Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies Open Cup Semi-Final
Sunday, 16 April 2006.


EAGLEY FC YOUTH: 1. Cameron REID, 3. Jack CUNLIFFE, 2. Stephen BURROWS, 8. Tom DARBY, 10. Chris BENNETT, 17. Ashley MORRIS, 6. Ashley YOUNG, 4. Scott McNAIR, 14, Shaun WALTON, 9. Tom HARDMAN, 7. Simon WALSH.

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. Rick CRAWFORD, 14. Reza ZAREH-OURANG, 15. Danny CHEBRIKA (gk), 17. Michael RISK.


The following report is courtesy of George Heslop

In racing parlance, Altrincham were "odds-on favourites" for this game, having beaten their opponents 5-1 (H) and 7-2 (A) this season, but we all know what happens to favourites.

A very bright sun made things difficult for the Altrincham defenders in the first half and there was also a very strong wind blowing across the pitch. Unfortunately, Altrincham started in a very lacklustre manner, losing possession and giving numerous freekicks away. In the tenth minute, right-back Dean White, passed the ball back to goalkeeper Lewis Bishop. However, the keeper took his eye off the ball as a forward chased him down, and completely missed his kick, thus leaving a simple tap-in, to give Eagley an unexpected lead.

Then, the woodwork became a very important part of the game when Eagley hit Altrincham's right-hand post twice in the 31st and 32nd minutes and, at this stage, the visitors were rocking. The, in the 33rd minute, Ben Deegan hit the Eagley woodwork with a header. Half-time arrived with no further alarms, Eagley having been the better team, passing the ball well.


The second half began in a similar vein to the first half. In the 56th minute Lewis Bishop came out to take a ball on the ground. However, it eluded him and the mistake was capitalised on and Eagley now led 2-0.

Then, came the turning point of the match in the 62nd minute when Eagley's no.5 was red-carded for punching Andy Keogh, who received a yellow card. Altrincham proceeded to utilise their one man advantage. They pressurised Eagley, who had great difficulty in clearing a corner and, eventually, Andy Keogh threaded the ball through into the net to open the away side's account in the 72nd minute. The 78th minute produced the equaliser when Mulholland set Deegan up with a chance, which he took well to make it 2-2.

In the 79th minute, Astley Mulholland put Altrincham in front and the same player made it 4-2 after 83 minutes. Just after this, Altrincham subbed Anthony Davies with Reza Zareh-Ourang, who went to right-back. Dean White moved to right midfield and Mulholland to left midfield. Shortly afterwards, Deegan was replaced by Crawford. However, Eagley stirred things up in the 92nd minute, scoring to make it 4-3. There had been a lengthy stoppage for an injury to an Eagley player which meant that Altrincham scored again in the 97th minute when Matty Williams hit the post and Rick Crawford scored from the rebound.

The lesson to be learnt from the game was "never take anyone for granted and lower your standards". However, character and resilience were shown as the young Robins reached their third Final of the season.