Match Reports, 2005-06


Pre-Season Friendly Match
on Sunday, 17 July, 2005.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH: 1. Sam FOX, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Ben ROBSON, 4. Richard GRESTY, 5. Michael RISK, 6. Dean WHITE, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, 9. Ben DEEGAN, 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Anthony DAVIES. Subs: 12. Michael HOWE, 14. Andy KEOGH, 15. Curtis CONNELL, 16. Scott BARLOW, 18. Joe BROBBIN (gk).


Report, below, courtesy of George Heslop.

On a very hot morning, Altrincham encountered stiff opposition in Warrington Town who had recently drawn 1-1 with Runcorn FC Halton under-21s. Altrincham had a very much untried squad with 11 of the 16 having not previously started a game for the Robins. In the first fifteen minutes Altrincham took time to adapt but the lads showed good commitment and worked hard as they got to know each other's style of play. Most of the first 20 minutes was spent in the Warrington half and in the 25th minute, Alty's eighth corner arrived. Unusually, this was taken by Deegan, from the left, and his inswinger took a slight deflection before entering the net to make it 1-0 to Altrincham.

Altrincham continued to look the better side. Although Warrington were strong in a number of positions, Altrincham's fitness began to tell. After 40 minutes an Alty passing move in the Warrington area led to a lay-off for Shanks-Pepper, whose fierce shot hit the post and rebounded to safety. It was no compensation for Shanks-Pepper, who had had a goal disallowed five minutes earlier for offside. However, just before the interval, Warrington broke on the left and got in a ball across the Alty goalmouth, where their right-midfielder arrived on a diagonal run to level the scores.


Alty made changes at the interval due to minor knocks and blisters. Howe replaced Robson, Keogh came on for White, Barlow took over from Deegan and 15 year-old Brobbin substituted for Fox in goal. Alty seemed to settle well, despite the changes, but Warrington, for their part, had also made three substitutions. After 55 minutes, Connell came on for Williams for Alty. Play continued, mostly in Warrington's half, with the visitors on top. However, Warrington nevertheless scored what looked to be a good goal only for Altrincham to be saved by an offside flag. Altrincham rubbed salt in the wound by scoring themselves after an hour, when a cross from the left was converted by Zareh-Ourang at the back post.

After 65 minutes Shanks-Pepper came off with blisters to be replaced by Deegan in midfield. But Alty then lost their captain, Richard Gresty, with a recurrence of an ankle ligament problem and he was replaced by the returning Williams (75 mins). Williams went into midfield and Deegan moved to centre-back. After 80 minutes Alty were forced to field keeper Sam Fox as an outfield player in midfield when Risk got injured. Fox, however, has outfield experience for his college so his versatility came in useful. Zareh-Ourang then replaced Risk at the back. After 81 minutes Alty won a penalty for a push in the box. Deegan took the kick and tucked the ball into the right-hand corner, though the keeper got a hand to it. At 3-1, Altrincham were coasting but had no one else left on the bench in a fit condition. Warrington had eight subs and rang the changes well. Manager George Heslop described the game as "A good start to the process of building a new side for the coming season". He still has several of last season's squad to add to those who played today, including Graham Bryant and Daniel Gray.