After a fairly even first half in which Curzon's McDonagh had the best chance but saw Coburn block his shot, Altrincham scored two late goals to earn an away tie at Blyth Spartans in Round Two of the FA Trophy on January 15th. Robbie Williams volleyed home from close range in the 84th minute before a Chris Denham penalty in injury time saw the home keeper dismissed and Denham blast the penalty home.
REFEREE: Mr Jake Collin
Alty again omitted Robbie Lawton, Damian Reeves and Michael Welch from their squad but Andy Milne returned to the bench. Anthony Danylyk and Michael Twiss came into the starting line up replacing Ryan Brown and Wes Baynes.
This match was a repeat of one which had been abandoned at half-time last Saturday due to a power failure which put the floodlights out of action, with Alty trailing 2-1 - though they could have been 4-0 down such had been their poor defensive display.
CURZON ASHTON (Blue): 1. David Carnell, 3. Sam Halligan, 4. David Birch (captain), 5. Paul Booth, 6. Nathan Martin, 2. James Ogoo, 7. Chris Worsley, 8. Chris Curley, 9. Chris McDonagh, 10. Daniel Broadbent, 11. Phil Edghill, Subs: 12. Daniel Shannon, 14. Matt Purcell, 15. James Blair, 16. Grant Spencer, 18. Craig Ellison
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH (captain), 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 25. Matt SOMNER, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 21. James COATES, 27. Andy MILNE, 17. Wes BAYNES, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 20. Sam HEWSON
Alty started the better of the two sides with Danylyk soon making an impression in midfield with a typically tenacious performance. But although both sides were producing a compettive game, neither produced any serious threats of a goal in the opening ten minutes. At that point Smith and McDonagh, himself a former Alty Youth player, were involved in a spat which saw them both booked by Mr Collin (10 mins).
Play now became evenly contested and with Clee, Alty's most inventive attacking player, often to be found in an almost left-back position, there was still little for the keepers to do. In fact, Clee became the second Alty man to be booked for a foul on Ogoo on the touchline (19 mins). There was no gap in quality between sides as play continued but Denham became Alty's third booked player. That came just after Broadbent had mishit a shot when presented with a good opening (25 mins).
Though Alty won the game's first corner (31 mins), Twiss and Beesley were getting little chance to make an impression up front for Alty and the visitors almost fell behind in the 32nd minute when an error by Smith allowed Broadbent to gain possession. He fed McDonagh, who faced only with Coburn to beat, shot straight at the keeper who made a good block to let Alty off the hook.
Alty continued to have their hands full in a very competitive game but despite winning another corner (42 mins), Clee's wide shot a minute later was the nearest to a goal for Alty at this stage. A Beesley shot went comfortably to Carnell just before a bad trip on Clee, who was advancing at full speed, resulted in a booking for Halligan and lengthy treatment for the victim from physio Sean Riley (45+1 mins).
|Half-Time: CURZON ASHTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Clee had recovered to be able to start the second half which began with the sides trading attacks without being able to land a telling shot. Eventually, Beesley got in a shot at goal but the effort was comfortably saved (52 mins). The stalemate continued as the hour mark approached. Next, McDonagh, already booked, escaped with a lecture when he transgressed once more but gradually Altrincham were getting the upper hand.
A Beesley shot won Alty a corner (63 mins) and then a shot from Denham was deflected out for another corner soon afterwards. But there was still danger at the other end as Worsley got free on the right but his ball across the box could not locate a team mate (66 mins).
Alty made appeals for a penalty when Beesley went down under a dual challenge inside the box (69 mins) before Curzon made a change when Shannon replaced McDonagh (72 mins). Clee then had a fine chance when the keeper dropped an aerial ball under Twiss's challenge but Clee blasted the loose ball very high over the bar (75 mins).
Alty remained on top but Curzon still posed a danger. Denham won a corner (78 mins) before Blair came on for Martin (81 mins). Alty persisted with the same eleven in which Beesley, Twiss and Denham were now a three-pronged attack. Another corner arrived through Densmore. Clee's corner kick was half cleared but was played back into the box where Williams volleyed it home from very close range to break the deadlock (84 mins). Curzon now introduced Purcell for Ogoo (85 mins).
Two minutes later Joseph was unfortunate to be booked when he was the victim of clear backing-in but found himself penalised and then cautioned for a mild protest, this being Alty's fourth card of the night in a game which was never over physical. Altrincham were successfully keeping Curzon out, as the game went into added time. But then Denham was put through up the middle and went round Carnell, whose trip produced a penalty and a red card for the unfortunate keeper. Denham himself drove the penalty home, though stand-in keeper, Birch, obliged to go in nets as all the subs had been used, got close to stopping it (90+2 mins).
And so, Altrincham had taken advantage of their second chance to overcome an impressive Curzon team which showed how they had been doing so well in their division. This time the Alty defence proved generally solid and recorded its first clean sheet since October. Their reward is an away tie at Blyth Spartans on January 15th.
|Full-Time: CURZON ASHTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 2|