Match Report


Blue Square Premier match
played on Tuesday, 8 September, 2009, at 7.45pm


Injury ravaged Altrincham again kept Cambridge United at bay just as they had last April when the U's were going for a lastday of the season win to take the BSP title. Despite a lot of second half pressure from the home side tonight, United barely forced a save out of Stuart Coburn in the Alty goal and there was a 55-minute period when they did not win a corner as, in front of Coburn, everyone worked hard to close players down despite some of them having been earning their livings at work that morning. In fact, it was Altrincham who had the clearer chances in the second-half when Thaker and Heffernan were both put clear by Denham. In the first half, Alty started well before Cambridge should have scored through Crow. Alty were not helped by the referee's failure to clamp down on the home side's persistent fouling in the first half before he ridiculously booked Doughty for allegedly delaying the taking of an Alty freekick. Mr Jerden then proceeded to play three added minutes before the interval and six more at the end of the game.


  • None

    REFEREE: Mr G Jerden

    ATTENDANCE: 2,749 (41 in the away end)


    By the end of last Saturday's game, Altrincham had eight of their twenty-one man squad (excluding third keeper Richard Acton) unavailable after Dale Johnson (dead leg) and loan defender Scott Moffatt had limped off at Kettering, to join Colin Little, Robbie Lawton, Michael Welch, Danny Edwards and Chris Senior in the treatment room. An eighth player, Shaun Densmore, remained suspended tonight, but Chris Senior had recovered sufficiently to start tonight. Though Robbie Lawton was named on the bench, he was not fit to play. In the starting line up, Senior replaced Moffatt, with Smith moving to right-back to replace the injured Manchester United loanee. The home team were unchanged for their fifth successive league game.


    Cambridge came into the game on the back of a 7-0 win over FGR, whilst Alty had scored just once in their previous four games, none of which they had won.


    CAMBRIDGE UNITED (All yellow with black sash on shirt): 1. Danny Potter, 2. Dan Gleeson, 5. Brian Saah, 6. Wayne Hatswell, 3. Anthony Tonkin; 11. Robbie Willmott, 15. Paul Carden (capt), 14.Jai Reason, 8. Andy Parkinson; 9. Chris Holroyd, 10. Danny Crow, SUBS: 4.Josh Coulson, 26. Courtney Pitt, 20.Sam Ives, 27. Lee Phillips, 7. Mark Beesley.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 10. Chris DENHAM, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 11. Nicky CLEE, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 19. Chris SENIOR, SUBS: 7. Robbie LAWTON, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 24. Ross THAKER, 21, Andrew PEARSON.


    After Cambridge had completed their player-bonding huddle, Mr Jerden allowed the game to start on a warm evening in front of a bigger crowd than had watched Cambridge put seven past FGR the previous Saturday. 41 Alty fans had made the 350-mile round trip on a Tuesday night for the game. They were almost rewarded straight from the kick off when Altrincham almost snatched the lead, as Johnson relayed the ball to Senior, who had got free behind the defence. But goalkeeper Potter was out smartly to block, at the cost of a corner. Most of the early stages were played in Cambridge's half with Alty's reshuffled back four keeping out any forward balls from the hosts. Crow then won his side's first corner, following Williams's good recovery tackle (9 mins). After this, Hatswell headed wide as Cambridge now came to life.

    After Clee had twice demonstrated his prodigious long-throwing ability, Holroyd displayed his quick feet at the other end but Young cleared the lines well. Alty responded by winning a corner when Denham's shot was deflected out following a feed to the wide-man by Johnson (16 mins). Soon afterwards, another in what was to be a series of regular free-kicks conceded by Cambridge, gave Alty the opportunity to display a smart freekick routine which ended with Doughty forcing a save from Potter. Soon after this Willmott shot wide of Coburn's goal (19 mins).

    Cambridge now won three successive corners before Smith got forward up the right for Altrincham and his long cross just evaded Senior at the back post. The fouls continued but Hatswell again escaped a booking, this time for a foul on Senior. Yet Clee and Williams each picked up a lecture for their first transgressions from the inconsistent referee who seemed unduly swayed by the home crowd's reactions to incidents on the pitch (28 mins). He was awarding the freekicks correctly but not following up with cards when the fouls kept coming.

    Cambridge were passing the ball about well but making little progress in the face of Alty's hard working defence and midfield. For Alty Clee proved more incisive than his opponents, leaving two Cambridge men for dead as he got to the by-line left of goal to win a corner (31 mins). Soon after Clee was the victim of the next foul as Alty enjoyed a good attacking spell. Denham, however, was being kept quiet as the Cambridge defence closed him down.

