< Altrincham FC

Altrincham FC Youth Team
Match Reports

NWYA Premier League game,
played on Sunday, 30 September 2012 at Clay Lane, k.o. 2pm


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts, red socks): 1. Stephen BULLEN, 2. Callum HARKIN, 4. David BROWN, 5. Alex WEATHERBY, 3. Thomas LYONS; 7. Spencer CUNLIFFE, 6. Callum MOONEY, 8. Oliver RILEY (capt), 11. Jordan HAMES; 10. Derryn OFORI, 9. Adam BEZZINA. Subs: 12. Sam ROWLEY, 14. Robert GILROY, 15. Matthew KEMP, GK. Ben HALL.

ABBEY HEY (Pale blue shirts, dark blue shorts and socks): 1. Jack Barlow, 2. Jamie Allen, 3. Sam Rathbone, 4. Lee Gregory, 5. Curtis Baker, 6. Kieran Burywood, 7. Tom Robinson, 8. Anthony Knowles, 9. Tom Lamb, 10. Dave Foster, 11. Elliot Goodwin. Subs: 12. Barney Makin, 14. Tom Webb, 15. Ryan Gibson.

Referee: Mr Mike Barlow.

REPORT Ollie Riley

Right: Ollie Riley captained Alty Youth to their win on Sunday.

For this first league encounter with Gorton club, Abbey Hey, Altrincham Youth were without the injured King, McGoldrick and Hand, whilst Bowes was ill and McLellan was unavailable due to University commitments.

The game started in dry but overcast conditions with a stiff breeze blowing behind Altrincham. The early stages were fairly even and uneventful, with Abbey Hey winning the game's first corner after seven minutes. But, two minutes later, Alty took the lead when Bezzina fed Riley whose excellent pass forward allowed Ofori to breach the offside trap before planting the ball firmly past keeper Barlow from the right of centre (9 mins).

Another fairly level spell of play, lacking in goalscoring openings at both ends, occupied the next few minutes, before a Bezzina shot hit a defender and was deflected out of play for a corner, as rain now started to fall (21 mins). A six-pass move from Alty then culminated in a strong shot from Bezzina, which the keeper did well to hold at the second attempt. Conditions were now getting squally (22 mins).

After Ofori had won possession he was fouled but the resulting freekick came to nothing. Altrincham's second goal was the end product of an excellent passing move involving the midfield and finished off by Bezzina, who has now scored in four successive league games (34 mins).

Fine covering from Alex Weatherby halted the dangerous Abbey Hey left winger, Goodwin, and, just before the break, the hard work of wingman Jordan Hames was rewarded when he got back to help his defence clear their lines once again (45 mins).


With the change of ends, Alty now had to play into the stiff, squally wind and rain and this factor combined with a determined effort from Abbey Hey, Altrincham spent significant parts of the second half on the back foot. But the back four coped well with the difficult conditions, leaving keeper Bullen relatively untroubled throughout.

Despite some good work early in the half by Mooney in central midfield, the Alty manager was not happy with his team's general opening to the second period, describing it as "sloppy". Abbey Hey made an early change as Makin replaced Gregory (54 mins). The best early chance came to Ofori, whose well-struck shot forced an excellent parry over the bar by Barlow, at the cost of a corner (56 mins).

A foul on Mooney by Rathbone earned the Abbey Hey man a booking (57 mins) as Alty enjoyed a good spell. From a Cunliffe cross, Hames was unable to find the target with a back post shot before Abbey Hey brought on Webb for Knowles (65 mins). Abbey Hey were soon making good use of the wind behind them as Altricnham now struggled to get out of their own half. Abbey Hey increased the pressure by pulling a goal back in the 74th minute when a freekick from the right by Rathbone was headed on into the net by a glancing nod from Goodwin.

After this, Alty made a double swap with Gilroy and Kemp replacing the wingers Cunliffe and Hames, respectively (76 mins). Altrincham managed to get to the other end, after withstanding some more pressure, as Gilroy and Riley combined well before the latter's fine ball allowed Ofori to get in a shot, which drew a good save (79 mins).

Another good ball from Riley then set Ofori running goalwards and, from right of goal, he crossed the ball for Bezzina, who scored from close range, making it seven goals in his last four league games and eight goals, in all, this season, for the former Rochdale FC youth striker (83 mins). The goal shifted the balance as Altrincham went on to finish the game strongly. Soon after they had gone 3-1 up, Gilroy's cross from the right gave Kemp a shot which was saved and then a corner was won by Ofori. Alty's pressing continued to the end as, firstly, Mooney did well to get in a cross, which Bezzina could only steer just wide of the target and, finally, Riley fed Gilroy who advanced towards goal from the right but his shot cleared the bar (89 mins).


Copyright: ©
Compiled by John Laidlar