an unofficial website

September, 2009

30 September 2009


The BBC has reported that "Mick Wadsworth's stay at the Deva Stadium lasted just three months. Chester City have parted company with manager Mick Wadsworth after Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at home to Forest Green, reports BBC Radio Merseyside. Wadsworth, 58, was appointed at the Deva Stadium on 29 June, succeeding former Liverpool defender Mark Wright...

Tuesday night's reverse to fellow strugglers Forest Green was their fifth home defeat in seven games at the Deva... Experienced defender Tim Ryan and physio Billy Gerrard will take charge of the team for this Saturday's trip to Hayes & Yeading. Speaking after Tuesday night's defeat, the day before his departure, Wadsworth painted a picture of a club shrouded in gloom. 'There is less stress, pressure and negativity away from home', Wadsworth told BBC Radio Merseyside after the game. 'This place is full of negativity and it's really difficult. I've not known an environment like it. I know I've got to change it and we got to change it and I appreciate that and I take that responsibility. But it's so negative at times it's very warring... We were rubbish first half and good second half, it was as simple as that', continued Wadsworth".


  • Match report here

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups and bookings


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £4,200. To see how you can win it, visit the Yankee Page. Due to a printing error the jackpot is erroneously shown as a lower sum on the Yankee leaflet this week.


    Alty are away at Rushden on Saturday where the ticket prices are:
  • Adults: Standing £13, Seating £16
  • Concessions: Standing £8, Seating £11
  • Under 16: £5 (all areas)
  • Under 8: Free (all areas)
  • Disabled/Carer: Seating £11/Free.


    Droylsden's "Jody Banim has signed for Radcliffe Borough".


    The Football Conference reports that "Mansfield Town have re-signed goalkeeper Ed Eley on a month`s loan from Grimsby Town. The 19-year-old, 6' 2" stopper was at the Stags` Centre of Excellence as a youngster but left a few years ago to join the Mariners as a scholar. He was part of a successful youth squad of 2008/09 and agreed a six-month professional contract with Grimsby in May 2009. Eley has recently returned from a month`s loan spell with Ilkeston Town".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Dutch forward Robin van Persie believes that Blue Square sides have the ability to beat the best around - even his club Arsenal. The Gunners received a favourable draw in the Champions League group stages... The Dutchman told 'It is a good draw for us name-wise, but as a player you need to produce in every single game because our opponents look at it from a different point of view. They will give all they have against us. We need to be ready for that. I think we are, because we all know how football works when you do not give 100 per cent - any team can beat you, even a Blue Square League team. When you do not do everything, you are gone'".

    From the BBC comes confirmation that "The administrators running Salisbury City have confirmed two new groups have contacted them about buying the club. All three interested parties have now been set a deadline of Wednesday evening to make a formal offer for the Blue Square Premier side. Administrator Mike Fortune told BBC Wiltshire matters are coming to a head.

    'Over the course of the last week we've had an expression of interest from two new parties and they both appear to want to progress matters', he said. 'I'd expect to have offers by close of business Wednesday; we'll consider them over the next 48 hours and then confirm to the interested party that we're going to accept their offer, provided they meet all our conditions. We would then put the deal to the creditors, which is a three- or four-week process', Fortune added.

    BBC Wiltshire understands one of the new groups is a four-strong consortium made up of local businessmen who watched Saturday's 3-0 win over Barrow. The other has a business background in youth and academy football. Talks were already well under way with an existing group of potential investors, which includes potential chairman William Harrison-Allan".

    Forest Green Rovers report that "Due to a freak injury which happened to second choice 'keeper Tom Pass on the warm down after the match against Grays, Forest Green Rovers have signed on non contract terms, 18 yr old Gavin Carlin, who is a 6' 5" goalkeeper. Originating from Londonderry and having played international youth football at all levels for the Republic of Ireland, he had been a scholar at West Bromwich Albion since 2007. He has now left them and on a week ago enrolled for a Football Foundation coaching course at Hartpury College and was therefore ideally placed to step into the void caused by the injury to Tom Pass".

    29 September 2009


    There will be news from Altrincham v Gateshead before and during tonight's game on the Matchday Update page.

    Right; Aaron Burns in full flight against Tamworth last week, as captured by the camera of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

    Tuesday 29/9/09:

  • Howard Watts's Through the Years for 29th September.
  • Altrincham 3 Gateshead 2
  • Barrow 3 Mansfield Town 1
  • Chester City 1 Forest Green R. 2
  • Ebbsfleet United 1 Salisbury City 2
  • Grays Athletic 2 Cambridge United 0
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 1 Kettering Town 2
  • Histon 2 Eastbourne Borough 0
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2 Wrexham 0
  • Luton Town 0 Stevenage Borough 1
  • Oxford United 3 Crawley Town 1
  • Rushden & Diamonds 0 AFC Wimbledon 1


    Altrincham welcome back Robbie Lawton from suspension tonight (Tuesday) but Colin Little is unlikely to be fit to start and fellow striker Dale Johnson remains on the injured list. Loan player Danny Edwards is also still injured and with his one-month loan from Port Vale due to end this week, his future at Altrincham is uncertain. Fellow injured loan player Scott Moffatt also ends his loan period this week and discussions with his parent club Manchester United are taking place. Sam Sheridan took a knock on Saturday but is expected to be fit.

    Our opponents, Gateshead report that they "make one of their shorter trips in the Blue Square Premier on Tuesday when they travel to 13th placed Altrincham. The Robins have drawn four of their six games at Moss Lane, their solitary success being a 2-1 win against Histon, and they have failed to score in six of their last nine league games. Altrincham however have been impressive defensively conceding just three goals in the last six games... Gateshead also failed to find the net in last week's two home games against Rushden & Diamonds and Oxford United, and will be keen to get back on the goal standard...

    Said manager Ian Bogie 'We need more up front, and need to work the opposition goalkeeper far more. The strikers have to get produce more efforts on goal. Steven Richardson was the only threat against Oxford... We have to get points on the board sharpish, and while Altrincham have only won once at home they have proved to be a hard team to break down... but we will travel to Cheshire looking to get a positive result...

    New signing Darren Williams will again be in the side, though whether that is in defence or as a defensive midfielder remains to be seen. Bogie is likely to make at least one change as he looks to end a run of four consecutive away defeats".

    On Saturday "Gateshead just pulled up short in their biggest league game at home since the club were voted out of the Football League in 1960. Matt Green's 62nd minute close range volley was enough to stretch Oxford United's lead at the top... Said manager Ian Bogie 'We've ran a side already well ahead at the top, and a full time club with huge resources, very close'...

    Bogie had been sent from the dug out by referee Richard Wigglesworth early in the second half with the score goalless after an exchange of words with the Rotherham official. It was the first time the 41 year old had been sent off during his brief managerial career".

    Meanwhile "Gateshead finally clinched the signing of former Premier League defender Darren Williams on Saturday morning, and the 32 year old went straight into the side... 'One of our problems this season has been the concession of soft goals, and Williams will add further experience and nous to the back line', said Bogie. 'He played at the highest level during an eight year spell at Sunderland, and has also been capped by his country at two different levels... Williams will be in the side again at Altrincham tomorrow'".

    Altrincham MAD has a statistical background to Alty's match with Gateshead.


    Altrincham and District FA, (entirely comprising Altrincham FC Youth team), beat the Mid-Cheshire FA on Sunday, 3-0, at Northwich, in a Cheshire County FA District Cup group-stage match. Courtesy of George Heslop, there is a match report in the Youth section.


    Despite having no league game this weekend, Altrincham rose to second in the NWYA Premier Division table as both Stalybridge Celtic and FC United lost on Sunday. And Alty lead their group in the CCFA District Cup after beating Mid-Cheshire and seeing the other match between The Wirral and Chester end in a 1-1 draw.


    Saturday's referee at Rushden v Altrincham this Saturday will be Mr W. Barratt, who oversaw Histon 1 Alty 0 on 3rd November 2007. In that game, as the website reported, "Controversy arose when Senior chased a ball up the middle which [Histon] keeper Naisbitt got to first but, after he had gathered the ball he raised his foot, catching Senior in the ribs and laying the Alty man low. Referee Barratt gave no foul... Senior resumed after lengthy treatment".

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Justin Edinburgh insists the finances of Rushden & Diamonds leave them 'a million miles away' from challenging towards the top of the Blue Square Premier. They dropped down to mid-table following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Crawley Town – only their third loss in 13 league games this season. Diamonds boss Edinburgh admitted: 'Our ambitions are making the play-offs. But financially, we're a bottom-half side so I can only commend the players for their efforts and results so far... We certainly felt we had done enough to get something out of the game at Crawley. We were left to rue the chances we missed and we're disappointed with the goals which we conceded'... Diamonds had a lucky escape in the first minute when captain Jamie Stuart was not sent off for a professional foul before Nathan Abbey saved from the spot".


    "Boro boss Graham Westley admitted that a lack of match fitness from some key players cost his team maximum points against Altrincham on Saturday" reports The Comet. "Westley was forced to push both Andy Drury and Darren Murphy into first team action despite only just returning from injury while loanee Michael Brough has not tasted first team football since mid-August for Torquay. And the Boro chief admitted that his side weren't dominant enough in the midfield areas...

    Altrincham took the lead through Robert Williams' first half strike and Boro struggled to get any kind of rhythm going forward until the visitors began to sit too deep in the second period allowing Westley's men to pump balls into their penalty area...

    'If we are honest about it, that lack of energy in the middle of the park was a big issue to us (against Altrincham). We couldn't get on top and we didn't really have the passing options in there. It's a disappointing result but I think you've got to give the players some understanding... I think we paid the price for a lack of match fitness'. Westley gave Altrincham credit for their performance, which merited a share of the spoils, but is confident once his players gain full match sharpness his side will have the guile to break these kinds of teams down. 'Their away record is very good', added Westley... 'They have got a very solid back four - they don't really go anywhere and they make things very congested in the middle of the park. They make life difficult and they are not an easy side to break down... At our best with our front line team out there fit and flying I'm confident we would have won'".

    Right: Michael Welch made a welcome return to action for Alty at Stevenage last Saturday. Here he warms up with Tom Kearney (left) before the match.

    FA CUP

    Altrincham enter the FA Cup in the 4th Qualifying Round on 24th October. The northern clubs involved in the 3rdQR are as follows:
  • Hyde United or Salford City v Blyth Spartans AFC
  • Fleetwood Town v Vauxhall Motors
  • FC Halifax Town v Burscough
  • FC United Of Manchester v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Cambridge City v Hinckley United
  • Solihull Moors v Redditch United or Stratford Town
  • Stourbridge v Hucknall Town
  • Ilkeston Town v Eastwood Town
  • Coventry Sphinx or Stafford Rangers v Bedworth United
  • Nuneaton Town or Carlton Town v Gainsborough Trinity
  • AFC Telford United v Worcester City
  • Matlock Town or Bury Town v Bedford Town
  • Lowestoft Town v Sutton Coldfield Town
  • Lincoln United v Frickley Athletic
  • Guiseley AFC v Kendal Town
  • Buxton v Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Alfreton Town v Southport
  • Workington v Warrington Town or Radcliffe Borough
  • Northwich Victoria v Chorley


    According to the Football Conference, "Attacking midfielder Kyle Fraser-Allen has signed for Hayes & Yeading United... Fraser-Allen, 19, was released by Tottenham Hotspur in the summer and spent some time on loan at Macclesfield Town last season, for whom he played in the Football League. Meanwhile, highly-popular goalkeeper Delroy Preddie, 33, has left the club in search of regular first-team football".

    At York City "Manager Martin Foyle has dipped into the loan market over the weekend and has signed Oxford United's Chris Carruthers for a month. The 26 year old left sided utility player has just completed a months loan at Crawley... As part of the agreement, Carruthers cannot play for City when they meet Oxford... City centre half Alan O'Hare is expected to join Gainsborough Trinity, also on one month's loan. The Irishman has made the City bench 8 times so far this season but has not yet had the opportunity to make his first appearance with the emergence of Djoumin Sangare in recent weeks".

    At Ebbsfleet United "With money raised for the ground purchase almost at the halfway point of the £600,000 target, debate among MyFC members will switch to two options concerning the future of Stonebridge Road - either to buy it under a new company named MyFootballGround Ltd which then becomes landlord of the football club, which is one option presented by the MyFC Society Board, or continue leasing Stonebridge Road from Gravesham Borough Council at a fixed rent of £1 per annum, a route explained by club director Brian Kilcullen on the following page. In the former case, £600,000 would need to be collected, of which £249,000 has already been raised by investors purchasing shares... Over £310,000 was pledged by over 1,000 members with a further 260 members willing to invest but not yet having stated to what extent".

    At Crawley Town "Major shareholder" Bruce Winfield answers questions.

    "Where are the club finances at currently? Well under control. Our target was to clear all debts by mid October and we will meet that target. The company will then be debt free, apart from the Directors' loans. This has been achieved by transfer fees, increased capital from the shareholders and reductions in revenue expenditure, the latter is already happening.This has put us in a very strong position financially. Considering this has been achieved in the middle of a recession can make us proud, especially as it has been done in a relatively short time.

    Who controls the Club’s finances? They are split between Susan Carter and myself...

    Who runs the company? I fully understand the confusion between Steve Evans father-in-law’s shareholding and Steve’s position as manager. To set the record straight, Steve’s role and responsibilities are all the football activities within the club, nothing to do with financial or governance matters. Susan and I set the budgets & control the finances...

    Why was the Club in such debt?... The previous owners left the club in an extremely poor financial state...

    What gates is the Club budgeting for?... We are planning for an average of 1100 including 200 season ticket holders...

    Can the Club exist on these gates forever? In the short to medium term - yes.In the long term – no, not unless we have a benefactor who is prepared to inject £200k-£400k per annum to subsidise the club, or we increase our other income streams significantly... The commercial revenue is down about £50k from last season... We made approximately £20k from the Setanta Shield last season, which has sadly now disappeared...

    What is the Playing Budget? I would estimate it’s in the lower quartile compared with other clubs in the league... The team budget is much lower than what we paid in the Southern League and is lower than last season’s... Overall our target is to get the Playing Budget to about 70% of our revenue...

    Is the club committed to the youth team? Yes - it is essential to our strategy and our ability to integrate the Club into the community... In my opinion, the previous owners damaged our “brand”...

    Bruce, your thoughts on Steve Evans? Steve got me back into the club and he is the reason I have invested money into this football club this time round. I will continue to put time, effort and monies into Crawley Town Football Club but Steve Evans must be a big part of Crawley Town Football Club; simply Steve Evans is a key asset. Believe me Steve is an outstanding manager who has a real love for this club and the job. On top of that he is a great guy, get to know him and you would agree. Steve does need at times to channel his enthusiasm better but without him I would not be as involved as I am today".

    Meanwhile The FA reports that "Crawley manager Steve Evans informed The FA on Friday that he will not appeal against the sanction imposed for improper conduct and his suspension began immediately. At an FA Regulatory Commission on 15 September, Evans was suspended from attending the Club’s fixtures for three match days and fined £750. This relates to an incident of improper conduct in a fixture between Crawley Town FC and Salisbury City FC on 21 February 2009. The terms of the match day suspension state that Mr Evans cannot attend the ground on any match day involving Crawley Town FC until the Club have completed three first team fixtures, this suspension started on Friday 25 September. Furthermore Mr Evans will serve a further 10-match touchline suspension. This follows a suspended sentence from a previous case being automatically activated following the charge against him being proved in this case".

    Barrow have "extended the deals of two key players... Rochdale Striker, Jon Shaw, has signed a two month extension to his initial one month loan which expired yesterday. Rochdale, however, have the right to recall the player giving 24 hours notice as is standard for loan deals after the first 28 days... his loan can continue until Nov 28th. Meanwhile left back, Gareth Jelleyman, who had joined on a one month contract due to expire today, has now signed a deal until the end of the season".

    The Oxford Mail says that "'Nothing flashy, but we got the job done'. That was the verdict of manager Chris Wilder after his Oxford United team returned to winning ways in Saturday’s 1-0 success at Gateshead. 'Style not so good, but substance excellent', was his summing up after the match... 'It was a tough game, against a decent side, who like to pass and play... I don’t think many teams will come here and find it easy, but we managed to edge it'... With the pitch a long way from the stands, there is little atmosphere on the pitch... 'The Luton and Wrexham games take care of themselves, especially the Luton one where you’re going into great surroundings and a great atmosphere, but here it was an eerie place to play. The punters are a million miles away from the pitch, so you really have to dig deep to drive yourself on a bit more. We’ll have a few of those games throughout the season'" said Wilder.

    This is Tamworth says that "A massive three-month project to record the memories of Tamworth Football Club has been launched. Special sessions will be held by members of Tamworth FC Supporters Club's (TFCSC's) heritage project at the town's pubs and working men's clubs, where fans young and old can share their stories. Dave Clayton, project leader, said: 'It's not as scary or sci-fi as it sounds. It's just a number of willing volunteers, a couple of video cameras and some friendly questions to fans both old and new'.

    Members are hoping to hear stories dating all the way back to 1933, when the football club was first founded. The project has been made possible following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year. Captured memories of old and new fans, officials and players will be published on the TFCSC heritage website. A commemorative book is also planned and will combine the history of the club with memories of the fans, players and officials, alongside photos and relevant statistics from across the years. An exhibition of memorabilia will also be staged in the town as part of the heritage project.

    A spokesman said: 'With the complete statistical playing history of the club available, Tamworth FC Supporters' Club were awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund in the summer of 2008 to use it as a base to tell the story of Tamworth FC through the eyes of the people who were actually there, on the terraces, behind the scenes and on the field of play'".


    The website has received the following... "A new website has been launched which allows Altrincham supporters to create a map of the football grounds they have visited throughout the world. allows users to select which grounds they have been to and create their own map. Choose from a selection of over 3,000 grounds from throughout Europe and all over the world, as well as a large array of non-league grounds from England.

    The website was created and run by Rob Clarkson, a 27-year-old football fanatic from Sheffield. The site originally started out as a Facebook application, but now also runs as a stand alone website that anyone can join. As well as creating their own map, users can get driving directions, write reviews and upload photos of the grounds they have been to.

    The site already has over 90,000 users, 75 of which are Altrincham supporters. A total of 5525 users have visited Moss Lane. The website is totally free to use and can be accessed here.

    28 September 2009


    Get your tickets before they sell out for the Meet the New Recruits evening at Moss Lane on Saturday, 17th October, following our game against Luton Town. The evening starts at 7pm in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge and will be hosted by Alty boss, Graham Heathcote. The confirmed guests to date are Ken McKenna and Michael Welch though other names are to expected to be added. Tickets are just £15 per ticket and include a two-course meal. After the meal there will be a "Questions & Answers" session with the guests. Please phone the Club on 0161 928 1045 or send an e-mail to book your place.


    After next Saturday's games, the season will be virtually one-third complete for Altrincham - 15 games out of 46 will have been played.

    Right: Alty defend their goal at Stevenage. Aaron Burns is the farthest left of the Alty players (in yellow) and fellow loan-player, Sam Sheridan, is the player inside the near goalpost. Between them is Matt Doughty and Stuart Coburn is on the line.

    Saturday 3/10/09:

  • AFC Wimbledon v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Barrow v Oxford United
  • Eastbourne Borough v Kettering Town
  • Ebbsfleet United v Crawley Town
  • Grays Athletic v Gateshead
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd v Chester City
  • Luton Town v Tamworth
  • Mansfield Town v Forest Green R.
  • Rushden & Diamonds v Altrincham
  • Wrexham v Salisbury City
  • York City v Stevenage Borough

    Sunday 4/10/09, k.o. 2pm

  • Histon v Cambridge United


    Left: Gary Talbot leads Andy McDonald, Simon Woodford, Neil Murphy and Peter Band off the pitch at the end of the game with Gateshead in August 2002.

    Gateshead are Tuesday night's visitors to Moss Lane. It will be the Tynesiders' first league visit since a UniBond Premier game on 26th August 2002, when Alty won 4-0. As a reminder to how far the two clubs have come in just seven years, both teams started that game with no points and only one goal between them from a collective 450 minutes of football that season - and just 548 spectators watched the game. Altrincham had conceded four goals in each of their last three games (losing to Harrogate, Vauxhall and Hucknall). Alty eventually finished 14th and Gateshead were relegated (21st).

    A Rod Thornley penalty put Alty 1-0 up after 20 minutes and Rod went on to complete a hat-trick with further goals after 55 and 61 minutes. Rod played for Alty last week so he could be the only player left of the 28 named by the two sides for that game if he is involved this Tuesday. Peter Band added the fourth goal two minutes from time. The Alty side was - 1. Andy MOORE, 2. Neil MURPHY, 3. Gary SCOTT, 4. Stephen ROSE, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Neil RYAN, 7. Jason GALLAGHER, 8. Andy McDONALD, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Chris YOUNG, Subs - 12. Mark MADDOX, 14. Simon WOODFORD, 15. Sean SMITH .

    This season Alty start the game with Gateshead in 13th place in the BSP, but have won only once in six home matches this campaign, having drawn four times at Moss Lane and lost once. Gateshead lie 19th having won once on the road but that was an impressive 4-1 win at Crawley.

    Ahead of Tuesday's game, NL Daily confirms that "Former England under-21 and 'B' international, Darren Williams has finally signed for Gateshead. Williams began his career at York City, but made his name at Sunderland, for whom he signed in 1996. He moved to Cardiff City in 2004, then on Hartlepool United in 2005. He was released by Hartlepool in 2007, and played for Bradford City during the 2007/08 season. He joined Scottish First Division side Dundee on trial in July 2008... He was to join Gateshead towards the end of August 2009, but the deal was called off as he still had hopes of a return to the professional ranks and would have been unable to do so until January, even if joining Gateshead on a non-contract basis. However, he finally put pen-to-paper and made his debut the same day in the 1-0 home defeat against Oxford United on Saturday".


    Alty's next away game is on Saturday, October 3rd, at Rushden where the Diamonds announce that regarding Lee Tomlin's recent sending-off, "At a meeting of the FA Disciplinary Group, the panel has rejected Rushden & Diamonds' appeal - and upheld the decision for a 3 match suspension for Lee Tomlin's sending off against Mansfield Town. Lee will therefore serve a 3 match suspension starting with Saturday's trip to Crawley". He will therefore miss the match with Altrincham.

    Details of the TASC supporters' transport to this game is on the Away Travel page; book early to avoid disappointment! Don't forget Alty have won 11 of their 18 points this season on the road.


    The latest in the Day in the Life series appeared in last Tuesday's "Robins' Review". It was written by Colin Mitchell, who mans turnstile number five on match days.

    I have been a supporter of Alty for over 30 years now, having started coming to Moss Lane in the 1978/79 season when I was just seven. A close friend of my Gran’s, Mr Roy Champion, had himself at the time been a long time supporter of Alty and, when my Uncle couldn’t make it to a game, he asked if I would like to go. My mum said it was OK and I’ve never looked back since. Although I was not impressed that my mum wouldn’t let me go to Wembley that season as she said I was too young. Still I got to go in 1982 & 1986 - days out I’ll never forget.

    Colin recently raised more than £50 for the Club by raffling his son George's "Alty Lion". Pictured right is Colin (right) presenting the "lion" to winner, Jon Stack.

    In more recent years I always wanted to do more that just support my favourite team and when I finally moved to Baguley from Lymm it gave me the opportunity to do just that. Before our first season back in the Conference National league the club were asking for volunteers to help out getting the ground ready for the new season as they do every year. I went along to help out and I felt I was at last giving something back to the club I had supported for so long. When the ground was ready for the new season I wanted to carry on doing ‘my bit’, so I offered to sell programmes or do whatever needed doing on match days. George Heslop asked if I would like to have a go at being a gateman - of course I said yes. After a few stints at the Home and Away ends, I have operated the main stand late gate ever since. This means that my turnstile is open until half time to enable any latecomers to gain entry into the ground.

    Whereas Mr. Flynn is most certainly the voice of Altrincham Football Club, I am one of the many faces of Altrincham Football Club as I am the first person fans see when they come to a home game. My day really starts when I get to the ground about one and a half hours before kick off. I usually see four or five people on my way to George’s office who say “Hi, Col” to which I reply. It’s one of the little things that makes what I do so enjoyable because everyone is there for the same reason - to give something back to the club, and most of them are doing it for free. It’s like having a second family.

    I’ve even seen GH [Graham Heathcote] watering the pitch before one game - you wouldn’t see Sir Alex doing that now would you? All the turnstile operators meet in George Heslop’s office to get their gate money bags. There is usually some kind of banter going on when I go in, likely between George, Phil, Julie and her daughters - who are also turnstile operators. After a bit of chuckling we make our way to our turnstiles. I’m usually with Dana Laidlar, who is one of the many people who has become a good friend to me at Alty. After setting up my money, I’ll go and get my match programme from Terry, and my Golden Goal ticket from Karen. It’s my way of giving a bit of cash back to the club too as I get to see the second half for free. I have won the Golden Goal once as well, although I did embarrass myself one game when the tannoy announcer called out the Golden Goal time as the one on my ticket. I jumped up in the middle of the main stand cheering that I'd won, only for the announcement to come over the tannoy saying the correct time. I felt such a plonker. Still it gave a few fans in the main stand a giggle.

    I do try to keep in touch with the game by popping my head round the brick walls that surround me. Some fans have suggested that we should knock some bricks out to make a window so we can see the pitch - I think George Heslop is still mulling that one over. He’s promised us under-concrete heating too at some point! Most fans just go with the flow of whatever’s happening, like the night when the floodlights failed before the Luton FA Cup game. I think some of them at the front of the queue that night thought I had a private phone to the referee’s room. Like I said before, if people see you first they expect you to know what’s going on.

    I wouldn’t say I’ve had that many famous people through my turnstile, just the odd one or two. Howard Wilkinson wanted to get in free because he was late, Frank Stapleton was busy on his phone and Sir Alex just wanted to know where to park his car (I think we said the car park would be best). To me, the famous people are there on a regular basis anyway (like Isabel, Dennis, Pete and Caroline). I also enjoyed the banter with Eddie and Barbara Lane when they came to see their son playing. I was probably more disappointed than most when Chris left the club. Although I still keep in touch with Eddie via E-mail.

    I have also enjoyed being involved with the club at the Altrincham Festival this year, which raised a few quid as did the raffling of a lion that you may have seen me doing. It doesn’t matter how much or little people do for a club like Alty because it’s always appreciated by the club.

    So, as the first half comes to a close, I’ll count up the cash and season tickets and Phil will come to check the numbers on the turnstile and escort me to the office. So now you know what it takes to be a turnstile operator. The next time we get a first half goal make sure you take notes as I might ask you about it later. Thanks to George H. for giving me the opportunity to do what I’ve wanted to do for years, and thanks to all of you who do your bit by coming to the games. Regardless of what happens on the pitch this will always be ‘A Family Club whose Fans, Staff & Volunteers are its Family‘.

    Colin Mitchell.

    27 September 2009


  • Wrexham 0 Chester City 0 - gate 5,913
  • League table


    Above: Ken McKenna leads the way as Alty put their best foot forward before the game at Stevenage on Saturday.

  • Match report here.

    After the match Alty assistant manager Ken McKenna told the NL Paper, "It was disappointing to lose a goal at the end but I think we were under the cosh, especially the last 20 minutes and, overall, it was probably a fair result. We rode our luck a bit but I thought we had done enough to see it out. We knew there would be times to defend but we could catch them on the counter attack. We should have scored in the first couple of minutes when we had a fantastic opportunity. How it didn't go in, I don't know. But they will feel they deserved a draw out of the game and they probably did".

    The gate yesterday at Stevenage was 2,093 not 1,200 as quoted by the BBC and many newspapers. Most of the media (BBC included) also seem to have confused Aaron Burns (Alty's no.26) with Sam Sheridan (no.25) throughout this match in their reports. It was Sheridan, not Burns who was booked and Sheridan, not Burns, whose freekick led to Alty's goal.

    The Comet reports that "Michael Bostwick's injury time equaliser preserved Boro's unbeaten home record against Altrincham... It looked like Graham Westley's men would taste defeat for the first time since November last year after Robert Williams's first half headed strike. But Bostwick rose highest to meet Scott Laird's cross in the 92nd minute to direct a bullet header into the far corner and earn Boro a share of the spoils. It was the least Boro deserved for endeavour alone although once again Westley's men lacked enough quality to break down a stubborn rearguard action.

    Altrincham appeared more than happy to protect their lead in the second period but for long spells Stevenage didn't have the guile to find a way through... There was no getting away from the fact that Boro were lacking any kind of imagination through the spine of their side... Altrincham began to sit very deep although in Christopher Denham they had a player who always offered an outlet on the counter attack... Bostwick's brilliant header from Laird's cross earned Boro a share of the spoils".

    And Stevenage Borough themselves report that "It took a late, late goal from Michael Bostwick to earn a point against Altrincham" before claiming that "Stevenage bossed the game from start to finish but failed to turn their possession into goal scoring opportunities in what was a laboured and disjointed performance... Despite enjoying the bulk of possession Borough failed to trouble Stuart Coburn in the Altrincham goal and they paid the price midway through the half. Altrincham earned themselves a soft freekick wide on the right when Chris Senior collapsed under a challenge from Odhiambo and when Burns [i.e. Sheridan] swung in the freekick giant centre back Robert Williams applied the deftest of touches to guide the ball just inside the far post... Altrincham were proving dogged and doughty opponents, although offering very little attacking threat... Despite total domination for the entire second half it appeared as if Borough would have nothing to show for their efforts, until salvation arrived in the form of Bostwick... A two point haul from two home fixtures was not in the script, but it just goes to show that there are no easy matches in this league".

