NWYA Premier Division match
played on Sunday, 8 January 2017, k.o. 2pm
at Hale Country Club and Spa, Clay Lane, Timperley


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1 Cameron Terry, 2 Joe Mather, 3 Sam Bown, 4 Harry Sheridan, 5 Will Hall, 6 Calvin Boyd, 7 Kieran Fuse, 8 Pete Iacovou (c), 9 Ricardo Pembele, 10 Jordan Milne, 11 Darius Palma. Subs: 18 Jordan Henry, 13 Fergus Grogan, 14 Reiss Hughes, 15 Cade Preston

Cade, Calvin, Will, Reiss and Fergus had all moved up from the Altrincham FC Youth side in the NWYA First Division.

Today's officials were Andrew Sykes, Benjamin Sykes and Daniel Sykes.


After a fairly quiet start to the game on a damp and bobbly surface, a good ball from Milne set Palma in on goal but the Chester keeper blocked well (7 mins).

Chester soon won themselves a corner on their right. This was played out to the visitors' no.11 whose shot was deflected into the net to give Chester an early lead (9 mins).

Chester now threatened a second goal, from a freekick, but Terry beat this away. Next the visitors' no.11 dribbled his way to the byline before being halted, as the visitors enjoyed the better of the early stages of the game (16 mins).

When Alty's right-back, Mather, lunged at an opponent, the referee played advantage but subsequently went back to book the Alty man, who was immediately withdrawn and replaced by Altrincham's no.16 (19 mins).

Chester now translated their dominance into a second goal. It arrived via a freekick; Chester's no.3 saw his effort blocked but the loose ball fell to the no.7 who, despite falling, nevertheless hooked the ball into the corner of the net to Terry's left, making it 2-0 (21 mins).

Another Chester corner (23 mins) and a dangerous counter-attack from their no.7, which led to their no.10's shot clipping the top of the bar, underlined the visitors' superiority at this stage (26 mins). Indeed, Chester's no.10 was proving to be the man of the match.

The same Chester player then hit the sidenetting from left of goal (34 mins) before the visitors won two more corners.

The visitors actually had the ball in the net after 41 minutes with a header from no.6 from no.10's cross, but it was disallowed for offside.

Following an Altrincham handball, Chester's impressive no.10 hit the freekick narrowly over the bar (44 mins).

Altrincham did put together a decent move just before the half-time whistle but the move ended with Milne and Pembele combining. However, the resulting effort cleared the bar.

Chester were deserving of their two-goal interval lead.


Altrincham brought on Henry and another substitute at the start of the second half. They soon got themselves back into the match when Palma turned well and placed a low shot into the corner of the Chester net to make it 1-2 (48 mins).

Alty were looking much improved now and were playing with a better tempo than in the first half. After an even spell, however, Chester got their no.8 clear but his clipped shot went across the face of goal (61 mins).

Alty brought back Mather as a substitute (61 mins) and, soon afterwards, Chester also made a swap.

There was controversy when centre-back Hall directed the ball back across his box and keeper Terry smothered it, only for the referee to deem that it had been an intentional back pass. Chester took the resulting freekick from barely 12 yards out but the massed ranks of Altrincham blocked it (68 mins).

Soon after Milne had gone down in the opposition box, to no avail, Altrincham captain Peter Iacovou was booked for persistent verbal dissent. A couple of minutes later, however, Altrincham did benefit from a penalty decision as Furse was upended as he burst into the right-side of the box.

Henry beat the keeper from the penalty spot to level the score at 2-2 (75 mins). After Chester's dominance in the first half, Altrincham had fought back well to achieve parity.

At the other end, Chester's no.10 threatened again but superb covering by Sheridan halted the danger. Next, Henry fed Palma, whose fine shot was tipped out for a corner by the keeper (81 mins).

Chester now won two corners as they pushed for a winner and, with fewer than two minutes remaining, they won a freekick on the front edge of the box when their no.10 was judged to have been fouled. No.10 fired the freekick into the top corner of Terry's net, to the keeper's right, to snatch a late win for the visitors (90 mins).

This very late winner was harsh on Altrincham who had fought back well in the second half. But the game had been lost, effectively, in the first half when Chester had established a two-goal lead and they could even have been further ahead on the balance of play before the interval.