Pre-Season Friendly match
played on Saturday, 19 July 2014, at 3pm


Altrincham secured a comfortable 5-1 win at Trafford, a ground on which they exited the FA Cup in disappointing fashion last season. With a debut for new signing Steven Gillespie, four crosses produced four first-half goals for the visitors before a second-half penalty completed Altrincham's scoring.

Shaun Densmore headed the first at the back post from a Gillespie cross from the left in just the third minute. Two goals in two minutes by Damian Reeves made it 3-0 by the sixteenth minute. Both goals were very well taken; the first a stretching finish from a Densmore cross from the right and the second a neat volley from a Richman cross from the left.

Trafford scored from a rare attack in the 23rd minute when Mark Darbyshire was allowed to head home a left-wing cross, unchallenged by Alty's back three, in the 23rd minute. Thereafter, the game was more of a contest but, just before the interval, Gillespie scored with a well-placed header from trialist Wade Joyce's cross.

Substitute James Lawrie won a penalty, which Greg Wilkinson converted in the 69th minute to complete the scoring.


REFEREE: Mr P Graham

Altrincham gave Steven Gillespie a debut, just hours after he had signed for the club. Of the first-team squad, Ryan Crowther, Adam Griffin, Kyle Perry and Rob Gilroy were not involved today. Trialist Wade Joyce was again in the squad.


Traford are listed as per teamsheet but several players did not wear their designated numbers; some, but not all, of these are noted below.


(All white) 1. Tom Read, 2. Clevon Beadle, 3. Ben Wood, 4. Nia Bayunu (wore #5), 5. Tyler Shaw, 6. Martin Andrews (wore #14), 7. Rory Fallon, 8. Chris Palmer, 9. Luke Heron, 10. Mark Derbyshire, 11. Sam Freakes. Subs: 12. Tom Schofield, 14. Kyle Harrop (wore #16), 15. Oliver Riley (wore #12), 16. Aaron Smith (wore #18), 17. Jacob Black, 18. James Rutt, 19. James Moore.


(Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Dave Parton, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Mike Williams, 4. Jake Moult, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Tom Marshall, 7. Simon Richman, 8. Greg Wilkinson, 9. Steven Gillespie, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Scott Leather, 14. Sean Williams, 15. David Brown, 16. James Lawrie, 18. Stuart Coburn. Unnumbered were Wade Joyce and Jeff King.


Altrincham's last two appearances at Shawe View had been disappointing; a pre-season defeat and an FA Cup exit during last season. But, after three successive wins this pre-season, hopes were higher this time around.


Despite hours of steady rain before the game, the pitch at Shawe View was in customary excellent condition for this friendly. In fact, the rain ceased before kick off and the afternoon was to remain dry throughout.

Altrincham, fielding a back three of Havern, Marshall and Mike Williams, kicked off and took an early lead. A looping cross from the left by Gillespie tempted former Alty Youth keeper Tom Read to come off his line but he was unable to get near the ball and Densmore headed home at the back post (3 mins).

After a poor back pass, Read did well to stop a Reeves effort in the 11th minute as Altrincham dominated the early stages. On the left Clee, in particular, was a menacing presence for the visitors. Two more goals in quick succession ended the game as a contest. Firstly, a good cross from Densmore on the right was met by a clever, stretching finish from the boot of Damian Reeves in the 14th minute. Just two minutes later Richman was set free, left of goal, and from another testing cross, Reeves finished smartly with a volley at the back post to make it 3-0 (16 mins).

Trafford were fielding a somewhat experimental side and they barely got into the Altrincham half in the first twenty minutes. It almost became 4-0 when a Gillespie cross just evaded Reeves in the goalmouth after 19 minutes. Altrincham were then disrupted when a limping Richman had to be substituted, the replacement being trialist Wade Joyce (21 mins).

Soon after this, a cross from the Trafford left found the tall Darbyshire unmarked and he headed neatly past Parton to make it 1-3 (23 mins). Darbyshire is a graduate from Trafford's Sunday league side.

After this the hosts got more of a toehold in the game and Altrincham did not help their cause with a couple of wayward efforts. On a sultry afternoon, the referee ordered a three-minute drinks break after 30 minutes.

After the resumption, Parton had to be alert to halt an attack from Trafford and then the home side won a corner as Beadle jinked past Clee on the Trafford right to win a corner (43 mins). But, in added time for the drinks' break, Altrincham scored a fourth goal, again from a cross into the goal area. This time it was Wade's ball from wide right which found Gillespie who executed a careful header, just inside the post and past a flat-footed Read, to make it 4-1 (45+1 mins).


Lawrie replaced Gillespie at the break and former Alty Youth captain, Ollie Riley, joined the game for Trafford's Darbyshire and Brown replaced Palmer and Moores took over from Fallon. An early Alty corner was soon followed by another change as an injured Clee was replaced by Leather who slotted in on the right of midfield, leaving the back three intact (51 mins).

After a Trafford corner, they brought on a no.16 (Harrop) for Heron. A Read clearance to Lawrie saw the Alty man try but fail to chip the Trafford keeper and moments later Lawrie was again off target. Joyce was having a good game for Altrincham in central midfield and he now set Lawrie free but his effort from left of goal went across the face of the target (59 mins).

On the hour mark, Sean Williams replaced Densmore, whilst Trafford had now pushed midfielder Andrews into a forward role. After a good Reeves effort had been parried, Lawrie's luck continued to desert him as his follow-up was blocked (62 mins).

Trafford brought on no.17 before Altrincham won four freekicks in as many minutes within 30 yards of the Trafford goal. During this sequence no.15 (Allan) replaced no.12 for the hosts (65 mins).

Now Lawrie got past his marker in the right side of the box and was tripped, to earn a penalty. Wilkinson scored with a low shot to make it 5-1 after 69 minutes.

Trafford now brought on two more subs (Smith and Roff #7 and 18 for Andrews and Shaw #4 and 14) (73 mins). Joyce now prompted the winning of a corner and, soon afterwards, Lawrie had a shot saved. Lawrie then won the ball well but shot wide as his luck continued to desert him in front of goal (80 mins).

Altrincham now brought on Jeff King and David Brown to replace Jake Moult and Luca Havern (81 mins). Leather now moved into the back line with Brown slotting in at right-back. Alty won two late corners but the game ended without further change to the score.

So, Altrincham made it four wins out of four in pre-season and, especially in the opening period, produced some flowing, attacking football. Debutant Gillespie had a promising start to his Altrincham career and will expect to gain full match fitness in the next fortnight of pre-season, whilst Damian Reeves continued his prolific summer with seven goals to his name already. Trialist Wade Joyce continues to improve as he gets to know his team-mates, whilst the youth graduates have not let the side down in their cameo appearances to date.