Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 29 July 2008, at 7.45pm.


  • Match:
  • Ball:
  • Programme:


    This was not just a win but also a very encouraging performance by Altrincham against a young Bantams' side. Alty were good value for their win and played plenty of bright football, keeping possession well and creating some incisive attacks.

    Alty took a seventh-minute lead when keeper Convey made a hash of a speculative cross from 30 yards out on the left by Street which he allowed to squirm past him onto the post and into the net. City levelled after 22 minutes when a long ball cleared McGregor allowing Rory Boulding, one of the brothers recently signed from Mansfield, to score. But a finely worked goal gave Alty the victory after 33 minutes when Denham's instinctive strike with the outside of his boot finished off a neat build up involving Street, Elam, Senior and Johnson. Though City enjoyed plenty of possession in the first period of the second half, Alty finished strongly and went close several times, notably when Little had an effort cleared off the line. The only blight on the evening was an injury to Chris Senior who limped off just before the interval. Alty gave a late run-out to Bradley Barnes, an ex-Bolton Wanderers' youngster who has been with Flixton and who recently played as a trialist for Morecambe.


  • 7 mins: Kevin STREET (Altrincham FC 1 Bradford City 0)
  • 22 mins: Rory BOULDING (Altrincham FC 1 Bradford City 1)
  • 33 mins: Chris DENHAM (Altrincham FC 2 Bradford City 1)

    REFEREE: Mr Mark Heywood



    Altrincham surprisingly fielded midfielder Robbie Lawton at right-back whilst Richard Battersby, who often plays in that position, was on the bench. Lawton, Senior (in an unaccustomed right-wing position) and Chris Lane (playing at centre-back) were the only three starters who were at Moss Lane last season. But 14 of the 19-man squad were on duty for this game, Warren Peyton and the injured Val Owen, Alex Meechan, Greg Young and Stuart Coburn being the exceptions. New centre-back Mark McGregor was making his first home appearance.

    City included former Everton defender Sean Densmore, now a trialist with the Bantams.


    Bradford City were making their third visit to Moss Lane in the past seven years for a pre-season friendly. As well as the technical area duo of David Weatherall and Chris Casper, Bradford also had with them their first-team manager, the former Everton and Scottish international midfielder, Stuart McCall and his former Everton team-mate Graeme Sharp.


    ALTRINCHAM (All yellow): 1. Andy RALPH, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 4. Chris LANE, 5. Mark McGREGOR, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 7. Chris SENIOR, 6. Kevin STREET, 8. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Lee ELAM; 9. Dale JOHNSON, 10. Chris DENHAM. Subs: 12. Colin LITTLE, 14. Richard BATTERSBY, 15. Joe O'NEILL, 16. Alex MORRIS, 17. Bradley BARNES.

    BRADFORD CITY (Claret and black, shirts, claret shorts and socks): 1. Matthew CONVEY; 2. Sean DENSMORE, 3. Luke O'BRIEN, 4. Louis HORNE, 5. Simon AINGE (capt), 6. Milton TURNER, 7. Rory CARSON, 8. Kerry NIX, 9. Leon OSBORNE, 10. Rory BOULDING, 11. Sean TAYLFORTH. Subs: 12. Adrian BELLAMY, 13. Chris ELLIOTT, 14. Jonjo O'HARA, 15. Luke DEAN, 16. Ryan NEWTON, 17. Ryan HARRISON, 18. Will HUTTON.


    Altrincham kicked off in bright sunshine attacking the Golf Road end. The first action of note saw Elam dispossessed but City fired over the bar, the player concerned perhaps being influenced by the matchday programme which instead of having columns against the Bradford City players' names on the teamsheet showing "Goalscorers" and "Yellow Card" and "Red Card" recipients (as it did for the Alty side), had columns for "Tries", "Goals" and "Drop Goals". Obviously the printers also produce programmes for rugby matches!

    But then Altrincham took the lead with a bizarre goal. Following a Lane freekick, Doughty was fouled and from this second freekick, the ball was relayed, short to Street, some 30 yards out and not far from the left touchline. His curling cross evaded an Alty player in the box and seemed to be easy fare for the City keeper but Convey made a complete hash of it, allowing the ball to squirm past him onto the inside of the post and into the net (7 mins). Bradford responded with Horne forcing a save from Ralph after shooting from 20 yards. Play continued fairly evenly and uneventfully till Taylforth's attempted shot was diverted out for a corner on the Bantams' right (14 mins). Alty pulled all eleven players back and the corner was cleared.

