ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 VAUXHALL MOTORS (0) 0
played on Friday, 29 March 2013, at 3pm
Altrincham made it six wins in succession with this deserved but hard-earned win over a Vauxhall side which looked lively on the counter-attack. After a goalless first half, in which Wainwright hit the bar for the Motormen, Altrincham made most of the running after the interval. But it looked as if they might remain frustrated till the introduction of Rodgers and Doughty helped them over the line. From Doughty's throw-in Watmore evaded a challenge on the edge of the box before finding Lawrie, to his right. The Northern Ireland international drove home an impressive, low shot to earn the points, in the 78th minute.
Alty survived a strong second-half penalty appeal with the referee adjudging Leather's trip to have occurred just outside the area. The win lifts Alty to fourth but Halifax and Harrogate both have games in hand.
REFEREE: Mr D. Meeson
Hard-working midfielder Simon Richman, whose recent eight-game run had been his longest sequence of successive league starts since joining Altrincham, suffered another unfortunate setback as a back injury ruled him out of today's game. But there was a welcome return for captain Shaun Densmore, whose toe injury had not been as bad as it might have been. So Jake Moult returned in central midfield and Matt Doughty moved to the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & black shirts, red shorts and socks): 1. Stuart COBURN (capt), 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Scott LEATHER, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. Duncan WATMORE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Pat LACEY, 15. Carl RODGERS, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 18. Tony McMILLAN (gk)
VAUXHALL MOTORS (Yellow shirts, socks and green shorts): 1. Zac Jones, 2. Connor Roberts-Nurse, 3. Steve Wainwright, 4. Tom Hannigan, 5. Andrew Nicholas, 6. Karl Clair, 7. Craig Mahon, 8. Danny Fearnehough, 9. Karl Noon, 10. Ashley Stott, 11. Mike Burns Subs: 12. Obi Anoruo, 14. Gary Martindale, 15. Tom Rutter, 17. Craig Ellison
Mike Garnett has the statistics on previous encounters between Altrincham and today's opponents.
Today's gate was swelled by a number of neutrals, taking advantage of the switch of this game to Good Friday, when there were few rival footballing attractions in the area.
Alty were wearing their one-off red and black kit, produced by SK Kits to raise funds, through sponsorship, for a defibrillator to be housed at Moss Lane.
The sides changed ends before Altrincham kicked off towards the away end on a sunny but cold afternoon at Moss Lane. After an uneventful opening, in the third minute, Watmore almost got through on goal but a slight miscontrol just inside the box halted his progress. But Nicky Clee soon won the game's first corner from a Watmore feed.
The Motormen were to prove a danger on the counter attack and, now, former Alty reserve Ashley Stott, forced a save from Coburn. At the back the visitors were looking less assured and a Scott Leather cross caused confusion in their box before Damian Reeves was seen off. Next, after a throw-in, Clee's low shot went just wide (7 mins).
Altrincham had started quite brightly and this was underlined as Densmore got in a shot which hit Motors' captain, Hannigan. After a foul on Clee, the same player's freekick narrowly evaded James Lawrie. Further danger to the visitors' goal came when Watmore dispossessed an opponent just inside the Motors' half and ran forward. His cross from right of goal was a bit strong so Jake Moult's improvised shot cleared the bar (12 mins).
Alty continued to set the agenda as, now, a Boshell pass hit Watmore's heel before Damian Reeves underhit a shot, wide of goal, from 22 yards.
There was a scare for Alty when Mahon's run up the middle seemed to be halted by a trip just outside the box but the referee waved play on. At the other end a foul on Watmore earned a freekick, from which Clee won a corner. From the corner Leather then Moult both had efforts blocked by the prostrate keeper. Again Motors countered well as, from 25 yards, Wainwright hit the top of bar from Noon's feed (19 mins).
