Match Report


Skrill North match
played on Wednesday, 26 March 2014, at 7.45pm


After BPA had started well, Altrincham played some excellent football to take a 2-0 lead. Walshaw netted the first after good work by Reeves had got the ball to Richman, whose effort had been blocked by the keeper before falling to the scorer (11 mins). Reeves himself netted the second, in the 27th minute, after a mis-header by Knowles had allowed Richman to get to the byline. From right of goal, Reeves converted his cross.

But Alty allowed BPA back into the game, after 43 minutes, when Deacey was allowed to run unchallenged from the left and fire past Coburn to make it 2-1 at the break.

After 66 minutes Qualter was sent off for a "last man" foul on Walshaw just outside the box. Walshaw later scored from a Lawrie corner (74 mins) before Perry added a late fourth with a well-struck shot (89 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Ian Dudley

For Alty Rodgers replaced Moult and Samberg came into the squad in place of Wilkinson. BPA started unchanged from their last game but brought in new loanee, Harris, on the bench. They arrived with a record of four succcessive clean sheets.



(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. James Lawrie, 8. Simon Richman, 9. James Walshaw, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Tom Marshall, 14. Matt Doughty, 15. Jake Moult, 16.Kyle Perry, 17. Josh Samberg


(Green and white)
1. John Lamb, 2. Grant Black, 3. Martin Drury, 4. Richard Marshall, 5. James Knowles, 6. Ryan Qualter, 7. Jordan Deacey, 8. Nathan Hotte (capt), 9. Chibuzor Chilaka, 10. Paul Beesley, 11. Paul Walker. Subs: 12. Chris Howarth, 14. Scott Maxfield, 15. Nick Boshell, 16. Spencer Harris, 17. Adam Clayton.



Before the Match

Mike Garnett's reveals the record in all matches between Alty and Bradford Park Avenue.

The reverse fixture this season was won by Altrincham 4-2.


In light but steady rain, on a cold night, Bradford PA kicked off towards the small band of their travelling supporters. After a quiet start, and following a BPA freekick from near halfway, Deacey played the ball left, from a central position, and Coburn was forced to save full-length, to his left, from the resulting shot (2 mins).

After five minutes of play, Altrincham likewise forced a save from the opposition goalkeeper, Reeves being the player to threaten the goal. But the visitors shaded the opening stages and, soon, more skill from Deacey fed Chilaka, who prompted another good save from Coburn (7 mins).

Play became end to end as, now, Clee broke forward to feed Walshaw but the latter shot well wide, from right of goal. Play remained very open as, first, Marshall shot wide and then Chilaka did well to set up Hotte who, likewise, missed the target.

After Leather had cleared a BPA freekick from 40 yards out, Reeves advanced up the middle. As he was clattered simultaneously by two players, he managed to slip the ball forward to the unmarked Richman. Richman paused, but keeper Lamb refused to commit himself and the Alty man's shot went straight at the keeper. Fortunately for Alty, it bounced to the right where the unmarked Walshaw put it into the net to give Altrincham the lead (11 mins).

End to end play continued as the rain eased off but, after their goal, Altrincham had the better of proceedings. After 22 minutes, a Clee shot deflected towards Walshaw but he could not gather it but, soon afterwards, the striker got in a firm effort which Lamb held at the second attempt after a good move involving Richman.

Next, a Densmore cross won a corner, from a Clee feed, and from Clee's corner the ball was met by a firm Havern header, which the keeper beat out (25 mins). A ball up the middle was then mis-headed, partly behind him, by Knowles. This allowed Richman to get towards the byline and cross from the right. Reeves met the cross to score from close range, making it 2-0 (27 mins).

Altrincham now played some excellent football as, first Densmore made an impressive run and then, after he had been fouled, Lawrie put a freekick just wide (30 mins). After Leather had been penalised for holding, Coburn did have to punch clear but the visitors' manager had clearly decided that major changes were needed. So, he made a double substitution after just 32 minutes. Maxfield came on for Hotte and Nicky Boshell for Marshall.

