ALTRINCHAM: 1. Richard HARRISON, 2. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 3. Mark GRIFFITHS, 4. Alex FROST, 5. Greg BYRNE, 6. Jon McEVOY, 7. Francis EVANS (capt.), 8. Michael BAILEY, 9. Stephen LUNT, 10. Luke KILLEEN, 11. Stevie TAYLOR. Subs: 12. Josh COLLINS, 14. Joel EKOLONGENI, 15. James CARTY, 16. Paul GLYNN, 18. Tom READ (gk).
Alty players heavily outnumber the opposition in the above picture but the visitors' striker is about to round Richard Harrison, in a cloud of dust, to open the scoring this afternoon.
The game started with Kingsley lying second and Altrincham fifth in the NW Youth Alliance (NWYA) league table. However, Altrincham were without captain Paul Glynn, whose cold led him to drop to the bench. Josh Collins was also on the bench as Stevie Taylor started today's game on the left. Altrincham had a gusty breeze behind them in the first half as they defended the clubhouse end. The spectators included Fred Morris, secretary of the NWYA.
Richard Harrison collects the ball watched by Adam Douthwaite, Alex Frost and Stevie Taylor.
Despite an Alty corner in the first minute, the opening half hour was a fairly unremarkable period with the sides largely cancelling each other out and few goalmouth opportunities to record. For Alty Greg Byrne and Alex Frost were proving as dependable as ever at the back, alongside Adam Douthwaite and Mark Griffiths. Kingsley won their first corner after 23 minutes but this was cleared before, a few minutes later, the Kingsley no.11 was booked for what seemed to be a verbal offence. As half-time approached Kingsley enjoyed some pressure and won another corner, on their left (40 mins). Soon afterwards Kingsley moved up the centre and although their no.8 appeared to foul Adam Douthwaite, outside the Alty box, play was allowed to continue and the same player went on to round the advancing Richard Harrison, and from right of centre the Kingsley man rolled the ball into the vacant net (41 mins). Play resumed after treatment to Harrison and soon one of several robust challenges from the Kingsley no.10 saw Michael Bailey in need of treatment. Following the resulting free-kick Steve Lunt battled well and the ball came, via Francis Evans, to Luke Killeen who fired a fine left-foot hooked shot into the top right hand corner of the net from about 18 yards out, left-centre of goal (45 mins). There was just time for Kingsley to kick-off before the half-time whistle sounded.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH 1 KINSGLEY UNITED "A" 1|
An early Luke Killeen shot yielded an Alty corner but Jon McEvoy's flag-kick went behind the net (47 mins). However, Kingsley themselves won a corner soon afterwards (49 mins) before making a substitution of their no.12 for their no.2 (51 mins). Another Kingsley corner followed which was headed over the Alty bar. Kingsley continued to press and won three more corners by the 63rd minute. The last came after a fine piece of covering by Frost. In between these efforts, Taylor got in a shot which went wide at the other end. Kingsley then brought on their no.19 (63 mins) before their no.10 shot wide of goal.
A fine piece of football then arrived as Steve Lunt raced twenty yards to the right touchline, some 25 yards from goal where his fine sliding tackle gained possession. He got the ball to Stevie Taylor, whose cross from the left found Luke Killeen in the centre of the box. Kingsley's no.3 then handled the ball to give Alty a penalty and earn himself a booking. Francis Evans took the spot-kick but the keeper, who had prematurely left his line, saved well as he dived to his left (68 mins). Soon the Kingsley no.6 joined his colleagues in the referee's book for an off the ball comment (70 mins).
Above, Steve Lunt has just nodded the ball past the Kingsley keeper and it is on its way into the net for the third goal.
Alty were now on top and the Kingsley keeper did well to save a smart shot from Lunt (73 mins). Then a fine ball up the middle from McEvoy found Killeen who finished very well from inside the box to give Alty the lead (74 mins). After a Kingsley free-kick had been driven into the defensive wall, a punt upfield saw Lunt challenge the keeper on the edge of the Kingsley box. Steve got his head to the ball and it dropped over the keeper and ran into the unguarded net, to make it 3-1 (78 mins). Alty now brought on James Carty for Francis Evans, with Alex Frost assuming the captaincy. Two minutes later Joel Ekolongeni came on for Steve Lunt (80 mins). Alty's third new face was Josh Collins who replaced Adam Douthwaite (83 mins). After Carty had been tripped, Griffiths's free-kick from 35 yards out saw Ekolongeni challenge the keeper but the ball was scrambled clear. Killeen soon fed Taylor on the left but his cross was overhit as Altrincham sought to add to their lead. Altrincham saw out the final stages without any alarms to record a clearer win than had seemed likely at the interval. This was a fine performance, especially in the second half, which sees Altrincham still challenging for a top three position.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH 3 KINSGLEY UNITED "A" 1|