ALTRINCHAM (1) 3 WREXHAM (1) 1
played on Friday, 2 August 2013, at 7.30pm
With manager Lee Sinnott able to field a stronger side than in previous pre-season games, his view that the team was coming together well for the start of the season was proved right as a run of five successive defeats was turned around at the J. Davidson Stadium. However, Wrexham had the better of the first half and took the lead in the 31st minute when a long-range shot from Jay Harris left Stuart Coburn, making his first appearance of the summer, wrong-footed.
Altrincham got a fortuitous equalizer two minutes before the interval when visiting keeper Joslain Mayebi failed to stop Kyle Perry's shot, which had its sting taken out of it by a defender's challenge as he made his shot.
Wrexham changed their side at the interval with only defender Stephens, who had been used as a first-half substitute, continuing after the break, along with 10 replacements. For their part, Alty introduced Jake Moult, who went on to have an impressive 45 minutes, and trialist, Brian Smikle. Smikle, the former Kidderminster and Hereford winger was deployed on Alty's right wing.
Altrincham took the lead after 54 minutes when Boshell's fine ball forward was superbly volleyed into the net by Damian Reeves. Reeves made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute when he twisted impressively to head home a James Walshaw cross, after Alty's summer signing had done well to get round Parle, to the left of goal. Report to follow.
The Robins were without Nicky Clee, who had a longstanding social engagement and the injured Simon Richman.
- 31 mins: Jay HARRIS (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 1)
- 43 mins: Kyle PERRY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wrexham 1)
- 54 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 2 Wrexham 1)
- 62 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 3 Wrexham 1)
REFEREE: Mr T Kirk
Altrincham were without Nicky Clee and the injured Simon Richman but otherwise manager Lee Sinnott had a strong squad at his disposal. A surprise was the appearance on the team sheet of a trialist, Brian Smikle, the former Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford winger.
The Dragons had two separate teams for each half, the stronger eleven being those who started the game.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2.Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Kyle PERRY, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs: 12. Mike WILLIAMS, 14. Jake MOULT, 15. Brian SMIKLE (trialist), 16. Rob GILROY, 18. Adam REID (gk).
WREXHAM (green shirts, black shorts and socks) - First Half - 1. Joslain MAYEBI, 2. Matty CARRINGTON, 3. Neil ASHTON, 4. Stephen WRIGHT, . Leon CLOWES, 6. Joe CLARKE, 7. Kevin THORNTON, 8. Jay HARRIS, 9. Theo BAILEY-JONES, 10. Brett ORMEROD, 11. Andy BISHOP.
WREXHAM - Second Half - 13. Andy COUGHLIN, 18. Steve THOMASSEN, 15. Kyle PARLE, 20. Anthony STEPHENS, 14. Johnny HUNT, 12. Adrian CIESLEWCZ, 16. Robbie EVANS, 6. Jonathan ROYAL, 11. Rob OGLEBY, 19. Nick RUSHTON, 17. Bradley REID.
This was Altrincham's sixth friendly of pre-season and they had lost the previous five.
For the third time this summer, the opposition not only won the toss but elected to make Altrincham change ends, the rationale presumably being that the Robins' keeper would have to face a bright, setting sun. In this case, it was Stuart Coburn, making his first appearance of the summer who was the victim, along with his defence.
So, although Altrincham had kicked off, it was Wrexham who won an early corner (3 mins) and who went on to have the better of the opening stages. And, soon afterwards, after Alty had lost possession, Harris was pushed over by Doughty just outside the box. Though this effort was driven into the wall, another Dragons' freekick and then a corner immediately followed as the Welshmen applied concerted pressure (7 mins).
After Harris had headed a Thornton cross over the bar, Altrincham mounted their first serious threat on the visitors' goal as Walshaw gathered the ball and turned well but his shot was saved (11 mins). But Wrexham's dominance continued with a corner and then a Bishop header, which sailed over the bar, after run by Clarke (17 mins).
Alty continued to concede freekicks, Thornton putting the next one narrowly wide before a second freekick was struck into Alty's wall. After Clowes's foul on Walshaw had been given there was a brief spat at the end of which Ashton was lectured by Mr Kirk.
