ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (0) 1
LEIGH RMI RESERVES (0) 0
Lancit Haulage Lancashire League Match
Wednesday, 1 February, 2006 at 7.45pm
ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (Red & white striped shirt, black shorts): 1. Craig ELLISON, 2. James MARSDEN (capt), 3. Paul MONAGHAN, 4. Richard GRESTY, 5. Danny HEFFERNAN, 6. Lewis CHALMERS, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. John MALONEY, 9. Callum FLANAGAN, 10. Lee HENDLEY, 11. Pat McFADDEN. Subs: 12. Michael BROWN, 14. Kwame BARNETT, 15. Rico RICHARDS.
LEIGH RMI (All yellow with red trim). Their team included ex-Altrincham Youth players: 4. Paul LEWIS, 7. Adam GIRDLESTONE, 10. Wes WILKINSON, 11. Ian TAYLOR. Subs: Ian HORTON
Before the match Ian Senior's Sensports Ltd presented Altrincham Fc with a complete new set of kit, bearing the Sensports logo. This was a very generous gesture by former Alty keeper, Ian, and very much appreciated by the club but especially by Neil Brown the Reserves' manager, his assistant Carlos Marsden and physio Alan Ainslie - not to mention the players.
Altrincham displayed five changes from the starting line-up which lost 5-4 at Morecambe last Friday. Paul Monaghan came in at left-back for Ashley Brown. Colin McAllister had to be withdrawn shortly before kick off with an injury and was replaced at centre-back by Youth team captain, Richard Gresty. Alty's other centre-back against Morecambe, Laurence Ball had been concussed in that match and tonight was replaced by Danny Heffernan who moved from midfield. First teamer Colin Potts continued in the Reserves tonight and Lewis Chalmers also came in from the first team. John Maloney joined the starting line-up, replacing Matthew Platt and Lee Hendley also moved up from the bench as he continued to regain fitness after his long lay-off. Hendley and Flanagan started up front with McFadden on the left but McFadden and Hendley were to swap roles more than once during the evening.
Leigh took to the field with their goalkeeper wearing a shirt emblasoned with "Coburn 1" - obviously one of Stuart's cast offs from his time at RMI. But whilst the keeper may not have had Alty connections, several of his Leigh team-mates were nevertheless very familiar faces to Alty Youth manager George Heslop who was present at the game. The ex-Alty youth players involved for Leigh were Wes Wilkinson, Adam Girdlestone, Paul Lewis, Ian Taylor and Ian Horton.
Alty started well and went close twice in the opening minutes. The first attempt at goal came when Potts's raking, low cross from the right almost reached Lee Hendley in the goalmouth but the keeper got to the ball just ahead of the Alty striker. Then, moments later, a fine pass by Marsden did find Hendley in a similar position, but he could only half-hit his shot to the keeper (2 mins). Soon Hendley was threatening again as he dribbled into the box, but his progress was stopped before he could shoot (6 mins). Alty's next threat on goal came when McFadden was fouled. Potts took the freekick on the Alty left, quickly and short to McFadden, who turned well, inside the box. He was seemingly brought down as he was about to shoot but the referee did not give a penalty. However, Alty soon won two corners in succession, and after the second, another great turn by McFadden set him up for a fierce shot at goal which the keeper beat out well (16 mins).
But at the other end, Taylor set his big number nine free but he sent a wild shot well over the bar. In a fast, end to end period of play, Potts delivered another good cross to Hendley but he could only turn his shot across, rather than at, goal. (21 mins). Chalmers then left two opponents for dead but was blocked off before capitalising on this. Maloney soon won the ball well for Alty and found Hendley but his advance was half checked by a defender and Hendley ended up lifting his shot well over the bar (31 mins). Hendley was now operating on the left with McFadden up front alongside Flanagan but it was Leigh who now won two corners in as many minutes. There then followed a flowing Alty move involving Maloney, Hendley and McFadden but there was no goal at the end of it. Soon afterwards Alty won two successive corners but, despite their pressure, there was no goal to show for it. Another corner followed before the break, taking Alty's tally to six but the score remained goalless at the interval.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 0|
LEIGH RMI RESERVES 0
Leigh brought on their no.14 at the interval but Alty resumed where they had left off, winning two more corners in the opening two minutes of the half. From the second, taken on the right by Potts, the ball took a deflection to McFadden beyond the back post, inside the box. Alty's top scorer lashed the ball home for his 25th strike of the season (48 mins). But Leigh almost levelled shortly afterwards when the visitors' no.8 got to an aerial ball ahead of Ellison but headed wide and was injured by the Alty keeper's arrival. Alty now brought on Kwame Barnett up front for Flanagan (56 mins) and five minutes later Potts gave way to Michael Brown on the Alty right (61 mins).
Leigh now won a corner, from which one of their players should have found the target with a header, which went wide. Wes Wilkinson was then replaced by a Leigh sub whilst Alty again switched things round with McFadden going out left and Hendley up front. Almost immediately Hendley got clear but poor control allowed the ball to run ahead of him to the keeper (69 mins). Barnett now fired in a fierce shot which the keeper did well to punch over for a corner and after this Rico Richards came on in midfield as James Marsden was withdrawn (71 mins). Leigh brought on Ian Horton instead of their no.3 (76 mins) and it was RMI who now pressed forward but without getting a clear opening. Nine minutes from the end of normal time, Heffernan had to limp off with a leg injury leaving Alty to play out the game with ten men. This they did and even won a corner in added time but Leigh had the last chance when their no.8 fired wide after a good advance by Taylor.
Though not one of their customary high-scoring affairs, Alty Reserves will be pleased to have consolidated their position at the top of the table. At the back the changes of personnel were overcome and Gresty can be proud of his solid display after his step up from the youth team.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 1|
LEIGH RMI RESERVES 0