Cheshire Women's & Youth League, Division Two.
Sunday 15th December 2013


ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES SQUAD - Lizzie, Sam B, Katherine (Cyprus), Talullah, Becki, Cloe A, Chloe B, Heather, Gail, Sam J, Tracey, Sarah, Hayley, Caroline, Beth.


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies returned to League action this afternoon, making the short trip to Wilmslow to play the team directly above us in the table.

Heather returned from injury but Beth and Louise (injury), Natalie and Hannah (personal commitments) were unavailable

Altrincham again lined up in a similar 4-1-4-1 formation to last week, with a back four of Becci, Tallulah, Cyprus and Sam Briggs in front of Lizzie in goal.

Gail moved forward to replace Hannah in the midfield four with Chloe operating between the back four and Gail, Cloe,Heather and Sam Jones who made up the midfield four with Tracey ploughing a lone furrow up front.

Subs were, Sarah, Hayley and Caroline who was little under the weather.

The Ladies warmed up on a damp December day in T-Shirts kindly supplied by the MND Association which allowed them to again show their support for this exceptional cause.

Following the pre match ceremonials and a joint team photograph Wilmslow kicked the game off and exerted some early pressure on the Altrincham defence. After two minutes a good ball down the left led to an early shot on target which was very well saved by Lizzie.

Altrincham then went up the other end and following good work by Becci, Tracey put an accurate cross into the box where it was efficiently shot home by the onrushing Heather for her first goal of the season.

This seemed to galvanise Alty and in the space of the next three minutes long distance shots from Cloe and Tracey twice brought good saves from the Wilmslow keeper.

Clearly, however, as their league position would suggest, Wilmslow are always a danger and would have spells of pressure and Alty had an escape soon after when a cross shot hit the inside of the far post before being cleared.

On twelve minutes Altrincham extended their lead, Tracey seizing on a defensive error to drive the ball past the keeper and into the net. Sixteen minutes in Tracey again shot narrowly wide, this time with her left foot.

Wilmslow came again though and on eighteen minutes, after a corner was well delivered Heather was forced to clear off the line.

Play switched from end to end with both teams battling hard in midfield to try to gain supremacy until on thirty one minutes, a free kick from Cloe was headed just wide by Sam Jones. Cloe minutes later had a tremendous effort as she took a high ball down on her chest , swivelled and volleyed just wide. Altrincham were, on the whole however the better side, and unfortunately this was resulting in a number of somewhat unsavoury challenges and comments from the Wilmslow side which were giving referee Garrie Stockley some unwelcome work to do.

Half time was approaching when, after forty one minutes, Lizzie was forced into a fine near post save. However, there was still time for Cloe to score Altrincham’s third goal of the match right on half-time with a magnificent 35 yard volley into the top corner of the Wilmslow net.


Keith and the players were understandably pleased with their first half. However, conversation at half time, whilst happy, reinforced the need to avoid complacency and to carry on making the right decisions and maintaining what had got us to half time in this position.

Sometimes it appears that half time comes at just the wrong time for the Ladies, particularly when it is reached in the lead and, despite kicking off the second half, possession was turned over too quickly. A Wilmslow striker moved menacingly into the area where Tallulah slightly mistimed her challenge and a penalty was the result. Lizzie unfortunately was unable to repeat her heroics of last week as the spot kick was coolly despatched into the corner of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Alty who, for some reason seemed unable to string two passes together or make a challenge and, after fifty one minutes, some more poor defending allowed a Wilmslow player to stride through, virtually unchallenged and finish neatly. Altrincham had gone from a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead to an increasingly nervous single goal advantage in the space of six or seven very poor minutes.

Wilmslow had now most definitely gained the upper hand and Lizzie was called upon on more than one occasion to save impressively as the pressure built up.

On seventy seven minutes however the inevitable came to pass when poor marking at a Wilmslow corner allowed an easy tap in to bring the scores level.

This setback seemed to reinvigorate Altrincham, where throughout early parts of the second half the ball had been kicked, now it was being passed, opponents were being pressured in their own half and following such pressure Alty forced a corner after eighty one minutes.

Sarah, who had come on as a substitute, delivered an excellent ball into the box and Chloe rose to firmly head home and restore the Altrincham lead. Wilmslow pressed again and Lizzie was once more forced into a good save. In the process of making this save she took a stud to the knee and required a couple of minutes treatment before she was ble to continue.

The icing was applied to the cake in the final minute when Tracey’s shot on the run slipped under the diving Wilmslow keeper and into the net.

Player of the Match Award (sponsored by The Blue Dog Bar) - Lizzie Brereton for an excellent performance.

Altrincham, despite some periods today, when their play had been quite ordinary, had managed to come away with all three points in a very tough physical game. The team now has a break for Christmas with the next fixture on the agenda a trip to Warrington Wolverines on January 5th, when we will be trying to avenge our only defeat thus far this season.