ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 GRIMSBY TOWN (0) 1
played on Saturday, 15 November 2014, at 3pm
Altrincham secured a well-deserved point with a 90th minute goal from centre-back Scott Leather. It was a much improved performance from Altrincham, who dominated the opening stages, winning five corners in the first thirteen minutes but without seriously looking like scoring. Town then came into the match. It was midway through the second half when the Mariners took the lead. A Richman mis-pass went to the impressive Arnold and, from at least 25 yards, he smashed an unstoppable shot past Coburn.
But Altrincham showed commendable spirit as they took the game to the visitors, who seemed strangely content with their narrow lead. They paid the price when, after a period of sustained pressure, Altrincham equalised. The goal arrived from Sean Williams's cross from the left, which Leather tucked away from the centre of the goalmouth.
- 67 mins: Natham ARNOLD (ALTRINCHAM 0 Grimsby Town 1)
- 90 mins: Scott LEATHER (ALTRINCHAM 1 Grimsby Town 1)
REFEREE: Mr Steven Rushton
Altrincham were once more without Nicky Clee (broken toe) but Jake Moult returned after suspension, at the expense of Sean Williams. Up front, Damian Reeves remained on the bench as Kyle Perry and Steven Gillespie again started
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) :1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 8. Simon Richman, 7. James Lawrie, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry. Subs: 10. Damian Reeves, 17 Dave Parton, 16. Tom Marshall, 19. Ryan Crowther, 18. Sean Williams
GRIMSBY TOWN (All blue) 1. James McKeown, 22. Aristote Nsiala, 5. Shaun Pearson, 19. Daniel Parslow, 3. Aswad Thomas, 6. Carl Magnay, 29. Harry Pell, 8. Craig Disley (c), 20. Nathan Arnold, 11. Scott Neilson, 14. Lenell John-Lewis. Subs: 4. Scott Brown, 7. Jack Mackreth, 10. Ross Hannah, 16. Craig Clay, 18. Jon-Paul Pittman
In their five league games since Altrincham had taken a point off them at Blundell Park, the Mariners had had a faultless record of five straight league victories. In contrast Altrincham had won two and lost three of their corresponding league matches. So Grimsby arrived at the J. Davidson Stadium in second place whilst Alty were eighteenth.
Officiated by Mr. Rushton, who had overseen Alty's home win against Macclesfield Town earlier this season, Grimsby kicked off towards the well-populated away end. Sadly some person in the away end set off a smoke bomb which lodged behind Stuart Coburn's net causing a delay. When play started it took Kyle Perry just 20 seconds to win a corner on the Alty left.
Despite these diversions, Altrincham started the game well and, soon, Jake Moult had won another corner, on the left (3 mins). Following a good ball from Richman, Densmore was tripped on the right edge of the visitors' box. From Lawrie’s right-sided freekick, Richman put a difficult header over the bar.
Another Alty corner arrived in the ninth minute, won by Gillespie, on the right and as Alty continued to set the agenda, Densmore was fouled and Neilson booked for the offence (11 mins). Next, a Lawrie mishit shot won another corner on the left, but soon afterwards Densmore earned another corner on the right but referee Rushton overruled his linesman to award a throw instead.
When Leather was unable to direct a header, the ball dropped behind him to the impressive Arnold who forced a decent save from Coburn (14 mins). Grimsby were now getting into the game after being on the back foot in the earlier stages. Two more smoke bombs were now thrown onto the pitch. Poetic justice was done as the ensuing smoke made the referee stop the game just as the Mariners were on the attack. Alty fans who visited Blundell Park this season had received an excellent welcome in the Away Bar at the ground; it was a shame that a small number of so called Town supporters had behaved in such a depressing fashion at Moss Lane.
When play resumed Town continued to press forward and a slip by Cavanagh slips conceded a corner to the visitors (22 mins). Visiting stewards and police who had come from Humberside now took some action and formed a line in the away end in the vicinity of the culprit(s).
