ALTRINCHAM (0) 2 TAMWORTH (0) 0
Nationwide Conference, National Division
played on Saturday, 26 November 2005 at 3 pm.
Two late goals gained Altrincham a vital three points. After a fairly even first half in which Alty had a goal disallowed and Tamworth's giant centre-back headed against the Alty bar, the visitors had the better of the second half until Alty's substitutions changed the flow. Alty went ahead after 88 minutes when a huge punt by Coburn was well met by Little. His shot was beaten away and, in a crowded goalmouth, the ball went via Lugsden to another Alty player who scored - according to Ceefax the scorer was Val Owen but in the dressing room afterwards, Colin Little confirmed that he was the scorer. Soon afterwards Robinson won possession well about 30 yards out and via Lugsden the ball came out left of goal to Little. Keeper Bevan stopped Little's fierce low shot but could not hold it and Robinson reacted quickly to score his first goal for Altrincham (90+1 mins). Debutant Steve Bushell was a deserved Man of the Match
REFEREE: Mr.M Matadar
With just one win in their last 12 games, Altrincham were in great need of a win to avoid dropping into the relegation places. Tamworth had beaten Alty earlier this season in the FA Cup at The Lamb, but this was the Midlands' side's first visit to Moss Lane. 116 away fans in the 20/20 End plus more in the Main Stand supported them well today.
Alty had defenders Gary Talbot and Stephen Rose out again but Chris Adams and Mark Maddox were fit to play. Steve Bushell, on loan from Halifax, made his debut in central midfield. Recent signing Warren Peyton played on the left in front of him in midfield. Up front, the on-loan Kyle Wilson again joined Colin Little. Chris Adams resumed at left back with Chris Butler, who had taken a knock last week, dropping to the bench. Colin Potts also returned to the starting line-up.
Like Alty, Tamworth have brought in new personnel recently. Their newcomers included Steve Melton, Eddie Anaclet and, on the bench Carl Motteram (on loan from Birmingham) and Jimmy Turner (ex-Cambridge United).
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN; 11. Gary SCOTT, 15. Peter BAND, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt), 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 30. Steve BUSHELL, 12. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 29. Kyle WILSON; Subs: 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 16. Chris BUTLER, 17. Karl MUNROE, 19. James ROBINSON, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN.
TAMWORTH (All white): 34. Scott BEVAN; 2. Adie SMITH (capt), 32. Michael TUOHY, 5. Matt REDMILE, 35. Eddie ANACLET; 8. Graham WARD, 14. Kyle STORER, 6. Steve MELTON, 12. Carl HEGGS; 21. Jake EDWARDS, 17. Nathan JACKSON. Subs: 7. Carl MOTTERAM, 11. Hugh McAULEY, 20. James FRANCIS, 23. Jimmy TURNER, 30. Mark GAYLE (gk).
After a thirty-second period of applause to commemorate George Best, who died yesterday, Tamworth kicked off towards their own supporters in the 20/20 Research End. The opening minutes were scrappy with throw-ins, offsides and a misplaced kick into touch by Stuart Coburn from a freekick doing little to raise the pulse. But the first action of note was not long coming, prompted by a fine ball up the inside-left channel by Steve Bushell which set Kyle Wilson running inside the box. His well-hit shot from the left was equally well saved, at a stretch near his near post, by the giant Bevan in the Tamworth goal (4 mins). Bevan was soon in action again, fielding an Adams freekick and then picking up the ball when a stretching Smith diverted the ball back to him and the referee, Mr Matadar, gave him the benefit of the doubt as to whether it had been a back-pass or not (10 mins). Up front, Tamworth's burly Edwards was giving the Alty defence a difficult job - indeed the Tamworth side as a whole was physically much bigger than Alty for apart from Bevan and Edwards, the centre-back Redmile must be one of the tallest and burliest defenders in the Conference.
Tamworth now won two corners in as many minutes, the first coming after an excellent block by Adams when Ward had been allowed too much space 22 yards out. The second corner followed a freekick conceded by Scott for a foul on Heggs. Tamworth threatened again when Scott lost the ball on the Tamworth left, near the corner flag, and this allowed Edwards to get along the by-line and feed the incoming Jackson but excellent cover by Owen saved the day at the cost of Tamworth's third corner of the match (18 mins). From this, taken on the left, Redmile rose well and headed against the crossbar, following which Maddox did well to block a follow-up shot. Play swept to the other end where Wilson and Peyton fed Little and then Owen but Val's shot was half hit to the keeper.
Bushell continued to impress for Alty and Peyton too was settling well. Tamworth's Anaclet then covered well as Bushell tried to find Potts. Alty had a good shout for a penalty when a move involving Wilson, Little, Peyton and Owen ended with Little going down inside the box. In the ensuing melee, Tamworth hacked the ball clear (21 mins). Another promising Alty position soon followed but ended with the mobile Wilson's poor cut-back from the right which went straight to Heggs (22 mins). Tamworth responded and Band, who had a less assured afternoon than normal today, was pressured into an error, but then recovered the ball himself from Melton.
