Match Reports, 2003-04


NWYA Premier Division Match
played at Sandgate Road,
on Sunday, 14 September, 2003, at 2pm.


ALTRINCHAM YOUTH (Blue shirts, black shorts, black socks): 1. Barry GEORGE, 2. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 3. Matthew TOOTH, 4. Alex FROST (capt.), 5. Michael BAILEY, 6. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 7. Lewis CHALMERS, 8. Stevie TAYLOR, 9. Kieran LUGSDEN, 10. Steve LUNT, 11. Josh COLLINS. Subs: 12. Andy THORPE, 14. Stuart COOK, 15. David NEVILLE, 16. Paul BREIDENBACH, 18. Clint WALKER (gk)

PRESTWICH HEYS YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, blue shorts and black socks) Numbers given are as on the team sheet but the shirts worn were differently numbered: 1. R. Doyle, 2. J. Downey, 3. B. Howard, 4. B. Cooper, 5. S. Devlin, 6. S, Farrell, 7. N. Houghton, 8. O. McGee, 9. N. Mannion, 10. P. Batty, 11. R. Newton. Subs: 12. R. Done, 13. L.Lacey, 14. P. Rowbotham, 15. P. Ashcroft.


Right: Steve Lunt nets Alty's goal.

Although the Sandgate Road ground has no fixed structures it has a small bar in a cabin and is a well-organised club. Despite pumping water onto the pitch over recent weeks, the surface was hard and this meant the ball bounced unevenly but the distant views of moorland fires on the hills underlined the exceptionally dry period experienced in the area over the summer. The game itself was played in hot sunshine throughout. Heys's Youth team Secretary, Scott White had produced an excellent matchday programme which was very informative and a most unusual feature at NWYA League games.

For this top-of-the-table clash, Alty made one change with Steve Lunt replacing Andy Thorpe up front. The team sported their brand new change-kit, sponsored by Go Goodwins.

After some early pressure and a corner for the hosts, Altrincham won themselves a corner after 8 minutes. This was scrambled clear and soon Alty nearly took the lead when a ball from the left was parried out but Doyle in the Heys goal made a good save from the Alty follow-up (12 mins). The bobbly pitch was proving difficult to master but the early stages proved to be a fairly even contest between the sides placed second and third in the Division. Alty had another good chance when Lunt battled well to the left of goal and the ball came across for Kieran Lugsden but his header lacked the power to beat the keeper (22 mins).

Above: Michael Bailey makes an interception.

Prestwich now won two corners but Douthwaite saw off the danger with a good tackle, the ball running back to keeper Barry George. Taylor and Lunt then combined well but the ball ran to Doyle once more (26 mins). Kelvin Lugsden then fed Adam Douthwaite whose good cross was met by Kieran Lugsden but his header went narrowly wide of the keeper's right upright (31 mins). Prestwich were also looking menacing on the break. George had to make a good save when the no.12 seized on a rebound in the Alty goalmouth and got in a goalbound header (39 mins).

Before the break, a good ball from Bailey found Taylor who surged forward and got in a low shot which Doyle saved well at the second attempt, from 18 yards. Next Kieran Lugsden laid the ball off for his brother Kelvin to fire in a fine shot which just rose over the cross bar from 20 yards (41 mins). Then Kieran's lob-shot also cleared the Heys' bar as Altrincham finished the half strongly.


Left: Kelvin Lugsden clears as, on the hills behind, smoke rises from a moorland fire.

Early in the second half Kieran Lugsden and Prestwich's no.5 got involved in a spat and the referee had words with them both but only appeared to book the Alty player; the free-kick went to Prestwich (54 mins). Collins then did well to earn his side a corner on the left and from Douthwaite's kick, Chalmers rose well but headed narrowly wide at the back post. Altrincham were now on top as Frost cleared a potential Heys attack. Chalmers then won a header well which allowed Collins to feed Kieran Lugsden but his shot was saved (58 mins). Prestwich broke to the other end but George came out to catch the ball cleanly.

Stevie Taylor, who played well in midfield, won another corner but following this Josh Collins was harshly penalised just inside the Prestwich half for a foul. Prestwich drove the free-kick 50 yards up the middle of the pitch where their no.4 rose unchallenged to head home a goal against the run of play (61 mins). However, Alty soon levelled, when Chalmers won the ball with great determination and advanced through the centre of the midfield. He found Lunt, whose first touch was not perfect but his second succeeded in putting the ball past the keeper and low into the net (64 mins).

David Neville immediately came on for Josh Collins. Taylor, Douthwaite and Chalmers then combined but Kieran Lugsden's shot was too high to trouble the keeper. A Prestwich breakaway saw a fine cross from no.14 which no.8 headed just wide (72 mins). Soon, a Prestwich corner followed which George caught after first punching the ball upwards. Alty now brought on Cook for Kelvin Lugsden (75 mins). Prestwich's no.12 got in a shot at George (80 mins) but Stevie Taylor then won a corner at the other end. Douthwaite's corner led to a defensive scramble. Prestwich now brought on a no.19 whilst Alty replaced Kieran Lugsden by Andy Thorpe up front (82 mins). Potts and Lunt combined but the resulting shot cleared the bar as Alty continued to be on top in the closing stages. Captain Alex Frost came forward and won possession but his shot rose comfortably over the bar from 20 yards (87 mins). The game ended with the score 1-1 so both sides retained their unbeaten records. Altrincham will feel they could have won the game but Prestwich also had their chances in an entertaining game.