Match Reports, 2003-04


NW Youth Alliance
League Match
on Sunday, 21 March, 2004, at 2pm.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (red & white striped shirts, black shirts, red socks): 1. Barry GEORGE, 2. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 3. Matt TOOTH, 4. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 5. Josh COLLINS, 6. Joe CONNOR, 7. Paul LEWIS, 8. Lewis CHALMERS, 9. Kieran LUGSDEN, 10. Steve LUNT (capt.), 11. Danny GRIMSHAW. Subs: 12. Andy THORPE, 14. Stuart COOK, 15. Steven HOWARTH, 16. Adam BALL, 18. Tom READ (gk).

LEIGH RMI (All blue) Some of these names may be wrong as the team sheet was unclear! 1. DURSEY?, 2. JONES, 3. DRASSY?, 4. HALLIWELL, 5. JOHNSON, 6. McGOWAN, 7. McCLEMENT, 8. MURRAY, 9. VALENTINE, 10. RANKINE, 11. SMITH. Subs: 12. FISHER, 14. DAVENPORT, 15. DUNN. 16. O'NEIL, 17. COOK.


Altrincham made one enforced change to their starting line-up, with the injured Stevie Taylor being replaced by newcomer Danny Grimshaw in the number eleven shirt. The game was played in poor conditions, with a strong wind, a soft pitch and periodic heavy showers which swept across the pitch. However, Alty got a dream start when Kieran Lugsden got forward on the right and laid the ball left, to the back post, where debutant Grimshaw had all the time in the world to tap the ball into the empty net after about 90 seconds.

Altrincham enjoyed the better of the opening stages and soon Grimshaw curled a free-kick narrowly over the bar with a left-footed effort from 25 yards (11 mins). A minute later they went two up when Lunt was played in from the right and finished well as the keeper came out (12 mins). Alty next won a corner from Grimshaw's shot, from a Douthwaite feed, which was tipped round the post. The home side were playing some neat football given the atrocious conditions, with one ten pass move out of defence particularly impressive. At this stage it looked like Alty were in for a comfortable afternoon but it proved otherwise.

Leigh came back into the game and, first, Barry George had to be alert to come out of his box to clear, and then the Alty keeper did well again to hold a low cross (25 mins). For Leigh, Halliwell put in a fine tackle to stop Kieran Lugsden before a Chalmers freekick set up a header for Kieran Lugsden which went to the keeper (27 mins).

Following a push in the back by Douthwaite on Valentine, George produced a fine save from a 25-yard freekick to concede a corner. Then Collins did well at the back to make a fine saving tackle on Rankine (35 mins). Alty soon won a corner from which Connor's goalbound header struck Kieran Lugsden. After Douthwaite had done well and won a freekick, Kieran Lugsden turned well and got in a firm shot from the right which was beaten out well by the keeper for a corner. With the rain now lashing down Alty continued to press and Connor's 20 yard shot was the last goal effort of the half (44 mins).


Leigh got back into the game straight after the interval when Kelvin Lugsden appeared to be fouled before his opponent (Valentine?) scored - but the goal stood (47 mins). Captain Steve Lunt won a freekick on the left but this came to nothing. Leigh then brought on Fisher for their number three. Manager George Heslop was also acting as physio today and he was needed to treat Matt Tooth who had taken a blow in the face. With rain again lashing down, Lunt and Lugsden continued to look dangerous up front. Good work on the left from Grimshaw then saw his cross met by Kieran Lugsden's stooping header which ran to the keeper at the near post.

Alty then won a corner before Andy Thorpe replaced Chalmers, who had injured his hand earlier (72 mins). Following a foul on Kieran Lugsden, Josh Collins ghosted in at the back post and struck the upright from Tooth's freekick from 25 yards (73 mins). Thorpe then won the ball well on the right but his cross was not picked up by any colleague. RMI then brought on another sub for McClement.

Lunt did well and won a corner, and a second Alty flag-kick soon followed after good work by Grimshaw and Lunt on the left (81 mins). Following this corner, a Lunt cross was narrowly too high for Thorpe's head but then a low cross from Connor on the right found Kieran Lugsden unmarked in a crowded goalmouth and he tapped the ball home from close range (82 mins).

George continued to produce good distance from his clearances despite the wind as the Alty defence continued to look solid. However, Smith did get in a good shot which just cleared the Altrincham bar as the game neared its conclusion. Just before the final whistle, Grimshaw curled an effort narrowly over the Leigh goal (90 mins).

In difficult conditions Alty deserved their win but after a two-goal lead had been established, Leigh made them work hard for the clinching third goal.