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Pre-Season 23/24 - FCUM Dominate as Altrincham visit Broadhurst Park

A mild night and an immaculate pitch were to greet the FC faithful as they took to the field to take on National League visitors Altrincham. It was FC that would come away with the result, convincingly beating Alty by four goals to one. FC had goals from Cane, Hartley, Donohue and Munro with Swales netting the only goal for the away side.


Altrincham got the game underway, sending a searching ball long from the off. FC took the game to the away side early on, with some searching passes probing their opponent. FC’s first chance would come thanks to some fancy legwork from Charlie Ennis who managed to nutmeg his opposite number, but the shot was dragged wide.


Altrincham looked to assert their pace early on with some tight passing moves, but FC managed to nullify the early threats with a mixture of counter attacking play and utilising the offside trap. It was a much more opening start to the game for FC as they looked to work the ball onto the head of one of their forwards, but each were volleyed away by the visiting defenders.


FC would have the lead in the 12th minute through Max Cane as he took hold of the ball around 25 yards out and fired a speculative shot towards goal that somehow took a deflection that drove it past the goalkeeper. They say ‘if you don’t shoot, you don’t score’ – that is true in this case.


Going one down seemed to galvanise Altrincham into playing the ball forward, however the ever-present Curtis Jones managed to marshal the defensive third with aplomb. Altrincham would keep hammering the door looking for the leveller, working the ball through to the ever-dangerous Regan Linney, however the effort whistled just over the bar.


FC would add a second in the 24th minute through Keegan Hartley, who took hold of a cross into the box to bundle the ball into the bottom corner of the net. For every chance that Alty would try to create, FC had an answer for it.


A third goal and a third goal scorer came in the 28th minute for FC, as a solo run from Michael Donohue dragged the ‘keeper off his line and poked it under his onrushing body to give FC a thoroughly deserved three goal advantage.


FC almost added to their tally just before half time as a ball was lofted in and the headed ball was volleyed back towards goal by Declan McLoughlin, but this shot fizzed just wide of the near post. It would be Alty that would reduce the deficit next as Kelan Swales converted smartly past Boyes in the FC goal on the 40-minute mark.


FC would head in at the break with a healthy two goal advantage after a half that saw some excellent football all over the park from the home side.


As is the expectation for pre-season fixtures, a plethora of changes took place at half time. FC brought on Fitzmartin, Thiam, Munro, Oliver, Coulton and Griffiths for Vaughan, McLoughlin, Hall, Ennis, Palinkas and Morris.


FC flew out of the traps as the second half got underway, with their first chance sending the Alty ‘keeper rushing off his line. A deft chip would have lifted the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net, but it was lacking in the end.


FC would make a further change in the 50th minute, bringing a trialist into the mix. The Reds would maintain the excellent pace at which they played the first half and would capitalise on this in the 60th minute with Charlie Munro scoring his first goal for the club as the ball was passed around the eighteen-yard box and eventually was stabbed home by the former Southport man to re-establish FC’s three goal lead.


As dusk fell on Broadhurst Park, the floodlights also got their first run-out of pre-season. FC were maintaining a brilliant pace, pressing for every ball and closing every time an Altrincham man was in possession.


Another trialist was added for FC looking to catch the eye of Reno and the team. As the time ticked on, FC looked no less comfortable on the ball than they had all game, dictating the pace and not allowing their opponents to work themselves into any sort of rhythm.


It was FC that would control the rest of the game, sailing home for a 4-1 home win. In terms of the performance, the dominance and cohesion that was on display can only serve as a good tell in terms of how the new look FC are gelling and progressing.


After the game, FC manager Neil Reynolds said:


“I’m delighted with the way that we are progressing, and that was on show tonight against a good Altrincham side. They gave us a good test and I’ve just had their manager speak to me and tell me how impressed he was with the way that we pressed them, and counter attacked.


“We now look forward to Clapton and the rest of our pre-season campaign, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’ve been able to attract these sorts of players to the club this year.”


Report by Callum Scott

First Posted ~ 14:04 Wed 12 Jul 2023
News ID ~ 9629
Last Updated ~ 14:03 Wed 12 Jul 2023