Back on the pitch, from a cross a firm Pearson header was directed straight at Coburn but the visitors continued to have the better of things for the next few minutes. Just after the half-hour mark, the impressive Neilson got past Cavanagh but Coburn saved his shot. Alty's keeper was soon in action again as he saved a long shot from Neilson, following the clearance of a Magnay cross (32 mins).
A litany of fouls by both sides punctuated the next five minutes before former York City defender, Parslow fired over from 25 yards (38 mins). At the other end, Lawrie advanced but scuffed his shot well wide from 20 yards. When Perry was fouled, Pearson kicked out at him but escaped with no more than a freekick against him (40 mins). A Pell shot now went into orbit, landing in someone's back yard in the Chequers estate.
Next, a Densmore cross won Alty a corner, on their right, followed immediately by another one, gained by Moult. Soon before the break a Disley header from a Magnay cross was fielded by Coburn. So the game remained goalless at the break. Alty had had a good opening spell before Grimsby enjoyed a better spell.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 GRIMSBY TOWN 0|
Following a half-time penalty competition between coach Ian Senior's Greenmount Cricket Club and Nicky Clee's Marsden CC, Alty kicked off towards the away end. After a quiet opening, Gillespie, who was having a quieter game than he enjoyed in midweek, fired a shot just over the bar from 19 yards (49 mins). But play in these early stages of the second half was predominantly a midfield stalemate.
Grimsby attempted to shake things up after 59 minutes with a double change as Clay and Brown came on for Pell and Town's captain, Disley.
A Leather header was now saved from a Lawrie freekick before John-Lewis headed home, off the post, but was given offside (61 mins). Altrincham made their own double swap in the 63rd minute when Gillespie gave way to Reeves and Sean Williams replaced Lawrie (63 mins).
Grimsby now threatened as a Neilson cross from the left was met by an Arnold shot which prompted a quite superb save by Coburn, who twisted to turn the ball over the bar for a corner, which Reeves cleared (66 mins). Disaster struck midway through the half when Richman's intended pass from 20 yards out went straight to Arnold. From 25 yards or so, he lashed a quite superb shot into Coburn's far corner from right of centre, giving the keeper no chance (67 mins).
After a few minutes of coming to terms with the situation, Altrincham rallied to produce a dominant closing spell to the game. After a blocked Moult shot, he was replaced by Crowther (77 mins). After Reeves had won a throw, a Griffin cross was cleared before Cavanagh was tripped to earn a freekick, 30 yards out. Densmore put this narrowly wide. However, the Alty pressure continued with Havern's excellent ball from which Reeves won another corner (81 mins).
After Richman had headed wide from the corner, an excellent, low Densmore cross won a corner on the right. Next a Crowther cross fell to McKeown off a defender as Altrincham kept Grimsby penned back. After Town had introduced Mackreth for Neilson (87 mins), Luca Havern got into the visitors' box to win another corner, from Cavanagh's feed. It was Sean Williams who next gained yet another Altrincham corner on the left. At last the pressure paid off; from Parslow's clearance, Williams's low cross was turned home in the centre of the goalmouth by centre-back Scott Leather, for his first goal of the season (90 mins)>
As the three added minutes began, Grimsby suddenly rediscovered some of their lost urgency but Coburn smothered the ball as they threatened (90+1 mins). But Altrincham themselves went forward in the closing minutes with a Densmore long ball, a freekick won by Perry fouled and then another gained for a hack on Reeves, for which Nsiala was booked. With game into the fourth added minute, Densmore's freekick from the edge of the penalty "D" just cleared the bar.
Altrincham's rousing finale had shown both great spirit and determination and the point they earned, though late, was well deserved. In their last seven league games, Grimsby have taken full points - except for two draws, both with Altrincham. Such results show that the Robins can compete effectively at this level; they just need to add consistency to help them push on into mid-table.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 GRIMSBY TOWN 1|