With Tuesday’s evening clash with Alfreton Town called off, we now turn our attention to Saturday’s opponents – bottom of the table Altrincham FC. Relegation is a real threat for the Robins, with only one win to their name, with nine points collected over the 27 games they have played. Mark Doughty’s men will be facing a Halifax side in a good run of form, undefeated in four games, hoping to make it five on the weekend.
But before, the showdown at Moss Lane, let’s look at 10 things about Alty that you may not have known…
1. Altrincham’s all-time top scorer is Jackie Swindells, with 252 goals scored between 1965 and 1971. He had previously bagged 65 goals in 190 Football League appearances at such teams like Accrington and Newport County, but truly came to his prime when he joined Altrincham.
2. Morecambe man Kevin Ellison is Altrincham’s most expensive export to date, when he joined Leicester City for £50,000 in 2001. Kevin didn’t make much of an impact at the Foxes, and had spells at Stockport County, Chester City, and Rotherham before joining the Shrimps in 2011.
3. Ellison may be Altrincham’s priciest sale, but they once had a player in their ranks who now plays in the Premier League. Sunderland’s 22-year-old winger Duncan Watmore donned the Robins shirt before joining the Black Cats in 2013 for a whopping £6.2 million. At Altrincham, Watmore made over 50 appearances before making the move from non-league to Premier League.
4. Watmore may have left the club, but not entirely. His transfer funded the construction of the Duncan Watmore Memorial Sports Hall which was built in 2015.
5. Moss Lane, opened in 1910, is not just the home of Altrincham, but also Manchester United Reserves. The stadium also is the host of cup finals in the Timperley and District Amateur Football League.
6. Altrincham have a history of giant-killing in the FA Cup and their best performance in the tournament came in 1985/86 when they reached the Fourth Round. Alty beat Chorley, Blackpool and then Birmingham City, who were in the First Division at the time, before bowing out to York City.
7. Despite bowing out of the FA Cup that season, Altrincham did have success in the FA Trophy, beating Runcorn 1-0 in the final to win the trophy for the second time, having won it previously in 1977-78.
8. Manager Matthew Doughty had two separate spells at the club before taking charge in December last year. Doughty’s first time in an Altrincham shirt was between 2008 and 2010, before returning in 2012 to 2014. Matthew joined Altrincham the first time from the Shaymen, where he made over 130 appearances.
9. Tommy Docherty, who made over 350 appearances for Preston North End, brought his managerial career to a close at Altrincham. The Lilywhites legend also played for Arsenal and made 25 appearances for Scotland, before managing the Tartan Army, as well as QPR, Aston Villa, Porto and Manchester United. Docherty was the manager to get the Red Devils relegated to the Second Division in 1973-74 and managed Altrincham from 1987 to ’88.
10. And lastly, the grandfather of FCHT Media Team member Ben Armitage, is a friend of Paul France (that isn’t the fact, let me continue). Paul is the current Football in the Community Officer at Huddersfield Town, but made over 300 appearances for Altrincham between 1992 and 1999, also playing for Bristol City, Burnley as well as the Terriers in his playing days.
FC Halifax Town face Altrincham at Moss Lane this Saturday at 3pm.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist