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REVIEW OF 2009-10

Altrincham FC Review of Season 2009-10



Right: Altrincham FC continued to build on its community links in 2009-10. Here, Robbie Lawton entertains some of the young matchday mascots to be seen at Moss Lane.

For the second year running Altrincham FC recorded their best finish since rejoining the Conference in 2005, finishing 14th, an improvement of one place on 2008-09. The season was complicated by the expunging of Chester City’s record two thirds of the way through the season, which deprived Alty of four points and meant that they played one or in some cases two more games than some of their league rivals. The season was also plagued by misfortune. Just five games into the season, Matty Crowell opted to emigrate to Australia and then three serious injuries ended other players’ seasons; Dale Johnson suffered a cruciate ligament injury after just ten league games, Matt Doughty suffered the same fate after 25 league games and Tom Kearney had his leg broken by Frank Sinclair’s tackle at Wrexham in game 32.

The fixture list also conspired to pit Alty against all of the top six in the final month or so of the season. A six week lay-off in the league due to bad weather further increased the pressure on the part-time sides in the BSP. So, with their weakened squad, the effects of being part-time in a largely full time league and the strength of the opposition, Alty’s final 17 games yielded just two wins, though eight of these matches were drawn. Even so, the club was never in any danger of being relegated, a measure of the team’s progress over the past five seasons. This season got off to a good start with a draw and three wins which put Altrincham second in the table on goal difference. But a run of just one win in the next eight fixtures put Alty down to the middle of the table, an area they occupied for most of the campaign.

However it was a disappointing season in cup competitions. A tough away draw at Mansfield Town saw Alty bow out at the first hurdle of the FA Cup in a clash which was exacerbated afterwards by Mansfield sending You Tube footage to the FA to get James Smith retrospectively “sent off” without any opportunity to make an appeal. In the FA Trophy, after an excellent win over Wrexham, Alty went out in the 2nd Round at AFC Wimbledon, who benefited from two refereeing decisions when players should have been sent off as the last men. The CSC was a major disappointment, as Alty lost at home to UniBond League club, Witton Albion. So just five cup games were played and three goals scored. More importantly, no significant revenue accrued from the cup competitions.

Off the field TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) continued to raise significant funds for the club as the Board kept the club on an even keel despite the need to increase the budget slightly to accommodate three serious injuries to key players.

The youth team had an excellent season, winning the NW Youth Alliance Premier Division for the fifth time in eleven seasons and being runners up in the NWYA Open Cup and the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup playing as the Altrincham & District FA. Both Cup reverses went to extra time.

  • As mentioned above 2009-10 was marked by a disappointing run-in which yielded just two wins in 17 games. The final six games yielded just one point out of eighteen. Neverthless, the two halves of the season yielded the ame number of points (if the Chester games are counted). Both the first and second halves of 2009-10 produced 7 wins, 8 draws and 8 defeats (29pts). In 2008-09, the two halves of the campaign were more even; 29 points were won in the first 23 games and 27 gained in the final 23 matches.

    There were marked improvements both in goalscoring and defensive achievements. 57 goals were scored in the league and 53 conceded. In 2008-09 only 49 goals were netted whilst 56 were conceded. So, Alty finished with a positive goal difference for the first time since returning to the Conference in 2005. Also, Alty won two more points (including the Chester results), continuing the improvement by five points in the previous campaign.

    Games 1-23
    Games 24-46

    Below is Alty's league record since 1998-99. The 2009-10 season shows both the full record, including the expunged games against Chester City, and the official league record. For Alty's historical league record (excluding play-offs), click here

