ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 HISTON (2) 2
played on Saturday, 31 August 2013, at 3pm
The strain of four games in nine days at the start of the season may have caught up with Altrincham as they showed only flashes of the good form that had taken them to the top of the table. But they got off to an excellent start when James Walshaw headed home a fine cross from the right delivered by Shaun Densmore after just 70 seconds. However, Histon, with quick attacking play, scored two good goals before half-time through Sheppard (13 mins) and Hicks (41 mins).
When, in the 63rd minute, Damian Reeves scored his third headed-goal of the season from Matt Doughty's good cross from the left, Alty briefly looked like going on to win the game but Histon were good value for their point.
- 2 mins: James WALSHAW (ALTRINCHAM 1 Histon 0)
- 13 mins: Kaine SHEPPARD (ALTRINCHAM 1 Histon 1)
- 41 mins: Nathan HICKS (ALTRINCHAM 1 Histon 2)
- 63 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 2 Histon 2)
REFEREE: Mr R Wootton
For the third game running manager Lee Sinnott made five changes, as Boshell, Clee, Richman, Walshaw and Williams replaced Rodgers, Lawrie, Smikle and the injured duo of Perry and Leather. On the bench, goalkeeper Adam Reid returned, whilst for 17 year-old midfielder Rob Gilroy, it was a first appearance in the first-team match squad in a competitive game.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white stripes, red shorts and socks) - 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. Brian SMIKLE, 16. James LAWRIE, 17. Rob GILROY, 18. Adam REID
HISTON (Blue and white striped shirts, blue shorts and socks) - 1. Callum Kitscha, 2. Harry O'Malley, 3. Joe Asensi, 4. Grant Roberts, 5. Peter Grant, 6. Omar Beckles, 7. Michael Built, 8. Nathan Hicks, 9. Kaine Sheppard, 10. Lewis Taaffe, 11. Charlie Day. Subs: 12. Remy Clerima, 13. Barney McLaughlin, 14. Salin Relizani, 15. Eugene Libertucci, 16. Charlie Binns
Mike Garnett provides the historical record of games between our two teams.
- At Moss Lane p6-w3-d0-l3-f11-a7
- At Histon p6-w1-d1-l4-f3-a19
- All p12-w4-d1-l7-f14-a16
Alty kicked off in bright sunshine towards the Golf Road end and. after just seventy seconds, the ball was played up to Reeves, who fed the overlapping Densmore. He delivered a strong, looping cross which was met by Walshaw's header into the net at the back post.
A 25-yarder from Histon flew just over the bar soon afterwards to indicate that the visitors were not going to lie down, despite their early setback. Nevertheless, Alty continued to press as Densmore and Richman each had a cross blocked in quick succession.
Though Alty were starting the game well, a Densmore foul gave Histon a freekick on their wide left. Coburn only managed to get a hand on the ball as it drifted across goal and it dropped only just beyond the back post for a corner (9 mins).
Next, Densmore won a ball and his cross came to Clee, whose shot forced a good save (12 mins). Then, Clee fed Walshaw, who was blocked in the box. Histon now worked the ball quickly and neatly to the other end where Sheppard scored from 15 yards (13 mins).
The next corner of the game was won when a Walshaw shot forced a Kitscha save; after Clee had taken the corner, Walshaw headed wide. The chances continued to fall to Walshaw and when Doughty got in a superb cross from the left Walshaw's header should have hit the net rather than flying over the bar (18 mins).
For their part, Histon, whose oldest player was apparently only 22, were playing some neat football. However, Alty threatened again when Densmore was felled on the right, 35 yards out. Clee's freekick was dropped by Kitscha and Havern closed in to take advantage, only to be halted by a harsh whistle for an alleged foul on the keeper (21 mins).
Each side then wasted a chance with an air shot; Walshaw from a Moult feed, and Histon's Day's when in space at the back post in the Alty goalmouth. The Altrincham defence was opened up again when the impressive Hicks was set clear in the inside-left channel but he fired over the bar.
Like Walshaw for Alty, Hicks was the Histon man getting the most goal chances but this time the move ended in a header to Coburn. But the Histon man finally found the target when a move up the left led to Hicks scoring with a fine half-volley from the edge of the box to put the 'Stutes ahead (41 mins).
Just before the break, Havern fed Reeves who got the better of his defender but fired over the bar (44 mins). After falling behind so early, Histon had not only demonstrated spirit but had also shown Alty how to attack with incision.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 HISTON 2|
Apart from Taaffe's shot over the bar (49 mins), there was little in the way of goalmouth action at the start of the second half. Alty were still not firing on all cylinders and might have fallen 3-1 down when an excellent Histon one-touch move got Hicks in behind the defence but, fortunately for Altrincham, he mis-kicked when he should have scored (54 mins).
Altrincham were mis-passing the ball with too much regularity to impose themselves and it was Histon who now won the match's next corner (58 mins). Things improved when Reeves, then Doughty, chased down the Histon defence and won a corner themselves on the left, off Beckles. From this, Havern's header was headed off the line by a defender. But the ball was played back in from the left and Reeves looked certain to score from five yards. Somehow, however, the ball eluded him at the back post (60 mins).
Just after Lawrie had come on for Walshaw (61 mins), an excellent Doughty cross from the left was headed in by Reeves, the product of a more direct approach than many from Alty this afternoon (63 mins). It was Reeves's third headed goal this season and his fourth in all.
The goal lifted Alty's game as Lawrie forced a save and then a clever Clee chip landed on the roof of the net. In fact, Alty had the better of things for nearly ten minutes after the goal without going on to score again. And, then Histon got back into the match.
Alty now brought on Rodgers for Boshell (79 mins). Histon, Kitscha in particular, were now trying to slow the game down but the referee took no direct action to halt it. With the game into the final five minutes, Densmore did well but his cross was just too high for Reeves to head properly. Next, after Richman intercepted the ball, Rodgers fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
Rodgers then became the game's only booking as he pulled back a Histon player (89 mins). With the game three minutes into added time Alty's last half chance came and went as Lawrie's shot cleared the bar.
So, Alty's faultless start to the season ended and their brief tenure of the top spot ended. In the matchday programme, Lee Sinnott had pointed out the tiring effect of four matches in nine days up to last Monday and this performance from his team suggested that perhaps all the effort had caught up with Altrincham. But Histon deserved credit for a good performance which meant they fully merited their point.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 HISTON 2|