Altrincham Football Club News Archive
19 to 25 March 2004

25 March 2004


Due to Hucknall's involvement in a local cup match, the Altrincham v Hucknall Town game will now be played on Monday 5 April (7.45pm) and not Tuesday 6 April.


This site's brief summary of last night's Cheshire Senior Cup Final at Moss Lane is below. However, following some misleading reports elsewhere of incidents at the game, Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote has issued a verbal statement to this website, which is reproduced below:

Altrincham Football Club would like to thank its stewards for the professional manner in which they dealt with the potentially serious situation at Wednesday's Cheshire Senior Cup Final at Moss Lane, between Woodley Sports and Witton Albion.

Once the streaker had entered the field of play, the stewards, in a prompt and controlled manner, apprehended him and ejected him from the ground. The club's approach to such incidents is to act in a controlled way and not to chase around aimlessly after such offenders. However, the friction that was generated by this incident amongst a small section of both sets of visiting fans was felt to be escalating towards a serious risk of violence. So, the sensible decision was taken to call the police to assist. Their very prompt arrival enabled this potentially serious situation to be controlled in a most professional manner, thus avoiding any arrests. The police and Altrincham stewards are to be applauded for their professionalism and the club would like to record its sincere thanks to them. The club also stresses that no Altrincham supporters were involved in this incident; indeed, the crowd was made up almost exclusively of supporters of the participating teams.

There is more on this on the BBC site.


Alty are away at Frickley on Saturday. Frickley lost 5-0 at Stalybridge on Tuesday but are a different proposition at home. At the Bower Fold they had "Wayne Benn [ex-BPA] and Duncan Richards still suspended, Paul Marquis unavailable, Dominique Krief injured and Steve Woolford unable to get to the game in time to start Phil Sharpe was forced to reshuffle his side again. In came Dan Sheriffe, Chris Fawcus, Dale Rimmington and Mark Lafferty" reports the informative Frickley website. In the form guide over six games, Alty lie 7th and Frickley are 18th.


Marine report that ex-Alty man "Neil Murphy was quite rightly the Man of the Match" on Tuesday. Jamie Hoyland, briefly with Alty in 2000, has joined Rossendale United as assistant to manager.


Metro newspaper yesterday reported that the JCB used to batter a way into the Millennium Dome in a failed jewel-raid has been bought by Brian Holmes,chairman of Hucknall Town, for £10,200. "He plans to put the black and yellow Sitemaster on display outside the club's Nottinghamshire grounds". He said, "I am proud to be an owner of this machine. It is an interesting piece of history".

Stalybridge's injury sequence continues with news from their website that "Chris [Denham] was injured in the 5-0 win over Frickley racing onto a through ball... He has ruptured ligaments on the outside of his left ankle. These should hopefully heal in eight weeks or so".

The Radcliffe Borough site quotes manager Kevin Glendon after Tuesday's game: "I came home after Tuesday's game [Boro 0 Lancaster 2] and felt as though I had been mugged... If we miss out on the 13th spot then our target must be the next one down. I would not be frightened going into the play-offs... By saying ‘we got mugged’, what I meant was in our desire to go forward and win we got caught by the sucker punch... I have already made clear to the chairman my player targets for next season, no matter what division we are in they will still be the players I want... I am hoping to add two more players before the March 31 deadline one from Stockport County and another from Sheffield Wednesday".

NL Daily announces "The Gladwish Land Sales Ultimate Book of Non-League Players 2004-05" which "contains details of over 10,000 Non-League players, sorted by surname". It costs £12.99 + £2 p&p P&P is free if ordered before April 5th 2004".


The Cheshire Senior Cup Final at Moss Lane last night between Woodley Sports and Witton Albion was marred by the stupid actions of a streaker who ran onto the pitch as Witton were taking a corner and was deservedly scythed down by Witton captain Brian Pritchard, who is apparently a policeman by profession (60 mins). To the surprise of all the spectators - but presumably obeying the letter of the law - referee Mr Cummins sent off the Witton captain for his tackling display, whilst the streaker was pursued by stewards for displaying his tackle. Following this episode, some minor crowd trouble occurred which led to the presence of the local constabulary.

