North West Women's Regional League, Divison 1 (South) match

Sunday, 4 October 2015


ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES: Lucy O’Dwyer, Heather Scott, Louise Edleston, Rachael Philip, Tashaa Nolan, Gail Simpson, Alicia (Liss) Taylor, Georgia Plant, Jess Hartopp, Cloe Allsop, Sue Roberts. Subs: Alisha Palmer.


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies made the trip along the M62, braving the Merseyside Derby traffic, to take on Liverpool City Ladies in the first of three consecutive away fixtures in Liverpool.

The injury sustained by Lizzie in the previous fixture v FCUM Ladies being just as serious as first feared, Lucy once again stepped into the breach.

Additionally Altrincham fielded another new signing Alicia (Liss) Taylor who had played against us for Crewe but actually joined us from Whitchurch Alport.

Altrincham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. In front of Lucy were Rachael, Louise, Tashaa and Heather. The midfield comprised Gail, Sue, Liss and Jess whilst Cloe and Georgia spearheaded the attack. Altrincham kicked the game off and were soon on the attack. In fact in the very first minute a ball through the Liverpool defence was missed by the goalkeeper but some alert defending cleared the ball away before Georgia could convert the chance. Georgia’s pace was causing problems for the Liverpool defence and it took some alert keeping in the third minute to once again thwart her.

Altrincham had started well and were pressuring their hosts in the early stages, moving the ball around nicely and utilising the pace they had within the team. On six minutes Jess was freed by another through ball but her shot on target was saved.

The hosts did begin to get a foothold though, showing that their team had a strong spine and almost immediately Rachael had to cover across impressively to thwart a Liverpool striker. Shortly afterwards it was Heather’s turn to show alertness and defend impressively as the hosts were allowed to impose their style of play on the game.

On thirteen minutes Altrincham almost fashioned another opportunity as a free kick over the top nearly released Jess who was unfortunately beaten to the ball. For some reason, and despite the imprecations of the coaching staff, the Alty players had stopped doing what had been asked of them and what had worked so well initially, instead playing through an increasingly congested centre of the pitch and allowing the hosts to dictate how the game was being played. This swing of control had an impact on the quarter hour when a Liverpool player ran through the centre of the Altrincham team before passing the ball across the six yard box where it was gleefully finished past a horribly exposed Lucy. The Alty girls managed to rally and on twenty one minutes Sue put in a testing cross from the right which was well claimed by the keeper.

Despite this brief rally Alty still seemed to be second best in many areas of the park. Lucy made an impressive save on twenty four minutes before Heather, twice and Rachael were once again called upon to impressively cover across. Perhaps the memory of the beginning of the game returned to the Alty ladies as once again they began to play with width and pace, bypassing the dominant midfielders of the hosts. On the half hour Georgia whipped in an excellent cross which unfortunately evaded everyone in the centre. A minute later she produced an even better cross, this one being impressively gathered by the Liverpool custodian.

As at the outset Georgia was causing problems and when she was fouled on thirty six minutes, Jess struck a firm shot goalwards. Unfortunately, once again the keeper was equal to it. Next Rachael made a marauding run from the right back position before delivering an excellent ball into the near post. Sadly Cloe was unable to direct her shot inside the post, instead missing narrowly.

With five minutes of the half remaining Gail found herself in a shooting position but she too was thwarted by the keeper. From the resulting clearance Tashaa, trying to play her way out of trouble was dispossessed, won the ball back and then lost it again allowing the Liverpool striker to produce an accurate lob over the stranded Lucy and double the host’s advantage.

Alty registered the goal which arguably some of their play had deserved in the final minute of the half. Excellent link up play between Georgia and Jess freed the latter who took the ball around the keeper before crossing for Cloe to finish.


Keith and the management team expressed a degree of frustration that the tactics, identified pre match and which had been effective, seemed to have been abandoned and that, for that reason, Alty were playing to the strengths of the opposition rather than themselves. However, all was not lost and, if the Alty players stuck to the suggested plan, a victory was not beyond them.

Liverpool kicked off the second half and within a couple of minutes had struck the Alty post with a shot from distance. Altrincham, having launched their first attack of the half were rewarded with a corner which was accurately delivered by Georgia, the keeper managing to touch it away. However this clearance fell to Louise who shot narrowly wide of the target.

Five minutes after this a seemingly excellent tackle by Louise was inexplicably deemed to be a foul and when Altrincham failed to convincingly clear the resulting free kick a Liverpool shot passed over the bar. The Altrincham players seemed to be working hard with little or no tangible effect, once again playing to the host’s strengths by persisting in trying to play down the middle.

On the hour though play was switched wide and Georgia yet again attacked the home defence. On this occasion though the greater experience and size of the defender allowed her to ease Georgia off the ball. At this point Tashaa, who had been suffering with an ankle injury, was replaced by Alisha who went up front with Georgia moving out to the left flank. Rachael once again covered across from right back impressively on sixty two minutes as the Alty goal came under pressure.

On sixty five minutes, following an excellent advantage by the Referee Cloe was released and looked destined to equalise only to put her shot wide of the post. Lifted by this apparent escape Liverpool again went on the offensive and Lucy had to save well once more.

Five minutes later though and Altrincham weren’t so fortunate. A simple ball over the top of the Alty defence being finished tidily to restore the hosts’ two goal advantage. Altrincham were almost undone once again by a carbon copy move with fifteen minutes remaining. This time however the shot cleared the bar.

Another questionable free kick to the hosts, this time following what seemed an innocuous challenge by Heather presented Liverpool with another chance but the shot was well wide of the target. With ten minutes remaining Altrincham again reduced the deficit. A ball through the middle being quickly controlled and deftly finished by Liss, registering her first goal for the Club on her debut.

Any hopes Alty had of getting something from the game disappeared almost immediately though when following a poor Goal Kick Lucy was lobbed from a very acute angle to make the score 4-2. In the final minute Alisha excellently turned her marker before releasing Cloe. Unfortunately though Cloe hadn’t timed her run quite well enough and was adjudged to be offside.

So the full-time Score was Liverpool City Ladies 4 Altrincham FC Ladies 2.

Altrincham still search for their first point of the season. It had been a “bad day at the office”. Too many mistakes had been made both individually and as a collective. The tactics identified by management, which had worked, too often were ignored in favour of a system which played into the hands of the hosts.

Keith and his management team invited the players to go home and consider their performances in advance of the following week’s fixture at the same venue when Alty would take on Liverpool Marshalls Feds Reserves.