Match Reports, 2005-06


NW Allied Trophies League, Open Cup Final.
Sunday, 7 May 2006, at 2.30pm. at Ashton Athletic FC


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and red socks): 1.Stefan FIELDING, 2. Dean WHITE, 3. Ashley McGRATH, 4. Richard GRESTY (capt), 5. Danny GRAY, 6. Astley MULHOLLAND, 7. Hassan ZAREH-OURANG, 8. Andy KEOGH, 9. Ben DEEGAN, 10. Matty WILLIAMS, 11. Anthony DAVIES. SUBS: 12. Tom BARCLAY, 14. Michael RISK, 15. Daniel BROWNE, 17. Rick CRAWFORD, 18. Lewis BISHOP (gk).


Richard Gresty returned to the side after injury, replacing Michael Risk, who was joined by Lewis Bishop on the bench as he returned from injury. This was Alty's third cup final match of the week, having played the two-legged Subsidiary Cup Final against Woodley Sports.

In this game, Alty's first attack on goal only came after four minutes when McGrath and Davies combined on the left and, though Davies got past two men, he shot wide at the end of the move. Williams soon had a shot saved but it was Marine who had the better of the opening stages. Indeed, Gresty and the back four were being kept busy though the Alty captain did get forward to take a long throw which led to Mulholland poking a shot narrowly wide (9 mins). Keogh then shot wide from 25 yards before a Marine freekick flashed across the face of the Alty goal.

Soon Marine's no.11 forced a magnificentone-handed save from Fielding, who turned the ball round his right post for a corner (17 mins). Another Marine corner followed, from which Fielding made a superb tip over the bar. However, from the third in this sequence of corners, the Marine number three, O'Rourke, was left unmarked and he headed firmly past Fielding to put Marine one goal ahead (23 mins). Following this setback, from a Gresty freekick, Mulholland won a corner but this came to nothing. However, Alty soon put together a superb move up the left which ended with an excellent cross from Davies which Mulholland, arriving in the box, headed firmly into the net. But, as Alty celebrated, the goal was ruled out for offside (29 mins). "You've shown what you can do", shouted manager George Heslop from the touchline, "Now, keep doing it!"

But it was Marine who went close next as a ball over the Alty defence arrived with the Marine no.7 whose shot forced another fine one-handed save from Fielding (31 mins). After two freekicks, Alty won a corner as they began to improve on their slow start to the game and they soon forced several freekicks from the Marine midfield and defence. Deegan got himself booked for a late challenge on the Marine no.4 but, as half time approached, Alty continued to press. Though Alty won a corner, taken by Davies, which the keeper got nowhere near, Marine held on to their deserved lead at the interval.


Early in the second half Richard Gresty pulled up holding the back of his thigh but hobbled on. Following a foul on Gray, Deegan flicked the ball on to Williams but he drove his shot over the bar (49 mins). Alty then had a scare as Fielding uncharacteristically spilt a cross but he made a superb save from the resulting shot to redeem his error (50 mins). A Marine corner resulted, followed by a second, but then Alty won themselves a corner. After Gresty had hobbled on for several minutes, eventually he went down to receive treatment. He then hobbled off and was soon replaced by Michael Risk (54 mins).

Alty were now applying some pressure but without creating clear openings. Each side then made a change, Barclay replacing the injured McGrath at left back (64 mins) and Marine's no.16 coming on for no.8 (65 mins). Alty then survived a threat as Marine's no.9 was put clear by no.3, but he shot well over the crossbar (67 mins). Alty now put together a good move involving Mulholland, Zareh-Ourang, Keogh and Williams before Keogh's excellent shot was held by the keeper at the second attempt (68 mins).

Alty continued to press and another good move ended with a well hit shot from Zareh-Ourang being well saved (74 mins). But Marine continued to look dangerous on the break. However, another good shot from Zareh-Ourang was well saved, following a good build up by Deegan and Mulholland (79 mins). But, at last, Alty's second half improvement paid off a minute later when White found Williams, who laid the ball off to Keogh. The Alty midfielder placed an excellent low shot inside the keeper's right-hand post to level the scores (80 mins). Less than two minutes later, Alty had turned the game on its head as they scored again. The second goal came as Davies took a freekick from wide right, 25 yards or more out from goal. Deegan rose to meet the ball and give Alty the lead (82 mins). Soon Davies produced another testing freekick which the Marine keeper did well to save.

After the Marine no.9 had fired over the bar, Alty won another corner but as the game went into added time, Marine pressed forward. A great tackle by White saw off the last real threat. Alty won a very late corner and brought on Browne for Davies (90+3 mins) but Alty held on without too many alarms to record their second cup final win in a week, having won the Subsidiary Cup on Thursday - and with the Neil Thomason Trophy Final to look forward to on 23rd May.

For pictures from the game, click >here.