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Archived News from April 2009

20th April 2009 11:03

The Stags finish their first BSP season with two home games. The first one will be in front of the previewer, and this is a game which has been postponed twice already - but this is due to different reasons.

On the first date, November 18, 2008, the game was called off due to Altrincham having an FA Cup replay against newly from the FL relegated former highest level side Luton Town, a replay which Alty lost on penalties.

On the second date, January 10, 2009, which could have been David Holdsworth's first game as Stags boss, the weather did not permit the going-ahead of the home game against one of the real non-league upper house stalwart Altrincham.

And the Stags seek revenge for the defeat at Moss Lane on September 23, 2008, to a goal conceded after only eleven seconds, believed to be the fastest goal in any Stags game (scored or conceded) since Stagsnet reports began at the start of this century.

In the preview of the game in September, the following was written by the previewer:

"Recently, talk on Stagsnet has been about players' registrations, things that three seasons ago cost our Tuesday night opponents 18 points, finishing last in the Conference but were reprieved due to problems of others".

But that was not to be the first time one of the non-league upper-house stalwarts were to be reprieved.

Fact is that Altrincham now are believed to have an European record on consecutive reprieves from relegation. In 2005-06, when Alty got the above-mentioned Conf record of 18 points docked, Altrincham got their reprieve due to Canvey Island's resignation and former League club Scarborough's financial problems. The following term, Altrincham were reprieved due to Boston United, relegated from the League, not being admitted to the BSP. And last season, the 2005-06 losing Conf promotion finalists Halifax Town ran into trouble off the pitch. As far as the previewer is aware of, the previous European consecutive reprieve record belonged to Germany - and Bavaria. There, some twenty years ago in the German 2.Bundesliga, equivalent to Championship in the UK, the club SpVgg Bayreuth were reprieved from relegation from the German second tier in 1987-88 and 1988-89, respectively - and this due to financial problems of two clubs with the past in the German Bundesliga, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen and Kickers Offenbach.

This season, Altrincham have survived on the field. On Easter Monday, Alty won by the only goal of the game at Wrexham, a victory which all but preserved Altrincham's BSP status. And this was also Altrincham's sixth success on the road this season, while the Stags' latest home game, the 2-2 draw against former League club and Third Division side in the late 60's Barrow, ended in controversy thanks to the worst officiating at Field Mill since a certain Darren Drysdale about 18 months ago. Altrincham come afresh from a 2-0 home victory against Grays, while the Stags drew 2-2 in a very good game at Woking, in front of the previewer among more than 200 other Stags fans.

But Altrincham were founder members of the current BSP way back in 1979-80 and became the first champions. That season, Alty were just one vote away from being elected to the League at Rochdale's expense. Fact is also, that Altrincham have played in all non-league upper-house campaigns bar six. The first Altrincham relegation took place in 1996-97. Just a few years later, Alty returned but stared immediate relegation in their faces due to far too many drawn fixtures, nineteen out of 42.

But in 2004-05, Altrincham were promoted back via the play-offs.

Yet Altrincham are known as a very good FA Cup team, having reached the first round or beyond on more than twenty occasions since the 1963-64 season, when Wrexham needed a replay to go through.

On a few occasions, Altrincham have reached the third round, having played on some famous grounds, and not having disgraced themselves.

First time was in 1965-66. After beating Rochdale in the second round, Alty were drawn away to Wolves but lost 5-0 in front of 30495 at Molineux.

In 1974-75, Alty managed 1-1 at Everton, but lost the replay at Old Trafford in front of 35530 only just 2-0.

In 1978-79, Altrincham drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane against Spurs! But the replay at Maine Road was lost to a 3-0 scoreline.

Two seasons later, the draw paired Altrincham with Liverpool at Anfield Road, but the Reds won 4-1.

In 1985-86, a giant-killing took place. Birmingham, then in the old First Division, were beaten at St. Andrews 2-1! But Alty had no luck with the fourth round draw, being drawn away to then Third Division York - and the Minstermen won 2-0 and were then drawn at home to Liverpool in the fifth round!

The last time Altrincham reached the third round was in 1994-95 when the Spurs won 3-0 at home.

But the Stags have never been drawn against Altrincham in any cup competition. But there are a few player connections between the sides. Here they are:

Harry Broome, Simeon Hodson, John Jepson, Ged Keegan, Graham Leishman, Colin Little, Fred Morris, Joe O'Neill, Chris Timons, Michael Walker, Simon Woodhead

Best known of the lot are Simeon Hodson, Simon Woodhead and current Alty player Colin Little. O'Neill and Little played for Altrincham in the September game, which is the only previous one between the sides in any competition. Little has contributed to quite a lot of the goals that this season have helped Altrincham to stay up on the field.

Charlie Mitten did manage both sides in his managerial career. For the Stags as player manager between January 1956 and June 1958, for Altrincham in the 1962-63 season, in which he resigned shortly after the big freeze.

Some Altrincham details (mainly FA Cup) courtesy of the Altrincham website http://www.altrinchamfc.co.uk

Compiled by Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)


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