NW Youth Alliance Premier Division match
played on Sunday, 13 September, 2015
at Hale Spa & Country Club, 2.30pm


ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks), 1. Daniel HAVERN, 2. Alex ROBBINS, 3, Callum FISHER, 4. Callum JONES, 5. Harry DULSON, 6. Rhain DAVIS (capt), 7. Dominic NEWTON, 8. Brad ASPINALL, 11. Dominic O'GARA, 10. Peter IACOVOU, 11. Jude OYIBO. Subs: 12. Ashley LEATHER, 14. Ashley KNOWLES, 15. Joseph CONWAY, 16. Kieran FURSE, 17. Dylan WAGSTER.

ASHTON ATHLETIC (Blue) 1. Goulding, 2. Sargent, 3. Franklin, 4. Taberner, 5. Lawrence, 6. Simpson, 7. Ashby, 8. Aspinall, 9. Guild, 10. Charnock, 11. Middlemore. Subs: 12. Leather, 14. Knowles, 15. Smith, 16. McLoughlin, 17. Reid.


Your correspondent arrived at Clay Lane with the game almost 20 minutes old having gone to Partington, where all recent home games had been played, unaware of the switch of venue. The score was 0-0 at this stage but I am reliably informed that Altrincham had failed to convert three good chances in the opening period.

Midway through the first half, Altrincham were continuing to dominate and, after 28 minutes, they took the lead. Newton advanced up the middle and was fouled. Following the freekick the visitors' keeper stopped Newton's shot but the ball was judged to be over the line by the eagle-eyed linesman.

A couple of minutes later Davis saw his freekick saved after a foul on Iacovou. Next, on a counter-attack, Aspinall's low shot went narrowly wide (31 mins). Altrincham went even closer when another Newton run forced the keeper to push the ball onto the post but it ran to the other post where O'Gara's effort was blocked on the line (32 mins).

Despite their dominance, Altrincham were looking vulnerable to counter-attacks and, from one of these, Havern had to concede a corner.

And it was to be from a counter-attack that Altrincham fell behind. An Altrincham corner won by Davis was followed by a ball upfield which set the visitors' combative number nine free and, from right of ball, he dinked the ball over goalkeeper Havern (41 mins).

Assistant manager Chris Adams shouted to his team, "That came from five minutes of giving the ball away", an accurate assessment of how Altrincham had allowed their dominance to be undermined. Just before the first half ended, an excellent 25 yarder from O'Gara smacked against the crossbar but the interval found the teams level at 1-1.


The second half stared fairly uneventfully though Ashton did win an early corner. The visitors' Ashby was booked for a foul on Davis (53 mins). Two minutes later a limping o'Gara was replaced by Leather. And Leather almost laid on a goal straightaway, winning the ball and crossing to the back post from the left. But Newton was unable to turn the ball home at the back post (56 mins).

Next, Davis and Ashton's Reid were booked after an altercation. Just after the hour mark, Alty's Knowles replaced Aspinall (61 mins). Altrincham now almost retook the lead but a defender cleared off the line with the keeper beaten. Next, Alty wasted a freekick from just outside the box.

Altrincham continued to enjoy the better of the game and when Oyibo was fouled in the left of the box, the hosts were awarded a penalty. Surprisingly it was Oyibo, rather than Davis, who took the spot kick and his effort was saved by Ashton keeper, Goulding (76 mins).

with the match into its final ten minutes, Alty won a corner but, as in the first half, an Alty corner almost immediately cost them a goal at the other end. This time, Ashton substitute Johnson broke up the middle. Havern saved Ashton's intial shot but the ball ran loose and was converted at close range to give Ashton a 2-1 lead (82 mins). Wagster immediately replaced Iacovou.

It got worse two minutes later when a routine ball into the Alty box saw Charnock poke the ball past the advancing Havern to make it 3-1 (84 mins). Furse now replaced Fisher for Altrincham, who soon won a corner but failed to capitalise on it before Davis, already booked, was fortunate to avoid a second caution and dismissal for a heavy challenge (90 mins).

In the third mnute of added time Wagster's freekick from the left touchline drifted into the far corner of the net but it was questionably ruled out for an alleged foul on the visitors' keeper.

So Altrincham had surrendered three points in a game which they had dominated for long periods. Losing possession cheaply and naive defending had cost them dear.