WORCESTER CITY (1) 1
ALTRINCHAM (0) 3
played on Saturday, 17 August 2013, at 3pm
at Kidderminster Harriers FC
Alty had to come back from a 0-1 deficit at the interval, Danny Glover having impressively volleyed home after 26 minutes and the home team deserved their first-half advantage. Just after making a double change as Clee and Perry came on, Reeves headed a leveller after 63 minutes. Perry headed a second after Havern headed on a corner won by Clee, who made a real difference to the team's showing (74 mins). Substitute Rodgers, playing up front, made it 3-1 (89 mins).
- 26 mins: Danny GLOVER (Worcester City 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 63 mins: Damian REEVES (Worcester City 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 74 mins: Kyle PERRY (Worcester City 1 ALTRINCHAM 2)
- 89 mins: Carl RODGERS (Worcester City 1 ALTRINCHAM 3)
REFEREE: Mr Martin Dexter
Amidst the upheaval City's squad has undergone significant changes since last season, with a double-page spread in the match programme profiling the new arrivals.
For their part, Altrincham included four of their five new first-team faces for 2013-14 in today's squad, namely strikers James Walshaw and Kyle Perry, defender Mike Williams and winger Brian Smikle, (the latter two no strangers to Aggborough). However, youth team graduate midfielder Rob Gilroy, who has had a groin problem, was not in the squad. In addition, Alty included midfielder Danny Boshell, who ended last season on loan to Alty from Guiseley, but has now signed for 2013-14. Simon Richman was also missing through injury so could not face his former club.
WORCESTER CITY (Blue and white stripes, blue shorts) 1. Matt Sargeant, 2. George Williams, 3. Ellis Deeney, 4. Tom Thorley (capt), 5. Graham Hutchinson, 6. Richard Munday, 7. Luke Hubbins, 8. Ashley Sammons, 9. Daniel Nti, 10. Danny Glover, 11. Aaron Williams. Subs: 12. Ebby Nelson Addy, 14. Ashley Walker, 15. Shabir Khan, 16. Danny Williams, 23. Deale Chamberlain
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white stripes, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Mike WILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Brian SMIKLE, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. Nicky CLEE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 18. Adam REID.
Following their departure from St George's Lane, City are playing this season at Kidderminster Harrier's Aggborough ground.
Mike Garnett has provided the data on previous clashes between Altrincham and Worcester City.
- At Altrincham: p.10-w.8-d.1-l.1-f.26-a.11
- Away p.11-w.3-d.3-l.5-f.12-a.14
- All p.21-w.11-d.4-l.6-f.38-a.25
Mike's statistics also provide a record of Altrincham's performances over the years at Aggborough.
- Record at Kidderminster - p.22 w.8 d.6 l.8 f.25 a.35
- Record at Kidderminster in August - p.4 w.2 d.0 l.2 f.3 a.6
- Record at Worcester in August - p.2 w.0 d.1 l.1 f.1 a.2
On an overcast afternoon, referee Martin Dexter, who oversaw the Halifax v Alty league game last season, signalled for Altrincham to kick off towards the one populated end of the ground. Only the one stand and one end were open for today's match.
Altrincham kicked off with a breeze behind them and soon Lawrie had conceded a freekick. But the opening stages were fairly uneventful. After seven minutes, a foul on Walshaw led to Lawrie's freekick from the left which was punched clear. With good vocal supportfrom travelling fans, the visitors did not start the game particularly well and when a misplaced Lawrie pass went to Nti, it led to a fine shot by Nti which was well beaten out by the pink-jerseyed Coburn. City then threatened again as Nti got past Leather and won a corner on the left (10 mins).
For Alty, Reeves was twice caught offside whilst Hubbins and Nti looked especially lively going forward for City. Soon, Hubbins laid on a shot for a team mate which Coburn saved. Alty's errors continued as Boshell lost the ball but the resulting City attack was halted (16 mins).
Things improved as a Reeves flick to Walshaw led to Moult getting to the byline where he won Alty a corner on the left, which Lawrie overhit (16 mins). But there was no serious threat of a goal at either end; the best that Alty mustered in the next five minutes was a low Lawrie cross from the right, which was held by keeper Sargeant.
