< Altrincham FC Match Report

Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Tuesday, 16 September 2014, at 7.45pm


Once again in an away game this season, Altrincham were the better side in the opening half hour only to fall behind. Gash fired in the opener after 37 minutes then, just three minutes later, a Harriers shot came back off the upright and Reid netted. So at the interval, Alty trailed 2-0 despite having had a lot of the ball but without forcing more than a couple of saves from Harriers' keeper Lewis.

Early in the second half Richman was sent off after his second reckless challenge of the game. Then, a bad foul on Lawrie went unpunished before Byrne was booked for scything down Moult as the game threatened the referee's authority.

Alty went to a back three and brought on Gillespie, who got in three shots at goal, but Johnson added a third after 72 minutes. The final blow came when Styche scored an offside looking fourth deep in added time.


REFEREE: Mr Richard Martin (Somerset)
ATTENDANCE: 1,451 (90 in away section)

Jake Moult, making his 100th Alty appearance, started in place of the injured Sean Williams. Also missing was Ryan Crowther (food poisoning). Mike Williams joined the bench.

Harriers made four changes after their two successive recent reverses with Green, Byrne, Grimes and Gash coming in.


KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (Reds hirts and black shorts and socks) 1. Daniel Lewis, 3. Jake Green, 6. Cheyenne Dunkley, 30. Josh Gowling, 28. Kevin Nicholson, 4. Kyle Storer, 7. Jack Byrne, 8. Marvin Johnson, 9. Michael Gash, 10. Craig Reid, 15. Jamie Grimes, Subs: 11. Reece Styche, 13. Nathan Blissett, 19. Jasbir Singh, 14. Ahmed Obeng, 17 Aman Verma.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts) 17. Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh (capt), 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 14. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 1. Stuart Coburn, 9. Steven Gillespie, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 11. Nicky Clee, 12. Mike Williams.


Apart from Macclesfield Town, the current Vanarama Conference team which Altrincham FC has played most often in its history is Kidderminster Harriers. Mike Garnett provides the data:

Despite the above decent record at Aggborough, recent results at Kidderminster have, however, been poor and compounded by disasters...


After changing ends, Kiddy kicked off towards their own supporters. A Cavanagh misplaced back header gave away an early corner (2 mins) but Altrincham soon settled and looked comfortable against a Harriers' team making unforced errors in a stuttering start from both sides.

Next, a Johnson advance led to his low cross, which was missed by Marshall, but a poor ball after this gave Alty a goalkick (8 mins). The first shot on target came from Altrincham when a Richman cross allowed Perry a shot, which Lewis saved, smartly, low down (11 mins). In fact, Altrincham were now edging the game and getting forward more than the Harriers.

Lawrie was seeing plenty of the ball and, after another good Alty move, started by Reeves's tenacity in keeping the ball in play on the left, a Richman shot just cleared the bar (18 mins).

After Lawrie had overhit a freekick to the keeper, a Gowling cross was cleared then a follow-up ball won a corner for Kidderminster (23 mins). When Perry was pulled over, Alty gained a freekick 25-30 yards out, right of centre. This was cleared and a second freekick also came to nothing. But two more throw-ins and a Perry cross underlined Altrincham's superiority at this stage.

However, Richman was now booked for a foul on Storer, near half way (27 mins). Four minutes later, a ferocious Kiddy shot, out of nothing, rattled the Alty bar but the next effort was at the other end as a Leather 35 yarder flew wide of goal. Next, a Gowling and Lewis mix-up conceded a throw to Alty in the home side's left corner. From this, Green clearly handled in the box but it was, probably rightly, not deemed deliberate (35 mins).

After a Lawrie shot had been blocked and Perry had almost set Havern free in the Harriers' box, a goalkick resulted. The Harries then took the lead, against the run of play. A ball was played to the right, to Gash, who was allowed too much space before he drove the ball home from 18 yards (37 mins).

A foul by Grimes on Perry gave Alty another freekick, 35 yards out, right-centre. Taken by Lawrie, it ran to the keeper. Kiddy counter-attacked up their left; a shot from the left hit the base of Parton's near post and rebounded to Reid, who netted (40 mins). 2-0 to Kidderminster was certainly not an accurate reflection of the game to date.

