North West Women's Regional League Divison One South match

Sunday, 2 October 2016


See report, below...


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies, welcomed an FCUM Ladies side still boasting a 100% record to Mersey Valley .

Altrincham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Lucy S, Kye, Bliss and Louise made up the back four. Jess, Gail, Laura Dodds and Georgia were the midfield four, Megan operated up front in tandem with Laura Kelly. Substitutes were Heather, Brogan, Jade and, making her first appearance of the season, Judy.

FC United kicked off on a warm, sunny day and immediately targeted the Altrincham defence, a ball played between Lucy and Louise opening up the right side. Kye came across to cover well.

Almost immediately afterwards, Gail won a crunching midfield challenge. Megan chased the defender down, applying sufficient pressure to force a corner which sadly came to nothing.

The left side of the FCUM team is clearly very strong and, again, on four minutes this route was taken to expose the Alty defence. The cross on this occasion going wide. Good work by Jess and Georgia set up Laura Kelly. However, under pressure, her shot went over the bar.

Although coming under a lot of pressure, the Altrincham team was defending purposefully, Bliss covering excellently on eight minutes. Despite the pressure they were coming under, Altrincham were still able to mount some attacks on the FCUM goal. On the quarter hour a good move down the Alty left resulted in a shot which went wide.

On eighteen minutes Lizzie made her first excellent save of the day coming out bravely to smother a shot on the edge of the area. On twenty-one minutes, sadly, the FCUM pressure told. Once again, the ball came down the Altrincham right. Kye intelligently came across to effect a superb cover tackle but, as she tried to regain her feet, she slipped and the ball was crossed to the vacant far post where it was finished, despite the best efforts of Lizzie and the Altrincham defenders.

This was obviously the biggest test that the Ladies had faced this season but every one of them was applying themselves 100% to the task. Megan and Laura Kelly began the defending process from the front, closing down and harrying the visitor’s back four whilst Jess and Georgia provided invaluable support to the two full backs. Gail and Laura Dodds toiled indefatigably in the middle of the park and the back four were superb. Also, whatever pierced the back four was dealt with efficiently and effectively by Lizzie in goal.

Around the half hour mark Altrincham again exerted some pressure on the visitors, a ball from Laura Dodds releasing Megan whose shot was well gathered by the FCUM keeper.

The deserved equaliser came almost immediately afterwards. Jess picked up possession on the edge of the centre circle before driving powerfully through the visitors’ defence and firing an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net from outside the area.

This appeared to reinvigorate the visitors and Bliss was again forced into an excellent challenge on thirty-eight minutes.

Equality on the scoreboard would have been not only an acceptable position for Alty but, arguably, a deserved one. However, unfortunately this wasn’t to be.

The left-winger of FCUM, who had given Lucy a hard time all half, managed to escape her attentions and deliver another cross from which the back post finish was easy.

So half-time was reached with Alty 2-1 down despite an excellent performance.

Dave and the Management were, on the whole, very pleased with the performance against a team flying so high and reiterated that it was well within the capabilities of the team to get something out of the game.


Altrincham Kicked off the second half but were soon further behind.

Having secured a second ball in midfield, it was quickly moved out to the left from where a powerful shot went across Lizzie and in at the far post.

This appeared to temporarily subdue the Alty players and it took a magnificent flying one handed save by Lizzie to keep the score from increasing. FCUM continued to apply pressure which was ably repulsed by the Altrincham team On the hour, Lucy, who had battled hard under constant pressure, was replaced by Judy in an attempt to further subdue the visitors' left winger.

Play then centred on the middle of the pitch for a period with neither team able to gain any real superiority.

On seventy-one minutes Brogan replaced Megan who had run herself to a standstill in the cause, Georgia moving up front to partner Laura Kelly. Brogan was soon running at the FCUM defence, continuing the good work done by Georgia. With fifteen minutes to go, Georgia produced on an incisive ball into the area, which was bravely claimed by the visiting custodian. Unfortunately, in so doing, she collided with Jess and consequently required fairly prolonged treatment before continuing.

Before play restarted Laura Kelly, who had also worked tirelessly, was replaced by Jade.

The deficit was halved on eighty-five minutes. A free kick was delivered low into the box by Judy, where Jade span and buried her shot into the corner beyond the despairing dive of the keeper.

Altrincham now really ramped up the pressure resulting in FCUM players merely clearing their lines rather than trying their normal calm footballing escape route.

The final opportunity came with the final kick of the match. Kye advanced up field and unleashed a shot which was well gathered.

So the final outcome was a narrow defeat for the Ladies. However, it had been a superb performance from each and every player and they can consider themselves perhaps a little unlucky to have lost.

It would have been easy and, maybe, appropriate to have given the Management PoM to every player but Louise had done enough to edge it and very well deserved it was too. Both the opposition PoM and the Players'a accolade went to Louise’s defensive partner, Bliss.

Again thanks are due to our increasing fan base who supported from first whistle to last and gave the players a fully deserved ovation at the end.

Next Week Alty make the trip to Liverpool to take on Liverpool City Ladies. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.