Match Report


CSC Round Two match
played on Tuesday, 4 March 2014, at 7.45pm


Altrincham progressed to the semi-final of the Cheshire Senior Cup as two much-changed sides contested Tuesday night's tie at the J. Davidson Stadium. For Alty, James Lawrie was the only player who started both this and last Saturday's game. Youth teamers David Brown, Josh Samberg, Derek Ubah and Rob Gilroy started the game and Max Pouncey soon joined them when Joe Mwasile was injured early on.

Altrincham took a 26th minute lead when a Lawrie shot was blocked and the ball ran to Perry, who netted. Perry repeated the act early in the second half when he sidefooted into an empty net after Gilroy had been halted in the box. But Alty's poor passing let Celtic back into the game as McConville fired home (66 mins). Perry then fluffed a penalty kick after Lawrie had been upended.

Celtic's wayward shooting and a number of saves by Samberg prevented the visitors converting their second-half pressure into an equalizer. Alty now travel to play Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final.


REFEREE: Mr Darren Strain

Both sides made substantial changes. Celtic started with only four of the team which had begun their last league game, whilst Altrincham's sole survivor in the starting line-up from last Saturday was James Lawrie. Making their first-team debuts for Alty were goalkeeper Josh Samberg, defenders David Brown and Derek Ubah and midfielder Rob Gilroy, whilst Max Pouncey was also to join the game early on. Also on the bench for the Robins was another youth player in Jeff King, nephew of Alty's former manager and captain, John King.

Matt Doughty captained the side



(Red and white striped shirts, red shorts and socks)
1. Josh Samberg, 2. David Brown, 3. Matt Doughty (capt), 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Derek Ubah, 6. Tom Marshall, 7. Rob Gilroy, 8. Greg Wilkinson, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. James Lawrie, 11. Joe Mwasile. Subs:. 12. Shaun Densmore, 14. Scott Leather, 15. Damian Reeves, 16. Max Pouncey, 17. Jeff King.


(Blue and white)
1.Danny East, 2. Oliver Crowley, 3. Jeremy Thierry, 4. Louis Smith, 5. Matt Regan, 6. Kristian Platt, 7. Adam Pepper, 8. Alec Mudimu, 9. Obi Anoruo, 10. Sean McConville, 11. Adam Parkhouse. Subs: 12. Tom Buckley, 14. Lewis Hatch, 15. Andy McWilliams, 16. Prince Haywood, 17. Jack Cookson.


Following two postponements at the Bower Fold, this tie was switched to Altrincham. The winners would earn a tie away to Tranmere Rovers.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the record in all matches between Alty and Celtic.

In their two league clashes this season, Altrincham had emerged with 5-0 wins on both occasions.


For no apparent reason the game kicked off four minutes late on a cool but dry evening at the J Davidson Stadium. Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road but the match had an uneventful opening with Alty doing the majority of attacking. The first half chance arose when Wilkinson and Gilroy combined but Perry miscontrolled the ball before being able to get in a shot (3 mins).

Next Lawrie fired over from a Wilkinson feed before Celtic brought Samberg into action at the other end. Next, former Vauxhall Motors' forward Anoruo got clear but fired over the bar (5 mins). Football League referee Mr. D Strain was to become the butt of complaints from the vocal Celtic directors' box, the first instance being when play continued when he did not spot his assistant waving his flag for offside against Altrincham (6 mins).

The Celtic players, too, were not happy with the ref and Pepper was now lectured for verbal comments. Celtic now pressed as Alty failed to clear their lines and the home side held its breath when Samberg came out of his box and Celtic's Anoruo went down under his challenge. No offence was spotted by the referee, which heightened the visitors' disgruntlement (11 mins).

Joe Mwasile, Alty's Morecambe loanee, now limped off with a shin injury and, after playing on for a couple of minutes with ten men, youth team striker Max Pouncey took over on the Altrincham left wing (13 mins). Celtic were on the front foot and Anoruo got in a shot after again beating the offside trap. This time, Samberg had to make a save.

At the other end, Pouncey and Lawrie set up Perry but his shot cleared the bar (19 mins). Celtic were making the running in terms of shots at goal but inaccuracy was their weakness; next Parkhouse shot wide (21 mins) and two minutes later he got in another shot, which ran comfortably to Samberg. After this, Pepper turned past Marshall but his cross evaded everyone. Play switched upfield where a pass from midfield set up Lawrie. His firm shot was parried by East but Perry scored easily from the rebound (26 mins).