    There are some excellent photos of the game at Matt Ranson's Boro Pics site. They include image 00041 showing Sheridan almost scoring in the opening five minutes; 00129 showing Williams's goal and 00647 showing the Boro equalizer.


    A number of Alty "Old Boys" played in the FA Cup yesterday.
  • Buxton 5 AFC Fylde 1 - Kieran Lugsden got a goal for Buxton
  • Droylsden 0 FC Halifax Town 2 - including a goal from James Dean
  • Matlock T 2 Bury T 2 - Liam King scored a goal for Matlock
  • North Ferriby 0 FCUM 1 - Ben Deegan got the only goal
  • Stocksbridge PS 2 Stalybridge 7 - Joe O'Neill netted again for Celtic.

    In the Unibond Division 1 North:

  • Leigh Genesis 6 Prescot 0 -Jamie Baguley got two goals and Chris Baguley, one
  • Rossendale 1 Colwyn Bay 4 - former Alty trialist Dave Challinor scored for Bay
  • Trafford 1 Wakefield fc 1 - Scott Metcalfe, a former Alty reserve, scored Trafford's goal.

    In the League, Lewis Chalmers helped Aldershot into fourth place in League Two, whilst in third place, Rotherham's win started with a goal from Kevin Ellison.

    26 September 2009


    The condolences of Altrincham FC go to Terry Surridge, an historian of the club and frequent matchday sponsor, whose mother died last week.

    The Club also extends its sympathy to striker Ross Thaker, whose grandmother's death this week prevented his inclusion in the squad at Stevenage today.


    Above: Chris Senior turns with a smile on his face as the ball nestles in the Stevenage net following Robbie Williams's excellent headed conversion of Sam Sheridan's freekick at Stevenage. In contrast, Boro keeper Day remonstrates with his defenders. Robbie's feet are seen, disappearing off the left of the photo!

    Alty took the lead midway through the first half with a fine header from Williams from Sheridan's freekick from the left. After a lot of pressure Stevenage levelled in the first added minute of extra time through Bostwick's header following a freekick on the Stevenage left. Alty had looked to be heading for a three-point haul but they could not keep the ball long enough at the other end following the late substitution of Chris Denham. Report to follow.

  • Alty line-ups
  • Alty player stats

    STEVENAGE BOROUGH (Red and white) 16. Chris Day, 4. Eddie Odhiambo (a.k.a. Eddie Anaclet), 24. Michael Bostwick, 14. Mark Roberts, 3. Scott Laird; 23. Andy Drury, 17. Michael Brough, 7. Darren Murphy, 21. Mitchell Cole; 10. Lee Boylan, 20. Chris Beardsley. SUBS - 1. Ashley Bayes, 8. Stacy Long, 9. Charlie Griffin, 30. Peter Vincenti, 11. Yemi

    ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, blue shorts and yellow socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 10. Chris DENHAM, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 26. Sam SHERIDAN, 25. Aaron BURNS; 19. Chris SENIOR. SUBS: 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 18. Michael WELCH, 21, Andrew PEARSON, 11. Nicky CLEE.

    Saturday 26 Sept.

  • Howard Watts's Through the Years
  • AFC Wimbledon 4 Histon 0
  • Cambridge United 3 Luton Town 4
  • Crawley Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1
  • Eastbourne Borough 1 Tamworth 1
  • Forest Green 2 Grays Athletic 1
  • Gateshead 0 Oxford United 1
  • Kettering Town 3 Ebbsfleet United 0
  • Mansfield Town 3 Hayes & Yeading Utd `
  • Salisbury City 3 Barrow 0
  • Stevenage Borough 1 Altrincham 1
  • York City 3 Kidderminster Harriers 2


    There should be the usual matchday news from the Stevenage game this Saturday afternoon on the Update Page.

    Before Saturday's game, the Football Conference reports that "Stevenage Borough have signed midfielder Michael Brough on a one month loan deal from Torquay United, and will take his place in Their squad for the match at home against Altrincham... Brough is an experienced, 28-year-old defender who has Football League experience with Notts County along with a previous spell at Stevenage and more recently Forest Green Rovers, where he was captain".

    Speaking to the BBC, Stevenage boss Graham Westley said, "They are an energetic side and well organised. They have a good record on their travels this year as well, so we know they are not going to be a push-over. You know that you have got to earn your points in this league, but we are at home and certainly looking to take advantage of that".


    The next round in the FA Youth Cup sees Altrincham away at Vauxhall Motors on Sunday, 11th October, at 11am.

    Meanwhile, this Sunday's match in the Cheshire FA District Youth Cup between Mid Cheshire FA and Altrincham & District FA kicks off at 10.30am at Northwich Victoria's ground.


    Gareth Thomas of TASC writes "Great news, the 'My Square' pitch sponsorship scheme will be running again for the 2009/10 season. We will be taking sponsors for the squares on a first come first served basis starting at the Mansfield game on October 10th 2009. This is a fantastic fundraiser for the club and a fantastic way to own your own little part of Moss Lane and have your name in the matchday programme.

    This year we will have a pitch map on a whiteboard in the club shop before games and in the Noel White Suite afterwards so you can see your name 'up in lights' as soon as you join.


  • SWINDELLS SQUARES - Each of the squares in the 6 yard boxes at Moss Lane will be named in honour of our greatest goal getter, the late, great Jackie Swindells. The 'My Square' page of the Robins Review will focus on these on 6 occasions and the sponsor will be able to give their recollections of Jackie.
  • FREEMAN and WELCH squares - these will be available by auction and again will feature in the programme.


  • MAGIC MOMENT SQUARES – We plan to allocate certain squares of the Moss Lane pitch to magical Robins moments of the past. For example, the square just on the edge of the Golf Road penalty area where Ken McKenna slipped home his last gasp winner against Kettering in 1991. Again, this would be featured in a particular edition of Robins' Review and the sponsor would be able to add their own recollections of the event. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a goal, each part of Moss Lane has its own memories.

    But what are these 'Magic Moments'? Over to you, please post here (or e-mail those goals, moments, and parts of the pitch that should be designated as special squares - Showler’s goal v Macc? Tunna’s header v Dagenham? - so that we know which ones to allocate specially".


    Former Alty Youth and reserve, Paul Monaghan has joined New Mills.

    Barnsley have signed Ryan Shotton on a three-month emergency loan from Stoke City.


    Hyde United state that "The latest position with regards to the winding up order is as follows [writes their chairman]:

    I consulted with solicitors on Thursday morning, and established that there is an opportunity to go back to the High Court with a request that the winding-up order be rescinded. This has to be done within 7 days, but practically will need to happen by Monday at the latest. The club will have to have in place funds to pay the petition debt of around £122,000 in full, plus related legal costs, which may be significant, and be able to convince the court that it is sufficiently solvent to continue to trade... The club needs to raise around £35,000 over the next couple of days, but this is not impossible. Obviously any help, no matter how small would be greatly appreciated...

    As things stand at the moment the club has been wound up, and therefore is unable to fulfil its fixture in the FA Cup on Saturday. I have however contacted the FA, and requested a postponement of the fixture for one week, to allow us the opportunity to rescind the winding-up order. In reality we will be charged by the FA for not fulfilling the cup fixture, and will have to appeal to the cup committee. This is the best we could hope for.

    I have also consulted with the League, and established that if the order is rescinded, it would be as if it had never happened, we would not be in an insolvency event, and we would not suffer a points deduction. This would of course be subject to ratification by the Conference board.

    Finally, I have passed a message via Tolse [manager Neil Tolson] to the players, requesting them not to do anything until our future is known for certain".


    The Football Conference reported on Friday that "Barrow have made a second signing of the day, following the arrival of former Huddersfield midfielder Malvin Kamara. Morecambe midfielder Neil Wainwright has joined on a month's loan... The experienced winger began his career at Wrexham in 1996 and despite making only a dozen appearances, was snapped up by Sunderland in a £100,000 move in 1998... In 2001, he joined Darlington, where he made over 200 appearances... He joined Morecambe in 2008/09 after surprisingly being allowed to leave by then Darlo boss Dave Penney, and was one of the Shrimp's leading players last season operating in the left wing-back role... Wainwright missed virtually all of Morecambe's pre-season campaign, and he joins the Bluebirds to get some competitive games under his belt".

    And NL Daily adds that "Kamara is an English-born Sierra Leone international who was a free agent... He started his career with MK Dons before moving on to Cardiff City in 2006. The next year he switched to Port Vale, before ending up at Huddersfield. He has over 150 appearances to his name in the Football League".

    "Histon have signed defender Sam Long from league rivals Grays Athletic. Long, who turned 19 earlier this month, was released by Charlton Athletic at the end of the 2008/09 season" reports NL Daily

    25 September 2009


    There is a report on Altrincham's FA Youth Cup win on Wednesday night in the Youth section.


    On Tuesday (29th) for the Altrincham v Gateshead match you can be a guest in the Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane and enjoy a pre-match hot meal and drink, a free programme and a a few words from Alty manager on his approach to the game. And at half time there is tea/coffee and biscuits - all for just £25. To book a place please ring 928-1045 or e-mail the club.


    Blue Square Football has an audio interview with Alty boss Graham Heathcote.


    Forest Green Rovers say that manager "David Hockaday has moved again... to bolster his striking capabilities by signing 21yr old Tomi Ameobi. He takes on Squad No 24. Tomi comes from a well known footballing family with their roots in his place of birth of Newcastle upon Tyne. Commencing as a trainee with Leeds United, he made 10 appearances on loan at Scunthorpe United before he joined Doncaster Rovers for the 2008/09 season on a one year contract. At the Keepmoat Stadium he only chalked up one game... before spending loan periods at Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town. Released by Doncaster at the end of July this year, he has of late been playing with Bradford City on a non contract basis and scored the winner on Tuesday evening in their local derby against Huddersfield in the Central League – sadly though in his own net. Ameobi at 6'3" gives Hockaday another opportunity to continue his search to find a suitable frontman".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Imraan Ladak has laid down the gauntlet to Kettering Council to get behind his ambitious plans for a new football stadium in the town. The Kettering Town chairman has revealed a deal between the club and supermarket giants Asda to build a new store and a stadium on the Kettering Business Park on the A43/A6003 has stalled... He believes part of the reason for Asda being put off at this stage is a lack of support for the project from the council.

    However, he revealed that despite their ground issues, the Poppies will not be automatically demoted from the Blue Square Premier at the end of the season and the club is working on plans to ensure they can be promoted to the Football League if the opportunity arises". Ladak said "Everything was agreed in principle but once we announced the story we understand that Asda were approached by another landowner who said they could have their land instead and they wouldn't need to build a stadium. As well as that, Asda were told that there will be complications with the council in terms of going ahead... We have had some great news that we will not be relegated by the Conference and we have other plans in place to try to ensure we can be promoted to the Football League should that situation come around".


    This Sunday's match in the Cheshire FA District Youth Cup between Mid Cheshire FA and Altrincham & District FA kicks off at 10.30am at Northwich Victoria's ground.


    Hyde United report that "The board of directors was devastated to learn this afternoon (Wednesday) that at a High Court hearing in London the football club was officially wound up. The club had applied for a final adjournment and had produced evidence that funds to satisfy the petition debt due to HMRC in full would be in place in the very near future. The board is taking legal advice on whether this decision can be overturned, and will make a further statement once this advice is received".

    Let's hope that our neighbours, who have a long and proud history, do get some sort of reprieve. It is puzzling that HM Revenue and Customs have wound up Hyde for a £122,000 debt when numerous other clubs have had much larger debts to the Revenue and survived. Hyde had already paid HMRC £45,000 this summer and as the MEN states "not wanted to enter administration as a way out of its responsibilities to creditors".

    24 September 2009


    Daily updates of this website will be less full than usual for the next two days but there should be the usual matchday news from the Stevenage game this Saturday on the Update Page.


    In Wednesday night's FA Youth Cup Qualifying Round match at Moss Lane, Alty Youth came from 2-1 down to win 4-2 against Cammell Laird. They now travel to Vauxhall Motors in the next round, in a fortnight. Alty went ahead in the 42nd minute when their captain, Dan Shaw, finished well after good work from Bennett. But a minute later a 30-yard effort from Neill gave the visitors parity. Two minutes after the break, Smith sprang the offside trap to put Lairds ahead.

    Alty equalised in the 69th minute when Sheridan chased a seemingly lost cause to the by-line and laid the ball back for Linney to tap in as the Lairds defence failed to react. Shaw put Alty ahead nine minutes later. Put through by Linney he again finished well past the keeper. Five minutes from time substitute Joel Brownhill scored a superb goal from outside the box, the ball sailing into the top of the net after Shaw's pass found him in space. Report to follow.


    Alty joint press officer, John Edwards, writes:

    Graham Heathcote has moved to reassure worried Altrincham fans that Colin Little (right) is not about to hang up his scoring boots. Rumours have been circulating that the prolific Alty marksman may be forced to retire as he battles to overcome a knee injury.

    But they were scotched by Heathcote, who stressed that Little was counting the days to his comeback and could even be in line for a recall at Rushden and Diamonds a week on Saturday.

    Speaking to the club's official website, the Alty manager said: 'I have seen one or two posts on the fans' website, suggesting Colin may be contemplating calling it a day, but, let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. 'I know it's not the norm for him to be sidelined for so long, but he's not immune to injury, unfortunately. It is the first he's had for a while, but the fact is he jarred his knee against Chester, and it has taken some time to settle down. 'But let me underline, again, there is no question of him quitting. The time scale has been frustrating, but he has no intention of finishing. His appetite for playing is as keen as ever, and he can't wait to get back. One thing we have never done at this club, and never will, is rush players back. It's not fair on the player to do that, and it can be counter-productive, because they can end up in a worse state than ever.

    'They come back when they are ready and fit enough to do themselves justice, and we are almost at that stage with Colin. A week on Saturday is a possibility for him. We are looking at that, and it will be good to have him back, because we haven't got that many natural goal grabbers'".


    Get your tickets before they sell out for the Meet the New Recruits evening at Moss Lane on Saturday, 17th October, following our game against Luton Town. The evening starts at 7pm in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge and will be hosted by Alty boss, Graham Heathcote. The confirmed guests to date are Ken McKenna and Michael Welch though other names are to expected to be added. Tickets are just £15 per ticket and include a two-course meal. After the meal there will be a "Questions & Answers" session with the guests. Please phone the Club on 0161 928 1045 or send an e-mail to book your place.

    Vice chairman Graham Rowley also announces that the Altrincham FC Christmas Party has been arranged for Saturday, 28th November, after our home game with Kettering Town. Most of the players and management will be there. Tickets are just £35 each or £60 per couple, or £300+VAT for a table of ten people. Graham says "Your support for these two events would be greatly appreciated as the club strives to provide the management with extra resources to strengthen our squad".


    In Tuesday's matchday programme Graham Heathcote refers to the club's injury problems - eight players were unavailable on Tuesday night. "It's meant players with no experience at this level having to go out on a consistent basis and that's tough. In fact, young Andrew Pearson went on on Saturday (at Grays) and he hadn't been feeling well so to put the points on the board that we have is a credit to the players.

    Alty physio Sean Riley writes that at Grays "Nicky Clee came off with a badly bruised foot", whilst Dale Johnson limped off "with knee ligament damage". He adds that "Chris Denham was also struggling after the game with a groin injury". However, "Michael Welch has spent four days at Lilleshall and should hopefully join in training on Thursday with a view to being fit to play within a couple of weeks. Colin Little is awaiting a scan on his left knee as he is repsonding slowly to treatment at the moment. Finally, Sean reports that Greg Young "is making good progress after coming down with mumps" but since then Greg has had a slight relapse so his return is not imminent.


    Right - Stuart Coburn takes to the field against Tamworth in a purple jersey; before kick off he had to change it as he was deemed to be clashing with Tamworth's blue kit.


    The latest edition of Brian Flynn's "Flynnzine" appeared in Tuesday's "Robins' Review" and is reproduced below...

    Grays Anatomy

    Within the last couple of weeks, the highly respected Football Magazine, 'When Saturday Comes', has published a feature on Altrincham's grossly under recognised victory over Birmingham City in the FA Cup Third Round of 1986. The picture below shows Ronnie Ellis's equaliser that night and the callow seventeen year old youth wearing the number three shirt and turning his head in admiration at Ronneeeeeeeeee's super strike is Julian Dicks, who was in the formative stages of what turned out to be a successful and interesting career in the top flight of English Football. Since that epic night at St.Andrew's twenty three years ago, our paths did not cross again until the former West Ham United and Liverpool full back was appointed as manager of Grays Athletic last week........probably the least stable job in football with an average tenure during the last three years of about twelve weeks!

    I think that it is fair to say that the Grays fans have greeted the appointment with a fairly conservative level of enthusiasm & the general opinion appears to be that Dicks will not last too long as manager of the Essex club. Time will tell in its own inimitable way, but he certainly got off to a poor start on Saturday as we ran out 3-0 victors at The New Rec.I was surprised with the new incumbent's post match comments. 'I've told them in there they have cheated me, the club and the paying public. All I ask for is 110% commitment but some of them simply did not try. I can't accept it. In our first meeting I said to them that I will stay until 6pm every day and train them if they want it. I stayed until 6pm. How many joined me? None of them, that's how many. They aren't fit, nowhere near it. If they don't want the privilege of playing football for a living, trust me I will find players who do.I understand that certain players play at this level because they're not good enough to go to higher levels. But in all football, if you give 110% it goes such a long way. Today, apart from Daryl Robson who came on, none of them did that".

    It has to be said that Grays looked a poor side, but after conceding an early goal, they gradually took control and probably should have been level at half time. They dominated the early stages of the second half, before Chris Denham and Chris Senior hit them with two sucker punches in as many minutes and after that they did, admittedly, fold completely and we could have added further goals. It may be that this 'shock treatment' will work but in my view a more balanced post match analysis was in order and I cannot see how criticising all but one of his players for lack of effort is a productive move.

    During the game, I was sat next to a genial chap called Dave Cusack.He is a former Sheffield Wednesday,Southend United & Millwall player & was Player Manager at Doncaster Rovers and Boston United in his time. He is now the Chairman of Basildon United, who play in the Essex Senior League. He told me that in the early nineties, he had a season at Grays which was more memorable for the training sessions than the matches. As anyone who has visited knows,the pitch at The New Rec is overlooked by flats, a few of which have verandahs, which generally have people watching the match on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening.At that time, one of the flats was occupied by a lady who, towards the end of training sessions, would regularly appear on the verandah 'au naturel'! Sadly, there has been no sign of this individual on any of our five visits to Grays........which is a pity......particularly for Julian Dicks' charges as they looked like they were all in need of a bit of a lift!

    Heathcote In.....Dicks Out!!!

    Bring on Tamworth!



    On Tuesday night The New Saints reached the Welsh League Cup's last eight with a 5-2 win over Bangor City. There were "two two stunning 25-yard goals from striker Matthew Berkeley" whilst former Alty reserve Ashley Stott scored for Bangor who lost 4-2. Nantwich Town beat Ashton United 2-0 thanks to goals by Darren Tinson and Jake Sedgemore.


    News of our next opponents, Stevenage Borough, comes from The Comet after their 1-1 home draw against Grays, who Alty beat 3-0 last Saturday.

    "Boro boss Graham Westley believes Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Grays Athletic should act as 'a wake-up call' for his players. After picking up five consecutive wins Boro were expected to easily dispose of Grays". Westley said, "You get nothing for nothing and as a football club we've got to recognise that you've got to earn your points". The Comet adds that "Westley's side did not do enough throughout the evening to justify taking all three points... 'What I think disappointed us most is that we only did what Grays allowed us to do... we allowed ourselves to be harried out of our normal rhythm'" said the manager. The Comet also has a match report on the game in which Stevenage lined up as follows: (4-4-2): Day, Henry, Albrighton, (Drury 60), Roberts, Laird, Odhiambo (Vincenti 67), Bostwick, Byrom, Cole (Odubade 78), Boylan, Beardsley.Subs not used: Bayes, Griffin.

    One Stevenage player who has been in the news for the wrong reasons recently is Lawrie Wilson. The Sun newspaper of 18 May 2009 reported that "Frank Lampard's ex-fiancée Elen Rives is dating another soccer ace - from non-league Stevenage Borough. The Sun can reveal the hunk is Lawrie Wilson, paid £500 a week in the Blue Square Premier. He is thought to have been seeing the Spanish beauty, 34, for just over a fortnight. They shared a night in a £545-a-room London hotel eight days ago... And the pair have been snapped kissing and cuddling over champagne cocktails in a swish private members' club... The Stevenage player, who lines up in the fifth tier of English football, HAD a girlfriend when he met Elen... They broke up yesterday after she recognised him as the mystery man pictured with Elen in a Sunday newspaper - and raced round to confront him at his rented Essex flat.

    A source said: 'She was absolutely raging. He couldn't have been more surprised. Thankfully Elen wasn't there at the time or God knows what would have happened'. Well-spoken Wilson, a utility man who plays in either defence or midfield, refused to discuss Elen yesterday... Wilson's family have a huge home and team-mates rib him for his 'poshness' and 'girlie hair'... Wilson, signed by Stevenage in 2007 after a spell at Colchester Utd, can only dream of the big time as he plays before tiny crowds".

    Our opponents last Saturday, Grays Athletic, have made a signing reports the Football Conference. "Manager Julian Dicks... has bought in Norwegian striker Petar Rnkovic, and international clearance was gained at the final hour to allow him to be available for Tuesday night's game against Stevenage Borough in which he scored in the 1-1 draw at Broadhall Way. Rnkovic has played in numerous positions during his career and was a senior goalkeeper before securing himself as a striker... In 2005 he stepped down to play with Mjøndalen IF in the 3 Division due to family commitments where he scored fifty-two goals in twenty-five matches!"

    Mansfield Town "Defender Luke Jones will be out between six-eight weeks after picking up an ankle injury in training yesterday... Luke Graham takes his place at the heart of the defence".

    In the The BBC says that "Ebbsfleet United manager Liam Daish has admitted he is running out of patience with certain players after his side's disappointing start to the season... having won just one of their 12 games so far. 'I've given them that chance', Daish told BBC Radio Kent. 'I can't just keep doing it. Things are going to have to change. I need to get players in who are good enough to keep us in this league... If they're not good enough fine but if they think they're good enough they've got to start showing me and giving me more. I need players to either perform now, or be honest with me and say maybe Conference National is a bit too much'".

    And Kent Online adds that "Liam Daish is delighted to have finally landed striker Luis Cumbers – two months after initially trying to bring in the Gillingham frontman. Cumbers rejoined Fleet on a month’s loan on Friday after starting three games, scoring one goal, while on loan at Stonebridge Road last season".

    The Chronicle Live reports that "Ian Bogie hailed Gateshead’s first clean sheet of their Blue Square Premier campaign... 'We’d like to have won, but it’s a start, a clean sheet and under the circumstances I’m happy with a point' [against Rushden] Bogie said. 'We’ve been on a poor run of results, if not performances, because we've done OK in that sense in the last couple of games... We’re a part-time outfit, we’ve played against another full-time outfit and we’re not far away at all, so I’ve got to be pleased... We’ve got to take the positives out of this result and take them on board for Saturday'... Not least among those positives was goalkeeper Farman, who made his debut in place of former Hartlepool stopper Jim Provett. The North Shields teenager looked nerveless under pressure".

    The Luton & Dunstable Express reports that "Luton Town manager Mick Harford said he expects to come under pressure after what he called the club's worst defeat in their history in Wrexham. Town were two goals down inside 21 minutes from a Gareth Taylor double. And in a game where the Hatters did not manage one shot on target their misery was rubber stamped by a defensive comedy of errors to allow Marc Williams in four minutes from time to make it 3-0.

    Harford was scathing, saying: 'From kick-off to the final whistle were absolutely abysmal and in my opinion that was probably the worst performance in Luton Town's history given where we are and what league we are in. I apologise to the fans because they've travelled three-and-a-half hours to get here and pay good money and we've not turned up. We were awful. It reflects on me 100 per cent. I'll hold my hands up. You question yourself and ask yourself "have I picked the right team?" It's a results-based business and that is what you are judged on so after tonight's performance I expect to come under pressure because it was awful. I'm sure the board will speak to me. We have regular meetings. We'll talk about this performance and they will ask questions as I will ask the players questions and the fans will ask the board questions... Let's not harp on about who wasn't playing and who wasn't fit. What was out there was crap'.

    Asked about the boos from the small band of travelling Hatters fans at the final whistle, Harford said: 'I'm not surprised. They probably jeered me and I'll accept that. I'm behind them... I was disappointed with the reaction of the players afterwards. We've had a bit of a heart to heart in there. They sat there and disappointed me with what wasn't said. When you put in performances like that you should be pulling each other up and it's always left to me to do the nailing and say what should have been done... I've told the players that they should be ashamed of themselves. They're an honest bunch of lads and I've got a lot of time, respect and belief in them but tonight they've let themselves down for the first time this season'".

    From the Cambridge News we learn that "Steve Fallon, manager of Histon, has bolstered his attacking line-up by signing Pierre Joseph-Dubois on a non-contract basis... Joseph-Dubois, who started his career with Reading, has previously played in the Blue Square Premier with Grays Athletic, Crawley Town and, most recently, Weymouth... The need to add to the Stutes’ firepower means Ben Farrell’s loan from Cambridge United has been cancelled".

    23 September 2009


    Altrincham FC will also be showing the following games in October. Come along and enjoy the games in the company of Alty supporters and local residents - everyone is welcome!
  • Sat. 3 Oct: Manchester Utd v Sunderland (k.o. 5.30pm) bar open 5pm
  • Mon. 5 Oct: Aston Villa v Manchester City (k.o. 8pm), bar open 7pm
  • Sun. 18 Oct: Blackburn v Burnley (k.o. 1pm), bar open 12.30pm
  • Sun. 18 Oct: Wigan v Manchester City (k.o. 4pm)
  • Sun. 25 Oct: Liverpool v Manchester Utd (k.o. 2pm), bar open 1pm
  • Sun. 25 Oct: West Ham v Arsenal (k.o. 4.15pm)
  • Sat. 31 Oct: Manchester Utd v Blackburn R. (k.o. 5.30pm,), bar open 5pm


    Altrincham ended the game with Rod Thornley and Danny Heffernan up front as Graham Heathcote and Ken McKenna had to shuffle their pack yet again due to injuries last Saturday to Dale Johnson and Nicky Clee which sidelined them for this game. Dale has knee ligament damage and Nicky has a bruised foot. In all, eight players were unavailable, as the Robins are still also without the suspended Robbie Lawton and Greg Young (mumps). Also missing were the injured Colin Little, Scott Moffatt, Danny Edwards and Michael Welch. So, Graham Heathcote had signed two emergency-loan players before kick off; they were striker Aaron Burns from Northwich Victoria and midfielder Sam Sheridan from Bolton Wanderers, both of whom started.

    With Rod Thornley (pictured right with Ross Thaker, before the game), that made three players making their first appearances of the season for Altrincham. In contrast, Tamworth, third in the table, were unchanged.

  • Match report here.

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups

    After the game the Tamworth website reported that "Boss Gary Mills had no arguments about his side's performance. 'The lads are disappointed that they couldn't get the win, but there are no complaints as far as I'm concerned. We had the better chances, were the better team for most of the game and Danny Alcock barely had a save to make. A clean sheet and an away point is superb. We've not deserved to lose any of our dozen games so far. We have got to learn to take our chances though, as we had a number of good ones tonight. We opened them up in the first half, Michael Blackwood had a good game and Simon Russell had a great chance before half time while Neil MacKenzie forced a great save at the end of the game. But we were magnificent once again and we'll work on these things. They are learning all the time'".


    The Football Conference says that "Forest Green Rovers' new manager David Hockaday is certainly not letting the grass grow under his feet when it comes to changes in his New Lawn squad... Whilst Hockaday agreed with Ross Stearn that he could leave the club by mutual consent, he then moved swiftly to sign 20-year-old Loren Maxwell. Maxwell had been an apprentice at Hockaday’s previous club Watford but spent the last twelve months at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain, having only just returned from their sunny climes to face the rigours of a colder atmosphere in the Cotswolds. A tall athletic striker he will certainly be in the squad for the match and, depending on the fitness of Sean Rigg, it maybe that he could get more game time than he expected".

    According to the Liverpool Daily Post, "Striker Gregg Blundell is doubtful for Chester City’s trip to Salisbury City tonight after suffering a recurrence of his troublesome thigh injury at the weekend... If the former Darlington striker does miss out then youngster Lloyd Ellams is likely to be drafted into the starting line up. Chester’s wafer-thin squad desperately needs strengthening, and ex-City manager Graham Barrow has come to the club’s assistance by offering the Deva Stadium outfit a couple of Wigan Athletic reserve team players. Barrow is now on the coaching staff with the Premier League outfit, and Chester manager Mick Wadsworth will take a look at Wigan’s second string in a match tomorrow.

