Match Report


Pre-Season Friendly Match,
played on Saturday, 7 August, 2004
at 2.45p.m.


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    ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks): 1. Billy BLOWER, 2. James MARSDEN (capt.), 3. Matt TOOTH, 4. "Shaka" SHAW, 5. George MELLING, 6. Stevie TAYLOR, 7. Levi KENNEDY, 8. Lewis CHALMERS, 9. Rico RICHARDS, 10. Rio NELSON, 11. Kieran JAMES. Subs: 4* Adam DOUTHWAITE, 7* 'ADIO' Marchant, 11. Adrian ORE, 12. Dwaine LYNSEY, 13. Steve EVERALL (gk), 14. Wayne LEATHER, 16. Danny GRIMSHAW, 15* Otis THOMAS, 17. James OLDEN.

    Apologies for any errors with the names; with so many subs, I may have made errors - please e-mail me if this is the case!

    With the referee insisting on an earlier kick-off than advertised, many spectators missed the opening fifteen minutes of this game, played on a sweltering afternoon on a Ericstan Park pitch which looked in excellent condition after close season work.

    After 7 minutes a fine ball from Chalmers found Richards but his shot was saved well. Then after each side had a corner, a cross from Nelson was cleared with some relief by Town. Alty were now getting on top as Kennedy had an effort well saved (18 mins). Wythenshawe won another corner, but Tooth, Chalmers and Nelson combined in a counter attack which drew another save (26 mins). In midfield, Kennedy who had been a threat on the right, was caught on the heel by a late tackle and after treatment had to be carried off by team-mates. He was replaced on the right by Olden, who was soon tormenting the home defence (30 mins). A minute later a cross from the right, driven in low by the substitute, cannoned off a defender and into the net to break the deadlock (31 mins).

    Alty pressed home their dominance with two corners as Blower remained a spectator at the other end, well protected by his efficient back four of Marsden, Shaw, Melling and Tooth. Olden then struck the bar from a fine pass forward by Matt Tooth (40 mins). Then great skill from Stevie Taylor in the centre ended with a pass to Nelson who, at the second attempt, drove the ball past the keeper to double the lead (41 mins). Next, Chalmers interchanged passes with Richards before seeing his shot just clear the bar (44 mins). Chalmers was not to be denied and moments later found Olden on the right whose his flighted cross found Richards at the back post. He coolly headed home to make it 3-0 (45 mins).


    Alty made numerous substitutions at the break with Leather, a former Wrexham and Man. Utd youngster, coming on in central defence, Steve Everall taking over in goal, Danny Grimshaw from last year's Youth team, appearing on the left flank, Dwaine Lynsey and Otis Thomas coming on and Adam Douthwaite arriving at right back. Soon Grimshaw's pass from the left found Lynsey who cracked the ball into the top corner to make it 4-0 (50 mins). Alty made another change with Taylor one of two withdrawn as both Adio and Ore joined the game. From Adio's feed Otis Thomas shot over the bar. Lewis Chalmers now reappeared in place of Melling and surprisingly slotted into the back four rather than his customary midfield role.

    Alty's fifth goal was made by Lynsey whose great determination saw him close down a defender and win the ball to set up Thomas, who slotted the ball home (71 mins). A great cross from Tooth soon followed but Lynsey headed over. Ore was showing good skills and a shot from him came back off the upright (80 mins). Then more skill from Ore on the left saw the keeper fumble the ball and ?Thomas poke the loose ball home - 6-0 (81 mins). Play was now completely one-way as Wythenshawe tired, having only had two substitutes compared with Alty's nine. Alty made it 7-0 after 87 minutes with another tap in by ?Ore after a defensive error. Alty could now indulge in some extravagant play, and this allowed Wythenshawe their best shot of the half in the last minute, which went wide from 20 yards.

    Following the heavy defeat in their first pre-season game against a strong Stockport County side, Alty Reserves have put in some good performances and today they were simply too good for the Air Miles First Division side. With new players such as Leather still arriving in the squad, manager Neil Brown and his coaching team have a very promising squad as they head towards the opening of the Lancashire League season. After starting with a blank sheet paper in the close season, they have put together a side which should do well in the league and also form an important bridge between Altrincham's first and youth teams.

    Finally, everyone's best wishes go to Alty Youth team manager George Heslop, who is sadly ill at the moment. Had he been able to attend today, George would have been proud to see so many of his and coach Neil Thomason's former Alty Youth players (Tooth, Taylor, Kennedy, Chalmers, Richards, Grimshaw, Thomas and Douthwaite) performing so well today.