Altrincham Football Club News Archive
30 December 2003
to 8 January 2004

8 January 2004


Like us, our Trophy opponents on Saturday, Runcorn FC Halton, lost their UniBond cup match on Tuesday. Their website reports: "Runcorn FC Halton exited the Chairman's Cup in disappointing fashion after a lacklustre display against First Division Leek Town... The visitors [Runcorn] looked more lively in the second half and were helped significantly by the introduction of Barry Hogan and Matty McGinn who brought more structure into the midfield".

It would appear that new signing Chris Downey will not be eligible for our Trophy game as players must be registered with the club 7 days prior to the date of the tie. Chris, who made his Altrincham debut on Tuesday, also turned out for Trafford FC last Saturday in their goalless draw with Salford City. He joined ex-Alty man Simon Woodford as a used substitute for Trafford. Marcus Hallows is eligible for Saturday as he did not play for Chorley in the Trophy before joining us. Indeed, Marcus played for Alty against Southport in the last round of the competition.

Howard Watts's 'Through the Years' statistics for 10 January are here. Alty previously met Runcorn on the same date in 1970 and lost 2-0 at Canal Street in the Northern Premier League. The sides have met four times previously in the Trophy with Altrincham winning every time. Alty's full Trophy record is here.


SAM reports that "a group of Altrincham fans have called upon the club's major shareholders to help the club through its current financial difficulties. They displayed two banners at last Saturday's match against Whitby Town calling for shares to be donated back to the club, and then possibly re-sold to new investors, which they say would give the cash-strapped Moss Lane club a much needed financial boost... Gary Warrington, spokesman for the group said, 'We are satisfied we made our point, and when representatives of the club asked us politely to take the banners down, we were happy to do so. We don't have an issue with anyone at the club and hopefully we showed that'... Robins' chairman Geoff Goodwin detailed the reasons behind the club's request for the group to remove the banners. 'It's a delicate situation regarding the major shareholders and their shares. Those shares belong to the shareholders and they are their property. I was in negotiation with someone I can't name, to get a big lump of shares, but this may reverse that, as they might think they are being forced to do it'". For the Board's statement on this issue, see the news below for 7 December.


IC Cheshire has a report on Tuesday's game from the Vauxhall perspective, describing it as "a victory at Moss Lane that was far more comprehensive than the scoreline might suggest". Though "Altrincham responded with a surprise 64th-minute goal... The Motormen continued to play good football".


Bottom-placed Wakefield and Emley are the next league visitors to Moss Lane, on 31 January. "Emley management duo Paul David and Ray Dennis might be making strenuous efforts to strengthen their squad, but that level of commitment among the current team seems to be lacking", reports IC Huddersfield. "The loss of loan duo Adam Muller and particularly Robert Pell - a burly centre-forward who held the ball up well for others around him - has put joint team chiefs David and Dennis right back at square one. New signing Adewale Ajetunmobi [ex-Alty], secured over the Christmas break after beginning the season with Droylsden, was given an immediate start up front but unfortunately had little chance to make an impact against solid Lancaster defenders Andy Scott and Farrell Kilbane... Frustrated David said: 'Taking responsibility has to be the key out on the pitch and far too many of our more experienced players simply hid'".


Regarding the New Year's Day game at Stalybridge, on the club website the Chairman says: "I understand the depth of feeling regarding the unfortunate reaction of Kenny Mayers when substituted during the our home game against Altrincham. I have spoken to the player, who regrets his actions and has apologised for the incident. In his defence I have to say that the player has had to put up with some of the most vicious abuse from a small section of so-called fans who have decided that he, Kenny Mayers, should be the whipping boy for our recent poor form. The board in no way condones the player's actions on New Year's Day but, equally, we wish to make it clear that we are not prepared to stand by and see a genuine player, who never hides and who always gives his all, subjected to this unfair treatment. We stand together to condemn the 'fans' concerned and ask that they get behind the team, temper their views or if they cannot be more reasonable to stop away.... Pete Dennerly, Chairman, Stalybridge Celtic FC Ltd".

