Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 14 July, 2015, at 7.45pm


Altrincham, without both full-backs (Densmore and Griffin) gave an excellent performance against a Wigan Athletic team which deployed 24 players during the match. As well as playing some good football, Alty also matched the fitness of their opponents despite only using 16 players and one of those only played for two minutes.

Wigan took a 27th minute lead when McKay turned and drove an unstoppable shot past Tim Deasy from 25 yards. But Alty levelled ten minutes later when Michael Rankine dispossessed a defender in the Wigan box and held off a challenge to drive home the equalizer.

Alty had the better of the first period of the second half but Wigan finished more strongly. Eleven minutes from time, Wigan were awarded a dubious penalty against Deasy but the keeper saved Tavernier's spot kick to keep the scores level.

Alty's squad tonight included only two trialists; Jordan Deacey and an unnamed striker, plus reserves Sam Heathcote, David Brown and Joel Swift, though the last two named did not get onto the pitch.



Altrincham started with nine of last season's squad but were without first-choice full-backs Shaun Densmore and Adam Griffin. So Alty deployed Jordan Sinnott at right-back and Nicky Clee on the left of the back four. The two new players were striker Michael Rankine and goalkeeper Tim Deasy. Alty named eight subs, of whom only four made more than a minute's appearance. In contrast, Wigan, named 24 players and used them all.


ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 3. Nicky CLEE, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 6. Tom MARSHALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Ryan CROWTHER. Subs: 14. Scott LEATHER, 15. Josh O'KEEFE, 16. Jordan DEACEY, 17. Sam HEATHCOTE, 18. Stuart COBURN, 19. A Trialist, 21. Joel SWIFT, 22. David BROWN.

WIGAN ATHLETIC: (Blue and white striped shirts, blue shorts and white socks) 1. Richard O'Donnell. 3. Andrew Taylor, 4. David Perkins, 5. Donervon Daniels, 6. Max Power, 10. Billy McKay, 11.Sanmi Odelusi, 18. Tim Chow, 24. James Perch, 28. Jason Pearce, 33. Martyn Waghorn. Subs: 2. James Tavernier, 7. Chris McCann, 13. Lee Nicholls, 16. Ryan Jennings, 17. Jordan Flores, 20. Craig Morgan, 25. Leon Barnett, 26. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, 37. Adam Anson, 38. Sam Cosgrove, 41. Adrian Purzycki, 43. Reece McNally, 44. Louis Robles.


After two games against lower league opposition this was Altrincham's first encounter with higher graded opposition; it was also the first home match of pre-season and groundsman Neil Brown had again produced a superb playing surface.


Before a crowd boosted by good numbers from Wigan, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road on a dry and mild evening at the J. Davidson Stadium. Early on, after Moult had been penalised for jumping all over his man and Rankine had also been pulled up, having won the ball illegally, James Lawrie saw a shot blocked (4 mins). But it was Wigan who wasted the first good chance of the game. Perch was put clear, up the right, only for Waghorn to sidefoot the cross from the right badly wide (6 mins).

Soon afterwards, Reeves dispossessed Daniels, who had dwelt on the ball in his own box, and via Rankine, a Richman shot was saved. Alty were closing down their opponents smartly and, next, it was Lawrie who robbed an opponent but was then fouled, 30 yards out. After another 50-50 challenge had been won by Alty, in this case by Moult, a Sinnott cross was cleared. The harrying of the opposition continued, through Crowther, before Lawrie won possession. He found Clee who played Lawrie into the box but his cross cum shot across the goalmouth came to nothing (11 mins).

After sixteen minutes, an Odelusi header from a right wing cross was comfortably held by Deasy. During this move, the referee allowed Tom Marshall to play on with just one boot on.

