Vics were still without Harry Short
and Darhyl Mason through injury, although they welcomed back Liam Gregory
to the side.
From the outset, Northwich felt confident they could win the game however the first half didnt go as planned, being unable to keep possession in the opponents half and inviting pressure in their own. Altrincham made full use of the wings throughout the match, putting a number of crosses into the area, Northwich dealing with them comfortably however.
The first real chance of the game fell Altrinchams way, the ball being worked down the right wing and fired along the deck to the back post, the shot however was well saved by Wilson who managed to get across his goal and block. Northwich had chances of their own however; Theo Bailey-Jones had an effort well saved by the goalkeeper who tipped over, other chances for both teams were off target.
Altrincham thought they were ahead after 30 minutes, their striker slotting in, but for the linesman to flag for offside.
The deadlock was broken (in controversial circumstances) towards the end of the first half, the tricky Altrincham striker managed to wriggle past 3 challenges before passing to his strike partner who seemed to be online with Vics keeper Wilson when receiving the ball, somehow he was adjudged to have been onside before slotting the ball into the empty net despite Wilson's best efforts to recover. The first half ended 1-0.
At half time, Northwich felt they were unlucky to be losing, however they knew they would have to battle hard in the second half if they were to get back into the game. The first few seconds of the second half werent pleasing for Manager Paul Valentine
as the ball was needlessly given away on the half way line. This would prove to be a rare mistake however as Vics dominated the second half.
As Northwich passed and moved, they drew a foul 30 yards from the Altrincham goal. Wing Back Dylan Norris placed the ball down and whipped an absolute pearler into the top right corner giving the keeper no chance. Altrincham were rocked and Northwich now had their platform to go on and win the game.
10 minutes later, an injured James Asher was brought off for Jordan Booth
as the team was reshuffled. This proved to work wonders as Booth's determination to win the ball deep into the Altrincham half presented him with an opportunity of a shot, the ball dropped at his feet as he sent an intricate lob over the goalkeepers head and into the net. (Although he later admitted it was a cross)
Northwich were rampant and almost went 3-1 up minutes later, a quick break saw Wilson punt a long ball for substitute Liam Gregory
to chase however his shot was turned round the post for a corner.
With the score at 2-1, Altrincham still had a chance of sneaking a point and they almost did but for a fine stop from Wilson. Quick reactions paired with a strong hand diverted the ball over the bar. Some excellent defending also saved Vics, the head of Ellis Hackett
turned the ball onto the bar and a series of crucial blocks and tackles from most defenders and midfielders kept them in front before Liam Gregory
found the ball bouncing through to him 18 yards out. He spotted the keeper off his line and side footed the ball perfectly over his head and into the net. 3-1 Vics.
At this point, there was 10 minutes still to play but the game was over and Vics saw it out with ease.
Full Time Result: Altrincham 1-3 Northwich Victoria.
Northwich 8th in the North West Youth Alliance Premier Division.
GK - Tom Wilson (c)
RWB - Ben Stamer
RCB - Ellis Hackett
CCB - James Asher
LCB - George Newton
LWB - Dylan Norris
DCM - Andy Alston-Forrester
DCM - Ryan Valentine
ACM - Theo Bailey-Jones
ACM - Alex Howard
ST - Matty Grffiths
Manager: Paul Valentine
Coach: Judd Gregory
Fitness Coach: James Griffiths