Robins of Alty best of the promoted teams
Report by David Robinson. Photo Jez Sayle
Altrincham turned out to be the best of the two teams promoted from the Evostik league last season with a clear cut victory at the J Davidson Stadium. The visitors gave a debut in midfield to Scott Kay on a chilly afternoon in Cheshire and Luke Pilling immediately got away with miscontrolling Kay’s back pass after 3 minutes.
Matty Chadwick then wriggled his way into the area but saw his shot deflected into the side netting and James Poole brought a good save out of Pilling after Lewis Baines had fouled Jordan Hulme. Bradley Jackson then shot straight at Thompson after cutting inside and Dom McHale won a free kick 22 yards out which Sam Sheridan saw held low down. On 13 minutes Poole’s clever pass released White and his cross was tucked home by Johnston despite Pilling getting a hand to the shot.
Next McHale glanced Chadwick’s corner right across goal and Johnston fired his second attempt over the top after a free kick. Liam Tomsett’s shot went right across goal from McHale’s pass and Johnston’s cross saw Hulme’s flick knocked off the goal line by Pilling.
Straight after the resumption Sheridan fouled Max Harrop 25 yards out but as the free kick broke down Sheridan was the furthest player forward as Jackson’s pass slid him in on Thompson who needed to make a decent save.
Just before the hour the hosts doubled their lead as Johnston’s free kick into the area was deflected past Pilling by an Ashton defender. Jackson’s effort then went skimming wide of the target after a great run out of defence by Matt Regan but at the other end Regan clipped Johnston on the edge of the area with Pilling just getting down to scramble away Harrop’s attempt. Hulme then ran right along the touchline before Aaron Chalmers blocked his cross but with a minute left the ball broke to sub Owen Dale who fired a low effort to Pilling’s right from the edge of the area and a sharp turn by the same player saw him guide his effort over.
Team: Pilling, Holgate, Regan (Ashworth 77), Chalmers, Baines, Sheridan, Jackson, Kay (Lees 57), Chadwick, Tomsett, McHale (Martin 64). SNU: Sangha, Hill.