03 November, 2022
Billingsley steals the show as Marriott and Baines build up their match fitness
Winstanley 1 Altrincham Reserves 7 (Billingsley 4, Marriott, Bohe, Pouncey)
Alty's Reserves extended their unbeaten run to four games with a resounding victory at Winstanley, and, as an added bonus, first-teamers Isaac Marriott and Lewis Baines stepped up their recovery programmes by getting 45 valuable minutes under their belts.
The Robins wasted no time stamping their mark on proceedings, notching five goals in an opening 23-minute spell that blew their hosts away.
Fit-again midfielder Marriott underlined his first-team pedigree by dancing past two defenders before rifling the ball into the far corner to open the scoring after only three minutes.
Lewis Billingsley then demonstrated his predatory instincts with a hat-trick in the space of 15 minutes.
The young striker's first was a composed finish inside the box after the Robins regained possession in a dangerous area from a high press.
Sharif Islam then played a great pass into the path of Billingsley, who drove the ball into the bottom corner for his second.
The third was a contender for goal of the season, after Billingsley collected the ball inside the box and manoeuvred his way past several defenders before chipping the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
The first-half scoring spree was rounded off when Dion Bohe smashed the ball past the goalkeeper, after fastening on to a probing Marriott pass, but, in truth, the young Robins should have been even further ahead, given the multiple opportunities that were wasted.
Half time 5-0.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first half ended, with Altrincham squandering chance after chance.
Billingsley added his fourth of the afternoon following another high press, Islam reversing the ball to him in the box and giving him the chance to lift it over the advancing goalkeeper.
Winstanley were awarded a consolation goal when a goalline clearance was adjudged to have crossed the line, but it made little difference to the pattern of play, as Altrincham continued to dominate possession.
More chances to increase the lead were frittered away, but the focus switched to the other end late on, when Lucas Edwards, from the under-16s, made his debut and became Altrincham’s youngest-ever senior player, slotting in at left-back for the final 10 minutes.
An Alty player of a slightly older vintage, veteran striker Max Pouncey, completed the scoring, converting a George Raftery cross following some excellent play by Yusuf Idiniyi in midfield.
“The opening 20 minutes or so was one of the most dominant displays I’ve seen in a very long time," said Reserves boss Ross Speight. "We did not allow our opponents any time or space and continued to create chances from winning the ball high up the pitch.
"We were exceptional all over the pitch throughout the game. The skipper Lewis Billingsley was excellent today and deserved his four goals. Watching the game back, we really should have scored a lot more for the amount of great chances we created.
"It was a great way to sign off the month in dominant fashion, and we now have two cup games in the District and Cheshire cups respectively. On Saturday, we play Old Stretfordians at Egerton, and with the first team not having a game, it would be great to see a big turnout to support our future stars.”
To reiterate, the in-form Reserves host Old Stretfordians this Saturday at Egerton FC (WA16 6SL), kick-off at 2pm, and entry is FREE.