Match Report


Cheshire Senior Cup Match
played on Wednesday, 7 November 2012, at 7.45pm


In this Cheshire Senior Cup tie, Alty started the game brightly but fell behind after just seven minutes to a Congleton side from three steps lower in the football pyramid. A ball up the middle was missed by Leather and Congleton, after playing the ball about through several passes, went ahead from a fine shot from the left by Graham, which gave Reid no chance. Congleton doubled their lead after 30 minutes through an excellent chip over Reid by Koral. Alty were playing like a side unfamiliar with each other, as was indeed the case; their side started the game with six teenagers in its ranks and another player only just into his twenties. In fact, five of the players were making their first start for the first team this season and four of those were making their first-ever start for the first team.

In the second half, Alty huffed and puffed but there were too many individual errors. A goal seemed unlikely for either side in the first half hour of the second period. But it was Congleton who scored again after 79 minutes, with a great strike from the impressive Graham from 30 yards. An injury time penalty was converted by Graham to complete his hat-trick and compound Alty's misery on a night when just 172 souls turned out to watch. Congleton well deserved the win in a game against a disjointed Altrincham.


  • 7 mins: Jack GRAHAM (ALTRINCHAM 0 Congleton Town 1)
  • 30 mins: Michael KORAL (ALTRINCHAM 0 Congleton Town 2)
  • 79 mins: Jack GRAHAM (ALTRINCHAM 0 Congleton Town 3)
  • 90+3 mins: Jack GRAHAM (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 0 Congleton Town 4)

    REFEREE: Mr. J. Simpson



    With an FA Trophy match on Saturday and an FA Cup replay the following Thursday, Altrincham made changes and started this game with six teenagers in the line-up and a further player who had only just turned twenty. There were four players making their first-ever start, Danny Mitchley, Derryn Ofori, Sam Grimshaw and Ollie Riley. Riley and Ofori are current members of the Altrincham FC Youth team.


    This was Altrincham's first home cup match of the season after a sequence of away ties in the FA Cup.

    Mike Garnett has kindly provided the historical record of games between Altrincham and Congleton Town:

  • Home p.43 w.26 d.8 l.9 f.96 a.50
  • Away p.41 w.16 d.7 l.18 f.80 a.107
  • Neutral Grounds p.2 w.2 f.5 a.1
  • Overall p.86 w.44 d.15 l.27 f.181 a.158
  • NB - one result is missing.

    Record in Cheshire Senior Cup:

  • Home p.3 w.1 d.2 l.0 f.3 a.1
  • Away p.2 w.1 d.0 l.1 f.1 a.1
  • Neutral p.1 w.1 d.0 l.0 f.1 a.0
  • Overall p.6 w.3 d.2 l.1 f.5 a.2


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & black striped shirts, red shorts & socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Sam GRIMSHAW, 4. Oliver RILEY, 5. Matt DOUGHTY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Derryn OFORI, 8. Patrick LACEY, 9. Danny MITCHLEY, 10. Ryan BROOKE, 11. Duncan WATMORE, Subs: 12. James LAWRIE, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Nicky CLEE, 17. Jake MOULT

    CONGLETON TOWN (Yellow & black striped shirts, yellow shorts and socks) : 1. Michael Langley, 2. Dan Schwartz, 3. Louis James, 4. Ian Willis, 5. Andy Alston (capt), 6. Matthew Woolley, 7. Kurtis Gill, 8. Matthew Worrall, 9. Christopher Smith, 10. Mike Koral, 11. Jack Graham. Subs: 12. Dan Doherty, 14. Geoff Basford, 15. Jamie Turner, 16. Liam Newman, 17. Gareth Creswell.


    In front of a predictably very low attendance tonight, Alty took to the field in the centenary red and black striped kit which had last been seen in the FA Trophy defeat by FCUM last season. Town kicked off but Alty gained an almost immediate freekick, which Lacey took, and his effort forced a save from Langley. The 19 year-old midfielder was to be Alty's chief dead-ball taker for this match.

    Alty made quite a bright start and a fine ball from Brooke put Mitchley clear but the keeper blocked the striker's shot well (2 mins). Soon, Watmore won a corner on the left. With Alty setting the early pace, a good move, started by Ofori's pass to Mitchley, led to a corner which came to nothing (6 mins).

    But then it all started to go wrong as Scott Leather missed a long ball and after Congleton had put together a neat passing move, the visitors scored with an excellent shot from left of goal by Jack Graham (7 mins).

    Congleton were now playing some neat, passing football and, for a spell, Alty's young team simply could not get the ball off them. When Alty did gain a freekick just inside the Congleton half, it came to nothing. When Town committed another foul in the same place, against Densmore, a short freekick led to a strong run and shot by Mitchley but his effort fizzed just wide (13 mins).

    A further Congleton foul, this time on Brooke, gave Alty another freekick, following which a Watmore shot went to Mitchley, who put the ball into the net but was offside (15 mins).

