ALDERSHOT TOWN (2) 3 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Saturday, 9 August 2014, at 3pm
Any doubts that Altrincham may have had about the challenges of the national division of the Conference were confirmed by this defeat at Aldershot. Altrincham played reasonably well in the first half but two pieces of defensive slackness saw them 0-2 down at the break.
Brett Williams opened the scoring after 10 minutes after the Shots had got the better of Mike Williams. Roberts converted a Scott cross from the left to make it 2-0 after 34 minutes.
Alty brought on Leather and Marshall at the interval. However, The Shots laid siege to the Alty goal at the start of the second period and scored a third goal after 51 minutes when a low cross from the right was allowed to cross the goalmouth for Scott to net.
Altrincham kept going and a good finish from Nicky Clee from a Gillespie feed made it 3-1 (59 mins). But there was no way back and Stuart Coburn had to make several excellent saves to keep the score at 3-1.
- 10 mins: Brett WILLIAMS (Aldershot Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 34 mins: Jordan ROBERTS (Aldershot Town 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 51 mins: Josh SCOTT (Aldershot Town 3 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 59 mins: Nicky CLEE (Aldershot Town 3 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr. Christopher Powell
ATTENDANCE: 1,964 (111 in away section)
Altrincham boss, Lee Sinnott, went for a defensive pairing of Mike Williams with Luca Havern and for Lawrie and Cavanagh in central midfield in preference to Moult and Richman. Richman, however, played on right midfield. Sean Williams was unavailable due to a family problem and Altrincham elected not to name a keeper on the bench.
ALDERSHOT TOWN (Red and blue): 1. Phil Smith, 2. Joe Oastler, 4. Damon Lathrope, 5. Glenn Wilson, 6. Chris Barker, 8. Mark Molesley, 16. Kieron Forbes, 14. Jordan Roberts, 9. Brett Williams, 11. Josh Scott, 12. Jaydon Gibbs. Subs: 13. Dan Thomas, 3. Anthony Tonkin, 18. Joseph N’Guessan, 10. Dan Fitchett, 19. Thomas Derry.
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, black shorts): 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 5. Gianluca Havern, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Steven Gillespie, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee, 12. Mike Williams, 25. Peter Cavanagh. Subs: 6. Scott Leather, 14. Kyle Perry, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 16. Tom Marshall, 19. Ryan Crowther,
This was Altrincham's first match back in the national tier of non-league football but it signalled their fourth spell at that level.
Mike Garnett kindly provides us with the statistical record between Altrincham and Aldershot Town:
- At Altrincham p3-w1-d1-l1-f6-a3
- Away p4-w2-d1-l1-f5-a3
- All games p7-w3-d2-l2-f11-a6
There was a minute's silence before kick off to remember those who had died or given service in World War One. Altrincham kicked off in bright sunshine, towards the end where their supporters were housed.
The Shots did not start particularly well, with keeper Smith twice slicing kicks and Brett Williams penalised for handball. In fact, Alty got in the first meaningful shot, a long-range Griffin effort but it was comfortably saved (4 mins). Aldershot responded as Molesley fed Gibbs. His cross from the right was too high, however, and Town man Roberts was hurt in going for it, prompting the earliest of drinks breaks after just 5 minutes.
But Altrincham were not able to consolidate on their decent start to the game as, in the 10th minute, Aldershot got past Mike Williams on the Alty left, about 35 yards from goal. The Alty defender was unable to get back in time to stop a ball being played in to Brett Williams by Scott. Claims of offside went unanswered and he scored with a low finish (10 mins).
A quick throw from Clee almost reached Reeves but the keeper punched clear (15 mins). Play remained fairly even, though Griffin was lectured for a foul and captain Densmore was called over to hear the referee's words. Alty then had a chance when Reeves was tripped 25 yards out, centrally. But Densmore put the freekick into the wall (22 mins).
However, soon, a Griffin cross found Gillespie but his awkward header went well over the goal. Alty continued to see a lot of the ball without displaying the guile to open up Aldershot's defence. Successsive fouls on Reeves and Gillespie helped Altrincham's cause but neither freekick produced any goal threat (29 mins).
At the other end, a smart backheel by Brett Williams to Gibbs led to a good save at the near post by Coburn, conceding a corner (33 mins). Though this was cleared, moments later Scott was put clear up the left and his low cross was converted by the unmarked Roberts to make it 2-0 (34 mins).
Mike Williams was now wearing a blood shirt for reasons that were not clear before a Reeves lay off to Gillespie saw the ex-Colchester striker execute an impressive chip which Smith only just tipped over the bar for a corner (37 mins). Alty continued to threaten as Smith punched a cross clear just ahead of Richman and, then, Gillespie won a freekick, 30 yards out centrally. He took the kick himself but curled his effort wide (39 mins).
Following Clee's cross, Reeves miskicked in the box but, not long afterwards, yet another foul on Gillespie gave Alty another freekick which came to nothing.
As the game approached three added minutes, Alty's Williams was penalised for holding, following which a Roberts 35 yarder was saved. Half time arrived with the Shots in control but Altrincham having given a decent account of themselves.
|Half-Time: ALDERSHOT TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the break, Alty's vulnerable left side of defence was changed as Leather and Marshall replaced Griffin and Williams. So there was now a back three of Marshall, Havern and Leather and Clee and Densmore were deployed as wing backs.
Aldershot sustained some early pressure on Altrincham. First, Lathrope chipped an effort just over the bar before a Cavanagh error led to a low cross, which Marshall cleared for a corner. Two more corners followed in quick order and finally the pressure told.
A low cross from the right touchline, about thirty yards from the byline was allowed to drift across the penalty area with Coburn half coming for it. It reached Scott who scored Aldershot's third (52 mins).
After a Cavanagh foul on Roberts there was a bit of a fracas and Cavanagh was booked (53 mins). Alty had barely got out of their half in this period but, after Clee had been fouled in his own half, Gillespie put Clee clear up the inside left channel and he slotted home a low shot across Smith to make it 3-1 (59 mins).
Just after the hour mark Marshall did well and fed Gillespie who put the bouncing ball just over the bar. Gillespie was then subbed by Perry (62 mins). Next, Havern was booked for a foul on Scott on the touchline before the hosts won another corner, which Leather cleared.
After this, a Lawrie foul on Forbes earned him a card and led to another corner, followed by a second. Alty almost scored in the 68th minute when a fine Clee run led to a cross which only just evaded the stretching boot of Reeves.
Stevenage loanee N'Guessan now came on for Molesley (69 mins). Alty were still in the game as Richman and, then, Perry, both won freekicks. At the other end, Williams nutmegged Havern and fed the lively N'Guessan who forced a fine, one-handed save, low to his left, by Coburn (72 mins).
Next, a Shots' freekick found N'Guessan whose effort just cleared the bar before the same player won a corner from which an Oastler header was cleared by a defender (75 mins). New striker Fitchett replaced Roberts before Altrincham broke forward but Perry was deemed offside from Reeves's feed (78 mins).
Though Alty won three freekicks, time was ticking away before Shots' Fitchett scuffed a shot wide (90 mins). In the four added minutes Derry replaced Brett Williams and N'Guessan forced a fine save, as Coburn beat out his shot. In the dying seconds Wilson was booked after a clash with Perry.
Altrincham could have few complaints at the outcome but they will need to learn from this reverse which will have taught them how at this level errors tend to have more serious consequences than they did in Conference North.
|Full-Time: ALDERSHOT TOWN 3 ALTRINCHAM 1|