ALTRINCHAM (4) 6 OSSETT ALBION (1) 1
FA Trophy Round One Match,
played on Saturday, 6 November, 2004
Altriincham's eventual wide margin of victory seemed remote when Danny Toronczak's superb strike put Albion ahead just inside 60 seconds and, indeed, Ossett went on to give a good account of themselves throughout the game. But Altrincham played some excellent football and levelled with a deft header from Hallows from an Adams cross (8 mins) before Gary Talbot put Alty ahead, after Carney had done well to beat out a Potts shot (17 mins). Peter Band made it 3-1 with a low shot to which the keeper got a hand (22 mins) and just before the interval Gary Scott curled home a fine goal from just inside the box to make it 4-1. Potts scored the fifth when his shot squirmed through Carney's hands (52 mins) before Colin Little became Alty's sixth different scorer from a Potts cross (66 mins).
REFEREE: Mr Brian TATTAN
Ossett Albion were playing Altrincham for the first time ever, though Alty did play Ossett Town away in the UniBond League Cup in January 2001. Albion had won a preliminary tie at Warrington Town, 3-2 to set up today's match for which £1,800 went to the winners. Though they had lost in the UniBond League Cup away to Bishop Auckland this week, Albion had lost only twice in the league this season and lay fifth in the UniBond First Division in which they were joint leading scorers. Albion's Danny Toronczak is the division's leading goalscorer. Albion were only founded in 1944 and in 2001 joined the UniBond under their current manager Eric Gilchrist. Though they returned immediately to the NCEL, they were promoted again to UniBond One for 2004-05, still under Gilchrist's managership.
The game was played on a very dreary day with drizzly rain which became increasingly heavy as the afternoon wore on. There had been 16 goals in the three previous cup ties played at Moss Lane this season.
After this week's serious injuries to Stephen Rose (leg fracture) and Peter Wright (fractured eye socket) the Alty squad was self-selecting with every fit player being in today's squad. Dave Cummins, the Trafford keeper, was on the bench along with Steve Torpey who had recovered from injury. Val Owen was named as a substitute so Band and Hussin formed the central midfield, as Mark Maddox returned to central defence.
Ossett Albion showed two changes from the side which had defeated Warrington Town in the Preliminary Round, with Ingall and Hazleden coming in for Kenefick and David Dodd, both of whom were on the bench today. Albion's Duffty, Wordsworth and Carney were amongst the familiar faces from Frickley who had played Altrincham previously, whilst Toronczak had been at Ashton United. Veteran Mick Norbury, who played against Alty in their 5-0 drubbing by Hednesford in 2000-01, was on the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shirts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Stephen ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Peter BAND (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Eddie HUSSIN, 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Colin LITTLE, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Rod THORNLEY, 13. Dave CUMMINS (gk), 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Val OWEN, 16. Steve TORPEY.
OSSETT ALBION (All yellow): 1. Andrew CARNEY, 2. Gareth DODD, 3. Sean HAZELDEN, 4. Asa INGALL, 5. Jon WORDSWORTH, 6. Richard STACK (capt.), 7. Steve DOWNES, 8. Adam FRETWELL, 9. Dave DICKINSON, 10. Danny TORONCZAK, 11. Gary DUFFTY. Subs: 12. Mick NORBURY, 14. Michael SENIOR, 15. David DODD, 16. Jordan KENEFICK, 17. Scott BROUGHTON.
Altrincham kicked off towards the Golf Road End in front of a disappointing gate, considering that neither of Manchester's Premier league sides were playing this afternoon. Nevertheless, the gate of 456 was one of the better ones in the Trophy nationally. After an early move on the Alty right had broken down, a ball was played forward along the Ossett left and Toronczak latched onto it and got behind Mark Maddox, over on the Albion left touchline, some 40 yards out. Toronczak advanced towards goal but from a good 25 yards he fired in a tremendous diagonal shot which slammed onto the inside of Coburn's left upright before bouncing across goal and into the net. It was a tremendous goal and just under one minute had elapsed since kick off.
