ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 TORQUAY UNITED (0) 1
played on Saturday, 17 January, 2015, at 3pm
This third successive league win was well deserved and lifted Altrincham to 14th. After a fairly even first 35 minutes, Altrincham took the lead when Damian Reeves smartly improvised a looping header over keeper Seabright from Ryan Crowther's ball, in the 37th minute. Altrincham then dominated the opening period of the second half and doubled their lead in the 62nd minute. This time the roles were reversed as Reeves's shot was beaten out by Seabright for Crowther to net the rebound. Altrincham seemed to be cruising to victory till, four minutes later, burly substitute Louis Briscoe blasted a fierce 30-yard shot past Coburn to make it 2-1. The Gulls were given further hope in the 87th minute when Williams appeared to be tripped but Mr Johnson accused him of diving and showed him a second yellow card. Mr Johnson, it will be recalled, was the official who sent off three men at Wrexham v Alty and then saw one of his decisions rescinded by the appeals panel, which looks likely to be convened again to look at this decision. However, Altrincham defended well and the ten men kept Torquay at arms' length.
- 37 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Torquay United 0)
- 62 mins: Ryan CROWTHER (ALTRINCHAM 2 Torquay United 0)
- 66 mins: Louis BRISCOE (ALTRINCHAM 2 Torquay United 1)
REFEREE: Mr Ryan Johnson (Swinton)
ATTENDANCE: 1,223 (119 in away end)
Before kick off, Torquay United were the only team not to have played Altrincham in the Conference this season. The Gulls started the match just three points ahead of Altrincham from the same number of games but they were five places higher than their hosts.
Alty were without Cavanagh but Lawrie returned to the bench. Striker Bowman was out for Torquay, with a stomach problem.
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, 18. Sean Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs:, 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 7. James Lawrie
TORQUAY UNITED (Blue and white) 23. Jordan Seabright, 3. Thomas Cruise, 4. Aaron Downes, 5. Krystian Pearce, 6. Ben Harding, 8. Luke Young, 10. Toby Ajala, 11. Courtney Cameron, 12. Jordan Chapell, 24. Duane Ofori-Acheampong, 29. Durrell Berry. Subs: 1. Martin Rice, 7. Louis Briscoe, 14. Ashley Yeoman, 16. Courtney Richards, 25. Levi Ives.
Alty had yet to beat The Gulls before today, and Mike Garnett reminds us of the outcome of previous clashes between our teams:
- Home: P2-W0-D1-L1-F1-A2
- Away: P2-W0-D1-L1-F2-A4
- All: P4-W0-D2-L2-F3-A6
Altrincham kicked off on a cold but sunny afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium. Despite the bad weather elsewhere in the country, a commendable 190 fans entered the away end, including a group of "Manchester Gulls". In a generally quiet opening, Clee shot well wide in the second minute before Torquay won a corner, from which a header had to be cleared off the line (5 mins).
Torquay now looked the brighter side and, when Chapell turned smartly and fired at goal, Coburn had to parry the shot but Ofori-Acheampong poked the loose ball poorly over the bar from six yards (9 mins). Altrincham won themselves a corner two minutes later but it was a disappointing kick from Crowther, who then put in an equally below-par cross to the visitors' keeper from a Densmore feed.
However, Crowther soon redeemed himself with a fine through ball for Reeves but Pearce just got to it first. Altrincham were now in the ascendancy as a Richman feed gave Clee a shot, but he put it well wide from 20 yards (15 mins).
Densmore repeatedly got forward up the right but, now, his left-foot effort flew just wide from 20 yards (17 mins). Three minutes afterwards Reeves forced a diving save from Seabright from a Richman feed, after a good ball from Crowther. Another good through ball, this time from Marshall, now found Reeves offside. Soon, Marshall was busy at the other end as he halted Ofori-Acheampong at the cost of a corner on the visitors' right. Pearce headed this corner well over the bar.
Next, Nicky Clee was booked for a foul, near half-way, but when Ofori-Acheampong held back Griffin, there was to be no card. After Seabright had missed a Densmore freekick, a corner resulted. When Reeves got past his man, Densmore had a shot beaten out by the keeper before play switched to the other end for a Torquay corner.
