!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Altrincham FC Match Report

Match Report


Pre-Season Friendly Match,
played on Tuesday, 5 August, 2003 at 7.45p.m.

  • 57 mins: Patrick BANNISTER (Altrincham 0 Bradford City XI 1)
  • 85 mins: Mark MADDOX (Altrincham 1 Bradford City XI 1)

    REFEREE: Mr P. Broadhurst. .

    Alty Chairman Geoff Goodwin has strong links with Bradford City, as his Go Goodwins company supplies coach travel to the Yorkshire First Division club. Bradford have had an indifferent pre-season to date, with a long injury list not helping their cause. Their earlier pre-season results included a draw at Barnsley and away defeats at Farsley Celtic, Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle.

    This was only Alty's third home game of the nine pre-season matches to date and followed six away wins and good draws at Moss Lane with sides from Manchester United and Crewe Alexandra.


    Alty's only change from Mossley on Saturday was the inclusion of trialist Rob Matthews in the starting line-up in place of centre-back Gary Talbot. So, Stephen Rose moved to the back four, whilst Band and Craney started up front.

    Bradford's was a young side, captained by Tom Kearney. Midfielder Kearney (21) ruptured his cruciate ligament after 9 first-team games and is now returning after being out of action for a year. Their side also included Luke Cornwall, a 23-year-old ex-Fulham and Grimsby striker, and midfielder Michael Standing (22) who started 16 times and was a used sub for nine first-team games last season.

    When Alty and the Bantams last met on 4 August 2000, Bradford City won 1-0. Alty's side that day was Coburn, Gallagher, Adams (D), Turkington, Talbot, Ward, Quinn, Hawes, Furlong, Power, Scheuber. Subs: Crowe, Landon, Chambers, Farley, Wilson, Maddox, O'Connor (gk).


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Neil RYAN, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt.), 5. Stephen ROSE, 6. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Jason GALLAGHER, 8. Rob MATTHEWS, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Ian CRANEY, 11. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH. Subs: 12. Dave GARDNER, 14. Steve LUNT, 15. Andy TUNNICLIFFE.

  • BRADFORD CITY XI (Sky blue shirts and socks, navy blue shorts): 1. Aaron O'MALLEY, 2. Sam DENTON, 3. Luke RICHARDSON, 4. Tom KEARNEY (capt.), 5. Peter FOLKES, 6. Jake WRIGHT, 7. Frazer McHUGH, 8. Michael STANDING, 9. Kevin SANASY, 10. Luke CORNWALL, 11. Patrick BANNISTER, Subs: 12. Liam FLYNN, 13. Nathan THACKERAY, 14. Anthony DOHERTY, 15. John SWIFT, 16. Tom PENFOLD.


    After changing ends, Alty kicked off on one of the hottest evenings of the year, defending the Golf Road end. Bradford settled the better and were soon moving the ball around quickly to feet. Early on, Neil Ryan did well to get in the path of a fierce shot from Kearney, the Bradford captain, who was already looking influential in midfield (6 mins). Sanasy then won a corner off Maddox, which was immediately followed by another Bradford corner, on the left, which Rose was forced to concede (7 mins). Alty were largely pegged back in their own half in the opening stages but Chris Adams did get in a good effort from 22 yards which just cleared the bar (11 mins). But then, after Aspinall, Adams, Band and Shuttleworth had combined, Gallagher chased up Adams's cross and prompted keeper O'Malley to the first of several nervous clearances. Next, Richardson's feed to the speedy Cornwall saw the Bradford front man head wide (16 mins). However, around the 20-minute mark, Altrincham began to assert themselves more. First of all Ryan and Rose fed Band, whose fine through ball for Craney caused O'Malley to rush out of his goal to smother the ball (19 mins). Alty then built on this encouraging move and, although a quick breakaway saw Standing fire just wide from 22 yards, the home side now began to apply some pressure of their own. Ian Craney was instrumental in a couple of good moves and from the second of these he slid the ball narrowly over the bar from a good through-ball by Aspinall (24 mins).

    Bradford conceded a couple of free-kicks and then Craney won his side's first corner. From Aspinall's corner, Band's long-range header went wide (28mins). An Adams free-kick from half-way then found Aspinall and the ball came back to the Alty left-back for a 30 yard effort which rose over the bar (33 mins). After Aspinall had won possession, Matthews's cross from the left won his side another corner, off Standing. This was headed clear and as more free-kicks came Alty's way, it became clear that Peter Band was limping. He played on, however. After Maddox had appeared to punch the ball clear, without punishment, Alty continued to do more of the pressing but Cornwall glided past Rose and got in a low shot which Acton held well. As Adams received treatment, the players took a deserved drinks break (40 mins). When a Gallagher clearance fell to Sanasy, the Bradford striker's shot rose over the bar from the edge of the box (42 mins). Alty replied with a good left-foot effort from Shuttleworth which only just went over the crossbar (43 mins). Shuttleworth and Matthews were now getting forward well to support the front men and the first half ended goalless with Altrincham having enjoyed the better of its final 25 minutes after a slow start.


