VAUXHALL MOTORS (1) 2 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Saturday, 25 August 2012, at 3pm
Alty failed to overcome ten-man Vauxhall. Altrincham started well and Havern missed a great early chance. But Vauxhall took the lead midway through the first half as Alty failed to challenge their opponents as they put together a four-pass move, finished off by Thompson.
After that, Alty's passing accuracy dropped off and they showed little likelihood of scoring. But when Hannigan was sent off after 65 minutes, Altrincham pressed forward but could not break through the ten men. Lawrie did hit the bar from a freekick but when Alty allowed the hosts to breakaway, Parkinson made it 2-0 (84 mins). As the 90 minutes ended, Reeves tapped home a Lawrie corner but an equalizer would not come.
REFEREE: Mr P Wright
Altrincham were forced to make changes. Nicky Clee's concussion ruled him out, whilst Carl Rodgers and Matt Doughty were only fit enough to be on the bench after the rugged game at Harrogate earlier in the week. Duncan Watmore also moved to the bench as manager Lee Sinnott looked to Alty's game against Chester on Monday. Jake Moult, who had signed on loan from Alfreton Town, came into the side for his official Altrincham debut, though he had played for the club in the 2007 pre-season.
Both sides had won and lost a game this season before this encounter. Rivacre Road has not been a happy venue for Altrincham as Mike Garnett's statistics show:
Today's game was played in dry conditions but with a stiff breeze blowing.
VAUXHALL MOTORS (White and Blue): 1. Zac Jones, 2. Chris Noone, 3. Lee Dames, 4. Tom Hannigan, 5. Andy Nicholas, 6. Mike Burns, 7. Craig Mahon, 8. Danny Fearnehough, 9. James Ellison, 10. Dan Parkinson, 11, David Thompson, Subs: 12. Anthony Wright, 14. Jonathan Egerton, 15. Steve Wainwright, 16. Tom Rutter, 17.John Courtney (GK)
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Scott LEATHER, 4. Patrick LACEY, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Ryan BROOKE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE, Subs: 12. Sam GRIMSHAW, 15. Carl RODGERS, 18. Adam REID (gk), 14. Duncan WATMORE, 16. Matt DOUGHTY.
After an uneventful opening, a Densmore cross yielded an early corner for Altrincham. From Lawrie's kick, the Vauxhall defence failed to clear and Havern was left facing goal at the back post. But the central defender lashed his shot well over the bar.
Vauxhall now won two successive corners before Alty's decent start resumed as they pressed forward, forcing some desperate defending from the Motormen. However, after Lawrie had shot wide from 18 yards, it took a good block by Hall to halt Vauxhall.
After a few more minutes of fairly routine play, a good build-up from Altrincham ended when Moult's cross from the right was misheaded wide by Brooke. Next, Reeves was just seen off by a defender. Further back, Lacey was impressing in the Altrincham central midfield (18 mins).
Referee Wright and his assistant then failed to see a clear a shirt-hold on Lawrie as you could see and his error led to a Vauxhall corner, quickly followed by a second, but Altrincham survived the threat.
After 21 minutes, following good work from Richman and Brooke, Lawrie forced Jones to palm his shot away and the loose ball only narrowly evaded Reeves. It was not long before Lee Sinnott expressed his anger at another questionable decision by Mr. Wright.
After Lawrie had shot weakly wide, the Alty manager had more cause to be irate, but this time with his own team's defending. Altrincham allowed the Motors to pick the ball up centrally 40 yards out and then play three passes without a single challenge from the visitors. The ball ended up, from the right, at the feet of the unmarked Thompson who slotted the ball past Coburn (25 mins).
If Altrincham had been the better side up to this point, they certainly were not for the remainder of the first half. Next, after Leather had been caught out, a corner to Vauxhall followed. At the other end, things were not any better as Lawrie was put through by Moult but failed to control the ball. Things improved as Lawrie won a corner from a fine Moult pass, only for Lawrie to waste the flag-kick.
Next, a telegraphed pass by Hall led to a Vauxhall breakaway which drew a foul by Havern, who would have been booked by 99 referees out of a hundred for such a deliberate offence. The resulting freekick on the right edge of the box produced a Vauxhall corner (31 mins).
