ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY (1) 3
played on Saturday, 13 July 2013, at 3pm
A combination of the hot weather and the much more extensive use of substitutes by Accrington led to Alty fading in the closing stages as Stanley came back from 2-1 down to snatch an 89th minute winner. Before that Altrincham had been good value for their lead in an open and surprisingly active game, given the sweltering heat.
Miller fired the visitors ahead in the 17th minute after controlling the ball well. After 35 minutes a foul on Perry gave Alty a freekick which Shaun Densmore curled home impressively from just outside the box, right of goal.
Just three minutes into the second half Jamie Walshaw was upended and he converted the resulting penalty, awarded by Premiership referee Anthony Taylor.
After 62 minutes Stanley made no fewer than eight substitutions whilst Alty made much more sparing use of their bench. The Visitors gradually got on top and, following a move up their left, Naismith sidefooted home an equalizer after 77 minutes. With under two minutes left the visitors snatched a win when, following a corner, a cross was headed home by Murphy (89 mins).
But Altrincham had given a good account of themselves, without several of their regular first team squad (Coburn, Leather, Rodgers, Richman).
- 17 mins: George MILLER (ALTRINCHAM 0 Accrington Stanley 1)
- 35 mins: Shaun DENSMORE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Accrington Stanley 1)
- 48 mins: James WALSHAW (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 2 Accrington Stanley 1)
- 77 mins: Kyle NAISMITH (ALTRINCHAM 2 Accrington Stanley 2)
- 89 mins: Peter MURPHY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Accrington Stanley 3)
REFEREE: Mr Anthony Taylor
Altrincham were without Simon Richman, due to his involvement in the World University Games in Russia, whilst Stuart Coburn, Scott Leather and Carl Rodgers were other absentees, today, from last year's squad. However, Alty included their summer signings in the shape of Kyle Perry, Jamie Walshaw, Mike Williams and Danny Boshell, as well as a few trialists, all of whom were on the bench.
The trialists included a goalkeeper Matt Lord, Scott Byrom (ex-Nelson), left-back Christopher Bailey (Colne to Nantwich Town in February 2013), Pat Crilly (Alty Youth) and goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd (previously with Runcorn Linnets and Barrow.
Stanley had a number of trialists, too, many of whom were assigned a forename on the teamsheet beginning with A, which in most cases was not correct!
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shiorts and red socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 7. Kyle PERRY, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. James WALSHAW. Subs: 12. Sam FREAKES, 14. Rob GILROY, 15. Damian REEVES, 16. Matt LORD, 17. Scott BYROM, 19. Chris BAILEY, GK. Dan Lloyd, David BROWN, Pat CRILLY.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY (Blue and yellow): 25. Ian Dunbavin, 2. Nick Hunt, 3. Mike Liddle, 4. Nick Travis, 5. Tom Aldred, 6. Peter Murphy, 7. A Jones, 8. George Miller, 9. Shay McCartan, 10. James Ray, 11. William Henry Hatfield. Subs. 2. Andrew Dauber, 21. R Watson, 20. A?. Gibson, 19 Seb Carole, 12. Josh Windass, 14. Marcus Carver, 15. A?. Williams, 16. Danny Webber, 17. Luke Clark, 18. Kyle Naismith.
As well as being the first game played at the newly named J. Davidson Stadium at Moss Lane, Mike Garnett advises us that this was also the first-ever friendly meeting between the two clubs. The last time the clubs played a league match was in 2005-06, when Stanley won both matches 1-0 in the Football Conference. They also knocked Altrincham out of the FA Trophy that season, which ended with the Lancastrians promoted to League Two as champions.
Premiership referee Anthony Taylor got the game under way in very hot and sunny conditions. But the heat did not prevent the game from starting in a fairly lively fashion.
The first half-chance for Altrincham arrived after six minutes when Walshaw fired over the bar and, a couple of minutes later, Perry headed Doughty's excellent cross off target. End to end play was providing good entertainment as Stanley won a freekick 25 yards out. Reid punched this confidently clear, after which Stanley fired narrowly over the bar (12 mins).
An excellent Densmore ball was followed by some good play from Jake Moult as Alty matched their League Two visitors. Next, Lawrie, playing behind the front two of Perry and Walshaw, had a shot blocked after link play with Walshaw.
