Picture by Luke Reynolds Photography
In our regular Monday round-up, press and media officer John Edwards brings you all the news on how Altrincham players out on loan fared over the weekend.
Bootle 2 Widnes 2
Alty defender Josh Jordan missed out on this one, but forward Sharif Deans started up front as Widnes banked a valuable away point in their quest to avoid the drop in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division.
Robins prospect Sharif (pictured with Josh after a previous game for the Whites) has already endeared himself to Widnes fans with some lively performances so far, and he proved a handful for Bootle’s defence at the Delta Taxis Stadium on Saturday.
He was causing them problems as early as the 13th minute, when he latched on to a flick-on from a team-mate and hit a first-time volley that just cleared the bar.
Alty’s young frontrunner turned provider in the 25th minute with a pass that put Will Jones clean through, only for Bootle keeper Josh Ollerenshaw to dash from his line and block the Widnes forward’s shot.
Bootle went in front in the 33rd minute but were again troubled by Sharif two minutes later when another superb pass set up a chance that Jones sliced wide.
Having set up two chances that went begging, Sharif reverted to his more customary role of finisher to haul his side level in the 63rd minute.
Matty Rain, eager to make an impact against his former club after joining Widnes from Bootle at the beginning of November, had a shot parried by Ollerenshaw, and Sharif was on hand to head home the rebound.
A spectacular long-range special from Laurence Smith flew into the top corner in the 66th minute to raise hopes of a much-needed win for bottom side Widnes.
It wasn’t to be, as Bootle forced a draw with a 75th-minute leveller, but there were plenty of positives from the performance, not least Sharif's, to encourage the belief that Widnes can still climb their way to safety.
Guiseley 2 Nantwich Town 1
Alty right-back Aidan Roxburgh has made a name for himself as a solid, dependable defender, but his attacking qualities are just as impressive, as he quickly demonstrated on his Nantwich debut at Nethermoor Park.
Just six minutes into this NPL Premier Division fixture, Alty’s summer signing from Trafford threatened to score one of the goals of this or any other season with a run that started on the halfway line.
Powering his way past one challenge after another, Aidan advanced all the way into the Guiseley area, only to be denied at the very last, as home keeper Cameron Mason reacted well to save his shot.
Three minutes later, Nantwich were in front, with a smart finish from James Caton, but the tables were soon turned, as Guiseley equalised in the 38th minute and went ahead in the 47th.
Aidan was replaced by fellow-Robins loan debutant Ryan Morton in the 74th minute, but, despite the highly-rated young Alty striker’s best efforts, Nantwich couldn’t get back on terms.
Alsager Town 1 Sandbach United 2
Midfielder Harlan Rodgers-Morris was on duty for Alty Reserves, but Ewan McGeady started for Alsager in the back four for this North West Counties League Division One South fixture.
Sandbach went ahead in the 29th minute, and though Sam Madeley equalised for Alsager in the second half, the visitors wrapped up the points soon after.
Ewan was substituted near the end but will have benefited from more minutes under his belt and was entitled to feel pleased with his contribution.
Earlier in the week, Alsager went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup, losing 4-1 at home to Vauxhall Motors in a second-round tie. Neither Alty player was involved.
Newcastle Town 1 Hanley Town 1
Alty forward Eden Bailey continued his run of appearances for Hanley as they came from behind to force a draw in a keenly-fought North West Counties League derby.
Newcastle went in front in the 32nd minute, but Eden almost levelled four minutes later when he met a cross with a header that was saved.
Hanley lost James Lawrie 24 hours before kick-off when the former Alty forward re-signed for Witton Albion, but they looked none the worse for it, as they kept plugging away and salvaged a point with a coolly-taken penalty by Jake Twyford five minutes from time.
Northwich Victoria 0 Wythenshawe Town 0
Alty defender Joe Cooney went on as substitute for Northwich and did his chances of promotion to the starting line-up no harm with a solid contribution to this goalless draw with second-placed Wythenshawe in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
*Alty keeper Matt Gould has been recalled from his loan at Ashton United, while it proved a frustrating week for Robins pair Lewis Billingsley and Owen German, as Ashton Athletic suffered two postponements in quick succession due to waterlogged pitches, against Bury AFC and Winsford United.