Match Report


Blue Square Premier match
played on Saturday, 23 March 2010, at 3pm


Cruising at 3-1 after more than an hour of this game, Altrincham went to pieces. Smith was brought on for McAliskey and five minutes later Styche made it 3-2. Five minutes after that Densmore fouled Preece and Brown levelled the scores from the spot. With FGR pressing forward it came as no surprise when Smith got the winner after 77 minutes.

FGR lost Brown, sent off, and goalkeeper Ireland, injured, in the closing minutes. Alty had the ball in the net through Little in added time but it was ruled out for offside.

In the first half Senior had fired Alty ahead in the 12th minute before Smith equalized in the 19th. A fine headed goal by Williams from a superb cross by Denham made it 2-1 after 39 minutes. Densmore's penalty after Hodgkiss's handball made it 3-1 in first-half added time. But then came Alty's second-half collapse.


  • 12 mins: Chris SENIOR (Forest Green Rovers 0 Altrincham 1)
  • 19 mins: Jonathan SMITH (Forest Green Rovers 1 Altrincham 1)
  • 39 mins: Robbie WILLIAMS (Forest Green Rovers 1 Altrincham 2)
  • 45(+2) mins: Shaun DENSMORE (pen) (Forest Green Rovers 1 Altrincham 3)
  • 69 mins: Reece STYCHE (Forest Green Rovers 2 Altrincham 3)
  • 74 mins: David BROWN (pen) (Forest Green Rovers 3 Altrincham 3)
  • 77 mins: Jonathan SMITH (Forest Green Rovers 4 Altrincham 3)

    REFEREE: Mr R Martin

    ATTENDANCE: 1,043


    Altrincham were again much weakened, with Danylyk (on the bench) and Clee both unfit to start. Carden was replaced by Welch.


    FGR had appealed to fans to double their normal gate for this game to help them out of their financial mess. But just over a thousand turned up. The hosts were desperate for points to avoid relegation whilst Altrincham were keen to consolidate a mid-table finish.


    FOREST GREEN ROVERS (Black & white striped shirts, black shorts) 17. Daniel Ireland; 32. Jared Hodgkiss, 5. Mark Preece, 26. Craig Armstrong, 6. Paul Stonehouse; 10. Conal Platt, 11. Jonathan Smith, 7. Dave Brown, 33. Isaiah Rankin; 24. Oluwatomiwo Ameobi, 9. R. Styche SUBS: 14. Danny Powell, 29. Joe O'Cearuill, 25. Lee Morris, 18. Steve Davies, 1. Terry Burton.

    ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue): 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 18. Michael WELCH, 5. Greg YOUNG, 27. Ryan BROWN, 10. Chris DENHAM, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 21. Peter DORAN, 19. Chris SENIOR, 17. John McALISKEY, SUBS: 4. Adam CARDEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 16. Amthony DANYLYK, 2. James SMITH.


    The opening few minutes saw Alty, playing a 3-4-1-2 formation, have a couple of moderate shots through Senior and Brown but, otherwise, there was little to note apart from a Forest Green corner. However, Senior then sprang the FGR offside trap and got clear, right of centre. He advanced on goal and drove his shot into the net to give Alty an early lead (12 mins).

    But after five or so fairly even minutes, FGR equalised. Smith moved to his left across the box and shot past Coburn leaving Lawton protesting that he had been elbowed in the face (19 mins). Indeed, the Alty captain went off the pitch shortly afterwards to receive attention to his injury.

    The game now went through a fairly flat phase before Senior fired well over the bar (30 mins). Three minutes later the Alty striker was booked rather harshly for a foul near half way. Indeed, Altrincham were conceding freekicks with more regularity than normal for a side near the bottom end of the Conference foul count this season.

    But things improved in the 39th minute when Ryan Brown won Alty a corner on the left. This was half cleared and Denham made a superb cross from the right which Williams met with an excellent looping header at the back post, the ball looping into the near side of the net.

