Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Saturday, 21 March, 2015, at 3pm


Until the closing stages, FC Halifax Town had the better chances to score but, then, Crowther forced a good save and Lawrie and Reeves could both have won the game for the hosts in the final minutes. The visitors had started the game the better before Altrincham enjoyed a good spell in the quarter of an hour before the break. The Shaymen then held the upper hand for periods after the break, with Coburn making a couple of fine stops and Halifax's substitute Boden wasting a golden chance after Coburn had beaten out a shot.


REFEREE: Mr John Brooks (Leicestershire)
ATTENDANCE: 1,371 (445 in away end)

Alty were wearing their pink Cancer Awarenes kit today. They welcomed back Coburn, Griffin and Richman to the starting eleven. But they were without injured skipper, Shaun Densmore, Luca Havern retaing the captain's armband that he had worn last Tuesday. Halifax's starting eleven was unchanged.


ALTRINCHAM (Pink shirts, black shorts and pink socks). 1. Stuart Coburn, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern (c), 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 18. Sean Williams, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 14. Kyle Perry 17.Dave Parton, 19. Ryan Crowther.

FC HALIFAX TOWN (All blue): 27. Matt Glennon, 2. James Bolton, 4. Marc Roberts, 23. Graham Hutchison, 3. Scott McManus, 7. Adam Smith, 8. Paul Marshall, 5. Matty Pearson, 20. Lois Maynard, 9. Jamie Jackson, 12. Richard Peniket. Subs: 1.Phil Senior, 19. Scot Boden, 15. Kevin Roberts, 22. DannySchofield, 40. Danny Hattersley.


Mike Garnett's records show the record of previous matches between Altrincham and FC Halifax Town...

Both teams arrived at Moss Lane in a disappointing run of form. Halifax had not won in six games whilst Alty had just one win and a draw in their last half-dozen matches.


Halifax kicked off towards the well-populated away end but an excellent Alty move, instigated by Clee's fine cross-field to Leather, ended as the right-back's cross was turned over the bar by Reeves (1 min).

But one of what was to be a large number of long throws by Roberts caused chaos in the Alty box before the ball was hacked clear (3 mins). Clee was looking lively for Altrincham but, when he was fouled 25 yards out, left of centre, Lawrie’s freekick was cleared (9 mins).

Following a Havern foul on Peniket, near half way, the Halifax freekick glanced off Moult for a Shaymen corner on their right. From this, a header by Roberts kissed the top of Altrincham's bar but was well covered by Coburn in any case (13 mins). Pearson now caught Richman who limped on but was not to complete the match.

A misheader by Leather now led to Peniket's shot over the bar. When Clee was crudely brought down, Hutchinson only received a lecture. After this Coburn saved a Peniket volley (17 mins). Halifax were enjoying some pressure as, first, Marshall blocked a McManus shot, then from Peniket's cross, a Smith scissor-kick at the back post was beaten round the post by Coburn (18 mins)>

After 20 minutes, Richman was fouled again but the visitors were having the better of things and it took a good Leather tackle to halt Maynard (21 mins). Alty perked up when, following a Griffin cross, a Lawrie header won a corner on the left. However, Reeves's resulting overhead shot cleared the bar.

Play remained open but without any more goal threats over the next few minutes. Clee then got round Pearson but slightly overhit his pass. Indeed, mistakes by both sides meant the game was not of the highest quality despite the players' undoubted effort.

After the half-hour mark, Altrincham enjoyed a period of superiority. This included a Marshall 25-yarder, which had to be tipped round the post by Glennon for a corner (36 mins). After the corner, a Clee shot was blocked. At the other end a long shot from Maynard trickled into Coburn's hands (39 mins).

Marshall continued to excel for Alty at the back whilst, up front, as half-time approached, Clee almost set Reeves free. Next, Cavanagh fed Lawrie who, from inside the box, scuffed his shot against the outside of the post with keeper Glennon beaten (42 mins). Next, Lawrie did well before putting his shot just over the bar from the edge of the box. As added time beckoned, Lawrie went down in the box but got no response from Mr. Brooks. The one added minute was extended by protracted treatment for Peniket, who eventually hobbled off.


