has been said and I can safely say it is absolute rubbish', said Rinkcavage. 'It is just silly talk at the end of the day. Things are going so well here it would not make sense to leave'".

Worksop Today adds that "Town's plans to bring their Sandy Lane home up to Conference standard have again been thrown into limbo. Complications came to light after club backer Howard Raymond met with Conference officials and representatives of the Football Foundation. To now qualify for their proposed £490,000 Football Foundation grant that will finance work on the ground Worksop must first win promotion to the Football Conference. But in order to reach the Conference, money must first be made available to get Sandy Lane up to standard by the March 31st deadline".

5 December 2003


Following the signing of Steve Foster, (see below), Radcliffe Borough "Chairman Bernard Manning stated ‘Steve has the makings of being an excellent signing for the club and turned down Altrincham and Runcorn to come to us, I felt we had to back Kevin and give him some funds to complete the deal although believe it or not it is not from the proceeds of the Jody Banim sale we had earmarked some money prior to the sale’ he further added ‘Kevin also has one or two more signings he would like to complete and one of them he should get an answer from on Sunday night'".

"21-year-old striker Steve Foster [signed] for £2.000. The former Blackburn Rovers and Hyde United striker put pen to paper late on Friday afternoon and will make his debut for the club in next Saturday’s home game against Hucknall Town".

"Manager Kevin Glendon also made an offer this week to sign current Ramsbottom United and former Bury youngster Lee Buggie. The 22 year old striker agreed terms with the ‘Boro’ boss but had a re-think and decided to stay at Ramsbottom United".


Alty's Niell Hardy is "struggling" to be fit for tomorrow's game but Rod Thornley will play, despite going in for his knee operation next Tuesday.

According to their website Radcliffe Borough "manager Kevin Glendon is currently awaiting confirmation of three new signings ahead of Saturday's game at Altrincham. It is thought two new strikers and an experienced centre back are the current targets".

However, Stalybridge Celtic have confirmed that one of the above-mentioned is striker "Steve Foster [who] has been transferred to Radcliffe Borough for an undisclosed four figure fee". In addition Celtic say that "Ian Bowling (goalkeeper) is expected to join Celtic on one month's loan from Unibond rivals Worksop Town. Ian will go straight into the team for tomorrow's clash with Burscough". This follows Dave McCarthy's reclaiming the no.1 shirt after returning from loan to Altrincham.


Altrincham Youth won 10-0 at Chorley last night in the NWYA Open Cup 2nd Round. They have now scored 18 without reply in a five day period.

For a match report, see the Youth Page.


The updated UniBond Premier attendance chart is here, thanks to Terry Rowley.


The Macclesfield Express states that "former Macclesfield Town boss Sammy McIlroy has launched a stinging attack on the club after he claims he was accused of 'tapping up' [ex-Alty] full-back Danny Adams. The Stockport County boss alleges that members of the Macclesfield board have accused him of approaching Adams, who is out of contract in the summer... A furious McIlroy told Express Sport: 'Not in a million years would I tap up Danny Adams. I don't work like that... I'd like to go on record now to say that I am not interested in Danny'. Two weeks ago, McIlroy admitted to Express Sport that Danny Adams had been 'in his thoughts' before bringing in young Aston Villa left back Danny Jackman on loan last month. McIlroy has had a long association with the no-nonsense defender, but added: 'We are happy with what we have got for now'... Current Macc caretaker boss John Askey said that he would like to keep Adams at the club, but was not aware of any approaches for the player".

Meanwhile, Mossley Web confirms that the club has "signed diminutive 19-year-old striker Mario Sergio Daniel from league rivals Atherton Collieries... He began his playing career with Altrincham and progressed through their youth team and reserves before breaking into the first-team. With chances at Moss Lane limited he joined Trafford with whom he remained until recently before briefly playing for Colls... Daniel, incidentally, is the cousin of injured Mossley wing-back Matty Taylor and is a former Trinidad & Tobago Youth international".


Altrincham's disciplinary record is much improved this season with an official tally of 23 yellows and 3 reds in 21 UniBond league and cup games to the end of November. Indeed, two of those reds were off-pitch cards picked up by non-players so the playing record is actually even better.


