Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Friday, 24 July, 2015, at 7.45pm


Altrincham got off to the worst possible start, conceding a well-taken Brad Inman goal after just 55 seconds. Following their slow start, Alty gradually improved and came close to levelling in the first half when an excellent effort from James Lawrie came back off the inside of Crewe keeper Garratt's left-hand upright.

Despite Alty starting the second half brightly, Crewe's fast tempo and slick passing brought them two second-half goals. Inman netted for a second time in the 55th minute before Wintle converted a 76th minute cross from Atkinson after the latter had made an impressive run up the inside-left channel.


REFEREE: Mr R Bartlett

Altrincham were without Tom Marshall as Luca Havern returned to partner Scott Leather at centre-back. The unnamed trialist who had already featured against Wigan Athletic and Witton Albion this summer, started again tonight. Before the game it emerged that Jordan Sinnott had re-signed for his third spell at the club following a loan in 2012-13 and a short-term contract at the end of 2014-15 season.



ALTRINCHAM.(Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. A. TRIALIST, 26. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 17. Tim DEASY, 18. Ryan CROWTHER.

CREWE ALEXANDRA (All white) 1. Ben Garratt, 2. James Baillie, 4. Marcus Haber, 3. Brad Inman, 5. Billy Bingham, 6. Perry Ng, 8. Lauri Dalla Valle, 16. George Cooper, 9. George Ray, 10. David Fox, 14. Oliver Turton. Subs: 7. Chris Atkinson, 11. Ryan Wintle, 12. Adam King, 18. Callum Saunders, 15. Andre Brown, 17. Toby Mullarkey, 13. Kieron Harrison.


This was Alty's sixth pre-season game. The previous five matches had produced two 1-0 wins, at Bamber Bridge and Stalybridge, draws at Abbey Hey and at home to Wigan Athletic and a disappointing defeat, last time out, at Witton Albion. Crewe arrived with five successive pre-season wins under their belt.


A disappointing gate on a damp evening saw Crewe kick off towards a virtually empty away end. Although Crewe almost immediately gave the ball away cheaply, they halted an Alty attack and countered. Inman, in the inside left channel, was put clear and, inside the box, he coolly slotted a low shot past Coburn's dive to his left to open the scoring after just 55 seconds.

Alty responded with a second-minute corner by Sinnott, which was cleared. Two minutes later, Lawrie found Richman who fed Rankine for a shot which earned a corner on Alty's left. After six minutes, Densmore fouled Inman on the side of the penalty box; the resulting freekick deflected for a corner, which was overhit.

Soon Densmore had to be alert again as, this time, his tackle halted Cooper. Crewe were playing some impressive, quick-passing football. After Moult had been penalised, 30 yards from his own goal, a Ng shot gained Crewe a corner. Not long afterwards Leather covered well behind Griffin but had to concede another corner, which was then allowed to bounce across the centre of the goalmouth but went out for a goalkick (12 mins).

So, Alty remained largely on the back foot but there was hope when an excellent through ball from Moult found the unnamed trialist but he was caught offside. By now manager Lee Sinnott had become vocal exhorting his side to pass the ball and close down the opposition with a quicker tempo. This had some effect as the home team's performance improved. A fine ball from Griffin was impressively taken in his stride, and under pressure, by Rankine but his shot went wide. It had been Alty's best effort so far (19 mins).

Next Sinnott's smart interception saw him then find Rankine but he was marginally offside. Offside was to be a recurrent theme of Alty's attacks, with the count reaching double figures before the end of the match. Next, the lively Rankine won the ball well versus Ng, which led to a Lawrie shot, which was saved (22 mins). With manager Sinnott exhorting his side to play "quicker", Alty were soon caught offside again.

But they were having their best spell of the game to date as, now, Lawrie won the ball and saw his excellent left-foot shot, from the edge of the box, beat Garratt but come out off the base of the inside of the keeper's upright (25 mins). Crewe responded as Canadian international, Haber, won a corner off Leather on the byline.

Once again Alty were caught offside, this time the trialist being the culprit but he soon won his side a freekick which led to a chance for Rankine but he mishit his effort to the keeper (29 mins). After 31 minutes Alex brought on Mullarkey for Ray. After this Rankine had a strong appeal for handball against a defender in Crewe's box but it fell on deaf ears.

Crewe now threatened as their Finnish player, Dalla Valle got free but Coburn drove him wide and with the help of a fine Havern tackle, the danger was ended (33 mins). Altrincham's mobile-looking trialist forward now made an impressive run at Crewe but his shot was saved. Next, Rankine used his strength to win the ball but the move ended with Sinnott's shot going wide (38 mins).

An excellent Griffin cross flew inches too high for Lawrie, before the latter made an interception which led to a rising shot from 25 yards by Moult, which cleared the bar (40 mins). Before the interval Rankine was flagged offside again And in the final minute before the break, Sinnott's chip found Moult inside the box but he could not quite gather the ball. After a slow start Altrincham had got back into the game and had been unlucky to see Lawrie’s effort come back off the post.


Before Alty kicked off, Reeves and O'Keefe came on for the trialist and Richman. Altrincham started with a better tempo than in the first half and soon won a corner through Reeves. From this, the ball pinged around Crewe's box before a Lawrie shot from the left byline was fumbled by Garratt and cleared off the line but offside had been given anyway (47 min). Alty's bright start continued when, from a Densmore cross, Reeves poked wide. Soon Reeves won another corner (51 mins) but soon, yet again, the offside flag went up.

After Densmore had cleared his lines for a corner, Inman scored with a firm shot across keeper Coburn from the left of goal (55 mins). The goal prompted a good spell from the visitors before Atkinson came on for Bingham, and former Alsager Town man, Wintle, replaced Fox.

Soon after the hour mark, O'Keefe found Sinnott who fed Lawrie, whose shot won a corner. Next Mullarkey just managed to halt Reeves's run up the middle before Rankine was again flagged offside but play continued. Crewe now introduced Brown and Saunders for Haber and Dalla Valle while Alty brought on Griffith and Clee for Moult and Sinnott (66 mins).

An Alty corner was followed by a good run by Rankine, who forced the keeper to push away his shot (69 mins). Alty continued to play quite brightly as Lawrie made space well but then lifted his shot over the bar from the edge of the box. He was immediately subbed by Crowther (74 mins).

But somewhat against the run of play, a great run up the left by Atkinson led to a low cross which Wintle netted near the back post to make it 0-3 (76 mins). With Rankine flagged offside again, play continued as possession was lost. After a Crowther shot had deflected wide, a cross came out to Clee but he fired over the bar.

After an Alex corner had been cleared, Clee won the ball well and Rankine kept possession but the move petered out (84 mins). Crewe remained a danger, however, and, on a counter attack, Coburn had to dive at the feet of an opponent who went down. Reeves was now given offside before Griffith did well to halt Inman in the box and win a freekick. Time soon ran out with Crewe deserved winners though Altrincham had themselves enjoyed some good spells. Lack of goals remains a concern, with just three scored in six pre-season games. Alty's next chance to improve on that tally is on Tuesday, away to Trafford FC.