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Pre-season friendly match
played on Tuesday, 17 July 2018, at 7.45pm


An early goal by Tom Peers, who scored after a Jordan Hulme effort had been blocked, gave Altrincham a deserved 1-0 win over their Cheshire opponents in Altrincham's first home friendly of the summer, which followed three successive away winsat Rhyl, Kidsgrove and on the Isle of Man.

Alty almost doubled their lead, late in the game, when a Sean Miller strike smacked against the crossbar after Hulme had earlier also gone close to scoring, with an effort which had to be headed off the goal-line by Pearson.


REFEREE: Mr Mike Barlow

Altrincham included Elliot Rokka as their only trialist in the starting eleven but, on the bench, were three other trialists. This trio comprised a forward Bay Downing, a defender Lloyd Bannister and a goalkeeper, Sean Thomas. Downing is a 22 year-old Liverpudlian who has been playing in United States college football. Pacy right-back Bannister is 21 and has played in Belgian football.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Anthony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. Jordan HULME, 11.Elliot ROKKA. Subs: 12 Sean MILLER, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Ben HARRISON, 16. James JONES, 17. Sean WILLIAMS, 18. Bay DOWNING, 19. Lloyd BANNISTER, 20. Sean THOMAS (gk)

MACCLESFIELD TOWN (Blue): 1. Sam RAMSBOTTOM, 18. Jared HODGKISS (capt), 6. Keithe LOWE, 15. James PEARSON, 3. David FITZPATRICK, 10. Koby ARTHUR, 8. Callum EVANS, 26. Michael ROSE, 22. Ben STEPHENS, 20. Nathan BLISSETT, 9. Scott WILSON. Subs: 1. Louis GRAY, 14. Miles WELCH-HAYES, 16. Fiacre KELLEHER, 5. Jamie GRIMES, 12. Jack MCKRETH, 32. Danny WHITTAKER, 27. Ryan LLOYD, 4. Tyrone MARSH, Harry SMITH


Both teams had been promoted as champions of their respective leagues last season, with the Silkmen moving up to League Two and Alty to the National League North.


After a bright and pacy start to the game, it was Altrincham who took an early lead. Following Harrop's advance up the middle, Hulme sprang the offside trap and advanced on goal. From right of centre, his shot was beaten away by the keeper but fell for Peers to slot the ball home from close range (9 mins).

But it then took a magnificent finger-tip save, to his left, from Tony Thompson to keep out Wilson's shot after the Macclesfield player had made space well (25 mins).

Play was halted by a late and poor challenge on Moult by Rose, which required treatment for the Alty captain. The referee had not seen the incident so simply spoke to the offender on the basis, presumably, of the linesman's evidence (33 mins).

Three minutes before the break, the Silkmen replaced the injured Stephens by former Grimsby winger Mackreth, who was making a return to Macclesfield, a club for which he had previously played between 2012 and 2014.


A change of several personnel by Macclesfield at the interval was accompanied by Alty bringing on Harrison for the excellent Goulding at centre-back and Richman for Rokka. Soon, Harrop became the game's first booking, as much for cumulative offending as for his 51st-minute foul on Welch-Hayes.

From the resulting freekick by Arthur, Thompson saved well before Blissett followed Harrop into the referee's book for a foul on Hampson (56 mins). There was then a bizarre incident as, with play in progress, a sprinkler came on in the corner at the away end and, no sooner had that been turned off than another sprinkler doused the players before it, too, was staunched.

Above: The sprinklers come on unexpectedly!

Sean Miller is getting back to his pre-injury form and he now set up a Johnston shot which the Macclesfield keeper pushed out for a corner, on the hour-mark. Alty next made a mass substitution, which included the three substitute trialists. These were a keeper, Sean Thomas, a forward in Bay Downing, who slotted in on the right, and a right-back, Lloyd Bannister (62 mins).

After this, Macc were indebted to new signing Pearson as he headed a Hulme effort off the line.

Each side then tried to reintroduce a previously substituted player, (Rokka for Alty and Arthur for Macc), but the linesman would not allow this to happen (73 mins).

After Macclesfield had spurned a great chance, when Marsh executed a poor header, Alty's Miller smashed a superb shot against the cross bar from outside the box at the other end (82 mins).

Goalkeeper Thomas then got away with fumbling a long shot, grabbing the ball as it headed towards the goal-line. But Alty rounded off an impressive performance to record their fourth successive pre-season victory.