HISTON (1) 3 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 9 October 2010, at 3pm
Altrincham failed to land a shot on target in this mediocre game at Histon. After a deflected Oyebanjo cross had come back off the crossbar in the 7th minute, Robbie Lawton conceded a penalty for the second game running. Oyebanjo scored the spot kick to make it 1-0 (14 mins).
Alty created little with a succession of hopeful balls forward which were picked off by the Histon defence. When Holsgrove and Twiss came on at the interval things improved briefly for Alty but the turning point came in the 73rd minute when good work from Clee and Brown gave Twiss a clear chance which he ballooned dreadfully over the bar. Histon went to the other end and Murray made it 2-0 at the back post (74 mins).
With Crowell hobbling and all the subs used, Alty were effectively down to ten men as Mills, who had just come on, harried Williams on the Alty right touchline, got past him and hammered home his side's third goal in the second minute of added time. Alty now find themselves eight points from safety.
REFEREE: Mr C J Knowles
Michael Welch and Ryan Brown were pre-match doubts but both started, whilst Nicky Clee was only fit to be on the bench. Compared with the last game, James McCarthy, Andrai Jones and Sam Hewson were not in the squad. However, Michael Twiss, yet to start a game for Alty, returned to the sixteen for the first time in six matches.
Mike Garnett's statistics reveal that before today we had yet to win or even score a goal at Histon...
Conditions were very dull and overcast throughout.
HISTON (Red & black): 1. Joe Welch, 2. Lanre Oyebanjo, 24. Danny Fitzsimons, 5. Remy Clerima, 6. Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, 22. Lee Smith, 4. Erkan Okay, 8. Lee Wootton, 11. Daniel Sparkes, 13. Romone McCrae, 9. Antonio Murray, Subs: 16. George Lawton, 10. Ben Clarke, 14. Zac Attwood, 12. Danny Mills, 7. Omer Riza
ALTRINCHAM (All white): 1. James COATES, 2. James SMITH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 22. Michael WELCH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 18. Matty CROWELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN, 8. Damian REEVES, 10. Chris DENHAM, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 9. Michael TWISS, 11. Nicky CLEE.
Alty kicked off but, within 15 seconds, there was a Histon goalkick. A vuvuzela and a drum in Histon crowd were more than matched by Alty's vocal support which was trying to urge its team to a first away win of the season. Play was uneventful till Oyebanjo fired in a strong cross from the right which seemed to deflect off Welch onto the underside of the Alty bar and rebound to safety (7 mins).
Alty's first decent effort came when Denham swivelled quickly as he gathered a long ball and put in a snap shot which went comfortably wide (9 mins). Play as a whole was pretty scrappy with Alty sending the ball forward in the air too often and seeing it come straight back from the Histon defence. The visitors were also not helping themselves by getting caught offside three times in the first 13 minutes.
Then, Ilesanmi was brought down inside the Alty box by Lawton, and a penalty resulted; the second time the Alty captain had conceded a spot-kick in successive games. Oyebanjo hammered the penalty past Coates to give Histon the lead; it was the sixth spot kick conceded by Alty in the last ten games, all of which have been converted (14 mins).
Histon enjoyed the better of the next stage of the game with Murray shooting narrowly wide (19 mins). Ilesanmi then found the side netting with a fierce shot as Damian Reeves had to leave the pitch for a few minutes to have a facial injury attended to (23 mins).
Coates then had to be alert to kick clear following a back header from Densmore. Alty were creating little going forward and Denham's ball across the box from the left was the nearest they came to a threat to the Histon goal (28 mins). Despite their team's labouring performance, the travelling support remained vocal even as a Crowell mistake allowed Histon a shot at goal which went wide.
A poor Histon corner from Sparkes was seen off by Alty before play continued in pretty uninspiring fashion. Alty continued to play the ball forward in hope rather than expectation and the Histon back line had little trouble in clearing it. Reeves did get in a shot, but it went well wide (37 mins). Crowell then attempted a 45 yard chip over the keeper which also cleared the bar (39 mins).
Alty were unable to capitalise when Histon keeper Welch and a defender went for the same ball, which came just after Coates had had to save well from Wootton. Murray then got the ball off Crowell but his shot was deflected off target (43 mins). Half time arrived with Alty trailing and, having created little themselves, they could have few complaints.
|Half-Time: HISTON 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the interval Twiss and Holsgrove came on to add to Alty's attacking options, with Reeves and midfielder Danylyk going off. The visitors made a lively start, winning a corner after a minute and for the next five minutes they enjoyed their best spell of the game. Indeed, had Twiss elected to shoot when completely unmarked in the box instead of laying the ball off, they might have been level. However, Alty's bright spell ended as Crowell got a lecture for dissent (50 mins).
From Sparkes's quickly taken throw from the left, Coates had to make two smart saves in succession from a resulting Histon shot (51 mins). Play meandered on till Histon won three corners in succession. From the third, a Histon shot was blocked by Coates. Soon after this, Holsgrove, who had been upended by Wootton, tripped his assailant whilst still on the ground and got booked (59 mins).
Histon brought on Riza for Macrae (62 mins) and the striker's first act was a foul; his second was to kick the ball away but despite Alty protests the ref took no action. Next Alty brought on Clee for Welch (64 mins) before Histon survived Denham's appeal for a penalty as he went down in the box. Smith then tried to shepherd the ball out of play, right of goal twenty yards out, but the officials judged that he had not done so and allowed Riza to gain possession and fire in a shot which Coates did well to save. Riza now committed another foul without seeing a card (68 mins).
Altrincham won a rare corner (72 mins) before the game's turning point arrived. Clee had jinked up the left and fed Brown who had done well to get to the by-line, left of goal. He played the ball into the box for Twiss who ballooned his shot very poorly, yards over the bar. Play went to other end and, from the left, Coates beat the ball out but it came back from Histon across goal for the unmarked Murray to make it 2-0 at the back post (74 mins).
A Williams header ran to the keeper before Denham shot narrowly wide as Alty tried to get back into the game (79 mins). When Fitzsimons not only grabbed Holsgrove with both arms in the box but actually span the Alty man through 180 degrees as a cross came in, he unbelievably escaped a penalty award against himself (82 mins).
As Alty won a corner, Crowell was now hobbling but all the subs had been used. Histon, however, brought on Attwood for Sparkes (86 mins). When Wootton surged over the half way line, Brown tripped him and received a yellow card (86 mins). Densmore, Denham and Clee then conspired to get Holsgrove in, on the left, but his shot missed the far post (88 mins).
Riza then pulled up with a hamstring pull, having just returned from such an injury. He was replaced by the tall Mills (90 mins) as four added minutes were announced. Mills needed fewer than two of these to score Histon's third. He got the better of Williams over on Alty's right touch line and advanced into the box before shooting firmly past Coates to make it 3-0 (90+2 mins).
There was time for a fine swerving shot from 30 yards by Murray which Coates did well to tip onto the bar before Mr Knowles's final whistle put Altrincham out of their misery. After four unbeaten games this match was a huge disappointment for Altrincham, who showed little invention, especially in the first half. And, once again, at least two of the goals came from their own errors rather than the opposition's guile. Ken McKenna has a lot to think about before Alty entertain Fleetwood next Saturday.
|Full-Time: HISTON 3 ALTRINCHAM 0|