North West Women's Regional League Divison One South match

Sunday, 4 September 2016


See report, below...


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies, naming four players making their competitive debuts took the short trip to Chorlton to face newly promoted Chorltonians Ladies.

Altrincham lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation. In defence were Heather, Kyeshia, Bliss and Louise, Anna operating just in front. Jess, Gail, Laura Dodds and Megan made up the midfield four whilst Kate operated up front.

On a humid afternoon, Chorltonians kicked off their first game at this level trying to settle into the game gently. Megan however had different ideas and thundered into a challenge in the first minute, winning possession and making progress toward the home goal before being eventually stopped by a good challenge.

Overall, though, the initial stages were quite even as both teams tried to impose their different styles on the game. The only event of note being an impressive defensive header by Gail.

The home team took the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances on six minutes. A free-kick on the Altrincham right was deflected into the net by Anna in the process of trying to block it. This was clearly not the start Alty had wanted, particularly after finishing their pre-season build-up so well.

Not deterred however, they immediately set about restoring parity, an excellent run by Megan ending up with the ball in the hands of the home keeper. Altrincham continued to press and got their reward after nine minutes. Good interplay down the Altrincham right involving Anna and Jess gave Laura Dodds a chance to equalise which she despatched clinically.

There was some concern on twenty-three minutes when Anna went down under a heavy challenge and required medical attention.

Playing into the sun, Altrincham were, at times, posed problems by the Chorltonians tactic of the long ball over the top for their two pacey forwards to run onto. This had clearly worked for them last season but the additional quality of the Altrincham midfield and defence combined with some alert goalkeeping managed, in the main to neutralise the tactic.

Altrincham continued to play their football though and, on thirty-three minutes, almost took the lead when Jess crossed the ball in from the right. Unfortunately, though Kate was unable to get her head to it.

Kate almost gave Alty the lead again on forty-two minutes, this time being thwarted by the somewhat bobbly pitch. Anna played a superb ball through the middle for Kate to run onto but just as she struck, it took a hop and the shot sailed harmlessly over the bar.

In the final minute of regulation time Kate, who had played very well as the lone striker effected a good turn and shot which sadly went to the home keeper. Chorltonians kept going and it took an excellent tackle by Louise to prevent them re-taking the lead.


Every Altrincham player had contributed significantly in the first half. Alert goalkeeping allied to strong defending by the entire back four had kept Chorltonians chances to a minimum.

Anna, playing just in front of the back four, had both given extra cover defensively and allowed Gail and Laura Dodds the licence to combine their excellent defensive play with forays further forward to create opportunities and support the strikers. Jess, on the right flank was a constant thorn in the side of the Chorltonians full-back whilst Megan’s power and pace down the left had also caused any number of problems. Kate, playing the lone forward role had occupied the two home centre-backs admirably, holding the ball up and trying to bring others into play.

Keith and the Management team were very pleased with the performance. Playing with the sun on their backs would be different propositions for Alty who, it was considered were much the better footballing side. Altrincham had stuck to their guns in trying to play football despite the hosts' attempts to break up their rhythm. With a few suggestions taken on board, the players returned to the pitch.

Alty kicked off the second half and were immediately on the front foot. Two minutes in a corner by Kate was met by Megan whose shot was just over the crossbar. Three minutes later and good interplay between Megan and Laura Dodds allowed the latter an attempt on goal which was deflected for a corner.

On nine minutes, Megan showing commendable industry chased down a ball, before robbing the keeper and attacking the goal. Her subsequent shot from a very acute angle rebounded off the post before being cleared for another corner. The ball having been cleared by Chorltonians Kye moved forward in possession before striking an unstoppable shot past the home custodian to give Alty a deserved 2-1 lead.

At this point Jess was withdrawn, Laura Kelly her replacement. Jess had worked tirelessly on the right flank both attacking and providing defensive help to Heather. Laura was straight into the action with one of her trademark bustling runs down the right flank causing consternation amongst the home rear guard.Altrincham now seemed to be exercising a greater level of control of the game, Kate shooting narrowly wide after sixty-three minutes.

On sixty-eight minutes, Lucy replaced Heather who again had defended stoutly in addition to getting forward where possible.

Altrincham’s third goal came almost immediately after this. A shot from Megan bounced around in the penalty area until Kate managed to alertly touch it past the keeper. Shortly after this Gail was replaced by Paloma in the middle of midfield, having performed her usual trick of covering every blade of grass at least once.

Alty were pushing to kill the match off at this point and on seventy two minutes Megan headed a corner, this time taken by Anna, just wide of the target.

On seventy-six minutes, though, Chorltonians halved the deficit. From a long ball over the top, a striker, making her way back from an offside position turned, ran on and lifted the ball over the keeper and into the net via the inside of the post. It is debatable whether the striker had even returned to an onside position before turning but the goal was allowed to stand and Chorltonians were reinvigorated.

The extra experience of the Altrincham team at this level now came into play as a number of attacking moves were repelled due to the industry of each and every player. The ability of players such as Laura Kelly, Anna, Megan and Laura Dodds to move play upfield with their strong running and tenacity being a significant contributory factor.

Having survived this onslaught actually quite comfortably Altrincham again began to press the hosts back. On eighty-five minutes, Megan again volleyed narrowly wide from a Kate corner.

On ninety minutes Anna picked up possession in midfield before setting off on a powerful run which ultimately resulted in Kye firing another powerful effort just wide. In the first minute of additional time Megan once again shot just wide of the target, this time following an intelligent header by Kate.

Having again regained possession, the Altrincham Ladies too the ball to the corner and saw out time to register a satisfying 3-2 win.

All players can feel that they made a contribution to this result. The three substitutes all entered the fray and performed admirably. Lucy was defensively responsible and distributed the ball economically and without risk. Paloma slotted into midfield seamlessly, winning her tackles and keeping the ball moving forward. Laura Kelly gave the home defence something different to deal with, her mobility and pace proving particularly troublesome. Jade and Brogan can both feel unlucky not to have made an appearance as both have assets which, will over the season doubtless prove invaluable.

The commitment and determination of every player was exemplary and any one of a number could quite easily have won the Player of the Match award. However, it was awarded on this particular occasion to Kye. Mention must also be made of our burgeoning fan base with approaching twenty fans following us to an away fixture. Thanks to you all.