In the 42nd minute, a very poor Storer foul on Moult prompted a melee before the Harriers' man was booked. Half-time arrived with Alty two down in a game in which they had the better of things till the hosts had scored.


Altrincham came out quite early for the second half before kicking off. Soon, from left of goal, Lawrie shot wide at the end of a move started by Moult (47 mins). When Richman got clear up the middle, he was pulled back, much to his annoyance, a freekick being awarded. Whether this incident had any bearing on what happened a couple of minutes later, is unclear. But the Alty midfielder soon made a reckless challenge, on Gowling, and saw his second yellow card, followed by the inevitable red (50 mins). It was Alty's first sending-off of the season and left them with the proverbial mountain to climb.

After lengthy treatment, Gowling continued, only for him immediately to foul Perry crudely in the air, for which he was lucky to get away with a lecture from the referee (53 mins). Then there was a lunge from behind which left Lawrie in a heap. Unbelievably, Mr. Martin played on before stopping play for treatment to the prostrate Alty man. He awarded no freekick and spoke to no Kidderminster player, which seemed quite remarkable.

It got worse as, next, Moult was scythed down; at least the referee booked the offender this time; it was Byrne (56 mins). After 58 minutes, Gillespie replaced Lawrie. The fouls continued as, now, Green tripped an Alty player who had got past him up the left wing but, again, Mr. Martin took no meaningful action.

On the hour, a Leather 30-yarder was beaten out by keeper Lewis before the Harriers applied some pressure on the ten men. First, Johnson fired across the face of goal from the left, before a fine Havern block stopped another Johnson shot. Next, Verma replaced Storer (63 mins).

Rather than settling for a 2-0 defeat with ten men, Alty made a positive substitution as Clee came on for Griffin and they adopted a back three (66 mins). An immediate Clee run, up the left, won a throw in the left corner, following which came a low shot, just wide, from Perry. Alty's ratio of shots executed to shots which are on target is a cause for concern.

The Harriers now upped the pressure, as a Nicholson cross was nodded wide by Reid, before Parton had to come out to smother the ball at the feet of Reid. At the other end, a fine Gillespie shot flew just over the bar from a Cavanagh feed before Styche replaced Reid (71 mins).

No sooner had the former FGR front man joined the game when his side scored again, as Johnson netted from a Verma feed, after Marshall had been unsuccessful in a challenge outside the box (72 mins). The goal led to further pressure as, now, Havern deflected a Grimes shot for a corner, from which the defender uncharacteristically missed his header but the ball was cleared. Then, after Moult had been penalised, another Harriers' corner was won off Leather, which Parton dropped but re-gathered.

After 77 minutes, each side made a swap, as Gash went off and Obeng came on for the home side and Wilkinson replaced Reeves for Altrincham. Gillespie now got forward only to be halted on the edge of the box. Next, as Alty broke forward, Mr. Martin blew to give them a freekick when "advantage" was called for. After this Gillespie shot wide (80 mins) and then fired across goal from the right (81 mins). Following an Alty freekick near half way, a Perry header was flicked across the box.

Mr. Martin again took no action when Styche, caught offside, deliberately booted the ball away. Alty's late energy saw a Moult cross win a corner on their right but Gillespie's kick went to the keeper. Kiddy counter-attacked and Parton had to save well with his legs. Alty kept going as, next, a Leather cross won a corner on the left, after which another followed following a header from Perry (87 mins).

After 89 minutes a well-hit Moult 25 yarder rose, just over the bar - if there were goals awarded for just clearing the bar and for shooting narrowly wide, Altrincham would arguably be leading scorers in the division this season. In five added minutes, a Kiddy freekick led to a 30-yarder, saved well by Parton. Having ignored a foul on Clee, Mr. Martin did give a freekick for a foul on Gillespie (90+4 mins). From this, the Harriers counter-attacked and, when Nicholson's cross from the left to an offside-looking Styche was netted by the substitute, Alty's misery was complete at 4-0 (90+4 mins).

Although, historically, Alty's record at Aggborough is not bad; before today, they had won 8, lost 8 and drawn 6 games here, the last seven visits have now seen two draws and five defeats, in matches where we have seen five penalties awarded against us and five red cards issued to Alty players, as well as 18 goals conceded.