Match Report


Skrill North match
played on Saturday, 14 September 2013, at 3pm


Having taken a 2-0 lead, Altrincham should have had the game wrapped up by half time but a headed own goal by Leather from Clifton's right wing freekick got Oxford back into the game.

Alty had taken a 17th minute lead when Doughty's quick throw found Clee, who made two great turns to feed Walshaw. The striker's first shot was blocked but his second was lashed into the roof of the net. Clee was tormenting the visitors and, when he was upended, the freekick led to Moult having a shot blocked before Richman found the net from close range at the back post (22 mins).

But, just a minute later, came the own goal and half-time arrived with Alty just a goal ahead at 2-1.

Alty failed to add a second goal before Oxford equalised, out of the blue, from the spot after a trip on Malone. Pond was the scorer (69 mins). The Robins had wasted a great chance at 2-0 up to get three points. Aside from the own goal and penalty, Oxford scarcely had a shot on target.


REFEREE: Mr Paul Marsden

With Mike Williams now injured, long-term, Scott Leather partnered Luca Havern today. Both James Walshaw and Jake Moult were available again after their injuries but James Lawrie again started on the bench.

For City, Jamie Cook was unavailable, whilst French goalkeeper Francoz made his first start for the visitors.


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. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Brian SMIKLE, 18. Adam REID.

OXFORD CITY (Blue and white hooped shirts, blue shorts and socks) 1. Victor Francoz, 2. James Clifton,3. Paul Stonehouse, 4. Andy Ballard (capt), 5. Lee Henderson, 6. Chris Willmott, 7. Saul Williams, 8. Liam Malone, 9. Michael Symons, 10. Darren Pond, 11. Tom Winters. Subs: 12. Steve Basham, 14. Declan Benjamin, 15. Callum McNish, 16. Adam Learoyd, 17. Mark Scott.


Altrincham and Oxford City had met only twice previously, as Mike Garnett's statistics (below) remind us...

  • Away: p1-w0-d1-l0-f2-a2
  • All: p2-w1-d1-l0-f5-a3


    Altrincham kicked off, in bright sunshine, towards Golf Road, and they started quite brightly. In the second minute, Richman and Clee fed Walshaw, whose shot forced a save and a corner to Altrincham. In fact, it took a stoppage for treatment to Ballard to give the visitors some relief, after four minutes.

    The one-way traffic continued but without the creation of any clear chances before the tenth minute. However, it was City who now won a corner after they had got past Havern on the left flank. Indeed, the visitors won another corner in the 13th minute when Coburn punched away a long throw.

    Next, Clee broke clear and found Reeves who was only halted as he got into the box.The Alty left winger was having an impressive start to the game and, following Doughty's quick throw on the left, Clee got into the box. He executed two smart pivots to glide past challenges before feeding Walshaw.

    Walshaw's first attempt was blocked but the ball came back to him and he lashed the ball high into the roof of the net to give Altrincham the lead (17 mins). Following this, Leather did well at the back, both dealing with an aerial ball and beating his opponent, to clear the ball.

    At the other end, a Walshaw 25-yarder moved in the air but flew just wide. Alty's pressure continued as Clee beat two Oxford players up the middle before being tripped at speed by Henderson who was rightly booked. Clee needed treatment after being upended but resumed.

    Altrincham doubled their lead following the resulting freekick. The ball came to Moult, whose shot was blocked but it found its way back across goal from the left, to Richman who netted from close range towards the back post (21 mins). A routine win seemed to be on the cards at this stage.

    But, barely a minute later, things started to go wrong. City won a freekick against Moult on the far right, about 40 yards out. Clifton's freekick was curled towards the penalty area when Leather, facing his own goal, headed past his own keeper to make it 2-1 (23 mins).

    Alty's confidence seemed momentarily to be drained from them as a mix-up in the home penalty area caused some concern. It was another five minutes before Alty threatened at the other end when Doughty's low cross located Walshaw. The striker took an extra touch and the ball was cleared before he could shoot.

    The own goal had lifted Oxford and, following a freekick, Havern conceded a corner to the visitors (30 mins). Doughty and Clee remained Alty's main threat as they combined well on the left, with little coming from the other flank. Next, Clee pinched the ball off a City man near half way and ran forward but the promising move was halted.

    But Altrincham were not now carving open the opposition defence as they had done in the opening 20 minutes or so. Indeed, an ambitious 35 yard volley by Clee, which went well wide, was the best effort in the next few minutes. However, then, a great through ball by Boshell put Reeves racing up the middle but, as he met the advancing keeper, his shot went narrowly wide (41 mins).

    With the game in added time, a World War II Lancaster bomber, en route to a fly-past at Manchester Airport, flew above the Popular Side. But its appearance did not inspire Altrincham to bombard the Oxford defence and the Robins went off at the interval having lost their way after an impressive start.


    After a fairly quiet start to the second half, Alty had a shot blocked following good work by Boshell (49 mins). Then,Leather had to do well to halt the man-mountain, Symons, the former Worcester striker, at the other end.

    Altrincham were enjoying the upper hand but it still needed another fine Leather tackle to halt Williams (52 mins). Afterwards, Altrincham won a freekick, about 28 yards out in a fairly central position. Densmore took this well but the ball smacked against the crossbar and, in the aftermath, Walshaw fired wide (55 mins).

    The visitors now brought on Benjamin for Williams (60 mins). Soon, Oxford enjoyed a good spell, earning two successive corners, after which Symons lifted a shot over the bar (62 mins).

    After an Alty advance had come to nothing, Malone burst into the box and went down under a challenge from Leather, prompting referee Marsden to award a penalty. Pond sent Coburn the wrong way to convert the spot kick comfortably (69 mins).

    Alty's response was to bring on Perry for Walshaw, up front (71 mins). Though a corner soon followed, and Francoz flapped at this, any impetus being built by Alty was halted as Ballard went down for treatment (75 mins). Indeed, the visitors now started to play down the clock but, as the game went into the final ten minutes, Altrincham tried to raise their game.

    However, after a Moult shot had hit a team-mate, Oxford's Benjamin miskicked in the Alty box. After 85 minutes, each side made a swap as McNish came on for Pond and, for Altrincham, Smikle replaced Moult (85 mins).

    But Altrincham were unable to threaten the visitors' goal seriously as the ninety-minute mark arrived. Surprisingly, Lawrie was introduced at this point, replacing Clee. In the first of four added minutes Lawrie fired over the bar (90+1 mins). The Oxford keeper was now finally booked for repeated timewasting (90+2 mins) but still Alty could not create a decent chance to get the winner.

    And so, the afternoon which had started so brightly for Altrincham ended on a low note. Once the combination of Doughty and Clee on the left had been largely stifled, Oxford faced little threat from either wing and the home strikers got a poorer service as the game progressed.

    Nevertheless, the Robins remain unbeaten and joint top, in second place only on goal difference, a position everyone at Moss Lane would have settled for, before the season began.