Match Report

after extra time

Setanta Shield Round 3 match
played on Tuesday, 4 November 2008, at 7.45pm.


Altrincham went out of the Setanta Shield after extra time in Tuesday night's match. They more than matched the former League side but conceded the winner in the 112th minute when Brown crossed from the right and Louis was allowed time to control the ball and poke it past Andy Ralph. In normal time, the visitors had taken the lead three minutes into the second half when Louis was allowed to turn and feed Marc Williams, who rolled his shot into the net off the inside of the post. Alty levelled after 54 minutes when Johnson and Little combined and Alex Meechan expertly lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper and into the net. But a late lapse of concentration in added time cost Altrincham this tie and, to add to Alty's woes, Chris Lane had to be substituted in the first half with a back problem.


  • 48 mins: Marc WILLIAMS (Altrincham 0 Wrexham 1)
  • 54 mins: Alex MEECHAN (Altrincham 1 Wrexham 1)
  • 112 mins: Jefferson LOUIS (Altrincham 1 Wrexham 2)

    REFEREE: Mr P Varley

    ATTENDANCE: 537 (235 in away end)


    This was Altrincham's third home game against Wrexham this season, following a drawn league match and an abandoned friendly, which Alty led 1-0. Wrexham had changed their manager since their last visit, Dean Saunders having replaced Brian Little. In the Alty technical area, assistant manager Graham Barrow was missing, as he was watching Saturday's FA Cup opponents, Luton Town, at Walsall tonight.


    Both sides rang the changes with Alty giving starts to Andy Ralph in goal, Luke Waterfall in defence and Alex Meechan and Dale Johnson at the attacking end. Altrincham brought in Danny Heffernan, who had been in the first team squad briefly two years ago, but is now playing regularly at Abbey Hey. Wrexham included their two recent loan-signings, Angelo Tsiaklis and Ritchie de Laet.


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Andy RALPH; 21. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Mark McGREGOR, 17. Luke WATERFALL, 2. Chris LANE, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 11. Warren PEYTON, 15. Alex MEECHAN, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 5. Greg YOUNG, 8. Val OWEN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 19. Chris SENIOR, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN.

    WREXHAM (Pale blue shirts and socks, white shorts): 1. Gavin WARD; 32. Ritchie de LAET, 29. Ashley WESTWOOD, 15. Mike WILLIAMS, 11. Neil TAYLOR (capt), 10. Shaun WHALLEY, 33. Angelo TSIAKLIS, 12. Levi MACKIN, 25. Christian SMITH, 9. Jefferson LOUIS, 21. Marc WILLIAMS. Subs: 5. Steve EVANS, 8. Simon BROWN, 14. Tom KEARNEY, 16. Silvio SPANN, 26. Anthony WILLIAMS


    Although this game started with a session of head tennis which brought back fears of a repetition of Saturday's game against Histon, it soon settled down in a more entertaining affair in which the ball was largely on the ground rather than in the air. An early interception by Meechan on the Alty right led to Wrexham conceding a corner on the Alty left inside 70 seconds. But, at the other end, Andy Ralph had to make an early save from a deflected shot by Mackin, the former Droylsden man (4 mins). Referee Varley irritated the home bench when he ignored the flattening of Lane as the game settled into a fairly even start. When Meechan was given the ball by a Wrexham defender, his effort was blocked and Lawton’s well struck follow up was saved well by Ward (9 mins). Meechan continued to look lively, on what was a rare start for him in the Alty side. Graham Heathcote was having to tell his front three (Little, Johnson and Meechan) to stay forward whilst further back, Densmore was switching between a defensive and attacking role on the Alty right. A good Alty move then ended with Johnson feeding Meechan but offside halted play.

    At the back McGregor was doing well for Altrincham against his former employers whilst Warren Peyton delayed a freekick by removing his vest as he worked up a sweat on the Alty left (18 mins). Wrexham's Whalley was proving a fast-moving threat to his father's former team, whilst Marc Williams also looked lively up front. There was a scare when Ralph fluffed the collection of a cross but he got away with it. Alty then had to replace Chris Lane who left holding the small of his back, the result of an earlier challenge. Greg Young came on to replace him at the left of the back line (23 mins).