    He said: 'I am going to Wigan on Wednesday and I’m taking in lots of games, but it’s difficult at the moment because if I bring in players from a distance [it's all of 40 miles from Wigan to Chester!] we have to arrange financing, housing and hotels. The crowds at Chester aren’t very big so that the commitments that we’ve got to staff and players and all the other things that keep a football club running [are] a really tough job for the board and for the managing director and I sympathise. That’s why I don’t jump up and down and demand this and that because it won’t get any of us anywhere... The most important thing still is that we have got a football club and that we are competing. What we need is help from clubs like Burnley who have helped us with two lads and now hopefully Wigan will also help us. We have to live in the world of the possible and we are doing as much as we can'”.

    "Assistant manager Nick Greenwood insists Dan Smith still has a future at Eastbourne Borough" reports the Argus. "Smith became Borough’s first ever full-time professional when he was signed from Plymouth Argyle in the summer following an impressive loan spell last season. But the 20-year-old winger has only started two games this season and was left out of the squad completely for the second time at Oxford United on Saturday. Greenwood said: 'It is just a question of Dan making the adjustment. At Plymouth he was full-time and had sessions laid on for him every day so it is bound to take him a while to adjust. We obviously don’t put training sessions on for just one player so he goes to the gym and looks after himself. It is a big difference and it requires self discipline and motivation when you are doing it all on your own. He is a long way away from home and is trying to come to terms with a completely new routine so it is no surprise it is taking him a while to settle in. We had the same situation with Yemi (Odubade) when he came here from Yeovil. Suddenly he wasn’t training every day and it does affect your levels of fitness and performance. Dan is still a good player who is an important part of our squad but the key for him is that when he gets the opportunity to get on the pitch he has got to show what he can do'...

    But he has only started two games this year... Jamie Taylor is expected to switch back to his usual striking role after playing on the right in a 4-5-1 formation at Oxford but Simon Johnson enhanced his prospects of a run in the team with an impressive display at the Kassam Stadium. Nathan Crabb and Simon Weatherstone have also been preferred to Smith on the right and he could find himself sitting in the stands again if Andy Atkin passes a fitness test on a tight hamstring. Greenwood said: 'The key will be to take our chances when we get them as that has been a recurring theme this season... It is difficult because we only have one training session a week at the moment to work on things like finishing'".

    The Chronicle Live says that "Ian Bogie has branded Gateshead’s start to the Blue Square Premier season as 'unsatisfactory' – as he looks to shake up his squad with a number of defensive reinforcements. The Tynesiders have lost seven of their 10 league games so far, and lie fifth-bottom of the table... And he has also vowed to boost his under-performing squad by signing at least one new defender... He said, 'We’re above the relegation zone after 10 games and some people might consider that a success. But I was never one of those people who said that if we finish fifth bottom we’ll all be happy. I won’t settle for that, because I believe we can do better. By any standards seven defeats out of 10 is poor. It’s only going to get harder this week, with Rushden tonight and Oxford United on Saturday. We’ve got to start taking points from games because we’re competing in them but coming away with nothing... If that means changes then that’s what I’ll do. We’re looking around for players because defensively we’ve not been good enough. I’m not just talking about the defenders, the midfield and the strikers have to play their part too. But we’re looking at players either on loan or out of contract and unattached to clubs, because if the lads who’ve had their opportunity won’t do it we’ll bring in people who will'. Bogie hopes to have a fresh face or two in time for Saturday’s visit of league leaders Oxford, but is boosted by the return from suspension of James Curtis and, he hopes, Carl Jones from a hamstring injury. Steven Richardson and Craig Baxter are doubts".

    22 September 2009


    Tuesday 22 Sept.
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.
  • AFC Wimbledon 1 Crawley Town 1
  • Altrincham 0 Tamworth 0
  • Eastbourne Borough 3 Hayes & Yeading Utd 1
  • Forest Green 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1
  • Gateshead 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0
  • Histon 1 Ebbsfleet United 0
  • Kettering Town 2 Barrow 1
  • Mansfield Town 2 Oxford United 1
  • Salisbury City 1 Chester City 1
  • Stevenage Borough 1 Grays Athletic 1
  • Wrexham 3 Luton Town 0
  • York City 2 Cambridge United 2


    Channel M (terrestrial channel 39, Virgin channel 878 or Sky channel 203) is broadcasting an interview with Graham Heathcote, recorded today, between 4pm and 7pm this evening.


    News before and during tonight's game against Tamworth will appear on this website's Update Page, starting with confirmation of the line-ups before kick-off.


    Altrincham have made two emergency-loan signings in striker Aaron Burns (from Northwich) and midfielder Sam Sheridan (from Bolton Wanderers). They will have shirt numbers 25 and 26 respectively.

    In October 2007, Graham Heathcote had tried to sign Burns (d.o.b. 8.11.1987), a former Manchester United trainee, and Altrincham even obtained international clearance for him - only to find that the FA would not allow him to sign for the Robins till January 2008 as they deemed him to be of amateur status and therefore ineligible to join a BSP Premier side till the transfer window reopened. Instead Burns went off to FC United who, being lower down the Pyramid, were allowed to sign him. Aaron then moved on to the Vics on an 18-month deal. Burns has therefore played for Alty previously, featuring in a friendly against Ashton United at the time of the collapse of his move and has also scored against Alty, in a pre-season game at Northwich this summer.

    Sam Sheridan, (d.o.b. 30.11.1989), is a midfielder who has captained Bolton Wanderers' reserves and has played for Ireland under-19s. Like Burns, he has played against Alty previously, being in the Wanderers' squad for a friendly at Moss Lane in 2006.

    These latest signings come after last month's loan signings of Scott Moffatt (from Man. Utd) and Danny Edwards (from Port Vale), who got injured in their first and second games respectively and have not figured since. Both players remain on Alty's books but are unlikely to feature tonight.


    Altrincham entertain Tamworth tonight (Tuesday) for the first time since Saturday, 23 September 2006 when Alty won 2-0. Then, as now, Alty were without six first team players and coincidentally it was the twelfth game of the season, just as it is tonight. In 2006 Alty had gained 13 points before kick off whereas they currently have 16 points this season.

    It looks as if both Dale Johnson and Nicky Clee, who both limped off on Saturday at Grays, will miss tonight's game, whilst Robbie Lawton remains suspended. It will also be surprising if Greg Young has recovered from mumps and Michael Welch continues his post-operation rehabilitation. With loan players Scott Moffatt and Danny Edwards having missed the last couple of games, Graham Heathcote will again have little flexibility in his team selection.

    Tamworth are likely to include 38 year-old Des Lyttle, who recently completed 100 games for the Lambs. Manager Gary Mills told the Tanworth website, "We're working hard and winning matches and deservedly so... We're missing at least four players". These are Michael Wylde, Neil MacKenzie, Alex Rodman and Dominic Langdon.

    Earlier this month Tamworth signed midfielder Simon Russell from York as an emergency loan. Another recent signing is left-sided defender/midfielder Danny Andrew from Peterborough and Nathan Koranteng a young full back.


    The new Sky Sports TV facility in the bar at Moss Lane will be showing the following games in October. Come along and enjoy the games in the company of Alty supporters and local residents - everyone is welcome!
  • Sat. 3 Oct: Manchester Utd v Sunderland (k.o. 5.30pm) bar open 5pm
  • Mon. 5 Oct: Aston Villa v Manchester City (k.o. 8pm), bar open 7pm
  • Sun. 18 Oct: Blackburn v Burnley (k.o. 1pm), bar open 12.30pm
  • Sun. 18 Oct: Wigan v Manchester City (k.o. 4pm)
  • Sun. 25 Oct: Liverpool v Manchester Utd (k.o. 2pm), bar open 1pm
  • Sun. 25 Oct: West Ham v Arsenal (k.o. 4.15pm)
  • Sat. 31 Oct: Manchester Utd v Blackburn R. (k.o. 5.30pm,), bar open 5pm


    The Daily Mirror says that "Derby County boss Nigel Clough wants to snap up Welsh right back Ryan Shotton on loan from Tony Pulis's Stoke City. Clough is chasing the young Welshman who was at Tranmere Rovers for first-team experience last season [and at Altrincham before that] and he hopes that Pulis will let him go to play in the Championship. Shotton would be ideal for the struggling Rams who have been looking to improve their defence. He is tipped to play for the Potters eventually, but his chances are limited just now".

    "Experienced duo James Olsen and Wayne McDermott have left UniBond League Premier Division club Marine. Manager Kevin Lynch promised to wield the axe on some of his misfiring players with McDermott and Olsen, who has been plagued by a persistent ankle injury since joining the club this summer, having now left the Arriva Stadium" reports the Liverpool Echo


    The referee for Alty's Saturday's game at Stevenage is Mr Mike Bull who oversaw Altrincham's win at Aldershot in 2005 and also Cambridge 2 Alty 2 in October 2006. The following Tuesday for Alty v Gateshead, the referee is Mr S. J. Martin who was in charge for the Nuneaton victory over Altrincham in the Setanta Shield in December 2007.


    The BBC reports that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders defended his policy of regular team changes after the 2-0 loss at Cambridge United. 'I'd like to have the same team every week, you only get that when they are producing and you're happy', he said. 'At the level we are I can't go and buy a player for £1m, I can't even spend £100,000 or £50,000. I knew that was the danger when I worked at this level. You try to improve players, eliminate mistakes. All [our side] have basically been released [by other teams]'. Wrexham have won just once in their last six games and have slipped to 16th...

    'We've got to dig in and get results, I'm judged on results', said Saunders, who made four changes to his starting line-up for the Cambridge trip. 'The club was on its knees when I came in, I've tried to turn it round from the bottom right the way through and make it more professional. All that work long term doesn't matter because I'm judged on results. I understand that fully and they've got to improve... We've put ourselves in a bad situation. We've got to roll our sleeves up and find out who the men are and who the boys are. I worry all the time about results, it keeps me awake when we're not winning... Not many players are standing up and saying "you're not leaving me out"', Saunders told BBC Sport Wales... '[Players at this level] do things which you can't believe at times'".

    21 September 2009


    Right: In the absences of Robbie Lawton (seen in background) and Greg Young, Tom Kearney captained Altrincham for the first time last Saturday, at Grays. Here he leads the team out before kick-off.


    Altrincham FC Youth are at home on Wednesday (23rd) at Moss Lane (7.45pm) in the FA Youth Cup against Cammell Laird. Please come along and lend your support; admission is just £3 for adults and £1 for concessionaries.

    The league results from the NW Youth Alliance, Premier Division on Sunday 20 September were:

  • Altrincham 1 Prescot Cables 0
  • Marine A 2 Stalybridge Celtic A 5
  • Nantwich Town 2 Curzon Ashton 0
  • Salford City 4 Morecambe 2
  • Woodley Sports 1 FC United of M/cr 1
  • League table


    Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley provides an update on the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition...

    Oxford United might be flying high at the top of the Blue Square Premier but for Dave Tracey their scoring exploits are bad news as his team in the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition has now gone bust. On 23 goals they have exceeded the target of 21 needed to reap the first prize of £100.

    Leading the way now are Mark and Stuart (Notts County) with 20 goals and Bryan Ford (Dagenham & Redbridge) with 19 goal. But, with no league programme this week, it gives Ernie Welch a chance to pinch the prize when his team, Mansfield Town (on 18 goals) take on Oxford tonight. Also on 18 goals are Colin Little (Charlton Athletic) and Martin Jordan (Huddersfield). Watch this space as the competition comes to a conclusion.....................".

  • <Pontoon Table.

    20 September 2009


    Left: Alty scramble the ball clear in the game against Prescot Cables.

    A Ben Shawcross penalty gave Alty Youth the points in today's 1-0 league match victory over Prescot Cables. Match report in youth section.


    Get your tickets before they sell out for the Meet the New Recruits evening at Moss Lane on Saturday, 17th October, following our game against Luton Town. The evening starts at 7pm start in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge and will be hosted by Alty boss, Graham Heathcote. The confirmed guests to date are Ken McKenna and Michael Welch though other names are to expected to be added. Tickets are just £15 per ticket and include a two-course meal. After the meal there will be a "Questions & Answers" session with the guests. Please phone the Club on 0161 928 1045 or send an e-mail to book your place


    Joe O'Neill scored twice on Saturday for Stalybridge with fellow Alty old boy, Warren Peyton, adding a third for Celtic.

    Mark McGregor scored a late goal for GAP Connah's Quay in their 1-1 draw with Haverfordwest County, yesterday. Steve Aspinall hit a penalty for Colwyn Bay and James Dean netted for FC Halifax Town


    The Football Conference reports that "Forest Green Rovers have snapped up former Manchester United prospect Chris Curran. And thanks to the hard work of football secretary/director Colin Peake, Northern Ireland under-19 international striker [was] available for Saturday`s game having just flown back from playing an international in Malta. With the Northern Ireland team returning home, the plane was met in Birmingham where Curran signed papers before joining the rest of the Forest Green team waiting in the coach in a service station in Walsall. Curran has just been released by United and therefore was available, but unfortunately his agent had already processed an international clearance for him to play in the Scottish Premier Division. Again Peake came to the rescue, getting the international clearance transferred to England and also obtain[ing] the relative [?relevant] paperwork completed and agreed with the Football Conference. All this whilst travelling north in the team coach!".

    "Histon have bolstered their squad with the signing of Pierre Joseph-Dubois. Stutes manager Steve Fallon has a number of injuries to contend with but will be boosted by the arrival of Joseph-Dubois. The 21-year-old arrives at the club following a stint at Weymouth" reports Blue Square Football.


    The NL Paper reports after Saturday's match that "Part-time Altrincham looked fitter, sharper and ten times more together than the circus which is Grays. The Blues, full-time remember, have a massive task on to keep their BSP status". The NLP also quotes Chris Denham when asked if his second goal was actually an own-goal by Grays defender Uddin. "I'm not having that. I got two goals today. I'm having the second, whatever it takes!" said Chris.

    After the match, Grays manager Julian Dicks spoke to the NL Paper, which prefaces his comments as follows, "You fear for the Blues' players in training tomorrow morning. [Dicks stated] 'I've told them in there [the dressing room] they have cheated me, the club and the paying public. All I ask for is 110% commitment but some of them simply did not try. I can't accept it. In our first meeting I said to them that I will stay until 6pm every day and train them if they want it. I stayed until 6pm. How many joined me? None of them, that's how many. They aren't fit, nowhere near it. If they don't want the privilege of playing football for a living, trust me I will find players who do".

    Dicks is reported by the BBC as saying after the game with Altrincham that "I understand that certain players play at this level because they're not good enough to go to higher levels. But in all football, if you give 110% it goes such a long way. Today, apart from Daryl Robson who came on, none of them did that".

    And Your Thurrock has an video interview with Julian Dicks as well as a match report which includes, "Julian Dicks's first game in charge and perhaps the poorest Grays performance of the season. Dicks himself agreed... and intends to make life tough on the training ground. Altrincham started the better and having only scored once in their last four outings and struggling for any sort of form unexpectedly took the lead after 10 minutes... ending their 348 minute goal drought... Grays started much brighter in the second half, manager Julian Dicks must have told them a few truths about the first half, but it didn’t last long... Heads went down and fitness seemed to be a problem with the Grays squad".

    19 September 2009


    Altrincham sprang a surprise with Rod Thornley returning to the club, being named on the bench, but he was not present at the match. Altrincham were without the suspended Robbie Lawton and his replacement as captain, Greg Young had gone down with mumps. Also out injured were Colin Little, Scott Moffatt, Danny Edwards and Michael Welch.

    Right: Chris Denham lifts Chris Senior off the ground after Alty's second goal had gone in. Also seen is Andrew Pearson, whose pass laid on the goal.



    There will be updates before and during the game at Grays on Saturday on this website's Update Page.

    The BSP results are:

    Saturday 19th

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts
  • Barrow 1-1 Forest Green
  • Cambridge United 2-0 Wrexham
  • Chester City 0-1 Stevenage Borough
  • Crawley Town 2-1 Kettering Town
  • Ebbsfleet United 2-2 AFC Wimbledon
  • Grays Athletic 0-3 Altrincham
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 0-2 Histon
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 Gateshead
  • Oxford United 4-0 Eastbourne Borough
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1-0 Mansfield Town
  • Tamworth 2-0 Salisbury City

    Before the Grays v Alty clash, neither team had won any of its previous six league games!

    For Grays the well-known non-League faces of George Beavan, Ronnie Bull, Adriano Rigoglioso, Paolo Vernazza and Lee McEvilly had not been involved in their last match and, with a new manager, Julian Dicks, appointed in the days before this game, the Essex side's line-up before Saturday's game is uncertain. On Thursday, Grays had reported that "new manager, Julian Dicks will be without Lee McEvilly & Ronnie Bull who are awaiting results of hospital tests for their injuries, Jamie Slabber will be subject to a late fitness test as he is suffering from a hip injury, Adriano Rigoglioso is also a doubt for Saturday. Danny Charge, Rio Bryan-Edwards & Paulo Vernazza are now fully fit and available for selection".

    On the eve of the match Grays Athletic "are pleased to announce that Kenny Brown has joined as Julian Dicks assistant manager, Kenny is currently based in Spain and is managing CD Jávea, Vice Chairman, Andy Swallow, flew to Spain earlier today to secure his signature.

    Kenny will be managing his final game with CD Jávea on Sunday before he meets up with the Grays squad on Monday for training before joining the bench on Tuesday evening against Stevenage. Kenny is a seasoned pro, whose career has included Plymouth Argyle, West Ham United, Huddersfield Town (loan), Reading (loan), Southend United (loan), Crystal Palace (loan), Birmingham City, Millwall, Gillingham, Kingstonian, Tilbury and Barry Town. He spent some time in Spain with FC Torrevieja before retiring from playing football".

    Altrincham are without the suspended Robbie Lawton and his replacement as captain, Greg Young has gone down with mumps. Also uncertain, as they were on the injury list last week, are Colin Little, Scott Moffatt, Danny Edwards and Michael Welch. But Shaun Densmore is back from suspension.


    Altrincham's player jinx continues as captain Greg Young (right) has been diagnosed with mumps and so misses Saturday's game at Grays.

    Altrincham's finance dictate that they have to operate with a modestly sized squad but with two players, (Michael Welch and Robbie Lawton), known to be sidelined before the start of the season their resources were already stretched before centre-back Mark McGregor received an offer he could not refuse on the eve of the campaign and went to join Connah's Quay Nomads as player-manager. Five matches into the season and influential midfielder Matty Crowell also departed, again almost overnight, to a football career in Australia. Add in the injuries to Colin Little, who has yet to play 90 minutes this season, and fellow striker Chris Senior and the issue of player availability continued to worsen.

    So the club went out and brought in two loan players, Danny Edwards and Scott Moffatt - but both have only been able to complete one ninety-minutes apiece due to injury. Add to this tale of woe the dismissal of Shaun Densmore in game six at Kidderminster, and a subsequent three-match ban and you might be forgiven for thinking nothing else could go wrong.

    Then, last week, club captain Robbie Lawton returns for his first taste of action of the season after his operation and he gets sent off just nine minutes after coming onto the pitch. And now new captain Greg Young goes down with mumps.


    Altrincham's reserve keeper, Russell Saunders, has registered for Colne. He will play for the Lancashire club to retain match fitness but remains registered at Moss Lane.


    Tickets are going quickly for the latest Meet the New Recruits evening, to be held at Moss Lane on Saturday 15th October, after the Luton Town game. Confirmed guests for the evening include assistant manager Ken McKenna and Goal of the Season man, Michael Welch. Watch this space for further names to be added to the guest list. Tickets are just £15 and the price includes a hot chicken supper and sweet. Please ring the club on 928-1045 or buy your ticket on matchday at Moss Lane on Tuesday.

    These are always highly entertaining evenings, compered by Graham Heathcote, so don't miss out!


    You have two chances to see Alty Youth this week:
  • Sunday 20th, 2.30pm, home at Wythenshawe Town v Prescot Cables. Admission free.
  • Wednesday 23rd, 7.45pm, home at Moss Lane v Cammell Laird in the FA Youth Cup. Admission £3, (£1 concessionaries).


    NL Daily tells us that at Witton Albion, former Alty chairman "Mark Harris welcomed two new directors to the club – Ernie Fryer, formerly of Wigan Athletic, Northwich Victoria and Altrincham, and Dr Vijay Anthwal, the club’s doctor". Older Alty fans will recall that Ernie had a wool shop in Altrincham as well as being a director for many years at Moss Lane.


    The Oxford Mail tells us that "Oxford United are overjoyed at landing a massive sponsorship deal this week after tying up a new partnership with Bridle Insurance. It is worth at least £100,000 to them in the next year alone. The insurance company, who have their head office in Witney, will give 50 per cent of any profit generated by an Oxford United lead to the club. The company, which is full of United fans, has arranged unique insurance rates for players, staff and fans.

    For the fans who are already paying insurance premiums, it is a way of supporting the club without them spending any more money than they normally would do. United’s commercial manager David Jackson said: 'The minimum the club will receive in the next 12 months is £100,000 and this is ongoing, with revenue generated whenever people renew the policies they have with Bridle... This is a superb form of raising revenue for our football club'... They are paying for advertising boards and banners around the pitch, and 180 frames in the concourses around the ground, with posters being designed to go in the frames".

    "Tamworth, having brought in York City's Simon Russell on loan earlier today, have added young duo Danny Andrew and Nathan Koranteng on loan from Peterborough United" reports The Football Conference. "Andrew, 18, was handed a professional contract during the summer of 2009. Predominantly a left-back, Andrew can also operate in the centre of midfield... Koranteng, 17, has also come up through the Posh ranks, mostly featuring for the youth side but has made some reserve team appearances".

    "Gateshead are to appeal the charge levelled against them by the Football Conference over their abandoned game with Hayes & Yeading United" claims the Uxbridge Gazette. "The Tynesiders have been charged for 'failing to fulfil a fixture' following the abandonment on September 5, whereby the home side allegedly failed to come back out on to the pitch following lengthy treatment to double leg-break victim, striker Martin Brittain. Hayes have reportedly been awarded the three points following Tuesday's Conference board meeting but club secretary Bill Gritt insists that is not the case. 'Gateshead have been given seven days to reply to the charge and we're now waiting for the outcome of that', he said. 'The Conference (board) are trying to reconvene to discuss the matter before their scheduled meeting next month'. Gateshead chairman Graham Wood confirmed the club had lodged an appeal".

    The Liverpool Daily Post says that at Chester City "[Mick] Wadsworth is trying to strengthen his wafer-thin squad and has been given permission to bolster his side. He added: 'We have been trying to get people in. I am contacting Premier League clubs and a Championship club and I am waiting for them to get back to me. At the moment it is difficult to give people a rest'. Another player who has been linked with City is the former Stockport County and Macclesfield [and Altrincham] striker Matty McNeill. It is understood that he is to start training with the Deva Stadium outfit".

    "Harriers' chairman Barry Norgrove welcomed the windfall from the Premier League but warned that the club is still struggling to make ends meet" states the Kidderminster Shuttle. "The Aggborough outfit are set to receive a £30,000 boost by the end of September after the Football Conference was given a £1 million windfall by the English top flight. Each club in the Blue Square Premier will get the same amount, while sides in the North and South Divisions will be paid £6,000 each....

    'We're delighted to get this money, as it will help us a bit', commented Harriers' chairman. 'All the chairman kicked up a stink at the Conference AGM and we're glad that we've got something of a response. The Conference is part of football, and don't forget that if it wasn't for the Premier League demanding its money, then Setanta may not have gone out of business and we wouldn't be in this mess'. There is also hope that the Conference may yet strike a deal with American sports broadcaster ESPN.

    Reports this week suggested that a deal to televise Blue Square Premier games was dead but Norgrove believes that talks between Conference chiefs and the channel are ongoing. However, it may mean that only a handful of matches and perhaps the end of season play-offs will get any air time at all... [At Aggborough] crowds so far this campaign have been below last season's average of 1,600, while matchday sponsorship and business in the Harriers' Arms has also slumped... The chairman admitted that even with the windfall from the Premier League, the board may consider cost-cutting.

    He said: 'Unfortunately, crowds have been lower than we predicted so far and we're struggling to make enough money. We're okay for this month but we'll have to review the situation next month... We're not getting the match day sponsorship and functions have been thin on the ground. We will have to look at cutting costs but where I'm not sure, we've already cut things close to the bone. We need bigger attendances but I can understand why people aren't coming because things are so tight'".

    According to the Daily Post "Wrexham were expecting to sign three players on Friday... Senegalese striker Lamine Sakho is expected to join until January to add to Wrexham FC manager Dean Saunders' options up front. Midfielder Angelos Tsiaklis, a product of Manchester City's academy, and former Cardiff City goalkeeper Erwin Sak are also set to sign".

    Rushden & Diamonds "have signed 31 year old goalkeeper Nathan Abbey, who was out of contract having been release by MK Dons in May. The 31 year old started his career with Luton Town, joining Chesterfield in 2001. He has also played for Northampton Town, Stevenage Borough, St Albans City, Hayes, Boston United and Bristol City. In 2006, Abbey was goalkeeper at Torquay United, later playing for Brentford and most recently MK Dons".

    18 September 2009


    In four previous meetings at The Rec, Alty have yet to win; they have drawn twice but have lost in the last two visits, each by a single-goal margin.

    Right: Robbie Lawton (7) and Shaun Densmore (21) attempt to stop this attack on our visit to Grays last season, which the home side won 2-1. In the background are Mark McGregor, Greg Young and James Smith. Robbie is suspended for this year's game whilst Mark has since left the club.

    Grays report that "new manager, Julian Dicks will be without Lee McEvilly & Ronnie Bull who are awaiting results of hospital tests for their injuries, Jamie Slabber will be subject to a late fitness test as he is suffering from a hip injury, Adriano Rigoglioso is also a doubt for Saturday. Danny Charge, Rio Bryan-Edwards & Paulo Vernazza are now fully fit and available for selection".

    The Blue Square Football site has an audio interview with Julian Dicks... The former Liverpool and England left-back has called for stability in the club and believes his new team have the ability to stay up - although he is after at least four or five players to help him out". The interviewer describes the game with Altrincham as a "bread and butter Conference fixture".

    Meanwhile the Echo says that "Julian Dicks has admitted to being delighted at becoming the new manager of Grays Athletic. The former West Ham United left-back has teamed up with his ex-Hammers' team-mate John Moncur, who is now chairman of the Blue Square Premier club...

    'There is an amazing set up here, with great facilities for the staff and players', said Dicks. 'The new group of guys at the top have worked tirelessly to bring stability and continuity to this club. They are ambitious and I am pleased to have the chance to be part of their vision. I believe it is a privilege to be able to work in football and it will be my, and the players’, job to bring much-needed success to the supporters of Grays Athletic. It will not happen overnight; it takes time to build the right team, but provided everyone gives 100 per cent we will get there, sooner rather than later'. Dicks becomes Grays’ 14th manager in the last three seasons".


    Late on Thursday afternoon Football Conference reported that "It has been brought to the attention of the Football Conference that Gateshead FC has posted a news publication on their official website in respect of their recent abandoned fixture against Hayes & Yeading United, stating that Gateshead has suffered a three point deduction and the match awarded to Hayes & Yeading. Part of this publication also attributes quotes from both the chairman and the manager of Gateshead FC.

    The Board of the Football Conference wish to point out that no such decision has been reached and as such this statement and quotes are both false and misleading. In fact at this point in time no charge has been preferred or laid in respect of any issues to do with this fixture. Gateshead FC have been requested to remove the said article with immediate effect and will be asked to account for this posting in accordance with Rule 8.21".

    Nevertheless on Thursday evening the BBC was still claiming that "Hayes & Yeading have been awarded the three points from their abandoned game with Gateshead, although the Tynesiders are appealing. Gateshead have been charged by the Football Conference for "failing to fulfil a fixture" following the abandonment on Saturday, 5 September. Their players allegedly failed to come back out to play after a long delay following Martin Brittain's leg-break. The second hearing is due to take place next week".

    And the Chronicle says "Gateshead boss Ian Bogie has branded the decision to hand Hayes and Yeading United all three points for the recent abandoned game at the International Stadium as ‘diabolical'... Hayes and Yeading boss Garry Haylock claimed it was 10-man Gateshead’s refusal to restart the game which forced the abandonment, rather than Brittain’s serious injury. And that claim has been backed up the Football Conference, with Gateshead subsequently charged on rule 8.3 for ‘failing to fulfil a fixture.’...

    Bogie said: 'In the circumstances of what took place that afternoon, it is a diabolical decision to hand all three points to Hayes and Yeading. We were not losing at the time and we did not refuse to go back on. The referee never came to our dressing room or buzzed for the players to go back on the pitch. I was stunned by Garry Haylock’s comments at the time and am dumbfounded by this decision'. Gateshead captain Kris Gate backed up his manager’s words, and insists his side would have gone back to finish the game if they had been told to do so.

    He said: 'We were never asked to go back on. We were not in the right frame of mind, but if we were going to be blamed for the abandonment and the points given to Hayes and Yeading we would have been out there'. Gateshead chairman Graham Wood blames a misunderstanding for the controversy. Wood said: 'Assistant manager Jeff Wrightson and secretary Mike Coulson were told by referee Andy Madley [who ran the Alty v AFC Wimbledon game last month] he would take into account the situation and people’s opinions. Crucially, the referee stated he would make the final decision, which is at odds with the claim we refused to go back on after the long lay-off... We have been unintentionally misled by the referee and both myself and the Hayes chairman agreed at the time a draw would be the fairest outcome'".

