BARROW (0) 1 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Tuesday, 8 March, 2011, at 7.45pm
Having weathered a battering both from the wind and the opposition in the first half, Altrincham lasted just 45 seconds of the second half before Barrow scored the winning goal- a fine shot from 20 yards by Rutherford. But the most disappointing aspect was that Alty were decidedly second best throughout the second half and scarcely threatened. Earlier, Reeves came close to a goal just before the interval and Joseph hit the bar in injury time but in between there was little cause for optimism. And Alty lost Young to injury to add to their woes.
REFEREE: Mr A J Madley
Altrincham were without the long-term injured Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore as well as more recently sidelined James Smith and Mark Beesley.
This was a proverbial "six pointer" with both sides locked in a fight against relegation.
BARROW (White and blue) 31. Clark Masters, 2. Simon Spender, 24. Paul Edwards, 3. Mike Pearson, 5. Phil Bolland, 9. Wayne Curtis, 8. Andy Ferrell, 14. Darren Sheridan, 27. Richie Baker, 20. Andy Cook 7. Paul Rutherford, Subs: 26. Louis Almond, 1. Shaun Pearson, 11. Marc Goodfellow, 19. Eddie Toner, 22. Andy Nicholas
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 30. Craig DOOTSON, 3. Jonathan BATESON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 22. Greg YOUNG, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 17. Wes BAYNES, 8. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, Subs:1. Stuart COBURN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS,
Barrow kicked off in very gusty conditions with the wind behind them and they pressed forward in the opening stages. However, they showed a reluctance to take advantage of the wind to shoot at goal. Then, a Barrow error gave Alty the first two corners of the match, the latter ending in Clee's miscue wide (9 mins).
Barrow continued to struggle to adapt to the wind, with several overhit balls forward and wayward crosses. However, a long shot from Ferrell caused Dootson some concern as it kicked up off the pitch into his chest (19 mins). For Alty Connors was the best player at this stage, taking time to play his passes whilst Barrow player manager Sheridan was pulling the strings for the Bluebirds.
With rain now adding to the players' difficulties it was hardly providing a good spectacle for the Premier Sports TV cameras. But Barrow continued to show patience and after one period when they put together a couple of dozen passes interrupted only by a couple of Alty touches, the home support ironically cheered as they finally got in a shot, but Ferrell fired well over the bar (34 mins).
Alty were not threatening the Barrow goal until a fine ball forward from Connors set Reeves running towards the box. His well taken shot just skimmed the top of the bar (40 mins). Otherwise the Barrow back line had Alty under control.
As half time approached, Barrow won three corners but Alty defended well and went in to the interval, after a hard-working first half, with hopes of exploiting the wind which would be behind them in the second period.
|Half-Time: BARROW 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
After Alty had kicked off the second half, Clee got free but his shot from left of goal was saved. Piergianni was then penalised for a foul just inside the visitors' half on the Barrow right. The quickly taken kick caught Alty out and Rutherford found space on the edge of the box. His well hit shot swerved in the wind to beat Dootson from 20 yards and give Barrow the lead barely 45 seconds into the half.
Rain now started to fall again as Alty failed to get going in this half until a Clee cross just evaded the head of Reeves at the back post from the right-wing (55 mins). Alty now repeated a change they have made in recent games as Twiss came on for Williams (56 mins). Young, who had a good game, now cleared a Barrow attack before the Bluebirds introduced Almond in place of Cook (60 mins).
With Altrincham still second best, they brought on midfielder Danylyk for Lawton (62 mins). Danylyk soon got in a 30-yarder but it ran easily to the keeper (64 mins). Alty now exerted a bit of pressure without creating any real openings before Piergianni got booked for a foul (68 mins).
Things got worse when Young hurt himself in a challenge and had to go off with what looked like an ankle injury (70 mins). With Williams also off, Alty had lost two of their tall threats at set pieces. Ryan Brown came on at left back (71 mins). The visitors still failed to assert themselves on Barrow and were creating nothing up front as the game drifted into the final ten minutes, at which point Alty won a corner.
But it was Barrow who next went close as Almond fired narrowly wide with a low shot (81 mins). Alty's frustration showed as they now committed two late tackles. First of all, Joseph was booked for a foul challenge before a late lunge from Bateson saw the Accrington loanee very fortunate not to see yellow, too (85 mins).
alty then wasted a corner before a Baynes freekick led to another corner, which was followed by three more, which Barrow generally dealt with competently, though Joseph struck the bar from one of them. So, despite four added minutes, the score remained 1-0, leaing Altrincham in a perilous position as they face the final 11 games of the season. After a decent first half, their second half showing had simply not been good enough.
|Full-Time: BARROW 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|