North West Women's Regional League Divison One South match

Sunday, 9 October 2016


See report, below...


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies, took the trip to Liverpool to face a Liverpool City team, having recorded their first win of the season last time out.

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. Kate operated up front in tandem with Jade. Substitutes were Elina and Megan.

On a sunny day Altrincham kicked off the game making something of a “bitty” start and being guilty of a number of misplaced passes on what was a slightly challenging surface.

Altrincham created the first opportunity on four minutes, Georgia finding Kate who, in turn, released Jade whose pressure forced an early corner. From Kate’s delivery Georgia headed goal wards, unluckily hitting the post.

Soon after, Lizzie saw her first meaningful action of the day, coming out smartly to block on the edge of the area. Although it was clear that Altrincham were the better team, Liverpool were working very hard to disrupt the flow of the play.

On ten minutes Altrincham were awarded a free kick about twenty yards out. Kate struck it toward goal but, not for the first time, the home keeper demonstrated good handling and caught it cleanly.

On the quarter hour Lucy effected an excellent challenge before releasing Jess down the right. The forward momentum was, however, stopped by a rumbustious challenge, arguably a foul but not given as such.

The Liverpool home pitch has a pronounced slope and this was leading to frustration for Alty, a normally excellent through ball by Laura Dodds picking up pace and running out for a goal kick. On the occasions that Altrincham were able to get their passing and movement based game going, they caused the hosts problems.

Nineteen minutes into the game Kate fed Jade, whose cross was headed away. Next up, Gail collected possession and, intelligently using other players as distraction, moved purposefully forward before shooting narrowly wide. The two Liverpool strikers were young and possessing impressive speed, which meant that the Altrincham defence had to remain alert, no more so than when Bliss had to accelerate across, on twenty-four minutes, to effect an excellent covering challenge, something she repeated four minutes later.

The goal, for which Altrincham had striven so hard ,finally came just after the half hour. Lizzie released Jess early and, having comprehensively beaten her defender to the by-line, she cut back a perfect cross into the path of Laura Dodds to finish in style.

This seemed to give Altrincham some more confidence and, as a consequence, they began to play with more control, pace and, accuracy.

Keeping one eye on the Liverpool strikers, Altrincham seemed to take control of proceedings for the next ten minutes or so. It was therefore disappointing when the hosts were presented with the opportunity to level things up on forty-two minutes. Good defending by Alty resulted in a Corner to Liverpool. This was well delivered and bounced at the near post, wrong-footing Lucy who missed her kick. The ball struck her arm, which she seemed to have tucked away behind her back and the referee, very harshly in the view of many, awarded a penalty.

The penalty was taken by one of the Liverpool central midfielders, who had, to this point, had an impressive game and, despite going the right way, Lizzie was unable to keep it out.

Half-time was therefore reached with the score at 1-1.

Keith and the Management Team reminded the players that they were the more capable team and that when they had shown the confidence to get the ball down and play in their usual manner Liverpool had found it very hard to deal with them. Encouraging Jess and Georgia to stay wide and test the defenders also formed a part of the team talk. With these words of encouragement and advice taken on board Alty returned to the pitch for the second half.


Liverpool kicked off the second half but Altrincham regained the lead almost immediately.

Georgia intercepted a goal-kick, heading on to Laura Dodds. Laura beat her defender before sliding a pass through for Kate, who calmly side footed the ball past the keeper and into the net.

Clearly this stung Liverpool and Louise was forced into one of her trademark tackles soon after to repulse a Liverpool attack. The ensuing corner was calmly side footed behind by Gail, responsibly covering the near post, with the second corner being well cleared to relieve the pressure.

Altrincham doubled their advantage eight minutes into the half. Some sublime skill by Jess freed Laura Dodds who, again supplied an inch perfect cross, this time to Jade who finished emphatically.

Again Liverpool pressed, this time bringing an excellent challenge out of Bliss on the hour mark.

At this juncture Megan was introduced, replacing Jade who had worked tirelessly up front in addition to bagging a goal. Megan almost made an immediate impact, swinging in a cross for Georgia whose header was well saved. When the ball next went out of play Elina was introduced in place of Lucy. Lucy had performed well in only her second start of the season and had been very unfortunate to concede the penalty.

On seventy-three minutes some admirable football by Altrincham, involving Bliss, Kye and Georgia, allowed the latter to set up a chance for Laura Dodds which, unfortunately, went narrowly wide. Liverpool flew down to the Alty end and Lizzie had to dive full length to her right to impressively turn away a fiercely driven shot, Elina completing the clearance.

Laura and Gail had taken control of the midfield and with quarter of an hour remaining Laura provided an incisive pass to Megan. Affected by a bobble on the pitch, Megan’s shot however flew harmlessly over the bar. Megan again showed her eye for an opportunity, with four minutes remaining, bringing an excellent save out of the home custodian.

Two minutes remained when a superb pass by Georgia took two defenders out of the game allowing Laura Dodds another crossing opportunity. This one was well defended though being blocked away.

From the resulting corner Gail, having made an intelligent run across the front post, saw her header pass narrowly the wrong side of the post. The final whistle came with Altrincham emerging deserved 3-1 winners.

Every one of the thirteen Alty players had contributed to what had been a dour and attritional game. Both full-backs had defended steadfastly, the two centre-backs had effectively neutralised both the dangerous home Strikers and Lizzie had kept goal calmly whilst also making two notable stops at important points in the game. Jess and Georgia, in addition to sensibly covering the full-backs, had stretched the home defence at every opportunity, also closing down and winning their fair share of challenges.

Although initially outnumbered in the middle of the park, Gail and Laura Dodds had wrested control of the game from the hosts and, by the end, had total control of proceedings.

Jade and Kate had run the channels, held the ball up and brought others into play, whilst never giving the Liverpool centre-backs a moment's peace.

Megan, when she replaced Jade, brought fresh legs and extra impetus to the attack, whilst Elina had maintained the defence’s grip on the hosts left flank.

Management Player of the Game was Bliss with the Players' Player accolade going to Laura Dodds.

Next up for the Ladies is a Hhome fixture, next Sunday, October 16th, when Liverpool Feds Reserves visit Mersey Valley. Kick Off is 2.00pm and all support will be very welcome.