A run of four consecutive away games came to an end as Chorltonian Ladies extended their unbeaten run to four games with a combative 0-0 draw at Altrincham Ladies.
After last weekend’s heroics at Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves Chorlts were without goalscorer Leigh McFayden, Captain Shauna Edmondson and goalkeeper Claire Jefferson. In their absence Nat Callaghan took the gloves for the second time this season with Carrie Hancock and Leanne Joyce returning to the line-up. There would be a further blow with Ellie Caddick pulling up after seven minutes with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Ellie Taylor leaving Chorlts with just 11 players.
Kyesha Brown created the game’s first chance for Altrincham as her long range effort was confidently saved by Callaghan. The games early talking point came on 10 minutes as Debbie Price latched onto a through ball and was seemingly brought down from behind by Bliss Molyneaux at the edge of the penalty area. However the referee waved away protests of a free kick and the denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. Altrincham almost took full advantage as they countered and forced Callaghan into an excellent save with her feet.
Price, playing in an unaccustomed strikers role remained a thorn in the side of the Altrincham defence, as she latched onto Hancock’s flicked on header on 12 minutes only to be denied by a superb tackle from, ironically, Molyneaux. Having started on the back foot Chorlts began to grow into the game and went close again on 19 minutes when Jamilla Hodges burst down the left, with her cross just evading the head of Joanna Malcomson who followed up by firing just wide with the loose ball played back in by Lyndsey Turner.
The game became more stretched as both teams went in search of a goal and on 28 minutes as Laura Kelly fired just over from 25 yards. Two minutes later Chorlts responded with their best chance as Hodges burst down the left hand side again, Price superbly drawing her marker to the near post, as the cross found the late arriving Hancock at the edge of the area whose effort was luckily deflected off the head of Price and into the grateful hands of Lizzie Brereton.
On 34 minutes Chorlts went close again when a through ball from Price found Hodges in the penalty area, she twisted and turned but was denied by another excellent Altrincham tackle. Moments later a fine dribble from Turner released Price with a through pass but she could only force the keeper into saving at her near post.
Despite looking, for the most of the half, assured in defence, it was almost a miscommunication from Elizabeth Livesey and Callaghan that saw the Chorlts goalkeeper make another block before Altrincham could only force the rebound wide of the post. Altrincham finished the half the stronger of the two teams as Taylor was called to clear a corner off the line but it remained 0-0 at the break.
In the second half Chorlts started the brighter of the two teams as a superb from Hodges found Malcomson at the far post but she couldn’t take her effort cleanly firing it wide of the post. Two minutes later the home fans thought they had taken the lead as an effort hit the side netting at the near post.
The second half was a much tighter affair and just after the hour mark Price did well down the left with her cross just evading Hodges waiting in the middle. On 66 minutes Chorlts went closer yet as a superb Sarah Cuthbert corner found Hancock and only a diving clearance on the line prevented her from giving Chorlts the lead. Chorlts should have taken the lead 74 minutes when Price did well to close down the Altrincham keeper forcing her clearance straight to Turner but her first time effort hit a bobble as she struck it and she couldn’t force it into an empty net.
Altrincham rang the changes, including moving goalkeeper Bererton into an attacking role, as they sort to find a late winner against a tiring Chorlts team forcing a series of corner as they looked to turn their pressure into a goal. Elizabeth Livesey came to Chorlts rescue as she cleared one corner off the line.
Despite more than five minutes of stoppage time Altrincham couldn’t find a way through with a delightful chip from Kate Bryant whistling just wide of the post the closest the home side came as both sides settled for a point in an absorbing game of football.
Chorlts welcome Stockport County Blues to Brookburn Road next Sunday, 2pm KO. For Altrincham, they welcome league leaders Merseyrail Bootle to Mersey Valley Sports Club who extended their lead at the top of their table with a 1-0 win over FC United of Manchester.
Player of the Match: Debbie Price
Chorlts Team: Callaghan, Friel, Livesey, Cuthbert, Joyce, Caddick, Turner, Hancock, Malcomson, Hodges, Price. Sub: Taylor
Altrincham: Berreton, Brown, Scott, Bryant, Edleston, Molyneaux, Wright, Simpson, Kelly, Dodds, Plant.
Subs: Rowley, Rodriguez, Smith, Vernadikis