Match Report


Pre-Season Friendly
played on Saturday, 10 August 2013, at 3pm


Thanks to a strong second-half performance, Altrincham recorded a deserved win over Burnley's Development Squad. Burnley had taken the lead with two goals in as many first-half minutes. Firstly, Steven Hewitt struck a 20-yard freekick past Adam Reid in the 20th minute and then Jamie Frost curled a low shot home. Alty, without Stuart Coburn and Simon Richman, brought on Carl Rodgers, Scott Leather, James Walshaw and Brian Smikle at the interval.

Altrincham dominated the second half and pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Walshaw took advantage of a deflection to him by Burnley's Gallagher. James Lawrie equalized in the 82nd minute, after good work by Nicky Clee. With two minutes remaining, Altrincham-born substitute Liam Irwin, (Denis's son and formerly on Bolton Wanderers' books), took a fine corner for the Robins, from which Lawrie's header was deflected into the net for an own goal to give Alty a 3-2 win.


REFEREE: Mr P Davies

Altrincham were without the injured Simon Richman and Stuart Coburn. Brian Smikle, the former Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford winger, was again in the squad as was Liam Irwin, son of former Manchester United defender Denis Irwin.

Burnley had brought their Development Squad to Altrincham; their first team was away at Sheffield Wednesday today.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and red socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. Kyle PERRY, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James WALSHAW, 16. Brian SMIKLE, 17. Rob GILROY, 18. Dan LLOYD (gk), 19. Liam IRWIN. BURNLEY XI (Claret and blue shirts and socks, white shorts): 1. Nick LIVERSEDGE, 2. Cameron DUMMIGAN, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Archie LOVE, 5. Alex COLEMAN (capt), 6. Tom ANDERSON, 7. Andrew MUSUNGA, 8. Steven HEWITT, 9. Jason GILCHRIST, 10. Jamie FROST, 11. Christian HILL. Subs: 13. Dan NIZIC, 14. Cameron HOWIESON, 15. Luke GALLAGHER, 16. Nutumba MASSANKA, 17. Jack ERRINGTON.


This was Altrincham's seventh and final friendly of pre-season, with the league season starting next Saturday.


Burnley kicked off towards Golf Road in front of a disappointingly small gate on a fine, sunny afternoon. Despite their shirt numbers, James Lawrie was on Alty's right as Kyle Perry played in a central striking role. Both sides soon settled into a game of neat first-time passing, with the visitors edging the game. Musunga went the closest to a goal when a cross from Hewitt was chested down for Musunga to strike a firm shot, which kissed the top of the Alty crossbar (8 mins).

Other than this effort, neither side seriously troubled the opposition goalkeeper before Boshell fed Clee, whose rasping shot was beaten out by keeper Liversedge (16 mins). Then Lawrie got past his marker and from his cross, Reeves's diving header was just off target (18 mins).

Following a challenge by Lawrie, Burnley were awarded a freekick just outside the box in a central position. As Reid moved to his right, Hewitt drove his freekick to his left to open the scoring (20 mins). It got worse for Alty two minutes later when a shot by Hill hit an Alty man and fell for Frost. The Burnley man curled a low shot past the exposed Reid to make it 2-0 (22 mins).

Altrincham should have pulled back a goal in the 26th minute when an impressive 15-pass move ended with Perry doing well to hold off a challenge to get free in the box. But the front man put his left-footed effort wide of the target. Alty soon threatened again when Clee beat his marker but his shot was deflected away from goal. Moments later the ball was played back into the box from the right where Clee got in a good header but it landed on the roof of the net (28 mins).

There was no real sign of a further goal for either side until Musunga got in a good shot from 30 yards which went narrowly wide (36 mins). Burnley threatened again when Reid was dispossessed as he attempted to prevent a corner but the keeper recovered well to make a good block (38 mins). Although Altrincham won a late corner, which keeper Liversedge failed to gather, the visitors reached half-time with a two-goal lead, a margin which slightly flattered the visitors.


Altrincham made four changes the break as Walshaw, Smikle, Rodgers and Leather replaced Perry, Reeves, Doughty and Boshell. Burnley introduced Errington for the limping Brownhill in defence.

Alty started the second half well as Williams, now at left-back and having a good game, got in a cross which Walshaw headed wide. Alty continued to have the better of the game and came close when a Clee header from the right just evaded the head of Havern from a freekick 27 yards out (55 mins).

Next, Smikle won his side a corner before the Clarets made a change with Gallagher replacing Love (61 mins). Altrincham should have scored after 63 minutes when Liversedge tried to dribble clear, only for the alert Walshaw to dispossess him. With the goal vacant, Walshaw lifted his left foot shot well over the bar to the groans of the Alty supporters.

Clee then prompted a good Alty move as Reid remained a spectator in the Alty goal (65 mins). Walshaw was again in action as this time he dispossessed Errington in the box but his shot was blocked. The substitute striker's third chance in four minutes arrived when he got in a firm shot from Rodgers's feed but saw the effort blocked by an opponent (67 mins).

Despite their dominance Alty could not score and in a rare foray to the other end Musunga got in a well-hit shot which Reid held well. Now Rodgers got into the box for Altrincham and Lawrie's resulting shot yielded a corner, which fell to Moult who sliced his attempted volley straight back to the corner taker. But Rodgers, who was making his mark, soon fed Williams, whose cross from the left came back off Gallagher to Walshaw who, this time, made no mistake with a low shot (73 mins).

Burnley brought on Howieson and Massanka for Hill and Gilchrist (76 mins). Alty now won three corners in as many minutes as they continued to dominate. The third corner came from a well struck Moult shot. Following the corner, Rodgers's cross from the left was headed wide by Walshaw (80 mins).

Alty finally got a deserved equalizer when an overhit cross from the right by Clee came back into the box from the left via Smikle at the byline to Lawrie who twisted past a defebder and fired past Liversedge (82 mins). Alty now introduced Liam Irwin, son of former Manchester United defender Denis, for his first appearance for his home-town club (83 mins). When Alty won a corner, it was Irwin who was entrusted with the kick from the left. His well flighted ball was headed goalwards by Lawrie from where a defender turned it into his own net to put Altrincham 3-2 up (88 mins).

From Walshaw's feed a Smikle effort was tipped over the bar for a last-minute corner but the final whistle soon went to leave Altrincham with a merited victory. Considering Lee Sinnott has not had a full squad available for any of the seven pre-season games, the performances in the last two matches have been encouraging as the team prepares to start the season next week at Kidderminster, away to Worcester City.