FA Youth Cup 1st Qualifying Round
played on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 at 7.45pm


ALTRINCHAM: 1. James FOSSDYKE, 2. Ben SHAWCROSS, 4. Dominic BATES, 5. Rory BRADBURY, 3. James SMART; 7. Jamie BROWN, 6. John BENNETT, 8. Dan SHAW (capt), 11. Niall SHERIDAN; 9. Kieran MADDEN, 10. Michael LINNEY. Subs: 12. Matthew CLINTON, 14. Liam BROMILEY-BLACKBURN, 15. Luke LAVELLE, 16. JOel BROWNHILL, GK. Jack ABBOTT.

CAMMELL LAIRD: 1. Paul DAVIES, 2. Tom HAWKES, 3. Tom HARTLEY, 4. Paul BYRNE (capt), 5. Danny AINSCOUGH, 6. Andy TRAVIS, 7. Jacob SMITH, 8. Derek TAYLOR, 9. Josh WONDERLEY, 10. Ricci NEILL, 11. Matty BOYD. Subs: 12. Danny BIRKS, 14. Jordan WILKIE, 15. Joel BELMAR, 16. Adam SMITH, 17. Kelvin PHOENIX.


Altrincham had lost 5-1 to Cammell Laird in last year's FA Youth Cup and tonight they were again up against a strong club which boasted eight players who were in the Cheshire County squad. However, Altrincham welcomed back their injured captain Dan Shaw tonight and Joel Brownhill, who had scored a fine goal for Alty at Lairds' ground last season, was fit enough to join the bench. Michael Linney also returned, up front.

From an early freekick from Smart, the Lairds' keeper was unable to control the ball and, via Linney, the ball came to Madden but he was unable to control the ball to take advantage of the situation (2 mins). The visitors won the game's first corner but the nearest to an goal in the early stages came when, first, Shawcross's long range effort cleared the stand roof at the Golf Road end and, then, Bennett fired over, too, from 35 yards (7 mins).

Altrincham started to pass the ball about well but neither side went close till Shaw's excellent play took him past two men to feed Madden, whose shot just cleared the bar (16 mins). The home side were now on top but the game was well contested by both sides. Lairds, however, were making some unforced errors to the annoyance of a some of their strong contingent of supporters in a crowd of 106. There was then the rare site of the referee acting as a ballboy to retrieve a loose ball for Altrincham and keep the game flowing. Next, from the hardworking Bennett's feed, Bradbury lashed a shot at goal which Davies saved well (25 mins).

Brown then lashed a shot well over the bar before an excellent cross from Shawcross, who impressed at right back, just evaded Shaw's head. Then a shot from Sheridan was saved by Davies as Alty continued to make the running (37 mins). The breakthrough finally came in the 42nd minute when Bennett battled well to keep possession and fed the ball forward to Shaw, who kept his composure well to shoot past Davies and give Alty the lead.

But, as so often happens in football,the opposition immediately replied. As Neill advanced up the middle, Alty stood off and the Cammell Laird man unleashed a superb long range shot into the net, giving Fossdyke no chance (43 mins).


Two minutes after the break, Lairds' Taylor set Smith free and he put his side 2-1 ahead. Altrincham immediately won a corner but wasted it before Brown fired wide. Shaw then surged forward but Madden was unable to hit the target at the end of the move. An excellent cross from Shawcross then found Linney almost on the goal line but he was unable to turn it into the net (50 mins). Altrincham were putting together good passing movements but winning a corner was the nearest they came to a goal as the game passed the hour mark. But, finally, Alty got level just when a move seemed to have broken down. But Sheridan pursued the ball to the left by-line as the Lairds defence stopped, expecting a goalkick. Sheridan laid the ball into the path of Linney, who scored from close range to make it 2-2 (69 mins).

Two minutes later Brownhill replaced Madden up front for Altrincham, followed in the 74th minute by Lairds' Adam Smith replacing Travis. Shawcross and Linney then combined to feed Shaw who, as in the first half, expertly beat the advancing keeper to put Alty 3-2 up (78 mins).

Smart's 35-yard effort narrowly cleared the bar before Shaw's quick pass forward came to Brownhill who scored a fine goal from outside the box, his shot flying into the top of the net to make it 4-2 (85 mins). Belmar replaced Taylor for the visitors (87 mins) but Altrincham held on to their lead to advance into the next round where they meet Vauxhall Motors, away.