ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 LINCOLN CITY (1) 2
played on Tuesday, 12 August 2014, at 7.45pm
A strong Lincoln City side overpowered an Altrincham team which showed four changes from the opening day reverse at Aldershot. Reeves, Clee, Richman and Mike Williams were replaced by Perry, Crowther, Sean Williams and Marshall. As on Saturday, Alty conceded an early goal, with Burrow heading his side ahead after 12 minutes. The home cause was not helped by the loss of captain Shaun Densmore with a toe injury after a foul challenge, one of many which did not endear the visitors to the home crowd.
Nine minutes from time Lincoln made it 2-0 when Newton's advance and cross from the left was converted by Robinson.
Altrincham got a consolation goal deep into added time when substitute Reeves took advantage of hesitation between the keeper and defender to lob the ball into the net.
- 12 mins: Jordan BURROW (ALTRINCHAM 0 LINCOLN CITY 1)
- 81 mins: Conner ROBINSON (ALTRINCHAM 0 LINCOLN CITY 2)
- 90+3 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 LINCOLN CITY 2)
REFEREE: Mr. Adrian Holmes
Altrincham employed squad rotation as four of Saturday's starters were replaced. Perry, Crowther, Sean Williams and Marshall came into the team as Reeves, Clee and Richman were named on the bench whilst Mike Williams missed out altogether. Scott Leather's work meant he was unavailable.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Steven GILLESPIE, 14. Kyle PERRY, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 18. Sean WILLIAMS, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 25. Peter CAVANAGH. Subs: 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN,10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 15. Greg WILKINSON.
LINCOLN CITY (All blue) 26. Nick TOWNSEND, 17. Jake CAPRICE, 6. Tony DIAGNE, 23. Nat BROWN, 3. Sean NEWTON, 5. Hamza BENCHERIF, 14. Jon NOLAN, 8. Alan POWER, 22. Marcus MARSHALL, 9. Jordan BURROW, 11. Ben TOMLINSON. Subs: 7. Sahr KABBA, 10. Karl LEDSHAM, 12. Arnaud MENDY, 16. Conner ROBINSON, 1. Paul FARMAN.
This was Altrincham's first home match of the season, following a 1-3 defeat at Aldershot Town.
Mike Garnett kindly provides us with the statistical record between Altrincham and Lincoln City:
- At Altrincham p2-w1-d1-l0-f3-a2
- Away p1-w0-d0-l1-f0-a5
- All games p3-w1-d1-l1-f3-a7
Alty kicked off towards Golf Road and immediately won a corner on the right. But in the second minute Densmore was caught late by Tomlinson who got away with a lecture. The Alty captain received lengthy treatment but carried on. The first warning for Altrincham came when from a Tomlinson cross, Nolan headed over (4 mins).
When Gillespie dispossessed Brown on Alty's left, he advanced and found Lawrie but he could not control the cross. Gillespie continued to be a nuisance to City and he again robbed Brown but once again the move ended with Lawrie. However, Alty had started well (10 mins).
Then a Caprice cross from the right won Lincoln a corner off Griffin. From the corner, the ball was worked into a cross from the right which Burrow converted at the back post to give The Imps the lead (12 mins).
For Altrincham, Gillespie fed Cavanagh who fired well over from 25 yards. However, Altrincham’s defensive vulnerability was shown again when from a right-wing cross, Burrow's downward header hit the base of Coburn's left post and rebounded to the grateful keeper (17 mins).
Alty replied as Crowther won a corner from which a Gillespie header was flicked across the face of goal. But Shaun Densmore now went down and was unable to continue as the effects of the early foul on him were too much. He had suffered a toe injury which meant he had to be replaced. It was midfielder Jake Moult who came on at right-back, with Havern assuming the captaincy; (19 mins).
Lincoln's robust approach continued as Marcus Marshall clattered Griffin, but then Cavanagh was penalised in the centre circle. The lively Gillespie now saw a shot saved from a Lawrie feed. Sean Williams's follow through from a tackle caught Brown who needed treatment but no foul was given.
When Sean Williams broke upfield and fed Perry on the left, the striker only managed to redirect the ball disappointingly to the keeper (30 mins). Then the industrious Williams interchanged passes with Crowther and Williams's effort had to be cleared in the goalmouth by a defender. Alty continued to get forward as, now, a strong Crowther drive was saved by Townsend (32 mins).
For Lincoln, Bencherif beat Cavanagh and from 30 yards forced a fine push over the bar by Coburn for a corner, which was cleared by Cavanagh then Moult. Another Lincoln corner soon followed, off Havern (34 mins). Yet again Gillespie won the ball off a Lincoln player but strangely tried a 55 yarder which he scuffed to the keeper.
When Bencherif brought down Cavanagh he was rightly booked (37 mins) and after treatment the midfielder was able to resume. The fouls continued, however, as Griffin was brought down, followed shortly by another freekick for Altrincham from a robust challenge. As half time approached it was Marshall who was felled but referee Holmes continued to show a reluctance to produce his yellow cards further.
So, Alty trailed at the break after a decent performance but they were being beaten by a physically strong and powerful side and were getting questionable protection from the referee.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 LINCOLN CITY 1|
Four minutes into the second period a Cavanagh foul on Newton saw the City man immediately retaliate by barging into the Alty midfielder. Cavanagh was booked but not Newton (49 mins).
More fine play by Gillespie on the left saw him let fly with a superb shot which came back off the bottom of the bar and was cleared. Alty's new striker has been denied by the woodwork in virtually every game he has played for Alty to date. Next, a Crowther 20 yarder was saved (51 mins).
Another Imps' corner prompted some desperate defending from Alty who, nevertheless, were enjoying good vocal support. Two more Lincoln corners were seen off before Power's trip on Gillespie prompted physio treatment for the Alty man (55 mins). Power was cautioned. A Griffin 35 yarder was fielded by Townsend before a Sean Williams run earned a corner on the left, which was cleared to Williams who poked a shot over the bar from 20 yards (58 mins).
On the hour, Mendy replaced Marcus Marshall and soon afterwards Robinson replaced Tomlinson (63 mins). After 67 minutes Gillespie was penalised and in the context of some of the unpunished challenges was unfortunate to see a yellow card. Now Clee and Reeves came on for Perry and Crowther (68 mins).
Alty were now penned back and the pressure led to Moult being penalised just outside the box. However Newton's freekick was more like a very high rugby conversion kick than a serious threat on goal as it sailed into Golf Road (74 mins).
After a good Altrincham move, a Lawrie cross was saved, at which point Ledsham came on for Power for the visitors (79 mins). It was now Mendy's turn to launch a shot into orbit but within a minute City had scored. Newton advanced on the left and from his low cross, Robinson scored from close range (81 mins)>
Altrincham responded with a blocked Reeves shot, followed by a Gillespie effort which went narrowly wide. Next, Lawrie fired wide from 20 yards (85 mins). As time ticked by, Williams curled a shot wide before Havern advanced only for Williams to fire over the bar. In the three added minutes Griffin seemed to be hauled down in the box but nothing was given before an impressive Marshall tackle halted Burrow.
In the third added minute defensive indecision between keeper Townsend and defender Diagne saw Reeves hook the ball over the advancing Townsend for a consolation goal. There was time for a final half- chance but Gillespie fired well over from 30 yards.
For the second time in a week Altrincham, had learned that Conference Premier football is a harsh environment where physical strength counts at least as much as ball-playing skill.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 LINCOLN CITY 2|