NW Youth Alliance Open Cup Final
played on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 at Moor Lane, Salford at 7.30pm


SALFORD CITY YOUTH (Dark blue): 1. Charlie DORSEY, 2. Steven RICHARDSON, 3. Jack BURKE, 4. Ben BERESFORD, 5. Will MELLOR (capt), 6. Aiden SOCKETT, 12. Alex KEMP, 8. Ben McNAMARA, 9. Arthur GNAHOUA, 10. Jordan LEE, 11. Nathan BRADLEY. Subs: 7. Matt COLLIER, 15. Sakeel ABDULLAH, 16. Josh WILSON, 14. Jack BYRAM, 18. Stuart HULL.

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


Though Altrincham had clinched the NWYA Premier Division league title and Salford had finished third from bottom, the hosts had enjoyed good recent form and had home advantage on a warm, sunny evening at the historic Moor Lane ground. On a pitch made hard and bobbly by the recent lack of rain. Salford enjoyed the better start to the game and it took a fine tackle from Ryan Marsden to stop a Sockett surge at the cost of a corner (10 mins). With Altrincham failing to get into their rhythm, Salford took a deserved lead in the 19th minute. The goal came from a freekick by Sockett, taken 35 yards out. A Salford player timed his run well and headed past Thorn without a challenge (19 mins).

Alty then improved and their best effort of the match to date arrived in the 22nd minute when Gamble shot wide after a good move up the left by Sheridan. However, a City corner soon arrived and then Gnahoua, who has played for City in the Vodkat League, had a shot deflected out for a corner, from which City were allowed a free header. Gnahoua also had a fierce shot charged down five minutes later before Altrincham produced a good move between Kuba-Kuba and Linney which resulted in the former forcing an excellent tip over the bar by Dorsey, for a corner (31 mins).

But Salford then doubled their lead. The goal came after Lee got past Smart and, from right of goal, crossed for McNamara to sweep the ball into the net (34 mins). At this point the influential Beresford had to go off and was replaced by Wilson for Salford. Belatedly Alty lifted their game and Whiteside had a cross blocked from the right. But the winger got the ball back from his team mate Shawcross and this time his cross found Kuba-Kuba, whose stooping header back across goal made it 2-1 (38 mins).

Before half time arrived, Altrincham enjoyed a decent spell but nevertheless trailed 1-2 at the break.


Salford kicked off the second half but soon Alty threatened with a fine run by Kuba-Kuba who lost and regained possession before feeding Linney, whose sidefooted shot was saved (48 mins). Two Salford City corners were survived by Alty before a fine shot from Smart forced an equally good save and a corner for Alty. Bates then had to cover well as Salford threatened again.

With the floodlights now on, Gamble's freekick from 35 yards or more was met by an excellently timed run by Marsden, who glanced a header into the corner of the net to level the scores at 2-2 (64 mins).

Soon afterwards, a long ball from Shawcross found Kuba-Kuba who had got free of the defence but he steered his shot narrowly wide (67 mins). Salford's Lee was then booked for dissent by the referee, Mr Byrne, who had an excellent game. City made another change as Collier replaced Mellor (73 mins). Altrincham were now on top and playing some good possession football, moving the ball around to try and tire the opposition. Then Sheridan had a fine shot saved before a Kuba-Kuba shot was dragged across goal (80 mins). An Alty corner soon arrived as they kept the hosts penned back but they could not break through, depsite a 90th minute corner.

Extra time arrived and curiously Salford elected to change ends before the additional time began. Alty continued to dominate but the nearest to a goal came when Kuba-Kuba got round the advancing Dorsey but was too far wide right of goal to score (108 mins). Salford then won two corners before Alty made their first substitution in the 113th minute as Whiteside gave way to Brown.

With the game looking set for a penalty shoot out, Salford got free up the left wing and, from the by-line, the ball was laid back for Gnahoua to tap in the winner (119 mins). However, the referee added on five minutes after a succession of earlier stoppages for cramp and other minor injuries. Alty were unable to make the time count and despite Bradbury coming on in the 120+4th minute, the game ended a minute later with Salford victorious.

After the game Alty were awarded their league trophy and medals in addition to their runners-up Open Cup awards. Though the result was disappointing, Alty had played some good football expecially in the game's latter stages and both sides put on an entertaining spectacle. Congratulations go to Salford on their win.