Whitby Town report that "The Planning Committee of Scarborough Borough Council met last night (5th) to discuss the Whitby Town stand project, but the decision was delayed for a month. The committee wish to view the site to make a better judgment after one objection was received by a neighbour. The height of the stand is an issue, I am informed, but the reduction in light pollution, the removal of an eyesore and two floodlights should be compensation enough! The committee will meet again on the first Monday in February".

The Burscough site says that "forward Kris McHale has left Victoria Park to sign for the Hilton Park side [Leigh RMI]".


Leigh RMI Boss Phil Starbuck "has signed former England semi-professional international Carl Alford, who has been turning out for Woodley Sports since being released by Gainsborough Trinity a couple of months ago".
7 January 2004


The issue of share ownership of the club has again reared its ugly head at a time when we are beginning to see some stability and with progress on both the VAT and Inland Revenue fronts. Every time this club takes one step forward, we seem to have the knack of taking another one in a backward direction, with the subsequent unrest being caused.

In 1995 when John Maunders passed over all the shares in the club to John King, it was he who fronted the efforts to save the club from extinction. He retained all the non-voting shares but distributed the voting shares to people who, at that time, were working hard to maintain Altrincham Football Club's future - Gerry Berman, the then Chairman, Len Rosenfield, Graham Heathcote and himself. He saw this as a way of rewarding them for their efforts when money was tight.

This distribution of shares now seems to be causing a few spectators to become disillusioned in the situation due to their inability in being able to obtain shares in the club. These shares, although given for no monetary return, were given, as stated, for those people's efforts in keeping our club afloat and thus deserved. It is their right if they wish to keep hold of them or to transfer/sell them. Holding protests and being defamatory to these people will only harden their attitude at a time which we believe may see shares being passed on to the present Board. Graham Heathcote has already stated that once his shares are released from DLA, that he is willing to give his shares to the present Board. Similar negotiations are ongoing with other major shareholders, the outcome of which can only be damaged by any derogatory protests planned.

Change takes time - Please give it to us.

The Board, Altrincham Football Club.


Match Report here.

Right: Richard Acton leaves the pitch after his first game for more than four months, due to injury.

6 January 2004


League Challenge Cup 3
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Vauxhall M. 2
  • Matlock T. 2 North Ferriby U. 1
  • Witton A. 0 Droylsden 1

    President's Cup 1

  • Alfreton T. 0 Harrogate T. 2

    Chairman's Cup 1

  • Leek T. 2 Runcorn FC Halton 1


    Altrincham have signed Chris Downey, a 5ft 10ins forward, released recently by Leigh RMI. He was born in Warrington on 19 April 1983 and has been a sub for RMI 4 times, clocking up 98 minutes of football as squad member no.22, since he joined Leigh in September 2003 on a free transfer from Bolton Wanderers where he emerged from their Academy side. Chris made his RMI debut replacing Marcus Hallows after he had moved to Chorley prior to joining Altrincham on loan. In 2000-01 he made a sub appearance for Bolton Wanderers in Division One and in 2001 he was Young Player of the Year for Bolton. He also played, on loan, for Sengkang Marine in the Singapore League in 2002. Chris has also signed NW Counties forms for Trafford FC.


    John Charlton, son of Jack, and former manager of Blyth Spartans has resigned as manager of Whitley Bay.


    On Saturday Alty host Runcorn FC Halton in the FA Trophy at Moss Lane. In the League, "Runcorn are still searching for their first UniBond League Premier Division home win of the season - at the 12th time of asking", reports IC Cheshire. More ominously for Altrincham, however, Runcorn have won seven away league games this season, amassing 24 of their 29 points on the road!
    5 January 2004


    President's Cup 1
  • Belper Town 1 Marine 3


    Eastwood Town of the Northern Counties East League have signed Michael Reynolds (right) from Altrincham. Reynolds made 3(+4) appearances for Altrincham since arriving in September but had not appeared since being a used sub at Workington on 18 November. He made his debut for Eastwood last Saturday.


