Match Reports, 2005-06


Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup Final
Sunday, 2 April 2006, at Moss Lane, Altrincham, k.o. 2pm


ALTRINCHAM & DISTRICT FA YOUTH (Yellow shirts, blue shorts and socks): 1. Lewis BISHOP, 2. Kieran RAYNES, 3. Tom BARCLAY, 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. Danny BROWNE, 15. Richard CRAWFORD, 16. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, 18. Danny CHEBRIKA (gk).

STOCKPORT & DISTRICT FA YOUTH (All red): 1. Ryan MAIDMENT, 2. Matthew TEASDALE, 3. Rick BELL, 4. Stuart HYNES, 5. Phil WOODBRIDGE (capt)., 6. John ROUKE, 7. Kane SMITH, 8. Jonathon HUNT, 9. Michael ATHERTON, 10. Scott HODGES, 11. Jon SAXON. Subs: 12. Joe SMITHIES, 14, Daniel CARTER, 15. Adam HUGHES, 16. Craig PENNINGTON, 17. Mark HASLAM.


Despite the rain, which blighted almost all of this game, there was a good three-figure attendance at Moss Lane for this Cheshire FA District Youth Cup Final. As Altrincham FA normally play their games at Trafford FC, Moss Lane was a neutral venue and, indeed, Alty occupied the away dug out today. Manager George Heslop had to switch Tom Barclay to left-back in the absence of Ashley McGrath, so Kieran Raynes came in at right-back.

After two minutes, Deegan's block tackle saw the ball rebound at speed towards the Stockport goal but it went narrowly wide of the upright. Next, a good shot from Davies was well saved as Alty started the better, with Gresty impressive at the back and Davies looking lively on the left (5 mins). The light rain now intensified and continued throughout the first half making the already soft pitch heavier. Soon, Davies lashed in a shot from the left which was narrowly wide of the far post (8 mins). Then, following a foul on Davies by Teasdale, Mulholland's freekick from the left yielded an Alty corner on the right, but the corner-kick was overhit by Davies. But soon Williams and Mulholland combined well for the latter to cross and Deegan rose well to head narrowly over the bar (12 mins). However, Stockport replied by winning two corners before the 15 minute mark as the rain now lashed down, swirling across the pitch from the Golf Road end.

Deegan received a lecture off the ball from the referee who went on to have an excellent game, generally preferring the quiet word to the yellow card, but not afraid to produce the caution when necessary. After Davies and Williams had combined well on the left, Alty won a freekick and from Davies's excellent cross, the lively Mulholland timed his run perfectly to meet the ball but was just unable to steer his shot inside the post (21 mins). Next, a neat pass from Zareh-Ourang set Deegan free but the striker's control let him down.

Deegan received another word in the ear from the referee soon afterwards but the entertaining game continued with Davies tackling back well and winning a freekick, following which Deegan shot wide (29 mins). From a ball into the Alty box, Bishop elected to punch rather than catch but he got enough distance on the ball for no danger to follow. Rouke was then booked for raising his arms against Davies and soon afterwards Altrincham won a corner. Davies's flag-kick came to Gresty at the back post and he did well to evade a challenge near the by-line and fire the ball across goal where it took a deflection before Williams arrived to sweep it into the net at the back post (33 mins). Williams celebrated with a swallow dive on the soft pitch which will have pleased Jenny Heslop as she contemplated her post-match kit washing duties.

Alty continued to press and Mulholland did well to nip in front of keeper Maidment but a defender cleared the ball (36 mins). Next, Bishop produced a fine save to cut out Hodges's low cross-cum-shot from the right (37 mins). But Alty went up to the other end where Keogh's low shot was kept out by Maidment but the keeper was unable to hold the ball and Wiliams was on hand to score his own and his side's second goal (39 mins). Though a rare slip by Gresty gave Stockport a corner just before the interval, Alty maintained their two-goal margin as half-time arrived, with the rain still falling.


At the interval, Stockport brought on Haslam for Smith and soon Alty were on the back foot as they were slow to get into their stride after the break. Stockport won a corner as manager Geroge Heslop exhorted his captain, Richard Gresty, to lift the team's performance. Then, after Raynes had conceded a freekick against Saxon, a freekick was played in from the left and the ball reared up and struck Zareh-Ourang on the arm. The referee pointed to the spot and Haslam sent Bishop the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-1 (52 mins). Things got worse when the impressive Mulholland went down with cramp and, though he played on, Alty prepared a substitute for him. Meanwhile, Deegan and Williams combined well with the latter's shot beating the keeper but also the upright (57 mins). Alty had now been sparked into belated second-half action by Stockport's goal and a clever overhead shot from the right by Keogh was not far off target. At this point Mulholland was replaced by Dean White on the right side of midfield (58 mins).

Following a Gresty freekick, Deegan's back-header went narrowly wide, before Stockport won a corner and, a couple of minutes later, a 25-yard shot by Teasdale narrowly cleared the Alty bar. Haslam was then booked for a foul on Davies but the referee made clear that the foul was not the first committed by the player concerned as he pointed to three other areas of the pitch where misdemeanours had occurred since the player had joined the game at half time (68 mins). From one of Bishop's long kicks, Williams turned well but his shot came off a defender for a corner. Davies took the corner from the right and it came back out to him, still wide left of goal. However, he lashed the ball from an acute angle into the far corner of the net - a goal worthy of winning any cup final (73 mins).

Soon afterwards Carter replaced Rouke for Stockport (74 mins), as the rain lashed down. Next, a Gresty freekick was headed well by Keogh but it went narrowly wide. After 79 minutes Browne came on for Zareh-Ourang for Alty and a minute later Stockport took off substitute Haslam and replaced him by Pennington. Two Stockport corners soon followed and then Crawford replaced Deegan with just a minute of normal time left. Alty won two corners in added time but the the score remained 3-1 and Altrincham and District FA had won the District Youth Cup for the seventh time in seventeen final appearances. Richard Gresty led them to receive their awards and it was good to see that Ashley McGrath had not been forgotten as he joined the team photo after the game.

Though the Allied Trophies Premier Division title looks out of reach, the Altrincham FC players who made up the District FA side tonight have another cup final to look forward to in the Neil Thomason Cup, though their opponents have not yet been determined. This win as Altrincham & District FA's representative side was an excellent performance apart from the opening ten minutes of the second half and Altrincham were deserved winners.

Williams took both of his goals very well and Davies's fine goal was a just reward for an excellent performance. At the back Gresty and Risk kept much of the danger away from Bishop but the young keeper dealt well with those chances that got through to him. Watching the game in the stand was first-teamer Kieran Lugsden who is one of four youth team products currently on Conference forms at Moss Lane and his example will serve as a stimulus to this season's youth team members of what can be achieved.