Altrincham FC Youth Team
Match Reports

NWYA Open Cup,
played on Sunday, 9 December 2012
at Clay Lane, Timperley


ALTRINCHAM: 1. Steven Bullen, 2. Callum Harkin, 4. David Brown, 5. Jamie McClellan, 3. James Farrington, 7. Spencer Cunliffe, 6. Oliver Riley, 8. Callum Mooney, 11. Michael King, 10.Derryn Ofori, 9. Adam Bezzina.

Subs 12. Alex Weatherby, 14. Rob Gilroy, 15. Rory McGoldrick, 16. Tom Lyons, 17. Matthew Kemp


This game was played on a bright and dry afternoon but in a cold wind which was blowing from one end of the pitch to the other. Altrincham started brightly with Ofori winning an early corner and then making an impressive run up the right wing before playing a one-two and striking the crossbar. His follow-up was then well saved (8 mins). A Bezzina shot won another corner, which Riley took from the right. His corner seemed to be heading to the keeper's hands at the near post but Lancaster's number one unfortunately spilt the ball into his own net to give Alty the lead (11 mins).

Alty continued to impress as Harkin fed Ofori but his shot rose over the bar (12 mins). Ofori went close again two minutes later before Bezzina went equally close as Alty dominated. The referee then dealt with a spat between the visitors' number five and Ofori. The referee called up the captains but the number five continued to argue and the referee then curiously led him across to the Lancaster bench where further animated discussion took place.

The incident seemed to break Alty's concentration as they immediately conceded an equalizer. It came after a freekick, near halfway, which led to a corner on the left. This was half cleared and the number nine lashed an excellent low shot past Bullen from 25 yards (18 mins).

The visitors should have had a penalty a minute later when the number nine was pulled down in the box but, to the Lancaster bench's annoyance, nothing was given. Altrincham then won four corners in as many minutes. The referee was having a torrid time as now the visitors' number eight argued with a decision at length before the referee led him to the visitors' bench - as he had done earlier with the centre-back. He then booked the offender (27 mins).

After Altrincham had won another corner, Lancaster's number nine was also booked, after a very late challenge on the busy Mooney (31 mins). Still the visitors' number eight was sounding off and again the referee took him over to his own bench. Quite what was going on was unclear but the visitors did not opt to withdraw the player. Moments later an Alty freekick award led to the number five resuming his dissent and this time he, too, was booked (34 mins). The game was in danger of descending into farce as the referee seemed determined to avoid producing a red card.

When Cunliffe was tripped in the box, again no penalty was awarded, and Mooney was booked for dissent (37 mins).

The visitors finished the half strongly, winning two corners but, in keeping with earlier events, a goal now arrived against the run of play. It came as Bezzina fed Ofori, whose slick pass set Riley clear. He calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to restore Altrincham's lead (45+1 mins). There was still time for an Alty corner but half time arrived with Alty leading 2-1 after a very eventful first period (45+3 mins).


The second half started with an early Altrincham goal, which owed much to Cunliffe's perseverance on the right by-line, where he forced a defensive error, which led to King converting a close range chance (48 mins).

But, in keeping with a crazy game, Altrincham leaked two goals in four minutes. Firstly, the Lancaster no.7 was allowed to cross form the right where the no.9, unmarked, netted his and his side's second goal (52 mins). Then, from a freekick on the right by the no.8, the unmarked Lancaster number four levelled the scores (56 mins).

Altrincham now brought on England Schoolboys' squad member Rob Gilroy for Farrington, with King moving to left-back to accommodate the substitute on the left of midfield. Ofori was now put through on goal but his shot went wide. But Alty were then gifted the lead again as the visitors' no.4 and his keeper got in a muddle and the defender diverted the ball to Bezzina who scored easily from close range (61 mins). Two minutes later Bezzina made it 4-3 after Gilroy and Cunliffe had combined (63 mins).

Lancaster then replaced their no.8 by a no.12 (68 mins). The woodwork was struck once more as Ofori now hit the post; it was not to be the Alty striker's lucky day (77 mins). But Alty soon scored a sixth as Gilroy motored up the left and from his low cross, Bezzina completed his hat-trick (78 mins). Now, McGoldrick replaced Ofori and, after an uneventful few minutes, Kemp came on for Cunliffe (84 mins).

An excellent Altrincham move now ended with the goal frame being struck, yet again, as now Kemp's effort from the right came off the cross bar. Another Gilroy surge up the left ended with his shot being saved before the game went into added time. But Alty were not finished yet and, as Gilroy once more advanced on the left, his cross was cheekily back-heeled into the net, off the keeper's hands, by Oliver Riley (90+1 mins).

An eighth Altrincham goal arrived in the fourth added minute, when Bezzina won a corner, which McClellan headed firmly into the net. And, with that, an incident packed game drew to its conclusion.