FC HALIFAX TOWN (4) 5 ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
played on Saturday, 24 November 2012, at 3pm
After Altrincham had taken a fifth-minute lead when Nicky Clee's shot was beaten out and Damian Reeves converted the loose ball, Halifax dominated most of the first half.
In the 31st minute the impressive Lee Gregory advanced on the right and fired past Coburn from an angle. Although Town were applying pressure and Alty were defending in depth, half time was almost reached all-square. A hat-trick in 197 seconds by Gareth Seddon changed all that, starting in the 43rd minute. His first came after Moult had cleared a team=mate's effort off the line, his second fromm a Gregory nod down and his third came from a Moult mistake (45+2 mins).
With torrential rain now falling, Hall was sent off just after the interval for a "last-man" offence of denying a goalscoring opportunity and Dale Johnson made it 5-1 soon after. But Clee scored well, directly from a freekick, in the 53rd minute, making it 5-2. Alty lived dangerously as Leather cleared off the line and Johnson hit the bar but, as Town eased off a little, the visitors tried to get forward, though without creating any real chances, having subbed their three most experienced attacking men in Clee, Reeves and Lawrie.
REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
Altrincham were unchanged from the side which beat Hinckley 8-0 last time out. Halifax included several ex-Alty players- Dale Johnson, Phil Bolland and Ryan Toulson.
Both sides had won well the previous Saturday; Alty put eight past Hinckley and Halifax beat Droylsden 4-1.
Mike Garnett advises us of Altrincham's competitive record against FC Halifax Town...
FC HALIFAX TOWN(Blue and white)
|1. Matt Glennon, 2. Phil Bolland, 3. Scott McManus, 4. Liam Hogan, 5. Jason Jarrett, 6. Danny Lowe, 7. Jon Worthington, 8. Liam Needham, 9. Dale Johnson, 10. Lee Gregory, 11. Gareth Seddon, Subs 12. Phil Senior, 15. Chris Worsley, 14. Danny Gardner, 16. Ryan Toulson, 17. Sean Kelly|
ALTRINCHAM(Red & white striped shirts,
red shorts & socks)
|FROM 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Scott LEATHER, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Simon RICHMAN, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Shaun DENSMORE (cpt), 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 12. Patrick LACEY, 14. Duncan WATMORE, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Adam REID (gk)|
The game got under way on a cold, dank day, on a pitch which had been heavily sanded over a patch of about 20 yards by 5 yards just inside one half. After they had kicked off, Alty made a slow start but Halifax's first effort of note was a Johnson shot which went very wide from 30 yards (2 mins).
But it was Altrincham who took an early lead when a defensive mix up allowed Clee possession on the right. He cut in and fired a shot which Glennon could only beat out and Reeves pounced to net from close range (5 mins). Almost immediately a Clee cross won a corner and, then, a very smart turn by Clee allowed him to fire at goal but Glennon saved at his near post.
At the other end, Gregory missed from a good opening and Altrincham had more good fortune when Seddon failed to convert a Johnson cross from the left from very close in (10 mins). Open play continued as a Clee cross found Lawrie but he could not direct his header at goal (14 mins).
Alty continued to look vulnerable at the back as Gregory won a corner, after which a shot was deflected onto the Alty post for a corner on the Halifax right, which Havern cleared. Though trailing still, Halifax were certainly having the better of the game.
Clee was involved in Alty’s best moments and, now, his quick throw found Reeves, but he could not bring the ball under control. Halifax broke to the other end and this time it took Coburn’s legs to make a smart save from Seddon (20 mins).
Halifax had to make a change as Bolland gave way to Toulson (21 mins). Halifax now won two successive corners but Altrincham retained their lead until Reeves went down needing treatment. After Leather's trip on Gregory, as the front man got clear up the middle, the Alty right-back was justifiably booked, before Reeves came back on (28 mins). From the freekick, 22 yards out and central, Seddon blasted the ball into wall before the impressive St Juste won a corner, following which a cross was headed by Johnson to Coburn.
