NW Youth Alliance Premier Division match
played on Sunday, 31 October, 2010 at 2.45pm, at Wythenshawe Town FC


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Harry McAUGHTRIE, 4. Jake BARNABAS, 5. Kyle CUNNINGHAM 3. Sam GRIMSHAW, 7. Ashley WOODS, 6. Matthew FEARON (capt), 8. Stewart WALLACE, 11. Sam LANGFORD, 9. Theo KIDD, 10. Kieran MADDEN. Subs: 12. Reece BAILEY, 14. Ansima MATABARO, 15. David KING, 16. Greg STEWART, 17. Owen DAVIES.

MARINE "A" YOUTH (Yellow shirts and scoks, green shorts): 1. Hart, 2. Carraher, 3. Houghton, 4. Eardley, 5. Steven, 6. Anderson (capt), 7. Lamb, 8. Dillon, 9. Donnelly, 10. Challoner, 11. Verney. Subs: 12. Walsh, 14. Kelly, 15. Flynn, 16. O'Connor. (One or two names may be wrong due to legibility of copied team sheet).


The game started fifteen minutes late due to Marine's traffic problems en route. To make matters worse, rain started to fall before kick of and, by then, it was heavy. Altrincham welcomed back Cunningham and Kidd so Bailey and Matabaro moved to the bench, where Owen Davies returned after injury.

Altrincham kicked off but started slowly and goalkeeper Reid had to make good save in only the second minute when Alty failed to clear a Marine attack (2 mins). A Marine corner soon followed Reid's save as the visitors had the better of the opening stages.

Reid was in action again when he dealt with a testing cross from the left by Houghton which was dipping under the bar (11 mins). Marine got the reward for their enterprising start when they went ahead in the 13th minute. The goal came from a long punt up the middle. Reid blocked the first attempt from Marine but the ball was only half cleared and came back into the goalmouth from the left before reaching Challoner who thumped it home from the edge of the box.

Altrincham remained second best and were relieved when Donnelly went down under Reid's challenge to see the referee award a yellow card to the Marine player rather than a penalty. In the aftermath the Marine captain, Anderson, was also booked (26 mins).

Just after the half hour the busy Alty keeper was again his side's saviour as he pushed a fierce shot round the base of his left upright for a corner (31 mins). Altrincham's unhappy afternoon continued as Fearon was booked for a lunging tackle (32 mins). But then against the run of play Altrincham equalised. The ball was worked via Langford and Madden to Woods, who unleashed an unstoppable shot from 25 yards past the keeper to make it 1-1 (33 mins).

The rain had now eased off as Marine won another corner which Reid punched clear. At the other end, the Marine keeper went down off the ball and after treatment to his leg was unable to continue. So, outfield player, Eardley, had to don the keeper’s journey and keep goal for Marine (40 mins). Marine brought on Walsh as an outfield substitute.

However, Alty failed to test the new keeper in the remaining ten minutes of the half, which included five added minutes. Indeed, it was Marine who won a corner at the end of the 45 but half-time arrived with the score level and Marine facing a testing second half without a recognised goalkeeper.


Torrential rain started again during the interval but before the game could begin again, the referee and one of his assistants walked straight to the Marine keeper and booked him; the suggestion was that he had been cautioned for marking out his goalmouth to get his bearings. But far from Altrincham pressing home the advantage of the visitors' having an inexperienced keeper, it was the Crosby side which took the lead just three minutes into the second period. The goal came as an Alty attack broke down and Marine swept to the other end. Challoner found Donnelly and he scored with a well executed chip over Reid to make it 2-1.

At last Alty tested the Marine goalkeeper with a well struck long range shot from Grimshaw, which was saved at the second attempt (51 mins). Soon, Grimshaw had to make an important block at the other end. Altrincham did then get a sight of goal as Kidd got free but he sliced his shot over the bar. Then a good Alty move ended with Langford's cross which Fearon could only just reach with his foot but the ball went wide (56 mins).

Reid was then in action again saving well with his feet before Grimshaw surged up the Alty left and got in a good cross which went across the face of goal without being converted (61 mins). With Altrincham now enjoying a good spell, Woods, who had earlier needed treatment for a back problem, was replaced by Davies (66 mins).

When a Marine player went down in the box, for the second time their penalty appeals went unheard but they did win a corner (70 mins). Challoner then got behind the Alty defence forcing another important block from Reid.

Kidd did then test the Marine keeper (75 mins) before the visitors brought on Kelly for Carraher, who had earlier needed treatment (77 mins). Marine made their final substitution with ten minutes left as Flynn replaced Challinor. Marine had been on top now for at least the last ten minutes and they finally made it tell when Flynn executed an excellent lob over Reid to make it 3-1 to the visitors, the goal arriving after Alty had allowed the attackers too much time on the ball.

Alty had not troubled Marine's stand-in keeper for a considerable time but they now brought on Matabaro and Bailey in place of Madden and Kidd (86 mins). The two subs almost immediately combined to feed Langford who banged home a fine goal from left of the target to make it 2-3 and set up a potentially tense closing few minutes (88 mins). Alty soon won a corner, after which Verney was booked for kicking the ball away. With darkness falling, the clocks having gone back earlier in the day, Verney dribbled into the box only to go down under a challenge. For the third time in the game, the referee showed no interest in awarding a penalty to the visitors.

The drama was not over as well into added time, Langford's ill-judged challenge near half way led to his being shown a straight red card to leave Alty with ten men for the final minute or so of the game. Marine had deserved their win particularly given their loss of their keeper in the first half, a misfortune upon which Altrincham had failed to capitalize.