Match Reports, 2005-06


Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup


ALTRINCHAM & DISTRICT FA YOUTH : 1. Danny CHEBRIKA, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Tom BANE, 4. Richard GRESTY, 5. Michael RISK, 6. Dean WHITE, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Ben DEEGAN, 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Astley MULHOLLAND. Subs: 12. Curtis CONNELL, 14 Anthony DAVIES, 15. Daniel GRAY, 16. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, 17. Phil LEAFF (gk).


Altrincham & District FA were again represented by a full squad of Altrincham FC players in this Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup match at Shawe View, Trafford FC. Alty were unchanged from their last club match, a 5-0 away win at Holker Old Boys in the Allied Trophies' Open Cup. But on the bench, Anthony Davies made a welcome return from injury, replacing Kieran Raynes. Alty captain Ben Deegan was playing today just 24 hours after making a scoring debut for Altrincham Reserves in the Lancashire League.

Altrincham kicked off towards the Sid Firmedow Stand and within 20 seconds had taken the lead when Matty Williams finished well from the left after a feed by Ben Deegan. But Runcorn almost immediately levelled at the other end when Richard Gresty slipped in dealing with a cross from the Runcorn right but a timely interception from Tom Barclay steered the loose ball just wide of keeper Danny Chebrika's left upright.

Above: Tom Barclay makes a fine clearance at the cost of a corner, in the opening minutes

Soon Matty Williams fired narrowly wide from Astley Mulholland's feed (5 mins) before a superb effort from 22 yards on the right from Hassan Zareh-Ourang came back off the keeper's left stick. Although Runcorn won the game's first corner soon after this, Alty got in the next decent shot, when Keogh forced the keeper to save, low down. Altrincham were passing the ball about well at this stage and from a neatly built move, Mulholland won his side's first corner. From this, the ball came out to Deegan whose lob from 30 yards went only just over the bar (13 mins). A throw-in on the Alty left, about 20 yards out, taken by Gresty, was nodded on under pressure by Deegan at the near post and the loose ball fell for Hassan Zareh-Ourang, whose superbly executed overhead kick, left the keeper flat-footed as it sailed into the net to make it 2-0 (15 mins). At this stage it looked as if Alty were in for a comfortable victory especially when Mulholland soon got to the bye-line, left of goal, and forced a good save from the keeper (22 mins).

Above: Hassan Zareh-Ourang, on the ground, has just scored with an overhead kick.

But Ben Deegan was being heavily policed by the opposition as he tried to keep up his record of scoring in every game that he has played this season. Alty then had a close escape when Keogh had to clear off the line from the Runcorn no.6 following a freekick. This attack led to two successive corners for the visitors and, following the second, Risk was booked for a foul on the Runcorn no.10. The same Runcorn player soon forced a good save from Chebrika, who got the ball away for a Runcorn corner. On the counter-attack after the corner, a great ball forward from Deegan set Mulholland forward but his attempted pass inside went astray. However, Alty continued to have the upper hand as Deegan's shot from outside the box rose over the bar (33 mins). The visitors no.5 then got injured making a clearance from Deegan and he had to be replaced by no.15.( 37 mins).

Another Deegan shot was soon blocked before a good pass from the Alty striker saw White do well to put the ball into the net but he was judged to have fouled the left-back in the process and the goal was disallowed (42 mins). The substitute (no.15) then came off worse from a challenge with Deegan and had to be treated. Deegan was lectured soon afterwards for a rash challenge on the no.4 but though Runcorn finished the half strongly and five minutes of added time for various stoppages were played, the score remained 2-0 to Altrincham at the interval.


Left: Andy Keogh (8) in action.

At half-time Danny Gray came on for Tom Barclay at right-back. Though Mulholland forced the keeper to parry away a shot (49 mins), any thoughts that Altrincham had about the game being secure were soon dispelled as the visitors had the better of much of the second half. But after manager George Heslop had exhorted his team to "Get a grip", they obliged by winning a corner. However, Runcorn were pressing hard for a goal and the Alty defence was forced to work hard to keep them out. The visitors replaced their no.11 with no.12 (57 mins) and almost immediately they won two corners in succession. Manager Heslop was still not a happy man as he brought on Davies for White, the new man going on the left as Mulholland switched flanks (62 mins). A magnificent clearing header by Risk was needed to cut out a dangerous cross but soon Runcorn had their no.2 booked (63 mins).

Right: Tom Bane (3) prompts an attack.

With Bane up field, Runcorn counter-attacked on their right and the no.2 got the ball to the no.10. He cut in well, past Risk, and curled an excellent shot past Chebrika from the edge of the box to make it 2-1 (65 mins). Alty responded with a low shot from Deegan which went narrowly wide after Zareh-Ourang had won the ball in midfield (69 mins). The Runcorn no.6 became the next man to be booked but from the resulting freekick 30 yards out, Deegan shot wide. Then Alty suffered a bad blow as Williams's routine cross from the left saw the big striker, who had had a fine game, injure his knee and, even after treatment, from Julieanne Gresty, the Alty physio, he was unable to continue. He was replaced by Ben Shanks-Pepper. Ben came into midfield as Mulholland moved up to join Deegan in attack (74 mins). But Runcorn continued to press and won another corner. However, after a fine ball from Shanks-Pepper had set Deegan running at goal, the Runcorn no.3 made an excellent saving tackle to concede a corner. After 84 minutes Chebrika dived to save the Runcorn no.9's low shot but the keeper was unable to hold the ball and conceded a corner as Runcorn kept Alty on the back foot.

Runcorn's no.15 then hurt himself in making a vital challenge on Deegan inside the visitors' box as the game became littered by injury stoppages (85 mins). Runcorn's no.4 was booked soon afterwards but, next, a measured cross form the left by Davies found Mulholland as the game approached the end of normal time. Unfortunately, Mulholland failed to connect properly with his header (89 mins). Yet another Runcorn man (no.9) was booked as the game went into added time and soon afterwards, Alty won a corner. In the seventh minute of added time Deegan's last chance to keep his record of scoring in every game record came and went as he fired just wide. A minute later the final whistle went to give Alty a vital win, though they had had to work hard for it in the second half after Runcorn stopped them building on their early two-goal lead. Alty still top their group and a draw in their final group-stage match against Chester should see them progress in the competition. The downside was that Williams's knee injury looked fairly serious .