Right: Woodley lift the Trophy. IMAGE woodcsc.jpg ARCHIVED

On the pitch, after the incident, Woodley's Simon Hackney headed them into the lead (69 mins) before Witton's Adam Foy headed home a corner in the 3rd of 6 minutes of added time to make it 1-1. Woodley's substitute, Jamie Fitzpatrick got the winner in the last minute of extra time, following a corner and Witton could not respond in the two minutes of added time.


  • Whitby T. 0 Hucknall T. 0
    24 March 2004



    Lancaster went eighth above Alty last night.

  • Alfreton Town 1 Burscough 0
  • Ashton U. 0 Vauxhall M. 1
  • Marine 1 Blyth S. 0
  • Radcliffe B. 0 Lancaster C. 2
  • Southport 2 Gainsborough T. 0
  • Stalybridge C. 5 Frickley A. 0
  • Worksop T. 1 Bradford PA 2


  • Hucknall T. 2 Spennymoor U. 1
  • Whitby Town 3 Barrow 2


    Last night's MEN had a feature on the most-often relegated players in League football with Neil Redfearn and Carlton Palmer noted as having been relegated five times. The article also mentions Simeon Hodson (relegated with Notts Co., Lincoln [twice], WBA and Mansfield)- but it fails to note that the ex-Alty left-back 'Simo' (right) made it six relegations when the Robins went down in 2000 from the Conference.

    Alfreton Town comment on "Tony Hemmings returning to the club after a loan spell at Halesowen Town".


    Karl Colley, who played against Alty for Frickley this season, has now joined Hucknall from Halifax.

    This Saturday Marine host Radcliffe and are holding a "fun day... sponsored by local newspaper The Crosby Herald and includes a steel band, children’s entertainers, an inter-schools penalty shoot out and a free prize draw. All children will be admitted for free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult".

    Whitby Town "were dealt a blow yesterday when both Darren Craddock and Andy Appleby were recalled from their loan spell at the Turnbull, by Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper... Harry Dunn now has a selection headache for Wednesday's return game with Hucknall. Should he stick with the makeshift side that beat Barrow or recall the experience?"

    Former Alfreton player "Andy Rushbury has had his contract with Chesterfield terminated by mutual consent to allow the youngster to join Telford"... "his father Dave, the former Chesterfield manager, is director of football" at Alfreton, reports NL Daily.

    Unibond transfers-

  • Paul Brown (Esh Winning to Blyth S.)
  • Mark Roberts (Crewe Alex. to Vauxhall M.)
    23 March 2004


    Droylsden boss Dave Pace "accused Altrincham's Stuart Coburn of 'play-acting' to get striker Dave Cameron sent off" last Saturday according to the Manchester Evening News. Pace says: "Dave insists he never touched Coburn and it was the keeper's play-acting which got him sent off. He'll be appealing and we'll support him".


    Former Alty Youth striker Wes Wilkinson laid on one of the goals for Oldham Athletic against Bristol City at the weekend, after coming on as a first-half sub.


    Terry Rowley's updated data on UniBond league attendances is here.


    Stalybridge Celtic have signed Cameroonian goalkeeper John Paul Ndjebayi as cover. He replaces former Alty veteran Ian Senior who nevertheless remains as goalkeeping coach at the Bower Fold. Ndjebayi kept goal against Altrincham for Mossley in a pre-season friendly but was recently released. Ian is seen (right) shooting at Dean Greygoose (at Hednesford v Alty, 2000).

    This is Lincs says that Gainsborough's assistant manager Neil Allison "is confident Gainsborough Trinity will fire themselves out of their current slump and storm into Conference Two next season...They are now only two places inside the last qualifying spot for Conference Two North. "All we need is that little bit of luck to turn games in our favour, because we just don't seem to be getting it at the minute", he said.

