Altrincham Preview

The origins of Altrinchams AFC can be traced back to the 19th Century, when they were formed from a local Sunday school

 

Rushden and Diamonds vs. Altrincham FC

 

Saturday 9th September. K/O 3pm Nene Park

 

This Saturday Altrincham FC visit Nene Park for both clubs seventh game of the season. It will be the fifth time the two clubs have faced each other, with 16 goals being scored in the previous games. With both clubs performances mirroring each other this term, this match will be an early midtable six-pointer- if there is such a thing!

 

Altrincham FC- The Club

 

The origins of Altrincham FC can be traced back to the 19th Century, when a local Sunday school formed the original club. They were then known as the Rigby Memorial Club. Two years on, and they merged, Rushden and Diamond style, with another local team, known as the “Grapplers”. The two clubs were then renamed as Broadheath FC. In the preceding ten years or so, the club struggled to find a permanent home. They played their matches in a variety of locations-on pitches in Broadheath, West Timperley and Altrincham. However, in the year of 1903, the club found a new ground, at Pollits Field. At the same time, the name of Altrincham FC was first adopted.

 

During the following ten years the club enjoyed relative success.  This prompted the Urban District Council to allow the club to move into their current ground - Moss Lane. It was officially opened in May 1910. This was to be their home up to this day.

 

The club is better known for their FA Cup exploits, in particular, of their scalping of larger, league opponents.  Their first defeat of a league club came in 1921. They defeated Tranmere Rovers 4-2 after a 4-4 draw led to the replay. However Altrincham real cup exploits began in 1934 when they reached the First Round Proper for the first time, admittedly losing to Gainsborough Trinity. A major milestone had been set and the club was to enjoy FA Cup fame in the future.

            The 50’s and early 60’s were not as enjoyable for the Altrincham faithful. The club went close to going out of business on occasion, before the club was revived with the arrivals of Peter Swales, Noel White and manager Freddie Pye. They enjoyed late 60’s success, before the clubs fortunes really took off and for the next fifteen years or so they were one of the leading non-league sides. In the FA Cup a famous 1-1 draw with Everton away, was followed by a creditable defeat at the hands of Manchester Utd, at Old Trafford. After a series of trophies, cups, non-league titles, the club really began scalping bigger, and better opponents in the FA Cup, beating amongst others, Crewe, Blackpool (twice), Rotherham, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe, York City and First (now Premier) Division Birmingham City. They also performed highly against the might of Liverpool and Spurs.

 

            Unfortunately this period of stability ended in the late 90’s. The club suffered their first relegation since their foundation, and spent a couple of seasons in the Unibond League before regaining its honour and returning to the Conference North. They were relegated again after just one year. But enjoying a two-promotion campaign within 3 seasons, they were in the Conference National for the 05-06 season.

 

            They began last season as one of the few clubs still playing as a part time club. Arguably they also had the lowest budget- it all looked set for a quick return to the Conference North. However, in true underdog style the club-avoided relegation, finishing the season in 18th place. However, as the club began popping open the champagne to celebrate their survival, the Conference Board had contradicting ideas. For 18 games during the season, Altrincham had played an ineligible player. He had not been internationally registered, but had been played. The club was fined 18 points. This put them in the relegation zone. The club was saved due to Scarborough being relegated in their place, due to financial irregularities. While they did survive, their preseason training and preparation was interrupted by this crisis -it also failed to attract players to Moss Lane.

 

The fans started this season in the same way as we did- not knowing what to expect, optimistic yet cautious, but overall just happy to have a club to support.

 

For more information about the above controversy, click here!

 

   US VERSUS THEM

 

 Rushden and Diamonds have played Altrincham FC four times.  They have generally been exciting affairs-16 goals have been scored, and 7670 fans have watched the matches. Overall the Diamonds have the upper hand winning 3 of the 4 matches, with Altrincham winning the remaining match. Although the most recent match was just 6 years ago, no Diamond player on display that day has remained- the most recent being Gary Mills, now at Crawley.

