Match Reports, 2003-04


NW Youth Alliance
Open Cup 3rd Round Match
on Sunday, 22 February, 2004, at 2pm.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, white shorts, red socks) : 1. Barry GEORGE, 2. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 3. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 4. Alex FROST (capt.), 5. Steven HOWARTH, 6. Paul LEWIS, 7. Joe CONNOR, 8. Stevie TAYLOR, 9. Andy THORPE, 10. Kieran LUGSDEN, 11. Josh COLLINS. Subs: 12. Lewis CHALMERS, 14. Adam BALL, 15. Stuart COOK, 18. Tom READ (gk).

MARINE A YOUTH (White shirts with black trim, black shorts, white socks): 1. Barnes, 2. Jones, 3.Morgan, 4. Kearney, 5. J. McGurgan, 6. Summers, 7. Etim, 8. Santangelli, 9. Rimmer, 10. Gibbons, 11. Monro. Subs: Cole, Dillon, A. McGurgan, Long, Maguire.


Altrincham were without left-back Matthew Tooth and striker Steve Lunt was rested as he is likely to be involved in Tuesday's first-team game for Altrincham in the UniBond League. In addition, Steve's fellow-striker Kieran Lugsden was set to play only for 45 minutes, also with an eye to the same first-team game. However, Josh Collins was back for his first start since a road accident over Christmas. Although Alty had beaten Marine 4-0 in October, the Crosby side had beaten Alty convincingly last week.

Marine started the better of the two sides and got in a shot from 25 yards by Summers inside the first minute. Frost and Howarth saw off other Marine probes but when George was bundled into the net with the ball by Kearney after 8 minutes, the claimed "goal" was rightly ruled out. Altrincham began to settle, with Douthwaite and Lewis making some headway on the right and Connor and Taylor making some contributions in midfield. Alty won the game's first corner after 15 minutes. Further Alty pressure saw Taylor's pass lead to another corner, won by Kieran Lugsden (19 mins).

The visitors then came back into the game and it became clear that Alty were in for a tough afternoon. The tall Marine defence was dealing with all that came its way whilst the bobbly pitch made it difficult for Alty to play a passing game and get behind them.

As half-time approached Marine pressed forward and a fine run by Gibbons, past three Alty men, was only seen off in the Alty box by Taylor (42 mins). The goal-less first half ended just after Kieran Lugsden had got in an acrobatic shot, which Barnes held well at the near post (45 mins).


At half-time the pre-arranged substitution of Kieran Lugsden took place, with Lewis Chalmers coming off the bench to join Andy Thorpe up front. But before Chalmers could settle, from a Summers free-kick on the left 45 yards out, the Alty defence failed to react and Kearney got in to score an easy headed goal from close range (47 mins).

Marine then won a corner which Frost nodded back to George, who caught it well. Thorpe soon got in a shot at the other end which was cleared (53 mins) but then Josh Collins was hurt in an aerial challenge near halfway and had to be carried off by physio Neil Thomason and the player's father, with what seemed to be a recurrence of the back injury which he had suffered in a car accident at Christmas.

Adam Ball came on and took over the left-wing berth (61 mins). Ball was soon involved when his advance on the left led to a 25 yarder from Taylor but his shot went very high over the goal and, indeed, the clubhouse (65 mins).

Santangelli then prompted a full-length save from George before Kelvin Lugsden won Alty a corner on their left. This was cleared but, soon, from Lugsden's pass, Chalmers drove a low shot across goal from the right from what was to be one of Alty's best openings (70 mins).

Alty fell two goals behind when a back pass from Lugsden, arrived at an awkward height for keeper George and led to a half clearance to Santangelli. He passed the ball back into the goalmouth, from right of goal, where Gibbons tapped the ball into the net past a retreating Alty defender (75 mins).

Summers soon sent a curling shot from 25 yards just wide of the Alty goal (77 mins). Alty continued to labour but could find no way past the solid Marine defence. Stuart Cook then came on to replace Andy Thorpe whilst Marine brought on no.18. After Frost had been penalised, the Marine no.18 got free but headed the free-kick over the bar (84 mins).

Alty did win a corner but did not look likely to get back into the game before Marine's other subs (nos. 14 and 12) joined the fray. In three minutes of added time, Alty did win a corner but the closest they came to a goal was when a Lewis free-kick from 40 yards out on the right was nodded on by Connor but Kelvin Lugsden was just unable to turn it in at the back post.

So, Marine gained their second win over Alty in a week as the home side never settled to produce any sustained flowing football. Whilst the pitch had something to do with this, as did the absence of Alty regulars Tooth and Lunt, nothing should detract from a good performance by the visitors who built on a solid defence and took their chances well.