Halifax deservedly levelled in the 31st minute when the skillful Gregory advanced, right of goal and fired past Coburn from an angle (31 mins). Town's Worthington was now booked for a foul before a good tackle from Leather stopped St Juste as, yet again, he advanced up the left wing.
After 36 minutes a Hogan shot was blocked but his follow up won a corner as Town dominated proceedings. However, Clee tried an audacious 55 yard lob after Glennon had cleared the ball to him but his excellent effort cleared the target. As half time approached, it looked as if Alty would get to half time on level terms.
But Halifax won a corner off Densmore after good work by Gregory. From this, Moult cleared off the line at the near post but the loose ball was bundled home by Seddon to give his side the lead (43 mins).
Alty were now under the cosh as Havern covered well after Seddon had got clear and yet another corner resulted. Following this, from left of centre, Gregory nodded the ball down and Seddon scored again with Alty looking for offside (45 mins). The madness continued as Moult gave the ball away and Seddon advanced and completed his hat-trick in just three minutes and 17 seconds (45+1 mins).
Alty had been pushed deeper and deeper as the half progressed, pulling everyone back and then having no outlet for their clearances. They could have no complaint at trailing at the interval, but conceding three times in as many minutes was poor.
|Half-Time: FC HALIFAX TOWN 4 ALTRINCHAM 1|
Alty came out early into torrential rain, except for Alty keeper, Stuart Coburn, whose late arrival delayed the re-start. Within two minutes it had got worse for the visitors as Danny Hall clearly pulled back the dangerous Lee Gregory as he got clear just outside the box. Referee Miller deemed the Alty man to have been denying his opponents a clear goalscoring chance and produced a red card for the central defender (47 mins).
Leather now moved across into central defence, with Densmore dropping to right back, to restore the back line to four men.
A Halifax corner soon followed and shortly afterwards a low cross from the left - which was almost exclusively the flank on which Halifax attacked - was converted by Dale Johnson against his former club. So it was now 5-1 with only 51 minutes gone and only ten Alty men left on the pitch.
With supporters fearing a drubbing, things did improve a little as Halifax's Lowe tripped Reeves, earning himself a booking in the process. Nicky Clee planted an excellent freekick into the net from 23 yards in a fairly central position to give a modicum of respectability to the score line (53 mins).
Moments later Duncan Watmore came on for James Lawrie (54 mins). Worthington volleyed over and then another St. Juste run won Halifax a corner on their left before Halifax introduced Worsley for Worthington (62 mins).
Halifax continued to attack up the left, whilst Altrincham tried to get Duncan Watmore to occupy the Shaymen further up the pitch. But after yet another Halifax corner, gained off a deflected shot, Alty made a double change as Ryan Brooke and Paddy Lacey came on for Reeves and Clee. With Lawrie already withdrawn, the removal of Reeves and Clee seemed to signal that the game was up and that thoughts were turning to keeping Alty's three main strike threats fit for the next league game (66 mins).
The changes made little immediate impact as Alty almost conceded again, but Leather cleared off the line (68 mins). Another corner soon arrived, off a Leather header (71 mins). Halifax then understandably seemed to ease up a little but Altrincham's best threat at this stage came from a fine cross by Densmore which a defender just touched to keeper Glennon ahead of the arriving Watmore (79 mins).
Watmore gave Alty some hope as he won a freekick on the left by-line but Lacey took a poor, overhit kick over the goalmouth. The persistent fouling of Jarrett finally earned him a booking as the rain continued to pour down. In the two added minutes, Brooke won a corner, following which the Halifax keeper was forced to save an Alty header. An even later Alty corner failed to trouble the Shaymen (90+2 mins).
There was no disputing that the better side won this match but the abject three minutes which ultimately decided the outcome just before half-time will have troubled the Alty management. And with Danny Hall now facing a suspension and Carl Rodgers injured, they have just fifteen players at their disposal as they seek to steady the ship following a run of just two wins in nine league and cup games.
|Full-Time: FC HALIFAX TOWN 5 ALTRINCHAM 2|