Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies League
Premier Division Match
Sunday, 18 December 2005 at 2pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts shirts, black shorts & red socks) : 1. Danny CHEBRIKA, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Ashley McGRATH, 4. Richard GRESTY (capt), 5. Kieran RAYNES, 6. Astley MULHOLLAND, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Michael RISK, 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Anthony DAVIES. Subs: 12. Dean WHITE, 14. Dale BENSON, 15. Daniel BROWNE.


Altrincham were forced to make a number of changes from the side which beat Kingsley United last week. They remained without top scorer Ben Deegan and were also lacking Ben Shanks-Pepper, Curtis Connell and Michael Darbyshire from the squad which was named for their last game. So, defender Michael Risk was moved to midfield, whilst Anthony Keogh was moved up front alongside Matty Williams. Joining Dean White and Dale Benson on the bench today was 15 year-old Daniel Browne. Playing for the opposition was former Alty Youth left-back, Tom Bane.

On a bitterly cold afternoon the sides changed ends before play got under way on the impressive artifical pitch at Woodley's Lambeth Grove ground, which is under redevelopment with a new structure planned opposite the main stand and all-weather training pitches to be laid adjacent to the main pitch. In the first minute Alty forced a scrambled clearance form the Woodley penalty area but it was the home side who won the first corner, though Astley Mulholland responded by winning the visitors a flag-kick of their own soon afterwards. Mulholland then sliced a shot wide of the keeper's right post from Keogh's feed from the right (10 mins). But Woodley were also threatening and it took a fine piece of defensive cover by Zareh-Ourang to see off a threatening attack (14 mins) before, at the other end, Keogh's 20-yarder went wide.

As the half wore on Alty began to settle and won another corner through Gresty. At the back, McGrath was looking particularly composed at left-back for Alty but it was the visitors who took the lead with a goal out of nothing and against the run of play of the preceding ten minutes. Following a clearance from their keeper, the Woodley number three fired in a low shot from 25 yards which came back off the base of Chebrika's right-hand post to the number nine who netted from left of goal (24 mins). Woodley doubled their lead three minutes later after Raynes was harshly penalised when his and a Woodley player's feet became entangled as they chased a ball towards the Alty goal on the Woodley left. From the freekick, about 15 yards out, well left of goal, the ball curled across the box to the centre of the goalmouth where the Sports' no.15 swung a foot at it but seemed to fail to make contact. But he had done enough to distract Chebrika and the Alty defence and this allowed the ball to continue on its trajectory into the far corner of the net. So, it was 2-0 after 27 minutes.

Alty responded with a corner won by Mulholland and, from Davies's kick, Mulholland had a shot saved. There was then a bizarre moment when the referee stopped play to allow Woodley's no.3 to leave the field to answer, rather publicly, a call of nature. After this wee diversion, Alty continued to press without creating clear shooting chances. Williams did win his side a corner just before the break but the interval arrived with a two-goal margin still separating the sides.


Altrincham came out for the second half showing a bit more urgency, no doubt benefiting from the half-time words of the management. An early Keogh shot was well saved by the Woodley keeper, who scooped the ball wide of the post for a corner (48 mins). Soon afterwards, another Alty corner was won by Mulholland's deflected shot from a Davies pass. Then, Alty got back into the game with a goal of their own. Two Woodley defenders went for the same ball up the inside-left channel leaving Williams clear in the left of the box. Matty strode on and kept his head well to score a good goal with a drive past the exposed goalkeeper (55 mins). It now looked as if Alty might retrieve something from the game. But when a Zareh-Ourang flick was intercepted soon afterwards, Woodley's no.15 held off a challenge from McGrath to get in a low shot from the front right-corner of the box which beat Chebrika and went into the far corner of the net to make it 3-1 (62 mins).

After the Woodley number three had responded to a Zareh-Ourang challenge by pushing the Alty midfielder with both hands, he was lucky only to concede a freekick and not a booking as well. But soon Woodley won a corner at which point Michael Risk was replaced by Dean White for Altrincham (67 mins). Keogh was now in central midfield, with Mulholland pushed forward, but the visitors fell 4-1 behind soon afterwards when the opposition number seven scored directly from a freekick, taken 25 yards or more out on the left wing, the ball entering the net at the near post as Chebrika scrambled across vainly to try and stop it (71 mins).

However, Alty almost immediately pulled back a goal when Barclay's looping ball into the box from the right dropped to Mulholland at the back post and, though his first attempt was unsuccessful, he got in a second header which found the back of the net (73 mins). Keogh then forced a good save from the keeper with a low shot which was tipped round the post for a corner. Following Mulholland's corner from the left, Davies lashed a shot against the woodwork and this was to prove the turning point as Woodley executed a superb breakaway, ending with the numbers 16 and 9 interchanging passes, to the left of goal, before the number nine finished off the move with a fine chip over Chebrika to make it 5-2 (80 mins).

Each side made two substitutions late in the game, Alty's changes seeing Dale Benson came on for Zareh-Ourang (85 mins) and then Daniel Browne replaced Mulholland with just two minutes left. There was still time for Keogh to force another good save by the keeper with a drive from the right, which was beaten out at the near post. But the game ended 5-2 soon afterwards.Alty had been fielding an understrength side, with several regulars playing out of their normal positions, but will nevertheless have been upset to suffer such a heavy defeat. Whilst the defence will have been disappointed with at least two of the goals conceded, Alty were also lacking in bite in midfield and up front, especially in the first half but credit is also due to Woodley who showed why they have been at or near the top of the table for most of the season.