SOLIHULL MOORS (1) 2 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 17 September, 2011, at 3pm
Injury-hit Altrincham wasted several chances but could not argue at failing to emerge with anything from this game. Three times Reeves was one on one against the keeper but failed to convert any of the chances. Without the injured Richman, Flynn and Lawton, as well as the suspended Danylyk, Alty had to readjust further when Lynch limped off midway through the first half.
Alty started the better side but, yet again, failed to convert superiority into goals before Walker put the Moors ahead in the 12th minute. Fitzpatrick made the goal with a smart turn in the box but, after Coburn had beaten out his shot, Walker scored.
Alty continued to misfire and miss chances before the Moors made it 2-0 in the 70th minute. Alty tried to get forward but with Clee playing in the middle there was no guile to their performance. Having failed to score for the first time this season, Alty have still to win away from home.
REFEREE: Mr Mark Ackerman
After captaining the side last week, Anthony Danylyk was suspended today. AFC Telford loanees, James Lawrie and Rob Williams started again today but injury ruled out Simon Richman (medial ligaments), Robbie Lawton (knee) and defender Adam Flynn. Brian Summerskill made his first start for the club in midfield and Shaun Densmore captained the side.
Mike Garnett reminds us that, whilst we had never previously played Solihull Moors, we hdadplayed one half of the newly formed club which arose, in 2007, from the merger of Moor Green and Solihull Borough. That game was in December 2004 at Moor Green's now defunct ground. For that game back in 2004 Alty fielded five subs who had not started a game that season - Sean Smith (recovering from a bad road accident), Paul Tilley (youth team graduate), Adam Brindle (reserve), George Melling (reserve) and Lewis Chalmers. Indeed, the 16-man squad included no fewer than seven players who had yet to make a start for Altrincham in the league that season. The game ended 2-2.
In the reverse fixture at Moss Lane in March 2005, Alty lost 2-0. In that game Alty started with a record of 12 games without defeat whereas Moor Green had seen their ground subject to an arson attack in January 2005 and had not won since then. As well as being well beaten, Alty's Eddie Hussin picked up a bad leg injury.
Before today's game Alty had yet to win away this season whilst the Moors had yet to win at home.
SOLIHULL MOORS (White & black) 1.Jasbir Singh, 2. Phil Midworth, 6. Dominic Langdon, 5. Liam Francis, 3. Michael Blackwood, 8. Jordan Fitzpatrick, 4. Alex Price, 7. Robbie Thompson-Brown, 11. Matthew Bell, 10. Andre Francis, 9. Richard Walker. Subs: 17. Danny Spencer, 15. James McPike, 12. Karl Broadhurst, 14. Stuart Pierpoint, 16. Simon Johnson.
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts, blue shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Chris LYNCH, 6. Mark LEES, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 4. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 17. Josh OLLERENSHAW (gk), 14. Joe COOMBS, 16. Astley MULHOLLAND, 12. Adam FLYNN, 15. Matt FEARON
On their first visit to Damson Park, Altrincham kicked off on a good surface and won a corner in just 18 seconds, when a good through ball from Summerskill set Reeves running up the right. Alty's bright start continued as another excellent ball from Summerskill played in Reeves for a shot which Singh saved well (3 mins).
Having been the better side for the first eight or nine minutes, Solihull began to improve. They soon converted their improvement into a goal when Thompson-Brown fed Fitzpatrick, who turned smartly in the box and found himself free of a marker. His shot was well beaten out by Coburn but Walker slotted the loose ball into the net (12 mins). So, missed chances at one end and poor defending at the other, once more, had cost Alty dear.
Alty responded with three successive attacks. First Reeves got up the left but his cross found no colleague and immediately afterwards, the same fate befell a Clee cross. Then Twiss nodded a header to Singh from a Densmore cross (15 mins).
After 17 minutes, Chris Lynch, playing at right-back needed treatment and, though he hobbled on, he soon had to give way at right-back to Matt Fearon, Alty's youth team captain, who was making his first-team league debut (20 mins).
The next few minutes saw Solihull offside twice and an Alty corner which, once again, was poorly delivered - it was overhit. Alty went close after 27 minutes when Clee fed Reeves, who advanced well and fed Clee, whose well-hit shot was impressively saved, one-handed, by Singh, at the cost of another corner.
Soon after Andre Francis had fired over for the Moors, Midworth needed treatment before resuming in the home defence (29 mins). Alty were now playing with Twiss as a central striker and three men behind him; Lawrie on the left, Clee in the middle and Reeves on the right.
Next, it took an excellent block by Williams to stop Bell but the Moors' resulting corner came to nothing. Thompson-Brown then did very well on the Moors' right, beating two Alty men before his fierce shot struck the outside of Coburn's left upright (37 mins).
As half time approached, Solihull won a corner, after which Coburn saved from Andre Francis (42 mins). For some reason the added time board was displayed at this point. Clee then put Reeves in on goal but his first touch was slightly too firm, allowing Singh to come out and smother the ball (43 mins).
At the other end, Walker was also wasteful, shooting tamely at Coburn when clear of the defence. Alty won a corner in what turned out to be three added minutes but they left the field at the interval a goal behind the league's bottom club.
|Half-Time: SOLIHULL MOORS 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Though Solihull had kicked off the second half, it was Altrincham who carved out the first chance when Reeves again got in behind the defence, from Densmore's feed, but again Singh stopped Alty's leading scorer from scoring with a good block (47 mins).
At the other end, Coburn had to save smartly, tipping an Andre Francis effort over his bar (49 mins). Alty continued to labour, yet they still created chances, only to fail to convert them. Next, Clee fed Reeves as he advanced into the box but he fell over and the chance was gone (55 mins). Reeves did much better with a firm header from a Clee freekick from the right but Singh saved well at the foot of his left post (57 mins).
On the hour mark, Mulholland replaced Twiss up front for Altrincham and rain then started to pour down for five minutes or so. Soon, Mulholland was tripped as he threatened to get free onto a Summerskill feed and Liam Francis was booked for his offence (62 mins).
Alty now wasted a freekick, then a corner, in quick succession before the Moors made a double change as Pierpoint and Spencer replaced Liam Francis and Walker respectively (66 mins). The Moors were improved by their changes and nearly scored after a cross from Andre Francis hit Williams and cannoned off him for a corner, narrowly missing his own goal (68 mins).
Solihull made it 2-0 in the 70th minute when Thompson-Brown’s effort was half cleared only for Fitzpatrick to drive it into the net. Alty were now second best, playing more in hope than expectation and not creating anything to threaten the Moors' goal seriously as the game went into its final ten minutes.
As Alty went forward, it took a fine tackle from Lees, at the cost of a corner, to stop a Solihull counter-attack (85 mins). After an Altrincham corner had come and gone, Lees was booked for a foul on Pierpoint, a minute later, Midworth was also cautioned for kicking the ball away (89 mins).
Two Altrincham corners in the final minute of normal time failed to trouble the Moors and, though a further corner arrived in the third and final added minute that too never seriously threatened a goal as its outcome. And so, Alty failed to score for the first time this season and again failed to record a win on the road.
Injuries are not helping the Alty cause but they also showed a lack of quality today which meant they could not complain at the outcome. A failure to take chances and to threaten from corners and freekicks is becoming a recurrent theme this season and when Nicky Clee is playing in the centre of the pitch rather than the flanks, Alty's attacking threat appears diminished.
|Full-Time: SOLIHULL MOORS 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|