Lancit Haulage Lancashire League Match
played on Saturday, 6 May, 2006 at 1pm


ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Craig ELLISON, 2. James MARSDEN (capt), 3. Keith WEDGE, 4. Colin McALLISTER, 5. Laurence BALL, 6. John MALONEY, 7. Michael BROWN, 8. Paul MONAGHAN, 9. Pat McFADDEN, 10. Daniel HEFFERNAN, 11. Ashley BROWN. Subs: 12. Dave ROBERTS, 14. Chris ADAMS, 15. Byron JENKINS.

BARROW RESERVES (White shirts, blue shorts, white socks): 1. Luke LUNDY, 2. Adam BROWN, 3. Kris LANCASTER, 4. Lee RODGERS, 5. James COTTON, 6. Danny BURGESS, 7. Danny GRAHAM, 8. Phil COOMBE, 9. Pat STAUNTON, 10. Mark AYRES, 11. Andy STEWART. Subs: 12. Ian McSKIMMINS, 14. John O'NEIL.


Right: James Marsden in action against Barrow.

Pat McFadden returned to the side having spent much of the last few weeks in the first team squad and he replaced Lee Hendley up front. Otherwise, the changes from the last game were positional, with Paul Monaghan moving to central midfield, alongside John Maloney, and Ashley Brown pushing forward to left midfield, as James Marsden reverted to right-back and Keith Wedge to left-back. On the bench was first-team left-back Chris Adams, who had played and scored in the Staff v Supporters game the night before.

Barrow were delayed on their long journey and so the game kicked off 18 minutes late, on a warm sunny afternoon. The early stages were marred by a bad tackle on the half way line on Danny Heffernan (5 mins). After lengthy treatment from Alan Ainsley, Danny had to be helped off and later was to be seen on crutches pending a trip to hospital for assessment of what may be a broken ankle. All at Moss Lane hope it turns out to be less serious than that.

Play resumed after nearly five minutes with Dave Roberts coming on, up front, in place of Heffernan (10 mins). Soon a good run up the middle by Barrow's Coombe was halted but at the cost of a freekick, 25 yards out, in a central position. Staunton's free kick smashed against Ellison's left post with the keeper beaten (18 mins).

After an excellent ball forward from Marsden, Alty won a throw from which McFadden fed Ashley Brown, but his shot was beaten out (21 mins). On the half hour mark Alty won a corner which Roberts headed narrowly wide, as Barrow played briefly with ten men due to an injury. Once restored to full strength, Barrow won a corner themselves and, soon afterwards, Coombe forced a routine save from Ellison (38 mins). At the other end, McFadden did well to get to the by-line, right of goal, but his ball across the front of goal went unconverted (39 mins). Half time arrived with the game still goalless.


Left: Pat McFadden and Dave Roberts in the Barrow goalmouth.

From an early corner in the second half, Ball headed over the bar (50 mins), But soon Alty took the lead when a good pass forward up the middle set Roberts free and he lifted it smartly over the keeper to make it 1-0 (51 mins). Alty now brought on Adams for Mike Brown with Chris slotting into midfield. At the same time Barrow brought on O'Neil for Stewart (52 mins). Soon a good cross from Ashley Brown again found no one in the goalmouth to convert it. Soon after this, McFadden's cross from the left struck Cotton's hand but penalty appeals went unanswered. After a Barrow corner, Burgess's cross found Lancaster but he headed wide of Ellison's goal (57 mins). Alty then scored a second goal, though scorer Pat McFadden was fortunate as Roberts's cross from the right seemed to get stuck under his feet at the back post but it somehow squeezed into the net (59 mins). For those who had seen the first team's game at Dagenham this season, the goal was reminiscent of Colin Little's effort in that match.

Alty were now on top as a great run by Monaghan, past three men, ended in a shot which went wide (61 mins). But McFadden soon made it 3-0 with an excellent chip over the keeper (61 mins). Byron Jenkins came on for Monaghan (62 mins) before Jenkins won Alty a corner. Roberts was now in midfield as Jenkins went up front.

After Alty had won another corner, McSkimmins replaced Ayres for Barrow (69 mins). Although Wedge soon had to clear off his own line, the whistle went to give Alty a freekick for a foul on Ellison in the build up (71 mins). After good work from Jenkins, once more Alty got in a good cross, this time from McFadden, but again the ball found no-one on the end of it . Altrincham were now well on top and McFadden "scored" again only for play to be annoyingly hauled back for an Altrincham freekick (81 mins).

Marsden's well hit freekick forced a good save before each side won a corner. Fom Alty's flag-kick, Jenkins headed over the bar. With four minutes left McFadden rounded the keeper to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-0. McFadden then had another shot saved before Marsden fired narrowly over from long range. The game went into five minutes of added time and during this period McFadden got clear to net his fourth and Alty's fifth goal (90+1 mins). Before play ended Chris Adams went off, unwrapping the bandaging on his hand but Alty rode out the last couple of minutes to record an ultimately convincing win after a disappointing first half.

It looks as if Alty's two remaining fixtures will both not now be played but how the points will be distributed remains to be seen. Though the Lancashire League title looks likely to go to Marine, the game underlined Altrincham Reserves' excellent season. The first goal this afternoon was their 100th in the league and in Pat McFadden they had a marksmen who netted a remarkable 32 league goals despite missing many games for the Reserves whilst on duty with the first team. And the management too deserves praise for such a good season when often a hatful of changes had to be made from one game to the next to accommodate first team fringe players or those returning from injury.