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Altrincham FC Match Reports


NW Youth Alliance League, Premier Division
played on Sunday, 31 August 2008 at 2.30p.m. at Wythenshawe Town FC.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Chris WALKER, 2. Daniel FRADLEY (capt), 4. Declan WAKEFIELD, 5. Tom COSGRAVE, 3. Ben OLIVER; 7. Chris FRANCIS, 6. John BENNETT, 8. Callum GARNER, 11. Joel BROWNHILL; 9. Josh SMITH, 10. Paul CORDOCK. Subs: 12. Dominic BATES, 14. Reece LYNCH, 15. Daniel MILLEN, 16. Tyrone WATSON.

MORECAMBE "A" (All blue) 1. Jordan ATKINSON, 2. Steve WATSON, 3. Michael EVANS, 4. Nial COWPERTHWAITE, 5. Jason YATES, 6. Rob EVANS, 7. James TABENHAM, 8. Daniel BATHERS, 9. Daniel SIMPSON, 10. Danny JONES, 11. Chris WRAIGHTE. subs: 12. Jamie SILVER, 13. Adam GARNET, 15. Jack SMITH, 16. Gavin CLARK.

Referee: J Simpson.


This game had been switched 24 hours earlier from being an away match at Morecambe as the League Two club had been unable to provide a pitch.

Altrincham made three changes to the side which had beaten Lostock Rangers seven days earlier in a friendly game. Declan wakefield, a regular last season, returned from injury at the heart of the defence, John Bennett came into the side in midfield and another of last season's squad, Chris Francis came in on the right of midfield. But manager George Heslop was still without seven of his squad from whom to choose.

Alty started well but the the visitors won the game's first corner after 8 minutes, which Walker tipped away from danger. Jones was looking lively for the visitors and from his pass from the right, Simpson missed a good chance by shooting wide. Wakefield then had to make two successive blocks in the Alty box to keep Morecambe out. However, Alty regained the impetus after this as Cordock and Smith combined to feed Francis whose low, left-foot shot narrowly missed the outside of the Morecambe upright (18 mins). Two Alty corners soon followed, with Brownhill instrumental in the build up to both being won. But Morecambe were still a danger themselves and it took a fine tackle by Cosgrave to stop their next attack.

Altrincham took the lead in the 26th minute when a throw-in by Alty on their right, led to the ball coming to Smith in centre field. He skilfully made himself some space and, from the edge of the box, he drove a low shot into the bottom corner of the net to the keeper's right. Immediately Wakefield had to execute a good bit of covering work for Alty and the visitors won a corner kick on the half-hour mark as their pacey strikers continued to be a danger.

A fine run by Brownhill up the Alty left led to a foul on him. From the freekick, taken 18 yards out, Francis put his shot over the bar (31 mins). Soon afterwards, Alty's Smith found himself in a similar position to the one from which he had scored earlier but, this time, his effort went to the goalkeeper (36 mins). Soon, Jones again threatened for Morecambe and Alty were fortunate that a bobble meant that his shot went off his shin to keeper Walker. Cordock, Garner and Brownhill then combined but the last named's well hit shot just cleared the bar as Alty set the pace (41 mins).

Both sides had their moments before the interval, with Jones forcing a god save from Walker from the edge of the box before Francis's shot curled just wide of the target moments before the half-time whistle.


At the interval Morecambe brought on Jack Smith for Tabenham but Alty had the first half chance as, from Fradley's pass Cordock shot narrowly wide (48 mins). Cordock went close again soon afterwards when the visitors' keeper could not hold an effort from Fradley. Then good work from Bennett and Brownhill produced an Alty corner, after which Josh Smith fired over the bar. Cordock continued to impress as he several times closed down opposition defenders and gained possession. Next, a cross cum shot from Brownhill hit the Morecambe crossbar as Alty were in the ascendant. An Alty corner then came, after Brownhil had chased a ball into touch and been injured in the process. But with ten men on the pitch Francis's corner was nodded further across the box by Cordock to the advancing Cosgrave, whose stooping header beat the defender and the keeper on the line to make it 2-0 to Altrincham (62 mins).

Above: Tom Cosgrave heads the second goal against Morecambe.

With Brownhill back on the pitch, Morecambe made another substitution as Silver replaced Evans (65 mins). Altrincham's third goal came when Bennett hit a speculative low shot from more than 25 yards but just as the bench began to remonstrate with him for not passing the ball, the Morecambe keeper allowed the ball to squirm through his hands, instead of making what what should have been a comfortable save to make the score 3-0 (70 mins).

Morecambe won the next two corners, before their feisty number 16 who had come on a little earlier was booked after twice previously receiving lectures from the efficient young referee. Alty now brought on Lynch for Bennett and a minute later, Tyrone Watson came on for Smith for Alty (76 mins). Alty's third substitution, Millen for Brownhill followed in the 82nd minute. Morecambe continued to try and get back into the game but good defending by Oliver, who made two decisive blocks stopped the dangerous Danny Jones in the Alty box. Lynch won an Alty corner late on but the game ended 3-0 a few minutes soon afterwards.

This was an impressive performance from Altrincham, all the more so given this is largely a new side whose members are not used to each other's styles of play.


Copyright: ©
Compiled by John Laidlar