ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 WORKINGTON (2) 2
BSB North Match
played on Tuesday, 23 October 2012, at 7.45pm
Altrincham lost this game in the first half when they were very much second best to a pacey and hardworking Workington, for whom right-winger Mwasile was outstanding. After Altrincham had survived three early strikes on their goal, they fell behind after 24 minutes when a sliced attempted clearance from Leather allowed Mwasile to get behind him. Although Coburn made a great stop from the wide man's shot from right of goal, Mwasile converted the rebound.
Alty looked as if they might get to the interval just a goal adrift but then Havern brought down Arnison who converted the resulting penalty as the match went into first-half added time.
It was a different game in the second half as Alty went at the visitors. They finally got a goal after 69 minutes when substitute Duncan Watmore's shot from 20 plus yards, which was heading off target, fell to the alert Reeves who scored from close range. Alty kept attacking but, as the game wore on, Workington came back into things with two fearsome shots from Mwasile striking the bar, one of them tipped there by Coburn.
So, Alty's nine-game unbeaten run ended; and Danny Hall picked up a fifth card so faces suspension. Alty started tonight with Leather and Lacey replacing the unfit Rodgers and Doughty, whilst Richman replaced Watmore in the starting eleven.
REFEREE: Mr R Jones
Alty made three changes as the unfit Rodgers (tight calf) and Doughty (clattered in Saturday's game) made way for Lacey and Leather, whilst Simon Richman replaced Duncan Watmore in right midfield.
Altrincham were looking to extend a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with what was their first home game after a sequence of seven away matches in their last eight games.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts & 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. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Duncan WATMORE, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Jamie GREYGOOSE.
WORKINGTON (Ivory shirts, white shorts, yellow socks): 1. Aaron Taylor, 2. Niall Cowperthwaite, 3. Gari Rowntree, 4. Kyle May, 5. James Bolton, 6. Will Vaulks, 7. Mark Boyd, 8. David Hewson (capt), 9. Jonny Wright, 10. Gareth Arnison, 11. Joe Mwasile. Subs: 12. Jordan Connerton, 13. Jordan Dixon, 14. Paul Brown, 15. Christopher Wraighte, 16. Jacob Simpson.
It took Workington just 24 seconds to threaten the Alty goal for the first time as Hewson volleyed over the bar. Despite a decent Alty move in response, overall Altrincham started shakily. The visiting team threatened again in the fourth minute when Stuart Coburn was just able to stop an effort from Boyd after the number seven had cut inside and shot at goal.
And the Cumbrians again caused problems in the seventh minute when their captain, Hewson, should have hit the target but cleared the bar with his shot from the edge of the box. The visitors were playing impressive football, with quick movement and more accurate passing than Altrincham.
Nevertheless, Altrincham did now put together a good combination, which ended with Reeves feeding Richman. He was forced to the left by the oncoming keeper and from an awkward angle Richman was unable to find the net (16 mins). From a freekick, awarded against Danny Hall for a foul on Wright, Rowntree hit the ball wide of goal (17 mins). Soon afterwards, it took Coburn's impressive tip over the bar, from Wright's header, to keep out Workington.
The visitors' pace and movement, with right-winger Mwasile prominent, continued to trouble Altrincham and they now won another corner when Wright's shot was deflected out of play (21 mins). Altrincham continued to give the ball away too cheaply but an impressive upfield run by Richman promised better. However, Reeves was unable to latch onto his cross.
Despite their impressive play, it took an Altrincham mistake to let Workington in for the game's opening goal. Alty left-back Leather sliced an attempted clearance about 35 yards from goal and the ball span behind him allowing Mwasile to race at goal from the right wing. Coburn made a superb save from his initial shot but the ball ran free and the flying winger, on loan from Morecambe, hit a rising shot into the net from right of goal (24 mins).
