ALTRINCHAM (2) 2 CORBY TOWN (1) 1
played on Saturday, 9 February, 2013, at 3pm
Alty started quite brightly and took a 15th minute lead when a foul by Ives allowed Densmore to put a 30-yard freekick into the box. Keeper Walker saved a flick-on but the ball ran loose for the incoming Reeves to tap in for his 30th goal of the season. But Town equalised in the 24th minute when Semple was allowed space on the right and his drive deflected off Moult past Coburn at the near post.
Alty then wobbled and two magnificent saves by a combination of Coburn and the woodwork were needed to stop the visitors. But, as the game went into first-half added time, Watmore ran from his own half and scored brilliantly with his left foot. Both sides had needed a first-half sub with Leather replacing Richman for Alty and Vieira for Green for Corby.
Corby had the better of a lacklustre opening to the second half before a period of uninspiring stalemate. It didn't get much better as the game progressed but Alty hung on.
REFEREE: Mr J. Tyas
Altrincham had James Lawrie back on the bench after injury whilst Danny Hall resumed in the starting eleven after suspension. So, Scott Leather reverted to the bench. Steve Bullen continued as the goalkeeping cover rather than new signing Joe Collister.
Former Robin loanee, Carl Piergianni, started for Corby. The Steelmen had also made a signing on the eve of today's match as winger Michael Bryan joined from Daventry Town where he had been on loan for three months from Brackley Town. Like Alty's James Lawrie, he is a full Northern Ireland international. He was named on the bench.
Altrincham had won the reverse fixture 5-2 and Corby had lost heavily in their last two league matches before this visit to Moss Lane. But they had drawn at Moss Lane last season. p> Before kick off Mike Garnett's the historical record of games between Altrincham and Corby Town showed:
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts & socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Duncan WATMORE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Ryan BROOKE, 15. Danny MITCHLEY, 16. James LAWRIE, 18. Stephen BULLEN.
CORBY TOWN (White shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Paul Walker, 2. Sam Ives, 3. Jason Crowe (capt), 4. Paul Malone, 5. Carl Piergianni, 6. Liam Richardson, 7. Ryan Semple, 8.Nathaniel Wedderburn, 9. Francis Green, 10.Tom McGowan, 11. Greg Kaziboni. Subs: 12. Lewis Webb, 14. Josh Moreman, 16. Marc Magna, 17. Avelino Vieira, 19. Michael Bryan.
With the floodlights illuminated before kickoff on a dreary, drizzly afternoon at Moss Lane, Corby kicked off towards the away end, where a small number of their fans were braving the elements. The opening minutes saw from brief flashes of neat play from Altrincham before Nicky Clee suffered a painful blow from the ball to his "lower abdomen", which required the attention of physio Alan Ainsley before he could continue.
Play resumed uneventfully, as a quick throw by the restored Clee led to a wildly sliced shot by Rodgers. A better effort arrived in the seventh minute when Jake Moult’s well-struck 25 yarder was held by England "C" substitute keeper, Paul Walker.
But play was soon disrupted again when Green went down off the ball and had to be replaced by Avelino Vieira in just the tenth minute. Things looked up for the crowd when Watmore robbed Piergianni on the byline, to the right of goal, and fed Richman, whose shot was saved.
Next, Watmore found Reeves who relayed the ball to Clee, whose cross-shot was deflected out for a throw on the right, following which Clee won a corner with another effort. Although a second corner immediately followed, nothing came of it.
Ives then conceded a freekick for a foul on Richman, 30-plus yards out, left of centre. Densmore's freekick ran through the box via an apparent flick but though keeper Walker stopped it, he couldn't hold the ball and the incoming Reeves did not have to break stride to tap it into the net for his 30th goal of the season in all competitions (15 mins).
With rain still falling on a pitch already heavy from the previous weeks of rain and snow, Reeves played in Watmore but his low, curling shot was saved by the busy Walker. The keeper was soon in action again as he dashed out to smother the ball as Watmore closed in (19 mins).
Just as it seemed that Alty were gaining control, Semple equalized for Corby. The former Boston man was left in far too much space on the right wing. He took a shot at goal which Coburn seemed to have covered, at his near post, until it deflected off a falling Jake Moult and was diverted into the net (24 mins).
