UDA Soccer U-21s Cestrians 2 Altrincham U-21s 2
Report by Alty player Charley Jarrald
An Altrincham side packed with a mixture of players from the under-18s, 17s and 16s travelled to Chester to face a tough UDA Soccer U-21s Cestrians over the weekend in a North West Under-21 Development League game.
Alty made a positive start to the game, creating early chances, maintaining possession and leaving UDA on the back foot.
After many chances, Lucas Aldcroft played a spectacular ball over the top to JJ Kelly, who was able to skip past the full-back, cut in from the left and fire a shot that took a slight deflection to beat the keeper at his near post.
With phenomenal consistency from the back four of Evans, Murphy, Bailey and Aldcroft, the Robins were dominating all over the field, with positive outlets from the midfield, in the form of Comber and German, who were able to create chances for the front three of Williams, Lynch and Kelly.
Despite dominating play, a soft foul on the right of the 18-yard box almost proved costly for Alty 30 minutes in.
With UDA having more height than Altincham, a bullet header came from their centre-back that beat Bryon between the sticks but was called offside.
However, just before half-time, another foul was given against Altrincham, this time in the left corner of the 18 yard box, leaving yet another open header for UDA to take adavantage of, with their extra height, to make it 1-1.
Going into the second half all-square, Alty knew they had to take their chances and use their wide outlets to damage UDA's defence.
Twenty minutes into the second half, the gaffer decided to make a change, taking off Adam Lynch and sending on Charley Jarrald.
Two minutes after that, UDA once more capitalised on their height advantage, as they slotted another header into the bottom right corner of the net, following a corner, leaving Altrincham down 2-1.
Minutes later, another three Alty substitutions were made, with Williams, German and Nije replaced by Raftery, Mallen and Turner.
Having made four impact substitutions within five minutes, Alty were soon back on level terms, following good link-up play between Evans and Comber.
Evans was able to deliver yet another fantastic though ball to Raftery, who outpaced his full-back and unleashed a fantastic shot that the home keeper could only parry into the path of Jarrald, who calmly volleyed the ball into the net to make it 2-2.
More chances followed for Alty, with Comber running the show in midfield and finding Jarrald, who hit a fantastic ball over the top to send Kelly away down the left.
After beating his man, Kelly picked out Jarrald, whose first-time shot from outside the box brought the best out of the keeper, who pulled off a fine save as the ball headed for the top left corner.
Alty couldn't find a winner, but it was another outstanding performance by the Robins, with positive contributions all round.
Reserves manager Ross Speight was coach on the day, and he said: "The lads applied themselves really well against a group of players who were a lot older. We played well, and their goalkeeper made a number of outstanding saves.
"It was great to get involved with the group this afternoon and see the other players Paul Fay has been telling me about over the last few weeks."
Match day squad:
1. Dane Bryon
2. Dylan Evans
3. Lucas Aldcroft
4. Sam Murphy
5. Joel Bailey
6. Owen German
7. Loui Williams
8. Mike Comber
9. Adam Lynch
10. Sheriff Nije
11. JJ Kelly
Subs - George Raftery , Charley Jarrald , Harrison Turner and Jake Mallen.