Season 2002-03 saw Alty finish fourteenth, their lowest finish in the Non-League system since their Cheshire League days prior to 1968. Unlike last season, which started well and tailed off, this season saw a poor start, a strong recovery and then a slightly less successful finale. In 2001-02, 44 points came from the first half of the campaign and 22 from the second half. Below is the record for each half of the 2002-03 season showing the very different pattern this season. This season 58% of our points came in the second half of the season, whereas in 01-02 we gained only 33% of our points in this period.

Games 1-22
Games 23-44

Below is Alty's league record since 1998-99. For Alty's complete league record, click here

1998-99 UNIP 42 23 11 8 67 33 80 1
1999-00 CONF 42 9 19 14 51 60 46 21
2000-01 UNIP 44 20 10 14 80 58 70 7
2001-02 UNIP 44 19 9 16 66 58 66 9
2002-03 UNIP 44 17 9 18 58 63 60 14

Here are some more statistics from 2002-03. For even more see the Statistics Page:

  • 41 players played in league games for Alty in 2002-03, (30 were used last season) and two more (Ian Senior and Luke Killeen) were named solely for cup games, making 43 names in all on the Alty teamsheets this season. Ian Senior was the only player to be selected who never took to the pitch in 2002-03.

  • Alty did the league double over Colwyn Bay (for the second year running), Blyth Spartans, Whitby Town, Hyde United and Frickley Athletic. (Last season Frickley did the double over us). In fact, half of Alty's league points in 2002-03 came from these five clubs. The following teams did the double over Alty this season: Vauxhall Motors and Wakefield & Emley (both for the second year in succession), plus Barrow and Harrogate Town.

  • Alty played 53 competitive games this season compared with 65 competitive games in 2001-02 when they had a good FA Cup run and the UniBond Cups had more games in their format. Stephen Rose (right) started 41 of the 44 league games played in 2002-03 and was a used sub in 2 others. His 8 cup appearances gave him a total of 49(+2) games played. Despite missing the first three games through suspension and picking up another ban for a sending-off, Peter Band managed 37 league and 9 cup starts, making 46 in total. Ian Craney played 45+4 games, (comprising 38+2 league and 7+2 cup matches). He also played a semi-pro international. Others to exceed 40 games were Gary Scott (44, comprising 37 league and 7 cup), Gary Talbot (41+1, comprising 35 league and 6+1 cup), and Richard Acton, with 41 starts, (34 in the league and 7 in the cups games).

  • The prize for briefest appearance of the season goes to Tony Cullen who appeared for just three minutes of added time at Accrington and was never otherwise seen. Whilst Tony remained with the club at the season's end, the briefest Alty careers of 2002-03 were those of Stuart Fenna (0+1 appearances), Adewale Ajetunmobi (0+4), and Mike Turner (0+2). Others who barely stayed were Jamie Phoenix, (1+1 including a red card), Chris Barton (1+1), Matthew Duffy (1+2), Kevin Hulme (1), James Robinson (2+1) and Nick Stephens (3).

    Several youth players broke through this season, notably Steve Lunt (4+15 games and 3 goals), Francis Evans (0+2), Jon McEvoy (1+2) and Luke Killeen (0+1), whilst Vernum Rowland also played 6 games.

    Most heavily used subs were Andy Tunnicliffe (5 starts +17 app's as sub), Steve Lunt (4+15), Jason Gallagher (26+10).

    The only player to be on a teamsheet but never used was goalkeeper Ian Senior. Alty used four other keepers this season: Richard Acton, Nick Stephens, Andy Moore, Kurt Edginton

  • Alty scored 58 league goals, compared with 66 in 2001-02. 34 goals were scored at home and 24 away. 17 teams scored more in our Division this season. 17 Alty players scored goals in the league this season, (only 15 did so last season). A further 2 (Danny Murphy, Sean Smith) did so only in the cup matches. On 15 occasions Alty failed to score in a league match this season and 3 times we scored 4 goals in a game. Stephen Rose played 49+2 games but never scored but nobody else who started 10 times or more failed to find the net. Above Gary Talbot nets Alty's first of the season at Hucknall.

    Leading scorers in all competitions:

  • Rod Thornley scored 16 including 4 pens in 29 appearances. 13 of these were league goals including 4 penalties. Last year he was also leading scorer when he hit 31 (inc 10 penalties) in 56(+1) games; (17 of these goals inc 5 pens were in the league). Rod's three goals against Gateshead was the only Alty hat-trick of the season.
  • The leading scorers from outfield play were Peter Band 12 (11 in league) and Ian Craney 11 (all in league).


  • Three players scored from the spot in 02-03, apart from in shoot-outs. They were Thornley and Shuttleworth (right), each with 4, and Ryan with 1.

    Alty had the 10th best defence in the League; they conceded 63 goals which was 5 worse than last year. 14 league clean sheets were kept, 2 more than last season but three goals or more were conceded in 10 league games (7 last year). 4 was the highest number of goals conceded, at home to Harrogate and Worksop Town and away at Hucknall, Vauxhall and Barrow. Alty netted 9 penalties, (8 in the league) this season, excluding penalty shoot-outs. They scored 12 last season.

  • Alty picked up 69 yellows and 8 red cards in their 53 league and cup games. This compares with 72 yellow and 7 red cards in twelve more games (65) in 2001-02 and 75 yellow and 2 reds in 54 games (00-01). In the 44 league matches 64 yellow and 5 reds were received compared with 50 yellows and 6 reds amassed in 01/02 and 64 yellow and 1 red in 00/01.

    Players sent off for Alty tend rarely to get booked otherwise. Although Gary Scott picked up 2 red cards, he only received 2 other yellow cards all season in 44 games! Equally oddly Chris Adams, who got one red in 01-02 but otherwise was never booked in any of his 27 league or cup games that year, almost repeated the feat in 02-03 when he picked up 1 red and just 1 yellow in 36 starts this campaign! Richard Acton got one red and no yellows in 41 games. On the contrary Mark Maddox (11 yellows) and Ian Craney (8 yellows) did not get any reds. Neil Murphy managed to get suspended for 5 yellows despite playing only 12 times for Altrincham. Dave Gardner ran Neil close, securing 4 yellows in 13 starts and 2 sub appearances. Tony Sullivan, Jordan Burke and Andy Moore started 7 games without ever being booked and no one made more appearances without being booked.

  • RUNS
  • Alty's longest league run without defeat in the league was seven games. Their worst league run was four games without a win. The worst run of defeats in the league was three, at the very start of the season.

  • Highest league home gate: 897 v Stalybridge Celtic, compared with a high of 1,018 v Burton Albion in 01-02. Highest away and highest anywhere in the UniBond Premier was 2,263 at Accrington, which compared with 1,712 v Burton Albion in 01-02. The lowest home gate in the league was 477 v Marine, compared with 438 v Lancaster City in 01-02. Lowest away was 215 at Frickley compared with 180 v Bishop Auckland in 01-02. Lowest home gate in the UniBond cups was 206 v Hyde and away, 115 at Colwyn Bay. Alty's average gate in the league in 2002-03 was 596 compared with 638 last season but compared with 01-02 (597) it was virtually identical.