Match Report


UniBond Premier League match,
played on Saturday, 19 April, 2003 at 3p.m.

Matchday Sponsor
Matchball Sponsor
Robinson Preservation, TQ Express
Malcolm Burgess in memory of Peter Bendesh

  • 25 mins: Rod THORNLEY (Altrincham 1 Colwyn Bay 0)
  • 30 mins: Rod THORNLEY (Altrincham 2 Colwyn Bay 0)
  • 43 mins: Ian CRANEY (Altrincham 3 Colwyn Bay 0)
  • 61 mins: Gary SCOTT (Altrincham 4 Colwyn Bay 0)
  • 67 mins: Deiniol GRAHAM (Altrincham 4 Colwyn Bay 1)
  • 79 mins: Calvin DAVIES (Altrincham 4 Colwyn Bay 2)

    REFEREE: Mr. C.M. Byrne

    Colwyn Bay had already been relegated before today's game, after more than a decade in the Premier League. Altrincham had been having an indifferent run of results, without playing badly.

    The game was played on a chilly, blustery but sunny afternoon.


    Matty Hughes and Chris Adams remained suspended, whilst Tony Cullen who made a three-minute debut at Accrington was again sidelined through a thigh injury. Jason Gallagher and Tony Sullivan were also out of the side. Steve Lunt dropped to the bench, where he joined Neil Ryan and Dave Gardner, whilst Andy Tunnicliffe made only his third satrt of the season.

    The Bay included former Moss Laners Marc Limbert and Carl Furlong.


  • ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen ROSE, 7. Andy TUNNICLIFFE, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Paul ROBERTSON. Subs: 12. Dave GARDNER, 14. Stephen LUNT, 15. Neil RYAN.

  • COLWYN BAY (Pale blue, with crimson trim) : 1. Matthew BOSWELL, 2. John STANNARD, 3, Luke CAMPBELL, 4. Marc EVANS, 5. Glen GRAHAM, 6. Anton LALLY, 7. Mark LIMBERT, 8. Calvin DAVIES, 9. Deiniol GRAHAM (capt.), 10. Carl FURLONG, 11. James McILVOGUE. Subs: 12. Tom SYKES, 14. Joe McMAHON, 15. Colin CATON.


    After Altrincham had established a four-goal lead after little more than an hour, Colwyn Bay came back with two goals and Alty had Gary Scott sent off. Alty took the lead when Rod Thornley finished well after an error by Evans (25 mins). Rod added a second after good work by Rose on the half hour. Ian Craney scored direct from a free-kick just before the interval then Gary Scott got a rare goal after an interchange with Band (61 mins). A superb 35 yard lob from Graham (67 mins) was then followed by a goal from Davies (79 mins) as the Bay took advantage of a gusty wind blowing behind them. Gary Scott was dismissed for a second bookable offence four minutes from the end.


    After Colwyn Bay had kicked off, defending the Golf Road End and against the wind, Ian Craney won the first of three successive Altrincham corners (3 mins). The first two, from the left, by Robertson yielded follow-up corners from Furlong and McIlvogue respectively. The third effort, from the right by Robertson, came to Thornley who attempted an acrobatic shot but succeeded only in injuring his hand. Peter Band won a fourth corner with only 5 minutes on the clock before The Bay won two free-kicks for offences by Robertson and then Talbot, for climbing on Graham. From the latter free-kick, 20 yards out in a central position, Limbert drove the ball narrowly wide but Acton had it covered (7 mins). Then, from a Maddox free-kick, Talbot came in to challenge but Boswell punched clear. Soon a Band shot ran to Boswell.

    However, Bay responded when McIlvogue and Furlong fed Lally whose shot went well wide (12 mins). Then Bay came very close to taking the lead when Limbert and Furlong combined and from Limbert's cross from the right, McIlvogue's header was magnificently saved, point-blank, by the diving Acton, low to his right (15 mins). Rod Thornley was now limping but Altrincham were almost presented with a goal when Lally dallied on the edge of his own box and let in the Alty captain. His good shot was well saved by Boswell to give Alty their fifth corner, on the right. This led immediately to a sixth flag-kick (19 mins).

    Alty fans are well used to seeing the trainer come on to treat Carl Furlong but when the former Alty striker needed treatment after 21 minutes it turned out to be serious enough to cause Carl to limp off round the perimeter path and be substituted. Sykes replaced him and Davies and Graham now formed the Bay spearhead. Soon afterwards the Bay gave Altrincham a gift-wrapped goal when Campbell, on the edge of the box, failed to get the ball back to Boswell and instead set Thornley free to the right of goal. Rod executed a fine lob which found the empty net to give Alty the lead (25 mins). It was Rod's first goal of 2003, after his lengthy injury lay-off. Almost immediately the jittery Bay defence almost conceded a second when Glen Graham headed past his own keeper but fortunately for him, across goal, to concede no more than a corner on the Alty left (27 mins).