    After Brooke had robbed Alston, Ofori won a corner on the right. Lacey continued to take the corners, both right- and left-footed, and this one evaded the keeper but no one could get on the end of it. However, the ball came out to Riley, whose shot was deflected over the bar for another Lacey corner.

    After Schwarz had seen off Mitchley, Alty scored another "offside goal" as Watmore finished well but after the whistle had sounded. Alty were still faltering and failing to produce much fluent football when, at the other end, a fierce Gill shot went just wide from a feed by Woolley.

    For Alty, Watmore was looking the most lively attacking player and he now won a corner, which Leather headed over the bar at the back post (27 mins). Soon, Leather was harshly penalised for hand-ball after executing a fine tackle. The decision was to cost Alty dear as, following the Congleton freekick, an impressive chip by Koral gave Reid no chance and made it 0-2 (30 mins).

    Two minutes later, Watmore was tripped after a typical mazy run; the freekick was taken just outside the Congleton box in a central position by Densmore. The Alty captain skilfully got the ball over the defensive wall but it just cleared the bar (33 mins).

    As Congleton Town continued to pass the ball well, looking like a side whose members were used to each other, Alty continued to look disjointed. The sides now traded long range shots as, first, Woolley's 30 yarder went just wide and then Mitchley's similarly distant shot went off target (36 mins).

    As Altrincham continued to falter, a good Mitchley feed allowed Watmore to chip the keeper but he was given offside once more (41 mins). As half-time neared, a shot from the right from Ofori went close from 25 yards. Half-time duly arrived with Altrincham having been second best to a good performance from The Bears of Congleton Town.


    There was a strange incident in the second minute of the second half when play was stopped and it emerged that Jake Moult had come on as a half-time substitute without going through the formal procedures. The midfielder was cautioned and made to walk off and re-enter the field in the necessary fashion (47 mins). Matt Doughty was the man replaced and Moult settled into an unfamiliar role at centre-back in his place.

    An early Alty corner by Lacey came to Densmore, who shot well over the bar (49 mins). Alty were at least applying some pressure now but to little meaningful effect. Things improved when Mitchley turned well and placed his shot but keeper Langley did well to palm the ball around the post for a corner (53 mins).

    Following this corner, Watmore nodded a Riley ball over the bar. A similar fate befell Lacey's 30-yard freekick as it, too, cleared the crossbar (55 mins). After Willis had fouled Watmore, a freekick by Lacey was only half cleared and a corner resulted for Altrincham (56 mins).

    But then Lacey gave away a freekick, 30 yards out. A well rehearsed freekick routine allowed Koral to force a good save from Reid and then Smith put the rebound narrowly wide.

    Just after the hour mark, Brooke was booked a little harshly after going in for a sliding tackle (61 mins). Although Alty were getting forward better than in the first half it was Congleton who looked the more incisive and, next, Reid had to concede a corner to Town (62 mins).

    A good ball from Riley allowed Ofori to win a throw in the right corner after which Watmore was felled crudely. Densmore played the freekick to Brooke but he miskicked and then committed a foul at the other end as he tried to make good his mistake (65 mins).

    Midway through the half Alty brought on forward Lawrie for defender Leather, following which a fine Grimshaw run earned a corner. Another foul on Watmore produced a freekick, 25 yards centrally, which Lacey put well over the bar (69 mins).

    On 70 minutes Woolley and Smith went off and Doherty and Turner came on. After play had resumed, Watmore won the ball and a good cross by Brooke followed, but Mitchley headed it badly over, when unmarked in the goalmouth (73 mins). Four minutes later, after an Ofori run had won a freekick on the right, Mitchley headed a Densmore freekick wide.

    With eleven minutes remaining, Koral's impressive run past Moult, up the left, led to a cross to Doherty who miskicked his shot to Reid. But it was all over for Altrincham moments later as Graham scored an excellent goal from 30 yards, centrally, giving Reid no chance (79 mins).

    The Bears next brought on Newman for Koral (83 mins). It was now verging on the embarrassing as Congleton looked the far better side as more passes went astray from Altrincham.

    To their credit, Alty did regain some poise as Watmore shot narrowly wide, Brooke forced a save, and Grimshaw's shot cleared the bar (88 mins). In fact, Alty then had the ball in the net, through Mitchley from an Ofori feed - and for the fourth time a "goal" by Altrincham was ruled out for offside (90 mins).

    In the first of two added minutes, Densmore and Moult sandwiched a Congleton player who was trying to get on the end of a cross from right and a penalty was awarded. Graham completed his hat-trick as his spot kick beat Reid (90+3 mins). Alty's humiliation was complete.

    With such an inexperienced side against a more than useful Congleton team, it was no surprise that this had proved a difficult match for Altrincham. Nevertheless, it was disappointing that no one had really enhanced his reputation or forced himself into first-team contention when given the opportunity to do so.