    Two previously postponed league games have now been rearranged:
  • Altrincham v Ashton United will now be on Tuesday, 17 February, 7.45pm.
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Altrincham will now be on Tuesday, 16 March, 7.45pm.


    The Club is holding a "Famous Five" night at which five of its players will comprise a forum in the Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane on Saturday, February 7th, at 7.30pm for 8pm, after the away game at Ashton United. The five will include Mark Maddox and Rod Thornley. Tickets, available from the club, are £15 and include a choice of a curry or hot pot supper.


    The Whitby Town website has a report on Saturday's game at Altrincham.


    Simon Woodford has moved from Salford City to Trafford. Former Alty Youth defender Pat Claffey, who was in the Alty first-team squad during 2001-02, scored for Trafford Reserves at the weekend. Meanwhile Peter Band's brother Simon has moved from Trafford to Atherton LR.

    4 January 2004


    An Altrincham Youth team lacking many regulars slid to its first league defeat of the season at home to Barrow today, losing 0-2. Match report on the Youth Page


    Match report here..

    There is good news about Barry Shuttleworth, injured yesterday; his ankle is not broken.


    The STAR bucket collection yesterday raised £84.11 from a crowd of 501 which, though low for a Saturday at Moss Lane, was the highest in the UniBond. Many thanks are due to those who collected and donated money.


    Amongst the Alty old boys in action yesterday were Danny Adams (Macc), Paul Ellender (Boston), Andy Dibble & Paul Edwards (Wrexham), Mario Daniel & Ged Kielty [as a sub] (Leigh RMI), Adam Farley, Steve Porter, Carl Furlong and Leroy Chambers [sub] (Droylsden), Steve Hawes (Worksop), Chris Timons (Gainsboro), Tony Sullivan [sub] (Lancaster), Adewale Ajetunmobi (Wakefield & Emley), Danny McGoona (Caernarfon) and Stuart Terry (Connah's Quay).
    3 January 2004


  • Alfreton T. 4 Droylsden 2
  • ALTRINCHAM 4 Whitby T. 0
  • Blyth S. 5 Marine 0
  • Burscough 0 Worksop T. 0
  • Frickley A. 4 Barrow 2
  • Gainsborough T. 0 Stalybridge C. 0
  • Lancaster C. 3 Wakefield & Emley 0
  • Radcliffe B. 2 Bradford PA 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 1 Hucknall T. 2
  • Spennymoor U. v Southport POSTPONED
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Ashton U. 2
  • Harrogate T. - no game.


    Radcliffe Borough report that "Cambridge United will again be attending Stainton Park with their likely target believed to be Boro’s new captain Davy Luker. The 21 year-old has had an impressive first season at Stainton Park and this will be the third time Cambridge are believed to have watched The Boro utility player over the last 2 months". Meanwhile "The Boro are hot on the heels of ex-Manchester United midfielder Ben Thornley... [who] has currently left Stalybridge. Manager Kevin Glendon stated 'Ben is a type of player who would fit in well at Radcliffe and is just one of a number of players I am looking to bring to the club'. This follows a busy line of transfer activity for Glendon who is believed to be keen to rebuild a new Radcliffe Borough team". Also, "Boro custodian Dave Felgate has moved to Chorley on a short-term loan. The ex-Welsh international will make his debut for the Magpies on Saturday... He will be returning to Radcliffe once the Chorley regular number one returns to action". However, "Boro' have had their £2,500 offer for Burscough’s 19 year old centre back Steve McNulty rejected... Chairman Bernard Manning Jnr said 'Our offer was £2,500 with add-ons leading up to £5,000 if he made over 50 appearances for our club'".

