ALTRINCHAM (2) 5
BANGOR CITY (0) 0
Pre-Season Friendly Match
played on Tuesday, 9 August, 2005 at 7.45p.m.
At tonight's night's friendly with Bangor City, the Australian cricket team, guests of Alty Chairman, Geoff Goodwin, saw Alty beat the Welshmen 5-0. The action on the pitch had to compete with the lure of seeing famous cricketers and the Aussies' relaxed attitude to autograph hunters will have won them new friends. Amongst those at the game were Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne (seen right after the game), Michael Kasprowicz and Damien Martyn.
On the pitch, Alty started well and took the lead after 4 minutes when Colin Little headed home Hawes's cross from the left. A very well taken goal from left of goal by Kieran Lugsden made it 2-0 (42 mins). Substitute Rod Thornley hammered home a third (70 mins) whilst an amazing display of pace by Gary Williams laid on Rod's second and Alty's fourth (76 mins). Alty added a fifth when Richard Acton, keeping goal for City, was deceived by an effort from wide on the Alty right by Colin Potts (83 mins). Both sides played the last 17 minutes with ten men as Bangor had no subs and Alty lost Steve Hawes to an injury after using all of their substitutes.
REFEREE: Mr Anthony Taylor
Bangor City had been regular opponents to Altrincham in bygone days but their paths had not crossed competitively for more than 20 years. Tonight's game was Alty's last pre-season first-team friendly and, after a defeat to Morton in their first game, the Robins had gone eight pre-season games unbeaten in pre-season.
A counter-attraction to the football at Moss Lane was the presence of almost the entire Australian touring cricket team. Although the Aussies spent the evening in the sponsors' lounge rather than in the main stand, they were neveretheless accommodating to requests for autographs and photographs despite the disappointment of having arrived in Manchester just after their two-run defeat at Edgbaston.
Tonight's gate was adversely affected by the clash of date with Manchester United's European tie against Debrecen at nearby Old Trafford and by the televising of that game on terrestrial television.
Richard Acton, Alty's second-choice keeper, was in nets for Bangor tonight as they had a goalkeeping problem. The Welshmen only named two substitutes but even these did not seem to be present. Their right back was Liam Brownhill, who had been on trial at Alty earlier this summer.
For their part, Alty had to make a late change when Lutel James had to drop out and he was replaced by Kieran Lugsden. As a result, Nehru McKenzie joined the bench. The main feature in the Alty line-up, apart from the understandable resting of one or two senior players such as Thornley and Potts (who were subs), was the playing of Karl Munroe on the right of midfield. Alty's new signing is making an early bid for the "Peter Band Award for Playing in Every Outfield Position". Mark Maddox captained Alty, for whom young Lewis Chalmers also got a start, on the left flank.
ALTRINCHAM: (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Peter BAND, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt.), 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Steve HAWES, 7. Karl MUNROE, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Kieran LUGSDEN, 11. Lewis CHALMERS. Subs: 12. Rod THORNLEY, 14. James OLSEN & Colin POTTS, 15. Nehru McKENZIE, 16. Gary WILLIAMS.
BANGOR CITY: (Blue shirts, white shorts & socks): 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Liam BROWNHILL, 3. Kevin SCOTT, 4. Lee ATHERTON, 5. Mike PARRY, 6. Chris PRIEST, 7. Carl LAMB, 8. Kyle JONES, 9. Paul ROBERTS, 10. Chris McGINN, 11. Ben OGILVIE. Subs: 12. Robin JONES, 13. Huw PARRY.
After changing ends, Alty kicked off towards the 20/20 End which is looking much smarter this season with brand new hoardings for club sponsors 20/20 Research and for Stocktons Furnishers. Lewis Chalmers was soon busy, having to take three long throws in the first 90 seconds. However, Bangor threatened after 3 minutes when McGinn fed Lamb but the ex-Cammell Lairds' man's first touch saw the ball run to Coburn. From Chalmers's fourth throw-in, Little won the game's first corner, on the Alty left (4 mins). Hawes took the corner which was cleared back to him as he retreated from the corner flag. Hawes's cross back into the box found Colin Little unmarked and he barely had to move to be in position to head the ball past Acton and make it 1-0 as the fourth minute of the game drew to an end.
Hawes, who is getting back to the form which he showed when previously captain of the club, then won the ball well and fed Lugsden whose shot towards Acton's bottom left cornmer forced the keeper to push the ball round the post for a corner. Following this, another Alty corner followed, both taken by Hawes, as Alty maintained their bright start and kept Bangor on the back foot. The next goal effort came after 14 minutes when a Little shot from the penalty area's "D" struck Parry and came out to Band. He really got hold of a low shot from 30 yards but it fizzed past Acton's left post.