    Ebbsfleet United "are delighted to announce that we have put the seal on a deal that we believe secures the long-term future of the football club at Stonebridge Road with the assistance of Gravesham Borough Council (GBC). Following negotiations that concluded last night (Wednesday), GBC will today (Thursday) exchange on the purchase of Stonebridge Road with Land Security. This will obviously mean the ground will not go to public auction on 21 September.

    The deal the club has agreed with GBC means the council will purchase the ground and will grant Ebbsfleet United FC a lease which gives the club security of tenure and a peppercorn rent of £1 a year. Further to this, the Council have given the club the option of buying the ground ourselves if we can raise the money within an agreed amount of time. The football club believes this is a win-win situation for the Fleet and gives us numerous options to take the club forward".

    The News Shopper adds that "Gravesham Council has bought the ground in Stonebridge Road for an undisclosed fee from Land Securities... The Fleet’s ground was due to be auctioned on Monday (Sept 21), before the council sealed a deal... Club chairman Duncan Holt said: 'We are delighted the council has managed to help the football club in this way, obviously we will redouble our efforts to raise the money ourselves but to have this option leaves the football club in a very strong position'... Council leader Councillor Mike Snelling said: 'We have taken decisive action to resolve a huge problem which was threatening the very existence of our local football club. This gives the opportunity to secure the club’s long term future as well as protecting the site in community as a major sporting asset... We have been able to proceed with this by using reserves at no charge to the council tax payers of the borough'".

    The Mike Avery website has uptodate statistics of average attendances for clubs in non-League and at higher levels. ALty's average gate so far this season is 4% up on last year's average.

    According to the Football Conference, "Forest Green Rovers' manager David Hockaday has moved to bring in suitable cover in the centre of defence by signing 19-year-old Oliver Thorne following the loan expiring on Mark Ellis, who has returned to his parent club Torquay United... With fitness doubts still hanging over captain Lee Ayres and Andy Taylor, Hockaday needed to ensure that defensively there is adequate cover... At 6' 3" tall and with experience at MK Dons, Thorne joins on non contract terms.

    Hockaday is also searching for a possible loan striker at this time but with his assistant David Brown likely to return for Saturday`s game at Barrow it does lighten the burden on Sean Rigg who has been leading the line since his arrival on loan from Bristol Rovers... With Terry Burton completing his final match of his three match suspension it is expected that new arrival David Wilkinson will continue in goal... At training on Thursday it was pleasing to welcome back Michael Fowler, who is now into rehabilitation with the club medical staff after his pre-season horrific injury".

    Torquay United confirm that "United midfielder Mustapha Carayol has joined Kettering Town on a three-month emergency loan deal. There is a 24-hour recall clause after one month and Mustapha is eligible for the F.A. Trophy but has not been given permission by United to play in any F.A. Cup ties".

    17 September 2009


    As Sarah Rowley writes, the Altrincham FC Pontoon Update shows that "The race for 21 goals hots up this week with 5 teams having a realistic chance of reaching that golden goals number of 21. Leading the way are Notts County and our very own Oxford United with 19 goals apiece (chosen by Mark & Stuart and Dave Tracey) closely followed by Dagenham & Redbridge and Mansfield Town on 18 goals apiece (Bryan Ford and Ernie Welch). In 5th place is Martin Johnson’s Huddersfield Town on 17. If you’re looking for a rank outsider for this weekend Colin Little must be hoping that Charlton Athletic can bag 5 to add to the 16 they’ve already scored to date".


    If you are intending to travel to the Grays v Altrincham match this Saturday on TASC's supporters' transport, please do contact the club as soon as possible on 928-1045. This will enable the travel coordinator, Tom Jacobs, to finalise the hiring of appropriate transport to match the numbers travelling. Click on the Away Travel page for full details.


    The current (October 2009) issue of When Saturday Comes has a full page on Alty's frequently overlooked feat in being the "last non-League team to beat a top-flight team away from home" in th FA Cup. The article also lists other sometimes forgotten facts about Altrincham; "the only non-League team to reach the Third Round in four consecutive seasons; the "most victories (16) against league opposition" of any current non-League club, and winning the BBC Goal of the Season - with Clive Freeman's thunderbolt against Chester in 1993. "The triumph almost unnoticed by history... was in 1986 when Altrincham travelled to St Andrew's in the third round and beat Birmingham City 2-1. Keeping goal for Birmingham that day was David Seaman". Richard Pulford is the author of an excellent article and well worth the £2.70 cover price alone; but there are plenty of other interesting pieces in the magazine including a feature on another BSP team, Cambridge United.

    Right:Ronnie Ellis scores against Birmingham, January 1986 - picture by John Rooney from the Robins Review


    "Bangor City shrugged-off the first half dismissal of captain Marc Limbert to record a 3-0 victory over Newtown...on Tuesday night. City were already two goals to the good inside the first 11 minutes through [ex-Alty trialist] Ashley Stott and Marc Smyth, before Limbert was red-carded in the 36th minute".

    And NL Daily also reports that "Garforth saw off Radcliffe Borough 4-2 at home ... all that after [ex-Alty youth/reserve] Mark Drew and [former Alty trialist] Eddie Stanford had given Boro a 2-0 lead by the 11th minute!"

    "Warrington Town won 2-1 at Trafford, with James McCarthy breaking the deadlock by giving the visitors a 71st minute lead that [ex-Alty reserve] Scott Metcalfe cancelled out 9 minutes later. But Darren Kinsey restored Town`s lead within 2 minutes".


    The NL Daily says that "Salisbury City have had the ten-points deducted from their total confirmed by the Football Conference after exhaustion of the Appeal procedure. As City have not appealed against the decision, the points` deduction stands, leaving them currently on four points. Salisbury went into administration with debts of almost £200,000 to HM Revenue & Customs".

    York City report that "Out of favour City midfielder Simon Russell is set to join Tamworth on a month's loan before this weekend's fixtures, subject to Tamworth receiving Conference permission for an Emergency Loan... 'Scholesy' as he is known to his team mates, has been unable to figure in any of Martin Foyle's 1st Team plans so far this season and recently turned down loan moves to two different Blue Square North sides. However, he has opted to join Tamworth until 17th October in a bid to play regular football".

    Hayes & Yeading United FC have "been informed by the Football Conference that Gateshead FC have been charged with ‘failure to fulfill a fixture’ in relation to the abandoned match against United on 5th September. The Club understand that Gateshead FC now have the right of appeal which will then be subject to further consideration by the Conference Board. A final decision on the outcome of the fixture will then be made following the re-convening of the Football Conference board. (15/09/09)."

    tHE FA reports on the England C international which ended Hungary 1 England 1 "thanks to a strike from Mansfield Town's Louis Briscoe" of Mansfield Town.

    The BBC confirms that "Forest Green boss Dave Hockaday has allowed the loan spells of two men who featured in his first match to expire. Mark Ellis and Steve Adams were both on one month deals from Torquay United but both have now returned to Plainmoor... Hockaday told BBC Gloucestershire, 'I need to give everyone in the squad a chance to impress me. We've got a few people coming back, and we felt timing was right to let the two lads go... We've got a young lad training with us at the moment, and we're talking to one or two more. Finances as well as our location and where we are in the league will influence who we can get in but we're making lots of calls'".

    "Erkan Okay has been handed the opportunity to earn himself a shock return to Histon" according to the Cambridge News. "The defender, who parted company with the Stutes by mutual consent in January after being found guilty of assaulting a policeman in Newmarket, has signed reserve-team forms after being released by Chelmsford. He will be one of seven trialists turning out for Histon’s second-string at home to King’s Lynn reserves... hoping to secure a first-team contract".

    From The Comet we learn that Stevenage "Boro chairman Phil Wallace has hailed the £1m windfall given to Conference clubs from the Premier League as a 'massive step' to making up for the collapse of Setanta. Wallace believes the £1m solidarity payment will give many clubs a lot of hope that they can emerge from the financial black hole left from Setanta's demise this summer. 'It's the first time football at that level has got behind football lower down the pyramid and it's a relief for all the clubs because the problems have been mounting for a lot of clubs', Wallace told The Comet.

    'It's a great gesture. There have been a lot of talks between the Conference board and the FA and it's great that this has been sorted out'. The Premier League money will be dished out to all 68 members of the Football Conference... The Boro supremo did sound a note of caution... 'It doesn't make up for all the Setanta money - it makes everything a third easier. We lost around £100,000 from the collapse of Setanta and we should receive around £30,000 to £40,000 from this deal'...

    Conference chairman Brian Lee, who helped to broker the deal, thanked the Premier League for the financial lifeline... Premier League chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, added: 'The Premier League clubs discussed the current financial difficulties facing their counterparts in the Conference and were happy to be in the position to help them out with some financial support. The Football Conference is clearly an integral part of the football pyramid as well as being extremely important to local fans and communities - it was absolutely the right thing to do at this time'".

    16 September 2009


    The Manchester United v Manchester City reserves' match in the Manchester Senior Cup, postponed from next Thursday at Moss Lane, has been rearranged for Thursday 4th February 2010.


    Football Conference statement:

    Premier League gives financial support to the Football Conference

    The Premier League has demonstrated its commitment to football outside the top flight by making a one off payment of one million pounds (£1m) to the 68 member clubs of the Football Conference. This solidarity payment has been made to soften the financial blow which clubs in the Football Conference, competing in the Blue Square Premier, North and South have suffered this season due to unfortunate economic circumstances.

    Recognising this wonderful gesture Brian Lee, Chairman of the Conference stated: “We are extremely grateful to the Premier League in demonstrating their support to our members at a time when our clubs are feeling the pinch not only at the loss of our TV contract but the decline of anticipated income due to the financial position generally.”

    Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “The Premier League clubs discussed the current financial difficulties facing their counterparts in the Conference and were happy to be in the position to help them out with some financial support. The Football Conference is clearly an integral part of the football pyramid as well as being extremely important to local fans and communities – it was absolutely the right thing to do at this time.”

    The Title sponsors of the Football Conference – Blue Square – welcomed the cash injection from the Premier League by supporting the clubs who play in the Blue Square Premier, Blue Square North and Blue Square South.

    Alan Alger speaking on behalf of Blue Square commented:

    “This is great news for the competition and our clubs. It is generous of the Premier League to recognise the importance of the football pyramid. This helping hand extended to clubs is very welcome. It has been a difficult time especially with the loss of the TV deal; but Blue Square is 100% behind our sponsorship. The fantastic start to the current season has proved what a competitive and exciting league we are connected with. TV coverage of the matches is obviously a bonus, but we get so much more from our partnership.”

    The Football Conference remain committed to securing a broadcast partner and assure their member clubs and all those who support them, that in addition to this gesture, it is in the long term interests of the competition to showcase all that is good about football played at this level.


    Altrincham FC Press Release by Brian Flynn:

    Ponting delivers for Alty

    Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting kept his promise to help Altrincham Football Club raise vital funds by attending a hugely successful dinner that has netted the Blue Square Premier club a significant five figure amount. Ponting fielded a wide range of questions from many of the guests and the Cresta Court Hotel was literally packed to the rafters to see the Tasmanian make one of just two personal appearances at dinner events this year.

    Ponting became a shareholder in the Football Club recently after Chairman, Geoff Goodwin, who has been the Aussies' coach driver during the last two Ashes series in England, donated some of his shares to the thirty-four year old. Ricky was keen to help out the club before he left England and Altrincham Vice-Chairman, Grahame Rowley, paid tribute to his Chairman and newest shareholder. 'Geoff's personal friendship with Ricky and involvement with the Australian cricket team have helped raise the profile of the football club tremendously and they both deserve a massive amount of credit for making this event happen. There were well over two hundred people in a very lively audience and it was undoubtedly one of our best functions ever'.

    Geoff Goodwin was also in ebullient mood after the event saying 'The Australian Cricket Team have been fantastic friends of the club and for Ricky to offer to help us out and travel from Nottingham to attend was just brilliant'.A host of items, including Australian cricket memorabilia, were auctioned, with the biggest bid being for a motorbike signed at the MTV Awards by a galaxy of pop stars including Kylie Minogue and all four members of Take That.

    The funds raised are especially significant to the Blue Square Premier club following the hammer blow of losing £80,000 of television revenue as a consequence of the demise of Setanta during the summer and the actions of Goodwin and Ponting have given Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote a major boost in his efforts to maintain his team's chances of continuing to battle things out in the highest echelon of non-league football".


    Altrincham will face a club with a new manager this Saturday as Grays Athletic report that they "have appointed Julian Dicks as the new first team manager, Julian started out with Birmingham City as an apprentice in 1985 before joining West Ham United in 1988. He spent 5 years with The Hammers before moving to Anfield. He played 24 games for Liverpool before moving back to Upton Park for another 5-year period. In 2001 Julian made 4 appearances with Canvey Island before hanging up his boots. In January he made his managerial debut with Wivenhoe Town."

    According to the BBC Dicks's "appointment looks to have ended the tenure of Gary Phillips, who was left in limbo when Grays opted to interview possible replacements". Dicks's "only previous managerial experience came at Eastern Counties League side Wivenhoe. He left the Essex club in June after a six-month spell in charge following a dispute over its future".

    In July the Gazette News reported that "Former West Ham United favourite Julian Dicks... was well known during his own playing career for his tough tackling and aggressiveness. But he is now focused on helping others follow in his footsteps by securing a return to management following an eventful but enjoyable five-month spell in charge of Wivenhoe Town. 'I did enjoy it but it was hard because Wivenhoe were massively in debt', Dicks told the Gazette. 'I came over initially for just a month but ended up staying for longer but we had 44 players training and 35 of them were no good. Plus the players weren’t getting paid and it’s hard to motivate them when that’s the case'. Dicks was also not receiving any money but he has not been put off pursuing a career in management".

    Meanwhile, Your Thurrock adds that "Within minutes of the announcement Grays fans on the unofficial fanzine were giving the news a mixed reaction. At this time there has been no announcement on the fate of Gary Phillips... Dicks was known as a “hard man” (his nickname was 'The Terminator') and tough tackler in possession of a cultured left foot and a fierce shot... He was voted West Ham’s player of the year four times between 1990 and 1997... Dicks was often cautioned and sent-off by referees. His first red-card was in a match versus Wimbledon in the Football League Cup in the 1989-90 season. It was an infamous encounter which included an on-pitch brawl between the opposing players...

    The 1992-93 season was an eventful one for Dicks, mainly for the wrong reasons. He was sent off three times and picked up a string of bookings which saw him miss significant periods of the season and he was subsequently stripped of the captaincy of West Ham by manager Billy Bonds... Dicks was not a success at Liverpool and he transferred back to West Ham after just one season...

    On re-signing Dicks, manager Harry Redknapp commented that he believed that his chairman thought he 'was off his rocker' because Dicks was considerably heavier than when he had departed for Liverpool a year earlier. Dicks played a major part in helping to keep West Ham in the Premier League in 1994-95 and again in 1996-97... He retired from professional football after a 14-year career".

    WIN £3,600!

    The Saturday Yankee jackpot at Altrincham Fc is now £3,600. To put your £1 a week stake into the competition, please ring the club on 928-1045. Last week's unclaimed winning code was 1790. 12 competitors won £16.67 for winning "Trebles".


    The latest NW Youth Alliance league table is on their website. Last Sunday's results were:
  • Curzon Ashton 1 Salford City 0
  • FC United 5 Marine A 2
  • Morecambe 1 Altrincham 3
  • Prescot Cables 1 Woodley Sports 4
  • Stalybridge Celtic A 3 Nantwich Town 1


    The latest event in the enjoyable series of "Meet the New recruits" evenings will be on Saturday, 17th October, following the Luton Town game at Moss Lane. These evenings are usually great entertainment, with Graham Heathcote the lively compere and the panel of new players fielding questions from the guests. Tickets are just £15 and include a hot chicken dinner and sweet. Already lined up for the occasion is Alty's assistant manager Ken McKenna who, alone, will have a fund of entertaining insights on Altrincham FC and football in general. Vice chairman Grahame Rowley says that "Most if not all of our new players - Robbie Williams, Russell Saunders (right), Nicky Clee and Tom Kearney (left) - will be in attendance though the exact line-up is to be confirmed".


    On Monday in the UniBond Premier, Kieran Lugsden scored the winner as Buxton beat King's Lynn 2-1.

    There is no mention of his time at Alty in The Age's latest piece on James Robinson, for which I am grateful to Robert Dickinson, from Down Under.

    "After four goals in six games, North Queensland Fury's other Liverpudlian, James Robinson, admits he finally has good things to say about teammate Robbie Fowler. Just don't expect Robinson to go overboard with the sort of hero worship being bestowed on the A-League's biggest star who scored another fine goal against Sydney FC on Saturday. 'I am a mad blues (Everton) fan, the opposite of Robbie', says Robinson. 'We never really have any good things to say about Liverpool players, but you always appreciate a good footballer and that is what Robbie is'...

    Robinson grew up in Liverpool and after completing his apprenticeship at Crewe, enjoyed a spell in Iceland before moving [via Altrincham!] to Australia to play in the Victorian State League before winning a contract with Melbourne Victory. 'I just came out here (to Australia) with the odd chance [or the off chance?] just to see what happens', he said. 'It was the off-season, I was training in the Victorian Premier League just to keep my fitness up .. then I signed with the Victory', he said. Robinson became an instant hero when he scored his first and only goal for the club in the 92nd minute of the 2007 A-League semi-final against Adelaide United, the looping header sent the team through to their first A-League grand final".


    The Guardian says that "Clubs in the Blue Square Premier are facing a financial squeeze after negotiations with ESPN over Setanta's defunct contract with the league broke down. The Blue Square Premier clubs were two years into a ground-breaking five-year deal and banked around £80,000 annually from the Setanta deal... ESPN, the sports broadcasting company owned by Disney which launched a stand-alone UK channel after picking up the 46 live Premier League matches previously held by Setanta, examined all the rights held by its collapsed predecessor...

    It is believed that including rights and production costs, the league would have cost ESPN upwards of £2m a year to cover. The broadcaster has calculated that the return in terms of viewing figures, advertising revenues and subscribers would not be worth the outlay... Said a spokesman, 'We met Blue Square Premier but decided that it did not make business sense for us to show the league on the channel at this time'.

    Oxford United's chairman, Kelvin Thomas, said the news would come as a blow to clubs, most of whom had budgeted for the TV money due to the fact Setanta did not go under until the close season... The league and clubs are expected to explore other avenues, including the possibility of screening games on the internet".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Mansfield Town striker Kyle Perry has issued an apology to everyone involved at the club for his sending off in the 3-2 home defeat to Stevenage Borough... The referee and his assistant initially missed an incident involving Perry and Stevenage's Lee Boylan but the fourth official intervened minutes later and Perry was subsequently given a straight red card. Perry told Mansfield Town's official website: 'Firstly, I would like to apologise to the Football Club, the manager and everyone involved at the club for the incident on Saturday against Stevenage. I certainly would never intentionally or deliberately go out to hurt somebody. It is not the player I am. I was merely trying to free myself. I did, however, catch Lee Boylan. I have since apologised to him and word has come to me this morning that he is fine, so that is a relief. I give 100% for Mansfield Town and I have been deeply upset about the whole red card situation'".

    Mansfield Town announce that "In-form forward Nick Langford was our shining light as we fell to a 3-1 friendly defeat against big spenders Notts County this afternoon... The 17-year-old has bagged seven goals in his last three games for our youth team, and he netted the game's best goal under the eye of our manager David Holdsworth and County's director of football Sven Goran Eriksson with a sweet half-volley... The match was much welcomed by the two clubs - both of which are not part of a reserve league this season. Stags fielded two trialists, ex-Coventry midfielder Kevin Thornton and former Birmingham City left back Peter Gilbert. Meanwhile, amongst a strong Notts side was ex-England defender Sol Campbell, who turned in 60 minutes."

    "Histon defender Lanre Oyebanjo faces at least a month on the sidelines as he prepares to undergo a knee operation on Tuesday... Manager Steve Fallon told Cambridge News: 'Lanre couldn't quite push it that fine'. Meanwhile, Fallon is hoping for some positive news on the injury front with striker Danny Wright struggling to shrug off a hamstring problem".

    His appearance at Moss Lane was Steve Evans's last for a while as the FA reports that "At an FA Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, Crawley Town FC manager, Steve Evans, was suspended from attending the Club’s fixtures for three match days and fined £750. This relates to an incident of improper conduct in a fixture between Crawley Town FC and Salisbury City FC on 21 February 2009. The terms of the match day suspension state that Mr Evans cannot attend the ground on any match day involving Crawley Town FC until the Club have completed three first team fixtures. Furthermore Mr Evans will serve a further 10-match touchline suspension. This follows a suspended sentence from a previous case being automatically activated following the charge against him being proved in today’s case. In considering the sanction, the Commission took into account Mr Evans’ previous poor disciplinary record. Mr Evans has the right to appeal".

    Luton Town say that their "game away at Wrexham next Tuesday will now kick-off at 8pm and not 7.45pm as originally scheduled. The match has been put back 15 minutes to allow a memorial to take place for the tragic pit disaster which happened on 22nd September 1934 at Gresford Colliery near Wrexham. Before kick-off on Tuesday evening there will be 264 black balloons released for every life that was lost in the disaster. A singer accompanied by a Colliery Band will also be performing prior to kick-off. The Luton Town players will be showing their respects to this tragic event by wearing black armbands against Wrexham to mark the 75th anniversary of this tragedy".

    15 September 2009


  • Chester City 2 Gateshead 1
  • League table


    Sky Sports is now available in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane and the following matches will be shown:
  • Tuesday 15th September: Besiktas v Manchester Utd k.o. 7.45pm, bar open 7.00pm
  • Sunday 20th September: Manchester Utd v Manchester City k.o. 1.30pm, and Chelsea v Tottenham k.o. 4pm, bar open 12.30pm

    Please do make use of this new facility as all profits go to the Club!


    News of Altrincham's next opponents (Grays Athletic) comes from the Thurrock Gazette whose report is headed, "Nine goal thriller sees Grays' exposed defensively - Rushden and Diamonds 5, Grays Athletic 4. Strengthening defensively will surely be a priority for the new manager of Grays, who is expected to be appointed before next Saturday’s home game with Altrincham.

    Former Spurs’ boss Peter Shreeves, now director of football at the New Rec, is part of the interview panel searching for a successor to caretaker Gary Phillips... Grays led three times, but eventually lost to an injury-time goal from former Thurrock favourite Cliff Akurang... Said Shreeves: 'We were too soft at the death and have lacked a bit of quality'".

    Your Thurrock adds that "Peter [Sh]Reeves took over as manager for the afternoon and on the first half showing must have feared the worst as Rushden sliced through the anaemic Blues tackling almost at will... Grays had been woefully short of steel in mid-field (Kenny Davis the exception) and Thomas Harvey was substituted by Jack Obersteller in the 37th minute, the formation reverting to a more familiar 4-4-2. Also Charlie Taylor was introduced in place of Jack Jeffrey straight after half-time and he made a difference. Although plainly raw he has serious pace and works his socks off for the cause and he troubled the rather static Rushden defence...

    At 3-3 "Most of the Grays travelling fans thought this was the end for the Blues chances but in the 70th minute... skipper Anwar Uddin gleefully scored to regain an improbable lead for the Blues. But it was not to be... and Tomlin duly made it 4-4... Cliff Akurang, so often Grays’ nemesis over the years, headed the winner in injury time... An extraordinary game in which, in truth, Grays were mostly outplayed... Problems remain in a lack of bite in mid-field and a failure to engage the opposition in all areas of the pitch... Grays: Butcher, Uddin, Hoyte, Mawer, Graham, Cutler(Crowther 82), Davis, Harvey(Obersteller37), Poole, Slabber, Jeffrey (Taylor 46). Subs: Edwards, Kilapi.


    Right: Gavin Rathbone's lens captures Dale Johnson receiving close attention from Crawley's Adam Quinn.

    The latest Day in the Life column in the Robins' Review featured Alty club photographer, Gavin Rathbone.

    Gavin writes:

    It was at the start of the 2004-2005 season when I was first asked if I could help with some photography at Altrincham. It hadn’t been since my early teenage years that I was last in Moss Lane, some 10 years or so prior, but without much hesitation I agreed to do as many games as I could, bearing in mind that I had my studio to run, and Saturdays in particular were busy days.

    Having seen out the whole season, which of course concluded with the playoff final success, I soon realised that my time doing the photography here wasn’t just going to be the odd game now and then, I was in fact going to have to incorporate it into my Saturday work schedule, or week night, because the Altrincham bug had taken hold of me and I was enjoying every minute spent pitch side, camera in hand.

    So to my typical Saturday when there is a game at Moss Lane.

    I will get into my studio at around 8am. I will have ensured all my appointments for the day are done between 9am and 1 pm, so I may do a couple of family portraits in the morning, before heading to Moss Lane. Depending on the morning schedule I will try and make the ground around 2.15pm, this gives me plenty of time to put my kit together, catch up with a few people around the club and be ready to shoot the sponsors presentations at 2.50pm. By this time I will have also found out if there is a mascot and if so, when the captains meet with the referee to toss the coin, I’ll be in the centre circle to grab a photo with the officials, captains and mascot.

    Then it’s a quick dash back to the sidelines, swap cameras, and head down towards the end Alty are attacking. For the next 45 minutes I watch the game through the lens, or a 1 inch by 2 inch view-finder to be exact, always trying to predict where the ball is going next so I can have the lens pointing in that spot before the ball gets there. I’m often asked if I actually watch the game, the simple answer is no, and think any sport photographer would say the same, because all you see is what is in the viewfinder, you don’t see anything else going on around you, yet you have to be able to use a sixth sense to know if something is happening off the ball so I can adjust the camera to the action quickly.

    At half time I have a few minutes to go through the images on camera, delete any of the ones that I know will be useless, I can also change batteries and generally prepare to do it all over again for another 45 minutes. Once the final whistle goes, it’s a quick change of lens, ready for the man of the match awards, once that is done, I can head off back to the studio.

    Providing I don’t have any later appointments at the studio, I can then download the images from the game, usually from a match that has seen plenty of action I will have around 150 images. Once I have edited them I would expect to be down to around 80, then I pick out the presentation shots, and the best of the action. Now it will be around 7pm when I email this selection off, the recipients being the website, and the programme printers ready for the next edition.

    As from this season I can add the new Non-League 24 website which has been launched, and they will want the around 6 images sent to them. This will be required as quickly as possible, so that 7pm time I mentioned earlier will have to start coming down!

    Against the teams where they are the main club in their area, such as York City, Wrexham, Cambridge United, I may be approached by their local paper to provide images, if it’s too far for the paper to send their staff photographer. Some of these papers go to print Saturday evening so they will really hold me to tight deadlines. Finally the images are uploaded to my own website, on there goes anything that is worth looking at.

    I will then finish the day by catching up on any of the calls or enquires from the studio whilst I have been at the game before heading home around 8.30pm.

    As I have mentioned at the beginning, my studio, or should I say ‘real’ work has to take a back seat for those few hours on a Saturday afternoon, unfortunately it can’t cope to be closed for a full day, which is why my away appearances are limited, and if my wedding customers choose a match day to tie the knot, (I do all I can to discourage them), this can also get in the way of my attendance, although in the 2005-2006 season I did a 12pm wedding in Leeds and still made the second half at Moss Lane!

    Fact is it is an honour to be involved at the club, and I hope to be snapping for many more years to come.


    The FA has confirmed that Robbie Lawton's suspension following his red card last Saturday started from 12.9.09 and is for three games. So Robbie (right) misses the matches against Grays, Tamworth and Stevenage.

    The referee for the Grays v Altrincham game on Saturday is Mr A. Davies, and for Tuesday's match at home to Tamworth it will be Mr S. A. J. Duncan.


    Former Alty striker Lutel James (now aged 37) has returned this season to one of his former clubs, Yorkshire Amateur AFC, where he plays alongside former Moss Lane winger, Justin Bowler who also joined the Northe Counties East club this season. Since leaving Alty, Lutel has also been under-16s manager in the Chapeltown Youth Development scheme in Leeds. Both Lutel and Justin scored in Lutel's first game back at the club on 22 August 2009.


    According to NL Daily "Rushden & Diamonds’ 20-year-old central defender Bobby Aisien has gone out on loan to King’s Lynn, managed by former Diamond Carl Heggs, in order to gain experience and first team football", whilst "Goalkeeper Shane Gore has put pen-to-paper on a deal to keep him with Luton Town for another month. After being released by Maidenhead United in the summer of 2009, Gore was offered a trial with the Hatters by manager Mick Harford". "Steve Fallon was a happy man after watching Histon end their four-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw against Kidderminster on Saturday" says the Cambridge News. "Substitute Craig Hammond grabbed an 85th-minute equaliser... Fallon said: 'I thought Kidderminster looked more confident on the ball than we did for long spells. We went back to a 4-4-2 in the second half, the subs geed us up and we were in the game a lot more then and we could have sneaked it near the end... Overall, I think there's still lots of room for improvement, but we've stopped the losing run and you could see the confidence come back to the players after the equaliser'...

