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FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round match
played at The J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, Altrincham,
on Friday, 20 October 2017, at 7.45pm

REFEREE: Mr Peter Brown



Altrincham made four changes from their most recent league match; both full-back positions were affected as Luke Sowerby and Dontai Gabidon replaced Nathan Braithwaite-Booth and James O'Hara. Harry Sheridan and Elliot Coleman came in at centre-back and in centre-midfield respectively in place of centre-back Will Hall and forward Kane Hussain. Dylan Scanlan remained suspended.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Cameron TERRY, 2. Luke SOWERBY, 3. Dontai GABIDON, 4. Ollie OKUNOWU, 5. Harry SHERIDAN, 6. Elliot COLEMAN, 7. Curtis MILLER, 8. Fergus GROGAN, 9. Bailey RICHARDSON, 10. Calvin BOYD (c), 11. Reiss HUGHES. Subs 12. Kane HUSSAIN, 14. Harry BRACEGIRDLE, 15. James O'HARA, 16. Scott MILNER, 20. Matthew LOIZOU (gk)

CHESTER FC (All yellow): 1. Ben GALE, 2. Dion JONES, 3. Daniel HARDMAN, 4. Kai WALLIS, 5. Ryan DOBSON, 6. Alex DOWNES, 7. Rhain HELLAWELL, 8. Cane NOBLE, 9. Lloyd MARSH-HUGHES, 10. Iwan MURRAY, 11. Brandon DICKENSON. Subs: 12. James COTTRELL, 14. Daniel CLARKE, 15. Lewis HAYES, 16. Layton KENDRICK, 17. Harry MOLYNEUX.


Altrincham kicked off towards the away end but play was interrupted by two minor fouls by the hosts in the opening three minutes. A little later, when Chester's Hellawell took a long throw on the left, there seemed little danger but the ball reared up and caught the hand of Calvin Boyd just inside the front line of the box. Though there was no doubt it was handball, there was little evidence that it was a deliberate hand-to-ball movement. However, a spot-kick was awarded and Downes despatched this clinically to put the visitors ahead after only seven minutes.

Altrincham's Hughes now got in a cross, which just cleared the bar, before Chester responded as Murray's ball flew across the Alty goalmouth. Moments later, the same player won Chester a corner (12 mins). Following another Chester corner, two minutes later, and with Chester on top, a shot by Marsh-Hughes had to be beaten away by keeper Terry.

In the 17th minute, however, Altrincham equalised. Miller, who was on the right wing, moved to reach a cross-field ball from the left and got to it just ahead of a defender. He went on to make space and fired in a shot, whose bounce in front of Gale seemed to deceive the Chester keeper as it went into the net to make it 1-1.

Play now went from end to end as Gabidon won a corner before Terry had to get in a good punch to clear a Chester cross. But, when the Alty keeper was unable to get to the next Chester cross, Alty were fortunate to see Murray shoot wide (24 mins).

After another Chester corner, Dickenson fired narrowly wide but Alty replied with a fine rising shot from Richardson, which only narrowly cleared the crossbar (31 mins).

Altrincham were now matching their opponents, who are the league leaders in the NWYA Premier and who had beaten Alty 5-1 at Chester in the season's opening fixture. But, just when the game looked to be developing into a fairly even contest, Altrincham were again undone by a long throw from the left by Hellawell.

From the throw, Dickenson got in a hopeful back-header, which looped over Terry and went into the net at the back post, having come down off the underside of the crossbar. So, with five minutes to the interval, Chester had regained their lead, against the run of play at that point.


Chester made a quick start to the second half and Terry had to make an immediate save from a header as the visiors surged forward. The breeze was now getting up as it took a good tackle by Okunowu to halt Marsh-Hughes in the Alty box (53 mins).

Rain started to fall steadily, as the second half continued without either keeper being tested for ten minutes or so. Altrincham made the game's first change as Hussain came on as striker in place of Richardson (58 mins). Next, Chester won a corner when Murray's shot was deflected. From the left, the corner was met by an unchallenged header from Dobson which flew into the net to make it 3-1 to the visitors (59 mins).

After Alty had responded with a corner of their own, Chester brought on Heyes for Dickenson (62 mins) and they went on to win three corners in the next eight minutes. Between these, O'Hara replaced a limping Miller for Alty (66 mins). With O'Hara moving to left-back, Gabidon moved to the right flank. A stoppage for an injury to Okunowu was marked by an increase in the intensity of the rain (68 mins).

Chester were now well on top before Bracegirdle came on for Grogan in the hosts' midfield (76 mins). And, in now torrential rain, Chester's Cottrell replaced Murray (80 mins).

Altrincham did perk up in the final ten minutes as a Boyd shot won a corner, after a spell in which they had not threatened the opposition goal (81 mins). In the 86th minute a Coleman effort was blocked before Bracegirdle fired over the bar but it was too late for Altrincham to alter the outcome.

Chester now travel to Hartlepool United in the First Round Proper after an efficient victory at the J. Davidson Stadium.