ALFRETON TOWN (1) 1 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 9 September 2014, at 7.45pm
An 89th minute header by Kyle Perry from a Steven Gillespie corner rescued a point in a game which Altrincham should have won. As at Southport and Nuneaton, they had the better of this game before falling behind in the first half. Altrincham laid seige to the Alfreton goal in the closing stages and finally got their deserved reward.
- 42 mins: Joe IRONSIDE (Alfreton Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 89 mins: Kyle PERRY (Alfreton Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Jason Whiteley
Altrincham captain Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury but the side was further weakened by the absences of Nicky Clee (injured last Saturday) and Ryan Crowther (food poisioning). However, Mike Williams was available again on the bench after his injury and Greg Wilkinson returned to the squad.
For Alfreton, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner was suspended.
ALFRETON TOWN (Red) 20. Cameron Dawson, 2. Bradley Wood, 5. Luke Graham, 15. Jordan Keane, 16. Dan Gray, 7. Nathan Hicks, 12. Tom Shaw, 21. Andi Thanoj, 14. Jake Sheridan, 18. Joe Ironside, 17. Massian McDonald. SUBS: 8. Lee Stevenson, 9. Paul Clayton, 19. Bennie Igiehon. 22. Lawrence Gorman, 23. Karl Hawley
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow & blue) 17. Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh (capt), 18. Sean Williams, 7. James Lawrie, 14. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves. SUBS: 1. Stuart Coburn, 4. Jake Moult, 9. Steven Gillespie, 12. Mike Williams, 15. Greg Wilkinson.
This was Altrincham's first visit to the Impact Arena since March 2005 in Conference North and the venue had changed little since then. Mike Garnett's records show the tally in previous games between these sides...
- At Altrincham: P3-W1-D0-L2-F6-A3
- At Alfreton: P3-W2-D1-L0-F5-A0
- All games: P6-W3-D1-L2-F11-A3
Alfreton were seeking their first point after seven straight defeats this season.
Altrincham won the toss and elected to change ends and play up the slope in the first half. After Alfreton had kicked off, McDonald got to the left byline and crossed but the ball was cleared. However, the home side's early pressure continued as, following a Lawrie foul, Shaw's freekick from the Alfreton right led to McDonald heading over the bar (2 mins).
Richman was now hurt by a foul on his right shin before the visitors got forward, aided by Keane's sliced clearance. However, a shot from the recovered Richman was blocked after a Perry knock-down. Alfreton then re-exerted some pressure without seriously threatening to score. Their best chance at this stage came when McDonald got behind Griffin and the resulting Alty clearance led to a poor shot by Town (15 mins).
After an attack had faltered as Reeves was flagged offside from a Lawrie feed, a good move started by Williams ended with Lawrie shooting just wide from another astute Perry lay-off (17 mins).
Altrincham now enjoyed some possession and Perry, Reeves and Richman combined to allow Reeves a shot, which Dawson saved.
In the 20th minute came an Alfreton corner, followed soon afterwards by McDonald's fierce shot which just cleared the bar from 18 yards.
For Alty, a curling Lawrie ball just evaded stretching Reeves in the goalmouth before Lawrie himself went inches wide from another Perry lay off. A corner was awarded but this caused Alfreton no problems (25 mins).
With Altrincham now on top, Perry was fouled 22 yards from goal in a central position. Lawrie's freekick narrowly cleared the bar. Next, Lawrie played in another good ball for Reeves who, in one movement, chested the ball down and volleyed a shot which beat goalkeeper Dawson but struck the outside of the keeper's left post (28 mins).
But during the build up, Alfreton’s Hicks had fallen awkwardly and seemed to have suffered a serious left-shoulder injury. There was a six minute stoppage as Hicks was first put on a stretcher and then helped to walk off the pitch. He was substituted by Stevenson (34 mins).
The long break in play ended Altrincham's spell of pressure and reduced their tempo. Consequently, the next few minutes of play were fairly uneventful.
After an Alfreton throw, the ball came to Ironside, just outside the box. He twisted and turned cleverly as Marshall attempted to cover but the Alfreton man's shot found the net off the underside of the bar and, it seemed, a touch from goalkeeper Parton (42 mins).
So, as at Southport and Nuneaton already this season, Altrincham had been the better side in the first half, only to concede a goal before they had scored themselves.
The visitors did respond with a Lawrie curling shot which, for the third time, just cleared the bar. Keeper Dawson was already wasting time as six added minutes were announced for the first half. When the keeper again delayed proceedings, the referee signalled him to hurry up.
In added time, Marshall was caught upfield and Ironside once more twisted and turned on the edge of the box before feeding a team mate to his right who blasted his shot over the bar (45+4 mins).
Following a Leather throw, a low Lawrie shot again went close, this time inches wide of the near post (45+5 mins). So, for the fourth successive away game, Altrincham trailed at the interval.
|Half-Time: ALFRETON TOWN 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
The first real excitement of the second half came when Reeves was put through, slightly left of centre. A goal against one of his former clubs seemed likely but Dawson rushed out well to block the striker's shot (51 mins).
Alty were again looking the better side without creating any more clear openings. And at the other end, Altrincham were relieved to see a McDonald cross evade everyone in their box.
Altrincham continued to press as now a Griffin cross led to a Perry header back across goal which did not find a team mate (59 mins).
Ironside now won a corner off Havern but after Parton had dropped the ball, he was awarded a freekick. Play was more even now and an Alfreton corner arrived in the 63rd minute.
Next, Keane was booked for a foul on Perry but Lawrie hit a low freekick into the wall. Now, McDonald went off and Hawley came on for Alfreton (65 mins).
For the second time in the half, Reeves got clear, left of centre, but his shot went into the side netting. At this point Gillespie and Moult came on for Sean Williams and Griffin, prompting a change to a back three (68 mins).
After an Ironside shot had been blocked, Gillespie won a corner (71 mins). With Richman hobbling, Altrincham nevertheless took the game to Alfreton as they sought an equalizer.
Gillespie and, then, Perry each won a freekick. From the second of these Perry won Moult's freekick but Gillespie saw his shot blocked for a corner on right. Next, centre back Havern got forward and had a shot blocked (76 mins).
When Gray felled an opponent he became Alfreton's second booking (77 mins). But the Alty pressure continued with a freekick from 35 yards, from which a Perry header was saved.
Next, Richman fired across goal from the right after a good overlap. At the other end Marshall's attempt to chest the ball to Parton conceded a corner (82 mins) and for the next five minutes the hosts kept the visitors at bay.
On 88 minutes, Wilkinson replaced Richman and, soon afterwards, won his side a corner on the right. Taken left-footed by Gillespie, Perry rose at the near post to head it emphatically into the net for a deserved equalizer (89 mins).
In the four added minutes Altrincham continued to dominate but their last half chance went when Gillespie tried to chip Dawson from right of goal but the keeper caught the ball.
On the positive side, Altrincham had won their first away point and, without Densmore, Clee and Crowther, had played well for significant periods. But, more disappointingly, they had again, as at Nuneaton and Southport, failed to convert first half pressure into a goal and had ended up chasing a game they might well have won had they scored first.
|Full-Time: ALFRETON TOWN 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|