    Danylyk was working hard in midfield and now Alty enjoyed a good spell with three successive passing movements in as many minutes, the last ending with a save from Johnson, whose mobility was again impressive for a big man. But then against this run of play, a long ball up the centre evaded McGregor and dropped for Boulding. The new City striker took the ball on and calmly drove it low past Ralph to level the scores (22 mins).

    From a freekick, following a foul on Street by Turner, Doughty's effort was saved by Convey (25 mins). Elam was showing more enthusiasm for the ball than on his debut but was tending to overelaborate at this stage. Bradford were then forced into a substitution when Boulding had to give way with a groin strain, the replacement being Dean. The local teenage fourth official Andy Coop put many of his more experienced BSP counterparts to shame by faultlessly using the electronic board to convey the substitution (31 mins).

    Play continued with some neat passing from both sides but not much goal-mouth incident. But then another excellent passing move produced a goal. Street fed Elam, whose excellent ball from left to right fed Senior. He found Johnson who held off a challenge inside the box to lay off the ball neatly for Denham, whose instinctive left foot jab sent the ball into the top of the net to put Alty ahead (33 mins). It was a well-taken goal at the end of a fine move.

    Soon afterwards, Carson shot weakly at Ralph before more good play at the other end from Johnson saw him do well on the far left and get in a decent shot from 20 yards which Convey saved (38 mins). Alty continued to press with Elam getting in a good header following good work on the right by Lawton (42 mins). But then Chris Senior went down, with no one near him, in the Bradford box, having hurt himself as he tried to turn (45 mins). After lengthy treatment from Alan Ainsley, Senior was helped off the pitch and, though he seemed a bit more mobile by the time he got back to the half-way line, he was not to take any further part in the game. So, Alty completed the half with ten men, but retained their 2-1 lead.


    Alty replaced the injured Senior by Colin Little at the interval, which City started with a shot at goal which was blocked. Elam showed some early promise before Taylforth fired narrowly over for the visitors (53 mins). A Bradford corner soon followed but Alty saw off this and a second corner a couple of minutes later as Bradford enjoyed their best period of the game. Just after the hour mark City brought on five substitutes; Bellamy, O'Hara, Newton, Harrison and Hutton all came on, with O'Brien, Horne, Ainge, Taylforth and Osborne being withdrawn (61 mins). Two minutes later Alty brought on Joe O'Neill for Chris Denham and Richard Battersby for Lee Elam (63 mins). Playing in right midfield, Battersby was soon impressing and O'Neill too was making an impression, though no goal threats materialised at this stage. However, an excellent move from Alty saw Lawton, Battersby, O'Neill involved before Danylyk found Little at the far post where his attempted chip came off the keeper and was cleared off the line for a corner by Turner (67 mins).

    Alty were now improving with Battersby's nutmegging of Harrison raising a particular cheer. But Alty had to be alert when Nix's freekick was only held at the second attempt by Ralph. Nix was being watched from the stand by his brother, who was Bradford's leading scorer last season. O'Neill then did well to win the ball but, at the end of the resulting move, Little was thwarted. However, Alty continued to press as the game reached the final quarter of an hour. At this point trialist Bradley Barnes came on for Johnson, the former Flixton man slotting in on the left wing (76 mins).

    It was all Alty at this stage as a Barnes cross gave Little possession and then a six-pass move ended with Battersby's cross for Little but the striker was closed down. But Little's best chance came from another excellent nod-on by O'Neill which Little poked over the bar (80 mins). Now Morris, another trialist, came on for Street (81 mins).

    Altrincham continued to press as Ralph in the Alty goal remained untroubled by City. Next, a fine move involving Battersby saw his cross headed by Little to the keeper when Barnes was waiting behind Alty's leading scorer of last season (84 mins). Further good passing yielded another half chance, this time for O'Neill, before a fine interception by the lively Battersby almost led to a goal. But despite two minutes of added play the score remained 2-1, with Altrincham deserved winners and looking a much more potent force than they had last season.