NW Youth Alliance Premier Division game
played on Sunday, 28 August, 2011
at Clay Lane, Timperley, 2.30pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Adam REID, 2. Alan TANSINDA, 4. Ben HAMILTON, 5. Nathan GRAY, 3. Sam GRIMSHAW (capt); 7. Liam RUTLEDGE, 8. Ryan BARRY, 6. Oliver RILEY, 11. Jack COTTRILL; 9. Derryn OFORI, 10. Duncan WATMORE. Subs: GK. Cody WHARTON, 12. Declan BARRY, 14. Jack SHAW.

FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER (Orange or blue bibs, black shorts & socks): 1. Andrew FARRIMOND, 2. Obrian RICHARDS, 3. James BROOKS, 4. Nikeele LOCKE, 5. Kyle CUNNINGHAM, 6. Asima MATABARO, 7. Jonathan POIZER, 8. Thomas MINNOCK, 9. Theo KIDD, 10. Brian TOTTON, 11. Sam HOWELL. Subs: 12. Kane JOYCE, 14. Connor NAUGHTON, 16. Alex STONES, 17. Matthew HASSALL, 18. Ryan WALLWORK.


Altrincham were without seven players (Barnabas, Cassidy, Mainoo-Hames, Martiny-Schofield, McGuire, Fearon, Coombs), because of illness, holidays and in some cases the need to rest players who might be in the first-team squad the following day. FCUM included three of last season's players who had left Alty for United, namely Theo Kidd, Asima Matabaro and Kyle Cunningham. FCUM arrived in red shirts and black shorts, which meant a colour clash, so the visitors played this game wearing a mixture of orange and blue bibs over their shirts, which made number-recognition difficult though, thankfully, they did have numbered shorts.

Right: Goalkeeper, Adam Reid, and defender, Ben Hamilton, keep out an FCUM attack, with the visitors' Theo Kidd in attendance.

Altrincham almost got off to a perfect start when, more or less straight from the kick off, Ofori won a penalty when he was brought down in the box. Oliver Riley took the penalty and it cannoned out of goal off the underside of the crossbar. The reprieve gave FCUM the stimulus to dominate the next few minutes. After six minutes a freekick from FCUM just cleared the Alty bar, with the strong, gusty wind making life difficult for both defences. For Alty, a fine run from Cottrill ended with his shot going wide (8 mins).

FCUM took the lead in the 16th minute when Minnock fired a freekick superbly into the top of the net from 25 yards out. It then took a fine tip over the bar from Reid to keep the score down. But Minnock scored a second with a well worked goal after 21 minutes. And it could have got worse when from another FCUM freekick, 30 yards out, the dangerous Minnock smashed the ball against the Alty crossbar (23 mins).

Alty were second best at this stage and 'keeper Reid had to beat out another FCUM shot in the 28th minute. But, when a Rutledge shot was blocked by an opposition hand, another penalty was awarded though, unlike for the first penalty, no card was issued against the offender by referee Martin Howe. This time, Watmore took the spot kick and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-1 after 34 minutes. Altrincham now played better and soon won a corner but Hamilton's clearance a few minutes later went close to his own goal soon after this. FCUM then made a change as the injured Brooks was replaced by Naughton, who slotted in at right-back as Richards switched to the left (42 mins).

But half time arrived with Alty trailing 1-2.


Altrincham were on the back foot at the start of the second half. Soon, FCUM made another change as Wallwork replaced Poizer. Next, from a Riley corner on the left Alty appealed for a goal as the FCUM keeper seemed to step behind the line as he collected the corner-ball (56 mins). Riley was booked for dissent in the aftermath. But Altrincham equalised in the 58th minute when Watmore reacted smartly after his initial effort was blocked by the keeper, lifting the rebound over him onto the net.

After 64 minutes, Naughton replaced Matabaro for the visitors, just before impressive harrying of the keeper by Ofori brought approval from the Alty management. Reid then made a fine save from an FCUM counter-attack before the referee had words with Alty's captain about the already-booked Riley, who must have spoken out of turn again.

Alty went ahead for the first time when Riley's afternoon took a turn for the beter and he scored from 25 yards off the cross bar, running to the touchline afterwards to celebrate with the home bench (68 mins). But the lead barely lasted two minutes as FCUM levelled when Kidd somehow bundled the ball over the line after Alty tried to hack the ball clear (70 mins). Watmore then did well at the other end but fired narrowly wide before FCUM scored again with a shot from outside the box by Minnock, which deflected into the bottom corner of the net off Riley (74 mins).

Play was now end to end. Alty brought on Declan Barry to replace Cottrill (77 mins). Watmore then got into the box and went down but no penalty resulted. However, Altrincham went ahead again in the 84th minute when Rutledge won the ball on the right and the ball came back from him into the goalmouth where Declan Barry finally got the ball into the net after a bit of a melee. Altrincham pressed forward again but FCUM then won themselves a penalty in the 89th minute, which appeared to be about to cost Alty the game.

But Theo Kidd's spot kick was saved well by Reid with the ball running free to an FCUM player. However, referee Howe had whistled for encroachment and booked Rutledge before FCUM could convert the loose ball. Kidd re-took the kick and Reid impressively saved it again (90 mins). The ball was immediately cleared upfield and the hardworking Ofori did well to the left of goal, getting the ball into the box where Watmore impressively scored the fifth Alty goal to clinch the game.