Match Report


Blue Square Bet Premier match
played on Saturday, 5 March, 2011, at 3pm


It took a late (87th minute) headed goal by Marc Joseph, from a Wes Baynes corner, to secure a point for Alty but it was deserved. Indeed, the Robins had the better of the first half but were rocked by a fluke goal after 58 minutes when Winn's shot took a deflection off Marc Joseph's head and looped past the wrong-footed Dootson in the Alty goal. The goal came after Hewson lost possession just outside the box when he could have cleared.

After that, Alty rocked for a while and Dootson kept them in it with a couple of vital blocks before Reeves seemed to have salvaged a point but saw his tap-in ruled out for offside. However, Marc Joseph scored for the second match running to keep Alty in the fight to escape the relegation zone. It was a good result against full-time opposition for an Alty team weakened by the absences of the injured Denham, Densmore, Smith and Beesley and the suspended Connors. Alty were also denied a late penalty when Twiss was tripped inside the box.


  • 58 mins: Ashley WINN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Gateshead 1)
  • 87 mins: Marc JOSEPH (ALTRINCHAM 1 AFC Wimbledon 1)

    REFEREE: Mr Jake Collin

    ATTENDANCE: 765 (49 in away end)


    Altrincham had five players unavailable for the game. James Smith, Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore were all out injured, whilst Steve Connors was suspended. In addition, Mark Beesley was also ruled out by injury, so there were only four on the bench for Altrincham today. However, loan signing, defender Jonathan Bateson from Accrington Stanley, was a new face in the squad.


    Statistics of previous encounters are provided by Mike Garnett:

  • At Altrincham: P21 W11 D4 L6 F38 A25
  • At Gateshead: P20 W9 D2 L9 F24 A27
  • All games: P41 W20 D6 L15 F62 A52

    When Alty lost at Gateshead in the reverse fixture back in September, it proved to be Graham Heathcote's last game in charge. From the starting line-up that day at least six Alty players did not start today - Coates, Smith, Welch, Densmore, Crowell and McCarthy - reflecting the changes in personnel at Moss Lane since then.


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 30. Craig DOOTSON, 3. Jonathan BATESON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 22. Greg YOUNG, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 20. Sam HEWSON, 17. Wes BAYNES, 8. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, Subs; 1. Stuart COBURN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS,

    GATESHEAD (Blue shirts and White shorts) 1. Tim Deasy, 6. Ben Clark, 24. Michael Liddle, 5. James Curtis, 27. James Tavernier, 23. Adam Rundle, 8. Philip Turnbull, 9. Jon Shaw, 14. Ashley Winn, 25. Richard Offiong, 7. Martin Brittain Subs; 13. Paul Farman, 2. Craig Baxter, 22. Josh Gillies, 11. Craig Nelthorpe, 18. Nathan Fisher.


    On a bitterly cold afternoon, Gateshead kicked off towards their supporters in the Hale end. Inside the first minute referee Collin waved away a plausible appeal for a penalty against Robbie Williams as he leant into Offiong near the penalty spot. In an otherwise quiet opening, Alty's chief threat came from three of Clee's long throws, from the right, before Reeves won his side's first corner in the 9th minute.

    Gateshead conceded a number of freekicks before Shaw got in their first decent effort at goal when he nodded over the bar. Tavernier was finding space well on the Gateshead right and from one of his threats, it took a good interception from Williams to concede a corner to the visitors. Dootson then got away with coming out for a cross from the Gateshead right and beiong stranded in no-man's land.

    At the back for Alty, Joseph was impressing and with Clark and Curtis likewise in control for Gateshead, it was the defences which were in charge as the game approached the half-hour mark.

    At this point Alty had a good chance when the impressive Clee turned well into space and got in a low cross from the left. Unfortunately, the pass seemed to be marginally behind Hewson, who got the ball under his feet in the goalmouth (29 mins).

    Clee continued to look the most lively for Alty going forward but when he completed his next fine dribble, his cross for Reeves was overhit (36 mins). Three more Clee throw-ins finally yielded a corner, off a defender, as Alty now enjoyed the better of the proceedings (38 mins).

    After Clee had been held by Tavernier, the Gateshead man saw a yellow card (40 mins). Following Baynes's corner, Joseph flicked the ball on to Young, whose spontaneous header went wide (41 mins). Debutant Bateson was having a quiet but competent game at right-back and he broke up the next Gateshead probe. Alty won a corner just before the break, but half-time arrived with the game goalless and Altrincham having had marginally the better of the game.


    After the interval, Gateshead came out to perform the sort of warm-up on the touchline, involving skipping in and out of plastic markers, so beloved of some of our BSBP opponents. They then introduced Fisher for Shaw before the second half kicked off.

    Alty had a good early chance when Reeves cleverly left Baynes's cross from the right, his dummy allowing the ball to fall to Clee, just outside the box. But the Yorkshireman badly mishit his shot (47 mins). After that Gateshead enjoyed the better of the opening stages of the second period. But it was Alty who went close in the 51st minute when a Gateshead mix up gave Alty a corner from which Young's fine header was clearly tipped over the bar by former Barrow keeper, Deasy, only for the referee to award a goalkick (51 mins).

    Next, two Gateshead corners were seen off before Alty allowed Gateshead too much space on the left. Though Joseph cleared the resulting ball to Hewson, the Alty midfielder elected not to clear first time from his position just outside the front of the penalty area. As a result, he lost possession and Winn's subsequent cross-cum-shot from the left struck Marc Joseph, who was some 15 yards from goal in a central position, and looped over the wrong-footed Dootson to give Gateshead the most fortunate of goals (58 mins).

    Gateshead then fluffed a decent chance when Fisher missed the target on the hour mark. Alty went through a shaky few minutes epitomised by the otherwise impressive Joseph's badly overhit freekick from the right which nearly found the corner flag on the other side of the pitch. But Baynes did then raise the spirits a little with a decent shot which Deasy saved comfortably (65mins).

    Alty continued to labour for the next few minutes whilst Gateshead looked comfortable with their fortuitous lead. After 71 minutes Gillies came on to replace Offiong for Gateshead, a change which came moments after Dootson had done very well to beat out a Fisher shot.

    After Gateshead had won a freekick against Williams, Hewson unnecessarily headed the ball out for a corner when there was no opponent near him - presumably he did not get a call from a team-mate. Alty were still struggling to get back into the game as Gateshead kept possession, as each side made a change. Nelthorpe replaced Rundle for The Heed, whilst Twiss came on for Williams for Altrincham (79 mins).

    After this, a good move up the left, in which Piergianni bravely got past his marker, ended with Twiss feeding Reeves, who slotted the ball into the net at the back post, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside (81 mins). That effort seemed to lift the home side but, at the other end, it took an excellent block by Dootson to halt an effort from Tavernier (85 mins).

    Alty were now getting forward and they won a corner, following more good work by Piergianni on the left. From Baynes's kick, Joseph rose to head a deserved equalizer (87 mins). Alty immediately brought on Danylyk for Hewson in midfield (87 mins). Gateshead replied with two successive corners of their own before Alty introduced Ryan Brown to replace Nicky Clee (89 mins).

    Three added minutes were indicated and in the second of these, Twiss, drifting across the box, was tripped by his marker only for Mr Collin to wave away the appeals for a penalty kick. And so the game ended 1-1, which overall was probably a fair result.

    Greg Young was awarded the Man of the Match champagne, a prize for which his team-mates Marc Joseph, Carl Piergianni and Nicky Clee were probably his chief rivals. Considering the weakened state of the Alty side, the way they came back from a goal down gave more cause for hope that they can still escape the relegation places.