ALTRINCHAM (1) 4 WORCESTER CITY (0) 1Blue Square Bet North Match
played on Saturday, 10 September, 2011, at 3pm
Worcester's poor record at Moss Lane continued as a strong second-half performance secured a comfortable win for Altrincham. The first-half had been more even with Altrincham scoring once but, as has been their custom this season, they had spurned several other chances. It was James Lawrie, making his first start on loan from AFC Telford, who broke the deadlock, shortly after swapping wings with the influential Nicky Clee. Lawrie won possession, moved up the left and beat the keeper with a shot across him in the 38th minute.
Alty, without the injured trio of Flynn, Lawton and Richman, went 2-0 up after 55 seconds of the second half when Damian Reeves seized on a defensive error to get clear and score with a low shot into the far corner. Clee and Densmore both struck the post from long range before Michael Twiss finished well from Clee's feed (64 mins). Reeves neatly scored a fourth four minutes later. But, once again, Alty failed to keep a clean sheet as they once more conceded a penalty when Brown blocked the run of Symons in the box in injury time. Symons drove his penalty down the middle to make it 4-1.
REFEREE: Mr G Fyvie
ATTENDANCE: 771 (32 through away turnstile)
Altrincham were without three regulars through injury; Simon Richman and Adam Flynn remained sidelined whilst Robbie Lawton was a new casualty, with a knee problem. So, Anthony Danylyk, whose suspension does not apply till our game at Solihull next week, took over as captain. Centre-back Rob Williams had rejoined Alty, on loan from Telford, last Monday, and he joined fellow AFC Telford loanee James Lawrie in the Alty starting line-up. Youth team captain Matt Fearon made his first appearance in a first-team league match squad alongside fellow youth team defender, Joe Coombs. It must be a long time since not one of the Alty bench had a league start to his name for the club, as was the case today.
Worcester reported in midweek that striker Luke Corbett and midfielder Simon Brown might be fit but they were not. However, veteran striker Marc McGregor was fit enough to be named on the bench. Left-winger Danny Edwards was also missing, with a hamstring problem, whilst Neil Cartwright was absent, at a wedding.
Mike Garnett's records told us that, before today's game, our record against Worcester was as follows...
We had last met in 2004-05 in Conference North; the match at Moss Lane was one which Alty won 2-0 but only after Stuart Coburn had saved a Worcester penalty. Alty's scorers were Kirk Hilton and Colin Little, for whom it was his 35th goal of the season.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Chris LYNCH, 6. Mark LEES, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Anthony DANYLYK (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 18. Josh OLLERENSHAW (gk), 12. Joe COOMBS, 14. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 15. Matt FEARON, 16. Astley MULHOLLAND.
WORCESTER CITY (Green & white hooped shirts, green shorts and socks): 1. James Dormand, 2. Jacob Rowe, 3. Lee Ayres, 4. Asa Charlton, 5. Rob Elvins, 6. Ryan Clarke (capt), 7. Tom Thorley, 8. Kevin O'Connor, 9. Mike Symons, 10. Matt Birley, 11. Jared Wilson. Subs: 12.Emeka Nwadike, 14. Marc McGregor, 15. Martin Naylor, 16. Michael Taylor, 17. Matt Sargeant.
Altrincham kicked off, the ball being played to Clee who immediately got the better of his marker and raced up the left towards goal but his cross could not locate a team-mate, with just 10 seconds on the clock. Alty's bright start continued as a Brown throw yielded a corner. Next, Reeves's lay-off saw Clee fire over the bar, before Worcester won themselves a corner, too. But Alty won their second corner as early as the seventh minute, though nothing came of it as, in the aftermath, Lawrie sliced a shot well wide of goal.
Play was fairly even for the next few minutes, with no real chances at either end, although Jared Wilson did volley over the bar for Worcester (9 mins). Altrincham had another half chance in the 14th minute when, from a Clee throw, Reeves was fouled but advantage was played as he got the ball to Lawrie, who shot narrowly wide, from right of goal.
Nicky Clee was instrumental in most of Alty's forward moves but, at the back, Williams was settling in well alongside Lees at centre-back. Twiss did have the ball in the net after 17 minutes but the flag had already gone up for offside. At the other end, Alty allowed a cross from Wilson to be headed by Elvins, but it skimmed across the goalmouth rather than towards the net.
Worcester now enjoyed a good spell in which they won two corners, the first arriving after the otherwise assured Lees, and Coburn, almost got into a misunderstanding over who would deal with a through ball.
