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Cheshire Senior Cup, First Round match
played on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, at 7.45pm


The lights went out on Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup campaign, literally and metaphorically, at the J. Davidson Stadium. But, a four-minute stoppage in the 86th minute for partial floodlight failure, only delayed the inevitable outcome.

Alty made eleven changes from the team which drew at Hereford on Saturday and their starting eleven included just three with first-team league experience.

Not surprisingly, Congleton proved themselves the stronger side with no Altrincham player making a case for immediate elevation to the first team.

The Bears went ahead after eleven minutes when Burey got past Downing, who played most of the game at right-back, and he fed Henderson who netted to Wynne's right. The lead was doubled in the 40th minute when handball was given against Woodcock. From 30 yards out, right of goal, Cope hit a superb left-footed freekick into the far corner of the net. His double-somersault celebration was equally impressive.

Although Altrincham enjoyed a lot of the forward momentum in the second half they barely tested Craig Ellison, the former Alty reserves' goalkeeper.


REFEREE: Mr D Rogers

Altrincham's side included just three first-teamers (Shaun Densmore, Simon Richman and Elliot Wynne), with a total of only 15 league starts between them this season. Alty also included five recent signings, none of whom had started a first-team game for the club. These included Bay Downing, who has been dual registered with Salisbury and been playing regularly for the Wiltshire club. Surprisingly, he started at right-back tonight. Another surprise was that the most recent signing, Charlie Scott, played at centre-back. Callum Harris had been briefly seen as a substitute against Curzon Ashton just after he joined the club in September but Ross Woodcock and Joe Thompson had only previously turned out for the reserves though the latter had been an unused sub in two first-team fixtures.

In charge of the team tonight was Reserves' manager Chris Rowley though first-team manager Phil Parkinson was later to be seen ensconced in the directors' box, with many of the first-team players on their normal training night.

Congleton Town were captained by Anthony Griffith. Griffith's 68 minutes on the Moss Lane pitch in this game far exceeded the nine minutes he spent in action for Altrincham in his abortive stay at the club as a player in 2015.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Bay Downing, 3. Ross Woodcock, 4. Charlie Scott, 5. Callum Jones, 6. Shaun Densmore (c), 7. Reece Coley, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Joe Thompson, 10. Callum Harris, 11. Dontai Gabidon. Subs: 12. Louie Barratt, 14. Ben Elliott, 15. Patrick Savage, 16. Matthew Cook, 17. Jack Ryan.

CONGLETON TOWN (Yellow and black hoops, yellow shorts and socks): 1. Craig Ellison, 2. Dominik Williams, 3. Richard Peters, 4. Joshua Ryder, 5. Thomas Morris, 6. Anthony Griffith (c), 7. Bevan Burey, 8. Dean Warburton, 9. Daniel Cope, 10. Saul Henderson, 11. Steve Foster. Subs: 12. Emini Adegbenro, 14. Tom Schofield, 15. Jack Disney, 16. Matthew Jamieson, 17. Thomas Stephens.


Mike Garnett has kindly provided the historical record of games between Altrincham and Congleton Town:


After a minute's silence, presumably in advance of Remembrance Day next Sunday, Altrincham kicked off towards the away end. The opening to the game was fairly uneventful until the ball was played up to Cope whose excellent shot from left of centre, on the edge of the box, beat Wynne but came back off the inside of the far upright (10 mins).

Disappointment almost immediately turned to joy for the visitors as their next attack saw them take the lead. Burey got past Downing on the Congleton left and he fed Henderson whose low shot from the edge of the box beat Wynne to his right (11 mins).

Altrincham enjoyed their share of possession without creating any chances though Coley did dribble well into the box before the ball ran from Joe Thompson to the keeper (20 mins). Downing then won a corner from a Scott feed; this was just before the unoccupied disabled shelter blew down following a gust of wind!

On the half-hour mark, Elliot Wynne had to beat out a good shot from Burey before the loudest cheer of the night saw Griffith booked after he had committed a late tackle on Densmore (32 mins). Griffith's stock with the Altrincham supporters is low after he left the club with a hefty financial package on the basis of a hip injury, having made just one fleeting appearance for the club.

For Altrincham, Harris was looking the liveliest of the recent signings whilst Scott was having a steady game at centre-back. But, overall, Altrincham were creating no goalscoring chances.

Congleton doubled their lead five minutes before the interval. This came after Woodcock had been penalised for handball in the left-back position. From the Congleton right, 35 yards or so out from goal, Cope hit a superb left-foot shot which found the far top corner of Wynne's net. Not content with scoring a superb goal, Cope celebrated with an excellent double somersault.


Adegbenro came on for Foster for Congleton at the start of the second half. The only occurrence of note in the first ten minutes of the half was a Congleton corner (54 mins).

Alty made their own first change when Cook came on at left-back, and reserve player Coley went off. This allowed Downing to move to the right-wing as Woodcock went to right-back (56 mins). But the home side continued to falter in the forward third of the pitch.

The Bears next made a double change as former Alty trialist Tom Schofield and Stephens replaced Cope and Griffith (68 mins). At the same time Elliott came on up front for Altrincham with Downing the player withdrawn.

Belatedly Gabidon came to life on the left wing for Alty before all of the floodlights on the Moss Lane side of the ground suddenly went out. The game had to be stopped but, after just over four minutes, most but not all of the pylons had been relit and play was able to continue. But despite five minutes of added time being played, to account for the lighting problem, Altrincham had no way back and Congleton departed the deserving winners.

With Phil Parkinson watching it is doubtful that any of tonight's new signings, youth-teamers or reserve participants made a strong enough case for the first-team boss to add their names to the first-team squad.