ALTRINCHAM (1) 1 HEDNESFORD TOWN (2) 3
played on Saturday, 2 November 2013, at 3pm
In an eventful first half, Altrincham started well but Hednesford took an eighth minute lead when Thompson-Brown netted with a firm, low shot, after Alty had failed to clear an earlier scuffed shot.
But then Richman got himself sent off for a rash midfield challenge in the 9th minute. However, a cross from the right allowed Walshaw to get in at the back post to equalize after 15 minutes.
Following a Wilkinson foul, Durrell's quickly taken freekick went under Coburn to make it 2-1 (25 mins). Alty held out till the interval, with the score 1-2.
Alty's ten men gave a good account of themselves in the second half. But, with both Reeves and Clee being substituted, Altrincham could not get level and, six minutes from time, Durrell made it 3-1, moments after he might have been sent off for a late lunge at Havern.
- 8 mins: Robbie THOMPSON-BROWN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Hednesford Town 1)
- 15 mins: James WALSHAW (ALTRINCHAM 1 Hednesford Town 1)
- 25 mins: Elliott DURRELL ((ALTRINCHAM 1 Hednesford Town 2)
- 84 mins: Elliott DURRELL ((ALTRINCHAM 1 Hednesford Town 3)
REFEREE: Mr M. Salisbury
Altrincham were without Scott Leather, who had been concussed last Saturday, and James Lawrie, believed to be recovering from a stomach bug, which had affected several players this week. So youth team midfielders Matt Todd and Spencer Cunliffe joined the squad for the first time in a league match.
Hednesford Town had Ben Bailey and Dave Macpherson suspended, whilst Campion and Rey were only fit for the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shorts, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Carl RODGERS, 7. Greg WILKINSON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Rob GILROY, 14. Junior SMIKLE, 15. Spencer CUNLIFFE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Matt TODD.
HEDNESFORD TOWN (White shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Daniel Crane, 2. John Disney, 3. Alex Melbourne, 4. Paul McCone, 5. Francino Francis (capt), 6. Kris Taylor, 7. Jamie Osborne, 8. Elliott Durrell, 9. Neil Harvey, 10. Michael Lennon, 11. Robbie Thompson-Brown. Subs: 12. Wayne Riley, 14. Nathan Woolfe, 15. Charlie Anagho-Ntamark, 16. Aaron Rey, 17. Darren Campion.
Mike Garnett summarises the previous meetings between these two clubs:
- Home p3,w1,d1,l1,f3,a3
- Away p4,w1,l1,d2,f5,a10
- All p7,w2,d2,l3,f8,a13
The visitors won the toss and, on a blustery afternoon, they elected to defend the away end in the first half, allowing Altrincham to kick off after the sides had changed ends. With the floodlights on from the start, Altrincham started quite brightly but the wind was causing problems as, first Moult overhit a cross before Wilkinson overhit a freekick awarded for Durrell’s foul on Doughty, left of goal.
After seven minutes, Altrincham put together a slick one-touch move involving Moult, Reeves and Walshaw but it ended in a heavy touch from the last named and the ball ran to Crane in the visitors’ goal. Hednesford's first meaningful attack saw a Lennon cross scuffed by a team-mate but Alty did not clear the ball and a feed to Thompson-Brown saw the number eleven strike a firm, low shot into the net from the edge of the box (8 mins).
Play had barely restarted when Richman clattered an opponent and a melee developed in which Thompson Brown pushed Walshaw and even the Hednesford keeper raced 60 yards to get involved. Richman was promptly sent off by Mr. Salisbury, leaving Alty with 81 minutes to play against the league leaders and a goal adrift (9 mins).
Five minutes later Crane dashed out of goal and was left stranded on the outer edge of his box as Walshaw got to the ball. His feed led to a Densmore cross but the visitors cleared their lines. Moments afterwards, however, a cross came in from the right and Walshaw, near the back post, scored from close range to level the score (15 mins).
McCone then committed a foul and for the second time in this game kicked the ball away with impunity. Rain now lashed down as a fine shot from Clee from 30 yards just cleared the bar (19 mins). Next Reeves was caught just offside from a clever chip by Clee before Reeves almost got free from a Doughty feed (22 mins).
However, in the 25th minute Wilkinson, making his full debut for Altrincham, fouled Lennon on the front edge of the box. As Alty lined up their defences, Durrell took the freekick from left of centre and the ball bounced under Coburn's dive to his left to restore the Pitmen's lead.
Altrincham also got level again on 32 minutes when a Densmore cross skidded off the damp surface towards the back post where Reeves slid in but could only divert the ball onto the upright. When Moult dived in he might have faced the same punishment as Richman but he only saw yellow as he conceded a freekick 25 yards out. Coburn tipped Durrell's testing freekick out for a corner, as the rain now stopped.
Two Hednesford corners arrived in succession as the entertaining game continued. When Osborne poked an effort wide as Havern challenged him, both men needed treatment before continuing (39 mins). Soon, Osborne won another Hednesford corner, after which Wilkinson headed off the line after a goalmouth melee to concede a further corner kick.
With rain falling again, a Wilkinson cross led to Reeves heading wide before a Wilkinson shot forced an Altrincham corner in the second of a minimum of three added minutes. Altrincham had done well after being reduced to ten men but before the first half ended, manager Lee Sinnott was already talking to Kyle Perry with a clear view to bringing on the big striker.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 HEDNESFORD TOWN 2|
So before Hednesford restarted the game, Perry came on and, surprisingly, it was Reeves who was withdrawn. After a Densmore freekick had come to naught, Durrell overhit a Hednesford corner (49 mins). When Perry seemed to be pushed down in the box, nothing was given by the referee and from a counter-attack Hednesford got in a shot from Durrell which went for yet another corner (51 mins).
Alty were trying to take the game to the visitors and from a Perry nod, Moult won a corner on the left, which was wasted (58 mins). When Taylor clattered Clee, he got a lecture but no more from Mr. Salisbury (59 mins). Next, an Alty corner on the left came to nothing as Altrincham enjoyed a good spell.
After Wilkinson had conceded a corner, Alty made another change as Smikle came on and, again, it was unexpected that Clee was the man removed (64 mins). As lightning began to flash in the sky the ten men were doing well for the home side.
But Hednesford came back into things with another corner (72 mins) before a counter attack from the Pitmen saw Harvey get behind Havern but chip his shot over Coburn wide. Immediately he was withdrawn and former Northwich man Wayne Riley came on. Harvey left the field to derision from the main stand as he left the field at a snail's pace in what was now steady rain.
Moult, now adopting a defensive role, conceded a corner from which Town had a goal disallowed. Then a wild challenge by Durrell on Havern led to chants for a red card from the home support but only a yellow was produced (76 mins).
Alty still looked to be in with a chance of salvaging a point but their next opening ended in a wild shot over the bar from 25 yards by Moult. Perry was getting little change out of the Hednesford back line but the game was then decided as a long diagonal ball forward from left to right was aimed towards Durrell and the covering Rodgers. The Hednesford man read the flight of the ball the better and controlled it well before beating Coburn (84 mins). The Alty keeper was booked for his vociferous protests after the goal (85 mins).
A minute later Lennon was replaced by Anagho-Ntamark before Densmore covered a Hednesford counter attack very well. As the game approached what were to be four added minutes, Town won another corner. In added time Perry, twice, and Walshaw, once, were seen off by the defence as the visitors left Moss Lane with all three points.
Clearly Richman's early dismissal was the key factor in the outcome.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 HEDNESFORD TOWN 3|