North West Counties League
Alsager 3 v Silsden 4
Admission £3 (Concession)
Game Number 13
The club was founded in 1965 as Alsager from the merger of Alsager Institute and Alsager United, and the current ground was acquired in 1967. They started off playing in the Crewe League. After improving the ground's facilities they joined the Mid Cheshire League in the 1971–72 season. After the 1972–73 season they changed name to Alsager Town and they remained in the league under that name until the 1985–86 season. In 1986 they changed name to Alsager United finishing fifth in the 1986–87 season and were runners-up in the league in 1987–88. The club then reverted to Alsager were forced out of business for due to lack of funds associated with poor support.
After two seasons in the Crewe League Premier Division, Alsager regained entry to the Mid Cheshire League, joining the Second division, in the 1991–92 season. In 1995–96 they finished in third place, missing out on the runners-up spot on goal difference. In 1998 they joined the Midland League where they spent just one season, 1998–99 finishing as runners-up. They then applied to join the North West Counties Football League. After the necessary ground and league position criteria were fulfilled, Alsager were accepted for the 1999–2000 season, playing in Division Two, finishing 12th.
After the 2000–01 season it was decided to change the club name back to Alsager Town once again, which also coincided with the addition of floodlights to the Town Ground. After finishing in second place in the Second Division in 2001–02, they were promoted to the First Division. The finished in 11th place in their first season in the First Division. The 2005–06 season saw Alsager finish in third place and thus earn promotion to the Northern Premier League First Division. In 2006–07 they finished in 14th. They also finished in 14th in 2007–08, this time in the newly created Division One South.
The season also saw a new ownership of Alsager Town with local businessman Chris Ansell and former player Richard Mitchell teaming up to take over the club and form Alsager Town Football Club Limited.
Alsager were relegated for the first time in their history at the end of the season to the North West Counties Football League Premier Division due to FA ground grading requirements.
Tottenham Hotspur Connection
At the end of the 2011-12 season, former Tottenham Hotspur player Andy Turner was appointed manager, with Stuart Heeps retaining his position as assistant. Dave Dale took over as assistant manager for the 2013-14 season. Mick Hathaway was appointed as assistant manager in October 2013 following the resignation of Dave Dale.
In January 2014, Andy Turner resigned as manager, and Phil Parkinson, former player with Nantwich Town and Kidsgrove Athletic was appointed in his place. On 7 July 2014 Parkinson quit Alsager due to work commitments
Pre Match Meal at Stafford Spoons - The Picture House
Upon alighting our train at Alsager Station we were delighted to find a real ale festival "in full swing" at the Railway Inn.
The three wise men of Alsager
This month's entry for rear of the month
Alsatian at Alsager
For several hundred years, Alsager Mere was surrounded by marsh land in the centre of the Alsager estate. Since the 1800's the surrounding land had been gradually drained causing the Mere to shrink in size. When the Alsager estate was spilt up The Mere covered about nine acres, but it now covers just four acres.
As the land around The Mere became dryer and firmer around 1870, people began to build houses and businesses around the lake. This made Alsager Mere highly influential in the growth of Alsager. By 1876 there were five houses around The Mere, but most have these have not survived to present day. The only remaining building from this time is West Lodge. The Mere used to provide many resources for the local residents and business. Apart from the obvious food and water, the fine sandy sediment still present in some areas was used to manufacture colours.
Alsager used to be home to a Naval training base during World War II. The Mere was often used for training sessions during this period. Most of the lake bed is currently made up of a fine silty sludge which could have accumulated as the land around the lake was developed. Removal of natural vegetation would weaken the soil structure causing sediments to wash into the water over the years. In addition to this large amount of brick and ceramic materials have been dumped in The Mere, along with a range of other debris.
There's no better way to end a hard days hopping with a few pints at The Lodge.