Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies Football League
Premier Division

played on Sunday, 2 October 2005


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Pale blue shirts and socks, dark blue socks): 1. Danny CHEBRIKA, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3.Tom BANE, 4. Kieran RAYNES, 5. Michael RISK, 6.Dean WHITE, 7. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, , 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Ben DEEGAN (capt), 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Astley MULHOLLAND. Subs: 12. Curtis CONNELL, 14. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 15. Richard GRESTY, 17. Michael DARBYSHIRE.


Report courtesy of information provided by George Heslop.

This was the first of nine scheduled successive away league games for Altrincham Youth. Compared with the team which lost at Selby in the FA Youth Cup last Monday, today's team showed some changes. Tom Barclay came in at right back with Dean White moving into midfield. Kieran Raynes returned, having been unavailable at Selby, whilst Ben Shanks-Pepper replaced Hassan Zareh-Ourang in midfield. With Anthony Davies sidelined by shin-splints, Astley Mulholland switched to the left flank. Ben Robson was also ruled out with an injury but Richard Gresty returned to the bench after his absence through fractured bones in his foot. Danny Gray remains sidelined, too, by injury.

This was the first encounter between these two teams as Fleetwood Hesketh are new to the Premier Division. They have an impressive sports complex near Southport which is their base.

On a bright, sunny day, the weather matched Altrincham's performance which took them to second place in the table but unfortunately consigned Fleetwood Hesketh to the bottom of the league. Altrincham played a good, passing game and with Fleetwood deploying a 4-5-1 formation, the visitors' full-backs had time to play the ball in a composed manner to their midfield. Despite being on top, Alty failed to capitalise and two or three good chances went begging as players went for the spectacular rather than the successful! Shanks-Pepper blasted over from eight yards out, Williams shot past the post and Deegan had two unconverted chances in the first period. But Altrincham kept playing good football and eventually a goal came. Tom Bane, who had an excellent match, found Deegan at the far post and the Alty captain finished in style (38 mins).

Fleetwood did have the odd breakaway but these were to no avail and they had only one clear goalscoring chance when from what looked like an offside position, a home forward got through, one on one, against Danny Chebrika but the Alty keeper saved the situation well to maintain his side's 1-0 lead at the interval.


The Alty management discussed with the players the advantages of playing diagonal balls across a retreating back line and were pleased to see the team put this into effect after 55 minutes when Barclay found Bane on the opposite flank and from his pass Williams netted to maintain his record of scoring in every league game this season. Alty went three up after 58 minutes when a poor Fleetwood Hesketh clearance came to Deegan on the wide left. Spotting the keeper off his line, Deegan scored a fine goal into the top corner from this wide position.

After an hour, Alty's Richard Gresty came on in central midfield in place of Andy Keogh, rather than in his customary central defensive position as he sought to regain match fitness after his lay-off. Keogh had a dead leg which prompted his departure and with an important District Cup match against The Wirral next Sunday, Alty wanted to take no risks. With Fleetwood Hesketh keen to keep the score down, Altrincham continued to press. However, after Curtis Connell had come on for Matty Williams (73 mins) and Michael Darbyshire had replaced Astley Mulholland (75 mins), Alty scored again. From a freekick by Bane the ball came off the defensive wall to Dean White to the right, and he finished confidently to make it 4-0 (76 mins).

In what manager George Heslop described as a "rare sight", Richard Gresty powered up the centre of midfield and finished with a good strike into the back of the net to make it 5-0 (83 mins). But again in George's words, "normal service was resumed" when the centre-back playing in midfield tried to chip the keeper but failed!

Alty survived a late threat to their goal when a home attacker again got free in what looked an offside position but, once again, Chebrika did very well and despite having little to do in this game had now proved twice that his concentration was all it should have been. On a scale of one to ten, the management marked this game down as an eight.