NWYA Premier League
Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 2.30pm
Egerton Sports, Knutsford


After a win and a draw, Altrincham were looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Josh SAMBERG, 2. David BROWN, 3. Matt GRAETZER, 4. Tom CLARKE, 5. Derek UBAH, 6. Spencer CUNLIFFE (capt), 7. Rob GILROY, 8. Matt TODD, 9. Max POUNCEY, 10. Kane HUGHES, 11. Louis POTTS. Subs: 14. Joe COFFEY, 15. Louis BROWN, 16. Richard BARNES, 17. Matt HANCOCK, 45. John DAWSON.


Altrincham started a little shakily and, inside the first minute, Derek Ubah was judged to have conceded a freekick aganst the visitors' no.9 on the front edge of the box. Hyde's no.8 thundered the freekick goalwards but Samberg did very well to get a hand on the ball to guide it onto the crossbar (2 mins).

However, by the ten-minute mark, Altrincham were beginning to settle. After 12 minutes Cunliffe was brought down on the front edge of the Hyde box but his resulting freekick went to the keeper. At the back Ubah was making some impressively powerful headed clearances as his side now raised their game. When a poor ball out of the Hyde defence was intercepted by Gilroy, the right-wingman looped a long cross into the box from the right.

Before manager George Heslop could complete the sentence "He's overhit it", Louis Potts came racing in from the left to power an excellent header into the back of the net. Cue sheepish looks from the manager and congratulations to Gilroy! (19 mins).

Altrincham continued to press forward, especially up the right. But it was right-back Brown who next threatened on that side as he got to the by-line but his shot hit the side netting (23 mins). Hyde then survived a near own goal as their left back headed a ball past his own keeper but then the visitors won a corner at the other end.

After Cunliffe had won possession, another impressive run from Gilroy led to a cross which, this time, really was overhit. But as the ball crossed the goalmouth Hyde's number seven pushed an Alty man to concede a penalty and, also, to put himself out of the game with a leg injury. After a delay for his treatment, Cunliffe confidently converted the spot kick (32 mins).

In the 35th minute Pouncey went close with a header from a cross, engineered and executed by Potts from the left. Altrincham were now well in control and, next, a neat Alty move ended in a shot from Hughes, which was saved (39 mins).

After Potts had been tripped just outside the box, the same player forced a save from the keeper from the freekick (40 mins). But then, Altrincham, seemingly well in control, took their foot off the pedal, and paid the price. First a Hyde corner was won, which Samberg punched clear. Then, in added time, Hyde advanced on their right and the ball came to their no.4, just outside the box, and he hooked the ball into the net to make the interval lead only 2-1.


Hyde introduced a sub (no.15) at the interval for their left-back and they started the period the better side, winning an early corner. Following this, a diving header from their no.10 went narrowly wide. Alty made their first change in the 51st minute when Dawson replaced Pouncey.

As in the first half, Alty's slow start was turned into a better performance as they won the next two corners in the match. Between these Potts gave way to Coffey.

Just after the hour mark, Hancock replaced Brown at right-back, following which Hancock was soon in action, clearing well to concede a corner. But Hyde now threatened with an excellent shot from their no.10, which Samberg did brilliantly to tip over the bar. However, the referee gave Alty a goalkick, to the visitors' annoyance.

With rolling subs allowed this season, Barnes replaced Hughes in the 68th minute, prompting a change of formation as Alty went to three in the centre of midfield, as Clarke joined Todd and Cunliffe.

Altrincham now lived dangerously as they allowed Hyde plenty of possession. But then a neat move up the right channel led to the advancing Clarke picking up the ball and cleverly jinking past a couple of challenges to score an impressive goal and give his side some breathing space at 3-1 (80 mins).

Gilroy was now given a deserved rest as Louis Brown came on (82 mins). Four minutes later, following a throw-in, which had followed good work by Brown that had allowed Alty to progress up the left, the ball fell for Todd who executed a superb lob from outside the box to make it 4-1. Like goalscorer Clarke before him, Todd was submerged in a heap of his joyous team-mates.

The final scoreline belied a well contested match in which Hyde, for substantial periods at 2-1, threatened to wrestle the game from Altrincham.