Match Report


Blue Square Bet North Match
played on Tuesday, 4 September 2012, at 7.45pm (k.o. 8.47pm!)


Four goals from Damian Reeves before half time provided great entertainment after this match kicked off an hour and two minutes late due to a partial floodlight failure at The Northolme. Reeves's first came after just three minutes from James Lawrie's feed. Then, after Watmore had won a corner, taken by Clee, Lawrie fed Reeves and he scored again 0-2 (23 mins).

After another fine pass from Lawrie, who seems to be relishing his more central forward role, Reeves passed the ball into the net for 3-0 (33 mins). And, a few minutes later, Carl Rodgers's goalbound shot was judged to have been handled just inside the Trinity penalty area. Although Reeves's penalty was saved, he netted the rebound to make it four goals inside 34 minutes (37 mins).

However, Trinity came back strongly in the second half with substitute Stamp heading a back-post goal on the hour and a screamer from Clarke after 74 minutes making it 2-4. Clee hit the post at the other end but Alty were under pressure for much of the half, however they worked hard to retain their lead to the final whistle.


  • 3 mins: Damian REEVES (Gainsborough Trinity 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
  • 23 mins: Damian REEVES (Gainsborough Trinity 0 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 33 mins: Damian REEVES (Gainsborough Trinity 0 ALTRINCHAM 3)
  • 37 mins: Damian REEVES (Gainsborough Trinity 0 ALTRINCHAM 4)
  • 60 mins: Darryn STAMP (Gainsborough Trinity 1 ALTRINCHAM 4)
  • 74 mins: Shane CLARKE (Gainsborough Trinity 2 ALTRINCHAM 4)

    REFEREE: Mr Guy Stretton (Leicestershire)



    Altrincham retained the same starting eleven which had beaten Histon 5-0 three days earlier. On the bench, Danny Mitchley returned to replace Simon Richman who was unavailable due to a family problem. Also absent was assistant manager Neil Tolson, who was ill.

    Facing Alty were two of their former defenders, Greg Young and former Tranmere loanee Luke Waterfall.


    The league fixtures had dealt Altrincham the dubious pleasure of a nearly 170-mile cross-Pennine round trip to Gainsborough on a Tuesday night. And the journey was made difficult by trouble on the three most direct routes, namely a landslip on the Woodhead Pass, an horrendous traffic jam on the M67 and major disruption on the trans-Pennine M62 caused by a crash in Yorkshire.

    Mike Garnett's statistics detailed the previous encounters between Altrincham and today's opponents before kick off...

  • At Moss Lane: P23-W8-D10-L5-F35-A21
  • At Gainsborough: P26-W10-D4-L12-F29-A37
  • Neutral grounds: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A1
  • All: P50-W19-D14-L17-F66-A59

    Gainsborough had been tipped to be promotion contenders but, before this game, had won just once in five outings. Altrincham had also had a mixed start to the campaign, two wins in five games.


    GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY (All blue): 1.Jan Budtz, 2. Dominic Roma, 3. Josh Wilde, 4. Luke Waterfall, 5. Greg Young, 6. Ryan Williams, 7. Jonathan D'Laryea, 8. Shane Clarke, 9. Jamie Yates, 10. Paul Connor, 11. Terry Hawkridge. Subs: 12. Darryn Stamp, 14. Daniel Hone, 16. Bradley Barraclough, 15. Craig Nelthorpe, 17. Jonathan Williams.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, red shorts and socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 7. Duncan WATMORE, 4.Carl RODGERS, 8. Jake MOULT, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Patrick LACEY, 15. Danny MITCHLEY, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 18. Adam REID (gk)


    Having overcome the travel difficulties to arrive at The Northolme shortly before kick off, Altrincham supporters had little time to relax before it became clear that there was a floodlight problem. Although no tannoy announcement was made till after 8pm to tell the paying customers what was going on, the Gainsborough DJ's playing of Manfred Mann's "Blinded by the Light" and other appropriate tunes gave them a clue what was going on.

    By word of mouth and then on the tannoy, it emerged that referee Guy Stretton had set an 8.30pm deadline for restoration of the lights, which were fine on one side of the pitch but not on at all on the other. Alty fans recalled the similar episode after an even longer away trip on a Tuesday night, back in December, 2006. On that occasion a scheduled 7.45pm game kicked off at 8.30pm. This time, thanks to the intervention of an electrician, the lights came on at 8.32pm to everyone's relief.

    An 8.45pm kick off was then announced, with just one of the bulbs in the floodlights opposite the main stand not functioning. Checking on the "live" BSBN league table on the Football Webpages site, Altrincham had already dropped three places in the league table before they had kicked a ball, thanks to scores at other BSBN matches which had already started!

    Finally at 8.47pm the game kicked off and it did not take long for Altrincham to spark into action. After Altrincham had dealt with a second-minute Trinity freekick, awarded against Havern, 25 yards left of Alty's goal, James Lawrie slotted a well-aimed ball through the middle to Damian Reeves and he shot the ball into the bottom left of the keeper's net, despite the former Stalybridge Celtic keeper, Budtz, getting a hand to it (3 mins).

    After Lawrie had been clattered, an Alty freekick 40 yards out came to nothing before Trinity's Clarke went close with a rising shot from the left. Less accurate was D'Laryea, who mishit a shot soon afterwards as Trinity had more of the attacking play at this stage. But Alty remained dangerous at the other end with Budtz having to be alert to punch away a Densmore cross as it dropped invitingly towards Reeves's head (12 mins).

