Altrincham Football Club News Archive
25 February to 2 March 2004

2 March 2004


  • Alfreton T. 3 Whitby T. 0
  • ALTRINCHAM 1 Wakefield & Emley 2
  • Hucknall Town 2 Vauxhall M. 0
  • Marine 1 Barrow 2
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Harrogate T. OFF
  • Spennymoor U. v Ashton U. OFF


    Congratulations to the Altrincham FC supporters' football team which finished runners-up in a tournament at Chester against fans' teams from Chester City, Southport and Vauxhall Motors. Altrincham lost the final to Chester, 2-3. Alty's results were:
  • v Chester City 1-3 Axon
  • v Southport 2-0 Thomas, Phil Lamey
  • v Vauxhall 1-0 Thomas
  • v Chester 1-0 Boyers
  • v Southport 0-0
  • v Vauxhall 7-3 Flynn (2), Rosie, Thomas (3), Jacobs.
  • Final v Chester City 2-3 Thomas (2)

    Squad: Martin Jordan, Gary Warrington (manager), Ian Rosendaal, Mat Lamey, Phil Lamey, Rob Muir, Brian Flynn, Andrew Nash, Tom Jacobs, Gareth Thomas, Danny Burgess, Pete Hughes, Greg Axon, Andy Boyers, Steven Foster.


    The FA Trophy semi-final draw for Saturday 27th March and Saturday 3rd April (two-legs) is:
  • Aldershot T. v Hednesford T./ Hornchurch
  • Shrewsbury T. / Telford U. v Canvey I.


    The NW Evening Mail reports "Confusion still surrounds whether or not Barrow AFC would be promoted to the Conference should they finish runners-up. The Nationwide Conference are adamant only this season’s Unibond Premier Division champions are eligible to go up... [but] Unibond League secretary and press officer Phil Bradley said: 'There is certainly confusion about it and the League are in correspondence with both the Football Association and the Conference themselves. The Conference are saying their rule is correct but nobody else seems to be aware of when they instituted this new rule...They are saying it has received FA sanction, but the FA are saying, basically, that they haven’t sanctioned it, so we need to get to the bottom of what happened'".

    "Blyth are on the trail of Newcastle United youngster Steve Blair. Spartans' boss Paul Baker wants to sign the 18-year-old Scottish midfielder on a work experience basis. Baker said: "I know Blair from my days as an Academy coach at Newcastle. He's a big strong central midfield player who would do us a power of good", says IC Newcastle

    February club of month in the UniBond Premier is Hucknall Town. Southport report that Neil Fitzhenry has signed a new two-year contract.

    1 March 2004


    Altrincham Youth lost their Open Cup 3rd Round match 0-2 to Marine A. Report and picture in Youth section.


    STAR will soon be issuing a new Newsletter. Forms for voting for the STAR Player of the Year will be in the newsletter and non-members will be allowed to vote on forms to be distributed inside the turnstiles on 13th March. STAR will also be holding an Open Meeting at Moss Lane at 12.30pm before the Droylsden match (Sat. 20 March).

    STAR membership renewals are due for those who joined at the launch on 9 March 2003. If you'd like to get involved in STAR's fundraising group, please contact Mark Murray and if you'd like to join a STAR table for the Centenary Ball, please contact Jon Stack via the STAR website.


    Flixton (NW Counties Div.2) have re-signed Alty's reserve keeper of last season, Kurt Edginton, whilst Chris Downey, who made one sub appearance for Alty in January 2004, after joining from Leigh RMI, has been released by Trafford FC.


    Bradford PA had "a surprise inclusion in Saturday's team... with Robbie Painter making a re-appearance. [He] had left Horsfall in the summer hinting that his playing days were over, however he eventually came back into UniBond football with struggling Ossett Town. But late this week Painter rejoined Avenue and went straight into today's team replacing Andy Wright. James Alderson retained the number one shirt after replacing Matt Boswell during Monday's game at Droylsden".

    Other moves:

  • Jonathan Agbatar (Durham C. to Spennymoor U.)
  • Kris Bowler (Wakefield & Emley to Matlock)
  • Steve Nicholson (Wakefield & Emley to Farsley C.)

    The NW Counties League says that "Curzon [Ashton] has served Stalybridge Celtic with notice of approach for Ben Smith",

    From IC Newcastle is news that "Spennymoor United manager Tony Lee is still trying to sign a forward... [whilst] Chris I'Anson misses the rest of the season with a broken jaw".

    29 Feb.2004


    The UniBond attendance figures have been updated here, courtesy of Terry Rowley.


    Alty Chief Steward. Darren Gregory, would be pleased to hear from any volunteers to act as stewards for the derby match between Manchester United and Manchester City Reserves at Moss Lane this Thursday (4th), k.o 7pm. Please e-mail Darren or contact the club on 0161-928-1045.


