Altrincham lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with this 2-1 win at Rushden. Goalkeeper Coburn made four excellent saves late on but before that Alty had been good value for the win.
Altrincham had the better of the opening stages but Rushden took the lead from virtually their first attack when a routine cross from the right by Osano was headed home by O'Connor after 22 minutes. But Damian Reeves levelled the scores when he slotted home Beesley's through ball in the 40th minute. Thorne should have been sent off just after Reeves's goal when he felled Beesley who was in on goal but he only saw a yellow card.
Andy Milne made it 2-1 after 56 minutes when he got behind a defender on the Alty right. His cross was returned to him and he then scored with a left footer which keeper Day touched but could not keep out.
Rushden applied pressure in the late stages and that was when Coburn came into his own. Alty defenders also made two goal line clearances.
REFEREE: Mr Simon Long (Suffolk)
ATTENDANCE: 1,024 (away end, 92, according to Rushden official site; other sources say 72)
Altrincham's squad was so reduced by injury and illness that Ken McKenna could name only four players on the bench. Clee, Denham, Danylyk, Holsgrove and Piergianni were all unavailable.
Rushden made three changes which included playing two debutants in Prosser and Thorne. Following the midweek departure of captain Jamie Stuart, Aaron O'Connor assumed that role.
Rushden were looking for their first win in nine games whilst Alty arrived on the back of their first win in seven league games at Mansfield Town last Monday.
RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS: 13. Joe Day, 6. Curtis Osano, 5. Luke Prosser, 25. Ollie Thorne, 11. Jamie Day, 4. Max Porter, 14. Alan Power, 16. Michael Corcoran, 9. Craig Farrell, 30. Michael Gash, 8. Aaron O'Connor (capt), Subs: 19. Ryan Charles, 2. Justin Miller, 18. Matt Johnson, 28. Aaron King, 29. James Broadbent
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white and black): 1. Stuart COBURN, 27. Andrew MILNE, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 25. Matt SOMNER, 15. Ryan BROWN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 8. Damian REEVES, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs: 9. Michael TWISS, 20. Sam HEWSON, 21. James COATES, 22. Michael WELCH.
The game got under way in weak sunshine with the first effort on goal being a high and wide effort from Corcoran. Rushden conceded regular freekicks and but for Mr Long's leniency should have been penalised more often that they actually were. The first corner of the match was won by Alty after 7 minutes, as the visitors had the better of the opening stages, which Radio Northamptonshire conceded in their commentary.
Play stopped when former York striker, Farrell, caught Coburn despite the whistle having already gone for offside. After treatment the Alty keeper resumed (9 mins). A high challenge, into the back of Lawton, earned Corcoran, the Rushden midfielder, a lecture (17 mins). Mr Long's leniency continued as he allowed O'Connor to get away with a lecture after he blatantly kicked the ball away after the whistle gone for handball against him (19 mins).
There had been no serious threat to either goal before Rushden took a 22nd minute lead. The goal came when Osano put in a routine cross from the right touchline. Alty allowed O'Connor to head the ball firmly into the net to make it 1-0. The goal lifted the Diamonds and soon Corcoran also had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for a foul.
When the Rushden crowd chanted "going down" to the Alty supporters, they instantly replied with a chant of "going bust" to their hosts! Since the goal Rushden had been pressing and the game now passed the half-hour mark. Referee Long continued to allow pushes to go unpunished but Alty stuck to their game and got their reward.
It arrived in the 40th minute when Lawton found Beesley who slotted an excellent ball forward for Reeves to chase. Alty's top scorer arrived just before keeper Day and slid the ball, low, into the net. A minute later Rushden should have been reduced to ten men when Thorne brought down Beesley as he got free on the very edge of the box. Instead Mr Long only produced a yellow card for the defender (41 mins).
Baynes drove the resulting freekick into the wall. Just before the end of the forty-five, Reeves jumped well to beat keeper Day to an aerial ball but the defence cleared the danger. The referee somehow found three minutes to add on at the end of the half but the interval arrived with the score 1-1.
|Half-Time: RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|
Altrincham started the second half well. But there was an early stoppage as Gash fell awkwardly, though he did briefly resume after treatment before giving way to Ryan Charles in the 53rd minute.
Alty then had possession on the left with Brown relaying the ball back to Joseph. His diagonal ball forward was misjudged by Jamie Day on the touchline of the Alty right wing. Milne read the situation well, gaining possession and getting behind the Rushden man. Milne fired in a cross which came back to him off Prosser. Without hesitation the Alty defender put in a left foot shot which keeper Joe Day managed to touch but he could not prevent rolling over the line before Reeves made sure. It was a well taken goal by the on-loan Barrow man (56 mins).
Baynes, who otherwise had a good game, wasted a valuable corner for which Altrincham had sent up Milne,Joseph and Williams, by putting the ball into the near post side netting. When Baynes was flattened, soon afterwards, by Osano, the Rushden man was booked (61 mins).
Altrincham rode out the next few minutes without any alarms being caused by the Rushden attack. O'Connor was then replaced by Johnson for Diamonds before Reeves was penalised near half way. Following this, Milne cleared off the line for Alty. Two Rushden corners followed, the second after a great stop by Coburn (75 mins).
After 79 minutes Hewson came on for Beesley, followed soon after by a Rushden change as Miller replaced Porter for Diamonds. When Baynes slid in on a Rushden player, he earned himself Alty's only yellow card of the match. Next, we saw Twiss coming on to replace Reeves for Alty (83 mins).
The closing stages were to see some last ditch defending by Altrincham. Coburn produced another magnificent stop before a defender cleared the ball off the line (84 mins). And the Alty keeper did even better two minutes later with a double save, the second element of which was a brilliant effort, high to his left, which yielded a corner for Rushden (86 mins).
After Lawton had pulled up, holding the back of his thigh, Alty brought on Welch for the Alty captain, with Densmore taking the armband (88 mins). Five minutes of added time were decreed during which Alty defended well with Williams and Joseph prominent. Baynes provided a useful safety valve for counter attacks but his attempt to lob Day in the closing stages from 50 yards was a little over ambitious.
Rushden won two corners in the fifth added minute but Altrincham kept them out to record their second successive away win and lift themselves off the bottom for the first time since August.
This was an excellent result and impressive team performance from a much weakened Altrincham side and bodes well for the rest of the season.
|Full-Time: RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 1 ALTRINCHAM 2|