EASTLEIGH (0) 0 ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
played on Sunday, 4 January, 2015, at 3pm
Altrincham had a lot of defending to do in this match, with the hosts winning numerous corners. But, for all their approach play, keeper Stuart Coburn only had two good saves to make. After Alty's industrious defending had kept Eastleigh out, Altrincham took the lead in the 39th minute. A left-side corner by Crowther was diverted by the stretching Jack Midson, who was positioned between the corner flag and the near post. The ball flew off his boot and into the net.
The Spitfires again went forward after the break but, after 72 minutes, Eastleigh's Green was sent off for a gratuitous shove on Damian Reeves. Having already been booked, the referee produced a second yellow card and the inevitable red one followed. But losing a man seemed to fire up the hosts and they continued to press forward. However, by the closing stages they had failed to break through and Alty substitute Steven Gillespie won a freekick on the front edge of the Eastleigh box. Shaun Densmore expertly fired the free kick past goalkeeper Flitney to make it 2-0 (86 mins).
- 39 mins: Jack MIDSON (own goal) (Eastleigh 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 86 mins: Shaun DENSMORE (Eastleigh 0 ALTRINCHAM 2)
REFEREE: Mr Pottage (Gillingham)
Altrincham were unchanged today. Of Eastleigh's two new signings, Howard was on the bench and Partington started. Stuart Fleetwood had returned to FGR and Collins had also left Eastleigh according to the tannoy announcer.
EASTLEIGH (Blue shirts, white shorts): 1. Ross Flitney, 2. Daniel Spence, 17. Paul Reid (capt), 3. Michael Green, 14. Ben Strevens 8. Craig Stanley, 12. JackMidson, 11. Craig McAllister, 9. James Constable, 10. Jai Reason, 26. Joe Partington, Subs: 21. Lewis Noice, 6. Chris Todd, 7. Yemi Odubade, 19. Brian Howard, 16. Will Evans,
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 6. Scott Leather, 18. Sean Williams, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton.
The reverse fixture ended 3-3.
Watched by at least 100 Alty fans, Eastleigh kicked off towards the new stand end. An early Marshall error led to a great covering tackle by Densmore (2 mins). From the resulting Green corner, Eastleigh had a shot blocked. Soon, Densmore executed another fine tackle as the home side pressed (6 mins).
Alty remained on the back foot as, first, Griffin and, then, Moult were penalised. But a foul on Griffin earned some respite before a combination of Green, Reason and Constable almost fashioned a shot at goal but Alty cleared the danger. Eastleigh were having the better of the game but Alty were defending well (14 mins).
After Stanley had pulled down Crowther near half way, Densmore's freekick was headed narrowly wide by Marshall but he was given offside. The same two Alty players now collided in clearing a cross in their own six-yard box. From a following corner Havern cleared off the line before Marshall hacked the ball clear (18 mins).
A home freekick soon followed, 30 yards out on their left, from which Marshall headed out to Partington, whose shot earned another corner, which Alty just managed to get clear.
Next, Grifin robbed Midson before a Moult foul gave away a freekick, 25 yards right of goal, to Eastleigh. Alty were withstanding the pressure effectively, so far, They did get forward when, following a throw won by Densmore, Clee got in a shot but it was saved comfortably, low down, by Flitney.
This was soon followed by an effort from Crowther, who cut in but hit a poor shot well wide (25 mins). After a mistake by Cavanagh, a McAllister cross was headed by Griffin before Crowther completed the clearance in his own box. Altrincham remained under pressure before Marshall hoofed the ball clear after two poor half-clearances by team mates (28 mins).
However, now Clee robbed Green and fed Richman, whose pass went across the face of the home goal. Back at the other end, McAllister lifted a shot over the bar from eight yards out, right of goal.
Crowther then beat his man but fired miles over the bar. Leather came on for Cavanagh who moments earlier had had a word with physio Alan Ainsley on the touchline (34 mins). A "foot up" offence against Leather won the Alty right-back a freekick. Densmore had now moved forward to right midfield, following Cavanagh's withdrawal.