Before play could re-start Simon Richman was down, being treated, for a right-leg problem. With him unable to continue, Scott Leather came on (26 mins). This prompted a positional re-shuffle as Leather went to right back and Densmore moved forward into right midfield.
Altrincham almost took the lead again, when a Clee shot was pushed out by Walker, and it was only the strength of Carl Piergianni which held Watmore off poking the ball into the net before it could be cleared (27 mins). At the other end, an important nod from Rodgers put a threatening Corby cross out for a corner.
Poor Nicky Clee suffered another blow to his anatomy on the half-hour, this time the ball struck his head and left him dazed but, after a couple of minutes off the pitch, he resumed. Next, Reeves made space impressively but his shot just cleared the bar.
Though knocked out of their stride by the equalizer, Alty were still having the better of things as a Watmore dribble now prompted Clee to win a corner (35 mins).
But then Corby upped their game and twice, in a matter of minutes, they were denied an equalizing goal. Firstly, after 40 minutes, an Ives cross from the right, led to a goalbound header from Semple which was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Coburn, then hacked away to safety by his defence.
And two minutes later another cross from the right, the source of most of Corby's danger, was met by Crowe's header, which was kept out by a combination of post and keeper. So, as half-time approached it looked as if Alty would be grateful to be on level terms, only for Duncan Watmore to pick the ball up in his own half, just as three minutes' added time were being signalled. The teenage forward rampaged up the inside-right channel before cutting inside a defender as he reached the box and opening his body to slot a left-footed shot into the far corner of the net (45+1 mins). It was a goal of much higher quality than anything else in the previous forty-five minutes.
In the last home game Alty had been drawing with Gloucester City moments before the break, only to score twice in as many minutes, (including another fine Watmore goal) and, now, an almost identically timed goal had again pointed Alty towards three points.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 CORBY TOWN 1|
Any hopes that the late first-half goal would prompt an improved performance from Altrincham were to be dashed in a largely forgettable second half, though the heavy conditions had some effect on the quality of play. It was Corby who started the brighter as Alty againstood off Semple but, this time, his shot was too high.
Next, Doughty had to head past his own post to concede a corner as Corby threatened again. At the other end, Reeves got smartly round Malone but the big defender recovered well to stop the striker in the box.
With Alty misfiring, Semple headed a cross wide before Coburn saved from McGowan as the visitors continued to set the pace. Next, after a Hall foul on McGowan, 25 yards out, Piergianni headed the resulting freekick over the bar (56 mins).
With the game in the doldrums, hope flickered as a Watmore run gave Clee a shot, which went just wide (59 mins).
Corby's captain, Crowe, was booked for a deliberate trip on Densmore as the Alty captain was getting onto a Watmore feed, 40 yards out. After this, a Clee right-footed shot went wide. But Corby's Kaziboni won the game's next corner off Leather, at which point Lawrie replaced Clee (65 mins).
Once again the substitution required a change of positions as Densmore reverted to right-back and Lawrie slotted in on right-midfield; Leather moved across to left-back and Doughty to left-midfield. Soon, a Lawrie pass found Watmore, whose shot was parried for a corner.
Lawrie made a further impact as he won a corner, after which Moult fired powerfully wide but gained another corner. Corby made an attacking change after 74 minutes as striker Moreman and debutant winger Byrne came on for Kaziboni and Richardson (77 mins).
But, despite the odd flicker of excitement, the second half remained generally poor in quality. Inside the final ten minutes an Ives shot was blocked before Corby won a corner, from which a Piergianni header went to Coburn (83 mins).
With five minutes left, Brooke replaced Moult, following which good play and an equally fine pass by Leather found Watmore, whose shot forced a Walker save (86 mins). With three added minutes being played, Corby won a corner on the left off Brooke, for which Alty pulled all eleven men back.
Another Corby corner followed when a McGowan shot hit Hall (90+2 mins) but Altrincham held out for the three points. Corby will feel they deserved something from the game and, but for the woodwork and Stuart Coburn, they would have had it. But the one thing that will live long from the match was Duncan Watmore's magnificent goal, which led to his being named a deserving Man of the Match.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 CORBY TOWN 1|