Match Report


Blue Square Bet North Match
played on Saturday 25 February, 2012, at 3pm


Altrincham were unfortunate to take nothing from this game. As well as enjoying a lot of possession, they struck the woodwork three times. Shaun Densmore's header clipped the bar in the first half. Nicky Clee's fine freekick came off the bar in the 69th minute and Damian Reeves struck an upright later in the game. And Shaun Densmore, alone, had four goal attempts. But the deciding goal arrived in the 70th minute when a ball over the top of Matt Flynn from Gayle, on the right, found substitute Jordan Pavett who scored, despite Collister geting a hand to the ball. Bishops also had other chances including a goal by Sappleton ruled out for offside and a last-minute shot against the post.


  • 70 mins: Jordan PAVETT (Bishop's Stortford 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)

    REFEREE: Mr Paul Harris



    Altrincham made two changes as Nicky Clee returned to the side, in the left-back berth, and Chris Lynch was back after concussion to partner Shaun Densmore in midfield. Today was the final game on loan for Jack Redshaw and Joe Collister.

    The hosts welcomed back their captain, Prestedge, after suspension. The Bishops were to give league debuts to five players in this game. These were right-back Callum Stewart, Jordan Pavett, who had played for the club previously but was now returning from Swindon Town;, Moses Odubajo (18), a winger, on loan from Leyton Orient, and two used subs in Jack Lampe, a former West Ham United right-back, and Ben Seymour-Shove, who is on work experience from Peterborough United.


    In the only previous encounters between these sides, in the 1980s, Alty had won an FA Trophy replay 3-1 after a drawn first match at Moss Lane


    BISHOP’S STORTFORD (All blue): 1 Jordan Archer; 2 Callum Stewart, 3 Sebastian Dunbar, 4 Paco Craig, 5 Sean Francis, 6 Phil Anderson; 7 Dwight Gayle; 8 Matt Johnson; 9 Reneil Sappleton, 10 Reece Prestedge (capt), 11 Moses Odubajo, Subs: 12 Ben Seymour Showe 14 Max Lette Jallow 15 Dan Subuoa, 16 Jordan Pavett 17 Jack Lampe

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Joe COLLISTER, 2. Mark LYNCH, 5.Matt FLYNN, 6. Marlon BROOMES, 3. Nicky CLEE, 7.John MILES, 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Chris LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE, 9. Jack REDSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs 12. Mark LEES, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. James HOLDEN, 16. Michael TWISS, 18 Adam REID (gk),


    Altrincham won the toss and elected to stay where they were, playing into a bright sun on a warm Spring-like afternoon. After Bishops had conceded an almost immediate throw-in, following the kick off, an early Alty freekick came to nothing.

    Apart from an offside decision aginst former Oxford and Macclesfield man, Sappleton, the game got off to a quiet start, with no goalmouth action. But then Altrincham almost took the lead when, following a Mark Lynch throw, the ball was worked via Densmore, Miles, Clee and Lawrie to Redshaw, whose cross was met by a good header from Densmore, who saw his effort bounce off the crossbar for a goalkick (6 mins).

    In these early stages, Alty were having slightly the better of the game as the Bishops seemed content to allow them possession in non-threatening parts of the pitch. But there was a warning for the visitors when they allowed Gayle to receive the ball in acres of space, right of goal. Fortunately, the Stortford top scorer elected to shoot early rather than take up some of the available space and his shot went comfortably over the bar (10 mins).

    Alty responded with a decent passing move but Densmore was finally dispossessed by Stewart. Mark Lynch was quite regularly trying to get up the right but kept being halted, before Miles met a similar fate at the end of another promising Altrincham move (16 mins).

    Whilst Sappleton was alone up front, there was an additional threat from Gayle on the right and Prestedge. Clee was almost played in for a chance but keeper Archer smothered the ball and the offside flag was raised, anyway (17 mins). However, it was the Bishops who won the game's first corner, from a Stewart throw, a corner which Collister punched well clear. But the ball soon came back and the Alty keeper seemed to lose the ball in the sun but it dropped harmlessly wide of goal (20 mins).

    Altrincham then created a great chance to take the lead as a fine ball from Mark Lynch set Miles in on goal but the former Stockpor midfielder delayed his shot long enough to allow a challenge, which gave Alty a corner. The corner allowed Densmore his second header at goal but this was saved (21 mins).

    At the other end Broomes let a long-ball go, which allowed Sappleton to contest possession with Matt Flynn, but the big forward was penalised for a foul. A moment's hesitation between Flynn and Broomes moments later almost let Sappleton in again but, between them, the Alty centre-backs got the ball away for a home corner, following which Craig fired over the bar (24 mins).

