Three goals in the last five minutes for Warrington, after captain George Melling had limped off, meant that the final scoreline was harsh on an Altrincham side that, after a shaky start, had improved and in the second half had taken the game to their opponents. Altrincham started with three first-team players, Richard Acton, George Melling and Lewis Chalmers, who was returning from holiday, along with Colin Bell who has been on trial with the first team. The side took a while to settle but gradually got into their stride against a forceful Warrington team. Both sides were soon trading shots, the first goal arriving after a mix-up between Acton and a defender whichallowed the lively Warrington no.11 to nip in at the right post to score (35 mins). Immediately from the kick-off, McFadden and Grimshaw combined to play Griff Jones forward, and he outpaced the Warrington defence to equalise with a well-taken goal (36 mins). A minute before half-time, the Warrington no.4 caught Lewis Chalmers in the back, for which he needed lengthy treatment. Lewis played the full game but was a subdued presence in the second half.
Altrincham made 4 substitutions for the second half, but were caught out after waiting for an offside that was not given, allowing the Warrington no.10 to make the score 2-1 (48 mins). Kwame Barrett was proving to be a forceful presence up front for Alty and on 65 mins he was brought down in the box. Dwayne Lynsey stepped up and hit a fine penalty shot to make the score 2-2. Altrincham then looked to be good for a draw or even a win, but with 5 minutes to go George Melling limped off and Warrington scored 3 further goals as Alty folded under pressure.
REFEREE: Mr Ian Bonney
This friendly clashed with the first team's friendly at Warrington so Alty's support was split between the two venues. Waarington are in the UniBond First Division whilst Altrincham Reserves play in the Lancit Haulage Lancashire League.
Three players with first-team experience were in the ALty reserves' side; goalkeeper Richard Acton, defender George Melling and midfielder Lewis Chalmers.
The Warrington players are as listed in the programme but may not have been the actual players.
WARRINGTON TOWN: 1. Ian LOWE, 2. Gary RANDLES, 3. Lee SMITH, 4. Iain DYSON, 5. Lee WEBSTER, 6. Danny SALT (capt.), 7. Phil MITCHELL, 8. Steve LATHAM, 9. Michael BIRD, 10. Dave TICKLE, 11. Ian GIVEN. Subs: 12. Lee SMITH, 14. Paul DAVIES, 15. Gareth EVANS, 16. Craig HEENIGAN, 17. Andy TAGUE.
ALTRINCHAM RESERVES: 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Paul MONAGHAN, 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. Colin BELL, 5. George MELLING (capt), 6. Dwaine LYNSEY, 7. Michael BROWN, 8. Lewis CHALMERS, 9. Pat McFADDEN, 10. Griff JONES, 11. Danny GRIMSHAW. Subs: 12. Michael SUTTON, 13. Billy BLOWER (gk), 14. Laurence BALL, 15. Rico RICHARDS, 16. Kwame BARNETT, 17. Adrian BROCKLEHURST
There was a sizeable Alty contingent in the crowd of just under 100. Alty started hesitantly against a pacy Warrington side for whom the no.11 got in a couple of early shots which Acton fielded. McFadden then seized on a defensive error to get round the keeper but could not turn the ball into the net (7 mins). Town's no.2 then limped off to be replaced by no.15 before Jones got in a shot for Alty, following an interception. In defence Alty were still shaky and passes were going astray. But gradually Alty got more into the game. Chalmers, back from holiday, began to make an impression, but his freekick just evaded his team-mates inside the box. Then Lynsey fed McFadden who won Alty's first corner (13 mins). But Town's nos.11 and 15 were making inroads on the wings and Melling had to make a couple of good clearances. Play was now end to end with Lynsey looking promising for the visitors.
But Warrington forced a good save from Acton and then soon afterwards shot narrowly wide. The Warrington no.9 forced a fine save from Acton (27 mins). At the other end, Warrington's tall defenders were keeping Alty at bay in the air. The first goal arived after 35 minutes when Acton and a defender got in a mix-up but the ball looked to be rolling wide until the no.11 outpaced Brown to the line to tap the ball home. From the restart McFadden and Grimshaw passed the ball from the left to Jones who outpaced the defence and scored a good goal (36 mins). With the score level at 1-1 the pace of the game increased with first the Warrington no.8 and then McFadden shooting over the bar. Lynsey was playing some good passes forward and from one of them Jones headed over the bar but Melling and his colleagues were also being kept busy at the other end. A minute before half time the no.4 caught Chalmers in the back and the young Alty man needed lengthy treatment. Just before the break Jones was fouled about 30 yards out and from Ball's freekick, Melling glanced a header narrowly wide (45 mins).
|Half-Time: WARRINGTON TOWN 1 ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 1|
There were many changes at the break, with Alty bringing on Sutton, Richards, Barnett and Brocklehurst for Mike Brown, McFadden, Jones and Grimshaw. For Warrington nos. 12, 16 and 20 replaced nos 2, 6 and 11. More substitutions followed throughout the half. Lynsey joined Barnett up front with Sutton on the right and Richards in midfield. Barnett's strength soon made an impact and Monaghan and Sutton also combined well in the second half. But Warrington took an early lead when their no.10 shot into the top left hand corner as Alty awaited an offside decison that never came (48 mins). The tempo increased as play switched from end to end. Ball made a good block and when Brown fouled no.20, Acton made a comfortable save from the freekick (63 mins). Warrington's nos 17 and 18 came on for nos 5 and 9 before Barnett made another strong charge into the box only to be brought down and win a penalty. Lynsey converted the spot-kick confidently to make it 2-2 (65 mins).
After Acton had punched clear, Barnett was again upended, just outside the box but Richards put the freekick wide. Alty were now on top and Barnett again surged into the box where he found Lynsey who headed over the bar (70 mins). Blower then came in for Acton in the Alty goal and the young keeper made two saves soon afterwards. Ball now made a fine block to stem a Town attack and then he initiated a move which ended as Barnett's shot was blocked inside the box (75 mins). At the other end Melling cleared well before Lynsey won a freekick after which Barnett again seemed to be brought down in the box but no foul was given. Sutton was doing well and via Lynsey the ball came to Laurence Ball who shot narrowly over (83 mins). Just after Richards had been blocked in attack, Melling limped off and Monaghan returned to the game. Alty continued to press until Sutton appeared to be pushed over in the Alty box and stayed down. This incident seemed to distract the Alty defence and Warrington took advantage and regained the lead with a fine shot from no.11 from the left of the box which entered the net off the underside of the bar (87 mins). Warrington now got on top again and from a freekick the no.14 beat Monaghan to the ball and made it 4-2 (89 mins). Worse was to come as Chalmers gave the ball away and the no.17 scored with a fine cross shot (90 mins) as the Alty defence looked shell-shocked.
So a promising performance was undone by three minutes loss of concentration at the end.
|Full-Time: WARRINGTON TOWN 5 ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 2|