LEAMINGTON (0) 0 ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
played on Saturday, 7 September 2013, at 3pm
Altrincham played some good football in the first half and were good value for a 20th minute goal by Reeves from a Doughty feed. The goal came immediately after the Brakes' Stefan Moore had fluffed a great close-range chance. Alty lost Walshaw to injury in the first half with Perry coming on and, after that, Leamington finished the second half strongly.
Leamington were on top for much of the second half, in which Alty lost Williams to injury. Despite intense pressure on them, including six added minutes, Altrincham hung on. Sadly, Williams has a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon and was taken away in an ambulance.
- 20 mins: Damian REEVES (Leamington 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Neil Radford (Worcester)
With Jake Moult injured, Carl Rodgers returned in midfield. Kyle Perry and Scott Leather were on the bench after their injuries. Leamington were unchanged from their last game.
LEAMINGTON (Gold shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Tony Breedon, 2. Paul McCone, 3. Stephen Morley, 4. Joe Magunda, 5. Liam Daly, 6. Josh Green, 7. Matt Dodd, 8. Elliott Sandy, 9. Stefan Moore, 10. Jamie Towers, 11. Lee Chilton. Subs: 12. Ricky Johnson, 14. James Mace, 15. Lee Moore, 16. Alex Taylor, 17. Lewis Fenney
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white stripes, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Scott LEATHER, 15. Brian SMIKLE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. James LAWRIE 18. Adam REID.
Altrincham and Leamington have not met previously though AP Leamington were opponents of The Robins in years gone by. Mike Garnett has kindly provided data on the clashes between AP Leamington and Alty...
With it being Non-League Day, Leamington had a larger gate than normal, inflated too by a strong contingent from Altrincham. The New Windmill Ground is rurally situated, well outside Leamington. The ground has a four-deep covered stand with seating accommodation down one side, and a covered terrace at one end. The rest of the ground is open terracing apart from a small open-air seating area opposite the main stand, providing for about fifty people.
The Brakes had started the season with a win but had not won since; Altrincham arrived on the back of four wins and a draw.
On a warm and sunny afternoon at the New Windmill, The Brakes kicked off and Doughty won an early freekick. Alty's first serious venture forward ended with a Walshaw cross to the keeper after Rodgers had started a good move in midfield (3 mins).
Next a good Clee run ended with a cross, which was fielded by keeper Breeden. But it had been a fairly even start, with no real goal threat before Alty won a sixth-minute corner. A couple of minutes later an impressive Clee run and Doughty overlap yielded a corner which Clee overhit (8 mins).
Clee was at it again soon afterwards as he fed Reeves for a shot which produced another corner, but which Rodgers headed over the bar. Alty were now playing well, passing the ball crisply. Next, Reeves missed a chance from close range from another Clee feed, after Alty had broken well from midfield (12 mins).
The Brakes, with their many tall players, were to prove a danger from freekicks and corners but from their next freekick, near half way on the right, Towers, whose name matches his stature, nodded comfortably wide. In the 19th minute a Clee trip gave away another freekick on the right edge of the Alty box. Coburn punched this clear but the ball came back in to Stefan Moore who miskicked badly when he should have scored from six yards, with only Coburn to beat.
However, immediately, Alty broke to the other end and from Doughty's pass from the left, Reeves scored with a left-footed shot (20 mins).
After this there were several minutes of uneventful play, ended by a fluent Altrincham passing move up the middle, which was only halted by a deliberate handball, which gave Alty a freekick in a central position, 25 yards out. The offender, Daly, was booked (27 mins).
Densmore's freekick was saved comfortably but, soon afterwards, Altrincham suffered a blow as Walshaw had to go off with a right-shoulder problem. Kyle Perry came on in his place (35 mins).
Altrincham continued on top as a long ball set Reeves free but his firm shot was well saved by the keeper (36 mins). Alty were holding a well-deserved lead at this stage but then the Brakes won a corner on their left. A melee after this ended with a great block on the line by Doughty (38 mins).