    Jacqui Forster is writing an article for The Guardian Sports Supplement on football mascots. She is keen to have details of Alty's mascot, Rocky Robin, over the years. Anyone who has any information or stories about Rocky Robin's past can e-mail Jacqui here. She would especially like to hear from those who have acted as Rocky Robin and to collect their experiences, funny stories etc.


    Mario Daniel laid on one Leigh goal yesterday, won a penalty for another and finally scored RMI's fourth goal against Margate. For more see the RMI website.
    28 Feb. 2004


    With Alty's game off, keeper Stuart Coburn was one of the small crowd at Flixton v Maine Road in the NW Counties Div. 2 today. He saw a remarkable display by fellow keeper Andy Robertson of Maine Road who scored twice from the penalty spot as his side went down 3-2. Robertson was involved in all the game's goals; his failed clearance after 90 seconds led to Flixton's opener; their second came when he was unable to keep out a near post shot and Flixton's winner came when he was beaten from the spot by ex-Alty Reserve (2001-02), Ryan Gilligan.


  • Ashton U. v Worksop T. OFF
  • Burscough 2 Spennymoor U. 1
  • Gainsborough T. 3 Bradford PA 3
  • Harrogate T. 1 Hucknall T. 2
  • Lancaster C. 2 Droylsden 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Alfreton T. OFF
  • Southport 1 Vauxhall M. 1
  • Stalybridge C v Marine OFF
  • Whitby T. v Barrow OFF


    Alty's away game at Blyth today was postponed due to six inches of snow! No alternative date has been fixed for the match.


    Last night Hereford United matched Altrincham's Conference record of nine goals when they won 9-0 away against 10-man Dagenham. Alty beat Merthyr 9-2 in February 1991.


    The FA is investigating Macclesfield Town for alleged financial irregularities over a grant from the Football Foundation to improve the Moss Rose.


    Harrogate Town report that "Defender Marc Thompson is set to re-sign for Harrogate Town... Manager John Reed said: "'We are hoping Marc will sign. He's been playing for Farnborough but has had enough of all the travelling, so all being well, he'll be coming to us'... Reed is also tracking a un-named player from Worksop Town".

    Gateshead, whom we knocked out of the Trophy, say that "chairman Mike Coulson will stand down after tomorrow's match at home to Bamber Bridge", according to IC Newcastle. Coulson said "I am unable to raise the necessary funding that would take the club to the end of this season, nor do I have the contacts in the business community who would be prepared to invest in the club. If I step aside now, it gives new investors the opportunity to move the club forward in their own way".

    IC Southport confirms that "favourite Lee Ashcroft returns to the Port squad for tomorrow's home match against Vauxhall after his proposed move to Northwich Victoria broke down at the eleventh hour... On Tuesday night the Vics had prematurely on released to Teletext that Ashcroft was signing a two-year deal with a quote from Shaun Teale that he was going to build the Vics squad around the striker. However, the deal fell through possibly due to Teale failing to get board support for an expensive signing".

    Ashton United are releasing Jon Dyson to Farsley Celtic. Vauxhall are believed to have signed Mark Peers from Raith Rovers.

    27 Feb. 2004


    Alty travel to Blyth on Saturday. Until last Tuesday Blyth were the only team to have won a league match at Moss Lane. They have lost 4 and drawn one of their last six games and so lie 19th in the form chart. (Alty are 7th with 4 wins and 2 defeats)

    On IC Newcastle "Blyth boss Paul Baker, having watched his team fall 3-1 at home to Frickley in a UniBond League Premier Division match, admitted 'I am under pressure because performances like that get managers the sack! I have got to be under pressure - and if I'm honest, our performance was disgraceful. Some of our players just did not want to know and they were not worthy of the colours they wore'".


    Last Saturday's gate of 220 at Spennymoor made it a double; it was the lowest away crowd at any Alty league game this season whilst the 434 who saw the home game against the Moors was the lowest league gate at Moss Lane this season.


    "Vauxhall FC manager Owen Brown has denied reports that ace marksman Terry Fearns is poised to quit the Motormen for a return to the professional ranks... The Liverpool-based striker turned out for Hull City reserves during Vauxhall's 10-day fixture break a fortnight ago and netted two goals, but he has since returned to Rivacre Park. Brown said: 'Terry's going nowhere, I have no more comment'". Hull boss Peter Taylor said: "Terry is someone we've been looking at for quite a while now. ... He's trained and played in the reserves and the fact he scored twice didn't do him any harm. We'll be looking to talk to him and hopefully get him back here for another look'... Both York City's manager Chris Brass and Doncaster Rovers' Dave Penney were among the crowd" watching Fearns, says IC Cheshire.

