Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Saturday, 7 February, 2015, at 3pm


On a raw afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium Altrincham secured a 1-0 win in a game which rarely warmed the spectators. The winner came in the 73rd minute and was an own goal by player-manager Chris Barker, although initially credited to Alty substitute James Lawrie. It arrived as Lawrie drove a ball across the box after a corner and Barker diverted it into the net.

Altrincham had more of the forward momentum during the game and had two headed goals, one by Reeves and one by Perry, ruled out for offside. However, the home side was indebted to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn for a magnificent save in the closing stages which preserved the three points that lifted Altrincham to fourteenth in the table.


REFEREE: Mr Paul Rees


With the retirement of Mike Williams, the loan-out of Greg Wilkinson and the injury to Peter Cavanagh, Altrincham are currently working with a 16-man squad, so all of them were named for today's match.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, 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. Shaun Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 7.James Lawrie, 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton.

ALDERSHOT TOWN (Sky blue shirts, dark blue shorts and socks): 1. Phil Smith, 12. Jaydon Gibbs, 2. Joe Oastler, 5. Glenn Wilson, 6. Chris Barker, 15. Danny East, 18. Matthew Saunders, 19. James Stevenson, 14. Jordan Roberts, 9. Brett William,s 21. Andre McCollin. Subs: 17. Ryan Jarvis, 13. Dan Thomas, 7. Sam Hatton, 11. Josh Scott, 20. Kabongo Tshimanga.


Mike Garnett provides our historical record against Aldershot Town...


On a very cold but fairly bright afternoon at the J Davidson Stadium, Aldershot kicked off towards the 66 fans in the away end, though there were others who had made the long trip from Hampshire in the main stand. Alty started shakily with two uncharacteristic errors by Densmore inside the first sixty seconds. First, he had a clearance blocked and then misheaded the ball, giving McCollin a decent chance which he lashed wildly over the bar.

Then Marshall had to do well to halt McCollin and, as play continued a replacement flag had to be produced for the senior assistant referee! Alty continued to looking a bit shaky at the back before Densmore got in a cross to Smith, the visitors’ keeper, and Williams was then tripped just outside Shots' box. Clee put the freekick into the wall and Alty's improvement continued as a Moult cross gained a corner off Wilson (7 mins).

Following this Marshall won a second corner after which a Densmore cross was headed over at the back post by Marshall. Next, Oastler was panicked into conceding another corner by Reeves as Alty set the pace. Soon a Richman cross prompted a Clee header, which was well off target (10 mins). As well as having a replacement flag, the game now witnessed another strange incident as an Aldershot player was told to leave the pitch as an item of his kit did not seem to meet the referee's criteria.

Altrincham's dominance continued as a superb Clee 30 yarder had to be pushed wide by Smith. But play was at times scrappy with mis-passes and errors in abundance. After nineteen minutes Alty put together an impressive passing move which only ended when Clee's final pass did not quite locate Griffin. So, whereas Alty were having more of the ball there were no clear chances yet for them to score. Indeed, it was Aldershot who again went the closer of the two sides to scoring. Alty gave the ball away to Saunders in midfield and, from this, a well-struck rising shot from Roberts crashed down off the underside of the bar and was hacked off the goal line (24 mins).

Aldershot's Gibbs, twin brother of the Arsenal full-back Kieran, put out a Densmore cross for a corner, which was followed by a second one before Crowther fired a shot very wide (28 mins). Passes continued to go astray and freekicks were overhit as the game drifted past the half-hour mark. Both sides were looking rusty after their enforced lay-off and the crowd was subdued given the lack of stimulus on the pitch. The hope at half-time was that things would improve in the second half.


But there was little improvement in the opening stages of the second half, as Marshall almost sold Coburn short with a back pass and then a promising ball from Clee was just too hard for Reeves to gather. Things improved as Densmore cleverly got past his man on the Aldershot byline and was clearly held but Mr. Rees elected to ignore the claim for a penalty. Moments later he was equally impassive as Reeves was fouled (50 mins). When he finally gave Alty a freekick two minutes later for a challenge on Clee, the home crowd raised an ironic cheer.

But in keeping with the game so far, Alty gave the ball to the opposition from Marshall's freekick. Another poorly taken Alty freekick arrived after 55 minutes, following a foul on Havern by Brett Williams. When McCollin went down holding his head, Mr. Rees kept playing going to the visitors' annoyance till Moult put the ball out of play. Immediately McCollin got up without treatment to suggest that Mr. Rees had judged his "injury" correctly.

The overhit crosses, misplaced passes and generally mediocre standard of the game continued until play stopped for an injury to Clee. After fairly lengthy attention from physio Alan Ainsley, Clee hobbled off before returning to the game. Shortly afterwards, Alty made a double substitution as Crowther and Sean Williams gave way to Perry and Lawrie (64 mins).

Aldershot contributed to the poor standard of play with a quite woeful corner as the ball was played low, without pace and short straight from the corner to an Altrincham player (65 mins).

At last things improved as an excellent nod on by Perry forced Smith to make a rapid advance to grab the ball ahead of the advancing Reeves (70 mins). Next, an Alty freekick led to a corner, after a foul by Stevenson on Densmore 24 yards from the visitors' goal. Another corner immediately followed, now from the left, and taken by Lawrie. An Alty header goalwards from Perry was well saved by Smith and a follow up effort was also blocked by a defender. But the ball was then played across the face of goal from the Alty right by Clee and was turned into the net by Aldershot player-manager Chris Barker (73 mins).

It was unclear who had scored, with an own goal by Barkerlooking the most obvious explanation but Lawrie was awarded the goal by the tannoy.

At the other end, Aldershot's McCollin shot over the bar from 20 yards. After Roberts had pushed over Densmore, the victim's freekick was saved (77 mins). Altrincham almost doubled their lead in the 82nd minute following a superb long ball from Moult. Reeves got onto it and hooked it past goalkeeper Smith. But he had been driven wide of goal and from the byline he nevertheless almost scored with a chip towards the back post.

Now Aldershot made a triple change as Scott, Tshimanga and Jarvis came on for Stevenson, McCollin and Brett Williams. Moments later Gillespie replaced Reeves for Altrincham (83 mins).

Two Alty freekicks and a corner came and went before Perry swivelled smartly but mishit his shot to the keeper (86 mins). From a great Clee cross, from the right, Perry put a fine header into the net but was ruled offside (87 mins).

After player-manager Barker’s long throw had been half cleared, the same player's cross led to a shot on goal from Scott which Coburn saved superbly, low and one-handed to his left (89 mins). In the first of four added minutes, a foul on Densmore gave Havern a freekick which he disappointingly put into touch. In the third added minute Aldershot won a freekick off Marshall, 25 yards from goal. Coburn palmed this over the bar for the first of two successive corners, which were dealt with competently by the defence.

So, Altrincham had recorded their fourth successive win in the league, their best run of the season. Although they moved up only one place to 14th, they are now just four points off sixth place. However, a daunting sequence of four successive fixtures against top five clubs is the task facing them in February.