ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
BARROW (0) 0
Nationwide North Match,
played on Tuesday, 28 September, 2004
Altrincham moved up to third place with a deserved win against a physical Barrow side who ended the game with ten men. After Barrow had started well, Alty scored a fine goal when Hallows, from close range, hammered home Potts's cross from the right after a good pass by Little (20 mins). Alty had most of the play in the second half and Hallows missed an early chance to make it 2-0. But, it was not until nine minutes from the end that the game was sealed when Aspinall hammered home a penalty after a mistake by Capp led to a blatant handball. Heffernan was sent off and the spot kick awarded. On the negative side, an early injury to Stuart Coburn saw him hobble through the game, whilst Chris Adams had to go off with what looked like a hamstring injury. With Mark Maddox and Gary Scott already out through injury, the Alty defence did very well again -especially as they had to protect the injured Coburn. Gary Talbot won the Man of the Match award and, in midfield, Eddie Hussin was again impressive. Alty did not have it all their own way as Barrow won the corner count ten-nil.
REFEREE: Mr D G Kellett
A win tonight would have major effects for both teams; Alty would rise to third from seventh and Barrow would go up three places to fifteenth.
With Manchester United playing a Champions League match five miles up the road, and that game also live on terrestrial TV, tonight's crowd was predictably disappointing. In the crowd were Lancaster boss Phil Wilson and former Vauxhall and Northwich manager, Alvin McDonald.
Altrincham were without the injured Mark Maddox, so Peter Band reverted to centre-back and Stephen Rose returned from injury in midfield. The injured Gary Scott warmed up with the squad before the game whilst the recuperating Rod Thornley was again playing for Trafford FC tonight. Gary Thompson was again on duty as physio.
Barrow have had serious injury problems and included several loan players in their side. In goal was Adam Capp, alongside Kirk Wheeler (both loaned from Scunthorpe) and Steve Flitcroft (loaned from Accrington). Indeed, manager Lee Turnbull had to name himself and assistant manager Lee Warren as two of the substitutes tonight. They were joined on the bench by Mark Salmon returning from injury. With Scott Maxwell injured, Steve Ridley continued in defence, having only recently returned from a long suspension. New Barrow signing Karl Colley, whom Bradford PA had released after ten unsuccessful games as a striker, started in the Barrow midfield.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Stephen ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Peter BAND (capt.), 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen ROSE, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Eddie HUSSIN, 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Colin LITTLE, 11. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH. Subs: 12. Niell HARDY, 14. Ged KIELTY, 15. Kieran LUGSDEN, 16. Stuart WRIGHT, 17. Peter WRIGHT.
BARROW (Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks): 1. Adam CAPP, 2. 2. Guy HEFFERNAN, 3. Steve RIDLEY, 4. Kirk WHEELER, 5. James COTTERILL, 6. Karl COLLEY, 7. Steve FLITCROFT, 8. Graham ANTHONY (capt.), 9. Neil CAMPBELL,10. Gavin KNIGHT, 11. Jamie PATERSON. SUbs: 12. Mike KEWLEY, 14. Gareth SIMPSON, 15. Lee WARREN, 16. MArk SALMON, 17. Lee TURNBULL.
With the Golf Road supporters singing strongly, Alty kicked off towards that end of the ground. Barrow won an early corner, taken from the right by Flitcroft from which a Barrow player headed wide (3 mins).Indeed, Barrow started the better with, next, Colley advancing on the left and from Anthony's teasing cross into the goalmouth Heffernan almost turned the ball past Coburn on the line (4 mins). Coburn hobbled on, but was unable to take goal kicks and for the rest of the game he had to favour his uninjured left side when called to kick clear in emergency. With no keeper on the bench, he could not be substituted.
Alty manager Graham Heathcote had started the game watching form the directors' box but his unhappiness with the team's start soon translated itself into shouted instructions from his seat and then a move down to the touchline, alongside Dalton Steele.
A superb 70 yard pass from Potts to Little suggested an improvement from Alty's slow-starting team but it was still Barrow who looked the brighter at this stage (15 mins). Shuttleworth was brought down from behind by Heffernan but the freekick produced nothing though Potts was soon challenging Capp and forced the Barrow keeper to run almost to the touchline left of goal to complete his clearance. Hussin then got in a shot from 20 yards but it was comfortably over the bar. But then Alty produced an excellent move to open the scoring. A great pass from Little found Potts on the right and his low cross was hammered into the net from close range by the incoming Hallows (20 mins). For the second game running a Hallows goal in the 20th minute had set Alty on their way - it was also Marcus’s third goal in three consecutive league matches.
Alty soon created another opening when Aspinall found Little with an accurate long ball to the left. In turn, Little fed Shuttleworth but, on his right foot, Barry could only shoot wide under pressure. However, Shuttleworth was soon in action at the other end making a fine tackle to halt a Barrow advance.
