Match Report


Blue Square Bet Premier match
played on Tuesday, 22 February, 2011, at 7.45pm


It was not the confident promotion aspirants from Yorkshire who left Moss Lane thinking they should have won, but the part-timers from Altrincham who started and finished the game in 22nd position who were the more disappointed. Altrincham dominated the last 25 minutes and only failed to win because they failed to convert a hatful of chances during the game and were denied as blatant a penalty as you will ever see when Damian Reeves was pushed over on the line as he was about to put the ball in the York net.

Twice Ingham foiled Reeves when he was through on goal and a last-ditch defensive block stopped him on a third occasion. The Alty striker then stroked a glorious chance wide of the post. York only seriously threatened to score once, when Man of the Match, Marc Joseph, cleared off the Alty line in the first half. The introduction of Twiss and Baynes midway through the second half lifted Alty, who had already matched the visitors, to a higher level.


  • None

    REFEREE: Mr P. C. Wright

    ATTENDANCE: 1,143


    James Smith returned after suspension but Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury. However, new loan signing from Fleetwood, Steve Connors, started despite a knock on Saturday. Unfortunately, loanee Sam Wedgbury was playing his last game before returning to his club, Macclesfield Town. Greg Young was not allowed to play against his employers tonight.


    Statistics of previous encounters are provided by Mike Garnett:

  • At Altrincham: P7 W1 D3 L3 F8 A16
  • At York: P8 W1 D2 L5 F5 A16
  • All games: P15 W2 D5 L8 F13 A32


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 2. James SMITH, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, 8. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS,

    YORK CITY (Sky blue): 24. Michael Ingham, 2. Liam Darville, 5. David McGurk, 30. Chris Smith (capt), 3. James Meredith, 8. Peter Till, 19. Ashley Chambers, 27. Daniel Racchi, 28. Andre Boucaud, 29. Scott Kerr, 15. Michael Rankine. Subs: 4. Jonathan Smith, 25. Leon Constantine, 6. Daniel Parslow, 7. Jamie Reed, 11. Chris Carruthers


    With 444 away supporters at the Carole Nash (Hale) end, the game finally got under way after York had been allowed by the referee to delay the kick-off with their protracted pre-match bonding session. The game then took some time to come to life. Craig Dootson survived an early fumble (3 mins) before Robbie Lawton went down injured after what looked like a late challenge but play continued with the Alty captain out of the game (7 mins). After lengthy treatment he hobbled back on and it was not long before York's Kerr became what was to be their only booking of the night, when he brought down Beesley (11 mins).

    Altrincham now enjoyed some pressure and almost went ahead in the 14th minute when a good run on the left by Clee led to Beesley threading through a fine pass to Reeves. The Alty striker went for placing his shot, to the keeper's left, rather than power and Ingham made an excellent save as he advanced off his line.

    After Alty's spell of dominance, York roused themselves and it took an excellent header off the Alty line by Marc Joseph to clear Till's effort from left of the Alty goal (17 mins). But, nevertheless, there were opportunities at this stage for Reeves to shoot wide (18 mins) and for Clee to miscue a chance off target with his right foot (19 mins).

    A foul by Racchi on Reeves gave Alty a freekick (23 mins) and after 28 minutes a good Altrincham move started by Smith and Wedgbury saw Alty threaten again. Play was now pretty even with few openings for either side as the defences dominated.

    Altrincham won a corner which Ingham got at the second attempt (32 mins) and then Rankine had to leave the field briefly for a cut to his head to be treated. He donned a new shirt which unlike most clubs' "blood shirts" was actually a duplicate personalised and numbered piece of "away" kit (36 mins).

    York continued to probe the Alty defence but to no great effect and the game meandered towards a half-time stalemate with Alty good value for their parity with their higher-placed opponents, who had looked somewhat short of the quality needed to gain promotion.


    York introduced Reed at the interval, to replace Racchi. Coincidentally or otherwise, York enjoyed their best spell of the game in these opening stages of the second half, winning three corners by the 51st minute, the last ending with Kerr's shot which Dootson saved comfortably (52 mins).

    But it was Altrincham who came the nearer of the sides to going ahead when a good build up ended with Connors's pass to Reeves who, again, found himself one on one with Ingham but, for the second time, the York keeper emerged the winner of the duel as he blocked the Alty striker's effort by rushing out to block the shot (54 mins).

    Some further York pressure was then relieved by a freekick, before Meredith, who had been left in space in the Alty box, fired narrowly over from a feed from the right (63 mins).

    Now Altrincham made a double substitution as Michael Twiss and Wes Baynes came on for Mark Beesley and Robbie Lawton (64 mins). A few minutes later York brought on Jonathan Smith - the third Smith to be on the pitch - as former Kettering midfielder André Boucaud left the fray. The changes continued as York swapped defenders, Parslow replacing McGurk (70 mins).

    Altrincham were now getting the upper hand as Connors surged forward but, soon after, with both sets of fans giving their team good support, Twiss got booked for a foul (74 mins). York survived a strong appeal as Baynes was bundled off the ball, and then Twiss was narrowly wide with an Alty effort.

    There then came an absolutely incredible decision from the referee as Alty attacked on the left. With the ball looping towards the goal line and Damian Reeves placed to touch it into the net from virtually on the goal-line, he was clearly pushed over with both hands by a York defender. Neither Mr Wright, who later said he was unsighted, nor the nearby linesman, gave the obvious penalty decision that it was, to the astonishment of the crowd (78 mins).

    Undeterred, Reeves then sustained the pressure by winning a corner for Alty, but this came to nothing. Altrincham were now well on top, attacking the York goal. For the third time in the game Reeves got free in the box but this time a fine defensive block stopped him, a corner resulting. From the corner, by Baynes from the right, Twiss headed narrowly over the bar.

    Reeves then almost breached the offside trap but his lob cleared the bar in any case. The lively Reeves was then clearly pulled as he threatened the York goal once more but, again, nothing was given by the referee before more good work from Clee on the left set up the unmarked Reeves for a clear chance but he placed his low shot from 12 yards wide of Ingham's left post (89 mins).

    Though Alty won a corner in the four added minutes at the end of the game, and York won a freekick when Rankine went down in stages under a challenge from Williams to win a York freekick, the game remained goalless, with Altrincham the more disappointed at the outcome. On another night when refereeing decisions and their own finishing might be better, they would have won this match deservedly. As it is, the single point gained here brings them up into a pack of five clubs between 18th and 22nd places, who are covered by just three points. Indeed, with more than half their points this season (15) having been won in just the last eleven league games, there is good cause for optimism that Alty can escape the drop, despite the disappointment of not winning tonight.