Cheshire Women's & Youth League, Division Two
Sunday, 13 April, 2014.


Squad - See below


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

Altrincham FC Ladies v Heswall Ladies – April 13th 2014 An Altrincham team requiring three more points to guarantee a third place League finish welcomed the Ladies from Heswall to Beech Avenue on a bright and breezy Sunday afternoon.

Illness, injury and prior commitments meant that Altrincham had a squad of fifteen from which to select.

The injured Chloe, and Caroline, although unable to feature on the field of play, came down to offer support to their team mates. This was the second meeting of the teams this season, Altrincham having come out on top by 7-2 in a “game of two halves” at Heswall earlier this year.

Heswall’s record suggesting that there may be some defensive frailties, Altrincham went for it from the off with a 3-1-4-2 formation. A back three of Becci, Tallulah and Cyprus lining up in front of Lizzie in goal.

Gail occupied a position just in front of the three to offer additional defensive resource, should it be required, whilst also operating as a link between the defence and midfield when Alty were in possession.

Sam Briggs in an unfamiliar right-sided midfield role, Hannah, Aimee and Hayley made up the midfield four with Tracey up front in partnership with Cloe. Subs were Brogan, Sarah, Heather and Beth, all of whom would make a significant contribution.

Altrincham began the match and immediately tried to play the passing football which has brought so much reward this season. Heswall, maybe remembering how Altrincham had pierced their defence in the previous fixture, appeared to be operating with a high line and, on more than one occasion, Altrincham attacks were brought to a premature end by offside decisions.

As in the earlier meeting, Heswall were not short of ideas or ambition in an attacking sense and, on six minutes, Gail was called upon to cover excellently after a ball had evaded Cyprus. Despite this, Altrincham were exerting early pressure and it was no real surprise when chances began to be created.

On ten minutes, Hayley created an opportunity for herself but the shot passed narrowly wide. From the subsequent goal kick, however, Altrincham took the lead. Sam closed down, high up the pitch, and delivered a fine ball, which Tracey converted with a right-footed strike.

Hannah and Aimee were gaining a strong grip on central areas and, on twelve minutes, an intelligent ball from Hannah allowed Tracey to run through on goal before lifting her shot just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later and more interplay involving Hannah, this time in association with Cloe resulted in a teasing ball across the area which Hayley was just unable to convert. On nineteen minutes Cloe once again produced an incisive ball. Tracey strode onto the ball and struck a fierce shot which was well saved by the Heswall goalie. Tracey collected the rebound and, in trying to find the top corner of the net, narrowly cleared the frame of the goal once again.

There followed a short stoppage whilst the Heswall keeper received treatment following her excellent earlier save. Play having resumed, Altrincham continued to apply almost incessant pressure with chances in the twenty-second minute from a corner and the twenty-third, following link up play between Cloe and Hayley, both being cleared.

From the resultant throw-in, though, in the twenty-third minute Altrincham extended their lead when Aimee finished accurately, following a ball into the penalty area, to make it 2-0. Two minutes later and Lizzie, having efficiently swept up a through ball, hit a long and accurate pass to Tracey out on the flank. Her ball into the middle of the penalty area was controlled and well finished, again by Aimee, to make the score 3-0 to Altrincham.

Despite continuous Altrincham pressure the Heswall players were defending resolutely and trying, on the few occasions where the possibility existed, to play their way out of their own half. On thirty-seven minutes Hayley, who had been very effective on the left flank, supplied an excellent ball into the box which was clinically finished by Sam for Altrincham’s fourth goal. A minute later and Sam could have doubled her tally when a cross was parried by the Heswall keeper. Sadly though, her effort just cleared the crossbar.

The Alty flanks were becoming a rich source of opportunity for the team and, on forty minutes, following yet another teasing cross from the left, this time supplied by Aimee, Cloe swooped to finish when the ball was fumbled by the overworked visiting custodian.

Play was now almost exclusively heading in one direction. On forty-one minutes Cloe was prevented from registering again by some very alert defending following an excellent pass by Tracey. From the resulting corner Hannah rose highest in the area but her header was just wide of the far post.

Hannah was again involved two minutes later when, after winning the ball in a challenge, she put a cross in toward goal which just evaded the pursuing Tracey.

The sixth Altrincham goal was not long in coming though, in fact less than a minute. Cloe measured a pass into the stride of Sam, whose cross was missed by Cloe, who had made up ground well. However, Aimee finished clinically to register Altrincham’s sixth goal and her third.

