Brian Flynn reports from Poolfoot Farm
Altrincham headed to the Fylde coast for a friendly against Fleetwood Town’s Development Squad and discovered their scoring touch in fine style with a 4-3 win in what was an extremely useful work-out.
Standing in for Fleetwood’s original opponents AFC Fylde, who had to withdraw at short notice, Alty made the most of the opportunity to build up right-back Ross Barrows’ match fitness, after his return from injury, as well as give an outing to some trialists.
Against what was essentially the Cod Army's under-23 squad, Alty were also able to give keeper Ollie Byrne some valuable game time behind a back four of Barrows, James Jones, Jake Cooper and Liam Brockbank.
Two trialists joined Alex Sami and Ben Pringle in midfield, while the starting line-up was completed by Chris Conn-Clarke operating just behind main striker Marcus Dinanga.
The Robins went behind early on but were soon on the front foot, probing for a way through and finding one when Dinanga earned his side a penalty and took the responsibility himself with a cool finish from 12 yards, sending the home keeper the wrong way from the spot.
The first of three 30-minute periods ended with Alty in front after Conn-Clarke reminded his parent club of his attacking threat with a shot that was only partially saved, enabling Pringle to follow up and tuck the rebound into the net.
Manager Phil Parkinson took the chance to ring the changes for the start of the second half-hour, with Lewis Baines on for Jones, Egli Kaja for Sami and one trialist replacing another.
But while there was a change to the Alty line-up, the pattern of play stayed the same, with Alty forcing the pace and extending their advantage.
A fine run by Kaja earned the Robins a corner, and when Pringle swung it into the middle, as pictured, Baines headed it across the six-yard box for Dinanga to nod home from close range.
The final third was delayed slightly due to a faulty sprinkler, but there was no sign of Alty malfunctioning, as they made it 4-1 when Amaar Hussain fed Pringle, who unselfishly squared to Kaja for a side-foot finish into an empty net.
Fleetwood scored two late goals to reduce the arrears, but Alty boss Phil Parkinson was happy enough with his side’s 4-3 win, as he said:
‘It was a really good work-out, allowing players who have had reduced minutes to get some time out in the middle and also allowing us to have a look at lads who could potentially be of interest to us.
‘It’s also nice to get a win under our belts, even if it was just a friendly. It’s good to get that winning feeling, so all in all it was a worthwhile exercise. Overall, I was really delighted with the work-out.’