Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 22 July 2008, at 7.45pm.


  • Match:
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    Altrincham FC did enough against newly promoted UniBond Premier side FC United of Manchester to run out 3-0 winners. Fielding two debutants in goalkeeper Andy Ralph (ex-Vauxhall Motors and Northwich) and centre-back Danny Williams (ex-Wrexham), Altrincham's win came courtesy of two more goals from Chris Senior, who has now netted eight times already this pre-season, and a header from Greg Young. Senior opened the scoring after six minutes at the end of a good build-up, the striker netting after Warren Peyton's initial effort had been blocked. FC United enjoyed plenty of possession in the middle of the game but after Senior scored with a smart overhead kick from Lane's cross after 65 minutes, Alty upped their game and netted a third with 10 minutes remaining, as Young smartly headed home Lawton's cross from the right. Williams (29) looked a particularly useful prospect to fill the vacant central defensive berth, the former Welsh under-21 having plenty of League Two experience with Wrexham and Kidderminster. After Saturday's debacle, there was not a hint of any crowd trouble at the game tonight with the visiting fans giving their side good vocal support throughout


  • 6 mins: Chris SENIOR (Altrincham FC 1 United of Manchester 0)
  • 65 mins: Chris SENIOR (Altrincham FC 2 United of Manchester 0)
  • 80 mins: Greg YOUNG (Altrincham FC 3 United of Manchester 0)

    REFEREE: Mr Anthony Taylor



    Colin Little, Stuart Coburn, Anthony Danylyk and Chris Denham had been given the night off, whilst Val Owen and Joe O'Neill are not yet fit but the remaining ten first-team players were in the squad tonight, and all but Richard Battersby started the game. Making their debuts were goalkeeper Andy Ralph, who had played against Altrincham for his previous clubs, which include Vauxhall Motors and Northwich Vics, and centre-back Danny Williams, an experienced central defender from Wrexham.


    After Saturday's crowd-troubled match against Manchester United, there was a small police presence at Moss Lane but their attendance, as well as that of a group of FC United stewards who joined the Altrincham stewards, ensured that troublemakers were dissuaded from attending the match. However, the fracas on Saturday did seem to have put off some of the Alty regulars from watching the game. One of the spectators was, again, the former Tranmere Rovers defender Dave Challinor.


    ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, black shorts): 1. Andy RALPH, 2. Chris LANE, 4. Danny WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 7. Alex MEECHAN, 8. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 6. Kevin STREET, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Dale JOHNSON, 10. Chris SENIOR. Subs: 12. Richard BATTERSBY, 13. James COATES, 14. Alex MORRIS, 15. Damien ALLEN, 16. Tom BAILEY, 17. Charlie WEIR.

    FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER (All blue): 1. Sam ASHTON, 2. Dale WHITEHEAD, 4. Dave NEVILLE, 5. Dave CHADWICK, 3. Bradley HOWARD; 7. Adam CARDEN, 6. Michael BURNS, 8. Simon CARDEN, 11. Carlos ROCA; 9. Nick ROBINSON,10. Dave ROBERTS. Subs: 12. Chris BAGULEY, 14. Jamie BAGULEY, 15. Shaun ROSCOE, 16. Kyle HARROP, 17. Danny ALLEN, 18. James BRACKENRIDGE, 19. Rob HOWARTH


    Robbie Lawton was captain tonight as FC kicked off towards the Hale End where the new apartment block is rising very close to the perimeter wall of the football ground. Some of the flats will certainly need toughened glass as they lie immediately behind the goal posts!

    It was the visitors who started the better, winning two corners in the first five minutes. In addition, Adam Carden, who looked lively, had wasted a good opportunity to threaten the goal with a sliced cross in the opening move of the game. But it was Altrincham who took the lead in the sixth minute after an impressive seven-pass move which ended with Lawton finding Peyton from the right. Peyton's shot was deflected off a defender to Senior who finished smartly from about 12 yards. But FCUM responded by winning their third corner of the match. The visitors' support was good natured and vocal throughout though it still seems odd that a club founded only three years ago use chants such as "Hello, hello, we are the Busby boys!"