Play then went through a scrappy few minutes until a neat passing move from Ossett ended with Dickinson evading two Alty tackles before shooting narrowly wide from 20 yards (7 mins). It looked like Altrincham were going to have a tricky afternoon but then a superb move put the Robins level. Little fed Scott, to his left, some 35 yards from goal and as Adams launched himself on a well-timed overlap along the left wing, Scott found the advancing left-back with a well-judged pass. Adams's expertly curled left-footed cross was met by a well timed flick of the head from the advancing Hallows who sent his header into the far corner of the net from about 12 yards (8 mins). It was Marcus's 10th goal in 11(+7) games this season. Why pay £30 or more to watch Premiership football when you can see, at close quarters, goals as good as Toronczak's and Hallows's in non-league football?
Ossett almost seized the initiative immediately after this when a firm, low shot from Fretwell was beaten out by Coburn but Toronczak missed the open goal badly with his follow-up, which went well wide of Coburn's left post from the other side of goal. It still looked as if Alty would need to work hard to overcome the UniBond First Division team, who were putting together some neat passing movements. Indeed, Ossett soon won a corner to maintain the pressure. From the corner, Coburn comfortably saved a header by Wordsworth.
Alty won their first corner when Downes was forced to knock the ball out as Hallows threatened to capitalise on Little's pass. Aspinall's corner was palmed clear by Carney but soon the ball came back and a fine shot from Potts from the edge of the box was beaten out by the Ossett keeper. But the ball looped in the air and Alty centre-back Gary Talbot reacted quickly to knock the ball into the net, with a defender only able to help it on its way as he retreated to the goal-line (17 mins).
The floodlights now had to be switched on as the gloomy, dank afternoon wore on. Alty's improvement was underlined when Little swept the ball left to Scott whose fine cross returned the ball to Little but his effort went just wide of Carney's right stick (18 mins). Alty were getting in some excellent crosses. After a foul on Little by Duffty, who caught the Alty man late, Alty's three-man rehearsed freekick routine led to a shot from Aspinall which was half-blocked but the whistle went for offside in any case (20 mins). However, Alty were not kept at bay for long for Little fed Band, whose low shot from the edge of the box skidded off the wet surface through Carney's grasp and into the net, low to the keeper's left. So, it was now 3-1 after 22 minutes.
At the other end, Maddox's fine tackle stopped Toronczak's advance into the Alty box as Ossett refused to let their heads drop. With rain now lashing down Hussin continued to impress in the Alty engine-room. Little's dribbling skills then won Alty another corner, but Carney caught Aspinall's kick (26 mins). Little then tried to poke an effort past the advancing Carney but the ball ran wide (28 mins) as the home side now had the upper hand. There was a light interlude as the ball went into the main stand gangway where Alty Youth skipper Arron Hevingham rose from his seat in the front row, controlled the ball and knocked it back over the railing onto the pitch whilst holding a meat pie and not even dropping a morsel!
Ossett's Downes continued to look a useful player on the right as Albion continued to try to play their way out of trouble with passes to feet. The rain now lashed down as the game went through a period without too much goalmouth incident but with Alty in firm control. Then, Hallows shot high and wide from 22 yards (39 mins). Next, Alty won a corner on the right which came to nothing. As Toronczak jostled Talbot for an aerial ball just inside the Alty half on the Alty left, the Albion player came off worse as the Alty defender's arm accidentally caught him in the face. Alty were awarded the free kick after Toronczak had received treatment. From the freekick the ball came via Adams and Hussin to Little who set Scott free just inside the box. Scott executed a superb curling shot which found the far corner of the net to Carney's left to make it 4-1 (45 mins). Scott thus became the third Alty player in this match to score his first goal of the season, after Talbot and Band's earlier successes.
Half-time arrived moments later with Altrincham looked well placed to advance into the Trophy's second round for the eleventh successive season.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 4 OSSETT ALBION 1|
With the rain having temporarily eased at half-time, Ossett had the first goal attempt in the second half but Toronczak's attempted chip was high and wide (46 mins). The side's then won a corner each before Alty scored their fifth. This came when Potts's sidefooted shot slithered through Carney's grasp from Hallows's pass (52 mins). 5-1 was a bit harsh on an Ossett Albion side which had contributed well to a flowing game but Altrincham for their part had played some good football to gain their ascendancy. Even the normally vocal Alty manager Graham Heathcote had been allowed to have a quiet afternoon in the director's box and Albion manager Eric Gilchrist, sent off from the touchline twice in the last month, was also a model of restrained behaviour.
