Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies League, Premier Division Match
Wednesday, 19 April 2006, at 6.30pm.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Lewis BISHOP, 2. Tom BARCLAY, 3. Ashley McGRATH, 4. Danny GRAY, 5. Michael RISK, 6. Dean WHITE, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Richard CRAWFORD, 10. Matty WILLIAMS (capt), 11. Astley MULHOLLAND. Subs: 12. Reza ZAREH-OURANG, 14. Daniel BROWNE, 15. Ben SHANKS-PEPPER, 17. Greg WILKES, 18. Danny CHEBRIKA (gk).

MORECAMBE "A" YOUTH (All yellow): 1. Kevin ATHERTON, 2. Phil McCLUCKIE, 3. James SHEATH, 4. Guy BALL, 5. Philip MEEKS, 6. Rico COLENO, 7. Jack HELM, 8. Craig JENNIS, 9. Callum RUTTLEDGE, 10. Tom PICKERSGILL, 11. Mark WOODS. Subs: Louis WILKES, Chris ANDERSON, Danny McGHAN.


Altrincham were without three regulars (Richard Gresty, Ben Deegan and Anthony Davies), who were all training with the Cheshire FA squad. Tom Barclay was restored to right-back as Michael Risk returned from suspension at centre-back. Matty Williams assumed the captaincy in Richard Gresty's absence, whilst Danny Gray came in at centre-back as did Rick Crawford, as striker alongside Matty Williams.

On a sunny evening, the game got off to a lively start with Morecambe winning an early corner, which was cleared back to the taker, who lashed the ball back across the face of goal but no one could get a touch as it went out for a goal kick (3 mins). Then, after a Morecambe player appeared to have driven a shot well side of goal for an Alty goalkick, the referee awarded a corner on the visitors' right. From this, the ball was half cleared to Ruttledge who slipped the ball past keeper Bishop and into the bottom corner of the net to give the Shrimps a 1-0 lead (6 mins).

Alty began to improve and almost got level when Crawford almost lost possession just inside the box but did well to recover and stab a left-footed shot past the wrong-footed keeper, only for the ball to pass outside the Morecambe keeper's right-hand post by inches (11 mins). Next, following a Mulholland freekick, Morecambe had difficulty clearing the ball from their area until Risk's shot was charged away (15 mins). But Mulholland soon won Alty a corner and afterwards, from a McGrath throw-in,another Alty corner resulted but this one was struck behind the goal by Mulholland. At this point Alty had to make a change as the injured Barclay was replaced at right-back by Reza Zareh-Ourang (20 mins).

Gray and Risk continued to put in some important tackles to keep Morecambe at bay but Alty threatened again when White's cross from the right found Mulholland but his first-time volley just cleared the bar from a sharp angle beyond the back post (26 mins). After Crawford had done well, 45 yards out, he was fouled and following Risk's freekick White got the ball to Crawford and his cross from right of goal was met by a stooping header from Williams which deservedly levelled the score (33 mins). Alty went close again soon after, whilst temporarily down to ten men as Crawford went off to put back on his boot which had been forced off by an accidental clash with an opponent. But, though Williams did well to hold off a challenge inside the box, without his strike colleague he had no option but to shoot and was unable to get sufficient power to trouble the keeper seriously, though he did have good grounds for an appeal for handball against his marker. This, in retrospect, could be seen as the turning point of the game for, with Keogh temporarily off the pitch injured, Morecambe scored their second goal, against the run of play. The goal came when an Alty freekick on the right was poorly taken and the ball came back from the Morecambe left. McGrath did well to get across to the centre and put in a solid block tackle but he was unlucky to see the ball rebound free to Helm, who was brought down on the very edge of the box by Reza Zareh-Ourang. Alty lined up a four man wall but Coleno spotted a gap between the end of the wall and Bishop's right-hand post and drove the ball firmly into the net from the freekick with Bishop left unsighted behind the wall (40 mins).

The goal seemed to upset Altrincham and just before the break the referee stopped play to lecture Keogh and Risk who had exchanged some industrial language with each other.


After an injury to Hassan Zareh-Ourang had been treated, Morecambe won an early corner in the second half. Though this was cleared, the ball soon came back from the right and Bishop went up to catch it but, as he was jostled by an opponent, he seemingly dropped the ball into his own net (50 mins). Alty responded by getting to the other end and forcing Meeks into a hurried header which his own keeper did well to parry away and prevent an own goal. The resulting corner came to nothing and Morecambe soon returned to the Alty end, where another cross from the right again produced a goal. This time, it was Pickersgill who hooked the ball past an exposed Bishop from a central position (55 mins). Now trailing 1-4, Alty brought on Browne for Hassan Zareh-Ourang in midfield (57 mins).

Williams almost got Alty back in the game when he did well and got round the keeper but Meeks cleared his shot off the line (60 mins). Alty then won another corner before Morecambe responded with a shot from Ball which went only narrowly wide (68 mins). It was another few minutes before Alty threatened the Morecambe goal again seriously when Keogh's cross from the right found Crawford at the back post. But Crawford could not steer his header the right side of the upright (79 mins). Soon, however, Ashley McGrath did well to advance into the box and score, his shot being half stopped by the keeper before it crossed the line (75 mins).

Ben Shanks-Pepper now replaced White for Altrincham (77 mins). Some fierce tackling from Morecambe now kept Alty at bay before Keogh again went down injured. Moments later Helm's speculative shot from 25 yards beat Bishop to make it 5-2 to the visitors (81 mins). Morecambe made three late changes, as Alty's Matty Williams continued to battle up front to give the scoreline some more respectability. But the final whistle came with Alty still three goals adrift of the visitors.

After falling behind early in the game Alty had had the better of the next half hour till Morecambe had regained the lead just before the break. But, in the second half, the home side's errors undid them and there was no way back from a heavy defeat.