Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 8 July 2017, at 3pm


Altrincham's first game under Phil Parkinson's management ended in a 1-1 draw on a warm afternoon in Shropshire. With Altrincham fielding two completely different starting elevens in each half, there was not a lot to set pulses racing but this pre-season friendly allowed the new management to run their eyes over six unnamed trialists, nine of this summer's signings and seven of last season's squad.

Both goals were scored in the first half. Altrincham took a 21st minute lead when James Poole's low shot from outside the box left Alport keeper Cooke motionless. Alport replied eleven minutes later when a smart dink over the Alty backline by former Robins' loanee Ben Mills set up Luke Walley for the equalizer.

The second half produced little in the way of goalmouth incident with two on-target shots from Sam Heathcote the nearest to breaking the deadlock. Whitchurch Alport proved excellent hosts and we wish them well for the coming season.

  • 21 mins: James POOLE (Whitchurch Alport 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
  • 32 mins: Luke WALLEY (Whitchurch Alport 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)


As well as the six unnamed trialists, nine of this summer's signings and seven of last season's squad who took part in this match, some other players were present. Sean Miller was in the stand with a heavily bandaged right foot whilst Tom Hannigan was involved in the warm-up but not in the match. Shaun Densmore and Simon Richman were two of last season's squad not involved today.


WHITCHURCH ALPORT (Red) 1. Rob COOKE, 2. Louis JAMES, 3. Elliot LEDWARDS, 5. Joe MINSHALL, 6. Luke GODDARD, 8. Steve McNICHOL, 9. Nick MARLEY, 10. Dean TWIGG, 11. Luke WALLEY, 14. Chris JACKSON, 15. Ben MILLS

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts) First Half: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. A TRIALIST, 3. A TRIALIST, 4. Chris LYNCH, 5. Clayton McDONALD, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Josh HANCOCK, 10. James POOLE, 11. Jerome WRIGHT.

ALTRINCHAM Second Half: The team wore a mixture of unnumbered shirts and shirts with numbers which in many cases did not match the 1-11 listing so the following numbers may not be totally accurate! 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Lewis SHORT, No Number: Ben HARRISON, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. John DISNEY, 19. A TRIALIST 7. A TRIALIST, 18. Kyle BROWNHILL, No Number: Sam SHERIDAN, 9. A TRIALIST, 17. A TRIALIST


This was Altrincham's first visit to Whitchurch Alport whose well tended stadium lies a mile or so outside the town centre.


On a warm, sunny afternoon in Shropshire, Alty kicked off and the Robins started quite well, passing the ball confidently despite this being a largely new group of players fielded by manager Phil Parkinson's for his first match in charge.

But it was Whitchurch who had the first serious strike at goal when a foul by Lynch on Walley gave them a freekick. However, the effort flew well over the bar (10 mins). For the visitors, Jake Moult was impressing as he sprayed long passes around the pitch from midfield but, for all their possession, the visitors were posing no serious threat to the home defence.

Whitchurch fared a little better as former Alty loanee Ben Mills got in a well-struck shot at goal but it flew narrowly wide (15 mins). However, the first corner of the match was gained by Alty's Johnston and, three minutes later, the same player's smart turn presented Moult with a chance but he scooped his effort well wide (20 mins).

Moments later, Hancock and Taylor combined for Alty but when the ball came to Poole, he fired in a low shot from outside the box. It took keeper Cooke by surprise and he was left flat-footed as the ball flew into the net (21 mins).

At the back, McDonald was proving a reliable barrier to Alport but he ended up in hot water for kicking the ball away at a freekick and then immediately afterwards was penalised for a foul.

The hosts drew level in the 32nd minute when Mills cleverly flicked the ball over the Alty back line and Walley was left free to stroke the ball past the exposed Deasy for his fourth goal of pre-season. The goal lifted Alport and they enjoyed more possession over the next few minutes.

But as half-time approached, Disney beat keeper Cooke to Hancock's through ball and his chip, from left of goal, was met by Moult's header. But Cooke recovered his ground smartly to catch the goalbound ball (41 mins).

In the first half Altrincham had shown spells of neat passing but overall had not converted this into sustained pressure on the Alport goal.


Altrincham fielded a completely new eleven for the second half, with four unnamed trialists in the line-up. For their part Whitchurch only made a couple of changes. The visitors started the half well with Sheridan orchestrating things in midfield. But still there was no end product in terms of threats to the home goal. Indeed it was not until tbe 64th minute that home keeper Cooke was tested again, as he stopped a Sheridan 20 yarder.

Midway through the half, Alty centre-back Harrison went off, though whether this was an enforced or pre-planned change was unclear. Although the various unnumbered players on the pitch made it difficult to determine at the time, it was later confirmed that, from this point, Alty played on with ten men.

A cross from wide on the left landed on the roof of Alty's net but that, and a similar effort from Alty's no.`5 which kissed the top of Alport's crossbar, were the only slight threats to either goal (73 mins). The referee decreed a drinks break after 75 minutes and, when play resumed, there was little to excite the spectators till the closing minutes when Alty won two corners. From the first of these, the ball came out to Heathcote whose well-struck goalbound effort had to be cleared off the line by a defender.

The match had been a good workout for both teams but, given the deployment of two separate elevens by Alty and the inclusion in those teams of half a dozen trialists, there were few clues to the make-up of the eventual eleven who will kick off the league season on 8th August.