Altrincham U-16s 2 Wythenshawe Amateurs U-17s 2
Report by Alty player Harrison Howells
The youth team faced Wythenshawe Amateurs on Sunday afternoon in the
North West Youth Alliance Development League.
When the two sides met previously, in September, there was nothing to separate them, as Alty drew 1-1 through a late equaliser from Charley Jarrald, and this game ended in similar fashion.
The young Robins were looking to bounce back from a 5-1 defeat by a tough Chester side, and they started positively, maintaining the ball for large parts of the early stages.
Within the first 10 minutes of the game, Alty found joy attacking Wythenshawe in wide areas through Jack Chandler and Lucas Edwards.
A penalty awarded to Alty saw Harrison Howells reluctantly step up, but his kick was poorly placed. The Alty forward soon made amends, though, moving well to create a one-on-one with the centre-half and cutting inside before tidily slotting the ball through the goalie's legs.
Wythenshawe responded swiftly and, after piling on the pressure, equalised when a wonderful turn from their tall striker was followed by an inch-perfect finish into the far corner.
With half-time looming, the young Robins had to be quick if they wanted to restore their lead, and they were.
A throw-in from Oscar Cooper set up the opportunity, but it was all Harrison Howells after that, as he controlled the ball immaculately and unleashed a ferocious volley from the left side of the box that flew into the top corner for a masterpiece of a goal.
Leading 2-1, coaches Paul Fay and Adam Bond used half-time to demand more from the front three and give reminders of the Alty way of playing, as well as instruction to the defensive players when out of possession.
With their pep talk still fresh in the mind, there was a bright start to the second half. Jack Chandler's developing confidence saw him beating the opposing full-back in most of their intense interactions, and Alty were creating plenty of opportunities without showing the necessary composure in the 18-yard box.
Fresh legs were introduced, with Charley Jarrald replacing a hard-working Oscar Cooper and two-goal Harrison Howells giving way to Henry Shaw.
The young Robins' attacks kept coming in waves, but they continued to lack the finesse needed to score a third goal.
Three final substitutions were made; Lewis Lambkin for Simon McDonagh, Kruze Pryce for Henry Murphy and Nathan Wood for Jack Chandler.
Even with these changes, though, the young Robins couldn’t quite find that piece of magic to unlock the Wythenshawe defence and once more, against these opponents, had to settle for a point.
Match day squad:
1. George Huyton
2. Simon McDonagh
3. Lucas Edwards
4. Teddy Woolland (C)
5. Harry O’Gara
6. Henry Murphy
7. Afernee Denise
8. Kruze Pryce
9. Harrison Howells
10. Kian Gonzalez
11. Jack Chandler
12. Lewis Lambkin
14. Oscar Cooper
15. Ben Taylor
16. Nathan Wood17. Charley Jarrald