Tamworth won another corner after Band's header had hit Jackson and Maddox had had to make a good tackle. Following Storer's corner, Smith shot well wide (28 mins). Altrincham won their first two corners of the game in fairly quick succession around the half-hour mark. Bushell took the first and the ball came to Peyton, whose snap-shot from 25 yards was heading so wide of goal that it reached Little in the right of the penalty box. His shot at goal hit a Tamworth player amidst unanswered appeals for handball. The second corner produced a bizarre moment. Potts had got the ball by the right corner flag and put it down to take the kick before Bushell came across to take it. However, before he could do so, the linesman flagged vigorously. After a consultation between the officials, Tamworth were awarded a freekick in the corner-flag area. Seemingly, Potts had touched the ball with his foot before Bushell arrived on the scene and then, when the ball was picked up for the kick to be taken by Bushell, it was judged to be handball!
Play continued fairly evenly now but it took every one of keeper Bevan's 6ft 7inches to keep out a superb shot from Potts which was arrowing towards the keeper's top right hand corner from 25 yards. Although the keeper's fine save conceded a corner, this caused Tamworth no problems (40 mins). But then disaater almost struck for Alty when Coburn came out to kick clear and failed to do so. The ball fell for Jackson who should have scored but his shot was slightly mishit and, though goalbound, its pace was sufficiently slow to allow Band to make an excellent clearance off the line at the cost of a corner on the Tamworth right (41 mins). There was more excitement before the interval as Potts's cross was relayed by Little to Wilson, who "scored" only for the goal to be chalked off for offside (42 mins). Rain was now falling as a Band mistake allowed Storer to find Edwards, who forced a good save from Coburn, to his left. One minute of added time was played but the score remained goalless, though there had been plenty of incident in a fairly even first half.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 TAMWORTH 0|
Left: James Robinson, after the match
Alty kicked off but almost immediately Little lost possession. This set the pattern for the opening period of the half as Tamworth had most of the play in the Altrincham half. There was another curious incident when Coburn attempted to kick the ball out as a Tamworth player was down at the other end, but Tamworth played on and the player got up, only to collapse again the next time play stopped. With Alty on the back foot, Tamworth gained another corner, but Coburn caught Storer's flag-kick. Maddox and Jackson were then both booked for an off the ball spat (54 mins). Altrincham now made a change as Wilson gave way up front to Kieran Lugsden (57 mins).
Scott soon had to make an excellent block from Heggs's shot after Band had lost out to Edwards (59 mins). But Altrincham's supporters continued in good voice even though at this stage it did not look likely that their side would score. However, a long punt by Coburn to Lugsden got Alty going forward and they now started to apply some pressure themselves (65 mins). Next, Anaclet got a lecture for some petulance after a challenge by Owen, who was also spoken to. At this point Tamworth brought on Birmingham City loan player Motteram for his debut in place of Jackson (68 mins). At the same time, James Robinson replaced Chris Adams for Alty, with Warren Peyton dropping to left back as Robinson went to left-midfield. Alty were now seizing the initiative and from a Band clearance, Lugsden won a corner on the right. From Potts's corner on the right, Bushell's cross found Band who hurt himself in attempting to twist back to head the ball. The ball came to Little who was quite clearly held inside the box but Mr Matadar dismissed claims for a spot-kick (70 mins). After treatment, Band hobbled off but resumed moments later. Alty continued to have the initiative now and, through Scott, they won a corner on the right (75 mins).
Following a Potts feed, Little then shot well over but Lugsden won a freekick son afterwards to keep the impetus for Altrincham. After this a back-header from Little went just wide from a good cross by Peyton (79 mins). Next, from a punt clear by Coburn, Little won a freekick. Taken from 35 yards out by Peyton, the back-pedalling Bevan allowed the ball to clear him but must have been taken aback to see the ball actually strike the top of the cross bar (81 mins). Not long afterwards, Jimmy Turner, recently released by Cambridge United, came on for Tamworth's Heggs (83 mins), the new man going to left back as Anaclet was pushed forward. As the game entered the last five minutes, Tamworth got a corner which Maddox cleared. Then Tamworth made another change, bringing on the much travelled McAuley for Storer (87 mins). Immediately a huge kicked clearance by Coburn was well controlled in the Tamworth box by Little. His first time shot was blocked by Bevan but the ball ran free to Lugsden who relayed it on to Little who had smartly got to the back post where he knocked the ball into the net from close range (88 mins). Three minutes of added time were indicated as Chalmers came on for Potts. After another long punt by Coburn, Tamworth were clearing their lines when Robinson challenged McAuley about 30 yards out and emerged with the ball on the Alty right. He got the ball to Little on the left and his well struck shot could not be held by Bevan as the keeper made a good stop. Robinson reacted quickly to knock home the loose ball and make it 2-0 (90+1 mins). Altrincham threatened again in the remaining minutes but Little overdid things . However, Alty did get a very late corner before the final whistle went.
Altrincham had left it very late and Tamworth boss Mark Cooper felt that Alty's win was undeserved. But just as in the FA Cup game at The Lamb, one team's stronger finish to the game had made the difference - and this time it was Altrincham who were the beneficiaries. Bushell was a deserved winner of the Man of the Match.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 TAMWORTH 0|