Pre-Season Friendly match
played on Tuesday, 15 July 2014, at 7.45pm


It took a fifth-minute own goal and a penalty on the stroke of half-time to secure Altrincham's win against Peter Band's Mossley, who gave a good account of themselves. Alty started with James Lawrie and Greg Wilkinson rather than Damian Reeves and Kyle Perry as their most forward players but it was a cross from Nicky Clee which induced Mossley's Charlie Anderson to poke the ball past his own keeper.

When Simon Richman was upended in the box, just before the interval, Clee scored with an excellent penalty into the top corner of the net. Numerous substitutions during the second half did not add to the potency up front for Altrincham and the score remained at 2-0.


REFEREE: Mr Andy Coop

Altrincham gave Stuart Coburn his first start of pre-season. Of the outfield players, Ryan Crowther was the only player not involved tonight. Two trialists were on the bench; Wade Joyce who had previously played in the Abbey Hey friendly and Brice Wassi, a young holding midfielder, who was one of 16 players recently released by Blackburn Rovers. Four of last season's Altrincham FC Youth squad were on the bench, whilst Mossley fielded some other former charges of Alty Youth manager George Heslop in the shape of Arron Hevingham and Andy Keogh.

With Reeves and Perry on the bench, the main striking duties were handed to James Lawrie, supported by Greg Wilkinson.



(White shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Ashley Frith, 2. Andy Brown, 3. Dan Vinten, 4. Charlie Anderson, 5. Josh Granite, 6. Daryl Weston, 7. James Blair, 16. Arron Hevingham, 9. Mike Fish, 10. Steve Foster, 14. Andy Keogh. Subs: 12. Danny McDonnell, 14. John Bennett, 15. Dougie Carroll, 16. Tom Dean, 17. Ryan Barrow, 18. Marly Gough, Tom Murray, Billy O'Carroll (gk)


(Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Tom MARSHALL, 7. Sean WILLIAMS, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Greg WILKINSON, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Mike WILLIAMS, 14. Scott LEATHER, 15. Damian REEVES, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. David BROWN and, with no numbers, Brice WASSI. Wade JOYCE, Jeff KING, Max POUNCEY.


After wins at Abbey Hey and Buxton, this was Altrincham's third pre-season game. Mossley's manager, Peter Band, was well known to Alty supporters from his good service to the club in the Northern Premier League from 2002 to 2004.


Mossley's Seel Park is one of the most attractive settings for football, with a rolling backdrop of the Pennine foothills. After changing ends the game got under way in sunny conditions. Mossley’s Foster got in the first shot of note but it was narrowly off target (2 mins). A long ball from Havern now located Wilkinson. With Mossley calls for offside ignored, Wilkinson fed Clee, whose low cross was turned into the net, past his own keeper, by a stretching Charlie Anderson, the son of Manchester United's Viv Anderson (5 mins).

Moments later, Lawrie was put clear but keeper Frith blocked well and, from the follow up, Richman's chip landed on the roof of the net. Soon after a Clee chip had cleared the bar, Mossley had to replace right-back Brown, who had earlier needed treatment. The sub was McDonnell (13 mins).

A fine ball from Wilkinson allowed Sean Williams a shot which was well saved by Frith and, a few minutes later, Richman and Moult set up an effort from Lawrie from 20 yards, which Frith did well to push round his post, to his left, for a corner (17 mins).

There was little in the way of serious goal action in the next period of play before another Alty corner came and went. However, Altrincham had a fortunate escape on the half-hour mark when a 30-yard freekick from left of centre, by Granite, cannoned back off Coburn’s left post. Mossley continued to threaten as neat play allowed Foster to feed Keogh but he lashed his shot wide (34 mins).

Mossley had another chance after 40 minutes when a freekick from the left was nodded on to Weston at the back post but he sliced his shot well wide. Altrincham responded with a Wilkinson shot past the post (42 mins) but they were far from dominating the game. However, after Wilkinson had fed Richman, the latter was brought down in the centre of the box and a penalty was awarded.

Nicky Clee stepped up and scored confidently with a spot-kick hit firmly into the keeper's top left corner, to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.


At the break, Scott Leather replaced Shaun Densmore at right-back, Havern taking on the captaincy. After eleven more relatively uneventful minutes, Mossley made a triple change as Vinten, Weston and Fish gave way to three subs numbered 11, 15 and 17. It was unclear who the 11 was but the latter two were listed as Carroll and Barrow on the team sheet.

A minute later, a well-taken freekick by Clee was saved and, soon afterwards, handball gave Clee another freekick chance, likewise from about 22 yards. This time his effort cleared the bar comfortably.

Hevingham then went close for Mossley before a fine ball from Lawrie almost got Richman into a scoring position, a corner resulting (63 mins). Another Altrincham corner soon followed, won by Wilkinson, before a resounding shot from Marshall was beaten out by Frith. Havern put the rebound into the net but was ruled offside (66 mins).

With Altrincham not looking particularly menacing up front, Damian Reeves and Kyle Perry came on for Lawrie and Wilkinson (67 mins). Moments later, trialist Brice Wassi replaced Moult in midfield and Mike Williams came on for Nicky Clee, giving Alty a back line of four tall centre-backs in Leather, Marshall, Havern and Williams (68 mins). Two minutes later Alty introduced the unnumbered Wade Joyce and Jeff King to midfield in place of Simon Richman and Sean Williams (70 mins).

From an Alty freekick just outside the box, Marshall blasted a shot into the wall before Mossley made a swap, bringing on a number 19, who had earlier been announced as a goalkeeper (O'Carroll), to replace Hevingham (75 mins). Altrincham were now on top but Perry shot wildly off target to concede a throw-in before Reeves was fouled just outside the box.

Another corner was as near to a goal as it got for Alty before David Brown and Max Pouncey replaced Tom Marshall and Adam Griffin (83 mins). Brown went to right back, and with Pouncey on the left of midfield, Altrincham now had four midfielders, none of whom had a number on his back (Joyce, Wassi, King and Pouncey)!

A fine pass from Joyce found Reeves who poked the ball just wide, past the advancing keeper. But there was to be no change to the score. Altrincham had maintained their pre-season run of victories but had looked short of firepower throughout. The defence looked generally solid despite the many changes made in the second half. Next up is a sterner test at EvoStik Premier neighbours Trafford on Saturday.