The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Premier Division match
played on Monday, 24 April 2017, at 7.45pm


With Congleton Vale trailing 0-1 to a fine Sam Heathcote freekick, the visitors' left-back was shown a straight red card just after the hour mark to leave them with ten men. Harry Cain netted the second Alty goal after Callum Jones's excellent long-range shot had come back off the post and Heathcote completed the scoring with another impressive freekick in the closing stages.

  • 14 mins: Sam HEATHCOTE (ALTRINCHAM FC RESERVES 1 Congleton Vale 0 )
  • 76 mins: Harry CAIN (ALTRINCHAM FC RESERVES 2 Congleton Vale 0 )
  • 86 mins: Sam HEATHCOTE (ALTRINCHAM FC RESERVES 3 Congleton Vale 0 )


Altrincham Reserves included six players from the first-team squad (Andrew Jones, Sam Heathcote, Laurence Taylor, Harry Cain, Darius Palma and Andy Owens). The squad also included Dylan Scanlon and Ricardo Pembele, who had played twenty-four hours or so earlier for the youth team.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Andrew Jones, 2. Callum Jones, 3. Tom Westall, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Joshua Graham, 7. Darius Palma, 8. Jordan Milne, 9. Andy Owens, 10. Dylan Scanlon, 11. Harry Cain. Subs: 12. Will Smith, 14. Max Pouncey, 15. Calvin Boyd, 16. Joel Swift, 17. Ricardo Pembele


Alty were looking for a win after losing the reverse fixture at Congleton Vale.

On a bitterly cold and breezy night at the JDS, Altrincham won an early corner through Harry Cain. But they created more of a threat four minutes later when a fluent move gave Palma an opening but he lifted his effort well over the bar (9 mins).

Congleton also mised a chance, moments later, when their no.10 headed a testing cross straight to Andrew Jones's hands. When Owens won a freekick, just outside the front of the penalty box, Sam Heathcote hit an excellent freekick into the net to give Alty a 1-0 lead (14 mins).

Altrincham continued to have the better of the game without clear chances being created. For their part Vale had a 20-yard effort which cleared the Alty bar before an Alty move started by Taylor ended in Scanlon's shot which went, likewise, over the bar (35 mins).

So Alty retained a narrow lead at the break.


The half was barely under way before Scanlon fired in an excellent 25-yard half-volley which went only narrowly wide. Play was fairly even before a good interception and run forward by Milne ended in a shot wide of the target (56 mins).

On the hour mark, the visitors' number three, to whom the referee had spoken a couple of times earlier in the game, was shown a straight red card for an offence that was not altogether clear from the main stand. Immediately, Altrincham made a change with Palma being replaced by Pouncey (61 mins).

Despite Vale being a man down, there was no immediate further shift of balance towards the home eleven. Indeed it was the visitors who won two freekicks in quick succession before another Alty change saw Smith replace Scanlon (71 mins).

Two minutes later Vale also made a change, as no.12 replaced no.11. However, Altrincham settled the game's outcome in the 76th minute when a well-struck 25-yarder from Callum Jones struck the post and, with the keeper prostrate, Harry Cain nipped in to put the loose ball into the net to make it 2-0.

Congleton made another changes as no.14 replaced no.9 and, three minutes later, Alty did likewise as Pembele came on for Owens (82 mins).

When Heathcote was gratuitously pushed as the ball ran out of play, he reacted by pushing his opponent and picked up a yellow card for his sins. The young Alty centre-back was to be much involved in the closing stages of the match. First of all, a freekick was played into him inside the box; though he controlled the ball well, he struck his shot straight at the exposed keeper.

From the resulting corner, Heathcote's header was blocked and when, shortly afterwards, Cain was fouled, it was Heathcote who struck another superb freekick, from outside the box, into the Vale net to make it 3-0 (86 mins).

A final Vale substitution and a late corner-kick for the visitors were unable to affect the scoreline and the result left Altrincham fourth in the league.