Cheshire County FA District Youth Challenge Cup, League 2 match,
played on Sunday, 8 November, 2009
at Chester County Officers' Sports Club, Hoole Village, Chester, k.o. 11a.m.


ALTRINCHAM: 1. James THORN, 2. Ben SHAWCROSS, 4. Rory BRADBURY, 5. Liam BROMILEY-BLACKBURN, 3. James SMART; 7. Blaine WHITESIDE, 8. Jamie BROWN, 6. John BENNETT (capt), 11. Niall SHERIDAN; 9. Kieran MADDEN, 10. Michael LINNEY. Subs: 12. Glodi KUBA-KUBA, 14. Dominic BATES, 15. Harry McAUGHTRIE, 16. Ryan MARSDEN, GK. Alex DAVIES.


Match report, courtesy of George Heslop.

There were four changes to the sixteen man squad from the team that had lost to woodley Sports the previous week. Joel Brownhill (sick), Matthew Clinton, Luke Lavelle and Stelvio da Rocha were replaced by Blaine Whiteside, Michael Linney, Harry McAughtrie and Alex Davies. Altrincham went into this match knowing that one poiint would get them to the Final.

The pitch was a bit spongy but perfectly playable. Throughout the match there was a cross-wind which meant that both teams had to keep the ball on the deck.

Altrincham started off very well, with good inter-passing and taking the game to their opponents. As early as the fourth minute, Blaine Whiteside put in a great cross but, unfortunately, nobody could get to it. Kieran Madden made his first significant contribution to the game with a great through ball to Michael Linney who placed a great lob over the head of Sam Morgan, the Chester keeper. This gave Altrincham a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute.

Five minutes later, Whiteside put in another great cross which Madden headed on target but the home keeper parried out to Michael Linney, whose return was blocked and cleared. In the 17th minute, Madden played a cross-field ball to Whiteside, who cut in and passed to Jamie Brown, who fired narrowly over the bar.

Yet another Madden pass found Linney, who went round the keeper, only to have the ball taken away from him by a covering defender. When a corner arrived, sixty seconds later, Rory Bradbury popped up at the far post but his attempt cleared the bar.

Then, in the 33rd minute, disaster struck when Bromiley-Davenport tried to dribble the ball out of defence but, unfortunately, slipped and let in an attacker who brought the scores level at 1-1. This shook Altrincham somewhat and they lost their grip for a short while and in the 38th minute Chester broke away but their shot cleared the bar. Five minutesbefore half-time Altrincham turned the game back in their favour when Sheridan and Madden set up Linney, who scored his second goal to give Altrincham a half-time 2-1 lead.


The second half continued as the first half had eneded with Altrincham scoring another goal, when Kieran Madden crossed to the near post where Michael Linney completed his hat-trick. The final was now beckoning for Altrincham who, as long as they did not change their approach, would achieve their target. The positive play was maintained and, in the 60th minute, Blaine Whiteside crossed for Kieran Madden, who hit the target to make it 4-1. This was a just reward for his contribution to Linney's hat-trick. However, a minute later, Chester hit the post.

In the 67th minute, Altrincham made their first substitution when Michael Linney was replaced by Glodi Kuba-Kuba and, shortly afterwards, Bromiley-Blackburn was replaced by Dominic Bates, The final change was when Ryan Marsden came on for Blaine Whiteside, whose right midfield role was filled by Ben Shawcross, moving up from right-back, and Dominic Bates, moving over from centre-half (71 mins). In the 72nd minute, Madden had another shot saved but a minute later Ben Shawcross scored to make it 5-1. This was followed by Madden having another effort disallowed. With nine minutes remaining, James Smart was withdrawn, due to an ankle knock. This change was made with future fixtures in mind.

This was an excellent result, getting Altrincham to the Final for the sixth time in ten years and the strength of the squad will improve when Dan Shaw, Joel Brownhill and James Fossdyke return from injury and sickness.