ALTRINCHAM (0) 2
CHESTER FC (1) 2
played on Saturday, 16 July 2016, at 3pm
In an entertaining pre-season friendly at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham secured their second 2-2 draw of the week against Chester FC. Altrincham fell behind in the 24th minute when they defended a corner poorly and the unmarked Kane Richards sidefooted home. But just before the hour mark Damian Reeves scored a superbly taken goal, from a Patterson pass, to level the scores.
Substitute Danny Hattersley headed home a James Lawrie corner to give Altrincham a 79th minute lead but Chester sub James Alabi equalised four minutes later.
- 24 mins: Kane RICHARDS (ALTRINCHAM 0 Chester FC 1)
- 59 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Chester FC 1)
- 79 mins: Danny HATTERSLEY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Chester FC 1)
- 83 mins: James ALABI (ALTRINCHAM 2 Chester FC 2)
REFEREE: Mr R Bartlett
Unlike in their opening pre-season game last Sunday at Widnes, when two almost completely differing Altrincham elevens played each half of the match, today they included no trialists in their starting eleven against Chester.
Centre-back John Cyrus, signed over the summer, made his first appearance in an Alty shirt, at centre-back, and holding midfielder Alan Goodall from Morecambe, made his first start, too, and was given the captain's armband.
However, Shaun Densmore and new signings Craig Hobson and Sean Miller were all sidelined by injury. Also out of the game was Simon Richman who had a back problem but was fit enough to lap the pitch before kick off.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks) 1. Andy DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 18. John CYRUS, 11. Callum CHARLTON, 8. Alan GOODALL (capt), 9. Jamie MENAGH, 12. David LYNCH, 14. Charlie JOYCE, 7. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 17. Ciaran O'LOUGHLIN (gk), 20. Danny HATTERSLEY, 21. Jake MOULT, 22. Sam HEATHCOTE, 25. Billy HASLER-CREGG.
CHESTER FC (Blue & white striped shirts, white shorts and socks) 1. Jon WORSNOP, 19. Matty WATERS, 5. Blaine HUDSON, 17. Theo VASSELL, 3. Evan HORWOOD, 11. Jordan CHAPPELL, 12. Sam HUGHES, 8. Tom SHAW, 16. Jonny HUNT, 10. Elliot DURRELL, 15. Kane RICHARDS. Subs: 13. Keighan JONES (gk), 18. Kieran EVANS, 6. Ryan ASTLES, 4. Luke GEORGE, 9. James ALABI, No numbers - Joe HEATH, Wade JOYCE, Kevin EXCELL, Rakim NEWTON
This was Altrincham's first home game under Neil Young's managership and it followed a 2-2 away draw on Sunday at Widnes.
Altrincham kicked off towards the Golf Road end and they started brightly, winning the game's first corner in the fifth minute. This was headed over the bar by Cyrus. The corner had arrived after a well taken freekick by Menagh had been palmed away by the visitors' keeper, Worsnop.
After an even few minutes, Alty gained another corner when a Chester defender sliced an attempted clearance. Already at this stage of the came, Menagh had impressed with a few testing crosses from the right.
Altrincham gained a freekick when Reeves was pushed over but Menagh overhit the freekick. Indeed, overhit dead balls and corners by various Alty players were to be a recurrently disappointing aspect of today's generally good performance. At the back, left-back Callum Charlton was soon impressing with his comfort on the ball and ability to get forward.
Having had slightly the better of the opening quarter of the game, Altrincham nevertheless fell behind in the 23rd minute. Leading up to the goal, Dawber's kicked clearance had put a team-mate under pressure and the Altrincham keeper then went down, apparently injured, as play continued.
Somehow, Chester contrived to miss the vacated target but won a corner. Dawber soon recovered and play resumed with the corner kick. Chester's Richards was left unmarked towards the back post as the kick located him. He simply sidefooted a gentle shot across goal and into the corner of the net, inside the near post (23 mins).
After this, Alty had a scare when Hannigan went down with what seemed to be a groin injury but he resumed, although he was not to complete the game (33 mins).
A fine, long, diagonal ball from Patterson almost set Reeves clear in the goalmouth but it just evaded the Alty striker. Immediately after this, a Lynch effort from 20 yards had to be saved by Worsnop (37 mins). A wild lunge by Charlie Joyce earned him a lecture and he would have received more serious punishment in a competitive game (38 mins).
Just before the interval Hannigan and Durrell chased a ball over the byline with the Chester man colliding heavily with the hoardings and needing treatment before resuming. Just after this, a fine lay-off by Patterson allowed Menagh a goalbound shot which was well saved at the cost of a corner. The corner was half cleared to Goodall whose header just cleared the bar (45 mins).
There was still time for Alty to threaten again as a Lawrie lay off gave Reeves a shot but he dragged it wide. Half time arrived with Alty unfortunate to be trailing.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0|
CHESTER FC 1
Chester brought on George, Astles, Alabi and Evans for the start of the second half but Altrincham resumed unchanged. The Chester men replaced were Blaine Hudson, Sam Hughes, Johnny Hunt and Kane Richards.
After a fairly uneventful few minutes, Durrell dispossessed Goodall and jinked into the box before being halted, losing one of his boots in the process (52 mins). Altrincham then brought on Jake Moult and Billy Hasler-Cregg to replace Menagh and Joyce (54 mins).
Two minutes later Alty won corners in succession, but these came to nothing. However, in the 59th minute a fine ball up the middle from Patterson dropped into the advancing Reeves's path. The Alty striker took his chance superbly, slotting the ball through the keeper's legs to level the scores.
Immediately, however, the goalscorer was subbed, Reeves' replacement being Hattersley (60 mins). A little later Chester introduced two of their four unnumbered substitutes, Hetah and JOyce for Horwood and Shaw.
Hasler-Cregg got in a fine shot which Worsnop beat out but the quickly reacting Hattersley could only head the loose ball over the bar (64 mins). But Alty continued to get forward as another good ball from Patterson led to Lawrie's shot into the side netting. An Alty corner soon followed, won by Hasler-Cregg but Chester responded with a good move which ended in a smart save from Waters by Dawber (70 mins).
Now Sam Heathcote came on for Hannigan, who had taken a first-half knock (71 mins). Following a Chester corner, Dawber got the ball away. On 75 minutes Newton came on for Waters but it was Altrincham who were still setting the pace.
A well taken volley by Lawrie won a corner from Worsnop's save. From Lawrie's corner, from the left, Hattersley headed home without really having to leave the ground, to put Alty 2-1 ahead (79 mins).
However, Chester levelled just four minutes later when Alabi was played into the box and he scored with a low shot past Dawber. Chester then introduced another unnumbered substitute for Chappell and, with just three minutes remaining, they gave a run-out to goalkeeper Jones in place of Worsnop.
The final action saw Hattersley nod a Charlton cross to the keeper and Lawrie blast a freekick high and wide after a foul on Hasler-Cregg.
Altrincham had more than deserved their draw against higher-placed opposition, playing attractive attacking football and generally defending capably, with Cyrus and Charlton particularly impressing. In midfield Lynch and Goodall also had good games.
Hopefully, Alty's injured players will recover in time for the new season to add more competition for starting places in what is beginning to look like a very promising squad brought together by Neil Young, Gary Jones and Simon Garner.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2|
CHESTER FC 2