    At the other end, Crow then missed the best chance of the half hooking a shot badly wide from six yards (33 mins). Another Hatswell foul on Johnson again failed to prompt a caution before a ball played over Doughty allowed Holroyd an opening which he fluffed, shooting wide (37 mins). As Alty prepared to take yet another freekick, wide on the right, Senior ran across to exchange a word with the kick-taker, Doughty. The referee construed this as time wasting, even though the defensive wall had not retreated ten yards, and produced the yellow card that he had failed to show to any of the players for earlier fouls (38 mins).

    After Danylyk had seen off a Cambridge attack with a fine tackle, Willmott was penalised for foot up against Johnson (43 mins). Having booked Doughty for alleged time wasting, Mr Jerden now decided on a ridiculous three minute extension to the first half to make his point. During this period he allowed a foul throw to go unpunished before Matt Doughty went down with a leg injury. The left-back hobbled through the remaining minute before half-time arrived just after Denham was blocked as he was about to shoot inside the box (45+3 mins).


    The injured Doughty did re-appear for Alty for the second half in which Cambridge pressed forward from the start. Doughty soon had to give way and he was replaced by Heffernan, the tall youngster slotting in on the left of midfield as Clee dropped to left-back (52 mins). Mr Jerden now lectured James Smith for not taking a throw-in, which was surprising as the ball was not in his possession, having gone 15 yards behind him and there were no ball boys along that side of the pitch to retrieve it. Though they were going forward in numbers, Cambridge were not seeing the whites of Coburn eyes and Willmott's shot over the roof of the home terrace was the best they could muster at this stage (56 mins).

    At the other end Cambridge escaped after a mix up between Tonkin and Potter. When Gleeson fouled Clee to concede a freekick and a booking, the Alty left-back needed sustained treatment before having to receive further attention at the side of the pitch as the game restarted. For some reason the home crowd seemed to think that Clee was not really injured and bayed at him before he later had to be substituted because of the injury he had received (60 mins).

    As Clee returned after a three-minute absence, Alty remained under the cosh and were unable to keep the ball when they won it. When Heffernan broke away on the left, he got the ball under his feet and lost his footing. But a few minutes later Heffernan won possession on the Alty left and fed Senior whose shot from left of goal was only a foot or two wide of Potter's left post (67 mins). Carden then went down for very lengthy treatment (68 mins) before Alty, now playing 4-5-1 continued to frustrate the home side. Smith was then booked for a foul - his third card in successive matches (73 mins). At this point Andy Parkinson was replaced by Sam Ives for the hosts, as Alty gave a debut to Tejal-Ross Thaker, up front in place of Johnson.

    Cambridge now won their first corner for 55 minutes, following which Cambridge put the ball in the net but Gleeson was penalised for a foul on Coburn (77 mins). As Alty then broke away, there was a very late offside flag as the speedy Thaker got free from Denham's feed with only Potter to beat (78 mins). When Denham was felled by a Gleeson tackle soon after this, the Cambridge man was harshly booked for what looked a fair challenge (80 mins). Smith then did well to see off Holroyd at the cost of a corner.

    Altrincham now brought on defender Pearson for the injured Clee as Cambridge introduced Phillips for Crow (84 mins). After the corner had been seen off, Denham again broke up the right and got Thaker free. As Potter came out, the young debutant was forced left of goal and could not direct his shot the right side of the post (86 mins). For all the pressure they had withstood, it was Altrincham who were carving out the clearer chances late in the game. As Cambridge’s tannoy announced centre-back Saah as their man of the match, Alty continued to keep the home side out. With two minutes left, Coburn had to make his first decent save in ages from a 30-yarder by Hatswell.

    It was predictable that Mr Jerden would find a lot of added time and five minutes was his assessment. Cambridge continued to press forward but Young and his backline continued to defend well. There was a very late scare as Cambridge were given a freekick just outside the box when Danylyk was penalised for handball and booked by the referee (90+5 mins). The freekick came off the wall and a corner followed as the referee played on deep into a sixth added minute. But Altrincham kept the hosts at bay to record an impressive away draw.

    Though they have not won in five games and only scored once in those games, this was an excellent performance from injury-hit Altrincham, who must now add Clee and Doughty to physio Sean Riley's injured list, which already includes Lawton, Little, Moffatt, Welch and Edwards. But at least the suspended Densmore will be available on Saturday and Lawton is near to making a return to the squad. Young Thaker made an impressive debut for Altrincham and Nicky Clee again impressed in only his second start for the club, whilst at the back everyone played well with this season’s new signing Williams again doing well.