Match Reports, 2004-05
ALTRINCHAM (2) 3
VAUXHALL MOTORS (1) 1
Nationwide North game,
played on Tuesday, 7 December, 2004
After a sluggish start from Altrincham, they went behind when Wright latched on to an underhit backpass from Talbot, to score comfortably (10 mins). Alty slowly gathered themselves and were helped towards an equaliser when two Vauxhall players got in a tangle on the Alty left and the ball came to Hallows who kept his composure well to score, though Dittmer partly stopped his shot (24 mins). Hallows limped off soon afterwards and it was his replacement, Kieran Lugsden, who scored his first league goal and Alty's second of the night when he converted a fine, low cross from the right by Thornley (34 mins). The game was finished off when an excellent cross from the right by Potts was met by a well-executed half-volley from Thornley (51 mins). Vauxhall played some neat passing football and had plenty of possession in the final stages of the game but rarely looked like scoring. Chris Adams was named Man of the Match.
REFEREE: Mr P. GRAHAM
This was Alty's first return fixture of the season, after meeting 19 different teams so far this season in the league. The game at Rivacre Park had seen Altrincham comfortably beaten, a ground at which Alty have a poor record. However, at Moss Lane, Alty had won against the Motormen last season.
Altrincham welcomed back Marcus Hallows but were still without midfielder Val Owen. Hallows's return relegated Lugsden to the bench. There was also a positional switch with Gary Scott, latterly selected to play on the left wing, returning to a more accustomed role at right-back. Steve Aspinall moved into central midfield and Colin Little played on the left, with Rod Thornley partnering Hallows up front.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks.) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Stephen ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Gary SCOTT, 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Colin LITTLE, 11. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 12. Kieran LUGSDEN, 14. Paul TILLEY, 15. Sean SMITH, 16. Lewis CHALMERS, 17. Adam BRINDLE.
VAUXHALL MOTORS (All pale blue) 1. Tim DITTMER, 2. Lee WOODYATT, 3. Wayne McDERMOTT, 4. James GLENDENNING, 5. Carl SPELLMAN, 6. Phil BRAZIER, 7. Carl NESBITT, 8. Robbie LAWTON(capt.), 9. Darren WRIGHT, 10. James OLSEN, 11. Peter CUMISKEY. Subs: 12. Anthony WRIGHT, 14. Steve PORTER, 15. Alan GRIFFITHS, 16. Karl O'DONNELL, 17. Matthew DUFFY.
The game kicked off two minutes early on a Moss Lane pitch which was sanded in places. A very early interception by Thornley led to an Alty corner inside 30 seconds but it was to be the visitors who started the better in the early stages. Playing their customary fast, passing game Vauxhall were looking sharper than their hosts. So, it came as no surprise when they took the lead, though the manner of the goal was extremely disappointing for the Alty defence. Talbot seriously underhit an intended back pass from 20 yards or so out and Darren Wright latched onto it to score neatly past the exposed Coburn. There was a glimmer of hope when the linesman raised his flag and kept it raised after the ball had entered the net but, after a brief consultation between the referee and his assistant, the goal stood as the flag had presumably been for Wright's being offside - had the ball not come to him from an Alty player (10 mins).
Alty won an immediate corner but then were soon caught offside themselves; a pattern that was to be repeated several times in the game. Vauxhall soon won a corner themselves following which they curled a shot just wide (14 mins). Vauxhall continued to look the slicker side as Alty's next two attacks faltered when Hallows was judged offside on each occasion. Next, a Maddox foul on Cumiskey gave the Motormen a freekick from 25 yards which Coburn saved from Lawton (23 mins). Soon afterwards Altrincham were helped towards an equaliser by a mix up on the Vauxhall right touchline, some 30 yards out, which saw two Vauxhall men get in each other's way and the ball was diverted by them, inside, to the unmarked Hallows. Inside the box, Marcus took time to control the ball before driving it through, as much as past, Dittmer into the net (24 mins). There was time for Hallows to be caught offside again before he went down injured. There was a lengthy stoppage as Marcus's left sock was removed and his lower leg/foot treated. He hobbled back into action (29 mins). Nevertheless, Marcus managed to get on the end of as Hussin cross before having to bow to the inevitable and be substituted by Kieran Lugsden (32 mins).