Barrow then committed three fouls, two of them on Hussin, in as many minutes and for the last of these, Paterson was lectured by the referee (27 mins). But Alty had a close shave when neat approach play saw Anthony feed Knight who appeared to be brought down by Coburn but, to the home side’s relief, Mr. Kellett waved play on (28 mins). A Barrow corner followed but as was the pattern in this game, the visitors failed to test out the injured Coburn from the set piece, though he did have to punch clear a cross soon afterwards, but was awarded a freekick for Knight's challenge. After a good Alty move which only produced a throw in, Barrow created another opening. Knight fired in a shot from the outer part of the box which struck Coburn's body as he dived and fortunately rolled up onto the crossbar for a corner (32 mins). At this point Adams, who had pulled up as he ran back towards goal, was seen leaning over the advertising hoardings in some distress. He was treated off the pitch for what appeared to be a hamstring injury and limped off down the tunnel to the dressing rooms. He was replaced by Peter Wright, which meant that Shuttleworth moved to left back (34 mins). So, Alty had already picked up serious injuries to two players.
Band cleared a cross for Barrow's fourth corner of the night, which after being half-cleared ended with a header just over the Alty bar (36 mins). Talbot then made a fine clearance before a foul on Little by Wheeler relieved the pressure. Talbot next, with a rare mis-header, gave away another corner, which Coburn caught easily. After Wheeler had again fouled Little, Altrincham conceded their sixth corner of the half, which Talbot cleared. In added time a bad foul by Flitcroft on Hussin yielded another Alty freekick but was soon followed by another one as Colley pushed over Hussin. Little sent the freekick from 25 yards over the bar. Despite the succession of robust Barrow challenges, Mr. Kellett was showing plenty of leniency.
Half time arrived with Alty arguably fortunate to be ahead but whilst Barrow won the corner-kick count 6-0, they were also some way in front in the number of freekicks conceded.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 BARROW 0|
Barrow emerged for the second half almost five minutes early and when Altrincham came out the last man out was a badly hobbling Stuart Coburn. Alty had a chance to wrap the game up when a ball over the top set Hallows free and he drew the keeper before his low shot drifted just wide of the upright to the keeper's right (46 mins). Wheeler then committed at least his third serious foul of the night and was finally booked by Mr. Kellett; Little was the victim (48 mins). A Colley foul on Band and a bad tackle by Paterson on Potts produced further freekicks, from which Alty did not capitalise. Mr. Kellett's leniency and the home crowd's displeasure continued as now Little was blatantly pushed over by the already booked Wheeler. A free kick was given but no further action was taken (53 mins).
Alty were playing rather better than in the first half and play was now mostly in the Barrow half. Little almost got free but, faced by two men on the edge of the box, he swerved past one only to be dispossessed by the second. Flitcroft then pushed over Hussin, who was the target of more than his fair share of fouls tonight. Still, Alty's freekicks were below par and Aspinall's kick went to Campbell, who promptly lost the ball himself and Wright got to the right of goal before firing into the side netting (57 mins).
As Alty continued to press, Barrow sent the giant Colley up front to form a physically formidable strike pairing with Campbell. The fouls continued as Shuttleworth was felled and from his freekick Talbot glanced a header to Capp. Wheeler's charmed life continued as he took Potts out of the game with a barge inside the box but referee Kellett gave a freekick for obstruction inside the box rather than a penalty. Potts took the kick before the ref was ready and found Wright in the goalmouth who was felled. Fortunately for Barrow the ref ordered a re-take which Potts gently lofted to Capp (65 mins).
Barrow made a change after 68 minutes, with Kewley replacing Campbell. Soon afterwards Barrow spurned a good chance when Paterson's cross was miskicked inside the Alty box to Knight who shot across goal when at least he should have troubled Coburn, if not scored (69 mins). Flitcroft then wrestled Colin Little to the ground to concede another freekick, 35 yards out. Then Potts was tripped, after the ball had gone, by Ridley and he was booked (72 mins). Barrow went close again when Flitcroft crossed for Knight and the ball then ran off Colley to a grateful Coburn (74 mins). The new offside interpretation came into play soon afterwards as Hallows, clearly offside but retreating down the middle of the pitch, was heading in one direction as Potts broke from an on-side position to the right. Potts got into the box but was driven a little right and went down under a challenge but Mr. Kellett would not entertain a penalty and he was probably correct. Potts got a lecture for protesting (75 mins).
Alty now brought on Hardy for Hallows (77 mins) as Barrow continued to press forward. They won two more corners, the second unnecessarily conceded by Hardy. From this second kick, Hardy this time headed the ball clear successfully and Alty went down to the other end. Via Little, the ball came for Aspinall to the left of goal on the edge of the box but his low diagonal pass for Little was misdirected and Capp dived to intercept. But the on-loan keeper failed to hold the ball and it broke to Little, whose effort was blocked by a retreating defender who handled the ball. After some hesitation, Mr. Kellett awarded the penalty and sent off the offender Heffernan. Before Heffernan had actually got off the pitch, the spot-kick was taken and Aspinall drove it confidently past Capp to make it 2-0 (81 mins).
From the re-start, the feisty Paterson committed a dreadful foul and was booked. Alty now kept the ball in the Barrow half before Ridley took a wild hack at Potts, which fortunately missed as Potts skipped up the right wing. However, Potts was now carrying an injury and was replaced by Lugsden (88 mins). As three minutes of added time was announced, Gary Talbot was named as Man of the Match, though Eddie Hussin also had an excellent game and Marcus Hallows, a striker who had scored his third goal in consecutive games cannot have been passed over lightly too!
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 BARROW 0|