FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
played on Thursday, 22 October, 2015, k.o. 7.30pm


NEWCASTLE BENFIELD (Blue & white hooped shirts, blue shorts): 1. Jack Leightley, 2. Ryan Higgins, 3. Lewis Howes, 4. Andrew Sharpe, 5. Shayne Walton (capt), 6. Brad Ives, 7. Billy Walker, 8. Aidan McGee, 9. Paul Blackett, 10. Ethan Tait, 11. Brad Lowes. Subs: 12. Ryan Gladstone, 14. Dylan Mabunu, 15. Matthew Cornish, 16. Layton Bruce, 17. Jacob Shotton.

ALTRINCHAM (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. Jude OYIBO, 8. Brad ASPINALL, 9. Ashley LEATHER, 10. Ashley KNOWLES, 11. Dominic NEWTON. Subs: 12. Aidan YOUNG, 14. Dominic O'GARA, 15. Dylan WAGSTER, 16. Peter IACOVOU, 17. Kieran FURSE.

Attendance given on the night as 164, cited by FA as 151.


The game took place on a dry but windy evening on a good surface. Alty kicked off and within 20 seconds had almost scored as Robbins played in a cross from the right which the keeper, Leightley just managed to block as Oyibo closed in.

However, Altrincham continued on the front foot in the opening stages and won two corners inside the first seven minutes. Following the second, an effort from Newton kissed the crossbar from left of goal.

But then Altrincham almost fell behind. Fisher underhit a pass back to a team-mate and Benfield took possession. Havern did well to beat out a strong shot and the ball came across to the back post where Blackett headed wide from a good position (9 mins).

As the game moved into the fourteenth minute, Leather got in a cross from the right corner area to the back post where an unfortunate Benfield defender turned the ball into his own net, with Davis making sure that another defender did not clear it on the line.

Soon afterwards a superb strike from 35 yards by Robbins had to be saved smartly by Leithley. Benfield won themselves a corner before a good run by Davis was soon followed by the Alty captain forcing a save (25 mins).

The visitors were looking fairly comfortable as the game passed the half-hour mark but then Benfield enjoyed a better spell, during which Dulson was booked for a foul near half-way (40 mins).

The hosts now had to replace their injured captain, Walton, and Bruce replaced him (41 mins). A scramble in the Alty box earned Benfield a corner, soon followed by a second, but Altrincham reached half time a goal to the good.


Just two minutes into the second half, Altrincham doubled their lead. Leather got to the by-line, left of goal, and did well to get round a defender before unleashing a fierce shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net (47 mins).

Oyibo, who was having a good game, fed Knowles but he shot wide. Each side won a corner and from Alty's Oyibo hit a fine shot which was blocked by a defender (55 mins).

Another Alty corner came and went before an error by Jones allowed Blackett to connect with a strong shot which was blocked (59 mins).

The hosts made a change as Gladstone replaced Higgins (61 mins) and Alty did the same three minutes afterwards when O'Gara came on for Leather up front (64 mins).

Newcastle won two of the next three corners and, from their second one, it took a fine block from Robbins to divert Lowes's effort over the bar (70 mins).

In an impressive counter-attack Newton was driven wide by the advancing keeper but from his cross Oyibo headed home only to be flagged offside. On 72 minutes, Cornish replaced McGee for the hosts.

Benfield held the upper hand for much of the closing stages and Havern had to excel to halt a Walker effort before the Tynesiders won two corners.

Alty made two changes as Wagster replaced Oyibo (78 mins) and Iacouvu came on for Robbins, who had needed treatment earlier (80 mins).

A strong run from Davis relieved the pressure briefly but then a mistake allowed the hosts to score. Jones misjudged a ball up the middle and tried to let it run to goalkeeper Havern. But Walker got there first and Havern's resulting block ran out to Blackett who scored with a firm shot into the unguarded net (85 mins).

2-1 almost became 2-2 when Fisher tackled Gladstone inside the box and the Benfield man went down amidst strong claims for a penalty which went unheeded, only a corner resulting (87 mins).

After this scare Altrincham held on through three added minutes to secure a home tie against Rochdale in the next round. It had not been as good an Alty showing as in the previous round and they had made things difficult for themselves in the closing stages but it was, nevertheless, a deserved win.