ABBEY HEY (1) 1 ALTRINCHAM (5) 5
played on Saturday, 12 July 2008, at 3pm.
In today's friendly match at Gorton, a remarkable five first-half goals from Alty's Chris Senior secured a win for the visitors. After that, the second half was something of an anti-climax with the half-time score of 5-1 remaining unaltered at the end of the full 90 minutes. It was a curious match insofar as Abbey Hey included seven starters who had played for Altrincham Reserves in the past whereas Altrincham themselves had only five players in their starting eleven who had ever worn an Altrincham shirt before ! They were Battersby, Young, Peyton, Lawton and Senior. Alty's other six starters were new signings Anthony Danylyk and Dale Johnson, along with trialists James Coates (goalkeeper), Luke Horrocks (winger) and Natt Kerr (central defender), together with last season's youth team midfielder Danny Browne. On the bench, to be used as second-half subs, were goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, trialist defender Ben McHugh (ex-Crewe), trialist left-back/midfielder António dosSantos, a Portuguese who has been at Guiseley, trialist Jake Moult a Stoke-born former Plymouth Argyle midfielder and ex-Alty youth teamers striker Tom Bailey and winger Charlie Weir.
- 5, 11, 27, 38 and 41 mins: Chris SENIOR (Altrincham)
- 30 mins: Danny HEFFERNAN (Abbey Hey)
It was eleven weeks to the day since Altrincham had apparently been relegated at Weymouth on the last day of the 2007-08 season. But just three players who started at the Wessex Stadium also started today as manager Graham Heathcote used this game against the Vodkat League Division One side to blood seven debutants, (two of them signed and five trialists).
ABBEY HEY: (Red shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. COOPER, 2. Keith WEDGE, 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. BENNETT, 5. JEFFRIES, 6. John MALONEY, 7. Aaron EDWARDS, 8.James MARSDEN, 9. Daniel DOHERTY, 10. Daniel HEFFERNAN, 11. Astley MULHOLLAND. Subs: 12. SCOTT, Adam FROST, 15. EME, 16. Paul LEWIS, 17. Steve COOKE.
ALTRINCHAM: (Pale blue shirts, white shorts and pale blue socks): 13. James COATES; 2. Richard BATTERSBY, 4. Natt KERR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 11. Warren PEYTON; 17. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 6. Danny BROWNE, 14. Luke HORROCKS; 8. Chris SENIOR, 10. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 3. Ben McHUGH, 7. António dos SANTOS, 9. Jake MOULT, 12. Tom BAILEY, 18. Charlie WEIR
After the incessant rain in the preceding week the pitch at Goredale Avenue was in remarkably good condition whilst the club house was also a credit to the Vodkat league club. For Alty fans, there were actually more familiar faces in the Abbey Hey side than in their own as the home side's manager, Neil Brown, who doubles as the Moss Lane groundsman, fielded eight of his former charges from the disbanded Altrincham reserves' side.
The Robins' fans saw only Battesby, Young, Senior, Lawton and Peyton in the starting line-up from the squad which had finished last season, though goalkeeper Coburn was also there, on the bench. Alty's other six starters comprised two new signings (Anthony Danylyk and Dale Johnson), along with trialists James Coates (goalkeeper), Luke Horrocks (winger) and Natt Kerr (central defender), together with last season's youth team midfielder Danny Browne. On the bench, to be used as second-half subs, were goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, trialist defender Ben McHugh (ex-Crewe), trialist left-back/midfielder António dos Santos, a Portuguese who has been at Guiseley, trialist Jake Moult a Stoke-born former Plymouth Argyle midfielder and ex-Alty youth teamers striker Tom Bailey and winger Charlie Weir.
The game started in light rain and it was the hosts who had the first chance when former Alty reserve Danny Heffernan forced a save from Coates in the Alty goal (3 mins). But two minutes later Altrincham took the lead when Lawton fed Senior from the right and the striker converted comfortably. Lawton was involved again as Alty doubled their lead in the eleventh minute, the goal arriving after good work from Dale Johnson had led to Lawton having a shot blocked but Senior was on hand to score. Next, at the other end an error from Young allowed Abbey Hey a chance but after Mulholland had got into the box and gone down under a challenge, another Abbey Hey player shot wide (13 mins).
After Senior had squandered a half chance, Danny Browne, the former Altrincham youth player, forced a fine save from thehome keeper who diverted the ball out for an Alty corner (20 mins). Browne was having a good game in midfield but the corner came to nothing. Next Senior forced a save from Horrocks's feed (26 mins) but a minute later Senior completed his hat-trick with a far post volley from a well taken corner on the left by Danylyk (27 mins). But then an uncharacteristic error by Young just outside the Alty box allowed Heffernan to score a well-taken driven goal, low past the keeper, despite Kerr's valiant atempt to cover. It was now 3-1 (30 mins).
Chances continued to come Senior's way but when he elected to shoot early, as he got clear of the defence, his effort went well wide (35 mins). At the other end a testing cross from Edwards was well tipped over by Coates for a corner. Then as Kerr berated Coates for not claiming a ball, the keeper responded perfectly by planting a long kick upfield which Senior neatly lobbed over the keeper for his and Altrincham's fourth goal (38 mins). And with the statisticians reaching for their record books, Senior made it 5-1 with his fifth goal in the 41st minute, following good work from Dale Johnson.
|Half-Time: ABBEY HEY 1 ALTRINCHAM 5|
At half time Alty brought on António dos Santos, a Portuguese left-sided player who had been with União de Lamas in his home country and Guiseley in England. Tom Bailey, the youth team striker from last season, and goalkeeper Stuart Coburn also came on with Horrocks, Coates and Johnson giving way. However, Coates appeared for the second half in the Abbey Hey goal. Two minutes after the restart, Alty made another swap as McHugh came on on the right of midfield for Lawton (47 mins).
From a good effort from the right by Bailey, Coates made a good save before fellow ex-Youth player Charlie Weir replaced Danny Browne (54 mins). Abbey Hey brought on Lewis and Cooke for Jeffries and Marsden, Lewis being another of the ex-Alty reserves now at Abbey Hey. A poor challenge on Danylyk left him needing treatment but play drifted past the hour mark after which Jake Moult, from plymouth Argyle, replaced Peyton. Mulholland gave way to Eme for Abbey Hey (72 mins) before Senior almost got his sixth, having been played in by Bailey. Abbey Hey gained a corner twelve minutes from the end followed by another six minutes later but neither side looked like scoring at this stage. However a cross from the right by Senior evaded Bailey and then Weir lost possession. Senior went close again to win a corner three minutes from time and a good shot from Danylyk yielded a very late corner for the visitors but the score stuck at 5-1 to the visitors as the final whistle blew.
Of the trialists, goalkeeper Coates had a good game whilst Moult showed some good touches in his short period on the pitch. Santos, who played most of the time at left-back and Horrocks who played the first half on the left wing were competent rather than spectacular and McHugh likewise had a steady game on the right. Of the new signings Dale Johnson was instrumental in setting up two of the goals and Danylyk worked hard in midfield. Danny Browne from the youth team played well and Tom Bailey showed some good touches, too. Kerr, alongside Greg Young looked reliable at the back. But it will be Chris Senior who remembers the game with greatest relish as there cannot have been many occasions since the school playground when he has scored five first-half goals!
|Full-Time: ABBEY HEY 1 ALTRINCHAM 5|