Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 28 July, 2015, at 7.45pm


With a starting eleven comprising four new players, a youth team graduate and six of last year's squad, Altrincham gave a lacklustre first-half performance. They went behind in the ninth minute when a cross was nodded down by McDonagh and Cottrell scored with a firm shot from close range.

The visitors improved after half time with the arrival of James Lawrie, Scott Leather and Jordan Sinnott. Altrincham equalized after 50 minutes when O'Keefe's header avoided the grasp of goalkeeper Green, from a Lawrie cross. But some 90 seconds later Trafford scored again when McDonagh dribbled impressively through three Altrincham defenders before scoring.

Alty equalized again in the 81st minute when Crowther's mishit shot ran to Lawrie on the left. From his cross, Reeves headed in at the back post.


REFEREE: Mr O Yates (Newcastle-u-Lyme)

Altrincham again used a mixture of last season's squad, new signings and a reserve to start the game. Trafford made a few changes from their last outing, a 4-0 win at Ashton United. A notable absentee was ex-Alty goalkeeper Russ Saunders.


TRAFFORD (All white) 1. Matt Green, 2. Mark Haslam, 3. Danny Lambert 4. Jordan Hadfield (capt), 5. Danny Caldecott, ,6. Danny Lafferty, 7. Joe Shaw, 8. Martyn Andrews, 9. Ben Deegan, 10. Chris McDonagh, 11. Jake Cottrell. Subs: 12. Sam Marshall, 14. Robbie Bromley, 15. John Pritchard, 16. Jake Wood, 17. Porya Ahmadi.

ALTRINCHAM.(Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. Tom MARSHALL, 6. Anthony GRIFFITH, 7. Josh O'KEEFE, 8. Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE,. Subs: 12 Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Luca HAVERN, 15. Jake MOULT, 16. Scott LEATHER, 17. James LAWRIE, 18. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Jordan SINNOTT.


This was Alty's seventh pre-season game. The previous six matches had produced two 1-0 wins, at Bamber Bridge and Stalybridge, draws at Abbey Hey and at home to Wigan Athletic and defeats at Witton Albion and at home to Crewe.


Alty kicked off on the customarily excellent surface at Shawe View but, within 15 seconds, Sam Heathcote had brought down a Trafford man after an underhit pass had been played to the young defender on the edge of the "D" of their box. Shaw hit the freekick into wall then Deasy saved a follow up but offside was given anyway.

Alty's first meaningful act was to win a corner when a Rankine nod-on was cleared by Lafferty. In the eighth minute Shaw saw Deasy off his line and, from 50 yards, his attempted lob just cleared the bar as Deasy back tracked.

The respite was short as, a minute later, McDonagh's nodded down a cross and the unmarked Cottrell scored from close range in a fairly central position (9 mins). Alty remained second best, wanting more time on the ball than their opponents would allow.

Things improved briefly as a Densmore low cross had to be cleared by Lafferty but then Haslam got past Griffin and got in a cross from the right, but Densmore cleared the ball (13 mins). After a Heathcote foul on Deegan, near half way, the referee called over captain Densmore, with Heathcote, for a lecture. From the resulting freekick, McDonagh headed wide.

After 21 minutes Lafferty conceded another corner from a Densmore cross. This corner was a curler from Crowther, which the keeper punched over the bar for another corner, which Clee overhit.

Densmore, faced with no passing options from his team-mates, was now dispossessed as Alty remained ponderous in getting the ball forwards. Trafford then won a corner, through Shaw, after more defensive hesitation.

Trafford again tried to lob Deasy, this time Cottrell being the player to attempt it. Some six or so minutes before the break some kind of internet failure knocked out both Radio Robins and this report, the upshot being that some 16 minutes of this report which had been produced were restrospectively lost by the service provider. The good news was that virtually nothing of interest happened in this period. It can be summed up as Altrincham having little influence in central midfield or on the flanks apart from the occasional foray by Clee.

Alty remained too slow on the ball and displayed a lack of movement off it. There was one positive moment when Reeves and Rankine combined well but Rankine then fired over the bar. Otherwise, apart from a Clee run into the box, Alty offered very little (25 to 41 minutes).

However, after 42 minutes, a bad foul by McDonagh on Densmore laid out the Alty captain who needed lengthy treatment before resuming. With the half into added time, an O'Keefe run was halted on the edge but the interval arrived with Trafford deserving their lead.


Lawrie, Sinnott and Leather came on to replace Densmore, Rankine and Griffin. Sinnott slotted in at right back and Leather on the left. Alty started the half with a better tempo than previously and, soon, O'Keefe fired over from 20 yards.

Soon afterwards, Lawrie did well and crossed the ball, from the left byline. O'Keefe, stretching, directed a header back across the keeper, who got a hand to it but could not keep it out of the net; 1-1. (50 mins).

Within ninety seconds, Trafford had restored their lead as McDonagh, from the right, dribbled past three Alty players into the box and hammered a shot home from 12 yards to make it 2-1 (52 mins).

Lawrie was looking the visitors' best player and his excellent run led to his fine pass to Reeves, but he got the ball under his feet and the chance disappeared (55 mins). Heavy rain was now falling as McDonagh brought down O'Keefe but, from Clee's freekick, Alty became offside. However, they were at least now getting forward with a bit more conviction.

On the hour Pritchard and Ahmadi came on for Deegan and Andrews. Almost immediately an Alty error gave Ahmadi a chance but he wasted it.

On 68 minutes, Havern and Richman replaced Clee and Marshall, the latter leaving the armband he had inherited from Densmore for Havern. Despite an improved showing, Altrincham had not yet shown any real sign of a second equalizer before Trafford's Bromley replaced Haslam (73 mins).

A good Heathcote ball now located Lawrie, whose cross prompted a melee in the box which ended with Lawrie's shot winning a corner but this was cleared. Trafford now introduced Marshall to replace their captain, Hadfield.

Keeper Green now fumbled a Richman cross-cum-shot for a corner but, again, this came to nothing. But when Crowther mishit a long range shot it flew to the left to Lawrie. His cross was headed in at the back post by Reeves to level the score (81 mins).

Next, after Reeves had won the ball and fed Lawrie, the latter's impressive run ended disappointingly as he dragged his shot wide (83 mins). After Reeves had been upended, left of goal, Sinnott's freekick was dropped by the keeper who got away with his error.

After 86 minutes, Havern stopped Shaw but conceded a corner. Alty had a late chance but O'Keefe missed the target from close range (88 mins). In added time, Heathcote was dispossessed and Trafford broke forward but Deasy saved the resulting effort from McDonagh (90+1 mins).

So, once again, Altrincham had failed to overcome a team from three levels lower in the Pyramid. James Lawrie was instrumental in winning Altrincham a draw but, although experimental line-ups and numerous substitutions can be blamed for a degree of the below-par teamwork, there were also too many disappointing individual performances to have given cause for overall satisfaction. On the positive side, there was a much improved second half performance.