January 27, 2023
Late double turns the tables on Alty youngsters
Steven Gerrard Academy 3 Altrincham 2
Match report by Alty player Josh Mannie
As this AOC League fixture kicked off, Altrincham had Abdul in goal, behind a back line of full-backs Jose and Oshidin, with skipper Mannie and Egbon as the two central defenders, while a midfield of Ceesay, Abdullah and Mallen supported a front three of Arogun, Haughton and Igbinake.
Steven Gerard started with direct play, but Altrincham dealt with the long ball and retained possession throughout the majority of the first half.
Alty created some extremely good chances but were unable to convert any of them into goals.
Alty's creativity came from working it wide and whipping the ball into the back post, but the final connection eluded them.
However, when an attempt to play out from the back led to a mistimed pass from the opposition, the Robins took full advantage, as Igbinake made no mistake to fire them in front.
Gerrard stepped up their quest for an equaliser, and when Mannie bravely challenged for the ball but caught his opponent, the resulting free-kick from a dangerous position was curled round the wall into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1 at half-time.
The Robins enjoyed long periods of possession at the start of the second half and looked extremely comfortable on the ball, though a mixture of complacency and fatigue began to creep in, which the home team looked to capitalise on.
Substitutions were made, as Grazer came on for Arogu, with Haughton moving out wide, and Cosgrove replaced Ceesay.
Multiple attempts on goal by Alty were thwarted, but when the home team again tried to play the ball out, Grazer pressed their centre-half and regained possession before cutting it back for Cosgrove to slot into the bottom corner from near the penalty spot.
The home side responded with waves of attacks which Altrincham continued to deal with, standing up to the physical battles and preserving their lead, as the final few minutes approached.
But there was to be an unwanted late twist to the game, as Gerrard's centre-forward forced home an equaliser at the second attempt, after having an initial effort saved, and they added a match-winning third goal with the last kick of the game.
Squad on the day
Alex EgbonByron Haughton