Match Report


Skrill North match
played on Saturday, 19 October 2013, at 3pm


In their seventh home fixture out of eleven league matches so far this season, Altrincham took the lead in first-half added time. The goal arrived when Densmore fed Walshaw who, from right of goal, drew Turley and slotted a left footed shot into the far corner of the net.

Before that, Brackley had had the better of the opening stages, without seriously threatening a goal. However, Altrincham enjoyed a good spell before the interval and, indeed, The Robins were denied two very strong penalty appeals before half-time. The first case was when Walshaw was pushed over from behind, when clear in the box, and then Turley gratuitously shoved over Walshaw with the ball in the air and, again, the referee opted not to point to the spot.

Brackley's only real threat before the break was a Towers header from a freekick, which Havern cleared off the line. So Alty led 1-0 at the interval.

Altrincham saw off plenty of pressure in the second half but held onto their lead reasonably comfortably to inflict on Brackley their first defeat of the league season, whilst for Alty it is now 21 league games since they were last beaten at home. The Robins are now second in the league, only on goal difference, behind Hednesford Town.


REFEREE: Mr Steven Copeland

Following his move from Stalybridge Celtic, midfielder Greg Wilkinson joined the squad today, on the Altrincham bench.


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. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Carl RODGERS, 14. Brian SMIKLE, 15. Greg WILKINSON, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Danny BOSHELL.

BRACKLEY TOWN (All yellow) 1. Billy Turley, 2. Eddie Odhiambo, 3. Curtis McDonald, 4. Steven Towers, 5. Tom Sharpe, 6. Ryan Austin (capt), 7. Izak Reid, 8. Brett Solkhon, 9. Gary Mulligan, 10. Stephen Diggin, 11. Glenn Walker. Subs: 12. Eddie Nisevic, 14. Owen Story, 15. Kevin Roberts, 16. Charlie Griffin, 17. Nathaniel Jarvis


For the second match in a row, Altrincham were entertaining a team of play-off contenders from last season. It was Guiseley last time and now Brackley Town arrived at Moss Lane, unbeaten and having conceded just four goals in this league campaign.

Mike Garnett summarised the previous meetings between these two clubs:


Following his move from Stalybridge Celtic, midfielder Greg Wilkinson joined the squad on the Altrincham bench.


On a bright but cloudy afternoon, with a small number of away fans, who nevertheless supported their team well, Brackley kicked off after completing their bonding huddle. In a generally quiet opening, Solkhon was lectured for a foul on Walshaw, whom he tripped near the half way line (2 mins).

In fact the loudest cheer of the opening ten minutes arose when Billy Turley, who Alty fans have treated as a pantomime villain since his days at Rushden, slipped over after taking a kick! When Diggin fired well over the bar moments later, it was the first shot of note during the game.

In the 12th minute, after former Oxford United defender Odhiambo (formerly known as Anaclet) had fouled Walshaw, a quick freekick led to a good Clee cross and, soon afterwards, Lawrie won and took a corner for Altrincham which ended with a shot off target. A good Alty spell continued as the bustling Walshaw won the ball off McDonald and Richman got in a cross, which was blocked (14 mins).

Brackley were always keen to use Turley as an outlet and there were half a dozen back-passes to him inside the first twenty minutes. But the visitors were arguably shading the game at this stage, though they lacked any real spark up front.

After Densmore had lost the ball to Walker, the Town player was fouled by Moult but, after the freekick, on a counter-attack Walshaw and Reeves combined well. With Walshaw free in the box he was clearly pushed over from behind but for some reason Mr. Copeland saw it otherwise and waved play on (22 mins). The lively Walshaw was then caught late by McDonald who was booked for his foul, on Alty's right 35 yards out.

soon there was another apparently blatant foul as Turley pushed over Walshaw as the ball came towards the Alty striker. This time the referee not only did not award a penalty, he gave the visitors a freekick (28 mins). Alty then saw Clee shoot well wide from 25 yards after advancing up the middle.

When Coburn punched a cross clear, he caught Havern who needed treatment before resuming. Next Coburn himself was in the wars as a Walker cross went to the Alty keeper who was deliberately fouled by Mulligan, who picked up a deserved yellow card (34 mins).

It was not proving to be a pretty game as Brackley applied concerted pressure but not a lot of guile to try and gain the upper hand. From the second of two Brackley freekicks in as many minutes, Towers headed goalwards but his effort was cleared in front of the goal-line by Havern (41 mins).

As the game went into two added minutes at the end of the half, on the Altrincham right, Densmore fed the ball forward to Walshaw, right of goal, who had got free and was faced only by the advancing Turley. Walshaw drew the keeper before sliding a left-foot shot, low into the far corner of the net to give Altrincham the lead (45+1 mins).

When play resumed Moult was booked, near half way, for jumping in, but failing to make contact with an opponent. So although Altrincham held a just about deserved lead, they could well have been further ahead, had either of their strong claims for penalties been upheld.


Alty started the second half playing towards the away end but it was Brackley who won the next corner, through Diggin's efforts (48 mins). Town then made a change as Roberts replaced the ailing McDonald (50 mins). After this, a Lawrie shot won the first of two successive corners.

With the floodlights now on, a magnificent 50 yard diagonal ball from Havern located Clee but his header went to the keeper. His defensive partner Leather was also doing well, as Brackley's probing was again halted.

Following a mis-pass by Odhiambo to Densmore, a couple of passes led to Moult shooting just wide with a low 20 yarder (59 mins). Brackley continued to press but on the counter-attack, Reeves advanced but shot wide.

Now Brackley's Jarvis and former Salisbury front man Griffin came on for Mulligan and Diggin who had made little impression on Leather and Havern. Altrincham continued to be a danger on the counter as now a Walshaw cross led to a Lawrie header which allowed Richman a shot to the keeper (68 mins).

But Brackley continued to try to wear Alty down. However, Jarvis's overhead shot, pushed over for a corner by Coburn, was their best effort as the game approached its final quarter of an hour. There was a strange episode as manager Jon Brady smuggled a written note onto the field which was passed to Towers.

When Clee was fouled, a card was waved but it was not clear at whom (77 mins). After the match it emerged that it was Clee himself who was cautioned, for an earlier misdemeanour. Clee then won a corner and soon afterwards a slick Altrincham move gained another corner, with which Havern made contact but the ball ran to Turley. Altrincham were now taking the game to Brackley as a fine ball from Moult was hit on the volley by Clee but it went wide (80 mins).

After Clee had been treated for a blow to the head, Perry replaced him (83 mins). And two minutes later Rodgers and Wilkinson, making his debut, replaced Lawrie and Moult.

A good long ball from Densmore found Perry, who controlled the ball well but his shot was weak. Just before the end of normal time Coburn comfortably saved a Jarvis header.

Referee Copeland then signalled an unexpected six added minutes, during which another Jarvis header ran to Coburn (90+2 mins). In the fifth added minute a rare mistake from Densmore conceded a corner and goalkeeper Turley went upfield for it. But Altrincham saw off the danger and inflicted a first defeat of the season on Brackley.

Altrincham had shown great character in overcoming a team which had trounced them 4-1 in the corresponding fixture last season. Brackley had enjoyed plenty of second half possession but their strength had not been matched by much flair in the final third of the pitch.