Match Report


Pre-Season Friendly Match
played on Saturday, 21 July, 2012, at 3pm


The Clarets quite deservedly won this match but a fierce first-half shot against the post from Duncan Watmore and a second-half disallowed goal could have narrowed the margin in a game which finished with only James Lawrie and Simon Richman of last season's regular starters on the pitch for the Robins. With Stuart Coburn unavailable for this and the next two Alty games, Adam Reid kept goal and distinguished himself with a trio of good saves, whilst fellow youth team graduates Duncan Watmore and Sam Grimshaw, a second-half sub, also enhanced their reputations.

Alty fell behind in the 14th minute when Chris McCann scored with a low drive into the bottom corner of the net. With Burnley fielding a different eleven in the second half, they scored twice in three minutes soon after the break. Firstly, Danny Ings scored from the edge of the box (48 mins) before Charlie Austin's left-footer made it 3-0 in the 51st minute. Austin added the fourth in the 90th minute, with a back-post header from Treacy's cross from the left.

Alty's goal arrived in the 70th minute when trialist centre-back James McCarten (ex-Everton and Aberystwyth Town) stabbed the ball home after Stewart had failed to clear.

The match was refereed by Altrincham's own Premiership official, Anthony Taylor.


  • 14 mins: Chris McCANN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Burnley XI 1)
  • 48 mins: Danny INGS (ALTRINCHAM 0 Burnley XI 2)
  • 51 mins: Charlie AUSTIN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Burnley XI 3)
  • 70 mins: James McCARTEN (ALTRINCHAM 1 Burnley XI 3)
  • 90 mins: Charlie AUSTIN (ALTRINCHAM 1 Burnley XI 4)

    REFEREE: Mr. Anthony Taylor (Altrincham)

    ATTENDANCE: 1,059


    Several of the Altrincham squad which is being assembled for 2012-13 were not involved today. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn was one of them and he is set to miss three pre-season games due to holiday and attending a wedding, whilst midfielder Carl Rodgers and striker Ryan Brooke were also not in the starting line-up, though Brooke was a second-half substitute and Rodgers was involved in the warm-up.

    So, Adam Reid took over in goal, whilst his former youth team colleagues Duncan Watmore and Sam Grimshaw were also included; Duncan as a starter and Sam as a substitute. No trialists started the game for Alty but four were used in the second half (Matt Doughty, James [not John as on the team sheet] McCarten, Ashley Young and Adam Mather). Former Alty Reserves' keeper, Steve Downs, stepped in as goalkeeping cover on the bench, as he had also done last summer. Up front, just one out and out striker was deployed, in the shape of Danny Midgley.


    This was the second successive summer visit of Eddie Howe's Burnley first-team squad to Moss Lane for a pre-season game and, once again, all the players got 45 minutes. So an experimental side was pitted against a club four divisions higher than them in the footballing pyramid. The game was blessed with warm sunshine and once again Neil Brown had produced an excellent playing surface.


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Scott LEATHER, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 3. Nicky CLEE, 7. Duncan WATMORE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Scott PHELAN, 11. James LAWRIE, 9. Danny MITCHLEY. Subs: 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. James McCARTEN, 15. Ashley YOUNG, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 17. Adam MATHER, * Sam GRIMSHAW, GK. Steve DOWNS

    BURNLEY (Dark blue, with light blue trim): 1. Lee GRANT, 2. Luke O'NEILL, 3. Joseph MILLS, 4. Kev LONG, 5. Jason SHACKELL, 6. Chris McCANN, 7. Ross WALLACE, 8. Steve HEWITT, 9. Joe JACKSON, 10. Martin PATERSON, 11. Junior STANISLAS. Subs: 14. Kieran TRIPPIER, 15. Danny LAFFERTY, 16. Michael DUFF, 17. Ben MEE, 18. Dean MARNEY, 19. Danny INGS, 20. Alex MacDONALD, 21. Keith TREACY, 22. George PORTER, 25. Charlie AUSTIN, 27. Jon STEWART (GK)


    With the good-natured Burnley fans outnumbering the Altrincham supporters as they enjoyed the Clarets' first pre-season outing, the game got under way on one of this summer's rare sunny afternoons. Predictably, the strong Burnley side started the better but Altrincham were also playing some neat football despite the inclusion of six players who were not regulars last season.

    With McCann particularly impressing in the Clarets' midfield, Altrincham were on the back foot but it was not until the 12th minute that the visitors landed a shot on target when former West Ham player, Junior Stanislas, exchanged passes with Mills before firing firmly at goal from 35 yards. But Alty goalkeeper Adam Reid, who only turned 18 three weeks ago, got his body behind the ball and made a good stop.

    With Nicky Clee trying to get forward from left-back, Altrincham put together a move, started from the back by Reid, which ended with an offside decision seven passes later. But Burnley went ahead soon afterwards when the ball came out to the unmarked McCann who scored with a firm shot from the edge of the box which gave Reid no chance as it arrowed into the bottom left corner of his net (14 mins).

