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

Sunday, 8 November 2015


ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES: Lucy O’Dwyer, Lucy Smith, Louise Edleston, Bex McConnell, Jess Hartopp, Liss Taylor, Kate Bryan, Georgia Plant, Rosie Stone, Cloe Allsop, Alisha Palmer. Substitutes: Brogan Walsh, Emma Booth & Chloe Brereton. Team:


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies welcomed Winsford United to Mersey Valley on an overcast but mild afternoon. The Ladies have met Winsford on two previous occasions, winning one and losing the other, although both games were entertaining and always played in the right spirit

Altrincham were able to name a squad of 14 players, some of whom were to play in unfamiliar positions. It is testament to the spirit within the group that each and every player did so with no complaint and gave their all, enthusiasm and commitment more than compensating for inexperience.

Altrincham lined up with a 3-4-1-2 formation. Lucy O continued in goal in goal behind a defence comprising Lucy S, Louise and Bex. Kate and Liss formed the central midfield pairing with Georgia on one flank and Jess on the other providing the width. Up front Alisha partnered Cloe with Rosie playing just behind those two.

Altrincham kicked off and immediately set about trying to impose themselves on the game. In the first minute Georgia and Rosie linked up encouragingly but the move broke down. Winsford immediately attacked and Bex had to be alert to clear the danger.

Altrincham were already playing some excellent passing football and Jess, Alisha and Cloe linked well next before Cloe was adjudged to have fouled a defender in her attempts to collect the final pass. On five minutes Lucy O had to move quickly off her line as the ball evaded Bex. She stood up well and forced the striker to go wide, missing the target with her shot.

Altrincham were again on the attack two minutes later, good play by Rosie releasing Cloe who’s snapshot from about twenty yards narrowly cleared the bar. The lead which Alty’s play had so deserved came less than a minute later when, after an excellent run, Rosie planted a shot from outside the penalty area across the Winsford keeper and into the corner of the net.

Having taken the lead seemed to increase the confidence of the home side and, soon after, Alisha dispossessed a defender before driving a cross into the penalty area. Unfortunately, no other Alty player had been able to reach that area of the pitch and the danger evaporated.

From the restart Lucy O was again smartly off her line to sweep up a Winsford through ball. On thirteen minutes the partnership of Rosie and Georgia again bore fruit for Altrincham’s second goal. Rosie played an incisive ball down the left and Georgia’s accurate cross was despatched at the far post by Cloe.

Once again, just after the quarter hour, Altrincham’s football caused the Winsford defence problems. Again it was the combination of Rosie and Georgia down the Altrincham left, this time the cross was sneaked away for a corner. Jess dropped an excellent ball into the danger area and when it was cleared Cloe was waiting on the edge of the area, her shot, once again passing narrowly over the bar.

Overall Altrincham were very much in the ascendancy, their passing and movement causing all manner of problems to the Winsford defence whilst the steadfast work of the central midfield and defence had kept the visitors attacking ambitions quiet.

As the half went on, and confidence grew, the Altrincham players became more ambitious with their attempts on goal. Kate and Rosie both having efforts from well outside the box saved quite comfortably before a thirty five yard blockbuster, again from Kate, brought an impressive save out of the visiting keeper who touched it around the angle of post and crossbar.

More incisive play, this time down the Alty right, culminated in Jess playing a ball into Alisha in the penalty area. Sadly though she was adjudged to be just offside. A minute later though Alisha managed to create a shooting opportunity for herself although the eventual effort was saved.

On thirty-five minutes Lucy O was again called into action. A good through ball released Winsford no. 9 Amy Hughes, a renowned goal scorer, to run through on goal unopposed. Lucy again came to meet her and, for the second time in the match managed to force her too wide of the goal to be able to get a shot on target. The same player, who had been kept very quiet by the combined efforts of the Altrincham back three almost immediately proved how dangerous a player she really is only a minute later. Having picked the ball up on the Alty right she adroitly turned Bex before Georgia, in an attempt to clear the ball for a corner, tripped her with a penalty the outcome.