    A scrappy few minutes of minor fouls ensued before an Odubajo cross went out for an Alty goal kick. Then, Clee's good work fed Redshaw but he was blocked en route to goal. Next, a typically brave header from Chris Lynch got the ball, right, to Reeves. But the 34-goal striker's shot was hurried and skewed wide of goal (31 mins).

    Soon, Chris Lynch was down hurt but play continued as Broomes cleared a Bishops' probe. Following this, a nice move ended with a poor cross by Mark Lynch. When Clee was tripped soon afterwards, Alty gained a freekick 40 yards out, but this ended up with an Alty player given offside.

    Altrincham had a let-off in the 38th minute when Sappleton wasted a good opening as he fell over his own feet, after another lapse in concentration by the visitors' defence. At the other end, good work from Chris Lynch allowed Redshaw to dribble impressively into the box but his progress was halted at the cost of a corner, which came to nothing. After this, Lawrie did well to get to the by-line but ended up having to stretch and could only poke the ball to the keeper.

    Altrincham were having the better of things as a Redshaw cross just evaded Reeves's jump in the goalmouth, leading to a goalkick by Archer. Soon, however, Reeves won his side a corner. This was taken short and led to a half chance for Redshaw which he was unable to convert (44 mins).

    So, the interval arrived with Altrincham having been the better side, yet still showing some worrying signs of fallibility at the back.


    Bishops brought on Lampe for Stewart at the interval. And it was the home side who started the second period the better. Indeed, there was early danger for Alty as Prestedge threatened after getting the benefit of a fortunate rebound in the Alty box (47 mins).

    Alty's best early effort saw Redshaw shoot well wide after a Clee throw to him. Bishops went close to taking the lead after 50 minutes when Sappleton netted at the back post from a Gayle feed but he was ruled offside. After Johnson hurt his foot, as Broomes blocked his intended shot, Sappleton got the better of Matt Flynn but could only hit the side netting (54 mins).

    As the hosts continued to set the pace, Clee and Gayle went down in the box but a goalkick was the referee's decision. Now, Richman came on for Chris Lynch, who again had been in the wars (55 mins). Miles moved now to centre-midfield as Richman slotted in on the right. A Clee slip then allowed a Gayle cross, but Mark Lynch cleared the danger.

    Having been on the back foot, Lawrie won Altrincham a corner as a linesman's flag changed the referee's mind, after he erroneously awarded a goalkick. Following the corner, Reeves shot wide.

    Michael Twiss came on for Lawrie and immediately committed a foul (62 mins). Clee then needed treatment for what looked like a chest injury before Stortford took Sappleton off in favour of Pavett (64 mins). Following Twiss's arrival, Redshaw moved to the left but Altrincham had scarcely threatened so far in the second half.

    Next, Johnson shot wide before Redshaw's run earned a freekick 25 yards out in a fairly central position. Clee took this superbly but his kick came back off the bar, with Archer well beaten (69 mins). From the follow up Densmore pulled his shot wide from a very promising position. Within seconds of almost taking the lead, Altrincham had conceded a goal themselves.

    A fine aerial ball from the right deceived Matt Flynn who found it clearing his head and dropping behind him to Pavett. Though Collister advanced, the Alty keeper could only get a hand to the ball as the Bishops' substitute stroked it across him from left of centre and into the net (70 mins).

    Most of Alty's chances today fell to Shaun Densmore and his fourth such opening soon arrived but his shot was underpowered at the end of a good move started by Redshaw. Redshaw had been fouled by Gayle in the build-up and the referee now went and booked the Bishops' right-winger. A minute later his counterpart no.7, Miles, was also booked, for a poor challenge (75 mins).

    A clever pass from Reeves set up a Redshaw shot which Archer saved before the sudden rash of bookings continued as Prestedge saw yellow for a foul on Densmore. Clee was now pushing forward for Alty leaving three at back and they won a corner through Richman (83 mins).

    Altrincham's luck was out again as they struck the woodwork for the third time. Reeves had won the ball and fed Clee before arriving at the back post to volley Clee's excellent cross against Archer's left post (87 mins).

    Substitute Seymour-Shove now came on for Odubajo (89 mins). With Alty pushing forward, Craig had a great chance to make it 2-0 but having made space well, he struck the upright to Collister's left (89 mins). As the game went into four added minutes, Gayle's fierce shot from left was held by Collister at the second attempt (90+1 mins).

    The Bishops wound down the clock, aided by some needless fouls from Alty, and from one such offence, Clee was booked (90+4 mins). So Alty's disappointing away form continued with this defeat though, today, they were very unfortunate to take nothing from a contest between two fairly evenly matched sides and, had one of Alty's three efforts which hit the woodwork gone in, it would have been a happier story.

    Footnote: After a cardless first half, Mr Harris cautioned five players in the second half; Bishop Stortford’s Reece Prestedge, Dwight Gayle and Paco Craig and Altrincham’s John Miles and Nicky Clee, all saw yellow.