There was more danger when Moult was penalised and the resulting freekick led to Coburn having to make an important block before he eventually got the ball in his hands. Defender Roberts- Nurse won his side a corner on their right after 26 minutes. Play switched from end to end as a Leather effort was blocked before a counter-attack required Havern to head the ball out for a Motors’ corner (28 mins).
Fouls on Havern and then Boshell earned freekicks but an apparent trip on Moult did not before Clee fired over from a Boshell feed. The on-loan midfielder was again proving reliable with his passing in the Alty midfield but overall the team was not getting forward as quickly as it might.
After Noon had won a freekick against Densmore, Clee won another corner from which Havern's header went to keeper Jones (37 mins). There was concern for Alty when a deflected shot needed an intervention from Densmore whose sliced clearance hit his own post and gave the Motormen a corner.
As half time approached a good Watmore run ended with Lawrie's shot which was not held by Jones, but the loose ball was cleared. Alty continued to press after this, with Boshell winning a corner, which the Motors hacked clear before a penetrating Densmore overlap, a Lawrie cross to the keeper and another impressive run into the box by Watmore underlined the home side’s attacking intent.
But the half was to end goalless.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 VAUXHALL MOTORS 0|
Early in the half a Moult foul on Mahon led to a visitors' corner, after which a Clee run and a fine ball for Reeves led to an offside flag (48 mins). Not long after this, "Do it quicker" yelled Alty boss Lee Sinnott to his side. But apart from a Clee chip which was just off target, there was no immediate sign of a goal.
When Watmore was fouled in full flight, a yellow card was shown to Burns (53 mins). From the freekick Havern almost headed in a Clee freekick but a goalkick resulted. With good vocal support from the Golf Road supporters, it was Altrincham who had the forward momentum but just after Densmore had gone down in the visitors' box, without winning a penalty, there was stronger shout at the other end when Mahon got past Leather on the Alty right and was brought down, falling in the box.
To Vauxhall's annoyance, referee Meeson gave a freekick on the very edge of the side of the penalty area. Burns was cautioned for his dissent and the freekick came to nothing (54 mins).
After this scare Alty resumed the pressure at the other end as Lawrie broke forward prompting Watmore to win a corner. A few minutes later, a Densmore cross went to Jones. After 67 minutes an excellent pass by Lawrie gave Watmore a clear shot but he lifted the ball well over the bar. At this point Rodgers replaced Moult.
The chances continued to be spurned as, of all people, the normally dependable Reeves missed a sitter from Boshell's feed after a good move on the Alty right. On this occasion, Reeves sidefooted wide before Doughty replaced Clee (71 mins).
Rodgers was soon involved as he tried to inject more urgency into the home side. Indeed, he almost broke the deadlock himself with a rising shot which just cleared the bar. Next, a Lawrie cross won a corner (75 mins). Still Vauxhall stood firm as a Densmore cross was cleared. But, finally, the breakthrough came. Doughty took a throw on the left which found its way to Watmore. Drifting to his right, the striker evaded a challenge before laying the ball out to Lawrie, right of goal. His well-struck low shot flew past Jones into the net (78 mins).
Watmore followed this up with a superb piece of close control along the left before Anoruo came on for Stott for the Motormen (81 mins). The one-way traffic continued as a Doughty shot was blocked and then a Densmore cross was overhit. But Vauxhall still posed the occasional danger as it took an important header from Densmore to see off a counter attack and then Havern was booked for a trip on Anorou who had sailed past him (88 mins).
Next, Clair won a corner, followed by a second, as Vauxhall raised themselves for a late attempt to get a goal. Their pressure led to another booking as Lawrie fouled Burns. In the second minute of added time, Brooke replaced Watmore, as Altrincham saw out the game. It was a deserved win but Vauxhall had defended well and posed a threat on the counter-attack. But this sixth successive win helped consolidate Altrincham's challenge for a play-off place, with a series of testing games to come.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 VAUXHALL MOTORS 0|