    On the other hand, Frickley have bad financial news "in that the Committee have recently had to inform manager Phil Sharpe that his playing budget will reluctantly have to be reduced by approximately 25% from now until the end of the season... At the moment we do not have enough supporters paying through the gate to sustain the budget that was set at the start of the season". The club treasurer added: "Following our first 12 league home games the total gate receipts were £8779. A simple mathematical calculation gives us a total gate receipt figure for the season of a little over £16,000. We have a 37-week wage bill. £16,000 divided by 37 weeks = £432 per week, allowing for 15 players per week over a full season, we therefore can pay under £30 per player per week. We supplement the gate receipts with other income, i.e. bar profit, sponsorships and advertising, income from our weekly Super Six lotteries, but the gate receipts are our core income... A sustained increase on the gate of 50 adults per home game would increase the playing budget by £170 per week, an extra 100 by £340 per week." Frickley have the go-ahead to enter the Alliance North in 2004 but will need to upgrade the ground by 1 April 2007 to remain there. Upgrades needed will include installing seats to replace the benches in the main stand, more toilets, a new press box and the eradication of all grassed spectator areas - as seen above when Alty visited Frickley last April.


  • Neil Whitworth (Southport on loan to Radcliffe B.)
  • Curtis Bernard (Gainsborough T. to Stocksbridge PS)
  • Bradley Cullen (Kidsgrove A. to Vauxhall M.)

    2 January 2004


    Former Alty youth player Mario Daniel (19), who made 4(+9) first team appearances for our first team after making his debut in November 2000 under Mark Ward's managership, scored for Leigh RMI in the Conference yesterday. As NL Daily reports, the "former Trinidad & Tobago Youth international striker Mario Daniel netted on his debut. Supporters of Altrincham will remember Daniel as a pacy youngster who made a senior debut whilst still only 17. However, since then he has been around the NW Counties League scene with the likes of Trafford, Atherton Collieries and, more recently, Mossley".


    Match report here.

    Above: First-half action at Stalybridge, watched by a sizeable Altrincham contingent.


  • Matthew Parry (ex Prescot Cables to Burscough)
  • Peter Thomson (Southport to Lancaster C.)
  • Scott Richards (Tow Law Town to Spennymoor U.)

    Spennymoor report that "Harrogate Town have recalled keeper Ashley Connor, therefore his last game will be against Southport. Steve Tierney will play in goal for the Durham Challenge Cup game at Billingham Synthonia".

    1 January 2004


  • Barrow 4 Lancaster C. 3
  • Southport 2 Burscough 1
  • Stalybridge C. 1 ALTRINCHAM 0


    A very Happy New Year to all users of this website.

    Altrincham will be without right-back Steve Aspinall (below, right) today at Stalybridge, as he is suspended after picking up five cautions this season. The Stalybridge Celtic website confirms that Scott Bonsall, on loan from Harrogate Town and carried off at Moss Lane on Boxing Day, "has not, as feared, broken his leg. He has been left instead with a badly lacerated shin following what we will politely describe as a mistimed tackle. Scott may well be back in action by January 24th". The Tameside Advertiser quotes Stalybridge boss Dave Miller, "For me, this season has been frustrating with the injuries and suspensions we have had. I’m convinced it’s disrupted our progress and... I’m 100 per cent optimistic that the second half of the season will be better than the first four months. With Chris Denham and Ian Monk coming from Radcliffe Borough and Leigh RMI respectively, it will make us strong going forward... We are where we are because of what we have been this season and to have 27 points with what I’ve had to put up with is a minor miracle... I am more than confident we can finish in the top eight".


    The UniBond League "Fair Play awards for December have gone to Radcliffe Borough and Chorley... Radcliffe have achieved their award with a 100% record for the month. The league are checking the record books as this may have been the first ever monthly clean sheet in the Fair Play League". Altrincham were fourth for December but overall lie 10th this season with 26 yellows and 3 reds (inc. two for non-players) from 25 UniBond league and cup games.

