Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Monday, 25 August 2014, at 3pm


A goal just before half time was enough to give Gateshead the points. It came when former Alty loanee Andrai Jones got a fortunate rebound which took him past a challenge and he fed Maddison, whose cross was headed in off the bar by Gateshead's shortest player, Chandler. Altrincham, who gave a debut to goalkeeper Parton and who were without the injured Clee, Densmore and Mike Williams, rarely looked like scoring. And with the referee giving out cards like confetti Alty had five men booked in game that was never over physical.


REFEREE: Mr John Brooks

Altrincham's Shaun Densmore was again sidelined by his broken toe, and Nicky Clee and Mike Williams also remained unfit. Making his debut, David Parton replaced Stuart Coburn in goal, whilst Peter Cavanagh returned as captain, replacing Ryan Crowther. Further forward, James Lawrie came in for Steven Gillespie. So Damian Reeves started as the lone front man.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 17. David PARTON, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 18. Sean WILLIAMS, 25. Peter CAVANAGH (capt). Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 14. Kyle PERRY, 15. Greg WILKINSON, 21. Jeff KING, 9. Steven GILLESPIE

GATESHEAD (Sky blue with claret trim) 13. Alex Baird, 2. Andrai Jones, 5. James Curtis, 6. Ben Clark, 7. John Oster, 8. Philip Turnbull, 4. Jamie Chandler, 9. Jon Shaw, 11. Marcus Maddison, 18. J J O'Donnell, 23. Alex Rodman. Subs: 10. Lewis Guy, 12. Robert Ramshaw, 15. Tom Allen, 16. Craig Baxter, 17.Meechak Kanda


Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record of Altrincham v Gateshead games.

Gateshead arrived after a 6-1 home defeat by Grimsby 48 hours earlier, while Altrincham had lost 2-1 at Southport to an injury-time winner.


On a breezy afternoon, Alty kicked off but the Heed won a first-minute corner on their left, which was cleared. The game was largely uneventful in the opening stages as Gateshead demonstrated their prowess at keeping the ball without remotely threatening a goal as a consequence.

When a ball came through to Reeves, up the middle, he poked it wide from the edge of the box, whilst under pressure. A Cavanagh foul on Maddison now earned him a lecture. The freekick, 40 yards out, was passed to Alty's Williams in error. Sean Williams then brought down Maddison as he got clear on the Gateshead right and the Alty midfielder was booked (11 mins).

But Gateshead executed another poor freekick as the ball was hit into the wall by Maddison. So far neither keeper had been troubled at all, with Maddison's shot from 25 yards, well off target, symptomatic of what was, so far, a poor spectacle for the crowd.

Gateshead were having the better of the game and transfer-target Maddison had a shot deflected out for a corner, after which Rodman fired wide from a long distance (18 mins). When Turnbull misjudged a bounce, he hauled back Moult and became Mr Brooks's second booking (20 mins). Two minutes later, Maddison won another corner, on the right, off Griffin. Again Alty cleared it but, again, there was no one upfield to receive the clearance.

Next, a Maddison shot went into the side netting as their wayward shooting continued. After Rodman had been tripped by Leather on the side-edge of the box, on Gateshead's left, Parton saw his first meaningful action as he cleanly caught the resulting fierce freekick (26 mins).

Alty's brightest moment to date arrived when Mr Brooks played a good advantage as Lawrie fed Griffin, who was held as he went forward. When the left-back was finally halted, the referee awarded Altrincham a freekick just outside the front of the box, left of centre. Williams's freekick hit a hand in the wall, but a corner not a penalty resulted.

After Griffin had won the ball, Williams won a corner on the left, after which a smart flick from Moult just evaded Reeves.

At the other end, Gateshead again passed the ball around well and this move ended with a save by Parton from Shaw (32 mins). The next ten minutes of play were pretty nondescript. As half time approached, a Cavanagh miskick led to Maddison scuffing a shot wide (42 mins). But then, a minute before the end of the half, Jones, a former Alty loanee, got a lucky rebound as he was challenged 40 yards out on the Gateshead right. He took advantage to go forward and feed Maddison. Maddison got past Griffin and his cross from the right was met by a header from Chandler, the smallest player on the visitors' side.

The header went in off the crossbar, as Alty again conceded a goal from a cross (44 mins). It got worse for Altrincham when Cavanagh picked up his third booking in four games for a foul near halfway (45+1 mins).


During the interval, on the pitch, Altrincham FC Chairman Grahame Rowley and Premiership referee Anthony Taylor underwent the Ice Bucket Challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

With the floodlights now on, water also began to dampen on the players as rain started to fall with the game going through another spell of uninspiring action, with no threat whatsoever of a goal at either end. After 52 minutes a Moult cross earned Altrincham a corner.

When a spell of Gateshead passing ended with an error, Reeves threatened to get free but Curtis hauled him down unceremoniously on the front edge of the box and received a deserved booking. Cavanagh put the freekick over the bar (56 mins). Another Alty freekick soon arrived, from which Lawrie's kick went off Marshall for a goalkick. For the second time, keeper Baird now almost lost the ball as he tried to clear with his feet.

Altrincham were not keeping the ball well and a mis-pass from Richman followed by a mis-control from Reeves underlined a stuttering performance. But things got better as Reeves fed Williams, whose well-struck shot had to be tipped over the bar. By some margin it was Alty's best effort of the game to date.

The visitors made the first change as Ramshaw came on for Turnbull (63 mins). Once again a Gateshead corner was cleared but there was again no one upfield to latch on to Altrincham's clearance (66 mins). Altrincham now introduced Gillespie for Lawrie (67 mins). When play resumed, a Leather foul earned him a fairly harsh yellow card (68 mins).

The booked Cavanagh escaped when he committed another foul but, as if to offset this leniency, Mr Brooks now booked Gillespie for what appeared a very minor transgression in an innocuous area of the pitch (72 mins). The tall Allan replaced O'Donnell, who took an age to leave the pitch, before Reeves was flattened by the previously booked Curtis, who avoided further punishment, other than a freekick, which Williams overhit disappointingly (75 mins).

At the back, Marshall continued to impress but the overall quality of the game remained poor. After 81 minutes Wilkinson replaced Williams and four minutes later Perry came on for Moult, giving Alty a three-man attack. Immediately, a Perry flick from a Leather ball won his side a corner. Reeves's header from Griffin's corner on the right forced Baird to a finger-tip save but Marshall skied the loose ball over the bar from the back post (87 mins).

Now Baxter replaced Maddison before Parton saved well with his feet from a Rodman shot; Shaw skied the rebound. As the game went into four added minutes, Rodman rounded Havern but shot wide. Later, on a counter attack, Chandler forced Parton to make another good save, for a corner. The visitors saw out the game to take all the points; they deserved the win but it was not particularly pretty watching.