Match Report


Skrill North Match
played on Saturday, 7 December 2013, at 3pm



REFEREE: Mr Neil Sharp (Hartlepool)

Nicky Clee missed out today with injury (hamstring). Junior Smikle replaced James Lawrie in the starting eleven. Youth team defender David Brown joined his team mate Max Pouncey on the bench.


HARROGATE TOWN (Amber and black) 1. Craig McGillivray, 2. Matthew Bloomer, 3. Craig Nelthorpe, 4. Adam Bolder, 5. Leigh Franks, 6. Adam Nowakowski, 7. Liam Hardy, 8. Brad Abbott, 9. Ashley Worsfold, 10. Michael Woods, 11. Connor Sellars. Subs: 12. Steve Mallory, 14. Chris Hall, 15. Tom Allen, 16. Dave Merris, 17. Cleveland Taylor

ALTRINCHAM (Aquamarine and grey) 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. Junior Smikle. Subs: 12. Carl Rodgers, 14. James Lawrie, 15. Max Pouncey, 16. Kyle Perry, 17. David Brown


Altrincham had won the corresponding fixture last season and arrived in third place in the league table today; Harrogate were ninth, nine points worse off after playing an additional game.


After a minute's applause in memory of Nelson Mandela, Town kicked off. Alty started with Smikle on the right and Wilkinson on the left but they varied this during the first half. In the second minute, Altrincham had a warning of what was to come as Woods shot wide after Smikle had lost the ball, before play stopped for Havern to receive treatment (3 mins).

After a fairly quiet start to the game, a great Wilkinson pass found Reeves who slid his shot just wide, from left of goal (7 mins). However, Harrogate took an early lead when a ball over Doughty allowed Woods to advance, right of centre, and his cross found Worsfold, who turned and scored from close range, in a central position (9 mins).

It was soon 2-0 as Woods advanced up the middle past Leather and fired home from more than twenty yards (13 mins). Alty won a couple of freekicks, the second when Doughty was flattened 30 yards out but Hardy only received a lecture for the foul (17 mins). Though Wilkinson took a poor freekick, fortuitously he won a corner from it.

Alty fell 3-0 behind in the 22nd minute when an aerial ball was not cleared and went off Densmore to Woods who netted.

Densmore then almost single-handedly prompted a response from Altrincham. After a Wilkinson corner had been cleared, Densmore was tripped on the front edge of the box after a good Wilkinson cross. Walshaw's curling freekick hit the bar (25 mins). Next, a fine run by Alty's captain led to a Walshaw shot being saved, from right of goal.

More impressive work from Densmore led to Smikle gaining a corner on the right. Wilkinson took it and Leather's looping header dropped into the net at the near post, making it 3-1 (28 mins). Encouraged by their goal, another Alty corner was won and, once more, Leather headed at goal but, this time, the keeper saved at Reeves's feet.

Alty should have scored again soon afterwards but Walshaw, with a clear view of goal, fired well over the bar from right of goal (31 mins).

After this good spell from the visitors, Harrogate recovered to win two corners before a Worsfold long shot cleared the bar (36 mins). Apart from a Smikle shot, which was saved, and a Reeves effort, which was blocked, there was little goalmouth action as half-time approached.

Hardy, who had been lectured for his earlier foul on Doughty, now felled Havern but merely received a second lecture. In added time Harrogate won a corner as Wilkinson covered well after Hardy had got past Densmore but half-time arrived with the score still 3-1.


Altrincham's substitutes Perry and Rodgers came on for Walshaw and Moult before the second half got under way. Rodgers went to the right of the back line as Wilkinson moved into central midfield and Doughty and Densmore moved further forward.

Altrincham started quite well but had nothing to show until Wilkinson won a 51st-minute corner, from which a Perry header was cleared off the line for another corner. From this, the keeper saved at the foot of the post, conceding another corner, again taken by Wilkinson. Although a fourth corner followed, Town cleared their lines.

Town now brought on Hall for Sellars, the son of the former Leeds United player Scott, who had been making his debut (55 mins). Soon a Richman shot won another Altrincham corner, which was headed over the bar, before the Yorkshiremen won two corners for themselves at the other end. But after Altrincham's decent second-half spell, the game was now drifting on with the visitors not looking as if they were going to level the score.

After 65 minutes Taylor came on for Worsfold, and Mallory for Hardy. After 68 minutes, Havern was booked for a foul on Hall, conceding a freekick 20 yards out from Alty's goal. The obviously rehearsed freekick by Taylor went very wrong as the ball was passed to Altrincham and the visitors duly counter-attacked with Doughty's right foot cross from the left being bundled in by Perry at the back post, making it 3-2 (70 mins).

There were half-chances at each end, as Taylor cut in from the left and forced a save at the foot of the post, before Mallory skied his shot from a promising position. Then Alty's Wilkinson and Smikle had efforts cleared for Altrincham. After this, a Densmore foul on Woods got him booked ((75 mins).

Alty then went close as a Richman shot was blocked and the ball looped to the left where Perry tried an ambitious overhead shot, which went wide (78 mins). But time was ticking away before Richman was tripped and this brought a booking for Nelthorpe (83 mins).

Next, Lawrie replaced Wilkinson (85 mins). After this, a Densmore freekick was almost met by Perry but a goalkick resulted. When Lawrie lost the ball, Woods got free and forced a Coburn save. With the match into its three added minutes, Rodgers became Alty's third player to be booked, presumably for dissent.

But Altrincham were unable to rescue a point in a game they had lost by conceding three times in thirteen minutes in the first half.