< Altrincham FC


Match Reports, 2003-04


NW Youth Alliance
League Match
on Sunday, 4 January, 2004, at 2pm.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Ashley TIMMS, 2. Alex FROST (capt.) 3. Matt TOOTH, 4. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 5. Josh COLLINS, 6. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 7. Joe CONNOR, 8. Paul LEWIS, 9. Andy THORPE, 10. Kieran LUGSDEN, 11. Adam BALL. Subs: 12. Gary LEIGH, 14. Tom HILTON, 15. Matthew BARTON, 18. Barry GEORGE (gk).

BARROW YOUTH (Black & white striped shirts, black shirts & socks) 1. ARCHER, 2. MYLES, 3. Graham CAPSTICK, 4. COOM (capt.), 5. Glen CAPSTICK, 6. LANCASTER, 7. WATKIN, 8. GRIME, 9. HARRISON, 10. MACKAY, 11. METCALFE. Subs: 12. TOMPKINSON, 14. FULLARD, 15. HODGE.


This was Altrincham's first game for exactly a month but they were without many first-team regulars. Steven Howarth and Steve Taylor were ill, Stuart Cook and Lewis Chalmers were suspended, Steve Lunt was rested after playing for the first team yesterday and Kieran Lugsden was only permitted half a game today, with an eye to his potential involvement in Tuesday's first-team match against Vauxhall Motors. There were also positional changes to the team, with Adam Douthwaite moving to right-midfield as Alex Frost played at right-back. A starting debut went to Joe Connor, who plays for the Cheshire FA side as well as Cheadle Town.

The pitch was soft and bobbly after recent rain and following two previous games on it this weekend. Thorpe won Alty an early corner but this was cleared. Soon, however, a fine ball forward from Frost saw Kieran Lugsden knock the ball past the keeper, Archer, on the edge of the box only to go down when caught by the Barrow number one. However, no foul was given and no goal resulted (5 mins). Alty continued to do more of the pressing without creating clear chances until, following Ball's advance on the left, the ball eventually came to Thorpe but his shot was blocked for an Alty corner, on the right. Douthwaite's corner led to another corner, this time on the left (14 mins). Next, Tooth knocked an effort narrowly over the bar (19 mins) before Frost cleared up a Barrow attack. Connor then flicked a header narrowly wide following a Tooth free-kick (23 mins). A ball over the defence then saw Thorpe get behind Graham Capstick but with only the keeper to beat, Thorpe screwed his shot wide of the keeper's right post (26 mins).

Barrow's best effort at this stage was a shot from Grime which went wide from a clearance by Frost (28 mins). From a Barrow free-kick Timms missed the ball but Kelvin Lugsden cleared well from deep in his own goalmouth (31 mins). From the resulting Barrow corner Graham Capstick timed his back post run well to beat Timms and power the ball into the net for an opening goal which was against the run of play (32 mins).

The Alty midfield was not functioning with its usual efficiency today and possession was being lost too often. However, Alty survived a penalty appeal when Timms came to the right edge of his box but dropped the ball under a challenge and then lunged on top of the grounded Mackay. However, Mr Catterall gave Altrincham a free-kick, presumably for Mackay's original challenge (40 mins). Kieran Lugsden then got in a shot at the other end but it ran comfortably to Archer in the Barrow goal shortly before the referee curiously called an end to the first half more than a minute before the completion of the 45 minutes.


At half-time Alty brought on Tom Hilton to replace Kieran Lugsden, leaving Connor to move forward alongside Thorpe. Tooth, who was Alty's best player today, then prompted a move on the left which ended with Ball's header at Archer (55 mins). Again from Tooth's prompting, Lewis then won Alty a corner. The keeper palmed Douthwaite's corner away before kicking the ball off his own line as a follow-up Alty shot came in (57 mins).

Alty did not create many openings in the next few minutes, however, before Barrow won a free-kick on the left when Collins was penalised for a foul on Mackay. The free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner on the left. Timms failed to gather the corner, delivered to the near post, and Metcalfe knocked the ball into the net to give Barrow their second goal from a set piece (67 mins).

After the re-start, a rare flowing move from Alty saw Thorpe find Connor whose chest-down allowed Hilton to get in a strong shot which whistled past the upright from the edge of the box (72 mins). Frost then had an effort from 30 yards, but it was very high, as Alty pressed the Barrow defence. However, the tall Barrow defenders saw off all that Altrincham could muster. Frost then won a corner for his side but the keeper punched Douthwaite's corner-kick clear.

Alty made a double change after 78 minutes when Kelvin Lugsden and Adam Douthwaite gave way to Gary Leigh and Matthew Barton. However, Barrow soon won two corners, which were cleared, before a fine cross from the left by Collins, from a feed by Connor, saw Tooth arrow a header towards goal which Archer did well to push away to his left for a corner (86 mins). With even Ashley Timms up in the Barrow box, Thorpe's corner-kick went behind the net (87 mins). When a Barrow through ball evaded Collins, Timms was caught out of position and was fortunate to see Mackay's lob over him go just wide of his right upright (88 mins).

The game ended with Alty defeated in the league for the first time this season. The many enforced team changes no doubt had much to do with the lacklustre performance today but, even so, it was a disappointment to lose to a team at the bottom end of the table and to concede two goals from set-pieces. Alty travel to Barrow for the return fixture next Sunday so have an immediate opportunity to avenge this defeat.