ALTRINCHAM (1)1 PORT VALE (2) 2
played on Saturday, 2 August, 2015, at 3pm
Altrincham gave a much improved performance in this pre-season friendly but the Valiants deserved their narrow win. It started badly for the visitors when their goalkeeper Johnson came out to clear. However, his kick hit a team-mate and rebounded to his left where Alty's Damian Reeves, unmarked, had an easy job to knock the ball into the unguarded net from the edge of the box in only the third minute.
Port Vale levelled with a goal which also owed a lot to a deflection. In this case, Dickinson's low shot from the edge of the box was diverted into the bottom right of Coburn's net (28 mins). Coburn made several excellent saves during the game but he was unable to stop Vale's impressive loanee from Watford, Ikpeazu, netting his side's second goal, after 39 minutes, following a mix-up by Alty on the front edge of their box.
Both teams lost a player to injury in the first half (Inniss for Vale and Richman for Alty). The second half was entertaining but produced no further goals, though Alty's new signing Bowerman produced an impressive cameo after joining the game in the 67th minute.
- 3 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Port Vale 0)
- 28 mins: Uche IKPEAZU (ALTRINCHAM 1 Port Vale 1)
- 39 mins: Colin DANIEL (ALTRINCHAM 1 Port Vale 2)
REFEREE: Mr T Kirk
After a pre-season of experimentation, Altrincham started this game with what was probably a close approximation to next Saturday's first line-up in the Vanarama National League. On the bench was George Bowerman, the previously unnamed trialist who had figured in several earlier matches in pre-season. The former Walsall and Accrington Stanley striker has now signed for the Club. The only faces missing from the squad for this match were the injured Nicky Clee and goalkeeper Tim Deasy.
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, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES, 26. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs: 6. Scott LEATHER, 12 Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 18. George BOWERMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER,
PORT VALE (All white) 12. Sam Johnson, 2. Ben Purkiss, 3. Carl Dickinson, 26. Ryan Inniss, 6. Richard Duffy, 17. Michael Brown, 11. Sam Foley, 19. Byron Moore, 10. Louis Dodds, 9. Uche Ikpeazu, 14. Colin Daniel. Subs: 23. Ryan Boot, 16. Adam Yates, 4. Remi Streete, 5. Ryan McGivern, 42. Anthony Grant, 18. Sam Kelly, 27. Enoch Andoh, 20. A.J. Leitch-Smith, 22. Ryan Lloyd,38. Aziz Deen-Conteh.
This was Alty's final pre-season game. The previous seven matches had produced two 1-0 wins, at Bamber Bridge and Stalybridge, draws at Abbey Hey and Trafford and at home to Wigan Athletic as well as defeats away at Witton Albion and at home to Crewe Alexandra.
Following heavy rain showers before kick off, Alty kicked off. They were playing 4-4-2, with Sinnott in right-midfield and Lawrie on the left.
Within the first minute, a Rankine nod from a Griffin cross went to keeper Johnson. Soon, Vale's Watford loanee Ikpeazu showed good skill but the move faltered. Moments later, keeper Johnson came out of his area to kick clear. But his clearance hit a defender and flew to his left, leaving Reeves with an open goal. From 20 yards he gathered the ball and scored into the empty net, to stun the visitors (3 mins).
Vale responded well and got forward with, first, a late tackle by Densmore and, then, a legitimate Havern challenge needed to halt Dodds (7 mins). After Foley had dummied Moult, his shot was saved. Just after a Lawrie run had been halted, Inniss went down injured and had to be replaced by Street (12 mins).
Vale continued in the ascendant as a Foley 20 yarder was deflected for a corner. From this, an Ikpeazu shot was blocked before a wild shot came from the same player (12 mins).
Lawrie was looking lively for Altrincham but, on the other side, a header from Foley brought out a great one-handed save by Coburn before the ball was cleared. Richman was now hobbling after a challenge and, a minute later, he sat down for treatment to his right leg/foot. He was helped off and replaced by O'Keefe (18 mins).
