ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
FC HALIFAX TOWN (0) 2
played on Saturday, 27 July 2013, at 3pm
In a match played in sweltering conditions, Altrincham suffered their fourth defeat of pre-season courtesy of two set-piece goals in the final fifteen minutes, both awarded against Gianluca Havern for handball. The first was a freekick from 25 yards which former Guiseley man Josh Wilson fired into the top of the net. The second was much more dubious as the referee awarded a penalty against Havern, who seemed to have his back to the ball. But Gregory converted the spot kick to give the visitors a slightly flattering margin of victory.
Altrincham, without Danny Boshell, the holidaying Stuart Coburn and the ill Scott Leather, were denied a late consolation goal when Kyle Perry's cross was headed firmly downwards towards goal by Rob Gilroy but it was cleared off the line. Report to follow.
- 77 mins: Josh WILSON (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC Halifax Town 1)
- 82 mins: Lee GREGORY (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC Halifax Town 2)
REFEREE: Mr Yousef Gargani
Lee Sinnott has yet to have all of his first team squad available for any of the pre-season games. Today Altrincham were again without Simon Richman, Stuart Coburn, Danny Boshell and Scott Leather. Three trialists joined Kyle Perry and Rob Gilroy on the bench.
FC Halifax Town included former Alty defender Ryan Toulson and forward Kevin Holsgrove but Dale Johnson was limited to the warm up as he recovers from his cruciate injury.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and red socks) 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt.), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Rob GILROY, 14. Kyle PERRY, 15. Matt LORD (trialist), 16. Scott BYROM (trialist), 17. Dan Lloyd (trialist).
FC HALIFAX TOWN (Blue shirts and socks, white shorts) 1. Matt Glennon, 2. Ryan Toulson, 3. Scott McManus, 4. Matt Pearson, 5. Matt Heath (trialist), 6. Steve Williams (trialist), 7. Adam Smith, 8. Keith Briggs, 9. Lee Gregory, 10. Dan Gardner, 11. Paul Marshall. Subs: 12. Phil Senior, 14. Lois Mynard, 15. Sean Williams, 16. Josh Wilson, 17. Kevin Holsgrove, 18. Alex Johnson, 19. Simon Ainge, 39. Mark Roberts.
Mike Garnett advises us that today was "The first time we have met the ‘new’ Halifax club in pre-season. There were, however, a couple of occasions on which their predecessors came to Moss Lane in the 1970s, when of course they were members of the Football League. Both games ended in the visitors’ favour by a single-goal margin, that on August 8th 1970 ending 1-0 to the Shaymen while 'Fax won 3-2 on August 6th 1977".
Alty achieved a league double over Halifax last season but the Shaymen had had the last laugh as their fifth-placed finish, behind Alty, led to their promotion via the play-offs.
Altrincham kicked off towards the away end at the J. Davidson Stadium, and a foul on former Shayman, Walshaw, gave them a freekick inside the first minute, which led to an unproductive corner. A second foul on the Alty striker soon followed. After a sluggish start, Halifax began to settle but Alty won another corner when Doughty's attempt from wide left almost caught out Glennon, who had to retreat to tip the ball out of play (10 mins).
Pearson’s cross won his side a corner soon afterwards, but Reid comfortably saved trialist Heath's header from the kick. There was little sign of a goal but another Alty corner did result from a fine ball across the pitch from Moult to Lawrie (18 mins).
Halifax now enjoyed a good spell as, first, Gardner lashed a shot over the bar and, then, a good shot from Smith from the edge of the box was beaten out by Reid (26 mins). But Alty almost opened the scoring a minute later when Walshaw fed Lawrie, whose low shot beat Glennon but came out off the base of the keeper's left upright. Moments later a volley from Walshaw flashed across goal (30 mins).
Next, Walshaw played in Rodgers but he was tackled as he shot and the ball went wide (33 mins). A fifteen-pass move from Altrincham ended when Doughty miscontrolled the ball, before Walshaw was given offside by assistant referee Andy Coop (37 mins).
A Halifax corner was cleared before a Smith effort rose over the Alty bar. However, half time arrived with game goalless.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 FC HALIFAX TOWN 0|
Alty emerged for the second half in their centenary strip of red and black stripes. They also made a change of personnel as Clee gave way to Perry. Four Halifax subs came on; Mynard, Sean Williams, Wilson and Holsgrove.
Sean Williams had an immediate impact as he forced Reid to beat out a shot and then from a cross by Gregory, Wilson missed a sitter at the back post. Unmarked, he headed wide of the gaping goal at the back post as Alty made a sleepy start to the second half (47 mins).
Things improved as Lawrie made space well, but dragged his shot wide. And an Altrincham corner soon followed. A second corner soon came as Mike Williams's shot had to be tipped round the post by Glennon (51 mins).
After Wilson had gone close, at the other end Walshaw gained another corner but the hour mark passed with the game still goalless as the defences dominated. However, Reid soon had to do well to beat out an effort from Pearson before Sean Williams put another effort wide (61 mins).
Midway through the half, Johnson replaced Smith for the visitors (67 mins) and the Shaymen's good spell continued as Reid was obliged to make two good block saves in succession. Alty made a change as Gilroy replaced Walshaw (69 mins). Playing initially on the left, Gilroy later switched to the right.
After a fairly uneventful spell, Havern was penalised for handball 25 yards out from goal, left of centre from the Halifax viewpoint. Former Guiseley man Wilson stepped up and beat the wall and Reid with a well hit shot into the top of the net (77 mins).
After Alty had won a corner, Holsgrove got past Williams and fired just wide (80 mins). When a Halifax cross from the left hit Havern, who seemed to be turning away from the ball, the referee nevertheless awarded a spot kick. Gregory converted this competently to make it 2-0 to Halifax (82 mins).
However, Altrincham responded in the closing stages, with Gilroy going close with a shot across goal from the right (83 mins). But Mynard should have done better from a late 'Fax corner, lashing the ball over the bar from 10 yards (8 mins). As the game reached the end of normal time, Perry did well on the left and from his deep cross a firm, downward header at the back post by Gilroy was heading for goal until a defender cleared the ball off the line for a corner (90 mins).
Two minutes of added time saw Gilroy impress again as he battled past two men up the left wing before being halted. So, in terms of results, pre-season has not been as successful for Altrincham as might have been hoped but three of their four games to date have been against teams from higher in the footballing pyramid and they have yet to be able to select from a full squad. So there remains undoubted potential for improvement before the season starts. < P>
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 FC HALIFAX TOWN 2|