Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 15 July 2017, at 3pm


Altrincham gave their best performance of pre-season, so far, to overcome a Kidsgrove side who nevertheless gave a good account of themselves.

In the first half, Altrincham played some excellent passing football, with Sheridan and Taylor impressing and Shaun Densmore back to his old self after his injury troubles of the past two seasons. Alty took a 12th minute lead when trialist Josh Amis did well and slid the ball forward for Hancock to poke past the exposed Kidsgrove keeper. Densmore made it 0-2 after 32 minutes with an excellent goal which he netted calmly after advancing into the box and exchanging passes with a team-mate.

Houghton, who was Kidsgrove's most threatening player, won his side a spot kick which Diskin netted confidently in the 38th minute to make it 1-2. But Alty responded with a third goal just a minute later. An impressive run into the box by Harrison led to Amis scoring with a fine rising shot from 15 yards.

Alty made two changes at the break and a further seven after 60 minutes. James Poole was the pick of the substitutes but there was to be just a single further goal in the match, netted by Tolani Omotola following a Johnston cross in the 68th minute.

  • 12 mins: Josh HANCOCK (Kidsgrove Athletic 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
  • 32 mins: Shaun DENSMORE (Kidsgrove Athletic 0 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 38 mins: Kyle DISKIN (penalty) (Kidsgrove Athletic 1 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 39 mins: Josh AMIS (Kidsgrove Athletic 1 ALTRINCHAM 3)
  • 68 mins: Tolani OMOTOLA (Kidsgrove Athletic 1 ALTRINCHAM 4)

REFEREE: Not named

Tom Peers made his first appearance since joining Altrincham earlier this summert whilst Tolani Omotola likewise was to make his debut in the second half of this game, as was new signing Jordan Hulme.

Trialist James Jones started at centre-back with Tony Thompson in goal.


KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC (All blue): 1. Joe TREVOR, 2. Rhys THOMPSON, 3. Lee PICKERILL, 4. Leon ASHMAN, 5. Ryan AUSTIN, 6. Ross DAVIDSON (capt), 7. Kyle DISKIN, 8. Dan SKELTON, 9. Lee CROPPER, 10. Aidan HAUGHTON, 11. Arron JOHNS. Subs: 12. Tom FRANCE, 14. Dan COCKS, 15. Ben FRAZER, 16. Andy DODDS, 17. Kevin STREET, Lewis BERGIN, Dylan BATH

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Josh AMIS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Jerome WRIGHT. Subs: 12. Josh DISNEY, 14. Lewis SHORT, 14. James JONES, 15. Chris LYNCH, 16. Jake MOULT, 17. James POOLE, 18. John JOHNSTON, 19. Jordan HULME, GK Tim DEASY, Tolani OMOTOLA.


The two clubs had previously contested friendlies at Kidsgrove back in 2006 and 2007.


The game kicked off some five minutes late and, after a right-wing Peers cross had been cleared, each side won a freekick. Peers, making his Alty debut on the right-wing, put Hancock through on goal but keeper Trevor saved his effort (5 mins).

After trialist Josh Amis (ex-Stockport County) had been halted as he got on the end of a Densmore pass, Jones lunged at Haughton and received a lecture from the referee. Haughton was looking the liveliest of the Kidsgrove forward players but from this freekick his team-mate, Thompson, skied his shot out of ground. Light rain was now falling as Alty keeper Thompson showed himself to be a very vocal custodian.

Up front, Amis was working hard and he now made himself room to slide a diagonal ball through to Hancock who was left of goal. The former Nantwich man poked the ball past the Kidsgrove keeper to give Altrincham a twelfth-minute lead.

Alty almost doubled the lead in the seventeenth minute when a superb Sheridan 25-yarder cannoned off the crossbar and, although Peers put the rebound into the net, he was ruled offside. At the other end, a Haughton shot won a corner for Kidsgrove. Central midfielder Sheridan soon impressed again with a fine pass but Alty's attack was repulsed. Indeed, collectively, Altrincham were passing the ball well and at right-back Densmore seemed to be back to his old self with some marauding advances up the flank.