    1998-99 UNIP 42 23 11 8 67 33 80 1
    1999-00 CONF 42 9 19 14 51 60 46 21
    2000-01 UNIP 44 20 10 14 80 58 70 7
    2001-02 UNIP 44 19 9 16 66 58 66 9
    2002-03 UNIP 44 17 9 18 58 63 60 14
    2003-04 UNIP 44 16 15 13 66 51 63 12
    2004-05 NN 42 19 12 11 66 46 69 5
    inc playoffs NN 45 22 12 11 72 50 [78] 5
    2005-06 CNAT 42 10 11 21 40 71 41 18*
    2006-07 CNAT 46 13 12 21 53 67 51 21
    2007-08 CNAT 46 9 14 23 56 82 41 21
    2008-09 CNAT 46 15 11 20 49 66 56 15
    2009-10** CNAT 46 14 16 16 57 53 58  
    2009-10 CNAT 44 13 15 16 53 52 54 14

    * 2005-06 Alty's deduction of 18 points reduced their official total to 23 points and sent them to 22nd and bottom place.

    ** 2009-10 The demise of Chester City meant that the Conference expunged Alty’s win and draw against them that season

  • As in the previous season, five loanees were used in 2009-10, (these were Brown, Burns, Edwards, Moffat and Sheridan).

    34 players were named in first-team league squads in 2009-10, compared with 2008-09, when 31 different players were named, Only two of these 34 players were named in BSP squads but did not get onto the pitch; they were the youth team players, John Bennett and James Smart. In 08-09, 28 of the 31 named players actually got on to the pitch in a league game.

  • In 2009-10 Hayes and Yeading United was the only club over whom Altrincham did the double. The previous season Alty did the league double over two clubs - Woking and Northwich. Whereas in 08-09 three teams did the double over Altrincham (Histon, Torquay and Stevenage) only one (Oxford Utd) did so in 09-10.

    The Robins did better in 09-10 against teams finishing below them in the league than they had done in 08-09 and worse against teams finishing above them. Altrincham only beat two teams which finished in the top half of the table (Rushden and Salisbury) in 09-10, compared with four such wins last season.

    If Chester’s results are counted, 37 of Alty’s 58 points came against teams below them in the final table. Discounting Chester games, Alty earned 33 points from 54 in total. In 08-09, 33 of Alty's 56 points came against the nine teams below them. Alty lost just three games against teams which finished below them in the table. These were at home to Barrow and away at Gateshead and Forest Green, In 08-09 they lost seven such games.

  • CUPS
  • After winning the Cheshire Senor Cup winning and reaching the FA Cup First Round in 2008-9, 2009-10 was a poor year in knock-out competitions. Alty bowed out at the first hurdle in both competitions – the home defeat to Witton in the CSC being the low point. In the FA Trophy, for the first time in five years, Alty got through the first round, beating Wrexham after a replay, before losing away at AFC Wimbledon

    On top of their 46 league games (including two against Chester), Alty played five cup matches, making 51 competitive matches – five fewer than last season.

    Right: Snowbound Moss Lane on 5th January 2010.

  • Only one player made 50 starts this season and he was a newcomer to football at this level, Robbie Williams:

  • 50 appearances: Robbie Williams – league 44+1, cup 4+1
  • 48 appearances: Shaun Densmore – league 43, cup 4+1
  • 47 appearances: Anthony Danylyk – league 39+3 cup 5
  • 47 appearances: Greg Young – league 39+3, cup 4+1
  • 46 appearances: Stuart Coburn – league 42, cup 4
  • 46 appearances: Chris Senior – league 41+1, cup 4

    In 2008-09 the leaders were:

  • 54 appearances: Greg Young 51+3 (being 44+1 league and 7+2 cup games)
  • 53 appearances: Colin Little 49+4 (41+2 league and 8+2 cup)
  • 53 appearances: Dale Johnson 37+16 (31+13 league and 6+3 cup)
  • 52 appearances: Matt Doughty 50+2 (42+1 league and 8+1 cup)
  • 51 appearances: Anthony Danylyk 47+4 (39+3 league and 8+1 cup)
  • 50 appearances: Mark McGregor 49+1 (41+1 league and 8 cup)
  • 50 appearances: Warren Peyton 28+22 (19+21 league and 9+1 cup)


  • Youth players John Bennett and James Smart were each named in league match squads but did not make an appearance in 09-10. Bennett did make a cup appearance from the bench in the FA Cup. Five players made league appearances from the bench but never started a BSP game, namely Clive Moyo (4 times), Andrew Owens (2), Andrew Pearson (5), Ross Thaker (2) and Rod Thornley (1).

