NWYA Neil Thomason Cup

Sunday 16 November 2014

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Burrows 2. Foy, 3. Farrington, 4. Foster, 5. Campion, 6. Taylor (c), 7. Arrowsmith, 8. Folagbade, 9. Clancy, 10. Crompton, 11. Cain. Subs: 12. Coffey, 14. Dwyer, 15. Goldman, 16. Reid

Report courtesy of James Farrington.

Due to the fielding of ineligible players, Abbey Hey were disqualified from the Neil Thomason Premier Cup after a successful appeal from manager George Heslo. This placed Altrincham into the quarter final of the cup against Ashton Athletic.

Coach, Chris Adams, was put on the spot an hour before kick off as he noticed the only place Altrincham could warm up was on a ‘mud bath’. This limited the warm up the lads could do. However it did not affect the performance in the first half.

Ten minutes into the game, Altrincham were the only team who looked like scoring; a glorious chance could not be converted when a whipped in cross was headed over the bar to give the home side a bit of breathing space. The pressure was reoccurring, and Alty made their own luck which led to the opening goal of the game.

A long pass from the back was aimed at Crompton; the forward span his defender and forced an error from the centre-half, which left him on a one on one with the keeper. Crompton made no errors and smashed the ball into the bottom right corner from the edge of the area; giving the away side a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later a counter attack from Ashton stunned Altrincham and put them on the ropes for a second. The home side's left winger took a big touch towards goal, leading to Burrows advancing off his line to make an attempt to snatch the ball, the winger made it to the ball first, poking the ball past the keeper. Due to the momentum of the keeper charging out, he took the player down, with the referee awarding a penalty straight away. Burrows made up for it by saving the penalty, ensuring Alty went into the break 1-0 up.


Altrincham matched the pressure that they had mounted in the first half, which produced a bigger lead for the Robins. A floated cross by Folagbade, on the edge of the area, was attacked by Clancy who bullet-headed the ball beyond the hapless Ashton keeper. Altrincham were fairly comfortable with the pressure Ashton inflicted, until a patchy five minutes looked to be the breaking of Altrincham.

On the forty-minute mark, Ashton pulled one back with a long-range shot. Their player struck the ball with venom on his first touch, guiding the ball into the top left corner. The goal gave Ashton a new lease of life and guaranteed the game would have a nervy last five minutes. Ashton pushed everything forward, which looked to backfire on them when a long ball to Dwyer found him one and one with the keeper. He was brought down by an Ashton centre half with no one else around him. The referee had no option but to send him off, which he did with no hesitation.

The shabby free kick led to nothing for Alty but inflicted a counter-attack by Ashton Athletic in the dying seconds of normal time. A fierce cross from the Ashton left winger, put the ball on a plate in the six yard box and was met by an Ashton Athletic forward who headed the ball into the goal, giving the home side a chance to take the game to extra time. Alty had four minutes left to get that winner which they fully deserved on the basis of the 90 minutes. Altrincham piled everything forward, showing the character desired to make that one last chance.

Goldman with his back to goal saw a darting run by Arrowsmith, who had the beating of his man. He slipped the ball into his feet; the winger drilled the ball across the six-yard box, only to be met by ‘skipper’ Taylor who placed the ball into the back of the net, ensuring Alty went into the semi-final of the cup.