Though they had been under pressure, Altrincham had defended well but they now mounted their best attack, to date, as Boshell's firm tackle led to Densmore getting forward and gliding past a couple of challenges before the move ended with Perry's cross (25 mins).
Next, Reeves played in Perry but his shot was blocked by Mayebi and the Alty man was flagged offside in any case (27 mins). But as Altrincham were enjoying their best spell of the game, Wrexham took the lead. In space, Harris picked up the ball, advanced a few paces and planted a 30-yard shot past a wrong-footed Coburn (31 mins). For the fifth time in six pre-season games, the opposition had scored the first goal.
Before play resumed, Clowes was replaced at centre-back by Stephens for Wrexham.
Two more Wrexham corners came and went before a poor Dragons' clearance went straight to Walshaw. He got in a firm, accurate shot, but Mayebi pushed it to his left, round the post, for a corner (38 mins). Then, after another Wrexham corner had been dealt with, a neat Altrincham move involving Lawrie and Boshell ended with the latter's cross from the right just evading Perry in the centre (41 mins).
But Alty's big new striker got an equalizer two minutes later in curious circumstances. Havern played a good ball forward to Walshaw who relayed it inside, from the left, to Perry. As the former Mansfield man shot, he was tackled and the power of the effort was reduced to medium/slow pace. A routine save at the base of his right stick seemed likely for Mayebi but, somehow, the Cameroonian custodian failed to stop the ball and it crept into his net to make it 1-1 (43 mins).
Half time arrived with the scores level and, though the visitors had had the better of the game, Altrincham had applied themselves well.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 1|
At the interval, Wrexham changed all their players except for Stephens, who had come on earlier as a substitute. Altrincham made just two changes as Lawrie and Rodgers gave way to a player described on the teamsheet as "A. Trialist", (i.e. Brian Smikle, ex-Kidderminster and Hereford United), and Jake Moult. Smikle took up the right-wing position, (Perry moving to the left), with Moult in the centre of midfield.
Wrexham's new formation started well, penning Alty back, as Ogleby found the side netting. Next, Rushton threatened before Ogleby won his side another corner, following which Reid's effort went narrowly wide (50 mins).
Smikle finally got a touch and was immediately fouled (51 mins). Altrincham then put together a seven-pass move which ended with a freekick. Following this, Boshell exchanged passes with Moult, whose superb through ball was met, in his stride, on the volley, by Reeves who expertly found the net to give Altrincham the lead (54 mins).
In midfield Moult was having a fine game and his impressive 50 yard diagonal pass forward located Walshaw, but he miskicked and the chance disappeared (57 mins). At the other end, a tremendous run by the pacey Cieslewicz took him past three challenges but he placed his shot just wide(58 mins).
As the floodlights came on and clouds gathered, a fine freekick from the left by Moult just evaded Smikle but went for a corner. Soon, another fine cross from Moult located Walshaw. Moments later Smikle found Walshaw and though Parle initially got the ball, Walshaw battled to win it back and his cross from the left by-line was acrobatically headed home by a twisting Reeves from close range. Alty now led 3-1 (62 mins).
Soon, another impressive long-range pass from Moult located Perry in the left of the box but the unmarked striker unfortunately miskicked (66 mins).
Altrincham now reintroduced Lawrie and brought on Williams to replace Reeves and Havern (67 mins). Reid then failed to convert a decent chance for Wrexham before the Welshmen won a corner, followed by a freekick, which Coburn beat out well from Cieslewicz (73 mins).
The eventful game continued as a six-man move ended with Moult lashing a shot at goal at the back post, which won a corner. Next, a Densmore 25-yarder cleared the bar (75 mins) before Walshaw and Perry both went close as the home side now controlled proceedings (80 mins).
However, Alty had a narrow escape in the 85th minute when Reid got in well and the ball ran goalwards off Densmore before Coburn grabbed it. With lightning now flashing in the distance, the game reached its conclusion and Altrincham had recorded their first win of the pre-season with their best performance of the summer. With Richman and Clee to add to tonight's squad, optimism is beginning to permeate the terraces.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 3 WREXHAM 1|