ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES (0) 2
CREWE ALEXANDRA LADIES (0) 1
Cheshire Women's & Youth League, Division Two.
Sunday 27th October 2013
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES SQUAD: Lizzie, Sam B, Louise, Katherine (Cyprus), Tallulah, Brogan, Heather, Beth, Hannah, Tracey, Nat, Chloe B, Sarah, Cloe A, Beki H.
The following match report comes courtesy of Phil Taylor.
The huge storm forecast for this afternoon happily stayed away as Alty Ladies welcomed unbeaten Crewe Alexandra Ladies to Beech Avenue for this afternoon's League meeting which was definitely going to be the biggest test we had faced so far this season.
Injury still kept Gail, Becky and Rachel out of contention whilst Caroline was away, but Hannah was once again available for selection. Keith had decided to change formation to 4-4-2 so Cyprus moved to the centre of the defence, alongside Louise, and new signing Tallulah started the game at right-back. Alty were able to name four substitutes all of whom had been in contention to start and all of whom would come on and make a contribution to the eventual result
The now regular pre-match photograph demonstrating the Ladies' support for Mark Maddox’s Football v MND campaign preceded Kick Off
Altrincham were quickly onto the attack and Tracey went close after a good run with just four minutes played followed, after eight minutes, by a shot from Natalie, which brought a smart save from the Crewe custodian.
Crewe were also attempting to push forward playing the passing game, for which virtually all Crewe Alexandra teams are renowned, and play went from end to end in a fairly even first quarter hour.
Cyprus was impressing in what was an unfamiliar position for her and, after sixteen minutes, her good defensive play led to another good chance for Tracey and another save from the Crewe keeper.
Hannah had taken up station on the right side of midfield and was exerting some influence on proceedings in partnership with her midfield colleagues Heather, Beth and Brogan.
The visitors continued to press as play went from end to end, with the Alty back four of Tallulah, Louise, Sam Briggs and Cyprus all defending impressively. On nineteen minutes, however, Crewe pierced the Alty backline and it took some impressive covering by Captain Heather to see off the danger.
Lizzie in goal was performing admirably, commanding her area and often coming out to deal with dangerous through balls.
The Altrincham ladies stuck to their principles, passing and moving, and on twenty eight minutes the Crewe goalie again had to save impressively from Hannah.
As expected, Crewe had a period when they seemed to hem the home team in and exert a degree of pressure but good play from the entire team got Alty out of this period unscathed.
Half time came with the score 0-0. The Ladies had played very well and had arguably been the better side with the performance being very different to last week’s first half.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 0|
CREWE ALEXANDRA LADIES 0
Conversation at half time was positive and fairly short. If the Ladies could replicate their first half performance in the second period then we wouldn’t be far off.
Alty kicked off the second half and Tracey chased a long ball into the left hand corner of the Crewe defensive area. Unfortunately, she collided with Kerry Green, a Crewe defender, who suffered what later became known to be a serious knee injury (dislocated knee). Play was delayed for over five minutes whilst the player received treatment and was helped off the pitch and an ambulance was called.
The delay however seemed not to faze the Alty Ladies and, on fifty five minutes, Cloe struck a free kick from wide on the left, which cleared the Crewe keeper only to be headed onto her own crossbar by a defender and subsequently hacked clear.
Play continued to switch from end to end – this was a really good game of football between two teams who both wanted to play the correct way and the spectators in attendance seemed to be enjoying what they were seeing, despite the game remaining goalless.
On seventy nine minutes, however, Alty made the breakthrough. A corner was knocked down by Sarah and Tracey powered a left-foot half-volley into the net; only the second goal Crewe had conceded all season.
Crewe stepped up the tempo, putting increasing pressure on the Alty rearguard which stood up to the test admirably. On the occasions when the visitors got as sight of Lizzie's goal she was in impressive form, with a double save late in the game particularly worthy of comment.
Sadly for Alty though, on eighty six minutes a shot from the edge of the penalty area took a wicked deflection which wrong footed Lizzie and the ball seemed to take an eternity to trickle over the line.
Many teams would have been affected by this but the Alty Ladies kept playing and, on ninety one minutes, a long ball from Lizzie found Tracey, who had a quick snapshot which the Crewe keeper fumbled and Natalie expertly put it away to restore the Altrincham lead.
Crewe kept coming forward and Louise was called upon to make a brilliant last ditch tackle to prevent a visiting attacker getting a shot off just before the final whistle.
Eventually the final whistle went and Alty had inflicted the first defeat of the season on a very good Crewe side.
Every single player in the Altrincham squad today played exceptionally well in an outstanding team performance culminating in a wholly deserved win.
Player of the Match, selected by Dave from the Blue Dog Bar, was goalkeeper Lizzie Brereton (pictured, left), who had put in a strong and commanding performance, demonstrating excellent handling and distribution in addition to her remarkable double save.
All at Altrincham FC wish the injured Kerry Green a swift recovery from her injury.
Next up for the Ladies is an away League fixture v Wilmslow Town Ladies next Sunday, November 3rd Kick off 2.00pm, as usual, at Jim Evison Playing Field .