Alty picked up again as Twiss tried an ambitious shot from wide left (22 mins) but play was now in a state of stalemate, with each side cancelling out the other, and the crowd going quiet as a consequence. It got better after the half-hour mark when Lawrie did well and found Reeves, who made space but shot narrowly wide (31 mins). But, then, Worcester threatened as O'Connor got to the by-line but saw his cross cleared before Thorley got in a shot, which Coburn gathered at the second attempt.
For Alty, Reeves found some space for a shot which Dormand stopped (33 mins). However, Altrincham almost took the lead, three minutes later, when Clee and Densmore got the ball to Danylyk, whose excellent chip from outside the box only just cleared the bar and landed on the roof of the net. Clee and Lawrie had now switched wings and the change reaped almost immediate dividends as Lawrie won the ball off Clarke, amid Worcester appeals for a foul, before advancing up the left and firing in a low shot which the keeper touched but could not stop entering the net (38 mins).
Soon after this, Worcester won a freekick off Brown, to the right near the by-line. Luckily for Alty, Thorley's freekick was firmly headed against Reeves's back by a Worcester player as it headed towards goal (40 mins). Next, a good Worcester move ended in a poor cross by Clarke (43 mins) before Elvins, who had been playing up front, became the first man in the referee's book for a foul on Danylyk. In the one minute of added time Clee fought well to get in a shot which went narrowly wide, so the interval arrived with Alty one goal ahead, having spurned several other chances.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WORCESTER CITY 0|
Altrincham's record this season of letting leads slip meant that their supporters expected an edgy second half after a first half which had also typified their season to date - plenty of chances created but mostly not converted.
However, the fans' nerves were partly settled a little just 55 seconds into the second half when a Worcester defender, on their left, failed to deal with a long ball forward and the battling Reeves got free and headed diagonally for the box. From right of goal, he drove a low shot into the net off the bottom of the far post to make it 2-0.
Altrincham now went on to dominate the game as, first, Clee got to the by-line but sliced his shot wide and, moments later, Brown's freekick from 45 yards struck the post (50 mins). Next, Reeves saw a shot blocked and then the Alty striker went down as keeper Dormand grabbed the ball but, quite rightly, no penalty was awarded (52 mins). Next, it was Densmore's turn to strike the frame of the goal from long range, just before Worcester brought on Taylor for Rowe (55 mins), as Elvins moved into the back four.
Another attack from Clee led to Lawrie shooting at goal and winning a corner off a deflection. Then Reeves got clear, left of goal, as Alty continued to be well on top. Next, Twiss had a shot saved before tormentor-in-chief Clee won his side another corner (59 mins). Alty had let two 2-0 leads slip already this season so manager Lee Sinnott was now animated in urging his side to maintain their performance. And his exhortations worked as Michael Twiss made it 3-0 after Clee had got the ball and laid it to his right to the front man (64 mins). Keeper Dormand dived early to his right, allowing Twiss to score to his left.
Worcester were now under the cosh as Reeves made it 4-0 with his sixth goal of the season, a well executed dink over the keeper from a Densmore feed (68 mins). Worcester responded with a double change as debutant Martyn Naylor and the experienced Emeka Nwadike took over from Jared Wilson and Matt Birley (70 mins) to try and stem the Alty flow.
But Altrincham continued to press, with Brown shooting across the face of goal before Astley Mulholland came on, up front, replacing Twiss (74 mins). Almost immediately Clee fed Mulholland but he miskicked from left of goal (77 mins). The referee, who generally had a good game, now baffled everyone by stopping the game after a Williams challenge and, after some moments of uncertainty, took the ball to Coburn and bounced it in front of him in what was presumably an uncontested bounce-up - though why he did this was far from clear. He then gave Alty a goal kick which looked clearly to be a Worcester corner before booking Williams somewhat harshly for a foul on Symons (82 mins).
After 83 minutes, Summerskill came on to replace Clee and, soon afterwards, Dormand saved a Densmore freekick from 25 yards (85 mins). A good Alty move now got Reeves clear from a Danylyk feed but Dormand did well to block the Alty striker (87 mins). With Shaun Densmore announced as man of the match, Reeves again threatened but his cross across the face of goal went unconverted (90 mins). Four added minutes were announced and, once again, Alty conceded in the dying stages of a game - and conceded yet another penalty.
This time, Symons went down under a Brown challenge and the spot kick was awarded. The victim himself took the penalty, driving it down the middle, but Coburn had gone to his right and the ball hit the back of the net (90+1 mins). So Alty were deprived of a clean sheet but that was the only blemish on the result as they moved up two places to 13th, just four points off the play-off positions.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 4 WORCESTER CITY 1|