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Altrincham FC Match Reports


F.A. Cup Fourth Qualifying Round match
played on Saturday, 28 October 2006, at 3pm.


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    A poor performance from Altrincham saw them dumped out of the FA Cup by managerless Rushden. Alty had no answer to the pace of Berry, Tomlin and Jackson and barely threatened the home goal. The Diamonds took the lead after 40 minutes when Jackson's nod went to Tomlin, who placed a low shot past Acton. The unmarked Shaw curled home the second after Berry had got past Peyton early in the second half (48 mins). The second half was largely one-way traffic and Jackson scored easily after an error by Owen (76 mins). Having booked no one in the first half, Mr Hopkins went card-happy in the second half with five Alty players and two Diamonds players ending up in the book in a game that was never dirty. The only bright spots for Altrincham were late appearances for Colin Little and Eddie Hussin but their efforts were too late to affect the outcome.


  • 40 mins: Lee TOMLIN (Rushden & Diamonds 1 Altrincham 0)
  • 48 mins: Tom SHAW (Rushden & Diamonds 2 Altrincham 0)
  • 76 mins: Simeon JACKSON (Rushden & Diamonds 3 Altrincham 0)

    REFEREE: Mr. J Hopkins

    ATTENDANCE: 1,509 (incl. 169 in the Away End)

    Just seven weeks after losing three-nil at Nene Park in a Conference match, Altrincham were back for this FA Cup clash. But Altrincham lay four places and three points ahead of the Diamonds in the league and arrived at Nene Park having lost just once in their previous eight games. On the other hand, Rushden had been winless in nine games and had dispensed with manager Paul Hart less than a fortnight ago. Former WBA goalkeeper Tony Godden was the Diamonds' caretaker manager for today's match.

    Unlike on previous visits, the Altrincham fans were assigned part of the North Stand rather than the Airwair Stand behind the goal at the East end. In the league match the gate was 1,680 (incl. 92 in the Away End); today it was 1,509 (169 in the away enclosure).


    Only Karl Munroe, Lewis Chalmers, Robbie Lawton, Warren Peyton, Gary Scott, Val Owen and Joe O'Neill were survivors from the Altrincham eleven who started the league match seven weeks ago. The Alty bench included Colin Little (back after missing 9 games) and Gary Talbot (who had missed 10 games with his injury). Peter Thomson, Justin Bowler, Kieran Lugsden and Pat McFadden had all also travelled with the squad but had no place in the match squad today.

    Rushden had relegated Dan Chillingworth and Michael Rankine who had played in the September game against Alty to the bench in favour of David Savage and Lee Tomlin.


    RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS (All red): 1. Nicky EYRE, 2. Glenn WILSON, 3. Paul WATSON, 4. Jon ASHTON, 5. Chris HOPE, 6. Wayne HATSWELL, 7. David SAVAGE, 11. Marcus KELLY, 12. Simeon JACKSON, 14. Lee TOMLIN, 15. Tyrone BERRY. Subs: 20. Scott TYNAN, 8. Michael RANKINE, 10. Dan CHILLINGWORTH, 17. Andrew RIGBY, 18. Tom SHAW.

    ALTRINCHAM (Dark / pale blue shirts, dark blue shorts and pale blue socks.): 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 3. Gary SCOTT; 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Val OWEN, 11. Warren PEYTON; 10. Rod THORNLEY, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 5. Gary TALBOT, 9. Colin LITTLE, 22. Colin POTTS, 23. Eddie HUSSIN.

    Altrincham substitutes:

  • 52 mins: POTTS for SCOTT
  • 63 mins: HUSSIN for ROSE
  • 63 mins: LITTLE for THORNLEY


    Right: Karl Munroe deals with a cross from the left by Rushden..

    The floodlights were already on as Altrincham kicked off at Nene Park on an overcast afternoon, but it was Rushden who almost immediately won the game's first corner. However, overall, in the early stages, play was fairly even and the Diamonds were giving away freekicks at regular intervals. From one of these, taken by Aspinall, Chalmers rose well to head across the goalmouth but Rushden then began to assert themselves, winning three corners in succession. Their main threat was coming up the right, through the pace of Berry and Tomlin, who were giving Scott and Peyton a difficult time. But, after the three corners had been seen off, Owen went down in the Rushden box, but no foul was seen by the referee (10 mins).

    The speed of Berry continued to trouble Alty as the visitors struggled to supply their front men, Thornley and O'Neill. But when O'Neill finally got a sight of goal, following a neat build up, he mis-hit his shot weakly to Eyre. Next, good skill from Tomlin ended with Aspinall doing very well to block his shot, with the Diamonds appealing vainly for handball against the Alty right-back. Then Tomlin should have done much better when a good lay-off by Jackson, inside the box, allowed the no.14 a clear shot, which he put over the bar from 15 yards (18 mins).