Altrincham continued to show commitment as, first, Rankine and then Moult won the ball off their opponents. Though overall play had been fairly even, it was arguably slightly against the run of play when Wigan took the lead. A ball was played forward to McKay, who was in a fairly central position about 25 yards out. The Wigan man was allowed the space and time to turn and he scored a fine goal with a rising shot which gave Deasy no chance (27 mins). It almost got worse immediately afterwards as Waghorn shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

After a low Sinnott cross had been cleared, Rankine took the ball off the hesitant Pearce inside the box and Alty’s new striker then held off the defender’s recovering challenge before driving a strong shot past the exposed keeper O'Donnell to make it 1-1 (37 mins).

Wigan now enjoyed some possession but close marking forced them to move back, rather than towards goal. Soon, though. a Power cross had to be cleared by Sinnott who was having a steady game in his unaccustomed right-back role. Then, an error by Moult allowed Waghorn to create an opening for McKay but he missed the target on this occasion (43 mins). The half ended with an Odelusi cross, which McKay hooked to Deasy in the Altrincham goal.


Despite the presence of 21 substitutes on the combined benches, Wigan brought on keeper Nicholls but otherwise the teams kicked off with the outfield line-ups unchanged. After a slow start to the second half, Havern blocked a shot well whilst, at the other end, an underhit shot by Reeves came from a Crowther lay off and a Rankine shot was blocked (50 mins).

Some fairly scrappy play ensued before Waghorn shot straight at Deasy (54 mins). However the Latics now won a corner, which was soon followed by a second one. Both sides now made three changes (55 mins). Alty introduced new midfielder Josh O'Keefe, trialist striker Jordan Deacey (ex-BPA and Telford) and an unnamed trialist, who went up front, with Deacey on the right flank. They replaced Crowther, Rankine and Reeves. Wigan, for their part, brought on McNally, Jennings and Flores.

Out of character with the game, a late challenge on Moult saw Waghorn booked (59 mins). Jordan Deacey was then on the wrong end of a challenge which the referee did not deem to be a foul, though the substitute did earn a freekick a minute later (64 mins). After Altrincham had won a corner on their left, following which a Clee cross was headed wide by Marshall, five changes were made by the visitors as Tavernier, Purzycki, Morgan, Robles and McCann replaced McKay, Daniels, Power, Perkins and Perch (67 mins). For Alty Havern was replaced by Leather at the same point.

Now the Wigan keeper mishit his kick and almost conceded a goal before Deacey was fouled for the third time since joining the game. As the floodlights came on, O'Keefe went down in box looking unavailingly for a penalty (70 mins).

Alty were enjoying more of the forward momentum and both Deacey and the unnamed trialist were adding some energy to Alty's moves. The latter's cross now just evaded Richman at the back post.

Two more changes came as Anson and Cosgrove replaced Waghorn and a team-mate (73 mins). Alty continued to press as a fine ball from Moult reached the overlapping Sinnott and his good cross had to be cleared. Next, a Lawrie shot won a corner.

Substitute Jennings now made a fine run and went down under a Richman challenge in the Alty box but penalty appeals fell on the referee's deaf ears. Next, near half way, McCann fouled Moult and became the second Latics' man to be cautioned (75 mins).

Wigan had barely threatened in the second half so far but soon after Moult had been fouled, the referee awarded Wigan a penalty. Substitute Jennings had advanced into the box and Deasy dived at his feet, without any initial contact. However, the Wigan man ran on into the grounded keeper and went down. However, Tavernier's spot kick was low and not well struck but it nevertheless took a good save from Deasy to push it away and leave the score 1-1 (80 mins).

This incident seemed to stir Wigan into a late flurry but only after the busy Jordan Deacey had won the ball and got in a cross, which was cleared. In the 84th minute Wigan gained a corner but Deasy was fouled as he went for the ball. With more fresh legs on the pitch the visitors finished on the front foot. Play stopped for treatment to Leather after an aerial clash and he was helped off to be replaced at centre-back by Sam Heathcote (89 mins). With little or no added time being played the match concluded with a very positive draw for Altrincham, whose performance had been a marked improvement on those in the previous games of pre-season.

Next up is a trip to the Bower Fold to take on old rivals Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday (3pm).