Return to News Page

Altrincham won 4-2 on penalties

FA Youth Cup Qualifying match
played on Thursday, 22 October 2020, at 7.45pm
behind closed doors.


Despite being second best for much of the game, Altrincham FC Youth staged a dramatic late comeback to take their FA Youth Cup qualifying match to a penalty shoot-out, which they won 4-2.

Playing again behind closed doors, but watched by more than two hundred on the Alty TV streaming service and with more than a hundred also tuning in on Radio Robins, Altrincham had taken an eleventh-minute lead from the penalty spot.

Lively striker Matthew Sumner won the ball near halfway, played a one-two with a team-mate, and then broke forward, up the middle-left towards goal. Inside the box, Shields' keeper Dobson dived at his feet and was adjudged to have conceded a penalty. Sumner got up to score from the spot, despite the keeper almost keeping his effort out.

After a first half of few other chances at either end, Alty retained their lead till just after half-time when Shields' substitute McLeod, who had only joined the game at the interval, converted a corner with a low tap-in after being left unmarked.

Shields went on the dominate much of the second half and, deservedly, they went ahead in the 68th minute when McLeod scored an impressive solo goal, running some forty yards up the left before netting with a low shot.

Alty rode out plenty of South Shields' pressure before raising their game in the closing stages. A freekick from deep on the right was glanced home by the head of Alty substitute Alex Goulden in the 89th minute. FIve minutes of added time were played before a penalty shootout became necessary with the tie locked at 2-2.

The visitors netted the first spot-kick but saw their second hit the bar and their third saved. Alty netted all of their first three kicks, before Shields made it 2-3 and Sumner stepped up to seal the victory 4-2 in the shootout.


REFEREE: Mr Walton
ATTENDANCE: Behind Closed Doors.

Altrincham had made one change to the starting eleven which had beaten City of Liverpool in the previous Round. That saw Frazer Graham come in at right-back replacing Josh Finlay.

The Alty side included three players from their nascent Academy; they were Forde, Graham and Jordan.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Ryan Forde, 2. Frazer Graham, 3. Josh Jordan, 4. Theo Donachie, 5. Alfie Johnston (c), 6. Joel Jennings, 7. Luigi Mongan, 8. Oran McGowan, 9. Matthew Sumner, 10. Lewis Waller, 11. Lewis Billingsley. Subs used: 14. Alex Goulden, 17. Dionicio Bohe, 21. Ted Graves.

SOUTH SHIELDS (Pale blue shirts and socks, black shorts) 1. Callum Dobson, 2. Stewart Cooper, 3. Daniel Hopper, 4. Matthew Williamson, 5. Dominic Agnew (c), 6. Ben Fall, 7. Lewis Lukeman, 8. Blair Rossiter, 9. Oscar Taylor, 10. Oliver McCully, 11. Jack Wilkinson. Subs used: 14 Whelans, 16. Charlie McLeod, 17. Robert Ryland.


South Shields, who boast a full-time Academy set-up, had trounced Darlington 6-0 away in the previous round. At stake tonight was a First Round Proper tie away at Eccleshill United. The Yorkshire side, from near Bradford, had overcome Gateshead in the last round, earlier in the week.


South Shields started well and won a freekick inside the first minute. And Taylor's freekick was then deflected onto the outside of the base of Forde's right-hand post, to Alty's relief.

Alty responded as Mongan's cross set up a shot from Waller, but this was comfortably saved by Dobson (4 mins). Play was end to end and, next, the visitors won a ninth-minute corner.

Alty's lively striker Sumner then won the ball, just inside his own half and played a smart one-two with a team mate, which set him haring up the left-centre of the pitch. Inside the box, keeper Dobson dived at his feet and Mr Walton pointed to the penalty spot as the Alty man went down under the challenge.

Sumner, who had seen a penalty saved in the previous Round before he had netted the rebound, again took responsibilty and this time he netted from twelve yards though Dobson did get his hands to the ball and almost stopped it from going in (11 mins).

Sandwiched between two South Shield's corners, in the 16th and 21st minutes, a collision between Alty's Donachie and Jennings saw the latter needing treatment. Though Jennings resumed, he was soon down again and unable to continue, and was subbed by fifteen year-old Ted Graves in the 23rd minute.

Sumner continued to battle for possession all over the pitch whilst Billingsley was also impressing on the left wing. Mongan's freekick then earned Alty a 29th minute corner but neither side was creating a clear chance of a goal.

The visitors now enjoyed a dominant spell, passing the ball around impressively as the game past the half-hour mark. Alty defended competently and keeper Forde was not troubled, whilst his counterpart Dobson likewise had a generally quiet first half, apart from the penalty.

On 43 minutes McGowan was booked for a foul but, despite the visitors' possession-based game, Altrincham reached the interval with their one-goal lead intact.


The Tynesiders made two changes at the interval, bringing on McLeod and Ryland. The visitors started the second half well and, after winning a corner, they were level inside two minutes of the second period. From the corner on their right, Alty failed to mark McLeod and he was able to score with little more than a tap-in from the centre of the goalmouth (47 mins).

Altrincham had a lucky escape soon afterwards when Donachie appeared, quite clearly, to handle the ball but the referee declined to blow his whistle though seemingly he was on the point of doing so in the aftermath.

The visitors were dominating possession as Alty spent much of the period in their own half and were unable to keep the ball when they did win possession.

Indeed, it was not until the 65th minute that Alty had their first shot on target in the second half and that was a routine effort from Jordan which Dobson collected easily. Shields took a well deserved lead in the 68th minute when McLeod collected the ball just inside the Alty half, turned well past his marker and advanced some forty yards, before slotting a low shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.

Alty responded by bringing on Goulden up front, with Graves going off, and Sumner moving to the no. 10 role. A little later Alty introduced Bohe on the left wing for Billingsley as the visitors took off Rossiter, who had impressed, and brought on Whelans (74 mins).

Bohe looked lively and, when Cooper was booked, it was a foul on the Alty substitute (83 mins). Although McLeod followed his team-mate into the referee's book soon afterwards for a foul on Sumner, the visitors nevertheless looked to be comfortable with their lead.

But Alty rallied in the closing minutes and earned a freekick on the right, some 40 yards out. This was well taken and met by a glancing header from Goulden which levelled the game at 2-2, a prospect that had seemed higly unlikely during the twenty minutes since the visitors had taken the lead (89 mins).

As the game went into what proved to be more than five added minutes, Sumner was booked for a foul (90 mins). But the forward almost snatched an unlikely winner moments later as his diving header drifted narrowly wide, but he was flagged offside in any case (90+1 mins).

Good work at the other end by Hopper led to a team-mate firing well over the bar (90+3 mins) before the final whistle heralded a penalty shootout, without any period of extra-time being played.

In the shoot-out, at the Hale end, South Shields and Alty each netted their first spot kicks, through Taylor and Mongan respectively, each sending the opposition keeper the wrong way before slotting the ball low to his left.

However, the Shields' captain Agnew now hit his spot-kick firmly against the underside of the crossbar and the ball bounced out, without crossing the goalline. Goulden then stepped up to hit his kick high into the net and give Alty a 2-1 lead.

Next, Ryland hit a tame kick, which Forde saved comfortably, before Waller made it 3-1 for Alty with his successful penalty. It was harsh outcome for South Shields who had been the beter side over ninety minutes but they had paid the price for failing to convert their dominance of possession and their slick passing into meaningful goalscoring chances.

For Alty this was a notable scalp against a Tyneside team with a full-time Academy and a youth set-up which had reached the Third Round Proper in last year's FA Youth Cup.

Altrincham won 4-2 on penalties.