A week on Saturday Alty travel to Barrow for whom former Doncaster man Neil Campbell will be out of action with a suspension.
4 December 2003


Man. Utd Reserves beat WBA Reserves 2-0 at Moss Lane tonight.


SAM reports that "Rod Thornley is waiting on confirmation on his appointment with the surgeon. He is available for selection against Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, but given that the provisional date for the surgery his tendonitis requires is December 9, that may be it for up to eight weeks. Barry Shuttleworth (right), who missed last Saturday's trophy win over Southport due to illness, will hopefully be fit for Saturday".

As for the Trophy draw against Runcorn FC Halton, Graham Heathcote said, "All you can ask for is a home tie against a club of your own level. I'm not saying it won't be tough, but there is a definite opportunity for us to progress there".


FA Trophy 2 Replay
  • Bradford PA 1 Whitby T. 0 - BPA now away at Hucknall.


    Alty "old boy" Tim Ryan has signed a new contract at Doncaster Rovers which keeps him there till 2006.


    Droylsden have won the Club of the Month, the Goalscoring Award and the Fair Play prize for November under the UniBond League awards scheme. Over the season as a whole Ashton United lead the Fair Play table.
    3 December 2003


    Alty will not now face UniBond top-scorer Jody Banim on Saturday. Radcliffe Borough confirm that Shrewsbury Town "have agreed a financial package for the transfer of Jody Banim from Radcliffe Borough F.C... The transfer will be completed on Wednesday 3rd December, with the player having completed his personal terms late Tuesday afternoon. The transfer fee of £20,000 plus other financial incentives involved in the package is a new club record and could rise further with the incentives involved, the club have also agrred a sell on clause for any future sale of Jody Banim and a pre-season fixture at Stainton Park".

    Previously The Shropshire Star reported on the deal saying that the Shrews' manager Jimmy Quinn "would not be drawn on the fee involved but Town are sure to have upped their original offer believed to be in the region of £15,000 to satisfy Borough bosses. 'The lad has got a full time job and he's getting a few quid at Radcliffe and, because he'd have to move from Manchester to Shrewsbury, we've got to offer him what we can'".


    The Saturday Yankee, which is such an important fundraiser for Altrincham FC, has a "rollover" prize of £3,000 currently. So, why not join the Yankee lottery and for £1 you could be the winner? Details are here. Collectors are also needed, so please contact Jenny Heslop on 928-1045 if you can help - commission is paid.

    As well as raising money through the Yankee, Alty held a very successful bingo night last Friday. And, don't forget Alty's next fundraiser - the Karaoke Night at Moss Lane on Friday -tickets are £5 (inc. Buffet). For details of the Christmas Fair.


    Howard Watts has once again provided his fascinating Through the Years data, for 6 December, here.
    2 December 2003



    FA Trophy 2

  • Rossendale U. 0 Guiseley 0

    FA Trophy 2 Replays

  • Barrow 4 Harrogate T. 2
  • Hednesford T. 1 Lancaster C. 0
  • Vauxhall M. 2 Alfreton T. 4

    Premier Division

  • Gainsborough T. 2 Hucknall T. 1


    The Northern section of the draw, after replays, is now as follows:
  • Telford U. v Alfreton T.
  • Shrewsbury T. v Morecambe
  • Altrincham v Runcorn FC Halton
  • Scarborough v Stafford R.
  • Hednesford T. v Gresley R.
  • Leigh RMI v Stalybridge C.
  • Blyth S. v Barrow
  • Chester C. v Halifax T.
  • Burton A. v Accrington S.
  • Marine v Northwich V.
  • Rossendale U./Guiseley v Worksop T.
  • Hucknall T v Bradford PA
  • Burscough v Tamworth


    Former Alty defender Mal Bailey, who has been helping George Heslop and Neil Thomason with the Altrincham Youth team this season, has raised £300 for them by dyeing his hair in several colours and daring to go shopping in Altrincham to earn sponsorship! Mal's Alty playing career is recorded in the Legends section.


    This is Lancashire reports that Radcliffe "Boro's next league game is away at Altrincham on Saturday, Dec 6, and they could give a debut to young striker Kalvin White should Denham fail to recover from injury". White was formerly at Castleton Gabriels in the NW Counties League. Off the pitch, Borough have just raised a commendable £1,000 with a Race Night.


