YORK CITY (0) 1 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
Nationwide Conference National match
played on Sunday, 5 November 2006, at 3pm.
Above: Stephen Rose clears the lines for Alty.
After a very good first-half performance by Altrincham, York scored immediately after the break and then stepped up a gear in the second half to emerge deserved winners. The only of the match goal came when Man of the Match, Clayton Donaldson exchanged passes with Woolford and got behind Scott before firing into the top of the net (47 mins). Had York been without Donaldson, Altrincham might well have taken something from the game, especially if they had managed to convert one of their first-half chances.
REFEREE: Mr. Guy Stretton (Leicestershire)
This was Altrincham's third away match in their last four outings and KitKat Crescent was the scene of one of their heaviest defeats last season, 5-0. Referee Guy Stretton was in charge of the Stafford Rangers v ALtrincham game earlier this season.
Goalkeeper Richard Acton was unlucky to be dropped in favour of Stuart Coburn, whilst in midfield Steve Bushell replaced the injured Val Owen. With Steve Aspinall suspended, Gary Scott moved to right-back. Bushell, playing against one of his former clubs, was making his first start since 16 September and striker Colin Little was also back for his first start since 12th September. However, Peter Thomson's debut remained unfulfilled.
For York, Stamp and Goodliffe were making their home debuts after their arrival on loan from Stevenage Borough.
YORK CITY (red shirts, white shorts, red socks): 1. Tom EVANS, 2. Darren CRADDOCK, 23. Luke FOSTER, 24. Jason GOODLIFFE, 12. Anthony LLOYD, 9. Clayton DONALDSON, 10. Craig FARRELL, 4. Neal BISHOP, 11. Steve BOWEY (capt), 22. Martyn WOOLFORD, 25. Darryn STAMP. Subs: 8. Emmanuel PANTHER, 14. Ross GREENWOOD, 18. Arran REID, 20. Danny PARSLOW, 21. Lewis McMAHON.
ALTRINCHAM (Dark / pale blue shirts, dark blue shorts and pale blue socks):1. Stuart COBURN, 3. Gary SCOTT, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 11. Warren PEYTON; 10. Rod THORNLEY, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 13. Richard ACTON; 5. Gary TALBOT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 22. Colin POTTS, 23. Eddie HUSSIN.
To the bemusement of Altrincham supporters Timperley comedian Frank Sidebottom, described in the programme as "a well-known Altrincham fan" had walked round the pitch before kick-off dispensing sweets. After this York kicked off towards the visiting supporters. Lloyd soon got past Scott to win an early corner but then O'Neill won Alty a corner at the other end, which Bushell sent to the keeper (3 mins). Next, Thornley, operating on the right, forced another corner when a defender hoofed his cross over his own bar. The end to end play continued as York poked a shot wide from Craddock's excellent cross from the right (5 mins). But overall, Alty were making a promising start against a mis-firing York side whose spectators were very quiet.
Above: Warren Peyton sees off Clayton Donaldson.
A good Alty move now saw Chalmers set Lawton free on the left but his strong, low cross found no one either to convert or clear it. Supported by their vocal followers, Alty gave as good as they got but, for York, Donaldson was a constant handful to the Altrincham side. After 13 minutes Donaldson fired narrowly over from Craddock's cross from the right but Alty responded with Little's snap-shot from 25 yards which went narrowly wide (14 mins). And soon afterwards O'Neill flashed a shot over the bar from Chalmers's long throw. Alty won a corner after this and, then, a freekick as they produced a performance much improved on the previous week's FA Cup debacle at Rushden (20 mins). When Stamp caught Rose with a late challenge, Mr Stretton's patience with the on-loan Stevenage man ran out and he booked him after pointing out to him his previous misdemeanours (23 mins).
After another Chalmers throw, Bushell fired wildly wide (25 mins). Chalmers then forced Evans to save his cross just under the crossbar before play went to the other end where Donaldson dispossessed the hesitant Peyton. Fortunately, Coburn caught the York man's resulting cross. The home side conceded freekicks at regular intervals and from one, quickly taken by Bushell, Little lashed a shot narrowly wide (28 mins). But Alty soon threatened again when Lawton started a move which ended with Thornley seeing his shot from the right saved by Evans (30 mins).
Donaldson now transferred his menace to the left but Altrincham continued to threaten, too, as a fine run from Lawton led to a cross from Little narrowly evading O'Neill. Play soon switched to the other end, where Coburn saved a low shot from the ex-Frickley man, Woolford (34 mins). After Evans had gathered a Thornley cross, York now won a corner, taken short to Bishop by Bowey, and from Bishop's cross, a team-mate nodded wide (37 mins). As the sides traded attacks, a long throw from the right by Chalmers saw Thornley and a defender go up for a header which Evans just tipped over his bar for a corner (39 mins).
An excellent tackle from Munroe saw off Donaldson before Alty won two successive corners. From the second, Little's shot bisected the space between goal and corner flag! (43 mins). But York came back into it as the game went into a minute of added time. First, Rose cleared well from Donaldson and then, when Donaldson was played in behind the defence, Rose had to clear off the line with the advancing Coburn stranded (45+1 mins).
|Half-Time: YORK CITY 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Right: Frank Sidebottom at KitKat Crescent
York started the second half at a higher tempo than they had shown in the first 45 minutes, no doubt inspired by manager McEwan's team-talk. And within two minutes they had taken the lead after a slick exchange of passes between Woolford and Donaldson allowed the latter to get behind Scott and into the left of the penalty area, from where he powered a shot past Coburn, into the top of the net (47 mins). With York's tails up, Alty were hemmed back as Farrell now forced Coburn to save from 25 yards and then, from a corner, Scott had to clear off the line (50 mins). York then sliced through Alty again but their captain, Bowey, fired well wide.
After another fine tackle from Rose stopped Woolford's next advance, another York corner resulted. Soon after, about 40 yards out, Rose was accidentally caught by a York elbow but play continued with the Alty man prostrate. The ball came to Donaldson and it took a great Coburn save to keep him out as the keeper bravely dived as his feet, both men needing lengthy treatment afterwards (57 mins).
Alty now got out of their half, winning a freekick as Chalmers was pushed over. Then Evans fumbled a 22-yard effort from Little which Bushell tried to poke past the keeper but the Alty captain was given offside as Evans blocked the shot from Bushell (61 mins). Soon, York brought on Panther for Stamp (64 mins). Thornley was then busy, seeing a shot comfortably saved before making a good defensive block from Farrell (68 mins). Next, Munroe did well against Farrell but York kept up the pressure with two corners, with Potts coming on for Thornley as the second of these was about to be taken (76 mins). Farrell then played in Donaldson whose shot forced a magnificent save from Coburn, low at the foot of his left post, to concede the first of what were to be two successive corners.
With eight minutes left, McFadden replaced Little up front as Alty started a late effort to grab an equaliser. Scott almost played in O'Neill but the ball struck the back of the ex-York man's head as he attempted to duck under it. Scott and McFadden then set up Chalmers for a shot from 20 yards which was saved, before Potts made a hash of an attempted cross, following good work from McFadden (89 mins). In the three minutes of added time, Woolford shot narrowly wide and Alty's last chance went as Evans took the ball off Potts's head from McFadden's cross from the left (90+3 mins).
York's second-half performance merited the three points but Altrincham had played very well in the first half and, had they been able to score first, it might well have been a different story.
|Full-Time: YORK CITY 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|