ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 TAMWORTH (0) 0
played on Saturday, 19 March, 2011, at 3pm
It was a dream return for Dale Johnson as his header, on the hour mark, which just crossed the line off the underside of the bar, sealed a 2-0 win - just three minutes after he had come onto the pitch. Earlier Alty had taken a first-half lead in bizarre circumstances. Damian Reeves was tracking back after chasing down the Tamworth keeper. Mitchell had cleared the ball but it came straight back towards him from a Tamworth back pass but fell into the path of the Alty striker who coolly beat the keeper to make it 1-0 (36 mins). Johnson also hit the post in the dying moments before which Perry had forced a fine save from Coburn, who tipped his header onto the bar.
But, even without Nicky Clee (medial ligament), Greg Young, Shaun Densmore and Chris Denham, Alty kept a clean sheet - meaning that Tamworth have yet to score at Moss Lane in five attempts.
REFEREE: Mr T Harrington
ATTENDANCE: 895 (45 in away end)
Nicky Clee (medial ligament) joined Greg Young, Sam Hewson, Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore on the injured list, so Ryan Brown came into the starting eleven to replace Clee on the left of midfield. Alty welcomed back Dale Johnson, who had started the season at Moss Lane before being allowed to join Hyde, from where he returned on the eve of this match.
Mike Garnett informs us of the past record of matches between these sides:
The reverse fixture this season ended 1-1 with Damian Reeves Alty's scorer. Marc Joseph was sent off in that game.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 17. Wes BAYNES, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN, 18. Steven CONNORS, 8. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 14. Dale JOHNSON, 30. Craig DOOTSON, 3. Jonathan BATESON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 19. Mark BEESLEY
TAMWORTH (Blue): 1. Liam Mitchell, 2. Richard Tait, 4. Duane Courtney, 5. Michael Wylde, 19. Scott Barrow, 17. Daniel Bradley, 11. Danny Thomas, 12. Seb Lake-Gaskin, 18. Christian Smith, 9. Kyle Perry, 27. Stewart Hendrie. Subs: 3. Tom Marshall, 16. Jason Bradley, 20. Ben Wilkinson, 14. Jake Sheridan, 26. Aaron Farrell
On a bright, sunny afternoon, Altrincham kicked off towards the Carole Nash (away) end, after the visitors had won the toss and elected to change ends - presumably to make Alty face the sun in the second half. The opening stages were pretty cagey and Perry's shot, well wide, was the nearest to an early goal threat. Indeed, it was The Lambs who shaded the opening stages showing a marginally better ability to keep the ball in a game characterised by unforced errors in the opening stages.
Alty's Joseph soon needed treatment after being caught in the face by an elbow of Perry; in the reverse fixture the Alty man had been sent off for allegedly butting his Tamworth adversary but, this time, though Alty were awarded a freekick, no punishment resulted for the offender (12 mins).
The game continued in a pretty low key, with a foul by Daniel Bradley on James Smith, giving Alty another freekick (17 mins). Alty's first good chance fell to Twiss, from Brown's cross, after Connors and Piergianni had combined well on the Alty left. But Twiss scooped the ball over the bar from the vicinity of the penalty spot (20 mins). When play stopped for an injury, from the technical area Stuart Bimson took advantage to show Damian Reeves and Robbie Lawton a folder which presumably showed them a diagram of what the coach required of them!
Next, Alty won a corner but Baynes completely wasted this by failing to find a team mate with a short diagonal effort from the left (23 mins). However, Altrincham were now improving after their faltering start. But neither side was seriously threatening a goal, with the Lambs' next effort clearing the bar comfortably, followed by Lake-Gaskin's very wide effort on the half-hour mark.
