You are in the


Altrincham FC Match Reports


FA Youth Cup
played on Wednesday, 10 September 2008 at 7.45p.m. at Kirklands


CAMMELL LAIRD YOUTH (All blue) 1. David CLIFT, 2. Matthew GOULD, 3. Sam JONES, 4. Paul BYRNE, 5. Adam OLDHAN, 6. Jonathan CLAMPITT (capt), 7. Joe ROBINSON, 8. Anthony GARDNER, 9. Mark NOAKES, 10. Danny BIRKS, 11. Steven JANE. Subs: 12. Danny BRISTOW, 14. Gary ROBINSON, 15. Luke CULLEN, 16. Jonathan ROBERTS, 17. Daniel MOONEY.

ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Chris WALKER, 2. Daniel FRADLEY (capt), 4. Declan WAKEFIELD, 5. Jake LEIGH-WATSON, 3. Ben OLIVER; 7. Chris FRANCIS, 6. John BENNETT, 8. Callum GARNER, 11. Joel BROWNHILL; 9. Josh SMITH, 10. Paul CORDOCK. Subs: 12. Daniel MILLEN, 14. Dan SHAW,15. Blaine WHITESIDE, 16. Dominic BATES, 17. Ryan NICHOLAS.


Altrincham had been able to play just one league game this season before this FA Youth Cup match and so their many new faces had not had much opportunity to blend together as a team. It was therefore difficult to predict how they would fare against a Cammell Laird side, who were an unknown quantity to them. Jake Leigh-Watson returned to the Alty side after injury, partnering Declan Wakefield at centre-back. On the Alty bench was Blaine Whiteside, son of the Manchester United star Norman Whiteside.

Alty started brightly and won an early corner. From Brownhill's kick, from the right, Oliver's well-timed run saw him arrive meet the ball at the back post but he could only head the ball narrowly the wrong side of the upright (2 mins). When Cammell Laird won their first corner, a few minutes later, it was their first real attack. The corner, from the left, was half-cleared out to Robinson, some 20 yards out, but he fired in an excellent low shot which found the bottom corner of the net to Walker's left (6 mins). Laird almost doubled their lead two minutes later when a fine long range shot from Gardner crashed back off the inside of the post, to Walker's right. But the home side kept up the pressure with Walker having to rush out of his goal to the left to make a good block from another fierce Cammell Laird shot. The ball was worked back to Jones who, from the edge of the box, executed a fine chip shot over Walker, which entered the net just under the bar to make it 2-0 after only nine minutes of play.

Alty responded with a corner from the left which bounced right across the Laird goalmouth (13 mins) but, at the other end, the Wirral side continued to adopt a shoot on sight policy as Gardner's well-hit effort flew just wide of the Alty goal. Leigh-Watson then had to make a good tackle to stop Noakes in the Alty box but Altrincham were making too many unforced errors to threaten a goal themselves. However, in the 22nd minute, Josh Smith did well to turn and make some space but his shot was underhit to keeper Clift. Two more Cammell Laird corners came as the half hour mark was passed and the game's outcome was effectively decided by the second of these flag-kicks, taken from the left. Walker punched the corner away but it came out to Jones. Though his effort was blocked, the ball fell to Noakes who poked it home from close range to make it 3-0 (34 mins).

For Alty, a fine run up the right by Francis led to a low cross which went across the home side's goalmouth (35 mins) before Gardner screwed an attempted volley wide when left unmarked on the edge of the Alty box (38 mins). Alty had a couple of chances as half-time approached. Firstly, Cordock got free in the middle but hit an underpowered shot at the keeper and, almost immediately after this, a superb shot from 30 yards by Brownhill smacked against the Cammell Laird cross-bar but rebounded back into play (42 mins). An Alty corner followed, from the left, from which Fradley arrived well at the back post. But, from an acute angle, the Alty captain's header was stopped by the keeper. From these threats to their own goal, Cammell Laird went swiftly upfield and, when Jones fed Noakes, the striker made it 4-0 (43 mins). Gardner then smacked a shot narrowly over the bar before half-time arrived with Altrincham four goals adrift.


Alty made a change at the break, Whiteside replacing Smith up front. The visitors survived an early freekick conceded on the front edge of their box but then had a chance of their own when a fine run by Brownhill, up the left, ended with a lay off to Whiteside, but he shot wide. Now Shaw replaced Bennett in the Alty midfield (53 mins). A defensive slip almost allowed Lairds another goal but the offside flag saved the day before they brought on Mooney for Noakes (55 mins). Almost immediately the new player went close with a chip which went narrowly over the bar. A corner to the home team was dealt with before the Laird player Birks was booked for a foul on Brownhill, on the hour mark.

Alty were still committing unforced errors and losing too many of the 50/50 balls to erode the four-goal deficit but they were now holding their own. Altrincham were also winning a succesion of freekicks, mostly on the right, but were unable to make these tell against the solid home defence. Indeed, Alty goalkeeper Walker soon had to be alert to come out and smother the ball ahead of Birks to prevent another goal for Cammell Laird. But then Alty's Cordock set Whiteside free at the other end but the substitute got the ball under his feet and his shot ran to the keeper. Birks was then subbed by Laird, with Bristow replacing him (73 mins).

A long ball forward now found Gardner and the Cammell Laird player drove a fierce low shot into the bottom corner of Walker's net, to his left, to make it 5-0 with eleven minutes left. At this point the home side made another switch. For Altrincham, Brownhill went close for Alty when he combined well with Oliver to get in a cross which the keeper had to tip onto the bar for a corner. This and a number of late freekicks came to nothing for Altrincham. But, as full time approached, Oldhan tried to dribble out of central defence only to lose possesion to Brownhill. The Alty winger kept his composure and beat the keeper to record a consolation goal for his side (88 mins). Soon afterwards, the final whistle sounded to confirm Altrincham's disappointing exit from the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle.


Copyright: ©
Compiled by John Laidlar