Argyle Sports League Cup tie

Sunday, 23 October 2016


See report, below...


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies welcomed Premier Division Manchester Stingers to Mersey Valley in the Argyle Sports League Cup. Altrincham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Heather, Kye, Bliss and Louise made up the back four. Jess, Judy, Kate and Georgia were the midfield four and Jade partnered Megan up front.

Substitutes were Laura Kelly, Lucy and, figuring for the first time, Sam Briggs.

Altrincham kicked off the game but Georgia was soon robbed of possession, conceding a free-kick in her attempts to regain the ball. This presaged a period of pressure from the visitors which Alty defended purposefully.

Having regained a foothold in the game, Altrincham pushed on and, in the twelfth minute, took the lead. Judy intercepted the ball in midfield before sending an inch-perfect ball through to Jade who calmly slid it past the keeper and into the net.

Stingers were clearly stung by this and, once again, attempted to ramp up the pressure, a ball through the centre releasing the visiting No 10 whose shot cleared the bar. Just past the quarter-hour, Louise was forced into some impressive defending to rebuff another Stingers' attack.

On twenty-one minutes, though, Stingers equalised. Kate’s attempted back pass under pressure fell short, Lizzie raced off her line but was beaten to the ball by the attacker who rounded her and got a shot away. The shot hit the post but the rebound was finished, despite the best efforts of Lizzie and two defenders.

Alty went back onto the attack, a corner from Georgia being scrambled away. As the visitors broke at speed Heather sprinted almost the full length of the field to apply pressure and force the striker wide. Kye completed the clearance The respite was short lived, though, as Stingers took the lead. A ball bounced between Heather and Judy and into the path of a visiting striker who calmly lobbed the ball over Lizzie and into the net.

On the half-hour Lizzie pulled off an exceptional save, leaping acrobatically to tip a powerful strike onto the bar and away for a corner.

It was disappointing after such an excellent save to concede a mundane and eminently preventable goal from the resulting corner. A ball delivered into the Altrincham area was headed goalward but Jess, positioned on the post for such eventualities, somehow missed the ball and Stingers had a 3-1 lead.

Tails were clearly up so far as the visitors were concerned and it took some robust defending by Bliss to see off another attack.

Five minutes prior to the interval Alty thought that they had reduced the deficit when Kate’s corner sailed straight in. However, referee Mr Chow had seen something going on and the goal was disallowed.

Three minutes later and the visitors scored again. What may arguably be called a “soft” free kick on the Alty left was driven over Lizzie and into the far corner.

Altrincham were not done though and, in the second minute of stoppage time, Judy charged a clearance down and ran purposefully toward goal. Unfortunately, her eventual shot went just wide of the post. Half-time was reached with the visitors holding a 4-1 lead.


Keith and the Management Team highlighted that we had been the architects of our own downfall. Three of the four goals could be linked to unforced errors whilst Alty had been unlucky in front of goal on a couple of occasions.

Despite the score-line, Stingers were not three goals better on the evidence of the first half so, with the application and effort of which the Alty Ladies are eminently capable, the game could be rescued in the second half.

Despite Stingers kicking off the second half Alty began on the front foot, forcing the visitors into some fairly hurried defending on more than one occasion. On forty-nine minutes the pressure bore fruit, Kate flicked on a header, Megan running onto it, buried her shot into the corner of the goal.

Altrincham having immediately regained possession Megan and Georgia linked up will but, ultimately, with no reward other than a corner. The corner was intelligently played short to Georgia whose powerful shot was narrowly off target.

Stingers made their first meaningful foray into the Alty half on fifty-six minutes but Lizzie was more than equal to the challenge. coming out well to narrow the angle and block the shot away. Altrincham continued to apply almost continuous pressure and it was on another rare expedition over the half-way line that a powerful shot from some distance by a Stingers' player passed wide of Lizzie’s left hand post.

On sixty-five minutes Heather who had worked tirelessly was replaced by Lucy. A further three minutes had elapsed when a superb turn and cross by Jade opened up a chance for Georgia who shot narrowly wide. On seventy-one minutes Judy was replaced by Laura Kelly.

A demonstration of the unified spirit of the team came on seventy-three minutes when Georgia superbly headed away a shot on the edge of the Alty six-yard box. Seven minutes from time Laura Kelly shot just wide as Alty cranked up the pressure.

Two minutes later Georgia, who had grown in influence as the gam,e went on made an exceptional run and delivered a superb cross into Jade who was unable to keep her shot down.

Altrincham’s control of the game was now almost complete, a Kate corner was met at the back post but went just over the bar before, in the last meaningful action of the match, Jade turned adeptly and released Laura Kelly. Again, though she was unable to keep her shot under the bar.

The final whistle went, with Alty exiting the Cup 4-2.

It must be said, though, that for long periods of the game they had at least equalled and, at times, troubled a team from a higher division.

Eradication of unforced errors and slightly more clinical finishing will do much for Alty’s continued progress.

Management player of the match was Megan Wright for her non-stop work rate and another excellent goal whilst the players' award went to Kye for yet another steadfast performance.