    After Munroe had done well to stop Jackson, Thornley was flattened to win a freekick, 25 yards from the Rushden goal. The kick found its way to Peyton on the right and from his cross to the back post, Munroe's header forced a fine save by Eyre, low down near his right post and his defence eventually hacked the ball away (21 mins). Four minutes later, Jackson fired wide at the other end from 25 yards.

    Alty then allowed Tomlin too much room but, from Jackson's feed, the young striker shot narrowly wide. At the other end, Hatswell and Hope were winning all the aerial balls, though not without the odd nudge and push in the process, as Alty showed little craft in their attempts to get forward. It then took a brave, combined block from Munroe and Aspinall to stop Savage's shot from just inside the Alty box. Aspinall went down injured but as play continued, both Ashton and Savage went down too, some 15 and 20 yards away respectively. Whilst Aspinall and Savage recovered after treatment, a stretcher was needed to carry off Ashton with a leg injury. He was replaced in midfield by Shaw (33 mins).

    Although Rushden soon won a corner, the next few minutes produced little to set the pulse racing. Alty failed to string passes together but just as it looked as if they would get to half-time on level terms, Jackson, outside the box, nodded the ball on to the unmarked Tomlin who, this time showed more composure and fired a shot, low to Acton's right, the ball going into the net, just inside the post (40 mins).

    Rushden continued to have the better of things in the closing minutes of the half but, apart from a corner in added time, there was no serious threat to either goal before the half-time whistle.


    After an unconvincing dive in the box from Jackson early in the second half, Rushden maintained their pressure when Aspinall conceded a foul. The resulting freekick was cleared by Peyton but, with not a single Alty player in the Diamonds' half, the ball soon came back, with Berry getting past Peyton on the Rushden right wing and feeding Shaw in the centre of the pitch. The unmarked Shaw picked his spot, curling the ball past Acton from the edge of the box (48 mins).

    At last, Alty were spurred into life, though only briefly. Chalmers was fouled on the edge of the box and Peyton's freekick forced a save from Eyre (51 mins). Now, Alty brought on Potts on the right, with left-back Scott the man to be withdrawn (52 mins). Alty continued to try to get forward but as Rushden counter-attacked, Owen brought down Shaw as he threatened to get into the box. Owen, sent off in the league match on this ground in September, was booked and could have few complaints about it (55 mins).

    Next, Tomlin turned past Rose, into the box, before firing narrowly wide. But Rose, who had seemed to be troubled by his back in the pre-match warm-up, went down injured after the shot (58 mins). After treatment, Rose soldiered on briefly, but soon had to be substituted by Hussin, with Colin Little, making his first appearance since injury, coming on at the same time (63 mins). Owen moved into central defence in place of Rose as Hussin slotted into midfield.

    Rushden continued to press and won a corner before Lawton talked his way into the book after being penalised to the right of his own goal (68 mins). Mr Hopkins now went into overdrive, harshly booking Aspinall for handball and, a minute later, cautioning Munroe following a foul on Tomlin, on the Rushden left (71 mins). Moments later he also booked Rushden's Jackson for a lunging challenge and then Chalmers saw yellow for a similar tackle near the halfway line, to make the ref's tally four bookings in as many minutes!

    Alty were unable to feed Colin Little, who was being forced to come deep in search of the ball. The game was finally wrapped up when Tomlin got forward left of goal and from near the by-line, Owen lost the ball to Kelly, who laid it back for Jackson to score easily from close range (76 mins). When play resumed, Little fired well over from 25 yards - a rare shot for Altrincham, who then won a corner. From Aspinall's kick, Little had a shot blocked.

    In the final ten minutes Rankine replaced Jackson for the Diamonds (83 minutes). After a home corner had come and gone, Shaw was tripped on the edge of the box, but both this freekick and a later Rushden corner were unproductive. A surprisingly long five minutes of added time were announced and in the second of these, Tomlin became the seventh booking of a half which was no more physical than the first half. Alty now won a corner which came back to Little on the edge of the box. He cleverly hooked the ball towards the top corner of the net but Eyre saved well (90+3 mins). A minute later, Chillingworth replaced Tomlin, who had been announced as Man of the Match.

    This was one of Alty's poorest performances of the season with Little's return from injury the only major positive feature of the afternoon for the visitors.


    Copyright: ©
    Compiled by John Laidlar