Match Reports, 2005-06


Allied Trophies Premier Division
Sunday, 9 April 2006, at Wythenshawe Town, k.o. 2.50pm


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


Injuries before kick off to Kieran Raynes and Michael Risk, added to the late withdrawal of Rick Crawford on Saturday evening, also with an injury, left Alty with depleted ranks and only one fit outfield player on the bench. However, substitute goalkeeper Danny Chebrika also has experience as a forward with Stretford Villa so he offered a double option to Alty on the bench. On the pitch Tom Barclay had to move to an unaccustomed centre-back position, whilst midfielder Dean White started at right-back. This was the fifth meeting between these sides this season and each of them has been blighted by pre-match problems. For the game at Fleetwood Hesketh's ground, substitute linesmen had to be found; for the next game at Wythenshawe Town, the visitors were unable to travel because of snow. In the third match, the match officials failed to turn up and the game was postponed with the teams ready to play. Today, the two linesmen failed to arrive and kick off was delayed twenty minutes waiting for them and whilst replacements were found. Alty's "volunteer" linesman being Harry Gresty, whilst a Fleetwood man ran the other line.

The game kicked off in sunshine and Alty had the better of the opening, winning the game's first corner (9 mins). Soon Williams's pass gave Deegan a header which the keeper saved comfortably but Alty had a narrow escape after 12 minutes when a good clearance from White came to the opponents' number two and he was allowed to advance towards the box and fire in a shot which Bishop did well to save, low to his right at the cost of a corner to Fleetwood. Another Fleetwood corner soon followed, on the right. When Alty relieved this period of pressure, Deegan cut in from the right to win a freekick just outside the Fleetwood penalty "D". The visitors' goalkeeper was booked for protesting at this decision . Davies lashed in the freekick but it hit a defender (20 mins). Few chances occurred in the next few minutes, a Fleetwood shot high over the bar being nearest to a goal threat (27 mins). But Mulholland then did well to dart in front of the keeper and get onto to McGrath's low cross but the Alty man was blocked as he tried to turn the ball home from a sharp angle, left of goal (29 mins). But a minute later, the visitors' spirited resistance was broken when Davies's ball from the left found Deegan. He took two touches to gather the ball and turn, before hooking it into the net for Alty's opening goal (30 mins). Then another ball from Davies set Deegan in on the keeper and the Alty striker took it round the custodian and the ball ran on into the net (32 mins).

An Alty corner soon followed and this came out to Mulholland, who shot wide. But Fleetwood came back and their number nine interchanged passes with a team mate before lifting a shot narrowly over the bar (36 mins). Alty then had a good chance, only for Williams to mis-kick, uncharacteristically, in front of goal but a corner soon followed for the home side. Soon after this there was one of the clearest handballs you are ever likely to see on a football field as the visitors' number five almost caught the ball with both hands and was duly booked (39 mins). Alty then made it 3-0 when White's good ball out of defence came via Williams and then Keogh's low cross from the right to present Deegan with a simple tap-in for his and his team's third goal (41 mins). Alty were now playing good football but, as Keogh fired a shot at the keeper, rain started to fall heavily (44 mins). Before the referee started an improbable six minutes of added time, Williams had a shot saved and the visitors keeper was then forced to make a good save from Deegan at the cost of a corner.


A hailstorm was now making conditions unpleasant but Alty continued to press and soon Keogh found Mulholland arriving on a well timed run at the back post and his well struck shot hit a defender but carried on into the net to make it 4-0 (50 mins). With hail now bouncing off the pitch before settling on it, Alty continued to dominate as two Deegan headers and an Alty corner followed. Then Mulholland fired a shot wide as the one-way traffic continued and Bishop was little more than a spectator at the other end. Alty now brought on Danny Browne for Andy Keogh in central midfield (66 mins).

Soon the substitute was making a good impression as the hail eased off and the sun actually came out again. From a McGrath throw on the left the ball came back to Davies whose first time curling cross from the left was met by Browne who smashed the ball into the net to make it 5-0. "Not bad for a 16 year-old" was manager George Heslop's laconic comment (73 mins). Alty continued to dominate and, from a corner soon after the goal, the keeper dropped White's kick but the ball was scrambled away. Another corner came and went before a well struck shot from Browne just cleared the bar (80 mins) At this point Danny Chebrika made his appearance as an outfield player rather than in his goalkeeping role and went up front as Zareh-Ourang was withdrawn from the fray.

Alty were not finished yet and a shot from the irrepressible Deegan from 25 yards hit the post and then rebounded back against the keeper and out for a corner. Though this was cleared, Gresty soon advanced and the ball ran loose to Deegan who poked it past the keeper to make it 6-0 to Alrincham (85 mins). Despite the atrocious conditions for much of the second half, this was an impressive performance from an Altrincham side forced to shuffle its positional cards before kick off. Both White and Barclay did well in their unaccustomed roles, whilst the rest of the defence ensured that little got through to Bishop. Keogh and Zareh-Ourang kept a firm grip in midfield whilst wide men Mulholland and Davies were a constant danger. Up front it was good to see Deegan back in top form and perhaps the only surprise today was that his freescoring partner Williams did not find the back of the net but he has already done so frequently this season and will no doubt do so again shortly.