Both sides made a change at the interval. The crocked Peniket was replaced by Hattersley whilst Alty's Richman gave way Jordan Sinnott. Initially Sinnott played with a numberless shirt before his correctly numbered garment was produced .

Three minutes into the half, a Clee cross was just met by a stretching Sinnott at the back post but he could not get his touch on target. It was a slow and fairly scrappy start to the second half. Things improved for Altrincham after they had cleared a freekick awarded against Moult for holding. Alty's Sinnott now directed an excellent cross-field ball to Lawrie but he again shot over the bar (53 mins).

Alty had a worrying moment when Smith's chip had Coburn back-pedalling to tip the ball over his bar for a corner (55 mins). Another prodigious Halifax throw from the left corner by Roberts led to a corner. Following Smith's corner, it took a good Coburn block to keep out the Shaymen.

Alty were struggling to get back to the level at which they had closed the first half and it was Halifax who soon threatened again when a cross won them another corner. After Coburn had punched this clear, Pearson lashed a shot well over the bar (60 mins). But then a Hutchinson error allowed Lawrie a cross which was only just cleared inside the box as Reeves awaited at the back post.

Alty's record as the team with most off-target shots in the league was worsened as, first, a Sinnott 30-yarder flew wide before the same player's excellent pass for Lawrie saw him fire miles over the bar (64 mins).

Altrincham benefited from a questionable refereeing decision when Smith got past Leather on the Halifax left and went down under Havern' challenge inside the box. As most spectators awaited the award of a penalty, Mr. Brooks opted to book Smith for diving (66 mins).

As at half-time, the teams once again synchronized their second substitutions; Crowther replaced Clee for Alty, while Schofield came on for Paul Marshall for Halifax (67 mins).

After Sinnott had lost the ball, Havern covered well but neither goal was seriously being threatened as the game passed the seventy-minute mark. But soon after, from a Havern error, Coburn had to save smartly from Jackson at the foot of his near post (72 mins). The crowd was soon amused to see Leather's skied clearance return to earth and jam itself in a tree in Golf Road.

The errors continued as, in short order, Crowther was robbed of the ball, Sinnott lost possession, Lawrie's poor control saw a half- chance disappear in the Halifax box and, from Crowther's feed, Lawrie once more spooned a shot over the bar (74 mins).

Boden came on for Maynard for Halifax in the 75th minute, after which Leather did well to halt Halifax, who were now applying some sustained pressure on Alty. Next, Coburn blocked a shot for a corner. Soon afterwards, Jackson got past Marshall and forced a great Coburn block. The ball ran loose to Boden, with an open goal beckoning. But the sub hesitated and allowed Leather to get across and block his effort (79 mins).

But, in the final ten minutes, it was Altrincham who took the ascendancy. Having wasted a freekick, they got forward again but Lawrie ran into trouble. Next, Leather got forward but was halted in the Fax box. Just after a Lawrie shot had been blocked, Williams replaced Cavanagh in Alty's midfield (83 mins).

McManus then had to halt Crowther but, two minutes later, Crowther's 25 yarder had to be tipped over the bar by Glennon for a corner on the right (86 mins). Lawrie and Crowther took a shortish corner after which the latter lost possession. Next, Lawrie was halted in the opposition box from a Leather feed.

Halifax responded by winning a corner off Leather from a long throw. But Altrincham went upfield again and, after Crowther had battled well and laid the ball off to Reeves, Alty's top marksman took aim but his low shot went wide of the far post from 18 yards (89 mins).

In the ninetieth minute, a Sinnott shot deflected to Lawrie but he miskicked. Alty's last chance came in the third added minute when Reeves was halted in the box. There was still time for Lawrie to get himself booked for a midfield foul (90+3 mins). An even later Schofield shot hit Marshall before the game was ended by the referee's whistle. It was Alty's first goalless draw at home this season and the first time a game involving them had ended goalless since the 0-0 at Grimsby 26 matches ago. As goalless matches go it had been quite entertaining but both sides had lacked quality in front of goal and Alty's Coburn had made several fine saves.

The draw brought up the fifty-points total for Altrincham and edged them a little closer to absolute certainty of survival in the Conference's national division.