ALTRINCHAM (0) 0 AFC WIMBLEDON (2) 2
played on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, at 7.45pm
Altrincham conceded a goal after 29 seconds of the match and then did so, again, a minute before the interval but, in between, they played some good football, as they also did in the early part of the second half. Indeed, had Twiss's volleyed goal from a Denham cross from the right been allowed to stand in the 70th minute, they might have got something out of the game but referee Handley took his assistant's assurance that the goal was offside and ruled it out. After that the visitors were fairly comfortable and the pace of their attacks throughout the game ensured that they deserved the points.
After Alty had kicked off the match, the Dons' Welland sent an aerial ball forward up the middle and it dropped behind the Alty defence to Kedwell, who beat the advancing Coburn comfortably. Kedwell also got the second, after 44 minutes when he converted a right-wing cross.
REFEREE: Mr D Handley
ATTENDANCE: 901, (198 in away end)
Alty had been without Chris Denham and James Smith for recent games and neither was again fit to start tonight; but Denham was available from the bench. Michael Welch had injured himself in Saturday's warm-up so he was unavailable tonight. So Alty's starting eleven was unchanged from the draw at Bath City.
Wimbledon's Christian Jolley was sent off last Saturday so was suspended tonight. Lee Minshull returned to the squad after his injury.
Though bottom of the table, Altrincham went into this game with just one league defeat in their last eight league outings, a run sustained in recent games without key players Chris Denham and James Smith who have been out, injured.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 27. Andrew MILNE, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 17. Wes BAYNES, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 25. Matt SOMNER, 15. Ryan BROWN, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 21. James COATES, 8. Damian REEVES, 20. Sam HEWSON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 10. Chris DENHAM
AFC WIMBLEDON (All yellow): 1. Seb Brown, 18. Ed Harris, 2. Ryan Jackson, 7. Sam Hatton, 4. Steven Gregory, 23. Rashid Yussuff, 9. Danny Kedwell, 3. Andre Blackman, 8. Ricky Wellard, 16. Fraser Franks, 10. Jon Main. Subs: 11. Luke Moore, 22. Chris Bush, 20. Jack Turner, 14. Lee Mitchell, 17. Mark Nwokeji
For the second game running Alty lost the toss and were asked to change ends, leaving them to kick off towards the away end at Moss Lane on a bitterly cold evening. But inside 29 seconds, they were trailing to a goal from Danny Kedwell. Alty had lost possession and Wellard's hopeful ball, up the middle, dropped behind the Altrincham defence where Kedwell drove it past the advancing Coburn.
But despite their bottom-placing in the league, Altrincham's spirit was not broken by this very early setback and they played some good football in the remainder of the first half. Nicky Clee, especially, impressed, as the home side won the game’s first corner (4 mins). But it soon became clear that Wimbledon's searing pace on the wings would be a constant threat on the counter-attack. In Yussuff, the Dons have arguably the fastest player in the division, whilst the likes of Jackson and Blackman are no slouches either.
Nevertheless, Williams's nod-on from a Clee long throw led to some desperate defending in the box from the Dons (6 mins). And, soon afterwards, Gregory had to hook the ball clear as Clee threatened again. The two sides traded corners before a brilliant sliding tackle from Clee stopped the flying Yussuff in his tracks near half-way.
Alty threatened again when a good, low ball into the box only just reached keeper Brown before Clee arrived on the scene (19 mins). But, at the other end, a defensive mix up left Kedwell free to the right of goal but he completely miskicked to spare Alty’s blushes (21 mins). Wimbledon now enjoyed a good spell though their impressive play also involved conceding minor fouls at regular intervals.
There was no serious threat to either goal as the game passed the half-hour mark but then a Coburn punt was expertly flicked on by Twiss into the path of the marauding Clee. His rising shot headed for the top corner before keeper Brown tipped it over the bar for a corner (34 mins).
Alty continued to do well as they won a freekick, just outside the box, after Blackman had fouled Baynes. The Wrexham loanee, watched by his manager, Dean Saunders, in the stand, took the freekick himself but drove it into the wall (36 mins). As the game approached half time Alty won a throw on the right, 25 yards out which prompted one of two bizarre incidents in this game.
Two of the Dons' subs were standing between the throw-taker Clee and the touchline and they refused to move. Clee therefore sidestepped them, a pace nearer goal. The referee stopped the Yorkshireman taking the throw from the "wrong place" yet failed to admonish the obstructive Dons' subs at all; they provocatively stayed rooted to the spot, forcing Clee to move back to avoid them in his run up.
Whether that fuss caused Alty to lose focus or not, within a minute, the Dons had doubled their lead, against the run of play. Wimbledon played the ball forward to Yussuff who, in turn, played it further to his right to Hatton. His cross found Kedwell unmarked and the striker smartly volleyed it past Coburn to create a 0-2 scoreline, which was harsh on Altrincham.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 AFC WIMBLEDON 2|
Altrincham started the second half brightly winning two corners in the first six minutes and from the second Williams got his head to the ball but the ball was cleared. Though two goals adrift Altrincham still showed a belief that they could retrieve the situation. In the 58th minute Alty brought on Hewson in midfield, replacing defender Marc Joseph who, a little earlier, had come to the touchline for a word with physio Sean Riley.
Clee continued to look the pick of the home team, his long throws adding to his threat with the ball at his feet. Coburn had to make a good save from a good effort from Wellard just before the hour mark and Alty then threatened to score but Baynes put his shot wide (62 mins). Alty now had three up front in the shape of Clee, Denham and Twiss but Wimbledon began to get forward them once again, wining two successive corners and penning Alty back. But against this trend, Alty thought they had scored.
A breakaway from Baynes saw him feed Denham on the right. His early cross located Twiss who volleyed impressively past Brown. Referee Handley seemed to be happy with the goal but his assistant kept his flag raised. After lengthy discussion between the two officials, the "goal" was ruled out (70 mins). Soon after the restart Mr Handley came over to have words with Alty manager Ken McKenna about his reaction to the disallowed goal.
Nwokeji replaced Main for Wimbledon in the 74th minute and four minutes later Minshull came on for Gregory for the Dons. The visitors were now looking comfortable and they almost scored again as a result of the second passage of bizarre play. Yussuff and Jackson went for the ball with an Alty player just inside Alty's half and the one Dons' player accidentally tripped the other. The unsighted referee nevertheless blew for a freekick to Wimbledon, a decision which even had the Dons' fans in the stand shaking their heads. From the freekick the ball was fed to Yussuff whose powerful shot crashed back off the crossbar, onto the back of goalkeeper Coburn's head, but thankfully away from goal (82 mins).
The visitors were keeping Alty from posing much of a threat at this stage and the frustration got to Denham who was lectured by the referee in the presence of Alty's acting captain Somner (88 mins). Having kept his cards in his pocket for 89 minutes, a fairly innocuous challenge from Hewson earned the sub a yellow card.
As the 90 minutes ended Luke Moore replaced Jackson for the Dons, their third sub, whilst Alty only used two - striker Reeves being surprisingly left on the bench. In the third of the four added minutes Franks was cautioned for catching Clee with his elbow but the final whistle soon sounded.
So, what might have seemed a disappointing night, with bottom placed Alty losing, nevertheless allowed the team to show that against a team less organised than table-topping Wimbledon, they might well have gained some reward. Nicky Clee was Alty's man of the match and Kedwell took the Wimbledon plaudits. Referee Handley, on the contrary, left the pitch to a chorus of boos from some of the home supporters, still angered at his disallowing of the Twiss "goal".
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 AFC WIMBLEDON 2|