Report by Rob Dawley
Picture by Luke Reynolds
Vauxhall Motors 1 Altrincham 1 (Alty win 2-0 on pens)
Altrincham clinched a spot in the semi-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night with a win over Vauxhall Motors at the VanEupen Arena.
A changed Xl saw Phil Parkinson make six changes from the weekend's defeat against Boreham Wood.
Matt Gould started between the sticks, and it was the Alty stopper who was involved in the first significant moment of what was a relatively quiet first half.
The New Zealand international misjudged the time he had on the ball and was slide-tackled by an onrushing Conor Harwood, but, luckily for Alty, the ball was sent out for a goal-kick.
Despite the slight scare, the Robins continued to probe at the Motors backline, and it was Michael Gyasi who looked the sharpest going forward; the winger cut in on his right foot and delivered numerous crosses into the box, but Motors keeper Matthew Corran stood tall.
It took half an hour for the deadlock to be broken, and it was the Motors forward Bobbie McDonnell who headed into his own net whilst attempting to defend a corner.
Half-chances came and went, and Maxi Oyedele looked sharp as he used his pace and power to drive the ball up the pitch. The second-half introductions of Lewis Baines and Ben Pringle added some experience, but it wasn’t enough to put the game to bed.
As the tie drew to a close in what was looking like a tight away win unfolding, McDonnell put himself back on the score sheet, this time at the right end of the pitch.
The forward cut in from the left-hand side, and his shot was enough to beat Gould.
The Motors equaliser was enough to send the tie to penalties, despite a late bombardment of crosses by Alty, but the shoot-out was certainly not the most gripping watch with only two out of the eight penalties finding the back of the net.
It was two left-footed strikes by Eddy Jones and Pringle which were enough to send us through, but honourable mentions have to go to Gould, who looked very athletic during the shoot-out, saving two penalties.
Overall, despite the lack of entertainment on show, Altrincham will now progress into the semi-final of the Cheshire Senior Cup.