    "Runcorn fear Steve Carragher could be out for the rest of the season. Initial X-rays on the ankle, damaged by a controversial two-footed challenge from Southport full-back Paul Byrne on Saturday, have revealed no break". Manager Chris Lightfoot told IC Cheshire: "The doctor said he could be out for six to eight weeks, which rules him out for the season... I thought it was an awful tackle,' he said. 'I was speaking to the referee at the end of the game and asked him why he hadn't sent the player off. He said he thought he won the ball, so I asked why he booked him. He couldn't answer me". And "Runcorn hope to sign Southport striker Paul Aldridge, son of John. Aldridge Jnr has intimated he is keen to accept a loan deal".

    Southport "Manager Liam Watson confirms that Lee Ashcroft remains at Haig Avenue and is in the squad to face Vauxhall this Saturday", on the Official site. But, "Northwich Victoria have completed the signing of Southport forward Lee Ashcroft for £2,000" states the Nationwide site, which adds "Shaun Teale told the Daily Post: 'Because Southport needed to cost-cut, I have signed him for well under his real value'".

    "Striker James Tevendale has been released by Hucknall Town and has signed for Buxton" reports the Hucknall site.

    Radcliffe have "received confirmation that their application to the Football Foundation for grant aid has been successful. The grant received which is £27,000 will be added to the £15,000 already pledged by the club and its directors, will complete the monies required for 6 brand new floodlights. This will bring the club upto Nationwide Conference standard", says their website.

    26 Feb. 2004


    The Arbitration Tribunal which heard the Isthmian League's challenge to the restructuring of the National League System today announced that it has unanimously dismissed their claims.

    The Tribunal was made up of three very senior legal figures, including former senior law lord Lord Browne-Wilkinson.

    "The FA is of course pleased that our decision and processes have been upheld by the Tribunal. However, the most important point is that we, together with the Alliance partners, can now look to the future and get on with the vital reorganisation of football at this level" Nic Coward, The FA's Director of Corporate and Legal Affairs, told us.

    The FA believes the new system will raise standards, create more excitement through play-offs, and deliver more consistent rules, regulations and ground grading requirements.

    A key principle has been to ensure that the National League System will be fair and equitable for clubs irrespective of their geographic position in the country. Uppermost in The FA's decision-making and consultation throughout this process was that change should not take place for change's sake, but only if it would bring long-term benefits for the game.

    At a meeting in May 2003 the Football Conference, and the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues' 'Alliance' agreed to recommend to the National League System Committee a new structure and a timetable to achieve it. This proposal includes the following key features:

  • 22 clubs per league
  • Play-offs at each step down to step 4
  • Better linkages throughout the league structure
  • A semi-national step between the Conference and step 3
  • Remove leagues within a league
  • Deliver more consistent rules, regulations, ground grading and promotion/relegation through play- offs

    This structure was considered by the National League System Committee at their meeting on 9th May 2003 and approved by The FA Council at its Summer Meeting on 21st June 2003. It will now be implemented with effect from the start of season 2004/05.

    Alex Stone
    FA Media Relations Manager


    Manager Graham Heathcote has rarely been able to field the same side twice running this season due to injury and availability problems and he is now faced by further difficulties. Left-back Chris Adams's injury, sustained against Ashton on Tuesday, has been confirmed as a broken right arm and he is now in plaster. Right-back/midfielder Gary Scott is undergoing an operation on a fractured cheekbone this week and will also be out for some time. Niell Hardy remains sidelined by injury whilst Gary Talbot will be suspended for three games from next weekend following his sending off last Saturday at Spennymoor.


    The STAR Half-Time Bucket Collections, organised by Gary Warrington have now raised more than £1,500 this season. Gary says "Thank you to all those who walk round with a bucket at half time and to all those who contribute. Please continue to give generously and let's hope we can break the £2,000 mark". Well done to Gary and his team of collectors!


    The updated NWYA league table is now in the Youth section.


    Craig Turns, goalkeeper of Blyth Spartans, whom we meet on Saturday had a mixed evening on Tuesday. "Prior to the kick-off against Frickley Athletic at Croft Park, Martin Lawlor from the Port of Blyth presented the award for the Port's Player of the Month for January to goalkeeper Craig Turns". But, during the game he was credited with an own goal and then sent off, reports the Blyth website.


    Following the sale of Barrow's captain to Alfreton yesterday, the Alfreton site says that "The Reds have taken advantage of the Cumbrian club’s decision this week to cut their weekly wage bill by persuading Hume to move to North Street for an agreed undisclosed four figure fee on an 18-month contract which indicates the club see him as a big part of their future... Left-sided defender Andy Rushbury has agreed to a third month’s loan spell at the club... [but] goalkeeper Gavin Saxby has gone to Ilkeston Town on a month’s loan."

