Altrincham FC Youth Team
Match Reports

NWYA Premier League game,
played on Sunday, 18 November 2012


ALTRINCHAM: Steven Bullen, Callum Harkin, Alex Weatherby, Jamie McClellan, Joseph Hand, Jordan Mainoo-Hames, Spencer Cunliffe, Oliver Riley, Callum Mooney, Derryn Ofori, Adam Bezzina.

Subs used - David Brown for Joseph Hand, Rob Gilroy for Spencer Cunliffe, Tom Lyons for Alex Weatherby.

Subs not used - Matthew Kemp, Rory McGoldrick.


By Callum Harkin

By Callum Harkin

The Reds came into what could be a pivotal game in the title race with high hopes but found themselves leaving disappointed after a closely-fought game against a spirited Warrington side on an unpleasant and bumpy playing surface.

Alty struggled to get going as the home side’s enthusiasm and eagerness culminated in them beating the Reds to the ball frequently. The home side had a chance to take the lead in the 9th minute after their speedy forward rounded Alty keeper Bullen but could not convert. This was not the case three minutes later when a Warrington free-kick somehow found its way to their captain, who finished in an acrobatic style to put the home side in front.

The pressure continued to build on the Alty defence as Bullen pulled off a smart save after a Warrington move on the left hand-side and, only seconds later, did they come close again. A determined drive from the home centre-midfielder resulted in a long range effort, which whizzed narrowly past the post.

Altrincham tried to counter through fleet-footed wideman, Derryn Ofori, whose spirited drive into the box produced no result and shortly after Altrincham were back under the cosh again as a series of silly fouls led to a number of dangerous free-kicks which were luckily scraped clear after a pinball-like scramble in the box.

The away side then achieved their first shot on goal as Warrington took a deserved lead into the break after an incisive run from winger Jordan Mainoo-Hames forced a save from the pedestrian home keeper.


The Reds emerged from the half-time break and were immediately put on the back foot as a dubious offside decision allowed Warrington’s number ten to run through on goal and finish past the helpless Bullen. This seemed to spark a much needed source of energy and drive into the Reds as they applied a pressure to the home side which they had not before, hunting in packs and winning back the ball in dangerous areas.

It was this pressure which resulted in Ofori firing narrowly wide with a long distance effort and Bezzina coming close after a mazy dribble inside the box.

The home keeper was again kept on his toes after another strike from Ofori forced him into an impressive save with his feet and, two minutes later, youth team captain Oliver Riley came close with a 20-yard effort. The galvanised Reds were now bossing the midfield with the pressure and determination of trio Callum Mooney, Spencer Cunliffe and Oliver Riley.

This early uplift in the away side's play was dealt a cruel blow as the consistently secure Weatherby was forced off due to injury. Tom Lyons came on as his replacement. Left-back Joe Hand was also replaced by David Brown, who slotted in at right-back as Harkin shuffled over to the left, as was Cunliffe, who made way for England Schools' trialist Rob Gilroy.

Ofori again came close after a mazy run but, in the 75th minute, disaster struck as a misplaced pass from Harkin fed in the Warrington winger who crossed for their striker to convert his second and push the game agonisingly out of the grasp of the away side.

An attacking run down the left from Harkin then resulted in an Alty corner, which was beautifully delivered by Riley for centre-back McClellan to head home and reduce the deficit. Bezzina then came close in the closing minutes but unfortunately the Reds suffered their second defeat of the season to the hotly-tipped hosts.

However the away side had once again shown a drive and determination which will surely see the return encounter being as closely contested as this competitive fixture was.