    As Davies went down under a challenge from Tunnicliffe and Scott, the referee deemed Scott to be the offender and booked him (28 mins). After the resulting free-kick had been cleared, Rose made a good interception in centre-field and played a fine ball forward to Thornley, to the left of goal. Rod advanced and drove a shot low to the near post where it beat the dive of Boswell to put Alty two ahead (30 mins). The trademark Thornley cartwheel celebration was seen again.

    The sides traded a couple of freekicks before Talbot made a fine clearance. Then, a crude foul by Limbert on Thornley gave Alty a free-kick to the left of goal, 35 yards out. Limbert was given a yellow card. Shuttleworth's free-kick ended up in Boswell's arms, as Alty dominated the game at this stage. Robertson then made a fine run some 45 yards up the centre only to be pushed over by the burly Lally who, having committed a couple of previous fouls without caution, now also found his way into Mr. Byrne's book. From Rose's free-kick from the left, Alty won another corner. Robertson took this but Talbot headed over (42 mins). Soon afterwards Shuttleworth did well and found Band who in turn located Thornley. As Rod advanced towards the box he was brought down and McIlvogue found his way into the ref's book for the offence. Punishment was exacted when Craney drove the free-kick from the right front-edge of the box into the corner of the Bay net to make it 3-0. Alty had scored three first half goal for the first time this season and led the corner-kick tally by 8-0.


    The Bay soon won their first corner as, with the wind now behind them, they enjoyed some early pressure. Soon, Acton fumbled a high cross before Deiniol Graham shot just wide (54 mins). Thornley was then brought down at the other end by Campbell, just outside the box and from Craney's free-kick Rose headed wide (56 mins). Alty were now improving before a lengthy stoppage for treatment to McIlvogue halted play. Soon after the resumption Scott advanced up the middle and passed forward to Band, who was fouled. Referee Byrne played a good advantage as Scott strode onto the loose ball and kept his head to bury his shot past Boswell from 12 yards (61 mins).

    Soon afterwards Tunnicliffe did well to get in a deflected shot from outside the box which gave Alty their ninth corner, on the right. This was poorly taken by Robertson and soon afterwards Alty brought on Dave Gardner for Peter Band (63 mins). Three minutes later Steve Lunt replaced Ian Craney. Almost immediately and out of the blue, a long ball forward was allowed to bounce by a hesitant Shuttleworth and Deiniol Graham seized on it to volley home from all of 35 yards (67 mins). Soon, however, Gardner did well and fed Lunt but his shot was saved by Boswell (68 mins). McIlvogue than played a fine 40 yard ball to Limbert who was blocked by Shuttleworth who then kicked the ball away and got himself booked. The Bay came close to getting a second when Acton had to make a fine one-handed save from Davies but Band completed the clearance before the visitors could get to the loose ball (71 mins).

    Altrincham had taken their foot off the pedal and Bay now had another corner, from which Campbell shot well over from 30 yards. The Welshmen scorned an even better chance when Davies and Deiniol Graham combined only for Limbert to volley over from 6 yards (73 mins). Alty made a third change with Rose giving way to Ryan (74 mins). Scott now moved to midfield as Ryan slotted in at right-back. The changes had done little to imrpove Altrincham's fluency and it came as no surprise when the Bay scored a second goal. Deiniol Graham's fine ball forward found Davies who finished well from the right of goal, though Acton did get a hand to his shot (79 mins).

    Scott did get in a shot, wide, a couple of minutes later for Altrincham and a Gardner cross saw Boswell drop the ball as Thornley closed in. In the light of what was to happen to Gary Scott, Mr Byrne showed restraint when penalising the already booked Lally for a bad tackle on Tunnicliffe by awarding a freekick and taking no further action. Within a minute or so, the referee had produced his red card, after a Bay player had gone down some 40 yards from the Alty goal on the visitors' left. Scott was now seeing his second red card of the season, having been equally harshly dismissed at Lancaster. Apart from these two dismissals, Scott had had just one yellow card in his other 33 league appearances to date this season.

    Having conceded two goals and had a man dismissed, Alty's disappointing end to this game had one final twist when Maddox picked up a yellow card for a raised foot against Limbert. Rod Thornley was named man of the match in a game which had gone so well for 61 minutes and then gone downhill for his side. Nevertheless, Colwyn Bay are to be congratulated for battling to the end and Alty fans will wish them a speedy return to the Premier league - or whatever league we are playing in after next season. Alty meanwhile rose into the middle spot in the division and will be hoping that two wins in the final games can secure them a top-ten finish.

    Final Score: ALTRINCHAM 4 COLWYN BAY 2