Surprisingly however she did not take the kick herself, leaving it to a colleague. The penalty was firmly struck but Lucy O dived to her right, not only saving the kick but also holding the ball to remove any potential for a rebound. Half time was reached with Altrincham holding a 2-0 lead.

Keith and his management team were understandably very pleased, not only with the score but also how the team had played.

Passing and movement had been crisp and incisive and there had been a number of attempts at goal. It had been an excellent performance thus far by every player. Lucy O had been calm and commanding in goal in addition to her penalty save whilst the back three had kept the Winsford attack and Amy Hughes in particular very quiet. Amy had often pulled onto Lucy S who, in the main had managed her very well but she had always had the support of Louise and Bex if required. Jess and Georgia, as is customary, had caused their respective defenders all manner of problems whilst also being responsible and dropping in when Alty didn’t have possession.

Kate and Liss, both by nature attacking midfield players, had shown admirable restraint and responsibility in ensuring that the central midfield area was sewn up tight. Rosie, playing just off the front and knitted things together exceptionally well, linking with not only the midfield players but also the twin strikers. Cloe and Alisha had not given the Winsford back four a second’s peace; one minute closing them down and, the next, dragging them all over the field with intelligent runs and passes. With a reminder that the next goal was vital the Alty Ladies returned to the pitch for the second half.


Winsford commenced the second half but it was Altrincham who carried on where they had left off. Twice, in the first ten minutes, pressure applied by Cloe and Alisha resulted in rushed clearances and Alty regaining possession.

Clearly though, there had been words said in the Winsford dressing room as Altrincham came under a spot of pressure. Liss and Jess both defending well before Louise finally saw off the attempts of Amy Hughes to create an opportunity.

The third, and vital goal came just shy of the hour. Georgia was fouled some thirty yards from goal and Kate drove the resulting free kick into the Winsford net despite the desperate attempts of the keeper to stop it. Just after the hour Cloe, who had run herself into the ground, was replaced by Emma.

Almost immediately, the Alty lead was further extended when Rosie drove a firm left footed shot into the net from just outside the area. On sixty three minutes Brogan entered the fray, replacing Alisha who had also run herself to a standstill. Lucy O again demonstrated good reactions on sixty-five minutes when a header was deflected and seemed to be creeping inside the post she flung out an arm and pushed it away.

Evidence, were it needed, that Amy Hughes still posed a threat came less than a minute later when she escaped the attentions of the Alty defence only to shoot tamely wide. On sixty-seven minutes, Kate, who had sustained a minor injury was replaced by Chloe who was making her first appearance of the season after illness.

The fifth Altrincham goal followed within seconds when a pinpoint cross by Rosie was headed powerfully into the net by Georgia.

Chloe now tried to get in on the action but her shot from distance was saved. Rosie and Georgia linked again on eighty minutes. This time it was Georgia providing the cross but sadly Rosie was adjudged to be offside. Georgia was causing havoc down the Alty left a strong run and shot (saved) was followed by another run which resulted in her being fouled.

Jess took the free kick which was flicked on across the box. Chloe was just unable to force it home, her effort passing wide of the post. With five minutes to go Emma gained possession some thirty yards from goal and, after a smart turn unleased a pile driver of a shot which passed narrowly over the bar.

In the last minute of the ninety Lucy O pulled off yet another impressive save as her first clean sheet as an Alty player came into clear focus. Sadly, though, this was not to be the case. In the second minute of stoppage time, what seemed to be an excellent challenge by Jess was perceived as a foul by referee Mr Little.

This time Amy Hughes did take the penalty and, despite Lucy’s best efforts scored with what was the final kick of the game to make the final score Altrincham FC Ladies 5 Winsford United LFC 1,

This had been an excellent performance by all fourteen players, each of whom had contributed to the result. Bex was selected as Player of the Match by the opposition with Liss taking the accolade from Management.

Once again though, every player is worthy of commendation on their commitment, endeavour and selflessness.

Next game for the Ladies is next Sunday, November 15th when we welcome Liverpool Feds Reserves to Mersey Valley. Kick Off is 2.00pm and all support will be most welcome.