Altrincham 3 Tranmere XI 2

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22 Sep 2005
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Johnny Morrissey
Went to Moss Lane tonight in the pouring rain to watch the Tranmere XI play Alty. Only 10 mins drive from where I work so thought I'd take the opportunity to check out the kids and trialists (heading down to Shrewsbury tomorrow too).

Drove through pouring rain thinking it might have been called off with a waterlogged pitch. Got to the ground, deserted of course (att was only 230) and parked right outside the gate. Happy days.

Saw Les chatting in the main stand, waited for an appropriate moment and posed for a pic with him (I'll post it later) and had a 10minute chat with the gaffer. First time I've met him, he's a lovely fella. Introduced myself and my dad to Kevin Summerfield and chatted about the players who were playing and explained we've got a few niggles which was why a stronger team wasn't fielded at Chester. The best available XI will face Shrewsbury tomorrow. He also introduced us to the trialists, Jake Simpson (son of Paul, Stockport's gaffer) and Steve Connor, and Zoom's brother Abou who was wearing banana yellow boots which Les was appalled at!

Always loved Les, even more now. Top fella, he didn't need to take so much time with us but I really appreciated it. Cheers Les!

On to the game, Rovers took a 2 goal lead. A lovely through ball by captain Ryan Fraughan saw Connor through on goal and he coolly slipped the ball past the onrushing keeper for the first. Then a corner was met by Tim Catholina and Zoom stormed in to force the ball over the line.

The defence throughout was poor, and the defending was mediocre for the 3 goals we conceded. A mistake by Joe Collister (well, he parried a long range shot on a greasy surface so not a ricket) allowed their lad to slip the ball home. The back four stood still and watched him wander into the box unmarked to tap home. The other two were off set plays where the marking was invisible. Disappointing.

Collister, Benson, Cathalina, Vaulks, Zoumana Bakayogo, Power, Gibbs, Fraughan, Mackreth, Simpson*, Connor*.

Of the players I'd never seen before, Catholina got better after half time. First half he was pretty poor but did get better. Wouldn't fancy starting him against Oldham though. Big lad who didn't use his size or strength enough against 2 big Alty strikers. Failed to organise with Will Vaulks who is only a young lad. Criminal for an experienced player imo.

Jay Gibbs is another I'd not seen before. Was impressed with his passing, he and Fraughan sprayed the ball around well, first half especially.

And the two trialists, Connor took his goal well but really didn't see too much of the ball. Jake Simpson barely saw the ball at all. I felt sorry for him. He got into good positions only to not receive the ball as a bad pass was made to him. He looked a bit fed up towards the end, but when he did get the ball he looked dangerous and didn't give the ball away.

Zoom's brother Abou and his banana boots came on in the second half along with another couple of young lads (sorry didn't catch their names). Abou is quite frankly atrocious. Horrific boots and his play was no better. No positional awareness whatsoever, can't tackle, gave the ball away every time he got it and doesn't speak a word of English by the looks of things! Shaun Garnett (coaching the side from the sidelines) would have pulled his hair out if he had any left! He was doing his nut, and had head in his hands at times. It was laughable really. One Bakayogo is by far more than enough!

All in all, a nice evening, nice hospitality by Alty too. I might try and venture down there again if I get chance and it doesn't clash with Rovers. Will try and upload my pics and post some on here.
 

NeverBeatDaveHiggins

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Thanks for the match report Scoops!! Leaking defenses sounds like schoolboy stuff, which considering the average age of the team was probably 17/18 isn't all that surprising really.

Gibbs, Power and Fraughan seem to make quite an effective midfield unit. If Shaun can muster up a proper back four, then the youth/reserves should do alright this season.
 
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Dave Challinor
Morning scoops, cheers.


Do you think it would be worth giving Simpson another go??????


Liked the look of Gibbs and Power, also thought Benson was good against Chester, tried to be physical. Maybe Altrincham was just a level to much.

Getting a little concerned with the lack of forwards (concidering Les's love of the 4-3-3) and no right back!!!!!!!!! :?:

Wonder what Shay Logan is up to? See if he fancies a game [-o<
 
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Johnny Morrissey
Whole defensive issue is concerning (just been to Shrewsbury today too - will set up another thread for that). At Alty, Benson looked poor to be honest. I've seen him a few times now, and he's never impressed me really. Lacks pace, positional awareness and don't think I've seen him make too many tackles either. Sorry to be harsh on a young lad but I'm just saying how I see it. Hope he can prove me wrong if he makes it with a pro deal.

Catholina was the experienced head in the back 4 at Alty and didn't organise at all which was disappointing. Shaun was doing his nut in and kept having to shout to organise it himself which at this level shouldn't be needed.

Simpson showed me enough to give him another go. He hardly touched the ball so it's hard to judge. He looks quick and hard-working, but like I say, didn't touch the ball enough times to give a reasonable opinion.
 
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