Altrincham FC Youth Team
Match Reports

Cheshire County FA District Cup Group Stage Match
played on Sunday, 3 January 2013
at Shawe View, Trafford FC


ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts, red shorts, blue socks): 1. Josh Samberg, 2. Lincoln Gidley, 3. Matt Graetzer, 4. David Brown (capt), 5. Pat Crilly, 6. Spencer Cunliffe, 7. Louis Potts, 8. Matt Todd, 9. Max Pouncey, 10. Nick Osborne, 11. Dan Senior. Subs: 12. James Farrington, 14. Tom Clarke, 15. Rory McGoldrick, 16. Greg Street.


As in the previous game in this competition it was an Altrincham under-17 side which represented the District FA rather than the under-18 NW Youth Alliance team. However, a couple of players with under-18 experience in the shape of captain David Brown and midfielder Spencer Cunliffe were in the starting line up.

It was Mid-Cheshire who started the game the better, winning two corners inside the opening five minutes on a Shawe View pitch which again put many a surface in the Football League to shame. But having weathered the opening pressure Altrincham gradually got into the game and dominated the middle period of the first half. However, it needed a superb tackle from Crilly to stop a Mid-Cheshire advance after Altrincham had lost possession in the opposition half.

After 19 minutes Altrincham won the first of two successive corners, and from the first Mid-Cheshire had to clear off the line. After the second corner, taken by Senior, the opposition counter-attacked and won themselves a corner kick. From this, Samberg was unable to hold the ball but an opponent poked the ball over the bar (22 mins).

Most of Alty's better forward movements were coming through Potts on the right but though the Altrincham side was now having the better of things, they were not seriously testing the opposition keeper. More than once over-elaboration rather than crisp passing were costing Alty possession in the Mid-Cheshire half. And when Cunliffe did test the keeper with a firm shot, the flag was raised for offside (35 mins).

Then, against the run of play, Mid-Cheshire took the lead. A cross from their right was cleared but fell to one of the visitors, who poked a low shot into the net to the left of the diving Samberg (39 mins). The goal knocked the confidence of Altrincham for the remainer of the half and they remained a goal adrift at the interval.


Altrincham started the second half with a good shot from Pouncey but, soon afterwards, Gidley was booked for a rash tackle (50 mins). Samberg was then called into action to help a long range effort over the bar (51 mins). After a Mid-Cheshire corner, Samberg was again in action as he stopped a shot from the visitors' number eleven. The visitors, however, were already beginning to wind the clock down.

At this point, your correspondent had to leave the game and is grateful for the information provided by manager George Heslop of a remarkable final half hour.

Lincoln Gidley received a second yellow card and was sent off. Left with ten men, manager George Heslop decided to bring on a third centre-back and, to effect the change of formation, substitutions were made. Rory McGoldrick replaced Nick Osborne and Dan Senior was withdrawn to allow Tom Clarke to come on. Spencer Cunliffe moved to right midfield and Louis Potts was pushed forward.

The manager's ploy worked as goal from Max Pouncey and one from Spencer Cunliffe brought about parity before Louis Potts's goal secured a dramatic victory, the winning goal arriving in added time at the end of the ninety minutes. With Runcorn & District FA defeating Macclesfield & District FA, also 3-2, the clash between Runcorn and Altrincham (at Runcorn on 3 March) will decide who wins the group.