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Altrincham won 4-3 on penalties

Integro Cup First Round match
played on Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 7.45pm


In an entertaining match, a much-changed Altrincham fell behind in only the third minute when Chadwick was allowed to cut in from the right and drive a low shot past Deasy from the edge of the box.

Alty equalised in bizarre fashion in the 23rd minute when the referee diverted the ball into the path of Max Harrop who scored with a well-struck effort from 20 yards. Within a minute, Alty had the lead as Peers drove home a Sheridan through-ball, despite offside claims from Ashton. Former Altrincham loanee Liam Tomsett equalised for Ashton in the 44th minute after an Alty clearance had come out to him.

Evangelinos then did well to hook a ball from the right over Deasy and Eckersley netted at the back post to give Ashton a 3-2 lead in the 75th minute. But Alty debutant Mason Walsh, son of former Tottenham and Manchester City striker Paul Walsh, made it 3-3 four minutes later. He converted a loose ball, after ex-Alty keeper Josh Ollerenshaw had beaten out a fierce Miller shot.

So, the game went immediately to penalties at the end of the 90 minutes.

In the shoot-out, Chadwick put Ashton ahead before two successive spot-kicks for Alty were converted by Harrop and Densmore. Aaron Chalmers made it 2-2 before both Pilkington and Miller saw their kicks saved by the respective keepers.

Substitutes Rhain Davis and Will Beesley made it 3-3 before Tim Deasy became the hero as he saved Evangelinos's effort. Omotola, on his Alty debut, stepped up to calmly to roll home the tenth penalty to make it 4-3 to Altrincham.

REFEREE: Mr Wade Smith

For this Integro Cup First Round match, Altrincham made ten changes from Saturday's league game, with Joel Bembo-Leta the only player to start both matches - and even he played this match at centre-back rather than his usual right-back position.

The debutants in the starting eleven were right-back Callum Jones, who plays for the reserves and had made one previous substitute appearance for the first team, and right-winger Mason Walsh who is the son of former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City Paul Walsh. As well as having had a spell in the USA, his previous clubs in England include Salisbury, Welling United, Bishop's Stortford (loan), Poole Town (loan), Dorchester Town (loan)a and AFC Bournemouth.

The Alty bench included two youth graduates and current reserves, Rhain Davis (one previous first-team start) and Darius Palma (1+1 previous appearances). Also on the bench were Tolani Omotola (who joined Alty in the summer but has been on loan at Ramsbottom United) and current youth-team goalkeeper, Cameron Terry.

Ironically, given that Altrincham's inexperienced squad included no fewer than six players who were either debutants or had only made just a single previous start for the club, Ashton started with five players who had worn the Altrincham stripes (Ollerenshaw, Woodford, Chalmers (trialist), Lees, Tomsett (loanee) and had another, (player-manager Jody Banim) on the bench.


ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Callum JONES, 3. Shaun DENSMORE (c), 4. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 5. James JONES, 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Mason WALSH, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Rhain DAVIS, 14. Darius PALMA, 15. Tolani OMOTOLA, 16. Ben HARRISON, 20. Cameron TERRY

ASHTON UNITED (All blue) 1. Josh Ollerenshaw, 2. Simon Woodford, 3. Josh Greenhalgh, 4. Tom Eckersley, 5. Aaron Chalmers, 6. John Roberts, 7. Mark Lees (c), 8. Liam Tomsett, 9. Matthew Chadwick, 10. Jack Dyche, 11. Nic Evangelinos. Subs: 12 Jody Banim, 14. Will Beesley, 15. Daniel Pilkington, 16. Jack Slinn, 17. David Carnell.


This was Altrincham's first appearance in the Integro Cup, although they had played in previous incarnations of the NPL Cup when played under different sponsorship.

Mike Garnett's records record the previous encounters between the two clubs:


Altrincham kicked off towards the Carole Nash & Family (Hale) End. Inside the first minute, a fine ball from Miller found Walsh who won a corner. Following this, a Callum Jones 25 yarder narrowly cleared the bar. But at the other end, Chadwick cut in from the right and beat a defender before striking a low shot past Deasy from just outside box (3 mins).

Although Densmore then saw a shot saved and a Miller 20 yarder flew well wide, Alty were grateful to Bembo-Leta for doing well to halt the visitors' left-winger, Evangelinos, at the other end (7 mins). Alty's shaky start continued as Deasy had to save a Dyche shot. But things improved as Taylor, returning after an injury lay-off, played in Miller who won a corner which came to nothing.

For Alty, as his shirt suggested, Harrop was playing in the no.10 role rather than his more accustomed wing position. He played well tonight and now rode a foul by Roberts, who suffered a facial blood injury from his challenge (12 mins).

