ALTRINCHAM RESERVES (1) 1
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN (1) 1
played on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, at 7.45pm
SUMMARYAn Altrincham Reserves' side, which started with seven players with first-team experience, (albeit totalling only 42 league appearances this season), was held to a 1-1 draw by second-place Wythenshawe Town at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night. The night started well for the Robins as Micah Evans scored a well-taken goal in just the third minute. But former Alty youth and reserve player, Ashley Leather, equalised for Town in the 32nd minute.
- 3 mins: Micah EVANS (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wythenshawe Town 0 )
- 32 mins: Ashley LEATHER (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wythenshawe Town 1 )
REFEREE: Mr Paul Roots
Altrincham included seven players who had appeared in the Vanarama National League North this season, albeit their total league appearances in 2016-17 added up to no more than forty-two. For their part Wythenshawe named Ashley Leather and Richard Gresty, both former Alty youth and reserve players, in their starting eleven.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Andrew Jones, 2. Callum Jones, 3. Tom Westall, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Clayton McDonald, 6. Tom Hannigan, 7. Micah Evans, 8. Jordan Milne, 9. Andy Owens, 10. Joel Swift (c), 11. Harry Cain. Subs: 12. Darius Palma, 14. Joshua Graham, 15. Rob Kennerley, 16. Harry Sheridan, 17. Chris Rowley (gk)
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN (Blue) 1. Kelsey Robinson, 2. Jake Gregory, 3. Dan King, 4. Remi Williams, 5. Lee Hargreaves, 6. Richard Gresty (capt), 7. David Moorend, 8. Rico Stewart, 9. Dougie Carroll, 10. Anthony Dinchin, 11. Ashley Leather. Subs: 12. Prince Banya, 14. Dion Kemp, 16. Josh Pacitto
Alty and Wythenshawe were both at the top end of the league table at kick off.
Rain started to fall at 7.30pm and continued for much of the game. Altrincham got off to a great start, going ahead inside three minutes through a first goal for the club by Micah Evans after six appearances for the first team without a goal. Here he advanced up the middle before finishing calmly past the visitors' keeper.
Alty remained on top in the opening stages, with Evans again having a chance but, this time, he scooped his effort over the bar from Milne's excellent feed (9 mins). Cain was looking lively but it was Owens who won the game's first corner, which was followed a few minutes later by another, which arrived in the 16th minute.
This latter corner was won by Alty's captain, Joel Swift, who ended up careering into the advertising hoardings behind the byline and, after play had stopped for the corner, he was unable to continue, hobbling off to be replaced by Darius Palma (21 mins). It was not long before the newly introduced youth team forward got in a well-struck shot but it curled just wide of the keeper's left post (26 mins).
Wythenshawe were now growing into the game and a fine cross from Leather just evaded a team-mate at the back post. Then, after Jordan Milne had seen his 20 yarder saved, a fine run by Leather, who interchanged passes with Wiliams, ended with the pacy former Alty youth player skipping round Andrew Jones to slot the ball home from an acute angle at close range, to make it 1-1 (32 mins).
The goal lifted the visitors and they had the better of the remaining period towards half-time, during which Altrincham created little at the front end. And at the back, it took a crucial tackle by McDonald, inside the Altrincham box, to stop Dinchin having a clear sight of goal (45+1 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 1|
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN 1
Altrincham started the second half on the front foot but it was not long before McDonald was complaining loudly to his forwards that Alty's forward movements kept "breaking down" as the ball failed to stick up front.
Ten minutes into the half, Callum Jones was booked for a mistimed tackle. But play continued fairly uneventfully and with no real chances at either end of the pitch before Altrincham made their second substitution. This involved the replacement of Hannigan, who was returning from injury, by Josh Graham (65 mins). Alty were now adopting a three-man backline of which McDonald and Callum Jones were the partners for Graham.
Altrincham now won three corners over the next few minutes but it was Wythenshawe who wasted an excellent chance to take the lead. This came amidst this sequence, when an impressive surge up the middle by Williams ended with Leather's cross which Dinchin, with a stooping header, failed to convert (67 mins).
Nevertheless, the home side were having more of the forward momentum but they were not creating any meaningful chances. Meanwhile there was a scare when McDonald went down injured but he recovered to complete the game, which had been his first start for Altrincham after joining under the Jim Harvey period of management.
His fellow defender, Josh Graham, was making a good impression after he had come on as a substitute.
The final quarter of an hour saw Town introduce all three of their substitutes. Firstly Banya replaced Dinchin (77 mins), then Pacitto came on for Leather, who had a good game (88 mins). Finally, Kemp replaced King, with the game already into added time (90+1 mins).
In between these changes, Alty introduced Kennerley up front to replace defender Tom Westall (85 mins).
But, despite these changes of personnel, neither side created a clear chance to win the game in the closing stages and a draw was probably a fair outcome, with few of the Altrincham first-team players having done much to persuade the watching management duo of Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton to include them in the starting line-up on Saturday at Salford City.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 1|
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN 1