    Altrincham were now looking fairly comfortable with their lead and referee Martin annoyed the home crowd when he made FGR retake a freekick twice for, first a rolling ball and, then, for taking it from the wrong place. The home fans were even more upset soon after this when, with the game into added time, he awarded a penalty to Alty. The visitors had crossed the ball in from the right and McAliskey headed the ball against the arm of Hodgkiss. A penalty was given and the defender was booked which seemed a little hard on him. Densmore drove the penalty home to give Alty a seemingly unassailable 3-1 lead (45+2 mins).

    The lead had been achieved without Altrincham playing particularly well but with FGR looking frail at the back, the lead looked to be enough to secure the points.


    FGR brought on Joe O'Cearuill for Conal Platt at the interval, in defence, but the home side started the second half on the offensive. But, though their approach play was neat, they were not proving to be penetrative; Ameobi, for example, should have done better than head wide from a Hodgkiss cross (52 mins). But Altrincham were on the back foot still as Ameobi missed again, firing well off-target from 25 yards. Next, Smith got in front of the Alty defence to head a cross from the right wide at the near post (59 mins).

    As the game passed the hour mark, Alty finally got forward and keeper Ireland had to come out to the touchline to head clear from Denham (61 mins). Alty then had a scare when, following a rare Young error, Williams sliced a cross over his own cross bgar to concede a corner. Coburn then had to make his first serious save with a great block from Ameobi (64 mins). The danger signs were clear.

    At this point, Alty brought on defender James Smith, returning after injury, to replace striker John McAliskey (64 mins). This prompted a change of formation, a change to which the players did not seem to adjust. A minute later, David Brown was booked for a foul on Lawton.

    The FGR pressure finally told in the 69th minute when Ameobi, Smith and Styche combined for the last named to poke a close range shot past Coburn to make it 3-2. Shell-shocked Alty then conceded a penalty as Densmore fouled Preece in the Alty box to concede a clear spot-kick, though Alty protested vociferously to the linesman after referee Martin had appeared to turn down the FGR appeals before deferring to the linesman. David Brown converted the penalty to make it 3-3 (74 mins).

    After 75 minutes, Adam Carden came on for Welch, prompting another reshuffle but FGR retained the initiative and made it three goals in eight minutes as Smith scored at the back post from Ameobi's feed (77 mins). Things continued to get worse as Densmore was booked for Alty. At this point Little came on for Doran (79 mins).

    Forest Green won a corner and soon afterward Styche hit the post and Ameobi collided with upright on the follow up (82 mins). The game had been transformed to the extent that FGR looked likely to increase their lead every time they went forward. Altrincham failed to pose any threat at the other end where goalkeeper Ireland was a second-half spectator.

    But Alty were given a potential lifeline when FGR won a corner after 87 minutes but David Brown wasted time in taking it and got himself stupidly booked for timewasting; as this was his second card, he was then shown a red. He delayed proceedings even further by trduging off from the far right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner of the pitch rather than leaving the field where he had been dismissed (88 mins). Powell now replaced Ameobi (89 mins).

    Despite their one-man disadvantage, FGR won the next corner as six minutes of added time were announced. Belatedly, Altrincham now got forward and, after a goalmouth scramble, Little appeared to have equalised at the back post when he converted Brown's low drive into the box (90+4 mins). But the linesman's flag ruled the goal out for offside. Keeper Ireland had been hurt in the build up and, after treatment, had to be subbed. Fortunately for FGR, they had only made two substitutions so goalkeeper Terry Burton could come on as Ireland's replacement (90+5 mins). Despite playing two more minutes, Alty could not get an equalizer and left FGR to celebrate an impressive come back.

    This was a game that Alty should have won but they never got going in the second half. The substitutions did not succeed in improving their lacklustre start to the second half and, having conceded four goals, for the first time this season, Alty could have no complaints at the outcome; possession figures showed FGR as having 58% of the ball. Clearly Altrincham only having a small squad available, due to injury, had a bearing on the outcome and the absences of Clee and Danylyk were felt in particular today.