ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
ACCRINGTON STANLEY (1) 1
played on Tuesday, 29 July 2014, at 7.45pm
Altrincham again started without several first-choice players but, after a first-half in which the visitors were the better side, Alty were much improved after the break. Stanley had taken a first half lead when Naismith scored from a 20th minute freekick. With Sean Williams outstanding, Altrincham had the better of the second period and deservedly equalised when Simon Richman's excellent through ball set Ryan Crowther free. Crowther, who also had a good game, scored calmly as he faced keeper Iain Turner (50 mins).
- 20 mins: Kal NAISMITH (ALTRINCHAM 0 Accrington Stanley 1)
- 50 mins: Ryan CROWTHER (ALTRINCHAM 1 Accrington Stanley 1)
REFEREE: Mr P Graham
Havern, Leather, Lawrie, Clee and Reeves were all omitted from the starting line up against James Beattie's Accrington Stanley team. Beattie did not include trialist strike Lee Wort from Sholing but another trialist, ex-Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner, started tonight.
Alty gave a debut to new signing, Peter Cavanagh, a former Stanley stalwart.
ALTRINCHAM(Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts)
|1. Dave Parton, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Peter Cavanagh, 5. Tom Marshall, 6. Mike Williams, 7. Simon Richman, 8. Jake Moult, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. Sean Williams 11. Ryan Crowther. Subs: 12. Gianluca Havern, 14..Scott Leather, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 16. Nicky Clee, 17.Damian Reeves, 18 Stuart Coburn (gk), Steven Gillespie, David Brown, Jeff King.|
ACCRINGTON STANLEY(Red shirts, shorts, and socks)
| 1. Iain Turner, 14. Adam Buxton, 3. Jordan Mustoe, 4. Luke Joyce (capt), 5. Tom Aldred, 6. Rob Atkinson, 7. Shay McCartan, 8. Nicky Hunt, 9. James, Gray, 10. George Bowerman, 11. Kal Naismith. Subs: 22. Luke Simpson, 12. Michael Liddle, 2. Josh Windass, 15. Brett Ormerod, 16. Liam Goulding, 17. James Jenkins, 18. Roman Hickey, 19. Jack Hartley
This was Altrincham's sixth pre-season friendly but their first against League opposition.
On a cloudy evening at the J. Davidson Stadium, where the floodlights were on before kick off, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road. With Crowther on the left, Richman on the right and Moult and Cavanagh in central positions and with Sean Williams in front of them, Alty found themselves on the back foot for most of the opening half hour.
However, the opening few minutes were fairly even as the sides traded freekicks; Stanley's for a foul by Crowther on Naismith and Alty for a Joyce transgression (8 mins).
After 11 minutes Parton rushed out of his box and fouled Bowerman on the Stanley left but there was a poor freekick from the left byline from Stanley.
Five minutes later Bowerman fired just over the bar from the edge of the box after a cross from the right; this was the nearest to a goal so far.
After Moult had been penalised against Naismith, 20 yards out, right of centre, Naismith went for goal but Parton scooped the ball round his near post for a corner (17 mins). Another Stanley corner soon followed, on their left, before a Mustoe 25 yarder went to Parton, who cut out a resulting cross from the Stanley left.
Stanley were on top as they won another freekick, just outside the right of the box. Despite the angle, Naismith scored directly from the freekick, his shot flying into the far corner of Parton's net (20 mins).
Alty remained penned in their own half till a Richman effort was blocked amid an appeal for handball in the box. Altrincham could not get forward or keep the ball for long at this stage. Another visitors' corner came and went and then Mustoe ran up the left to give Gray a shot, which cleared the bar (33 mins).
At last Alty got in a meaningful shot, from Sean Williams, which was saved. There was a scare when Gray went down in the box under a Mike Williams challenge, but play continued and led to a fine Buxton cross from the right, which won a corner (37 mins).
But Altrincham had a better spell before the interval, which featured Crowther getting in on the left and forcing a good save from Turner, who beat the ball away to his left (43 mins). But, just before the break, Naismith won another corner after good play by Joyce.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1|
Brett Ormerod, Liam Goulding and Josh Windass came on for Stanley for the second half, with Joyce, Gray and Buxton going off.
Wilkinson replaced Cavanagh at the break and soon Alty won a freekick when Richman was held on the front of Accrington's box. However, Griffin's freekick was pouched by Turner (48 mins). At the other end, McCarten forced a near post save from Parton.
Next, a great Richman ball from half way on the right wing found Crowther, whose finely timed run beat the offside trap and set him clear up the middle. He kept calm as the advancing keeper went the wrong way and slotted home an equalizer (50 mins).
For Accrington, Bowerman was then played in but Parton did well to push his shot away for a corner (54 mins). Crowther continued to look lively on Alty's left before Densmore won his side a corner on the right. After this a Marshall header went to Turner from Sean Williams's cross. Alty were doing much better this half.
After Crowther had shot wide from a Richman feed, more skill from Crowther led to his cross-field ball for Densmore, but it was just too hard for him to gather. Another good Alty move now ended in a Wilkinson shot, which deflected for a corner (63 mins).
Now Sean Williams was popping up all over pitch as Altrincham enjoyed the better of the play. Stanley then made a four-man substitution as Liddle, Jenkins, Hickey and Hartley came on for Mustoe, Aldred, McCartan and Bowerman (66 mins).
Five minutes later, Alty introduced Leather, Reeves, Clee, Havern and King for Marshall, Richman, Moult, Mike Williams and Crowther (71 mins). Altrincham were soon playing the ball around impressively as a Densmore cross then a shot over the bar by Sean Williams threatened the Stanley goal (76 mins).
Stanley responded as Jenkins won a corner after a fine ball from Liddle. Jenkins soon threatened again but Parton held his shot well (79 mins). Sean Williams was impressing and Wilkinson's smart flick for Perry also brought the crowd's appreciation. Then Densmore fed Williams, whose shot was saved (81 mins). A smart Wilkinson chip now found Reeves before Perry was flagged offside from another Wilkinson pass. In the 90th minute good play from Reeves led to a corner, after which Leather had a shot blocked.
Altrincham's strong second half performance had earned a deserved draw and gave cause for optimism for the coming season.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1|