Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Saturday, 28 March, 2015, at 3pm


On a difficult pitch, Altrincham took an early lead with a well-taken goal from Reeves in the seventh minute. Cavanagh and Clee were instrumental in the build up.

However, they rarely threatened to double their lead before half time and had to survive strong penalty appeals against Marshall. Then, Reeves struck again in the 51st minute with another smartly taken goal, this time from a Sinnott feed. Dartford made strong appeals for offside which went unheeded.

Alty allowed Dartford back into the match when substitute Hayes ran at the defence and scored with a deflected shot in the 67th minute.

Referee Lymer sprayed the cards around in the closing stages. Cavanagh, already booked for a rash challenge, received a second caution in the ninetieth minute for a trivial foul and was sent off. But the ten men saw out four minutes of added time to pretty well make certain that Altrincham will remain in the top flight of non-League next season.


REFEREE: Mr Colin Lymer

Alty were without injured duo Simon Richman and Shaun Densmore. So, Jordan Sinnott started and Scott Leather remained at right-back.

New loanee striker Chiedozie started for Dartford.


DARTFORD (White and black ) 21. Deren Ibrahim, 3. Jamie Richards, 8. Lee Noble, 19. Callum Driver, 16. Peter Sweeney, 4. Rory McAuley, 5. Elliot Bradbrook, 11. Danny Harris, 10. Andy Pugh, 12. Nathan Green, 33. Jordan Ciedozie. Subs: 13. Tony Kessell, 17. Harry Crawford, 9. Luke Daley, 15. Nathan Collier, 7. Ryan Hayes.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue). 1. Stuart Coburn, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern (c), 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 18. Sean Williams, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 19. Ryan Crowther, 9. Steven Gillespie Updates:


Mike Garnett's records show the record of previous matches between Altrincham and Dartford...

The pitch was well worn on the nearside to the main stand and in the goalmouths. The weather was overcast but dry at Prince's Park.


With the stiff breeze behind them, Alty kicked off from right to left from a main stand viewpoint. An early Cavanagh foul near half-way conceded the first free kick (3 mins) in what was a scrappy start to the game. Next, Reeves won a freekick in the left corner but this was overhit by Lawrie (5 mins).

After a freekick, when Chiedozie was fouled by Sinnott, Altrincham counter-attacked. Cavanagh's excellent ball found Lawrie and then Clee, who threaded a through ball for Reeves, who scored well, with a low shot across the keeper from left of goal (7 mins).

Dartford were making errors as Altrincham, passing the ball more accurately, looked comfortable at this stage. Next, Clee tried again to play in Reeves but this time the ball was cleared. At the other end, from a Sweeney feed, Pugh's shot was saved (11 mins).

For Dartford, Chiedozie looked lively, but Alty advanced again with a Lawrie air shot, followed by a Moult shot which was easy for the keeper to collect (17 mins). When Noble went down in Alty's box, Marshall could perhaps count himself fortunate to escape the penalty appeals for a push in the back (19 mins).

Midway through the half, a Lawrie 25-yarder was saved before Noble made a late challenge on Moult, after which Sinnott's low cross went out for a corner. Play continued fairly scrappily as a Sinnott 30-yarder went well off target.

Just a few minutes after fouling Noble, Clee was penalised for a minor foul and rather harshly booked as he poked the ball back to Coburn from halfway, having been judged to have been late with his challenge.

Dartford now made a change as Collier came on for Green (32 mins). A Dartford error gave Lawrie a shot, which went wide, before a Griffin cross went to the keeper. Dartford then threatened when a freekick against Moult crossed the Altrincham box but was just too high for everyone (38 mins).

When Collier fouled Lawrie 40 yards out, the Dartford man was booked (42 mins). A good Chiedozie run was dealt with before half-time which arrived with Altrincham deserving their lead.


The second half brought an early Dartford corner, which Coburn punched clear (48 mins). But, having been on the back foot after the break, Alty grabbed a second goal as a Sinnott ball from the right put Reeves clear and he scored impressively with a similar, low shot to the one for his first goal. This time, though, it was from right of goal and went just inside the far post. The Darts' captain appealed for offside but the linesman seemed to say that the ball had come off a home player (50 mins).

Afterwards Sinnott broke forward but his cross was gathered by the keeper. The Darts now got upfield in response and a Harris shot won them a corner (55 mins). However, Harris was immediately replaced by Crawford.

On the hour mark, a Reeves shot had to be saved before a needless wild challenge by Cavanagh on the touchline near halfway saw him booked for a tenth time to earn a suspension. After the freekick, Sweeney's excellent volley from 30 yards flew just wide.

Soon, the Darts threatened as a cross from the right just evaded Chiedozie in the goalmouth (64 mins). Next, Pugh went off and Hayes came on for the hosts (65 mins).

Two successive fouls by Sinnott conceded midfield freekicks and, from the second, by Noble, a Hayes header dropped to Coburn (67 mins). Dartford's endeavours got their reward when a strong run in the inside right channel by Hayes led to his shot being deflected off Havern past Coburn (68 mins). So the lead had been halved.

Dartford's Collier now conceded a corner but this came to nothing. The positive substitutions by Dartford had boosted their attack and Alty were now hemmed back. A change was needed and it came as Williams replaced Sinnott (74 mins). Lawrie moved to the right with Williams in the centre.

Clee was caught offside after a neat build-up before Crawford fouled Marshall and was booked (78 mins). The referee's pencil was to be heavily used in the closing stages. Next, a Moult foul saw him cautioned (81 mins).

Alty made a double change, with the customary malfunctioning of the electronic subs' board before Perry came on for Reeves and Crowther replaced Clee (82 mins). Now Noble was booked as cards began to rain down like confetti (83 mins).

Alty were grateful to captain Havern as he blocked Chiedozie's goalbound shot. Another card was shown when Leather was caught late by McAuley (87 mins). Then, in the 90th minute, a fairly trivial foul by Cavanagh near half way was deemed to merit a second yellow and a red from the card-happy referee.

The four added minutes saw Alty penned back as Coburn punched clear twice. In the third added minute, Lawrie advanced up the left and found Perry. He turned well but dragged his shot wide. Alty successfully wound down the closing minutes to ensure the win and almost certain survival in the Conference national division with five matches remaining.

Altrincham deserved their win but had made it difficult for themsleves in the final quarter of the game. Dartford had kept going throughout but their season now seems almost certain to end in relegation. Last season they escaped through the "AGM Cup" and, with five home games in their remaining seven, they will look to push up the table to give themselves a chance of another reprieve. For Altrincham the points almost certainly confirm their place in the Conference national division next season.

Finally, how Mr Lymer contrived to show nine cards in this match is unfathomable.