Match Report


BSBN Match
played on Saturday, 23 February 2013, at 3pm


A single-point haul from three successive games against bottom-four teams is not the form of a club hoping to reach the play-offs. But that is Altrincham's record after a disappointing draw against a Colwyn Bay side which had the better chances to win the game. It started well enough for Alty when Shaun Denmsore converted Simon Richman's pass from the right in the tenth minute. But Alty then had to thank Stuart Coburn for two saves from Rob Hopley, the latter, a one-on-one in the 25th minute, being the Bay's best first-half chance.

After 57 minutes Hopley did level the scores with a smart volley after a corner from the Bay left had not been held by Coburn. Despite the introduction of Nicky Clee, Altrincham could not convert some late pressure into a goal and, indeed, Altrincham were grateful to Coburn for a smart block from Crowther in the closing stages.


  • 10 mins: Shaun DENSMORE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Colwyn Bay 0)
  • 57 mins: Rob HOPLEY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Colwyn Bay 1)

    REFEREE: Mr S Barrow

    ATTENDANCE: 769 (34 in away end)


    Joe Collister remained sidelined but new loan signing Ben Mills started as Nicky Clee moved to the bench. Duncan Watmore moved to the left wing with Simon Richman on the right flank.

    Former Altrincham players Robbie Williams and Alex Meechan are now at Colwyn Bay; Robbie was on the bench but Alex started.


    Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that the previous record between the clubs is:

  • At Moss Lane: p13-w9-d2-l2-f36-a21
  • Away: p9-w4-d4-l1-f24-a15
  • All: p22-w13-d6-l3-f60-a36



    (Red and 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. Ben MILLS 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Duncan WATMORE. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14.Patrick LACEY, 15.Nicky CLEE, 16. James LAWRIE, 18. Stephen BULLEN,


    (Yellow shirts, blue shorts, yellow socks)
    21. Christopher Sanna, 2. Danny Taylor, 3. Michael Lea, 4. Frank Sinclair, 5. Tom Smyth, 6. John McKenna, 7. Gareth Evans, 8. Tom Roberts, 9. Rob Hopley, 10. Alex Meechan, 11. Charlie Joyce. Subs: 12. Robbie Williams, 14. Callum Byrne, 15. Anthony Miley, 16. Arthur Gnahoua, 17. Jamie Crowther.


    On a bitterly cold afternoon Alty kicked off, attacking towards Golf Road. There was almost a dream start for debutant Ben Mills when he went up to contest an aerial ball and found the ball dropping into his path as he turned to face goal. He shot from outside the box but his effort went wide of Sanna's right upright (3 mins). At the other end an effort from Roberts went just wide from 20 yards from a Hopley feed as the visitors showed they were going to make a game of it.

    After five minutes, Alty did have the ball in the net when, from a Richman cross, Reeves's back header went into the goal but he was given offside. But Bay went close moments later when, after good approach work from Meechan and Evans, Hopley was played in to the left by-line and forced an important parry across goal from Coburn (6 mins).

    Play continued in open fashion and a goal soon arrived as Densmore got forward up the right. He ran on towards the box and received Richman's lay-off before sweeping a low shot under keeper Sanna's dive into the far corner of the net. So at 1-0 up after ten minutes, it seemed that Altrincham had a good base on which to build an improved performance after two disappointing showings against Histon and Workington recently.

    In these early stages Mills was looking energetic as he chased down opponents in what remained a very open game. Altrincham won a left-wing corner through a run to the byline by Watmore and from the corner, taken by Watmore, Hall saw his header saved by Sanna (17 mins). Next a promising Richman cross found Reeves but he was blocked off.

    For the Bay, a Joyce shot struck team-mate Meechan before Danny Hall stopped an advance towards goal from Rob Hopley (22 mins). End to end play continued as an Alty counter attack yielded a corner on the right, which was won and taken by Richman. Following this, a towering cross by Doughty was caught under his crossbar by Sanna.

    The Welsh visitors missed a great chance to level when the Alty midfield parted to allow a through ball to reach Hopley, who ran, one on one, at Coburn. The Alty keeper won the duel, beating away the striker's shot (25 mins). Alty had now been opened up at the back two or three times already in this game.

    There was an amusing incident when former Alty man Robbie Williams, who had been warming up, mistakenly headed towards the home technical area rather than the visitors', through force of habit. Despite their lead, Alty's performance was far from flowing as yet.

    Play became scrappy and after Doughty had had to retake a throw when the ball slipped through his hand, the same player lost possession in his own box. As Bay took advantage, Meechan went down in the box with a plausible claim for a penalty which went unheeded by Mr. Barrow.

    Play meandered on towards half time with effort rather than quality in evidence until an impressive run up the left by Watmore left Smyth in his wake. Watmore's low cross was met by the sliding Reeves but his shot went just wide at the near post (39 mins). Soon Taylor did well to halt another Watmore run but a few minutes later he was penalised for halting the same player illegally (43 mins).

    The resulting freekick, from about 27 yards, struck Sinclair's head and went to his keeper. For Alty Havern did well to stop Meechan, who was looking lively for the Seagulls. Next, after Richman had been blocked, an Alty freekick on the right front corner of the box was easily cleared and a counter attack forced the retreating Watmore to head clear in his own penalty area (45 mins).

    In added time Bay went close to equalizing as a freekick from 35 yards out on the right by Lea led to a Sinclair cross. The unmarked Hopley hooked just wide with an overhead effort (45+1 mins). Altrincham held onto their lead but had looked vulnerable at the back during the first half.


    Colwyn Bay started the better of the two sides in the second half and Roberts won an early corner on the left, which was overhit (48 mins). Alty continued to falter as, firstly, Rodgers gave the ball away and then Moult committed a foul.

    Things improved when a superb gather and turn by Reeves got him free of his marker but the move ended, via Mills, with a wild sliced shot by Densmore (50 mins). Soon it was Richman who sliced wide after another incisive run from Watmore.

    Former Alty man Alex Meechan then executed an impressive turn and his dipping shot from outside the box needed a smart tip over the bar from Coburn, At this point Bay's Gnahoua replaced Roberts. From the left, the corner was reached but not held by Coburn and the ball dropped towards the back post, where Hopley volleyed it cleanly home to make the score 1-1 (57 mins).

    Yet another good Watmore run now ended with a wild shot over the bar by Havern. Bay won another corner after 65 minutes, which Coburn punched out before Nicky Clee came on for Jake Moult. Clee went to the left as Watmore switched to the right and Richman moved inside (67 mins).

    Altrincham were now getting forward but not threatening to score as Sinclair continued to impress at the back for Colwyn Bay. When Clee cleverly got past two defenders, a slightly strong touch allowed Sanna to block his progress (73 mins). But, soon, a Densmore cross produced a corner on the right, which led to one on the other side of the pitch. Once again Bay made a substitution at a corner as, now, they replaced McKenna by Crowther (74 mins).

    After the corner, Richman found Reeves, but his shot was saved. Alty continued to make the running but without reward before James Lawrie replaced Mills, who had started brightly but been marked out of the game later on. Bay relieved the pressure with a series of four successive throws won inside the Alty half on their left. From the last of these the ball came to Crowther, inside the box, and it took an impressive block from Coburn to stop him scoring (85 mins).

    Time ticked away as Alty tried to conjure up a winner but then Colwyn Bay brought on Byrne for Meechan after 89 minutes. Three added minutes did not produce a telling blow from either side and so Alty ended a run of three games against bottom four sides with just today's point to show for their efforts. Securing a play-off place will now be a very uphill struggle as they looked a shadow of the side which only a fortnight ago had gone eight league games without defeat.