    After Reid had come out smartly to head clear, Altrincham had a narrow escape when the normally dependable Hall allowed an aerial ball to go over his head, where McCann latched onto it. But Reid produced an excellent save to push McCann's well struck effort round the post, to his left, for a corner (20 mins).

    Though Watmore was looking a threat for Altrincham it was Burnley who soon pressed again at the other end. Stanislas, who had just received treatment for a knock, came back on, firstly, to fail to take a good shooting opportunity and, moments later, to miss a great chance to score, which came when Leather's back pass fell short of keeper Reid. Stanislas's effort came back off the upright and was cleared (24 mins).

    Next, Havern did well to see off Stanislas at the cost of a corner before a smart turn led to a shot on the half-volley by Paterson, which went narrowly wide of the Altrincham goal (30 mins).

    At the other end, more good play from Duncan Watmore gained his side a corner, which was soon followed by one for the visitors (33 mins). After another Watmore surge had been halted by a foul, Hall did well to get on the end of the resulting freekick but he could not direct the ball to a team mate. Nevertheless, good work from Leather just after this led to a shot from Watmore, which gained the Robins another corner (38 mins).

    Though a cross from O'Neill deflected off Clee for another Burnley corner, the Robins were doing well against a Championship team. Indeed, the Clarets were lucky not concede parity when Clee won the ball and via Richman and Lawrie, Leather found Watmore. The young forward lashed a shot from the edge of the box which beat keeper Grant but cannoned back of his right upright (40 mins).

    As the 45 minutes ended, the fourth official showed his sense of humour as he displayed the electronic board to show the "time added" as "0". Indeed, Mr. Taylor blew the whistle for the interval without allowing any injury time.


    Burnley changed all eleven players at the interval but any hope that the unchanged Altrincham side might be facing the visitors' lesser lights was immediately dispelled as the new Burnley men scored twice in three minutes. The first came in the 48th minute when an impressive break forward by Ings led to his firing past Reid who had no chance of stopping the effort.

    Although an impressive dribble from Clee soon followed, yielding a corner, it was Burnley who were about to score again. Leather was unfortunate to see his clearance fall to Lafferty in the Burnley inside left position, 25 yards out. He fed Austin, inside, and the former Crawley striker swung his left-foot decisively, his shot from the edge of the box making it 3-0 (51 mins).

    Altrincham replied in spirited fashion by winning three successive corners, all taken by Lawrie. However, Burnley were in general in control of the game as Brooke, like Midgley in the first half, saw little of the ball at the front end of the Altrincham team.

    In the 63rd minute, Altrincham made their first changes as trialist defenders Ashley Young and James McCarten replaced central defenders Havern and Hall. Leather moved to centre-back as Young settled in at right-back. McCarten was soon involved as a cross deflected off him over his own bar for a Burnley corner (64 mins)>

    With Doughty now also on the pitch, Alty’s' back four consisted entirely of this summer's trialists, though one of them, Leather, had just signed on for next season at Moss Lane after playing for half an hour in a previous pre-season game. The ranks of the trialists were further increased in the 68th minute when Nicky Clee gave way to Adam Mather on the left wing (68 mins).

    Despite the experimental nature of the Altrincham team at this stage a Mather freekick yielded a corner, on the left. Lawrie’s corner was reached but not properly cleared by keeper Stewart and it came out to Densmore. But the Alty captain could not get a clean connection on the loose ball, which ran forward to McCarten who hooked it into the net from close range to make it 1 -3 (70 mins).

    Soon after this, last season's 18 year-old youth team captain, Sam Grimshaw, replaced Densmore, the new man slotting into right midfield (72 mins). Only Lawrie and Richman now remained of the regular starters from last season's Altrincham team, plus Reid and Watmore who had each only started two league games in 2011-12.

    Burnley now won two successive corners as Altrincham were kept largely in their own half (78 mins). But now the left-footed Grimshaw began to show promise on the right as Alty put together a good passing move. Another good move soon after this saw Brooke feed Watmore, whose smart turn inside the box, led to his laying the ball into the path of Richman, advancing at the back post. Richman, closely accompanied by Mather, put the ball in the net but celebrations were halted as the linesman’s flag went up for offside (82 mins).

    Then Reid, and moments later Young, did well to break up Burnley probes before a well struck effort from right of goal by Porter drew another fine save from Reid, the keeper pushing the ball over the bar for a corner (87 mins). But, soon, at the back post, the impressive Austin headed in a fine cross from the left by Treacy to make it 4-1. And seconds after the restart, Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to end proceedings.

    Altrincham had given a good account of themselves against Eddie Howe's first-team squad with youngsters Duncan Watmore and goalkeeper Adam Reid particularly impressive over the ninety minutes. The next test is at Trafford on Thursday night.