    It was now a lively, flowing game, but Trinity were applying sustained pressure, firstly from a freekick just outside the box, then a corner won by Hawkridge, followed by an underpowered shot which ran comfortably to Stuart Coburn. But a foul on Hall relieved the pressure on Alty (18 mins), before a foul by Lawrie at the other end led to another Trinity attack from which Hawkridge’s 20 yarder was saved full length (20 mins).

    In midfield, Alty loanee Jake Moult won the ball well and, following a throw-in, the same player could not get hold of a volley which he miscued to Budtz. Soon, however, a Watmore incursion into the box, leaving a defender behind him, ended with his route being blocked but a corner resulted for Alty on their right. Clee's corner was played diagonally back to Lawrie who fed Reeves with a low ball, which Reeves again shot clinically past Budtz to make it 0-2 (23 mins).

    A clumsy foul by Young on Reeves earned him a booking (25 mins) at which point the Trinity manager Steve Housham had seen enough and made a change, taking off the veteran Ryan Williams, who had looked one of the better Trinity players and bringing on Barraclough. From another Clee corner, Budtz came for but totally missed the ball, which cannoned off one defender onto another who was on the line and was cleared (26 mins).

    At the other end Yates made a mess of a good chance, the ball running weakly to keeper Coburn. But Trinity had another opportunity when Densmore's important clearance was sliced out for a corner from the lively Hawkridge's cross. Waterfall met the corner with a fine header, which Alty cleared off the line but it led to another corner which they dealt with better.

    After the half hour mark, Altrincham had a better attacking spell but Waterfall did well to stop another Reeves threat, only for the Alty top scorer to net again moments later. Again, a good ball from Lawrie reached Reeves and, instinctively, he passed the ball into the net to make it 3-0 (33 mins). It almost got worse when Greg Young, who was having an unhappy time against his former club, dwelt on the ball and was dispossessed by Reeves. He passed the ball to Lawrie whose shot beat Budtz but came out off the inside of the far post (36 mins).

    Trinity were reeling at this stage and things got worse when Rodgers's well struck effort from just outside the box was judged to have been handled by a Trinity player. Mr. Stretton pointed to the spot but Reeves hit the spot kick too straight and Budtz kept it out. However, Reeves reacted the more quickly of the two and put the loose ball home to make it 4-0 with the Alty striker having scored all of the goals in a 34 minutes spell.

    A Clee corner for Alty followed by two corners for Trinity occupied the next few minutes, with the second of the Trinity efforts being headed narrowly over the bar by Waterfall (43 mins). Despite another Trinity freekick, half time arrived as Alty were putting together a threatening move, Mr. Stretton allowing no added time despite a first-half substitution.


    As supporters racked their brains unsuccessfully to try and recall the last time that (a) Alty had led by four at the interval and (b) a single player had scored four first-half goals, Trinity sent their players back out, barely seven minutes after the interval had started. Likewise keen to get on with things, Mr. Stretton then started the second half nearly two minutes early. At the break Gainsborough brought on Daniel Hone for Greg Young and Darryn Stamp replaced Jamie Yates, up front.

    Alty started brightly as Moult, who showed a willingness to shoot throughout the game, won a corner. Soon after this a great ball from Clee was almost poked home by Reeves (48 mins). After some excellent chasing down of a Gainsborough attack by Lawrie, Trinity did earn two corners, between which Coburn saved a long-range shot (53 mins). For the third time Waterfall got on the end of a Trinity dead ball, this time a freekick rather than a corner, but Coburn saved his header (57 mins).

    Just before the hour mark, substitute Hone became the second Trinity booking after pulling Lawrie down. Just after Reeves had been harshly penalised in midfield when the offence looked to be against him, as Lee Sinnott explained to the adjacent linesman, Clee lost possession and a high ball from the right was met beyond the back post by the unmarked Stamp whose looping header back across goal dropped just inside the upright to make it 4-1 (60 mins).

    The goal lifted Trinity and Alty were now hemmed back. From a Gainsborough corner on the right another goalbound header from Stamp was inadvertently knocked over the Alty bar by one of his own team-mates. Now Brooke replaced Watmore (64 mins).

    Reeves's predatory instincts were shown again when he very smartly diverted a Rodgers shot and forced a good save from Budtz (66 mins). Alty almost knocked the Trinity revival on its head when a magnificent shot from Clee hit the inside of the Trinity post from the edge of the box; Brooke then put the loose ball over the bar. This threat had come after a quick Clee throw had got Reeves into the box.

    After a Trinity penalty appeal had been refused, Shaun Densmore went down off the ball near half way and after lengthy treatment to his left leg had to be replaced by Scott Leather, at right-back (72 mins). Immediately after play had resumed, Alty had to clear off the line but the ball went out to Clarke who hit a screamer from 25+ yards to make it 2-4 (74 mins).

    Two more Moult shots at goal were now blocked but it was Trinity who were looking the more threatening. When relief came in the shape of a 79th minute trip on Lawrie on the very edge of the box, left of goal, Alty sent only one man into the box. Lawrie wasted the freekick hitting it yards over the bar. Just after a good Alty move ended with Clee winning a corner, Alty made a further change as Lacey came on for Moult in midfield.

    Desperate defending from Alty kept out a Hawkridge run on the Trinity left but Alty were still a danger on the counter attack. A sublime gather and turn from Reeves almost yielded a fifth goal for the striker before another Trinity corner was dealt with at the other end. Having played no added time in the first half, somehow six minutes were played at the end of the second period. In the first of these a Hawkridge cross-shot struck the crossbar and Coburn saved a header but, otherwise, Altrincham survived the late Trinity onslaught.

    This was a thoroughly entertaining game and it lifted Altrincham up to eighth. The Robins played well from front to back and will look to build on this against Oxford City on Saturday.