in conjunction with the and the

Match Report

3 March 2001


Friendly Match, played on Saturday, 3rd March, 2001, at 3p.m.


  • 26 mins: Andy WATSON (Altrincham 0 Doncaster Rovers 1)
  • 42 mins: Tim RYAN (own goal) (Altrincham 1 Doncaster Rovers 1)
  • 47 mins: Neil CAMPBELL (Altrincham 1 Doncaster Rovers 2)
  • 57 mins: Neil CAMPBELL (Altrincham 1 Doncaster Rovers 3)
  • 58 mins: Ian CRANEY (Altrincham 2 Doncaster Rovers 3)
  • 74 mins: Jamie PATTERSON (Altrincham 2 Doncaster Rovers 4)
  • 87 mins: Barry MILLER (Altrincham 2 Doncaster Rovers 5)

    REFEREE: Mr George Longden


    3pm Red & white shirts, black shorts and socks - All white.
    1. Stuart COBURN 1. Barry RICHARDSON
    2. Adam FARLEY 2. Simon MARPLES
    3. Steve PORTER 3. Dean BARRICK
    4. Terry BOWKER 4. Mark ATKINS
    5. James GLENDENNING 5. Barry MILLER (capt.)
    6. Steve HAWES (capt.) 6. Tim RYAN
    7. Ian CRANEY 7. Andy WATSON
    8. Stuart SCHEUBER 8. Jimmy KELLY
    9. Steve FINNEY 9. Mike TURNER
    10. Rod THORNLEY 10. Pete SMITH
    11. Danny MURPHY 11. Matty CALDWELL
    12. Keith MAIRS 12. Dave PETTY
    13. ---- 13. Andy WARRINGTON (wore #1)
    14. Eric SEEKIE 14. Jamie PATTERSON
    15. Richard LANDON 15. Neil CAMPBELL
    16. Neil WAKEFIELD 16. Tristram WHITMAN
    17. Mark WARD 17. Richard DUNNING
    -- --- 17. Jamie PRICE

    With both teams lacking a first-team fixture and Steve Hawes on trial at Belle Vue, Doncaster and Altrincham got together for this friendly match on a cold but sunny afternoon at Moss Lane. The match allowed Altrincham to measure their young side against a team lying in the top half of the Conference.
    Although only a friendly and despite the use of 34 players during the game, the match was flowing and entertaining. After an even opening, Doncaster took the lead midway through the first period, only for Tim Ryan to do his best for his former employers and flick in a headed own goal just before the interval. Doncaster made four half-time substitutions and made an impressive start to the second half, going ahead through substitute Campbell, who repeated his goal-scoring feat ten minutes later. Ian Craney immediately replied to make it 2-3. Another sub, Patterson, restored the visitors' two goal lead after 74 minutes before the Rovers' captain, Miller, finished off the Robins three minutes from the final whistle.
    Rovers brought a strong side, though it lacked the injured Shaw, Stone and Hawkins, whilst Kenny McIntyre was suspended. Alty rested Jason Gallagher, Mark Maddox and Gary Scott and brought in Rod Thornley up front, alongside Steve Finney. Rod is from Congleton Town, currently bottom of the Unibond First Division, and he played for the Robins today on a non-contract basis. Alty played 4-4-2 with a very young back-line of Farley, Glendenning, Bowker and Porter. Mark Ward rested himself on the subs' bench, alongside Dickie Landon. Youngsters Keith Mairs, Neil Wakefield and Eric Seekie were also substitutes.
    The early stages saw the sides evenly matched, with Steve Hawes probing the visitors' defence and Danny Murphy active on the flanks. New man Thornley also showed some nice touches. Pete Smith, on loan from Crewe, looked lively for the Rovers, as did the pacey wide men Watson and Caldwell. The best chance of the early stages came when Watson and Atkins combined to beat Bowker on the right and Atkins's cross into the area should have been turned in by an incoming colleague who, instead, knocked the ball across goal (18 mins). Thornley was showing eagerness and battled to win possession more than once in centre-field. The opening goal came when Caldwell played the ball left to Barrick. He got the ball via Turner and Caldwell, again, for Smith to lay it off to Watson, to his right inside the box. From the right-side of the box, Watson hit the ball across goal, low into Coburn's right-hand corner and the keeper did not move as the ball went into the net (26 mins). It should have been 0-2 soon afterwards when Caldwell missed badly after Smith and Atkins had engineered an opening (29 mins). Watson then went close again as Altrincham were under siege at this stage. However, they recovered to hold their own for much of the rest of the half.