    The Tameside Advertiser confirms that Droylsden boss Dave Pace "has submitted a late application to join the Conference which will be discussed by League chiefs" Pace said: "Obviously I’m delighted with where we are,... you can’t fault being top of the league at Christmas... When the ground is perfect and up to standard, then they (other clubs) had better watch out hadn’t they?... There’s a lot of clubs out there that are just dying to get in the top 14. Quality clubs like Southport etc are after that - they aren’t even talking about top spot, just the top 14. You can only improve things as you go, we have improved the football on the pitch three years running, finishing higher, and this year exceeding expectations... You have people like the chairman at Ashton resigning and managers at other clubs getting sacked, but I’m doing both roles which is a tremendous achievement to do and do it well".

    Meanwhile Ashton manager Gerry Quinn also spoke to the Advertiser about securing a top-13 finish: "Everyone’s going for that, there will be one champion and 12 runners-up - that’s how we see it - and it will be a success for us if we qualify... Our form has been a bit inconsistent this season but we have had various excuses... We were putting out a strong team on Saturday, but had players missing on Tuesday and were trying players out and that explains the difference - if people did an analysis, I think they would find we won more Saturday games than Tuesday games".

    Hucknall Today says that "Hucknall Town are now clear favourites with the bookies to win the Unibond League Premier Division championship. Bookmaking firms, Skybet and Bet365... make Town 7/4 and 6/4 respectively to be celebrating come May. The current leaders, Droylsden, are second favourites at 7/2 with both firms, while Harrogate Town... are 7/2 and 4/1 respectively".

    "After recording only 36 goals so far this season, the Worksop manager [Steve Ludlam] is looking to his big name players to end the drought and produce the goods". He told Worksop Today, "If the likes of Gary Townsend, Simeon Bambrook and Matty Caudwell start firing in the New Year a realistic title challenge is not out of the question... In training we are working on attacking play 90% of the time to try to resolve the problem we seem to have at the moment".

    The unofficial Burscough Burscough site reports that "Midfielder Matthew Parry has been signed from Prescot Cables. "

    Harrogate Town report that the club is "hoping to extend Andy Parton's loan spell [from Scunthorpe] at Wetherby Road to the maximum 3 months". He has scored twice in the two games he has played so far.

    31 December 2003


    The Bower Fold, where Alty meet Stalybridge Celtic on Thursday afternoon is not a happy hunting ground for the Robins. Between 1979 and 1992 Altrincham and Stalybridge did not meet as Altrincham were in the Alliance/Conference and Celtic were not. Since then, however, there have been eight league meetings at the Bower Fold in either the Conference or NPL - and Altrincham have lost seven of them! There has not been a draw but Alty won 3-1 on 15 March 1994, with two goals from Andy Green (right) and one from Ricky Harris. In the last six away meetings Alty have scored just two goals against Celtic, the last being in 1999. For the record, however, Stalybridge have not won any of the nine encounters at Moss Lane since 1992 (5 draws and 4 losses).


    The next visitors to Moss Lane are in-form Whitby Town, who are recovering from a poor start to the season. Like Alty they have lost just once in their last ten games but these include just one league away win, 5-0 at Radcliffe Borough, whom they also beat, 6-2, in the UniBond Cup on 20 December. Over the last 6 league games Whitby lie 3rd and Altrincham 15th in the form table, whilst our next opponents Stalybridge lie 17th.

    Whitby Today reports that "With Lee Ure's transfer to Billingham Town completed, Harry Dunn recalled midfielder Craig Veart" on Boxing Day. After their fourth successive win, the match report ends, "Bring on the Conference. Bring on the New Stand. Bring on 2004".


    Altrincham Youth have played 12 times this season and lost just once- an honourable defeat at Barnsley in the FA Youth Cup. In all cup games they have won five out of six games, scoring 24 times and conceding 10. In the league, Alty have won 7 and drawn 2, scoring 30 and conceding just 6 goals. 35 of the team's 54 goals have come from Kieran Lugsden (20) and Steve Lunt (15), both of whom have appeared in the first team this season. The defence has kept 6 clean sheets in the 12 games. Their next game is at home to Barrow on 4 January at Wythenshawe Town (2pm, entry free), followed by a return fixture at Barrow the following Sunday.


