WARRINGTON WOLVERINES (1) 2
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES (0) 1
North West Women's Regional League, Divison 1 (South) match
Sunday, 1 November 2015
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES: Lucy O’Dwyer, Lucy Smith, Rebecca McConnell, Louise Edleston, Elina Parker, Judy Henson, Kate Bryan, Alicia Taylor, Georgia Plant, Jess Hartopp, Alisha Palmer. Substitute: Cloe Allsop.
Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.
The Ladies made the trip to Orford to once again cross swords with Warrington Wolverines.
Warrington, like Altrincham, had been promoted at the end of last season after finishing above Alty and winning the Cheshire League. Games between the two sides are always good football matches played competitively yet fairly and with lots of good play on display.
Altrincham welcomed back Alisha and also gave a full debut to Lucy Smith, a seventeen yea- old who has joined recently from Stockport County’s Youth set up. Altrincham lined up in a 4-1-4-1- formation. In front of Lucy O were Lucy S, Bex, Louise and Elina. Just in front, was Judy. Jess, Kate, Liss and Georgia made up the midfield four whilst Alisha was the lone striker.
Warrington kicked off and were immediately offering a threat as Bex was forced to sprint back in pursuit of a Warrington attacker whose cross fortunately went tamely behind for a goal kick. This initial sortie having been repelled, Altrincham began to exert pressure of their own, initially forcing a throw in deep within Warrington territory before a cross delivered from the right be Jess narrowly evaded Georgia at the far post.
The visitors continued to apply pressure, not really allowing Warrington to slip into their usual rhythm or to dictate play. On thirteen minutes Elina moved purposefully forward from the left side of defence, her testing ball toward the area being cleared.
Even so early as this it was apparent that today’s game would be typical of meetings between the teams. Just past the quarter hour Kate picked the ball up a full thirty yards from goal before releasing a shot which would have dipped under the bar had it not been for alert work by the home keeper.
The game was very even with both sides getting the ball down and attempting to play attractive passing football. In addition both teams were defending effectively. Altrincham pressure had forced a couple of early corners but, unusually, the delivery had not been of the usual quality and the chances had escaped.
On twenty nine minutes Lucy S., belying her tender years, defended excellently to stop a Warrington attack. This piece of excellent defensive play almost bore fruit at the other end less than a minute later when, following an excellent ball by Elina, Alisha and Jess combined to pressure the defender and force a free kick on the edge of the Warrington penalty area. Jess took the kick but was, unfortunately, not able to keep it down and it sailed harmlessly over the bar. Yet again Alty being unable to make the most of a chance came back to bite them on thirty three minutes when a diagonal ball over the back four was clinically finished to give the hosts a one-nil lead.
Undeterred Alty continued to press, an insightful ball by Judy just evading an intelligent run by Jess on thirty nine minutes. An excellent move by Altrincham involving some skilful hold up play be Alisha almost set Kate in for a shot at goal but she was unable to control the final effort.
Half-time was reached with the score Warrington Wolverines 1 Altrincham FC Ladies 0.
Despite the deficit, Keith and the Management team were very pleased with the performance. Arguably, this had been the best half of the season from Alty and they did not deserve to be behind.
With one or two minor tweaks, but an overriding message of carry on as you are, the Alty Ladies went out for the second half in positive mood.
Every Altrincham player had performed admirably in the first half. Lucy had commanded her area and collected a number of through balls calmly whilst telling those in front of her what she wanted. Lucy S, on her full debut, had settled very well and played sensibly, not trying to overplay and remaining safe. Bex and Louise had been steadfast in the centre really restricting the hosts chances whilst Elina on the left had been safe and secure.
Judy had provided an excellent screen just in front of the defence but had also, when appropriate, joined with the midfield four to apply pressure to the home defence. Kate and Liss had been the epitome of industry in the centre of the park, winning more than their fair share of possession and looking to play forward. Jess and Georgia had been up and down the flanks incessantly, one minute stretching the home defence and the next doubling up defensively to help Lucy S and Elina.
Alisha, ploughing a lone furrow up front had held the ball up when required and linked the play expertly belying her slender appearance to hold off challenges from defenders.
|Half-Time: WARRINGTON WOLVERINES 1|
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 0
Altrincham kicked off the second half but it was Warrington who fashioned the first chance, Lucy O being forced to expertly tip a shot around the base of her left hand post.
Having regained their equilibrium Altrincham again set about trying to force an equaliser, forcing a number of corners which unfortunately came to nothing. On fifty-four minutes, Alisha, who had worked hard and played excellently, was replaced by Cloe. The change almost brought an immediate result as a move involving Georgia, Cloe and Judy ended with Judy’s well struck shot being saved.
Warrington were not content to just defend though and Altrincham had to defend splendidly on sixty two minutes to see off a Warrington corner. As the ball was played back into the danger area Lucy S effected an excellent header to finally clear the danger.
Warrington came again though, Lucy O having to impressively take a through ball off the toes of an attacker. On sixty six minutes the deserved equaliser arrived. Georgia, for the umpteenth time taking on her defender before being fouled right on the edge of the penalty area. Kate stepped up and placed the ball over the wall and into the corner of the net.
Warrington came again and Louise was forced into one of her trademark tackles. Any neutral in attendance could not fail to have been impressed by the quality of the game as it ebbed and flowed from end to end. Liss, once again tracking back covered excellently at the expense of a corner and when this was met by a Warrington head Jess was on hand to clear off the line.
Industrious closing down by Cloe on the left hand edge of the Warrington penalty area allowed her to skilfully fashion a shot on goal which went just over. On seventy-eight minutes more incisive play by Altrincham resulted in another free kick, this one a little more central and further out. Again Kate took it but, sadly, this time was unable to keep it below the bar.
Lucy S and Judy combined with five minutes to go, doggedly defending to prevent an attacking move reaching the Altrincham penalty area. From the resulting corner however disaster struck when the ball evaded everyone except the Warrington captain who belted it home from about six inches.
The wild celebrations of the hosts gave some indication of their relief and how much pressure they had been put under. Despite the best efforts of the Altrincham team they were unable to fashion another equaliser and the game ended with Warrington victorious by 2-1
This was a desperate outcome when the team had played so well. Keith and the Management Team expressed their pride and happiness at the performance that the players had put in, suggesting that if that level of performance can be demonstrated every week then the team will soon be climbing the League.
Warrington selected Kate as being our most impressive player whilst the management agreed unanimously that it was not possible to pick out any one of the twelve players, so impressive had the performance been. Thanks are once again due to our band of travelling supporters.
|Full-Time: WARRINGTON WOLVERINES 2|
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 1