Tour Of Duty. It means if you’re Aldershot, you go.
Reasonable excuses accepted. After suffering acute analgesia for the past few months I can be excused, however, it’s my intention to be at Altrincham.
For me it’s also a venue that needs to be ticked off.
WHEN: Saturday 26th March 2022, kick off 3pm
WHERE: The J Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, Altrincham
I’d hope for a turnout of 500, realistically that would be good, given our status and the prospect of the team getting a damned good thrashing as suddenly Altrincham are scoring goals for fun.
So what’s Altrincham like exactly? Well, according to the internets, this place is a few miles south west of Old Trafford and if you’re going up by train on the day, you’ll need to change trains at Stockport.
When I went to Stockport I met Preston Shot in Manchester first, some pub near Piccadilly station.
I’m actually still undecided on travelling up Friday and returning directly after the match, considering that it’s likely to end in a defeat.
In that case, there’s a luxury hotel not far from the station and for extra convenience, opposite the hospital.
A room for the Friday night at Travelodge Altrincham Central is going for £44.99.
As for the town itself, I’ve found this short and to the point video, complete with aeriel views, quite adequate though you may want to mute the volume so as to avoid the annoying pop music backdrop that people seem to imagine you’ll appreciate.
WHERE TO DRINK
Single-handedly the biggest and most important factor for an away day Shots fan.
The nearest pub to the football ground is the King George at Hale.
Most fans will be in the town centre of course so have a look at the map below. The Malt Shovels, The Old Roebuck and The Orange Tree are in a cluster north west of the rail station. The local Wetherspoons called The Unicorn, is more central.
It’s looking like a fair old walk down Moss Lane to the football ground too. Once you get there, what will you find?
THE J DAVIDSON STADIUM
The ground is still known to many fans by its original name of Moss Lane. It was renamed the J Davidson Stadium in 2013 as part of a corporate sponsorship deal.
On one side of the ground is the Carole Nash Insurance Main Stand. This is a small single tiered all seated stand that sits astride the half way line. An old classic looking stand, it has glass windshields on either side, plus a number of supporting pillars, one of which is centrally located at the front of the stand.
Views of the pitch may be further impaired by two small floodlight pylons that are located at the two front edges of the stand. On one side of this stand is a smaller separate structure, the Goodwin Family Stand. This is a very small covered all seated stand.
Opposite the Main Stand is the Popular Side. This is a covered terrace that runs the full length of the pitch, made unusual by having a section in the middle that has a higher roof compared to either side. At the Golf Road End is a small covered terrace, whilst opposite, at the Hale End, there is a 16-step open terrace with large crush barriers to lean on.
If segregation is in force, then this open terrace is allocated to away fans, as well as a portion of the covered popular side and some seats may also be provided in the Main Stand.
So back to the drinking holes and a few photos for identification purposes.
THE MALT SHOVELS
One of Altrincham’s oldest pubs dating back to the Victorian era. The pub’s name refers to the time when it was the brewery tap for long gone Richardson’s Brewery. As a Sam Smiths house there is only one real ale but the fridges boast an impressive range of bottles, including porters, stouts & organic ciders.
THE OLD ROEBUCK
The Old Roebuck originated not as pub that you see today, but as several smaller cottages that were converted into an alehouse in the 19th Century. By the early 20th Century, the Old Roebuck was providing a well-earned pint of ale and a hearty meal to visitors after a hard day within the market town.
THE ORANGE TREE
My research shows me that this pub is now permanently closed with tenancy not renewed, according to WhatPub.
THE UNICORN (JD WETHERSPOONS)
Work at the pub, which first opened in August 2001, has included redecoration throughout, new carpets, the installation of new furniture and the upholstering of some existing furniture.
New customer toilets have also been installed, and staff facilities have been upgraded.
So there you have it.This is Altrincham. It’ll probably be like another Chorley but let’s hope everyone enjoys the weekend and that the team can give the travelling fans a goal at least to celebrate.
Yes, goals. You remember goals don’t you?