F.A. Youth Cup First Round Proper match
played on Wednesday, 4 November, 2015, k.o. 7.45pm


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.

ROCHDALE (Blue): 1. Johnathan Biba MUSANGU, 2. Japhet MATA, 3. Callum SCORAH, 4. Ksimba KSIMBA, 5. Louis COYNE, 6. Andrew HOLLINS, 7. Brandon SMALLEY, 8. Tyler BERRY, 9. Harry PRATT, 10. Jack LENEHAN, 11. Matthew GILLAM. Subs: 12. Jack STEWART, 14. Jordan PRESCOTT, 15. Raphael CHEA, 16. Joe PIGGOTT, 17. Declan EVANS.


Altrincham captain Rhain Davis passed a late fitness test to play in this game against a Rochdale side watched by their first-team boss, Keith Hill, the former Barnsley manager.

The visitors started the better with Mata making incursions up the right wing during the first ten minutes and, from one of these, Gillam sliced an effort over the bar (2 mins). Alty gained some relief when Davis was fouled just inside the Rochdale half and from Aspinall’s freekick, a Dulson header was routinely saved by the keeper Musangu (13 mins). Alty had an escape when Ksimba fed Berry but he miskicked in front of goal. Havern then did well to tip out a shot from Gillam for a corner (14 mins).

Mata continued to cause problems on the Rochdale right but Altrincham were defending well. However, it took an impressive double stop from Havern to keep the game scoreless when he first blocked Smalley's effort before foiling Pratt as he pushed the ball round the post for a corner (27 mins).

Altrincham now got forward with Oyibo blocked before a Newton shot was saved, the home side’s first real effort on goal (28 mins).

Goalkeeper Havern was called on for another fine save after 32 minutes with a defender helping him out to clear the ball. When Rochdale took another corner, after 38 minutes, Smalley’s corner kick hit the far post. Moments later a ball was fed to Smalley who, from 10 yards out and with an unguarded goal, somehow hit the far post from left of goal to Altrincham’s relief (39 mins).

Rochdale maintained their dominance with another corner but just before the interval Altrincham won a corner following a six-pass move which ended with Oyibo. But Havern again had to be alert to beat out a shot from Scorah (45 mins).


Rochdale won an early second-half corner as Oyibo covered well for his team by the Alty byline (49 mins).

Altrincham now enjoyed their best spell to date, starting with Knowles and Leather combining but the striker's shot went narrowly wide (52 mins). Next Leather got in a shot which was saved before Rochdale's Kismba was booked, presumably for dissent (53 mins).

Leather continued to look lively as the Alty front man but soon after the hour mark, Rochdale won a corner. This was cleared but only back to the corner-taker who hit the ball low across the face of goal from the left. Gillam converted the chance from close range to make it 1-0 to Dale (63 mins).

Immediately Pratt was substituted by Piggott. Then a foul on Leather by Hollins gave Davis a freekick from 22 yards but he put it over the bar (64 mins). When the already booked Ksimba fouled Leather just outside the box, Davis had another freekick from similar range which this time yielded a corner (69 mins).

Altrincham brought on Wagster for Newton (73 mins) followed by O'Gara for Fisher as Alty altered their formation with two up front and a back three (79 mins).

In front of a gate announced as 257, Altrincham were still in the match as a fine run and cut inside by Davis produced a shot which was well saved (80 mins). With Jones having to take Havern's goalkick Altrincham were finally undone in the 86th minute. A misplaced pass across the front of the Altrincham box gave possession to Gillam. He advanced and made space well before scoring the decisive second goal.

Iacovou came on for Robbins (87 mins) before Stewart replaced Gillam for Rochdale (88 mins). Despite three minutes of added time, there was no way back for Altrincham. They had battled to the end but Rochdale had made their class tell with a performance which earns them an away tie at Notts County in Round Two.