played on Sunday, 4 April, 2010 at Wythenshawe Town at 2.00pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. James THORN, 2. Harry McAUGHTRIE, 5. Rory BRADBURY, 4. Dominic BATES, 3. James SMART; 7. Joel BROWNHILL, 8. Andy GAMBLE, 6. John BENNETT (capt), 11. Niall SHERIDAN; 9. Kieran MADDEN, 10. Michael LINNEY. Subs: 12. Dan SHAW, 14. Jamie BROWN, 15. Ryan MARSDEN, 16. Ben SHAWCROSS, 17. Konstantinos NEOS, GK. R ABBOTT

NANTWICH TOWN (Green and white): 1. Plant, 19. Kirkham, 6. Colclough, 5. Fotheringham, 14. Mills, 3. Holden, 7. Smith, 8. Parks, 4. Scott, 10. Baker, 11. Tickle. Subs: 12. Williams.


Joel Brownhill returned to the starting line-up after a long injury absence. And Ben Shawcross and Dan Shaw also returned to the squad, but on the bench.

Play got under way in bright but breezy conditions on a bobbly pitch at Wythenshawe Town. A 25-yarder from Bennett, which went just wide, was the first effort of note. Next, a well struck left-footed Sheridan effort also went wide (6 mins) before the visitors won the game's first corner. Nantwich then went close with a header over the bar as play switched entertainingly from end to end. A foul on Tickle gave Town a freekick in the Alty penalty "D" but the kick struck the defensive wall (17 mins).

Following another Nantwich corner, the visitors scored, despite Brownhill's valiant effort to clear the ball off the line with an overhead kick. But the ball had already crossed the line to give The Dabbers the lead (21 mins). Alty responded as Linney won a corner but the visitors soon took advantage of a tight offside decision to win another flag kick for themselves.

Altrincham had a good chance when Brownhill took a fine freekick from the left but Bradbury, at the back post, could not get his header on target (30 mins). Thorn then made a fine catch from a high cross but soon afterwards another cross from the Nantwich right soon led to a goal for the visitors. This time the cross was not cleared and though Thorn kept out the first attempt, Nantwich were left with a tap-in to score their second goal (32 mins).

But four minutes later, Alty got a goal back. Gamble, who was having a good game, did well to gain possession in midfield before playing an excellent diagonal ball forward to Brownhill, to the right of goal. Brownhill finished well to make the score 2-1 (36 mins). However, Altrincham were conceding too many freekicks and, following a Nantwich freekick, Bennett committed a foul for which he was lectured by the referee (41 mins). McAughtrie and Brownhill then combined to feed Madden but his shot went wide (42 mins) to leave the half time score 2-1 to the visitors.


Altrincham started the second half well with McAughtrie getting a cross across the face of goal before lifting a later shot well over the bar. Soon, Alty brought on Dan Shaw up front for Madden (54 mins) but Nantwich then went close through Baker. Alty made a second change after 62 minutes when Shawcross replaced McAughtrie at right back for Alty. But soon afterwards Nantwich went 3-1 ahead as Tickle converted Parks's cross from the left at the back post (66 mins).

Alty responded with a good, dipping shot from Bennett and, soon after, a corner. They continued to press forward but got a gaol back in strange circumstances. Sheridan did well on the left but his cross cum shot seemed to be causing little concern to the visitors' keeper till it took a bobble and went past him into the net (76 mins).

Play went from end to end but with frequent stoppages to deal with recurrent cramp for Nantwich's Holden, it was clear there would be plenty of additional time. A corner in the 90th minute was scrambled clear by Nantwich but in the fifth added minute Brownhill was brought down as he cut in from the right by Mills. Shawcross's excellent freekick found Bradbury at the back post and his firm header bounced down over the line off the cross bar to give Alty a 3-3 draw. Three more minutes were played before the final whistle sounded on an entertaining game played in a good spirit.