Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Saturday, 20 December 2014, at 3pm


A disappointing performance from Altrincham saw them fortunate to take a point against a well-organised Dover Athletic who arrived at the J. Davidson Stadium as the division's form side, having lost their first-choice keeper to suspension and a loan player, who had been recalled by his parent club, during the run up to this match. Two wonderful strikes, by Ryan Crowther after 75 minutes and James Lawrie, well into injury time, rescued a point after the visitors had twice taken the lead.

Alty had arguably the better of a low tempo and goalless first half before the visitors emerged for the second half with a greater sense of purpose. They took the lead after 50 minutes when Deverdics was tackled as he shot and the ball looped off Shaun Densmore and past his stranded keeper, Dave Parton. Alty laboured and scarcely troubled stand-in keeper, Hook, before Jake Moult's feed was driven high into the net from 25 yards out, right of goal, by fellow substitute Ryan Crowther.

Parity was short-lived as, three minutes later, another deflected goal, this time by Stefan Payne gave the Kent side a 2-1 lead. It looked to be all over for Altrincham until James Lawrie blasted home a 25-yarder to snatch a point.


REFEREE: Mr Stephen Ross


Nicky Clee returned to the starting eleven whilst Dave Parton continued in goal.

Dover were without the suspended Andy Rafferty in goal, so player-coach Lee Hook took over today. They had also lost the services of Gillingham loanee defender, Callum Davies, and were also without Chris Kinnear junior, thorugh injury. They arrived on the back of eleven league and cup games without defeat.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 17.Dave Parton, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Sean Williams, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves, SUBS: 4. Jake Moult, 6. Scott Leather, 14. Kyle Perry, 9. Steven Gillespie, 19. Ryan Crowther.

DOVER ATHLETIC (Blue shirts, white shorts and socks ): 22. Lee Hook, 29. Connor Essam, 26. Tom Bonner, 15. Sean Francis, 6. Richard Orlu, 16. Tyrone Stirling, 8. Liam Bellamy, 17. Nicky Deverdics, 10. Tom Murphy, 11. Barry Cogan, 14. Stefan Payne, SUBS: 31. James Poole, 3. Tom Wynter, 5. Sean Raggett, 19. Jake Reid, 20. Christian Nanetti.


Mike Garnett informs us of the record in matches between the two clubs.


Altrincham kicked off on a dull afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium. Considering the amount of recent rain the pitch had drained well as Altrincham got off to a shaky start, conceding a needless corner inside the first minute. However, both teams were struggling to find their range with their passing, the stiff breeze perhaps being a contributory factor.

Following this scrappy start, a good Williams’s pass led to a Densmore cross, which went across the face of goal (6 mins). After a Clee long throw had been cleared onto the roof of the main stand, Clee dribbled past Essam before Hook smothered the ball (9 mins).

After Marshall and then Lawrie each overhit intended passes to keeper Hook, a Marshall foul on Payne, 25 yards out and fairly central, gave Dover an opening. But Parton caught Deverdics's freekick. Alty were now having the better of things without seriously threatening to score.

But Altrincham were also conceding some needless freekicks and from the next one, Parton saved from Cogan (21 mins). At the other end Reeves shot wide from 19 yards. After a Lawrie cross-cum-shot had been cleared, a quick Clee throw, fed Reeves, whose cross came off Richman's head and was cleared (26 mins).

Alty continued on the front foot as Clee got up the middle but shot just wide. This was followed by a good Densmore run before a poor cross from Lawrie and an off-target shot from Clee. After Havern had been dispossessed in the Dover half, Alty gained a freekick deep in their own half (32 mins).

When Williams was penalised, against Essam, to the right of the box the freekick ledto Parton made a fine diving save from a Dover header (34 mins). In the 37th minute, Reeves got round Essam and won a corner before Marshall lost the ball upfield but Cavanagh covered well at the back for Alty. Lee Sinnott erupted on the touchline when Lawrie failed to take a shooting opportunity and lost the ball after Reeves's smart lay off (39 mins).

Alty continued to give away possession cheaply before the interval arrived to end a somewhat lacklustre first half in which both sides had lacked the necessary tempo to impose themselves on the opposition.


Dover kicked off and showed an increased sense of purpose as they went forward in the opening minutes. Alty countered when Clee did well before Lawrie shot over the bar from 23 yards (49 mins). Moments later Deverdics found himself in space near the penalty spot. Densmore got in a tackle as the Dover man shot at goal and the ball looped off Alty's captain and into the net, past the stranded Parton (50 mins).

For a cynical trip near halfway on Clee, Orlu was booked (54 mins). Densmore's freekick was cleared. But Alty then had a lucky escape as Payne's well-struck effort hit the post from 24 yards after Alty had given him the ball with a clearance.

Thing looked up when a Clee cross was cleared and an Alty corner on the left arrived, followed by a second flag-kick (57 mins). On the hour mark Perry replaced Williams with the all too often trouble with the electronic board causing a delay as it displayed no.40 being replaced by no.40 instead of no. 9 replacing no.18.

Next, Clee won a freekick on the edge of the Dover box, conceded by the visitors' captain, Essam. However, Clee put the freekick into the wall. This was followed by a wild cross from Lawrie and, then, after a Richman error, Sterling fired wildly into a Golf Road house's garden. At this point Crowther replaced Clee (65 mins).

A long ball up the middle cleared the Alty back line and Murphy drove a great half-volley just wide. Bellamy soon won Dover a corner, which Parton caught, as Alty remained lacklustre (67 mins). Moult replaced Cavanagh in the 69th minute, as Dover continued playing at a higher tempo than Altrincham. Dover keeper Hook remained a virtual spectator as, in front of him, Dover closed down Altrincham players impressively.

But, in the 75th minute, Moult did well 35 yards out in the centre of the pitch. He then fed Crowther, who had swapped wings with Lawrie, and he fired a rising shot into the far top corner of the net from 25 yards - his first goal for Altrincham. After the restart, the already booked Orlu fouled Reeves. But the upturn in Alty's fortunes was soon terminated as Payne scored on a counter-attack, from right of goal, with the aid of a deflection off Havern (78 mins).

Damian Reeves was now harshly booked for a foul near touch in the Dover half (80 mins). Dover then introduced Wynter for Cogan (81 mins).

Two minutes later, Richman shot just wide from 20 yards before the same player was penalised just outside the home box but Payne put the freekick wide (85 mins). After Densmore had been upended, 40 yards out, he overhit the freekick. In the 90th minute Crowther was booked for a foul on Essam and three added minutes were announced. Murphy had a shot blocked and it seemed that Dover would leave with all three points intact.

But then, in the third added minute, a Lawrie screamer from 25 yards flew past Hook to secure what had seemed an unlikely point for Altrincham. The point was not enough to stop Alty dropping to 19th as Southport won at Woking but with just four points covering nine teams immediately above the drop zone, today's point may yet prove to be an important one.