in conjunction with the and the
21 July 2001
ABBEY HEY (1) 1 ALTRINCHAM (3) 6
Friendly Match, played on Saturday, 21st July 2001, at 3p.m.
|14 mins: Stuart CARTWRIGHT (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 0)
|35 mins: Lee POLAND (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 1)
|39 mins: Lee POLAND (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 2)
|41 mins: Wayne McKENZIE (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 3)
|83 mins: Gerard LÉONARD (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 4)
|86 mins: Colin HUNTER (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 5)
|89 mins: Simon McMAIN (Abbey Hey 1 Altrincham 6)
ATTENDANCE: About 120?
||Pale blue and yellow shirts, yellow shorts and socks
||Blue shirts, shorts and socks
||Terry BOWKER (capt.)
||Simon HEATON (capt.)
This was Altrincham's second pre-season game and the opportunity was taken to rest all those who had played against Tranmere on Tuesday.
As in the corresponding fixture last season, Abbey Hey started the better side but faded as the match progressed. All of the Altrincham goals came in the last ten minutes of each half, after Abbey Hey had missed a first-half penalty which would have put them two goals ahead.
From the corresponding fixture last season, only Keith Mairs played in this match and, indeed, only he, Stuart Coburn and Steve Hawes still remain at Moss Lane of those involved in the game last year. Today's team was a mix of last year's Youth players and reserves with trialists. Amongst the trialists was Gerard Léonard, the Frenchman who played briefly for the first-team last season. Only Terry Bowker, who captained the side today, and Keith Mairs were players with any significant first-team experience.
In the first five minutes trialist Lee Poland, the former Northwich player, spurned two chances to score. The first was a bad miss after only 90 seconds when he shot wide when clean through. The second attempt on goal was a good header which went narrowly wide. Shimizu showed some nice touches for Altrincham whilst for Abbey Hey, Sean Pickering was soon showing why he had been elected the North West Counties Division One player of the year. However, Altrincham nearly took the lead when an error by Starkie allowed Poland to feed McKenzie, but the striker was blocked as he was about to finish from very close range (10 mins). But then Abbey Hey put together a slick three-man move which ended with Cartwright scoring after 14 minutes.
An error by Brady then let in Craven for a shot and Newbrook had to save smartly from Heaton. However, things got worse for Alty when Swannick was penalised for a foul and Abbey Hey were awarded a penalty. Dale Newbrook produced a good save from the spot-kick to keep Altrincham in the game (24 mins). At this stage Altrincham were lacking invention and a difficult afternoon looked on the cards. It was a misplaced pass by Abbey Hey that got Alty back into the match, setting Poland free and he finished well as he advanced on goal (35 mins). Rain was now falling as Altrincham stepped up their game. An excellent ball over the top of the defence from Mairs let Poland in again and he smashed the ball home from 15 yards (39 mins). Altrincham went further ahead when a Mairs cross was converted by McKenzie (41 mins) as the first half drew to an end in torrential rain.
|HALF-TIME: ABBEY HEY 1 ALTRINCHAM 3
Altrincham made three changes at half-time; Frenchman Gerard Léonard, Ryan Gilligan and Youth team midfielder Levi Kennedy all joined the fray. Abbey Hey introduced four subs, numbers 12, 15, 19 and 21. Abbey Hey had the better of the early stages of the half before Poland gave way to Turay. The Abbey Hey number 21 showed some nice touches but could not prompt a revival. Pat Claffey, last year's Youth team centre-back, came on for Burton (67 mins). McMain also joined the game for Alty as the visitors seemed content to sit on their lead. Then, Turay drew the keeper but shot wide as Altrincham belatedly began to increase their effort. The next change of personnel saw Dale Newbrook give way to trialist Steve Moore in goal. The match came to life again in the closing stages when a cross from McMain, on the right, was met with a stylish, firm volley into the net from Léonard (83 mins). The Frenchman then won the ball well on the right and crossed for Hunter who drew the keeper before scoring the fifth goal (85 mins). Hunter nearly scored again when he beat a defender but the keeper beat out his shot. Altrincham got their sixth when Turay's persistence in harrying the goalkeeper led to his pass inside, to the right, which allowed McMain to finish neatly (89 mins).
This game allowed Bernard Taylor and Graham Heathcote to run their eyes over a large number of potential players who might break through to the first team this season. Given the experimental nature of the side, the result was a credit to the players but how many of today's line-up make it to the League side this season remains to be seen.
|FULL-TIME: ABBEY HEY 1 ALTRINCHAM 6
Compiled by John Laidlar