    Owen Brown, boss of Vauxhall Motors, whom we meet on 6 January in the UniBond Cup, "has vowed to wield the axe on his struggling team and bring in fresh blood for the New Year", according to IC Cheshire. After losing to Burscough "Brown is now expected to make drastic changes in both personnel and playing style. He said: 'We've tried to play our way out of trouble but now it's time to go back to basics and bring in some people who can do the gritty side for us. Everybody has been given an opportunity and some have taken it whereas others haven't. We're still making basic mistakes and no matter how much preparation you do, you can't plan for schoolboy errors. We're in a dogfight and we're going to have to fight like dogs'... Brown has already swooped to strengthen his defence, bringing Brad Cullen back to the club... Mike Tomlinson will step up his comeback on Saturday with a run-out for one of Vauxhall's reserve teams". Brown added, "I'd like to think that by the time he's fully fit in a couple of weeks, we'll have an embarrassment of riches in defence".


    Barrow "with 5 straight victories in December have been named UniBond Premier Club of the month. The UniBond site adds that "The December goalscoring awards go to Hucknall Town of the Premier Division scoring a total of 15 goals and for the second month running Hyde United take the First Division prize".

    This is Lincs reports that "Gainsborough Trinity manager Paul Mitchell has blasted Worksop Town midfielder Neil Glasser following Luke Staton's red card calamity on Boxing Day... Staton was shown a straight red-card by referee John Waugh in the 0-0 stalemate for a two-footed tackle. "He went to make a block tackle and Neil jumped off the ground. As the two came together it was Neil who came off worse... The reaction from their players and the crowd then, in my view, swayed the referee's mind. Neil is a player I have watched over the years in non-league and he does get away with some challenges, which sometimes go unpunished... Perhaps if the referee had watched him for the past few games, he would have known that he can produce flashpoints in games".

    The Shropshire Star reports that "Mick Jones, manager of Telford United, has played down talk of a rift between striker Paul Moore and Hucknall Town, where last season's joint top scorer is currently on a three-month loan. Weekend reports claimed Moore walked out on Hucknall after a month of his deal... Jones said: "From what I understand Paul thought for some reason there was a clause in his contract with Hucknall that said he could leave after 28 days. That was not the case and the only it could end is if we recalled him but that has not happened. I think that has been sorted out now".

    30 December 2003

    2003 REVIEW - Part 3

  • Click here.


    The Harrogate Town website has an analysis, well worth a read, of who might qualify for the new Alliance North next season based on current league positions. On this basis, the non-UniBond clubs who would be in the Alliance North (hopefully with Altrincham!) are Cambridge City, Hednesford Town, Hinckley United, Kettering Town, Leigh RMI, Northwich Victoria, Nuneaton Borough, Stafford Rangers and Worcester City.


    The NW Counties League reports that the honour of scoring the League's 1500th league goal went to Otis Thomas (right) of Atherton Collieries, who formerly played for Altrincham under Mark Ward.


    Harrogate Today quotes Town manager, John Reed: "The big picture is very rosy. The league form has been breathtaking and a bit of a roller-coaster, but to be in front of teams like Gainsborough, Alfreton and Barrow - who have massive budgets - is great. The club has gone from strength to strength, the chairman's ambitions are as big as ever and there is a lot of anticipation going into the new year... apart from the top-three I expect Barrow to be the dark horses as they have a great squad and a very passionate crowd behind them".

    Meanwhile, The NW Evening Mail says Barrow chairman Brian Keen "knows what he wants the New Year to bring to Holker Street - Conference football. With the Bluebirds about to enter the crucial Christmas and New Year period, Keen is looking at a new dawn for the club, with the problems of liquidation now firmly behind them. And Keen can think of no better way of marking their first full year free from financial worries since their rebirth as Barrow AFC (1999) than by gaining promotion to the league he sees as their rightful home".