Match Report


Skrill North Match
played on Saturday, 28 December 2013, at 3pm


Altrincham fell behind to a fourth-minute goal by Harvey. It arrived after an advance on the Barrrow left and, after Cribley's effort had been blocked the ball fell to Harvey, who netted.

Though Altrincham had the better of the next half hour they barely tested McMillan, apart from a shot by Moult, which the keeper saved. Barrow then finished the half strongly to retain their lead.

Altrincham laboured after the break as they defended against both Barrow and the gusty wind but, with 20 minutes or so remaining, they applied some concerted pressure, with Walshaw much involved, having come on as a sub at half time. They finally equalised after 77 minutes when Reeves nodded home Walshaw's chip from left of goal.

Had Moult not wasted a glorious chance and Walshaw not hit the post when put clean through, Altrincham would have secured all of the points but it was the lacklustre first half which had left them chasing the game.



Altrincham made one change; Richman had a knock so Wilkinson started. Shaun Densmore was unavailable owing to a family illness so Scott Leather continued at right-back, with Tom Marshall in the centre of defence.


BARROW (Blue and white hooped shirts, blue shorts) 1. Tony McMillan, 2. Andy Burns, 3. Paul Edwards, 4. Patrick Lacey, 5. Danny O'Donnell, 6. Duran Reynolds, 7. Alex-Ray Harvey, 8. Richard Davies, 9. Gareth Arnison, 10. Nick Rushton, 11. Ted Cribley. Subs: 12. Niall Cowperthwaite, 14. Jamie Allen, 15. Dan Parkinson, 16. Sam Sheridan, 17. Rob Williams

ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, red shorts and socks) 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Scott Leather, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Gianluca Havern (capt), 6. Tom Marshall, 7. Greg Wilkinson, 8. Jake Moult, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Matt Doughty, 14. Simon Richman, 15. James Walshaw, 16. Junior Smikle, 17. James Lawrie.


Mike Garnett reminds us of the previous encounters between our two clubs:


With a strong and low sun behind the clubhouse end making visibility a problem, it was a surprise when Barrow, having won the toss, decided to change ends and face it.

Alty kicked off in cold and breezy conditions on a soft pitch. When an early Leather up and under led to a goalkick, it became apparent that the home keeper, McMillan, was not taking any deadball kicks this afternoon as Reynolds took over that role.

In only the fourth minute, Barrow got behind Altrincham's defence on the Bluebirds' left. As Havern attempted to cover, Rushton fed Cribley, whose shot was blocked but the ball ran to Harvey, who scored from 10 yards.

Almost immediately, Reeves got clear of O'Donnell but, uncharacteristically, he shot wide. As so often is the case, Clee looked Alty's most lively attacking player and he now won a freekick on the left, from which a goalkick was given which should have been a corner.

But Barrow did get a genuine corner at the other end when Coburn carried the ball out of play. Clee cleared the ball and advanced up the middle but then Rodgers's shot was blocked (8 mins). Although Coburn had to save a Rushton header at the back post, Alty were having more of the ball (18 mins). The wind, however, was making constructive play difficult.

A great Havern long-ball was now well gathered by Clee but Perry was unable to get in a shot from Clee's cross (20 mins). From another Clee feed, Wilkinson poked an effort to the keeper (22 mins). Next, Clee himself shot wide after Rodgers had won the ball well.

Half chances continued to come as an Alty freekick in his own half by Marshall led to a Rodgers header, wide (25 mins). Alty were still having most of the play but, on the counter-attack, Rushton got free from half way only for Coburn to beat his shot away smartly (27 mins).

Despite still having most of the possession, all Alty had to show for it in the next few minutes was a Wilkinson shot which went very wide (34 mins). At last an Altrincham shot landed on target as a Reeves lay off allowed Moult to force a save by McMillan (37 mins).

When Marshall, who was playing well with Havern, conceded a freekick with a push, 35 yards centrally from goal, there seemed little danger but a tremendous freekick drive by Reynolds had to be kept out by Coburn, who beat it away (38 mins). A niggly spell followed as Wilkinson tripped Edwards, leaving Alty to have to scramble the ball clear and, then, Griffin fouled Arnison, leading to both being lectured by Mr. Lucas.

As half time approached, Barrow were on top. The half ended on a low note as Clee got himself needlessly booked deep in his own half for a foul on Burns. It was his sixth caution of the season (45 mins).


At half-time Walshaw came on for Perry and Barrow introduced Cowperthwaite for Arnison. There was now a stiff breeze behind Barrow as the game proceeded in a scrappy fashion before Clee won a corner on the left, which was cleared (51 mins). Next, the lively Rushton got clear and cut in but Coburn saved well.

Barrow looked more lively going forward than Alty who were subjected to some pressure culminating in a Barrow corner, off Griffin (58 mins). Alty could not get out of their own half till Walshaw won a throw on the left. Now Lawrie came on for Wilkinson as Walshaw and Burns were lectured for an off the ball argument.

After 68 minutes Walshaw forced a corner off Edwards, which was easily cleared. Alty's best chance of the game fell to Moult, following a Clee and Walshaw combination. But Moult volleyed over from ten yards (71 mins). It looked as if Altrincham's luck would be out today as Reeves now fed Walshaw who tapped the ball into the net but was given offside (72 mins). And then, another chance came and went; as Moult was about to shoot from inside the box, he was brought down by Edwards but a penalty was not given (74 mins).

At last, the pressure paid off as a good run by Walshaw saw him cut in and chip the ball, from the left of the box, and Reeves headed it into the net from close range (77 mins). Straightway, Parkinson came on for Harvey for Barrow and they immediately won a corner.

But the Alty pressure soon resumed as Rodgers's excellent ball put Walshaw through. He beat the keeper but hit the post (79 mins). Next, Walshaw was tripped on the edge of the box by Burns, who was booked. The freekick was just awful; Lawrie underhitting the effort badly and being several feet off target as well (82 mins).

With Barrow still under pressure, Walshaw won a corner but then, on the counter, a long ball almost allowed Parkinson to get it past Coburn. As the regulation ninety minutes ended, the already booked Burns was all over Walshaw, to concede a freekick. However, three added minutes could not change the score in a match in which Alty's late pressure so nearly secured a win. But the slow start had left them too much to do and two points were lost.