BUXTON (0) 0 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 8 July 2014, at 7.15pm
An excellent 68th minute headed goal by Damian Reeves from a fine James Lawrie cross settled this well-contested friendly at the Silverlands Stadium. Lawrie had just come on, with Sean Williams, as a substitute at a time when the home side were enjoying a good spell and the Alty duo's introduction to the game prompted the visitors to a bright finish
- 68 mins: Damian REEVES (Buxton 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Tim Walker (Belper)
Four of the seven members of last season's squad who did not play at Abbey Hey made their first appearances of pre-season (Clee, Richman, Moult, Wilkinson), leaving three regulars from last season yet to play in pre-season (Coburn, Marshall, Havern), though one of these, Stuart Coburn, was at tonight's match. For Jake Moult, the game came just three days after his wedding. This game gave an Alty debut to goalkeeper Dave Parton, signed from Newcastle Town and ex-youth team defender David Brown was given a starting place, too. The only other addition to the squad for this game was ex-youth striker Max Pouncey on the subs' bench.
Buxton included two well-known ex-Altrincham faces. Goalkeeper Adam Reid is on trial at Buxton whilst defender Greg Young joined the club from Gainsborough Trinity recently. Seemingly Buxton hold training sessions at Doncaster, which is where Greg lives.
BUXTON (All red) 1. Adam Reid, 2. Alex Byrne, 3. Jamie Green, 4. Steve Istead (capt), 5. Ash Palmer, 6. Greg Young, 7. Alastair Taylor, 8. Jonathan Williams, 9. Ben Hutchinson, 10. Liam Hardy, 11. Craig King. Subs: 12, Tim Ryan, 14. Neil Stevens, 15. Derek Niven, 16. Aaron Amesbury, 17 - Stockton.
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, grey shorts) 1. Dave PARTON, 2. David BROWN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Scott LEATHER, 6. Mike WILLIAMS (capt), 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Greg WILKINSON, 9. Kyle PERRY, 10. Ryan CROWTHER, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Shaun DENSMORE, 14. Sean WILLIAMS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Damian REEVES, 17. Tom CLARKE, 18. Josh SAMBERG, 19. Max POUNCEY.
This was Altrincham's second pre-season game. As Buxton turned out in red rather than blue, as had been expected, Altrincham ended up playing in yellow shirts, grey shorts and yellow socks, whilst Buxton keeper Adam Reid was, confusingly, also in a yellow jersey. The game was played on a beautifully sunny evening at the picturesque setting of Silverlands. Many Alty supporters had problems getting to the ground due to a road accident in Wilmslow and other were deterred by the World Cup clash between Germany and Brazil which was to kick off at 9pm.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine with the first goal effort being Hutchinson's wide strike from Hardy's cross (3 mins). That was to be it so far as goal efforts were concerned in the opening stages but Altrincham were marginally getting on top in terms of possession. However, they were twice caught offside and did not threaten a goal at this stage.
After 17 minutes an Istead cross saw a team mate's header loop to Parton before Alty were again caught offside. The bobbly pitch made passing a little tricky and it was the home side who won the game's first corner (23 mins). Alty had a chance when Clee was tripped just outside the box. He took the freekick himself and forced a good save from Reid, at the cost of a corner to Altrincham, which was cleared (25 mins).
Parton then had to come well outside his box to make a saving tackle but play was fairly even at the half-hour mark. Just after Wilkinson had shot well wide, Brown was hurt in an aerial challenge and needed treatment (32 mins). Next, Wilkinson battled well but saw his shot saved (34 mins) before Brown's injured shoulder caused him to be replaced by Densmore (37 mins). It was an unlucky injury for the young defender seeking to stake a claim in the side.
After Alty had yet again been caught offside, a Perry shot from distance fizzed over the bar but there was an absence of clear chances for either side in the game so far. However, Parton had to make a smart save at the feet of a Buxton forward after Hardy had fed Hutchinson (45 mins). In added time, a foul by Young on Moult gave Clee another freekick, which went just wide. Altrincham had produced some neat passing but the telling final ball had eluded them throughout.
|Half-Time: BUXTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the break, Reeves replaced Perry for Altrincham and Niven replaced the former Mansfield defender, Istead.
Almost immediately, Reeves made an impact as he saw a shot blocked and then put his follow up narrowly over the bar (47 mins). Next, a Crowther shot was deflected for a corner (50 mins) but the same player soon miscued another effort over the bar, from a Clee cross (53 mins).
Buxton now pressed forward and won two corners before a fine ball from Wilkinson went, via Griffin and Clee, to Crowther, whose well-struck shot was again deflected narrowly wide for a corner (61 mins). When Hardy was fouled just outside the box, Hutchinson headed the well-taken freekick just over the bar.
Now Lawrie and Sean Williams replaced Moult and Wilkinson, whilst Stevens and Stockton came on for Buxton, in place of Jonathan Williams and Hutchinson (65 mins). At this stage it was Buxton who looked the more likely to score but, out of nothing, Lawrie advanced on the right and executed a superb cross which Reeves cleverly headed downwards into the net to give Altrincham the lead (68 mins).
After this Densmore, who had taken over the armband from Mike Williams at the interval, advanced impressively but his left-footed sidefooted shot just cleared the bar (72 mins).
The substitutions had livened up Altrincham going forward and now Clee, Lawrie, Crowther combined for the last named's cross to produce an out of character miss at the back post by Reeves, who was also penalised for hand ball (75 mins).
When Stockton was put through for Buxton, Parton made a fine save as he enjoyed an impressive debut (76 mins). Altrincham were passing the ball well and at the end of a Clee lay-off, Sean Williams's shot just cleared the bar (79 mins).
But Buxton won the next corner, after which Amesbury repaced King for the Bucks and Tom Clarke came on for Alty's Crowther, the ex-youth man slotting in at right back (82 mins). Buxton almost levelled when a fine ball allowed Hardy to lob Parton but his effort was just off target, wide of goal (87 mins). At this point Richman was replaced by Pouncey and the game soon reached its conclusion.
Buxton had given a good account of themselves and, before the second half arrival of Reeves, Lawrie and Sean Williams, had looked secure. So Alty move on to an away game at Mossley next Tuesday, with a 100% pre-season record to date. Highlights have been the sight of an assured Mike Williams folowing his bad injury last season and good showings from the three new signings.
|Full-Time: BUXTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 1|