    The Histon boss is looking forward to working with former Cambridge United assistant Alan Lewer, who was in the dugout alongside him as coach John Beck is currently not involved with first-team affairs. Fallon said: 'You always need opinions and Alan's got a few opinions. He brings advice and help and a lot of experience. The more people you have like that, the better'". Lewer was most recently at Grays.

    14 September 2009


    A weakened Altrincham FC Youth side had a fine 3-1 win away at Morecambe on Sunday, with a hat-trick from Kieran Madden (right). But they picked up three more injuries. There is a brief match report in the youth section. On Sunday 20th, they are at home to Prescot Cables at Wythenshawe Town FC, k.o. 2.30pm. And on Wednesday, September 23rd, Alty entertain Cammell Laird in the FA Youth cup at Moss Lane (7.45pm); entry is just £3, or £1 for concessionaries.


    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) will be organizing transport to our next three away games at Grays (19/9), Stevenage (26/9) and Rushden (3/10). Details are on the Away Travel page.


    Pete Baldwin, who helps in the Sponsors' Lounge at Altrincham FC on matchdays, is raising funds for Leukaemia Research by performing 28 gigs for charity. His project entitled 28 Gigs Later was started in June 2008. Pete explains that "A dear friend of mine, Emma Black tragicially died of leukaemia, when she was just 9 years old. I will always remember Emma helping me organise the football goals, using jumpers. She touched so many hearts. Having not performed on stage before, I felt 28 charity gigs would build up my confidence, performing solo with just my acoustic guitar. Music has always influenced and inspired me in life. Artists such as John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, along with the influx of recent talent such as Stephen Fretwell, Damien Rice and Tom Baxter meant that I never struggled to find inspiration. The goal is to complete 28 gigs on the 28th October 2009. This will be my 30th birthday, and I will be performing the final gig in a venue Down Under". Visit the website for a full list of the gigs- most of which are local to the Altrincham area; you can donate to the cause via the Just Giving website. Pete, a volunteer at Alty since 2005 and a club vice-president, also has a Twitter address.


    Left: Alty turnstile operator Colin Mitchell has kindly supplied this picture of the view from the Carole Nash Stand of Stuart Coburn's penalty save on Saturday against Crawley.

    Crawley Town reported on Saturday that "The Reds had to settle for a share of the points at Moss Lane this afternoon despite dominating the match for long periods with some beautiful carpet football... Thomas Pinault who produced an excellent performance in some ways became the villain when he missed a penalty... The performance deserved much more than a share of the spoils. The first half could and should have seen the Reds go in at half time with the match already over such was the dominance by the visitors. The second half became more of a scrappy affair but the Reds still retained most of the possession [the BBC gives Alty 63% to Crawley 37%] and it will certainly feel like two points lost to Steve Evans and the players... [Steve Evans said] 'Next week we will face a big step up in respect of the quality the opposition have when Kettering Town come to The Broadfield Stadium'".


    The NL Paper says that "The Conference are on the brink of a multi-million pound deal to broadcast live Blue Square Premier matches on a satellite subscription channel" believed to be ESPN... The NLP understands 25 matches will be shown live.. and the knock-on... is that league sponsors Blue Square are leaning towards renewing their three-year contract which runs out in May."

    Altrincham's next opponents are Grays Athletic who "will unveil their 14th manager in under three years by Wednesday afternoon" claims the NL Paper, which says that the interviewees for the vacancy include former Wimbledon players Michael Hughes and Alan Kimble, ex-West Ham defender Julian Dicks and Steve Sedgley, an FA Cup winner with Tottenham.

    The FA has ruled that it is the Conference which must determine what to do about the recent Gateshead v Hayes match which was abandoned following a serious injury to Martin Brittain.

    From the BBC "The group looking to buy Salisbury City are confident they can complete a deal within a month. Businessmen William Harrison-Allan, Jeff Hooper and Chris Bramall are in advanced talks with the club, who are currently in administration. Harrison-Allan, who would become chairman, told BBC Wiltshire: 'We still have one or two hurdles to get over'...

    Salisbury owe HM Revenue and Customs nearly £200,000. The cash-strapped club were put up for sale by out-going chairman Neville Beal for just £1 in April, and the consortium admits the main potential stumbling block is agreeing a deal with HMRC. Said Harrison-Allan. 'The Revenue have been quite hard in a couple of other cases in football'...

    Harrison-Allan is a financial advisor based in south Wiltshire and is also chief executive of the Country Gentlemen's Association. Hooper has a business background in wholesale floristry, while Bramall is managing director at the Wilton Carpet Factory. Once the takeover is completed, Harrison-Allan says they want to keep general-manager Nick Holmes and first-team boss Tommy Widdrington at the club. 'We'll give Nick and Tommy better contracts in terms of time. If we give them the time, that makes them feel more comfortable', he said. 'I've already spoken to the players and told them exactly what we expect to happen. I'm hopeful the future is much more solid in terms of existing playing staff and bringing more in. We've done a three-year business plan. I am confident we will get three years' worth of solidarity at the club. We are looking to put money into improving the ground over the next two, stroke three years'".

    13 September 2009


    After the game yesterday, Alty captain Greg Young told Dave Stringer of the NL Paper, "We started slowly. Our boss was worried we wouldn't last the match [after two recent hard away games], but we had our spells. Both sides missed their chances and I think a point was a fair result". Greg is seen, right, competing with fellow captain and former Halifax team-mate, Adam Quinn, in Saturday's game.


    Match report here

    Speaking immediately after yesterday's game at Moss Lane, Crawley manager Steve Evans said, "We've absolutely torn them apart - in the first half we were exceptional and should have been three or four up. And in the second half we were always in command. It was as good a performance as against Histon. We should have won comfortably.

    Altrincham are a decent side this year. But Graham Heathcote would agree that his side had taken a bit of doing over. But we wish Altrincham well. Like us, they are one of the smaller clubs".

    "Pinault has never missed a penalty so we'd expect him to score. Calum Willock give us an extra dimension. I am very happy with the performance; we have dominated for ninety minutes and played some wonderful football and opened them up at will. Even in the second half we have got behind them four or five times but we didn't have the final product".

    As for the sending off of Robbie Lawton, "It was a shocking tackle, a leg-breaking tackle. But the player sent off isn't that sort of player. He just misjudged it and led with his studs".


    This week's Trafford Metro newspaper has reports on Alty's games at Kettering (lost 0-2) and Cambridge (drew 0-0) but has got the headline mixed-up to show Cambridge 2 Alty 0. Apologies for this, which is beyond my control.

    Elsewhere in the media, the BBC match report on yesterday's game against Crawley has no mention of either Robbie Lawton's dismissal or of Stuart Coburn's penalty save. Indeed, it specifically states in its Live Scores section "85:06 minutes - Foul by Robbie Lawton on Sam Rents, free kick awarded. Robbie Lawton receives a yellow card".


    Altrincham FC Youth team will meet Cammell Laird Youth in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday, 23 September at 7.45pm at Moss Lane. Lairds beat Northwich Victoria Youth 2-0 on Thursday night and will be a stiff test for Altrincham as they boast six Cheshire County players in their squad.


    Congratulations to Dale Johnson and his partner on the birth of their daughter Lily Jane on Friday.


    Above: Children from the Altrincham FC Saturday Soccer School showed off their skills at Moss Lane on Saturday in the half-time break of the match against Crawley Town. The scheme is run by Chris Bullock and colleagues. If you would like your child to attend, please ring the club on 928-1045.


    Right: It's not just Chris Senior who visits the refreshment facilities during Alty matches [as revealed below by Brian Flynn] as here we see Dale Johnson getting tripped in the rush towards Keith Davey's mobile canteen at Moss Lane on Saturday, and Chris Denham is also dashing to join the queue.

    Courtesy of Brian Flynn, here is the latest Flynnzine article from the Robins' Review...

    With just two points and a single goal from our last five games, a sequence of results that has seen the team drop from second to fourteenth in the table, it is likely that for most clubs there would be alarm bells ringing and high levels of discontent amongst the rank and file supporters. However, "We are Alty....we are Alty....super Alty....from the Lane" as the Golf Road faithful sing and everyone is probably arriving at the ground today in good spirits after the tremendous display at The Abbey Stadium on Tuesday night. To come away with a fully deserved point following the catalogue of playing personnel disasters that we have suffered since Matty Crowell announced he was jetting off to the Australian A-League, was a massive triumph and there were positives everywhere.

    Graham & Kenny reverted to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation with as much threat in wide areas as we have seen for a long time with Nicky Clee and Chris Denham both causing problems for a side that went so close to regaining their Football League status in May. Tom Kearney and the often hugely under appreciated Anthony Danylyk worked like Trojans in the heart of the midfield and behind them was a back four that hardly put a foot wrong all night. Greg Young was, as ever, a colossus and Robbie Williams is looking increasingly assured as his confidence grows with each game played. The consequence of this was that England's Number One had a relatively easy night with most of his involvement coming from dealing with the hopeful high balls that were regularly pumped into our penalty area.

    It was such a boost to see Chris Senior back and whilst I am sure that he was some way off being fully fit for this game, you wouldn't have known it from his energetic performance. Chris was named on the bench at Kettering on Saturday, but I was never very confident that he was going to play any part in the game......particularly after seeing him queueing for a hot drink at the Snack Bar during the half time interval!!! The contrast on the Kettering bench was dramatic as Mark Cooper was able to deal with the fact that his front men were having an off day by introducing three forwards in the final quarter of the game, two of whom, Gareth "I'll be off to Fleetwood Tuesday then" Seddon & Moses Ashikodi, duly combined to unlock our defence and score a late opening goal that was followed within two minutes by a second that gave a scoreline that was wholly unrepresentative of the events of the game. The "Easy.....Easy" chants from the previously mice-like Kettering contingent in the main stand, were as ridiculous as the scoreline! Ironically, that first goal was created by a player making his final appearance for the Poppies and scored by a player making his first........only against Alty does such stuff happen!!!!!

    Last week I ventured up into the Rossendale Valley to see an FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay between Rossendale United & Trafford. The first game had been controversial with Trafford looking fully in control at 2-0 with less than twenty minutes to play. Simon Woodford, a former Alty player, was then involved in the game's key incident which saw him concede a penalty & receive a red card.The penalty was converted and Rossendale grabbed an injury time equaliser. The replay was not lacking in incident with two penalties, three red cards and four goals.Rossendale conceded an early goal, but eventually ran out 3-1 victors & with it receive a valuable cheque for £1,500!!I had never been to Dark Lane before, but I will go again as it is a good old fashioned traditional non-league ground and the club is run by a very friendly and enthusiastic small group of people.

    I'll sign off now in the hope that we can take our very first three point haul at Moss Lane against Crawley today.



    In a 2-2 draw between Droylsden and Stalybridge Celtic, Warren Peyton netted for Celtic. Colwyn Bay won 1-0 at Skelmersdale thanks to Alex Hay's goal. Summer trialist at Alty, Eddie Stanford netted from the penalty spot to give Radcliffe Borough an FA Cup qualifying round victory. Chris Downey scored twice for AFC Fylde as they beat Rossendale Utd 4-1. Ashton Utd won 3-0 at Lancaster, with Pat McFadden netting the first goal and former Alty reserve Callum Flanagan also on the mark. Former Alty youth Tom Bailey scored as Maine Road lost 1-4 to Bamber Bridge. All three of FCUM's goals in the FA Cup at Sheffield FC came from ex-Alty men; Ben Deegan and two from Carlos Roca, one of them a penalty.
    12 September 2009


    Right: Matt Doughty and Tom Kearney defend in partnership as Nicky Clee is on hand to help out against Crawley.

    Match report here

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 11. Nicky CLEE; 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Chris SENIOR, SUBS 14. Dale JOHNSON, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 21, Andrew PEARSON.

    CRAWLEY TOWN (All blue) 1. Simon Rayner, 2. Simon Rusk, 6. Karl Broadhurst, 21. Adam Quinn, 3. Sam Rents, 11. Kieran Djilali, 10. Thomas Pinault, 4. Eddie Hutchinson, 12. Chris Carruthers, 8. Charles Ademeno, 24. Callum Willock. SUBS: 22. Nick Jordan (gk), 7. Danny Forrest, 9. Jefferson Louis, 14. Lewis Killeen, 17. Barry Cogan.

    Saturday 12 September

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts.
  • AFC Wimbledon 0 Cambridge United 0
  • Altrincham 0 Crawley Town 0
  • Eastbourne Borough 1 Chester City 1
  • Forest Green R. 0 Ebbsfleet United 0
  • Gateshead 2 Salisbury City 1
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 2 Tamworth 2
  • Histon 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1
  • Luton Town 1 Barrow 0
  • Mansfield Town 2 Stevenage Borough 3 (incorrectly reported as 3-2 on BBC)
  • Rushden & Diamonds 5 Grays Athletic 4
  • Wrexham 0 Oxford United 1
  • York City 2 Kettering Town 0


    During the Altrincham v Crawley Town game, the Update Page will carry news from the match.

    Our opponents, Crawley Town announce that that "Reds' boss Steve Evans is expecting a tough encounter against Graham Heathcote's men. Chris Giles, Ben Smith, Glenn Wilson, Dom Collins, Adam Barton, Nick Carter and Thomas Pinault are all struggling so once again this season manager Steve Evans is strictly limited when it comes to his team selection. Youngster Josh Huggins has already been added to the travelling squad for Saturday.

    Speaking on Friday morning Steve said; 'A number of our big players will be missing at Altrincham but this has been the pattern for most of the season so far. Altrincham are one of the most improved teams from last season and Graham Heathcote has done a wonderful job with his recruitment of players. They really are a good team now and any side in the Blue Square Premier will have to be at their best to beat them... But the lads did well against Histon in midweek and we played a bit more like we can... Every week there are difficult matches to face and tomorrow will be no different'.”.

    The BBC says that "Altrincham have major injury problems with full-back Scott Moffat, striker Colin Little and midfielder Robbie Lawton all likely to be ruled out. Shaun Densmore is expected to play as he returns from a three-match ban. Crawley centre-back Chris Giles could again miss out with a back problem, while full-back Glenn Wilson is also a major doubt with a hamstring injury. Ben Smith will face a late fitness test but key midfielder Thomas Pinault has recovered from a back injury".

    Meanwhile, The Argus reports that "Steve Evans believes Crawley fans have yet to see the best of loan star Kieran Djilali. The 18-year-old midfielder lit up his third game since joining from Crystal Palace by creating both goals as Reds ended a run of four games without a win by beating Histon 2-0 on Tuesday.

    Djilali, who made six first-team appearances for Palace last season, will be available for five more games before his one-month loan expires although the good relationship Evans has with Palace counterpart Neil Warnock raises the possibility that it could be extended. Evans said: 'We are the only Blue Square premier club who could have got Kieran out of Palace and that is because of my relationship with Neil Warnock. He knows that I will be in Kieran’s face and demand high standards... We lacked a bit of confidence as a team in the first half but Kieran had a go and as the game wore on we passed and moved it nicely... People think that (striker) Jefferson Louis is just a hit and hope target man but he likes it to feet so he can bring the midfielders into play. Our wide players – whether it’s Chris Carruthers, Lewis Killeen, Danny Forrest, Mikey Malcolm or Kieran – can get at the full-backs and create some space'...

    Before a ball was kicked Evans predicted there would be three divisions within the league and forecast that his side would be pushing at the top of the middle tier... Evans said: 'If you look at the table there is only one club (Tamworth) who should not be in the top eight based on resources available to them. If we can get in and around the top half of the second tier we will have done marvellously for what we spend but we set high'... Midfielder Adam Barton was rested on Tuesday but returns to the squad tomorrow but fellow loanee Dominic Collins has returned to Preston after suffering a hamstring injury".

    Right: Stuart Coburn collects the ball against Chester, as Nicky Clee (foreground) and Anthony Danylyk provide some protection.


    The latest update to the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition is here, courtesy of Sarah Rowley.


    Former Alty Youth Ben Oliver has signed for Flixton.


    "David Hockaday, the new manager of Forest Green Rovers, has brought in three new players ahead of his first game in charge at home to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday. Hockaday has brought in defender Jeffrey Imudia, who he worked with during his time at Southampton, former Crystal Palace goalkeeper David Wilkinson and young midfielder Lewwis Spence on loan from Wycombe Wanderers. Imudia, who can play anywhere across the back line, joined Arsenal as a 13-year-old before moving to the Saints' Academy following a spell with Everton" reports the Football Conference.

    Croydon-born Wilkinson failed... was an ever-present in the Crystal Palace under-18 side that reached the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup a couple of years ago. He has... been out on loan at Eastleigh and Welling United during the past two seasons... He has been on trial with Rovers' league rivals Luton Town amongst others.

    Spence has joined Forest Green on a one-month loan. The 21-year-old former Crystal Palace man missed the majority of pre-season".

    "Mansfield Town have announced the signing of winger Levi Porter on a month's loan from Leicester City. Porter, who stands at 5' 3" tall, is a former England Youth international who has been with the Foxes for twelve years. The 22-year-old made his City first-team debut as a second half August 2006 and scored his first goal three months later in a 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle. Manager David Holdsworth told 'He is quick, possesses trickery and is explosive. He isn't the biggest lad in the world but hopefully we can keep the ball on the base and get the ball into his feet'".

    The Conference also reports that our opponents a week today, "Grays Athletic, have signed two more new players. Daryl Robson is a young midfielder who signed for Irish side Galway United in July 2007. He had previously played for Middlesbrough, with whom he won the FA Youth Cup as captain... Getro Kilapi is also a midfielder who has been on the books of Waltham Forest, Northwood, Ilford, Potters Bar Town, Boston United and Gillingham".

    The Daily Post reports that Oxford have been training in Trafford! "Wrexham FC will be without three players ahead of tomorrow's meeting against unbeaten league leaders Oxford. Goalkeeper Sam Russell (elbow), striker Matty Wolfenden (ankle) and full-back Sam Williamson (knee) have all been ruled out. Centre-half Rhys Day (knee) is Oxford's only injury absentee, while Jack Midson is still looking to win a place in the team from strikers James Constable, Jamie Cook or Matt Green. The U's have been training at Manchester United's Carrington training groundahead of the clash".

    11 September 2009


    Sky Sports is now available in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane and the following matches will be shown:
  • Saturday 12th September: Tottenham v Manchester Utd k.o. 5.15pm, bar open 4.45pm
  • Tuesday 15th September: Besiktas v Manchester Utd k.o. 7.45pm, bar open 7.00pm
  • Sunday 20th September: Manchester Utd v Manchester City k.o. 1.30pm, and Chelsea v Tottenham k.o. 4pm, bar open 12.30pm

    Please do make use of this new facility as all profits go to the Club!


    Altrincham FC Youth team will meet Cammell Laird Youth in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup in week commencing 21 September. Lairds beat Northwich Victoria Youth 2-0 on Thursday night and will be a stiff test for Altrincham as they boast six Cheshire County players in their squad.


    Altrincham entertain Crawley Town this Saturday. During the game, the Update Page will carry news from the match.

    In the visitors' last game, The Argus states that on Tuesday "A stunning late strike from on-loan Chris Carruthers set Crawley on their way to a precious win and ended a run of four games without a victory... According to boss Steve Evans, 'We thought the goal was never going to come and that it would take something very special to win the game and Chris gave us that. It was a good win for us but it wasn’t a surprise. We had players like Karl Broadhurst and Charles Ademeno back and they make a big difference. There was some fantastic passing play from us and we played with some nice width... We showed that when we get some of our big players back we can beat most teams in the Conference'.

    There was another new face on the Crawley team-sheet with Calum Willock, who has agreed a short-term deal, forming the fifth different striker partnership this season. The 27-year-old, who played for six Football League clubs before spending last season at Stevenage, partnered fit-again Ademeno and their pace and movement were soon causing a typically physical Histon side problems... It seems to be a pre- requisite that to play for Histon you have to be at least 6ft tall and while their style was not pleasing on the eye they were fiercely committed and a threat from set-pieces...

    Crawley: Rayner; Rusk, Quinn, Broadhurst, Rents; Djilali, Hutchinson, Pinault (sub Cogan 85), Carruthers; Ademeno (sub Forrest 85), Willock (sub Louis 72). Subs not used: Killeen, Jordan".

    The BBC adds that "Crawley Town striker Callum Willock says the job prospects for unemployed footballers are looking bleak. The 27-year-old, who began his career at Fulham nine years ago, joined Crawley on a short-term deal this week after leaving Stevenage in the summer. He told BBC Sussex: 'With the recession and the current climate it has been really difficult finding work. I know loads of players who are still out of contract. I'm just glad to be back playing. Normally its been no problem finding teams', he said... 'Hopefully this can be the building block to something I know I can do, and starting off again... I know Thomas Pinault from Brentford', he added. '[He provides] a lot of one-two touch-play and a lot of teams aren't used to that style in this league. I can see there's definitely a good squad here and now we've got a win I reckon there will be a big turnaround'.

    Willock will provide competition for places in attack with veteran Jefferson Louis and youngster Charlie Ademeno. 'You can see they are two totally different players', he said. 'One is obviously a target [man], and one is to work off and with quite sharp turns. I can work with whatever partnership works. I know I've only been here a few days, but I can already see what style complements each other, and hopefully there's more to come'".


    The Mid-Cheshire Chronicle says that former Alty chairman and current "Witton chairman, Mark Harris, believes the Wincham Park football club will stay at their current ground for the next five years – despite being in talks with a potential buyer. Harris told the Chronicle that 'a consortium' had drafted an option agreement which the football club had not yet signed but that any firm proposal and sale of the ground would not be completed for about five years. It was confirmed however that the terms of the agreement, set out by the unknown consortium, would include the purchase of Wincham Park and provision of an alternative site for Witton. Ultimately it will be for the shareholders to make the decision', said Harris. 'But my responsibility is to safeguard the long-term future of the football club and to be honest in the eight years I have been here we have always been in talks with developers. The property market is not in the rudest of health at the moment so I think we are looking at a minimum of five years. If and when we sign the agreement, which we haven’t as yet, that’s when the fun and games will start'".


    The Cambridge News says that "The mystery over Histon coach John Beck's future with the club deepened last night. A brief statement issued by Histon chairman Gareth Baldwin said Beck is currently not involved in first team affairs at the Glass World Stadium and a further statement would be made 'within the next 14 days'. 'In the meantime, the club will not be making any other comments on the matter'," he said. Speculation over Beck's future involvement at the club has been rife since the weekend when he did not travel with the team to...Chester City. He was also absent when the Stutes lost by a similar scoreline at Crawley on Tuesday evening... Beck said he had spent Saturday scouting for new players.

    Meanwhile, Andrew Tidswell could be given the chance to make an instant impact when he returns to Histon from Bury Town... Stutes' boss Steve Fallon is considering thrusting him into the spotlight when Kidderminster visit the Glass World Stadium on Saturday... Fallon said: 'He's scored some goals for Bury [Town] and done reasonably well. He went there to play at a higher level than our reserves and we might have a look at him on Saturday. I've got a really big decision to make - it could be time to start with Craig (Hammond), or maybe Nathaniel (Knight-Percival) and Frewy (Michael Frew) deserve another chance'.

    With Danny Wright - who tops the Stutes' goalscoring chart with four goals - nursing a hamstring injury and Bradley Hudson-Odoi suffering from the same problem, Fallon desperately needs to discover the right attacking formula".

    Ebbsfleet United report that "A limited company is being floated to acquire Stonebridge Road for the Fleet. Trustees comprising Jessica McQueen (MyFC Society Board vice chairman) and Duncan Holt (Ebbsfleet United FC chairman) will head up the company intended to purchase the Stonebridge Road site, estimated at £600,000, and there is an investment opportunity for Fleet fans and others to purchase shares in the company as a means of raising the purchase price and gain by a return on their investment. Furthermore, the limited company will be able to sell Stonebridge Road only if EUFC is ready to move to a new ground.

    Fleet fans will be aware that a group of individuals from both inside and outside the society have been working on options to secure Stonebridge Road following notification of sale by our current landlord... Given the status of the club's current lease, which has 16 years remaining, the current landlord has invited us to accumulate sufficient funds to purchase the ground prior to a scheduled auction on the 21st September 2009. It is the view of all at the club and the MyFC society board that this is an opportunity for MyFC to really make a difference and secure the future of the club without relying on a potentially non-sympathetic new landlord. Under the current lease there is a pending rent review in 2010. We currently pay a peppercorn rent of £5,400 per annum which is not collected".

    Alty play Grays on 19th September but this Saturday, Grays Athletic "will be without Ronnie Bull, Rio Bryan-Edwards, Adriano Rigoglioso & Lee McEvilly due to injuries, also late fitness tests will be given to Daniel Charge & Paolo Vernazza. [Former Tottenham boss] Peter Shreeves assisted by Tom Snow, will take charge of the team for the visit to Rushden & Diamonds. Adriano Rigoglioso will be unavailable for approx 7 days and Lee McEvilly is due to see a specialist next week and is likely to return to light training in 14 days".

    The BBC confirms that "Grays Athletic director of football Peter Shreeves will take charge for Saturday's trip to Rushden & Diamonds. The club have yet to appoint a new manager after placing Gary Phillips on 'gardening leave', but expect to make an announcement by next Wednesday. Among the names linked with the post are Steve Lomas, Julian Dicks, Jimmy Quinn and Steve Sedgley. Whoever is handed the job will become the Blue Square Premier club's 14th manager in the past three years. The club have also placed Phillips' assistants Alan Lewer and John Yems, all of whom were in the running for the manager's job, on gardening leave. "

    Normally you might expect a BSP club to loan a player to a BS North club to get him fit but the opposite is reported by the Football Conference... "Blue Square North club Fleetwood Town`s striker Nick Rogan has returned to Blue Square Premier side Barrow for a one month loan period. The frontman joined Town from the Blue Square Premier outfit during the summer but has found first team opportunities limited... Town manager Micky Mellon said: "This loan move provides Nick the opportunity to play competitive football at Barrow and put some match fitness into his legs. Nick firmly remains part of my plans and he will continue to train with Fleetwood Town... We expect to see him fully flying after his loan period and firmly into his stride. It's a win-win situation for all parties". Liverpool Daily Post "Chester City are to appeal against the extra 15-point deduction that was imposed upon them by the Football Conference at the start of the season... following the Inland Revenue’s successful appeal against the admin judgement... Chester did sign documentation stating that they wouldn’t appeal the deductions and they were subsequently granted permission to join the league. However, after taking legal advice, City have been advised that 'commercial duress' was exerted when they did sign the documents and their appeal will be based on this legal point... The Conference were criticised by the Football Association following the club’s protracted entry into the Blue Square Premier League last month, the FA stating that the extra 15-point penalty was outside the League’s remit. Meanwhile, Chester could well face a financial fine following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat by Tamworth. Six of City’s players were booked during the game, and a fine of up to £1,000 may well be imposed by the FA".

    "Dave Hockaday has pledged to quickly resurrect the fortunes of Forest Green after being named the club's new manager. The 51-year-old, a former youth-team coach at Watford and Southampton, succeeds the sacked Jim Harvey at the Blue Square Premier strugglers...Hockaday, who established the UK's first recognised football academy at Cirencester Town in 1995, said: 'I'm not despondent about the task ahead because I totally believe the potential is here to get better... It will take a lot of hard work but that's something I'm relishing, as well as the longer-term goal of making Forest Green a power at this level'. Hockaday began his playing career at Blackpool as a right-back or right winger, eventually joining Swindon Town in 1983... Former England manager Graham Taylor appointed him Under-18s supremo at Watford in 2000.

    In 2007 he had a brief spells working at both MK Dons and Leicester City working alongside current Cheltenham Town boss Martin Allen, before being put in charge of the Southampton youth team later that year. Out of work since leaving St Mary's last May, Hockaday has not been put off by the relatively small playing budget at the New Lawn... Hockaday is believed to have agreed a contract until the end of this season...

    David Brown, who has been in caretaker charge of the team since July and was keen on the permanent job, may find his coaching responsibilities are no longer required this season. Hockaday said: 'At this moment in time I need David more as a player. I thought he played his best game of the season against Hayes (on Tuesday) and it was as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders'" he told This is Gloucestershire, which adds that "Ex-York City boss Colin Walker, who was brought in to assist Brown last month, has left the club. The new man in the hotseat has no plans to massively overhaul the squad, although he could recruit an experienced goalkeeper on a short-term deal to cover for the suspended Terry Burton on Saturday".

    Tamworth report that "Following a hamstring injury suffered at Chester City on Tuesday night, we must unfortunately report that Alex Rodman is unlikely to feature for a fortnight and has had to withdraw from the England C squad and their game in Hungary next week. And although Stuart Nicholson's name has been linked with King's Lynn recently in the press, we can confirm a different move as both he and Gaving Hurren have gone to AFC Telford United in the Blue Square North, on a month's loan. Bradley Pritchard returns to the squad on Saturday... and he will be joined by Joshua Apps who has been now included in the squad".

    10 September 2009


    Above: Alty line up before the game with Daisy Hill.

    Match report on Youth page.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Graham Heathcote saluted the way his injury-ravaged Altrincham side have faced up to adversity over the past week - and described a return of one point from two tough away games as 'scant reward' for their fighting spirit. After being undone by two late goals in an even contest at Kettering, Alty carved out the better chances in a battling goalless draw at Cambridge on Tuesday night.

