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Alty's new loan signings, Matthew Flynn (from Fleetwood) and Adrian Hawes (from Alfreton) started today, whilst the third new loanee Adam Dodd, (from Blackpool), was on the bench. Lees, Twiss and Williams were all on the bench as Lee Sinnott rang the changes. In a first half which saw poor defending from both sides, Altrincham opened up a two-goal lead inside 14 minutes.
Damian Reeves put them ahead in the 11th minute when he cleverly lobbed the keeper following a long ball up the middle. The second goal came from good work by Clee, with Reeves's flick seeming to cross the line before team-mates arrived at the back post to make sure.
But Rainford made it 2-1 after the Alty defence stood off him and he exchanged passes with Baker, who fed the scorer. Garner equalised after 41 minutes when his shot from outside the box left Coburn flat-footed. But Jack Redshaw fired Alty ahead again in the 43rd minute from a Clee pass.
Alty had the better of the second half and Jack Redshaw settled the outcome with a fine long-range shot after 72 minutes. It could have been even better as a late penalty from Reeves was saved (88 mins). Halifax and Alty each had a goal ruled out for offside as Alty cruised to the final whistle, with Dodd impressing after coming on as a substitute. Matt Flynn also impressed at the back.
REFEREE: Mr Steven COPELAND
Two of Altrincham's three new loan players started; Matthew Flynn (from Fleetwood) at right-back and Adrian Hawes (from Alfreton) at centre-back. The third new face, Adam Dodd, (from Blackpool), was joined on the bench by Rob Williams, Michael Twiss and Mark Lees and goalkeeper Adam Reid.
Ex-Alty men in the Halifax team were defender Ryan Toulson, midfielder Tom Baker and former loanee, striker James Dean.
For the second week running Altrincham were facing an "FC" side for the first time. But Altrincham had frequently clashed previously with today's predecessor club, Halifax Town.Mike Garnett's records show that The Shay was not a particularly happy hunting ground for Altrincham, with just one win recorded in nine visits.
FC HALIFAX TOWN (All blue): 1. Simon Eastwood, 2. Ryan Toulson, 3. Scott McManus, 4. Simon Garner, 5. Liam Hogan, 6. Gregg Anderson, 7. Jamie Rainford, 8. Tom Baker (c), 9. James Dean, 10. Lee Gregory, 11. James Walshaw, Subs: 12. Phil Senior, 14. Danny Holland, 15. Jason St Juste, 16. Harry Winter, 17. Anton Foster.
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, white shorts and yellow) Confirmed as 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Matthew FLYNN, 5.Adrian HAWES, 6. Adam FLYNN, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 4. Anthony DANYLYK , 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Jack REDSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs 12. Adam DODD, 16. Michael TWISS, 14. Mark LEES, 18. Adam REID (gk), 15. Rob WILLIAMS
Altrincham started shakily as Gregory threatened and it took the visitors several attempts to get the ball clear at the cost of a corner on the Shaymen's right (2 mins). Alty responded with Clee winning a corner for his side off Anderson. Matt Flynn soon impressed with an important tackle, and the open play continued as Reeves won another Altrincham corner. Clee's low inswinger somehow evaded everyone and had to be cleared off the line by a defender (9 mins).
Alty then took the lead when a fine ball up the middle from Adam Flynn set Reeves free and he coolly lobbed the ball over the advancing Eastwood (11 mins). Baker responded with a good shot which Coburn could not hold but which was cleared (13 mins). Moments later it was 2-0 to the Robins as Clee once again tormented Toulson on the Alty left and his low cross was turned across goal by Reeves and went into the net at the back post, with Redshaw and Richman arriving to make sure. It was Reeves's 19th goal of the season (14 mins).
After Richman had forced another Alty corner off Toulson, the hosts pulled a goal back. Rainford was allowed to advance unchallenged up the centre before exchanging passes with Baker and scoring from inside the box (17 mins). The game continued to be very open with both defences looking suspect especially through the middle. Next, Gregory fired narrowly over the bar as the Alty defence stood off him but play stopped soon afterwards when Hogan went down off the ball and needed treatment before resuming (23 mins).
