ALTRINCHAM (1) 1 SOLIHULL MOORS (0) 0
played on Saturday, 23 November 2013, at 3pm
Altrincham were not at their best in the opening half hour as Solihull took the game to them. But when Walshaw was pushed over, a penalty was awarded and Walshaw slotted it home (17 mins). The Moors still had the better of things until Alty raised their game in the final ten minutes of a first half which saw three bookings for the visitors and one (Leather) for Alty.
An often scrappy second half produced no goals. It was not a classic but it lifted Altrincham to second in the table. Alty have now played 9 of their 15 league matches to date at home.
- 17 mins: James WALSHAW penalty (ALTRINCHAM 1 Solihull Moors 0)
REFEREE: Mr S Copeland
Altrincham were again unchanged, following their two matches against Colwyn Bay in the FA Trophy.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Matt Doughty, 4. Jake Moult, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 7. Greg Wilkinson, 8. Simon Richman, 9. James Walshaw, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Carl Rodgers, 14. Brian Smikle, 15. James Lawrie, 16. Kyle Perry, 18. Adam Reid
SOLIHULL MOORS (Blue and yellow hooped shirts and socks, blue shorts) 1. Jasbir Singh, 2. Michael Nottingham, 3. Jordan Gough, 4. Jay Denny, 5. Rob Elvins (capt), 6. Dom Langdon, 7. Matthew Birley, 8. Reece Fleet, 9. Omar Bogle, 10. Brian Beswick, 11. Michael Blackwood. Subs: 12. Stuart Pierpoint, 14.Darryl Knights, 15. Aron Wint, 16. Gary Birch, 17. Michael Taylor.
Mike Garnett reminds us of the previous encounters between Altrincham and Solihull Moors:
- At Altrincham p2-w1-d1-l0-f3-a2
- Away p2-w0-d0-l2-f1-a4
- All p4-w1-d1-l2-f4-a6
Under the already illuminated floodlights, The Moors kicked off towards their supporters on a cold afternoon at the J Davidson Stadium. An early Alty move ended with Richman firing well over the bar but, otherwise, the play was uneventful. Former Histon man, Langdon, soon showed that he had not lost his knack for taking a long throw but his team mates soon failed to take advantage of a Wilkinson error as they overhit a cross - a mistake they made numerous times in this match.
The visitors settled the better and, from a counter-attack, Bogle got clear but mishit his shot wide (7 mins). When Alty counter-attacked, Wilkinson misplaced his pass - indeed, Altrincham’s general pass-completion rate today was not good.
Alty's faltering start continued as Leather mis-read an aerial ball and then fouled Fleet some 45 yards out from goal. Next it was Moult's turn as he passed to Blackwood, only for Fleet to shoot wide at the end of the move. It got a bit better as a Wilkinson cross deflected to keeper Singh, as Reeves closed in.
On the quarter of an hour mark, a Beswick freekick had to be tipped over for a corner by Coburn but then out of nothing the breakthrough arrived. Densmore put in a cross from the right and Walshaw went down under defender Nottingham's attention. Referee Copeland had no hesitation in immediately pointing to the spot. Walshaw stroked home the penalty as Singh went the wrong way (17 mins).
At this stage the Moors had had slightly the better of the match and they now won a corner on their left. Indeed, play continued mostly in Altrincham's half as the home side struggled to reach a level of fluency in their play (24 mins). Next, Fleet did well for Solihull but shot straight at Coburn from 20 yards before Leather covered well to halt Bogle as he got on the end of a cross. From the resulting Moors corner, Leather cleared impressively with an overhead kick (27 mins).
A protracted spell of head tennis underlined the level of the game as it passed the half-hour mark. After 34 minutes Wilkinson was tripped and Langdon booked.
Altrincham's performance now improved and they started to get forward. First a Wilkinson chip went to the keeper as Reeves closed in, and then another Alty attack was halted.
A scrappy period followed as, first, Richman was felled by Denny, who picked up the third Moors' yellow card in only the 37th minute. But the stoppages continued as Densmore was tripped before another foul arrived, a "foot-up" offence by Fleet. Next it was a Langdon foul on Richman which halted play but, not for the first time, Alty played the freekick short and sideways and nothing came of it (40 mins).
At last things improved as a good Alty move, via Wilkinson, ended in an Alty corner on the right. Taken by Clee, it was an inswinger which was headed off the line for another corner, this time on the left. Singh dropped this kick, taken by Wilkinson, to give a third corner away (42 mins).
Solihull responded as a Beswick freekick went just wide. But, in what turned into some four minutes of added time, Altrincham won a freekick and two more corners. However, this late flurry of pressure did not produce a goal. So, Alty held a 1-0 lead but The Moors had had the better of the first half-hour or more.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 SOLIHULL MOORS 0|
At the interval, Pierpoint came on for Nottingham for Solihull who soon won a corner, following another long throw by Langdon. The Moors then had Denny booked for diving on the edge of the Alty box (48 mins). The visitors continued to have more of the attacking play but without creating too much from it.
After 54 minutes, Gough fouled Walshaw as he got past him and escaped luckily without a card. Soon afterwards, a Clee mis-pass almost led to a goal at the near post by Beswick. Coburn then had to make a smart save from a fierce Bogle shot, from Beswick's feed at the end of a good move. A Moors' corner followed.
Altrincham were still defending solidly but making too many mistakes as they tried to build forward momentum. After 66 minutes, Lawrie came on for Clee with physio Alan Ainsley going immediately to treat the withdrawn player on the bench (66 mins).
A Beswick overhead shot was saved by Coburn (70 mins) whilst Singh was having a quieter afternoon at the other end. But then Lawrie put Walshaw through but he was tackled as he was about to shoot. It was his last action as he was now replaced by Perry (73 mins). Moments late Moors' Taylor replaced Denny.
As in the first half, Altrincham reserved their best attacking play for the latter stages. An impressive Densmore run allowed Richman to turn and shoot, but the ball cleared the bar (74 mins). Three minutes later Richman chested the ball down but poked his shot over the bar.
Now, Birch replaced Blackwell and Alty's Rodgers came on for Moult (79 mins). After Coburn had been fouled, his freekick was nodded on by Perry and Reeves's resulting shot was well saved (80 mins).
After Coburn had saved a Beswick long shot, Alty had an escape as Taylor miscontrolled the ball in the Alty box with the goal seemingly at his mercy (85 mins). But the unforced errors from both sides continued. Three added minutes were announced during which Lawrie had a shot saved but Birch really should have equalised in the final minute but, unmarked, he headed badly over the bar from a Beswick cross. He held his head in horror after this.
So, Altrincham took an important three points against a Moors' side which will have thought they had done enough to earn a point. But Altrincham had shown character, particularly at the back, to overcome a side previously only beaten once this league season, in a game which was higher in effort and spirit than in flair and fluency.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 SOLIHULL MOORS 0|