    STAR, The Altrincham FC Supporters’ Trust, has joined with Positive Solutions Financial Services Ltd, a firm of independent financial advisers, whose representative Andrew Crush is an Alty supporter. 15% of the normal commission paid by the financial services' provider will be paid over to STAR for each Alty fan who makes use of their services. For details, see the STAR website (link above).


    "The board of directors of Colwyn Bay Football Club have indicated a willingness to step aside to allow a new group to be assembled to oversee the club operations... Long-time supporter and club spokesman Andy Owens has established a steering group to operate the club until a new group is in place to take over... The key focus of the steering group will be to develop a solid internal structure within the club and ensure the financial stability is established to allow the club to move forward in the challenging environment of the English pyramid", reports tha UniBond League. Bay are regrouping after relegation last season from the UniBond Premier.
    1 December 2003


    Dalton Steele (right) has resigned as Assistant Manager of Altrincham F.C..

    Dalton himself explains:

    It has not been an easy decision for me to make to leave the club because in life you may never have the chance to manage or, in my case, to help to manage a great club like Altrincham. With that, I'd like to thank Graham Heathcote for bringing me to the club and wish him all the best for the remainder of the season.

    To the chairman and directors and all the back-room staff, thank you for your warmth.

    To the fans, keep giving your all to the players and management and back-room staff and this club will get to the finishing line for you, because you have been great for most of the time that I've been here.

    To the players, your playing days are short in football, so make sure you always give it your all every time you get on that pitch. Then, you will always have great memories.

    All the very best, Dalton.

    Dalton joined Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote at Moss Lane on 23 October 2002. He came to Altrincham from Flixton, where he was having his second spell in charge. He had previously managed at Droylsden, Winsford United and Chorley. In his first spell at Flixton, he took the club from amateur football to the UniBond First Division, whilst at Winsford he also built a successful side. Dalton's knowledge of local non-league football will be greatly missed but he is not about to join another club. For his part, Alty manager Graham Heathcote is not rushing into a replacement appointment. Graham recorded his thanks to Dalton for his hard work over the last 13 months and wished him well for the future.


    Altrincham have drawn Runcorn FC Halton at home in the FA Trophy Round 3 on 10 January. Prize money is £4,000. The sides have met four times previously in the Trophy with Altrincham winning every time. In 1974/75 it took three replays in the 2nd qualifying round (0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 2-0). In 1977/78 Alty won the two-leg semi-final 1-0. In 1986 Alty won the final against Runcorn 1-0 and in 1997/98 we met in round one at Moss Lane and won 2-0. Alty's full Trophy record is here.


    Alty Christmas cards are now available. They feature an excellent drawing of the Moss Lane main stand by local artist and historian Basil Morrison. Packs of five cost just £1.50 from the Robins' shop.


    Altrincham Youth team's unbeaten league season continued with an 8-0 win over South Sefton Borough on Sunday at Wythenshawe Town. For a match report, see the Youth Page.


    As well as this site's match report, there is a Southport view on their excellent Port Pie unofficial site. The same site reported before the game that "Port manager Liam Watson has had an attempt to play in tomorrow’s FA Trophy tie with Altrincham turned down by his former employers Runcorn FC Halton. The Linnets, whom Watson left to take up the Southport reigns in October still hold the former Preston striker’s registration and, in a situation similar to that of Shaun Teale have refused to release him unless a fee is met by the Sandgrounders.... The Sandgrounders boss said: 'I would play myself tomorrow because I am short of left-sided players but Runcorn won't let me. I have asked them every week since leaving to release my registration but they want money, even though they said there would be no problem when I got the Southport job. I think they are sulking because I signed Steve Daly from them'".


    UniBond League Premier Club of the Month for November is Droylsden. In the Non-League Directory’s Annual Awards 2003, Accrington Stanley won the North West club of the year award.

    The NWCL reports that Salford City's Phil Baylis has also signed UniBond forms with Lancaster City

    30 November 2003


    Youth keeper Ashley Timms played a trial match for Oxford United U-19s yesterday and has now been invited back to play for their Reserves.


