Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 2 August 2008, at 3pm.


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    A well-struck 20-yard shot by midfielder Anthony Danylyk secured this victory against a young Blackburn Rovers' reserve side. Rovers' first-team was on duty at Wolves today. But Alty had to survive two firm strikes against Stuart Coburn's uprights in the second half. Chris Denham limped off before half time whilst Dale Johnson, who warmed up and was named on the team sheet, took no part in the game. With Chris Senior also sitting out this game, injured, hopefully Alty will have more strikers at their disposal next week.


  • 37 mins: Anthony DANYLYK (Altrincham FC 1 Blackburn Rovers XI 0)

    REFEREE: Mr A Taylor



    Altrincham once again deployed midfielder Robbie Lawton at right-back. Although Alex Meechan had recovered from injury to start today, both Chris Senior (twisted ankle) and Greg Young (facial injury) sat out today's game. Also, striker Dale Johnson, despite warming up and being named as a substitute, was not on the subs' bench for the game.

    The visitors did not include any "big names" due to their simultaneous first-team fixture at Wolverhampton today. However, Brown, Kane and Gallagher were three starters listed on the club website in the first-team squad for Rovers, whilst seven others were reserves and one, O'Connor, was an academy player.


    ALTRINCHAM (All yellow): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 4. Chris LANE, 5. Mark McGREGOR 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 7. Alex MEECHAN, 6. Kevin STREET, 8. Anthony DANYLYK, 10. Lee ELAM; 11. Chris DENHAM, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 10. Dale JOHNSON, 13. Andy RALPH, 14. Joe O'NEILL, 15. Richard BATTERSBY, 16. Warren PEYTON.

    BLACKBURN ROVERS (Blue and white halved shirts, white shorts and socks): 1. Jason BROWN, 2. Callum O'CONNOR, 3. Tony KANE, 4. Brian HODGE, 5. Gavin GUNNING, 6. Jon BATEMAN, 8. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Alex MARROW, 10. Paul GALLAGHER, 11. Andy HAWORTH. Subs: 12. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 13. Gunnar NIELSEN, 14. Martin McCUBBIN, 15. Grant HANLEY, 16. John LOWE.


    Right: Anthony Danylyk and Robbie Lawton in action against Blackburn Rovers.

    With several rival attractions - Rovers' first team were playing Wolves, nearby Manchester United were holding Solskjaer's testimonial at Old Trafford and both Manchester City and FC United were also in action - today's disappointing gate at Moss Lane of 350 was understanding. The visitors kicked off towards the Golf Road end but immediately lost possession leading to Street feeding Meechan who advanced on goal before firing wide of the post (20 seconds). At the other end, Marrow had a shot blocked before Gallagher wasted a possible opening with an over-ambitious flick. Chris Lane, who was to have a fine game at centre-back, then stepped in to cover as Marrow got behind Doughty (5 mins).

    Play continued fairly uneventfully before Rovers' goalkeeper Brown had to rush out to clear from Denham (10 mins). Then Elam cut in from the left and fired narrowly wide. Again play continued with some neat football from both sides but nothing resembling a decent goalmouth chance. For their part Blackburn's approach work was repeatedly undone by poor final balls. Meanwhile, Alty were tending to play too many long balls forward. The Robins then suffered a blow as Chris Denham went down injured. With Sean Riley and Alan Ainsley away it was Alty club doctor, Richard Parris, an A&E consultant by profession, who was acting as physio today and after a couple of minutes the Alty man was fit to continue (20 mins).

    Anthony Danylyk was making an impression in the Alty midfield where his harrying style was reminiscent of last season's loan player, Liam King. Coburn than saw a rare bit of action when he had to rush out and make a fine block with his body from Doran, who had looked one of the livelier Blackburn players (26 mins). This was the nearest to a clear goalscoring opportunity in the game so far. But soon, Blackburn had the ball in the net though Coburn had made no effort to save as the offside flag had already gone up (28 mins).

