Championes…Championes…Olay Olay Olay!!!
What a night. What a match. This game had everything – breathtaking saves, loads of goals, some great football, and, er, the right result 'cos we won the cup!
Altrincham fans, who had come to see their youth team win the double, swelled the Moor Lane crowd to twice the normal size for a Salford City first team fixture. But at the end they could only rattle their jewellery in dismay and sadly drive their posh cars home to Cheshire, stuffed by a Salford youth team that, like its elders, doesn't know when it's beat.
Salford started the match with all guns blazing and totally dominated the first half hour, sweeping into a two goal lead – first Ben Beresford headed in, and then Ben McNamara hit the ball into the top of the net after being put through in the area.
All was looking good as every Salford raid looked dangerous and Altrincham struggled to cope. But then Ben Beresford, easily the best player on the pitch, went off injured and the Ammies seemed to wilt. It took a couple of breathtaking saves from Charlie Dorsey to preserve Salford's advantage as Altrincham's confidence rose, and ten minutes before half time they pulled a goal back from a header following a mix up in the home team's defence.
It took another top drawer, point blank save from Dorsey, and another flying save from a free kick to keep Salford in front at the break. Half time: Salford City 2 Altrincham 1.
The second half continued as the first had ended with Salford on the defence and the keeper making more stunning saves. But after 65 minutes he could do nothing about a header from a free kick as Altrincham equalised. By now Salford were hanging on, playing on the break where they could but mainly forced to defend. Altrincham looked stronger and quicker as the Ammies clung on to reach the final whistle on equal terms.
The first half of extra time was the same scenario – Altrincham attacking constantly and Salford digging in with some resolute defending to keep the scores level. Fans were already praying that Salford would get to penalties but in the final 15 minutes, the team seemed to find an extra dimension and began to get back on top. With seven minutes left on the clock Salford scored the winner to send the team and its supporters into raptures. The seven long minutes were seen out, the final whistle blew and Salford had won the cup.
Altrincham – a full four leagues above Salford City in the first team footy pyramid. Altrincham youth team – champions of the North West Youth Alliance Premier League.
Altrincham – more than met their match at Moor Lane tonight.
SALFORD CITY FC YOUTH TEAM - North West Youth Alliance Open Cup Winners 2010
Photos by Andrew Goudie