ALTRINCHAM (0) 3 BARROW (1) 4
played on Tuesday, 12 August 2008, at 7.45pm.
After their fine win at Woking Alty were brought back to earth by Barrow who exploited some poor defending to win by the odd goal in seven. Alty fought back from 0-2 and 2-3 to be level before the Bluebirds' substitute Brown finished the scoring eleven minutes from time. Altrincham started the game well, passing the ball about and dominating territorially but without seriously troubling Deasy in the Barrow goal. But, from virtually their first effort, the visitors went ahead when impressive striker Walker sprang the offside trap and finished coolly past Coburn in the 21st minute. On an evening of torrential showers, thunder and lightning, with which the pitch coped very well, it was almost inevitably the ex-Alty player Carlos Logan who made it 2-0 for Barrow after 54 minutes, converting from close range after Henney had been allowed to reach the by-line and cross from the right.
Ten minutes later Colin Little took advantage of a defensive error to latch on to Coburn's clearance and clip the ball over Deasy and when Chris Denham fired home after a poor goalkick from Deasy in the 72nd minute it looked as if Alty could go on to a victory. But two minutes later they committed suicide when Lane's misplaced pass, inside, from the right allowed Walker to score another well-taken goal. But just two more minutes later Colin Little made it 3-3 with a superbly hit free kick from right of goal, outside the box. And then came the winner for Barrow when Coburn did well to beat out Walker's shot only for Brown, in oceans of space, to make it 4-3 three minutes later.
Torrential rain during the day had been well absorbed by the pitch, a tribute to Neil Brown's hard work - and it was to pass an ever sterner test during the game. Barrow arrived buoyed up by a fine 3-0 win over Oxford in their opening game but Alty were also in confident mood after winning, away, at Woking.
REFEREE: Mr S J Rushton
Altrincham employed the same starting line-up and the same bench as at Woking last Saturday, so WArren Peyton and Richard Battersby again missed out. Barrow were without injured striker Nick Rogan and suspended new signing Ashley Winn. Both of the Barrow management duo were named as substitutes.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Chris LANE, 4. Mark McGREGOR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 15. Alex MEECHAN, 6. Kevin STREET, 7. Robbie LAWTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 10. Chris DENHAM. Subs: 12. Joe O'NEILL, 13. Andy RALPH, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 18. Lee ELAM, 19. Chris SENIOR.
BARROW (White shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Tim DEASY; 18. Mike PEARSON, 4. Paul JONES (capt), 5. Steve McNULTY, 3. Ryan ELDERTON; 6. Matt HENNEY, 7. Andy BOND, 8. Mark BOYD, 20. Carlos LOGAN; 9. Jason WALKER, 17. Lee HUNT. Subs: 12. Paul TAIT, 21. Aaran TAYLOR, 16. Dave BAYLISS, 14. Darren SHERIDAN. 11. Paul BROWN.
Barrow kicked off defending the Carole Nash end, which was populated by their own supporters who had travelled in good numbers in spite of the weather. But it was Altrincham who started the better, without troubling keeper Deasy, though Lawton did get in an early shot at the Barrow keeper (2 mins). Both sets of fans were in good voice lending the match a good atmosphere. When former Alty winger Carlos Logan miscontrolled the ball early on he got a predictable jeer from the home supporters. Barrow were soon ahead in the foul count but the game was never a dirty one. From one tackle, by McNulty, Denham went down and though he got up without any free kick being given, he looked a little out of sorts for some time afterwards.
The quarter of an hour mark went by with Alty still on top and Boyd was fortunate to escape with a lecture for a foul on Lawton. But then the visitors began to settle and won the game's first corner, on their left, after advancing well up the right and forcing Lane to head the ball over the by-line (17 mins). After this Coburn had to come out and he deliberately kneed the ball clear. Denham was then felled again, but again the Barrow man escaped with a stern word from Mr Rushton. From the free kick, Meechan, who had started brightly, found Little superbly but the striker's volley went high and wide (20 mins).
Right- After 20 minutes, Colin Little's volley flies over the bar
Within a minute Alty fell behind to Barrow's first serious attack. A ball forward up the inside right channel set Walker free behind the Alty defence and, though the striker had to check and turn inside, he nevertheless beat Coburn with a well- directed low shot into the far corner to the keeper's right (21 mins). Almost simultaneously the rain started to pour down; the goal and the weather having a dampening effect on Alty's bright opening as the visitors took the initiative. Barrow won another corner, but Doughty headed Boyd's kick clear as the rain became torrential, soaking the visitors' fans in the open end. Alty's performance had now gone flat and Coburn had to be alert to save a shot through a crowded goalmouth (30 mins).
