Altrincham FC Match Report


Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 25 July 2017, at 7.45pm


Altrincham secured their third successive pre-season win in a match they largely dominated but without creating too many clear chances.

Josh Amis scored the opener after 14 minutes, heading home after a short corner routine had allowed Jerome Wright to get to the byline on the right. It was the former Stockport County striker's third goal in three matches.

Despite Altrincham enjoying the lion's share of the ball, it remained only 1-0 at the break. And, just before the hour mark, Rhyl equalised when a Hoult header looped over keeper Thompson from a good 15 yards out. However, Alty immediately responded when John Disney got up the right, cut in and saw his goalbound left-footed shot deflect off a defender's head and loop into the net to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

A poor back pass by Rhyl then allowed Johnston to nip in and, though his effort was blocked, James Poole arrived to shoot firmly into the net in the 74th minute.


Alty brought 17 players to Rhyl so there were not quite the mass changes seen in previous matches. There were no new faces in their squad as manager Phil Parkinson has announced that he is happy with the squad as it stands.

Rhyl used several players wearing numbers that did not appear on the team sheet so, in those cases, the players concerned are only referred to in the report below by their short-numbers.


RHYL (All white) 1. Rory Crowther, 4. Tony Davies, 5. James Brewerton (capt), 6. Alex Jones, 7. Sam Downey, 8. Gerwyn Jones, 10. Alex Tichiner, 12. Tom Rowlands, 15. Chris Durkin, 17. Jamie Whitehouse, 19. Jamie McDaid. Subs: 2. James Jones, 3. Tom Hartley, 11. Cory Williams, 18. Tom Creamer, 20. Jack Hoult.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tim Deasy (capt), 2. John Disney, 3. Kyle Brownhill, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. James Jones, 6. Sam Heathcote, 7. Tolani Omotola, 8. Sam Sheridan, 9. Josh Amis, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Jerome Wright. Subs: 12. Tom Peers, 14. John Johnston, 15. James Poole, 16. Jake Moult, 17. Lewis Short, 20. Tony Thompson.


Rhyl play in the second tier of Welsh football and their playing surface was in excellent condition.


The teams emerged late from the dressing rooms and with Alty's captain today, Tim Deasy, losing the toss, Rhyl opted to change ends to have the bright sun behind them.

In a quiet opening, Rhyl were caught offside before Alty won a freekick, 30 yards out, for a foul on Sheridan. Apart from another freekick, for a trip on Hancock, this was little to set the pulse racing at this stage. However, Altrincham were again passing the ball around neatly on the excellent playing surface, even if they were not creating any real openings.

But Alty were fortunate not to concede when Deasy came out to kick clear but only managed to direct the ball straight to an opponent. As the Alty keeper raced back to his goal, a Rhyl man tried a snap shot from 25 yards which went only narrowly wide of the target (8 mins).

After Hancock had been fouled on the edge of the Rhyl box, following a promising Disney run, Hancock himself hit the freekick into the wall (11 mins).

The unlisted Rhyl no.14 now conceded the game's first corner on the Alty right. This was taken short and re-played to Wright, who got to the byline. His floated cross was smartly headed home from a central position by Josh Amis, netting his third goal in his last three appearances for his new team (14 mins).

Altrincham continued to see a lot of the ball and exhibit patience in their build ups, with Sheridan again impressing with his excellent, accurate crossfield balls. When, soon afterwards, Rhyl's Downey came through the back of Omotola he received a referee's lecture (21 mins). Former Witton man Titchiner now advanced impressively up the middle and got in the best shot of the game, to date, by either side but it flew just wide of Deasy's left upright (22 mins).

The lively Hancock then saw an effort half-blocked and run to the keeper (27 mins). On the half-hour mark, Rhyl gained a freekick on the front edge of Alty's box which Rowlands curled narrowly wide.

For all their possession, Alty were not causing keeper Crowther much work until Amis was put through, but Rhyl's no.1 was able to block his effort (33 mins). Omotola, again deployed as a right-winger, now won Alty a corner but this was headed clear (35 mins).

A superbly directed Sheridan long ball located Brownhill and the left-back almost got in on the home goal. When Hancock was manhandled to the ground, the resulting freekick came to nothing. Next, Wright did well to progress along the byline but the resulting Alty shot diverted off Amis for a goalkick (42 mins). Disney then emulated Sheridan with a great diagonal ball to Wright but despite Alty enjoying much of the possession, the half ended with a slip by James Jones which Heathcote had to cover smartly to see off Rhyl (45 mins).


For the second half, Poole and Thompson replaced Hancock and Deasy, whilst Rhyl introduced a no.20. For Alty Disney now wore the captain's armband, at right-back.

After a similarly quiet start to the second period as had been witnessed in the first half, Jones won a freekick before Brownhill went down and needed treatment.

Rhyl by now also had Harley on the pitch as a substitute (50 mins) but there was no sniff of a goal at either end before keeper Crowther smartly took the ball off Amis's forehead from Poole's clipped ball (52 mins).

After Davies had fouled Omotola, 35 yards out, Poole's freekick came off the wall for a corner on the left, which Rhyl just about cleared as Amis threatened. When Downey felled Poole, he earned a lecture for his tackle from behind. Sheridan's freekick was headed to the keeper by Heathcote.

A Rhyl shot now won a corner on their left before the Lilywhites brought on Creamer. Almost immediately, a diagonal cross from wide right was met by Hoult's fine header from about 15 yards out, which looped over stranded keeper Thompson to make it 1-1 (59 mins).

Immediately, Alty took off Brownhill, Amis and Taylor and on came Moult, Peers and Short (59 mins).

Straightaway, Disney got onto a long pass out towards the right touchline about ten yards inside the Rhyl half. He advanced, before drifting inside and unleashing a fine left-foot shot from outside the box. The shot was goalbound but the keeper was given no chance when it looped off the head of a defender and found the far corner of his net to restore Altrincham's lead (60 mins).

Next Johnston came on for Omotola (62 mins) before, first Sheridan and then Moult executed fine diagonal passes to team-mates. The latter ball from Moult found Peers who netted but was ruled offside (67 mins)>

A lapse by Jones gave the ball to an opponent but an underpowered shot was saved by Thompson. Next Johnston almost got on the end of a header back towards his own goal by a Rhyl man. Alty were still passing well but not penetrating the Rhyl backline.

Rhyl now brought on a no.15 and 19 who had been listed as starters but had not done so. Then a poor pass back by a Rhyl player from outside his own box, in a central position, allowed the alert Johnston to nip in. The keeper blocked his shot but the ball fell for Poole to blast home from 12 yards to make it 3-1 (74 mins).

Now Brownhill and Taylor came back on for Sheridan and Wright (79 mins) and three minutes later Wright then returned to the game. After this Johnston made a good run but the keeper collected the ball before, at the other end, Gerwyn Jones curled a shot wide (84 mins).

So, Altrincham recorded their third successive win. If they did not display today quite as high a level of performance seen against Chester, last time out, nevertheless they continued to show some good understanding and a determination to play the ball on the ground. After five promising pre-season games, however, they have yet to record a clean sheet but their next chance to do so will be on Tuesday when Wrexham visit Altrincham.