Match Report


Blue Square Premier match
played on Saturday, 15 August, 2009, at 3pm


In a generally very disappointing game, Altrincham made heavy weather of beating a Hayes side who started without their best player, Binns. Alty's joy at winning was scarred by injuries to Heffernan and Johnson, both of whom had to be substituted, as did Hayes's keeper. Alty went ahead when Johnson nodded the ball on for Denham to score from close range (22 mins).

When Denham was felled by Green, Altrincham should have wrapped the game up but Doughty's penalty kick was well saved by Overland (28 mins). Hayes's game was undone by poor passing and regular conceding of freekicks but Altrincham failed to impose themselves on a warm afternoon. It took the introduction of Colin Little to produce the second goal after Senior had twice wasted good openings. Little turned smartly as the ball was played to him following a throw-in and planted a low shot past Preddie, who got a hand to the ball (81 mins).

But Hayes got a goal back as the game went into five added minutes when Fitzgerald scored after Alty failed to clear a corner. Had that goal not gone in, Alty would have been top, rather than second in the table tonight.


  • 22 mins: Chris DENHAM (Hayes & Yeading United 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
  • 81 mins: Colin LITTLE (Hayes & Yeading United 0 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 90 mins: Scott FITZGERALD (Hayes & Yeading United 1 ALTRINCHAM 2)

    REFEREE: Mr W Atkin



    Altrincham brought in Denham to replace Danylyk, whilst Hayes were without their dangerous winger, Binns.


    Altrincham last visited Church Road in 2000 before the Middlesex club merged with neighbours Yeading. They drew that game 1-1 but had lost their only other game at this ground, in 1996/97 season.

    Altrincham went into the game in third place after a draw and win in their opening games. Hayes had drawn at home to Stevenage and lost 1-0 at Kidderminster.


    HAYES & YEADING UNITED (Red shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Simon Overland, 2. Danny Allen-Page, 3. Adam Green, 4. Tom Cadmore, 5. Matt Ruby, 6. Ram Marwa, 9. Robert Gradwell, 10. Scott Fitzgerald, 14 Sami El-Abd, 15. Justin Cochrane, SUBS 7. James Mulley, 8. Marc Canham, 17. Esmond James, 21. Delroy Preddie, 24. George Daly.

    ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, blue shorts and socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 6.Shaun DENSMORE, 2. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 8. Matty CROWELL, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 19. Chris SENIOR, 10. Chris DENHAM. Subs: 9. Colin LITTLE, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE.


    Altrincham kicked off, with a 4-4-2 formation, on a warm and sunny afternoon. Hayes conceded an early freekick when Densmore was felled. From Doughty's freekick Young headed narrowly wide after Overland had come and missed the ball (3 mins). Alty were the better side in the earlier stages as the home side failed to find their own men with any regularity. When a Denham shot was not held by Overland, Johnson was penalised for catching the keeper as he followed up after the loose ball (10 mins).

    But Hayes then won the game's first two corners but neither came to much (15 mins). Although a third home corner followed, Denham soon put Altrincham ahead. The goal came in the 22nd minute after Denham himself had overhit a cross from the right. Doughty played the ball back into the box from the left where Johnson nodded it on and Denham converted from close range.

    Hayes continued to commit needless minor fouls but Alty's best effort, as the half-hour mark approached, was a left-foot shot from Crowell which went narrowly wide after he had cleverly switched feet to make an opening (27 mins). Soon, Denham got onto a ball in the right side of the box and was clearly brought down by Green. A penalty was awarded but Overland waited to see which direction Doughty's kick was heading in, before diving to push the ball away to his right for a corner (28 mins).

    Play now went through a poor spell with little to enthuse either set of spectators in a crowd of just 401 who were watching the Middlesex side's first home daytime game back in the Conference. Heffernan then suffered a nasty injury in an accidental clash of heads as he went up for a ball near the left touch line. Immediately his ginger hair was dyed with red blood, suggesting a bad gash. After treatment from Sean Riley, the youngster had to leave the game and was later taken to hospital. Nicky Clee was his replacement on the left wing (39 mins).

    After a good interception by Crowell, he was fouled and from the freekick his effort from 30 yards was not held by Overland, but Senior was penalised as he followed up (41 mins). An unnecessary foul was conceded by Denham on the front edge of his own box but Hayes put the kick over the bar (42 mins). Alty won a corner in the first of the three added minutes in the first half. From Doughty's kick, Young nodded narrowly wide at the back post. The interval arrived with Alty leading 1-0 for the third successive game this season.


    Altrincham came out uncharacteristically very early for the second half, which only started after Hayes had surprisingly changed their keeper Overland for Preddie (46 mins). An impressive overhead shot from Johnson from a Doughty freekick got the second half off to a decent start. Cochrane was then booked following another foul by the Hayes man (50 mins). Next, Hayes themselves won a freekick on the edge of the Alty box but this passed without incident. Canham now replaced the booked Cochrane for Hayes (55 mins).

    Johnson then went down and needed treatment, though afterwards he hobbled on till being replaced by Little on the hour mark. The scrappy played continued with Hayes lacking the guile to create any openings and Alty lacking the ruthlessness to impose themselves. A neat Little lay-off allowed Senior to shoot just over the bar from the right of goal (65 mins). After an Altrincham corner had been cleared, Hayes brought on Daly for el-Abd as Hayes went for an attacking option (67 mins).

    Little then cleverly set Senior free but poor control led to the ball running to Preddie. Hayes's first real chance of the half came when a ball forward over Smith set a Hayes player on goal but Smith's recovery did enough to prompt a weak effort at Coburn (74 mins). Little again set Senior free soon after this but his attempted chip from 25 yards was wayward. Doughty was the next Alty player to go down injured but he recovered. Denham then tracked back well to stop Hayes's Little as he threatened on the left. A Hayes corner resulted (80 mins).

    Chris Senior was now substituted by Danylyk (81 mins). Play resumed with a throw from Clee, before Denham got the ball to Little. The striker turned cleverly and planted a low shot into the corner of the net, though Preddie got his hands to it (81 mins). He may not be fully fit but Colin's finishing is still of the highest quality.

    When Fitzgerald went in late on Coburn, the referee booked the offender but Coburn needed lengthy treatment to his midriff (85 mins). The litany of injuries continued when Clee was fouled but he resumed without treatment (88 mins). With the game in the 90th minute, Alty failed to clear a Hayes corner and the ball was played forward to Fitzgerald who lashed it high into the net (90 mins). With five added minutes Altrincham successfully wound down the clock, keeping the ball in the left corner for half of that time.

    Alty went up to second place with this win and would have been top had either Doughty's penalty gone in or they had kept a clean sheet. But seven points from three games is a great start in anyone'e book. Hopefully Johnson, Heffernan and Coburn's injuries will not prove to be too serious.