Ikpeazu continued to test Altrincham and he now fed Dodds, who dribbled into the box but delivered a poor final ball. It then took a fine Havern tackle to halt Daniel before an Alty long ball almost set Reeves free in the Vale box (22 mins).
Alty were holding their own as, next, they dealt with a corner. Rain was now getting heavier as Marshall, Moult and Lawrie combined well. Play switched to the other end and from a cross from the left by Dickinson, Daniel's low shot deflected off someone into the corner of Coburn's net, to his right, to make the score 1-1 (28 mins).
After the re-start, Duffy almost headed past his own keeper, but Johnson grabbed the ball smartly. Next, a Purkiss cross yielded a corner as Vale dominated this period. When Moore located Ikpeazu, the big man turned turned well and fired in a shot which Coburn saved impressively, one handed to his right, at the cost of a corner to Vale (34 mins).
But Alty got back into the game after a rocky few minutes as Densmore won the ball and his shot was fumbled but saved by Johnson (36 mins). Next, an Alty freekick near half way on the left by Marshall went straight to Johnson. After some hesitation between Marshall and O'Keefe on the front edge of their box, Ikpeazu scored with a low shot to put Vale ahead (39 mins).
After an O'Keefe run had been halted by a trip, Sinnott's freekick from 30 yards was cleared (43 mins). So half-time arrived with Alty trailing 1-2.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 PORT VALE 2|
At the interval Vale goalkeeper Boot, Grant, Leitch-Smith and Kelly replaced Ikpeazu, Johnson, Brown and Daniel.
Alty won an early corner and five minutes into the half, Lawrie won the ball well leading to a mishit shot by Densmore, which ran to the keeper. Next, a clever Sinnott through ball was grabbed by the keeper just ahead of Reeves (51 mins).
An O'Keefe back pass forced Coburn to rush out to kick clear and he took a knock which required treatment. With steady rain falling again three fouls in succession by Sinnott, Lawrie and Griffin were penalised. Alty continued to falter as a Marshall mis-pass led to a Foley shot which flew narrowly over the bar (58 mins).
Coburn now had to parry a shot before Havern hacked the ball away. Play stopped for Vale keeper Boot to have treatment to his jaw/mouth area. At this point Leather came on for Marshall (61 mins).
Following a Griffin error, Havern tripped Moore on the edge of the box, in a central position. Foley's freekick was well saved by Coburn at the cost of a corner. Vale made changes as Andoh, Yates and McGivern arrived, instead of Moore, Dodds and Dickinson (66 mins). For Alty, Rankine, Moult and Reeves went off, as Crowther, Griffith and Bowerman came on (67 mins). Bowerman went up front, initially, with Lawrie. Bowerman soon won the ball and gained a freekick on the byline left of Vale's goal.
Sinnott's low freekick just evaded the stretching foot of Leather at the back post. End to end action continued as Crowther covered back well but conceded a corner, which Dodds headed over the bar. Afterwards, Bowerman and Lawrie hounded Vale's defenders and keeper and won the ball. And when Crowther battled well for possssion he, too, won home crowd applause.
This was now a good spell for Alty and it continued as Lawrie was halted in the box before O'Keefe gained a freekick (75 mins). Soon, Bowerman fed Lawrie but his touch let him down.
Vale replied with some pressure of their own as the speedy Andoh made an impression. After former Valiant, Griffith, had done well, an Alty move ended with Bowerman being halted in Vale's box. A skilful Andoh run saw him brought down by Havern, 40 yards out after which Densmore tripped Foley 25 yards, or so, from goal. But after Bowerman had stolen possession well, Sinnott's cross went to Vale's keeper (85 mkns).
Following a shot by Bowerman from 25 yards, Leather had to cover well at the other end. After Leather had stopped another attack, Bowerman overdid his dribble and was halted in the Vale box.
Despite their defeat, Altrincham had given a good account of themselves in an entertaining match. New signing Bowerman had impressed in the closing stages and the management duo now face the making of tough decisions as regards their starting eleven on Saturday when Forest Green come to the J. Davidson Stadium for the opening match of the National League season.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 PORT VALE 2|