Soon the Alty keeper was in action again, dribbling audaciously clear of an opponent to the left of his penalty area. But Alty recovered their composure in time for Denham to get in a shot but it went well wide (31 mins), Then another Barrow advance up the right led to a low cross which Street missed in the centre of the penalty area, allowing Walker a low shot which Coburn saved (32 mins). The rain got even heavier before a punt from Coburn got Johnson into the Barrow box but he delayed his shot and was crowded out, winning a corner however. But Barrow soon threatened again with Henney getting clear inside the Alty box and the combined pressure of Lawton’s alert back-tracking and the legs of the goalkeeper kept the shot out. Walker threatened again soon afterwards, once more springing the offside trap but his cross from the left just evaded Hunt. Next, a fierce 25 yard effort from Boyd went narrowly wide as Barrow enjoyed a period of supremacy (38 mins). Following a foul on Johnson, however, Alty won a free kick which led to a corner, as thunder now reverberated round Moss Lane. Then Chris Lane got in a good cross with Young going down in the box, appealing for a penalty as he tried to get on the end of it. Instead the ball drifted towards the goal and Deasy was fortunate to see his flap divert the ball onto the inside of the post and away from danger (40 mins).
Half time approached with the players still being soaked but despite two minutes of added time, Barrow comfortably held their lead to the break.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 BARROW 1|
Half-time saw the rain ease off but lightning was still flashing over Timperley as Alty kicked off towards the Golf Road end, with the ball curiously being relayed straight back to Coburn. It was Barrow who were again the first to threaten with Walker getting into the box but slicing his shot wide. Play continued uneventfully for a few minutes before a shot from walker, following a throw-in, led to an appeal for hands which was rightly not given. But moments later it was 2-0 to the Bluebirds as Henney was allowed to reach the by-line to the right of the Alty goal and from his low cross, Logan hammered the ball home from very close range, despite the attentions of a defender. The winger had never found the net in a league match for Alty but it had taken him only 54 minutes to do so on his return to Moss Lane in a Barrow shirt.
Danylyk and Elam had been waiting to come on as the goal went in and they now joined the game in place of Street and Meechan (54 mins). Elam’s first touch saw him lose possession but Little then impressed with a smart overhead shot but Deasy saved this (58 mins). Play went through another uneventful period before the first of five goals in fifteen minutes. It was Little who sparked Alty's revival after Coburn, once again, had come a long way out of his area and dribbled himself free from an opponent, Walker. His resulting long kick forward deceived the Barrow defence and dropped for Little who calmly chipped the ball over the exposed keeper to make it 2-1 (64 mins).
A late tackle on Logan by Lane brought the right-back a booking (66 mins). Then, after a spell of head tennis, Doughty's cross came out to Denham whose fine volley was deflected out for a corner on the left. At this point Barrow brought on Brown for Logan (70 mins). Deasy then had a shaky spell, first of all dropping and re-catching a cross before a more serious error. But before that happened, his counterpart, Coburn, fed Denham who made a superb 50-yard run up the right and delivered a perfect cross for the unmarked Elam who skied his shot badly over the bar with his preferred left foot. Then came Deasy's error as he kicked the ball poorly from the goal kick and, though Alty saw the ball half cleared from their initial attack, it came out to Denham who lashed it, first-time, straight back into the keeper’s left corner as Deasy hurried to get back into position. So it was now 2-2 (72 mins) and the odds looked to be on an Alty win at this stage. Yet, within two minutes, Altrincham had destroyed their hard recovery work by gifting Barrow a third goal. It came when Lane, at right-back, played a careless ball inside towards McGregor but too short. Walker nipped in and, for the second time in the game, showed a cool head, placing a low shot into the far corner to make it 2-3 (74 mins).
Brown was then booked for a foul on Denham who was on the end of several rough tackles (75 mins). Amazingly, Alty now responded to Barrow's goal in double quick time as Little drove the free kick from 23 yards out to the right of goal into the net, the ball entering Deasy's goal just inside his right upright (77 mins). Barrow now brought on Tait for Hunt.
Barrow refused to shut up shop and carved out a great opening as Tait fed Walker. His shot was brilliantly beaten out by Coburn but fell to the Barrow left where Brown was unmarked in the box. He finished well to make it 3-4 (79 mins). Altrincham replied by winning a corner but Elam's kick failed to clear the first man in front of the near post. Soon after, Johnson, who had appeared to be tiring, produced a well struck goalbound shot but this hit a defender. Moments later the young striker was belatedly substituted by Chris Senior, with just six minutes left (84 mins). With his first touch Senior almost levelled, getting on the end of a Coburn punt but volleying over the bar from right of goal (85 mins).
Barrow rode out the remaining minutes until the second of the four added minutes after the ninety. Then, Senior and Young fed Little but his shot went straight at Deasy. It was to be Alty's last chance before Mr Rushton blew his whistle, well into the 95th minute. Altrincham's poor defending had cost them dear, with defeat dropping them eight places to twelfth.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 3 BARROW 4|