Picture of Sharif Deans courtesy of Widnes FC
In our regular Monday feature, press and media officer John Edwards brings you all the latest on how those players Altrincham have loaned out are faring with their new clubs. This week’s update starts with some news hot off the press, with three more young Alty prospects bolstering the number of Robins players currently gaining valuable experience of first-team football elsewhere. Sharif Deans and Lewis Billingsley will spend the next month with Widnes FC, who already have Josh Jordan in their ranks, and Joe Cooney has joined Northwich Victoria, also for a month. Here’s how they all got on over the weekend.
Widnes 3 Glossop North End 2
Lewis Billingsley’s Widnes debut was delayed, as he was needed for Alty Reserves on Saturday, but Sharif Deans and Josh Jordan both contributed significantly to a dramatic win that boosted the home team’s chances of climbing away from trouble in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division.
Widnes went behind to a deflected goal in only the eighth minute but levelled through Jordan Simpson to finish the first half all-square at 1-1.
When they trailed again to another deflected effort in the 51st minute, it began to look as though luck was against them, but Sharif and Josh had other ideas, as became evident in an enthralling finale.
First, Sharif made his mark with a perfectly-placed header from a Jay Roberts cross in the 72nd minute to make it 2-2, and then Jordan safeguarded parity with a brilliant goal-saving block when former FC United of Manchester striker Keaton Mulvey looked certain to score with less than 10 minutes left.
Josh is fast earning himself a reputation as a rock-solid, tough central defender, and the sight of him climbing to his feet after a nasty clash of heads just seconds before launching himself in the way of Mulvey’s shot can only have further reinforced it.
For Sharif, pictured at the end of the game, it was the perfect debut, and with Lewis heading their way as well, Widnes, who are now just one more win away from escaping the relegation zone, have renewed hope of moving up the table.
South Shields 3 Ashton United 3
What an outstanding point for Ashton at Northern Premier League pacesetters South Shields, particularly as they trailed 3-1 with less than 10 minutes left, and Aidan Roxburgh can feel proud of the part he played in helping United head home from the North-East with a draw.
Level at half-time, Aidan almost gave Ashton a 2-1 lead in the 50th minute with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area that brought the best out of home keeper Myles Boney.
South Shields went ahead six minutes later, and, after Aidan was shown a yellow card in the 63rd minute, Ashton found themselves further adrift, following a third goal for ex-Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips’ team in the 81st minute.
Back came Ashton, with Aidan getting forward at every opportunity, and they were rewarded with a valuable point after reducing the arrears in the 83rd minute and hauling themselves level in the dying seconds.
Trafford 1 Prescot Cables 2
Ryan Morton started for Trafford and again looked a threat against a Prescot side occupying a similar position in the table, just below midway, in the Northern Premier League West Division.
After seeing his side go in front early on but concede an equaliser in the 32nd minute, Ryan ended the first half in the wars after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle in the 45th minute.
He was none the worse for it, which was perhaps not surprising, given how our highly-rated young striker clattered into a burly Bromley defender on his senior Alty debut and left him crumpled on the turf!
Late Trafford pressure couldn’t quite salvage a point, after they went behind in the 55th minute, but it was more valuable time in the middle for Ryan, which can only be good for his development.
Hanley Town 1 Mossley 1
Eden Bailey started for Hanley and was certainly in the thick of the action, as his positional sense caused Mossley’s defence some anxious moments.
In a bright start by the home team, Alty’s recent signing went close to opening the scoring in the ninth minute, as he picked the ball up just outside the area and drilled a shot just wide.
He threatened again in the 34th minute with a volley that flew narrowly wide from a right-wing cross and, as Hanley continued to press in the second half, he went close again with a 66th-minute effort that cleared the bar.
Hanley looked on course for a much-needed North West Counties League Division One South win when Jake Avery scored a spectacular solo goal in the 72nd minute, but they were pegged back in added time to leave them looking over their shoulder in 16th place.
Remarkably, this was their first home point of the season, and their position would be far more concerning but for an impressive haul of 19 points from 10 away games.
Prestwich Heys 2, Northwich Victoria 2
Joe Cooney was handed an immediate debut and made a favourable impression with his usual solid dependability at right-back as fifth-placed Northwich Vics ground out a point against the team immediately below them in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
Vics went ahead in the fifth minute, with a Ryan Jackson penalty, but needed an 83rd-minute finish from Matt Dudley to keep Prestwich below them in the table after the home side scored in the 33rd minute and on the hour mark.
A good start to his month’s loan for Joe, who will have benefitted from playing a full part in a fiercely-competitive NWCL encounter.
Cammell Laird 1907 2 Alsager Town 0
Not a great day for 16th-placed Alsager, who lost to the team immediately above them in the NWCL Division One South, but Ewan McGeady and Harlan Rodgers-Morris both started and will be all the better for adding around an hour each to the game time they are accumulating while out on loan.
Harlan gave way to Tom Hassall on the hour, while Ewan was replaced by Matt Harrison in the 70th minute. In what was a calamitous end to the game for Alsager, substitute Harrison was then shown a straight red card for a foul on the edge of the area and Cammell Laird wrapped up the points with a second goal two minutes later.
*Alty left-back Liam Brockbank missed Gloucester City’s 2-1 home defeat to AFC Fylde in the Vanarama National League North with a slight knock. It’s nothing serious, but it was enough to keep him on the sidelines, as form team Fylde made it five wins out of five.