    22 March 2004


    £77.60 was raised by Gary Warrington's team of STAR bucket collectors yesterday. Once again, the club is very grateful for their efforts.


    Assuming that Leigh and Northwich are relegated to the new Alliance North at the end of this season and that no one goes up to the Conference from the UniBond, there will be 16 places accounted for in the new division (i.e. the above two plus those finishing in the top 13 in the UniBond plus the play-off winners). That leaves just 6 places in Alliance North to be filled from the Ryman or Dr Martens. As things stand, the six most northerly qualifying clubs in those leagues comprise Kettering (Ryman) and five from the Dr Martens League - Stafford Rangers, Nuneaton, Hinckley, Moor Green and Cambridge City. Cambridge, at 52 degrees 21 north, is officially just north of fellow contenders Worcester City (52.20N)!


    Michael Almond, who signed UniBond forms for Alty recently, has now signed NW Counties forms for Flixton FC after leaving Woodley Sports.
    21 March 2004


    With goals at the start and end of the game, Alty overcame Leigh RMI in difficult weather conditions this afternoon. The scorers were Grimshaw (1), Lunt (12) and Kieran Lugsden (82). Report here.

    A manager's lot: George Heslop stands in the mud and windswept rain with Danny Grimshaw (left) and Lewis Chalmers nearby. IMAGE george5.jpg ARCHIVED


    Match Report.

    Right: Droylsden's Cameron is escorted off by Alty Security Officer, Phil Taylor, as Graham Heathcote waves his arms and Dave Mitten shows the added-time board. IMAGE altdroy4.jpg ARCHIVED


    In the Pink, Graham Heathcote says of his three new young signings, Matthew Bailey and Jamie Baguley (both on loan from Stockport) and Ryan Hutchinson (released by Stoke), "We've benefited from the youthful exuberance the three new lads have brought to the club added to the fact that, as kids, they play without fear. Jamie has already proved to be a real match-winner for us but Matthew has also done really well and so too has Ryan, considering he's been playing out of position".


    Alty are at Frickley next Saturday. This Saturday's opponents, Worksop report that "In a gale-lashed Westfield Road ground, part of the roof of the terraced stand was lifted and advertising boards were being blown away as the referee ordered the supporters away from the stand in the interests of safety". Howard Watts's Through the Years statistics for Saturday have been added here.

    Alty play Hucknall a fortnight on Tuesday and their defender Barry Miller was sent off yesterday so should be suspended when they play us.


    A STAR (supporters' trust) Open Meeting was held before Saturday's game. Dawn Abbott was elected as STAR Secretary without any votes against, before Phil Taylor ran through the STAR accounts. STAR is on target to donate at least £10,000 to the club over a full year. Mark Eckersall and Gary Warrington were thanked for their hard work in running the supporters' coaches and the bucket collections respectively. Phil reported that membership now stands at 246 which puts STAR amongst the top 5% of supporters' trusts as regards the percentage of the average home gate who are members of a trust.

    There was plenty of discussion about fundraising, publicity and the question of share ownership. Directors of the Club, Terry Rowley and Andrew Shaw, as well as Graham Heathcote, confirmed to the meeting that negotiations were still ongoing with major shareholders and asked for patience whilst these were concluded. A fuller report of the meeting will, no doubt, soon appear on the STAR website.


    The Youth section now lists all the remaining NWYA league fixtures for Altrincham Youth.


    Barring events off the field giving them a reprieve, Northwich Vics were statistically relegated from the Conference yesterday. Only Telford will remain in the Conference of the original Alliance teams from 1979.


    "Sudbury went into the second leg with a one-goal advantage over [Colne], but it was the home side who dominated the first half and Sudbury’s veteran ‘keeper Dean Greygoose made some outstanding saves to keep the Suffolk side in contention and to earn himself the Carlsberg Man of the Tie award", says NL Daily.

    A less happy ex-Alty keeper was Ben Williams. The on-loan Man Utd keeper conceded an own goal for Crewe yesterday which cost them the game.

