ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) : 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 4. Stephen ROSE, 5. Gary SCOTT, 3. Cavell COO; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Gareth WHALLEY, 6. Billy DEMPSEY, 11. Warren PEYTON, 10. Robbie LAWTON (capt); 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 12. Chris SENIOR, 14. Darren TINSON, 15. Oliver OSBALDESTON, 16. Chris LANE, 17. Joe O'NEILL.
STOCKPORT COUNTY: 1. Chris Adamson; 2. Bowler, 3. Rowe, 4. Tony Dinning, 5. Michael Raynes, 6. Havern, 7. Tansey, 8. Dominic Blizzard, 9. Coward, 10. Adam Proudlock, 11. Anthony Pilkington. Subs: 12. Dan Ellis, Turnbull, Imeson, L Williams, J. Vincent, Smeaton.
A crowd approaching 200 turned up to watch this Reserves' friendly and they were provided with another entertaining game and, what is more, another Altrincham victory. And for Alty fans there was a sighting of their former "super sub", Dickie Landon, who was here in his role as Stockport's kitman. The game had an early kick-off at 6.45pm as the Alty floodlights are being replaced and could not be used but it was to be a dull evening and by the end, it was getting distinctly gloomy.
Alty fielded 10 members of their 21-man first-team squad though many of them had not started a Blue Square game yet this season. Only four of Alty's starters tonight had also begun the game at Forest Green last Saturday. The only trialist on view at kick-off was Billy Dempsey, who is apparently the son of former Altrincham player Mark Dempsey. On the bench, alongside other first-team squad members was Oliver Osbaldeston, the Manchester Grammar School player who had taken part in last week's Reserves' game.
Alty kicked off but immediately lost possession and, in keeping with the last two first-team games, they conceded an early goal. This came after Lawton, who started the game in the hole behind Colin Little, had seen a shot cleared. Pilkington then ran through the centre of the Alty midfield and defence to score a good goal (3 mins). From the re-start, Little and Lawton combined well, with the latter forcing a good tip over the bar by the County keeper, at the cost of a corner. Soon afterwards, a a fine cross from the right by Potts found Peyton unmarked about six yards out. His downward header should have been stopped by the keeper but it bounced past him into the far corner of the net to make it 1-1 (8 mins).
Coo was impressing for Alty in the left-back position whilst Dempsey had now moved from midfield to play in the hole behind Little. Aspinall then played a superb 65-yard ball forward for Little who saw his left foot shot saved at the cost of another corner (14 mins). After the corner, Coo won possession and saw his shot deflected over for another corner. From Whalley's kick, Little had a shot just pushed clear by the keeper. Alty should have gone ahead after 19 minutes when Potts fed Lawton and his excellent cross gave Dempsey a free header from six yards. But the trialist headed over the bar (19 mins).
For Alty Peyton was much involved on the left as the game settled into an even contest. When Whalley and Peyton conspired to feed Dempsey inside the box, a clear hold on the Alty player went unnoticed by the officials. Play now stopped for treatment to a shoulder injury to Potts before Scott made one of several excellent interceptions at the back for the home side. Stockport keeper Adamson continued to look a little shaky as he dealt with a Potts cross before the visitors won a corner at the other end (35 mins). But half-time arrived with the scores still level.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 1|
STOCKPORT COUNTY RESERVES 1
As in the first half, Alty were slow to start in the second period and County won an early corner. But Alty then took the lead when a defensive error allowed Little through and though his first effort, a neat chip over the keeper, came back off the crossbar, the Alty striker was quick to nod the rebound into the open net (50 mins). After Acton had done well to field a low Stockport cross, Rose went close with a header at the other end from Lawton's cross from the left (53 mins). At this point Chris Senior and Joe O'Neill came on up front in place of Little and Dempsey and then Tinson replaced Peyton.
Alty now won a corner and from Potts's kick Tinson had a header cleared off the line by Blizzard. With Potts continuing to put in some testing crosses, Alty won two more corners. Alty captain Robbie Lawton was then injured by a late tackle from the County left-back. After treatment he was unable to continue and Osbaldeston came on to replace him in the Alty midfield (70 mins). Four minutes later Chris Lane replaced Whalley as Alty continued to be good value for their lead. Another corner followed, from Aspinall's freekick, before County replaced Michael Raynes (the brother of Alty Youth defender, Kieran) by Dan Ellis (76 mins). Senior then won another Alty corner and Potts's testing in-swinging flag-kick was only just clawed out from under the bar by Adamson. Alty had some luck when referee Moran blew up for a Stockport freekick when County still had possession but, as he had also done so similarily to Alty's disadvantage earlier, the benefits were shared.
Stockport's best chance of the half came when Pilkington fed Proudlock, who got free up the inside-right channel but Acton came out to make a superb save, low down (81 mins). Alty continued to see plenty of the ball but County won a corner and pressed forward in the closing minutes. However, an excellent cross from O'Neill from the right was almost headed in by Senior for Alty, but the ball skimmed off the top of his head (87 mins).
This was an entertaining game watched by sizeable crowd who got very good value for their £2 entry fee. But this was to be the last midweek fixture at Moss Lane until the new floodlights are up and running in mid-September.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 2|
STOCKPORT COUNTY RESERVES 1
Compiled by John Laidlar