Immediately, Scott and Lugsden combined wel to feed Potts on the right but he overhit his cross cum shot. But, moments later, a clearance to Potts saw him feed Thornley on the right and his low cross was knocked in from close range in a central position by Kieran Lugsden- his first league goal for the first team (34 mins). Having not played particularly well, Altrincham found themselves ahead.
Vauxhall won a corner soon after the goal but then got a rather fortunate freekick inside the Alty box when Lawton went down theatrically under a challenge from Talbot which was deemed to be obstruction. From Cumiskey's lay-off, McDermott drove his shot into the wall. A crude challenge by Spellman on Little saw the Vauxhall player booked (43 mins). Aspinall overhit the freekick, which was aimed for Talbot. It then took a fine tackle from Maddox to stop Cumiskey, followed a minute or so later by Vauxhall winning a corner. However, as half-time arrived, a foul by Glendenning on Lugsden gave Alty a free-kick on the right. Adams's freekick found Little who nodded the ball back inside to Thornley but his shot was saved (45+2 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 VAUXHALL MOTORS 1|
The second half began with Vauxhall setting the pace, as at the start of the game, and an early ball over the Alty defence set Wright in at goal but the advancing Coburn made an excellent save, at the cost of a corner on the Vauxhall right. But, it was Altrincham who scored again after 51 minutes when, out of nothing, Potts curled in a cross from the right touchline, about 35 yards out, where it was met on the half-volley by Thornley who drove the ball home impressivel and celebrated with his customary cartwheel at the 20/20 End.
Vauxhall responded with more pressure, in which McDermott on the right was frequently involved. After a low shot by Olsen had been safely gathered, Olsen was booked for a foul, off the ball, on Potts. But the Vauxhall pressure soon produced a corner before Altrincham countered with a good pass from Potts to Thornley which ultimately led to nothing. There was then a curious incident when Glendenning drove the ball, low into touch, where it hit the linesman who fell over on the sanded touchline to the amusement of the crowd. Play had to stop for him to have sand removed from his eye.
Just after the hour mark, Graham Heathcote came down to the touchline from the stand to discuss tactics with Dalton Steele in the technical area. Alty now improved with Dittmer having to punch clear an Adams cross off Little's head. Vauxhall now made a double change with Karl O'Donnell and former Alty defender Steve Porter coming on for Nesbitt and Cumiskey (64 mins). Having recently been reported as emigrating to Australia, it was a surprise to see Porter back at Moss Lane.
Play now went through a fairly uninteresting spell which the Alty choir filled by singing songs about Northwich Victoria! Hussin continued to be impressive with his hard work, as much in defence as midfield at this stage. Vauxhall won another corner but created no clear chances before making their final change as Spellman was replaced by Griffiths (73 mins).
Alty at last got forward and Lugsden and Potts combined for Thornley to have a shot which hit a defender and went over the bar for a corner. With manager Heathcote instructing Adams to play the corner short for Potts, Lawton anticipated the ploy and nipped in to steal possession. Alty won another corner after a good interception from Aspinall. From Potts's corner, Little headed the ball towards the back post to Lugsden who was unable to turn the ball in and hit the sidenetting instead (77 mins).
As the game entered the last ten minutes, the Motormen pressed again and won two corners inside five minutes. On the break Potts and Little fed Thornley, whose shot was saved by Dittmer (86 mins). Alty made another substitution after 88 minutes when Paul Tilley came on for Gary Scott, with Steve Aspinall dropping to right-back as Tilley went into midfield. Apart from a good shot from 20 yards by O'Donnell, which Coburn saved well in the first minute of added time, Altrincham rode out the closing minutes without any alarms. Without playing at their best Altrincham had secured three points to improve on their recent disappointing run in the league. However, they had shown an ability to finish clinically with three strikers (Hallows, Lugsden and Thornley) all taking their chances well.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 3 VAUXHALL MOTORS 1|