After a Tamworth corner had been and gone, Altrincham took the lead in strange circumstances. Reeves had chased a ball which keeper Mitchell cleared. However, defender Tait then played the ball back to his keeper, seemingly oblivious to the presence of Reeves who was making his way back towards his team-mates, some yards behind the Tamworth backline. Alty's leading scorer could not believe his luck as he picked up the ball but he still had to keep his composure as he advanced towards Mitchell and drove the ball past him for his 12th Conference goal of the season (36 mins).
At the back the Alty defence continued to keep Tamworth at arm's length but in the 41st minute, Coburn had to make a good save from a header from Hendrie. Nevertheless, as half-time approached, Williams’s clearance found Baynes and he and Reeves did well to feed Twiss, near the penalty spot, but he sidefooted narrowly wide but gained a corner off a deflection.
Joseph was harshly penalised on the front edge of the Alty box just before half time but faced by all eleven Alty players, Christian Smith put the freekick narrowly wide (45 mins). So, half-time arrived with Altrincham a goal to the good after a first 45 minutes high on effort but lacking in quality.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 TAMWORTH 0|
Des Lyttle had The Lambs out very early after the interval, which they kicked off towards the 45 fans in the away end. After barely a minute, Thomas advanced and forced Coburn to tip the ball round the base of his left upright for a corner. An Alty freekick resulted from the corner and this led to a neat Alty move as Smith overlapped up the right and via Reeves and Twiss, the ball came to an unmarked Brown in the left of the box. But he unfortunately screwed his shot harmlessly across the box rather than testing the Tamworth keeper (49 mins).
Twiss battled well to win a corner from which a Joseph header was blocked, after which Tamworth won a corner themselves, which also came to nothing. Connors and Daniel Bradley were then involved in a little spat, after which a loud cheer went up as fans' favourite Dale Johnson, signed the day before from Hyde, came on to resume his Altrincham career which had ended early this season. Johnson replaced Twiss and within three minutes he had scored.
The goal arrived when Lawton did well to get in a cross from right of goal which Johnson headed against the underside of the bar, from where it bounced down and was cleared. But the linesman instantly signalled a goal and the referee concurred to award Alty a goal. Tamworth keeper Mitchell ran to protest to the referee but Mr Harrington booked him for his dissent (60 mins).
Tamworth responded to this reverse by bringing on Jason Bradley for Hendrie, brother of the former Aston Villa forward, Lee Hendrie. Soon afterwards, another change in the away line-up was made, allowing Sheridan to come on for Thomas (66 mins). Robbie Williams was then booked for a foul (67 mins) before Altrincham brought on Bateson, their loanee from Accrington Stanley, to replace Brown. This prompted a shuffle as Piergianni moved into left midfield to allow Bateson to slot in at right-back, as Joseph moved to left-back (70 mins).
Next, Baynes’s freekick was deflected out for a corner, of which again Alty did not make use (73 mins). Reeves then got in an excellent low shot which Mitchell did well to tip round the post for a corner as Alty enjoyed a good spell.
But then Danny Thomas got past Piergianni and fed Tait, whose cross from the right was met by a firm header from Perry which Coburn did brilliantly to tip onto the crossbar from where it rebounded to safety (78 mins). Just after this Reeves shot wide for Alty as the home side prepared Beesley to come on, apparently for Reeves. But then a sudden change of mind, saw Beesley sent back to the bench and, two minutes later, it was Connors who was withdrawn for Danylyk (84 mins).
With the game in its closing stages, Tamworth won two corners and from the second of these, Wylde headed well wide (85 mins). Though Tamworth tried to get forward, Altrincham held firm as three added minutes were announced. With Reeves now limping, Alty almost added a third goal when Reeves fed Johnson whose low shot from 30 yards beat Mitchell but rebounded back off the keeper's left upright (90+3 mins).
With Scott Barrow named as the Tamworth Man of the Match, Alty captain Robbie Lawton lifted the award for the hosts, a reward for a battling performance in midfield. Results elsewhere did not help Altrincham very much but they remain in touch with Hayes & Yeading, Southport and Forest Green Rovers - none of whom lost today.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 TAMWORTH 0|