    Alty extended their unbeaten run to 9 games with this deserved victory over Southport.

    Match report here.


    Alty's gate of 711 yesterday was only bettered by Weymouth anywhere in the Trophy 2nd Round. The STAR half-time bucket collection raised an excellent £114.58 - and a black button, which coordinator Gary Warrington "will keep with the small piece of plastic obtained during a previous collection"!


    Graham Heathcote has a column in today's Pink. He says of the club's many draws this season, "I simply don't believe it would be in our best interests to sacrifice solidity for creativity at this stage. Yes, there may well come a point where we're going to have to gamble a little bit and become more adventurous but I don't believe it's anywhere near time for that to happen. For the time being it's about building a points platform from which to launch our bid for automatic Northern Alliance qualification". He adds, "the destiny of our season will be decided at Moss Lane... it's at our place we've fallen short so far, by drawing games we really ought to have been winning".

    Graham goes on to praise Rod Thornley for playing whilst injured and explains that the arrivals of Marcus Hallows and Stuart Wright are not additions to his squad but are replacements for the injured Thornley and the often unavailable Dave Gardner and Nick Welton.

    Also, says, Graham, "Mark Maddox and Gary Scott, who have both been carrying injuries, have each been told they need to rest. Neither of them wants to, so what we'll try to copy is the Paul McGrath scenario...where they play but don't train. It's not ideal but it's a lot better than not having them at all".

    The NLP says that Marcus Hallows "Could become a permanent signing" for Altrincham, as Graham Heathcote told the paper, "It is up to the player".

    Elsewhere the Pink says that Stalybridge's willingness to release striker Steve Foster "might just alert Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote, who makes no secret of his admiration for Foster".


    Changes at the FA last week leave Trevor Brooking in charge of the so-called "National Game" (non-league) structure. An FA spokesman said "Until Trevor actually joins, the ramifications for Non-League football will be unanswered". Meanwhile the FA has agreed to go to arbitration with the Ryman over the restructuring plans for next season. Whilst the UniBond and Dr Martens leagues have waived fines for clubs who resign to join the new Alliance, the Ryman has not and has a deadline of 31 December for resignations. The Ryman case against change is that the plans have derived from "procedural irregularity" and "a lack of consultation". The Chairman of the Conference has written to his members: "it is at least theoretically possible that the reorganisation will not take place".


    Alty travel to Barrow on 13 December but the Holker Street Newsletter reports that "Barrow AFC expect to be issued with their new safety certificate on Monday... This does however mean that Saturday's [yesterday's] Reserve game can unfortunately once again only be viewed from The Crossbar"


    The Pink confirms that Jody Banim is set to leave Radcliffe Borough for Shrewsbury for £25,000 but not until after Boro' have played Altrincham (next Saturday) and Worksop, the week after.


    Danny Adams (Macc), Adam Farley (Droylsden), Ged Kielty (sub. for Leigh), Mark Quayle (Scarboro) and Danny McGoona (Caernarfon) were amongst former Robins in action yesterday.


    This is Lincs says that "Paul Mitchell, manager of UniBond League Premier Division club Gainsborough Trinity, has blasted former England semi-professional international Carl Alford after the striker claimed the club was 'unprofessional'. Alford parted with Trinity by mutual consent earlier this week, only five months after signing a two-year contract with the club and having failed to start a game this season. In a parting shot, Alford said his time at the Northolme was a farce and also hit out at Mitchell for turning up for an evening game at the Northolme as late as 7pm". Mitchell said "As regarding Carl not playing, he was on big money and he had a responsibility to get himself fit. He never did that and not once did I feel he was fit enough to play for me". Alford was signed by previous boss John Reames.

    "Accrington Stanley have cancelled Darren Connell's contract by mutual consent to enable the player to find first team football. Connell... has been on loan at UniBond League Premier Division side Burscough for much of this campaign", reports the Stanley site.

  • Carl Turner (Alfreton T. to Shepshed Dynamo)
  • Robert O'Brien (Doncaster R. on loan to Gainsborough T.)
  • Tom Smith (Northampton T. on loan to Gainsborough T.)
  • Darren Connell (Accrington S. to Burscough)