    Also, "The Reds had to cancel their scheduled home game against Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday evening due to structural damage of a floodlight pylon on the Welfare side of the ground which was caused by the recent gale force winds".

    Southport say that Lee Ashcroft is staying at Haig Avenue after "being unable to come to last minute final agreement with Northwich" who had agreed a fee for the former WBA forward. Vics' boss Shaun Teale had earlier told NL Daily "I want Lee to be the core of our side next season as well. He has been far and away Southport's best player this season... He wants to come and play for me, which is important as well".

    The Barrow Official Site says "Barrow have already arranged one pre-season friendly and are awaiting final confirmation on a second. Scottish First Division challengers Queen of the South will open Barrow's 2004-05 pre-season campaign with a visit to Holker Street on Saturday July 10th. Meanwhile negotiations with Sheffield Wednesday for the friendly agreed as part of the Grant Holt transfer are also at an advanced stage".

    25 Feb. 2004.


    The STAR supporters' coach times for Saturday's trip to Blyth - our longest league trip of the season - are on the Away Travel page.


    A new Barrow official site has been launched and it announces that "Barrow manager Lee Turnbull has recommended to the Barrow AFC board that they accept an offer for the transfer of Club Captain, Mark Hume to Alfreton Town... The board have agreed with Lee’s advice and will sell Mark Hume to Alfreton Town for a total of £4,000 tomorrow". See below for more UniBond news...


    Match Report


    The Stockport County official site says that Danny Adams (28) will play tonight for County Reserves against Oldham on a trialist basis. The Macclesfield Express had earlier reported that Danny was training at Stockport, having recently put in a transfer request at the Moss Rose club for whom he made 169 appearances after moving from Altrincham in September 2000.

    Mossleyweb reports that "Mossley have reluctantly agreed to release forward Rob Matthews due to an ongoing family illness which has taken his focus away from football. Matthews, who returned to the club earlier this season after a short spell with UniBond League Premier Division side Altrincham, struck 27 goals in just 59 games for the Lilywhites. Another ex-Alty striker, Mattie Hughes, has, however, decided against a comeback due to work commitments after playing only 10 minutes competitively in a Mossley shirt".

    Farley, Glendenning and Chambers all played for Droylsden in Monday's 3-0 win over BPA; the crowd was just 188. Terry Bowker has returned to Stalybridge from his loan at Radcliffe.

    Former Alty youth,Wes Wilkinson, has gone to Oldham Athletic on loan from Nantwich after a successful trial period at Boundary Park.


    Blyth, whom we meet on Saturday, lost 1-3 at home to Frickley last night and 1-0 at Hucknall on Saturday. IC Newcastle quote manager Paul Baker, "We haven't had much luck this season and Saturday was no different. But I admired the way we battled. The job now is to turn that spirit into winning performances". Spartans' new men, "striker Lee George and former Carlisle midfield man John Curran both played well at Hucknall".


    From Barrow comes a press release "to reassure fans and businesses that the club is NOT 'in crisis'. The following statement aims to clarify the situation. On reviewing the club’s financial position in early January and projecting forward to the end of the current playing season, it was decided that the players’ bonus scheme dependant on game by game results was unsustainable based on current income levels. The unexpectedly high final value of settlement of footballing debts to enable the transfer of football membership from the liquidated company being a significant factor. Therefore following consultation with, and the support of, the manager Lee Turnbull various options were considered with a re-structuring of the bonus scheme being deemed the most workable option. In order to focus the attentions of everyone on a drive necessary to win the UniBond championship it has therefore been decided to replace the game by game result payment with an all-or-nothing promotion-winning bonus. The basic wages of all concerned are unaffected. This title-winning bonus would be drawn from the associated prize monies and increased gate receipts that the necessary run of results would yield".

    Whitby Town are holding a benefit concert at which Noddy Holder and Slade are the main act.


    Confguide has "confirmed that only the Champion clubs in the feeder leagues are eligible for promotion to the Conference - which may mean a reprieve from relegation for someone. In the UniBond, Hucknall Town and Droylsden are not eligible for promotion. Barrow are believed to be OK (the only realistic contenders who meet the Admission Criteria), but are seven points adrift of leaders Hucknall - who have played two fewer games. The conclusion is that it's likely that there will be no promotion from the Unibond at the end of this season - and that means a reprieve from relegation for whoever finishes 20th in the Conference". But the same source added, "This is perhaps not as clear-cut as it seemed. The Conference stated in no uncertain terms that the Admission Criteria require the promoted club to be Champions. But the FA say that the runners-up are eligible to apply".