Leamington soon pressed again and now Doughty had to concede a corner on the Leamington right, which was finally smothered by Coburn from Towers's effort at the back post (39 mins). Then Densmore cleared the ball to Towers who made a hash of the chance but his side were enjoying a good spell now.
However, a good Perry - Reeves link now led to a firmly-struck but well off-target "welly" over the bar by Perry (41 mins). The Brakes soon were on the attack again and, when Todd was hauled down by Clee on the right, the Altrincham man was booked (43 mins).
After a Leamington corner had been dealt with, Densmore conceded another corner, following which, Green went down, hurt. Play was halted and, somewhat surprisingly, with a few seconds of the added time remaining, Mr Radford elected to blow his whistle for half-time, leaving the injured player to be treated as everyone else headed off for the interval.
|Half-Time: LEAMINGTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 1|
When the game resumed, Green was now wearing a numberless "blood shirt". It was Leamington who started the half the better and, soon, Havern had to concede a corner (50 mins).
Alty did pose some threat, as when an excellent Doughty ball found Reeves but he was then judged to have fouled a defender. And then Perry fed Doughty, who produced a good cross, but this was cleared (55 mins). As the hour mark approached Towers got free but Williams blocked his shot well.
Following a poor goalkick by Coburn to Towers, Alty's keeper just managed to smother the ball but needed treatment before resuming (63 mins). Another scrambled clearance by Alty produced home appeals for a penalty as Altrincham, without the industrious Walshaw to link with midfield, failed to keep the ball upfield.
There was some relief as a Perry pass won Alty a corner on their right, but this was cleared (66 mins). Off the ball, Williams now went down injured and it looked serious. After treatment by Alan Ainsley, he was "chaired" off the pitch, in the absence of a stretcher, to generous applause from home and away supporters alike (70 mins). Scott Leather, making his 50th appearance for Altrincham, came on in his place.
After play had resumed, Leamington made a change as Sandy came on for the Brakes, the new man being another tall player (72 mins). There was then a brief worry about another Altrincham injury when Coburn did not come for a ball across the box and Matt Doughty made sure it went out, being barged head-first into the pitch fence for his trouble. But it takes a lot to knock out the experienced left-back and he resumed after picking himself up.
A more strict referee than Mr. Radford might then have booked Richman who, after being crudely held, reacted by pushing the offender in the chest with both hands. Fortunately, the referee simply awarded a freekick. After this, Leather got his head on the ball and a deflection earned the visitors a corner to relieve the pressure. A second corner soon followed from an excellent Richman cross (75 mins).
The numberless "blood shirt" being worn by Green now had to be changed for a "blood blood shirt" before a neat Alty move ended with Perry's overhit cross. When Clee both won the ball and a freekick it looked as if Altrincham had seen off the Leamington pressure. Indeed, a half chance arrived when Perry got the ball to Reeves who volleyed well, but wide (81 mins).
Next McCone was late in his challenge on Clee to concede a freekick near half-way by Doughty, after which a quick Clee throw led to Reeves's smart lay off but Perry's poor shot went well over the bar. With four minutes of normal time left Leamington brought on Lee Moore for Towers and promptly won a corner, which was soon to preface some late and sustained pressure from the Brakes.
However, before that started, a Clee breakaway ended in his under-hit pass to Perry but a corner resulted, at which point Smikle replaced Reeves. After Boshell had gone down in the opposition box to no avail, added time amounting to a minimum of six minutes was announced. Substitutions and the injury to Williams contributed towards this total and, ironically, moments later an ambulance drew up outside the ground to take the unfortunate Williams to hospital with a suspected ruptured Achilles heel injury.
Leamington put Altrincham under the cosh in the closing minutes and, when Chilton jinked round a defender, it took a finger-tip from Coburn, to deflect his shot round his left-hand post for a corner. More pressure on the Alty goal followed, culminating in another corner in the fifth added minute but Johnson headed this over the bar. Altrincham survived the final minute to record a narrow win against a spirited Leamington team.
But the three points, which restored Altrincham to the top of the Skrill North table, were marred by the serious injury to Williams who has been a reliably good performer for the Club since joining over the summer.
|Full-Time: LEAMINGTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 1|