    However, Altrincham then had a good chance themselves when Denham dispossessed Gallagher as he ambitously tried to dribble away from his own penalty area. Though Blackburn half-cleared the ball it came to Meechan and, then, from Denham's feed Litle shot wide with a clear sight of goal (33 mins). Next a fine cross from Lane from the right just evaded Elam in the box (35 mins). Now, Denham had to go off and he was replaced up front by Joe O'Neill (36 mins). Just a minute or so later Altrincham took the lead and O'Neill was involved in the build up, feeding Meechan and from his pass Danylyk beat Brown from outside the box, the ball bouncing low into the right-hand corner of the keeper's net (37 mins).

    Alty threatened again in the 41st minute when Lane continued his good performance with a fine 40 yard diagonal ball forward to Elam on the left. Doughty's resulting cross flashed low across the goalmouth but no one was able to turn it into the net (41 mins). Alty were now on top and a foul on O'Neill yielded a freekick as half time approached. But when the whistle went for the interval, without a moment of added time being played, despite the stoppage to treat Denham, Alty had maintained their one-goal lead.


    No substitutions were made at the interval and the second half began with a late challenge on Little and a lecture for the offender. Alty then put together a good attacking move which ended with Little heading the hard-working Lawton's cross to the keeper (49 mins). But the Robins had a let-off when Gallagher sprang the offside trap but elected to shoot early and he missed the target (50 mins). Play went through a fairly uneventful spell before Lane did well to hook the ball clear in his own box after Marrow had got free and the ball had come to Gallagher (59 mins). Alty had a let-off on the hour mark when Gallagher fired in a shot from the left, which came back off the post to Doran but he blasted the rebound over the bar. At the other end O'Neill and Meechan combined to leave O'Neill with a chance which he spooned over the bar (63 mins). Lawton continued to impress in his new right-back role for Alty before Little sliced an effort over the bar after good work from Elam (66 mins). Midway through the half Warren Peyton, back from his holiday, replaced Elam on the left whilst Battersby came on for Danylyk. Lawton now moved to midfield as Battersby went to right-back (67 mins).

    Alty looked good value for their lead at this stage as O'Neill forced a good low save at the second atempt from Brown having received Street's feed in the right of the box (68 mins). Now Blackburn made a double change as Hanley and Griffiths came on for Bateson and O'Keefe (69 mins). Soon Griffths was left in space in the Alty area but shot wide (72 mins) before Gallagher drew a foul from McGregor as he threatened to get free on the right by-line. From the freekick the ball came to Gallagher who forced a fine save at the near post from Coburn, who beat the ball out for a corner, remarkably the first of the game (74 mins). From the corner, Blackburn fired wildly over the target at whcih point Rovers' Academy player McCubbin came on for Haworth (75 mins).

    With only a small crowd in attendnace, the game was being played out against a rather quiet atmosphere. Next, Lowe came on for Rovers' Marrow (78 mins) before Altrincham belatedly won their first corner after Little had tied a defender in knots and seen his shot diverted out of play (79 mins). Alty almost surrendered their lead when a 30-yard effort from Griffiths cannoned off Coburn's upright with the Alty keeper motionless (81 mins). Soon afterwards Alty committed the miss of the match when Little won possession and, from Lawton's resulting cross from the right, the ball dropped towards the back post, invitingly, for the incoming Peyton. But his attempted left-foot blast was badly sliced and the ball powered away towards the corner flag (84 mins). Lawton continued to impress before a foul on O'Neill gave Alty another corner. From this the ball was worked to Peyton whose cross was headed wide at the back post by Meechan (86 mins). The last chance of the game came in the last minute when Battersby made a good run up the right and from his cross the stretching O'Neill could only poke his shot over the bar.

    So Alty completed pre-season with five wins out of six friendly games and 18 goals scored against 5 conceded. With only eight players left from last season's initial squad and one of those, Owen, unable to play in any of the pre-season games, the matches have succeeded in bringing together a host of new players unaccustomed to each other's style. Assuming that the injuries to Senior, Young and Denham do not rule them out from next week's first league game, optimism is in the air as Alty prepare for their trip to Woking which kicks off the Blue Square Premier season.