STOCKPORT COUNTY BLUES 3
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 6
North West Women's Regional League Divison One South match
Sunday, 11 September 2016
See report, below...
Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.
The Ladies, following the frustration of having their midweek fixture postponed, made the short trip to Stockport to take on a Stockport County Blues Side which had transferred from Division 1 North of the NWWRFL
Altrincham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Lizzie took up her position between the posts Heather, Kye, Bliss and Louise made up the back four; Jess, Gail, Paloma and Megan were the midfield four, Kate operated up front in tandem with Jade.
On a sunny afternoon, Altrincham kicked off proceedings and were immediately on the offensive, forcing a corner from their first attack. This was cleared by the home defence but only as far as Kye whose shot was deflected away for a second corner.
This was met with a firm shot from Megan which was well gathered at the foot of the near post by the Stockport keeper. Once again Megan, operating from the left but joining the front two when possible was causing opponents problems. On four minutes, following an interchange with Jade she shot narrowly over the bar.
On five minutes Altrincham pressure forced a foul on Paloma, resulting in a free kick which Kate accurately placed over the keeper and under the bar to give Altrincham a deserved lead. This obviously galvanised Stockport into action and two minutes later they had their first real shot at goal which was easily claimed by Lizzie.
The game was being played on a particularly compact pitch which was restricting Altrincham’s ability to play with their usual width and making for a very congested and competitive central midfield area. Nine minutes in and the first real danger to the Altrincham goal came when ex-Altrincham player Danni Bezzina was released by a ball through the middle. Lizzie however was off her line very sharply to effect an impressive block.
Stockport, perhaps due to their greater familiarity with the requirements of playing in such a condensed area, now began to apply additional pressure, striking the crossbar with a fierce shot on twelve minutes and forcing another good save from Lizzie with a through ball.
Seeming to have worked out the best method to deal with the hosts, Altrincham once again began to apply pressure. Kate being narrowly offside after good link up play with Jade on the quarter hour. Shortly afterwards excellent play by Jess down the right freed Megan up to test the keeper but, again her shot was saved.
Altrincham were now exposing the Stockport defence regularly, Megan again shooting just over on twenty two minutes before undertaking an excellent run a few minutes later to create a good opportunity for Kate whose shot was saved. The pressure told on twenty seven minutes when Altrincham scored their fully deserved second. Gail embarked on a strong, powerful run from her midfield berth before producing a sublime reverse pass to Kate who placed the ball into the top corner of the net.
Having restarted play Stockport then gifted Altrincham and Kate a third goal. Spotting that a backpass to the keeper was underhit, Kate moved onto it before driving the ball into the net. Just past the half hour though Stockport reduced the deficit. Winning the ball in midfield they moved it forward well before a firm and accurate shot flew past Lizzie.
Unlike some previous seasons this didn’t faze Alty though and from the restart Heather released Jess with an excellent ball down the line which was smuggled behind for a corner. The two Altrincham full backs were demonstrating their ability on the ball and Kye produced an excellent through ball to Megan on thirty six minutes. Megan skilfully moved it on to Jade whose powerful shot just cleared the bar.
Straight away, though, the hosts attacked down the centre and Bliss had to defend well to see off the danger. The ball was then moved out to Megan who produced a superb through ball for Jade. Despite arguably being second favourite, she reached the ball first sliding it under the oncoming keeper to register her first goal for Altrincham and also to restore the three goal advantage.
The final action of note in the first half came in the final minute when Louise produced an exemplary challenge on the edge of the box to thwart a County attack.
Half-time was reached with the score Stockport County Blues 1 Altrincham FC Ladies 4
Every Altrincham player had contributed hugely in the first half. Alert goalkeeping allied to strong defending by the entire back four had kept Stockport chances to a minimum. The compactness of the pitch, as earlier said, had meant that Altrincham’s opportunities to play an expansive game using width had been limited.
However with the two wide players, at times, tucking in and, at times, stretching the play as far as they could and the two central midfield players toiling industriously to close down Stockport whilst playing probing balls, it appeared that Alty had been able to control the game. Kate and Jade, having scored four goals between them in forty five minutes had not given the hosts' back-four a single second of respite.
|Half-Time: STOCKPORT COUNTY BLUES 1|
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 4
Keith and the Management team were very pleased with the performance, asking only that the same levels of commitment and ability be replicated in the second half.
Stockport kicked off the second half but it was once again Altrincham who were immediately on the front foot. Despite this is was Stockport who were next to score on fifty two minutes. A free kick wide on the Altrincham left was placed over Lizzie and into the far top corner to make the score 4-2 to Altrincham.
On fifty three minutes Georgia replaced Jess. Just on the hour Megan registered Altrincham’s fifth goal. A ball out to the edge of the area was driven past the keeper and into the corner.
Shortly afterward, and despite the animated protests of a number of Altrincham players, the referee awarded a corner. Lizzie’s protestations earning her a caution. The corner having been played in to a very congested area was headed back across goal, Altrincham were unable to clear it and, with Lizzie unable to reach due the efforts of her defenders, eventually the ball was headed in at the near post to again reduce the deficit.
On seventy two minutes Jade, having run herself almost to a standstill was replaced by Elina. A minute later, Georgia skilfully controlled a ball before superbly spreading play to Megan, a corner being the outcome. The corner was driven across the box but touched away acrobatically by the home custodian.
Altrincham’s sixth and final goal arrived on seventy seven minutes. Megan collected a Crossfield ball, nutmegged her fullback and shot powerfully past the keepers flailing dive.
Ten minutes from time Bliss applied superb defensive pressure, forcing an attacker to shoot wide. Alty applied some more pressure less than a minute later. Good interplay between Georgia and Megan released Kate, who shot narrowly over. A combination of hot weather and unceasing running finally caught up with Megan on eighty-three minutes when, cramping up, she was replaced by Brogan.
Altrincham continued to press, eighty six minutes in, Gail produced yet another excellent ball to Kate, who ran on and got a shot away which went straight to the keeper.
Three minutes remained when Altrincham launched their final assault. Brogan skilfully beating her defender before producing a superb to the back post. Unfortunately no other Altrincham player was able to get to the ball to finish it.
The game finished Stockport County Blues 3 Altrincham FC Ladies 6
All players can feel that they made a contribution to this result. The three substitutes all entered the fray and performed admirably.
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 Louise. As has become customary the Ladies selected their own Player of the Match, in this case Megan. Congratulations are due to both players.
Mention must also be made of our burgeoning fanbase with approaching twenty fans once again following us to an away fixture. Next up for the Ladies is a Home fixture this Sunday when we take on Egerton in a League fixture Kick Off is scheduled for 2pm.
|Full-Time: STOCKPORT COUNTY BLUES 3|
ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES 6