FOREST GREEN ROVERS (0) 1 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 9 April, 2011, at 3pm
A well struck 25 yard shot by McDonald decided this match in the 71st minute; it was the one special moment in a game lacking otherwise in quality. Alty had been having the better of the game, without seriously threatening a goal but soon after going behind Reeves somehow failed to get a boot on a ball across the box with which he had only to make contact to score from six feet out. In the first half Reeves had had Alty's only other serious effort but poked his shot at Bittner. Defeats for others leave Alty still able to escape relegation but defeat here has made it a whole lot harder and without more potency up front it is difficult to see from where the necessary goals will come.
REFEREE: Mr W Atkin (Sussex)
ATTENDANCE: 937 (147 in away end)
Dale Johnson was added to the injured list for this match, but Damian Reeves had recovered to start. Steve Connors and James Smith were out, suspended. Shaun Densmore was a welcome face on the bench after his long injury absence.
Mike Garnett informs us of the past record of matches between these sides:
The reverse fixture this season ended 2-1 to Altrincham.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS (Black & White Strpes) 1. James Bittner, 16. Danny Hall, 5. Luke Jones (capt), 20. Gavin Caines, 18. Chris Stokes; 22. Bradley Gray, 27. Keiron Forbes, 25. Wayne Turk, 24. Curtis McDonald; 9. Reece Styche, 10. Ross Dyer. Subs: 31. Robbie Matthews, 26. Steve Guinan, 6. Craig Armstrong, 28. Matt Somner, 23. Jeffrey Imudia,
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, white shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 3.Jon BATESON, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 22. Greg YOUNG, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 6. Anthony DANYLYK 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Michael TWISS, 8. Damian REEVEs. Subs: 30. Craig DOOTSON, 17. Wes BAYNES, 15. Ryan BROWN, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE
FGR kicked off, after completing their "huddle", and won a corner inside 25 seconds but both this, and a corner for Alty, after 5 minutes, were seen off by the respective defences. Apart from Styche heading well wide (8 mins), there was little of note in a scrappy opening period of the game. Styche then went down, looking for a penalty, but he did win another corner before Reeves won a flag-kick at the other end. Clee's corner kick failed to clear the first defender (17 mins) as the game drifted on.
The visiting supporters were comfortably outsinging the home crowd before a fine block by Young halted a Forest Green effort inside the Alty box (29 mins). Forest Green now enjoyed a few minutes of pressure which ended when Caines shot wide (33 mins).
Styche then got behind Young but the resulting corner came to nothing. After a Reeves shot had forced a save, Alty then had a better chance when Clee fed Reeves, but the striker scooped his shot straight to keeper Bittner in the FGR net (42 mins).
Forbes then went down cheaply in the Alty box but the referee was not impressed and no penalty was awarded. Half time arrived with Alty having more than held their own but with both sides looking goal shy.
|Half-Time: FOREST GREEN ROVERS 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Alty kicked off the second half and won two early corners, both taken by Bateson. Between these Forbes went down injured and had to be replaced by former Alty loanee, Matt Somner (52 mins). Altrincham were having the better of the game as it neared the hour mark, at which point Baynes came on for Williams. The sub's first touch was to drive a freekick into the wall of FGR defenders. Striker Robbie Matthews also came on, to replace Gray for the Rovers.
Play drifted on ,with Alty looking as likely to take the lead as FGR, but with neither side showing much penetration up front.
After 68 minutes, McDonald was booked for encroachment at an Alty freekick but he was to make a more positive mark in the 71st minute as he lashed a fine shot form the left, at least 25 yards out, which flew into the far side of the goal to give FGR the lead out of the blue. This came after Matthews initial shot had been cleared.
But then Altrincham, amidst appeal for handball in the box by FGR, had a glorious chance to level as Baynes laid the ball across the goalmouth from the right but Reeves, just feet from the line, somehow failed to connect to tap the ball into the vacant net (71 mins). Another Baynes cross, from the right, then found Clee beyond the back post but he failed to keep his shot down and it cleared the bar (77 mins).
Bateson was then booked before the resulting freekick led to Matthews haeding over. The goal had lifted FGR and most of the play was now in the Alty half. Piergianni was now replaced by Beesley (80 mins) and soon Alty relieved the pressure to win a corner, from which Young nodded narrowly over (84 mins).
At the other end, Young was caught out by Styche, who should have scored but hit the post, leaving Coburn needing treatment for a leg injury (85 mins). Somner was booked for a foul on Clee as the game went into five added minutes. Danylyk was cautioned in the second of these and, just before the end, Styche poked a shot over which should have hit the target.
This was a hugely disappointing result for Alty and underlined their lack of attacking potency against a side which was equally weak in that department and who only won thanks to a well struck shot out of the blue. Matters are now out of Alty's own hands and they now need other teams to slip up to stay up.
|Full-Time: FOREST GREEN ROVERS 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|