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Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 18 July 2017, at 7.45pm


A very encouraging performance from Altrincham was rewarded by a narrow margin of victory that did them scant justice in a game they dominated for almost the entire ninety minutes. Chester, now two levels above Alty in football's pecking order, used a different eleven in each half whilst Alty employed nine substitutes.

Altrincham took a deserved 33rd minute lead when Poole found Hancock on the left. His shot was diverted into the net by Tom Peers, who was playing in the central striker's role in the first half. But, just four minutes later, Chester, who had scarcely threatened the Alty goal, netted an equalizer which arose from a mix-up between Sheridan and Moult. This allowed Davies to fire home impressively from outside the box.

Chester improved in the early stages of the second half before Alty again reasserted their dominance. A brilliant goal by Jerome Wright made it 2-1 after 69 minutes. He made space in the box before curling the ball into the far top corner, to the keeper's right.

Seven minutes later, Johnston found trialist Josh Amis whose low shot went through the trialist substitute keeper's hands to make it 3-1. With Alty well on top, Chester were given a way back when the referee judged Alty trialist Jones to have fouled Bell as he got the ball off the former Alty loanee inside the box. Dawson netted the penalty to make it 3-2 with seven minutes remaining.

Alty saw out the match comfortably and move towards the new league season with increasing confidence in what is proving to be an effective and attractive style of football.

REFEREE: Not named

Trialists Jones, Amis and Thompson remained in tonight's squad for Altrincham but recent signing Jordan Hulme was not available. Chester had played 24 hours earlier at Bala Town and, in that match as well as this, they fielded separate starting elevens in each half.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. John DISNEY 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Chris LYNCH, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs 12. Shaun DENSMORE, 14. Kyle BROWNHILL, 15. James JONES, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 17. Jerome WRIGHT, 18. Josh AMIS, 19, Sam HEATHCOTE, 20. Tim DEASY, 21. Tomoli OMOTOLA

CHESTER FC (Blue) : 1. Alex Lynch, 2. Andy Halls, 3. Trialist, 4. Kingsley James 5. John McCombe, 6. Ryan Astles, 8. Paul Turnbull, 9. Harry White, 12. Liam Davies, 19. Matty Waters, 20. James Akintunde. Subs: 13 Trialist A, Trialist B, 18. James Jones, Trialist C, Alex Downes, 11. Jordan Chapell, 17. Lucas Dawson, 14. Wade Joyce, Rhain Hellawell, 15. Nyal Bell, Trialist D


The clubs were in the same division two seasons ago, but Chester FC arrived today two rungs higher than Alty on the Non-League ladder.


Altrincham started brightly and, in just the third minute, a good passing move ended in a shot by Hancock which flew over the bar. But there were no real chances at either end, after this, until the tenth minute when ex-Chester player, Tom Peers, got on the end of a Johnston cross but the ball once more cleared the bar.

Alty were having better of the game, so far, and they threatened again when a long-ball from Moult found Johnston, on the right. However, after he had cut in to shoot, the ball again went over the bar (13 mins). More good passing by Alty next led to an overhit cross from the right. Next, centre-back Harrison advanced confidently up the inside left channel. But the Alty centre-back was brought down outside the box. Unfortunately, Sheridan's freekick was too low and was cleared easily (16 mins).

Chester were not threatening at all and their keeper, Lynch, was soon in action, as he fielded a Disney cross (19 mins). Lynch's Alty namesake, Chris Lynch, now conceded a foul against Akintunde, 35 yards out. Thompson came out to deal with the freekick but did not reach it before the ball went out for a goalkick (21 mins).

Otherwise, Chester were having difficulty getting out of their own half and, soon, Alty's Johnston won a corner after another neat build up. From this corner, by Poole, Peers glanced a header across the face of goal (25 mins).In the Alty midfield, Moult sprayed another long pass to a team-mate as the home side dominated.

