ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
WREXHAM (3) 4
played on Saturday, 14 March, 2015, at 3pm
A tired performance from Altrincham led to this heavy defeat to Wrexham. The home side started the game poorly and fell behind as early as the eighth minute. Alty captain Shaun Densmore was down injured as a Wrexham move developed and the attack was ended with Morris's shot past Coburn. Densmore was unable to continue and was replaced by Williams, Cavanagh moving to right-back.
But, just as it looked as if Alty might be able to regroup at the interval with just a single goal deficit, they conceded twice more inside four minutes just before the break. Both goals came from badly defended corners, White heading home the Wrexham second and Moult nodding home the third in the 44th minute.
Altrincham did rally after the break and enjoyed a good fifteen minutes, during which they pulled a goal back. This came from James Lawrie after 51 minutes but it was not enough of a revival to disturb's Wrexham's progress. The Dragons added a fourth in the 85th minute when a through ball put Jennings clear and he rounded Coburn to net.
- 8 mins: Kieron MORRIS (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 1)
- 40 mins: Ross WHITE (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 2)
- 44 mins: Louis MOULT (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 3)
- 51 mins: James LAWRIE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wrexham 3)
- 85 mins: Connor JENNINGS (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wrexham 4)
REFEREE: Mr B Toner (Lancashire)
Altrincham were without the suspended Tom Marshall and the injured Simon Richman. But Nicky Clee was fit enough to return to the squad. Ryan Crowther and Peter Cavanagh rejoined the eleven starters as Jordan Sinnott dropped to the bench. Stuart Coburn was honoured for recently breaking the Altrincham FC appearance record by leading out the team, but Shaun Densmore remained captain.
For Wrexham, Andy Bishop was missing, due to enforced rest following concussion. The visiors' teamsheet had to be changed at a late stage as Carrington started in place of Tomassen, with York being added to the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks). 1. Stuart Coburn , 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 3. Adam Griffin, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 14. Kyle Perry. Subs: 11. Nicky Clee, 17.Dave Parton, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 9. Steven Gillespie, 18. Sean Williams. WREXHAM (Green, white and black) 1. Andy Coughlin, 2. Mark Carrington, 4. Manny Smith, 5. Blaine Hudson, 6. Joe Clarke, 15. Rob Evans, 18. Ross White, 24. Connor Jennings, 27. Kieron Morris, 28. Kyle Storer (c), 9. Louis Moult. Subs: 8. Jay Harris, 7. Elliott Durrell, 26. Luke Waterfall, 29. Sam Finley, 16. Wes York.
Mike Garnett's records show the record of previous matches between Altrincham and Wrexham. Alty had won the reverse fixture 3-2, as Alty had Scott Leather dismissed and two Wrexham men were also sent off.
- Home: P6-W1-D3-L2-F4-A6
- Away: P6-W2-D2-L2-F6-A8
- All: P12-W3-D5-L4-F10-A14
On a bitterly cold afternoon, Wrexham kicked off towards the away end and should have taken the lead inside two minutes. A ball over the top of Alty's back line left Jennings free, behind Griffin, but he shot very poorly wide of Coburn's right post. It was not to be the last piece of poor defending by the hosts.
Having been on the back foot, a Perry lay off allowed Reeves a shot, which forced a low save by Coughlin (4 mins). However, Wrexham were soon going forward again and they won a corner (5 mins). Only a couple of minutes later, Densmore stayed down, hurt, after a 50-50 challenge 25 yards out from his team's goal. Despite this, play continued as Wrexham worked the ball, via several passes, to Morris, whose low shot beat Coburn to put the Dragons ahead (8 mins).
Play resumed but Densmore went down needing treatment and it emerged that he was unable to continue. With no defender on the bench, Williams came on in midfield, obliging Cavanagh to revert to right-back, a position in which he had played previously in his career (10 mins).
Next, Crowther had a shot blocked after a good interchange with Perry. Each side now won a corner, with Altrincham's leading to an overhit cross by Lawrie. But Wrexham were still looking the livelier. Indeed, when White went up the right on an overlap, Evans flicked his low cross only just wide (19 mins). Though Alty won, and wasted a couple of freekicks, the game passed through a scrappy spell.
