Match Reports, 2004-05


Lancashire League Match,
played on Saturday, 19 March, 2005
at Wythenshawe Town FC, 1pm


ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (red & white striped shirts, black shirts, red socks): 1. Todd CUNLIFFE, 2. James MARSDEN (capt.), 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. Adam BRINDLE, 5. Laurence BALL, 6. Arron HEVINGHAM, 7. Paul MONAGHAN, 8. Paul TILLEY, 9. Lee HENDLEY, 10. Mike BROWN, 11. John THOMPSON. Subs: Anthony WEALLE, Pat CONNOLLY, Wayne LEATHER, Craig ELLISON (gk), Ranel WILLIAMS.


Alty were without five first-choice players. Amongst those absent today were goalkeeper Spencer Liddiard and striker Rico Richards, who both had work commitments whilst Danny Grimshaw was away on holiday. Striker Anthony Wealle, injured in midweek, was called in as a late replacement for Joe Daley but Anthony was unable to arrive at the ground in time to play from the start.

Alty reverted to their normal 4-4-2 formation with Paul Monaghan partnering youth team striker Lee Hendley up front. This game had been switched from the muddy surface at Abbey Hey to the much better pitch at Wythenshawe Town, which is the normal home of Altrincham's youth team. The game was played under a warm sun.

Alty got off to a good start and took the lead after just five minutes when Monaghan set Hendley free on the right and he advanced to score well. But, just a minute later, Guiseley equalised when Alty keeper Cunliffe attempted to kick clear from near the goal-line but was chased down by two Guiseley players and the ball cannoned off one of them to the other who had a simple task of knocking the ball into the net from very close range (6 mins).

Soon, Laurence Ball, who had a fine first half, had to concede a corner from which the Yorkshiremen shot narrowly wide. Then Monaghan swept the ball superbly to Mike Brown who relayed it to the advancing Marsden but the ball ran to the keeper (13 mins). A nervous clearance from Ball's back pass saw Cunliffe concede a corner but this was seen off. Hevingham and Tilley were working hard in midfield and when Tilley was felled Alty won a freekick but this was cleared. The game was settling into a good competitive match. Next, a superb ball forward from Ball was met by an equally good header by Monaghan but the keeper saved well though he conceded a corner on the Alty right (21 mins).

Driven on by captain James Marsden, Alty now put together some excellent passing movements as they dominated the next period of the game. A move involving Tilley, Ball, Marsden, Mike Brown and Hendley ended when Monaghan finally ran out of space near the by-line. But then another multiple-pass move followed with play being switched from right to left where Thompson made good ground and the move ended with Marsden's shot, narrowly wide, from the right (26 mins). Brindle then initiated another impressive advance as a dozen passes were strung together before Hendley's shot was blocked. Then, when Tilley was fouled again, Ashley Brown's resulting shot went only narrowly wide (32 mins). Alty maintained the pressure as Mike Brown, Thompson and Hendley combined for Monaghan to get in a shot which the keeper parried for a corner (35 mins). Brindle shot wide from the corner as Alty dominated proceedings.

Guiseley's best effort at this stage was a shot which Cunliffe stopped well but the flag was up for offside in any case (38 mins). More good passing continued to flow from Altrincham as half time approached but Guiseley did get a freekick 35 yards just before the interval but their no.2 put it over the clubhouse roof. Although the scores were level at the interval, Altrincham had been the better side and it looked hopeful that they would go on to win the match.


I had to leave at half-time to attend the first-team match at Moss Lane. I hope to have a proper report on the second half in due course. However, I understand that Guiseley played the second half with only ten men and were reduced to nine late in the game when a player was dismissed. However, Alty failed to capitalise on this advantage and conceded a goal following a freekick to lose the match 1-2.