Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies League
Premier Division Match
Sunday, 5 February 2006, at 2.30pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts shirts, black shorts & red socks) : 1. Lewis BISHOP, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Ashley McGRATH, 4. Richard GRESTY (capt), 5. Michael RISK, 6. Astley MULHOLLAND, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Ben DEEGAN, 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Anthony DAVIES. Subs: 12. Dean WHITE, 14. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER 15. Richard CRAWFORD, 17. Curtis CONNELL.

BOOTLE YOUTH (Blue and white) 1. James ARMSTRONG, 7. Jake JOHNSTON, 15. Carl SAUNDERS, 4. Tom LONG, 5. Tom SWEENEY, 6. James DALEY, 12. Dale WRIGHT, 8. Lee CHESWORTH, 10. Matthew McCRADDEN, 20. Stuart SMITH, 11. Shaun HARRIS. Subs: 14. Chris MITCHELL, 19. Chris METCALF, 2. Karl DAVIES, 3. Anthony HANSARD, 17. Ryan CALDWELL.


With regular keeper Danny Chebrika sidelined with a knee injury, 16 year-old Lewis Bishop took over in the Alty goal and went on to have a good game. Another recent addition to the home squad was Richard Crawford who started on the bench. Indeed, after Alty had won an early corner, Bishop was soon in action smothering a through ball ahead of an advancing Bootle player (5 mins). When Bootle's no.8 fouled Mulholland, he became the first of a succession of his side's bookings in this match (6 mins). From a Bootle freekick outside the Alty box a foul on Bishop went unnoticed before Alty won their second corner of the game. It soon became apparent that Bootle were adopting a muscular approach to the game but when the visitors became more positive, Wright forced Bishop into a full length save (11 mins). Alty then had a good chance when Keogh did well to find Deegan but the striker's shot, from right of goal, rose over the bar (12 mins).

Mulholland was then hacked down by an opponent as the sides cancelled out each other's early attacks. A push by Smith on Gresty went unpunished before a wild tackle by Wright did yield an Alty freekick. Following Gresty's freekick Davies shot narrowly wide from the left (23 mins). Next, after a surge up the middle by a Bootle player had been halted the ball came to Harris, 22 yards from goal. He hit an excellent shot which Bishop did very well to tip onto the frame of the goal but as it rebounded into play, McGradden was the quickest to react and he tapped the ball into the net to give Bootle the lead (27 mins).

After a push on Gresty, a two-stage melee involving more than a dozen players took place in midfield as a consequence of which Bootle's Saunders and Alty's Risk were cautioned. Moments later, as Deegan cut in from the right at speed across the edge of the visitors' box, he was tripped by Saunders who amazingly did not see a second yellow for a blatant foul. From the freekick Keogh found Davies and his shot produced a corner on the Alty right (36 mins) which Davies unfortunately put behind the goal. After a foul by Sweeney on Keogh, a trip by McGrath on Daley saw the Bootle player go down writhing on the ground before he resumed play. From a Bootle freekick, Bishop again saved well and soon Bootle won a corner on the right (44 mins). After Bishop had caught another effort from Bootle, he was fouled on the goal-line but the officials failed to see it. Following this Chesworth shot narrowly wide at the other end from 20 yards. The half ended with Mulholland shooting wide for Altrincham from Deegan's feed.


Bootle brought on substitutes Davies and Mitchell at the interval. As in the first half Alty won an early corner but no sooner had this been cleared than Risk was penalised for a foul on Smith some 40 yards from goal. The referee decided this was worthy of a second card, whereas he had chosen to ignore the cautioned Saunders's more blatant second-offence in the first half. So, Alty were now reduced to ten men (47 mins). Soon after play had resumed, a Bootle player caught Williams sufficiently hard for it to be audible to the crowd but again play was not halted. Bootle's Daley became his side's third player to be booked (54 mins).

Though Alty were a man short, most of the play was in the Bootle half and, after a home corner had been cleared, Bootle's Wright was cautioned for jumping into a tackle (55 mins). Another Alty corner followed after which Deegan was tripped and then Bootle's Davies received a lecture (58 mins). Keogh now fired narrowly wide for Alty as the home side continued to press forward. An excellent curling shot by WIlliams from 20 yards out on the left was beaten out well and Mulholland's follow-up was cleared off the Bootle line for a corner (63 mins). Wiliams injured himself in the process of shooting and had to limp off, with Crawford replacing him as a substitute (65 mins).

Crwaford was immediately introduced to the physicality of the opposition by a foul from his marker following which Mitchell became the fifth Bootle play to see yellow, for kicking the ball away. Bootle now got to the other end, where Harris went close from 20 yards befoe each side won a corner. When Karl Davies scythed down Deegan he was number six to enter the book for Bootle (80 mins). Mulholland now hobbled off for Alty to be replaced by Dean White (82 mins). Play was soon stopped again for a lecture to a Bootle player but when the already booked Wright kicked a dead ball away soon after, he escaped further censure from the referee. Dean White now went close for Alty at the back post, the keeper making a good block (85 mins). Then Deegan lifted a shot over the bar from Zareh-Ourang's pass. After Deegan had won a header in the air, his opponent went down and the Alty striker became Alty's second player to be booked (87 mins).With the game entering added time there was still time for Bootle's Sweeney to become their seventh booked player for kicking Deegan, off the ball. Despite four minutes of added time, Alty could not break down the Bootle defence.

As a game, this was a very unpleasant spectacle and whilst the referee was justifiably busy with his yellow card, his red card was significantly underemployed when cautioned Bootle players committed subsequent offences and so a physical approach was allowed to win the day.