Just after a Clee shot had cleared the bar, a trip by Hawes on Dean saw the Alty debutant centre-back earn a yellow card (26 mins). Then Dean scooped the ball over the bar with Alty's defence again at sixes and sevens. As the half hour mark arrived, Clee won his side a corner but play then settled into a fairly even passage.
With Altrincham in sight of a half-time lead, they conceded an equalizer as Garner's shot from 25 yards seemed to deceive Coburn and flew past the motionless Alty keeper to make it 2-2 after 41 minutes.
But parity did not last long. Clee gathered the ball in the inside-left channel, beat a man and fed Redshaw in the centre on the outer fringes of the box. The young striker made space for himself before beating Eastwood with a fine shot to send the strong travelling support, which had been in good voice throughout, into ecstasy (43 mins).
As the 45 minutes drew to its end, Hogan's rugby tackle on Reeves earned him a deserved booking. Almost immediately the same defender committed another foul but escaped further punishment. Three added minutes were announced and Alty soon won another corner. As the half ended the Halifax defence was almost in panic as it cleared its lines. But just before the interval whistle sounded Town were fortunate to see Reeves's header cleared off the line (45+4 mins). It could have been 5-6 at half-time so the second half promised further goals.
|Half-Time: FC HALIFAX TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 3|
HT 2-3 Pouring rain was falling as the second half started. Halifax brought on Foster for Walshaw at the interval. Within seconds of the restart, Clee threatened on the left but it was Halifax who won the half's first corner after Richman had been dispossessed.
Next, Gregory was booked but moments later Coburn had to make a smart save with his feet (51 mins). An Alty corner followed after which Matt Flynn's cross was met well by the incoming Hawes whose point-blank goalbound header was well blocked by Eastwood (52 mins).
Alty were now getting on top as the rain poured down and the game approached the hour mark. After a Halifax attack ended when Gregory's cross from the right just evaded Dean, the hosts made another change as St Juste replaced Anderson (62 mins).
Goal chances were few in the next few minutes until Altrincham started pressing but Reeves's next shot was underhit. Halifax were still a threat at the other end too as Coburn was brought to make another fine save, this time one-handedly. Then Redshaw almost scored after Richman battled well on the right, Halifax hacking the ball off the line.
When Richman appeared to be brought down inside the box (71 mins), the referee showed no interest in a penalty but Altrincham's disappointment was shortlived. The goal which finally settled the outcome of the game would have graced any stage as Redshaw picked up the ball a good 25 yards out. He moved slightly inside before planting a rising shot into the net past the hapless Eastwood (72 mins).
Altrincham were now in control as Halifax were reduced to sending long balls forward towards Dean. But the Alty defence looked more solid than in the first 45 minutes and Coburn was rarely troubled. They did think they had scored when a good shot from former Alty Reserve, Tom Baker, was parried out by Coburn, and Dean put it into the net. But the offside flag was up (81 mins).
In the 83rd minute Adam Dodd, on loan from Blackpool, replaced Clee and went on to make a good impression in the left side of midfield. As the hardworking Danylyk fell awkwardly and needed treatment, the home fans were now drifting home (84 mins). Jack Redshaw now had a goal ruled out for offside following great play by Dodd (86 mins).
Altrincham were in command now and when a Densmore corner from the right led to a clear handball from McManus, a penalty and yellow card were the outcome. But Damian Reeves spurned the chance of a hat-trick and of his 20th goal of the campaign when his low penalty was saved by Eastwood (88 mins).
There was still time for Redshaw to go close before three added minutes were announced. Coburn did have to make a good stop (90+2 mins) but there was no way back for the Shaymen who were outplayed by an Altrincham side recording only its second win on the road this season.
The arrival of the three new loanees had shaken things up after a run of five defeats in six outings in all competitions. Matt Flynn look useful at right-back, Adie Hawes had a more solid second half after a shaky first half whilst Adam Dodd showed great promise in the few minutes he had on the pitch. Of the established players Clee, Reeves and Redshaw were a handful, whilst in midfield Danylyk and Densmore impressed. But overall this was a fine team performance with encouraging performances and commitment all over the pitch. The win lifted Alty to eighth and Halifax could have few complaints at the outcome.
|Full-Time: FC HALIFAX TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 4|