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Pre-season friendly match
played on Friday, 20 July 2018, at 7.45pm


Altrincham surrendered their unbeaten pre-season run against a Crewe Alexandra side which started the game impressively. Disappointing defending led to Alty conceding twice in the opening ten minutes. The first goal came after an unnecessarily conceded corner which was not cleared and Ng netted. The second Crewe goal arrived from a Pickering cross and a Bowery header, which Thompson could only parry back towards his own goal where Harrison was unable to hook the ball clear, despite his best efforts.

Crewe went 3-0 up in the 16th minute when a Kirk cross was converted by Wintle.

Altrincham gradually got into the game and, despite the disruption of making eight second-half substitutes, they threatened the visitors' goal on several occasions, not least when a Peers header smacked against the bar.


REFEREE: Mr L Doughty

There were no trialists in Alty's starting eleven but five of last season's regular squad members were on the bench (Moult, Jones, Hannigan, Harrop and Peers). New signings Sean Williams and Liam Goulding both started, whilst on the bench were trialists Lloyd Bannister and Bay Downing who had played in Tuesday's match against Macclesfield.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Anthony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (capt), 4. Ben HARRISON, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Sean MILLER,. Subs: 12 Elliot ROKKA, 14. Jake MOULT, 15. James JONES, 16. Tom HANNIGAN, 17. Max HARROP, 18. Tom PEERS, 19. Lloyd BANNISTER, 20. Andrew JONES, 21. Bay DOWNING.

CREWE ALEXANDRA (Blue) 1. Dave RICHARDS, 2. Nicky HUNT, 3. Harry PICKERING, 4. Paul GREEN, 6. Perry NG, 7. Charlie KIRK, 8. Ryan WINTLE, 9. Alex NICHOLS, 10. Jordan BOWERY, 11. Tommy LOWERY, 12. Eddie NOLAN. Subs: Ben GARRETT, Billy SASS-DAVIS, Chris PORTER, Finney DAVIES, Calum AINLEY, Brad WALKER, Josh LUNDSTRUM.


This was Alty's second successive friendly against League Two opposition, following their 1-0 win over Macclesfield, 72 hours earlier.


After Crewe had kicked off, Altrincham won the first corner but it was to be from Crewe's first corner-kick that they took an early lead. White had wisely opted not to pass back to Thompson with opponents in close proximnity but his attempts to make space for a clearance resulted in a needless corner being conceded. From Pickering's flag-kick the ball was allowed to go across the goalmouth for Ng to drive home a simple chance.

Alty's deficit doubled barely five minutes later when a fine cross from the left by Pickering was headed on towards the top corner of the Alty goal, with Thompson stretching back but only able to tip the ball upwards towards his own net. On the line at the back post the retreating Harrison made a valiant attempt to clear with a bicycle kick but the ball nevertheless found the back of the net (10 mins).

It almost got even worse three minutes later when a Crewe header hit the crossbar but it did get worse in the 16th minute when Kirk raced up the left and his excellent cross was converted by Wintel.

A torrid evening beckoned for Altrincham but they gradually settled and over the next 15 minutes won four corners. The second of these arose when a cross from the left was missed by keeper Richards and Harrison almost converted it at the back post (21 mins).

Crewe had a lucky escape in the 39th minute when an Alty cross was almost headed into his own goal by a defender but Richards kept it out. A minute later, at the other end it took a superb double save from Thompson to keep the score at 0-3, with Alty grateful ultimately to Nichols for putting the loose ball wide.


For the second half Rokka replaced Johnston and Jones came on for Harrison for Alty, whilst Crewe replaced Bowery and Richards by Garrett and Porter.

Play was now more even than had been the case in the comparable period of the first half and just before the hour mark Phil Parkinson made six more changes; Hannigan, Moult, Peers, Harrop and trialists Bay Downing and Lloyd Bannister all came on as Hampson, Miller, Richman, Goulding, Williams and Johnston left the pitch (58 mins).

Any concerns that the multiple changes would have disrupted Altrincham's improvement were allayed as a fine cross from the right by Downing was met by a firm Peers header which crashed against the crossbar (63 mins).

Crewe now made further changes as Sass-Davies and Ainley came on for Lowery and Kirk (65 mins). Although Altrincham now enjoyed more of the attacking momentum they were unable to break through though a fine shot from Hancock did force an excellent save, with the ball rebounding to Hannigan but the ball came at him so quickly that he could not keep his header uner the bar (74 mins).

So Altrincham's four-game unbeaten run in pre-season came to an end but after a sluggish start they had shown character to get back into the game and, on another night, would have scored at least once themselves.