FA Youth Cup, 1st Qualifying Round
Monday, 23 September, 2013, 7.45pm, at The Pavilions, Runcorn.


This was Altrincham's first involvement in the FA Youth Cup this season. The winners tonight were set for a home tie against Vauxhall Motors or Bootle in the next round.


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Josh SAMBERG, 2. David BROWN, 3. James FARRINGTON, 4. Tom CLARKE, 5. Derek UBAH, 6. Pat CRILLY, 7. Spencer CUNLIFFE (capt), 8. Matt TODD, 9. Max POUNCEY, 10. Louis POTTS, 11. Tom WESTALL. Subs: 12. Joe COFFEY, 14. Louis BROWN, 15. Kane HUGHES, 16. Aaron GOLDMAN, 18. Steve BULLEN.


Altrincham started by winning two corners in the opening six minutes but this bright start was marred by the growing frequency of misplaced passes. The nearest to an early Altrincham goal came after 15 minutes, when Potts turned well but shot wide.

Runcorn threatened when a forward just got to a through ball ahead of the advancing Samberg but he poked his shot just off target (16 mins). A half-chance for Potts came and went but Altrincham's attacking play had been hampered as they were caught offside five times inside the first twenty minutes.

A good run from Cunliffe now led to a blocked shot but, then, the impressive Runcorn number eleven got behind Clarke up the home side's left wing and, from his low cross, the Runcorn no.6 scored from close range (21 mins).

The next few minutes saw Runcorn in the ascendancy as they won two corners and then their no.8 got free but fired wide (31 mins). Next, Potts then did well to hold off a challenge but his shot went narrowly wide (36 mins). As half time approached Altrincham improved their passing but the interval arrived with them still a goal in arrears.


From the kick off Cunliffe got towards the right by-line but was fouled. From the resulting freekick by Todd, Max Pouncey headed home an equalizer (47 mins).

Altrincham should then have taken the lead when a good cross from Todd located the unmarked Westall near the back post but he got too much power on the ball and his effort cleared the bar from a couple of yards out (49 mins). During this move the Runcorn left-back had been injured and now he had to be replaced by the no.15.

Altrincham did take the lead in the 54th minute when a through ball from Crilly, up the middle, was won in the air by Pouncey and his nod-on set Potts free. He did the rest efficiently to make it 2-1.

Immediately, Crilly was replaced by Coffey (55 mins). But Runcorn now came back and equalised. They were awarded a freekick, some 35 yards out, in a fairly central position. Their number seven's shot seemed to deceive Samberg and the ball went past his left hand into the net to make it 2-2 (60 mins).

Pouncey then did well and Coffey's resulting lob was good but the keeper saved it. Alty were rocked when Runcorn took a 63rd minute lead as their dangerous no.11 was set free behind the defence and he finished well.

After 71 minutes, Hughes replaced Westall for Altrincham and, soon afterwards, Brown got forward well to win a corner for Altrincham. Shortly, Brown got forward again and won a freekick 35 yards out. This was taken by Todd and, in a resulting goalmouth melee, Spencer Cunliffe seemed to get the last touch to make it three each (75 mins).

Five minutes later, following an Alty clearance, Matt Todd scored the goal of the game from 30 yards to put Altrincham ahead once more (80 mins). Runcorn made a substitution straightaway and they were to win three corners in quick succession (85-86 mins). With time running out, Town got a lifeline as the no.11 was brought down by Farrington to the right of goal and a spot kick was awarded. The number eleven converted this to make it 4-4 in the 89th minute.

With play into the fifth added minute it seemed that extra time was a certainty, especially after Coffey's attempted lob of the advancing keeper went wide and a Pouncey shot was saved. But, with play continuing, Altrincham grabbed a winner as a ball over the top set Pouncey free and he composed himself well to net the vital fifth goal and secure Alty's place in the next round.

A further minute's play did not produce any change to the scoreline. This was certainly good entertainment but both managers will be hoping for tighter defensive displays in the rest of the season.