Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Tuesday, 4 November 2014, at 7.45pm


After their poor showing on the previous Saturday, Altrincham started this game much the brighter of the two sides. A nervous looking Lincoln were kept in their own half for much of the opening twenty minutes before they came more into the match. Although Lincoln had an offside goal chalked out early on, it was Altrincham who took the lead as the game went into added time before the interval. Damian Reeves won the ball on the left touchline, 40 yards out, and advanced before cutting inside to feed Simon Richman. The midfielder's well-struck, rising shot beat Farman comprehensively.

Seven minutes after the interval Reeves made it 2-0. He got ahead of the defenders at the near post to head home a Lawrie cross from the left, following an Alty throw-in near the corner flag. Lincoln's substitutions improved their performance and, after 66 minutes, one of the new arrivals, Robinson, lobbed Parton after Marshall had missed an aerial ball in the inside left channel. At 2-1 down Lincoln went for a leveller and squandered a couple of good chances but Altrincham gained three heard-earned but deserved points. Only three avoidable bookings for Parton (timewasting), Marshall (dissent) and Perry marred an otherwise excellent evening's work, which lifted Alty to seventeenth.


REFEREE: Mr Simon Bennett

ATTENDANCE: 1,953 (42 Alty fans)

Altrincham went into this game with Nicky Clee unfit but Adam Griffin returned from suspension. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn was out as his wife gave birth on Monday; so Dave Parton took over in goal with Josh Samberg joining the bench. Sean Williams replaced Peter Cavanagh in midfield while Simon Richman returned, on the right, with Kyle Perry returning to the bench. The absence of the left-sided Clee and Ryan Crowther (injured) meant that Griffin was assigned a left-midfield role, as Scott Leather continued at left-back.


LINCOLN CITY (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Paul Farman, 2. Tom Miller, 3. Sean Newton, 5. Hamza Bencherif, 8. Alan Power, 9. Jordan Burrow, 10. Karl Ledsham, 12. Arnaud Mendy, 15. Delano Sam-Yorke, 23. Nat Brown, 24. Thierry Audel. Subs: 26. Nick Townsend, 22. Marcus Marshall, 11. Ben Tomlinson, 16. Conner Robinson, 17. Jake Caprice.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks and blue shorts): 17. Dave Parton, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 6. Scott Leather; 8. Simon Richman, 4. Jake Moult; 18. Sean Williams, 3. Adam Griffin; 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 14. Kyle Perry, 9. Steven Gillespie, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 24. Josh Samberg.


Mike Garnett provides data on previous matches against Lincoln City...

Lincoln had placed their manager, Gary Simpson, a former Altrincham player, on gardening leave on the eve of this match.


On a cold night at Lincoln, with the floodlit Cathedral behind the Stacey West Stand forming a suitably sombre and impressive backdrop, the teams came onto the pitch, preceded by a kilted piper. A minute's silence was then respected by everyone in the ground, in memory of The Fallen of British military conflicts, this being the Imps' nearest fixture to Remembrance Day.

Altrincham kicked off and inside a minute a raking pass from Sean Williams found Moult, whose miscue was deflected for a corner. Though poorly taken from the right by Griffin, it yielded another corner, this time on the left. A couple of minutes later, a foul on Reeves by Mendy gave Griffin a freekick from which his curling shot forced a save from Farman as Altrincham started the more brightly of the two teams.

With the Lincoln crowd's merciless drummer filling the air waves, Lincoln finally got forward and though Burrow converted a cross from his left, he was clearly offside and the "goal" was erased. Lincoln looked nervy and after one risky back pass had just reached Farman, the alert Reeves almost intercepted another ball on the edge of the Imps' box (10 mins).

When Moult played Richman into the box, the Alty man went down but play continued. However, another Alty freekick soon arrived as the visitors continued to cause the hosts problems. As the twenty-minute mark approached, Alty boss Lee Sinnott could be heard yelling "Pass the ball" to his team who had kept the City men largely confined to their own half, so far. After a stoppage for treatment to Williams, who had collided with Richman, Altrincham had, as yet, nothing tangible to show for their superiority.

Now City came back into the game. A right-wing cross was cleared by Alty, before a Lawrie foul in City's half led to Miller doing well and winning a throw in the corner. However, a foul on keeper Parton relieved the pressure (26 mins).

