Match Report


Skrill North match
played on Saturday, 12 April 2014, at 3.07pm


Altrincham played poorly in the first half as NFU looked much the stronger side and were able to find their men better than the hosts. Alty fell behind when a freekick for offside, taken by the NFU keeper deep in his own half, was not dealt with by Altrincham and it resulted in Havern seeming to hook the ball over Coburn, who was near the six-yard line. However, Kendall was credited with the goal (15 mins).

Referee Mr Oldham then became the third official to fail to complete an Altrincham game this season when he found himself unable to continue through injury in the 27th minute. After a 12 minute delay, a qualified linesman took over on the line and assistant referee Mr Mulhall took charge of the match. Ironically, Premiership ref Anthony Taylor was at the game but not allowed to take over as he has a match scheduled for tomorrow.

Having brought on Tom Marshall and moved to a back three at the interval, Alty improved in the second half, without threatening a goal till Perry headed over a good cross from Walshaw after 74 minutes. Then, soon after coming on, Wilkinson equalised after Marshall had won a header from a freekick (79 mins). A spirited second-half showing had earned Altrincham a deserved point.


REFEREE: Mr Scott Oldham, till replaced by Mr Sam Mulhall, after 27 minutes, because of injury.


NFU had mid-week injury doubts about Matt Wilson, Gregg Anderson, Jon D’Laryea, Danny Clarke and Dean Lisles due to injuries and, of these, only Clarke started today. Striker Anthony Wilson was out, suspended.

For Altrincham, Damian Reeves and Simon Richman were not fit but Damian was able to warm up on the pitch with the recovering Mike Williams. Youth midfielder Jeff King, John King's nephew, was on the bench for the first time in a league match.


(Red and 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. Jake Moult, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. James Walshaw, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Tom Marshall, 14. Matt Doughty, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 16. Jeff King, 18. Russ Saunders


(Yellow with green trim)
1. Adam Nicklin, 2. Paul Robson, 3. Josh Wilde, 4. Liam King, 5. Mark Gray, 6. Daniel Hone, 7. Danny Clarke, 8. Russell Fry, 9. Ryan Kendall, 10. Nathan Jarman, 11. Jamie Yates. Subs: 12. Steve Gardner, 13. Antoni Pecora, 14. Lewis McMahon, 15. Danny Emerton, 16. Nathan Peat.


Mike Garnett's records reveal the record in all matches between Alty and NFU.

Today's game kicked off at 3.07pm, in keeping with other leagues whose games have been put back in memory of the "Hillsborough 96". It was North Ferriby United's first visit to Altrincham.

Nicky Clee received his Player of the Month award before the game from Bill King, chairman of the Football Conference.


Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road and won a freekick inside the opening minute. But Lawrie's kick, from 25 yards, was cleared. But the opening stages were to prove, otherwise, uneventful. Another Alty freekick arrived in the fifth minute, on the left of the front edge of the NFU box.

The generally scrappy fare continued as Walshaw was give offside (8 mins). After Clee had won a corner, which came to nothing, Walshaw was caught offside again. For NFU, Jarman forced a good block from Coburn, at the cost of a corner, after the ball had been played in from the left (11 mins)>

In the 14th minute, Walshaw was again caught just offside, from a fine Densmore ball. From well into his own half goalkeeper Nicklin's freekick led to a stretching Havern, facing his own goal, hook the ball over Coburn, who was a few yards off his goal-line, as he tried to clear. NFU's Kendall must have got a touch as he was credited with the goal (15 mins).

After a Jarman volley over the bar, Alty manager Lee Sinnott vented his dissatisfaction with team's performance as they struggled to impose themselves on the game (20 mins). But there was no immediate improvement as now. A high ball towards the Altrincham box saw Leather and Griffin in a mix up, which ended in the latter's clearance to Clarke who shot just wide.

NFU's robust attitude to the game continued as Robson came in late on Clee and the NFU man was booked (23 mins). In the 26th minute, Mr. Oldham had a quiet word with Neil Tolson in the Alty technical area. As Neil then went down the tunnel it looked as if he had been sent off but it soon emerged that the referee was carrying an injury and was seeking help,

So, for the third time this season, a referee had gone lame whilst officiating at an Altrincham game (27 mins). After several minutes of confusion, including a touchline discussion with Premiership referee Anthony Taylor, who was in the crowd, all the officials left the pitch leaving the players trying to try to keep warm.

It later emerged that Anthony Taylor could not officiate as he had a match the next day. However, a qualified linesman was there and he was co-opted as a replacement linesman, allowing assistant referee Mr. Mulhall to take the referee's whistle. The new assistant was 15 year-old Jordan Crossley, who was to have a sound game.