Another fine Densmore run and cross, followed by Reeves's header, which was saved, underlined how well Altrincham were playing. In the 36th minute the hard-working Reeves beat the BPA keeper to the ball and, from wide of goal on the right, he hooked the ball goalwards but it was cleared as it drifted a little wide. But BPA now threatened as Walker got past Griffin and his cross-cum-shot flew across the face of Altrincham's goal.

With Clee largely operating in the centre of the pitch, he got in a shot which Lamb pushed out after a good build-up move (39 mins). Next, a Griffin cross was cleared as Alty remained on top. But then Altrincham let their guard slip. The impressive Deacey was allowed to run 30 yards infield, unchallenged, from left of centre, before shooting past Coburn from the edge of the box, possibly with the help of a deflection. So Alty's lead had been halved (43 mins).

Just before the interval Maxfield was booked after he lunged at Clee. The resulting Lawrie freekick, from the right, yielded a corner but half-time arrived moments later. Alty had played some excellent football, moving the ball with speed and purpose, but had allowed BPA back into it by standing off Deacey as he ran at them.


There was a delay to the start of the second half as referee Mr Dudley was unable to continue. However, unlike when this happened to Altrincham at Colwyn Bay earlier this season, the managers agreed to a replacement qualified official from the crowd to act as assistant referee and play resumed less than ten minutes late. Whereas the first half had seen the assistants operating in the outside-left quadrants, they now reverted to the more customary outside-right arrangement.

An early Altrincham corner came off Havern to the keeper and, then, Clee hooked an effort wide as Altrincham started brightly (48 mins). From a Clee cross, Lawrie volleyed wide before Simon Richman was put through but took too heavy a touch (52 mins). Not long afterwards, however, Richman forced a save after BPA had lost possession. Next, Lawrie won a corner whilst, at the other end, an underhit effort from Boshell ran to Coburn (57 mins).

From a Rodgers-Lawrie combination, Walshaw now hit the side netting before Lamb had to be down smartly to hold the ball at Reeves's feet from a Walshaw feed (60 mins). But Altrincham now again let Deacey run at them and, soon afterwards, the visitors won a corner.

In the 66th minute BPA made their final change as Howarth replaced Beesley. Within a minute, Bradford were reduced to ten men as the "last man", Qualter clearly pulled back the escaping Walshaw on the edge of the penalty area. However, Walshaw put the freekick into the wall and then shot wide from the rebound.

After a couple more Alty moves had foundered, Deacey again caused problems for the hosts as he ran at them with pace. But now Clee won a right-sided corner. Taken well by Lawrie, the curling ball dropped onto Walshaw near the line and went into the net (74 mins). Walshaw emerged, holding his "abdomen" and briefly crouched down, winded, which indicated how the ball had entered the net!

After Richman had won the ball well, he received a return pass but fired high and wide from right of goal. On another night the midfielder could have had a hat-trick (76 mins). At a throw-in, the referee booked Deacey for dissent (78 mins).

After Chilaka had hit the side netting, Altrincham introduced Perry for Walshaw, with six minutes of normal time remaining. Alty continued to push forward against the ten men and, after Perry had done well, Clee hit the base of the far post from left of goal (88 mins). Moments later an excellent feed from Reeves found Perry who held off a challenge to score with a strong shot past Lamb from the edge of the box to make it 4-1 (89 mins). The goal made him the third Altrincham player to reach double figures in league matches this season, after Walshaw (21 goals) and Reeves (15 goals).

In the final minute Doughty came on for Clee but he had little chance to impress as only one minute of added time was played, despite there being three second-half substitutions.

Altrincham were deserved winners and had played some of their best football for some weeks, especially in the first half. They moved up to third place in the table in adavance of Saturday's trip to Colwyn Bay where they will be hoping that the curse ofthe injured referee does not recur.