Match Report


F.A. Cup 4th Qualifying Round match
played on Sunday, 26 October 2008, at 3pm.


In a game more memorable for witnessing Colin Little's 100th goal for Alty than for the quality of play, the Robins earned a First Round tie away at Luton Town in a fortnight's time. Alty started disastrously, conceding a goal inside the first minute when they failed to defend a short corner and Snowdon headed in off the crossbar. Alty levelled when Little headed in Johnson's nod-on (29 mins). The winner came after 45 minutes, when Lane, with possible assistance from a defender, headed home. The second half was largely forgettable.

For Altrincham, Dale Johnson replaced Chris Senior up front in the starting line-up and midfielder Warren Peyton came in for the suspended Robbie Lawton. 16 year-old Joel Brownhill, the Altrincham youth team's left-winger, was an unused substitute.


  • 1 min: Peter SNOWDON (Newcastle Blue Star 1 Altrincham 0)
  • 29 mins: Colin LITTLE (Newcastle Blue Star 1 Altrincham 1)
  • 45 mins: Chris LANE (Newcastle Blue Star 1 Altrincham 2)

    REFEREE: Mr R Joyce



    This was the first ever match between these sides. Blue Star is a club on the rise, having left North-Eastern football to join the UniBond League last season. They went into this match in second place in the UniBond League First Division North, which is three steps below the Blue Square Premier in the non-League pyramid.


    Altrincham were very short of players, as six of their 20-man squad were sidelined today. Amongst those missing were Val Owen, who had not played all season though he was well on the way to recovery and fellow-midfielder Kevin Street, who suffered a possible knee ligament injury in training this week. Also out was forward Joe O'Neill, who had a "scope" operation on his knee in midweek which will sideline him for 3 to 4 weeks. Chris Denham remained sidelined, too, following his workplace eye-injury. And, to add to this, team-captain Robbie Lawton was suspended and defender Luke Waterfall was not allowed to play in the FA Cup by Tranmere Rovers, from whom he is on loan. So, that left Graham Heathcote and Graham Barrow with just 14 players, including two goalkeepers for this match. Ironically, seven players could have been named on the bench under the FA Cup rules for this season! So, 16 year-old Joel Brownhill was drafted in to the list of substitutes for this game. Joel has impressed this season as the youth team's left-winger. He is the cousin of Droylsden's defender Liam Brownhill, who almost joined Altrincham earlier this season.

    Blue Star included a number of names who had played against Altrincham previously, including player-manager Steve Bowey and ex-York City men Paul Brayson and Darren Craddock. New signing Peter Snowdon from Blyth Spartans started for the hosts.


    NEWCASTLE BLUE STAR (Blue shirts and socks, shorts): 1. Dan LOWSON, 2. Darren CRADDOCK, 3. Peter SNOWDON, 4. Chris CARR, 5. Steve BAKER (capt), 6. Jamie McCLEN, 7. David McTIERNAN, 8. Steve BOWEY, 9. Paul BRAYSON, 10. Steve SALVIN, 11. Chris EMMS. Subs: 12. Michael TATE, 13. Tony STEPHENSON, 14. Dean NICHOLSON, 15. Stuart NICHOLSON, 16. Chris FAWCETT.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Chris LANE, 4. Mark McGREGOR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 21. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Warren PEYTON, 18. Lee ELAM, 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 13. Andy RALPH (gk), 15. Alex MEECHAN, 19. Chris SENIOR, 20. Joel BROWNHILL.


    Kingston Park is an impressive, modern stadium which Blue Star share with Newcastle Rugby Club but it was less than 5% full for this FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round match. The sides knew before kick-off that an away tie at Luton Town awaited the winners today. In the absence of the suspended Robbie Lawton, Mark McGregor captained Altrincham but inside the first minute his side were trailing. It came after Chris Lane conceded a corner from Brayson's ball into the penalty area, the Blue Star striker having been allowed too much space on the right wing. The corner was taken short from the Blue Star left, and from the resulting cross from that side of the pitch, Snowdon headed home off the cross bar, leaving Alty a mountain to climb (1 min).

    Alty themselves won a corner soon afterwards but it was Blue Star who went close again when Brayson fired narrowly wide, following a mix-up between Lane and McGregor (5 mins). With manager Graham Heathcote cutting an exasperated figure on the touchline, Alty continued to labour against a team three levels further down the non-league pyramid. Next, Blue Star's McTiernan curled a shot narrowly over the bar as the home side continued in the ascendant (6 mins).

    Little did get in a shot, but it ran weakly wide from Johnson's feed (9 mins). Peyton then wasted an Alty corner but the travelling fans continued to give their mis-firing team good support. The referee was showing some leniency to some rugged challenges but apart from calling over the home captain Baker, as he lectured McClen, no disciplinary action was taken by Mr Joyce (22 mins).

    Alty equalized when Lane's ball forward into the box, from the right, was nodded on by Johnson. With keeper Lowson moving to his right to collect it, Little intervened to diverted the ball towards the opposite direction with a header into the net. It was Colin's 100th goal in an Altrincham shirt (29 mins). But, soon afterwards, Salvin was given too much space, which led to Bowey firing narrowly wide for the hosts (31 mins). Densmore then won an Alty corner, which Lowson caught from Peyton (33 mins).

    Soon afterwards Densmore was hacked down as he surged towards the box from the right but the referee played advantage allowing Elam to cross from the right but Little was unable to turn it in at the back post (37 mins). Rain was now pouring down as Alty went forward and won two corners in quick succession. Doughty took these and from the second, from the right, Lane and a Newcastle man rose at the near post, with the ball seeming to come off both men before entering the net to give Alty the lead (45 mins). After one minute's added time, the interval arrived after a hard-fought first half which was short on flowing football,


    NBS keeper Lowson almost got into trouble early in the second half when he tried to dribble round Johnson and was fortunate to find the ball back in his possession from a rebound off the Alty striker. Play stuttered on without much quality, on a pitch that was cutting up and the conditions were worsened by a stiff, cold wind. Alty now survived a corner, conceded by Young, before Baker was booked for a lunge at the hard-working Densmore (58 mins). Rain began once more as the game drifted unappetisingly on, past the hour mark. Then from a Densmore ball into the box, Little's back-header just evaded Johnson at the back post (65 mins).

    Alty's defence was keeping Blue Star at bay, but the visitors themselves were not creating much up front themselves. Stuart Nicholson then replaced McClen for Blue Star (70 mins), with Alty's Chris Senior replacing Dale Johnson up front two minutes later. Doughty then had to be alert to stop a Brayson threat (75 mins). Each side now won a corner, with Newcastle leaving three men up for Alty's flag-kick. From a Brayson feed, Snowdon then forced a fine save from Coburn who, soon afterwards also saved smartly from Nicholson to underline the precarious nature of Alty's lead.

    Next, Meechan came on for Elam (82 mins). Play drifted on into three added-minutes and, in the second of these, Brayson had a decent chance, following Emms's advance but the former York and Northwich striker fired straight at Coburn. Alty won two very late corners which they used to wind down the clock. So at the final whistle, Alty collected a much-needed twelve thousand, five-hundred pounds in prize money and a place in Round One but, as a match, the afternoon was largely forgettable.