But Stanley took the lead when Miller controlled a pass well before blasting home a shot from outside the box to make it 1-0 and prompt one of several drinks breaks (17 mins). At this point youth team and England Schools' captain Rob Gilroy replaced Nicky Clee and soon the young midfielder fed Perry who, in turn found Walshaw, but the latter slid his shot wide (19 mins).
Soon, another Alty attack ended in a disappointing off-target shot but, considering the heat, the game remained lively as Havern halted a Stanley attack. Havern and Williams seemed to settle quickly into a reliable partnership at the heart of Alty's defence.
Following another drink break, prompted by Perry and an opponent clashing heads and needing treatment, there was little in the way of a serious goal threat before Moult threaded an excellent ball through to Walshaw but he was halted by a defender (34 mins). After fellow debutant Perry had been fouled just outside the right front corner of the penalty box, skipper Shaun Densmore curled an impressive freekick into the far side of the net to level the scores (35 mins).
Alty were now having the better of the game but further attacks broke down as, firstly, Densmore overhit a cross, then a Perry nod-on ended up with the ball going to keeper Dunbavin (41 mins), before an advance by Walshaw was stopped by the defence (43 mins). At the other end, Boshell lost possession and, as a result, Gray got in a shot but it went just wide.
There was time before the interval for a Perry shot, which was deflected to the keeper and for a Stanley freekick from their right wing but the interval arrived with the score a fair reflection of proceedings.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1|
Though both sides had been expected to make mass changes at the interval this was not the case; goalkeeper Dawber replacing Dunbavin was the only substitution at this point. Alty started brightly and, after a good move, Doughty's shot was saved but in the aftermath Walshaw was brought down in the goalmouth and got up to convert the resulting penalty. After ten misses from the spot by their side last season, it was good for Altrincham fans to see a confident conversion of a penalty by Alty's new signing (48 mins).
Stanley responded and Reid had to save well at his near post after Alty had stood off their opponents. When Walshaw was again brought down, a freekick resulted 35 yards out but this was cleared. With Alty doing well, they introduced Reeves up front to replace midfielder Moult. Following a Stanley corner, Reeves was soon caught marginally offside from a fine Densmore ball (58 mins).
Next, for Accrington, McCartan fired a shot over, followed by a team mate firing wide and this signalled an eight-man substitution by the visitors, as Windass (son of Dean), Carver, Williams, Clark, Naismith, Carole, Gibson and Watson all joined the fray (62 mins). The eight replaced Hunt, Liddle, Jones, Miller, Travis, Hatfield, Gray and McCartan.
In contrast, it was to be another eight minutes before Altrincham introduced their second substitute of the game as former FC United player Sam Freakes took over from Kyle Perry, who had put in a good shift (70 mins).
Next, after Doughty had lost out for a 50-50 ball, Carole shot just wide for the visitors but Alty remained good value for their lead. However, as the minutes past, the impact of Stanley's eight pairs of fresh legs some 15 minutes earlier began to take its toll. The visitors advanced up the left and from the resulting cross, Glasgow Rangers' Kyle Naismith, a trialist with Accrington, sidefooted home to make it 2-2 (77 mins).
Alty now played their third substitution card as left-back Chris Bailey, who had joined Nantwich Town in February of this year, came on for Danny Boshell (79 mins). Stanley were now on top as Alty tired. But the Robins were not out of it as, first, Bailey played a good ball forward and then a Densmore cross needed attention from Dunbavin. At the other end, Reid was out smartly to smother a through ball before a Reeves effort just cleared the visitors' bar. The end to end play continued as, next, Mike Williams cleared well for Alty.
But Accrington kept coming forward in the closing stages as, firstly, Gibson went close from the edge of the box, before Havern had to block smartly from Naismith. The Rangers' man caused more problems soon afterwards as he drew a good block from Reid, which led to a corner. Following the corner, the ball was played in from the right and Murphy stole in to head the winning goal as the game went into the 89th minute.
With no added time being played, Altrincham had no chance to claim an equalizer but they had given a good account of themselves in sweltering conditions. It was the mass substitution of fresh players which gave Accrington the edge against an understandably tiring Altrincham in a pre-season game which provided plenty of entertainment from both sides.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 3|