    Last season (08-09) Joel Brownhill, from the Youth team, was the only player to be named in a first-team who did not get onto the pitch. In 08-09 loan player Luke Waterfall was the only player to make a BSP substitute appearance but not to start a BSP game.


  • In 2009-10, Alty netted 60 goals, 57 in the league (53 excluding the Chester games) and 3 in cups. At home in the league they scored 30 times in 23 games (including the Chester match) and away 27 times. They failed to score 16 times in the league - in 8 home league matches and 8 away. They failed to score, home and away against Oxford, Cambridge, Luton and Crawley.
  • In 2008-09, Alty netted 67 goals, 49 in the league and 18 in cups. At home in the league they scored 30 times and away 19 times. They failed to score in 15 league matches. Altrincham scored in 7 league games which they ended up losing.

    15 different outfield players scored league goals in 2009-10; 13 did so in 2008-09. Of the outfield players, the one to play most games without scoring in the BSP was James Smith (35+1) and, for the second running, James was the player who played most games of any type without scoring. This season he appeared 40 times and last season went 28 games without scoring.

    In 2008-09 the outfield player to play most games without scoring in the BSP was Anthony Danylyk (39+3).

    After five successive seasons when Colin Little was leading scorer, this season saw Chris Senior assume that mantle with 17 goals in 45+1 appearances, 16 of the goals coming in the league. Last season Colin Little topped the Altrincham goalscoring charts, with 18 goals, netting 16 of these in 41(+2) league games.

  • In 2009-10, 25 of Alty’s 57 league goals came in the final half hour of matches; 12 of them coming in the final ten minutes (plus added time). 6 goals were scored in added time after the ninety. 28 goals came in the first half and 29 in the second. The quickest goal was Anthony Danylyk’s second minute strike against Gateshead.

    In 2008-09, Altrincham scored 26 first-half goals and 23 after the interval. Their quickest goal was Chris Senior's against Mansfield after just 11 seconds. Michael Welch's 70-yarder against Crawley was Setanta Goal of the Month. Alty scored four goals in added time at the end of the ninety. There were six Alty goals in the first eight minutes of matches.

    League game goal times are shown below. Because of added time the periods 41-50 and 81-90 actually contain more time than the other time slots.

    Right: Alty celebrate a Chris Denham goal at Grays.

    Time 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05
    1 to 10 mins: 2 6 3 10 5 2
    11 to 20 mins: 5 2 4 3 3 7
    21 to 30 mins: 9 9 3 9 4 7
    31 to 40 mins: 9 4 6 3 4 2
    41 to 50 mins: 5 6 8 7 5 13
    51 to 60 mins: 2 5 7 4 1 8
    61 to 70 mins: 8 6 10 5 6 11
    71 to 80 mins: 5 1 8 3 8 7
    81 to 90 mins: 12 10 7 9 4 13


    Alty scored more league penalties than in any season since returning to the Conference. Six penalties were netted in league games in 2009-10; five of them coming in the second half of the season. But three were missed in the league, one by Matt Doughty and two by Colin Little. Altrincham scored four league penalties in 2008/09, the same as in 2007/08, compared with five in 2006-07 when they also missed 3 times from the spot. Altrincham scored 4 league penalties in 2005-06. Three players netted league goals from the spot - Little (2), O'Neill and Doughty.


    This season four was the most number of goals conceded in a game – but this happened four times, twice in the last four away games, when three or more goals were conceded on each occasion in very quick order in the second half of matches at FGR and Salisbury.

    2008-09 saw Alty concede five goals just once- at home to Forest Green Rovers; they also conceded four goals on four occasions; at Kidderminster and Crawley and at home to Barrow and Rushden.

