COLWYN BAY (0) 1 ALTRINCHAM (2) 6
played on Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, at 7.45pm
A tremendous performance from Altrincham, with Nicky Clee scoring twice and laying on three others left Colwyn Bay totally outplayed by the closing stages of this game. With youth team captain Matt Fearon making his first league start, Damian Reeves's close range header put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute after a quick throw by Brown and a good cross from Twiss.
After 32 minutes it was 2-0 as Clee lashed home a goal following a fine Fearon cross and Twiss's chest down to the wingman, who netted from outside the box.
In the 56th minute Bay made it 2-1 through Rob Hopley. Two goals in three minutes decided the game as, firstly, Reeves finished superbly from a fine Clee pass; then it was 4-1 as Lawrie scored another fine goal, from an acute angle from Clee's feed (68 mins).
It became 5-1 as Reeves's header was cleared off the line from Clee's corner and Williams headed the ball back into the net (76 mins). The best goal of all was the sixth when Clee's brilliant chip from outside the box found the far corner of the net (88 mins).
REFEREE: Mr Ryan Johnson
Matt Fearon made his first start for Alty in a league game; the youth team captain was a first-half substitute last Saturday. Anthony Danylyk was back from suspension, as captain, with Robbie Lawton still sidelined by tendonitis in his knee. Simon Richman (medial ligaments) and Chris Lynch (groin) were also out, injured, but Chris Flynn had recovered to be on the bench, though he was not fit to start.
Bay included Southport loanee Russell Benjamin. Former Alty trialist Damien Allen was the Bay's captain. Mike Lea (injured) was replaced by Gareth Evans and Rob Hopley came in for Domaine Rouse.
Mike Garnett reminds us that our statistics against Colwyn Bay are:
The last league meeting at Llanelian Road ended Colwyn Bay (2) 2 Altrincham (0) 3 in a UniBond Premier League match, played on Saturday, 28 December, 2002.
Colwyn Bay started this game fifth in the table and Alty were eleventh.
COLWYN BAY (Claret and blue): 1. Chris Sanna, 2. Luke Denson, 3. Gareth Evans, 4. Rod McDonald, 5. Danny Meadowcroft, 6. John McKenna, 7. Russell Benjamin, 8. Damien Allen, 9. Rob Hopley, 10. Jon Newby, 11. Karl Noon. Subs: 14. Domaine Rouse, 15. Danny Lloyd, 16. Lee Davey, 12. Liam Benson, 17. Simon Williams.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Matt FEARON, 6. Mark LEES, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 4. Anthony DANYLYK (capt), 8. Shaun DENSMORE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 18. Josh OLLERENSHAW (gk), 14. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 16. Joe COOMBS, 15. Astley MULHOLLAND, 12. Adam FLYNN.
On a fine but cool evening in North Wales, the kick off was delayed by a problem with the base of one of the goal nets identified by one of the assistant referees. By the time this was resolved, the start of the game had been delayed by three minutes or so.
The opening exchanges saw plenty of energy from both sides but no clear chances at either end. The matchday programme had noted that one of the ground-grading requirements at Llanelian Road is to improve the floodlights and, indeed, with Bay's shiny dark team-numbers on their blue shirts, identification of some of their players on the far side of the pitch was not always easy.
The first goalmouth action of any note was at the end of a good Bay move, when Noon headed wide (7 mins). At the back for the visitors, Matt Fearon was making an assured start at right-back and Anthony Danylyk, back from suspension, was soon in evidence, making a good block on Hopley.
Following a Fearon throw, Clee smartly fed Twiss, who turned well but could not get enough power into his shot (13 mins). The teams were cancelling each other out in these early stages but the deadlock was broken in the 21st minute.
A quick throw was taken on the left by Brown and this came to Twiss, to the left of goal, his firm cross was met by Reeves, who headed the ball into the net from close range. Nicky Clee was looking lively but it was Fearon who prompted the next good attempt by Reeves. From the defender, the ball reached Twiss who fed Alty's leading scorer; Reeves forced a decent save fom Sanna (24 mins). Alty were now on top as Lawrie was halted by the Bay defence.
