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Pre-season friendly match
played on Saturday, 20 July 2019, at 3pm


Altrincham put in their best performance of pre-season, so far, to secure a 2-1 win in an entertaining and largely end to end game at the J. Davidson Stadium. Left-winger Lewis Walters was the only trialist in the squad and both he, and fellow winger Matt Chadwick impressed in a lively first half.

Altrincham fell behind to a well-worked goal by Tollett in the 23rd minute. The excellent Liam Feeney's slide-rule pass set Devitt advancing towards goal and, from the right, his low cross was tapped home by Tollitt.

The hosts equalised in the 35th minute with an excellent move. Densmore's impressive crossfield ball located Hampson and, via Williams and Hancock, the ball was crossed from the right byline by Chadwick for Walters to head into the net.

Just six minutes afterwards, Richman made a fine interception in midfield and played in Chadwick who was brought down as he advanced up the middle of the penalty area. Chadwick himself converted the penalty with a firm spot-kick.

At the break, Tony Thompson replaced Steven Drench in goal and, in the second half, Alty lost Walters to injury, with Arnold replacing him. Soon afterwards seven more Altrincham substitutes were deployed. Although there was plenty of attacking movement from both sides there were to be no more goals before the final whistle.

For their part, Blackpool used former Alty loanee Yusifu Ceesay as a second-half substitute.


REFEREE: Mr Joe Hull

John Johnston was a notable absentee from an Alty squad which featured a first start of summer for Steven Drench and the inclusion of Andy White for his summer run-out also. Lewis Walters (ex-AFC Fylde) was the only trialist in the Altrincham line-up.

As well as former Alty loanee Yusifu Ceesay, the Seasiders' included a couple of othe familiar faces to Alty fans. These were defender Michael Nottingham who has faced the Robins for Solihull Moors and Salford City and Liam Feeney, who has likewise opposed Altrincham for Salisbury City.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Steven DRENCH, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (c), 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. Matt CHADWICK, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Lewis WALTERS. Subs: 9* Jordan HULME, 12. Andy WHITE, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Nathan ARNOLD, 19. Dontai GABIDON, 20. Tony THOMPSON, 21. Conor BRANSON

BLACKPOOL (White shirts and socks, orange shorts) 1. Myles Bovey, 15. Ollie Turton, 6. Curtis Tilt(c), 5. Michael Nottingham, 4. Nathan Shaw, 8. Rowan Roach, 10. Jamie Devitt, 36. Harry Pritchard, 17. Liam Feeney, 7. Ben Tollitt, 9. Adi Yussuf. Subs: 29. Jack Sims (gk), 38. Yusifu Ceesay, 35. Ryley Smith, 34. Owen Bange.


Blackpool had sent another squad to Barrow for a simultaneous game with this one at Altrincham so the Seasiders were not at full strength.

After their 0-6 mauling by Crewe at Moss Lane last time out, Alty were looking for a much improved performance.


Blackpool kicked off towards Golf Road on a bright and breezy afternoon and they soon threatened as Steven Drench had to dash out smartly to stop Yussuf before a stretching Harrison completed the clearance (2 mins). Alty soon had the visitors' keeper in action, too, as Chadwick cut in from the right to fire a shot at Bovey, which he failed to hold before a defender completed the job (4 mins).

Altrincham were looking good, getting forward on both wings through Walters and Chadwick. From the technical area, manager Phil Parkinson was exhorting both wide men as they faced their marker to "Get at him" .

Good play from Feeney soon had Drench making an excellent save after the Blackpool man had advanced towards goal, a corner being the outcome (9 mins). Alty were more than matching Blackpool as Peers dragged a shot wide before a fine ball from Hancock led to Chadwick earning a corner. On the other flank, Walters soon emulated Chadwick by gaining another corner (20 mins).

But it was the visitors who took a 23rd minute lead with an incisive move from back to front. Right-back Turton, back on his home patch, found Feeney who slid the ball forward for Devitt to advance, before he got in a low pass to his left for Tollitt to convert simply from close range.

Despite the reverse Altrincham continued to get forward in what was proving a very entertaining first half. Both Richman, and a few minutes later, Hancock won corners with shots on target (29 mins).

Alty almost levelled the score when a foul on Williams, just outside the Blackpool box, led to Chadwick's low, well-struck freekick striking the keeper's right-hand post (33 mins).

However, Alty's disappointment was soon forgotten as they equalised soon afterwards. The goalscoring move started with an impressive crossfield ball from Densmore to Hampson on the left. He fed Williams who, in turn, located Harrop, from whom the ball went to Chadwick on the right.

His cross from the right was too high for Peers but Walters arrived behind him, towards the back post, to loop a header back across the keeper and into the net to make it 1-1 (35 mins).

Just six minutes later Altrincham went ahead. Richman smartly intercepted the ball in midfield and set Chadwick running up the middle into the box, where he was brought down. The former Ashton United man took the penalty himself and beat Bovey from the spot (41 mins).

Before the break, Hancock collected the ball some 50 yards from goal and his attempted shot at goal had the keeper concerned but it went narrowly wide (43 mins). So an excellent first half ended with Altrincham a goal to the good.


At the break each side changed goalkeepers, with Thompson for Alty and Sims for the visitors being joined by one outfield change as Ceesay came on for Blackpool.

Although Alty won the second half's first corner, Blackpool won the next three, all arriving by the 55th minute. Shortly afterwards, Walters went down for treatment and was replaced by Arnold on the left wing (57 mins).

Blackpool had been the better side in the opening period of the second half but play now stopped for a seven-man substitution by Altrincham as White, Harrop, Hulme, Hannigan, Mullarkey, Gabidon and Branson replaced Hancock, Peers, Harrison, Hampson, Densmore, Williams and Chadwick (61 mins).

This meant a three-man back line of Jones, Hannigan and Mullarkey, with Branson protecting them, and left Richman and Jones as the only starters still on the pitch for Altrincham. White was further forward than usual in midfield, whilst Gabidon slotted in on the left wing with Arnold moving right.

Harrop was soon impressing and his effort from more than 20 yards had to be impressively beaten over the bar by the keeper for a corner (66 mins). Indeed, the changes collectively lifted Alty's second-half performance.

After a decent Alty move had ended as Hulme shot wide, Hulme played in Arnold, to his left, but the new signing had a poor touch and the chance was gone (76 mins). Soon after this Hulme went down in the box but the referee was unimpressed.

Alty were on top at this stage and, next, an Arnold 25 yarder flew inches wide (77 mins). With ten minutes left, Blackpool's Bange replaced Devitt. Moments later another fine long-range effort from 25 yards by Harrop stung the keeper's palms but Pool responded with a corner.

The latter stages of the game were of lesser quality than the first half had been but Altrincham got to the final whistle with an impressive victory to their name. This was certainly the hosts' best performance of pre-season with three tests still to come; at home to Stockport County in midweek, and to AFC Fylde next Saturday, before they complete their preparations at Trafford a week on Tuesday.