    Williams was impressing for Alty alongside Greg Young whilst new signings Street and Doughty were again giving their all. A Lawton cross from the right was deflected by an FCUM player narrowly wide of his own goal to give Altrincham their first corner. Though Williams rose well to Doughty's kick from the right, he could only head wide (19 mins). At the other end a fine tackle by Doughty halted Roberts at the cost of a corner. Keeper Ashton then had to smother the ball as Meechan threatened inside the box for Alty before Ralph, at the other end, had to run out smartly to kick clear from Robinson’s advance.

    Alty now put together another neat passing move out of defence but as Doughty threatened to surge forward just inside the FC half, he was body-checked but the resulting freekick came to nothing (29 mins). Play continued without any serious threat to either goal with FCUM undoing some good approach work with poor final balls. As half time approached Roca fired a freekick over the bar from 22 yards. For Alty Johnson was holding the ball up well but his distribution was a little erratic at times. A fine covering tackle from Lane yielded a harsh freekick award against him just before the break (44 mins). The interval arrived with Alty 1-0 up but not having built on the impetus provided by their early goal.


    Altrincham made no changes at the interval but FC brought on four players. One of them was Jamie Baguley, a former Alty player, and the others were Roscoe, Brackenridge and Harrop. The players withdrawn were Whitehead, Adam Carden, Roberts and Roca, the last-named another ex-Alty player. After a foul on Senior Doughty's freekick was volleyed narrowly over the bar from the right by Senior (48 mins).Then Senior almost latched onto an underhit back pass before, at the other end, Roscoe toe-poked a shot over the bar. Alty made their first change as trialist Damien Allen (ex-Stockport County) came on to replace Peyton (51 mins).

    FCUM were setting the pace at this stage and Roscoe fired across goal after approach work from Robinson and Simon Carden (54 mins). Alty had a worrying moment as Ralph came to the edge of the box to kick clear but mis-kicked. However, Robinson was only able to steer his shot wide (54 mins). After Allen had fired wide from long range, FC brought on Chris Baguley for Simon Carden (58). Chris is a former Alty trialist (58 mins).

    Allen, who looked comfortable on the ball, then fired over the bar but Altrincham lacked much spark at this stage. FCUM's Howard was then forced into a bizarre dribble back towards his own by-line as Alty chased him down and an Alty corner resulted as the game passed the hour mark. Then, following a freekick for a foul on Johnson, the ball came back to Lane from Allen and his curling cross just evaded Johnson but found Senior who executed a perfect overhead kick to net Alty's second in the 65th minute.

    The goal immediately lifted Altrincham's performance and they dominated the next stage of the game. Indeed, Senior almost got his hat trick as he rattled the bar from Meechan's feed (67 mins). Then Williams advanced to shoot from 20 yards, narrowly wide, before a Street cross yielded a corner (69 mins). Next, Senior had a shot blocked before a poor back pass forced Ashton to dribble clear from the menacing Senior.

    Now FCUM brought on Allen for Neville (71 mins) and a minute later trialist Alex Morris replaced Street for Alty. The home side had a half chance in the 75th minute as Lawton got the better of the keeper but could not find a team-mate with his lay-off. After Johnson had won a corner, Alty brought on Tom Bailey, from last year's youth team, to replace him (79 mins). Following Meechan's corner, the ball was half cleared but came back to Lawton whose cross was smartly headed into the net by Young, with the keeper getting his hands to it but being unable to keep it out (80 mins).

    Now another product of Alty Youth, Charlie Weir came on for Senior (81 mins). After Bailey had gone close, Alty almost made it 4-0 in the 84th minute as Ashton tried to dribble away from Meechan but the keeper lost possession. But Meechan, falling, could only steer the ball back to the keeper. An uncharacteristic miskick from Doughty allowed FC's Allen a shot but he put it wide. With five minutes left Coates replaced Ralph in the Altrincham goal and two minutes later Battersby came on for Lane. FC nearly grabbed a consolation goal as Robinson got round Coates but under Williams’s challenge he steered his shot comfortably wide (89 mins). So the match ended with a comfortable win for Altrincham though they had not been at their best, particularly in the middle portion of the game.

    Trialist Danny Williams looked solid at the back and goalkeeper Andy Ralph was not heavily tested, though one bad miskick marred his performance. Damien Allen looked a skilful player able to play on either flank. Of the new signings, Doughty and Street again impressed whilst Meechan got in some good positions but his final ball was not always accurate. However, it is Chris Senior's goal scoring which is the highlight of pre-season so far and hopefully he will be able to carry that into the season itself.