    Dale Johnson was also getting involved up front for Altrincham and he was part of a move also involving Densmore, which ended with Lawton being blocked in the six yard box but Alty's captain won a corner in the process. Meechan's header found Waterfall but he was unable to get his head on the ball, not least because he was being held (28 mins). Graham Heathcote continued to tell his team to "Get three up front" before referee Varley allowed play to be suspended whilst Smith put his boot back on.

    Matt Doughty was playing in central midfield for Alty proving again how so many Alty players can be deployed in unaccustomed positions. Alty's fluidity between 3-4-3 and 4-4-3 was a good match for the full-time visitors but neither side was creating many clear chances. Louis was using his size to some effect for Wrexham but his final ball was not up to the scratch on occasions. Alty won a corner, then a freekick, as the first half neared its end (42 mins). But even after more than two minutes of added time the players' endeavour failed to produce a goal.


    At the interval Wrexham introduced Silvio Spann in place of De Laet, who had joined the club last week on loan from Stoke City. The visitors had obviously been fired up by their new manager as they started the second half the better of the two teams. They immediately got a reward when Louis was allowed to turn and feed Marc Williams, inside the box, and the striker placed a low shot to Ralph’s right which just kissed the inside of the post and entered the net before a retreating Alty player could get to it. (48 mins).

    Though Wrexham enjoyed the better of the next few minutes, Altrincham soon levelled the score. Johnson did well and fed Little. Keeper Ward came out to block and ended up stranded as he blocked the ball in the outer reaches of his box. The ball fell to Meechan who executed a well judged lob which dropped into the net to make it 1-1 (54 mins). Three minutes later, Danylyk came on in midfield replacing defender Waterfall (57 mins). Alty soon won a corner and had the better of the next few minutes before Brown replaced Smith for the Dragons (63 mins).

    Play went through an undistinguished patch before Meechan finished a good move involving Peyton, Johnson and Little but the whistle had gone for offside (69 mins). Next Danny Heffernan came on for his Altrincham first-team debut. The tall Heffernan had been a regular in Alty's reserves before they were disbanded and had latterly been playing for Neil Brown's Abbey Hey in the Vodkat League. He came on up front alongside Little in place of Johnson (72 mins). Graham Heathcote continued to gee up his side from the sidelines and must have been pleased to see McGregor's superbly executed tackle inside the box to stop Mackin (75 mins). Altrincham were having the better of things at this stage but after they had won a corner, it was Wrexham who went close when Manchester City loanee Tsiaklis's freekick was met by Louis's header but he put it well over the bar (78 mins).

    The game's first booking came from backchat from Marc Williams (82 mins). Wrexham won a late corner (85 mins) but the game reached the end of 90 minutes and of three added minutes without a further goal, and so, extra-time was required.

    90 mins: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 2

    Extra time saw Whalley try to win a penalty with a dive which Mr Varley ignored before Lawton got free on the right but his shot was saved at the near post. Alty were more than holding their own but Danylyk’s mishit shot was their best attempt before the extra-time interval. This was despite Alty winning two late corners in the final minutes of the half.

    Densmore did well to stop Brown at the cost of an early corner to Wrexham. After a collision between Heffernan and Ward caused a stoppage, Wrexham brought on former Halifax man Kearney for Mackin (110 mins). The decisive moment arrived soon afterwards when Brown got forward on the right and his cross found Louis who was allowed the luxury of chesting the ball down before poking it into the net for the winning goal (112 mins). Greg Young was then booked for a foul on Marc Williams. Alty looked for a leveller with Little firing over (116 mins), then Alty won a corner (119 mins). In the two added minutes Ward fumbled the ball but Peyton's shot was deflected out for a corner (112 mins). And when the corner failed to produce a goal, even though goalkeeper Andy Ralph went up and almost got his head on it, it was the end of the Setanta Shield campaign for Altrincham. Two slack pieces of defending had undone their evening but they could take heart from more than matching their visitors.

    After Extra-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 2