YORK CITY (2) 5
ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
Nationwide Conference National Match
played on Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 3pm.
After three successive clean sheets and 10 points from 4 games, Altrincham lost 5-0 for the second successive Saturday this afternoon. The first goal came after 25 minutes when O'Neill converted from a free kick on the left when the ball dropped to him off a defender. Alty went two behind after 38 minutes when Donaldson sidefooted home a Bishop cross from the right. It was 3-0 after 52 minutes when Dudgeon powered a header past Coburn from a freekick on the left. On 61 minutes, Bishop scored after O'Neill had been left in far too much space left of goal. The fifth goal came on 82 minutes when Stewart capitalised on a mistake from Munroe. At half time Alty had changed to 4-4-2 from their initial 4-5-1 line-up by bringing on Lee Hendley and later Williams also came on to bolster the attack but it was to no avail against an impressive York side. One consolation - all four Alty defeats this season have been against teams now in the top six in the league
REFEREE: Mr. A. Haines
ATTENDANCE: 2,634 (185 in away enclosures)
Alty had never met York in a league match before today but they have had three FA Cup encounters:
The Bootham Crescent ground is now branded as Kit-Kat Crescent in deference to York's sponsorship by local company Rowntrees. Alty's fans were allocated the open end and the adjacent quarter of the stand.The game was played on a slightly cloudy afternoon with, at times, some very light drizzle falling.
Gary Talbot, Colin Potts, Lewis Chalmers and reserve keeper Richard Acton were all ruled out with recent injuries but Alty were also without the recovering Eddie Hussin, Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Lutel James, Kieran Lugsden and Richard Norris. James Olsen was also not in the squad, though present at the game, so he too may be unfit. Kirk Hilton was brought in to the side for the first time this season, after injury, playing on the left of a five-man midfield in a 4-5-1 formation, with Colin Little the lone striker. Lee Hendley was restored to the bench where he joined new cover goalkeeper, Chris Cloherty, signed from Trafford in midweek. At right-back Karl Munroe, who had limped off in the opening game of the season at Stevenage, like Hilton, was playing his first full league game since injury.
York have had a settled side all season and were unchanged from their last game. The Minstermen were unbeaten at home before today's game. Jermaine Palmer, a loanee from Grimsby was on the bench for the first time.
YORK CITY: (Red shirts, white sleeves, white shorts, red socks): 1. Chris PORTER, 2. Jamie PRICE, 5 David McGURK, 6. James DUDGEON, 7. Mark CONVERY, 8. Emmanuel PANTHER, 9. Clayton DONALDSON, 10. Joe O'NEILL, 11. Andy BISHOP, 12. Darren DUNNING. Subs: 4. Mark HOTTE, 14. Levant YALCIN, 18. Bryan STEWART, 24. Jermaine PALMER, 26. Farhad AFANIYEV.
ALTRINCHAM (Pale blue shirts & socks, dark blue shorts) : 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Karl MUNROE, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt.), 15. Peter BAND, 3. Chris ADAMS; 12. Steve HAWES, 8. Val OWEN, 21. Stephen ROSE, 25. Nehru McKENZIE, 23. Kirk HILTON; 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 27. Christopher CLOHERTY (gk), 10. Rod THORNLEY, 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 24. George MELLING, 26. Lee HENDLEY.
The reality of playing football in a national league was brought home to Alty fans when, not only were their bags searched on arrival as seems to be standard practice in the Conference, but the plastic caps on their bottles of water and soft drinks were confiscated for fear that the bottles would be thrown onto the pitch. Yet, inside the ground plastic-bottled drinks were being sold with their tops on!
On the bottle-free pitch, the opening minutes saw several throw-ins for each side before York began to settle the better. A cross from the right by Panther was met by Bishop, who got his head to the ball ahead of Coburn's fist but he headed narrowly over the bar (3 mins). As York continued to press, Little was caught offside as he threatened to get clear on a counter-attack. After a great tackle by Adams on Bishop, the ball went forward and McGurk was forced to concede the game's first corner to Altrincham, which Hilton badly overhit from the right (12 mins).
After a foul on Owen by Dunning, both players were lectured but Alty got the freekick, which Hilton again wasted by overhitting the dead ball (16 mins). York were impressing with their accurate passing, Bishop on the right and Donaldson on the left looking particularly impressive. Following a mistake by Munroe, O'Neill got in a low shot, which Coburn saved. Alty were doing all right without creating any real chances but they were thankful to see Convery shoot well wide from a surge forward by Donaldson (21 mins).
Alty were winning their fair share of freekicks and another came when Munroe was felled and when, soon afterwards, the ever-impressive Owen won possession, Alty were having their best spell of the game so far. But then, the Minstermen scored. It came when Munroe conceded a free-kick on the Alty right, 25 yards or so from goal. Dunning's ball came across the centre of the Alty box in the air, where it seemed to come off either Maddox or Band and drop for O'Neill, who had a fairly simple chance to score, which he took (25 mins). As York maintained the upper hand, Owen was booked for a foul, which gave York a freekick near the spot from which their first goal had come. But Coburn gathered this free-kick at the second attempt. Rose then did well to clear but York were soon back again and a smart turn and left-foot shot from Bishop forced Coburn to tip the ball over the bar for a corner (34 mins).