Two Altrincham corners arrived in succession. The first had been taken short by Crowther but the second time, still from the left, Crowther's longer corner kick was diverted into the net in front of the near post by a stretching Midson, which gave Altrincham the lead (39 mins).
Eastleigh responded as a Marshall miskick led to a shot which Coburn had to dive full length, to his left, to save. Green wasted the corner by hitting it into the side netting (40 mins). Eastleigh gained another corner, off Griffin. From this the falling Strevens volleyed over the bar from beyond the back post.
Just as two added minutes commenced, Leather fouled Constable in the penalty area "D". The freekick was struck into the Alty wall. After this Marshall clearly held Midson and another freekick was awarded; Marshall protested without any good cause and got himself booked for dissent (45+2 mins).
So Alty reached half-time with a lead but they had spent much of the half defending Eastleigh's numerous attacks,
|Half-Time: EASTLEIGH 0 ALTRINCHAM 1|
Alty kicked off the second half but it was Eastleigh who again seized the forward momentum. However, fouls on Densmore and twice on Richman gained some relief for Altrincham (48 mins). Another freekick came, 40 yards from goal, when Stanley handled the ball.
After Midson had won a corner on the right, the same player shot miles wide. But another home corner soon arrived. Following a melee which saw Coburn grounded. Both the Alty keeper and Reid were booked by Mr Pottage, who had consulted his assistant to clarify the guilty parties (52 mins).
Home pressure continued as Midson won a corner off Leather and another corner followed straightaway. At this point Perry replaced Crowther (54 mins). Soon yet another corner was awarded to the home side but Alty again defended it well.
At last, Altrincham got upfield and Richman won the visitors a corner after a smart pass from Perry. Soon, Eastleigh were back winning another corner, through Strevens, but as the hour mark passed Perry won a throw. This was soon followed by a fierce shot by Eastleigh which hit an Alty defender.
Reeves, who was seeing little of the ball, now chased down keeper Flitney, who sliced his hurried kick into touch. A double Eastleigh change saw Stanley off and Howard on, as well as Evans replacing Spence.
A foul on Densmore near half way saw Perry nod Leather's freekick to the keeper. A powerful run forward by Densmore was halted with a foul, which was not given, but when Reid fouled Reeves some 27 yards out in a central position, it was the protesting Green who got himself booked (66 mins).
Alty were now looking more comfortable than earlier in the half and, when Clee won the ball and was held, he won a freekick but the offender escaped the card that he deserved. Next, a Clee cross was only just caught by Flitney ahead of the incoming Perry (69 mins).
Alty's improvement contined as a McAllister foul led to a freekick. From this a Perry nod gave Reeves a shot which was blocked by Flitney (70 mins). At the other end, it took a fine diving save by Coburn to stop a shot from Reason. After the resulting corner, Reeves was on the left touchline when Green stupidly pushed him over. Mr Pottage showed him a second yellow and off he trudged (71 mins).
Despite being a man short, it was Eastleigh who dominated possession for the next ten minutes. Some respite came when Reason fouled Perry after a good Densmore interception. Now Gillespie replaced Reeves (79 mins). The new man immediately took the freekick but Flitney saved it,
Eastleigh continued to do well with their ten men and they won another corner (81 mins). The decisive moment arrived in the 85th minute when Reason fouled Gillespie on the edge of the home box and got himself booked. From the freekick, just right of centre, Densmore scored superbly to make it 2-0 (86 mins).
Five added minutes were decreed and Eastleigh gained a corner in the first of these. But then an Alty attack saw a Richman left-footed shot go wide (90+2 mins). Two minutes later Strevens was booked for petulance before Altrincham saw out the closing stages quite comfortably to record Eastleigh's first home defeat of the season.
Eastleigh had had by far the better of the attacking momentum but had landed few shots on target and Altrincham had worked hard defensively and in midfield to ensure that this was the case.
|Full-Time: EASTLEIGH 0 ALTRINCHAM 2|