The lively Johnston then beat his man but his shot was saved comfortably. Moments later, Johnston took the ball off defender Astles, who was dwelling on the ball just outside his own penalty area but Peers fired a resulting shot disappointingly over the bar from a clear opening (27 mins). Chances were coming but shooting accuracy was below par.

Another Chester mistake arrived when McCombe passed the ball straight to Poole but the Alty man's shot was saved (29 mins). The breakthrough finally arrived in the 33rd minute. It came after Poole beat James and fed Hancock, whose shot from left of goal, was turned in by Peers at the near post to make it 1-0.

Chester had been penned back for most of the game, so far, and the pattern continued as a Disney run ended in a corner, won from the right-back's deflected shot.

But then, against the run of play, Chester got themselves level. In dealing with a rare Chester advance, which had produced a throw-in on the right, Moult and Sheridan appeared to impede each other as they attempted to clear their line just inside the penalty area. The ball came out to Davies. From a central position, he fired home with an impressive, low shot from 20 yards which gave Thompson no chance (37 mins).

So half-time arrived with the scores level, despite Alty having dominated possession and the attacking play.


At the break, Altrincham brought on trialist Josh Amis for Peers, and Deasy for Thompson in goal but Chester fielded a complete new eleven. The new formation started the half brightly and opened up Alty when Dawson fed former Alty loanee Bell but he shot disappointingly wide (48 mins).

Alty then began to reassert themselves as, firstly, a Disney cross was collected by the anonymous trialist in the Chester goal (51 mins). Then Johnston won a corner, after which a Poole cross, and then one from Moult, were cleared.

For Alty, Lynch now won the ball and Johnson fed Hancock, who won his side another corner. Alty's pressing continued as Poole was fouled just outside the box but his freekick hit the wall. But a further Alty corner soon followed (57 mins).

The home side now made seven changes, as Densmore, Brownhill, Jones, Taylor, Wright, Heathcote and Omotola came on, leaving only Deasy, Johnston, Sheridan and Amis left on the pitch. Soon Johnston impressed again but his cross went off a team-mate for a goalkick (59 mins).

Substitute Omotola, deployed on the right wing, soon got to the byline but the threat was ended as Chester won a freekick. Omotola did even better a few minutes later as he surged up the right, showing strength as he held off a challenge. His low cross was smartly turned into the roof of net by Amis but the ball had gone narrowly out of play as Omotola got to the byline (64 mins).

Next, Johnston was tripped as he ran at the Chester defence and, following the freekick, Brownhill got in two good crosses, the second only narrowly evading Omotola in front of goal (68 mins). But Alty soon got their second goal when substitute Jerome Wright cleverly made himself a little space in the right side of the Chester box before curling the ball expertly into the top corner of the net to the keeper's right. It was a superbly taken goal (69 mins).

Chester almost responded when their number seven (who was not listed on the teamsheet), saw his shot come back off a combination of Deasy and the bar.

Altrincham continued to threaten and they made it 3-1 in the 76th minute when Johnston fed Amis, whose firm shot from right of centre, 15 yards out, went through the trialist keeper's hands into the net.

Jake Moult returned to the match, replacing Sheridan (78 mins) and Alty continued to mark their men well and to control proceedings. But, with seven minutes remaining, the referee awarded a questionable penalty to the visitors. Jones appeared to make a clean tackle on Bell inside the box but a spot-kick was awarded. Dawson converted the penalty confidently (84 mins).

At the other end, Omotola found Wright but he fired well over from left of goal (85 mins). After Dawson had brought down Moult in the centre circle, a Brownhil cross proved just too high for Omotola (87 mins).

More skill from Johnston threatened to get Omotola clear but, not for the first time, he lost his footing. The final whistle confirmed a convincing win for Altrincham who more than bridged the two divisions between the clubs.

Whilst Chester used 22 players including four trialists, as they seek their best eleven for 2017-18, Altrincham themselves are, as yet, far from a settled team, with twenty players (mostly new to the club) deployed in this game including three trialists. But the positive signs tonight were that Phil Parkinson and his team are moulding a team that plays attractive and effective football and a squad in which starting places will be competitively contested.