In midfield, McKenzie and Hawes were working hard alongside Owen but, overall, Alty were losing the ball too easily and were unable to give Little much chance of producing a goal against a well-drilled York defence. York now doubled their lead when Bishop's cross from the right just cleared O'Neill and a challenging defender and dropped for the unmarked Donaldson to side-foot home from 10 yards (38 mins).
Munroe then hurt himself making a challenge, following which Donaldson was booked, presumably for complaining that a free-kick should have been given. Curiously, Coburn also got a talking-to, before play resumed (40 mins). In the two allotted minutes of added time, Alty got forward and Owen and Adams set up a shot for Hawes, which was blocked (45+2 mins).
|Half-Time: YORK CITY 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the interval, Alty added a second striker when 19 year-old Lee Hendley came on for midfielder Stephen Rose. As Alty kicked off, the floodlights came on, even though it was now a fairly bright afternoon. Soon, a Maddox foul on Bishop on the front edge of the box gave York a free-kick. Having survived this, Hendley got in a cross from the right which McKenzie almost steered into the net but it went just over the York crossbar (49 mins).
But York soon threatened again as a ball played forward over Band allowed O'Neill a sight of goal but Maddox made a fine interception. Then, from a freekick conceded by Little, 35 yards out on the York left, Convery's ball found Dudgeon arriving, unmarked at the back post, from where he powered home a header past Coburn to make it 3-0 (52 mins).
Soon after the restart a mistake by Adams let in O'Neill, but he shot wide. Alty boss Graham Heathcote now adapted his formation once again, bringing on Williams as another attacking player at the cost of midfielder Hilton (55 mins). And, initially, Alty did get forward a bit more. However, when Maddox was fouled just inside his own half by Convery, Adams's freekick was cleared to Donaldson who got past Hawes in central midfield and fed the ball, left, to O'Neill who had been left in yards of space. He advanced and crossed the ball as Munroe attempted vainly to close him down but his cross was converted, in the centre, by Bishop, to make it 4-0 (61 mins).
After another York attack had been seen off, Little got into the box and the Alty man was clearly held by Dudgeon, not just momentarily but for what must have been the better part of 10 seconds, yet the well-sighted, nearby linesman, Mr Webb amazingly saw nothing untoward. Little battled on to win a corner. Following this Alty won a freekick and then Hendley maintained Alty's spell of pressure by winning the ball off Panther, holding off the McGurk's challenge and advancing towards the box before firing a shot only marginally off target (67 mins). Alty now made their final change as Melling replaced McKenzie, with Band moving into midfield to accommodate him (68 mins).
Alty's more attacking intent in the latter stages almost paid off as Little fed Band ,who got in a cross from the right but this was cleared. Soon, Adams was felled and though Alty got the freekick, Melling was booked, presumably for some outspoken words (70 mins). Moments later York's Bishop was also booked after Adams had been fouled. York next replaced O'Neill by Palmer, who was making his debut, on loan from Grimsby Town (71 mins). Alty continued to win freekicks at regular intervals, another one coming when the ball got lodged between Owen's legs as he lay on the ground and he was kicked by an opponent. However, York soon won a corner off Melling. Back defending at the corner, Hendley did well to clear to the right of his own goal, but the ball rebounded to Dunning whose low cross was met by a stooping header into the net at the near post by Bishop, but itl was ruled out for offside (75 mins). Another foul by York, on Adams, gave a freekick which Alty again did not exploit only for the unfortunate Adams to be almost immediately upended again, by the combative Palmer who was deservedly booked, having committed three significant offences in his short time on the pitch (78 mins). At this point York brought on Stewart for Bishop and Yalcin for Convery (78 mins).
After Little had sliced a ball to Stewart, the York sub was penalised for holding Munroe. But the tables were turned soon afterwards when Munroe's mis-header caused Melling a problem in the centre of the pitch about 30 yards from goal. The loose ball broke to Stewart who went on to drive the ball past Coburn. One major difference at this level compared with Conference North is that the opposition rarely fails to hit the target when given a shooting chance. Alty were now 5-0 down yet Coburn had barely had a couple of saves to make other than when the goals were scored (82 mins). A trip on Hawes now produced another freekick. Following this, Alty went close when Little fed Owen who got to the by-line and, from his cross, the reteating Price just managed to turn the ball past the outside of his own upright (85 mins). The resulting corner was cleared and soon Peter Band got himself needlessly booked at the other end for booting the ball into the stand after a throw-in had been conceded (86 mins). York won a freekick when Adams tripped Donaldson but Coburn held the firmly driven freekick, taken from the edge of his penalty area to the keeper's left. A fine Maddox tackle now saw off Yalcin before two minutes of added time started. In this period Palmer shot wide and Alty's Williams actually got the ball into the York net but he had already been given offside (90+2 mins)..
After a run of our games without defeat (three wins and a draw including a sequence of three games without conceding a goal), Alty have now lost 5-0 on successive Saturdays. Their initial defensive formation today was undone once the first goal had been conceded and they gradually adopted a more attacking stance. But, on the day they, were beaten by a better, full-time side who are now second in the table. Alty's consolation after this torrid week is that they have yet to lose to any team from outside the current top six. They now need to re-group and get back on the winning trail at home to Scarborough on Tuesday.
|Full-Time: YORK CITY 5