Lancashire League Match,
played on Saturday, 16 October, 2004


ALTRINCHAM RESERVES: 1. Spencer LIDDIARD, 2. James MARSDEN (capt.) 3. Danny GRIMSHAW, 4. George MELLING, 5. Adam BRINDLE, 6. Stevie TAYLOR, 7. Mike BROWN, 8. Paul TILLEY, 9. ADIO Marchant, 10. Adie ORE, 11. Steve TORPEY. Subs: 12. Ashley BROWN, 13. Steve EVERALL (gk), 14. Patrick CONNOLLY, 15. Daniel SHAW.


The notes that follow are based on information from Neil Brown, the Alty Reserves' manager. Any errors are mine.

Alty had Spencer Liddiard in goal; Spencer had been on Alty's books a couple of years ago as cover for the first team. Other changes from the last game saw Danny Grimshaw come in at left-back and Stevie Taylor return in left midfield. Mike Brown played on the right, whilst cup-tied first team signing Steve Torpey came in on the left flank. In the RMI side were several ex-Alty youth members including Steve Howarth, Mark Drew, Richard Smith, Graham Tench and Ian Taylor. Leigh's keeper was James Coates, a Wales U-21 squad member, formerly at Manchester City.

The match was played on the excellent facilities at Robin Park, Wigan, next to the JJB Stadium.

Alty's game plan was immediately amended when it became clear that RMI were playing with three at the back and not four but they adjusted well. The midfields of both sides dominated play in the first half but both keepers also made good saves. Paul Tilley, playing against his former club was Alty's Man of the Match. Overall, Alty had the better of the opening half.


Alty replaced Taylor, who had a knock on his knee, by Connolly at the break. After an hour Shaw came on for Marsden, who had picked up an ankle injury. The third change was Ashley Brown, for Adio Marchant, ten minutes from the end. This meant that the two-footed Torpey went up front, as Ashley Brown slotted into midfield. Alty had a good spell in the last 20 minutes with three chances to score.

Firstly, Torpey forced a good save, then from a Torpey cross from the left Ore headed inches over. Finally, in the last minute, Ore's shot hit the angle of bar and post. But Leigh also went close, with Ashley Brown doing well to clear off the Alty line.

After the match both team's managements expressed their appreciation of the opposition's play. In fact, the Leigh RMI website said that "This match was probably one of the most entertaining 0-0 draws you could ever see. In the first half Alty had the better of the play though failed to turn possession into goal scoring opportunities... During the half time interval Leigh redressed the situation and came out in the second half and dominated the strong Altrincham side". However, the site also says that "Alty fielded an experienced team with half a dozen players who feature regularly for the first team" which was not quite correct as only Torpey has ever played with Altrincham's first eleven and that was only, so far, for one start and one sub appearance.