Two good tackles from Marshall halted Lincoln's next probe, the second, on Bencherif, being an important interception. But City continued to move forward as Audel fired well over from 25 yards (32 mins). Three Alty freekicks came and went in as many minutes (33 to 35 mins), with Mendy being lectured for his challenge on Lawrie.

Altrincham now came back with some forward momentum as a good Williams run and then a Lawrie advance were halted. More good work from the lively Williams prompted a Richman advance before Griffin won a corner, after which Farman spilt a low cross from Marshall but escaped being punished for it (38 mins). Surprisingly, referee Bennett then allowed play to continue for a while, until Alty put it out of play, despite Marshall having been laid low by an accidental kick in the face in his own penalty area by Sam-Yorke (41 mins).

Now, Densmore was harshly penalised just outside his own box when the decision should, arguably, have gone the other way. As the fourth official prepared to show an additional one minute of first-half time, Damian Reeves dispossessed a Lincoln man just inside the Lincoln half on the Altrincham left wing. He advanced before drifting inside to feed Richman. The midfielder struck the ball cleanly and it flew into the upper part of the net from more than 20 yards to record his first goal of the season (45 mins).

As Lincoln left the field at the interval a chorus of booing sounded from the home supporters.


After Lincoln had kicked off, Richman was fouled 25 yards from goal as, once again, it was the visitors who started the half the more brightly. Lincoln's response was Mendy's 30 yarder which went wide. Following a foul by Power, Altrincham gained a freekick towards the corner flag on the Altrincham left. From this, Lawrie's cross was met by an impressively timed dart from Damian Reeves who got ahead of the defenders to angle a header past Farman and double Altrincham's lead (52 mins).

After this a Bencherif shot proved comfortable for Parton and on 55 minutes, Mendy went off and Tomlinson came on for The Imps. After five fairly uneventful minutes, Lincoln made a further change as Sam-Yorke was replaced by Robinson. The home side continued to stutter as Bencherif mis-headed into touch.

After Griffin had been penalised, Parton saved a Lincoln effort as the resulting freekick was nodded on. Then, out of nothing, disaster struck as the otherwise dependable Marshall missed his header, which allowed Robinson to get one on one with the advancing Parton. The Imps’ sub cleverly lobbed Alty's keeper to make it 1-2 (66 mins).

As was to be expected the goal altered the game's dynamics and now Parton had to save well from Tomlinson as the home crowd also re-discovered its voice. Alty were under attack now as Power lashed a shot high and wide from a long throw. Altrincham did eventually get forward after 73 minutes when a Densmore cross was followed by one from Griffin, which culminated in a wild shot, wide, by Moult. In the 75th minute Parton was booked for timewasting; the Alty keeper seemed to be pointing to a colleague on the far touchline as if indicating a problem that should have delayed the match but the young keeper failed to heed the referee's increasingly demonstrative warnings to kick the ball. This was to be the first of three totally avoidable bookings for the visitors.

Lincoln now subbed Audel with Caprice before Reeves shot over the bar (77 mins). Caprice slotted in at right-back and Miller moved to centre-back. After a mis-hit shot to Parton by Burrow, Griffin had to concede a corner. Now Marshall was penalised and booked for dissent before Reeves was replaced up front by Perry (82 mins). Alty had an escape when, uncharacteristically, Densmore lost the ball on the edge of his own box and Burrow's free header was directed into the ground from where it bounced up over the crossbar from very close range (84 mins).

Alty now gained some relief as Williams won the ball well, before Lawrie gained a throw and then Griffin and Perry combined to win a corner. Following this, Williams had a 20-yard shot saved. Just after he had been fouled, Williams was withdrawn and Cavanagh came on (88 mins). A trip on Perry on the edge of the home box helped Alty wind won time before four added minutes were announced.

Next Farman was allowed to dribble the ball almost to half way before his kick led to a volley over the bar by a by team mate (90+1 mins).The final minute saw some silliness as Perry held onto the ball after a decision against him; Farman raced over from his goal to the touchline and manhandled Perry before both players were booked (90+4 mins).

The final whistle soon sounded as Altrincham got back on track after their poor showing against Alfreton Town. Thirteen points from their last seven league games is a very respectable haul and has lifted Altrincham to seventeenth place ahead of their FA Cup trip to Blyth Spartans on Sunday.