Callum Jones was impressing at right-back and after he had gained possession, Peers got into the box but was halted (17 mins). Keeper Deasy then had to come out to head clear before Callum Jones again did well as his cross found Miller but he was seen off by the defence.

Altrincham then received a fortuitous deflection off the referee which left Harrop facing goal and from 20 yards he hit a strong shot past Ollerenshaw to level the score (23 mins). And, inside another minute, Alty had the lead as Sheridan put Peers through and he scored from 12 yards with a firm shot, leaving Ashton to claim it was offside.

A fine tackle by James Jones was the most notable feature of the next passage of play but it was ex-Alty centre-back and now Ashton's midfield captain, Mark Lees, who won the game's next corner (28 mins). Deasy tipped this inswinging corner away and Ashton now had another corner (29 mins).

Belying the negative reputation that league cup games often attract, this was proving to be a competitive encounter with the next action seeing a Walsh shot blocked (34 mins). Two shots from Lees followed, the first being saved and the second flying very wide after Evangelinos had drifted infield from the left (37 mins).

Ashton again threatened with a Chadwick shot, after a good build up, which Deasy saved (39 mins). As the interval approached, an Ashton shot from right of goal was cleared by a defender but came out to Tomsett, who netted the game's second equalizer with a low shot.


After the pitch had again been watered, Ashton kicked off but the first action witnessed Miller scuff a shot over the bar. A good Densmore dribble into the box followed before the visitors made a change as Beesley replaced debutant Greenhalgh, who had only joined United on the eve of tonight's match (49 mins).

The referee again saw the ball bounce off him, before Peers was fouled by Eckersley. From the freekick, 30 yards out on the left by Sheridan, James Jones headed the ball from the backpost and Densmore, at the near post, struck the outside of the upright (52 mins). Next, Miller won a corner, immediately followed by another.

Altrincham were enjoying more possession now as a Harrop and Miller interchange got Miller into the box but the keeper smothered the ball (56 mins). Another change saw Pilkington come on for Dyche (57 mins). Next, a poor Tomsett back pass caused Ollerenshaw problems and he failed to clear as Sheridan harried him on the byline. The resulting Alty shot was deflected for a corner, but it was Ashton who counter-attacked to gain the match's next corner, on the hour-mark.

Rhain Davis now replaced Taylor in Alty's midfield (62 mins) before another Ashton corner arrived after James Jones had covered well. Next Walsh was booked for "simulation" in the Ashton box after running into a defender (63 mins).

A good run by Peers forced a save and a few minutes later, Harrop's fine ball found Walsh who was halted. Moments later, a fine low shot by Harrop was saved but went out for a corner (68 mins).

On 70 minutes, Palma came on and went on the right wing, with Sheridan being withdrawn and Harrop moving to central midfield. A cheer went up when Ollerenshaw luckily nutmegged Miller as Alty continued on top. Palma now impressed with some extravagant step-overs but he then shot wide (72 mins).

Debutant Omotola now came on for Peers, up front (74 mins). But Ashton now regained the lead, against the run of play. Evangelinos got to the byline, right of goal, attended by Bembo and as the Ashton man ended up in the hoardings he crossed the ball. It looped over Deasy and was poked home at the back post by Eckersley to make the score 2-3 (75 mins).

Evangelinos recovered after treatment. Just four minutes later, Altrincham equalized when Miller's well-struck 20 yard shot was beaten out and Walsh netted the loose ball (79 mins).

Now Slinn replaced Tomsett, before Deasy beat out an Ashton shot (80 mins). Omotola then did well, followed by a Walsh cross and, then, Davis went close and won a corner. After this a Miller 20 yarder was saved (82 mins). On the right, Palma got round his man and crossed but Alty were penalised in the box.

With the game into three added minutes, James Jones sliced a ball across his own goalmouth for an Ashton corner, after which a Chadwick shot was blocked by Deasy (90+1 mins). A piece of superb acrobatic control by Davis earned applause before Walsh had a shot beaten away by Ollerenshaw. The final chance to resolve the game fell to Miller, from a Palma feed. But he hit the ball into a Golf Road tree's foliage!


And so the match went straight to penalties, which employed the new formula of the first team's spot-kick being followed by two for the opposition and then two for the other team, etc.

Altrincham may be playing at a lower level than that at which they would like to compete but Phil Parkinson and his management team are certainly laying on some entertaining performances and the fact that tonight's came from so many fringe and reserve players is all the more laudable.

Next up, however, Alty will revert to as near a full-strength team as injuries permit when they face Warrington Town in a clash between the top and second clubs in the EvoStik Premier division on Saturday.

Altrincham won 4-3 on penalties.