Skrill North match
played on Saturday, 5 October 2013, at 3pm


Play off contenders for the past three seasons, Guiseley arrived today in 17th place in the league, with three players suspended and with new manager Mark Bower, seeking his first win in his fifth game in charge.



Facing Guiseley was an Altrincham squad still reeling from being knocked out of the FA Cup by Trafford but which included two former Guiseley players in James Walshaw and, on the bench, Danny Boshell, who was returning from injury.


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. Brian SMIKLE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Carl RODGERS, 14. James LAWRIE, 15. Danny BOSHELL, 16. Kyle PERRY, 18. Adam REID.

GUISELEY (All yellow) 1. Steven Drench, 2. Jack Rea, 3. Rhys Meynell, 4. Michael Potts, 5. Matt Clarke, 6. Ben Parker, 7. Wayne Brooksby, 8. Jake Lawlor, 9. Louie Swain, 10. Andy Holdsworth (capt), 11. Alex Johnson. Subs: 12. Spencer Harris, 14. Michael Burns, 15. Paul Ennis, 16. Ryan Williams, 17. Phil Marsh.


Altrincham started the game in third place, having lost just once this season in the Skrill North.


In overcast conditions, Guiseley kicked off towards the away end, which accommodated a small number of the Lions' supporters. Inside the first minute both keepers had had an early touch of the ball before Nicky Clee was flattened, just 48 secs into the game. After recovering, Clee threaded a fine ball through to put Reeves clear. But the normally lethal finisher shot weakly and Drench saved comfortably (2 mins).

That was to be as good as it got in the first half for Altrincham. Inside a minute Guiseley went forward up the inside left channel and, with Altrincham players appealing for a freekick, Swain was allowed to get to the by-line, from where he cut the ball back for Potts to score comfortably (3 mins).

This signalled half an hour of poor football from Altrincham. Passes went astray, freekicks were conceded with regularity, unpressured players lost possession cheaply and there was a lack of urgency in their forward movements. During this 30 minutes Drench was not tested at all in the Guiseley goal.

After Richman had conceded a freekick near half way, goalkeeper Drench's kick won Guiseley a corner on their left. The visitors threatened again after 21 minutes when a Leather mispass set Brooksby free but his cross was cleared. Next a Swain cross was cut out by Richman and after 25 minutes a Brooksby cross was cleared as Guiseley looked the better side.

Alty remained on the back foot as they conceded regular freekicks. When they got forward, Walshaw then Doughty wanted too long on the ball and lost possession (36 mins). At last Guiseley keeper Drench was tested as am Altrincham move up the right was cleared to Smikle, whose shot forced a good save and a corner on the Alty right. It was the home side's first shot on goal for half an hour. Despite a second corner immediately after the first, the ball was cleared.

Alty had a scare when Coburn only gathered a low Brooksby cross at the second attempt. A late flurry saw Altrincham win two throws which Clee hurled into the box before a Richman effort won a corner deep into added time. But half time arrived with Guiseley leading deservedly.


When it became apparent that Rodgers and Lawrie were not taking part in the interval kick about, it suggested that changes were in the offing for the second half and so it proved. These two subs came on for Smikle and Doughty. What was more surprising was that Rodgers slotted into the right side of the now three-man back line and Denmsore was pushed into right midfield. Lawrie slotted into the "hole" behind the two strikers. Meanwhile,Guiseley brought on Burns for Brooksby.

The changes had the desired effect as Walshaw was tripped inside the box. He got up to hit his penalty kick into the top of the net (50 mins).

The equalizer lifted Altrincham and after a ball had deflected off central defender Clarke, to Walshaw, the former Guiseley striker fired Altrincham ahead (53 mins). We were then treated to some impressive work by Guiseley keeper Drench who first headed the ball, then chested it before finally executing an overhead kick to clear the danger for his side.

Altrincham were like a side transformed but Guiseley almost levelled when Johnson got to the right byline and from his feed it took a great save by Coburn to block Burns's shot, a corner resulting (59 mins). It was a turning point as Alty went to the other end and won a corner on their left. From this, Walshaw headed the ball back across goal to Reeves who scored from close range (59 mins).

It almost became 4-1 when Clee played in Richman, but his shot was stroked across face of goal and wide. However, Altrincham soon won another corner, this time on their right. The ball came out to Clee beyond the back post and he cleverly jinked towards the near post before feeding Reeves. Reeves's shot was blocked but Walshaw swept the loose ball into the net to complete his hat-trick (66 mins).

Altrincham were now in control of the game and, not surprisingly, took their foot off the accelerator. Guiseley now brought on Williams and Ennis for Johnson and Potts (77 mins). Soon, a Williams' shot won Guiseley a corner but no more.

With eight minutes left Boshell replaced Clee as the game petered out as a spectacle. Reeves's blocked shot did win a corner and in the 88th minute Guiseley also won a corner kick but apart from Moult hitting the post before being called offside (90 +3 mins), there was nothing more to get the spectators animated.

In short, after a disappointing first half, a tactical switch and change of personnel at half time had prompted a devastating 16 minute spell in which Altrincham had netted four times. With their rivals also winning, Alty remained third in the table, but Guiseley dropped into the bottom three.