MATCH REPORT | West Women 1-4 Altrincham

West Didsbury & Chorlton signed off at Brookburn Road for 2017/18 with a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Altrincham.

The players were greeted by a sweltering sunny day as well as a huge bank holiday crowd of 103 but this was no end of season affair with both sides keen to end on a high.

It was the visitors who created the game’s first chance as a ball through the middle was turned wide of the post after just seven minutes. A minute later West goalkeeper Claire Jefferson was called into action to turn a low effort round her near post.  The game was still less than 10 minutes old when West struck the post as Altrincham failed to deal with Debbie Price’s cross and Sophie Bracegirdle’s first time effort struck the outside of the woodwork.  From there the game settled down into a midfield battle with neither side able to create a clear cut opening.

West’s best spell of the half came just before half time as some wonderful pressure saw them win the ball back just outside the visitors penalty area. A fluid passing move saw a low cross cut back to Hanifa Douglas but she was denied by a brilliant point blank double save from Paula Alcorcon-Conde in the Altrincham goal.

On the stroke of half time West took the lead when Ellie Caddick’s corner found Douglas at the near post and divert the ball beyond the Altrincham goalkeeper at the near post. The lead last barely a minute as Altrincham responded from a corner of their own as Megan Rowley headed home unmarked to ensure her side were level at the half.

With the heat draining the energy from both players it took until the hour mark for the first chance of the second half to emerge as a perfect through ball from Douglas found Elizabeth Livesey but the West striker could only force the Altrincham goalkeeper into making a strong save.

The deciding goal came on 64 minutes as the visitors broke the offside trap allowing Jess Hartopp to round the goalkeeper and slot home amid huge protests from the West defence that they’d been impeded by another Altrincham player in an offside position in the build-up. West almost responded immediately only to see a close range effort punch off the line by Alcorcon-Conde.

The game was put beyond West following the drinks break as a lack of concentration saw them surrender possession before Jade Hesketh was put through and finished with a terrific lob from the edge of the penalty area.

Hartopp added the fourth late on as West were again undone by the long ball to make it 4-1. Credit to the home side as they didn’t give up and had a great chance to reduce the deficit late on but Lucy Clarke fired her effort agonisingly wide of the post from 12 yards out but Altrincham survived and saw out the remainder of the game for a well-deserved victory.

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