    Manager Heathcote said: 'We haven't picked up the points we deserved in those two games, and I feel for the players after they responded to such difficult circumstances by putting in so much endeavour. They did an excellent job at Kettering and could count themselves extremely unlucky to come away with nothing. The difference was Kettering were able to field three strikers near the end, and they just nicked it. We deserved better than that, but there was no feeling sorry for ourselves at Cambridge. We had to be solid at the back, and we were, and we had the clearer opportunities. If you stick just one of those away and go in front in an away game, it changes everything. We were doing that earlier in the season and have to try and get back to doing it again. But I'm not down at all. Cambridge won 7-0 on Saturday, and we had to quell a buoyant side and buoyant crowd, as well as deal with all the disruption we've had from injuries.

    By the finish, we had four players on the pitch who were new to the Conference, in Robbie Williams, Danny Heffernan, Andrew Pearson and Ross Thacker. It was a cauldron for them, but it's testimony to how we have coped that we could easily have taken all three points. I told the players that if they keep performing like that, they will soon start picking wins up again. No question about that'.

    Shaun Densmore (left) returns from suspension against Crawley at Moss Lane on Saturday, and there could even be some involvement for skipper Robbie Lawton, as he continues his recovery from surgery. Scott Moffatt has been ruled out, but Colin Little and Danny Edwards have an outside chance of being fit".


    Cambridge United report that "Altrincham assistant manager Ken McKenna (right) felt either side could have won last night's match so a 0-0 draw was 'a fair result'. McKenna, former manager of Welsh Premier League side TNS and Gary Brabin's chief scout [at Cambridge] last season, said after the match, 'We have to be careful on away trips, especially the midweek ones, what with us being part-time. We can't go out and be fully adventurous and we have to make sure we keep it tight at the back, but I think everyone who has played us this year will know that we also contain a threat when we go forward and we do try and play a bit of football. This season we've had a great start but have lost one or two players through injury and lost our way a little bit through that, but I think we came here and played our part in a good game... The lads have defended well and Cambridge played some good football at times and so did we, and I thought for a nil-nil it was a good game. Possibly in the end we could have nicked all three points with the late one-on-one chance, but a draw was the fair result and it would have been a little bit harsh on Cambridge if we had nicked it. But it would have been nice if it had gone in!'".

    Meanwhile Cambridge's defender Wayne Hatswell seems to have forgotten Alty's three great second-half chances but nevertheless "gave credit to Altrincham for leaving with a repeat of their goalless draw here in April, but he felt there was no doubt that United should have won the game. They've stuck eleven men behind the ball all game and we've just not been able to break them down and get the goal', said the veteran defender afterwards. 'They have improved from the team who came here in the last game of last season, but on paper we have much the better team and we are at home, therefore we should win - no buts. They've come here again to sit on the edge of the 18-yard box and that's all they were going to do in the second half. Greg Young had a great game at centre half, heading and kicking everything out of the ground, and he'll be happy that they have got a clean sheet', he added. 'We've had two disallowed goals for what, I don't know... If we'd got a goal... we would have finished them off with a three or four goal scoreline...

    You could say the referee was consistent for both teams', he said. 'For my late goal he explained that it was disallowed because our number two (Dan Gleeson) was fouling somebody; somebody who was probably 15 yards away from the ball. There is a hustle and bustle in Conference games and I think sometimes they don't realise that it is a man's game and common sense has got to be used. But he set his stall out in the first ten minutes and both sides knew he was going to be fussy. But why does a game always have to be about referees? So I don't want to harp on about it... There will be people who won't be happy with a draw against Alty - the players and management certainly aren't happy with it!'".


    Jonathan Mitten scored the winner for Prescot Cables at Chorley on Tuesday night, as did James Dean for FC Halifax Town against Wakefield FC. But Kieran Lugsden's goal for Buxton left him on the losing side at Hucknall Town. Before Tuesday's games, Welsh Premier reported that "GAP Connah's Quay can put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Loosemores League Cup with a victory over Caersws on Tuesday night. Mark McGregor's Nomads would have seven points in Group 3, leaving Porthmadog as their only realistic challengers, and player-manager Mark McGregor hopes to have striker Chris Herbert and midfielder [ex-Alty Youth] Stuart Cook fit to boost their chances". Meanwhile, ex-Alty "Striker John Toner is out [for Bala] after aggravating a hamstring while scoring against Caersws at the weekend".


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot stands at £3,300 after winning code 4213 was unclaimed. Last week saw five winning trebles each netting £40.


    Forest Green Rovers "are able to announce that their new manager is 51 yr old David Hockaday. Between 1975 and 1995 David made over 650 appearances during his playing career with Blackpool, Swindon Town, Hull City, Stoke City and Shrewsbury Town, including five promotions, with three as actual champions.In 1995 he used his coaching skills to establish the Cirencester Football Academy, which turned out to be the forerunner of many similar schemes in the country and as a result was headed hunted by Graham Taylor in 2000 to take over the academy at Watford where... he developed the talent of Ashley Young, the now Aston Villa and England striker, amongst an array of other players. His time culminated in assisting the club to promotion to the Premiership in 2006 with a team constructed from a small financial base with half the team having come through the club's academy. In 2007 he had a brief spell with MK Dons...

    David stated on his appointment 'I am extremely proud and excited to have been chosen by the club as their new manager.I have already watched the first team seven times and the reserve team at Bournemouth and have a good knowledge of the whole squad. I have a proven track record of working with and producing young players. I know I am joining a club who have a great set up and I share the long term aspirations of the club. I am positive that with the qualities at the club and with hard work we can quickly turn our situation around'".

    NL News 24 reports that "Gateshead are waiting to be told by the end of this week whether they will replay their abandoned match against Hayes & Yeading – or be awarded a defeat... Having claimed that Gateshead refused the referee’s request to resume the game after a lengthy delay, Hayes & Yeading insist they should be given the three points. But Gateshead boss Bogie is reiterating his determination to fight his club’s corner, maintaining his players did not refuse to play on, and that the referee took the decision to call the game off. 'We’ll be very disappointed if the decision of the authorities is anything other than awarding each team a point or replaying the game', says Bogie, talking to the Newcastle Journal. 'The referee asked our players what state of mind they were in. After a 40-minute delay due to an horrific, career-threatening injury to a team-mate, their feelings were clear and totally understandable. But he didn’t ask them to play on. He made the decision to abandon the game. At no time did we refuse to go back onto the pitch'”.

    Bogie has also spoken to The Chronicle which says that "Ian Bogie has admitted the heat is on after his misfiring side slumped to a 4-0 defeat at top-three side Kettering Town last night. The Tynesiders have lost five of their opening seven games, picking up just four points, and need to turn the tide at home to Salisbury City on Saturday...

    He said: 'We have to gain some results or I will not be at Gateshead much longer. I have given players a chance and they have let me down badly. There is not enough desire, there is a lack of punch and we are spineless in both boxes. We are struggling to score and conceding goals at the other end. We had 60% of the possession at Kettering with no end product. Saturday’s game against Salisbury at the International Stadium is a massive one for myself and the players as we must not get cut off in the bottom four...There are not enough players who are willing to scrap and battle, and that is the type of player I will be looking to bring into the club. I am not willing to put up with this and players who are not performing will be put on the transfer list, regardless of reputation or pedigree'... It did not help that Gateshead were without six players last night, including broken leg victim Martin Brittain and three centre-backs".

    The Daily Mirror claims that "Wrexham boss Dean Saunders is trying to talk veteran Turkish star Tugay out of retirement to play for the Conference side. Saunders worked with the midfield maestro at Blackburn after Graeme Souness brought him to England - and now he would like him to turn out as a player again. Tugay is studying for his coaching badges and working at Manchester City, but he would be free to re-register if he wanted to".

    The Cambridge News reports on Crawley 2 Histon 0 on Tuesday night, when "Chris Carruthers and Jefferson Louis became the latest men to cause Steve Fallon nightmares when their late strikes extended Histon’s losing run to four games... Coach John Beck was once again not in attendance, sparking fresh rumours linking him with a move away from the Glass World – Northampton being the latest club reported to be eyeing him up... after sacking Stuart Gray...

    A trip to Crawley always brings with it the possibility of fireworks because of the presence of Red Devils’ boss Steve Evans. The colourful character, who is well known for not being the shy and retiring type, was in need of a victory after overseeing four games without a win... The pace of Djilali and the quick feet of Ademeno meant Evans’s men always looked menacing, but their final pass lacked quality".

    The News adds that "John Beck's Histon future is set to be decided by the end of the week. Stutes' boss Steve Fallon revealed the club will soon be making an official statement... And the manager admits he is worried about his team's run of form after they suffered their fourth straight defeat... Fallon said: 'Obviously, it's a worry because, the longer the run goes on, the more the confidence can drain from the players'... The manager does not think any signings are on the horizon, despite Danny Wright and Lanre Oyebanjo being on the sidelines... Fallon said: 'Their right-winger caused us a lot of problems in the second half and we got caught in the last five minutes... The scoreline definitely flattered them'".

    From the Football Conference - "Forest Green Rovers can confirm that they received in excess of over forty applications for the vacancy for first-team manager... Club chairman Trevor Horsley wishes it to be known that whilst at this time he is in Dubai, pursuing his business interests to continue to input financial resources in to the club, he will be making a final decison in the next 24 hours as to a new appointment. He has been in constant contact with the club who have been processing the candidates and a shortlist prepared by the Board.

    The Board of Directors appreciate the varied concerns expressed by supporters, but it is only right that the new man at the helm will be chosen for the long-term aspirations of the club and not as a knee jerk reaction to the start of this season, which the Board fully understands was going to be difficult for a variety of reasons, let alone the issues around having to find a new manager".

    "Fleetwood Town continued the summer spending by swooping to capture the signatures of Gareth Seddon from Kettering Town and former Blackpool player Claus Jorgensen. Seddon, 29, is a former Bury hit-man, who joined the Poppies from Hyde United in July 2008. Seddon enjoyed a prolific period at Hyde where he scored sixty-two goals in eighty-seven appearances. He was a 71st minute substitute in the Poppies` 2-0 Conference home win over Altrincham last Saturday".

    "Port Vale have agreed to extend Luke Prosser's loan deal at Salisbury City for a further month" reports NL Daily


    NL Daily reports that "Northwich Victoria have brought in two loan players ahead of Tuesday night`s game at AFC Telford United. Declan Edwards maked the short trip from Stockport County, while making an even shorter journey is midfielder or defender Stephen Vaughan from neighbours Chester City".
    9 September 2009


    Altrincham FC have now installed Sky Sports TV in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane so, before and after matches at Moss Lane, you will now be able to see Premiership and other live games in the bar. The first live match to be shown will be after Saturday's game against Crawley Town when Tottenham Hotspur play Manchester United, so come along and try it out! Kick off is at 5.30pm.


    Why not come along to Moss Lane on Wednesday evening (9th) for the FA Youth Cup match between Altrincham FC Youth and Daisy Hill FC from Bolton? Kick off is 7.45pm and entry is just £3, (£1 for concessionaries). It'll be much better than watching England! The snack bar will be open.


    Injury ravaged Altrincham again kept Cambridge United at bay just as they had last April. Despite a lot of second half pressure, United barely forced a save out of Stuart Coburn in the Alty goal as, in front of him, everyone worked hard to close players down. In fact, it was Altrincham who had the clearer chances in the second half...


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    Right: Alty defend a first-half corner at Cambridge.

    In the Manchester Evening News "Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote praised his resolute Robins after they'd passed their Cambridge exam by holding the high-flying U's to a goalless draw at the Abbey Stadium. Alty mounted a stern rearguard action to frustrate a Cambridge side who went into the game as Blue Square Premier's top scorers, having hit seven against Forest Green at the weekend. Said Heathcote: 'For us to have kept a clean-sheet against such a prolific side is extremely satisfying. The lads can be really proud of their performance'".

    From the other side, the Cambridge News reports that 'It was not quite a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show, but Cambridge United were held to another frustrating goalless draw by Altrincham... Altrincham spoiled a potential promotion party for United on the final day of last season’s league campaign by standing strong to hold Gary Brabin’s side to a goalless draw when they needed victory to have a chance of overhauling Burton Albion for the title...

    And they almost caught United cold inside two minutes when Chris Senior was put clean through by Dale Johnson’s header, only for Brian Saah to make an excellent block. Altrincham, no doubt helped by having former United chief scout Kenny McKenna as their assistant manager, looked a far more organised and ambitious proposition than Saturday’s visitors [FGR] from the outset... as Altrincham had the better opportunities in a relatively open first 20 minutes...

    However, United’s hopes in an even first half tended to be of the half-chance variety, with Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn having little to do. Of more concern was the number of free kicks the hosts gave away in potentially dangerous areas... Laughably, Doughty was booked after delaying one such set-piece... Robbie Willmott did well to get back and take the ball off Denham’s foot as he raced into the area on the stroke of half time to prevent the striker having only Potter to beat...

    Perhaps due to their part-time status and a spate of injuries, Altrincham ran out of steam in terms of fitness midway through the second half and looked ready to settle for a point... But as United continued to press into the massed ranks at the back, they left themselves open to quick breaks. Ross Thaker fired wide after being put in the clear, while fellow substitute Daniel Heffernan fluffed his first touch in what could have turned into a panicky moment for the hosts...

    Paul Carden was frustrated... The assistant manager, who took charge once more with Martin Ling signed off for the week with a stomach bug that has seen him lose more than half a stone, said...'In the first half I didn't think we'd worked them as hard as we should have... We had chances to pass it earlier and we maybe took an extra touch and in the second half when they had something to hang on to, they did it well. The two big lads at the back [Young and Williams] were dominant in the air and maybe we played too much on their heads at times... When they bank up and just leave the one man up front and put the other 10 behind the ball it's difficult to pass it through them so sometimes maybe you have to go a bit straighter... I know people will say we should do [?better] at home to Altrincham, but they've had some good results away from home... We're so low having a 0-0 draw at home after a 7-0 win on Saturday".


  • Barrow 0 York C. 0
  • Cambridge U. 0 Altrincham 0
  • Chester C. 1 Tamworth 2
  • Crawley T. 2 Histon 0
  • Ebbsfleet U. 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0
  • Forest Green R. 0 Hayes & Yeading U. 0
  • Kettering T. 4 Gateshead 0
  • Kidderminster H. 3 Mansfield T. 1
  • Oxford U. 2 Luton T. 0
  • Salisbury C. 2 Grays A. 0
  • Stevenage B. 2 Eastbourne B. 0
    8 September 2009


    There will be news from the Cambridge United v Altrincham game on the website update page during the evening.

    Altrincham travel to Cambridge today to take on "The U's". The Cambridge News says that "Paul Carden hopes Cambridge United's joint biggest Conference win will prove a tonic for sick boss Martin Ling. Danny Crow, Chris Holroyd and Sam Ives all scored twice before Mark Beesley rounded off the 7-0 Blue Square Premier rout at home to 10-man Forest Green on Saturday. The assistant manager took charge with director of football Jez George helping from the dugout after Ling went down with a stomach bug.

    Carden said he hoped Ling would be okay to return the hot seat for Tuesday's home clash with Altrincham, but felt he will have perked up after equalling the record set two years ago at home to Weymouth under Jimmy Quinn. He said: 'It was a get-well-soon present for him... He'll be buzzing with that... I can't think of any negatives about the game - everything was positive about Saturday... We kept a clean sheet and score a bundle of goals and Sam Ives showed it was refreshing to have a young sub who can come on and make an impact'... Carden felt visiting keeper Terry Burton had to go for throwing the ball at referee Mike Bull after giving away a penalty for bringing down Holroyd. He said: 'You accept keepers coming out with their knee up, but as soon as he straightened his leg and showed his studs, it was a penalty'".

    Following Saturday's game, Altrincham had eight of their twenty-one man squad (excluding third keeper Richard Acton) unavailable. Dale Johnson (dead leg) and loan defender Scott Moffatt limped off at Kettering, to join Colin Little, Robbie Lawton, Michael Welch, Danny Edwards and Chris Senior in the treatment room. An eighth player, Shaun Densmore, remains suspended tonight, so if none of the injured recover in time, Alty's squad is down to 13 including two keepers. Senior was fit enough to participate in Saturday's warm-up so is one of the more likely of the injured players to play some part tonight.


    Places are available in the Sponsors' Lounge for the upcoming home games at Moss Lane against Tamworth (22 Sept.) and Gateshead (29 Sept.). For just £35 per person you can enjoy a pre-match hot meal, complimentary drink and matchday programme, as well as a match preview direct from Alty manager Graham Heathcote. And at half time there is a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits as well as Sky Sports News to check the scores elsewhere. To book your place please ring 928-1045 or e-mail the club.


    The referee for Altrincham v Crawley Town on Saturday is Mr R. J. Wigglesworth. He has overseen two heavy victories by the Robins; 4-0 against Weymouth last season, and 5-0 over Cambridge United in 2007.


    Saturday's game at Moss Lane could see two weakened teams competing against each other as it is not only Altrincham with a long injury list. According to The Argus, "Assistant manager Paul Raynor insists Crawley will turn their season around despite the worst injury crisis since he and boss Steve Evans took over in 2007. There were no names just numbers on the back of Crawley’s change strip at Kit Kat Crescent on Saturday which, whether intentional or not, was a sensible move considering the changes in personnel Evans is having to make from game to game.

    He could afford a rueful smile as he watched Charlton versus Brentford on TV before the game and heard that Charlton were playing an unchanged team for the sixth successive game. For Evans, it could be another month before he can even consider that option. Only three of the side which lost to two goals in the first ten minutes had started against Grays just a week earlier. Evans made four changes for the second successive match but was still without five players – four of whom would be automatic choices.

    Although Simon Rusk and skipper Adam Quinn returned, Reds lost Karl Broadhurst to illness while Charles Ademeno failed to recover from a heel injury. Ben Smith (bruised foot), Glenn Wilson (hamstring) and Chris Giles (back) did not even make the trip while Thomas Pinault had to start on the bench because of a persistent back problem. Factor in the departure of Jamie Cook and trying to gel four loan players and it was no surprise that Reds looked disjointed...

    Raynor said: 'We’ve never known anything like it. We had to cobble a team together... To have six or seven out has left us really stretched but once we get everyone fit you will see a different Crawley Town'... Jamie Cook’s move back to his beloved Oxford has left Crawley without a striker who can snap up the half chances or cause problems with his movement off the ball... Admitted Raynor, 'We are crying out for Charles Ademeno who is the obvious choice to play up front'. Although the versatile Danny Forrest, who has already played in three different positions this season, worked hard alongside Jefferson Louis, Reds lacked a cutting edge... Teenage centre-half Dominic Collins handed York the perfect start when he was outmuscled by Richard Brodie and sent the York striker spinning to the deck with a clumsy challenge. Simon Rayner, preferred to Nick Jordan, had no chance with the penalty...

    A half-time adjustment saw Eddie Hutchinson drop back into central defence... Crumbs of comfort for Reds were the return of skipper Adam Quinn... Crawley: Rayner, Rusk, Quinn, Collins (Pinault 45), Rents; Djilali, Hutchinson, Barton, Carruthers (Cogan 64); Forrest, Louis. Subs: Pinault, Killeen, Malcolm, Cogan, Powell".

    The Crawley Observer says that "A patched-up Crawley Town made it one point from a possible 12 during a 2-0 defeat at York City. The Red Devils made the long trip to Bootham Crescent without sidelined quintet Glenn Wilson, Chris Giles, Ben Smith, Charlie Ademeno and Karl Broadhurst while Adam Quinn and Simon Rusk were both pressed into action despite not being fully fit. On-loan Preston teenage centre-half Adam Barton also made his full debut on the right wing while Danny Forrest, who played at full-back during the 3-0 midweek defeat at Luton, was moved into attack alongside Jefferson Louis".

    However, the Football Conference reports that "Crawley Town have signed 28-year-old free agent Calum Willock. Willock joined Crawley`s league rivals Stevenage Borough in January 2008 after turning down a new contract with Port Vale... The Valiants were keen to keep him. But the deciding factor was Willock`s desire to be nearer his family in the south. The 6`1” striker started his career at Fulham before joining Peterborough United. He was then signed by Brentford... for a fee of £50,000... Willock struck four times in thirty-two games for Boro during the 2008/09 season... He scored twice for AFC Wimbledon in a friendly against a Fulham XI in pre-season. However, neither club nor player were unable to reach an agreement regarding a contract. Willock has represented St Kitts & Nevis at international level".


    A new non-league football "news wire site", Non-League News has been set up. It describes itself as follows; "Basically, it's a news wire service aggregating stories about the club, with links to similar pages for the other clubs in your division (as well as many others)".


    "Much-travelled striker Jody Banim has re-signed for Droylsden to begin a FIFTH spell at the Butcher's Arms" reports the Football Conference. Ex-Robin Alex Meechan netted a penalty for The Bloods on Saturday.


    "Kettering Town boss Mark Cooper admits" in the Northants Evening Telegraph that "the lure of Football League management is huge for him. Speculation is rife that an approach might be made for his services by managerless Lincoln City – especially after the Imps vice-chairman went on record saying Cooper was 'the type of manager we'd like to recruit'...

    'I haven't heard anything so you carry on as normal', Cooper stated. 'I'm enjoying being near the top of the league... But never rule anything out in this game... I've always said I want to manage in the Football League. I would love it if that could be with Kettering... Managing at that level has to be an ambition for everyone, doesn't it?'...

    Cooper was not overly happy with his side's performance against Altrincham as they relied on two late strikes to win the game. 'We didn't play well', he explained. 'These games always worry me. The excitement and adrenaline isn't there like it is in the big games with the big crowds. But the players have got to stand up and be counted and get the tempo right because we are not good enough to just play when we want'".

    Stevenage Borough "have withdrawn the two-tier pricing scheme introduced in August and replaced it with a flat £1 increase across the board for all sections of the stadium and all age levels. The new prices will come into effect on 1st December 2009.

    Chairman Phil Wallace told Boroweb 'As soon as we announced the 2 tier system it just didn’t feel right and sometimes you have to admit that you’ve called it wrong and set about putting it right. We desperately need an increase in admission prices this season to keep the level of funds we’ve made available for players' wages but, frankly, I’d rather offer promotional discounts to try and generate new fans to watch our games than leaving some at last year's prices”.

    After trying it out, we’ve found that moving league admission prices up and down according to the opposition just doesn’t feel right. Although the outcome for supporters from this move isn’t too different from our original plan, we’re much happier with just one pricing level for the season and, to try and be as fair as possible, we’ve delayed implementation of the increase for almost two months so the new admission prices will take effect on 1st December'". Alty go to Broadhall Way on 26th September. "The club will also reintroduce promotions and deep discounting on certain games during the season", the club adds.

    According to the NL Daily "John Beck's future at Histon could be in doubt after he was told not to travel with the squad to Chester City on Saturday. Stutes' boss Steve Fallon... revealed it was his decision not to have the coach at the game. But he would not talk about the reasons behind Beck's absence and chose not to comment on the former Cambridge United manager's future at the club. Beck has been sent on 'gardening leave' before, and Fallon's decision on Saturday came in the wake of two very poor displays in the defeats to York City and Stevenage Borough".

    After defeat at Chester, Fallon told the Cambridge News, 'All the lads are gutted and we won't play that well and not win again all season. We weren't as good in the second half, but we still dominated the game... Chester have then gone and scored from a fluke - it's hit their lad on the head and looped into the corner'".

    More on this comes from the BBC which reports that "John Beck has insisted that his future at the club is not in doubt... Beck told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I am very happy with Histon and I have been out scouting to try and strengthen the squad'... He has been linked with joining Gareth Ainsworth at Lincoln City should the QPR midfielder be appointed as successor to Peter Jackson, but denies this is the case. Meanwhile, Histon have allowed striker Kieran Leabon to join Bury Town on a month's loan".

    York City report that "A 21 year old York City fan was arrested at KitKat Crescent prior to Saturday’s game against Crawley for fraud and forgery offences. The individual, who is a current season ticket holder, was found in possession of 18 forged tickets for the forthcoming Kettering and Cambridge home fixtures. Three other males were also each found to be in possession of a forged ticket for Saturday’s game and these were confiscated by the Police before the individuals attempted to gain entry to the ground. York City Football Club was aware forged student tickets were in circulation after 10 tickets were found to have been used to enter KitKat Crescent at the Histon game on Saturday 29th August. The Police were immediately alerted to the situation, along with the Club’s stewards and turnstile operators...

    Director Sophie Hicks said, 'We are extremely angry and disappointed by these events. This individual, who claims to be supporter, has been depriving the Club of valuable income in a time of recession when we are faced with a reduction in commercial revenue and we have volunteers fundraising to keep our youth team going. We will be immediately withdrawing the individual’s season ticket... Entry to the ground will only be given to season ticket holders on production of their season ticket book. Please do not bring individual season ticket slips to matches".

    This is Glos reports that "Forest Green assistant manager Colin Walker reminded the players how 'lucky' they were after the club's biggest-ever Conference defeat. Rovers were hammered 7-0 at Cambridge United on Saturday... The managerless outfit have little time to lick their wounds, with Hayes and Yeading United due to visit the New Lawn tomorrow night, but Walker views that as a positive. He said: 'They are professional footballers and they have now got to get in right frame of mind for the game on Tuesday. I would say they are very lucky to have the opportunity to put things right so quickly. Obviously I can't repeat what was said in the dressing room'...

    Rovers could dip into the emergency loan market for a goalkeeper before tomorrow's game, for which [goalkeeper] Burton will be suspended. Walker said: 'How many goalkeepers do you see come out for the ball with their foot raised? Their striker was brave to go for it but I'm not sure (it was a penalty). We can't make that an excuse – there were another four goals after that'".

    "A war of words has broken out after Gateshead’s clash against Hayes & Yeading... was abandoned 14 minutes from time" claims The Chronicle. "The game was goalless with Gateshead down to 10 men following the dismissal of German-born debutant Christoph Ascherl for a 51st-minute professional foul. Former Magpie Martin Brittain then suffered an horrific double break of the fibula and tibia when charging down an Adam Green clearance. The injury brought a 40-minute break, with the 24-year-old requiring morphine from paramedics to ease the pain before he was taken off to hospital in an ambulance. Hayes & Yeading immediately returned to the field but there was no sign of Gateshead or the referee and, with most of the 519 crowd still in the ground, an announcement was made that the game had been abandoned.

    'Neither myself or the players were told the game had been abandoned', said furious Hayes & Yeading boss Garry Haylock. 'It was not called off because of the serious injury. The game was abandoned because Gateshead players refused to come out of the dressing room. The referee wanted to restart the game and we wanted to play so we should be awarded the three points'..

    Equally animated Gateshead manager Ian Bogie insisted that his players had "seen one of their team-mates go down with an horrific injury, and have then had to sit in the dressing room for 40 minutes. The last thing on their minds was playing football. Haylock’s comments are a disgrace and show no compassion to our player".

    “We insisted on having a copy of the referee’s report and it states categorically that Gateshead have broken a rule in not playing after being asked to restart the game by the referee,” added Haylock. "On the field, 6ft 5in, 17st French powerhouse Armand One had an encouraging first half which Gateshead dominated without breaking through".

    7 September 2009


    Altrincham FC Youth's league season kicked off today with a 2-2 home draw against Curzon Ashton. Dan Shaw scored both goals for Altrincham in a game they should have won.


    A report on the draw between Altrincham Youth and Curzon Ashton Youth yesterday, with a further picture, is in the Youth section. Pictured right, Alty, in their new shirts, sponsored by Ian Senior's Sensport Kits, defend against Curzon. Seen in the adjacent photo are, left to right, keeper James Fossdyke, Rory Bradbury (no.5), James Brown (17), Dan Shaw and John Bennett (6). You can see Alty Youth in action at Moss Lane this Wednesday (9th, 7.45pm) when they take on Daisy Hill in the FA Youth Cup. Entry is just £3 (£1 for concessionaries).


    The minutes of the July meeting of the committee of The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) are here. If you have not already joined TASC, you can do so at the club shop on matchday or via the club offices (928-1045).


    The latest in the "A Day in the Life" series in the Robins' Review appeared on Monday and featured vice-chairman Grahame Rowley (pictured below, left)...

    "Being the Vice Chairman of the Football Club involves me in all sorts of jobs and duties which vary from emptying the bins after a matchday to setting a budget for the season.

    On an average matchday, I arrive with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend at the ground at about 10.30am. We then put up all the welcoming posters by the front door, boardroom and Sponsors' Lounge. I then have to ensure that all areas of the ground are neat and tidy before the visiting team arrives. The programmes for the game, [which Grahame edits with brother Terry], are delivered and then numbers checked before being left for Terry Surridge to oversee their distribution.

    I then start to gather guesses from the staff for 'Guess the Attendance' before they become too involved in their jobs during the game. After getting 'suited and booted' my official matchday duties begin – welcoming to visiting directors, ensuring they get drinks, food and a programme for the game. At 2pm (6.45pm on Tuesdays) I receive both official team sheets from the respective secretaries and type up our own official team sheet for the day which is copied in the office.

    After hosting the boardroom and gathering more 'Guess the Attendance' victims, I usually spend the first half of the game in our Directors' Box. At half time I ensure that our guests are fed and watered in the Boardroom before going to the offices to find the official attendance and the winner of the competition. At the end of the game I once again ensure that our guests are offered a glass of wine before their travels home.