But Celtic yet again opened up Altrincham but with a familiar outcome as Anoruo got clear of Ubah but failed to convert, his shot hitting the outside of Samberg's left post (27 mins). The visitors continued to press with a Platt run up the middle, followed by an Anoruo cross, which was cleared. Next, a Rodgers error allowed McConville to feed Anoruo who, this time, forced a save from Samberg (31 mins).

With Celtic on top, Anoruo missed another chance and two minutes later went down injured, but resumed play another couple of minutes afterwards, following treatment (37 mins). After Samberg had had to kick clear, Pouncey and Gilroy switched wings to try and lift Altrincham's performance.

Although Rodgers's interception led to a Brown cross, it was Celtic who next shot at goal but Pepper's 30 yarder flew just over the bar (40 mins). Celtic's wastefulness continued as Parkhouse shot wide before the 43rd minute substitution of the injured Anoruo by Buckley.

After Pouncey had seen his cross, from the right, cleared, he got in a shot which went wide (45 mins). In added time Buckley fired over the bar from 25 yards. Half-time arrived with Celtic having kept Samberg much the busier of the two keepers but their poor finishing had left them a goal adrift.


Celtic's off-target shooting continued immediately after the break as a McConville shot cleared the bar. Three minutes into the half, Altrincham doubled their lead. The chance seemed to have gone when Perry fed Gilroy inside the box but the midfielder's first touch was too heavy. Though Gilroy was blocked, the ball was not cleared and fell for Perry to sidefoot into the empty net. With eleven goals this season, Perry is Alty's third player into double figures this season, with eleven goals (48 mins).

Next it was Mudimu's turn to shoot well wide. For Alty the experienced Tom Marshall was guiding his young defensive partner Derek Ubah with helpful instructions and encouragement. The game had been very open so far, with few fouls and no corners.

After a Parkhouse cross had been half-cleared, Buckley sliced a shot wide before the game's first corner did arrive through Parkhouse (59 mins). But Altrincham were still not playing flowing football and when Wilkinson lost the ball, Samberg had to beat out a Buckley shot (64 mins).

Following a foul on Gilroy, there was a booking for the offender, Smith (65 mins). Another lapse by Wilkinson was more severely punished than the previous error as McConville lashed a shot home from the edge of the box to make it 2-1 (66 mins).

There was a worrying moment when Ubah missed a challenge and Marshall had to halt Parkhouse, conceding a corner. Celtic were now on top, as goalkeeper East remained unemployed. The visitors brought on Haywood for Mudimu after 75 minutes.

Mr. Drain then found himself the target of more abuse from the Celtic contingent as he did not award a midfield freekick which they had expected. Play continued and Lawrie was upended in the box, with a penalty being awarded. Ubah went down hurt before Perry saw his well-struck but not so well-directed penalty saved by East (76 mins).

Such were the protestations from Celtic that Mr. Drain came across and sent the visitors' manager to the stand (78 mins).

After their penalty reprieve, Celtic continued to keep Alty on the back foot as the home side laboured to keep possession for any length of time. Playing against his former team-mates, Wilkinson lunged in and was booked (81 mins).

After a Celtic corner, won from the freekick, a Smith shot ran to Samberg (83 mins). Another Celtic corner, off Marshall, soon followed, from which Samberg saved a header.

Alty had a chance to finish off the game as Perry cleverly set up Lawrie, but he scooped his shot well wide (86 mins). Now McWilliams replaced Parkhouse (87 mins). As the ninety minutes ended a wild Celtic shot by Pepper went out for an Alty throw. Into added time, Alty were making hopeful clearances before play halted for treatment to Brown, who had a quiet but efficient game at right back. Brown was unable to continue but, surprisingly, Alty did not bring on a substitute for the final minute or so, and completed the game with ten men.

So, Alty now travel to play Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final. In a not very well publicised rule change, the latter stages of the Senior Cup are not now played to a conclusion, so had Celtic equalised a replay would have been needed, as will also be the case at Tranmere. With their much changed side, Altrincham will have been pleased to progress against a spirited Celtic side whose poor finishing was the chief cause of their downfall.