06 Jan 2019 by Odd Sindre Tonning

Alty Ladies kick off 2019 in style

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Two great goals from Nadine Sproule and Georgia Ashton either side of half-time was enough for Altrincham to pick up all three points at Mersey Valley in Sunday’s North West Regional League Division One South match against league leaders Liverpool Feds Reserves, as they ran out victorious 2-0.

The Ladies seemed to have benefitted from the short break and came out flying at their opponents from the start. Before two minutes were played Nadine Sproule played the ball brilliantly on to Debbie Price on the right-hand side. Price then crossed it in to Imogen Paul who took a touch and got off a shot but the goalkeeper reacted well and she saved smartly. The following corner eventually fell to Jess Hartopp at the far post, but her finish went just wide in what was a fast start for Alty.

The league leaders then created a big chance after 15 minutes from a corner. The ball flashed across the box and the Feds player at the far post missed a golden opportunity.

The crowd at Mersey Valley had to wait 35 minutes for a goal, but it was worth the wait. A lovely through ball from Laura Dodds found Leigh McFadyen who got away from two defenders to get a touch to the ball ahead of the Feds goalkeeper. The goalie did well to get a touch on the ball and save, but the rebound ended up at the feet of Nadine Sproule. She chipped it elegantly over a defender on the line and the goalkeeper and into the far corner to break the deadlock for Altrincham.

Minutes before half-time the ball fell to Price, who tried her luck from distance. The ball was headed for the top corner, but the Feds goalkeeper reacted in time to claim the ball before it went in as Altrincham went into half-time with a one-goal lead.

The second half opened with the Feds pressurising the Altrincham goal, but they struggled to create any big chances, unlike Altrincham. Ten minutes into the half, Laura Kelly got free from a defender on the wing, and passed the ball out to Dodds. Her finish went far over the crossbar, but it was a sign of what was to come from Altrincham.

Sproule wanted to add to her first goal, and after 65 minutes she turned nicely and got off a shot from 20 yards but her bullet effort was unfortunately just wide of the post.

Only minutes later, Paul found Georgia Ashton, and the left-back went for a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box. Her shot curled brilliantly over the goalkeeper who could only watch it go into the top corner to double Altrincham’s lead.

Altrincham dropped a little deeper after the second goal and that saw the Feds create a couple chances in the final ten. However, on 87 minutes Altrincham could have scored a third goal when Jade Hesketh received the ball from close range. She turned and shot, but the ball hit the post before going out for a goal-kick.

In the final minute of the match, goal-line heroics from Price helped maintain Elina Parker’s and Altrincham’s clean sheet, as Parker was out of the net trying to defend the ball. A Feds player got the ball inside the penalty box and fired it goalwards. With Parker out of the net, Price got her foot to the ball to clear away the danger.

With that, another clean sheet for Altrincham was confirmed and great performances from the players all over the pitch gave Altrincham the perfect start to the second half of the season, as they climbed past Liverpool Feds Reserves to second in the league on goal difference.

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