Altrincham rallied sufficiently to win a corner, when Moult and Clee combined, (26 mins) and then put together a couple of promising moves, the latter of which ended with Lawrie losing his footing in the box. But the visitors were more incisive, with a shot from the left by Mwasile going narrowly wide for a corner, thanks to a slight deflection (28 mins). And, on the half hour, it took a fine save from Coburn, low to his left, from Boyd's firm shot from a Cowperthwaite feed.
Coburn's counterpart, Taylor, had yet to be tested but, for a few minutes around the 35-minute mark, Altrincham enjoyed their best spell of the game so far. This period included a blocked effort from Reeves and a parried shot from Leather, struck from left of goal (38 mins). But it was the visitors who won the next corner and, after that, Coburn had to save a thirty-yarder (42 mins). There was further danger when a clearing header from Hall fell to Mwasile, his fine shot hitting the side netting (43 mins).
Just a one-goal deficit would have been a good outcome to the first half for Altrincham, given Workington's dominance, but with the game going into added time, Mwasile fed Arnison as he raced into the left of the box, only for Havern to bring him down for a pretty clear penalty. Arnison got up to convert the spot-kick (45+1 mins). Altrincham could have no complaint at the interval scoreline.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 WORKINGTON 2|
Altrincham started the second half with a much better tempo than they had produced at the game's kick-off. But Workington prevented any serious threat to their goal till Rowntree tripped Richman on the very edge of the penalty area (53 mins). However, the potentially dangerous freekick came to nothing and Workington broke to the other end, where Leather made an important interception. Moments later, a Lawrie shot hit the side-netting.
Alty won a couple of freekicks as the hour-mark approached and then central midfielder Lacey was subbed by Duncan Watmore, with Richman moving inside to allow Watmore the right-flank berth (59 mins). A quick Clee throw allowed Lawrie to win a corner, as Altrincham now enjoyed the upper hand, with plenty of possession but not a lot of attacking bite. Watmore was not to see much of the ball for the first few minutes that he was on the pitch.
As the game went into the final quarter, Hall picked up his fifth booking of the season for a foot-up offence though the referee seemed to indicate the card was for cumulative offences (68 mins). But, soon after this, Clee, Lawrie and Richman combined to find Watmore, 30 yards out on the right. Making use of some space, Watmore seemed to be aiming a shot at goal. However, he pulled the effort to the left where it broke to the unmarked Reeves who, with typical alertness, latched onto it before slotting it into the net from six yards to make it 1-2 (69 mins).
Alty had a good chance to equalize two minutes later when Watmore fed Richman, who turned well, but his shot was deflected just the wrong side of the keeper's right-hand post for a corner (71 mins). Next Workington brought on Connerton for Wright (73 mins). A first-time shot from Reeves just cleared the bar before another Workington change saw Simpson come on for Boyd, the former Barrow man (74 mins).
For Alty, Densmore was having a good game, as Alty continued to have the better of the match. But they were not lethal in front of goal; Moult now mis-hitting an attempted volley. But the midfielder soon did better, putting an excellent cross onto Reeves's head but, uncharacteristically, the striker's header went badly over the bar (79 mins).
Despite their dominance, Alty remained vulnerable on the counter-attack. This was underlined when Mwasile got clear and fired in a superb, swerving shot from 25 yards which Coburn did well to tip onto the crossbar (80 mins). And, just a couple of minutes later, Mwasile again struck the bar with a shot from outside the box, as Altrincham seemed to have lost a little of their second-half impetus.
Ryan Brooke came on for Hall after 85 minutes as Alty threw defensive caution to the wind in search of a leveller (85 mins). A minute later Brown replaced Arnison for the Cumbrian side. As the final whistle approached, Alty won an 88th-minute corner from a Watmore cross but, despite pressing for an equalizer, they could not get one. Altrincham's last effort saw Lawrie mis-time an effort into the hands of goalkeeper Taylor.
After their impressive run of nine unbeaten games, mostly away from home, it was a poor first 45 minutes in front of their own supporters which cost Altrincham this game. Workington were deserved winners, showing more pace, better passing and more incisive attacking than Altrincham.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WORKINGTON 2|