Alty's best threat to date came from a long pass by Leather, which set Reeves free. His first-time shot was fumbled by Coughlin and led to a Reeves and Crowther interchange which culminated in a poor final shot, wide, by Crowther (24 mins).
A Jake Moult screamer just cleared the bar from 20 yards before Jennings pushed over Griffin. From Lawrie's freekick, 25 yards out, left-centre, Coughlin made a save (28 mins). Wrexham pressure led to a high shot by Morris before Lawrie curled a decent shot just wide (31 mins).
Jennings's double foul on Griffin produced a freekick award but no card from Mr Toner before Williams gained Alty a corner on their left (36 mins). Alty were now playing better than they had at the start of the game. From a Lawrie feed, a Perry shot was saved (39 mins). But that was to be as good as it got and any thoughts of an Alty comeback before the interval were dashed by two goals for Wrexham in a four-minute spell.
The trouble for Alty started with a Wrexham corner, won through a right-wing move. The corner was knocked back towards the right where, unmarked, White headed home past a static defence (40 mins). Soon afterwards, Lawrie was booked for a transgression on the edge of Wrexham's box (43 mins). Following this, Louis Moult won another corner off Leather on the Dragons' right.
This corner was met by a free header at the back post by Hudson and then the loose ball was nodded into the net by Louis Moult to make the score 3-0 to the visitors (44 mins).
In three added minutes, a Lawrie 20-yarder rose over the bar before a foul on Perry, 40 yards out, gave Alty a freekick. The final act of the half was Lawrie's shot wide (40+3mins) as, once again, Alty failed to trouble Coughlin.
It had been a lacklustre performance from Altrincham in which all three goals had been poorly defended. This was the third time this season that Alty had shipped three or more goals in the opening 45 minutes and, on the previous occasions (away at Barnet and at home to Welling) Alty had failed to score in the second half; could they do better this time?
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 WREXHAM 3|
Alty emerged early for the second half, which they kicked off, playing towards the away end. An early Williams shot was deflected to the keeper as Altrincham now exhibited a bit more tempo in their game. They got an early reward when Lawrie initiated a move which culminated in his low, left-food shot past Coughlin, after the ball had been routed to the left via Perry and Crowther (51 mins).
The goal lifted Alty but wayward shooting did not help their cause as, first Jake Moult and, then, Perry lashed shots over the bar (55 mins). Wrexham responded to the change of balance in the game by replacing Evans by Harris (56 mins).
Nevertheless, Alty looked as if they might get a second goal and Smith was resorting to holding Perry at every opportunity, though Mr Toner ignored it. As Alty pressed, a Crowther shot was blocked, a Cavanagh cross was headed clear and Perry eventually was awarded an overdue freekick (62 mins). But Alty repeatedly wasted their deadballs today; this time Lawrie's freekick was badly overhit into touch (63 mins).
Wrexham now introduced Finley for Storer (64 mins) and began to take the sting out of Altrincham's improved second-half performance. The game now drifted through several minutes before Clee and Sinnott came on for Crowther and Perry (71 mins).
When Jennings fouled Sinnott he was given a final warning by Mr Toner yet almost immediately he foolishly committed another foul on Sinnott which quite predictably got him booked (75 mins). After Coburn had made a save from Finley, a Williams 25-yard daisy cutter was fumbled round the post by the keeper for a corner (77 mins).
From a fine ball by Jake Moult, Lawrie lost the ball before a foul on Clee by White led to another poor freekick, this time from Sinnott (81 mins). Clarke was then booked for a foul on Moult but Altrincham were then undone by a long ball, which put Jennings free. He rounded Coburn to make it 4-1 and abolish any thoughts of an unlikely comeback by the hosts (85 mins).
With four minutes remaining, Jennings was replaced by York. Following this, Williams was booked for a shirt-pull after he had lost the ball. Four added minutes almost produced a fifth goal for Wrexham as Louis Moult got clear but Coburn got the ball as the striker tried to go round him.
Altrincham had been well beaten, having given a performance which suggested that, perhaps, their small squad was showing signs of fatigue from its impressive efforts earlier in the campaign.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 4|