After an Alty freekick for a foul on Reeves, Bay got in a cross at the other end, which Coburn caught under the bar, some rare action for Alty's keeper (27 mins). Three minutes later a Bay cross was met simultaneously by an Alty and Bay foot, the ball squirming just wide of the base of Coburn's left post.
Alty doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when a good cross from the right by Fearon was expertly chested down by Twiss into the path of Clee who, from the outer reaches of the penalty area, lashed a fierce shot into the net.
Alty had been well on top since their opening goal but, now, Bay raised their game for the closing minutes of the half, winning three corners in the process, though, after signalling a flag-kick, one of these was turned into an Alty goalkick when the referee saw a late offside flag.
But Alty responded to this pressure with some solid defending and, just before the break, Lawrie threatened for Altrincham before his side won a corner of their own (45 mins). When Lawrie went down in the box soon afterwards, the referee waved play on and one added minute was announced. Why he then went on to play two minutes and forty seconds after the 45, in a game with no stoppages, was a complete mystery but the interval arrived with Altrincham in control, though their supporters remained apprehensive, having seen two such leads already conceded this season by their team.
|Half-Time: COLWYN BAY 0 ALTRINCHAM 2|
At the interval Colwyn Bay made two substitutions as Lloyd and Benson replaced Noon and Benjamin. Altrincham won a very early corner from which a Bay player handled the ball but Mr Johnson gave a freekick to the home side instead. After 51 minutes, Matt Fearon found himself booked for a late challenge, as the game proceeded fairly evenly for the next few minutes. But then Alty supporters feared the worse as Bay made it 2-1 through Rob Hopley, who scored after a ball up the pitch was chested down to him (56 mins).
A foul on Reeves now led to Colwyn Bay's Meadowcroft being booked (58 mins). Bay, playing at pace, were now going for an equalizer but Altrincham raised their game in reply, as Twiss, who was playing very well, had a shot blocked. As the hour mark passed, Alty were now back on the front foot and two goals in three minutes finally settled the outcome of the match.
The first of these goals arrived when Clee threaded an excellent ball diagonally forward to Reeves in the outer reaches of the box, fairly central. Reeves's quick and firm shot flew, low, into the net to make it 3-1 (65 mins). It was the first time the Welshmen had conceded three goals this season.
Next, Clee was the provider again in the 68th minute, playing in his normal left-sided position, he fed Lawrie further up that wing. The on-loan Telford man beat a defender and got almost to the by-line before flashing a superb left-footed shot past the keeper from an acute angle into the far corner of the net; 4-1.
After Matty Fearon had gone down and been attended to by the physio, he was replaced by midfielder Brian Summerskill who slotted into an unaccustomed right-back role, where he was to prove his adaptability (70 mins). Fearon had done well on his first league start for the visitors.
Bay then failed to deal with a Coburn punt and conceded a corner on the Alty right. Clee took this and, from it, Reeves's goalbound header was headed off the line by a defender. But the clearance fell for the incoming Rob Williams, who headed it into the net to make it 5-1 to Alty after 76 minutes.
Bay responded by replacing Newby, who had been well shackled by the Alty defence, and they introduced Altrincham-born former Bury man, Domaine Rouse (77 mins). Though Bay did win a corner after this, Alty themselves now made a change with Mulholland replacing Lawrie on the right wing (82 mins). Shaun Densmore got himself unnecessarily booked when he blocked a freekick (86 mins). But Alty had kept the best goal till last. Densmore fed Clee who, from outside the box, left of centre, planted a brilliantly executed chip over the keeper into the far top corner to make it 6-1. Had he been captured by the Match of the Day cameras it would have been goal of the month (88 mins).
There was still time for a Reeves shot to be deflected inches wide as the travelling supporters, who had given good support all night, chanted "We want seven". There were many candidates for man of the match; Nicky Clee, with a hand in five of the goals, was probably top of the list, but Michael Twiss also had a fine match, and two more goals from Damian Reeves strongly supported his case.
But, overall, it was an excellent team performance against a previously tight Colwyn Bay defence. Manager Lee Sinnott will hope this first away win marks a turning point in the season for his previously inconsistent side and he and assistant, Neil Tolson, will have been doubly pleased that such a good win came from a side missing four regulars from its starting line-up.
|Full-Time: COLWYN BAY 1 ALTRINCHAM 6|