ALTRINCHAM (1) 1 HARROGATE TOWN (1) 3
played on Tuesday, 11 March 2014, at 7.45pm
The game started brightly but Alty lost Leather to injury inside twenty minutes. Town took a 33rd minute lead when a freekick from near half way was nodded on and poked home from close range by Worsford. Alty were then lucky to see a Coburn punch from a Harrogate header go onto his own bar.
However, a fine Alty move ended with Reeves converting Clee's cross from the left for the equalizer after 41 minutes. That was to be as good as it got.
Six minutes after the break Richman, in attempting to block, saw the ball rebound to Hall who rounded Coburn to score from right of goal. It became 3-1 when a ball up the middle set Nelthorpe free to lob Coburn after 69 minutes.
Alty could have few complaints; they were beaten by the better side
- 33 mins: Ashley WORSFORD (ALTRINCHAM 0 Harrogate Town 1)
- 41 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Harrogate Town 1)
- 51 mins: Chris HALL (ALTRINCHAM 1 Harrogate Town 2)
- 69 mins: Craig NELTHORPE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Harrogate Town 3)
REFEREE: Mr S. Copeland
Altrincham started with the team that finished against Brackley last Saturday.
ALTRINCHAM(Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and socks)
|1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Carl Rodgers 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 7. Simon Richman, 8. Jake Moult, 9. James Walshaw, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs. 12. Tom Marshall, 14. Matt Doughty, 15. Joe Mwasile, 16. Kyle Perry, 17. James Lawrie|
HARROGATE TOWN(All blue)
|1. Craig McGillivray, 2. Dwayne Samuels, 3. Dave Merris, 4. Anton Brown, 5. Matt Heath, 6. Leigh Franks, 7. Conor Sellars, 8. Adam Nowakowski, 9. Chris Hall, 10. Ashley Worsfold, 11. Dominic Rowe, Subs 12. Joe Ironside, 14. Adam Bolder, 15. Craig Nelthorpe, 16. Steve Mallory, 17. Michael Woods,|
Mike Garnett's reveals the record in all matches between Alty and Harrogate Town:
- At Altrincham P5-W3-D1-L1-F11-A6
- At Harrogate P6-W1-D1-L4-F7-A12
- All P11-W4-D2-L5-F18-A18
Harrogate won the reverse fixture this season, 3-2.
Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road and, inside the first minute, Damian Reeves turned cleverly past Heath, after which a cross from the right went to keeper McGillivray.
After a Town freekick near halfway, a resulting shot went wide before Altrincham threatened again when a cross narrowly evaded Walshaw in the Town goalmouth (3 mins).
Both sets of fans were in good voice as a Reeves header went just wide but he was given offside anyway. A robust challenge by Franks flattened Reeves but he was only lectured by Mr Copeland. Clee's freekick from 40 yards out narrowly cleared his team mates' heads in the box (7 mins).
The bright opening from Altrincham continued as a Clee long throw won a corner and then a Walshaw cross from the right byline proved too strong to find Clee.
When Franks challenged Walshaw, the Alty man ended on the ground, but Mr Copeland interpreted the incident as a dive and booked the Altrincham striker (13 mins). Undeterred, Walshaw soon won another corner, on the left. Taken by Moult, McGillivray punched clear, only for a resulting Moult effort to end up in the keeper's arms.
A Brown foul on Moult was soon followed by a stoppage as Scott Leather needed treatment, to what seemed to be an injury to his left hip. Town's no nonsense approach continued as Alty won another freekick, from which the keeper punched clear only for Clee to fire the loose ball over the bar.
Leather went down again and was unable to continue, so Tom Marshall replaced him at centre-back (19 mins).
20: After yet another Alty freekick, Walshaw went down but again won no recognition from Mr Copeland. After a Densmore cross had been cleared, a Richman effort was blocked after a Franks error (26 mins).
Following a good Densmore run, Moult forced another save from Walshaw's feed, a corner resulting, quickly followed by a second, which McGillivray caught from Moult's kick (30 mins).
Play switched to the other end, where a Rowe cross won Town a corner, which Nowakowski headed just wide. When Richman was penalised for "foot up" near half way, there seemed little danger. But from left of centre, the freekick by Sellars from 50 yards was nodded on and poked home by Worsford from close range to give the visitors the lead (33 mins).
It could have been 2-0 moments later as Sellars lashed a shot across the face of Alty's goal from the left after a good Harrogate move. Then, as Alty continued to seem stunned by the Harrogate opening goal, Town won another header in the box which Coburn could only help onto the woodwork, with some Town fans claiming that the ball had crossed the goal-line (35 mins).
Reeves continued to look lively for Altrincham and he now fed Clee, who forced a save at the near post (39 mins). However, Altrincham soon got back on level terms as a fine move from the back ended with Clee's low cross from the left, which Reeves swept into the net from close range (41 mins).
Having lost Leather to injury, Richman now had to go off with a facial injury after seeming to be knocked over on the touchline. A couple of minutes later Richman returned wearing a blood shirt (45 mins). Each side won and misused a freekick in the added time before the interval.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 HARROGATE TOWN 1|
Soon after Town had restarted the game, there was a foul on Moult then the freekick was blocked. Referee Copeland lectured Heath as a consequence (46 mins).
The first threat of the half arrived as Worsford did well and Coburn had to tip his effort over the bar from 30 yards (48 mins). Three minutes later, Richman, facing his own goal, some 25 yards out, attempted to block the ball but saw it rebound into the path of Hall, who rounded Coburn to score from right of goal; 2-0 (51 mins).
When Franks kicked the ball away at an Alty freekick, Mr Copeland finally produced his yellow card for the Harrogate defender (53 mins). After 55 minutes, Densmore won a corner on the right, and soon afterwards Brown was booked for fouling Clee as he got to the edge of the Town box (57 mins).
However, Moult struck the freekick into the wall. At the other end, Clee lost the ball to Rowe, who went past Havern but fired well over the bar. Next, Rodgers fired over the bar after a Griffin cross had been cleared to him outside the box (64 mins).
However, Alty then had a major escape as a long ball set Worsford free but he shot off target (64 mins). Now Nelthorpe came on for Town's Sellars, having first having to remove his jewellery (65 mins).
Again, a ball up the middle caused problems to Altrincham; this time, it set Nelthorpe free and he lobbed Coburn to make it 3-1 to the Yorkshiremen (69 mins).
Now, a Rodgers foul got him booked as Alty now found themselves being outplayed and out-muscled by a determined Harrogate, who were closing down their opponents efficiently. To make things worse, the home side's moves kept breaking down in the final third of the pitch with both forced and unforced errors.
Altrincham tried to spark some more forward momentum as Mwasile came on for Rodgers after 75 minutes. Four minutes later both sides made a substitution; Altrincham brought on Perry for Griffin and Hall went off for Town and Ironside came on
As time ticked away, the nearest to an Alty comeback was Reeves's diving header, which went wide. Harrogate continued to be dangerous on the counter attack, as Worsford was only just halted after getting into the box. Three added minutes made no change to the score. Harrogate span out time by bringing on Woods for Worsford in the closing stages.
So, Altrincham failed to capitalize on their games-in-hand advantage and, instead, slipped to fifth in the league table. They remain well placed to qualify for the play offs but cannot afford many more lapses like tonight's.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 HARROGATE TOWN 3|