Following a 12 minute delay, the game resumed in steady drizzle. (To make it clearer, timings from here on discount the period of suspended play). After the resumption, Walshaw got in a snap shot to the NFU keeper. When Moult and Hone went for the ball, Moult's boot seemed to catch Hone's face, conceding a freekick (29 mins).

Altrincham were still not firing on all cylinders, with too many misplaced passes and unforced errors. Just as NFU's Kendall was booked for encroachment, 12 added minutes were announced as it was now 45 minutes since the start of the match.

Yet again, Walshaw was soon judged offside (35 mins). At the other end, Rodgers missed an NFU cross but the ball skimmed wide off King's header. This half was quite reminiscent of the game at Telford recently, when Altrincham had likewise been second-best to a physically strong side whose organization had prevented Altrincham establishing their customary rhythm.

As half-time neared, an NFU freekick, on their right and some 35 yards out, was allowed to run across the Altrincham box for a goalkick. Then Clarke was allowed to run forward before gaining a freekick on the front corner of the home box, left of goal. When the freekick was taken, it was cleared to Clarke who lashed it high and wide, at which point the half-time whistle sounded, some twenty minutes later than normal given the 3.07pm kick off and the suspension of the game for the referee's injury.


The Altrincham management had seen enough and shook things up at the interval. They switched to a back three, with Tom Marshall coming on to replace Adam Griffin, and Shaun Densmore moving forward into midfield.

After Clee had been halted, following Walshaw's quick throw-in, Clee was booked for a foul in his own left defensive corner (49 mins). After the NFU freekick for this, King volleyed a shot over the bar. Next, Yates was fouled by Havern on the left front corner of the Alty box, but Moult cleared the freekick.

At last, Altrincham were now beginning to get forward with a bit more purpose. After Densmore's good pass fed Lawrie, he got the ball to Perry who won a fortunate corner. An Alty freekick for a foul on Rodgers, helped to maintain some momentum for the Robins. Clee's freekick led to a corner on the right, which Marshall glanced narrowly wide from Lawrie's kick (57 mins).

A Densmore freekick was cleared before a Lawrie mishit from 30 yards rolled out for a goalkick. It was then Perry's turn to be offside from a good Clee ball, before Walshaw was more controversially halted by the linesman's flag as he got free (63 mins).

Alty were now on top as Moult won a freekick, before Walshaw was dispossessed in the visitors' box. After this, yet again, Walshaw was flagged offside (65 mins).

The poor decision making by the Alty strikers continued as now Perry was caught offside, probably the eighth or ninth time Altrincham had been penalised in this way (67 mins). After this, a Lawrie nod put Walshaw through but keeper Nicklin and a defender cleared the danger, despite a mix up between them.

The visitors conceded another freekick, for a foul on Leather. Altrincham's best chance, to date, arrived after 74 minutes when Walshaw did well in the left of the box. His short cross gave the advancing Perry a free header but he headed disappointingly over the bar by a comfortable margin (74 mins). Alty were making most of the running but were unable, so far, to break through. NFU continued to concede freekicks as, now, Grey fouled Walshaw.

In the 77th minute, Moult was replaced by Wilkinson in midfield. Wilkinson had started just two of the previous 19 games but he was soon to have an impact on this match. Perry was fouled, 40 yards out, from goal and Hone was booked, and it had not been his first offence (78 mins). From the freekick, Marshall got his head to the ball and it fell to the right-centre of goal to Wilkinson who scored with a well-taken low shot from 15 yards, his fifth goal of the season for Altrincham (79 mins).

Steady rain was falling as Emerton replaced Yates for the visitors. When Walshaw was getting free of his marker, Hone, he went down under the challenge, but nothing was given. Hone was clearly holding Walshaw so the already booked defender was very fortunate. So irate was Lee Sinnott that the ref came over to speak to the Altrincham manager (84 mins).

NFU's Peat came on for Wilde (85 mins) and the visitors now won a corner from a Marshall header. After this, Coburn saved well from a header but NFU were offside, in any case. Jarman was penalised again soon afterwards. After the resulting freekick, Lawrie delayed whilst in possession and lost the ball. Another foul from Jarman yielded a freekick but no booking as the match went into three added minutes.

In added time, Clarke shot wide and, after that an Alty attack petered out leaving the sides deadlocked at 1-1. Though Altrincham have now failed to win any of their eight games against the other teams in the top five, they have also secured a draw against each of these opponents, which is a more encouraging statistic. With Guiseley and Boston snapping at their heels, Altrincham travel to Oxford City on Tuesday night knowing that they need a win to help consolidate their play-off place.