26 Sep 2018 by Graham Houghton

Alty 18s streak continues

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Altrincham's rich vein of form continued on Sunday afternoon during an eight goal thriller at home to a very difficult opponent in Hyde United. The match finished 5-3 to Alty in the end but not after a exciting 90 minutes of football.

In some respects, Hyde may consider themselves unlucky having clawed their way back into the game from being 3-1 down but they could not live with the sheer pace of Alty's forwards.

The stand out performance of the day came from Alty's Curtis Miller who not only bagged two goals but was a constant thorn in the side of Hyde throughout the match.

Ironically, Alty manager Paul Fay felt that his team's performance, whilst not lacking in desire and effort, was a little below par but the front four of Elliot, Miller, Barratt and on Sunday, Lewens, had the ability to produce goals when things were not quite coming off for the team and that was the one defining difference in this match; Alty were ruthless when they got in front of goal.

Hyde kicked off the first half and were soon applying some early pressure on the Alty goal. In fact the opening goal of the match stemmed from a long ball cleared by the Alty keeper straight up to an advancing Miller who calmly slotted the ball past the Hyde keeper; 1-0 to Alty in the first 2 minutes, it was that simple.

Hyde responded with a series of attacks, all of which were repelled by the Alty defence. Within 10 minutes, Alty extended their lead, Miller picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Hyde box, fed Barratt who made no mistake with a low struck shot into the Hyde net; 2-0 to Alty after 12 minutes.

Alty were forced into making an early substitution before the restart with Lewens replacing the injured Gabidon who would play no further part in the game.

Both teams created good chances without scoring for the next 15 minutes or so until Hyde found the net after a well struck free kick was saved Culkin but they were on hand to collect the rebound and score; 2-1 to Alty after 30 minutes.

The final stages of the first half largely belonged to Alty but the boys in red could not add to the score line which remained 2-1 at the break.

There was nothing in this match as the teams took to field of play for the second half; it could have gone either way.

As it turned out, the Alty lads were the ones to take the initiative within 2 minutes of the restart, Miller, who had a hand in at least three of their goals broke from midfield at pace carrying the ball past two advancing defenders and fired the ball home; 3-1 to Alty after 47 minutes.

To their credit, Hyde refused to lie down. This was a highly organised outfit and you could see how they had managed to win 4 out of the 5 league games they had played this season. They were a constant threat all afternoon.

On the hour mark, Hyde were awarded a free kick on the left hand side, the ball was swung into the Alty box, Culkin got his hand to a snap shot but could not hold onto the shot, Hyde gratefully accepted the loose ball and slotted home; 3-2 to Alty. Game on.

Hyde started to ramp up the pressure on the Alty back four and were dictating the play. Within 8 minutes, the scores were level. Hyde won their 6th corner of the match which fell nicely for their centre forward to fire home; Culkin had no chance; 3-3.

Alty were still reeling from giving away a two goal lead when a long ball from Culkin found Lewens who has pace to die for, he moved the ball to Miller who fed Elliot on the edge of the 6 yard box, he didn't hesitate and cracked a ferocious shot into the top corner of the Hyde goal; 4-3 to Alty after 70 minutes.

From the restart both teams were going toe to toe at each other. Gardener came on for the injured Barratt after 80 minutes.

Hyde won another free kick on the edge of Alty's box, this was cleared up field, Miller was unmarked as he latched onto the ball and the rest was pure genius as he fired home from 10 yards; 5-3 to Alty in the 85th minute.

Final substitutions were made with Sowerby on for Elliot and Mehta replacing the injured Preston as the game reached a finale. Hyde were not quite done but despite pressing hard, time was up and Alty had the win.

The was a hard fought victory for Paul Fay's lads against the strongest opponents they have faced so far this season. A bigger challenge lies ahead with the visit of Chester FC - the league leaders on Wednesday evening (26th September) at MHA, kick off 7.30 pm.

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