Lancit Haulage Lancashire League Match
played on Wednesday, 15 February, 2006 at 7.45pm


ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Craig ELLISON, 2. Lewis CHALMERS, 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. Stephen ROSE (capt)., 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Warren PEYTON, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Danny HEFFERNAN, 9. Lee HENDLEY, 10. Kieran LUGSDEN, 11. Pat McFADDEN. Subs: 12. Laurence BALL, 14. John MALONEY, 15. James MARSDEN, 16. Michael BROWN.

BURSCOUGH RESERVES (All green). 1. Chris MOORE, 2. Ray GORE, 3. Martin HUGHES, 4. Anthony DANIELS, 5. Craig CUSHION, 6. Ian JOHNSON, 7. Andrew SHIELDS, 8. Stephen JOHNSON, 9. Ari UBIDO, 10. Clint BURTON, 11. Einar WHITE. Subs: 12. Michael FORD, 14. David DEMBEY, 15. Alex BALDWIN, 16. David ALLEN, 17. Andrew JACKSON.

Referee: Mr B. Shore


After Alty's two prospective trialists, Paul Warhurst and Mark Boyd dropped out, the latter without notice, Altrincham fielded a starting line-up including eight first team squad members and three regular Reserves players. Stephen Rose was appointed captain and he played alongside Gary Talbot, who was making his first appearance for three months after injury. Lee Hendley was also continuing his rehabilitation after injury, whilst Lewis Chalmers, Stephen Rose, Colin Potts, Kieran Lugsden and Pat McFadden were all playing tonight after recent stints on the first-team substitutes' bench. Warren Peyton also played, as he topped up his fitness after a three-match suspension. Lewis was selected in an unaccustomed position at right-back.

The game kicked off a couple of minutes late but Altrincham wasted no time in taking the lead. From the kick off, the ball went to Potts on the right and his low cross found Hendley unmarked in the centre of the box. The striker fired the ball past Moore to put Altrincham ahead after just 14 seconds (a time ratified from the sidelines by Alty's Phil Taylor, a qualified referee). Soon afterwards another testing cross from Potts caused danger but Burscough were awarded a free kick for a foul on Shields in their box and a Burscough man needed treatment as a result (2 mins). Burscough then won the game's first two corners, in quick succession, before some neat passing from Alty led to Hendley feeding McFadden on the left but his effort was cleared off the goal line (9 mins). Then McFadden turned provider with an excellent low cross from the left, which just evaded the unmarked Lugsden in front of goal. Soon afterwards, Hendley did well to get along the by-line left of goal but his shot hit the keeper at the near post (11 mins).

Burscough had to replace Shields, who had been injured in the opening minutes, and the pony-tailed Baldwin replaced him on the right (14 mins). Burscough then had a good chance to level the score when Burton did well on the right but Ubido executed an air shot near the penalty spot when the ball was laid inside to him. However, an incoming Burscough player fired a superb shot towards the keeper's top left corner.

However, Ellison made an excellent save, tipping the ball out for a corner on the Burscough right. A second corner immediately followed but nothing came of it (19 mins). Then at the other end, an excellent freekick from the right by Potts located the unmarked Lugsden but his header dropped just wide of the keeper's left post (20 mins). Soon another good cross from the left by McFadden tested the defence before a superb cross from the right by Potts was met on the volley by Lugsden but he shot wide of the target (21 mins).

Play was open and entertaining and soon Burscough's Daniels fired narrowly over from 30 yards at the other end. But Alty continued to miss chances, the next such event arriving when Chalmers and Hendley got the ball to Lugsden who shot high and wide from an unmarked position in the box (25 mins). Alty now had three at back as Chalmers moved forward but soon Burscough were back on level terms. A good move set Baldwin behind the Alty defence inside the right of the box and his low cross found Johnson whose well-hit shot took a slight deflection as it arrowed into the net (30 mins).

Alty responded by winning a corner and a few minutes later Heffernan did well but McFadden's right-foot shot only found the roof of the net. Then Heffernan shot over the bar before Lugsden got free in the right of the box, only for the Burscough keeper to rush out and smother the ball well.

Then Peyton's ambitious lob from 35 yards just cleared the bar before McFadden's cross arrived in the box just ahead of the incoming Lugsden. When McFadden could only find the side netting left of goal from Hendley's pass, it looked as if Alty would have no half-time lead to show for all their shots at goal.

However, out of nothing they scored when Lugsden's low shot from 19 yards squirmed out of the keeper's hands and into the net (39 mins). It got even better two minutes later when Peyton, Chalmers, Brown and Heffernan combined to feed Hendley who hit an exquisite shot from just outside the box which curled over the keeper and entered the net off the underside of the crossbar (41 mins).

At the back Alty continued to play well with Ashley Brown having a good game as was Stephen Rose, captain for the night. Half -time arrived with Alty deservedly ahead but grateful for two late goals to save their blushes after a series of misses in front of goal.


Early in the second half Potts got into the box and went down under a challenge but his appeal for a penalty fell on deaf ears. However his resulting seeingly mild complaint was obviously heard as the referee produced a yellow card, his sixth of the season (48 mins). After Burscough had given Peyton the ball, the Alty man's shot from 35 yards just cleared the bar. Burscough now had a good shot at goal from Burton but Ellison saved this well. At the other end Lugsden's shot hit a defender to win a corner. Following this a Lugsden shot came off the inside of the post and rolled just in front of the goal line before being cleared (55 mins). Alty next made a double swap as Talbot and Potts gave way to Ball and Maloney (56 mins).

Rose now made a timely interception at the back for Alty before his side won three successive throws, all taken by Chalmers. When Hendley went down off the ball just after this, play nevertheless continued for some time before the referee belatedly stopped proceedings. After treatment to his left ankle, Hendley hobbled off for further attention from Alan Ainslie (62 mins). Maloney was soon getting stuck in and from a move started by him, Alty won a corner. Hendley now returned to the pitch as both sides now made substitutions. Alty brought on James Marsden in midfield as Kieran Lugsden came off. In turn, Pat McFadden moved up front from the left flank. At the same time, Burscough brought on Allen and Jackson for Hughes and Johnson (67 mins).

When Daniels's crude challenge on Peyton gave Alty a freekick, 30 yards out in a central position, Peyton took the kick quickly but a re-take was ordered. However, the referee first booked Peyton, presumbaly for taking the kick too quickly. Chalmers eventually hit the freekick well, but narrowly wide of the post. Alty continued to have the better of the game and their fourth goal arrived after Ball moved the ball forward and McFadden turned well, on the edge of the box before planting a fierce first-time shot into the net (77 mins). It was his 28th goal of the season. But Burscough responded positively as Allen forced a good block from Ellison at the cost of a corner. Soon the Alty keeper was in action again, punching a shot from Johnson (79 mins). As full time beckoned, McFadden sliced a right-foot shot wide (88 mins) and after an unexpectedly long period of added time, the referee finally blew the whistle for the end of game, soon after McFadden had fired over with another right-footed shot.

Burscough deserved credit for contributing a lot to an open, flowing game but Altrincham merited their win which keeps them at the top of the table. The watching Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele will also have been pleased to see Gary Talbot come through almost an hour of action after his injury and for the other first teamers to have produced good performances. Meanwhile the Reserves' management of Neil Brown and Carlos Marsden will take credit for yet again coaxing a good performance from an almost completely changed team from the previous fixture.