TRAFFORD (1) 1 ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
played on Tuesday, 19 July 2016, at 7.45pm
For the third time in their three pre-season games, to date, Altrincham fell behind but ultimately secured a draw.
On a sultry night at Shawe View, the hosts took a ninth-minute lead when former Robins' striker, Aaron Burns lashed home a fine shot from Kingsley Williams's feed. Alty levelled with an excellent freekick from just outside the box, aken by Billy Hasler-Cregg in the 32nd minute, following a foul on Damian Reeves.
Things improved a little for Alty with the 55th minute quadruple introduction of James Lawrie, David Lynch, Harry Cain and Charlie Joyce but a draw was a fair outcome.
- 9 mins: Aaron BURNS (Trafford 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 32 mins: Billy HASLER-CREGG (Trafford 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Jack Neild
ATTENDANCE: abt 200
Altrincham, captained by Damian Reeves, made five changes from the eleven who had started against Chester FC last Saturday. Sam Heathcote came into the defence and Billy Hasler-Cregg, Jake Moult and Danny Hattersley also started, as did Simon Richman who was returning from injury. Shaun Densmore was present but not fit to participate after his bad injury last season. Also sidelined with injury were Craig Hobson and Sean Miller.
TRAFFORD (All white) 1. Terry SMITH, 2. Ally BROWN, 3. Lee NEVILLE, 4. Andy LANGFORD, 5. Craig ROBINSON, 6. Josh GRANITE (capt), 7. Nicky PLATT, 8. Kyle JACOBS, 9. Aaron BURNS, 10. Connor MARTIN, 11. Kingsley WILLIAMS. Subs: 12. Shelton PAYNE, 13. Russ SAUNDERS (gk), 14. Ryan LEDSON, 15. Mark DERBYSHIRE, 16. Chris MCDONAGH, 17. Mitch BRYANT, 18. Chris GEORGE.
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts). 1. Andrew DAWBER, 12. Sam PATTERSON, 14. Sam HEATHCOTE, 4. John cYRUS, 11. Callum CHARLTON, 4. Jake MOULT, 11. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jamie MENAGH, 15. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 9, Danny HATTERSLEY, 10. Damian REEVES (capt). Subs: 16. David LYNCH, 18. Alan GOODALL, 19. Tom HANNIGAN, 20. Harry CAIN, 21. Charlie JOYCE, 22. James LAWRIE, 23. Ciaran O'LOUGHLIN (gk).
Following 2-2 draws with Widnes and Chester FC, this was Alty's third pre-season match.
On a very hot evening, the teams changed ends before kick off with sun shining towards the Trafford keeper, Smith. In the opening stages a speculative Altrincham cross-shot was saved but it was Trafford who took the lead in only the ninth minute. Williams fed former Alty striker Aaron Burns and he hit a strong shot from right of goal, about 18 yards out. It flew across Dawber and into the net with the keeper having no chance of stopping it.
Despite the heat, both teams were playing at a decent pace but there was little in the way of excitement before Hasler-Cregg won possession but saw his curling shot go just wide of the target (15 mins). At the other end, Hasler-Cregg lost the ball and this led to a shot from Platt but it cleared the bar comfortably (20 mins).
Play resumed after a drinks break and a late challenge by Richman soon conceded a freekick. Neville's freekick led to williams firing narrowly wide for Trafford.
At the other end, when Hattersley fed Reeves up the middle the Alty striker went down under a challenge and, to the surprise of the Trafford faithful, the referee awarded a freekick just outside the front of the box in a central position. with Menagh and Hasler-Cregg standing over the ball, it was the latter whose left-footed deadball was superbly struck into the angle of crossbar and upright, to the keeper's right to make it 1-1 (32 mins).
A neat Alty move then produced a corner as Richman's shot was deflected and, soon after this, from a Hasler-Cregg cross, Reeves's nod-down allowed a team mate to poke the ball narrowly wide (37 mins).
This good spell for Alty continued as Patterson got forward but Hattersley saw his resulting shot saved (40 mins). So, half-time arrived with the scores level after a decent first half.
|Half-Time: TRAFFORD 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|
Altrincham emerged unchanged for the second half whilst Trafford now had former Alty keeper Russ Saunders between their posts. The hosts soon threatened, after Charlton had been dispossessed upfield, and broke forward but there was no serious goal threat from either side at this stage (53 mins).
Alty now made a four-man swap as Joyce, Cain, Lawrie and Lynch replaced Hasler-Cregg, Richman, Charlton and Reeves and Moult now assumed the captaincy (55 mins). Trafford also made changes as Ledson and Spencer replaced Robinson and Platt. Next, a long ball from Brown put an offside-looking Martin clear but he shot wide. Aaron Burns was now replaced by George (58 mins) and Hannigan came on for Hattersley (59 mins).
Play was fairly even but Lawrie had added a bit of zest to the Altrincham forward momentum. It was he who now jinked into the box and won a corner but this came to nothing. Four minutes later a 25-yarder from Lynch was well struck but cleared the bar (70 mins). At this point Alty brought on goalkeeper O'Loughlin for Dawber and Trafford introduced Payne for Martin.
Trafford almost breached the Alty defence in the 83rd minute when George was put clear but a fine covering tackle from Hannigan ended the danger. However, the score was to remain deadlocked at 1-1 and that was a fair reflection of a reasonably entertaining game, which was generally short on stand-out skills, but which provided a good workout for both squads.
|Full-Time:TRAFFORD 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|