North West Women's Regional League Divison One South match

Sunday, 30 October 2016


See report, below...


Report courtesy of Phil Taylor.

The Ladies, welcomed Cheshire rivals to Mersey Valley for a League fixture.

Vixens were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season so this would clearly be a challenging fixture for Altrincham.

Altrincham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Lizzie kept goal. Heather, Kye, Bliss and Louise made up the back four. Jess, Laura Dodds, Anna and Georgia were the midfield four and Jade partnered Megan up front Substitutes were Laura Kelly, Brogan and, returning from injury, Gail.

Altrincham kicked off and were immediately on the front foot. Within thirty seconds Georgia and Megan linked superbly down the left. Megan put in a teasing cross which was met at the far post by Jess, bringing the first of a number of impressive saves from the Vixens’ keeper.

Alty had got off to a very positive start with Jade’s second minute strike on goal being blocked by a defender. Northwich had not been allowed to get started and, with less than five minutes on the clock, Alty had their third opportunity. Georgia turned superbly before shooting, the shot was blocked but only as far as Kye whose shot was well held by the keeper.

Vixens then began to establish something of a foothold in the game, working hard to frustrate the Alty players and then taking the initiative. After a period of pressure they forced their first corner after nine minutes but this was over hit and passed harmlessly behind.

The left-hand side of the Alty team continued to pose the visitors problems and again, on eleven minutes, good build-up play down that flank allowed Georgia to take a shot at goal which the keeper saved with her feet.

There was a delay of several minutes following a crunching but perfectly fair challenge by Laura Dodds which left her opponent requiring prolonged treatment.

Laura was pulling all the midfield strings and a magnificent switch of play out to the right on twenty-one minutes freed Jess who tried to release Anna. The visiting custodian, though, was quickly off her line to reach the ball first. Two minutes later Lizzie, who had not been busy to this point, was forced into her first save flying to her left to turn away a firm shot from the edge of the area. The subsequent corner was again wasted by Northwich.

Despite the pressure which Alty continued to apply, at times the passing and control had not been quite at the level the players are capable of.

On twenty-five minutes Georgia and Megan once again linked up down the Alty left with Megan’s shot going wide of the target. Laura again showed her technical ability just, after the half hour, when she played an incisive ball toward Jade. Unfortunately Jade was unable to bring it under her control and the ball ran away to safety.

Two minutes later Georgia again exploited her domination of the Vixens' defence getting to the by-line before playing a superb ball across goal. Frustratingly though, no other Alty player had gambled on this and the ball was cleared.

The final notable action of the half took place on forty minutes. Georgia struck a superb free-kick which seemed destined to open the scoring. To her immense credit, though, the visiting keeper somehow touched the ball onto the underside of the bar before gathering it at the second attempt.

Half-time was reached with the game scoreless.


Keith and the Management Team highlighted that, although there had been periods of Altrincham superiority, the passing and control had, as previously stated, been at times disappointing.

Improvement in certain small areas should, it was opined, allow Altrincham to emerge victorious from the fixture.

Despite Stingers kicking off the second half Alty soon once again exerted pressure. On forty-six minutes Heather played an superb ball down the right flank to Jess whose cross was cleared for a corner.

The corner was taken short to Georgia, who intelligently moved the ball quickly to Louise. Louise struck a firm shot from outside the bo,x which was again well handled by the Vixens’ keeper. Another good move down the Alty right released Anna who was fouled for an ultimately disappointing free kick to Altrincham.

The deadlock was eventually broken on fifty-one minutes. Jade intercepted an underhit goal kick before dispatching her shot into the corner of the net.

Northwich attempted to hit back straight away but the shot from distance went over the bar. Two minutes later Alty nearly extended their lead. A ball in from the right flank by Jess was flicked on by Jade to Georgia at the far post. Her attempt from a very narrow angle struck the outside of the post and went behind for a goal kick.

Alty, having recovered possession, almost immediately released Laura Dodds in space, her twenty -five yard effort being well saved. Shortly afterwards, Jess who had worked very hard up and down the right flank was replaced by Brogan. Georgia moved over to the right flank with Brogan taking up station on the left.

Another positive movement just past the hour allowed Jade a shot which was once again saved. Despite being mainly under the cosh, Northwich were still able to make the occasional foray into the Altrincham final third. From such a move a corner was won and it took an exceptional defensive header by Kye to clear the danger.

Heather once again supplied an excellent ball on sixty-six minutes, this time to Georgia who turned inside her marker and fired narrowly wide.

Before play commenced again Jade was withdrawn, Laura Kelly being her replacement. Jade had worked tirelessly up front occupying the visitors defence and linking play excellently.

As Altrincham increased the pressure, Brogan won a challenge and played the ball into Laura Dodds. Laura intelligently headed the ball back but Brogan was unable to keep her effort down and the ball easily cleared the bar. The second goal, for which Alty had pressed so hard, came less than a minute later. Having won her team a corner, Georgia delivered a delicious ball which Laura Dodds headed home.

It had been an all-action performance by Laura who produced yet another crunching challenge with quarter of an hour to go.

Laura Kelly now got in on the action. Having dropped in to support the defence, she picked up possession and embarked on a sixty-yard run down the right flank leaving a number of defenders in her wake and winning another corner. Another superbly delivered corner by Georgia was headed over by Brogan.

Having caused the visiting defence all manner of issues on the left-hand side, Georgia was now repeating the trick from the Alty right. With ten minutes to go, an incisive pass by Anna allowed Georgia to cut inside onto her stronger left foot and drive a scorching effort just wide.

Not neglecting the defensive side of the game, Brogan then chased an opponent back and exerted sufficient pressure to force her to shoot wide. Another free kick by Georgia narrowly cleared the bar before Gail replaced Megan with five minutes to go.

Arguably the save of the day was produced by the Vixens' keeper, with two minutes of normal time remaining, when she dived full length to her right to touch a fierce strike onto the post.

Laura Dodds again demonstrated her passing ability in the ninetieth minute, releasing the marauding Kye who shot narrowly over.

With three added minutes already on the clock, Laura Kelly put the icing on the performance heading yet another superb corner by Georgia into the net via a defender.

The full-time Score was Altrincham FC Ladies 3 Northwich Vixens 0.

It had been a much better second half by Altrincham who had stepped things up whilst the visitors had visibly tired.

It may be argued that, although Altrincham had clearly deserved the win, 3-0 was a bit harsh on Northwich who had contributed handsomely to a very entertaining fixture.

Players' player of the match was a three way tie between Louise, Bliss and Georgia whilst the Management accolade went to Jade.

Next week the Ladies are on the road again, making the trip to Warrington Wolverines’ new home at Grappenhall Sports Club.