United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Reserves’ permanent return to Altrincham confirmed

Posted by nickogs20 on November 6, 2008

After strong rumours over the past week, it has now been confirmed that United’s reserve team will be playing the remainder of their home games this season at Altrincham FC’s Moss Lane ground.

Last week’s MSC game against Bolton was moved from the Marstons Arena in Northwich – the Reserves’ home since the summer of 2007 – to Moss Lane at short notice, problems with the floodlights being cited as the problem. Rumours first surfaced at that game, with the teamsheets seeming to imply the move might be a permanent one. Confirmation has come in the form of statements from both United and Altrincham.

MUFC:

The Reserves’ home games will take place at Moss Lane for the remainder of the 2008/09 season.

The Reds have spent the last 14 months playing at the Marston’s Arena in Northwich, but have now switched to the home of Altrincham FC.

The switch marks a return to Moss Lane for the Reds, who used the ground between 2002 and 2005, prior to using Hyde United’s Ewen Fields.

Last week’s Manchester Senior Cup defeat to Bolton took place at Moss Lane, and the Reds will next be in competitive action against Middlesbrough on 27 November.

Prices for all home games will remain at £5 for adults and £2 for concessions, while season ticket holders and One United members can gain free entry.

Altrincham:

It can now be confirmed that Manchester United Reserves have switched their home matches from Northwich Victoria’s Marston Arena to Moss Lane. These matches will kick off at 7pm but a number of the fixture dates will have to be changed due to this change of venue. Once these changes are agreed they will be posted here on the website. United Reserves play in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North and also compete in the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Moss Lane, Altrincham - new home for Ole Solskjaers reserves

Moss Lane, Altrincham - 'new' home for Ole Solskjaer's reserves

So why the switch? A United spokesman cited the poor crowds for reserve games at the Marstons Arena, saying “we feel that Altrincham is closer to our core support”. This frankly seems rather hard to believe – the club will have been well aware when moving the reserves to Northwich last season of just how far the town is from Manchester, and of the poor transport links from the centre of Northwich to the remote location of the Wincham industrial estate where the Arena is located. The two clubs in the town, Northwich Victoria and Witton Albion, have both struggled to attract crowds to the Wincham area where both are based, so small attendances on bleak mid-winter nights for United reserve fixtures can hardly have come as a surprise.

More likely to be the key factor behind the switch are the recent problems with the floodlights at the Arena. With the bulk of the second string’s fixtures being night games, reliable floodlights are of course a must and United clearly feel they cannot rely on those at the Marstons Arena. “We have concerns about Northwich staging night matches too,” added the Reds’ spokesman, no doubt referring to the recent abandonment of Victoria’s recent FA Cup tie with AFC Telford United, where a backup generator failed.

Financial difficulties for the owner of the stadium appear to have led to a reluctance or inability to pay for the necessary repairs (or, as some have suggested, to even pay the electricity bill), and with United no doubt paying a decent sum to rent the stadium, they have understandably decided to take their business elsewhre.

Whatever the reasons, it is good news for pretty much any United fan with an interest in the reserve side (bar perhaps any living in Northwich). Moss Lane is a great deal easier (and cheaper) to get to, being just a short walk from Altrincham’s public transport interchange and train, tram and bus services into Manchester. As said in the Altrincham statement, the move will mean some fixture changes for the reserves in order in to fit in with Altrincham’s schedule – we’ll have news of them as soon as they’re announced.

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3 Responses to “Reserves’ permanent return to Altrincham confirmed”

  1. mattweeden said

    when’s the next reserve game at “home”

  2. nickogs20 said

    Middlesbrough on the 27th Nov.

  3. mattweeden said

    nice! think I will go to that onne

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