Altrincham FC Youth Team
Match Reports

NWYA Premier League match
played on Sunday, 2 September 2012 at Clay Lane, Timperley, k.o. 2.30pm


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts, red socks): 1. Stephen BULLEN, 2. Callum HARKIN, 4. David BROWN, 5. Alex WEATHERBY (capt.), 3. Sam ROWLEY; 7. Sam BOWLES, 6. Rory McGOLDRICK, 8. Spencer CUNLIFFE, 11. Jordan HAMES; 9. Adam BEZZINA, 10. Louis BROWN. Subs: 12. Thomas LYONS, 14. Joseph HAND, 15. Cameron PRITCHARD, 16. Matthew KEMP.

HYDE FC YOUTH (All dark blue). 1. Hickman, 2. Man, 3. Hogg, 4. Robinson, 5. Poole (capt.), 6. Cooke, 7. Holness, 8. Hibbs, 9. West, 10. Steer, 11. Swallow. Subs: 12. George, 14. King, 15. Duarte, 16. Street.


For this second game of the 2012/13 season, Altrincham were without the suspended Oliver Riley and Derryn Ofori, both of whom have recently signed Conference North forms for the Club.

Altrincham did not start well. A first minute breakaway by Hyde ended with a shot, wide, by Steer, before a faltering opening period from Altrincham, strewn with misplaced passes, got worse when Sam Bowles had to be replaced after just six minutes when he got injured as he attempted to cover a Hyde attack which had stemmed from a poor clearance by a team-mate.

Things improved when Adam Bezzina fed Louis Brown, whose shot was pushed aside for a corner by goalkeeper Hickman. Though the corner came to nothing, a Hyde defender pushed over Bezzina in the Hyde penalty area soon afterwards. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Bezzina got up to beat the keeper from the spot and give Altrincham a lead, against the run of play (10 mins).

It took good covering from Alty captain Alex Weatherby to see off a Hyde attack as manager George Heslop berated his players, summing things up by telling them "Your passing is terrible"! Hyde threatened again as three of their players got forward against just two from Altrincham but Bullen saved the resulting shot well. Bullen again had to be alert after 26 minutes, tipping over Holness's shot.

But then an impressive ten-pass Alty move, three times involving Kemp, ended with a fine shot from Rowley which yielded a corner (31 mins). Louis Brown had the ball in the net soon after this, but was ruled offside but Bullen soon had to save again when West got into the Alty box. Half-time arrived with Altrincham still not performing to their capabilities.


The visitors brought on King at the interval for Steer and soon he forced a corner on a counter-attack. Not long into the half, Alty's Kemp gave way to Hand.

Hyde now won a corner, after which Rowley had to clear from the line as Alty continued to falter and give the ball away through unforced errors. They had a major let off when West was allowed to get free but he miscued his shot well off target with only Bullen to beat.

But, at the other end, a good header from Louis Brown from Rowley's corner gave Alty some encouragment. Yet again Alty were left chasing a Hyde counter attack when King got free but he snatched at this shot and Bullen saved comfortably. Throughout the game Alty's forward movement was let down by lethargic covering of counter-attacks.

However, Hyde did get level with about a quarter of an hour to go. Once again, the danger came from the breakdown of an Alty attack, which allowed a Hyde player to get free. His shot hit the post but, unfortunately for Bullen, it rebounded onto the Alty keeper and into the net.

This equaliser heralded no fewer than four more Hyde strikes at goal in as many minutes as Altrincham rocked. Bullen saved two of these Hyde efforts, the third hit the bar after a fine run to the left by-line by Holness and the fourth shot went wide. So, it was against the run of play when Altrincham got a second goal.

It arrived through a Hyde error which gave the ball to Spencer Cunliffe. The Alty midfielder advanced into the box and his goalbound shot was "saved", Luis Suárez-like, by a two-handed save from Cooke on the line. Inevitably the referee, whose good performance put some of the higher level officials that we have seen this season to shame, had to show a red card to the Hyde man.

This time, it was Cunliffe rather than Bezzina who took the spot kick and he made it 2-1 (83 mins). And just a couple of minutes later, it was Cunliffe who scored a fine individual goal, dribbling into the box before beating the keeper with his shot (85 mins).

However, ten-man Hyde almost had the last word when a ball over the top of the Alty back line left King free but a great recovering tackle from David Brown stopped the danger. Finally, Lyons replaced Cunliffe for Alty (87 mins) and, though Hyde won a very late corner, the whistle soon went to confirm Alty's first win of the new season. But there remains room for improvement for this largely new side for the 2012-13 season though a lot of encouragement can be taken from the side's resilience after Hyde's equalizer and the strong finish which secured the victory.