 

            Another interesting fact is the attendances of the 2 previous meetings at Nene Park. Both recorded attendances of little over the 2500 mark, which is not a lot over our recent attendance versus York- 2416. With attendances mirroring this seasons the Diamonds finished in 2nd place, behind last weeks opposition, Kidderminster Harriers. The following year, with attendances much the same the Diamonds won the league, winning promotion to the Football League. This puts into perspective the claim that a reduced fan base will result in a loss of football quality. We have the same number of fans as our last Conference winning season. Now all we need is the fans to realize this and get behind the team.

 

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

 

           

1996/97:

17/08/1996 

Altrincham 

4 v 3

 Rushden and diamonds

 1,304

[ details ]

03/05/1997 

Rushden and diamonds 

3 v 2

 Altrincham

 2,521

[ details ]

 
1999/00:

 

02/10/1999 

Altrincham 

1 v 2

 Rushden and diamonds

 1,114

[ details ]

15/04/2000 

Rushden and diamonds 

1 v 0

 Altrincham

 2,731

[ details ]

 

 

 

 

 

THE SEASON SO FAR

 

Much like the Diamonds, Alty have also had a bittersweet start to the season. After beginning their campaign with a victory they suffered consecutive defeats. Another victory was followed by another defeat, at the hands of St. Albans, on Bank Holiday Monday. Last Sunday, they entertained Dagenham and Redbridge, who at the time were a lofty seventh in the table. The Robins suffered a shocking and unexpected 5-0 defeat. Their victory lifted Dagenham and Redbridge to third in the table, while Altrincham remained in sixteenth place, three places, and one point lower than the Diamonds. Just 951 fans watched their teams worst defeat of the season  

 

            Stephen Aspinal has scored twice for the Robins this season, although Colin Little is more of the danger man, being top scorer for the club for the past two years. (See below). However, at Altrincham FC there is even a chance for the keeper to get on the clubs goals list, as their keeper, Coburn did last season!

 

 Despite a decent midtable start for the Robins, their performances have failed to bring in the crowds. With an average attendance at Moss Lane of just 963 diehard fans, the second lowest in the league, the Nene Park faithful should not expect packed house come Saturday.

 

 

MEN TO WATCH

 

One man that has stood out amongst the others for the Diamonds this year is Dan Chillingworth. After six disappointing games last year for us, he was put on loan to Notts County. There, he also failed to perform, scoring only two goals in 13 games. When he returned to Nene Park this year many fans expected more of the same from the former Notts County, Leyton Orient Darlington, and Cambridge striker. Surprisingly, building on a good preseason, after 5 games Chilli is now the Diamonds top goal scorer, with 2 goals for the club. He has looked good on the ball, and is fast becoming a fans favourite. With Altrincham keeping only one clean sheet this term and a recent 5-0 defeat, this is another perfect opportunity for Dan to enhance his current popularity.  (Dan will no doubt use this as a cue to get sent off come Saturday!)

 

Alty’s key man seems to be ex Halifax Town striker Colin Little. In little over 100 matches he has scored an impressive 55 goals- a goal every other game. Colin's class in games is evident and not just in his goals. After previously starting on the right he now invariably starts up front. He has been Alty’s top goal scorer in his two years at the club- 38 goals in his first season, ’04-’05, and 17 goals last year. After only scoring 1 goal this season, Colin will be looking to boost his tally at Nene Park this Saturday.  He has played at Hyde Athletic, Crewe Alexandra, and Macclesfield Town, as well as Halifax and Alty.

 

 

Altrincham Links

 

Altrincham FC Homepage

Fans Message board

BBC's Club News

 

Match preview by Joseph Millar, all the way from Ireland.     

 

Thanks to RA for allowing me to write this preview!

 

 

 

What It’s All About

Despite there being trouble with the board, controversy over the Airwair, loss of attendance, and loss of fans confidence in their club, on the pitch and off…  Saturday we will be playing football. Get down to Nene Park and cheer your team on. Because that’s what it’s all about, really.

 

 






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