A promising move ended as Reeves and Walshaw got in a mix up and then, after an Alty freekick, a Boshell cross went for a goalkick. Manager Sinnott exhorted his players to have shots instead of "trying to walk the ball into the net" but, ironically, just as Alty were having a good spell, it was Worcester who heeded his advice with a snap shot.
A long ball was headed won by Nti and a great left-foot volley from Glover flew into the net from more than 20 yards (26 mins). A couple of minutes later Walshaw also implemented the shoot on sight policy but his fine effort, from 25 yards, flew just wide.
Next, Smikle found Moult, who turned into the box, but his cross cum shot drifted wide from left of goal (30 mins). But City looked the sharper side as Alty wanted too long on the ball.
When Hubbins fouled Walshaw, just outside the box, Densmore's freekick forced a save and gave Altrincham a corner, following which Lawrie's shot won another corner on the left. Unfortunately, Lawrie's low corner kick evaded everyone. Another Alty freekick arrived when Reeves was tripped on the edge of the box. Walshaw's freekick forced a save and produced a corner from which Williams's header yielded another corner, this time on the left (44 mins).
The Altrincham freekicks continued into added time as Walshaw was tripped 40 yards out. This dead ball situation led to a Havern shot, which Sargeant saved. Half time arrived after a 45 minutes in which Altrincham had looked promising in patches but not seriously looked like breaching the City back line.
At the interval the pitch sprinkler system came on which prompted it to start to rain steadily. However, the downpour eased off before play restarted.
|Half-Time: WORCESTER CITY 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the restart Worcester substitute Nelson-Addy came on for Nti, who had taken a first-half knock. After a fairly scrappy five minutes, Reeves got free and fed Lawrie who delayed his shot and lost the ball (52 mins). However, Alty almost got a bizarre goal when Walshaw charged down Sargeant as he kicked clear and then got the loose ball to Smikle whose effort was blocked amidst handball claims (56 mins).
Next, after Smikle had been pushed over, from a Lawrie freekick on the right Walshaw headed well wide. Just after the hour mark, for Worcester a Sammons long shot forced a Coburn save and won a corner. Following this, Perry and Clee came on for Walshaw and Smikle (62 mins). There was an immediate impact as Perry laid the ball left to Williams. From his cross, Reeves headed home the equalizer (63 mins).
At the other end, George Williams was allowed to advance but his resulting shot was saved. Then Clee got forward but shot wide (68 mins).
City now brought on Khan for Hubbins (69 mins) and they began to get forward after a second half in which they had not matched their first-half performance. But then a good Clee run produced an Altrincham corner. From the left, Lawrie's deep corner was headed forward by Havern and Perry nodded it home from close range to make it 2-1 (74 mins).
It almost became 3-1 when the ball came back to Clee from a freekick that he had taken to the right of goal and his brilliant volley from 25 yards or more beat the keeper but dipped onto the crossbar (74 mins). It would have been a certain Goal of the Season had it gone in.
Worcester used their final substitution as Danny Williams came on for Sammons (78 mins). Worcester now got forward and, after a City freekick had evaded everyone, another attack saw Addy advance but he fired over the bar (81 mins).
There was a curious incident when Coburn was barged out of his box by an opponent with the ball in his hands. It was either a freekick to Alty or a handball offence against the keeper but the referee just played on as if nothing had happened.
After Boshell had escaped with a lecture for kicking the ball away, Alty were penned back until Clee broke away and was fouled by Hutchison who became the game's only booking. However, Lawrie put the resulting freekick miles over the bar (85 mins).
An unexpected substitution saw midfielder Rodgers replace Reeves up front (86 mins). Soon Moult fed Perry who, in turn, located Rodgers, whose shot was blocked. For Alty the introduction of Clee had made a difference as he tormented the City defence in the latter stages.
In the 89th minute the other two subs, Perry and Rodgers combined and the latter was put through to rifle a shot impressively past Sargeant to make it 3-1. In the four added minutes Clee almost chested an own goal and Thorley hit a freekick against the wall but Alty got to the final whistle with their two-goal lead intact, to win their first opening-day match in five years.
They had shown character to come back from a fairly lacklustre first half and by the end were comfortable winners. It was good to see a decent crowd travel from Worcester to watch their team and, hopefully, the club will flourish over the two seasons that it expects to be away from its home city.
|Full-Time: WORCESTER CITY 1 ALTRINCHAM 3|