    Alty started the second period brightly and a good move between Craney and Matthews saw the latter's left foot shot curl wide of the post after Craney had played him into the box. Band was now playing in midfield as Craney and Matthews formed the second-half spearhead for Altrincham and their close control caused the Bradford defence some problems as they ran at them. At the back, Mark Maddox threw himself bravely into the path of a firm Bradford shot (48 mins), just before Alty won a corner from Shuttleworth's cross. However, Bradford soon won a corner themselves when McHugh's shot over the bar was deemed to have gained a deflection. Rose cleared the corner well before repeating the act when Bradford came at Alty again from a goalkick.

    Bradford then took the lead, somewhat out of the blue, when Kearney threaded a ball through from a central position to Bannister, who entered the left-edge of the box behind the Alty defence. As the home side appealed vainly for offside, Bannister stole in to score cleanly past the otherwise barely troubled Acton (57 mins). Soon afterwards, Gallagher found Craney and his shot was dropped by O'Malley but the danger passed (61 mins). Dave Gardner now made his first appearance of pre-season after his much publicised wedding to former Hollyoaks actress Davinia Taylor (62 mins). O'Malley was soon troubled again, palming out an Adams cross (64 mins) but the keeper was soon to redeem himself. As a well-directed Ryan cross came in from the right it was left-back Chris Adams who was surprisingly the Alty man aiming to get on the end of it, near the penalty spot. However, his Bradford marker pulled him down and a penalty was awarded. Barry Shuttleworth who, in the absence of Rod Thornley last season, established a 100% record with the four spot-kicks that he took, picked up the ball despite a purposeful walk towards the spot by Alty captain Mark Maddox, who had netted a penalty at St Helens in pre-season and obviously fancied his chances again. Though Barry hit his penalty cleanly, the keeper guessed correctly and pushed out the penalty-kick, as he dived low to his left (65 mins).

    The game's quick pace on a sultry evening continued as both managers made changes. Bradford brought on Penford for Denton (68 mins) before a double substitution after 74 minutes saw Alty replace Band by Lunt and Bradford bring on Flynn for Bannister. In between these changes, a foul by Aspinall gave Bradford a free-kick which was curled wide. Clear two-armed holding of Craney by a defender went unpunished much to Graham Heathcote's annoyance but Craney was soon back at Bradford, getting in a shot that was blocked. Play was now end to end and soon Penford broke through the middle. Maddox made a desperate tackle from behind, right on the edge of the box and, though the Alty captain got the ball, he also caught the man and a free-kick was awarded as the Bradford sub went down. The free-kick ended up in Acton's arms. A Craney pass put Gardner into a promising position left of goal but the Alty sub mis-kicked (79 mins).

    Alty now brought on Tunnicliffe for Matthews, who left the field to appreciative applause (80 mins). Craney continued to trouble the Bradford defence before Gardner was flattened to win a free-kick on the right. Shuttleworth's free-kick was too long for Chris Adams who had made a well-timed and unmarked run to the back post (83 mins). Another free-kick over on the right soon followed. This times Adams took it and his left-footed curler was met cleanly by Maddox's head as he evaded his marker to record his third goal of pre-season from close range in the centre of the goalmouth (85 mins). Immediately Bradford brought on substitute Anthony Doherty before Alty continued to apply late pressure which was testimony to their fitness on such an oppressive night against younger opposition from a First Division club. Bradford themselves continued to threaten on the breakaway as the crowd continued to get good value for their money to the very end. Alty almost snatched a late win when Shuttleworth fed Adams after Lunt had won the ball. Adams's cross from the left bounced awkwardly near the back post and as Lunt tried to hook it home, he diverted it away from the incoming Tunnicliffe who was arriving behind him (88 mins). So, the scores ended level and Alty stretched their unbeaten pre-season campaign to nine games, with six away wins and three home draws. What is more, with their main strikers Thornley and Hughes appearing only once and twice respectively in those games, the team has managed to score in all nine games.

    This was a very entertaining game and another stern test follows this Saturday against a Blackburn Rovers XI. Before then the Altrincham Youth side entertains Trafford Reserves at Wythenshawe Town on Thursday at 7.15pm.