Match Report


Friendly match
played on Saturday, 12 October 2013, at 2pm


After a bright start by Altrincham in which they took a 13th minute lead through Kyle Perry, the visitors came into the game and equalised when Peers got behind Rodgers. From his cross the ball came to Jones, who scored off the post (26 mins). Soon afterwards 1874 missed a penalty, which was weakly hit and saved by Alty debutant keeper, Pearson.

Cowen (a trialist), Moult and Densmore came on for Havern, Richman and Smikle at the break and other changes followed. After some pressure, Lawrie slid in Reeves's cross to give Alty the lead on 70 minutes. In fact, Alty dominated the second period but could not add to their score.


REFEREE: Mr I Hurdle

For this friendly against newly formed 1874 Northwich, a Supporters' Trust club set up in competition to the now Flixton-based Northwich Victoria, Altrincham took the opportunity to experiment. Trialist keeper Shaun Pearson (ex-Barrow) started, having returned from a spell in Australia and, on the bench, another trialist, tall centre-back Adam Cowen, a New Zealander, was joined by goalkeeper Dan Lloyd who had been an Alty pre-season trialist.


ALTRINCHAM (Red and white stripes, red shorts and socks) 1. Shaun PEARSON, 2. Scott LEATHER, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN (capt), 6. Simon RICHMAN, 7. Brian SMIKLE, 8. Dan BOSHELL, 9. Kyle PERRY, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs: 12. Shaun DENSMORE, 14. Adam COWEN, 15. Jake MOULT, 16. Rob GILROY, 17. Nicky CLEE, 18. Dan LLOYD (gk), 19. James WALSHAW

1874 NORTHWICH (Green shirts and socks, white shorts) 1. Matt Conkie, 2. Ryan Mitchell, 3. Lee Duckworth, J4. Craig Farnworth, 5. Danny Thomas, 6. Adam Ford, 7. Stuart Wellstead, 8. Lee Jones, 9. Tom Peers, 10. Dean McGregor, 11. Matt Ward Subs: 12. Paul Bowyer, 14. Jack McKay, 15. Liam Newman 16. Steven Crane, 17. Phil Coffin.


This was the first meeting of these two teams, as 1874 Northwich were enjoying their first season in competitive football. Based at Winsford, the club hopes to return to its home town in the near future.


In cool, breezy conditions Alty were attacking the Golf Road end in the first half. The hosts were again experimenting with a back three, a formation which had served them so well in the second half of their recent game against Guiseley. So Carl Rodgers was again deployed on the right of the back line, alongside Luca Havern and Scott Leather. Up front were Reeves and Perry, who played with Lawrie in the space behind them.

In the second minute the first meaningful action arrived as Richman's 25 yarder forced a save. Altrincham were having more of the early possession than their opponents but there was little threat of a goal at either end before the game's first corner arrived, conceded by Duckworth.

At the other end, debutant keeper Pearson's first action was to hold a well-struck 35-yarder from Jones (12 mins). When Ward got past Rodgers on the Northwich left, the threat was contained and Alty counter-attacked. This direct move developed until a Smikle feed allowed Perry to blast home a goal from the edge of the box to give Alty a lead (13 mins).

Moments later, Reeves passed to Smikle who returned the ball but keeper Conkie smothered Reeves's shot, though a corner soon followed.

For Northwich, a Wellstead cross came in from the right but Ward was only able to volley the ball, which arrived at an awkward height, wide of goal at the back post (20 mins). As the first half reached its midway point, 1874 were having a good spell. But Alty responded with a good move, which ended with Perry's stabbed shot being saved (24 mins).

Next, Perry had a well-worked "goal", from Richman's feed, ruled out for offside but, instead of going 2-0 down, Northwich immediately equalised. Peers got behind Rodgers who dived in for a challenge 30 yards out and missed the ball. Havern and the recovering Rodgers half cleared the resulting danger but the ball fell for Jones, who scored, the ball going in off keeper Pearson's right upright from 16 yards (26 mins).

It got worse less than two minutes later when a penalty was awarded to the visitors after Peers had fed Ward, who was then tripped for a pretty clear penalty. Fortunately for Alty, the spot kick was struck tamely by Ward (tbc) and Pearson saved well to his right, pushing the ball out for a corner (29 mins).

Jones was impressing for 1874 and now his excellent pass led to a corner, which Pearson flapped at but the resulting shot from Farnworth was blocked as Alty now struggled to match the level of their play in the earlier stages of the game.

The remainder of the half saw Northwich more than matching their higher-league opponents and, for the final fifteen minutes of the half, play was fairly mundane.


At the interval Altrincham brought on three subs, Cowen, Moult and Densmore for Havern, Richman and Smikle. Cowen went into the centre of the back line, with Densmore in right midfield and Moult central. Soon Reeves, Moult and Densmore combined well but the Alty captain's cross just evaded Perry (47 mins).

After Northwich's Welstead had fired over from right of goal, a Moult shot went straight out of the ground at the Carole Nash end. An Alty corner now came and went before Peers was just off target.

Northwich now introduced McKay for Mitchell (53 mins), followed two minutes later by former Alty Youth Steve Crane and Phil Coffin who came on for Peers and Ford. Soon, Coffin got past Rodgers but he fired a shot over the bar from left of goal (57 mins).

Altrincham were playing much better now than in the latter stages of the first half. Each side now made a change as Newman replaced McGreggor, whilst for Alty, Clee came on for Doughty (61 mins).

Densmore was having an effect on the right and he started a move which ended as a Perry shot was saved but went for an Alty corner. It was now fairly constant traffic towards the visitors' end as Perry headed over from Lawrie's freekick, before from a Perry feed, the keeper blocked a Reeves effort. After Moult had shot narrowly wide Bowyer replaced Farnworth for 1874 (65 mins).

After this, Lawrie and Perry each won a corner, as Altrincham continued to press forward. In the 70th minute, a long ball set Reeves clear and, from his low cross from the right, Lawrie poked the ball home to make it 2-1, though the keeper got a hand to it (70 mins).

The pressure continued as a Clee run won a corner before Walshaw replaced Reeves (72 mins). Altrincham continued to dominate the second half before Rob Gilroy came on for Perry, allowing Lawrie to move up front (78 mins).

After 84 minutes, a Lawrie chip from the right shaved the outside of the back post and then Conkie had to race out to clear. The ball fell to Lawrie, whose 40 yard volley went just wide (85 mins). An injury to Wellstead led to McGregor returning to the match (90+1 mins).

Altrincham deserved their win but Northwich had given a good account of themselves and, on this evidence, will soon be rising through the non-League pyramid.