Next Harrison had to concede a corner from a cross but this came to nothing. A move which must have included almost twenty passes got Alty into the opposition box but Densmore opted to pass rather than shoot and the defence cleared the ball (25 mins).

For Kidsgrove a Diskin shot cleared the bar from Haughton's feed before Alty's Hancock rode a challenge well but shot just wide (29 mins). The same Alty forward then cleared the bar with a shot, after a good build-up on Alty's right.

A fine run by Densmore, aided by a one-two, got him into the centre of the Kidsgrove box, where he finished the move with a finely taken goal to make it 0-2 (32 mins). Following this Peers won a corner, which was followed by a second corner, which was cleared to Sheridan, whose shot was blocked. Alty continued to press as Taylor won the ball but Peers ran into trouble. Then Brownhill advanced to the edge of the box but was tackled as he was about to shoot.

The pressure continued as Peers was adjudged to be narrowly offside after good Hancock and Amis combination.

Kidsgrove then advanced, with Skelton allowed too much space, but his shot went narrowly wide. Moments later, however, Houghton advanced into box and was awarded a penalty as he went down under an Alty challenge. Diskin netted the spot-kick, sending Thompson the wrong way (38 minutes). Thoughts of a comeback were soon stifled, however. An impressive run into the opposition box by Alty centre-back Harrison led to the ball reaching Amis, who scored with a fine, rising shot from just inside the box, restoring Alty's two-goal advantage (39 mins).

As the interval approached, another good Brownhill run got him into the box but Amis was unable to convert the resulting half-chance (42 mins). The half ended with a wild freekick from Diskin resulting from Peers's foul on Houghton (45 mins).


Altrincham made two changes at the break as Johnston and Hulme replaced Hancock and Peers. Altrincham almost scored from the kick off as Johnston was played into the box and got the ball past the keeper before a defender cleared it (46 mins). Hulme was playing just behind Amis at the Alty front end, with Johnston on the right-wing.

An excellent ball from Sheridan to Wright earned Alty a corner and after this an equally good pass from Taylor fed Wright, who in turn located Harrison but his shot went just over the bar (51 mins).

Some five minutes later a foul on Wright by Thompson gave Sheridan a 25-yard freekick which the keeper held at the second attempt.

As the game approached the hour mark, Altrincham made a seven-man substitution. Moult took over as captain and his fellow subs were Disney at right-back, Deasy in goal, Short at left-back, Poole in midfield, Lynch in the back four and on the left-wing, Omotola. Deasy was soon in action, having to smother the ball after Lynch had conceded a freekick (62 mins).

Following a foul on Poole, the Alty man himself took the freekick and forced a save from Trevor. Lynch then miskicked a back pass but recovered well with a vital tackle (64 mins).

Kidsgrove brought on a numberless player for Skelton (66 mins) but two minutes later, Alty made it 4-1. Johnston's cross from the right found two Alty men at the back post and at the second attempt Omotola hooked the ball home (68 mins).

Taylor saw a cross fly across the box with no team-mate able to get onto it before a Poole shot was blocked as Alty remained in control but without quite the level of performance that had been seen in the first half (72 mins).

It was good to see ex-Alty midfielder Kevin Street come on for the hosts and play in an advanced midfield role (73 mins). Johnston had a great chance to make it 5-1 from a fine ball by Moult but he skied his shot well over the bar (75 mins). Poole then emulated Moult with a sweeping pass to Johnston who played in Hulme but the keeper came out smartly to block his close range effort (79 mins).

Kidsgrove's France made a good run but his shot went wide before Omotola won a corner for Altrincham. With six minutes left a fine shot by Street was saved by Deasy but the final significant action was a shot by Omotola, from a Disney feed, which required a good save from Trevor.

This was Altrincham's best performance in their three pre-season games to date. The first half was particularly impressive and all the better for the starting eleven including several players who had not played with each other previously.

The next test is a home match against Chester FC on Tuesday night at the J Davidson Stadium.