    It’s then off to help my wife, Jo Vayro and Angie Jones with the tidying up and mopping of the dressing rooms, removing all the rubbish to the bins. Finally it’s time for a pint or two in the bar and the chance to discuss the game with whoever is around. I’ve always said that I’m available to answer questions following a game so if anyone ever has one please feel free to approach me and ask away! Finally it’s off to the take away for an Indian/Chinese and maybe another pint of brown nectar!!!

    Now that I have sold my business, I try and ensure that Tuesdays and Wednesday remain free so that I can spend a bit of time down at the club. Following games I have the honorary task, with John Skelhorn, of emptying all the bins around the ground. We then get on with any DIY jobs that are required to be done, be it securing seats in the stand to repairing the tiles in the showers. We are fondly known around the club as 'The Maintenance Crew'.

    I also arrange to meet any prospective sponsors or representatives who wish to speak to me on these days. The time passes by so quickly on these days as the group of people around the club during the week are such a pleasure to be around – it’s the Altrincham FC family which is what our club is all about.

    Finally, once a month, the Board meets, usually on a Tuesday morning, to go through everything from finances, youth team, player problems, sponsor updates and tasks that lie ahead for the following month. These usually last for 2-3 hours depending on the amount of things to go through but, once again, they are usually light-hearted sessions with plenty of banter, interspaced with the serious parts of the meeting.

    See you in the bar!"


    Alty's joint press officer contributed the following recently to the Sale & Altrincham Messenger:

    Right: Ricky Ponting speaks to Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer at Moss Lane before Alty's pre-season game against a United XI.

    "Ricky Ponting is determined to keep Altrincham's Blue Square Conference campaign on the front foot and has agreed to host a gala fund-raising evening for the club later this month.

    The Australia skipper, widely regarded as the world's greatest batsman, will break off from preparations for the one-day international at Trent Bridge to share his thoughts with Alty fans at a dinner at the Cresta Court Hotel on Monday, September 14.

    Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, who has formed a close friendship with Ponting and other members of the Aussie squad after driving them round the country during the last two Ashes series, explained: 'They've got a one-dayer with England the following day, but Ricky still readily agreed to attend the dinner because he wants to do all he can to help generate funds for the club.

    'He's bringing some of his team-mates with him, and he's going to do a question-and-answer session and tell a few anecdotes. Not only that, he is providing some memorabilia that will be auctioned to raise funds. It's a great gesture but typical of the man.'

    Ponting, who was recently given shares in the club by Goodwin, underlined his growing affinity to Altrincham by saying: 'I am delighted to be a shareholder, and I really enjoyed my recent visit to Moss Lane for the game against a Manchester United X1. The team played very well that night and have started the season really positively, and I want to make a contribution that will help support the manager Graham Heathcote to be as competitive as possible in what is a very tough league.'

    The event is already three-quarters sold out, with the remaining tickets, at £49 each or £450 plus VAT for a table of 10, available from Karen or Sarah Rowley on 0161 928 1045 or by e-mail.

    Alty need all the help they can get after injuries left Heathcote desperately searching for loan signings ahead of Monday's 1-1 draw with Chester. 'I'm just so grateful to Port Vale, Manchester United and Salford City for letting us take Danny Edwards, Scott Moffatt and Andrew Pearson,' said the Alty boss".


    With Rotherham boss Mark Robins expected to become the new manager of Barnsley, "Rotherham United Football Club yesterday evening received a formal approach from Barnsley Football Club requesting permission to speak with John Breckin, Steve Taylor and Nick Daws. All three were contacted individually by telephone and asked if they wished to speak with Barnsley FC. All three confirmed that they did and were simultaneously given permission and placed on 'gardening leave' until the outcome of their discussions is resolved".

    Steve Torpey (AFC Telford) and Alex Meechan with a penalty (Droylsden) both scored yesterday.


    It is expected that at Cambridge United on Tuesday Alty fans will be housed in the South Stand. If so, it is interesting to see their ticket prices:

    "South Stand (when available to home fans)

  • Adults £16
  • Concessions £11
  • Under-16s £6
  • Junior U's £2

    Away Supporters:

  • Adults £15 (terrace) or £18 (South Stand)
  • Concessions £11 (terrace) or £13 (South Stand)
  • Under-16s £6 (terrace) or £10 (South Stand)"


    Sunday's "Observer" newspaper reports an interesting comparison...
  • £200K : amount Salisbury City owe to HM Revenue & Customs, which put the club into administration last week.
  • £200K : amount the 20 Premier League clubs spend on player wages every hour and a half."

    Kettering Town "Chairman Imraan Ladak has made the following statement:

    'We have received three offers from two clubs for Gareth Seddon, the latest was an initial £20,000 plus bonuses which is some way short of our valuation. Hopefully, this will be the end of it and Gareth can concentrate on regaining his starting place in the team.

    Lincoln have not made any approach (to the club) for Mark Cooper and he has not asked for permission to speak to Lincoln. If Lincoln are interested, they know my number so there is no need for this courtship via the BBC and NLP. But then again, we know how they love talking about Kettering to the media.

    James McPike is obviously unhappy with his lack of opportunities at the club – but I never signed him or gave any indication whether he should or should not be in the team. I do not understand his motives for ringing up the NLP and ET and having a moan, but if it has made him feel better about going to Solihull, good for him. We have done our talking on the field and I am sure all our fans are pleased it was Moses Ashikodi coming off the bench yesterday.

    We are 4th in the table, have the best defence in the league, win or draw even when we don’t play well and now have three 20 goal strikers at the club - not bad for a circus'".

    6 September 2009


    Andrew Pearson (right), formerly of Wigan Athletic and Salford City, made his Alty debut as substitute at right-back at Kettering.

    Match report here.

    Kettering Town report that on Saturday they "welcomed old adversaries Altrincham to the Elgoods Brewery Arena... Two late goals from new signing Moses Ashikodi (84 minutes) and Francis Green (86 minutes) gave the Poppies all three points after a hard struggle... The second half saw the visitors taking the game to Kettering despite their 5-3-2 formation. After 5 minutes, Heffernan headed well wide and then Clee’s cross was cleared by James Jennings just ahead of Denham. Anthony Danylyk’s shot was well over on 54 minutes and in the next minute Clee’s clever run saw his shot go wide of the right post. The Poppies were playing nice football in midfield but were finding it difficult to penetrate in the last third... Altrincham were finding belief going forward and on 72 minutes only a great John Dempster interception denied Clee a shot on goal. From the resulting corner, Dempster then cleared again from Denham. The subsequent corner saw Matt Doughty’s in-swinger land on top of the net. Three minutes later a foul by Noubissie just outside the penalty area saw Doughty’s free kick on the left sail past the far post. It was still the visitors looking threatening and on 77 minutes Clee’s shot was high and wide. A minute later Clee’s long throw was headed wide by Williams. In the last 10 minutes the Poppies came to life.. The game turned in the space of three minutes.

    New signing Moses Ashikodi... latched on to fellow substitute Gareth Seddon’s through ball, held off his marker and finished neatly with a crisp shot under Coburn. Two minutes later it was 2-0. Ashikodi went on a run past a couple of defenders and laid the ball off to Francis Green on the right. Green checked inside and his first effort was blocked. As he got up from the initial tackle he steadied himself and hit a low left foot drive past Coburn’s right hand. This was a hard fought game, which Altrincham will feel they had done enough to get a point- but the Kettering substitutions proved vital to the victory".

    The NL Paper says that "The scorleine was undoubtedly tough on Alty who defended stubbornly and efficiently throughout" gave the match just one out of five for entertainment value. The Paper adds that Kettering chairman Imraan Ladak is resigned to an approach for Poppies' manager Mark Cooper from Lincoln City. and Cooper himself hinted that he wopuld consider a move. Striker Gareth Seddon is also being linked with a transfer to Fleetwood.

    The Nortnants Evening Telegraph likewise found that "For almost the whole of this game, the action was as dull as the grey sky above Rockingham Road. But the introduction of new signing Moses Ashikodi transformed a frustrating afternoon into a successful one as Kettering Town grabbed a 2-0 win over Altrincham... Credit has to be given to boss Mark Cooper who changed formation in a bid to take the game to an Altrincham side who showed very little attacking ambition of their own. It paid dividends and put a rather nice gloss on a less-than-exciting afternoon of football. Up to that point there had not been a shot on target in the second half. And the first half had little to stop yawns emerging from the mouths of a sparse crowd".


    Gateshead Mad reports that on Saturday "A major injury to Gateshead winger Martin Brittain [ex-Kidderminster] resulted in the postponement of the match against Hayes and Yeading after 78 minutes played. Martin Brittain was on the pitch receiving treatment for 30 minutes before it was safe for him to be moved off the pitch and into an ambulance on the running track. The game was originally going to continue, however the Gateshead players, understandably, refused to come out to play the remaining 11 minutes plus "injury" time. It is likely the two sides will share a point, rather than the game be replayed... Gateshead debutant Christoph Ascherl will want to forget his debut having already been sent off in bizarre fashion before Brittain's injury ended the game".

    But the BBC says that "Hayes & Yeading manager Gary Haylock told BBC London 94.9: 'The referee made the decision to carry on the game and to be honest the Gateshead players refused to come out of the dressing room. They were understandably upset by their team-mate's injury but the game was not called off because of the serious injury, it was called off because the Gateshead players refused to come out of the dressing room. I would have a huge problem with doing this again because we're a part-time club. We've got players who are working, some players might not be able to make the game. To me there can be only one decision, that we're awarded the points, we win

    Before Saturday's 1-6 reverse, it was announced by the Holker Street Newsletter that "Barrow AFC today celebrate 100 years at their spiritual home - Holker Street. The club are making this season a celebration of the centenary at the ground and will be announcing events in the near future. This season's playing kit features the club crest with the wording '100 years at Holker Street'. It is hoped to have a couple of celebratory games involving big name opposition and other events are in the pipeline. A celebration will take place tomorrow at the Rushden game and prior to kick-off Barrovian striker, Jason Walker, will be presented with his England C cap for his call-up for the trip to Malta in February this year".

    5 September 2009


    Altrincham FC groundsman Neil Brown has resigned from his other footballing job, as manager of Vodkat league team Abbey Hey. Neil had done well to keep the Gorton club in the Premier Division last season.


    With Altrincham enjoying a period of pressure they looked the more likely winners with five minutes to go but Kettering achieved a flattering two-goal margin through late goals by Ashikodi and Green. With Edwards, Little, Welch and Lawton all injured and Densmore suspended, they also lost Moffatt to injury drawing the game and Johnson also limped off. In a disappointing game, Alty paid for not scoring when they were on top towards the end.

    Right: Robbie Williams and Nicky Clee (in yellow) await the delivery of the ball into the Kettering goalmouth. Clee was making his first start for Alty alongside three other players who had only joined the club this season, including Williams.

    Match report here.

  • League Table
  • Alty Player Stats
  • Alty Line-Ups


    There will be updates from Kettering on Saturday afternoon from the match against Altrincham - click here.

    Saturday, 5th September

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts
  • Barrow 1 Rushden & Diamonds 6
  • Cambridge United 7 Forest Green 0
  • Chester City 2 Histon 0
  • Ebbsfleet United 0 Oxford United 2
  • Gateshead v Hayes & Yeading Utd; abandoned 75 mins 0-0, due to injury to Gateshead's Brittain
  • Grays Athletic 1 Mansfield Town 1
  • Kettering Town 2 Altrincham 0
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0 Eastbourne Borough 2
  • Salisbury City 1 Luton Town 1
  • Tamworth 2 AFC Wimbledon 2
  • York City 2 Crawley Town 0


    Alty's new signing Ross Thaker will know at least one Alty player as he joins the dressing room at Kettering tomorrow. Goalkeeper Russell Saunders kept goal for Bradford City Reserves against an Oldham Reserves featuring Ross in April 2008. Another Alty link is that Ross played alongside ex-Alty trialist Aaron Chalmers for Oldham under-18s in January, 2008. Aaron turned down an offer to sign for the Robins in the summer but still appears to be without a club.


    Former Alty Youth and Reserves' keeper, Dale Newbrook has joined Wigan Robin Park.


    The Football Conference says that "Further to the earlier statement issued in respect of Farsley Celtic Football Club Limited, the Football Conference has been contacted mid afternoon by the Administrator. The Administrator has stated that a new consortium wishing to purchase the football club has satisfied the administrator that funding is now available to allow tomorrow's fixture at home to Stalybridge Celtic to proceed as scheduled. The Board whilst recognising their earlier statement [that the game was off], appreciate that in the interest of the competition and the other member clubs playing in the Blue Square North, that this reversal should proceed, taking into account that it did not wish to see people inconvienced or put to unjustified expense attending this fixture unless it could be guaranteed that it would take place... The Football Conference Board will now urgently seek clarification from the administrator as to the long term future of Farsley Celtic FC Ltd".

    Earlier Farsley Today had said that "Farsley Celtic have folded, club president John Palmer said today. In a statement Mr Palmer said administrators had ordered the Celts to inform league bosses they would not be able to fulfill their fixtures for the season. Club staff yesterday handed the keys for the club's Throstle Nest ground back to the administration team. Players and officials were also told to clear their belongings from the ground. Farsley went into administration at the end of June with debts of more than £200,000".

    This situation arose because, as the administrators stated "The consortium of purchasers with whom a sale of Farsley Celtic and associated land had been confidentially agreed last week have withdrawn their offer... As there are currently no viable interested parties in relation to the purchase of the club as a going concern, and there is no certainty in relation to the payment of the footballers' wages that are due this weekend, the Joint Administrators have had no alternative but to close the club".


    Another BSP club is introducing differential pricing for its home games but, in this case, it favours Altrincham as there will be a £3 cut in charges. Crawley Town Football Club have "unveiled their latest promotional initiative for a number of the remaining Blue Square Premier matches for season 2009/2010. The new initiative comes into effect as early as next Tuesday when Histon are the visitors to The Broadfield Stadium and all supporters will get an immediate admission saving of £3... Seven Conference Premier League matches have been identified for an admission reduction of £3 per match and again seven matches have respectively been chosen for an admission price increase of £2 per match. These price decreases and increases are inclusive in all sectors of The Broadfield Stadium (excluding the ‘Kid for a Quid’).

    Regular Reds supporters, over the course of the season, will not be paying a penny more to watch their team, in fact, they will see a reduction and that was a key priority for the directors as they looked at the various options to maximise the attendance numbers and revenue streams in these severe economic times while at the same time ensuring our regular supporters get the best value for money in the Blue Square Premier. This is an exciting match day pricing initiative that is in place at other established Blue Square Premier club’s so it will not be totally new to supporters in The Conference Premier...

    We are as of today also introducing a separate pricing structure for the 16 to 18 year old age group to compliment the ‘Kids for a Quid’. Entrance to the terracing will now cost them just £5.00...

  • Matches decreasing by £3: versus Histon, Barrow, Salisbury City, Chester City, Altrincham (13th February 2010), Ebbsfleet and Tamworth
  • Matches increasing by £2: Kettering Town, Mansfield Town, Oxford United, AFC Wimbledon, Eastbourne Borough, Luton Town, Stevenage Borough
  • All other home matches in The Blue Square Premier match day admission prices are not affected by any of these changes

    Chairman Vic Marley said; 'The Conference Premier is now a very different competition to the one we got promoted to and our trip to Luton Town last Tuesday evening and our trip to York City tomorrow is clear evidence of that. We have to learn from established Blue Square Premier Clubs such as Kettering Town [promoted back to the BSP last season] and Stevenage Borough who have launched similar promotions and albeit it is early days both those clubs are considering their initiatives as a success. They are two clubs that continue to do very well at Conference Premier Level and are run by business minded and intelligent people who know football very well... This football club is now in a decent shape financially but it has not been easy to achieve that... Our manager, one of the best there is, has gained us needed but great revenue through the sales of players and as good a pre-season programme for revenue as any club at our level could dream of but we as a board had to tell him this week that another player was being sold but he like everyone at Crawley Town Football Club must take our direction and get on with his job, however, we do of course understand his frustrations'”.

    Meanwhile, The Argus reports that "Co-owner Sue Carter insists Crawley will stay full-time even though they are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with their Blue Square Premier rivals. Reds sold their fourth player in a month this week when striker Jamie Cook returned to Oxford United for a fee believed to be about £30,000. Last month youth teamers Danny Mills and Ronnie McCrae moved to Peterborough while last season’s player of the season Jake Wright joined Albion.

    The club’s finances are strong and the debts Carter and the new board, which was constituted in 2008, inherited from previous owners the Majeed brothers have been cleared. But further player sales cannot be ruled out all the time Reds struggle to attract the support of some of their rivals.

    Carter said: 'We don’t want to be in the situation we were in during the not too distant past but part-time football is not something under consideration. Financially we are fine. We don’t owe money to the Inland Revenue or the council'... Reds will always find it tough to compete with the division’s big spenders while they struggle on some of the lowest gates in the league. Only one match so far this season has attracted a four-figure crowd despite the club’s Triple T initiative which offered terrace admission for the three games against Gateshead, Grays and Tuesday’s clash with Histon for £25. Fewer than 100 people took up the offer, many of them supporters who would have gone anyway.

    The difference between the haves and the have nots would have been brought into sharp focus at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday when Reds lost 3-0 in front of a crowd of more than 6,300 – eight times the number who turned up for Crawley’s clash against Grays last Saturday. Carter said: 'I’m not sure how we can possibly compete with six or so clubs in this league with those resources. It’s like putting a Ford Fiesta up against a Ferrari on a racetrack – it’s not a fair race but that is the environment we find ourselves in. I don’t know what it will take to get more people through the gate. People told us it was too expensive so we made it £8.33 for three home games and we had less than 100 takers'".

    Salisbury City are another club not considering part-time players as a way to cut costs despite their financial troubles. The club says that "The club's administrators have issued a further statement following their appointment yesterday, stressing the importance of the next two homes games. Carl Faulds the joint administrator and director of Portland Business and Financial Solutions said: 'As administrators we effectively start the administration with zero cash to meet the costs of running the club, so cashflow is going to be particularly tight and the income from the game against Luton on Saturday and Grays Athletic on Tuesday has to see us through to our next home game against Chester City on September 22. The longer term future of the club is going to be absolutely dependant on new investment and whilst those negotiations are taking place, we need to match our income to our outgoings. To overcome the level of debt within the club we are likely to have to propose a Company Voluntary Arrangement that will be acceptable to the creditors, including the Inland Revenue and any investment will be held up whilst that is put in place. This could take up to eight weeks'.

    The league has not yet confirmed the ten point deduction, but based on previous precedents it does seem inevitable. Nick Holmes believes that the team is capable of overcoming a ten point deduction and still finishing at least mid table. The reaction of the players has been very positive and professional and they are committed to doing their bit for the club’s survival on the pitch. It’s now up to the fans to show the investors that the club is worth saving, by turning up to home games in force and creating a fantastic atmosphere".

    Nick Holmes added “'It’s not a nice situation, but it’s something that had to be done', explained the club’s general manager... A six-figure sum owed to HM Revenue & Customs prompted a winding up petition to be brought against the club. That led to administrators Carl Faulds and Mike Fortune of Portland Business & Financial Solutions being appointed. Mr Faulds has already expressed his belief that... 'We are keeping the club trading and playing football games whilst marketing it for sale as a going concern. We have already received substantial interest and are liaising with potential investors... We are hopeful that a sale will be achieved'...

    Holmes was adamant that a deal will be now completed in the near future and that Whites will exit administration quickly and in a better shape to compete at their current level of football. 'It’s a hurdle we have to overcome. We’ve lost ten points but we believe we can still survive in the Blue Square Premier. We won’t win the league this season, but even with a ten point deduction we think we’re capable of a mid-table finish. We’ve come so far in the past six or seven years and we’ve still got places to go. This is simply the next step. This is a great league we’re in. We get to play some big clubs and our supporters get to see some top teams on their doorstep. Surely the people of Salisbury want that? It’s vital people keep coming to watch us', added Holmes... 'We only had around 750 for our Bank Holiday match with Eastbourne. The difference between that figure and the 1,100 we had for the game before that is monstrous. It makes such a difference to us financially... We have a game on Saturday and we have a future... The players were told before the announcement was made and they took it very well... They’re going to be paid – they were assured of that'". Holmes also told the BBC "We've been in a little bit of trouble for the last 12 or 18 months, but that's getting sorted now, but I am very hopeful we can turn this around to our advantage'".

    More changes are afoot as Grays Athletic where "As part of the restructure of Grays Athletic Football Club certain changes will be being made... We are currently conducting interviews for the position of 1st team manager. We believe that having three members of coaching staff is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We would like to thank Gary [Phillips], Alan [Lewer] & John [Yems] for all their hard work in getting an established squad together and all three have submitted their applications for the managerial post, along with several other names. Interviews will take place over the next couple of weeks. The present staff have agreed to remain with us in a caretaker role until such time that an appointment is made".

    And yet another player movement at Grays Athletic where they "have added midfielder, Paolo Vernazza, to the squad. Paolo started at Arsenal and has played for Ipswich, Portsmouth, Watford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Weymouth, Crawley Town & Woking".

    Cambridge United confirm that "Jon Challinor's one-month loan at Forest Green Rovers ended today and he has returned to the club. The transfer-listed midfielder played in all of Rovers' seven games so far this season".

    4 September 2009


    Altrincham FC have made the non-contract signing of Tejal-Ross Thaker, a left-sided midfielder from Ashton United. Ross, 19, will have squad number 24. He was formerly at Oldham Athletic but was released in summer, 2008. He then joined Leigh Genesis, followed by a move to Witton Albion before he returned to Leigh in November 2008. Ross was born on 25.11.1989.


    John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC reports:

    Heathcote has described the lengths he had to go to just to raise a team against Chester City on Monday and revealed he has reported referee Michael Naylor to the league over a series of baffling and costly decisions in last Saturday's defeat at Kidderminster.

    There was little time for perusing the Sunday papers in the Heathcote household as, beset by more injuries 24 hours earlier, the Alty manager trawled through a list of contacts ranging from Manchester United to Salford City in an urgent quest for reinforcements.

    Reflecting on the way three loan signings were recruited in the nick of time, and how he felt compelled to convey his dissatisfaction with Naylor's first-half performance to the authorities, Heathcote told the club's website: 'I spent pretty much all day Sunday on the phone trying to set up loan deals, so we could have at least some fit players on the bench against Chester, as well as 11 starters. I was still finalising arrangements on Monday, but I have to say I am ever so grateful to Manchester United, Port Vale and Salford City for letting us have Scott Moffatt, Danny Edwards and Andrew Pearson.

    'Andrew may have left Wigan, but he had joined Salford City on a non-contract basis, so for their manager to waive the usual seven-day notice period so he could be available for the Chester game was a fantastic gesture that I thoroughly appreciated. 'I thought the two lads who started on Monday both did a good solid job. I expected nothing less from Scott, given the fact he's still on United's books, and I thought Danny's attitude was oustanding. There seemed no way he could carry on after hobbling off with an ankle knock at half-time, but he wouldn't have it. We had to drag him off in the end, and for a loan player to show that level of commitment spoke volumes for him.

    'It's never easy for a part-time club to play two games in 48 hours. It's a massive ask fitness-wise, but I thought there was an improvement overall. I felt our attitude was good and we adapted to the challenge well. So much was wrong with the game on Saturday. We have to hold our hands up and admit the performance wasn't good enough, but it was every bit as disappointing to be on the wrong end of so many key decisions in the first half. Chris Senior had a perfectly legitimate goal chalked off, Kidderminster had one allowed that was five yards offside and we had Shaun Densmore harshly sent off for a mistimed tackle. It was a foul by Shaun but nothing more.

    It's dynamite trying to play offside these days, because there are so many interpretations of what is and what isn't. I keep telling the players not to play it, but sometimes human nature takes over and you react to a situation as you see it. 'So much went on in that first half that I have made my feelings known to the league. I can't remember the last time I sent a report in about officials, but I felt it was something I had to do'.

    Heathcote described his shock at losing Aussie-bound midfielder Matty Crowell but revealed he hopes to be reunited with him at some stage. 'The news came completely out of the blue and was as much a shock to him as it was to me,' he said. ' He had to make a quick decision, and when you consider the financial problems he was in the thick of at his previous club last season, you can't really blame him for accepting the offer. He could just have given me a quick call, but to his credit, he came in to see me and explained everything face to face. I shook his hand, thanked him for his honesty and wished him all the best. He enjoyed his time here, and I hope we see the day when he comes back and plays for us again'.

    With tough away games against Kettering and Cambridge looming, Alty are still without the suspended Densmore and await fitness checks on Edwards and Colin Little, who was also substituted early in the second half against Chester.


    For Saturday's game against Altrincham at the Elgood's Arena (a.k.a. Rockingham Road), Kettering Town announce that the away terraces will be closed and all away fans will be required to use the main stand seats, which cost £2 more than the terraces. The home terraces remain open. This means that Alty fans pay the same price for their seat as those watching Kettering's Category A matches from the terraces, against the likes of Oxford United and Mansfield.

    "General admission prices for this B category game are:

  • Main Stand: Adult...£16, Junior (under 16)...£6, Senior (60 & over)...£12

    All supporters attending this fixture will be required to purchase a ticket before entering the ground. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the game from the new club shop/ticket office underneath the main stand from 10 am, right up until kick-off...

    Altrincham fans will only be accommodated in the away section of the Main Stand (turnstile A - next to the ticket office). The Rockingham Road Terrace will not be open at all for this fixture. A plan of the ground can be found here.

    Through the Years by Howard Watts reveals that on Saturday it will be the seventh successive away fixture for Alty on the date of 5th September - and we haven't lost for 20 years on that day.

    As Alty prepare to face the Poppies on Saturday, the NOrthants Evening Telegraph reports that manager "Mark Cooper is confident he can bring the best out of new signing Moses Ashikodi. Kettering Town swooped for the unattached striker on transfer deadline day and he was training with his new team-mates for the first time this morning ahead of the home clash with Altrincham on Saturday. The 22-year-old looks set to play some part against the Robins at the Elgood's Arena – although he may have to settle for a place on the bench to begin with.

    Cooper confirmed Ashikodi – who is still the youngest ever player to have represented Millwall – was one of his targets over the summer... 'I watched him play for Shrewsbury's reserves towards the end of last season and I was impressed with him', Cooper said. 'I made him a target over the summer but it didn't happen then. We have now been able to make it happen and I am sure he will be an asset for us... I certainly think he will be involved at some point on Saturday'.

    It is still expected there will be at least one departure from the Poppies' squad following Ashikodi's arrival. But Cooper has also been boosted by the news that Jean-Paul Marna looks to have made a quicker than expected recovery from a groin injury... He is likely to be available for the visit of Altrincham while player/assistant- manager Nicky Eaden will also be pushing for a recall having recovered from a hamstring injury".


    The Friends of Altrincham FC draw for September had the following outcome:
  • 1st place, no 10. Steve Foster £100
  • 2nd place, no 24. Mick Taylor £35
  • 3rd place, no. 8. Paul Daine £15


    Above: Ken McKenna puts the Alty squad through their pre-match routines on Monday. In the foreground, Michael Welch continues his rehabilitation under the guidance of assistant physio Stratos Triantafilou.

    The Chester Chronicle reports that "The heroics of Stuart Coburn ensured City’s wait for their first Blue Square Premier win of the season went on... The Robins goalkeeper gifted Ben Wilkinson a 53rd-minute equaliser after Colin Little broke the deadlock, but Coburn more than atoned for his error with a trio of top-quality saves from Lewis Alessandra, Nick Chadwick and Neil Ashton to deny the Blues the victory they so desperately need and which their second-half performance deserved...

    The keeper turned from hero to villain eight minutes after the restart when he made a complete hash of right-back Roberts’ cross into the box, allowing Wilkinson – who had a loan spell with Altrincham last season – to loop a header into the net... Moments later Coburn denied Alessandra from close range.

    In what was developing into an open derby contest, it was then Danby’s turn to show quick reflexes, parrying the dangerous Denham’s stinging volley into the path of Johnson, who really should have given Chester’s number one no chance with the rebound".

    The Chronicle also reports that "Mick Wadsworth has called on the Blues to end their home hoodoo. You have to color:#886800">go back 14 matches to Boxing Day for the last time City won in front of their own fans... Wadsworth said: 'We desperately need the win and not just for the reason that we haven’t won at home in so long... It’s going to carry on being tough because the points deduction is a monkey on everybody’s back'... Wadsworth is contemplating handing Gregg Blundell his first start of the season after he made lively appearances from the bench in Monday’s derby draw at Altrincham and Saturday’s home loss to Mansfield Town... City supporters will have to wait a little longer to see Fabian Yantorno in action, though. The Uruguayan made his first appearance for the club in last Wednesday’s reserve-team match against Crewe Alexandra, but he suffered a reaction to his long-standing knee injury and yesterday flew back to his homeland to try to bring an end to the problem... Wadsworth is continuing to run the rule over on-trial Argentine winger Andreas, who, having done well against Crewe, caught the eye again yesterday".

    The BBC confirms that "Chester City have cancelled midfield summer signing Fabian Yantorno's contract by mutual consent, after he failed to play because of injury. The 26-year-old Uruguayan was one of new City boss Mick Wadsworth's first signings after taking over in July, having played for him at Gretna. But he has struggled to recover from a knee injury that dogged him in pre-season and has flown home to Uruguay.

