Match Report


FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round match
played on Saturday, 24 October, 2015, at 3pm


Altrincham progressed to the First Round with their first home FA Cup win for eleven years. The winner came after 51 minutes when a foul on Richman gave Sinnott a freekick from 22 yards. His well struck effort was beaten out by goalkeeper Worsnop but Reeves nipped in to net the loose ball.

There was a bizarre episode midway through the second half when Worsnop rushed out and took both ball and man (Richman). Referee Wigglesworth pointed to the spot and Jake Moult stepped up to take the penalty. Then, amid protests from Chester, the referee amazingly changed his mind and restarted play with a "friendly" dropped ball to the Chester keeper.

Chester applied some pressure and Tim Deasy made a couple of fine saves. The visitors also used all three substitutes against an Alty side which was without six regulars through injury or illness. But Alty closed out the game very competently and were deserved winners.


REFEREE: Mr R Wigglesworth

Alty had six players sidelined by injury/illness. They were Coburn, Densmore, Marshall, Crowther, Rankine and Parry. Rankine now has a hamstring problem which will keep him out for some time whilst Crowther had gone down with flu.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 18. George BOWERMAN. Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 21. Joel SWIFT, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS

CHESTER FC (All yellow): 1 Jon Worsnop, 2 Ryan Higgins, 3 Johnny Hunt, 4 Michael Kay, 6 Ian Sharps (capt), 7 Craig Mahon, 8 Tom Shaw, 9 Ross Hannah, 10 John Rooney, 19 Craig Hobson, 22 Ben Heneghan Subs:12 Sam Hughes, 13 Dylan Forth, 15 Kane Richards, 14. George Thomson, 21. Tom Peers.


When these two clubs (or at least Chester FC's forerunner, Chester City) had met in the FA Cup 1st Round in 1992/93, Alty had won a replay at Moss Lane 2-0, with Clive Freeman's televised wonder goal being the highlight of that achievement. At this stage last season Alty won 3-0 at Barwell before bowing out at Blyth Spartans in Round One.

It had been a long wait since Altrincham had last won a home FA Cup match; back in 2004 they had defeated Farsley Celtic 4-1. In six matches since then Alty had drawn twice and lost four times.

Mike Garnett provides the statistical record of games between Alty and Chester FC...


Chester kicked off towards the Golf Road end. In a fairly unremarkable opening spell, the visitors won a fifth minute freekick when Griffin offended, 30 yards out, after Moult had been caught dwelling on the ball.

After a damp and dull morning, it was now dry and bright but the floodlights were on in any case. It was Chester who started the better but without seriously threatening the Altrincham goal. Both sides were making unforced errors but, for the neutral, play was entertainingly end to end.

In the tenth minute, a good Chester cross from the left allowed the unmarked Higgins a header from the back post but this went well over the bar. The response was for Lawrie to get in a shot, which deflected out for a corner. From Lawrie's corner, Leather pivoted well and his shot won another corner, this time on the right (12 mins).

Next, Bowerman fed Richman who shot wide before Chester gained themselves a corner on the left, from which Kay headed over the bar (14 mins). After Worsnop had come out of his area to head clear, the Chester keeper kicked directly into touch from a back pass.

At the other end, Mahon forced a good save and a corner after Alty had initially failed to clear the ball. There was now bright sunshine above as Lawrie won a corner from which Leather gained a header. The ball came to Bowerman who span well and his shot gained a corner (23 mins).

As Chester broke forward after the corner, a cynical foul by O'Keefe saw him fortunate to escape a booking. Play was now fairly even as Rooney tripped O'Keefe when he got past him on right and the offender was booked (28 mins).

Play was again end to end before a Bowerman cross deflected to the keeper. Soon after this, a Moult 50-yarder sent Worsnop scurrying and the keeper tripped himself on his own post as he did so (33 mins).

Alty were enjoying a good spell while City were making unforced errors. Next, a Sinnott shot was cleared before a Richman effort gained a corner. However, the best move of the half did not arrive until the 39th minute when a flowing passing movement up the middle ended with Bowerman scooping a shot over the bar from a Richman feed.

After this, Rooney put a 35-yard freekick miles over the bar. In the one added minute, Reeves and O'Keefe got in each other's way on the edge of the Chester box so half-time arrived with the game goalless.


After a steady shower of rain at the interval, Alty kicked off. When Sinnott came in late on Hunt, Richman got involved before Sinnott was booked (48 mins). Just after Lawrie had been halted, the energetic Richman was tripped just outside the Chester box, left of centre. An excellent Sinnott freekick was beaten out by Worsnop but Reeves reacted the most quickly and slotted in the rebound to give Altrincham the lead (51 mins). Worsnop claimed offside and was booked for his troubles.

Now Hughes replaced Hobson who showed some anger as he reached the bench (53 mins). O'Keefe was having a good game in Alty's midfield but for Chester, Hannah made a great turn and forced a fine save by Deasy, diving to his right, and conceding a corner (58 mins).

When Rooney won another corner, after Higgins had got past Griffin, Alty remained under pressure as all eleven men were back in defence and they had no outlet.

After 63 minutes, Richards came on for Higgins. Following this, Lawrie twisted cleverly past two opponents but shot just wide. Moments later a Lawrie foul on Sharps prompted an angry reaction and both were lectured.

As Richman raced up the middle into the box, Worsnop rushed out and took both the ball and the Alty midfielder. Mr. Wigglesworth pointed to the spot and Moult gathered the ball and prepared for a spot kick. Meanwhile, Chester protested en masse and after some time, the referee amazed Alty by rescinding his decision and restarting play with a dropped ball to Worsnop (67 mins).

After Lawrie had lost the ball and then fouled a man near half way, it took interventions from both Leather and Havern to clear their lines. Steve Burr now brought on Peers for Shaw while Alty introduced Clee for Bowerman (74 mins).

Leather soon excelled again as he twice headed clear before a good Havern block produced a corner for Chester. With the visitors pressing, it took a great Deasy save from Peers to keep them out (81 mins). Pressure was relieved as Clee won a freekick off Hughes, and soon afterwards made a good run forward.

A fine Griffin challenge in his own box saw off another Chester attack before Lawrie did well and won a corner on the right. Alty only sent up three men into the box but they managed to keep the ball largely upfield in these closing stages. Reeves and then Lawrie each took the ball into the corner to wind down the clock.

But just after a Clee toe ender had gone across the goal, Reeves hit the bar from the right. In the first of four added minutes, Heathcote replaced Reeves. Chester now won a corner. Alty cleared the ball and Worsnop, 40 yards from his own goal cleared the ball to Clee. The Alty man tried to lob the keeper from 60 yards but his effort went well wide of the vacant goal.

Alty continued to see the game out well as Clee prompted Lawrie to win a corner on the left, followed by a second flag kick. In the final seconds, exiting Chester fans reached over the perimeter to stop Clee taking a throw but soon afterwards the final whistle confirmed Altrincham's progress into Round One. It had been a deserved win by an Altrincham team whose playing resources are currently seriously stretched by injury.