GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET (1) 2 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
Nationwide Conference, National Division
played on Saturday, 19 November 2005 at 3 pm.
Altrincham came away pointless once again on their travels and have now won just once in their last 12 Conference matches, scoring just 5 goals in the process. However, they started decently enough and more than matched Gravesend until McGregor got behind Band on the far left by-line and his low cross was converted by Drury (42 mins). The Fleet had the better of the early part of the second half but their decisive second goal was controversial, as McDonald clearly pushed over Scott to gain possession and shoot past Coburn (53 mins). Alty improved after Lugsden and Potts came on (58 mins) and had several chances in the latter stages with Band having a header cleared off the line, Little and Owen shooting wide and Little forcing a fine save from Kerr, as well as other opportunities - but a goal just would not come.
REFEREE: Mr.B Malone
Alty had defenders Gary Talbot, Stephen Rose (left) and Chris Adams (right) as well as striker Lee Hendley missing today. New signing Ged Murphy remained ineligible under the new transfer rules. Chris Butler made his debut at left back with Kirk Hilton starting in left midfield. Gary Scott was at right-back with Lewis Chalmers in front of him in midfield. Up front, the on-loan Kyle Wilson joined Colin Little. Karl Munroe dropped to the bench.
GRAVESEND and NORTHFLEET (Red shirts and socks, white shorts): 12. Craig HOLLOWAY, 2. Scott GOODING, 5. James SMITH, 8. Jay SAUNDERS, 10. Charlie MacDONALD, 11. Jimmy JACKSON, 12. Craig HOLLOWAY, 17. Ross SMITH, 22. Luke MOORE, 23. Andy DRURY, 31. Bradley JOHNSON. Subs: 1. Aaron KERR, 3. Justin SKINNER, 4. Graham PORTER, 19. Daniel GLOZIER, 24. Onome SODJE.
ALTRINCHAM (Pale blue shirts and socks, dark blue shorts): 1. Stuart COBURN; 11. Gary SCOTT, 15. Peter BAND, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt), 16. Chris BUTLER; 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 8. Val OWEN, 12. Warren PEYTON, 23. Kirk HILTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 29. Kyle WILSON; Subs: 2. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Colin POTTS, 17. Karl MUNROE, 19. James ROBINSON, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN.
Alty kicked off and, from an almost immediate free-kick by Hilton, Little's ball into the box was fumbled by Holloway but Wilson could not turn it in (1 min). Alty's bright start continued as Wilson won a corner. Johnson, on loan from Northampton, did get in a shot which Coburn saved before another Fleet shot from the right flashed across the Alty goal (9 mins).
From an Owen shot, Alty won another corner, with Hilton the taker. Before Alty won their third corner, Gravesend won one themselves which ended in an Alty goalkick (16 mins). The third Alty corner saw Chalmers rise well but he headed wide. A series of long throws by Chalmers, from the right corner area, helped Alty to pose the Fleet defence some problems. But after Scott had missed an attempted header clear, Gravesend won a corner. After this, Wilson almost charged down goalkeeper Holloway at the other end as he tried to deal with an overhit back pass. Two more Chalmers throws then preceded another Gravesend corner. A foul by Peyton on half-way earned him a booking soon afterwards (32 mins).
Alty's best move of the half followed as Chalmers, Owen, Little and Peyton got Wilson into the right corner and, from the Crewe loan-player's cross, Owen chested the ball down but sliced his shot over the bar (36 mins). Gravesend had more of the ball in the next few minutes but when they took the lead, the goal came from a seemingly unpromising situation. A ball played towards the corner, left of the Alty goal, saw Band have to check as MacDonald ran across him. Gravesend's leadlng scorer got to the bye-line first and slid a ball towards the penalty spot, from where the unmarked Drury scored with ease (42 mins). In added time, Saunders headed wide from Jackson's cross from the left, but Alty could count themselves unlucky to be trailing at the interval though, once again, they had not looked like scoring.
|Half-Time: GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
An early half-chance fell to Kyle Wilson, who latched onto a through-ball and held off a challenge to get in a shot but it went well over the bar (47 mins). Soon, Lewis Chalmers got booked for a trip (51 mins) but worse followed shortly afterwards. When Gravesend cleared a Hilton freekick, awarded for a foul on Chalmers, Drury cleared the ball. As Scott chased back into his own box, he was clearly pushed over by the pursuing MacDonald. To Alty's amazement play continued as MacDonald stole the ball and drove his shot past Coburn to make it 2-0 (53 mins). Gravesend soon won another corner from which Smith's effort hit an Alty defender on the line. Graham Heathcote had words with the officials as they made a meal out of allowing a double Altrincham substitution, which took an age to complete. Potts and Lugsden replaced Butler and Wilson as Alty sought to increase their attacking potential (58 mins).
In the short term, Gravesend continued to have the better of the second half, winning two corners in succession (66 mins). But then Potts and Lugsden exerted some influence. Next, Holloway was beaten to a Hilton cross by Band's header but a defender cleared off the line, at the cost of a corner. Though Smith cleared this, Potts was soon advancing up the Alty right and the ball broke loose to the incoming Owen who sliced his shot wide from 18 yards (70 mins).
After a Fleet corner had been seen off, Alty went close again as Owen went in for a 50/50 with Holloway and the ball broke to Potts, right of goal. He fed the ball back, inside, where first Owen missed his kick and then Little shot wide with the Gravesend defence in disarray (73 mins). Soon, a Coburn throw to Potts came via Little and Owen to Lugsden, whose first-time shot was pouched by Holloway. After this, Robinson came on for his debut, replacing Chalmers (76 mins). Alty continued to press and soon forced Smith to lift the ball over his own bar for a corner. This was followed soon after by a second flag-kick which led to a session of pinball as the defence failed to clear the ball cleanly. But Alty almost paid the price for pressing forward as MacDonald got past Scott but Coburn was out smartly to make an excellent block. The Aity goalkeeper was soon involved again when he tried to dribble round Moore and went down somewhat dramatically as the Fleet youngster caught him and received a booking (80 mins).
Next, Val Owen was unable to gather the ball from Robinson's feed then Hilton got to the bye-line but his low cross bisected two team-mates in the box. Gravesend then brought on Skinner for Johnson. Another chance soon came Alty's way as Lugsden did well to feed Little but he fired narrowly wide (84 mins). Next, the Gravesend defence was again forced to head over its own bar to concede a corner. From Potts's corner, Little powered a header at goal but Holloway saved superbly at the cost of another corner. But Alty were almost caught on the break as MacDonald fed Moore but he steered his shot wide (87 mins). As a surprising four minutes of added time was announced, The Fleet tried to wind down the clock in their left corner and then made a substitution, Sodje replacing Moore (90+3 mins). A speculative shot at the keeper by Little was Alty's last effort.
Alty created enough chances in the last 20 minutes or so to have retrieved something from this match but failed to take them, making Mr Malone's decision to allow the second Fleet goal academic.
|Full-Time: GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET 2 ALTRINCHAM 00|