ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 9
WHITCHURCH ALPORT LADIES 0
Cheshire Women's & Youth League, Division Two
Sunday, 4 May, 2014.
See report below
Altrincham Ladies completed their home fixtures with a comprehensive victory over a depleted but committed Whitchurch team.
Circumstances meant that Altrincham had a squad of thirteen from which to select with the once again injured Chloe, the unwell Tallulah and potential signing Elina demonstrating the excellent spirit within the team, coming 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 4-2 in the away fixture in Shropshire at the beginning of December. Whitchurch, although results have gone against them somewhat this season, try to play “the right way” relying on passing and movement in preference to the more direct style employed by some teams.
Altrincham went into the game with a 3-4-3 formation with a back three of Caroline Louise and Sam Briggs in front of Lizzie in goal. Heather, Hayley, Gail and Becci made up the midfield four with Tracey, Cloe and Sue up front. Subs were Cyprus and Aimee.
Whitchurch began the match but, from the first whistle, were pressured by the Alty strikers and midfield and after only two minutes a corner, taken by Becci, struck the post. The subsequent goal kick having been intercepted, the ball was played through by Tracey to Sue who shot narrowly wide. This was to be one of a number of attempts by the industrious yet unfortunate Sue, which failed to go in.
After only three or four minutes Sam Briggs was forced to give way to an injury, Cyprus coming on to replace her. On five minutes Altrincham developed play down the left before Cloe once again fired narrowly wide.
Five minutes later and an adroit pass by Gail created a chance for Tracey. Unfortunately from her perspective she was unable to keep her shot down and the chance cleared the bar. Pressure was bound to tell though and, on eleven minutes, Cloe skilfully controlled a mishit goal kick before expertly lobbing the keeper to register the first Altrincham goal of the match.
Despite being under almost continuous pressure, Whitchurch stuck to their principles and attempted to play their way out of defence. Further chances were created on thirteen and seventeen minutes but neither could be converted.
On twenty minutes, Heather who was back to her industrious self, beetling around the centre of the park, unleashed a fine strike from all of thirty yards which narrowly cleared the bar. A minute later however it became 2-0 when Cloe clinically finished a chance set up for her by unselfish play down the flank from Sue.
Altrincham, as would be expected, now had a firm grip on the game with Heather and Gail commanding the centre of the field and Becci and Hayley, ably supported by Caroline and Cyprus, raiding down the flanks.
The three players up front were pulling defenders all around the pitch, making room for team mates to exploit whilst Louise and Lizzie were maintaining impressve levels of concentration despite being somewhat underutilised.
On twenty-two minutes skilful combination play between Heather and Gail put Becci in but her shot on the run from an increasingly acute angle passed just wide of the goal. The Whitchurch goalkeeper was performing admirably under pressure and on twenty nine minutes she thwarted an attempt by Cloe to register a first half hat trick.
Cloe, who together with Sue and Tracey, was leading the visiting defence a merry dance had another opportunity only a minute later but when Becci put in an excellent cross from the right she was unable to control her right footed volley and the chance was gone.
Further chances were created for Gail and for Sue but a combination of bad luck and resolute defending meant that neither was converted. The third Altrincham goal, when it arrived on thirty five minutes, was the result of some impressive creativity. Cloe striking a cross field pass to the feet of Becci on the right hand side, Becci delivering an incisive pass and Tracey, returning after concussion, completing the move with a fine left footed finish.
The hard working Sue saw two further opportunities saved in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth minutes before her unselfish play presented another chance for Tracey whose shot was saved by the visiting custodian.
The final action of the half saw Hayley strike a firm shot from twenty yards which the Whitchurch keeper was again equal to. Half time was reached with Altrincham holding a 3-0 lead.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 3|
WHITCHURCH ALPORT LADIES 0
Keith was fairly content with how the half had gone but asked the players to make more use of the space available, to pass and move which would create even more space and to demonstrate the sort of football which the team had been playing all season.
Whitchurch chose to change their keeper at half time although the first half custodian had let neither herself nor her team down.
Altrincham kicked off the second half and began to pass the ball around as requested, keeping possession and moving the opposition around. On forty-eight minutes, Cyprus, who had moved forward with purpose, slid a pass through to Tracey who finished emphatically to make the score 4-0.
Two minutes later and it was five. Tracey’s shot was well saved by the Whitchurch goalie but Aimee was on hand to tuck away the rebound. Altrincham were continuing where they had left off in the first half applying pressure from all areas of the field.
Tracey, demonstrating that she was once again fit, made a trademark incisive run down the left before crossing to Aimee whose shot was well saved. On fifty-seven minutes Cloe had another opportunity to complete her hat trick when she made a chance for herself with some nimble footwork. However the shot once again passed narrowly wide of the target.
Two minutes later, following a foul on the edge of the Whitchurch area, Hayley stepped up and placed a shot just between the bar and the outstretched fingertips of the visiting keeper to make the score 6-0. Cloe was not to be denied though and, on sixty-one minutes yet another cross by Tracey was comprehensively tucked away by Cloe to register her second treble of the season and take the score to 7-0.
Three almost became four soon after but the now somewhat overworked Whitchurch keeper saved impressively from Cloe once again, touching the ball around the post. Caroline had begun to get forward to some effect during the second half and it was from a well delivered cross that Tracey registered her third of the game and Altrincham’s eighth goal in the sixty ninth minute.
At this point Sue was withdrawn and, with Becci taking the opportunity to show her abilities as a stand in goalkeeper, Lizzie moved up front. On seventy three minutes a free kick, taken by Lizzie was well saved, however the respite was short lived as, on seventy four minutes, following a pass by Heather Cloe expertly finished left footed into the corner of the net from twelve yards out.
Caroline seemed to have the bit between her teeth by now and struck the crossbar with a cross shot before having a shot directly on goal pushed behind. There were further shots on goal from Cloe, Lizzie and, a following good delivery out wide, Heather before Referee Mr Stockley blew the final whistle to relieve the by now beleaguered Whitchurch players.
So Altrincham had completed a comprehensive victory but immense credit is due to the players of Whitchurch who, despite being outnumbered and outgunned, had continued to try to play their way out of trouble and had, in fact, posed a question or two of the Altrincham goalkeepers. It is pleasing to report that, at no point, despite being under incessant pressure, had they resorted to spoiling tactics in any way whatsoever.
The Player of the Match accolade was awarded to Caroline, whilst the Players' Player award went to Heather.
The Ladies' final match of what has been a very successful season is away at Runcorn Linnets next Sunday, May 11th, kick off 12 noon.
The Players and Staff of Altrincham Ladies would like to thank everyone who has supported them this season and hope that we have done enough to entice you back again next season.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 9|
WHITCHURCH ALPORT LADIES 0