    City are instead running the rule over another South American, Andreas Andro, the left-side Argentinian midfielder... And Wadsworth could still be in a position to bring in free agent Andro, who would become the first South American to play for Chester if he signs".


    Salisbury City face a ten-point deduction after going into administration. In a low key announcement the Club says "Salisbury FC has gone into administration. More details will be available Friday. It is still business as usual, hopefully the situation will be resolved shortly. See you at the next match!".

    But there is more detail available from the BBC which says that "Salisbury City have gone into administration and will incur an automatic 10-point deduction in the Blue Square Premier. The club owes around £200,000 to HM Revenue & Customs, who have brought a winding-up petition against the club. The move offers Salisbury protection from their creditors, but means they are now second bottom on zero points.

    The administrators are in talks with a couple of potential buyers and are confident the club will survive. 'There are a couple of interested parties who have been in discussion with the club for a number of months', Mike Fortune, the club's joint administrator, told BBC Wiltshire. I'm very hopeful that the deal that can be put to the creditors will be accepted and the club will continue for the foreseeable future. The club is on a very tight cash flow so the more people that turn up and support will strengthen the chances of survival and the long term future of the club. Had the club not gone into administration they would have ceased trading probably at the end of October possibly earlier'".

    But another team currently facing a winding-up order will be dispensing advice on Radio Lancashire tonight (Friday). The Vodkat League says that "This coming Friday (4th September), there is a special 90 minute non-league show on BBC Radio Lancashire, with the present state of non-league football being the subject for debate. The programme will examine the current state of non-league football in the North West and beyond, explore what each individual league can do and is doing to make the game more appealing, and the invited guests will be given the chance to air their views on how they see the non-league game progressing in the future.

    The Vodkat League will be represented on the show by Chairman Dave Tomlinson and Media Officer Ian Templeman. Other guests include Accrington Stanley Chief Executive Rob Heys, who will outline what aims a club which has ambitions of joining the Football League should have. Fleetwood Town Chief Executive Steve Curwood and a representative from the Unibond League will also join the debate.

    The show will be broadcast live from the BBC Radio Lancashire Radio Theatre, and will run from 6.30 through to 8 pm. BBC Radio Lancashire broadcasts on 95.5, 103.9 and 104.5 FM, and online".

    If you'd like to buy a BSP football stadium, Emsons Estate Agents have one for sale at Ebbsfleet United, who currently pay a rental of £5,400 per annum. The ground and adjacent land is offered at a guide price of £380,000 to £420,000.

    "Hartlepool winger David Foley's loan spell at Barrow has been cut short by an ankle injury and has forced him to return to Hartlepool" says Blue Square Football. "Pools' director of sport Chris Turner told the club's official website: 'He's just turned his ankle and he's going to be out for around three weeks... so not to complete the month is disappointing for him'".

    It does not yet cover the BSP, but "Sportsmark consultancy is pleased to announce the opening of a new website, specifically for the use of away travelling fans". It does include the UniBond and BSN.

    "Despite reports on Tuesday that young Polish keeper Erwin Sak wasn't asking for his release from Cardiff City to sign for Wrexham, the story still hit the wires. Wrexham secretary Geraint Parry said: “We can though safely say that the player has at present NOT signed a deal with Wrexham FC!... He has accepted an invitation to come training with us in the near future, but at the moment, that's as far as the story goes".

    The BBC says that "Celtic Crusaders will play at least one Super League match at Wrexham's Racecourse ground next season. The rugby league outfit, who have been based in Bridgend since their inception in 2006, say more fixtures may follow... The Crusaders will be based at Rodney Parade, Newport, next season".

    Grays Athletic announce that "After consultation with Martin Candler and in recognition of the great work he does in regards to running the supporters' coach, Believe Consulting Limited is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring the GAFC supporters' coach for the 2009/10 season. The purpose of the sponsorship will be to ensure the regular running of the supporters coach, directly reward fans who use the service regularly and also to encourage new fans to take in the away day experience.

    The scheme will be run and administered by Martin and is structured as follows;

  • After the fifth paid trip by any individual then the sixth trip is free (which could be claimed more than once within the season)
  • Ten free trips will be available for any fans taking their first ever trip on the coach (this will be run on a first come first serviced basis and is limited to one free trip per family)
  • End of season prize draw for all fans who have used the coach during the season".

    From the BBC we learn that "Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace says the reason the side have made no transfer signings is due to a simple lack of funds. He told the club website: 'It's very simple. There is absolutely no money available to add anyone new. The demise of Setanta has put paid to any thoughts of going over budget, as we have sometimes done in the past'. Stevenage made five signings at the end of last season, but none since June. 'Our total playing budget, which was increased again for this season, was spent before the players came back for pre-season training', said Wallace.

    'In order to bring a new player in, >Graham (Westley) has to move one out to create room for their wages and that's not always easy. We decided to color:#886800">go with 21 senior players and one youngster this year, signing up everyone early and there's simply no room to change that. Every avenue of income is maxed out and the only way we will be able to raise any new funds this season is if our home gates are better than we've budgeted for or if we get a cup run, or both. If we're in good shape come December then we can consider it again if necessary on 1 January when the window re-opens. Having said that, Graham is very happy with the balance of his squad and feels he's got some very talented and determined lads on the payroll... I'm very happy with a top five position after seven games and believe we can keep improving'".

    From The Argus we learn that "Crawley co-owner Sue Carter insists that striker Jamie Cook did not have to leave for financial reasons. Cook... returned to his former club Oxford United on Tuesday for a fee believed to be £30,000. He is the fourth Crawley player to leave the club in the last month. Youth-team prospects Danny Mills and Ronnie McCrae joined Peterborough while Jake Wright was sold to Albion on the eve of the new season. It has helped Crawley clear off the huge debts they inherited when Carter and the new board took over the club in 2008 following the discredited Majeed era when Crawley spent a period in administration.

    She said: '“Steve [Evans] is disappointed that Jamie went but the board looked at the bigger picture. As a club we would have got hammered whatever we did. But as soon as Jamie got wind of Oxford’s interest I think he’d made his mind up. It’s the club he grew up supporting and he lives 20 minutes from the ground. You have to be fair to the player in these circumstances, it is a dream move for Jamie. But it’s definitely not a fire sale. Only in the last fortnight we turned down an offer for Charles Ademeno because it didn’t meet our valuation. We are not a hostage to any offer which comes in... Steve doesn’t like it when players move. It is not his decision, ultimately it is the board’s'...

    Cook said: 'Oxford is my club. I grew up watching them and I was gutted when I had to leave'... Evans signed three 18-year-olds, Dominic Collins, Adam Barton and Kieran Djilali, on deadline day".


    Welsh Premier says that "24 clubs have thrown their hats into the ring for a place in the Welsh Premier's new slimmed-down 'Super 12' next season. The FAW says that is the number of applications received for the new domestic club licence, which is a pre-requisite for competing in the top flight in season 2010/11. With the deadline now passed there is one notable absentee from the current 18 member clubs - Technogroup Welshpool - who have not applied because their Maesydre ground will not meet the new stadium infrastructure criteria. The new league will consist of the highest 10 licensed clubs at the end of the season, plus one club that finishes in the top two of each of the main feeder leagues - the Cymru Alliance and Welsh League Division One - provided they also achieve the licence criteria... The list of applicants is:
  • Welsh Premier League: Aberystwyth Town, Airbus UK Broughton, Bala Town, Bangor City, Caersws FC, Carmarthen Town, Elements Cefn Druids, GAP Connah’s Quay, Haverfordwest County, Llanelli AFC, Neath FC, Newtown AFC, Porthmadog FC, Port Talbot Town, Prestatyn Town, Rhyl FC, The New Saints.
  • Cymru Alliance: Buckley Town, Caernarfon Town, Llandudno, Llangefni Town.
  • Welsh League Division 1: Afan Lido, Barry Town, Bridgend Town."

    Meanwhile NL Daily reports that "Technogroup Welshpool are the first casualty of the Principality Welsh Premier's new domestic licensing scheme after ten seasons in the top flight. The FA of Wales confirmed that the club has not applied for a licence as their Maesydre ground is incapable of meeting the new stadium infrastructure criteria... Within a whisker of qualifying for Europe two years ago, Welshpool are now certain to be relegated to the Cymru Alliance at the end of this season and the top flight chapter in the club's history is over for the time being, at least. But their fate is set to befall at least five more Welsh Premier clubs in a few months' time".

    3 September 2009


    Alty press officer, John Edwards, writes:

    "Altrincham vice-chairman Grahame Rowley has passed on a resounding vote of thanks to Australia cricket manager Steve Bernard for turning Monday night's question and answer session in the sponsors' lounge into one of the off-field highlights of recent years.

    The Aussies may have come off second-best in this summer's Ashes series, but an enthralled audience at Moss Lane were bowled over by a fund of stories from Bernard's 12 years on the Test match circuit.

    'It was an absolutely superb evening, and everyone at the club is just so grateful to Steve for making it such a memorable event,' said Rowley. 'A few people had wondered how it might color:#886800">go, but Steve proved himself an exceptional raconteur. People were transfixed listening to him, they really were. Everyone in the room was completely won over by him. So many people remarked on what a lovely person he was and great speaker, and it had to be one of the best evenings we've ever had in the sponsors' lounge.

    There were a few tales that had to remain within the four walls, needless to say, but lots of others about sledging and the Aussie obsession with nicknames. He even explained how our chairman Geoff Goodwin came to be known as Popeye. 'Geoff had been driving them round in 2005, and they kept telling him he had to have a nickname. Suddenly, Darren Lehmann pointed to his arms, and said: "Jeez, have you seen those biceps - it's ******* Popeye!" The name stuck, and Geoff felt he'd been accepted as one of the lads from then on'".


    John Murray's son writes "Many sincere thanks for all the very kind postings on the below thread [on the Fans Forum]. Our mum, especially, has been very comforted by all the very kind comments. Altrincham Football Club was massively important to our dad for so many years, and he would have been so proud to read the many comments.

    The funeral will be at 12.30pm on Friday 11th September 2009, at Walton Lea Crematorium in Warrington. All Alty fans who knew dad will be very welcome, both at the service and afterwards for drinks/snacks. We would be sincerely delighted to see any of you that would like to come along".


    NL Daily says that "York City`s forgotten man Simon Russell has turned down moves to two Blue Square North clubs. Russell, 23, has yet to make the substitutes bench for City this term and has only started one of the club’s last twenty-one games... But the former Kidderminster Harriers' winger, who is contracted at Bootham Crescent until next summer, does not want to drop a level to play regular football and intends to fight his way back into Minstermen chief Martin Foyle’s first-team plans. Foyle... said: 'There were one or two clubs interested in Simon, but he does not want to play in Blue Square North. He’s still trying to hang out for a chance here and his attitude has been fantastic. He gets on with things and has never been a problem. I’m not closing the door on him'" he told The Press.

    "Youngster Kieran Djilali has joined Crawley on a one-month loan deal from Crystal Palace... He made his Palace debut in August last year. He has gone on to make nine first-team appearances but will now get a regular chance of football at the Broadfield Stadium".

    Blue Square Football confirms that "Oxford United manager Chris Wilder has won the Blue Square Premier 'Manager of the Month' award for August'" and adds that "Gateshead have completed the signing of giant French striker Armand One on transfer deadline day. The powerfully built 6' 5" front man has joined the Tynesiders after he secured his release from an 18 month contract at troubled Scottish club Livingston. The 26 year old's career began at Nantes in his native France before a £30,000 transfer [of] the then teenager to Cambridge United in 2001. Short spells at Northampton Town and Wrexham followed and Armand has since played for four Scottish clubs: Partick Thistle, Cowdenbeath, Raith Rovers and latterly Livingston... 'I have signed initially until the end of the year but if it goes well I would be delighted to sign a longer deal, and that is the aim. I am a big guy who will bring a physical presence to the attack', he said... One becomes Gateshead's fifth striker".

    "Grays Athletic have signed Dagenham & Redbridge defender Anwar Uddin on short-term loan deal. Uddin began his career at West Ham United... In February 2002, he decided to move to Sheffield Wednesday, then moving to Bristol Rovers the following summer. He was loaned out to Hereford United and Telford United before being released by Bristol Rovers at the end of the season. He then settled in the team at Dagenham & Redbridge, positioning as a defender, where he became the captain of the team. Also returning to Grays on short term loan is Tottenham goalkeeper Lee Butcher".

    According to Your Thurrock "Grays played some sparkling football at times [on Monday] and Gary Phillips, as stated before, will ask for time to let the team bed in but these injuries are a real worry. Lee McEvilly is out for three months with a stress fracture".

    The Football Conference says that "Polish goalkeeper Erwin Sak has signed for Wrexham following his release by Cardiff City. The 19-year-old had been with the Welsh outfit since 2008... He spent a period on loan at Newport County early last season, and was named on the bench for Cardiff's FA Cup clash with Arsenal in February".

    "Moses Ashikodi signed for Kettering Town just before the transfer window shut. The 22-year-old, who was a free agent, completed his move... while it was confirmed giant defender Exodus Geohaghon will be staying, despite rumours suggesting he was being lined up for a move... The frontman became the youngest player ever to play a game for Millwall when his career first started at the age of 15 and he went on to have spells with West Ham United, Rangers, Watford and most recently Shrewsbury Town. He was released... at the end of last season... It is understood there may be a couple of departures in the current squad following the arrival of Ashikodi".


    The UniBond League confirms that "Following the demise of Newcastle Blue Star in the summer which left the UniBond (Northern Premier) League one club short of its full complement of 66 clubs the Football Association’s League’s Committee has agreed the following procedures for promotion and relegation at the end of the current season. At the conclusion of season 2009/2010 three clubs will be relegated from NPL Step 3 to NPL Step 4. Four clubs will be promoted from NPL Step 4 to NPL Step 3 as normal. In addition at the conclusion of season 2009/2010 the clubs occupying the bottom positions in each of the NPL Divisions at Step 4 will be relegated to Step 5 together with the club finishing in 21st position of the two NPL Step 4 Divisions with the worst playing record".
    2 September 2009


    Altrincham FC is looking for a volunteer car park supervisor to oversee the car park at the back of the Popular Side. You won't miss the match as you are only required between 1pm and 2.45pm for afternoon matches and from 6pm to 7.30pm for evening kick-offs. Please contact the club on 928-1045 if you can help.


    For the home games against Tamworth and Gateshead matches (22nd Sept and 29th Sept) Altrincham FC is offering hospitality in the Sponsors' Lounge for £35 per person or £25 for season ticket holders. The price includes a hot buffet, drinks and a programme before the game and tea/coffee at half-time. You also get to hear manager color:#ffff66">Graham Heathcote's preview of the match - so what are you waiting for?!


    Shown right, courtesy of Mark Murray, is a picture of his father, John Murray, who died recently. John was a longstanding supporter but also gave much of his time in recent years to helping the club with its financial affairs.


    Sarah Rowley has kindly provided an update of the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition.


    The referee for the Kettering v Altrincham match on Saturday (5th) is Mr M.J. Amphlett (of Kidderminster) who does not seem to have officated at an Alty game before. For the match on Tuesday 8th September at Cambridge United, the referee is another new face for Altrincham in the shape of Mr Gary J.N. Jerden (from Grays).


    Altrincham supporter and programme contributor Barry Pikesley informs the website that he has provided the magazine When Saturday Comes with photographic material relating to the Birmingham City v Altrincham FA Cup tie back in 1986. An article on that game will be in the publication this Saturday (5th September) - don't miss it!


    The dates for the Cheshire Senior Cup 1st Round matches have been confirmed. All games will be played on Tuesday 10th November 2009, as follows:
  • Altrincham v Witton A.
  • Nantwich T. v Hyde U.
  • Northwich V. v Cheadle T.
  • Runcorn Linnets v Congleton T.
  • Stalybridge C. v Chester City
  • Vauxhall M. v Warrington T.
  • Winsford U. v Cammell L.
  • Woodley S. v Alsager T.


    Altrincham's next game is at Kettering on Saturday, from where the Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Mark Cooper believes some Coca-Cola Championship or League One managers would be well within their rights to take a chance on giant defender Exodus Geohaghon... His stock must have gone up a bit more after another impressive display at the heart of the Kettering defence as they claimed a second successive 0-0 draw at Mansfield Town... And Cooper believes it is summer signing and skipper Ian Roper who has helped bring the best out of Geohaghon.

    'We haven't had one phone call about Ex but if I was a Championship or League One manager I would take a punt on him. I think Ropes has calmed him down and talks to him in the right way... I didn't enjoy the game, it was very bitty... We have to be better and I have let the players know that... I was disappointed with us going forward to be honest. The midfield boys weren't at it... They didn't really keep the ball well enough this time. We need to be better in the final third as well'".

    Against Mansfield, "The Poppies turned in yet another solid display as defences were on top at Field Mill... The only problem that may be facing boss Mark Cooper right now is a lack of goals... Cooper chose to rotate his squad with James McPike handed his first start in attack alongside Gareth Seddon and Danny Thomas while Francis Green and Damian Spencer dropped to the bench. And McPike, in particular, made a real nuisance of himself as he held the ball up well and used it intelligently on his full debut... However, two points from two games over the Bank Holiday weekend when you consider the opposition, can't be seen as a bad result for Cooper's men. Now they must take advantage of those draws by beating Altrincham."

    From the other side, This is Nottingham tells us that "Mansfield Town keeper Alan Marriott collected his fifth clean sheet in seven games [against Kettering]... Marriott said: 'To be fair, they had a few chances and so did we. It was quite direct at times with the ball in the air quite a bit... They play an awkward style with a long throw and that was horrible from a keeper's point of view".


    At Kettering you now need to buy a ticket at the office before entering the ground and the prices vary according to the category of the oposition. Altrincham are judged to be a Band B opponent, for whom prices are
  • Main Stand - £16 adult, £12 senior citizen, £6 junior
  • Terrace - £14 adult, £10 senior citizen, £5 junior

    Kettering Town announce that "From September all games which are not classified all ticket by the police (ie unable to purchase a ticket on the day of the game) will still require entry to the game via a ticket - which can be bought via:

  • (a) The Tinhat Social Club (as per opening hours) from up to three weeks prior to the game.
  • (b) The ticket office (as per opening hours when building is completed), including on the day of the match and until just after kick off".


    On Monday, Alty drew with Chester City. For a full record of previous Altrincham games on that date, see Howard Watts's Through the Years for 31st August.

    Left, we see Alty's two debutants on Monday. Far left is midfielder Danny Edwards (on loan from Port Vale) and near left is right-back Scott Moffatt, loaned to Alty by Manchester United.

    Chester First quotes City boss Mick Wadsworth. “Our reason for not signing anyone before the deadline is simply down to our budget. I have spoken to one or two very experienced players but it is very difficult. But there are still opportunities... I’ve got a couple of players coming in tomorrow who are out of contract – one from abroad and one from down south – and they’ll both be playing in a behind closed doors friendly tomorrow... I’m aware that we can still sign players as long as they are out of contract. I know our squad is still a little bit thin and that we've got a young squad, but I’d still like to bring a little bit more experience into the squad. It’s likely that we’re going to lose Lewis Alessandra before the end of this month because of his one month loan from Oldham coming to an end.

    I’ve got to look at that situation and try and bring in another forward' said Wadsworth, who admitted he had been encouraged by his side’s second half display in yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Altrincham... Wadsworth said: 'I thought we were a bit hit and miss in the first half and we dealt with the stuff they threw at us, but we were the better team in the second half. My players got a bit of a rocket at half time because I thought their performance could have been better, and they responded in a very positive way. I’m aware that we’ve got a lot of young players and their chins are down at the minute, but we’ll get there. Their goal was a strange goal. I think Michael (Lea) should have done better really, but he knows that and he held his hand up at half time...

    I truly believed that in the second half we were the better team. The trouble was that because Altrincham were at home and we hadn’t won a game they were desperate to win and it made life very difficult... Ben Wilkinson has got goals in him. I always feel he is capable of scoring and he’s now scored a couple which makes him our leading goalscorer. He has got the game to get in the area and make an impact, but we had two or three great scoring opportunities at 1-1 when the ball was just flashing across the face of the goal. I was willing somebody to throw themselves at the ball and get their head kicked in because we can always stitch them up afterwards and mend any broken noses'.

    Wadsworth also believed his team were denied a penalty after Altrincham substitute Anthony Danylyk seemed to handle a cross-shot by Lewis Alessandra four minutes from time. Wadsworth said: 'It looked a stonewall penalty to me... Lewis was adamant it was a penalty because their lad put his arm out as Lewis was going towards goal... We got lucky when their lad [Chris Denham] caught a great volley and John (Danby) pushed it out to their lad (Dale Johnson). I couldn’t believe he missed his chance'".

    Meanwhile the Liverpool Daily Post says that "Chester City were left wondering 'what could have been' after they failed to record their first victory of the Blue Square Premier League campaign against Altrincham... Alty had slightly the better of the first half before City came back well in the second period...

    Former Chester defender Matt Doughty floated a cross to the far post. Michael Lea should have cleared the danger but he allowed the physical Little into score... They restored parity after 53 minutes. A Roberts cross wasn’t dealt with properly by Coburn, Nick Chadwick knocked the loose ball on to Wilkinson and he headed home from six yards. The goal must have delighted Wilkinson’s father, Howard, the former England manager who was an interested spectator in the main stand".


    Tuesday 1 Sept.
  • Luton Town 3 Crawley Town 0
  • League table

    Mick Woodward of Grays Athletic announces that "This is to inform you that after 10 years of running the Club the time has come for me to stand down as Chief Executive and pass the reigns over to the new committee who have the acumen and drive to push the club forward and carry on with my aim to achieve League status. I have, in my time as Chairman, enjoyed the experience immensely and I am extremely proud of what has been achieved during my term here, both on the playing side and the vast improvements made to the ground.

    I am retaining my shareholding and will continue to support the team and look forward to seeing you all on match days, the day running of the Club will be taken over by the new regime as from 1st September 2009. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Directors, Staff, Players and Fans for the support you have given me over the years and wish Grays Athletic Football Club all the best in their current league campaign and every success for the future".

    Stevenage Borough report "details of some exciting new supporter promotions for the forthcoming league matches. In a bid to help soften the current economic burden and provide members of the local community with the opportunity to watch live local football the club will be offering the following promotions...

    v Eastbourne... As the club looks to broaden and develop its supporter base it has teamed up with... the Welwyn & Hatfield Times to offer its readers FREE terrace entry to under 16s. Free entry will be gained upon production of a special voucher which can be found in Wednesday 2nd September’s issue of the paper...

    v Grays Athletic... For this fixture the club will be thanking its loyal season ticket holders for their season long support and commitment by offering them the opportunity to bring a friend for FREE. This will provide season ticket holders with the chance to introduce somebody new to Boro or even bring back a lost supporter. This offer will be applicable to the stand and age category as indicated on each individual season ticket.

    v Altrincham – Saturday 26th September... In bid to introduce children within the local community to their local team the club will be offering FREE entry for under 11s to the terrace for this fixture. If you are involved in a local school, football club or youth club why not bring your pupils, players or members along for a great FREE day out!

    v Hayes & Yeading... Boro will be offering adult admission to the terrace for just £10.

    Besides helping out the local community at these hard times the key reason behind the club's new promotions is to help increase it supporters' base. Club Chairman Phil Wallace stated 'We promised we’d continue our promotions into this season. It’s not easy but we want to keep pressing on trying to help where we can'".

    But there is some small print for the Alty game; "Free admission will be to either the North or East Terrace. Supporters under 11 wishing to gain free entry may be required to show valid photo identification as proof of age. Due to segregation enforcement this promotion is unable to be offered to visiting supporters".

    The BBC reports that "Oxford United have re-signed forward Jamie Cook on a two-year deal from rivals Crawley after fans funded a deadline day move. U's supporters established the 12th Man fund in the close-season and it has been used to fund the undisclosed fee. Cook, now 30, started his career with Oxford, but left in 2001 for Boston before spells at Stevenage and Witney. He told BBC Oxford: 'I can't put in to words how happy I am to be back'...

    Oxford boss Chris Wilder added: 'The plan was to use the fund at Christmas, but we have managed to secure Jamie's signature for a small fee.... Meanwhile, Chris Wilder has been named Blue Square Premier manager of the month".

    "Bullish Hatters' manager Mick Harford was full of praise for his side's wholehearted defensive display as they drew 0-0 at Kettering Town [on Saturday]" reports Luton Today... He said: 'As a team we defended everything they threw at us. They are going to come at you with the long balls for the big man and go for long throws in and corners. We came here to a very difficult place and should have won... We've never had a settled team this season and I said to the players after the game, "That result will do me all day long"'.

    The Football Conference tells us that "Hayes & Yeading United have snapped up French-born defender Abdou el-Kholti. El-Kholti, who can also play in midfield, started his career at Servette in Switzerland and Wydad Casablanca in Morocco. Yeovil Town brought him to England, where he played in their Conference-winning season, but then a move to Cambridge United saw Abdou relegated from League Two with the U's. A season at Chester City and Weymouth followed, with a move to Grays Athletic, where he played six times, before switching to Rushden & Diamonds where he made eighteen appearances in all... before joining Woking in August 2008. Hayes & Yeading have also taken 20-year-old midfielder Kraig Rochester from Dagenham & Redbridge".

    Meanwhile, "Crawley Town have signed defender Dominic Collins and midfielder Adam Barton from Preston North End on month-long loans. The 18-year-olds... are likely to be included in a depleted squad, missing six players, for the trip to Luton Town on Tuesday. Manager Steve Evans told the club website: 'I am grateful to Preston boss Alan Irvine. I have known him many years... Dominic Collins is a 6'2" talented central defender. He is very good in the air, has good pace and is highly rated at Deepdale... Adam is a 6'3" ball-playing midfielder who has been allocated a first-team squad number at Deepdale".

    Also adding to his squad is "David Holdsworth, manager of Mansfield Town, [who] has moved to sign 28-year-old striker Blair Sturrock until the end of the season. Sturrock, son of Plymouth manager Paul, has played for eight clubs, and joins the Stags after leaving Torquay United on loan... Holdsworth told 'He is a natural goalscorer who has played at a very high level.'... Nineteen-year-old left-back Joe Lamplough (pictured) has also signed on non-contract forms with the Stags. The defender was a regular in Hull City's reserve team last season".

    From Cambridge News comes news that "Steve Fallon, manager of Histon, pulled no punches after watching his side lose 2-0 to ten-man Stevenage Borough on Monday, and believes his current squad is incapable of challenging for promotion... Fallon said: 'Our aim was always to get as high as we could and get out of this league, but that's looking a tall order now... Monday`s performance has to be the low point and we've got to turn our season around. We've not got enough in this squad to do well in this league at the moment... I'm not suggesting for one minute that the players aren't trying, but we didn't play well and we looked casual when the chances went our way. We need to show more character... Apart from Adam Tann, the people we've brought in don't have much experience. We've taken a gamble on them and, at the moment, it's not worked. We need to find some experienced players who don't cost much, work hard and are prepared to go part-time - that's not an easy task. But we'll go with what we've got if we have to as the football club is the most important thing and we're not going to get ourselves in financial trouble'".

    NL Daily says that "Darren Ryan, manager of Principality Welsh Premier club Newtown, has clinched the loan signing of Obi Anoruo from Wrexham".

    1 September 2009


    TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) is running away transport to Kettering (Saturday, 5th September) and Cambridge (Tuesday, 8th September). Details of the times and fares are on the Away Travel page. Please ring the club on 928-1045 to book your place.


    Right: Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures the moment when Colin Little put Altrincham ahead against Chester City on Monday.



    News of two old boys, one a manager, the other a summer trialist at Moss Lane, comes from the Football Conference which says that "Farsley Celtic enjoyed a good 4-1 win over Gainsborough Trinity in the Blue Square North on Saturday, and manager Neil Parsley handed a debut to his newest recruit, former Manchester United and Bradford City forward Ben Muirhead".

    Ben Deegan scored one of FC United Of Manchester's goals in a 2-1 win at Ossett Town


    According to Alan Alger of Blue Square, speaking on Monday's Non-League radio show, a new television deal for the Blue Square Premier is "odds on rather than odds against".

    Ebbsfleet United say that "Manager Liam Daish has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal at Stonebridge Road following a 95.38% majority (1,856 votes) of voting MyFC members approving his new contract offer. It means the Fleet boss, in his fifth season at the helm, is now tied to the club for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. The contract, recommended to members by chairman Duncan Holt, also includes a compensation structure payable to Ebbsfleet United should Liam wish to leave the club - that is directly related to the length of time remaining on the contract. Written into the contract is a clause which agrees that the club will look more favourably on Liam departing to a Football League club".

    NL Daily confirm that "Rushden & Diamonds have signed central midfielder Paul Terry from rivals Grays Athletic. The 30-year-old midfielder, brother of Chelsea player John, started his career at Charlton and at Millwall as a youngster, later moving to Dagenham & Redbridge and then Yeovil Town, playing over 100 games for each club. In 2007, Terry signed for Leyton Orient, moving to Grays earlier this season".

    In fact, Grays Athletic "have released the following non-contract players: Tommy Black, Jerson dos Santos, Serge Makofo, Dean Morgan, and Paul Terry".