Match Reports, 2004-05


Lancashire League Match,
played on Wednesday, 10 November, 2004
at Abbey Hey FC


ALTRINCHAM RESERVES: 1. Spencer LIDDIARD, 2. James MARSDEN, 3. Matt TOOTH, 4. George MELLING, 5. Adam BRINDLE, 6. ADIO Marchant, 7. Mike BROWN, 8. Paul TILLEY, 9. Kieran LUGSDEN, 10. Adie ORE, 11. Danny GRIMSHAW. Subs: 12. Pat CONNOLLY, 13. Billy BLOWER, 14. Stevie TAYLOR, 15. Wayne WELBECK.


The match was played on a bobbly surface made soft by the rain of earlier in the week. Altrincham made three changes from the side which beat Chorley. Adio Marchant came back in midfield to replace Pat Connolly, Adie Ore replaced Rod Thornley and Danny Grimshaw came in for Peter Wright. Marine went into the game having been top of the Lancashire League in the latest available table (end of October) but Altrincham had lost only once in their last seven games. The sides had played a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Rossett Park recently, so a close encounter was on the cards.

The game started fairly evenly though Marine probably had more of the attacking play in the opening stages. The visitors won the game's first corner (19 mins) but not before Altrincham had shown some promising signs, especially up the left flank, where Tooth and Grimshaw were combining well. From the corner Marine headed narrowly over. Alty had a fruitless penalty appeal soon afterwards when Brown seemed to be brought down in the box (23 mins). The game now settled into an end to end, even pattern but both goalkeepers were well protected by their respective defences. For Alty, Lugsden had an effort which cleared the bar, after a good interchange up the inside left channel with Tilley, who was impressing in midfield (36 mins).

Then an excellent cross from the right by Ore just evaded Lugsden at the back post (39 mins) as Alty dominated the last ten minutes up to the interval. Another good move saw the ball reach Lugsden from Grimshaw but the keeper made a good save as he came out to meet Kieran's shot (43 mins). Tooth and Tilley then did well on the left but half-time arrived with the game scoreless.


As in the first half, Marine started strongly but were not getting through to the Alty goal area as Brindle and Melling, at the heart of defence, and the two full-backs continued to play well. Altrincham soon got into their stride again and Lugsden got into the box before being bundled off the ball (53 mins). Next, Ore and Lugsden exchanged passes well before the keeper saved from Lugsden. At this point Alty brought on Connolly at right-back for Marsden, who had taken a knock earlier (58 mins).

Almost immediately, Connolly played the ball forward to Lugsden who relayed it to Ore who skilfully hooked the ball into the far corner of the net from a central position in the outer area of the penalty box (59 mins). After this very good goal, Alty made a double change with Taylor and Welbeck replacing Grimshaw and Lugsden.

Alty immediately won a corner, taken by Brown, and this nearly went in directly from the flag-kick. Marine responded with a double change of their own, numbers 12 and 17 replacing numbers 8 and 9 (65 mins). Marine soon won a corner but this was cleared before a bizarre incident led to Altrinchamís second goal. The referee awarded a freekick, against Welbeck, which might well have gone the other way. This was 40 yards out from the Marine goal on their right touchline. A Marine player attempted to take it quickly and drove it firmly into the back of the retreating Welbeck, presumably expecting the referee to take action against Welbeck for failing to retreat ten yards. However, the officials rightly took the view that Welbeck had turned to retreat and was not therefore seeking to delay the freekick. The ball therefore cannoned off the Alty player from the Marine right towards the front centre of the Marine box. There the Marine no.6 and the goalkeeper got in a tangle leaving the ball for Ore to roll into the empty net from 15 yards or so (72 mins). It was Adie's sixth goal in seven games.

When play resumed there was another strange occurrence after Brown had received treatment for an injury on the far side of the pitch 40 yards from his own goal. Rather than being allowed to rejoin the game from that side of the pitch he had to walk 150 yards round the perimeter of the pitch to come back on near the centre-line on the near side of the pitch.

Brown then took a freekick which Ore headed only narrowly wide as Altrincham continued to create the better chances; Spencer Liddiard was a virtual spectator in the Alty goal. After Brown had been pulled down, the Marine no.3 was lectured (86 mins). Welbeck's pace was beginning to take effect for Alty but then Stevie Taylor had to leave the field with an injury so Altrincham played out injury time with ten men.

Altrincham deserved their win and are reaping the benefits of having a more settled side, especially in defence, where only one goal has been conceded in the last four games. The arrival back at Alty of Paul Tilley has also been beneficial to the side, whilst Adie Ore continues to take his chances well up front in partnership with the always lively Kieran Lugsden and, on the left, the skilful Danny Grimshaw. After their slow start to the season, inevitable in the circumstances of starting a Reserves side from scratch, Altrincham have now lost just once in eight matches.