ALTRINCHAM XI (1) 1 WREXHAM XI (0) 0
abandoned after 61 minutes due to floodlight problems.
played on Tuesday, 9 September 2008, at 7.15pm.
Alty warm up before the game. L to R, Densmore, Doughty, Garner, O'Neill, Langford?, Smith and Street.
Altrincham's friendly against a Wrexham XI at Moss Lane tonight turned out to be a curious affair. The game kicked off with one side of the ground floodlit but with sufficient natural light to suggest that this might just be an economy measure. But as the game progressed the Popular Side remained in darkness. With the working pylons shedding enough light to see the far side of the pitch, it came as a surprise when the referee abandoned the game just after the hour mark leaving spectators, trialists and managers frustrated. Matchday announcer Steve Raftery shed some light on the curtailment by indicating that it was due to "electrical problems".
Before the abandonment, the game had been an entertaining affair, which Alty led one-nil, thanks to a stooping header from Lee Elam in the 11th minute following good work by Tierney and Garner on the left wing.
Wrexham fielded an entire eleven of professionals, including former Alty trialist Conal Murtagh. Four of their starters had been in the Wrexham squad for our recent BSP clash with the Welshmen. Tom Taylor was reportedly making his debut after recently joining from the USA.
For their part, Alty included five trialists in their 13-man squad. These were former Stockport County defender James Smith, former Bradford City midfielder Sean Densmore, former Stalybridge and Fleetwood winger Simon Garner, all of whom started, and on the bench were two new faces, Andy Langford and Giovanni Feliciello. Langford is a 20 year-old Manchester-born defender released by Morecambe at the end of last season, despite being the Shrimps' reserves' player of the year. Feliciello was with Chester City.
The Football Conference recently reported that "Simon Garner has been released from his contract with Fleetwood Town by mutual consent. Garner was signed by Fleetwood during the close season and previously played for Clitheroe and Stalybridge Celtic. The defender played in the 2007/08 Blue Square North play-off final but Stalybridge were denied promotion after a 1–0 defeat by Barrow. Fleetwood have played seven games so far this season and Garner made 3 appearances. Andy Pilley, Chairman, Fleetwood Town FC 'Simon is a good player and a decent lad. Unfortunately, this one hasn’t worked out and we have mutually agreed to cancel the contract. His pedigree will enable him to pursue his career elsewhere'".
Otherwise Alty employed members of the squad who, in general, have not been regular starters this season. Chris Senior watched part of the game before going to training but he was not risked in this game as he recovers from a knock.
ALTRINCHAM XI (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Andy RALPH, 2. Richard BATTERSBY, 4. James SMITH, 5. Matt DOUGHTY, 3. Paul TIERNEY; 7. Alex MEECHAN, 6. Kevin STREET, 8. Sean DENSMORE, 11. Simon GARNER; 9. Lee ELAM, 10. Joe O'NEILL. SUbs: 16. Andy LANGFORD, 14. Giovanni FELICIELLO..
WREXHAM XI (Pale blue shirts, dark blue shorts and socks): 1. Anthony WILLIAMS, 2. Gareth EVANS, 3. Neil TAYLOR, 4. Andy FLEMING, 5. Tom TAYLOR, 6. Conal MURTAGH, 7. Silvio SPANN, 8. Christian SMITH, 9. Marc WILLIAMS, 10. Michael PROCTOR, 11. Sam AISTON. Subs: 12. Leon CLOWES, 14. George STEWART, 15. Johnny HUNT.
After an even start, Wrexham won the game's first corner in the 5th minute but Alty went closer to a goal in the 8th minute as O'Neill headed Elam's fine cross from right, wide of goal. But Alty soon took the lead. Good work from Tierney and Garner on the left led to the former's cross to the back post where a stooping Elam headed home (11 mins).
Wrexham were playing neat possession football but were lacking an incisive end product as they were watched by first-team manager Brian Little, who had blasted his first eleven recently for their poor showing. Spann was looking their liveliest player, on the right flank. After wrexham had fired a shot narrowly over the bar, Alty won two successive corners, the first coming from a blocked cross by Elam. from the second, Garner rose well but headed over the bar (16 mins).
At the back Smith was looking assured on his Alty debut whilst further forward, O'Neill was hard-working as ever. Alty went close again when Garner slid in well to win possession and then the ginger-haired winger received the ball back from Elam before his cross was neatly flicked, just wide of the far post, by Joe O'Neill.
After treatment for Densmore, Wrexham won a corner from which a very fierce header flew past the post with such power that it went out of the ground (29 mins). A bad foul by Murtagh on O'Neill earned him a lecture and from the freekick Doughty tried to find Meechan but overhit his kick (33 mins). Spann then got into the Alty box but Smith covered the danger well, at the cost of a corner (34 mins).
Street's good play led to Battersby and O'Neill feeding the unmarked Garner, to the left of goal. But his well-hit shot cleared the bar comfortably (36 mins). Altrincham won another corner from a Garner cross before an Elam shot from 25 yards went wide. A Wrexham corner soon followed, off Tierney, before the visitors also gained a freekick 22 yards out. From this, a fine shot from Spann was beaten out well by Ralph (45 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM XI 1 WREXHAM XI 0|
The players came to the touchline at the interval but did not go to the dressing rooms. Instead play re-started after just a couple of minutes' break. Wrexham upped the pace at the start of the half but without seriously threatening a goal. A foul on O'Neill gave Alty a freekick from which a fine header by O'Neill went narrowly wide (56 mins). Next, wrexham's Williams also glanced a header narrowly off target as play went from end to end. The far side of the pitch was in relative darkness as no floodlights were illuminated on that side of the stadium, but it was still possible to identify players on the far wing. Good play from Elam gave Alty a corner (59 mins) but soon afterwards the referee surprisingly called a halt to the game even though the light was sufficient to play by.
The tannoy announced that electrical problems had caused the curtailment of what had been an entertaining game. Amongst the Alty trialists, Smith and Garner had done some good things and Densmore had looked solid in midfield. But the abandonment prevented Langford and Feliciello proving their worth.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM XI 1 WREXHAM XI 0|