    Stockport remained unbeaten since Danny Adams's arrival, whilst Lincoln City won with Kevin Ellison in their side. Paul Ellender (Boston), Chris Timons (Gainsboro), Ryan McMahon (Prescot) and Mario Daniel (sub for Leigh) all played yesterday.


    "Droylsden could soon find themselves in hot water with the FA. Soho Square chiefs, already investigating... a tunnel brawl at Stalybridge are set to look into allegations of a similar incident at Barrow", says the Pink.

    Bishop Auckland's move next season to Spennymoor's ground arose because their own new ground will not now be ready till at least 2006/07 season. Their current temporary home at Shildon does not meet new UniBond ground criteria.

    20 March 2004


    Details of the STAR supporters' coaches to Frickley and Lancaster are on the Away Travel page.


  • Altrincham 1 Droylsden 0
  • Bradford PA v Marine OFF
  • Burscough 1 Whitby T. 1
  • Frickley A. 1 Worksop T. 1
  • Gainsborough T. 0 Runcorn FC Halton 1
  • Hucknall T. 1 Radcliffe B. 1
  • Lancaster C. 0 Alfreton T. 1
  • Southport 3 Harrogate T. 2
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Blyth S. 0
  • Vauxhall M. 0 Spennymoor U. 0 ABANDONED 36 MINS


    On IC Cheshire, Chester boss Mark Wright says that Carl Ruffer, who has just joined today's opponents Droylsden on loan, "has a bad knee which no longer stands up to the rigours of full-time football". Droylsden have scored in every league game this season and in the MEN, Dave Pace says "I'll be going to Altrincham looking for three points".


    This is Lincs "Gainsborough Trinity boss Paul Mitchell has blasted UniBond referees for ignoring a hack and slash campaign aimed at [former Alty] striker Lee Ellington... 'I don't know what has happened, but all of a sudden Lee has been getting some right hammer in the past few weeks', said Mitchell... 'He has been hacked to pieces with players coming through the back of his calfs and getting away with it'".

    Barrow are inviting "interested supporters to form support committees to help run important areas of the business. The key areas identified are: 1. Reserves & Under-18s, 2. The Crossbar, 3. Ground Maintenance, 4. Fundraising. The ethos is to get more people involved in these areas of the club to spread the load on the directors and increase the revenue and improve communication".

    Whitby Town "Chairman Graham Manser has revealed that the club are committed to the new Alliance North next season, if they are able to qualify. He revealed in today's Whitby Gazette that he had met with Town manager Harry Dunn to discuss next season's arrangements. "There is no point in playing at a higher level only to get thumped every week", so a higher wage-bill would be becessary, said Dunn. "He also revealed he had spoken to a few UniBond managers about next season, and they had revealed that their budgets would be increased as well if they make it to the Alliance".

    Spennymoor will be hosting Bishop Auckland's games next season but, due to structural damage at their Shildon ground, the Bishops will also play their next fixture of this season at the Brewery Field.

    IC Newcastle reports that Blyth Spartans "have a double striking problem... Defender Michael Laws is already out for the rest of the campaign after breaking a leg. Now, Spartans boss Paul Baker is sweating on the fitness of forwards Jamie Burt and Lee George".

    From Harrogate Town comes news that "York City manager Chris Brass has revealed that Aron Wilford will be leaving the North Yorkshire club, following the end of the striker's loan spell at Harrogate Town".

    Southport report that "Neil Robinson has signed a 2½ Year contract with 'Port... Mark Byrne, meanwhile, has been released and is joining Burscough whilst Paul Byrne is the subject of a serious enquiry from neighbour's Marine". Burscough's spokesman, Stan Strickland, told the UniBond League "In the summer [Paul] joined neighbours Southport and played a prominent part in their unbeaten start to the season. However, injury and the departure of manager Mike Walsh have meant that his first team opportunities at Haig Avenue have since been limited and we are delighted to welcome Mark back".

