Match Report


Blue Square Premier match
played on Saturday, 19 September, 2009, at 3pm


Altrincham started the brighter and in the 10th minute, Chris Denham scored after Dale Johnson's dummy gave him space from Clee's excellent feed. But, after 62 minutes, against the run of second-half play Denham scored with a deflected shot off Uddin on the breakaway, a goal scored with the help of Pearson who had been pushed forward from defence. After 65 mins Senior made it 3-0 with a netaly taken goal at the near post from Denham's low cross from the right. Alty held on comfortably for their second 3-0 away win of the season. Especially considering the weakened squad, it was an excellent performance and a third successive clean sheet.


  • 10 mins: Chris DENHAM (Grays Athletic 0 Altrincham 1)
  • 62 mins: Chris DENHAM (Grays Athletic 0 Altrincham 2)
  • 65 mins: Chris SENIOR (Grays Athletic 0 Altrincham 3)

    REFEREE: Mr A Davies



    For Grays, Ronnie Bull, Adriano Rigoglioso, Jamie Slabber and Lee McEvilly were not available to new manager, Julian Dicks, appointed in the days before this game. But Paulo Vernazza was fully fit after injury. So new manager Julian Dicks fielded a team showing six changes from that which had lost 5-4 at Rushden in its previous game.

    Altrincham sprang a surprise with Rod Thornley returning to the club, being named on the bench, but he was not present at the match. Altrincham were without the suspended Robbie Lawton and his replacement as captain, Greg Young had gone down with mumps. Also out injured were Colin Little, Scott Moffatt, Danny Edwards and Michael Welch.



    In four previous meetings at The Rec, Alty had yet to win; they had drawn twice but had lost in the last two visits, each by a single-goal margin.


    GRAYS ATHLETIC (All blue): 1. Preston Edwards, 19. Craig Braham-Barrett, 8. Daniel Charge, 17. Kenny Davis, 5. Gavin Hoyte, 6. Cameron Mawer, 24. Jack Obersteller, 23. Glenn Poole, 15. Charlie Taylor, 4. Anwar Uddin, 25. Paulo Vernazza. SUBS: 12. Lee Butcher, 3. George Beavan, 18. Billy Crowther, 26. Jack Jeffery, 20. Daryl Robson

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 10. Chris DENHAM, 4. Tom KEARNEY (capt), 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE, 19. Chris SENIOR, 14. Dale JOHNSON, SUBS: 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 15. Rod THORNLEY, 21, Andrew PEARSON, 24. Ross THAKER.


    On a warm and sunny afternoon, Altrincham kicked off, defending the away end and soon won a corner (1 min). Though this, like Alty's subsequent corners in this match, came to nothing, the visitors had the better of the opening stages. A disappointing crowd of 674 was quiet until in the tenth minute, Altrincham took the lead. Clee played a low cross from the left across the face of the penalty area. Johnson's clever stepover allowed the ball to run on to Denham and he finished well, putting the ball into the keeper's left hand corner.

    With Williams doing well alongside Smith in central defence, Stuart Coburn had little serious action to deal with. Grays were making mistakes as they tried to get back in the match and it was Alty who won the game's next corner through Denham after good work by Johnson (18 mins). But Altrincham then had to reorganise, after suffering yet another injury - the victim this time being Clee. Heffernan came on to replace him on the left wing (22 mins).

    Grays, who had been gradually improving now seized the opportunity to get forward but were still not able to get a clear opening. Vernazza then got away with a lecture after a clumsy challenge on Senior (28 mins). A fine tackle from Densmore saw off Grays's next attack before Braham-Barrett went down for treatment which consisted of the physio giving him a nasal inhaler! Five minutes later, Taylor's shot was deflected to Charge in front of goal. With just Coburn to beat he spooned his shot very badly over the bar (35 mins). Two minutes later Coburn had to make a fine save low at his right post but the offside flag had gone up anyway.

    A strong challenge from Hoyte left Johnson needing treatment and, though he limped on after treatment, he clearly could not continue much longer. Before Johnson could be replaced, Grays won a corner. Pearson then came on for Johnson (43 mins) as Alty's litany of injuries continued. Senior won a corner before three added minutes of play started. Half time arrived with Alty a goal to the good but with only one outfield player left to come on as substitute after the break.


    At the interval, Julian Dicks sent on Robson in place of left-back Obersteller but Senior won the half's first corner (47 mins). Braham-Barrett was looking lively up the left for Grays and when Pearson, at right-back, upended him the Alty right-back was booked (49 mins).

    A fine 30-yard shot from Robson stung Coburn's hands as he shovelled it over the bar for a corner as Grays now applied some sustained pressure (51 mins). Vernazza was then booked for jumping in on Kearney, two-footed (53 mins). Alty were now defending deeply with quite a gap between midfield and the front men, which meant that they were not relieving pressure easily. A fine interception from Doughty now stopped a Grays attack at the cost of a corner (58 mins).

    Alty now had Pearson up front as Densmore resumed at right-back. And the young centre-back was soon instrumental in Alty scoring their second goal, against the run of play. After Danham had dispossessed Braham-Barrett, Pearson exchanged passes with Denham, which left the wing man running at goal. His resulting shot took a hefty deflection off Uddin which took the ball past Edwards to make it 2-0 (62 mins). Alty then had an escape when a push in the back by Williams was not judged to be a penalty by Mr Davies, to Alty's relief. Moments later Alty had sealed the game at 3-0. The third goal came as Denham, Pearson and Danylyk combined before Denham's low cross from the right was smartly flicked into the net at the near post by Senior (65 mins).

    Two minutes later Jeffery came on for Grays in place of Charge (67 mins). An Altrincham corner soon followed before Mawer became the latest name in the ref's book for a very late challenge on Denham (70 mins). Two excellent headers from Smith kept Grays at bay as Altrincham kept Grays well away from any realistic thoughts of getting back into the match. After Pearson had had a shot blocked, Grays did win a corner however, following which Pearson was withdrawn in favour of Thaker up front (78 mins). At the same time Grays brought on the giant Crowther in place of Taylor.

    Grays tried to get forward as the game headed to the final five minutes. But Alty continued to look lively on the counter-attack as those final minutes of normal time and three additional ones passed. This win consolidated Alty in 13th place, with ten of their sixteen points having been gained on the road this season. But with Clee and Johnson added to the injury list, they could be struggling to raise a full squad on Tuesday against Tamworth.