If Havern had been very fortunate not see yellow for his foul, Danny Hall was less fortunate and was booked for a calculated block after he himself had miskicked a clearance (35 mins). Whilst Mr. Wright got this booking right, his other decisions included several that were dubious which led to Brooke being spoken to for dissent as the Alty bench also gave the official the benefit of their opinions.
Nevertheless, it was Alty's own poor performance at this stage which was chiefly responsible for their being a goal behind. After yet sloppier passing, another crude block by Hall conceded a freekick after Moult had lost the ball. Burns’ freekick fizzed inches wide of the goal (40 mins). In a good passage of play a ten-pass move ended as Richman shot wide from 20 yards (41 mins).
A foul on Moult led to a somewhat harsh booking for the Vauxhall captain Hannigan but the resulting freekick was wasted by Altrincham. As the half went into added time, Ellison was allowed a free header but the Motors' striker put the ball over the bar. Half time arrived with Alty trailing after making a fairly good start but going into a decline once they had fallen behind.
|Half-Time: VAUXHALL MOTORS 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Alty kicked off the second half and immediately Reeves won Alty a corner. After a fairly uneventful few minutes a well struck shot by Moult was deflected out for a corner, after a good lay-off by Brooke. From the corner Brooke did well to get in a diving header at the near post but his effort went narrowly wide (53 mins).
Paddy Lacey became the second Alty man to be booked, for a foul in midfield (56 mins), following which a Vauxhall cross from the right hit the top of the Alty bar. A Vauxhall corner soon followed, after which referee Wright got it wrong as he pulled up play for an Altrincham freekick as the visitors were breaking forward, in possession of the ball.
In the 62nd minute Altrincham brought on Watmore for Moult and two successive corners were soon won but again these produced no real danger for the Vauxhall defence (63 mins). But then as Reeves turned smartly about 40 yards out from goal, he was brought down by Hannigan. As Nicholas was rushing back to cover, the offence was deemed worthy of a yellow not a red but as it was the Vauxhall captain's second caution, he was now shown a red card, too (65 mins).
There was a bizarre episode as the freekick was taken by Lawrie only for the referee to realise that Hannigan had elected to walk nearly 100 yards up the pitch to the dressing rooms rather than exiting by the nearest touchline. He had not left the field before the freekick had been taken. From the re-take, Lawrie struck the ball superbly but it cannoned over off the top of the crossbar (66 mins).
Next, a fine Watmore run into box fed Reeves, who had his feet taken away from him as he seemed bound to score from close range, but Mr. Wright waved play on to the consternation of Neil Tolson and the Alty bench. Vauxhall briefly got forward but Ellison's pile-driver went well wide. A very clear pull on Richman's shirt again went unpunished by the match officials as Alty now got on top against their ten-man opposition.
Mr. Wright now booked a Vauxhall man for delaying a freekick, which Lawrie again hit very well from 40 yards, but keeper Jones punched it away for a corner, which again was poorly taken by Lawrie. Next, Richman was robbed as he received the ball in the box. Despite the one-way traffic, Vauxhall were keeping Alty away from any clear sight of goal though a cross-shot by Densmore did force a good save by Jones. Lacey then won a corner which was wasted by Lawrie.
Alty now brought on last season's youth team captain, Sam Grimshaw, for his debut in place of Leather. At the same time Vauxhall brought on Rutter for Ellison (83 mins). Next, a Lacey shot won another corner, which came to nothing and as Alty got into a mix-up 25 yards out from the Vauxhall goal, the Motormen broke forward with Parkinson steaming up the middle, as the hosts had 3 men against 2 from Altrincham. Alty seemed to have checked the Motors' advance but a pass was exchanged by Parkinson, who found himself against Coburn whom he beat from right of centre to double the home side's lead (84 mins).
Alty then created an opening but Watmore volleyed wide, after which a Reeves curler went wide from a Lawrie feed after Densmore had made a good interception (88 mins). Now Egerton came on for Burns for the Motors (89 mins). Alty won a late corner and Reeves tapped the ball home at the near post with barely ten seconds of normal time left. Five added minutes gave some hope of redemption for Altrincham but the visitors never really looked like they had the guile to unlock the Vauxhall defenders.
|Full-Time: VAUXHALL MOTORS 2 ALTRINCHAM 1|