    After Scheuber had beaten Ryan, the Rovers' man responded with a crude foul on the Alty midfielder. Glendenning shaped to blast the free-kick from 25 yards but, instead, sidefooted it wide of the goal (40 mins). Hawes, picking up a ball from Finney, produced a good ball for Murphy who managed to win a corner from his low cross. Hawes's corner, from the left at the Gold Road end, was directed at two defenders on the near post. However, one of these, the former Robin, Tim Ryan, contrived to back-head the ball into the far corner of his own net to give Altrincham an equaliser (42 mins).
    Doncaster made four half-time substitutions. Warrington, wearing number one, took over from Richardson in goal and Petty, Patterson and Campbell replaced Watson, Kelly and Smith. For Alty, Seekie came on for Finney and slotted in, up front with Thornley. After a foul by Hawes on Turner, Caldwell got up the right wing and fed Campbell who scored with a moderate shot across Coburn (47 mins). Moments later, Farley had to clear off the line from Petty after more good work by Caldwell (49 mins). Then a corner found Miller's head but the ball hit a defender as it headed for goal (51 mins) as Alty remained on the back foot. Steve Porter now left the field to be replaced by Neil Wakefield on the left side of the back four (53 mins). As Campbell again made a menacing run on goal from the right, Bowker and Glendenning collided and the latter came off worse. A lengthy stoppage was needed to sort out what appeared to be an arm or shoulder injury (55 mins). Almost immediately after the restart, Thornley accidentally caught Ryan and another stoppage for treatment ensued. Following the resumption of play, Barrick fired in a superb, hard cross from the left touchline and Campbell, reaching for the ball, steered it past Coburn from six yards to give the sub his second goal of the game (57 mins). Altrincham responded in the perfect manner. Wakefield advanced and got the ball to Hawes, who fed Craney. The young midfielder shot from the edge of the box and the ball hit the foot of the right-hand post before it rebounded into the net to make the score 2-3 (58 mins). Doncaster immediately brought on Price for Marples, the former Stocksbridge defender.

    Craney continued to impress with a number of probing balls forward before Keith Mairs entered the fray in place of Scheuber (62 mins). Two fouls in quick succession on the promising Seekie produced free-kicks, but nothing more, before Warrington had to get down smartly to save from Hawes (65 mins). Petty next committed a bad foul on Mairs, who needed treatment to his leg. As play resumed, Turner hit the Alty post but then Craney beat two men and fired in a low shot at Warrington (69 mins). Thornley continued to battle for possession without creating any openings. Glendenning now retired from the game to be replaced by Dickie Landon, who slotted into the back four (74 mins). Soon, the burly Campbell was racing on goal, attended by Farley, and got in a shot which Coburn saved neatly. After an injury to Seekie was treated off the pitch, Craney screwed a long shot horribly wide before Dunning came on for the Rovers instead of Atkins (76 mins). Campbell then missed a clear header at goal before Keith Mairs jinked past a defender in the Rovers' box but his shot went wide of Warrington's left post (80 mins). The end to end play continued with Landon showing his defensive skills and Thornley put in an excellent overhead kick which, unfortunately, was from too far out to beat Warrington. The two Doncaster number seventeens, Dunning and Price then combined to produce a fine save from Coburn (84 mins) as Doncaster kept up the pressure despite their comfortable lead. After Bowker had conceded a corner on the Doncaster right, the ball came to Miller who headed home cleanly from a central position, close in and in front of goal (87 mins).

    Although Altrincham had been comfortably beaten, this was a useful exercise against an impressive Doncaster side. The result underlined the gulf that now exists between Altrincham and Conference respectability as we are now having to rely on a very young but promising group of players. Nevertheless, the home side put up a creditable performance, with Ian Craney and Terry Bowker particularly taking the eye. Thornley also showed promise, especially in the first half and Seekie also looked lively after he came on. Alty's youngest back-four for many a day generally performed well, too. After a promising start, Murphy was largely subdued in the second half but Hawes had another good game though whether it was good enough to impress Doncaster sufficiently to sign him remains to be seen. All in all, this was good afternoon's entertainment even if it confirmed that a return to the Conference for Altrincham does not look to be a likely immediate proposition.


    Copyright: ©
    Compiled by John Laidlar

    Copyright: ©
    Compiled by John Laidlar