Match Report


UniBond Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final
played on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, at 7.45pm.


Altrincham have often struggled in recent seasons against teams from lower divisions but in this Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final they made no mistake in despatching their UniBond Premier neighbours.

Alty started well and took the lead in the 32nd minute when Denham scrambled home Doughty's cross. Densmore made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute with a well-struck freekick. Denham made it three just after the hour mark, a goal made by Greg Young's surge up the left. The scoring was completed by Chris Senior with a deftly executed chip over the keeper, ten minutes from the end.


  • 32 mins: Chris DENHAM (Altrincham 1 Witton Albion 0)
  • 43 mins: Shaun DENSMORE (Altrincham 2 Witton Albion 0)
  • 61 mins: Chris DENHAM (Altrincham 3 Witton Albion 0)
  • 80 mins: Chris SENIOR (Altrincham 4 Witton Albion 0)

    REFEREE: Mr S J Copeland



    Though CSC games normally go to extra time and a penalty shoot-out, it had been decreed that the semi-final would last only 90 minutes, with a subsequent replay if necessary.


    Graham Heathcote took the opportunity to play several players who have seen little action recently. Chris Denham started for the first time since, coincidentally, Alty's first Cheshire Senior Cup game this season in mid-September against Vauxhall Motors. He has been out with an eye injury following an accident at work. Alty were also pleased to welcome back their captain Robbie Lawton from an injury which had prevented him from starting a game since late November.

    With Denham's inclusion, and both Alex Meechan and Joe O'Neill coming into the side, Colin Little, Chris Senior and Dale Johnson all dropped to the bench. Anthony Danylyk, suspended for next Saturday, was also stood down as Lawton started in midfield. James Smith, too, returned from injury, allowing Mark McGregor a night off.

    For their part Witton included former Alty players in the shape of James Olsen, Kieran Lugsden, Gary Scott and Lee Thompson. After a poor start to the season, Witton had improved their league position in the UniBond Premeier recently under new manager Gary Finley.


    ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 22. James SMITH, 2. Chris LANE, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 21. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robert LAWTON (capt), 11.Warren PEYTON; 10. Chris DENHAM, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 15. Alex MEECHAN. Subs: 4. Mark McGREGOR, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 19. Chris SENIOR, 9. Colin LITTLE.

    WITTON ALBION (All yellow): 1. Greg SMITH; 2. Gary SCOTT, 4. Brian PRITCHARD (capt) 5. Paul BOOTH, 3. Danny WARNER; 6. Jordon KING, 8. Ashley DUNN, 10. Tony DUNNE, 11. James OLSEN, 7.Kieran LUGSDEN, 9. Lee THOMPSON. Subs: 12. Dan SCHWARZ, 14. Steve WYNNE, 15. Mark SMYTH, GK. Dave MILLINGTON.


    Altrincham started brightly and won a corner in the opening minute. But then Witton went close at the other end when Kieran Lugsden did well to put his fellow ex-Alty youth graduate, Lee Thompson, into the box. But Stuart Coburn made a fine save from the striker's shot (3 mins). The game was being played at a fast pace and Alty had a half chance themselves, soon afterwards, when Densmore's ball into the box bounced off Meechan's shins and went wide (5 mins). Three more Altrincham corners followed by the quarter of an hour mark but the best chance in the next period fell to Joe O'Neill. A nice lay off from Meechan set up the tall striker's shot but he pulled it wide (18 mins).

    Altrincham were setting the pace with Denham attempting to run at the defence at every opportunity, as he showed little sign of his four-month lay-off. Next O'Neill fired in a good shot which the keeper saved before Denham rose well in front of the keeper to back head an aerial ball narrowly wide (24 mins). When Witton got the ball they were also stringing passes together neatly but it was Altrincham who deservedly took the lead after 32 minutes. Doughty, who had already impressed as he made several advances up the left wing, crossed a ball into the box again and, from about six yards, both O'Neill and Denham were on hand to receive it, with the latter putting the ball into the net at the near post.

    Altrincham continued to dominate but when Lawton set Peyton running into the box, the left-sided midfielder expertly made space for a shot only to have his legs taken from under him by a defender for what looked the clearest penalty you could wish to see. But the referee would have none of it, waving play on to the amazement of the sparse crowd (35 mins). This encouraged Witton as they went to the other end where Thompson beat the offside trap to win a corner.

    Peyton and O'Neill then combined well and the latter went close, firing a good shot just wide. Then O'Neill interchanged passes with Meechan who was tripped as he drifted across the front edge of the box. From the freekick, 22 yards out, Shaun Densmore drove a fierce shot into the net. Goalkeeper Smith got his hand to the ball but could not stop it, as Alty went two-up (43 mins). Just before the interval Denham received his second talking-to for a minor foul.


    After Lugsden had brought down Peyton to concede an early freekick, Alty won two corners in the opening minutes of the half. Between these, Smith did well to parry away a fierce shot from Lawton which Young put into the net, only for the offside flag to be raised. Denham rode his luck again with a push on an opponent which elicited another lecture from Mr Copeland. Witton then won a corner and enjoyed some possession before a fine 30 yard effort from Peyton was blocked by a defender. Alty continued to dictate proceedings with Young taking advantage to get forward with a fine surge up the inside left channel. His low cross was met by Denham and though Smith made a good reaction save, the Alty man knocked the rebound back into the net to make it 3-0 (61 mins).

    Witton responded well with Thompson doing well to force a good save from Coburn. Witton now brought on Schwarz for the former Droylsden left-back Danny Warner (64 mins). Densmore was having a good game and via Lawton , Peyton got in another 30-yarder which produced a corner. Just after an O'Neill shot had gone wide, Alty made a triple substituion with Senior, Johnson and Little replacing O'Neill, Denham and Meechan respectively (71 mins).

    Booth got in a good header from a Witton corner before Alty raised their game again to dominate the final period, giving the Witton captain Pritchard a torrid time. When Senior harried the experienced defender, the Alty striker gained possession and from about 25 yards chipped the ball expertly over the keeper's head. Smith got his hands to the ball but it carried on into the net to make it 4-0 (80 mins). It was Chris's ninth goal of the season, just one fewer than Colin Little.

    Soon Senior tested goalkeeper Smith again but he saved the shot well and then a Little cross caused defensive problems before the ball was cleared from the lurking Johnson and Senior (86 mins). It was one-way traffic now but the nearest to a fifth goal was a well struck effort from Little in the last minute of normal time, which just cleared the bar.

    Greg Young was named Alty Man of the Match whilst his defensive counterpart for Witton, Brian Pritchard received the away team award.