    Worksop Town "have signed 19 year-old striker Andy Jones from Rotherham Utd on non-contract terms until the end of the season. Former Tigers' Player of the Year Gavin Smith is due to sign forms with Gainsborough in a permanent transfer deal". Also moving: Tony Carroll (Mossley to Radcliffe B.).

    19 March 2004


    In today's NLP Graham Heathcote says of Alty's third goal at Runcorn on Tuesday, "Marcus [Hallows] was awarded the goal on the night but he admitted afterwards that Jamie [Baguley]'s shot had already crossed the line". Graham added, "I am very happy with way things are going. To score three goals in any game is good but to do it away from home is particularly nice".


    A full report on Wednesday's fascinating talk on "100 years of Altrincham FC", to Hale Civic Society, by Terry Surridge and Graham Heathcote is here. Right: Graham and Terry pictured by Alan Johnson - IMAGE histalk2.jpg ARCHIVED.


    After the Bradford game, Graham Heathcote told SAM: "I thought at times we played some good football but, at times, one of the things we got into was being too nice, too cautious, too slow in our approach. I've asked them to be a bit more positive in their thinking and their forward passing. I'm not sure we got into the last third quickly or efficiently today but we did OK". After the Runcorn match, Graham stated, "We have been so patchy this season. We went into a lull after the Shrewsbury match and lost three and now we have brought some youth and we have gone on to win three... We've done it playing some very good football". As for the next game, he added, "There's a tough task awaiting us on Saturday, Droylsden are going extremely well and you don't score 80 goals by mid-March if you don't have players who can find the back of the net. However, I think we will get chances, simply due to the nature of the way they play".

    Though Droylsden are 9 places above Alty, they are only one place ahead in the form table over the last six games; they are 9th, we are 10th. The Through the Years statistics have been updated for Saturday.


    IC Cheshire says that "Only three days after posting their first home victory of the season, the Linnets' form disintegrated against an Altrincham side who could hardly have had things any easier. They handed their old rivals victory on a plate with all three Robins' goals being down to individual errors... Chris Lightfoot will start rather than finish Saturday's vital UniBond League game at Gainsborough. The player-boss is feeling stronger after his ankle problems and is ready to kick the habit of naming himself as a sub and start in attack... 'Those kind of mistakes have cost us all season, even when Liam had the job', added the boss".


    The UniBond League reports that former Kettering manager Carl Shutt is the new managerof Bradford Park Avenue. Shutt's former clubs as a player included Bradford City.

    One club which views reaching the Alliance North as being a promotion is Alfreton. "3 successive wins have taken Alfreton Town to the brink of claiming a place in next season’s brand new Conference North and a third successive promotion... Chairman Wayne Bradley explained: 'I hope not only our fans but the local area in particular understand just how big an achievement a third successive promotion is. So far as I am aware and, no doubt someone will correct me if I am wrong, only one other non-league club in the country has gained three successive promotions within the Pyramid system and that was the now defunct Colne Dynamoes. And even they started from a level lower than our run has come from'... He ended: 'It is obvious that some of the current squad will have to move on and there is no doubt that there will be new faces here for next season'".

    Paul Baker, the Blyth manager has told his club's website "The way the season is turning out has got to be a huge disappointment to everyone... The team is the same as it has been all season so I'm sure we would all like to know what the reasons are for the slump... The blame for the recent run of bad results, bad performances, has to fall clearly on the shoulders of the playing staff and the coaching staff at the club... The thing that is getting to me is that the players are getting their heads down too early... I can guarantee to you all that the players and the staff at the club are working very hard at the situation and have certainly not thrown in the towel yet".

    This is Lancs reports that Radcliffe have signed 22 year-old Jonathan Tuke who "has been with Radcliffe Amateurs for the last couple of seasons". Manager Kevin Glendon "is also in talks with former Boro' favourite Tony Carroll, who has recently parted company with Mossley...'We're in talks with a view to him helping us out until the end of the season', explained Glendon". He added, "In fact we're looking for another two besides Tuke and Carroll".


    Ken McKenna, now manager of TNS, has been banned for two games and fined for an incident in a Welsh cup match.