Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 11 July, 2015, at 3pm


In this, their second pre-season game, Alty again kept a clean sheet but, once more, lacked much threat up front. However, following the goalless draw at NW Counties Premier club Abbey Hey in midweek, they secured a late win against their EvoStik Division One opposition today, thanks to an expertly taken goal from Damian Reeves, eleven minutes from time.

Brig created the better chances in a first half which saw Simon Richman suffer a head wound which needed hospital attention. He was replaced by Josh O'Keefe midway through the half. The winner finally came when Lawrie's good, low through-ball set Reeves free and he stroked the ball past the advancing Josh Samberg in the Brig goal, the ball going into the net off the foot of the keeper's right upright.


REFEREE: Mr Richard Wild

Compared with last Tuesday, Alty fielded a stronger starting eleven today, with all the starters having featured for the club last season except for trialist Jordan Deacey and new signing Michael Rankine.

At the interval, a further six changes were made by Alty, as regulars Lawrie and Reeves came on, alongside new goalkeeper Tim Deasy and trialists Josh Green, Jayden Hall and ex-Youth teamer, Jeff King.

Ryan Crowther was away on holiday.

For Bamber Bridge, former Premier League striker, Brett Ormerod, was making his debut.


BAMBER BRIDGE (White shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Lee Dovey, 2. Daniel Mahoney, 3. Darren Green, 4. Matt Lawlor, 5. Paul Alexander, 6. Stuart Vasey, 7. Alistair Waddecar, 8. Paul McKenna (capt), 9. Brett Ormerod, 10. Joe Booth, 11. Chris Marlow. Subs: 12. Nathan Parish, 14. Matty Kay, 15. Curtis Thompson, 16. Sean Cookson, 17. Neil Reynolds, GK Josh Samberg.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts & socks, blue shorts): First Half: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 12. Jake MOULT, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jordan SINNOTT, 14. Nicky CLEE, 16. Jordan DEACEY, 6. Michael RANKINE. Second Half subs: 18. Tim DEASY, 6. Josh GREEN, 7. Jayden HALL, 8. Josh O'KEEFE (also wore #7 as a first half sub), 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Jeff KING


Bamber Bridge play in the First Division North of the EvoStik (Northern Premier) League, three tiers below Alty in the non-League pyramid. Brig had last been league opponents of Altrincham in 2000-01 and, before that, in 1998-99, they had fought closely with Altrincham for the then UniBond League title, which Altrincham eventually clinched, allowing them to return to the Football Conference.


On a warm afternoon, the first meaningful action was a Nicky Clee shot, which was saved (2 mins). Some four minutes later, Alty's fairly bright start continued as, firstly, a well-struck left-foot shot from Michael Rankine just cleared the crossbar and then a Griffin shot from the left was saved at the end of a good build-up (7 mins).

But the home side then came more into the game and, soon after a Sinnott shot had cleared the bar at one end, Brig won the game's first corner. After this Brett Ormerod got behind the defence and from his cross a header by Marlow was impressively beaten away, one-handed, by a diving Coburn. Shortly afterwards, a Booth header cleared the Altrincham bar (23 mins).

Another impressive Bamber Bridge move led to another Ormerod cross and, from the heart of the goalmouth, Vasey's attempt to turn the ball home was blocked by a desperate block from a defender (27 mins). Another impressive sequence from the home side followed, a minute later, as Waddecar and Ormerod combined well before the former player's effort went just wide. Alty continued on the back foot as Ormerod got behind Leather and, again, fed Waddecar whose effort was pushed away by Coburn (33 mins).

The ref now stopped the game for Simon Richman to go off to receive attention to a head injury which had resulted in blood appearing on his neck, below his right ear. Despite physio Alan Ainsley's attention, the midfielder had to be replaced by Josh O'Keefe (38 mins).

Altrincham did rally a little before the interval as Sinnott advanced, before the ball came out to Rankine, whose rasping shot was well saved (41 mins). Then, two minutes later, Rankine fed Sinnott but he lifted his shot over the bar. So, Alty had now played a game and a half in pre-season without either scoring or concedimg a goal.


Bamber Bridge brought on five substitutes, including former Alty Youth keeper, Josh Samberg. For their part, six changes were made by Alty, as regulars James Lawrie and Damian Reeves came on, alongside new goalkeeper Tim Deasy and trialists Josh Green (defensive midfield), Jayden Hall (right wing) and ex-Youth teamer, Jeff King, wearing the no.11 shirt.

Alty started brightly and won an early corner but, despite plenty of possession, they did not seriously threaten to score before the hour mark. Passes were going astray and ball control was not at its best as Altrincham strove to impose themselves. However, it was Bamber Bridge who came the closer to scoring as a cross gave Cookson a good chance but he could not convert it from inside the goalmouth. (67 mins). Soon, the same player won his side a corner, after which Bamber Bridge made two more changes, with Ormerod one of the players replaced (71 mins).

After Lawrie had been bundled over just outside the box, Densmore's well-struck, low freekick forced a good save. After another Alty corner had come to nothing, Lawrie played a low ball through the central channel and set Reeves running at goal. He calmly slotted a low shot past the advancing Samberg and into the net, off the base of the keeper's right-hand upright (79 mins). After this, Altrincham rarely looked like adding to their lead but they dealt successfully with some late pressure from Bamber Bridge. In the final minute of normal time, an O'Keefe cross was headed into his own net by a Brig player but the "goal" was ruled out, either for a push or offside.

Once again it would be Altrincham's defence, keeping its second clean sheet, which would have been happier than the more forward components of the team. A sterner test follows next Tuesday when Wigan Athletic are expected to bring a predominantly first-team squad to the J. Davidson Stadium for Altrincham's first home game of the summer.