The next few minutes produced little in the way of goalmouth action but then Altrincham took a 37th minute lead. A short Crowther cross from an inside-right position prompted Reeves to improvise a looping header which cleared the stranded keeper to give Altrincham a 1-0 lead. It was the striker's 143rd goal on his 200th start for the club.
When Ajala tugged back Clee he was deservedly cautioned (41 mins). Clee was soon fouled again, 40 yards out, and from Densmore's low, curling freekick, Reeves got a toe-end on the ball which struck, rather than was saved by, the keeper (45 mins). In the one added minute, Reeves and Clee conjured up a quick counter-attack before the ball was laid off to Crowther who fluffed his shot from Clee's feed.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 TORQUAY UNITED 0|
Torquay brought on the burly Louis Briscoe for Cameron at half time and, soon, Chapell won them a corner, which Alty hacked clear. Three minutes into the second half, Clee did well and, from a resulting Richman cross, the keeper spilt the ball under pressure from Reeves. Seabright remained down but soon recovered.
When, soon after, Reeves was played in, he opted to pass and Clee's resulting effort was blocked (49 mins). Altrincham kept Torquay in their own half until Young dribbled through the defence into the box but shot wide (54 mins). Just after Ofori-Acheampong had fouled Moult, he was replaced by Yeoman and he left the field, looking disgruntled and mouthing to a team mate (55 mins).
After this an Alty move faltered after a foul on Densmore had been "played on". Referee Johnson went back and booked Harding for the foul on Densmore, who was left hobbling badly. Just before the hour mark, Clee beat two men and got into the box despite a blatant trip attempt on him. The booked Harding was then penalised for hand-ball, 35 yards out.
The referee again waved play on when Reeves was fouled but the decision did not help. But, soon afterwards, Reeves got in a firm 20-yard shot, which Seabright beat out only for Crowther to net the rebound (62 mins). The crocked Densmore finally had to give way to Leather after 64 minutes. Clee then volleyed over the bar, after a good Alty move as they continued to have the better of the second half.
But soon after a 25-yard volley from Williams had gone close, Torquay scored an impressive goal out of nothing. Louis Briscoe blasted the ball past Coburn from 30 yards to get his side back into a match that seemed to have drifted away from them (66 mins).
Altrincham replied as a Reeves cross saw a Richman header just clear the bar. In the 72nd minute, a Gulls' freekick led to Marshall and Coburn colliding and the Gulls missed a good chance. As well as treating Coburn, physio Alan Ainsley seemed to be treating the referee's arm, which was to wave a total of nine cards in this match.
The next to enter Mr. Johnson's book was Williams, for a foul near half way (76 mins). Then a misheader by Pearce allowed Clee to break forward and he was cynically brought down by Berry who joined the referee's growing list of offenders (77 mins). Moult put the freekick disappointingly well over the bar.
Next Richards replaced Harding (78 mins). After defender Leather had got to the byline, Richman shot narrowly wide. Alty continued to press; in succession Reeves was offside, Moult had a shot blocked and after an Alty move had faltered, Reeves was fouled and Young was booked. Next in the book was Cruise for a foul on Richman.
Altrincham introduced Lawrie for Crowther after 82 minutes and soon, the rain started to fall. When Williams went down after seeming to be tripped, referee Johnson amazed most of the crowd when he produced a second yellow for the Altrincham midfielder and sent him off with a red card, presumably for alleged "simulation". It then seemed to take gestures from the Torquay players to remind the official that Williams had already been booked and, only then, was he dismissed. This brought the ref's tally to seven red cards in nine matches this campaign, four of which have been in matches involving Altrincham!
Altrincham now introduced Perry for Clee as sleet began to fall (88 mins). In the first of five added minutes, Ajala got in a wild shot and two minutes later Downes volleyed over the bar after Coburn had come for a cross but not got it. When Briscoe claimed a penalty for handball, he was the sixth Torquay man to be cautioned, alongside Altrincham's three bookings (one for Clee, two for Williams) in a game which was played in a good spirit.
A last minute corner for the visitors did not change the outcome, despite keeper Seabright going up to the Alty end for it.
So, Altrincham's fine run continues and they are now fourteenth, their highest position of the season. This was another impressive performance from a small Altrincham squad, who showed commendable team spirit and who look capable of giving anyone a game in this league, home or away. Next up, however, is a cup game in the FA Trophy at Bath City.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 TORQUAY UNITED 1|