    As for clean sheets, 13 clean sheets were recorded in the BSP, compared with 12 in 2008-09, which was double the number kept in 2007-08.

    Left: Alty's travelling support at York, in April 2010.

  • The NL Paper recorded Altrincham as the cleanest team in the league, conceding 446 fouls; the highest were Rushden with 655. However, Alty were only fourth from bottom in the card count. In 2009-10. 61 yellow cards and 5 reds were picked up in the league whilst 7 yellows and 2 red were received in the cup competitions. Four of the seven red cards came in two matches with Mansfield Town (one league and one cup). The seven dismissed in 2009-10 were all different players; Densmore, Doran, Doughty, Lawton and Senior in the league and Kearney and Smith (after the game) in the cup match.

    69 yellow cards and five reds were picked up in league games in 2008-09. Nine more yellows were received in cup matches. This reversed a downward trend as the yellow-card count was also reduced in 2007-08, with 61 league yellow cards being collected but the red card total then was six. A seventh red card came that season in the FA Cup but all the red cards went to different players. Altrincham's discipline had also improved in 2006-07 with 72 yellows and 3 reds picked up in 46 matches compared with 83 league yellow cards and 4 reds in 42 Conference matches in 2005-06.

    The player with most cautions in 2009-10 was Chris Denham (9 yellows, all in the league), followed by James Smith 7 plus 1 red, Robbie Lawton and Chris Senior amassed 6 yellows and a red each, whilst Anthony Danylyk and Greg Young saw yellow five times.

    In 2008-09 the player with most league bookings was Robbie Lawton with 10. Curiously in eight cup games he picked up no bookings. In all competitions, Shaun Densmore amassed 11 yellow cards and a red, whilst Anthony Danylyk had 8 yellows and 2 reds.

  • RUNS
  • In 09-10, Altrincham twice went six games without a win (games 30 to 35 and 41-45, if you include the Chester games). They twice went seven games without defeat (games 8-14 and 32 to 38). The best run of wins was three (games 2 to 4) and the longest run of defeats was three which happened twice (games 16 to 18 and 41 to 43).

    Alty's longest run in 08-09 without a win was eight games (from game 2 to 9). Their longest run without defeat was six (games 10-15). The longest sequence of wins was 3 (games 13-15) and of defeats was four (games 32-35).

    Since returning to the Conference National, Alty’s run-ins have generally been disappointing. Whereas in 2008-09 the finish to the season was the best in recent years, with just one defeat in the final six matches, Alty lost five of the final six games in 2009-10. Likewise, Alty won only one of their last six games in 2007-08, a similar finish to the previous season when they won only one of the final seven games of the 2006-07 season. In 2005-06 they won only one of their last 13 league games, picking up just 5 points out of a possible 39 in these games.


    The 1,821 who visited Moss Lane for Wrexham’s visit provided Alty’s biggest home league gate of the 2009-10 campaign; the same opponents contributed to the largest gate in the previous season, too, but that was higher at 2,619. Likewise the lowest home gate was also against the same opponents who registered that dubious honour last season. In 2009-10, Eastbourne attracted a gate of 590 against 605 in 2008-09; but both matches were long midweek treks for the Sussex side. The average home gate in 2009-10 for league games was 1,095, an improvement on 2008-09 when the figure was 1,081 spectators.

    In cup matches, 2,410 watched Mansfield knock Alty out of the FA Cup. In the 2008-09 cup matches, 2,397 saw Luton play Alty in a midweek FA Cup replay at Moss Lane and 3,200 attended the original tie at Kenilworth Road.

    The lowest cup gate in 09-10 comprised the 250 who saw Alty beat Witton in the Cheshire Senior Cup. This lowest gate was almost double the gate last season, on 16.9.08 in the Cheshire Senior Cup, when just 128 souls came to Altrincham for the match against Vauxhall Motors.

    Copyright: ©
    Compiled by John Laidlar