ALTRINCHAM (2) 2 MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES (1) 2
played on Saturday, 29 October, 2011, at 3pm
In an entertaining game at Moss Lane, Altrincham battled well against a second-half improvement by the visitors to draw 2-2. Alty had led 2-0 in the first half. Both Alty's goals were excellently taken by Jack Redshaw. The first, a low drive from Michael Twiss's feed, came in the fourth minute, and was followed by an expertly placed sidefooted goal from Simon Richman's pass in the 28th minute. Lingard pulled one back for United five minutes before the interval.
After making five substitutions at the interval, United dominated the second half and levelled when Morrison scored impressively after 53 minutes. But Alty defended well and finished the game strongly.
REFEREE: Mr M Jones
After an injury layoff, captain Robbie Lawton returned to the starting line-up and Alty also gave starts to new signing Jack Redshaw and to several players who needed game-time in the shape of Brian Summerskill, Chris Lynch and Simon Richman. The management also took the opportunity to play some players in different positions from normal, such as Ryan Brown in left midfield. Stuart Coburn, Damian Reeves and Nicky Clee were rested, as youth team keeper Adam Reid made his first start, with Steve Downs providing goalkeeping cover on the bench.
United included Tomasz Kuszczak in goal and also included some other well-known names in the shape of Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison and Rafael Leão in their squad. Paul Scholes joined Warren Joyce in the United dugout.
With Alty out of the FA Cup and United Reserves lacking a league fixture recently, this friendly was arranged for both teams' benefit.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Adam REID, 2. Chris LYNCH, 3. Mark LEES, 6. Adam FLYNN, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 7. Jack REDSHAW, 4. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 8. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 11. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS, 10. Simon RICHMAN. Subs: 12. Joe COOMBS, 14. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. James LAWRIE, 17. Matt FEARON, 18. Steve DOWNS (gk)
MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES (All blue). 1. Tomasz Kuszczak, 2. Alberto Massacci, 3. Luke Giverin, 4. Sean McGinty, 5. Tom Thorpe, 6. John Cofie, 7. Larnell Cole, 8. Reece Brown, 9. William Keane, 10. Davide Petrucci, 11. Jesse Lingard. Subs: 12. Paul Pogba, 13. Liam Jacob, 18. Ravel Morrison, 17. Marnick Vermijl, 14. Michele Fornasier, 15. Michael Keane, 16. Rafael Leão
On a dull afternoon in front of a disappointingly low gate, the game went through an uneventful few opening minutes before Altrincham took the lead in the fourth minute. Michael Twiss worked the ball to Jack Redshaw in the inside-right channel and the young striker finished impressively, driving a low shot across the keeper into the net to record his first goal for the club.
Alty were now looking the better side, though with such a small gate, there was a very quiet atmosphere in the ground. Lynch now got almost to the by-line but slipped as he received the ball and then Kuszczak had to be alert to get to a good ball from Summerskill, just ahead of the lively Redshaw (14 mins).
United were making a lot of unforced errors but they finally put together a good passing move in the 18th minute which ended with a good save by Reid from Petrucci's thirty-yarder, the keeper parrying the ball wide for a corner to his left. Next, a good ball from Brown gave Richman a shot, which was blocked by the United keeper (20 mins).
At the other end, Petrucci fired over the Alty bar but then Altrincham doubled their lead. Richman fed Redshaw who calmly picked his spot to place a low right-footed shot into Kuszczak's bottom left-hand corner (28 mins).
Just after Robbie Lawton had got forward well and seen his shot saved, United won themselves a corner but it was not long before Alty responded with a flag-kick of their own, won by Twiss, playing against his former paymasters. A Richman freekick then cleared the bar.
However, United got back into the game when Cole set Warrington-born Jesse Lingard free and he rounded the advancing Reid before scoring from right of the goal (40 mins). United's improvement continued towards the interval which arrived with Alty leading 2-1.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 1|
Manchester United made five changes at the interval but as not all their players were wearing the numbers on the team sheet, the assumption is that these were Pogba, Keane, Rafael Leão, the Belgian, Vermijl, and Morrison. Alty made just one change at the break as Adam Flynn gave way to Joe Coombs in central defence.
The changes prompted United to up their performance and soon a good tip over the bar was required from Reid from a 35-yard effort by Morrison (47 mins). United levelled when Lingard set Morrison free and, as goalkeeper Reid advanced to confront him, the United man sidestepped the challenge before putting the ball into the unguarded net (53 mins).
It looked as if the writing might be on the wall now for Alty as United had the better of proceedings. Alty responded with a substitution as James Lawrie replaced Simon Richman (57 mins). With United still in control, orchestrated by Morrison, Altrincham later made two further swaps as youth teamer Matt Fearon and Anthony Danylyk replaced Lawton and Summerskill in midfield (63 mins).
United won two more corners before Shaun Densmore replaced Michael Twiss (68 mins). But, despite the home side's changes, United remained on top and it took a good combination of a retreating Joe Coombs and the advancing Adam Reid to see off United's William Keane. A few minutes later, Reid was active again as he pushed Morrison's shot onto the crossbar (78 mins).
With ten minutes remaining, United reintroduced two substituted players, Giverin and Thorpe. Soon, Alty won a corner as they raised their game for the closing stages. A run forward by Ryan Brown was only halted by Kuszczak smothering the ball as the ninety minutes drew to their end. In added time, with United going forward, play stopped after a spat between Redshaw and Pogba into which Morrison also appeared to introduce himself. Judiciously, the referee allowed no additional time before blowing his whistle to end the game.
Altrincham's management duo were able to see some of their less-used players give a good account of themselves, with recent signing Jack Redshaw particularly impressing.It was also good to see Robbie Lawton back in action whilst youth teamers Reid, Fearon and Coombs gained useful experience against good quality opposition.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 2|