Alty manager Graham Heathcote maintained a stream of encouragement and instructions to his side as he sought to counter the complacency and indiscipline which he had indicated, in his programme notes, as being evident in the last friendly at Marine.
Lamb was looking Bangor's most potent threat with his pace on the right flank as he surged past Owen but Val tracked back well to delay his advance. However, Bangor retained possession and after 4 or 5 passes, the ball came to the unmarked McGinn in the box. His low cross just evaded Priest in the centre of the goalmouth (16 mins). With Hawes popping up all over the pitch, Alty won another corner from the Alty midfielder's freekick, after a foul by Ogilvie on Chalmers. Then, after Hawes had won possession, Chalmers's cross was unfortunately wayward. Bangor, however, created another chance when Lamb again did well and found Roberts in space but his shot was at Coburn, who saved comfortably (29 mins). Soon afterwards Lamb won his side a corner (32 mins) but Alty were still enjoying the better of the game overall. However, Bangor did go close again when a well taken freekick by Scott found Parry, who beat Maddox in the air to power a header just wide (39 mins).
As Owen surged forward, he saw Little lose possession and suffer a minor head injury in the process. With Alty manager Graham Heathcote urging his team to "Step it up, again", they duly obliged and scored a second goal. It arrived when Chalmers fed Little and his pass set Lugsden running towards the by-line, left of goal. From a sharp angle, Kieran found the net well with a shot across Acton (42 mins). It was Kieran's eighth goal of pre-season for either the first- or reserve-teams. Alty went close again when Little fed Chalmers but Acton produced an excellent save at the cost of a corner on the Alty right (43 mins). However, just before the interval, Lamb shot wide at the other end.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 BANGOR CITY 0|
Alty made a substitution at the interval, with Olsen replacing Maddox. So, Munroe reverted to a more customary centre-back position as Olsen settled on the left and Chalmers moved to the right. Altrincham started the second half slowly with Graham Heathcote, more than once, telling the players that they were being sloppy. Indeed Bangor went the closer in the opening stages when a cross by Lamb evaded Coburn and McGinn in the goalmouth and was eventually cleared for a corner. Gary Talbot made a couple of good clearances before Alty finally got in a decent effort at the other end. After Olsen had picked up an Acton clearance he fired in a shot cum cross which went, right, to Lugsden inside the box. As Lugsden tried to get the ball down, his shot went wide of the target (53 mins). After Lamb had headed over the bar from Brownhill's cross, a shot from Scott hit Talbot, who had just lost possession to the Bangor man, and went for a corner. But Alty soon won a corner themselves, taken by Hawes. Soon afterwards Hawes himself got in a shot across goal from the right (60 mins).
Alty now made a four-man substitution with Thornley replacing Little, Williams coming on for Lugsden, Chlamers giving way to Potts and McKenzie taking over from Owen. Moments later Graham Heathcote moved Band to left centre-back in a swap with Munroe. Then, Williams's pace saw him get towards goal but Acton gathered the ball. Next, Olsen made a fine run forward only to be obstructed as he reached the box but no freekick was given (66 mins). Alty were now playing better and from Hawes, Potts got the ball and his cross led to Williams's effort going across the face of goal. Brownhill now earned himself a lecture for hacking down Williams and from the freekick on the Alty left, a clearing header came to Thornley who absolutely blasted the ball, on the volley, into the net from about 12 yards, slightly right of goal (70 mins). For once no trademark cartwheels followed from the scorer.
Bangor's Parry then limped off and it became apparent that they had no subs to deploy despite two being named on the teamsheet. When Priest then went down injured it looked like the visitors might be reduced to nine men but the former Macc.Town man recovered. Alty's Hawes then went off with what looked like a problem to his right hip, so the game was now ten-a-side (73 mins). From a Coburn clearance via Munroe, Potts and Olsen, the ball came to Williams who showed electrifying pace to get to the by-line, right of goal, and cross the ball for Thornley who had a simple conversion in the centre of the goalmouth to make it 4-0 (76 mins).
Bangor replied by winning a corner and a couple of minutes later Lamb got in a shot which Coburn saved routinely. Olsen was making some good defensive contributions on the Alty left before some good play by McKenzie, going past Brownhill and Priest, led to a cross which yielded an Alty corner. This was soon folowed by another Alty corner after Acton had spilled a 25 yard effort from Thornley. Potts's corner was cleared to Band who got the ball out well to Potts on the wide right wing. His speculative cross/shot fooled Acton and dropped into the net to make it 5-0 (83 mins).
Munroe now made an impressive run up the right before McKenzie's ambitious effort from 25 yards soared over the bar. Coburn was called on to catch a cross from McGinn but Bangor finished the game with a corner. After the disappointing showing at Marine last Saturday, this was a much sharper performance from Altrincham in preparation for their Conference National fixture at Stevenage next Saturday.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 5 BANGOR CITY 0|