Match Reports, 2005-06


Allied Trophies NW Youth Alliance
Premier Division Match

played at Ericstan Park, Wythenshawe Town FC
on Thursday, 25th August 2005 at 6.45pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH: 1. Danny CHEBRIKA, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Tom BANE, 4. Kieran RAYNES, 5. Michael RISK, 6. Dean WHITE, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Ben DEEGAN (capt.), 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Anthony DAVIES. Subs: 12. Curtis CONNELL, 14. Ashley McGRATH, 15. Dale BENSON, 16. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, 17. Richard GRESTY.


It might be expected that games in August would be played in dry, sunny conditions but this one took place on a dull, chilly, wet and gusty evening. The discomfort of the spectators and players in these adverse conditions was made worse by the late arrival of the match officials which meant that the match kicked off half an hour late and was reduced to a game of two 40-minute halves as there are no floodlights at Wythenshawe Town's Ericstan Park ground to allow a later finish. For this season Alty have a new physio, Julieanne Gresty, sister of the Alty captain, Richard Gresty, and she was making her home debut tonight. The spectators included first-team boss Graham Heathcote, Reserves' manager Neil Brown and former Alty Youth player Lee Hendley, who had signed first-team forms the night before and whose example will hopefully inspire this year's youth team by showing them that progress to the first team can be rapid if they have the necessary skills and application.

Alty had a dream start when Williams scored in the third minute following a defensive mix-up by Woodley after their goalkeeper had come out for the ball. Soon afterwards, from a cross form the left by Davies, Deegan controlled the ball but his left footed shot was underhit and ran to the keeper (6 mins). But the Alty captain did much better a little later when, through sheer persistence, he held off challenges from a defender and drove the ball home to put Alty 2-0 up after just 9 minutes However, Alty had an immediate scare when Chebrika came out to clear but his kick cannoned off a retreating defender and out to Woodley's no.8 whose shot, though accurate, was not powerful enough to beat the retreating Barclay, who cleared well (10 mins). Keogh then drove a freekick wide at the other end and when Williams fired a fierce shot only narrowly wide and then volleyed another effort over the bar it looked as if Alty would win the game comfortably (22 mins).

But a long range cross-shot from the far right by Woodley forced Chebrika to make a fine save, retreating to tip the ball smartly over the crossbar for a corner, which the Alty keeper then punched clear. However, Woodley soon won another corner on their left. This was nodded forward from the outer centre of the penalty area and the Woodley no.5, Woodbridge, was unmarked as he volleyed into the net from close range - 2-1 (31 mins). Woodley's tails were now up and they gained another corner soon after their goal. However, Deegan then had a headed goal disallowed at the other end before Williams won Alty a corner on the left. Taken by right winger White, this was cleared off the line by a defender but came out to Risk who scored to make it 3-1 to the hosts (38 mins). The shortened first half soon ended, with Altrincham looking comfortable.


Alty made a substitution at the interval and another two minutes into the second half. Firstly, Benson came on for Barclay and then Shanks-Pepper replaced White, who seemed to be suffering a back problem at the end of the first half. Within a minute Alty had conceded a goal when the Woodbridge was again left unmarked, this time from a freekick out on the left, and he bundled the ball home to make it 3-2 (43 mins). After Deegan had won his side a corner, Woodley brought on no.15 for no.10. Hassan Zareh-Ourang then needed treatment after being fouled but neither side created a clear chance before they each made another change. Woodley's no.11 replaced no.6 (53 mins) and Richard Gresty, returning from injury, came on at centre-back for Kieran Raynes (55 mins).

Alty now won a corner and Deegan should have been awarded another soon afterwards but the referee gave a goalkick (61 mins). Woodley were then awarded a freekick just outside the Alty box and, as Bane jumped up in the wall to block the kick, his raised hand was hit by the ball and a penalty was awarded. The no.9, Quinn, sent Chebrika the wrong way from the spot, to make it 3-3 (63 mins). The visitors' no.16 was booked soon afterwards for a foul and, not long after this, Deegan fired just over the bar (66 mins).

Five minutes after the equaliser, keeper Chebrika and a team-mate got in a mix-up and allowed Woodley's no.8, Carter, to put his side 4-3 up (68 mins). Davies then had the ball in the net from 25 yards for Alty but his effort was ruled out by the referee (69 mins). With Zareh-Ourang still limping from his earlier injury, things got worse for Alty when Gresty was booked for a verbal offence.

Having let a two-goal lead slip, Alty almost conceded another when a freekick by Quinn, was fumbled by Chebrika and almost went over the goal-line before he recovered the ball (78 mins). The eighty alloted minutes ended and play drifted on for a couple of minutes of injury time but Alty could not find an equaliser. After their creditable draw at the champions, Morecambe, last week, Altrincham will have been doubly disappointed to have allowed this winnable game to slip after they had established a position of strength at half-time.