Half-time was reached with Altrincham holding a 6-0 lead.


As would be expected, chat at half time was brief and positive. Keith expressed himself satisfied with the first half and intimated that he would be making changes in the second half to allow returning players to get some game time under their belt.

Heswall Kicked off the second half but, within two minutes, Altrincham seemed to have regained control of matters when, following a corner delivered to the near post by Cloe, Tracey flicked on to the back post where Sam was unable to apply the finishing touch.

Despite the score and more early Altrincham pressure, Heswall were diligent in their work and, on fifty minutes, Lizzie was forced to produce an excellent low save, pushing a shot around the post. The corner was played in and Hannah, on the edge of the Altrincham box was challenged whilst trying to effect a clearance. The ball bobbled about on the edge of the box before being firmly struck home by a Heswall forward to reduce the deficit to 6-1.

Heswall had registered the first goal of the second half in their home game and Altrincham had been unable to restore the score differential on that occasion. Hopefully this was not going to be a repeat.

On fifty-eight minutes Cloe slid a ball through to the advancing Tracey whose shot was well saved. Two minutes later and Sarah who, together with Brogan, had joined the fray struck Altrincham’s seventh following some excellent combination between Cloe and Brogan down the left. Brogan reached the dead ball line and crossed to the far corner of the penalty area from where Sarah drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

A further minute had elapsed when, once again, Altrincham’s ability to penetrate down the flanks resulted in a goal. Tracey moved purposefully down the right before driving in a cross which the Heswall goalie was unable to hold with Cloe following up well to finish and make it 8-1.

To their credit, Heswall still kept trying and Lizzie was again forced to make an impressive save on sixty-six minutes. Altrincham persevered with the method of playing which had been so effective though and, on seventy-one minutes, Tracey followed up when a shot by Beth rebounded off the keeper to register her fortieth goal of the season. Not showing any fatigue, she then sprinted across to celebrate with team mates and those on the side line. To score forty goals in a season is an achievement at any level and Tracey has also provided assists for many other of the goals Alty have registered this season.

The 9-1 lead however was not destined to last. On seventy-four minutes, Sam, now restored to defensive duties, stood on the ball whilst shepherding it back to her goalkeeper. She then fell on top of Lizzie which left the pursuing striker the simple task of finishing the chance to make the score 9-2.

The Altrincham substitutes, all of whom had by this time been deployed, were having an influence on matters. On seventy-eight minutes deft interplay between Sarah and Tracey lead to a dangerous cross by Tracey being cleared for a corner. On eighty minutes it was Brogan who was involved. Her link up play with Cloe allowed her to get a shot away, which was pushed out by the goalie. Only alert defending and a strong tackle prevented Cloe from scoring again.

On eighty-two minutes a free kick, taken from midway inside the Heswall half by Cyprus, just avoided a group of onrushing Altrincham attackers and was touched behind for a corner. The initial corner was cleared but only back to Sarah whose cross was finished well by Heather to make the score 10-2.

The Altrincham players, by now were encamped in the Heswall half, and, on eighty eight minutes, Beth played a ball down the side of the full back for Brogan who rounded a covering defender before sliding the ball in at the near post for Altrincham’s 11th goal. A minute later and Tracey completed a well-deserved hat-trick when she collected a through ball and rounded the beleaguered Heswall keeper before rolling the ball home.

Not to be outdone, Cloe registered her third and Altrincham’s thirteenth in the last minute when she converted a cross supplied by Tracey.

The final whistle went with the score 13-2. Altrincham had won convincingly and had obviously played well. Credit however must go to Heswall who, despite a heavy defeat, never gave up, never stopped running and didn't resort to a physical or spoiling game.

Although Altrincham had scored thirteen goals, with three players registering hat-tricks, every player had contributed. Much, understandably, has been written about the midfield and the forward players but Lizzie made at least two excellent saves. Becci, Tallulah and Cyprus, operating as a three for the first time together, had been strong and well organised, which had allowed those further forward the licence to create opportunities and Gail had responsibly sat just in front tidying up and linking play quietly yet effectively.

Next match for the Ladies is a home fixture v AFC Stockport, next Sunday, April 20th. This game is being played at Moss Lane as part of the Beer Festival and kick-off is at the later time of 3.00pm.