Gilchrist made the first personnel change of the game as it approached the hour mark, with David Dodd coming on at the back to replace the tall Hazelden. The game went through a quiet spell as it ceased to be a true contest but Albion stuck to their task with Carney making a good save from Hallows's header which arrived from a good pass from Hussin (62 mins). In fact, Dickinson should have scored when a ball over the top of Talbot allowed Toronczak to feed his strike partner from the right of goal but the ball seemed to get under the number nine's feet (63 mins). At the other end Scott mishit a shot wide of Carney's right post after more good work from Hussin and Little (64 mins).
Both sides made a simultaneous substitution after 65 minutes with Kieran Lugsden replacing Gary Talbot and Michael Senior coming on for Downes. Peter Band moved into the back line in place of Talbot. Almost immediately Colin Little became the sixth different player to score for Altrincham, (is this a record?), when he drove the ball home after good work by Potts on the by-line to the right of goal (66 mins). At this point Marcus Hallows gave way to Rod Thornley leaving Lugsden and Thornley at the sharp end with Little now in a more withdrawn position. There was a delay as Lugsden had to remove a necklace having earlier had to take out his ear stud. The watching former Manchester United goalkeeper Jack Crompton must have mused about the changing fashions of modern footballers as he watched from the directors' box! Jack was later to be the popular winner of a free dinner for two at Altrincham's Cresta Court hotel in the draw at the after-match Hot Pot and Curry Evening at Moss Lane.
Lugsden then did well to feed Thornley for a shot which was deflected wide for an Alty corner on their left (68 mins). Steve Torpey now came on, on the left, as Chris Adams made a rare trip for an early bath when Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele made Alty's final substitution (69 mins). Gary Scott moved to left-back to accommodate Torpey on the left flank. Torpey soon did well to find Scott whose pass for Lugsden saw the young striker barged over as Albion cleared their lines (70 mins).
Senior won his side a corner when his shot was deflected over from 20 yards out (71 mins). Then Stack advanced up the middle past three Alty men before Band stopped his progress but the offside flag went up as well. Torpey, Little and Scott soon combined well to feed Thornley whose point blank header was well saved by Carney. Ossett were briefly reduced to ten men as Wordsworth received treatment to the right of goal before resuming. Soon, an Aspinall clip forward was well nodded on by Lugsden but Thornley's resulting shot produced a great save by Carney (76 mins). Potts and Torpey then menaced as Alty looked for a seventh goal at Moss Lane for the first time since the 7-1 league defeat of Ossett's West Yorkshire neighbours, Emley, at the end of the 1997/98 season.
Albion made their last substitution when young striker Jordan Kenefick replaced the injured Wordsworth, who hobbled slowly round the perimeter to the team bench, where an ice-pack awaited what looked like a hamstring problem (78 mins). There was then the only unpleasant moment of the game as Stack fouled Lugsden on the left and a minor bit of argey-bargey followed which ended with the Albion captain being booked by Mr Tattan who had a good game (79 mins).
A trip by Aspinall gave Ossett a freekick from 25 yards which was taken, short, by Senior to Stack whose piledriver was well held, low down, by Coburn who had been Little employed in the second half (83 mins). But Alty almost scored again when Little smashed Thornley's pass against the underside of the cross bar and the rebound went to Torpey, left of goal. His drive went comfortably wide (84 mins). With rain lashing down still, Lugsden did well to the right of goal but Torpey was unable to convert as the ball came off a defender.
Ossett battled till the end and in the second minute of added time might have scored when Toronczak mishit an effort. Lugsden was then halted by Carney at the other end before Little won a final corner for Altrincham. Gary Scott was named Man of The Match. As well as his excellent goal, he also had a good game in an unaccustomed left-sided position, before also filling in as left-back. Despite the large margin of victory, Ossett deserve credit for playing some good football in a good spirit. For their part Moss Lane fans were delighted to see a seven-goal match which took the tally in four cup games at Moss Lane this season to 23 goals.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 6 OSSETT ALBION 1|